Results tagged ‘ Orioles ’
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…
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…
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.
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
Not that we need further evidence, but the Yanks are clearly better at home…
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.
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.
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.
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!
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
Bring out the broom…
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.
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.
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
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…
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.
Daniel 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!
It was in the Wall Street Journal so it must be true!…
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!
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
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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…
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.
Marcio Jose Sanchez/AP
Without much surprise, Curtis Granderson was named the latest Yankees center fielder…
Gene J. Puskar/AP
…in a long line of great center fielders.
Gene J. Puskar/AP
While I think playing catcher for the Yankees is very prestigious given the great catchers past and present, center field is clearly THE position for the Yankees. Well, Derek Jeter would tell you shortstop, but there have been few ‘great’ Yankees shortstops until DJ came along. Scooter held the unofficial title as franchise best until Jeter, but the rest have been good but not great. Sorry Bucky, the home run in 1978 was fantastic, but you still have to be put in the ‘good, not great’ category…
Jack Curry of YES Network.com has written the article that I have feared. This could very well be Andy Pettitte’s final season before he heads home for good to Deer Park, Texas. I always thought that Andy would be one to retire too soon rather than too late. I didn’t expect to see him pitching into his 40′s like his former good friend Roger Clemens or the Phillies fifth starter Jamie Moyer. I actually thought Andy might call it a career after last year’s World Championship, so I was somewhat surprised he made the decision to return so quickly this past off-season.
But the comments Andy makes in the Curry interview are the strongest yet that I’ve heard Andy publicly say and it does sound like someone who is starting to reconcile retirement in his own mind. I will hate to see Andy go, but I will support whatever decision he feels is best for him and his family. He will always be a part of the Yankees family. It was tough to see him pitch in Houston for three years, so hopefully, the Yankees organization will keep him in the fold with spring training coaching invitations, old-timers games, and other related functions.
Until then, I’ll continue to enjoy watching Andy win for the Yankees.
Introducing the 2010 New York Yankees:
Catcher: Jorge Posada
First Base: Mark Teixeira
Shortstop: Derek Jeter
Third Base: Alex Rodriguez
Right Field: Nick Swisher
Center Field: Curtis Granderson
Left Field: Brett Gardner
DH: Nick Johnson
1st Starting Pitcher: CC Sabathia
2nd Starting Pitcher: A.J. Burnett
3rd Starting Pitcher: Andy Pettitte
4th Starting Pitcher: Javier Vazquez
5th Starting Pitcher: Phil Hughes
Closer: Mariano Rivera
Infield/Bench: Ramiro Pena
Outfield/Bench: Randy Winn
Outfield/Bench: Marcus Thames
Backup Catcher: Francisco Cervelli
Reliever: Joba Chamberlain
Reliever: Damaso Marte
Reliever: David Robertson
Reliever: Sergio Mitre
Reliever: Chan Ho Park
Reliever: Alfredo Aceves
Reliever: Boone Logan
Is this the team that will propel the Yankees to their 28th World Championship? Time will tell, but I like our chances.
I hate to date myself, but there are nine players on the Yankees 2010 roster that were born AFTER Don Mattingly had his major league debut with the Yankees in late 1982.
Finally, I was saddened to hear the passing of former Baltimore Orioles pitching great Mike Cuellar. Mike was only 72, and died today from stomach cancer in Florida. He joined Jim Palmer, Dave McNally and Pat Dobson as the only foursome other than the 1920 Chicago White Sox (Red Faber, Lefty Williams, Eddie Cicotte and Dickie Kerr) to win 20 games each. Ironically, of the four, only Palmer survives, as McNally and Dobson passed away in 2002 and 2006, respectively. From 1969 through 1974, Mike won 20 games four times as the Orioles dominated the American League East. He also pitched and won the deciding fifth game of the 1970 World Series, a 9-3 victory over the Cincinnati Reds.
Who’s the frontrunner?
Suddenly, Sergio Mitre is gaining the backing of the New York Press in his attempt to win the fifth spot in the starting pitching rotation. I still think the winner will ultimately be Phil Hughes, but he needs to show he belongs in the rotation now and forevermore.
Cataffo/NY Daily News
What happens if Mitre doesn’t win a starting role? With the many arms competing for spots in the pen, several with long relief experience, the best case scenario might be to showcase Mitre for other teams for a possible late spring training trade. Prospects are fine, but the Yankees need to parlay Mitre into potential for the future.
