August 2010

The Best Yet!

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.

          New York Yankees catcher Jorge Posada congratulates relief pitcher Javier Vazquez after his win over the Oakland Athletics in their MLB American League baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York August 30, 2010. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

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.

New York Yankees batter Mark Teixeira follows through as he hits a home run against the Oakland Athletics in the third inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, August 30, 2010. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine  (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 Tex was first.

 

New York Yankees batter Robinson Cano reacts as he welcomed at the dugout steps after he hit a home run against the Oakland Athletics in the third inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, August 30, 2010. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 And Robbie went back-to-back with him.

 

Oakland Athletics third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff (L) talks with shortstop Cliff Pennington as New York Yankees designated hitter Marcus Thames (38) runs past them after hitting a three-run home run in the fifth inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York August 30, 2010. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 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 :)

GO YANKEEEES!!!!!!!! 

It’s So Easy to Fall in Love…

…especially when he gets his first career “W.” On a normal day, I would be gush-gush-gushing it up about my sweet Francisco Cervelli and his career-high 4-hit game yesterday, AND that he threw out a runner trying to steal. Don’t get me wrong, I am SUPER proud of Cervelli. He needed a game like that. But unlike so many Yankees fans, I knew Cervelli was capable of success like that (even when he struggled, I still believed in him).

New York Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli pumps his fist after catching a pop-up hit by Chicago White Sox's Omar Vizquel to end the game at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago on August 29, 2010. The Yankees won 2-1.   UPI/Brian Kersey Photo via Newscom

 I love you, Francisco. 

But what I really love is when I watch a game, and grow pleasantly surprised by a certain someone’s effort out there on the field. Mmmm…and I’m SUPER proud of my SUPER Nova….

New York Yankees starting pitcher Ivan Nova delivers during the first inning against the Chicago White Sox at U.S. Cellular Field in Chicago on August 29, 2010.   UPI/Brian Kersey Photo via Newscom

                                                            Novaaa ♥

On Ivan Nova’s debut, I was more excited than anything else. I had heard so much about him, and was elated to finally see him pitch. I thought I loved him then – especially after he threw “at” Bautista. Nova pitched very well that night, but the Yankees lost. So my admiration for him was pushed aside, because I was angry about the loss. But yesterday, it was all Nova….and we won…and HE won….

Now I have this little fantasy of Nova being this rookie sensation who carries the Yankees on his shoulders, and helps them repeat as World Champions. Oh, Ivan! In his postgame interview, he said he is never nervous. Oh, how macho! His confidence level is through the roof, and yet he doesn’t even come off as arrogant. Nova is quite the guy. Maybe my fantasy will become a reality – maybe Nova really CAN carry my Yankees!

Maybe I’m getting a little ahead of myself.

Or maybe not.

Okay, okay…I know Ivan Nova has had just 2 Major League starts. But he pitched against two of the hottest hitting teams in the AL. The Blue Jays have hit more homers than any team in baseball (even if they aren’t all legit…ahem Bautista). And the White Sox have a better team batting average than the Yankees do, at .270. So I don’t think his success is a fluke. The Jays and White Sox are quality hitting teams. I can see Nova succeeding in the postseason against even better hitting teams….

The Yankees’s starting rotation has been pretty icky this entire month, aside from CC. The Yankees need a guy they can depend on to give them a real chance at winning every 5 days. And with the rotation now being “reevaluated,” I think Nova will be that guy.

Franciso Cervelli is used to me gushing about him for entire blog posts (actually, he probably doesn’t even know I exist…but please don’t say that…it’ll break my heart). I don’t think he, or any of the other Yanks, would mind if I talk about Nova all day long.

And if Ivan Nova really can carry the Yankees, then EVERYBODY will be talking about him. 

 

Grandma Makes Me Laugh

Since the last few Yankee games have been abysmal, I don’t want to talk about them. They are making me angry. I need a few laughs. So today, I’m going to talk about someone who never fails to make me laugh. She is a die-hard Yankees fan just like me. She’s my Grandma.

