A-Rod to miss "A Few Days" after hurting leg again

a-rod-quad.jpgIt appears that Alex Rodriguez aggravated the quadriceps strain in his right leg three days after returning to the lineup. He was pitch hit for in the eighth inning in Monday night's win over the Tribe.

When asked about his status for tomorrow's game against the Detroit Tigers, Rodriguez responded, “no way..If I had to guess, I’d say it would be a few days”.

The Yankees are already without catcher Jorge Posada who is on the DL and his return is uncertain for the moment. An extended absence by Rodriguez might raise some serious concern within the Yankees. For the time being A-Rod appears to be out until he further examines his leg and lets it rest for a few days.

The injury bug has hit the Yanks hard early this season. Despite that, they still have a 14-13 record and are one game out of first.

Tuesday will be a busy around the Yankees as the injuires to Posada and Rodriguez will have many people questioning the extent and severity of both. If you're a Yankees fan, you got to hope for the best. Check back to the site for updates as they become available.
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Moose,Bullpen Lead Yanks to Win

mussina-molina.jpgThe bullpen played a big part in the Yankees 5-2 win Monday night over the Cleveland Indians. The win gave the Yanks a series split and completed a ten-game road trip in which the Bombers went 5-5.

Mike Mussina (3-3) picked up the win as he pitched five innings allowing two runs on seven hits. His only inning of trouble was the fifth inning but pitched through it to pick up the 253rd win of his career tying him for 41st all-time. The bullpen pitched the final four innings and retired the last ten batters they faced. The combination of Jonathan Albaladejo, Kyle Farnsworth, Joba Chamberlain, and Mariano Rivera proved to be too much for the Indians as each pitched a scoreless inning.

The Yankees scored four runs in the top of the sixth inning and never looked back. A few bloopers, groundouts and infield hits got the Yanks ahead. They were held hitless in the first five innings by Cleveland starter Aaron Laffey (0-1). Hideki Matsui had two RBI in the win.

The Yankees were playing without Jorge Posada who was put on the DL after Sunday's game. There was no update on his condition but one should be available tomorrow.

Rivera picked up his eighth save of the season in the win. He has yet to issue a walk or allow a run.

The Yanks return home tomorrow as they have played 18 of their last 20 games on the road.
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Fantasy Baseball Minute

fantasy-baseballpic.JPGHere are some news and notes for all you fantasy goers out there. I have all of these guys on my team, so if you have them on yours or are keeping an eye on these players, you should take note.

Notes via Yahoo Sports.
    Vernon Wells (Tor - OF)

Wells snapped an 0-for-15 skid with a single in the eighth inning Sunday. Over his past 10 games, Wells has gone 6-for-38 with one homer and two RBIs.
    Kevin Youkilis (Bos - 1B,3B)

Youkilis set a major league record for fielding perfection over the weekend when he handled his 1,701st errorless chance at first base. Youkilis broke the record of 1,700 straight errorless chances by former Sox 1B Stuffy McInnis from May 1921-June 1922. The errorless streak set by the Gold Glove-winning Youkilis is also the longest such streak of any defensive position in major league history.
    Jered Weaver (LAA - SP)

Weaver out-pitched fellow 2004 first-rounder Justin Verlander and the Angels took two of three in Detroit. Weaver took a shutout into the seventh inning when he ran into a little trouble and two runs scored after he was replaced by Justin Speier. The Angels scored six times in the first six innings against Verlander (the second overall pick in 2004, 10 spots ahead of Weaver).
    Jermaine Dye (CWS - OF)

Dye missed his third straight game on Sunday, as he continued to rest his sore left groin. He suffered the injury on Thursday against New York, and was forced out of the game in the seventh inning. Guillen's hope was to have his veteran outfielder back in the lineup for Monday afternoon's game with the Orioles. "Right now, I'm shooting for him for (Monday)," Guillen said. "Every day, when the player tells me he's ready to play, I give him another day to make sure he's OK." Dye said he was still feeling a bit sore, so he will be re-evaluated before the game.

