ly did me a favor by hitting it. So thank you, appreciate it” (Smiles at camera, walks away).
Yanks Take Series Against Rangers!
I’m going to be honest here: coming into this series against the Texas Rangers, I wouldn’t have thought it would have turned out the way it did. I still had memories of last year’s ALCS, (see post here for the many silly reasons why I hate them http://southernbelle.mlblogs.com/archives/2010/10/why-i-hate-the-texas-rangers.html), and I was just worried the Yankees would remember it, too. And after they lost a tough game in Game 1, I feared the worst.
Ivan Nova was extremely wild in his Game 1 start. Russell Martin wore himself out behind the plate, and I knew he would have Game 2 off.
“Oh great,” I thought. “Now we have GUSTAVO MOLINA AND HIS CAREER .122 BATTING AVERAGE catching FREDDY GARCIA…Really? How are we supposed to win?”
Well, they must have heard me. The battery of Freddy Garcia and Gustavo Molina in Game 2 proved to be surprisingly dominant. Freddy pitched 6 2-hit shutout innings against the best lineup in the AL aside from that of my Yankees.
I was beyond impressed, considering the situation: it was Garcia’s first start of the season, since his other ones were skipped over or rained out. And he was doing it on an icky rainy day – against the Rangers. So yeah, the pressure was on. He really proved me wrong.
On the strength of 2-run homers by Teixeira and Cano, and solid pitching, the Yanks took Game 2 by the score of 5-2.
The rubber game was a fun one, though I didn’t see the whole thing because I am addicted to the Celebrity Apprentice.
They played on ESPN, and the announcers were really pissing me off. At this point in the game, the Yanks were behind. And the announcers were going on and on, saying:
“Well, you know the Rangers have just come right in here, and they don’t even let the mystique of the Yankees bother them. They are beyond that.”
“They have completely overmatched the Yankees, like last year in the ALCS.”
“Oh, Beltre and Young have just torn the covers off the balls this series.”
“Oh, the Rangers!”
Jesus. Sounded like Chris Matthews talking about Obama.
I was BEYOND offended when they mentioned the “lack” of mystique. I mean really?
It got to the point where I couldn’t take it anymore,
“JESUS GOD ALMIGHTY! What is wrong with these guys? And I thought Miller and Morgan were bad announcers…how could they say such things?!”
“Shhh…relax,” said my Mother, “Let them keep singing praises about the Rangers, then watch the Yanks go ahead.”
Oh, Mommy. Mommy knows best!
It took them awhile, but the Yankees DID come back and hold the lead. My sweet Eric Chavez drove in the game-winning run with an RBI single in the bottom of the 8th, (I changed the channel back just in time to see it) and Mariano nailed down the save for the 6-5 Yankee win.
I wound up staying up until midnight because I was dying to see Eric Chavez be interviewed. It was worth the wait….my GOD he is hot. I think right now Eric Chavez is the hottest player on the Yankees. Like, looks wise. And he’s pretty hot with that bat of his as well ;)
Haha Alex Rodriguez WHO? Yeah…Chavez is hotter. Maybe A-Rod should miss games more often…I don’t mind his replacement haha.
I was thrilled. I didn’t think my boys would win 2 of 3, but they did! Is there anything this team can’t do?
Maybe I should stop being so surprised when they win. I mean they ARE the Yankees. But then again, this reverse psychology thing seems to be working.
I don’t know. Maybe I should stop thinking altogether and just enjoy the baseball.
Bullpen Back to Form in Yankee Win
Isn’t it funny how things work out when you never thought they would? I thought the Yankees were going to be stunned, shocked, and lifeless after Tuesday’s miserable loss to the Twins. I wanted them to just get out there and play on Wednesday, but the weather decided to screw everything up. I thought that after sitting on that loss yesterday thanks to the rain-out, the Yankees wouldn’t play well today.
And I was wrong.
The Yankees went out there today, and fought hard for the win, and won the series. I’m so proud of them!
