Tagged: Boone Logan

Success to Stay?

The New York Yankees are generating some historically significant stats of late, and I never saw it coming. Even Joe Girardi said he feels the team clicked rather quickly. The Yankees just won their 9th straight today, finishing off their third series sweep in a row. I’d say right now, these 2012 Yankees have some good company: the last time they had three consecutive series sweeps was in the magical championship season of 1998.

It was stunning to hear that. Never did I expect the 2012 Yankees to be compared to the 1998 Yankees in any way. Maybe they do have that spark.

You don’t win 9 games in a row against three solid teams for no reason – it means you’re good. The Yankees have the best record in baseball since May 22nd. They’ve been playing solid baseball for about as long as they were playing poor baseball – time for me to seriously believe in these guys. So they started slow? No biggie. Maybe everything went bad then, so it could only improve as the season progressed.

Losing Mariano Rivera seemed like the most devastating, depressing catastrophe that could happen to the Yankees. Of course I miss his smiling face, but I have to give credit where credit is due: Rafael Soriano. Just wow. I remember hating on him for awhile too. He and I have had a rocky relationship throughout his short Yankee career. I remember feelings of elation when they signed him, because I knew he was one of the top closers in baseball with the Rays, second probably only to my Mo. Then I saw how much money he was making just to be a setup man. I subsequently discovered the contractual opt-outs, which I felt was a lose/lose situation for the Yankees, because either he would be great and then just opt out for more money, or he would be awful and we’d be stuck with him. Well, he was awful to start the 2011 season, posting a frightening 7.84 ERA over his first month in pinstripes.

He finished up strong though, and after Mo went down this year, he really stepped up. You can tell he has that fearless closer mentality, but without all the antics like some other closers around the game. He’s emotionless on the hill – sometimes it looks like he doesn’t even care – and he maintains his cool with that same blank expression even when the situations get sticky. Sure, he may not always get the opposition down 1-2-3 like Mariano, but the bottom line is that he is getting the job done at a time where the Yankees need him most.

So despite my feelings for the guy in the past, I definitely appreciate Rafael Soriano now, and I know the Yankees are blessed to have him. Since he’s closing now, maybe he is worth all that money. Hopefully he decides to stay in the Bronx.

In my last post, I apologized for hating on Mark Teixeira. He proved to me again in the middle game against the Nationals that I should believe in him. In a game that I thought would go on forever, it was Teixeira who was the hero, coming through in the clutch for what would ultimately be the game winner for the Yanks: a go-ahead 2-run double in the 14th inning. Soriano then closed it down.

But isn’t it ironic: I mentioned in my last post how I complained about Teixeira and whined about wanting rookies (in that post, it was the Angels phenom Mike Trout who I fawned over), but in the second game against the Nationals, their rookie phenom Bryce Harper had an awful day at the plate, going 0-7 and looking horrible. And it was the Yankees veteran with a giant contract, Mark Teixeira, who won the game. I feel bad for doubting him. Rookies may be cute and exciting, but winning is pretty fun, too. Thanks Teix!

Another note about that game two against the Nats: Rafael Soriano closed out the game in the 14th inning, which means that there were a whole lot of innings before that where he didn’t pitch. The Yankee bullpen, which is composed of a bunch of guys no one’s ever heard of, has been absolutely shut-down dominant. They’ve all stepped up and have done way more than I ever could have hoped.  To go out there and hold the Nats down to just 1 run from the 8th onwards is incredible. Not to mention, it was at their ballpark, where the pressure is even greater due to the fear of a walkoff loss. Guys like Cody Eppley, Boone Logan, Cory Wade, Clay Rapada, and even the recently-bullpen demoted Freddy Garcia, deserve huge pats on the backs.

It’s crazy. Early on, from the outside looking in, these 2012 Yankees looked like a mess. Ravished by injuries and showing their age, they found themselves in the cellar of the AL East standings. But I guess it really was just “early.” Because right now, on June 18th, the Yankees are 40-25 – 15 games over .500 – and are sitting proudly atop the standings in the AL East. And they show no signs of stopping now.

