The Yanks win by a hair, thanks to some clutch plays from Beltran (a homerun), Nova (outstanding outing), Sneach (who sneached a ball out of the air when Ortiz hit a long shot and did a premature obnoxious pause at the plate), and Cervelli (who SuperMario'd to first and drove in what ended up being the winning run).
Farrell got thrown out for breaking the rules when he argued the replay ruling. I mean, c'mon guy, everyone knows this.
Jacoby made a great, albeit possibly unnecessarily embellished, catch to end the game. Shawn Kelley struck out Carp with bases loaded to end the 8th, and Girardi made more walks to the field mid-inning to check out hurt players.
Even the announcers were like, "Yeah, how many times do you think Joe's done that in the last few years?"
And then, "Now he's just gotta hope that McCann stays unhurt, since he's down to 1 catcher."
Cut to a few innings later when McCann gets a zinger in the hand, probably broke it, who knows.
The announcers then something along the lines of "And unbeknownst to Dean Anna, he's the emergency backup catcher."
Ha! Is this like a surprise clause in his contract? Like "Heretoforth signer agrees to an undisclosed clause of emergency situation nature e pluribus habeas corpus mens rea etc ad nauseum. Fin."
I would have loved to see a "DEAR ANNA! THROW ON SOME GEAR AND GET BEHIND THE PLATE AND DON'T ARGUE BECAUSE YOU'RE THE EMERGENCY CATCHER EVEN IF IT UNBEKNOWNST TO YOU BECAUSE LISTEN UP BUDDY, IT'S NOW OFFICIALLY KNOWNST."
That didn't happen though.
So, the boys pull out a W and get the day off tomorrow, and I hope they use it productively, ie doing trust exercises and ice breakers and other assorted games of "getting-to-know-you" ilk.
Because as funny as it is in movies to watch a group of unrelated misfits band together to overcome the odds and realize the sum is greater than the parts or whatever...I'm not on board unless I see a montage.
The whole game was sort of like watching a movie or something. Or a Central Park softball game.
|John Lackey/Gomer Pyle/Terrifying|
Unless I said something like "It's nice that the Yankees got rid of his lazy ass." But that doesn't sound like a sentence I'd say, so I'm sticking with my original claim.
The Yankees went old school and won with the long ball. 5 bombs--2 from McCann, the rest from Beltran, A-So, and Kelly Johnson.
(Kelly Johnson can now be added to the list of players whose name is for some reason always said using both first and last names.)
Only one Sock went yard, and it just really wasn't their day.
Farrell tried to overturn a call in the 8th, and I'm sorry, but when I was trying to wrap my head around the whole instant replay thing, I thought you weren't allowed to use a challenge after the 6th inning?
Don't you lose your challenge in the 7th inning? I'm almost positive that's what I read somewhere.
Or they remembered that there was no challenging after the 6th?
Whatever, it was a good day for the Yanks. The only real glitches were A-So dropping an easy one in the first play that came his way. Also, I hate to stay this, but I wish there was a little more team chemistry. I never understood when in business it's cited as a bad thing to not have team chemistry. I get that it's desirable, but if the work's getting done right, who cares?
But now I get it. Sort of. I'd rather have the Yankees even if they don't really know all the names of their teammates yet, than have the Red Socks who equate idiotic irreverance with victory.
Tomorrow, the Yanks pit Nova against Felix, and based on their performance so far this year, it could be a little like watching a WNBA game..
Lester pitched really well, sadly, and doubly sadly because I look at the kind of Red Sock he's become, and it's like a Lifetime movie plot about a guy who just goes down the wrong path and he thinks he's got it allll under control but everyone is noticing something's amiss.
I don't remember the original Lester version having such a hair-trigger temper. This guy was like a Lester/Papelbon freak/Lackey.
Argh. So, the two much hyped aces battle it out, and it looked like a quiet iteration of your standard Yankee-Boston fare. Pitcher's duel, which I love but yet also hate because once the whole thrill of an exciting game wears off, I'm left with the stark realization that my team barely eeked out AH run. Let alone many runs to necessiate an entire rack.
