Results tagged ‘ Orioles ’

Yes, it’s always fun beating Buck Showalter…


This weekend’s abbreviated
two-game series against the Baltimore Orioles was a positive despite the
postponement of one game that will cause its share of challenges later in the
year. 


Yankees ace CC Sabathia picks up his first win of the season as Russell Martin (below) crushes two home runs. Jorge Posada, Alex Rodriguez and Brett Gardner also homered.

Gail Burton/AP


Saturday featured a great performance
by CC Sabathia, along with a
plethora of hits and home runs for the Yanks, while Sunday saw the Yanks pull
out a game that they could have lost when Mariano
Rivera
blew his second straight save opportunity.  I am not concerned about Mo, as he has had
short stretches like this during the season in recent years. 

Sunday saw a great hitting
performance by the ‘written off for dead’ Derek
Jeter
, who went 4-for-6 with a run scored and a RBI to raise his batting
average to .257.  I agree that it’s too
soon to write Jeter’s obituary, just like it is too soon to start questioning
if Mo is losing it.  But still, I have
the right to ask.  Is it time for Jorge Posada to call it a career?  I know it’s still early, but a .153 batting
average is abysmal.  Let’s hope that he
turns it around like David Ortiz
always seems to do for the Red Sox…

Congratulations to Freddy Garcia for another six inning
shut-out!  Also, after wondering if the
Yankees made a huge mistake in unloading Ian
Kennedy
, Phil Coke and Austin Jackson to acquire Curtis Granderson for most of last
season, I am a fan of the Grandy Man!  He
hit his 7th home run of this young season, and could be on track for
30+.  He has definitely gained a comfort
zone in pinstripes.

Saturday’s hero, aside from
the great job by CC Sabathia, was
catcher Russell Martin.  We are not out of April and he already has
one more home run than last season, and needs just one more to tie his total for
2009.  Combined with good health, the
change of scenery has been very good for Martin.  I am looking forward to Francisco Cervelli‘s return so that he can start spelling Martin on
occasion, but I am glad that GM Brian
Cashman
had the foresight to sign Martin rather than go with the untested Jesus Montero.  Montero’s time will come but it was obvious
that his time is not now.  Martin has
been very instrumental in the Yankees’ strong start, especially when you
consider how sluggish the team has performed the last few Aprils.  I don’t want to criticize Posada, but I like
the way Martin has meshed with the pitching rotation.

I hope everyone had a very
Happy Easter today.  Easter time with the
family definitely brings back great memories…


–Scott

The Dog Days Extended…

 

 

So far, September has not been kind…



 


The month started with so much promise when the
Yankees won from September 1st through 4th, but since
then, wins have been hard to come by. 
They won only one game during the second week of the month, and so far,
have only two wins this week pending the outcome of Saturday night’s game.  A few weeks ago, the question was whether the
Yankees would win the AL East with the Tampa Bay Rays taking the Wild
Card.  At a time they should have been
able to put away the Boston Red Sox, the Sox still have hope, only 7 games
behind the Yankees (6 ½ behind the Rays). 

 

Sure, the Yankees are in first place, with a very
thin lead.  However, the schedule the
rest of the way is brutal.  After the
Yankees leave Baltimore (the Orioles have certainly not been a slouch by any
stretch of the imagination, particularly since former Yankees manager Buck
Showalter took over), they face a Murderer’s Row-like lineup of Tampa Bay,
Boston, and Toronto.  The Rays and Red
Sox are the obvious rivals, but the Blue Jays have played the Yanks very tough
this year.  It is a schedule that will
prove what the 2010 Yankees are made of.

 

Last night’s game was very exciting.  Hopefully, it will be one that the team can
build upon.  In the 9th inning
with two outs and two runs down, it looked like it would be another loss.  Fortunately, Alex Rodriguez saved the day
with his second home run of the day, a three-run shot that gave the Yankees the
margin of victory, 4-3. 

