Results tagged ‘ Curtis Granderson ’

First-Half Heroes

As I predicted, the Yankees did win the series in Citi against the Mets, though the final game left a bad taste in my mouth. Last night’s opener against the Indians was hard to swallow as well. So instead of recapping those select games, I want to look at the first half of the season in general, shouting out to the ones who are mostly responsible for where the Yankees are now.

These are the top 5 guys who I’ve singled out as the First-Half Heroes, and it was very hard to pick just 5 of them:

#5 Bartolo Colon

I’ve said it a million times, but I’ll just say it again: when I heard the Yankees signed Colon, I was extremely doubtful. I thought he was just some big fat has-been who would get injured right away, or would just flat-out suck. Bartolo Colon has truly been a blessing for the Yankees. He is 6-3 with a sparkling 2.88 ERA. He did spend a short stint on the DL with an injured hammy, but as promised, he didn’t need to stay on the DL longer. He made it back as fast as he could, and it didn’t even seem like he missed a beat at all. His first start off the DL, Saturday against the Mets, was as good a game as he’s pitched all year long: 6 innings of shutout baseball, and just 80 pitches. I’m hoping Colon can continue to carry the Yankees in the next half.

#4 Freddy Garcia

Like Colon, I was a little unsure when the Yankees signed Freddy Garcia. I was aware that this 35 year old righty was not the same pitcher he once was, and that his fastball rarely even touched 90 mph anymore. But whatever he’s been doing, it’s been working this year. Garcia reminds me of a Mike Mussina type – a guy who figures out how to win even though he’s not the same pitcher he once was. A guy who keeps hitters off balance, and a guy who is truly intelligent on the mound. A pitcher, not a thrower. Garcia’s numbers are amazing: so far, he is 7-6 with a very solid 3.13 ERA. My Mom and I always joke about him. It seems like he pitches EVERY DAY. But that’s okay, because more often than not, the Yankees win when he’s on the mound.

#3 Eduardo Nunez

Yes, Eduardo Nunez – even though he has made 9 errors. The Yankees didn’t go 14-4 without Derek Jeter for no reason. Eduardo Nunez did an amazing job filling in. So even though he made 9 errors, they didn’t really cost the team THAT much. Look how good they were without Derek! Nunez, though still progressing, really impressed me with the bat. The kid swings that stick pretty well. He’s hitting .278 with 3 HR and 14 RBI on the season. I’ve seen him successfully bunt for hits on more than one occasion, I’ve seen him steal bases (he has 10 on the season), and he’s shown me why the Yankees thought so highly of him. He looks like he belongs, and I hope I still a lot of him in the second half, only under better circumstances.

#2 Curtis Granderson

Ask anyone around here, I said it over the offseason: I expected HUGE things out of Curtis Granderson this season. I said I expected 40 HR. Looks like he’ll get there. Curtis Granderson has been a savior for the Yankees this season. When the other big bats went dry, Granderson stepped up. It’s so hard to put him as #2 on this list, considering how good he has been. He is an all-around strong baseball player. Currently, he is hitting .274 with 23 HR and 59 RBI. He has stolen 15 bases, and has made countless great plays in the outfield, where he uses his speed to his advantage. I am proud to have Curtis on the All-Star team this year, and even more proud that he is on the Yankees. Not only is he amazing on the field, but he is a real Yankee off the field as well. Granderson is such a genuinely kind, charitable man. He is the epitome of what it means to wear the Yankee pinstripes, on and off the field, and the Yankees surely would not be where they are this season if it weren’t for Granderson.

#1 David Robertson

David Robertson just might be God. Or maybe Houdini. I can’t go on enough about what he has meant for this team. Throughout the entire season, the Yankee bullpen has lost key, KEY components. They’ve had to dig very deep to fill in the holes created by injuries to try and build a new bridge to Mariano. But the one guy who they could always count on was David Robertson. No matter what the inning, 6th, 7th, 8th, no matter what the “impossible” jam, Robertson would come in and get the team out of it, making the opposing hitters look silly. His stats are mind-blowing: a 1.05 ERA, 55 strikeouts, and the highest K/9 innings ratio at 14.4 K/9. It’s insane how good he is. But what’s even more INSANE is how David Robertson is NOT an All-Star. I mean is there anyone BETTER than him? In my opinion, David Robertson is the Yankee that is the most deserving of the All-Star honor. And he’s not going. And that really bothers me.

