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,


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

My9 Now Means Yankees Baseball Here in Buffalo (I Think)

Based on the number of people that get directed to the site by doing a web search looking for how they can watch Yankees games when they're on My9, I think I've become the official source on how to watch these games. Well, for those of you coming here looking how to see the game, I have great news for you:

The game should be on WNGS. FiOS = channel 5, TWC = channel 5/705, DirecTV = 67, Dish = 5

**Saw this on the WNGS website on 4/19 for Yankees/Jays game: We are aware that tonights New York Yankees game is not being broadcast on Verizon Fios. We are currently working with Verizon to get the game on air. We apologize for the inconvenience. Sounds like it's not on or maybe it's been fixed. Either way, it should be coming your way at some point.

According to their website they'll have the game. Enjoy!

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Monday, April 11, 2011

An Open Letter To The Yankees Offense

Dear Yankees Offense,

Please start hitting the ball.


Yankee fans everywhere

Seriously, outside of Cano, A-Rod, and Russell Martin, nobody is really hitting. Take a look:

Swisher = .219
Jeter = .206
Teixeira = .182
Granderson = .172
Gardner = .167
Posada = .138

Two-thirds of the Yankees lineup is hitting under .219. You're not going to win a lot of games when you hit like that. Just ask the Rays and Red Sox. Burn.

I've seen a lot of talk about Derek Jeter and his offensive struggles. I think a lot of that criticism is a little underserved. I could understand it if he was the only one scuffling but if you look at their numbers; he's doing better than 1/2 the lineup. But DJ has kind of brought this on himself. He didn't exactly light the world on fire last season. The concerns are very valid. But it's early. They'll all snap out of it.

Wake up bats.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Sunday, April 10, 2011

Yankee Bats Absent In Loss To The Sad, Sad Red Rox

I'll give credit where credit is due. Hat tip to Josh Beckett on pitching a masterpiece. 8 innings pitched, 2 hits, 1 walk, 10 Ks, no runs. That's a shutdown performance right there. As they say, good pitching beats good hitting, and that's exactly what happened tonight. Josh Beckett was everything the Red Sox needed him to be. And that's a good thing because if not for Josh Beckett, the Red Sox probably don't win that game.

The fact that the Red Sox won tonight does not change the fact that they're a sad, sad team. CC Sabathia for all intents and purposes was ineffective tonight. He allowed 9 hits, 4 walks and hit a batter. And somehow, he managed to leave the game down 1-0. The Red Sox managed to put 14 runners on base against CC and they scored once. That is terrible. I'd like to give CC credit for getting himself out of jams but he showed me very little tonight on the hill. The Sox were 3-14 with RISP and left 16 men on base. CC got out of the jams because the Red Sox offense is terrible. Bad pitching apparently beats bad hitting. And that sums up the Red Sox offense. Bad. Very bad.

If I was a Red Sox fan, and thankfully I'm not, I wouldn't be super-excited about this win. Sure I'd be a little geeked up but I wouldn't take this win as a sign that the tide has turned. Again, as I said, the Red Sox are a sad, sad team. It's very laughable, and kind of sad, that the Fenway Faithful bust out the "Yankees Suck" when they're team is 2-7 and playing so poorly. But I guess with a sad team you get sad fans. They've got to hang their hats on whatever they can. The Sox now have the good fortune of getting to play another sad team in the Tampa Bay Rays. It should be an interesting series to say the least.

Not much else to say about this loss. It sucked but what can you do? Josh Beckett was on his game. All you can do is tip your cap and get past it. Consider it done.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Saturday, April 9, 2011

Bats Power Yankees To 9-4 Win Over The Sad, Sad Red Sox

How sad are the Boston Red Sox? Wow. They're 1-7, in last place, and currently have the worst record in all of baseball. I hope the Fenway Faithful take notice of that tomorrow at the ballpark when they see the standings on the Green Monster. The Red Sox, simply put, are terrible. Outside of Dustin Pedroia there isn't one person on that team that's doing much of anything.

As a team, through the 1st 7 games, they rank 29th out of 30th in team batting average, 27th out of 30th in OPS, and 21st out of 30th in runs scored. I remember having an exchange with a Sox fan on Twitter during the offseason. I had tweeted that the acquisitions of Carl Crawford and Adrian Gonzalez provided a marginal offensive upgrade over Victor Martinez and Adrian Beltre. I was of course called an idiot or something. I wish I remembered who that Sox fan was so I could throw this at them but alas, their Twitter handle escapes me.

