Results tagged ‘ Rafael Soriano ’

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!

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!

Where Have My Yankees Gone?

Yankees Struggles Continue

This past series against the Red Sox was incredibly embarrassing for my Yankees. God, it was unbearable! I thought I would finally be able to sit down and watch a good ballgame, because when they were out West I usually found myself waking up startled on the living room couch at 1am with the game over. Going back East, back HOME, seemed so comforting.

Not this time!

For some odd reason, the Yankees have struggled so far in the Bronx this year, when previously, they had a great homefield advantage at Yankee Stadium. Their record is just 17-16 in New York – definitely not good enough.

I don’t want to do recaps of these three games, because they were miserable. The Red Sox owned the Yankees, but I kind of feel like the Yankees beat themselves. This is not the team I saw in April, and there are many reasons why.

First of all, injuries. Not to make excuses or anything, but the Yankees have been ravaged by the injury bug. Remember that seemingly-unfaltering bullpen they had in April? It’s all gone. Completely destroyed. Rafael Soriano (who was very disappointing anyway, but I didn’t think he would stay bad for long) is out for God knows how long with an inflamed ligament in his throwing elbow. So there goes the 8th inning. Joba Chamberlain was recently diagnosed with a torn ligament in his throwing elbow, and he may undergo Tommy John surgery. He’s pretty much out for at least the rest of this season. So there goes the 7th inning. Now the Yankees have names like Luis Ayala and Lance Pendleton, who looks a lot like Woody Harrelson, finishing up games for them. These are not the type of player who is going to win the team a championship. The Yankees need to so some serious work.

And speaking of Joba: remember those Joba Rules? Like, the rules stating: “Let’s coddle and baby and shelter our prospects from the real world of baseball that involves pitching, because we don’t want them to injure themselves, so we’ll make a ridiculous proposal stating the exact amount of innings they can pitch, keeping in mind that they can’t pitch back to back days – God FORBID – and they can’t throw more than this many pitches in a game, and they have to use this much ice on their elbow after the game, and shower for this long, and” – okay you get it. THOSE absurd rules.  Remember them? They were also used for other pitching prospects, like Phil Hughes. Well I have just one question:

WHY ARE PHIL HUGHES AND JOBA CHAMBERLAIN SERIOUSLY INJURED?

 

I don’t believe we will see either Phil Hughes OR Joba Chamberlain again this season, and I doubt if Joba has Tommy John surgery, that we will ever see him play in a Yankees uniform again.

It seems like the Yankees are clueless when it comes to managing their players. These “Joba”-type rules are insanity. Coincidence that both these guys are damaged now? I don’t know. All I know is that, back in the day, when baseball players were MEN and not BABIES, they played the game. They didn’t have innings limits, pitch counts, or Joba Rules of any sort. And they had perfectly fine careers. I don’t get why they can’t just do that today. I mean what, this way is any better? It seems that players are way too fragile nowadays, hence these injuries.

The Yankees are currently 33-27, but they really have not been playing well of late. They just don’t have that “spark” that they used to have. I don’t know why. Their team needs improvement drastically – in so many aspects. Relief pitching, for one. But also clutch hitting. I think the Yankees owe it to the fans to do something to get them a little excited, because maybe if the fans have a spark, it will translate into the team having some fire again. I say, since they need bullpen help and offensive help right away, just bring up some kids – and DON’T screw them up with “RULES.” Let them play the friggin’ game. Russell Martin is a little hurt, Posada isn’t hitting well? Try bringing up Jesus Montero for a catcher/DH. Maybe bring up Andrew Brackman (who is in Triple-A, just itching to get a taste of the Bigs) or Dellin Betances, and just try them out in the bullpen or in the rotation. Just DO it! Other teams do it all the time. Other teams actually USE their prospects! What a novel idea!

It may sound crazy to some, but I swear by my idea. The kids are obviously good. They’ve been sitting there, wasting away in the Minors. They are good enough and experienced enough down there to come up. And since the Yankees are struggling mightily and don’t even look like the Yankees, maybe now is the right time to make a bold move like this.

Maybe now’s the time to get a team together again.

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…

  

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.

    

Soriano Starts Out On A Bad Note…

I was one of the Yankees fans who loved the Rafael Soriano signing. But suddenly, I’m not smiling as much. It probably sounds ridiculous to you, but I think I have a very good reason to be mad at newcomer Rafael Soriano. This picture broke my heart:

Soriano Took Cervelli's Number.jpg

What’s wrong with that, you ask? Looks like an ordinary new player press conference…

If you know me, you should understand…

If you still don’t understand, I’ll give you a hint:

     

Look, it’s Cervelli!

