Yankees are out but baseball is still alive

The regular season is over and the post season is about to begin. Even though the Yankees are out of it, I am still baseball obsessed and will be posting my thoughts about the games ahead, including who I have decided to root for this post-season.

Most years, I root against the team that kept the Yankees out of the post-season, or beat them in the post-season, for instance if they didn’t make it past the ALDS or ALCS. Or the Red Sox. It’s always good to root against the Red Sox. This year however, the team that kept the Yankees out of the post-season was the Yankees. They just didn’t win enough games. There are some teams that I absolutely won’t root for, like the Braves, who aren’t in it, and the Orioles who are, but don’t have the most wins in the American League. An important fact that I had to bring out.

The final teams haven’t been decided, since they now have this stupid 1 game Wild Card playoff. The fourth team is YTBD. The teams competing are: Kansas City Royals and Oakland A’s (9/30) in the AL and Pittsburgh Pirates vs. San Francisco Giants (10/1) in the NL. I like the Oakland A’s, they were Hunter’s first team but they have Lester, which makes me want to hate them, but the Royals have Shields, which makes me want to root against them. I have the opposite problem with the NL teams. Pirates have Russell Martin, who is adorable, I mean a really good catcher and longtime favorite player of mine. The Giants have Buster Posey, who is also a really good catcher and fun to watch. The minuses here are the Giants are ORANGE and the Pirates are YELLOW. Also Russell has gone from being clean-shaven to a scruffy little thing. Since I promised to pick one I am going with the Royals (can’t get past the Lester dislike) and the Pirates (Russell is my boo!).

For the ALDS series between the Tigers and Orioles (starts 10/2), I am going with the Detroit Tigers, because, well Baltimore. The NLDS between the St. Louis Cardinals and Los Angeles Dodgers (begins 10/3) is also hard, normally I would go with the Dodgers because they are the blue team, and the Cardinals failed to beat the Red Sox last year (the rivalry is alive!) and they have Don Mattingly. But they are LA soooo, all right, I talked myself into it, my pick is the Dodgers.

So there you have it. After the Wild Card is done, I’ll be back to pick my teams for the rest of the Division Series.

ALDS GAME 2

~~ Yankees 2, Orioles 3 ~~
ALDS: Yankees 1, Orioles 1

Live blogging: The Orioles game is currently in rain delay, estimated start time: 8:45 P.M.

Cards pasted the Nationals. Cardinals 12, Nationals 4

Play Ball!!
Top 1:
Jeter singles to center field; Wei-Yin Chen is throwing fast balls, Ichiro reaches on an error; 2 on, no outs; Alex hits into a double play, a weird double play (second baseman caught the line drive, then tossed to second, Alex and Derek out). Robbie hits into the corner, Ichiro comes home, avoids the tag by Matt Wieters. Nick Swisher out at first.

Bottom 1:
Fly ball to left, one out; 2nd batter grounds out to Cano, two out; 3rd batter strikes out. 1-2-3 inning for Andy. Yankees 1, Orioles 0

Top 2:
Baltimore fans boo Teixeira, he pops out to first baseman; Russell fly ball center field; Curtis strikes out.

Bottom 2:
Pop out to Robinson Cano; Ground out third base to first; Strike out. Yankees 1, Orioles 0

Top 3:
Eduardo Nunez is the DH, (WHAT? Nunez DHing?) Pops out 3rd base; Jeter strikes out looking, but he doesn’t agree, is muttering as he walks back to the dug-out; Ichiro singles; Alex singles, runners at first and second; Cano grounds out to the pitcher.

Bottom 3:
Fly out to left field; Jeter to Mark; #9 batter breaks bat, ball drops before Curtis, 1st hit for the Orioles; McLouth in a single to center field, runners on first and second. This is vintage Andy, get into trouble – gets out of trouble. Walks batter, bases loaded and a power hitter coming up. Base hit to right field, two runs score. Baltimore in the lead by one run. Base hit, bases loaded again, bad base running by Baltimore; pop-out to Cano. Yankees 1, Orioles 2

Top 4:
Swisher swings out; Lined up the middle, base hit for Teixeira; Russell walks; Base hit for Curtis, bases are now loaded with one out. Nunez pops out; Jeter hits the ball to the third baseman. RISP FAIL. Ugh.

Bottom 4:
Base hit, bad throw by Jeter and Mark has to jump for it; Strike out; Ball hit to A-Rod gets the runner out at second. Hit to Cano, get the runner at second, again. Yankees 1, Orioles 2

Top 5:
Now it is time for the Yankees to get some runs. Ichiro thrown out at first; A-Rod flies out to center field; Robbie thrown out at first. The inning took about as long to play as it took me to type this. 4 pitches, that is disgusting.

