Results tagged ‘ Mariners ’
The calendar is getting ready to turn the page to July so that means we’ll be on the home stretch for the trading deadline.
Of course, there have been so many rumors about Seattle’s Cliff Lee and whether or not the Yankees will make a play. If it meant raiding the farm system, then a deal for Lee doesn’t make sense. He’ll be a free agent at the end of the season, so as long as he doesn’t sign a pre-trade extension with another team, he should be there for the Yankees to pursue in the off-season.
Now, if they can put together a package now that makes sense without sacrificing the future, they should do it. The Yankees could easily free up a spot in the rotation by trading Javier Vazquez to a National League club, and getting Lee would be a hedge against Andy Pettitte retiring in the off-season. Right now, the Yankees really have only one shutdown ace…CC Sabathia. A.J. Burnett has decided to become a batting practice pitcher, Andy is always going to give up runs although he’ll keep it close, and Phil Hughes is handicapped by the innings limit placed on him by the team so there are no other guarantees in the rotation. A rotation led by the former Indians duo of Sabathia and Lee would be very formidable. So, here’s hoping the team can find a way, although admittedly, another bat is probably the wiser route to take.
The Yankees have the lead in the American League but it is by the slimmest of margins. Entering play tonight, they were just a game ahead of the injury-decimated Boston Red Sox and three games up on the Tampa Bay Rays. The injuries have been tough, but I’d say that the Red Sox have had it worse yet they are playing the better baseball despite a lineup of players that you may not have heard of prior to the season. I am not sure what the Yankees should do, but complacency is not the answer.
Well, it’s time for the third installment of my lost wager with Julia of Julia’s Rants. We bet on last Sunday’s Red Sox-Giants game, and I lost. Being a Bay Area resident, I was pulling for the home team as if there was any question about which team a Yankee fan would pull for. With the loss, I have to include a paragraph about every player on the Red Sox roster (as of the game day when the Giants lost).
For my third player, I will go with the player who started the scoring for the Red Sox last Sunday with a deep smash to right…
#34 David Ortiz
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
Over the years, there have been players released that surprised me but probably none more than when the Minnesota Twins let Ortiz go. I was not close to the situation so I do not know the exact reasons behind his release, but the move helped ensure the end of the Curse of the Bambino.
David Americo Ortiz Arias was born November 18, 1975 in Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic. He was originally drafted by the Seattle Mariners, and after spending four years in their farm system, he was traded to the Twins for Dave Hollins. Ortiz showed glimpses of his power in Minnesota, but injuries and inconsistency held him back, ultimately leading to his release.
He signed with the Red Sox on January 22, 2003, and the Red Sox Nation has never been the same. One of the greatest free agent signings in Boston’s history (in any team’s history), Ortiz hit .301 in 2004 with 41 home runs and 139 RBI’s in helping lead the Red Sox to their first World Championship in 86 years. Three years later, with 35 home runs and 117 RBI’s, Ortiz would be hoisting the championship trophy over his head once again.
Ortiz has started the downward descent of his career that comes with age, but he’ll forever be interlinked into the fabric of Red Sox history.
I personally won’t miss those walk-off home runs when his Boston career comes to an end…
That thud you heard was just the Yankees back in the Bronx…
Sabo/NY Daily News
Unfortunately, like the first game in Arizona when the Yankees flew across the country, they were soundly defeated by their opponent shortly after stepping off the plane. This time, they had an off day to buffer jet lag but alas it didn’t help.
On the mound was World Series nemesis Cliff Lee, the former Philadelphia Phillie who now temporarily resides in Seattle. Lee, the most likely to be traded by the July trading deadline, was the winner, pitching a complete game in the 7-4 victory over the Yanks. The home team did try to make it interesting in the bottom of the 9th with two runs, but it wasn’t nearly enough.
William Perlman/The Star Ledger
Phil Hughes, who was skipped during his last turn in the rotation in an attempt to limit innings, had his worst outing of the season. He allowed 10 hits and 7 runs (6 earned) in 5 2/3 innings.
