Tagged: Curtis Granderson

What the Bombers are All About

Yanks Even Series in Tampa Bay

Last night’s game 2 win insured that the Yankees will leave Tampa Bay in first place where they belong. Ahh…that’s so comforting. I didn’t see game 1 of this series, and I’m glad I didn’t. I would have gotten too angry that they lost 3-2 and got just 1 hit after the first inning. But I don’t have to think about that, because game 2 had the desired results: Yankees win. It was another close game, but this time the Bombers came out on top 5-4.

Pitching Analysis: I’m so happy the trade deadline is over and Javier Vazquez is still on the team. I was afraid he would be dealt for someone like Jayson Werth. Thank GOD that didn’t happen. Javy has had the lowest ERA of all Yankee starters since May 12. I hoped this trend of success would continue last night. Javy battled, but he was good. He gave up a few leads, but managed to limit the damage and keep the Rays from a big inning. Vazquez threw 6.1 innings and allowed 4 runs on 8 hits.

The bullpen was absolutely FABULOUS last night. The combo of David Robertson and Boone Logan is proving to be very effective. It almost reminds me of the Philthies Coke and Hughes last year. These guys are the new bridge to Mariano – sorry Joba. And Chan Ho, I’m sorry you were DFA’d. I hope someone picks you up, just not the Yankees 🙂

New York Yankees' David Robertson pitches against the Seattle Mariners in the eight inning at SAFECO Field in Seattle on July 9, 2010.   UPI Photo/Jim Bryant. Photo via Newscom

May 10, 2010: New York Yankees' Boone Logan (48) during the MLB baseball game between the New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan.

Robertson and Logan did their jobs and got the ball to Mariano, who of course picked up his 22nd save of the season.

Offensive Analysis: The Yankees played catch-up all of last night. Curtis Granderson’s sac fly in the 2nd tied the game at 1. In the 6th, the Yanks were down 3-1. Derek Jeter led off with a double, and Mark Teixeira hit an absolute BOMB for a 2-ruin homer to tie the game at 3.

The Yanks fell behind once again, and once again the home run gave them new life. Nick Swisher crushed a hanging curveball for a solo home run in the 7th, tieing the game at 4. The Yankees kept on fighting back. I didn’t think it was possible for them to lose, but it seemed odd for them to win, because they never had the lead.

July 30, 2010 - St. Petersburg, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES - epa02267787 New York Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a Major League Baseball game in St. Petersburg, Florida, USA 30 July 2010.

  Swish, running with his head down after his home run…just like a good little Yankee 😉

In the 9th with the score tied, the Rays brought out their big All-Star closer, Rafael Soriano. Robinson Cano, who already had two doubles, stepped up to the plate with 1 out. He is SUCH a beast. Is there anyone this guy can’t hit? He proved to me once again last night that he is a magical player. Robbie’s home run off Soriano gave the Yankees their first lead of the night, 5-4. That was all they needed.

Robinson Cano gives the Yankees the win with a solo home run in the ninth inning, while new acquisition Lance Berkman (below) goes 0-for-4 in his Yankees debut.

Thank you, Robbie ♥

What really annoyed me was in 6th inning when Matt Joyce hit a homer to give the Rays a 4-3 lead. He was SO obnoxous. He did the “drop” with his bat, and just stared at it before finally performing his home-run trot. He was really showing off, and it was uncalled for. He should have just put his head down and ran, because that homer meant nothing: they LOST. I mean, who does he think he is? He has 5 homers this year. And he’s really tearing it up with a .230 batting average. Wow, he’s good. He and the Rays are ridiculous. They think who they are. But who are they? They need to show some class out there on the field. They really are the opposite of the Yankees. The Bombers had 3 home runs last night, and you didn’t see them showing off – even though Tex, Swish, and Cano are legit good players. No. They don’t do that because it isn’t right. The Yankees just drop the bat, put their heads down, and run. When they get back to the dugout, THEN they celebrate.

That’s what the Yankees are all about: class. They are the best team, and they don’t act obnoxious about it. Those pesky Rays aren’t the best, so why do they act like that? The need to stop being so cocky, because they haven’t proven anything yet. They didn’t win anything.

The heroes for last night’s Drama Club win are the new and IMPROVED bridge to Mariano, Mr. David Robertson and Mr. Boone Logan. You two are adorable, and you really make me proud. The other heroes are the 3 homer-boys from last night, Mark Teixeira, Nick Swisher, and Robinson Cano. I’d like to thank you guys for your performance and behavior on the field. You make me proud in both respects.  

I’d just like to welcome Lance Berkman, Austin Kearns, and Kerry Wood to the Yankees. Guys, you will love it here. The Yankees know how to win. Sorry that you have to shave your beards and cut your hair, but I don’t think that’s a big price to pay. You guys are Yankees!

