This is just crazy. Fun but crazy. If you told me that Vernon Wells would become indispensable to the Yankees, I would have said, “Nah.” But look at him. He’s winning ballgames for us and I just keep shaking my head. Lyle Overbay was headed for retirement and he, too, has been invaluable. I can’t imagine shedding either of them when their better paid counterparts come back.
Andy Pettitte looked like his old self in tonight’s win against the Royals. I was getting a little worried about him, especially after he admitted he was “lost” on the mound and couldn’t feel his pitches. But he was in command. Robertson seems to have shaken off his rust, which is a relief (literally). And Mo, after a momentary threat, notched another save.
If the Yankees keep winning with this cast of characters, Joe Girardi has to be a lock for Manager of the Year.
I was out for dinner and missed the last couple of innings, but the Yankees had done their offensive damage against the Royals’ pitchers by then. So, let me get this straight: Do I call this group of replacement parts – i.e. Wells, Overbay, Nelson – the Bronx Bombers?
Maybe. It’s weird how great this team is doing in spite of itself. Weird and wonderful. I look at big-money “Yankees-like” teams such as Toronto, Anaheim and L.A. – teams that spent big in the off-season and were sure contenders – and they’ve been stumbling so far. And yet here are the scrappy Yankees with their collection of oddballs and they’re in first place.
Yes, it’s early. And yes, there are weaknesses. But games like tonight are just plain fun.
Hughes wasn’t fun. Not at all. But Shawn Kelley, of all people, saved the day. Who knew?
Or maybe I should have written “Rocky Mountain Bye.” The Yankees left Colorado with a series win, but it wasn’t easy. What was up with all that rain? CC only got four innings in before the tarp went on the field, which was a shame. And the Yanks had to do a lot of sitting around, knowing they needed to catch a flight to KC right after the game.
But they got the win. Not a lot of hitting in this series, but the pitching was great. Adam Warren did a nice job taking over for CC and Mo was his usual godlike self for the save. I loved seeing all the Yankee fans at Coors Field snapping pictures of Mo. It reminded me yet again that this is his last tour through the majors. Sob.
Cano’s homer was fun, but I do hope this lineup will find a way to score more runs so the team can keep pace in the division. Granderson seems to be on a fast track to come off the DL, but I don’t want to jinx him so forget I said that. Shhhush.
I started out with the game, cheering Vernon Wells for getting the Yanks on the board with that homer. I saw Phelps, our starter and #8 batter (Girardi is really being creative) give the lead back but otherwise pitch shutout baseball against the Rockies. Then I couldn’t resist switching to news updates about the three Cleveland women. My God, what a nightmare. And then, because it was inescapable, I sat through analysis of the Jodi Arias verdict and tried to imagine what possessed all those people in Phoenix to follow the trial for so many months.
Eventually, I made my way back to the game with the score still tied at 2-2 – just in time to see Boesch hustle to first allowing Wells to score the go-ahead run and then Wells fill in at third (more Girardi creativity) and handle his one chance effortlessly. Strange win, but a good win and, of course, another save for Mo.
Robertson did not look ready to be back, judging by his wildness, but Preston Clairborne has now been fabulous in two games. If only he could hit and play third.
The Yankees need help. I know Nunez will be back sort of soon, followed by Granderson and at some point Youkilis and Tex (I guess). I also know this team of replacement parts has done well in spite of its limitations. But tonight was an example of how thin the lineup really is. I mean four hits? Against the Rockies? Wasting a very good outing by Kuroda?
I had a long writing day today and was looking forward to a nice, mindless escape tonight. I didn’t get it from the game, that’s for sure. I expended way too much energy muttering at the TV.
This was a tough one, but Michael read over your contest entries (and re-read them several times) and picked a winner. So the Friend of the Blog who will receive a free copy of New York Yankees: Then and Now is….
As I said, Michael found it very difficult to choose from among the wonderful memories of the old and new stadiums that all of you shared, and if he were forced to pick a runner-up he would single out John’s “Then” memory of Reggie Jackson’s three homers. But at the end of the day, here’s what he said about Barbara’s memories, both “Then” and “Now”….
“I really enjoyed the way she described her relationship with her father – how they bonded over the Yankees during the many years they’ve been fans. She recounted her ‘Then’ memory with both humor (about how her dad called to say Jeter was inviting her to the game and how she screamed herself hoarse) and excitement (I remember Tino’s grand slam very well and the ’98 Yankees team was arguably one of the best ever). And in her ‘Now’ memory, she articulated how her family was going through a tragic time but meeting her dad at the new stadium turned that period into a happy one for them. Well done.”
