Yanks are Officially in the Playoffs!!!
The Yankees were playing so badly that I thought they were on the verge of a catastrophic collapse. It was sickening…embarrassing…the team was dead. I remember them being 2 wins away – so close I could almost taste it – and yet I felt those 2 wins might have well been 200, because I didn’t think there was any way they could win the way they were playing. But that’s all over now. With just 3 games left to play, the Yankees are tied for first with those pesky Rays in the AL East. Homefield advantage would be nice, but I don’t really care about it as much as I did a few days ago. I’m just THRILLED that the Yankees are in the postseason! I think that if they win the ALDS, then they are going all the way. But I’m getting ahead of myself: I want to talk about how we clinched!
September 26, 2010. Yankees vs. Red Sox. A game I surely thought the Yankees would lose, especially because they were losing 1-0 in the 7th inning, having shown zero signs of life with the bat. But all that changed with 1 swing of the bat by The Drama King himself, Mr. Alex Rodriguez. His 2-run homer in the 7th gave the Yankees a new life, and their first lead of the night. They were ahead 2-1.
Just like last year, Alex is arguably the most important player for the Yanks.
I thought that would be enough for them to win…but Mariano Rivera was icky – VERY icky – in the 9th, allowing 2 runs and letting the Yankee lead slip away. 3-2 Red Sox. But in the bottom of the 9th, Robbie Cano singled sharply with the bases loaded, tying the game. For the first time in ages, the Yankees were showing fight. They weren’t done yet.
In the 10th, Curtis Granderson led off with a single and Brett Gardner laid down the perfect bunt for a single. For some reason, which still seems mindless to me, the Red Sox intentionally walked Derek Jeter, to LOAD THE BASES WITH NO ONE OUT. Why on earth would anyone do that? ESPECIALLY when the other team can get a walkoff? I don’t know.
Patience proved to be a virtue for my Yanks and Juan Miranda. His patience at the plate and great at-bat resulted in a walk – a WALKOFF WALK, and the Yankees won 4-3. Sadly, I didn’t see any pies fly. But that’s okay…I was just glad to see them win!
Thank you, Juan!!!
The Heroes for this Victory which brought the Yankees magic number down to 1 were Phil Hughes, for his starting effort, A-Rod, for that super-clutch homer, and Juan Miranda for the walkoff.
The clincher came on September 28 against the Blue Jays, and the Yankees couldn’t have had a better guy on the mound for a game of this importance. CC Sabathia was fabulous, throwing over 8 innings of 1-run ball.
CC was his usual C”Cy” self, but what impressed me most about this win was the offense: the Yankees built every one of their runs. A-Rod, Teixeira, and Cano had sac flies. A-Rod also had a bases loaded walk. Greg Golson had an RBI groundout. There were no home runs. Everything was built, and that’s good. In the postseason, the Yankees are going to have to be able to score like that if they want to win. And they do want to win. So they’ll have to.
The Yankees won this game 6-1, and had a little fun with the bubbly. Watching my boys run around pouring ice cold champagne on each other’s heads is enough to make me smile any day.
The Captain gets a taste.
My Cutie-Curtis Granderson gets his first ever taste of postseason parties.
A bunch of my goofy boys ♥
I can’t decide how I think the Yankees will do in the postseason this year. Do I think they are as good as last year? I don’t know. There were a few bad stretches last year, and I guess I didn’t notice as much because the struggles weren’t right before the season’s end. This year’s struggles arrived at a more nerve-racking time.
Even so, I don’t think anyone, even myself, has the right to or should predict the Yankees postseason success. The postseason is a whole different animal. I enjoy it. But it also makes me a wreck – even when they win. I can’t take the pressure.
With that said, I’m going to enjoy these final three games of the regular season in 2010.
