Tagged: Braves

It Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This

Well, as much as I thought I would be busy this upcoming year, I have realized that I have a lot more time on my hands than I thought I would.  I had planned on not being able to write on this blog for a while, since I would be doing track this year.  Since I have the extra time, I figured I’d get back to blogging on the MLBlogosphere.  And I mean c’mon.  Can you blame me.  I couldn’t stay away from this too long.  And what a perfect time to come back, right as the playoff races are coming to a conclusionn.  There is still no winner in the AL Central and NL West, the Yankees are dominating and the Red Sox got lucky to even get into the playoffs as the wild card, considering they haven’t been able to win consistently recently.  Well, I’m back and… HERE WE GO!

To start off, the Tigers’- Twins series last week was phenominal.  Every morning before school I would make sure I got to the t.v. and see the score of the game.  It was a great series.  Orlando Cabrera came up big in one game.  Another, the Tigers’ pitchihng was dominating.  The Twins had no answer.  It was a great series.

The Yankees have been 100% untouchable over the past few weeks.  Now, by untouchable, I don’t mean they haven’t been able to lose, because they have, but when they did, it hasn’t really struck anybody as a tough blow, the Yankees haven’t lost that much recently but when they did, it didn’t hurt.  They have been on that kind of roll.

The Red Sox… well, I guess I can say they deserve to be in the playoffs over the Rangers who have all but fallen off the edge of the earth this past month.  The Red Sox haven’t done all that much better.  They clinched on a night when both them and the Rangers lost.  They have been about as inconsistent of late than any other losing team.  They won’t make it very far into the playoffs.  If history runs its course, they will beat the Angels, but they won’t get past the Yankees in the ALCS if they even get that far.

The playoff race in the NL West has gotten a little slow lately but that is comparing it to the way it was when the Rockies were unbeatable. They have lost a few key games over the past few weeks but the race is still close.  Neither the Dodgers or the Rox have clinched and it will most certainly go down to the wire.  One thing that is definite… the Giants made a run but their pitching couldn’t carry them all the way.  They need to hit too.  All I have to say to the Rockies is this… if you’re gonna go out there and lose, you better watch out for the Braves who could easily sweep out of no where and take the wild card.

That’s all for now and I feel great.  Until next time…

Go Yanks!

Go Braves!

-Dillon

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Thriller…

Yesterday, I was helping my mom get dinner set and my sister came into the room saying she got a text about MJ being dead.  We both said we heard something about it but nothing had said he was dead yet, he was just at the hospital.  Later in the day, we new it was official that he was dead and my sister said, “I wonder how he died.”  My mom then went on to explain how it was cardiac arrest.  Then my sister said, “It was probably plastic arrest.”  Now if you knew my sister, you would have expected her to say something like that.

I turned on the radio this morning to listen to some tunes but all I hear is talk about MJ.  I changed the station a few times and all I was hearing was MJ this, MJ that.  I was kind of annoyed at how big of a deal this all was.  Ughhhh!  Well, not all was lost in the attempt to find something to listen to.  I eventually found a station talking about baseball and I figured that was about as good as it was going to get.  So I layed back and listened to them talk about the Nats’ victory over the Red Sox and the Yankees’ win over the Braves.  I heard about Lowe having started the season off on a roll and has recently been terrible.  After a while of listening, I was just turning it off when I heard the radio host say, “So, did you hear about Michael Jackson?”

So, back to the Yankees.  I can’t believe they actually won two straight.  We’ve been in a little bit of a slump lately.  Not that we haven’t been losing every game but we have been winning and it hasn’t been that exciting.  So, maybe with the upcoming series against the Mets, we may be able to make things a little more exciting.  Maybe Luis Castillo will have another one of those last second brain farts.  I wonder if he learned how to catch the ball yet. 

Maybe someone will hit a walk off bomb.  Maybe someone will make a STELLAR defensive dive in the field for the out.  Who knows.  Anything at this point will be more exciting.

On other news, I can’t believe the Nats destroyed the Red Sox like that.  I mean c’mon.  The Red Sox are better than that… I think.  The Nats beat us too.  But we didn’t lose that badly.  So to all of you who say the Red Sox are just so much better than the Yankees… ha!

The Subway series part two starts this weekend and hopefully the Yanks can take a couple from the Mets and the Braves can take a couple from the Red Sox.  We need it right now.  I’m starting to lose track of what is happening because nothing exciting has happened.  That brings me back to the exciting part of this post.  Things need to be exciting for people to pay attention.  Especially me.  I have payed more attention to Burn Notice and NCIS on t.v. lately than the Yankees.  A little excitement would be nice.

Go Yanks.  Go Braves.

