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.
A Day I’ll Never Forget
I finally made it back out to Yankee Stadium! I saw my first game this year last Thursday, August 11. It was the rubber game of the series against the Angels. The Halos won the first, the Yanks won the second. I knew it was going to be a good game, and and all-around good day. But I didn’t think it’d be THIS good.
Some of you might know that aside from my blog here at MLBlogs, I write for the FanVsFan Network at my site Pinstripe Partisan. I love that site for a number of reasons, one of the main reasons being that the people who work there are amazing. One of the leaders of the site himself is a Yankees fan and a native New Yorker, and he was generous enough to give me not one, but TWO free tickets to this Yankees game. So not only did I have the time of my life, but I was able to experience the day with my older brother, who had not yet been to the new Yankee Stadium.
But he didn’t just give me tickets. He gave me tickets, that for me, were perfect. When I found out where they were, I couldn’t wait to go.
My brother and I took the train down to the Stadium. Bobby is just as much of a Yanks fan as I am, and he was dying to see the new Stadium. When he first caught a glimpse of it as we were walking towards it, he was in awe – so much that he called home and told my Mom: “Ahh, Mommy! It’s so beautiful, you have no idea…” While on the phone, he turned to me and demanded that I take a picture.
We got the the Stadium 2 hours before the game was scheduled to start. Our plan was to go to our seats as soon as possible and watch batting practice and possibly get autographs. When we got to our section, Bobby reminded me:
“Virginia, please don’t embarrass me.”
Why so concerned?
Our seats were two rows behind the Yankee bullpen. And it was a day game. After a night game. Which meant that some players would be resting. Which meant that some backups would be playing.
WHICH MEANT THAT I HAD A CHANCE TO BE TWO ROWS AWAY FROM FRANCISCO CERVELLI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I can see now why he was worried about me.
The first Yankees we saw up-close-and-personal from our perch atop the bullpen wall was Freddy Garcia. He was getting some throwing in. Then Mike Harkey, the coolest bullpen coach ever, entered, and my brother and I (then the only people at the wall) yelled out, “Hi Hark!” AND HE WAVED!!! I thought my day was made. Oh, but there was more to come.
I was watching the hitters take BP, waiting for Cervelli to be done so he could come into the bullpen. BP was long, so my brother and I left for awhile to look around the Stadium, whose beauty was mesmerizing. When we got back to our seats, the wait wasn’t very long. Bobby pointed to a sexy looking man approaching from the dugout. I started to freak out.
“Virginia, you’re doing it.” he warned.
I managed to not explode. I let Francisco Cervelli approach. I captured his warm-up routine with about 50 pictures. Here are some personal favorites:
Before I knew it, he entered the bullpen. I was wearing my “Cervelli 29” shirt I bought last year at the Stadium. It was crowded at the bullpen wall now, but I figured, “It’s now or never.” And I was the only one in the ballpark that I knew of wearing his shirt. I was his ultimate fan. All these other idiots asking for his autograph didn’t really care about him. I didn’t want to harass him like the rest of them.
When he got close enough, I just yelled out, “Hey Francisco!!!! I’m wearing your shirt!”
Now I don’t know if he heard me, or if he saw the shirt when I turned around to show him. All I know, is that he waved at me, and I almost died. I’m lucky that I didn’t fall into the bullpen and die. I really am.
FRANCISCO CERVELLI WAVED TO ME. Holy Jesus. My life was then complete.
So he did more warm-ups, then when he exited the ‘pen, he waved again at us! Such a sweetie.
Oh yeah, then the GAME started. That was fun.
Bartolo Colon pitched a good game for the Yankees. I thought I was going to see Nova, but he pitched the night before. So when I heard it was Colon, I was happy. He was our first choice for a starter to see live!
The game was quiet at first, with no teams scoring through the first 4 innings. In the 5th, the Angels jumped out to a 2-0 lead on an Alberto Callaspo 2-run homer. That upset the sellout crowd, but they soon began to cheer when the fan who caught the ball threw it back.
In the bottom of the 6th, my cutie Curtis Granderson decided to give us something to smile about for real. After a Derek Jeter single, my GrandyMan homered to tie the game at 2! Then the next time the Yanks were on offense, big things happened, thanks to Mr. Robbie Cano. The bases were loaded after an Angel error, and Cano made them pay.
