Results tagged ‘ Javier Vazquez ’
Not that we need further evidence, but the Yanks are clearly better at home…
Next to the Baltimore Orioles, the Yankees have the word road record in the AL East. By salvaging the last game of the three game set with the Blue Jays in Toronto, the Yankees are 16-15. By comparison, the Tampa Bay Rays hold a road record of 22-8. The Yankees have the best home record in the division at 19-7 but they do need to figure out how to win on the road if they intend to be successful.
The Yankees had been playing great until their arrival in Canada. Friday night’s loss was abysmal as the Jays battered their former teammate, A.J. Burnett. Saturday, the problem wasn’t pitching as Andy Pettitte was great; it was the lack of hitting and scoring. Credit Jays’ pitching but they kept the Yankees off the board in extra innings before they prevailed in the bottom of the 14th inning, 3-2. Mark Teixeira had one of his worst games with 5 strikeouts.
Andrew Mills/The Star Ledger
The losses made Sunday’s game a “must-win” if there is such a thing in June. After losing ground to both the Jays and the Boston Red Sox, the Yankees needed to turn the tables. Early on, it was a stellar pitching duel between Toronto’s Brandon Marrow and New York’s Javier Vazquez.
Javy had a no-hitter going into the sixth inning. With two outs, he walked Adam Lind which brought Vernon Wells to the plate. Wells homered in what would be the only hit off the day off Vazquez for a 2-0 Jays lead.
Vazquez breezed through the bottom of the 7th inning with three up and three down. His day would be finished thanks to what would happen next. In the top of the 8th inning, the Yankees broke through for four runs and their first lead of the game.
Francisco Cervelli and Brett Gardner were both hit by pitches to start the innings (Cervelli by Morrow; and Gardner by Scott Downs). Derek Jeter made the Jays pay for their miscues with a run-scoring double. After Nick Swisher struck out, the Jays intentionally walked hitless Mark Teixeira (why?). With the bases now loaded, Gardner scored on a Jason Frasor wild pitch. After Alex Rodriguez struck out, Robinson Cano came up with the hit of the day when his single scored Jeter and Teixeira. The Yankees would need those extra runs as the Jays would close the gap to 4-3 in the bottom of the frame when former Yank Jose Molina scored on a single by Fred Lewis. Joba Chamberlain, who had started the 8th in relief of Vazquez, needed help from Damaso Marte to get out of the inning but it was Mariano Rivera and “game over” in the 9th.
The Yankees now head to Baltimore for a series against the Orioles at Camden Yards. Since they last saw the O’s, the O’s have a new manager (Juan Samuel, replacing the fired Dave Trembley) and they are no longer mired in a long losing streak thanks to today’s 11th inning walk-off win against the Boston Red Sox.
Hopefully, the Yanks can shake their road doldrums and end the current road trip on a high note.
Following the trip to Baltimore, the Yankees will return home for the continuation of interleague play. They’ll see the Astros, Phillies and Mets before heading west for a trip down memory lane. On June 21st through 23rd, they’ll be in Phoenix to face the Arizona Diamondbacks. It is the scene of two of the worst baseball games I’ve ever personally attended, Games 2 and 6 of the 2001 World Series. Then, in the climax of interleague play, they’ll be in Chavez Ravine on June 25th through 27th to confront old friends Joe Torre and Don Mattingly, and the Los Angeles Dodgers. It should be a thrilling month, but PLEASE, work on the road record!
It took a few times for the formula to work…
Finally, the pitching combination of Javier Vazquez-Joba Chamberlain-Mariano Rivera proved to be an effective…and winning…one in the Bronx as the Yankees defeated the Baltimore Orioles, 3-1. It was a great performance by Vazquez who picked up his 4th win in 9 decisions. The defining moment came in the 7th inning when the O’s had the bases loaded with only one out. Vazquez struck out Adam Jones, and induced a Julio Lugo ground out to end the threat.
