Results tagged ‘ Mariano Rivera ’

Success to Stay?

The New York Yankees are generating some historically significant stats of late, and I never saw it coming. Even Joe Girardi said he feels the team clicked rather quickly. The Yankees just won their 9th straight today, finishing off their third series sweep in a row. I’d say right now, these 2012 Yankees have some good company: the last time they had three consecutive series sweeps was in the magical championship season of 1998.

It was stunning to hear that. Never did I expect the 2012 Yankees to be compared to the 1998 Yankees in any way. Maybe they do have that spark.

You don’t win 9 games in a row against three solid teams for no reason – it means you’re good. The Yankees have the best record in baseball since May 22nd. They’ve been playing solid baseball for about as long as they were playing poor baseball – time for me to seriously believe in these guys. So they started slow? No biggie. Maybe everything went bad then, so it could only improve as the season progressed.

Losing Mariano Rivera seemed like the most devastating, depressing catastrophe that could happen to the Yankees. Of course I miss his smiling face, but I have to give credit where credit is due: Rafael Soriano. Just wow. I remember hating on him for awhile too. He and I have had a rocky relationship throughout his short Yankee career. I remember feelings of elation when they signed him, because I knew he was one of the top closers in baseball with the Rays, second probably only to my Mo. Then I saw how much money he was making just to be a setup man. I subsequently discovered the contractual opt-outs, which I felt was a lose/lose situation for the Yankees, because either he would be great and then just opt out for more money, or he would be awful and we’d be stuck with him. Well, he was awful to start the 2011 season, posting a frightening 7.84 ERA over his first month in pinstripes.

He finished up strong though, and after Mo went down this year, he really stepped up. You can tell he has that fearless closer mentality, but without all the antics like some other closers around the game. He’s emotionless on the hill – sometimes it looks like he doesn’t even care – and he maintains his cool with that same blank expression even when the situations get sticky. Sure, he may not always get the opposition down 1-2-3 like Mariano, but the bottom line is that he is getting the job done at a time where the Yankees need him most.

So despite my feelings for the guy in the past, I definitely appreciate Rafael Soriano now, and I know the Yankees are blessed to have him. Since he’s closing now, maybe he is worth all that money. Hopefully he decides to stay in the Bronx.

In my last post, I apologized for hating on Mark Teixeira. He proved to me again in the middle game against the Nationals that I should believe in him. In a game that I thought would go on forever, it was Teixeira who was the hero, coming through in the clutch for what would ultimately be the game winner for the Yanks: a go-ahead 2-run double in the 14th inning. Soriano then closed it down.

But isn’t it ironic: I mentioned in my last post how I complained about Teixeira and whined about wanting rookies (in that post, it was the Angels phenom Mike Trout who I fawned over), but in the second game against the Nationals, their rookie phenom Bryce Harper had an awful day at the plate, going 0-7 and looking horrible. And it was the Yankees veteran with a giant contract, Mark Teixeira, who won the game. I feel bad for doubting him. Rookies may be cute and exciting, but winning is pretty fun, too. Thanks Teix!

Another note about that game two against the Nats: Rafael Soriano closed out the game in the 14th inning, which means that there were a whole lot of innings before that where he didn’t pitch. The Yankee bullpen, which is composed of a bunch of guys no one’s ever heard of, has been absolutely shut-down dominant. They’ve all stepped up and have done way more than I ever could have hoped.  To go out there and hold the Nats down to just 1 run from the 8th onwards is incredible. Not to mention, it was at their ballpark, where the pressure is even greater due to the fear of a walkoff loss. Guys like Cody Eppley, Boone Logan, Cory Wade, Clay Rapada, and even the recently-bullpen demoted Freddy Garcia, deserve huge pats on the backs.

It’s crazy. Early on, from the outside looking in, these 2012 Yankees looked like a mess. Ravished by injuries and showing their age, they found themselves in the cellar of the AL East standings. But I guess it really was just “early.” Because right now, on June 18th, the Yankees are 40-25 – 15 games over .500 – and are sitting proudly atop the standings in the AL East. And they show no signs of stopping now.

I hoped that things would only get better for the Yankees after the disappointing start. Maybe that tide began to turn in the right direction for the Yankees a long time ago, but maybe only now do I actually believe that the success I’m seeing is here to stay.

GO YANKEES!