The only bright spot was Nick Swisher and his two home runs (giving him 13 on the season). I have to admit that I really had my doubts about Swish going into the season. I was fearful that he’d be closer to the player he was with the Chicago White Sox than the player who helped the Yankees win the World Series last year. He has definitely proven me wrong, and the team was right to let Xavier Nady walk in the off-season.
As I write this post, the Boston Red Sox are winning big against the Tampa Bay Rays, so the Yankees will most likely find themselves only one game up on the injury-decimated Red Sox later this evening.
Speaking of the Red Sox, it’s time for the second installation of my lost wager. As a result of the Red Sox victory over the San Francisco Giants on Sunday, I lost a bet with Julia of Julia’s Rants and now must write about a member of the Red Sox (as of Sunday’s game). For today’s mention, I am going to go with a player who was designated for assignment since his days with the Red Sox have come to an end.
#55 Fabio Castro
Castro, a left-handed reliever, was designated for assignment when the team added infielder Eric Patterson, who was acquired this weekend from the Oakland A’s. Castro had just been called up on June 25th, but did not appear in any games. He had been on the roster for several days in April, but also did not see any action during that time either. Castro signed with the Red Sox in December after stints with the Texas Rangers and Philadelphia Phillies. He is only 25, and as a lefty, he should get another shot with some team looking for help in the bullpen if he departs the Red Sox organization.
Castro was originally signed by the Chicago White Sox as a non-drafted free agent in December 2001. He last pitched in the majors for the Phillies in September 2007.
A bitter taste…
Finally, A.J. Burnett was pitching like the guy that the Yankees expected when they signed him as a free agent in the off-season. After a series of poor starts, he had dominating stuff last night and was in position for a win. He went 7 innings, and gave up only 1 run on 7 hits. He struck out 6, and walked only 3. He was leading 2-1 at the time of his exit, and the Yankees seemed to be in control despite the close score.
Ted S. Warren/AP
The 8th saw a business-as-usual performance from Phil Hughes, with 3 up and 3 down.
Mariano Rivera appeared very loose in the bullpen prior to his entrance in the 9th. The stage was set for another save on his way to Cooperstown. Even the Seattle-based announcers made a comment that they should just waive the 5 year waiting period for Mo when he retires. Mo easily set down the first two batters (getting the second, Mike Carp, out on his 1,000th career strikeout), but then pinch hitter Mike Sweeney stroked a double to right. Okay, there were two outs, the Yanks were still in good shape. Only Ichiro stood in the way of their 95th victory. Unfortunately, it was not meant to be. Mo tried to go inside on a cutter but left the pitch out too much, and Ichiro got a hold of it and sent it into the outfield bleachers for the game-winning home run. The Mariners walked off with a 3-2 victory…
Ted S. Warren/AP
Mo saw his string of 36 consecutive saves snapped. The only other time he has failed to convert a save this season was in April on a Jason Bay home run.
Sipkin/New York Daily News
Ichiro may have been picked off twice in the game, but he clearly got the last laugh…
Ted S. Warren/AP
With the loss, the Yankees’ lead over the Red Sox shrank to 6 games. This is definitely a tough stretch. The Yankees are on a difficult road trip against winning teams and in cities they historically have troubles with. Meanwhile, the Red Sox are playing the lifeless Orioles, and then move on to Kansas City for face the punchless Royals for four games. Both the O’s and Royals stand at 87 losses prior to today’s games. So, the Yankees’ three-game series against the Red Sox next weekend looms as the big AL East showdown. It is very possible that the Red Sox may be in position to determine who enters the play-offs as the AL East champion and who backdoors it as the Wild Card entrant. The Yankees’ magic number remains at 10, but their magic number for making the play-offs dropped to 3 with the Rangers’ loss to the Angels. That one was a double-edged sword as the Angels gained a game on the Yanks for best record. So, needless to say, Ichiro’s hit made for a very difficult night on many fronts.
