Friday, August 31, 2012
Tuesday, August 28, 2012
The Exasperating Phil Hughes shows us again why so many of us have had so much faith in him for . . . five years! Swisher goes to first where, except for the hard fielding plays, he should settle right in for the next two weeks. Again: it's not that Chavez, Soriano, Jones, Ibanez, Nix, and Phelps aren't up to the task of replacing (either directly or otherwise) the likes of Gardner, Mo, A-Rod, Tex and Pettitte. It's that no one stands behind them to fill the breach. As Davey Johnson said, winning in the playoofs comes down to two things: your bench and your bullpen. For the Yankees, we shall see. Caught the end of the marvelous Rangers-Rays pitching duel. 4 1/2 games ahead of the improbably, impossible Orioles.
Monday, August 27, 2012
I always associated these bright Sunday afternoon games with Mike Mussina. It always seemed the sun beat down so hard you could count the stitches on his cap as he effortlessly delivered the ball. Anyway . . . Has the ship been righted? Garcia pitches just well enough to help his team win, pitches around a dreadful Cano error . . . Granderson goes deep . . . and Ichiro races a country mile to save at least a run-scoring double by one of the biggest flops in the last six years of the majors. Always great to win early on Sunday and relax the rest of the evening. 4 games over Tampa, with Baltimore impossibly, inexplicably hanging around.
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Monday, August 20, 2012
Now, this one was lovely: Kuroda was so in command for much of the game he looked downright bored. Beckett is lucky the score wasn't 7-1 or 8-1 by the time he left. Chavez swinging on that 3-0 pitch, oy. Ichiro, setting up Beckett twice by attempting to slap the ball away. Twice Beckett came back inside, twice Ichiro deposited the ball in the bleachers. Jeter, now at .321. Five games ahead of the Rays with Longoria back. Eight wins in their last ten, and we still have ourselves a race.
Found out about this the old-fashioned way: eating breakfast at a greasy spoon in Dallas; got up from the outdoor table to walk to the metal newspaper box in order to buy the Dallas Morning News and retrieve the "ball scores." That Swisher. Two more home runs.
Friday, August 17, 2012
Saw this one in a poker room--win three straight against the Rangers, overcome 2 Hamilton home runs in the same game, overcome your own lack of CC . . . and this is what happens when you play with house money. Six games up--against, among others and improbably, the Orioles. Bring on the Red Sox.
Monday, August 13, 2012
My favorite game in about a month. One thought: Nick Swisher. As I've made clear before, people look at Swisher's cherubic face, his smile, his sideburns, his dopey commercials, and assume he's some glorified Yankee mascot. He's not. Nick Swisher is a badass. The former football tight end, brought in almost as an afterthought to CC, AJ, and Tex in 2009, has provided an element to the Yankees that was missing, previous to 2009. Nobody remembers how the Yankees, before 2009, were dismissed as too gentlemanly, certainly too refined to mix it up with the 2007 Red Sox (Youklis, Millar, Varitek, Schilling), or the 2008 Phillies (Halladay, Rollins, Utley, Victorrino). So they went and got CC, and Tex, and Swish. And then they got mean.
Friday, August 10, 2012
All the strengths and weaknesses of the Yankees, on display. Strengths: power, bullpen. Weaknesses: Shaky (as of late) starting pitching, on-base percentage, reaction to misfortune. In a game where the crucial moments seemed to cluster 200 feet down the left field line, the Yankees, for the second day in a row, seemed determined to thrust the game at the Tigers, who, in the end, didn't seem to want it. Things have been going so badly for that, last night, when Cano misplayed the double-play grounder; and today, when Andy Dirks hit the now-it's-foul-now-it's-fair ball down the left field line, every Yankee fan was on the same page: Here we go again. This was Soriano giving up the ninth-inning home run in Oakland, Felix Herandez going Sal Maglie and hitting three Hall of Famers. This was the Yankees having to face Verlander and King Felix in rapid succession, and--of course!--losing both games. Forget this game . . . Until the eighth. The good ol' longball . . . Then the ninth: Avila doubling and hancuffing Ibanez--every fan was on the same page. Note that, with one out, the Yankees played for the double play, seemingly certain that the tying run would come in and they would worry about it in extras--if it got that far. Then, Soriano, who got them into that mess, gets them out. Line out, pop-out, scary fly ball to Granderson--or rather not quite to. Three outs, and ballganme. And here come the lesser mortals in the bullpen.
Wednesday, August 08, 2012
Tuesday, August 07, 2012
Monday, August 06, 2012
Saturday, August 04, 2012
Until the ninth inning, just about the very first end-to-end pitching-fielding-hitting-baserunning Yankee game in oh, about three weeks. Or maybe it just seemed like that. Oh yeah, the first Red Sox game a week ago was pretty good, the Granderson slammy and all. But otherwise? Swisher seems back. If Tex is not, he's nearly so. Thanks to what CC did in innings 1-8, he two-run homer was unconsequential. So we'll see about today.