Maybe it’s the Blue Jays who should be called the Bombers, since they were the ones doing the bombing tonight. Every time I turned around, Wells or Bautista or one of those guys was hitting the ball out. Clearly, Moseley isn’t CC and Wood isn’t Mo. And Mitre? Why even bother. Just DFA him already and call up one of the kids.
Offense is still AWOL. Third loss in a row. No longer in first place. What’s a Yankee fan to do? I’ll tell you what this Yankee fan did: watched the clip of the Red Sox and Indians going at it tonight.
Josh Beckett looks really, really mad at Shelley Duncan, doesn’t he? All I can say is that their game must have been way more entertaining than ours.
But the timing of Phil Huuuuuughes’ mistake couldn’t have been worse. With one pitch, his terrific performance – and the Yankees’ 2-0 lead – went down the toilet, along with my spirits.
The offense went to sleep after Swisher’s homer – really went to sleep.
They did nothing to pick up Huuuuughes. I guess if there was a bright spot in this one, it was the effective two innings by Joba. Otherwise, I finally get what the players mean when they say, “Blowout losses are easier to take than losses in close games.” I haven’t felt this deflated in a long time.
So much for the opener in this series. The trade news today swirled around the Yankees sending a couple of minor leaguers (including Melancon?) to the Astros for Lance Berkman.
The Big Puma will soon be in pinstripes, and he didn’t sound very excited about it. He told reporters he was “nervous” about “leaving the womb” and will “always be an Astro no matter what.” Memo to you, Lance: The Yankees are a great team and you’re lucky to be coming to New York at this stage of your career. If you need hand holding, I’m sure your former Astro friend will oblige.
Also new to the Yankees family, coming to us from the Indians, will be outfielder Austin Kearns.
Ooops. Wrong Austin.
These trades are well and good (hopefully), but I thought we were looking for pitching help. There must be an arm out there, right?
1) iPhones are the greatest invention known to mankind.
I’ve had mine for awhile now, but tonight it allowed me to do three things at once: eat dinner with a friend, “watch” the Yankees beat the tar out of the Indians and enjoy the beautiful view of the Santa Barbara harbor at the Endless Summer cafe.
2) Dustin Moseley knows how to pitch.
He was great tonight after some first inning jitters. Threw strikes. Kept his cool. Deserves another start for sure.
3) Cervelli has the ability to make me mad.
Memo to him: When you come up with the bases loaded and the opposing pitcher has done nothing but walk batters, do not swing at the first pitch and ground into a rally killing DP.
4) A-Rod is allowed to have fun during his chase for #600.
The guy has been an RBI machine, so people need to stop worrying about the homers. He’s helping us win – big time.
5) Scoring seven runs in one inning is what I’d like the Yankees to do over the weekend in Tampa.
Not that I didn’t appreciate the runs tonight, but I’d really like a lot of offense against the Rays. Please.
6) Chan Ho Park cannot – I repeat – CANNOT – pitch two innings.
I know. It was a laugher. But thanks to him things got a little hairy in the ninth. All those walks. Seriously. He’s okay for one inning (if nobody else is available), but not for two. That is all.
7) Marcus Thames reminded me of these in his attempt to play third.
Yeah, he’d never played there before and he was giving A-Rod a rest. But I had flashbacks of Angel Berroa. Not good.
8) The grilled mahi mahi at Endless Summer is worth checking out if you’re ever in the neighborhood.
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.
Tonight’s game against the Indians felt like a replay of every other game featuring a rookie starter for the opposition. Taking nothing away from Josh Tomlin, the Yankees are incapable of hitting pitchers they’ve never faced. They stand there at the plate looking absolutely clueless.
Why is that? They can watch videotape beforehand. They can make adjustments each time through the order. They can use their experience to figure it out. So why don’t they? Boggles my mind.
CC wasn’t his usual dominant self, but his defense definitely let him down. Ugh. There’s nothing positive to say about tonight’s loss except that Chan Ho Park didn’t give up a run. Oh, and Brett Gardner made a great throw home. That’s about it.
After the Yankees were done, I switched over to Angels-Red Sox, curious to see how Lackey would be greeted by the fans in Anaheim. I’d heard he was hopeful that they’d give him a warm reception, seeing as he spent his entire career there before going to Boston. Here’s what happened: people booed him. A lot. And there were signs like this:
“LACKey of Loyalty”
I can’t stand Lackey, but I felt sorry for him. I guess I should have remembered the way they always boo Tex when the Yankees play the Angels. Do their fans not realize that management decided not to retain the services of Lackey and Tex, not the other way around? Sure, the players became free agents, but that’s baseball. Why not applaud your former heroes for the great work they did when they helped you win ball games? Easy for me to say, you’re thinking. I haven’t lost Jeter or Mo to free agency. But even if I did, I’d like to think I’d always cheer for them. When Pettite went to play for the Astros I didn’t boo him or call him a traitor. I don’t get the sense of betrayal, I really don’t. Someone needs to explain it to me.
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????
That’s what Cano did tonight, batting in the #4 spot, and it paid off for the Yankees big time. I LOVE that he stepped up and filled A-Rod’s shoes.
And how about the game’s other heroes, including Swisher and Granderson (welcome back!). And then, of course, there was Phil Huuuuuughes, who handled the Indians with ease and – even during those innings when the game was close – made me feel as if this one would be a no-doubter. The defense was great too (hello, Tex), and Mitre did a nice job to nail it down. To sum this one up, I’ll quote Dorothy.
“There’s no place like home.”
Hope everyone’s enjoying the holiday weekend, and GO YANKS!
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.
