"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice
Category: Yankees

Deep Sixed

All losses at this point are tough ones. Even the games that don’t hurt, hurt. But let’s be positive. Maybe the Yankees have stumbled on the recipe for October baseball. Let’s see if they can follow: Win five, lose one. Repeat until the end of the year.

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In this game, like real estate, location was everything. As in, the Tigers had men located on the bases for timely hits late in the game and the Yankees scattered nine hits in such a way that two Ellsbury bombs accounted for two measly runs. As in, Brandon McCarthy, who had only walked seven in eight starts for the Yanks, walked in the first run of the game on a 58-foot worm-killer.

I have fond feelings for McCarthy. Fond enough to stick with him as he let the game slip away in the sixth? Maybe. I definitely didn’t want to see him in the seventh, though. The final score was 5-2, but maybe there was a closer game in there somewhere.  

The Yankees squeezed three games out of four against the Tigers after the trade deadline. The series was a ray of hope quickly obscured by the shittiness of mid-August and forgotten just about the time they dropped their fourth game of five tries against the Astros. Now they face Price and Verlander (though that means something vastly different this year) and need to start a new streak.

Oh, the rollercoaster of the mediocre. But it was this way when they were good too. Then it was the best record in baseball  or an annoying Red Sox team that hadn’t had it’s will broken yet that was causing the turbulence late in the season. Maybe it’s only the really bad teams, like this year’s Red Sox, sorry defending World Champion Red Sox, whose will came broken in the box, that flatten out in the dead of August.

Thank these Yankees for playing just well enough to still matter as we creep towards September. They will need an excellent stretch, with very few games like this one, to extend this any further than that. And it needs to begin now. 

Drawing by J. Calafiore, Sinister Six #17, 2010, DC Comics

 

The Switch

elllmo

Serious business in Detroit for the Yanks this week: Porcello, Price, and Verlander.

One moment at a time.

Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Derek Jeter DH
Brian McCann C
Mark Teixeira 1B
Carlos Beltran RF
Martin Prado 2B
Stephen Drew SS
Chase Headley 3B
Ichiro Suzuki LF

Never mind the growling:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

[Photo Credit: Andrew Sacks/New York Times]

You’re Allowed to Laugh

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That was fun. Strange and fun. But mostly fun last night and then more strange this morning when I looked up the following information:

1) At 8-1, the seven run margin of victory was the third largest of the year.

2) That eight run total was only the tenth time this year they’ve scored eight or more runs.

3) At 68-61, their current seven game bulge over .500 is the high water mark of the year.

Back to the fun bits. Michael Pineda, who defines for me the scouting term “big frame”, was excellent. Apart from the Red Sox incident (and you know, barely taking the mound in almost three full seasons) he’s been great every time out there. I was guilty of only seeing him pitch once or twice in Seattle and attributing much of his pre-trade success to Safeco. But his stuff will play in every park, if you know, he actually pitches in that park. And while I’m impressed with how few people he’s walked thus far, I think it we’d have to invent the three-pitch walk to give a free a pass to a Royal. They play only hack-a-thons.

The Yankees tagged James Shields, who has been good-not-great this year. I think Shields is a fine pitcher and I’m not too concerned about this most recent ass-kicking, but I can envision a Yankee press conference introducing him this winter and I fear that would be… sub-optimal. The imagined justification: we like Lester way better, but we only had to commit four or five years to Shields. The sooner the Yankees stop this penny-pinching crap and get back to trying to win every year, including the year we’re actually living in, the better. And if they’re going to pinch pennies in the rotation, just pinch the shit out them and re-sign McCarthy.

Speaking of Brandon McCarthy, he’s battling Martin Prado for my favorite acquisition of the trade deadline. McCarthy has the stellar performance and the fun internet presence. Prado has had big hits and weirdly, looks like he’s always worn a Yankee uniform. His power outage in Arizona made him a buy-low and, if it returns, he’s a borderline All-Star.

