Tagged: pitching

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

Goodness Gracious.

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I left as soon as they took the lead cause I wanted to watch the last three outs of Jonathan Sanchez’s no hitter. That no hitter is a thousand times more important than a tough loss like this one. We’ll recover. It was nice to be tied for first place, of course, but it’s actually quite possible to lose ballgames.

Yes, my optimism frustrates me too.

I could easily go on here and rant and rant about the awful pitching performance by Chamberlain that makes me wonder if he really should be in the rotation or not or the lack of use of Eric Hinske despite the fact that he wanted to be traded because of lack of use or how we wasted a nice day offensively with sloppy pitching and defense. But I don’t feel that anger. I am truly not an angry person, or not a person who gets angry at a baseball game. It’s funny, because I’ll curse and scream at a video game, but baseball games just do not anger me. They upset me, but after a game, I’m always able to take a deep breath and just forget about it.

Whatever I’m feeling, I bring it straight to you. That’s why they call me the Straight Talk Express! 😀

They don’t really call me that…

The Song of the Day is Common – Universal Mind Control. Warning, it is a whippersnapper hip hop song. I got your back, Julia. xP

Stay positive, Yankee fans.

-EJ the Kid From New York

 

Sucesivamente: Dominicans Go Deep, Yanks Win Again

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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?

Jeez.

 
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.

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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.

 

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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

That Was Pretty Bad, But Thanks for Coming?

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That was a really tough, nauseating game to watch. no offense, bad pitch calls… but thanks to Tobz and Anthony for coming over.

Sorry for the late blog, just wanted to get a quicky in. I want to focus on the game.

Ooo, nice play by Tex!

Song of the Day: Down and Out – Kid Cudi

Stay positive, Yankee fans.

Damn, this was a really short one! Haha, sorry to disappoint…

-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

Luis, Luis

I probably wasn’t the first one to use that headline, but it’s clever, right?

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I’ve willingly seen more highlights of that last play of the game more than any other play in baseball. It was maybe the most interesting, exciting and downright unexpected play of the year. Why? This scenario was the classic stereotype clutch scenario: long, exciting game with lead switches and homers and bad pitching and good pitching and it was really fun to watch all the way through. It’s Mets-Yankees, a well known, intense rivalry, especially for me, since I live in Queens.

Anyway, we go to late innings, it’s tied 7-7, and David Wright, the leading hitter of the NL and young phenom of the Mets, is facing Mariano Rivera, perhaps the best closer in the history of the game. A classic match of the prodiguous pitcher against the superstar hitter: a classic match of established veteran versus young, rising star. The go ahead run in the top of the eigth inning in the Subway Series is on first base.

 

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And all David Wright does is lace a cutting fastball on the outside part of the plate into the right center field alley for a double. The run comes across the score uncontested, and although the Mets are on the road, their fans are well-represented, as the crowd is a deafening combination of cheers and jeers. The score is 8 to 7 in favor of the New York Mets.

So now, the ballgame becomes more climatic, because after the Yanks and Mets are unable to score in the following two half innings, it goes down to the bottom of the ninth. It will be the perfect Frankie Rodriguez coming in to pitch the ninth against the top of the order: 9, 1 and 2, with the AL home run leader Mark Teixeira coming up to bat if anyone gets on.

Gardner is retired.

Jeter didn’t share the same fate. El Capitan took a moving fastball down and away, off the plate on a 2-2 count up the middle for a base hit. Jeter takes second on a stolen base on a blown hit and run by Johnny Damon, as Damon struck out on a 3-2 delivery. Had Jeter been thrown out, the game is over. But no, Jeter keeps the Yanks alive with a swipe.

Mark Teixeira is intentionally walked, bringing up arguably the game’s best hitter, Alex Rodriguez, to the plate. A-Rod isn’t hitting well of late, as his statistics indicate, and he’s facing Francisco Rodriguez, one of the best closers in the MLB and a guy whom he never has success against. He works it to a 3-1 count. Fastball low down the middle. And I’ll let Michael Kay on YES and Cary Cohen of SNY take it from there.

“And the 3-1…

Popped up… Castillo…”

“Popped up! Castillo settling under it! Now backpeddling!”

“He DROPPED THE BALL! HERE COMES JETER! TEIXEIRA COMES IN!”

“DROPPED THE BALL! HE DROPPED THE BALL! HERE COMES TEIXEIRA!”

“THE YANKEES WIN IT!”

“AND THE YANKEES WIN!”

The best part of this was definitely the calls. Michael Kay was absolutely friggin ecstatic. He was juuuuumpy. He kept shouting and yelling.

In the SNY booth, there was this thick, stunned feeling that was shared mutually by Gary, Keith and Ron. You can just hear the absolute disbelief in Gary Cohen’s voice when he cried out “The Yankees win it!”

 

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You know, when you hit a pop up and the opposition’s settling under it, you always hopelessly think to yourself “Drop it! Drop it! Drop it!”. But you never actually think it’s going to happen.

I know this is controversial, but I knew the Mets were some way, somehow going to blow this game. They seem to find ways to lose. You never really know how they’re going to do it: maybe they’ll give up a home run to the backup infielder, or slip heading from second to third, or maybe just not slide into a base. Maybe they’ll lack hustle and determination. And you certainly saw that in that final play.

I mean, that last play was so characteristic of the Mets: you can see Luis Castillo kind of peddling and peddling, and you can see him looking towards the dugout, ready to head home after a win, and he just closed his glove too early. He took the pop up for granted and simply forgot to actually stand there and catch the ball. And that’s the New York Mets for you. They don’t know how to perform fundamentally sound, they can’t play the game the way it needs to be played, and that’s why they’re 4 games out of first place in the NL East.

So now it’s time for me to do some rock hard analysis for today’s game. Are you ready?

First of all, bench Posada today. He’s holding us back: he’s not providing any astounding offensive production or defensive production, and he’s not calling good games. He’s struggling to throw out runners and he’s calling bad pitches and as a result, the Yankees’ pitchers are getting whooped. On the other hand, you have the rookie, Cervelli. Now Francisco’s not going to hit .300 or going to provide really any notable production at the dish. But Cervelli is at least going to call quality games, and throw out runners. Not only that, but he provides good energy and he’s going to get a knock from time to time.

Second of all, don’t be afraid to jump out at Fernando Nieve, the Mets’ starting pitcher today. He’s pitched two shutout innings this year after being claimed off waivers from the Astros by New York. As far as I know, he has pretty good stuff, but on first pitches in his career, the opposition is hitting .352. On a 1-0 count, opposing hitters hit .375. On a 0-1 count, they’re hitting .355. He throws pretty hard from what I know, and has decent breaking stuff, so if you get behind in the count to this guy, he has a chance of getting you down on strikes.

Finally, Andy Pettitte has to go deep. He absolutely has to. Our bullpen needs a good ol’ rest after the past few beatings it’s gotten.

Before I end this entry, I need y’all to tell me what subject my next entry should be on. Here are your choices.

  • The Best Relievers of 2009 In One Bullpen!
  • Minor Leaguers Who Could Get Called Up For the Yankees
  • The 5 Best Starters of 2009

Stay positive, Yankee fans.

-EJ the Kid From New York