Tagged: Brett Gardner

A Fun Night to be a Yankee Fan

Offense Explodes in Stress-Free Yankees Win

After a stressful 3-2 win in game 1 and a miserable 4-1 loss in game 2, I was ready for an easy game 3 against the Indians. My wish was granted, as the Yankees beat the Indians 8-0 last night in a relatively stress-free ballgame.

Pitching Analysis: A.J. Burnett was sharp once again last night. He made it look as easy as pie, minus the pie. He’s saving that for the home games. He was so good, that I can’t remember when he got into any jams. Did he? Nothing major. A.J. went 6.1 innings and didn’t allow a run. He struckout 7, and lowered his ERA to a respectable 4.52. He looked cranky and mean, but the good kind of cranky and mean. Not the “I’m so mad that I suck so I’m going to punch a door and injure my hand” kind of mean. He had more of the “Here comes the pitch, here it is, hit it!” type of mean last night, which means that he was feeling good. And it showed on the mound last night as he earned himself his 9th win of the year.

                               New York Yankees A.J. Burnett pitches during the seventh inning of the MLB American League baseball game against the Cleveland Indians in Cleveland, Ohio July 28, 2010. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

                                      That face means A.J. is on top of his game.

Even the bullpen did well last night. This game had very little stress involved. And even though the Yankees had a huge lead, I couldn’t help but to be nervous when Joba Chamberlain came in to finish the 7th. But he actually did alright despite his balk. And Sergio Mitre, who will not be starting tonight, closed out the last 2 innings, allowing 1 hit and 1 walk, and striking out 3 along the way.

Defensive Analysis: Solid defense and a few great plays was the defensive recipe for success last night. On MLB Network’s “Quick Pitch,” they even showed some of the Yankee great plays from last night. Why am I mentioning this? Because it seems like that channel avoids the Yankees. On the Premier Plays segment, they featured 2 Yankees plays in a row. One was by A.J. Burnett, and the other was a beautiful sliding catch by Nick Swisher.

              New York Yankees' Nick Swisher makes a sliding catch on a ball hit by Cleveland's Asdrubal Cabrera in the fifth inning of a baseball game at Progressive Field in Cleveland on July 28, 2010. UPI/David Richard Photo via Newscom

                                             Is there anything this guy can’t do?

Offensive Analysis: 8 runs, 13 hits, no home runs by Alex, but whatever. He wasn’t too thrilled that he didn’t get the big fly. In fact, he was quite disgusted.

                      New York Yankees Alex Rodriguez reacts after grounding out during the second inning of the Yankees MLB American League baseball game against the Cleveland Indians in Cleveland, Ohio July 28, 2010. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

                                  LOLOLOLOLOL!!! A-Rod’s cranky face is hilarious!

But A-Rod did enough last night to keep fans loving him. He went 2-5 with an RBI. In the 6th, he sent me into uncontrollable laughter. He led off the inning with a double, and on the slide into 2nd, there was a little malfunction on the diamond:

                                New York Yankees Alex Rodriguez rolls over holding onto second base after sliding in for a double during the sixth inning of the Yankees MLB American League baseball game against the Cleveland Indians in Cleveland, Ohio July 28, 2010. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 

              Alex Rodriguez slides safely into second base in Cleveland after hitting a double Wednesday night. The Yankees thrid baseman goes 2-for-5 but fails to hit home run No. 600.

 LOL! His face is priceless!

Oh, A-Rod…you are something else ♥

There was so much offense last night and so many Yankees contributed.

-Swish had an RBI single.

-Tex had a 2-run single and a double.

-A-Rod had that funny double and an RBI single.

-Cano had a double and a home run.

-Posada had a single.

-Granderson had a single and an RBI triple.

-Gardner had an RBI single and an RBI double.

-Cervelli had a single. The moment in this game that was the most stressful was when Cervelli was hit by a pitch in the elbow. Oh, how he screamed. Oh how I screamed! Poor Cervelli…he doesn’t wear an elbow guard, so that must have hurt his sweet little elbow so much. He actually screamed before it hit him. Actually, I think it hurt me more than it hurt him. He was his smiley old self again right away 🙂

   New York Yankees Francisco Cervelli (L) celebrates with Brett Gardner (R) after they both scored on RBI single by Mark Teixeira during the second inning of the Yankees MLB American League baseball game against the Cleveland Indians in Cleveland, Ohio July 28, 2010. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

     Cervelli-welli-jelli-belli and Brettiboo Gardner. Can these two possibly get any cuter?

