A Strange Case, Eh?

2010 Pretty In Pinstripes Challenge Tracker: Entry #55 – 6/4/10 – Yankees @ Blue Jays

Final Score: Yankees 1, Blue Jays 6.

Welcome to Canada, eh?
This was our first game against the Toronto Blue Jays this season. We were up in the land of maple syrup and bacon, playing at the Rogers Center Centre.
In tonight’s thrilling installment of the Strange Case Of Dr. AJ and Mr. Burnett, we saw Mr. Burnett. He is Dr. AJ‘s not-so-strikeout alter ego, who likes to give up home runs, and gets owned by AstroTurf.
I know the Blue Jays have been hitting a lot of home runs this season, but three off of AJ? Come on, now.
Mr. Burnett pitched six innings, and gave up six runs on six hits. 6 IP, 6 H, 6 R. 6-6-6?
Only AJ Burnett would manage to have his final line be the Devil’s number. His behavior behaviour makes this number seem quite fitting. That’s not it. It gets even creepier. AJ had two strikeouts, and he walked four batters. 2 K, 4 BB. 2 + 4 = 6. 
Well, that explains AJ’s bad start: He was possessed by the Devil.
I must admit, I lost interest in this game early on. I didn’t stop watching, I just stopped paying attention. I was watching the game online through MLB.tv, and I had my TV on ESPN, which was showing the National Spelling Bee. 
I found the words rhabdomyoma and leguleian far more interesting than AJ’s generosity to the Jays, and our comatose bats. I got fired up when one girl was asked to spell gnocchi. Really? Gnocchi is a National Spelling Bee word? I think that there should be a strict rule, stating that a word which is found on an Olive Garden menu cannot be used in the National Spelling Bee.
Anyway, back to the snoozefest game.
I enjoy seeing zeros across the board when they’re in our favor favour, but I don’t like seeing zeros down our own RBI column. Take a took at this beauty:
How can that be, when the Yankees scored one run? Well, the run was scored when Nick Swisher grounded into a double play. The run scored, but he wasn’t given the RBI. We had no RBIs on the night. That pretty much sums up our offense during this game.

In conclusion:

On to the next.

Welcome To The SWEEP-stakes!

2010 Pretty In Pinstripes Challenge Tracker: Entry #54 – 6/3/10 – Orioles @ Yankees

Final Score: Yankees 6, Orioles 3.

Oh, how sweep it is!
A win is a win, and a sweep is a sweep. No matter what team you’re facing, it always feels good to sweep them under the rug.
It was a good game. CC Sabathia pitched well, our batters hit well, Chamberlain had a clean eighth inning, and Mariano Rivera got the save. 
It wasn’t Rivera’s best inning of work. He wasn’t exactly efficient with his pitch count. We did, however, see him hit 94 and 95 MPH with a few of his pitches. When was the last time we saw that much heat from Mariano? At first I thought the radar gun was broken, but then I checked out other sources, and it was indeed accurate. Seeing that velocity from Mariano again is unbelievable. He threw too many pitches, but still got the job done. Praise be to Mo.
As happy as I am about this sweep, I’m a little sad about the state of the Baltimore Orioles. I’m a Yankees fan, but I’m also a fan of baseball in general. As much as I love winning, I love it even more when we beat teams that look alive on the field. The Orioles looked dead out there. It looks as though they’ve already given up on having a winning season. It truly is a sad sight.
Remember when Baltimore was a strong contender in our division? Up until the late 90’s they were. Now, they’re just stuck in the basement, and it’s quite depressing. 
It’s only the beginning of June, for heaven’s sake. We’re only a third of the way through the season. It’s too soon for the Orioles to give up now! Will they make it to the playoffs? Probably not. But they can still finish the season with a winning record. The odds are against them, but that doesn’t mean they shouldn’t fight. It’s always heartbreaking to see a baseball team playing with no passion or hope. It’s bad for baseball as a sport.
I wish the Orioles would go back to contending. I wish they’d go back to being an obstacle we’d have to overcome to win the division. With the Rays being a strong team, the Red Sox being dangerous, and the Blue Jays being decent, we need the Orioles to become a winning team, so that our division can become even stronger.
A lot of Yankees fans don’t want our division to be any stronger than it already is. The Rays are already ahead of us, the Red Sox may break out into a hot streak at any moment, and we haven’t even faced the Blue Jays yet, so we don’t know how we’ll be against them. A better Orioles team might mean less wins for the Yankees. 
All of that is true, but I’m the type of fan who wouldn’t mind sacrificing an easy win or two, so that we may have better baseball.
Having more contenders in our division, means more heated competition. The hotter the competition is, the less room we have for error. Less room for error leads to better baseball. In a game against our division rivals, I would rather have nine competitive innings, than nine easy innings in which our opponents look dead. I find it boring to play a team 18 times a season, and have them looking dead in at least 12 of those games. 
I have enough faith in the strength of our team to wish that our opponents were stronger. It’s not a fluke, boys and girls, our Yankees are stacked from top to bottom. I really think we’ll win the division this year. When we do, wouldn’t you much rather go into the playoffs with the satisfaction of knowing that we beat the best that baseball has to offer?
Our division already is the best in baseball, but I want it to be even better. Having five teams with winning records in our division would make it an amazing season. It would also add t
o the drama of the race for October, and would make winning a title all the more sweet.
I hope the Orioles can find a way to get excited about baseball again. Dave Trembley, their manager, was fired after yesterday’s game. A new manager might be the fuel needed to spark some fire in Baltimore. If it does, and the Orioles start to show some fight, we’ll be seeing better baseball for the remainder of the season.