A.J. Burnett toed the rubber today looking to go a little longer into the ballgame. I missed the first few innings thanks to good old school, but I caught the most of it. My Dad was listening to the radio in the car today when he picked me up. It wasn’t the Yankees.
“Rush Limbaugh, Daddy?”
“Of course,” he said, knowing that I too enjoy his program.
The first thought that popped into my head was that the Yankees were doing SO bad that he didn’t even have them on.
“You know the Yankees are on…” I said, cringing with my fingers crossed, hoping they didn’t blow the game.
“Are they? Oh I forgot!” Daddy exclaimed.
Pheew….way to make me crazy.
When we tuned in, the Yankees had a 1-0 lead in the 4th inning. The run was from a Nick Swisher sac fly. A.J. Burnett had a man on second base.
In a matter of about two minutes, Burnett had surrendered the lead, and the Twins lead 2-1. John Sterling said that everything that inning was hit hard.
“NO!” I thought. “I don’t want THIS A.J. Burnett!”
But that was the worst A.J. was today. Aside from that 4th inning, Burnett pitched a very good ballgame. He went 6 innings, allowed those 2 runs on 5 hits, 2 walks, and struckout 5 along the way. I’m proud.
Now that’s the A.J. I like to see!
The Yankees were only down for that half inning. I got home in time to see them rally! They didn’t hit much – in fact the Bombers didn’t hit one bomb today – but they got the job done. Andruw Jones tied up the game with an RBI double. Russell Martin drove in another with an RBI groundout, and Brett Gardner provided more insurance with a bloop RBI single. The Yanks lead it 4-2.
Then the bullpen took over.
Now although I convinced myself the other day that I HAD NO FEAR about the bullpen, I did have a little fear today. I just couldn’t help it. I was so quick to say how good the ‘pen was, and then the next game, the ‘pen blew it (sort of). So I was a little nervous.
Joba Chamberlain was called upon for the 7th inning, his inning. He did well, but a run scored unearned because of a throwing error by Russell Martin. So after Joba’s solid performance, my nerves subsided a little.
Until I remembered who’s in charge of the 8th inning.
“Uh-oh,” I thought. “Soriano has to pitch the 8th…and now it’s just a 1-run lead. I know he’s supposed to be GOOD in tight spots, but I wonder if he’ll let his mind get the better of him.”
I was freaking out…so much, that I did something I hardly ever do: I left the room. Usually in tight situations, I stay, but I just cover my face or something. But today, I just didn’t even want to see/hear/know it. I went in the kitchen with my parents, who were enjoying a nice afternoon cup of tea. Before I knew it, the inning was over.
We rushed back into the living room, and saw the score was still 4-3 as the team made their way back into the dugout. HE DID IT! Soriano is BACK!!!
The rest was easy. The Great Mariano closed the game, and earned the save. Yankees win 4-3, win the series, and win my confidence back.
The Heroes for the Victory are undoubtedly the pitchers: A.J. Burnett, Joba Chamberlain, Rafael Soriano, and Mariano Rivera. Burnett was solid in his start, and Jobianamo was dominant once again.
Jobianamo is back – and I think it’s here to stay.
My Yanks now head to Baahston, where the Red Sox still have not won a game. But I won’t get too cocky just yet…
Bullpen Fails in Heartbreaking 5-4 Loss
….or maybe JOE GIRARDI IS A MORON!!!
It’s too early in the season for this, and I have too much homework to not be doing, but I’m too frustrated so I need to vent.
Before I go completely insane, I should recap the game for those of you who were lucky enough to NOT see it. The first 7 innings were actually pretty entertaining. But from the 8th on, it was hard to watch.
CC Sabathia got the start last night in order to keep him on regular rest. My not-as-chunky-but-still-Hefty-Lefty tossed a fabulous game. He’s a God. Sabathia went 7 innings and allowed just 2 hits early in the ballgame.
Sabathia finished his night with a 4-0 lead, thanks to a 3-run BOMB by Teixeira and a solo welcome-to-the-Bronx home run from the smiley Andruw Jones. One of the highlights of my night last night was watching Andruw Jones try to catch a ball that ultimately went foul. The ball went directly into a fan’s meal, and sent it plummeting onto the field – right on Jones. It was amazing.
