Results tagged ‘ Mark Teixeira ’
The first win of the season
goes to my friend Julia, of Julia’s Rants.
Despite an 0-6 start to the season, the Boston Red Sox were able to
capture their first two wins of the season in this past weekend’s series
against the New York Yankees.
With the loss, I have to
write about what’s right with the Red Sox and what’s wrong with the Yankees. So, here it goes…
Why the Boston Red Sox will win…
Pitching, pitching, pitching. Say what you
will about Dice-K, but the Red Sox have, arguably, the best starting rotation
in the American League. Jon Lester has
been one of my favorite pitchers and will be a Cy Young candidate when the
season is over. Despite some early
season struggles, I definitely feel that Clay Buchholz is one of the up and
coming stars and will be solid over the course of the long season. I know that the third starter, John Lackey,
has also struggled, but I feel very strongly that he’ll find his niche in
Boston and will consistently put the Sox in a position to win. Josh Beckett, if he continues to pitch like
he did on Sunday, is back. The Yankees
have a rookie in the 4th spot…the Sox have a former ace and one who
is capable of pitching like the elite pitcher he once was.
You can say that the Yankees
have the better bullpen, but if Jonathan Papelbon falters, the Sox have several
fallback options in former Chicago White Sox closer Bobby Jenks and future
closer Daniel Bard. They have reliable
arms in the pen, and have a proven long man in a guy the Yankees are well
familiar with (Alfredo Aceves). The gap
between the Sox and Yankee pens won’t be as big as experts may believe,
especially since the Sox will be able to be more selective in relief with a
superior rotation that is able to go much deeper into games.
Adrian Gonzalez. Count me as one of those who
believe that Gonzalez will be a monster at Fenway Park. He counteracts anything the Yankees have with
Mark Teixeira plus he has the intangibles.
A few years back, I was constantly looking up to see the highlights of
David Ortiz with another walk-off home run.
I fully expect Gonzalez to be that guy for the Sox, and he is going to
win games with both his bat and his glove.
Disruption. Once Carl Crawford and Jacoby Ellsbury get
going (it’s a question of when, not if), the Sox are going to be very
disruptive for opposing pitchers.
Singlehandedly, they have the ability to change the complexion and
momentum of games.
The forgotten hitter. For all the
headlines the newest additions have gotten and the return of players who were
injured last year (like Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia), it is easy to forget that
this lineup still features third baseman Kevin Youkilis. Youk is one of the best clutch hitters in
baseball, and teams will be so focused on stopping Crawford and Gonzalez that
they’ll lose sight of Youk…and will pay a high price for it.
The dead will rise. It is easy
for people to write off David Ortiz and Jason Varitek given their respective
ages, however, they are both consummate professionals who can still perform at
a high level. Like the Toby Keith song
goes, ‘I may not be a good as I once was, but I’m as good once as I ever was’. There’s no doubt that these two will figure
prominently in Sox wins over the summer.
The bench. If there is anything I’ve learned about the
Sox, it is to never underestimate the power of Theo. Time and again, names come out of nowhere to
lead the Sox to victory. They had a
chance to catch the Yankees last September despite fielding a roster of
unknowns. Even on Tuesday night’s game,
the first run of the game came courtesy of a home run by Darnell McDonald. It wasn’t that long ago the Yankees wanted
Mike Cameron as their centerfielder, and here he is backing up the Sox
regulars. I don’t care if the player’s name
is Dork Fumblefingers. If he puts on a
Sox uniform, he is most likely going to hit game winning home runs and make
highlight reel catches in the outfield.
Terry Francona. When the Sox lose, Francona
detractors seem to come out of the woodwork, but he is, in my opinion, the best
manager in baseball. The only place with
greater expectations than New York might just be Boston, yet Terry is always a
show of class and his decision making skills show a deft understanding of now
and the future (i.e., the season). He
garners the most of his roster, and I have no doubt that he’ll right the ship
despite the slow start to the 2011 season.
With the Sox standing at 2-8 entering play tonight, people are quick to
say how poorly comparable teams have finished.
I will argue that when the season is done, the Sox will be the model of
the franchise that was able to successfully overcome such a poor start. In future years, when a team goes on a losing
streak to start the season, the media will be saying ‘but the 2011 Red Sox were
able to overcome…’.