Hopefully, the Yanks will show their mettle and rebound today with CC Sabathia taking the hill in search of his 18th victory. Let’s hope it’s the Yanks’ 95th…
I still can’t believe that the great Peter Abraham (who has been referred to as the “blogfather”) is leaving the LoHud Yankees Blog to go to work for the Boston Globe and write about the dreaded Red Sox… L
The oldest living Yankee has passed away, Lonny Frey, who played with the Yankees in the 1947 World Series, was a three-time All-Star with the Cincinnati Reds in the 30′s and 40′s. Frey died on Sunday in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho at the age of 99. He was the last surviving player to play for the Yankees, the New York Giants, and the Brooklyn Dodgers.
Courtesy Richard Hirschman
Frey’s passing leaves Tommy Henrich, 96, as the oldest living Yankee. Henrich played his entire career with the Yankees from 1937 to 1950. He is the last surviving member of the World Champion 1938 Yankees.
Courtesy Bill Burgess
Andy Pettitte is scheduled to pitch on Monday against the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim. Andy missed his last start due to a “fatigued” shoulder, and hopefully, the rest has helped him. Andy will be a huge part of what the Yanks will try to accomplish in October. It was good to hear that he has reached most of his incentives to allow him to nearly double his $5 million salary for the year. He has certainly earned his pay (relatively speaking of course, because $5 mil is a heck of a lot of money any way you slice it!).
John Munson/The Star Ledger
Speaking of rest, reliever David Robertson, who was shut down for elbow stiffness, appears to be on track for a return by the final week of the season. He is another arm that will be crucial to October success. I am glad that his visit to Dr. Andrews did not reveal more serious problems and that rest was the prescribed treatment. Robertson has been great in the pen this year.
Tim Farrell/The Star Ledger
Today is a new day. Let’s get back to winning…
A well deserved day off while the Yankees head to Seattle…
Speaking of Seattle, I am always appreciative of the fact that Tom Paciorek no longer plays baseball. For my generation, he was the original Yankee killer. I know that there were many before him and many since, however, he was the first player that I personally witnessed as a single-handed destruction force against anything pinstripe-related.
It was an interesting week. Monday saw the Yankees defeat their nemesis, the Los Angeles Angels, in a makeup of the May 3rd rainout.
Tuesday was a mess. A brawl left Jorge Posada and Shelley Duncan with three-game suspensions. Posada, who had taken exception to an earlier pitch, threw an elbow at Jays pitcher Jesse Carlson, while scoring on a double by Brett Gardner. There were several bench clearing moments, and the latter occurred following the elbow by Posada. Hitting coach Kevin Long and pitcher Edwar Ramirez were also fined for their involvement in the fracas. Any way you slice it, it was an ugly representation of baseball. The Yankees dropped the game, 10-4.
Wednesday, the teams were more amenable to each other. The Yankees fell behind the Jays early and trailed 4-2 in the 7th inning. I had started to become concerned that the Yanks were on the verge of their second consecutive loss, but Hideki Matsui allayed my fears with a two-run homer in the 8th to tie the game. At that point, I had confidence that the team would mount yet another walk-off win. I was not denied, although I was a bit surprised by the source. I will first start by saying I love watching Brett Gardner work the base paths. Following a lead-off single in the 9th inning, he stole second. Derek Jeter grounded out to short, but it advanced Gardner, the winning run, to 3rd. That brought catcher Francisco Cervelli to the plate. His single to left scored Gardner, and the Yankees had a new recipient for the pie of the day…
Ron Antonelli/New York Daily News
This morning, I was looking at the AL East standings, and was surprised to see that the Red Sox were only 5 games behind the Yanks in the loss column. Boston has been playing very well lately as evidenced by the 7-game winning streak. Julia is quick to note that this team reminds her of the 2004 and 2007 World Championship clubs, and the way they’ve been playing, I do not necessarily disagree. Nevertheless, I have confidence in my guys and their ‘no-quit’ determination. Given that the Texas Rangers have performed the baseball equivalent of hara-kiri, there is no much mystery left regarding whether the Yankees and Red Sox will make the play-offs. The only question is who will take the AL East crown, and right now, the Yankees have the advantage. The Yankees continue their quest for the best record in the AL, but they cannot lose sight of the team in their rearview mirror. I learned long ago not to underestimate the Red Sox.