My Grandma is 86 years old. And she’s kind of Italian. And she’s lived in the Bronx her whole life. She does a lot to make us laugh, but the main thing she does is butcher words. Like when she says “toast,” she actually says “toes.” Or “dollar” is “dolla.” She never puts the “r” on her words. And sometimes, when she hears people actually put the “r” on the words, she says things like, “Oooh they talk with the ‘r’.”

Throughout the many years I have known my Grandma, and the many Yankee games we’ve watched together, I’ve noticed something: She butchers everybody’s name. And what’s really funny is that she actually says these things!

Here is a chunk of the Yankee roster – the way Grandma pronounces it:

- Mariani Rivera

Mariani, Grandma? Really? Must you make EVERYBODY Italian? How about Mariano? Or if that’s too complicated, why not just call him Mo?

- CC Sebastian 

Look at CC…he’s obviously disgusted this “name.”  Sebastian…where is that from? Okay. Grandma’s niece’s son is named Sebastian. But really, there is no excuse for that.

- Robinson Canoe

 

I guess this one was easy to mess up. But really? CANO.

- Kerry Woods

  

Again, this one is probably easy to mess up. But somtimes, I think she tries to mess them up. Kerry WOOD…is it really that hard?

- Derek Jeetah

Grandma never pronounces the “r” on the end of Jeter’s name. It’s just “Jeetah.” It rhymes with “cheetah.”

- Austin Sterns

I think Grandma only said this one once, but that’s because I corrected her right away. Kearns…Austin KEARNS.

- Curtain Granderson

Curtis Granderson Curtis Granderson #14 of the New York Yankees warms up before a game against the Boston Red Sox at Fenway Park on April 7, 2010 in Boston, Massachusetts. 

Okay, this one isn’t really fair. Grandma just got tongue-twisted when she called him “Curtain.” But she still said it. Me, my little brother, and my Grandma were all watching the game one night. Me and my brother left the room for a minute, and Grandma shouted “HOME RUN!!” We asked, “Who, Grandma who!”

“Curt..uhhh…Cu…Curtain…oh, ah fanabla.”

She didn’t need to explain any more. We got it. Through our frenzy of laughter, we explained, “CURTIS!!!! CURTIS GRANDERSON!!! Aahahhahaaa….you just called him CURTAIN!!!!”

- Nick Swiffah

This one is everyone in my family’s favorite. She messed up the mess up. “Swiffah?” How about “Swiffer?” Or better yet, NICK SWISHER!!!!

Nick Swisher Nick Swisher #33 of the New York Yankees sits in the dugout before a game against the Seattle Mariners at Yankee Stadium on July 2, 2009 in the Bronx borough of New York City.      

This one has a little story. It happened one night during the offseason of 2008. It was dinnertime, and everyone was coming into the kitchen. We left the YES Network on as always. News of the Betemit/Swisher trade was just released.

Grandma just found out about this trade. She didn’t know who the guy was that the Yankees just got. So she shouted, “ROBBIT, (“Robbit” is my older brother, Robert. We all call him Bobby. She calls him “Robbit,” as opposed to “Robert” or Bobby.”) ROBBIT…”

“Yes Grandma?” Bobby asked.

“WHO’S….NICK….SWIFFAH?”

Bobby was silent, confused like the rest of us.

“Who?” He asked.

“WHO’S NICK SWIFFAH?” Grandma tried again.

This time, Bobby went to the TV to see for himself. The headline “Yanks Trade for Nick Swisher.”

“GRANDMAAA!!!! It’s NICK SWISHER!!!!”

She didn’t have time to respond. We all started laughing at her. But she was a good sport about it, as always. “Oooh!” she said. Then she joined in with laughs. To this day, we still remind her of this one. And she never got it wrong the right way again. Now she calls him “Swizza.” Then I say, “No, Grandma…Nick SWISHER.”

I don’t think she’ll ever get it right.

