August 2010

The Perfect Formula, plus a Red Sox Loss!…


Yankees Win + Rays Loss = 1 Game Lead in AL
East!…


Yankees win.JPG

 

Finally, after 8 days, the Yankees were able to
shake the Rays for at least a day with a 9-2 win over the Oakland A’s in the
Bronx on Tuesday night.  The Rays started
strong against the pesky Toronto Blue Jays, but they saw a 3-1 lead erased when
the Jays scored 10 runs in the 6th inning to win going away,
13-5.  So, the Yankees are 82-50 while
the Rays are 81-51.  Meanwhile, the
Boston Red Sox fell to the Baltimore Orioles 5-2 so it was a very good night!



The New York Yankees beat the Oakland A's 9-3 at Yankee Stadium.

John Munson/The Star Ledger


 

I was toggling back and forth on MLB Radio between
the Yankees and Rays games and I think I missed about a dozen runs scoring
between both games.  I was very surprised
about the ineffectiveness of the Rays’ Jeff Niemann.  He has been roughed up in both games he’s
pitched since his return from the DL.  As
for the Yankees, it was painful with Phil Hughes on the mound, given his
inability to throw strikes.  Of 98
pitches, only 52 were strikes, resulting in 5 walks in 5 innings.  However, he was able to last long enough to
pick up his 16th win of the season. 



Phil Hughes

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

 


The only surprise of tonight’s game was that Marcus
Thames didn’t homer.  He had homered in
his 5 previous consecutive games.  It
will be interesting to see what happens when Lance Berkman returns from the
DL.  I’d be surprised if the Yanks sat
Thames given his hot bat, but it would be sad to see a great player like
Berkman on the bench.  I am glad that I
don’t have to make Joe Girardi’s decisions.



Marcus Thames Yankees tight file

Tim Farrell/The Star Ledger

 


It was great seeing Mark Teixeira back in the
lineup, especially after he hit his 30th home run of the
season. 



Teixeira, August 31

David Pokress/Newsday/MCT


The Yankees are close to returning to full strength
as Alex Rodriguez should be back on the field on Sunday.  Of course, with a 16-3 record, the Yankees
haven’t exactly missed A-Rod in the win column. 
Still, it will be nice to have Berkman, A-Rod, and Andy Pettitte back in
action as the Yankees, Rays, and Red Sox head for the stretch run.



 


On a side note, I was disappointed the Los Angeles
Dodgers pulled back pitcher Ted Lilly after he was claimed on waivers by the
Yankees.  With the pitching struggles of
Javier Vazquez and A.J. Burnett, it would have been nice to have a security
blanket like Lilly around.  Plus, he know
New York and that’s hard experience to find.



 


Oh well, time to protect that one game lead…

 

–Scott

Time To Step It Up…

 

Whew, a series win!…



 


The Yankees were able to pull out a series win over
the Chicago White Sox, thanks to the great pitching of rookie Ivan Nova.  Nova, who won his first major league game,
went 5 2/3 innings, giving up only one run and give hits.  He walked one and struck out 7 White Sox
batters, and got help from the bullpen as the Yankees defeated the White Sox
2-1 on Sunday.



New York Yankees starter Ivan Nova shuts down the White Sox as the Bombers and Curtis Granderson (below) upend Chicago.

Huh/AP

 

The series started with a loss on Friday night, as
Chicago drubbed the Yanks, 9-4.  It was
another pathetic performance by A.J. Burnett, who is making the remaining years
on his contract look very painful for the Yanks at this point.  It’s a difficult situation because the
Yankees do need him to win in October, so it is imperative for A.J. to put
August behind him and return to pitching like he did late last year.



New York Yankees pitcher A.J. Burnett is 0-9 combined in the months of June and August.

Arbogast/AP

 


In Saturday’s game, CC Sabathia didn’t have his
best stuff but didn’t need it as the Yanks put their bats on display in the
12-9 win.  They had a big lead and had to
hold on late, but it still went in the win column. 

 

The series MVP was clearly Marcus Thames, who
homered three times in the series including two on Saturday and once on
Sunday.  He struck out in his only
appearance on Friday night, but clearly made up for it as he figured heavily
into both Yankee wins.  At a time when
Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, and Lance Berkman are on the sidelines, you need
for others to step up and Thames certainly answered the call.  



