Thursday, September 30, 2010

Taking A Look At What Could Lie Ahead For The Yankees

Just got back from Toronto about 5 minutes ago. It's about 2:30am and I'm going to have to get up with my kids in about 3 hours. I'm super-tired but I had to blog. Got some stuff I wanted to drop sooner rather than later. First things first, Toronto was fun. Went to 2 of the 3 games. Unfortunately they were the 2 games the Yankees lost. Guess I had that kind of luck this trip. Did get some good autographs though. That made the trip worth it. While there I got into some spirited debate with some fellow Yankee fans about the end of the season and preferences for the postseason. Here's my take:

Tomorrow's Rays' game is pretty huge. The way I see it is if the Rays win the Yankees are the wild card team. A Rays' win puts the Yankees 1 game back with 3 to play. The Rays hold the tie-breaker so if they finish the season tied that means the Yanks are the WC. So the Yanks would have to gain 2 games on the Rays over the final 3 days. The only way they can do that is if the Rays lose at least 2 of their last 3 games, which is highly unlikely since they're playing the 65-93 Kansas City Royals. The only chance the Yankees have of winning the division is if the Rays lose tomorrow, err, I mean later today as it's 2:30am. I don't see TB losing 2 of final 3. Possible, but really doubtful. Now here's where the debate comes in.

What playoff scenario do you prefer? Winning the AL East and hosting the Texas Rangers in the ALDS and having home-field advantage throughout the playoffs, or, being the wild card and going to Minnesota in the ALDS and not having HFA at all throughout the playoffs? The way I'm currently looking at it, I'd take the wild card. Follow me on this.

If the Yankees win the East that means they play the Rangers and that means they'd face Cliff Lee, possibly twice, both times likely in Yankee Stadium, where LHPs fare quite well. If Texas were smart, they'd throw CJ Wilson, another LHP, in game 2. They may have a winning record against them but the Yankees struggle against LHPs. Don't quote me on this but I thought I heard it somewhere recently and I'm too lazy to look it up, but I think the Yankees have lost 8-9 straight against LHPs. Again, not 100% on the stat but regardless they haven't done well recently against LHPs. I think facing Lee and Wilson in Yankee Stadium could be a death sentence. The Yankees would have to counter with Sabathia & Pettitte. Beating Texas wouldn't be out of the question. I think it might be a tall order, especially when you consider how the Yankees have been playing.

Now if the Yankees end up the WC they'll head to Minnesota where they'll face LHP Francisco Liriano in game 1 and not sure who they'd face in game 2. I'd guess Carl Pavano. If I'm Ron Gardenhire I'd have them face LHP Brian Duensing in game 3 in Yankee Stadium. CC would obviously go in game 1 for the Yankees. If I'm Joe Girardi I throw Phil Hughes in game 2. Hughes has fared better on the road this year. His ERA is 3.52 on the road vs. 4.66 at home. He's allowed 5 HRs on the road versus 20 at home. The Yankees are better off if Hughes pitches on the road. Target Field also seems to be a pitcher's park. I think it'll work in the Yankees favor to have Hughes start there in game 2, as opposed to game 3 in Texas, which is a hitter's park. A 1-2 of CC and Hughes would allow you to break up the LHPs by starting Andy Pettitte in game 3 at Yankee Stadium. If the Yankees happen to find themselves down 2-1 after 3 they'd probably bring back CC on short rest. Again, Yankee Stadium is a park where LHPs typically do better. Pettitte & CC back-to-back in Yankee Stadium works for me, especially when Cliff Lee isn't in the opposing dugout. It would also neutralize Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau (assuming he's cleared to play-guessing won't be). And let's face it, come playoff time, the Yankees own the Twins. They may in fact own them altogether. They did after all take 4 of 6 against them this year, winning 2 of 3 both at Yankee Stadium and at Target Field.

I don't know. Maybe I haven't thought this through all the way. As I typed it all out I began to question my preference to face the Twins a little bit. My gut is telling me "wild card." My head is starting to say "home field advantage." HFA is really important, especially to a team that's 52-29 at home. But Cliff Lee in a short series, likely pitching twice in Yankee Stadium? That scares me. It scares me a lot.


Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Off To Toronto

I'm off to Toronto to catch the Yankees/Jays series. Not sure I'll get to catch all of it. My awesome wife is letting me go while she stays home with the little ones (3 kids 3 and under). She's the best. To be fair to her I doubt I'll make it to all 3 games. I'd love to see them clinch it and I'd love it to be today. I'm not sure what blogging I'll get in but I will be tweeting. I just hope the battery on my Droid X makes it through the day.

