Results tagged ‘ Indians ’

Chavez Ravine to the Bronx!…

 

Chavez Ravine to the Bronx reminds me of Tommy John for some reason…

Welcome to New York, Hiro!  It was a terrific debut at Yankee Stadium for #2 starter Hiroki Kuroda, as he shut down the Los Angeles Angels, 5-0 in the team’s 2012 home opener.  The Angels, historically, play the Yankees very well in New York, so Kuroda’s performance was significantly more impressive than if it had come against a team like the Minnesota Twins.  Obviously, the former Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher is not going to pitch like this every time out, but I do feel more confident in the #2 slot in the rotation than I did when it was held by A.J. Burnett.

The game also marked the 630th home run by Alex Rodriguez, which tied him with his former teammate, Ken Griffey, Jr.  The script couldn’t have been written any better for a marvelous day in New York.

A proud day for a Yankees legend and his father…

It was also a very classy move to have Jorge Posada throw out the first pitch, which is the good karma that set the stage for the wonderful day.  I am sure that it was a thrill for Jorge to throw the pitch to his father.  I lost my own father as a child, but who doesn’t love the scene in Field of Dreams when Kevin Costner plays catch with his father.  It has to be an absolute thrill, and I am sure that it was for Jorge as his father was able to take the field at Yankee Stadium.  I had heard the Yankees wanted Mariano Rivera to catch Posada’s throw, but Jorge wanted his dad.  You certainly cannot find fault in his decision.  Mariano’s day will come.  Both players have reservations for Monument Park.

DL-R-Us…

I was sorry to see the injury suffered by Jacoby Ellsbury of the Boston Red Sox.  The word is that he’ll be out 6-8 weeks with the shoulder injury he suffered during Boston’s home opening day win over the Tampa Bay Rays.  Boston may be a fierce rival, but I take so satisfaction in seeing the loss of one of their better players.  To be the best, you have to beat the best which means that I want Boston and Tampa to have their best players on the field.  The Red Sox probably have more dollars committed to guys on the DL than the team payrolls for a number of teams in major league baseball, with the likes of John Lackey, Dice-K, Carl Crawford, Andrew Bailey, and Bobby Jenks currently disabled.

Hopefully, Ellsbury will make a smooth and speedy recovery, and will be back on the field soon.

The team name on Damon’s jersey should come with Velcro…

I know it’s a paycheck but it seems like Johnny Damon will have played with every team in the AL by the time he’s finished.  He’s been with so many teams, I honestly can’t say what team he should be remembered for.  Maybe Boston because of the Caveman look and helping them secure their first World Series win in a century, maybe the Royals because that’s where he got his start, who knows.  I can’t look at him and say that ‘he’s forever a Yankee’ because his time was too brief and now it’s too watered down with other teams.  Damon as a Cleveland Indian just seems strange.  If Cleveland is out by July, I am sure that Damon will be moved to a contender, adding yet another team.  Or Damon doesn’t get enough at-bats and opts out of his Cleveland deal, and heads elsewhere.  Regardless, he just seems like a rent-a-player at this point.  Maybe MLB should incorporate 10-day contracts like the NBA…

Purple People are better…

I am looking forward to the upcoming NFL Draft.  The Minnesota Vikings, with the third selection and the top two picks already pre-determined, have some tough choices to make.  I’ve been in favor of OT Matt Kalil, but an argument can be made for WR Justin Blackmon or CB Morris Claiborne.  I thought it was interesting when Colts owner Jim Irsay made comments that teams interested in QB Ryan Tannehill should talk to the Vikings about their #3 pick.  I have not followed the story closely enough to understand his motivation, but I’d prefer to see the Vikings hang on to the pick (despite the opportunity to add more picks) given the strength of the talent available.  I am sure the Miami Dolphins are drooling over the idea of nabbing Tannehill so I guess it would depend upon how desperate they are to make a move.  Unless the Vikings are overwhelmed, I want to see Kalil, Blackmon or Claiborne wearing purple at a mini-camp coming soon.

Actually, it’s hard to believe that we are already starting to talk about football again.  It seems like the season just ended.  But then again, it’s hard to believe that the 2012 MLB Season is well underway.  It should be a fun sports year for all…

–Scott

 

Just Win, Baby!…

 

What a difference a day makes!…


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Of course, the Yankees could have used a few of
those runs on Tuesday night, but at least they were facing a proven major
league pitcher (Fausto Carmona) which they definitely have greater success
against than unproven, unknown rookies. 