It bothered me enough to create a debate. I doubt anyone’s going to take on this challenge, I mean there’s just no way they can debate me on this…there is no OTHER SIDE! He deserves to be there!!!

http://fanvsfan.com/claims/david-robertson-should-be-an-all-star

Oh well. Robertson, you are an All-Star in my book. Congrats to you and all the other Yankees that made my Yankees First-Half Heroes list. Best of luck in the next half.

GO YANKEES!

Are The Brewers Really That Bad?

…Or are my Yankees really just that good?

When I heard that the Yankees were going to play the Brewers, and that the Brewers were in first place in the NL Central, I thought that maybe the series would be a little bit competitive. I was totally wrong. I can’t say I’m disappointed, though. A sweep is always fun. I never see the Brewers, and I had heard pretty good things about them. They didn’t show any of that on the ballfield.

But let’s give some credit where credit is due: the Yankees played some pretty darn good baseball over this homestand.

Clutch hitting, offensive explosions, and amazing starting pitching. All that together…up against a team that didn’t play solid baseball…huge advantage there. Everything the Brewers couldn’t do, the Yankees did.

-Making The Plays

Aside from Eduardo Nunez (as usual) the Yankee defense was extremely solid over this series. They were fundamentally sound. In the first game of this series, Nyjer Morgan misplayed a ball in centerfield, wound up falling down, and pretty much gave Curtis Granderson a triple.

Yankee outfielders, Nick Swisher especially, play fantastic defense. Swisher showed time and time again how well he plays the wall out in right, and he also showed off a cannon of an arm. There was one play where Swisher threw out Corey Hart, who tried to score with 2 outs when his team was down (dumb move). It was a perfect 1-bouncer right at Russell Martin.

-The Big Home Runs

It seemed that in this series, whenever the Yanks were down or the game was tight, someone came up with a big home run that either got them back into the game, or solidified the fact that they were going to win. Nick Swisher had a big 3-run home run in game 1. Russell Martin had the go-ahead 3-run homer in game 2, and Mark Teixeira hit his 300th career home run in the 5-0 finale. The Brewers, a team with so much power, didn’t do anything. I really was surprised.

-Beyond Solid Starting Pitching

Starting pitching really sets the tone for how the game will play out. And when my Yankee starters, Freddy Garcia, A.J. Burnett, and CC Sabathia, appear solid early on, I have a good feeling about the game. I couldn’t be more proud of the Yankees starting rotation this year. I thought it would be a weakness, especially after the ravaging injuries. Everyone has really stepped it up big time, especially A.J. Burnett, who last June went 0-5 with an 11.35 ERA. This year, he had himself a solid June, and even when he struggled, he was able to minimize the damage instead of exploding like he did last season. And with his 7 inning, 2-run outing against the Brewers, I’d say he closed out the month nicely.

CC Sabathia closed out his June in lights-out fashion, throwing 7.2 innings of shutout baseball and striking out 13 Brewers along the way. I guess he just gets a little more into it when he faces a former team.

The Brewers did not pitch, hit, or in general, play good baseball against the Yankees. After the series, I was surprised they were even IN first place to begin with! A little over-matched against the AL East leading Yankees I guess.

AL East leading Yankees…yup, and I love saying it. My boys are currently 2.5 games ahead of Baahston. They start the big Subway Series tonight, and I am confident that they will win this series, just as they have won every other interleague series this year.

GO YANKEES!

Old Timers’ Day!

Yanks Win Series, All-Around Fun Afternoon

Old Timer’s Day at Yankee Stadium is one of the days I mark on my little Yankees schedule. I just love seeing all the “old” guys come out, I love commenting on how high they wear their pants, and I love how the exciting atmosphere at the Stadium is transferred through the TV into my own home. I love Old Timers’ Day every year, but this year, it was even better than usual.

