Tagged: David Ortiz

A Very Unenjoyable Day…

 

It was ugly…

 

 

When you have a game where the Yankees give up a total of 9 runs, it is surprising that the pitchers included CC Sabathia and Mariano Rivera.  But that’s what happened in a disappointing Saturday game against the Tampa Bay Rays that saw the Yanks fall, 9-7.

 

Antonelli/New York Daily News

 

The Yankees had rallied from two runs down to tie the score at 5 in the 8th inning.  CC Sabathia pitched 8 innings, but a homer by Ben Zobrist in the 5th inning and a three-run shot in the 6th by Willy Aybar had allowed the Rays to take a 5-3 lead. 

In the Yankees’ 8th, Mark Teixeira greeted reliever Grant Balfour with a leadoff homer to pull the Yanks within one.  The Yanks added another run when Melky Cabrera hit into a fielder’s choice with the bases loaded, scoring Jorge Posada.

The stage was set for a dramatic Yankees comeback and walk-off win, but it was not meant to be.

 

 

The usually reliable Mariano Rivera came out to open the 9th inning.  Ben Zobrist immediately hit a triple.  The next batter, Joe Dillon, singled to left single to score Zobrist with the go-ahead run.  The next two outs, a grounder and a fly out, advanced Dillon to third.  In a move that backfired and one that Rivera openly disagreed with, manager Joe Girardi called for Evan Longoria to be intentionally walked.  With Andy Sonnanstine running for Longoria, B.J. Upton followed with a single to score Dillon and advanced Sonnanstine to second.  In a rare occurrence, Rivera was pulled and Phil Coke was brought in to face Carl Crawford.  Crawford singled to left to score Sonnanstine, and Upton moved to third.  An error by Alex Rodriguez allowed Willy Aybar to reach first base, scoring Upton.  Crawford was thrown out attempting to steal third to finally end the horrific inning.

 

Jeff Zelevansky/AP

 

I do think it was inappropriate for Girardi to call for an intentional walk with Mo on the mound.  When you have your closer on the hill, I feel strongly that it should be an all or nothing proposition.  Mo wanted to pitch to Longoria, and he should have been allowed to.  Who knows, perhaps Longoria would have belted a homer, but we were never given the opportunity to find out.  Mo deserves better, and hopefully, he’ll be back to his usual stellar self before the current series concludes.

 

sportsgrumblings.com

 

The Yankees attempted to rally in the 9th.  Derek Jeter singled, and Johnny Damon doubled to put two runners in scoring position.  Mark Teixeira followed with a two-run double to bring the Yankees within two.  However, Tex was stranded at second as the next three Yankee batters were retired to end the game.  Former Yankee Randy Choate even picked up the save, his third of the season.

Tampa’s pitching phenom, David Price, pitched a good game.  In 5 2/3 innings, he gave up three runs on two hits (only one run was earned), walking 5 and striking out 3.

 

Photo 

AP

Alex Rodriguez hit his 561st career home run, leaving him two shy of Reggie Jackson for 11th place on the all-time list.

The Yankees remain winless at Yankee Stadium against their two key AL East Rivals, the Rays and the Boston Red Sox.  The Rays have won 3 games at the Stadium this year, and have a 4-2 mark overall for the season series.

I know that my friend, Kelly, is probably doing the Happy Dance in Tampa.  Thankfully, I haven’t heard from her yet but I know it’s coming if the games continue like this…

 

 

 

The loss, combined with the Red Sox win, dropped the Yankees out of first place.  They are now a ½ game behind Boston.  Boston beat the Texas Rangers 8-1 behind a tremendous pitching performance by Jon Lester.  I do have to tip my cap to Lester…he was masterful.  He had a perfect game through 6 1/3 innings.  He finished with a complete game, and allowed only 2 hits and 2 walks while striking out 11.

 

Coming off his best start of the season, Lester looked even better against the Rangers. Lester fanned 11 on Saturday night, and has 23 strikeouts in his last two starts (he struck out a career-high 12 in his last start).

