Tagged: Phil Hughes

Taming the Tigers

Yanks Take 3 of 4!

The Yankees haven’t won a series since they took 3 of 4 from the Indians at Cleveland on July 26th, 28th, and 29th. That’s a long time. So this series win is especially tasty, because the Yanks haven’t had that taste of victory in awhile. In the last 2 games, the offense exploded. Nice. And yesterday, the Yankees received a short but sweet performance from their starter. It was the perfect recipe for success. The Yanks won the finale by the score of 11-5.

Pitching Analysis: I missed seeing start of the game because I was coming home after a college tour, but I caught it on the radio. I was hoping for big things from Phil Hughes. After I heard that Miguel Cabrera homered AGAIN to give the Tigers a 2-0 lead, I wasn’t so sure. And the Yankee offense couldn’t do anything off Porcello (early, that is), so I thought they reverted back to their old ways of dying early on.

But then, Phil Hughes found it. And I began to think “Alright. After all, Hughes is pretty good. He’s fine now. And I didn’t ever see Miggy’s home run. It could’ve been like the other night when he hit one off Joba: it could have been a good pitch and a homer that barely scraped the fence.”

        New York Yankees starting pitcher Phil Hughes follows through on a pitch to the Detroit Tigers in the first inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, August 19, 2010. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

Huuuuuuuughes

Okay, not really, I saw it now, and it was no cheapie. Nothing hit into the Yankee bullpen is a cheapie. But who cares about that homer?

Phil Hughes settled down mighty fine after that first inning. He made that face, the mean one, so I knew he was feeling good out there. After 6 innings of 2-run ball, Hughes’s afternoon was over, but that’s not because of ineffectiveness. Hughes pitched very well yesterday.

Sergio Mitre, on the other hand, did not pitch well. At all. Sorry cutie, but you didn’t. He came in in the 7th, and the team needed him to finish the game. The Yanks had a nice cozy lead, and the bullpen needed a breather. It was up to Mitre to finish it. But after throwing 30 pitches in his 1st inning, I wasn’t so sure. He did come out there for the 8th, and the 9th. It wasn’t pretty, but he closed out the game – allowing 3 runs in 3 innings.

Defensive Analysis: Mark Teixiera deserves another Gold Glove this year – no doubt. He’s a beast, and there is nothing he can’t catch. I think this explains it all:

   New York Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira manages to catch a pop up by Detroit Tigers batter Johnny Damon despite letting it fall out of his glove in the fourth inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York in this August 19, 2010 combination photo. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

Sliding into foul territory, bobble, falling, bobble, catch. Talk about perseverance.

Offensive Analysis: I didn’t know when/if the Yankees were going to start scoring. They perked up in the 4th, tying the game courtesy of RBI singles by Swisher and Granderson. 2-2.

The 6th inning is where all the fun really began. 9 runs in 1 inning, sealing the deal for the victory. Cano’s RBI double drove home Tex, giving the Yankees their first lead of the day, 3-2. But they didn’t stop there:

-Swisher walked, and Posada got an RBI single. 4-2

-Granderson walked to load the bases with none out. Austin Kearns got a 2-run double. 6-2

-Gardner walked, and Granderson scored on a pass ball. 7-2

-Gardner stole 2nd, and Jeter drove in 2 runs with a triple. 9-2

-Cano hit a 2-run homer. 11-2

                     New York Yankees batter Robinson Cano follows through his swing as he hits a two-run home run against the Detroit Tigers in the sixth inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, August 19, 2010. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 Cano doing the “drop” with his bat after hitting a home run.

I kind of felt a little sorry for the Tigers. Everything just fell apart.

WHO AM I KIDDING??? I hate the Tigers. How could I forget…that ugly Jeremy Bonderman hit my sweet Brett Gardner on purpose the other day…right in his cute little shin. The Tigers deserved to lose like that.

So finally, the Yankees win a series. The heroes for the finale victory are Phil Hughes, for his impressive performance, and the whole Yankee lineup, for their impressive performance as well.

The Somebody Needs a Hug recipient for the finale is Sergio Mitre. Sergio, thank you for biting the bullet and finishing the game. It was hot, you were stinky, but you toughed it out and did your job. Thank you 🙂

The Yankees are back in first place! This time, they better stay there.

GO YANKEES!

Split, But I’m Still Upset

Lose 1st, Win 2, Lost Last

After that upsetting loss in Game 1, I knew it would be difficult for my Yanks to pull off a series win. They were close..so close…but they, and I, will have to settle for a split.

