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.
On the eve of the All Star break, I thought it was the perfect time to assess the state of the Yankees Universe and discuss what needs to be done to insure a successful second half. Here goes…
“With the best record in baseball, the Yankees are already on a pace to win it all – again.”
“Our starting rotation is strong, Cliff Lee or no Cliff Lee.”
“The Captain is perking up at the plate. He just has to stop swinging at first pitches.”
“Swisher is a better #2 than Nick Johnson ever would have been.”
“Tex is finally heating up – for real – and his defense has been outstanding.”
“A-Rod keeps knocking in runs. And HR #600 will quickly lead to #601, #602, #603, etc.”
“Is there really anything Robinson Cano can’t do this season?”
“Having Posada healthy means that Cervelli can go back to being a good backup.”
“Granderson has been somewhat disappointing so far at the plate. More productivity would go a long way toward making people stop wishing AJax would suddenly re-appear.”
“Marcus Thames isn’t useless after all. It turns out he’s a decent DH/pinch hitter.”
“Brett Gardner is the most exciting Yankee in years. He has to keep getting on base though.”
“Mo is Mo – a precious asset never to be taken for granted.”
“Dave Robertson has pitched better lately, but more consistency would be helpful.”
“Chan Ho Park is OK for one inning maybe – but that is all.”
“Damaso Marte doesn’t scare me as much as he did early in the season.”
“Joba….Well, if Joe keeps running him out there in the 8th I’ll need a defibrillator. He must be fixed or I won’t make it through the rest of the season.”
“Chad Gaudin is not Alfredo Aceves. Alfredo Aceves is no longer Alfredo Aceves. Therefore, we need a better long man.”
“We need another reliable arm out of the pen, period – someone not named Jonathan Albaladejo.”
“We need a bat off the bench. I love Ramiro Pena and Colin Curtis, but are they the players I want to see pinch hitting in a big game? Nah.”
“We need better communication between the Yankees and the media when it comes to player injuries. No more ‘Yes, he’s hurt. No, he’s not hurt.’ Just tell us.”
“It’s not necessary to have the grounds crew dance to ‘YMCA’ anymore. It really isn’t.”
“Where’s Hank Steinbrenner? And why isn’t he firing off Steinbrennerisms this year?”
“Why can’t YES re-hire David Cone and phase out John ‘the Snooze’ Flaherty?”
“We need to keep Dave Eiland from ever leaving the team again.”
“And finally, there should be more Yankees merchandise for she-fans – from Yankees lipstick to Yankees nail polish (the same color Jorge wears) and especially Yankees hair products. I mean, who wouldn’t want pinstriped hair?”
That concludes my address. God Bless America and God Bless the New York Yankees.
For the second day in a row, a Jays outfielder lost a ball in the sun and the Yankees benefitted in a big way. The official scorer ruled that Gardner’s shot to center that deflected off Wise’s glove was an inside-the-park homer, which didn’t make sense but was fine with me. What really cheered me was that we tied the score at 5-5 on a day when Huuuughes didn’t have it. Whew.
I had a feeling we’d win this one, despite the roller-coaster nature of it. Even after three Yankees were thrown out at the plate, even after Mo blew the save (I hate typing those words), even after Dave Robertson gave up a hit and two walks, I sensed victory. What I didn’t expect was that the hero would be Marcus Thames, literally fresh off the DL.
The Yankees haven’t had a lot of walkoffs this season, but Thames has seen his share of shaving cream. Don’t you love the pleasure A.J. seems to take in smearing his victims?
What I don’t love is that Posada got hurt again. I don’t remember a season when so many players either fouled a ball off their feet/legs or catchers got nailed in the hand/fingers. All I can say is get well soon, Jorge, because we already DFA-ed Chad Moeller.
P.S. Here are a couple of photos from today’s game, sent to me by Friend of the Blog John, also known as ooaooa. First up is John, his wife, his cousin and Michael Kay. Second one is a shot of the championship trophies that were on display in honor of Steinbrenner’s birthday. If anyone else is at a game and wants to contribute pics, by all means send them along.
Sure, he makes the flashy plays and is, of course, The Captain. And yes, there are all the records he’s broken. But it’s become almost a cliche to worship Jetah – even opposing teams like and admire him – so I often forget how versatile he is. In today’s drubbing of the Astros (I do love the word “drubbing,” as long as it’s not the Yankees that are being “drubbed”), Jeter’s leadoff homer ignited the offense and his second shot in the sixth put the Astros away for good. It’s pretty sweet to have that kind of power coming from your #1 guy in the lineup, especially with A-Rod on the shelf.
Speaking of injuries, now Thames is out again with a hammy? And I counted at least three players who fouled balls off their feet today. Ouwww. But Posada’s foot looked pretty good on that grand slam. And how about Javy? Seven solid innings. Can’t ask for more. Now if everybody would just get healthy at the same time, there’d be no stopping the Yankees – which means No…More…Trips…To…The…MRI…Tube!
