Tagged: Nick Swisher

A-Rod and Teixeira Carry Yanks

A-Rod drove in two in the ninth with a home run, which was an absolute bomb by the way, to tie the game and sent it into extras.  In the eleventh, Mark Teixeira hit a “wall scraper” to win the game down the left field line.  Wow! What an exciting game but there is plenty more about this game that made it spectacular.

AJ Burnett and Nick Blackburn both threw outstanding games; Burnett went 6 innings and Blackburn went 5.2 each giving up a run.  Burnett gave up five walks which could’ve led to some pretty bad happenings for the Yanks but he got out of it like both teams did over the course of the game.  Blackburn gave up three hits and walked two while striking out three.  Overall, the starters threw a pitchers duel that was exciting to watch.  They always are, waiting to see who makes the first mistake that will cost them the game.

When Joba Chamberlain and Phil Coke combined to throw a perfect seventh inning I thought the Yanks were gonna cruise to another win with the way the bullpen was pitching.  Yeah right! Phil Hughes came in to pitch the eighth and that is where everything went wrong.  He was chased after only getting two outs after he gave up two hits and a walk which led to two runs.  It was a tough performance from Hughes and the Twins took the lead going into the final inning.

This is where I picked up the game on the radio on my way home from the movies with some friends.  I figured out that the Yanks were down 3-1.  It was killing me how the Yankees might end up losing to the Twins.  It was terrible.  But then it all happened.  Mariano Rivera finished the eighth and got out of the ninth with no more damage.  This was the time for the Yankees to hit there stride.  And they did.  Teixeira got on base and Alex Rodriguez brought him home with a bomb to the bullpen.  The game was tied and we almost won it in the ninth too.  Swish almost hit one but it was a few steps short of the wall.

In extras, it was pretty close with each team making their fair share of mistakes, pitching and fielding.  In general, the pitching only made a few mistakes to let guys get hits but the biggest one was when the Twins’ Joe Nathan threw the ball to second to try and pick off Brett Gardner and he threw it into the outfield.  Gardner shimmied over to third and was immediatley the number one priority for the Twins’ defense.  But Gardner made a mistake too.  On a line drive to the middle of the infield, Gardner took off towards home.  But he didn’t realize it was hit right at Orlando Cabrera and Gardner was doubled off at third.  That killed me.

The Yanks were unable to capitalize in the tenth but when Mark Teixeira came up in the eleventh, he came threw and hit a bullet down the the left field line that hit the top of the wall and bounced into the stands for the homer.  The game was finally over and the Yankees won again.  Just like I predicted they would.  It was a great game that was not only going have every one on the edge of their seats, but it was key to the outcome of this series.  Now the Yankees don’t necessarily have to win on the road they can have the comfort of playing another game at home if they are unable to win in Minnesota, which won’t be an easy task.

-Dillon

CC, Yankees Roll

The Yankees just keep on rolling and to be completely honest, I think it will take a lot more than the effort the Twins gave last night to stop the Bombers.

CC was absolutely phenominal.  I can’t say enough about it.  He pitched 6 2/3 solid innings and he was just about as good as he has been all year.  This win shows that despite being denied 20 wins on the season that he is still about as good as they get.  With 8 K’s and only one earned run, I officially summarize this game for the Yanks as domination.

CC wasn’t the only successful Yankee last night.  Far from it in fact.  Let’s start with the Captain.  Mr. November just picked up where he left off in the regular season and completely dominated Twins pitching.  He was 2-2 with a homer, three runs scored, and two RBI’s.  An outstanding performance from the captain was just the beginning of the successt the Yankees had last night.

Hideki Matsui surely showed that he still deserved the nickname “Godzilla” and belted a homer in the fifth.  He finished the game having gone 1-3 with that homer and he also drew a walk.

A-Rod went 2-4 wtih two RBI’s and a run scored and he played a solid third base as well.  Nick Swisher also drove in a run to add to the Yankees’ success.  Another thing I’d like to add about Swisher is how important his clubhouse presence has been all season.  Every team should have at least one guy like this.  Someone to keep everyone going and to keep spirits up.  The jokester on the team, the prankster.  Swisher definitely filled that roll this year with the Yankees and I am really grateful of that.

When the game finally rolled into the ninth inning, it looked as if the game was done with.  The Twins had no chance.  They weren’t even gonna come close to scoring at all…

-Now with the way I just said all that it seems like I’m going to say that they came back and won the game.  Yeah right.  Not on Mo’s watch.

Mariano Rivera pitched as spectacularly as he has all year.  Another great performance that left the Twins scratching their heads.  He let up one hit and one walk but other than that he was fantastic striking out two.