-Dillon

The Sinker

My favorite pitch in baseball.  It is almost unhittable if it is mastered.  It allows you to get ground ball outs which gets you deeper into games.  And it is and has been the key pitch for so many pitchers to play the game of baseball.  Some of the names that pop out to you on stat sheets are those of power pitchers.  But so many of the good pitchers in baseball establish their supremacy with their finesse.  Their changeups, their sliders, their sinkers.  Those are my types of pitchers.  The guys that work around a count with their secondary pitches, not just their fastball.  Nothing against guys like Tim Lincecum or Randy Johnson or any other power pitchers (I am a big fan of Lincecum), but finesse pitching is the stuff I enjoy watching.  The likes of Derek Lowe, Aaron Cook and Johan Santana (despite being a big strikeout guy) are who I am talking about.

Derek Lowe spent about a year in Seattle with the Mariners where he picked up his first win on June 6th against the Twins.  He was then traded to Boston along with catcher Jason Varitek.  In Boston, Lowe thrived.  He was very successful both in the bullpen and in the starting rotation.  After being in Boston for seven years.  He was part of the team that won the first championship in 86 years, breaking the “Curse of the Bambino.”  He then went on to play with the Los Angeles Dodgers after the 2004 championship run.  He did return to Boston in a Red Sox jersey for their ring ceremony.  He played with LA for three years before signing with the Atlanta Braves where he is currently playing.  Over his career, Lowe never put up big strikeout numbers, never was a huge name that the opposing team highlighted on their game board before a series.  He was good, but he wasn’t considered the toughest guy that would be on the mound.

Aaron Cook came up to the big leagues in 2002.  He has played with the Rockies his whole career.  He doesn’t have as interesting a story as Lowe does, but nonetheless, he is relevant to what I am talking about right now.  He is another guy who doesn’t rely on the fastball 100% of the time.  He is a finesse pitcher.  He uses his sinker a lot to get guys out.  He gets a lot of ground ball outs from this and he has been a very reliable guy for the Rockies over his career.  Like Lowe, Cook’s strikeout numbers are never very high.  But he is still a very big part of what is going on over in Colorado.

Johan Santana has a little bit of a different style of pitching than Lowe and Cook do.  They both have very good sinkers but don’t have as good third and fourth pitches.  Santana has the fastball, the very good changeup, and some other pitches that he uses to get guys out.  Santana creates finesse pitching differently because he does it with the changeup.  His strikeout numbers are generally up there.  He has been the strikeout leader before and has always been close.  Santana’s finesse is fun to watch because you never know when he is going to pull out that changeup.  He doesn’t have the sinker, but he has that changeup.

So, I hope you all see how important finesse pitchers are to baseball.  It’s not all about strikeouts.  Although they are good to get, ground ball outs do the job just as well as strikeouts.  It’s just that they don’t get on the stat sheet.

-Dillon

Nick Green: That Sure Was a Walk Off

Nick Green.  Not many people know about him.  For those of you who don’t know Mr. Green, he is a 6 foot, 180 pound shortstop for the Boston Red Sox.  Now, Green has been having a solid season, doing everything right.  He’s hitting .292, has driven in 24 RBI coming into today, has played solid defense behind the Red Sox pitching staff, and has just been a great fit for this Red Sox team.  So, over the course of the game, the Red Sox took the lead, the Braves tied it up, three Braves were ejected for arguing, and Nick Green hit a walk off homer.  He took the first pitch the opposite way and wrapped it around the Pesky Pole in right.  His reaction to the home run… well I don’t know how he said it exactly but it went something along the lines of this: I didn’t know it was a walk off until I saw the people running out onto the field.  Well, congrats Nick Green.  You’re having a great season so far and this just adds to it.  Keep it up man.

Now, being a Yankee fan, I don’t normally congratulate Red Sox players on succeeding and don’t normally tell them to keep it up, but Nick Green is a young guy that is having a great season, despite not starting every day.  He splits time with Julio Lugo.  It’s good to see young guys do well in the big leagues despite what team they are on.  It shows, me at least, that this league is going somewhere in the future.  Hopefully he’s not juicing.

That’s another thing I’d like to take note of.  In this week’s Sports Illustrated, there was an article on steroids.  The article was in the Scorecard section of the magazine and was titled “Without a Clue.”  One of the lines in the article was this.  “Sportswriters are lost: should we celebrate big home run numbers or be sickened by them.”  The article talked about a blogger blogging about Raul Ibanez’s hot start.  I am tired of reading about steroids.  I mean, it’s obviously ruining the sport but enough is enough.  All we can do is continue testing and suspending those who get caught.  Honestly, I don’t think there is anything else we can do.