I did find it interesting when Yankees radio commentator Suzyn Waldman made the comment that Lugo wasn’t the player he was a few years ago when he was with the Boston Red Sox. If memory serves correctly, Julia of Julia’s Rants was simply saying that Lugo wasn’t a player let alone the player he was. At any rate, he proved his current ineffectiveness which is either a testament to the great start by Vazquez or his own ineptitude. I’d like to think it was the former. I’ve been down on Vazquez, but I am thrilled to see him have some success. Granted, as Julia was quick to point out, it’s only the Orioles, but still, you have to start somewhere. Hopefully, Javy is able to parlay this start and the few other good ones he’s had in the past month into something closer to his 2009 form with the Atlanta Braves.
Javy was the gracious beneficiary of an error by Miguel Tejada that led to two runs in the bottom of the 7th inning. With the game tied at 1 after Vazquez escaped the bases loaded jam, his night was most likely done as Joba Chamberlain was warming up in the bullpen during the bottom of the frame. So, the timely runs gave Javy the well deserved victory. He struck out 7 batters, while allowing only 4 hits. All-in-all, it was a great night for Vazquez.
Fresh off Saturday’s disaster against Cleveland (when he allowed the Cleveland Indians to overcome a 6-run deficit), Joba Chamberlain was perfect in the 8th inning with three up, three down. The final act, of course, was played by Mariano Rivera. He did allow a single, but the runner never advanced beyond first base, and Mo left with his 11th save of the season.
Injury-wise, it was, once again, a costly win for the Yanks. Despite Derek Jeter’s return after getting hit in the hamstring against Cleveland on Monday, Mark Teixeira left the game after three innings after he took a foul ball off his foot in the first inning. Hopefully, he’ll only a miss a game or less.
Curtis Granderson may not be able to hit lefties, but that didn’t stop him from hitting a homer off lefty Brian Matusz in the second inning. Very nice!
It was a good win by the Yankees, and they should be in good shape with Phil Hughes on the mound tomorrow against the O’s Brad Bergesen. Failure is not an option. At least not in the Yankees Universe! J
The Tampa Bay Rays and the Boston Red Sox are winning, and the Yankees, um, not so much…
The proverbial “bump in the road” has occurred which derailed the great start to the season. Of course, the Yankees are just a winning streak away from corrective action. However, the recent days have not been fun.
Jeff Zelevansky/NY Post
After defeating the New York Mets on Friday night behind the brilliant, but injury-shortened, effort of Javier Vazquez, the Yankees and Phil Hughes lost on Saturday night, 5-3. Hughes has mirrored the team play…great start followed by recent lackluster performances.
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Tonight, the Yankees trail the Mets 6-0 in the top of the 7th inning. There is still lots of time for the Yankees to rally. But this team is definitely missing the “spark” right now. I am not sure who’ll provide that spark, but perhaps the impending return of centerfielder Curtis Granderson will help. While I enjoy the energy and excitement that Francisco Cervelli provides, a starting lineup that includes Cervelli, Juan Miranda, and Randy Winn/Marcus Thames/Kevin Russo definitely does not stir memories of Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui and Melky Cabrera.
Nick Laham/Getty Images
Starting pitching, once a strength, is now suspect. There was a time when the only slug in the rotation was Vazquez, and now he’s the only shining star. CC Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Andy Pettitte and Phil Hughes have all left pitching lines that they just as soon forget. How quickly things have changed. I recognize that this mini-slump is temporary, but so far, the Rays have not showed they are susceptible to these types of slowdowns. Therefore, it is imperative for the Yankees to break out of this slump soon. Otherwise, they’ll soon find themselves looking at the backs of the Toronto Blue Jays and the Boston Red Sox.
Boston Globe Staff
As much as I hate to do it, I have to give a tip of the cap to the Boston Red Sox. Not only did they beat the Philadelphia Phillies today with Tim Wakefield, they beat Roy Halladay. It was an impressive win by Julia‘s guys…
Well, the Fat Lady did sing today. The Chicago Blackhawks swept the San Jose Sharks in the NHL Western Conference Finals. Another disappointing finish for Joe Thornton and Company. Good luck to the Blackhawks as they move on to the Stanley Cup Finals to face either the Montreal Canadiens or the Philadelphia Flyers. I am left to wonder what could have been. But then again, that’s a frequent feeling when you are a fan of the Sharks and the Minnesota Vikings… L
It was a dream…
Yes, that’s it! Wednesday and Thursday did not happen. The Tampa Bay Rays didn’t come into the Bronx and spank for the Yankees for two days. They didn’t race to their 30th win of the season and show a superior starting rotation , did they?
