May 2009

An Ace, A Legend, and a Few Mosquitoes…

 

The view from the top is excellent!

 

 

The Yankees beat the Cleveland Indians, 10-5, on Saturday to extend their AL East to 1 ½ games over the Boston Red Sox and Toronto Blue Jays (the Red Sox lost to the Jays, 5-3). 

As of 5/30/09…

AL East

W

L

Pct

GB

Home

Road

Last 10

Streak

Yankees

29

20

.592

14-9

15-11

7-3

Won 3

Red Sox

28

22

.560

1.5

17-6

11-16

4-6

Lost 2

Blue Jays

29

23

.558

1.5

18-6

11-17

2-8

Won 2

Rays

25

27

.481

5.5

13-10

12-17

5-5

Won 2

Orioles

23

27

.460

6.5

16-12

7-15

7-3

Lost 1

 

The Yankees have played much better since I saw them personally in Baltimore, so maybe I am responsible for the turnaround!  Okay, that’s probably not it.  The Yankees have been a different team since Alex Rodriguez returned to the team.  Mark Teixeira started to hit like fans in Texas, Atlanta, and Anaheim had become accustomed to, and the pitching has been great. The defense, which has been a liability in recent years, has been excellent.  Saturday’s game was the Yankees’ 16th consecutive game without an error.  If they avoid any errors on Sunday, they’ll match the major league mark set by the Boston Red Sox in 2006.

 

 

Against the Indians, CC Sabathia breezed through the first few innings, not allowing a hit until the 5th inning.  The Indians scored two runs in the 5th, thanks to a few hits and RBI singles, but the Yankees had built up a 7-2 lead by that time.

 

Dejak/AP 

 

Jorge Posada and Nick Swisher hit solo home runs in the second inning.  The Yanks added five runs in the 4th inning, primarily on two-run singles by Derek Jeter and Robinson Cano.  Johnny Damon also had a run scoring single in the inning.  In the 6th, Damon picked up another RBI on a groundout to first which brought home Brett Gardner.

 

New York Yankees' Derek Jeter watches his ball after hitting a two run single off Cleveland Indians pitcher Fausto Carmona in the fourth inning

AP 

Sabathia gave up a home run to Grady Sizemore in the 6th, but you knew that Grady would be heard from sooner or later in this series (even with his sore elbow).  The guy is definitely a warrior…

 

Chuck Crow/The Plain Dealer 

 

The Yankees scored a couple of runs in the 9th on a run-scoring single by Cano, and a double by Hideki Matsui that scored Cano.

David Robertson pitched a perfect 8th inning, facing just three batters.  However, Jose Veras came out for the 9th and showed that he is, well, Jose Veras.  Despite the 10-3 lead, Veras gave up a homer to the first batter he faced (Shin-Soo Choo).  He hit the next batter, Mark DeRosa, to put a man on base.  DeRosa moved to second on a groundout, and then scored on Ben Francisco’s double.  All of sudden, I started to get flashbacks of the Indians’ 7-run 9th inning to defeat the Tampa Bay Rays 11-10 on May 25th.  Fortunately, Veras retired the next two batters to end the game.  Joe Girardi showed much more faith in Veras than I ever would have, but the end result was a Yankees win and adding a game to the AL East lead so all is good…

After the game, Indian manager Eric Wedge, when asked about Sabathia, responded, “He was very good tonight.  Better than he was when we saw him in New York [April 16th]“.  Hey Julia, that applies to the entire Yankees team!  See you on June 9th!  The Red Sox may be a team built for Fenway Park, but the Yankees now boast the best road record in the American League.

 

 

 

Derek Jeter now has 1,497 runs scored for his career.  There are only three active major players with 1,500 runs (Alex Rodriguez, Gary Sheffield, and Ken Griffey, Jr.).  With three more runs, he’ll join a very exclusive club of players who scored 1,500 runs as Yankees (Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig, and Mickey Mantle).

 

MPI/Getty Images 

I was surprised to see Jorge Posada catch on Saturday, given he had played on Friday night.  I expected to see Francisco Cervelli play, with Posada perhaps at DH.  Nevertheless, it sounds like Posada will take a seat in Sunday’s game when Phil Hughes faces the American Idle…

 

 

Nope, not that guy!  This one…

 

The Plain Dealer

 

Pavano has pitched fairly well for the Indians, and has already appeared in 10 games for them (as opposed to 26 in four years with the Yankees).  He has won five of his six starts this month, and has defeated AL East heavyweights Boston and Tampa.  Let’s hope his May ends on a down note…

 

 

 

It was a tough night for Cleveland as the Cavaliers were easily eliminated in the NBA Eastern Conference Finals in Orlando by the Magic.  King LeBron will have to wait at least another year for a trip to the finals.

 

Tracy Boulian/The Plain Dealer 

 

And what’s up with those mosquitoes and midges in Cleveland?…

 

Posted by pvictory on cleveland.com

I Know It’s Early, But…

 

How sweet it is!

 

 

Finally, for the first time since October 1, 2006, the Yankees are alone in first place!  Okay, like Joe Girardi said after the game, it doesn’t mean anything, but it’s better than not being in first place.  Seriously, it would be much better if today were October 5, 2009, but it was good to see the Yankees get their 13th win out of the last 16 games.