 

The Yankees got the scoring going early, building
up to a 6-0 lead after just three innings, and then coasted to the 8-0 win
against the Indians in Cleveland. 
Another night, another homerless evening for Alex Rodriguez who remains
stuck on 599.  It would be nice for him
to just hit the home run so that he’d stop pressing so hard. 



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Andrew Weber/US Presswire

 

It was also a great pitching performance by the
hotheaded A.J. Burnett, who managed to avoid a meltdown in throwing scoreless
ball for 6 1/3 innings (he gave up 7 hits and 3 walks, while striking out
7). 

 

I did think that it was a good idea to bring in
Joba Chamberlain in the 7th inning despite the 8 run lead.  He needs to build his confidence back up
again, and become the pitcher that we know he can be.  The 8th inning went to starter
reject Sergio Mitre as manager Joe Girardi continued to experiment with the
bullpen.   Mitre was effective with two
strikeouts as he retired the 3 batters he faced in the 8th, although
he did struggle somewhat in the 9th (allowing two baserunners
through a hit and a walk).  But he did
end the game on a swinging strikeout.   I
think he’s definitely better in spots than as a starting pitcher, so perhaps he’s
found a niche.  His replacement in the
rotation, Dustin Moseley, starts against the Indians tomorrow in the getaway
game.  Hopefully, Dustin will enjoy
greater success than Mitre did in the last start. 

 

Despite the Yankees’ win, they failed to pick up
any ground on either the Tampa Bay Rays or the Boston Red Sox as both team won
today.  The pressure will be on the
Yankees tomorrow night, especially if the Rays win their earlier game against
the Tigers.  The Rays are presently two
games back in the AL East, so they could be within a game after tomorrow’s
results.  The Red Sox, 7 games back, are
idle. 


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I can’t say that there have been many trade
speculations this week that I have been excited about, but I agree with Mike Axisa of River Avenue Blues about the potential of adding Adam Dunn to
the lineup at DH.  His swing would be a
great fit for Yankee Stadium, and unlike Nick Johnson, he is someone that can
be counted on to be around when October rolls around.  He would also provide great protection for
Robinson Cano in the batting order.  I
think Dunn and a solid reliever would make the July trading deadline a huge
success for the Yanks. 



Adam Dunn Adam Dunn #44 of the Washington Nationals poses during photo day at Roger Dean Stadium on February 21, 2009 in Viera, Florida.  (Photo by Doug Benc/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** Adam Dunn

Doug Benc/Getty Images



I want to send out my best wishes for former
Yankees pitcher Ross Ohlendorf who was hit in the face on a ball hit by
Colorado’s Troy Tulowitzki.  The line
drive hit which struck the right side of Ohlendorf’s face occurred in the first
inning of tonight’s game between the Pittsburgh Pirates and the Colorado
Rockies.  Ohlendorf remained upright and
never lost consciousness.  He underwent
further tests after the incident, but hopefully, all is well and he’ll be back
in the Pirates rotation soon.



Chris Schneider/AP


–Scott



Help Wanted: Pitcher to Beat Yankees; No Experience Necessary…


Do you want to beat the New York Yankees?…



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Just call up a pitcher to make his major league
debut and he is assured of getting his first major league victory against the
Yanks.  Put Roy Halladay, Josh Beckett,
Cliff Lee, Zach Greinke and others on the mound, and the Yankees have a great
chance at winning.  Put Cleveland’s Josh
Tomlin on the mound, and it’s lights out Yankees.  I don’t get why the team has always struggled
so much against the unknown pitchers. 
Surely, the Scouting Department has a portfolio on minor league
pitchers.  For whatever reason, no info
is getting conveyed to the Yankee hitters.



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The 25-year-old Tomlin simply pitched much better
than 13-game winner  CC Sabathia, as the
Indians rolled over the Yankees, 4-1.  He
went 7 innings and only gave up 3 hits and 1 earned run; he struck out 2.  CC, on the other hand, gave up 9 hits in 7
innings, and allowed 4 runs abeit 2 earned. 
He also walked 3 while striking out 5. 



 


Alex Rodriguez put another goose egg on the scoreboard
(0-for-4) in his attempt to reach 600 home runs.  He could have been a hero in the 9th
inning.  A home run with two outs would
have tied the game, but unfortunately, he hit into a fielder’s choice to end
the game.  Today was A-Rod’s 35th
birthday, but I am sure that the post-game celebration will be subdued.