Antonelli/NY Daily News
Maybe if I go back to bed, when I get up it will be Wednesday morning, the Yankees can re-do those two forgettable days. Seriously, the Rays didn’t just beat the Yanks, they stomped them. The final scores are deceiving (10-6 and 8-6) only because the Yankees made it close in the final inning of each game.
The games told me that the Rays need to do something about their bullpen, but otherwise, they are a complete team. Given the injury trouble the Yanks have encountered, it’s tough to compete with the Rays when you are playing at about 80% strength. That’s not an excuse though because the Yankees starting pitching was just, well, bad.
Kevin R. Wexler/The Record
Hopefully, the Yankees can re-group and play more competitive baseball the next time they face the Rays. This has been a tough stretch but it was bound to happen with the adversity the team has faced (injuries, playing every day, added pressure on schedule caused by rainout in Detroit and subsequent double-header, etc.).
In both games, the Yankees did try to launch 9th inning rallies, scoring 4 runs in the first game and 2 runs in the 2nd. It was not quite enough, but at least the team showed fight until the end.
Tonight, the Yankees were in Flushing Meadow to face the New York Mets at CitiField. After facing the Rays and Red Sox, it is probably a welcome relief to see the Mets who have struggled this year.
It was a great night for Javier Vazquez until a hand injury ended his night. With, by far, his best performance of the season (6 innings of one hit, no run ball and 6 strikeouts), Javy picked up his third win of the season. He was at home in a National League ballpark. The argument is that he is a better NL pitcher than AL, and on this night, he proved it. Hopefully, the hand injury is not serious, and this start catapults Vazquez back to respectability with Yankees fans. I know that he can pitch so much better than what he has regardless of the stadium location, so if he can right himself mentally, he’ll be okay and will provide the lift the rotation needs.
Kevin P. Coughlin/McClatchy
In addition to Javy, the star of the game was a name not many people know, Kevin Russo. The infielder was recently called up from the minors, and his double in the 7th inning scored Nick Swisher and Francisco Cervelli.
I was a bit concerned when Joe Girardi called on Joba Chamberlain in the bottom of the 7th, but he did his job. Joba, who I blamed for the losses to the Twins on Sunday and Red Sox on Tuesday, was very effective. He went 1 2/3 innings and had three timely strike outs. Now, Mariano Rivera is a different story. He continues to struggle. The shut-out was lost when Jason Bay and Ike Davis hit back-to-back doubles. But he settled down to get David Wright on a ground out to end the game. The Yankees won, 2-1.
The night was further enhanced by Boston and Tampa losses. The Philadelphia Phillies beat the Red Sox, 5-1, while the Houston Astros defeated the Rays, 2-1.
Steven M. Falk/Philly.com
Speaking of the Red Sox, the Yankees have signed minor league utility player Jeff Natale who was drafted by the Red Sox in 2005. The 27-year-old heads for Scranton/Wilkes Barre. It was also interesting to see three former Yankee relievers in the transactions column within the past day. Chad Gaudin was released by the Oakland A’s, who also outrighted Edwar Ramirez to AAA Sacramento, while the Washington Nationals placed Brian Bruney on waivers (which he has cleared). From World Series ring to what have you done for me lately…hopefully, the guys will re-surface in the bigs in the not-so-distant future.
