Tagged: Brett Tomko
I Almost Don’t Know What To Say
I said “almost.” I wouldn’t be writing this post if I’d been rendered completely speechless by today’s 14-3 drubbing of the Red Sox, but I’m still kind of stunned by the Yankees’ offensive outbursts the past couple of days. I mean who is this guy anyway?
We’ve all enjoyed Cervelli’s energy and enthusiasm, both behind and at the plate, and he’s fast for a catcher too. But five RBIs today? Seriously? Wasn’t he called up to the bigs because of his defense? He didn’t hit much at all in the minors. So is he just a case of a kid who’s maturing at precisely the right time? Or has Kevin Long worked some hitting coach magic on him? Either way, he’s so much more than Posada’s understudy the way Molina was.
Teixera‘s three homers? Less surprising than Cervelli’s barrage of hits but no less awesome. I mean, Tex is a big star who always busts out in May and is doing what he was brought to the Yankees to do. But still. The guy was a beast today.
CC? He battled. He could have won the game if Mother Nature hadn’t intervened. He wasn’t perfect but I always feel secure with him on the mound.
A-Rod? No, he hasn’t been belting homers lately, but timely hits/walks/stolen bases? You bet. For a slugger, he sure can run.
Pena? How about his key double and great play at second today. I was so glad to see Cano inserted in the lineup as the DH, but Pena is such a valuable asset.
Swisher? Was it taking off the extra weight in the off-season? Making a conscious decision to focus harder on the job? Eating a few of Tex’s granola bars? All I know is he’s contributing in ways I never expected this year. And we got him for Wilson Betemit.
Gardner? I used to groan when he came to the plate. Now I can’t wait to see him in the on-deck circle because the chances that he’ll get on base and then steal are so much greater right now. Who doesn’t love having him on the Yankees? Especially with Granderson on the DL.
Joba? Good to have him in the pen where he belongs. Period.
The bad news about today’s game was, of course, watching yet another player go down. When I saw Aceves‘ foot slide during his delivery, I thought he had pulled a calf muscle or hammy and expected him to be lost to the DL. But it’s his back, so a few days of rest should do the trick. The problem is who pitches in his place? Mitre is starting for Pettitte. Park is on the DL. Robertson has been looking like someone who needs a demotion to Scranton. So who’s our long man tomorrow if A.J. falters? Can we put out an all points bulletin for Brett Bombko?
Well, I said I didn’t know what to say, but apparently I was wrong. The Yankees will do that to me. They keep getting hit with injuries and keep winning anyway. Pretty amazing.
Oh, one last thing. Can somebody please ask Fox to replace Buck and McCarver? They were particularly annoying today – from the discussion of whether the word “doves” is plural for “dove” to the miracle that is Dustin Pedroia. Thank you.
My Chat With Amber
A few minutes ago, the Yankees lost to Brett Bombko and the just-out-of-high-school Oakland A’s. The score was 3-0.
I sort of couldn’t believe it. I mean, the Yanks haven’t been shut out since June. I guess this is why it’s good to have a lead in August – so your offense can flail at the ball. (I’m talking to you, A-Rod, since you popped out after Tex doubled in the first and then you grounded into a double play with bases loaded in the third. Pee-euewww. And Jorge, Mr. Birthday Boy, your strikeouts didn’t thrill me, either.)
A.J. pitched really well but got no run support, obviously. My sympathies, guy. You have my permission to throw pie at all your teammates.
The Yankees are entitled to lose a few, sure, but I’d be lying if I said I was fine with it. One loss? Ha ha ha. Two in a row? Mild panic. What will Tuesday night bring? I didn’t want to take any chances. I heard the wives and girlfriends of the players were traveling with the team, so I made a last-minute date with Amber Sabathia to discuss her husband’s start against the A’s. Here’s our conversation. I did what I could. Now let’s see if she holds up her end of the deal.
“You Can’t Win Them All”
That’s what my husband Michael told me after the Yankees were thumped by the Mariners 10-3 in Sunday’s series finale.
