Results tagged ‘ Lance Berkman ’

Nice To See Ya Again!…

 

A reunion victory for Andy…

 

 

AP/Eric Gay

 

 

In probably what will be Andy Pettitte’s only appearance against his former team, the Houston Astros, he emerged the victor tonight as interleague play got underway in the Bronx. 

 

It was a tight game throughout thanks to a pitching duel between Andy and Astros starter (and former Philadelphia Phillie) Brett Myers.  The Yanks scored first with three runs in the bottom of the first inning.  A bases loaded walk by Nick Swisher and a two-run single by Francisco Cervelli gave Andy and the Yankees an early cushion.

 

The Astros quickly answered with two runs of their own in the top of the 2nd inning.  With two outs, Astros shortstop Tommy Manzella doubled to deep left to score two runs.

 

In the bottom of the 5th inning, with the score still 3-2, Mark Teixeira hit a single to score Kevin Russo. 

 

After settling down in the 2nd inning, Andy was breezing through the Astros lineup, allowing only one baserunner, until he got into trouble in the 8th.    A hit and an error put two men on base.  After a sacrifice moved the runners to 2nd and 3rd, Andy’s night was done.  Enter Joba Chamberlain.  Unfortunately, a sac fly by the next batter, second baseman Jeff Keppinger, scored Manzella, before Joba was able to end the inning by striking out first baseman Lance Berkman. 

 

Enter the Sandman in the 9th, and it was game over.   Mariano Rivera struck out the final two batters to pick up his 15th save, which gave Andy Pettitte the win and his 8th victory (8-1) of the season to match Phil Hughes for the team high. 

 

The rumor mill has spun that Berkman is a potential trade target for the Yankees.  He’d make a great DH at this stage of his career, and would be an excellent replacement for former DH Hideki Matsui.  I know that Nick Johnson will be back later this year, but given his injury history, there’s no way that he can be counted on.  At some point, Jorge Posada will be ready to start catching again so the DH will spot will return to a rotation.  It would be tremendous, so long as the price tag is not too high and does not involve any blue-chippers, to have Berkman’s bat in the lineup every day. 

 

I am sure that the win, Andy’s 200th as a Yankee, was bittersweet for him.  I know that he missed the Yankees during his days in Houston, but on the same token, I am sure that he’ll always hold a soft spot for his hometown Astros.  The game would have been harder on Andy if it would have been played in Houston.  By the way, congratulations to Andy for the 200th Yankees win!  How ironic that it would come against the only other team for which he has played.

 

The Yankees have a chance to close within a game of the AL East Leading Tampa Bay Rays.  The “team that never loses” is trailing by 8 runs late in a game against the Florida Marlins.  For any other team, I’d consider a deficit of 8 runs to be a loss.  But with the Rays, if you told me that they just scored 9 runs in the 9th, I wouldn’t be surprised. 

 

Wow, what a week for college football!  I had not been following the USC story very closely, so I was stunned when the two year probation was announced.  I also heard that their juniors and seniors can transfer to other schools without the standard one-year waiting period (unless it involves another Pac-10 school).  Aside from the fact that this will remove USC from significance for the short term, I couldn’t help but think what goes around comes around for new head coach Lane Kiffin.  I am sure that Raiders owner Al Davis and the great fans of the University of Tennessee are shedding no tears for Lane’s predicament.  Yeah Lane, good luck with that… 

 

Speaking of the Pac-10, I was equally shocked when the University of Colorado announced they were leaving the Big 12 for the Pac-10.  All week the talk had been about whether the University of Nebraska would leave to join the Big 10, a move which happened today, however, the Buffaloes drew first blood.  There is no speculation that the University of Texas, and the other Texas schools, like Texas A&M and Texas Tech, may be joining the Pac-10 to become a ‘super-conference’.  All the rivalries we have grown to love over the years, like Texas-OU and Nebraska-OU, will soon become memories.   The expectation is that the Big 12 will collapse so it will be interesting to see what happens with the other schools.  Plus, of course, there is always the speculation about what Notre Dame may do.  Interesting times in the NCAA…

