"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Punchless Pinstriped Palookas Put in their Place (Red Sox Revenge, Part I)

Well, I’ve had a gnawing feeling about this weekend for a few days now. The Red Sox lose Kevin Youkilis for the season, the team is reeling, trailing the Yanks by six games coming into the series, and yet, all these signs did nothing to soothe me. In fact, they only encouraged my irritation. Which is how it goes for the true baseball neurotic, doesn’t matter that I root for the Yankees, doesn’t matter that they’ve got the best record in the baseball. Nuts is Knuts and I plead guilty.

Right on cue, Javier Vazquez came up small, serving up a 3-2 cookie to David Ortiz in the first inning that Ortiz promptly deposited over the center field fence. In the second, Vazquez and Francisco Cervelli let a harmless pop-up drop (Cervelli dropped it but Vazquez didn’t help matters any–they looked like a Benny Hill routine minus the laughs). Then Vazquez walked the ninth place hitter and the struggling Jacoby Ellsbury and when the smoke cleared the Sox had scored three more runs.

And Yankee Stadium was virtually silent–a mausoleum.

Mark Teixiera stayed back and waited on a curve ball in the bottom of the first and hit a two-run home run. After that, Clay Buchholz settled into a groove. Thanks to a throwing error by Marco Scutaro, the Yanks put runners on first and second with nobody out in the bottom of the fourth. Curtis Granderson, whose entire season appears to be fouling good pitches off and then bouncing out to second or popping out to center, smacked a line drive, hit in on the screws, right at Mike Lowell at first. Double play.

Alex Rodriguez fisted an RBI single to left the following inning, pulling the Yanks to within one run, but Vazquez, again, seemingly on cue, gave up a two-run home run to Ryan Kalish, who will later drink his first beer and pop his cherry with a 12th Avenue Jackie.

Vazquez pitched good enough to lose; Buchholz, good enough to win. Yankee fans sat on their hands. With AJ “Putting Out the Fire with Gasoline” Burnett and Dustin Mosley set to pitch two of the next three games, CC Sabathia cannot afford to lose  tomorrow. This could be a long, frustrating weekend at the bright, shinny mallpark in the Bronx.

Final Score: Red Sox 6, Yanks 3. The Sox now trail the Yanks by five games.

The good news? I get to feel righteous about being right, at least for one night. Wait, that’s not good news. The Rays lost, right, that was the good news.

Back tomorrow for more fun–especially since the game will be televised on FOX. Get ready for another four-and-a-half-hour affair to remember.


1 OldYanksFan   ~  Aug 6, 2010 10:30 pm

JV wasn't that bad. That dropped popup changed the game,
What was our RISP that game?

2 Alex Belth   ~  Aug 6, 2010 10:38 pm

No, it didn't. Walking Jed Lowrie and Jacoby Elsbury did.

3 Alex Belth   ~  Aug 6, 2010 10:39 pm

And Javy wasn't terrible. He was just good enough to lose.

4 Mattpat11   ~  Aug 6, 2010 10:39 pm

That picture of the Crypt Keeper looks just like my miserable piece of shit of a next door neighbor.


5 Mattpat11   ~  Aug 6, 2010 10:40 pm

[2] The homer to put the game out of reach didn't help matters much either.

6 OldYanksFan   ~  Aug 6, 2010 10:43 pm

Dropped popup...
and when there should have been 3 OUTS...
walks to Jed Lowrie and Jacoby Elsbury....
and like 20+ extra pitches....
and 3 Unearned run.

7 Mattpat11   ~  Aug 6, 2010 10:50 pm

You know, the error didn't exactly cause Manny Ortez 2004 to waddle to the plate. He didn't have to walk Lowrie and Ellsbury

8 monkeypants   ~  Aug 6, 2010 10:56 pm

0) Cervelli dropped it but Vazquez didn’t help matters any–they looked like a Benny Hill routine minus the laughs

And minus the funny music:


9 monkeypants   ~  Aug 6, 2010 10:58 pm

6) when there should have been 3 OUT

Michael Kay is on the other line...something about fallacies and predetermined outcomes.

10 RIYank   ~  Aug 6, 2010 11:24 pm

Here I am. Thelarmis, coming?

11 RIYank   ~  Aug 6, 2010 11:25 pm

Thelarmis, you are deluded. French horns are not string instruments. I bet you blow into your guitar, too, right?

12 thelarmis   ~  Aug 6, 2010 11:29 pm

[11] oh good, you saw the last 2 comments, i'm glad!

dear Cozi Von Sackbutt:

um, yes, they actually do! these are the things i learn when studying to be a band (orchestra/choral) conductor. there are indeed strings within the valves. i had to play pretty much all the symphonic instruments. not well, mind you. but i had to learn how to set them all up, proper technique, scales, etc. learn 'em well enough to teach kids properly (and fix the damn things). there really are strings on a french horn! [i'm NOT kidding!!!]

13 thelarmis   ~  Aug 6, 2010 11:33 pm

[11] ooh, i never said a french horn was a "stringed instrument". it's NOT part of the string family. it's a HORN instrument, but it *has* strings.

