Tagged: Jeter

THE BOYS OF SUMMER HAVE RETURNED.

We lost, but it’s okay.


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Look, are we glad the season’s back or not?

I’m a big Yankee fan, so of course I’m upset we blew a lead on Opening Night against our biggest rival, the Red Sox. But it’s all good, it’s all good. We lost a handful of games at the beginning of 2009(against the Orioles, moreover) and we kind of won the World Series then. You see that? There’s always a bright side of things.

I’m too optimistic to wallow in the despair of a loss. I can’t stand pessimism. I really can’t.

Anyway, allow me to break down what happened in that game.

What We Did Right

We hit like the Yankees should. We hit like our mommas told us we should. First of all, a few guys were swinging away early in the count early on against Beckett, which I didn’t like much, but in the 2nd inning we got Beckett to throw a lot more pitches by getting four consecutive hits. Oh, and by the way, the first two of those four hits were back-to-back jacks from Jorge Posada (pesky pole line drive) and Curtis Granderson (just a good ol’ fashioned atom bomb). Posada had 3 hits and 2 RBI. Robbie Cano had two hits, including a double. Jeter had two knocks and drove in a run, and heck, Nick Johnson even walked twice. Our pitching didn’t let Ellsbury get on base (he was 0-for-5) We worked Beckett with hits and deep counts until he was taken out in the middle of the 5th inning. That’s when things got ugly.

What We Did Wrong

The bullpen surrendered 2 walks, 6 hits and 3 earned runs, 2 of those coming from Chan Ho Park, who did not impress in his first outing with the Yanks. Place your bets on when he’s getting cut(sarcasm).

Sabathia’s start was not much better, as although he had some bright spots, he gave up 5 runs in 5.1 innings. We let Youkilis beat us (3 hits and 2 RBI). We let Pedroia beat us (2 hits and 3 RBI). And how do you give up 2 hits, a ribbie and a walk to the number nine hitter (Marco Scutaro)? Our arms just didn’t go out there and give us the good stuff, and that’s why we sucked.

Next Game

Flamethrowing AJ Burnett gets the start for the Yankees against Jesus–I mean, Jon Lester. Why do I risk blasphemy by calling Lester Jesus? Well, a lot of baseball minds(Tom Verducci being one of them) have Lester winning the Cy Young award this year. He has electric stuff, he came back from cancer, won the clinching World Series game, pitched a no-hitter, takes no crap from nobody and by the way, he’s a lefty. It seems like the only thing he’s missing is the Cy Young at this point.

Do I think he’ll win the Cy Young? No, I don’t. I think Jake Peavy will win it and I have a good argument for that. But is it far-fetched to predict Lester to take home the trophy? It most definitely isn’t. He’s the real deal.

As far as Burnett goes, he’s an enigma, as are 2 of the other Yankee starters (Vasquez and Hughes could do a number of things). We know he has great stuff. We know he’s performed in tough situations in the past. He had a solid postseason. He has freakin’ awesome tattoos, and he was in a rock band. Okay, maybe the last part is a little irrelevant, but still, you see what I’m getting at. It’ll be interesting to see how Burnett starts off his ’10 season against one of the premier pitchers in the MLB.

And it’ll also be interesting to see how Granderson fares against the lefty starter Lester. We know he bites against southpaw hurlers.

You sure know who I’m rooting for.

Around the MLB

Right now, life is good. In fact, if life was any sweeter, I’d have cavities in all my teeth. It’s a bright day outside, I’ve got MLB Network on the big ol TV with round-the-league coverage, and I don’t have school for the entire week. Oh, and pomegranate lemonade. Good stuff.