Bottom 5:
McLouth reaches on an error; Hardy called out on strikes; Davis hits a fly ball to Curtis; Adam Jones hits a fly ball to Swisher, who catches it. Yankees 1, Orioles 2

Top 6:
Swisher grounds out; Mark flies out to left field; Base hit for Russell, scratch that, reached on an error; Granderson pops up and out.

Bottom 6:
Weiters get a double; Reynolds smokes it, Weiters scores; Thome strikes out; Machado hits it to Andy, who turns and throws it to 2nd, then Robbie throws on to Mark. That was pretty boss of Andy. Yankees 1, Orioles 3

Top 7:
Nunez leads off with a double (cause he runs fast like bunny, or the road runner, or whatever); Jeter hits the ball over Hardy’s head and Nunez scores; Ichiro hits the ball to Hardy and Jeter is out at second, but Ichiro makes it to first;

Chen’s night is done, Darren O’Day comes in to face Alex Rodriguez. Alex strikes out, Ichiro steals second;

My router crapped out right here, to recap the Orioles brought in a new pitcher, Cano was walked and Swisher hit a fly ball to make the last out.

Bottom 7:
1-2-3 inning Yankees 2, Orioles 3

Top 8:
Teixeira gets on first; Russell strikes out looking on a ball off the plate 😦 ; Curtis strikes out; Nunez pops out.

Bottom 8:
Davis hits over Andy’s head, over 2nd base and he gets on first.

New pitcher for the Yankees. David Robertson – fields the ball and gets Jones at first, runner advances to second; Weiters grounds out to first. Reynolds swings at the air. Yankees 2, Orioles 3

Top 9:
Jim Johnson is in for the Orioles.
Jeter grounds out; Ichiro grounds out. One more out and it’s the end for the Yankees. Alex strikes out. Yankees lose.

~~ Questo è tutto, dice la principessa ~~ 😛

Another Solo Game

This was another game that I got tickets to at the start of the season on a special deal. I got just one ticket because normally Kasey can’t make it to night games during the week. I don’t feel guilty about going with out since on occasion she goes to games without me. However the last game I went to alone I was bothered by the guy next to me. I had originally said harassed, but thinking back on it, bothered is a better word. This game was a different experience.

First my seats, I was sitting in the last row in the Grandstand. This is kind of my favorite row, I like looking out over the stadium and having no one higher than me (can you say “Princess”?). Then the man to the right of me was there with his daughter, not that he didn’t say a work to me, but he was in total Dad mode and his attention was focused on her. The guy on the other side of me was with his significant other (wife, girlfriend, date) and was an Indians fan (BOO), but he wasn’t obnoxious, I actually couldn’t tell for sure until about halfway through the game, and then they left about the 7th inning or so.

Weather. It was nice, no rain by the time the game started. It was very windy and I was worried about the temperature, but while a little on the cool side, I never got cold enough that I felt like leaving.

Promotion: I got a cool Yankee t-shirt free! Well, it’s a night shirt now. And it’s HOPE week. I kind of like HOPE week. I think it’s cool.

Game: Phil was pitching and he was back on his game. 8 shut-out innings and he got run support! This brings his record to 8-6. He was assisted by a catch that wasn’t. Another umpire error. A-Rod hit a home run. Ever since someone mentioned to me the Yankees wins and home runs, whenever a player hits a home run I think, “There’s the ballgame. Yankees are going to win.” In this game. like in other games, the team seemed to come alive in the 9th, I’m talking about the Indians. All four runs were scored in the 4th inning. Cory Wade was kind of off his game. No reason to boo him, well anyway, Sori came in and saved the game.

Since this game: Yankees swept the Indians. Wednesday CC was put on the DL with an adductor strain and will probably miss his next two starts, then in the fifth inning of the game Andy Pettitte got hit in the ankle. Diagnosis: fractured ankle, he’ll be out about 8 weeks. Now for our starting pitching we have to rely on Freddy Garcia and Adam Warren (Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre). I’m not expecting miracles, but unlike some other commenters, I also don’t think the Yankees will crash and burn. Garcia has been pitching well lately. I don’t know Warren, but the reports are he has been pitching well. Russell got run over by the Indians first baseman and now is out with back stiffness, he says the collision didn’t aggravate it but hmmmmm I wonder.