 


It was a disappointing loss, which was definitely a
team effort.  I guess the flight from New
York City to Cleveland was too much. 
Hopefully, the players will come out on Tuesday ready to play. 

 

A sore left knee scratched Jorge Posada from the
lineup tonight.  I’d really like to see
Jorge take the necessary time to fully recover before he attempts to play
again.  The Yankees don’t need to go into
September with a questionable Posada. 

 

The Yankees lead over the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL
East has dropped to just two games as the Rays defeated the Detroit Tigers
again tonight (following yesterday’s no-hitter by Matt Garza, the first in Rays
history).



Rays starting pitcher Matt Garza celebrates his no-hitter against the Tigers on Monday night at Tropicana Field.

Jason Behnken/The Tampa Tribune

 


It doesn’t seem like the Yankees are getting
anywhere on trade rumors.  Their latest
speculated target, Royals closer Joakim Soria, apparently has the Yankees on
his no-trade list.  I am not expecting a
blockbuster deal, because there just aren’t any players of that magnitude
available.  But the Yankees do need to
try and address the shortcomings of the team. 
Right now, the bullpen is very leaky so that certainly deserves attention
as does a bat who can come off the bench to spell A-Rod. 

 

This is off-topic, but I am sorry to hear the news
that former Oakland Raider Jack Tatum has passed away at age 61.  Growing up, the “Assassin” was a force for
the Raiders.  It is unfortunate that he
will always be remembered as the guy whose hit paralyzed the New England
Patriots’ Darryl Stingley.  Sadly, both
Stingley (who died in 2007) and Tatum left us way too soon…





–Scott


The Perfect Formula…

 

8th inning relief…



 


I was so relieved (no pun intended) when the
Yankees went with David Robertson and Boone Logan in the 8th inning
as a bridge between Javier Vazquez and Mariano Rivera in New York’s 3-2 win
over the Cleveland Indians.  Both Robertson
and Logan did their respective jobs with no drama (unlike recent escapades with
Joba Chamberlain). 

 

This game was about redemption.  Javier Vazquez continued to show that he has
moved well past his early season struggles and has perhaps shaken, for the now,
the tag that he is purely a NL pitcher. 
Of course, he hasn’t pitched a big game yet, but he continues to pitch
very solidly while the other starters have taken their turns with issues.  Hopefully, this is the Javy that we’ll see
now through October.



Theodorakis/NY Daily News

 

As recent as this weekend, Curtis Granderson was
viewed as a failure in New York. 
Everyone has waited for Curtis the Tiger to show up, and finally, in the
last couple of games, he has.  On Sunday,
in the Yankees’ 12-6 romp over the Kansas City Royals, Grandy had two home
runs.  Tonight against the Indians, and
unlike Alex Rodriguez, he hit another one. 
With the homer, Grandy finally broke into double digits with his 10th
of the season.  It is a far cry from the
guy who was predicted to hit 40 home runs in New York but still, it is great to
finally see Granderson as an offensive force in the lineup.  As with Vazquez, Grandy is a key to the
second half.



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Gregory Shamus/Getty Images 



Nick Swisher hit another home run.  I regret ever having preferred Xavier Nady
over Swish in right.  Swisher has been
terrific this season and with his 18th home run of the season
tonight, he is just a mere two homers beyond team leader Mark Teixeira.  Hey Swish, maybe you could give hitting
lessons to A-Rod!  ;)


I will also put both Robertson and Logan into the
redemption category.  Logan has seen his
share of the Bronx-Scranton/Wilkes Barre Shuttle, while Robertson has struggled
at times to match the success of last season. 
Tonight, they were perfect in the 8th when anything less
could have been disastrous given the one run margin.

 

It was nice that on a night when the big guys
(Jeter, Teixeira, A-Rod, and Cano) went a combined 0-for-14 with 3 strikeouts,
the Yankees could still emerge with the victory.   Some
great pitching, a few key hits, and Mariano Rivera are the perfect formula for
success!

 

Apparently, the Yankees made a big, but
unsuccessful, push for Royals closer Joakim Soria.  Soria would have made a great bridge to
Mariano Rivera, but it doesn’t appear that the two teams match up
trade-wise.  The Yankees were rumored to
be the frontrunners for Cliff Lee and Dan Haren, yet they lost out on both
pitchers.  I was more disappointed about
Lee, who I am still hopeful the Yankees will pursue in the off-season.



