Results tagged ‘ Alex Rodriguez ’

Reverse Psychology FOR THE WIN!

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.

         New York Yankees starting pitcher Freddy Garcia cruises through the Texas Rangers' powerful lineup Saturday afternoon to earn first win in pinstripes.

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 ;)

       Eric Chavez, filling in for Alex Rodriguez, drives in Mark Teixeira in the eighth inning for the go-ahead run in a 6-5 win over the Texas Rangers Sunday night at Yankee Stadium.

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.

GO YANKS!

Okay, Maybe I Spoke Too Soon…

Bullpen Fails in Heartbreaking 5-4 Loss

….or maybe JOE GIRARDI IS A MORON!!!

-Control yourself-

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.

                                      0406jones.jpg

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.

        Russell Martin (r.) approaches Rafael Soriano during an 8th inning jam. David Robertson replaces Soriano but surrenders a 3-run double to Delmon Young, which falls in front of Nick Swisher.

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.

NO NEED!

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…

  

Jobianamo

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 2011.jpg 
soriano 2011.jpg 
mo 2011.jpg

 

Joba, Soriano, Mo.

Jobianamo.

7th, 8th, 9th.

Yankees win.

It’s Gonna Be a Good Season…

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.

“How’s CC?”

“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!!!!”

              Yankees center fielder Curtis Granderson breaks a 3-3 tie in the seventh inning with a blast to center off former Yankee Phil Coke.

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!

               Mark Teixeira and the Yankees celebrate his 3-run homer in support of A.J. Burnett (below).

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.

    

New Spring Styles

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

sabathia-yogi.jpg
 

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.

thin cc.jpg
 

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

brewers.jpg 
sergio mitre sexy.jpg
 

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.

Chris-Dickerson.jpg 
yankees batting practice.jpg
 

And of course, Dickerson will look better in a Yankee uniform.

- Joba Chamberlain’s New Hairstyle


longhaired joba.jpg
 

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!

hughes hair.jpg

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


Mo's high socks!.jpg
 

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

                           a-rod's stuffed face.jpg

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.

alex's seeds.jpg

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!

GO YANKS!

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!!!

…And It’s Only Just the Beginning!

Yanks Up 2 Games to None in Intentisy-Packed ALDS

I’m going to be honest: I didn’t expect my Yankees to be up 2 games to none after the first two games against the Twins at Target Field, for a number of reasons: 1) The Twins had the best record at home, even better than my Yanks. 2) The Yankees had to face a tough lefty in Francisco Liriano in game 1, after losing their last 9 games against lefty starters. 3) I didn’t know what the Yankee starters would give, since CC was on extra rest and Andy had iffy starts after his injury. Add all that together, as well as adding the fact that the Yankees were horrible down the stretch, and the thought of elimination in the first round wasn’t too crazy. But after these first two games, I am confident in my Yankees’s ability to move on to the next round. They have proven to me that te regular season did not matter: the postseason is a brand new season, and they are going to make the most of it – just like last year.

I was worried in game 1, because CC Sabathia was not sharp, and the Yankee offense struggled mightily against Francisco Liriano – up until the 6th inning, that is.  Down 3-0, with 1 out, Mark Teixeira doubled and Alex Rodriguez walked. Robinson Cano drove in Teixeira with an RBI single, and FINALLY, my Yankees were on the board. My family and I were starting to get excited.

Then it was Jorge Posada’s turn, and he delivered with an RBI single to score A-Rod, which made it 3-2. Out of her excitement, my Grandma, once again butchered a Yankee’s name. After Jorge singled, she yelled. “OOH NOW IT’S 3-2!!!! A SINGLE!!! A-ROD SCORED!!! OOH SAPADO!!!!”

You can guess what happened next.

