If we can finally beat the Red Sox, then I say the Yankees can’t lose right now. 0-8 against the Sox on the season was enough for the Bombers who burst out last night for a 13-6 win in Yankee Stadium. Melky’s bomb in the fourth off the struggling John Smoltz was just the beginning of an explosive offensive outbreak that put the game out of reach for the Red Sox. An eight run fourth inning was enough for the Yankees but they added on another four to make sure.
The game was definitely homer friendly as six bombs left the yard. Teixeira hit his 28th on the year to put up the Yankees 13-4. Now, that’s all that would be for the Yankees but as I predicted, the Red Sox didn’t go out quietly.
In the ninth, Anthony Claggett came in to the game to try and hold down the Sox for another inning and secure the Yankees their first victory of the season over the Sox. Well, Claggett gave up two runs and the pressure started to build for the Yankees. But fortunately, the Yanks got out of it and came out with the win. A huge win for us. I was ecstatic.
So, now we’re 1-8 eight against the Red Sox on the season. Now, I am totally fine with having a losing record against them for the season. As long as we win some of them and we come out on top at the end of the season. This is a sign to me that the Yankees are still on a roll and they are not going to be stopped. I honestly think the Yankees don’t know how to lose right now. They are just tearing it up.
So how did Victor Martinez do in his first Red Sox-Yankees game. Well, he went 0-3 with three walks. He did score a run but other than that, he was invaluable in the Red Sox offensive attack. Casey Kotchman, another new arrival for the Sox had a pretty good game as he went 1-4 with a two run homer. He also walked once and scored two runs. Not bad for his first dose of the Red Sox-Yankees rivalry.
Mo didn’t appear at the end of the game because we were up by so much. No need to bring him in right. We’re winning by so much that we definitely won’t need him. Well, when Clagget started getting into trouble, I thought we might need him after all if they couldn’t get out of this trouble. Well, fortunately enough Mo didn’t have to waste a day of rest and was able to stay out in the bullpen.
Jed Lowrie, a recently called back up after rehabbing from his stint on the DL. He has played pretty well of late but yesterday he re-injured himself. Well, he may have. He came out of the game early because of numbness in his hand and forearm soreness. Hopefully he’s alright so he doesn’t have to back on the DL. That would really stink. He’s a good kid with a lot of potential.
The Yankees added some depth to their starting rotation. Since Phil Hughes and Alfredo Aceves have had such great success in the bullpen, the Yankees have opted to keep them there. But who is still there to start? That’s why they got Chad Gaudin. He’s been with the Padres most recently and had played with the Phillies recently as well. Gaudin should be a good fit to this Yankees team. He definitely adds the depth we needed in the pitching staff and I think this move makes us a lot lot lot lot lot better.
Well, I am extremely happy with the Yankees’ performance yesterday and I’m sure every other Yankee fan is too. They played great. Joba was great. The offense was obviously on fire. The pitching didn’t totally blow it. The defense was good. And everything was just flowing right. Just watch all you Red Sox fans. The Yankees aren’t done with you yet. The Yanks were just STELLAR.
Tonight we’ve got Burnett going against Beckett. The marquee matchup in this series that everyone always looks forward to. It’s going to be great. Burnett has not faired well agains the Sox recently so he’s looking for some revenge and he may get it if the Yankee offense can put up another great performance like last night.
Hey, would you look at that… the Yankees and Red Sox are tied for first at the top of the AL East. It was as simple as that. The Yankees sweep the Tigers and continue to play well against the Orioles. At the same time, the Red Sox are slumping and all of a sudden the Yankees are right back at the top of the East. All we need is one more win and another Red Sox loss and we’ll be the sole leader of the division. It’s great. Well, last night’s victory is much thanks to Hideki Matsui (aka “Godzilla”).
