The thrill of victory…
It’s always nice when the Yankees can snatch a win from the jaws of defeat. After blowing early 5-0 and 6-1 leads, the Yankees found themselves looking up to the Boston Red Sox on the scoreboard at 9-7 in the 9th inning. On a night when Joba Chamberlain and David Robertson were unavailable, the bullpen was horrific. Phil Hughes was not good in his worst start of the season, but he left with a lead which the Yankees failed to keep. Chan Ho Park, forced to go two innings by the depleted pen and fresh off the DL, gave up two home runs to give Boston its 2-run advantage headed into the 9th inning. With the Red Sox threatening to score in the top of the 9th with two outs, manager Joe Girardi called on Javier Vazquez to secure the final out. He was up to the task, as he struck out Kevin Youkilis with runners at first and third.
Antonelli/New York Daily News
So, the drama was set for the bottom of the 9th. Brett Gardner doubled to start the inning, and was on third following a fly out when Alex Rodriguez came to the plate. He jumped on the first pitch and deposited the ball in the left center seats to tie the game.
The next hitter (Robinson Cano) flied out for the second out, but Francisco Cervelli was hit by a pitch to bring Marcus Thames up for his opportunity. The man who homered off of Randy Johnson for his first major league home run found this night would be the most magical of his career. There was no doubt when Thames blasted Jonathan Papelbon’s pitch to left for the game-winning, walk-off two-run home run. No pies were safe following the game…
Sipkin/New York Daily News
It was a great night, and a very much needed win following the meltdown against the Minnesota Twins on Sunday (when Mariano Rivera gave up a bases-loaded walk followed by a grand slam to lose the game). It was tremendous to see Marcus Thames have his moment at the Stadium and for Javy Vazquez to get the win with just four pitches.
Today’s game, the conclusion of the two-game series, pits Josh Beckett against CC Sabathia. It should be a thrilling game! But then again, aren’t they all at Yankee Stadium? J
“Robby Cano! Dontcha know!”…
The words flowed so smoothly from Yankees radio voice John Sterling when Robinson Cano hit a three-run homer in the Yankees’ 12-3 romp over the Chicago White Sox on Sunday.
While Cano has carried the team so far this year, Brett Gardner was the catalyst for today’s win. He hit a run-scoring single in the 2nd inning for the first run of the game, and added his annual home run in the 4th. Gardner has certainly seized his starting opportunity this year, and has been a bright spot in the lineup.
Anthony J. Causi/NY Post
Cano followed with his three-run blast in the fifth…
Anthony J. Causi/NY Post
After a two-run homer by Nick Swisher in the 6th inning, the Yankees closed their scoring with 5 runs in the 7th. After a Jorge Posada double to start the inning, the Yankees loaded the bases, thanks in part to an error by White Sox shortstop Alexei Ramirez. Derek Jeter walked to force in a run, and both Nick Johnson and Mark Teixeira followed with two-run doubles to the cap the 5-run outburst. Jorge Posada came to the plate a second time but struck out to end the inning.
Mark Melancon lost the shutout in the 9th when Paul Konerko connected on a three-run shot, but the story of the game was the masterful pitching of Phil Hughes. Unlike Javy Vazquez, Phil Hughes has been terrific.
Anthony J. Causi/NY Post
It was three years ago today when Phil Hughes was in the midst of a no-hitter against the Texas Rangers when a pulled left hamstring forced him to leave the game after 6 1/3 innings. The batter at the plate at day when Hughes pulled the hamstring? Current Yankees first baseman Mark Teixeira. Nevertheless, after contributing to the Yankees World Series run last year as setup man for Mariano Rivera, Hughes has shown that he belongs in the starting rotation. His pitching line today is what you would expect from the ace of the staff, not the #5 starter…
In Saturday’s 7-6 loss to the White Sox, the Yankees lost centerfielder Curtis Granderson who strained his groin while running between 2nd and 3rd on a hit and run single. He was placed on the 15-day DL after the game, and will most likely be out for a month.
