Results tagged ‘ A.J. Burnett ’

Spicy Stuff: The Story Behind Dave Eiland’s Firing

The Yankees didn’t waste any time making changes to their team. Already this offseason, a lot of stuff has happened. But the most interesting move the Yanks have made so far was firing their pitching coach of three years, Dave Eiland. Like many others, I have been speculating to why Dave Eiland really was fired. Was it because of the Yankee pitching staff’s ineffectiveness during the postseason? Or was it something else? Something….more…

I’ve combined my theories with the many other theories I’ve heard, and I have to say: I’m pretty pleased with what I’ve got.

Here’s some stuff I’ve had to consider:

-Eiland’s extended personal leave of abscence

-Eiland’s relationship with the pitchers, especially A.J. Burnett

-A.J. Burnett’s ineffectiveness

-A.J. Burnett’s black eye.

A.J. Burnett started off the 2010 season with a 3-0 record and a sparkling 2.43 ERA in his first month. From then on, everything fell apart. Burnett never went back to the “Good A.J.” June, especially, was an atrocious month for him. He posted an 0-5 record with a frightening 11.35 ERA. He never lived up to his potential in 2010, and it was frustrating to watch A.J. take the ball having not made any improvements.

In June, the time when A.J. Burnett really started to stink, Dave Eiland took an extended leave of abscence. It was personal, and no one commented on the reason to why Eiland had to leave the team. I didn’t know how long he was going to be gone. It was long, but it seemed longer because of Burnett.

Everyone spoke of Burnett and Eiland’s great relationship and how they really connected with each other. When Eiland returned in July, Burnett did improve a bit. That month, he went 3-1 with a 2.00 ERA.

But from then on, Burnett was the “Bad A.J.” and didn’t even show ANY signs of successfulness. One day in September, Burnett randomly had a black eye. It looked painful. And no one said a thing about it. Joe Girardi refused to comment on that.

I think Dave Eiland had a serious alcohol issue. I think it showed, badly, and it was so bad in June that the Yankees themselves asked him to leave and get help for however long he felt was necessary. I think Burnett was stinky in June because he was not used to not having Dave Eiland around. I think Eiland helped get Burnett back on track in July. But I think Dave Eiland had a personal setback in his sobering process. And I think that’s why Burnett also had some serious setbacks on the mound.

A.J. Burnett kept saying he was working hard to fix his issues. I believe him. And I think he was, but Eiland was too messed up to help Burnett properly. I think A.J. Burnett confronted him in September, because he promised us, the fans, that he would do better. I think A.J. told Eiland he was sick of his behavior, and that Eiland needed to straighten himself out before he could help A.J. straighten himself out. I don’t think Eiland liked that very much…and I think there was an altercation between the two. I think Dave Eiland is the one who gave A.J. Burnett that nasty black eye.

AJ.black.eye.jpg

I don’t think the Yankees liked this very much, and I don’t think they liked the fact that almost all of their pitchers who had issues didn’t make any progress in the second half of the season. I don’t think the Yankees wanted to draw a ton of attention to poor Dave Eiland, so they waited until now to fire him.

But again, I’m just speculating… 

On to the ALCS!!!

Yankees Sweep Twins…Again!

Remember in my last post when I said the Yankees were reminding me of the Yankees from last year? Well, last night, this statement proved to be even more true. The most apparent reason was because last night my Yankees wrapped up their 3-game sweep of the Twins to win the ALDS – just like last year. But more importantly, the Yankee have established an amazing 1-2-3 punch, which is Powerful at the beginning, Crafty in the middle, and Philthy at the end.

Pitching Analysis: Phil Hughes is the “Philthy” component of the 1-2-3 punch, in case you didn’t get my analogy. And BOY was he philthy last night. I didn’t know what he was going to give us, having not pitched since September 26, and starting in the postseason after struggling in postseason relief last year. Did I expect Hughes to throw 7 shutout innings, allowing just 4 hits and striking out 6 along the way? I was pleasantly surprised to say the least. Hughes was a beast.

New York Yankees starting pitcher Phil Hughes throws to the Minnesota Twins in Game 3 of their MLB American League Divison Series baseball playoffs in New York October 9, 2010. REUTERS/Mike Segar (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 Huuuuuuuuughes!!!!!!!!