So enough is enough.  There is some hope in the future of baseball (Nick Green).  That’s a good sign.  Well, that’s all I got for today.

-Dillon

So The Yanks Lost To The Red Sox Again…

I really don’t know what else to talk about anymore.  The pitching was all right, the offense scored a little.  And the bullpen wasn’t terrible.  It all adds up but the Red Sox were just little better in every one of those stats than we were.  It’s that simple.

CC took the bump and was really good through seven innings.  He came back out for the eighth and wasn’t able to get a guy out.  He left three possible runs on base that came back to bite him in the butt.  He finished the game with four earned runs, including the three in the eighth inning.  He must have ran out of juice.  Brad Penny on the other side was also very good.  He pitched well in a six inning effort giving up six hits, a walk, but no runs.  Manny Delcarmen gave up three runs in the seventh inning after coming in for Penny.  He was then relieved by Takashi Saito who finished up the inning and saved what was left of Delcarmen’s professionalism.  The Yanks had the lead but CC would give it back up in the eighth.

So overall, the pitching wasn’t terrible.  It was STELLAR through the seven innings.  But in the eighth it crumbled to pieces.  The Sox’ pitching was also very good.  It was tough to lose one in which there was such good pitching. 

The offense was able to score some runs, but it took until the seventh to get it going.  We couldn’t get anything off Penny who only allowed six hits and a walk.  Manny Delcarmen was kinder to us and gave us three.  That was all we’d get though and that is a little disappointing.  Here are my top performers for the day.

  • Alex Rodriguez: 1-3, 2 RBI
  • Francisco Cervelli: 1-4, 1 RBI, 1 Run
  • Melky Cabrera: 2-4, 1 Run
  • Hideki Matsui: 2-3
  • Derek Jeter: 2-5
  • CC Sabathia: 1 ER through seven.  AFter that, he’s not on this list

IT was another tough loss to the Red Sox and I am very disappointed.  Maybe we’ll get ’em next time.  We’ve got interleague play coming up and maybe we can score some more and have good pitching against our opponents (Mets, Marlins, Nats, Braves).

-Dillon

Hey We Do Know How To Score Runs

The Yankees-Red Sox series is pretty much the only thing on my mind among everything else baseball.  Obviously it is because I am a Yankee fan and we are in the middle of a season series with our rivals.  It’s great.  I’m sure every other Yankee fan blogger out there is talking about the same things I am.  It’s just how things go.  If your team is in a rivalry series, you are going to write about it.  So here we go.

Chien Ming Wang did exactly what I assumed he would do when he took the bump last night.  He sucked.  He was the second Yankee pitcher in a row to be chased before the third inning.  Tuesday night, it was AJ, and last night, Wang was chased as well.  In Wang’s 2.2 innings pitched, he gave up four runs on six hits and three walks.  He gave up one homer to Mike Lowell.  Bottom line… he was aweful.

On the other side of things, the Red Sox sent Tim Wakefield to the mound, who has been having a very good season.  At 7-3 before the game, he showed how good of a season he has been having.  He went 6 innings only giving up 8 hits, three runs, and had two strikeouts.  I wish those were the kind of stats we could have from the Yanks pitching.  But yeah right.  Wang was terrible. 

As far as the offense goes, they were fine.  They did score last night which made me happy.  They only scored five runs so they didn’t do that great.  They are definitely capable of more than that.  The pitching is what ruined it for us.  They were unable to hold the Red Sox offense to a few runs or fewer.  They gave up too many early runs and we were out of it by the time we made our comeback.  We only lost by one run but hey… you can’t always expect a comeback from the offense.  It’s a two way road.  The offense does their job and the pitching staff does their job.  That’s how it rolls.

We had our big offensive performers last night as did the Red Sox.  For us it was obviously Mark Teixeira… when has it not in the recent past.  He went 4-5 with a homer and two runs.  Johnny Damon hit a homer as his only hit on the night, but at least that’s something.  Jorge Posada and Hideki Matsui also had good nights at the plate.  Matsui went 2-3 with a run scored and Posada went 2-5 with run scored and an RBI.  Robby Cano also pitched in with a RBI despite going hitless for the game.

The pitching… well they were so bad I’m not going to talk about them any more.  Except Phil Coke and Alfredo Aceves.  Kudos to you guys.  But Wang and Hughes.  You guys sucked.  A thumbs down from Simon for you guys.

So I’m really disappointed about how we haven’t been able to get a win against the Red Sox yet this season.  If we could get one win, that would STELLAR.  So far, it hasn’t looked good so I am not expecting anything good from the Yanks in game three of the series.  We do have CC going to the mound for us.  He is going against Brad Penny who hasn’t been very consistent this season.  He has been alright but maybe we can get something from him.  But again, I’m not expecting anything good today.