Game 2 was a nice bounce-back win for the Yankees. CC Sabathia gave it his all and proved once again why I call him “C Cy.” My Hefty-Lefty allowed just 2 runs in 8 innings. The offense was clutch, with the 4 consecutive 2-out singles in the 5th inning by Swisher, Teixeira, Cano, and Posada. The Yanks went on to win it 5-2.

         New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia throws a pitch to the Boston Red Sox in the first inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, August 7, 2010. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

                           CC should win the Cy Young if he keeps this up.

Game 3 was the Yankees typical offensive explosion off Josh Beckett. And unlike the last time Beckett pitched, he only hit 1 Yankee batter: Robinson Cano. Last time, he angered me…but let’s not go there again. The Yankee offense pushed across 7 runs off Beckett. Lance Berkman finally found his stroke, going 3-4 with a run and an RBI. It was nice to see him start to hit. He was one of many Yankees who had a nice day at the dish.

But perhaps the most pleasantly surprising aspect of Game 3 was the starter, spot starter, Mr. Dustin Moseley. He wooed me in his first start, but didn’t pitch too well in his second start as a Yankee. This time, he was called upon on short notice to make the start for the injured A.J. Burnett. And this time, he shined. Oh, how he shined! In the field he made 3 exceptional plays, and he pitched pretty well, too. Moseley pitched 6.1 innings, and allowed just 2 runs. What a night for this little cutie! The Yankees went on to win this one 7-2.

                              New York Yankees starting pitcher Dustin Moseley delivers against the Boston Red Sox during the first inning of American League MLB baseball action at Yankee Stadium in New York August 8, 2010. REUTERS/Jessica Rinaldi (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

                                               Moseley is a beeeeast ♥

That brings us to the finale. I was hoping that since the Yanks won 2 in a row, and since the offense wasn’t scuffling, that they would have a good day. And I hoped that Phil Hughes would be his Philthy old self. I was right about half of it, the pitching half. But as everyone knows, getting a 50 on a test isn’t going to cut it.

Hughes allowed 2 runs in the 2nd inning. Maybe Jorge Posada’s throwing error had something to do with it? Maybe. But that’s not why the Yankees lost. Like I said the other day, don’t blame things on one guy – this is a team effort! And the team couldn’t hit for their life today.

The Yankees had bases loaded with none out in the 7th, and FAILED to score a run. Talk about frustrating…

In the 8th, Mark Teixeira provided a spark of hope with his big fly off Daniel Bard, which made the score 2-1.

Jonathan Papelbon, who is #1 on my “If I could kick someone in the balls list,” came in for the 4 out save today. I figured, “Hey! This is good. The more opportunities the Yanks have against Papelbon, the better. He sucks.”

So in the 9th, Curtis Granderson leads off with a strikeout. Very productive…Then Jeter walks, and I begin to get a little excited. I wanted to see some pie today…but from there, it went downhill.

Nick Swisher struckout for the 2nd out, and then Tex….he put up such a tough at bat…but of course, it ended in a K. I somewhat expected this, but still – when I saw it happen, I exploded.

A little background info on what was going on in my living room during the 9th: My dog was eating his dinner in the living room and he tends to make a mess; dropping kibble from his flews, spewing water when he shakes and his drool goes flying, typical dog stuff. So we put a towel under his bowl so the customary mess would be easier to clean up. He was eating “Turducken,” which sounds gross, but actually smells quite tasty. My mother was also in the room, and I told her to get out because I thought she was a jinx (she listened). My older brother was watching the game with me.

       

Words cannot describe my hatred for you…

Okay, back to the game: the microsecond after Tex struckout, I lost it. I just went berserk. The throwing of my shoes at the TV is normal for me, and of course I did that. But that didn’t make me feel better: that intense hatred of losing, and that hatred for Papelbon, lingered on. In anger mode, I scanned the room for something else to violently thrust at the screen. Then I saw it: the towel. My dog finished eating, leaving a trail of Turducken embedded into the towel.

Papelbon was going his little fist pump, when SPLAT!

        

The Turducken-covered towel hit him square in the face, thanks to my powerful throw, and I screamed:

“HAVE SOME F****N’ TURDUCKEN!!!!!!!!!!!!!”

Then, still enraged, I jumped off the couch, picked up the towel, and began whipping Papelbon’s stupid face through the TV.

For some reason, my brother found this funny. And he told me to write this here for the world to see. Why? Well, now that the game has been over for a little while, and my anger is slowly subsiding, I guess it is kind of funny. Kind of. He sure thought so. He’s still laughing at it.