In closing, the Royals are in a position to end years of futility by making the Postseason. They might even win the division, thus skipping the Wild Card peril and ensuring themselves a home game in front of delirious fans. Among those fans will no doubt be some of the vile lot that abused Robinson Cano in the All-Star Game in 2012. There was a time when I would have liked the Yankees (or even the Mariners, new home of the abused) and the Tigers to give them a big shit-burger to eat. But I’m letting this go because a path of tallying offenses doesn’t lead anywhere I’d like to go.

The season looked lost when they showed their stink side to the Astros last week. But a winning streak cures all and that’s what’s underway. Keeping up the winning ways this road trip will be a challenge, so at least they are starting off laughing.

 

 

(Photo by Tom Szczerbowski/Getty Images)

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Sleep

sunnyhighway James Shields faces Michael Pineda and the Yanks tonight for a make-up game in K.C.

Jacoby Ellsbury CF

Derek Jeter SS

Brian McCann C

Carlos Beltran DH

Stephen Drew 2B

Martn Prado LF

Chase Headley 1B

Ichiro Suzuki RF

Zelous Wheeler 3B

Contenders or Pretenders: which one of dese?

Never mind the layover: Let’s Go Yank-ees!

[Photo Credit: Ralph Crane]

Damn Skippy

pennn

I listened to the first couple of innings of the ball game on Friday night on the radio. I was on a Trailways bus headed upstate to visit my cousin and a few friends for the weekend. As the game started, we were stuck in traffic. Outside–I think we were near Newburgh–it began to ran. Game started like this for the White Sox: base hit, base hit, home run. The next two batters hit long outs–one to the warning track, the other one to the wall.

Welp, it’s gonna be one of those weekends, I figured.

But the Yanks rallied to beat the Sox, won again on Saturday, then yesterday, another comeback. I heard their rally, David Robertson give up a game-tying home run in the 9th and then Brian McCann’s game-ending, pinch-hit homer in extra innings, on the radio again. This time I was in the passenger seat of my buddy’s car. He met me upstate and we had lunch with a friend. Now we were taking a few short cuts to avoid traffic–which we did–and on a lovely, late August afternoon, we listened to John Sterling bring us home. This was no fun for my pal, I should note, as he’s a Red Sox fan, but he was in a good mood so he didn’t mind.

I was happy too and so were the Yanks.

Final Score: Yanks 7, White Sox 4. 

[Picture by Bags]

Faith

Joe Torre Joe Day was a Good day.  Here’s rooting for more goodness this afternoon when the Yanks have to contend with the formidable Chris Sale. Never mind the summer breeze: Let’s Go Yank-ees! [Photo Credit: AP via Lo Hud]

Thank You Sir, May We Have S’More?

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Lousy first inning, no problem. Late magic.

Here’s hoping fer s’more today!

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

[Picture by Bags]

Hanging On

looking up

Our boys host the White Sox this weekend. No frills, baby, just wins.

Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Martin Prado 2B
Brian McCann DH
Chase Headley 3B
Francisco Cervelli C
Zelous Wheeler RF

Never mind the darkness:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

[Picture by Bags]

Just Desserts

harlmet

Brandon McCarthy: stud. 

[Photo Credit: Danny Ghitis via MPD]

Shape Up

shopz

Yanks try not to suck this afternoon against the Astros.

Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Martin Prado 2B
Chase Headley 3B
Francisco Cervelli C
Ichiro Suzuki RF
Zelous Wheeler DH

Never mind the crankiness:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

[Picture by Bags]

On the Bright Side…

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…Michael Pineda is starting tonight.

Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter DH
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Brian McCann C
Chase Headley 3B
Stephen Drew SS
Martin Prado 2B
Ichiro Suzuki RF

Never mind the summertime blues:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

[Picture by Bags]

Down Beat

corner

There is a special kind of quiet that accompanies baseball in the middle of August. I noticed it on Monday night when I caught the first couple of innings of the Reds Cardinals game. It wasn’t silence more like white noise. There it was again last night at Yankee Stadium. Maybe it’s the Yankees–they are a mediocre team playing for a crowd accustomed to something better. Or maybe it’s just the time of year. People are on vacation, and even those of us who work each day, well, the pace is slower. It’s time for swimming and corn and tomatoes not for getting too excited.