Globe Staff Photo/Barry Chin 

 

The game also included a David Ortiz home run, so I guess it was a perfect night for Julia

 

Matthew Healey/Boston Herald 

 

It was a tough day, but in the words of the Governor, I’ll be back!

 

 

Go Yankees!

 

–Scott

The Joba Rules Continue…

 

Add  it to the list…

The Huffington Post

 

1.    Joba does not like bees.

2.  Joba does not like state troopers when he’s been drinking.

3.    Joba does not like spring training.

4.  Joba does not like being mocked.

5.    Joba does not like the first inning.

 

and now,

 

6.    Joba does not like rain delays…

 

AP

Not much to talk about last night’s 7-3 loss to the Texas Rangers, which didn’t get started until after a rain delay of 2 hours and 24 minutes.  A rainout would have been more productive.  The Yankees missed a golden opportunity to move into a first place tie with the Boston Red Sox, who had lost to the Twins earlier in the evening.

LM Otero/AP

 

I have Rangers first baseman Chris Davis on my fantasy team (I know, I’m sorry too).  I have been actively seeking a better option, but nothing has presented itself.  Of course, all he needed was Yankee pitching as he struck for two home runs during last night’s game.  It’s amazing what the Yankee bullpen can do for one’s batting average…unfortunately.

 

 Chris Davis (left) returns to a happy Texas Rangers dugout after the first of his two home runs on Tuesday.

G.J. McCarthy/DMN 

 

The Yankees had tied the game at 3, but the Rangers pulled away in the 7th and 8th innings.  They did have a chance in the 7th inning but Nick Swisher hit into an inning ending double play with the bases loaded.  Swisher’s been a fun guy to have in the clubhouse, but he is rapidly becoming a roster liability. 

 

 

Phil Coke is starting to look very hittable (he gave up the second home run to Chris Davis in the 8th inning), but of course, that can be said of any member of the Yankee bullpen.

 

Reuters

In other Yankee notes, Melky Cabrera left in the first inning with a strained right shoulder after he crashed into the center field fence.  Initial tests were negative, but he’s out for 5-7 games.

 

LM Otero/AP

 

The Yankees recalled reliever David Robertson (sorry Edwar!) to replace Brian Bruney on the roster.

 

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images 

 

I am not sure what to make of the Chien-Ming Wang situation.  He seems to be rotting on the bench, and I don’t know why.  Any other starter would have been returned to the starting rotation when he was ready.  Wang was the #2 starter coming out of spring training, and was the recognized ace during his 19 win seasons of 2006 and 2007.  If he isn’t ready to start, he should have been left in the minor leagues for some additional rehab starts.  As an outsider looking in, the situation does seem to be somewhat disrespectful to Wang.  I know that Phil Hughes is pitching well, but he needs to wait his turn.

 

AP 

Sounds like Jorge Posada could be ready to return to the team by this weekend.  It will be nice to have his bat in the lineup again, even if he supplants Hideki Matsui at DH.

 

Andrew Mills/The Star Ledger

 

When a negative becomes a positive…

Whenever the Yankees lose, the first thing I do is check to see what the Boston Red Sox did.  C’mon Julia, you know you do the same thing when the Sox lose!  In an ideal situation, everyone in the AL East would lose.  But with the Toronto Blue Jays playing the Baltimore Orioles, somebody had to win.  So, in that scenario, best case would be for the cellar dweller to win.  That’s exactly what happened as everyone lost except the O’s.  Somehow, in May, those losses don’t hurt as much as they do when everyone else wins.

 

 

 

Best case scenario, of course, the Yankees win and everybody else loses.  I am cool with that…

 

 

The Yankees are now 26-20, one game behind the Red Sox.  The view from the rear is not quite as distant as one would lead you to believe…

 

 

He batted where?

The Red Sox lineup looked somewhat unusual last night during Boston’s 5-2 loss to the Minnesota Twins.

