Results tagged ‘ Mark Teixeira ’
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
Geesh, do we really have to leave Oakland?…
The three game series against the Oakland A’s was perhaps the most stress free, relaxing series the Yankees have enjoyed this season. Usually, they get much resistance from the A’s but not this series. The Yankees completed the three game sweep on Wednesday night with a 6-2 win.
A.J. Burnett continued to show that he is a much better pitcher under the tutelage of pitching coach Dave Eiland. Burnett’s struggles came while Eiland was on a leave of absence, and his improvement has coincided with Eiland’s return. A.J. went 7 innings and only gave up 5 hits and 2 runs. He struck out 3 batters, while walking 2. He improved to 7-7 and lowered his ERA to 4.75.
The A’s starter, Gio Gonzalez, successfully weaved his way into and out of trouble until the 4th inning when Ramiro Pena and Derek Jeter had run-scoring singles to go with Mark Teixeira’s 3-run homer as the Yankees erupted for 5 runs. It would prove to be the only runs they would need, although Nick Swisher added a solo homer in the 6th.
John G. Mabanglo/EPA
The late innings were quiet under the supervision of Damaso Marte and Joba Chamberlain as the Yankees picked up their 53rd win of the year. Unfortunately, the Tampa Bay Rays kept pace with the defending World Champs as they completed a sweep of the Boston Red Sox. The Rays are 2 games behind the Yankees in the AL East standings, while the Red Sox fell to 4 ½ games. Hey Julia, what is that speck in the mirror? Whatever it is, it doesn’t seem so close anymore!
The Final Man Vote is in, and so is Nick Swisher! As if the Yankees didn’t have enough attendees for this year’s All-Star Game, Nick Swisher will tagging along with Derek Jeter and company for next week’s All-Star Game in Anaheim. Both of my Final Man votes made it to the All-Star Game, as I also supported the NL selection, Joey Votto of the Cincinnati Reds. Congratulations to both Nick and Joey!
The Star Ledger
I am nearing the end of my “forced” spotlight on Boston Red Sox players (courtesy of a lost wager with Julia of Julia’s Rants). Originally, I had to write a paragraph about all 25 members on Boston’s June 26th roster. However, Julia was gracious enough to reduce my sentence to 10 players for good behavior. So far, I have completed 7 profiles, so this will be my 8th. Just two more to go. For this post, I am going to go with the Captain…
#33 Jason Varitek
Jason is currently on the 15-day disabled list with a broken right foot, but he was on the active roster as of 6/26/10.
Tek, as he is affectionately referred to by the RSN, was born April 11, 1972 in Rochester, Michigan. He enjoyed baseball success and glory at a very early age as his team won the 1984 Little League World Series (Altamonte Springs, FL). The team would lose the world championship game to a team from Seoul, South Korea, the international champion, but it was only the beginning of championship and personal success for young Jason.
In high school in Altamonte Springs, he was catcher and third baseman for the 1990 state champions. In 1992, he was a member of the U.S. Olympic Team and was recognized as the National Collegiate Player of the Year. The next year, he was named Baseball America’s College Player of the Year. Along with Nomar Garciaparra, he would lead his college team, Georgia Tech, to the 1994 College World Series title game (which they lost to the Oklahoma Sooners).
Tek was drafted by the Seattle Mariners in 1994 and joined their system in 1995. In perhaps one of the most foolish trades of recent memory, the Mariners sent Tek and pitcher Derek Lowe to the Boston Red Sox for reliever Heathcliff Slocumb in 1997. At the time, I didn’t know much about Varitek or Lowe, but I remember thinking that it was a lot for a guy that had been a journeyman reliever at best. Little did I know that it would help set into a motion the grand plan to end the Curse of the Bambino.
Tek made it to the Show for a single at-bat in September 1997, but he was up for good in 1998, sharing catching duties with Scott Hatteberg. His leadership qualities really began to took hold in 2003, the year the team lost the ALCS to the Yankees, thanks to Aaron Boone’s home run. The next year, he would be one of the driving forces behind the team’s run to the World Series championship (their first in 86 years).
Following the championship season, Tek has named the third Captain in Red Sox history behind Carl “Yaz” Yastrzemski and Jim Rice.
Jason would go on to win a second World Championship with the Red Sox in 2007. He has caught a major league record 4 no-hitters (Hideo Nomo, 2001; Derek Lowe, 2002; Clay Buchholz, 2007; and Jon Lester, 2008).
Tek is on the downside of a great playing career, but his potential as a future manager is huge. There is no doubt that 2007 was not the last championship that he will experience in his career. I can only hope that it will come after his Red Sox playing days are a distant memory. George Steinbrenner always takes great pride in his “warriors”, and it goes without question that Tek is a warrior and a champion.