 

In looking ahead, the Yankees play a three-game
series against the Boston Red Sox next weekend in the Bronx.  For the series, Julia (of Julia’s Rants) and
I will hold another wager.  For this
series, the loser must wear the opposing team’s hat for a photo on his/her
blog.  Also, through previous wagers,
Julia has acquired a Yankees t-shirt and I have a Red Sox t-shirt so we’d have
to include those shirts.  I know this is
a tame wager, but the Yankees and Red Sox close out the regular season with a
three-game series in Boston so we’ll be looking to close out the year with a
bang.  As long as the Yankees win both
series, I am cool with it! 
J

 

I have to admit that I had very mixed feelings when
I first heard that Los Angeles Dodgers manager Joe Torre had decided to step
down at the end of the season, and was handing the reins to one of my all-time
favorite Yankees, Don Mattingly.  I had
quietly harbored hopes that Donnie Baseball could find his way back to the
Bronx, perhaps as a potential replacement for manager Joe Girardi if Joe
decides to go to Chicago.  Realistically,
it would probably never happen because Don does not have any major or minor
league managerial experience and that’s a pre-requisite in New York. 



Joe Torre Don Mattingly L.A. Dodgers

Gene J. Puskar/AP

 

None of this means that I want Joe Girardi to
leave.  I am just bracing for the possibility.  There is no telling how strong his Chicago
roots might be pulling him to return home. 
It would be very intriguing to be the guy who brought the World Series
to Wrigley Field.  Winning World
Championship #28 for the Yankees wouldn’t forever etch Girardi’s name into
baseball legend like winning one for the Cubs would.  Hopefully, the Steinbrenner Family will do
what it takes to lock up Joe long-term so that there is no possibility for a
managerial search after the season.

 

As for Joe Torre, I am not convinced he is
finished.  None of his words have implied
that he is ready to hang it up.  I am not
sure that he’d be a good fit for the Cubs, but perhaps the Mets if they fire
Jerry Manuel.  I’ve wondered if the
Yankees would try to bring him back if Girardi leaves, but outside of George
Steinbrenner’s departure, the senior executives who were against Torre in his
latter years with the team are still in place. 
Plus, there’s always the issue with the book Torre wrote.   Whatever happens, I don’t want to see Bobby
Valentine in the Bronx…

 

Since I started writing this post, the Yankees have
defeated the Baltimore Orioles, 11-3, for their second consecutive
victory.  It is a much-needed win and
hopefully they’ll begin gaining momentum for the challenging late month series
coming up.   Congratulations to CC
Sabathia (20-6) for his first 20-win season! 
I am very happy to see CC finally nab the elusive victory (it was his
third attempt at 20).  



sabathia.JPG

US Presswire


A late Rays rally
against the Los Angeles Angels prevented the Yankees from gaining any ground,
but the Boston Red Sox did lose to fall 8 games back. 

 

On Sunday, Andy Pettitte will make his
much-anticipated return from the DL.  Clearly,
he is a key for the post-season so hopefully he can pick up where he left off
as he was pitching brilliantly prior to the injury.  A Pettitte win on Sunday would make it a
terrific weekend!

 

–Scott


Buck’s Statement Series Against the Yanks…

 

Revenge is best served cold…

 

 

Gail Burton/AP

 

 

Unfortunately, the last laugh belongs to former Yankees manager Buck Showalter.  A funny thing happened to the Yankees on their way to the AL East Championship; they were derailed by Showalter’s Baltimore Orioles.  Following an 8-game winning streak, the Yanks have now lost three games in a row including the first two of their latest series with the O’s.  As the O’s were pounding the Yankees tonight, the Tampa Bay Rays were thumping the Boston Red Sox to move closer to first.

 

 

Daisuke Matsuzaka

The Boston Globe

 

In a dead heat, it is hard not to give the Rays the advantage due to their superior pitching staff.   Frankly, I am not so sure that the Yankees have the pitching to advance very deep into the play-offs regardless of whether they win the AL East or get in as the Wild Card.  I want the Yankees to win, of course, but when the O’s can pummel your ace like a batting practice pitcher, and the next pitcher in line, A.J. Burnett, no longer trusts his stuff, how can you get excited about your team’s chances?  No one knows how Andy Pettitte will perform, and there is a very good chance he’ll have some rust to shake at a time when there is no time.  Javier Vazquez is finished as a frontline starter in New York at least, and Phil Hughes is about done as he nears his innings ceiling.  The second best starter on the staff right now is rookie Ivan Nova.  The missed opportunities to get either Cliff Lee (regardless of his recent health issues) or Ted Lilly will haunt the Yanks in October.  I realize that it wasn’t necessarily Brian Cashman’s fault, but looking back, I was so surprised last off-season when the decision was made to bring future ex-Yankee Vazquez back to New York.  I thought it was a mistake at the time, and now it appears to be a catastrophic error. 