Theo Epstein, Larry Lucchino, and John Henry. These
gentlemen took a franchise that was “cursed” from the 1923 trade that sent Babe
Ruth to the Yankees, and eradicated the word “curse” from the Red Sox
vocabulary. I also have not heard any
mention of Bucky Friggin’ Dent in several years. These guys have successfully brought two
world championships to Boston, and there is no doubt that they’ll have a third
one in the not-so-distant future (much to my chagrin).
The RSN. The fan base for the Sox is the most
passionate and fervent of any that I’ve experienced. I am not saying that Yankees fans aren’t
passionate, but Sox fans are like no other.
They stuck by their team when championships were only something their
grandparents or great-grandparents had ever experienced. Yankees fans get spoiled by championships in
almost every decade. The Sox fans have a
greater understanding and appreciation of what it means to be a true
champion. I am not one of them, but I
Why the Yankees won’t win…
Pitching, pitching, pitching. As great as
CC Sabathia is, he is still not a sure thing.
He has his moments where he struggles.
I know, like all pitchers, but there is something special when a pitcher
like Roy Halladay takes the mound. Win
or lose, you expect the team to win. I
expect the Yankees to win when CC is on the mound, but it is not with the
confidence that I’d have if Halladay were a Yankee. After CC, there is nothing but question
marks. A.J. Burnett has pitched well to
start the season, but he always starts good.
It is how he finishes. If he
reverts to 2010 A.J., the Yankees are toast.
Phil Hughes and the decreased velocity are a concern. He finished poorly last season, and he has
yet to pitch lights out this year. At
this point, I am really not sure what Hughes lies ahead. After Hughes is a rookie, Ivan Nova, who has
pitched well, but how will he perform the second time around when opposing
lineups get used to him? Can he make the
necessary adjustments? As it stood, the
ceiling for Nova was much lower than it is for guys like Brian Matusz or Jeremy
Hellickson (or even Michael Pineda). Is
he in the rotation because he has the potential to be great or is it because
none of the other prospects are ready. I
remain fearful that it’s the latter. I’ve
heard that Nova’s future is in the pen, and that doesn’t bode well for the
rotation. In the fifth spot, who
knows. Freddy Garcia has yet to pitch
due to rain delays. Bartolo Colon is
waiting in the wings if Garcia stumbles, as are Kevin Millwood and Carlos
Silva. None of the options instill
The bullpen looks great on
paper, but already this season, there have been failures by Rafael Soriano and
Joba Chamberlain. Pedro Feliciano is on
the DL and I heard that he had a setback today.
Luis Ayala is headed for the DL so the Yankees are already looking to
Scranton-Wilkes Barre for replacements.
One of these years, Mariano Rivera is actually going to show his
age. Will this be the year?
Aging lineup. Mark Teixeira is already
31? Seriously, we are already in the
midst of another April chill for Tex. He
started strong this year (thanks to Opening Day in March), but he went 0-fer
against the Sox. He was as much responsible
for me writing this post as anyone.
Derek Jeter has continued to show his age and is providing evidence that
his down season in 2010 may be a sign of things to come. Jorge Posada feels like a fish out of water
at DH. He’s done at catcher so where’s
his long-term potential with this team?
Alex Rodriguez looked great during spring training, but he is getting
older. Question marks continue to dog
Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner. The
Yankees are a great offensive club, but their hitters just don’t put fear in
you. If they don’t hit, they can be beat
as Josh Beckett proved on Sunday night.
In October, you’re facing the best pitchers in baseball. If the Yankees can’t hit the best, they can’t
be the best.
The bench. Don’t get me wrong…I love Eric Chavez and I
am glad that he’s a Yankee. But I am
concerned that injuries may force the Yankees to play Chavez more than they
should, exposing him to potential injury.
What if Derek Jeter is done? Is
Nunez ready to take over at short? I really
don’t expect this to be the year that Jeter goes south, but you have to
recognize that it could happen. It
eventually happens to all superstars.
Hank Steinbrenner. Eventually,
Hank is going to make an impulsive move that he’ll regret. I am sure that he has a Jay Buhner like trade
that he’ll force causing the Yankees to relinquish a prime prospect for an
aging past-his-prime veteran in an effort to shake things up.
The off-season. As difficult as last season was,
there is the potential that this off-season will be even more difficult. CC Sabathia can opt out of his contract, as
can Rafael Soriano. If the Yankees lose
Sabathia, they won’t be able to recover.
