The Yankees are once again victors, as thanks to homers by my fellow Dominicans Melky Cabrera and Alex Rodriguez, and one by the gringo Johnny Damon, too, we beat the Mariners 4-2. Andy Pettitte, the veteran lefty, pitched 7 strong innings, holdng the Mariners to only those two runs and picking up his 8th win of the year.
Mo Rivera got another save.
But there’s also a very startling statistic which I heard after the game. The Yankees have not trailed in a ballgame since the 6th inning of last Wednesday, in Atlanta. Then Joe G got ejected, Cervelli served one, and the rest be history, yo.
And we’re only 2.5 games out of first place, though the chances of us catching up to them Red Sox are pretty slim. There Julia, does that satisfy you?
My Song of the Day today is known for being Evan Longoria of the Tampa Bay Rays’ entrance music. The song is called Down and Out by Tantric.
CC Sabathia, the ace of the Yanks, is up against Jason Vargas of the Seattle Mariners, who’s having a pretty good season statistically. I wouldn’t underestimate the abilities of Vargas, but clearly the matchup favors Sabathia, who, even though he’s not been his usual overpowering self, is coming off a terrific performance in the Subway Series and has much, much more ability than Jason Vargas does. That’s pretty clear.
And what a pleasure it is to have Sabathia out there pitching for you. You look at his last 10 ballgames, and aside from his start against the Marlins down in Miami where he got taken out for some minor(from what we know now) biceps injury in the 2nd inning, he hasn’t pitched any less than 7 innings. He’s a fantastic help to this ballclub and this bullpen that has been so good recently partially because of good performances by our starting pitchers.
It’s looking to be a really nice year in the Bronx.
Stay positive, Yankee fans.
-EJ the Kid From New York
What a great win, huh? After the first inning, it looked like we were never going to score again, as Livan Hernandez was, for some reason, shutting us down. But Chien-Ming Wang turned in a decent outing and the bullpen was lights out from there. It’s nice when you can take your starter out in the 6th inning and still have 5 relievers(Coke, Hughes, Bruney, Aceves and Robertson are all very fine relief pitchers) whom you can use to set up Mariano Rivera. I’m sure Girardi feels very comfortable with his bullpen right now.
However, we could use a complete game soon, because you don’t want to use your bullpen everyday. Those guys have really earned a rest out there in the ‘pen. Now, Joba Chamberlain is starting next game against the Mariners, so it’s quite unlikely that he’s going to pitch a complete game. And hey, since we have an off day today, that should be enough for the ‘pen for now. But I don’t like that we use them every day. I’d like to see Joba pitch a complete game, obviously, since he is capable of doing so. Let’s face it, though, the only way Chamberlain’s going to pitch a full game is if it’s a no hitter. And even then, there are doubts.
Mariano got the 500th save of his career in the most extraordinary way: with his first career RBI. I mean, if Mo was going to drive in a run, you would think it’d be of the home run or double variety. That dude can swing it! But, Francisco Rodriguez, clearly screwed up by Rivera fouling a ball off, attempted to blow a fastball by Mo, and missed with two balls to walk him. That’s just pure embarrassment, right there.
So now it’s time to have a little off topic fun: before this season, in the month of February, I gave predictions on the awards and league leaders of the American and National Leagues. Today, with a day off, I’m going to look back at those predictions and, with the information that we have thus far as we head towards the All Star break, realize how dumb and wrong I am.
Cy Youngs: Oswalt and Halladay
I wanted to get funky with the Roy and Roy thing, and I’ll tell you what, one of those predictions was pretty good. Who’d have thought Zack Greinke would be as dominant as he is this year? Oswalt, on the other hand… quite past his prime, definitely, but again, who could’ve seen Matt Cain be this dominant? Dan Haren, arguably, is better this season, and you could’ve seen Haren coming, but even with that, Oswalt was a dumb prediction.
MVPs: Miguel Cabrera and David Wright
Miguel Cabrera was a strong prediction, you have to admit, but Joe Mauer has been out of his mind since he made his season debut in May. He’s just been off the charts. Now, Miguel Cabrera’s had a very good season, too, and he does have a shot at making me right if he continues his Miggy Cabrera season and Mauer cools off, but the Wright prediction was not all too sound. Sure, Wright is leading the NL in hitting, but how could I have possibly picked someone other than Pujols?
