Thursday, September 29, 2011

Season's Greetings

It's the end of the regular season and as always we usher in a new season. It's fall, it's postseason, it's October. It's the time when hero's are born and legends are made (ha that's so corny) but seriously it's the big stage and it's when the real teams square off. But before we completely welcome in the next wave, let's conclude with a quick recap/analysis of how this regular season ended.
On September 1st the Red Sox were in first place in the divison and the Yankees were 8.5 games ahead of the Rays for the wild card. It was all but official that the Yankees and Red Sox were to be playoff bound and fighting for the division with the loser getting the wild card. September changed things a little. The Tampa Bay Rays had quite a number of games vs the Yankees and the Red Sox and played some pretty darn good baseball. They went 17-9 during September, that's a .653 winning % which is good for 105 regular season wins if played out for the whole season. So they definitely played well down the stretch, but it would take a miracle to make up 9 games....right?
Miracles do happen folks. The Red Sox went 7-19 in their final 26 games, a .26 winning % and good enough for 43 regular season wins. That horrible stretch coupled with the Rays was just enough to drop a 9 game lead with 26 to play to fall 1 game back in the standing when all was said and done. The Red Sox will have to wait until 2012 and the Rays epic comeback now brings them to Texas where they will have to avenge last year's playoff loss against the Rangers. But the story is less about the collapse in theory, it's more about how it actually happened. How everything fell right into place to create the perfect storm of circumstances that this might go down as being the worst and most painful moment for a team in the history of sports. The Braves fell to the same demise this year in losing their 8 game lead in the final month to the Cardinals. But then again they lost their two best pitchers Tommy Hanson and Jair Jurjens to injury and their team was never supposed proclaimed title worthy.
What makes the Red Sox loss so much worse was the feeling of helplessness knowing that it was doomed to happen and there was nothing they could do to stop it. The Red Sox lead had trimmed to 2 with 6 games to play when they faced the Yankees over the weekend and couldn't win that series and all of sudden the lead was down to 1. But Boston still had the lowly Orioles on their schedule, needing only to win 2/3 to guarantee a play in game or sweep for a lock. The Rays meanwhile would face the Yankees, who just took 3/4 from them the week before and 2/3 from Boston. The Yankees with the 2nd best record in baseball could play spoiler for either Tampa or Boston, just depending on their success. Despite the Yankees rolling their A and sometimes B lineups out there, they managed to lose the first 2 of the series. Boston meanwhile collapsed vs Baltimore in game 1, and barely held on in game 2, setting up a tie for the wild card with 1 game to play.
The Yankees jumped to a 7-0 lead in Tampa going to the 8th inning and Boston was cruising 3-2 heading to the 8th. It all seemed like the nightmare September was a thing of the past. However it was not over and the Rays never stopped shining. Tampa pulled out an improbable 6 run rally in the 8th (capped off by a Longoria 3 run Hr, we will see him again I'm sure before this WC race is over) and it was 7-6 to 9th we go. In the bottom of the 9th with 2 outs and a 1-2 count and nobody on base, Corey Wade leaves a hanger right over the plate and Dan Johnson crushes one off the foul pole to tie the game at 7. What an insane comeback by the Rays! Meanwhile in Boston, the RedSox squander an opportunity to tack on more runs as Scutaro is nailed at the plate on a Crawford double after Scuatro tried to score from first. This sends the game to the bottom of the 9th where Papelbon will have a chance to lock up the save and end the game (Boston still up 3-2).