If the starting pitching in this ALDS is a sign of things to come for my Yankees, then I think the team is in pretty darn good shape. Their chance of a repeat is within striking distance. The combo of CC, Andy, and Phil reminds me of the CC, A.J., and Andy the Yankees used last year. And when you can compare anything, especially pitching, to the 2009 Yankees, you definitely have reason to smile. Eeeeek!! I’m excited!

Offensive Analysis: JUST like last year, the Yankee offense got to Brian Duensing. I felt kind of bad for the kid…his family was in the audience, and he received the loss. The look on his face as he sat there, all dejected on the bench after being taken out almost broke my heart. The poor guy looked like he was going to cry. But really, it was not his fault that the Yankees won. Sometimes, you gotta give credit where credit is due. The Yankees are a pretty good baseball team.

The offense started in the 2nd inning, where Robinson Cano led off with a triple. He scored on an RBI single by Jorge Posada. In the 3rd, Nick Swisher doubled with 2 out, and Mark Teixeira drove him in with an RBI single. That was a bullet of a single…it hit off the wall too hard and too fast for Mark to advance. But that’s okay. The Yankees were up 2-0.

New York Yankees hitter Mark Teixeira hits an RBI single against the Minnesota Twins in the third inning of Game 3 of their MLB American League Divison Series baseball playoffs in New York October 9, 2010. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 Tex’s big swing!

In the 4th with Cano on first, Marcus Thames took his turn. He did what he always does, only different: Thames homered, but it was to right field. Thames went oppo! And the Yankees led 4-0. I think that was the swing that ended Minnesota’s season. Minnesota was done…but the Yankee bats weren’t. Brett Gardner tacked on a run with a sac fly, and Nick Swisher homered in the 7th. The Yankees were up 6-0. They went on to win it 6-1.

New York Yankees' Marcus Thames (R) celebrates with teammate Robinson Cano after hitting a two run home run against the Minnesota Twins during the fourth inning of Game 3 in the American League Division Series baseball playoffs in New York, October 9, 2010. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 Thames’s reaction to his homer.

 

New York Yankees' Nick Swisher (R) celebrates his seventh inning solo home run against the Minnesota Twins with teammate Mark Teixeira in Game 3 of their American League Division Series baseball playoffs in New York October 9, 2010. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 Swish’s smiley reaction to his homer.

 

Minnesota Twins' Nick Punto (L) and Jim Thome look out from their dugout late in Game 3 against the New York Yankees in their MLB American League Divison Series baseball playoffs in New York October 9, 2010. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 Aww

The Heroes for this ALDS-Winning Victory are Phil Hughes, for proving that he can start in the postseason and for solidifying the Yankees 1-2-3 punch, and Marcus Thames for providing what was in essence the winning blow.

The Somebody Needs a Hug goes to….hmm…..I guess the Twins. They got swept…again. But I really shouldn’t be feeling bad for them, I mean the Yankees HAD to beat them. Forgive me for having a heart.

Okay the REAL Somebody Needs a Hug goes to Mick Kelleher. The poor guy was in the wrong place at the wrong time…in the 4th inning, on Robinson Cano’s infield single, the Twins threw the bald wildly…and it hit Mick…yeah…no guy wants this…

Minnesota Twins starting pitcher Brian Duensing stands on first base while New York Yankees first base coach Mick Kelleher lies on the ground after being hit by a ball in the fourth inning in game 3 of the ALDS at Yankee Stadium in New York City on October 9, 2010. UPI/John Angelillo Photo via Newscom

Ouch…

I leave you now with some HAPPY images of my Yankees celebrating with the bubbly after their win. 3 wins down, 8 wins to go.

New York Yankees' Alex Rodriguez (L) and team-mates celebrate in the dressing room after the Yankees swept the Minnesota Twins to win the MLB American League Division Series baseball playoffs in New York October 9, 2010. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL IMAGES OF THE DAY)

A-Rod gets double-teamed. Look all the way on the right…see that cutie with the goggles? CERVELLI!!! Hi sweetie!

 

New York Yankees' Curtis Granderson holds up a bottle of champagne as he and team-mates celebrate in the dressing room after the Yankees swept the Minnesota Twins to win the MLB American League Divison Series baseball playoffs in New York October 9, 2010. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

OMG Curtis! Look at him…such an innocent little boy. You are my MVP of the ALDS, with that .455 batting average. Keep up the good baseball, darling!

The next time the Yankees play is on Friday. That’s a long time…I’m going to miss them. I hope they rest up, but stay hot at the same time. From here on, it only gets harder. But I’m ready!

GO YANKEES!!!

