As you can see in this picture of Prince Fielder, he uses every inch of his body to produce power to send a ball into the stands. Last night, he used his body to the fullest 23 times as Prince Fielder won the 2009 Home Run Derby in St. Louis.
To start off the Derby, Nelson Cruz of the Texas Rangers stepped up to the plate and put on a show, sending multiple bombs to deep, deep left field. And I mean deep. This guy really had some serious power. He ended the first round with a promising 11 homers that would hopefully be enough to get him into the second round.
Prince Fielder followed with another 11 home run performance in which he sent his own fair share of blasts into the outfield bleachers. Both guys put on a show and were in hope of having a second round spot available with there 11 home run totals.
The show was set on Albert Pujols, one of the best all time hitting in front of his own home crowd. He came up last in the lineup for the first round as the suspense built as the St. Louis crowd waited for his arrival. Unfortunately, Pujols dissapointed and didn’t get into the second round with astonishing numbers that many thought he would produce. Instead, his five home runs were good enough for a “bat off” as Chris Berman and the rest of the commentating crew called it. So Pujols competed in a competition of five swings against Carlos Pena and Joe Mauer who also had five homers in the first round. Carlos Pena came up first and hit one out. Mauer failed to get any over the fence, and when Albert came up, he hit two to satisfy the crowd and assure him a spot in the second round.
Now, the other hometown boy, Ryan Howard, got some love from the crowd as he advanced to the second round to continue his quest for a second Home Run Derby victory. Howard sent a handful of blasts into right, right center, and center field to get the crowd behind him. The majority of his shots were liners and not too many bombs. It was still pretty fun watching him do well back in his home town though.
The first round proved fatal for my pick to win it, Adrian Gonzalez, as he only hit two over the fence. He came close on multiple shots that hit the wall or the warning track but was unable to get the ball over the fence enough to advance to the second round. So there went my pick right off the bat, but I still had other reasons to be proud at my picks.
Brandon Inge EPIC FAILED! He was shutout not even coming close on any of his hits. The closest he came was when he hit a line shot down the left field line that was clearly foul. That was his final out. So, I was right about Inge, who shouldn’t even have been there, doing a terrible job. He sucked!
So after the first round here are the guys that were still in it:
In the second round, Albert Pujols came back up to the plate after batting last in the first round and batting last in the bat off. Now he had to get a pretty good amount of home runs just to get to Cruz and Fielder’s totals of 11 from the first round. By the end of the second round bid from Pujols, he had a total of 11, probably to be beaten by both Cruz and Fielder.
Ryan Howard came up following Pujols and put on a late show with only a few outs left to go. He finished the second round with a promising 15. There was a possibility of him being in the final round. But after Fielder and Cruz batted, that dream was shattered.
Cruz went on to bat after Howard and put on another powerful performance sending many balls to the upper decks down the line in left and to the deepest parts of the park. He secured a final round bid with a total of 17 homers through the first two rounds. Now all that was to see was if Mr. Fielder could pass Howard’s mark of 15 and he did that to move on to the final round. A matchup of Cruz and Fielder. Two very powerful guys that would surely put on a show.
In the final round, Cruz batted first and put up five blasts to give Fielder a battle for the title. Fielder came up second and without even getting six outs, Fielder surpassed Cruz’s mark of 5 homers to win the 2009 Home Run Derby. His first Derby victory ended with a blast to right center field into the stands full of cheering fans.
Fielder’s victory was solid, sending the three longest shots into the night, including a 503 foot homer. The longest he has ever hit, he said after the contest, and it was definitely a blast. It was the longest of the Derby and Fielder put on the show that everyone expects at least one person to do. Last year it was Josh Hamilton, although Fielder’s show wasn’t as great as Hamiltons, but this year Fielder put on the show that made the whole thing worth watching for me.
Last year, Hamilton’s run of home runs was probably the best moment of recent baseball history. His story leading up to that point just made it all the better. Many pictures of the moment were captured but I think this one is the best.
Fielder and his Brewers teammate Ryan Braun celebrated after his final home run as they would at a regular game in which one of he hit a home run. Their little routine that they do finished off a great night for Fielder. As Hamilton had his great moment captured many times, as did Fielder.
Congrats to the 2009 Home Run Derby, Prince Fielder!