The Red Sox did see the end of their 7-game winning streak tonight, as they were clipped by the Angels, 4-3. The Yankees magic number has been reduced to 10, although the Angels were able to pick up a ½ game on the Yanks.
The Scranton/Wilkes Barre Yankees were unable to defend their International League crown. They were swept in the finals tonight by the Durham Bulls with a 3-2 loss in the third and final game. The Yankees did pick up championships in two other minor leagues. Class A Tampa won the Florida State League, while the Staten Island Yankees won the New York/Penn League. I’m thinking “three’s company”, so let’s go big league Yanks!
In a somewhat shocking announcement, Peter Abraham of the Yankees LoHud Yankees Blog announced that he will be moving to Boston to work for the Boston Globe. His blog has long been one of my personal favorites, and I will miss his Yankees insight. I am sure that he’ll provide Red Sox fans with the same robust and reliable information that we Yankee fans have been accustomed to, not to mention the quick wit. Pete Abe made a comment that some will call him a traitor, but I will not. He is a class act, and his decision was made for family reasons, which is a very admirable trait. I would like to thank him for his work over the years, and I wish him the very best in Boston. Of course, he’ll miss out on writing about the 2009 World Series Champions…
My fantasy football team faces a huge dilemma this weekend. My starting QB is Tom Brady, while my defense is the Jets D. So, I have one player working against another since the Patriots face the Jets this weekend. Who do I pull for? Yikes! As an 0-1 team (thanks to LaDainian Tomlinson’s ankle), I have to hope that best case scenario plays out.
I will close with a photo of my pride and joy. She has been the master of self portraits since she was very small, and has developed a great sense of humor (despite her dad)…
The Yankees won Friday night, thanks to the late game heroics of Mark Teixeira…
Ted S. Warren/AP
As a Yankees fan since the early 70′s, I have seen many highs and lows. 1998 was clearly a special year so excluding that year, this has been one of the most enjoyable seasons, so far, that I’ve experienced. Granted, the Yanks may still fall short but the ride has been enjoyable as we near the stretch run.
The April woes of the bullpen, Cody Ransom as the starting third baseman, Chien-Ming Wang’s disastrous starts, among other things, are a forgotten memory…
I really thought that Jason Giambi would change the Yankees clubhouse with his personality when he joined the Yanks back in 2002.
But it never happened, and the clubhouse remained very “corporate” as G changed his persona to fit the team.
But along came Nick Swisher…
He is not a superstar. He’s not going to lead the league in hits, average or home runs. He’ll make some painful defensive plays to watch. But at the end of the day, there is not another guy you’d want on your team. He, along with A.J. Burnett and others, have successfully loosened up the Yankees clubhouse, and I think he is a big reason why the team is enjoying success this season.
Friday night, the Yankees began a road trip in Seattle that will conclude with a three game set at Fenway Park beginning on Friday. Andy Pettitte pitched another quality game but was gone before the outcome of the game was decided. With a lead-off homer in the 9th, Mark Teixeira put the Yanks up by a run. Nick Swisher added a RBI single, and the rest was left to Mariano Rivera. In his 900th major league appearance, Mo got his 34th save in 35 chances. I guess the “cranky” shoulder is in a better mood now!
Tonight, the Yanks are up 4-2 in the fifth. Swisher has a home run, as the Yanks scored 4 unearned runs in the top of the second inning.
I’d like to say that I am confident, but not with Sergio Mitre on the mound…
Meanwhile in Texas, unable to mount a comeback for a second day in a row, the Boston Red Sox lost to the Rangers, 7-2. So, the Yanks have a chance to pick up another game on the Sox should they beat the Mariners tonight. Hey Julia, are you back there? I don’t seem to be able to see you anywhere. Wait a minute! That speck! Is that you?
