Yankees Struggles Continue
This past series against the Red Sox was incredibly embarrassing for my Yankees. God, it was unbearable! I thought I would finally be able to sit down and watch a good ballgame, because when they were out West I usually found myself waking up startled on the living room couch at 1am with the game over. Going back East, back HOME, seemed so comforting.
Not this time!
For some odd reason, the Yankees have struggled so far in the Bronx this year, when previously, they had a great homefield advantage at Yankee Stadium. Their record is just 17-16 in New York – definitely not good enough.
I don’t want to do recaps of these three games, because they were miserable. The Red Sox owned the Yankees, but I kind of feel like the Yankees beat themselves. This is not the team I saw in April, and there are many reasons why.
First of all, injuries. Not to make excuses or anything, but the Yankees have been ravaged by the injury bug. Remember that seemingly-unfaltering bullpen they had in April? It’s all gone. Completely destroyed. Rafael Soriano (who was very disappointing anyway, but I didn’t think he would stay bad for long) is out for God knows how long with an inflamed ligament in his throwing elbow. So there goes the 8th inning. Joba Chamberlain was recently diagnosed with a torn ligament in his throwing elbow, and he may undergo Tommy John surgery. He’s pretty much out for at least the rest of this season. So there goes the 7th inning. Now the Yankees have names like Luis Ayala and Lance Pendleton, who looks a lot like Woody Harrelson, finishing up games for them. These are not the type of player who is going to win the team a championship. The Yankees need to so some serious work.
And speaking of Joba: remember those Joba Rules? Like, the rules stating: “Let’s coddle and baby and shelter our prospects from the real world of baseball that involves pitching, because we don’t want them to injure themselves, so we’ll make a ridiculous proposal stating the exact amount of innings they can pitch, keeping in mind that they can’t pitch back to back days – God FORBID – and they can’t throw more than this many pitches in a game, and they have to use this much ice on their elbow after the game, and shower for this long, and” – okay you get it. THOSE absurd rules. Remember them? They were also used for other pitching prospects, like Phil Hughes. Well I have just one question:
WHY ARE PHIL HUGHES AND JOBA CHAMBERLAIN SERIOUSLY INJURED?
I don’t believe we will see either Phil Hughes OR Joba Chamberlain again this season, and I doubt if Joba has Tommy John surgery, that we will ever see him play in a Yankees uniform again.
It seems like the Yankees are clueless when it comes to managing their players. These “Joba”-type rules are insanity. Coincidence that both these guys are damaged now? I don’t know. All I know is that, back in the day, when baseball players were MEN and not BABIES, they played the game. They didn’t have innings limits, pitch counts, or Joba Rules of any sort. And they had perfectly fine careers. I don’t get why they can’t just do that today. I mean what, this way is any better? It seems that players are way too fragile nowadays, hence these injuries.
The Yankees are currently 33-27, but they really have not been playing well of late. They just don’t have that “spark” that they used to have. I don’t know why. Their team needs improvement drastically – in so many aspects. Relief pitching, for one. But also clutch hitting. I think the Yankees owe it to the fans to do something to get them a little excited, because maybe if the fans have a spark, it will translate into the team having some fire again. I say, since they need bullpen help and offensive help right away, just bring up some kids – and DON’T screw them up with “RULES.” Let them play the friggin’ game. Russell Martin is a little hurt, Posada isn’t hitting well? Try bringing up Jesus Montero for a catcher/DH. Maybe bring up Andrew Brackman (who is in Triple-A, just itching to get a taste of the Bigs) or Dellin Betances, and just try them out in the bullpen or in the rotation. Just DO it! Other teams do it all the time. Other teams actually USE their prospects! What a novel idea!
It may sound crazy to some, but I swear by my idea. The kids are obviously good. They’ve been sitting there, wasting away in the Minors. They are good enough and experienced enough down there to come up. And since the Yankees are struggling mightily and don’t even look like the Yankees, maybe now is the right time to make a bold move like this.
Maybe now’s the time to get a team together again.
Bullpen Back to Form in Yankee Win
Isn’t it funny how things work out when you never thought they would? I thought the Yankees were going to be stunned, shocked, and lifeless after Tuesday’s miserable loss to the Twins. I wanted them to just get out there and play on Wednesday, but the weather decided to screw everything up. I thought that after sitting on that loss yesterday thanks to the rain-out, the Yankees wouldn’t play well today.
