Posts Tagged ‘Joe Girardi’

ALCS Game 2: Ice Cold

Sunday, October 14th, 2012

The above just about sums up the situation, folks. Once again the starting pitching was spectacular, but the bats were dead. Huge applause for Kuroda, especially since everybody was worried about him going on three days rest. He came through in a big, big way.

Yes, he ran into trouble in the 8th and what trouble it turned out to be.


As we all saw from replays, Swisher’s throw was a good one and so was Cano’s tag, but the ump blew it. I would have gone crazy if I were Girardi and, though he got tossed (on his birthday, no less – what a tough week for him), there really wasn’t much point. As he said in his post-game remarks, the call was awful and could have been rectified with instant replay, but he also agreed that it was the offense, not the umpiring, that cost the Yankees the game.

I was interested in his perspective on the fact that all the hitters – we’re talking about a collective swoon with an exception here and there – have looked baffled by the Tigers’ pitching and the Orioles’ pitching. He mentioned that they had to “make adjustments.” What could those adjustments be at this point? Will they suddenly learn how to hit off-speed stuff? Stop taking big swings when a poke through the infield would do? Change their batting stances? I wouldn’t want to be Kevin Long right now.

I was hoping that they’d all rise to the occasion and win one for the Captain, but they just seem impossibly out of sync. Very disheartening as well as puzzling.

But we’ve seen this before, this “going cold.” It’s like one of those flu bugs that sweeps through the clubhouse and infects everybody. Maybe they should take antibiotics.

All that said, it pains me to hear the fans booing, as justified as they may be. Bald Vinny, who leads the Bleacher Creatures in the roll call, was tweeting about how Swisher wouldn’t face the stands and joke around with them as he usually does but rather warmed up behind home plate before the game and never acknowledged them during the game. (Nice touch, by the way, when the Creatures included Jeter in the roll call.) Clearly, there’s a lot of fan rage out there. It pains me, as I said. They’re still our Yankees, for better or worse.




ALDS Game 4: Running On Empty

Thursday, October 11th, 2012

Empty by Kristel Rae Barton

Just as an example of the above, the quartet of Cano/Granderson/Swisher/Martin were 0-for-20 in tonight’s loss to the Orioles. Even Nix had a couple of hits, along with Jeter’s two and one apiece from Ichiro and A-Rod. But let’s face it: the bats didn’t show up. I mean Joe Saunders? Not Cy Young.

Still, did anyone really think this series wouldn’t go to 5 games? Not the way these two teams have played each other all year and not the way the Yankees have been hitting.

The one bright spot during tonight’s 13-innings was our pitching. Hughes was great, very impressive. So were the relievers, all of them, including Phelps, who came in quickly, did his job and lost it at the end there.

And Joba. Poor, poor Joba. Does the guy have bad luck or what? I felt so sorry for him when he got hammered by the broken bat. I’m glad the x-rays were negative, but that was some welt on his elbow. Of course, a little levity was in order after the incident and someone on Twitter wrote: “Clemens would have thrown the bat at Wieters.”

Now there’s a game 5 in a matter of hours. Why a start time of 5pm Eastern/2pm Pacific I’ll never understand. Can’t MLB give the players a few more hours to regroup? And how about the fans who are still working (like me) or commuting home at that hour? I get that the winning team will have to play on Saturday, but what difference could a few hours make?

So. Now we’re down to the proverbial wire with our ace on the mound; that part’s comforting. What’s not comforting is the offense. Pinch-hitting for A-Rod is no longer the easy answer. Clearly, everybody needs to step up or it’s goodbye till next year. I was hoping the boys would win tonight in memory of Girardi’s dad. Maybe they’ll answer the call in Game 5.



ALDS Game 3: Holy Ibanez !&*$%+_@!!!

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012


There really are no words…

But I’ll find some.

Mystique and aura were alive and well at Yankee Stadium as tonight’s improbable 12th inning win demonstrated. Even though the Yanks were down 2-1 for much of the game, it felt like the score was 100-1. Kuroda was great on the big stage and got no run support, as usual. Every at bat, except two by Jeter and Martin, was an exercise in futility. And I’m talking about everyone’s at bats, not just A-Rod’s. When Jeter started hobbling around, I figured we were really in trouble. Even Mo’s presence, both on the mound for the ceremonial first pitch and in the dugout urging his teammates on, didn’t calm me.