Matsui stepped up to the plate in the bottom of the ninth with the game tied at one. Jim Johnson on the mound, was looking to put the game into extras. But I think Matsui had different ideas. Early in the at bat, Matsui breaks his bat, leaving a small section from the bottom of the bat in Matsui’s right hand. It was a strange looking swing too, I might add. But he got a new bat and stepped back up to the plate. With his new bat, Matsui swung at a fastball middle in and demolished it to the right center bleachers. Right off the bat the crowd at Yankee Stadium erupted as they knew that “Godzilla” had returned. Matsui was regarded as “Godzilla” while in Japan as he hit many long home runs with a ton of power. The only thing about his nickname when he came to the Yankees is that the home run power wasn’t as dominant as it was in Japan. The name “Godzilla” wasn’t used very often but in times like this when he hits a walk off or even just a bomb here and there, “Godzilla” is the name of choice for Yankee fans.
Other than Matsui’s late game jack, defense played a huge part in this game. Mark Teixeira grounded a ball off the bat of Nick Markakis and fielded it a little bit awkwardly. He threw a sort of off balanced throw to Jose Molina at home and Molina, who had the wrong foot blocking home plate, swung his glove around in time to tag out the speedy Maicer Izturis. (Izturiz, who was on first when a hit and run was put on, ran with the pitch and slid into second, not knowing Brian Roberts had hit the ball. He then got up and started a slow walk back to first thinking the ball may be caught. When it wasn’t, he ran over to third but that is as far as he got. He should have scored but his baserunning error cost him and the O’s). Another great play at the plate came from Molina as well as Phil Coke who was on the mound. Now, usually a past ball is not a good thing but this one turned into a good thing. Coke threw one in the dirt and Molina went back to get it as the very speedy Brian Roberts was heading home. He threw to Coke who was covering the plate and Coke tagged out Roberts who never even touched the plate. Two amazing plays at the plate saved the tie for the Yankees and the game went into the ninth. You have to see the video because you can’t really understand how great these plays were. Here’s the link to the video.
So, the Yankees played a great overall game. Offensively, they were a little slow. The only run before Matsui’s homer was on an Eric Hinske homer. Same on the other side of the field. Only a Nick Markakis homer put the O’s on the board. So, other than the home runs, there was pretty much no offense on either side.
Pettitte pitched pretty well. He didn’t get the win though and that’s unfortunate since he deserved the win. The rest of the pitching was good as well. Aceves got the win as he pitched the ninth before Matsui’s homer. Here’s therest of the box score.
P.S. How ’bout that Kevin Millwood. Not only did he pitch great enough to stop the Red Sox, but he made two crazy snags against Dustin Pedroia who hit them right back to the mound. One he caught with his glove, but the second he snagged it with his bare hand. Very impressive.
I’ve been pretty busy the past few days and have been unable to get a post up here so I’m sorry for all of you readers who have had to wait for another post to come up. Well, I had some people staying at my house and we’ve been pretty busy. So that’s that.
When the people who were staying at my house left this morning, the first thing I did was check the MLB.com page to see what’s been going on the past few days. So here are my headlines.
- Yanks are still 3 games back of the Red Sox.
- The Yankees and Phillies both made clutch late performances to come up with wins.
- Clay Buchholz was phenominal in his return to the Red Sox rotation against the Jays.
- Roy Oswalt had it going against the Dodgers.
- Ryan Braun got hit in the hand by Bronson Arroyo and left the game with a sore wrist.
So now that I am all caught up, I thought I’d talk a little about the second half and what is to come in the MLB. It’s going to be exciting and I can’t wait. I am pumped for the playoff runs to come, to see who will take the top spots in the divisions around the league, who will get that wild card spot. It’s going to be great.
Let’s start off with them Yankees. Of course. Right now, they are 3 games back of the Red Sox in the AL East. They’ve been stuck in this position for a while now and I’d like to see it change. If we could get a few games back from the Red Sox that would be STELLAR. We got a win last night apparently against the Tigers. Some late game heroics from Mr. Teixeira gave us the lead and we kept it to take the series opener 5-3. This is good but Clay Buchholz and the rest of the Red Sox pitching kept the Jays at bay and won their game as well. So the standings stayed the same… again. It’s great that we’re winning, but we need the Red Sox to lose to get anywhere.