As the season progresses, the Sabathia opt-out is going to get more and
more ink. Hopefully, it doesn’t become a
Who knows that the 2011
season holds in store for the Yankees and the Red Sox, but I can assure you,
that both teams will be in the thick of things come September. I will never be fooled by Boston’s slow start. This is a very dangerous team and one that
can never be underestimated.
Clearly, I want the Yankees
to win, and I am hopeful they will, but Boston, even at 2-9, is still the best
team in the American League from top to bottom.
That may change by the trading deadline, but as it stands today, the Sox
are still a team capable of 100 wins.
Julia, I’m out…
It was great to see Mark Sipkin/NY Daily News So far, I really like what I Speaking of A.J., he goes What a great game for Curtis So, Cliff Lee pitches Although I am pulling for –Scott
Teixeira homer in the Yankees’ Opening Day win against the Detroit Tigers. Hopefully, it is a sign that we won’t see the
April freeze this year with Tex. He has
worked hard to try and overcome his history of slow starts.
have seen of catcher Russell Martin. He
seems to have captured the respect of the pitching staff in a very short period
of time. For as much as I feel pitching
coach Larry Rothschild will have a positive impact on A.J. Burnett, I cannot
underestimate what Martin will do for him also.
I don’t know why the relationship between Burnett and Posada was never
an easy one, but it would be a terrific boon for the team should Burnett and
Martin click together.
today against the Tigers so we’ll soon see…
Granderson on Thursday! He homered and
came up with a few defensive gems that made the highlight reels. Last year, I had started to regret the trade
that sent Austin Jackson and Phil Coke to Detroit for Granderson, with Ian
Kennedy going to Arizona. But late in
the season, with a few adjustments, Curtis started to show us the player he
could be. Some players take time to
adjust to New York, while others can slide right in (like Nick Swisher). Granderson is probably more in the former
category, especially given the high expectations of the multi-player
tonight in Philadelphia against Wandy Rodriguez and the Houston Astros. If he had joined the Yankees, he’d be
starting today against the Tigers. It’ll
be hard not to wonder ‘what could have been’ this year when Lee starts. That feeling will probably be present until
the Yankees can make a move to acquire another top flight pitcher. I do know that I’ll be cheering for the
Don Mattingly and the Los Angeles Dodgers in the National League, it was
horrible to hear about the Dodger fans that beat up the Giants fan in the
parking lot of Dodger Stadium after the season opener. Obviously, the violence is not condoned by
the Dodgers, and Mattingly said it was crossing the line. I know that I am always cautious about
wearing a Yankees hat in certain cities.
For example, if I went to Fenway Park, I would not take any Yankees gear. But that is a sad statement that you cannot openly
support your team without concern for your health and safety.
It was great to see Mark
Sipkin/NY Daily News
So far, I really like what I
Speaking of A.J., he goes
What a great game for Curtis
So, Cliff Lee pitches
Although I am pulling for
With their backs to the wall, the Yankees rebounded
on Wednesday with a 7-2 victory over Texas to bring the series to a 3-2
advantage for the Rangers.
Sipkin/NY Daily News
It can be argued that the Rangers played less than
their best to ensure clinching on their home turf, but the Yankees clearly
played with a purpose and showed the heart that has been missing for the last
The last time to overcome a 3 games to 1 deficit
was the Boston Red Sox in their World Series winning year of 2007. They also erased a 3-to-0 deficit in the 2004
ALCS against the Yankees enroute to their first championship since 1918. So, it can be done, but the Yankees face a
long road that would end with Cliff Lee staring them down from the mound
(assuming they can get past Colby Lewis on Friday night). CC Sabathia is done for the series, except
perhaps in a relief role.
Sipkin/NY Daily News
The Yankees will also be without Mark Teixeira who
has been lost for the duration of the play-offs due to a hamstring injury. The acquisition of Lance Berkman now looms
very large as he’ll be asked to cover first.
It will be good to get both his bat and that of Marcus Thames into the
lineup at the same time, but it will still be a step down from Teixeira. With Robinson Cano moving to the third spot
in the order, hopefully, he’ll continue his hot hitting and maybe give A-Rod a
Realistically, I do not think the Yankees will be
able to win two games in Texas. But, of
course, stranger things have happened.
The Yankees certainly have the talent and potential to succeed.