 

 

 

 

When the Yankees win, things are fantastic, but when they lose, it’s doom and gloom, I know.  But realistically speaking, win or lose, the Yankees simply do not have the horses in the starting rotation beyond CC Sabathia to excel in the play-offs when clearly good pitching beats good hitting.

 

The Yankees have a great offense, but without top line pitching, their hitters can’t power their way to October wins.  The injury issues with Alex Rodriguez and Nick Swisher have hurt, as has Derek Jeter’s slump.  Lance Berkman is starting to figure out AL pitching but is it too little too late?  Time will tell. 

 

This off-season will be one of transition for the Yanks.  They’ll have to make some hard decisions, and they’ll need to look at replacing some of the old guard.  The Boston Red Sox have proven that no team should get too attached to any player.  I know the Sox will most likely miss the play-offs but that’s only because of the toll the injuries have had on the team (which is beyond Theo Epstein’s control).  Otherwise, it is not outside of the realm of possibility that the Yanks could be in third chasing the Rays and the Sox. 

 

 

 

 

It’s hard to believe that the NFL season is now upon us.  My team, the Minnesota Vikings, open the season on Thursday night against the Super Bowl Champion New Orleans Saints.  Brett Favre will get the chance to prove that he should have run instead of attempting to pass, but it will be hard to re-capture last year’s magic.  Favre’s favorite target, Sidney Rice, is on the sidelines thanks to hip surgery.  In reading many Minnesota news reports, you come to the conclusion that the media feels strongly this is the final year of the Vikings’ window of opportunity.  I know so much rides on Brett Favre’s arm, but the rest of the team does have some talent.  I was sad to see fellow Iowa native Sage Rosenfels traded to the New York Giants, but something had to give to protect QB prospect Joe Webb.  I am not a fan of backup QB Tavaris Jackson, but I am also not so sure that Webb will be ready to take over at QB when Favre retires (for good) at the end of the year.  I was quietly hoping the Vikings would make a play on free agent QB Matt Leinart before he signed with the Houston Texans.  I know that Leinart failed in Arizona, but I do believe that he has the talent to succeed in the right system.  He is signed to just a one-year deal so hopefully he’ll be one of the options the Vikings look at when trying to replace Favre for next season.

 

 

Matt York/AP

 

I guess this is a ‘glass is half empty’ kind of night…

 

 

 

 

–Scott

 

Expectations High, Results Higher…

 

Wow!…

 

 


Expectations.JPG 

 

It was probably the most anticipated start in major league baseball for as many years as I can recall.  I don’t remember a time when a rookie was as hyped as Stephen Strasburg was this year.  I know the opponent was only the Pittsburgh Pirates, but it is still a team of major league players.  Strasburg was brilliant despite the incredible pressure of high expectations.  He matched the season high in strikeouts for any pitcher by striking out 14 batters (Max Scherzer of the Detroit Tigers struck out 14 on May 30th against the A’s).  It was also the highest strikeout total in a pitching debut since James Rodney Richard of the Houston Astros in 1971 and Karl Spooner of the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1954.  Strasburg went 7 innings until he was lifted for a pinch hitter, allowing only 4 hits and 2 runs.   Matt Capps closed out the game to give Strasburg his first major league victory in his first major league start.   I’d say expectations were met…

 

 

Washington Nationals starting pitcher Stephen Strasburg warms up before his major league debut against the Pittsburgh Pirates in a baseball game in Washington, Tuesday, June 8, 2010.

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

 

I am happy for the Washington Nationals and their fans.   The Expos/Nationals have historically been the Los Angeles Clippers of Major League Baseball.  Great baseball players have passed through the organization, but too often they achieved their greatest successes elsewhere.  However, they’ve finally started to collect good, young talent and are the new Tampa Bay Rays.  Their future is very bright, and Strasburg gives the team a leg up on everyone else.   Five years from now, when many current stars will be fading or retired, Strasburg should be at the top of the heap with the Nationals, with an outfield that include 2010 #1 overall pick Bryce Harper, and primed for championships.