Broken Record

2010 Pretty In Pinstripes Challenge Tracker: Entry #53 – 6/2/10 – Orioles @ Yankees

Final Score: Yankees 9, Orioles 1.

I truly feel like a broken record here. Phil Hughes is absolutely phenomenal this year! We’re in June, and this young man is 7-1 with a 2.54 ERA. I knew he was going to be good, but I didn’t think he was going to be this good.
Another outstanding start from Huuuuuuuuuughes. This kid is the real deal. He’s got excellent pitching, an excellent mentality, and doesn’t seem fazed by anything. He is showing us all that he’s a future ace. Very few people can doubt that. How blessed are we, that our fifth starter is better than most teams’ aces? 
Of course, our bats were alive and well today. We hit the Orioles’ Bergesen early, scoring six runs in the second and third innings. Then, we got three more runs off of the O’s bullpen. We finished the game with nine runs on fourteen hits.
Can you feel the wrath of the modern-day Murderers’ Row?
We secured the series win, now let’s bring those brooms out! 

Savvy Javy

2010 Pretty In Pinstripes Challenge Tracker: Entry #52 – 6/1/10 – Orioles @ Yankees

Final Score: Yankees 3, Orioles 1.

It was a pitchers’ duel, in which Javier Vazquez prevailed. I have to give credit to the Orioles’ Brian Matusz, who pitched a gem. He only gave up one earned run. The other two runs were defensive errors, so he’s not to blame. Matusz really seems to pitch well against division rivals, and he did so in this game.
The winner of the duel was Javier Vazquez, who gave us an excellent start. He pitched seven beautiful innings, in which he gave up one run on four hits, walked one, and struck out seven. The one run he gave up, a solo home run, was really the only mistake he made this game. He pitched a true gem, and I’m glad the Yankees managed to score in the seventh inning, because he truly deserved that W.
I was a little bothered by some of the comments about Javy, during and after the game. 
One fan asked “Who is this pitcher, and what has he done with the real Javier Vazquez?”
Hello. This is the real Javier Vazquez. A solid, innings-eating starting pitcher, who stocks up on strikeouts and rakes in the wins. What we saw from Vazquez in his first few starts wasn’t who he really is. Even if he continues on this very same pace, he’s due to get us 12 wins this season. Don’t forget that he’s our fourth starter. AJ Burnett got us 13 wins as our second starter last year. I will be happy with 12 wins from Javy.
One beat writer wrote: “The Orioles made Javy look good.”
See, I have a big problem with a comment like that. Whenever Vazquez pitches well, it’s because the other team’s lineup made him look good. I suppose in his great start against the Tigers, they made him look good. The Mets also happened to make Javier Vazquez look good. When will this incessant hatred end? 
His good performances this year were all due to his good pitching. The opposing lineups didn’t make him look good, he made himself look good. While sometimes it’s a bit of a stretch to give the win to a starting pitcher, because our lineup hits well enough to earn the win, I have no problem giving Javier Vazquez his wins. Why? Because for some reason, our lineup is asleep when he’s on the mound. Maybe because he’s always up against a tough opponent in the pitching match-ups, who knows? All I know is that in Javy’s starts, he has to pitch his heart out, because he gets little run support. So when he gets the win, it’s the result of a great effort.
Enough with the hate, people. Javier Vazquez is back on track. Try showing support for your own starting pitcher.