GRAND SLAM! Seeing that live was amazing. The ball jumped off Cano’s bat like I’ve seen no other. It got out of the park in a hurry, and Yankees fans went crazy. 6-2 lead!
*Note: Francisco Cervelli walked in that inning, and for some reason, Girardi called for Russell Martin to pinch run for him? I didn’t know why he did that. My Grandma said it was because a female fan was harassing Cervelli, and he couldn’t take it….wasn’t me!
Cory Wade made things messy in the 9th, so Mariano Rivera had to come in. Always a pleasure seeing him make his way to the mound.
We were all aware of Mo’s mishaps on the mound that week. We didn’t want to witness another one. And when Russell Branyan pinch hit, we were a little nervous. With 2 men on, Branyan homered…yikes. All of a sudden it was 6-5. I thought maybe that was all Mariano would allow.
Thank God I was right. We couldn’t afford to stick around for more innings – we had a train to catch! Luckily, Mo settled down and finished up the game. YANKEES WIN 6-5!
My brother didn’t want to leave. Once we got home, he said, “We need to go back.” He then proceeded into his room, and began looking up more Yankees tickets. I hope we can go again before college starts!
It was a day I’ll never forget, that’s for sure. How often can a girl say that her crush waved to her at close distance, and she didn’t die? I’m proud.
It was an amazing early 18th birthday present for me. My real birthday is tomorrow. I’ll enjoy my last day as a kid today.
Thanks again to Michael H. for that amazing day! You’re the best.
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!”
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?”
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!
As I predicted, the Yankees did win the series in Citi against the Mets, though the final game left a bad taste in my mouth. Last night’s opener against the Indians was hard to swallow as well. So instead of recapping those select games, I want to look at the first half of the season in general, shouting out to the ones who are mostly responsible for where the Yankees are now.
These are the top 5 guys who I’ve singled out as the First-Half Heroes, and it was very hard to pick just 5 of them:
#5 Bartolo Colon
I’ve said it a million times, but I’ll just say it again: when I heard the Yankees signed Colon, I was extremely doubtful. I thought he was just some big fat has-been who would get injured right away, or would just flat-out suck. Bartolo Colon has truly been a blessing for the Yankees. He is 6-3 with a sparkling 2.88 ERA. He did spend a short stint on the DL with an injured hammy, but as promised, he didn’t need to stay on the DL longer. He made it back as fast as he could, and it didn’t even seem like he missed a beat at all. His first start off the DL, Saturday against the Mets, was as good a game as he’s pitched all year long: 6 innings of shutout baseball, and just 80 pitches. I’m hoping Colon can continue to carry the Yankees in the next half.
#4 Freddy Garcia
Like Colon, I was a little unsure when the Yankees signed Freddy Garcia. I was aware that this 35 year old righty was not the same pitcher he once was, and that his fastball rarely even touched 90 mph anymore. But whatever he’s been doing, it’s been working this year. Garcia reminds me of a Mike Mussina type – a guy who figures out how to win even though he’s not the same pitcher he once was. A guy who keeps hitters off balance, and a guy who is truly intelligent on the mound. A pitcher, not a thrower. Garcia’s numbers are amazing: so far, he is 7-6 with a very solid 3.13 ERA. My Mom and I always joke about him. It seems like he pitches EVERY DAY. But that’s okay, because more often than not, the Yankees win when he’s on the mound.
#3 Eduardo Nunez
Yes, Eduardo Nunez – even though he has made 9 errors. The Yankees didn’t go 14-4 without Derek Jeter for no reason. Eduardo Nunez did an amazing job filling in. So even though he made 9 errors, they didn’t really cost the team THAT much. Look how good they were without Derek! Nunez, though still progressing, really impressed me with the bat. The kid swings that stick pretty well. He’s hitting .278 with 3 HR and 14 RBI on the season. I’ve seen him successfully bunt for hits on more than one occasion, I’ve seen him steal bases (he has 10 on the season), and he’s shown me why the Yankees thought so highly of him. He looks like he belongs, and I hope I still a lot of him in the second half, only under better circumstances.