The Mariano Misfortune

In so many ways, baseball is more than just some game. Sure, even when it’s only May, records, standings, and stats matter. Even this early, insults are fired between fans of rival teams. And even this early when the Yankees look hopeless, I start to freak out. Sometimes I think I need to get my priorities in order…I mean what has gotten into me? I’ve been studying for finals over watching baseball? Something’s wrong there. This isn’t just some game – this is my life. Nothing should come between me and my Yanks. The few games I have been able to watch in their entirety, though, haven’t been too fun. Watching them lose is one thing, but watching them look lifeless at the plate and fail to hit with runners in scoring position is another. And watching the so-called solid starting rotation crumble before my eyes isn’t too enjoyable either. At least the bullpen is a strong point.

About that…

After my last day of classes of my first year in college on Thursday, I thought I would celebrate by watching a Yankee game and taking one night off from doing work. As soon as I put on the YES Network, I saw video clips of the Great Mariano Rivera crashing to the ground of the warning track in Kaufmann Stadium, desperately grasping his knee in pain.

All I could say was, “Great. Do I really curse them when I watch? WHY DO I BOTHER?” Initially, a “twisted knee” didn’t sound too bad. But witnessing a wincing Mariano being transported off the field was worrisome.

The night just got worse and worse.

Not only did I remember that I had a biology paper due online by 11:55pm that I had to do all in that night – the bad part was the Yankees made me want to do it. Instead of procrastinating by watching the Yankees win, I actually did my work. They weren’t playing well, and I missed their late inning comeback attempt because I was working. But it wasn’t enough to win.

A normal loss in May doesn’t make me cry. But after finding out the fate of the Great Mariano, it was tough to fight the tears. A torn knee ligament is not a twisted knee. Missing a year isn’t missing a few months. And going out on a medical transport vehicle is not going out on the mound at Yankee Stadium. It just isn’t right. It shouldn’t have ended this way. Oh, this game can be so cruel. It’s just like life – it’s not fair.

I couldn’t watch the postgame. I didn’t want to hear or see Mariano in a state like that. I tried to distract myself by working on my communications final project after doing the bio paper. I thought I would feel good about getting stuff done, but no. All I could think about was Mo. Mariano Rivera is probably the most important component of the Yankees I’ve grown up with. He’s the reason the Yankees have won 5 World Series in my lifetime. Rivera is a class act. I admire how honest, down-to-earth, and genuinely kind a man of his stature is. He is the epitome of what it means to be a Yankee: classy, successful, and above and beyond the rest. Rivera is the greatest of all his kind before, and will always be the greatest no matter how many players come and go, no matter how much time passes. He’s a legend in my life, and will continue to be so for generations to come. As long as this game is played, Mariano Rivera’s legacy will be admired.

Age doesn’t matter when you’re Mariano Rivera. At 42, he hasn’t declined a bit. His skills will not diminish – but his desire might. He’s at the age where many players decide to call it quits and devote themselves full time to their families. There was speculation that this would be his last season. But the injury made that seem definite. And that’s the saddest part. Mariano has been on top of the world for his whole career – he shouldn’t go out because something else made him. That’s a decision Mo should have been able to make when he wanted to.

That’s why I spent some time venting on facebook that night/early the next morning. Yankees fans – and baseball fans in general – were expressing their sympathies. Even Red Sox fans, who hours before may have been going at it with an enemy Yankees fan, admitted they felt sorry about it.

I was beginning to think 2012 was a lost cause for my Yankees. And I don’t care if they don’t win – I know you can’t win them all. It was just that I felt that the team was lacking something, like that fire or passion that makes the team worth watching. They already lost the excitement of watching a sensational rookie learn and grow on their team, and they lost something that was supposed to be great that they received in exchange for that rookie. The offense didn’t seem strong, and neither did the rotation (making the pain of that trade sting more and more). But the bullpen was supposed to be the one thing the Yankee surely had going for them. Losing Mo, especially in such a heartbreaking way, could only destroy the morale and ability of my team – and myself as a fan – even more.

But then again, it is early. Standings and stats really shouldn’t matter in May. This silly game has a long way to go. No need to worry myself off the Dean’s List yet, right? Have a little faith, girl.

Things seemed to turn around the next day.

“BIG LETTERS,” Mo says.

Oh yeah. It’s official.

“I’m not going down like this. God willing and given the strength, I’m coming back,” declared the Great Mariano.

At this point, a lot of things can get better for this team. I think the tides will start turning now.

This game is crazy. Thank God Mariano Rivera is in better spirits. I’ll continue to send my prayers his way.

God Bless you Mariano Rivera. I seriously can’t imagine what I’d do without you.

Hopefully I don’t have to think about that for many more years.