Win or lose, I am proud of today’s effort by the
Yankees. I am glad that they didn’t roll
over and let the Rangers celebrate on Yankee Stadium ground. Now, if the Rangers win, it’ll be on their
own turf, in front of their own fans. It
will be a long plane flight back to New York, but that’s better than watching
the visitors pouring champagne in your house.
Simmons/NY Daily News
Here’s hoping the Yankees can keep up the intensity
and continue playing with the same heart they showed today. A 3-game winning streak. Is that asking too much?…
Simmons/NY Daily News
I was surprised to see that the Chicago Cubs have
already named their manager, removing the interim tag from manager Mike
Quade. I really thought the Cubs would
try to woo Joe Girardi back to Chicago.
Or at the very least, they’d give Cubs legend Ryne Sandberg a shot. By hiring Quade, it kind of reminds me of how
the Yankees bypassed Don Mattingly to hire Joe Girardi when Joe Torre
left. Circumstances were different, but
the outcome will most likely be the same…the departure of the legend to another
team. I am proud of Mattingly and he’ll
always be one of my favorite Yankees, but it’s still tough watching him in a
Dodgers uniform. Don’t get me wrong, I
will be rooting for him to succeed but it will still sting that he doesn’t wear
the pinstripes anymore. On the same
token, it will be hard for Cubs fans to see Sandberg get an opportunity with
Speaking of Girardi, the Cubs decision virtually
guarantees that he’ll be back as Yankees manager (assuming the team and the
manager are able to come to terms on a new deal). So much for leverage…
Yankees Win + Rays Loss = 1 Game Lead in AL
Finally, after 8 days, the Yankees were able to
shake the Rays for at least a day with a 9-2 win over the Oakland A’s in the
Bronx on Tuesday night. The Rays started
strong against the pesky Toronto Blue Jays, but they saw a 3-1 lead erased when
the Jays scored 10 runs in the 6th inning to win going away,
13-5. So, the Yankees are 82-50 while
the Rays are 81-51. Meanwhile, the
Boston Red Sox fell to the Baltimore Orioles 5-2 so it was a very good night!
John Munson/The Star Ledger
I was toggling back and forth on MLB Radio between
the Yankees and Rays games and I think I missed about a dozen runs scoring
between both games. I was very surprised
about the ineffectiveness of the Rays’ Jeff Niemann. He has been roughed up in both games he’s
pitched since his return from the DL. As
for the Yankees, it was painful with Phil Hughes on the mound, given his
inability to throw strikes. Of 98
pitches, only 52 were strikes, resulting in 5 walks in 5 innings. However, he was able to last long enough to
pick up his 16th win of the season.
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
The only surprise of tonight’s game was that Marcus
Thames didn’t homer. He had homered in
his 5 previous consecutive games. It
will be interesting to see what happens when Lance Berkman returns from the
DL. I’d be surprised if the Yanks sat
Thames given his hot bat, but it would be sad to see a great player like
Berkman on the bench. I am glad that I
don’t have to make Joe Girardi’s decisions.
Tim Farrell/The Star Ledger
It was great seeing Mark Teixeira back in the
lineup, especially after he hit his 30th home run of the
The Yankees are close to returning to full strength
as Alex Rodriguez should be back on the field on Sunday. Of course, with a 16-3 record, the Yankees
haven’t exactly missed A-Rod in the win column.
Still, it will be nice to have Berkman, A-Rod, and Andy Pettitte back in
action as the Yankees, Rays, and Red Sox head for the stretch run.
On a side note, I was disappointed the Los Angeles
Dodgers pulled back pitcher Ted Lilly after he was claimed on waivers by the
Yankees. With the pitching struggles of
Javier Vazquez and A.J. Burnett, it would have been nice to have a security
blanket like Lilly around. Plus, he know
New York and that’s hard experience to find.
Oh well, time to protect that one game lead…
Whew, a series win!…
The Yankees were able to pull out a series win over
the Chicago White Sox, thanks to the great pitching of rookie Ivan Nova. Nova, who won his first major league game,
went 5 2/3 innings, giving up only one run and give hits. He walked one and struck out 7 White Sox
batters, and got help from the bullpen as the Yankees defeated the White Sox
2-1 on Sunday.