Now, transitioning from the Yankees-Tigers game… Curtis Granderson, the Tigers centerfielder, one of the heroes from the All Star Game, and my favorite player kept his STELLAR play going by going 2-4 with a home run and 2 runs scored. He has been having a great season so far and I love to see him keep it up. The Tigers are at the top of the AL Central right now and Granderson has been a big part of their offensive success. Keep it up man.
Next on my list from inside my head is the Dodgers. Man, how good are they. Now, they lose some here and there but so far in the first half of the season, they have racked up the wins and have the best record in baseball. They do it so quietly too. It’s weird. They have the play-makers on their team that are starting to be recognized for what they have done such as Andre Ethier, the O-Dog and Rafael Furcal. But as a team, they are very quiet and do very well without making a ton of noise. I think they will continue to play extremely well and will most likely have the best record at the end of the regular season and will have the top spot in the NL West… as usual. Manny’s return just strengthened a team that had already been thriving without him.
How about that Albert Pujols? After a disappointing All Star Game, Pujols bursted out with a 2-4 night, including a home run, 2 RBI, and 2 runs scored. He was just STELLAR. His offensive production is the single most important aspect to the Cardinals’ game. If he is not playing well, the Cardinals are going to struggle. Now, I don’t see that happening but if it does, that’s how things are going to be. Pujols is the best player in the MLB and is clearly recognized for it and has a very important role. He’s fantastic!
That’s all for now, so until next time…
Carl Crawford shined the brightest among the star studded rosters that participated in the 80th All Star Game last night. With a game saving catch to rob the Rockies’ Brad Hawpe of a home run and a 1-3 night at the plate, Carl Crawford was awarded the All Star Game MVP trophy from the commish Bud Selig. A great honor for Crawford who’s STELLAR play kept the AL in the game and gave them their 12th win in 13 years of All Star play. Congrats to Crawford for his achievement.
The game was a very good one, keeping me alert at all times. Different from the Home Run Derby the night before, the game was exciting and it was definitely worth watching. Most of the action happened early as the AL scored twice in the top of the first. The NL scored three times in the bottom of the second to go ahead in the game. Hmmmm. Maybe the NL had a shot at winning this thing. Well, maybe not.
In the fifth, the AL tied the score up with a run on a combined effort from Joe Mauer and Derek Jeter. The game then stayed scorelss until the eighth in which my favorite player, Curtis Granderson, tripled to deep left off the wall. Just missing a home run, Granderson swiftly made his way to third to put the go ahead run on. He was then driven in by an Adam Jones deep sacrifice fly. In fact when the ball first left his bat, I thought it was going out, but the wind must have knocked it down because it was just short of the warning track. It was deep enough to drive in Granderson and the AL went ahead.
The NL was then on the ropes for yet another loss in the All Star Game. They were unable to score in the bottom of the eighth as Joe Nathan got out of a little jam in which he had walked a guy and gave up a hit. In the bottom of the ninth, as he has his whole career, Mariano Rivera stepped up to the mound and shut down the NL 1-2-3.
Now, as I said in my first edition of this post, defense is a huge aspect of baseball, whether you think it is or not. In last night’s game, the ball off Brad Hawpe’s bat would have left the yard (barely) if it wasn’t for the great hustle from Crawford. His great concentration allowed him to catch the ball while hitting the wall. Michael Young made a couple nice plays over at third base in place for Evan Longoria who was a late scratch with an infection of his finger. All over the field, people were making some good plays. Ironically enough, each team had an error. Well, it didn’t seem to make that much of a difference but still… kind of ironic.
The All Star Game was a blast to watch. I was pumped that Curtis Granderson was a huge part of the game with his triple and game winning run. I didn’t know if he would get that much playing time but he did. In fact, his first at bat was when he hit the triple. That was the turning point in the game. It broke a tie and it broke the NL’s chances of winning for the first time in 13 years. Also, I was glad that Jeter and Rivera had good games. Teixeira didn’t really have any huge plays but his presence at first was felt as he played a solid game. The Yankees were well represented with their old skipper on the opposite bench, Joe Torre.
