Just got back from a concert and it’s late, so I’ll keep this post short. The game tonight was actually uplifting. For me, anyway. Pettitte was horrendous and the Yanks were taking a 10-1 beating and Beckett looked more like the Beckett of old. And then a miracle: We ended up scoring eight runs, homering off every pitcher the Red Sox threw out there except Bard. The power surge was encouraging. The fighting spirit was a good sign. The fact that we almost came back and tied the game after being down by nine runs was positive. Even Mitre’s outing was impressive. (Don’t get me started on Albaladejo.)
We’re not in first place tonight. That’s not wonderful. The fact that time is running out for Pettitte to be stretched out isn’t great. But I’m not panicking. I’m just not.
OK, so the concert I went to helped me forget this little losing jag we’re on. Even if you’re not into jazz, which I’m not, I recommended the music of Charles Lloyd and his quartet, including his new recording called “Mirror.”
Here’s hoping tomorrow is a better day, baseball wise.
No, not because the Yankees beat the Red Sox, although beating the Red Sox is always sweet. And not because our offense (with the help of a couple of miscues by Boston), made quick work of Beckett, although sending him to the showers is very satisfying. The reason I loved this game is because it proved yet again that you never know what will happen when two teams go at it. Which is another way of saying that what looks like a pitching mismatch on paper might not be a mismatch after all.
So, when I heard that A.J. had a back problem and would be replaced by Dustin Moseley, who’s been a pretty good spot starter but isn’t exactly a Cy Young Award winner, I figured we were toast.
But then the Yanks put two runs on the board early and Moseley held the lead, giving up a homer to Hall but otherwise throwing with poise and efficiency. What’s more, he made a couple of great defensive plays and was just plain impressive. When Joe pulled him in the seventh, the crowd gave him a well deserved standing O.
I kept thinking, as John Sterling is fond of saying, “Who would have predicted this?” Does it mean that Moseley will be brilliant his next time out? No. That’s the point. Anything can happen on any given day in baseball. Just ask Brandon Morrow of the Jays. I doubt he was expecting to miss a no-hitter by a hair. And what were the odds that the Orioles would go 5-1 under Showalter today? Getting back to the Yankees, did I expect Jeter to break Babe Ruth’s hits record in tonight’s game? Or that A-Rod would record his 300th stolen base? Or that Tex would bang out his 25th homer in a season that started off awfully slowly for him?
OK, there was one thing that was entirely predictable: Mo threw one pitch and got one out to end the game. Sometimes predictability is very welcome.
Now that the x-rays were negative and A-Rod is listed as day-to-day, I can’t help but joke about the incident. I mean poor Fat Elvis. He hasn’t done much to endear himself to Yankee fans, and the mishap during BP didn’t help. But the best line belonged to Jeter when the writers asked him if A-Rod would be okay after writhing on the ground in pain. “He’ll be all right,” said the Captain. “He always looks like that when he gets hit.” Was Jeet inferring that his teammate was a drama queen?
Onto to the game. CC scared me early, giving up those two runs, but he settled right down and got to work, shutting the door on the Red Sox and making it look pretty effortless. He had offensive help from Granderson and Pena (who’s been the most unlikely RBI machine!), as well as some great defense behind him. Mo pitched a perfect ninth to secure the “W.” But the Yanks were also aided and abetted by Victor Martinez, who made me realize how lucky we are to have Posada, even if he’s 100 years old. Martinez simply cannot throw runners out, much to Lackey’s dismay.
Anyhow, I’m still feeling the “rivalry” isn’t as intense as it used to be, but maybe with Beckett on the mound tomorrow I’ll feel more fired up. He does bring out the worst in me.
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.
I can’t pretend to be inside Josh Beckett’s head. (The thought of going anywhere near his head is highly unappealing.) So I can’t say with any certainty that he hit anybody on purpose in tonight’s 10-3 massacre at Fenway. But here’s what I think. He was cruising along with pinpoint control, striking out batter after batter. Then Swisher drove one out of the park for three runs. And the Beckster wasn’t amused. Or, as MLB’s Bryan Hoch put it, he became unhinged.