And of course after this, Jones never stopped smiling.
Anyways, Sabathia left the game having thrown 104 pitches. Not too many, but for this early in the season, it made sense to take him out.
But it didnt make any sense to me to put Rafael Soriano in. Note: I felt this way BEFORE he blew it.
First of all, Soriano has worked a respectable amound lately. Since the Yanks had a seemingly insurmountable 4-0 lead and the Twins bats were dead, I didn’t think there was a need to use the setup guy. He could have had the night off, and they could have started the 8th with David Robertson or someone. But no.
Another reason why I didn’t want Soriano in the game last night, is because it seems that whenever closers or guys with closer-like stuff and a closer-like mentality (Soriano) always SUCK when the team has a rather-large lead. Even the best guys, like Mariano Rivera, have experienced the non-save situation struggles. And when we all know that Girardi is a “master” at conserving and managing his bullpen guys, I just didn’t understand why in the world he decided to use Soriano last night, and why he let him suffer through that horrible inning.
Soriano wound up loading the bases with 1 out in the 8th. It was apparent after he faced the first batter that he had absolutely NO command, but Girardi didn’t do anything. Soriano walked in a run, and ultimately destroyed the Yankees’s chance of winning by giving away their 4-0 lead. Although he didn’t get the loss (they lost 5-4 in 10 innings), it was over after he blew it.
I don’t blame the bullpen for this loss. It’s not Rafael Soriano’s fault. He is an amazing pitcher when he’s doing his thing. But last night, he WASN’T doing his thing. He’s supposed to come in when the game is tight, not fold under the pressure, and get the guys out. Last night was not that situation, and I’m not mad at HIM for struggling…I’m just mad he struggled.
Joe Girardi is who I want to strangle. He said that if he could do it again, he’d to it the same way. WHAT IS WRONG WITH HIM? I mean is it me? It makes sense if you saw the game…the Twin offense was completely dead. That 4-0 lead seemed like 100-0. There was no need to use Soriano last night. I still believe that the Yankees have the best bullpen in baseball. This game doesn’t make me lose confidence in Soriano at all.
Joe Girardi…what are we going to do with you…
And tonight! I was already mad at Girardi tonight. He planned on sitting Derek Jeter, Russell Martin, AND Jorge Posada tonight. He wanted A-Rod to DH, and he was going to use Eduardo Nunez at short, Eric Chavez at third, and GUSTAVO MOLINA AND HIS SPRING BATTING AVERAGE OF .067 behind the plate. Wow. And with 5th starter Freddy Garcia on the mound. I mean really? Isn’t the idea, like, to win the game? Why would he sit half his team all in one game?
I don’t know…sometimes I think Girardi TRIES to lose. Some of his decisions are crazy.
Hey, Joe! Stop trying to lose! No need to throw games away…Maybe you’re trying to make things exciting and dramatic, trying to make the season come down to the wire, trying to keep Yankees fans on their feet.
The AL East is hard enough, just let my Yanks do the drama on their own.
As much as I wanted to see the game tonight to try and get my mind off the horrible loss, I’m almost glad they didn’t play tonight. With that lineup, things didn’t look too good anyway. Now EVERYONE gets the night off.
I wonder what Joe Girardi’s going to do tomorrow…
Yankee Bullpen Stellar in Win
It was the first Monday night in a LONG time that I had something to look forward to. Instead of procrastinating on my homework like I usually do, I made sure to get right to it, so I would be free for 7:00.
Oh, the beauty of baseball season.
The game didn’t disappoint. It was a good one, and the Yankees played very well. I know it’s waaaay early to say stuff like this, but they really look like a championship-caliber team, especially in last night’s 4-3 victory.
The Yanks didn’t have that much offense, but they got the big hits. A-Rod and Posada each had 2-run homers and were responsible for all of the Yankees’ 4 runs. A-Rod has gotten of to an amazing start so far this year…can you say MVP? (I know it’s early, but you heard it hear first!). And Posada…my Jo-Po. He has adjusted to his DH role very well.
