We lost, but it’s okay.
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.
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.
Song of the Day
Oh yes, it’s back. The Song of the Day is All The Right Moves by OneRepublic.
Stay positive, Yankee fans.
-EJ the Vampire from New York
For the three awards…
Now, allow me to explain, because I’ve made some interesting choices here.
AL MVP – Alex Rodriguez – A-Rod is baaaaack… after recovering from an injury, answering most criticisms from New York fans with a stellar postseason, winning a World Series and having another 30 home run/100 RBI season in ’09, all signs lead to Alex Rodriguez coming back and hammering the baseball, perhaps not as well as he did in ’07, but certainly quite close.
NL MVP – Albert Pujols – I really don’t need to explain this choice. Last year, I picked David Wright of the Mets to win the NL MVP, and was promptly slapped in the face by Albert Pujols. He’s had back-to-back MVP’s and I don’t think there’s heavy enough competition to stop him from another one. I don’t know why I’d ever doubt the man. He’s from Santo Domingo.
AL Cy Young – Jake Peavy – Now here’s gonna be my bold prediction. Jake Peavy has a much better lineup than he had in San Diego here with the ChiSox, he’s coming back from injuries, and he’s facing a league that pretty much hasn’t seen him very often. There won’t be many things expected of the former NL Cy Young winner, and I’d expect him to be eager to thrust himself back on the scene as an ace pitcher. Peavy is still 28 years old, in the prime of his career, with sharp stuff. And by the way, if you’re doubting Jake Peavy can hurl the ball as well in the American League in a hitter’s park in U.S. Cellular, consider the 3-0 record, 1.35 ERA(344 ERA+) and .850 WHIP that Peavster had towards the end of ’09 in his brief return with the White Sox. Now consider that he’s pitching in the American League Central, facing such devastatingly tough lineups like the Minnesota Twins’ and Kansas City Royals’ and GOLLY GEE WILLIKERS them Indians are tough, huh? No, not really. He’s back, folks.
NL Cy Young – Roy Halladay – Doc, Doc. Easily one of the best pitchers in the game, quite arguably the best due to his consistency, stuff, mentality and command. This guy is a beast, and he’s going to have a beastly year in a league that really hasn’t seen too much of him. This was a very tough decision for me, because Tim Lincecum’s won the past two National League Cy Young awards, but it’s just so hard for me to speak of a threepeat for anyone but Pujols. I think Halladay is going to dominate, rack up 20 wins, and that’ll be just too much for any voter to deny. Maybe Lincecum will be deserving, but I think Halladay comes away with it.
AL Rookie of the Year – Neftali Feliz – Feliz will make the Rangers very, very Feliz.
I’m sorry, I had to.
But honestly, how can you deny a guy like Feliz who came up to Texas and promptly struck out batter after batter with high octane stuff? He’s a rookie this year with some seasoning from last year and is going to give American League batters more fits and nightmares than any Final Destination movie could.
NL Rookie of the Year – Madison Bumgarner – San Fran’s number 5 rotation spot is his to lose, literally, and with stuff, command and poise like his he’ll easily be able to do well against weak NL West lineups. Bumgarner is a solid pitcher, and while he’s not going to instantly make the impact he’s capable of in my opinion, he’ll certainly be sharp in his rookie campaign and come away with the big trophy.
I just can’t wait to be wrong.
Stay positive, Yankee fans.
-EJ the Kid from New York
I bust a phat rap cause I’m a fat cat–okay, I’m not saying that. …I’m just, I refuse to say that. Let’s try this again. 1… 2… 3…
The Yankees beat the Blue Jays and upset the Doc
Longoria in Tampa gave the Red Sox a shock
We got some breathing room when Evan hit one out
A walk-off blast to left made the Red Sox pout
1 and a half games is a nice improvement
Than the half game of work room we were usin’
Andy Pettitte scuffled at the end but
He got a W for the pinstriped men
Damon and Tex went back to back
The main component of New York’s offensive attack
Matsui gave us breathing room by drilling one to center
And when Mo got the final out I sang like Eddie Vedder
I guess, it’s just, a day in the life
Of a Yanks fan when the AL East is alright
It’s tight, the feeling of being in first place
Now if only we could win one on Virginia’s birt–no. I’m not saying that…
You don’t get that oppurtunity in baseball’s rat race
Meanwhile, the Mets’ Castillo made us scratch our noggins
He got more NY headlines than Igawa’s joggin’
When he took a fall and sprained his ankle
You look at that and it’s only a sample
Of the sheer bad luck the Mets have come across
Every day there’s an injury another player lost
So nowadays baseball fans wonder “Who’s next?”
Well today Niese is the newest victim of the hex
Yeah… that’s it… no more rapping…
The Song of the Day is a very touching, sensitive war-themed song and I think you all should hear it, it’s not a heavy rock song or a catchy rap song, it’s an acoustic song by a band I really like. The song is called Hero of War by Rise Against…
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