The starting pitching was supposed to be STELLAR but in fact, it wasn’t that STELLAR. Lincecum had trouble in the first inning where he gave up two runs on two hits. On the other side of things, Halladay gave up three runs on four hits. Only two of them were earned as one run scored on a Josh Hamilton throwing error. The rest of the game, the pitching was pretty good. Solid all around and it was a great thing to watch.
The All Star Game in general was pleasing to me. It got me back on track with baseball after a disappointing Home Run Derby Monday night. I’m pumped for the rest of the season and it is going to be a good one. The stars shone bright last night and the stars are going to shine bright the rest of the season as the playoffs near. The Yankees and Red Sox race for the top of the AL East is going to be a good one. The NL Central is about as tight as it gets. Everyone’s got a chance. The AL Central looks like the Tigers are going to take it. The Dodgers are still the best team in the bigs and will continue to play like it. Manny’s return will help them even more. It’s going to be a great second half of the season and I am psyched.
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.
The All Star teams were announced Sunday and I was pumped to see a bunch of my favorite players make the teams. Jay-Bay, Big Tex, Tim “the Kid” Lincecum, Curtis “How Grand He is” Granderson. They all made the team and I am pumped for the game and the entire All Star weekend. It’s going to rock.
So now, with most of the spots filled, there are the final votes to think about to see who will make the final spot on the AL and NL rosters. In the AL, Ian Kinsler, Chone Figgins, Brandon Inge, Carlos Pena, and Adam Lind make up the final vote list. In the NL, Pablo Sandoval, Shane Victorino, Cristian Guzman, Matt Kemp, and Mark Reynolds line up in hope of having their All Star dreams come true. All deserving, all willing, and all worthy choices of these two spots. But only one can be picked and everyone has their own opinions on who should be in St. Louis for the game. I believe my picks are solid and I can back them up. Some may not agree with them but some will. It all depends on your point of perspective. Here’s mine.
The first thing voters have to think of when they make their votes for the entire rosters in general is how they think the game should be played. Should it be played to win or should it be played with just the top players in each league. If you think the game is to be won, you might alter your picks to make sure there is more versatility on each roster. In the AL, instead of picking Ian Kinsler, who is having a STELLAR season, you may pick Chone Figgins who can play a few different positions. He can be moved around for a switch when you need to pinch hit for a pitcher. Since the game is being played in the National League, this is a very important aspect of the game, assuming you are playing to win the game. Now, if you take the “the best players should play” route, then Ian Kinsler and Carlos Pena would most likely be at the top of most peoples’ list. They have the best stats of the five players in the AL and they are the most worthy of the spot. But again, it all depends on how you look at the game.
On the NL side, you might pick an outfielder for the final vote, Shane Victorino or Matt Kemp for instance. The outfield is the most versatile position for the All Star game and outfielders can generally move around from each of the three positions. On the other hand, if you look at who deserves it the most, Victorino and Kemp would be up there, and Pablo Sandoval would be up there. Among the five, those three have the best stats. The same for the AL goes for the NL. It all depends on how you look at the game.
Personally, the way I look at it is this… the best players should make it, regardless of their versatility. I mean, yeah some guys that deserve it more than others aren’t going to make it because there is no spot for their position on the roster left. They might not be the best at their position and they won’t make the team. Say an outfielder makes the team because there are more outfield spots on the roster than second baseman. But say the second baseman is having a better season than the outfielder. Tough break. He’s not going to make the team. That is going to happen sometimes. But the best players at the positions available should make the team. That is the whole concept of the All Star Game. All Stars are the best in the game. They are meant to be honored at the All Star game as the best of the best. Not the guys who will help the team win. That rule was only recently appointed anyway. Back in the day when the All Star game was first started, the rosters were made up of those who were the best in the league. Now that the game counts, people take on a different perspective that I think ruins the voting process. All Stars are All Stars… that’s so simple.