Man, the Yankees can’t seem to pull out a win against either the Red Sox or the Angels. It’s bad enough that we were just swept by the Halos but now we’re three games out of first behind the Red Sox who are the second team we have been unable to figure out for the first half of the season. Yesterday, we sent CC to the mound in hope of stopping the sweep, but I guess that didn’t go over very well with the Angels because they still beat us. The final score was 5-4 and the Yankees unfortunately ended the first half of the season on a sour note. A sweep, not my idea of a good end to the first half.
As far as the Yankees go, they didn’t play all that bad. CC pitched all right going 6.2 innings giving up nine hits and three walks. He gave up all five runs that the Angels would get in the game. When he was relieved in the seventh, Phil Hughes came out from the ‘pen and continued his dominance from the ‘pen. He went the remainder of the game giving up two walks and striking out one. A STELLAR performance from Mr. Hughes.
The offense played pretty well too. Here are my top performers for the day:
Derek Jeter- 2-5, 1 RBI
Melky Cabrera- 2-3, 2 Runs, 1 RBI
Jorge Posada- 1-1, 2 RBI
Hideki Matsui- 0-1, 1 Run, 3 Walks
Phil Hughes- 1.1 IP, 1 K, 0 Runs Allowed
So, the All Star break is here and the Yankees are second in the AL East, three behind the Boston Red Sox. We’ve got some guys representing the Bombers in St. Louis for the game and I feel that the second half of the season is going to be a good one.
Now onto other thoughts running through my brain right now…
The Home Run Derby is tonight and I have a feeling it is going to be a good one. In the NL, there are a quartet of first base sluggers that are definitely give us a good show.
In the AL, there are a few guys that I don’t feel will last very long, not mentioning any names… Brandon Inge… cough cough.
Here are the rest of the AL contestants.
Albert Pujols will dominate the general competition sending balls into the stands left and right. Adrian Gonzalez will be the Josh Hamilton of 2009. He is the one guy that I don’t think is getting a lot of credit for being here. He is going to have a great derby. Fielder and Howard will do well in general but I don’t know if they will make it to the second round. Brandon Inge is out after the first round. Nelson Cruz will make a run as will Carlos Pena. I think Joe Mauer will have a good derby despite not being considered as much of a power hitter as the rest of the competitors (not including Brandon Inge). Mauer will make it to the second round but probably not much further.
After first round, guys still in it:
Albert Pujols, Adrian Gonzalez, Ryan Howard, Joe Mauer
Gonzalez will use his high home run count from the first round to stay ahead of the pack and get into the finals. Pujols will continue to hit a ton of bombs. Mauer and Howard will fall despite having another round of good numbers. They won’t catch up to Gonzalez and Pujols.
After second round, guys still in it:
Albert Pujols, Adrian Gonzalez
It could go either way and I think either guy will have a great chance at putting on a show and getting the victory. Personally, I would like to see Adrian Gonzalez win it because I think it would be nice to see him get credit for being the big power hitter that he is. He can go the other way better than any of the other competitors and that is why he is my favorite to win the event.
Overall, the Home Run Derby is an event for the fans and it is usually greatly enjoyed. I am looking foward to seeing this one. It’ll be a great time.
Last night, Jonathon Sanchez put in the best performance from any pitcher in the Major Leagues all season, and boy was it a show! And yeah, I’m talking about the Jonathon Sanchez that was 2-8 going into the game, had been demoted to the bullpen, and had a 5.30 ERA. Yeah. He that’s the guy that just no-hit the San Diego Padres. Now, the Padres aren’t what you would consider a good team, not that they are all that bad though. The way they have played in stretches this season would back that up. But they weren’t good enough to be a team that would be considered unno-hittable. Now, you have to give props to Sanchez who has had an extremely tough season for doing what no one has done yet this year. Great job man.
In most no-hitter scenarios, the pitcher generally dominates, making few mistakes that he is fortunate enough not to have ruined their no-hitter. In the game last night, there were a few balls that just missed leaving the ballpark. If the batter had hit it just a little farther, this story would be nowhere. It wouldn’t even be in anyone’s head. “Jonathon Sanchez throwing a no-hitter… not with the stats he has.”