And I was wrong.
The Yankees went out there today, and fought hard for the win, and won the series. I’m so proud of them!
A.J. Burnett toed the rubber today looking to go a little longer into the ballgame. I missed the first few innings thanks to good old school, but I caught the most of it. My Dad was listening to the radio in the car today when he picked me up. It wasn’t the Yankees.
“Rush Limbaugh, Daddy?”
“Of course,” he said, knowing that I too enjoy his program.
The first thought that popped into my head was that the Yankees were doing SO bad that he didn’t even have them on.
“You know the Yankees are on…” I said, cringing with my fingers crossed, hoping they didn’t blow the game.
“Are they? Oh I forgot!” Daddy exclaimed.
Pheew….way to make me crazy.
When we tuned in, the Yankees had a 1-0 lead in the 4th inning. The run was from a Nick Swisher sac fly. A.J. Burnett had a man on second base.
In a matter of about two minutes, Burnett had surrendered the lead, and the Twins lead 2-1. John Sterling said that everything that inning was hit hard.
“NO!” I thought. “I don’t want THIS A.J. Burnett!”
But that was the worst A.J. was today. Aside from that 4th inning, Burnett pitched a very good ballgame. He went 6 innings, allowed those 2 runs on 5 hits, 2 walks, and struckout 5 along the way. I’m proud.
Now that’s the A.J. I like to see!
The Yankees were only down for that half inning. I got home in time to see them rally! They didn’t hit much – in fact the Bombers didn’t hit one bomb today – but they got the job done. Andruw Jones tied up the game with an RBI double. Russell Martin drove in another with an RBI groundout, and Brett Gardner provided more insurance with a bloop RBI single. The Yanks lead it 4-2.
Then the bullpen took over.
Now although I convinced myself the other day that I HAD NO FEAR about the bullpen, I did have a little fear today. I just couldn’t help it. I was so quick to say how good the ‘pen was, and then the next game, the ‘pen blew it (sort of). So I was a little nervous.
Joba Chamberlain was called upon for the 7th inning, his inning. He did well, but a run scored unearned because of a throwing error by Russell Martin. So after Joba’s solid performance, my nerves subsided a little.
Until I remembered who’s in charge of the 8th inning.
“Uh-oh,” I thought. “Soriano has to pitch the 8th…and now it’s just a 1-run lead. I know he’s supposed to be GOOD in tight spots, but I wonder if he’ll let his mind get the better of him.”
I was freaking out…so much, that I did something I hardly ever do: I left the room. Usually in tight situations, I stay, but I just cover my face or something. But today, I just didn’t even want to see/hear/know it. I went in the kitchen with my parents, who were enjoying a nice afternoon cup of tea. Before I knew it, the inning was over.
We rushed back into the living room, and saw the score was still 4-3 as the team made their way back into the dugout. HE DID IT! Soriano is BACK!!!
The rest was easy. The Great Mariano closed the game, and earned the save. Yankees win 4-3, win the series, and win my confidence back.
The Heroes for the Victory are undoubtedly the pitchers: A.J. Burnett, Joba Chamberlain, Rafael Soriano, and Mariano Rivera. Burnett was solid in his start, and Jobianamo was dominant once again.
Jobianamo is back – and I think it’s here to stay.
My Yanks now head to Baahston, where the Red Sox still have not won a game. But I won’t get too cocky just yet…
Yankee Bullpen Stellar in Win
It was the first Monday night in a LONG time that I had something to look forward to. Instead of procrastinating on my homework like I usually do, I made sure to get right to it, so I would be free for 7:00.
Oh, the beauty of baseball season.
The game didn’t disappoint. It was a good one, and the Yankees played very well. I know it’s waaaay early to say stuff like this, but they really look like a championship-caliber team, especially in last night’s 4-3 victory.
The Yanks didn’t have that much offense, but they got the big hits. A-Rod and Posada each had 2-run homers and were responsible for all of the Yankees’ 4 runs. A-Rod has gotten of to an amazing start so far this year…can you say MVP? (I know it’s early, but you heard it hear first!). And Posada…my Jo-Po. He has adjusted to his DH role very well.