The series started with a loss on Friday night, as
Chicago drubbed the Yanks, 9-4. It was
another pathetic performance by A.J. Burnett, who is making the remaining years
on his contract look very painful for the Yanks at this point. It’s a difficult situation because the
Yankees do need him to win in October, so it is imperative for A.J. to put
August behind him and return to pitching like he did late last year.
In Saturday’s game, CC Sabathia didn’t have his
best stuff but didn’t need it as the Yanks put their bats on display in the
12-9 win. They had a big lead and had to
hold on late, but it still went in the win column.
The series MVP was clearly Marcus Thames, who
homered three times in the series including two on Saturday and once on
Sunday. He struck out in his only
appearance on Friday night, but clearly made up for it as he figured heavily
into both Yankee wins. At a time when
Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, and Lance Berkman are on the sidelines, you need
for others to step up and Thames certainly answered the call.
Nuccio DiNuzzo/Chicago Tribune/MCT
Other heroes of the past three days include Nova for his great pitching on
Sunday, Mariano Rivera for just being himself in picking up two saves, and Eduardo Nunez who had 4 RBI’s on Saturday.
I wasn’t pleased to hear that Major League Baseball
is investigating Ivan Nova and pitcher Wilkin De La Rosa for allegedly
injecting each other B-12 shots at Double AA Trenton last season. Hopefully, the investigation will prove no
wrongdoing on Nova’s part and the substance was purely B-12, which is not a
It will be interesting to see what changes in the
rotation manager Joe Girardi makes upon the impending return of Andy
Pettitte. Javier Vazquez and A.J.
Burnett are clearly the more accomplished and experienced starters, however,
they have been unable to match the recent consistency of Dustin Moseley and
Ivan Nova. I remain hopeful that Vazquez and Burnett will
return to the success they achieved earlier in the season, but for now, it is
good to know that others are there to help the team during times of
Mark Teixeira has missed some playing time the past
few days with a bruised hand, but hopefully, he’ll be back when the Yankees
return to the Bronx on Monday night to face the Oakland A’s. With A-Rod (and Lance Berkman) still
sidelined, the Yankees definitely need Teixeira’s bat in the lineup. As the calendar prepares to change to
September, it’s time for the team to get on a roll and Tex is obviously a key
Congratulations to Albert Pujols for his 400th
home run last night. He is definitely
moving into the land of Legends, and we’ll look back one day and be very
appreciative that we were able to see him play.
As much as the media would love to see Albert play in New York, I feel
that it is only right for the St. Louis Cardinals to find a way to ink their
superstar to a long-term deal. I
remember attending my first major league game as a kid at the old Busch Stadium
and running into former Cardinal great Stan Musial. Musial means so much to the Cardinals
organization, and of course, Pujols is in the same category. It would be wrong to see him wear anything
other than a Cardinals uniform.
Scott Rovak/US Presswire
I can’t believe that I am actually pulling for the
Tampa Bay Rays to win tonight’s game against the Boston Red Sox (which would
keep the Yankees in a first place tie with the Rays). But then again, there is simply no way to
pull for the Red Sox…
Mo showed why he is great…
A day after losing a game in walk-off fashion to
the Texas Rangers, Mariano Rivera bounced back to save the Yankees’ 7-6 comeback
victory over the Rangers. So many
relievers have a tough time “forgetting yesterday”, but not Mo. After allowing a lead-off triple to Elvis
Andrus, he retired the next three batters to strand Andrus at third with what
would have been the tying run.
When Austin Kearns bounced into a double play with
the bases loaded to end the top half of the 8th inning with the
score 6-5 Texas, I thought the Yankees may have exhausted their chances for
victory. However, or rather , fortunately,
Marcus Thames proved me wrong. He
homered in the 8th, and drove in the eventual winning run in the 9th. Not bad for a guy who gets mentioned as an
afterthought when you name off Yankee players.
I am a bit disappointed with Kearns, who has failed to hit in key
situations since his arrival in the Bronx.
But to his credit, he did make a great shoestring catch in the 9th
in helping Mo to the save.
The other two recent acquisitions, Kerry Wood and
Lance Berkman, both played roles in Wednesday’s win. Wood pitched the 7th and 8th
innings in scoreless relief to pick up his first win as a Yankee. Berkman drove in a run in the 7th
on a ground rule double as the Yankees chipped away at what once had been a 6-1
Texas lead. Berkman, it should be noted,
was the only Yankees starter who did not strike out on a night when 17 Yankees
did, tying the dubious franchise record.