Keivom/NY Daily News
It was scary to hear the news that catcher Francisco Cervelli had been plunked in the head. I was in Arizona on a business trip and somewhat removed from sports news. I received an email from my good friend Julia, who expressed legitimate concern for a Yankee even though she dislikes anything Bronx-oriented. Thanks Julia! Cervelli may be ready to play by Friday and I am hopeful for a smooth and healthy return. Cervelli, and his attitude, are definitely why I am proud to be a Yankees fan. He’s a genuinely good guy and the team is placing great faith in his ability to backup Jorge Posada. At his advancing age, Posada will need more days off so the defensive-minded Cervelli will play a huge role for the 2010 Yankees.
I gotta admit that it was nice to see Nick Johnson in the lineup again. ..
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images
Today was a good day. Two wins. 7-5 over the World Series rival Philadelphia Phillies, and 6-0 against Team ex-Yankees, the Pittsburgh Pirates. Considering the recent string of losses, today was a day to enjoy. I still can’t figure out why the Red Sox aren’t on the spring schedule but two wins are two wins. Well, at least until Opening Day when we pick up our first official win!
I really hope the Minnesota Twins closer Joe Nathan is not seriously hurt. I am not a Twins fan but there is something right about baseball when the Twins are competing. The loss of Nathan would be huge so hopefully the news in the coming days will be positive for Nathan and the Twins.
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Count me among those who think the Baltimore Orioles will be much improved this year. If the Orioles were a stock on the NYSE, I’d definitely rate them as a buy. Kevin Millwood is formidable at the top of the rotation, but Brian Matusz flat out scares me. The O’s are quietly assembling a championship club.
I thought the Hank Blalock signing was a solid move by the Tampa Bay Rays. The AL East is going to be a battleground this year. No team can afford to let up for any stretch of the schedule. I am very thankful that Doc Halladay is no longer pitching in Toronto. Here’s my first pass at a 2010 prediction for the AL East:
1. Yankees (of course!)
3. Red Sox (a disappointing year for the newcomers! :D)
5. Blue Jays
For some reason, I don’t think Julia will agree…
You talkin’ to me?…
After dropping two games to the Baltimore Orioles, the Yankees averted a sweep by clobbering the O’s 13-3 on Sunday. As usual, the stopper was CC Sabathia. It wasn’t a great performance but it was enough to help CC pick up his 17th victory of the season (against 7 losses). CC went 7 innings and gave up 5 hits and 3 runs. He walked 4 and struck out only 1 batter. Still, CC showed why he is the ace of the staff…
The game saw the ejections of Alex Rodriguez and Joe Girardi. A-Rod took a called third strike to end the fourth inning with the bases loaded. He felt that the pitch was outside. He continued jawing with the umpire, Marty Foster, about the call, particularly after watching a video replay following the top of the 5th which confirmed his belief that the pitch was outside. Foster finally had enough and tossed A-Rod and then Manager Joe Girardi, who argued very animatedly the umpire.
There is bad blood between the Yankees and Foster, who also made a bad call on Derek Jeter in July.
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
Chris Faytock/The Star Ledger
Eric Hinske took over for A-Rod at third after the ejection, but fortunately, it worked out in the end. Thanks to an 8-run 8th, which included a three-run homer by Matsui, the Yankees put this one away and assured a return to the win column.
Nonetheless, they will still lose a ½ game to the Boston Red Sox, who swept the Tampa Bay Rays today. The Yankees now lead Boston by 7 games. How sad is it that the Rays have now lost 11 straight games? The magic of 2008 is definitely gone.
The Yankees’ lead over the Los Angeles Angels for best record in the league stands at 5 games.
Mark J. Terrill/AP
This is an interesting week schedule-wise. The Yankees will play one game against the Los Angeles Angels on Monday. This is a make-up of the May 3rd rainout at Yankee Stadium. I remember that day well considering that I was in attendance at Yankee Stadium. I won’t be able to take advantage of my ticket tomorrow since I’ve since relocated from the East Coast to California, but I’ll definitely be there in spirit. The last time the Yankees faced the Angels, they were swept (final series before the All-Star Break). This is just one game, but the Yankees have a chance to make a statement against the Angels. Joba Chamberlain (8-5) faces Jered Weaver (15-5).
Taylor Public Relations
Then, the Yankees close out the home stand with two games against the Toronto Blue Jays. They travel across the country on Thursday to open a three-game weekend series in Seattle against the Mariners.
Congratulations to Brett Favre for his first victory with the Minnesota Vikings. The Vikings defeated the Cleveland Browns and Favre’s former coach, Eric Mangini, 34-20, on Sunday.
His stats weren’t great (14-for-21, 110 yards, 1 TD), but when you have Adrian Peterson in your backfield running for 180 yards and 3 TD’s, there’s not much you need to do.
I was excited that Favre’s lone passing TD was to Percy Harvin. I am excited about what Harvin means to the Vikings offense, and hopefully, this is the start of something special…