Friday, October 7, 2011

The End Of The Road

Well, Yankees fans. Here we are again. The curtain has dropped on another season and unfortunately things didn't end up going our way. Mission 28 will have to wait another year.

As I was getting condolences today from friends and family members on the loss, I tried to explain that it actually wasn't that bad. Sure the loss hurts but it's a manageable pain. I think it's easy for me to get past the pain of the season ending because we've been here so many times before and we've been fortunate enough to walk away on top. I think winning has made the sting of losing easier to deal with, if that makes sense. Either way, it still sucks. I definitely wasn't ready for the season to end last night.

I spent much of last night and today digesting the loss. I read through a ton of Twitter comments and listened to a good amount of sports talk radio. I've come to a conclusion: There are a great deal of smart Yankees fans out there but Good Lord there are a lot of dumb ones. I have to wonder if I'm watching the same games as everyone else.

For starters, I saw and heard a lot of blame being thrown on Joe Girardi for over-managing last night, specifically with the use of the pitching staff. That couldn't be further from the truth. Let's take a look at his moves. Ivan Nova gets hurt and gets replaced by Phil Hughes. Logical move in my opinion. The team needed to eat some innings and who better to use than a starter turned reliever to do that. Hughes following Nova was the right call. Girardi lifted Hughes after throwing 21 pitches. That made sense to me as Hughes had only pitched a total of 3.2 innings since September 12th. Phil wasn't stretched out to throw much more. Boone Logan came in to face the lefty and lasted for 2 hitters, which is about what he normally does. I think here is where it got interesting. In came CC.

Using CC in that spot made perfect sense. Continuing with Logan made no sense and in an elimination game you want your best pitchers pitching, right? Other than Mariano Rivera, who's better than CC? Nobody. I understand the confusion because he was pitching on 2 days rest. I think a lot of people didn't get or didn't know that starting pitchers normally throw a bullpen session at this point during their rest. The bullpen sessions, as I understand them, usually lasts for about 40 pitches. It makes perfect sense to have CC get the preparation for his next start in during the game rather than before it, like the Tigers did with Verlander. CC's outing lasted 37 pitches by the way. He wasn't overused. I think many people also thought that since he pitched in game 5 of the ALDS he couldn't pitch in game 1 of the ALCS. I'm pretty sure had the Yankees won last night that we'd have seen CC start game 1. Like I said, it's not uncommon for a SP to throw 40 or so pitches at that point during his rest. It's actually the opposite. It's part of the prep work. What surprised me the most is that there were a lot of people that are supposed to be "in the know" (beat writers, Ken Rosenthal) who were pointing out that the move to CC would prevent him from starting. CC pitching in relief last night was the right call. Who else did you want to pitch there? I'll take CC all day.

There was no reason whatsoever to blame Girardi's management of the pitching staff for last night's loss. That's just dumb. The pitching staff had absolutely nothing to do with losing last night. That blame lies strictly with the offense. I can kind of blame Girardi for that.

Girardi should have recognized that certain people in the lineup were struggling and he should have done something about it. The 4-5-6 hitters in the Yankees lineup (A-Rod, Teixeira, and Swisher) were absolutely brutal. Beyond brutal even. That trio combined to go 9-for-55 (.164). You can't expect to win when you get that from your 4-5-6 hitters. Girardi should have recognized the struggles and made an adjustment. Personally, I would have moved Teixeira to the 3rd spot, Cano to the 4th, A-Rod to the 5th, Posada to the 6th, and Swisher to the 7th. The lineup would have looked something like this: Jeter, Granderson, Teixeira, Cano, A-Rod, Posada, Swisher, Martin, Gardner. That in my opinion, is a much better lineup.

I like Cano in the 4-hole for several reasons. One he's the best hitter on the team. Just like it did last night the game often comes down to A-Rod. A-Rod usually hits 4th. If the game often comes down to that spot in the order who do you want hitting there? Your best hitter, right? If you weren't aware, that is without a doubt Robbie Cano. He's the guy I want up with the game on the line. And let's face it, Robinson Cano doesn't need protection in the lineup. He's better at giving protection that getting it. Mark Teixeira could have used better protection. If you hit in front of Cano you're going to see better pitches compared to what you'll see hitting in front of Swisher.

Girardi should have also moved Jorge Posada up a spot in the order. Girardi should have recognized he was swinging a hot bat and moved him up ahead of Swisher. I'm not sure why Joe stuck with that lineup. Not changing it is the biggest criticism of how he managed that series. But it's not his fault that those guys didn't hit.

So why didn't they hit? I have a theory on why Teixeira and Swisher didn't. I'm not going to try and dig through numbers to validate it either. I don't have that kind of time. But here's my theory: good pitching shuts them down. There's no doubt that Swisher and Teix put up good numbers throughout the season. Over the course of 162 games you're going to come across quite a few subpar pitchers. Those guys feast on that. But I think they struggle against the cream of the crop. How else can you explain their postseason struggles at the plate? Wouldn't you agree that the teams that make the playoffs have better pitching than those that don't? I think those guys don't do well against good pitching. I don't know how else to explain it. If anyone has theories my ears are open.

After Girardi, A-Rod was receiving his fair share of criticism. While I think he deserves it to an extent, it's evident that Alex isn't 100%. I think I heard today that he was hitting .190 after coming of the DL in August. Alex was hitting .299 right before going on the DL. He finished the season with a .276 average. He definitely wasn't himself and I'm inclined to think that was a big reason why did so poorly at the plate. To his credit, he played outstanding defense the whole series. He made several great plays and I don't think you can begin to measure exactly how valuable his glove was in the ALDS. I'm not going to crush the guy over his ALDS performance.

Wow, I've been at this blog post for about an hour. I've got a little bit more to say and I'm just going to bullet point it out. Enjoy!

  • I'm pretty sure Jorge Posada's time with the Yankees is over. I don't think it makes much baseball sense to bring him back. It's obvious he's not going to catch. The only role he fills is as DH or maybe even at 1B. The plan should be to have Jesus Montero DH full-time. I don't see a spot for Jorge. I'll miss Jorge. He was a gamer and he always, as he put it, just grinded it. Thanks for everything.
  • I love Nick Swisher. I do. I think he's a great clubhouse guy but let's face it, he's not a clutch performer. I don't call him "The Rally Killer" for nothing. The Yankees will have a decision to make when it comes to whether or not they should pick up his option. My gut says I hope they don't but he does ring value to the team. My main concern is how he fades in October. I'm indifferent on Swish. Would be fine if he stays. Would be fine if he goes.
  • I fully expect CC to exercise his opt-out clause. He'd be dumb not to. Having said that, I fully expect him to resign with the Yankees. He's made it known several times that he loves pitching in New York. He's done very well here and he has to know that the club is committed to putting a winner on the field. He should op-out and renegotiate the next 4 years of his deal. The Big Man deserved more dough. The only way he gets it is to opt-out.
I'm sure I've got more to say but I'm running in fumes so I'll save it for later. I'll close with saying that despite the Yankees failing in their mission to win, it was a really great year. Derek Jeter joined the 3000 hit club. Mariano Rivera officially became the man. We saw the emergence of Ivan Nova. We saw David Robertson step up and become an 8th inning guru. Brian Cashman's "scrap heap rejects" performed above everybody's expectations. It was a great year with a lot of great memories. It's sad that we reached the end of the road.

Speaking of reaching the end of the road I'm not 100% sure what the future holds for this blog. I really enjoy doing it but it's becoming harder and harder to keep up with. When you have 3 kids aged 4 and under it's tough to free up the time for blogging. I want to keep it going but I'm not sure what commitment level I can make to it. If this ends up being my last post (I doubt it will be) the blog will kind-of live on through my Twitter account. If you're not on Twitter you're missing out. It's a great place to connect with people that share your passion. I'll always be on there talking Yankees. That you can count on.

Until next time......

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

I'm Baaaaack (Sort Of)

Well hello there. Long time no blog. As promised, via Twitter, I'm back. I hope you guys have been well. I'm well. Can't complain. Just wish there were more hours in the day. Oh my Mariano it's been awhile, hasn't it? Just checked and it looks like my last blog entry was in mid-May. May 16th to be exact. The Yankees had just lost their 6th straight game, were sitting on a 20-18 record, 2 games behind Tampa in the AL East. Here's what I blogged:

Not much is going the Yankees way right now. Not much at all. Nobody is hitting. The pitching is suspect. It's not a good time to be a fan of the Yankees. I'm not worried though. well, I'm a little worried but not much. Every team has these funks. If you remember, the Yankees lost 5 straight back in 2009 and went on to win the World Series. There is a lot of baseball left to play. There's plenty of time for these guys to right the ship.

Fast forward now almost 5 months. The Yankees just ended a 6 game win streak. They are 87-54 and 2 games up on the 1927 Yankees, err I mean, the Red Sox in the AL East and they have a 9.5 game lead in the wild card race if they were to fall behind Boston. They lead the league in runs scored and have the 3rd best team ERA in the AL (9th in MLB). Looks like the ship has been righted. It's a good time to be a Yankees fan.

Sorry I've been away so long. It became increasingly tough to find time to blog with 3 kids at home, all under the age of 4. I could barely find time to watch the Yankees play. My wife is a teacher and when school ended our kids stayed up later, usually until around 8:30, sometimes even later. By the time we got them to bed and I did what I needed to do (shower, etc), the games were usually in the late innings. I felt extremely disconnected from the Yankees Universe. When I had the time, I usually took to Twitter for talking about the Yankees. I stayed up on things as much as I could but they didn't get as much attention from me as i wanted to give.

Now that school has started up again the kids are getting back to their 7:30 bedtimes which should allow me to catch most of the game. I'm hoping that everything else in my life cooperates and I'll be able to fire off posts with somewhat regularity. It may not be daily. There may be a day or two that goes without a post. But you definitely won't see another 5 month hiatus. At least that's the plan.

Before I get back into talking about the Yankees I just wanted to say thanks to everyone who's ever frequented the blog and/or interacted with me on Twitter. You guys make being a Yankees fan more fun than it already is. Thanks for that. Special shout out to a few people: Susan, Sara, Lorenzo and Timmy. I appreciate the support and the conversation. There are definitely more people to say thanks to and more people to appreciate. I don't mean to offend by leaving names off. Those 4 just immediately popped into mind. If you feel slighted by being not being named personally, please don't. I didn't intend to offend.

