"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Oh What a Night

The first home run was satisfying, a waist high fastball punished over the fence in left center field. It was a poor pitch and Rodriguez teed off on the sucker. You could hear it through the TV; it just sounded great. And the Bombers had an early 3-0 lead. The second shot was impressive because the pitch looked inside and Rodriguez was able to just turn on it; this one went into the vistor’s bullpen. Really quick hands there, and it gave Pavano back the two runs he gave away via the walk in the top of the inning.

I got really anxious during Rodriguez’s third at bat. It was clear that Colon was just about done. How could you not be aware that Rodriguez had a chance to have a special night? Colon fell behind 2-0 and then Rodriguez took a huge cut on a fastball and got that Gary Sheffield/Fat Joe “Lean Back” on his follow-through. Another ball and then Colon reared back and gunned a fastball up around Rodriguez’s shoulders. It’s the toughest pitch for Rodriguez–and most righties, for that matter, to lay off; you can’t hit it, but it’s tough to resist. Swing and a miss, full count. Nuts, I thought. That was ball four. Then Rodriguez got a good swing on a fastball and fouled it off before he crushed the next pitch over the wall in straight-away center. Third dinger (and according to Jay Jaffe, who was at the game and later called in, during the commerical break Rodriguez took a second curtain call).

Hot Dog. Rich Lederer, 3,000 miles away, was listening to the game on the radio. He called me from his car phone and I gave him the recap. Rodriguez’s next at bat was impressive too, when he lined an 0-2 pitch into center field for an RBI single. Again, he took a page out of Sheff’s book, and didn’t try to do too much with the pitch, down 0-2. In his final at bat, Rodriguez roped a line drive to center. It was caught, but he hit it well. With one monster night, Rodriguez is now tied for the league lead in home runs and RBI (and oh, he’s second in the league in runs scored).

Terrific night for Rodriguez and the Yanks, as they roll over the Angels, 12-4. Andy Phillips started at first again, barely missed hitting a homer off a flat slider in his first time up, then later tanked a double into the deepest part of the ball park. And Colter Bean, he off the wide arse, and the frisbee sidearm breaking ball, pitched the final two innings.

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1 Alex Belth   ~  Apr 27, 2005 5:48 am

1.  Meanwhile, tough night for the Sox in Boston. The O's are just mashing away at all comers. Our pal Sully, has a good recap--and he also exerpts a great bit from Joe Sheehan that stuck out to me last week too: http://www.blairwasdin.com/deweyshouse/wordpress/archives/category/game-recaps/

Keith Foulke blew the save while David Wells is headed for the DL and is likely to miss about a month. Hey, things are tough all over; it's not just the Yanks who are struggling.

2 rbj   ~  Apr 27, 2005 6:00 am

2.  I didn't know who to root for in that game. If Baltimore loses, the Yankees pick up a game in the standings; but Boston's ahead too. Guess we have to climb one hill first.

3 Alvaro Espinoza   ~  Apr 27, 2005 6:46 am

3.  Word of caution: beware games like this. They're great fun if you root for the home team but they don't really give you much insight into how you can expect the team to perform in general b/c a single guy's performance just absolutely steals the show. Having said that, there were 3 things I took away from last night's game:

1) Pavano - he got himself into trouble a couple of times but was able to bare down and get out of them w/o much damage. The run scoring hits weren't exactly lasers. Nice job and refreshing to see a Yank pitcher hang tough.

2) Phillips in for Tino vs. a righty. Very interesting. I was VERY surprised given Torre's proven affection for Tino. Phillips continues to hit balls hard (even the outs) and he's also pretty quick. He made a routine out at first a close play in the 2nd inning. Looking forward to seeing how this plays out.

3) (incidental) Heard the radio and TV calls of A-rod's HR's on the way home from the game. They stunk. I'm simply amazed that Michael Kay has sustained such a cushy job given that he's essentially unlistenable. He compounds his lack of baseball knowledge (consistently corrected by Kaat and Singleton) w/ those lame 'See ya' HR calls. I can deal w/ Sterling though he's the ultimate ham and often embarrassing but at least he makes me laugh (at him) occasionally. Though his calls were equally as poor last night.

4) (even more incidental) $8.00 for a 16 oz. Heineken??? Geez Louise!!!