Noah K. Murray/The Star Ledger
The goat for Saturday’s loss was former White Sox pitcher Javier Vazquez who continued his string of pathetic performances. Following the game, I heard much speculation that Vazquez should be pulled from the rotation for his next start (Friday night in Boston). I think it is still too early to give up on Vazquez. He is too talented and I think he’ll work through this difficult stretch. No good would be gained by pulling Vazquez and it would be very damaging to the pitcher’s psyche.
With today’s win, the Yankees have now captured 7 of their first 8 series this season. At 16-8, they are still in second place, 1 ½ games behind the Tampa Bay Rays. All things considered, I feel good about where the team is as we head into May. I feel very confident that players like Teixeira, Vazquez, and Nick Johnson will start playing to the levels we’ve been accustomed to. The rotation is solid, despite Vazquez, so if he comes around, it could be a very dominating staff.
The Yankees now await the Baltimore Orioles in the Bronx for a series beginning Monday night. The O’s know they can beat the Yankees and they are fresh off a weekend sweep of the Boston Red Sox so they’ll be coming to town with newfound confidence. It should be a good series. After the O’s depart on Wednesday, the Yankees will head to Fenway Park for a weekend series against the Red Sox.
Boston Globe Staff
Speaking of Yankees-Red Sox, Julia of Julia’s Rants fulfilled her part of the wager for the loss of the first season series between the two teams. Her punishment was reading Dawn of a Dynasty: The Incredible and Improbably Story of the 1947 New York Yankees by Frank Strauss. You’ll find her excellent book report here.
Excellent job Julia! You get an A+! J
For our next wager, we have opted to add a sense of adventure. If the Red Sox lose the series, Julia will be forced to search for an inexpensive piece of Yankee memorabilia. It can’t be something current and easy to find. It must be older and relate to the opposing team’s past. The loser will detail the adventure on their blog, along with photos of the journey and the piece of memorabilia found. If I lose, I will have to search the San Francisco area for Red So memorabilia. Here’s to hoping for a most excellent adventure in Julia‘s future!
Good luck to QB Ryan Perrilloux! He had a tryout at the Minnesota Vikings mini-camp this weekend. Hopefully, his performance will net a contract so he can continue his audition in training camp. There would be nothing better than grabbing a clipboard to study under Brett Favre (assuming that Favre returns as expected).
Jeff Wheeler/Star Tribune
It was in the Wall Street Journal so it must be true!…
Ask my friend Julia who the most hated team in baseball is and I’m sure she will point towards the Bronx. Sorry Julia! According to the Wall Street Journal, the Cleveland Indians are the most hated team followed closely by…the Boston Red Sox!
The Yankees may have finished fifth on the list (created by Nielsen Co. using an Internet algorithm), but they were better than the Red Sox (of course!) and that’s all that really matters! The Boston Red Sox, more despised than the New York Yankees. Ah, what a great feeling! Just sayin’… J
Nice recovery by the Yankees in Baltimore. After dropping the first game of the series in pathetic fashion, they rebounded to take the final two games by scores of 8-3 and 4-0, respectively.
In the first win, the Yankees rode a season high 15 hits to victory. CC Sabathia was off his game somewhat as he gave up 11 hits in 7 2/3 innings, but he only allowed 3 runs.
Robinson Cano, off to a blazing start this season, homered in the third. Like many people, I felt that this was going to be a huge year for Cano, particularly moving up to 5th in the batting order behind Alex Rodriguez. So far, he has not disappointed.
Mike Ricigliano/Baltimore Sun
The game wasn’t all smiles as the Yankees did lose catcher Jorge Posada in the second inning with a right knee contusion after he was hit by a pitch. He won’t miss much time but he’ll be sore for a few days.
Tonight, the Yankees were led by the brilliant pitching of A.J. Burnett and the continued hot hitting of Robinson Cano. Cano, with an AL-leading batting average of .407, hit his 7th and 8th home runs of the season in the fourth and eighth innings. With Cano’s scorching bat, it’s too bad that A-Rod and Mark Teixeira aren’t hitting at the plate. When they get going, the Yankees are going to be very hard to stop. Sorry Julia!