0828thames.JPG

Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune/MCT



Other heroes of the past three days include Nova for his great pitching on
Sunday, Mariano Rivera for just being himself in picking up two saves, and 
Eduardo Nunez who had 4 RBI’s on Saturday. 



New York Yankees third baseman Eduardo Nunez gives thanks after hitting a two-run homer against the Chicago White Sox. Mark Teixeira (b.) is not sure whether he'll play Sunday with a bruised thumb.

Smierciak/AP

 


I wasn’t pleased to hear that Major League Baseball
is investigating Ivan Nova and pitcher Wilkin De La Rosa for allegedly
injecting each other B-12 shots at Double AA Trenton last season.  Hopefully, the investigation will prove no
wrongdoing on Nova’s part and the substance was purely B-12, which is not a
banned substance. 

 

It will be interesting to see what changes in the
rotation manager Joe Girardi makes upon the impending return of Andy
Pettitte.  Javier Vazquez and A.J.
Burnett are clearly the more accomplished and experienced starters, however,
they have been unable to match the recent consistency of Dustin Moseley and
Ivan Nova.   I remain hopeful that Vazquez and Burnett will
return to the success they achieved earlier in the season, but for now, it is
good to know that others are there to help the team during times of
trouble. 

 

Mark Teixeira has missed some playing time the past
few days with a bruised hand, but hopefully, he’ll be back when the Yankees
return to the Bronx on Monday night to face the Oakland A’s.  With A-Rod (and Lance Berkman) still
sidelined, the Yankees definitely need Teixeira’s bat in the lineup.  As the calendar prepares to change to
September, it’s time for the team to get on a roll and Tex is obviously a key
ingredient.

 

Congratulations to Albert Pujols for his 400th
home run last night.  He is definitely
moving into the land of Legends, and we’ll look back one day and be very
appreciative that we were able to see him play. 
As much as the media would love to see Albert play in New York, I feel
that it is only right for the St. Louis Cardinals to find a way to ink their
superstar to a long-term deal.  I
remember attending my first major league game as a kid at the old Busch Stadium
and running into former Cardinal great Stan Musial.  Musial means so much to the Cardinals
organization, and of course, Pujols is in the same category.  It would be wrong to see him wear anything
other than a Cardinals uniform.



Hitting .321 with 45 homers and 120 RBI through Wednesday's action, Albert Pujols is once again in the middle of the NL MVP race.

Scott Rovak/US Presswire

 


I can’t believe that I am actually pulling for the
Tampa Bay Rays to win tonight’s game against the Boston Red Sox (which would
keep the Yankees in a first place tie with the Rays).  But then again, there is simply no way to
pull for the Red Sox…

 



–Scott


 

Have Arm, Will Travel…

 

Say what you will, it was a win…

 

 

0824granderson.JPG

Tom Szczerbowski/US Presswire

 

A night after losing 3-2 to the Toronto Blue Jays in a game that probably could have been won if a clutch hitter like Johnny Damon, Melky Cabrera, Hideki Matsui or Jerry Hairston, Jr. were on the roster, the Yankees returned to their winning ways with a 11-5 victory over the Jays.  It was another solid fill-in performance by Dustin Moseley.  He was only responsible for 2 of the runs, as the remainder were charged against Chad Gaudin.  Moseley has definitely stepped up in a big way during the absence of Andy Pettitte.  After fretting what life would be like with Sergio Mitre after Andy went on the DL, manager Joe Girardi quickly reversed course and went with Moseley, a decision that has proven to be very fruitful.  Moseley is not the front-end starter you want in the play-offs, but for a team trying to battle its way to the AL East Championship, he has been exactly what the doctor ordered.