Michael Stobe/US Presswire
It’s almost over for my San Jose Sharks. They lost tonight in overtime to fall down 3 games to none to the Chicago Blackhawks in the NHL Western Conference Finals. I think I hear the fat lady warming up her vocal cords… L
Nhat V. Meyer/Mercury News
So, Brett Favre has told the Southern Mississippi baseball team that he’ll return to the Minnesota Vikings if they make the College World Series. Also, it was reported today that Brett had surgery on his left ankle and could be ready to play by training camp. I’ve suspected all along that he’ll be back. The team has been too nonchalant and these latest reports are signs that Brett intends to play. It still remains to be seen, but it is looking like we’ll see an encore performance by #4 in purple and gold. I am sure Tavaris Jackson and Sage Rosenfels are thrilled…
Jeff Wheeler/Star Tribune
Hey Javy, nice job! J
Simmons/NY Daily News
The thrill of victory…
It’s always nice when the Yankees can snatch a win from the jaws of defeat. After blowing early 5-0 and 6-1 leads, the Yankees found themselves looking up to the Boston Red Sox on the scoreboard at 9-7 in the 9th inning. On a night when Joba Chamberlain and David Robertson were unavailable, the bullpen was horrific. Phil Hughes was not good in his worst start of the season, but he left with a lead which the Yankees failed to keep. Chan Ho Park, forced to go two innings by the depleted pen and fresh off the DL, gave up two home runs to give Boston its 2-run advantage headed into the 9th inning. With the Red Sox threatening to score in the top of the 9th with two outs, manager Joe Girardi called on Javier Vazquez to secure the final out. He was up to the task, as he struck out Kevin Youkilis with runners at first and third.
Antonelli/New York Daily News
So, the drama was set for the bottom of the 9th. Brett Gardner doubled to start the inning, and was on third following a fly out when Alex Rodriguez came to the plate. He jumped on the first pitch and deposited the ball in the left center seats to tie the game.
The next hitter (Robinson Cano) flied out for the second out, but Francisco Cervelli was hit by a pitch to bring Marcus Thames up for his opportunity. The man who homered off of Randy Johnson for his first major league home run found this night would be the most magical of his career. There was no doubt when Thames blasted Jonathan Papelbon’s pitch to left for the game-winning, walk-off two-run home run. No pies were safe following the game…
Sipkin/New York Daily News
It was a great night, and a very much needed win following the meltdown against the Minnesota Twins on Sunday (when Mariano Rivera gave up a bases-loaded walk followed by a grand slam to lose the game). It was tremendous to see Marcus Thames have his moment at the Stadium and for Javy Vazquez to get the win with just four pitches.
Today’s game, the conclusion of the two-game series, pits Josh Beckett against CC Sabathia. It should be a thrilling game! But then again, aren’t they all at Yankee Stadium? J
“Robby Cano! Dontcha know!”…
The words flowed so smoothly from Yankees radio voice John Sterling when Robinson Cano hit a three-run homer in the Yankees’ 12-3 romp over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.
While Cano has carried the team so far this year, Brett Gardner was the catalyst for today’s win. He hit a run-scoring single in the 2nd inning for the first run of the game, and added his annual home run in the 4th. Gardner has certainly seized his starting opportunity this year, and has been a bright spot in the lineup.
Anthony J. Causi/NY Post
Cano followed with his three-run blast in the fifth…
Anthony J. Causi/NY Post
After a two-run homer by Nick Swisher in the 6th inning, the Yankees closed their scoring with 5 runs in the 7th. After a Jorge Posada double to start the inning, the Yankees loaded the bases, thanks in part to an error by White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez. Derek Jeter walked to force in a run, and both Nick Johnson and Mark Teixeira followed with two-run doubles to the cap the 5-run outburst. Jorge Posada came to the plate a second time but struck out to end the inning.
Mark Melancon lost the shutout in the 9th when Paul Konerko connected on a three-run shot, but the story of the game was the masterful pitching of Phil Hughes. Unlike Javy Vazquez, Phil Hughes has been terrific.
Anthony J. Causi/NY Post
It was three years ago today when Phil Hughes was in the midst of a no-hitter against the Texas Rangers when a pulled left hamstring forced him to leave the game after 6 1/3 innings. The batter at the plate at day when Hughes pulled the hamstring? Current Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira. Nevertheless, after contributing to the Yankees World Series run last year as setup man for Mariano Rivera, Hughes has shown that he belongs in the starting rotation. His pitching line today is what you would expect from the ace of the staff, not the #5 starter…
In Saturday’s 7-6 loss to the White Sox, the Yankees lost centerfielder Curtis Granderson who strained his groin while running between 2nd and 3rd on a hit and run single. He was placed on the 15-day DL after the game, and will most likely be out for a month.