I'll close this return with some Yankee thoughts:

  • I owe Curtis Granderson a lot of money. I pledged to give his charity $15 for every of his HRs. He currently has 38. Yeah, I didn't see that coming either. I'm currently in for a $570 donation with 22 games to play. When I was deciding how much to pledge I was thinking he'd hit maybe 25 HRs. Definitely wasn't expecting 40+. CG has to be the current favorite to win the AL MVP. He currently leads the league in RBI, he's 2nd in HR, and what I find most impressive is he's leading the league in runs with 126, which is 26 more runs than the 2nd most (Ellsbury w/100). I'll be shocked if he doesn't win that award. Props to CG and K-Long for turning things around.

  • Do people still think Brian Cashman is an idiot? Almost every move he's made this year has panned out: Russell Martin, Freddy Garcia, Bartolo Colon, Cory Wade, Eric Chavez and Andruw Jones have all made significant contributions to the team. Low risk, really high reward. Step off his frankfurter if you're still hating.

  • Derek Jeter has had quite the season. It looked like 2011 was going to be a repeat of 2010. The he got hurt and he came back a new man. I don't think anyone saw DJ getting his average up to the 300 neighborhood.

  • Welcome to NY Jesus Montero. You haven't disappointed. I'm looking forward to great things during your tenure in Pinstripes.

  • Poor Jorge Posada. The only thing he has to blame for his fall is his abysmal performance. It's evident to me that this is his last year in Pinstripes.

  • Move over Trevor. 4 more saves and Mariano is officially the king of the hill. He's the G.O.A.T. With any luck I'll get to see him break that record in person when the Yankees are in Toronto. I won't complain if he breaks it sooner. Saves mean wins. I'll take those.

  • A.J. Burnett is (mostly) terrible.

  • Ivan Nova is not terrible. Can you say Rookie of the Year?

  • CC is still the man.

  • I did not think David Robertson would pitch as well as he has. Dude truly is Houdini. He does need to cut down on the walks.

  • LOL @ the Boston Red Sox. Better than the 1927 Yankees? How dumb does that guy look now?

I'm sure there's more to say but that's enough for now. We're in the home stretch and as I wrote above it's a good time to be a Yankees fan. Enjoy the last 3 or so weeks. October baseball will be here before we know it.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Monday, May 16, 2011

Yankees Lose.......Again

I didn't get to see much of the game tonight. The 6:40 start time kind of made it tough to watch. I had a shot to watch the beginning but my wife, aka Butterfingers, dropped my son's tadpole habitat on the kitchen floor and as she put it, tadpole fecal matter was everywhere. That shifted bath duties to me while she cleaned up. Then it was kids TV shows, put the kids to bed, make the kids lunch, put one kid back to bed, then put him back to bed a 3rd time, then game. By the time I tuned in it was the 8th inning. I'm glad I didn't see much because I probably would have thrown something thru my TV screen. So this makes 6 losses in a row. Ugh.

Not much is going the Yankees way right now. Not much at all. Nobody is hitting. The pitching is suspect. It's not a good time to be a fan of the Yankees. I'm not worried though. well, I'm a little worried but not much. Every team has these funks. If you remember, the Yankees lost 5 straight back in 2009 and went on to win the World Series. There is a lot of baseball left to play. There's plenty of time for these guys to right the ship.

Congrats to Curtis Granderson on yet another HR. CG is mashing. I'm donating $15 to his charity for each of his HRs. I was expecting him to hit about 24. He's more than halfway there and we're not even 40 games into the season. At this rate I'm going to go broke. Hopefully he keeps it up. He's really the only Yankee hitting right now. It's too bad they can't clone him.

I'm too frustrated to blog anymore tonight. Watching these guys lose night after night adds up and it's taking it's toll on me. I may have to storm into work tomorrow, scream at my boss, and demand I not work. More on that tomorrow.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Saturday, May 14, 2011

Jorge Posada Stirs Up Some Yankee Drama

The Yankees lost again tonight. In what's becoming typical Yankee fashion their offense was non-existent. But that's not the story. The big story tonight is what the eff is up with Jorge Posada? If you missed it let me quickly sum it up:

Joe Girardi put Posada in the lineup batting 9th. Posada took himself out of the lineup saying he had to clear his head. Posada's wife posted that Jorge had a bad back. Cashman, during the FOX broadcast said it had nothing to do with injury. And then people had press conferences about it. I watched the post game show. I listened to both Girardi's and Posada's press conferences. I've taken it all in and digested it. Here's my take: Something is rotten in Denmark. Allow me to explain, bullet-point style:Jack Curry opened the postgame show with the story, as told to him by "Yankee officials" that Posada said he was insulted by batting 9th, threw a fit, and took himself out of the lineup. I don't see why the Yankees would make that up and why Curry would report it if he didn't believe it to be true.According to both Girardi and Posada, Jorge didn't mention anything about his back stiffness in their brief meeting. Isn't that something you should tell your employer about if it's a factor in your decision not to play?Why is Laura Posada posting that about his back if it's a non-issue?Girardi said the conversation with Posada was brief and Joe didn't ask any questions. I can't see a situation where an MLB manager, when approached by a player asking for a day off, wouldn't ask why.Posada and Cashman had a conversation after Posada talked to Girardi. I don't see Cashman talking to Jorge for something as simple as requesting not to play.I didn't go back and re-watch Jorge's presser but I think at one point he said he did mention his back to Girardi.I don't know why Cashman would go on-air to talk about this if it was as simple as Jorge asking for a day off.I'm sure I'm missing something but it's late, I'm tired, and the brain is starting not to function. But from what I outlined something doesn't add up and someone, or someones, aren't telling the whole story. Quite frankly, I'm not buying what Jorge is selling. The biggest thing for me is what Jack Curry reported at the beginning of the postgame. I don't see Jack running with that if he didn't think it were true.I've lost a lot of respect for Posada tonight. His actions to me appear to be selfish and I have a problem with that. Nobody is bigger than the team. Look, I get all the hardships Jorge is battling through this year, namely, not catching and sucking at the plate. Bottom line, he's not performing and he's lucky to be in the lineup at all. I can respect needing a mental health day. He's human just like the rest of us and we've all been there. Now granted, we're not all filthy rich and making millions of dollars, but we've been there. But doing what Jorge did, or allegedly did I guess, was just wrong. He talks about feeling disrespected when in fact he's the one disrespecting his teammates and the organization with his actions. The name on the back of the jersey isn't as important as the one on the front. And yes, I know the Yankees don't have names on their jerseys.I did see some people bashing Cashman for going on the FOX broadcast and addressing this. That doesn't surprise me. But I challenge everyone who has access to it to go watch it again and tell me what specifically Cashman said that was bad. Was it for contradicting the bit about Posada being injured because according to Jorge nobody knew about his back. Well, except for his wife. I don't see anything wrong with what Cashman said. I don't think anybody should.Tonight was a lot to take in. Based on what I've seen and heard I'm concluding that Jorge threw a tizzy and refused to play. Regardless of what happened there's one thing I'm 100% certain of and that's that this won't end well for the Yankees. Something wicked this way comes. I'm really interested to see how this plays out. That though, I can't wrap my head around just yet.As I wrote earlier I lost a lot of respect for Posada tonight. I don't care how proud he is, or how messed up his head is. What he (allegedly) did tonight is not becoming of a New York Yankee. The team is currently struggling and this was one of the last things they needed. Like I said, this won't end well.Peace, love and Pinstripes,J-Boogie

Friday, May 13, 2011

My Thoughts On The Last 3 Yankees Games

The Yankees offense is currently terrible.

That's it.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Freddy Garcia Leads Yankees To 3-1 Victory Over Royals

I really like how the title of this blog sounds when I say it out loud. Say it with me: Freddy Garcia leads Yankees to 3-1 victory. Freddy Garcia leads Yankees. Freddy Garcia. How awesome is that? I love it when one of Brian Cashman's "trash heap rejects" does well. I hope the haters recognize that maybe Brian Cashman knows a thing or two. There is never anything wrong with a low-risk high-reward signing. It's especially nice when it turns out to be a low-risk really high-reward signing like both Garcia and Bartolo Colon has been. Point Cashman. Suck it haters.

Garcia pitched pretty well tonight. The wheels started to fall off their in the 7th but thanks to David Robertson the Yankees made it out of the inning with no damage done. Right now my only concern about Garcia is his stamina and ability to pitch deep into games. He's done alright so far but I'm a little weary about him when it gets into the 7th inning and beyond. It's a small concern though. Can't be too concerned by a guy with a 2.61 ERA. Nicely done Freddy.

Big props to the bullpen for pitching extremely well tonight. David Robertson, as mentioned above, came up big in the 7th when he whiffed Escobar and Getz to get out of a bases-loaded jam. Joba pitched a pretty impressive 9 pitch 8th inning. And Mo as usual was Mo. I didn't get to see any of the postgame so I'm not sure why Rafael Soriano didn't pitch in the 8th, especially after an off-day. I could easily find out why by hopping on Twitter but I'm a little lazy right now. Don't judge me.

Before I move on I wanted to talk about Joba for one quick second. I'm coming around to him again. He's pitching very well right now. Tonight's scoreless appearance makes it 6 straight scoreless appearances in a row. And on 9 pitches to boot. Very impressed. I was just looking at his stats and he's sitting on a 0.88 WHIP. That's pretty damn good. To put that into perspective Mariano's WHIP this season is 0.84. Joba's isn't too shabby. Baseball is a weird game. Joba has a 0.88 WHIP and a 3.18 ERA. D-Rob has a WHIP of 1.50 and an ERA of 1.35. Odd, isn't it? Anyway, Joba is pitching well. I'm pleasantly surprised and I'm becoming a fan again.

The offense was again underwhelming tonight. The bats are just not living up to their potential. Thankfully the pitching is exceeding theirs. Derek Jeter had another multi-hit game and is now sitting on a .283 average. It's now the 2nd highest on the team and he only trails Robbie Cano (.289) by 6 percentage points. What a difference a couple of days make, eh? I'm glad to see the Captain swinging the bat well. You knew he had it in him. It was just a matter of would he find it. He has. Welcome back Derek. We missed you. And oh yeah, suck it haters.

I'm not sure how much of the next few games I'll get to see. I have to travel to Kingston, NY for training and I have no idea if the hotel will have YES. You'd think they would but who knows? I also will have to "play the game" and go out to dinners. I don't really want to but it is what it is. I told my boss to just make sure wherever we go that the Yankees game will be on. I doubt that request will be honored, but we'll see. Hopefully things bounce my way and I'll get to see the games. I know for sure I'll miss some of Friday's Red Sox game as I'll be sitting on a train when it starts. If I had much hair left I'd pull it out. It sucks but what can you do? Seriously, what can I do? I need to figure something out.

