Tagged: Wright

Mariano Gets 500: Yanks Get Sweep

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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.

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Okay.

So…

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

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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

2009 Major MLB Predictions

I love making predictions, don’t you?

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Cy Youngs: Roy Halladay, Roy Oswalt

I decided to have a little fun on this one and I picked the two Roys: Halladay and Oswalt. They’re both terrific pitchers, Oswalt being quite underrated. This would be HAlladay’s second Cy, his first one was in 03. He’s easily, in my opinion, the best pitcher in the American League. He’s also probably the second best pitcher in the game to Johan Santana. Roy Oswalt is very underrated. He’s had the most wins(bad stat, I know, but still) since 2001, and will likely reach 200 at the end of his career at the pace he’s going on. This would be the first Cy Young for the 31-year old 3-time All-Star.

Most Valuable Players: Miguel Cabrera, David Wright

The MVPs were some of the easiest picks: How can you go wrong with Miggy Cabrera and Davey Wright? They’re both fantastic young players who have never won an MVP yet are fully capable of doing so. They have great power and average. Cabrera is a decent fielding first baseman, Wright is a decent fielding third baseman who’s defense is quite overrated. I think Cabrera is going to be better than he was in his fantastic 08 campaign, and that Wright will use his full ability and go back to stealing bases like he did in 07, as well as hit for a high average and hit for a ton of power. There’s just so much talent in both of these guys.

Rookies of the Year: Taylor Teagarden/Matt Wieters, Colby Rasmus

The reason I put both Teagarden and Wieters for the ROTY in the AL is that I’m not sure that Teagarden will get enough playing time. If Taylor does get 400-500 at bats, I’m fairly certain that he’ll rake. However, it’s also difficult to argue with Wieters’ talent. He is a better hitter than Teagarden, but I think that it’ll be more difficult for him to play in the MLB in his 2nd professional year, as opposed to the 25 year old Teagarden who got some playing time in 08. I’d be somewhat surprised if Saltalamacchia played over Teagarden. As for Colby Rasmus, well, he’s got a chance to win the starting center field job this year. He has a bunch of talent, offensively and defensively.

Save Champions: Brian Fuentes, Jose Valverde

Not much to say about Valverde, we all know he’s capable of getting the save title in 09. I don’t think K-Rod will win it because the Mets give you less save oppurtunities than the Astros do, as far as I’m concerned. This is the exact reason that Brian Fuentes is my choice for the save champion in the AL: K-Rod got those 62 saves because the Angels often gave him the perfect save oppurtunity, and he got the job done. Fuentes certainly is able to do what K-Rod did last year in my mind.

Batting Champions: Ichiro Suzuki, David Wright

Not much to say here. Ichiro is a fantastic average hitter, a batting title would be nothing new for him. I talked about Wright earlier: it’s surprising that I’d pick him over Pujols, isn’t it? Well I think Wright is just going to have a fantastic year, average wise, power wise, and speed wise.

Home Run Champions: Miguel Cabrera, Ryan Braun

Again, not much to say here. Miguel Cabrera, who I talked about earlier, won it last year and there is little reason to say that he won’t do it again. I picked Ryan Braun over the giant favorite Ryan Howard: I think Braun is going to go psycho with the home runs this year, hitting around 43 or 44, while Ryan Howard will calm down a bit and end up with around 39 or 40. Braun is a guy I considered for the MVP too, but I decided that he’d finish second, and Wright would end up with the award.

Comeback Player of the Year: Travis Hafner, Khalil Greene

Both guys just fell off their horses last year. In fact, not only did they fall of their horses, the horses then proceeded to kick them in the head and excrete waste on their unconscious bodies. While that latter part was quite disturbing, you know it’s true. However, both players also have good talent. Hafner was an MVP contender before his awful 08 year, which included an injury. Khalil Greene was just flat out terrible, as the shortstop who hit over 20 homers the year before was an all-season Mendoza liner.

Steals Champions: Carl Crawford, Jose Reyes

These were two dull, obvious picks. These guys are just INCREDIBLY fast and great base stealers, and they are the frontrunners for the most steals in the two leagues.

World Series: Indians vs Mets, Indians win

I would love to say that the Yankees will win the World Series and be totally right. I would love the Yankees proving me wrong and winning the World Series. However, I think we’ll lose in the ALCS and the Indians will pull off a surprise WS victory, upsetting the favorited Mets. Cleveland has a lot of players who can consistently produce this year, including Grady Sizemore, a 40-40 candidate with a good glove, and Cliff Lee, the Cy Young winner of 08. This gives me reason to believe that they’ll break the curse and win their first World Series since the year 1948.