He pitched inside to Cano, hit him on the knee and knocked him out of the game. Just what we needed: another injury. Actually, not just another injury but an injury to our hottest hitter. The Beckster threw in the vicinity of Cervelli’s head twice, including once after Cisco had the nerve to step out of the batter’s box. And then we get to Jeter, who was plunked squarely on the #2 on his back. I was watching via the NESN feed (thanks, MLB Network), but it was easy to see how angry some of the Yankees were — CC, A-Rod, even Mo. In fact, I don’t think I’ve ever seen Mo mad, because normally he looks like this.
Anyhow, the Beckster basically handed the Yankees the ball game, but we did get timely hits too. (You go, Randy Winn.) And even better, we got another great performance by Huuughes. He got into trouble here and there but always managed to get himself out of it, and gave us seven strong innings. Kudos. I wish D-Rob would recapture his 2009 form, but maybe he needs some time in Scranton to work things out. Dunno. What I also don’t know is why the ump didn’t warn Beckett….and whether the Yankees will retaliate tomorrow with CC on the mound. If I were a Red Sock and CC plunked me, I sure wouldn’t charge the mound and risk looking at this.
On one hand, I want to see the Yankees send a message. On the other, we don’t need any ejections or suspensions, and we certainly don’t need more injuries. I mean, Nick Johnson. Wow. When I heard he had a sore wrist and was on his way to NY for an MRI, all I could think of was that he’s becoming this guy, only with a better attitude.
To sum up, in yesterday’s post I speculated that The Rivalry might be getting a little stale. Now? Not so much.
On the eve of the first game in yet another Yankees-Red Sox series, I was feeling a little tired of The Rivalry. Seriously. Not only do we play them tomorrow night for what seems like the millionth time, but with some of the old Red Sox antagonists gone — Pedro, Schilling, Trot Nixon, Kevin Millar — I began to wonder if I could muster the same old feelings. You know the ones I’m talking about. They look like this.
Now that the Yankees are coming off a championship and have already won this season’s opening round at Fenway, I’m not quite as crazed as usual. I mean, David Ortiz pals around with A-Rod during batting practice. Mike Lowell always seems pleasant enough. And what about how Jeter jokes with Pedroia and Youkilis; the three of them act like brothers, for God’s sake.
So what’s to get all worked up about? The fans at Fenway and their “Yankees suck” chants? Even that’s so yesterday. I’m telling you, I was sitting here wondering how to psyche myself up for tomorrow night and then I lit on Boston’s starter for the game: Josh Beckett. Yesss. There’s no one I enjoy watching the Yankees beat more than the Beckster. So, for anyone reading this who’s having the same sense of malaise that I was, check out this video. It was made by a love struck Red Sox fan named Hillary. Pay particular attention to the shot of Josh with the deer. Well, the puppy one’s cool too. Anyhow, just try and watch this and then tell me you don’t want the Yanks to hit, like, 20 homers off this guy.
I would have preferred the “W,” obviously, but the Yanks aren’t going to win every game (aren’t I philosophical). And this one did have its happy moments:
CC’s early dominance.
Swisher’s at bat in the 4th when he worked the walk to extend the inning.
Jeter and Gardner’s double steal.
Cano’s two hits.
Knocking out Beckett.
Oh, and it was swell seeing Pedro again.
The game also reminded me how nauseating it is when the bullpen gives it up. Thumbs down to:
Chan Ho Park for looking like a different pitcher than the one at spring training.
Damaso Marte for picking up where he left off in the 2009 regular season.
Joba for not throwing with the kind of velocity he used to. (Where did it go?)
Also requiring a spanking were:
Brett Gardner for that crappy throw home (not even close).
Nick Swisher for letting Youkilis’ ball roll to the wall.
Cano for settling for a single when he might have had a double.
Jorge for allowing the passed ball.
Joe Girardi for not pulling CC when he was clearly out of gas.
The Yankees for not carrying another lefty (can you say Boone Logan!).
And then there was Steven Tyler singing “God Bless America.”
At first I thought we were getting a mother/daughter combo. But then “she” turned out to be “he,” and he made me appreciate even the dearly departed Kate Smith. Neil Diamond came next, and, well, I think I’ll just say that I wish him well in his future gigs at casinos and bar mitzvahs.
I’m actually glad for Monday’s off-day. I’m exhausted. As usual, Yankees-Red Sox led to compelling baseball and I was thrilled that the season had finally arrived, but we had a ripple effect from the earthquake in Baja before the game started. No damage here, just a few seconds of rolling, which unnerved me and made me and my neighbors feel kind of seasick.