Results tagged ‘ The Great Mariano ’

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.

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 :)

Winning Without Me

Drama Club Steals the Show from Lee and the Rangers

I want to kill my TV. It sucks. Seriously, I’ve had enough with it. It just doesn’t work anymore. Maybe it’s because I always throw my shoes at it….

Maybe, but I don’t think that’s the main reason. Our TV is a dinosaur. I’m not kidding, our TV is 24 year old Zenith. It’s big and beautiful – the screen is embedded into the piece, and it’s like a piece of furniture.

Exactly like this one! Only with mine, it’s hard to watch baseball.

So last night, we put the YES Network on around 7:30 and listened to the pregame while we ate dinner. Then around 7:50, the picture and sound were gone. Oh great. And of course, it didn’t come back. The clock said 8:07, and I was itching to see my Yankees. But no. tHe picture was gone.

The cable guy says it’s not because the TV is old, it’s because the cable lines are either filled with water, or get this: the SQUIRRELS are chewing them.

I think we just need a new TV.

Anyway, of course the YES Network was dead last night, but the stupid movie channels worked. And of course, my Dad found the perfect thing to watch on my favorite channel: Encore Westerns. God help me.

All of a sudden, I hear my older brother, who was downstairs on the computer, scream. My Dad asked him what was wrong, and he said, “THEY SUUUCK. Javier gave up a home run.”

Yankees down a run….and facing Cliff Lee…then I wasn’t so sure if I wanted to watch the game, even if the TV would let me.

           The New York Yankees beat the Rangers Wednesday, 7-6, despite Texas' six runs in five innings off starting pitcher Javier Vazquez (above). 

Eventually, my parents went to bed, leaving me and my little brother with control over the TV. No more westerns!

We tried the YES Network again, and it worked…but I lost my desire to watch. The score was 6-1 Rangers.

So we switched it over to our favorite movie, Tropic Thunder. If you’ve never seen it, I suggest you do. Nonstop laughter, and there’s actually a plot!

Through our intense laughter, we heard clapping from downstairs. After pulling ourselves together, Tommy and I yelled to Bobby, “Hey! What’s going on down there?”

Turns out, the Yankees scored.

Okay, so they scored…but could they really come back from this huge deficit?

Every once in awhile, we would switch back to YES. In the 8th, we saw Marcus Thames rounding the bases. He hit a home run? And then we noticed the score: 6-5???

Are they seriously coming back?

       New York Yankees DH Marcus Thames (r.) receives a high five from third base coach Rob Thomson after his eighth-inning solo home run. Thames also knocks in the go-ahead run in the ninth.

When the game reached the 9th inning, we decided to watch. Luckily, we saw the good stuff: With 2 men on and the infield in, Derek Jeter hit a bouncing ball through for a base hit! That tied the game at 6.

After Nick Swisher struckout again, it was up to Marcus Thames. And again, Thames delivered a solid base hit through the left side, giving the Yankees their first lead of the night: 7-6.

Mariano made things too close for comfort in the bottom of the 9th, surrendering a leadoff triple. But there was no way Mo was going to lose the game 2 nights in a row. So the Great Mariano did his thing, and that runner didn’t move. YANKEES WIN 7-6!

I never in a million years thought they would win it last night. I mean, the team has looked so dead for the past few days. But I guess last night was different. The heroes for this victory are the guys that I saw win it for the Yanks: Jeet, Mo, and Marcus Thames.

When the Yankees got Marcus Thames in the offseason, I didn’t think much of it. I celebrated over getting Granderson and Vazquez. But in reality, little Mr. Marcus Thames has proved to be the best acquisition the Yankees added this year. He doesn’t play much, but when he does, he contributes. I hope they keep him.

With an ever-so-slim 1.5 game lead in the AL East, I’m hoping the Yankees can sweep the Kansas City Royals and gain a little ground. And hopefully, I’ll be able to actually watch them do it.

GO YANKEEEEEEES!!!!!!!

Tears and Cheers

Emotional Night Ends Right

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  

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

 

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

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

 

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

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

 Sweet victory.