The only one who wasn’t invited to the hit party last night was the Captain. Poor Derek….Jeet was 0-5 last night and I’m sure he wasn’t too happy about that.

                         July 28, 2010 - Cleveland, OHIO, UNITED STATES - epa02264758 Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees grounds out in the first inning against the Cleveland Indians in their game at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, 28 July 2010.

             Uh-oh…that looks like an A.J. Burnett cranky-face….and NOT the good kind!

Relax, Derek. Don’t do anything silly. No need to be cranky.

Last night and it’s 8-0 Yankee win was a fun night to be a Yankee fan for sure. Dominant pitching, solid defense, explosive offense, and a few laughs – what could be better?

After tonight’s game, the Yankees head to Tampa for a crucial 3-game set with those pesky Rays. I hope those are fun games, too!

GO YANKEES!

A Quick One While She’s Away…Or NOT!

Yankees Play All 9 Frames Despite the Rain…and Win!

My little brother is as obsessed with The Who as I am with the Yankees. I sit there listening to my Michelle Branch music, and he’s next to me listening to The Who. Then I begin to hear The Who more clearly than I do Michelle Branch. We don’t say anything, but then we begin competing with each other: I put my volume up, he puts his up. The Who plays louder than Michelle Branch to begin with, so he always wins.

Yesterday I was out and missed the beginning of the game. I heard the Yankees 4 run 3rd inning on the radio, which was nice. Curtis Granderson homered, Ramiro Pena singled, Jeter knocked him in with a double, Tex got an RBI single, and A-Rod hit an RBI double. All that added up to a 4-2 Yankee lead.

By the time I got home, it was already the bottom of the 4th inning. I had the pleasure of seeing Curtis Granderson go deep again to give the Yanks a 5-3 lead.

     New York Yankees batter Curtis Granderson (R) high-fives at the dugout steps after he hit his second home run of the game against the Kansas City Royals in the fourth inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, July 25, 2010. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 The GrandyMan can? Yes! I hope this is a start of your hot-streak, Curtis!!!

Then in the 5th, the rain came down, and I figured “Oh man…I missed 4 innings and now it’s raining and this game is going to be a quick 5-inning rain-shortened game.”

 My little brother made this song get stuck in my head for the LONGEST time. 

I was WRONG!!!!!!!!!! And I’m glad I was 🙂

Sure, the umpires signaled for a rain delay, but they were determined to get the game in – even though the Yankees had the lead and it was an official ballgame. After a long 2 hour and 30 minute rain delay, baseball was resumed! And I was there to see it all!

Pitching Analysis: Phil Hughes wasn’t great yesterday, and he didn’t come out again after the rain delay. So once again, the Yankees had to use their bullpen for multiple MULTIPLE innings. Boone Logan did a nice job once again, pitching 1.2 scoreless innings. Since Marte is hurt, he is the specialty lefty in the bullpen. I gain confidence in him each time I see him throw.

      July 25, 2010 - New York, United States - epa02261091 New York Yankees pitcher Boone Logan pitches in relief after a two hour rain delay in the seventh inning against the Kansas City Royals at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York, USA, 25 July 2010.

Boone throws hard. And when he locates, he is pretty dominant.

As for Joba and Chan Ho? They were their usual cruddy selves. I wonder why Park is still on the team, and I wonder why Joba still sucks. They should’ve traded him when they had the chance, because no one is going to want him now. We’re stuck with him!

Offensive Analysis: Once again, the Yankee offense exploded. The 3rd inning was a pretty big run outburst, but the 8th inning rally was even larger. In the 8th:

-Curtis Granderson led off with a walk, stole 2nd, and advanced to 3rd on the stinky throw.

-Brett Gardner reached on an error and stole 2nd. I’m glad he’s feeling better 🙂

-Jeter was intentionally walked to load the bases with 1 out.

-Nick Swisher (who I am also glad is feeling better) drove in 2 with a single!

-Tex singled to re-load the bases for…..A-Rod.

This is the part that I wasn’t too fond of. This is the censored version of what my notebook says:

“A-ROD HBP UP & IN.  F*** BLAKE WOOD. A-Rod out, Colin Curtis in. 10-5 Yanks.”

           New York Yankees Alex Rodriguez reacts before getting hit by a pitch in the eighth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Yankee Stadium in New York City on July 25, 2010.  UPI/John Angelillo Photo via Newscom

                                                                   NO!

Blake Wood…I don’t care if it wasn’t intentional. I hate him. Who does he think he is? “Hi! My name is Blake Wood and I’m sure you’ve never heard of me! But I’m gonna be cool and tough and back Alex off the plate – it’s good baseball! Oh no! I missed my location because I suck! Now I hit Alex in the forearm and hand and he might be hurt! Oopsy!”

