Well, before I get to the Yankees-Red Sox recap, I’ve got to let my thoughts be heard on a few other things that happened yesterday around the MLB.
Most baseball fans know Chase Utley. The second baseman for the Philadelphia Phillies. He’s got that good defensive record, a strange power source from a second baseman, and a great mind for the game. Yeah, him. But he wasn’t playing in Sunday’s matchup between the Phils and Mets. Eric Bruntlett filled in for him and made his presence known in an unusual way. In a game that had so many unusual scenarios, Bruntlett made a play that only one other person has done before. But that was just the end of everything that happened yesterday.
The Phils scored six runs in the top of the first off of Oliver Perez. But Perez didn’t make it out of the first inning. He was facing Pedro Martinez, who was making his return to NY after being cut by the Mets this past off-season. Pedro had a 3-0 count and manager Jerry Manuel came out to pull Perez. An unusual happening. A pitcher getting pulled in the middle of an at bat. Strange.
Well, the Mets eventually got out of the inning. Then they had a little fun of their own. To lead off the bottom half of the inning, Angel Pagan hit a shot to the left center gap that sent Shane Victorino running to the wall. The ball got wedged under the wall and Victorino thought he could get away with calling it as a double. But the umps didn’t think it that way. The umps didn’t make the call and the left fielder picked it up and threw it in. This whole time, Pagan had been running the bases and wound up with an inside the park homer. The ball was wedged underneath the wall but it wasn’t so badly wedged that it would take some work to get it out and that it should have been a double. The umps made the right call. Strange.
Later in the game, Jeff Francoeur, the Mets’ right fielder, made a great sliding catch to rob Eric Bruntlett of all people of a base hit. At first the umps called Bruntlett safe as he went on to third as Francoeur was unaware of the call. Then the umps met and reversed the call after both Francoeur and Jerry Manuel argued the call. It was another crazy moment that was obviously a catch when the replay showed it. Strange.
Now, the biggest highlight of the game was Bruntlett’s play in the bottom of the ninth which ended the game. With runners on first and second, Jeff Francoeur (there seems to be a recurring theme of players being involved in multiple strange plays) stepped up to the plate. He hit a liner with a full count up the middle. With the runners in motion, Bruntlett had been moving to cover second base. The ball was hit right to him on a line. He snagged it, tagged second base, and tagged David Murphy who was on first at the start of the play. An unnasissted triple play to end the game, the first in the NL history, second in MLB history. Strange.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – –
OK so back to the Yankees-Red Sox game. Last night, the aces of the two clubs faced off in the rubber match of the series. It was set to be a great pitcher’s duel, as was Beckett’s and Burnett’s not to long ago. And it was a really good game. The Yankees opened up the game with two runs early. The first was on a Derek Jeter solo shot and the second on Hideki Matsui’s first shot of the night which was also a solo shot. The Yankees scored two more runs on the Red Sox in the third inning, neither on homers. Then, Robinson Cano homered in the fourth, and A-Rod homered in the fifth to drive in two more. Matsui hit the final Yankee homer in the eighth which was another solo shot. A home run barrage, as Yankees.com puts it, lit up the sky in Boston as the Yanks rolled to an 8-4 victory. Sweet Sweet Victory.
The Red Sox did score four runs but CC kept them at bay most of the night. The Yankees did jump on top early and that was a big advantage for them as the game went on. The Red Sox tied the score in the second but the Yankees went back ahead and never looked back. The Sox didn’t leave the yard once in the game, surprisingly. The lack of the long ball in a game dominated by the long ball is probably what did the Red Sox in.
CC finished the game with eight strikeouts as all his stuff was dominant. Phil Hughes and Mariano Rivera were successful out of the ‘pen as they finished the game off. Beckett finished with five K’s on the night, not bad. He also gave up all five homers though. Not good.
So let’s take a look back at the series that was. Game One:
The Yankees score 20 runs against Brad Penny and the REd Sox. Another terrible outing for Penny who would later be pulled from the starting rotation to make room for Wakefield who is coming back soon. Another home run happy game sent many bombs flying through the Boston sky. The Red Sox had their fair share of runs too. They just weren’t able to make up for what the pitching let up. Too bad. They scored 11 runs.