Old Timers’ Day is always fun for Yankees fans of all ages, but I think this time it was especially exciting for those of my generation: those who grew up during the dynasty of the late 90s. The return of Joe Torre, Lou Piniella (who I loved to watch as a manager when he has his…”episodes”) Bernie Williams, and Tino’s home run brought back many fond memories for me. Tino Martinez was my first ever favorite. He was the first player I remember seeing, and for that reason, he became my “favorite.” I remember crying when he went to the Cardinals, then my Dad bought me a Cardinals cap, which I would wear all the time along with my Tino Yankees tee. I remember being him for Halloween when I was in 2nd grade, I remember going to Tino Martinez Bobblehead day on my birthday in 2001 – I could go on and on. Seeing Tino play with Bernie, smile with Posada, and hit that homer…that alone made my day.

What made the day even more special was the ceremony honoring Gene Monahan. 49 years with this great organization…that is insane. And he has done a fantastic job throughout his time. He seems like a really sweet man, and I hope the Yankees can win it for him this year. Oh, and he was nervous about throwing out the ceremonial first pitch? Pshh…He threw a perfect strike! Maybe he can teach Barack Obama how to throw like a man…

Another thing about that first pitch: I liked how Jorge Posada had the honor of catching it. He looked so at home and at ease in his catcher’s gear, and throughout the entire day, he had a genuine ear-to-ear smile on his face. It was the happiest I saw Jorge all year, and that too reminded me of the past.

The Old Timers’ GAME is always fun. In the top of the first, Oscar Gamble led off with a single off Ron Guidry, followed by a LONG single by Jesse Barfield. Goose Gossage relieved Guidry, and got Lee Mazzilli to fly out to Bernie Williams (which set off the crowd). In the bottom of the first, David Wells served up a double to Bernie, and was then relieved by David Cone, whom Tino hit the 2-run bomb off. Tino would have loved hitting at this new ballpark. In the top of the 2nd, Doc Gooden and Jeff Nelson retired the side. Nelson then remained in the game, and pitched for the other team in the next half inning. I love how no rules are applied whatsoever to these games. They played another half inning, but there was no need to complete that inning because the BOMBERS were ahead of the CLIPPERS (lol). The Bombers beat the Clippers 2-0 on the strength of my Tino’s HR, while David Cone received the loss.

It was all fun and games during that game, but it would have been even more fun and games if Derek Jeter was there. I feel incredibly bad that he missed the day. And on his BIRTHDAY too…aww, Jeet. That calf better be healing up. Happy Belated Birthday, Derek! 37 years young.

As for the ACTUAL game that was played, it was intense. The Yankees didn’t get a man on base until the 5th inning, and by then they were down 3-0 and making me nervous that they wouldn’t win on a day that they really needed to. After Robbie Cano got the team’s first hit out of the way, Nick Swisher got them into the run column with his MONSTER 2-run homer. Then, my happy Jorge went deep back-to-back with Swish, tying up the game at 3.

Nova battled yesterday. After the Yankees worked so hard to tie up the game, he allowed a homer to Ty Wigginton (again) which gave the Rockies a 4-3 lead. But he stopped it there.

In the bottom of the 6th, Brett Gardner led off with a bunt single…perfect execution. He’s been playing like the player I always thought he was recently, and he’s finally starting to make me look good, instead of looking like I’m his little fangirl who thinks he can do no wrong. After that bunt, Gardner stole 2nd, which really set me off…I always thought speed was sexier than home runs (sorry Swish and Posada!). After a Granderson walk, A-Rod drove in the tying run with an RBI single.

In the 7th, Boone Logan actually did his job and retired the heavy hitting lefty, Carlos Gonzalez. In the bottom half of the inning, Eduardo Nunez drove in the go-ahead run with an RBI single. The Yankees FINALLY had a lead, and it was padded by Mark Teixeira’s homer in the 8th. Robertson and Mo finished up the remainder of the game. The Yankees won it 6-4, and with that win, won the series.

Currently, my Yanks are a half a game ahead of Baahston in the standings. With hitters like Nick Swisher, Jorge Posada, and Brett Gardner heating up as the weather does, and with Jeter and Colon soon to be activated, I’d say my boys are in good shape.

GO YANKEES!

3 Wins: 1st Nerve-Racking, 2nd Bittersweet, 3rd Comforting

Yanks Take First Three From Tribe

I shouldn’t complain too much…I mean at least we are winning this time. Then again, the Cleveland Indians are not the same Cleveland Indians of the earlier months. But, then again, the Yankees aren’t the same either. So they’re both different, so I guess that balances out. So these three wins for my Yankees WERE legit.