You guys look at the rest and tell me how good my predictions were.
Thanks to Vanessa for hosting the game last night, it was real fun.
Stay positive, Yankee fans…
-EJ the Kid From New York
What a terrific game yesterday, eh?!
Burnett pitched fantabulasticularily, and the offense delivered to score 7 runs(on the back of Derek Jeter and Brett Gardner, and of course Nick Swisher)to deliver the 4th win of the season. Sure, we only have put up a .500 record and we’re capable of so much more, but it’s only 8 games into the season. I’ll worry about record when we’re 20 games in. Right now, we’re doing fine as far as I’m concerned.
I’m very, very sorry I did not blog twice yesterday. I’m not even going to try to do it anymore. I’ll keep up one a day and if I want to blog again when the time comes to blog again, well, that’s when I’ll do it.
In other news, I’m terribly lazy. About 20 minutes ago, I was watching TV and trying to decide just what to do after the show I was watching(a re-run of MLB Tonight on MLB Network). So I’m lying down on the bed, all comfortable and full of bliss, and I think about playing MLB 09 The Show on my PS3. Then I realize, “But then, I’d have to get off the bed, bend over, turn on the PS3 and the controller, and go back in bed.” Obviously that was too much for me.
So I asked my brother to pick up my laptop and put it on the bed for me, and so he asked my godfather(my godfather is not an old man, so my brother’s not abusing the elderly) to do the deed, which he did. So here I am!
I’m so awful.
In other news, the battle for the center field position appears to be heating up once again. Brett Gardner won it out of spring training, but Melky Cabrera is still performing and doesn’t appear to be giving up a starting spot so easily. You know that Cabrera is going to give you solid defense, defense that no other Yankee player can match in center field. Gardner might be able to cover a lot of ground, but Cabrera has a phenomenal throwing arm, and he seems to be able to get to any ball out there(even though his RF/9 is only somewhat over the league average). There was a point where last season, Melky had at least one great catch every day.
Now, Melky is batting .333 in 8 at bats, forcing the question: is Brett Gardner going to lose some playing time? Well, with the way Gardy performed yesterday, I doubt it.
He’s a grinder; he works the count and fouls off tough pitches, Damon-style. He can hit for a pretty good average, .285-.290. And, of course, he has that blazing 50 steal speed. Nobody can doubt that last one.
He’s performing fairly well this season, and I’m definitely satisfied with the 25-year old 5’10” center fielder from Holly Hill, South Carolina.
And that’s it for today’s edition.
Stay positive, Yankee fans!
-EJ the Kid From New York
I love making predictions, don’t you?
Cy Youngs: Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt
I decided to have a little fun on this one and I picked the two Roys: Halladay and Oswalt. They’re both terrific pitchers, Oswalt being quite underrated. This would be HAlladay’s second Cy, his first one was in 03. He’s easily, in my opinion, the best pitcher in the American League. He’s also probably the second best pitcher in the game to Johan Santana. Roy Oswalt is very underrated. He’s had the most wins(bad stat, I know, but still) since 2001, and will likely reach 200 at the end of his career at the pace he’s going on. This would be the first Cy Young for the 31-year old 3-time All-Star.
Most Valuable Players: Miguel Cabrera, David Wright
The MVPs were some of the easiest picks: How can you go wrong with Miggy Cabrera and Davey Wright? They’re both fantastic young players who have never won an MVP yet are fully capable of doing so. They have great power and average. Cabrera is a decent fielding first baseman, Wright is a decent fielding third baseman who’s defense is quite overrated. I think Cabrera is going to be better than he was in his fantastic 08 campaign, and that Wright will use his full ability and go back to stealing bases like he did in 07, as well as hit for a high average and hit for a ton of power. There’s just so much talent in both of these guys.
Rookies of the Year: Taylor Teagarden/Matt Wieters, Colby Rasmus
The reason I put both Teagarden and Wieters for the ROTY in the AL is that I’m not sure that Teagarden will get enough playing time. If Taylor does get 400-500 at bats, I’m fairly certain that he’ll rake. However, it’s also difficult to argue with Wieters’ talent. He is a better hitter than Teagarden, but I think that it’ll be more difficult for him to play in the MLB in his 2nd professional year, as opposed to the 25 year old Teagarden who got some playing time in 08. I’d be somewhat surprised if Saltalamacchia played over Teagarden. As for Colby Rasmus, well, he’s got a chance to win the starting center field job this year. He has a bunch of talent, offensively and defensively.
