The kid pitched like he’s been in the majors for much longer than a week, didn’t he? I was really impressed with how he handled the White Sox today. And thanks to the good news about Pettitte’s latest bullpen session, I’m starting to feel better about the rotation. Well, a little better. We didn’t get much offense going after yesterday’s bat fest, but Thames kept on bashing the ball and Cervelli had a welcome burst of production. Even without Tex and A-Rod in the lineup, this team managed to eek out the series anyway. Clap clap clap for that.
Back to Nova, I’m wondering if the Yankees have “Nova Rules” in place, like they did for Joba and do for Huuughes, and if so what they are. Here are my guesses:
#1) Nova can’t stay out later than midnight.
#2) Nova must avoid alcoholic beverages, strip clubs and other paths of ruination.
#3) Nova has a calories limit, but the exact number isn’t being announced.
#4) Nova can watch television, but only “Yankeeographies” and ABC Family.
#5) Nova may not inject himself or anyone else with B-12 shots but is permitted to squirt people with this.
Sure, I would have preferred that CC had his best stuff tonight. I would have liked it if the bullpen hadn’t turned the game into an adventure, too. But the bats were flying in the Windy City.
How cool was it to see Nunez hit his first major league homer and then knock in four RBIs total? And Thames continues to batter lefties and Swisher loves showing off for his old team/manager and Posada keeps on proving he’s still the best offensive catcher around. What a turnaround from last night’s fiasco. Naturally, there had to be another injury though. Tex’s thumb? I mean, come on. It better be just a busted nail or something.
Anyhow, this was a huge win to keep us tied with the Rays, and it’ll be up to young Ivan Nova to reassure me that our starting rotation isn’t completely messed up.
Speaking of young, I spent the afternoon at my mother’s where “family day” included my little great-nephew Evan. He marched in wearing his Yankees backpack and proceeded to entertain everybody with his antics. Only when I asked him to talk about the Yanks on the She-Fan Cam did he get a little shy…like for a second.
Last night I posted that A.J. would throw a no-hitter. I was trying to be positive. I failed. Instead of a no-hitter, he threw a no-outer, as in he couldn’t last more than the blink of an eye before giving up nine runs. I didn’t see the game. I was enjoying myself at a friend’s house, having dinner and talking about things other than baseball. It was about halfway into the grilled lamb and roasted potatoes that I got up to check my phone and saw the score. I’m lucky I kept my food down.
What is there to say about the state of the Yankees’ starting rotation? It’s a mess. I don’t want to think about it, so I’m going to bed hoping I don’t have nightmares about Cashman going in search of Sidney Ponson, Chase Wright and other rejects.
With way too much time on my hands this off-day, I let my mind drift. That’s what vacations are for, right? Anyhow, I started to imagine all the excellent things that could happen during Friday night’s series opener against the White Sox. Here are a few.
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.
As I’ve made clear on this blog many times, I’ve always thought this Yankee was God.
In fact, whenever he saves a game, as he did in tonight’s 6-4 win over the White Sox, I usually picture him this way.
But now along comes Ozzie Guillen, who spoke after the game in glowing terms of the Yankees captain, according to this MLB article. He said of Jeter:
“He is God.”
And Ozzie isn’t wrong. Jeet did have four RBIs, including a homer and a triple, and broke his tie with Junior Griffey for the most hits among active players. Not too shabby. But is he God and not Mo? Here’s more of what Ozzie said about Derek:
“The guy always has good-looking women around him too. I mean, God bless him.”
Now wait a second. How can Jeter be God if God is blessing him? I’m very confused. But here’s what I’m perfectly clear about — tonight’s win was a beautiful thing. Andy didn’t have it, but he didn’t fall apart either, and Aceves, Marte, Joba and Mo did the rest. Winning teams are all about somebody stepping up when needed. Tonight, we had several somebodys…and at least two Gods.
Such a busy day for me before the Yankees even got to the East Room.
Just kidding. I don’t have a purple cardigan sweater with buttons like that, although I do have a pinstriped shirt (well, a pinstriped jersey). Anyhow, I know the Yanks have been to the White House several times, but it never gets old. I was teary eyed throughout the whole ceremony this afternoon. How could I not be when the event provided moments like this, where the President got to shake the hand of God?
* Where was Hank Steinbrenner?
* Why was Phil Hughes the only one wearing a gray suit?
* Who were all those people chanting “Hip Hip Jorge?”
* Why were Marte, Cano and Cervelli chewing gum?
* How many times did Obama mention the White Sox?/Don’t we already know he’s their #1 fan?/Did he burn the Yankees jersey right after everybody left?
* Did A-Rod feel uncomfortable meeting Obama, after the Prez called the revelations about his PED use “depressing” last February?
* Why did John Sterling get to stand right smack in the middle of the players?
* Couldn’t Biden have been allowed to say something nice about the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees?
* If the Yankees win again this year will they let bloggers go to the White House next year?
* How jealous am I of this kid?
