I enjoyed my evening. How about you?…
The Yankees completed a three-game series sweep over the Orioles in Baltimore with a convincing 10-2 victory on Wednesday. CC Sabathia continued his recent hot streak (hasn’t lost since July 28th), and became the AL’s first 16-game winner.
There were three games of importance tonight:
Yankees 10, Orioles 2
Rays 8, Red Sox 5
Mariners 3, Angels 0
The outcomes meant that the Yankees increased their lead in the AL East to 7 games over the Red Sox, and best record in the AL to 6 ½ games over the Angels. It’s tough to gloat at this point in the season because the thought of Gene Mauch and the 1964 Philadelphia Phillies is never too far from memory. But I am pleased with where the Yankees are at this point in the season.
Walter Iooss, Jr/SI
The latest series sweep by the Yankees was very convincing. It featured a stellar pitching performance by Andy Pettitte, whose attempt for a perfect game was disrupted on an error by third base Jerry Hairston, Jr. A.J. Burnett continued his impression of an injured Chien-Ming Wang, but Yankee homers came to the rescue. Finally, it was the combination of Sabathia and Alex Rodriguez that secured the sweep.
The Yankees are 72-33 since A-Rod returned from hip surgery, and it’s starting to look like he may not need additional surgery after the season. Tonight, he notched his 2,500th career hit, and paced the Yankees with 4 RBI’s.
In an interesting stat, Eric Hinske has only 14 hits since he joined the Yankees, but 7 of those hits have been home runs including one tonight.
Derek Jeter now stands 9 career hits behind the legendary Lou Gehrig for the most career hits with the Yankees. Larrupin’ Lou had 2,721 hits, while DJ has 2,713. Admittedly, it is bittersweet to see another Gehrig mark fall, but I am happy for Jeter. I am sure that Lou would be standing and clapping when Derek gets his 2,722nd hit.
There are reports that Mariano Rivera will miss the next few games with a slight groin injury. That hurts just to type it! 😉 Hopefully, it isn’t too serious and he’s back soon. Meanwhile, the other guys in the pen will need to step it up. Hughes, I am not talking about you!
There’s a chance that Brett Gardner will be back in uniform by the Rays’ series. His hustle and ‘all-out’ style of play have been missed despite the Yankees’ continued success.
The Yankees begin a four-game series against the Blue Jays in Toronto on Thursday. The scheduled starter is Chad Gaudin. It is anticipated that Sergio Mitre will pitch Sunday, so I can’t say that I am overly optimistic about the upcoming series. At first pass, I’d have to say that I’ll be pleased with a split. On Monday (Labor Day), the Yankees will open a four-game set with the Scott Kazmir-less Tampa Bay Rays. They’ll play two on Labor Day to get things started. So, it isn’t going to get any easier for the next week. I am sure that my friend Julia in Boston is licking her chops…
What is it with ex-Red Sox pitchers? They stink it up in Boston, and then go to the National League and pitch lights out. John Smoltz struck out 9 batters in his first start with the St. Louis Cardinals. Tonight, Brad Penny pitched eight scoreless innings for the San Francisco Giants to defeat the World Champion Philadelphia Phillies. Considering that the Giants are my team in the NL, I am pleased for the performance considering that the Giants are neck-and-neck with the Colorado Rockies for the wild card chase. I also liked the anti-Dodger comments that ex-Dodger Penny made. Given that he has made some disparaging comments about the Florida Marlins, I wonder how long before he rips into the Red Sox Nation…
Based on the Red Sox pitchers success in the National League, I guess that means Nick Green will be next year’s NL Cy Young winner! LOL!
Okay, I still can’t wrap my head around Brett Favre being my team’s starting quarterback. How do you suddenly begin cheering for a guy that you “hated” for 16 years. How many times did you think your team was going to win, only to see Favre throw a last second TD to pull out a win for the Pack? I’ll admit that I’ve embraced Johnny Damon despite his previous employer. But then again, I always liked and respected Damon. Even as a Red Sox player, he was always very classy and professional. So, I couldn’t “hate” him. I tried to think of a Red Sox player that I wouldn’t want on the Yankees roster. The first one to come to mind is Josh Beckett. But I still think of him more as a Florida Marlin, so that doesn’t really count. Maybe David Ortiz. But I can’t help but like the guy. I have no problems with Jason Bay, and he would be welcomed to left field in the Bronx with open arms. There really isn’t anyone in any sport that I can compare to how difficult it is to see a bitter rival where your team’s colors. Plus, Favre just looks kind of funny in purple. Maybe Favre should have went to play for Dallas. Watching all those Packers-Cowboys play-off and Thanksgiving games showed that Favre had an affection for throwing to the guys with a silver star on their helmets. Nevertheless, I guess I had better get used to #4. He is not going away. Not this season at least. I remain hopeful that the final Vikings roster of 53 includes John David Booty because I still think he’s the QB of the future. But I guess this season I’d better learn to enjoy eating cheese…
Chris Polydoroff/Pioneer Press
Finally, I went to see Nickelback perform last night at the Shoreline Amphitheatre in San Jose, CA. I am a huge Nickelback fan so I had high expectations. But this was easily the best concert I’ve ever attended. Chad Kroeger is a master showman, and he definitely knows how to engage a crowd. He’s the type of guy you’d love to have a beer with, except you’d never get in a word edgewise. I was thoroughly impressed, and I recommend the Dark Horse Tour for anyone who hasn’t seen it if it is coming to a city near you. Hinder was also excellent. The concert will leave you feelin’ way too damn good…
Given that his club hits record is being assaulted, I will end this blog with a call out to Lou Gehrig. Lou, you remain the Pride of the Yankees, and you are an inspiration for the world! We will never forget you…
Posted on YouTube by RUKidding05
P.S. I know that I’ve used this video before, but it remains one of my all-time favorites…
What a letdown!…
After taking 2 of 3 from the Boston Red Sox last weekend, the Yankees landed with a thud in the Bronx. The Texas Rangers, normally a team the Yankees can handle, took 2 of 3 from the Bombers while Boston was busy taking 3 of 4 from the Chicago White Sox.