 

Boston Red Sox

Hitters

AB

R

H

RBI

BB

SO

LOB

AVG

J Ellsbury CF

5

2

2

0

0

0

2

.303

D Pedroia 2B

4

0

2

1

0

1

1

.341

J Drew RF

3

0

0

0

1

0

2

.263

K Youkilis 3B

4

0

1

0

0

3

3

.379

J Bay LF

4

0

0

0

0

2

3

.282

D Ortiz DH

3

0

1

0

1

1

0

.197

J Varitek C

4

0

1

0

0

1

3

.238

J Bailey 1B

4

0

0

0

0

1

4

.185

J Lugo SS

4

0

2

0

0

0

1

.271

Totals

35

2

9

1

2

9

 

When is the last time that David Ortiz batted as low as 6th in the order?  It was on May 11, 2004:

 

Boston Red Sox

Hitters

  AB

R

H

RBI

BB

SO

LOB

AVG

J Damon CF

5

0

0

0

0

0

1

.272

M Bellhorn 2B

3

0

1

0

1

0

0

.229

K Millar DH

4

0

0

0

0

1

2

.287

M Ramirez LF

3

0

0

0

1

1

1

.360

J Varitek C

2

0

0

0

1

1

1

.314

D Ortiz 1B

4

1

3

1

0

0

1

.269

   C Crespo PR-SS

0

1

0

0

0

0

0

.163

B Mueller 3B

4

1

2

1

0

0

3

.242

G Kapler RF

4

2

3

1

0

0

0

.247

P Reese SS

3

0

0

0

0

0

4

.247

   a-B Daubach PH

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

.241

   b-D McCarty PH-1B

1

0

1

2

0

0

0

.233

Totals

33

5

10

5

3

3

13

 

Of course, Boston won that game (5-3 over CC Sabathia and the Cleveland Indians).  Julia might argue that 2004 was the year the Curse was eliminated, but could this be the beginning of the end for Ortiz?  Julia, you might have bigger problems than re-signing Jason Bay.  On the bright side (for Julia), it doesn’t appear that Julio Lugo is in tonight’s starting line-up.  However, now batting sixth…David Ortiz!

 

AP

A Step in the Right Direction…

They’re back!

 


Were Back.JPGDerek Jeter and Hideki “Godzilla” Matsui returned to the Yankees lineup on Thursday night…in a big way…

Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

Derek tied the game in the 7th inning with a RBI single, while Hideki hit a solo home run in the 8th for the deciding margin of victory.

CC Sabathia, of course, followed up his great performance in Baltimore (four hit shutout) with another very strong performance.  He only gave up 5 hits and 2 runs in 8 innings of work against the AL East leading Toronto Blue Jays.  It is so strange to see a Yankees starter going deep into games.  Of course, it’s a relief (no pun intended) to see Manager Joe Girardi avoid the wobbly arms in the pen, except for…

The Great Mariano Rivera.  Granted, he has had his share of struggles this season.  However, on Thursday night, it was vintage Mo.  Three men up…three men down, including a strikeout to end the game. 

The game also featured strong defensive play from the young guys like Brett Gardner and Francisco Cervelli.  I have been reading that the league will “figure out” Cervelli once the scouting reports catch up with him, but for now, he’s been invaluable and I’ve enjoyed his play.  It was fun to see his excitement after the game as he spoke with the YES Network.  What a thrill!  You start the year in the minor leagues, playing for Double A/Trenton, and in May, you’re catching the likes of CC and Mo.  I know that catchers Austin Romine and Jesus Montero are working their way up the system for eventual starting roles for the Yankees, but right now, Cervelli has been “all that and a bag of chips”.  It’s refreshing to have his energy on the team.