#2 Curtis Granderson
Ask anyone around here, I said it over the offseason: I expected HUGE things out of Curtis Granderson this season. I said I expected 40 HR. Looks like he’ll get there. Curtis Granderson has been a savior for the Yankees this season. When the other big bats went dry, Granderson stepped up. It’s so hard to put him as #2 on this list, considering how good he has been. He is an all-around strong baseball player. Currently, he is hitting .274 with 23 HR and 59 RBI. He has stolen 15 bases, and has made countless great plays in the outfield, where he uses his speed to his advantage. I am proud to have Curtis on the All-Star team this year, and even more proud that he is on the Yankees. Not only is he amazing on the field, but he is a real Yankee off the field as well. Granderson is such a genuinely kind, charitable man. He is the epitome of what it means to wear the Yankee pinstripes, on and off the field, and the Yankees surely would not be where they are this season if it weren’t for Granderson.
#1 David Robertson
David Robertson just might be God. Or maybe Houdini. I can’t go on enough about what he has meant for this team. Throughout the entire season, the Yankee bullpen has lost key, KEY components. They’ve had to dig very deep to fill in the holes created by injuries to try and build a new bridge to Mariano. But the one guy who they could always count on was David Robertson. No matter what the inning, 6th, 7th, 8th, no matter what the “impossible” jam, Robertson would come in and get the team out of it, making the opposing hitters look silly. His stats are mind-blowing: a 1.05 ERA, 55 strikeouts, and the highest K/9 innings ratio at 14.4 K/9. It’s insane how good he is. But what’s even more INSANE is how David Robertson is NOT an All-Star. I mean is there anyone BETTER than him? In my opinion, David Robertson is the Yankee that is the most deserving of the All-Star honor. And he’s not going. And that really bothers me.
It bothered me enough to create a debate. I doubt anyone’s going to take on this challenge, I mean there’s just no way they can debate me on this…there is no OTHER SIDE! He deserves to be there!!!
Oh well. Robertson, you are an All-Star in my book. Congrats to you and all the other Yankees that made my Yankees First-Half Heroes list. Best of luck in the next half.
…Or are my Yankees really just that good?
When I heard that the Yankees were going to play the Brewers, and that the Brewers were in first place in the NL Central, I thought that maybe the series would be a little bit competitive. I was totally wrong. I can’t say I’m disappointed, though. A sweep is always fun. I never see the Brewers, and I had heard pretty good things about them. They didn’t show any of that on the ballfield.
But let’s give some credit where credit is due: the Yankees played some pretty darn good baseball over this homestand.
Clutch hitting, offensive explosions, and amazing starting pitching. All that together…up against a team that didn’t play solid baseball…huge advantage there. Everything the Brewers couldn’t do, the Yankees did.
-Making The Plays
Aside from Eduardo Nunez (as usual) the Yankee defense was extremely solid over this series. They were fundamentally sound. In the first game of this series, Nyjer Morgan misplayed a ball in centerfield, wound up falling down, and pretty much gave Curtis Granderson a triple.
Yankee outfielders, Nick Swisher especially, play fantastic defense. Swisher showed time and time again how well he plays the wall out in right, and he also showed off a cannon of an arm. There was one play where Swisher threw out Corey Hart, who tried to score with 2 outs when his team was down (dumb move). It was a perfect 1-bouncer right at Russell Martin.
-The Big Home Runs
It seemed that in this series, whenever the Yanks were down or the game was tight, someone came up with a big home run that either got them back into the game, or solidified the fact that they were going to win. Nick Swisher had a big 3-run home run in game 1. Russell Martin had the go-ahead 3-run homer in game 2, and Mark Teixeira hit his 300th career home run in the 5-0 finale. The Brewers, a team with so much power, didn’t do anything. I really was surprised.
-Beyond Solid Starting Pitching
Starting pitching really sets the tone for how the game will play out. And when my Yankee starters, Freddy Garcia, A.J. Burnett, and CC Sabathia, appear solid early on, I have a good feeling about the game. I couldn’t be more proud of the Yankees starting rotation this year. I thought it would be a weakness, especially after the ravaging injuries. Everyone has really stepped it up big time, especially A.J. Burnett, who last June went 0-5 with an 11.35 ERA. This year, he had himself a solid June, and even when he struggled, he was able to minimize the damage instead of exploding like he did last season. And with his 7 inning, 2-run outing against the Brewers, I’d say he closed out the month nicely.