Well that’s about it. Tune in next time for my rating of the Boston Red Sox infield, as suggested by Bob…

Stay positive, Yankee fans!

-EJ the Kid From New York

So, umm…

Umm… since the Yankees haven’t really done anything big, I’ll just go over some minor news in the baseball world. Minor to me, anyway. Maybe not minor to you.

Mets’ Wright to join Team USA in WBC

Since A-Rod’s going to play for the Dominican Republic(woohoo!), David Wright will join Team USA. Apparently it’s going to be a fantastic USA team this year; Wright, Sizemore, Lackey, McCann, Dustin Pedroia the MVP, Jeter… it’ll be really interesting. I wouldn’t be too surprised if they win, but I’m rooting the DR on.

Brewers eyeing free agent Looper

Yes, Braden Looper. Umm, when’s the part where I care? No offense Brewers, no offense Braden, but… Braden Looper isn’t exactly the most amazing pitcher in the world last I checked. I really have nothing to add to this… I don’t know why I even bothered putting this up, I have nothing to say about it…

Yankees may make pitch to Manny

First of all, ya’ll may think this is humongous news… I don’t think this is all that big. Manny is a great player, it’s the YANKEES, OUR Yankees, but… really, the one thing I feel about this is “NO MANNY NO MANNY NO”. Simple as that… I read something really interesting about this in the paper, I think the New York Post or the New York Times today, just an editorial I think… it said something about this. It said something like this.,, the Yankees shouldn’t sign Manny because Manny will just find excuses and complaints so he can get out of the Bronx, just like he did in Boston. That’s something George Steinbrenner would never tolerate 20 years ago, and we’ll see if Hank and Hal will in the present. Something like that. Anyway, I thought that guy was totally right and it convinced me fully that Manny is not the way.

Anyway, that’s about it… so, what to talk about now?

Well, how about music? I loooove music… whenever there’s nothing going on in the baseball world, I can talk about music. I’m very into rock, hip hop, jazz, rap, pop, a lot of stuff. I like bands like… Hoobastank, Linkin Park, Coldplay, Yellowcard, All-American Rejects, and then harder bands like Avenged Sevenfold, Alexisonfire, I like a little Disturbed, a little AFI. I like Fort Minor, Lupe Fiasco, the Flobots, a little Hollywood Undead, a little Kanye West, maybe even a little Flipsyde… you get the picture.

So, allow me to recommend a song?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I8akxHCUBLk

Afterlife – Avenged Sevenfold

For any good hard rock songs, this is a good song… it’s catchy, it’s really an awesome song… check it out.

Anyway, that’s about it.

Stay positive, Yankee fans!

-EJ the Kid from New York

Pettitte in Pinstripes? Again?

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Pettitte in Pinstripes?

You know who this article is about.

It’s everybody’s favorite veteran lefty pitcher, Aaaaandy Pettitte. From what we know, the crafty 36-year-old starter will most likely sign a deal with the Yanks. From Bryan Hoch’s article on MLB.com…

“…industry sources believe that the two sides will eventually settle on a contract to bring Pettitte back for one more year in pinstripes, completing the Yankees’ five-man rotation.”

Wait wait wait hold up.

Completing the Yankees’ five-man rotation?

See this is the problem, the Yankees think they have to go all out  They think they have to sign another pitcher, because they have nobody to pitch in the 5 slot. So what happens to Aceves here?

You know, Aceves? Alfredo Aceves? The guy who had a 2.40 ERA in 30 innings last year? Anybody home? What’s going to happen with him? Is he just going to flooooat away until we need him again? Sure, long relief would be a fitting role for him, but we don’t need Pettitte.

What about Phil Hughes? If Pettitte is in the rotation and Aceves is in long relief, what will Hughes do? Go back to the minors? Wasn’t Hughes the future of the Yankees rotation? Well he’s going to be 23 next season. He still has time to get better, but when will come the time when the Yanks decide he’s truly ready?

This is when it all starts to come back now. Knock knock. Who’s there? Dan Giese, remember me? I was really efficient in the rotation and in long relief when you needed me. Remember that? What happens to me now?

What about me, Chase Wright? Sure, I gave up those four consecutive homers but I’m all good now! Yeeeah man. Totally.

