Monday, April 30, 2012

Yankees 2, Orioles 1

I missed the last five innings, which is the same as saying I didn't miss anything. 1. Kuroda is for real--though overshadowed by Darvish. 2. How much do the Yankees miss Chavez when he's gone? A lot. 13-9, with Pettitte in the wings.

Yankees 6, Tigers 2

No Yankee pitcher since Ron Guidry can so decisively turn around his team;s fortunes than CC Sabathia.

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Tigers 7, Yankees 5

A really good game for seven innings--the last seven innings. Really: pitching, hitting, fielding all entertain, Detroit starter is chased just in time to allow the Yankees back in against a thin bullpen, and a rally leaves the Yankees on top, 4-1. Not counting the first two frames. Garcia, bless his soul, may be done. 12 wins last year was the perfect non-Lee antidote. Pat on the back, gold watch. Pettitte? Anybody? Over to you, CC. 11-9, and don't look now, but 1) Boston just won its sixth straight to pull within a game of New York, and 2) Aceves has looked increasingly better with every appearance this week, post-Bombers.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Yankees 7, Tigers 6

Two wild pitches in the bottom of the ninth, 3-for-4 for A-Rod, two Yankee home runs (and nearly four), a 7-6 victory--and all in a Verlander start. Does Verlander not know how to pitch in Yankee Stadium, or did he miss his spots? Both A-Rod's and Martin's home runs were hit the same: righthanded hitters going the other way against a right-handed power pitcher. Does this team, one starting pitcher or two aside, seem set? Jeter, A-Rod, Tex, Cano, Granderson, Swisher, the catching platoon, the left field committee, the bench and the bullpen seem ready for the next five months. Derek Jeter, AL Player for April? Wild pitching a win home. Last year, those were the games the other guys won. 11-8.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Monday, April 23, 2012

Yankees 7, Rangers 4

Was I alone in being relieved at last night's rainout. The bullpen, turned to shreds by too many cliffhangers, too many early exits, too much work--and this was before Saturday--got a day's rest. Heat-seeking Sabathia got to pitch in balmy Texas instead of damp Boston. Plus, I had a fond memory of another game on another Sunday, when the Yankees' ace (Clemens) was ready to polish off another reeling rival, a team that had soured expectations so badly it was thought that, should the Yankees prevail that Sunday night, the Mets manager would be fired on Monday. The Mets won going away. Mike Piazza hit a grand slam over the Tappan Zee Bridge. Clemens went on to have his one unquestionably poor season with the Yankees (14-10, with that lineup and that bullpen). Bobby Valentine kept his job. And everything was put in motion for a memorable Clemens-Piazza confrontation 17 months later, in the World Series . . . Tonight? I'm almost afraid to even say Jeter's name. And Sabathia, second game in a row, pitched just well enough to win.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Yankees 15, Red Sox 9

I reproduce, here, the email I sent to my father: "Are you shitting me? When it got to 9-0 I went out for my jog. Came home, nearly fell out of my chair. And two of my favorite players! People look upon Swisher as a kind of team mascot, and he admits the Yankees themselves look upon him as a little ... Different. But imagine them the last three years without him. Tex, though, fits perfectly in the no crap, lets-play-ball vein of Joe Gordon, Frank Crosetti, Thurman Munson and Paul O'Neill. Anyway, I hope YOU saw it. Best part is, now CC goes tomorrow as house money. And NO Joe Morgan! PS do you somehow think Bobby V and Boston deserve one another?" 9-6. With the rotation still not configured.

Yankees 6, Red Sox 2

Love spoiling the anniversary. Five home runs will help--plus, Nova looks for real. 8-6, with the Tampa contingent still to be heard from.

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Yankees 7, Twins 6

Granderson,(5-5, 3 hr), and this is the game I miss due to dinner with friends.

All but the top of the first. I saw that.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Twins 6, Yankees 5

Tex, could you have hit the ball ten feet further?