As for the MLB, we’ve got Barack Hussein Obama(he’s kind of the President) throwing the first pitch in Washington DC in a Nats-Phillies game where Doc Halladay is making his first Phillies start. The Nats lead 1-0. The Mets are leading 2-0, but they’ll blow that in a couple innings. I’ve already called it, so it’s going to happen. Aaron Harang was looking fantastic against St. Louis, striking out two batters, and then Pujols came up. 2-2 count! Here’s the pitch! Down the middle! There it–goes? Yeah, that’s the reigning NL MVP, boys. If you’re not used to it, get with the program.

And these MLB 2k10 commercials are the shizznat. The game sucks(The Show for the win) but they’ve definitely got it going on with the commercials. Nelson Cruz talking about making Andrew Bailey cry with his boomstick. Kendry Morales and Felix Hernandez trash talking in Spanish. There are few things better than trash talk, especially when it’s from Latino people.

Around the World

March Madness. National Championship Game. The incredible story of Butler University against the top-tier long time power and definite favorite Duke University. 9:00 PM EST tonight. I don’t care if you don’t like basketball. Watch it.

Oh, and Donovan McNabb has been traded from the Philadelphia Eagles to the Washington Redskins in an absolute horrible trade for the Eagles. I mean, come on, Philly. How do you trade one of the better QBs in the league to a divisional rival for two low round draft picks? Congrats to Washington for such a steal. Look out for how the draft is impacted by this. Jimmy Clausen was a favorite to go no. 4 to the Redskins, but now that they have a quarterback, they’re a franchise left tackle away from being a serious playoff contender. They can draft Bryan Bulaga there and have their blindside, or they can get Russell Okung if the Lions foolishly pass on him. And Jimmy Clausen could go to the Browns at no. 5, the Bills at no. 9, or heck, everybody else has a quarterback, he could go to the Cardinals late in the first round. Interesting stuff.

But the Eagles are idiots today.

What You Need to Look At

John Sterling is an odd man.

http://sports.yahoo.com/mlb/blog/big_league_stew/post/Granderson-goes-yard-in-first-at-bat-inspires-o?urn=mlb,232016

Song of the Day

Oh yes, it’s back. The Song of the Day is All The Right Moves by OneRepublic.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aI87yRroj4I

Stay positive, Yankee fans.

-EJ the Vampire from New York

 

2009 Twins-Yankees ALDS: He Got Him, John

In this 2009 American League Division Series, we saw two teams go head to head in the playoffs. They were both such contrasting teams– the Minnesota Twins, one of the more small-market franchises in the game today– facing the New York Yankees, who are quite possibly the most successful franchise in the history of American sports. The Minnesota Twins play a smallball, hit-and-run, sacrifice bunt and speed game– the New York Yankees play an all around power game to go with good defense. Some sports journalists called it the biggest mismatch in years, as the Yanks were favored almost nationwide.

The Yankees took the field with a solid combination of abundant talent, great chemistry, and a good amount of experience. The Twins took the field with youth, decent talent, momentum from a great month of September, and a whole lot of heart. The Yankees swept the regular season series 7-0 and took on Minnesota hoping to reach the American League Championship Series for the first time since 2004, where the Boston Red Sox came back from a 3-0 deficit and won 4 straight to break the hearts of the Bombers.

Here is a recap of the Twins-Yankees clash.

Game 1: I Don’t Fear Twinkies, I Eat Them

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There was a buzz in the crowd on a Bronx night as for the first time, we got the oppurtunity to see how postseason baseball would look in the new Yankee Stadium. It turned out to not be a disappointing night for the fans cheering on the Yanks.

The matchup favored the Yankees quite overwhelmingly; the highest paid pitcher in the history of the MLB, 19 game winner and ace of the Yankees, CC Sabathia took the hill. Facing him would be a mere rookie southpaw for the Twins, Brian Duensing, who had some pretty good success down the stretch for Minnesota as they made their playoff push.

After two shutout innings on both sides of the ball, the Twins surprised the Yankees with a 2 run 3rd inning highlighted by a passed ball by catcher Jorge Posada. For a brief moment, Yankees fans across the world held their breath, as they were reminded of 2007 when Cleveland took an early lead in the ALDS and never looked back.

