Tagged: A.J. Burnett

It’s Gonna Be a Good Season…

Yanks Off to Winning Start

The day I had waited for for what seemed an eternity finally arrived on Thursday: Yankees Opening Day! I didn’t know what to expect, so I went into the day with no expectations. Sure, I didn’t want to admit it, but I was worried about them facing Verlander in the Opener. I was worried about certain guys getting off to a good start. And I was worried about the weather.

And most importantly, I was worried about missing the majority of the game because of school.

Being the nerd I am, I had to stay after school Thursday for a meeting with the Superindenent that I could not skip. “Aw jeez,” I thought. “That’s an extra hour of the game I”ll miss. I hope my boys do alright.”

When the 3:00 bell rang, I fled the school as fast as I could.

“How’re they doin?” was the first thing I asked my Dad on the way home.

“Tied 3-3.” he said.

“How’s CC?”

“Doing alright, not his best.”

“Who tied it up? Like, were the Yanks winning and did they blow the lead, or what?” I nervously questioned.

“They were down 1-0, Teixeira hit a 3-run hom-

“MAAAAAAAAARRKK!!!!!” I couldn’t hlep myself. I was just so stunned that Teixeira did something big in game 1. It was his first Opening Day hit with the Yanks.

“Then the Tigers came back,” my Dad finished, not the least bit startled by my exclamation. He’s used to that.

Once we got home, it was the top of the 7th, and Sabathia had been relieved by Joba Chamberlain. CC’s line was pretty good: 6 innings, 6 hits, 3 runs (2 earned), 2 walks, and 7 strikeouts on 106 pitches.

I was impressed by Joba Chamberlain, who still had the icky hair, and who had a perfect 1-2-3 7th.

I was lucky to get home when I did. Bottom of the 7th, game tied 3-3, my cutie Curtis Granderson stepped up to the plate. All offseason long, my family and I discussed how we thought certain guys would perform. I said that I expected huge things from Curtis this year – I felt he’d reach the 40 home run plateau in 2011.

Sure enough, Curtis hit a monster home run into the 2nd deck in right field to give the Yanks a 4-3 lead.

“OH MY GOD, CURTIS!!!! AWWW!!!! WE’RE WINNING!!!!”

              Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson breaks a 3-3 tie in the seventh inning with a blast to center off former Yankee Phil Coke.

Way to make me look good, Curtis!

From there on, the Yanks never looked back. They tacked on 2 more runs via a Derek Jeter sac fly and a Nick Swisher RBI single. The bullpen was perfect: Rafael Soriano and his #29 jersey impressed me with a 1-2-3 8th, and Mo was Mo looking good with high socks and a 1-2-3 9th.

Yankees win game 1 by the score of 6-3.

They couldn’t have played better. The Heroes for the Opening Day win are Mark Teixeira for his big blast, Curtis Granderson, for his stellar defense and clutch homer, and the Yankee bullpen, for being perfect.

I was able to catch the entire game 2, a game where Burnett didn’t suck, and the Yankee offense exploded.

My boys got off to a 3-0 start in the first inning thanks to an RBI double by A-Rod (who WILL be MVP this year), an RBI single by Cano, and a sac fly by Swish.

The longball was key for the Yanks in game 2. Mark Teixeira DID IT AGAIN with a 3-run homer to give the Yanks a 6-0 lead. He’s on pace to hit 162 home runs this season! Keep it up, Mark!

               Mark Teixeira and the Yankees celebrate his 3-run homer in support of A.J. Burnett (below).

Russell Martin surprised the heck out of me when he went deep for a 3-run shot in the 5th to give the boys a 9-3 lead. Honestly, I didn’t expect much from Martin. But in the first two games, he has impressed me. I didn’t expect him to steal bases, and he’s done that already. And he filled the home run column. I think he’s going to be the best #9 hitter in baseball.

The Yankees added on another run in the 6th with an Alex Rodriguez home run. He’s a beast.