There were moments for cheering, like when Martin Prado got a big, game-tying hit. And there was  enough umph for booing too, which is what David Robertson heard as he walked off the field after giving up the 3-run homer that sunk the Yanks in the 9th. Robertson has been terrific this year and I only hope he didn’t take the boos personally. The outburst proved that not everyone was asleep.

Final Score: Astros 7, Yanks 4.

[Picture by Bags]

Which Way is Up?

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The Astros? Remember them pains in the ass?

Time for some payback, boys.

Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Carlos Beltran DH
Martin Prado 2B
Brian McCann C
Chase Headley 3B
Ichiro Suzuki RF

Whadda ya say, fellers?

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

[Picture by Bags]

Only So Much to Go Around

emp

All season long I’ve played a game with myself as I watch Derek Jeter. He gets a base hit and I wonder how many he has left? Gets a double and wonder, hey, I bet he’s only got 8 more of those left. That kind of thing. That feeling–that there is a finite amount of hits and runs–is also how I’ve been thinking about the team. They win or lose close games as if they were rationing runs.

Yesterday, thanks to a solid start by Hiroki Kuroda, who retired 17 Rays in a row at one point, a big strike out by Shawn Kelley, and the usual strong work from Betances and Robertson, the Yanks won. They were no-hit by Jeremy Hellickson until the 5th inning. Then, after a walk (Drew) and a double (Prado), Brett Gardner slapped Hellickson’s 90th pitch into center for a base hit. Jeter and Ellsbury followed with singles, too, and later Mark Teixeira hit a solo home run.

You’ve got to appreciate the runs, the wins when they come because it’s as if there is just so many to go around. This has been an unspectacular season–some find it outright boring–but there is also something satisfying about each win because they feel so hard-earned.

[Picture by Bags]

Just Hangin’ Out

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Our man, Hiroki.

Never mind the 1-game winning streak:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

(Bam, Bam)

[Photo Credit: Manel Armengol via Retro New York]

The Success of Failure

Derek Jeter

If there’s been one consistent annoyance about Derek Jeter’s game over the years it’s his penchant for the sacrifice bunt. Sometimes, of course, it’s the right move. Sometimes, he’s just following orders. But there are time, like yesterday in the 9th inning with Brett Gardner on second and nobody out, where I yelled, “just swing away, Jeets, drive him in, don’t just move him over.” Well, Jeter tried to bunt anyhow, four times in a row. He took two pitches for balls, another two for strikes. And then he singled past the second basemen, and Gardner scored the go-ahead–and winning–run.

On an afternoon where the Bombers got another impressive start out of Shane Greene, they edged-out the Rays, 3-2.

[Photo Credit: AP via Chad Jennings]

Summer Time Blues

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Yanks look to end their losing streak today.

Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter DH
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Carlos Beltran RF
Chase Headley 3B
Martin Prado 2B
Francisco Cervelli C
Brendan Ryan SS

Never mind the summer fun:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

[Photo Credit: Heinrich Heidersberger via MPD]

Putt Putt Putt

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim v Texas Rangers

I’m sharing this picture of an unidentified member of the World Famous Wheelie-ing Elvi taken by Tom Pennington last night in Arlington (and brought to my attention by It’s a Long Season) because it’s a lot more fun than anything that happened in the Yankees’ 5-0 loss in Tampa.

Pick it Up, Pick it Up

beerhere

Yanks drag their four-game losing streak to Tampa, a place that hasn’t been kind to them in recent years.

Brett Gardner LF
Derek Jeter SS
Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Carlos Beltran DH
Chase Headley 3B
Stephen Drew 2B
Martin Prado RF
Francisco Cervelli C

Never mind the scoreboard-watchin’:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

[Photo Credit: Joe Scherschel/LIFE, via It's a Long Season]

 

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