On a personal note, Wednesday I tried for a second time to go to a Brooklyn Cyclones game. This time I made it through the ceremonial first pitches. Then Sarah had to leave her mood had plummeted and the panic attack was heading toward major meltdown. Which happened in the Coney Island subway station. Horrible day. Then today was a horrible game and a tough loss. Some times it seems like the media is trying to start trouble between the players and managers with their questions. Then everyone gets on twitter and starts tweeting what they thought about this and that and what he said. It drives me crazy.

Last thing. Some people keep track of their ‘records’ attending games, so I went through and counted wins and loses for me. I have have stats through 2010. !0 wins, 4 losses. In 2011, 10 wins, 5 losses. So far this year, 8 wins, 3 losses.

And that’s all, going to bed now.

Russell Martin in the New York Times

20120617-134102.jpgOne of my neighbors has a subscription to the Times. When I leave in the morning it is often sitting outside the door to the apartment building. I bring it inside to where the mailboxes are as a gesture of neighborliness and because I don’t want pieces of paper flying all over the neighborhood.

This morning I was in a hurry, I wanted to get to the laundrymat, I had a bunch of other things to do today so I grabbed the paper and kind of tossed it inside. It opened and the sports section fell out. This picture was staring up at me from the floor.

SQUEEEE! That was my first thought. My second was, “I wonder if my neighbor will notice his sports section is missing.” 😛

Selfish Curtis Granderson

The Yankees swept the Mets. On June 8th the Yankees won 9-1, they hit 3 home runs in this game. It was the first game Johan had pitched after his no-hitter and the three home runs came one after the other against him. The next game was on June 9 and I wrote about it in my last blog post, they hit 2 home runs winning the game by 2 runs. In the game on June 10, the Mets were up 3 runs until the 7th inning then Russell hit a 2 run home run, then two more runs in the 8th put them ahead. Sori gave up a run in the top of the 9th to tie the score. In the bottom of the 9th Russell hit another home run, this was for the win, a walk off home run. Yankees hit home runs in each game.

The series against the Braves was a sweep also, and the Yankees hit home runs in each of those games. June 11, 3-0 and 1 home run; June 12, 6-4 with 2 home runs; June 13, 3-2 with 1 home run.

In some of these games, you could say they wouldn’t have won without the home runs. The game on June 10th, the winning run was a home run. On June 9th the Yankees won by 2 runs and scored 3 of their runs by way of home runs. The home run hit by Mark Teixeira was with Curtis Granderson on base, the one Curtis hit was a solo shot. Phil also pitched very well, only giving up 2 runs to the Mets, so that helped. In the game against the Braves on June 12, going into the 8th the score was 4-0 Atlanta, then with the bases loaded Alex Rodriguez hit a home run. It was his 23rd Grand Slam, tying him with Lou Gehrig (this made Lindsey sad, I was sad too, but then someone pointed out even though he tied the record, that doesn’t make Alex as great a player as Lou. I don’t know if that made Lindsey feel better, but it helped me). After Robbie got on base, Swisher hit a home run to put the Yankees up 6-4 and then on June 13, Curtis hit a two run homer in the 6th which put the Yankees ahead.

However there were other games that would have been run without the home run. Such as the game on June 11 against the Braves. First of all, Ivan pitched a shut out, and he got a hit, his first. The Yankees scored three runs, one was a home run, so without that home run the Yankees would have won 2-0 instead of 3-0.

Then there was today’s game, which the Yankees were winning going into the 9th inning with a score of 6-1, all without a home run. We were all excited, thinking “Will this be it? Will the Yankees finally win a game without hitting a home run?” Yes the Yankees have hit at least one home run in all of their winning games. Then Curtis Granderson just had to hit one out of the park. His 20th this year and the Yankees are still without a winning game without a home run. Will it never end? Curtis is just so selfish.

I managed to type that without laughing. The Yankees are getting men on base, not all their home runs are single shots, and what better way to bring your teammates home than with a home run? The Yankees have power hitters in their line ups and Curtis wasn’t going to swing for a single with a 3-1 count. Not when he got a 4-seam fastball. Joe keeps telling people, a home run is a hit. Someday they’ll believe it.

While I don’t know yet if the Yankees are going to sweep, they are off to a good start. And for the last two sweeps, fireworks are in order I think.

The next opening day

The season opener was in Tampa on Good Friday, April 6. The home opener was the next Friday, April 13 against the Angels, NY Yankees 5, Angels 0. As I have mentioned, to anyone that will listen, I was not at the game and I desperately wanted to go, I wanted to go so bad that up to the last possible minute I kept checking StubHub™ hoping a ticket would magically appear for under $100. Every time I looked up tickets, I noticed that tickets for Sunday, which was also Jackie Robinson Day were really cheap, probably because the game was at 8:00pm on Sunday. I bought two tickets, it was cheaper to get two then one, go figure. Jackie Robinson Day was going to be my opening day.