“We can’t win them all?” I said with a straight face. “It was starting to feel as if we’d never lose.”
“The Yankees took three of four and are in first place by seven-and-a-half games,” he said. “You just have to laugh this one off.”
“You’re right,” I conceded. “I was being greedy and demanding and totally unrealistic. I’ll laugh this one off like you said.”
Joba’s five inning performance, during which he gave up four runs, walked three and pitched like a nibbler instead of an aggressor?
Not a problem at all! I’ll laugh it off!
Aceves’ ugly relief appearance that lasted only 1+ innings and yielded another four runs?
No biggie! I’ll laugh it off!
Chad Gaudin’s fat pitch to Johjima for a homer?
So what if he’s scheduled to make his first start on Wednesday and is Cashman’s idea of a good acquisition! I’ll laugh it off!
Oh, and those fly balls that were either bobbled or not caught by Hairston and Damon?
Who cares? It was a beautiful, sunny afternoon at Safeco Field! Nick Swisher had another homer! Life is good! I’ll laugh it off!
The truth is, the Yankees have been playing like champions lately and I don’t begrudge them a bad day. The Mariners pitchers were excellent and Ichiro is a hitting machine. Speaking of which, congratulations are in order. Jeter passed “Little Luis” Aparicio to become Major League Baseball’s all-time leader in hits for shortstops.
I’m not laughing at that. I’m applauding.
Monday features an interesting pitching match-up as the Yankees move on to face Oakland: A.J. Burnett versus former-Yankee-with-an-ax-to-grind Brett Bombko. On paper, we win this one easily. But paper is just that.
Come ready to play, Yankees.
I Love Using The Word “Crush”
No, I’m not talking about this kind.
Or this kind.
Or even this kind.
I’m talking about the kind that fits nicely into the following headline:
“Yankees Crush Twins 10-2.”
Yes, it was a decisive victory for the Yanks in their opener at the Metrodome, but it would have been a downright blowout if Carlos Gomez had not made a terrific catch of A-Rod’s would-be grand slam in the third.
This was no ordinary web gem; the guy timed his jump perfectly, leapt and caught the ball like a comic book hero.
Gomez wasn’t finished, either. In the sixth, he made a great grab of Matsui’s fly ball. He was not so lucky on Gardner’s gapper, which turned into a triple and put the Yanks up 9-1. There’s just no stopping Brett the Jet.
But before I spend another nanosecond on the offense, I must pay tribute to CC, who threw a sparkling seven innings, giving up a paltry one run and three hits.
Is the big man getting even bigger, by the way? He looks like he’s been sprinkled with this.
Bombko pitched the final two innings, allowing a run in the eighth. I don’t know what to say about him. I guess he serves a purpose in the bullpen. I just haven’t figured out what it is, except that he eats innings (or whatever else there is to eat).
Back to the scoring. There was a lot of it, obviously, starting right in the first inning when the Yankees kept blooping cheapo singles at the Twins. One of them included Brett the Jet’s infield hit off Baker’s buttocks. Ouch. Talk about a pinball wizard.
I think everybody in the lineup had at least one hit. Tex, who continues his homer-less stretch, had four, and Cervelli, who’s about to be replaced on the roster by Molina (sob), had a couple. The biggest surprise was Cano, whose inability to function like a Major Leaguer with men on base, has been well documented. He came up with bases loaded in the sixth and managed one of those bloop singles I mentioned earlier. He looked thrilled.
Whatever it takes, Robbie. The important thing is that the Yanks notched their 11th win in 13 games. Now it’s on to tomorrow night with AJ on the mound. Keep the train moving, boys. Or, in the case of the video below, the ship’s cabin.
Another Pie In The Face For The Yanks
It’s silly. It’s juvenile. And I hope it never ends – the whole routine of come-from-behind walkoffs that result in an A.J. Burnett-instigated dose of whipped cream for the hero.
