2017 World Series
Astros 13, Dodgers 12…
Astros lead Series, 3-2
You certainly do not expect a slugfest to develop for a game that featured frontline aces Clayton Kershaw and Dallas Keuchel. That game was as wild as any I have ever seen in the World Series. The YES Network was showing replays of the 2001 World Series yesterday, and Game 4 (a home run by Tino Martinez to tie it and Derek Jeter’s homer to win it) might be the closest to the drama and excitement we saw in the Astros’ big win.
The win certainly puts the Astros in the driver’s seat as the series will now shift back to Los Angeles for Game 6 on Tuesday night.
The game started very positively for Dodgers fans. Chris Taylor led off the game with a single to center. Corey Seager struck out, but then Dallas Keuchel walked both Justin Turner and Kiké Hernandez to load the bases. Cody Bellinger struck out for the second out and it looked like Keuchel might find a way to emerge unscathed. Logan Forsythe made Southern California sports bars erupt when he singled to left, driving in both Taylor and Turner when the ball booted off the glove of left fielder Marwin Gonzalez. Hernandez took third. Then, the Dodgers picked up their third run of the inning when Logan Forsythe took off from first too early. It looked like the Astros would get out of the inning but first baseman Yuli Gurriel’s throw to second was wide which pulled second baseman Jose Altuve away from the bag. It was just enough for Forsythe to safely slide into second (which the Replay challenge confirmed) and the run scored by Hernandez on the play counted.
With Kershaw breezing through the first few innings, it appeared that the Dodgers were going to have their way. They picked up another run in the top of the 4th inning. After Bellinger struck out again, Forsythe doubled to deep center with a one-hopper off the wall. Yasiel Puig struck out for the second out but Austin Barnes singled to left, with the ball dropping in front of Marwin Gonzales which brought Forsythe home to score. The Dodgers were up, 4-0, and appeared to be in control of the game. Charlie Culberson subsequently reached on an infield single to shallow right when he beat Jose Altuve’s throw, moving Barnes to second. That was all for Dallas Keuchel as Astros manager A.J. Hinch made the call to the pen and brought in Luke Gregerson. A wild pitch moved Barnes to third but Gregerson struck out Chris Taylor to limit the damage for the Astros.
In the bottom of the 4th, the craziness ensued. George Springer led off with a walk. Following a fly out to left by Alex Bregman, Jose Altuve reached first on a solid hit to left. Springer moved to second. Carlos Correa smashed a double to left to score Springer. Altuve advanced to third, with Correa sliding into second under the throw (the replay challenge review showed Correa’s heel touched the bag ahead of Charlie Culberson’s tag). Yuli Gurriel then jumped on Kershaw’s first pitch to send it very high over the left field wall for the game-tying three-run homer.
The Dodgers quickly answered Gurriel’s shot in the top of the 5th. Corey Seager and Justin Turner led off the inning with walks off Astros reliever Collin McHugh. Kiké Herandez had the first opportunity to bring the runners home but he struck out looking (in disbelief at the call). Cody Bellinger was next and he showed the World why he will be the NL’s Rookie of the Year when he blasted a three-run shot to right a few feet above the wall to restore the Dodgers lead at 7-4.
|Credit: LA Times – Robert Gauthier|
Unfortunately, Clayton Kershaw did not survive the bottom of the 5th. He got two quick outs when Marwin Gonzalez flied out to left and Brian McCann struck out. But it unraveled from there. George Springer battled Kershaw through eight pitches before working a walk, and then Alex Bregman used a 10-pitch at-bat, down at one point to 1-2, to also walk. Two outs, two runners and Kershaw was done.
|Credit: LA Times – Wally Skalij|
Kenta Maeda entered the game and was promptly greeted by a three-run homer to left center by Jose Altuve to tie the game at 7.
|Credit: AP – Charlie Riedel|
The Dodgers were able to recapture the lead in the 7th. Brad Peacock was on the mound for the Astros. Justin Turner led off the top of the inning with a double to right center off the top of the wall (bummer, if it had only been a few inches higher). Kiké Hernandez bunted back to the pitcher, but the Astros were able to erase Turner at third with a quick throw from Peacock to third baseman Alex Bregman. Hernandez safe at first. Cody Bellinger’s triple to center, which bounced past George Springer, scored Hernandez. The Dodgers were unable to bring Bellinger home but they had taken a 8-7 lead.
