Tagged: Mets

Sweet Sweet Victory

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.

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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.

Game Two:

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.

-Dillon

Expect the Unexpected

This phrase is one that most people know and understand, one that applies to every day life.  It is a simple one.  Meaning that you can’t always expect what is supposed to happen.  Sometimes, unexpected occurrences happen and you don’t know what to do.  Sometimes the unexpected isn’t anything hard to deal with but you just didn’t expect it to happen.  It’s not that hard to understand which is why it is a critical saying to general every day life.

Now, think about this.  If I asked you who would win the NL Wild Card, you would probably give me a breakdown of every division and who would come in first and second.  Then you would probably figure out who has the best chance at having the best record among the second place teams.  So, I did a little experiment with my pal Jay.  He was unaware of my intentions to put this in my blog so he’ll figure out later.

Me: Jay, how do you think the NL playoffs will be shaped up at the end of the season.

Jay: The Dodgers, no doubt, are gonna win the West.  That’s no question.

Me: I agree 100%.  How could Manny and Ethier and Furcal and the O-Dog go without winning that division.  They’re just too good and too consistent.

Jay.  I think the Cards will pull it out in the Central because they have Holliday now to bat behind Albert.  Too much power and good enough pitching to get along.  Now the East is the toughy.

Me:  It always is.  That’s why I say the Phils are gonna repeat as NL East champs.

Jay: I think the Phils will as well.  The Mets were my pre-season choice but now with all the injuries I can’t pick them and you’ve got to like what their doing down in Philly.

Me: That addition of Cliff Lee will probably end up being the biggest, most important trade of tbe year if the Phils get deep into the playoffs.

Jay: I think the Cubbies could make a run at the Wild Card.  They have been playing better of late and I think they will continue winning and take themselves into the playoffs.  I think that’s how it’ll all work out.

Me: That’s a very intersting look at things but it’s your decisions and I can’t make them for you.  Thanks man.

Jay: No problem.

This conversation took place over the phone a day after the Cards aquired Matt Holliday from the Athletics.

Now, I agree with every one of those predictions except the one that the Cubs will win the wild card.  How can you not think about the Rockies.  They have been playing really well of late and they are at the top of the Wild Card standings.  Jay said that he still thought the Cubs will streak right past both Colorado and San Fran but I don’t think that’s going to happen.  The Cubs may be playing great of late but the Rox are too.  I think they will pull away.

Now why would I go to all this trouble just top see who someone would pick to win the Wild Card?  Because seriously, who would think the Rockies would be in the playoff picture at all.  And how ’bout the Giants too.  I don’t think I would meet anyone that thought they would have a chance at the playoffs.  This is why you have to EXPECT THE UNEXPECTED.

The Rox have a real good chance at makign the playoffs as the Wild Card.  They pulled away another  game yesterday with a win and the Giants’ loss.  The Rox are riding a four game win streak and I don’t think they will let anyone stop them from getting to the playoffs.

Even though the Rox were in the playoffs in 2007 in which the Red Sox beat them in four games, they were unexpected to be there that year too.  They just weren’t considered a good enough team to get that far into the playoffs.  Somehow they did and then they got swpet by a really good Red Sox team.  But still, the point is that they were unexpected to be there.  Same with this year but they may just do it.

Watch out MLB, here come the Rox.  And maybe even the Giants.

-Dillon

Thoughts From 7/19/09

Top Thoughts:

  • 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.

-Dillon

Way To Go Mo

This guy works extremely hard.  He loves the game.  He respects the game.  He plays the game right.  He Is a hall of famer for sure.  He is loved by so many fans around the MLB communnity.  He’s Mariano Rivera, and he is the newest member of the 500 saves club.