Last night’s game was important, because it was Ivan Nova’s first start of the season. And unlike last year, Nova this year is here to stay. So it was important for him to show he belonged in the Bigs.
Nova said that he had a plan last night, and that he didn’t expect the Twins to even get 1 hit off him. Way to set the high-bar, Ivan!
Well, Nova didn’t throw a no-no last night, but I thought he pitched wonderfully. He didn’t allow a hit until 2 outs into the 4th. I was worried a bit because he had trouble getting the final out – the Twins rallied with 2 outs and scored 2 runs that inning. Nova also allowed a run in the 5th, and before I knew it, the Twins crept their way back into the ballgame.
I was nervous when he went out to pitch the 6th, but Nova managed to make it out alive, and set himself up for the win. After striking out Jim Thome for the final out, Nova showed a little emotion on the mound with some fist pumps. Kind of reminded me of that old Joba Chamberlain…
SPEAKING of Joba, I’m in love with this bullpen. OMG. If the Yankees don’t have the best bullpen in baseball, then no one does. I’m betting on it:
THE YANKEES WILL FINISH 2011 WITH THE BEST BULLPEN IN ALL OF BASEBALL.
Joba Chamberlain did his thing in the 7th, Rafael Soriano was stellar in the 8th, and Mariano Rivera was Mo in the 9th. These guys are so good, they need a name. People have been calling them, “Jo-So-Mo,” but that just doesn’t FLOW.
My name is better: Jobianamo.
Joba, Soriano, Mo.
7th, 8th, 9th.
Yanks Off to Winning Start
The day I had waited for for what seemed an eternity finally arrived on Thursday: Yankees Opening Day! I didn’t know what to expect, so I went into the day with no expectations. Sure, I didn’t want to admit it, but I was worried about them facing Verlander in the Opener. I was worried about certain guys getting off to a good start. And I was worried about the weather.
And most importantly, I was worried about missing the majority of the game because of school.
Being the nerd I am, I had to stay after school Thursday for a meeting with the Superindenent that I could not skip. “Aw jeez,” I thought. “That’s an extra hour of the game I”ll miss. I hope my boys do alright.”
When the 3:00 bell rang, I fled the school as fast as I could.
“How’re they doin?” was the first thing I asked my Dad on the way home.
“Tied 3-3.” he said.
“Doing alright, not his best.”
“Who tied it up? Like, were the Yanks winning and did they blow the lead, or what?” I nervously questioned.
“They were down 1-0, Teixeira hit a 3-run hom-
“MAAAAAAAAARRKK!!!!!” I couldn’t hlep myself. I was just so stunned that Teixeira did something big in game 1. It was his first Opening Day hit with the Yanks.
“Then the Tigers came back,” my Dad finished, not the least bit startled by my exclamation. He’s used to that.
Once we got home, it was the top of the 7th, and Sabathia had been relieved by Joba Chamberlain. CC’s line was pretty good: 6 innings, 6 hits, 3 runs (2 earned), 2 walks, and 7 strikeouts on 106 pitches.
I was impressed by Joba Chamberlain, who still had the icky hair, and who had a perfect 1-2-3 7th.
I was lucky to get home when I did. Bottom of the 7th, game tied 3-3, my cutie Curtis Granderson stepped up to the plate. All offseason long, my family and I discussed how we thought certain guys would perform. I said that I expected huge things from Curtis this year – I felt he’d reach the 40 home run plateau in 2011.
Sure enough, Curtis hit a monster home run into the 2nd deck in right field to give the Yanks a 4-3 lead.
“OH MY GOD, CURTIS!!!! AWWW!!!! WE’RE WINNING!!!!”
Way to make me look good, Curtis!
From there on, the Yanks never looked back. They tacked on 2 more runs via a Derek Jeter sac fly and a Nick Swisher RBI single. The bullpen was perfect: Rafael Soriano and his #29 jersey impressed me with a 1-2-3 8th, and Mo was Mo looking good with high socks and a 1-2-3 9th.
