Posts Tagged ‘Blue Jays’

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.



Not Dead Yet

Wednesday, September 18th, 2013

hand zombie

The Yankees looked dead for most of tonight’s Game 2 against the Blue Jays, much the same way they looked dead the night before. But – lo and behold – the combo of Hughes and Huff (the “H” boys) held the Jays to only three runs, so the deficit wasn’t insurmountable….barely. The Yanks fought back with four runs of their own, and Mo, despite a shaky ninth that nearly ruined my dinner, got the save after Robertson was given a quick hook in the eighth.

All I want at this point is for them to put up a good fight, and they did.

What’s sad is that yet another team is about to host their farewell ceremony for Mo, with various reporters speculating about what Toronto will give him for a going away gift tomorrow. The whole thing is a little weird and as much as he seems to be enjoying it, it has to be exhausting. In any case, he’s saying goodbye and I’m trying not to notice.



Bad Body Language

Tuesday, September 17th, 2013

This pic was from a loss to the Tigers in the postseason, but it typifies the helplessness and haplessness of the Yankees right now. How frustrating it must have been to get a great outing from Pettitte (another great outing, by the way) against a last place division rival and not be able to score any runs – especially when the scoreboard screamed, “Take advantage of the teams that lost tonight!”

Sad, but inevitable. Soriano, who has provided such an offensive spark, told the beat writers that he can’t generate any power because of his thumb and if it weren’t September he wouldn’t be playing. Ditto A-Rod, who seems not to have any body parts that don’t hurt. And on and on it goes.

I was taking my afternoon walk at the beginning of the game and listening to John and Suzyn on my At Bat app. In the top of the first, A-Rod hit one deep and Sterling went into his home run call, only to say, “Oh. Sorry. It was caught.” Made me furious. What an egregious mistake to give fans hope early on. He’s been doing that all year but this time it really got to me.

Maybe it’s all getting to me. It’s definitely getting to the Yankees, judging by that body language.



Wednesday, August 28th, 2013


My heart sank when the Dead Arm version of Kuroda showed up again. Being down so many runs early is such a bummer. I’m sure it can’t be easy for the players either, even though they always believe they can come back.

I was worried about this game as soon as I heard the Yankees were facing a pitcher they hadn’t seen before – rarely a good thing. The pattern continued as the batters looked helpless tonight. Swing and miss. Swing and miss. Ugly.

Yes, Mark Reynolds, our new Mr. I’ll-Play-Any-Position, had a nice game, but without Cano in the lineup, Nunez too, an already punch-less group became even more punch-less.

I’m sad right now. Girardi keeps saying, “We just have to win games,” but the statement is sounding hollow. We dropped the series to the Blue Jays and we can’t get it back.

Sorry to be such a Debbie Downer. We still have a month left of Yankees baseball, win or lose, and that’s something to celebrate.



Tuesday, August 27th, 2013
Photo:  USA Today Sports Images

Photo: USA Today Sports Images

The moment was too gruesome to contemplate. There was Cano at the plate against Happ, the same pitcher who’d plunked Granderson on the hand and broken it, getting hit on the hand and writhing in pain. As we now know, the hand isn’t broken. We also know that if Happ can’t throw inside to lefties without breaking their hands, he shouldn’t be pitching in the major leagues. Enough already.

And then there was our emergency backup second baseman: Nunez. Whatever he did to his knee/leg didn’t look pretty, and I hope he’s OK. At this rate, maybe the ball boy can play second.

On the plus side, the Yanks beat the Blue Jays in convincing fashion, thanks mostly to Soriano. Who doesn’t love all the homers since he joined the team? No one. He’s a streaky hitter, but he’s given us much-needed power and I’m grateful for it.

As A-Rod’s homer total gets closer to that of Willie Mays, I have to admit I’m cringing. Not only is Willie an icon, but if I’m the Yankees and I’m stuck paying my problem child a $10 million bonus during a season in which he’s played a handful of games and declared war on everybody, I’m not thrilled.

Pettitte has been pitching like Pettitte lately, which is a big relief. I don’t know what was off with him earlier in the season, but he seems to have corrected the problem. I wish he’d pass along his secret to CC.

Another win tomorrow would be much appreciated, so I can keep telling myself we have a fighting chance.


Ichiro Pulled An Abreu

Monday, August 26th, 2013

Deer in the Headlights

Remember how Abreu seemed to fear crashing into the right field wall? In tonight’s series opener against the Blue Jays, Ichiro, a HOF outfielder who is usually so reliable at his position, looked lost, committing an error that really cost the Yankees. I read that he was so embarrassed after his misplay he wanted to go straight home. Poor guy.

Of course, the “L” wasn’t all his fault by any means. Hughes was pitching. (Need I say more?) And the offense couldn’t bring runners home. What a frustrating game, especially knowing the Rays had been trounced by the Royals earlier in the day.

All these remaining games mean so much that every loss feels like a tragedy to me. Yes, the Jays were due to beat the Yanks and yes, there’s still time for a miracle, but not if the offensive output continues to be a couple of runs here and there and not if the starters can’t give us six innings.

