Tagged: Pedro Martinez
Getting Up For Josh Beckett
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.
OK, So We Got The First “L” Out Of The Way
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.
Presenting The 2009 She-Fan Awards, Part 2
Last night, I handed out the symbolic gold fan to the recipient of the first She-Fan Award, which recognizes a person or persons who contributed to the Yankees winning their 27th World Championship. Yankees players and coaches are ineligible, but beyond that? Anything goes. Congratulations once again to Dr. Marc Phillipon, the winner of the 2009 She-Fan Award for Best Surgeon.
And now, I’d like to move on to the award for the member of an opposing playoff team who most helped the Yankees take home the championship trophy. This award spotlights a player from the Twins, Angels or Phillies who, through bad luck, nerves, a flu bug or just plain ineptitude, gave the Yanks an opportunity to win a playoff baseball game.
The nominees for Best Enemy are…
– Joe Nathan, Minnesota Twins
Nathan came in to relieve in the ninth inning of Game 2 of the ALDS and served up a tying homer to A-Rod to send the game into extras.
– Jose Mijares, Minnesota Twins
Mijares surrendered the walk-off homer to Tex in the 11th inning of Game 2 of the ALDS. The Yankees ended up winning that one 4-3 and took a 2-0 lead in the series.
– John Lackey, Los Angeles Angels
In Game 1 of the ALCS, Big John walked Melky twice. The second time he threw the ball away for an error on a botched pickoff move at first.
– Chone Figgins and Erick Aybar, Los Angeles Angels
Yes, it was cold at Yankee Stadium in Game 1 of the ALCS, and Aybar was wearing an Elmer Fudd cap with ear flaps. But he and Figgy let Matsui’s bloop “single” drop between them to put the Yanks up 2-0 in the game.
– Brian Fuentes, Los Angeles Angels
In Game 2 of the ALCS, the Angels’ closer gave up a homer to A-Rod in the bottom of the 11th inning to tie the score at 3-3 and turn the game into an epic battle.
– Maicer Izturis, Los Angeles Angels
The above game ended in pie for the Yankees in the bottom of the 13th when Melky grounded to Izturis, who threw wildly to first and allowed Hairston to score the winning run from second base. The game took 5 hours and 10 minutes and was an instant classic.
– Scott Kazmir, Los Angeles Angels
The lefty not only surrendered four runs in four innings in his start in Game 4 of the ALCS, but while relieving in the eighth inning of Game 6 he committed a throwing error on Melky’s attempted sacrifice, allowing Cano to score and put the Yanks up 4-2.
– Brad Lidge, Philadelphia Phillies
Lidge came in to relieve in the ninth inning of Game 4 with the score tied at 4-4. He lost a nine-pitch at bat when Damon singled and famously stole second and third. He hit Tex with a pitch, and allowed a double to A-Rod and a single to Posada. (No, he wasn’t as sharp as last year.) The Yanks held on to win 7-4.
– Ryan Howard, Philadelphia Phillies
Howard struck out 13 times in the series. Enough said.
– Pedro Martinez, Philadelphia Phillies
Pedro not only gave up a homer to Matsui in Game 2 of the World Series, but he served up another one to Godzilla in Game 6, as well as a two-RBI single. Matsui was definitely Pedro’s daddy.
(Note: I’m not including base-running blunders by Nick Punto, Carlos Gomez, Bobby Abreu, etc. I had to stop somewhere.)
So now, without further ado, the winner of the 2009 She-Fan Award for Best Enemy goes to….
***** Brad Lidge *****
While Pedro Martinez was certainly the sentimental favorite and the duo of Figgins/Aybar sent a message that the Angels were mistake-prone, it was Lidge’s meltdown that allowed the Yanks to take a 3-1 World Series lead on the road and enabled them to close out the series at home in Game 6. Congratulations, Mr. Lidge. Enjoy your award.
P.S. Just wanted to pay my respects to Yankees legend Tommy Henrich. He passed away today at the age of 96. Rest in peace, “old reliable.”