I didn't really get the full effect of said "moonshots" over the Gamecast. Just a little blue ball that said "In play" and "Run scoring."
It was sort of another weird one. Like, you know how there were multiple points in the ChiSox game #2 that should have been sigh-of-relief-because-we-have-a-healthy-lead moments, but ended up being just teases?
Well this was more like it-looks-like-we're-clubbing-them-but-our-pitcher-is-making-us-think-it's-anyone's-game. Nothing is ever as it seems this year.
That bears repeating: nothing is ever as it seems this year.
Phil Hughes took the mound and ended up getting his 16th win. I really don't know how he's doing this, because I swear to God, I feel like at the end of every single game he pitches, I'm hearing Kay tsk-tsking away, with "Hughes was OKAY, but not great. Shaky, but good enough."
I guess it's better than what they say about AJ at the end of all of his starts.
The Yanks took an early 3-0 lead on default runs. Cano's DP scored GGBG. The Swish reached 1st on an error, plating Jeter.
WAIT FOR IT.
...JORGE POSADA HIT A TRIPLE.
I immediately called my buddy, "Dude, Posada just hit a triple."
"HOW DOES THAT HAPPEN?? I mean, I almost don't want to joke about it, because it obviously means someone died in the outfield."
"Well, if they weren't dead then, they are by now, since I don't think anyone can really live with themselves after letting Posada take 2 extra bases."
"Yup. To put things in perspective: this just means that Gardner could have rounded the bases 4 times in the time it took Oakland to get the ball in."
I mean, if you watch the hit, it should have been a double for even a normal player, if the A's defense wasn't playing like a bunch of pixelated old school Nintendo animations that can only run in 4 directions.
Not only did Larish atrociously misplay the ball in left, but the throw to 3rd was laughable, as was the 3B's weak attempt to catch it. Saying "Posada beat the throw" is like saying "I got overserved."
Suzuki put the As on the board with a sac fly, but Swish got the run back plus some, with his 2-run bomb in the 3rd.
Same story in the 4th inning. The As weakly try to manufacture some runs, Davis grounding out to score Ellis makes the score 5-2...
...only for Grandy to push it forward again with a moonshot of his own. Not too long after that, Tex followed suit with a 3-run ding.
To be clear, Tex's average in the last 16 games is like .450 or something. (He's also my mom's favorite player to watch go yard. She gets the biggest kick out of how he puffs his cheeks out like a blowfish and pretty much calls this out every single time. "LOOK! LOOK! THERE IT IS! HE PUFFS HIS CHEEKS OUT! LIKE THIS!" And she says it as if everyone around her is constantly dismissing her contention as malarky. "Yeah, right. Telling tall tales, are ya?")
9-2 by the end of the 4th. And then the Yanks' bats basically washed their hands of offensive production and handed the game back over to their pitcher. Who is 2nd in the AL in wins, averages over 8 runs per 9 IP of support, and has won 4 of his last 6.
A pitcher who had about as much control as Jim Carrey in "Liar, Liar."
Gaudin and D-Rob were good in relief. A 6-hit game for the As, a 9-spot for the Yanks.
August is finally over, and it wasn't really too kind to us (16-13). But heading into September? Things are right back to normal, because thanks to the J's tortuous beating of the Rays, the Yanks are back in first.
Back on top.
The way it should be.
See ya, August.
Welcome, FALL BASEBALL.
Here we go......
Yeah, for all those who are discounting the Yankees....don't.
Because, well, they're pretty good.
And yeah, the A's aren't exactly the most threatening team in the league. But Cahill is a tough arm to bat against. And the Yanks wrecked him.
This is not an offense to be trifled with.
And just as scary is the fact the Yanks have made compensating for their weaknesses, an art form.
When Arod was taken out, they rose to occasion with Pena and Nunez.
When their rotation was in flux, Nova came up.
When their starters were faltering, their bullpen prevailed.
They're like a terrifyingly overpowering Whack-A-Mole, in the "Super Difficult" level of play.
Three different Yankees had 3 RBIs a piece (Cano, Swish, and Timms). Tex went 3 for 3 with a long bomb (that my dad called. Everyone sitting around him at the game was mega impressed.)
Cano followed with his own bomb.
Timms, a 3-run shot later in the game.
Another ribbie from Pena. All in all, 11 runs on 13 hits.
The 3-4-5 hitters, went 8 for 9 with five extra-base hits and seven RBIs through the first five innings.
After going up against a starter who was nothing short of brilliant in a fairly long streak of pitching dominance. Said pitcher only last 4 innings against the almighty Yankees.
Moseley put up Moseley numbers. (You think I'm exagerrating when I make fun of his predictable mediocrity. Please just look at his collection of stats, I'm 100% not being my standard hyperbolic self here.)
Javy and Moseley split up the game, with the latter doing markedly better than the former. In 4 IP, he allowed only 2 hits and 1 runs, striking out 6. He told Kim Jones in the post game that he indeed he did want to be a starter, (but of course hurriedly followed that up with "But I'll do whatever, you know? I just want to win." Sounded like a chick on a first date. "Well let's get dinner instead of drinks...but I don't care, really. I'm up for anything. I'm breezy. I don't even care.")
It was a good win. TB kept pace, which means they remain tied at 1st with the Yanks for now longer than a week. Which according to the Yanks (and Elias I'm assuming), is the longest such streak of its kind.
Sox didn't play today, but that doesn't mean anyone needs to lax on the Sox-bashing. For example, during my lazy 4-day weekend, I took in about 23984 different ridiculous movies, one of which was an old favorite: "Little Monsters."
When I saw this like 15 years ago, I never noticed this:
Notice the Boston logo on bad guy Rodney's hat. This is moments before he eats a cat food sandwich and washes it down with pee.
It's nice to see a "villain" in a movie portrayed as a Boston fan. Usually the Yanks have the market cornered on the evil character foils. Small favors, ya know?
So here we go. A loooonnnng homestand coming up. Longest of the season so far. I saw my buddy Will last night, and he said, "I want the Yankees to win 8 out of the next 10."