Cliff Lee (Photo: The Canadian Press)

The Canadian Press  

 

I had mixed feelings about Haren, and I felt that
his salary would have been problematic in the Yanks’ chances to pursue Lee
during free agency.  So, all things
considered, I am glad to see him go to the Los Angeles Angels.  I don’t think the Angels will catch the Texas
Rangers so it will be an uphill battle for the Angels to make the
play-offs.  Of the remaining pitchers on
the market, I’d probably rather go after someone like Ted Lilly than Roy
Oswalt.  Lilly is a good pitcher and
knows how to pitch in New York. 



 


This week should be interesting with all the trade
speculation and actual trade results as we move toward the end of the
week.  Of course, this is probably another
case of ‘all bark, no bite’ as the speculation will exceed the actual
results.  With so many teams unwilling to
add to payroll, there should still be decent trading activity in August as
players clear waivers.   Still, I am
anxious to see what player will get the tag of being the first post-George Steinbrenner
Era Yankee. 


In a note of good news, manager Joe Girardi has
announced that Dustin Moseley will start Thursday’s game in place of Sergio
Mitre.  I am anxious to see what Moseley
can do in his first start for the Bronx Bombers.  Anything has to be an upgrade over Meat Tray…



Dustin Moseley Dustin Moseley #40 of the New York Yankees delivers a pitch against the Tampa Bay Rays on July 17, 2010 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.

Mike Stobe/Getty Images

 

I know that everyone is entitled to their opinion,
but I’d like to say that Bill “The Spaceman” Lee is a jerk.  According to the USA Today Sports Weekly, Lee
told WMUR-TV (New Hampshire) “As far as Steinbrenner’s passing…good”.  He went on to say, “If hell freezes over, he’ll
be skating”.  Hey Lee, how did you enjoy
that World Series Championship?  Oh yeah,
you never won one!  





–Scott


Help Wanted: 8th Inning Set Up Guy…

Forget about 3 out of 4…

 

The Yankees may have won the weekend series against the Cleveland Indians, 3 games to 1, but they should have swept the series.  What happened on Saturday?  Four games and all I want to know is what happened to Joba Chamberlain? 

 

With a 10-4 lead in the fifth inning, the Yankees should have been able to skate to the victory.  Unfortunately, it was not meant to be.  CC Sabathia was less than sharp, so he does hold some responsibility for the Tribe’s momentum that ultimately led to the erasure of the six run lead against Sabathia and the New York bullpen.

 

But it’s getting torturous to watch Joba come into the game at times.    

 

The last two games, although close early on, were both heavily tilted toward the Yankees by the end of the games.  There was a sense that the Yankees would score the necessary runs in both games, which they won 7-3 and 11-2 on Sunday and Monday.  However, there was a common denominator in both games.  Neither featured an appearance by Joba Chamberlain.  At this point, we don’t know if he has a short memory or if this two week stretch is a sign of things to come.  Hopefully, he’ll right the ship and catch up with his teammates who appear to have moved past the struggles of late. 

 

Speaking of today’s win, hats off to Andy Pettitte.  It was a terrific outing by the left hander and in winning his 7th game of the season, he tied the Chairman of the Board, Whitey Ford, for 60th place on the all-time wins list at 236.  Of course, you have to wonder what could have been in terms of those three years in Houston.  When Andy left via free agency, I was surprised at the time given where he was on the Yankees career list for wins by a lefty.  So, instead of tying Ford for the most wins in franchise history, he is 37 wins behind at 199 Yankees victories.  This has been a fantastic year for Pettitte (7-1, 2.48 ERA), however, I feel this may be his last given how much more he has been talking about his family this year.  Regardless of what happens, Andy is doing it his way…

 

It is a startling statistic when Mark Teixeira is intentionally walked.  The grand slam by Alex Rodriguez in the seventh inning broke open what had been a tight pitching duel between Pettitte and Indians rookie Mitch Talbot.  When Teixeira is given a free pass, A-Rod is 5-for-5 with 3 home runs and 18 RBI’s.  So, please AL Managers, please continue to walk Mark Teixeira at your leisure!  J

 

Derek Jeter was hit by a Talbot pitch in the second inning and left the game after hitting a single in the 7th inning when the hamstring tightened.  Hopefully, DJ will be fine after a night’s rest. 