Red Sox nation is aware at this moment that the Rays have comeback from 7-0 and its currently 7-7, sending the game to extras. Because Baltimore was experiencing rain earlier in the day, the bottom of the 9th in Baltimore was occuring just as the Yankees and Rays were entering their extra innings of play. With the Yankees not wanting to waste their best pitchers with the playoffs looming, they use Scott Proctor in the 12th inning to face Evan Longoria...hold that thought. Back in Baltimore Jonthan Papelbon has struck out the first two batters and with a 1-2 count on Chris Davis, is 1 strike from winning the game and at least guaranteeing a playing in game and possible a stright up Wild Card berth. Davis had other ideas however. He lines a double in the corner, quickly followed by Nolan Reimold who takes a 96 mph heater over the plate into the gap scoring Davis and tying the game. Robert Andino, the Red Sox September nemesis, hits a liner to left field and Carl Crawford lunges out and can only just trap the ball, setting up a quick throw to home for the out, but it was too late. Reimold swipes the bag, the Orioles celebrate in walk off fashion, the Red Sox take their dejected selves into the clubhouse only to turn on the TV and see what the Rays were doing. Now back to Longoria who sees the scoreboard flicker as he walks into the batter's box.
4-3 Orioles over the Red Sox!! The fans go beserk and the stadium filled with only 5,000 at this point (it's midnight on a Wednesday after trailing 7-0 but still no excuse) are erupting. They can smell the playoffs. They get the Red Sox tomorrow should they lose, or they pop champagne and fly to Texas should they pull this one out. We know it's gotta be a walk off, just who was going to be the hero. Longoria steps up and stares down Proctor. He takes a couple of pitches and then eventually gets one he can handle. Boom, he lines a bullet into the left field corner. It definitely was a hit, likely a double. But wait a minute, that one has a chance to go out. Sure enough the ball cleared the 315 wall by a foot and the Rays dugout explodes....welcome to October baseball. Not 3 minutes after the Red Sox melted down, the Rays walked off and the playoffs were determined.
This was one of those epic nights in baseball you will be telling your children about. Every playoff team, matchup, & scenario you could imagine coming down to midnight on the last night. All the end of the season collapses, heroics, and general madness was taking place and it was all setting the stage for one hell of a postseason.
The Red Sox will have a lot of thinking to do. How did it all come to this? Papi went cold, Crawford stopped playing defense and continued his anemic hitting, Lester and Beckett were miserable, Daniel Bard took 4 September losses, Papelbon was inconsistent, Francona made terrible managerial descisions, Youkilis got hurt, Bucholtz was already hurt, Lackey was wild and assholish (that's a great word fyi), too many things went wrong went they only needed a few things to go right just to limp into the playoffs. Their epic collapse came down to a few crazy moments we are in awe about but will likely forget about. It's not the Boone HR or the Bucky Dent Hr. There's not one play that will stand out in people's minds. I think about Scutaro gunned at the plate, Crawford missing the ball, Papelbon allowing 3 straight 2 out hits, the 7-0 comeback for the Rays, the Longoria HR, or even the triple play the Rays induced the day before to beat the Yankees. These were all great moments but it's the collection of them and the collection of countless others that compiled together created a 9 game lead to disappear in 26 days that will go down as the monumental implosion of the 2011 Red Sox. Nothing more and nothing less.
After all of that ridiculousness that took place, that had me sprawling around my living room in disbelief, it's time of for the playoffs. That was what that whole drama was about, just to get this chance to play for the World Series. The Yankees will do just that when they face the Tigers in what is sure to be a good matchup. We have the Cy Young and the runner up in Verlander and Sabathia facing off in game 1 and there is much to discuss, but that's for later today and tomorrow. For now let's reflect on the best damn day of sports I can recall in my whole life. And what a day it was....