I want them to win 10 out of 10.
Playoff atmosphere city in deez parts, yo.
I watched the game at Strange's sick new pad, that him and his weirdo roommates have furnished with enough couches and seating to accommodate a sell-out crowd at Giants Stadium. Boys are so weird.
And yet, I'm sure when company comes over, they're much happier watching the games on the cloud-like sofas than the options at my place which include a piano bench and a Yankee Stadium chair, and a couch that came out of type casting for "For Asthetic Purposes Only."
This was a great game, and Ivan Nova was extremely impressive, although Strange and I both mused over whether he was a legitimately cut-above-the-rest pitcher...or whether he's been so effective on account of a league-wide inability to touch unseen pitchers.
Nova has been in the "shadow" if you can even call it that, of an investigation surrounding whether or not he and his buddies were injecting themselves with B12 shots.
A vitamin which, weirdly enough, doesn't make the list of MLB banned substances.
Along with riboflavin, potassium, and Vitamin C.
I seriously just don't understand MLB front offices sometimes. I mean, really? Is this the guy you wanna bring down? Yeah, I totally am all for the practice of nabbing wrong-doers not on case-by-case basis and all, but rather, in a black and white realm of I-don't-care-who-you-are-if-youre-breaking-the-law-youre-breaking-the-law.
But this is sort of like the guy on this season's Real World who called 911 IN NEW ORLEANS because his roommate peed on his toothbrush. Or the guy in Detroit who called the cops because Miguel Cabrera called him fat or something.
Seems like there's just a better use of these law enforcement officials' use of time, particularly in those arenas.
Similarly, why are they looking for sinister drug usage in this guy who bears no evidence of doing anything other than an innocuous vitamin? Who knows. Oh, wait. He's a Yankee.
He said he spoke to relatives on Saturday, and they told him to relax, to "pitch like I was in Triple-A."
"I said, 'OK,'" Nova said.
Apparently, he's also not one to waste words.
In over 5 innings, he threw 88 pitches, struck out 7, and gave up just 1 run, 1 walk, 5 hits.
Logan, Wood, Joba, and Mo combined for the remainder of the game, giving up just 2 more hits, and keeping the Southsiders to 1 run, in what, indeed, felt like playoff air.
It was a great game to watch because it reminded me of the NCAA March Madness Tourney. Everyone complains that the NBA is lame, that college kids know the true meaning of hustle and competition and work. And that's why their games are exhilirating and rife with tension and spirit.
I don't think the other side is really true of the MLB though. I don't think the vets are apathetic, as a rule. But I think by and large, the new comers know how good it feels to be in "the Show" and the fact they're playing for the New York Yankees is never lost on them.
If you need proof of this, just watch Cervelli's fist pump when he caught the final out of the game... (And then in sheer ridiculous fashion, did a complete 180 in temperament when he went to congratulate Mo on the game. It was like, "F#$& YEAH!! THATS WHAT I'M TALKING ABOUT!! WHO WANTS SOME OF THIS?! YEAH DONT AX LIKE YOU KNOW, BITCHES!" to "Well done, Mr. Rivera. Best of luck to you and yours in the upcoming fiscal year. It was a pleasure to serve you this evening.")
I am starting to think Super Mario is a little crazy, come to think of it. I mean, his weirdo steal attempt? When Gavin was still holding the ball? He's on his own planet sometimes. Big time spaz. In a too-confusing-to-really-hold-it-against-him kind of way.
The top half of the lineup all pitched in with a hit a piece (save Jeter, sadly--cue the slump fire alarms), with GGBG bringing in the 1st run, and Timms knocking out a monster tie-breaking ding.
The best part about his hits isn't just the sheer power, but the possibility of him getting the post-game interview afterwards. They're pure gold. He looks like he's on the verge of tears, like a classroom of children just told him that he changed their lives and that they don't want him to retire from teaching 2nd grade.
Also gold? The routine Ozzie ejection. I swear, the ump was laughing afterwards.
"What'd he even get ejected for?"
Strange: "Um..I don't know. Flapping his arms and acting like a weirdo."
Sounds about right.
"The last line of 'Little Monsters' is 'When there's a bed, there's a way.'"
"Profound. Did you see the homeruns?"
"?? Oh shit, the game's at 7. I thought it was 8. Hold on."
I like DVR.
So I got to rewind and see Swish go deep in the 1st (I feel like he does this alot.) Then Nunez and Timms with b2b dings. (b2b being back-to-back, not business-to-business).
Kay made the winning comment, "When Nunez hit his first career hit, he said it was the best day of his entire life. I wonder now if he's going to revise that statement now that he's just hit his first HOMERUN." You can always count on Kay to articulate exactly what's on every viewer's mind.
(Kind of reminded me in "The Fugitive" when Tommy Lee Jones' assistant says to the guard, "Care to revise your statement?" and TLJ says "She means, 'you wanna change your bullshit story?'")
Kay is really a ballbuster today, actually. Kim Jones is chatting with the Grandersons (which, btw, sounds like a sitcom title.. "Jones Chatting with the Grandersons") and Mary Grandy and Curtis Sr are essentially the cutest people in the world. Mary tells us how she insisted Curtis Jr would put every single report card on the refigerator so she could show everyone how smart he was, and so all his friends could see that they are a family that has high standards and expectations and that they're so proud of how Curtis always meets them. (Seriously, just so adorable.)
Kay's reaction to this? "Yeah, well what did they do if Curtis came home with like a 70 or something?"
Yes, it's 100% necessary to cross-examine the witness during in-game interviews with beaming parents of players. Good move, Kay.
There were about 48,000 homeruns in this game overall, actually.
Swisher (2-run) 420 ft
Nunez (2-run) 394 ft
Timms (2-run) 404 ft
Konerko (2-run) 395 ft
Jones (2-run) 398 ft
Timms (solo) 397 ft
Ramirez (solo) 357 ft
(When I heard, "Ramirez rounds the bases and makes the score 12-8," I'm thinking "Holy crap, Manny is already in Chicago? Playing?" I'm brilliant. Cuz there's not like 452 other Ramirez's playing baseball or anything..)
