- 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.
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.
As most of you who read Jeff Lung’s and Allen Krause’s “RedStateBlueState” blog would know, Jeff’s favorite team is the Tigers and Allen’s favorite team is the Cards. Well, the two teams faced off in the rubber match of their interleague series and the Tigers avoided a sweep with a 6-3 victory. With the 2-1 series win for the Redbirds, Allen gets bragging rights in this years Tigers-Cardinals matchup. Fortunately for Jeff, and his sanity, the Tigers were not swept and Jeff won’t go totally insane.
So, it was a pitching matchup of Joel Piniero and Rick Porcello. Both good arms that have had their share of good games and bad games this season. Porcello went 5.2 innings giving up 3 runs (1 Earned) on eight hits and two walks. He also had three K’s. Piniero went deeper into the game but ultimately got the loss. He went 7, giving up 4 runs (1 Earned) on 5 hits. He didn’t walk anyone and had 4 K’s. Other than Jason Motte, who gave up two runs on three hits (2 homers), the relievers were pretty good. Fernando Rodney did walk three guys in his save attempt but still got the save after shutting down the rest of the batters he faced.
Curtis Granderson (my guy), Placido Polanco, and Brandon Inge all had two hits on the day. Polanco had a homer off Motte in the eighth. Other than these three guys, the rest of the offense was quiet. Marcus Thames also had a homer, his only hit of the day, to drive in one. Gerald Laird also drove in one on one hit. So overall, the Tigers offense didn’t do too bad, but they did better than the Cards’ offense which is all that needs to be done to win a game.
So, Allen, don’t get on Jeff’s back too much. And Jeff, good luck.
Sorry Josh. You had the stuff man, but my boy Curtis Granderson didn’t feel like going hitless for the night.
Josh Beckett was smoking hot last night. He had it all going on. He had a fastball that was clocking in at… well, I don’t know how fast it was but it was dominant. His curveball was filthy and his offense was giving him run support. All looked to be going well for him. So after about five innings, I start to notice that Mr. Beckett has a no-no going so far. He hasn’t given up a single hit to any of the Tiger batters. It’s about time Beckett has had an extremely dominant start.
Now, I’m not saying he hasn’t been good for the Sox this season, because he has, but his stuff that he used to have- his almost unhittable fastball, a nasty breaking ball, and just overall smarts for the game- hasn’t necessarily been there all year. He’s had some very good starts so far this season and has been a big part of the Red Sox success. But last night, he was pitching probably the best I’ve seen him pitch all season.
So back to last night’s game. He was STELLAR through six innings of work giving up only two walks. He struck out a handful of guys and were just making guys look foolish at the plate. Staring at curveballs that just plopped right into the strikezone. He was just nasty.
So along rolls the game and we get into the seventh inning. Beckett continues to pitch well and, my boy, Curtis Granderson steps up to the plate. Here is the current status of the inning.
Runner on first.
Josh Beckett threw a fastball with some tailing action that comes back in on Granderson and Granderson lined it into right field. The first hit of the game. Now, Granderson’s last at-bat ended in a strikeout as Beckett through a nasty pitch that just tailed back onto the plate, similar to the pitch that Granderson hit for the game’s first hit. Maybe that hit was payback for the strikeout???
Beckett still had a great game despite not throwing the no-no. I mean, c’mon. A no-no is extremley hard to throw. So many pitchers have had great games after their possible no-no, or even perfect game, was ruined. Earlier this week, Joba Chamberlain was pitching agaisnt the Indians. He was absolutely STELLAR as well. His fastball was dominant and his curve was also dominant. He had a perfect game going through four but gave up a homer to Victor Martinez. It happens. And last season, the Red Sox’s own Curt Schilling was one out away from a no-no when he gave up a single to Shannon Stewart. It ruined his game but he still had an excellent performance. It happens. It’s hard to throw a no-no or a perfect game. You still had a good outing though, didn’t you? Think about that.
Beckett ended the game having pitched 7.2 innings, striking out nine, and only allowing two hits and two walks. His performance helped the Red Sox defeat the Tigers 10-5. And isn’t that what every player’s job is? To help their team win. I’m pretty sure it is.
Now, my boy Curtis Granderson ended the game with some big stats. He went 2-4 with a base clearing triple. He was great.
The effort from Josh Beckett was fantastic. I always like to see guys in the MLB who work hard, and every day until they retire. They are the true baseball players. Beckett is one of the best in the business. He’s always working hard. And despite that Red Sox uniform he wheres, I still appreciate his hard work and his great play. It is what makes the MLB great. It’s what makes baseball great.