      Kansas City Royals Jason Kendall and home plate umpire Chad Fairchild watch New York Yankees Alex Rodriguez lie on the ground after being hit by a pitch in the seventh inning at Yankee Stadium in New York City on July 25, 2010.  UPI/John Angelillo Photo via Newscom

                                                              Oh God…

I was beyond angry. Oh, A-Rod….you poor baby…I’m glad you aren’t hurt too bad. That was scary. I’m so sorry Wood destroyed your chances of getting #600 at home.

But at least I was able to see another milestone in that 8th inning yesterday.

-With loaded bases, Robinson Cano drove the first pitch of his at-bat into the seats in right after 1 bounce. Ground rule double! 12-5 Yankees! And for Robbie, it was his 1000th career hit. Aw, Robbie…you have come so far!

                New York Yankees Robinson Cano reacts while running into the dug out in the ninth inning against the Kansas City Royals at Yankee Stadium in New York City on July 24, 2010.  UPI/John Angelillo Photo via Newscom

 Okay…he’s still a goofball, but I love him ♥

So the Yankees take 3 of 4 from KC, and all of their wins were of the offensive explosion variety. The heroes for yesterday’s 12-6 finale win are Boone Logan, for relieving Hughes nicely (since he’s the only one who pitched well yesterday!), and the entire Yankee lineup, for banging out 12 runs on 14 hits, and especially Curtis Granderson for finally living up to his potential.

I hope Curtis can stay hot, and I hope the Yankees keep on winning.

GO YANKEES!

Tears and Cheers

Emotional Night Ends Right

From the pregame ceremonies to the pie, last night was an emotional rollercoaster for everyone who watched. It was a Drama Club victory, and a game that will no-doubt be a Yankee Classic. I’m just so happy that the Yankees came out on top. It was a game they had to win.

Before the game, the lives of Bob Sheppard and George Steinbrenner where remembered. The crowd was silent, giving the two iconic men all their respect. Mariano Rivera placed two roses on top of home plate, one for Bob and one for the Boss.

July 16, 2010 - Bronx, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - epa02250817 The Yankees' Mariano Rivera lays two roses on home plate during a tribute to late Yankee's owner George Steinbrenner and long time announcer Bob Sheppard before the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York, USA, on 16 July 2010. Steinbrenner died early this week from a heart attack.

 Later on in the ceremony, Derek Jeter made a short-but-sweet speech honoring Bob and George. He requested a moment of silence, and silenced the Stadium went.

            July 16, 2010 - Bronx, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - epa02250816 The Yankees' Derek Jeter speaks during a tribute to late Yankee's owner George Steinbrenner, and long time announcer Bob Sheppard, before the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York, USA, on 16 July 2010. Steinbrenner died early this week from a heart attack.

I’m sure the Yankees could have spent hours talking about Steinbrenner and Sheppard, but there was a baseball game to play. As a tribute to Bob Sheppard, the public address announcer did not announce. There were no player intros. The crowd seemed confused at the beginning of the game, not knowing whether to behave as if they were at a memorial, or a ballgame.

CC Sabathia struggled last night. He lacked command, and had to grind out each inning. By the 3rd, it was 2-0 Rays. The Yankees got a run back in the bottom of the 3rd. Nick Swisher’s RBI single scored Brett Gardner. That made it 2-1. 

July 16, 2010 - Bronx, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - epa02250902 The Yankees' C.C. Sabathia pitches during the second inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York, USA, on 16 July 2010.

Sabathia got into a serious jam in the 5th, having loaded the bases with none out. Sabathia managed to minimize the damage by getting Evan Longoria to ground into a 5-4-3 double play. He allowed just 1 run that inning, but the Rays still had the lead at 3-1.

The Yankees still trailed 3-1 in the 6th inning. After 2 quick outs, I didn’t expect any runs that inning. But Robinson Cano had other ideas. Robbie hit a 2-out solo home run to get the Yankees back into the game. It was the first time all night the crowd really started cheering.

New York Yankees Robinson Cano runs the bases after hitting a solo homer in the sixth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium in New York City on July 16, 2010. The New York Yankees defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 5-4.   UPI/John Angelillo Photo via Newscom

After Cano, Jorge Posada took his turn at bat. He got ahead in the count 3-0. Joe Girardi made a bold move, and gave Jorge the green light. And it paid off. Jorge hit an absolute bomb for a solo home run, back to back with Robbie. More importantly, the game was tied at 3. The Yankees were fighting. I knew there was no way they were going to lose this game.