Nick Swisher, in particular, was an awful 0-for-5, with 4 SO’s.
Javier Vazquez, who had recently been diagnosed
with a “dead arm”, was very ineffective in the match-up against the almost
Yankee, Cliff Lee. Javy was out after 4 1/3
innings after he gave up 6 runs. I am
not quite sure what it will take to get Javy back to the level of pitching he
was at last month, but he needs to improve if the Yankees intend to hold off
the Tampa Bay Rays and the Boston Red Sox.
Matthew Emmons/US Presswire
Meanwhile, Cliff Lee was solid in striking out 11 Yankees although the Yankees were able to score against him late as he gave up a total of 4 runs through 6 1/3 innings. I remain hopeful that Lee will be the Yankees prime target in the free agent market after the season.
Ezra Shaw/Getty Images
The Yankees were fortunate to get a win out of a
two game series that looked like it would be a sweep for Texas. The Rays lost to the Detroit Tigers, but the
Boston Red Sox steamrolled over the team that gave the Yankees and Rays so much
trouble, the Toronto Blue Jays. For all
of the key injuries Boston has suffered this year, they are within striking
distance at just 5 games back.
The series in Texas was tough. It started with news that hot-hitting Mark
Teixeira would remain in New York with his wife, who gave birth to their third
child, William Charles. I hated to see
the removal of Teixeira’s bat from the lineup, and it was compounded when
Robinson Cano couldn’t start the first game of the series due to illness
(although he did later pinch hit and entered the game as a replacement at 2nd
late in the game despite his weakened condition). Jorge Posada also missed the game, so those
were three huge voids in the lineup.
The Yankees now head for Kansas City for a
four-game set against the Royals.
Teixeira will rejoin the team, and should be in the lineup tonight. On paper, tonight’s game looks like a
mismatch (CC Sabathia versus Bruce Chen), however, the Yankees have not been
playing great ball lately. They missed a
great opportunity to bury both the Rays the Red Sox and couldn’t do it. Hopefully, the team can catch fire soon and
put the pressure on the other teams instead of carrying the weight on their own
If I won the wager with Julia of Julia’s Rants, why do I feel as though I lost?…
The Yankees and Red Sox tied their four game series at two games apiece, but the Yankees took the tie-breaker in total runs scored, 16-12. Therefore, it will be Julia who has to appear in at least 6 photos showing her in different locations wearing a pink Yankees cap.
But although I won, I certainly do not feel like a winner. The most important game, to me, is always the getaway game. The Red Sox leave town as winners, while the Yankees head for Texas wondering what could have been. They had the chance to put the Red Sox 8 games back, but as it is, the Red Sox leave exactly the way the arrived, 6 games behind.
People are constantly trying to bury the Red Sox but I’ve long known that the team simply does not have any quit in them. Now, they are starting to get their guys healthy, so they’ll be a force to be reckoned with during the stretch run.
The Yankees lost today, 2-1, against Jon Lester, Daniel Bard, and Jonathan Papelbon. Lester had entered the game on a four-game skid, but he is too talented to stay down for long. He proved he was up to the challenge today, and bested Phil Hughes in the pitching duel.
Chris McGrath/Getty Images
The Yankees had their chances in the late innings but couldn’t convert. Marcus Thames just missed a home run in the 7th inning when the ball hit the top of the fence and bounced back for a double. Just another inch or two and it would have tied the game. Bard also gets kudos for getting out of a bases loaded jam.
Mark Teixeira continued his hot hitting with an 8th inning home run, but that’s all the offense the team could manage.
The Yankees now head to Texas to play the guy who was nearly a Yankee, Cliff Lee, and the Texas Rangers. A.J. Burnett, scratched from Sunday’s start because of his back, will pitching the opening game against the surging C.J. Wilson who has enjoyed success as a starter this season. It will be a big test for the Yankees, and they’ll need to play better than they have in recent days. Maybe being in Texas will be good for Lance Berkman and he’ll hit his first homers for the Yankees.
A day after breaking Babe Ruth’s team hits record, Derek Jeter tied Mel Ott for the all-time record by a New York player at 2,876. When DJ was a skinny 16-year-old shortstop coming out of Kalamazoo, MI, I certainly didn’t envision the day that he’d be standing with baseball’s immortals. Congratulatons to DJ for another great milestone, but I suspect we’ll be doing this quite often between now and the end of his career.
