In Honor of Phil Huuuughes….Meet The Parents
I know this is an old video from the All Star break, but since Huuuuughes is making his big start tomorrow night in the Bronx I thought I’d resurrect it. I can’t decide if my favorite part is his mother saying how much he weighed at birth (yikes) or his collection of bobble head dolls.
Mr. and Mrs. Hughes were at the All Star game in Anaheim and Phil didn’t pitch so well. I have no idea if they’re planning to be at the game tomorrow night, but if they’re bad luck I hope they stay home and watch their boy on that nice TV in their house. Game 3 is a must win, as far as I’m concerned. I have no interest in playing a fourth game in this series, so we need to shut the door on the Twins – shut it and lock it.
Welcome to Anaheim, Yankees
It’s west coast time for the Yanks. I hope they’re adjusting to their surroundings and not experiencing any jet lag. They have to be liking the weather. Here’s the forecast for Monday.
Last Updated Sunday, Oct 18, 8:39 PM Pacific Daylight Time
I enjoyed the day off, but now that Game 3 is upon us I’m nervous all over again. Angel Stadium has been such a house of horrors for the Yankees. Well, it has.
Sure, we’re up 2-0 in the series and playing confidently. But will our success continue? It’s hard to imagine that the Angels won’t pull it together on both offense and defense and run like crazy if they get on base. On the other hand, Andy Pettitte has the best pickoff move in the universe.
And he’s coming off an excellent start against the Twins. Maybe, just maybe, he’ll show us his old magic against the Angels, our bats will go batty against Weaver, and we’ll steal a game at their house?
The Yankees have confirmed that CC will pitch on Tuesday in Game 4 – and I’ll be in attendance! I’ve got my tickets and can’t wait to see the pinstripes in person. I’ll post pics and video Tuesday night (if the game doesn’t go 13 innings). In the meantime, here are tonight’s musings.
Another Hair Raiser in Anaheim
Well, one thing is for sure: last night’s victory over the Angels wasn’t a fluke. The Yankees came back and beat them again today 3-2. It was yet another game featuring a near heart attack by me.
The Yanks took the lead in the fourth – Cano singled with runners in scoring position! Shocking! – and the burning question throughout the rest of the game was would they hold onto the lead or do a disappearing act?
AJ had dominating stuff – 11 strikeouts – but found himself in a jam in the sixth, allowing the Angels to score a couple of runs. Marte got Figgins to fly out and ended the threat, which was major, but he needed Coke to help him shut down the Angels in the seventh. Meanwhile, the Yankees offense had been lulled to sleep, and no insurance runs were forthcoming. Maybe that was because Girardi went with the “B” lineup today?
All I know is that with Huuuughes and Aceves unavailable and Bruney and Edwar undesirable, the job of pitching the eighth inning was left to…..Ian Kennedy?
The same kid who couldn’t win a game last season?
Talk about a pressure situation for Kennedy, who is fresh off surgery to repair an aneurysm. I wouldn’t have blamed him for being rusty, nervous, crappy or all of the above. But, aside from hitting Kendrick and walking Matthews and Figgins (OK, so he was rusty, etc.), he came back to dispose of Aybar and pitched a scoreless inning. I was sooo relieved. Sweaty too.
Mo appeared for the ninth and took care of business. The Yankees fly back to New York, having beaten a team they needed to beat. Yes, some of the players got battered on this trip – Posada and his toe, Swisher and his leg, Hairston and his wrist – but Pettitte seemed healthy, AJ looked back on track and Gaudin didn’t make me hide under the bed.
Will the Yanks be able to clinch the division title during the Red Sox series this weekend? That would be so sweet I can taste it.
Turning The Tables On The Angels
The Yankees played small ball tonight, beating the invaders from Los Angeles of Anaheim by the score of 5-3. Actually, the Yanks played small ball, big ball and everything-in-between ball, juggling all elements of the game perfectly.
It was a pleasure to watch the Angels go down to defeat for a change – from Torii losing his shoe on a failed catch…
…to Scioscia having to pull Weaver, who pitched well but not well enough.
Aside from the homer he allowed to Guerrero in the first, Joba was very effective over his four innings, not walking a batter – hopefully a confidence boost for him. Aceves was his usual workmanlike self. Coke ended the seventh on Izturis‘ grounder to Jeter, whose brilliant play only added to his highlights reel for ’09. Hughes loaded the bases in the eighth – I guess he’s human after all – but got Morales to ground into a DP and limited the damage to one run.