    Manny Ramírez
    (Bos - OF)

Ramirez stole the 35th base of his station-to-station career in the fifth inning of Sunday afternoon's loss to Tampa Bay. The stolen bag was a bit of history for the 35-year-old left fielder and the Sox as it was Ramirez's first stolen base in a Boston uniform in over three years -- dating back to a flight of fancy on the base paths on April 10, 2005.
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Yanks look for series split

mussina.JPGThe Yanks and Indians finish up their four-game series tonight at Progressive Field. Mike Mussina, RHP (2-3, 4.94) goes against Aaron Laffey, LHP (NR).

Mussina is coming off his best start of the season last week in Chicago. He pitched seven strong innings while allowing two runs via the homerun. Moose is 4-3 with a 5.88 ERA in 10 career starts at Progressive Field.

Laffey will make the spot start today for the Indians because of a doubleheader last week threw a wrench into the rotation. He is making his 2008 debut. In '07 Laffey went 4-2 with a 4.56 ERA in nine starts last season when Cliff Lee was sent to the minors at the end of the season. This season in Buffalo, Laffey is 3-1 with a 3.13 ERA.

The Yanks look for the series split with a win tonight. This is the end of a ten game road trip for the Bombers. They return to the Stadium on Tuesday night.
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Standings as of April 28th

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Indians Bug Yanks Again

andy-indians.jpgLast time the Yankees were in Cleveland was last October. It was the infamous "Bug Game." A game the Yanks thought they were going to win but ended up losing, thus turning around the series in the Indians favor as they won the ALDS in four games.

The starter in the "Bug Game" was Andy Pettitte. He was also last night's starter in the return to the Jake (excuse me, Progressive Field). Last October saw Andy at his best , last night was a different story. Jason Giambi who was stuck in a season long slump busted out of it in a big way hitting two monster homeruns giving Andy and the Yanks a 3-1 lead. Reliable Andy couldn't hold the lead. Iin the bottom of the fifth and two outs, the Indians mounted a rally that turned the game around and led to a 6-4 Indians win. Jhonny Peralta hit a three-run homerun to left and Franklin Gutierrez follow with a homerun of his own.
"I made some bad pitches and ran out of gas a little bit," Pettitte said. "I hit a wall there....I fought with myself the whole game, battled with my command and never got in a real good rhythm. With two outs, I had a hard time getting the guys out. They made me work extremely hard and wore me down pretty good."

The Yankee offense has shown signs of life lately but couldn't build any type of comeback in the final innings. Alex Rodriguez returned to the lineup for the first time since Sunday. He went 0-4."
I felt pretty good," Rodriguez said. "I'm going to be fine."

With the loss the Yanks are 12-12 on the season. After a three game win streak, the Bombers have dropped two straight. They look to rebound this afternoon with Ian Kennedy (0-2, 9.64 ERA) going against Jeremy Sowers - LHP (NR). The game is at 3:55pm on FOX.
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Second Guessing Suspensions and Awful Starts

jeterarod-hbp.JPGKyle Farnsworth got hit with a three-game suspension yesterday by Major League Baseball. Why? Because he tried to hit Manny Ramirez after Manny hit two shots off of Mike Mussina that night. Last time I checked, that pitch didn't hit Ramirez. If you want to discipline him then fine him, but three-game suspension? That's crazy.

Since 2002 Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez have been plunked a total of 22 times, while Manny and David Ortiz have been hit a total of 3 times. We all know Joe Torre wasn't one to get caught up in beanball wars, but you would have to think this ruling is a little questionable considering the pitch didn't hit the Boston slugger. Joba Chamberlain threw behind Kevin Youkillis and got suspended. That was ok beacuse Joba threw at Youk twice...there's no way the ball slipped out of his hand on two straight pitches.

Now here's how bizarre this suspension is...even Manny himself is questioning the suspension! Yes, you read that right. Manny Ramirez said the suspension is undeserving.
“He doesn’t deserve that,” Ramirez said. “He was trying to protect his player. You know, we hit A-Rod the game before. When you’ve got a guy like that on your team, you’re going to protect him. . . . That’s the way the game is played. You hit one of their guys and they’re going to hit one of yours.”