Then A-So hits a homerun, and don't get me wrong, I like anyone who takes a Boston pitcher deep (pause?) but I weirdly have some inexplicable residual disgruntled-ness over his early refusal to get on base. I'm turning into my parents, I swear.
Who never seem to age at all, who still look 30 years younger than they are, but what they preserved in youthful appearance the make up for in lost interest in supporting data. ("Well, I saw Cathy doing her laundry today, and I think she's in over her head." "Like...in life or in laundry?" "Um...both. Life, mostly. And laundry.")
I digress, of course, A-So hits a great shot and it's a nice 1-0 game for a little bit until Jonny Gomes goes deep to tie it up, and Round Boy was mad at himself.
He even cursed into his glove between innings, which was a notable step above the stations muting "F%&!" but not blurring out the very defined slow motion mouth gyrations.
Thank you for being considerate even in your hour of frustration, Big Guy.
Lester wasn't as classy. But he was better. Very similar outings from the 2 starters, the stats were nearly identical except an impressive 9Ks for Lard, vs 6 for Lester. Oh, yeah. And there was a homerun discrepancies. 2 vs 1. This is why stats are useless, yeah?
Because that 9Ks make our boy look like a stud, but the only number worth reading in the line score is the HR box. Because that second one to Sizemore broke us.
3-run bomb. 4-1. Yanks started to answer with a mini-rally (a "baby mouse bite" rally, as my youngest sister would say). Kelly Johnson looked terrified batting with 2 outs and 2 men on. Like, big time terrified, a la that scene in "Rookie of the Year" when the kid is batting for the first time ever.
The Socks make it out of the game without further incident, and SPEAKING of no incidents, I'd like to go on record saying that I think Girardi is acting like a weirdo.
When Tubbo was clearly laboring big time in the 6th inning (and starting to show signs in the 5th, I think), Girardi watched. And watched, and watched. Until the no-spring-chicken pitcher went a good amount beyond the 100 mark.
WHY? Because you're trying to preserve your money bullpen? Who the hell are Cabral, Warren, and Betances that you can't take out your work horse?
The relievers did well, but the damage had already been done. Girardi also had Yangervis throwing down a bunt to lead off, a guy whose batting average looks more like an SAT score.
Sneach is mysteriously in and out of the lineup, even though you should always put him in, ALWAYS, if for no other reason than to facilitate the inevitable moment when Sneach reveals he's not human, by rounding the bases without ever touching the dirt.
GGBG is the pinch hitter with 2 outs in the 9th.
And Brian Roberts, who's batting an anemic .150 or something, remains in play. He is aggressively mediocre.
But apparently so is the rest of the league. As my dad said, "I saw the Yankees were in first..."
Me: "YEAH! Cool, right??"
Dad: "Well, I think everyone's in first, though."
He's right, as usual.
Now let's hope that Girardi snaps out of whatever bizarro delirium he's in. He's managing his team like he's a substitute teacher or something.
(It should be noted that what I know about managing a professional baseball team is based on a resume that boasts approximately zero percent experience in this field. I usually give the dude the benefit of the doubt for this very reason, but I'm now going based on his glassy, vacant stare.)
In fairness, I probably wouldn't like it very much if Girardi started saying shit like "Oh c'MON, Kris! Jesus, what's wrong with this girl? Everyone knows that you gotta make the headline big and you gotta make it red if anyone's gonna pay attention to it! These are poor copywriting decisions that I feel comfortable enough to unequivocally criticize."
Lackey faces off against Kuroda on Saturday, and I'm really looking forward to watching the game on the couch and passing out in the 2nd or 3rd inning and waking up an inning and a half later, with drool dried on my cheek and the afternoon sun coming in the window, and seeing the Yankees have taken a 7-run lead.
Woot woot! Yanks take the first of the series with the BIGGEST RIVAL IN THE HISTORY OF SPORTS, thanks to an absolutely sterling performance from Michael Pineda. Is it weird his first name is Michael and not Miguel? Yes. Yes, I think it is. That's a totally normal, not offensive comment, seriously.