What even makes the team sadder is their pitching. They rank dead last in team ERA and OPS. They've allowed the most HRs and I don't think the stats I'm looking at include the 4 they gave up today. Outside of one start by Jon Lester they've all been horrendous. So much for having a team of 5 aces, eh Sox fans? The Red Sox, as the title of this post says, are a very sad, sad team. For now anyway. I don't expect them to stay this bad for the entire season. I think they're highly overrated, arguably the most overrated team ever, but they are a good club. They will win their fair share of games. But enough about them......

How about that game today? Awesome, right? Sure, the Yankees had a few sore spots, namely Ivan Nova, Brett Gardner, and Mark Teixeira, but by and large, great game. The story of the day was the offense. They hammered the Sox, scoring 9 times on 13 hits and 4 walks, and best of all, 4 HRs. The highlights pretty much came from the bottom of the order. The 5 thru 9 hitters combined to go 10-21 with 8 runs scored 9 RBI, 3 2B, 4 HR and 3 BB. They stole the show.

The 2 biggest scene stealers came from the very bottom of the order. Eric Chavez, making his first start as a Yankee, went 3-5 with 2 doubles. The big knocks though came off the bat of Russell Martin. Russell Russ went 2-4 with 2 HRs and 4 RBI. How big has Martin been this season? I am very, very impressed with what he's brought to the table. He now has 3 HRs on the year which is 2 less than the entire Red Sox team. Let me say that again. The Yankees catcher has 2 fewer HRs than the entire Red Sox team. Insert gut busting laughter here. If you were to put Martin on the Sox he'd be leading their team in longballs. The Red Sox. As previously mentioned, they're a sad, sad team.

The biggest negative from today's game had to be the start from Ivan Nova. As Yogi Berra would say, it's like deja vu all over again. What we saw today was reminiscent of the 2010 version of Ivan Nova. For those that can't remember that far back, in his seven 2010 starts Nova often struggled to make it through the 5th inning. He would be doing alright but then the wheels would fall off. His outing today kind of reminded me of that. He didn't have good stuff today. Lucky for him the Red Sox offense is terrible. If the Sox offense were any better the game could have finished much differently. Nova gave the Sox plenty of chances to score but the Sox just couldn't deliver. As a team the Sox went 1-17 with RISP. As I said they're a sad, sad team. Nova got away with one today in my book. He's got to be better. What he did today won't cut it.

Solid game by the bullpen. Glad to see David Robertson pick up the W on his birthday. D-Rob, Joba, and Luis Ayala combined for 4.2 scoreless IPs. Ayala was the only one of the trio to have a rough go of things. He allowed 3 hits and a walk. He struggled enough that the Yankees had to warm up both Rafael Soriano and Mariano Rivera. But Ayala got the outs when he needed to. Game over. Yankees win. Thuhh Yankees win.

We've got Sunday Night Baseball on ESPN tomorrow. CC vs. Josh Beckett. Yeah, I think we all know how this game is going to go. But hey, you never know. That's why they play the games, right. If they didn't the Red Sox would have already won the World Series and we wouldn't have any idea just how sad of a team they really are. Thankfully, we've gotten to see that. If you couldn't tell I'm absolutely loving it. But as I said up top I don't expect it to last. They've got a good squad and they'll win their share of games. I think it's clear though that they won't win as many as the Yankees. It's pretty evident who the better team is. As I tweeted this morning, Yankees > Red Sox. Always have been, always will be.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Friday, April 8, 2011

Phil Hughes Is Terrible In Loss To The Overrated Red Sox

Even the sun shines on a dog's ass every now and then. I love that saying. It basically means, even the losers get lucky every now and then. That's how I feel about the Red Sox win over the Yankees today. Sure, the Sox win is a moral victory for a struggling team. But if you're excited about it as a Sox fan and think it's all blue skies ahead, please share your drugs. John Lackey was terrible and the Sox have only had 1 solid start in 7 games. And let's face it, if any other SP went today for the Yankees, the Sox would probably be 0-7. They do not look good and didn't look good today.