Now I had two tickets and had to think of who did I want to go with me? I put a post on this blog, I casually mentioned it on Twitter, then I saw a tweep that I’ve met a few time, that has a few times tweeted me to “Come on Down to _____ for some drinks”, so I just asked her want to go to the game Sunday? I have an extra ticket. She was thrilled, it was her birthday weekend and she loves the Yankees. In particular Phil Hughes, she wore his shirt, she squealed when his picture came up on the Jumb-o-tron.

It was also calendar night so we got this nice calendar. It has coupons from subway and the Yankees in it are: April: Derek Jeter; May: Mariano Rivera (taken the day he got his 602nd save); June: Alex Rodriguez (he looks like he just hit a home run, he’s got that happy look on his face and relaxed); July: CC Sabathia; August: Robinson Cano; September: Mark Teixeira (I probably should tear September off and send it to Kasey); October: Nick Swisher (not Mr. October but hey, my sweet Nicky! Who two years in a row hit a walk off home run on my birthday. The next year and this year, no home game on my birthday, so no walk-off); November: Curtis Granderson; December: Russell Martin (without his face mask. Very important); January: Ivan Nova; February: David Robertson (who so coolly in this game got the last out with the bases loaded {thank you Rafe you bum}); March: Brett Gardner.

~~ Yankees 11, Angels 5 ~~

Everyone was wearing 42 today, before the game when C and I were eating pizza and drinking beer at the pizza place around the corner from the stadium, I wondered why they were showing an old Yankee game, I mean #42 was pitching, but the uniforms were the wrong color …… Then during the game she showed me a tweet, “I just turned on the Yankee game and couldn’t figure out why Mariano was pitching in the 5th inning.” So I wasn’t the only one confused.

The #42 that was pitching was Ivan Nova, despite having a cold he maintained his winning streak. 6 IP, 4 ER, 8 Ks and his ERA is now down to 4.15 (He ended spring training with an ERA over 8. I guess he needs the adrenalin of regular season). Derek Jeter and Raul Ibanez hit home runs. Then in the 7th inning Rafael comes in, gets two out and then walks two, the bases are loaded, I was screaming at him “You are not David Robertson! You cannot load the bases! If you lose this game for Ivan Nova I will kick your ass!” Since Joe didn’t want to see me get in trouble he called in D-Rob. When Boone came in for the 9th inning C pouted, she wanted to see Mo, but since it wasn’t a save situation no Mo, Boone pitched a scoreless 9th. Good game.

~~ Questo è tutto, dice la principessa ~~ 😛

Bits and pieces, awards and football

Report: Yu Darvish bid tops Dice-K I’m not quite sure how this works, like a lot of things in the business end of baseball, as I understand it, this pitcher, Yu Darvish wants to come to play in the MLB. So the MLB teams that want him have to bid for him. Then his team (the Hokkaido Nippon Ham Fighters) decides if they’ll accept the bid, then the team who made the bid gets to ‘talk’ to the player, to see if they can reach a deal. I don’t know if then the team has to pay MORE money to the player. I can’t find that out. However, the bidding has closed and the highest bid is a lot of money.

Greatness in Baseball Yearly Awards (GIBBYs) were announced on Friday night as the final word on Major League Baseball’s awards season. The Yankees had three: Derek Jeter for Performance of the Year, David Robertson for Setup Man and Robinson Cano for Wow Factor. Jose Valverde of the Tigers won Closer of the Year, which I was going to cry about, but it’s just for the year, and his numbers were better then Mo’s this year. However, Mo is still the greatest of all time. Speaking of Mo ….

Rivera recovering well after surgery on throat He had polyps removed from his vocal cords. We haven’t heard the results of the testing on the polyps, but this is one area where bad news usually travels faster then good news. Pretty sure he’ll be fine.

Yankees take two players in Rule 5 Draft Left-handed reliever Cesar Cabral, so if I understand this right, he was with the Red Sox, then the Royals picked him in the draft, then the Yankees paid the Royals for him (sounds a little bit like a slave auction, hmmm). So was he a Royals, or a Red Sox? The other player is a right-handed pitcher Brad Meyers, who was a starter with the Nationals.

The Yankees are keeping Hector Noesi as a starter and released Greg Golson. Good-bye Greg, I’ll never forget that throw you made from right field, it was a beauty.

Freddy Garcia will be a Yankee next year, they offered him a one year deal and he accepted. He likes playing in Pinstripes.