Yankees win game 1 by the score of 6-3.
They couldn’t have played better. The Heroes for the Opening Day win are Mark Teixeira for his big blast, Curtis Granderson, for his stellar defense and clutch homer, and the Yankee bullpen, for being perfect.
I was able to catch the entire game 2, a game where Burnett didn’t suck, and the Yankee offense exploded.
My boys got off to a 3-0 start in the first inning thanks to an RBI double by A-Rod (who WILL be MVP this year), an RBI single by Cano, and a sac fly by Swish.
The longball was key for the Yanks in game 2. Mark Teixeira DID IT AGAIN with a 3-run homer to give the Yanks a 6-0 lead. He’s on pace to hit 162 home runs this season! Keep it up, Mark!
Russell Martin surprised the heck out of me when he went deep for a 3-run shot in the 5th to give the boys a 9-3 lead. Honestly, I didn’t expect much from Martin. But in the first two games, he has impressed me. I didn’t expect him to steal bases, and he’s done that already. And he filled the home run column. I think he’s going to be the best #9 hitter in baseball.
The Yankees added on another run in the 6th with an Alex Rodriguez home run. He’s a beast.
A.J. Burnett was decent through 5 innings. He looked good over the first 4, but ran into a little trouble in the 5th. He managed to escape with minimal damage. Burnett allowed 3 runs over 5 innings and struckout 6. He was relieved by David Robertson who had a scoreless 6th. Luis Ayala, who I thought was pretty mediocre in Spring Training, gave up 2 runs. Boone Logan saw a little action, and Mariano Rivera closed out the game for his 2nd save of the season.
The Heroes for the Victory here are the homer boys: Teixeira, Martin, and A-Rod.
It’s such a beautiful thing…the Yankees are 2-0 this year, and the “best team in baseball,” the Boston Red Sox, are 0-2. One of their star-offseason acquisitions, Carl Crawford, has not gotten a hit yet. And their pitching has been dreadful so far.
HA. HA. HA!
Who’s the best team in the AL East? Can I hear you say it?
NEW YORK YANKEES.
Ahh, it’s a beautiful thing…I love it.
It’s gonna be a goooood season.
With the clocks now sprung forward, the calendar officially saying spring, and the snow gone, baseball really is right around the corner. The dawning of a new season is very close.
Spring brings so many good things aside from baseball. I always look forward to the new spring styles in fashion. I’ve noticed several Yankees sporting some new styles this spring. Some I like, and some….ermm…not so much.
- The New Slender Sabathia
Well, more slender than before. Coming off knee surgery, CC decided it would be beneficial to drop a few pounds before the season. He accomplished his goal and lost around 30 pounds. I think Sabathia looks fabulous.
And not only does he look good – CC might even pitch better now that he won’t have that extra stress on his knees.
I like this new CC, but I sort of miss the old one…I mean can I still call him nicknames? Like my Hefty-Lefty, or CC my Chocolate Chunk? His belly was cute, especially since he pitched so well with it.
Look at him…trying to find his old belly and failing. But I guess I shouldn’t be too down. He’s smiling here – he has embraced his new slender(er) self. I can still call him cute names if I want.
Oh, and that picture just reminded me of a new style that I DISLIKE:
- Sergio Mitre’s New Uni
Mitre was having himself a pretty solid spring, but the Yankees traded him anyways, explaining that they felt they had a “surplus” of pitching (which I think you can never have). I loved Sergio Mitre and I feel bad for him. But what’s done is done.
In the trade, the Yanks got Chris Dickerson, an outfielder. In his Yankees debut in the game today, he went 3-3. I wish him luck.
And of course, Dickerson will look better in a Yankee uniform.
- Joba Chamberlain’s New Hairstyle
Brian Cashman didn’t want to discuss Joba’s weight GAIN, so I’ll refrain from that. I will just note that I think his body looks good…he doesn’t look fatter, but rather he appears stronger. So that’s nice.
But the hair…it sticks out of his cap. It’s long, curly, it’s…it’s almost resembles the Phil Hughes hair of a few years ago!