Peace, love & Pinstripes,


Sunday, September 26, 2010

Yankees Win A Tense One, Time To Exhale & Breathe A Little Easier

G effing D. Tonight's Yankees/Red Sox game is absolutely killing me. 2 outs away from picking up the W and Mo blows the save. WTF? Then the Yankees get to Papelbon and have 2 shots at knocking in the game winner but nope. Freaking Jorge. Talk about a horrible inning. 4 SBs and a whiff. Horrible. Aargh.

The game is currently in the 10th inning and I can't bear myself to watch it. I've been a nervous nelly these last few days. I'm starting to get that sinking feeling that the Yankees are royally screwed. I know they're still in really good shape but they're not playing well at all. They still have a pretty good-sized lead but with the way they're playing and 3 more games with Boston, 'll admit it, I don't feel good about it. Hopefully this post ends on a happy note.

Phil Hughes looked great tonight. Yankees made the right move by starting him tonight.

A-Rod is becoming extremely hot. I can't believe he's on the cusp of hitting 30 HRs. I didn't think he had a shot but he's been on a tear. I was jumping around the house when he went deep. Thought I woke up my kids but thankfully, I didn't.

My pre-season prediction for the AL MVP was Robinson Cano. I still stand by that prediction. Robbie is the man.

I'm not liking how Mariano has pitched recently. I hope he gets it out of his system if they make it to the postseason. My fantasy team is in the championship of a $ league. I have both Papelbon and Rivera. Tonight was not a good night.

I'm not enjoying what I'm seeing from Jorge Posada. That 9th inning was brutal.

The Yankees currently have the bases loaded with no outs in the 10th. C'mon fellas. Take care of this. I've been typing this blog in the kitchen and am within earshot of the TV. I've been running in whenever I hear Miller start to call a play. The Yankees have been doing better this game when I've been in the other room. Being the superstitious cat that I am, I'm staying put and sticking with what's working.

Force out at home. Freaking A. Here we go again. C'mon Juan Miranda. You like pie, right?

YES HE DOES! Okajima with the bases loaded walk! Yankees win. Thuhh Yankees win.

Man, that was an extremely tense game. I can finally breathe easier. The win means the Yankees at worst clinch a tie for the wild card. The only way that happens is if they finish 0-6 and Boston finishes 7-0. I'm not going to comment on that. This hasn't been the best month for the Yankees and I'm not going to make another potential foot-in-mouth comment until it's done.

One week to go. The Yanks are a 1/2 game back of Tampa for the division and have clinched a tie for the wild-card. This should be a great week. Lucky for me the next 3 are in Toronto. It's about an hour-and-a-half away and I'm going. I'm really hoping to see them clinch the WC and I'm hoping it's tomorrow. That would be awesome. Leaving early to do some autograph hunting. Off to bed. My mind is racing though. That game was crazy.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Thursday, September 23, 2010

The Wheels Fall Off & The Walls Come Tumbling Down

How quickly things go wrong, eh? The 6th inning of tonight's Yankees game was painful to watch. We've all seen those kind of innings before. This one really stings because it happened to CC Sabathia. It was downright ugly. You know it's bad when he walks the 8 and 9 hitters. The Yankees were in the driver's seat up until that point and if you're like me, you kind of felt the game was in the bag. CC was cruising and based on his track record it looked like he'd go 7-8 innings and then we'd see Mo close it out. Guess it wasn't meant to be.

I'm not totally rocked by the loss. The Yankees still have a half-game lead, which is what they had when the series started. 4 games off the schedule and no ground gained or lost. I can live with it. But they were so close to having a 2.5 game lead. Ugh. That would have been nice.

So here we sit, 9 games left on the schedule and they're in a virtual tie for first and all but assured a playoff spot. The magic # to eliminate the Red Sox is 3 and they're up next for the Yankees. Six of the last nine games are versus the Red Sox. Two Yankee wins and they're playoff bound. I would love to see the Yankees knock these out right off the bat. Beckett v. Pettitte. Should be a good one.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Yankees Beat The Rays, Lead Up To 2.5

Aw yeah baby. Two games into the series with the Rays and 2 Yankee victories. The lead in the AL East is up to 2.5 and if the Yankees can keep the pressure on (go for the jugular!) the lead could be up to a comfortable 4.5 games by end of play Thursday. Worst case scenario the Yankees drop the next two and we're where we were a few days ago. Nothing wrong with wiping 4 games off the schedule and keeping things the same. The Yankees do need to win at least one more against Tampa Bay. That would ensure the two teams would split the season series. That could be big if they happen to end the season tied for first. Not sure what the tie-breaker would be but 2 losses removes that from the equation altogether. A win tomorrow or Thursday and I'm a very happy camper.

Huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuughes! 17 wins for PJH. That's my boy. Not the best start for Phil but a really strong finish. It didn't look like he'd make it through 5 innings but he pitched into the 7th and that was big. The bullpen needed the rest. The walks were a little concerning though. Hopefully Phil figures his control issues out.

Add another $41 to the Swish's Wishes fundraiser. Swish got things started today with his 27th HR. That brings the total pledged up to $1167. Thanks to all for pledging. I'm hoping we can ger at least 3 more HRs from Swish before the year is up.

Looks like the offense has woken up. Back-to-back 8 run games and 30 in their last 4. Everyone hit tonight except for Teixeira. It was nice to see the A-team out there. It's been awhile since we have. Health is a good thing. The slump appears to be over.

The Red Sox are on the verge of losing to the Orioles. They're getting spanked 9-1 with 1 out in the bottom of the 9th. Nice job by the Sox bullpen: 3 IP, 9 hits, 8 earned runs. Papelbon gave up 4 runs on 5 hits in his one inning of work. Love it. Well sort of. He's on my fantasy team and I'm in the championship. That outing isn't going to help. Anyway the game just ended and the Yankees magic # of 3 to clinch a playoff spot. I think it's pretty safe to say they're on their way to the postseason. The Yankees would have to finish 2-9 and the Sox 11-0 for them to tie. No chance. Life is good.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Monday, September 20, 2010

The Grandyman Delivers In A Big Way

Big win for the Yankees tonight. It wasn't the prettiest of wins but it's a win nonetheless. I'm going to keep this short and sweet tonight because, well, it's past my bedtime. Sorry, need my beauty sleep.

Curtis Granderson came up big tonight. He saved the bullpen's bacon.

I asked this before and still need to know the answer: why is Chad Gaudin pitching in close games?

Mariano Rivera is starting to scare me, but only a little.

The lead in the East is now 1.5 games and the magic # to clinch a playoff spot is down to 5. If I were a Red Sox fan I'd be pulling for a Yankees sweep. But for the most part they're a stupid breed. Not all of them are dumb but I'll bet more than half probably won't realize it's in their best interests to have the Yankees sweep this series.

The Steinbrenner tribute was well done. What better way to cap it off than with a W. RIP Boss.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Sunday, September 19, 2010

Yankees Fall To Orioles In Extra Frames

Things today went from perfect to worse in snap of a finger. The Rays had already lost and the Yankees were 3 outs away from lengthening their slim AL East lead to 1.5 games. Mariano Rivera was on the mound which usually means ball game over, Yankees win. And then Luke Scott put a ball over the wall to tie the game at 3. The Yankees had their shots to win the game but never could seal the deal. Game over, Orioles win. Son of a B.

The Yankees had so many chances to win the game today. But as they've done in recent weeks they just couldn't deliver the knockout punch. How many time's do I have to say it? It's the "start" button. A little Mike Tyson's Punch Out reference for you. Where was I? Oh yeah. They had their shots today but just couldn't do it. Bases loaded w/1 out in the 4th and just 1 run. 1st and 3rd w/1 out in the 6th and no runs. And the worst of all. Runner on 3rd w/no outs and bases loaded w/1 out in the 11th and no runs. Horrible. They were 2-10 with RISP today. Epic fail. That won't win you ballgames.

If there's anything positive to take from today's game it's that Andy Pettitte's back and it doesn't look like he's missed a beat. He had a great outing today. Too bad the offense and the bullpen spoiled it for him. He deserved the W. But he's back. He's healthy. He's good. It's going to be nice to have him getting the ball every 5 days. Welcome back Andy. Missed ya.

I'm a day late on this but congrats to CC Sabathia for winning his 20th game yesterday. I know "wins" is a flawed statistic but you have to be good to win 20 games. There aren't many better than CC right now. He have the team a much needed win. It's hard to believe that it's the first time CC has ever won 20 games. Hitting that mark earns him membership in "The Black Aces." CC becomes the club;s 14th member. Not too shabby. Congrats.

The magic # to clinch a playoff spot still sits at 7. It's hard to imagine that a 7 game lead with 13 to play isn't safe. But you never know. I sure didn't think the Yankees were going to roll of a 2-8 streak. It's still hard to fathom though that their postseason ticket won't be punched soon. Preferably it happens soon so they can rest guys up. The important thing now is crossing the finish line healthy. Huge series starts tomorrow as the Rays come to town for 4 games. It's a pretty big homestand actually. Boston comes in for 3 right after. I think the Yankees have to at least go 4-3 on this homestand. Taking at least 3 from the Rays would be huge. But this has to be a winning homestand. It's crunch time. 2 weeks left to go. Where did the time go? Seems like just yesterday the season started.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Friday, September 17, 2010

Yankees Back In 1st Place As A-Rod Saves The Day

Talk about snatching a win from the jaws of defeat. Down to their final strike. A questionable non-3rd strike call. Boom! 3-Run HR by Alex Rodriguez. Mariano for the save. Game over. Yankees win. Rays lose. Yankees are back in first place.