This was not to happen tonight.

In the bottom of that same 3rd inning, the captain and shortstop Derek Jeter, who had a stellar year as the leadoff hitter for the Yanks, launched a home run into the left field stands. From then on, the Twins never stood a chance.

Nick Swisher hit a run-scoring double to give the Yankees a lead in the next inning, and the Bombers continued to pile on, as they won by the final score of 7-2.

The real highlight of this ballgame, however, was Alex Rodriguez. Constantly criticized for his lack of offensive contributions during the playoffs, A-Rod drove in two runs and had two base hits. This set the tempo for the rest of the series.

Game 2: He Got Him, John, He Got Him

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Following a day of rest, the Yankees and the Twins took the field for ALDS Game 2 at Yankee Stadium. You could, for some reason, feel that it was going to be an eventful baseball game. However, nobody could have predicted just how thrilling it would turn out to be.

Minnesota’s sinkerballing Nick Blackburn took the hill against hard throwing right hander A.J. Burnett. For the first 5 innings, both starters engaged in an awesome pitcher’s duel, as neither team was able to get on the board. In one inning, the Twins nearly scored on an RBI single; however, Carlos Gomez slipped rounding 2nd, and was tagged out retreating to 2nd base before Delmon Young could score. It remained scoreless. The Twins scored in the top of the 6th, but the Yankees tied it up in the bottom half of that 6th inning.

After a scoreless 7th, Minnesota shocked lights out setup reliever Phil Hughes, scoring two runs off him (the latter coming off a single on the great Mariano Rivera). That gave them a 3-1 lead over the Yankees, and it seemed like the little team from Minneapolis, Minnesota would pull off a shocking late inning upset. That would be disastrous for the Yankees. It would tie up the series, as opposed to the large advantage of being up 2-0. It would send the Twins back to Minnesota, where they play so much better, with a highly motivating victory. In short, it would be an enormous momentum change for the Twins.

But that wasn’t how the Yankees rolled.

After a shutout inning by Rivera in the top of the 9th, the Bombers headed into the bottom of the 9th inning needing to score two runs to tie the game. Their problem? They had to face the tremendous closer of the Twins, Joe Nathan. However, the Yankees had the most comebacks in the league in ’09, and with their 3, 4 and 5 hitters due up against him, there was certainly a good amount of confidence in that Yankees dugout.

The MVP candidate, switch hitting slugger and first baseman Mark Teixeira stepped up to lead off. He delivered with a hard hit single to right field, and up came A-Rod.

Alex Rodriguez wasn’t supposed to be clutch.

Alex Rodriguez was supposed to be this headcase who couldn’t deliver in the playoffs.

Alex Rodriguez wasn’t supposed to deliver hits when the New York Yankees needed him to.

He certainly did on October 9th of 2009.

After taking 3 straight pitches out of the strike zone, Joe Nathan tossed a sinker down and in to Alex Rodriguez that possibly was out of the strike zone, but there was no argument from Rodriguez.

Joe Nathan’s 3-1 pitch was in a location everybody knows you can’t throw it in with Alex Rodriguez at the plate. A-Rod showed Nathan why.

With one elegant, swift swing of A-Rod’s shining black bat, that baseball was launched about as far as you’ll see. It soared in the night sky and landed into the Yankees’ bullpen.

“He got him, John, he got him!” shouted a grieving Dan Gladden, analyst for the Twins radio.

A-Rod knew it. He turned to the dugout and gave a little fist pump as he flipped his bat. All of a sudden, this game was no longer a dramatic upset. All of a sudden, this game was tied by the score of 3-3.

