Not a blowout, but a no-doubter. I like those. They’re relaxing. And the formula was so simple:
1) Dominant starting pitching by A.J.
Tonight he gave us a taste of what life could be like if he pitched as well all the time or even most of the time.
2) Tremendous offense by….everybody!
A-Rod didn’t knock in the Big One, but he made his hits count, as did Cano, Tex, Gardner, Granderson, you name it. What happened to Fausto Carmona? He was lights out against us in the 2007 ALDS.
I should know. I was there.
(Sorry, but I only get to use this pic when we play Cleveland and it’s not that often.)
3) Sparkling defense by Swisher.
There were other nice plays, particularly one by A.J., but Swisher has been surprising me all season. I never actually expect him to catch the ball but he chased one down tonight and I have to give him props.
To sum up, the Yankees beat down the Indians 8-0 and, despite the loooong game that followed the rain delay, it was a fun evening. What wasn’t fun was my walk after dinner. The sun was just about to set here in CA and Michael and I figured we had a half hour of light left. But it got dark in a hurry and there we were, up in the hills, when a bat flew into my hair.
I never knew I was capable of running so fast.
Three homers in two games won’t erase his mediocre first half of the season, but Curtis Granderson is finally getting people’s attention. He’s come alive since the All Star break and I couldn’t be happier about it. I know. We had to give up AJax, but I’ve been a Grandy fan for a long time and always coveted him for the Yankees. In tonight’s win over the Indians, he provided the go-ahead runs and might have scored another if not for one of the umpiring crew’s two blown calls. But it’s not just his baseball skills that get to me. It’s the man’s character. His charity work isn’t for show; it’s real. He’s real. Real enough to cry on camera. Take a look. (The tears come about 2:15 into the interview. I got choked up watching him choke up!)
So yeah, I love Grandy. Now onto the game:
Javy pitched great.
Dave Robertson pitched great.
Boone Logan pitched great.
Mo pitched great.
Joba didn’t even warm up.
It’s weird how I still see midges when we play in Cleveland. I was there in ’07 during the ALDS, and tonight I had flashbacks.
Maybe it’s time I got professional help.
Congrats to Matt Garza and the Rays on baseball’s latest no-no. It must really be the year of the pitcher. I wonder who will be next????
Yes, the birds were out in Cleveland. The bugs too. So creepy, especially because the birds were eating the bugs. But the Yankees vanquished them both – and the Indians – for a 5-2 victory.
Thinking I could only get the ESPN feed, I spent the first few innings listening to Steve Phillips run his mouth. Before I switched over to YES, Orel Hershiser had a good line. Jeter was 0-and-2 in the top of the first, and Orel said, “It doesn’t look like Jeter sees the ball because of the shadows on the field.” Next pitch? Jeter singled. Way to call it, Orel!
Congrats to the Captain for his 2600th hit, by the way. It came in the third on a bunt single, and resulted in the Yankees’ first run of the evening.
The Yankees offense wasn’t exactly in attack mode, but fortunately Joba was pitching a gem. He was brilliant, in fact, his only mistake a home run to Martinez in the fourth. Then came Shoppach’s pop-up bunt attempt in the fifth and Joba’s spectacular diving catch.
Nice belly flop, guy!
The Yankees wasted a perfectly good opportunity to break the game open in the sixth when Sowers, the Indians’ starter, went sour. Three straight walks and we didn’t score! That’s hard to do!
But after Aquino came in and issued another three walks, Swisher doubled in two runs.
Onto the mound came a familiar face, and I knew we had the game won.
Viz allowed another couple of runs for 5-1. I swear he’s an older version of Veras.
Anyhow, Joba went eight innings – his longest and best outing yet as a starter – and Mo finished up with a 1-2-3 ninth.
I sort of laughed when Francisco hit a grounder that glanced off Mo’s glove. Judging by the way Gene Monahan rushed out to check on him, you would have thought he’d been hit by a bus.
The weirdest line of the night belonged to Michael Kay, after Mo threw one past Choo: “Mariano’s got some hair on the fastball tonight.”
The Yankees extended their streak of error-less games to an MLB record of 18. (What a difference a Gold Glove first baseman makes. ) And they remained in first place for another day.
Now it’s home to the Launching Pad in the Bronx to face the Rangers and, hopefully, to witness a whole bunch of these by the Bombers.
While several Yankees were attending the Cavaliers-Magic game tonight, I painstakingly sorted through the Indians’ lineup to gather as much intel as I could in anticipation of our four-game series.
Obviously, we need to exact payback for the humiliating 22-4 drubbing in April. So let’s look at the lineup we could be facing (they change it around a lot) and try to find weaknesses. The Tribe just came off a sweep of the Rays, so they’re feeling hot hot hot. The Yankees need to cool them off.
* Asdrubal Cabrera.
Not to be confused with “a strudel,” the Venezuelan shortstop has seven stolen bases. He was suspended for three games in September ’08 for his role in a brawl with the Tigers. Tip to Yankees: if he charges the mound, duck.
* Grady Sizemore.
The center fielder has been DH-ing, due to a sore elbow. He has an unsightly 49 strikeouts and is only batting .223. Still, he always seems to kill us. Tip to Yankees: don’t be lulled into a sense of security.
* Victor Martinez.
Another Venezuelan, Victor Jesus Martinez has been a beast lately, with 36 RBIs and a .359 average. Like his countryman, he was suspended for that fight with the Tigers last year. Tip to Yankees: get him out but don’t get him mad.
* Shin-Soo Choo.
The former Mariner was a star in his native Korea. And last year, his .386 average with RISP was fourth best in the AL. Tip to Yankees: don’t let him come up with RISP.
* Jhonny Peralta.
Jhonny is a shortstop with a name that’s spelled funny. He’s a third baseman too. And he’s a man with a black smiley face on his chin. He’s also got 43 Ks. Tip to Yankees: pound the zone and take your chances.
* Ryan Garko.
This guy is no dummy. He went to Stanford, for God’s sake! Not only does he admit to reading, but he promotes literacy. Tip to Yankees: find a position for him and put him in pinstripes.
* Trevor Crowe.
Just called up from the minors, the rookie outfielder is batting .182. His father, David Crowe, played on the PGA Tour, and his cousin, Russell Crowe, is a famous movie star. (Just kidding about Russell.) Tip to Yankees: let him get a hit – only one – so he can tell his dad about it.
* Ben Francisco.
Not much to say here, except that he grew up in California and played high school baseball with Garko. He’s batting .259 with 31 strikeouts. Tip to Yankees: don’t sweat it.
* Luis Valbuena.
He’s the only Venezuelan on the team that wasn’t involved in that fight with the Tigers. Plus, he has zero homers. Tip to Yankees: plunk somebody else and pitch to him.
Speaking of the fight, here’s a look.
Typical baseball hissy with lots of standing around.
Here’s hoping there are no fights – and definitely no Lake Erie midges.