Thursday, May 31, 2012

Yankees 6, Angels 5

AS for the game: just enough, boys. Just enough hitting (Granderson, et al), just enough pitching (Nova gives up five runs in 6 2/3 innings--and wins), just enough relief (Soriano gets the save with the winning run on first), just enough fielding (about three nifty plays from Jeter--among others). Not the best game of the year, just the scariest. Moving into the last day of may, the AL East: Baltimore 29 22 .569 - 14-13 15-9 230 222 +8 Lost 5 2-8 41.5 Tampa Bay 29 22 .569 - 17-10 12-12 216 206 +10 Lost 3 4-6 47.5 NY Yankees 27 23 .540 1.5 14-11 13-12 232 217 +15 Won 1 6-4 40.2 Toronto 27 24 .529 2 15-10 12-14 249 223 +26 Won 3 4-6 42.9 Boston 26 24 .520 2.5 13-13 13-11 265 243 +22 Won 3 7-3 43.1 Not only do all five teams have winning records, but all five teams are on the positive side of runs scored/runs against. Boston has been a train wreck: 2 1/2 out. Tampa, without its best player: tied for first. The Yankees, minus their two best relievers. 1 1/2 out. There are six teams in the Wild Card mix: these five, plus the Angels.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Monday, May 28, 2012

Angels 9, Yankees 8

Ouch. When did we think the Yankees have this one? 1. A 3-0, top of the first. 2. When they re-tied the game, 4-4. 3. When Tex's home run brought them to within one, 6-5. 4. Martin's two-run double re-ties the game, 8-8. 5. Tex's leadoff single in the ninth. Then the stomach punch, and from Brett . . . Tomko. Walk-off homer. Oof. As Charlie Brown says, "Thus endeth the (five-game!) winning streak."

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Yankees 2, A's 0

One of those games where you hold your breath, knowing, knowing that Kuroda is living dangerously, that one hanging slider, one grooved fastball, one unfielded fly ball . . . disaster. Didn't happen. And Tex looked good, as well.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Yankees 9, A's 2

Yes, it was Oakland. But as the game went on, CC was playing catch out there.

Yankees 6, A's 3

As Richard Justice said on Yahoo radio today, you can about to see a rotation take shape, with Pettitte and Nova. With three great plays in right field, plus a home run . . . the Yankees just seem to win when Swisher is in the middle of things, ay?

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Yankees 3, Royals 2

I go out of town for a week, the whole operation goes in the crapper.

Monday, May 14, 2012

Yankees 8, Orioles 5

Kay was right: Lost in the Cano onrush has been A-Rod, not a lot of power but steadily up to .300. Good to see Tex grab hold of one. Phelps is destined to start soon. 20-15 and the season starts tomorrow.

Mariners 6, Yankees 2

No team came closer to having a great game and ended up with a lousy one. Two bases loadeds squandered, two bad Pettitte pitches, the tip off the glove in the eighth leading to two runs--unfortunate to spoil Andy's comeback. 19-15.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Yankees 6, Mariners 2

A good win in so many ways. Start the series by beating Yankee-killer Felix. Kuroda, who may be a second starter yet. Cano heating up, as we knew he would. And Ibanez, who may stay valuable. Plus . . . that bullpen. Wednesday's Robertson meltdown is ancient history.

Yankees 5, Rays 3

No spectacular, but enough. How many times has CC done this, erase a killer loss in the matter of a single day?

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tuesday, May 08, 2012

Yankees 5, Rays 3

A game that turned on a few crucial moments: Top seven: Two terrific plays by Nick Swisher. 3-2 Yankees, one out, Jeff Keppinger on first. Will Rhymes doubles into the corner, Swisher plays the good hop and heaves the ball in, just freezing Keppinger--who, had he run, would have been dead at the plate. Sean Rodriguez flies out to home, Swisher rifles the ball in a second time. Keppinger barely bluffs. Molina strikes out. Rally quelled. Bottom eight: A-Rod singles, Upton butchers the routine one-hopper into a double. Jake McGree strikes out Robinson Cano, on pitches so fast Cano can barely uncoil himself. Whereupon . . . Joe Maddon goes Joe Maddon and plays lefty-righty against a switch-hitter, removing McGee for the notably less fearsome Joel Peralta. Tex, turning around to left, doubled home A-Rod for a crucial fifth run. (Is the wacky genius thing starting to play on Maddon? Kay and Leiter suggested as much. It's instructive to remember that Clueless Joe Torre has more World Series rings than geniuses like Earl Weaver, Whitey Herzog and Billy Martin . . . combined--four to three, a difference not accountable by the relative talent each man was given to manage, save maybe Martin and Herzog in Texas.) Top Nine: Here it was, then, Dave Robertson in his first save opportunity, post-Mo. Blow it, and you're in for 20 minutes of chin-pulling on "Baseball Tonight," Sal from the Bronx screaming on WFAN tomorrow morning, and Skip Bayless falling out of his chair, mid-rant, on ESPN2. In between securing two outs, Robertson works the bases full. (Get ready, New York fans, for many such nights.) Carlos Pena, Yankee Killer, junior division, at the plate. Robertson snaps a breaking ball: strike one. Then, strike two: a fast ball at the edge, the best pitch he threw all inning. Two waste pitches and back to the gas . . . strike three, a pitch nearly as good as the second. Crisis averted. 16-13, and I'm exhausted.

Sunday, May 06, 2012

Yankees 10, Royals 4

Phil Hughes and Robinson Cano, our two tortured souls of late, come through. Strong pitching from Hughes, grand slam from Cano. It is clear, if the Yankees are to win three out of every five games for the foreseeable future, the pattern will have to be as follows: 1. A strong start from CC Sabathia. 2. A strong start from someone not named CC Sabathia. 3. An offensive outburst like today's. 4. Loss. 5. Loss. And back up to CC. Today, they received both numbers two and three, so we'll see. 15-13. Anyone happy with a Wild Card, a one-game playoff versus (let's say) Jon Lester, Jared Weaver, Yu Darvish, or Justin Verlander? Hughes has to pitch like today, Andy has to come back at least steady, Nova needs to stay the Nova of 2011, someone has to emerge from Phelps, et al, or Cashman has to make a move--basically, three of those five things have to come true.

Royals 5, Yankees 1

Mark it down: this was the loss that had me concerned. 14-13. Never mind Baltimore, at least this year. But the Rays look good.

Saturday, May 05, 2012

Yankees 6, Royals 2

Without Mo, we're going to need a whole lot of games like this from CC. And, for that matter, from Robertson. 14-12.

Friday, May 04, 2012

Royals 4, Yankees 3

Of course, nothing matters next to Mo.

Wednesday, May 02, 2012

Orioles 5, Yankees 0

Ahhhhhhhh . . . glad I missed it.

Orioles 7, Yankees 1

A terrible game, but two takeaways: 1. Seventh inning, 6-1 Baltimore, bases loaded, two outs, A-Rod at the plate. Did anyone have pop-up in the pool? I had at least a harmless fly ball. In his 2004-05-06 days, you could call a home run for A-Rod while the ball was still proceeding toward the plate. A-Rod would get the look in his eyes, pull the bat a few inches further back, and . . . so long. Reggie was like that, in his prime, as was Bonds and, when he played against the Yankees, George Brett. Ortiz a few years ago. Pujols except for right now. A-Rod . . . a home run has become a nice surprise. Five more years of his contract, after this season. 2. Hughes looked so sharp early . . . did we think it wouldn't last? That pitch he threw to JJ Hardy, sixty year-old Tommy Lasorda would throw for batting practice.