A Taste of Their Own Medicine

Offense Explodes and Power Surges

Well, it’s not really fair to say that home runs are the Jays’s medicine. After all, the Yankees are the Bronx Bombers. So the Blue Jays lead the Bigs in home runs…big deal. Bautista has 40, when his previous career high was 16. Take away half of Bautista’s homers, because their is no way they are legit, and then the Yanks and Jays are neck-and-neck in the home run count. The Yankees had 5 homers last night. Combine that with solid starting pitching, and you have a win. The Yanks evened the series last night with their 11-5 victory.

Pitching Analysis: Ken Singleton pointed out during the broadcast that Dustin Moseley had alternated wins and losses in all of his Yankee starts. He won his last start, so according to the trend, Moseley was going to lose last night. But after Moseley struckout the steroid monster Bautista to end the 1st inning, I had a feeling the trend would end. And I was right.

New York Yankees pitcher Dustin Moseley throws against the Toronto Blue Jays during the first inning of their MLB American League baseball game in Toronto August 24, 2010.  REUTERS/ Mike Cassese  (CANADA - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

                                                    Dustin’s game face

Moseley pitched beautifully again last night, tossing 6 innings of 2-run ball. He didn’t allow a home run. The other three Blue Jay runs were given up by Chad Gaudin.

Offensive Analysis: The 11 Yankee runs came mostly off the longball. And it was so fun to watch. Homer after homer, the Yankee attitudes remained the same. Each Yankee who homered rounded the bases in the most modest and classy manner – perfectly Yankee. There was no bat-flipping, staring, trotting, or fist pumping right in the catcher’s face as they crossed the plate (ahem, Jose Bautista). They just put their adorable faces down and ran. God I love these men.

The 3rd inning alone contained 3 of the Yankees’s 5 home runs. First was Mark Teixeira, whose solo home run gave the Yanks a 3-0 lead.

New York Yankees batter Mark Teixeira runs the bases behind Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Marc Rzepczynski (L) after hitting a solo home run during the third inning of their MLB American League baseball game in Toronto August 24, 2010.  REUTERS/ Mike Cassese  (CANADA - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 

After a Robinson Cano walk, Marcus Thames went deep with a 2-run shot.

New York Yankees batter Marcus Thames watches his single against the Toronto Blue Jays during the second inning of their MLB American League baseball game in Toronto August 24, 2010.  REUTERS/ Mike Cassese  (CANADA - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 

And Jorge Posada went back to back with Marcus.

New York Yankees batter Jorge Posada watches his single against the Toronto Blue Jays during the sixth inning of their MLB American League baseball game in Toronto August 24, 2010.  REUTERS/ Mike Cassese  (CANADA - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

In the 5th, after a Marcus Thames single and an Austin Kearns walk, Curtis Granderson decided it was his turn to go deep. His 3-run shot gave the Yanks a 9-1 lead.

Then, it was the Captain’s turn. It was Jeet’s first home run since….jeez, I don’t even remember! That made it 10-1. And the Yanks went on to win it 11-5.

Overall, it was a great win for the Yankees. They pounded out 11 runs on 17 hits, and got contributions from guys up and down the lineup. The heroes for the victory are the Homer Boys Tex, Thames, Jo-Po, GrandyMan, and Jeet, as well as starter Dustin Moseley.

The Somebody Needs a Hug recipient is Nick Swisher. In the 7th inning last night, Swish fouled a ball off his knee, and he went down. He yelped in pain…which really hurts me. It’s sad to see Nick Swisher not smiling. The part that made me yell, “AWWWW” was when Swish insisted that he stay in the game. But two pitches later in to the at bat, Girardi pulled him. Swish again put up a fight, but it was no use: Girardi won. Then Brett Gardner had to finish the at bat. It was his birthday, and he didn’t even think he was going to play. He didn’t even have his high socks. Brett struckout. I’m sure he, and Swish, were not too thrilled.

Swisher says he is okay. He was his jolly smiley self in his postgame interview. I hope he can play today ♥

GO YANKEES!!!