 

I have to admit that I was a bit disappointed with the Yankees first round selection in the 2010 MLB Draft.  They selected a player that did not appear on any mock draft boards and wasn’t targeted to be selected until possibly the 4th or 5th round.  When his name was read, an internet search yielded nothing.  Cito Culver/RHP.  I was surprised that the Yanks would go for a high school pitcher, but later reports indicated that his name was actually Christopher Culver (Cito is his nickname) and he was drafted as a shortstop.  It’s possible that he may be Derek Jeter’s future replacement.  Before the draft, I had heard that the Yankees had intended to go for the best player available.  Given that Culver is a New York-area player, I am hopeful that the lack of praise for Culver is the product of a very astute Yankees scouting department and not simply a reach for a player with potential promise.  Time will tell…

 

 

Yankees draft table first round Gene Michaels Roy White

Mike Stobe/Getty Images

 

Oh yeah, the Yankees did play a game tonight.  Granted, the Yankees generally struggle against lesser teams but the next two series involving the Baltimore Orioles and the Houston Astros should serve the team well as they start revving up the momentum for interleague play which ultimately leads to Dodger Stadium.  Behind Phil Hughes, the Yankees defeated the O’s 12-7.  Hughes’ performance wasn’t quite Strasburg-like, but it was enough to win his 8th game of the season.  He only went 6 innings, giving up 9 hits but only 3 runs, and struck out 4.  Kevin Millwood (0-7) continued his no-luck pitching for the O’s in taking the loss. 

 

 

hughes.JPG

Getty Images

 

If it is possible to blow a 9-run lead, Chad Gaudin did his best to try.  He allowed a two-run homer to Adam Jones in the 8th, and gave up a two-run scoring double in the 9th.   Personally, I thought that Manager Joe Girardi let Gaudin pitch too long and if it were up to me, I would designate Gaudin for assignment after the game.  Just like he did for Oakland, he has done nothing for the Yanks and is occupying valuable roster space. 

 

 

 

Unfortunately, both the Boston Red Sox and the Tampa Bay Ray won so no ground was gained in the AL East standings. 

 

Oh well, tomorrow is a new day!  J

 

 

Road Trip Blues…

 

Not that we need further evidence, but the Yanks are clearly better at home…

 

 


Go Home.JPG 

 

 

Next to the Baltimore Orioles, the Yankees have the word road record in the AL East.  By salvaging the last game of the three game set with the Blue Jays in Toronto, the Yankees are 16-15.  By comparison, the Tampa Bay Rays hold a road record of 22-8.  The Yankees have the best home record in the division at 19-7 but they do need to figure out how to win on the road if they intend to be successful.

 

The Yankees had been playing great until their arrival in Canada.  Friday night’s loss was abysmal as the Jays battered their former teammate, A.J. Burnett.  Saturday, the problem wasn’t pitching as Andy Pettitte was great; it was the lack of hitting and scoring.  Credit Jays’ pitching but they kept the Yankees off the board in extra innings before they prevailed in the bottom of the 14th inning, 3-2.  Mark Teixeira had one of his worst games with 5 strikeouts.

 

 

Mark Teixeira, striking out, against Mets

Andrew Mills/The Star Ledger

 

The losses made Sunday’s game a “must-win” if there is such a thing in June.  After losing ground to both the Jays and the Boston Red Sox, the Yankees needed to turn the tables.  Early on, it was a stellar pitching duel between Toronto’s Brandon Marrow and New York’s Javier Vazquez. 

 

Javy had a no-hitter going into the sixth inning.  With two outs, he walked Adam Lind which brought Vernon Wells to the plate.  Wells homered in what would be the only hit off the day off Vazquez for a 2-0 Jays lead.

 

Vazquez breezed through the bottom of the 7th inning with three up and three down.  His day would be finished thanks to what would happen next.  In the top of the 8th inning, the Yankees broke through for four runs and their first lead of the game. 

 

Francisco Cervelli and Brett Gardner were both hit by pitches to start the innings (Cervelli by Morrow; and Gardner by Scott Downs).  Derek Jeter made the Jays pay for their miscues with a run-scoring double.  After Nick Swisher struck out, the Jays intentionally walked hitless Mark Teixeira (why?).  With the bases now loaded, Gardner scored on a Jason Frasor wild pitch.  After Alex Rodriguez struck out, Robinson Cano came up with the hit of the day when his single scored Jeter and Teixeira.  The Yankees would need those extra runs as the Jays would close the gap to 4-3 in the bottom of the frame when former Yank Jose Molina scored on a single by Fred Lewis.  Joba Chamberlain, who had started the 8th in relief of Vazquez, needed help from Damaso Marte to get out of the inning but it was Mariano Rivera and “game over” in the 9th.