Yet, even though the game seemed so destined to end in a Yankees victory, the Twins were not going to let go. They got out of that inning, and in the bottom of the 10th inning, Johnny Damon stepped to the plate with 1 out and runners on the corners. With the count full at 3-2, Damon lined out to shortstop Orlando Cabrera, who alertly fired to third base, where rookie Brett Gardner was leaning much too far off and was doubled off. It was a traumatizing play for the Yankees, and an inspiring play for the Twins. In the top of the 11th inning, with Damaso Marte, the hard throwing Dominican left hander on the mound, Joe Mauer lined a ball into the left field corner that the umpire called foul.

But was it foul?

Clearly, as all the camera angles TBS provided show, it was a fair ball and a double for the AL batting champion Joe Mauer. It seemed miniscule after Mauer lined a ball into center field for a single; but it would turn out to be a gigantic break for the Yankees. The next runner reached base. Marte was out. Mauer had held up at third on a single off of new Yankees reliever, the strikeout specialist David Robertson. With the bases full of Twins and no outs, it would be a perfect situation for Robertson to get a strikeout. He didn’t get a strikeout; regardless, Robertson’s performance will make him forever appreciated by the Yankees fans.

Delmon Young lined a curveball to Mark Teixeira’s glove at first base. One out.

Carlos Gomez hit a fairly soft ground ball to Teixeira, who fired to Francisco Cervelli at home plate. Two outs.

Brendan Harris swung at a 92-mph fastball and flew out to Gardner in center field. Three outs.

They didn’t score a run with the bases loaded.

You can’t do that. Not against the Yankees.

Mark Teixeira, now swinging the bat right handed, crushed a line drive into the left field corner on a 2-1 count. It had a chance to go out. Would it? Would it?

It hit off the seats in the first row and caromed deeper into the stands. A wall clearing home run ended the extra inning affair, giving the Yanks a 4-3 win over the Twins and a 2-0 series advantage.

You’re on the Mark, Teixeira.

Game 3: Jumped

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Needing only one game to make it to the American League Championship Series for the first time since ’04, the New York Yankees put on their road uniforms and took on the Twins at the Metrodome. It was the Metrodome’s last year hosting Major League Baseball games, and the Minnesota Twins did not want it’s history and nostalgia to end in an ALDS loss to the big, fancy Yankees. Win one for the Dome, that’s all that Twins fans were asking. Minnesota would send Carl Pavano to the mound.

Carl Pavano was signed to a big money deal by the Yankees a few years back, but he was plagued by so many injuries that he could never pitch all that much. He had less starts in 3 seasons in Pinstripes than a decent starter has in a year. Moreover, none of those games he pitched really got the job done. It was one big waste of money by the Bombers organization, and thus, a great amount of Yankees fans hate him with a passion not matched even when we saw George W. Bush get a couple zapatos in his direction.

Thus, he took the mound against the Yankees in Game 3 with a lot to prove. And he did his job and then some.

He didn’t allow any runs in the first six innings of the ballgame, putting together sharp movement, great command and a couple of questionable calls by the home plate umpire. However, Andy Pettitte was not to be shown up. He hurled 5 shutout innings until the 6th, when the aforementioned AL batting champion(for the 3rd time, nonetheless) Joe Mauer did what batting champions do, which is hit. He wrapped a single to the opposite field that plated speedy Denard Span. It was 1-0 Twins! Finally, the Minnesota Twins came up with run support off Andy Pettitte to support Carl Pavano’s stellar outing.

Now all he had to do was hold that lead. But of course he was going to hold that lead. He had been pitching so perfectly, so masterfully against this terrifyingly good Yankees lineup. All the stars had alligned for Pavano tonight.

You can see where this is going, right?

Of course, the ever-so-powerful Alex Rodriguez stepped to the plate with one out. He had just hit a long, dramatic, game-tying big fly last game! And he did it again. With a 3-2 count against Pavano, he took a tailing fastball away on the ride of it’s lifetime, sending it way up over the baggie to tie it at 1.