Seriously, if you're a Yankee fan, do you want to go to war with Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon, or with this year's trade-deadline saviors - Lance Berkman (above) and Austin Kearns.

Hello, Mr. Big Puma. You will love the Bronx Zoo 🙂

Quite Unorthodox

Yanks Win Series Finale in Epic Adventure

Last night’s Yankee game was far from the norm. And if I may be permitted a cliche, you never know what you are going to see on the baseball diamond. A lot happened on the diamond last night that utterly confused me. But it was okay, because the Yankees won 11-4 and won the series.

Pitching Analysis: I was a little ticked off at Girardi for losing faith in Sergio Mitre so quickly – I mean it was 1 bad start. But whatever, I have a heart. That’s why he’s the manager and I’m not (that was harsh, Joe. I apologize). So Dustin Moseley got the start last night, and I have to say: he really impressed me.

I wasn’t too sure at first, though. Moseley got into a quick bases-loaded jam in the 1st inning. I was beginning to think “Would Mitre be any worse?” But unlike Mitre, (I’m sorry baby! I must be honest…), Moseley didn’t unravel. He battled back, and escaped the inning having allowed just 1 run on a sac fly by Austin Kearns. He threw 30 pitches to do so, but he did it.

         July 29, 2010 - Cleveland, OHIO, UNITED STATES - epa02266282 Dustin Moseley of the New York Yankees delivers a pitch against the Cleveland Indians in the first inning of their game at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, 29 July 2010.

  Dustin Moseley: A beast on the mound 🙂

After that, Moseley was amazing. He really was. That was the only run he allowed in his 6 innings of work. Despite throwing 30 pitches in the 1st inning, Moseley got his pitch count under control. He threw 83 pitches, and 55 were for strikes. With every inning that passed, I was beginning to fall more and more for Moseley. He looked really….really good….kinda like Mitre….if you know what I mean….

                       TEMPE, AZ - FEBRUARY 25: Dustin Moseley #58 of the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim poses during photo day at Tempe Diablo Stadium on February 25, 2009 in Tempe, Arizona. (Photo by Kevork Djansezian/Getty Images)

 Those eyes…Oh baby…

I never thought it would happen this quickly, but I think it did. I mean, I never thought I would like the guy replacing Mitre, who I LOVE. But now…well….OKAY I’LL ADMIT IT!

I LOVE DUSTIN MOSELEY! 

Ahh…that’s better 🙂

So the bullpen was one thing that remained normal this game: David Robertson was good, and Chan Ho Park was suckish. Very. And he knew it.

                         July 29, 2010 - Cleveland, OHIO, UNITED STATES - epa02266552 Chan Ho Park of the New York Yankees wipes his brow during the ninth inning in which he allowed three runs against the Cleveland Indians in their game at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, 29 July 2010. The Yankees defeated the Indians 11-4.

     Ooh…he doesn’t look to good…now I can’t help but think about that diarrhea thing….

                                                         This poor man…

Defensive Analysis: The defense was good up until the 9th inning. I guess Girardi was so sure that the Yankees were going to win. Otherwise, he would have never put Marcus Thames at 3rd base. MARCUS THAMES HAS NEVER PLAYED THIRD BASE! It’s no wonder he airmailed that throw to 1st into the SEATS. He was throwing like an outfielder. It was the weirdest thing, because he made a great play to get to that ball. But his throw was an epic fail. That 9th inning got a little too interesting. The Indians scored three runs, and I was waiting for Girardi to get Mariano warming.

Offensive Analysis: Once again, the Yankee offense exploded. But it took a long time for the explosion to actually occur. A-Rod had a sac fly in the 3rd to tie the score at 1. And in the 6th, the Yankees finally took the lead on an RBI single by Jeter. But after that, the floodgates opened.

In the 7th:

-Cano hit a solo homer, giving the Yanks a 3-1 lead

-Swish and Gardner walked

-Cervelli got an RBI single, making it 4-1

-Colin Curtis was hit in the butt (poor cutie) to load the bases

                     July 29, 2010 - Cleveland, OHIO, UNITED STATES - epa02266495 Colin Curtis of the New York Yankees is hit by a pitch in the seventh inning against the Cleveland Indians in their game at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, 29 July 2010.

 Aw.

-Jeter walked with the bases loaded, making it 5-1

-Granderson got a 2-run single, now 7-1

-Alex Rodriguez got a 2-run single. 9-1 Yankees!

The offense had a mini explosion in the 8th when it tacked on 2 more runs. RBI singles by Ramiro Pena and Juan Miranda gave the Yanks an 11-1 lead.

But perhaps the best offensive highlight, was the no offense at all. In the 9th inning, the Indians did what the Yankees did back on April 13th last year: they used a position player to pitch! What! But the best part was that the Yankees didn’t have a 1-2-3 inning since the first. And wouldn’t you know? Little Andy Marte pitched a 1-2-3 inning. AND HE STRUCKOUT NICK SWISHER!