All eligible Yankees tendered contracts Joba, Phil, David, Brett, Boone (Boom-Boom-Boone) and Russell (HI! Russell) are all coming back next year. Russell even tweeted it. If it wasn’t so late I would find it and post a link.

Cano and Swisher are coming back, of course Cano is a no-doubter (as is Swisher in my mind). There is talk that the Yankees might use Swisher for trade, but I doubt it. If you trade Swisher, who’s going to play right field? Not only that but he can relieve Mark at first and he is good for 30 home runs a year and contributes to the clubhouse moral. Not only that, he loves New York and would cry if he had to leave.

The biggest news of all (pun intended) is that CC is coming back. So we will have our Ace, our Big Stoppa, our Great Devourer of Innings. He also let the fans know, he posted a video saying he wanted to let the fans know himself, he is coming back to New York.


However, the Yankees are not the only ones busy acquiring things during the off-season, I got these two beautiful pins.

On the subject of football, I’m not really a football fan, but I’ve been trying to keep myself occupied instead of just moping about waiting for baseball to start again. I have been a Bills fan since I lived in Buffalo, it wasn’t that hard to abandon the Bucs when I left Florida, and I still am. However, I decided I can root for two teams. I picked the Ravens for 3 reason. One is they beat the Steelers (TWICE!) and I hate the Steelers. Two is their uniforms are purple (pretty!). Third is the quarterback is a real cutie (his wife is pregnant with their first baby, how presh is that!). So I bought some cute purple stuff, a t-shirt, some fuzzy socks and a dog tag (it has an engraveable back, I don’t know what I would put there but if I ever do, ….. So I am hoping they make it to the superbowl. If not them, maybe the Giants, I can root for the Giants, they are almost a New York team.

2011 GIBBYs Greatness in Baseball Yearly Awards

The categories are listed below. Of course I voted for the Yankee players, maybe I’m prejudiced, but if I didn’t believe the players were the best, ….

Anyway if you click on this link, you can vote for the players you think are great!
Player
Starting Pitcher
Rookie
Closer
Setup Man
Defensive Player
Breakout Player
Comeback Player
Wow Factor
Manager
Executive
Postseason MVP

Red Sox are slip sliding away

~~ Yankees 9, Red Sox 1 ~~

This is probably the last regular season game I will be at. I have tickets for Game 2 of the ALDS, so I am hoping the Yankees get home field advantage.

Garcia pitched 6 innings of shut-out baseball. This was such a fun game to be at. I always worry when I go to Yankees vs Red Sox because my record is not good. More games lost by the Yankees then won. In fact, this might be the first win thus breaking my streak. Raul Valdes gave up the only run and when he did, the Red Sox fans cheered like it was the go ahead run. People, they are still down 8 runs.

Going into the bottom of the second the Red Sox had 0 runs, 1 hit. When Cano got a single I thought, Oh good we’re even now. Then the next two batters got on, all of a sudden it was bases loaded, one out. Jesus Montero comes up to bat. I wondered if he would get his first major league grand slam, he didn’t, he did get a RBI, the first of the game. Russell Martin then hits a single to left field, Carl Crawford bobbles it, the ball kind of just popped out of his glove, 2 more runs. Then the Captain comes up to bat, my man the captain, hits home run number 6, to bring the total of runs in the inning to 6. Mark struck out, but the Yankee bats were not done. In the bottom of the third Jesus Montero hit a two run double and Jon Lester was done. Jesus Montero >> Jon Lester

The Yankees last run of the game was a home run, hit by Jesus Montero.

Since last nights game was rained out tomorrow is a day night double header. I’ll see you then.

~~ Questo è tutto, dice la principessa ~~ Saturday, September 24, 2011 😛

Save #600

~~ Yankees 3, Mariners 2 ~~

Mariano Rivera became the second pitcher in history to reach 600 saves as he nailed down the Yankees’ win over the Mariners after A.J. Burnett struck out a season-high 11 batters and Robinson Cano delivered his 26th home run against rookie Charlie Furbush.

Mo now has 600 saves, and here is something I don’t understand. For the last out, Russel Martin threw out the runner attempting to steal second base. Everyone keeps repeating how Russell Martin ‘stole Mariano’s thunder’, but how is that any different than if one of the infielders catches a pop-up? Or catches a ground ball and throws to first to get the batter out? As Russell says, “There’s no thunder without lightning.” Mo still gets credit for the save and throwing out base stealers depends on more than just the catchers skill, if he doesn’t get a good pitch, he doesn’t have time to throw the runner out. I just wanted to get that off my chest.

~~ Questo è tutto, dice la principessa ~~ September 13, 2011 😛