Speaking of Morales, my Extra Innings package wouldn’t give me the YES feed, so I was stuck with the Angels announcers. I had to laugh when Gubicza said, “Kendry has made the Angels forget all about Mark Teixeira.”
Excuse me? Morales was 1-4 in tonight’s game and grounded into that DP I mentioned. Here’s what Teixeira did: he went 3-for-4 with two RBIs and was sparkling on defense. Nice try, Gubie.
Nick Swisher played big ball, going deep in the third. But it was Girardi’s small ball move in the bottom of the eighth that raised eyebrows.
After Tex doubled, he sent Gardner to pinch run for him. At first, I thought the move was really screwy.
“Hey,” I said to my husband. “What if this game goes into extras and we need Tex’s bat?”
“Speed kills,” he said. “Gardner will steal and score the go-ahead run, and Mo will close it out.”
Which is exactly what happened. Gardner stole and came home on Napoli’s errant pickoff attempt, and Mo notched his 40th save to reduce the Yankees’ magic number to 12. I’ve decided that Joe is a genius and my husband is psychic.
I asked him to predict how the Yankees will do on Tuesday night when Mitre takes on Halladay.
“Doc shut us out last time,” I said. “Will he do it again?”
“Tell me!” I begged.
“Sorry, but I charge by the hour,” he said. “No money up front? No prediction.”
Well, that hardly seemed fair. So I came back with:
“No prediction? No dinner.”
That got his attention.
“The Yankees will win,” he said, taking the safe route.
You heard it here first.
CC Is A Grinder
No, I didn’t mean that kind, although he did look hungry during the Yankees’ 13-3 route of the Orioles.
What I loved about his outing was that while he didn’t have his dominating stuff, he never unraveled. Instead, he hung around through seven innings, allowing only three runs (one of them not his fault). What a luxury to have a guy like him fronting the staff, and congrats to him on his AL-leading 17th “W.”
The game itself was very eventful for a blowout. We had Damon’s brain cramp in the fourth, resulting in the not-CC’s-fault run. (“You mean that ball I caught and was about to throw into the stands wasn’t the third out and there’s a player scampering home while I’m out here having fun?”)
There was the called third strike on A-Rod in the bottom of the frame. He wasn’t happy with the ump and expressed his displeasure in the next inning – and got tossed. Girardi charged out of the dugout and was as mad as I’ve ever seen him, resulting in his departure too.
That’s when I knew the Yanks would break the game open; they always win when Joe throws a hissy. Thanks to Matsui’s five RBIs and Melky’s four (plus another three-hit game for Jeter), their run total just kept mounting. Good job, boys.
Now onto Monday night’s make up game against the (throat closes up here) Angels. Joba will take the mound against Jered Weaver – two kids with oddly spelled first names and a tendency to show emotion.
The Yankees have had well documented challenges beating the Angels, particularly in Anaheim. Sure, the Angels are a good team, but they completely befuddle the Yanks and it’s just plain weird. I think I’ve gotten to the bottom of it, however. The problem lies with the oddly spelled first names I mentioned above. How can the Yanks beat players whose names they can’t spell? In addition to Jered, there’s Maicer…
And, of course, Vladimir.
Why couldn’t the Angels have someone named Bob on the team? Oh, wait. They do.
Why The Yankees Lose To The Angels
Well, they don’t always lose to the Angels. They always lose to them at Angel Stadium. So I braved the traffic on the 405 Freeway and drove down to Anaheim to cheer for my Yanks, the way I would at home.
My adventure got off to a great start. Getting out of the car with the She-Fan Cam in hand, I made a new pal right there in the Angel Stadium parking lot.
I entered the stadium at Gate 2 and looked for Dina, the sister of MLBlogs’ own Angels fan and blogger LuckyLori. Lori had told me to find Dina, who works at the stadium, and say hello, so that’s exactly what I did. Well, OK. I also interrogated her just a little.
She was very friendly, right? Even though I was dressed in my Yankees gear?
Once inside, I quickly headed down to the field where they let you hang around near the Yankees dugout before the game. As I stood there with all the seven-year-old boys, hoping for a glimpse of Jeter, A-Rod, Somebody, I met another grownup fan and turned the Cam on him.