         July 29, 2010 - Cleveland, OHIO, UNITED STATES - epa02266545 Third baseman Andy Marte of the Cleveland Indians came on as a relief pitcher and delivers a pitch against the New York Yankees in the ninth inning of their game at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, 29 July 2010. The Yankees defeated the Indians 11-4.

 Andy Marte for Cy Young!

I bet Nick Swisher is the only position player to ever have gotten a strikeout as a pitcher, and to have struck out against a position player. I think letting Marte pitch was a good decision by Manny Acta. It was a miserable game for his team, so why not boost their spirits with some humor? The Indians really got a kick out of it. And so did the Yankees! I bet Nick Swisher did.

So the Yankees won the series finale for the 11th time in a row. The heroes for this not-so-regular win are the entire Yankee lineup for their contributions. And for the first time ever, a hero will be from the other team: Andy Marte. It was amazing what he did out there.

Oh, and how could I forget the other hero: Dustin Moseley, my newest love ♥

            New York Yankees pitcher Mitch Talbot (L) talks with catcher Francisco Cervelli during the first inning of the MLB American League baseball game against the Cleveland Indians in Cleveland, Ohio July 29, 2010. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 These two are so cute!

The Yankees start that crucial series with the Rays tonight! I wish them luck. 

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 ♥ 

And That Concludes the 1st Half!

Yanks Take 3 of 4 in Seattle

Winning this series before the All-Star break is incredibly comforting. If anything else, it shows that my Yankees aren’t getting lazy – they stay focused no matter what time of year.

Here are my quick thoughts about each game:

Game 1 – Yankees win 3-1

Andy Pettitte continued to amaze me, but I wondered: Why can’t he field a bunt? Alex Rodriguez continued to be clutch. 3rd in the league in RBI? Pretty beast.

     New York Yankees Alex Rodriguez hits scoring two runs against the Seattle Mariners during the ninth inning of their MLB American League baseball game in Seattle, Washington July 8, 2010. REUTERS/Marcus Donner (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 CLUTCH…

Game 2 – Yanekes win 6-1

Mark Teixeira’s hot-streak was not a fluke? 2 HR in one game is good Mark, but sadly not good enough to get you onto that All-Star roster. You’re a little late. And Phil Hughes! Bouncing back from some not-so-good starts…way to get back to your Philthy self!

       New York Yankees' starter Phil Hughes says a prayer before pitching against the Seattle Mariners in the first inning at SAFECO Field in Seattle on July 9, 2010.   UPI Photo/Jim Bryant. Photo via Newscom

 I was praying that he’d be good. God, thanks for listening 🙂

Game 3 – Yankees lose 4-1

Javier Vazquez silenced all those idiots who wanted to trade him for Jayson Werth by tossing 5.2 no-hit innings before Ichiro got the first “hit,” a ball hit off Javy that he threw wildly (should’ve been an error.)  Nick Swisher continued his hot-hitting with a big fly of King Felix. AND WHAT IN THE WORLD IS WRONG WITH JOBA CHAMBERLAIN???? He single-handidly destroyed the game for Javy and the Yanks.

                 New York Yankees starting pitcher Javier Vazquez reacts after giving up a hit to Seattle Mariners Ichiro Suzuki during the sixth inning of their MLB American League baseball game in Seattle, Washington, July 10, 2010. REUTERS/Robert Sorbo (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 Aw, Javy…it was an error! You pitched great. Thank Joba for spoiling your “W.”

Game 4 – Yankees win 8-2

A pitching rematch from the game I saw on July 1st. CC Sabathia dominated just like he did when I saw him. And I love when everyone is hitting! The entire lineup, including guys like Marcus Thames, contributed to this win. And when you add to this the Mariners’s sloppy defense and the bright shining sun, it gets even more fun.

                            Seattle Mariners left fielder Michael Saunders loses the baseball in the sun and fails to make the catch on a double hit by New York Yankees Mark Teixeira in the third inning of their MLB American League baseball game in Seattle, Washington, July 11, 2010. REUTERS/Robert Sorbo (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 Mark Teixeira’s “sun double.” Poot Saunders…that must be a helpless feeling.

The Yankees concluded te first half with a sparkling record of 56-32, 2 games ahead of the pesky Rays. Looking ahead to the 2nd half, these are a few things I’d like to see:

-Curtis Granderson heating up. He’s hitting around .350 over his last 6 games. Hopefully he can keep this up after the break.

-Maybe I should call this “things I WOULDN’T like to see.” I wouldn’t like to see Chan Ho Park anymore. Just get rid of him. Designate him for assignment, and bring up someone who can actually help this team, maybe Boone Logan.

-Continued dominance from our starters (duh).