 

A special shout out to two brilliant pitching performances over the weekend.  Roy Halladay went a long way toward making Philly fans forget his recent rocky performances and Cliff Lee along the way in throwing a perfect game on Saturday night.  It was the 20th perfect game in Major League history and the second game this season (Dallas Braden of the Oakland A’s threw the other perfect game this season).  Also, Ubaldo Jimenez (10-1) of the Colorado Rockies became the majors’ first 10 game winner with a 4-0 victory over Tim Lincecum and the San Francisco Giants. 

 

The Tampa Bay Rays lost to the Toronto Blue Jays today so the Yankees are just 2.5 games out of first place.  But of course, the Jays and the Boston Red Sox are nipping at their heels.  The Jays are just a game behind the Yankees, and the Red Sox are just 2.5 games back.  So, the AL East lead could be taken by any one of the four teams depending upon who gets hot.  Let’s hope it gets hot for the Yankees…very hot!  

 

–Scott

A Slammin’ Great Time!…

 

It’s good to be home again…

 

 


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The Yankees started the latest home stand on the right foot with an 8-2 victory over the Cleveland Indians.  Phil Hughes was the winner in a game that was relatively tight until Robinson Cano broke it open in the bottom of the 7th inning with a grand slam. 

 

 

Indians Yankees Baseball

AP

 

 

For Hughes, it was great to see him return to top form after a few subpar performances.  He allowed 5 hits, 2 runs, and just 1 walk in seven innings of work, striking out 8.  Hopefully, the improved pitching will spill over to CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett, both of whom have struggled in recent starts.    

 

 

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Tim Farrell/The Star Ledger

 

 

The game also marked the return of center fielder Curtis Granderson, who went 1-for-3 with a run scored.  The activation of Grandy had an effect on the roster as the Yankees designated outfielder Randy Winn for assignment.  It is a sad end for Winn’s brief Yankee career, but he was ill-suited for the backup role on the team.  I think he can still be a productive player, but he needs to play every day to be the player he was with the San Francisco Giants.  He was not going to get that opportunity with the Yankees, so this move is for the best.  It also allowed young, versatile Kevin Russo to remain on the roster.  Russo has already been instrumental in several Yankee wins this season, and he is a much better fit for the roster than Winn.  I do wish Randy the very best and thank him for his contributions to the team this season.

 

 

AP

 

 

Nick Swisher hit his 9th home run in the game.  I am pleasantly surprised with Swisher’s play this year.  I had been fearful that 2009 was an aberration and that Nick would revert to the player he was with the Chicago White Sox.  So far, he has proven me wrong.  After two months of the season, Nick has a .301 batting average and 27 RBI’s to go with his 9 home runs.  His numbers are definitely superior to former starter and current Chicago Cub Xavier Nady.

 

 

Nick Swisher hits a two-run homer in the second inning against the Indians on Friday night.

Keivom/NY Daily News 

 

 

I saw the question posed if the Yankees should pursue a trade for Andy Pettitte’s pal, Houston Astros pitcher Roy Oswalt.  While it would seem that if the Astros do decide to trade Oswalt, the Texas Rangers would be the obvious choice.  Personally, I do think the Yankees should consider pursuit of him.  Clearly, Javier Vazquez has proven that he can’t handle the pressure of New York and the American League.  But he can still excel in the National League.  Houston’s low-pressure environment would be the right setting.  If the Yankees were to package Vazquez, plus cash to pay a large part of his salary, and the right combination of prospects, it would seem that the team could be successful in acquiring Oswalt.  It would slot very nicely into the rotation, and he’d be a great replacement for Andy Pettitte if/when Pettitte retires after the season.

 

 

81361902, Sports Illustrated/Getty Images /Sports Illustrated

 

 

Tonight was the perfect night in the AL East.  A win by the Yankees, combined with losses by both the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Rays.  The perfect combination!

 

 

Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz

Boston Globe Staff

 

 

Speaking of winners, congratulations to American Idol winner Lee DeWyze.  Lee had become my choice in recent months, and it was great to see his victory on Wednesday over Crystal Bowersox.  Mama Sox would have been a terrific champion too, and I am sure that both will be very successful as they embark on their professional careers. 

 

 

Reuters

 

 

Have a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day Weekend!

 

–Scott

 

For All The Marbles…

Friend or Foe?…

 

 

Unfortunately, when Cliff Lee faces CC Sabathia on Wednesday night, they’ll have to put their close friendship aside and wage a battle of Champions.  Lee and Sabathia were teammates in Cleveland and are very close. 

