Bronx, NY- It’s finally that time of year again! Another season has begun for the 27 Time World Champion New York Yankees in the Bronx. The Bombers did not disappoint the many fans who attended the 1:00 game despite the rain. The fans in attendance were certainly treated to a real show. Fans may not have been texting during the game but Yankee first baseman Mark Teixeira most certainly was as he sent his first “Teix Message” into the right field seats yesterday to plate Russell Martin and Derek Jeter. The Grandy Man also did not disappoint as he sent “something sort of grandish” into the right field seats as well for his first round tripper of the 2011 campaign. Of course the big man, CC Sabathia got the start but he did not pick up the W. Joba Chamberlain picked up the win and Mariano Rivera keeps defying father time as he picked up yet another save. Former Yankee Phil Coke took the loss for the Detroit Tigers.
Is the Captain second in command?
Yankee Captain Derek Jeter who is usually the lead off man for New York played second fiddle in the home opener against Detroit as he batted behind Brett Gardner. Last season that 2 hole was mostly filled by RF Nick Swisher but Manager Joe Girardi switched things up and Yankee fans can’t be too upset because they did indeed pull out the win. With all the off season talks about Jeter, whether it be his contract drama or his possible future move to the outfield, will the Yankees sever their ties from Jeter like they did with former manager Joe Torre? Are the Captain’s days of steering the Yankee Ship numbered? Hitting coach Kevin Long worked with Jeter in the off season to make adjustments to his stance, hopefully this results in better results than what we saw out of the short stop in 2010.
Bronx, NY- The ball was grounded to third, Michael Young tagged the bag for one out and threw offline to Moreland at first but pulled him way off the bag. Mark Teixeira slid into the bag but no one seemed to know why until he grabbed his right hamstring. The Yankees’ faithful held their collective breath hoping for the best but the news is that Teixeira has a grade 2 strain of his right hamstring, he has been removed from the playoff roster and has been replaced by Eduardo Nunez. Teixeira will also not be eligible to play in the World Series when the Yankees advance. The Yankees do have some options at first base to replace Teixeira, they have Nick Swisher who can play right and first and they also have Lance Berkman who can DH and play first. Both Berkman and Swisher are switch hitters. The Yankees are on the brink of elimination after another atrocious game last night. They have their ace CC Sabathia going in Game 5 tonight needing to pull out the win to push a game 6 in Arlington. The Rangers have only won one playoff game in Texas in their franchise’s existence. This bears repeating, THE CHASE FOR 28 CONTINUES…
Bronx, NYC- Domination. That is the only word to describe what Cliff Lee was doing to the Yankee hitters last night in game 3 of the ALCS. Pitch number 120 was just as good as number 1. He had command of every single one of his pitches all night and he had the velocity to back it up. Some say this was Lee’s “try out” for his Yankee contract and I think that is certainly a possibility. If the Yankees were looking at last night as a “try out” for Lee than hands down they have to offer him a contract close to what their ace CC Sabathia is making. If Andy Pettitte does in fact retire this season Lee would be replacing him and being that second big lefty in the Yankee rotation. If the Yankees can get A.J. Burnett on track next season along with Phil Hughes, the Yankees would just need Lee and another starter to round out the 5 man rotation. Sabathia, Hughes, Lee, & Burnett is some rotation, that is a rotation with some serious depth and just about anybody can fill that 5 spot for the Yankees but I think they need another option that isn’t Javier Vazquez, Ivan Nova, Sergio Mitre or Dustin Moseley. We need someone that has proven themselves in the Major Leagues and someone who has gotten results in high pressure situations similar to the Bronx. Let’s focus on this postseason before we start worrying about next season though. Tonight in game 4 of the American League Championship Series it will be Tommy Hunter for the Texas Rangers and A.J. Burnett for the reigning World Champion New York Yankees. Burnett has had a rocky second half of the season and he never got his act together going down the stretch. Yankee manager Joe Girardi hopes to boost Burnett’s confidence by giving him the ball in a crucial postseason series. Players such as Damaso Marte have done what Burnett is looking to do and that is to turn your bad season around with a great postseason. One good postseason start for A.J. Burnett could erase an entire season of disappointing starts in the minds of the Yankees’ faithful. Hunter is a rookie right hander who will face a very tough Yankee lineup tonight. Hunter will face hitters such as Teixeira and Swisher who are switch hitters that are much better from the left side as well as natural lefty and possible MVP Robinson Cano. Hunter obviously does not have the kind of stuff that Lee had last night and the Yankees will have a much better chance at putting some runs on the board against the rookie. If Burnett could pull out a quality start the series would once again be tied with one more game in New York before going back to Texas for 1 or a possible 2 games with Sabathia, Hughes, and Andy Pettitte if necessary. It is crucial for Burnett to have a good start tonight so the Yankees have the best possible chance to win this series in Game 6 rather than 7. Some have said the Rangers have been outplaying the Yankees and I disagree with that 110%. Nobody outplays the New York Yankees ever. Even the reigning World Champions are allowed to have a few bad games but now it is crunch time and this is what the Yankees do best win postseason games. THE CHASE FOR 28 CONTINUES….
