The string comes unwound…
The Yankees had been successful in every season series this year except for their trip to Anaheim, CA, but the string of success came to a resounding thud in Detroit. The Tigers were victorious in winning 3 of 4 games against the Yankees.
The Tigers took a close game on Monday, 5-4, when a late Yankees rally fell short. Tuesday was rained out, so the team played two the next day. Despite a strong performance by Javier Vazquez (his best of the season, by far), the Yanks fell 2-0 in the first game. They rebounded in the nightcap behind a very strong performance by Phil Hughes, which is rapidly becoming “the norm” for #65. The game was close most of the way until the Yankees scored 6 runs in the 9th to win, 8-0.
In the getaway game, the Yanks were shut out for the second time in three games, 6-0. The game was highlighted by a disappointing outing by CC Sabathia.
Tonight, the Yankees are back in the Bronx for a weekend series against the Minnesota Twins.
As it stands right now, I am concerned about the team. Andy Pettitte pitches on Saturday and there is uncertainty regarding his health. He has missed a start due to elbow stiffness and it would not be realistic to expect his high level of performance in April to continue.
The rainout in Detroit, forcing Javier Vazquez to pitch on Wednesday, has pushed Javy’s next start back a day so Sergio Mitre will start Sunday against the Twins.
My biggest concern is the ongoing health challenges the team has faced. For awhile, it seemed as though every win was accompanied by an injury. I know the Yankees spare no expense, but at times, I do wonder about the team’s strength and conditioning program. It is a completely unsubstantiated remark, but the constant little injuries do make you wonder what the cause might be.
Curtis Granderson is eligible to come off the DL on Monday, but he has yet to begin running again. He is scheduled to do some light running this weekend, and has been vigorously working out. However, if he hasn’t started running, it does not appear he’ll be back immediately. Nothing against Marcus Thames, Randy Winn or Greg Golson, but I’d prefer to see those guys coming off the bench…not starting in the outfield.
Other Yankees have been dinged up…Jorge Posada, Nick Swisher, Robinson Cano, Mariano Rivera, et al. Chan Ho Park and Alfredo Aceves are on the DL with Granderson, although Park is expected back soon.
A trip to October always includes a bit of luck so hopefully the Yanks will be able to overcome these string of injuries without losing too much ground to the Tampa Bay Rays…or let the dreaded Boston Red Sox catch up.
On the bright side (for me), the San Jose Sharks will soon begin the Western Conference Finals against the Chicago Blackhawks for the right to advance to the Stanley Cup. I had hoped for a Stanley Cup collision against my friend, Julia, but unfortunately, her Boston Bruins let a 3 games to none lead slip away. That also included a 3-0 lead in Game 7. So close Julia, “but so far away”. Sorry, my friend. At least we still have hope in the NBA play-offs as the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics are in their respective conference finals. So, we’ll have to hope for Lakers-Celtics in the finals, with a Sharks-Bruins match-up just a dream for future years.
Bring out the broom…
The Baltimore Orioles have proven to be very challenging for the Yankees in recent years. The Orioles are one of the AL’s young and improving teams, and they’ll be a force to be reckoned with in the not-so-distant future. Despite the slow start, the Orioles came into the Bronx fresh off a weekend sweep of the Boston Red Sox. But pitching prevailed as the Yankees completed a three game sweep before heading to Boston for their own weekend series against the Red Sox.
Antonelli/NY Daily News
I’d love to think that…if the Orioles can sweep the Red Sox and the Yankees can sweep the Orioles, then surely the Yankees can… Oh well, one can dream! It should be a fun series at Fenway Park.
After the Yankees picked up wins in the first two games against Baltimore behind the pitching of CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett, I was somewhat concerned that the Yankees would be caught looking ahead to the weekend on “getaway day”. Thanks to homers by Nicks Johnson and Swisher, Andy Pettitte was staked to an early 6-1 lead but he departed in the 5th inning due to a stiff elbow. An MRI later revealed mild inflammation in his left elbow, and he is expected to miss his next start. With Mariano Rivera still out and Joba Chamberlain unavailable after two consecutive nights of work, the game was left in the hands of the bullpen. Baltimore mounted a rally against the relief corps, but the Yankees held on for the 7-5 win. Alfredo Aceves picked up the save.
The Yankees have definitely dealt with their share of injuries lately. Fortunately, only one player was hurt enough for placement on the DL (Curtis Granderson; strained groin). The others, like Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera, have simply taken a few days off. The Yankees will most likely skip Pettitte’s next start as a precautionary measure, but hopefully, Posada and Rivera will be ready for action on Friday night.
With the Yankees headed for Boston, it can only mean one thing…for me, anyway. It’s time for my latest battle against Julia of Julia’s Rants! This time, we’ve decided to make the loser go on a journey to find an inexpensive piece of memorabilia about the ‘other’ team. It can’t be something that is current and easy to find. Part of the loser’s obligation will be to document their journey by photographs in the quest. The loser will have until the end of Memorial Day Weekend to complete their adventure. It should be a very fun time for Julia as she explores Boston for Yankees paraphernalia! Hey Julia, Game On! J
Speaking of the Red Sox, they did the classy thing and had Nomar Garciaparra Day today at Fenway Park against the Los Angeles Angels. Despite the 2004 trade and Nomar’s subsequent stays in Chicago, Los Angeles and Oakland, he remains a fan favorite in Boston and the city was allowed to express their love and respect for a great former Red Sox player. A very nice touch by the Red Sox organization…
Boston Globe Staff
I’d also like to pay respects to the late great Ernie Harwell. The long-time Detroit Tigers announcer lost his battle with cancer at age 92. I may not have been a Tigers fan, but I was…correction, I am…an Ernie Harwell fan. For a wonderful tribute to one of the game’s greatest, you don’t have to go any further than Mitch Albom’s column in the Detroit Free Press. His column entitled ‘Ernie Harwell: Gone now, but not forgotten’ is a must-read.
Daniel Mears/The Detroit News
So, Julia‘s Boston Bruins and my San Jose Sharks are both a game away for their respective conference finals. Both teams hold commanding 3 games to none leads in their current series, the Sharks against the Detroit Red Wings and the Bruins against the Philadelphia Flyers. A Stanley Cup is not a certainty by any stretch as both teams still have to a) win their current series, and b) win the conference finals. But here’s at least one person hoping for a match-up against the great Ranter from Massachusetts! Hey Julia, Games on!