My entire family broke into hysterics, and so did Grandma, once she realized we were laughing at her. She did her typical laugh: hands over heart, hysterical, laughing so hard we couldn’t even hear her. It was that silent laughter, the kind that happens when something is just SO funny. Through the laughs, she said, “Ooh POSADA!!!!” Yes, Grandma…POSADA…not SAPODO. He’s been on the team for how long now? But that doesn’t matter…she butchers everyone’s name. For more info, check out this post dedicated to my Grandma and her…interesting names for the Yankees: http://southernbelle.mlblogs.com/archives/2010/08/grandma-makes-me-laugh.html

New York Yankees' Jorge Posada hits an RBI single in front of Minnesota Twins catcher Joe Mauer in the sixth inning during Game 1 of their MLB American League Divison Series baseball playoffs in Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 6, 2010. REUTERS/Andy King (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

LOL, good job Sapodo!!!

Anyway, the Yankees had inched closer, and everyone now believed they could win.

My sweet Curtis Granderson delivered witn a clutch 2-run triple to give the Yanks a 4-3 lead. It was so clutch, I screamed for like an hour. My throat still kind of hurts.

New York Yankees' Curtis Granderson hits a two RBI triple on the Minnesota Twins during the sixth inning of Game 1 of their MLB American League Divison Series baseball playoffs in Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 6, 2010. REUTERS/Andy King (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

CURTIS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ♥♥♥

After taking the lead in te 6th, my Yankees never looked back. Actually that’s not true: CC Sabathia walked in a run in the 6th, tying up the game at 4. But no biggy: Mark Teixeira added the final blow with his 2-run homer in the 6th, making it a 6-4 Yankee lead. The bullpen closed it out, and my Yanks came back to win the first game of this ALDS 6-4.

New York Yankees' Mark Teixeira hits a two-run home run against the Minnesota Twins during the seventh inning of Game 1 of their MLB American League Divison Series baseball playoffs in Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 6, 2010. REUTERS/Andy King (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

MAAAARK TEX!!!!!!!!!

Game 1 was so stressful. After the game I was so exhausted. I said to Grandma, “Thank GOD we won.”

She said, “Yeah. But it’s only the first game!”

True. If game 1 of the ALDS was so intense, what would the rest of the postseason be like? It was only just the beginning!

I was stressed out before game 2, because I had no idea what Andy Pettitte would do. My Dad said, “Don’t worry about Andy…He’s ANDY. He’ll give it his all and pitch a hell of a game just like he always does.”

New York Yankees starter Andy Pettitte pitches to the Minnesota Twins during the first inning of Game 2 of their MLB American League Divison Series baseball playoffs in Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 7, 2010. REUTERS/Andy King (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

Aw, Andy….you are such a cutie ♥

Well, Daddy was right, just like always. Andy did pitch a gem: 7 innings of 2-run ball, and just 88 pitches. And he received offensive support from his buddy Lance Berkman. I was hoping that Lance would do big things in the postseason, since Andy cracked him up to be a postseason clutch machine. He did. Game 2 was Lance’s Yankee moment. He drove in 2 of their 5 runs, with a monster opposite-field home run, and an RBI double the other way. Thank you, Lance!

New York Yankees' Lance Berkman hits a solo homerun against the Minnesota Twins during the fifth inning of Game 2 of their MLB American League Divison Series baseball playoffs in Minneapolis, Minnesota, October 7, 2010. REUTERS/Andy King (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 FAT ELVIS HAS LEFT THE YARD!!!! Damn…he looks kinda sexy with high socks…♥

The Heroes for these ALDS Victories are my cutie-Curtis Granderson, for his extreme clutchness, Lance Berkman, for the same reason, and Andy Pettitte, for doing what he always does. Now the Yankees head back home to the Bronx, where they look for some of that good old Yankee Stadium Magic to spark them to another victory.

The Somebody Needs a Hug goes to…..the Twins! I want them to lose, don’t get me wrong, but I kind of pity them. They ALWAYS lose to the Yankees…it must be haunting their minds. Oh well…it’s really not my problem. And let’s be fair: It really ain’t over till it’s over.

Remember…it’s only just the beginning.

GO YANKEES!!!

We’re In!

Yanks are Officially in the Playoffs!!!