After Burnett left (8 innings, 3 hits, no runs, 1 walk, and 4 strikeouts, with only one base runner getting past second base), the great Mariano Rivera finished up in a non-save opportunity.
It was a long road trip that saw the Yankees’ series win streak snapped in Anaheim, but they finished strong with the series win in Baltimore and an overall winning record (5-4). Now, if somebody could just beat the Tampa Bay Rays.
James Borchuck/St. Petersburg Times
The Yankees head back to the Bronx to face the Chicago White Sox in a weekend series. Hopefully, Javier Vazquez will get going against his former teammates. It’s time for him to get the Yankee fans behind him, and start pitching like he is capable of.
It is no secret that I was disappointed the Minnesota Vikings passed on a quarterback of the future in the recent NFL Draft (when they could have selected Jimmy Clausen or Colt McCoy). They did draft a QB in the sixth round (UAB’s Joe Webb) but he is targeted for a position switch to wide receiver. They signed undrafted free agent QB R.J. Archer of William & Mary, but the most intriguing player is QB Ryan Perrilloux. Ryan has been given a tryout during this weekend’s mini-camp. He was highly touted coming out of high school in 2005. He was considered the top prospect at the position, along with current New York Jets QB Mark Sanchez. He went to LSU, where he played behind Oakland Raiders QB JaMarcus Russell. Off-the-field transgressions and violation of team rules led to his suspension and subsequent ouster from the school. He transferred to Jacksonville State where he had a largely unnoticed but successful career.
Todd Kirkland/Icon SMI
I don’t know what happened at LSU, but Ryan appears to have learned from the errors in his past. I do believe in character and attitude first, but he deserves a second chance assuming that he truly has “righted the ship”. He shares an agent (Bus Cook) with Vikings QB Brett Favre, which may have led to the tryout with the Vikings. He has also been seen practicing with Favre this off-season. I wish Ryan the very best in his tryout and I hope to see both him and Favre on the field for the Vikings this fall.
I hope everyone has a super fantastic weekend…including Ryan! 🙂
He gave up two home runs and a total of four runs, and four walks over 5 1/3 innings…
…and got the win. Unfortunately, it was Scott Kazmir of the Los Angeles Angels and not Javier Vazquez of the New York Yankees. Javy had worse line (5 hits, 5 runs and 3 walks in 3 2/3 innings). This isn’t exactly what GM Brian Cashman was looking for when he traded for Vazquez in the off-season. Perhaps the Yankees should have stayed with a ‘been there, done that’ approach and left Vazquez in Atlanta. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to know who’ll get the biggest boos when the team returns to Yankee Stadium. Javy is now 1-3 for the season, with an ERA of 9.00, after today’s 8-4 loss to the Los Angeles Angels.
Jacob de Golish/Getty Images
The loss also ended the Yankees streak of series wins to start the season. Tied with the 1926 Yankees for the best start to the season with series wins, the 2010 missed a chance to take the record for themselves. The Angels took two of three, also winning Friday night’s game. The only Yankees win was Saturday’s 7-1 win behind a terrific performance by Andy Pettitte.
If Vazquez has competition for boos at home, it will come from reliever Damaso Marte. The game was still close (5-4) with Marte on the mound today. With Yankee killer Kendry Morales at the plate, manager Joe Girardi thought about lifting Marte. He left the dugout but changed his mind on the way to the mound and turned around. Morales subsequently pounded a three-run homer to give the Angels their margin of victory.
If I can take away any positives from today’s game, it was that Angels DH Hideki Matsui did not collect his 1,000th career hit against his former team.
I am sure that somewhere far, far away, someone is enjoying the Yankees loss on her birthday…
Happy Birthday to my friend, Julia! By the way, how did the Celtics and Red Sox do for you today? 😉 Sports aside, I hope it was a great day for you!