 

 

The story was Andy Pettitte.  He pitched very well for 5 innings, but left the game in the 6th with back stiffness.  This is not something new (the back bothered him in Texas), and he doesn’t anticipate any problems in making his next start. Andy gave up 6 hits and 5 walks, but only allowed one run in picking up his 5th victory on the year (5-1).

 

Tony Dejak/AP

 

From there, the bullpen duo of Alfredo Aceves and Mariano Rivera shut down the Tribe on two hits and no runs, with Mo earning his 10th save.

 

David Kaup/Reuters 

For a change, the Yankees didn’t rely upon the long ball.  In fact, neither team hit a home run.  Derek Jeter singled in a run in the 2nd and the Yanks picked up another run on Mark Teixeira’s grounder.  Nick Swisher’s sacrifice fly in the 3rd accounted for the Yankees’ final run in the 3-1 victory.  The Indians only run came on a sac fly against Aceves in the 6th, but the runner was Andy’s responsibility.

 

David Maxwell/European Pressphoto Agency

 

Jorge Posada, in his first game off the DL, had two hits.  It’s great to have his bat back in the lineup.

 

 

The Yankees also played their 15th consecutive game without an error.

Solid Hats

www.gearguardsports.com 

 

In an interesting stat, Mariano Rivera saved the 58th  career game to preserve an Andy Pettitte win to set a new mark for a starting pitcher and closer.  The previous mark was held by Dennis Eckersley who saved 57 wins for Bob Welch while with the Oakland A’s. Mo had a good explanation for the new mark after the game:  “That means we’re old.”  He was kidding, but of course, there is truth in the remark.  It’s been fun watching Mo save games for Andy and other Yankees starters for the last 12-13 years, and he will certainly be remembered as one of the all-time greats.  It is very appropriate that Mo has saved so many Pettitte wins since he’s always been there for his friend, through thick and thin…

 

Cataffo/NY Daily News

 

Today’s match-up pits CC Sabathia against his former team, facing Fausto Carmona.  Carmona has struggled this year, so of course, that means he’ll pitch ‘lights out’ against the Yankees.  It should be a good pitching duel.

 

Getty Images

 

Julia:  “The Cavs will be in the finals, but the Lakers?  I’m not so sure.”

 

Oh Julia, I got your message that the Los Angeles Lakers would not be going to the NBA Finals.  Sorry, thanks to the 119-92 win against the Nuggets in Denver, the Lakers will be advancing to the title series for the 30th time, and second straight year.  Phil Jackson will be trying for his 10th NBA crown.

 

Kobe Bryant airborne

Robert Gauthier/LA Times

Carmelo tried as hard as he could, but even this GREAT play didn’t work, although it was an excellent choice on his part!

 

 

I think your run on making accurate predictions is over.  Well, I hope the first part comes true (Cavs overcoming a 3 games to 1 deficit to advance to the finals; they need to win the next two games to win the series), but your word about predictions, which was pristine in April and early May, is on shaky ground…

 

Get ready for the Mark Teixeira t-shirt, my friend!

 

 

He’s Still A Headcase…

 

The 4-game series with the Cleveland Indians brings pitcher Carl Pavano back to the forefront…unfortunately.

 

With the Indians this year, Pavano has been effective, and has beaten both the Red Sox and the Rays this month.  His record is 5-4.  Compare that to the fact that it took him until the third year of his 4-year, $39.95 million contract to win his 5th game with the Yankees.  Of course, the Indians are paying just a fraction of the price (1-year, $1.5 million).

 

AP 

I have never disputed that Pavano has a quality arm.  Unfortunately, he doesn’t have the head to match.  Time will tell if he implodes with the Indians, but you expect that it will eventually happen.  For now, the Indians going along for the ride, and reaping the rewards.  Good luck with that…

 

Some guys just aren’t cut out for New York, and Carl Pavano proved that he is just another Ed Whitson.  Cleveland is probably a much better environment, with much less pressure, for Pavano.

 

 

 

Had he still been with the Yankees, I am sure that he would have found his way to the DL by now…

 

Barring a possible rainout tonight, Pavano is scheduled to pitch on Sunday against Phil Hughes.  Hopefully, Phil will prevent the Yanks from becoming the latest AL East giant to fall to the American Idle…

 

                                                   
Pavano!                          Pavano!                    Pavano!                    Pavano!                 

 

Other News

Jorge Posada was activated from the DL today, and is in the starting lineup for tonight’s game with the Cleveland Indians.  Kevin Cash was sent down to Triple A-Scranton/Wilkes Barre.  Francisco Cervelli will most likely catch CC Sabathia on Saturday against the Tribe.  The Yankees have an interesting decision to make when Jose Molina returns.  They’ll probably go the conservative route and send Cervelli down, but I’d rather keep Cervelli than Molina.  Then again, there’s a reason that Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi draw paychecks from the Yankees and I don’t…

 

 

The Yankees briefly held a share of first place.  Following Wednesday’s win in Texas, combined with a Red Sox loss, the Yankees had drawn even with the Red Sox.  However, it was short-lived as the Red Sox won on Thursday (the Yankees were off, or rather at a basketball game).  So, entering tonight’s action, the Yankees remain in second place, a ½ game behind the Red Sox.