The Yankees were playing so badly that I thought they were on the verge of a catastrophic collapse. It was sickening…embarrassing…the team was dead. I remember them being 2 wins away – so close I could almost taste it – and yet I felt those 2 wins might have well been 200, because I didn’t think there was any way they could win the way they were playing. But that’s all over now. With just 3 games left to play, the Yankees are tied for first with those pesky Rays in the AL East. Homefield advantage would be nice, but I don’t really care about it as much as I did a few days ago. I’m just THRILLED that the Yankees are in the postseason! I think that if they win the ALDS, then they are going all the way. But I’m getting ahead of myself: I want to talk about how we clinched!

September 26, 2010. Yankees vs. Red Sox. A game I surely thought the Yankees would lose, especially because they were losing 1-0 in the 7th inning, having shown zero signs of life with the bat. But all that changed with 1 swing of the bat by The Drama King himself, Mr. Alex Rodriguez. His 2-run homer in the 7th gave the Yankees a new life, and their first lead of the night. They were ahead 2-1.

New York Yankees Alex Rodriguez hits a solo homer in the ninth inning against the Boston Red Sox at Yankee Stadium in New York City on September 25, 2010. The Red Sox defeated the Yankees 7-3.  UPI/John Angelillo Photo via Newscom

Just like last year, Alex is arguably the most important player for the Yanks.

I thought that would be enough for them to win…but Mariano Rivera was icky – VERY icky – in the 9th, allowing 2 runs and letting the Yankee lead slip away. 3-2 Red Sox. But in the bottom of the 9th, Robbie Cano singled sharply with the bases loaded, tying the game. For the first time in ages, the Yankees were showing fight. They weren’t done yet.

In the 10th, Curtis Granderson led off with a single and Brett Gardner laid down the perfect bunt for a single. For some reason, which still seems mindless to me, the Red Sox intentionally walked Derek Jeter, to LOAD THE BASES WITH NO ONE OUT. Why on earth would anyone do that? ESPECIALLY when the other team can get a walkoff? I don’t know.

Patience proved to be a virtue for my Yanks and Juan Miranda. His patience at the plate and great at-bat resulted in a walk – a WALKOFF WALK, and the Yankees won 4-3. Sadly, I didn’t see any pies fly. But that’s okay…I was just glad to see them win!

New York Yankees batter Juan Miranda tosses his bat after drawing a bases loaded walk to beat the Boston Red Sox in the tenth inning of their MLB American League baseball game at Yankee Stadium in New York September 26, 2010. REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

Thank you, Juan!!!

The Heroes for this Victory which brought the Yankees magic number down to 1 were Phil Hughes, for his starting effort, A-Rod, for that super-clutch homer, and Juan Miranda for the walkoff.

The clincher came on September 28 against the Blue Jays, and the Yankees couldn’t have had a better guy on the mound for a game of this importance. CC Sabathia was fabulous, throwing over 8 innings of 1-run ball.

CC was his usual C”Cy” self, but what impressed me most about this win was the offense: the Yankees built every one of their runs. A-Rod, Teixeira, and Cano had sac flies. A-Rod also had a bases loaded walk. Greg Golson had an RBI groundout. There were no home runs. Everything was built, and that’s good. In the postseason, the Yankees are going to have to be able to score like that if they want to win. And they do want to win. So they’ll have to.

The Yankees won this game 6-1, and had a little fun with the bubbly. Watching my boys run around pouring ice cold champagne on each other’s heads is enough to make me smile any day.

New York Yankees Derek Jeter is showered with beer in the clubhouse after beating the Toronto Blue Jays in their American League MLB baseball game in Toronto September 28, 2010. The win secured them a wildcard berth in the playoffs. REUTERS/Fred Thornhill (CANADA - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

The Captain gets a taste.

 

New York Yankees Curtis Granderson celebrates in the clubhouse after beating the Toronto Blue Jays in their American League MLB baseball game in Toronto September 28, 2010. The win secured them a wild card berth in the playoffs.  REUTERS/Fred Thornhill (CANADA - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 My Cutie-Curtis Granderson gets his first ever taste of postseason parties.