Noah K. Murray/The Star Ledger
The goat for Saturday’s loss was former White Sox pitcher Javier Vazquez who continued his string of pathetic performances. Following the game, I heard much speculation that Vazquez should be pulled from the rotation for his next start (Friday night in Boston). I think it is still too early to give up on Vazquez. He is too talented and I think he’ll work through this difficult stretch. No good would be gained by pulling Vazquez and it would be very damaging to the pitcher’s psyche.
With today’s win, the Yankees have now captured 7 of their first 8 series this season. At 16-8, they are still in second place, 1 ½ games behind the Tampa Bay Rays. All things considered, I feel good about where the team is as we head into May. I feel very confident that players like Teixeira, Vazquez, and Nick Johnson will start playing to the levels we’ve been accustomed to. The rotation is solid, despite Vazquez, so if he comes around, it could be a very dominating staff.
The Yankees now await the Baltimore Orioles in the Bronx for a series beginning Monday night. The O’s know they can beat the Yankees and they are fresh off a weekend sweep of the Boston Red Sox so they’ll be coming to town with newfound confidence. It should be a good series. After the O’s depart on Wednesday, the Yankees will head to Fenway Park for a weekend series against the Red Sox.
Boston Globe Staff
Speaking of Yankees-Red Sox, Julia of Julia’s Rants fulfilled her part of the wager for the loss of the first season series between the two teams. Her punishment was reading Dawn of a Dynasty: The Incredible and Improbably Story of the 1947 New York Yankees by Frank Strauss. You’ll find her excellent book report here.
Excellent job Julia! You get an A+! J
For our next wager, we have opted to add a sense of adventure. If the Red Sox lose the series, Julia will be forced to search for an inexpensive piece of Yankee memorabilia. It can’t be something current and easy to find. It must be older and relate to the opposing team’s past. The loser will detail the adventure on their blog, along with photos of the journey and the piece of memorabilia found. If I lose, I will have to search the San Francisco area for Red So memorabilia. Here’s to hoping for a most excellent adventure in Julia‘s future!
Good luck to QB Ryan Perrilloux! He had a tryout at the Minnesota Vikings mini-camp this weekend. Hopefully, his performance will net a contract so he can continue his audition in training camp. There would be nothing better than grabbing a clipboard to study under Brett Favre (assuming that Favre returns as expected).
Jeff Wheeler/Star Tribune
It was in the Wall Street Journal so it must be true!…
Ask my friend Julia who the most hated team in baseball is and I’m sure she will point towards the Bronx. Sorry Julia! According to the Wall Street Journal, the Cleveland Indians are the most hated team followed closely by…the Boston Red Sox!
The Yankees may have finished fifth on the list (created by Nielsen Co. using an Internet algorithm), but they were better than the Red Sox (of course!) and that’s all that really matters! The Boston Red Sox, more despised than the New York Yankees. Ah, what a great feeling! Just sayin’… J
Nice recovery by the Yankees in Baltimore. After dropping the first game of the series in pathetic fashion, they rebounded to take the final two games by scores of 8-3 and 4-0, respectively.
In the first win, the Yankees rode a season high 15 hits to victory. CC Sabathia was off his game somewhat as he gave up 11 hits in 7 2/3 innings, but he only allowed 3 runs.
Robinson Cano, off to a blazing start this season, homered in the third. Like many people, I felt that this was going to be a huge year for Cano, particularly moving up to 5th in the batting order behind Alex Rodriguez. So far, he has not disappointed.
Mike Ricigliano/Baltimore Sun
The game wasn’t all smiles as the Yankees did lose catcher Jorge Posada in the second inning with a right knee contusion after he was hit by a pitch. He won’t miss much time but he’ll be sore for a few days.
Tonight, the Yankees were led by the brilliant pitching of A.J. Burnett and the continued hot hitting of Robinson Cano. Cano, with an AL-leading batting average of .407, hit his 7th and 8th home runs of the season in the fourth and eighth innings. With Cano’s scorching bat, it’s too bad that A-Rod and Mark Teixeira aren’t hitting at the plate. When they get going, the Yankees are going to be very hard to stop. Sorry Julia!
After Burnett left (8 innings, 3 hits, no runs, 1 walk, and 4 strikeouts, with only one base runner getting past second base), the great Mariano Rivera finished up in a non-save opportunity.