A.J. Burnett was decent through 5 innings. He looked good over the first 4, but ran into a little trouble in the 5th. He managed to escape with minimal damage. Burnett allowed 3 runs over 5 innings and struckout 6. He was relieved by David Robertson who had a scoreless 6th. Luis Ayala, who I thought was pretty mediocre in Spring Training, gave up 2 runs. Boone Logan saw a little action, and Mariano Rivera closed out the game for his 2nd save of the season.

The Heroes for the Victory here are the homer boys: Teixeira, Martin, and A-Rod.

It’s such a beautiful thing…the Yankees are 2-0 this year, and the “best team in baseball,” the Boston Red Sox, are 0-2. One of their star-offseason acquisitions, Carl Crawford, has not gotten a hit yet. And their pitching has been dreadful so far.

HA. HA. HA!

Who’s the best team in the AL East? Can I hear you say it?

NEW YORK YANKEES.

Ahh, it’s a beautiful thing…I love it.

It’s gonna be a goooood season.

    

Catching Up: Cliff Lee, College, Christmas

A lot has happened since the last time I posted, and I’ve had more than enough time to reflect. Yesterday was Christmas, and all I wanted was some Green Day sheet music and Cliff Lee. I got my music (yay!), but not Lee…he signed what seems an eternity ago with the Phillies. Little coward…At first I was devastated about Lee, but after awhile I began to think: he NEVER wanted to be a Yankee, so why the heck did I even want him in the first place? Baseball players, especially pitchers, are fragile creatures. If they aren’t happy, they will not be successful. Cliff Lee was to scared to come to NY, so whatever.

In other news, I found out on Thursday, December 17 that I was accepted into Marist College and received a hefty scholarship. It was my first and only choice, so thank God I’m in. I hope to Major in Sports Communications. Now that that big weight has been lifted from my shoulders, I can concentrate on more important things, like the blog. Being a nerd, I will still do all my schoolwork, but I won’t have spend as much time on it (it’s time to enjoy senior year). Instead, I will spend time doing fun stuff, like playing piano and putting myself on youtube, learning guitar, and blogging.  

Although I haven’t blogged in awhile, I have been staying on top of the baseball news. Johnny Damon is available, and I heard the Yankees might be interested in signing him. But I then heard that it will be “unlikely” for the Yanks to sign him. Personally, I’d love to see him back. I was crushed to see him go in the first place. Johnny Damon is a fan-favorite, and I think the Yankee organization owes it to the fans do make a move like signing Damon, especially since they couldn’t make the Lee thing work out. Damon can still play, and if he’s happy (in New York) he will be even better. And he’s such a good clubhouse guy…he might even be able to help straighten out A.J Burnett! I miss his smile, I miss is hair, and I miss his shirtless interviews…Aww, Johnny I hope you come back.

 

Johnny Damon.jpgI’ve learned this offseason to not take anything for granted. So for now, I’ll just expect NOT to get Damon. So if the Yankees do get him, I’ll be extra happy.

It’s been a pretty dull offseason for the Yankees, minus the whole Derek Jeter saga. They signed former-Met Pedro Feliciano to be a leftt-specialist with Boone Logan. They also signed former-Dodger catcher Russell Martin, which I don’t like. I mean he’s a fine player and everything, but I’d really rather see Jesus Montero play. I don’t care how “ready” he is. I know the offseason is not over, but I’m just not expecting the Yankees do make any big moves. And with their starting rotation in the shape it is right now, I honestly do not think they have what it takes to contend in 2011. Sabathia, Burnett, Hughes, Nova, Mitre…not too good. So if that is the case, then why don’t they just use Montero?

I have been saying it ever since the Yankees missed out on Lee: if they aren’t going to win next year, all I want is to see Jesus Montero, this phenom, get a full year in the Bigs under his belt. If the 2011 season started tomorrow, I wouldn’t expect to win. And I’d be okay with that. I think many Yankees fans, especially ones like me who are 17 years old, have been a bit spoiled: all we’ve ever known are Yankees who win. But every once in a while, even the best teams go through periods where they are not on top. And if 2011 is the start of that period, that’s okay: I’ll still be a fan with things to look forward to, like Montero. I’m just praying that they don’t trade him.