The great thing about Mo is that he does all of this with only one pitch.  His cutter, which wasn’t originally a cutter, has gotten the job done over his career unlike any other pitcher’s pitch in history has.  That story was in Sports Illustrated recently and it was one of the best articles I have read in a while.  Mo is one of a kind.

With the opening game win in the books, the Yanks have one day off before they send AJ Burnett out to face off against Nick Blackburn.

-By the way doesn’t Blackburn and Joe Mauer look really similar or is it just me?

  Joe Mauer - Minnesota Twins

Well, I’m pretty sure that Burnett has the advantage in this one but Blackburn is still a quality pitcher. The Twins may have some chance… possibly… maybe a little… Yeah right, I’m just joking.  The Yankees are going to win this one as they did the first one.

Go Yankees!

-Dillon

Uno, Dos, Tres…

C’mon Jorge.  It goes like this.  Uno… dos… tres… so on.  How can you not think this was hilarious.  I mean, Yankee fans as well as everyone else around the MLB community should get a kick out of this.  And I figured that after being away from this blog for a week or so I should start back up with something simple and funny.  This is the perfect thing.

The Yankees are still rolling with the division lead over the Red Sox which is now up to 6.5 games if you were wondering.  Last night, they played the second game of a three game series against the O’s at Camden Yards and there were plenty of exciting moments, and strange ones as well.

The Bombers are the Bombers.  You have to expect them to hit a lot of homers.  Not only while they are at homer friendly Yankee Stadium, but also while they are on the road.  I mean, they are just a really talented and powerful team that hits a lot of homers.  Get over it haters.

Robby Cano hit one in the second inning.  Jorge Posada hit one in the third and then hit another one in the fifth.  A two homer night wasn’t the only thing that got Posada recognized though.  More on that in a second.  Nick Swisher and Eric Hinske both went yard in the seventh.  So there is your list of homers on the night and as always, a very impressive performance by the Bombers.

So, Posada had a great game offensively against the O’s yesterday.  But I don’t think he remembered how to count.  Twice, Posada got the counts messed up and the home plate umpire had to remind him of what was going on.

At one point, HP ump Angel Hernandez had to remind Posada that he had just looked at ball four and was awarded a walk.  This was a few seconds after Posada looked at the pitch and as he was getting ready for another.  The pitcher would’ve loved to get another chance but the umpire was alert and gave Posada the heads up.  The second time he messed up the count.  He thought he had struck out.  When he started walking back to the dugout, Hernandez, as well as guys in the dugout were telling him it was only two strikes.  It was great.  Hysterical.

Both Derek Jeter and A-Rod were filmed by the camera men at the game laughing about the incident and Johnny Damon was also in there somewhere too.  It was really funny and all his teammates were getting a kick out of it.  What I really don’t get is how Posada, being a catcher, messed up two different counts in one game.  It is really strange and it doesn’t happen often.

So remember Jorge.  Uno, Dos, Tres, Cuatro.

-Dillon

Cano is a Legitimate Bronx Bomber

He can get on base in a variety of ways

He can field second base with the best of them

He and Derek Jeter are the best double play team in the bigs

And Robinson Cano has developed into a legitimate power threat

The Bronx Bombers are exactly that… a group of dudes who where pinstripes and go yard a lot.  I mean, this year, the Yankees have six guys with at least 20 homers on the season.  Teixeira, Damon, Matsui, Swisher, Cano, and Rodriguez.  This is a Major League best and it just shows how the Yankees play the game of baseball.  Now, I know everyone will speculate that the reason the Yankees have so many home runs is because of that right field fence.  But the dimensions are the same from the old stadium.  It is really no different than the old stadium but because of the power surge, people are thinking that the right field fence is the reason so many baseballs have left the playing field in Yankee Stadium.

Cano has evolved as a very good second baseman that can play the field and can hit in a variety of ways.  He can hit for power and go yard, or he can get on base with a single of maybe a double down the line or in the gap.  Cano has really developed into a good hitter who can take his pitches and get on base by way of the walk.  This is a really powerful thing when a batter can take pitches and allow the opposing pitcher to walk him.  It’s a free base and it requires nio work on behalf of the batter.  Most of you who read my blog a lot would know by now that I hate walks with a passion.  But that is only if the Yankees’ pitchers walk opposing batters.  If Yankee batters are the ones being walked, I love the walk.  Check out how good they are here:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BH5G3R7810w

Since Cano has been up in the big leagues, he has partnered with Derek Jeter to become one of the best double play teams in the Major Leagues.  Derek Jeter has been doing it for years and now Cano has made this duo a great thing to watch.  It really is amazing how quickly and accurately these two guys turn two.  Jeter does a great job of getting to the ball.  He really takes advantage of his range at short.  He gets the ball to Cano pretty quickly and then Cano, who is the most important part of this duo, catches the ball and basically misdirects it towards first.  It is that fast.  I’m almost 100% sure that Cano is the fastest double play turner in the Majors.  I’ve never seen anyone even close to it.  It’s amazing.