I didn’t realize that Derek Jeter is on the verge of a major milestone. The MLB record for hits by a shortstop is held by Hall of Famer Luis Aparicio (2,673). After last night, DJ was just three hits shy. He has a hit tonight, so he is just two away from tying Aparicio. Congrats DJ! Another record on your way to Cooperstown! Very well done!
Congratulations to Julia of Julia’s Rants for her successful completion of the wager loss for last week’s Yankees-Red Sox series. Due to the Yankees’ sweep, she had to:
1. Post a pro-Yankees Top 11 List.
2. Take photos of her car at various prominent locations in the Boston area…with a Yankees flag attached.
She did an excellent job with both. So good, in fact, I think she should lose again next week just so we can see more of her creative side!
The Yankees will head for Oakland after Seattle, and I will be attending the second game of the series. Like fine wine from Napa Valley, older players like Rivera and Jeter are aging very gracefully and the AL East leaders are showing they are the right vintage for success this year. Hey guys, see you in Oakland!
The Boston Red Sox lost…
Life is good.
Justin Verlander was throwing smoke today. Not just in the 1st inning, but he was still hitting 100 mph with a couple of pitches to “future Yankee” Jason Bay in the 8th inning. The Detroit Tigers were victorious in the game against the Red Sox that saw Verlander go 8 innings while giving up only 4 hits and no runs. It was a very impressive performance and it couldn’t happen against a better team! Right, Julia?
To the Red Sox’ defense, Clay Buchholz pitched a great game in a losing effort, and is a notable improvement over the departed John Smoltz (much to my chagrin). Theo, can you bring Smoltzie back?
The Yankees closed out a very successful home stand against the Red Sox and the Blue Jays. They could have (should have) won the first game against the Jays, but I think they were still coming down from the high of sweeping the Red Sox. Nevertheless, they came back to win the next two games to take the series so all is good.
On the downside, the last victory against the Jays was a costly win. Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, and Jorge Posada all suffered severe bruises. DJ and A-Rod were hit by pitches, while Posada took a foul ball on his right hand. Like Posada said, “I got hit everywhere. It was like a boxing match.”
And, oh yeah, Mariano Rivera had a “cranky” shoulder and was unavailable.
It wasn’t a great way to start the road trip in Seattle. Both A-Rod and Posada were out of the starting lineup for the opening game against the Mariners, however, Jeter was back in the lineup at the top of the order.
I didn’t think that the acquisition of Jerry Hairston, Jr. at the trading deadline was significant, but I’d have to say that I was wrong. In a short amount of time, he has proven to be an invaluable commodity and he’s playing third base tonight. He’s a quality player, and has performed better than I had expected. Even though he isn’t used as much, I’d also have to say that I am impressed with Eric Hinske. The Yankees’ bench is definitely much stronger today than it was on June 1st.
Nam Y. Huh/AP
As I finish this post, the Yankees have just beaten the Mariners 11-1 so they didn’t seem to be missing A-Rod and Posada too much. Jeter and Matsui have home runs (Godzilla had 2), and Hairston had 2 RBI’s. Hey, Julia, I wasn’t a math major in college, but I’d call it a 6 ½ game lead! J
CC Sabathia picked up his 13th win while surrendering only three hits and one run in 8 innings, while striking out 10. CC is definitely locked and loaded, and this is why Hal Steinbrenner signed off on the huge deal in the offseason despite budget constraints. The pitcher the Yanks blew out was former Pirate Ian Snell. Before the trading deadline, the Yanks had been scouting Snell, who was then with the Pirates’ AAA affiliate. As the saying goes, sometimes the best trade is the one never made.
The Yankees still need to do something about the #5 slot in the starting rotation. There are plans to insert Chad Gaudin for a start this week in order to skip Joba Chamberlain and limit his season innings. But I am not expecting great things from Gaudin, who was 4-10 for the Padres this season. In other words, note to Brian Cashman, try again…
The Tampa Tribune has settled on a name for the new Jeter mansion in Davis Islands, FL. By way of an online poll, the winning name was St. Jetersburg. I don’t even have to hear the other choices to know that they made the right selection. The name is perfect.