The Yanks were not done yet, as you can imagine. Later in that inning, veteran catcher Jorge Posada– often criticized(by me) for his lacking defense– bombs one into left. It’s baffling. They hadn’t scored all night, they looked flat. And then they decide, in the 7th inning, after the Twins score a dramatic run, they just say “*yawn* mmkay, home run. Another home run. When is this game gonna end? I’m hungry.”

In the 8th inning, the Yankees had a 2-1 edge over the Twins, but it was certainly surmountable for a never-say-die Twins team. After all, they still had talent, they could still execute what they needed to execute, and they had the tremendous lift of being at home, where they play so much better. And they started to rally in that 8th inning. But on a chopper up the middle hit by Denard Span that turned out to be an infield single, something strange happened to the Twins that sucked the life out of them. Nick Punto thought that the ball had gotten into center field and was surging home to try and score. But Jeter had fielded the ball. Nick Punto didn’t see that, nor did he pick up his third base coach pleading him to stay put at third base. Jeter fired home. Punto, halfway to home plate, was hung up and scurried back to third. Posada gunned the ball to A-Rod at third base, who applied the tag, and Punto was dead meat.

The play that ended the Metrodome. Not technically, but momentum wise. The rally was their last chance at a late inning upset and comeback over the Yankees. But with one clumsy baserunning mistake, that rally was over. They would now have to deal with Rivera in the ninth.

The Yanks would tack on some insurance, and then, in the bottom of the 9th, Mo Rivera would close out another game, sending the New York Yankees to the postseason for the first time since 2004 against the Red Sox.

This series might have been boring, pointless and disappointing for baseball fans who enjoy seeing the little guy pull through and win. For guys who like the David beats Goliath philosophy, this might have been saddening. I understand why you would like that kind of thing; God bless and go forward.

But if you’re a Yankee fan, that was sweeter than apple pie.

See you in the ALCS.

Stay positive, Yankee fans.

-EJ the Kid From New York

I Grow Tired of Victory Cake

We should change the flavor.

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Yesterday at 10 the Yanks won again. Nick “The Road Warrior” Swisher backed up his nickname by jacking one out to left, Derek Jeter padded the lead with a solo shot to right field, yada yada yada. The offense did it’s thang. That’s obvious.

Now, I think the true story is what the bullpen did in relief of Surge. Our favorite sinkerballer left after 5 and a third innings with the bases loaded and 1 out. Thus, it was Robertson time.

Me likey Robertson time.

David Robertson is our strikeout guy out of the bullpen, last year and this year Robertson had more K’s than innings pitched, and this year it’s by a pretty wide margin. Robertson, as you know, has a 90-94 mph fastball with solid movement, and a curveball with a ton of drop. He struck out Josh Wilson. And then he struck out Ryan Langerhans.

As I said before, me likey Robertson time. He came in and did exactly what he needed to do, which was to strike out Wilson and get Langerhans out. A sac fly or a non-double play ground ball wouldn’t have done. Robertson is a beast.

Then it went to Coke, and Coke didn’t allow a run, either, so that’s two very nice holds for the Yankee relief pitchers Robertson and Coke. Then, Mariano Rivera, still at 40 years of age the best closing pitcher in the game of baseball, did what he does. He retired the M’s in the bottom of the 9th to seal the win and the series for the Yankees. Today at 4, the Bombers go out and face the Mariners looking for the sweep.

Boo to the yah.

I’m so tired of saying “I’m in disbelief, how good are we?” but come on man! Are we ever going to lose a series again? (Knock on wood)

Hey guys, I’m getting kinda dry with these blogs, I need your suggestions on what theme blog I should do, whether it’s a list of something, an award recap, maybe something else, but I’m a little bored of doing recaps of games.

Today is Sunday, the 3rd and final day of Breaking Benjamin weekend, and we finish with Breaking Benjamin’s really really new, really new song I Will Not Bow, their first single off their new album “Dear Agony”. I can’t wait.

Stay positive, Yankee fans.

-EJ the Kid From New York

Winning Baseball…

It’s a beautiful thing, isn’t it?