Today’s recipient? Jorge Posada, whose single in the bottom of the 12th drove in A-Rod with the winning run in the Yankees’ 6-5 victory over the Jays.
But first, the classy tribute to Lou Gehrig and to Michael Goldsmith, the ALS sufferer who called MLB to action on the disease.
Talk about a highlight of the 2009 Inaugural Yankee Stadium Season. You’d have to be made of stone not to be moved by the pre-game ceremony.
Then came the game itself. Wang was having his best start of the season. But it was clear that Halladay didn’t have his “A” stuff. Not with homers to Matsui, Posada and Damon. I think it was Damon’s shot in particular – the one-hander into “Damon’s Deck” in short right field – that really got Doc all pissy and red faced.
The July 4th crowd, which had sounded pretty enthusiastic, fell to a hush after Wang gave up a two-run dinger to Lind in the sixth. And then suddenly….out came Girardi and Steve Donahue. The next thing we knew, Wanger was headed for the MRI tube.
I figured it was his Lisfranc again. Or maybe some other body part I’d never heard of. But no. He’s got a “shoulder strain with bursitis,” is going on the DL and will miss at least a month. I mean, seriously? What are we supposed to do about our rotation? Make a trade? Or bring up a kid?
Robertson was shaky in relief, giving up another run, as was Bruney. But Coke threw two great innings (with help from Gardner’s slide on Overbay’s fly ball). And Mo and Bombko kept us in the game until Jorge broke the 5-5 tie with one swing of the bat.
Of course, there was also the issue of Cano. The guy came up with runners on base time after time, and did nothing. He’s really starting to stink.
After reveling in the Yankees’ victory, I headed to the beach for a walk, my trusty She-Fan Cam in my pocket. There were a zillion people camped out to see the fireworks display later, and I checked the various groups to see if there were any baseball fans among them.
Sure enough, there were a couple of Dodgers fans.
The first one was with her family, having their annual July 4th Dodgers barbecue.
The second one was playing catch with a friend.
Very cool customer, that Andrew.
I was walking away, feeling no Yankee love in Santa Barbara, when I happened upon a guy wearing a Yankees cap backwards. He was partying with his friends, but I went over anyway.
Why I said “Ithaca!” in that high squeaky voice is beyond me. But even more embarrassing was when I mistakenly agreed that Jorge had hit the walkoff single in the 13th inning instead of the 12th. I’m not very good in math, but that was ridiculous.
Here’s hoping the Yanks find a couple of fresh arms to pitch tomorrow.
The Yankees are falling on their faces, as evidenced by today’s 6-5 loss to the Marlins, yesterday’s 2-1 defeat, and lackluster efforts against the Nationals and Mets. And while I’m not panicking – they’ve been in much worse shape than this – I’m not at all amused. Why? Take today, for instance.
#1. CC had to leave in the second inning with tendinitis in his biceps.
#2. The Yankees’ bats looked like they were made of this. (Picture of Swiss cheese.)
#3. After Aceves pitched brilliantly in relief of CC, Bombko lived up to his nickname.
#4. Melky tried to throw out Hanley Ramirez at home, but the ball traveled into another state entirely.
#5. Joe Girardi cleverly caught the Marlins asleep at the wheel, pointed out their lineup blunder to the umps, got De Aza thrown out of the game and then watched Jeter, Swisher and Teixeira go down in order. He played the game under protest.
#6. A-Rod hit a single that scored two runs, but otherwise appeared as fatigued as the day before. I’ve decided it’s Kate Hudson’s fault and I want her to go back to one of her previous boyfriends.
#7. That ninth-inning rally against the Marlins’ closer that began with singles by Posada and Melky, resulted in two runs thanks to Gardner’s gapper, and continued with the walk to Damon ended with Jeter’s annoying habit of first-pitch swinging. THE GUY JUST WALKED DAMON! TAKE A PITCH, DEREK!
Maybe the Yankees will have better luck against the Braves, but somebody needs to step up.