My Mom keeps saying that I’m not being a good fan because I’m “counting them out already.” I’m just being realistic. To win, the team has to have a dominant rotation. CC Sabathia is an ace who we can count on. A.J. Burnett is too inconsistent – actually last year he was consistently BAD. Phil Hughes is a question mark – he needs to prove that he can do it again. Ivan Nova? Yeah…young, we don’t know what we are going to get. And Sergio Mitre….now I love the guy, but he’s not good enough to pitch every five days for the Yankees. With that, the Yankees won’t win. But my Mom keeps on saying “the offseason is not over, maybe they are working on something we don’t know about.”

Okay Mommy, we’ll see…I think you are wrong.

But I hope you are right…

Carl Crawford – Whatever

So by now I’m sure most people have heard the news that Carl Crawford has been signed by the Boston Red Sox to a 7 year $142 million dollar deal. Many Yankees fans were upset by this news. But in all honesty, I really didn’t care.

I’m the only one in my family of Yankees fans who didn’t want Carl Crawford. Let me put it this way: if the Yankees signed him, that would be okay. I wouldn’t be jumping for joy or anything, but I wouldn’t be upset. And if they didn’t sign him, I would be okay. I preferred not having him over having him, but either way would have been fine.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m not just in denial because the Yankees failed to get him. I did a whole debate about how I felt they shouldn’t sign him. And I won.

http://fanvsfan.com/claims/the-yankees-shouldn-t-sign-carl-crawford

Carl Crawford is a good player, but I just feel that he’s not New York Yankees material, for a number of reasons:

1) If the Yankees really wanted him, they would have pursued him more actively and wouldn’t have backed down.

2) He’s seems like a troublemaker. I don’t know. I heard a bunch of stuff about him complaining about his spot in the lineup and how he doesn’t want to play centerfield. I didn’t want my Yanks to have to deal with that.

3) Somebody would have been the odd man out. Carl Crawford would push aside either Brett Gardner or Nick Swisher. I heard rumors that the Yankees would try and trade Swisher if they got Crawford, and I think I’d die if that happened. So whatever – who needs Crawford.

4) He looks like a gangsta. That tattoo on his neck is repulsive. I didn’t want to have to stare at that every time it was his turn to bat. I know some Yankees have tattoos, like CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett, but on the arms it’s okay. Even the shoulders. That’s fine – they can always be covered up. But the NECK? Eew…just, eew.

 

Carl_Crawford_Tattoo.jpg

Carl Crawford just doesn’t look like he belongs in pinstripes. And I’m glad he’s not.

But am I okay with his destination being BOSTON?

I expected the Red Sox to get Jayson Werth. And since that plan failed, I knew they would go after Crawford. I expected him to be a Red Sock, so I’m not that upset. We’ve dealt with Crawford for this long anyway. I’m sure the Yankee pitchers can figure out a way to get him out.

And another thing that bothers me: why is it, now that the Yankees didn’t get Crawford and the Red Sox did, that everyone is saying how “Carl Crawford is the BEST all-around player in baseball” ? Whaaaat? I’m sure if the Yankees signed him, no one would say that.

One thing I’m excited about, is that the AL East will be back to the way it should be: Yankees and Red Sox. I don’t think the Rays are going to contend again. They’ve let too many of their starts go: Crawford, Pena, Soriano, Bartlett, etc. Too bad. It’s actually quite sad. They just don’t have enough fans, and not enough revenue to keep their players. They had to GIVE AWAY 20,000 free tickets to fill the stands, and they only drew 30,000 that day. Pathetic.

So the Red Sox look pretty good on paper already with the additions of Adrian Gonzalez and Carl Crawford.

Whatever.

If the Yankees get Cliff Lee, it won’t matter how much offense the Red Sox have, or how much offense the Yankees have.

I’m just hoping Cliff Lee DOES sign with the Yankees….I’m not feeling too good about this anymore. Why is it taking him so long?