Dodgers manager Dave Roberts brought reliever Brandon Morrow into the game for the bottom of the 7th. Morrow has generally been a lockdown pitcher for the Dodgers but not this time. George Springer led off with a massive Aaron Judgian home run to left to tie the game once again. Alex Bregman, swinging on the first pitch, singled to left center and he scored when Jose Altuve doubled to left center over the head of Joc Pederson. A wild pitch advanced Altuve to third, but it didn’t really matter when Carlos Correa launched a blast over the left field wall while Dodgers manager Dave Roberts could only shake his head. The Astros had their first lead of the game, 11-8.
|Credit: LA Times – Wally Skalij|
Tony Cingrani replaced Morrow to retire the next three batters in order and send the game to the 8th inning.
With Brad Peacock still pitching for the ‘Stros, Joc Pederson hit a one-out double off the top of the wall in left. Chris Taylor was hit by a pitch in the ribs. The Astros pulled Peacock and brought in Will Harris. Harris promptly gave up a double to left center by Corey Seager. Pederson scored and Taylor moved to third. After Justin Turner flied out to right, Harris was pulled in favor of Chris Devenski. The Dodgers sent Andre Ethier (that’s a name I haven’t written in a very long time) up to pinch hit for Kiké Hernandez. Ethier grounded out to first to leave Taylor stranded at third. 11-9, Astros.
In the bottom of the 8th and Cingrani still pitching for the Dodgers, Brian McCann went deep with a solo blast to right. The Astros had increased their seemingly safe lead to 12-9.
But the Dodgers weren’t done yet. Cody Bellinger led off the top of the 9th with a walk. Devenski struck out Logan Forsythe for the first out. Yasiel Puig was up next and his homer to left, which just cleared the wall, made it a one-run game.
|Credit: LA Times – Wally Skalij|
Austin Barnes followed Puig with a double to center. Joc Pederson grounded out to short, but Barnes advanced to third on the play. Chris Taylor’s single up the middle scored Barnes and the game was tied yet again.
The Astros had a runner in scoring position in the bottom of the 9th when Yuli Gurriel doubled (very nearly a home run) but they were unable to bring him home so it was off to extra innings with the 12-12 deadlock.
The Dodgers had a runner on base in the top of the 10th when Andre Ethier singled to left with one out, but they were unsuccessful in moving the runner.
It opened the door for the dramatic bottom of the 10th. Dodgers closer Kenley Jansen, pitching his second inning, retired the first two hitters before hitting Brian McCann with a pitch on the elbow. Next, George Springer walked. The Astros replaced the slow-footed and elbow-hurting McCann at second with pinch-runner Derek Fisher. Alex Bregman, jumping on the first pitch from Jansen, singled to left center well over the shortstop’s head. Fisher raced around third to score the winning run for the Astros ahead of Andre Ethier’s throw to the plate.
|Credit: LA Times – Robert Gauthier|
It was a nice touch by the Houston Astros to have former Presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush on hand for the ceremonial first pitch. I am not sure how many more times we’ll see the elder Bush in public but it was good to see that he was healthy enough to participate.
|Credit: Pool – Getty Images|
A tough loss for the Dodgers but now the series heads back to Los Angeles and away from the raucous Houston crowd. They face an uphill battle but at least they’ll be able to continue the fight on home turf.
Editor’s Note: This writer is pro-Dodgers.
Odds & Ends…
Dave Martinez was one of my favorites, among current coaches, for managerial opportunities. As Joe Maddon’s long-time chief lieutenant, I felt that Martinez was ready to run his own show. I didn’t really expect him to get consideration for the Yankees job with no prior connection to Yankees GM Brian Cashman. So, I was not surprised that word leaked yesterday that Martinez is the new manager for the Washington Nationals, signing a three-year deal. It’s a good hire by the Nats and makes the best of a bad situation after they axed former manager Dusty Baker.
There were also reports yesterday the Philadelphia Phillies are close to naming Gabe Kapler as their manager. Kapler, currently, Director of Player Development for the Los Angeles Dodgers, does not have managing or coaching experience. If Kapler gets the job, he’ll beat out Phillies Triple-A manager Dusty Wathan, son of John Wathan, to do it.