I hoped that things would only get better for the Yankees after the disappointing start. Maybe that tide began to turn in the right direction for the Yankees a long time ago, but maybe only now do I actually believe that the success I’m seeing is here to stay.

GO YANKEES!

That Concludes Sox Week

This past week, the Yankees played a 4-game series against the White Sox followed by a 3-game set against the Red Sox. It was a long week on the road, and I’m just happy my boys are coming back to the Bronx.

The Yankees swept the 4 games in Chicago. I almost hate to say it, but during those games, I really felt bad for the White Sox. They looked miserable, lost, and just didn’t play good baseball. Oh well…those are the kinds of games the Yankees have to win, and they did.

The Yankees went into the Red Sox series tied for first place…it was as if August 5th was Opening Day again. It was such a refreshing feeling. That series started out nicely, but didn’t end the way I’d hoped for.

The first game of that series was intense…Colon vs. Lester. The Yanks had to play catch-up after quickly falling behind 2-0. In the 5th, Eduardo Nunez led off with a walk, Derek Jeter singled, and Granderson drove in a run with a single to cut the deficit in half. After Mark Teixeira’s walk, Cano grounded into a double play, which tied the game at 2. With 2 out, I wasn’t sure if the Yankees would be able to go ahead, but Nick Swisher delivered with a double down the third base line, and the Yankees had a 3-2 lead.

It became a battle of the bullpens after that, and the Yankee bullpen proved victorious. Boone Logan especially – he looked like the Logan of 2009 again. Cory Wade, Rafael Soriano, David Robertson, and Mariano Rivera nailed it down for the Yanks.

I was ecstatic that the Yankees had sole possession of first place. I figured they maybe had the confidence they needed to keep on winning – they beat Jon Lester in Fenway Park, which is no easy task. I did a little boasting and bragging on facebook after Game 1, not really caring what I was saying. I was experiencing some leftover euphoria hours after the game’s ending.

So maybe I look stupid, but I don’t really care. The Yankees lost the next two games and are now a game behind the Red Sox. Of course the games the lost were on FOX and ESPN, places where the announcers fawn over the Red Sox as much as Chris Matthews fawns over Obama. “Oh, Adrian Gonzalez, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, the top 3 guys for the AL MVP…oh, they’re sooo good…better than anyone the Yankees have…OHH MY LEG!”

Ermm okay.

Joe Buck and Tim McCarver made me not want to watch the Saturday game. I missed most of it anyways because I was out, and I’m glad I did. CC didn’t pitch well and I’m sure they kept on mentioning how he hasn’t been the same pitcher against the Red Sox and how he sucks, and maybe how he’s not worth the jumbo contract because he can’t beat the Sox, blah blah blah…

So on to the finale, and the two teams were tied for first once again.

The pitching matchup of Freddy Garcia and Josh Beckett initially had me a little nervous. I was aware of their numbers.

Freddy Garcia really battled last night for my Yanks. He’s such a pitcher. Over 5 innings, Garcia allowed just 1 run (and it was a cheapie, he had some baaaad breaks in the 2nd inning when that run was allowed) and 5 hits, but threw 96 pitches. Beckett was throwing well, and I wasn’t sure if the Yanks would be able to get to him.

Two rather-unexpected heroes emerged for the Yanks last night. Eduardo Nunez and his quick stroke of the bad hammered a high fastball into the seats above the monster to tie the game at 1. My Grandma couldn’t believe it, “Ohhh, the young guy did it! And I wanted A-Rod to come back, Virginia…”

The second guy, I don’t know why, but something told me he’d do it. When Brett Gardner came to the plate in the 7th and his stats appeared on the screen, I thought, “Ahh, he’s having a nice year just like I expected…4 homers? When was the last time he hit one…due perhaps?”

Oh yeah.

Gardner did homer, and the Yankees had their first lead of the night. 2-1. It was such a long, slooowww paced game, me and my Grandma wanted to go to bed, but we wanted to watch.

The Yankee bullpen did its job and handed the ball to Mariano. Again, something just told me he wasn’t going to do it…I had a bad feeling. When I saw who the first guy up was – Marco Scutaro – I just knew. He was already 3-3 on the night, and I remember a few years back when he was with the A’s, he hit a walkoff homer off Mo. So when he led off the inning with a double, I can’t say I didn’t see that coming. Mo eventually blew the save, and right there I knew the momentum had permanently shifted for the game. The Red Sox have a “knack” for winning at home…let’s just say I’m not the only one who thinks they steal signs, but whatever.

