Posts Tagged ‘Orioles’

Sorry, O’s

Friday, July 24th, 2015

Broom_icon.svg[4]The usually formidable Orioles, whose power hitting and fabled defense seemed to have vanished this series at the Stadium (they were foolish to let Nelson Cruz and Nick Markakis leave, if you ask me), were reduced to mere mortals by the Yankees. In the first two games, it was a combination of good pitching and timely hits that did the trick. In yesterday’s game, it was pitching plus lots and lots of scoring that did the O’s in.

Yesterday’s hero was Ellsbury. I can’t remember which commenter here mentioned how much he was missed when he was on the DL, but it was true. He’s such a great player when healthy and he demonstrated that yesterday. He really can do it all and he’s fun to watch.

Teixeira and A-Rod continued their torrid hitting and even Stephen Drew, back in the lineup, contributed. Unless the Yankees make a trade, I guess we’re stuck with Drew and Ryan platooning at second base. Girardi likes Drew “because he’s been in a pennant race.” So there’s that. I have a feeling Toronto will go for broke and get a big-time player in a trade, since everybody in our division thinks they have a shot this season, but I wouldn’t mind if we got a power-hitting right fielder since Beltran, sad to say, is a shadow of his former self, and Chris Young is streaky.

Anyhow, sweeping the O’s was big, putting more distance between the Yankees and their second-place rivals. Now it’s the Twins’ turn. The Yanks used to own them, but I take nothing for granted.


I’m Amazed What a Great Year Tex Is Having

Sunday, July 19th, 2015


He just keeps coming through with the big hits/homers, doesn’t he? No matter which team we’re playing or which pitcher he’s facing, he’s right in the middle of the action, either giving the Yankees some insurance or actually winning the ballgame. I assumed he’d continue to decline with age and injury, but he sure has proven me wrong. He’s looking like the 2009 version, the guy who hit for power and played a terrific first base and helped the Yanks win a championship.

Against the Mariners this weekend, there weren’t a lot of runs, but in two out of the three games the runs came when it counted and the pitching was terrific. Today CC actually out-dueled King Felix, speaking of looking like the 2009 version. I was happy for him even though he didn’t get the decision. Tanaka, too, seemed to have improved over his last start. Only Pineda was a bit wobbly and allowed Cano to have a little fun at the Stadium.

Right now the team is firing on all cylinders, and keeping the rest of the division at bay. It’ll be interesting to see what happens when the O’s come to town on Tuesday for that series. They always scare me.


2015 Yankees: Feast or Famine

Monday, June 15th, 2015

feast or famine

When the Yankees are good, they’re very good, going on winning streaks and eliciting all sorts of praise from the media and predictions of post-season glory. When they’re bad, they’re just plain ugly, losing games in particularly gruesome ways and making me wonder how this collection of professionals could look so amateurish.

Yes, they salvaged the finale in Baltimore yesterday, but on Friday and Saturday nights they were at Camden pitching poorly, letting balls drop between players, failing to hit in key situations and making sloppy errors (what in the world is going on with Chase Headley this season?). It’s either feast or famine with this team, all or nothing, inconsistency to the max.

Also annoying is the cast of every-changing middle relievers coming and going from the minors or trash heaps of other teams. Other than Esmil Rogers (bye bye), I can’t tell one from another. We need a relief corps we can depend on.

CC has turned into a serviceable but unremarkable starting pitcher. I had hoped he’d morph into Pettitte or Mussina in his later years, but he hasn’t. He’s been better than Chris Capuano, but that’s not saying much for a guy the Yankees are paying a bucket load of money to.

Speaking of money, I figured it was only a matter of time before the Yankees and A-Rod would be gearing up for a battle over his milestone bonuses. Yes, he’s helped the team a lot and yes, he’s made quite a comeback and yes, his attitude has been humble and very rah-rah team. Behind the scenes, he wants his money and the Yankees don’t want to pay him his money and they’re all headed for a showdown. If I were A-Rod, I’d take the offer they made to give money to charity on his behalf, but it sounds like he’s not having any of that. Here we go again.