I felt Friday night’s collision at home between Mark Teixeira and Angels catcher Bobby Wilson was clean albeit quite unfortunate. It left Wilson with an ankle injury and a concussion. Baseball can be a violent game and Teixeira was focused on scoring. I know that there is probably no one who feels worse about what happened than Teixeira. Well, perhaps Wilson himself. Here’s hoping for a speedy recovery by Bobby Wilson!
Stephen Dunn/Getty Images
Monday the Yankees will head to Washington to meet with President Obama at the White House. Then, it’s off to Baltimore for a three-game set in Oriole Park at Camden Yards. At 12-6, the Yankees are in second place, 1 ½ games behind the Tampa Bay Rays….but 4 ½ games ahead of the fourth place Boston Red Sox.
The NFL Draft has finally concluded. I am not a fan of the new format (Round 1 Thursday night; Rounds 2-3 Friday night; and Rounds 4-7 Saturday). I definitely prefer the previous Saturday-Sunday format much better.
As a fan of the Minnesota Vikings, I was a bit underwhelmed with this year’s draft. With the 30th pick in the first round, I thought the Vikings were in great shape to draft Notre Dame QB Jimmy Clausen, but they opted to trade down with the Detroit Lions. With the pick, the Lions were able to grab RB Jahvid Best who will definitely help improve Detroit’s running game. In Detroit’s slot (second pick of the second round), the Vikings again passed on Clausen and went with Virginia cornerback Chris Cook. Later in the second round, the Vikings traded up with the Houston Texans and drafted Stanford RB Toby Gerhart. I can’t dispute the Vikings needed secondary help, and after losing RB Chester Taylor through free agency to the Chicago Bears, the Vikings needed a backup for Adrian Peterson. But…
I personally thought this would be a great year for the Vikings to draft a “Quarterback of the Future”. Assuming that Brett Favre returns for at least one more year, he would have been the perfect mentor for a young QB. The Vikings did draft a QB in the sixth round (Joe Webb from UAB), but he will most likely transition to Wide Receiver in the NFL (assuming he makes it, of course). The Vikings also signed undrafted free agent QB R.J. Archer of William & Mary but he’s nothing more than training camp fodder. I guess I have something to look forward to in next year’s NFL Draft…
All good things must come to an end…
CC Sabathia’s string of superior performances sadly came to an end today, but not before the Yankees had secured their fifth series win in five tries to start the season. The Yankees took the first two games of the series in Oakland from the A’s (on Tuesday and Wednesday nights by scores of 7-3 and 3-1).
Ray Chavez/Oakland Tribune/MCT
In the first game, Javier Vazquez, despite still not having his best stuff, finally got his first win of the season. Backed by a mammoth home run by Alex Rodriguez, Vazquez was able to do in Oakland what he wasn’t able to do in New York. Win. Hopefully, this game is the start of a sustained upward trend for Javy and he’ll soon be able to turn those Yankee Stadium boos into cheers.
William Perlman/The Star Ledger
I was supposed to go to Wednesday night’s game, but had to cancel at the last minute. Naturally, it was a huge night for Phil Hughes. Like CC did earlier this season, Phil took a no-hitter into the 8th inning. The no-hitter was broken up by Eric Chavez with a shot back to the pitcher that glanced Phil’s forearm and chest and he momentarily lost sight of the ball. By the time, he retrieved the ball, Chavez was on first. Not that I wanted Phil to lose his no-hitter, but I really would have been disappointed at missing the game if I had missed a historical moment (as if I wasn’t disappointed enough). Phil lost his shut-out when he was pulled after walking Gabe Gross. Joba Chamberlain was brought in, and he gave up a run-scoring single to Jake Fox (which scored Chavez and charged the run to Hughes since the runner was his responsibility). Nevertheless, it was a win (made even more special for Phil by the presence of his parents at the game).
Cary Edmondson/US Presswire
Today, the Yankees could have completed a sweep but the game got started on the wrong foot when A’s catcher Kurt Suzuki hit a three-run homer in the bottom of the first. It was a deficit that the Yankees could never overcome. CC was solid the rest of the way, but the damage had been done.