“The Time Has Come To Test Thy Courage”

“The time has come to test thy courage,” said the Great Deku Tree to Link. Link, just a little boy, did what he had to do to try and save the Deku Tree in what is arguably the greatest video game ever made, “The Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time.” He may have been frightened, but he was in no place to worry. Link just put aside whatever worries he may have had, and walked right into the tree into a mess of enemies. He didn’t sit there for days worrying or trying to hypothesize what would happen – he just did what he had to do.

 

Oh, if ONLY I was more like Link…

In these few days before the Yankees and Twins go at it in the ALDS, I have been a mess. I’ve been trying to predict who will pitch well, who will hit well, who will WIN, everything. It’s driving me insane. I wish I could just sit back, relax, and let what happens happen. But I just CAN’T.

One thing my mind has been wrestling over the past few days has been the Yankee pitching. CC Sabathia is going up against Francisco Liriano in game 1. Then it’s Andy Pettitte for game 2, and Phil Hughes for game 3. The Yanks are going with the 3-man rotation like last season…or is it.

I’m going to be honest: I had WAY more confidence in the Yankee pitching last year. This year? Not so much…especially down the stretch. I’m just so worried about these three guys the Yankees are sending out there. Phil Hughes, on paper, has had a nice season, but he has been pretty darn bad in the second half. Andy Pettitte has had just three starts since his long DL stint. He was good in the first game, but the last two were hard to watch. Then there is CC…Oh, CC…C”Cy,”….my sweet Hefty-Lefty. CC has been the best pitcher in baseball since he joined the Yankees…why should I worry about him?

The New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia throws a pitch against the Minnesota Twins in the second inning of game 1 of the ALDS at Yankee Stadium in New York City on October 7, 2009. UPI/John Angelillo Photo via Newscom

BECAUSE HE’S BEEN SOOOO GOOD FOR SOOOO LONG THAT HE’S BOUND TO DO BADLY SOONER OR LATER!!!

And because the pressure is on him! Okay it was on him last year when he was the ace, but there is more pressure this year because EVERYONE ELSE SUCKS!!! Last year Burnett was a beast, and Pettitte was healthy and successful….This year is SO different and I really don’t like it.

Okay that’s a little unfair – everyone else doesn’t suck. I’m sorry guys…I’m just a little stressed out here…you know I didn’t mean that.

And who am I kidding? Pressure…CC Sabathia…Pshhh…yeah right. Hello! Earth to Virginia! You call him C”Cy” for a reason!

I’m not really worried about the offense…I’m more worried about Joe Girardi. He tends to do things his way…which backfires more often than one would think. He handles the bullpen well, but not so much the lineups. I saw that Austin Kearns is on the postseason roster…I can’t help but to worry if Girardi is going to utilize his lefty-pitcher-righty-hitters lineup, which would feature the strikeout king himself, Austin Kearns. I just wish Girardi will use his best players. I hope he listens to me. Just because the opposing team has a lefty pitcher doesn’t mean the Yankees had to send out subpar righties. It’s stupid.

New York Yankees pinch hitter Austin Kearns reacts as he is tagged out by Seattle Mariners catcher Adam Moore (C) after he dropped the third strike in the fourth inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York August 20, 2010. Umpire Greg Gibson (L) makes the out call. Kearns was pinch hitting for the injured Alex Rodriguez. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

Girardi, all I ask of you is to send out the Yankees best troops, no matter what the situation.

Well, tomorrow’s the big night. There is nothing I can do about it. I mustn’t worry, for what good will that do now? The performance of my Yankees is out of my control. I must accept this, and I must be brave.

-Deep breath, sigh-

Indeed, the time has come to test thy courage, MY courage, in this 2010 postseason.

GO YANKEES!!!

New Life

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…”

New York Yankees batter Jorge Posada follows through on his base hit off of Baltimore Orioles starting pitcher Jeremy Guthrie with the bases loaded in the first inning of their MLB American League baseball game in Baltimore, Maryland September 18, 2010. The hit scored two runs for the Yankees.   REUTERS/Joe Giza   (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

Jo-Po ♥

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.

                 New York Yankees batter Alex Rodriguez follows through on his three-run home run off of Baltimore Orioles relief pitcher Koji Uehara in the ninth inning of their American League baseball game in Baltimore, Maryland September 17, 2010.   REUTERS/Joe Giza   (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 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.