Conceding first place…
To be in first place, you have to play like you
want to be champions. Unfortunately, the
Yankees have played like anything but since their weekend acquisitions of
Austin Kearns, Lance Berkman and Kerry Wood.
I thought the moves were meant to upgrade the roster. Instead, the life of the team has been
Of course, at the forefront, is the enigma known as
Alex Rodriguez. For a guy who is
supposed to eventually assault Barry Bonds’ all-time home run record, he has
made trying to get a single home run so incredibly painful to watch. The paparazzi are constantly following A-Rod
in anticipation of the 600th home run, but it has proved to be a
long and winding road.
Tonight, the Toronto Blue Jays pummeled the
Yankees, 8-2. The Yanks took an early
2-0 lead on a Mark Teixeira home run in the first, but then, the bats went
silent. A-Rod posted another 0-fer,
going 0-for-3 with a strikeout.
Tim Farrell/The Star Ledger
I am not sure what it is going to take to snap the
team out of its current funk, but the Tampa Bay Rays have the easiest schedule
for the remainder of the season and now sole possession of first place. With arguably the best pitching rotation in
baseball, they won’t be losing too many games so the Yanks chances for winning
the division definitely took a turn for the worst with this past weekend’s
series loss to the Rays.
Dirk Shadd/St. Petersburg Times
There are reports that Brett Favre is finally
calling it a career, which leaves the Minnesota Vikings with Tavaris Jackson
and Sage Rosenfels at QB. Suddenly, a
potential NFC Championship rematch between the Vikings and the New Orleans
Saints doesn’t look so likely. With
Favre out of the picture, I’d have to say the Green Bay Packers, with Aaron
Rodgers, are the best of the NFC North.
If there is anything gained by Favre’s decision (if true), it is that
his off-season indecisiveness will no longer impact the team’s plans. I hope that T-Jack learned under Favre last
season, but I can’t say that I am overly optimistic.
Doug Pensinger/Getty Images
This is definitely a ‘glass is half empty’
post. I guess I had better close it out
while I am behind…
IP 4.1, H 7, R 7, ER 5, BB 1, SO 1, HR 1…
Okay, that’s a lousy pitching line any way you slice it. I recognize that Sergio Mitre, fresh off the DL, was rusty, and you can’t expect perfection. But I was not a Mitre fan before and I am not one now. I think there are better pitching options on the roster as fill-in’s for injured Andy Pettitte. I would rather see Dustin Moseley get a shot to start before taking another chance on Mitre. Moseley, by the way, pitching yesterday too, and his line was much more appealing:
IP 4.2, H 1, R 0, ER 0, BB 1, SO 1, HR 0
As for trading for an option like Dan Haren of the Arizona Diamondbacks, I am reluctant at best. I really want to see the Yankees pursue Cliff Lee in the off-season, and I am fearful that adding a pitcher like Haren and his salary would be a detriment. We saw last off-season when the Yankees held the line and allowed Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui walk rather than increase payroll above $200 million. I do think that Andy Pettitte will give hard consideration to retirement after the season. There is uncertainty with Javier Vazquez who will be a free agent, and there are still questions about Phil Hughes who has been mired in a slump for the past month (not to mention a innings limitation).
This is a tough call. The Yankees do need to maximize their own resources for starting talent, but in my opinion, it doesn’t start with Mitre. If Moseley is not the answer, then reach into the farm system and give Ivan Nova or Zach McAllister a shot.
The awful performance by Mitre put the Yankees into a hole that they were unable to recover from in losing to the Kansas City Royals, 7-4. It did hurt in the 4th inning when Robinson Cano hit into a double play on a great play by Royals shortstop Yuniesky Betancourt. The DP left the bases empty with two outs after the Yankees had scored a run at the start of the inning with Mark Teixeira’s lead-off home run. Facing a 6-1 deficit, Jorge Posada followed Cano with a solo home run. Had Betancourt not made such a great play on Cano, the Yankees would have had two men on base when Posada came to the plate. Had he homered in that situation, the score could have been 6-4 instead of 6-2 which would have given the game a completely different complexion.
Still, the Yankees had a shot in the bottom of the 9th inning with Mark Teixeira at the plate with two men on. He had hit two home runs earlier in the game, so this was a terrific opportunity for three home runs. But he grounded out to end the game.