CC Sabathia closed out his June in lights-out fashion, throwing 7.2 innings of shutout baseball and striking out 13 Brewers along the way. I guess he just gets a little more into it when he faces a former team.
The Brewers did not pitch, hit, or in general, play good baseball against the Yankees. After the series, I was surprised they were even IN first place to begin with! A little over-matched against the AL East leading Yankees I guess.
AL East leading Yankees…yup, and I love saying it. My boys are currently 2.5 games ahead of Baahston. They start the big Subway Series tonight, and I am confident that they will win this series, just as they have won every other interleague series this year.
Yanks Take First Three From Tribe
I shouldn’t complain too much…I mean at least we are winning this time. Then again, the Cleveland Indians are not the same Cleveland Indians of the earlier months. But, then again, the Yankees aren’t the same either. So they’re both different, so I guess that balances out. So these three wins for my Yankees WERE legit.
Game 1 was the first game in a long time that I sat down and watched from beginning to end without falling asleep! Ivan Nova toed the rubber, and had a surprisingly dominant outing. The offense was surprisingly alive as well, exploding for 11 runs with RBIs from Robbie Canooo, SwishyNicks, Jo-P0, Ahh-the-GrandyMan-Can, Brettiboo, A-Rod, Texy-Wexy, from up and down the loaded lineup. I’m proud to report that Brett Gardner has been playing much better baseball of late, as well as Mr. Jorge Posada, whose batting average is now way over that Mendoza line (and it appears it will only continue to rise above it). Maybe Jorge wasn’t hitting because his son was going to have ANOTHER surgery, and you know, maybe since he’s a man with a heart, maybe he was nervous/stressed/upset/unfocused because of it? And maybe since his son is now recovering and the worst is behind him, maybe Jorge can concentrate fully on baseball and breathe a sigh of relief? So maybe he’s not done, so stop pushing him out before his time?
Game 1 was fun to watch in regards to Nova and the offense, but it made me nervous at other times. Like after Curtis Granderson homered in the 2nd and Mark Teixeira was immediately plunked high up on his back – if he didn’t duck it could’ve hit is head – and a fight almost broke out between Joe Girardi and Indians skipper Manny Acta. That made me nervous/infuriated because I HATE WHEN MY BOYS GET HIT. But it was all good. The Yankees added on a bunch of runs after that. So HA-HA.
The other thing that made me nervous in Game 1 was the bullpen. Yeah. My fears are realistic. The bullpen was horrendous. Utterly dreadful. The Yankees, in the 7th , had an 11-2 lead, but they had to call on Mariano Rivera to get the final outs, because the bullpen just couldn’t do it. Just thank GOD for Mo…without him, we’d really have NO ‘pen whatsoever.
I missed the entire Game 2 because I was at Marist College’s Orientation! It was a spectacular day: I got to know some students, toured the campus, and felt comfortable there throughout it all. It’s nice knowing I picked the right place! But while I was enjoying my day, the Yanks had a game to play. Bartolo Colon, according to my brothers, had his typical stellar performance, but it was cut short after he hurt a hammy covering first base. He was taken out of the game, and he is now on the 15-day DL – and he says he will return in the 15 days, but they always say that…
That is a HUGE blow to this team. Bartolo Colon is one of the best pitchers in baseball right now. He’s better than CLIFF LEE. <<Yeah. I said it. And he’s a WAY better value. He, to me, is the Yankees #2 starter. And now he’s gone. The bullpen sucks, I don’t want the starting rotation to suck that badly. So the news of that 4-0 win was not as sweet as I would have hoped for.
Game 3 was extremely comforting, because I was saying how the starting rotation without Colon needed to step it up a notch, and Freddy Garcia stepped it up a few (especially when I remember his last outing…eeek). Freddy was phenomenal. 6.2 innings, 1 run, just everything the Yankees and I could have hoped for. And the offense? Explody once again, with contributions from everyone! INCLUDING those two guys I mentioned above – Brett Gardner and Jorge Posada – who are continuing their hot-hitting. Oh, and Jeet’s getting closer to #3000!