4 Jen   ~  Apr 27, 2005 7:00 am

4.  AE,

Re:#2, Tino has lousy number vs. Colon. And I'm not sure what you mean about Torre's affection for him. Joe didn't have a problem benching Tino during the '96 series when he wasn't producing.

Tino is 4-for-6 against Washburn and Giambi is 6-for-26 so we may see Andy DH tonight.

5 Rich Lederer   ~  Apr 27, 2005 7:31 am

5.  Nice job on linking the photos of A-Rod's three home runs. I rarely use that feature when looking at box scores and reading game recaps. I should take a peek at these games via the photos more often as they tend to bring the action to life, especially when you don't get a chance to see it live.

By the way, is Rodriguez so well known that you don't have to refer to him as "Alex" or do you have the exclusive on that name? ;-)

Great recap, pal.

6 Alex Belth   ~  Apr 27, 2005 8:02 am

6.  Good question, Rich. I remember when Rodriguez signed with the Yankees, Murray, a regular BB reader made a comment about how much he disliked "A Rod" as a nickname. I think he said something like Rodriguez should have a new one now that he was on the Yankees. I've never really cared for "A Rod" myself, and decided to make a point of never calling him that here. And I never have.

But I still haven't been able to come up with a nickname for him. I don't call him Alex I guess cause it just feels weird. But thinking about it, when I watch him play, I usually call him "Alex" or "A Rod."

I'm up for suggestions, so long as they are positive. I'm not down with calling the dude "Slappy" or "Bitch Rod" or anything like that.

7 Alex Belth   ~  Apr 27, 2005 8:03 am

7.  Oh yeah, I also really like the ESPN feature with the game photos. I think they really do a great job of giving you game recaps, with the box scores and pitch-by-pitch features.

8 Rich Lederer   ~  Apr 27, 2005 8:10 am

8.  Well, not that Rodriguez is en fuego, how 'bout Hot Rod? Or Alex The Great?

Alex in Wonderland? Or A-Z (the first letter of his first name and the last letter of his last name)?

Mr., Sir, Your Honor all work, too.

9 Rich Lederer   ~  Apr 27, 2005 8:11 am

9.  Oops, that should read now that Rodriguez is en fuego...

10 unpopster   ~  Apr 27, 2005 9:10 am

10.  In BoSox news, looks like Schilling is joining Wells on the DL. He is expected to miss 2-4 weeks with an ankle injury.

Also, Gammons said on ESPN this morning that Wells may have a torn ligament and may be out until September.

I never want to wish injuries on any team and I am actually rather upset that Wells is injured. As for Schilling, as long as the guy continues to open his mouth and spew his garbage, he will never get my sympathies.

What this all proves is exactlly how difficult it is to repeat in this game. If Wells and Curt are out for a lengthy period of time, Boston's pitching staff is in some serious trouble and the team's chances of repeating are slim to none.

It just makes us appreciate the 1998-2000 Yankees that much more.

11 nicole   ~  Apr 27, 2005 9:11 am

11.  I really like the idea of giving Rodriguez a new nickname. I only really call him A-rod when I am typing because its easier.

Don't know if this is much of a wonderland though...

12 Sully   ~  Apr 27, 2005 9:30 am

12.  If Schill is out a while, it's big trouble. If Wells is, no biggie as long as Miller's healthy. With everyone healthy, Wells may be Boston's 6th best starter anyway.

13 Joe in Jersey   ~  Apr 27, 2005 9:47 am

13.  Their 2 worst pitchers (so far this year) are out. I don't think this gonna be a big problem unless Schilling is out for a long time (more than a month). Unfortunately, it may actually make them better in the short run. They'll bring in some minor league pitchers that no one has faced before, looking to impress, it may actually help them now, and later in the year when their starters aren't so tired.

As for A-Rod I don't have problem with it it's been his nickname since Seattle.

14 Murray   ~  Apr 27, 2005 1:57 pm

14.  Thanks for the shout-out, Alex. "Scooter" is a nickname. "Mr. October" is a nickname. "A-Rod" is more like the kind of thing that the other players on the high school team yell at you while you're at bat. Proof positive that this nickname stinks is that it is also used for tennis star Andy Roddick. A player of Rodriguez's prominence deserves a nickname of his own.
Just going with "Alex" doesn't work for me because I think of other guys named Alex (like Mr. Belth, for example).

How about "The Czar"? Let's call Alex Rodriguez "The Czar" from now on.

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