I’d be remiss if I didn’t touch on this subject even though it’s off topic. I can’t believe the Philadelphia Eagles signed Michael Vick. I was listening to the guys on San Francisco’s sports talk radio station, KNBR, and they felt that Vick couldn’t have landed in a “softer” spot. Personally, I think it was a bad decision for Eagles management. I know that Donovan McNabb has had his share of critics, but he remains in the upper tier of NFL QB’s. I know, it’s not like Vick is going to beat out McNabb, but his mere presence on the field shows that the Eagles will accept victories over moral responsibility. Granted, I wasn’t an Eagles fan to begin with, but suffice to say that I am glad (and proud) that my team didn’t sign the morally corrupt Vick. The only reason that Vick is asking for a second chance is because he got caught. Good luck with that, Philly…
I know Julia, I saw that Tom Brady threw 2 TD’s…blah, blah, blah… Go Vikings!
It was just a bad day all the way around…
The Yankees lost to the Seattle Mariners, 8-4, to end their seven game winning streak. The loss also prevented the Yankees from closing the gap on the Boston Red Sox and they fell to three games behind the AL East Leaders.
You knew it was going to be one of those days when Mark Teixeira couldn’t snare Ichiro Suzuki’s lead-off hit which bounced off Tex’s glove for a double. In the 6th, Ryan Langerhans led off with a hard grounder that Tex attempted to make a play on but missed, giving the newest Mariner a double. But the official error that ended Teixeira’s 107-game errorless streak didn’t occur until the 9th inning. He threw wide to pitcher Alfredo Aceves, who was covering first, and it allowed Ichiro to reach base safely. He would later score on Russell Branyan’s 451-foot home run to dead center. Texeira’s last error occurred August 19, 2008 while he was a member of the Los Angeles Angels. He has also gone 65 at-bat’s without a home run…
CC Sabathia was throwing in the mid-90′s, but he could not keep his fastball or his change-up down. With the pitches staying in the zone, CC gave up 10 hits and 6 runs in 5 2/3 innings of work.
William Perlman/The Star Ledger
Manager Joe Girardi said after the game, “We had been playing so well and CC was throwing well so I felt good about our chances. He showed he was human”. The only problem is the Yankees don’t pay CC to be human. Anything less than complete domination is unacceptable. Okay, I am just kidding, but you’d expect more than a win-loss record of 7-5 for $161 million.
The Yankees had their opportunities, but the clutch hits never came. In the 9th, it appeared the Yankees were getting something going when the first two batters, Robinson Cano and Nick Swisher, both singled. But fly outs by Hideki Matsui and Melky Cabrera, and a swinging strikeout by pinch hitter Jorge Posada ended the game.
Noah K. Murray/The Star Ledger
It does not get any easier for the Yankees as they open the four-game holiday weekend series with the Toronto Blue Jays. A.J. Burnett will face his former teammates in tonight’s opening game. I’ve never heard of the Blue Jays starter, Brian Tallet, but it seems that’s never a good thing…
Chuck Crow/The Plain Dealer
Meanwhile, the Mariners travel north to Boston to face the Red Sox. Felix Hernandez, who I am glad the Yankees missed, will open their series against 10-game winner Tim Wakefield. If anything came out of the Mariners’ win on Thursday, I hope they can use the momentum to carry them to victory over the Red Sox. I’ll borrow these words that Julia used all week, “Go Seattle!”
Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP
Speaking of Julia, she mentioned on her Julia’s Rants blog that it has been 70 years since Lou Gehrig gave his immortal farewell speech at Yankee Stadium. She also has some good words to say about Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) or Lou Gehrig’s Disease as it is more commonly referred to.
ESPN Outside The Lines has a great piece on their site about final letters written by Lou Gehrig. The letters are primarily between Gehrig and a doctor in Minnesota, Dr. Paul O’Leary, who helped first diagnose Gehrig’s illness. The letters cover the final two years of Gehrig’s life. You can feel Gehrig’s hopes rise and fade through the letters, and I was surprised at how Dr. O’Leary and Eleanor Gehrig withheld the severity of the illness from him. The letters are definitely an interesting read. Saturday will mark the 70th anniversary of Lou’s farewell speech. Lou is my favorite all-time baseball player, and it will be a day to remember how truly special he was…not just as a ballplayer but as a man.
