"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Living After Midnight

Aside from the obvious reasons, long rain delays bug me because they put too much pressure on the game when it finally comes. If it’s an ugly one it’s hard to not think, “I waited around that whole time for this?” For a few innings it looked like tonight was going to be One of Those Games, but instead it turned into a more or less textbook win: seven innings from CC Sabathia, a few big hits from Mark Teixeira and Jorge Posada, and a save(!) from Phil Hughes led to a 6-3 Yankees win.

Sabathia wasn’t looking sharp in the first few innings — after hours of Nintendo during the rain delay — and Oakland A’s starter Vin Mazzaro was, leading to a 3-zip Oakland lead. But Sabathia recovered after relatively little carnage, and once the Yankee hitters had gotten a decent look at Mazzaro, they started to do some damage.

In the fourth, Mark Teixeira took a rare swing on a 3-0 count and hit a no-nonsense home run into the second deck. A few batters later Posada doubled home Alex Rodriguez, who’s looking downright spry on the basepaths these days, and then scored himself on an Eric Hinske single. The next inning was a variation on the theme, as Teixeira got himself a double and another RBI, and Johnny Damon scored on a Posada single to make it 6-3.

Craig Breslow relieved Mazzaro and, with apologies to my fellow Yankee fans, I was very psyched to see him pitch 1.2 scoreless innings (he was a year ahead of me at college). I didn’t have to feel conflicted about rooting for him, either, as the Yankees already had all the runs they’d need: Sabathia had found his rhythm by then, and he turned the lead straight over to Phil Hughes, who continues to pitch first and ask questions later.

A couple of stray thoughts:

-Could Mark Teixeira’s transition to New York have gone any smoother? He did have an awful first month, but he got going before people really lost patience; even in New York there’s a bit of a grace period. Ever since then he’s been somewhere between solid and excellent, and wowed the Giambi-battered crowd with his defense. And there hasn’t been so much as a whiff of a mini-controversy, not even something small and silly that, taken out of context, makes for a good misleading headline. I complain about the guy being a dull interview, and he usually is – by design, I’m sure, like Jeter – but he’s really handled everything remarkably well. It already feels like he’s been here forever.

-Finally, I kind of love that Nomar Garciaparra got booed. Sure, it’s silly – he hasn’t played for the Sox in five years, and has been too injury-riddled for most of that time to make a big impact anyway. But this wasn’t vicious, angry booing, it was more ritualistic. Of course you boo Nomar Garciaparra. It’s tradition! Heck, his feelings would probably be hurt if no one bothered.

Categories:  Bronx Banter  Emma Span

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1 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jul 24, 2009 6:31 am

[0] I think Tex is going to become a real fan favorite, especially if/when Jeter retires..

By the way, Mark Buehrle was on the mound for a total of 32 minutes his entire perfect game..am certain I have watched single innings longer than that when Joba pitches...D'oh!

2 unmoderated   ~  Jul 24, 2009 7:58 am

32 minutes?? michael kay just had a manageable-gasm.

3 RIYank   ~  Jul 24, 2009 8:08 am

The Yankees are in third place in the Pythagorean standings. This concerns me, but only slightly. Cruising at .611 is good, very good, especially since signs suggest we're still on the uphill part of the curve.

So, should we expect to see Hughes again in a couple of days, this time for three innings? 2 2/3?

4 Sliced Bread   ~  Jul 24, 2009 8:27 am

[0] Fans had more patience for Tesh's slow start because his career stats suggested it was coming. I think ARod's absence also helped, not so much because fans acknowledged the new 1B wasn't being "protected" by ARod - but because the suddenly ARod-less lineup made the whole team look weaker. Not sure if this makes sense but I think fans realized they couldn't fairly single out Tesh for blame (as they would with ARod, go figure)

One of my sons was given a hand-me-down Giambi jersey last summer. I liked Giambi enough, but I'm more proud that my boy is now wearing a Teixeira shirt.

5 Diane Firstman   ~  Jul 24, 2009 8:58 am

If opposing batters think they have a chance against the Philminator, they Got Another Thing Comin'. His stuff is so bad, its nearly Breakin' the Law. Though, if he isn't a starter in 2010, Some Heads are Gonna Roll.