So the Yankees lost the finale 2-1, and I clearly was not thrilled. Any time the Yankees can ruin Papelbon’s day, I’m happy. But that didn’t happen today. I really wanted to win this series, but you can’t win ’em all.

I’ll have to get over it. These random bursts of animosity really are not healthy.

Although they are kind of funny.

                            

Back to Business

Sweet Relief!

-Peaceful sigh-  THAT’S more like it. I knew the Yankees wouldn’t lose again yesterday, because the most they’ve lost in a row this year was 3 games. And yesterday’s 5-1 win was more than just a win: it was history. I don’t care what all those haters think about A-Rod. Unlike Bonds, Sosa, and McGwire, A-Rod admitted it. So you have to respect that.

I’ve been thinking about this whole steroid thing. I mean, SO many players were on juice. Does that mean Alex was right to do them? Absolutely not. Does that excuse his behavior? No way. Who knows how many players were really on steroids? It’s a sad era in baseball, but it happened. And nobody can possibly know of EVERY player who did steroids, so that’s why they are just including everyone in the record books. If the steroid era players are going to be included in te record books, then I want A-Rod to break that record. I don’t care what anybody else thinks. He’s my A-Rod, my Yankee, and I love him.

Let’s take a look at that milestone home run:

       Congratulations, Alex. I love you so much and I’m glad you are on my Yankees.

Oh, and just for the record, Cano was SO safe at first!!!

That was no cheapie, Alex. Dead center. And look how relieved he was. The whole team, the whole city of New York was probably relieved. Because after that ball landed, it was back to business for Alex and the Yanks. Time to just focus on winning. And that’s what they did.

Pitching Analysis: Phil Hughes looked pretty darn good out there yesterday. He had that Philthy stuff and made that face that I just can’t help but love. He struggled recently, but those troubles look like a thing of the past. In his struggles, opposing hitters kept fouling off pitches from Hughes – pitches that when he’s on, they swing and miss at. Yesterday, Hughes had that swing-and-miss stuff. I think this is a good sign for Hughes.

           New York Yankees starting pitcher Phil Hughes follows through on a pitch to the Kansas City Royals in the first 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)

                                                            Philthy!!!

The bullpen was really good yesterday. Logan, Robertson, Chamberlain, and Rivera all pitched well. In fact, Joba impressed me. I think it was his 4th scoreless appearance in a row, which is great for the Joba of 2010. I hope he can keep this up, too. If we can actually depend on Joba, that changes the entire bullpen. If Joba is on, I think the Yanks have the best ‘pen in the Bigs.

New York Yankees relief pitcher Joba Chamberlain throws a pitch in the seventh inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium in New York City on August 4, 2010.  UPI/John Angelillo Photo via Newscom

Come on Joba! Keep it up!

Offensive Analysis: The offense looked alive and well yesterday. And so many streaks were broken:

-The streak of 1st inning 2-run home run losses is over.

-Robbie Cano and Jorge Posada’s 0-for streaks are a thing of the past.

And, oh yeah! Alex Rodriguez’s 46 homerless at-bats streak came to an end in the 1st inning with that little 2-run homer he hit.

Aside from A-Rod, 2 Yankees who had fabulous days at the dish yesterday were Derek Jeter and Mark Teixeira. How about Tex lately? He had 3 RBI yesterday. He seriously thinks he can get the stats on the back of his baseball card in to Tex-Territory. And if he keeps playing like this, he can.

                       New York Yankees Mark Teixeira drives in 2 runs with a single in the fifth inning against the Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium in New York City on August 4, 2010.  UPI/John Angelillo Photo via Newscom

 TEX!

And how about that Derek Jeter? 4-4 yesterday. Seemed like he spent the whole game on base. The coolest hit was his bunt single. When A-Rod was up in the first inning, the commentators suggested that he should bunt. LOL. Instead he went deep. But in his turn, Derek Jeter noticed the infield was back, so he laid down the quintessential perfect bunt.

            Aug. 04, 2010 - New York, New York, U.S. - DEREK JETER .at Yankee vs Toronto Blue Jays at Yankee Stadium, Bronx. NY..08-04-2010. 2010..K65446JBB. © Red Carpet Pictures

 What a ballplayer ♥

I say this a lot, but I think I mean it this time: yesterday’s win was the most comforting win of the season. For many reasons: the losing streak is over, the offense didn’t die, the pitching was amazing, A-Rod can focus again because his milestone is a thing of the past, and most of all…….THE RAYS LOST! That’s right! My Yanks are tied for 1st again in the AL East. They just wanted to be nice and give the Rays a little taste of victory…tantalizing them with the feeling of 1st place before snatching it away from them! Lol…Anyway, the heroes for this win are A-Rod, and everyone else. This was a team effort.