July 16, 2010 - Bronx, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - epa02250918 The Yankee's Jorge Posada (R) hits a home run during the sixth inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York, USA, on 16 July 2010.

CC Sabathia got into another bases loaded none out jam in the 7th, and gave the Rays right back a run on a Ben Zobrist ground out. Although he was able to once again minimize the damage, I feared that it would be a momentum killer for the Yankees. The Rays led 4-3.

David Robertson relieved CC in the 8th, and I cringed when I saw it was he who Girardi put in. To my surprise, Robertson looked like he did last year. He was superb. Robertson threw a 1-2-3 inning, and struckout all three Rays batters.

In the bottom of the 8th, Nick Swisher showed that the Yankees weren’t ever going to give up. The Boss loved to win, and he would do anything to win. Swisher embraced this philosophy. Swish belted a ball into the 2nd deck, for yet another game-tying home run. After crossing the plate, Swisher kissed the George Steinbrenner patch on his uniform.

With a tie game, the Yanks handed the ball to the Great Mariano for the 9th. He allowed a cheap leadoff single to BJ Upton, but quickly erased it. I don’t remember the last time I’ve seen it: Mariano picked off Upton at first base. He was out by a mile. Upton was infuriated, and began spewing expletives all over the place. Leave it to Upton to have no class. He’s the polar opposite of the New York Yankees.

Mariano got out of the 9th with no problem. The only question now was: Who wants pie?

Curtis Granderson had a great at-bat and got on base with a leadoff single through the hole on the right side of the infield. Ramiro Pena laid down a perfect sac bunt, moving the GrandyMan to 2nd base with 1 out. Brett Gardner’s at-bat was even more suspensful. He quickly fell behind in the count 0-2, but that didn’t worry him. Brett was cool, calm, and collected 3 balls making the count full. After what seemed to be an eternity, Gardner drew a walk. That brought up Jeter.

The captain was extremely fond of both Bob Sheppard and George Steinbrenner, so it seemed fitting for him to get the walkoff. Jeter made a valient effort, but could not get the job done. He struckout for the 2nd out, and left it up to Nick Swisher.

I would have loved to see Jeter win the game, but if he couldn’t do it, I wouldn’t want anybody up at the plate but Nick Swisher. He always puts up a great at-bat, and has been so clutch for the Yankees this season.

Nick Swisher delivered once again. He ripped a single into right field, and Granderson was safe at the play at the plate. The team had to wait until they knew for sure Granderson was safe before charging out of the dugout. Then, the customary walkoff chaos began.

July 16, 2010 - Bronx, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - epa02250952 The Yankees' Nick Swisher hits a game winning walk off single which allowed teammate Curtis Granderson to score in the ninth inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York, USA, on 16 July 2010. The Yankees won 5-4.

  

July 16, 2010 - Bronx, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - epa02250951 The Yankees' Curtis Granderson (L) scores past the Rays' Kelly Shoppach (R) on a game winning walk off single by teammate Nick Swisher in the ninth inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York, USA, on 16 July 2010. The Yankees won 5-4.

 

July 16, 2010 - Bronx, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - epa02250947 The Yankees' Nick Swisher (R) celebrates hitting a game winning single with teammates Brett Gardener (2nd L) and Robinson Cano (L) after the ninth the inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York, USA, on 16 July 2010. The Yankees won 5-4.

New York Yankees Nick Swisher reacts with his teammates after driving in the game winning run with a single in the ninth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium in New York City on July 16, 2010. The New York Yankees defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 5-4.   UPI/John Angelillo Photo via Newscom

 

And then, like he had done 19 times before, A.J. Burnett emerged stealthily from the dugout, and pied Nick Swisher.

July 16, 2010 - Bronx, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - epa02250949 The Yankees' Nick Swisher celebrates after hitting a game winning walk off single in the ninth inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York, USA, on 16 July 2010. The Yankees won 5-4. As part of a team tradition, Swisher had a shaving cream 'pie' put in his face for winning the game with a walk off hit.

 Sweet victory.

This was a game that the Yankees absolutely had to win. They have been through so much this past week. It’s victories like this that bring the team closer. All the Yankees are the heroes for this 5-4 thrilling victory, but #1 is Nick Swisher.

The Yankees now have a 3 game lead over the pesky Rays. The Red Sox lost once again and are 6.5 games back. Things are looking mighty fine for the Yankees right now. But as George would have wanted, the Yankees have to take things 1 day at a time. There is still a lot of baseball left to play.