Speaking of Andruw Jones (see homerun #5 of the game), I'm nearly positive the YES booth emulated the Fox booth when they first commented on how he didn't have any range and was a shitty fielder...only to, a few innings later, cheerfully expoud on how "Andruw Jones has still got that same strong arm he had in Atlanta!"
Actually, this wasn't even the funniest Andruw Jones comment of the night. I loved in the end of the game when Kay's talking about how dramatic the matchup between Mo and Jones is, on account of WS games 14 years ago. (And 11 years ago). It would've sufficed as a little "Yeah these 2 have seen each other before" comment, but he just RAN with it, making it out like it was the most incensed rivalry in the history of sports.
CC got his 18th win, becoming the first pitcher in the league to do so. How many starts does he have left? Because last year he didn't get his 18th W til the end of September. He's ahead of the game this year, though it would seem he's not having quite the same power and dominance? How weird. Well, also, congratulations! That would be fantastico if he got 20! WAHOO.
Lock it up, my favorite expression to hear ever: "We're way ahead of schedule." (I've posed this question to a bunch of my buddies, and like 80% of them all had the same answer: "This one's on me.")
Maybe this game was like a microcosm of Fatso's season: he got the W, sure. He struck out 9, sure. But he also gave up 9 hits and 5 runs, 2 homeruns. And his changeup was the P-I-T-S. I don't know how his fat got him out of this one.
But it did.
Despite the bullpen's best efforts to ignite the wrath of Tubbo scorned.
Fatty made it through 7 innings before being replaced by Joba who swiftly gave up 2 runs on 2 hits.
Good grief, there just was never any point in the game when I could relax. Even though there were multiple times when I should have been able to.
Strange called in the 1st a little blue.
"Yeah, this game is just starting to get away from us fast." It was 6-1, good guys.
About a half hour later, it's 6-5, as Singleton delightfully screams, "WELL, NOW WE GOT OURSELVES A BALL GAME!"
WHAT TEAM ARE YOU GUYS ROOTING FOR? Say what you will about Sterling, but at least he sounds somewhat despondant when the bad guys are beating us.
Then my sister comes over, we take a walk to Duane Reade to get more popcorn, and it's 10-5 when we get back. "UGH. IT'S PROOF THAT THE YANKEES ONLY DO GOOD THINGS WHEN I'M NOT AROUND."
There's some kind of "tree falling in a forest" parallel in there, but I'm too tired to track it down.
That was point #2 in the night that I should have been able to relax.
Timms added an "insurance run" (I believe that's what the kids are calling it these days) with a solo bomb in the 9th, and the score is 12-7. Point #3 when I should've felt safe.
Then it's the bottom of the 9th and D-Rob is sticking people on bases like he's trying to get the most possible drunks to fit in the sober driver's car.
Then it's 12-9, and someone needs to wake up Mo to get the Yanks out of this disaster.
Kay: "There's something important I'd like to bring up here that every fan should be thinking about...."
"Mariano Rivera hasn't pitched on the road since August 11."
Singleton makes some comment to the effect of "Whatever, dude. It's Mo. He'll be fine."
To which Kay responds, "Well, yeah, he's MO. But his control is NEVER good when he's gone too long without pitching."
Mo gets a double play within seconds of entering the game. Kay consoles himself by relishing in his opportunity to make "down to their final out" remarks.
Game's all wrapped up soon after Mo comes in to get his 26th save in 28 opportunities. So this was a "SAVE" in the absolute truest sense of the word.
A lot of hits today, Nunez with the best line score of the day. 3-for-4 with 4 ribbies. I feel like I'm watching that Keanu Reeves movie "The Replacements" sometimes when I'm watching the Yanks. The "scabs" coming in to light it up and dominate on the field, while the superstars are out.
(Tex is added to that list of stars, after having left the game in the 2nd with a bruised thumb.)
As for the ChiSox, Danks was a mess tonight which did ZERO to help my fantasy team. Sigh. Their offense wasn't too shabby, but I think after last night, the Yanks were like "F this noise. They got guys who can bash the ball, too. We wanna win this we're gonna do it patiently."
199 pitches the Yanks saw. They walked 9 times, to the Sox's 2. The 2 teams combined for 30 hits overall, and perhaps this is when the Yanks would like to stage their dramatic 15 game winning streak that removes all doubts about their playoff outlooks.
Tomorrow I'm watching game in Strange's enemy territory. Gavin Floyd faces Ivan Nova.
The Yanks' rotation seriously changes with the same overwhelming speed at which Apple comes out with an upgraded iPod.
It'll be interesting to see where we net out with the arms. But for now, I'll take the offensive production.
Thanks again, Timms, for being ridiculous at the plate. And congrats to Nunez for the first ding. Congrats, Tubbo.com. Congrats Yanks for getting out of the mini slump.
Oh, and congrats to my cat Mariano Rivera, who turns 6 years old today (8/29). That's 40 years old in human years.
On to tomorrow. Time for bed. And tomorrow, let's get a series sweep. It's time someone stopped feeding the Sox energy bars.
It's time for the Yanks to start feeding them humble pie.
As a rule, I'm happy if Strange is happy. Like, sometimes when he kicks my ass in beirut, I'm livid and frustrated, but then he's jumping around and being all Strange-like, and it's like I'm a rookie pitcher giving up a bomb to Arod.
I was happy for him when Buehrle pitched a perfecto. I was happy for him when the Blackhawks won. But when it comes to the Yanks-Southsiders series, it's tough to muster up even a modicum of gracious losing.
Strange purports that his boys are even in striking distance of being contenders on account of 1 thing: INTERLEAGUE PLAY. Sounds about right. And while they were regaining momentum months back, going on 10-game streaks and shedding their No Chance Lance status...they were building hope. It was like they weren't going to play with the "nothing to lose" attitude anymore, but start playing like a team who could make something of themselves if they just put their minds to it.