Off day, and then a series against the Red Sox…Let’s knock them out of this race once and for all, boys.

GO YANKEEEEEES!!!!!!

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!

Starting the 2nd Half

It’s funny how things change so fast in baseball. One minute, the Yankees had the best starting rotation in the Majors. Then all of a sudden, there are issues. Issues that may loom very large. The team managed to win the series against the pesky Rays. But they have dropped the first one to the Angels. They are 2-2 so far in the second half.

I don’t want to talk about Game 2 against the Rays. A.J. was cranky and cost the game. He had to smash his hand? Really? It’s no wonder these guys are athletes – they aren’t too bright.  

New York Yankees starting pitcher A.J. Burnett (L) reacts when Francisco Cervelli walks to the mound in the second inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium in New York City on July 17, 2010.   UPI/John Angelillo Photo via Newscom

Try using your brain? Please…no more violence to your pitching hand.

The only thing about that game that made me smile was seeing Francisco Cervelli steal a base. It was the first time I ever saw him steal and be SAFE! Oh, Francisco….you never fail to make me happy ♥

Old Timer’s Day was before that dreadful game 2, and that was fun. I got a kick out of seeing their 2 inning game:

– I LOL-ed when I saw David Cone playing third base. Then he threw the ball all weird. Haha, why was he playing third base? He was an amazing pitcher!

-Ron Guidry shading his eyes from the sun when he caught the popup. I don’t know why, but that was just funny.

-Rick Cerone purposely letting the ball hit him so he’d be safe at first base! I can’t say I’ve ever seen that before.

-Al Downing can actually still throw the ball! He’s 69 years old, and he looks like he can still pitch.

-Mickey Rivers. He misplayed about 7 balls in the outfield. But he got the walkoff hit for his team! Seeing him run the bases and kick it into “high gear” was pretty cool. I was waiting for A.J. Burnett to pie him, but he never did….

Speaking of A.J. and pie and his hand, Tim McCarver is a moron, which I’m sure you already know. He was “speculating” how A.J. hurt his hand. He was like:

“Maybe he hurt himself when he pied Swisher on Friday night. Maybe he cut his hand on the pie plate! That must be it!”

WHAT AN IDIOT! The pie isn’t on a plate, it’s not some decadent dessert. It’s whip cream on a towel.

The Yankees won the finale of the Rays series, but it wasn’t a very happy victory. Our most consistent starter, who to many is the MVP of the first half, got hurt and is on the DL. Poor Andy….my dandy Andy. He may be out with his groin issue for 4 or 5 weeks, but he’s hoping to return in 3.

New York Yankees pitcher Andy Pettitte (r.) is hoping to spend closer to three weeks on the disabled list instead of the four or five weeks that the team expects he'll be unavailable.

                                                                    😦

Andy will be replaced by Sergio Mitre, who is on the top of my list of hot Yankees. Of course, Mitre is no Pettitte. No one is a Pettitte. But honestly, I’m worried about Mitre taking over that spot in the rotation. Sergio has been on the DL since mid June with some oblique injury he got during batting practice. He hasn’t pitched in so long. Mitre, being a sinkerball pitcher, is more successful when he is a little fatigued because then his pitches sink more. I’m worried that he is too well rested and may be a little rusty. I hope I’m wrong.

May 10, 2010 - Detroit, MI, UNITED STATES - epa02151719 New York Yankees pitcher Sergio Mitre delivers a pitch against the Detroit Tigers in the first inning at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan, USA on 10 May 2010.

Please be good, baby….we are counting on you ♥ 

Game 1 against the Angels worried me, too. Phil Hughes was just…awful. Truthfully, Phil hasn’t been his Philthy self in a long time. His record is very misleading, because the Yankees usually score for him (this was not the case in game 1). He got off to a great start, tossing to a 2.00 ERA in April. He was solid in May as well, posting a 3.03 ERA that month. June was rocky as Hughes had a 5.17 ERA. And so far in July, things have only gotten worse. His ERA this month is an ugly 6.00. He has gotten progressively worse as the season went on. How can I not be worried?  It’s time for him to step up. The team is depending on him, especially with their starting situation. He can’t keep giving up 6 runs and hoping the offense will pick him up. The offense can’t do that every night.