Bob Sheppard and George Steinbrenner, I hope this victory tastes as good to you as it did for the Yankees (and Swisher). May you rest in peace ♥ 

Heating Up

Sweep of the A’s Complete!

I was going to post earlier, but I had a more important obligation. Don’t gasp yet – I know what you are thinking: “What could be more important than blogging about a Yankee win?” The answer?

Sending Swish.

Nick Swisher was depending on us to vote for him for the All-Star Game. Since voting ended today at 4, I decided to devote my day to him. So I did. And I got a headache from staring at the screen so long. But you know what? I just had to suck it up. Because a little discomfort for me is worth a smile from Swish. Nick, I hope you won sweetie ♥

Staying up late was worth it for this series. Anytime the Yankees win, no matter what time I go to bed, I’m not cranky. Thank you Yankees for my good mood! CC Sabathia and A-Rod were responsible for our 6-1 win in game 2. Last night’s finale had a similar recipe. The Yanks won it 6-2.

Pitching Analysis: It was A.J. Burnett’s turn last night, and I was hoping that his previous start was not a fluke. It was his first good one in over a month. Last night, A.J. comforted me, saying, “Don’t worry, Virginia. I’ll be good for you.” And he did. He’s heating up again. 

      New York Yankees starting pitcher A.J. Burnett throws a pitch against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning of their MLB American League baseball game in Oakland, California July 7, 2010. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

Thatta boy, A.J. 😉

In 7 innings, A.J. allowed just 2 runs on 5 hits. His ERA is back to respectibility at 4.75, and his record is even at 7. I think it is safe to say that the A.J. Burnett we all love – the good one with the mean…intimidating face – is back 🙂

The bullpen did well last night. Marte pitched a scoreless 8th, and Joba threw a scoreless 9th. If only he can be automatic like Mo every day….

Defensive Anaysis: There was good defense, bad defense, and something that I don’t think is worthy of being called defense last night. We’ll call it ugly. Yankee Defense: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. GOD I HATE THAT MOVIE.

Which one is “The Ugly?” The are all grotesque.

Anyway: The good defense came in the first inning, on the first play of the game. Coco Crisp hit a liner to centerfield, and Brett Gardner snared it, doing a dive/slide, for the first out. Good Job, Brett!

The bad was A.J. Burnett. He attempted a pickoff, and threw the ball wildly. He is just the WORST at holding on runners. He had the right idea, but failed to execute the play.

The ugly – Oh, the ugly! I can’t believe I’m using the words “Alex Rodriguez” and “ugly” in the same sentence! Last night, A-Rod made a fool of himself. In the 7th, he chased down a foul pop-up, and had to run a long way to get there. I think he ran a little too much. Alex OVERRAN the ball, tried to recover, but it was too late: before he knew it, Alex was on the ground, with the ball trickling away. It was the most epic fail I have seen since another popup fail…

Priceless…

Of course, Jeter and the rest of the guys really let him have it. But A-Rod was a good sport about it. After all, it was hilarious.

Offensive Analysis: The Yankees had a lot of chances early to get to Gio Gonzalez, but they failed to take advanage ot them. Finally, in the 4th, they broke through. My little cutie Ramiro Pena, AKA Jamal, hit an RBI single to tie the game at 1.

                     July 07, 2010 - Oakland, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - epa02240698 New York Yankees Ramiro Pena connects with an RBI single off a pitch by Oakland Athletics pitcher Gio Gonzalez during the fourth inning at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California, USA, 07 July 2010.

 

 Dev Patel and Ramiro Pena! TWINS!

Then Derek Jeter hit an RBi single to give the Yankees a 2-1 lead! Later that same inning, Mark Teixeira delivered – big fly style. He hit a 3-run homer to break the game open! 5-1 Yankees! He is really starting to heat up.   

             New York Yankees' Mark Teixeira hits a three-run home run against the Oakland Athletics during the fourth inning of their MLB American League baseball game in Oakland, California July 7, 2010. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 MAAAAARK I LOVE YOU!!!!!!

Nick Swisher really campaigned well for himself last night. He had a single, a double, a walk, and in the 6th, gave another reason why he’s All-Star worthy: He hit an opposite field solo home run! 6-1 YANKEES! Swish, you are too cute 😉

     New York Yankees Nick Swisher (R) is congratulated by teammate Mark Teixeira after Swisher hit a solo home run against the Oakland Athletics during the sixth inning of their MLB American League baseball game in Oakland, California July 7, 2010. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 You have my votes!