What about Ian Kennedy? Yeah he sucks, but he’s still young. It’s too early to just completely give up on him. We all know his problem is his attitude and his immaturity, which usually changes with age. He was still really freaking good in 2007, and to just completely throw him in the toilet would not be that smart. I could understand trading him to a team if you got a good return out of it, and I don’t even want him throwing off a major league mound, but let’s not totally give up on Kennedy. Especially with a cool name like Ian

Oh and yeah, remember Phil Coke? Haha, yeah. Great numbers. Good lefty reliever. I like his stuff. Yeah, that’s all fine and dandy, except for the fact that he’s a starter. He’s not a reliever. He was a starter in the minors. Is he ever going to show us if he can start or not?

Don’t tell me it’s an incomplete rotation… and don’t tell me we need Pettitte. I’m not saying I would hate this signing, I wouldn’t mind it to be honest. I like Andy. I’m a fairly big fan of his. But that “incomplete rotation” comment just gets me riled up…

Anyways, stay positive Yankee fans!

-EJ the Kid From New York

Ice Cream Time; Yankees Lose, 10-5

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Really? Is this our top starter of the future? Is this our solid #3?

Don’t look it to me.

Alan Horne and Jeffrey Marquez look like great replacements. If only they weren’t injured.

Let’s get to Who’s Next?. This game needs no explanation. The pitching simply failed to show up to the ballpark, while the hitting was good, but it wasn’t enough.

Treat yourself to some ice cream the next time this happens, because ice cream is the picker-upper of the world. I’m sure the optimism will return, along with the wins.

Who’s Next?

So with Ian Kennedy once again stinking up the place, let’s try and look for some possible replacement starters down in the minors. Here we’ll take three minor league prospects who could possibly be the next guy to make an impact in the big leagues.

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#1: Chase Wright

Oh, c’mon! Don’t turn away!

Wright had some success in the major leagues last year. He did become the 2nd pitcher ever to give up 4 consecutive home runs and he never actually dominated, but hey! We’re giving Kennedy and Igawa a bunch of new chances, why can’t we let him have a 2nd chance? He dominated AA with a 2.96 ERA in 94.1 innings, and now he’s dominating AAA. His 1.46 in 2 starts (12.1 innings) along with only 4 walks and 8 Ks show that maybe he can turn this around. Kennedy may have dominated the minors, too, but Kennedy pitched at the beginning of the year and sucked, too. So let’s see Chase Wright try and make a comeback instead of Kennedy!

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#2: Jason Jones

Jason Jones is quite a generic name, but soon we’ll be talking about him in the bigs. He served as one of the best pitchers in AA (along with Wright) with his 3.03 ERA in 124 innings. Now he’s getting his shot in AAA, and he’s pitching well as well. Though he’s 0-1, his 2.38 ERA in 2 starts (11.1) along with only 1 WALK and 11 strikeouts really show to be impressive. He’s always been a good control pitcher; he throws a ton of strikes with a cutter, a sinker, a curve and a slide-piece. He really gets plenty of movement with all his pitches, so in a way he’s dominating although he doesn’t throw harder than 92 usually. This is a guy with great strikeout-to-walk ratio, and that always signifies a good pitcher. You must be thinking now, “WHY ARE WE WASTING OUR TIME WITH IAN KENNEDY?!” There’s really nothing to behold about Kennedy, his control is bad, he doesn’t have good stuff, and he isn’t a smart pitcher. Jason Jones should be up in a jiff.

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#3: PJ Pilittere

I’m sure a lot of Yankee minor league fans are familiar with PJ Pilittere. PJ’s the everyday catcher for the Trenton Thunder, and he’s quite old for AA at 27. He was invited to spring training this year, and he caught a little bit. He hits for a solid, but not special average (.291). He doesn’t hit for much power (.358 slugging pct), and like many other catchers, he doesn’t run all that well. But it’s shown that he has the ability to handle a pitching staff. Year in and year out, the Trenton pitching staff is dominating, and it can’t be just because of the talented pitchers. He doesn’t have the talent of Jesus Montero or Austin Romine, but he is a pretty solid catcher, and he could be the instant replacement of Molina or Pudge go down.

Final Thoughts

Alright, it’s time for everybody’s favorite segment, the Bold Statement of the Day! Here I say something that is bold and arguable about the New York Yankees, and the readers can leave comments about what they think about it. Here’s today’s Bold Statement;

 

 

Justin Christian is going to get a big hit in today’s big game on FOX.

Well there you have it! Justin Christian has had a bunch of RBI hits in the big leagues and a bunch of big stolen bases, I don’t even know if he’s going to play today, but I call that he’s going to get a big hit.

So thanks for reading, guys! Leave your comments below.

Stay positive, Yankee fans!

-EJ/Kid From New York