Posted on YouTube by InitialBlackNotice
In other news, the Yankees signed 16-year old catching prospect Gary Sanchez from the Dominican Republic for a signing bonus of nearly $3 million. One Latin American scout said, “He’s a big kid, with a big arm”. Sanchez is 6’2″, 210 lbs. The Yankees would seem to be set at catcher for years to come when Jorge Posada decides to call it a career. Their best catching prospect is 19-year old Jesus Montero, but there’s been some talk he may physically outgrow the position. Montero, 6’4″ and 225 lbs, was recently promoted to the Trenton Thunder (AA). The other key catching prospect in the organization is Austin Romine. Of course, Francisco Cervelli is probably wondering, ‘What about me?’ Cervelli will most likely head back to Scranton/Wilkes Barre for further development once Jose Molina completes his injury rehabilitation in the next week.
The Yankees also signed two other Dominican players, shortstop Damian Arredondo and right hander Christopher Cabrera.
Yet another all-Williams final at Wimbledon? I was really pulling for Dinara Safina, who was ranked #1. But she was a complete no-show, and Venus looked like she was practicing with a high schooler. Nevertheless, for the final, I’ll go with Serena…
Let me close with a video of what Julia must have been like as a baby. In fact, I am sure of it…
Posted on YouTube by dmccomp
A “Half Day Off” works…
Saed Hindash/The Star Ledger
With the installation of Alex Rodriguez at DH last night, Joe Girardi coined the term “half day off” when describing A-Rod’s temporary switch from third. The result? Very good, as evidenced by the towering two-run homer to dead center in the 6th to cap the scoring in the Yankees’ 4-2 victory over the Seattle Mariners.
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
The homer came after Ken Griffey, Jr. had tied the score at 2 in the top half of the inning with his 621st career home run. Griffey has now hit home runs in 44 stadiums, and trails only Sammy Sosa (by one stadium).
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
A-Rod’s home run was the 566th of his career, and he trails Rafael Palmeiro by 3 for 10th place on the All-Time HR List. According to the Elias Sports Bureau (per The New York Times), the last time a game featured home runs by two players with at least 550 career home runs was May 8, 1971. On that date, the Atlanta Braves defeated the San Francisco Giants, 5-2, at Candlestick Park. The Say Hey Kid, Willie Mays, hit one out in the 6th to give the Giants a 1-0 lead. Hank Aaron responded with a three-run shot in the 8th as the Braves scored 5 runs to take the game.
Herb Scharfman/Sports Imagery/Getty Images
A-Rod has been re-energized since the forced days off last weekend. In his last 7 games, he is batting .435 (10-for-23), with 4 HR’s, 13 RBI’s, and 10 walks. It is a huge contrast to the lethargic A-Rod we had seen in the weeks prior to the time off.
“There’s no question I feel more energetic,” A-Rod said. “The swing only comes if you feel you have fuel in the tank.”
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Andy Pettitte, who struggled in earlier home starts at the new Stadium, was very effective, and picked up his 8th win of the season. With Andy, you are never quite sure what you are going to get, but he managed to overcome the loss of two leads and persevered to get the win. It seems as though he has finally learned how to pitch in the new Stadium. His numbers at home had been significantly worse than his road stats. He recognizes that the hits and homers will happen, but his job is to limit the damage and keep his team in the game. It’s a skill that Andy is very good at…
Antonelli/NY Daily News
Johnny Damon had started the scoring with a home run of his own during the 3rd inning.
Barton Silverman/The New York Times
Melky Cabrera also added a solo shot in the 5th, which stood upon completion of a video replay by the officials.
