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According to multiple media outlets on the Internet and Twitter, the first of which I saw from Tyler Kepner, Johnny Damon has signed an one-year $8 million contract, pending a physical.

Damon had little choice but to accept this offer after the White Sox took their offer off the table and there were basically no suitors left.

Rob Abruzzese at BBD has more.


I come to you tonight from deep within Red Sox Nation: Smack dab in the middle of Cape Cod.  I proudly drive my car around adorned with Yankees pride – hopefully I don’t get jumped.  Anyways…

What a phenomenal way to start the second half of the season.  In a 10 game homestand, the Bronx Bombers managed to post a 9-1 record.  True, they faced two of the worst teams in baseball this season: Baltimore and Oakland, but the team also managed to sweep the Tigers.

Most importantly the team demonstrated it had an ability to win games in a multitude of ways.  They beat the Tigers with great pitching – winning games 5-3, 2-1 and 2-1.  The defense and pitching was great the entire homestand.  Despite one bad inning thrown by Al Aceves in Saturday’s loss, opponents never scored more then 4 runs in a game.

In Sunday’s game, Oakland got off to a fast start, getting 2 runs in the top of the 1st off of Yankees starter Sergio Mitre.  The Bombers answered quickly and took the lead 4-2 in the bottom half of the inning.  After Derek Jeter and Johnny Damon got on base, Hideki Matsui hit a two out single, scoring Jeter.

After Nick Swisher walked, Robinson Cano demonstrated he can consistently hit RBI’s by smacking a bases clearing double to deep right-center.

Oakland took the lead back in the sixth, 5-4 on a homer by Ellis, but the lead didn’t last long.  Derek Jeter hit a 2-run single and Mark Teixeira hit a 1-run single to put the Yanks on top for good 7-5.  Phil Hughes, Brian Bruney and Mariano Rivera held the A’s scoreless for the rest of the game, with Rivera earning his 29th save of the season and fifth of the homestand.

It was the 10th Anniversary of David Cone’s perfect game and he was throwing out the first pitch.  CC Sabathia and Justin Verlander knew what they needed to do.  They knew they each had to pitch at the top of their game.

Thus, for the first time in as long as I can remember, a game at the new Yankee Stadium finished with a 2-1 score.  Fortunately, the Yankees came out on top of this pitcher’s duel, riding a solo home run by Alex Rodriguez and a RBI single by Melky Cabrera to top the Detroit Tigers for the fourth straight game.

CC Sabathia earned his 9th win of the season, holding the AL Central leading Tigers to 5 hits, 3 walks and no runs scored.  He also had 4 strikeouts in the seven inning performance.  Justin Verlander (10-5) took the loss for Detroit, also going 7 innings but allowed 2 earned runs on 7 hits and 1 walk.

Yankee Captain Derek Jeter makes one of his trademark leaping throws to get Brandon Inge of the Tigers out in the ninth inning.  (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Yankee Captain Derek Jeter makes one of his trademark leaping throws to get Brandon Inge of the Tigers out in the ninth inning. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Verlander had actually given the Tigers their only win of the year against the Yanks back on April 27th, pitching 7 shutout innings with nine strikeouts.  The game was also against Sabathia and that time the Yankees’ ace ended up on the losing side of a 4-2 game in Detroit.

Alex Rodrgiuez has been a huge part of the Yankees offense in July.  After hitting .260 and .207 in May and June respectively, Rodriguez is .311 with a .667 slugging percentage.

Derek Jeter made a huge play in the top of the ninth, making one of his trademark leaping throws from the hole at short.  The throw hit first baseman Mark Teixeira right in the glove and beat somewhat-fast Brandon Inge to the bag for the second out.  It was a gorgeous play and was trademark Jeter.

“That was an incredible play,” Teixeira said. “He made such a strong throw. It was perfect.”

The Yankees are now 15-5 in their last 20 games, and have taken 4 of 5 from the Tigers this season.  With Toronto beating Boston 6-2 on Saturday, the Yankees pick up a game and sit only 2 back in the AL East.

Detroit’s lead in the AL Central has fallen from 3.5 games to 1.5 games with their two losses to the Yankees this weekend and two straight wins from the Chicago White Sox.

Mark Teixeira hit his first home run since June 12, leading the Yankees to their 9 millionth comeback win this season.  The Bombers were trailing the AL Central leading Detroit Tigers 3-2 in the bottom of the seventh when Tex smacked a booming shot into the right field second deck at Yankee Stadium.

Later on in the inning, the bases were loaded for Melky Cabrera with two outs, but he grounded out ending the rally.  The game was then sent into a long rain delay and when the game picked up again, the two teams failed to score any more runs and the 5-3 decision stood.

Teixeira’s well-timed homer was enough to bail out a subpar AJ Burnett.  Despite going 6 innings, Burnett failed again to impress, allowing 3 runs on 6 hits and 5 walks, while striking out 1.  Only 1.

The great Phil Hughes pitched two scoreless innings, allowing a couple of hits but striking out 6 batters to retire each side.  He got the win (4-2 now) and lowered his ERA out of the bullpen to an astounding 0.89.  Check out the previous post for some interesting news about Hughes and the Yankees starting rotation.

Mariano Rivera pitched the ninth inning to preserve the win and earned his 24th save of the season.

The Yankees are not 14-5 in their last 19 games and with the Red Sox topping the Blue Jays last night, NY remains 3 games back in the AL East.

Last night’s game was quite similar to Tuesday’s. The Yankees scored in only two frames. The seven-run fourth was enough to propel the Yankees to a series victory.

Joba Chamberlain pitched his best game of 2009, going seven innings and allowing just one run. He struck out six and surrendered only three hits, and kept his pitch count low at 88. He threw his fastball between 90 and 95 mph, mostly sitting 92-93. His curve and slider served him well, too.

The Yanks struck in the fourth, knocking around Porcello and forcing his ouster. The rally started with a hit and run with Hideki Matsui on first and Jorge Posada at the plate. Jorge pulled a single through the right side. Nick Swisher cleared the bases five pitches later.

Melky Cabrera and Ramiro Pena restarted the rally with back to back singles. Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui both doubled, bringing home a combined four runs and extending the Yanks lead to 7-1. That was all the Yanks would need, but Nick Swisher, batting from the right side of the plate, homered again. This marks the second time this season a Yankee hit homeruns from opposite sides of the plate in one game.

The only blemish on the game was the ninth. Jon Albaladejo walked Miguel Cabrera on four pitches. By the time Albaladejo recorded the second out the Tigers had already scored a pair of runs. After a single the Tigers had first and third with two outs. Girardi was forced to bring in Mariano Rivera. Mo hadn’t worked since Friday night. His rust showed, as Curtis Granderson took the second pitch deep to right for a three-run shot, bringing the Tigers within two. Placido Polanco popped out to second to end it.

With two straight effective pitching performances, from the youngsters, much less, have the Yankees grabbing at the opportunity to start something good and continue it in this upcoming homestand against the LA Angels.  If the offense can keep stringing together hits, the team will continue to improve.  A.J. Burnett kicks things off tomorrow night against Angels pitcher Anthony Ortega.

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