Well would you look at that? I blogged earlier today and admitted that this would be a probable loss for the Yankees today with Santana on the mound and Burnett going against him, but this turned out to be the exact opposite. The 2009 Yankees gave Johan Santana his worst outing not only of the year, but of his entire career! These guys can be lights out offensively. Yesterday we didn’t see those bats against Nieve, but we kicked butt today against the second best pitcher in baseball.
AJ Burnett was great today, he was throwing hard and also had a solid breaking ball. But one interesting story of today’s game was the performance of a certain first-year backstop:
Francisco Cervelli went 3 for 5 with 3 singles and a crucial two out, two strike, bases loaded bloop single off Johan Santana to plate the first run and get the Yankees’ first big rally started. The Pinstripers went on to score 3 more runs in that inning. I am telling you, we need to give this guy some starts. Posada is not getting it done for us behind the plate. He’s collecting a couple knocks here and there but he can’t throw anyone out or call a good ballgame. Francisco Cervelli is hitting better and in more timely situations, he’s calling great games(caught all 9 shutout innings today in this 15-0 victories), he’s throwing out runners and the Yankees are winning with this guy behind the plate.
To go with that, he’s also providing a very valuable energy to this Bombers ballclub. Did you see his infield single in his second at bat? A little roller to the right side to Murphy, the first baseman’s right, and Murphy makes a bad play flipping the ball underhand to Santana at first. Frankie is busting it down the first base line and he makes it to first base safely, and then slides after making it to the bag. He’s doing enthusiastic fist pumps when his pitchers get a K in a key situation.
Joe Girardi, I love you, but when you put Posada out there to catch, you are severely holding not only us back, but also the development of this young backstop. When you put Posada in the lineup, put him at DH or first to give Tex a day off. Start him at catcher occasionally, but let Francisco Cervelli work his magic more often. He is more than a capable backup; he is a capable starter.
By the way, the Metropolitans have looked absolutely ridiculous this series. They got a win yesterday, but it wasn’t a dominating win, it was kinda ugly in my opinion. Not only did they have that drop to lose the game on Friday, they kept blowing leads and they didn’t look good at all. Today they obviously looked their worst; unable to score with the bases loaded and no outs, Alex Cora not running to first on a strikeout/wild pitch, Daniel Murphy with a dumb play underhand flipping the baseball to first and letting Cervelli go in safe. They looked lackadaisical after a while, and it was a saaad sight to see.
Anyways, fantastic game, I’ll do the 5 best starters entry tomorrow, but for now, chew on this little recap.
Thursday is my last day of school, I have half days from Monday-Thursday, so I’ll try and blog earlier in the day.
Stay positive, Yankee fans!
-EJ “Cervelli’s Biggest Fan” the Kid From New York
The Yankees have been doing more of the former lately, but it’s okay, since we’ve been so redhot lately and we’re facing the Nationals for the next three games, which I am giddy about. I’m not only giddy about being able to face the weakest team in the MLB, I’m giddy because I like the Nationals and their young players, so it’ll be cool to see Ryan Zimmerman(my favorite player) and Alberto Gonzalez(former Yankee) and Elijah Dukes.
We’re going to whoop them, though.
Speaking of whoop, the Mets-Yankees Subway Series rubber game, coming up in 10 minutes, pits AJ Burnett against, well, only the second best pitcher in the game, Johan Santana. Roy Halladay is first if you were wondering.
And if you haven’t noticed, AJ Burnett is really strugglnig to get anything going on the mound right now. He’s leaving fastballs in hittable locations and he’s walking people and he’s really just getting knocked around. Hopefully–*munch munch munch*– AJ can get–*munch munch*– something started against the Mets.
Excuse me, I’m eating McDonald’s. Ahhh…
I’ll try and get a blog in later, it’ll be the 5 best starters of 09, check that out.
Stay positive, Yanks fans.
-EJ the Kid From New York
I probably wasn’t the first one to use that headline, but it’s clever, right?
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.
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!”
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