This is just a quick little blog– I’m going to have a full blog tomorrow talking about… stuff, I guess, but expect that to be at around late noon because mah cuzzin’s coming over to stay for a few days and the greeting is going to be long and fun. But let’s get to the substance.

Throughout this season, the Yankees are winning baseball games in such a way that would make you think they have to win the World Series this year. I mean, think about it. Alex Rodriguez and Derek Jeter and our starting pitcher, Double Tre were all not nearly at their best tonight, but we won anyway. Why? Because Damon picked them up. Because Teixeira picked them up. Because Aceves picked them up. Matsui picked them up. This ballclub has no one player that carries the team, no one player that is “the straw that stirs the drink” so to speak. On any given day, any given ballplayer can hit a home run or move a runner over(I’m looking at you Mr. Cycle) or get an important, run scoring single. If the offense is not performing like it should, our starting pitcher is there and shutting down the opposing offense. And no matter what, we always find a way to get that big play.

Whether it’s a defensive play or a strikeout or a clutch base hit as it usually is, it’s a-comin’.

With that, ladies and gentlemen, I have a feeling that Barack Obama’s going to be wearing a Yankee jersey by the end of the year.

Song of the Day tomorrow, along with the next post.

Stay positive, Yankee fans.

-EJ the Kid From New York, bizzatch

There Go the Comeback Kids…

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Heck of a win, huh?

Not, like, the greatest win of all time or anything but it was still quite nice. Coming back from the All-Star break, it was only fitting that one of our All-Stars and probably our best hitter this year picked up a struggling offense and bombed– and I mean bombed— a homer into the porch in right. It was one of three hits for Tex in the game, and he also had a couple nice grabs at first base on errant throws. I mean, Mark Teixeira has been perhaps the biggest reason we’re in first place. Think about it.

Yeah, you’ve got a lot of other contributors like another good year from Rivera, a surprisingly good season from Derek Jeter, and some really beastly hot streaks by other guys in the lineup. And yes, Mark Teixeira has been one of those streaky guys. But keep in mind that Mark Teixeira’s defense at first has been consistent and great. Sure, his range on fielding balls has been lower than usual, although I have a feeling that his range numbers will go up as the season goes on. But he catches EVERYTHING at first. If you make a high throw, he’ll get up there and grab it and make the tag right on the runner. If you make it low, he has such quick hands that he’ll get any kind of hop. If it’s wide, he’ll stretch out there as far as he can to get it.

Prior to the beginning of this 09 season I actually predicted on here that Mark Teixeira would be the Yankees’ Most Valuable Player because of not only offensive contributions, but defensive contributions as well. I don’t mean to be cocky, but I look very, very right right now, don’t I?

So let’s go on to the wallpaper.

I don’t know why, I felt like showing y’all my wallpaper today. You can thank me in the comment box below.

I frequently change the picture on my wallpaper. Usually I put up a band that I like. Previous artists on there: Breaking Benjamin, Avenged Sevenfold, Three Days Grace, Linkin Park… yeah, like you care. Anyways, on to the picture.

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Ah, yes. Paramore.

I do like Paramore’s music, I listen to them fairly often, but let’s face it, the main reason I have this wallpaper is because Hayley Williams is, as diamondgirl55 would say, nice to look at. By the way, if you can’t tell which one is Hayley Williams then YOU SHOULD REALLY GO AND SEE A DOCTOR, BECAUSE I THINK YOU MIGHT HAVE VISION PROBLEMS.

EJ, helping out the blind. What will I do next?

Anyways, I probably am going to keep this wallpaper(Hayley is… gaaagaga… excuse me) for a little while, but when I change, I’ll be sure to let you know because I’m sure you’re dying to know what my wallpaper looks like.

Ahhh I’m so weird…

Song of the Day is Arab Money (Remix) – Busta Rhymes ft A Lot Of People.

Stay positive, Yankees fans.

-EJ the Kid From New York