Bautista Bombs

Nova Pitches Well in Yankee Loss

Uuuuuggghhh. I think I have a new #1 on my “Who do I really wanna kick in the balls” list, and his name is Jose Bautista. I’m just warning you now: I am going to say some very nasty/insulting things about Bautista in this post. Cuz I hate him. The Yankees lost 3-2 last night…and they really shouldn’t have.

Pitching Analysis: Everyone knows I love rookies. So when I heard that Ivan Nova was going to make his starting debut, I couldn’t wait to watch. And he didn’t disappoint me…6 innings, 2 runs, and he looked good doing it. For a rookie, he really holds his head high….I like that. The 2 runs Nova gave up were via a Jose Bautista homer. And Bautista really was obnoxious. He flung his bat and trotted about 2 miles per hour around the bases, really showing up the Yankees and Nova – the ROOKIE. Wow, you’re cool. You homered off a rookie. Nova didn’t like that. And I don’t blame him.

  New York Yankees starting pitcher Ivan Nova throws against the Toronto Blue Jays in the first inning of their American League MLB baseball game in Toronto August 23, 2010. REUTERS/Fred Thornhill (CANADA - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 I like this rookie…♥

The next time he was up, in the 6th, he hit a foul home run. The next pitch from Nova was almost in Bautista’s ear. And he didn’t like that too much. He starting shouting back, trying to start something. The benches cleared. The bullpen brigade came in for reinforcements. Nothing happened other than words being thrown around. But what I really liked was how Nova didn’t back down. Bautista shouted, Nova shouted louder. Good for you, you little cutie.

Bautista then flied out. Hahaha.

But then he hit a homer off David Robertson later on which…kinda cost the game.

Defensive Analysis: In the first inning, Nova got into a bases loaded none out jam, probably courtesy of rookie butterflies. But thanks to an AMAZING defensive play, the Yankees didn’t allow a run that inning. Vernon Wells hit a fly ball to Gardner, who caught it. Fred Lewis tried to tag from third. He tried. But he failed: Brettiboo fired a perfect strike to my Cervelli, who blocked the plate and applied the tag perfectly. Beast. Then the next guy struckout.

     New York Yankees catcher Francisco Cervelli (back) puts the tag on Toronto Blue Jays' Fred Lewis for the out at the plate, in the first inning of their American League MLB baseball game in Toronto August 23, 2010. REUTERS/Fred Thornhill (CANADA - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

                                                   Thatta boy Cervelli ;)

Offensive Analysis: The Yankees scored a run early against Morrow, thanks to an RBI double by Robbie Cano in the first. But after that, they couldn’t do much. They tacked on another run in the 6th on a Jorge Posada RBI double. But that was it. I don’t think it was because they were bad. Brandon Morrow was a beast last night. He deserves some credit.

Speaking of deserving credit, I don’t think Bautista deserves any. I don’t think he’s clean. He must be on juice. Why? Because someone who had 59 career home runs before this year doesn’t hit 40 in one year. That just doesn’t happen by “altering the swing.”

And even if he happens to be legit, I still hate him. He shouldn’t show up the other team like that. Who does he think he is? He’s never been good before. He doesn’t have the right to brag. The Yankees do, and they don’t brag because they have class. I hate Jose Bautista and I always will. The guy looks like a frickin’ terrorist.

                               And Bautista’s 2 bombs last night make me hate him even more.

If Bautista sat next to me on a plane and I didn’t know who he was, I’m sorry: I would get a little suspicious. I wish Nova did hit him. I’m sorry. I can’t stand this guy. I hope tonight something happens…He needs to stop thinking he’s all that.

It was a tough loss last night. It shouldn’t have happened this way. If another Blue Jay, a nice one who doesn’t look like a terrorist and doesn’t show up the other team hit the game-winning home run, I wouldn’t be as annoyed. But no. It had to be one of Bautista’s bombs.

The Somebody Needs a Hug recipient for last night is Ivan Nova. Ivan, I know people are going to hate you for throwing at Bautista. But I don’t care what they think. I love you…and I think it was a good baseball move. Gotta back him off the plate, haha. I hope you pitch again soon, and I hope you get rewarded with the “W” next time. You pitched very well, and I’m very proud of you…I have a feeling you are going to be one of my favorites ♥

GO YANKEES!

