Tagged: Phil Coke

Bent, but not broken…

 

What?  No walk-off win?  What’s up with that? 

 

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Last night, it appeared that the Yankees were going to coast to a victory for a change.  The Twins had scored a couple of runs at the top of the first inning, but the Yanks roared back with 6 runs in the bottom of the frame.  Included in the scoring were back-to-back home runs by the suddenly very hot Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez.

Yankees Beat Twins in a 4-Game Sweep

Barton Silverman/The New York Times 

 

Nick Swisher almost made it three straight home runs, but his fly ball fell about six feet short of the fence.

It was revealed after the game that Twins starter Glenn Perkins had taken the mound with an injury (inflamed left elbow), and it worsened while he was pitching.  He was placed on the DL after the game.  Nevertheless, the Twins relievers did a good job in shutting down the Yankees after the disastrous first inning.  R.A. Dickey, in particular, was solid in 4 1/3 innings of relief.  It allowed the Twins to slowly climb back into the game.  They certainly had every opportunity to pull out a come-from-behind victory.

 

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The Twins pounded out 12 hits in 6 2/3 innings against Andy Pettitte, but couldn’t get him to break.  They had a hit in every inning except the 9th.  They missed a golden opportunity in the 7th inning with the bases loaded, but Carlos Gomez flied out to center.

Mark Teixeira added another home run in the bottom of the 7th inning which proved to be the insurance run the Yanks needed. 

Manager Joe Girardi gave Mariano Rivera the night off after so much work earlier in the series, so the 9th began with the somewhat unsettling sight of Phil Coke on the mound to close it out.  It wasn’t fun and it wasn’t pretty, but in the end, it was enough to allow Coke to pick up his first save.  He allowed a walk that eventually resulted in a Twins run, but the clutch hit the Twins were looking for, never came.  While Coke seemed to have trouble with the psychological edge needed to close a game, he finally succeeded in ending the game by inducing a groundout.  After the game, he said that he was completely gassed.  I guess he proved that he was a “Weeble”…

 

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While the Yankees swept the four game series, every game was so close.  It could have very easily have been a Twins sweep of the Yankees with a few timely hits here and there.  Still, the Yankees can feel good about themselves as they’ve improved their record to 21-17 and now stand just a single game behind the second place Boston Red Sox.

Oh, I almost forgot, Jason Bay, this gift basket is for you.  Julia seems to be focusing on Theo, but we know you’re the one who really matters.  Don’t sign an extension with the Red Sox because there’s a great spot in left field at Yankee Stadium waiting for you in 2010.  The Celtics and the Bruins have proven that Boston can easily return to its heartbreaking ways, and you deserve so much better.  #44 is not available, unless you can coerce Reggie Jackson into giving it up.  But I am sure there’s a number that would work for you…$$$$$$…  J

 

See you in the Bronx next year, Jason!  😉 

 

Help, I’ve Fallen and I Can’t Get Up…

The rain in the Northeast keeps falling, and the Yankees keep losing…

Somehow, the two seem inexplicably intertwined.  Hopefully, sunny skies are ahead, both figuratively and literally…

 

Of the bullpen guys, I have been a fan of Phil Coke.  He’s one of the few guys that I have felt good about.  Yet, he served up what proved to be the game-winning home run to Tampa Bay Rays Carlos Pena in the 10th inning of last night’s game.  The Yankees lost 4-3. I still have faith in Coke, but I am very troubled by the unreliable bullpen.

Courtesy www.chasthornhill.com

Johnny Damon tried to rally the Yanks, with a double in the 10th.  He was on third after a wild pitch, but no one could bring him home.  Mark Teixeira, who had tied the game in the 8th inning with a three-run double, missed his chance at becoming the hero.  Even a deep sacrifice fly to the outfield would have scored Damon but Tex couldn’t come through.  Another missed opportunity for the “defining moment”.  

 Yet again, Damon proved he is a “gamer” when the chips are down.  But none of the other players seem prepared to follow his lead. 

  

After the game, pitcher A.J. Burnett said, “When it clicks it will be ridiculous.  When it clicks, it will be fun to watch.”  I only hope that the team doesn’t dig too deep of a hole before that happens.