As for the Yankees, Mark DeRosa is an intriguing name. I know that like Kapler (above) or Jerry Hairston, Jr, he does not have any coaching experience. An Ivy Leaguer (he graduated from Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania), DeRosa may not have any past connections with the Yankees or GM Brian Cashman, but he’s a Jersey guy (born in Passaic and raised in Carlstadt). I respected DeRosa during his playing career and by all accounts he was a great teammate. He was versatile playing all positions except catcher, pitcher and center field. Listening and watching DeRosa, 42, on MLB Network shows he is a very smart, talented guy and he would mesh perfectly with the New York media as well as the team’s core of Baby Bombers. I know you need more than a New York accent to manage the Yankees, but I could easily get behind DeRosa as a potential manager. After watching the Nationals and Phillies (apparently) make very inspired choices for their field generals, I would like to see the Yankees do the same. Nothing against Rob Thomson but he represents the old guard to me. It’s time for a fresh, new voice of leadership for the Pinstripers as they embark into the dawn of a new era.
Have a great Monday! It’s an off day so if there will be baseball news before the end of the World Series, it happens today. Go Yankees!
The left field conundrum continues…
Maybe GM Brian Cashman has the perfect solution already set in motion, but then again, maybe not. I am not quite sure how you could spend $200 million on salaries and then suddenly become very frugal over $3 or $4 million as an insurance policy to protect your investment. From the sounds of it, the Yankees are willing to go to camp with Brett Gardner and Jamie Hoffmann as a projected platoon in left. I know that it’s a bluff, designed to await the lowered salary expectations of free agent options in January.
But if you have a left fielder who has proven that he can handle New York, thrive atop the Yankees’ batting order and carries the intangibles necessary to bring a championship to New York, why can’t you work out a deal for a few pennies more? It just doesn’t make any sense. I agree with the logic that the Yankees don’t need a superstar in left, but they need something better than a fourth outfielder looking for his fifteen minutes of fame.
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
If the Yankees successfully cause Johnny Damon to sign elsewhere, and are left to be scrounging through the bargain bin, they’ll regret it in July when they attempt to make a trade for an upgrade at the high cost of key prospects. Again, I’d rather pay more now and protect the farm system now and later.
John M. Setzler, Jr.
I was disappointed to see the San Francisco Giants successfully sign one solid option in Mark DeRosa. With DeRosa, the Giants get a very versatile player who will fit well into their lineup. His ability to play third base allows them to slide Pablo Sandoval to first which fills a big need. Had the Yankees been successful in luring DeRosa to the Bronx, he could have been the primary option for left field with the potential to back up Alex Rodriguez from time to time. Isn’t that worth a few dollars more? Congrats to Giants GM Brian Sabean…he scored one over his former team.
If Johnny Damon is my first choice, Xavier Nady would be the remaining option in my eyes. Another guy who has proven he can handle New York albeit not the injury bug. If healthy, Nady would be a great fit for the Yankees. Prior to his injury last season, he was slated to be the starter in right field.
Cataffo/New York Daily News
Outside of the organization, there just isn’t much to be excited about on the free agent market. I really don’t want a ‘past his prime’ player like Brian Giles or Garret Anderson. I’d rather take a chance on a sleeper like Cleveland’s Shin Soo Choo or Atlanta’s Matt Diaz, although I doubt either team would be willing to let either player go cheaply. In a blast from the past, the Angels’ Juan Rivera is another attractive option. But I seriously doubt that Cashman would be able to pry any of these options from their respective teams.
Los Angeles Times
Hopefully, the left field question is answered sooner rather than later. The Yankees still need to replenish their bullpen options for 2010 after several key departures this off-season. Plus, bench strength is another area that needs attention before the Yankees head for Tampa.
Meanwhile, somewhere in the Greater Boston Area, a Red Sox fan is gleefully enjoying the Yankees’ indecision and financial constraint…and listening to Toby Keith singing “Whiskey Girl”…
In a departure from baseball, I’d like to weigh in on the decision by Indianapolis Colts head coach Jim Caldwell to rest his key starters like Peyton Manning in the second half. Everyone knows that the result was a New York Jets’ 29-15 victory over the Colts to end their pursuit of perfection. Of course, the company line is the decision was made to protect the health of their key performers and ensure going deeper into the play-offs with the Super Bowl as the key objective.