I guess it was too much to expect Jeter to show up wearing his Superman cape and saving the day. He’s rusty. He needs playing time. I get it. Still, it’s comforting just to have him back for the rest of the season, however long that lasts.




Big Time Sweep

Thursday, August 22nd, 2013

Broom_icon.svg[4]Thanks to the long rain delay I was actually able to see the latter part of today’s game. What a great way to end the series. Wow. Well, except for Shawn Kelley, who was scary toward the end. Luckily Robertson didn’t do his Houdini act in the ninth and spared me the nerves, earning the save in place of Mo.

I didn’t see the Vernon Wells play live, but the replays sure looked like the ball was caught and the Yankees got a break on the call. I’m not feeling the least bit guilty about it either, because we’ve been getting our fair share of bad calls lately and we were due for one to go our way.

What I liked about this one was that we got great starting pitching from Andy, power from Granderson and hits and sacrifices and steals mixed in – an all-around good performance by the boys.

Does this weekend’s series in Tampa take on even more importance now that we’re inching tantalizingly close to a wild card spot? Oh, yeah. I’m nervous about it. Things at the Trop can get crazy, and the Rays have those young starters that can shut down an offense. Plus the turf won’t be easy on A-Rod and I suspect he’ll have to DH. Who plays third? There’s Reynolds in a platoon situation, but are we talking about David Adams too? I just hope whoever shows up is ready to play as if his life depended on it.



Did I Jinxy Nixy?

Wednesday, August 21st, 2013

imagesI couldn’t believe that after writing in last night’s post about how valuable Jayson Nix has been to the Yankees this year, Dickey throws a pitch that breaks Nix’s hand. Could. Not. Believe. It. So sorry he’ll be gone now. What a strange, strange season.

On the happy side, I cheered when Ichiro got hit #4,000 in his first at bat and the game came to a halt so everybody could give him a rousing ovation. Nice, nice moment for him, and he seemed genuinely touched by the outpouring.

The rest of the game was a nail biter. Adam Warren pitched well, but David Huff pitched even better. Wow, who knew? He held the Blue Jays scoreless and kept the score at 2-2 – until Soriano’s late blast had me pumping my fist. That homer felt so good because we really do need to win every game and things were getting hairy. Mo’s save was priceless. He struck out the first guy, allowed a single to Davis and picked Davis off at second. He just might be the best infielder we have right now, not to mention the best closer ever. How will we survive without him?

Never mind. No point in thinking about that now. The Yankees pulled off another win and that’s what counts. Some divine intervention wouldn’t hurt as we go down the stretch. The clock is ticking and the schedule is shrinking.





Tuesday, August 20th, 2013

Photo: Reuters

Without fanfare or drama, Jayson Nix has quietly made himself essential to the 2013 Yankees. When he was on the DL, there was a noticeable lack of depth on the team, offensively and defensively. He’s never going to be a star, but when he’s in the lineup he always manages to do something to help us win – never more so than today. The Yanks owe much of their doubleheader sweep of the Blue Jays to him. I’d really hate to see him DFA-ed when Jeter comes back.

Also an unlikely hero? Chris Stewart, whose homer in Game 1 saved the day. Well, Mo saved it literally, but Stewart’s homer was big. I’m not a huge fan of his catching ability (too many passed balls), but he’s given us much more than I expected this year.

Cano’s on fire, just as Soriano was during his run (which sadly appears over for now). And the starting pitching in the doubleheader was almost uniformly good: Nova in the opener and Hughes in the nightcap. The Jays were without Bautista after his injury and they’re not exactly tearing up the division the way they were supposed to, but today was all about beating a team we needed to beat.

The Yankees are still a long shot to make the playoffs – the Red Sox would have to start showing signs of a collapse and they haven’t – but at least they’re making the games fun again. I watched on and off throughout the day and I had the sense that they’d find a way to win – something I didn’t have a few weeks ago.


Another Win And A Visit From Hal

Saturday, May 18th, 2013

Photo: Debby Wong/USA TODAY Sports

Hal looks like a hilarious guy, doesn’t he? Seriously stiff, but maybe he loosens up at home.

Anyhow, he showed up to greet fans and talk to the media before today’s win over the Jays, and he said, as if it were obvious, “Of course the Yankees are in first place. I knew all along that Travis Hafner would lead us to a world championship.”

No, he didn’t really say that, but he did express early confidence in this Yankees team.

And why not? They just keep beating up on the Blue Jays and I wish we played them every game. They looked pathetic on defense, really dreadful. As Paul O’Neill said during the YES broadcast, “Somebody – the manager or one of their players – needs to get angry in the clubhouse.”

As for our side, what a day for Cano. Hal can sound all business-as-usual about the contract talks with Cano’s agent, but how do you not pay this guy.

Phelps did a great job for the second game in a row.

Either this team of oldsters and youngsters is really gelling or the other teams we’ve been playing aren’t very good.