Yanks Headed in Right Direction
It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, and it’s been awhile since the Yankees really looked good. The past few series have been hard to watch. After that 8-game winning streak, the Yankees just fell apart: They lost 2 of 3 to the Orioles, and would have been swept if it wasn’t for Nick Swisher’s walkoff heroics. They were swept by the Rangers. They lost 2 of 3 to those pesky Rays, and they had opportunities to win each of those games. And the first game against the Orioles in this series looked like it was going to continue this losing trend. Magically, the Yankees turned the tides. And just like that, it seems the Yankees have a new life.
The Yankee jumped to a 1-0 lead in game 1 thanks to an Alex Rodriguez solo homer, but that was all the offense for awhile. Despite being in line for the loss, A.J Burnett pitched well, and I was satisfied with his performance. I felt bad that he wasn’t going to win it.
Bottom of the 9th, Yanks down 3-1. Jorge Posada took his turn at bat, and 11 pitches later he was on first with a leadoff single. I was thinking “Oh…here they go again…getting my hopes up for a comeback that will never happen…”
Or so I thought.
Little did I know, that brilliant at-bat by Jorge would set the tone for the rest of the inning.
Curtis Granderson singled with 1 out. With 2 outs, The Drama King Alex Rodriguez stepped up to the plate. I wanted to watch, but I just couldn’t – I couldn’t watch A-Rod make the final out, because my Dad would never let me hear the end of it. (I thought so negatively because honestly, the Yankees were awful for so long. Even though I had the slightest feeling that A-Rod would do something big, I didn’t want to express it…I didn’t want to jinx him.)
With 2 strikes, A-Rod decided to wash away my worries. His 3-run homer revived both the Yankees, and myself. Finally, things were looking brighter.
Alex drove in all 4 Yankee runs in game 1.
Mariano nailed down the save, and the Yankees won 4-3.
I wondered: Could the Yankees string a few wins together? For game 2, the Yanks had the perfect guy on the hill: my sweet Hefty-Lefty, CC Sabathia ♥
The game 2 victory was a perfect team win. The offense was back, and it exploded for the first time in a LONG time. Jorge Posada set the tone once again with his clutch 2-run single in the first inning. Cano had a 2-run homer, Granderson had a 3-run homer, everyone contributed.
CC Sabathia wasn’t CC-spectacular, but he was still good. Yankee fans get spoiled with CC. Even so, CC’s 7 innings of 3-run baseball was good enough to earn himself that 20th win.
Congrats on this milestone, C “Cy.” You are the best ♥
The heroes for the 4-3 victory in game 1 are A.J. Burnett, for a solid start, and A-Rod for all that offense. For game 2’s 11-3 win, the heroes are Cano and Granderson, for their homers, and CC Sabathia for yet another quailty outing, and for winning #20. And Jorge is a hero for both, because he set the tone for both wins.
All of a sudden, things are looking brighter for my Yankees. They are back in first place. Burnett pitched well. CC pitched well. Jeter is hitting again. Gardner and Swisher are back in the lineup. And best of all, Andy Pettitte is returning today. If Andy can be good, then I think the Yankees have a great shot at going all the way. CC, Andy, and Nova seem like enough to win it. And if BURNETT can stay sharp…..wouldn’t that be something…
These 2 wins very well may be the start of something good for my boys.
But I guess it could be worse. I am not taking science or math this year because my math teacher scarred me for life last year. And this year, I actually like all my teachers. I’ve had them all before. Some of them are very fun to talk baseball with. And, oh yeah: IT’S SENIOR YEAR. I should enjoy this.
Even though I haven’t blogged recently, I have watched all the games. My boys are making me so proud. So far, the heroes for this winning streak are Curtis Granderson and Marcus Thames for their hot-hitting, and the bullpen, which has done an absolutely fantastic job.
Yesterday’s 7-5 win over the Blue Jays was the typical win of this winning streak.
Pitching Analysis: After beasting in the bullpen, Javier Vazquez was inserted back into the starting rotation. I had a feeling he would be….suckish. Javy tends to give up the longball. The Blue Jays tend to hit the longball. The wind was making it easier to hit the longball. Add all that up, and it wasn’t going to be a pretty day for Javy.