Son of a B. Bob Lorenz just opened the postgame show with my opening "snatching from the jaws of defeat line." Now everyone is going to think I bit that. Thanks Bob. Make me look more unoriginal.

The biggest moment of the night for me was Jorge's AB to lead off the 9th inning. Talk about money. That was clutch. Next biggest moment came moments later when A-Rod took what could have been the game-ending strike 3. I loved when YES dropped a slo-mo on the grin he had on his face after the pitch. I saw that and had a feeling that something good was coming. It didn't take long for that good thing to come. Next pitch, ball going, ball gone. It's A-Rod's world tonight. Thanks for letting me live in it.

I had this tweet typed on my phone during A-Rod's AB: Tonight's postgame show should just be Bob Lorenz saying, "The Yankees suck and goodnight." Roll credits. That came from Michael Kay telling me to tune into the postgame show to hear Bob run the game down. I thought for sure the Yankees were losing tonight. They've been scuffling lately and I didn't see Alex coming through. Lesson learned. Never count these guys out. This is a huge win for the Yankees. It better turn things around.

I thought Burnett pitched pretty well tonight. He looked good. Not physically though. What's up with the shiner? I missed it if they talked about but it looked like he got popped pretty good. Anybody know how it happened? Anyway, it was a pretty good outing for Burnett. By my count that's 4 somewhat decent ones in a row. I'm really hoping he's turned the corner. They're going to need him to pitch well down the stretch and in October. Maybe the possible ass-kicking he got did him some good.

Perfect night for the Yankees. A clutch come from behind win and both the Rays and Red Sox lost. The Yankees are back in first place and are 2 steps closer to clinching a playoff spot. The magic # to clinch a spot is now 9. The Yankees are also set up to keep the good times rolling over these next 2 days. The big man, aka CC Sabathia, goes tomorrow. You can't argue that CC has been awesome for quite sometime. Hopefully he picks up win #20. Sunday marks the return of Andy Pettitte. It'll be good to see him back on the mound in a Yankee uniform. He's been very reliable and very good this year and his return is just what this team needs right now. Looking forward to seeing his return.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Yanks Fall Back To 2nd Place After Losing To Rays

Well that just sucked. I thought for sure as soon as Granderson went yard to put the Yankees up 3-2 that the game was in the bag. It was as if the Baseball Gods were smiling down upon them after allowing Jeter to reach base on a phantom HBP. Note to Red Sox fans: don't even try to talk trash about that. Victor Martinez did the same thing a few weeks back. It's part of the game. You do what you do to win. So shut up and don't even go there.

Anyway, I was so disappointed when Phil Hughes gave the lead right back on Johnson's 2-run HR. Sure Girardi have pulled him at the start if the inning? Maybe. I have no problem leaving PH in. I can see it both ways. Damned if you do and damned if you don't. Outside of the 2 mistakes Phil pitched a pretty good ballgame. Unfortunately it only takes one mistake to do a pitcher in and that's exactly what happened. Sorry Phil. No Hughes call tonight. We're still stuck on 16.

The Yankees offense came up short tonight. Only 2-9 with RISP. Not good. I think Girardi made a big mistake by pinch-hitting Marcus Thames for Lance Berkman. The smarter move in my opinion would have been to save Thames for Kearns or Curtis. Girardi messed that one up. Not a good couple of games for Girardi these last few days. He can't make the right decision to save his life. I think the same thing happened for a stretch last year. I don't think though it came at such a crucial point of the season. Hopefully his string of bad moves will change.