The two guys I would pick would be Kinsler and Victorino. Now, Kinsler doesn’t give you much versatility. Big deal. He is having a better season than the starting second baseman, Dustin Pedroia, but might not even get in because of his lack of versatility. Victorino on the other hand is an outfielder and is more valuable as a versatile tool than maybe the other guys. Sandoval is also very versatile, able to play at the catcher, third base, and first base positions. It doesn’t get much more versatile than that. And Kemp is an oufielder too. But out of the three, I think Victorino is the best and is having the best season. In this case, it all comes down to who you think is having a better season. If the player is having a good season and is also versatile, than you have a great player and an easy pick. It’s pretty simple.
Now, those are my thoughts on how the All Star voting process should go. I’m sure there are many of you out there who disagree with my whole point of view, but I really don’t care. My final thought… All Stars are All Stars.
Alright… time for my weekly post of who’s who, who’s better, who would I pick, who would be more productive. Yeah. It’s awesome. Last week I talked about two of the best youngsters in the league who have been called up this season… the Pirates’ Andrew McCutchen and the Marlins’ Chris Coghlan. This week I’m bringing it back home, close to myself personally. The rivalry that I follow day in and day out. The Red Sox and the Yankees. And I’m going to be comparing the two first baseman in the top rivalry in sports. Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis.
Mark Teixeira: Now, Teixeira gets the edge defensively right off the bat. Not saying Youk isn’t a STELLAR first baseman, but Mark Teixeira is more than STELLAR. He’s that good. He is the solid firstbaseman the Yankees have been searching for. They haven’t had one in forever and the presence of Teixeira just makes me feel more secure when a ball is thrown into the dirt in front of first base. Tex has won a few gold gloves in his time and has proven to be the premier first baseman in the league. Now offensively, he is also tops in the league. He hits for power, can be clutch in the time of need, and just does everything right. He has made very few errors in his career offensively on the base paths. He is just an all around great athlete that knows how to play the game. This season, his stats include 20 homers, which is among the tops in the league, 60 RBI, a .274 average, which isn’t all that bad, and a .559 slugging percentage. Now, his home run numbers and his slugging percentage may have a little to do with him playing in Yankee Stadium and the new home run friendly right field, but he is still among the top offensive players in the league. He is great and a joy to watch play the game.
Kevin Youkilis: YOUKKKKKKKKK! His name is chanted everywhere. At home in Boston, away on the road (at Baltimore the most) and just everywhere he travels. Everyone loves Youk… except Yankee fans. Youk has had a tremendous season this year despite being on the DL early on. He has come back and proven he is ready to play and produce big numbers for the current first place Red Sox. So far this season, he has racked up 14 round trippers, 47 RBI, 19 doubles, a .314 average, and a .593 slugging percentage. He is also having a very good season at first base with a little time over at third. Youk has only made one error this season which matches Teixeira’s total. He has been able to make the transition over to third with ease to replace Lowell, who recently went on the DL. He is in the running for a starting position at first in the All Star game this year. He has a legitimate chance at winning that spot. He has been a solid guy at first and third for the Red Sox all year and has been one of the hottest hitters for the Red Sox at the plate along with Jason Bay who is having an MVP type year.
Now, here’s my pick. And before you say anything about him being a Yankee, hear me out. Teixeira is an all around great guy who plays the game right, can hit, can field like no one else, and is just a great face of the game. Youkilis is also a great hitter and a great fielder. He is in the middle of that powerful Red Sox lineup that has succeeded over the rest of the AL East this season. My pick of Tex came all down to defense. Youk is a good, solid firstbaseman but Tex has made the plays in the past, is doing it now, and will continue to do it. And other than actual fielding percentage, Teixeira makes a lot of nice plays that don’t show up in stat books or sheets. He knows what to do when the ball comes to him and he has done it over his entire career. Congrats Tex on your victory in this not-that-important debate. You rock.
-P.S.: another reason I didn’t pick Youk is because his beard is one of the ugliest things I’ve ever seen in baseball. And that batting stance… who taught him that???