“It Ain’t Fittin’…It Just Ain’t Fittin’….”

I enjoyed this weekend’s series win against the Mariners. Except for the first game. Just looking at the pitching matchup, I knew we would lose that one: A.J. Burnett vs Felix Hernandez. Yeah…so instead of wasting my time watching that loss, I decided to watch my all-time favorite movie, and in my opinion, the best movie ever made: Gone With the Wind.

My parents say I sometimes remind them of Scarlett O’Hara, and I take that as a compliment. Scarlett is a beast. She was strong, and survived the Civil War. Not to mention, she married the HOTTEST guy around, Mr. Rhett Butler…

So if I am at all like Scarlett, then I’m proud of myself. Anyway, every time I watch this movie, I can’t stop thinking about it for like the next week of my life. It’s that amazing.

I enjoyed the game 2 win when the team picked up Javier Vazquez after another bad start. And I really enjoed game 3, where Cano kept on beasting and CC pitched another vintage C “Cy” game. That 10-0 win was fabulous. But now, that seems so trivial. Because today, I heard news that broke my heart. Kind of like when Scarlett was at the barbeque at Twelve Oaks and she had every guy around her…but then she saw Ashley with Melanie, and her day was ruined (Yes I am assuming you know this movie).

Today, I heard that Johnny Damon might go to the Red Sox.

“It ain’t fittin’….it just ain’t fittin,” as Mammy says. How could Damon do that?

   

The Tigers put him on waivers. Rumor has it, the Red Sox made a claim on him – just to prevent him from going to the Rays or Yankees.

But Johnny has a no-trade clause or something, so maybe he will reject this. I hope so. What will I do if my beloved Johhny goes to the Red Sox?

I have no clue what I’d do. I know I would feel bad for Johnny. He doesn’t want to be there. Why would he? It’s not like the Red Sox are much better than the Tigers – both teams aren’t going anywhere. (Sorry Red Sox…you can have all the “pride” you want. But you ain’t going nowhere this year.) Boston was so cruel to him after he left, I don’t think they will want him back. He’s going to be miserable there.

I wish my Yankees never got Nick Johnson….what a waste. If they didn’t get him, then maybe Johnny Damon would have stayed where he belongs – with the Yanks. Oh, how I hate Nick Johnson for this…he looks like that crazy fat guy who kills himself in “Full Metal Jacket.”

          

It’s just disgusting. Johnny, I hope you don’t go to the Red Sox OR the Rays. I already feel awful that you didn’t come back to New York, and if you switch teams now and still don’t come back to New York, I’m going to feel even worse.

“Oh Rhett Johnny, if you go, where shall I go? What shall I do?”

                

“I can’t think about that right now. If I do, I’ll go crazy. I’ll think about that tomorrow.”

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!

Happy Belated Birthday to Me!

Yanks Finally Win – A Day Late, But I’ll Take It

I’m not even kidding: I think the Yankees have a secret camera in my house. Yesterday, I was frustrated after they lost on my birthday (17!!!), and needed to take out my frustration. So for FanVsFan, I posted a debate about Joe Girardi, and how he deserves some of the blame for the offensive woes:

http://fanvsfan.com/claims/joe-girardi-is-partly-to-blame-for-the-yankees-s-offensive-struggles

He must have heard me recording this, because he took my advice. And it paid off! The Yankees won 6-2….on Jorge Posada’s birthday instead of mine. But that’s okay. We just needed a win!

Pitching Analysis: The Yankees looked toward CC Sabathia to throw up a bunch of zeros and stop the bleeding last night. I thought he was the perfect guy to be on that mound last night to turn things around for the Yanks. But after the first pitch of the game connected to A-Jax’s bat and landed in the seats, I lost faith. 1-0? Already? In the 1st inning? That was asking too much from the Yankees, who lost a game 1-0 to the Royals the other day. I thought we were screwed.

THANK GOD, I was wrong.