So we start up interleague action again after the series with the Red Sox.  We head back home to host our cross town National League rivals.  The Mets.  They are having a decent season so far and can’t be underestimated.  Johan Santana has been lights out this season.  Too bad he hasn’t gotten a ton of run support.  But he’s great.  We play him and the Mets for three.  Then we have a day off before facing the Nats at home for three.  We go right into a three game series with the Marlins after the Nats’ series.  Then we have the Braves for three after a day off following the Marlins series.  We finish everything off against the Mets again in Citi Field.  So that’s the near future.  Maybe we can get some wins against our interleague opponents because we obviously can’t get any against the stupid Red Sox.

Go Yanks.  Maybe we’ll get a win.  Possibly.  Actually, probably not.  I’m being really pessimistic right now aren’t I.

-Dillon

Taking A Look Inside One of the Biggest and Most Random Brains Ever: Mine

There were homers leaving the yard all over the place yesterday.  And there were only a few games played.  Very impressive.

I was watching the Yankees-Rays game on ESPN on Monday night and in that game alone, the ball was just jumping off every player’s bat that stepped up to the plate.  Well, it was Yankee Stadium, the new home run heaven, but still, it was crazy.  It was fun to see Mark Teixeira hit an absolute bomb to right and also to see Mr. Damon continue his homer surge this season.  Derek Jeter also went yard to the opposite field and had himself a good game.  Unfortunately, Gave Kapler, as great a player he is, hit one out too to bring the Rays back into the game.  Oh well.  We still won 5-3.

Here’s a list of all the players who went deep yesterday:

  • Marcus Thames
  • Alexei Ramirez
  • Jim Thome
  • Scott Podsednik
  • Jermaine Dye
  • Paul Konerko
  • Jack Cust
  • Derek Jeter
  • Mark Teixeira
  • Johnny Damon
  • Gabe Kapler
  • Adam Lind
  • Chipper Jones
  • Nate McLouth
  • Brian McCann
  • Troy Tulowitzki
  • Brett Carroll

AT first glance, you might not think this is a lot of guys who hit it out.  But for the amount of games, this is pretty impressive.  Every time I was looking down on the scrolling bar at the bottom of the ESPN screen, I saw another guy who hit a homer.  It was kind of something that is hard to explain but you kind of had to be there to understand how I’m feeling. 

So the power surge yesterday wasn’t everything that is on my mind right now.  Here’s something else:  How about that Andrew McCutchen?  He’s on fire.

Yesterday, McCutchen continued his STELLAR start to his MLB career.  He went 4-7 in the Pirates’ game agaisnt the Braves.  He was so good.  He looked like a veteran.  His stats for the game included 1 RBI, 2 runs, and 2 triples.  He was just flying around the bases.  Every time the ball was hit into the air, the commentators would say how if the ball got to the ground, McCutchen would be flying and would be on third.  That’s pretty much what happened.  He is just so fast, it’s ridiculous.

Now here’s something else on my mind today: The Yankees and Red Sox start a series tonight in Boston. 

They will compete in a three game series in which the red hot Yankees will try to get their first wins against their rivals on the season.  The two teams will be lead by their league leading offensive stars, Mark Teixeira and Jason Bay.  Not to mention the rest of their powerful offenses.  So far, the Red Sox have dominated the season series.  But when the first games of the season series were played, the Yankees didn’t have a red hot Mark Teixeira, they didn’t have good pitching at all, and their offense was sub-par.  They didn’t look like the Yanks at all.  Now… well now is a different story.  Just wait all you Red Sox fans.  I think the Yanks take two out of three… IN BOSTON. 

Final Thought on the day: The MLB Draft will be fun to watch for the first five picks, but after that… ZZZZZZZZZZZZZ! 

This draft is far too long, far too boring, and we don’t know most of the players our teams are getting.  It’s nothing like the NFL and NBA drafts.  They are more exciting and we see most of these players go through college.  The fact that this draft is so long is because we need more players for this sport than the others.  The teams are bigger and the need of players is bigger.  The NFL is close, but as far as the NBA goes, the numbers are so much bigger.  The draft will be fun to see until the top five guys go because we have actually seen them for the past few weeks leading up to the draft.  We know who they are now.  Obviously we know the Nats are taking Strasburgh, and the other top five prospects are most likely going where they are projected to be going.  So despite that, it might still be fun.  The rest of the draftees, well, good luck in the draft but I won’t be sitting on my couch eating potatoe chips waiting to here your name picked.

Well, that’s about it…

Hasta Luego!

-Dillon