The Seattle Mariners have lost 15 straight games, and have an offense that may be worse this season than it was last year. They start a three game series with the Yankees on Monday; Jason Vargas (6-8, 3.94) will be on the hill for the Mariners while the Yankees will have their own ex-Mariner, Freddy Garcia, pitching for New York.
Discussion of the Day: If you were to grade the job Joe Girardi has done managing the Yankees thus far in 2011, what grade would you give? Share your answers (and reasoning) in the comments.
1) Johnette Howard that the Yankees can't afford to not do anything at the trade deadline.
The Yankees have their weaknesses, and while it may hard to be imagine for a $200 million payroll team, have perhaps overachieved thus far. The rotation was supposed to be able to get significant help from A.J. Burnett and Phil Hughes, but for the most part has been getting that help from Bartolo Colon, who has not pitched in the majors since 2009 and who has a history of arm issues, and Garcia, whose fastball is averaging 87 mph in 2011. Combine that with the subpar seasons from Derek Jeter and Jorge Posada, and the Yankees have holes that need to be filled. The Yankees don't necessarily need to make any giant moves -- indeed, in 2009 their biggest in-season move may have been acquiring Jerry Hairston Jr. -- but if they have an opportunity to improve their team, they should do so.
2) Mike Lupica writes that the Yankees owe a lot of their success to the managing of Girardi.
Girardi has an unenviable task in trying to both win a World Series and manage a veteran roster with egos that might not take kindly to being dropped in the batting order. Still, he has made do with a roster that's endured lengthy injuries for Phil Hughes, Alex Rodriguez, Rafael Soriano, Joba Chamberlain, Eric Chavez, and even Derek Jeter, and the Yankees have a 5.5 game lead in the wild card standings. While the Yankees' ability to hit home runs and the efforts of Colon and CC Sabathia might be the largest reason for the success, Girardi's ability to balance the needs of his individual players with that of the team at large should not go unnoticed.
3) Steve Serby does a Q&A with David Robertson.
The Yankees reliever has had a breakthrough season in 2011, leading many to believe that he should still be pitching in the eighth inning, even after Soriano returns from the disabled list later this week. Of note in the interview may be Robertson's historical dinner guests of choice (Teddy Roosevelt and Cal Ripken, Jr.) as well as his experiences with the bullpen hijinks of Mariano Rivera.
Triple-A Scranton beat Syracuse, 7-2.
Soriano allowed a solo home run in one inning of work, and struck out one batter. He did not speak with media after the game.
Jesus Montero had two doubles in four at bats and scored twice.
Double-A Trenton beat Bowie, 6-4, while High-A Tampa lost to Bradenton, 2-1.
In Tampa, Eric Chavez played third base and was hitless in four at bats.
David Adams returned to full season baseball (he had been rehabbing with the GCL Yankees), and had a double in four at bats with one strikeout.
Low-A Charleston beat West Virginia, 14-0.
Gary Sanchez had two hits, including a double, in five at bats.
Short Season Staten Island lost to Tri-City, 2-0, while the GCL Yankees had a scheduled off day.