Christmas is getting awfully close….and if my present isn’t there, I’m going to be really upset…

Spicy Stuff: The Story Behind Dave Eiland’s Firing

The Yankees didn’t waste any time making changes to their team. Already this offseason, a lot of stuff has happened. But the most interesting move the Yanks have made so far was firing their pitching coach of three years, Dave Eiland. Like many others, I have been speculating to why Dave Eiland really was fired. Was it because of the Yankee pitching staff’s ineffectiveness during the postseason? Or was it something else? Something….more…

I’ve combined my theories with the many other theories I’ve heard, and I have to say: I’m pretty pleased with what I’ve got.

Here’s some stuff I’ve had to consider:

-Eiland’s extended personal leave of abscence

-Eiland’s relationship with the pitchers, especially A.J. Burnett

-A.J. Burnett’s ineffectiveness

-A.J. Burnett’s black eye.

A.J. Burnett started off the 2010 season with a 3-0 record and a sparkling 2.43 ERA in his first month. From then on, everything fell apart. Burnett never went back to the “Good A.J.” June, especially, was an atrocious month for him. He posted an 0-5 record with a frightening 11.35 ERA. He never lived up to his potential in 2010, and it was frustrating to watch A.J. take the ball having not made any improvements.

In June, the time when A.J. Burnett really started to stink, Dave Eiland took an extended leave of abscence. It was personal, and no one commented on the reason to why Eiland had to leave the team. I didn’t know how long he was going to be gone. It was long, but it seemed longer because of Burnett.

Everyone spoke of Burnett and Eiland’s great relationship and how they really connected with each other. When Eiland returned in July, Burnett did improve a bit. That month, he went 3-1 with a 2.00 ERA.

But from then on, Burnett was the “Bad A.J.” and didn’t even show ANY signs of successfulness. One day in September, Burnett randomly had a black eye. It looked painful. And no one said a thing about it. Joe Girardi refused to comment on that.

I think Dave Eiland had a serious alcohol issue. I think it showed, badly, and it was so bad in June that the Yankees themselves asked him to leave and get help for however long he felt was necessary. I think Burnett was stinky in June because he was not used to not having Dave Eiland around. I think Eiland helped get Burnett back on track in July. But I think Dave Eiland had a personal setback in his sobering process. And I think that’s why Burnett also had some serious setbacks on the mound.

A.J. Burnett kept saying he was working hard to fix his issues. I believe him. And I think he was, but Eiland was too messed up to help Burnett properly. I think A.J. Burnett confronted him in September, because he promised us, the fans, that he would do better. I think A.J. told Eiland he was sick of his behavior, and that Eiland needed to straighten himself out before he could help A.J. straighten himself out. I don’t think Eiland liked that very much…and I think there was an altercation between the two. I think Dave Eiland is the one who gave A.J. Burnett that nasty black eye.

AJ.black.eye.jpg

I don’t think the Yankees liked this very much, and I don’t think they liked the fact that almost all of their pitchers who had issues didn’t make any progress in the second half of the season. I don’t think the Yankees wanted to draw a ton of attention to poor Dave Eiland, so they waited until now to fire him.

But again, I’m just speculating… 

On to the ALCS!!!

Yankees Sweep Twins…Again!

Remember in my last post when I said the Yankees were reminding me of the Yankees from last year? Well, last night, this statement proved to be even more true. The most apparent reason was because last night my Yankees wrapped up their 3-game sweep of the Twins to win the ALDS – just like last year. But more importantly, the Yankee have established an amazing 1-2-3 punch, which is Powerful at the beginning, Crafty in the middle, and Philthy at the end.

Pitching Analysis: Phil Hughes is the “Philthy” component of the 1-2-3 punch, in case you didn’t get my analogy. And BOY was he philthy last night. I didn’t know what he was going to give us, having not pitched since September 26, and starting in the postseason after struggling in postseason relief last year. Did I expect Hughes to throw 7 shutout innings, allowing just 4 hits and striking out 6 along the way? I was pleasantly surprised to say the least. Hughes was a beast.

New York Yankees starting pitcher Phil Hughes throws to the Minnesota Twins in Game 3 of their MLB American League Divison Series baseball playoffs in New York October 9, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 Huuuuuuuuughes!!!!!!!!