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

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

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

“Jav” A Day

Vazquez Fabulous in Yankee Win

Last season in the West Coast Trip before the All-Star Break, the Yankees got swept and lost all three games to the Angels. When I noticed te schedule for this year had a West Coast trip right before the All-Star Break, I couldn’t help but to panic. But after last night/this morning’s game, I no longer have to worry about a sweep. The Yankees beat the Athletics 3-1, and start off the road trip with a “W.”

Pitching Analysis: Javier Vazquez recorded his first win of the season against the A’s back in April, so I hoped that maybe he’d have similar luck last night. Eh. I was wrong. JAVY WAS EVEN BETTER! Oh, he was fabulous. In 7 innings, Javy allowed just 1 run (a sac fly) on 3 hits. He really pitched an amazing game. That’s my boy! And to think in the beginning of the year, everyone was ready to give up on him. His ERA is back to respectability at 4.81. Since mid May, Javy has the BEST ERA out of every Yankee starter. And I believed in him ♥

Javier Vazquez gives the Yankees seven solid innings against the Oakland Athletics Monday night and Mark Teixeira (b.) powers the offense with a solo homer.

Oh Javy! Way to have a day, my little cutie ;)

The bullpen was actually good! Joba Chamberlain, with help of Francisco Cervelli, threw a perfect 8th. The Great Mariano is back to his normal self as he saved the game last night.

Defensive Analysis: The Yankees have the best defense in the Bigs. They’ve made the least amount of errors. But last night, their gloves really shined. Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Curtis Granderson, and Colin Curtis all made amazing web-gem-worthy plays to save Javy the stress of baserunners. GO D!!!

Offensive Analysis: When you have good pitching, you don’t need a boatload of runs. Javier Vazquez has had bad luck with offensive support, having the least run support of all Yankee starters. But this time, 3 runs were enough.

In the 2nd inning after 2 quick outs, I didn’t expect the Yankees to score any runs. Why do I always do things like that? Nick Swisher, who really needs our help to be an All-Star, (SEND SWISH!!!!) got himself aboard with a 2-out double. 

    July 05, 2010 - Oakland, CALIFORNIA, United States - epa02238144 New York Yankees DH Nick Swisher tosses his bat away, after hitting a double against the Oakland Athletics in the top of the second inning in Oakland, California, USA, 05 July 2010.

GO TO YANKEES.COM AND VOTE NICK SWISHER! BE SURE TO SPREAD THE WORD!

Curtis Granderson then followed with a triple down the line to score NickySwish. Then, my sweet Franciso Cervelli, just looked to put the bat on the ball. He’s got the BEST hitting approach I’ve ever seen. Cervelli hit the ball on the ground right back up the middle, for an RBI single. 2-0 Yankees!

Mark Teixeria must feel left out. The rest of the Yankee infield (execpt catcher) is headed to California for the All-Star Game, but Mark is not. He must think he still has a chance, because he has really turned it on these past few days. Last night in the 6th, Tex hit a monster solo homer to centerfield to give the Yankees a 3-1 lead. And that was the final score.

  July 05, 2010 - Oakland, United States - epa02238154 New York Yankees Mark Teixeira is congratulated by teammates after hitting a solo homerun against Oakland Athletics starting pitcher Ben Sheets during sixth inning action in Oakland California, USA, 05 July 2010.

TEX!

Last night’s win was very comforting for me. The heroes for the victory are Javy Vazquez and Mark Teixeira for proving they can do it, and that all we needed was to be patient and believe!

Have a day, Yankees! Keep up the good baseball :)

A View from Sec 237, Row 14, Seat 1


 Yankee Game July 1st 2010

Yesterday was my first time at the new Yankee Stadium. I know, I’m ashamed that I didn’t get to go earlier. But I know I’ll be back many many times, because the place is like Heaven. And lucky for me, it was a good game. The Yankees lost the first two of the Mariners series, and lost the first today in the Blue Jays series. I’m very thankful for that 4-2 win yesterday. Maybe they won because of me!

I was too excited to sleep. I was too excited to stay still on the train. Hahaa, I was too excited and stupified to even take pictures of the Great Hall! My Dad and I walked around like zombies, OMG-ing at everything we saw. It was amazing. The Stadium is so beautiful – words cannot describe it.

I was a Bleacher Creature, which was an incredible experience in itself. We got in our seats early to see the guys warm up. After a little while, when I realized that it is not a dream and I can control my every move, I decided to take some pictures of the guys warming up.