Francisco Cervelli – #29.

Get why I’m enraged at Soriano yet?

WHY THE HECK DID HE TAKE CERVELLI’S NUMBER?!?!?!?!

I know what some might think, “Ooh it’s just a number…get over it.”

Just a number? No, it was just a number that belonged to my FAVORITE BASEBALL PLAYER. It was just a number that happens to be included in almost every single one of my passwords for every single thing. It was just a number that took me forever to find on the back of a Yankee’s shirt!

cervelliiiii.PNG

It was JUST A NUMBER that I spent $40 when I went to Yankee Stadium last July.

What is my sweet Francisco Cervelli, not to mention what am I, going to do now? I’m so upset about this…It’s going to be hard for Soriano to make this up to me.

Rafael Soriano better be really good or else I’m going to HATE him even more…

Beast Bullpen!

I am still in shock. The Yankees actually signed a big free agent! And I am ecstatic! Some think it was a dumb decision, some think the Yanks overpaid, but I DON’T CARE! It just means the world to me that they actually did something – something worthwhile. With this one signing, I feel a whole lot better about next year for my Yanks.

The Yankees recently signed former Ray’s closer Rafael Soriano to a 3 year, $35 million deal. Expensive? Yes, but Soriano had a remarkable season in 2010 with a 1.73 ERA and a league leading 45 saves, so I’d say he’s worth it. Who cares if he’s setting up? I hate when people say “Ohh the Yankees are so dumb to pay that much for a setup man.” WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE? What, like they are going to use Soriano as a closer while they have Mo? Come on. The job of setup man is extremely underrated. It’s incredibly important. And since Soriano was amazing last year, and he said he wouldn’t mind being the setup guy for the Yanks, I’d say he’s worth every penny.

 

Rafael Soriano.jpgRafael Soriano makes the entire Yankees pitching staff better. And I know I’m really excited, so that might sound like an overstatement, but it’s really not. Soriano makes the whole bullpen stronger. He has a defined role: he is the setup man, and that’s final. The 8th inning belongs to him. And of course, the 9th is Mo’s. Remember what seems like a long time ago when the Yankees signed Pedro Feliciano? He’s a lefty specialist, which means Boone Logan might be able to pitch full innings, since the Yankees will still have another lefty reliever. So maybe the 7th can be Logan’s inning.

What I’m attempting to say, is that the acquisition of Rafael Soriano helps to shorten games. Pitchers, good pitchers, have defined roles. Now, that starting rotation that seems oh-so shaky, doesn’t have to worry about pitching really deep into games. They know they can go maybe 6 innings and still put the team in a position to win. I’d love it for the Yankees to bring in maybe 1 or 2 guys for the starting rotation, but even if they don’t, I’m feeling a lot better about the team. These relievers are going to make the starting rotation better.

Another reason I LOVE the Soriano acquisition, is because I think he will help Mariano Rivera. Trevor Hoffman, the all-time saves leader, has retired. Mo is second on that list, even though he’s still the greatest closer. Since Soriano is so good, and the 8th inning is pretty much his, he can give Mariano more opportunities to save games, whereas when the 8th inning belonged to Joba Chamberlain, save opportunities were flushed down the drain because Joba SUCKED and blew everything. Mariano has 559 saves, Hoffman has 601. Mo will play for at least 2 more seasons…I’d say it’s safe to say that he will eventually be the Saves King.

And speaking of JOBA…I heard the Yankees are willing to listen to trade offers involving Joba if a viable starter looms at the other end of the deal. So that’s good…maybe we won’t have to worry about Joba Chamberlain stinking anymore, because he might not be on the team!

Spring Training is coming but I wish it would hurry up. This offseason has been really boring aside from the Rafael Soriano signing. I miss baseball so much. Without it, I’m bored. So to entertain myself as well as others, I’ve been doing piano covers of Green Day songs. So if you like Green Day or just want to hear how AMAZING I am at piano, please check out my Youtube videos: http://www.youtube.com/user/southernbelle816?feature=mhum

I’d appreciate it.

And thanks to my readers for making me #28 on the 2010 Top 100 Blogs list. I finally got my little badge :)

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