 


Hole.JPGDespite the quality start by Burnett, the Yankees now have a losing record on the season at 13-14.  It doesn’t get any easier this week, as the Yanks play the Rays again today and then head to Baltimore to play the Orioles (who always play the Yankees tough).

Getty Images 

Meanwhile, Joe Torre is now the proud owner of a record 13-game home winning streak to start the season.  Torre’s comments after the Los Angeles Dodgers’ 10-3 victory over the Washington Nationals reminded me of what I miss about Torre.  He has a great way of always keeping things in perspective.

“Streaks are fine, but we have more important things in mind,” Torre said. “Hopefully, it’s just a stepping stone on the way to something more important. The fact that we’re playing well takes precedence over anything else. The good part about this thing is that this is about winning games, which is what we try to do every day.”

 Joe Torre

John G. Mabangio/EPA

Conversely, Joe Girardi didn’t display the same sense of calm after the Yankees loss…

“It’s a tough loss. No loss is enjoyable, but this is a tough loss,” Yankees manager Joe Girardi said. “Coke made one mistake. He got too much of the plate.”

Girardi needs to take Torre’s lead and focus on winning games…before it’s too late…


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P.S. 

 

A special shout-out to Jane Heller, Confessions of a She-Fan…I hope she’s safe and out of harm’s way with the Santa Barbara fires.  It’s scary times, and at times like this, baseball seems somewhat irrelevant.  Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those in the Santa Barbara area…

 

Mark Boster/Los Angeles Times

–Scott

A Perfect Night for Yankee Fans…

Coke is definitely the Real Thing! 

 

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Melky Cabrera got the accolades for the Yankees 7-4 victory over the Anaheim Los Angeles Angels, however, I give the star to Yankees reliever Phil Coke. 

 

Phil Coke Picture

Jim McIsaac/Getty Images North America

 

He has quietly and consistently been a reliable weapon in the bullpen.  Considering that most of the guys seem have ERA’s around Yogi Berra’s retired uniform number, it’s refreshing to see Coke come in and just do his job.  He hasn’t been perfect this year, but he is learning and he is getting better.  That’s all I can ask. 

 

He earned the victory for last night’s game in relief of A.J. Burnett, who went 7 innings and gave up 4 runs.  Coke pitched the 8th inning, with 1 strike out and no runs.  Every day that I don’t see Jose Veras or Damaso Marte coming out of the pen is good day!

 

Speaking of Cabrera, how clutch was his single in the 8th inning?  He ripped it into right field to score the go-ahead run.  Ramiro Pena subsequently drove in two insurance runs with a double.  They were the first 2 RBI’s of Pena’s major league career.  I still can’t get used to him wearing Dave Righetti’s number even though others, like Aaron Boone and Luis Sojo, have worn it since.

 

JULY 4, 1983: Dave Righetti celebrates after striking out Boston's Wade Boggs to finish off his no-hitter against the Red Sox.

New York Post

 

The Yankees always lose to the Angels so it was nice to see them win for a change.  Hopefully, they’ll keep it up since I will be making my first appearance at Yankee Stadium on Sunday (the final game of the 4-game set with the Angels). 

 

Of course, I have to credit the Yankees recent success on Jane Heller’s Pen.  All hail the Pen!  No pressure on the She-Fan.  She just has to keep the pen happy, safe…and full of ink! 

 

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Courtesy Confessions of a She-Fan (Jane Heller)

 

I wonder if she has taken the Pen to see any of the vineyards in the wine country near Santa Barbara, or if they’ve hung out at the beach.  The primary mission is to keep the Pen happy! 

 

 

So, Jane, remember that if you and your husband are in the car and Michael’s driving, the Pen has dibs for the front passenger seat.  You are relegated to the back seat…or worse, the trunk!  Sorry, it is now all about the Pen…

 

JULIA’S JOURNEY TO NEW YORK CITY

 

As you know, Julia will be traveling to New York City with 7th and 8th grade musicians from her middle school.  They are attending a music festival.  Most likely, she’ll be attempting to infect the fine citizens of New York with a bad case of Red Sox flu.  Of course, this is all in her dreams, so to protect the good citizens of the city of New York, I have decided to post a dream catcher to ensure that everyone is safe from a Red Sox epidemic.  