Hope you all enjoy the next few days if I happen not to be around. And as always...

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Monday, May 9, 2011

Yankees/Rangers Weekend Wrap-Up

Am I the only one out there who is beyond exhausted? It's been a rough few days and the lack of sleep is catching up with me. I'm pretty sure I fell asleep a few times today while driving to work. I'm also pretty sure that I dozed off once or twice on the way home from the office. I spent the last half-hour sleeping in my kid's bed. I was tucking him in and next thing I knew a half-hour passed. I didn't want to go three days without blogging about the Yankees. I've done a good job of keeping up with it this year and I want to keep that going. I feel asleep on my feet right now so this won't be my best blog ever. Consider yourself warned.
  • It was nice leaving Texas with a series win especially after dropping 3 of 4 to Detroit. It made the road trip a little nicer.
  • How good is it to see Derek Jeter stinging the ball? He's been swinging a much better bat lately. His grounders are becoming line drives and his line drives are becoming home runs, or at least they did yesterday. Derek all of the sudden has the 3rd highest batting average on the team at a respectable .276. A 6-game hitting streak will do that to a guy. DJ had a nice little road trip going 11-28 (.393). He rose his average 34 percentage points in the process. Is the Captain back? Maybe, but I'm not 100% ready to declare his return just yet.
  • CC Sabathia impressed me a little bit yesterday. He was by no means sharp as he walked 4 and threw only 58.7% of his pitches for strikes. He struggled out of the gate, settled down, and battled his way to a decent start. It's nice to know he's effective even when he doesn't have his best stuff.
  • Curtis Granderson is bleeding me dry. I pledged to donate $15 to his charity for every HR he hits. I was banking on maybe 25 dingers. He's leading the AL with 11 and we're only a month into the season. Smack my head. I'm glad he's doing it though. Kevin Long definitely knocked it out of the park with CG. Wow. He's been on a tear since last last season. I'm not going to be surprised if he belts at least 50 HRs this year. I'd hate to part with that much money but I won't mind because it will probably mean the Yankees are doing very well if I do.
  • Despite the 12-run outburst on Sunday I'm still concerned about the offense. Averages for the most part are going in the wrong direction. There currently isn't one .300 hitter in the bunch. That's surprising to me.

Well, I'd like to keep writing but the wife just dropped a bunch of jobs on me. I was hoping to go to bed in about a half-hour but I'm at least an hour away from sleep city. This is going to be a weird week for me. I have to travel for a training class and I'm not sure if I'll get to see much baseball in the latter half of the week. I would much rather chill in my hotel room watching the Yankees each night than having to go to dinner and all that jazz. I think I feel a cold coming on. *cough cough wink wink* I'm interested to see how the next couple of days play out. If I'm not blogging that's why.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Friday, May 6, 2011

Ivan Nova And Curtis Granderson Lead Yankees To 4-1 Win Over Rangers

I'm not sure how this post is going to turn out. I could feel myself dozing off as Mariano Rivera was picking up his 12th save of the season. Shortly after the game ended I did fall asleep for a few minutes. I have that sleepy feeling in my head and I'm getting drowsy. It's been a long week. But, I wanted to blog tonight because if I don't I know I won't tomorrow. So here goes nothing.

Outstanding job by Ivan Nova. The kid was remarkable. He definitely gets my vote for player of the game. It was the longest outing of his short career. He pitched 7.1 innings, allowed only 2 hits, walked one, struck out one, and the one run he gave up was unearned. Job well done kid. This is the 3rd straight outing where Nova has pitched extremely well. In his last 3 starts, the kid has thrown 20 IP, allowed 13 hits, 8 walks, and 4 runs, 3 of which were earned. He's dropped his ERA from 7.63 to 4.08. As the weather has gotten better so has Nova. I was most impressed today by the number of ground ball outs he had. 16 of the 22 outs he got came from the ground ball. He had it working tonight. Great job.

The Yankees offense was again kind of pathetic. There were a few exceptions but for the most part they were underwhelming. The offensive POG was Curtis Granderson. He belted 2 HRs, his 9th and 10th on the season, and knocked in 3 of the 4 Yankee runs. Curtis has been great at the dish this year. Props to Kevin Long for righting that ship. Unfortunately for my wallet he righted it too much. I made a pledge to Granderson's charity. For every HR he hits I donate $15 in his "Scoring For Schools" program. Curtis is on pace for 54 HRs, which would work out to $810. Yowza. I hope he gets that money too. It goes to a great cause and let's face it, how can I not be a fan of Curtis hitting 50+ jacks? Keep it going Curtis.

There's a bunch of negative things I could write about the offense but that could take all night. I'll save that for another day.

I really wish the Yankees would stop bunting. That would be a dream come true. Speaking of dreams I need to turn in. So very tired.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Thursday, May 5, 2011

More Of The Same As Yankees Lose To Tigers

Work totally beat me down today. So much so that I forgot that the Yankees were playing this afternoon. By the time I remembered it was too late. I pulled the game up on the radio and there was one out in the top of the ninth. I was so bummed that I missed it. Wanting to know what I missed I went to the one place where I could easily get that information: Twitter.

I asked my followers to tweet me a summary of the game. Here are some of the replies I got, all in 140 characters or less:

YankeeGirl226: You missed nothing.
Sward92151: it sucked-no hits,bad fielding, chavez broken foot
Yankee Princesa: More of the same, no timely hitting, pitching fell apart late in the game and we lost Chavez in the process.
Maddym21: AJ did well up until the 7th. Offense sucked. Nuñez sucked at SS. That's all.
Dizzydolse: injury to Chavez, errors by Nunez, no offense again and decent but not good enough pitching equals 6-3 loss and Valverde dance
TheRealMBB: Pretty much Nunez's arm killed Burnett's great outing. Five runs on three hits, only two of them earned!
SherriPizza: It sucked.

Thanks guys for summing that up for me. It's appreciated. So basically here's the way it went down. Burnett pitched well. The offense sucked. Eduardo Nunez can't throw the ball. Eric Chavez got hurt.

I looked at the box score as soon as I turned the game on and I immediately could see that 3 of those things happened. Burnett's pitching line was solid. That's encouraging. You shouldn't lose that many games when you allow 3 hits and 1 walk over 7 IPs. I'd almost call him a hard luck loser. But again, I'm encouraged that he pitched well.

I also noticed that only 2 of the 5 runs Burnett gave up were earned. Quick scan of the box score and I see Nunez made 2 errors. That gives him 5 on the season. His fielding percentage this year as a SS is .615. Come again? I didn't even know it was that possible to have a fielding percentage that low. That needs to change real quick.

It appears Eric Chavez is headed to the DL with a fractured bone in his left foot. That sucks. Chavez has been doing it on both sides of the field. He's hitting .303 and has a slick glove to go with it. It looks like Ramiro Pena is coming up to fill in for him. Thankfully it's just to back up A-Rod because the last thing the Yankees need is someone that doesn't hit the ball that well.

This makes 3 straight losses for the Yankees. For the most part that all falls on the shoulders of the offense. In those 3 losses the Yankees scored a total of 5 runs. Houston we have a problem. As a team the Yankees are hitting .251. That ranks 14th out of the 30 MLB teams. They're struggling. That's for sure. They're now off to Texas to play the Rangers. Rangers Ballpark is a hitter-friendly park. It would be nice to see the bats wake up for this series. Here's hoping that they do.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Yankees Offense Absent In 4-0 Loss To Tigers

I had the full intention of watching tonight's Yankees/Tigers game but I opted not to after shortly after I turned it on. I flipped the TV to the game after one of the bedtime shows my kids watched ended just to get a quick update. I saw one pitch. It was the first and only pitch to Magglio Ordonez. He put it in the seats for a 2-run HR. After that I turned the TV off and got my kids ready for bed. When I finished my daddy duties I went back to the game. First pitch I see is an Alex Avila double. Woah. I see 2 pitches and neither yields a good result. Being the superstitious dude that I am I flipped the game off. I wasn't having any of that.

As it turns out staying away from the game did not help the Yankees at all. But it didn't make it worse. The game ended with the Yankees losing 4-0. I followed along a little bit online as I listened to the new Beastie Boys album (it's great - get it). The game was pretty uneventful and I'm glad I didn't watch because it would have been very frustrating. The Yankees offense is quite simply horrible and more often that not it seems that as a team they're struggling at the plate. They managed only 4 hits tonight and struck out 11 times. That's pretty brutal. Nobody is hitting either. Cano, Martin, and Teixeira are the only 3 hitting above .260. Hey Kevin Long!! Get to work my man!!

I'll give it up to Freddy Garcia tonight. Well, sort of. I was surprised when I saw that he was still pitching in the 8th. He didn't start out that great but it looks like he settled in right after I flipped the game off. Coincidence? Maybe. He allowed 8 hits and struck out 2 when I was "watching" and allowed 2 hits and struck out 6 when I wasn't. Hmm. Maybe I was bad mojo. If only yhr Yankees offense could have done something. Props to Freddy for battling.

Day game tomorrow. That sucks. I hate day games. Work always gets in the way of paying attention to it. Hopefully I can figure out a way to give it a listen. Hopefully the Yankees can figure out a way to hit the ball. They're too good not to.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Monday, May 2, 2011

Bartolo Colon Continues To Be Baseball's Best Bargain As Yankees Beat Tigers 5-3

Tonight's game was another one of those games that I didn't get to pay a lot of attention to. First 3 innings or so were spent with the kids. The next 4 innings were spent tinkering with my laptop, which I'm happy to report is functional again. Yay me. I paid a little attention to it in those 4 innings but not as much as I would have liked. I was in front of the TV for the last 2 innings. I'm going to keep this blog really short. In addition to not seeing much of the game I'm beyond exhausted as I was up late last night, as I'm sure a lot of people were, watching history. Not to get political on everyone but last night was awesome. Big win for America. Big win for the world.

I saw very little of Bartolo Colon's outing tonight but was impressed with what little I saw. According to my twitter peeps it was another exceptional start. I was impressed with his pitching line. It's very solid and I love that he didn't walk anyone and struck out 7. I think it's safe to say that as of right now Colon is this year's biggest bargain. What a signing by Brian Cashman! If Colon keeps this up I can see him walking away with Comeback Player of the Year, assuming he's eligible. Not sure if not playing last year affects that at all.