The Red Sox stole the Yankees’ thunder for game two as they burst out with another 14 runs compared to the
Yankees’ Nick Swisher’s single run. Swish hit a solo shot to left to score the only run for the Yanks on the day. A very disappointing loss for the Yanks and a touche to the REd Sox was all that was in me for Saturday.
Then came game three which I just talked about. A very exciting series that was truly a back and forth one. Great to watch and I’m sure, as always, it was great to play in for both teams. No fights broke out which was good for the teams. I don’t think either could afford losing anyone right now, especially the Red Sox who are in the Wild Card race and don’t have that big of a lead anymore. It was a clean series that was fun to watch as a fan. Especially since the Yankees won.
Well everyone, I don’t really have anything much to write about today. No, it’s not because of writer’s block, it’s not because I’m lazy, it’s just because I am gonna give you all an awesome wrap up of the Yankees-Red Sox series that took place this weekend… the final of the season series.
Now, the big “Touche” at the top of this post was definitely in need of being said. The Yanks beat down on Brad Penny and the Sox in game one finishing with a score of 20-11. It was very fun to watch. It was as if every time someone came up to bat, the Yankees would get something positive out of it. It was that kind of day.
Now, yesterday’s game… not so much. The Red Sox basically stole the Yankees’ thunder and scored 12 runs against the Yankees’ 1 which came on a solo shot from Nick Swisher. It was funny too because right as Swisher was come to bat I told my dad that I would be really mad if the Yanks got shut out. Then, as if they had microphones inside my house… another story for another day… Swisher hit a bomb to left that invaded the Monster seats. That satisfied me enough to deal with the blow of defeat.
So, the touche was definitely appropriate and you can’t say I’m a sore loser for not giving the Red Sox props for doing what they did. Next up is the premier matchup of the series and what a way to close out the season series than to have the aces of both teams square off to see who takes home the final victory of the season.
CC Sabathia will go for the Yankees and Josh Beckett for the BoSox. It will definitely be a matchup for the ages and if it’s anything like the matchup between Beckett and AJ Burnett, which wasn’t that long ago, we will surely be seeing replays of it for many years to come.
C’mon. You can’t not be thinking sweep right now. The Yankees have totally dominated this series, giving the Red Sox nothing. Nothing at all. The pitching has been STELLAR, the offense has been great, the bullpen (probably the biggest reason we lost so many games to the Sox earlier in the season) has been good as well, and the momentum of the Yankees has left the Red Sox in the dirt. As I said a few days ago, I don’t think the Yankees know how to lose.
CC started the game going the first half of the game without giving up a hit. Obviously everyone was thinking about the possibility of a no-no and, well… who couldn’t? CC ended up only giving up two hits, and two walks in his 7.2 innings of work. He racked up nine K’s, excellent work. He had a nasty slider that got a few guys out and made them look really foolish. The bullpen kept up the consistency that was far from anywhere near New York at the beginning of the season and Phil Hughes and Nate Robertson combined to go the rest of the game only giving up two hits and no walks (both hits credited to Robertson).
Such a sight to see. The Yankees beating up on the Red Sox. Just like it ought to be. Well, to all you Red Sox fans out there. Here’s something positive that you can take out of all this. You’re only 5.5 games out of first. At least you can say that you are in better position than the Orioles to make a run. The O’s are 22.5 games back. That’s a pretty good thing, right?
The offense last night was clearly good enough to get past the Red Sox, considering CC pitched his heart out. Well, in pretty much any other game, five runs is a good afternoon for a team that has their pitchers pitch relatively well. Derek Jeter helped out that cause late in the game with a two run homer to right. Of course it would be to right. Where else does anyone hit a home run to in Yankee Stadium. Mark Teixeira went 1-3 with an RBI and two walks. Robby Cano went 3-4 and scored a run. Jose Molina, filling in for Jorge Posada, went 1-2 with an RBI, a run scored, and a walk. The offense was definitely there yesterday and it was great to see another butt-kicking of the Red Sox handed out by the Yankees.