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Yankees Update....Playoffs Near

The Yankees are two games away from the playoffs and it's time to take a hard look at the roster these bad boys in pinstripes will be throwing out and I will speculate my 25 man roster. Also important to mention the Yankees have already wrapped up the number 1 seed and home field throughout (except the WS thanks to an AL meltdown).
Starting Pitchers
CC Sabthia, Ivan Nova, Freddy Garcia, & AJ Burnett.
I think the first 2 are 100% clear cut number 1 and number 2 starters. I think Garcia gets the 3rd spot because he's been great this year, screwing up less lately than his competition, and has a playoff moxie going for him.
AJ is an anomally but again, he's been there in the past and he has worked out the kinks lately and should at least earn 1 start before we throw him outta the rotation.
Relief Pitchers
Rivera, Robertson, Soriano, Hughes, Wade, Logan, and Ayala
I'm tempted to think the Yankees will add Laffey or Valdes to get a second lefty on the roster but then again those guys have not been reliable this year and I'd rather Wade or Ayala with their stats in big situations against lefties regardless of the matchup situation. Robertson Soriano and Rivera are clearly the big 3 and will get most of the big outs, but Phil Hughes might find himself in a 6th or 7th or extra inning situation where he is needed as well. Altogether a very good pen we have here.
Starting Offense
Martin, Tex, Cano, Jeter, Arod, Swisher, Grandy, Gardner, Chavez
Here's to the assumption we play Detroit first and see Verlander. We'll have our lefties playing and that means Gardner for sure and likely Chavez. A great lineup top to bottom with speed, switch hitting ability, power, production, and rarely a plus but in this case it definitely is, age. This is a veteran team. There are no 22 year old rookies in this starting roster and that's good when playing meaningful October games.
Montero, Andruw Jones, Posada, Nunez, Golson
This and the relief staff are the hardest to predict (oddly this year starting pitching is difficult too) but I think this is the bench i'd go with. You have to have a backup catcher and you kind of have 2. You don't ideally want to see Montero or Posada get too many at bats behind the plate but both are serviceable there and can handle it if Martin is not able to catch every game (I somehow think he will). You have the right handed bats in Jones and Montero to complement the lefites in Gardner and Chavez who should be used interchangeably when its a L or R pitcher starting. Golson over Dickerson because of speed and defense. I doubt that spot will get any at bats so all I want is a 9th inning defensive switch for a Swisher or Jones, or a guy to run for Montero, Chavez, Tex, or Swisher late in games. Golson gets the nod for speed and defense. I think Posada has to be on the team because he's been there before, he's been better lately, he is a switch hitter and has the propensity for big hits, and another big reason that no one wants to discuss, the potential backlash.
We know all about the beef between Joe and Jorge which dates back to their early playing days and includes this year's debacle. Joe will take enormous heat if Jorge is left off, and it will taint a legacy that will surely end this year when Jorge retires or takes his talents elsewhere (he's a Free Agent and we aren't resigning, trust me). I want to see Jorge win another title as a Yankee even if it means that the 25th spot is a tad bit worse for it. I doubt it will play it's part in the game too seriously and I think Jorge will actually be useful for his playoff experience and his power bat. For all that and more, he's on the squad.
Last spot is Nunez over Pena. I think it's obvious but for extra clarification, he's faster, a better hitter, been playing all year, and his defense has improved. Sure Pena is probably a better fielder. I say probably because he is supposed to be the better fielder but even he has struggled with the glove this year. But yea he is a better fielder and will likely provide more value as a defensive replacement late in the game but who is he replacing? Arod, Jeter and Cano all have enough speed and good D skill that they should be playing every inning of every game. Nunez/Pena spot is for an emergency if someone were to get hurt or as a pinch runner. As a runner, Nunez is better. If one of the two of them has to play the whole game because god forbid Jeter left in the 2nd with an injury, I'd want Nunez. It will be a few at bats and that could be the difference. I want the guy whos played 100+ games with us and to the tune of .260. That's a legit threat as a backup infielder. Pena's .111 average and 20 games played doesn't belong on the field.
So there's the 25, 4 starters, 7 relievers, 9 starting hitters, and 5 back up hitters. A solid group and one ready for the run to begin this Friday. I cant wait!! Only a few things left to ponder, will we play Detroit or Texas and who will win that last wild card spot? Should be a fun week/weekend.