 

 

 

I saw that the Yankees might be one of several possible suitors for Cleveland’s Mark DeRosa.  He would be an upgrade over Ramiro Pena and Angel Berroa, and I admired the intangibles and the play that DeRosa brought to last year’s Chicago Cubs.  The Cubs haven’t been the same this year, and I think the loss of DeRosa is one reason.  Of course, it wouldn’t surprise me if either the Atlanta Braves or Chicago Cubs re-acquired DeRosa

.

AP

Two ex-Yankees were DFA’d today.  Cleveland designated outfielder David Dellucci for assignment to make room for reliever Rafael Perez.  Meanwhile, in Baltimore, catcher Chad Moeller was the victim of the much hyped major league arrival of top baseball prospect Matt Wieters.

 

 

 

I liked Joe Girardi’s comment when asked about a possible move of Joba Chamberlain to the bullpen (the ongoing debate that will not die):  “That’s why the Presidential debates are better,” Girardi said.  “They end.”  I have not been a proponent of moving Chamberlain, but he does need to figure out how to pitch in the first inning and when he doesn’t have his best stuff.

Melky Cabrera is back with the team, and is listed as day-to-day.  He won’t play for a few days, but he shouldn’t be out as long as initially projected so that’s a good thing.

How come Boston never has to face Roy Halladay when they play the Toronto Blue Jays?  I don’t get it.  The schedule is perfectly aligned in their favor.  I realize this isn’t Yankees news, but it obviously affects the team since Halladay is perhaps the best pitcher in baseball.  And, of course, Julia is loving every minute of it…

 

I agree with Dodgers manager Joe Torre, I don’t think that Manny Ramirez should play in the All-Star Game if selected…

What was up with the six wild pitches thrown by the Boston Red Sox the other day?

 

 

The Yankees have played a franchise-record 14 games without an error.  That’s an amazing stat, particularly given how weak defensively the team has been in recent years.  But I have to admit, offensive stats aside, I love watching Mark Teixeira field at first base.  I can’t even say that he’s an upgrade over Jason Giambi because that would be a huge understatement.  I know the phrase “defense wins championships” is specific to pro football, but I’ll take it for the Yanks.  Works for me!

 

 

 

Cavs over Magic

Yankees fan LeBron James led his team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, to victory over the Orlando Magic in a home game that was attended by Alex Rodriguez, Mariano Rivera, CC Sabathia, Brian Bruney, Brett Gardner and Joba Chamberlain.  The Cavs now trail the Magic 3 games to 2 in their best-of-seven series.  I am not a Cavs fan, but I am a LeBron fan and it would be fun to see him in the NBA Finals.  Nothing against Dwight Howard and the Magic, but LeBron is the best the NBA has to offer.  It’s just a bonus that he’s a Yankees fan too.

 

 

Ironically, it was Yankees reliever Brett Tomko’s dad who gave the Cavaliers their name.  The Cleveland Plain Dealer held a contest in 1970 that drew 11,000 entries, and Jerry Tomko had the winning selection:  “The name Cleveland Cavaliers represents a group of daring, fearless men whose life’s pact was never surrender, no matter what the odds.”  That’s an interesting bit of trivia that I did not know…

 

 

 

Good luck to LeBron and the James as they continue their quest to overcome impossible odds in beating the Orlando Magic!

 

–Scott 

The Joba Rules Continue…

 

Add  it to the list…

The Huffington Post

 

1.    Joba does not like bees.

2.  Joba does not like state troopers when he’s been drinking.

3.    Joba does not like spring training.

4.  Joba does not like being mocked.

5.    Joba does not like the first inning.

 

and now,

 

6.    Joba does not like rain delays…

 

AP

Not much to talk about last night’s 7-3 loss to the Texas Rangers, which didn’t get started until after a rain delay of 2 hours and 24 minutes.  A rainout would have been more productive.  The Yankees missed a golden opportunity to move into a first place tie with the Boston Red Sox, who had lost to the Twins earlier in the evening.

LM Otero/AP

 

I have Rangers first baseman Chris Davis on my fantasy team (I know, I’m sorry too).  I have been actively seeking a better option, but nothing has presented itself.  Of course, all he needed was Yankee pitching as he struck for two home runs during last night’s game.  It’s amazing what the Yankee bullpen can do for one’s batting average…unfortunately.

 

 Chris Davis (left) returns to a happy Texas Rangers dugout after the first of his two home runs on Tuesday.

G.J. McCarthy/DMN 

 

The Yankees had tied the game at 3, but the Rangers pulled away in the 7th and 8th innings.  They did have a chance in the 7th inning but Nick Swisher hit into an inning ending double play with the bases loaded.  Swisher’s been a fun guy to have in the clubhouse, but he is rapidly becoming a roster liability. 

 

 

Phil Coke is starting to look very hittable (he gave up the second home run to Chris Davis in the 8th inning), but of course, that can be said of any member of the Yankee bullpen.

 

Reuters

In other Yankee notes, Melky Cabrera left in the first inning with a strained right shoulder after he crashed into the center field fence.  Initial tests were negative, but he’s out for 5-7 games.