 

 

 

Mariano Rivera

AP

 

The Yankees now head to Baltimore for a series against the Orioles at Camden Yards.  Since they last saw the O’s, the O’s have a new manager (Juan Samuel, replacing the fired Dave Trembley) and they are no longer mired in a long losing streak thanks to today’s 11th inning walk-off win against the Boston Red Sox.

 

Boston Globe

 

Hopefully, the Yanks can shake their road doldrums and end the current road trip on a high note.

 

Following the trip to Baltimore, the Yankees will return home for the continuation of interleague play.  They’ll see the Astros, Phillies and Mets before heading west for a trip down memory lane.  On June 21st through 23rd, they’ll be in Phoenix to face the Arizona Diamondbacks.  It is the scene of two of the worst baseball games I’ve ever personally attended, Games 2 and 6 of the 2001 World Series.  Then, in the climax of interleague play, they’ll be in Chavez Ravine on June 25th through 27th to confront old friends Joe Torre and Don Mattingly, and the Los Angeles Dodgers.  It should be a thrilling month, but PLEASE, work on the road record! 

 

 

Reuters

 

 

The Machine is Moving Again!…

 

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! 

 

–Scott

Spell Vazquez with a W!…

 

It took a few times for the formula to work…

 

 


Quantum Physics Cat.JPG 

 

 

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. 

 

 

Javier Vazquez Yankees White Sox

Christopher Pasatieri/Newsday/MCT

 

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

 

Fail.JPG

 

 

The Battle of Beantown, Part II…

 

Bring out the broom…

 

 


 
Sweep.JPG 

 

The Baltimore Orioles have proven to be very challenging for the Yankees in recent years.  The Orioles are one of the AL’s young and improving teams, and they’ll be a force to be reckoned with in the not-so-distant future.  Despite the slow start, the Orioles came into the Bronx fresh off a weekend sweep of the Boston Red Sox.  But pitching prevailed as the Yankees completed a three game sweep before heading to Boston for their own weekend series against the Red Sox. 

 

 

Nick Johnson homers in the second as the New York Yankees jump out to a 6-1 lead and hold off the Orioles for a 7-5 win on Wednesday.

Antonelli/NY Daily News

 

I’d love to think that…if the Orioles can sweep the Red Sox and the Yankees can sweep the Orioles, then surely the Yankees can…  Oh well, one can dream!  It should be a fun series at Fenway Park.

 

 

 

 

After the Yankees picked up wins in the first two games against Baltimore behind the pitching of CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett, I was somewhat concerned that the Yankees would be caught looking ahead to the weekend on “getaway day”.  Thanks to homers by Nicks Johnson and Swisher, Andy Pettitte was staked to an early 6-1 lead but he departed in the 5th inning due to a stiff elbow.  An MRI later revealed mild inflammation in his left elbow, and he is expected to miss his next start.  With Mariano Rivera still out and Joba Chamberlain unavailable after two consecutive nights of work, the game was left in the hands of the bullpen.  Baltimore mounted a rally against the relief corps, but the Yankees held on for the 7-5 win.  Alfredo Aceves picked up the save. 

 

 

pettittehurt.JPG

Christopher Pasatieri/Newsday/MCT 

 

The Yankees have definitely dealt with their share of injuries lately.  Fortunately, only one player was hurt enough for placement on the DL (Curtis Granderson; strained groin).  The others, like Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera, have simply taken a few days off.  The Yankees will most likely skip Pettitte’s next start as a precautionary measure, but hopefully, Posada and Rivera will be ready for action on Friday night. 

 

 

 

 

With the Yankees headed for Boston, it can only mean one thing…for me, anyway.  It’s time for my latest battle against Julia of Julia’s Rants!  This time, we’ve decided to make the loser go on a journey to find an inexpensive piece of memorabilia about the ‘other’ team.  It can’t be something that is current and easy to find.  Part of the loser’s obligation will be to document their journey by photographs in the quest.  The loser will have until the end of Memorial Day Weekend to complete their adventure.  It should be a very fun time for Julia as she explores Boston for Yankees paraphernalia!  Hey Julia, Game On!  J

 

 


Found.JPG 

 

 