Monday, August 22, 2011

Yankee Rundown

The Yankees just completed a 7 game road trip in Kansas City and Minnesota, two places where they historically have had great success and this road trip was no different. After nearly sweeping KC (actually took 2/3) the Yankees took 3/4 from Minnesota in 4 very one sided games. It was not only great to keep pace with Boston and maintain the lead in the division, but nice to see the Yankees return to form individually with a lot of good praise to go around. Quick round of praise, haze, and flop.
Curtis Granderson has been absolutely sensational this season as he continues to be the front runner for AL MVP. He continued his torrid success in the 7 game road trip going 10 for 26 (.384 avg) with 2 HRs (one of them being an inside the park HR in a crucial situation in the road trip finale) 7 runs scored, 6 BBs, and 2 SBs. Granderson still strikes out too many times for my liking but you cannot deny what this man has done at the dish and he was very much the reason for our 5-2 roadtrip.
Derek Jeter has been red hot since coming off the DL on July 4th and was even better the past week improving his avg to .292 for the season. Jeter went 14 for 31 (.451) on the road trip with 5 runs scored and 5 RBIs. Jeter has provided the extra punch this offense had been lacking earlier in the season and with him and Granderson at the top of the lineup, the Yankees will continue to put pitchers in jams early and often.
Phil Hughes looks like the old phil of the future that the Yankees foresaw in 2004 when they drafted him to be a dominant starter. Hughes had his fourth consecutive quality start and his best outing of the season going 7 2/3 innings while allowing only 2 hits. If Hughes can maintain this success, the Yankees are looking at a nice #2 starter for the playoffs and beyond (what was expected of him back in April).
Mariano Rivera never really needs praise but I'm going to give it to him. Rivera had been struggling mightily at the start of this month and it brought on a wave of questioning his age, his location, his effectiveness, and whether he was the same Mo. I didn't buy into the crap because every pitcher goes through a mini skid here and there and Mo just reminded us he is human. Rivera this week reminded us of why he is 2nd all time in career saves and considered the best of all time. Mariano pitched 3 shutout innings en route to 3 saves in 3/5 Yankees wins last week. Rivera did not allow a baserunner and had 5 strikeouts, was hitting 94 on the gun, his cutter moved as much as it ever has, and location was pin point. Typical Mo but nonetheless deserving of praise.
Robinson Cano has also entered the category of constantly deserving praise for he earns it on a regular basis. Cano had a hit in every game last week to continue his hit streak (now at 13) including a 3-run HR in a win over KC. Cano also has no reservations about flashing the leather and made a few sensational defensive plays as we've come to expect. The best part about Cano this week was his plate discipline. Cano was working 2-2 and full counts all week and came back from 0-2 to have a 13 pitch ab that led to his HR, the best ab from him this season. Cano continues to amaze and astound and scares me how good he really is as an all around player.
Russell Martin has struggled this year at times offensively and has lots of trouble hitting off speed pitches. This last week however Martin exploded for 3 HRs, two of which were bombs and had 7 hits in the week providing a nice boost for the Yankees. Not to mention he caught 6/7 games and threw out multiple runners, something he's done a lot this year. He plays every day and he plays with a defense first mentality. You gotta love the Russell signing and he's the only reason Montero isn't on this roster.
Alex Rodriguez returned from a 6 week DL stint where he was recovering from a torn meniscus. A-rod was supposed to return Thursday but it got pushed back to Sunday. A-rod went 0-5 in his debut yesterday so we haven't seen the Arod we are accustomed to yet but just having him back in the lineup beefs up the offense and makes the lineup more cyclical.
Ivan Nova had arguably his worst start of the year on Tuesday against Kansas city and the offense bailed him out. Yesterday he had arguably his best start of the season and bailed the offense out. It was good to see him bounced back and after struggling so much on Tuesday, he looked very confident and strong on Sunday. He even overcame a rare fielding blunder from Swisher/Granderson and struck out 2 batters in a row with a man on third and no one out. Nova went 2-0 last week despite the bad start.
Dave Robertson pitched 4 shutout innings during the road trip so it's hard to find this hazy and not worthy of praise, but we've come to expect that from Robertson. What we haven't come to expect at least lately is him walking batters. Robertson has at times struggled with his control but he had gone his last 10 innings without a walk before issuing one this week en route to loading the bases before getting a fly ball to end the inning. It's great to throw up scoreless innings, I just hope he can do it without putting men on each time.
AJ Burnett it seems is pitching for his job. There is enough material in the last few weeks about AJ to fill up a dictionary but I'll keep it simple. The man has serious control problems, mental issues, and he has become insubordinate with his manager. Neither of these problems can be tolerated and he only has a job while Garcia is hurt. Once we are again staring at the 6 man rotation dilemma he will find himself out quite quickly. The 16.5 million dollars he is being paid per year does not seem to be enough of a force to keep him in the rotation when he doesn't give the Yankees the best chance to win. This last week he went 1-1 but did so with two very poor performances and was not even able to finish 2 innings in his last start. I hope for his sake and the Yankees sake he has a good start or two to finish this month because he will not be on the playoff roster if he struggles this badly to end the season.
Eric Chavez earned the everyday DH role from Jorge Posada and upon doing so went 0-11 this week on the road. Not that a little skid offensively means you should lose your job, but when you get a newly appointed position and out of the gate struggle it's not good. Not to mention Andruw Jones is fighting for the spot as well and he was torrid this week hitting 2 very long HRs and batting over .300 in the last month. Chavez may find himself only hitting off righties as a DH.
Freddy Garcia is now on the DL with finger injury. Freddy cut his throwing hand while cutting in the kitchen and can't pitch until it heals up. He'll miss a few weeks and hopefully that's it. Let's hope this little cut and break will not affect our guy because he's been nothing short of sensational as a Yankee and has really aleviated all starting woes through his and Colon's rejuvinated performances this season.
The Yankees now return home and should be able to prey on a weak Oakland team for three games before heading back on the road to take on the Orioles over the weekend. Let's take 5/6 please? Yankees are red hot and shouldn't have a problem winning these next 2 series.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Yankees 8/9/11