July 20, 2010 - New York, NEW YORK, USA - epa02255571 New York Yankees Phil Hughes after giving up a two run home run to Maicer Izturis in the fourth inning against the Los Angeles Angels in the first inning at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York, USA, on 20 July 2010.

Where is the Phil Hughes that I know and love? It’s not this guy….

Starting pitching is what won the World Series for the Yankees last year. And starting pitching is the reason why the Yankees have the best record in baseball. I’m not too thrilled about the starting pitching situation we have here.

-CC, I hope you continue your dominance. And Happy Birthday ♥

-A.J., PLEEEASE…don’t hurt your hand again. We need you.

-Andy, recover quickly, but don’t rush back. We need you strong and healthy for the 2nd half.

-Javy, just keep on doing what you are doing. Keep making me proud 😉

-Phil, pull yourself together! I want you to be Philthy good, not Philthy bad.

-Sergio! As long as you give us a few good innings, I’ll be happy.

Jeez…I’m wishing we had Cliff Lee a little more now……..

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 🙂

The Bombers are Back Where They Belong

Yanks Comeback and Win Series – Back in 1st Place

I was a little worried about the Yankees during their 3 game losing streak, but I was more frustrated than anything because the Yankees missed on opportunities to gain games on the Rays. But it’s okay – the Yankees were bound to bounce back, and they did. After losing the first game of this series, the Yankees won the next two to win the series, and split the season Subway Series. Today, the Yankees won the finale 4-0.

Pitching Analysis: CC Sabathia’s mission was to follow up Phil Hughes’s dominant outing with a solid performance of his own. A win from CC would boost the team’s confidence, and make the flight to Arizona seem a little shorter. And that’s exactly what C “Cy” did.

           New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia throws a pitch to the New York Mets in the seventh inning of their MLB inter-league baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, June 20, 2010. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 Look at his game face. Aw, CC I love you ♥

I think this was CC’s best outing of the season. If it wasn’t for the rain delay, CC would have pitched a complete game shutout. But just to be safe, Girardi didn’t send CC out there for the 9th. He went 8 innings of 4 hit shutout baseball, and struckout 6. Every time the Mets were “threatening,” CC got even tougher. I think CC is about to go on one of those stretches where he is unhittable.

Defensive Analysis: In pitcher’s duels, defense becomes even more important. Today, the Yankee defense was on top of its game. Derek Jeter started a lovely 6-4-3 double play in the 4th, and Alex Rodriguez started an inning-ending dp in the 7th to get CC out of potential trouble. Brett Gardner made a lovely leaping play on a deep fly ball by Rod Barajas. A-Rod also made a nice diving play to his left on a Jose Reyes sharp grounder. So much for his “lateral range issues.”

Offensive Analysis: The Yankees scored all their runs on one swing, but it was enough. When facing a pitcher like Santana, you’ve got to be sure you don’t miss out on your chance to score, because you might not get another. In the 3rd, the Yankees rallied. Brettiboo Gardner led off with a single, followed by an infield single by Jeet. Nick Swisher laid down the most beautiful bunt – so perfect that it was a hit instead of a sacrifice! That loaded the bases with no one out, for Mark Teixeira. Tex had a big fly in game 2 of this series, but that didn’t make me think he was going to come through. Every time I think he’s getting hot, he fails on me the next game, and many games after.

This time, Mark didn’t fail me. After 2 changeups, Tex got a fastball – and he didn’t miss it. Teixeira hit a ball deep to left field, and GONE FOR A GRAND SLAM! 4-0 Yankees! Thank you, Texy-wexy, for providing the only offense of the game. It was greatly appreciated 🙂

                       New York Yankees batter Mark Teixeira follows through as he hits a grand-slam home run against the New York Mets in the third inning of their MLB inter-league baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, June 20, 2010. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 TEX!

Mark’s blast really was the only offense. I didn’t get excited over anything else – except for Francisco Cervelli’s triple in the 6th. I love watching him run…I love watching him in general, for that matter ♥

Winning this series must be a confidence booster. Especially after losing the first game, and having to win the next two. The heroes for the series finale win are easy ones: CC Sabathia, for down-right beasting, and Mark Teixeira, for being the offense. Great job, boys!

This was a hugely important win for the Yankees. The Rays lost once again, but this time the Yankees took advantage of that. Their win today pushes them into 1st place, in by far the hardest division in baseball. Congratulations, Yankees. You are back where you belong 🙂

GO YANKEES!