Save Champions: Brian Fuentes, Jose Valverde
Not much to say about Valverde, we all know he’s capable of getting the save title in 09. I don’t think K-Rod will win it because the Mets give you less save oppurtunities than the Astros do, as far as I’m concerned. This is the exact reason that Brian Fuentes is my choice for the save champion in the AL: K-Rod got those 62 saves because the Angels often gave him the perfect save oppurtunity, and he got the job done. Fuentes certainly is able to do what K-Rod did last year in my mind.
Batting Champions: Ichiro Suzuki, David Wright
Not much to say here. Ichiro is a fantastic average hitter, a batting title would be nothing new for him. I talked about Wright earlier: it’s surprising that I’d pick him over Pujols, isn’t it? Well I think Wright is just going to have a fantastic year, average wise, power wise, and speed wise.
Home Run Champions: Miguel Cabrera, Ryan Braun
Again, not much to say here. Miguel Cabrera, who I talked about earlier, won it last year and there is little reason to say that he won’t do it again. I picked Ryan Braun over the giant favorite Ryan Howard: I think Braun is going to go psycho with the home runs this year, hitting around 43 or 44, while Ryan Howard will calm down a bit and end up with around 39 or 40. Braun is a guy I considered for the MVP too, but I decided that he’d finish second, and Wright would end up with the award.
Comeback Player of the Year: Travis Hafner, Khalil Greene
Both guys just fell off their horses last year. In fact, not only did they fall of their horses, the horses then proceeded to kick them in the head and excrete waste on their unconscious bodies. While that latter part was quite disturbing, you know it’s true. However, both players also have good talent. Hafner was an MVP contender before his awful 08 year, which included an injury. Khalil Greene was just flat out terrible, as the shortstop who hit over 20 homers the year before was an all-season Mendoza liner.
Steals Champions: Carl Crawford, Jose Reyes
These were two dull, obvious picks. These guys are just INCREDIBLY fast and great base stealers, and they are the frontrunners for the most steals in the two leagues.
World Series: Indians vs Mets, Indians win
I would love to say that the Yankees will win the World Series and be totally right. I would love the Yankees proving me wrong and winning the World Series. However, I think we’ll lose in the ALCS and the Indians will pull off a surprise WS victory, upsetting the favorited Mets. Cleveland has a lot of players who can consistently produce this year, including Grady Sizemore, a 40-40 candidate with a good glove, and Cliff Lee, the Cy Young winner of 08. This gives me reason to believe that they’ll break the curse and win their first World Series since the year 1948.
Well that’s about it. Tune in next time for my rating of the Boston Red Sox infield, as suggested by Bob…
Stay positive, Yankee fans!
-EJ the Kid From New York
Bomber Beat Down; Yanks Crushed Again
The past 2 days of shown us something, something the Baseball Gods often preach with all teams. That is, the New York Yankees are comprised of humans. They’ve also shown us the Cubs are humans, the Mets are humans, the Red Sox are humans, the Rays are humans, the Cardinals are humans(except of course for Albert Pujols, the robot), and the Brewers are humans. They’ve shown us that they, like every other sports team, professional, ametuer, semi-pro, little league, whatever, that they have weaknesses and that they will lose some games. It’s just a part of the game. Now, with that being said;
Boy were we embaressed the past two days. The Red Sox shut us down and crushed our pitching, and the Orioles did the same. We were blown out. Destroyed. Blasted. Crushed. Demolished. Hammered. Bombed. Mashed. Pulped. Squashed. Mushed. Splattered. You get the picture. It was awful, it was not good Yankees baseball. However, now we have the optimism to say that we’ve gone through a short bad stretch and we have a good chance to win today. We’re facing a pitcher who’s gone through an awful stretch, and we’re putting out a pitcher in Rasner who had a good start his last time out and looks to build on it. We’ve got the much better offense, we’ve got a better defense, and yes, we have a MUCH better bullpen. We were disappointed last night, but we have a great chance of winning today. So let’s cheer the team on!
I’m changing my blog time to after the ballgame, so when the game is over, I’ll have full game analysis, I’ll talk about the Texeira trade, I’ll talk about what moves the team may make before the deadline, and of course, I’ll give my traditional Bold Statement of the Day! Tune in.