Michael Kay of the YES Network and 1050 ESPN Radio has made an accusation against Rangers’ ace Cliff Lee. Kay accused Lee of loading up the ball using the resin that is on his hat. Along with Lee’s sweat the resin could become sticky giving him a better grip on the baseball. Kay has said, “I would think that’s illegal”, referencing Lee’s hat. What Michael Kay is basically trying to say is Cliff Lee is cheating. If Joe Girardi decides to make an issue of Lee’s hat during the ALCS does it affect his decision to sign with the Yankees in 2011? Here are some pictures of Lee’s “dirty” hat both from last post season with the Phillies and this season with the Rangers:
Cliff Lee with the Philadelphia Phillies during the 2009 World Series at Yankee Stadium
THE BLOG IS BACK!
The Yankees have completed a 3 game sweep of the Minnesota Twins and will be facing either the Rays or Rangers in the ALCS. The Yankees won the ALDS on strong pitching performances from CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte, and Phil Hughes in game 3. All 3 starters gave at least 7 innings in their outing. The Yankees are the first team to advance to the Championship Series in 2010. Sorry about the lack of posting lately, I have been very busy but I will start to post more now that the Yankees are on the Chase for 28!
Bronx, NYC- It was Jackie Robinson day across the league yesterday and every player donned the number 42 in honor of the man who broke the color barrier 63 years ago. The Yankees have a few special ties to one of the greatest players this game has ever seen and those special ties came through big in yesterday’s win. Robinson Cano who is named after Jackie Robinson had 2 homers in this one and the last player that will ever wear 42 in the Major Leagues came in in the bottom of the 9th to nail down another save. Let’s not overlook the great start that Phil Hughes gave the Yankees yesterday. Hughes pitched 5 innings and only gave up 2 runs and 3 hits in his first start of the season while picking up his first win of the season. Curtis Granderson also came up big yesterday by hitting two triples to add to the offensive attack. Joe Girardi’s “everyday” left fielder Brett Gardner was benched yesterday and Marcus Thames got the start against the lefty Scott Kazmir. Thames also got the start against Texas and C.J. Wilson on Friday night. Last time I checked everyday means EVERYDAY. Unless Joe Girardi is using a different dictionary than the rest of us Gardner should not be getting benched like he has been against left handers. Thames has been swinging the bat well but to name Brett Gardner the everyday left fielder and then not have in play everyday makes no sense. If you’re going to have a platoon of Gardner and Thames just come out and say that. Anyway I had to do a little ranting since there really is nothing wrong in “Yankee-Land” as the Yankees have won all 3 series they’ve played in and don’t look to be slowing down anytime soon. They play the Rangers Friday, Saturday & Sunday then with the off day on Monday go on to Oakland for the start of their West Coast swing.
BRONX, NYC- It was like stepping back into a time machine for Javy Vazquez at the stadium today. He and the fans want to forget what transpired in 2004 but if he keeps pitching like this I don’t think we will. Vazquez went a third of an inning shorter than he did in his outing against the Rays and still threw 100 pitches in only 5.1 innings. The only positive of this start was he only gave up half the runs he surrendered to the Tampa Bay Rays. Instead of giving up 8 runs today he only gave up 4 runs to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. Now I have to give credit where credit is due and I must give credit to Angels Starting Pitcher Joel Piniero. He spun an absolute gem and totally confused these Yankee hitters all day in the 7 innings he was out there. He had his sinker working to perfection and the first 11 out of 18 outs Piniero recorded did not leave the infield. They were either a ground out or a strikeout. In his 7 innings of work Piniero only gave up 1 run. Scott Shields relieved Piniero out of the pen and the Yankees got to Shields for 2 runs to make it a 5 – 3 game. After Shields came the hard throwing Jepsen. He may throw hard but it was hard for him to throw strikes. He was all around the zone and even threw a passed ball past the glove of Jeff Mathis. The Bombers got to the Angels bullpen for 3 runs but no more as new closer Fernando Rodney shut them down in the bottom of the ninth. No pie today. I say new closer because before the start of today’s game Angels’ Closer Brian Fuentes went on the DL with high back stiffness. He joins fellow injured closer Joe Nathan on the DL. Rodney could eventually take the closing job from Fuentes and make Fuentes become a middle reliever or a set up man but let’s cross that bridge when we get to it. Tomorrow’s game is a night game and it is not on the YES Network but on MY 9. The Final Score in this one is Angels 5 Yankees 3.