6-6.

Yankees 8, Twins 3

Chris Stweart starts the merry-go-round with his 2-run RBI off Nelson Liriano, putting me in mind, strangely, of another coming-out before the home crowd, 61 years ago this very day . . .

Red Smith: "Mantle nodded, stepped back into the box and singled a run home. Dickey, coaching at third, slapped his stern approvingly. When the kid raced home from second with his first big-league run, the whole Yankee bench arose to clap hands and pat his torso. He was in the lodge." --New York Herald Tribune, April 18, 1951

Stewart is no Mantle and never will be. But his hit, his first Yankee RBIs, struck 61 years later, was bigger in the context of the game.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Twins 7, Yankees 3

Fast forward three weeks. Tampa twins in, Garcia/Hughes out?

It may be time to face the music here. The 2011 Yankees lost out on Cliff Lee and were startled by Pettitte's retirement. Freddy Garcia and his 12 wins simply dropped from the sky and made up for nearly half that equation. 2012 may be asking too much.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Yankees 11, Angels 5

It is still such a pleasure to watch ESPN's Sunday night game without Joe Morgan that I could hardly concentrate on anything else. Orel Hershisher? Terry Francona? Marvelous.

And yes, the key at-bat of the game was Dave Robertson getting Mark Trumbo to fly out in the seventh, bases loaded, two outs.

Robinson Cano's agent is Scott Boras? Ouch.

Angels 7, Yankees 1

One of those games.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Yankes 5, LAAA 0

Just as I was about to commit seppuku over yet another Far Eastern import bust . . .

4-3.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Yankees 6, Orioles 4 (10)

Sure, Swisher's homer, but what won the game was Girardi's decision late to walk Markakis and have Soriano pitch to the right-hander. Bases loaded: one walk, one passed ball, one wild pitch, one infield hit and the game was over. Soriano came through like a champ. Strikeout. Just enough to keep the game alive for Swisher's heroics.

3-3.

And, as an added bonus, since last September 4th, when the Red Sox took the field with a nine-game lead over Toronto for the Wild Card, Boston is 6-23.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Yankees 5, O's 4 (12)

When your starter throws five wild pitches (and thank you, R. Martin, that it wasn't eight or nine), and you still win, well, maybe the season isn't lost yet.

Three-four-five--Tex, A-Rod, Granderson--are batting .458 . . . when you add their batting averages together. Jeter, Cano, Gardner, Jones and Ibanez the heavy lifting.

Yesterday I wrote on facebook, half-jokingly, that if George Steinbrenner were still alive, Lou Piniella's phone would be ringing. My friend Ken Jorgensen came back with a few more suggestions, including Stump Merrill, Stick Michael and the ghost of Bob Lemon. Before we worked our way back to Miller Huggins, the game was won.

2-3, and tomorrow CC gets his second crack. I remember his wild first start ever for the Yankees, right there in Camden Yards, where he seemed intent on earning all of his $170 Million in the first three innings, and nearly opened a hole in the brick wall below the backstop. Let CC be CC?

Monday, April 09, 2012

Yanks 6, O's 2

So: they go to Camden yards to get well.

Four hits from Jeter, a quiet night for a "rested" (translation: the last few days have been so wretched that haven't needed him) Rivera.

But: most importantly, Hughes and Nova both look good.

1-3.

Sunday, April 08, 2012

Rays 3, Yankees 0

I guess we take away that Hughes might be the real thing after all. Beyond that . . .

Rays 8, Yankees 4

That's seventeen innings pitched, fifteen runs allowed, in no small part to efforts from starters one and two and The Greatest Closer ever.

Saturday, April 07, 2012

Rays 7, Yankees 6

And another great season gets underway.

The entire afternoon was scary--6-5 seemingly for an eternity. I had assumed the big threat was quahed with A-Rod's nifty play at third the hold the lead. Robertson, Mo, QED.

Let us hope Mo's annual April meltdown came a little early this time.