Unlucky Night for Dustin Moseley

    Tuesday, August 3, 2010, 10:09 PM [General]

    Dustin Moseley barely threw over 80 pitches going into the eight inning.  Lead off batters for the Jays in every inning seemed to be swinging on first pitch and getting out.  You would never believe that Moseley gave up nine hits and five runs unless you saw it.

    “I thought he pitched a lot better than the five runs he gave up,” says manager Joe Girardi.

    Moseley gave up home runs to Travis Snider (two-run HR) and Vernon Wells and John Buck had a pretty good night at the plate with two RBI.  One thing Moseley was missing was run support from his teammates.  Mark Teixeira provided the Yankees with their only two runs of the game with a two-run shot to the left field bleachers in the first inning…but that’s it.  Marcus Thames was responsible for the Yankees other hit of the game; for they only had two.

    “That was tough,” says Moseley.  “I thought it was a fly ball and it just kept going and it just crushed that inning.  Kind of took the breath out of us a little bit.”

    Ricky Romero pitched a great game for the Blue Jays.  He bounced back after giving up the homer to Tex and pitched a complete two-hit game.

    “He was really good after the first inning,” says Girardi.  “I thought we hit some balls hard at people, but he didn’t walk people.  His defense played behind him, and we just couldn’t get it done.”

    MIA:  Except for Teixeira, the rest of the Yankees regulars did not produce any hits.  Derek Jeter, Alex Rodriguez, Robinson Cano, and Brett Gardner each went 0-for-3 (Jeter with a walk) and Nick Swisher went 0-for-4 by flying out to center three times.

    Unsung Hero:  Once again this goes to the Jays.  Travis Snider is on pace to be the Jays hero of the series.  He hit a two-run homer that basically sealed the deal for the Jays to win this game.

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    Loss Results in Division Tie with Rays

    Monday, August 2, 2010, 11:22 PM [General]

    AJ Burnett seemed to be cruising in the first four innings of tonight’s game vs. the Toronto Blue Jays by only giving up one run.  The fifth inning, however, got the best of him when he gave up six hits (eight overall) and eight runs.  He gave up homeruns to Vernon Wells and Edwin Encarnacion.  AJ also gave six doubles in that inning alone.  He didn’t reach 100 pitches before Joe Girardi decided to pull him from the game.

    “Singles are alright, but extra-base hits and homers can take you out of a game,” says Burnett.  “There’s a lot of things that baffle me, but you move on.  It’s a bump in the road.”

    “He seemed to lose his command and it got him in trouble,” says Girardi.  “You’re surprised when he gives up a big inning like that.  He wasn’t able to make his pitches.”

    The Yankees were winning 2-0 off a Nick Swisher two-run home run in the first inning.  After the AJ break down they were losing 8-2 but started to rally back.  Mark Teixeira hit a two-run home run to cut the Toronto lead in half in the fifth inning.  Then in the sixth Lance Berkman hit an RBI single to make the score 8-5.  Nick Swisher hit his second home run of the game in the 9th inning to try and start a rally, but the game would end on an Alex Rodriguez ground out to keep the score 8-6 Blue Jays.

    MIA:  Alex Rodriguez 
    He went 0-for-5 by striking out twice and grounding out three times.

    “I haven’t been helping my team as of late,” says ARod.  “I’ve had quality at-bats.  I just haven’t been able to finish them.”  Alex also talked about looking to work with Kevin Long on getting a groove back.

    Unsung heroes:  The Yankee bullpen and Travis Snider
    Sergio Mitre pitched 1.1 innings and gave up two hits.  David Robertson pitched the seventh and struck out two.  Boone Logan came in the eighth and struck out one.  Joba Chamberlain struck out two in the ninth inning.  All were able to hold the Jays to eight runs.

    Travis Snider had a huge fifth inning that helped the Jays get furthur ahead.  He started it with a double and scored on the Encarnacion home run and then hit an RBI double later in the inning.

    The big upset about this loss is the Tampa Bay Rays victory.  The Rays beat the Twins tonight and are now tied with the Yankees in the AL East.  Winning games is now more important than ever at this point in the race.

