Yankees Daily Briefing 07/23/11

Rich Harden only made his season debut at the start of the month, but the Athletics will be asking him to help stop an 11 game losing streak against the Yankees. The Yankees will have A.J. Burnett on the hill. In his last start he allowed four runs on eight hits in 5.1 innings; the Yankees would eventually win that game.

Discussion of the Day: Which team do you believe the Yankees currently have the greatest psychological advantage against -- or do you believe there's no such thing? Consider the Yankees' recent records against the Twins and Athletics, and share your answers in the comments.

1) Katie Sharp takes a look at the Yankees' statistical oddities over the past week. Of note: Bartolo Colon being the fourth Yankees starter to allow eight runs in less than an inning of work; CC Sabathia becoming the third Yankees' pitcher in the last 90 years to win five straight starts with eight or more strikeouts in each outing and David Robertson tying Mariano Rivera for the most consecutive games to begin a season without allowing a home run.

2) Wallace Matthews writes that the Yankees could use help on offense.

The Yankees scored 17 runs on Friday and sit third in the American League (and overall) in runs scored, but there are some noticeable holes in the offense. Russell Martin, Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada now all have an OPS+ under 100, indicating below league-average production. Of the Yankees' 84 home runs since May 1st, only 13 of them have been hit by Martin, Jeter or Posada. The solution to the Yankees' issues on offense may be quite simple in theory, but the fact that the two worst performing Yankees' starters are also the team's two most veteran players complicates matters.

3) Tim Bontemps writes that the injury to Ivan Nova could hurt the Yankees at the deadline.

While Nova might not be considered a prospect on the level of Jesus Montero or Manny Banuelos he does have major league experience, and while his numbers aren't great, they aren't horrible, either, and one could argue he would perform much better facing offenses in a division such as the NL Central or NL West. However, teams may be reluctant to trade for players on the disabled list (such a thing may have kept the Yankees from getting Cliff Lee last season). It's unlikely the Yankees would have been able to nab any big-name player with Nova heading the package, but he could have easily been a part of the supporting cast.

4) All of the full season affiliates lost their games on Friday.

Triple-A Scranton lost to Syracuse, 8-3.

Montero was hitless in three at bats and walked once.

Double-A Trenton lost to Bowie, 4-1.

Banuelos allowed four runs, three earned, on six hits in five innings pitched. He walked four and struck out three.

High-A Tampa lost to Bradenton, 6-5.

Eric Chavez had a double in four at bats and struck out once. He played seven innings at third base.

Short Season Staten Island beat Hudson Valley, 2-1, while the Rookie GCL Yankees beat the GCL Pirates, 8-3.