Can I sound any more like a "The More You Know" PSA? Probably not. Fortunately, that's the end of my magnaminous interlude.
The bottom line? The ChiSox beat our boys last night, made AJ look stupid (hold the jokes on that one, please), and prevented the Yanks from amassing any kind of "Let's right the ship!" charisma.
The game was preceded by some ceremony where all the championship trophies were brought out. My buddy was talking about how teams that aren't the Yankees get the benefit of that "YEAH! WE JUST BEAT THE YANKEES!" sense of triumph on the rare occassion when they best the best.
If they lose to the Yanks, then it's like, well they're the Yanks. How do you compete? They buy their team, etc.
As my dad says, "Uneasy lies the head that wears the crown." The Yankees really should build a giant Damocles Sword to function as the new "Bat" landmark.
They got off to a real rough start last night. AJ gave up 4 runs, and about 100 base runners.
AJ is now 0-4 with a 7.80 ERA in five starts this month which kind of puts his spot in the rotation in jeopardy. Burnett was charged with nine runs, eight earned, and eight hits in 3 1/3 innings. The right-hander, who also walked three and threw two wild pitches, is 3-10 with a 6.86 ERA in his last 15 starts overall.
"I've been through this," he said. "I'm strong enough to deal with it. I'm not going to pout. I'm not going into my next start thinking here we go again. It's a matter of being strong."
Ok, he was throwing like 97 mph and still getting shelled, soo...I mean, that's a location thing, obviously. So, once again, I'm sticking up for AJ. His stuff is there. It's just not THERE in the location sense of the word.
So we can work on that, right?? Cmon, I love AJ, he's one of the stronger guys on the team, and when I say "stronger" I mean that he doesn't seem to get fazed by adversity. Plus, he's insane. I like a little insanity in our rotation. The same buddy who commented on the Defeating Yankees principle above, also avered that the season is going to be decided by what happens with Pettitte.
He could be right about that.
How did the Yanks starting rotation go from unstoppable to, well, stoppable?
Overall, it wasn't the greatest game to watch. The Yanks got on early thanks to Jeter's ribbie ground out that brought in GGBG. They fell behind 4-1. GGBG scores Pena in the 3rd to make it 4-2, and that's when things could have been different. We could have overcome that kind of early game deficit.
But gradually, and then suddenly, it's a 9-2 game in the 4th. AJ was finally chased after the game completely got away from him. Mitre replaces him and gave a up a few, none of which were actually charged to him. In fact, he was pretty outstanding for the bullpen. Nearly 5 innings of 1 hit ball. Good work, chief.
Swisher hit a 2 run bomb in the 9th, but no one thought they were coming back. Sorry, I just didn't feel this one. The Southsiders had the edge from the second they took the field. And, for the record, Ozzie Guillen continues to be a starking raving lunatic.
If you haven't seen Strange's impression of Ozzie calling to the bullpen, you're missing out. Just saying...
Also, just saying, that Ramiro Pena is f'n awesome. And not in a GGBG kind of "scrappy little basehitter" kind of way. But in a legitimate way. Actually the only reason he looks like he'd be the underdog kind of great is because of his stature. But put that fielding and baserunner on someone who doesn't look like he's 11, and you're looking at a Granderson-esque player.
Cervelli made an error, and is it me, or does he seem to be a little wild lately? I love him, but dude pump the breaks, you're all over the place lately.
Final notes: ChiSox claim Manny off waivers. Weird. Also, TB lost to Sox, which kicks off my least favorite regular season situation: having to root for the Sox for the purpose of standings.
I KNEW there was a reason I was feeling a little off kilter...
George Steinbrenner passed away this July at the age of 80. As the principal owner of the New York Yankees, he was a dynamic personality and force behind the storied franchise's successes. Alzheimer's Disease claimed his later years of life, and he eventually slipped out of the public eye and into the shadows of his team.
I want to do my part to fight Alzheimer’s, but I need your support! Please make a donation to help the Alzheimer's Association advance research into prevention, treatments and a cure for Alzheimer’s. For the millions already affected by the disease, the Association offers care, education, support and resources in communities nationwide.
Thank you for supporting my efforts. We’re on the MOVE to end Alzheimer’s!
Two thousand nineteen.
That's how many feet of bombs came off the Yankee bats during the course of this game. The longest one, improbably, came from Jeter. This wasn't like a GGBG-esque basehitter homerun. This was like a Giambi in the pouring rain moonshot. Dammmmn, #2. And dammmmn, Yanks. But let's be honest, you're the Yankees. This is what you do, right?
The J's just temporarily forget that they're the not the Original. Just a $10 generic version that comes out years after the original brand name, legitimate prescription.
So last 2 nights ago, Bautista acted like a little bitch and took his sweet ass time rounding the bases. Because "lookatmelookatme I'm the homerun champ so far!" You guys are like 108 games out of the division.
But, hey, if that's how you want to do it, the Yanks are game. In fact, they're so game that they'll show you exactly who the real kings of [bat] pop are. As my often quotes from his favorite movie, "You may be a one-eyed jack around here, but I've seen the other side of your face."
I'm not entirely sure what this means, but it sounds menacing, which is basically all I'm looking for here.
By the 3rd inning, the Yanks were up 6-0, thanks to 3 dings in the 3rd inning alone. Monster blast from Tex, a 2-run shot from Timms, and a solo from Jorge.
2 innings later, Grandy and Jeter both went yard, and the J's were reeling. (No fights though!) After 6 innings, the Yanks were sitting on an 11-1 game. The J's had a measly 1 run from an RBI single off the bat of Vernon "My Name is Vernon if that gives you any idea of how f'n old I am" Wells.
Moseley gets the win, and this guy is starting to remind me of Brain in Inspector Gadget or something. Like the guy behind the scenes that you don't really pay much mind to. I've suggested that this guy was lifted from some stock imagery website.
Or, rather, his line scores have been. 2 runs, 5 hits, 4BBs, 4Ks, 6 innings. Your basic fare from this guy. And basic is being liberal. It's more like your lock-it-up numbers from this guy.