Phil Hughes was terrible again and it's pretty clear that there is something going on. He's lost several MPH on his fastball and it's crystal clear to anyone watching, or in my case listening, that it's a problem and a cause for concern. I'm not too concerned yet as it is very early in the season and it doesn't sound like there's an injury at play, which is really good because that means that he should be able to get back that extra zip missing from his pitches. Larry Rothschild needs to make Hughes priority numero uno. Figure out if it's his mechanics and if it is figure out how to fix it. I really hope it's not a dead arm because you never know when that will snap back. If it is a dead arm I'm hoping it gets better with each start. The last thing I want it to be is an injury. That would be worst case root cause for the problem. There's been no inkling of an injury, which is good. Whatever it is I hope they figure it out and soon. If there's no improvement all is not lost. To find out why not, read on.........

If Phil Hughes is hurt or can't snap out of it the Yankees have a viable replacement in BartoIo Colon. Bartolo had a pretty decent spring and had a great appearance today in relief. I don't want to say that he was unhittable today but he was outstanding. He kept the Yankees in the game and gave them a chance to comeback and win. It's a shame he got saddled with the loss. If for some reason Hughes can't pitch effectively as a starter I have no problem whatsoever with the Yankees sliding him into that role. Anybody have a reason why they shouldn't?

Boone Logan on the other hand? I wouldn't have a problem if the Yankees got rid of him right now. The Yankees have always had somewhat of a problem with their so-called "lefty specialist." When Logan came into the game I blasted off the following tweet: "Odds the "lefty specialist" gets out the lefties? 50%? Less? I'm not that confident in Boone." Sure enough, as expected, Boone doesn't get out the lefties. Double by Ortiz. Single by Drew. 2 runs score. Terrible. Boone has now faced 6 lefties this season and has allowed 5 to reach base. Boone's job is to get lefties out and he's not doing it. As my buddy Mike tweeted during the game, "Ppl say give Logan a chance it's still early. Letting all 5 LHB on base so far means he's not doing his job. If I don't do mine, I get fired." Boom! Boone isn't doing his job. If he doesn't turn things around, and fast, he's got to go. I have no confidence in him at this point. I saw a lot of people on Twitter blasting Joe Girardi for going to Logan when he did. I have no problem with the move. You bring in the LHP to face the LHB. Statistically, the odds are supposed to be heavily in the pitcher's favor. Hence the "lefty specialist." It's not Girardi's fault Logan sucks at his job. Get your act together Boone!

No real comments on the offense. In closing, nobody should fear the Red Sox. They're arguably the most overrated team to ever step on a baseball diamond. There pitching is suspect and to assume that they would roll over everyone en route to a World Series title was silly. I did predict that they'd win the AL East. I think they're a good team but they were being called one of the best team's ever. I think one Boston writer said they were better than the 1927 Yankees. It was laughable than and it's laughable now. There was also talk of Boston setting the record for most regular season wins ever. Again, laughable. They've got a good club, no doubt. But they are nowhere near the team that "experts" and Red Sox fans think they are.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Win Free Tickets To The Yankees/Orioles Series From PepsiMAX

Got an e-mail earlier letting me know about an opportunity for people to get free tickets to the upcoming Yankees/Orioles series at Yankee Stadium. Here are the details:

On Saturday, the guys in the recently unveiled MLB Fan Cave are giving away 1,000 free tickets for all three games in the upcoming Yankees-Orioles series this week.

To win free tickets to Yankee Stadium, fans need to follow Pepsi Max (@PepsiMAX), MLB Caveman Mike O’Hara (@mikeyoh21) and his sidekick, Ryan Wagner (@rwags614), on Twitter. Starting at 11 a.m. Saturday morning, the three accounts will be driving fans to various locations around the city. When fans get to the location, they will be given a clue as to where to go to score the free tickets. The three accounts will be providing clues throughout the day.

For more info, check out this video:

Sounds like a fun little scavenger hunt for those of you in the NYC area. If you give it a try, good luck.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Thursday, April 7, 2011

A Really Quick Post About Today's Yankee Victory

Didn't see it. Listened to it on radio. Happy they won. Bring on the 0-6 Boston Red Sox. Ha ha ha. 0-6. Can you say "overrated?"

Told you. Really quick.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Joe Girardi Done Messed Up, Costs Yankees Game #5

Yeah, I'm all kind of pissed right now. Freaking Joe Girardi. What the heck are you doing my man? His bullpen management cost the Yankees the game tonight! And I don't want to hear from anyone that it's only April, or that it's the 5th game of the season, or that it's only one game or only one loss. Divisions are lost and playoffs are missed because of one loss. Every game matters and every loss counts, regardless of when the game is played. Tonight's loss didn't need to happen. If the Yankees miss the playoffs by one game this will be one of the losses that could have changed their fate.