When I hopped onto Twitter in the 7th inning one of the first things I found out about tonight's game was that the Yankees had "left a lot of ducks on the pond." I checked the in-game box score and saw they were 1-11 with RISP. That's not good and it won't usually get the job done. Thankfully Colon pitched as well as he did.

Nice job by Joba and Mo. Mo has been on fire since blowing 2 straight saves. That makes 3 saves in 3 days. Glad to have you back my friend.

I'm not going to see much of the game tomorrow. The missus and I are taking our two boys to see the Imagination Movers in concert. The show should end early enough for me to catch the end of it on the radio. The Yankees are on a nice little roll and it's CC's turn to keep it going tomorrow. Take it to 'em big man.

Peace, love, Pinstripes and God Bless America


Sunday, May 1, 2011

Yankees/Jays Weekend Wrap-Up

Greetings everyone. I hope you all had a great weekend. Mine, as it usually is with 3 kids in tow, was very busy. I realized that 4pm games are a horrible time for me to watch Yankees games. When it's a 1pm start, I can usually fit most of it in as that's when my kids nap. With a 7pm start I might miss the 1st hour as it's the kids' bed time. I can usually though pay half-attention to it as I get them ready. 4pm games are not my friend. The kids usually wake up from their naps around then and I can't justify ignoring them for 2.5+ hours. I sneak in little breaks and make sure to check my phone for updates but it's tough to catch it for a large chunk of time.

I didn't see much of Saturday's game which is why I didn't blog about it yesterday. I figured I'd save it for a "weekend wrap-up" post. I did catch most of the game today. I did though miss the last 2 innings as I made a trek to Best Buy to see if they could help at all with my dying laptop. They couldn't. I am though in process of hopefully fixing it. I had recovery disks and they appear to have solved the problem. So far so good. Unfortunately using recovery disks meant I wiped out the hard drive so everything on it is gone. Right now I'm installing 2 years of windows updates. I've been doing that for 2+ hours and it's on #68 of 94. Wait. why am I blogging about that? I don't write a tech support blog and that's not why you're here. My apologies. Let's talk Yankees, shall we? I am though going to keep it brief as I've got a lot to do still before calling it a day. And we're off:

Very pleased with how the series with the Jays turned out. It was nice to see the Yankees come back to win two straight to take another series. The Jays are a pesky team and always give the Yanks fits. I will never complain when the Yankees take a series.
Great start today by Ivan Nova. i don't know if it was the bad weather but he's been pretty good since the weather has gotten better. The only gripe I had was with the walks. He walked 4 and threw 60% of his pitches for strikes, which in my book is a so-so strike-to-ball ratio. But as long as he can keep the runners on base from scoring, I'm cool with it. The Jays went 0-9 with RISP today. Kudos to Nova for keeping them from scoring. But, that's a dangerous way to live. He needs to reduce the # of baserunners he allows.
It was nice to see the Yankees win Saturday without hitting any HRs.
I hope A.J. Burnett can continue pitching well now that we're out of April. As a Yankee, A.J. has made 16 starts in April and has a 9-1 record to show for it. He's 18-24 after April. I think he's going to continue to pitch well.
Curtis Granderson hit his 8th HR and I now owe him $120. Way to go Curtis.
Robbie Cano bruised his hand and left Sunday's game early. I don't think it's serious. at least I hope it's not.
Rafael Soriano hasn't given up a run in two, count 'em two, straight games. Yay.
After blowing 2 straight saves Mariano Rivers has saved 3 straight and hasn't given up a run. He's the GOAT.
Pretty good series for the bullpen. They've pitched 8.2 scoreless innings since D-Rob's little fielding snafu.
A-Rod has been struggling since missing a few games with his injury. He's 3 for his last 27 which has dropped his average 96 percentage points. Uh oh.
That about sums it up. I'm sure I'm missing something. I'm tired and I'm not 100% focused. The wife has been asking me to help her put some stuff away and I've been ignoring her to do this. Gotta run.
Peace, love and Pinstripes,

Friday, April 29, 2011

Yankees Fall To Those Pesky Toronto Blue Jays

The hot streak that the Yankees rotation was on had to come to an end at some point. Freddy Garcia was not sharp tonight. I saw very little of Garcia's outing tonight. By all accounts he was not sharp. Some of my twitter peeps even used the word shaky. I would agree with that based on what I saw. He was all over the place with his pitches. He ended up walking 5 and only 56.4% of his pitches were strikes. That's a horrible strike-to-ball ratio. I typically look for something in the low-to-mid 60s. But despite looking terrible he pitched an effective game. If you give up 7 hits and 5 walks and only allow 3 runs, you did pretty good. That's battling right there. Now let's be honest here. If Garcia were to only pitch 5 innings and allow 3 runs every start, we'd be happy with that. I know I would be. The Yankees offense is good enough that it should usually end with a win. Now if only the offense would play to their potential.

The Yankees offense had another weak night at the plate. In what's becoming typical Yankee fashion the majority of the Yankees runs came off the longball. The Yankees have won their fair share of games this year with the HRs. Those wins are eventually going to get balanced out with the losses. Tonight was one of those nights. The team needs to find a way to string some hits together and get some runs home. Get 'em on. Get 'em over. Get 'em in. Easier said then done, right?

Robinson Cano is raking right now at the plate. He is squaring up nicely on the ball and hitting it with authority. His 2 homers tonight were absolute lasers. He's gone deep in 3 of the last 4 games and has knocked in 7 of the 21 runs in those 4 games. He's one of the few guys that is currently hitting. The shock tonight for Robbie wasn't the 2 HRs. It was the 2 walks. He came into today's game with 1 walk on the season. Dude likes to swing. I have no problem with that.

Additional thoughts:

  • David Robertson needs some PFP

  • I really don't like Jose Bautista

  • Going 0-8 with RISP as a team is horrible.

  • Nick Swisher is looking like the Rally Killer from 2009. He came into the game hitting .190 w/RISP and was 0-9 with RISP and 2 outs. He went 0-3 w/RISP today and 0-1 w/RISP and 2 outs. The big rally kill came in the 8th when he grounded out to 1st with 2 outs and the bases loaded. Pitiful. I really don't like calling him the Rally Killer. If you're new to the blog and want to know why I do, look up Nick's 2009 situational stats. They're awful.

It's A.J. Burnett's turn. Time to start another starting pitcher hot streak. Won't matter much if the bats don't show up. Wake up bats!!

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Thursday, April 28, 2011

The Bats Wake Up, The Pitching Stays Hot, The Yankees Roll The Pale Hose

Now that's what I'm talking about. The Yankees had it all working tonight. A great outing from the starter. An offensive explosion. It's good when everyone is on the same page and they fire on all cylinders.

CC Sabathia pitched a great game. Typical CC. I got a late start on giving my kids their baths tonight. I walked by the TV in the top of the 1st and saw runners on 2nd and 3rd with no outs. I was a little surprised when I turned on the MLB At-Bat app and saw that CC go out of the inning without allowing a run. I love it when these guys pull a Houdini act. CC's start makes the 7th straight outstanding start from the Yankees. Over the last 7 games, Yankee starters have thrown 50 innings, giving up 8 earned runs on 35 hits and 11 walks while striking out 38. That works out to a WHIP of 0.92 and an ERA of 1.44. Out-freaking-standing. I take great pleasure in putting those numbers together each night. I hope it continues.

By the time I got all the kids to bed it was the top of the 5th. The Yankees were up 2-0 and to my surprise they scored those runs without having a hit. What what what? That soon changed with a 5th inning hit parade. That was fun to watch. Nick Swisher went 3-4 with his 1st HR. What what what? Brett Gardner went deep. What what what? Jorge Posada went 0-4. Figures. Half-kidding on that last one.

Man Jorge is struggling. He's not even hitting the ball hard. That's kind of sad. I thought the DH role would suit him well but so far not good. It just doesn't look like there's anything there. How long can they go with him in the lineup when he's doing that poorly. I don't even see any good contact. I'm very concerned about Jorge. I think he'll snap out of his funk. When is the question?

Overall, great night for the offense. Any night you score 12 runs on 13 hits and 8 walks is a great night. It was nice to see after several games of futility. I'm hoping the bats stay hot and the starting pitching gets hotter than it is already. It was nice to see greatness on both sides of the field tonight. It will be nice if they can keep that going as the Blue Jays are coming to town and they always seem to give the Yankees fits. It should be a great series. It would be nice to see a sweep and end April on a really high note but I'll settle for a series win. Take it to 'em guys.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Bartolo Colon Is A Beast

It has not been a fun couple of days for me when it comes to some of my material possessions. Last week it was my car. This week it's our laptop. I think it's on its last legs and I've been trying to rescue it from the grave on and off for the last 2 days or so, mainly trying to pull stuff off of it when I get it up and running. I'm not sure what the issue is with it. It's about 2 years old and apparently it's a piece of garbage. Luckily, I have a laptop from work that I can use but I can't load any programs on it. But I can access the web, so here I am.

I watched tonight's Yankee game while tinkering with the laptop so needless to say the game didn't get my undivided attention. So I apologize for not going into more detail, but as they sometimes say, something is better than nothing:

  • Bartolo Colon is a beast. I didn't need to give the game 100% of my attention to see that. He's like a man reborn. Anybody see this coming? Nope.

  • The offense was still a little underwhelming and again they seem to rely on the longball. I have no problem with that and neither should you. Whatever works, right?

  • Nice bounceback by Mariano Rivera. It was good to see him do what he does best.

  • The Yankees rotation has been ridiculously good over the last 6 games. 43 IP, 28 hits, 10 walks, 32 K, and 8 ER. That's a WHIP of 0.88 and an ERA of 1.67. And the rotation was supposed to be the weak spot.

  • Brian Cashman is a genius. The low-risk high-reward signings are paying off.

CC Sabathia gets the start tomorrow night. If there's anyone that can keep the good times rolling for the SPs, it's the big man.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ivan Nova Shines, Rafael Soriano Doesn't, And The Yankees Bats Don't Help Anybody Out

Like last night, I don't feel like blogging much after that loss. I could cut and paste yesterday's blog into this one, change a few things, and it would work, but that would be lazy. It was a tough loss and there a plenty of things you can point to as contributing factors but the bottom line is when you don't hit you shouldn't win. Four hits isn't getting the job done. The Yankees could have won a game tonight they shouldn't have but alas, it wasn't meant to be.