My sweet Hefty-Lefty settled down after 2 innings. After that leadoff homer, CC shut down the Tigers offense until Inge homered in the 7th. CC got into a little jam in the 7th, but made it out unscathed. I read his lips when he left the mound after the 7th: “F*** YEAH!!!!”

       New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia throws a pitch to the Detroit Tigers in the second inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York, August 17, 2010. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

                                         I was thinking the same thing, CC ♥

The bullpen, which all of a sudden has turned itself around, did well last night. David Robertson pitched a clean 8th, and Mariano tossed a scoreless 9th.

Defensive Analysis: Curtis Granderson has always played a good centerfield. Even when his hitting wasn’t there, he contributed with his glove. In the 1st inning, Granderson made two exceptional plays: One going to his left, and one diving going to his right. He helped set the tone last night, and got CC out of some potential jams. Thank you, Curtis!

http://newyork.yankees.mlb.com/video/play.jsp?content_id=11053857&topic_id=8877494&c_id=nyy

Offensive Analysis: This was what I really wanted for my birthday: runs. Joe Girardi took my advice. The Yankees really forced the action last night, which you have to do against a pitcher like Verlander. I saw a bunt last night. And I even saw a steal – by JORGE POSADA!!! Happy Birthday Jo-Po! That’s a single season-high 3 steals for him this year. And aside from the small ball, the Yankees actually hit last night. Hallelujah.

After falling behind 1-0 in the top half of the 1st, the Yankees came right back, which surprised me – they haven’t done that in ages. With loaded bases, Nick Swisher knocked in 2 with a single, giving the Yanks a 2-1 lead. It seems like ages since they’ve had a lead…

     New York Yankees batter Nick Swisher hits a two-run scoring single against the Detroit Tigers in the first inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York August 17, 2010. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

                                                      Swishialicious…

In the 2nd, my cute little Curtis hit a solo home run, making it 4-1 Yanks. Boy, he sure is cute when he’s swingin’ that stick so well ;)

In the 6th, Brett Gardner hit a 2-out double. That brought up Jeter, who I couldn’t help being angry at because of the loss on my birthday: the Yankees were down 3-1 in the bottom of the 9th. With bases loaded and 1 out, Jeter grounded into a game-ending double play. I hoped he could do something to make me happy last night. And he did. His 2 out RBI single scored Gardner, and gave the Yanks a 4-1 lead. Thank you, Derek.

In the 7th, Robbie Cano homered, making it 5-2. He’s been struggling lately, so that homer was a good sign. Later in the inning, Nick Swisher got hit by a pitch right on the foot. He went down, and was in a lot of pain. I didn’t even think Nick would have been in the lineup last night, because he hurt his forearm the night before. But with Berkman and A-Rod still hurt, Swish chose to play last night. What a guy. I was relieved when I saw him trot down to first base.

After an infield single by Marcus Thames and a Curtis Granderson walk, the bases were loaded for Ramiro Pena. He tacked on a run with a sac fly, giving the Yanks a 6-2 lead. And that’s the final score.

Last night’s win was comforting for sure. But is the offensive slump over? I wouldn’t exactly call 6 runs an explosion. But the offense doesn’t always need to explode for the team to win. I’m not going to say if the slump is over or not….I’ll just stay quiet and watch them play. I’m not going to be the one to jinx them (that’s Michael Kay’s job). The heroes for the victory last night are CC Sabathia, for another win, giving him the league-leading 16, Curtis Granderson, for his contributions with both the glove and bat, and Nick Swisher, for being a man, and for giving the Yankees their first lead since God knows when.

My little brother had an idea for a new segment on my blog: the “Somebody Needs a Hug” segment. This is brilliance at its best. Every game I watch, I always say that at least once. So why not write it, too? The “Somebody Needs a Hug” recipient is someone who either did something or had something happen to him that makes me pity him. The hug is to either comfort, or show that I appreciate him and his efforts. Thank you Tommy for this idea.