So there you have it. Barbara, send me an email with your mailing address and I’ll forward it to the book’s publisher so they can ship your copy out to you. To everyone else, many thanks for participating in the giveaway. It was fun!
Seems like Hughes just keeps improving. His performance on Saturday was really impressive, and the Yankees needed it to notch the win over the A’s.
Now, the bad.
Photo: Jim McIsaac
In today’s series finale, Nunez left with a rib cage injury (MRI results pending). What is up with all these injuries??????????????????? The roster is so thin as it is, especially for infielders, and now Nunez goes down too? It’s ridiculous. Don’t these guys have the best in fitness trainers? Why are they always getting hurt? Do they need vitamins? Spinach? Kale?
Forget the kale. A-Rod eats kale and look what happened to him.
All I’m saying is that the situation is too weird to be coincidental, and if I were the Yankees I’d start looking at how these players are preparing for each game and what contortions they’re putting their bodies through during the games.
I feel sorry for Girardi at this point. He really doesn’t have a lot to work with.
The Yankees did zero against the A’s pitcher in tonight’s series opener, and I have zero to say about it.
Well, okay. I’ll complain a little about CC’s pitch count and how decimated the team is because of injuries. Oh, and I’ll mention that the Yankees called up a reliever yesterday named Preston Claiborne.
I started laughing when I heard his name. Doesn’t it sound like the name of a trust fund baby and shouldn’t it have roman numerals after it, like Preston Clairborne III? I wonder if he talks like the Thurston Howell character on “Gillian’s Island.”
P.S. Don’t forget that Sunday is the last day to submit an entry to win the Yankees Then & Now book if you haven’t already entered…..
I’ve been whining about how the Yankees need an infielder, and now we have one. Nelson’s another cast off – the Rockies DFA-ed him – but since the other cast offs have done well I’m hoping he’ll follow suit and help the team with his glove and his bat.
Now what we need is a starting pitcher; Phelps has been weirdly disappointing. I say “weirdly” because he was cruising through those first three innings and I was thinking how he was probably more comfortable as a starter than as a reliever, but then suddenly he lost it. Just like that. Can’t we find somebody who can throw strikes and get people out if Nova’s not the guy? Okay, I’ll give him another chance. I just hate when pitchers give back leads, and the Yanks had one at 4-0.
In the end, they managed to dispense with the Astros. Cano’s homer tied him with O’Neill on the Yankees homer list, which I thought was cool. Overbay just keeps proving what a good first baseman he is. And the previously unhelpful Francisco actually hit one out. (Loved Sterling’s call: “It’s a Ben Francisco treat” as in San Francisco treat as in Rice-a- Roni. Well, Suzyn laughed.)
Our latest injury victim is Robertson. Not a day goes by when somebody doesn’t have something that hurts and now it’s D-Rob’s turn, although it doesn’t sound serious.
Mo, on the other hand, just chugs along as if he’s 20. Lucky us.
As I wrote in a previous post, I received a review copy of a wonderful new pictorial book from Thunder Bay Press called New York Yankees: Then and Now. Just published, it’s a must-have for every Yankee fan because it takes a look at the franchise from its early years when the team was known as the Highlanders to present day. What separates this book from all the other collector’s editions of Yankees history is the unique “then and now” approach to its storytelling. For example, we get a look back at the she-fans in the old days along with today’s she-fans.
All the images in the book are juxtaposed in this way, which provides a unique and fun perspective on the team, its owners, its players and its fans.
Thunder Bay has generously agreed to offer one reader of this blog a free copy of the book, so we’re going to have a cool giveaway contest. Ready? To win your copy, which Thunder Bay will mail directly to you, here’s what you need to do…..
Celebrate the “Then and Now” concept by writing a comment here with your two favorite moments of the Yanks: the first “moment” should be something that happened at the old Yankee Stadium (the “Then” part) and the second “moment” should be something that took place at the new Yankee Stadium (the “Now” part). Your anecdotes can be those that happened to you personally or happened during a game. Up to you. Obviously, there will be many more memories from the old stadium, but hopefully you’ll find something memorable about the new place too.
Submit your comments (one entry to a customer) with your “Then and Now” moments right here in the comments section and by the end of the week (Sunday) I’ll close the giveaway. At that point, I’m going to let my husband Michael judge the entries. He’s got a better brain for Yankees history than I do, and he’ll be completely impartial, I promise.