Tagged: Johnson

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

 

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Have a Holly, Jolly Christmas

It’s the best time of the year!

I got me the most awesome laptop the world has ever seen– complete with webcam, Windows 7 and BIG AWESOMENESS. I remember last year, during the offseason and during the Christmas season. the New York Yankees acquired Mark Teixeira, and throughout the baseball world you could hear the phrase “Marry TeX-Mas” being uttered. At the time I felt a little uncomfortable about the Yankees spending so much money all over again, and possibly being a failure despite the acquisitions.

But Teixeira, Sabathia and Burnett– who most definitely proved a lot of haters wrong by posting a healthy, effective season, especially in the playoffs– proved that the money spent by the Bombers was not an unwise investment. The Yanks acquired guys who led their team to an absolutely dominant season last offseason. Now, the real question is, will the Yankees’ new acquisitions and future ones be quite enough to bring a second consecutive trophy to the Bronx?

The simple answer is– time will tell.

In the 3-team trade between the Yankees, Diamondbacks and Tigers, the Yankees made their first real notable acquisition, getting the 3-big money-tool center fielder Curtis Granderson, giving the Yanks outfield depth and allowing them to be more “free” so to speak in negotiations with Johnny Damon as well as Hideki Matsui, who eventually(and most heartbreakingly) signed with the Angels.

Curtis Granderson

However, in this trade, the Yankees gave up highly talented outfield prospect Austin Jackson, who the organization and its fans had been quite high on for years, as well as Phil Coke

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Austin Jackson

The Yankees’ next move was to sign former Yank in the early part of the decade Nick Johnson. The first baseman has had a history of injury problems since 06, but he can contribute to the team with veteran leadership, average defense at first base, and being able to contribute with runners in scoring position (.970 OPS, .313 batting average in such situations). He therefore allows the Yankees to have an almost-everyday designated hitter, a great backup for the slugger Mark Teixeira, and a guy with consistency when hitters start to slump. He’s the kind of guy Girardi would love, because you know he’s big on resting starters, and Johnson is ideal for resting Tex.

However, Johnson is of course injury-prone, but that’s why they have the DH.

The latest and most intriguing acquisition by the Yankees was acquiring starter Javier Vazquez from the Braves along with reliever Boone Logan for fan-favorite Melky Cabrera, prospect Michael Dunn and another minor league prospect(I forgot his name and am too lazy to look it up). Javier Vazquez pitched extremely well in 2009, with an ERA below 3 and in the league leaders in strikeouts. However, Vazquez isn’t as popular among Yankee fans– in 2004 Javy was an all-star in the first half for the Bombers but collapsed after the all-star break, and it all culminated in game 7 of the ALCS when he gave up a grand slam to Johnny Damon in relief of Kevin Brown.

And when you add giving up Melky Cabrera, you end up with some pretty ticked Yankee fans.

Stay positive, Yankee fans.

EJ the Kid From New York

Despite AJ’s Efforts, Marlins Beat Yankees

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The Yankees unfortunately lost 2-1 to Florida yesterday thanks to an inability to hit off of Marlins ace Josh Johnson and a sloppy error in left by Johnny Damon. It was a great game, but a frustrating one.

And look, this is one of those losses that I won’t blame the Yankees completely for, even though if Damon hadn’t dropped a somewhat routine fly ball the game would have been tied and we might’ve even won. But let’s face it, Josh Johnson is a dominant starting pitcher and he showed that once again last night. Coming into the ballgame, I knew it would’ve been very difficult for the Yanks to get anything off of Johnson, and I was exactly right. He was locating fastballs with very good velocity and throwing solid breaking balls. His location, his eceonomy. He was nearly unhittable, and we were lucky to get one run off him.

This Yankees team is very frustrating though. They show you promise, they look like they’re about to come back and use that Yankee magic to win again, and then they completely blow their chances. That error by JD was absolutely devastating, and I don’t think any Yankee fan or baseball fan who was able to see that game will argue with me on that. Damon put us in a position where we not only had to score one run against the overpowering Josh Johnson, but we had to score two. That seemed impossible.

I just wanted the Bombers to get Johnson out of the game. When they took him out, that was our best shot, even though the Marlins’ bullpen has been really good this season. I was relieved.

Unfortunately we were unable to capitalize on the exit of Johnson, as a game ending double play by Robinson Cano (sounds familiar) just killed all hopes of beating this damn under .500 team.

So, of course, that loss was completely frustrating but I guess understandable.

By the way, I’d like it for JD to sit today’s game. Put Melky in left and Gardner in center, because Gardy’s ready to go after that collision. I can understand not letting Gardner play so quickly after the accident(even though he pinch ran yesterday), but Johnny’s clearly being set back by eye problems. He’s not hitting well at all, first of all, and now that drop? Jeez man. Gardner really should play today.