So much for A.J. turning in a dazzling performance tonight. He was all over the place and the Rays capitalized. And if he’d been able to hang on a little longer, we wouldn’t have had to witness more of the mediocrity that is Boone Logan, followed by the sadly not-ready-for-prime-time Mark Melancon. Yuck. Just yuck.
Aside from A-Rod, who added to his career home run total and seems to be on base every night, and Cano, who was four-for-four and shows no signs of cooling off, the offense was as dead as my phone when the battery conks out. Jeter got a hit, but still. He’s not acting Jeterian. And Tex. Dude, you were allowed to be AWOL in April, because we all know that’s not your month, but how about turning it on already?
But the real problem tonight had to do with the fact that OUR PLAYERS ARE DISAPPEARING! It wasn’t bad enough that, going into this game, we were down
and were, therefore, forced to continue using Thames and Winn in the outfield and at the bottom of the order – players who were never intended to be more than bench jockeys? Now Thames trips over his own bat and sprains his ankle? Really?
And Pena – our utility infielder and only remaining bench guy – has to play right field in place of Thames? Scary. But scarier still was the news that Posada’s “sore foot” is actually BROKEN. Well, okay, so it’s a hairline fracture, not a complete break, but it sounds bad to me. I mean, here’s what I’d look like if my hairline were fractured.
The point is we need bodies. Healthy bodies. If I were Brian Cashman, I’d raid other teams or start trolling for talent in the farm system – the younger the better.
How many Yankees does it take to screw up a ball game? (No, this isn’t a joke.) Can’t guess? OK, here’s the answer: seven. Actually, there were probably more than seven who contributed to the Yanks’ 7-6 defeat at the hands of the Red Sox, but the following seven stood out for me in what was a truly torturous game to watch. So what if Girardi played it “under protest” because Beckett was taken out for an injury, not a….Oh, never mind. It’s irrelevant. What matters is we let the Sox back into a game for the second night in a row. Herewith are my screw-up seven…
Last night’s hero was tonight’s clown. His “basket catch” of Scutero’s fly ball in the ninth inning was brutal.
After CC went seven heroic innings on a cold, rainy, windy night, Joba was supposed to preserve our 5-1 lead. End of story. Instead? Four runs (three earned) and a chorus of boos. Suddenly, it’s 5-5. Not nice.
His throwing error kicked off Joba’s shoddy inning. He was on base several times and made a terrific play earlier in the game, but I have to include him if I’m naming names.
With Jeter and Gardner on base in the bottom of the eighth, the Yanks had a chance to come roaring back with some runs of their own. Nope. Bard K’d Tex and that was that. Poor at bat.
He can’t hit except for the occasional surprise ground ball that finds a hole. There. I said it. When he stepped in with two outs in the ninth, our last hope, I kept saying, “Why isn’t Swisher or Posada pinch hitting?” Winn struck out to end the game. Boo.
We need runs and you’re bunting? Why give up an out?
This one hurts. I hate putting his name on this list. But fair is fair. He was victimized by Thames’ error in the ninth, as well as a ridiculous strike zone, plus a trio of outfielders who were playing so shallow they could all have been catchers, but he allowed Hermida’s tie-breaking double. He did. And he got the loss.
But here’s what really worries me. The game was delayed by rain and lasted over four hours – the longest nine-inning game in the majors this season (Joe West must be furious). And now the boys have to bounce back against the Rays tomorrow. I hope they sleep well, I really do. I’m not sure I will.
I’m serious. I mean, how is a fan supposed to deal with up innings and down innings and pitchers who can’t pitch, followed by miraculous bottom-of-the-ninth home runs? How? All I know is this:
* My heart soared when the Yankees went up 5-0 in the first inning off Dice K. I figured, “Wow. We’re gonna crush them.”
* My heart sank when Hughes made it clear he wasn’t as sharp, aggressive or efficient as he’s been and allowed the Sox to climb back in it in the fifth.
* My heart soared again when Thames’s RBI gave us seven runs. Shouldn’t seven runs be enough to win a ball game?
* My heart sank again when Chan Ho Park was forced to come back for the eighth (having literally just been activated) and gave up not one but two shots.
* My heart soared again when Vazquez, the forgotten pitcher, got Youkilis to strike out to end the top of the ninth. The crowd was cheering for him instead of booing him! Sweet!
* My heart jumped into my throat when A-Rod hit Papelbumkin’s first pitch into the seats to tie it up. It was clearly not the Irish jigger’s night, but A-Rod has been nothing but clutch.
* And my heart swelled as I watched Thames – Thames! – win it with his own two-run blast. Obviously, he’s well liked in the clubhouse because the players couldn’t wait to hug the guy and show him some love. And yes, I teared up, even when I watched the replay about 16 times, pie and all.