                       New York Yankees starting pitcher CC Sabathia (R) hugs catcher Jorge Posada in the dugout after Sabathia was taken out of the game after the seventh inning of their MLB American League baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles in Baltimore, Maryland September 18, 2010. Sabathia won his 20th game in the Yankees' win over the Orioles.  REUTERS/Joe Giza   (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

                              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.

GO YANKEES!!!!

The Power of Positivity

Yanks Lose Heartbreaker to O’s 4-3

I’m blogging from school, and I’m kind of upset. I’m not particularly upset that the Yankees lost to the Orioles. I’m just upset that they lost. The Orioles are as hot a team as anybody lately. I think I jinxed the Yankees and their winning streak, because since I mentioned it, they have lost 2 in a row. And that bothers me. But I must try to remain positive. The season has less than a month left, and we are still in first. It’s just hard to accept a loss when the team shouldn’t have lost. I’m not taking anything away from the Orioles, but I think Joe Girardi let this game get away from my Yanks.

Pitching Analysis: A.J. Burnett toed the rubber for the Yanks yesterday in search of another solid outing. In all honesty, I expected to see the Bad A.J. yesterday. But he wasn’t that bad…in fact, he was pretty solid. 7 innings, 4 runs, 7 hits, that’s not too bad at all. What I liked about A.J. yesterday was that he didn’t let the game get away from him. He prevented the Oriole offense from exploding, allowing just 1 run at a time. But this proved to be fatal for A.J….and once again, I just don’t understand Joe Girardi.

Let’s flashback to Friday’s game: Ivan Nova, the cute new rookie sensation, was pitching an okay game. He wasn’t that great. But in the 5th inning, just 1 out away from a win, Girardi gave Nova the hook. The Yankees went on to win the game.

Then on Sunday, it was Javier Vazquez. He was scuffling along. And in the 5th inning, Girardi took him out, and he didn’t get the win. But that was okay, because the team did.

Fast-forward again to yesterday’s game: A.J. Burnett has been struggling, and finally he was having himself a solid start. But he kept letting the lead slip away. In the bottom of the 6th, the Yankees had just tied up the game at 3. A.J. started off the 7th by walking the leadoff man.

      Yankee pitcher A.J. Burnett heads back to the dugout after another mediocre start.

                        Aw, A.J….don’t be so down….turn that frown upside down :)

Okay, hold on. Isn’t that right there enough of a RED FLAG to make Girardi make the hook? I don’t get it. He didn’t. And the inning got away from A.J. He wound up allowing that fatal 4th run, when that didn’t have to be. Girardi wanted to end Nova’s outing on a positive note, so he took him out before things got out of hand. Same with Javy. He didn’t let him lose.

Why, then, would he leave A.J., whose confidence is as unstable as anything, in the game? ESPECIALLY after he walked the leadoff man?

I don’t know. It’s just another Joe Girardi blunder.

Offensive Analysis: I have to give credit to that cutie southpaw Mr. Brian Matusz on the Orioles. He really pitched a good game. The Yankees barely could make a scratch in his armor. He was rock solid.

Alex Rodriguez made history with his solo homer in the 4th, becoming the only player in the history of the game to have 100 RBI in 14 seasons in a row. My oh my.

      Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees connects for a homer against the Orioles on Monday. 

                                                   Nice to have you back ;)

A-Rod had another RBI in the 6th with a sac fly, and Robbie Cano drove in a run. But that was it. Offensively, it was a pretty boring game.  

I’m annoyed that the Yankees couldn’t find a way to win. Thankfully, the Red Sox beat up on the Rays, so the Rays didn’t gain any ground. With the Red Sox sitting so far behind in the standings, I can actually root for them when they play the Rays! Thank you, Red Sox.

The Somebody Needs a Hug goes to….of course, A.J. Burnett. A.J., I’m proud of you even though you lost. You didn’t unravel. That’s a good sign, and something to build on. I just wish Joe Girardi took you out. Now you feel like the loss is your fault, but it’s not. You should be positive. I will, too.

It can get you a long way.

“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.”

A Fun Night to be a Yankee Fan

Offense Explodes in Stress-Free Yankees Win

After a stressful 3-2 win in game 1 and a miserable 4-1 loss in game 2, I was ready for an easy game 3 against the Indians. My wish was granted, as the Yankees beat the Indians 8-0 last night in a relatively stress-free ballgame.