The heroes for this comforting victory are A.J, Burnett, Mark Teixeira, and Nick Swisher, for giving it their all and getting some serious results. In a perfect world, all three of you would be All-Stars. For now, let us pray for Swisher.

The Yankees have won 5 games in a row. They have a 2 game lead in the AL East, and they have the best record in baseball at 53-31. Sure, my Yankees are good, but doesn’t it seem like they haven’t really clicked yet?

I think the boys are just starting to heat up. This is gonna be fun…

GO YANKEES!!! 

A View from Sec 237, Row 14, Seat 1


 Yankee Game July 1st 2010

Yesterday was my first time at the new Yankee Stadium. I know, I’m ashamed that I didn’t get to go earlier. But I know I’ll be back many many times, because the place is like Heaven. And lucky for me, it was a good game. The Yankees lost the first two of the Mariners series, and lost the first today in the Blue Jays series. I’m very thankful for that 4-2 win yesterday. Maybe they won because of me!

I was too excited to sleep. I was too excited to stay still on the train. Hahaa, I was too excited and stupified to even take pictures of the Great Hall! My Dad and I walked around like zombies, OMG-ing at everything we saw. It was amazing. The Stadium is so beautiful – words cannot describe it.

I was a Bleacher Creature, which was an incredible experience in itself. We got in our seats early to see the guys warm up. After a little while, when I realized that it is not a dream and I can control my every move, I decided to take some pictures of the guys warming up.

CC pitched a fabulous game for the Yanks yesterday. Now I know how he prepares for his starts:

P1020786.JPGCC paces around as Dave Eiland goes over the plan of attack.

 

P1020788.JPG

CC and Jorge, the battery of the game, have a nice catch. 

 

The Mariner starter, Ryan Rowland-Smith, had a catch with his battery mate Josh Bard:

P1020791.JPG 

After a few minutes, the position players emerged from the clubhouse to do some last-minute warmups before the start of the game:

P1020795.JPGFrom left to right: Curtis Granderson, doing some serious stretching with help of a trainer, Robinson Cano, doing I don’t know what, and Mark Teixeira, jogging his way into the picture.

 

P1020792.JPGThe Mariners did the same thing.  

 Before we knew it, the game began.
 

P1020808.JPGAfter CC pitched a 1-2-3 first, Jeet led off for the Yanks. He eventually scored on a Mark Teixeira groundout to give to the Yanks a 1-0 lead.

 The game went pretty fast. Here are some random shots I got:

P1020811.JPGA-Rod in the process of swinging (and missing :p)

 

P1020814.JPGRamiro Pena at-bat with Derek Jeter on deck. 

 

P1020810.JPGMariners left-fielder Ryan Langerhans looking a little bored in the outfield.  

 

HERE IS MY FAVORITE PIC:

P1020813.JPG                                      Ow-OW! Brett Gardner – lookin’ good…♥♥♥

After A-Rod’s dramatic 2-run homer in the 8th, we had the lead again. That meant only one thing….

P1020816.JPG

                                                            MO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hearing Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” and witnessing the Great Mariano jog onto the field is just the coolest thing ever. He beasted yesterday, setting down the Mariners 1-2-3 and nailing down the save for the Yankee win.

I had the time of my life at the game yesterday. I don’t even care that much about the loss today, because yesterday still lingers in my mind 🙂 The heroes for the thrilling victory yesterday are CC Sabathia, for 8 innings of 2-run, DOMINANT C “Cy” style baseball, Alex Rodriguez, for his SUPER CLUTCH 2-run homer in the 8th to re-give the Yankees the lead, and Michael Hirschbein. He’s the guy that made this day possible for me by giving me the tickets. I write for him at http://pinstripepartisan.com at FanVsFan.com He’s awesome.

For more on my trip to the Stadium, check out this little video at http://fanvsfan.com/shows

 

It Wasn’t A Mirage

Yanks Take Finale to Win Series in the Desert

I’ve seen a lot of bizarre things on the baseball diamond before, but I think last night is worthy of the title of one of the most bizarre baseball games ever. I think the players weren’t all their last night – on both sides. Last night’s game was not played well, and was incredibly sloppy. I was beginning to think I was seeing things, but then I remembered that I wasn’t the one in the desert. Nope, it wasn’t a mirage. It wasn’t a gorgeous win, but I’ll take it. The Yankees won 6-5, and won the series.