12

“Right now, we can take a lot out of beating any team,” Jeter said. “We need to string together some wins and win some series. Hopefully this is a step in the right direction.”


thumbs up.JPGThe Yankees evened their record at 17-17, and now stand 4.5 games behind the Jays.  The Red Sox, of course, missed their opportunity to gain ground with a 13-inning loss to the Los Angeles Angels.  I felt that the Red Sox were going to win it when they loaded the bases in the 12th inning, particularly when David Ortiz came to bat with two outs.  But Ortiz did not come through like we’ve seen in recent years.  He also struck out with the bases loaded in the 4th.  He was 0-for-7, and stranded a dozen men on base.  He’s gone 144 at-bats without a homer, and he told reporters after the game that ‘Papi stinks’.  I don’t take satisfaction in seeing Ortiz struggle.  I like playing the best, and I have always thought that Ortiz was a good guy.  He’s certainly someone that I would have enjoyed on my team.  Hopefully, for his sake, he’ll rebound soon and start hitting the clutch shots that we’ve become accustomed to.

 

AP

Speaking of Boston, my condolences go out to my friend, Julia.  The Boston Bruins were eliminated from the NHL play-offs by the Carolina Hurricanes last night in overtime, 3-2.  I had really felt that they had a shot at the Stanley Cup, and I am surprised that they’ve made their exit.  With the departure of the Ducks too, I guess I’ll be pulling for Sidney Crosby and the Pittsburgh Penguins.  There is no way that I’d ever root for anything related to Detroit (sorry, I am a Vikings fan so there’s no love for Detroit…or Green Bay or Chicago)….well, Kid Rock’s not so bad…

Kid Rock Picture

Dave Sandford/Getty Images North America

Poor Julia!  It was a 0-for-3 night as her Celtics also lost.  But at least she has one more chance with the NBA, as the Celtics will play the Orlando Magic in the decisive Game 7 on Sunday.  There will be better days, Julia! 

Nina Cat Kicks Dog

Well, except for a few nights in June…

Escape from the Red Sox Nation!…

Freedom!

 

Julia (of Julia’s Rants) has graciously reduced my sentence by one blog!  Yeah, I am free!  Well, I guess I will be after this blog!  😉

 

 

For my last Red Sox blog, I thought long and hard about what player I wanted to write about.  I thought about David Ortiz since I think the man is personally responsible for the end of the Curse of the Bambino.  He gave Manny Ramirez huge protection in the line up, and he instilled a ‘don’t quit’ attitude in the Red Sox clubhouse.  For the life of me, I still don’t understand why the Minnesota Twins released Big Papi…or why Brian Cashman didn’t react quicker. 

 

Cataffo/New York Daily News

 

I also thought about manager Terry Francona.  For years, Red Sox managers were always guys that you loved to hate.  Even though he later occupied the Yankees bench along side Joe Torre, I couldn’t stand Don Zimmer when he was the manager of the Red Sox.  With Tito, the Red Sox finally had a manager who commands respect.  I am hopeful that Joe Girardi will one day be the man that Tito is today.

 

 

Ultimately, I decided to go with the Man of the Hour.  Fresh off the newly signed contract, Jon Lester seems to be the most appropriate current Boston player for my final Red Sox blog. 

 

 

So, here goes my final blog as a temporary but involuntary member of the Red Sox Nation…

 

 

Odd One Out?

 

 

Future 20-Game Winner

 

I first became aware of Jonathan Tyler Lester in 2006.  I had started to hear about the latest Red Sox pitching phenom early that year (he made his major league debut on June 10, 2006 at Fenway Park).

 

 

In his first game, Jon pitched 4 1/3 innings and gave up 5 hits, 3 runs, and 4 walks.  He also had 4 strikeouts.  He received a no-decision, but the Red Sox lost the game to the Texas Rangers, 7-4.

 

Over the next couple of months, Jon pitched very well.  He had racked up 7-2 record, with 4.76 ERA in 81 1/3 innings by late summer.  But on August 27, 2006, he was scratched from a start in Oakland against the A’s.  The reason listed was a sore back, and there were concerns it was related to an auto accident that had occurred earlier that month.  He was placed on the DL, and sent back to Boston for further tests.  On August 31st, it was reported that Jon had enlarged lymph nodes.  A few days later, the doctors confirmed that he had a treatable form of anaplastic large cell lymphoma. 