So we were going to beat the Angels 8-2? I was elated!
Since there was no batting practice, I climbed the ramps to my seat in the nosebleed section above home plate and settled in. The man next to me turned out not only to be an Angels fan, but the season tickets holder of all the seats in my row.
“I’ve been selling them to you people for this weekend,” he said.
You people. Uh-oh. “Glad you were able to make some money off us,” I said, speaking on behalf of the other Yankee fans he’d hosed on the tickets.
Determined to be pleasant, I made chitchat during which I congratulated him on his team’s dominance over the Yankees. He wasn’t interested. Instead, he talked to the nasty usher who hovered near our section during the entire game, blocked my view and trashed every Yankee fan that passed by.
Then came the guy just above me who started pelting me with pieces of Double Bubble Gum. I remained calm, even when a piece hit me in the back of the head. I was starting to wish I’d stayed home.
And then came the game. I won’t rehash all the horrific aspects (OK, yes I will: Pettitte’s fifth inning meltdown, Jorge’s inability to throw out runners, Damon’s odd and inexplicable positioning in shallow left, Robertson’s incompetence, Coke’s incompetence, Bombko’s incompetence, the incompetence of all hitters not named A-Rod or Hinske or Matsui). Suffice it to say, we had another lead and blew it to hell.
As people started filing out of the place in the eighth, the sour-puss Angels guy sniffed, “Look at all the Yankee fans leaving. The game isn’t even over.”
“Um, they’re mostly Angels fans that are leaving,” I pointed out. “They’re wearing red.”
My husband, who was kind enough to accompany me, told me to keep my mouth shut.
After the 14-8 debacle, which left me feeling totally beaten up, I staggered outside in search of answers. The Yankees had just swept in Minnesota. Why were they getting killed in Anaheim?
The first fan I met was pretty sanguine about the whole thing. His answer? “It was just one of those days.”
Then, I met Matt, a Yankee fan with season tickets to the Angels. (Go figure.) His answer? Karma.
And finally, I ran into Shawn, who thinks the Yankees’ losing streak in Anaheim is a psychological issue.
While I appreciated all their theories, the truth didn’t dawn on me until I was back in the car. The reason the Yankees fall apart at Angel Stadium is because they’re allergic to it!
I started sneezing like crazy as we hit the road. And if I was suffering, why not Pettitte and the others? Maybe if Gene Monahan gave everyone a dose of this, Sunday’s game would turn out differently.
I don’t know what the Yankees were exp
osed to at the stadium that caused their allergy, but I do know what triggered mine. It was the rally monkey. I tried to strangle it.
osed to at the stadium that caused their allergy, but I do know what triggered mine. It was the rally monkey. I tried to strangle it.
Angels Do Twisted Things To The Yankees
They look so benevolent, don’t they? Well, they’re not. At least not the ones in Los Angeles of Anaheim. They’re mean and cruel and they spoil all my fun and I’m sick of it. Sick of it!
The Yanks scored three quick runs in the top of the first in tonight’s 10-6 defeat. Joba came out firing in the bottom of the frame, retiring the Halos in order. Everything seemed fine. Fine! We even added a run in the second and another in the fifth on A-Rod’s 568th homer.
But as he was rounding the bases, A-Rod’s gum flew out of his mouth, as if he’d been taken over by some mystical, unseen power. He later made an error. So spooky.
Things went terribly awry from there. Joba, his pitch count rising and his velocity dropping, became absolutely possessed in the bottom of the fifth. He’d been staked to a 5-1 lead, but threw the ball as if he’d never thrown it before. See the curve of his mouth? How it looks oddly twisted, even simeon?
Before he could restrain himself, he was giving up five runs to the Angels and the score was tied. The relief pitching – why bother to call it that? – also cried out for some sort of exorcism. I mean, Bruney. Seriously. What happened to him could only be the work of otherworldly creatures.
And then there was that dreadful Luis Castillo moment for Jeter. He was 4-for-4 as the DH at that point, but went in to play short in the seventh inning in one of Girardi’s tricky little managerial moves. He was having a great night, in other words.
Yes, he dropped a routine pop up. He even used two hands! The error led the way to Aybar’s homer that put the Angels up 10-6.
