August 2010

An Unearned Loss?

Okay. Everyone knows how much I love Francisco Cervelli. And everyone is blaming him for last night’s 6-3 Yankee loss. And that doesn’t sit well with me.

With a runner on 2nd and 1 out in the 2nd inning last night, Mike Lowell hit a lazy pop up in front of the left side of the pitcher’s mound. Vazquez came in, and Cervelli went out. Cervelli called it, and Vazquez was right there. Anticipating a collision, Cervelli braced for impact, and closed his eyes while trying to make the catch. And he missed it. The ball hit off his glove, and trickled away. It was an error on Cervelli.

Javier got the next guy out for out #2, but then ran into trouble: he walked a man to load the bases, then walked in a run. Then he served up a fat one right in the heart of the plate, and it was hit for a 2-run double. Technically, those three runs were unearned because of the error.

And the Yankees lost by three runs.

For many, it’s easy to just put the blame on Francisco Cervelli. After the game, Cervelli was asked about the error, and he just melted my heart. He was such a man about it, saying, “I’m supposed to get the fly balls. I wanted to catch the ball, but I couldn’t.”

Of course he was upset, and I was upset because he was upset. The next thing almost sent me into hysterics: Cervelli flashed that priceless smile, and said, “It was my fault tonight.”

OH, MY HEART!

But was it really his fault? He had to say it was because of the media and everything, and he probably genuinely felt like it was.

But you can’t put the blame all on Francisco Cervelli.

Let’s say Cervelli catches that ball. That would have made it 2 out with a runner on 2nd. In reality, Vazquez struckout the next batter. But due to the fallacy of the predetermined outcome, we cannot assume that Vazquez would have struckout the next guy even if Cervelli caught that pop up. Anything could have happened that inning. We will never know.

I have a question: Who was the reason why the Yankees won the other day, on August 4?

Well, let’s see…

Phil Hughes pitched a great game. But he only pitched 5 innings, so the bullpen had to do a lot of work. They didn’t allow any runs. The Yankees scored 5 runs that day. Tex had 3 RBI, Jeet had 4 hits, and A-Rod had that 600th home run.

I think you get my point.

If you are thick, I’ll keep going. And if you aren’t I’ll keep going anyway:

So who was the reason why the Yankees lost to the Red Sox last night 6-3?

Well, let’s see…

Javy Vazquez’s velocity was down, and his command was off. He could not throw his fastball for strikes, unless he threw one right down the middle. After the 1st inning, the Yankees scored just 1 run. And Cervelli made that error.

Bottom line, baseball is a team sport. When things go right and the Yankees win, it’s never because of one guy: the TEAM wins. They get contributions from multiple guys. And the same goes for when the TEAM loses: when the team loses, a lot of the guys don’t have their best day out there. THEY don’t play well, and they get beaten as a TEAM.

The Yankees lost 6-3 last night – not Cervelli. Put the loss on their record – not Cervelli’s. He did his best, just like the rest of the guys, but unfortunately his best was not good enough last night.

Cervelli has the right to feel terrible about what happened. But I hope he let’s it go, and shows up to the ballpark with a clear mind. All he can do is make the play next time, and keep looking forward.

It wasn’t an unearned loss thanks to some unearned runs thanks to Cervelli’s inability to catch that pop up. The team lost, the team didn’t have their best night out there.

And the team earned this loss.

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 Death Sentence?

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.

My mistake.

Aug. 03, 2010 - New York, New York, U.S. - MARK TEIXEIRA. Yankees vs Toronto Blue Jays at.Yankee Stadium, Bronx, ny. 08-03-2010. 2010.K65440JBB. © Red Carpet Pictures

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…

 

Why Joe, WHY?

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.

Really.

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. 

What the Bombers are All About

Yanks Even Series in Tampa Bay

Last night’s game 2 win insured that the Yankees will leave Tampa Bay in first place where they belong. Ahh…that’s so comforting. I didn’t see game 1 of this series, and I’m glad I didn’t. I would have gotten too angry that they lost 3-2 and got just 1 hit after the first inning. But I don’t have to think about that, because game 2 had the desired results: Yankees win. It was another close game, but this time the Bombers came out on top 5-4.

Pitching Analysis: I’m so happy the trade deadline is over and Javier Vazquez is still on the team. I was afraid he would be dealt for someone like Jayson Werth. Thank GOD that didn’t happen. Javy has had the lowest ERA of all Yankee starters since May 12. I hoped this trend of success would continue last night. Javy battled, but he was good. He gave up a few leads, but managed to limit the damage and keep the Rays from a big inning. Vazquez threw 6.1 innings and allowed 4 runs on 8 hits.