 

 

 

When the new Yankee Stadium opened on April 16th, the winning pitcher was Lee in a matchup against Sabathia.  On that day, Sabathia struggled with his command and was gone long before the bullpen imploded by allowing 9 runs in the 7th inning.  Lee wiggled in and out of trouble but avoided any damage in the 9-2 victory by the Cleveland Indians.  Jose Veras (remember him?) was the loser, so there are no chances of a repeat performance by the same guys.  But note to Joe Girardi, stay away from Damaso Marte…far away!

 

Jason Szenes/EPA

 

So, Cliff Lee gets the honor of being the starting pitcher for the opposing team in the new Yankee Stadium for both the first regular season and first World Series.  This will definitely be a future trivia question on Julia‘s website!

This will be a very tough World Series.  The Philadelphia Phillies have a very strong rotation, led by mid-season acquisition Lee.  The staff also features former Red Sox ace Pedro Martinez, last year’s ace performer Cole Hamels, and former A’s pitcher Joe Blanton.  And, oh yeah, there’s a young guy in the pen who’s not too bad, J.A. Happ.  So, clearly, the Phillies are loaded with starting pitching and long relief.  Fortunately, the bullpen is vulnerable so they do have an Achilles heel.

 

 

 

The bats, up and down the lineup, are strong.  I like the way you can mention Jimmy Rollins as an after-thought…um, not really.  That’s scary to think that if you managed to get by Chase Utley and Ryan Howard, you still have guys like Rollins, Shane Victorino, Jayson Werth, Raul Ibanez, and others ready to do damage.   There aren’t really any weaknesses in the lineup, and if the Yankees had trouble trying to get the Angels’ Jeff Mathis out…

 

 

The Yankees will see former adversary Pedro Martinez in Game 2.  The decision apparently came about given the history that Martinez has in New York against the Yankees, whereas Cole Hamels, the Game 3 starter, has been better at home this year.  Still, at the beginning of the year, I never dreamed that Pedro would be starting the second game of the World Series…of course, I sure that he didn’t either.  Nevertheless, this is no longer Pedro in his prime, but the question will be which A.J. Burnett shows up.  Hopefully, we’ll have a classic pitcher’s duel, with the game decided in late inning, walk-off, pie-in-your-face fashion!

 

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

 

I am glad that the Yankees have home field advantage for this one.  I guess I’ve never been so glad that the American League won the All-Star Game as I have this year.  I never dreamed when I moved from Wilmington, DE to the Bay Area in California in July that the Yankees would be facing the “local” team in the World Series.  It would be a very exciting time in Wilmington at the local sports bars.  I was there last year when the Phillies won the World Series against the Tampa Bay Rays, and it was a very exciting time for the Philly fans.  But this is a new year and it’s time for the Yankees’ 27th World Championship!

 

Why was former Washington Nationals manager Manny Acta in such demand?  Granted, I don’t know much about Acta, however, his record in Washington wasn’t exactly stellar and of course, he lost his job for a reason.  However, that didn’t stop the Houston Astros and Cleveland Indians from actively pursuing his services.  The winner, ultimately, was the Cleveland Indians.  The Astros, in turn, went with their second choice, Boston Red Sox bench coach Brad Mills.  No offense but I think the Astros got the better end of the deal.  Plus, it’s always a good thing to see Red Sox losses!  J

 

photo

Brett Comer/Houston Chronicle

 

If 2010 is truly the final year for Dodgers manager Joe Torre (the end of his contract), I wonder if he’ll move hitting coach Don Mattingly to the bench or at least third base if he is the likely successor.

 

 

 

Well, how many hours until the first pitch?… ;)

 

 

Go YANKEES!  :)

A Yankees Win Cures All…

 

Okay, I am better now…

 

 

It’s amazing what a Yankees win will do for one’s morale!  Especially, when it means some added ground on the Boston Red Sox, who had the night off.

 

 

 

Behind the best start of Joba Chamberlain’s brief career, the Yankees defeated the Cleveland Indians, 5-2.  With the victory, they took three of four games from the Tribe, and completed the latest road trip with a 5-2 record.