I'm putting this loss on Girardi's bullpen management because he made a move that shouldn't have been made and it came back to bite him in the ass. Joe never should have opened the 8th inning with Rafael Soriano on the mound. The right play was open with David Robertson and go to Soriano if Robertson gets into trouble. That's how I would have managed it. Here's why: The Yankees were up 4-0. Soriano had just pitched the day before. Freddy Garcia is starting tomorrow and who knows what you'll need from your bullpen. I would have tried to save his arm as much as I could. David Robertson is a quality RP and has the stuff to get hitters out. Girardi should have let him take a shot.

The thing that makes me the most annoyed is how Girardi responded to questions in his post game press conference? When asked why he went to Soriano he responded because Soriano is "our 8th inning guy." Umm, what? Last time I checked every game has an 8th inning. What are you going to do Joe? Use him every game? You've got to be smart and pick your spots. Tonight wasn't the right spot. Many factors need to be taken into account. The biggest factors: What's the lead? (4 runs) When did he pitch last? (yesterday) When will he be needed again? (possibly tomorrow). Add all that up and your answer should be: open the 8th with another pitcher. Girardi also comment that he didn't want to bring Soriano in during the middle of an inning? Why not Joe? Soriano is a closer by nature, not a set-up guy. Everybody knows that closers do better when something is on the line? We've all seen Mariano Rivera falter in non-save situations. Maybe bringing Soriano in with a 4-run lead isn't a good idea. I'm sure he'd do better with a little pressure. Who knows? One last question for Joe: who's your 8th inning guy tomorrow?

Aargh. It's late and my brain is fried. I want to blog a little more but I still have some stuff to do before bed and in addition to being pissed I'm dead tired. Here are the rest of my game thoughts in quick-hit fashion:

  • Great outing by CC. He was in mid-season form. He'll only get better. Too bad the pen couldn't hold it. CC deserved the win.

  • Mark Teixeira hit another 3-run HR. Doesn't look like he'll struggle this spring. He's locked in.

  • Andruw Jones. Welcome to NY. Nice first AB. He hits LHPs rather well. Keep it up.

  • I hate lefty specialists. I've said it for years. Boone Logan didn't get it done tonight. He's there to get out Denard Span and Joe Mauer, not issue leadoff walks and singles. Shape up or you're getting shipped out.

After ranting about Girardi, let me add this: I know it's not all his fault. Players still need to execute. It was Rafael Soriano's job to get those guys out, He failed in that. But again, he shouldn't have been in the game to implode like that. Aargh.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Monday, April 4, 2011

Nova And The Bullpen Carry Yankees To 4-3 Win Over The Twins

I'm coming to find that having 3 kids makes it very hard to watch night games. The whole putting to bed process takes roughly 1.5 hours from start to finish, beginning around 7pm and ending around 8:30. It starts with baths, then some TV, followed by books, then bed. It's a tough schedule for a die-hard Yankees fan. I try to sneak in as much of the game as I can. I throw a little PIP action up on the TV during some kids show when the wife isn't looking. When that's not working I've got the audio feed playing on my Droid using the MLB At-Bat App. It's not the most ideal way to follow the games but it works. Kind of. If push came to shove and I could only do one or the other I've got to hang with the kids. I love those guys. But as long as I can pull off some double duty, I'm going to.

Great job by Ivan Nova tonight. 6 strong quality innings for his 2nd career win. Unlike last year he didn't seem to run out of gas at any point during the game. Remember last season? It always seemed like he hit the wall around the 5th inning. Tonight was his 8th career start and only the 2nd time he made it through 6 innings. Overall, great job. Nova has shown signs of being a great pitcher. If he can build on his outing tonight I have no doubt that he will be.

Hats off to the bullpen. It's apparent that Joba Chamberlain is Joe Girardi's lead-in to the Soriano and Mo show. I'm not 100% sold on that. Joba makes me nervous. Whenever he pitches it's as if I have to watch the game through my fingers. I rarely feel comfortable watching JC pitch late in games when the Yankees have a 1-2 run lead. Apparently, Girardi has confidence in him. I don't not yet anyway. I do feel confident about Rafael Soriano and Mo finishing off games. That level of confidence is off the charts. Odds are if the Yankees take a lead into the 8th the game is over. Soriano came up huge today, Retiring both Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau is no easy task. Soriano did it no problem. I really like that signing. Not a fan of the contract but love the player. Mariano Rivera = game over. 'Nuff said.