Still not in panic mode. Despite the slump the Yankees are playing pretty decent baseball. Six of their last seven games have been decided by 1 run and a lot could have gone either way. The lead in the wild card race is still a comfortable 6 games. A playoff berth is by no means a guarantee but there's no way this team continues to falter like they're currently doing. Their not exactly throwing out their A-team right now. Swisher, Pettitte, Gardner, and Teixeira are all hurt. A-Rod and Jeter are both less than 100%. You won't see guys like Mitre, Gaudin, and to a lesser extent Vazquez and Moseley put into close games in the postseason. The current make-up of this ball club is not what we'll see come October. The trick is weathering the storm and getting to October. Swisher and Gardner should be back Friday. Pettitte should be back soon. This team won't continue to lose. Knock on wood.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Yankees Beat Rays Thanks To Carl Crawford Being A Dummy

After tonight's Yankees' victory I had a brief back-and-forth via text with my buddy, and sometimes commenter, Danny Mac. His text summed things up perfectly: "2nd base at the Trop to fast guys must be like kryptonite to Superman." Yesterday it was Brett Gardner. Tonight it was Carl Crawford. What a bonehead. Thanks for being a dummy, dummy. It amazes me how these professionals, especially the ultra-fast ones, fail to realize that the risks on that play far outweigh any reward. In all probability they would need a base hit to score from 3rd and in all probability they would score from 2nd on the same base hit. Two dumb moves in two days. Crawford's though, in my opinion, was much more dumb.

Please cancel the Amber-alert. The Yankees offense has been found. 8 runs on 13 hits and 6 walks. Welcome back guys. Missed you. I was listening to the game on the radio when the Yanks picked up their first 4 runs. John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman commented that right after Teixeira's sac fly you could sense that the Yankees dugout felt a little more relaxed and that might have been reason for the offense waking up. I can see that. I'm not sure how Waldman and Sterling could from their vantage point but whatever. I'll roll with it.

It's a good thing they showed up today because they needed all 8 runs. I took my son to "Bounce Magic" tonight so I caught the 1st half of the game on the radio and the 2nd half on TV. I missed a small portion of the game which in reality was a pretty big portion. I left the game with the Yankees up 6-0. I came back and it was 7-6 Rays. Excuse me? How the heck did that happen in 1/2 an inning? I checked in with the most reliable sources I know....people on Twitter. As I expected, it was Joe Girardi's fault. I looked at the play-by-play from that inning and it's pretty ugly. I don't see what exactly Girardi did so if anyone that saw the game wants to let me know, I'd appreciate it. Since the game was on My9 I'll have to wait until tomorrow to check for postgame comments. I'd assume there will be some.

The win snaps an awful losing streak. It was a little touch-and-go there in the 10th but Mo did what he's done so many times in the past, pick up the Mariano (I advocate changing the word "save" to "Mariano" - get on board!). It was a great win for the Yankees and I think it's going to pull them from their little funk. They're back in first place, albeit by a half-game and they're one step closer to clinching a playoff spot. The magic # is now 11. With any luck I'll wake up tomorrow and find that it dropped to 10 due to a Red Sox loss (they're currently up 4-2). It would make for a great start to my Hump-day.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Monday, September 13, 2010

A Couple Of Questions After A Yankees Loss

Great game between the Yankees and Rays tonight. Unfortunately for us it didn't go the Yankees way. Lots of people on the hook for this one. Girardi, Mitre, the Yankees offense. Pick one. The one person not on the hook is CC Sabathia. What a performance. He deserved better.

1) Where oh where has the Yankees offense gone? Oh where oh where can it be? It's been a terrible last 2 games for the offense. Granted, they faced David Price and Cliff Lee but still: 1 run on 6 hits in 2 games. They're better than that.

2)Not sure who made this call but why in the world did Brett Gardner attempt to steal 3rd when he was already in scoring position and needs a base hit to score either way? If Joe Girardi and crew made that call then somebody needs to get canned because that was one of the dumbest things I've ever seen. If Gardner did it on his own than he needs a serious time-out (sorry, got 3 kids). Gardner is one of the fastest runners in the league. He likely scores from 2nd on a base hit. Stupid move.

3)What is up with using Chad Gaudin in these close situations? I couldn't believe that Giradri went to him again in a tie game when he had several other (and better) RPs available. Props to Gaudin for getting out of it by the skin of his teeth.

4)Sergio Mitre. See question 3. What's up with not using other RPs? Albaladejo? Robertson? Joba? Hughes? Four fairly decent choices and Girardi opts for his 2 worst choices in Gaudin and Mitre. WTF?

Is it time to panic? Not yet, but it's getting close. They didn't exactly roll out their top flight SPs in the Texas series. No Pettitte. No Hughes. No CC. You think Dustin Moseley or Javy Vazquez will be making postseason starts? Nope. Same goes for the bullpen. They've been pretty damn good of late. No way Gaudin or Mitre pitches in this game if it were the playoffs. CC was off the freaking hook tonight. The offense failed him. But again, David Price, like CC and Cliff Lee, is no joke.

