Posts Tagged ‘Blue Jays’

Everybody Had a Big Bat

Wednesday, September 2nd, 2015

big bat

What an insane game this afternoon at Fenway. By the time I tuned in, the Yankees’ second inning rampage was over, but I was excited anyway. And the fact that they tacked on a few more runs for a bona fide Janer was great too. What wasn’t great was that Girardi had to use Betances and Miller in what should have been a blowout. Oh well. There’s an off day tomorrow and we needed to keep pace with the Jays, who amazingly won again.

Also not great was the news during the Boston series that Teixeira is on crutches with a more severe bone bruise than previously thought. Will we see him again this season? Who the hell knows. What’s clear is that the team won’t be at the same strength without him, offensively and defensively. I’m all for giving Bird playing time, but he’s not Tex.

I guess the biggest question going into the weekend series against the Rays is will Toronto ever lose? I figured they’d be tough after all the trades they made, but they’re on a ridiculous run these days and somebody needs to cool them off and give us a chance to retake the division lead. Or maybe we’ll just have to win the rest of the games. Every. Single. One.

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Beltran: For Better or Worse

Sunday, August 16th, 2015
Photo: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Photo: Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

Carlos Betran was the hero of Games 1 and 2 of this weekend’s big series at Toronto and the goat of Game 3. (Well, not the goat exactly. There were many reasons the Yankees lost, but his misplay of the ball in right field certainly was entertaining.) His homers were thrilling and important and just what the team needed to climb back on top of the division in what promises to be a seesaw battle the rest of the way, not only with the Jays but throw in the Rays and O’s too, plus the Red Sox, who seem to be playing with understandable passion after the news that John Farrell has cancer.

Severino, while win-less since being called up to pitch in the majors, has proven he belongs. The kid’s good. And Tanaka was spectacular on Saturday, giving the bullpen a much-needed break by pitching his first complete game of the season. How his fragile arm will hold up after that outing is anyone’s guess. Evo, too, has been dependable, more each time he takes the mound.

I honestly don’t know where the Yankees will land by the end of September. Maybe they’ll peter out. Maybe they’ll go on a tear. Maybe, as I wrote above, they’ll continue to seesaw with the other teams. I really hope they hang in, because it makes this year’s pennant race truly exciting.

I’ll be there to cheer them on against the Twins tomorrow night. I’ll be wearing my purple Yankees cap to celebrate the great work of the Alzheimer’s Association and to honor my dear friend Peter Grad, who died suddenly two weeks ago. Peter and his wife Laurie co-chaired their annual “A Night at Sardi’s” benefit in LA for many years and raised millions for Alzheimer’s research and treatment. If anyone would like to make a donation in Peter’s name, go here.

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A Win – Finally!

Friday, August 14th, 2015

Nuns halleluja gif

What a relief. When McCann hit a homer early in last night’s game against the Indians, the series finale, I said, “Please don’t let this be it. They need to pile on.” And so they did. I don’t know whether Stephen Drew is eating his Wheaties or going gluten free like Tex or what, but he’s been Babe Ruth lately despite his pitiful batting average, and any runs the Yankees have scored have been due to him and other bottom-of-the-order types. But last night Ellsbury awoke from his slumber, which is exactly what this team needed. Gardner followed suit. Beltran has quietly improved. Didi’s been off-the-charts great. And a victory finally came.

Evo seems to be our stopper. He keeps winning even though it’s never really pretty. I don’t know what’s up with Betances and Miller, but they’re scaring me lately. They’re always turn their innings into dramas. I remember the days when they took care of hitters one-two-three.

A-Rod looks spent. Has his comeback runs its course? Or does he just need a day or two off? I guess we’ll see in Toronto, where Girardi plans to rest him on Saturday, I think. The fact is he’s old. He’s had two hip surgeries. As good as he’s been, he might have hit a wall. Or not.

The star of the Cleveland series in my mind, despite the losses, was Didi. Has he ever turned things around. He’s been his own highlight reel at shortstop, and his offense has been surprisingly reliable. I take back all the bad things I said about him.

Oh, and I must mention Greg Bird, our latest rookie to join the team. We’ve all been hearing a lot about Bird – what a great hitter he is, how Cashman wouldn’t part with him in any trades, etc., and last night we got to see him in the flesh. Even though he went 0-for-5, I have to say he looked like he knew what to do at the plate and he hit the ball hard a couple of times. I think he’s got potential.

And now another series against the (gulp) Blue Jays at their place. I fear their offense. I fear their pitching (Dickey even more than Price). I fear their turf. (Why can’t they get grass already.) But maybe, just maybe, the Yankees are feeling better about themselves after the win last night and will play like the first place team they used to be.

 

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Ugh

Sunday, August 9th, 2015

Broom_icon.svg[4]I enjoy putting up the broom image when it’s the Yankees who are doing the sweeping. But getting swept? Not as much fun. At all.

How do the bats go limp at the same time and for three days straight? I get that they faced a knuckleballer and David Price, but the other Jays’ pitchers aren’t Cy Young. I mean seriously. What a miserable showing against a team that’s locked and loaded since the trade deadline and that’s breathing down our necks in second place. Toronto was the team that required turning it up a notch, and the Yanks, specifically the offense, couldn’t do it. I’m glad I wasn’t at any of those games. Must have been deadly dull sitting there watching zero runs.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention Brett Gardner getting hit in the head by a ball hurled by a fan. How pathetic. I’ve never understood the whole “Let’s throw the opposing team’s home run ball back on the field” thing. Don’t people want a ball as a souvenir, no matter who hit it? Or if not, how about giving it to a kid who might want it? Or just donate it to charity, for God’s sake.

Ok, I’ll try not to rant, but this series got me mad. And mostly I’m mad because Cashman did nothing before the trade deadline and the Jays did everything to make their team better. The Yanks are still a powerhouse, no question, but they could have made tweaks here and there and didn’t, aside from the injured and therefore useless Ackley.

Bah humbug.

 

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The Big Guy Isn’t Pitching Big

Thursday, May 7th, 2015

ny_g_sabathia_b1_400

He wasn’t bad last night in the finale against Toronto and the offense didn’t help much, but he hasn’t won a game yet in 2015 and he’s just not dominating hitters the way he used to. He knows he has to “pitch” more than throw heat now that he’s got a bum knee and isn’t a young stud anymore, but it hasn’t come together for him yet. The question is will it? The Yankees can’t afford to lose every time he’s out there. He needs a confidence booster – one of those games where the offense goes on a tear (a Janer would work) – and then maybe he’ll get on track.

Meanwhile, the Yankees lost the series with Toronto and last night was particularly irritating because we always beat Mark Buerhle, who must have been overjoyed that we didn’t hand him another “L.”

Next up is four games at home against Baltimore – never an easy task. I wish Pineda could pitch every game at this point, but mostly I wish we could bring the 2009 CC back. Sigh.

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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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