Well, I guess it depends on who you ask. And I mean that in reference to the "sterling performance" comment, since from where I was sitting, it looked pretty badass. From the visitors' dugout, on the other hand, it look pretty "dark."
"Not Miguel" has pine tar on his hand. Or dirt. Or a fundamental demonstration of the shadow and light principles. Or sweat with dirt. I can't really tell. The old pine tar accusation gag, eh. Ha. Red Socks will do anything, ANYTHING I tell you, to win the Who Can Pantomime the Yankees Best? Contest.
Well, nothing really came of the pine tar shit, as far as I can tell, which means ESPN will probably escalate it to cinematic proportions, because how else can a pitcher have a good outing? I mean, just look at this schmuck who spent his career completely irrelevant and then magically has a good outing?
In the aggressive campaign to completely ruin the game of baseball, the
ESPN ESPublicRelations are just doing their part, because it's not fair for the instant replay and plate collision rules to do ALL the heavy lifting.
Anyways, the Yankees prevailed despite Not Miguel's insidious crime, not BECAUSE of it. Of course. The Yanks' bullpen didn't implode, which was cute--thank you Cesar Cabral and Phelps. Tomorrow we may hear that John Farrell played the game under protest after accusing the relievers of zapping magic spells on the baseballs.
See, Farrell never even brought up the pine tar. It's basically ESPN being like the bitchy Trouble-Stirrer-Upper in high school who says shit like, "I mean, I don't know if I should say anything, but Tommy looked a little TOO friendly with Kelly last night."
In actual baseball performance news, Nava hit a homerun for the Bean Team, which meant the announcers fell over themselves to relay the apropos stat about Nava being only 1 of 2 players ever to hit a grand slam on his first pitch in the majors ever. Not for nothing, but that IS a pretty ridiculous stat. Even more ridiculous is the fact it's happened more than once.
Continuing along the lines of being magnanimous in victory, I'll give credit again to the Red Socks for a) a couple of sick catches in the outfield and b) for Cheekbones' pitching performance. I don't know why--because his pitches are unassailably filthy--but he just doesn't scare me. You know, there's pitchers like Halladay. Or Lee. Or Darvis. At some point all those guys struck fear into my heart like the sight of Mo struck fear into the hearts of opposing fans in the 9th inning.
But Cheekbones doesn't do that. Probably because I can't get past how his bone structure could cut through glass.
HEY! UMP! LET'S GO AHEAD AND CHECK THAT SHIT OUT, YEAH?
That's it with niceties about the BIGGEST RIVAL IN THE HISTORY OF SPORTS. Did anyone think Ortiz was dangerously close to pulling a drop-your-bat-and-pause-like-an-asshole-after-going-yard move...when he hit a ground rule double? Asshole. Also, moron. Furthermore, faulty depth perception. Yeah, you heard me, Papi. Your visual acuity's so fat, when it sits around the house, it sits AROUND the house, na wuh im sayin? Yeah, me neiter.
Dear Anna hit a homerun, but unfortunately he didn't grin in wild exuberance when running around the bases. He must have a dad who told him not to celebrate in the end zone and to act like he's been there before.
Yangervis didn't have another 2934 for 2934 game, but had a broken bat shot that culminated in a pretty good play by Nava. Whatever. Sorry, I was too distracted by the weirdass move Yangervis made to like 2nd base which I guess was some kind of lefty shift? But at first I thought our neophyte just forgot what position he played (which would be understandable considering how erratic this whole musical infielders thing has been.)
Also, the Yankees won, so there. And we got your boy Jacoby, who brought in a run. A-So brought in a run, too, in a very A-So way, ie by grounding into a double play.
Fatso starts against Jon "The Red Socks were a bad influence on me. I'd look better in Pinstripes" Lester. The Yanks win. Boston doesn't do well. And their flag remains at the end of the AL East section of the Yankee Stadium façade.
This collection of words should only be seen in one place and one place only.
Tanaka was aces tonight, though, despite giving up a quick 3 runs right from the get go (which means we're at 100% with an n of 2, in the developing hypothesis that he's using the ol' Teixeira "Slow Start is Really a Pretty Money Move, Trust Me" playbook.)