John Munson/The Star Ledger
No home runs for Alex Rodriguez, who remains at 599.
John Munson/The Star Ledger
Today, the Yankees will see if Phil Hughes can turn it around. He’ll face Sean O’Sullivan, who beat Hughes and the Yanks 10-2 last Tuesday while wearing a Angels uniform.
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Both Nick Swisher (Achilles heel) and Brett Gardner (acid reflux) will be back in the starting line up today so that’s a positive sign.
This is a great day for a Yankees win!
John Munson/The Star Ledger
The Yankees won, but I am growing tired of Joba
The Yankees defeated the Kansas City Royals
tonight, 10-4. The game was actually
much closer than the score might indicate.
With the Yanks ahead 6-4 in the 8th inning, Joba started the
inning in relief of David Robertson.
Robertson had entered the game an inning earlier in place of CC Sabathia
with two men on base and one out. He got
both batters out that the faced, and I would have stayed with the hot hand, at
least for one more inning. Nevertheless,
Joe Girardi remained committed to Chamberlain.
After getting the first batter out, the next two hitters reached on
infield singles. He struck out the rusty
Rick Ankiel (who had been activated off the DL earlier in the day), but walked
Billy Butler to load the bases.
Fortunately, Jose Guillen hit into a fielder’s choice, but had he gotten
a hit, the game would have taken a completely different turn. Joba should be thankful he was facing the
Royals and not the Angels, Rangers, or Rays.
Is this what it was like when former Orioles manager Earl Weaver
referred to his closer as “Fullpack”? I
always get so uneasy when Joba enters the game.
I am not sure how much long I will be in support of him remaining with
the team. At some point, a change of
scenery might do him wonders.
The Royals broke out to an early 2-0 lead against
CC Sabathia, who was making his first start as a 30-something pitcher (he
turned 30 yesterday). The Yankees
quickly answered with two runs of their own in the bottom of the frame. The Royals added a run in the 2nd
inning to move in front again, and it remained that way until the bottom of the
3rd when Derek Jeter hit a shot to center. David DeJesus, one of those all-out kind of
players, went for the ball and actually had it momentarily when he crashed into
the wall but lost it in the collision.
DJ, running at full steam, motored around for his first inside-the-park
home run since 1996, which tied the game at 3.
Zach Ornitz/The Star Ledger
DeJesus was removed from the game and it was later announced that he had
sprained his thumb.
The Yanks picked up a couple of runs in the 5th
and gave up a run on a Jorge Posada throwing error in the 6th,
but the hit of the night occurred in the bottom of the 7th when Alex
Rodriguez homered for the 599th time in his career to put the Yanks
Zach Ornitz/The Star Ledger
The Yankees scored four runs in the bottom of the 8th
after Joba had escaped the bases loaded jam to put the game out of reach. It was a huge night for A-Rod, who went
3-for-5 with 4 RBI’s. Mark Teixeira also
went 3-for-5, with a RBI, to continue showing that his slump is definitely
over. Nick Swisher had another great
night with 2 RBI’s. Defensively, it was
a great night for Brett Gardner, who threw out two runners including one at the
plate to end the top of the 5th.
With the win, the Yankees lead on the Tampa Bay
Rays in the AL East has been restored at 3 games.
On Tuesday, Sean O’Sullivan had just been called up
by the Los Angeles Angels from Triple A Salt Lake City and found out that he’d
be starting against the Yankees when he arrived at Yankee Stadium. Despite a rocky first inning, O’Sullivan was
the winner in the 10-2 romp over the Yanks.
Today, he is a member of the Kansas City Royals. Earlier in the day, he was traded by the
Angels to the Royals, along with a minor league pitcher Will Smith, for third
baseman Alberto Callaspo. So, within
days of making the trip to New York City, he is on his way back to join the
The tributes for owner George Steinbrenner continue
as the Yankees unveiled a 40 foot banner above the home bullpen (just
underneath the Hess and Budweiser billboards) honoring the Boss. He is the man responsible for the new
ballpark so it is only fitting that his name be prominently displayed.
Speaking of tributes, the Yankees will wear black
sleeve bands (directly beneath the patch honoring Bob Sheppard) in memory of
former manager Ralph Houk who died yesterday.
With any more patches, the Yankees jersey would look like a Nascar race
car. Hopefully, there will be no more
deaths in the Yankees family for the duration of the year. This has definitely been a very difficult