Game 1 was the first game in a long time that I sat down and watched from beginning to end without falling asleep! Ivan Nova toed the rubber, and had a surprisingly dominant outing. The offense was surprisingly alive as well, exploding for 11 runs with RBIs from Robbie Canooo, SwishyNicks, Jo-P0, Ahh-the-GrandyMan-Can, Brettiboo, A-Rod, Texy-Wexy, from up and down the loaded lineup. I’m proud to report that Brett Gardner has been playing much better baseball of late, as well as Mr. Jorge Posada, whose batting average is now way over that Mendoza line (and it appears it will only continue to rise above it). Maybe Jorge wasn’t hitting because his son was going to have ANOTHER surgery, and you know, maybe since he’s a man with a heart, maybe he was nervous/stressed/upset/unfocused because of it? And maybe since his son is now recovering and the worst is behind him, maybe Jorge can concentrate fully on baseball and breathe a sigh of relief? So maybe he’s not done, so stop pushing him out before his time?

Game 1 was fun to watch in regards to Nova and the offense, but it made me nervous at other times. Like after Curtis Granderson homered in the 2nd and Mark Teixeira was immediately plunked high up on his back – if he didn’t duck it could’ve hit is head – and a fight almost broke out between Joe Girardi and Indians skipper Manny Acta. That made me nervous/infuriated because I HATE WHEN MY BOYS GET HIT. But it was all good. The Yankees added on a bunch of runs after that. So HA-HA.

The other thing that made me nervous in Game 1 was the bullpen. Yeah. My fears are realistic. The bullpen was horrendous. Utterly dreadful. The Yankees, in the 7th , had an 11-2 lead, but they had to call on Mariano Rivera to get the final outs, because the bullpen just couldn’t do it. Just thank GOD for Mo…without him, we’d really have NO ‘pen whatsoever.

I missed the entire Game 2 because I was at Marist College’s Orientation! It was a spectacular day: I got to know some students, toured the campus, and felt comfortable there throughout it all. It’s nice knowing I picked the right place! But while I was enjoying my day, the Yanks had a game to play. Bartolo Colon, according to my brothers, had his typical stellar performance, but it was cut short after he hurt a hammy covering first base. He was taken out of the game, and he is now on the 15-day DL – and he says he will return in the 15 days, but they always say that…

That is a HUGE blow to this team. Bartolo Colon is one of the best pitchers in baseball right now. He’s better than CLIFF LEE. <<Yeah. I said it. And he’s a WAY better value. He, to me, is the Yankees #2 starter. And now he’s gone. The bullpen sucks, I don’t want the starting rotation to suck that badly. So the news of that 4-0 win was not as sweet as I would have hoped for.

Game 3 was extremely comforting, because I was saying how the starting rotation without Colon needed to step it up a notch, and Freddy Garcia stepped it up a few (especially when I remember his last outing…eeek). Freddy was phenomenal. 6.2 innings, 1 run, just everything the Yankees and I could have hoped for. And the offense? Explody once again, with contributions from everyone! INCLUDING those two guys I mentioned above – Brett Gardner and Jorge Posada – who are continuing their hot-hitting. Oh, and Jeet’s getting closer to #3000!

So after an icky bad stretch, the Yankees have themselves a modest three-game winning streak. The offense looks more alive, and I’m hoping overall they can be more consistent and keep this going. The starting rotation took a big blow with the loss of Colon, but if everyone can just do a littttttle bit more like what Freddy did, then maybe we can survive these “15 days” Colon promises. And the bullpen, well, I don’t know…(don’t ruin it, Virginia! You have to end on a good note!).

And um, I graduate a week from today! And my college is awesome!

The Yanks go for the SWEEP tomorrow.

GO YANKEES!

When They Suck, I Play With Buck

In one respect, this past week has been a dreadful one. In another, it has a blessing.

In one respect, it has been one I will try to forget. In another, it’s one I’ll always remember.

At my family dinners, we are distressed. Then we smile.