Just 2 more to go…
No drama; just quiet efficiency from Javier Vazquez and the Yankees…
During the last road trip, the Yankees struggled in the games following their cross-country jaunts…both to and from. Sunday at Yankee Stadium, the Yankees defeated the Toronto Blue Jays on a 10th inning walk-off run-scoring single by Marcus Thames before heading to California. With no off-day, they played the Oakland A’s on Monday night and picked up another win, 3-1. This time, they led from beginning to end, and everyone did exactly what they were supposed to.
Javier Vazquez has definitely rebounded from his disastrous start and has quietly been the Yankees most effective starter for the past month. He pitched 7 innings, and only gave up 3 hits and 1 run (he walked 2 and struck out 2). Joba Chamberlain and Mariano Rivera retired all three batters they faced in the 8th and 9th innings, respectively. No runners in scoring position. No wild pitches. No balks. No hit batters. No bloop singles. It was exactly what you would want from a pitching staff. It was nice seeing a pitcher other than a Yankee with a hand to the face for a change (I like to call this the CC Sabathia pose…okay, “like” might not be the right word)…
The Yankees had scored early with two runs in the 2nd innings thanks to a run-scoring triple by Curtis Granderson and a run-scoring single by Francisco Cervelli. The A’s answered with a run in the 3rd when Coco Crisp hit a sacrifice fly to score Cliff Pennington, who had tripled. It would be the final time in the game for the A’s to get a runner past second base. Mark Teixeira added an insurance run with a homer in the 6th inning. Only two batters in the Yankees lineup were hitless (Brett Gardner and Alex Rodriguez).
Monica M. Davey/EPA
Game time was only 2 hours, 35 minutes. Very un-Yankee like!
For all the wins this year, I’d say that this one had the least amount of stress that I’ve experienced and that includes any blowouts. On one hand, I have very excited that Javier Vazquez has turned it around. I was starting to buy into the talk that he wasn’t anything more than a National League pitcher. Of course, I do have the fear that he could revert to the awful early season form. The downside, if that happens, is that the timing of his improvement probably nixes any chance that the Yankees would pursue Seattle’s Cliff Lee. The team has greater needs, but Lee would be a nice addition given the strong potential for Andy Pettitte’s off-season retirement and Vazquez’s impending free agency.
Speaking of Pettitte, congratulations to him for making the American League All-Star Team as a replacement for Boston’s injured starter Clay Buchholz. The AL All-Stars are definitely taking a very Yankee-like appearance, however, I do feel that the starter in the All-Star Game should be Boston’s Jon Lester.
Since I’ve made the segue to the Red Sox, it’s time for another installment of my “forced” spotlight on a member of the Boston Red Sox (thanks to a wager loss to my friend Julia of Julia’s Rants). For today’s profile, I’ll go with the closer…
#58 Jonathan Papelbon
One of the few Red Sox stars not actually on the Disabled List, Pap has been with the Sox since 2005 (becoming the closer in 2006). Originally, he was projected to be a starter, but a shoulder injury caused the Red Sox to re-think their strategy and as a result, Papelbon has become one of the AL’s premier closers.
He was born in Baton Rouge, LA on November 23, 1980. After a highly successful high school career in Jacksonville, FL, he went to Mississippi State where he was the team’s closer for three years. He was drafted by the Oakland A’s in 2003 but did not sign in order to stay in college for one more year in a subsequently failed attempt to reach the College World Series. The next year, he was drafted by the Boston Red Sox.
Despite the relief appearances when he was called up in 2005, the team’s plan, as previously mentioned, was to put Papelbon into the rotation in 2006. The closer at the time, Keith Foulke, was unable to capture his pre-injury form, and Pap took over as the guy at the back end of the pitching staff.
Pap’s accomplishments include throwing the game-ending strikeout to win the 2007 World Series against the Colorado Rockies. Since 2006, he has had at least 35 saves each season with a high of 41 in 2008. He has 170 saves for his career. In 301 games, he sports an ERA of 2.03 in 332 innings pitched with 376 strikeouts. He is the franchise leader in saves, and as hard as it is to believe, the first Red Sox closer to record two 30-save seasons.
He holds several records:
· Most consecutive scoreless innings to start a post-season career (26 innings).
· Most saves by a rookie closer (35 saves).
Papelbon has two younger twin brothers in baseball. Josh is in the Red Sox organization (AA Portland), while Jeremy is with the Cubs (AA Tennessee).
Hey Julia, how many more of these do I have to go? Geesh!
With the franchise’s 9,500th win (dating back to the New York Highlanders in 2003), the Yankees moved into sole possession of first place…
The two central figures in today’s win against the New York Mets were CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira.