Pitching Analysis: A.J. Burnett was sharp once again last night. He made it look as easy as pie, minus the pie. He’s saving that for the home games. He was so good, that I can’t remember when he got into any jams. Did he? Nothing major. A.J. went 6.1 innings and didn’t allow a run. He struckout 7, and lowered his ERA to a respectable 4.52. He looked cranky and mean, but the good kind of cranky and mean. Not the “I’m so mad that I suck so I’m going to punch a door and injure my hand” kind of mean. He had more of the “Here comes the pitch, here it is, hit it!” type of mean last night, which means that he was feeling good. And it showed on the mound last night as he earned himself his 9th win of the year.

                               New York Yankees A.J. Burnett pitches during the seventh inning of the MLB American League baseball game against the Cleveland Indians in Cleveland, Ohio July 28, 2010. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

                                      That face means A.J. is on top of his game.

Even the bullpen did well last night. This game had very little stress involved. And even though the Yankees had a huge lead, I couldn’t help but to be nervous when Joba Chamberlain came in to finish the 7th. But he actually did alright despite his balk. And Sergio Mitre, who will not be starting tonight, closed out the last 2 innings, allowing 1 hit and 1 walk, and striking out 3 along the way.

Defensive Analysis: Solid defense and a few great plays was the defensive recipe for success last night. On MLB Network’s “Quick Pitch,” they even showed some of the Yankee great plays from last night. Why am I mentioning this? Because it seems like that channel avoids the Yankees. On the Premier Plays segment, they featured 2 Yankees plays in a row. One was by A.J. Burnett, and the other was a beautiful sliding catch by Nick Swisher.

              New York Yankees' Nick Swisher makes a sliding catch on a ball hit by Cleveland's Asdrubal Cabrera in the fifth inning of a baseball game at Progressive Field in Cleveland on July 28, 2010. UPI/David Richard Photo via Newscom

                                             Is there anything this guy can’t do?

Offensive Analysis: 8 runs, 13 hits, no home runs by Alex, but whatever. He wasn’t too thrilled that he didn’t get the big fly. In fact, he was quite disgusted.

                      New York Yankees Alex Rodriguez reacts after grounding out during the second inning of the Yankees MLB American League baseball game against the Cleveland Indians in Cleveland, Ohio July 28, 2010. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

                                  LOLOLOLOLOL!!! A-Rod’s cranky face is hilarious!

But A-Rod did enough last night to keep fans loving him. He went 2-5 with an RBI. In the 6th, he sent me into uncontrollable laughter. He led off the inning with a double, and on the slide into 2nd, there was a little malfunction on the diamond:

                                New York Yankees Alex Rodriguez rolls over holding onto second base after sliding in for a double during the sixth inning of the Yankees MLB American League baseball game against the Cleveland Indians in Cleveland, Ohio July 28, 2010. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 

              Alex Rodriguez slides safely into second base in Cleveland after hitting a double Wednesday night. The Yankees thrid baseman goes 2-for-5 but fails to hit home run No. 600.

 LOL! His face is priceless!

Oh, A-Rod…you are something else ♥

There was so much offense last night and so many Yankees contributed.

-Swish had an RBI single.

-Tex had a 2-run single and a double.

-A-Rod had that funny double and an RBI single.

-Cano had a double and a home run.

-Posada had a single.

-Granderson had a single and an RBI triple.

-Gardner had an RBI single and an RBI double.

-Cervelli had a single. The moment in this game that was the most stressful was when Cervelli was hit by a pitch in the elbow. Oh, how he screamed. Oh how I screamed! Poor Cervelli…he doesn’t wear an elbow guard, so that must have hurt his sweet little elbow so much. He actually screamed before it hit him. Actually, I think it hurt me more than it hurt him. He was his smiley old self again right away :)

   New York Yankees Francisco Cervelli (L) celebrates with Brett Gardner (R) after they both scored on RBI single by Mark Teixeira during the second inning of the Yankees MLB American League baseball game against the Cleveland Indians in Cleveland, Ohio July 28, 2010. REUTERS/Aaron Josefczyk (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

     Cervelli-welli-jelli-belli and Brettiboo Gardner. Can these two possibly get any cuter?

The only one who wasn’t invited to the hit party last night was the Captain. Poor Derek….Jeet was 0-5 last night and I’m sure he wasn’t too happy about that.

                         July 28, 2010 - Cleveland, OHIO, UNITED STATES - epa02264758 Derek Jeter of the New York Yankees grounds out in the first inning against the Cleveland Indians in their game at Progressive Field in Cleveland, Ohio, USA, 28 July 2010.