If the starting pitching in this ALDS is a sign of things to come for my Yankees, then I think the team is in pretty darn good shape. Their chance of a repeat is within striking distance. The combo of CC, Andy, and Phil reminds me of the CC, A.J., and Andy the Yankees used last year. And when you can compare anything, especially pitching, to the 2009 Yankees, you definitely have reason to smile. Eeeeek!! I’m excited!

Offensive Analysis: JUST like last year, the Yankee offense got to Brian Duensing. I felt kind of bad for the kid…his family was in the audience, and he received the loss. The look on his face as he sat there, all dejected on the bench after being taken out almost broke my heart. The poor guy looked like he was going to cry. But really, it was not his fault that the Yankees won. Sometimes, you gotta give credit where credit is due. The Yankees are a pretty good baseball team.

The offense started in the 2nd inning, where Robinson Cano led off with a triple. He scored on an RBI single by Jorge Posada. In the 3rd, Nick Swisher doubled with 2 out, and Mark Teixeira drove him in with an RBI single. That was a bullet of a single…it hit off the wall too hard and too fast for Mark to advance. But that’s okay. The Yankees were up 2-0.

New York Yankees hitter Mark Teixeira hits an RBI single against the Minnesota Twins in the third inning of Game 3 of their MLB American League Divison Series baseball playoffs in New York October 9, 2010. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 Tex’s big swing!

In the 4th with Cano on first, Marcus Thames took his turn. He did what he always does, only different: Thames homered, but it was to right field. Thames went oppo! And the Yankees led 4-0. I think that was the swing that ended Minnesota’s season. Minnesota was done…but the Yankee bats weren’t. Brett Gardner tacked on a run with a sac fly, and Nick Swisher homered in the 7th. The Yankees were up 6-0. They went on to win it 6-1.

New York Yankees' Marcus Thames (R) celebrates with teammate Robinson Cano after hitting a two run home run against the Minnesota Twins during the fourth inning of Game 3 in the American League Division Series baseball playoffs in New York, October 9, 2010. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 Thames’s reaction to his homer.

 

New York Yankees' Nick Swisher (R) celebrates his seventh inning solo home run against the Minnesota Twins with teammate Mark Teixeira in Game 3 of their American League Division Series baseball playoffs in New York October 9, 2010. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 Swish’s smiley reaction to his homer.

 

Minnesota Twins' Nick Punto (L) and Jim Thome look out from their dugout late in Game 3 against the New York Yankees in their MLB American League Divison Series baseball playoffs in New York October 9, 2010. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 Aww

The Heroes for this ALDS-Winning Victory are Phil Hughes, for proving that he can start in the postseason and for solidifying the Yankees 1-2-3 punch, and Marcus Thames for providing what was in essence the winning blow.

The Somebody Needs a Hug goes to….hmm…..I guess the Twins. They got swept…again. But I really shouldn’t be feeling bad for them, I mean the Yankees HAD to beat them. Forgive me for having a heart.

Okay the REAL Somebody Needs a Hug goes to Mick Kelleher. The poor guy was in the wrong place at the wrong time…in the 4th inning, on Robinson Cano’s infield single, the Twins threw the bald wildly…and it hit Mick…yeah…no guy wants this…

Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Brian Duensing stands on first base while New York Yankees first base coach Mick Kelleher lies on the ground after being hit by a ball in the fourth inning in game 3 of the ALDS at Yankee Stadium in New York City on October 9, 2010. UPI/John Angelillo Photo via Newscom

Ouch…

I leave you now with some HAPPY images of my Yankees celebrating with the bubbly after their win. 3 wins down, 8 wins to go.

New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez (L) and team-mates celebrate in the dressing room after the Yankees swept the Minnesota Twins to win the MLB American League Division Series baseball playoffs in New York October 9, 2010. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL IMAGES OF THE DAY)

A-Rod gets double-teamed. Look all the way on the right…see that cutie with the goggles? CERVELLI!!! Hi sweetie!

 

New York Yankees' Curtis Granderson holds up a bottle of champagne as he and team-mates celebrate in the dressing room after the Yankees swept the Minnesota Twins to win the MLB American League Divison Series baseball playoffs in New York October 9, 2010. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

OMG Curtis! Look at him…such an innocent little boy. You are my MVP of the ALDS, with that .455 batting average. Keep up the good baseball, darling!