Gaudin came in for relief, and managed to avoid intentionally/unintentionally beaning anyone, much to the dismay I'm sure of the warning-trigger-happy umps. Kerry Wood closed out the game with a scoreless 9th. Well, Mr. Wood, I'll bite.
(Oh Good God, did I actually just write that?? Moving on...)
Ok, KERRY, I'll SAY IT. You're not working out too badly. At all. I had my doubts. Lots of em. I thought you'd be the new Esteban Loiza or something.
But I guess it's true what they say about senior citizens. And by "they" I mean Lloyd Christmas. "Senior citizens, though slow and dangerous behind the wheel, can serve a purpose!"
The pitcher for the J's is a guy I had big predictions for last year. He's also a guy who joins Jonathan Albaladejo and Buehrle as players whose names I hate typing with an unyielding passion.
Welcome to the club, Mark Rzepczynski. In fact, I'm making you President. Congrats.
He got chased in the 4th, big surprise there. 6 runs on 8 hits isn't gonna impress anyway and pretty much guarantees you the L. Which he got.
The Yanks had 17 hits on the day, with Tex and Posada both going 4 for 5, Grandy and Timms both going 3 for 4.
Grandy made an OUTSTANDING play at the plate. It was one of those plays that made me think for a second, "Wait, are we the home or away team?" on account of how raucous the cheering was afterwards. Amazing work. It's funny how these things seem to happen RIGHT when The Other Man's name starts lolling around sports journalists' tongues.
As soon as Johnny Damon even remotely starts tiptoeing towards the limelight, it's like Grandy goes, "YES, YES FOR THE LOVE OF CHRIST, I WAS THE RIGHT MOVE."
(On a side note, that's f'n gangsta, Damon. Well done. It's like being on the Yanks reminded you how decent a guy you are. I'm sorry you had to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous idiocy and classlessness on the Sox for so long. If you're happy, I'm happy.)
The bad news was a foul ball that Swish inflicted upon himself, and put GGBG in mid AB. Who struck out looking.
The other bad news is that the LIFE WITHOUT AROD propoganda has officially set in.
13-1 without him. 3 runs per game more. About 1 more HR per game. And more than 30 points more in the team BA.
Yeah, only logical conclusion is that Arod sucks, yeah?
Or you could subscribe to the much more reasonable explanation which is that the rest of the team is working to fill in the power gap that Arod left.
But I mean, teamwork, schmeamwork. Makes much more sense to just deduce that future Hall-of-Famer, legend-in-our-time Arod is just secretly bad, statistical contradictions be damned.
Weird stat of the night: The Yankees have 44 four-run innings this season, the most in the majors. Yay? Can we take that to the bank? Eh, sure, why not?
Annoying fact of the night: Javy's moving to the bullpen for the time being, with newbie Nova set to start in his place Sunday at Chicago. This irks me for some reason. I used to get so f'n annoying at Javy in his early starts, because he let everything get under his skin.
But he's shed that habit, and now he's playing strong and composed and it annoys me that the flashy newcomer is pushing Javy to the pen. I don't know. I feel like Javy is getting walked all over. Yeah, it's a business. Yeah, maybe it's a good move. And yeah, he probably doesn't care as much as I do. But I'm just saying. It rubs me the wrong way.
The Yanks stay tied with TB, since the Angels are an unmitigated nightmare in the field. It was like watching a softball team play at 8am on a Sunday morning. ("Stop talking so loud! Why is everything so bright! WHERE ARE THE GODDAMN GATORADES AND SAUSAGE MCMUFFINS?")
And don't listen to anyone. The Yanks are doing great. It's not as "magical" as last year, but sometimes you gotta take the inside straight. It'll pay just as big dividends as getting the cards on the flop, but now we gotta wait for that elusive card on the river.
Yeah, I WANT THAT RIGHT FIELDER TESTED FOR STEROIDS!
Ivan Nova was pulled up to pitch, in standard Yankee fashion. My buddy Jason thinks this guy is like the second coming of Christ. When me and him were talking about the Berkman/Kearns/Kerry acquisitions, he was just like, "WAIT STOP TALKING DON'T SAY ANOTHER WORD. JUST TELL ME THAT THEY DIDN'T DEAL IVAN NOVA."
"Instinctively, I was kind of upset," Bautista said. "I was just trying to see what kind of reaction I was going to get from him. I was surprised to see he was pretty defiant. He was walking up towards me and flashing his hands up and started yelling."
"That ball almost hit me in the head," Ortiz said. "That's dangerous. I think they need to stop the hitting thing."
"If I was on the other side I'd be mad, but I also understand what he was doing, what it was all about," Overbay said of Bautista's leisurely loop. "It was fun to see."
Yankees outfielder Curtis Granderson said the slow trot didn't bother him.
I watched this game twice. That's how good it was. Like New York, New York. (I spent a good 15 minutes looking for "The Office" clip of Michael Scott saying, "New York, New York! The city so nice they named it twice...Manhattan is the other name." But...you're just gonna have to use your imagination.)
"When the Yankees score eight runs in the first inning and slowly pull away."
-Col. Jacob Ruppert, when asked what he considered a perfect day at the ballpark.
(As my sis always says, no one in the world is happier than a fat person eating ice cream. Ah, truer words never spoken.)
"It just shows you how deep our lineup is," manager Joe Girardi said.
Since he joined the Yankees last season, Teixeira has been intentionally walked to load the bases 10 times. The batter behind him is 7 for 8 with four homers and 25 RBIs.
In the words of Kim Jones in the post-game, "Arod's got 586 homeruns... are you really sure you wanna do this?"And similarly, M's manager Daren Brown sheepishly notes, "I tried to look at what's our best option to get out of that without giving up anything. Instead of trying to make five or six good pitches to Teixeira and Cano, you make a good pitch to Cano and maybe you get out of the inning with a ground ball."
But hey, history means nothing to Minnesota. Gardenshire, in trying to explain his costly intentional walk move, said, "We're aware of the numbers."