To Luis Castillo With Affection
Thank you for dropping A-Rod’s routine pop-up in the bottom of the ninth, with the Yankees’ chances for a comeback looking completely grim. Everyone thought tonight’s game was over, but you changed it all with your inexplicable screw-up. I will always love you, man. You’re beautiful.
Who would have imagined it: a walkoff pop-up? And yet it happened, and the Yanks edged the Mets 9-8. Was it the ineptitude of the Mets’ second basemen or a little good karma after the lost weekend at Fenway?
I don’t care. We won a game we had no business winning, and I’m glad. Hahahahaha.
But despite the hugging and celebrating on the field, the fact is the Yankees have major pitching problems.
Joba. Seriously. What were you thinking shaking off Posada like you’re a three-time Cy Young Award winner? Get over yourself and listen to your Hall of Fame catcher.
Bombko. I knew you’d show your true colors one of these days. There’s a reason you’ve been on every team in the majors, and your ineffectiveness tonight proved why. You gave up four runs in the fifth. Not what we needed, guy.
Mo. No, you’re not a problem, but you need help. You’re being forced to be your own eighth-inning set-up guy, and it’s just not going to work unless you clone yourself.
(Mo, the eighth inning set-up guy)
(Mo, the ninth inning closer)
On the positive side, nice job by Robertson in relief….More firepower from Tex….Clutch hitting by the Captain…Pretty solo shot by Cano…Happy Birthday homer by Matsui.
On the negative side, how bad is Gardner’s arm in center? Should we be worried about this? And what’s up with Swisher lately? Is he putting together a Bloopers reel?
But oh well. The Yanks won, and I’ll go to sleep happy for the first time in days.
Yankees Mired In Quicksand Against Rangers
At least it felt that way. To me.
Andy Pettitte slogged through five innings, walking six during the Yankees’ anemic 4-2 loss. It was as if he’d never held a baseball before.
The Yankees offense didn’t do much, either. Every time they looked as if they might pull themselves out of the muck, they sank deeper.
Posada belted a solo shot after getting belted in the kidney by the bat of Marlon Byrd. (It was an accident, but still. It pained me to watch the replays.) Otherwise, the game was an exercise in futility, especially for A-Rod.
In the third:
In the sixth:
Damon reached on an error.
A-Rod? Struck out swinging.
In the eighth:
A-Rod? K-ed again.
Not that Jeter was much better. He went 0-for-4 and ended his hitting streak at 16, talk about looking as soggy as the 12-minute rain delay. In fact, there were entirely too many ground ball outs in what was supposed to be The Home Run Palace. Where was the much-heralded jet stream?
Clearly, the Yanks missed Tex in the lineup. It turns out that he injured his ankle Tuesday night while performing his death-defying take-out slide.
He’s day to day, so I hope he’ll be back in the #3 spot tomorrow for the series finale. With Wang making his first start in ages, we’ll need some serious scoring. We’ll also need Aceves as a backup, since Bombko pitched three very impressive innings tonight.
I’ve made fun of the Rangers’ announcers, so I must give equal time to Kay and O’Neill, tonight’s YES team. When Kay wasn’t going on about his large head, he was engaging O’Neill in idiotic conversations. Like the one about which Yankees wear mouth guards.
“Pettitte wears one now,” said Kay. “It’s the kind that prevents grinding during a game.”
“My wife wears one too,” said O’Neill. “She sleeps with it.”
And how about when they were talking about the respective talents of Cano and Kinsler.
O’Neill: “There are a lot of good second basemens in the league.”
I know. Paulie was a great ballplayer and I adore him. So what if his grammar needs work? Nobody’s perfect.
Vigilante Justice In The Bronx
No, I’m not talking about AJ Burnett versus Nelson Cruz. By the time AJ threw over Cruz’s head in the fifth, prompting the home plate umpire to warn both dugouts, the Yankees had a comfortable 9-3 lead over the Rangers.