I didn't get to see much of Ivan Nova's outing but I saw a little bit here and there in between doing some things around the house. I didn't need to see it to know it was the best start of his career. He looked good and for once the wheels didn't fall off in the middle innings. It was actually the longest start of his career. I'm very encouraged by it. It's too bad he didn't pick up the W.

I did find it curious that Joe Girardi left him in to pitch the 7th. Now don't take that the wrong way. I'm glad he did. It was the right call. But I'm curious why he left him in and not Freddy Garcia a few days earlier. The two had very similar outings through the first 6 innings. Here's what we know: Garcia had thrown 90 pitches thru 6, Nova 85. Nova had pitched 1 inning in the last 11 days. Garcia was virtually unhittable and was pulled with a 3-0 lead. Nova had good stuff and was left in with a 2-1 lead. Garcia is an experienced pitcher who's been there before. It was Nova's deepest start of his career. I thought that Joe should have left Garcia in to start the 7th like he did with Nova tonight. I'm curious why the change in philosophy because if anything, Garcia's situation was a little better. The only thing I can think of is age. Anybody have any thoughts?

Girardi made another curious move in the 9th when he had Curtis Granderson give himself up with no outs and Jeter, they tying run, on 1st. Based on my Twitter timeline there were very few people that were OK with the move. I was one of those OK with it. Now that's not to say I wasn't a staunch supporter of the bunt. I hate giving away outs and am not a huge fan of sac bunts to begin with. All I'm saying is I get the logic behind it. Here's my take on it: It was a lefty-lefty matchup. Granderson is his career was 2-15 vs. Thornton. Granted, Granderson has done much better vs. LHPs since last year and Thornton is struggling, but that matchup still favors Thornton in my opinion. I get why you'd want to put the tying run at 2nd with your 3, 4, and 5 hitters waiting to drive them home. There's no way to know what would have happened had Curtis had the green light to swing away. It could have been a double play. Nobody knows. If not for two unbelievable catches by Brent Lillibridge the move would have worked. Hindsight is 20-20. Bunting may not have been the right move but it wasn't a wrong move, if that makes sense. Damn you Brent Lillibridge.

Who would have guessed that the Yankees starting rotation would be a positive and the bullpen would be a negative? The Yankees rotation has been awesome over the last 5 games. Over the last 5 games the 5 SPs have combined to throw 35 innings, allowing 21 hits and 9 walks, while striking out 26 and allowing 7 ER. That works out to an ERA of 1.80 and a WHIP of 0.86. That's outstanding.

The bullpen, specifically the major players, have been scuffling over the last 3 games. We've seen 2 blown saves by Mariano Rivera. We've seen Joba gave up a 2-run HR. We've seen Rafael Soriano pitch in the last 2 games and absolutely stink up the joint. In those 2 innings he's allowed 4 hits, 2 walks, a HBP, a HR and 3 runs. Simply put that's terrible. And that's putting it nicely. Soriano has been a sore spot in the pen but I'm not ready to give up on him yet. I have some faith but it's wavering.

I was planning on writing a little more but I've been having laptop issues and I'm on a backup computer. I wasted about 20 minutes tinkering with that and in addition to being tired I've grown agitated, and I still have to iron clothes for tomorrow. So I'll leave you with this: As I mentioned above you shouldn't win if you don't hit the ball. The Yankees offense has been non-existent these last few games. Talk about no run support. You can blame the bullpen. You can blame Girardi. But none of that matters in you don't hit the ball.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Monday, April 25, 2011

A.J. Burnett Pitches A Gem But The Yankee Bats Don't Back Him Up

What a horrible way to kick off a homestand, right? That was such a frustrating game to watch. So frustrating that I don't really want to blog about it. But being the trooper that I am, I will. But there's not really much to say.

Excellent job by A.J. Burnett. He was outstanding. It's a shame that the offense couldn't come through for him tonight. He pitched a gem and walking away with a win would have been nice. Instead he walks away a hard luck loser. A.J. threw 8 really strong innings, giving up 1 run on 3 hits and 2 walks. One could argue that the run he gave up really wasn't his fault. Carlos Quentin's double would have been a single had Curtis Granderson not dove for that ball. Missing it allowed Quentin to take 2nd. He later scored on 2 groundball outs. I can't fault Granderson too much for going for that ball. It might not have worked out but I don't see him going after it unless he thought he had a shot at making the grab. But whatever. It is what it is. It sucks that the team spoiled such a great outing by Burnett. It really is.

There isn't really much to say about the offense since there wasn't any. It sucks that are so many "easy outs" in the Yankees lineup right now. Posada @ .145. Gardner @ .136. Swisher @ .227. And to a lesser extent, Jeter @ .244. That foursome needs to start pulling their weight. It's amazing that the Yankees are 12-7 with half the lineup performing that poorly.

I still would love to know why the Yankees seem to struggle mightily against pitchers they've never faced. Is it lack of preparation? Poor scouting reports? It happens too often for it to be a coincidence. I don't get it. Anybody have any theories? Is it really not the case and it just seems that way? I'm too lazy to look it up.

Phil Hughes had a setback today. Apparently, his bullpen session didn't go too well. It sounds like it went the same as his starts, meaning that there's nothing there. The team is sending him for an MRI. I'm curious to hear about those results.

There's no reason to dwell too much on tonight's loss. I'm treating it like Mariano Rivera does with a blown save. Forget about it, move on and get them tomorrow.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Freddy Garcia Shines Again As Yankees Clip The Orioles 6-3

I'm going to start this blog by saying this will not be my best work. Today is my last day of vacation and I have to return to work tomorrow. I've had a pretty busy week off and I've somewhat tortured myself by sleeping about 5-6 hours per day. I'm in desperate need of some serious sleep and I've imposed a 9pm deadline on myself to go to bed. I've got 15 minutes and I still need to iron some clothes. So this one may be a little rushed but hopefully I'll still get my points across. Here goes nothing.

Freddy Garcia was again outstanding. 6 more shutout innings which runs his scoreless innings streak as a starter to 12. What's most impressive in the 12 innings he's thrown as a starter is that he's only allowed 4 hits and 3 walks. That works out to a WHIP of 0.58. Yes, you read that correctly. Wow. The impressive thing is that he's not doing it with overpowering stuff. He's hitting his spots. He's mixing his speeds and his pitches. He's pitching. It just goes to show that you can be successful without a blazing fastball. Phil Hughes take note. Well done Freddy.

If I were Joe Girardi I would not have pulled Freddy after 6. He was at 91 pitches and if I were running the ship he would have stayed in until he ran into trouble. The leash would have been short and I wouldn't have let him pitch the 8th. Had Girardi followed that strategy we might not have seen Joba implode in the 7th. I can understand and respect why Joe made the switch. I can't fault him for Joba stinking up the joint. As for Joba, it's the same two-step as last season. Step forward, step backwards. I want to see more consistency from Joba. I think we might see David Robertson take over the "7th inning guy" role. Rafael Soriano was unavailable today and I think it was a little telling that Joe went to D-Rob in the 8th and Joba in the 7th. Maybe I'm reading too much into that. We'll see.

Back-to-back blown saves for Mariano. I'm a little shocked but not at the same time. I think the home plate ump was inconsistent with his strike zone and he should have punched out Adam Jones. Regardless, I'm still not use to seeing Mo perform like he did in back-to-back games. As I wrote after his 1st blown save, April appears to be the month where he struggles the most. He's Mariano Rivera. There will never be any worries about him on my end. He's the man.

Props to the top of the lineup. Jeter and Granderson combined to go 7-11 with 4 RBI and 3 runs scored. Jeter picked up 4 hits and raised his average to .257 but he didn't exactly knock the cover off the ball. But hey, they all look like line drive singles in the box score. I'm hoping it's a turning point. Granderson has some serious power stroke going on. He hit HR #7 which banks another $20 for his charity. Dude is going to break me.

2 minutes 'til 9......

Bottom of the lineup was blech. Swisher 0-5. Posada 0-4. Martin 1-4. Gardner 0-5. Combine that and you've got 1-18 with 2 walks and 9 Ks, 4 of which were Gardner. Horrible. I love how Swisher tried to change up his luck by rocking the high socks and then giving up on it. With the exception if Martin, the bottom of the order has been pretty weak. But I'm a minute over my cutoff point so I'll end it there. But you guys know they're weak so we're good.

It's back to the Bronx for a 7-game homestand with the White Sox and Blue Jays. Rain rain go away. I want to see the Yankees play. Later.

9:02pm. Not bad.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Somebody Call The Baltimore Police Because The Yankees Just Murdered The Orioles

Somebody needs to call the Baltimore cops because a crime was just committed in Camden Yards. Wow. Talk about a massacre.

CC Sabathia was on cruise control tonight. Despite scoring 3 runs the Orioles couldn't really touch him. It was a very free and easy outing for CC. Had the Yankees not tore the roof of the mother in the late innings he probably would have gone the distance. It pretty much was a lights out performance. Exactly what you'd expect from the ace. Apparently, when you go winless thru your 1st 4 starts the only way to guarantee yourself the win is to take care of it yourself. CC was a man on a mission tonight. He pitched most of the game with a pitch count well below 10 pitchers per inning. His control was excellent. He threw 73.8% of his pitches for strikes, walking one and whiffing 7. Great job by the big man.

You could slice this 2 ways but you could make a case that CC is off to his best start as a Yankee. It's a close call between this year and last. Thru his 1st 5 starts this year, CC has pitched 33 IPs to a tune of a 2.73 ERA. He's allowed 31 hits and 10 walks (1.24 @WHIP), while striking out 30 and allowing 2 longballs. Last year in his 1st 5 starts, he threw 34.2 IPs with a 3.12 ERA. His WHIP was better at 1.07 (25 hits and 12 walks). He struck out 28 and allowed the same number of HRs. I know it's not a true comparison due to the many different factors between the seasons, but either way you go, he's off to a good start. It's probably a little behind last year but not by much.

The entire offense, with one exception (Nick Swisher) had at least one hit tonight. The biggest blasts came off the bats of Russell Martin (what's new?), Alex Rodriguez (what's new?), and Brett Gardner (say what?). Yeah, that last name is a surprise. BG chipped in with a double and a 2-run HR. His HR was surprising but it came at the perfect time. The O's had just intentionally plunked Martin. And I say intentionally because you don't just happen to hit 2 HRs and get hit right near the head on accident. Gardner avenged that HBP by going yard. Nothing beats that kind of retaliation. Suck on that Showalter.

