Posts Tagged ‘July’

Pitching Matchup of The Week: New York Yankees vs. Cleveland Indians

July 28th, 2010

After splitting the first two games in Cleveland against the Indians, the New York Yankees have shortened their lead in the AL East to just two games over the Tampa Bay Rays.

The Rays are on fire right now. Starting pitcher Matt Garza pitched the franchise’s first no-hitter on Monday night against the Tigers and Tampa followed it up with another win. The Rays have won their last four in a row.

After two more games against a beat-up Tigers team, in come the Yankees. The question is, will the two teams be tied for first place, or can the Yankees win the next two in Cleveland?

For tonight’s game, the Yankees' fate is at the hands of starter A.J. Burnett, who faces Indians ace Fausto Carmona.

Let’s look at the two hurlers and how they fare against each other on the mound:


Cleveland Indians' Fausto Carmona

26-year-old Fausto Carmona is the staff ace. He impressed Yankees skipper Joe Girardi so much he named him to the 2010 All-Star roster just a few weeks ago.

In the month of July, Carmona has a 3-1 record with a 2.81 ERA, and he's given up just eight runs and one home run. He has struck out 17 batters. Carmona’s walk total for the month is 14, which is clearly the right-hander's weakness.

Two of the three July wins were against the tough Tampa Bay Rays and the other versus the Detroit Tigers. Both opposing teams legitimately feature the best hitters in the league—Miguel Cabrera, Carl Crawford, and Evan Longoria, to just name a few.

Carmona’s 2010 totals, with a 10-7 record and a 3.51 ERA, do not adequately represent how adept he has been. Baseball is a team sport, so when a pitcher gets zero run support due to a weak ballclub, even the best arms will not fare as well. This is a reality for the Indians, and it has impacted Carmona’s individual potential, but not by much.

Carmona will want to attack the zone and stay ahead in pitch counts against a stacked Yankee squad. This is essential because the hottest Yankee bats of Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, Derek Jeter, and Robinson Cano have had success against Carmona in the past. The Yankees hitters are so tolerant that Carmona has to be careful not to walk too many of them.


New York Yankees' A.J. Burnett

It is no secret that the month of June was not pretty for A.J. Burnett—it was pure horror. The only thing Burnett could do successfully was slamming pies in his teammates faces without any injury.

Since beginning the month of July, Burnett has a 2.61 ERA over 20 2/3 innings. During Burnett’s full 180-degree turn, he has allowed just six hits, one home run, and 13 strikeouts.

It is still a game of Jekyll and Hyde with Burnett on the mound. Burnett’s recently embarrassing conflict with a couple of Yankees' clubhouse doors might have been the rock bottom behind his surge. This situation ended with Burnett having to apologize to all his teammates, but Captain Derek Jeter made it quite clear that the team views this as a one-time incident.

Burnett has lowered his walk rate tremendously. It is crucial he continue to be dominate tonight, because the team’s position is at stake—second place is the first loser.

Coming off a rare C.C. Sabathia loss, Burnett owes his teammates a quality start, going deep into the game and putting the Yankees in a winning position. The rest is up to the hitters, who have their hands full, so he can not expect too much.


Pitching Prediction

Looking at the bigger picture, I predict the Yankees will beat the Indians, 5-2.

Burnett has to pitch well, while Carmona has to be dominant, because the fact is that the two teams are unfairly matched...big time!


Ed Wade: You’re Not Only One Worried About Delino DeShields Situation

July 28th, 2010

Houston Astros general manager Ed Wade may feel like he’s the only one frustrated surrounding the Delino DeShields situation and the fact the team’s No. 8 pick has yet to sign a contract.

But he's far from being alone, and fans have every reason to be worried as well—especially if history repeats itself.

“There’s so few guys signed [in the first round], but at the same time, I would be less than candid if I didn’t say I was disappointed that he’s not signed,” Wade told Houston Astros beat writer Brian McTaggart on July 26. “We take a lot of pride in the work the guys have done from a player development standpoint, and we understand how these at-bats can enhance a guy's chances and movement.

“The only thing we have to do is point at the guy who crouches behind the plate at the Major League level, Jason Castro. He was signed in July of 2008 and is now in the big leagues. If Jason had waited until the very last moment to sign and didn’t have the benefit of those at-bats in July and August of 2008, it would be rather unlikely he would be catching at the big league level at this point.”

According to McTaggart, however, Wade is still hopeful a deal will be struck.