When I saw PHIL HUGHES was coming in for the Yankees to pitch the next inning, I called it a night. I knew what he was going to do…so I just went to bed and accepted it before it even happened.

I know from an outsider’s perspective, it looks like the same old thing: The Red Sox are owning the Yankees. But I just don’t see that. All three games were well-played. And last night’s loss was tough. I truly believe that if that game was played in Yankee Stadium, the Yankees wouldn’t have lost. The Yankees are still better position-by-position, they have way better pitching, they just had a bad break. It’s Fenway. That happens there.

Maybe it’s better for the Yanks to say out of first for now. They’ve played well all year being the underdogs. But I’m confident that next time these teams meet, things will be different.

Still love ya, Yanks. I always will!

Enjoy the off-day!

GO YANKEES!

Old Timers’ Day!

Yanks Win Series, All-Around Fun Afternoon

Old Timer’s Day at Yankee Stadium is one of the days I mark on my little Yankees schedule. I just love seeing all the “old” guys come out, I love commenting on how high they wear their pants, and I love how the exciting atmosphere at the Stadium is transferred through the TV into my own home. I love Old Timers’ Day every year, but this year, it was even better than usual.

Old Timers’ Day is always fun for Yankees fans of all ages, but I think this time it was especially exciting for those of my generation: those who grew up during the dynasty of the late 90s. The return of Joe Torre, Lou Piniella (who I loved to watch as a manager when he has his…”episodes”) Bernie Williams, and Tino’s home run brought back many fond memories for me. Tino Martinez was my first ever favorite. He was the first player I remember seeing, and for that reason, he became my “favorite.” I remember crying when he went to the Cardinals, then my Dad bought me a Cardinals cap, which I would wear all the time along with my Tino Yankees tee. I remember being him for Halloween when I was in 2nd grade, I remember going to Tino Martinez Bobblehead day on my birthday in 2001 – I could go on and on. Seeing Tino play with Bernie, smile with Posada, and hit that homer…that alone made my day.

What made the day even more special was the ceremony honoring Gene Monahan. 49 years with this great organization…that is insane. And he has done a fantastic job throughout his time. He seems like a really sweet man, and I hope the Yankees can win it for him this year. Oh, and he was nervous about throwing out the ceremonial first pitch? Pshh…He threw a perfect strike! Maybe he can teach Barack Obama how to throw like a man…

Another thing about that first pitch: I liked how Jorge Posada had the honor of catching it. He looked so at home and at ease in his catcher’s gear, and throughout the entire day, he had a genuine ear-to-ear smile on his face. It was the happiest I saw Jorge all year, and that too reminded me of the past.

The Old Timers’ GAME is always fun. In the top of the first, Oscar Gamble led off with a single off Ron Guidry, followed by a LONG single by Jesse Barfield. Goose Gossage relieved Guidry, and got Lee Mazzilli to fly out to Bernie Williams (which set off the crowd). In the bottom of the first, David Wells served up a double to Bernie, and was then relieved by David Cone, whom Tino hit the 2-run bomb off. Tino would have loved hitting at this new ballpark. In the top of the 2nd, Doc Gooden and Jeff Nelson retired the side. Nelson then remained in the game, and pitched for the other team in the next half inning. I love how no rules are applied whatsoever to these games. They played another half inning, but there was no need to complete that inning because the BOMBERS were ahead of the CLIPPERS (lol). The Bombers beat the Clippers 2-0 on the strength of my Tino’s HR, while David Cone received the loss.

It was all fun and games during that game, but it would have been even more fun and games if Derek Jeter was there. I feel incredibly bad that he missed the day. And on his BIRTHDAY too…aww, Jeet. That calf better be healing up. Happy Belated Birthday, Derek! 37 years young.