The bullpen was absolutely FABULOUS last night. The combo of David Robertson and Boone Logan is proving to be very effective. It almost reminds me of the Philthies Coke and Hughes last year. These guys are the new bridge to Mariano – sorry Joba. And Chan Ho, I’m sorry you were DFA’d. I hope someone picks you up, just not the Yankees :)

New York Yankees' David Robertson pitches against the Seattle Mariners in the eight inning at SAFECO Field in Seattle on July 9, 2010.   UPI Photo/Jim Bryant. Photo via Newscom

May 10, 2010: New York Yankees' Boone Logan (48) during the MLB baseball game between the New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park in Detroit, Michigan.

Robertson and Logan did their jobs and got the ball to Mariano, who of course picked up his 22nd save of the season.

Offensive Analysis: The Yankees played catch-up all of last night. Curtis Granderson’s sac fly in the 2nd tied the game at 1. In the 6th, the Yanks were down 3-1. Derek Jeter led off with a double, and Mark Teixeira hit an absolute BOMB for a 2-ruin homer to tie the game at 3.

The Yanks fell behind once again, and once again the home run gave them new life. Nick Swisher crushed a hanging curveball for a solo home run in the 7th, tieing the game at 4. The Yankees kept on fighting back. I didn’t think it was possible for them to lose, but it seemed odd for them to win, because they never had the lead.

July 30, 2010 - St. Petersburg, FLORIDA, UNITED STATES - epa02267787 New York Yankees right fielder Nick Swisher rounds the bases after hitting a two-run home run against the Tampa Bay Rays during the first inning of a Major League Baseball game in St. Petersburg, Florida, USA 30 July 2010.

  Swish, running with his head down after his home run…just like a good little Yankee ;)

In the 9th with the score tied, the Rays brought out their big All-Star closer, Rafael Soriano. Robinson Cano, who already had two doubles, stepped up to the plate with 1 out. He is SUCH a beast. Is there anyone this guy can’t hit? He proved to me once again last night that he is a magical player. Robbie’s home run off Soriano gave the Yankees their first lead of the night, 5-4. That was all they needed.

Robinson Cano gives the Yankees the win with a solo home run in the ninth inning, while new acquisition Lance Berkman (below) goes 0-for-4 in his Yankees debut.

Thank you, Robbie ♥

What really annoyed me was in 6th inning when Matt Joyce hit a homer to give the Rays a 4-3 lead. He was SO obnoxous. He did the “drop” with his bat, and just stared at it before finally performing his home-run trot. He was really showing off, and it was uncalled for. He should have just put his head down and ran, because that homer meant nothing: they LOST. I mean, who does he think he is? He has 5 homers this year. And he’s really tearing it up with a .230 batting average. Wow, he’s good. He and the Rays are ridiculous. They think who they are. But who are they? They need to show some class out there on the field. They really are the opposite of the Yankees. The Bombers had 3 home runs last night, and you didn’t see them showing off – even though Tex, Swish, and Cano are legit good players. No. They don’t do that because it isn’t right. The Yankees just drop the bat, put their heads down, and run. When they get back to the dugout, THEN they celebrate.

That’s what the Yankees are all about: class. They are the best team, and they don’t act obnoxious about it. Those pesky Rays aren’t the best, so why do they act like that? The need to stop being so cocky, because they haven’t proven anything yet. They didn’t win anything.

The heroes for last night’s Drama Club win are the new and IMPROVED bridge to Mariano, Mr. David Robertson and Mr. Boone Logan. You two are adorable, and you really make me proud. The other heroes are the 3 homer-boys from last night, Mark Teixeira, Nick Swisher, and Robinson Cano. I’d like to thank you guys for your performance and behavior on the field. You make me proud in both respects.  

I’d just like to welcome Lance Berkman, Austin Kearns, and Kerry Wood to the Yankees. Guys, you will love it here. The Yankees know how to win. Sorry that you have to shave your beards and cut your hair, but I don’t think that’s a big price to pay. You guys are Yankees!

Seriously, if you're a Yankee fan, do you want to go to war with Hideki Matsui and Johnny Damon, or with this year's trade-deadline saviors - Lance Berkman (above) and Austin Kearns.

Hello, Mr. Big Puma. You will love the Bronx Zoo :)

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