It's 8/9/11 and the Yankees are 69-45, 24 games over .500 and staring at a 6 game lead in the wild card over the Angels. The very same Angels who just beat the Yankees 6-4 in another heartbreaking loss from the bombers. If you knew going into this season the Yankees would be missing A-rod, Jeter for a stretch, Hughes for 80% of the year, Colon for a month, Soriano for a long stretch, Joba for the season, Feliciano for the season, Chavez for a bit, throw in a few other bumps and bruises and I'd have expected turmoil.

The starting rotation was a mega concern but turned out to be the biggest strength of the squad. Colon has been lights out and looks like its 2005, Garcia has been masterful, CC his old dominant self, AJ is still AJ but is more like his 2009 self than the 2010 disaster, and Nova has been more than the Yankees could have dreamed as a 2nd yr pitcher. Now Phil Hughes has returned to the staff and even he's starting to come around. The bullpen has found lots to like about Robertson and of course Mariano, and other pieces have fallen into place that have created a very optimistic August-September-and soon October run...until this last weekend.

Saturday afternoon against the Red Sox Sabathia got completely destroyed. Not only do we count on CC for wins every time he pitches, but that dropped his season numbers to 0-4 with a 6+ era against Boston. Sunday we followed that up with a miserable 0-10 with RISP and a Mariano blown save, which seems to be happening more and more against Boston. Then tonight the Yankees managed a decent game from AJ, despite a bad 6th he finished 6 inn 4er, I'll sign up for that. The Yankees struggled vs Haren but did what good teams do and found ways to up his pitch count and get runs when they could and clawed back from 4-1 to tie it at 4 in the 7th. Jeter provided the big hit with a game tying 2 run single in typical Jeterian fashion.

The disaster struck when for the 2nd straight game Mariano was hitable. Mo allowed a 2 run HR with 2 outs to Bobby Abreu to break the 4-4 tie. In the bottom of the 9th with a mini rally in their bones (first and third 2 outs and Tex at the dish) Granderson gets picked off attempting to steal 2nd base to end the game.