I’m too tired to post funny pictures, and I have to get up early to drive down to Los Angeles of Anaheim to watch the game in person. I have to admit I’m ambivalent about going. On one hand, I can’t wait to see the Yankees and cheer them on here in California. On the other, I wonder what might happen to me once I’m in the presence of these not-so-angelic Angels. I could come back to Santa Barbara looking like this.
I’ll report if I make it home alive, hopefully with pics and She-Fan Cam videos.
Sloppy, But A Sweep Nevertheless
When things are going right for a team, they go right – even when they go wrong.
Wait. Did I just write that? Sounds like something Yogi would say.
But you know what I mean. The Yankees have been on a roll lately. So, despite an uneven start by Aceves, two lame errors in the second inning, two shallow pop ups by Melky with runners on base, Swisher’s 0-for-5 afternoon, and Robertson’s back-to-back walks of Span and Tolbert with bases loaded, the Yanks managed to beat Minny 6-4 and take all seven games this season, positively eating up the Twinkies.
The game wasn’t without its highlights. Cano doubled with Posada on base and eventually scored. That’s progress for Robbie, and it didn’t go unnoticed by the captain.
(If Jeter touched me on the head, I’d probably never wash my hair again.)
Tex broke his homer-less streak in the fifth and was congratulated by Jorge.
(Love JoPo’s manicure, although I would have gone with a more summery color.)
Gardner continued to slap the ball around, and reminds me of a young Johnny Damon.
The relief trio of Coke-Hughes-Mo was impressive, and the bullpen has really solidified, not counting Bruney, who’s still sitting and searching for his location and velocity.
As the Yanks head west, they have to be feeling pretty good about winning 13 of their last 15. And, of course, I feel pretty good about seeing them in Anaheim on Saturday. I predict that the Angels’ dominance over us will come to an end and that we will finally break free of their cruel and unusual punishment.
Speaking of combat, I spent a few hours touring Vandenberg Air Force Base yesterday. Vandenberg is the military’s go-to place for the testing and launching of strategic missile weapons. The photo below is of Jennifer, their community relations director, and a friendly woman in uniform. (We were at the “BX,” which, apparently, is Air Force for “PX.”)
No, I didn’t enlist. I went to research a new novel. But the experience was interesting, and if my writing/blogging slows down, I might find myself in the same situation as Goldie.
Me To Angels: “Ha ha ha ha ha ha!”
Let me state right up front that I’m not wild about the Angels. Why?
* Their manager whines a lot.
* The name “Scioscia” is too hard to spell with any consistency and leaves me puzzled.
* The team is forever associated with “small ball,” as if they invented the hit-and-run, the bunt and the stolen base. In reality, it’s just that they have some smallish players.
* Mostly, it’s because they’ve beaten the Yankees over and over, always making us look like dead people.
But not tonight. This time the Yanks were the 7-4 victors, and laughter rang out all over the Empire.
AJ was shaky out of the gate, giving up a triple to Figgy (not to be confused with the fruit) and a solo shot to Napoli (not to be confused with the city of Naples or the Italian dessert beloved by Phil Rizzuto). Then he got it together and shut down the red-shirted ones.
(There’s so much red when we play the Angels that my eyes burn.)
What I especially loved about this game was the Yankees’ offense. For the third night in a row, we kept battling back. Down 3-2 in the fourth, Jeter came up with one of his clutch, inside-out singles to right.
Bobby Abreu, whose RBIs I miss but whose immobility in right field I don’t, bobbled the ball, allowing Swisher and Pena to score and put the Yankees ahead.
But it was in the eighth when we really spanked the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.
Cano lined one to right that Abreu might have caught if he’d actually bent over. Posada’s ground-rule double came next, followed by Swisher’s intentional walk (good one, Soscia or Sosha or whatever it is), followed by Melky’s single.
(Poor Gardner. He’s so screwed right now.)
When Pena’s double scored Posada and Swisher, that was it for the Halos. Coke and Mo finished them off and that was that. We beat them. We pitched well and Posada nailed a couple of base runners and the hits came in bunches.
But, of course, it was the Magic Pen that was ultimately responsible for the Yankees’ latest reversal of fortune. I rewarded it after the game by showering it with diamond rings and nestling it in Yankees satin. Nothing’s too good for the Magic Pen at this point. Nothing.