He starts off a liitttttle questionable, and then he looks like a million bucks. (Which is technically an insult, I guess, to him. So, let me revise my statement to he starts out looking like a million bucks and then settles down and starts dealing.)
10 Ks from the Japanese guy is impressive. The O's starter is the type of pitcher that most teams salivate over. And when I say "salivate over," I mean that in terms of batting against him. Like cartoon dogs floating in the air hooked to the smell of bacon. Gonzalez is hittable but not toooo hittable to make your overswing. He's really what me and my college housemates would term a NGB. "Nice guy/girl, but...." Eh.
That said, the Yankees aren't most other teams. In fact, they're not ANY of the other teams, as it were. They're the Yankees, so they made this pitcher look like freaking Bob Gibson or something. Except they were hitting him, but not. I don't know how the numbers in this game make sense.
Gonzalez was staked to a 3-0 lead (oh GOOOOOOD for you), and then the Yankees did that thing were they're like "You know what? Let's go ahead of just take a stab at throwing the whole 'run manufacturing' thing to the wind."
The Yankee bats sometimes like to spead their money on scratch off tickets instead of sensible toiletries for the home. That is an analogy and, as far as I know, not something the Yankees actually do.
Kelly Johnson connects for a ding, which brought his average up to a number that I think more closely reflects how I've perceived it to be. A-So drove in a run, which is befuddling but appreciated. Beltran was a stud and went like 2304 for 2304 or something. I'm not sure, but I felt like he was up every other batter, and he was "connecting on all cylinders" as the kids like to say.
Robinson Sheffield forgot to connect on the cylinders, though, and in fairness, I do believe that that particular topic is an upper level cource and hence may require a special trip.
You are still a nice peanut of a stud, Yangervis. So much so that I've waved off my ridiculously intelligent and informed baseball guru Ollie, when he told me that Yangervis Solarte is NOT > Tyler Ross. Hey all things being equal, I'm gravitating towards the weird name. Any additional info on the origin of this name and the correct pronunciation would be appreciated.
You know who isn't being relevant? Brian Roberts.
And you know who hasn't been in the line-up again? Sneach. WTF? This is like when my sis and I were in the same fantasy league, and the commissioner of the league kept offering one BS trade after another for Brandon Phillips, and after I'd turn them down, he'd be all, "What! No, seriously, Amy Smart has like a lot of keeper league value."
Anyways, so my sister offers me something like Jeter and Aramis Ramirez (this was 2008), so I give her Phillips, and she promptly benches him. SOLELY to piss of the commish. He predictably goes ape shit, and she responds by saying: "What. I think he's gotten a big head from all the attention, and I think he needs to spend a few weeks on the bench thinking about how he sees himself as a part of this franchise."
The point being (aside from the fact that this is why chicks shouldn't play fantasy) is that perhaps Girardi is doing something similar to Sneach, BECAUSE WHY ELSE WOULDNT YOU PUT THE LITTLE LOONY TUNE ELF IN???!!
Anyways, I don't want to belabor the whole Shawn Kelley screwing us out of our first walk-off chance and marching us into a disappointing game loss as well as a series loss as we head into the Boston series. I do no want to belabor this point because it's 9 games into the season, and I'm guessing that with D-Rob injured, there will be quite a few opporunities to wax cranky about life post-Mo.
Also, speaking of melodramatic: what's worse/worst? The fans running onto the field. The ridiculous amount of attention it got when I thought that was exactly what the game hopes to avoid. Or the disproportionate reaction from Adam "If I can't play like Cobb, maybe my Tom Ripley-ing of him will do the trick" Jones.
Red Sock time. Which means:
Two day games in a row? Is that normal? Yes, that's what was most notable about the 2nd home game. The fact it was another 1:05 start time. Not the drubbing the Yanks received at the hands of a team whose name is almost always uttered with the same inflection/intonation as someone who says he/she met his/her significant other online. You know what I mean, it's like this staunch loyalty mixed with a slint hint of apologetic sheepishness.