Speaking of the Red Sox, they did the classy thing and had Nomar Garciaparra Day today at Fenway Park against the Los Angeles Angels.  Despite the 2004 trade and Nomar’s subsequent stays in Chicago, Los Angeles and Oakland, he remains a fan favorite in Boston and the city was allowed to express their love and respect for a great former Red Sox player.  A very nice touch by the Red Sox organization…

 

 

Nomar addresses the media

Boston Globe Staff

 

 

I’d also like to pay respects to the late great Ernie Harwell.  The long-time Detroit Tigers announcer lost his battle with cancer at age 92.  I may not have been a Tigers fan, but I was…correction, I am…an Ernie Harwell fan.  For a wonderful tribute to one of the game’s greatest, you don’t have to go any further than Mitch Albom’s column in the Detroit Free Press.  His column entitled ‘Ernie Harwell:  Gone now, but not forgotten’ is a must-read.

 

 


Ernie.JPGDaniel Mears/The Detroit News

 

 

So, Julia‘s Boston Bruins and my San Jose Sharks are both a game away for their respective conference finals.  Both teams hold commanding 3 games to none leads in their current series, the Sharks against the Detroit Red Wings and the Bruins against the Philadelphia Flyers.  A Stanley Cup is not a certainty by any stretch as both teams still have to a) win their current series, and b) win the conference finals.  But here’s at least one person hoping for a match-up against the great Ranter from Massachusetts!  Hey Julia, Games on! 

 

 

San Jose Sharks defenseman Marc-Edouard Vlasic (44), winger Dany Heatley (15) and center Joe Thornton (19) surround center Patrick Marleau, not seen, behind Detroit Red Wings defenseman Brian Rafalski (28) after Marleau's overtime goal in a second-round NHL playoff hockey game in Detroit, Tuesday, May 4, 2010. (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Carlos Osorio/AP

Hahaha!…I Love It!…

 

It was in the Wall Street Journal so it must be true!…

 

 


So True.JPG 

 

Ask my friend Julia who the most hated team in baseball is and I’m sure she will point towards the Bronx.  Sorry Julia!  According to the Wall Street Journal, the Cleveland Indians are the most hated team followed closely by…the Boston Red Sox!

 

 

RSN.JPG

 

The Yankees may have finished fifth on the list (created by Nielsen Co. using an Internet algorithm), but they were better than the Red Sox (of course!) and that’s all that really matters!  The Boston Red Sox, more despised than the New York Yankees.  Ah, what a great feeling!  Just sayin’…  J

 

 

Yankee Country.JPG

 

Nice recovery by the Yankees in Baltimore.  After dropping the first game of the series in pathetic fashion, they rebounded to take the final two games by scores of 8-3 and 4-0, respectively. 

 

In the first win, the Yankees rode a season high 15 hits to victory.  CC Sabathia was off his game somewhat as he gave up 11 hits in 7 2/3 innings, but he only allowed 3 runs. 

 

 

Mark Theiler/EPA

 

 

Robinson Cano, off to a blazing start this season, homered in the third.  Like many people, I felt that this was going to be a huge year for Cano, particularly moving up to 5th in the batting order behind Alex Rodriguez.  So far, he has not disappointed.

 

 

Yankity Blanks.JPG

Mike Ricigliano/Baltimore Sun

 

The game wasn’t all smiles as the Yankees did lose catcher Jorge Posada in the second inning with a right knee contusion after he was hit by a pitch.  He won’t miss much time but he’ll be sore for a few days. 

 

 

New York Yankees catcher Jorge Posada (r.) walks with Joe Girardi after getting hit by Oriole's pitcher Jeremy Guthrie on Wednesday.

Burton/AP

 

Tonight, the Yankees were led by the brilliant pitching of A.J. Burnett and the continued hot hitting of Robinson Cano.  Cano, with an AL-leading batting average of .407, hit his 7th and 8th home runs of the season in the fourth and eighth innings.  With Cano’s scorching bat, it’s too bad that A-Rod and Mark Teixeira aren’t hitting at the plate.  When they get going, the Yankees are going to be very hard to stop.  Sorry Julia!

 

 

Yankees' Robinson Cano

Mark Theiler/EPA

 

After Burnett left (8 innings, 3 hits, no runs, 1 walk, and 4 strikeouts, with only one base runner getting past second base), the great Mariano Rivera finished up in a non-save opportunity.