I’ve heard both sides of the argument, but I am inclined to believe that Caldwell blew it. He had a chance to do something that no team has done before (19-0, capped by a championship). The 1972 Miami Dolphins were 17-0 since the regular season consisted of only 14 games. Had they accomplished what the New England Patriots could not, the Colts would have gone down in history as one of the greatest teams ever. Now, they’ll just be another Super Bowl champion if they happen to win it all. Sure, a championship is great, but to be among legends is immortal. The Colts missed a great opportunity…
All things considered, I am glad that University of Florida coach Urban Meyer made the decision to take a leave of absence rather than step down as the Gators coach. College football needs guys like Meyer, but he needs time to repair his health. If a year from now, Meyer decides that it’s time to hang it up, so be it. But I’d rather see Florida go a year with an interim coach to make sure that Meyer makes a decision that he’ll never regret. I am not a Gators fan, but Meyer has been great for college football and the Florida job is clearly one of the best. It’ll be strange seeing new coaches patrolling the sidelines at both Florida and Florida State next season.
One final thought…if the Chicago Cubs can successfully trade Milton Bradley, why can’t the Yankees unload Kei Igawa? I still think the guy could thrive in a low-pressure environment like San Diego or Pittsburgh…
I hope everyone has a great new year! I have enjoyed your friendship and support in 2009 and I look forward to be being a part of the great MLB Bloggers in 2010. It’s a very talented and impressive group of writers, and the sum total of all makes MLB.com the best blogging environment on the internet! Keep up the great work everyone!
The return of Larry Bowa’s nephew…
Although they never wore the pinstripes at the same time, former coach Larry Bowa’s nephew, Nick Johnson, is coming home. Traded to Montreal in 2003 for pitcher Javier Vazquez, Nick has signed a one-year deal for $5.5 million, with a mutual option for 2011, to return to the Bronx.
During Nick’s “exile”, winning baseball was not necessarily a common theme among his teams with the Montreal Expos, Washington Nationals, and Florida Marlins. Nick is eager to return to a team with a “win at all costs” attitude. Nick could have signed with the San Francisco Giants as their first baseman, however, his first love remained the Yankees. So, once the Yankees expressed interest, no other team really had a chance with Johnson.
Hector Gabino/Miami Herald
Nick slots in nicely at the top of the batting order behind leadoff hitter Derek Jeter. Nick has a knack (no pun intended) for getting on base. His career on-base percentage is .402.
Welcome home, Nick! We’re glad you’re back!
Given that the Yankees have now reacquired the two primary players in the December 2003 deal that sent Nick to Montreal and brought Javier Vazquez to the Yankees (the first time), they should consider calling the Los Angeles Angels and the Tampa Bay Rays about the availability of outfielder Juan Rivera and reliever Randy Choate, respectively.
Gary A. Vasquez/US Presswire
Although those are positions of need, I do not really want to see the return of either Rivera or Choate, but the Yankees do need to get creative about filling the hole in left field. It bothers me that the team hasn’t figured out a way to unload pitcher Kei Igawa, particularly when his salary could go a long way toward bringing in a solid left fielder. The Yankees say they’ll go with Brett Gardner and Jamie Hoffmann. While I don’t feel you need an All-Star in left, I don’t think that Gardner and Hoffman, individually or collectively, are the answer. I have genuine concerns about Nick Swisher’s encore performance and the Yankees do not need simultaneous struggles at both outfield corners. I’d rather pay for a sound and dependable solution for left and then be prepared for Plan B in right.
Best case scenario is the return of Johnny Damon. It could still happen but Damon’s price tag will have to come down. The other solid option (Mark DeRosa) appears to be dissipating as DeRosa is apparently favoring an agreement with the San Francisco Giants. Hey, as a Bay Area guy, I can’t find fault with someone who wants to call the area home. San Francisco’s a great town with a terrific ballpark.
Reed Johnson’s name has been mentioned but I am less than enthused. Johnson missed 49 games in 2009 for the Chicago Cubs after fouling a pitch off his left foot which caused a fracture. A career .282 hitter, Reed only batted .255 in 65 games last season with 4 home runs and 22 RBI’s.