Yankees vs. Angels: Sec 201, Row 2, Seat 7

A Day I’ll Never Forget

I finally made it back out to Yankee Stadium! I saw my first game this year last Thursday, August 11. It was the rubber game of the series against the Angels. The Halos won the first, the Yanks won the second. I knew it was going to be a good game, and and all-around good day. But I didn’t think it’d be THIS good.

Some of you might know that aside from my blog here at MLBlogs, I write for the FanVsFan Network at my site Pinstripe Partisan. I love that site for a number of reasons, one of the main reasons being that the people who work there are amazing. One of the leaders of the site himself is a Yankees fan and a native New Yorker, and he was generous enough to give me not one, but TWO free tickets to this Yankees game. So not only did I have the time of my life, but I was able to experience the day with my older brother, who had not yet been to the new Yankee Stadium.

But he didn’t just give me tickets. He gave me tickets, that for me, were perfect. When I found out where they were, I couldn’t wait to go.

My brother and I took the train down to the Stadium. Bobby is just as much of a Yanks fan as I am, and he was dying to see the new Stadium. When he first caught a glimpse of it as we were walking towards it, he was in awe – so much that he called home and told my Mom: “Ahh, Mommy! It’s so beautiful, you have no idea…” While on the phone, he turned to me and demanded that I take a picture.

We got the the Stadium 2 hours before the game was scheduled to start. Our plan was to go to our seats as soon as possible and watch batting practice and possibly get autographs. When we got to our section, Bobby reminded me:

“Virginia, please don’t embarrass me.”

Why so concerned?

Our seats were two rows behind the Yankee bullpen. And it was a day game. After a night game. Which meant that some players would be resting. Which meant that some backups would be playing.

WHICH MEANT THAT I HAD A CHANCE TO BE TWO ROWS AWAY FROM FRANCISCO CERVELLI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I can see now why he was worried about me.

The first Yankees we saw up-close-and-personal from our perch atop the bullpen wall was Freddy Garcia. He was getting some throwing in. Then Mike Harkey, the coolest bullpen coach ever, entered, and my brother and I (then the only people at the wall) yelled out, “Hi Hark!” AND HE WAVED!!! I thought my day was made. Oh, but there was more to come.

I was watching the hitters take BP, waiting for Cervelli to be done so he could come into the bullpen. BP was long, so my brother and I left for awhile to look around the Stadium, whose beauty was mesmerizing. When we got back to our seats, the wait wasn’t very long. Bobby pointed to a sexy looking man approaching from the dugout. I started to freak out.

“Virginia, you’re doing it.” he warned.

I managed to not explode. I let Francisco Cervelli approach. I captured his warm-up routine with about 50 pictures. Here are some personal favorites:

Before I knew it, he entered the bullpen. I was wearing my “Cervelli 29″ shirt I bought last year at the Stadium. It was crowded at the bullpen wall now, but I figured, “It’s now or never.” And I was the only one in the ballpark that I knew of wearing his shirt. I was his ultimate fan. All these other idiots asking for his autograph didn’t really care about him. I didn’t want to harass him like the rest of them.

When he got close enough, I just yelled out, “Hey Francisco!!!! I’m wearing your shirt!”

Now I don’t know if he heard me, or if he saw the shirt when I turned around to show him. All I know, is that he waved at me, and I almost died. I’m lucky that I didn’t fall into the bullpen and die. I really am.

FRANCISCO CERVELLI WAVED TO ME. Holy Jesus. My life was then complete.

So he did more warm-ups, then when he exited the ‘pen, he waved again at us! Such a sweetie.

Oh yeah, then the GAME started. That was fun.

Bartolo Colon pitched a good game for the Yankees. I thought I was going to see Nova, but he pitched the night before. So when I heard it was Colon, I was happy. He was our first choice for a starter to see live!

The game was quiet at first, with no teams scoring through the first 4 innings. In the 5th, the Angels jumped out to a 2-0 lead on an Alberto Callaspo 2-run homer. That upset the sellout crowd, but they soon began to cheer when the fan who caught the ball threw it back.

In the bottom of the 6th, my cutie Curtis Granderson decided to give us something to smile about for real. After a Derek Jeter single, my GrandyMan homered to tie the game at 2! Then the next time the Yanks were on offense, big things happened, thanks to Mr. Robbie Cano. The bases were loaded after an Angel error, and Cano made them pay.

GRAND SLAM! Seeing that live was amazing. The ball jumped off Cano’s bat like I’ve seen no other. It got out of the park in a hurry, and Yankees fans went crazy. 6-2 lead!