Are you? Because the fact of the matter is, Arod is 4 for 4 with two homers and 14 RBIs following international walks to Tex.
Maybe the Twinks are aware of the numbers, but after 11 straight losses to the Bomb Squad, they've just simply repressed them.
Well, things didn't start out too good with this one. Ichiro hit a homerun, and I just don't know why, but I REALLY don't like Ichiro. Something about him. I blame my sister for this vague contempt. She once pointed out how "sneaky" he is ("Snee-chiro" she calls him), and ever since then, I haven't been able to like him. I don't care how talented he is. My buddy says he's just a glorified slap bunter, which...awesome.
Then Branyan homers and Goddammit , here we go again. 2-0 Seattle in the 1st.
NYY retaliates though! Cano singles to bring in runs 1 and 2, Posada's 2-run ding gives the boys a 2 run lead.
Then freaking Snee-chiro homers AGAIN. The guy has like 8 homeruns in his CAREER or something, and manages to have a multihomer game against Javy. Who, for the record, I'm still backing. Let's give him a little more of a chance. I got a good feeling about him. I'd like to thank Steve P. for that one. He weirdly always seems to be at the top of our fantasy leagues, and he was championing J-Vazquez since day 1. I like the fidelity.
Nip and tuck, that's how the whole game went, so there was never actually a good time to leave the game to hit the beach, but I found one anyway. And thanks to updates from my buddy who was watching from a remote location, I could supplement my BlueBerry updates.
Javy got pulled after allowed 8 hits in a little over 3 innings, and they had to get a patchwork of relievers to fill up the rest of the innings. All things considered, they were pretty effective. Gaudin, Logan, D-Rob, and Mo combined for 6 innings, 4 hits, and 1 run. (2 hits and 1 run from Mo! Weird!)
And the Yankee bullpen continues to excel.
How bizarro are things right now?? The bullpen is holding shit together. And Arod's replacement is plugging in huge hits for us.
Nunez got his first MLB hit, which turned out to be the tie-breaking ribbie that opened up the gates for the scoring.
He plans to give the ball to his mom. "That was the most excited I've ever been in my life."
Smiley face emoticon would be appropriate here.
Way to bounce back, Yanks. I knew you were better than that shut out crap. Keep it up, and just get wins with whatever you can.
It'll happen for us. Have faith in the Yankees.
Detroit really wasn't much more effective, but their chincy bats were able to cough up 2 meak runs. Javy was brilliant. I don't get it. I just don't get this game. Much in the same way that my dad once announced--his voice drenched in troubled malcontent--"I just don't GET brisket." He was staring at our dinner with this complete look of defeat and confusion.
So that's the game for you. Yanks fanned, Mariners didn't. Arod left game (again) with more pain in his calf. Ugh.
Oh, and Cervelli needs to calm the f down. His rampant excitability was always one of my favorite parts about him, but now I'm thinking he's acting like the psychopath in "Dead Man on Campus."
PUMP. THE. BRAKES.
Cmon, Yanks. Let's take the next 3. This is Seattle, for God's sake. You're better than this.
So my art partner pops her head in my office and asks I'm free to work on new ad ideas for a cancer drug. I shut off the radio in my office, she laughs and asks a completely perfunctory "what's the score?"
"Yanks tied it up, 2-2."
A half hour later, after taking a break from brainstorming to eat Carvel ice cream cake, I return to my office and check the score.
"Wait, WHAT? 11-3???"
I check my phone to see a message from my sister, and it's like she KNEW my train of thought. Like she could picture me revisiting the game after doing actual work, and she knew I'd be all shades of confused.
"The Yanks scored 9 in the 6th."
Nine! Our favorite number!
After Miggy took the Yanks deep AGAIN (seriously, maybe Gaudin had the right idea "beaning" him the other night), the Yanks fell into an early 2-0 hole in the 1st.
A couple of manufacturer runs later, and it's a tie game thanks to Swish and Grandy's RBI singles in the 4th. Alright, way to go, Yanks! Coming from behind! (How weird is that, that overcoming 2-run deficits to the Tiggers in the middle of the game are not givens by any stretch.)
But what happened in the 6th was the handiwork of the team that I envision when I think of the Yanks. Cano's tie-breaking double started the charge, and then things got bananas.
And Cano's 2-run bomb in the same inning capped off the scoring for the day.
Poor Porcello. I like the guy ever since he help his own against the warped freak of nature that is Kevin Youkilis. (Whatever happened to that guy? Oh yeah. DL. Love lost there=zero.)
And he didn't really have the greatest night. And he didn't have it in front of allll his friends. Ugh. That sucks. I mean, obviously I'd rather him implode than look like a god in front of his posse, but still. It's always interesting and kind of a relief when you have those moments when you realize that your conscience still holds the trump card.
"The big inning spoiled a homecoming for 21-year-old Tigers pitcher Rick Porcello, who made his first career start at Yankee Stadium. Porcello attended Seton Hall Prep in nearby West Orange, N.J., and said he left at least 40 tickets for family and friends."
Not one for his baby books. But maybe this is:
Oh, Rick! (Also kind of sad how he said he thought he had good stuff last night, and that he didn't go out there overmatched. It's like dressing up to the 9s, being loaded for bear, and looking your absolute best...and getting blown off.)
Tonight's game was devoid of any fiery brawls like the one prior. I guess what it lacked in player dramatics it made up for in batting dramatics. For NY anyway. The Tiggers were completely lifeless.
Hughes was brilliant, finally, and--just like the bats--made me think of the Yanks how I'm accustomed to thinking of them. Girardi took advantage of the bajillion run lead, and pulled Hughes after only 84 pitches. Good move, G.
Mitre got the save (his first) and just look at everyone having good days! He did give up 3 runs though, so he's lucky he still was able to get the save. Meh, whatever. Great win for us. The bats that were supposed to hit, did. The pitcher that was supposed to shine, did.
Oh, and Boston and Tampa Bay lost. Guess the Rays' bats that were supposed to hit, didn't. And guess the pitcher that supposed to shine for them, didn't. And hasn't. God, I love seeing Beckett crumble.