Piano is the *only* instrument that belongs to 2 "families" = percussion (hammers) and strings (strings). huh, i wonder about the hammer dulcimer. but that's not "symphonic"...

as my grandma used to say: "these are the things. i don't know what things"! : )

14 thelarmis   ~  Aug 6, 2010 11:35 pm

break up the oreo’s! fightin’ showalter’s 4-0 under the buck!

big donkey with another multi-homer game. he now has 30 on the year.

15 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 6, 2010 11:58 pm

Is it time to promote Romine yet? Cervelli has been an absolute zero for sometime now, but the Yankees seem willing to let him be a semi-regular. Dropping the pop-up is just the latest in Cervelli's litany of misplays. It's time to move on.

Meanwhile, the pop up definitely extended the inning, but as usual, Javy came up small in a "big game". I hate to say it, but if Ozzie has been right about one thing, it's Vazquez inability to pitch when the spotlight is on him. I don't see how anyone could have confidence in him in the postseason, so if the Yankees make it, they could find themselves scrambling for starters. The bottom line is the Yankees not only need Pettitte healthy, but pitching as well as he was before the injury.

Finally, as if Vazquez' performance didn't do enough to further impugn Cashman's offseason, there were the four horrendous ABs of Curtis Granderson. All season, Granderson has poor AB after poor AB, and in a game like this one, the Yankees lineup gets exposed as a result. The drop off from Damon to Granderson has been stark.

16 thelarmis   ~  Aug 7, 2010 12:10 am

[15] i'm guessing romine is simply gonna be a september call-up, if that...

i think most everyone thought javy would pitch at least a little better than he has. he's had his moments...

i was always with you in retaining damon (and hinske, who homered on his birthday yesterday), but i was also excited in getting granderson (would've rathered in addition to johnny...). i'm surprised he's been this bad, injury not-withstanding...

we gotta win tomorrow...

17 jjmerlock   ~  Aug 7, 2010 12:17 am

Guys I cannot stand watching anymore:

Cervelli. Oh, how something so right has gone so wrong.

Granderson. I have had it up to here with him.

Berkman. Already.

Joba. I almost don't care what he does anymore. The fear in his eyes when he's out on that mound makes me want to vomit. The difference in his facial expressions on the mound right now versus what he looked like during his rookie year is incredible. And sad.

Javy in any big game. I felt no confidence in him pitching against the Red Sox - and you could have put eight kids from a Massachusetts high school in their uniforms up against him and Javy still would have taken it sweet and hard.

Kerry Wood. To paraphrase Major League, "Man, he looks shitty."

Gardner when he's on first base. Against Victor Martinez? Are you fucking serious? Steal. the. fucking. BAG.

Things I will never get tired of:

Robbie's perfect swing

Robbie's sick arm

That throw he made to get JE at first may have been the laser-iest laser I've ever seen a second baseman throw.

The rest of those guys, though? Fuck. Them.

18 thelarmis   ~  Aug 7, 2010 12:21 am

oh man, thome was robbed of a homerun tonite, even with replay. damn.

19 Mattpat11   ~  Aug 7, 2010 12:30 am

[15] If this isn't just Girardi and his bizarre obsession with over resting people and Jorge Posada really physically can only play this rarely, the Yankees need to make a move.

20 Mattpat11   ~  Aug 7, 2010 12:38 am

[17] Brett Gardner has 12 stolen bases since the beginning of June. I don't get it. He has to be one of the worst good base stealers I've ever seen.

21 jjmerlock   ~  Aug 7, 2010 4:20 am

[20] It has reached the point where I can only describe it as baffling.

Is it his thumb? Is it worse than we've been led to believe? Does he risk serious injury if he aggravates the initial condition? If he needs to preserve the thumb for hitting, that ain't working out so well these days, anyway, so...

To banterize it, this is a serious series, btw.

I ran numbers with home and away splits and remaining schedules, as there is just about 1/3rd of the season left.

The Red Sox had the hardest strength of schedule left, and the Yankees and Rays remaining schedules were almost a statistical dead heat. But so much of the opponent winning % for the Red Sox was based on them having to play at our place seven times. One down for them.

As I said to a friend, if we can't make our home field worth a damn versus the Red Sox, this team is in serious, serious trouble.

The whole thing for first, second, and third is going to come down to common opponents, btw.

I could lay it all out for everybody, but I never post such things after losses. Probably because I feel like if the team is just going to do a bunch of losing, none of that stuff means anything.

It feels like a broken record saying certain guys have got to get going. And with those guys, it's starting to feel like holding out hope for something that's never going to happen.

22 jjmerlock   ~  Aug 7, 2010 4:22 am

Oh btw, William might have been happy to note that I was pissed beyond belief that we didn't have the all too useless Granderson drag bunting, at a minimum with first and second and no outs.

Even a good sacrifice, with Granderson's speed, would have put pressure on them.

There are many situations where I am not a fan of the bunt, but that situation cried out for that strategy.

23 monkeypants   ~  Aug 7, 2010 8:10 am

23) Gardner said the other day that he needs to do more running but that he had felt worn down in the middle of the season (tired legs). So I'll cut him some slack for not running on his own. That said, there are some situations where the bench needs to call for a steal.

24 monkeypants   ~  Aug 7, 2010 8:10 am

23) for 21)

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