Posts Tagged ‘Angels’

He Doesn’t Look Like a Heavyweight But….

Thursday, July 2nd, 2015
Photo: Elsa/Getty Images North America

Photo: Elsa/Getty Images North America

Chasen Shreve (gotta love some of these names) is becoming one in New York. A string bean-sized reliever, Shreve has gone from a nobody in the minors to Girardi’s go-to guy in the pen delivering time after time. Last night in Anaheim, he took care of a bases-loaded threat with relative ease and allowed the Yankees to go on to victory in the series finale against the Angels. Also remarkable is the fact that they had an awful road trip but still managed to come out of it in second place in the division. Teams are bunched together and it’ll be interesting to see which one breaks out of the pack at the end. One minute the Rays are on top, the O’s the next. I wouldn’t be surprised if Toronto, with their crazy-good hitters, also sees first place at some point. With all the jockeying for position, the Yanks have a real shot to end up on top.

If they do get into the playoffs, will fans embrace them then? What’s been startling about this team is how apathetic people are toward them, myself included. I’ve admitted it from the beginning of the season. The fact that none of the players was voted onto the All-Star team speaks volumes, along with the low ratings on YES and the lackluster attendance at the Stadium. No charisma on the part of the players, some say. No stars now that Jeter’s gone, others speculate. Too old, a lot of people are saying. They don’t play fun, someone wrote on Twitter the other day.

They don’t play fun. I thought about this one. Maybe when Ellsbury comes back and starts scampering around the bases, igniting Gardner along with him, they’ll play fun. Maybe when Andrew Miller comes back and starts firing fastballs at hitters again, they’ll play fun. And maybe if A-Rod goes on a tear and hits A-Bomb after A-Bomb, they’ll play fun. I don’t know. It just seems that no one is jumping up and down to see Carlos Beltran, Chase Headley, Didi Gregorious, Brian McCann and Stephen Drew. It’s a shame. I wonder what Hal is planning to do about it all. Some have suggested that Hank should get back into the mix because he says and does provocative, attention-getting things. What we need isn’t a clown though. We need a bright and shining young star (read: Mike Trout).

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Another This…Against the Angels Yet

Sunday, June 7th, 2015

Broom_icon.svg[4]Boy, do I remember dreading whenever we’d play the Angels. They used to do bad things to the Yankees. We’d spazz out on defense. We’d pitch badly. We’d be limp with the bats.

No more.

This weekend’s series was a beat-down of the once formidable “Halos.” I didn’t watch every inning of every game, but I caught enough of each one to see that the Yanks were punishing their starters. Yes, they almost gave away that one game, scarily, and Betances didn’t look very Betances-ish. And while Didi continued to make errors (or maybe one error), he also made some great plays at shortstop.

But the big news is and continues to be the resurgence of power hitters A-Rod, Tex and McCann. (Having Gardner and others pop them out of the Stadium is nice too.) It’s gotten to the point where not only are all the broadcasters talking about Tex’s gluten free diet but also picking the Yankees to win what’s turning out to be a mediocre division.

It’s only June. Early June. So a lot can and will happen between now and September. But I had to laugh at myself as I listened to the Fox guys last night rhapsodizing over this team. I nodded my head as if I hadn’t been a doubter, am still a doubter, and said, “Well, maybe they’re better than I thought.”

 

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All Hail Nuno

Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

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He doesn’t look like a pitcher. He’s sort of ungainly. And I wasn’t expecting a whole lot from him in tonight’s series finale against the Angels, but he very nearly shut them down completely. He was great – just what this team needed.

The tribute to Jeter before the game was very classy and respectful, and he seemed to enjoy it, especially the presentation of the pinstriped paddle board. I was hoping they’d do a funny scoreboard video starring the rally monkey, but it was a straightforward montage of clips – the same clips we’ll likely see at every stadium this season. It’s still hard to believe this is a farewell tour for the Captain, whether he calls it that or not. I can’t imagine the Yankees without him, but I do get that the time is right for him to walk away. I hope he puts together a group of investors and buys the Yanks someday. I loved his homer, btw.

Meanwhile, the poor Angels made a mess of the early innings tonight. It was a comedy of errors and miscues for them right from the get-go. Oh well. Not my problem. I was just glad we won. We left the bases loaded twice, but I can’t complain about nine runs.

 

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Brian!

Tuesday, May 6th, 2014
Photo: Kim Klement/USA Today Sports

Photo: Kim Klement/USA Today Sports

He may have gray hair nowadays, but Brian Roberts proved tonight that he can still deliver in the clutch. His homer to put the Yanks ahead of the Angels was a nice surprise. Too bad Kuroda didn’t get the win, because he pitched great, and the “w” went to Shawn Kelley, who did not. Robertson got the save – I feel as if it’s been ages since I saw him on the mound – and the Yankees halted their skid. Whew. Fun game to watch except for Solarte’s adventures in the infield.

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What a Nightmare

Monday, May 5th, 2014

LAZ+DIAZ

If I lived back east, I would have been thrilled to sleep through tonight’s atrocity at Angels Stadium. Instead, I had to witness Yankees’ relief pitchers walk six batters – the Angels actually batted around without a hit – and blow what had been a tense pitchers’ duel between Phelps and Weaver.