Last night’s game was important, because it was Ivan Nova’s first start of the season. And unlike last year, Nova this year is here to stay. So it was important for him to show he belonged in the Bigs.
Nova said that he had a plan last night, and that he didn’t expect the Twins to even get 1 hit off him. Way to set the high-bar, Ivan!
Well, Nova didn’t throw a no-no last night, but I thought he pitched wonderfully. He didn’t allow a hit until 2 outs into the 4th. I was worried a bit because he had trouble getting the final out – the Twins rallied with 2 outs and scored 2 runs that inning. Nova also allowed a run in the 5th, and before I knew it, the Twins crept their way back into the ballgame.
I was nervous when he went out to pitch the 6th, but Nova managed to make it out alive, and set himself up for the win. After striking out Jim Thome for the final out, Nova showed a little emotion on the mound with some fist pumps. Kind of reminded me of that old Joba Chamberlain…
SPEAKING of Joba, I’m in love with this bullpen. OMG. If the Yankees don’t have the best bullpen in baseball, then no one does. I’m betting on it:
THE YANKEES WILL FINISH 2011 WITH THE BEST BULLPEN IN ALL OF BASEBALL.
Joba Chamberlain did his thing in the 7th, Rafael Soriano was stellar in the 8th, and Mariano Rivera was Mo in the 9th. These guys are so good, they need a name. People have been calling them, “Jo-So-Mo,” but that just doesn’t FLOW.
My name is better: Jobianamo.
Joba, Soriano, Mo.
7th, 8th, 9th.
Yanks Off to Winning Start
The day I had waited for for what seemed an eternity finally arrived on Thursday: Yankees Opening Day! I didn’t know what to expect, so I went into the day with no expectations. Sure, I didn’t want to admit it, but I was worried about them facing Verlander in the Opener. I was worried about certain guys getting off to a good start. And I was worried about the weather.
And most importantly, I was worried about missing the majority of the game because of school.
Being the nerd I am, I had to stay after school Thursday for a meeting with the Superindenent that I could not skip. “Aw jeez,” I thought. “That’s an extra hour of the game I”ll miss. I hope my boys do alright.”
When the 3:00 bell rang, I fled the school as fast as I could.
“How’re they doin?” was the first thing I asked my Dad on the way home.
“Tied 3-3.” he said.
“Doing alright, not his best.”
“Who tied it up? Like, were the Yanks winning and did they blow the lead, or what?” I nervously questioned.
“They were down 1-0, Teixeira hit a 3-run hom-
“MAAAAAAAAARRKK!!!!!” I couldn’t hlep myself. I was just so stunned that Teixeira did something big in game 1. It was his first Opening Day hit with the Yanks.
“Then the Tigers came back,” my Dad finished, not the least bit startled by my exclamation. He’s used to that.
Once we got home, it was the top of the 7th, and Sabathia had been relieved by Joba Chamberlain. CC’s line was pretty good: 6 innings, 6 hits, 3 runs (2 earned), 2 walks, and 7 strikeouts on 106 pitches.
I was impressed by Joba Chamberlain, who still had the icky hair, and who had a perfect 1-2-3 7th.
I was lucky to get home when I did. Bottom of the 7th, game tied 3-3, my cutie Curtis Granderson stepped up to the plate. All offseason long, my family and I discussed how we thought certain guys would perform. I said that I expected huge things from Curtis this year – I felt he’d reach the 40 home run plateau in 2011.
Sure enough, Curtis hit a monster home run into the 2nd deck in right field to give the Yanks a 4-3 lead.
“OH MY GOD, CURTIS!!!! AWWW!!!! WE’RE WINNING!!!!”
Way to make me look good, Curtis!
From there on, the Yanks never looked back. They tacked on 2 more runs via a Derek Jeter sac fly and a Nick Swisher RBI single. The bullpen was perfect: Rafael Soriano and his #29 jersey impressed me with a 1-2-3 8th, and Mo was Mo looking good with high socks and a 1-2-3 9th.
Yankees win game 1 by the score of 6-3.
They couldn’t have played better. The Heroes for the Opening Day win are Mark Teixeira for his big blast, Curtis Granderson, for his stellar defense and clutch homer, and the Yankee bullpen, for being perfect.