The Yankees have now lost 4 in a row and are 1-7 over their last 8. They're lucky they have such a big lead for the wild card. What I thought would be an impossible collapse is starting to happen. Lucky for them both the Red Sox and White Sox aren't hot right now. If the Red Sox hold on and win tonight they'll be 7 back in the loss column with 18 to play. It's still a pretty comfortable lead. But as we all know, you can't predict baseball. The magic # to clinch a playoff spot sits at 12. Until it gets to zero you never know what will happen. Right, Mets fans?

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Sunday, September 12, 2010

What In Mo's Name Just Happened?

As soon as the rain delay hit yesterday's game I knew I wasn't staying up for the end. No way with my kids waking up at 6am every day I could pull off back-to-back 1am endings. Before I finally packed it in I took one last glance at the score on my phone. Yanks were down 4-2. I checked who was pitching and was really surprised to see it was Chad Gaudin. The last pitcher that I expect to see, or want to see for that matter, pitching in the 5th inning of a close game is Chad Gaudin. You're just asking to lose. Lucky for me since I was dog-tired I didn't stew on it for long because I fell asleep within seconds of turning off the phone. I love it when that happens.

My wife woke up at some point during the night, 3am if I had to guess, to feed our littlest one. When she gets up it wakes me up, albeit for only a minute or so. I used that minute to, you guessed it, check the score. Texas 7 Yankees 6. Aw come on now. Losing pitcher = Mariano Rivera. Blown save = Mariano Rivera. Well that can't be right? Maybe I'm overtired and my eyes aren't working right. So I squinted and sure enough, the almighty Mo got sacked with the L. Ugh. It goes without saying, but I guess I'll say it anyway, I didn't sleep that well from that point forward. I would wake up occasionally thinking about the game.

So now I'm up for the day and I'm ignoring my 2 boys to check over the PBP and to blog. Yeah, I'm a good Dad, right? I did get them a babysittter. He goes by the name of Handy Manny. He's good with kids. Anyway, what makes this Yankees loss more unbelievable is the play-by-play. A leadoff walk to Vlad Guerrero. He swings at everything. How do you walk him? A single on a "soft fly ball." Mo's pitching so I'm assuming it was a "bloop," as John Sterling affectionately calls it. Game-tying double. Intentional walk to load the bases. Infield pop out. And then of all things, the game ends on a HBP. What in Mo's name happened to Mo last night? Has he ever been that erratic? Was it a byproduct of pitching 2 innings the night before? Since I didn't see it I'm not sure how it came off live. It doesn't sound all that great when you read a rundown of it. I can't imagine how it looked live.

Not the best way to start the day. I'll admit it. I'm becoming very concerned about the Yankees right now. Nothing major. I'm just starting to see big holes forming. Still time though for crews to fill them in before any real damage is done. On most days, I'd get into it a little more but the kids are starting to getting restless. Handy Manny is over and they're looking to eat breakfast. I suppose I should feed them. Sounds like something I should do.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Somebody Call Mark Grace, Derek Jeter Needs A Slump Buster

This pains me to say as a Yankee fan but it's the truth. Derek Jeter sucks right now. It's very difficult to watch. He's by far having the worst offensive campaign of his career. By far. Last night's 1-7 performance was just another in a long line of games where DJ has struggled. In his last 15 games, Jeter's average has dropped 17 percentage points, from .277 to .260. In those 15 games he's 8-65 (.123). Horrendous.

I was hoping that he'd come through with a "Captain Clutch" moment in extra innings of last night's game. He had his chance to knock in what could have been the winning run but instead he grounded weakly to 1st. That's pretty much been how it's going for DJ. Dude needs a "Mark Grace style" slump buster. If you don't know what that is, google it. You'll be sure to find something and it'll make you smile.

I don't think this is the beginning of a sharp decline in Derek's skills at the plate. I don't think you go from being where he was to where he is in the span of a season. I'd expect a gradual decline but nothing like this.

The thing that's the most unbelievable is that the Yankees are 9-6 in their last 15 games. DJ may suck but at least the team is winning. I guess that's all that matters. I'm sure Derek would agree.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Swisher's Walkoff Propels Yankees To Victory

Didn't get to see or hear any of the game today. I got to check here and there and when I last looked they were down 2-1 during the 7th inning stretch. I got back to my desk right after 4pm and was happily surprised to see that they came back and won 3-2. That put a smile on my face. That smile got bigger when I saw that they won on a walkoff. It got bigger when I saw it was a walkoff HR. It got even bigger when I saw that Swisher hit the winning shot. That HR puts us past the $1000 mark in the Swish's Wishes charity drive. The total pledged, which is based on $38 per HR plus a little more, is now up to $1036. Way to go Nicky Swish.