Does that make me a bad person? Because that whole conscience thing I was talking about earlier...none of it manifesting itself when I think about good ol' Josh. Fake injuries and all.
Welcome back to the FIRST PLACE SPOT, YANKEES!
And to commemorate this excellent day, I even received my Fushigi ball, which I've been waiting for for OVER A MONTH.
Things are looking up!
Alright, THAT'S more like it.
I didn't leave work til around the 3rd inning, and as I was watching the game cast on my computer (I just didn't have the energy for the CBS booth tonight), I said to my coworker in my office, dejectedly: "The Yanks are already losing. 1-0. The 1st inning. And Tampa Bay is winning."
"Are you kidding me?"
We briefly turned our attention to work, about concepting, about something other than the flat game on my computer screen.
"Wait, nevermind. It's 2-1, Yanks."
"How'd they score?"
"Jeter, GGBG, Cano.. singles, walks, Swish base hit in 2 of em."
When did watching the Yanks become such a struggle? And I don't mean like, it's a struggle in the sense that it's a pain in the ass to watch them. I mean a struggle in the sense that, nothing is ever comfortable. Or easy.
I HATE admitting this, but lately I've been thinking, This must be what it's like to be a fan of a team that isn't the Yankees.
I don't have that sense of obnoxious entitlement that Yank fans once had the market cornered on.
We used to be able to watch 5-run deficits knowing that even with 2 outs in the 9th, the game was still ours to lose.
Or we could watch 5-run leads and accidentally dose off for 3 innings and wake up to a 10-run lead.
Now, I feel like I once was someone with telekinetic powers. I used to be able to bend spoons and have the remote control levitate towards me when I didn't feel like getting up. Or, more realistically, I used to be able to play the piano like a prodigy. When I was 10 years old, I could play this song like it was cream cheese. I'm not kidding. It was so so so easy for me.
Now? I practice and practice and practice, and I just can't physically get my fingers to move that fast anymore.
I can't bend spoons, I can't levitate inanimate objects (or animate ones, but you know what I mean. I was never telekinetic, just go with the metaphor, please.)
And now I have to do everything the hard way. I have to get up find the remote control. I have to tirelessly practice each singular bar of Chopin, learning each hand of music through rote repetition. I can't just pick up the sheet music and whiz through it.
In short, this is how the other half lives, I suppose.
And unfortunately, I think I'm gonna have to get used to it.
Arod's bat is gone, indefinitely. He hurt his calf, and is it me, or has the entire league as a whole suffered just a complete onslaught of debilitating injuries this year??
Tubbo.com carried them, though, giving up 5 hits and 2 runs in 7 innings. 115 pitches. Ok, I totally support everything Girardi does. He proved himself last year of course, and as such I will not start back-seat-managing or anything. (Like I even could.) But I WILL express profound confusion over his logic.
There was a point earlier in the season when Girardi had every intention of removing CC during a no-no (until he gave up a hit and made things a little easier for the manager). But Joe said even if he hadn't given up that hit, he was planning on yanking El Chunko no matter what, on account of the number of pitches he had thrown.
But tonight, it was approximately 23,101 degrees out, CC was clearly being fat and sweaty and tiring, and he had thrown well over 100 pitches. And Girardi kept him in. What's more, our bullpen has been absolutely stunning as of late. Why so reluctant to hand the game over to the relievers? Why push it in the 7th inning, when we have the lead, when Fatso's facing the W?
I just don't understand it. Someone, please, explain this all to me.
Verlander was ok tonight, and there's another confusing entity to me. I feel like every single time I end up at Dorrian's when Jason is bartending, we end up in a heated debate about Verlander. (Or Joba. Or Javy. Or Angel Pagan. Or Kelly Shoppach. Or the Cincinnati Reds' bat boy. Doesn't really matter. He'll find something to adamantly disagree with me on. Or adamantly agree with me on. In a rather aggressive fashion.)
And, I can't remember what the verdict we land on is. Is Verlander good or not? Consistent? Valuable fantasy wise? I can't keep up. He's like the polished AJ sometimes.
Tonight he was AJ-esque, for certain. 5 walks. 5K's, 4 of which were in the last 2 innings. However, HOWEVAH, this is by no means horrendous, so I'm wondering if Verlander is PMS-ing or something, because his response to his outing was a little, uh, dramatic:
"The only thing I can say is that this is probably the worst I've felt on the mound as a professional baseball player," Verlander said. "Nothing was any good."
Pump the breaks, man. It wasn't THAT awful.
Another weird pitching nuance: D-Rob's scoreless 8th was his 16 2/3rd consecutive scoreless inning. How is this possible? I mean, I'm thrilled with this. But I feel like every time he's coming in, he's threatening to blow a lead. Mo obvi worked the 9th for the save, because he's Mo.
GGBG realllly picked up his game tonight, 2 hits, 2 runs, and a SB in the lead off spot. Jeter in the 2 spot concerns me because of his penchant for double plays, but he looked great: 1 for 3 with 2 walks and an SB of his own.
But perhaps the SB action tonight, while admirable, is somewhat cheapened by the fact Posada stole a base. As my sister argues, there should be some other kind of ruling:
"That's impossible. Seriously. There's no such thing as a Posada stolen base. The ONLY way a 'stolen base' by Posada can accurately termed is 'defensive indifference.' Like, automatically....wait, actually, no. That's not right either. If Posada steals a base, it should be ONLY be called 'defensive incompetence.' That's the only way it can be accurately marked it the books."
Ha, actually the game she made that comment on was also against the Tiggers, a game last April.
Whenever Laird unsuccessfully tried to throw a runner out, his expression upon seeing the ump's call was just priceless. Like it morphed from "OH COME ON!" indignance to "Dammit, Gerald" disappointment to "Yep, looks about right" resignation.
Grandy and Cano both went yard, and it's funny because I think the Yankees almost play better when faced with seeming adversity, such as the absence of Arod. Maybe a few years ago, you could chalk this up to some kind of Arod Curse (vomit), but at this point, it should be accepted that Arod indeed is a well-liked, respected pinstriped brethren, and his absense is something to overcome, not relish.