My Yankees have dropped six straight games, and it is very hard to watch. Suddenly, this team that looked so good just doesn’t have that drive anymore. I’m not even going to attempt doing game summaries about this past week because honestly, I might accidentally punch my laptop out of anger by recalling those memories I am trying ever so hard to repress. If you didn’t see the games, don’t worry – you didn’t miss anything but aggravation.

The team is in turmoil. Jorge Posada and Derek Jeter are feuding with the front office. None of the offense, except for home run leader Curtis Granderson, are performing to the best of their abilities. And the pitching just cannot hold a lead. Not to mention, the defense has been pretty messy as well. I’m hoping they can straighten out the issues off the field, so the on-field play returns to Yankee normalcy. We’ll have to wait and see.

I’m sure some of you remember when I posted in early March about the passing of my dog Jesse. He meant the world to me, more than the Yankees. He was my brother, and still to this day I can’t think about him without tearing up. The house was just not a home without him. We knew Jesse could never be replaced, but we all needed another dog.

So on Friday May 13, we got one. He, like Jesse, is a yellow lab. But he’s a puppy. We named him Buck. And for an 8 week old puppy, he sure is special. It was so hard to pick one out of all the puppies, but something just drew me in to little Buck. Now that he is part of my family, I knew we made the right choice. He’s going to be a great dog.

An 8 week old puppy is a lot of work. Now that AP exams are over (yay!) I figured now was the time to get a puppy. He has his moments, which we call the “Manic Puppy” state, where he goes crazy and starts being mouthy and biting everything in sight. Buck usually gets like this after dinner – perfect timing for the Yankee games.

So since the Yankees have been sucking, I’ve been spending the majority of my evenings playing with little Buck. He has helped distract me from the terrible week the Yanks have had.

Here’s the little cutie!

The game starts in about 10 minutes. And I just heard Buck’s squeaky toy! Either way, win or lose, I know with Buck, it’s going to be a fun night.

But seriously, Yankees – 6 in a row is enough. I want a win!

GO YANKEES!

Bartolo Colon? Surprise!

Colon’s Solid Outing Leads Yanks to Victory

Baseball really is full of surprises. Coming into this year, I thought the Yankees were set with a solid 1-2-3 punch of Sabathia, Burnett, and Hughes carrying the rotation. I never would have thought that on April 21, Sabathia wouldn’t have a win, Burnett would already have 6 wild pitches (well, maybe I would think that), or Phil Hughes would be DL-ed with a dead arm. And surely, I wouldn’t have thought that Bartolo Colon could help this team.
This is why I try not to make bets on baseball.
With Phil Hughes being out, it was Bartolo Colon who took the ball last night for the Yanks, the night after they had lost a tough one in 10 innings partially due to Mariano Rivera’s blown save (always a rarity). I didn’t know how Colon would perform in his first start since 2009 – but what I did know, was the Yankees needed something strong out of him.
COLON.jpg
Colon went 6.2 innings, allowed 2 runs on 5 hits, and struck out 7 Blue Jay batters. He was dealing. He pounded the strike zone, with that “here it is, hit it if you dare” mentality about him. His pitching performance, combined with Curtis Granderson’s offense (an RBI triple and a homer. That was his 6th homer of the year. I bet that he’d reach 40 HR, and that’s a bet that I’m willing to keep), led the Yanks to their 6-2 win. 
I feel bad…I had compared Bartolo Colon to a hippo because he is rather large, and to put it nicely, is not the most attractive man I’ve had the pleasure of watching. 
TWINS!.PNG
Anyway, now I feel kind of bad about that. I didn’t mean it in a mean way when I said it. I mean the hippo on the right is adorable. So if they look alike, then doesn’t that mean Bartolo is adorable too?
I’m really not trying to make fun of him.
I think he’s ready to hear me say something nice about him. After the game, which was a win because of him, he was interviewed. And if I must say, I feel that Colon was really cute in his interview. Maybe he doesn’t have a face only a mother could love after all!
Bartolo Colon!.PNG
Awwww now look at that smile! Ain’t he cute?
I don’t know what is more surprising: Bartolo Colon having himself an amazingly-dominant start for the Yankees, or me fawning over how cute he is.
Oh, how I love this game!
GO YANKS!!!
<3 <3 <3

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.