His scouting report¹ says that “Hustle is his strongest suit. Makes consistent contact and hits well with runners in scoring position – especially against lefties. Is a good outfielder.” The report goes on to say “he struggles against finesse pitchers and righties. A quality platoon or 4th outfielder.” It sounds like he would be more capable as a back-up for Curtis Granderson in center than a starter in left.
¹Source: Sportsnet.ca Ontario
Lobbying for the Cubs to re-sign Johnson in September, pitcher (and former Yankee) Ted Lilly was seen wearing a t-shirt that read “With Reed, we will succeed”. Maybe for Lilly and the Cubs, but not for the World Champions. Pass…
So now Jason Bay and his agent are calling the Boston Red Sox? Maybe Jason has started to send Theo fruit baskets like Julia did every day last season! Ha! I bet the Red Sox offer of 4 years and $60 million is looking very appealing these days. But of course, after Boston’s signing of John Lackey and Mike Cameron, the money offered to Bay is probably no longer available. Bay has a 4 year, $65 million offer from the New York Mets. However, $5 million extra over 4 years is not worth the mess known as the Mets. Bay’s best option is to remain in Boston but it is questionable whether the Red Sox have room in the 2010 budget at this point. Bay, at this point in time, appears to have overestimated his worth in the current free agent market. Financial constraint being shown by both the Yankees and the Red Sox…what is the world coming to? 😉
Finally, I’d like to wish all of you a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! May this be a season of joy for you and your family, and here’s hoping that 2010 fulfills your every dream! Well, except for a World Series championship…I reserve that one for Yankees fans! J
It has been a very powerful week…
Meanwhile, back in the Bronx…
The Yankees bid farewell to World Series MVP Hideki Matsui today when he signed with the Los Angeles Angels (one year, $6 million). Clearly, if Matsui’s knees had held up, the ending would not have come like this. The Yankees will miss his clutch bat. Time and again, I can recall games where every bat was ice cold, but Godzilla still delivered the key hit to win the game. He was always in the right place at the right time against the dreaded Boston Red Sox. The Yankees haven’t fared well with Japanese players when it comes to pitchers (see Hideki Irabu and Kei Igawa), however, they struck gold with a position player. Matsui arrived with much fanfare and was billed as Japan’s best player when he came to the United States. Expectations were high, and I’d say that he delivered. He was a class act and he will be missed. I am not excited that he went to a bitter rival, however, he does deserve the opportunity to show that he can be a major contributor. I wish him the best of luck in Southern California.
Paul Rodriguez/The Orange County Register
Of course, this does prove that old Yankee outfielders don’t die, they just sign with the Angels…
It was a busy day for my friend Julia. Her Red Sox announced the free agent signings of pitcher John Lackey and outfielder Mike Cameron today, and showed that GM Theo Epstein is truly a “man with a plan”. I agree with Boston’s decision to cut ties with Jason Bay and move forward with Mike Cameron. After all the reports about Bay, I’d have to say that I’d be very hesitant to sign him to a long-term deal. I am glad that the Yankees are staying out of the negotiations for Bay at this point. Let him go to the Mets. As for Lackey, I wanted the Yanks to sign him to fill the #3 spot in the rotation. Andy Pettitte did a great job last year, but I really think that he is no more than a #4 at this stage of his career. Boston does have a very impressive rotation (Josh Beckett, Jon Lester, Lackey, Tim Wakefield, Dice-K, and/or Clay Buchholz). I really do not expect Buchholz to be on the Opening Roster since I feel the Sox will be successful in securing Adrian Gonzalez from the San Diego Padres for first base (sliding Kevin Youkilis to third) at a cost which will include Buchholz. So, congratulations to Julia for a very successful week. However, I will caution her that it is a long way from April 4th! Much can happen between now and then…
From my perspective, I’d take a chance on a low-risk, high reward pitcher to fill the #3 in the Yankees rotation. I like the rumors for either Ben Sheets or Justin Duchsherer. I’d probably prefer Sheets because he has the stronger pedigree and an established relationship with CC Sabathia. It’s always tough to transition from the National League to the American League, but a support system like CC would help. However, I wouldn’t be disappointed if the team pursued Duchsherer. Julia may brag about her rotation, however, I’d be okay going to battle with Sabathia, Burnett, Sheets/Duchsherer, Pettitte, and Hughes. For the record, I have switched my position on Joba Chamberlain, and I now think his return to the bullpen would be the best fit for his talent and we knew all along that Phil Hughes is a starting pitcher regardless of his bullpen success.