             Uh-oh…that looks like an A.J. Burnett cranky-face….and NOT the good kind!

Relax, Derek. Don’t do anything silly. No need to be cranky.

Last night and it’s 8-0 Yankee win was a fun night to be a Yankee fan for sure. Dominant pitching, solid defense, explosive offense, and a few laughs – what could be better?

After tonight’s game, the Yankees head to Tampa for a crucial 3-game set with those pesky Rays. I hope those are fun games, too!

GO YANKEES!

Starting the 2nd Half

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

                                                                    :(

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Tears and Cheers

Emotional Night Ends Right

From the pregame ceremonies to the pie, last night was an emotional rollercoaster for everyone who watched. It was a Drama Club victory, and a game that will no-doubt be a Yankee Classic. I’m just so happy that the Yankees came out on top. It was a game they had to win.

Before the game, the lives of Bob Sheppard and George Steinbrenner where remembered. The crowd was silent, giving the two iconic men all their respect. Mariano Rivera placed two roses on top of home plate, one for Bob and one for the Boss.

July 16, 2010 - Bronx, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - epa02250817 The Yankees' Mariano Rivera lays two roses on home plate during a tribute to late Yankee's owner George Steinbrenner and long time announcer Bob Sheppard before the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York, USA, on 16 July 2010. Steinbrenner died early this week from a heart attack.

 Later on in the ceremony, Derek Jeter made a short-but-sweet speech honoring Bob and George. He requested a moment of silence, and silenced the Stadium went.

            July 16, 2010 - Bronx, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - epa02250816 The Yankees' Derek Jeter speaks during a tribute to late Yankee's owner George Steinbrenner, and long time announcer Bob Sheppard, before the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York, USA, on 16 July 2010. Steinbrenner died early this week from a heart attack.

I’m sure the Yankees could have spent hours talking about Steinbrenner and Sheppard, but there was a baseball game to play. As a tribute to Bob Sheppard, the public address announcer did not announce. There were no player intros. The crowd seemed confused at the beginning of the game, not knowing whether to behave as if they were at a memorial, or a ballgame.

CC Sabathia struggled last night. He lacked command, and had to grind out each inning. By the 3rd, it was 2-0 Rays. The Yankees got a run back in the bottom of the 3rd. Nick Swisher’s RBI single scored Brett Gardner. That made it 2-1. 

July 16, 2010 - Bronx, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - epa02250902 The Yankees' C.C. Sabathia pitches during the second inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York, USA, on 16 July 2010.

Sabathia got into a serious jam in the 5th, having loaded the bases with none out. Sabathia managed to minimize the damage by getting Evan Longoria to ground into a 5-4-3 double play. He allowed just 1 run that inning, but the Rays still had the lead at 3-1.

The Yankees still trailed 3-1 in the 6th inning. After 2 quick outs, I didn’t expect any runs that inning. But Robinson Cano had other ideas. Robbie hit a 2-out solo home run to get the Yankees back into the game. It was the first time all night the crowd really started cheering.

New York Yankees Robinson Cano runs the bases after hitting a solo homer in the sixth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium in New York City on July 16, 2010. The New York Yankees defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 5-4.   UPI/John Angelillo Photo via Newscom

After Cano, Jorge Posada took his turn at bat. He got ahead in the count 3-0. Joe Girardi made a bold move, and gave Jorge the green light. And it paid off. Jorge hit an absolute bomb for a solo home run, back to back with Robbie. More importantly, the game was tied at 3. The Yankees were fighting. I knew there was no way they were going to lose this game.

July 16, 2010 - Bronx, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - epa02250918 The Yankee's Jorge Posada (R) hits a home run during the sixth inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York, USA, on 16 July 2010.

CC Sabathia got into another bases loaded none out jam in the 7th, and gave the Rays right back a run on a Ben Zobrist ground out. Although he was able to once again minimize the damage, I feared that it would be a momentum killer for the Yankees. The Rays led 4-3.

David Robertson relieved CC in the 8th, and I cringed when I saw it was he who Girardi put in. To my surprise, Robertson looked like he did last year. He was superb. Robertson threw a 1-2-3 inning, and struckout all three Rays batters.

In the bottom of the 8th, Nick Swisher showed that the Yankees weren’t ever going to give up. The Boss loved to win, and he would do anything to win. Swisher embraced this philosophy. Swish belted a ball into the 2nd deck, for yet another game-tying home run. After crossing the plate, Swisher kissed the George Steinbrenner patch on his uniform.