 

It was a long road trip that saw the Yankees’ series win streak snapped in Anaheim, but they finished strong with the series win in Baltimore and an overall winning record (5-4).  Now, if somebody could just beat the Tampa Bay Rays.

 

 

Third base coach Tom Foley fist bumps Jason Bartlett after a triple to right field, which scored two runs in the second inning.

James Borchuck/St. Petersburg Times

 

 

The Yankees head back to the Bronx to face the Chicago White Sox in a weekend series. Hopefully, Javier Vazquez will get going against his former teammates.  It’s time for him to get the Yankee fans behind him, and start pitching like he is capable of. 

 

 

 

Off-topic alert!

 

It is no secret that I was disappointed the Minnesota Vikings passed on a quarterback of the future in the recent NFL Draft (when they could have selected Jimmy Clausen or Colt McCoy).  They did draft a QB in the sixth round (UAB’s Joe Webb) but he is targeted for a position switch to wide receiver.  They signed undrafted free agent QB R.J. Archer of William & Mary, but the most intriguing player is QB Ryan Perrilloux.  Ryan has been given a tryout during this weekend’s mini-camp.  He was highly touted coming out of high school in 2005.  He was considered the top prospect at the position, along with current New York Jets QB Mark Sanchez.  He went to LSU, where he played behind Oakland Raiders QB JaMarcus Russell.  Off-the-field transgressions and violation of team rules led to his suspension and subsequent ouster from the school.  He transferred to Jacksonville State where he had a largely unnoticed but successful career. 

 

 

Todd Kirkland/Icon SMI

 

I don’t know what happened at LSU, but Ryan appears to have learned from the errors in his past.  I do believe in character and attitude first, but he deserves a second chance assuming that he truly has “righted the ship”.  He shares an agent (Bus Cook) with Vikings QB Brett Favre, which may have led to the tryout with the Vikings.  He has also been seen practicing with Favre this off-season.  I wish Ryan the very best in his tryout and I hope to see both him and Favre on the field for the Vikings this fall. 

 

I hope everyone has a super fantastic weekend…including Ryan!  :)

 

–Scott

 

So Close Yet So Far Away…again…

A wasted Phil Hughes performance…

 

From the movie, Hangover

 

Hughes did his part.  Unfortunately, no one else did.  Pitching into the 6th inning with only one run allowed, Hughes saw a potential victory evaporate in the hands of relievers Boone Logan and David Robertson.

 

 

 

Thanks, in part, to a throwing error by Jorge Posada in the 8th, and a subsequent hit by Cesar Izturis, the Baltimore Orioles had the insurance run they would need to hold off a late rally by the Yankees.

 

A fielder’s choice groundout by Alex Rodriguez in the 9th inning ended the game after two runs had scored in the inning to bring the Yanks within one run, 5-4.  The blazing hot Robinson Cano was left standing in the on-deck circle.

 

 

Charles Wenzelberg/NY Post

 

This was a very disappointing performance by the Yankees, who have been very uninspired of late in losing four of the last five games.  Not even a Monday trip to Washington to meet President Barack Obama helped motivate the squad. 

 

 

Obama Yankees Baseball

AP 

 

After a terrific start, the Yankees are now 12-7, 2 ½ games behind the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East.  The Boston Red Sox have won two straight to pull within 3 games of the Yankees and into third place.

 

 

Clay Buchholz

 

Boston Globe

 

In typical Curt Schilling fashion, controversial remarks were abound as he indicated Yankees pitcher Javier Vazquez was not an American League guy.  Manager Joe Girardi defended Vazquez.  “Guys are asked to analyze situations, and so they make their analysis.  We still believe Javy’s going to be successful, and he’s going to pitch at a very high level for us.”  I hope Joe’s right, but I have to admit I had the same reservations when I first heard the Yankees had re-acquired Vazquez.  His greatest successes have come in Montreal and Atlanta, both National League cities.  I am still hopeful Javy will succeed in the Bronx but the concerns and fears will remain until he proves me wrong…

 

 

The Yankees are bringing pitcher Javier Vazquez back to the Bronx...

Bazemore/AP

 

 

Hats off to San Francisco pitcher Jonathan Sanchez for outdueling the great Roy Halladay in the Giants’ 5-1 win over the Philadelphia Phillies last night.

 

 

San Francisco Giants starting pitcher Jonathan Sanchez th... Marcio Jose Sanchez / AP

Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP

 

 

 

 

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