*Note: Francisco Cervelli walked in that inning, and for some reason, Girardi called for Russell Martin to pinch run for him? I didn’t know why he did that. My Grandma said it was because a female fan was harassing Cervelli, and he couldn’t take it….wasn’t me!

Cory Wade made things messy in the 9th, so Mariano Rivera had to come in. Always a pleasure seeing him make his way to the mound.

We were all aware of Mo’s mishaps on the mound that week. We didn’t want to witness another one. And when Russell Branyan pinch hit, we were a little nervous. With 2 men on, Branyan homered…yikes. All of a sudden it was 6-5. I thought maybe that was all Mariano would allow.

Thank God I was right. We couldn’t afford to stick around for more innings – we had a train to catch! Luckily, Mo settled down and finished up the game. YANKEES WIN 6-5!

My brother didn’t want to leave. Once we got home, he said, “We need to go back.” He then proceeded into his room, and began looking up more Yankees tickets. I hope we can go again before college starts!

It was a day I’ll never forget, that’s for sure. How often can a girl say that her crush waved to her at close distance, and she didn’t die? I’m proud.

It was an amazing early 18th birthday present for me. My real birthday is tomorrow. I’ll enjoy my last day as a kid today.

Thanks again to Michael H. for that amazing day! You’re the best.

GO YANKEES!

That Concludes Sox Week

This past week, the Yankees played a 4-game series against the White Sox followed by a 3-game set against the Red Sox. It was a long week on the road, and I’m just happy my boys are coming back to the Bronx.

The Yankees swept the 4 games in Chicago. I almost hate to say it, but during those games, I really felt bad for the White Sox. They looked miserable, lost, and just didn’t play good baseball. Oh well…those are the kinds of games the Yankees have to win, and they did.

The Yankees went into the Red Sox series tied for first place…it was as if August 5th was Opening Day again. It was such a refreshing feeling. That series started out nicely, but didn’t end the way I’d hoped for.

The first game of that series was intense…Colon vs. Lester. The Yanks had to play catch-up after quickly falling behind 2-0. In the 5th, Eduardo Nunez led off with a walk, Derek Jeter singled, and Granderson drove in a run with a single to cut the deficit in half. After Mark Teixeira’s walk, Cano grounded into a double play, which tied the game at 2. With 2 out, I wasn’t sure if the Yankees would be able to go ahead, but Nick Swisher delivered with a double down the third base line, and the Yankees had a 3-2 lead.

It became a battle of the bullpens after that, and the Yankee bullpen proved victorious. Boone Logan especially – he looked like the Logan of 2009 again. Cory Wade, Rafael Soriano, David Robertson, and Mariano Rivera nailed it down for the Yanks.

I was ecstatic that the Yankees had sole possession of first place. I figured they maybe had the confidence they needed to keep on winning – they beat Jon Lester in Fenway Park, which is no easy task. I did a little boasting and bragging on facebook after Game 1, not really caring what I was saying. I was experiencing some leftover euphoria hours after the game’s ending.

So maybe I look stupid, but I don’t really care. The Yankees lost the next two games and are now a game behind the Red Sox. Of course the games the lost were on FOX and ESPN, places where the announcers fawn over the Red Sox as much as Chris Matthews fawns over Obama. “Oh, Adrian Gonzalez, Dustin Pedroia, Jacoby Ellsbury, the top 3 guys for the AL MVP…oh, they’re sooo good…better than anyone the Yankees have…OHH MY LEG!”

Ermm okay.

Joe Buck and Tim McCarver made me not want to watch the Saturday game. I missed most of it anyways because I was out, and I’m glad I did. CC didn’t pitch well and I’m sure they kept on mentioning how he hasn’t been the same pitcher against the Red Sox and how he sucks, and maybe how he’s not worth the jumbo contract because he can’t beat the Sox, blah blah blah…

So on to the finale, and the two teams were tied for first once again.

The pitching matchup of Freddy Garcia and Josh Beckett initially had me a little nervous. I was aware of their numbers.

Freddy Garcia really battled last night for my Yanks. He’s such a pitcher. Over 5 innings, Garcia allowed just 1 run (and it was a cheapie, he had some baaaad breaks in the 2nd inning when that run was allowed) and 5 hits, but threw 96 pitches. Beckett was throwing well, and I wasn’t sure if the Yanks would be able to get to him.