 

New York Yankees celebrate in the clubhouse after beating the Toronto Blue Jays in their American League MLB baseball game in Toronto September 28, 2010. The win secured them a wildcard berth in the playoffs.  REUTERS/Fred Thornhill (CANADA - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 A bunch of my goofy boys ♥

I can’t decide how I think the Yankees will do in the postseason this year. Do I think they are as good as last year? I don’t know. There were a few bad stretches last year, and I guess I didn’t notice as much because the struggles weren’t right before the season’s end. This year’s struggles arrived at a more nerve-racking time.

Even so, I don’t think anyone, even myself, has the right to or should predict the Yankees postseason success. The postseason is a whole different animal. I enjoy it. But it also makes me a wreck – even when they win. I can’t take the pressure.

With that said, I’m going to enjoy these final three games of the regular season in 2010.

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!!!!

Swishy Saves the Day Once Again

Yanks Avoid Sweep and Win in Walkoff Fashion

I always liked the Orioles. I always felt that they had some of the cutset players in the league, such as Brian Roberts, Nick Markakis, Luke Scott, and my new favorite Brian Matusz. And when they started playing better, I thought they were even cuter. But they weren’t too cute when they were beating my Yankees. A Yankees loss yesterday would have been devastating, especially since the Yankees haven’t lost 4 in a row yet this year. And looking ahead to the series against the Rangers, I didn’t have good thoughts: I was thinking the Yankees would be swept. Javy Vazquez would pitch game 1, A.J. Burnett game 2. And Moseley, who has been pretty okay, would go up against Cliff Lee in game 3…which hisn’t fair. So if the Yankees lost that finale, that would have made it a 4 game slide…and my calculations of them being swept in Texas would mean a 7 games slide. I don’t want my Yankees to lose like the Padres. The Orioles finale was crucial..a loss in that game would have been heartbreaking….but it wasn’t meant to be.

I stayed home from school yesterday – and it was all because of my Yankees. My grade was going on some kayaking and hiking trip so we could “bond as a senior class.” LOL. We’ve been together for 13 years…if we haven’t “bonded” by now, we never will. When I realized that the game on the day of the trip was a day game, a lightbulb went off: “Hmm…we aren’t going to do any work in school…and the Yankees play in the day…what’s the harm in skipping that day?”

The best part was, my parents didn’t even object.

I let my Fan-dom take over yesterday. I skipped for my Yankees. It was crucial that they won.

Ivan Nova started for the Yanks, and boy he was good….he’s really something. He made just 1 mistake…and I thought it was going to cost him. With a 3-0 count, Nova laid a cookie right over the plate for Matt Wieters, who didn’t miss it. That 2-run homer changed the whole complexion of the game, and gave the O’s a 2-1 lead.

For some reason, Brad Bergesen was unhittable yesterday…6.1 innings, 4 hits, and 1 run, courtesy of a Brett Gardner RBI double. He deserves some credit. But also, the Yankee bats were pretty dead yesterday. The at-bats were disgusting. The game was a little boring, and honestly, I was frustrated. I was beginning to wonder if I skipped school for no reason.

At least the pitching was good. Nova made just that one mistake, but otherwise he was splendid. David Robertson, Boone Logan, and Joba Chamberlain were lights-out. The fact that they were pitching so well gave me a teeny bit of hope that maybe, just maybe, the Yankees would come back.

In the 9th, A-Rod singled. Tying run on base…

With 1 out, it was Swisher’s turn. He got ahead in the count, just like he always did, and he got a good pitch to hit. And much like Matt Wieters, he was ready for it. Swish put a good swing on it, and drove it deep to left field. Deep….AND GONE! Nick Swisher has 1/2 of the Yankees’s walkoffs this year. That home run changed everything. Watching him round the bases almost brought tears to my eyes. He was limping…his knee still hurts from the other day. He’s so tough, and such a great guy. As usual, Nick Swisher proudly received his pie in the face. He’s enjoying every minute in pinstripes.

                            New York Yankees vs Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium  September 8, 2010

                           New York Yankees vs Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium  September 8, 2010

Nick, I’m enjoying every minute with you. I hope you will be a career Yankee…because I’d hate to see you on any other team.

  New York Yankees vs Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium  September 8, 2010

Thank you, Nick Swisher, for this Drama Club win. Hopefully, this is the start of another long winning streak.

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