The first ever Somebody Needs a Hug goes to….Nick Swisher. Like I said before, he played through pain, and then got hurt again. I love my macho Yankees.

Stay tough, boys! And thanks for winning :)

Winning Without Me

Drama Club Steals the Show from Lee and the Rangers

I want to kill my TV. It sucks. Seriously, I’ve had enough with it. It just doesn’t work anymore. Maybe it’s because I always throw my shoes at it….

Maybe, but I don’t think that’s the main reason. Our TV is a dinosaur. I’m not kidding, our TV is 24 year old Zenith. It’s big and beautiful – the screen is embedded into the piece, and it’s like a piece of furniture.

Exactly like this one! Only with mine, it’s hard to watch baseball.

So last night, we put the YES Network on around 7:30 and listened to the pregame while we ate dinner. Then around 7:50, the picture and sound were gone. Oh great. And of course, it didn’t come back. The clock said 8:07, and I was itching to see my Yankees. But no. tHe picture was gone.

The cable guy says it’s not because the TV is old, it’s because the cable lines are either filled with water, or get this: the SQUIRRELS are chewing them.

I think we just need a new TV.

Anyway, of course the YES Network was dead last night, but the stupid movie channels worked. And of course, my Dad found the perfect thing to watch on my favorite channel: Encore Westerns. God help me.

All of a sudden, I hear my older brother, who was downstairs on the computer, scream. My Dad asked him what was wrong, and he said, “THEY SUUUCK. Javier gave up a home run.”

Yankees down a run….and facing Cliff Lee…then I wasn’t so sure if I wanted to watch the game, even if the TV would let me.

           The New York Yankees beat the Rangers Wednesday, 7-6, despite Texas' six runs in five innings off starting pitcher Javier Vazquez (above). 

Eventually, my parents went to bed, leaving me and my little brother with control over the TV. No more westerns!

We tried the YES Network again, and it worked…but I lost my desire to watch. The score was 6-1 Rangers.

So we switched it over to our favorite movie, Tropic Thunder. If you’ve never seen it, I suggest you do. Nonstop laughter, and there’s actually a plot!

Through our intense laughter, we heard clapping from downstairs. After pulling ourselves together, Tommy and I yelled to Bobby, “Hey! What’s going on down there?”

Turns out, the Yankees scored.

Okay, so they scored…but could they really come back from this huge deficit?

Every once in awhile, we would switch back to YES. In the 8th, we saw Marcus Thames rounding the bases. He hit a home run? And then we noticed the score: 6-5???

Are they seriously coming back?

       New York Yankees DH Marcus Thames (r.) receives a high five from third base coach Rob Thomson after his eighth-inning solo home run. Thames also knocks in the go-ahead run in the ninth.

When the game reached the 9th inning, we decided to watch. Luckily, we saw the good stuff: With 2 men on and the infield in, Derek Jeter hit a bouncing ball through for a base hit! That tied the game at 6.

After Nick Swisher struckout again, it was up to Marcus Thames. And again, Thames delivered a solid base hit through the left side, giving the Yankees their first lead of the night: 7-6.

Mariano made things too close for comfort in the bottom of the 9th, surrendering a leadoff triple. But there was no way Mo was going to lose the game 2 nights in a row. So the Great Mariano did his thing, and that runner didn’t move. YANKEES WIN 7-6!

I never in a million years thought they would win it last night. I mean, the team has looked so dead for the past few days. But I guess last night was different. The heroes for this victory are the guys that I saw win it for the Yanks: Jeet, Mo, and Marcus Thames.

When the Yankees got Marcus Thames in the offseason, I didn’t think much of it. I celebrated over getting Granderson and Vazquez. But in reality, little Mr. Marcus Thames has proved to be the best acquisition the Yankees added this year. He doesn’t play much, but when he does, he contributes. I hope they keep him.

With an ever-so-slim 1.5 game lead in the AL East, I’m hoping the Yankees can sweep the Kansas City Royals and gain a little ground. And hopefully, I’ll be able to actually watch them do it.

GO YANKEEEEEEES!!!!!!!

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.

                            

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