 

LM Otero/AP

 

The Yankees recalled reliever David Robertson (sorry Edwar!) to replace Brian Bruney on the roster.

 

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images 

 

I am not sure what to make of the Chien-Ming Wang situation.  He seems to be rotting on the bench, and I don’t know why.  Any other starter would have been returned to the starting rotation when he was ready.  Wang was the #2 starter coming out of spring training, and was the recognized ace during his 19 win seasons of 2006 and 2007.  If he isn’t ready to start, he should have been left in the minor leagues for some additional rehab starts.  As an outsider looking in, the situation does seem to be somewhat disrespectful to Wang.  I know that Phil Hughes is pitching well, but he needs to wait his turn.

 

AP 

Sounds like Jorge Posada could be ready to return to the team by this weekend.  It will be nice to have his bat in the lineup again, even if he supplants Hideki Matsui at DH.

 

Andrew Mills/The Star Ledger

 

When a negative becomes a positive…

Whenever the Yankees lose, the first thing I do is check to see what the Boston Red Sox did.  C’mon Julia, you know you do the same thing when the Sox lose!  In an ideal situation, everyone in the AL East would lose.  But with the Toronto Blue Jays playing the Baltimore Orioles, somebody had to win.  So, in that scenario, best case would be for the cellar dweller to win.  That’s exactly what happened as everyone lost except the O’s.  Somehow, in May, those losses don’t hurt as much as they do when everyone else wins.

 

 

 

Best case scenario, of course, the Yankees win and everybody else loses.  I am cool with that…

 

 

The Yankees are now 26-20, one game behind the Red Sox.  The view from the rear is not quite as distant as one would lead you to believe…

 

 

He batted where?

The Red Sox lineup looked somewhat unusual last night during Boston’s 5-2 loss to the Minnesota Twins.

 

Boston Red Sox

Hitters

AB

R

H

RBI

BB

SO

LOB

AVG

J Ellsbury CF

5

2

2

0

0

0

2

.303

D Pedroia 2B

4

0

2

1

0

1

1

.341

J Drew RF

3

0

0

0

1

0

2

.263

K Youkilis 3B

4

0

1

0

0

3

3

.379

J Bay LF

4

0

0

0

0

2

3

.282

D Ortiz DH

3

0

1

0

1

1

0

.197

J Varitek C

4

0

1

0

0

1

3

.238

J Bailey 1B

4

0

0

0

0

1

4

.185

J Lugo SS

4

0

2

0

0

0

1

.271

Totals

35

2

9

1

2

9

 

When is the last time that David Ortiz batted as low as 6th in the order?  It was on May 11, 2004:

 

Boston Red Sox

Hitters

  AB

R

H

RBI

BB

SO

LOB

AVG

J Damon CF

5

0

0

0

0

0

1

.272

M Bellhorn 2B

3

0

1

0

1

0

0

.229

K Millar DH

4

0

0

0

0

1

2

.287

M Ramirez LF

3

0

0

0

1

1

1

.360

J Varitek C

2

0

0

0

1

1

1

.314

D Ortiz 1B

4

1

3

1

0

0

1

.269

   C Crespo PR-SS

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

.163

B Mueller 3B

4

1

2

1

0

0

3

.242

G Kapler RF

4

2

3

1

0

0

0

.247

P Reese SS

3

0

0

0

0

0

4

.247

   a-B Daubach PH

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

.241

   b-D McCarty PH-1B

1

0

1

2

0

0

0

.233

Totals

33

5

10

5

3

3

13

 

Of course, Boston won that game (5-3 over CC Sabathia and the Cleveland Indians).  Julia might argue that 2004 was the year the Curse was eliminated, but could this be the beginning of the end for Ortiz?  Julia, you might have bigger problems than re-signing Jason Bay.  On the bright side (for Julia), it doesn’t appear that Julio Lugo is in tonight’s starting line-up.  However, now batting sixth…David Ortiz!

 

AP

Keeping Pace With the Red Sox…

It’s too bad that Joe Mauer is just one man…

 


JMauer.JPGCredit:  Elliott Mann’s blog, elliottmann.org

He almost single-handedly rallied the Minnesota Twins in the 9th inning against the dreaded Boston Red Sox.  Unfortunately, Mauer’s two-run homer in the bottom of the 9th left the Twins a run short in their eventual loss to the AL East Leader.

 

AP/Hannah Foslien 

 

So, the Yanks remain one game behind the Red Sox in the AL East standings thanks to their 11-1 victory over the Texas Rangers in Arlington.

So much for dealing with the pressure of facing the Texas crowd for the first time since admitting using performance enhancing drugs while a member of the Rangers.  A-Rod responded by going 5-for-5, with 2 runs scored and 4 RBI’s.  He was booed very loudly each time he came to the plate.  I guess it didn’t phase him…

 

Getty Images/Ronald Martinez 

 

Former Ranger Mark Teixeira also joined the act, going 2-for-4, with 3 runs scored and 2 RBI’s. 