With a tie game, the Yanks handed the ball to the Great Mariano for the 9th. He allowed a cheap leadoff single to BJ Upton, but quickly erased it. I don’t remember the last time I’ve seen it: Mariano picked off Upton at first base. He was out by a mile. Upton was infuriated, and began spewing expletives all over the place. Leave it to Upton to have no class. He’s the polar opposite of the New York Yankees.

Mariano got out of the 9th with no problem. The only question now was: Who wants pie?

Curtis Granderson had a great at-bat and got on base with a leadoff single through the hole on the right side of the infield. Ramiro Pena laid down a perfect sac bunt, moving the GrandyMan to 2nd base with 1 out. Brett Gardner’s at-bat was even more suspensful. He quickly fell behind in the count 0-2, but that didn’t worry him. Brett was cool, calm, and collected 3 balls making the count full. After what seemed to be an eternity, Gardner drew a walk. That brought up Jeter.

The captain was extremely fond of both Bob Sheppard and George Steinbrenner, so it seemed fitting for him to get the walkoff. Jeter made a valient effort, but could not get the job done. He struckout for the 2nd out, and left it up to Nick Swisher.

I would have loved to see Jeter win the game, but if he couldn’t do it, I wouldn’t want anybody up at the plate but Nick Swisher. He always puts up a great at-bat, and has been so clutch for the Yankees this season.

Nick Swisher delivered once again. He ripped a single into right field, and Granderson was safe at the play at the plate. The team had to wait until they knew for sure Granderson was safe before charging out of the dugout. Then, the customary walkoff chaos began.

July 16, 2010 - Bronx, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - epa02250952 The Yankees' Nick Swisher hits a game winning walk off single which allowed teammate Curtis Granderson to score in the ninth inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York, USA, on 16 July 2010. The Yankees won 5-4.

  

July 16, 2010 - Bronx, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - epa02250951 The Yankees' Curtis Granderson (L) scores past the Rays' Kelly Shoppach (R) on a game winning walk off single by teammate Nick Swisher in the ninth inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York, USA, on 16 July 2010. The Yankees won 5-4.

 

July 16, 2010 - Bronx, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - epa02250947 The Yankees' Nick Swisher (R) celebrates hitting a game winning single with teammates Brett Gardener (2nd L) and Robinson Cano (L) after the ninth the inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York, USA, on 16 July 2010. The Yankees won 5-4.

New York Yankees Nick Swisher reacts with his teammates after driving in the game winning run with a single in the ninth inning against the Tampa Bay Rays at Yankee Stadium in New York City on July 16, 2010. The New York Yankees defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 5-4.   UPI/John Angelillo Photo via Newscom

 

And then, like he had done 19 times before, A.J. Burnett emerged stealthily from the dugout, and pied Nick Swisher.

July 16, 2010 - Bronx, NEW YORK, UNITED STATES - epa02250949 The Yankees' Nick Swisher celebrates after hitting a game winning walk off single in the ninth inning of the game between the Tampa Bay Rays and the New York Yankees at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx, New York, USA, on 16 July 2010. The Yankees won 5-4. As part of a team tradition, Swisher had a shaving cream 'pie' put in his face for winning the game with a walk off hit.

 Sweet victory.

This was a game that the Yankees absolutely had to win. They have been through so much this past week. It’s victories like this that bring the team closer. All the Yankees are the heroes for this 5-4 thrilling victory, but #1 is Nick Swisher.

The Yankees now have a 3 game lead over the pesky Rays. The Red Sox lost once again and are 6.5 games back. Things are looking mighty fine for the Yankees right now. But as George would have wanted, the Yankees have to take things 1 day at a time. There is still a lot of baseball left to play.

Bob Sheppard and George Steinbrenner, I hope this victory tastes as good to you as it did for the Yankees (and Swisher). May you rest in peace ♥ 

Heating Up

Sweep of the A’s Complete!

I was going to post earlier, but I had a more important obligation. Don’t gasp yet – I know what you are thinking: “What could be more important than blogging about a Yankee win?” The answer?

Sending Swish.

Nick Swisher was depending on us to vote for him for the All-Star Game. Since voting ended today at 4, I decided to devote my day to him. So I did. And I got a headache from staring at the screen so long. But you know what? I just had to suck it up. Because a little discomfort for me is worth a smile from Swish. Nick, I hope you won sweetie ♥

Staying up late was worth it for this series. Anytime the Yankees win, no matter what time I go to bed, I’m not cranky. Thank you Yankees for my good mood! CC Sabathia and A-Rod were responsible for our 6-1 win in game 2. Last night’s finale had a similar recipe. The Yanks won it 6-2.