“I think everybody involved, both Delino and his family and the Astros, would love to get him into our system playing as quickly as possible, so we’re looking at a full-season opportunity next year versus extended Spring Training,” Wade said. “This is part of the process. There are very few first-round picks signed at this point, and it’s sort of a way of our world. We just hope they don’t get to a point upon reflection [and then say], ‘We should have done this a lot sooner.’ I think it’s best he gets out and gets playing.”

Regardless of DeShields’ decision to sign or not to sign, I guarantee you that Wade is not alone in this frustration.

And if history speaks for itself, Houston will once again be losing a top draft pick—regardless of DeShields being drafted much higher than expected.

Come on, DeShields: LSU, or a prospect of being a future star with the Houston Astros?

The choice is yours, plain and simple…



Denton Ramsey may be reached via email at [email protected]


[Photo Courtesy of Google Images Search]

WNBA: Chicago Sky Swept by Indiana Fever

July 28th, 2010

Indianapolis, IN (July 27, 2020)—The window of playoff opportunity is beginning to close for the Chicago Sky, with most of the downward pressure coming from rival Indiana.

Chicago failed in its fifth and final attempt to defeat the Fever this season, despite a valiant rally near the end of the game.

After trailing by as many as 18 points, the Sky managed to whittle the Fever lead down to just two points with three minutes left in the game. But unlike their dramatic comeback the previous game against San Antonio, the Sky was unable to sustain it this time.

Fever guard Briann January hit a trey and later added a free throw to ice a 78-74 win for the defending Eastern Conference Champion Indiana Fever.


Four Sky players scored in double figures, led by Sylvia Fowles with 16 points and eight rebounds.

In her third game with the Sky and her first against her old team, Shay Murphy scored 12 points off the bench on 4-of-8 shooting from the field.

Dominique Canty added 10 points for Sky, eight of which came in the first half. Tamera Young made four of nine shots for 11 points.

Starting guard Jia Perkins was removed from the game in the first quarter after taking a shot above her right eye. She returned to the game in the second half after getting stitches to close the cut.

Tamika Catchings (pictured above with Perkins) led the Fever with 16 points, 10 rebounds, and six assists. With the win, Indiana improves to 16-7.

The Sky continue their road trip Friday when they take on the Seattle Storm. Chicago, now below .500 again at 12-13, must win the rest of the games on this trip to be in good playoff position as the season begins to wind down.


Boxing Weekly: News, Results, and What To Watch.

July 28th, 2010

News :

    •    The scheduled fight between Carl Froch and Arthur Abraham on October 2, 2020 will be judged by three American judges due to the controversy over Froch's narrow point loss to Mikkel Kessler.

    •    The suspension that was put on Golden Boy Promotions by the New York State Athletic commission has been lifted as of July 20, 2020. The suspension was placed on Golden Boy July 6, 2020.

    •    Since defeating Rafael Concepcion by knockout in the third round, WBC and WBO Bantamweight champion Fernando Montiel is now scheduled to face Nonito Donaire in November. Donaire will be coming up from the Super Flyweight division for this match.

    •    Ivan Rivera, president of Puerto Rico Best Boxing Promotion, officially announced an unification fight as WBO Jr. Flyweight champion Ivan Calderon will be matched against Giovanni Segura, who holds the WBA version of the belt, on August 28.

    •    Wladimir Klitschko will defend his Heavyweight crown against Samuel Peter on September 11. Klitschko was initially set to square off with mandatory challenger Alexander Povetkin, however, Povetkin pulled out of the fight because his trainer, Teddy Atlas, felt he was not "seasoned" enough for the fight yet.

    •    Former Light Welterweight champion Ricky Hatton renewed his boxing license. He has stated he didn't finish his career right. Hatton would like his last fight to be "an absolute war."

    •    Talks have been had of a possible matchup between undefeated WBC Welterweight champion Andre Berto and WBA Light Middleweight champion Miguel Cotto for this fall on HBO.

    •    WBA Featherweight champion Yuriorkis Gamboa could be in need for a new opponent for his September 11 date on HBO. Gamboa was scheduled to fight Elio Rojas, who holds the WBC version of the Featherweight crown, however, Rojas injured his shoulder during training. Celestino Caballero, a former Super Bantamweight champion, may be a possible candidate to replace Rojas.


    •    Beibut Shumenov (10-1) successfully defended his WBA Light Heavyweight title against previously undefeated Viacheslav Uzelkov (22-1). Despite being knocked down in the first round, Shumenov displayed a tremendous amount of skill and a high work rate that won him a 12-round unanimous decision. Shumenov also knocked Uelkov down in the third round.