    

2010 Season Ends: What Happened?

Yanks 2010 Season Ends

Well, it wasn’t as good as last season…that’s for sure. As I watched the ALCS unfold, I saw what was going on, and I accepted it. But looking back now, I’m just so confused. I have so many questions, and I don’t know the answers. But what keeps lingering in my mind is: What happened to the Yankees? What went wrong?

Too many things. And not enough went right.

-The Long Layoff

Now I’m not trying to make “excuses” to why the Yankees lost, but let’s be realistic here. The Yankees had to wait an eternity for the Rangers and Rays to close things out. They beat the Twins so quickly that they were just sitting around. Of course they were still hyped up, but they lost some of their momentum – but more importantly, they lost their rhythm. Remember how in the ALDS it seemed like everyone was contributing to the success? Well, that didn’t happen this time. The only guys who really did well were Curtis Granderson and Robinson Cano. And I pat them on the back for a job well done.

                         New York Yankees Curtis Granderson watches a sacrifice fly against the Boston Red Sox during the second inning of game two of their MLB American League baseball doubleheader at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts October 2, 2010. REUTERS/Adam Hunger (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

                         New York Yankees Robinson Cano hits a solo homer in the third inning against the Texas Rangers in game 5 of the ALCS at Yankee Stadium in New York City on October 20, 2010.  UPI/John Angelillo Photo via Newscom

 

Unfortunately, their contributions were not enough. The Yankee pitching was ATROCIOUS in this series. Could it have been due to the rest factor? Maybe.

-Mark Teixeira’s Hammy

The Yankees were already down in the series and were struggling offensively. So when their star slugger Mark Teixeira destroyed his hamstring while hustling out a grounder, the entire team was hurt. You could just see it. No one was going to admit it, but it’s obvious: they probably thought they were screwed withough Teix – especially because the offense was pretty dead already. 

           New York Yankee Mark Teixeira (C) is helped off the field by manager Joe Girardi (R) after injuring himself while sliding into first for a single against the Texas Rangers in the fifth inning during game four of the ALCS at Yankee Stadium on October 19, 2010 in New York.   UPI/Monika Graff Photo via Newscom

 

 -Joe Girardi

Don’t get me started. I like Girardi, but as I’ve said before, I just don’t understand him sometimes. This was especially true in ALCS game 6 – the Yankees final game. Intentionally walking Josh Hamilton once to get to Vlad Guerrerro was enough. He’s lucky he got away with that move. But by having Phil Hughes do that AGAIN, Girardi was almost asking for trouble. My Grandma and I said that to each other as soon as we saw Joe wiggle the 4 fingers. We knew it would blow up in his face even before Guerrerro got the hit. And we were right. Then he put in David Robertson who, wo put it nicely, hasn’t seen much success this postseason, and he let the game get away from the Yankees. From then on, the Yankees had terrible at-bats, and you could just see it in their eyes: they knew they were going home.

As for me, of course I am devastated. I love my Yankees more than anything, and I want to be able to watch them for as long as possible, Sadly, it ended too early this year. But that’s selfish. I really feel bad for the YANKEES. They wanted to win this so badly, but they just didn’t play well. They really embarrassed themselves. I feel so bad for my boys. They shouldn’t have lost…they deserved to win. But they didn’t play like they deserved it.

I guess I should give credit to the Rangers. I mean they did beat my boys. They really made my Yankees look bad. But really – the Yankees made themselves look bad, too. They helped them out a bit. And a good team like the Rangers capitalizes off another team’s mistakes. That’s exactly what happened. Sure, the Rangers are having their best season. They are a very good team. Maybe they do deserve to win.

Of course I will never admit that. The Yankees have been through so much this season. I think the Yankees should have won it all this season just as a tribute to the Great George Steinbrenner. It’s kind of unfair that they didn’t, but again – it was their fault they lost.

And who says life is fair, anyway? Maybe the best team doesn’t always win.

But the great thing about life is that you can always try to redeem yourself. More often than not, you get another chance in life.

And for my Yankees, this other chance begins on March 31, 2011.

That’s when the Quest for 28 begins again.

Yankees, I’d like to thank you for this exciting 2010. Just because it didn’t end they way we planned doesn’t mean we have to just forget it. You had a great season. I know you are the best team…you just didn’t win when it counted. I still love you ♥

Thanks for the memories ♥

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!!!

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