(Oh yeah, no post for the home opener because I was in attendance, and now that I'm at the ripe old age of 33, a day of drinking beer in 40 degree weather in a relatively tight ie intense game, renders me so useless that even when me and my buddies tried to extend the celebration to a bar post-game, I realized I had exactly enough energy left in me to get home, do laundry, and google "how to plant tomato seeds." And even that was an overestimate, since I never made it to the google.)
So after beating the Orioles in a tight game on Monday, I returned to work Tuesday and patched together a game-viewing experience through a variety of media, because no one likes an employee who parks herself in the kitchen and changes "Law & Order" to a Yankee game.
|Opening Day Win.|
But skipping in with your grilled cheese and getting highly invested in a day game--for whatever reason--can potentially undermine your work ethic.
Whatever, I was very much okay with getting the stoic updates from Gamecast rather than indulging in a depressing film noir showing of a dramatic shots of dejected fans.
And I can count myself lucky, since how much does it suck to go to the trouble of using a day off from work, only to witness Showalter's boys smack us around for 20 hits, seemingly every other one of those a long ball.
Nova didn't last 4 innings even, and got yanked probably later than he should have, but it's not like the bullpen did anything helpful in terms of putting a tourniquet on the run hemorrhaging. Every O got a hit AND a run--ridiculous--which is a quantity matched on by the number of apologies/explanations/self-flagellating deprecation comments that Nova stammered in the post-game.
Unfortunately, he failed to default to the best ever rationale ever given by a Yankee pitcher. Or maybe just ever given by a human being, actually.
I like this breed of TMI better than the the "sinker ball was in the zone, off day, blah blah" TMI. The only person whose little "layman's terms" pitching clinics I really enjoy are those of Al Leiter when he's in the booth.
In the land of silver lining stuff, there's Jacoby who continues to be a better-than-bad-it's-good pick-up. Like, a lot better-than-bad. I hope he doesn't feel like Adam Banks when he got traded to the slow-starting Mighty Ducks.
Then there's Robinson Sheffield who Ollie lol-ed me when I impulsively grabbed him up in fantasy after Game 2. He's putting up a bunch of Kevin Maas-esque binge stats, so at least Elias Sports Bureau is keeping busy.
|See?? Tell me you can't see where I'm coming from...|
I was actually surprised Kelly Johnson's average was as low as it was when it showed up on the Jumbotron at Monday's game. Hasn't he been the requisite John Olerud of the bunch, the put-yout-head-down-and-work-and-do-your-job-satisfactorially-if-not-spectacularly?
Beltran chipped in a ribbie, but when the entire Baltimore line-up is eating pieces of shit sinker balls for breakfast, the luke-warm stabs at run-manufacturing are kind of wasted and all.
You know, eating pieces of shit sinker balls for breakfast probably wouldn't do your stomach any favors.
Oh yeah, and speaking of luke-warm and favors (pause?), Soriano hit a home run. Fantastic. Now he's never going to f'n try to get base hits, like, ever.
And speaking of things that don't happen in ever, Super Mario played 1B today. Normal. Nope. God, please don't let Girardi start tapdancing into the Maddon Scientology School of Management. Please, no.
Anyway, Wednesday's game brings our expensive toy gun to the mound for his first Bronx debut. Not sure how forgiving the stadium's going to be if he gets TANAKA-ED AROUND. Yep, said it. Can't unsay it.
Oh, Tanaka. Welcome to American baseball.
Oh, Lauren Pollina, WELCOME TO YOUR BIRTHDAY!!!
|Me and Ldawgzo at Old Timer's Day 2005|
Yeah, there was a LOT of hype around this guy, as there generally for any pitcher whose starting salary could bankroll implementation of a small off-shore civilization.
Also, he's Japanese, so his talent is worth more because it's never been actually demonstrated in American Major League Baseball.
Also, the mysterious does-he-doesn't-he around the speaking/language barrier is an asset that is worth its weight in gold.
I'm sorry, I'm giving the kid a hard time for no reason. Except the reason that was he let up a homerun to Melky Cabrera within 3 pitches of his very first outing. Somewhere, Stephen Strausberg is exhaling a sigh of relief, as he tightens his grib a little more possessively on his "I beat the hype" trophy.
