Posts Tagged ‘Hiroki Kuroda’

The Sweep Was Sweet

Monday, July 21st, 2014

Broom_icon.svg[4]And unexpected. The Reds came into the Stadium having played well, so I hoped for the best from the Yankees but…well, I certainly was surprised by the sweep. Dare I say that Phelps has grown into the job and is looking less like a mere fill-in and more like a guy who can stay in the rotation for awhile? And dare I say that McCarthy may have been a good pickup after all, though two starts aren’t much of a sample size? And dare I say that Kuroda has gas left in the tank despite not getting the win?

The Yankees’ infield defense (I’m looking at you, Brian Roberts) is still suspect and needs tightening up. But maybe, just maybe, the offense is coming around. It’ll never be a Bronx Bombers type offense and I miss that, but Ellsbury continues to impress and Jeter seems renewed and Beltran and McCann have been contributing more.

Bottom line: it’s more fun to watch games when the Yankees win than when they lose so I hope they keep this trend up. Whether they have a legitimate shot to make it into the postseason, as opposed to turning 2014 simply into a farewell tour for Jeter, is still an open question.


The Yankees Won a Game!

Wednesday, June 25th, 2014


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.




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.



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.


Bullpen Meltdown (With a P.S.)

Friday, April 18th, 2014


Ugh. It was a reverse Janer at the Trop tonight. So ugly after Kuroda, who couldn’t go deep into the game, departed and made way for a parade of bad performances. The pen has been great so I can’t ride them too hard, especially Warren, but Cabral? Seriously? Three hit batters and an ejection? Not a good night for him. Apparently, he wasn’t given a reason why he was ejected by Joe West. Well, I have a bulletin for him: you don’t need a reason if you have no idea where the ball is going. Sheesh.

On the positive side, it was just one game and not the end of the world. Also, Beltran didn’t break anything during his crazy tumble over the railing last night. Whew.

Onto the next.

P.S. Just wanted to alert everybody that Willie Randolph has a book out next month (May 13th, to be exact).

Willie Randolph book cover

Here’s the description from the publisher:

From a dusty diamond in Brooklyn to the hallowed grounds of Yankee Stadium, Willie Randolph has always loved the game of baseball, and over the course of his storied career, he has amassed a remarkable list of accomplishments—All-Star second baseman, World Series champion, manager—but, above all, he has been a Yankee. For almost thirty years, Randolph was a part of Yankee lore and mythology, whether playing with the legends Thurman Munson and Reggie Jackson and witnessing the infamous Bronx Zoo at its rowdiest, or coaching as the Core Four of Derek Jeter, Mariano Rivera, Andy Pettitte, and Jorge Posada rose to fame and ushered in a new era of Yankee dominance. In his long-awaited memoir, Randolph shares stories from his life in pinstripes, opening up about the team that raised him and the city that molded him. With unparalleled perspective into three generations of team history, the former Yankee captain offers fresh, firsthand insight into some of the greatest players to ever play the game and the greatest teams ever to call the Bronx their home. From Don Mattingly to Bernie Williams, Goose Gossage to Mariano Rivera, and Billy Martin to Joe Torre, Randolph presents a view of baseball history from the inside, describing how teams became dynasties and managers became legends—all in the shadow of the man who brought them together, the Boss, George Steinbrenner. As fascinating and thoughtful as Randolph himself, The Yankee Way is a moving portrait of a legendary team, a unique city, and a remarkable man.



Uh-Oh. Where Are The Bats?

Wednesday, April 2nd, 2014

It’s always sort of spooky when the season starts with losses. No, two in a row isn’t a trip to the Twilight Zone, but it’s weird that we have all these big stars and they look anemic at the plate. Soriano, in particular, seems to have a hole in his bat.

On a positive note, Kuroda stuck around way longer than I expected and the boys showed some speed on the bases. And Jeter got a nice tip of the cap from the Astros before the game. Supposedly he had dinner with Clemens the previous night, and I can’t figure out why he’d want that guy in his life, let alone have him for a buddy. Yuck.