William Perlman/The Star Ledger
So, this brings us to left field. The latest reports have Johnny Damon expecting a $13 million per year payday. Frankly, I am losing interest in retain Damon for 2010. Mark DeRosa has been mentioned as a possibility, and I am okay with him as Damon’s replacement. I do have concerns about Nick Swisher repeating his 2009 success, or Curtis Granderson learning to hit lefties, so the Yanks would probably be seeking a corner outfield upgrade at the July trading deadline. However, in the interim, I would like the team for the first half of the season with Sheets or Duchsherer in the rotation and DeRosa in left. I would certainly like the Yankees to become players for Matt Holliday but I just don’t think it will happen.
I do wish the Yankees would give the perception (right now) of being a proactive organization doing everything possible to ensure a repeat championship in 2010 rather than one mired in financial constraints. Who knows if the reports of payroll cutting are real or just negotiating ploys, but the team needs to strike before all of the premium players are gone. I’d also re-engage Florida to see if Josh Johnson could be had at the right price…
I don’t want to dissect the Roy Halladay trade to the Phillies, but I am surprised that the Philles gave up both Cliff Lee and Kyle Drabek to secure Doc’s services. Granted, Roy Halladay is arguably the best pitcher in baseball but how could he outperform the brilliant performance given by Cliff Lee in a Phillies uniform? I know that Lee will be demanding outrageous monies at the end of his contract next year, and the Phillies felt that they needed to re-tool after relinquishing great talent like Drabek for Doc. But wow, what a rotation it would have been featuring Halladay, Lee, and Cole Hamels. Plus, J.A. Happ is still in the rotation. I’d rate this trade better for the Seattle Mariners and the Toronto Blue Jays than the Phillies. I might even say the Oakland A’s emerged stronger with their acquisition of Michael Taylor for a player caught in a glut of corner infielder/DH types (Brett Wallace). As a Yankees fan, I am glad to see Halladay exit the AL East. However, it won’t be long before we hate to face Kyle Drabek…
Meanwhile, back at Yankee headquarters…
I really do not believe the headline, but it’s time to settle the bet so let’s begin the temporary journey back to the Red Sox Nation…
On June 9th through 11th, the Yankees played a three-game series against the Boston Red Sox. Of course, they were once again swept by Boston, who are now 8-0 against the Bombers this season. The scores of the latest series were 7-0, 6-5, and 4-3, respectively. According to the rules of the wager with Julia of Julia’s Rants, the loser was to wear a t-shirt belonging to the opposing team. If I had won the bet, Julia would be wearing a Mark Teixeira t-shirt. I was originally slated for a Jason Bay t-shirt, but Julia, with my consent, opted for a t-shirt from the Life is Good series. T-Shirts were included for both me and my Yankee bear, Lou.
My t-shirt simply made the following statement…
Lou’s t-shirt issued the following proclamation…
Lou and I got ready for the photos, but of course, you-know-who had to make an appearance and get in on the act…
Wally thought it would be great if we could take a group pic…
I had to take my punishment alone…
However, Lou had made a new friend…
Nevertheless, Lou could simply take no more, and convinced another Bear to wear his “shame”. Of course, he lost the girl too…
Meanwhile, Lou needed some time alone to overcome his embarrassment.
So, the trip to the Red Sox Nation is over. Julia, by my count, that’s 8 photos to match the Red Sox streak. The debt is paid, and this blog can return to all-Yankees programming…
Yankees Win Subway Series…
A.J. Burnett returned from his 5-game suspension on Saturday, and brought his “A” game with him. He had a no-hitter going until the 6th inning, when Alex Cora opened with a single. But that’s all the offense the Mets could muster against Burnett, as he finished with a 7-inning one-hitter, and a season high 10 strikeouts.
Jim McIsaac/Getty Images
I knew that A.J. was going to be tough to beat after watching him strike out two of the first three batters he faced in a 3-up, 3-down first inning. Burnett, 6-4, was removed after the conclusion of the 7th inning despite the fact that he was still cruising. He had thrown 108 pitches, and was working under a team-imposed pitch limit of 115 pitches. With a 5-run lead, I thought it was the right thing to do. It would have been interesting to see what would have happened if Cora hadn’t gotten that hit. But I recognize that a healthy A.J. is better than a complete game performance. Brian Bruney and David Robertson each pitched an inning of hitless relief to keep the one-hitter intact. A terrific performance by A.J., with great support from the Pen. Hopefully, this is a recipe that we’ll see again…soon and often!