 

After losing to the Jays last night, the Yankees found themselves in a first place tie with the Tampa Bay Rays who defeated the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.  Mention has to go to Rays closer Rafael Soriano who threw a 9-pitch 9th inning that resulted in 3 strikeouts.  It was quite an impressive feat.  Why did the Atlanta Braves let Soriano get away again?…

 

Johnny Damon has apparently invoked his no-trade clause to stay in Detroit after being claimed on waivers by the Boston Red Sox.  All things considered, I am glad that Johnny opted to leave his Yankees legacy intact.  Damon was clearly one of the primary players responsible for the fall of the Curse of the Bambino as the Red Sox won the 2004 World Series, however, he was later able to cut the cords with the Red Sox after failed contract negotiations (or lack thereof) to sign with the Yankees where he ultimately won another championship.  Had he returned to Boston, he would have tarnished his Yankees legacy and turned the Yankees Universe against him.  David Cone was one of my favorite Yankees, but I don’t know if I can ever forgive him for going to Boston.  I would have hated to see Johnny return to Boston.  When I broached the possibility to my Red Sox friends, I received responses like “ugh!”, “ick!”, and “no!”.  While Jason Varitek and David Ortiz may have welcomed Johnny back, I am not sure that he would have been embraced by the RSN.  Perhaps he would have, but did the Red Sox claim Damon because they truly wanted him or did they do it to block the Rays?  As an aging player, I could have understood the player’s desire to play meaningful September games.  However, for Johnny, there was so much at stake personally.  He was a good Yankee, and hopefully, he’ll let that legacy stand on its own merits.  No reason to ruin it by going back to Beantown.  If the Yankees had just waited out Damon’s demands and brought him back to the Bronx, none of this would have been necessary.  Who knows where he’ll play in 2011, but for now, I remain proud of Damon for standing by his principles and commitment.

 

 

Johnny Damon Johnny Damon #18 of the New York Yankees stands during the national anthem before taking on the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Angels Stadium on August 21, 2007 in Anaheim, California.

Lisa Blumenfeld/Getty Images

 

In an off-topic comment, I was dismayed to hear that Minnesota Vikings wide receiver Sidney Rice will miss at least half of the season following hip surgery.  Given that the injury was suffered during the NFC Championship Game against the New Orleans Saints, I am not quite sure why Rice waited until now to have surgery.  He was the first true threat since the Vikings traded Randy Moss, so Brett Favre is definitely facing a challenge in what should be his final season.  This morning, there were reports the Vikings were close to signing former Packers wide receiver Javon Walker who clashed with Favre at times during their days in Green Bay.  With Percy Harvin’s on-going bouts with migraines, the best receiver at this point is probably Bernard Berrian which does not bode well for the Vikings and Favre. 

 

 

Seattle Times

 

Sports can be so brutal at times…

 

–Scott

 

The Yankee Roller Coaster…

 

So, where do we go from here?…



 


The Yankees have definitely been stopping and
starting lately.  They go into a funk,
rebound, and then go into a funk again. 
After a succession of losing or tying series, they’ve started to win a
few but it has been easy.  In the most
recent series with Seattle Mariners, they were dominated in the opening game by
Felix Hernandez, as the M’s won, 6-0. 
They rebounded to take the next two including a 10-0 annihilation on
Sunday that feature a grand slam and 6 RBI’s by Robinson Cano.

 

As Sunday’s game got underway, Yankees radio
announcer John Sterling made a comment about whether Cano could reach 100 RBI’s
(he had 80 at the start of the game). 
With simple math, he deducted that Cano had been averaging about 20 RBI’s
a month so with that reasoning, it would appear that Cano would have a shot
after nearly making the milestone in 2008 with 97 RBI’s.  Cano must have heard Sterling because he
promptly went out and reduced the “magic number” to 14 RBI’s with a little more
than a month to go in the season. 

 

Then Monday, the Yanks were back in the doldrums
when Jose Bautista hit home runs 39 and 40 as the Toronto Blue Jays downed the
Yanks 3-2.  The Red Sox own the Jays, but
the Yanks and Rays struggle against them for whatever reason.  With Dustin Moseley on the mound for Tuesday’s
game, there’s not much optimism unless the Yankee bats can come around.

 

Of course, it doesn’t help with names like Eduardo
Nunez, Ramiro Pena and Francisco Cervelli among the starters and Ivan Nova on
the mound.  To Nova’s credit, despite
allowing one of the Bautista homers, he pitched very well, going 5 1/3 innings
and allowing only 2 runs (courtesy of the Bautista home run) despite 6 hits and
1 walk.  He struck out 3.  Nova showed that although he is not a talent
like the Rays’ Jeremy Hellickson, he can pitch at this level. 