Pitching Analysis: After watching and pitying Dontrelle Willis, who just could not throw a stike, it was Javy Vazquez’s turn. I panicked, because he walked the leadoff man Kelly Johnson. I was beginning to worry, “Oh no! It’s contagious! Javy has the virus! He can’t throw strikes!” It was a pretty messy inning, but Javier did catch a break when the defense threw out a runner trying to score. Later on, with the bases loaded, he surrendered a 2-run single to Adam Laroche. That pest. He had 5 RBI last night.

Javier really struggled last night. He went just 5 innings, and allowed 4 runs on 6 hits. He really didn’t have good stuff on the mound. But to his credit, he kept the Yankees in the game, and didn’t unravel to the point of no return. He prevented the opposition from having the Big inning. And for that, Javy deserves a pat on the back. 

                                   New York Yankees starting pitcher Javier Vazquez throws a pitch to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first inning of their MLB interleague baseball game in Phoenix, June 23, 2010. REUTERS/Joshua Lott (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 Look at you…so cute 😉

The bullpen did a lot of work last night, and most of it was done well. Damaso Marte allowed a run in te 6th, but it’s not like they hit him. He kind of screwed himself up. Chris Young walked, moved to second on a balk, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a groundout. That gave the D-Backs a 5-4 lead.

The rest of the ‘pen was fabulous: Joba, Robertson, and Mo. Oh, Mo! Mo, Mo, Mo…what else can we say about Mo? He’s amazing.

Mariano knew what he was in for last night: 2 innings to pitch, and 1 shot at the plate. He tossed a 1-2-3 9th, and in the 10th, he got a chance to hit. That was pretty funny. He put a good swing on the ball, but grounded out. The best part was that the whole team was at leaning on the dugout railing, laughing and just having fun with it. I don’t know how Mo focused at the plate with the whole team joking about him like that.

                                  June 23, 2010 - Phoenix, AZ, United States - epa02219261 New York Yankees Mariano Rivera of Panama, watches his grounder roll to the Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman before being thrown out, as he bats during the ninth inning of their Major League Baseball game in Phoenix, Arizona USA, 23 June, 2010. The Yankees won 6-5 in 10 innings.

 LOL!

More importantly, I don’t know how Mo focused in the 10th! It was a miracle…Stephen Drew led off with a single. Then Justin Upton doubled, and Miguel Montero was intentionally walked to load the bases with none out. NONE out. Yikes. But Mo stayed cool – he got Chris Young to pop out to Cervelli, and got the dangerous Adam Laroche to pop out to A-Rod. That left it up to Mark Reynolds: the guy that either strikes out, or goes deep. Like in the rest of the inning, I bravely watched through the tiny opening between my fingers as I covered the rest of my face. Reynolds tried, but there was no way he was going to hit The Great Mariano. With a valiant effort, Reynolds swung at that back door cutter, but came up empty. Strike three! Crisis averted! YANKEES WIN!

       New York Yankees' relief pitcher Mariano Rivera throws a pitch to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the ninth inning of their MLB inter-league baseball game in Phoenix, June 23, 2010. REUTERS/Joshua Lott (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

Oh, thank you Mariano!

Offensive Analysis: Despite being given 13 walks by D-back pitchers, the offense struggled. They could not take advantage of the Diamondback mistakes. Instead, they made mistakes of their own. The basepaths were not friendly to the Yankees last night. There were three baserunning blunders that I would rather not summarize. It was ugly.

As for the runs, the Yankees got one in the first on a Nick Swisher RBI single. A-Rod drew an RBI walk in the 2nd. But the Yankees failed to really put a rally together. Until the 6th.

In the 6th, my darling Francisco Cervelli led off with a double, and eventually scored on a Brett Gardner RBI groundout. Cutie Colin Curtis came off the bench to pinch hit for Javy Vazquez. Once again, Curtis hit the ball hard, almost knocking over Adam Laroche, for an game tying RBI single! That made it 4-4. The Yanks re-tied the game in the 9th, thanks to an sac fly by A-Rod.

In the 10th, I was beginning to get restless. I began to think about the longball as a quick way to score a run. Curtis Granderson stepped up to the plate. While he was up, I was looking through my notebook to see if the Yanks had a homer that game. It was such a long, stressful game, that I forgot. I didn’t see any “HR!” in my notebook. Right when I realized this, I heard the crack of Grandy’s bat. I looked up, and there it went! HOME RUN, CURTIS GRANDERSON! Why didn’t I think this before? Whatever. The Yankees had a 6-5 lead, thanks to my sweet little Curtis. And that was the final score.

       New York Yankees' Curtis Granderson hits a home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the tenth inning of their MLB inter-league baseball game in Phoenix, June 23, 2010. REUTERS/Joshua Lott (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 Thank you, Curtis!