So after an icky bad stretch, the Yankees have themselves a modest three-game winning streak. The offense looks more alive, and I’m hoping overall they can be more consistent and keep this going. The starting rotation took a big blow with the loss of Colon, but if everyone can just do a littttttle bit more like what Freddy did, then maybe we can survive these “15 days” Colon promises. And the bullpen, well, I don’t know…(don’t ruin it, Virginia! You have to end on a good note!).
And um, I graduate a week from today! And my college is awesome!
The Yanks go for the SWEEP tomorrow.
Yanks Take Series Against Rangers!
I’m going to be honest here: coming into this series against the Texas Rangers, I wouldn’t have thought it would have turned out the way it did. I still had memories of last year’s ALCS, (see post here for the many silly reasons why I hate them http://southernbelle.mlblogs.com/archives/2010/10/why-i-hate-the-texas-rangers.html), and I was just worried the Yankees would remember it, too. And after they lost a tough game in Game 1, I feared the worst.
Ivan Nova was extremely wild in his Game 1 start. Russell Martin wore himself out behind the plate, and I knew he would have Game 2 off.
“Oh great,” I thought. “Now we have GUSTAVO MOLINA AND HIS CAREER .122 BATTING AVERAGE catching FREDDY GARCIA…Really? How are we supposed to win?”
Well, they must have heard me. The battery of Freddy Garcia and Gustavo Molina in Game 2 proved to be surprisingly dominant. Freddy pitched 6 2-hit shutout innings against the best lineup in the AL aside from that of my Yankees.
I was beyond impressed, considering the situation: it was Garcia’s first start of the season, since his other ones were skipped over or rained out. And he was doing it on an icky rainy day – against the Rangers. So yeah, the pressure was on. He really proved me wrong.
On the strength of 2-run homers by Teixeira and Cano, and solid pitching, the Yanks took Game 2 by the score of 5-2.
The rubber game was a fun one, though I didn’t see the whole thing because I am addicted to the Celebrity Apprentice.
They played on ESPN, and the announcers were really pissing me off. At this point in the game, the Yanks were behind. And the announcers were going on and on, saying:
“Well, you know the Rangers have just come right in here, and they don’t even let the mystique of the Yankees bother them. They are beyond that.”
“They have completely overmatched the Yankees, like last year in the ALCS.”
“Oh, Beltre and Young have just torn the covers off the balls this series.”
“Oh, the Rangers!”
Jesus. Sounded like Chris Matthews talking about Obama.
I was BEYOND offended when they mentioned the “lack” of mystique. I mean really?
It got to the point where I couldn’t take it anymore,
“JESUS GOD ALMIGHTY! What is wrong with these guys? And I thought Miller and Morgan were bad announcers…how could they say such things?!”
“Shhh…relax,” said my Mother, “Let them keep singing praises about the Rangers, then watch the Yanks go ahead.”
Oh, Mommy. Mommy knows best!
It took them awhile, but the Yankees DID come back and hold the lead. My sweet Eric Chavez drove in the game-winning run with an RBI single in the bottom of the 8th, (I changed the channel back just in time to see it) and Mariano nailed down the save for the 6-5 Yankee win.
I wound up staying up until midnight because I was dying to see Eric Chavez be interviewed. It was worth the wait….my GOD he is hot. I think right now Eric Chavez is the hottest player on the Yankees. Like, looks wise. And he’s pretty hot with that bat of his as well 😉
Haha Alex Rodriguez WHO? Yeah…Chavez is hotter. Maybe A-Rod should miss games more often…I don’t mind his replacement haha.
I was thrilled. I didn’t think my boys would win 2 of 3, but they did! Is there anything this team can’t do?
Maybe I should stop being so surprised when they win. I mean they ARE the Yankees. But then again, this reverse psychology thing seems to be working.
I don’t know. Maybe I should stop thinking altogether and just enjoy the baseball.
Bullpen Fails in Heartbreaking 5-4 Loss
….or maybe JOE GIRARDI IS A MORON!!!