Pineda = Ace

Sunday, May 10th, 2015
Photo: Ron Antonelli/New York Daily News

Photo: Ron Antonelli/New York Daily News

Wow. What else can you say about this guy’s performance in the Mother’s Day finale against Baltimore at the Stadium? Sixteen strikeouts? Plus we’re talking about the O’s here, not some weak-hitting team. I’m impressed. No, I’m in awe. What a good trade this one turned out to be, right?

I could go on and talk about the fact that Beltran hit a home run and that Didi has a good day at the plate, but this post is about Pineda. He’s The Man. I bow down.

Mike Myers



The Bronx Bombers?

Monday, April 13th, 2015


When Stephen Drew comes up with a pinch hit grand slam, it’s either a dream or a full moon. Or maybe he’s finally getting hot or if not “hot” then a little warmer. In any case, it was a pleasant surprise to see him go deep against the Orioles in Game 1 of the Yankees’ first series of the season at Camden Yards.

The awakening of the offense against the Sox over the weekend was fun too. I’ve been overwhelmed trying to get acclimated to my new house in CT in advance of the arrival of the moving truck with all my worldly belongings on it. (I feel like Diane Keaton’s character in “Baby Boom.” Remember how she bought the house in Vermont and everything went expensively wrong?) But having the games on TV in the background has been a nice escape.

It’s too early to have an opinion about Tanaka and CC in terms of their ability to pitch with injuries, but for now Pineda is looking good for the most part. The defense will tighten up, I’m sure. And A-Rod? He’s been a model citizen and the Yankees’ best hitter. I wish I could say he’s changed. I don’t have a clue. For all I know he could be ingesting some new form of enhancement. For all I know his body could break down in a month. For all I know he and the Yankees could go to court over his milestone bonuses. It doesn’t really matter to me at this point. I just want the team to stay competitive and healthy. (As I write this, Gardner is having his wrist X-rayed after getting hit by a pitch.)

Well, let me amend that. I just want the team to stay competitive and healthy and entertaining. A Janer is my favorite kind of win, of course, but tonight’s tense battle against the O’s is the kind of game that’ll keep me coming back for more.


Straight out of a Hollywood Script

Thursday, September 25th, 2014

Jeter final game in Bronx

All I kept thinking after Robertson blew the game in the ninth was….A Jeter walkoff? Maybe? Possibly?

Well, OK, I also thought what a shame it was that Kuroda got screwed yet again. Talk about a hard luck pitcher. He threw a brilliant game and could have finished it, but I got that you’re supposed to go to your closer, blah blah.

The main attraction was The Captain and how the night would end for him. I desperately didn’t want him to strike out or hit into a DP in the bottom of the inning. And I would have carried a lifelong grudge against Showalter if he’d intentionally walked him. And then came that familiar Jeterian swing followed by sheer joy – his and mine and everyone else’s. He looked so happy, didn’t he? When he jumped in the air arms raised in celebration, he was a rookie again mobbed by his teammates. And the presence of Andy, Bernie, Jorge and Mo was icing on the cake.

He still seemed dazed during his post-game press conference, admitting that when he stood there at shortstop in the top of the ninth he was saying, “Please don’t hit the ball to me” – very un-Jeter-like but totally understandable.

I loved seeing his mom get all teary, loved watching him pick up his little nephew, loved that he had his girlfriend there but wouldn’t give her the full PDA treatment in front of everybody (very Jeter-like). Oh, and I loved that the Yankees won the game. :)

So it’s on to Boston for the finish to the 2014 season – anticlimactic for sure. My friends here are excited about the Dodgers’ prospects in the playoffs and I’ll throw my support to them. But in the meantime, I’ll let tonight linger in my mind. It was magical.


Crushing Losses Mount

Sunday, September 14th, 2014


Once again, I was hoping the last couple of weeks of the 2014 season would at least be entertaining even if they didn’t have any bearing on the pennant race. But who wants to watch the Yankees go down to defeat in particularly disappointing ways, as they did over the weekend in Baltimore?

And once again, the problem wasn’t pitching – not starting pitching anyway. It was not enough offense and not the right pitch from a reliever. And, as Kruk or Schilling or one of the ESPN guys said tonight, “The Yankees just aren’t very good this year.”