The once expansive 7 1/2 game lead has been reduced to 6 games. But all things considered, a 6 game lead on August 27th is still a very good place to be.
I was disappointed with the first game of the Texas series. Trailing 10-5 in the bottom of the 9th, the Yankees brought it to 10-9 with runners in scoring position. But the rally was killed by a failed bunt attempt by Nick Swisher and a game-ending double play by Melky Cabrera.
Henny Ray Abrams/AP
Andy Pettitte convincingly won the second game of the series, but further disappointment followed in the final game as the Yanks fell 7-2. A.J. Burnett continued his recent streak of no success. Despite 12 strikeouts and an otherwise dominating performance, he paid dearly for a mistake that resulted in a three-run bomb by Ian Kinsler.
Noah K. Murray/Star Ledger
Now the Yankees prepare for the Chicago White Sox to arrive in town. It won’t match the intensity of the last Sox team, but hopefully, CC Sabathia will right the ship and get the Yankees back on the winning track. After all, these Yankees have a division to win. Right, Alex?
So, the Yankees were apparently the team that filed the waiver claim on pitcher Brad Penny. The move forced the Red Sox to drop Penny for no compensation. Bummer for Theo. While I suspect, like everyone else, that Penny will return to the NL, I can’t help but think that he’d be an improvement over Sergio Mitre and Chad Gaudin. The Yankees should definitely consider being one of the teams lining up to talk to Penny on Monday when he clears waivers.
I read tonight that the Yanks most likely won’t be buyers in the free agent market this winter. I guess that means no Matt Holliday or Jason Bay. Okay, I recognize that we are spoiled as Yankees fans by ownership committed to winning, but I do miss having at least one superstar outfielder (sorry Johnny!). Austin Jackson will enter the outfield mix in 2010 but there is no in-house answer for right field if Xavier Nady is allowed to walk at the end of the year. But of course, what you HEAR is not always what you SEE with the Yanks. Brian Cashman has gotten good at lying in the weeds, waiting to strike…
I hate to go off-topic (okay, not really). There are reports that a “schism” has developed in the Minnesota Vikings’ clubhouse with players feeling that either Tavaris Jackson or Sage Rosenfels would give them a better chance to win than Brett Favre. I still remain hopeful that we’ll see the 2007 Packers version of Favre rather than the 2008 Jets version. Favre will play a half during Monday’s exhibition game and he needs to start showing his teammates that he is still the same player that terrorized them in Green Bay. This season has the makings of something really special…or something really rotten. The difference maker, in either direction, will be Favre.
Elizabeth Flores/Star Tribune
I am definitely looking forward to the Top 11 post by my friend Julia (of Julia’s Rants). The photos of her in a Yankees cap will be a special treat. Nevertheless, I recognize that September will be a dogfight and I look forward to the next battle with Julia. Hmmm, maybe we need to raise the stakes…
Hey Yankees, let’s roll!…
All quiet on the Yankee front…
I have to give Brian Cashman and Hal Steinbrenner credit, they do a good job of avoiding leaks to the press (unlike George in years past).
I keep trying to reconcile my mind to accept Phil Hughes as the #5 starter, but when I think of worst-case scenario (both A.J. Burnett and Joba Chamberlain down with injuries), I know that they need more if they are to compete against a Red Sox pitching staff that has 2006/07 16-game winner Brad Penny at the end of the rotation (without even getting to John Smoltz or the beefed up bullpen).
I saw that Nick Cafardo suggested that the Red Sox trade for Prince Fielder. If the Red Sox were successful in acquiring Fielder, I wonder if the Yankees would stand pat. That’s hard to imagine, but at this point, the Red Sox do have the opportunity to have the better offseason despite the huge cash outlay by the Yankees. I saw that Ken Rosenthal suggested that the Brewers trade Fielder for pitching prospects and sign Adam Dunn as his replacement. Which, of course, makes me wonder why don’t the Red Sox consider Dunn? Granted, he is a defensive liability but he is a proven power hitter with good on base percentage. He is a patient hitter (maybe too patient it has been suggested), but he’d provide solid protection for Papi. Plus, Clay Buchholz would stay on the Red Sox roster…
I have a tough time picturing Derek Lowe in a Braves uniform. I think he is a much better fit with the Mets or Phillies…assuming that he wants to win. He’d be a great fit on the Yankees, but of course, that’s cost prohibitive (you don’t pay those kind of dollars to your fifth starter..are you listening Andy?).
Whatever happened to Oscar Gamble?…