It’s too early in the season for this, and I have too much homework to not be doing, but I’m too frustrated so I need to vent.
Before I go completely insane, I should recap the game for those of you who were lucky enough to NOT see it. The first 7 innings were actually pretty entertaining. But from the 8th on, it was hard to watch.
CC Sabathia got the start last night in order to keep him on regular rest. My not-as-chunky-but-still-Hefty-Lefty tossed a fabulous game. He’s a God. Sabathia went 7 innings and allowed just 2 hits early in the ballgame.
Sabathia finished his night with a 4-0 lead, thanks to a 3-run BOMB by Teixeira and a solo welcome-to-the-Bronx home run from the smiley Andruw Jones. One of the highlights of my night last night was watching Andruw Jones try to catch a ball that ultimately went foul. The ball went directly into a fan’s meal, and sent it plummeting onto the field – right on Jones. It was amazing.
And of course after this, Jones never stopped smiling.
Anyways, Sabathia left the game having thrown 104 pitches. Not too many, but for this early in the season, it made sense to take him out.
But it didnt make any sense to me to put Rafael Soriano in. Note: I felt this way BEFORE he blew it.
First of all, Soriano has worked a respectable amound lately. Since the Yanks had a seemingly insurmountable 4-0 lead and the Twins bats were dead, I didn’t think there was a need to use the setup guy. He could have had the night off, and they could have started the 8th with David Robertson or someone. But no.
Another reason why I didn’t want Soriano in the game last night, is because it seems that whenever closers or guys with closer-like stuff and a closer-like mentality (Soriano) always SUCK when the team has a rather-large lead. Even the best guys, like Mariano Rivera, have experienced the non-save situation struggles. And when we all know that Girardi is a “master” at conserving and managing his bullpen guys, I just didn’t understand why in the world he decided to use Soriano last night, and why he let him suffer through that horrible inning.
Soriano wound up loading the bases with 1 out in the 8th. It was apparent after he faced the first batter that he had absolutely NO command, but Girardi didn’t do anything. Soriano walked in a run, and ultimately destroyed the Yankees’s chance of winning by giving away their 4-0 lead. Although he didn’t get the loss (they lost 5-4 in 10 innings), it was over after he blew it.
I don’t blame the bullpen for this loss. It’s not Rafael Soriano’s fault. He is an amazing pitcher when he’s doing his thing. But last night, he WASN’T doing his thing. He’s supposed to come in when the game is tight, not fold under the pressure, and get the guys out. Last night was not that situation, and I’m not mad at HIM for struggling…I’m just mad he struggled.
Joe Girardi is who I want to strangle. He said that if he could do it again, he’d to it the same way. WHAT IS WRONG WITH HIM? I mean is it me? It makes sense if you saw the game…the Twin offense was completely dead. That 4-0 lead seemed like 100-0. There was no need to use Soriano last night. I still believe that the Yankees have the best bullpen in baseball. This game doesn’t make me lose confidence in Soriano at all.
Joe Girardi…what are we going to do with you…
And tonight! I was already mad at Girardi tonight. He planned on sitting Derek Jeter, Russell Martin, AND Jorge Posada tonight. He wanted A-Rod to DH, and he was going to use Eduardo Nunez at short, Eric Chavez at third, and GUSTAVO MOLINA AND HIS SPRING BATTING AVERAGE OF .067 behind the plate. Wow. And with 5th starter Freddy Garcia on the mound. I mean really? Isn’t the idea, like, to win the game? Why would he sit half his team all in one game?
I don’t know…sometimes I think Girardi TRIES to lose. Some of his decisions are crazy.
Hey, Joe! Stop trying to lose! No need to throw games away…Maybe you’re trying to make things exciting and dramatic, trying to make the season come down to the wire, trying to keep Yankees fans on their feet.
The AL East is hard enough, just let my Yanks do the drama on their own.
As much as I wanted to see the game tonight to try and get my mind off the horrible loss, I’m almost glad they didn’t play tonight. With that lineup, things didn’t look too good anyway. Now EVERYONE gets the night off.
I wonder what Joe Girardi’s going to do tomorrow…