I don’t think anyone told the Yankees about “the birds and the bees” in Cleveland, but they seemed to be everywhere.  Nevertheless, Joba was able to focus on the game and didn’t let them get into his psyche like the play-off game a few years back.  Regarding the bugs, he finally decided that if you can’t beat them, eat them.  “Man, I started to see them come, I’ll be honest with you”, Joba said about the 8th inning.  “I actually swallowed one when I was walking around the mound to start that inning”.  So long as you can keep those fastballs coming in at 98 mph, Joba, you can eat whatever you’d like!

 

 

The play of the game clearly occurred in the 5th inning.  The teams were deadlocked at 1, but Ryan Garko started the bottom of the 5th with a walk.  Jamey Carroll was up next, and he singled to right to advance Garko to second.  After the homer by Victor Martinez the previous inning, I was starting to worry that the Tribe was getting ready to get untracked for a potential big inning.  Kelly Shoppach was the next batter, and popped the ball up toward third base.  The ball looked like it was going to drop quickly, so Garko was running toward third.  Joba ran toward third and dove for the ball in a full airborne sprawl, and caught it while he was falling to the ground.  He was a little disoriented regarding Garko’s location, but the other players yelled out and Joba had time to spin around and throw Garko out at second. 

 

Mark Duncan/AP

Chuck Crow/The Plain Dealer 

 

Just like that, the fear of the big inning was over, and the Tribe had two outs with a runner at first.  Bases loaded or if he hadn’t thrown Garko out, Cleveland would have had at least two runners in scoring position and the inning would have looked much different.  The cameras caught Andy Pettitte in the dugout.  He was standing next to CC Sabathia, and laughing hysterically.  After the game, Pettitte said that it looked like Joba was diving into a swimming pool.  Regardless of what it looked like, it was two outs and Joba never looked back.

 

LM Otero/AP

 

The next inning, Cleveland walked the first three batters so the Yankees had the bases loaded with no outs…and of course, no hits.  Greg Aquino relieved Jeremy Sowers, and struck out A-Rod.  The next two  batters were easily retired, and the threat was eliminated. 

By now, Joba was on top of his game and breezed through the Tribe in the 6th.  The Yanks broke through for 4 runs in the 7th.  A double off the left field wall by Nick Swisher, started the scoring by bringing home Ramiro Pena and Brett Gardner.  After an intentional walk to Mark Teixeira, former Yankee Luis Vizcaino came in and gave up a two-run single to Alex Rodriguez. 

Cleveland scored a run in the bottom of the 7th to pull within 3 runs, but that was it.  Joba pitched effectively through 8 innings, and Mariano Rivera was his usual stellar self in the 9th. 

Per Mark Feinsand’s Blogging the Bombers column in the New York Daily News, the quote of the night was by Nick Swisher:  “There were like, what, 8,000 seagulls out there?  Come on, this ain’t even the beach, it’s Cleveland!”

 

 

 

It was a fun game to watch.  You could easily see the team chemistry at play.  One shot of the bench showed CC Sabathia getting up and walking toward Johnny Damon’s direction.  With his right hand, he flipped a handful of sunflower sands on Damon as he walked past.  Damon had a feigned look of disgust, and you could tell that these guys genuinely like each other.  That is something that could not always been said of Yankee teams in recent years.  For me, it reminds me of the camaraderie of the late 90’s.  The results may not match the achievements of those teams, particularly the great season of 1998.  However, this is a team destined for the play-offs if GM Brian Cashman can make the right moves to solidify the bullpen.  No pressure, Brian!

 

 

Other news…

Not only did Jose Molina suffer a setback in his injury rehab, so did Xavier Nady.  He felt discomfort as he threw on Monday.  Hopefully, this is just a temporary setback and X will be able to resume his journey back to the active roster. 

Derek Jeter now has 1,499 runs scored, and Alex Rodriguez is three homers away from Reggie Jackson who is 11th on the all-time list with 563 home runs.  Jeter has also hit safely in 15 consecutive games, while Mark Teixeira is at 14 games.

The Yankees successfully completed their 18th consecutive game without an error to set the new major league record previously held by the 2006 Red Sox. 