Now that is something you don't see. A red Sox player siding with a Yankee player. But Manny's right on this one. The suspension will be appealed so let's see how this plays out.

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kennedystruggles.jpg
Ian Kennedy
completely bombed last night....again. He only lasted 2 and 2/3 innings thus causing the bullpen more work. He gave up four runs on five hits while allowing five walks. A night after Hughes got lit up again for five runs, Kennedy did no better. At this point in time the Yankees youth movement is NOT working, but it's ok because yesterday I told you why Yankee fans shouldn't worry. Well can these guys at least try and make that statement look somewhat credible? The Hughes-Kennedy duo have combined for an 0-4 start 9.20 ERA in seven starts. Not excatly what the Yanks had in mind this winter when they decided to keep their young guns instead of trading for superstar ace Johan Santana.

The 2005 Yanks started 11-19, the 2007 Yanks started 21-29 and made the playoffs both times. So a 9-10 start for 2008 isn't anything to get alarmed at, especially considering the depth of this rotation. Let the guys in the minors have a shot before moving Joba to the rotation. But someone has to tell Joe Girardi that having Mussina, Kennedy and Hughes following eachother in the rotation is a bad idea. Throw Andy Pettitte in there somewhere, at this rate every time he takes the mound he has to stop a three game losing streak. Alright today is going to be his fourth start of the season but let's hope it doesn't become a habit.
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Yanks Shaky Start No Need For Concern

The struggles for the Yankees continued last night as Phil Hughes picked up his third loss of the season. With the Yanks losing 8-2 in Baltimore last night, it pushes their record to 9-9 on the year.

Over at Peter Abraham's LoHud Yankees Blog, he notes why Yankee fans shouldn't be worried about the team's performance to this point. Here are some highlights:
hughes-08.jpg
* The Yankees have played 18 straight days. Kids making shoes in factories in Third World countries don’t work 18 straight days.
* The following players have missed games because of injury: Andy Pettitte, Derek Jeter, Jason Giambi, Jorge Posada, Jose Molina, Wilson Betemit
* The following players missed games because of suspension: Melky Cabrera, Shelley Duncan.
* The following players have so far forgotten how to hit: Jason Giambi, Robinson Cano.
* The following players have been away to care for critically ill fathers: Joba Chamberlain.
* The following managers missed games because of illness: Joe Girardi.
* Number of games at home: 9
* Number of games on the road: 9
* Number of games when it was warmer than 60 degrees: 5
* Number of new managers: 1
* Number of new coaches: 4
* Number of games against the defending World Champions: 5
* Number of starts by Andy Pettitte: 3 out of 18.
* Number of times Joba and Mo have pitched in the same game: 3

I know it hasn't been typical Yankee baseball this season but as you can see, it's been a little crazy around the team in such a short period of time. Once everyone gets healthy and people settle into their roles on the team then things will start to click. It took until July last year for things to get rolling. Phil Hughes,Ian Kennedy, and Mike Mussina are a combined 1-7 Let's not even go to the E.R.A. because that will just make your head spin.

So far the year of transition is in full effect, just as many people predicted. Hughes looked a lot better last night through the first five innings than he did in previous two starts. He will be better and so will Kennedy. Mussina on the other hand better start finding some tricks up his sleeve or else he won't be around for much longer. Kei Igawa won't be much better. You think the Yankees would've posted more money to sign Matsuzaka last winter if they knew they would be in this position with their pitching? It's worth the thought. But if the struggles continue, Joba will be in the rotation faster than Roger Clemens recieved that check for the pro-rated $28 million he got last year. Speaking of Roger..do you think its possible the Yanks would give him a call this season or is that completly out of the question??

Anything is possible. I would sign Clemens but it would HAVE to be at a salary of about $1 or $2 million. Or do the Yanks make a trade for a stud? Well it's way too early in the season to be asking these questions, so sit back and relax, it's only April. Things have been worse around here, no need to worry....yet.
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QUITE FRANKLY: What Was FOX Thinking?