So you see why I said this game almost killed me. I just hope it didn’t kill any of the Yankees. If I wake up tomorrow and find out that Cervelli is our latest casualty because he got hit on the arm, I’ll be very unhappy. He and Gardner are about the most exciting Yankees in years.
Theirs was sterling.
Ours was highly breakable.
And that was basically the story of tonight’s loss. A.J. looked fine in the first couple of innings, but then he did his traditional Fenway Fall-Apart routine after having pitched great so far this season. Homers by Swisher and A-Rod (congrats to Al on tying Frank Robinson) were about all the offense the Yanks could muster against Lester. What else is there to say about the game? Oh, I guess I could rag on Marcus Thames for his adventurousness in left field – and for arguing the strike zone so vociferously that Girardi had to come out to defend him and then got tossed. And I suppose I could question why A-Rod and Jeter were pulled for the scrubs early; I was surprised we threw in the towel.
Mostly, I’m just happy the Yankees won yet another series. Yes, I would have loved a sweep so that I’d been able to use the shot Melissa emailed me earlier in the day. Well, what the heck. No point in it going to waste, so here it is.
What to make of A.J.’s aversion to Fenway? I can’t say I blame him. I wouldn’t want to pitch there either. But that’s his job and he needs to figure out how to do it. Oh, wait. No, he doesn’t. Not until October anyway.
Life was sweet on Sunday afternoon. My husband took me for a sail on the Pacific Ocean on a gorgeous California afternoon. He even let me steer the boat, which was a little crazy on his part; I have almost no sailing sense and there were seals, pelicans and other boats on either side of us.
It was really fun. The best part? While he was tacking or coming about or whatever sailors call it when they change direction, I whipped out my iPhone just in time to hear John Sterling say the Yankees were up 12-0. I stood up in the boat and yelled, “Woohoo!” No, it didn’t tip over and nobody got hurt. And yes, Melancon gave up the three-run homer about two seconds later, but who cared; I got the birthday present I asked for.
Apparently, I wasn’t the only one celebrating. What a day for Gardner and Swisher. Cano too. And Tex – wow. Even Nick Johnson woke up, and Thames made a web gem-worthy catch. I watched a replay of the game after I got home and saw it all – including, of course, the spectacular performance by Hughes. Number five pitcher? No way. So confident. Such command. And he kept the pressure on the White Sox, even though his offense gave him one of these.
(The cushion, not the kid.)
I’m concerned that Granderson will be out for awhile, that A-Rod may or may not have a sore knee and that the bullpen needs some tweaking, never mind Vazquez. But the good news is that the 2010 version of the Yankees is reminding me of the 2009 version — i.e. when somebody goes down, somebody else steps up. The only thing we’re missing so far is this.
No walk-off hero yet. But it’s still early. And speaking of food, my birthday involved a really good dinner at one of Santa Barbara’s most scenic restaurants, the Boathouse.
This place isn’t just near the beach. It’s on it. Take a look at the view from our table, about a half hour before sunset.
Thanks to all for the lovely birthday wishes — here and on Twitter and Facebook. They were much appreciated. Back to business on Monday. The O’s have to be feeling pretty good about themselves after their sweep of the Red Sox. It’ll be up to CC to squash their hopes and dreams — and to the hitters to stay out of Jeremy Guthrie’s way. If I were facing Guthrie, I’d step up to the plate wearing this.
It’s my birthday tomorrow (Sunday, May 2nd), so I’ll be taking the day off from blogging, tweeting and watching/listening to the finale against the White Sox. While I’m out celebrating, here’s what I’d like to happen on your end.
* Heal Curtis Granderson’s groin. (Chan Ho Park’s hammy too.)
* Insist that Kevin Long fix Nick Johnson’s swing.
* Make Dave Eiland figure out what’s wrong with Robertson, Marte and, yes, Vazquez. (More on him in a sec.)
* Give Sergio Mitre a raise.
* Let A-Rod know that no one will mind if he passes Frank Robinson on the home run list.
* Remind Cano that April streaks are nice, but it’s good to hit in May too.
* Congratulate Swisher for busting out of his Yankee Stadium slump.
* If you must call up Melancon, tell him not to plunk anybody.
* Instead of using Thames/Winn in left, how about calling up Jon Weber or Colin Curtis.
* Tell Javy I didn’t boo him today. Well, not out loud. Sure, I want him to pitch better, but it’s not as if he’s screwing up on purpose. So tell him I support him…for now.
* Please win on my birthday. You hardly ever do, but try.
Love and xxoo, She-Fan
P.S. I got birthday flowers from Mike Fierman, Friend of the Blog and all-around great guy. Take a look!
P.P.S. I also got a cake from Melissa!!!