Just making sure this is clear..
Tex struck out 3 times, maybe the baby is keeping him up. Maybe his batting stance is too ephemeral though. I'm telling ya, he doesn't look comfortable at the plate. Maybe Kevin Long's working with him, but I really don't think they've landed on anything solid, because from where I'm watching, it looks like his stance changes ever so slightly with each AB. Just saying..
Neither team was particularly dazzling tonight, but the Yanks won the way the rest of the civilian teams have been winning: any way they can.
20Ks between the 2 teams, 13 BBs (again) and the Tiggers' 0-4 with RISP was only slightly worse than the Yanks' 2 for 11.
NY's 10 men left on base? Yyyeccch.
Something's a little awkward here. Can't put my finger on it. Am I just comparing it too much to last year's excitement and power surging and unstoppableness? Or is it an actual palpable feeling of stilted play? Hard to tell, really.
But the fact remains that we had to work to scrape out this win, even though it was a 4-run/not-really-close one. The score belies the effort.
TB and Sux both won, so standings are status quo.
We still got 2 more games against the boys from Detroit, and now is as good a time as any to get on a roll. We all know so well how sinister the Yanks have been in the 2nd half of the season HISTORICALLY, but right now, the team tied in first place in the AL East that isn't the Tampa Bay [Devil] Rays is playing 7-9 in August.
Boston and TB are both 9-7.
Our division is embarrassing us.
Act like champions, Yankees. Focus.
And finally, here's the advice I gave my sister when she started Georgetown (right after, "If you're behind a cop car in a drive thru, put the car in park if you're not moving):
Decide what's important...disregard everything else.
AJ gets the loss, which is bad, but paradoxically he was actually very much Good AJ today. I really couldn't figure out why the talking heads were making it out like he completely imploded in the early innings. I heard about 234 times how "AJ really overcame all his control issues in the early innings" or "AJ was not at all sharp in the beginning half of the game" etc..
I don't get it. From where I'm sitting, he only let up 1 run, yeah? And over 8 IP, he only have up 4 hits. I didn't see the 1st inning (I didn't go to sleep til 9:30am on Saturday, and hence ended up waking up when it was almost 3:00.) But I figured, ok 1 run...that's nothing. How bad could AJ have really been?
The answer is, there's no possible way he could have been bad. 1 run is good. If it was like 1 run, 13 hits, and a defensive performance from his team that rivaled cartoonish standards of impossible execution...then ok, maybe 1 run could be be considered meh. He walked 3, which isn't terrible. Unless it was the first 3 batters of the game that's not too bad. But I think the thing was that he let up a couple of hits early without recording an out.
And that should go to show you how freaking alarmist we're getting.
It's kind of like last Thursday, I was playing softball with my old company team, and it was the quarter finals against a team who was notoriously insane. Not necessarily good--though they were--but insane like Bobby Knight insane. And I asked my buddy Steve, "Are we home or away?"
"Ehh. Actually would rather bat first."
"I don't think I've ever heard someone WANT to be the away team."
"Well, if they're as crazy as you say they are, I'd rather bat first so we can get some runs on the board at least. If they bat first and score, everyone's gonna be like, 'great we're done.'"
And he was right.
AJ gives up a few hits early, and we're already flapping our arms crying, "WTF! WE NEED A RELIABLE #2 STARTER!"
Have faith in the Yankees.
#34 held KC to just that 1 run, which was an RBI-single from Butler that brought it B-quist. I feel like every time we've played the Royals Billy Butler has managed to be our undoing. Hey BB... um...this.
The Yankee bats weren't much to sing about. I said once last year that the Yanks always seem to make no name pitchers famous. Not really, but sort of, in the sense that whenever they bat against rookies, NL-ers, or obscure vets who go in and out of the woodwork...they're useless.
As hard as Kevin Long is working, that's how unhard whoever the Yanks video scouter is working. I believe is was Charlie Waskjfdaksd [sic] last year, but who knows. Whoever it is, he's clearly on sebaticle or something because the guys are consistently blanked against simple pitchers who they've never seen before.
Bryan Bullington, for example, was the #1 draft pick 8 years ago. 8 YEARS AGO.
He had yet to record a Major League win.
I resent this Bullington guy, though. Not just because he 2-hit us. But because he said this: "Yeah, today it feels like it. I'm 29. Creeping up on 30. I've been kind of plodding along, been down the last couple of years. It feels really good today, that's for sure."
AND WHAT IS EXACTLY IS WRONG WITH THE AGE OF 29???!?!!!!
Psh. Shut your pie hole, Bullington.
(Something else I've mentioned before is the supreme abundance of B names on the Royals. Yup, just something to think about..)
So Cano and GGBG were the only guys who got hits. The team as a whole only saw 106 pitches. Arod, who went yard thrice yesterday, was 0-fer-ing with the rest of his team today.
(My sis has a litany of rules she wishes she could instate into baseball. Like, players should have like 4 ABs per game and they can take 'em whenever they want. Like if they strike out, they can grab the bat and go again. And the fact that Arod had 3 dings yesterday, none today, sounds like the inspiration for another made up rule, like saying, "Ok that last homerun won't count, I'd like to throw in on tomorrow's game score." Like darts, or Yahtzee.)
So that was the flimsy loss today. Rays won, Sux lost. TB only 1 game behind us. You know, for a season that's seeing a lot of reallllly tight division standings, baseball seems a little listless this year. I have to agree with the Sports Guy on that.
But the difference is, I'm saying it because I haven't been able to watch a lot of games. He's saying it because his team is tanking.
Tomorrow Javy faces Max Scherzer, when the Tiggers come to the Bronx. It's good to see the boys back at home. Let's break it wide open now!
(Oh, ps, did anyone else see the Twins game, where Slowey was pulled from his no-hitter?? Un. For. Give. Able. Isn't this the type of think that prompts emergency chute pulling these days?)