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    One mistake, Huge difference

    Saturday, July 31, 2010, 9:33 AM [General]

    Last night, Alex Rodriguez still didn’t hit his 600th home run….but that’s not what’s important.

    The game against the Tampa Bay Rays started off what seemed to be a breeze for the Yankees.  Derek Jeter lead off the game with a single and Nick Swisher followed with a first pitch two-run home run. 

    “I was trying to revenge my Marte punch-out,” says Swisher.

    Phil Huhges seemed to be dominant throughout the game.  He went six innings, gave up four hits, and only walked two.  He also struck out six batters.  However, he made one mistake in the sixth inning and it cost him big time.  That mistake was a fastball over the plate to Matt Joyce who took it over the wall for a three-run home run that won the Rays the game.

    “Hughes threw a great game,” says manager Joe Girardi.  “He made one mistake that was unfortunate and cost us the game.  That’s as good a game I think he’s pitched all year.”

    Phil Hughes was asked if that mistake was tough after pitching so well and he said, “Yea it’s tough, especially in a game like this.  These games are really important.”

    Nick Swisher was asked about his Spiderman-like climb on the wall to try and catch that ball.  He replied, “After watching the replay that ball was about ten rows deep so unless I was having a Coke and a popcorn up there I wasn’t going to catch that.”

    Joba Chamberlain came into relief Hughes in the seventh inning and pitched the next two innings with spark.  He gave up no hits and struck out three.  He did a great job after struggle for a while in his last handful of appearances.

    “Joba did a tremendous job.  Got himself back on track,”  says Nick Swisher.

    As I mentioned earlier since it is on everyone’s mind, Alex Rodriguez is still stuck on 599 home runs.  He had an opportunity to try and tie the game in the 9th, but popped out instead.  We’ll have to watch tonight and see what happens.

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    A Real Maris Moment

    Thursday, July 22, 2010, 6:14 PM [General]

    Colin Curtis hit a milestone yesterday against the Los Angeles Angels.  He hit is first career home run in a big clutch situation.  The Yankees were winning 7-5 when Brett Gardner came to the plate.  Gardner argued a second strike pitch and was tossed from the game.  Tony Pena looked at Colin and asked him if he was ready.

    Curtis went up to the plate with an 0-2 count.  Then he took the next three pitches and worked the count full.  All you need to hope for now was a strike.  A strike was thrown.  When Colin connected his bat with the ball the 7-5 lead was suddenly an 10-5 lead.  Curtis rounded the bases trying to hold back a huge smile.  His teammates greeted him at home plate and in the dugout to congratulate him.

    Why is this a Maris moment?

    When Roger Maris his his 61st home run of the 1961 MLB season the break the home run record, he had to be shoved out of the dugout for a curtain call.  Colin Curtis’ teammates told him that he had to get out of the dugout for the crowd.  Being a rookie you’re a little confused at that moment and so he needed a little shove.  When Curtis was standing at the front of the dugout with his hand in the air, the crowd went nuts.

    “I had no idea what to do,” says Colin.  “I was high-fiving everyone and they kept saying, ‘You gotta go out!’”

    Roger Maris was also a Yankee that Colin Curtis admired growing up.  He wore number 9 for his high school baseball team in honor of Maris.

    In Issaquah, Washington, Curtis’ father Jed escaped a meeting to catch some of the game.  This could not have been more perfect timing.  As he put the game on his computer, Brett Gardner was tossed from the game and his son was called to finish the at-bat.  Jed was so proud of his son watching him be patient and take pitches.  When Curtis connected with a home run, Jed let out a roar that filled the entire office.  Co-workers had to go and make sure he was okay.

    “People weren’t sure if I was happy or if I had hurt myself,”  says Jed.  “When they came to check on me I just pointed at the screen.”

    When this happened, Jed had gotten an e-mail that said, “Colin just had his Maris moment.”

    And what a moment it was.