 

Teixeira TX.JPG

Getty Images 

 

Phil Hughes, who most likely will be sent to Triple A-Scranton/Wilkes Barre when Chien-Ming Wang is ready to take his place in the starting rotation, pitched an outstanding game.  He went 8 innings, and only gave up 3 hits and no runs.  He struck out 6.  Hughes is starting to pitch to his ability and potential.  Assuming that Wang successfully retakes his position, I think Hughes’ performance makes it unlikely that Andy Pettitte will  be back in 2010.

 

Getty Images/Ronald Martinez 

Alfredo Aceves gave up a 9th inning homer to the very hot Nelson Cruz (5 homers in his last 6 games) to spoil the shutout.

 

Foxsports.com 

 

It is an excellent start to the road trip for the Yankees.  Texas has been very strong out of the gate this year, and it has been due, in large part, because of pitching.  The Yankees will have their hands full in this series, and I expect that the remaining games in this series will be very tight.  But for one day, it was nice to have the game firmly in control from the start.  Despite not gaining on ground on Boston, the Yankees did move into second place with the victory, thanks to the Baltimore Orioles’ 4-1 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.  So, now only the Boston Red Sox stand in the way in the battle for first…

 

Take Aim.JPG

 

The bald head didn’t work.  Setup man Brian Bruney is headed back to the DL as he continues to experience elbow pain.  The Yankees will make a roster move on Tuesday.  Hopefully, Edwar Ramirez will get the call as I’d really like to see him re-establish himself as a key member of the bullpen.  It is very unfortunate about Bruney but hopefully the doctors will be able to isolate the cause of the pain and take the necessary corrective action so that Bruney can be back at full strength in the not-so-distant future.

 

AP/Ben Margot

You never want to see anyone get hurt, so it was unfortunate to see Tampa Bay Rays second baseman Akinori Iwamura go down for the season with a torn ligament in his knee.  He was playing very well, but no one should weep for the Rays as they have very capable (and talented) replacements waiting in the wings.  I wish Iwamura a healthy and speedy recovery, and look forward to his successful return in 2010.

 

AP 

I was glad that the Red Sox quickly dismissed the Washington Nationals’ offer of Nick Johnson for Manny Delcarmen.  Johnson has had an excellent start to his season, and it’s good to see him healthy again.  But I am not exactly enamored with seeing yet another once promising Yankees prospect end up at Fenway Park, ala Mike Lowell.  Personally, I’d like to see Johnson in San Francisco since they could really use his bat.

 

UPI/Kevin Dietsch 

 

But as for Red Sox players who want to be Yankees?  I am down with that!  Hey Jason, you’d look great in pinstripes!  Did you want me to have Brian Cashman bring over a contract for you to sign with that pen?  ;)

 

Post Gazette/Matt Freed

 

So Close, Yet So Far Away…

 

The tie with the Boston Red Sox was very short-lived…

 


Humility.JPGMuch to Julia‘s happiness and my dismay, the Yankees lost to the Philadelphia Phillies while the Boston Red Sox pounded the New York Mets.

 

Credit: Winslow Townson/AP

 

Melky Cabrera’s game-tying single in the bottom of the 9th inning  brought visions of yet another walk-off win, but unfortunately, this time there were no late inning heroics.  It appeared that it could have happened in the 10th inning when both Johnny Damon and Derek Jeter singled, but Mark Teixeira hit into a double-play.  After a walk to Alex Rodriguez, Ramiro Pena flied out to end the inning.

In the top of the 11th inning with Brett Tomko on the mound, Chase Utley drew a walk and promptly stole second.  Carlos Ruiz doubled to score Utley with the eventual winning run.  This day clearly belonged to Ruiz, who had 3 hits on the day (and was 7-for-12 for the series).  He tagged Johnny Damon at out the plate when Damon tried to score on a Mark Teixeira single.  He also threw out speedy Brett Gardner on an unsuccessful attempt to steal second.

 

Credit: Nick Laham/Getty Images

 

There is a new AL East leader as the Red Sox moved in front of the Toronto Blue Jays with a 12-5 rout of the Mets.  The Blue Jays lost to the Atlanta Braves, 10-2.  So, the Yankees are back in 3rd place, a game behind the Red Sox.  The Jays are in 2nd, a ½ back.

 

(Left to right) Kevin Youkilis, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Dustin Pedroia all scored on Youkilis' three-run home run in the seventh.

Credit:  Bill Greene/Boston Globe staff 

The Yankees now head to Arlington, Texas to face the Texas Rangers.  The Rangers lead the AL West by 3 ½ games over the Los Angeles Angels (with a record of 26-17).  I wonder how the Texas crowd will react to A-Rod.  There is a little something that Alex admitted to doing while a member of the 2003 Texas Rangers, so it’ll be time to face the music…

 


A Rod.JPGThe Yankees played in their 11th consecutive game without an error, which has set a new franchise record.   Despite today’s loss, the Yankees finished a very successful home stand with a mark of 8-2.  Hopefully, they’ll continue this level of play as they take the show on the road. 

Go Yankees!