The Yankees did manage their first triple play since 1968 in the sixth inning. With the A’s Daric Barton on second and Ryan Sweeney on first, Kurt Suzuki came to the plate again. Suzuki hit the ball to third where A-Rod touched third base and threw to Robinson Cano at second. Cano swiped the bag and fired the ball to first where Mark Teixeira caught it just before Suzuki arrived. Maybe Suzuki should take some speed lessons from Brett Gardner!
The A’s Dallas Braden picked up his third win of the season with the 4-2 victory. Outside of solo homers by Marcus Thames and Mark Teixeira, he really didn’t give the Yankees anything. Braden is definitely a rising star, but then again, when doesn’t GM Billy Beane come up with quality young pitching talent.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images
There was a bit of controversy when Alex Rodriguez jogged across the pitching mound following a foul ball by Robinson Cano. Braden took offense, and accused A-Rod of violating an unwritten rule not to cross the pitcher’s mound. As much as I would like to say ‘what does it matter?’, Braden probably has a point. It doesn’t matter that he has only 17 career wins, A-Rod should have been more respectful.
The Yankees now head for Anaheim to face the Los Angeles Angels and Hideki Matsui. A.J. Burnett will take the mound against Ervin Santana as the Yankees try to extend their series win streak to six series. It’s great to see that Mark Teixeira is starting to warm up. Hopefully, he’ll feel comfortable in his former home stadium and help propel the team to yet another series win.
I am still not sure what I think about starting the NFL Draft on a Thursday night with one round. How strange is it that three of the first five picks are Oklahoma Sooners? Nevertheless, there were a few surprises. The guys I wanted (Tim Tebow and Devin McCourty) went ahead of the Minnesota Vikings selection at #30. The Denver Broncos traded up to get Tebow (Brady Quinn has gone from being a QB of the Future with the Browns to a just-for-now backup to Kyle Orton with the Broncos in a very short period of time), while the New England Patriots tabbed McCourty.
So, with the 30th pick, here is the newest Minnesota Viking: Nobody! They traded the pick to the Detroit Lions who selected RB Jahvid Best (who would have been a great choice for the Vikings). I hope it was worth it for the Vikes. Disappointing…
How many more days until my next battle with Julia of Julia’s Rants? The Yankees head for Boston two weeks from tomorrow, so we’ll be getting ready for Round 2. Meanwhile, I wonder how the book assignment is coming along for Julia? Hmmmm….
The Yankees are in town and I’m writing this blog…
Yes, I am missing out on the first game of the Yankees series in Oakland against the A’s. Well, I don’t exactly live in Oakland but I am only a BART trip away. I will be at the game tomorrow night when Phil Hughes pitches. Hopefully, the weather will cooperate. This morning started out with nothing but rain. It didn’t look promising, but it has been clear most of the afternoon so we’ll soon find out if Javier Vazquez has finally brought his A game with him. Good luck to Javy and company as the Yanks look to get the West Coast road trip started on a positive note.
Don’t look now but who was that? Like a blur, and despite the Yankees fourth series win in four tries, the team now finds themselves chasing the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL East Standings. The Rays beat Boston to complete a four game sweep on Monday, which put the idle Yankees ½ game back. Tampa definitely has the pitching to sustain their perch, so this is going to be a dogfight throughout the summer. I am sure that, sooner or later, the Boston Red Sox will decide to join the party too.
Prior to tonight’s game, former Yankees and current A’s Chad Gaudin and Edwar Ramirez received their World Series rings. I had definitely hoped that the Yankees could have found a way to keep Gaudin, but I am sure that he’s glad to be back with a club where he can grow his standard goatee or whatever you call that growth on his chin.
So, the Yankees have a detour on their way to Baltimore following the conclusion of the weekend series in Anaheim. They are scheduled to stop by the White House on Monday to see President Barack Obama on a scheduled off day. The next day, they’ll begin a series against the young and talented Baltimore Orioles. It should be an exciting time for the World Champions. Hopefully, they will have just finished a successful California adventure!