As for the ACTUAL game that was played, it was intense. The Yankees didn’t get a man on base until the 5th inning, and by then they were down 3-0 and making me nervous that they wouldn’t win on a day that they really needed to. After Robbie Cano got the team’s first hit out of the way, Nick Swisher got them into the run column with his MONSTER 2-run homer. Then, my happy Jorge went deep back-to-back with Swish, tying up the game at 3.

Nova battled yesterday. After the Yankees worked so hard to tie up the game, he allowed a homer to Ty Wigginton (again) which gave the Rockies a 4-3 lead. But he stopped it there.

In the bottom of the 6th, Brett Gardner led off with a bunt single…perfect execution. He’s been playing like the player I always thought he was recently, and he’s finally starting to make me look good, instead of looking like I’m his little fangirl who thinks he can do no wrong. After that bunt, Gardner stole 2nd, which really set me off…I always thought speed was sexier than home runs (sorry Swish and Posada!). After a Granderson walk, A-Rod drove in the tying run with an RBI single.

In the 7th, Boone Logan actually did his job and retired the heavy hitting lefty, Carlos Gonzalez. In the bottom half of the inning, Eduardo Nunez drove in the go-ahead run with an RBI single. The Yankees FINALLY had a lead, and it was padded by Mark Teixeira’s homer in the 8th. Robertson and Mo finished up the remainder of the game. The Yankees won it 6-4, and with that win, won the series.

Currently, my Yanks are a half a game ahead of Baahston in the standings. With hitters like Nick Swisher, Jorge Posada, and Brett Gardner heating up as the weather does, and with Jeter and Colon soon to be activated, I’d say my boys are in good shape.

GO YANKEES!

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.

    

Beast Bullpen!

I am still in shock. The Yankees actually signed a big free agent! And I am ecstatic! Some think it was a dumb decision, some think the Yanks overpaid, but I DON’T CARE! It just means the world to me that they actually did something – something worthwhile. With this one signing, I feel a whole lot better about next year for my Yanks.

The Yankees recently signed former Ray’s closer Rafael Soriano to a 3 year, $35 million deal. Expensive? Yes, but Soriano had a remarkable season in 2010 with a 1.73 ERA and a league leading 45 saves, so I’d say he’s worth it. Who cares if he’s setting up? I hate when people say “Ohh the Yankees are so dumb to pay that much for a setup man.” WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE? What, like they are going to use Soriano as a closer while they have Mo? Come on. The job of setup man is extremely underrated. It’s incredibly important. And since Soriano was amazing last year, and he said he wouldn’t mind being the setup guy for the Yanks, I’d say he’s worth every penny.

 

Rafael Soriano.jpgRafael Soriano makes the entire Yankees pitching staff better. And I know I’m really excited, so that might sound like an overstatement, but it’s really not. Soriano makes the whole bullpen stronger. He has a defined role: he is the setup man, and that’s final. The 8th inning belongs to him. And of course, the 9th is Mo’s. Remember what seems like a long time ago when the Yankees signed Pedro Feliciano? He’s a lefty specialist, which means Boone Logan might be able to pitch full innings, since the Yankees will still have another lefty reliever. So maybe the 7th can be Logan’s inning.

What I’m attempting to say, is that the acquisition of Rafael Soriano helps to shorten games. Pitchers, good pitchers, have defined roles. Now, that starting rotation that seems oh-so shaky, doesn’t have to worry about pitching really deep into games. They know they can go maybe 6 innings and still put the team in a position to win. I’d love it for the Yankees to bring in maybe 1 or 2 guys for the starting rotation, but even if they don’t, I’m feeling a lot better about the team. These relievers are going to make the starting rotation better.

Another reason I LOVE the Soriano acquisition, is because I think he will help Mariano Rivera. Trevor Hoffman, the all-time saves leader, has retired. Mo is second on that list, even though he’s still the greatest closer. Since Soriano is so good, and the 8th inning is pretty much his, he can give Mariano more opportunities to save games, whereas when the 8th inning belonged to Joba Chamberlain, save opportunities were flushed down the drain because Joba SUCKED and blew everything. Mariano has 559 saves, Hoffman has 601. Mo will play for at least 2 more seasons…I’d say it’s safe to say that he will eventually be the Saves King.

