Posts Tagged ‘Blue Jays’

Tanaka!

Sunday, September 21st, 2014

masahiro+tanaka1

Wow. It was good to see him again. I only saw highlights of the finale against the Blue Jays, but the guy is beyond amazing. I kept thinking about what might have been had he not gotten injured and instead pitched throughout the full season. It wouldn’t have helped the Yankees score runs, but it could have given them just enough wins to squeak through to the postseason. I hope he doesn’t feel any after effects from going 5+ innings.

Watching Jeter have such a good homestand also doesn’t mean much as far as the team’s fortunes, but for his sake I’m glad he’s going out with a bang not a whimper. He gave the weekend crowds something to cheer about. Audrey? I think you were going to the game on Saturday, right? Tell us how it went despite the loss. It looked like a love fest for the Captain.

So now we’re winding down to the end. There’s lots of chatter about who’ll stay next season and who’ll go, but for right now it’s all about Jeter and getting through The Goodbye. It won’t be easy, but it’s time.

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Slipping Away

Monday, September 1st, 2014

Ice-slipping

The series in Toronto was a big disappointment on so many levels. Not only did Ellsbury get hurt, but once again the Yankees’ good pitching was trumped by weak hitting with an all-too-predictable result. Does anyone else think Kevin Long will be long gone by next April? I’m wondering.

Suffice it to say, the playoffs seem more and more likely to be a party to which the Yanks won’t be invited – and don’t deserve to be. I’m a Yankee fan. I want them to get into the party. But honestly they haven’t played well enough to have earned a spot so that’s just how it is. Maybe it’s Oakland’s year or even KC’s. And then there’s Baltimore. Can’t forget them, not the way they score runs.

As I said before, thank God for the US Open because tennis was far more interesting this Labor Day holiday than baseball.

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I Must Have Put a Jinx on the Yankees

Monday, July 28th, 2014

witch putting a_spell_xlarge

Right after I wrote the last post about how they were winning, they started losing. The series against the Blue Jays did not go according to plan, especially in yesterday’s game. I get that McCann is a catcher, not a first baseman, and that Roberts isn’t the greatest second baseman to ever play baseball and that pitchers, even relievers as successful as Bettances and Robertson have been, give up the ghost on occasion. But…..sloppy, sloppy, sloppy.

And then there’s the lack of offense. The bats did try to keep pace with the Jays, but where are the runs? We need a blowout one of these days, a laugher. There’s a lot of pressure always having to battle it out in 2-1 and 3-2 games. How about a 10-0 score for a change?

That would take a lineup of power hitters, I know, and we don’t have them. Still, if Beltran can get back into the outfield maybe we can sign a true DH/slugger type. (No, not Ryan Howard.) And maybe we could call up some kid with experience at first base if Teixeira continues to be injury prone. And maybe another arm in the rotation that’s not Chris Capuano (is that his name)? He had a nice outing but he’s not the answer.

So what will the trade deadline bring? Anything? I’m thinking the answer is yes. We’re too close to the finish line to give up now.

 

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What’s With All This Winning?

Saturday, July 26th, 2014

Chase Headley gatorade bath

I wasn’t jumping for joy when I heard the Yankees traded for Headley earlier in the week, but I must admit that ever since he had his star turn in the extra inning walk-off win, I’m wondering if he’s our lucky charm. From the minute he was inserted in the lineup (sorry, Solarte and Wheeler), it’s been a good run for the boys. Now they’ve had a nice stretch (not counting the game with all the errors) against the Reds, Rangers and, last night, Blue Jays. And last night they actually scored six runs! Not a 10-run Janer by any means, but it wasn’t their usual two or three either. Yes, the Rangers are a bad team, and yes, we always beat Mark Buehrle. Even Ichiro, who’s been stone cold, got into the act with a homer in that one.

I guess what I’m saying is that with a couple of additional tweaks to the roster – another hitter and one more starter – and some mediocre play by our rivals for the wild card and the division races, we might actually hang in. Fun!

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The Yankees Won a Game!

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014

jumping-for-joy

Not that it’s been that long since they won a game. It just felt that way tonight against the Blue Jays, especially after Reyes’ leadoff homer against Kuroda. But Hiroki settled down and pitched well, and Robertson got the save after having been AWOL for a week.

What to make of this team? They looked so awful lately. The defense was embarrassing and the offense has been, as John Sterling put it, “sporadic.” Plus Chase Whitley came back to earth and Phelps was back to being a guy who isn’t a front-line starter and Nuno…well, there’s not much to say there.

Still, as the Yankees get tomorrow off in preparation for the series against Boston, the rest of the division has problems too so if the heart of the order would start hitting and we could snag a decent starter and Brian McCann would find the bat he left in Atlanta, things might be all right. I’m still hopeful.

 

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Gross

Sunday, June 22nd, 2014
Photo: Kathy Willens, AP

Photo: Kathy Willens, AP

Actually, Girardi called Pearce’s takeout of Kelly at 3rd “malicious,” but when I say “gross” I’m referring to this huge series against the O’s and all the wasted opportunities by the Yankees, who lost 2 of 3. You’d think they’d have some momentum after Beltran’s stirring walk-off win on Friday night but nooo. Nuno’s continued mediocrity on Saturday didn’t help in that game, but the offense couldn’t come through time and time again. And to waste Tanaka’s start today, on a wonderful Old Timer’s Day, no less, was just criminal. Huff, by the way, wasn’t great during his last stint in pinstripes so I’m not sure what he’s doing in the Bronx for another round.