Yankees rookie pitcher Ivan Nova clears the benches in Toronto with a sixth-inning pitch that is thrown around the head of Jose Buatista, who belts his 39th and 40th homers of the season.

Gunn/AP

 

It was sad to see former Yankees and current
Chicago Cubs manager Lou Piniella step aside after Sunday’s game, a rout by the
Atlanta Braves.  Lou opted to depart now
rather than at the end of the season to tend to his ailing mother.  At 66, Sweet Lou is most likely done as a
manager, but given his intensity and desire for the game, I’d have to put this
one in the “we’ll see” category.  It
would not surprise me to see him return to the dugout at some future date.  As for now, it would be good for the
Steinbrenner family to reach out to Lou for a consulting role.  It would be nice to have him back in the
organization.



 


As the speculation grows for the next Cubs manager,
which inevitably includes current Yankees manager Joe Girardi, I can’t help but
wonder if the Yanks would reach out to icon Don Mattingly or if they’d go for a
seasoned vet like Bobby Valentine if Girardi left.  I’d prefer to see Donnie Baseball don the #23
pinstriped jersey if I had my preference.

 


 


With the Yankees most likely in a first-place tie
after tonight’s game (assuming the Rays hold their lead against the Los Angeles
Angels), it’s time to kick it into gear. 
Now is the time that separates the men from the boys so hopefully the
Yanks are up to the challenge.  If not,
they’ll be looking at the backside of Tampa and Boston jerseys. 


Tampa Bay Rays Authentic Evan Longoria BP Jersey - MLB.com Shop

 

–Scott



 

Finally, A Series Win!…


Confidence restored…



 


After the series opener loss to the Detroit Tigers,
I was a bit dismayed.  The Yankees, the
team that started the year on a consecutive series win streak, hadn’t won a
series since late July after splitting a four game set with the Royals in
Kansas City.  They returned to the Bronx
and promptly lost a disappointing game to the Tigers with Detroit ace Justin
Verlander looming the next day. 

 

Fortunately, the Yanks beat Verlander and went on
to the win the next two games afterwards to take 3 of 4.  The wins were definitely part of the Robinson
Cano Show as he homered in the three consecutive wins.  Also, the bat of Curtis Granderson has come
to life since the adjustments he made with hitting coach Kevin Long.  I was not an immediate believer in Austin
Kearns, but he has steadily begun to make an impact.  With Alex Rodriguez nursing a sore calf and
Lance Berkman on the DL, it was imperative for some of the lesser known guys on
the roster to begin carrying their weight. 
It couldn’t have happened at a better time as the Yankees are trying to
stave off the Tampa Bay Rays who they were tied with at the beginning of today’s
games. 



robinson-cano-new-york-yankees-819.jpg.JPG

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images


 

With September right around the corner, I am
concerned about pitching.  The only
certainty is ace CC Sabathia.  With A.J.
Burnett, you’re never really sure what you are going to get.  Javier Vazquez has been pitching poorly
lately with reduced velocity.  Dustin
Moseley is never going to overwhelm you, and Phil Hughes is rapidly approaching
an innings limitation.  Andy Pettitte
remains on the DL after a setback, so there are a series of question marks with
the starting rotation.  It is fortunate
that the bullpen has begun to gel with Kerry Wood, Joba Chamberlain, David
Robertson and Boone Logan pitching very effectively.  The long men, Chad Gaudin and Sergio Mitre,
have performed well in their roles.  The
Yankees certainly have the bats to win the division, but I obviously have less
confidence in the pitching.  If healthy,
they’d be among the league’s elite.  But
in their current state, I’d have to give the advantage to the Tampa Bay
Rays.  As for the Red Sox, I can only
hope that Josh Beckett and John Lackey continue their season-long
struggles.  With their injuries this
year, it’s amazing that they’ve remained within striking distance so they are
certainly a threat as the page gets ready to flip to September. 

 

But for now, all is well in the Bronx.  If the Yankees can get on a roll and win a
few series over the next couple of weeks, they should be in great shape for the
stretch run despite their issues and challenges.