In looking at the box score, I'm assuming the story of the day is pitching. It looks like Ivan Nova had a nice outing. It would have been a great outing if not for the one bad pitch to Matt Wieters. All in all I'm impressed by his line. I especially like the strike-to-ball ratio. 61 strikes on 90 pitches = 65.93% strikes thrown. Pretty nice in my book.

Also, it looks like the bullpen deserves some love. Robertson, Logan and Joba combined for 3 hiteless/scoreless innings. That kept it close, which let the offense do its thing. Well done guys.

Knock another game off the magic # to clinch a playoff spot. The magic # is now 15 to eliminate the White Sox and 14 to eliminate the Red Sox. Tonight is a win-win for the Yankees as the Red Sox play the Rays. Either the Yankees go another game up on the Rays or get 1 step closer to eliminating the Red Sox. It would be a perfect night if the White Sox lost as well. Dare to dream.

Off day tomorrow and then a 9-game roadie. Now the real fun begins. It's crunch time and from here on out it's pretty much tough game after tough game. 3 with Texas, 7 with Tampa, 6 with Boston, 3 with Toronto, and 3 with the much-improved Orioles. Talk about a tough stretch. I think the Yanks will be up to the task.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Well, At Least The Sox Lost

Not a good couple of games for the Yankees. They've now lost 3 straight and 2 to the used-to-be lowly Orioles. Cheers to Buck Showalter for turning that ship around. Jeers to the Yankees for letting it happen to them. I thought for sure tonight's game was a slam dunk for the Yankees. What can I say? CC Sabathia has spoiled me. He's been that good. I think they mentioned during the broadcast that he hadn't lost a game at Yankee Stadium since July of last year. Coming into tonight he was 15-0 or 16-0 (I forget and am too lazy to look it up) in his last 21 home starts. I had no idea he was on a run like that. I don't think he pitched poorly today but he definitely wasn't the CC we all know and love. He'll get 'em next time.

Offense has been a little flat lately, eh? They seem to go in these funks every now and then but always seem to snap out of it. I'm hoping they do so tomorrow.

I noticed a lot of Yankees fans on Twitter bagging on the Red Sox for not beating the Rays tonight. Personally, I'm pulling for the Rays. I'm all about having the Yankees clinch a postseason berth as soon as possible. The quickest way to do that is to eliminate the Sox, both the Red and the White. I'd love for the Yankees to win the division, and I think they will, but I sleep better knowing they're ticket is punched. And I know that a Sox comeback isn't going to happen, but I can't change my tune. Clinch at least the wild card and then focus on the division. Both the Red Sox and White Sox lost tonight. The White Sox are actually a-half game better than Boston. The magic # to eliminate the White Sox is 16 and to eliminate the Red Sox is 15. I'm all about seeing those numbers drop ASAP. Worry about the Rays later. But that's me? Am I alone in this? Should I be rooting for the Sox?

Day game tomorrow. Not sure how much time I'll be able to devote to it. My work calendar is open as of now but that changes so quickly. Maybe I'll get lucky. Cross your fingers.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Saturday, September 4, 2010

Yankees Run Season High Win Streak To 8 With 7-5 Win Over Jays

Let the good times roll, right? The Yankees have won 8 straight and are rapidly moving toward officially clinching a playoff spot. With the win today and the Red Sox loss (nice!) the magic number to clinch is 18. Running that down to zero is just a formality. The Red Sox are 9 back in the loss column with 26 to play (could possibly be 10 back by end of night). If the Yankees slump and play .500 the rest of the way (13-13) the Red Sox would have to go 23-4. Excuse me a moment. I have to call 911 because I think I just busted my gut. No chance the Red Sox go 23-4 the rest of the way. I think at best the Red Sox could go 18-9 and that's being very generous. Assuming they do, the wheels would totally have to fall off and the Yankees would have to finish 9-17. Sorry, need another moment. This time I think I split my side. Ouch.

The last 2 Yankee wins have been pretty similar. Mainly because neither starter could make it through 5 (both lasted 4.2) and the bullpen had to step up to lock the win down. And boy did they step it up. Friday the pen combined to pitch 4.1 hitless/scoreless innings. Logan to Robertson to Wood to Rivera. Game over. Today the pen pitched 4.1 IP, allowing 2 inherited runners to score on 3 total hits. Moseley to Logan to Chamberlain to Wood to Rivera. Game over. The runs allowed today could have been avoided if Joe Girardi didn't mishandle the last out of the 5th. With the lefty Lyle Overbay up the correct move would have been to go to Boone Logan as opposed to Dustin Moseley. What made the move even more puzzling is that Girardi used Logan immediately after Moseley. Logan should have been in to face Overbay. Joe's lucky the team picked him up.