The next time the Yankees play is on Friday. That’s a long time…I’m going to miss them. I hope they rest up, but stay hot at the same time. From here on, it only gets harder. But I’m ready!

GO YANKEES!!!

“The Time Has Come To Test Thy Courage”

“The time has come to test thy courage,” said the Great Deku Tree to Link. Link, just a little boy, did what he had to do to try and save the Deku Tree in what is arguably the greatest video game ever made, “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.” He may have been frightened, but he was in no place to worry. Link just put aside whatever worries he may have had, and walked right into the tree into a mess of enemies. He didn’t sit there for days worrying or trying to hypothesize what would happen – he just did what he had to do.

 

Oh, if ONLY I was more like Link…

In these few days before the Yankees and Twins go at it in the ALDS, I have been a mess. I’ve been trying to predict who will pitch well, who will hit well, who will WIN, everything. It’s driving me insane. I wish I could just sit back, relax, and let what happens happen. But I just CAN’T.

One thing my mind has been wrestling over the past few days has been the Yankee pitching. CC Sabathia is going up against Francisco Liriano in game 1. Then it’s Andy Pettitte for game 2, and Phil Hughes for game 3. The Yanks are going with the 3-man rotation like last season…or is it.

I’m going to be honest: I had WAY more confidence in the Yankee pitching last year. This year? Not so much…especially down the stretch. I’m just so worried about these three guys the Yankees are sending out there. Phil Hughes, on paper, has had a nice season, but he has been pretty darn bad in the second half. Andy Pettitte has had just three starts since his long DL stint. He was good in the first game, but the last two were hard to watch. Then there is CC…Oh, CC…C”Cy,”….my sweet Hefty-Lefty. CC has been the best pitcher in baseball since he joined the Yankees…why should I worry about him?

The New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia throws a pitch against the Minnesota Twins in the second inning of game 1 of the ALDS at Yankee Stadium in New York City on October 7, 2009. UPI/John Angelillo Photo via Newscom

BECAUSE HE’S BEEN SOOOO GOOD FOR SOOOO LONG THAT HE’S BOUND TO DO BADLY SOONER OR LATER!!!

And because the pressure is on him! Okay it was on him last year when he was the ace, but there is more pressure this year because EVERYONE ELSE SUCKS!!! Last year Burnett was a beast, and Pettitte was healthy and successful….This year is SO different and I really don’t like it.

Okay that’s a little unfair – everyone else doesn’t suck. I’m sorry guys…I’m just a little stressed out here…you know I didn’t mean that.

And who am I kidding? Pressure…CC Sabathia…Pshhh…yeah right. Hello! Earth to Virginia! You call him C”Cy” for a reason!

I’m not really worried about the offense…I’m more worried about Joe Girardi. He tends to do things his way…which backfires more often than one would think. He handles the bullpen well, but not so much the lineups. I saw that Austin Kearns is on the postseason roster…I can’t help but to worry if Girardi is going to utilize his lefty-pitcher-righty-hitters lineup, which would feature the strikeout king himself, Austin Kearns. I just wish Girardi will use his best players. I hope he listens to me. Just because the opposing team has a lefty pitcher doesn’t mean the Yankees had to send out subpar righties. It’s stupid.

New York Yankees pinch hitter Austin Kearns reacts as he is tagged out by Seattle Mariners catcher Adam Moore (C) after he dropped the third strike in the fourth inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York August 20, 2010. Umpire Greg Gibson (L) makes the out call. Kearns was pinch hitting for the injured Alex Rodriguez. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

Girardi, all I ask of you is to send out the Yankees best troops, no matter what the situation.

Well, tomorrow’s the big night. There is nothing I can do about it. I mustn’t worry, for what good will that do now? The performance of my Yankees is out of my control. I must accept this, and I must be brave.

-Deep breath, sigh-

Indeed, the time has come to test thy courage, MY courage, in this 2010 postseason.

GO YANKEES!!!