That’s what so puzzling about this team. They looked great against the first-place Blue Jays and so blah against the second-place Orioles. As was pointed out by the YES booth, it’s unlikely any of the division rivals will go on a tear and pull away from the pack so that’s a plus. But the Yankees will have to pick it up when it counts – i.e. with men on base – and the starting pitching has to improve. I’m sure Cashman will make a trade at some point (Cliff Lee has been mentioned), but right now he and Girardi keep saying Nuno will make his next start. All I can say about that is the bats better come alive.

 

 

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Nicely Done, Boys

Thursday, June 19th, 2014

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It’s always sweet to sweep. It’s especially sweet to sweep the team that’s in first place, a spot ahead of you, and that’s what the Yanks did against the Blue Jays. I admit that going into this series I was worried. The Jays had looked invincible. Clearly, they aren’t. The Yankees pitched well and got tremendous production from the 1-2-3 trio of Gardner, Jeter and Ellsbury, and saw guys who’d been struggling at the plate, like Beltran and McCann, come to life. Are there still holes to fill? Definitely. We need a reliable starter to replace Nuno. We need a bona fide long man in the pen. And we need a better reinforcement for Warren, Betances and Robertson than Shawn Kelley, who hasn’t bounced back from his long injury rehab. But this sweep was a great way to kick off the upcoming games against division rivals –  a real confidence booster for the team and Phelps in particular.

 

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Not Sleepless in Seattle

Friday, June 13th, 2014

wakeuo

Well, that was refreshing – a series sweep against the Mariners that included another spectacular performance by Tanaka, some stress-free closes by Robertson, the resurgence of Jeter both at the plate and on the bases, the continuing brilliant play by Ellsbury and the emergence of Chase Whitley, who went deeper into a game last night and proved he can throw strikes and get guys out. Not bad at all. Even Soriano awoke from his slumber and hit a big double in last night’s game.

Of course I would have preferred that Ellsbury not feel tightness in his hip. Nobody seems too worried about it, but he’s felt it before and I hope it’s not a lingering issue. We need him in the lineup – oh, do we need him. He’s the guy that makes things happen, and while the Yankees offense isn’t exactly reminiscent of the Bronx Bombers, they actually scored six runs last night and he’s always in the mix when we’re talking about scoring runs.

Interesting that Cervelli’s about to return. I’d practically forgotten about him and his great spring. I was happy with Murphy and will be sorry to see him get sent down (or, please no, traded). But if Cervelli can be the spark plug we need, so much the better, I guess. And having Shawn Kelley back soon will give the relievers some rest. What we still need is a long man in the pen to replace Phelps and Nuno now that they’re starters.

On to Oakland, which won’t be easy, and then home to face the sizzling Blue Jays, which definitely won’t be easy.

Meanwhile, the NY Rangers have another elimination game tonight. My stomach’s in a knot already……….

 

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Zim and Other Losses

Thursday, June 5th, 2014
Photo: Linda Cataffo/News

Photo: Linda Cataffo/News

Like everyone else who loves baseball, I was saddened by the death of Don Zimmer yesterday. He was one of baseball’s all-time characters and the game needs more like him but will probably not see them. In this age of entourages and PR people and agents who manage every aspect of a player’s life, the outsized personality of a guy like Zim isn’t likely to come along very often. Jeter said he found out Zimmer had died during last night’s game and it couldn’t have helped the already grim mood in the dugout. The Yankees have been losing – often in heartbreaking fashion – and the slide hasn’t been fun to watch.

I admit I’m more into the Stanley Cup playoffs right now, with my native New York Rangers facing my local LA Kings. Playoff hockey is about as exciting as it gets and I’ve got the fever.

Besides, the Yankees aren’t firing on all cylinders. The addition of Beltran in the lineup today might beef up the offense – if, and it’s a big if – his elbow is really OK. But how about the rest of them? Is Soriano just going through a bad slump? Or he is over and done? Is Tex’s wrist going to hold up? Will McCann ever start producing the power we were led to believe he came over with? And, forgive me for saying this, but Jeter hasn’t been very Jeter-ish.

And how about the pitching? Other than Tanaka (please let him win today) and Kuroda’s nice performance last night, what have we got? Whitley’s done well in his turns, but is that a fluke or will he have staying power? Nuno probably needs to go the way of Aceves as in Bye Bye. And honestly, I don’t know what to make of Phelps. The pen is overworked, so it’s hard to judge. Bettances was due for a bad inning or two, but he’s been phenomenal. Same with Warren. Robertson is still finding his way as the closer and hasn’t had all that many opportunities.

Every team in the division has problems except those crazy Blue Jays, who just keep on winning. (Never would have seen that coming.)

 

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It’s Not Always About The Pitching

Thursday, September 19th, 2013
Photo: Seth Wenig / AP

Photo: Seth Wenig / AP

Joe Girardi got creamed tonight in the post-game scrum with the beat writers. After the Yanks dropped the finale to the Blue Jays, he was peppered with questions about why he pulled Kuroda, why he didn’t bring in the lefty kid sooner, why – of all things – he used Joba in a 3-1 game only to have him serve up a three-run homer and not be able to record an out.

But the truth is, as bad as Joba was and has been, the offense didn’t score runs – again. They really did look dead. So whether Joe used this pitcher or that pitcher, if your team doesn’t score you’re not going to win.

I wouldn’t want to be Cashman in the off-season. If Hal is serious about his austerity budget (relatively speaking), where will the players come from? Can’t afford expensive free agents. Don’t have a farm system that would form the nucleus of a team of the future. Do have too many aging and/or non-performing guys currently.

As we head into the weekend series against the Giants and Mo’s farewell ceremony on Sunday, it’s starting to feel like the end of an era. Which is okay, it really is. But it would be nice to know there’s another championship era on the horizon….sooner rather than later.

 

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