Weather-wise, it was a beautiful day…but not for Javy.
Javy did give up the longball. Homers by Overbay and McDonald gave the Blue Jays a 3-0 lead. Vazquez didn’t even get through 5 innings, and he allowed 5 runs.
The bullpen again had a lot of outs to get, and they did another amazing job. The combo of Dustin Moseley, Boone Logan, Joba Chamberlain, Kerry Wood, and Mariano Rivera shut the door on the Blue Jay batters’s faces. They allowed 0 runs on 3 hits, and struckout 5. THEY ARE BEASTS!!!
Offensive Analysis: Despite being down 3-0, the Yankee bats weren’t ready to give up. They had that rally in them. And the rally all started thanks to my sweet Francisco Cervelli ♥ In the 3rd with 1 out, Cervelli hit a ball in the left-center gap. And he hustled. And because he hustled, Francisco Cervelli had himself a double. That ball never made it to the wall. Many guys would have just settled for a single. But not my Cervelli. And that’s why I love him.
Then Brett Gardner walked (the 9th straight game he did that!), and Derek Jeter ripped a double, scoring Cervelli. Inching closer, it was now a 3-1 game.
After Mark Teixeira walked to load the bases, a struggling Robinson Cano stepped up to the plate. He hit a ball back up the middle, and it found grass! 2 runs scored on Robbie’s game-tying single.
The Yankees went ahead in the 4th. Cervelli doubled with a man on and 1 out, then Gardner drove in the go-ahead run with an RBI groundout. A wild pitch let another score, making it 5-3.
And finally, in the 7th, the Yankees had their share of the longball. With 2 outs, Cano singled, bringing up
Hank Aaron Marcus Thames. He had a few good swings earlier in the game, but didn’t have a hit to show for it. Until this:
I love my Marcus Thames!!!!!
That made it 7-5 Yankees. And that’s the final 🙂
Another win, another series win, and another game gained on those Pesky Rays. The heroes for this victory, the 8th in a row, are the bullpen, for cleanly eating up all those innings. And Marcus Thames, for turning into the Home Run King. Hank Aaron who? Hahaa…The other hero is my Francisco Cervelli, because he started the rally. And just cuz I love him ♥
Oh, Francisco….too cute for words.
The Somebody Needs a Hug goes to Javier Vazquez. Javy, your confidence has taken a rollercoaster ride throughout the entire season. I don’t want you to lose it after 1 icky start. You were great out of the bullpen, and that was no fluke. Believe in yourself!
Yankees, the season is winding down. And you are still leading the AL East! Congrats on everything you have done so far. Please just keep it up. Go as far as you can this season, because I need to keep seeing you.
I love you! GO YANKEES!!!
Yanks Win Series Opener
Last night’s 11-5 win over the A’s was a HUGE win for the Yankees this season. Why? It brought them to a new high-water mark of 31 games over .500 for the year! They are 81-50, still tied for first with those Pesky Rays. The Yankees hovered at around 30 games over .500 for so long – and finally, they broke through! The Yankees played a great game last night, and I see signs of an even brighter future for 2010. No more .500 baseball this month!
Pitching Analysis: Dustin Moseley toed the rubber for the Yanks, coming off two very good starts in a row. At first I was optimistic, thinking, “Well maybe he could string three good ones together!” But after seeing him allow three runs in the first inning alone, my hopes were seemingly gone. I thought there was no way the Yankees or Moseley would win after those three runs – especially because the Yankee bats were going up against one of the toughest pitchers in the league, Mr. Trevor Cahil.
Moseley’s outing wasn’t too long, and he wasn’t horribly awful either. In 4.1 innings, Dustin allowed 4 runs on 5 hits, and 4 walks (that’s bad). But Moseley gave the team a chance to win the game. And thanks to a certain someone who shut the door on the A’s batters’s faces, the Yankees did win.