–Scott



Let’s Kick It Into Gear…


I don’t get it…


IDK.JPG

 


On Monday, the Yankees are totally befuddled by Max
Scherzer, but on Tuesday, they defeat annual Cy Young contender Justin
Verlander.  Monday’s game was so
disappointing.  After a lethargic
performance the previous day against Bryan Bullington and the Kansas City
Royals, they continued the lackluster offensive ways against Scherzer
and the Detroit Tigers in losing 3-1. 

 

The losing pitcher was Javier Vazquez.  While only giving up 2 runs, he threw a
startling 106 pitches in just four innings. 
At this point, the Yankees cannot depend upon Vazquez for the duration
of the season.  The inability to acquire
Cliff Lee is even more magnified today than it was the day Lee was dealt to
Texas.  The Yankees don’t have a Jeremy
Hellickson in the farm system (at least not one that’s ready to make the impact
Hellickson can for the Tampa Bay Rays). 
So, Monday’s loss, which allowed the Rays to tie the Yanks in the AL
East standings was definitely ‘advantage-Rays’. 



95724163JM028_Detroit_Tiger.JPG

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

 

Tuesday, CC Sabathia was on the hill but things
started poorly when former Yank Austin Jackson hit a lead-off homer.  After that, CC settled in and earned his 16th
win despite another home run in the 7th (a solo dinger by Brandon
Inge) as the Yanks won, 6-2.  They merely
kept pace with the Rays, who also won, along with the charging Boston Red Sox
who also emerged victorious. 



New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia (l.) receives a hand pound from Derek Jeter during a seven-inning, nine strikeout outing that gave Sabathia his 16th win of the season.

Sipkin/NY Daily News

 

This game was about how much Brett Gardner means to
the Yankees offense when he is hitting. 
As long as he can get on base, things happen.  He scored a run in the bottom of the first on
Nick Swisher’s single, and he doubled in the 6th when any other
Yankee would not have made it past first base. 
He subsequently scored on Derek Jeter’s single. 

 

The Yankees have their share of injury woes, with
Alex Rodriguez and Lance Berkman in the dreaded DTD status.  Despite the recent offensive woes, hopefully,
the team can build upon today’s win to put together a nice winning streak. 

 

I would be remiss for not acknowledging the passing
of legend Bobby Thomson.  What baseball
fan who appreciates the history of the game hasn’t heard the famed “Shot Heard ‘Round
the World”?  His home run in the decisive
1951 play-off game with the Brooklyn Dodgers gave the New York Giants the NL
Pennant (“The Giants win the Pennant! 
The Giants win the Pennant!”).  The
team would go on to lose to the Yankees in the World Series, but there is no
doubt that Thomson’s home run was one of the greatest in major league
history.



AP  

 

In my usual off-topic comment, it appears that
Brett Favre will be quarterbacking the Minnesota Vikings in 2010.   He flew to Minnesota today, and an
announcement regarding his decision is forthcoming.  However, close friend, kicker Ryan Longwell, is
saying that Favre has decided to return (surprise, surprise).  The only person that’s probably disappointed
is Tavaris Jackson, but T-Jack should be ready if Favre falters.  If I were the Vikings GM, I’d be on the phone
trying to deal QB Sage Rosenfels.   I’d
like to see the Vikings give the third QB slot to rookie Joe Webb.  Is it really time for football again?  Wow, this has been an incredibly fast
off-season.  It seems like just yesterday
that Favre should have just ran instead of trying to throw in the loss to the
New Orleans Saints…



Brett Favre

AP Photo/The Star Tribune, David Joles

 

–Scott

Yet Another No-Name Pitcher…


I guess that A-Rod should have held one of those
homers in reserve for Sunday…



Good Bad Ugly.JPG

 


The Yankees couldn’t muster any offense against
Bryan Bullington and the Kansas City Royals as the former number
one Pittsburgh Pirates draft pick but still a no-name 29-year-old journeyman  earned his first major league victory in beating the Yankees
1-0.  



Bridget Wentworth/The Star Ledger



On the other side was loser A.J.
Burnett, who was magnificent if you throw out the first inning. 



Yanks blanked by Bullington, Royals, 1-0

John Rieger/US Presswire

 


On Saturday night, Alex Rodriguez homered three
times (the first time he has accomplished the feat since 2005).  However, the last homer merely padded the
score as the Yankees coasted to the 8-3 win. 
It’s too bad that he couldn’t have waited until Sunday to homer.  Any offense at all would have probably won
the game.  But like Derek Jeter said, the
way Bullington was pitching, there was no way they were going to beat him. 