The Yankees have been living off the long ball this season. Two more slam-a-lama-ding-dongs today. Posada hit his 3rd and A-Rod his 2nd. As I wrote yesterday, being a full-time DH is going to be huge for Posada. He's always had a good bat. Without the added wear-and-tear on the legs it could be great. So far it's looking like it will be. Alex is locked in and is poised to have a MONSTER year. He's healthy and it's showing. He was my pre-season MVP pick and I'm feeling really good about it.

It seems like every post I write has a "Russell Martin is awesome" section in it. It seems that way because it's true. He had another one of those nights tonight. Who knew he had that much speed? In 4 games he has 2 stolen bases. I didn't think at any point in the season Russell Russ would be among the league leader in SBs. I don't expect him to keep it up but that doesn't mean it can't be fun while it lasts. A catcher with speed. I dig it.

The Yankees are currently 3-1 and their 1-2 hitters aren't hitting. Gardner and Jeter are a combined 4 for 29 (.138). If you told me after 4 games that those two would be hitting so poorly I wouldn't have guessed the team would be 3-1. That .750 winning percentage won't last for long if those 2 don't start setting the table. I'm not overly concerned. It has been a very small sample size. It's just painful to see them both doing so poorly at the same time. I don't think Brett the Jet will do as well as he did last year. I'm still not 100% sold on him being an everyday OF. Don't get me wrong, I really like BG and think he deserves the starts. I'm just not feeling him all the time. Most of the time? Yes. All of the time? Nope. It'll be nice if those two can get it going by the weekend.

CC back on the bump tomorrow. I always feel good when he's on the hill. Hopefully, if I'm lucky, I can pull off seeing most of his start. I need to find a way to get my kids to bed by 7:05 every night. Suggestions anyone?

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Sunday, April 3, 2011

Yankees Pitching To Blame In 10-7 Loss To Tigers

Well, you can't win them all. Today's loss was all about the pitching. When you score 7 runs, rack up 12 hits and 3 walks, and hit 4 HRs, you should win. The trio of Yankee pitchers today did not do anyone any favors. Whenever the Yankees would score a few runs the pitchers would give them right back. It was so frustrating to watch them go from down 2-0, to tied 2-2, to down 5-2, to down 5-4, to down 7-4, to down 7-6, to down 9-6, to down 9-7, to finishing down 10-7. Every time the Yankees scored they gave the runs right back. That won't win you games.

Phil Hughes was not terribly impressive today. He wasn't even close to impressive. His velocity was down and he had no out pitch. I don't have the exact count on how many batters he got 2 strikes on but he just couldn't put anybody away. He finished the game with only one strikeout. There wasn't a lot of swinging and missing with Phil's pitches. His decreased velocity didn't help any. I think he topped out at 91 MPH and was regularly hitting 89-90. A few extra miles on the fastball and his pitching line might have been drastically different. I didn't pay a lot of attention to Spring Training. Apparently, Phil's velocity has been down all spring. Last year he was steady rocking at 93-94 MPH. I would have thought he'd be at that level at this point. Not sure why he's not there and it doesn't sound like anyone knows. At this point all one can do is play the waiting game. I expect that he'll get those MPHs back in the next few starts. If he doesn't, time to worry.

Bartolo Colon made his regular season debut today and like Hughes he wasn't terribly impressive. Unlike Phil's outing, Bartolo was impressive at times. It was like I was watching A.J. Burnett pitch an entire season in a matter of 4 innings. Bartolo was either lights out or God awful. No idea what to make of his outing. It's early and you can't put a lot of stock into one bad outing, especially when it's the first outing of the year. I don't see Bartolo pitching when the Yankees have a lead so I'm not as concerned with how he did (yet). Then again, if he pitched a little better today the Yankees might have won. I hope he figure out how to consistently pitch well. I'm not sure he will.

Ugh. Joba Chamberlain. Here we go again. Are we going to do this again this year? Good outing, bad outing, good outing, bad outing. Get your act together please.

The Yankees offense had another big day and did everything they could to win this game. Stupid pitching. They took Tigers' pitchers deep 4 times. The Bronx Bombers are living up to that moniker. Through 3 games they've hit 9 HRs, which is a franchise record. Mark Teixeira stayed hot with his 3rd HR of the season. All signs point to no April slump for Teix. That would be a welcomed sight. Teix hitting will make the lineup a heck of a lot better.