I’m talking about Mark Teixeira versus this guy.
If Vincente Padilla is the Rangers’ idea of improved pitching, the Angels have nothing to worry about in the AL West.
When Padilla came in high and tight to Cano in the first inning, I figured it was just one of these.
But when he plunked Tex on the arm in the second, I started to pay attention – especially since he also pitched inside to Jeter and went up and in on A-Rod. I said to my husband, “This guy better not go all Daniel Cabrera on us,” referring to the former Orioles pitcher who made a career out of disabling various Yankees.
Then the fourth: Padilla hit Tex again, this time on the butt. Mark was not amused, and Girardi accompanied him to first base in an attempt to talk him down.
But Tex continued to seethe, his nostrils flaring.
When A-Rod grounded into a potential double play, Tex slid hard into second, lifting Andrus high into the air. (Elvis almost left the building.)
Jeter scored the go-ahead run, and it was his 1,500th, making him the fourth such active player and placing him in the company of Ruth, Gehrig and Mantle as the only Yankees to achieve the mark.
The rest was gravy.
Cano had a big RBI single. So did Posada. Matsui hit a three-run shot off Holland, Padilla’s replacement (the same guy he homered off in Texas last week). Posada added his own three-run dinger against Madrigal in the sixth, boosting the Yanks to 12-3.
AJ pitched well, even without his A-grade curve ball, and Bombko and Veras finished it up.
Did I cringe when Veras came in for the ninth? You bet, even with a nine-run lead. Michael Kay was yammering on yet again about what great stuff Jose has. “You don’t give up on a guy who throws 96 mph,” he said.
Um, did he forget about Kyle?
I digress. It was a very satisfying win for the Yanks, who now have the best record in the AL at 10 games over .500. The error-less streak is over, due to an errant throw by Posada, but I’ll take good pitching and timely hitting every time.
The Yankees almost staged another miraculous comeback against the Phillies, complete with a walkoff and the requisite pie in someone’s smiling face.
But it didn’t happen. Instead, the Yanks lost 4-3 in 11 innings and I collapsed onto my bed, exhausted.
I mean, we were totally supposed to win that game. It was all set up. We got eight good innings out of CC. We sent Hamels packing after six and made him shake his head in disgust after Tex hit one out with a broken bat.
We survived awful at-bats by A-Rod and Matsui, who looked like they were trying to hit the ball with one of these.
And we survived a ninth inning appearance by Veras, who walked a batter but didn’t give up a run.
“He possesses good stuff, but the problem is his location,” said Al Leiter, stating the obvious and forcing me to stand up and yell at the TV. “I DON’T CARE IF HE HAS ‘GOOD STUFF!’ HOW GOOD COULD IT BE IF HE CAN’T THROW IT WHERE HE WANTS IT?”
(Sorry. I lost it there for a sec.)
We not only got to Lidge for the second straight day and tied the score in the bottom of the ninth (thanks to Cano and Melky yet again), but we escaped trouble in the top of the tenth after Mo gave up a single to Ibanez, who was a Yankee killer for the entire series and made me want to strangle him.
But then came the bottom of the tenth. With some reliever named Condrey on the mound for Philadelphia, Jeter and Damon singled and we were THISCLOSE to a walkoff win. Except for two problems.
Tex: grounded into a double play.
Pena: flied out.
Inning over and Girardi turned to Bombko for the top of the 11th. (Supposedly, Aceves wasn’t available. Why not? He didn’t pitch yesterday.)
Here was the result.
Ruiz: doubled in the go-ahead run.
Just a word or two about Ruiz, who killed us like Ibanez did only on both offense and defense. The guy blocks the plate better than most catchers in the majors. Impressive.
We went down meekly, 1-2-3, in the bottom of the frame. Game over. No celebrating. At first, I was bummed, but who can complain about a team that goes 8-2 during a home stand?
In fact, I think I’ll celebrate anyway. The Yankees put the pies on hold, but that doesn’t mean I have to.