Sunday morning is usually a good time to go around to different blogs and see what everyone is talking about. Today,I saw something I thought I would touch on myself.

arod-fox.jpg

If you watched yesterday's Yankees - Red Sox game on FOX you saw some bizarre television. I'm sure most of you have been following this rivalry and you know that these games always have their twists and turns, especially when it's in front of a national audience. In the top of the eigth inning the Red Sox leading 4-3, the Yanks were starting a rally. With two men on and two men out Alex Rodriguez was about to step up to the plate. With the game on the line the Sox decided to bring in Jonathan Papelbon. Here's one of those moments that this rivalry thrives on...then the rain came. So we had to wait out a two hour rain delay before we saw the climax of the game. By this point, many fans went home, tuned out or lost the hype they gained while watching the game earlier in the day.

FOX decided to cover NASCAR and promote their other projects and blab about nothing while the key moment of the game was awaiting to get played. I believe that the umpires could've waited another few minutes to call for a rain delay. By the time the game resumed, all the juice was gone and what we got was a cold A-Rod coming off the bench facing a guy who warmed up three times! Why in the world would you call this game before this match-up. Was this a call from FOX? I think so. If you're on the field, you want to finish this at-bat/inning. FOX then decided to push NASCAR down our throats during the rain delay and wasted no time at the end of the game cutting to their racing event. Boy, did they try to milk everything out of a Yanks-Sox audience. Most people in the New York and Boston area can care less about NASCAR. These are not racing cities! Finish the most crucial at-bat of the game! But instead we got a three-pitch strikeout of A-Rod. Had this at-bat been played before the delay we would've saw a much more intense encounter. More pitches,more drama, more intrigue. But what we got was a three pitch, three minute at-bat. Come on FOX, you guys dropped the ball!

I am a fan of FOX's MLB coverage but things like this upset me. ESPN isn't even this bad. I DO NOT want to see or hear about NASCAR when my team has it's star player at the plate when the game is on the line. Let him hit in the rain drops, let Papelbon pitch with the water dripping off the bill of his cap as he stares Rodriguez down with the game on the line. That's drama, that's must-see tv. Whatever the outcome of that at-bat, it would be a classic moment. But FOX decided to pull the plug before we got it. They thought they would capitalize on the big audience they had. Shame on them!

Everyone that I have talked to have said they couldn't believe FOX cut out at this point. I guess the millions of dollars that FOX spent on the MLB package, something like this was apart of their contract. Let's hope this doesn't happen tonight on ESPN, as the weather doesn't look great either. They have SPORTSCENTER to worry about, so many they'll try to rush the game along...at this point, who knows what the corporate guys are gonna do next. Maybe we'll get a surprise episode of Desperate Housewives if there's a rain delay tonight. I wouldn't be shocked.

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Wang Dazzles BoSox

wang-bos1.jpgChien-Ming Wang has answered all the critics so far this season that say he is not a certified ace. Was his two-hit shutout against the Red Sox enough to silence the critics? Possibly.

Wang has taken a new approach to pitching this season and has added some pitches to his arsenal. A four-seamer to lefties and a slider. Both have proven to be effective this season. After Friday night's gem, Wang is 3-0 with a 1.23 ERA on the 2008 season. He struck out three while not allowing a walk on 93 pitches in his complete game effort. His only mistake was a homerun to J.D. Drew in the fifth. A homerun that Bobby Abreu could have very well have caught had he jumped half an inch higher.
"Your team looks awfully good when your guy can go out and pitch nine innings," Alex Rodriguez said. "I'm glad I'm playing behind him and not facing him."

In the first of 18 meetings this season, the Yankees strike first. They won last year's season series 10-8.

Jason Giambi provided the blow that put the Yanks ahead for good last night with a homerun in the seventh inning that broke a 1-1 tie. The Yanks tagged on more with Melky Cabrera's sac fly in the same inning and Abreu running out an infield hit in the ninth as the Yanks won 4-1.