Two rather-unexpected heroes emerged for the Yanks last night. Eduardo Nunez and his quick stroke of the bad hammered a high fastball into the seats above the monster to tie the game at 1. My Grandma couldn’t believe it, “Ohhh, the young guy did it! And I wanted A-Rod to come back, Virginia…”

The second guy, I don’t know why, but something told me he’d do it. When Brett Gardner came to the plate in the 7th and his stats appeared on the screen, I thought, “Ahh, he’s having a nice year just like I expected…4 homers? When was the last time he hit one…due perhaps?”

Oh yeah.

Gardner did homer, and the Yankees had their first lead of the night. 2-1. It was such a long, slooowww paced game, me and my Grandma wanted to go to bed, but we wanted to watch.

The Yankee bullpen did its job and handed the ball to Mariano. Again, something just told me he wasn’t going to do it…I had a bad feeling. When I saw who the first guy up was – Marco Scutaro – I just knew. He was already 3-3 on the night, and I remember a few years back when he was with the A’s, he hit a walkoff homer off Mo. So when he led off the inning with a double, I can’t say I didn’t see that coming. Mo eventually blew the save, and right there I knew the momentum had permanently shifted for the game. The Red Sox have a “knack” for winning at home…let’s just say I’m not the only one who thinks they steal signs, but whatever.

When I saw PHIL HUGHES was coming in for the Yankees to pitch the next inning, I called it a night. I knew what he was going to do…so I just went to bed and accepted it before it even happened.

I know from an outsider’s perspective, it looks like the same old thing: The Red Sox are owning the Yankees. But I just don’t see that. All three games were well-played. And last night’s loss was tough. I truly believe that if that game was played in Yankee Stadium, the Yankees wouldn’t have lost. The Yankees are still better position-by-position, they have way better pitching, they just had a bad break. It’s Fenway. That happens there.

Maybe it’s better for the Yanks to say out of first for now. They’ve played well all year being the underdogs. But I’m confident that next time these teams meet, things will be different.

Still love ya, Yanks. I always will!

Enjoy the off-day!

GO YANKEES!

C”Cy” Gets A Pie

Hefty-Lefty Spectacular in Series Finale Win

After the historic day yesterday, I didn’t think life could get any better for a Yankees fan. Heading into today’s game with the series tied 1-1 with one game rained out, and looking ahead to the All-Star Break tomorrow, I figured it would be pretty nice to win today. And with our big ace on the hill, I knew we had a good chance at a W.

I remember the last time CC pitched, the Yankees had an offensive explosion and scored 9 runs. Then Michael Kay brought up the fact that CC was a guy who received some of the most run support in the league. I remembered that coming into today’s game.

I love how Michael Kay jinxes everything!

It was more like an offensive outage today, but hey, I’m fine with that. We won! And it’s all thanks to CC.

No runs? No problem. CC didn’t need too many – in fact 1 was enough. That 1 run was courtesy of sloppy defense from the Rays BJ Upton and James Shields. With Cano on first, Upton tried to throw him out after catching Posada’s fly ball. He threw it into the dugout, awarding 2 bases to Cano. In an attempt to pickoff Cano at third, Shields threw the ball crazy, allowing Cano to score. Tough luck. I guess he deserved, though. Shields is the leading guy for pickoffs, maybe he got too full of himself. Whatever. That 1 run was all CC needed. He CRUISED along today.

CC Sabathia threw a complete game 4-hit shutout and struckout 9 Rays along the way. He made it look so easy, throwing just 113 pitches. And that last fastball was clocked at 98 mph. PURE GAS. CC was pumped, and rightfully so. He threw a helluva ballgame.

Obviously the team was just as pleased in the Hefty-Lefty as I was. During his on-the-field interview, CC was pied by the always-stealth A.J. Burnett. I did not expect that! It wasn’t a walkoff win, but it was just as exciting. There’s nothing like watching the best pitcher own a division rival.

I didn’t think things could get better for a Yankees fan like myself, but they DID. There’s more aside from this win worth celebrating. I campaigned for and made a huge fuss about my boys, David Robertson and CC Sabathia, because I didn’t understand why they were not All-Stars. Their numbers were far superior to any other competitor, yet they were snubbed. Well apparently, someone heard my voice (or they just grew a brain), and Robertson and Sabathia have rightfully been named to the AL All-Star team.

So as if they didn’t already, my Yankees completely dominate the AL All-Star roster, though some guys will not be participating. But that’s okay – they still get the little All-Star icon next to 2011 on the backs of their baseball cards.