We’re facing the tall sinker-baller Chris Volstad today. Volstad is one of my favorite pitchers, and he can really dominate at times, but you can see the numbers aren’t very dazzling.

4-7, 4.75 ERA.

But the numbers are really skewed by his performance so far this month, which is definitely encouraging for the Yanks. In June, Chris Volstad(who is now no. 41 rather than 71, as it was in that picture) is 0-3 with a 9 ERA. Now, those numbers are a little misleading: his first loss was a cheap one, as he had a quality start(2 runs in 6 innings) but the Marlins weren’t able to score against San Fran. In his second start, he was much worse, giving up 6 runs in 5.2 innings with 10 base knocks allowed. His third start was the one where he blew up, surrendering an ugly 8 runs on 9 hits and 2 walks in 3.2 innings. So he’s coming off a terrible start against Boston.

But Volstad is a very good pitcher, don’t be fooled by those numbers. He has a hard sinker that is his main out pitch, so he uses his height to his advantage with that pitch. That sinker could tear apart this Yankees lineup, clearly, since we have a couple hitters who are very prone to a double play (Posada, Jeter, Cano, Swisher, sometimes Alex).

So don’t think that the Yankees automatically are going to beat up Volstad, because when you combine the double play-prone Yankees and their inconsistency regarding hitting pitchers they’ve never seen before, and you have a potentially un-promising mix.

CC Sabathia #52 of the New York Yankees pitches against the Baltimore Orioles at Yankee Stadium May 19, 2009 in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** CC Sabathia

But don’t worry too much, because we have our ace, CC Sabathia on the mound, and he has a 3.35 Earned Run Average on the road, much better than his home ERA. Sabathia has pitched well of late, so hopefully he can tear through this Marlins lineup and we can give him some run support.

Song of the Day is Just Like You by Three Days Grace.

Stay positive, Yankee fans.

-EJ the Kid From New York

That Was a Pretty Good Game, Huh?

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Seriously, we dominated the Marlins.

Although it was only 5-1, as Michael Kay said numerous times during the broadcast, it really felt like a blowout. That’s because of the 5 runs that we scored came in the first 3 innings, and we just cruuuised along afterwards as Andy Pettitte completely dominated. Seriously, he’s been beast on the road but he’s been very disappointing at home. Hopefully he can get that worked out.

Not only that, but the Braves completely clobbered the Red Sox by a score of 8-2. Thank you, Kenshin Kawakami! The Bombers are only two games behind now.

Not to mention our lead in the Wild Card. I think it’s a one game lead over the Angels, but I’m not completely sure. It doesn’t show the WC on the MLB.com standings.

It’ll be Burnett vs. Johnson tonight, so that’ll be interesting to see. Both guys have great fastballs and solid breaking balls. Burnett is coming off one of his best starts as a Yankee thus far, 7 shutout innings against the rival Mets. Ahh, that was a fantastic game.

So, time for some hard hitting analysis! Woo.

Now, Josh Johnson has been one of the best pitchers in the National League this season, as he’s shown command of all his great pitches. So, how can the Yankees get a good amount of runs on the board against Josh Johnson?

Well, it’s about as simple as be patient. Like most pitchers, if you work the plate appearance into a hittable count, you have a great shot to get a hit. Wow, that’s amazing!

The truth is, Josh Johnson has been a very, very good pitcher for a while now and it’s going to be quite difficult for the Yankees to get anything done today. The probability is that we’re going to lose, but I thought we were gonna lose last night and I was pretty wrong on that.

The Song of the Day for Saturday, June 20th is NJ Leigon Iced Tea – A Day To Remember.

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Oh, and by the way, I will be hosting Tuesday’s Yankees-Braves ballgame, so make sure you come down and talk about the game with me and probably a couple other people. It’ll be a good game; Chien-Ming Wang vs. Tommy Hanson.

Stay positive, Yankee fans.

-EJ the Kid From New York

WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

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OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

We still believe in a great playoff contender. We still believe in a powerful offense. We still believe in a good pitching staff and a dominant bullpen. We still believe!

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WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

We still believe in great potential. We still believe in veteran leadership. We still believe in great stuff. We still believe in “Generation Tre”. We still believe in control and command. We still believe in big curveballs. We still believe in moving fastballs. We still believe in the rotation for the ages. We still believe!

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WHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

We still believe there is better judging. We still believe there will be other championships. We still believe there will be another great gymnastics competition 4 years from now. We still believe the Romanian girl won’t be there to spoil the win. We still believe in gold medals. We still believe in cute girls who could effortlessly break your neck at the drop of a hat. WE STILL BELIEVE IN THE INTEGRITY OF GYMNASTICS.

I FEEL A STORM A’COMIN’.

Stay positive, Yankees fans!

-EJ/Kid From New York