CC pitched a fabulous game for the Yanks yesterday. Now I know how he prepares for his starts:

P1020786.JPGCC paces around as Dave Eiland goes over the plan of attack.

 

P1020788.JPG

CC and Jorge, the battery of the game, have a nice catch. 

 

The Mariner starter, Ryan Rowland-Smith, had a catch with his battery mate Josh Bard:

P1020791.JPG 

After a few minutes, the position players emerged from the clubhouse to do some last-minute warmups before the start of the game:

P1020795.JPGFrom left to right: Curtis Granderson, doing some serious stretching with help of a trainer, Robinson Cano, doing I don’t know what, and Mark Teixeira, jogging his way into the picture.

 

P1020792.JPGThe Mariners did the same thing.  

 Before we knew it, the game began.
 

P1020808.JPGAfter CC pitched a 1-2-3 first, Jeet led off for the Yanks. He eventually scored on a Mark Teixeira groundout to give to the Yanks a 1-0 lead.

 The game went pretty fast. Here are some random shots I got:

P1020811.JPGA-Rod in the process of swinging (and missing :p)

 

P1020814.JPGRamiro Pena at-bat with Derek Jeter on deck. 

 

P1020810.JPGMariners left-fielder Ryan Langerhans looking a little bored in the outfield.  

 

HERE IS MY FAVORITE PIC:

P1020813.JPG                                      Ow-OW! Brett Gardner – lookin’ good…♥♥♥

After A-Rod’s dramatic 2-run homer in the 8th, we had the lead again. That meant only one thing….

P1020816.JPG

                                                            MO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hearing Metallica’s “Enter Sandman” and witnessing the Great Mariano jog onto the field is just the coolest thing ever. He beasted yesterday, setting down the Mariners 1-2-3 and nailing down the save for the Yankee win.

I had the time of my life at the game yesterday. I don’t even care that much about the loss today, because yesterday still lingers in my mind :) The heroes for the thrilling victory yesterday are CC Sabathia, for 8 innings of 2-run, DOMINANT C “Cy” style baseball, Alex Rodriguez, for his SUPER CLUTCH 2-run homer in the 8th to re-give the Yankees the lead, and Michael Hirschbein. He’s the guy that made this day possible for me by giving me the tickets. I write for him at http://pinstripepartisan.com at FanVsFan.com He’s awesome.

For more on my trip to the Stadium, check out this little video at http://fanvsfan.com/shows

 

It Wasn’t A Mirage

Yanks Take Finale to Win Series in the Desert

I’ve seen a lot of bizarre things on the baseball diamond before, but I think last night is worthy of the title of one of the most bizarre baseball games ever. I think the players weren’t all their last night – on both sides. Last night’s game was not played well, and was incredibly sloppy. I was beginning to think I was seeing things, but then I remembered that I wasn’t the one in the desert. Nope, it wasn’t a mirage. It wasn’t a gorgeous win, but I’ll take it. The Yankees won 6-5, and won the series.

Pitching Analysis: After watching and pitying Dontrelle Willis, who just could not throw a stike, it was Javy Vazquez’s turn. I panicked, because he walked the leadoff man Kelly Johnson. I was beginning to worry, “Oh no! It’s contagious! Javy has the virus! He can’t throw strikes!” It was a pretty messy inning, but Javier did catch a break when the defense threw out a runner trying to score. Later on, with the bases loaded, he surrendered a 2-run single to Adam Laroche. That pest. He had 5 RBI last night.

Javier really struggled last night. He went just 5 innings, and allowed 4 runs on 6 hits. He really didn’t have good stuff on the mound. But to his credit, he kept the Yankees in the game, and didn’t unravel to the point of no return. He prevented the opposition from having the Big inning. And for that, Javy deserves a pat on the back. 

                                   New York Yankees starting pitcher Javier Vazquez throws a pitch to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the first inning of their MLB interleague baseball game in Phoenix, June 23, 2010. REUTERS/Joshua Lott (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 Look at you…so cute ;)

The bullpen did a lot of work last night, and most of it was done well. Damaso Marte allowed a run in te 6th, but it’s not like they hit him. He kind of screwed himself up. Chris Young walked, moved to second on a balk, advanced to third on a wild pitch, and scored on a groundout. That gave the D-Backs a 5-4 lead.