 

The Yankees have been very pedestrian thus far in
August.  They are 6-8, and have been
underperforming in every series.  They
have the occasional outbursts like Saturday night, but they have not been able
to sustain any success.  If the Tampa Bay
Rays didn’t encounter their own struggles, they most likely would be in first
place today.  As it is, they are just one
game behind the Yankees after another solid performance by Jeremy Hellickson, a
native Iowan like myself.  If the Yankees
don’t kick it into gear soon, they’ll be left to fight for Wild Card
scraps.  The team is certainly capable of
getting on a roll and reeling off 10 straight victories, so the sooner the
better.

 

I was afraid that today was going to feature a
sluggish Yankee performance.  I was
reading the LoHud Yankees blog before the game, and they posted a report that
it was a lazy Sunday morning in the clubhouse with absolutely nothing going on.  To me, that translated to a lack of energy
and the team was just ready to board the plane to return home.  Unfortunately, it showed up in how they
played today against the Royals.  Nothing
against Bullington, he pitched a great game, but then again, he had a receptive
audience… 
L



 


Now, the Yankees head home to face former teammates
Johnny Damon and Austin Jackson, and the Detroit Tigers.  If they play like they played in Kansas City,
the results won’t be favorable.



Johnny Damon Detroit Tigers

AP

 

I am not a fan of the Boston Red Sox (obviously),
however, I am glad to see that Dustin Pedroia will return to second base for
the Sox on Tuesday night.  He will also
be celebrating his 27th birthday, so birthday wishes are in order
for the Sox warrior.  I certainly do not
want to see the Sox get on a roll, but it will be good to see Pedey back at
second for “those” guys.



David Ortiz (left) and Dustin Pedroia (right) celebrated Pedroia's first inning homer.

Jim Davis/Boston Globe

 


Somewhere my friend Julia is on vacation and loving
every minute of today’s Yankees loss…





 Enjoy Pedey’s birthday, Julia…


–Scott


What Happened Tuesday Night?…

 

Mo showed why he is great…



Perfection.JPG

 


A day after losing a game in walk-off fashion to
the Texas Rangers, Mariano Rivera bounced back to save the Yankees’ 7-6 comeback
victory over the Rangers.  So many
relievers have a tough time “forgetting yesterday”, but not Mo.  After allowing a lead-off triple to Elvis
Andrus, he retired the next three batters to strand Andrus at third with what
would have been the tying run. 

 

When Austin Kearns bounced into a double play with
the bases loaded to end the top half of the 8th inning with the
score 6-5 Texas, I thought the Yankees may have exhausted their chances for
victory.  However, or rather , fortunately,
Marcus Thames proved me wrong.  He
homered in the 8th, and drove in the eventual winning run in the 9th.  Not bad for a guy who gets mentioned as an
afterthought when you name off Yankee players.  



Yankees Rangers Baseball

AP


I am a bit disappointed with Kearns, who has failed to hit in key
situations since his arrival in the Bronx. 
But to his credit, he did make a great shoestring catch in the 9th
in helping Mo to the save. 

 

The other two recent acquisitions, Kerry Wood and
Lance Berkman, both played roles in Wednesday’s win.  Wood pitched the 7th and 8th
innings in scoreless relief to pick up his first win as a Yankee.  Berkman drove in a run in the 7th
on a ground rule double as the Yankees chipped away at what once had been a 6-1
Texas lead.  Berkman, it should be noted,
was the only Yankees starter who did not strike out on a night when 17 Yankees
did, tying the dubious franchise record. 
Nick Swisher, in particular, was an awful 0-for-5, with 4 SO’s.

 

Javier Vazquez, who had recently been diagnosed
with a “dead arm”, was very ineffective in the match-up against the almost
Yankee, Cliff Lee.  Javy was out after 4 1/3
innings after he gave up 6 runs.  I am
not quite sure what it will take to get Javy back to the level of pitching he
was at last month, but he needs to improve if the Yankees intend to hold off
the Tampa Bay Rays and the Boston Red Sox.  