The Yankee representatives in the All-Star game are Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, Curtis Granderson, Russell Martin, Mariano Rivera, CC Sabathia, and David Robertson.

Since the All-Star game is to honor the best, and the Yankees are the best team, so naturally they are well-represented. I’m proud of my boys.

Great game today, my sweet chocolate chip Hefty-Lefty C”Cy” Sabathia! Congrats on your 13-4 record, 2.72 ERA, and All-Star first half.  You’ve been worth every penny so far!

Rest up, Yanks, and have fun in Arizona to those that are attending!

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!

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

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!

JOBIANAMO [Reprise]

Bullpen Back to Form in Yankee Win

Isn’t it funny how things work out when you never thought they would? I thought the Yankees were going to be stunned, shocked, and lifeless after Tuesday’s miserable loss to the Twins. I wanted them to just get out there and play on Wednesday, but the weather decided to screw everything up. I thought that after sitting on that loss yesterday thanks to the rain-out, the Yankees wouldn’t play well today.

And I was wrong.

The Yankees went out there today, and fought hard for the win, and won the series. I’m so proud of them!

A.J. Burnett toed the rubber today looking to go a little longer into the ballgame. I missed the first few innings thanks to good old school, but I caught the most of it. My Dad was listening to the radio in the car today when he picked me up. It wasn’t the Yankees.

“Rush Limbaugh, Daddy?”

“Of course,” he said, knowing that I too enjoy his program.

The first thought that popped into my head was that the Yankees were doing SO bad that he didn’t even have them on.

“You know the Yankees are on…” I said, cringing with my fingers crossed, hoping they didn’t blow the game.

“Are they? Oh I forgot!” Daddy exclaimed.

Pheew….way to make me crazy.

When we tuned in, the Yankees had a 1-0 lead in the 4th inning. The run was from a Nick Swisher sac fly. A.J. Burnett had a man on second base.

In a matter of about two minutes, Burnett had surrendered the lead, and the Twins lead 2-1. John Sterling said that everything that inning was hit hard.

“NO!” I thought. “I don’t want THIS A.J. Burnett!”

But that was the worst A.J. was today. Aside from that 4th inning, Burnett pitched a very good ballgame. He went 6 innings, allowed those 2 runs on 5 hits, 2 walks, and struckout 5 along the way. I’m proud.

     A.J. Burnett remains perfect in pinstripes in April with a six-inning, two-run outing against the Twins to close out the Yankees' season-opening home stand with a 4-3 win.

Now that’s the A.J. I like to see!

The Yankees were only down for that half inning. I got home in time to see them rally! They didn’t hit much – in fact the Bombers didn’t hit one bomb today – but they got the job done. Andruw Jones tied up the game with an RBI double. Russell Martin drove in another with an RBI groundout, and Brett Gardner provided more insurance with a bloop RBI single. The Yanks lead it 4-2.

Then the bullpen took over.

Now although I convinced myself the other day that I HAD NO FEAR about the bullpen, I did have a little fear today. I just couldn’t help it. I was so quick to say how good the ‘pen was, and then the next game, the ‘pen blew it (sort of). So I was a little nervous.

Joba Chamberlain was called upon for the 7th inning, his inning. He did well, but a run scored unearned because of a throwing error by Russell Martin. So after Joba’s solid performance, my nerves subsided a little.

Until I remembered who’s in charge of the 8th inning.

                       soriano.jpg

“Uh-oh,” I thought. “Soriano has to pitch the 8th…and now it’s just a 1-run lead. I know he’s supposed to be GOOD in tight spots, but I wonder if he’ll let his mind get the better of him.”

I was freaking out…so much, that I did something I hardly ever do: I left the room. Usually in tight situations, I stay, but I just cover my face or something. But today, I just didn’t even want to see/hear/know it. I went in the kitchen with my parents, who were enjoying a nice afternoon cup of tea. Before I knew it, the inning was over.

We rushed back into the living room, and saw the score was still 4-3 as the team made their way back into the dugout. HE DID IT! Soriano is BACK!!!

The rest was easy. The Great Mariano closed the game, and earned the save. Yankees win 4-3, win the series, and win my confidence back.

The Heroes for the Victory are undoubtedly the pitchers: A.J. Burnett, Joba Chamberlain, Rafael Soriano, and Mariano Rivera. Burnett was solid in his start, and Jobianamo was dominant once again.

Jobianamo is back – and I think it’s here to stay.

                        JOBIANAMO.jpg

My Yanks now head to Baahston, where the Red Sox still have not won a game. But I won’t get too cocky just yet…

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…

  

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