 

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The New York State Police should set up a roadblock so that when Julia enters New York, they can confiscate any contraband (i.e., Kevin Youkilis jersey).

 

 

Julia, please be sure to check out how the pink Yankee hats look (considering that you’ll be a proud owner of one soon!). 

 

 

A PERFECT NIGHT

 

Watching the Tampa Bay Rays’ Matt Garza nearly throw a perfect game against the Boston Red Sox made me realize that a “perfect” night is anytime the Yankees win and the Red Sox lose.  Last night was one of those nights.  At some point, I should really learn to hate the Rays but so far, I haven’t been able to do it.  There is always great satisfaction in seeing the Rays put one over on the Red Sox, and like last year, if the Yanks can’t win it, it’s good to see someone other than Boston take it (well, except for maybe the Orioles).  Garza came oh so close to a perfect game.  If he could have only handled that grounder up the middle by Jacoby Ellsbury…

 

Tampa Bay Rays starter Matt Garza pitches against the Boston Red Sox in the first inning of a baseball game, Thursday, April 9, 2009, in Boston.

Michael Dwyer/AP

 

Why is it that every time you see a player do great things, their name is usually preceded by “former Minnesota Twin”?  The next time the Twins decide to cut a player, I want to make sure that he signs with the Yankees!  So, Erin, please give me the heads-up, okay?  Any chance that the Twins will be cutting Joe Mauer?  LOL!

 

FINALLY…

 

I have avoided commenting on the latest A-Rod allegations.  I dislike the timing of Selena Roberts’ book (release coincides with his return to the Yankees).  There are apparently claims that Alex used steroids in high school and in New York after he was traded to the Yankees (which contradict A-Rod’s previous statements that he only used steroids in Texas).  At this point, there is nothing gained by repeatedly dragging A-Rod through the mud.  He used steroids, yes, and it is not something that should be condoned.  But it’s over.  Let’s move on.  Let A-Rod be judged for the man he is today.  If he is found to be using steroids from this point forward, then banish him.  But I don’t care what he did when he was 6 years old…

 

I am not trying to be delusional or hide from the fact that Alex did something very wrong.  But the truth is that steroid use was not a capital offense during the times of his alleged use.  Perhaps if it continued into his Yankee years, it may have but there is no concrete evidence.  If evidence is found, then convict him.  But until then, back off and let the man play baseball. 

 

Have a great weekend!

 

–Scott

 

 

 

 

Quiet Flight to Tampa…

You win some, you lose some…

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Okay, so maybe I was expecting an early April ten-game winning streak. Hey, a guy can dream right?

It’s nice to see the team do well despite the absence of Alex Rodriguez. I’d hate for him to come back and be the “savior”. Of course, as long as Joe Girardi keeps penciling in Cody Ransom’s name at third, anyone except Cody would look like a savior…

 

Jay Grabiec/The Daily Eastern News

Joba Chamberlain pitched well enough to win. He went six innings, and gave up four hits. He allowed three runs, but only one was earned. He struck out five. The Yankees had a 4-3 lead in the 8th inning, but the Royals scored three runs against relievers Jose Veras and Phil Coke.

Nick Swisher started again at first base in place of Mark Teixeira, who has missed two games with tendonitis in his left wrist. Teixeira says that he can field without any problems, and bat lefthanded. The wrist only hurts when he tries to bat righthanded. With lefty Scott Kazmir on the mound Monday in Tampa, Teixeira will again take a seat on the bench. But Joe Girardi hopes that he will be available to pinch hit if necessary.

Monday will be a tough matchup for the Yanks. Kazmir is pitching great right now, and Chien-Ming Wang has continued to struggle. The Yanks hope is to keep it close until they can wear down Kazmir and get to the Tampa bullpen. Of course, that’s still not an easy task, so I am not too confident about Monday’s game. If Wang doesn’t bring his “A” game, I can see disastrous results when he faces Rays third baseman Evan Longoria.

I know that Canuck will be anxiously awaiting the conclusion of the game so that she can post another That’s my Scotty!’ post regarding her favorite Rays pitcher. I hope that the Yanks can delay that post by five days…

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Congratulations, Scott!!!

 

I hope Tuesday morning, Canuck is talking about me, and not Kazmir! 