Barton Silverman/The New York Times
The Yankees have now won seven games in a row, and remain 2 ½ games behind the Boston Red Sox. While the Yanks didn’t gain any ground on the Red Sox, they did pick up a game on the hard charging Tampa Bay Rays. The Rays’ seven-game winning streak was snapped in a 5-0 loss to the Toronto Blue Jays.
Darren Calabrese/The Canadian Press
In a down note, it has been determined, as expected, that Xavier Nady does need reconstructive elbow surgery. Everyone is saying positive words of encouragement, but it will be a long, uphill battle for Nady. This will be Nady’s second Tommy John surgery. It will be performed next Wednesday, and the recovery time is generally 10-12 months. Our hearts go out to Nady. He’s been the consummate team guy and I hope he’ll be playing on the ball field again soon.
The Yankees continued their winning ways on Tuesday night despite Brian Bruney…
Sipkin/NY Daily News
After Alex Rodriguez had hit a two-run homer in the 7th inning to break a 3-3 tie with the Seattle Mariners, Bruney came on in the 8th inning and promptly surrendered the lead. There was much controversy over whether Joe Girardi should have left Phil Hughes in the game. Hughes had pitched a perfect 7th inning and given his current effectiveness, it would seem that he is ideally suited for setup work. Nevertheless, the bullpen is stronger if Bruney is pitching right and the last thing that Girardi needs is more 8th inning controversy. So, it was probably the right decision to go with Bruney despite the result. Hughes is pitching great right now, as is Phil Coke, but there is no guarantee that will continue.
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Bruney, of course, set himself up to get the victory, thanks to the Yankees’ late inning heroics. Hideki Matsui led off the bottom of the 8th with a double. Brett Gardner entered the game as a pinch runner for Matsui and advanced to third on a bunt single by Nick Swisher. Melky Cabrera followed with a double to score Gardner. Derek Jeter then singled to bring home both Swisher and Cabrera, giving the Yankees the final margin of victory, 8-5.
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From there, it was up to the great Mariano Rivera who quietly eliminated the Mariners in the top of the 9th and earned his 501st career save.
Mo had also thrown out the first pitch so he opened and closed the game. Very appropriate…
Joba Chamberlain continued to take heat for another underwhelming performance. He pitched 5 1/3 innings and gave up 9 hits and 3 runs. He also walked 3 batters and struck out 4. He allowed a home run to the light-hitting Ronny Cedeno in the 3rd. It’s tough to criticize. On one hand, I recognize that he is not pitching as well as he could or should, but conversely, he is keeping his team in games (the Yankees are 10-5 in games started by Chamberlain).
Noah K. Murray/The Star Ledger
After the game, Joe Girardi offered this assessment of Chamberlain: “He had too many long counts tonight. It seems like when he gets in the long counts, he slows down a little bit. And it seems to work against him … Joba is not what you would call an experienced big league starter. There’s some growing pains that you go through in learning how to pitch at this level.”
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Eric Hinske arrived in the Bronx today following the trade with the Pittsburgh Pirates. His flight to New York last night was cancelled because of weather conditions, so he had to catch a flight to New York today. Ramiro Pena was sent down to AAA-Scranton/Wilkes Barre to make room for Hinske. He seems to be saying the right things: “It’s awesome to get on a team like the Yankees.” Hopefully, he fills the void that the Yankees need from the bench with corner infield and outfield support.
It was nice to see the Boston Red Sox blow a 10-1 lead and lose to the Baltimore Orioles, 11-10, on Tuesday night. The loss allowed the Yankees to close the gap to 2 ½ games. But earlier today, the tables were turned as the Red Sox overcame a 5-1 deficit to win 6-5 in extra innings. So, Boston’s lead has been increased to 3 games pending tonight’s outcome. Julia‘s favorite player, Julio Lugo, delivered the winning hit in the 11th inning. Jonathan Papelbon became Boston’s all-time career saves leader with 133, breaking a tie with Bob Stanley. It was his 20th save of the season. Personally, I would have preferred another Orioles victory…
Lloyd Fox/Baltimore Sun
Oh well, let’s just focus on closing the gap back to 2 ½ games…