Friday, August 23rd, 2013


So much for gearing up for the big game tonight. Kuroda’s timing for a dead arm (or whatever was wrong with him) couldn’t have been worse. The Yankees needed him to be his ace-like Kuroda self and he was anything but. All those homers. Jeez. He had nothing. I really hope it was just one bad outing and not a sign of things to come for him.

And then there was the offense. The Rays’ pitcher seems to have the Yankees’ number, given how well he’s shut them down. Sure, they might have been flat after yesterday’s long rain delay, but these are must-win games. No rest for the weary.

I do have a memo to opposing pitchers: Stop Hitting Our Batters! When Gardner got hit on the hand, I thought…Here we go again. He stayed in the game but said afterwards the hand is swollen and he’s getting an MRI tomorrow. Great. Meanwhile, that botched lead off first base in the ninth where he was picked off was not appreciated.

For a lighter way to end this post, here’s a pic someone took of WFAN’s Yankees beat writer Sweeny Murti with Vernon Wells photo bombing him in the background. Cute.

Sweeny Vernon


Ugly – And I’m Not Just Talking About The Game

Saturday, August 17th, 2013
Photo: Mariela Lombard/Daily News

Photo: Mariela Lombard/Daily News

Lawyer Joe Pacopina has always been a sleazy character, but now that he’s defending A-Rod he’s proving just how sleazy. This story in the NY Times in which he hurls some pretty ballsy accusations against the Yankees, Randy Levine in particular, and at MLB, Bug Selig in particular, is mind boggling. How does A-Rod have the gall to step on the field and actually play for the team he’s accusing of every underhanded trick in the book? How does he dispatch his attack dog to speak to the media on his behalf and then look his teammates and manager in the eyes? Do I think the Yankees are capable of playing hardball? You bet. Tacopina invokes George Steinbrenner’s name in the article as if George didn’t hire Howard Spira to ruin Dave Winfield. But to say Levine forced A-Rod to play in the postseason last year knowing he had a torn labrum, just so he’d “look finished as a ballplayer?”

As for the game at Fenway today, it was ugly too. With Kuroda on the mound, the Yankees should have beaten the Red Sox, despite how well Lackey has been pitching, and I was thrilled not to have been blacked out by FOX for a change. Instead, the Yanks frittered away the opportunity with errors and limp bats (and some questionable calls). They looked helpless – a far cry from the team that’s been hot lately.

Tomorrow night takes on even more importance now. I sure hope CC is up to the challenge.



Maybe The Angels Should Have Brought Him

Monday, August 12th, 2013

rally monkey

They almost came back in the ninth, and it would have been a kick in the teeth if they’d rallied, especially since Kuroda was so damn good yet again. (Cy Young Award? I’d vote for him in a heartbeat.) But Robertson, after doing his usual scary reliever thing with the crowd cheering “We want Mo!,” clipped the Angels’ wings. Whew.

Very nice to see Granderson get his power swing back with that homer. And Gardner continues to be an RBI star this season. I’ve been trying not to mention A-Rod, because his presence bothers me, but he seems to figure into every game since he came back, for better or worse, and his caught stealing blunder was weird even for him. Talk about a deer in the headlights.

The Angels aren’t the Angels of old, those tormentors who beat us time after time in painful ways. And I wish this Yankees team had the offense of old instead of having to eek out every little run. But that’s the situation and a win is a win, and I’ll take it gladly.



All Hail Kuroda

Thursday, July 25th, 2013


I didn’t see the game, but after reading about it I’m in awe of what Kuroda has been able to do over the last two seasons. This year he’s been especially valuable and the Yankees should give him a bonus or something. When I think back to the announcement of his signing a couple of years ago, I can’t believe I said, “He’ll never make it in the American League.” I was so wrong. The fact that he seems like such a good guy is nice too.

Still not much offense – no surprise – but enough to make the runs count. It was particularly heartening to see production from Romine, who doesn’t get all that many chances to catch and, therefore, hit.

Texas sure doesn’t have the fire power they used to in the Hamilton era.