-A healthy Mariano. He’s a little worn out, which is why he’s not going to be at the All-Star Game even though he’s an All-Star. Hopefully, he can rest-up over the break and be back to his regular robotic self for the 2nd half.

-#600. A-Rod is getting closer every day to that magic number. I remember his 500th home run against the Royals. It was an unforgettable moment. I can’t wait for this next milestone!

-Nick Swisher in the Home Run Derby! THAT’S TODAY! I spent a pretty nice chunk of my week voting for Swish in the Final Vote Campaign, and it paid off! I must have voted around 3000 times, give or take.

I honestly don’t think Nick is going to win the Home Run Derby, but hey – you never know. Nick has really surprised me with his outstanding first-half this year. I’m starting to believe that he can do almost anything. But no matter what happens tonight, I’ll be happy. Just seeing Nick at this event is going to make me smile.

Nick Swisher #33 of the New York Yankees smiles in the dugout prior to the Major League Baseball game against the Oakland Athletics at the Oakland Coliseum on August 17, 2009 in Oakland, California.

I’ll have a big smile too, Nick ♥

I can’t believe the season is halfway over. That’s kind of sad. It’s been so much fun so far.

But I know that the best has yet to come.

Yankees, congrats on a great first half! Enjoy the break, enjoy the All-Star festivities, and I’ll see you again Friday 🙂

“Jav” A Day

Vazquez Fabulous in Yankee Win

Last season in the West Coast Trip before the All-Star Break, the Yankees got swept and lost all three games to the Angels. When I noticed te schedule for this year had a West Coast trip right before the All-Star Break, I couldn’t help but to panic. But after last night/this morning’s game, I no longer have to worry about a sweep. The Yankees beat the Athletics 3-1, and start off the road trip with a “W.”

Pitching Analysis: Javier Vazquez recorded his first win of the season against the A’s back in April, so I hoped that maybe he’d have similar luck last night. Eh. I was wrong. JAVY WAS EVEN BETTER! Oh, he was fabulous. In 7 innings, Javy allowed just 1 run (a sac fly) on 3 hits. He really pitched an amazing game. That’s my boy! And to think in the beginning of the year, everyone was ready to give up on him. His ERA is back to respectability at 4.81. Since mid May, Javy has the BEST ERA out of every Yankee starter. And I believed in him ♥

Javier Vazquez gives the Yankees seven solid innings against the Oakland Athletics Monday night and Mark Teixeira (b.) powers the offense with a solo homer.

Oh Javy! Way to have a day, my little cutie 😉

The bullpen was actually good! Joba Chamberlain, with help of Francisco Cervelli, threw a perfect 8th. The Great Mariano is back to his normal self as he saved the game last night.

Defensive Analysis: The Yankees have the best defense in the Bigs. They’ve made the least amount of errors. But last night, their gloves really shined. Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson, and Colin Curtis all made amazing web-gem-worthy plays to save Javy the stress of baserunners. GO D!!!

Offensive Analysis: When you have good pitching, you don’t need a boatload of runs. Javier Vazquez has had bad luck with offensive support, having the least run support of all Yankee starters. But this time, 3 runs were enough.

In the 2nd inning after 2 quick outs, I didn’t expect the Yankees to score any runs. Why do I always do things like that? Nick Swisher, who really needs our help to be an All-Star, (SEND SWISH!!!!) got himself aboard with a 2-out double. 

    July 05, 2010 - Oakland, CALIFORNIA, United States - epa02238144 New York Yankees DH Nick Swisher tosses his bat away, after hitting a double against the Oakland Athletics in the top of the second inning in Oakland, California, USA, 05 July 2010.

GO TO YANKEES.COM AND VOTE NICK SWISHER! BE SURE TO SPREAD THE WORD!

Curtis Granderson then followed with a triple down the line to score NickySwish. Then, my sweet Franciso Cervelli, just looked to put the bat on the ball. He’s got the BEST hitting approach I’ve ever seen. Cervelli hit the ball on the ground right back up the middle, for an RBI single. 2-0 Yankees!

Mark Teixeria must feel left out. The rest of the Yankee infield (execpt catcher) is headed to California for the All-Star Game, but Mark is not. He must think he still has a chance, because he has really turned it on these past few days. Last night in the 6th, Tex hit a monster solo homer to centerfield to give the Yankees a 3-1 lead. And that was the final score.

  July 05, 2010 - Oakland, United States - epa02238154 New York Yankees Mark Teixeira is congratulated by teammates after hitting a solo homerun against Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Ben Sheets during sixth inning action in Oakland California, USA, 05 July 2010.

TEX!

Last night’s win was very comforting for me. The heroes for the victory are Javy Vazquez and Mark Teixeira for proving they can do it, and that all we needed was to be patient and believe!

Have a day, Yankees! Keep up the good baseball 🙂