The Champs…finally…Head Home…
Whoa, the road trip is over and all we have to show for it is 4 freakin’ wins!…
The schedule makers weren’t kind to the Yankees when they put the team on a road trip through Boston and Tampa, the fiercest and most competitive of the Yankees’ AL East rivals. Both series started out with a loss, but then the Yankees rebounded to take the final two games of each series. So, to win 4 out of 6 games is a huge accomplishment. I would have been pleased if the Yankees had escaped with a .500 mark.
This series did give me cause for concern with Javier Vazquez. Friday night’s loser did not match up very well with the Rays’ young sluggers. Well, I guess it depends upon the perspective. Rays fans probably thought it was the perfect match-up. Nevertheless. Javy has some work to do before his next start.
On Saturday, CC Sabathia nearly threw a no-hitter. He made it deep into the 8th inning before his former Cleveland battery mate Kelly Shoppach broke it up with a single. After the hit, manager Joe Girardi pulled Sabathia and replaced him with David Robertson. Robertson gave up a hit in relief so they settled on a combined two-hitter. Girardi stirred up some controversy after the game when he said he would have pulled Sabathia after Shoppach regardless of whether or not he got a hit. CC was at 111 pitches, so it would have been foolish to push him out any further. I am surprised at the backlash that Girardi has faced because I think it was the right thing to do. If this was May or June, it would be one thing. But this was only CC’s second regular season start. Deepening the pitch count to 130 or more pitches could have had so many adverse ramifications…short term and long term. With the 10-0 victory, the Yankees had countered the offensive outburst of the Rays on Friday night.
The win set the stage for Sunday’s match-up with pitted A.J. Burnett versus James Shields. Early on, it didn’t look like the Yankees offense was going to get started. They were thwarted in a few chances, and trailed 2-1 entering the 6th inning. After giving up a one-out double to Robinson Cano, Shields was replaced by former Yankee Randy Choate. Jorge Posada proceeded to hit the homer that put the Yankees in the lead.
The bottom of the sixth inning was interesting when Evan Longoria hit a high pop-up that would have been an out in any other city. In St. Petersburg, it hit a catwalk and landed back on the field near second base for a strange hit. Fortunately, after loading the bases with a walk, Burnett was able to get out of the jam by getting B.J. Upton on an infield fly out.
Nick Swisher also hit his first home run of the season in the game.
So, the Yankees head back to New York with a 4-2, good for second place in the AL East (a game behind division leader Toronto). Next up, is the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim…or whatever they call themselves these days. The difficult early season schedule continues as the Yankees now face their fiercest non-AL East rival on Tuesday for Opening Day at Yankee Stadium. The ring ceremony will be held prior to the game, and it is fortunate that the World Series MVP (Angels DH Hideki Matsui) will be in the house to get his ring. Andy Pettitte gets the start for what might be his final Opening Day at the Stadium…
William Perlman/The Star Ledger
Today was a very historic day as Texas Stadium was imploded this morning. I lived in Dallas for 14 years so I had been to Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas a number of times. The most memorable game, for me, was Thanksgiving Day 1987. The Minnesota Vikings were in Dallas to play the Cowboys. The Vikings won it in overtime, 44-38, on a 24-yard touchdown run by Darrin Nelson. I was so elated that day, and I still don’t know if my feet touched the ground leaving the stadium. I also saw a number of great concerts over the years. So, when I saw the visual of the stadium collapsing today, I couldn’t help but think that part of my past is gone.
Here is a link to a video of the demolition:
Perhaps you’ve already seen this seat belts ad, but if not, it might be the best one that I’ve ever seen. This is excellent, and hopefully makes you think twice before you forget to buckle up!