There was no TV coverage of Yankees-Tigers in Lakeland, but by all accounts Grandy’s over-the-shoulder grab of Miguel “I’d rather party with the White Sox” Cabrera’s deep fly ball to center was sensational. Maybe they’ll show highlights tonight, but in the meantime I went browsing for what many consider to be the greatest circus catch of all time – and found it.
With any luck, Granderson will treat Yankee fans to a lot more heroics. He was great at the plate today too – two singles and a walk. Maybe the Yanks should play the Tigers every day. Well, unless Joba is pitching. Yeah, he’s “working on things.” It’s spring training. Time to try new pitches, tinker with mechanics, not worry about the stats. I get it. But six runs over 2+ innings? Now that I’ve become a convert and decided he should be in the pen, why not just put him there and get it over with?
I also would have liked to have seen Damon in a Tigers uni, but he didn’t play because of a problem with his toe.
And I missed getting a glimpse of Phil Coke’s new look. Apparently, he has gone from this…
Yeah, I know. That’s Jayson Werth. I couldn’t find a shot of Coke with all his facial hair. One of these days…
Congrats to Tex for hitting his first homer of 2010. May there be many more to come, preferably during the season opener at Fenway.
What a job by the Melkman to knock in a single, double, triple and homer – the first Yankee in 14 years to do it. Talk about taking advantage of his chance to play everyday.
Congratulations to him and to the Yankees for salvaging the series in Chicago with an 8-5 win. What a relief to stop that frustrating three-game slide, although I had a feeling we’d get to Buehrle. Perfectos are a beautiful thing, but they come around about as often as these.
CC wasn’t a whole lot better, but he was good enough to keep the game close and allow Hughes and Mo to work their magic.
A few words about Yankees newbie Jerry Hairston, Jr. He was impressive! He made some nice plays at third, had an infield single, and laid down a terrific bunt that moved Melky to third so he could eventually come home with the tying run. All hail Hairston….
…who looks a little like Mario Lopez.
OK, maybe not. Hairston’s eyebrows are bushier, for one thing. They’re practically the size of his.
So now it’s on to Toronto for the Yanks and a well-deserved day off. How will they spend it? My suggestion? They should find a theater near their hotel and go see “Funny People,” the new Judd Apatow movie starring Adam Sandler and Seth Rogen. I saw it today and loved it. Granted, I have the sense of humor of a 15-year-old boy, but even the old ladies sitting in front of me were laughing. If the Yankees would see it, they’d lighten up and forget all about having to face Roy Halladay on Tuesday. Here’s the trailer.
There it is: U.S. Cellular Field. It looks benign, doesn’t it? Even beautiful? But don’t be fooled. There are demons lurking in that ballpark, and they’ve sucked all the life out of the Yankees.
They attacked AJ Burnett in the second inning of today’s 14-4 horror show. How else to explain how a guy who’d been pitching brilliantly and become the ace of the staff had a complete and total meltdown in the inning, giving up five singles and a double and walking Nix, the #9 batter, with the bases loaded? No wonder he looked like this when he got back to the dugout.
He was drained of all his blood, and if you zoom in closely you can see the two bite marks on his neck.
Somehow he survived into the fifth inning, but he walked Nix again with the bases loaded for another run to make it 7-2 White Sox. I’m sorry, but that’s just not normal. By the time he was pulled for Bruney, he had taken on a pretty demonic look of his own.
Bruney kept the demons at bay until the seventh, when he, too, fell prey to them and walked Nix. It was hair-raising.
Coke came on for the eighth to face the lefty batters, but he went utterly batty himself.
Creepy? I’ll say. He allowed six runs and – you guessed it – he walked Nix (it was intentional, but still). Why Girardi was using Coke in a blowout made me wonder if Joe himself had been seized by demons.
Actually, I wondered about him right from the get-go. I mean, the lineup was nothing if not bizarre. I understand all the lefty-righty stuff, but Cody Ransom at first? Didn’t the Yankees get Jerry Hairston for his versatility? Or how about sticking Swisher at first and using Hinske in the outfield? Or what about not giving both Damon and Matsui the day off, even though they’re lefties; they’re also two professional hitters who know what to do at the plate. But the most confounding move of all was not using any of these players to pinch-hit for Ransom in the fifth or in the eighth when the Yanks were still down by only four runs and could have made it a ball game? Bad managing or another blood sucker on the loose at U.S. Cellular Field?
Everything about this game seemed tainted, poisoned. Jeter botched a routine grounder and Swisher and Hairston both made bad throws from the outfield, and Jorge couldn’t nail anybody stealing. And then there was the hitting – or lack of it. Whenever the Yanks would get runners on base, they were paralyzed by some unseen force and struck dumb and dumber.
I think the ultimate proof that the Yankees were attacked by demons today was the way they went down 1-2-3 in the ninth to this man.
Wouldn’t you be scared to death too?
But now that the horror is over for today, the question is whether there will be fresh hell tomorrow. The Yanks will send CC to the mound against Mark “Perfecto” Buerhle. Can they gather themselves and salvage the final game in this series? Or will this be another lost weekend, like the one in Anaheim, when everything that can go wrong will?
I hope the team has a closed door meeting before the game – to get everybody on the same page and to keep any further demons from intruding on the good times.