The game was on ESPN’s Sunday Night Baseball last night and I was pumped that I would be able to watch the Yanks again; they were on Saturday Night Baseball on MLB Network the night before.  So I was sitting in front of the t.v. and I watched as the Yankees looked really good again.  I was thinking that there is no way we won’t sweep them.  I was in that kind of mindset.  It was great.  Chien Ming Wang didn’t suck… that’s good.  Maybe he’ll start to get it going.  Now the offense wasn’t all that great.  That’s my one concern from last night’s game.  We only had four hits over the course of the game.  None of them were homers but we did get a lot of help from the Mets pitching who walked eleven guys overall.  That helped us a ton.  We had the win going into the ninth in which Mo got an extra run to work with.  He was actually at the plate and was walked by K-Rod with the bases loaded to bring in a run.  That was Rivera’s first career RBI.  Well, that’s all for last night’s game.  It was good.  We got the sweep and it looks like we’re back on track headed back into the American League.  Let’s keep it up, huh guys.

So back to Mo.  He was STELLAR!  As he has done many times in the past, he came in to finish the eighth inning and then went on to finish the game in the ninth.  He struck out two and didn’t give up anything at all as he cruised to his 500th career save.  He is now in the company of Trevor Hoffman who is the only other guy to have reached 500 saves.  This save puts him in that hall of fame by me.  But my vote isn’t legit so hopefully the legitimate voters see things the same way I do.  He is a hall of famer no doubt.

Congrats to Mo on his milestone and congrats to the Yanks on their sweep of the Mets.  We absolutely dominated the Mets during interleague play.  Especially the last four games.  We have been STELLAR

Well, until next time… hasta luego.

-Dillon

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

Talk About Scoring Some Runs…

There were clearly doubts about the Yankees’ offense’s ability to score runs during the Red Sox series.  But man, maybe they were just saving it to make their cross town rivals look really bad… not to mention their ace.  Yeah.  The Yanks demolished the Mets in the Subway Series finale, 15-0.  The series was split one game apiece but the Yanks broke that split with authority as they did everything right in the rout of the Mets.

AJ Burnett took the mound and man, was he STELLAR… for the most part.  He went seven strong innings, giving up four hits and four walks.  No runs.  He shutout an injured, but still powerful Mets offense.  His curve was filthy and no one could lay off it.  Alex Cora struck out after going up 3-0 in the count.  Burnett used the curve to strike him out as Cora chased.  His fastball was also very good.  Clocking in at 95-96, as usual, Burnett was just dominating Mets’ batters.  He struck out Carlos Beltran on a low fastball that got Beltran fired up.  Jerry Manuel came out to defend his player and got booted.  It was an intense couple of minutes… just joking, it wasn’t really that intense.  So Burnett was really good today… there you go.

The offense was also very good.  I mean c’mon… the score was 15-0.  Robby Cano and Hideki Matsui both hit monster shots for round trippers.  Francisco Cervelli had a big game at the plate, as well as behind it.  More on that later.  Derek Jeter, Johnny Damon, Melky Cabrera.  They also had big games.  Mark Teixeira went 1-4 on the game and wasn’t really that much of a factor.  Same with A-Rod, who went 0-4.  But that’s alright since everyone else contributed a lot.  He was fine. 

So, Francisco Cervelli.  How ’bout this kid.  He is batting under .200 when he is called up to the Majors.  But the Yanks didn’t bring him up for his bat.  They did so for his play behind the plate.  Both behind the plate and at the plate, Cervelli showed that he was ready to play.  He had a great offensive game and really controlled the game behind the plate.  In the top of the third, the Mets threatened with the bases loaded, but Cervelli guided Burnett, a veteran, through the next three at-bats and got three straight outs.  He was such a big presence behind the plate that I am so glad we have.  During an Alex Cora at-bat, Cora was up 3-0, as mentioned before.  Cervelli got up, very wide, and gave Burnett a big target for his fastball.  He nailed it.  This just showed me that Cervelli is indeed a professional.  He was STELLAR.