What is going on with the power surge, right? The 2011 Yankees are definitely Bronx Bombers. They belted another 5, count 'em 5, HRs tonight. They've now hit 35 on the season which is a team record thru their 1st 17 games. They have 4 guys with 6 HRs a-piece (Posada, Martin, Teixeira, Granderson). The biggest surprise though is that Nick Swisher hasn't hit any. It's probably because I'm not dropping $$ to his charity this year. Granderson is getting that love and he's earning it. I was anticipating donating like $300 or so. He's on pace to take about $850 from me. Yikes. Don't quote me on this stat because I'm sure I don't have it right but Granderson has hit the 3rd most HRs in all of MLB going back to some point in August 2010. Wow. Props to Kevin Long. And not just for working his mojo on Curtis but on all of the guys. Now if only he could fix Derek Jeter. That should be his priority numero uno.

Great win tonight. The Yankees handles things on both sides of the field. They came. They saw. They murdered the Orioles. The Yankees don't have an off day until May 9th. They play 15 straight days, get an off day, and then play another 16. Baseball is in full swing. I love that.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Thursday, April 21, 2011

Bartolo Colon Shines In A Game I Almost Died Trying To Get To

If you are one of my Twitter followers than you may have seen tweets about this yesterday. If not, here's a story about how I could have died yesterday. The Yankee bits and pieces will be after the story.

I don't live too far from Toronto so I usually try to make it up for at least part of every Yankees/Jays series. I'm also a big baseball memorabilia collector so I usually spend a good part of the morning and afternoon outside the team hotel trying to pick up some autographs. So yesterday, as usual, I left for Toronto at about 7:30am, with an estimated arrival time of 10:15-10:30 depending on traffic. Right from the get go my trip was off to a rough start.

We had a huge thunderstorm that night which dumped a lot of rain. I was about a half-mile or so from my house when my car wouldn't accelerate. I figured it was because rain had somehow gotten part of the engine wet or something. The same thing happened a few years back after a drove through a huge puddle at night, ironically on the way back from Toronto. I knew the problem would resolve itself as the engine heated up and dried the connectors. I had to pull to the shoulder a few times because I couldn't accelerate to the speed of traffic. As a good driver should, I put my emergency flashers on to alert other drivers. Unfortunately for me it wouldn't be the only time I would put my flashers on.

I was approaching Toronto at around 10 or so. I was driving on the QEW, roughly six miles away from the exit I use. It had been a really smooth drive with surprisingly very little traffic. Traffic had been picking up for a few miles which made sense as I got closer to the city. I expected it to really pick up at any moment because there is this one spot on the QEW where you usually run into a sea of red brake lights. For those familiar with the QEW, that spot is right where it becomes the Gardiner Expressway and has an exit for Lake Shore Blvd, right near a red and white water tower that says, Christie's. Right beyond that part of the QEW starts the outskirts of downtown Toronto. It's where there are a few high rises, condos maybe, and a hotel on the right. It's at that point where I usually run into heavy traffic. I was about 1/2 to 3/4 of a mile from that point when things went awry.

I was traveling in the left lane and there was a decent amount of traffic. It was raining and there were spots of stop-and-go traffic so I wasn't traveling at a high rate of speed. I had to brake so I put my foot on the pedal, heard a pop, and the pedal dropped to the floor of the car. My brakes had gone out and I couldn't stop the car.

I was taken by surprise by what unfolded that I don't remember the exact details of how fast I was going and things like that. I couldn't have been going too fast because I was able to maneuver the car onto the left shoulder and coast the car to a stop. The flashers went on and the swear words came flying. I had no idea what to do next.

I'm going to skip the details of what I did while sitting there but in short the police, unbeknownst to me, dispatched a tow truck to the scene. I opted to have the car towed to a mechanic in hopes that the car could be fixed. Long story short, I spent seven hours waiting for my brake lines to be replaced. Final cost to fix was $315. At 6:30pm, 37 minutes before gametime, I was back on the road.

As I wrote above, the stretch of road where my brakes failed me was roughly a half-mile or so from the outskirts of downtown Toronto. Had the brakes failed me at any point beyond where I was I very well might not be here. Had I been any further than a 1/2 mile down the road from where I was I would have had no shoulder to coast on. I would have likely had no choice but to rear end someone at a much higher rate of speed. Had I left my house any later than I did I very well might not have encountered my problem until I got off the QEW at my exit. Roughly 10-15 minutes after my brakes had failed cars were passing me at a full rate of speed and they very well could have been free and clear of any traffic until the heart of downtown Toronto. Had this happened on an off ramp I would have rear ended a stopped car, run into oncoming traffic, or run head first into a concrete barrier, going at least 50mph. Lucky for me it happened when it did and how it did. I really shudder to think what might have happened had anything been different. Scary stuff.

I made it to the game just in time for first pitch but ran into a really long line waiting to buy tickets. The first piece of action I saw was Curtis Granderson rounding first on his way to a 2nd inning triple. And from there on I think you all know what happened in the game. I feel like I've been writing this post for awhile now so I'm going to briefly sum up my thoughts.

  • Derek Jeter looked awful at the plate. Was very disappointed I saw him go 0-5 with 4 groundouts and 1 GIDP. He's now hitting .219. I keep expecting him to flip the switch but now I'm not sure when/if he will. I thought last year was an anomaly. Now I'm not so sure.

  • Curtis Granderson is on fire. Another dinger, his 6th, which coming into today was tied for tops in the AL. I know owe his charity $90 and he's on pace to take $915 from me. I did not see this coming. I'm happy that it's happening.

  • Mark Teixeira had 3 doubles and raised his average up to .259. Not bad for a guy who always struggles in April.

  • Good to see A-Rod back in the lineup.

  • How about that Bartolo Colon? He gets my award for player of the game. He looked really good. I'm not sure if the radar gun in the Rogers Centre was jacked up a little bit but he hit 94 MPH late in the game. Impressive. What I'm finding to be most impressive is the strikeouts. Bartolo has whiffed 20 hitters in 18 IPs. He's mowing them down. He's also pitching to a tune of a 3.50 ERA and a 1.17 WHIP. Did anybody see this coming? Well, one man might have and his name is Brian Cashman. How you like him now haters?

My day might not have gone as planned but I'm glad it ended the way it did. I spent $315 that I wasn't planning on spending. I spent the entire day stranded outside of Toronto not knowing if my car would be fixed in time to see the game or even make it home. I could have died. But seeing the Yankees play and watching them win was a nice ending to a long and crazy day. You can never go wrong with that.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mariano Rivera Is Human In Yankees Loss That Is 100% My Fault

It doesn't happen often, but it happens. The great Mariano Rivera blew a save and the Yankees lost in extra innings. Like I said, it happens. Apparently, with Mariano, it happens more often in March and April than it does during any other point of the season. Mo's career save percentage in March/April is 84.4%. In May through October it's 90.3%. Hat tip to WFAN's Sweeney Murti for that little nugget which he shared on Twitter. Mo is human. He's going to have these kinds of outings every now and then. But as we've seen many, many times in the past, Mo bounces back and rocks the house. He rocks it long. He rocks it good. Mo is the greatest of all time.

Brett Gardner needs to get his head out of his rump shaker and start playing some baseball. He can't bunt. He can't hit. He can't steal a base. Something needs to change and whatever it is it needs to change fast.

Curtis Granderson is going to make me go broke. He hit his 5th HR and is now on pace to hit 54 HRs. At 15 bucks a pop I'm going to be dropping $810 to his charity. Hey Curtis, slow your roll would ya? Kidding. Keep banging them out of the park.

Now as I mentioned in the title of this post I'm 100% to blame for this loss. Why? Because I opened my pie-hole and put the whammy on the bullpen. During the game the Yes Network sent out a tweet asking for thoughts on the Yankees' bullpen. My reply: "If a starter can go six and leave the game with the lead the game is over. The bridge to Mariano is as solid as it's ever been." Ooops. Yeah, I should have known not to do that. This one is totally on me. My e-mail address is in the upper corner of the blog if you want to send hate mail.

I've got a few more things to say but I'm going to cut this one short. I'm headed to Toronto in the morning and I want to get some sleep. I'm going to the game and also going to do a little autograph hounding. Maybe I'll run into my new BFF Russell Martin. How cool is it that he posted a link to the blog I wrote about him yesterday on his Facebook wall and also retweeted it? Very cool and very appreciated. The blog has never had so many page hits in one day. Thanks Russell.

Not sure I'll be around tomorrow to blog. Also not sure about tweeting. When I was in Toronto last year there was no wifi access at the Rogers Centre. I may tweet via text but I won't be able to see or respond to tweets without wifi. I hope everyone enjoys the game and I'll try to bring back a win and hopefully atone for my stupid comment today. What was I thinking?

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


The Boogie Down Book Club: The Yankees Baseball Reader

As I've done in the past, I occasionally come across or am sent a book that I want to share in the "Boogie Down Book Club." It's been a while since "the club" has last met but I have a book that I wanted to share called, "The Yankees Baseball Reader: A Collection Of Writings On The Game's Greatest Dynasty."

The book is just as the title reads, a collection of writings about the New York Yankees. Just based on the title alone I was sold. I don't know about you but I'm not an avid reader. Sometimes I find myself paging thru the chapter I'm reading to see how many pages are left because I often get bored. And if the chapter itself is long, fuhgeddaboutit. It struggles to hold my interest. The writings in this book are often short, sometimes a couple of pages, and each piece of writing, or "chapter" if you will, is not dependent on the next, unlike a work of fiction. You can skip around and it doesn't really matter. This is the perfect book for me. And it's about the New York Yankees. I couldn't go wrong with it.

The Yankees Baseball Reader presents some of the most memorable pieces by the journalists, historians, poets and authors who have ever written about the Yankees from their beginning in 1903 through the 2010 season. It even has a couple of writings from ex-Yankees. Yogi Berra, Joe DiMaggio, Whitey Ford, Dave Winfield, Roger Maris, Lou Pinella and Elston Howard are just a few that you'll find in here. It's always cool to get a player's perspective.

My favorite writing just happens to be the last in the book. It's the interview that ran in an issue of SI back in May 2010. It's the interview that Tom Verducci did with the "Core Four." It was excellent then. It's excellent now.