Wang has three of New York's six wins so far this year. The bullpen got the night off which is a good thing because usually these Yanks-Sox series feature each team pulling out every trick from under their sleeve in order to win these games. The next two games should be interesting, but for now the Yankees have been led by their ace into enemy territory and led to victory. Not a bad start to the rivalry for the Bombers.
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Yanks, Sox at Fenway This Weekend

yanks-sox2008.JPGFriday, April 10 - 7:05 p.m., YES
Chien-Ming Wang (2-0, 1.38 ERA) vs. Clay Buchholz (0-1, 5.40 ERA)

Saturday, April 11 - 3:55 p.m., FOX
Mike Mussina (1-1, 3.09 ERA) vs. Josh Beckett (0-1, 9.64 ERA)

Sunday, April 12 - 8:05 p.m., ESPN
Phil Hughes (0-1, 5.00 ERA) vs. Daisuke Matsuzaka (2-0, 1.47 ERA)

It's early in the season but whenever these two teams meet up, you know the season is officially underway. Yankees and Red Sox renew their rivaly this weekend at Fenway. Both have started the season at 5-5 and both have their question marks surrounding their pitching. The Yankees enter this season as the underdogs to Boston for the first time in a long time, so you would have to think Joe Girardi's crew is on a mission. Let's see how Joba Chamberlain responds to the Fenway faithful if he gets into any games this series, how Hughes bounces back form his rough outing in Kansas City a few days ago, and if Derek Jeter will see any time this series. Get ready for an intense series, as it always is. Series prediction: Sox win 2 of 3.
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Wang Impressive, Joba and Mo Close the Door Again

Bronx, NY - Sunday afternoon the Yankees beat the Tampa Bay Rays 2-0 in front of a packed crowd front of a packed crowd at Yankee Stadium.wang-tb.jpg

Chien-Ming Wang was solid again, in this, his second outing of the year. He didn't give up his first hit until the top of the 5th. He finished giving up four hits and striking out six as he pitched into the 7th inning.

Hideki Matsui provided the only flare in the game offensivly with a two-run homerun which proved to be enough for Wang and the Yanks.

Joba Chamberlain came into the game in the 7th inning and got a key double play to end the inning. After pitching a scoreless 8th, Mariano Rivera then came in to shut the door and the game was over. He recorded his third save in as many chances. He didn't record his third save last season until May 3rd, so it's nice to see him ahead of schedule.

The Yankees have won three games so far this season, Chamberlain and Rivera have pitched in all three at the end to secure each victory.
“It was a little different coming in with runners on base, but it was good to do that,” Chamberlain said. “You don’t want to give up the runs for Chien-Ming. He did such a great job. The bullpen’s got to hold it down.”

The Yankees offense again was minimal but got just enough to get by on Sunday thanks to Wang and company. Maybe it's the early season low temps but the Yankee offense continues to struggle.
“Hopefully, you’ll see a lot more hitting from us,” Johnny Damon said. “We plan to score some runs here soon.”

The Yanks are 7 for 45 with runners in scoring position (.155) and have only scored 17 runs through their first six games (2.8 a game). It's only a week into the season but it's worth noting. A week like this in October and time to go home. But let's worry about that at a much later date.

The Yanks and Rays conclude their wrap around (Friday-Monday) four game series on Monday night. Mike Mussina goes for the Bombers against Jason Hammel of the Rays.
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Opening Day 2009 - A Look Ahead

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BEYOND THE BLEACHERS: The Home Opener and The Home Stinker

bleachers2.JPGIn a new feature here on HSNY is Beyond the Bleachers. It will feature some thoughts from fellow Yankee fans around the Stadium. You will get some news and notes from right outside the right field bleachers on River Ave that are witnessed first hand by yours truly. So let's get on with the show.

Monday: Opening Day (it was suppose to be that way.)
There was much hype surrounding the last Opening Day at this Yankee Stadium but Mother Nature didn't allow there to be a game. Wait..they could've played the game and should've played the game. After months of anticipation the Yankees final home opener was upon us. There's no way a little rain was going to get in the way of this game getting played. They played in snow in '96. But someone decided that it would be better to have the final home opener on Tuesday as opposed to Monday afternoon. I was right outside the Stadium that day, right by Stans bar and heard the voices of every Yankee fan trying to be optimistic. Somehow throughtout the day I became a weatherman as I was asked what the day's forecast was going to be. Had I said it was going to be sunny and 75 degrees by 3:00 pm that day, most people would've believed me. Those had to be the out-of-towners of course. Any New Yorker attending the game that day knew they were going to be in store for a long day.bleachers3.bmp