0812javy.JPG

Matthew Emmons/US Presswire



Meanwhile, Cliff Lee was solid in striking out 11 Yankees although the Yankees were able to score against him late as he gave up a total of 4 runs through 6 1/3 innings.  I remain hopeful that Lee will be the Yankees prime target in the free agent market after the season. 



The Rangers turn to Cliff Lee to get a mini sweep over the New York Yankees tonight on ESPN. 

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images



The Yankees were fortunate to get a win out of a
two game series that looked like it would be a sweep for Texas.  The Rays lost to the Detroit Tigers, but the
Boston Red Sox steamrolled over the team that gave the Yankees and Rays so much
trouble, the Toronto Blue Jays.  For all
of the key injuries Boston has suffered this year, they are within striking
distance at just 5 games back.



Bill Hall (right), who had two home runs, celebrates his second blast with teammate Ryan Kalish in the fourth inning.

Mark Blinch/Reuters

 


The series in Texas was tough.  It started with news that hot-hitting Mark
Teixeira would remain in New York with his wife, who gave birth to their third
child, William Charles.  I hated to see
the removal of Teixeira’s bat from the lineup, and it was compounded when
Robinson Cano couldn’t start the first game of the series due to illness
(although he did later pinch hit and entered the game as a replacement at 2nd
late in the game despite his weakened condition).  Jorge Posada also missed the game, so those
were three huge voids in the lineup. 

 

The Yankees now head for Kansas City for a
four-game set against the Royals. 
Teixeira will rejoin the team, and should be in the lineup tonight.  On paper, tonight’s game looks like a
mismatch (CC Sabathia versus Bruce Chen), however, the Yankees have not been
playing great ball lately.  They missed a
great opportunity to bury both the Rays the Red Sox and couldn’t do it.  Hopefully, the team can catch fire soon and
put the pressure on the other teams instead of carrying the weight on their own
shoulders.


–Scott



 

 

 

 

 

Did I Win? I Am Not So Sure…

 

If I won the wager with Julia of Julia’s Rants, why do I feel as though I lost?…

 

 

The Yankees and Red Sox tied their four game series at two games apiece, but the Yankees took the tie-breaker in total runs scored, 16-12.  Therefore, it will be Julia who has to appear in at least 6 photos showing her in different locations wearing a pink Yankees cap. 

 

 

But although I won, I certainly do not feel like a winner.  The most important game, to me, is always the getaway game.  The Red Sox leave town as winners, while the Yankees head for Texas wondering what could have been.  They had the chance to put the Red Sox 8 games back, but as it is, the Red Sox leave exactly the way the arrived, 6 games behind. 

 

 

 

Elise Amendola/AP

 

People are constantly trying to bury the Red Sox but I’ve long known that the team simply does not have any quit in them.  Now, they are starting to get their guys healthy, so they’ll be a force to be reckoned with during the stretch run. 

 

The Yankees lost today, 2-1, against Jon Lester, Daniel Bard, and Jonathan Papelbon.  Lester had entered the game on a four-game skid, but he is too talented to stay down for long.  He proved he was up to the challenge today, and bested Phil Hughes in the pitching duel. 

 

 

Jon Lester started the game for the Red Sox and held the Yankees scoreless through the first five innings.

Chris McGrath/Getty Images

 

 

The Yankees had their chances in the late innings but couldn’t convert.  Marcus Thames just missed a home run in the 7th inning when the ball hit the top of the fence and bounced back for a double.   Just another inch or two and it would have tied the game.  Bard also gets kudos for getting out of a bases loaded jam. 

 

Mark Teixeira continued his hot hitting with an 8th inning home run, but that’s all the offense the team could manage.

 

The Yankees now head to Texas to play the guy who was nearly a Yankee, Cliff Lee, and the Texas Rangers.  A.J. Burnett, scratched from Sunday’s start because of his back, will pitching the opening game against the surging C.J. Wilson who has enjoyed success as a starter this season.  It will be a big test for the Yankees, and they’ll need to play better than they have in recent days.  Maybe being in Texas will be good for Lance Berkman and he’ll hit his first homers for the Yankees. 