Thoughts? Too many to relay in one evening, but I'll start simply. This team is too good to lose the way they have the last 3 games. We all know this team is going to the playoffs and it's only a few August regular season games, but these loses are embarrassing and I hope don't highlight things to come. Sabathia had better be prepared to put the team on his back because we will need him more than ever come October. As good as our rotation has been, it's all 3 and 4 starters, we need Sabathia to be a big fat 1 and 2 rolled into one (he's sure big enough for 2 spots). Mariano had better get past this recent funk and be the Mo we all know and love. He does this a few times a year and everyone goes crazy, but it's worrisome when it's angles and Sox, two likely playoff foes and two teams that have patience and discipline and make Mo work. I also don't like the lack of fundamental baseball we've played. Nunez and Granderson attempting to steal in the 9th inning? I don't even begin to understand that. Nunez not covering third in the 9th inning against the Red Sox with Mo on the hill. A little dribbler bunt should have been fielded by Mariano and Nunez should have been prepared to cover that base. These are routine mental mistakes and they are costing us games, things we have never and will never tolerate.

Does this really change where they Yankees are headed this year? Maybe. Plain and simple winning the division means more than dumb ESPN analysts will care to admit. Playing on the road vs Anaheim with Haren and Weaver in a short series is no cake walk. Playing Detroit with Verlander out dueling Sabathia could be trouble. If we do emerge, playing Boston in the second round would be significantly easier if we didn't have to play 4/7 games on the road. I believe each loss is important and when you lose games to playoff rivals the way they have, it's going to come back and bite you.

In the end the Yankees still get 6 games vs Boston and have another 47 games to play and very little gap separating them and Boston. They could easily win 100 games and be the division leader and we'll laugh at this post in 2 months, but as of now as good as our record indicates I am not pleased to be in 2nd place, 2-10 vs Boston, and losing games the way we have. What does give me hope is that the last 3 games have been loses as much of a result of Sabathia and Rivera, easily the 2 most consistent Yankees on the team. It's unlikely they will put 3 games together like this, so maybe these losses are ones to let go and relax. Im going to try, because this one sure hurts. On to tomorrow, let's bring our bats and make it a clean victory.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Yankee Update

The Yankees have got to do something about Eduardo Nunez. The man has been a fantastic hitter this year and the man is clearly a great athlete. We have been more than happy with what he's provided offensively but enough is enough, Eduardo can't field. He has now racked up an excellent total of 13 errors for the season. That number doesn't even include the amount of plays he's botched that can't be ruled as errors. It's no longer easy to turn away from his occasional blunders and shrug it off as the every now and then mistake. It has now become routine for Nunez to butcher a play and it's hurting the Yankees more than his bat is helping.

I'm sick of people texting me and telling me Joe Girardi is fucking up the bull pen. I'm also sick of hearing how bad Boone Logan is and how Sergio Mitre should never take the field. I love the Yankees winning games and of course games vs Boston and Tampa are important, but Dave Robertson and Mariano Rivera can't play every day. They can't even play every other day. I don't want Mo logging 80+ games this season. I want Mo fresh and ready for October innings. The Yankees got screwed with Feliciano, Soriano, and Joba all getting hurt and they have to roll with some guys other than Mo and Robertson sometimes. Ideally I'd like our starter to go 7 and then go to Dave and Mo, but that doesn't happen. We need some other relievers to get some 6th 7th and at times 8th innings outs. Enter Boone Logan.

Boone Logan has never been my favorite Yankee and he did struggle his ass off to start the year, but he has merit on this team. Logan has been a different man since his special A-rod chat. He is the only lefty in the pen and it's necessary for him to continue to see crunch time minutes so he can continue to get going and be a key member of the playoff rotation. Not to mention the fact that he's actually providing lots of value right now.