So if you haven't been able to tell I highly recommend the book. It's become one of my favorites and it's very easy to go back to at a later date. You really can't go wrong with this one. It's now in my "Monument Park" section of my library. It's a winner. If you check it out I hope you enjoy it.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Monday, April 18, 2011

Russell Martin Is Pretty Cool

I'm sure everyone has figured this out by now but if you haven't here's the headline: Russell Martin is pretty cool.

Earlier today Russell was on Twitter and he sent out a tweet that read, "Answering 'random' questions between 4pm and 5pm today. Spread the word. Thanks." And as he said, he spent about an hour or so answering questions that were tweeted his way, including one from me.

Now, I took Russell's request a little differently than he might have intended it. I'm sure he meant that he would answer questions at random. Instead of tweeting him the standard run-of-the-mill questions I literally sent him random questions. Here's a sample of my questions:

What's the difference between mostly sunny and partly cloudy?
Do you know the way to San Francisco?
Who put the bomp in the bomp-sh-bomp-she-bomp?
How do I know which arm rest is mine when I'm at the movies?
What did you think of Dustin Pedroia's performance in The Wizard of Oz?
Who's uglier? Kevin Youkilis or Sloth from The Goonies?

The last 2 were fan favorites. Sadly, and understandably, he didn't answer them. The question he chose to answer: Where in the world is Carmen SanDiego? His answer: NY. Very cool.

Anyway, how cool is it that he took an hour out of his day to interact with his fans? Pretty cool if you ask me. You don't see a lot of this from athletes. I've got to give Russell his props for doing it. In such a short period of time he's become a fan favorite. His tweet session today definitely added to that. He promised he'd do it again soon. I'm sure he will.

My favorite answer he gave came from a question asked by NinaSaidSo. It was also appropriately the question he answered last. The question: What is it like catching Mariano Rivera? His answer: Mo is one of a kind. Truer words were never spoken.

Lastly, if you're a Yankee fan and aren't on Twitter, you should definitely consider signing up. There's quite the community of Yankee fans on there and the discussion is pretty much 24-7. I highly recommend it. If you'd like to follow me my twitter handle is JBoogieDown. Come and join us. It's a lot of fun.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Brian Cashman: How You Like Him Now?

In my postgame post from last night I talked a little bit about Brian Cashman and what I dubbed his "scrap heap rejects," aka Eric Chavez, Andruw Jones, Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia. Missed it? Yeah, not surprised. Anyway, I wanted to hit on it again, so here it is, slightly edited:

How smart does Brian Cashman look right now? All of his "scrap heap rejects" are doing rather well for the Yankees. And the "rejects" I'm referring to are Eric Chavez, Andruw Jones, Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia. Yesterday it was Chavez's turn to do his part. He made a few slick plays at 3rd but the big moment came in the 8th when he singled home the game-winner. EC is swinging a sweet stick so far. His 2 hits last night raised his average to .467. Granted 15 ABs a small sample size but he's already paying dividends, on both sides of the field.

I want to give a little praise to Brian Cashman. Eric Chavez is hitting .467. Andruw Jones is hitting .333. Freddy Garcia pitched 6 shutout innings in his first start. Bartolo Colon has been more than effective on the hill. Heck, if you want, add in Russell Martin. Russell Russ has been a huge surprise for the Bombers. He's now hitting .289, has 4 HRs and 11 RBI. Boom. Let's even take this one step further. Cashman spoke publicly about not wanting to sign Rafael Soriano. Sori isn't exactly lighting the world on fire. Point Cashman.

I know we're only 14 games into the season but step off his nuts haters. Show the man some love.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


The Bronx Bombing Continues As The Yankees Down The Rangers 6-5

I'm having some serious writer's block right now. I don't know if it's caused by lack of sleep or what, but I'm blanking on how to open this post. I just let out a huge yawn so it's probably due to a need for sleep. I'm going to try and keep this post short and sweet. Whenever I say that I end up writing a book. Let's see how this goes. Hope it's coherent.

It was a great come from behind win tonight against the Rangers. CC Sabathia wasn't sharp but he pitched well enough to leave with the lead. He battled his way through 6.1 IP and was in line to pick up his 1st win of the season when Joba blew the save. I wrote yesterday that my confidence in Joba was increasing. Today he took 2 steps backwards in that department.

Despite blowing the lead, the "formula" of using Joba, Rafael Soriano, and Mariano Rivera to close the game worked out. Those 3 make up quite the tandem, don't they? Just imagine if Joba and Soriano could be more consistent like Mo.

Man, how good is Mo? It truly is a gift to watch him pitch, isn't it? I have never laughed out loud watching Mo strike out a hitter but I did tonight. He made Ian Kinsler look absolutely stupid. And when I say stupid, I mean stoopid. That was unreal. Vintage Mo. Now in case you didn't know this, Mo's 1-2-3 inning tonight dropped his career WHIP to 0.9997. It's unreal to think that Mo has a career WHIP below 1. It seems like he's getting better and better as he gets older. If only he'd sign a lifetime contract. Somebody make that happen.

This year's offense is definitely worthy of the Bronx Bombers moniker. Three more HRs tonight, which puts the team total at 27 thru 13 games. There was a stat flashed during the ESPN broadcast that the Yankees have scored 61.1% of their runs via the longball. Five of the six runs tonight came off the HR so that percentage went up. The crazy thing about that stat is that it's almost double the league average. Unreal. Now, I don't know why people make such a big deal about them scoring so many runs via the HR. Last time I checked HRs were a part of baseball. Who cares how the runs score as long as they score?

Curtis Granderson is going to ruin me financially. I pledged to donate $15 to his charity for every HR he hit. Curtis is on pace to hit about 50 HRs. That'll cost me about $750. I'd be happy to pay it.

How smart does Brian Cashman look right now? All of his "scrap heap rejects" are doing rather well for the Yankees. And the "rejects" I'm referring to are Eric Chavez, Andruw Jones, Bartolo Colon and Freddy Garcia. Tonight it was Chavez's turn to do his part. He made a few slick plays at 3rd but the big moment came in the 8th when he singled home the game-winner. EC is swinging a sweet stick so far. His 2 hits tonight raised his average to .467. Granted 15 ABs a small sample size but he's already paying dividends, on both sides of the field.

I'd end the post here but I again want to give a little praise to Brian Cashman. Eric Chavez is hitting .467. Andruw Jones is hitting .333. Freddy Garcia pitched 6 shutout innings in his first start. Bartolo Colon has been more than effective on the hill. Heck, if you want, add in Russell Martin. Russell Russ has been a huge surprise for the Bombers. He's now hitting .289, has 4 HRs and 11 RBI. Boom. Let's even take this one step further. Cashman spoke publicly about not wanting to sign Rafael Soriano. Sori isn't exactly lighting the world on fire. Point Cashman. Show him some love haters. He deserves it.

Off day tomorrow. Correction, the clock just flipped to midnight so off day today. Next stop, Toronto. Toronto is basically in my backyard. I've got something going on Tuesday so I won't be making it up there for the series opener but as of now, I'm going to Wednesday. Can't. Freaking. Wait.

That was not short and sweet.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Saturday, April 16, 2011

Freddy Garcia Exceptional As Yankees Beat Rangers 5-2

Take that Texas Rangers. Freddy Garcia just shut you down. Yankees win. Thuhhh Yankees win.

Freddy Garcia made his first start of the season and he was exceptional. He went 6 scoreless innings, giving up only 2 hits and 1 walk, on only 84 pitches. And he did all that against arguably the best performing offense in MLB. Not bad for your first start since March 29. Freddy wasn't overpowering by any means but he did what he needed to do to pitch well. I don't think he even hit 90 (could be wrong) and he only struck out one. But he hit his spots. He mixed his pitches and his pitches had movement. Phil Hughes needs to take note of this. You don't have to have a blazing fastball to pitch effectively. Just ask Mike Mussina. (Throwback call: Moooooooooooooooooooose!)

Garcia's outing goes to show that it's more important to do the 3 things I mentioned above more than anything else. There's a big difference between pitching and throwing. Garcia was definitely a pitcher today. I think it's safe to say that he's the Yankees "3rd starter" behind Sabathia and Burnett. At this point in time he has to be, right. It would be nice if Bartolo Colon could make a push for that. It'll just mean the rotation is stabalizing. I hope that Freddy keeps it up and that Bartolo matches him when he makes his first start.

Despite a semi-meltdown by Rafael Soriano I love the back-end of the Yankees bullpen. The formula of Joba in the 7th, Soriano in the 8th, and Mo in the 9th is working well. Soriano has definitely been a little hit and miss but I think he was a little better today than his final line. The Rangers didn't hit him terribly hard. Soriano, or as he's affectionately called, MFIKY, has definitely been the least stable to the trio, but for the most part his shakiness was confined to one outing, not counting today. Prior to today he's MFIKY has appeared in 5 games. Four of those went off without a hitch. I'd be lying if I didn't say I'm a little concerned about him, but I think he'll be fine long term.

Joba continues to impress me. When Girardi first unveiled Joba as the "7th inning guy" in his bullpen formula I was understandably worried. Those worries are decreasing with each outing. If the Yankees hit the 7th inning with a lead the game is pretty much over. Joba, Soriano and Rivera have been that good. Rivera of course the best of them all. Mo is not showing any signs of ineffectiveness. In fact it's the opposite. He's still vintage Mariano. God bless the man.

I didn't catch any of the postgame show so I'm not sure if this was mentioned but A-Rod got pulled early with lower back and oblique stiffness. Uh oh. The Yankees aren't planning tests so it doesn't strike me as serious and I really hope it's not. Fingers are crossed because Alex has been the team's biggest offensive threat. Coming into today's game Alex ranked 2nd in AVG, 1st in OBP, and 1st in SLG. He's off to one of the best starts of his career. If he misses any time it could be a big blow to the Yankees.

The Yankees continue with the power stroke. They've tied the record for most HRs by a Yankees team thru 13 games. Two more longballs today. Mark Teixeira went deep for his 5th and Robbie Cano hit his 3rd. Cano's HR was big as it put the lead back to 3 and gave Mariano cushion headed into the 9th, not that it was needed. Teixeira had a nice day at the plate with 2 hits. His April AVG is up to .234. Not great but considering how poorly he's historically been in April, I'll take it.

Nick Swisher is swinging a hot bat. He's gone 2-4 in back-to-back games and he's got his AVG up to .261. Prior to the start of the Texas series Nick was hitting .211. I guess it doesn't take much to raise your AVG 50 points, eh? Hopefully, this little hot streak comes along with some power. Swish is till homerless. That's surprising to me considering how many HRs the Yankees have hit as a team. You'd think he'd have run into one or two dingers by now. I just took a look at Swish's splits and situational stats and I don't really like what I see. He's hitting only .107 versus RHPs and he's hitting only .188 with RISP. There's a lot of room for improvement here. I hope 2011 is not the "Return of the Rally Killer."