Business was good anywhere you went that day. I would hope so as it was the final Opening Day in this Yankee Stadium (yes I've decided to jump on the media craze that keeps reminding you of all the FINAL occurences in this Yankee Stadium.) Shirts flew off the tables, hats went off the shelves, beers and hot dogs were in high demand and everyone was happy. Until the game was called that is. It was called as soon as it had stopped raining...go figure. That didn't make too many people happy. I, for one was. That meant I got to go home early and would be able to watch the final home opener from the comfort of my own home. Although the media was everywhere you turned, News 12, NY1, NBC 4,ABC 7, YES, ESPN just to name a few, the game was still called and EVERYONE was told to come back on Tuesday night. Oh joy, what a way to take the fizzle out of the final home opener (that was the last mention of "final", I promise). I was lucky enough to make it on to News 12. I'm not sure but I might've made it on to NBC and YES too but didn't see if my 15 seconds of fame caught new life.

Friday Night: The Tampa Bay Rays

Completly different atmsophere as opposed to what I witnessed Monday. Maybe it was because it was Tampa Bay but com' on the Spring Training stuff didn't get you hyped for this series?? Ehh, I didn't think it would. Maybe it was the fact it was nasty out and 40 degrees. Usually a Friday night game the fans would come in bunches and flock the stores and stands. Not tonight. Dead. As my boss would say, "Power Hour" never came. This would be the hour where everyone got off the train and came straight from work and made it to the Stadium and started to settle into their seats. It never happened last night. And judging by the result of last night's game, I don't think the Yankees showed up either. Even manager Joe Girardi called in sick. Well he did show up for work, he just fell asleep in the office. Man, that's a great job. But on all seriousness, I had a conversation with my boss about how good Joba and Hughes looked so far and how we could see really good things from Kennedy. Boy, did that blow up in our faces. My boss did say he sees Kennedy giving up a lot of homeruns. We also talked about the Yankees new lefty Billy Traber being impressive.

If I had stayed around the whole night last night I would have more to add but I was home before Kennedy hit the showers in the 3rd inning. Maybe I should've started throwing in the Yankees bullpen last night, I probably would've gotten better results than Farnsy and Hawkins. In my opinion by July these guys will be looking for work. Maybe I could get them a spot next to me selling shirts and hats outside the Stadium. They'll probably get booed doing that too. Life in the big city isn't easy. Until next time, that's whats going on BEYOND THE BLEACHERS.

- Any thoughts on this article? Please feel free to leave me your thoughts and any personal expirences you may have at Yankee Stadium this season. I want to hear from you! -
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Hughes looks good / Yanks win series

The first series of the season is over and for the Yankees, it was a good one.

hughes-apr3.jpgThe Yanks defeated the Toronto Blue Jays 3-2 on Thursday night. Phil Hughes looked good in six innings of work while manager Joe Girardi played small ball in order to pick up his second win of the year.

In the bottom of the 8th, Melky Cabrera led off with a single to right, then Johnny Damon pulled off a sac bunt but since Toronto reliever Scott Downs couldn't hold on to the ball, Damon was safe at first as a result of the error. Next up was Derek Jeter who also bunted and got Cabrera and Damon into scoring position. Bobby Abreu wasted little time as he got a bloop single to score the eventual winning run.

Hughes allowed two runs on four hits in six innings of work to go along with four strikeouts. Not a bad outing for the 21-year old Hughes. His curveball seemed to dance all over the strikezone tonight, a good sign indeed

.“Phil Hughes was ready when he got to camp, and he wanted to grab a hold of this role,” Girardi said


The Yanks also got to use Joba Chamberlain in the 8th and Mariano Rivera in the 9th to secure the win as they did Opening Night. The Blue Jays had the tying run on third base but Rivera struck out the final batter to win the game for New York.

Next up for the Yanks, the Tampa Bay Rays for a four game series. Let's not forget the fireworks these two teams set off in Spring Training, so this series should be something to watch.

(Frank's articles can also be found at OnTheBlockNY and HotStoveNewYork.com )
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