Aristide Economopoulos/The Star Ledger
Sabathia has struggled at times this season, and held a 7-3 record heading into today’s action. Teixeira had a very cold April, started to warm up in May before lapsing back into a deep freeze in June. But today, they did what it took to win. CC pitched 8 scoreless innings, giving up only 4 hits with 2 walks and 6 strikeouts. The Mets couldn’t stop him but a 20 minute rain delay finally did as Mo Rivera finished the game in a non-save situation after the delay ended.
Aristide Economopoulos/The Star Ledger
Teixeira came up huge in the third inning with a grand slam that provided the former Highlanders with the only runs they would need. Credit Brett Gardner, Derek Jeter and Nick Swisher for excellent play and hustle in loading the bases on three singles, only one of which made it out of the infield. It was very enjoyable to hear John Sterling’s trademark “Tex Message!” call.
Aristide Economopoulos/The Star Ledger
Despite losing Friday night’s game, the Yankees came back to win on both Saturday and Sunday to capture the series and end the season series in a split.
I was surprised to see Roy Halladay lose again. This time to Carl Pavano and the Minnesota Twins. Like his record against the Yankees, Halladay sported an excellent mark against the Twins. But it was not meant to be today against the Twins as he fell 4-1. I am not saying that Cliff Lee is a better pitcher than Halladay, but so far, the regular season performances in Phillies uniforms is tilted in Lee’s favor. Of course, it’s not all Doc’s fault given his 2.43 ERA which implies that he has not had run support given his 8-6 record.
I guess Joe Torre did not have a joyful return to Fenway Park, and neither did Manny Ramirez as the Boston Red Sox swept the Los Angeles Dodgers over the weekend. The AL East couldn’t be tighter with both the Tampa Bay Rays and Red Sox just one game behind the Yankees. The Toronto Blue Jays continue to lurk in the shadows, just 5 ½ games back although they did lose today.
The Yankees now head to Phoenix to play the Arizona Diamondbacks. I don’t have great memories of the Yankees in Phoenix, but fortunately Randy Johnson and Curt Schilling are no longer on the mound and Luis Gonzalez is not in the outfield. The D-Backs have a good team and former Yankee Ian Kennedy has done well in the rotation. Nevertheless, I will be hoping for redemption anyway. Besides, we have a one game lead to protect!
I was bummed after the 2010 NFL Draft when the Minnesota Vikings did not draft a quarterback. They did select Joe Webb of the University of Alabama-Birmingham, however, the immediate talk was that Webb would be shifted to wide receiver. During the recent mini-camps, Webb, with his 11 inch hands and athleticism, showed that he can be a quarterback of the future. So, at least for now, the move to wide receiver has been postponed. The Vikings will take a long look at Webb as a QB in training camp.
I hope it was a great Father’s Day for all the baseball-loving Dads!
A reunion victory for Andy…
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…
When the season started, Andy Pettitte and Phil Hughes were 4th and 5th in the starting rotation. It’s the 2nd of June, and both pitchers stand with 7-1 marks. Given the struggles that Javier Vazquez has experienced and to a lesser degree, A.J. Burnett and CC Sabathia, Pettitte and Hughes are the primary reasons the Yankees are in the thick of the AL East chase. With Vazquez starting to pitch much better and knowing that Burnett and Sabathia will come around, the pitching potential for the remainder of the year is very bright.
Today’s game was an all-around team effort as most of the starters played a role in scoring. Mark Teixeira was 0-for-5 but it was a success to have him on the field given the ball he took off the foot yesterday causing him to exit that game prematurely. Hughes went 7 innings, giving up 6 hits while striking out 7 in the 9-1 victory over the Baltimore Orioles. Chad Gaudin pitched 2 innings of scoreless relief.
The game also marked the return of Jorge Posada who was penciled in at DH. Posada was 1-for-3 with a run scored.
The hitting star of the game was, of course, Robinson Cano. Robby went 3-for-4 with 2 RBI’s. He also hit his 12th home run of the season in the 7th inning. He is batting .373 for the season and has been superb batting 5th behind Alex Rodriguez in the batting order.
Both Boston and Tampa won again tonight? Bummer!
In a statement of the obvious, Armando Galarraga of the Detroit Tigers threw the third perfect game of the season even if the record books won’t show it. Unfortunately, first base umpire Jim Joyce blew a call in the 9th inning when he ruled Cleveland’s Jason Donald safe at first even though Miguel Cabrera’s toss to Galarraga beat Donald to the bag. Galarraga settled for the one-hitter, but it was the perfect game with the imperfect umpire. “I just cost that kid a perfect game,” the ump said after the game. “I thought he beat the throw. I was convinced he beat the throw, until I saw the replay.”