Last night, two of those hits came from Adrian Gonzalez, the slugging first baseman that will be competing in this year’s home run derby. He hit two to left field that forced the left fielder to the warning track. A little more on each of those hits and he would have had two more homers added on to his impressive home run total for 2009. The other one that was probably the most important of the game was the one that was off the bat of… some guy that batted in the eighth that I don’t know the name of. It went deep to straight away centerfield. With some centerfielders, it would have hit the wall and bounced off for a double, possibly a triple, ultimately ruining the no-no. But who better to have in center than Aaron Rowand. The wall-crashing-into-specialist. He jumped to catch the ball and robbed the batter of extra bases- saved Sanchez’s place in history. My dad and I both watched the recap video of the game on MLB.com and we both said the same thing when Rowand snagged the ball… “Oh wow!” Now, imagine if the ball would have been a homer and Rowand robbed that… think about that for a minute…
To further appreciate his dominance in this game and just his totally STELLAR pitching, Sanchez’s no-hitter would have been a perfect game if not for an error by the one and only Juan Uribe. I don’t know about any of you, but Uribe has always struck me as that guy that would ruin something great and just didn’t have it as a professional. Not that he’s a bad player… he’s a lot better than me… but he just isn’t that reliable.
Sanchez’s season and even his career has changed dramatically with this no-hitter. It was a tremendous performance and his perseverance just makes it all the better for this guy. He’s a young pitcher and to have thrown a no-no will boost his confidence a mile high… figuratively speeking.
Congrats to Jonathon Sanchez!
Hey. This is for all of you umps from the Yankees-Jays game yesterday that missed a bunch of calls. Most of them being involved with Mr. Jeter. Yeah, the league’s top vote getter for the All Star game. The leader of this Yankees team. Yeah. You know who I’m talking about. I think you need to take a team field trip to a store to get some of these…
When Jeter stole third in the first inning, I was extremely mad. Jeter had a right to be as well. This was the first time I’ve ever seen Jeter argue a call. He is such a classy player and will only argue if he knows he is right. He got in there with his hand before being tagged and was clearly safe. He was right and his arguing would be backed up. Here was Jeter’s reaction after the game:
“I was just baffled by the explanation. I was told I was out because the ball beat me, and he didn’t have to tag me. I was unaware the had changed the rules.” Sarcasm is always fun when you know you’re right. Girardi got tossed for arguing the call and the crowd went wild when he walked back to the dugout. This whole situation was messed up. And that was just the beginning of it.
In the third inning, Jeter grounded a ball hit into the hole between third and short and did his signature jumping throw to get Aaron Hill out at second. The only problem was this… the ump called Hill safe when he was clearly out. Now Jeter didn’t argue this call because he didn’t have the best view of that end of the play. But the replays that they showed on t.v. clearly showed Hill getting to the bag late and that he was out. Yet another frustrating moment for Jeter courtesy of the umps.
Now, Jeter’s day was pretty tough, the Yankees lost, but not all was bad. Remember that Eric Hinske? Yeah, he made his debut for the Yanks yesterday and wasn’t too bad. In fact, his first at bat, he blasted a shot to deep right for his first homer. It was great. Also in the game, Hinske ended the first inning with a diving catch to rob Vernon Wells of a hit. He had a great debut. It could have been even better when he stepped up to the plate in the ninth inning with the Yankees down one. They had scored a couple runs already in hope of making a comeback, but Hinske struck out and the game was over leaving the Yankees with a loss. It was tough, but Hinske still had a really good game.
The ninth inning was yet another crazy comeback inning that the Yankees have had so abundantly this season. Thanks to the early struggles of the bullpen, the Yankees offense has had to make comeback after comeback. Well, that hasn’t been the case recently but it was last night and it almost happened again. We were only down one when Hinske stepped up to the plate. We were down three at the beginning of the inning. Alomst another crazy comeback but this time we took the loss. The upside to this is that the Red Sox also lost to the Oakland Athletics.
On Other Notes Around the MLB
- The Phils scored 10 runs in the first inning of their game against the Reds. Johnny Cueto, who many believe to have been and All Star snub, had 9 earned runs in 2/3 of an inning. When he was taken out, he was extremely mad at himself.
- Jason Marquis made another STELLAR start for the Rockies. He went eight innings giving up seven hits and two walks. He struck out three.
- A’s rookie Brett Anderson two hits Red Sox in first career shutout. A’s win 6-0 in Nomar Garciaparra’s return.
- Pujols, Fielder, Howard, and Gonzalez to compete for NL in home run derby.
So it was a busy day yesterday, huh? I’m wiped from being outside all day for the first time all summer with beautiful weather. So I’m out.