The Kerry Wood trade looks like a winner, eh? He's now appeared in 14 games as a Yankee. He's thrown 16 innings, allowing only 1 run on 10 hits. The run he allowed came in his 2nd appearance. Since then he's been lights out. Except for the walks. Girardi has used him as the 8th inning guy two games in a row in games that featured both Joba Chamberlain and David Robertson. Pretty obvious that Wood is the chosen one for the 8th inning. I've got no problem with that choice.

I didn't get to see any of Friday's game. I tried to listen to it on the radio while at work but it didn't go so well. I didn't catch much of Nova's start. I saw all of Vazquez's outing and it wasn't hard to tell that he didn't have anything. It's amazing he lasted as long as he did. I'll give him credit for battling through it and only giving up 3 runs. The big question with Javy is what's up with his velocity, or better yet, lack thereof? He was topping out just below 90 and was averaging around 87. That'll work if you can locate your pitches and have good control and offspeed stuff, a la Mike Mussina. But when you don't, like Javy, you're treading water. I read that he's staying in the rotation so hopefully they can figure out what's wrong before his next turn comes up.

Marcus Thames had the big hit today with what turned out to be a 2-run game winning HR. MT's average has dipped a little but he's got a nice power stroke. He's gone deep in 6 of his last 10 games. He's been quite the surprise this year. Didn't expect him to step up the way he has. Another thing I didn't expect was Brett Gardner to play so well. Honestly, I never saw Gardner as more than a 4th OF. Same as Melky Cabrera. I think I need to re-think that position. I'm most impressed by BG's ability to get on base. He was rocking a .390 OBP coming into today's game and reached another 3 times. He tied a Yankees record by picking up a walk in his 9th straight game (tying Jason Giambi). OBP + speed = a dangerous combination.

Both the Rays and Sox are currently losing their games. Tonight could be a good good night.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Thursday, September 2, 2010

CC Dominates & Leads Yankees To 4-Game Sweep Of A's

Didn't get to see the game today but followed along at work as best I could. CC Sabathia is the man. What a dominant performance. I didn't need to see the game to know that. Anytime you throw a 1-hitter over 8 innings you dominate. It was probably his best start of the season. The win puts him at 19 wins for the season and with at least 5 starts left you have to figure that winning 20 is inevitable. If he keeps pitching the way he's been pitching (15-2 in last 18 starts) winning 24 games is certainly possible. Great googily moogily. Going into the last month of the season CC has to be the favorite to win the AL Cy Young. I do have 2 questions for everyone: 1)Anybody think CC isn't worth every penny he's getting from the Yankees? 2)Anybody think CC will opt-out of his contract after next season? If you answered "yes" to either of those questions I think you need to get your head examined. He's 38-13 (.745) in 63 starts as a Yankee. He's won a World Series ring and is poised to win another. No chance he leaves.

Nice day at the plate for Granderson. I heard the 2nd HR. I stopped someone talking to me in mid-sentence so I could hear it on the radio as Sterling made the call. I hope that Nick Swisher's knee injury isn't too serious. I'd hate to see him miss some time.

Other than that I don't have much to say. I kind of like that it was a day game today even though I couldn't watch it. I'm dead tired and might be able to hit the sheets at my self-imposed bed time of 10pm. I struggle to stay on track at night. The magic # to clinch a playoff spot is now 21. Hopefully tonight the Red Sox lose and it drops to 20. It's going to be fun watching that number drop over the next few weeks. October baseball in the Bronx. Gotta love it.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Wednesday, September 1, 2010

A.J. Burnett Finally Wins One, Yankees Beat A's 4-3

Alright going to make this a short one tonight as it's well past my self-imposed bedtime of 10pm. I'm getting a late start tonight. Things just got away from me.

Congrats to A.J. Burnett for finally winning one. Pretty good start by Burnett. August is over. Let's turn the page and put that horrendous month behind us. Dude has shown us he can pitch. I like what I saw tonight.

Nice job by the bullpen. Michael Kay annoys me. He kept mentioning how Kerry Wood was pitching the 8th and not David Robertson. D-Rob pitched yesterday. No reason to have him pitch again tonight. It's as simple as that.

Mark Teixeira is on freaking fire. He went 3-4 with 3 ribbies. His average is now ahead of Jeter's. Unbelievable.

The Rays and Red Sox each won. Not the greatest outcome for Yankees fans but it'll do. Another day off the schedule and no ground gained on them. I'll take that. The magic # to clinch a playoff spot is now 22.

Day game tomorrow. CC goes for win #19. Wish I wasn't working. Ugh.

Nyger Morgan is a punk.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,