Okay…I’m not too fond of this messy look, but it worked for Hughes. If it works for Joba, I might learn to really like this look.
-Mariano Rivera’s High Socks
Yes, yes, YESSSS!!!! This is my FAVORITE new style of the spring, and I hope he continues to wear it into the season. God, he looks awesome. I wonder why he didn’t try this earlier. High socks make every player look better. It made A-Rod look better.
Speaking of A-Rod, I don’t know what’s up with him…
- A-Rod’s Stuffed Face
It’s a little unflattering to say the least.
Every time he’s at-bat, Alex stuffs handfuls of sunflower seeds into his mouth, and stores them in his cheek, chewing and spitting every few seconds. It looks ridiculous. I don’t know how he can possibly play like that without choking himself.
Who am I kidding, right? Pshh…”how can he play like that…” A-Rod is having an AMAZING spring! He’s hit like 6 home runs, and the one I saw today went about 440 feet to dead centerfield. He’s a beast!
Alex, if you wanna stuff your face, that’s fine. Just keep hitting!
Overall, I think my Yankees look very very good…aesthetically, of course. But baseball-wise as well. I think it’s going to be a fun season. I can’t wait for it to begin!
This post doesn’t really have anything to do with the Yankees. It’s about something that is even more important to me. As I hope my readers sense, everything I write comes right from my heart. Although not about baseball, this post is just the same.
Aside from the Yankees, one constant in my life has been dogs. There has been a dog in my home for as long as I can remember. My parents bought Jesse, a yellow Labrador Retriever, two weeks after their dog Wade passed away. I was just a little baby. Jesse is a third brother to me. He, I, and my brothers have all grown up together. Since we were too young to remember Wade, Jesse is the only dog we’ve known.
Jesse and five-year-old me.
And on Monday, February 28, Jesse passed away, leaving an emptiness in our hearts and home. He was a few weeks shy of what would have been his 16th birthday.
Naturally, my family and I are devastated. Jesse has been a part of our lives for almost 16 years. He was intertwined into so many aspects of our lives, that we don’t know what to do without him. Jesse’s passing is the first real death that I’ve had to experience. I miss him so much.
Jesse was with us all the time, but one thing he really enjoyed was baseball. During the summer, our family would gather around the television, and stay there together for around three hours, to watch the Yankees. What more could a dog ask for? At dinner, Jesse would bark at a certain point every night - when my Dad’s wine glass had about 1 sip left – and motion for us to go in the living room, as if to say, “Hurry up guys! The game’s about to start!”
Jesse nudged his way onto my homemade Yankees pillow.
Jesse had a lot of toys, and in his younger days he played with them a lot. As we watched the game, Jesse would dig around in his overflowing toybox for something, then approach one of us – either to hold his bone for him as he chewed, or to have us throw the ball for him to catch. But it never failed: every single time there was a tense moment in the game where we couldn’t take our eyes off the screen, Jesse would get up, go get a toy, and stand in front of the screen, showing it off. I can’t tell you how many exciting moments I’ve missed because of this, but it was all worth it.
Jesse relaxing in front of the screen. Notice all his toys scattered around.
As much as I look forward to this coming baseball season, I know as I watch the Yankees, there will be something missing. The Dog Days of Summer just won’t be the same without my Jesse.
This emptiness in our home is killing us. Jesse meant the world to us. The grieving will be hard, but when the time comes, we are definitely getting another dog – maybe even two. No dog can replace Jesse, but a dog (or two) can liven up the household like nothing else.
All I can say is that I enjoyed every minute with him. Jesse was one in a million – such a good boy. He didn’t have a mean bone in his body. I am blessed to have had him in my life for so long and blessed to have had grown up with him. He was perfect.
And isn’t it fitting that the last game he and I watched together on the couch, on Sunday February 27, was a game that the Yankees won.
Jesse, you will always be missed and loved, but you’ll never be forgotten.
And I hope Doggie Heaven has the YES Network.
Jesse James Califano. 4/12/95 – 2/28/11. Love you, buddy <3