Tonight, the final game in the series has everyone thinking sweep. Right now, the way the series has gone so far, it looks like a no brainer. The Yankees have everything going right. The pitching, the offense, the defense. Everything is running smoothly. Tonight, Andy Pettitte and Jon Lester go at it and it’s a pretty good matchup. Both guys are second of the rotation guys. Both have good stuff and could easily be the top man in any rotation. They have their ups and downs. They will definitely put on a show but I still have my money on the Yankees sweeping the Sox. I said earlier before this series started that I thought the Yankees would win three out of four. But now I am totally thinking sweep.
- Yankees Gain Two Games on Red Sox
- Mets Have Serious Injury Problems
- The Nats Suck
- Halladay is a Stud
- It is Possible to Have One Really Bad Game and Then Be STELLAR the Next Day
So Here we go on my thoughts from July 19th, 2009.
The Yankees have been absolutely phenominal lately. They just finished a sweep of the Tigers to continue this hot streak of fantastic play. Everyone is contributing and as a fan, it is great to watch. It’s a thrill. CC’s performance from yesterday was thrilling to see. Finally he has come up in a huge spot and performed the way we need him to (not just so we get our money’s worth I might add). It was a true pitchers duel. CC and Verlander, the Tigers’ ace, was just a sight for sore eyes. And to see CC come out on top it was just great. So, with teh Yankees winning and playing extremely well, the question is, what have the Red Sox been doing. Well, thanks to the Blue Jays and Roy Halladay, the Red Sox have failed to top the Jays in two consecutive days. This is STELLAR news for the Yankees because this means we have gained two games on the Red Sox at the top of the AL East.
So, the Blue Jays owe most of their success to Roy Halladay this season. His season on the mound has so far earned him an All Star Starting position, a huge spot in the trading market, and has just improved and improved on an already phenominal career. His performance against the Red Sox today proved that he is the best pitcher in the AL and possibly the entire MLB. Now, that’s saying something. Against the Sox, he through a complete game, had seven K’s and only gave up six hits and a run. He was totally STELLAR! He will surely win the Cy Young in the AL at the end of the season, assuming he continues to dominate the way he has so far.
The Mets have injury problems! It’s as simple as that. They have lost key guys on both offense and in the pitching staff. Starters, relievers, powerhouses, and pretty much every other type of guy they have lost so far this season. The injury I think is probably the biggest for this Mets team is Carlos Beltran. This guy was one of the biggest offensive performers on this team (and that’s saying something considering he shares the lineup with the likes of David Wright, Jose Reyes, and Carlos Delgado). He was also a very solid outfielder. Jose Reyes was the spark of the Mets offense. He got on base, ran (or at least made the pitcher worry about him running), and got into scoring position quickly giving the rest of the lineup to drive him in. There would be a great chance of that considering the guys I said earlier are in the middle of the lineup behind Reyes. JJ Putz in the bullpen was supposed to be the shutdown set up guy that would lead the way to K Rod. It was said that once the Mets got to Putz in the eighth, the game was over. Putz, then K Rod, then, well, the game is over. They won’t have any chance with what they have now. Although the guys replacing the big time stars are doing pretty well, the guys that they have lost are extremely important and will cost this team dramatically.
The Nats Suck! Seriously. THEY ARE 26 GAMES BACK! 26! Can you get any worse? The pitching is dreadful. The offense has a few guys that can put up some good stats but there is no chemistry. There is no flow. Zimmerman, Dunn, Dukes, maybe a few other guys here and there can have a good spurt but overall, they are terrible. I really can’t muster up anything else to say about them. They SUCK!
Yesterday, Yunel Escobar had a terrible game. Missing signs, having a tough game at the plate and in the field, and just didn’t have his head together for the game. Today, he kicked off the Braves-Mets game in the second with a solo shot to left. When the final out was recorded, Escobar had gone 3-4 with a homer, 4 RBI, and a run scored. This just proves my point that you can have a terrible day one day and thrive the next. Most of you won’t know about my ongoing battle with my friend that has had some pretty bad stretches of baseball in which he has said that he won’t do better the next day. Well, I hope he reads this because this story proves my point 100%.