Cano doesn’t have a ton of speed but he runs the basepaths like a true professional.  You rarely see him make a mistake on the paths; he always knows when to go and when to hold up.  He does have some speed and will use it if he really needs to get to the next base.  You won’t go to a Yankees game and expect to see Cano attempt to steal second.  It’s just not something the Yankees try to do with Cano.  It’s alright since the Yankees aren’t a running team. They rely on power and just pure hitting.  And they can get away with it too since they have the talent to do it.

I have begun to really like Cano over the past couple years.  He is really turning into a true pinstriper.  He’s great to watch and he is becoming more and more of an important hitter in the Yankees lineup.  Yeah, he’s batting fifth or sixth most of the time but that’s because they have other guys filling in the top of the order and that puts him in the middle to the backend of things.  That just shows how great the Yankees are.  Cano recorded his fourth career walk off hit on August 12th against the Jays.  With the game tied at three in the 11th inning, Cano sent a shot to right center field that just missed being a homer.  It hit off the wall and scored Alex Rodriguez from second.  Cano has become a huge force in the Yankees’ lineup and will continue to improve with experience.

Go Yanks!

-Dillon

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

I Can’t Really Say It Any Other Way

Touche!

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.

Go Yanks!

-Dillon

Strasburg Signs, Cards Beat Dodgers Again, Tomko Beats Former Team

Strasburg is signed, the Yanks were kept scoreless by their former comrad, and the Cards continue to dominate the Dodgers, MLB’s best team.  Here we go…

Yesterday I talked about the whole Strasburg situation.  Well, he’s finally signed; it took until 11:58 Monday night to get it done.  Another Scott Boras guy, Strasburg was drafted number one by the Nats and is expected to be the start of a reformation in the nation’s capital.

Here’s a comment I got on my post from yesterday by Julia from Julia’s Rants:

“Dillon- Jacoby Ellsbury has to be near the top of your list as well.  Many a wall wear scares from him.  And Strasburg?  Sadly another case of his devil of an agent trying to extort money from teams.”

Julia put it right on the money.  Boras has the reputation of extorting money from teams trying to sign his clients.  He definitely gets his clients money but he is not like much by other players, teams, and fans because of how he does it.  For the Nationals, they are probably ecstatic that they were able to sign Strasburg.  Boras took it down to the last minute until Strasburg told him to get it done because of his wanting to play.  It’s done now and you can expect to see Strasburg in the nation’s capital next spring.

Hey, Yankee fans!  Remember this guy.  Yeah.  It’s Brett Tomko.  He kind of played for us this year until we released him in July because he wasn’t performing to the level of success that we needed him to.  Yeah, him.  Well, he’s on the Athletics now and he just shut us out yesterday.  What a shame.

The Yankees were held to seven hits and were walked twice.  Tomko was definitely on his game for the first five innings of the game before he was taken out.  And even after he was relieved, the Yankees were still baffled by the Athletics’ pitching.  They just couldn’t get it done.  After Tomko came out, they only got two more hits.  That’s terrible.  How could this happen against the A’s of all teams?  Well, at least we can say AJ Burnett and Derek Jeter had really really good games.

Burnett went a complete game (8 innings) of STELLAR work.  He only allowed six hits, one less than the Yankees had as a team.  He struck out five and walked two.  Not a bad performance.  In fact, it’s a very good performance.  This would be the kind of performance we would assume came in a Yankee victory.  But unfortunately the Yankee bats were held quiet.  But not Derek Jeter.

Jeter went 3-4 with three singles.  He didn’t do much more than that but at least he was able to have some success agaisnt the Oakland pitching.  Mark Teixeira and Nick Swisher both hit doubles, their only hits of the game.  Jorge Posada and Ramiro Pena both hit singles as well.  The Yankees still have a seven game lead on the Red Sox in the AL East.

Chris Carpenter was dealing last night against the Dodgers.  He went eight innings of work giving up only five hits and a walk.  He struck out eight.  He only gave up two runs on the game which is a good sign as for his run control goes.  The offense also helped out.  It took until the end of the game to pull ahead but it happened eventually and Carpenter was still on the mound to record the win.  Pujols homered in the fourth to tie the game at one apiece.  Then in the seventh, Rick Ankiel sent a bomb to deep right center to go ahead 3-2.  The Cards kept the lead with Trevor Miller and Ryan Franklin who combined to pitch the ninth.  The Dodgers seem to have no answer for the Cards this season.  They could be a deadly foe for the Dodgers in the playoffs as the Cards may have the top of the Central division come the end of the season.  Who knows, maybe the Cards will out play the MLB’s best team.

-Dillon