Hey Julia, it’s probably a good thing that you are so focused on re-signing Jason Bay and thinking about 2010.  This year is just going to be a disappointment for you.  Sorry, my friend!  On the bright side, the New England Patriots will be breaking camp next month so maybe you’ll have a chance for some play-off success this year…considering that you are 0-2, and soon-to-be 0-3…

–Scott

No Fair, It’s Not Supposed to Happen to Me!…

 

Aarrgghh, I hate walk-off wins…

 

 

 

Well, at least when the Yankees are on the road!  For some reason, they just seem so much sweeter at Yankee Stadium…

 

Frank Franklin II/AP

 

Without going into all the gory details, David Robertson gave up a run-scoring single by Jhonny Peralta in the bottom of the 9th inning to allow the Tribe to escape with a 5-4 victory.  Robertson and Phil Coke both walked a batter in the 9th to set the table for Peralta’s game-winning hit.

 

Tony Dejak/AP

 

But the burden of defeat cannot be placed squarely on the shoulders of Robertson and Coke.  Brett Gardner was also responsible with several poor plays.  In the 5th inning, Gardner misplayed a fly ball by Asdrubal Cabrera, which turned into a double.  He wasn’t charged an error, but I’d have to say that I am a little ashamed that the Yankees tied the Boston Red Sox with their 17th consecutive game without an “error” when, in my mind, it was an error in judgment. 

Gardner also helped extinguish a 9th inning rally by the Yanks.  Hideki Matsui walked, and Ramiro Pena came into the game to run for him.  Nick Swisher sacrificed Pena to second.  Gardner then reached first base on an infield single.  Despite the steal sign from the dugout, Gardner stayed at first and did not attempt a steal.  Jorge Posada subsequently hit into an inning ending double play.  Had Gardner stolen second, the Yanks would have had two men in scoring position with two outs.  By scoring a run or two, the Yankees would have brought Mariano Rivera into the game to close it rather than relying upon the unproven late inning duo of Coke and Robertson.

 

 

Larry W. Smith/EPA

 

Mark Teixeira almost single-handedly pulled the game out for the Yanks.  He hit a two-run homer in the 6th inning against Carl Pavano.  He also hit a two-run double in the 8th against Matt Herges (one of the runs was charged to Pavano, who allowed a single to Derek Jeter earlier in the inning).  Clearly, the Yankees had their opportunities against Pavano.  I guess if there’s a positive in the loss, it is that Pavano walked away with a no decision thanks to Teixeira.

 

Tony Dejak/AP

 

Phil Hughes had a disappointing outing, giving up 4 runs in 5 innings.

 

Tony Dejak/AP

 

Chien-Ming Wang continued his audition for regaining his spot in the starting rotation by relieving Hughes with three innings of shutout ball.  If this game is the determining factor, I’d say that Hughes next start will be in Scranton/Wilkes Barre and Wang will be back in his regular spot in the rotation.

 

Greg Fiume/Getty Images

 

With the loss combined with a Red Sox win, the Yankees lead in the AL East has fallen back to ½ game over Boston.

As of 5/31/09

AL East

W

L

Pct

GB

Home

Road

Last 10

Streak

Yankees

29

21

.580

14-9

15-12

6-4

Lost1

Red Sox

29

22

.569

0.5

17-6

12-16

5-5

Won1

Blue Jays

29

24

.547

1.5

18-7

11-17

2-8

Lost1

Rays

25

28

.472

5.5

13-11

12-17

4-6

Lost1

Orioles

23

28

.451

6.5

16-13

7-15

7-3

Lost2

 

I know, Julia, I hear your footsteps…

 

 

 

With one run scored, Derek Jeter now stands two runs away from 1,500.  Once he achieves that mark, he’ll join the exclusive trio of Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Mickey Mantle as the only players with 1,500 runs scored during their Yankee careers. 

To my disappointment, Buster Olney mentioned in his ESPN column that the Yankees probably will not be aggressive in their pursuit of Boston left fielder Jason Bay (wipe that grin off your face, Julia!) since they’ll be looking to keep the spot open for a possible switch of Derek Jeter from short to left as he continues to advance in age. 

Speaking of Jeter, his current hitting streak now stands at 15 games with a lead-off single in Monday night’s game against the Indians.

 

 

 

Catcher Jose Molina re-injured his left quad during an extended spring game today, so he’ll head back to New York for further evaluation.  This most likely means that his return is not imminent.  The Yankees may be disappointed, but I’m not.  It means that Cervelli will remain on the roster, and will have the opportunity to continue to show why he deserves the backup spot to Jorge Posada.

 

 

 

Tonight’s starting lineup has Alex Rodriguez at DH, and Angel Berroa at third.  Ugh, that’s not a good sign…

 

 

I know, I need an attitude adjustment…

 

 

–Scott 

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

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