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    Top First Half Moments of 2010

    Wednesday, July 14, 2010, 8:43 PM [General]

    The Yankees have the best record in baseball going into the second half of the 2010 season.  How did they get to this point?  Here are some of the huge moments that got them here:

    20.  Francisco Cervelli
    Jorge Posada has been beat up so far this first half of the season.  The Yankees thought Cervelli was ready for situations where me might have to come off the bench and play everyday if Posada is hurt.  The Yankees made the right choice.  One thing Cisco has been effective with this season has been getting hits with runners in scoring position.  If you had a baserunner at second or third, fans and teammates immediately felt comfortable when they saw Cervelli come to bat.  Even the ever superstitious Derek Jeter started using Cervelli’s “Gazoo” helmet when taking batting practice thinking the big head gear had some luck.

    19.  Jorge Posada has back-to-back grand slams
    When returning from the DL, Jorge Posada had to find a way to be comfortable in the DH spot until he was able to catch again.  He answered those questions by hitting two grand slams in back-to-back games.  The last Yankee to do that was Bill Dickey…another catcher.

    18.  Curtis Granderson hits his first home run as a Yankee in his first AB
    On opening day in Fenway Park against Boston, Curtis Granderson comes up to his very first official at-bat as a New York Yankee.  A few pitches later he blasts a home run to give the Yankees an early lead.  Granderson also hit a home run in his last AB of the series which was a big clutch hit in the 11th inning of that game.  My response to these feats:  “Welcome to the Yankees, Curtis Granderson!”

    17.  Brett Gardner steals home
    Also on opening day in Boston, Brett Gardner did something that we always feel he’s capable of doing.  Derek Jeter starts to run to second to attempt a stolen base.  Suddenly he stops about three-quarters of the way.  At first I’m thinking, “What are you stopping for?!”  Then I realize that Brett Gardner is on his way home.  Jeter was distracting Victor Martinez to let Gardner go home, and Gardner was able to distract Dustin Pedroia from tagging out Jeter.  Therefore, it resulted into a double steal.

    16.  Nick Swisher’s great defense
    If there’s one thing Yankees fans have noticed about Nick Swisher this season, it was his defense.  Nick Swisher was always a good outfielder, but whatever he worked on with Robbie Thompson and Dave Eiland, it has turned him into a supurb outfielder this season.  Swisher’s made some great defensive catched that have saved a lot of ball games this season.  He’s been covering a lot of the right field ground and has jumped all over the walls to make catches.

    15.  Cervelli makes a dugout catch
    Francisco Cervelli has always been known to be an energetic catcher, but he is also a great defensive catcher.  When playing the Baltimore Orioles at home, a pop-up takes Cervelli all the way to the Yankee dugout.  But a dugout is not going to stop Cervelli from making a catch.  He leans over and almost topples into the dugout.  Joe Girardi had to catch him to make sure he wouldn’t fall.  This is one of Cervelli’s best defensive catches of his young career.

    14.  Javier Vazquez gets on a roll
    No one struggled in the first month of the season more than Javier Vazquez.  Whatever it is that was mentally going on is unknown, but it was having a negative effect on his pitching.  His velocity was down and his location was bad.  Vazquez had his first great outing against the Detroit Tigers on May 12, but because of poor run support he took the loss that day.  Ever since that outing Vazquez’s ERA has gone down and he has had two no-hitter bids going into the sixth inning.

    13.  Mark Teixeira’s three home run game vs. Boston
    Mark Teixeira did something in May that no Yankee had done since Lou Gehrig.  He hit three home runs in the same game against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.  Tex was having abnormal struggles at the plate going into this game, so these home runs were huge for him and the team.

    12.  Mariano Rivera works magic vs. Arizona
    The Yankees were able to come back in extra innings in a game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.  In the bottom of the 1oth, Rivera got himself into a bases loaded and nobody out jam.  Somehow he was able to get out and win the game.  He was able to get two pop ups and a strike out to end the game.  Rarely do you see and ending like that to a game.