I was able to catch the entire game 2, a game where Burnett didn’t suck, and the Yankee offense exploded.
My boys got off to a 3-0 start in the first inning thanks to an RBI double by A-Rod (who WILL be MVP this year), an RBI single by Cano, and a sac fly by Swish.
The longball was key for the Yanks in game 2. Mark Teixeira DID IT AGAIN with a 3-run homer to give the Yanks a 6-0 lead. He’s on pace to hit 162 home runs this season! Keep it up, Mark!
Russell Martin surprised the heck out of me when he went deep for a 3-run shot in the 5th to give the boys a 9-3 lead. Honestly, I didn’t expect much from Martin. But in the first two games, he has impressed me. I didn’t expect him to steal bases, and he’s done that already. And he filled the home run column. I think he’s going to be the best #9 hitter in baseball.
The Yankees added on another run in the 6th with an Alex Rodriguez home run. He’s a beast.
A.J. Burnett was decent through 5 innings. He looked good over the first 4, but ran into a little trouble in the 5th. He managed to escape with minimal damage. Burnett allowed 3 runs over 5 innings and struckout 6. He was relieved by David Robertson who had a scoreless 6th. Luis Ayala, who I thought was pretty mediocre in Spring Training, gave up 2 runs. Boone Logan saw a little action, and Mariano Rivera closed out the game for his 2nd save of the season.
The Heroes for the Victory here are the homer boys: Teixeira, Martin, and A-Rod.
It’s such a beautiful thing…the Yankees are 2-0 this year, and the “best team in baseball,” the Boston Red Sox, are 0-2. One of their star-offseason acquisitions, Carl Crawford, has not gotten a hit yet. And their pitching has been dreadful so far.
HA. HA. HA!
Who’s the best team in the AL East? Can I hear you say it?
NEW YORK YANKEES.
Ahh, it’s a beautiful thing…I love it.
It’s gonna be a goooood season.
With the clocks now sprung forward, the calendar officially saying spring, and the snow gone, baseball really is right around the corner. The dawning of a new season is very close.
Spring brings so many good things aside from baseball. I always look forward to the new spring styles in fashion. I’ve noticed several Yankees sporting some new styles this spring. Some I like, and some….ermm…not so much.
– The New Slender Sabathia
Well, more slender than before. Coming off knee surgery, CC decided it would be beneficial to drop a few pounds before the season. He accomplished his goal and lost around 30 pounds. I think Sabathia looks fabulous.
And not only does he look good – CC might even pitch better now that he won’t have that extra stress on his knees.
I like this new CC, but I sort of miss the old one…I mean can I still call him nicknames? Like my Hefty-Lefty, or CC my Chocolate Chunk? His belly was cute, especially since he pitched so well with it.
Look at him…trying to find his old belly and failing. But I guess I shouldn’t be too down. He’s smiling here – he has embraced his new slender(er) self. I can still call him cute names if I want.
Oh, and that picture just reminded me of a new style that I DISLIKE:
– Sergio Mitre’s New Uni
Mitre was having himself a pretty solid spring, but the Yankees traded him anyways, explaining that they felt they had a “surplus” of pitching (which I think you can never have). I loved Sergio Mitre and I feel bad for him. But what’s done is done.
In the trade, the Yanks got Chris Dickerson, an outfielder. In his Yankees debut in the game today, he went 3-3. I wish him luck.
And of course, Dickerson will look better in a Yankee uniform.
– Joba Chamberlain’s New Hairstyle
Brian Cashman didn’t want to discuss Joba’s weight GAIN, so I’ll refrain from that. I will just note that I think his body looks good…he doesn’t look fatter, but rather he appears stronger. So that’s nice.
But the hair…it sticks out of his cap. It’s long, curly, it’s…it’s almost resembles the Phil Hughes hair of a few years ago!
Okay…I’m not too fond of this messy look, but it worked for Hughes. If it works for Joba, I might learn to really like this look.
–Mariano Rivera’s High Socks
Yes, yes, YESSSS!!!! This is my FAVORITE new style of the spring, and I hope he continues to wear it into the season. God, he looks awesome. I wonder why he didn’t try this earlier. High socks make every player look better. It made A-Rod look better.