How about Jorge Posada going deep twice? I don't know about you but I really think Jorge is going to have a great season at the plate. I think being a full-time DH is going to be the best thing to happen to Jorge. He swings a good stick and I think the wear and tear of catching had an impact on Jorge reaching peak performance. Now that he's not catching I think we'll see a significant uptick in Jorge's typical production. I think you can take that to the bank.

I continue to be impressed with the play of Russell Martin. Right now he's doing it all. I know it's early but me likey. Me likey a lot.

So the first series of the season is in the books. The Tigers are thought to be a pretty good team and you can't be unhappy about the Yankees taking two of three from them. If you are, well, I don't know what to tell you. You should always be happy with a series win. You win enough of those and you're golden. Next up they've got a 4 game set with the Twins. The Twins are another AL Central favorite. It shouldn't be an easy series but winning three of four is doable. I'm very interested to see the next two games. Ivan Nova and Freddy Garcia will be making their 1st starts. I hope they bring it.

I'm so glad baseball is back.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Yankees Offense Explodes In 10-6 Win Over Tigers

Are you like me? Did you breathe a huge sigh of relief after A.J. Burnett's start? The last thing I wanted to see today was Burnett implode and pick up where he left off last year. A.J. wasn't lights out today but for my money it was a great start. He had exceptional control, throwing 2/3 of his pitches for strikes. I'm cautiously optimistic about how he's going to do this year. I'm not putting a lot of stock in this start but it was definitely a step in the right direction. I caution everyone not to think all is good with Burnett. His first start in 2010 was almost identical to his start today. Check out these game lines:

  • 2011 - 5 IP, 5 hits, 3 runs, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 HR, ERA = 5.40, win

  • 2010 - 5 IP, 7 hits, 4 runs, 3 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 HR, ERA = 5.40, no decision

So don't get too excited. Last season for A.J. was one we all want to forget. I think I saw a stat flash during the broadcast that A.J. was the 1st Yankee pitcher ever to lose 15 games and have an ERA over 5. Or it was something to that effect. To quote Charles Barkley, he was turrible. He got off on the right foot today. Hopefully, it continues.

Speaking of getting off on the right foot and hoping it continues, how about that Mark Teixeira? Everyone knows that Teixeira underperforms in April. It's no secret. I'll take a .286 average with 2 HR and 6 RBI after 2 games. It's pretty safe to assume that Teix would take it too. So far he looks like he's in mid-season form. Hopefully, it continues.

How about the start A-Rod is off to? His hot spring is carrying right over to the regular season. Alex is 3-5 (.600) with 2 2B, 1 HR, 3 BB and 2 RBI. Alex is locked and loaded. You can tell too just by watching him. When he hits the ball to the opposite field with power, he's on his game. I'm feeling very good about my pre-season AL MVP prediction right now. Hopefully, it continues.

I didn't see Russell Martin getting off to such an exciting start. He was a spark plug on Opening Day with his stolen base and run scored on a shallow sac fly to CF. Today he went deep to LF for a 3-run HR. Wow. I wish I didn't drop him in a fantasy league I'm in. I drafted him late but cut him to make room for a backup I needed at another position. Ooops. Same thing kind of happened last year with Teixeira. I had him in a sim league and he was terrible up until the moment I traded him. I'm happy to take one for the team if it means real-life performance improves once I'm done with them. Keeping with the running theme of this post, I hope Russell Russ's hot start continues.

Pretty good day all around for the offense. With the exception of Nick Swisher every Yankee starter had at least one base hit. But Swish knocked in a run with a sac fly so it's all good.

The only sore spot of today's game was the performance of the underbelly of the bullpen. Neither Boone Logan or Luis Ayala were terribly effective. Not worrying too much about it. I don't see Ayala pitching in big spots and Logan, well, I have a feeling we won't see him much either. Call it a hunch but I don't see him staying a Yankee for the entire season. Gut feeling. The only benefit of their suckiness was that it gave Mariano Rivera the chance to pick up a cheap save. As expected, he did. 3 pitches, game over. Mo = G.O.A.T.

I'm really looking forward to tomorrow's game. I've always been a big Phil Hughes guy. I didn't see him in action at all during Spring Training so tomorrow will be the first time I see him this year. I'm expecting big things from Phil this year. I'm hoping to kick off the Hughes call. After each PH win I do a Hughes call. I did the same for Mike Mussina with a Moose call. Basically, I add a "u" for every win. So last year's Hughes call looked like this w/18 Us: Huuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuughes! Go get 'em Phil.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,