And speaking of JOBA…I heard the Yankees are willing to listen to trade offers involving Joba if a viable starter looms at the other end of the deal. So that’s good…maybe we won’t have to worry about Joba Chamberlain stinking anymore, because he might not be on the team!

Spring Training is coming but I wish it would hurry up. This offseason has been really boring aside from the Rafael Soriano signing. I miss baseball so much. Without it, I’m bored. So to entertain myself as well as others, I’ve been doing piano covers of Green Day songs. So if you like Green Day or just want to hear how AMAZING I am at piano, please check out my Youtube videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/southernbelle816?feature=mhum

I’d appreciate it.

And thanks to my readers for making me #28 on the 2010 Top 100 Blogs list. I finally got my little badge 🙂

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…

Swishy Saves the Day Once Again

Yanks Avoid Sweep and Win in Walkoff Fashion

I always liked the Orioles. I always felt that they had some of the cutset players in the league, such as Brian Roberts, Nick Markakis, Luke Scott, and my new favorite Brian Matusz. And when they started playing better, I thought they were even cuter. But they weren’t too cute when they were beating my Yankees. A Yankees loss yesterday would have been devastating, especially since the Yankees haven’t lost 4 in a row yet this year. And looking ahead to the series against the Rangers, I didn’t have good thoughts: I was thinking the Yankees would be swept. Javy Vazquez would pitch game 1, A.J. Burnett game 2. And Moseley, who has been pretty okay, would go up against Cliff Lee in game 3…which hisn’t fair. So if the Yankees lost that finale, that would have made it a 4 game slide…and my calculations of them being swept in Texas would mean a 7 games slide. I don’t want my Yankees to lose like the Padres. The Orioles finale was crucial..a loss in that game would have been heartbreaking….but it wasn’t meant to be.

I stayed home from school yesterday – and it was all because of my Yankees. My grade was going on some kayaking and hiking trip so we could “bond as a senior class.” LOL. We’ve been together for 13 years…if we haven’t “bonded” by now, we never will. When I realized that the game on the day of the trip was a day game, a lightbulb went off: “Hmm…we aren’t going to do any work in school…and the Yankees play in the day…what’s the harm in skipping that day?”

The best part was, my parents didn’t even object.

I let my Fan-dom take over yesterday. I skipped for my Yankees. It was crucial that they won.

Ivan Nova started for the Yanks, and boy he was good….he’s really something. He made just 1 mistake…and I thought it was going to cost him. With a 3-0 count, Nova laid a cookie right over the plate for Matt Wieters, who didn’t miss it. That 2-run homer changed the whole complexion of the game, and gave the O’s a 2-1 lead.

For some reason, Brad Bergesen was unhittable yesterday…6.1 innings, 4 hits, and 1 run, courtesy of a Brett Gardner RBI double. He deserves some credit. But also, the Yankee bats were pretty dead yesterday. The at-bats were disgusting. The game was a little boring, and honestly, I was frustrated. I was beginning to wonder if I skipped school for no reason.

At least the pitching was good. Nova made just that one mistake, but otherwise he was splendid. David Robertson, Boone Logan, and Joba Chamberlain were lights-out. The fact that they were pitching so well gave me a teeny bit of hope that maybe, just maybe, the Yankees would come back.

In the 9th, A-Rod singled. Tying run on base…

With 1 out, it was Swisher’s turn. He got ahead in the count, just like he always did, and he got a good pitch to hit. And much like Matt Wieters, he was ready for it. Swish put a good swing on it, and drove it deep to left field. Deep….AND GONE! Nick Swisher has 1/2 of the Yankees’s walkoffs this year. That home run changed everything. Watching him round the bases almost brought tears to my eyes. He was limping…his knee still hurts from the other day. He’s so tough, and such a great guy. As usual, Nick Swisher proudly received his pie in the face. He’s enjoying every minute in pinstripes.

                            New York Yankees vs Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium  September 8, 2010

                           New York Yankees vs Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium  September 8, 2010

Nick, I’m enjoying every minute with you. I hope you will be a career Yankee…because I’d hate to see you on any other team.

  New York Yankees vs Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium  September 8, 2010

Thank you, Nick Swisher, for this Drama Club win. Hopefully, this is the start of another long winning streak.