Pitching Analysis: It was A.J. Burnett’s turn last night, and I was hoping that his previous start was not a fluke. It was his first good one in over a month. Last night, A.J. comforted me, saying, “Don’t worry, Virginia. I’ll be good for you.” And he did. He’s heating up again. 

      New York Yankees starting pitcher A.J. Burnett throws a pitch against the Oakland Athletics during the first inning of their MLB American League baseball game in Oakland, California July 7, 2010. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

Thatta boy, A.J. ;)

In 7 innings, A.J. allowed just 2 runs on 5 hits. His ERA is back to respectibility at 4.75, and his record is even at 7. I think it is safe to say that the A.J. Burnett we all love – the good one with the mean…intimidating face – is back :)

The bullpen did well last night. Marte pitched a scoreless 8th, and Joba threw a scoreless 9th. If only he can be automatic like Mo every day….

Defensive Anaysis: There was good defense, bad defense, and something that I don’t think is worthy of being called defense last night. We’ll call it ugly. Yankee Defense: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly. GOD I HATE THAT MOVIE.

Which one is “The Ugly?” The are all grotesque.

Anyway: The good defense came in the first inning, on the first play of the game. Coco Crisp hit a liner to centerfield, and Brett Gardner snared it, doing a dive/slide, for the first out. Good Job, Brett!

The bad was A.J. Burnett. He attempted a pickoff, and threw the ball wildly. He is just the WORST at holding on runners. He had the right idea, but failed to execute the play.

The ugly – Oh, the ugly! I can’t believe I’m using the words “Alex Rodriguez” and “ugly” in the same sentence! Last night, A-Rod made a fool of himself. In the 7th, he chased down a foul pop-up, and had to run a long way to get there. I think he ran a little too much. Alex OVERRAN the ball, tried to recover, but it was too late: before he knew it, Alex was on the ground, with the ball trickling away. It was the most epic fail I have seen since another popup fail…

Priceless…

Of course, Jeter and the rest of the guys really let him have it. But A-Rod was a good sport about it. After all, it was hilarious.

Offensive Analysis: The Yankees had a lot of chances early to get to Gio Gonzalez, but they failed to take advanage ot them. Finally, in the 4th, they broke through. My little cutie Ramiro Pena, AKA Jamal, hit an RBI single to tie the game at 1.

                     July 07, 2010 - Oakland, CALIFORNIA, UNITED STATES - epa02240698 New York Yankees Ramiro Pena connects with an RBI single off a pitch by Oakland Athletics pitcher Gio Gonzalez during the fourth inning at the Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum in Oakland, California, USA, 07 July 2010.

 

 Dev Patel and Ramiro Pena! TWINS!

Then Derek Jeter hit an RBi single to give the Yankees a 2-1 lead! Later that same inning, Mark Teixeira delivered – big fly style. He hit a 3-run homer to break the game open! 5-1 Yankees! He is really starting to heat up.   

             New York Yankees' Mark Teixeira hits a three-run home run against the Oakland Athletics during the fourth inning of their MLB American League baseball game in Oakland, California July 7, 2010. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 MAAAAARK I LOVE YOU!!!!!!

Nick Swisher really campaigned well for himself last night. He had a single, a double, a walk, and in the 6th, gave another reason why he’s All-Star worthy: He hit an opposite field solo home run! 6-1 YANKEES! Swish, you are too cute ;)

     New York Yankees Nick Swisher (R) is congratulated by teammate Mark Teixeira after Swisher hit a solo home run against the Oakland Athletics during the sixth inning of their MLB American League baseball game in Oakland, California July 7, 2010. REUTERS/Robert Galbraith (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 You have my votes!

The heroes for this comforting victory are A.J, Burnett, Mark Teixeira, and Nick Swisher, for giving it their all and getting some serious results. In a perfect world, all three of you would be All-Stars. For now, let us pray for Swisher.

The Yankees have won 5 games in a row. They have a 2 game lead in the AL East, and they have the best record in baseball at 53-31. Sure, my Yankees are good, but doesn’t it seem like they haven’t really clicked yet?

I think the boys are just starting to heat up. This is gonna be fun…

GO YANKEES!!! 

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