    •     Featherweight Gary Russell Jr. (11-0) stopped veteran Mauricio Pastrana (35-15-2) in the first round. He displayed both speed and power in his first round dispatch of Pastrana.


This Week:

                                                Friday July 30, 2020

    •    Welterweight  Delvin Rodriguez (25-4-2) will complete this week's edition of ESPN Friday Night Fights against Ashley Theophane (26-4-1)

                                               Saturday July 31,2020

    •    Juan Manuel Marquez (50-5-1) will defend his WBO/WBA/Ring Lightweight titles against Juan Diaz (35-3) in the main event on HBO Pay-Per-View. This is a rematch of the 2009 Fight of the Year.

    •    Daniel Jacobs (20-0) is fighting Dmitry Pirog (16-0) in a Middleweight fight. The two fighters will be competing for the WBO championship, a title that Sergio Martinez was stripped of due to regulations set by the WBO.

    •    Former champions Joel Casamayor (37-4-1) and Robert Guerrero (26-1-1) will square off in a Light Welterweight bout.

    •    Jorge Linares (28-1) is scheduled to enter the ring with Rocky Juarez (28-6-1) at the Lightweight limit of 130 lb..

A Giant Help: Is Buster Posey Now the Rookie of the Year Favorite?

July 28th, 2010

Coming into the season, Braves outfielder Jason Heyward was the runaway favorite for Rookie of the Year. But Heyward has succumbed to injury, and other names have popped up in the forefront of the Rookie of the Year discussion.

Among them, Buster Posey, the San Francisco Giants catcher with a red-hot bat. Currently riding a 19-game hitting streak, Posey has been the lynch-pin that the offensively anemic Giants so desperately needed.

"He's been a big shot in the arm for us," manager Bruce Bochy said of the 23-year old Georgia native. "There's no getting around it. We think a lot of Buster. We are not surprised by what he's doing."

"He's got discipline at the plate," Bochy said. "He's a patient hitter. He's got one of those swings that the bat stays in the zone a long time. He gets inside the ball well and he can handle the pitch in and away. Those guys who have that type of swing, they are going to find a way to get the good part of the bat on the ball. That's what Buster does."

On the season, Buster is batting .368 with eight home runs and 33 RBI. For a 10 game period from July 2nd to July 11th, Posey set National League rookie records for home runs, RBI, and hits over such a stretch.

"I'm just playing ball, trying not to think about it too much," said Posey.

In fact, the buzz Posey is generating in the Bay Area should be expected. The Johnny Bench and Golden Spikes Awards winner signed for a then-record $6.2 million out of Florida State.

But now that he's reached the majors, Posey remains focused on just getting the job done.

"The thing that a lot of us did when we were younger is you try to come up and press and do more than we are capable of, try to hit home runs," Giants teammate Freddy Sanchez said. "But him, since day one he's come up with the same approach at the plate. He stays inside the ball great. Everything he hits is to right-center. When you go to right-center, especially with the type of power he has, there are a lot of hits that way."

So, is the Giants hitting machine a favorite for Rookie of the Year?

Well, Ryan Braun, winner of the 2007 Rookie of the Year Award, was called up in mid-May that year, and went on a hitting tear that lasted all season. So, there's no reason he can't be placed in the discussion.

How does he compare to other candidates?

Well, right now, the favorites are Jaime Garcia and Stephen Strasburg, both pitchers. It's hard to compare pitchers and hitters, but right now, Posey could be the best hitter on his team, and one of the top run preventers as well. His WAR is 2.2, which compares favorably to Jason Heyward's 2.5 mark over the entire season, and Stephen Strasburg's 2.1 mark, over a longer period of time than Posey.

Since July 1st, when Bengie Molina was traded to Texas to make room for Posey behind the plate, the rookie has put up stellar numbers both offensively and defensively. His .459 batting average and .788 slugging percentage are second to none for the month of July. He's also been one of baseball's premier backstops, throwing out 43 percent of runners attempting to steal, compared to Molina's 23 percent.

Posey has also handled one of baseball's best pitching staffs well. Giants hurlers have a 3.11 ERA with Buster catching, but only had a 3.46 ERA with Molina behind the dish.

"He's been great," Cain said. "It's been a pretty smooth transition. Sometimes it takes a little time to get on the same page. But he's been real adaptive, so I give him a ton of credit for wanting to catch on fast. He put a lot of effort into that."

Is he the Rookie of the Year? Not quite yet. But the Giants are glad to have him.

eXTReMe Tracker