Start Spreading The News…

Ah yes, those sweet walk-off wins…

 

Melky 5 23 09.JPG

Credit: Frank Franklin II/AP

Yesterday, before the game, I had seen a She-Fan comment that the Yankees never hit rookies very well and the Phillies were starting rookie J.A. Happ (who has taken Chan Ho Park’s spot in the rotation).  I am in complete agreement as the Yankees usually struggle with lesser-known pitchers.  And of course, yesterday was no exception.  For six innings, Happ gave the Phillies a solid four-hit, two-run performance.  He did not give up any walks, and struck out four.  He departed with a 4-2 lead and in position to get the win.

 

 

 

The Yankees were unable to get anything going against reliever Chad Durbin and Ryan Madson for the next two innings, so it set the stage for the 9th inning.

 

 


Against the Odds.JPG

Three outs from defeat…star closer Brad “Lights Out” Lidge on the mound…it didn’t look good…

 

From The Phillies Zone Blog, philly.com

 

Johnny Damon got it started by drawing a walk from Lidge, and advanced to second on a steal.  Mark Teixeira struck out, but was followed by Alex Rodriguez.  After working the count to 3-2, A-Rod hit a right field homer to tie the game.

 

Credit: Frank Franklin II/AP

Robinson Cano came up next, and singled.  Like Damon had done earlier, he advanced to second on a steal.  That brought Melky Cabrera to the plate…

 

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images 

On May 15th, Melky had hit a two-run single in the bottom of the 9th inning to beat the Minnesota Twins (the first of three walk-off wins that weekend).

 

 

Credit Antonelli/NY Daily News 

 

Melky also had a game-winning home run against the Oakland A’s in April, ending a 14-inning affair.

 

Credit: William Perlman/Star-Ledger 

 

Saturday night, once again, he delivered.  A hit to right scored Cano, and the Yankees had emerged the victors with a 5-4 win over the Phillies…

 

Credit: Brian J. Myers/US Presswire

Credit:  New York Post

Some interesting facts…

The last Yankee with three-game winning hits in a season was Claudell Washington in 1988.

The Yankees current ten game streak with no errors hasn’t been done by the team since 1995.

 

 

Brad Lidge has blown three saves this year after not blowing any during the Phillies championship season.  His ERA is now 9.16.  So, to the Phillies’ defense, this is not the same Lidge.  The implosion by his former Astros teammate allowed Andy Pettitte to escape with a no-decision. 

From MLB Pro Blog, Alyson’s Footnotes 

 

John Mayberry, Jr. made his major league debut and hit a three-run homer off Pettitte.  His father hit the final home run of his career at the old Yankee Stadium in 1982, as a member of the Yankees.  I guess it’s in with the new, out with the old…

 

photo

Credit:  Frank Franklin II/AP

With both Mayberry and Nick Swisher playing, the game definitely had a 1970′s “feel” to it…

 

Xavier Nady, Jorge Posada, and Jose Molina will head to Tampa to get ready to their impending returns.  While it will be great to see Xavier and Jorge, I have to admit that I like what Francisco Cervelli has done while both Posada and Molina have been out.  It’s too bad that the team can’t find a way to move Hideki Matsui to open up the DH spot for Jorge, and allow Cervelli continued playing time.

 

 

 

Finally, I saw a piece in the Star-Ledger yesterday about the attempts by fans to save “Gate 2″ of the old Yankee Stadium.  If Gate 2 is the most complete original part of the stadium (prior to the 1970′s renovations), why doesn’t the city preserve it as a memorial to the old Stadium and the legends who played there?  The article gave an artist’s rendition of the proposed park, and I think it is not only a terrific idea but one that the city must do.  I always wanted to see the old parks like Ebbetts Field and the Polo Grounds, but I can’t…they don’t exist.  If nothing is done to save part of the old stadium, my children’s children will never know the existence of the House That Ruth Built.  This idea makes way too much sense, and I hope that the city realizes it before it’s too late…

 

Star Ledger/Courtesy of Richard Lillard

 

SECOND PLACE!

Hey Julia, who is Omir Santos? 

Jonathon Papelbon was cruising in the 9th inning last night.  Although he had walked former Yankee Gary Sheffield, he punched out both David Wright and Jeremy Reed with pure heat.  With two outs, Mets catcher Omir Santos (called up from Triple A Buffalo in April when Brian Schneider was placed on the DL) was the last hope.  He drilled the first pitch from Papelbon off the top of the Green Monster.  It was initially ruled a double, but instant replay (its first use at Fenway Park) showed that it was a two-run homer which gave the Mets’ a 3-2 lead.

Credit:  Winslow Townson/AP 

 

J.J. Putz, in place of Francisco Rodriguez who was hospitalized due to back spasms, closed out the game to preserve the victory for the Mets.

So, this morning finds the Yankees sharing second place with the Red Sox.  A certain friend of mine had predicted that this morning would find the Yankees two games behind the Red Sox.  Alas, it wasn’t meant to be.  The Jays also lost (4-3 to Atlanta) so the Yankees are now just ½ game behind the AL East Leaders.

Do we need any more evidence to show how much Alex Rodriguez means to this team?  His return has led to the resurgence, and the Yankees are now clearly in the thick of things. 