Home plate ump Laz Diaz didn’t help. With bases loaded with Yankees and nobody out, Gardner stepped in and was the beneficiary of a couple of truly bad calls. Girardi came out to argue, got tossed and hung around to have what looked like an aneurism. He and Diaz have history and Diaz has ejected him before, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen Joe go nuts like he did tonight. Sheesh.

So yeah, Diaz is a lousy ump, but that doesn’t excuse the parade of grotesqueness that was Shawn Kelley, Matt Thornton and Preston Claiborne. The game had been tied at 1-1 and what did they do? Lose the game. How do you not throw strikes? Ever?

Lost in all this was Phelps’ terrific performance. Just great. Ichiro laid down the most beautiful bunt; I hope the other players were taking notes. And Jeter’s bat had life after all, although he did hit into a double play and kill a rally.

I’ll try to swallow this bitter pill, but it’ll be hard.

 

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So Long, Angels

Monday, April 28th, 2014

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I always enjoy beating the Angels. Maybe it’s because they’ve given the Yankees so much trouble over the years when guys like Garret Anderson, Howie Kendrick and Chone Figgins drove us mad. Or maybe it’s because Mike Sciosca’s teams are supposed to be the kings of small ball and beat us with their scrappy play.

So it was especially sweet to win this weekend’s series against them, despite the addition of a healthy Pujols and his 500 home runs and despite the endless string of injuries to our players. (Solarte has a sore shoulder? Gardner has a sore foot? Billingsly, who was up in the majors for exactly five minutes, is on the DL already?)

Last night’s game was fun – tense, but fun. Everybody was saying how “off” Tanaka was. Really? I’ll take his “off” any day. True, he actually walked people and hit a batter, but how about all those strikeouts and how he never unravels? I think he’s turning into our ace, I really do, and when he pitches I have so much confidence that we’ll win the game. Of course, we couldn’t hit their flame thrower, but in the end we didn’t have to. We walked and passed-balled our way to enough runs to get it done.

And now we have the red hot Cano to look forward to. He’s been tearing it up for Seattle, so I’m sure he’ll be just as tough against the Yanks. It’ll be great to see him again, if bittersweet.

 

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LOL

Friday, April 25th, 2014

Tonight’s game at the Stadium against the Angels actually made me laugh. It was yet another lopsided score, this time with the Yanks being on the losing end of the reverse Janer. Nothing went right, and it wasn’t worth watching. At all. I felt sorry for the kid they brought in after Kuroda’s early departure. He took one for the team, but oh my.

“We didn’t pitch well,” Brett Gardner said. “We didn’t hit well.”

That about sums it up, Gardy. Better luck tomorrow.

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You Mean We Can’t Win Every Game Now?

Thursday, August 15th, 2013

LaughingWomanI knew the streak had to come to an end at some point, but I was hoping for a four-game sweep of the Angels. Hughes wasn’t bad at all, so that wasn’t the problem. C.J. Wilson was. He’s tough, no question, and I wish Cashman had signed him when he was a free agent. The Yanks did have scoring chances from what I saw as I watched off and on throughout the afternoon, and they did stage a ninth inning comeback. But thanks to a massive fail by Boone Logan and an out-of-nowhere offensive burst from the little known former Yankee, Chris Nelson, the deficit was too great to overcome.

Oh well. Now it’s on to Boston where it won’t get any easier. I’d say this is a do-or-die series at Fenway this weekend. If we take the series, there’s still a fighting chance for us. If we drop the series or, worse, get swept, it’ll be see you next year.

Maybe.

 

 

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An Even Better Janer, Thanks To Him

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013
Photo: nypost.com

Photo: nypost.com

Soriano was pure magic tonight in the Yankees’ second blowout in a row. My dearly departed grandmother could have hit some of Jered Weaver’s fat pitches into the seats, but Soriano did it at just the right moments and with great style. I agree with the fan above: Welcome Back, Sori.

Oh, those precious runs, one after the other. When was the last time the offense overshadowed a starting pitcher’s performance? Nova wasn’t un-hittable by any means, but he kept the Angels from scoring more than a couple of times. I’ve gotten to the point where I really look forward to the games he pitches, almost as much as I look forward to Kuroda’s outings.

Can this team keep it up? Who knows, but this little streak has been a lot of fun and has made me love watching again.

 

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An Actual Janer!

Tuesday, August 13th, 2013

LaughingWomanAre the Angels the new Twins? All I know is I wish the Yankees could face their pitching every day of the week, because the offense exploded tonight and it doesn’t happen very often. It was especially satisfying to see Soriano give us the homers he was brought to the team to deliver. Nunez, too, had a good night at the plate, although his error-plagued defense continued. CC finally got a win, but what was up with all the walks? At least he wasn’t pounded, I guess. And poor Bettances didn’t make much of a first impression, having to be bailed out by Joba, the mop up guy.

Anyhow, it was fun to have the Yanks scoring all those runs, not to mention win their third game in a row. Is this what is known as a second half streak? I hope so.

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