It was a long road trip that saw the Yankees’ series win streak snapped in Anaheim, but they finished strong with the series win in Baltimore and an overall winning record (5-4). Now, if somebody could just beat the Tampa Bay Rays.
James Borchuck/St. Petersburg Times
The Yankees head back to the Bronx to face the Chicago White Sox in a weekend series. Hopefully, Javier Vazquez will get going against his former teammates. It’s time for him to get the Yankee fans behind him, and start pitching like he is capable of.
It is no secret that I was disappointed the Minnesota Vikings passed on a quarterback of the future in the recent NFL Draft (when they could have selected Jimmy Clausen or Colt McCoy). They did draft a QB in the sixth round (UAB’s Joe Webb) but he is targeted for a position switch to wide receiver. They signed undrafted free agent QB R.J. Archer of William & Mary, but the most intriguing player is QB Ryan Perrilloux. Ryan has been given a tryout during this weekend’s mini-camp. He was highly touted coming out of high school in 2005. He was considered the top prospect at the position, along with current New York Jets QB Mark Sanchez. He went to LSU, where he played behind Oakland Raiders QB JaMarcus Russell. Off-the-field transgressions and violation of team rules led to his suspension and subsequent ouster from the school. He transferred to Jacksonville State where he had a largely unnoticed but successful career.
Todd Kirkland/Icon SMI
I don’t know what happened at LSU, but Ryan appears to have learned from the errors in his past. I do believe in character and attitude first, but he deserves a second chance assuming that he truly has “righted the ship”. He shares an agent (Bus Cook) with Vikings QB Brett Favre, which may have led to the tryout with the Vikings. He has also been seen practicing with Favre this off-season. I wish Ryan the very best in his tryout and I hope to see both him and Favre on the field for the Vikings this fall.
I hope everyone has a super fantastic weekend…including Ryan! 🙂
He gave up two home runs and a total of four runs, and four walks over 5 1/3 innings…
…and got the win. Unfortunately, it was Scott Kazmir of the Los Angeles Angels and not Javier Vazquez of the New York Yankees. Javy had worse line (5 hits, 5 runs and 3 walks in 3 2/3 innings). This isn’t exactly what GM Brian Cashman was looking for when he traded for Vazquez in the off-season. Perhaps the Yankees should have stayed with a ‘been there, done that’ approach and left Vazquez in Atlanta. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know who’ll get the biggest boos when the team returns to Yankee Stadium. Javy is now 1-3 for the season, with an ERA of 9.00, after today’s 8-4 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.
Jacob de Golish/Getty Images
The loss also ended the Yankees streak of series wins to start the season. Tied with the 1926 Yankees for the best start to the season with series wins, the 2010 missed a chance to take the record for themselves. The Angels took two of three, also winning Friday night’s game. The only Yankees win was Saturday’s 7-1 win behind a terrific performance by Andy Pettitte.
If Vazquez has competition for boos at home, it will come from reliever Damaso Marte. The game was still close (5-4) with Marte on the mound today. With Yankee killer Kendry Morales at the plate, manager Joe Girardi thought about lifting Marte. He left the dugout but changed his mind on the way to the mound and turned around. Morales subsequently pounded a three-run homer to give the Angels their margin of victory.
If I can take away any positives from today’s game, it was that Angels DH Hideki Matsui did not collect his 1,000th career hit against his former team.
I am sure that somewhere far, far away, someone is enjoying the Yankees loss on her birthday…
Happy Birthday to my friend, Julia! By the way, how did the Celtics and Red Sox do for you today? 😉 Sports aside, I hope it was a great day for you!
I felt Friday night’s collision at home between Mark Teixeira and Angels catcher Bobby Wilson was clean albeit quite unfortunate. It left Wilson with an ankle injury and a concussion. Baseball can be a violent game and Teixeira was focused on scoring. I know that there is probably no one who feels worse about what happened than Teixeira. Well, perhaps Wilson himself. Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery by Bobby Wilson!
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Monday the Yankees will head to Washington to meet with President Obama at the White House. Then, it’s off to Baltimore for a three-game set in Oriole Park at Camden Yards. At 12-6, the Yankees are in second place, 1 ½ games behind the Tampa Bay Rays….but 4 ½ games ahead of the fourth place Boston Red Sox.