Aw, Javy ♥
I felt bad when Javy Vazquez was demoted to the bullpen. I knew his confidence was shot, and I thought his demotion was the last straw. But no. Javy, unlike me, didn’t melt. He embraced his new role. And last night, Javy really made me proud. Oh, he was brilliant. The best I’ve seen him in a long time. Javy shut down the opposition, and for his efforts, picked up the win. In 4.2 innings, Javy allowed 1 little run on just 2 hits, stirking out 6 along the way. Javy was the only reliever the Yankees used last night. His command was back, and he survived with that 89 mph fastball. I hope he can keep this confidence, because if he does, he’ll keep getting these results. Oh, Javy…maybe you can go back into the rotation now?
Defensive Analysis: Jeter hasn’t been doing much (anything) with the bat lately, but that hasn’t affected him in the field at all. He proved this in the 5th inning last night, with his patendted Jetarian jump-and-throw to nail Kouzmanoff at 1st. Good job, Derek. Oh, and Jorge and Moseley’s strike-em-out-throw-em-out double play was nice, too.
Offensive Analysis: The Bronx Bombers showed up last night, and the offense exploded multiple times. The Yankees pounded out 11 runs on 13 hits. So many guys had great nights at the plate, especially those in the middle of the order. Tex, Cano, Swish, and Thames were almost impossible to get out. Three Yankees went deep last night.
Tex was first.
And Robbie went back-to-back with him.
Thames’s 3-run blast gave the Yanks an 11-4 lead.
Last night’s game had so many positives, and it had the desired result. The heroes for the victory are the homer boys Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, and Marcus Thames, as well as Javy Vazquez for pitching over 4 stellar innings of relief. I think the Yankees should keep playing Marcus Thames – even when Berkman comes back. Don’t mess with success, right? And Javy…I hope and pray that he keeps this up. We need another guy to trust.
The Somebody Needs a Hug goes to Derek Jeter. The poor guy was 0-4 once again last night, and his average has dipped to an un-Jeter like .268. He’s still trying so hard, maybe too hard. Jeet, we love you no matter what. But still, you need to fix yourself, because we need you. The Yankees need their Captain 🙂
-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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Bye Bye, 1st Place 😦
I had a bad feeling about last night’s game before it started. But when Mark Teixeira hit his MONSTER 2-run home run in the first, I was beginning to think otherwise.
I should have known better, considering the funk the offense has been in lately. You would think that getting on the board right away is a good thing. But the last few times the Yankees scored in the first inning, they LOST! Miserably. And last night was no different. I think 1st inning home runs are a death sentence for the Yanks.
Once the Blue Jays went ahead in the 4th, I became too disgusted to watch. I knew where this game was going: The Blue Jays would keep scoring, and their runs would be unanswered by the Yankees.
My Dad, whose TV remote-takeovers usually drive me up a wall, failed to disrupt me. He flipped the channel down to TCM to watch The Magnificent Seven, which is the typical thing that would make me go insane and scream at him to put the game back: It’s an old movie, and a western nonetheless, that I have no interest in whatsoever. And there are no handsome young men in it. For me, it’s boring.
But no. Last night was different. And I think my Dad was surprised that I didn’t put up a fight about changing it back to the game. Instead, I sat there in despair, just thinking about what was wrong with my Yankees. And I was thinking about how those pesky Rays were probably winning. Again, I was right.
Every once in awhile, when my Dad thought something funny happened in the movie, he would laugh, and then look over at me to see if I laughed too. He didn’t know I wasn’t watching, but how would he? I looked like I was watching. I was sitting there staring at the screen while a bunch of cowboys did their thing. But my mind was in another place. I was too upset to even be angry. I was more sad than mad this time. I didn’t even throw my shoe like I usually do when the Yankees play badly. No. I just sat there, wondering how this could happen to my sweet Yankees.
I didn’t want to make my Dad feel bad, so when he laughed I smiled, even though I didn’t know what was funny.