New Life

Yanks Headed in Right Direction

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, and it’s been awhile since the Yankees really looked good. The past few series have been hard to watch. After that 8-game winning streak, the Yankees just fell apart: They lost 2 of 3 to the Orioles, and would have been swept if it wasn’t for Nick Swisher’s walkoff heroics. They were swept by the Rangers. They lost 2 of 3 to those pesky Rays, and they had opportunities to win each of those games. And the first game against the Orioles in this series looked like it was going to continue this losing trend. Magically, the Yankees turned the tides. And just like that, it seems the Yankees have a new life.

The Yankee jumped to a 1-0 lead in game 1 thanks to an Alex Rodriguez solo homer, but that was all the offense for awhile. Despite being in line for the loss, A.J Burnett pitched well, and I was satisfied with his performance. I felt bad that he wasn’t going to win it.

Bottom of the 9th, Yanks down 3-1. Jorge Posada took his turn at bat, and 11 pitches later he was on first with a leadoff single. I was thinking “Oh…here they go again…getting my hopes up for a comeback that will never happen…”

New York Yankees batter Jorge Posada follows through on his base hit off of Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie with the bases loaded in the first inning of their MLB American League baseball game in Baltimore, Maryland September 18, 2010. The hit scored two runs for the Yankees.   REUTERS/Joe Giza   (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

Jo-Po ♥

Or so I thought.

Little did I know, that brilliant at-bat by Jorge would set the tone for the rest of the inning.

Curtis Granderson singled with 1 out. With 2 outs, The Drama King Alex Rodriguez stepped up to the plate. I wanted to watch, but I just couldn’t – I couldn’t watch A-Rod make the final out, because my Dad would never let me hear the end of it. (I thought so negatively because honestly, the Yankees were awful for so long. Even though I had the slightest feeling that A-Rod would do something big, I didn’t want to express it…I didn’t want to jinx him.)

With 2 strikes, A-Rod decided to wash away my worries. His 3-run homer revived both the Yankees, and myself. Finally, things were looking brighter.

                 New York Yankees batter Alex Rodriguez follows through on his three-run home run off of Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Koji Uehara in the ninth inning of their American League baseball game in Baltimore, Maryland September 17, 2010.   REUTERS/Joe Giza   (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 Alex drove in all 4 Yankee runs in game 1.

Mariano nailed down the save, and the Yankees won 4-3.

I wondered: Could the Yankees string a few wins together? For game 2, the Yanks had the perfect guy on the hill: my sweet Hefty-Lefty, CC Sabathia ♥

The game 2 victory was a perfect team win. The offense was back, and it exploded for the first time in a LONG time. Jorge Posada set the tone once again with his clutch 2-run single in the first inning. Cano had a 2-run homer, Granderson had a 3-run homer, everyone contributed.

CC Sabathia wasn’t CC-spectacular, but he was still good. Yankee fans get spoiled with CC. Even so, CC’s 7 innings of 3-run baseball was good enough to earn himself that 20th win.

                       New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia (R) hugs catcher Jorge Posada in the dugout after Sabathia was taken out of the game after the seventh inning of their MLB American League baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles in Baltimore, Maryland September 18, 2010. Sabathia won his 20th game in the Yankees' win over the Orioles.  REUTERS/Joe Giza   (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

                              Congrats on this milestone, C “Cy.” You are the best ♥

The heroes for the 4-3 victory in game 1 are A.J. Burnett, for a solid start, and A-Rod for all that offense. For game 2’s 11-3 win, the heroes are Cano and Granderson, for their homers, and CC Sabathia for yet another quailty outing, and for winning #20. And Jorge is a hero for both, because he set the tone for both wins.

All of a sudden, things are looking brighter for my Yankees. They are back in first place. Burnett pitched well. CC pitched well. Jeter is hitting again. Gardner and Swisher are back in the lineup. And best of all, Andy Pettitte is returning today. If Andy can be good, then I think the Yankees have a great shot at going all the way. CC, Andy, and Nova seem like enough to win it. And if BURNETT can stay sharp…..wouldn’t that be something…

These 2 wins very well may be the start of something good for my boys.

GO YANKEES!!!!