 

In December of that year, after a sixth round of chemotherapy, the doctors reported no evidence of visible cancer cells and declared that Jon was in remission.  It will be a five year process before Jon can be declared cancer free, but it has been all good so far. 

 

Jon was born in Tacoma, WA on January 7, 1984.  He graduated from Bellarmine Preparatory School in Tacoma.  He was named the Gatorade State Player of the Year for Washington in 2000.  He had the opportunity to go to college on a scholarship, but opted to sign with the Boston Red Sox after being selected in the second round of the 2002 draft (57th selection overall).

 

Following the cancer treatments of 2006, Jon’s velocity had returned by mid to late 2007.  He returned to the majors in the summer and finished the year with a 4-0 mark, 4.57 ERA and 50 strikeouts.

 

In October, Jon started and won the deciding Game 4 of the 2007 World Series against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field in Denver.  He pitched 5 2/3 innings of shutout ball, and only gave up 3 hits and 3 walks, and had 3 strikeouts.

 

Bill Greene/Boston Globe

 

As Jon moved to 2008, he had gained 25 pounds from the year before (almost all muscle) and looked to be in great physical condition. 

 

On May 19th, with the temperature only 56 degrees, Jon and the Red Sox faced the Kansas City Royals, and he promptly threw a no-hitter.  With 130 total pitches, to go with 9 strikeouts and 2 walks, Jon threw first pitch strikes to 20 of the 29 batters he faced.  The game was highlighted by a diving catch of a sinking liner in the 4th inning by Jacoby Ellsbury.

 

AP

 

In July, Jon made his debut at Yankee Stadium.  Unwilling to yield to the mystique and aura of the Stadium, he threw a complete game five-hit shutout.

 

AP

 

Jon finished the successful 2008 campaign with a 16-6 record, 3.21 ERA, and had 152 strikeouts.  He became the first Boston southpaw since Babe Ruth (1916) and Lefty Grove (1937) with as many as 15 wins, 30 starts, 200 innings, 150 strikeouts, and sub 3.50 ERA in a single season. 

 

Yesterday, the Red Sox and Jon finalized the much anticipated 5 year contract for $30 million.  The contract includes a club option for 2014.  “Everyone is excited about it,” 2B Dustin Pedroia said.  “You want to play for a long time with those guys you came up with.  Jon is going to keep getting better and better.  I’m sure by Year 5 of that deal he’s going to be an even better pitcher than he is right now.”

 

That doesn’t bode well for AL East opponents, including my beloved Yankees.  It’s no wonder the Red Sox held Jon out of trade discussions involving the likes of Alex Rodriguez, Josh Beckett, and Johan Santana over the years.

 

I wish #31 the very best…well except when he makes the trip to the Bronx or the Bombers travel to Fenway.  Jon is a champion competitor, a true ace, who plays the game the way it should be played.  He deserves our respect, but clearly the pleasure of watching him pitch is all ours…

 

Jim Rogash/Getty Images

 

SO LONG RON SILVER…THANKS FOR THE MEMORIES!

 

Granted, it’s not sports-related; however, I would like to acknowledge the passing of actor Ron Silver who died Sunday at the age of 62.  He had been fighting esophageal cancer for the past couple of years. 

 

 

Through the years, Ron has been involved in so many television and film roles dating back to The Mac Davis Show in the early 70’s. More recently, he had a recurring role on “The West Wing” as a slick strategist for the president. 

 

He was a very good actor, he commanded your attention when he was on screen, and he’ll be sorely missed…

 

AND FINALLY, YANKEES NEWS…

 

Ah, let’s talk about the Yankees!  I love it!  Yankees, Yankees, Yankees…24/7 from here on out!  Yeah!