6 monkeypants   ~  Jul 24, 2009 8:59 am

[3] Im not sure if your concern is genuine or sarcastic, but take solace in the fact that their pythagorean performance is skewed badly by Wang's early starts, including that 20-run beat down by the Indians, and by A-Rod's absence.

7 Rich   ~  Jul 24, 2009 9:09 am

[3] What mp said.

We can hope.

8 bp1   ~  Jul 24, 2009 9:10 am

[5] Indeed, Phil's living proof that You Don't Have to be Old to be Wise. There is no question that he has been Delivering the Goods.

[4] Nice to see you back, Sliced. Where ya been?

[2] Laughed out loud at that one!

9 Rich   ~  Jul 24, 2009 9:12 am

I thought the results of the poll YES had during the game yesterday (Which one should he Yankees not trade: Joba, Hughes, AJack, or Montero? Phil won) reveal how much fans reside in the here and now. A year ago, Joba would have won in a run away. My problem with the poll is that it didn't include a "None of the above" option.

10 RIYank   ~  Jul 24, 2009 9:16 am

No, it's real concern. Sure, it helps that the Py stats are missing a month of A-Rod and suffer from Bad Wang Disease, but I have no doubt the Red Sox could point to similar ailments -- their missing Papi Pop, for instance.

Girardi claims Bruney is pitching much better:
"He had a good look in his eyes and felt good, so that's great," Girardi said.

That will be comforting as I watch Bruney specials sail out of the ball park. I'll glance over at his soft, sparkling eyes.

11 Rich   ~  Jul 24, 2009 9:18 am

It's unfortunate that Bruney can't work out his problems in the mLs. It's also suboptimal that Melancon and Robertson never pitch, although I expect one or both to pitch sometime in the next three games.

12 Diane Firstman   ~  Jul 24, 2009 9:22 am

Singleton pointed out Cano's improved defense this season.

Looking at that throw he made to the "vicinity" of Tex in the 8th inning last night, I'd say Tex has a lot to do with the improved defense of Cano and Jeter. They know they can make a less than perfect throw and Tex will dig it out.

13 Sliced Bread   ~  Jul 24, 2009 9:23 am

[8] hey, bp1. I went into lurk-mode over the winter but recently returned to Bantering. Good to be back in the mix.

14 monkeypants   ~  Jul 24, 2009 9:45 am

[10] Right. But Papi continues to play, while Wang is gone. In other words, the Yankees pyth rec suffers from players that are now effectively no longer on the team (Wang, A-Rod's full-time replacement), while Papi continues the play...and the Sox have replaced Dice-K with...JOhn Smoltz!

15 Horace Clarke Era   ~  Jul 24, 2009 9:45 am

[12] Don't think there's any doubt, Diane. And even the YES boys have noted that. I take a bit of salt with it, because if Giambi was good at anything (and he was) it was scoops, so Tex's real benefit is in his own fielding plays (a lot of them, including the out at home to Molina earlier this week).

It is possible that Cano's getting the same positioning help Jeter is said to have had - that would make sense. I still don't think he's as good as his athleticism should let him be, there's a bit of a space cadet feel to Robbie, isn't there, at plate, in the field?

Next week is a major one, always ... I do not expect the BoSox or Rays to sit tight, and I don't expect Cashman to do so either, though the P I want for this year, Washburn, is going to be hard for Seattle to trade ... but with Angels beating everyone in sight, maybe Seattle will fold their tents after all.

Welcome back, Sliced.

16 PJ   ~  Jul 24, 2009 1:01 pm

[2] "32 minutes? Michael Kay just had a manageable-gasm."


Too bad that's the only type of "gasm" the schlub can get...

: )

17 tomfodw   ~  Jul 24, 2009 2:58 pm

"Could Mark Teixeira’s transition to New York have gone any smoother? ... he’s really handled everything remarkably well."

What he has *really* handled well is, every baseball thrown his way. He's not quite as aggressive charging bunts, but other than that, he reminds me a bit of Keith Hernandez in the way he scoops up just about anything and everything anywhere remotely near him. Jeter has improved his range quite a bit, but the main reason the Yankees aren't making as many errors this year it Teixeira's great glove at first.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
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