Sergio Mitre is the official white flag of the Yankees. You cam't win every game and when it's 7-2 in the 8th, it's ok by me if Girardi decides to save some good arms and throws out Mitre. Agreed it's frustrating but that's what the last guy in the bull pen is for. Granted Mitre is below average even for the last man on the roster, but he is not costing the Yankees any winnable games so end of discussion.

It's because of this that I actually have like Girardi's managing and think Yankee fans should find other things to be mad about.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cano, don't ya know

Robinson Cano showed off his skills last night destroying the field en route to his first HR derby title. It's not as if the world doesn't already know the wonder that is Robby. He's now been a Yankee for 7 years, won a World Series title, and made 3 all star games so the man has been showcasing his skills plenty but this was a whole other level. Cano has always been a great hitter, but it's never been with the long ball. At the derby last night Cano demonstrated that his swing is so great and so pure he could easily drop hit more home runs but chooses to hit for doubles and singles.

Adrian Gonzalez sure put on one hell of a show in the finals, notching a finals record 11 HRs, that is until cano got up. Cano hitting balls from his Dad Jose, hit 12 HRs with only 6 outs in the finals. He was showing no signs of exhaustion from his previous 20 jacks in the Arizona heat. Cano spent the offseason 2 years ago working hard with his dad to get better and since then has been on fire. He went to a level only Yankee fans new was possible and showed some serious pop. Prince Fielder hit the farthest HR at 474 FT and the next 4 farthest were all Canos, including 2 at 472 feet.

It was the first time in a while the HR derby for me was really a pleasure to watch. After watching the all star game tonight I realized that the baseball all star festivities are the best of the major sports by far and I enjoyed seeing my Yankees compete as well as the rest of the AL stars. Too bad the best players weren't in attendance, but I think it gives the secondary players a chance to shine. Good to see Ricky Weeks, Starlin Castro, Joel Hanrahan, and players of the like who don't get much respect and deserve it. Would have like to have seen CC, Verlander, Price, Arod, Jeter, Reyes, and a few other stars but they were hurt and ineligible and such is life.

The NL won 5-1 and had clearly the more dominant starting pitching. I don't really care about the stats too much but Fielder hit the big blast, a 3 run dinger off CJ Wilson and that was all she wrote. It was unfortunate because the Yankees could use that home field advantage and we missed out because Wilson was pitching and shouldn't have been. Not if Haren, Verlander, Price, or CC were out there. But that's the way the cookie crumbles, let's hope the Yankees can get there before it matters. At least last night the world got to witness the joy that is Cano and why the Yankees future remains bright. It was an enjoyable 2 days without the Yankees and now only one more miserable day off before the 2nd half is underway.

New post tomorrow breaking down the 2nd half season...For now congrats NL and go Robby

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Derek Jeter Goes for History

Derek Jeter will attempt to collect his 3,000 Major league hit (every one hit as a Yankee) tonight at home against the Rays. The Yankees begin a 4 game series with Tampa at home before the All Star break and then heading on a 7 game road trip shortly thereafter. Jeter has openly stated the 3,000 hit mark has not weighed heavily on his mind but he did admit he wants 3,000 to come at home (Duh! Although for Jeter that's quite a confession). What this means is we have a golden opportunity for the achievement to be reached during these four games, otherwise it ain't happening at home. He currently stands at 2,997 and so needs 3 hits in 4 games. Since I'm going to the game tonight, ideally I'd like to see a 3 hit game and have the record happen tonight. Unlikely as it is it should be a good game as my friend Cobe has procured some wonderful seats. thirty feet behind home plate with a great free buffet of food and spacious seating to boot.
The series itself against the Rays should also not be downplayed. With the Yankees losing 3 of their last 4 games and losing their first series since being swept by Boston almost a month ago, it's important to turn things around. The Rays are closing in on first place in the AL east and with only 2 teams from the east making the playoffs, it's crcuial to beat division rivals. The Yankees have looked phenominal in June and July and look to keep firing on all cylinders. At 51-34 the Yankees look poised for another second half run and playoff birth. Let's see them get back on the winning track tonight and if we get lucky....some history!