 

 

 

A day after breaking Babe Ruth’s team hits record, Derek Jeter tied Mel Ott for the all-time record by a New York player at 2,876.  When DJ was a skinny 16-year-old shortstop coming out of Kalamazoo, MI, I certainly didn’t envision the day that he’d be standing with baseball’s immortals.  Congratulatons to DJ for another great milestone, but I suspect we’ll be doing this quite often between now and the end of his career.

 

 

 

–Scott

 

Locked In A Dead Heat…

 

Tied after two games…

 

 

 

 

With a wager on the line against Julia of Julia’s Rants, the Boston Red Sox and the New York Yankees are tied after two games of a four games series.  The Yankees won on Saturday behind a very solid and new proud papa CC Sabathia, 5-2.  The win means the teams are tied at 1 game apiece and totat runs at 8.  So, the wager is down to what happens in the next two games. 

 

 

 

CC Sabathia fires eight innings of two-run ball at the Red Sox as the Bombers bounce back with a 5-2 win at the Stadium.

Sipkin/NY Daily News

 

 

Saturday didn’t start very good when I heard news that Alex Rodriguez had been scratched due to an injury.  When I heard that he had been hit during batting practice, my first thought was that I hoped it wasn’t struggling Lance Berkman who hit the ball that struck A-Rod in the ankle.  Of course, and unfortunately, it was.  I have been pulling for the former Astros star to show the New York fans what Houston knew about him and didn’t want to see his name attached to the loss of A-Rod.  But I was pleased with the comments that Lance made which showed he was apologetic and still had a sense of humor at the same time.  All Lance needs to do is get a significant hit against the Red Sox, and he’ll turn those boos to cheers.  I am confident that he can do it…

 

 

Charlie Neibergall/AP

 

 

A-Rod was taken for x-rays after the incident, but the results were negative so he is now in the dreaded ‘day to day’ category.  He may not return until after the Boston series is over. 

 

 

Alex Rodriguez goes down during batting practice after getting hit in the leg with a shot off the bat of new teammate Lance Berkman.

Fox

 

 

On the plus side, A-Rod’s replacement, Ramiro Pena, delivered 2 RBI’s in his absence.

 

Two days after the birth of Carter Charles Sabathia, his dad went 8 innings to pick up his 14th win of the season (to match Tampa’s David Price).  Despite allowing Boston to take an early 2-0 lead, he settled in and only gave up 6 hits and no further runs the rest of the way.  He struck out 4 batters but only one of them was not named David Ortiz.  It was CC’s 150th career victory, so congratulations to CC for the birth of the latest CC as well as the milestone win!

 

 

 


Congratulations.JPG 

 

 

Mariano Rivera pitched the 9th to pick up his 23rd save, while lowering his ERA to a microscopic 0.89.  Amazing, but then again, that’s just Mo…

 

 


Mo.JPG 

 

 

With the win, the Yankees were able to increase their lead in the AL East to 1 ½ games over the Tampa Bay Rays.  The Rays are finding out what the Yankees recently did…there’s a very good team north of the border.  The Toronto Blue Jays pounded the Rays, 17-11, behind two home runs by rookie J.P. Arencibia, who was making his major league debut.  The Jays hit a total of 8 home runs in the game.  With as much trouble as the Yankees had with Rays pitching, the Jays clearly didn’t encounter the same difficulty. 

 

 

 

Toronto rookie catcher J.P. Arencibia had a memorable major-league debut against the Tampa Bay Rays Saturday at the Rogers Centre. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

Nathan Denette/Canadian Press

 

 

So, the Yankees are saying that Friday night’s pitcher and loser, Javier Vazquez, is dealing with a “dead arm”.  So, of course, that begs the question, ‘is A.J. Burnett dealing with a dead brain?’.  In his last start, against the Blue Jays on Monday, A.J. melted down during the 5th inning of the game as the Jays pounded out 7 hits off Burnett, including a monster home run by Edwin Encarnacion, to convert a 2-1 deficit to an 8-2 lead in a game the Yankees ultimately lost, 8-6.  Let’s hope that he fares better on Sunday night against Josh Beckett and the Red Sox…

 

 

 

A.J. Burnett acknowledges crowd as he leaves game Saturday night.

Sipken/NY Daily News

 

Hey Julia, Game On, my friend!…

 

–Scott

 

 

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