The NFL Draft has finally concluded. I am not a fan of the new format (Round 1 Thursday night; Rounds 2-3 Friday night; and Rounds 4-7 Saturday). I definitely prefer the previous Saturday-Sunday format much better.
As a fan of the Minnesota Vikings, I was a bit underwhelmed with this year’s draft. With the 30th pick in the first round, I thought the Vikings were in great shape to draft Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen, but they opted to trade down with the Detroit Lions. With the pick, the Lions were able to grab RB Jahvid Best who will definitely help improve Detroit’s running game. In Detroit’s slot (second pick of the second round), the Vikings again passed on Clausen and went with Virginia cornerback Chris Cook. Later in the second round, the Vikings traded up with the Houston Texans and drafted Stanford RB Toby Gerhart. I can’t dispute the Vikings needed secondary help, and after losing RB Chester Taylor through free agency to the Chicago Bears, the Vikings needed a backup for Adrian Peterson. But…
I personally thought this would be a great year for the Vikings to draft a “Quarterback of the Future”. Assuming that Brett Favre returns for at least one more year, he would have been the perfect mentor for a young QB. The Vikings did draft a QB in the sixth round (Joe Webb from UAB), but he will most likely transition to Wide Receiver in the NFL (assuming he makes it, of course). The Vikings also signed undrafted free agent QB R.J. Archer of William & Mary but he’s nothing more than training camp fodder. I guess I have something to look forward to in next year’s NFL Draft…
All good things must come to an end…
CC Sabathia’s string of superior performances sadly came to an end today, but not before the Yankees had secured their fifth series win in five tries to start the season. The Yankees took the first two games of the series in Oakland from the A’s (on Tuesday and Wednesday nights by scores of 7-3 and 3-1).
Ray Chavez/Oakland Tribune/MCT
In the first game, Javier Vazquez, despite still not having his best stuff, finally got his first win of the season. Backed by a mammoth home run by Alex Rodriguez, Vazquez was able to do in Oakland what he wasn’t able to do in New York. Win. Hopefully, this game is the start of a sustained upward trend for Javy and he’ll soon be able to turn those Yankee Stadium boos into cheers.
William Perlman/The Star Ledger
I was supposed to go to Wednesday night’s game, but had to cancel at the last minute. Naturally, it was a huge night for Phil Hughes. Like CC did earlier this season, Phil took a no-hitter into the 8th inning. The no-hitter was broken up by Eric Chavez with a shot back to the pitcher that glanced Phil’s forearm and chest and he momentarily lost sight of the ball. By the time, he retrieved the ball, Chavez was on first. Not that I wanted Phil to lose his no-hitter, but I really would have been disappointed at missing the game if I had missed a historical moment (as if I wasn’t disappointed enough). Phil lost his shut-out when he was pulled after walking Gabe Gross. Joba Chamberlain was brought in, and he gave up a run-scoring single to Jake Fox (which scored Chavez and charged the run to Hughes since the runner was his responsibility). Nevertheless, it was a win (made even more special for Phil by the presence of his parents at the game).
Cary Edmondson/US Presswire
Today, the Yankees could have completed a sweep but the game got started on the wrong foot when A’s catcher Kurt Suzuki hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the first. It was a deficit that the Yankees could never overcome. CC was solid the rest of the way, but the damage had been done.
The Yankees did manage their first triple play since 1968 in the sixth inning. With the A’s Daric Barton on second and Ryan Sweeney on first, Kurt Suzuki came to the plate again. Suzuki hit the ball to third where A-Rod touched third base and threw to Robinson Cano at second. Cano swiped the bag and fired the ball to first where Mark Teixeira caught it just before Suzuki arrived. Maybe Suzuki should take some speed lessons from Brett Gardner!
The A’s Dallas Braden picked up his third win of the season with the 4-2 victory. Outside of solo homers by Marcus Thames and Mark Teixeira, he really didn’t give the Yankees anything. Braden is definitely a rising star, but then again, when doesn’t GM Billy Beane come up with quality young pitching talent.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
There was a bit of controversy when Alex Rodriguez jogged across the pitching mound following a foul ball by Robinson Cano. Braden took offense, and accused A-Rod of violating an unwritten rule not to cross the pitcher’s mound. As much as I would like to say ‘what does it matter?’, Braden probably has a point. It doesn’t matter that he has only 17 career wins, A-Rod should have been more respectful.