    11.  Alex turns a triple play in Oakland
    Alex Rodriguez was able to start something that hadn’t happened to the Yankees in over 40 years.  When Kurt Suzuki grounded to Rodriguez with baserunners at first and second, he collects to ball and steps on third for the force.  Then instead of the expected throw to first, he throws to Cano at second who then throws the ball to Nick Johnson at first for a 5-4-3 triple play

    10.  Yankees rookies come through huge
    Kevin Russo, Colin Curtis, and Chad Huffman are the big names in this category.  Each one of them has come through in huge clutch situations where the Yankees were either tied or down by a few runs.  These three have also played some great defense.  Kevin Russo is a natural infielder, but when he was called to play left field he did not disappoint.  Russo has been so huge for us that the Yankees decided to DFA Randy Winn instead of sending Russo back to AAA.  That’s saying something.

    9.  Brett Gardner’s inside the park home run
    On July 4th, I was able to cross something off on my “Things I Need to see Live at a Yankees Game” checklist.  With two outs, Brett Gardner hits what everyone thought at first was a fly out to end the inning.  Suddenly I noticed DeWayne Wise seemed to struggle and he lost the ball in the sun.  When the ball dropped to the ground, I looked over to Brett Gardner and he was already rounding second base.  I was jumping up and down so much I almost fell from the grandstand to the terrace (not a long fall but still would’ve hurt lol).

    8.  All-Star Swisher goes 4-for-4
    After hearing the huge news that he was going to the all-star game, Nick Swisher went 4-for-4 against the Seattle Mariners.  I remember tweeting after each one of his hits, “This is why Nick Swisher is an all-star!”

    7.  Huge win vs. the Los Angeles Dodgers
    Andy Pettitte had a huge struggle in a game against the Dodgers where the Yankees were losing by a few runs.  In the top of the 9th against the closer Broxton, the Yankees were able to rally and come back to win.  From the rookies to the veterans, every one in the lineup was able to contribute and come back to win at the last minute.  This is the biggest win of the season for the Yankees so far. 

    6.  Robinson Cano’s power
    What else is there to say about Robinson Cano?  You can’t say enough great things about the first half he has had this season.  He has a .336 BA and has hit 16 home runs and 58 RBI.  He has 115 hits and 61 runs scored.  He is a contender for the American League batting title this season.  His biggest challenger will be Miguel Cabrera.

    5.  Andy Pettitte proves age is just a number
    Another guy you can’t say enough great things about.  Andy Pettitte is heading toward the end of his career and he’s pitching as if he’s just starting it.  He’s having one of the best seasons of his career with a 11-2 record and a 2.70 ERA.  If he keeps it up he could be a Cy Young Award contender.

    4.  Alex’s three grand slams
    Not many Yankees have hit three grand slams before the all-star break.  Lou Gehrig and Don Mattingly were two past Yankees that have accomplished this.  Alex Rodriugez now has his name next to them for this feat.  Two of these grand slams came when Mark Teixeira was intentionally walked to load the bases for ARod to be pitched to.  The last one was after Tex was hit by a pitch to load the bases.  It didn’t seem intentional, but I’ll pretend it is.

    3.  Phil Hughes flirts with a no-hitter
    In just his second start in Oakland, Phil Hughes took a no-hitter into the 8th inning.  Usually I fall asleep for late games on the west coast, but my eyes were glued to the TV during this game.  Not only did he pitch a one-hitter, but he struck out a both season and career high 10 batters.  I felt really bad for Hughes when this bid was broken up, but I couldn’t be more proud of him.  This outing really showed how much he has matured since last season.

    2.  Marcus Thames’ walk-off hits
    Marcus Thames has had his struggles this season, but he was able to come up huge in two big at-bats this season.  One May 17th against the Red Sox, Alex Rodriguez hit a HUGE two-run home run to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth.  A few batters later, Marcus Thames hits a walk-off two run home run to win the game.  On July 4th, Marcus gets his first AB since coming off the DL in the bottom of the 10th inning.  He hits an RBI single to win the game.  Two pies so far this season, and they both belong to Marcus Thames.

    1.  CC Sabathia, Andy Pettitte, and Phil Hughes are winners
    These three pitchers have done something that has never happened before in franchise history.  They have each collected at least 11 wins going into the all-star break.  All three of these guys have just been stellar on the mound and very demanding.  They are on pace to collect amost 65 wins between the three of them by the end of the season.  Yankees pitching is always at it’s best in the second half.  If these three are already superb in the first half, then I’m looking forward to a rockin’ second half.

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