The New York Post
The Yankees only scored in two innings, the 3rd and 6th innings, but it was enough. Aside from a RBI single by Alex Rodriguez, the Yankees scored the rest of their runs on homers (by Nick Swisher and Jorge Posada).
Tony Kurdzuk/The Star Ledger
The Yankees have won this Subway Series by taking the first 2 games of the 3 game series, and have won their first season series against the Mets since 2003. Yes, I think I kind of like the new Citi Field…
I had forgotten that the Mets losing pitcher, Tim Redding, had once pitched a game for the Yankees. On July 15, 2005, he faced the Red Sox at Fenway Park and the results were disastrous. He started but was only able to record three outs. During those forgettable first two innings, he faced 11 batters, and allowed 6 runs on 4 hits and 4 walks. The Red Sox went on to a 17-1 victory that day…
Redding was designated for assignment the next day.
The flu bug has been tearing through the Yankees clubhouse like the Red Sox playing at Yankee Stadium. It hasn’t been pretty. Derek Jeter has missed two games, although you could tell that he was frustrated to sit out Saturday’s game. Girardi’s hand was forced when the medical staff advised him that Jeter should not play. Also sitting out the game with the flu was Johnny Damon.
John Munson/The Star Ledger
Now comes word that Phil Hughes has been bit by the bug. Perhaps there was some sort of virus on that David Ortiz jersey that they dug out of the Stadium…
Congrats to the St. Louis Cardinals! They outfoxed all other major league clubs, including the Chicago Cubs, to acquire the Cleveland Indians’ super utility man Mark DeRosa. He’s the guy that I felt would be perfect for the Yankees. As hard as the Cubs tried to re-acquire him, I am still amazed that they ever traded him to begin with. Losing him to the Cards must be salt in the wound.
Phil Velasquez/Chicago Tribune
As the other contenders start to add talent in the coming days leading up to the trading deadline, I am hopeful that GM Brian Cashman is working overtime to convince the Steinbrenners to loosen the purse strings and allow the team to pursue additional depth. DeRosa is lost, but there is still plenty of talent available for the right price. Shelley Duncan is having a tremendous season with the Scranton/Wilkes Barre Yankees (21 HR’s, 64 RBI’s, .289 BA), but he unfortunately fills the same role as Nick Swisher so he most likely won’t be getting an opportunity with the big league club anytime soon.
With his next save, the great Mariano Rivera will reach 500 saves for his career.
Noah K. Murray/The Star Ledger
The final game of the Subway Series pits Chien-Ming Wang against Livan Hernandez. Although Chien-Ming has pitched better lately, he’s still seeking his first win of the season. Hopefully, he’ll get that out of the way today but I’ll hold my breath anyway…
I know that Julia has a preference for the number “5”, but I am hoping for “3” to be the magic number at the conclusion this day’s games. Best wishes to the Braves’ Tommy Hanson. May he show the Red Sox what he showed the Yankees last week…
Note: Tommy Hanson proved me correct as the Atlanta Braves defeated the Red Sox, 2-1. Hanson, despite the flu, was masterful and pitched six innings of two-hit, shutout ball.
The 4-game series with the Cleveland Indians brings pitcher Carl Pavano back to the forefront…unfortunately.
With the Indians this year, Pavano has been effective, and has beaten both the Red Sox and the Rays this month. His record is 5-4. Compare that to the fact that it took him until the third year of his 4-year, $39.95 million contract to win his 5th game with the Yankees. Of course, the Indians are paying just a fraction of the price (1-year, $1.5 million).
I have never disputed that Pavano has a quality arm. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have the head to match. Time will tell if he implodes with the Indians, but you expect that it will eventually happen. For now, the Indians going along for the ride, and reaping the rewards. Good luck with that…
Some guys just aren’t cut out for New York, and Carl Pavano proved that he is just another Ed Whitson. Cleveland is probably a much better environment, with much less pressure, for Pavano.