The Yankees now head for Anaheim to face the Los Angeles Angels and Hideki Matsui. A.J. Burnett will take the mound against Ervin Santana as the Yankees try to extend their series win streak to six series. It’s great to see that Mark Teixeira is starting to warm up. Hopefully, he’ll feel comfortable in his former home stadium and help propel the team to yet another series win.
I am still not sure what I think about starting the NFL Draft on a Thursday night with one round. How strange is it that three of the first five picks are Oklahoma Sooners? Nevertheless, there were a few surprises. The guys I wanted (Tim Tebow and Devin McCourty) went ahead of the Minnesota Vikings selection at #30. The Denver Broncos traded up to get Tebow (Brady Quinn has gone from being a QB of the Future with the Browns to a just-for-now backup to Kyle Orton with the Broncos in a very short period of time), while the New England Patriots tabbed McCourty.
So, with the 30th pick, here is the newest Minnesota Viking: Nobody! They traded the pick to the Detroit Lions who selected RB Jahvid Best (who would have been a great choice for the Vikings). I hope it was worth it for the Vikes. Disappointing…
How many more days until my next battle with Julia of Julia’s Rants? The Yankees head for Boston two weeks from tomorrow, so we’ll be getting ready for Round 2. Meanwhile, I wonder how the book assignment is coming along for Julia? Hmmmm….
The Yankees are in town and I’m writing this blog…
Yes, I am missing out on the first game of the Yankees series in Oakland against the A’s. Well, I don’t exactly live in Oakland but I am only a BART trip away. I will be at the game tomorrow night when Phil Hughes pitches. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate. This morning started out with nothing but rain. It didn’t look promising, but it has been clear most of the afternoon so we’ll soon find out if Javier Vazquez has finally brought his A game with him. Good luck to Javy and company as the Yanks look to get the West Coast road trip started on a positive note.
Don’t look now but who was that? Like a blur, and despite the Yankees fourth series win in four tries, the team now finds themselves chasing the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East Standings. The Rays beat Boston to complete a four game sweep on Monday, which put the idle Yankees ½ game back. Tampa definitely has the pitching to sustain their perch, so this is going to be a dogfight throughout the summer. I am sure that, sooner or later, the Boston Red Sox will decide to join the party too.
Prior to tonight’s game, former Yankees and current A’s Chad Gaudin and Edwar Ramirez received their World Series rings. I had definitely hoped that the Yankees could have found a way to keep Gaudin, but I am sure that he’s glad to be back with a club where he can grow his standard goatee or whatever you call that growth on his chin.
So, the Yankees have a detour on their way to Baltimore following the conclusion of the weekend series in Anaheim. They are scheduled to stop by the White House on Monday to see President Barack Obama on a scheduled off day. The next day, they’ll begin a series against the young and talented Baltimore Orioles. It should be an exciting time for the World Champions. Hopefully, they will have just finished a successful California adventure!
I am not sure what I think about the schedule for this year’s NFL Draft. In years past, it was always fun to get up early Saturday morning and watch the first 10 picks. The rest of the day, I’d listen to the draft on the car radio or other medium. On Sunday, I’d usually check in to see some of the later names selected. This year will be very strange with the first round being held Thursday night. Since it starts while I am still at work, I probably won’t get home until around the 5th or 6th selection. Rounds 2 and 3 are Friday night, and the draft concludes on Saturday. I will hold judgment until after the draft, but I am a bit skeptical. We’ll see.
My team, the Minnesota Vikings, will open the NFL Season on Thursday, September 9th against the New Orleans Saints in a rematch of the NFC Championship Game. Hey Brett (assuming you return), run, don’t throw!
It was sad to hear the passing of the Colorado Rockies president Keli McGregor. He was found dead in a hotel room in Salt Lake City, Utah. Initial speculation is that the death was the result of natural causes. At 48 years of age, this is quite unexpected. My thoughts and prayers go out to Keli’s wife, Lori, and their four children.