Well, that’s all for today.
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.
Yes. I finally got my hands on a Mark Teixeira t-shirt. I’ve been working on it for a while, trying to find one in my size. I checked Olympia Sports, Champ Sports and some local sports stores but I couldn’t find any. I didn’t want to go online to get it becuase my mom didn’t want to use her credit card online. So yesterday while I was watching my brother and his friend and Chuck E. Chesse’s, I asked my mom if I could go over to the Olympia Sports that was right across the street. She allowed me to do so and I walked over with my friend who I met outside the shopping center. I looked around for a bit and I couldn’t find any Teixeira shirts at all. I went over to the counter to ask if they had any in the back. They went and checked and came back to tell me that they didn’t have any. I was so bummed. Then, right as I was leaving, a man walked in with a box of stuff that I assumed was just more stuff for the store. When we left and were just outside the store, the lady from the store ran out the doors and caught us before we were too far away. In that box was a supply of Yankees t-shirts and Mark Teixeira shirts were included. I was so happy. I went back inside and the got one out for me in my size. I payed for it and was on my way with my new Mark Teixeira t-shirt. Finally, after many weeks of searching, I finally found one. I was so excited.
The funny thing is, I’ve been looking a really long time for one of these. I don’t know why I couldn’t find any. I couldn’t even find any Robinson Cano shirts. The only Yankees shirts anyone had was Jeter, Chamberlain, Sabathia, and Posada. Now, you may think this is becuase I live in the Boston area where most people are Red Sox fans. But usually all the stores have bigger varieties of t-shirts. Usually they’ll have an even number of Jeter, Chamberlain, Sabathia, Posada, Teixeira, Burnett, and Cano shirts. When I couldn’t find any that I wanted, I was thinking they just didn’t want to sell it to me. It was the weirdest thing. But now that I have my Teixeira shirt, I am feeling more relieved. After a long time looking for it, I finally came out victorious and can call myslef a proud owner of a Mark Texieira Yankees t-shirt.
This past off-season was highlighted with the Yankees’ shopping spree in which they signed three of the top free agents on the market; Sabathia, Burnett and Teixeira. But among all the noise that the Yankees were making, the defending champion Phillies were making their own moves, including one to bring former Seattle Mariners’ outfielder Raul Ibanez to Philly. Now, Ibanez has been very good over the last few seasons of his career. When the Phillies signed him, they were hoping he would be a good replacement for Pat Burrell, who left to the Rays as a free agent. Ibanez has proven to be more than a good replacement. He is the Phillies’ top offensive player so far this season. Here are some of his stats:
- .312 batting average
- 22 jacks
- 59 RBI
- .656 slugging percentage
- 164 total bases
This guy is just tearing it up. Now, a strained groin has him on the 15 day DL. What a kick in the groin. Ibanez’s STELLAR season so far is going to have to go on hold for a little bit. And the Phils… they lose their top offensive production. Not that they don’t have any more (Chase Utley, Ryan Howard, Jayson Werth, Shane Victorino), but this loss is a huge misfortune for the Phitting Phils.
Being the defending world champs, they have had a lot on their shoulders, as has any other defending champion team. They have pretty much lived up to their expectations of having another good season. But this loss might end up being fatal to their championship run. With the tough NL East, the Phils will definitely have their hands full.
Ibanez was on pace to easily be in the running for MVP. Others in the NL that could make a run for it this season may be Albert Pujols, his teammate Chase Utley, David Wright and Brad Hawpe (I know a lot of you don’t know him but he’s having a really good season for Colorado).
The strained groin might keep him out for the All Star game, which he has the most votes for among NL outfielders. He is just having a great season and this injury may have ruined it. Hopefully for the Phils, he can heal quickly and they can get him back in time to continue their run for the playoffs.