It was a veritable smorgasboard of Japanese tv shots, from the panning around the dugout to the Asian players, to the terrifyingly austere shots of the Japanese film crews and photographers. We get it. Japan loves their baseball players.
I love when the Yankees win. Which is what they did tonight in a very, very odd manner.
The Yankees overturned a call by virtue of some extremely complicated relay system between Tony Pena and Joe Girardi that I don't even remotely understand. Sneach beats out the throw to first, as Sneach is want to do, and he's called out. Girardi challenges it. And so opened a whole ginormous can of worms that I wish I never saw.
"Call Overturned" is something I should never see flashed across my tv screen in relation to a baseball game, and I say this after said overturned call realllly worked to the Yanks' favor, allowing Robinson Sheffield to hit a go-ahead double in the 3rd.
The game lasted 3:26 minutes but for some reason it felt much longer...maybe it was the creative medley of game delayers, like the fan who ran across the field, the challenges, then reviews, and of course the strange exit of Teixeira (Teixit). Ok, apparently he got hurt, but since it was right after his, like, 3rd error in as many games, I legitimately thought Girardi came out to serve Tex with an arrest warrant or something.
And Tex DID look pretty much storming off the field. No news yet on whether Tex is just being "first 3 months of the season carte blanche" Tex. Or whether we got to start getting more comfortable with Kelly Johnson at 1st.
I know that in the past few years, the Yankee line-up isn't always what we remembered it to be in the classic Yankee sense. But there was something particularly Central Park softball league-y about today's murderer's row.
Like they were the lineup you assemble when it's 4:45 and half of your team emails to say they can't come to the game, and you're scrambling to pick up enough players before 6 so you don't have to forfeit a game to a team call "McCormack's Half Pints" or something.
Especially, Jeter's esteemed back from SD: "Dear Anna."
No, I didn't mean Dean. Dear Anna. That's his name.
Seriously, when I saw the infield positions at the beginning of the game, I was basically positive that they couldn't field a team, so they called someone's girlfriend to come in and play and that's how someone named "Anna" ended up at SS.
His defense? Ehhhhhh.
He got a hit though, as did every Replacement Yankee today, except B-Rob. I continue to be impressed by this team's speed, though. Like Jacoby had 2, GGBG had 1, and B-Rob threw on another. And I'm pretty sure Kelly Johnson randomly posted a triple today. Just for fun.
Robinson Sheffield had another ridic day, going 2 for 5 with 2 doubles, and 3 ribbies, and a lot of smiling, and stellar fielding. He looks and plays like a kid who will play as absolutely hard as he can because he knows how lucky he is to be here.
And that's straight up Mom-genes talking, as I can now cite April 5, 2014 as the day I first started doing my Mom's thing of inventing stories about complete strangers and passing them off as hush-hush fact.
In terms of the pitching, Tanaka gets up through 7 innings, with 8Ks, and only 3 runs (2 earned), and I gotta say, I was not as impressed as I guess I was prepared to be, but I've already forgotten about my lack in impression since the Yankees won. The relievers bridged to the way nicely to the W, with Thorton, Betances, and D-Rob synthesizing their forces to yield a hit-less final 2 innings.
You know what's weird? I don't think I've ever said this before, but if I had to pick a weakness on the Yankees right now, a weak skill set (or lack their of, etc)...it wouldn't be the batting, the manufacturing runs, the slugging, the RISP BAs....not the pitching, relief, or otherwise...no, the biggest weakness I see right now is the the infield defense.
Maybe I'm just spoiled from the whole Jeter-Robbie-Tex-Arod-iron curtain thing. But the Yankees just don't commit errors (fielding ones anyway), and they looked a little less that crisp out there. Like, I was finding myself excited to see successfully turned routing double plays.
Which reminds me, congrats to the Mets for their 1st win!
Tomorrow Pineda goes up against Dickey. This should be interesting.. (Yeah, let's go ahead and add Toronto to the list of teams/fan who are officially never allowed to make the inane "Yankees buy their team" hiss.)