Had he still been with the Yankees, I am sure that he would have found his way to the DL by now…
Barring a possible rainout tonight, Pavano is scheduled to pitch on Sunday against Phil Hughes. Hopefully, Phil will prevent the Yanks from becoming the latest AL East giant to fall to the American Idle…
Pavano! Pavano! Pavano! Pavano!
Jorge Posada was activated from the DL today, and is in the starting lineup for tonight’s game with the Cleveland Indians. Kevin Cash was sent down to Triple A-Scranton/Wilkes Barre. Francisco Cervelli will most likely catch CC Sabathia on Saturday against the Tribe. The Yankees have an interesting decision to make when Jose Molina returns. They’ll probably go the conservative route and send Cervelli down, but I’d rather keep Cervelli than Molina. Then again, there’s a reason that Brian Cashman and Joe Girardi draw paychecks from the Yankees and I don’t…
The Yankees briefly held a share of first place. Following Wednesday’s win in Texas, combined with a Red Sox loss, the Yankees had drawn even with the Red Sox. However, it was short-lived as the Red Sox won on Thursday (the Yankees were off, or rather at a basketball game). So, entering tonight’s action, the Yankees remain in second place, a ½ game behind the Red Sox.
I saw that the Yankees might be one of several possible suitors for Cleveland’s Mark DeRosa. He would be an upgrade over Ramiro Pena and Angel Berroa, and I admired the intangibles and the play that DeRosa brought to last year’s Chicago Cubs. The Cubs haven’t been the same this year, and I think the loss of DeRosa is one reason. Of course, it wouldn’t surprise me if either the Atlanta Braves or Chicago Cubs re-acquired DeRosa
Two ex-Yankees were DFA’d today. Cleveland designated outfielder David Dellucci for assignment to make room for reliever Rafael Perez. Meanwhile, in Baltimore, catcher Chad Moeller was the victim of the much hyped major league arrival of top baseball prospect Matt Wieters.
I liked Joe Girardi’s comment when asked about a possible move of Joba Chamberlain to the bullpen (the ongoing debate that will not die): “That’s why the Presidential debates are better,” Girardi said. “They end.” I have not been a proponent of moving Chamberlain, but he does need to figure out how to pitch in the first inning and when he doesn’t have his best stuff.
Melky Cabrera is back with the team, and is listed as day-to-day. He won’t play for a few days, but he shouldn’t be out as long as initially projected so that’s a good thing.
How come Boston never has to face Roy Halladay when they play the Toronto Blue Jays? I don’t get it. The schedule is perfectly aligned in their favor. I realize this isn’t Yankees news, but it obviously affects the team since Halladay is perhaps the best pitcher in baseball. And, of course, Julia is loving every minute of it…
I agree with Dodgers manager Joe Torre, I don’t think that Manny Ramirez should play in the All-Star Game if selected…
What was up with the six wild pitches thrown by the Boston Red Sox the other day?
The Yankees have played a franchise-record 14 games without an error. That’s an amazing stat, particularly given how weak defensively the team has been in recent years. But I have to admit, offensive stats aside, I love watching Mark Teixeira field at first base. I can’t even say that he’s an upgrade over Jason Giambi because that would be a huge understatement. I know the phrase “defense wins championships” is specific to pro football, but I’ll take it for the Yanks. Works for me!
Cavs over Magic
Yankees fan LeBron James led his team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, to victory over the Orlando Magic in a home game that was attended by Alex Rodriguez, Mariano Rivera, CC Sabathia, Brian Bruney, Brett Gardner and Joba Chamberlain. The Cavs now trail the Magic 3 games to 2 in their best-of-seven series. I am not a Cavs fan, but I am a LeBron fan and it would be fun to see him in the NBA Finals. Nothing against Dwight Howard and the Magic, but LeBron is the best the NBA has to offer. It’s just a bonus that he’s a Yankees fan too.
Ironically, it was Yankees reliever Brett Tomko’s dad who gave the Cavaliers their name. The Cleveland Plain Dealer held a contest in 1970 that drew 11,000 entries, and Jerry Tomko had the winning selection: “The name Cleveland Cavaliers represents a group of daring, fearless men whose life’s pact was never surrender, no matter what the odds.” That’s an interesting bit of trivia that I did not know…
Good luck to LeBron and the James as they continue their quest to overcome impossible odds in beating the Orlando Magic!