A lot of things happened last night that I didn’t believe. One of these was that the Yankees won! They didn’t play particularly well, but hey: they played well enough. A win is a win is a win. I’ll take it – especially since the Yankees gained a game on every team in the AL East! The heroes for this bizarre victory are Curtis Granderson for his clutch HR, and Mariano Rivera, for his miracle on the mound. He truly is amazing.  

          New York Yankees' relief pitcher Mariano Rivera (R) is congratulated by catcher Franciso Cervelli after their win against the Arizona Diamondbacks during their MLB inter-league baseball game in Phoenix, June 23, 2010. REUTERS/Joshua Lott (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 

Nowhere Near Hot Enough

Burnett Stinks Again in Yankee Loss

No doubt, last night was extremely frustrating. The Diamondbacks are one of the worst teams in basball, so of course a loss to them is annoying. I adjusted my entire schedule so I would be able to see the whole game: I slept until noon so I could stay up late without an issue – and then I didn’t even want to. The most aggravating thing about the loss was A.J. Burnett. My lord, something must be done with that man. The Yankee lost 10-4, and I knew right away it was going to be a bad night.

Pitching Analysis: I tried to wipe the slate clean and give Burnett a chance last night. He got the first two outs quickly. Then Justin Upton hit a solo home run. Okay, I thought. 1 run isn’t the end of the world, especially since the D-Backs have Rodrigo Lopez on the mound. We can catch up.

                       Arizona Diamondbacks Justin Upton (L) rounds the bases after hitting a solo home-run against New York Yankees starting pitcher A.J. Burnett (R) in the first inning of their MLB inter-league baseball game in Phoenix June 21, 2010. REUTERS/Joshua Lott (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 I was wrong 😦

After hits my Montero and Young, I was beginning to worry. But still, I thought A.J. would get out of it. Nope. Adam Laroche hit a monster 3-run home run. That’s what I get for being optimistic. But no, A.J. was not done yet. Mark Reynolds’s home run drained the last of my good mood out of me. After 1, the Diamondbacks led 5-0. I was ready to put this one in the “L” column.

Burnett allowed another run in the 3rd, and would have allowed more if not for a gorgeous diving play by Curtis Granderson. After that, I changed the channel whenever I saw A.J.

                          New York Yankees starting pitcher A.J. Burnett wipes his face during the first inning of their MLB inter-league baseball game against Arizona Diamondbacks in Phoenix June 21, 2010. REUTERS/Joshua Lott (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 Yeah it’s hot in Arizona. But I’m not sure how hot you are anymore, A.J.

He finished the night having thrown 4 innings, and allowing 7 runs on 9 hits. His ERA is climbing, and is now at 4.83. A.J. hasn’t won in his last 5 starts. And when he’s on the mound stinking it up, he doesn’t even look like he cares.

Chad Gaudin pitched a scoreless 2 innings. I didn’t really watch him, but I’ll give him credit for pitching well. Once I saw Chan Ho Park, I didn’t even bother watching the rest of the game. I switched over to AMC to give my full attention to the movie I was watching when the Yankees were pitching. I didn’t get to see Park surrender the 3-run homer to Upton, making it 10-3. I was too busy watching Dirty Dancing. It was hot in Arizona last night, but I just wasn’t feeling it. I decided to turn up the heat by watching Patrick Swayze dance. Ow-ow. That made me feel a little better…

 

Mmmm…I love this movie. It’s so sexy.

Offensive Analysis: Of course, Rodrigo Lopez had to pitch the game of his life last night. The Yankee offense struggled. The first thing I had to cheer about was when Nick Swisher’s triple brought home Brett Gardner.

           June 21, 2010 - Phoenix, AZ, United States - epa02215408 New York Yankees Nick Swisher slides safely into third base on an RBI triple off Arizona Diamondbacks Rodrigo Lopez, during the third inning of their Major League Baseball game in Phoenix, Arizona USA, 21 June, 2010.

 Oh, Nick…you are always hot 😉

To be honest, I didn’t see any other offense. They scored 3 more runs, but I didn’t bother to watch. But it wasn’t like the bats were hot anyway. The runs came on sac flies and stuff. Yeah that’s not good enough.  

Despite the miserable outcome of the game, the Yankees are still in first place – a half a game ahead of the Rays, who are now tied with the Red Sox who cheat at Fenway. It’s getting awfully tight in the AL East. Hopefully, the Yanks can quickly forget this loss, and move on. There is no room for losing streaks. We’ve got to be positive!

Look at it this way: Burnett won’t pitch for another 5 days!

GO YANKEES!