I am so looking forward to June 9th through 11th!  Are you ready, Julia?  Game on!  J

Credit:  AP

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Night to Forget (at Yankee Stadium)…

All good things must come to an end…

 

Nelly Furtado.JPGPhoto: Nelly Furtado, from VH1 video “All Good Things Come To An End”

 

The Yankees’ 9-game winning streak was brought to an end by the World Champion Philadelphia Phillies at Yankee Stadium last night, as (surprise) the Phillies rode four home runs to a 7-3 victory.

 

Carlos Ruiz follows through on a two-run homer during the second inning against the New York Yankees on Friday. The Phils snapped the Yanks´ winning streak. (AP)

AP 

When Jimmy Rollins homered off A.J. Burnett to lead off the game, I knew it was probably going to be a tough night.  The next two batters, Chase Utley and Raul Ibanez, got on base with a HBP and single, respectively.  Ibanez’ single advanced Utley to third with no outs.  It looked like the Phillies were going to have a big first inning, but then A.J. struck out Ryan Howard and Jayson Werth, and induced a groundout by Shane Victorino to end the inning.  At that point, I had hope that A.J. was going to turn it around and shut the Phils down.  Unfortunately, it didn’t happen as later innings saw home runs by Carlos Ruiz, Jayson Werth, and Raul Ibanez.

 

AP

Ibanez has been a great replacement for the departed Pat Burrell, now with the Tampa Bay Rays.  I knew that Ibanez could hit when he was in Seattle, but he’s surprised me with his power so far this year (16 home runs).  He was an excellent free agent signing by the Phillies.

AP

Chien-Ming Wang, called up to work out of the pen instead of remaining in Scranton/Wilkes Barre for one more minor league start, pitched the final 3 innings.  He gave up six hits and two runs, including the Ibanez homer (which was absolutely crushed).  I guess if there’s a bright side, Wang did lower his ERA from 34.50 to 25.00…

 

Reuters

 

The Yankees did hit three home runs themselves (Alex Rodriguez, Derek Jeter, and Mark Teixeira).  Unfortunately, they were the non-threatening solo variety (no men on base).

 

 

Brett Myers (4-2) was the winner, while Burnett (2-2) took the loss.  The Yankees remain in third place, a game behind the Red Sox and 1 ½ games behind the Jays as both of these teams lost too.  Right, Julia? 

I was fortunate that Johan Santana was on the mound for the Mets in their victory over the Red Sox.  The game marked the return of Daisuke Matsuzaka from the DL.  I have Dice-K on my fantasy baseball team.  He was a recent “free agent” pick-up (which still amazes me) when the owner who drafted him cut him when he placed on the DL.  Too bad Theo doesn’t make moves like that…

Julia, I couldn’t but help to notice a couple of linescores.

David Ortiz

AB

R

H

RBI

BB

SO

LOB

AVG

4

0

0

0

0

3

4

.205

 

Ouch!  He kept swinging but there was nothing but air…

Jason Bay

AB

R

H

RBI

BB

SO

LOB

AVG

3

0

0

0

1

1

3

.295

 

Okay, not as bad as Big Papi, but it was an “off night” for the ‘Yankees’!  ;)

Hey Jason, this is for you!  We’re getting your new home ready at 161st and River…

 

OFF-TOPIC:  THE GREAT LEBRON JAMES

 

Well, maybe it’s not off-topic.  He is a Yankees fan after all…

 

Plain Dealer

Last night’s game between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Orlando Magic was tremendous.  The Cavs had blown a 23-point lead, and the Magic were up by two points with, oh, about a second left in the game.  How can you not love LeBron?  While I  think that Kobe Bryant is one OF the game’s best, LeBron is THE best…

  

Posted on YouTube by Dailybragger

 

The next Michael Jordan?  Heck, he’s the next LeBron James…

–Scott

9 W’s and Counting, Here Come the Phillies…

Nine games and counting…

From upcoming movie, “9″ (produced by Tim Burton), 9/09/09

 

The Yankees’ winning streak now stands at 9 games, and thanks to the Red Sox sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays, the team is now just 1 ½ games behind the Jays (a game behind the Sox). 

The game started badly when Joba Chamberlain departed the game in the first inning after getting hit by a ball to the right knee.  But the Yankees scored 6 runs in the first two innings, and held on for a 7-4 victory over the Baltimore Orioles (completing a three game sweep of the pesky O’s).

Paul J. Bereswill/AP 

Tests ran on Chamberlain’s knee during the game proved negative, which was good news.

The man of the hour was Robinson Cano, who batted 2nd and was 3-for-4 with 3 RBI’s and 2 runs scored.  He hit a two-run home run in the 2nd inning off the O’s Adam Eaton. 

Newsday 

Mark Teixeira has pulled his season batting average up to .250 after flirting with life below the Mendoza line.

Beckett Media L.P.

It was a great win.  It’s unfortunate that they could not gain any ground on the Red Sox, but of course, they pulled closer to the top due to the aforementioned Sox sweep of the Jays. 

The Yanks will try to extend the winning streak to 10 games tonight against the World Champion Philadelphia Phillies.  It’s very unfortunate that the game will lack the voice of the legendary Phillies broadcaster Harry Kalas, who passed away earlier this season.  It would have been nice to hear him call the games at the new Yankee Stadium…

 

 

LATEST LEADERS LIST – FAN BLOGS

The latest leaders lists are up (for the period of April 15th through May 18th), and I’d like to thank everyone for my placement at #18.