But they tried. Prado, nursing that hamstring injury, fought the good fight. Even Beltran, elbow hanging off his arm, came up to pinch hit. But poor Jeter’s going out with a whimper, sadly, and McCann’s homers are coming too late to matter. So are all the mostly great performances by Shawn Green, Brandon McCarthy, Michael Pineda and Hiroki Kuroda.

But we can enjoy two more weeks of The Captain before he makes his way off the big stage. That’s something to tune in for.


Do I Have to Threaten You With Divorce Again, Yankees?

Wednesday, August 13th, 2014


It worked in 2007 when you were playing this badly, Yankees. I said I was suing you on the grounds of mental cruelty and you ended up making the playoffs after all. Is it really time for Confessions of a She-Fan: The Sequel?

Lucky for them I’m too busy to divorce them right now, but wow. Did they ever stink in Baltimore. How frustrating is it for the starters (welcome back, Pineda) to pitch well or well enough, only to have the offense score a run or two early and then go silent? And then there’s the once-efficient bullpen. Bettances is great, I get that, but Girardi had to know he was pushing the kid beyond what he normally gives us and Kelley just hasn’t been good for awhile. The second half of the season is when teams have to turn it up a notch, especially against the division leader, but all we saw over the two games at Camden Yards was….Pffff.

I’m sad. It’s not over, it just feels that way right now and I’m glad for the off day tomorrow.


Coming Back to Earth

Sunday, August 10th, 2014
Photo: Mike Agliolo/Corbis

Photo: Mike Agliolo/Corbis

That’s how today’s loss, combined with yesterday’s, to the Indians feels like: an astroid hitting the earth. I had such high hopes for the Yankees’ season after the series against the Tigers, and Friday night’s 10 runs against Cleveland gave me more hope. But – ugh – we seem to be in the dreaded dead zone again, offense wise, and the collective hitting slump couldn’t come at a more inopportune time. In other words, if the Yanks have a prayer of making the playoffs even as a lowly Second Wild Card team (as Audrey rightfully pointed out in the last post’s comments section, KC is the team with steam for that spot), they need to beat up on the Orioles over the next few days. And how are they going to do that if they can’t drive in runs? Never mind that there are still question marks about the starters – i.e. who’s starting on Wednesday, Pineda or Rogers?

But I digress. The pitching has been great for the most part, so let’s assume it stays great, as flukey as this may be, given the cast of characters. Where will the hits/runs come from if everybody’s gone cold? Great that Tex is back in the lineup, pinky and all. And how lovely that Ellsbury hit a solo shot in today’s game. They’ve got to stop stranding men on base. Just. Stop. Doing. That. It would be nice if they hit more homers too, of course.

Whatever happens happens, I guess. Baltimore’s surging and we keep lapsing back. But it’s getting late early, as Yogi would say. Time to turn it on or go home.




More Trips to the Infirmary

Friday, July 11th, 2014


Yes, there was a four-game series in Cleveland and yes, the Yankees won two and lost two (in especially depressing fashion – the losses, I mean), but the big news as the team heads down to Baltimore was obviously Tanaka and his “small tear” in the elbow. After consulting a phalanx of doctors, Tanaka was told that the prescribed treatment was rehab. If that doesn’t work then he’ll likely go under the knife for good old TJ surgery. Hard to believe, isn’t it? One day he’s our ace. The next he’s in the infirmary with the other members of the starting staff who were supposed to lift us to a championship in Jeter’s final season. Bah. Nothing’s going according to plan.

And then there was Beltran.

 beltran fractured face

No, that’s not actually his face, but the point is he fractured it in two places all by himself. Freak accident indeed. All I could do was sigh about that one.

What’s a GM to do except continue to call up guys like Zelous and Zoillo and anybody else on the farm whose name starts with “Z.”

Will the weekend series against the O’s be a massacre of our young lambs and creaky veterans or will we scrape together a win or two?

On the plus side – and there’s always a plus side – I didn’t expect to see the run production we’re getting out of Teixeira this year after coming off his various injuries. And Gardner and Ellsbury have been a revelation. It’s not the stuff of championships but it’s something.