No, the Yankees aren’t going to win every game for the rest of the season, but I thought I’d better get myself on a plane after their 5-4 walkoff loss to the Indians and talk to them before Monday night’s series finale. The game is on ESPN, and I don’t want them embarrassing me in front of the entire country.
My sources told me the players would be having dinner at The Chophouse and Brewery, a steak place in Cleveland’s trendy Warehouse District.
So I took a cab from the airport and went straight there. I found them in a private room. They were, without exception, eating this.
I introduced myself to the group, and explained that while I didn’t want to interrupt their good time, I felt it necessary to address them, fan to team. They were very polite and invited me to join them. CC was kind enough to order me a steak after I admitted that all I’d eaten on my flight was this.
“What’s on your mind, She-Fan?” asked Jeter as he was scarfing down onion rings.
“You were safe on that bang-bang play in the sixth inning today,” I said. “I know the calls even out over the course of the season, but if the ump had gotten this one right, you’d have scored on Tex’s homer.”
“Did I hear my name?” asked Teixeira from the other end of the table. He was eating his steak with his hands, not a care in the world.
“Congratulations on your thirteen-game hitting streak,” I said. “Longest of your career, right?”
“You got it,” he said, then patted A-Rod on the back, causing him to choke momentarily on his carrot, which he had ordered without salt or butter. “Since this guy came back to us, I’m on fire.”
I met A-Rod’s eyes. He seemed a little down. “You’re not a hundred-percent, are you?” I said.
“No, She-Fan,” he said. “My lateral movement just isn’t there. My surgeon told me not to put too much pressure on myself, but I feel like I cost us the game today. I couldn’t make a play on Peralta’s hit.”
“It was Coke who gave up the leadoff walk to Crowe,” I pointed out.
With that, I moved over to where all the relievers were sitting and delivered a stern lecture about throwing strikes and challenging hitters, instead of nibbling and falling behind in counts. I think Jose Veras cursed at me in Spanish, but Mo couldn’t have been nicer. He asked me how long I’d been a Yankee fan. When I said I was coming to see them play the Nationals on June 17th, he offered me free tickets. “I already bought some on StubHub, but thanks,” I said. What a sweetheart.
I spent some time with Matsui and his translator. I told him I was very concerned about his knees and wondered if they were the cause of his weak hacks at the plate.
“I’m not ready to retire,” he said testily. “And I’m not going to the Giants in a trade.”
“Fine,” I said. “Then stop pulling off the ball. You looked awful today.”
I got up from my chair and walked to the center of the room. “Listen, I didn’t come here to criticize. I just want to say thanks for a great month of May. You guys really got it together and I’m proud of you.”
“Woohoo! We rock! We roll! We have the most fun of any ballplayers!” exclaimed Nick Swisher. He did a little dance in his seat and then high-fived Johnny Damon.
“Tomorrow’s game against the Indians marks a brand new month,” I continued. “I want you to keep up your winning ways. That means effective starting pitching.” I cast a long, piercing look at Joba, tomorrow’s starter. “It means hitting with men in scoring position.” I wagged a finger at Jorge, who struck out and hit into a double play today. “And no misplays in center field.” I shrugged at Gardner, who was still grumbling about that ball that sailed over his head for a double.
“It goes both ways, She-Fan,” said Jeter. “We need you to do something for us.”
“Name it,” I said. “Anything.”
Before I could speak, AJ came running out from the restaurant’s kitchen and slammed a banana cream pie in my face.
My trip was so worth it.
He was dominant in tonight’s 10-5 win over the Indians, but indulge me a sec.
Before I start pontificating about the game, I absolutely must rave about the movie I saw this morning. My film festival group showed a screening of Disney/Pixar’s animated feature “Up,” which opened around the country yesterday. GO SEE THIS MOVIE! It doesn’t matter if you’re young or old, male or female, romantic or cynic. It’s just plain great – a funny, heartwarming story about living life to the fullest. I didn’t expect to love it as much as I did. Here’s the trailer, which doesn’t do it justice.
Back to the game. I wasn’t sure how CC would react to pitching in front of the Cleveland fans, but he didn’t display any nerves at all. In fact, the only drama in the first inning was when Victor Martinez fouled a ball off his knee and stayed down on the ground for an eternity.
I admired his desire to play hurt, but come on! He was holding up the game!
Basically, this contest boiled down to the following formula:
great starting pitching + flawless defense + solid offense = win.
The Yankees had it all going on. CC lost a bit of focus with a 7-0 lead in the fifth, but for the most part he cruised.
Tex and A-Rod, in particular, made some great plays behind him, and the offense seemed very relaxed, as if they knew they wouldn’t have to play catch-up.
Jorge – tater!
Swisher – tater!
Jeter – 2 RBI single!
Cano – ditto!
And all seven runs came off of Carmona, who’d been tough on the Yankees in the past. We tacked on three more against a reliever named Ohka, not to be confused with Okra.
Everybody contributed in some way. A-Rod isn’t running well, but his arm is one of these.
Matsui can’t run well either, but he had a couple of doubles.
And Gardner runs really well, of course, and scored after taking a simple walk.
Robertson shut down the Indians in the eighth, but in came Veras for the ninth. The Yanks were up 10-3, but I couldn’t stand to watch.
I did hear Michael Kay say this: “If they could straighten out Veras, it would really stabilize the bullpen.”
Right. And pigs can fly.
What did Veras do this time?
Served up a solo shot to Choo.
Hit DeRosa in the arm.
Allowed a double to Francisco.
I’m sure he’s a very nice person and will perform admirably for some other team. But enough. It’s time for the Yanks to send him packing.
But I quibble. The important thing is that the Yanks won again, extended their errorless streak to 16 games and are still in first place for another 24 hours. Life is good.