In recognition of the ranking, I dedicate this post to the many faces of Johnny Damon…

si.com

Nathaniel Welch (from movie, “Fever Pitch” with Jimmy Fallon and Drew Barrymore)


 

Damon.JPG
 

BBC Sport

 

Damon2.JPG

allposters.com

Have a very safe and very enjoyable Memorial Day Weekend, Everyone!

 

–Scott

Coming Up Aces…

So THIS is what it feels like to have an ace?

 


Aces.JPGWow, CC Sabathia and his big time stuff!  Very nice…

McIsaac/Getty Images

It has been quite awhile since the Yanks have had a true ace, and it is great.  The Yanks were locked in a tight game at the Stadium last night against the Orioles until the Yankees broke the game open in the late innings.

CC gave up a first inning run to stake the O’s to an early 1-0 lead, but that was quickly erased in the bottom of the frame by an Alex Rodriguez two-run homer.  Isn’t going out on a limb to say that the hip is not bothering A-Rod?  If he keeps this up for a few more games, he’ll be challenging Donnie Baseball’s club record for consecutive games with a home run. 

 

And of course, Mark Teixeira is no longer ‘The Ice Man Cometh’ as he has shown all he needed was A-Rod to cover his back in the lineup.  Tex was responsible for helping break the game open in the 7th inning with a two-run homer, which was also included a bases loaded double by Derek Jeter and a few Oriole miscues. 

 

 

Mark Teixeira talks about Alex Rodriguez being back
http://tribeca.vidavee.com/advance/vidavee/playerv3/vFlasher_debug.swf?p19=movie1242866207432&p2=off&p3=off&p4=50&p5=off&p7=on&p8=off&p31=on&p22=http%3A%2F%2Fanalytics.tribeca.vidavee.com%2Fvanalytics%2Fgateway%2F&p13=no&p16=v3AdvInt_nj.swf&p17=http%3A%2F%2Ftribeca.vidavee.com%2Fadvance%2Fvidavee%2Fplayerv3%2Fskins%2F&p11=0&p15=http%3A%2F%2Ftribeca.vidavee.com%2Fadvance%2FvClientXML.view%3FAF_renderParam_contentType%3Dtext%2Fxml%26showEndCard%3Doff%26link%3Dhttp%3A%2F%2Fvideos.nj.com%2Fstar-ledger%2F2009%2F05%2Fmark_teixeira_talks_about_alex.html%26vtagView%3Don%26skin%3Dv3AdvInt_nj.swf%26autoplay%3Doff%26loadStream%3Doff%26width%3D470%26height%3D266%26vtag%3Dyes%26startVolume%3D50%26hidecontrolbar%3Dno%26textureStrip%3Dyes%26displayTime%3Dyes%26volumeLock%3Doff%26watermark%3Dyes%26dockey%3DC20300D3EBA8E3ABFFA3EB9F177C71E3&p21=http%3A%2F%2Ftribeca.vidavee.com%2Fadvance%2Fvidavee%2Fplayerv3%2Fjs%2FFlashProxyLoader.js&p18=timeDisplay%3Dyes%3Bwatermark%3Dyes%3BshareWidgets%3Don%3BtextureStripe%3Dyes%3BvtagDisplay%3Dyes%3BshowEndCard%3Doff%3Blink%3Dhttp%3A%2F%2Fvideos.nj.com%2Fstar-ledger%2F2009%2F05%2Fmark_teixeira_talks_about_alex.html

 

Video by Marc Carig/The Star Ledger

 

But it wasn’t needed as CC brought his A-game, and didn’t give up any more runs after the lone run in the first.  Brian Bruney (what’s up with the bald head?) and Brett Tomko closed out the game in relief of CC to preserve his three-hit masterpiece.

Michael Stobe/US Presswire

The Yankees’ winning streak now stands at 7 games.  The Yanks remain in third place, one game behind the Boston Red Sox and 3 ½ behind the Toronto Blue Jays as both of those teams also won.  Correction:  The Red Sox won, beating the Jays.  Thanks for catching the error in my ways, Julia!  ;) 

Phil Hughes is the starter tonight, and I suspect that this will be his last Yankee performance before another trip back to Scranton (regardless of how well he pitches tonight due to the impending return of Chien-Ming Wang). 

The New York Daily News reported yesterday that the Los Angeles Dodgers may be on the schedule for a trip to the Bronx in 2010.  I hope it comes true as it would be great to see Joe Torre make a farewell visit before he calls it a career…

Hey Julia, don’t worry about Jason Bay.  He’ll be fine as a New York millionaire!  You guys need to worry about replacing Big Papi.  If Jason hasn’t re-signed with Boston yet, why can’t he sign with the Yankees in the off-season?  It’s possible.  The Yankees, more than likely, will let Johnny Damon walk at this point in his career.  They need a top outfielder, and Matt Holliday, a potential free agent target, has struggled in the AL this year.  So, why not Bay?  It could happen…

 

NYC.JPG

Jason, while Julia is busy giving fruit baskets to Theo, this is for you…

Money.JPG

 

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