 

–Scott

Can We Talk About Baseball Yet?…

GLOVES, BATS, BALLS AND STEROIDS…

Unfortunately, it’s not exactly in that order.  I was very hurt and disappointed when I first heard about Alex Rodriguez on Saturday and I decided in my mind what he needed to do.  But I’ll admit what I expected him to do and what I thought he would do were two entirely different scenarios.  I did think that he’d come off smugly, trying to play the cameras.  I realize that many are taking issues with the words Alex said during his confession, but from my perspective, he was talking from the heart.  I really could not have asked for more.  Unlike others, I do not feel that Alex’s achievements should be stricken from the record.  There are many others who have cheated and weren’t caught, and the names of the other 103 players from the list of those who tested positive in 2003 are still unknown.  There were no penalties for what Alex did in 2001-2003, and assuming that he is telling the truth about no subsequent drug use, he has continued to put up numbers to justify the size of his contract. 

I am still very distrustful of Joe Canseco.  It does bother me that the entire A-Rod situation has given Canseco more credibility.  “I think I have the ear of the nation now,” Canseco said Tuesday.  “I think everyone realizes that I have not in any way, shape or form tried to create smoke and mirrors like Major League Baseball has and the players have.  I have been excrutiatingly honest about what’s going on in baseball”.  Why do I keep getting the visual of Tom Cruise?

Help Me Help You

I am in full agreement with Lance Berkman’s take on the steroid issue.  “Nobody’s going to be believed anymore.  I can sit here and crow and say I’ve never done steroids or never done anything illegal from a standpoint of performance enhancing drugs, but who’s going to believe me?  The point’s well made, because we’re all guilty by association.  One side of me is glad that these guys are getting outed”.  Lance, please be sure to tell Miggy hello for me…

 photo

Karen Warren Houston Chronicle

Derek Jeter is justifiably ready to talk about baseball and only baseball.  As he indicated in Tampa, “I’m not addressing Alex’s situation until everybody’s here.  I’ll do it the first day over there” (Steinbrenner Field for the first full squad workout on February 18th).  Jeter also stated “If you’ve got baseball questions, I’ll do that…I don’t want to talk to you guys today and tomorrow three more people.  It’s better to get everyone together”.  DJ, I bet you’re looking forward to giving A-Rod a big hug when you see him, huh?

Lastly, I also agree with Joe Girardi’s take.  I think I saw one blog that predicted an 18 HR, 45 BRI season from A-Rod due to the controversy/distraction.  But as Joe so aptly put it “I would probably be worried if he had never been through a controversy before…”.  Alex will have a rough couple of weeks when he reports to camp, and while he is playing in the WBC, but I think the controversy will die down as the season gets underway and Alex will put up his usual numbers.  Joe also lent his support to A-Rod by saying, “I felt he told the truth and we have to move on.  It’s going to take some time.  It’s going to take some time healing.  But we’ll get through this as a team.”  As the saying goes, “What doesn’t kill us, makes us stronger”…

Joe Girardi, who has pledged his support to Alex Rodriguez, said of the team,

David Goldman The New York Times

STANLEY CUP PREVIEW?

A great win by the San Jose Sharks on Tuesday night.  The Boston Bruins were 26-0-2 this season when leading after two periods.  With Boston ahead 2-1 after two periods last night, the Sharks scored four unanswered goals in the final period (including three in the span of 6:16 minutes by Patrick Marleau, Milan Michalek and Joe Thornton).  Thornton, facing the Bruins for just the second time since the November 2005 trade that brought him to San Jose, said “We just turned it on, and usually when we turn it on, teams can’t handle us”.

AP Photo/Elise Amendola

By the way, a very nice drop pass from Dan Boyle to Michalek who beat Boston goalie Tim Thomas high on the glove side.

The Western Conference leading Sharks, with 81 points, trail the Eastern Conference leading Bruins by four points.  Hopefully, these two teams will have the opportunity to meet again for the Stanley Cup championship…

 

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