The Yankees now get a pseudo day-off. Well, not really. They play tomorrow night at 8:05 on ESPN's Sunday Night Baseball. It'll be nice to get a few hours of extra rest before a big game. OK, maybe it's not a big game but right now the Rangers are top dog in the AL and taking two out of three from them would be pretty big. CC Sabathia vs. Alexi Ogando. This game has pitcher's duel written all over it, which probably means it'll be a blowout. Hopefully it's not a repeat of last Sunday when Josh Beckett shut down the Yanks. They haven't seen a whole lot of Ogando and he's off to a hot start. Should be a good game.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Friday, April 15, 2011

Double Plays, Walks And Wild Pitches Do In Yankees

The Yankees lost what I think was a very winnable ball game tonight. It was frustrating to watch and there really isn't a whole lot to say about it. It was a sloppy game to say the least.

The Yankees tied a record tonight and unfortunately that's not good. They grounded into 6, count 'em 6, double plays. Talk about rally killers. Hat tip to Matt Harrison for inducing so many DPs. If you can induce that many you're doing something right.

Ivan Nova was well, Ivan Nova. Did alright early but then the wheels fell off around the 5th inning, which pretty much happens in most of his starts. I didn't think he started too poorly but popular opinion said he was a little less than decent. In his 4.1 innings he allowed 4 hits, 5 walks, 1 HBP and a wild pitch. That's not going to get it done. Nova needs to be better, much better.

I'm a little concerned about the Yankees rotation. Phil Hughes hasn't been effective at all and is now on the DL with a dead arm. I didn't know ineffectiveness was a reason to DL a guy. Everyone has maintained Phil's not hurt so I'm not sure how they pulled that off, but whatever, it works. Phil's DL stint means Bartolo Colon now moves into the rotation. That's a move I'm a fan of. Bartolo has pitched well this season and he can easily slide into the starter role. But I'm not sold on him just yet. And we haven't even seen Freddy Garcia yet. Right now the Yankees have 2 reliable SPs and that's all dependent on A.J. Burnett continuing to pitch well. I have confidence in CC Sabathia and that's about it. I'm worried about everybody else, to varying degrees.

The positive tonight was the bullpen. 4.2 innings of hitless/scoreless ball. The highlight was the debut of Lance Pendleton. He faced 9 batters and retired them all. The kid looked good and I was impressed. But it's 3 innings. I'm not ready to crown him the second coming of Mariano Rivera just yet. Who am I kidding? There will never be a second coming of Mariano Rivera. Best there is, was, and ever will be. He's God.

Congrats to Curtis Granderson for hitting his 3rd HR and banking another $20 for his charity. I think we're up to $65. At this rate Curtis is going to break my bank. He's on pace to take $600+ from me. If anyone is wondering what I'm talking about, every time Curtis goes deep, I donate $$$ to his charity, the Grand Kids Foundation. If you're interested in donating along with me, please feel free to do so. If you're ever curious about how much is getting donated, just check out the total in the upper left. To learn more about the "pledge drive" click here.

The Red Sox just lost, again. They're now 2-10. Talk about pathetic. Wow. They're terrible.

Freddy Garcia makes his first start of the season tomorrow. There's rain in the forecast. Wouldn't that be something if he got skipped again? Weather is supposed to be bad so it could happen. 1:05pm start. Hope they play.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Thursday, April 14, 2011

Ladies And Gents, We Have Pie!

That was a great Yankee win tonight. Down 5-0. The bullpen shuts things down. A run saving kick save by Joba. Clutch hitting in the 9th. A walkoff in the 10th. Pie in Nick Swisher's face. Add that all up and it's a great Yankee win.

Another horrible start by Phil Hughes. I didn't see the first 2 innings he pitched but was following along on the MLB app. It didn't look like he had any sustained gains in velocity. He started out OK but didn't have any pop. Now, I'm concerned and it's time to make a change. They can't keep running Phil out there to pitch 3-4 innings.

Luckily, the Yankees have had Bartolo Colon to pair up with Phil. Bartolo has been awesome for the Yankees so far. He was definitely one of the unsung heroes of tonight's win. Personally, I think he was the player of the game. He came in and locked it down for 3 scoreless innings. That gave the Yankee bats time to chip away at the lead. I wouldn't be surprised if the Yankees flip-flop Hughes and Colon. Personally, I think they should.

The bullpen definitely was a huge plus tonight. Joba looked extremely sharp and his block of home plate ended up being a thing of brilliance. At regular speed I thought the ump blew the call but Joba somehow managed to block the plate and prevent Pie from scoring. That was a game saver. I'm slowly starting to become a Joba fan.

Mariano Rivera. That is all.

A-Rod is on fire right now. He came up huge tonight and continues to be locked in. M-V-P! M-V-P!

Nick Swisher is reminding me a lot of 2009 Nick Swisher. If you read the blog in 2009 than you might remember I called Nick "the Rally Killer." He was not exactly clutch with runners in scoring position or in big spots. He's currently 2-14 w/RISP this year which is bad but he got the job done tonight with his game-winning sac fly. For his efforts he got the 1st pie in the face of 2011.

My wife wanted to kill me when Posada tied up the game with his HR. I screamed out of pure joy. She yelled at me for being too loud. Sorry dear, it's going to happen. I gots to be me.

Something needs to be done with the top of the order. Brett Gardner looks overmatched in every AB. He either doesn't swing or is very late on the ball. I don't know if he's trying to walk or what but he needs to swing the bat. I think I wrote last year that you could tell he was trying to work walks. That can't be your approach. When he does swing it seems like everything is a foul ball to the 3rd base side, or something hit weakly in that same direction. I don't think he has the bat speed to get around on a fastball. Sliders? Yes. Fastballs? No. The time has come for him to drop to the bottom of the order.

It doesn't help that Derek Jeter is hitting only .233 in the 2-hole. He does have the 4th highest average on the team but he isn't instilling any confidence in me when he steps up to the plate. When he does hit he's not hitting well. Coming into the today, 26% of his 2935 hits went for extra bases. He's got one extra base hit this year and 9 singles. That's not the DJ we no and love. Hopefully it's just a slump and not a drastic regression in his offensive skills.

What the heck were the Yankees doing having Russell Martin bunt in the 9th inning. Granderson, who has speed, is on 2nd as the winning run with no outs. Martin is up and is off to a great start, hitting close to .300. Martin is followed in the order by Gardner and Jeter, whose troubles at the plate I've already mentioned. I have no idea why Girardi called for a bunt. If successful, then you have Granderson on 3rd with weak-hitting Brett Gardner up. If he fails, then it's the struggling Jeter. A base-hit was needed to score Granderson and he probably scores from 2nd on a hit. Martin should have been allowed to take his hacks. Prior to his AB, everyone on Twitter, me included, was tweeting not to bunt. As soon as Russell squared up I was ticked. You knew once he did the Yankees weren't scoring. Terrible call there.

I'm sure I'm leaving something out but it's late and I'm tired. It's going to be nice going to sleep tonight after this big win. If only Phil Hughes got his act together. Phil, Phil, Phil. What are we going to do with you?

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Yankees Back In First Place With 7-4 Win Over The Orioles

To the tune of New York, New York: Start spreading the news. They're back in 1st place. I know it's only been 10 games. But it's still 1st place. Feel free to sing along. You know you want to. Sorry for that. It's been a corny kind of day.

How about that A.J. Burnett? He's now 3-0 in 3 starts. It's the 1st time in his career he's won his first 3 starts. Amazing. What's even more amazing is that he has 3 of the 6 Yankee wins. That's a little mind blowing, isn't it. D'oh. Bob Lorenz just mentioned the same thing on the postgame show. I swear I thought of writing that before he said it. I tweeted it right after the game so there is proof if you doubt me. Woah, sorry about going off on a tangent. Again, been a corny kind of day.

I was a little worried about Burnett when the game started. I caught the 1st half inning while my wife was giving my 2 sons their baths. I listened to the 2nd inning while I was feeding my daughter her bedtime bottle. (Kids. Always getting in the way of Yankee baseball.) He was throwing a lot of pitches and I was worried he wasn't going to make it through 5. I was pleasantly surprised when I came back to the game in the 4th to find he had settled down. He was cruising right along up until he hit the wall in the 7th. His first 6 innings ended up being pretty darn good. Thru 6 A.J. had allowed only 4 hits, 1 walk and had 5 Ks. I think he was at 98 or so pitches. Very effective start. I'm very encouraged by what I've seen from A.J. so far. But, I remain cautiously optimistic because he's typically done well in April and then kind of faded. History can repeat itself. I'm hoping it doesn't.

I'd like to say the offense had a great night at the plate but considering they pretty much only hit for the 1st 2 innings, I can't. But it was an impressive two innings, wasn't it. I missed A-Rod's HR but caught the replay. I love it when he goes deep to RF because it means he's locked in. When Alex hits with power to the opposite field, he's got things working. He continues to impress and my prediction that he'll be the AL MVP this year is looking good.

There are still a lot of concerns though offensively. I'm hoping today's game is a turnaround for some guys. Both Jorge Posada and Mark Teixeira broke long oh-fers. And by long I mean 18-19 ABs. They're both good enough hitters that they should never go hitless for that long. It was also good to see Derek Jeter pick up 2 hits. Granted, his 2nd hit was a bouncer of home plate, but a hit is a hit. It's all looks the same in the box score. It could be something that turns things around for DJ. He's been struggling but as I mentioned the other day, most of the lineup has. The Captain now has the 4th highest average on the team at .237. A couple of more multi-hit games and he's golden. People are writing him off and they shouldn't be. Trust me. He'll be fine (he says nervously).

Big game tomorrow night. Phil Hughes gets the ball and I think we all share the same concern about Phil and his velocity. I'm hoping we see a few extra MPH on his heater. If we don't, and we see the same Phil we've seen so far this season, sound the alarm. He needs to be better and it all starts with regaining his velocity. I'm hoping it returns but am skeptical that it will. Hope it does.

What would a blog of mine be without a parting shot at Red Sox fans? Dear Red Sox fans: A.J. Burnett has 3 wins. The Red Sox have 2. How you like dem apples? Burn.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,