Amazing Andy

2010 Pretty In Pinstripes Challenge Tracker: Entry #51 – 5/31/10 – Indians @ Yankees

Final Score: Yankees 11, Indians 2.

What an absolutely amazing start from Andy Pettitte. This man just keeps getting better and better! At certain points during the game, it was actually scary to watch him pitch so beautifully. He was in the zone, locating his pitches outstandingly. When you don’t have the most power, it’s all about location, location, location. 
Andy pitches seven beautiful innings, in which he gave up one run (a solo home run to Peralta) on four hits. He walked no one, and struck out five. He finished the seventh inning with 89 pitches, and could have easily pitched the eighth inning, if he didn’t have to sit in the dugout for half an hour, while our bats went to work.
I’m sure Andy didn’t mind, though, because it was a wonderful bottom of the seventh that further padded his win.
We scored six runs in the seventh inning. Six runs! I [expletive] love this lineup! Four of those runs came from Alex Rodriguez hitting a GRAND SLAM, after Teixeira was intentionally walked. Where have we heard this before? One day, pitchers will learn that they shouldn’t intentionally walk Teixeira to get to Rodriguez. It seems to spark a fire under A-Rod’s bottom, and makes him an even better hitter. Until they realize that intentionally walking Tex is a bad thing, I guess we’ll just have to enjoy seeing A-Rod rake in the RBIs.
Then there was Robinson Cano, who hit a solo home run right after Rodriguez’s grand salami. BACK TO BACK AND BELLY TO BELLY! Cano and A-Rod are in a race to see who can get the most RBIs this season. I’m enjoying this race. Keep bringing in those runs, boys!
All of our starters got hits this game. All of them! From top to bottom, this lineup is solid. Once Teixeira gets back to being Teixeira, we will have the second-coming of Murderers Row. Mark. My. Words.
Great win for our men in pinstripes. We won the series, and we’re closing the gap on the Rays in the division. Bring on Baltimore!

Back On Track

2010 Pretty In Pinstripes Challenge Tracker: Entry #50 – 5/30/10 – Indians @ Yankees

Final Score: Yankees 7, Indians 3.

In today’s installment of the Strange Case Of Dr. AJ & Mr. Burnett, we saw the skillful talent of Dr. AJ.
Burnett is a mystery. I hate using movie-line cliches, but he really is like a box of chocolate. Which AJ are you going to get? You don’t know until he pitches a couple of innings. In this game, he pitched eight solid innings, gave up three runs (only ONE of them was earned) on five hits. He walked no batters, and struck out eight. This is the AJ we like to see.
He handed the game over to Mariano Rivera, who closed it perfectly. 
Our bats were alive, scoring seven runs on twelve hits. Teixeira looks like he’s heating up, he hit his eighth home run of the season, and went 2-for-4 in the game. We saw doubles, triples, and hits galore. Have I mentioned that I love this lineup? I don’t envy the pitchers who have to face us.
All in all, it was a great game. We quickly erased the disappointment of the previous game, and got back on track. 

Joba NOT Well Done

2010 Pretty In Pinstripes Challenge Tracker: Entry #49 – 5/29/10 – Indians @ Yankees

Final Score: Yankees 11, Indians 13.

Oh boy.

What can I say about…

Like AJ Burnett, he leaves me…

Sometimes he’s…

And others he’s just…

I always see him as…

Remember those days?

Now when he comes jogging out of the bullpen, we might as well…

To see which Joba will show up…

In this game, he was…

And not in the “OMG that movie was hilarious” way. More like…

It’s funny how Girardi just left Joba in the game to make a mess of things…

I mean, I get that Joba Chamberlain is supposed to be our “Go-To Guy”, but he gave up four runs to get one out…

Sure, it’s not like the rest of our bullpen was any better…

normal_headdesk.jpg image by Mmmarshmallow

But the biggest implosion was Joba Chamberlain, who got t
he big fat…

You’d think we’d win a game in which we scored 11 runs. Luckily, I was drunk by the 7th inning…

Otherwise, this game would have made me reach for my…

Oh well. I can forget about this game. Tomorrow is a brand new day.