And then, as if by a miracle, Girardi “went with his gut,” as he said in his post-game remarks. No binder. No matchup mumbo-jumbo. Just his instinct. And what did his instinct tell him in the bottom of the 9th? Pinch hit Ibanez for A-Rod. It was a bold move and look how it turned out.

Boom. Tie score. Suddenly, we had a ballgame.

D-Rob’s second inning of work in the top of the 12th nearly caused me to have a psychotic break. Why didn’t he get out of Tex’s way and let him catch that ball???? And then the bobble over to the first? Crazy making. But his pitching was impressive and he ended up with the win, thanks, of course, to Rauuuul.

When TBS first showed the homer, I swear I thought it was a replay of the first one. It was only when he was mobbed at home plate that it dawned on me that we’d won the game. Wow. Just wow.

Why Matusz would throw him anything good to hit I have no idea, but not my problem. I’m just so happy right now.

And I’m hoping Hughes will finish this series and give us a chance to breathe.




Seriously, Joe?

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012

I try not to second guess Girardi’s bullpen moves even though I think he’s overly devoted to his binder. My feeling is you stop worrying about lefty-righty match-ups if your starter is doing well and his pitch count is manageable, and you let him keep pitching. Especially at this time of year. Starters should be going 100-120 pitches (except Andy). They can rest their arms over the winter.

Tonight felt like an egregious mistake by the Yankees skipper. Hughes was zipping along until the 7th when he loaded the bases. But there were two outs and he was under 100 pitches and he’d handled Denard Span with relative ease earlier in the game. Why pull him for Boone Logan, who’s been iffy lately? And once Logan got into trouble, why leave him in? The camera caught Hughes F-bombing and I don’t blame him.

I was even less happy when the Yanks couldn’t come back and win, given the loss by the O’s. Talk about a missed opportunity. This one hurt.



A Picture’s Worth 1,000 Words

Saturday, September 8th, 2012

This was the “final out” of the game tonight, according to first base umpire Jerry Meals. But as the YES camera clearly showed, Tex’s hand was on the bag and the ball wasn’t even close to Reynolds’ glove. Blown calls happen a lot, as we know, but when they happen in a crucial situation in a pennant race, it’s an abomination.

Also maddening? Girardi didn’t argue. “What can I do?” he said. “The game was over.” Plus, Meals will be tomorrow’s home plate ump. But if he’d argued, he would have been supporting his player. And he might have coaxed the umps to caucus and make a different ruling.

Lost in the ruckus was the poor outing by CC – poor by his standards. Clearly, his velocity’s down and I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s playing hurt. Is surgery in his off-season future? Maybe. And Tex? He couldn’t run out that ball so he dove into first base, aggravating the hamstring all over again.

The Yankees blew their own chances in the game (could Curtis Granderson be any colder right now?), but it really did look like they might make a valiant comeback. Speaking of which, A-Rod seems rejuvenated. Not a bad thing.

I did feel sorry for Markakis, who now has a broken thumb thanks to CC’s inside pitch, but that’s baseball and there’s no crying, as the saying goes.



CC Looms Large

Friday, August 3rd, 2012

Photo: AP/Kathy Willens


I laughed when Girardi went out to the mound in the ninth. Supposedly, the skipper wanted to give his ace a “pep talk,” but more likely he wanted to be talked out of pulling him in favor of Soriano. CC stared him down and stayed in to finish up, and the Yankees beat the Mariners is a tidy game. Our ace was truly ace-like. In the early going, I really thought he might throw a no-hitter; he was that dominant.

Other things I loved about the win:

  • Jeter’s hustle on a comebacker that resulted in a double.
  • Tex’s free swinging, which suggested that his wrist is fine.
  • Martin not only catching CC for the first time this season but getting his hits too.
  • Chavez’s fan-aided homer.

Here’s what I didn’t love:

  • Chavez’s “stiff” leg/foot/something.

Nothing against Jayson Nix and our newly acquired Casey McGehee, but Chavez has played a brilliant third base and I’d hate to lose him to an injury. Hate.

I’ll end on a happy note. The Yanks are back to winning. Yay.



What A Cliffhanger!

Saturday, June 23rd, 2012

My God, that game was nerve wracking. I was blacked out by FOX as usual, so I listened to John and Suzyn, who made things even more tense. John kept saying, “It is high, it is far, it is….caught” whenever the Yankees would go long but not long enough, and then he’d say, “It’s a fly ball deep to…it’s gone” whenever we did go long enough. It made me nuts.