The Yankees need to start playing better, because this is getting unhealthy for me. I was actually IN the room while my Dad watched a western. Something is seriously wrong with me, and I don’t like it. And these nightmarish thoughts of the Rays, the RAYS, in first place, above my Yankees…I don’t even know what to say. That ugly uppity Upton (lol! an alliteration!) and those guys above my Yankees…yucky.
I can’t help it, but I’m panicking. Should I be panicking? I mean, it’s their first 3-game losing streak since June 16-18. 3 games is the longest losing streak they have had all year. That’s not that bad, right? They are bound to break out of is sooner or later (preferably sooner).
Who am I kidding? Of COURSE they will get hot again. They have to. The team is too good to stay stinky for long. They have to win. They have a Championship to defend. It’s a long season…and although we all like to think our teams are invincible, they are not. Slumps and stinky streaks happen – sometimes so badly that you don’t even recognize your team anymore. But when it’s all said and done, I think I know where my Yankees will be…
Yanks Lose Finale, but Still in 1st Place
Now I love Joe Girardi, but sometimes I just don’t get him. And yesterday, I was beginning to think that maybe my cousin Raymond was right about Joe. He once said, “Joe Girardi is a Cro-Magnon Moron.” Well, that’s a little harsh. But seriously, I was quite confuzzled by some of the Skip’s decisions yesterday. I think he was partly the reason why they lost 3-0.
I know he didn’t want to admit it, but come on: yesterday’s game was one of the most important games for the Yankees so far this year. So why then, must you alter the lineup? Why must A-Rod have a day off in the finale of the Rays series? Joe’s defense?
“Well, he played 13 games in a row and I felt that Al needed a rest. Better to rest him on the road than in front of the home crowd that wants to see him try at #600.”
Um, really? How about you stop thinking about the stupid milestone and focus on making the TEAM WIN! The team needed Alex, fatigued or not, to play yesterday. Thanks for sitting him, Joe. I love Ramiro Pena with all my heart, but he really is no A-Rod. A tired A-Rod is better than Ramiro Pena any day.
Here is another brilliant strategic move by Girardi yesterday: sitting Brett Gardner.
WHY? Brett is a lefty, and James Shields is a righty. So it’s wasn’t because of the matchup. And please don’t tell me he’s “tired.” Gardner is a young man. And he didn’t play “13 games in a row” like A-Rod, because he had a porkchop stuck in his stomach and got acid reflux and missed games because of that. SO WHY THE HECK WASN’T HE IN THE LINEUP????? Gardner has been one of the most consistent hitters on the team. I don’t understand why he wasn’t playing in a game of that importance.
Then there is the Teixeira/Berkman decision.
Now I don’t want to take a shot at Lance, because I know he’s new and must have been incredibly nervous. And okay, he botched 2 plays and cost 2 runs, but he made a nice diving play in the 4th to save 2 runs. But really. Joe, why would you even take that chance? Why would you let Berkman play 1st and DH Tex in a game as important as yesterday’s? I know Berkman is a 1st baseman, but nobody is as good as Mark Teixeira. If Tex is DH-ing, then for sure you are downgrading at 1st base. And lemme guess: Tex was DH-ing because he needed a rest.
He couldn’t rest another day? WHY MUST ALL OF THESE GUYS REST ON THE SAME DAY WHERE THERE WAS AN EXTREMELY IMPORTANT GAME?????????
I don’t get it. I don’t get it! I just don’t get it.
The Yankees lost 3-0. CC Sabathia labored, but he wasn’t that bad. He allowed just 3 runs, and took the loss. Now people are all “Oh James Shields was AMAZING yesterday.” Well okay he was good. But I’m sure that if the Yankees had their regular lineup, Shields wouldn’t have been too amazing.
The Yankees don’t play the pesky Rays again until September. And they play them 7 times that month. Hopefully, Joe Girardi will rest these guys BEFORE those games. Hopefully he’ll send the best guys out onto the field those days.
Hopefully, he won’t do anything worthy of him being called a Cro-Magnon moron ever again.