On the bright side, the Boston Red Sox lost so the day wasn’t a complete disaster!

 

JULIA’S BOYS ARE FIGHTING AGAIN

In the first inning of Sunday’s game between the Boston Red Sox and Los Angeles Angeles, Bobby Abreu took issue with a pitch that sailed high above his head as time was being called by the plate umpire. The benches cleared, but no punches were thrown. Then, Josh Beckett had some heated words for Angels manager Mike Scioscia, and the benches cleared again which led to some pushing and shoving. Four Angels were ejected from the game (Manager Mike Scioscia, centerfielder Torii Hunter, reliever Justin Speier, and hitting coach Mickey Hatcher).

Sox still without series win

AP

At first glance, it would appear to me that Bobby Abreu overreacted to Beckett’s pitch. I don’t know what words were exchanged, but it did appear to me that Beckett was only reacting to words said to him by the Angels.

Of course, this is just an average fighting-kind of week for Julia. Her “weakness”, i.e., Toby Keith was involved in a tiff with actor Ethan Hawke earlier in the week…

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AP via Comcast.net 

Does she really think that I am going to wear a pink hat?  Them’s fightin’ words! 

WHAT WAS SHE THINKING?

Okay, this is a little off topic.  My apologies.  But what was the 32-year-old woman at the Berlin Zoo thinking when she jumped into the Polar Bear Pen, and proceeded to get mauled by the bears before she was rescued.  It was definitely one of the most bizarre things I’ve seen.  Well, next to why someone would be a Red Sox fan!  😉

The bear attacks the woman during feeding time.

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I hope everyone had a very enjoyable Easter with friends and family!  Have a great week!

–Scott

The Man-Ram Negotiations…

Longest Records

Gunsmoke holds the record for the longest running TV Series.  It aired on CBS for 20 years, from 1955 to 1975…

The Simpsons, which debuted in 1990, is the longest running animated series.  It was recently renewed for at least two more seasons which will make it the longest running TV Series…

The longest running TV Show is Meet The Press, which went on the air November 6, 1947…

The longest running marathon is the Boston Marathon, which has been run for 112 years…

AP

The longest running Broadway Show is The Phantom of the Opera, which opened January 26, 1988…

The longest recorded duration for balancing on one foot is 76 hours and 40 minutes.  This was accomplished by Arulanantham Suresh Joachim at Vihara Maha Devi Park Open Air Stadium in Sri Lanka from May 22, 1997 to May 25, 1997…

On a related note, Manny Ramirez has finally re-signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers…

 

The deal is at $45 million for two years.  Manny will get $25 million for the 2009 season and has until November to decide whether to void the second season, which calls for $20 million.  There is some deferred money involved despite Scott Boras’ reluctance to accept same.  The deal also includes a full no-trade provision.

This ordeal might have been just as excrutiating as long season’s debacle with the Packers and Brett Favre.

But at least it’s done, and Manny can take his bat and dreadlocks to Arizona.  But considering that Derek Lowe is in Atlanta, Brad Penny is in Boston and Clayton Kershaw is not quite ready to reach for his potential, Manny should have the month of October off to contemplate his future…

 

A-Rod, Repeat After Me, “No Comment”…

According to MLB.com, Alex Rodriguez was reaping praise about the New York Mets’ very talented shortstop Jose Reyes, and he made a comment that he wished Reyes was on the Yankees.  Of course, the comment slams not just one but two players…shortstop Derek Jeter and leadoff hitter Johnny Damon.

After weeks of listening to Alex say the wrong things, maybe he should consider saying nothing…

Where is Agent Smith when you need him?  😉

Then again, you can’t always believe what Alex says…

 

Coke, It’s The Real Thing…

After watching Phil Coke pitch this spring, I am very impressed.  His fastball is only 92 to 94 MPH, however, it looks faster…deceptively faster. 

It definitely makes me appreciate that he was not included in the Pirates trade that brought Xavier Nady to the Yankees. 

I am looking forward to watching Coke out of the bullpen for the entire season this year.  I am with the majority that believes the Yankee bullpen will be very solid this year (with or without Joba Chamberlain serving in a setup role). 

I suspect that Joe Girardi will be reaching for a Coke quite often this season…