Speaking of A-Rod, I don’t know what’s up with him…
– A-Rod’s Stuffed Face
It’s a little unflattering to say the least.
Every time he’s at-bat, Alex stuffs handfuls of sunflower seeds into his mouth, and stores them in his cheek, chewing and spitting every few seconds. It looks ridiculous. I don’t know how he can possibly play like that without choking himself.
Who am I kidding, right? Pshh…”how can he play like that…” A-Rod is having an AMAZING spring! He’s hit like 6 home runs, and the one I saw today went about 440 feet to dead centerfield. He’s a beast!
Alex, if you wanna stuff your face, that’s fine. Just keep hitting!
Overall, I think my Yankees look very very good…aesthetically, of course. But baseball-wise as well. I think it’s going to be a fun season. I can’t wait for it to begin!
Ahh I don’t even know where to begin. Once the clock struck one and I had the YES Network on, I felt right at home. That offseason that was so long felt like a thing of the past. That’s because it is! Ha! I still can’t believe it. I watched the Yankees today. And it wasn’t a Yankees Classic that I had seen a thousand times. It was LIVE ACTION! And boy, was it fun.
The opening ceremonies were lovely, the field was gorgeous, and Haley Swindal’s rendition of our national anthem was amazing. Christina Aguilara WHO? Before I knew it, the game was underway. Hearing Michael Kay and Ken Singleton’s voices made me shiver with excitement. Then I knew baseball was back. The Yankee announcers are as much a part of my family as the players are, and it felt great to hear them again.
I was so excited for the game to be underway that I forgot about the starting pitching situation. Then I remembered when I saw Bartolo Colon jog out onto the mound. I decided to be fair and not judge the guy – I mean it was his first time pitching for the Yanks, I didn’t need to hate on him just yet. I thought, “Okay, I’m not judging this guy. Maybe he really can be good and help my team.”
I tried. But as I focused on his jiggly belly, triple-chin, and heard he’s 5’10” 260 lbs, I couldn’t help but to exclaim, “WHY DID THEY GET THIS GUY? HE’S NEVER GOING TO BE ABLE TO PITCH!”
I even thought of a perfect lookalike for Colon:
To be honest, I didn’t hate Bartolo Colon today. He may have been on the chubby side, but that’s okay – the Yankee pinstripes have a knack for making even the most homely look hotter. And today, Colon didn’t look as ugly as I had expected. In his two innings of work, Colon allowed just a run on two hits. But he did look pretty good. He’s no ace, but he proved to me today he knows what he’s doing. He CAN pitch. And for a fourth or fifth starter, he looks like he’d be fine.
Over at FanVsFan, another site I write for, my buddy Eric and I made a bet surrounding Joba Chamberlain. Eric thinks he will be good, and I think he’ll have another disappointing season. Naturally, I looked forward to seeing Joba’s outing today. He said he gained weight, but it didn’t look like Bartolo Colon weight – it looked solid. And his stuff looked as solid as I’ve seen it in awhile. Joba tossed a scoreless inning. You proved me wrong so far, Joba. Now just perform like that for the majority of the next 8 months or so, and I’ll make my apology official.
Another highlight of my afternoon was getting to see my darling sweet Francisco Cervelli behind and at the plate. I still have to get used to his new number, 17, and try to get over the fact that my precious shirt is outdated.
I didn’t have to be too sad for too long. My Cervelli looked as cute as ever today. And when he drove in the first Yankee run with his sharp double down the line, my customary Cervelli shrieks and smiles filled the room.
I also enjoyed seeing Mark Teixeira, who is known for his slow starts, crush a ball for an RBI triple. Hopefully this is a sign of things to come for Teix.
Everyone who knows me knows I go absolutely bananas for rookies. I just adore them. When I hear people go, “Oh I hate Spring Training games…the regulars play like 2 innings, then it’s just a bunch of nobodies,” I am dumbfounded. I look forward to seeing the cute new guys every year.
Today I saw a bunch of cuties pitchers including David Phelps (#87), Hector Noesi (#74), Eric Wordekemper (#89), and Luis Ayala (#43). I was very impressed by fist baseman Jorge Vazquez. I remembered that name from last year’s Spring Training. I knew he was a big guy with a funny (in a cute way) looking face. And today, I got to see him shine. Vazquez went 2-3, with a MONSTER 2-run homer, and a single.