I was saddened to see Ken Griffey, Jr.’s decision to retire today. Until he left Seattle for Cincinnati, Junior was on track to have a historic career. Injuries took their toll on Griffey during the Cincinnati years and he was never the same. He departs with 630 career home runs, but he would have been in the land of Ruth, Aaron and Bonds had he stayed healthy. I wish Junior the very best in his post-playing career. Thanks for the memories!
Well, it is once again time for another wager with Julia of Julia’s Rants. We had hoped for a Stanley Cup Final involving her Boston Bruins and my San Jose Sharks. However, both teams fell victim to the number 4 in their respective conference finals. The Sharks were swept 4 games to none by the Chicago Blackhawks, while the Bruins blew a 3 games to none lead on the Philadelphia Flyers. Nevertheless, our respective NBA teams have made it to the finals so it gives us the opportunity to place another bet. Besides Julia needs a team other than the Red Sox if she ever hopes to win a wager again! Seriously, if the Boston Celtics win the championship, I will be the not-so-proud recipient of a Celtic championship t-shirt and of course proof will have to appear on my blog. If the Los Angeles Lakers win, Julia will be seen wearing a purple and gold championship Lakers t-shirt. For me, this is about revenge given the Lakers’ loss to the Celtics two years ago. Kobe Bryant has had a tremendous career, but he needs a championship victory over Boston to add to his legacy. So, here’s hoping that Kobe and the gang are victorious in their championship drive! Let’s go Lakers!
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
Another wager, another victory!…
Yet again, my friend, Julia of Julia’s Rants, came up on the short end of our latest wager. After starting last year 0-8 against Boston, I was starting to wonder if the Yankees would ever beat the Red Sox. Since then, the Yankees have dominated the series. Regardless of the outcome of tonight’s game, the Yankees will have captured another series. Since the beginning of the season, the Yankees have only lost one series (versus the Los Angeles Angels in Anaheim).
Saturday, in a nationally televised game, the Yankees beat the Red Sox 14-3. The game featured three home runs by first baseman Mark Teixeira (although I temper that somewhat by the fact that the last home run was off outfielder Jonathan Van Every who was brought in to save the arms in the pen).
CC Sabathia missed picking up the win by one out. While facing Victor Martinez, who could have been the third out of the inning, the game was interrupted by a rain delay that ended the night for CC. When the game resumed, Alfredo Aceves was on the mound and it was he who picked up the win.
The game marked several historic achievements. Teixeira is the first Yankee since Lou Gehrig in 1927 to hit at least three home runs in one game against the Red Sox. Also, catcher Francisco Cervelli, filling in for Jorge Posada, had 5 RBI’s, something that hasn’t been done by a Yankees catcher since the days of Yogi Berra.
Today, history was made in Oakland when pitcher Dallas Braden threw the first perfect game in A’s history since Jim “Catfish” Hunter did it in 1968. Given that I credit Catfish Hunter for being a Yankees fan (I rooted for the A’s as a child until Hunter signed with the Yankees as a free agent in 1974), it was rather bittersweet to see his A’s record matched by, of all people, Dallas Braden. Braden, president of the Anti A-Rod Club or so it seems, nearly walked the final batter as he worked a 3-1 count but a ground-out upheld the gem. The victory was especially sweet since it came against the AL East leading Tampa Bay Rays. It was rather ironic that Braden would help the man he bitterly opposes. For the record, I was on Braden’s side of his beef with A-Rod, but Braden does need to let it go (as he made further comments about it this week). Nevertheless, congratulations to Braden for a very fine performance.
Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images
The San Jose Sharks finally overcame their nemesis and advanced to the Western Conference Finals with a 2-1 Game 5 victory against the Detroit Red Wings. First or second round failures have become commonplace for the Sharks in recent years so hopefully the team has shaken its demons and is a collision course with the Stanley Cup. The team now awaits the winner of the Chicago Blackhawks-Vancouver Canucks series (Chicago leads 3 games to 2).
Josie Lepe/Mercury News
Back to the Yankees, they weren’t so fortunate in Boston tonight as Jon Lester was on his game and A.J. Burnett wasn’t. A.J. gave up 9 runs in 4 1/3 innings (8 earned), meanwhile, Lester went 7 innings and only gave up 4 hits and 2 runs, while striking out 7.
Bill Greene/Globe Staff
So, congratulations to Julia for her victories today (the Celtics also won), and she was right, the Red Sox avoided the sweep. But still the wager victory is mine and the series win goes to the Yankees, so until we meet again Julia! By the way, don’t you have some shopping to do?….
“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