It looked like Nova wouldn’t get any run support at all – I’m sorry but the RISP thing is a problem, no matter what Girardi says – until Ibanez came to our rescue and Chavez put us ahead. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: we have a fabulous bench this year.

Errors by Jeter and A-Rod? What was that about?

I honestly don’t know if I can take a full season of Robertson’s Houdini shtick. He either walks people or strikes them out, and he needs to stop it.

Nice job by Rapada, Logan and Soriano to hold the Mets down and help break the losing streak. I feel a lot better about heading into tomorrow night against Dickey. At least we won’t get swept.


Philthy (With Update)

Friday, June 15th, 2012

Whether the change in Hughes has been the result of Andy Pettitte’s mentoring or just being healthy, the guy has turned his career around in his last starts and he’s making me eat my words about him. I still wish he’d go deeper into games, but he was great tonight. The Nationals came into the series with all the hype, but they got schooled by Hughes, who didn’t give up a homer for the first time this season.

For awhile it looked like the Yanks as a team were going to win their first game of the season without a homer, but Granderson nixed that with his blast. It was a satisfying victory. The offense, the defense, the pitching, the pen (welcome back, D-Rob!) were all fantastic (not counting Swisher’s ungraceful leap at the ball early on).

I got the game on the MLB Network and had to listen to some mind-numbingly boring stats (“The Nationals and Yankees play best on Friday nights”). And judging by people on Twitter, John and Suzyn were unhappy that their broadcast booth was so high up at the Nats’ ballpark. But it looked like a beautiful night for baseball and we won and nobody got hurt for a change. Plus, Girardi got his 500th “W” as our manager – deservedly. Oh, and Justice Sotomayor was at the game just like we predicted she would be. Love her.

Update: Hey, look who met up at the game! Friends of the Blog, Dave and Ruth, with a very excellent sign! Thanks to Dave for coming up with it and for Ruth for sending it along. Here they are…





Saturday, June 2nd, 2012


Okay, no I’m not. I can’t stand when people do that.

But this loss to the Tigers was one of the worst I can remember. And it wasn’t Kuroda’s fault; he pitched really well and deserved some run support. Unfortunately, this team doesn’t understand the concept of hitting with men on base. Unless they walk or get hit, they’re helpless…and hapless.

As I watched Miguel Cabrera smack those two towering homers to dead center field, I kept wondering why we even pitch to him. And then I thought about A-Rod…about how he should be striking fear in the hearts of opposing pitchers the way Cabrera does instead of making weak outs. Not that he was alone in lameness. Only Swisher had a big hit. The rest of them? Pffffft.

And we had Girardi’s ejection. What in the world is going on with the umpires? Long barked from the dugout about the strike zone (rightfully) and got tossed? Without a word of warning? And Davidson laughed? No wonder Joe’s veins were popping out of his neck. Mine would be too.

And then there was Valverde and his orange beard. The guy walked in the tying run and won the game. How screwy was that?

So now the Yanks need to salvage the series with a win against Verlander tomorrow. Good luck, boys.





The Broom Is Back

Sunday, May 27th, 2012

I was out during most of today’s game, but I listened on my At Bat app. Nice win for the boys and very nice win for Kuroda, but I was nervous. All we had was a one-run lead on Jones’ homer until we squeaked out another run on the double by the suddenly-not-coughing-and-hitting-well Tex. So when Girardi brought in our new closer to shut it down in the ninth, I clutched my iPhone tightly and started talking to it. Sori got the first two outs but then gave up a hit. “I miss Mo,” I muttered. But then he got the strikeout and the ballgame was over. Whew.

The Yanks are looking better than when they were losing, no question, but there was still that first inning with the bases loaded and our heavy hitters up and yet nobody was able to knock in a run. I worry about that trend.

On the lighter side, I laughed earlier in the day when I read the NYT piece about Girardi’s Cap’n Crunch eating. If he’s lactose intolerant, why does he have to eat his cereal dry? Has he never heard of Lactaid or even Almond, Soy or Rice Milk? Clearly, I need to have a talk with his wife.

Back to the dark side, while it was sweet to win again in Oakland, the Yankees will face a much tougher rival when they get to Anaheim tomorrow night. No, I don’t mean the Angels. I don’t even mean Pujols or Weaver. I mean him.

I have to admit that some of their clips are funny.