I am not sure what I think about the schedule for this year’s NFL Draft. In years past, it was always fun to get up early Saturday morning and watch the first 10 picks. The rest of the day, I’d listen to the draft on the car radio or other medium. On Sunday, I’d usually check in to see some of the later names selected. This year will be very strange with the first round being held Thursday night. Since it starts while I am still at work, I probably won’t get home until around the 5th or 6th selection. Rounds 2 and 3 are Friday night, and the draft concludes on Saturday. I will hold judgment until after the draft, but I am a bit skeptical. We’ll see.
My team, the Minnesota Vikings, will open the NFL Season on Thursday, September 9th against the New Orleans Saints in a rematch of the NFC Championship Game. Hey Brett (assuming you return), run, don’t throw!
It was sad to hear the passing of the Colorado Rockies president Keli McGregor. He was found dead in a hotel room in Salt Lake City, Utah. Initial speculation is that the death was the result of natural causes. At 48 years of age, this is quite unexpected. My thoughts and prayers go out to Keli’s wife, Lori, and their four children.
Joe Torre and slow starts are a thing of the past…
Well, except for Mark Teixeira. Nevertheless, the Yankees have taken the first two games of a three game set with the Texas Rangers (by scores of 5-1 and 7-3).
Tim Farrell/The Star Ledger
Apparently, according to the Associated Press, the Yankees haven’t won their first four series of the season since Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig were in the middle of the order. I know, interesting but irrelevant, however, it is good to see the Yankees playing well from the start. In the past few years, they would dig a hole and then have to spend the season digging their way out. More often than not, they were successful. However, that’s not the best formula for World Series success.
Friday night’s game against the Rangers was all-CC Sabathia. Despite a rain-shortened six inning game, CC was masterful. In facing 22 batters, he threw 20 first pitch strikes. He definitely picked right up where he left off in his previous start against the Tampa Bay Rays, a near no-hitter that was broken up by a Kelly Shoppach single. Catcher Francisco Cervelli, who caught both games for CC, put it best: “I think he was better today. He was throwing nasty pitches today, man.”
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
The Yankees continued their winning ways on Saturday behind great pitching by A.J. Burnett. In 7 innings, despite giving up 6 hits, A.J. did not allow any runs and struck out 7 Ranger batters. Alfredo Aceves lost the shutout by giving up a three-run homer to Rangers slugger Nelson Cruz, but the subsequent relievers, Damaso Marte and Joba Chamberlain, did their jobs and the Yankees had their 8th win in 11 games.
There were a few major milestones achieved today. Jorge Posada put his name with legendary Yankees catchers like Yogi Berra, Bill Dickey and Thurman Munson with his 1,500 hit as a Yankee. Hip-hip-Jorge!
Michael Strobe/US Presswire
Alex Rodriguez hit his 584th career home run, moving past Mark McGwire into 8th place on the all-time list. It was his first home run of the season. Next up is Frank Robinson’s 586 home runs.
Al Bello/Getty Images
It doesn’t seem like he has been manager of the Yankees for very long, but Joe Girardi notched his 200th career win as a Yankees manager. Time flies when you’re having fun! Wouldn’t it be cool if he makes it to 300 games THIS season? Works for me!
Brian J. Myers/US Presswire
Is Mark Teixeira really 4-for-40? Yikes! May cannot get here soon enough. Maybe Mark should see a hypnotist to make him think today is June 1st!
And note to Javier Vazquez: Please feel free to join the Yankees’ pitching party! I know that you haven’t accepted the invitation yet, but fashionably late is perfectly acceptable!
The Yankees lost their first player to the disabled list when Chan Ho Park was moved to the 15-day DL due to a hamstring strain. The move allowed the Yankees to recall Boone Logan from AAA. Welcome back, Boone! Enjoy Yankee Stadium!
Jim Rogash/Getty Images
I will finally get my first opportunity this year to see the Yankees in person when they travel to Oakland next week. Let’s hope the fun continues! Go Yankees!
P.S. Hey Julia, how is the book assignment coming along? 😉