So everything was going extremely well for the Yankees today.  The pitching was STELLAR, the offesne definitely did their job in scoring some runs, and the DEFENSE played extremely well as well.  Johnny Damon made a nice running catch in the outfield.  The infield played good D and didn’t allow anything into the outfield on the ground.  And definitely the defensive highlight of the game was on a ground ball up the middle by Reed.  Ramiro Pena, fresh off the bench, got to the ball, shoveled it to Robinson Cano at second and Cano made the bare handed grab and threw it to first to complete the double play.  As this happened I was thinking, “that’s on top plays tomorrow.”  Derek Jeter also made a nice double play in the game. too.  Cano got a ground ball and threw it to Jeter who made a perfect leap over the hard slide of Gary Sheffield and made the throw to first.  It was another nice defensive play that doesn’t always get recognized in the box scores.  Well, it gets recognized here.

  

It was great.  I loved to watch them play so perfectly.  As I write this, the Phils-Red Sox game is headed to the ninth and the Phils are up 11-5.  This is good for us because if the Phils hang on, we’ll get another game back in the AL East standings.

Great win guys!

Go Yanks… Go Phils

-Dillon

Yanks Walk Off In Improbable Fashion

Well, the Yank and Sox just ended a rivalry series but they are still in the news together.  Both teams are involved in the top two interleague series’ taking place this weekend.  The Yankees are playing the Mets in the first Subway Series this season, and the Red Sox are taking on the defending champs Phillies.  Both great matchups.  Both headline matchups.  So far, the Yanks have taken the first game of the series with the Mets on a walk off.  The cause of the walk off- an error by Luis Castillo.  More on this later.  Now the Red Sox were in no need of a walk off.  They beat the Phils 5-2.  They shut out one of the best hitters in baseball, Chase Utley, and overall dominated the Phils.  So here we go.

Joba took the bump for the Yanks against Livan Hernandez who has been pitching very well for the Mets lately.  He pitched all right through four innings of work.  But at least we can say he pitched through three innings.  The funny thing is, he only gave up one hit.  But he gave up two runs.  The reason for this is five walks.  And all of you know how much I hate walks.  So he gave up the two runs, but nothing to drastic.  He also struck out three.  He had a pretty good night despite only pitching through four.  And when a pitcher comes out early, I always get worried because we have to give it up to the bullpen.  And that hasn’t exactly worked out that well for us most of the season.

Brett Tomko was the first to come out from the ‘pen and he caused the most damage of all.  He gave up four runs on three hits and two walks.  He gave up a homer to Gary Sheffield that drove in two of the runs he gave up.  He only pitched .2 of an inning so it’s even worse that he gave up so much in such a little time. 

Dave Robertson came in and pitched 1.1 innings.  He gave up one hit, one walk, one run, and had three strikeouts.  Not terrible but we needed him to hold them to no runs.  That would have been better.  Phil Coke came in to relieve Robertson and pitched 1.2 innings of perfect ball.  He gave up nothing.  Zero.  Zilch.  Nada.  You get the idea.  Then he was relieved by Mariano Rivera who was in for the last out of the eighth.  And things went pretty bad for him.

Rivera came in and gave up a hit and a walk that would lead to a run to tie the game for the Mets.  This was not what I expected from Rivera at all.  Well, I was wrong, obviously.  He did strike out two so the one run was all they got.  It was all up to the Yanks offense now.  Rivera pitched a good ninth and the game was still tied.

The Yanks then came up to the plate to first face Pedro Feliciano.  HE got one out and handed it over to Francisco Rodriguez.  K-Rod if you will.  He is the one who had problems.  Not often found from K-Rod.  He gave up a hit and a walk and then, everything went wrong for the Mets.  A-Rod came up to bat and popped it up to Luis Castillo.  The Mets second baseman dropped the ball and two runs scored.  The Yanks took the game on an improbable play.  A walk off not often seen but it happened and the Yanks got the win.  It was a great way to end and exciting and pant wetter of a game.  Way to go Yanks.  Luis Castillo- sorry it had to happen to you.

A win for the Yanks has been scarce over the last few games.  They were swept by the Sox and that just made it even worse.  But this win over another rival must boost their confidence.  We need to get some more wins and hope the Phils can get it done against the Red Sox.  We are currently 2 game back of the Sox who are in first.  Hopefully we can get some more wins against the Mets to make up for the sweep from the Red Sox.

Go Yanks!

-Dillon