Another newbie who really impressed me today was Justin Maxwell, whom the Yanks acquired in a trade with the Nationals earlier in the offseason. He may be my rookie-of-choice this Spring. First of all, he’s kinda cute. He’s 6’5”, and can run. And to me, on the baseball field speed is just as, if not MORE sexy, than home runs. Maxwell made a lovely play in the field to end the 7th inning, and he singled in the 9th. I hope he does well. The Yanks have a few spots open on their bench, and I think Maxwell would be a nice fit.
Mmmm…Justin Maxwell lookin’ mighty fine…
This game was so much fun that I didn’t even realize or CARE that my Yankees lost. It’s Spring Training. It’s fun. Would I have liked for them to win? Of course, but I don’t want to be too picky.
Heck, to be honest, one of my favorite parts of this game was the sight of grass. I haven’t seen that stuff in awhile.
Yanks Avoid Sweep and Win in Walkoff Fashion
I always liked the Orioles. I always felt that they had some of the cutset players in the league, such as Brian Roberts, Nick Markakis, Luke Scott, and my new favorite Brian Matusz. And when they started playing better, I thought they were even cuter. But they weren’t too cute when they were beating my Yankees. A Yankees loss yesterday would have been devastating, especially since the Yankees haven’t lost 4 in a row yet this year. And looking ahead to the series against the Rangers, I didn’t have good thoughts: I was thinking the Yankees would be swept. Javy Vazquez would pitch game 1, A.J. Burnett game 2. And Moseley, who has been pretty okay, would go up against Cliff Lee in game 3…which hisn’t fair. So if the Yankees lost that finale, that would have made it a 4 game slide…and my calculations of them being swept in Texas would mean a 7 games slide. I don’t want my Yankees to lose like the Padres. The Orioles finale was crucial..a loss in that game would have been heartbreaking….but it wasn’t meant to be.
I stayed home from school yesterday – and it was all because of my Yankees. My grade was going on some kayaking and hiking trip so we could “bond as a senior class.” LOL. We’ve been together for 13 years…if we haven’t “bonded” by now, we never will. When I realized that the game on the day of the trip was a day game, a lightbulb went off: “Hmm…we aren’t going to do any work in school…and the Yankees play in the day…what’s the harm in skipping that day?”
The best part was, my parents didn’t even object.
I let my Fan-dom take over yesterday. I skipped for my Yankees. It was crucial that they won.
Ivan Nova started for the Yanks, and boy he was good….he’s really something. He made just 1 mistake…and I thought it was going to cost him. With a 3-0 count, Nova laid a cookie right over the plate for Matt Wieters, who didn’t miss it. That 2-run homer changed the whole complexion of the game, and gave the O’s a 2-1 lead.
For some reason, Brad Bergesen was unhittable yesterday…6.1 innings, 4 hits, and 1 run, courtesy of a Brett Gardner RBI double. He deserves some credit. But also, the Yankee bats were pretty dead yesterday. The at-bats were disgusting. The game was a little boring, and honestly, I was frustrated. I was beginning to wonder if I skipped school for no reason.
At least the pitching was good. Nova made just that one mistake, but otherwise he was splendid. David Robertson, Boone Logan, and Joba Chamberlain were lights-out. The fact that they were pitching so well gave me a teeny bit of hope that maybe, just maybe, the Yankees would come back.
In the 9th, A-Rod singled. Tying run on base…
With 1 out, it was Swisher’s turn. He got ahead in the count, just like he always did, and he got a good pitch to hit. And much like Matt Wieters, he was ready for it. Swish put a good swing on it, and drove it deep to left field. Deep….AND GONE! Nick Swisher has 1/2 of the Yankees’s walkoffs this year. That home run changed everything. Watching him round the bases almost brought tears to my eyes. He was limping…his knee still hurts from the other day. He’s so tough, and such a great guy. As usual, Nick Swisher proudly received his pie in the face. He’s enjoying every minute in pinstripes.
Nick, I’m enjoying every minute with you. I hope you will be a career Yankee…because I’d hate to see you on any other team.
Thank you, Nick Swisher, for this Drama Club win. Hopefully, this is the start of another long winning streak.