 

  • The Yankees routed the Philadelphia Phillies today, 12-0.  Nick Swisher played first base, and had 3 RBI.  Joba Chamberlain pitched three shutout innings of two-hit ball.  He also had 3 strikeouts.  Kei Igawa continues to pitch well, but I’d definitely take the ‘sell high’ approach with him (even if it means paying part of his contract to unload him).
  • LP Zach Kroenke, 25, who was chosen by the Florida Marlins in December’s Rule 5 Draft, was returned to the Yankees on Monday.  He has been assigned to AA Trenton.  Sorry, Zach, but I am glad you had a miserable time in the Florida training camp.  Welcome back…
  • Both 2B Robinson Cano and P Damaso Marte received good news from the results of their respective MRI’s.  Cano has bursitis of the right shoulder, and Mare has inflammation of the left shoulder.  So, both should be back in action before long…
  • Good luck to former Yankees C Pudge Rodriguez who has signed a one-year deal with the Houston Astros.
  • In a non-Yankees note of interest to most likely only me, Denver Broncos QB Jay Cutler had a very acrimonious meeting with new head coach Josh McDaniels over the weekend, and has demanded to be traded.  The Vikings deny interest, but the Minnesota papers seem to follow every step of the action between Cutler and the Broncos with great detail.  I personally think Jay would look pretty good in purple and gold…

 

It is great to be back in Yankeeville!  Hopefully, my guys won’t let me down next month when the Great Showdown II with Julia of Julia’s Rants takes place (the weekend series between the Yankees and Red Sox on April 24th through 26th).  

 

With all sincerity, I do want to thank Julia for the incredible sportsmanship and good humor that she displayed during our first showdown.  I know, without a doubt, that it would have been no different had she lost.  We are very privileged to have her as one of our leading bloggers, and she continues to work harder than anyone I know at making MLB Blogs an incredible experience for everyone. 

 

But with that, I will still say…Go Yankees!  J

 

 

A Hall of Fame Kind of Day…

Granted, Rickey Henderson was the proverbial “no-brainer” (I hate that term actually), but I was glad that Jim Rice made it.  I’ve heard all the arguments against him, but growing up, it was clear that he was in an elite class and a feared hitter.  But, with Rice in, I think that Andre Dawson and Bert Blyleven are certainly just as deserving.  Hopefully, next year will be their year…

 

Why was Joba Chamberlain hanging out with David Ortiz at this month’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas?  I guess that’s one way to learn a hitter’s tendencies…

 

 

I am glad to see that Dan Graziano has begun writing his own blog, New York Baseball Hack, since his departure from the Star-Ledger. Dan is definitely one of the best baseball writers…in my opinion, and I always appreciate his insights. Dan expects the coming week to be quiet for the Yankees unless Andy Pettitte finally decides to re-sign with the team, and for Xavier Nady to be traded in Spring Training.

A special note of thanks to Tony Dungy as he departs the NFL.  Thanks Tony, you were truly one of the good guys and you set a standard of excellence that will be difficult for others to achieve.  Tony was the defensive coordinator of my favorite team, the Minnesota Vikings, back in the days of Dennis Green, and I always felt that the team should have dumped Green and promoted Dungy rather than let him leave to take the Tampa job.  Oh knows, the Vikings may have finally achieved the elusive Super Bowl championship under Dungy.  But regardless, the guy has sacrificed so much, personally and professionally, for so many others.  He will be missed…

tony-dungy.jpg

Did the Broncos really hire a coach that is only 12 years older than my son?  Yikes!  Seriously, I do think Josh McDaniels was a good hire, and he should have time and support on his side as he attempts to recapture the glory of the John Elway years…

I saw a Dallas Cowboys headline that said ‘Either Jason Garrett or Terrell Owens has to go!’  Of course, I have to ask, is this a trick question?  That one’s a “no-brainer”!  Aaarrrggh, I hate that term!  😉

And now, I’ll end with a quote from Larry the Cable Guy:  “The early bird may get the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese in the trap.”…