The rest of the ‘pen was fabulous: Joba, Robertson, and Mo. Oh, Mo! Mo, Mo, Mo…what else can we say about Mo? He’s amazing.

Mariano knew what he was in for last night: 2 innings to pitch, and 1 shot at the plate. He tossed a 1-2-3 9th, and in the 10th, he got a chance to hit. That was pretty funny. He put a good swing on the ball, but grounded out. The best part was that the whole team was at leaning on the dugout railing, laughing and just having fun with it. I don’t know how Mo focused at the plate with the whole team joking about him like that.

                                  June 23, 2010 - Phoenix, AZ, United States - epa02219261 New York Yankees Mariano Rivera of Panama, watches his grounder roll to the Arizona Diamondbacks second baseman before being thrown out, as he bats during the ninth inning of their Major League Baseball game in Phoenix, Arizona USA, 23 June, 2010. The Yankees won 6-5 in 10 innings.

 LOL!

More importantly, I don’t know how Mo focused in the 10th! It was a miracle…Stephen Drew led off with a single. Then Justin Upton doubled, and Miguel Montero was intentionally walked to load the bases with none out. NONE out. Yikes. But Mo stayed cool – he got Chris Young to pop out to Cervelli, and got the dangerous Adam Laroche to pop out to A-Rod. That left it up to Mark Reynolds: the guy that either strikes out, or goes deep. Like in the rest of the inning, I bravely watched through the tiny opening between my fingers as I covered the rest of my face. Reynolds tried, but there was no way he was going to hit The Great Mariano. With a valiant effort, Reynolds swung at that back door cutter, but came up empty. Strike three! Crisis averted! YANKEES WIN!

       New York Yankees' relief pitcher Mariano Rivera throws a pitch to the Arizona Diamondbacks in the ninth inning of their MLB inter-league baseball game in Phoenix, June 23, 2010. REUTERS/Joshua Lott (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

Oh, thank you Mariano!

Offensive Analysis: Despite being given 13 walks by D-back pitchers, the offense struggled. They could not take advantage of the Diamondback mistakes. Instead, they made mistakes of their own. The basepaths were not friendly to the Yankees last night. There were three baserunning blunders that I would rather not summarize. It was ugly.

As for the runs, the Yankees got one in the first on a Nick Swisher RBI single. A-Rod drew an RBI walk in the 2nd. But the Yankees failed to really put a rally together. Until the 6th.

In the 6th, my darling Francisco Cervelli led off with a double, and eventually scored on a Brett Gardner RBI groundout. Cutie Colin Curtis came off the bench to pinch hit for Javy Vazquez. Once again, Curtis hit the ball hard, almost knocking over Adam Laroche, for an game tying RBI single! That made it 4-4. The Yanks re-tied the game in the 9th, thanks to an sac fly by A-Rod.

In the 10th, I was beginning to get restless. I began to think about the longball as a quick way to score a run. Curtis Granderson stepped up to the plate. While he was up, I was looking through my notebook to see if the Yanks had a homer that game. It was such a long, stressful game, that I forgot. I didn’t see any “HR!” in my notebook. Right when I realized this, I heard the crack of Grandy’s bat. I looked up, and there it went! HOME RUN, CURTIS GRANDERSON! Why didn’t I think this before? Whatever. The Yankees had a 6-5 lead, thanks to my sweet little Curtis. And that was the final score.

       New York Yankees' Curtis Granderson hits a home run against the Arizona Diamondbacks in the tenth inning of their MLB inter-league baseball game in Phoenix, June 23, 2010. REUTERS/Joshua Lott (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 Thank you, Curtis!

A lot of things happened last night that I didn’t believe. One of these was that the Yankees won! They didn’t play particularly well, but hey: they played well enough. A win is a win is a win. I’ll take it – especially since the Yankees gained a game on every team in the AL East! The heroes for this bizarre victory are Curtis Granderson for his clutch HR, and Mariano Rivera, for his miracle on the mound. He truly is amazing.  

          New York Yankees' relief pitcher Mariano Rivera (R) is congratulated by catcher Franciso Cervelli after their win against the Arizona Diamondbacks during their MLB inter-league baseball game in Phoenix, June 23, 2010. REUTERS/Joshua Lott (UNITED STATES - Tags: SPORT BASEBALL)

 

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