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These Games Happen

dropped-ice-cream-blueWell, what can you say, what can you do… it’s just too bad, you go in feeling good about things, hoping to keep the ball rolling and the good feelings alive, fingers crossed  and splat! right on the floor.  You were hoping it wouldn’t happen, knew it probably would, but you weren’t gonna say anything and whfpp!, there it went. Ah well, just shake your head, take a deep breath and start over.  It’s a long season, folks, and no matter what anyone tells you, you can’t win a championship in April, and it’s pretty darn hard to lose one in April, too (though some have come close).  Matt Harvey, currently one of the best young starters in the biz, held it down for his Queens crew and the Bronx posse wasn’t up for much this afternoon after making a strong statement the day before.  Take this any way you like; the upstart new kid taking a heavy jab to the face and coming back with a strong uppercut of his own to the worn out former champ, or two dogs fighting over a choice scrap or just two teams feeling each other out for the start of a season with long term implications for both franchises that may determine which direction each one is heading.

All that most of you probably saw was a guy with a lot of heat, a heavy change-up and a lot of kinetic energy mowing down another team with an identity crisis.  C.C.; thick or thin, came up little in this start after losing one that sparked talk of his old self possibly making a comeback.  The Mets bats were louder than the Yanks’ today; Harvey played with A-Rod like an Easter egg on a Sunday morning and aside from a couple of who-cares runs, it wasn’t really worth talking about from a Bronx perspective (now if you’re a Queens fan, you’re probably rocking out to “Whaddayasayta Dat!” and “Yeah, But The Mets Tho…”; yeah, rock on, it’s all good…)

But hey, $#@% happens sometimes, and like whipped cream in a Yodel you just have to roll with it. We don’t know where this team is gonna go one day to the next at this point, so let’s not jump to any conclusions just yet.  Alex has surprised the heck out of everyone so far, that’s a plus. Pineda’s been an ace, that’s good too. Tanaka’s arm hasn’t turned into Rice Krispies yet while giving quality starts, that’s something to breathe in and out about.  And not for nothing, the Mets being a better-than-anyone-in-their-right-mind-thought team out the gate is good for these series, especially if these two can actually trade punches with each other throughout the whole season.  Only time will tell.  In the meantime put down the paper, turn off the radio, and what the heck/just clean up the mess…

Photo Credit: Secret Escapes

Enter Light

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I expect Matt Harvey to pitch his best game of the year today. Only hope C.C. can come close to matching him and the Yanks squeeze out a “W”.

Never mind the late afternoon spring light:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

This One Ends at Eleven

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Jacob deGrom had his first lousy start of the year while Michael Pineda had his best one as the Yankees cruised past the Mets, 6-1 on Friday night in the Bronx.

Cold night, windy, with a healthy representation of noisy Met fans in the park. Mark Teixeira hit a pair of two-run homers off deGrom, and Jacoby Ellsbury added a solo home run. Ellsbury, Brett Gardner and Brian McCann each had a couple of hits, more than enough for Pineda who was in control from the beginning. He lasted seven and two-thirds, allowed five hits, struck out seven and didn’t walk a batter.

Pineda was a strike-throwing machine, and strutted around the mound with the leisurely, casual arrogance of a well-hung bull in a pasture. It was a shutdown performance, just what the Yankees needed, especially with the Mets’ ace, Matt Harvey going tomorrow.

A satisfying evening for the home team.

Thank you, fellas.

Borough to Borough

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The Mets steam into the Bronx riding high. They’ve won 11 in a row and have given their fans reason to cheer. The story line goes time is ripe for them to take the town from the Yanks. And it makes sense the way things go in cycles and all. The Yankees have played some decent ball these past couple of weeks so this could be a well-played series.

It’s Pineda vs. deGrom tonight.

Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Brett Gardner LF
Alex Rodriguez DH
Mark Teixeira 1B
Brian McCann C
Carlos Beltran RF
Chase Headley 3B
Stephen Drew 2B
Didi Gregorius SS

Never mind the noise:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

[Photo Credit: Rene Groebli via MPD]

New York State of Mind

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The Yanks returned the Game 1 favor, this time beating the Tigers 2-1, which puts the Bombers at 9-7 for the season as they return home to face the Mets. You may have heard the Mets have won 11 in a row. This either spells bad news for the Yanks or possibly good news as all good things must come to an end. Either way, the Mets are hot and they’ve got their 3 best pitchers going this weekend so if the Yanks can manage to win the series it would be a nice accomplishment. One thing’s for sure, Met fans will be out in force this weekend and, like Nuke LaLoosh. I expect them to announce their presence with authority. Have to imagine there will be some volume to the proceedings, don’t you?

Picture by Bags

Getaway Matinee

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It’s Tanaka time this afternoon as the Yanks look to take the series from the Tigers. Be a downer if they don’t pull it off:

Jacoby Ellsbury CF

Brett Gardner LF

Carlos Beltran DH

Brian McCann C

Chase Headley 3B

Chris Young RF

Garrett Jones 1B

Stephen Drew 2B

Didi Gregorius SS

Never mind the cold:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

[Photo Credit: Eddie O’Keefe via Lover of Beauty]

You Can’t Predict Baseball, Suzyn

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David Price gave up 6 runs in the first and so what does Adam Warren do in the bottom of the inning but walk the bases loaded, walk in a run, and give up a couple of hits–6-4, Yanks. You could see where this one was headed: Price would recover and shut the Yankees out for the next 6 innings and Warren wouldn’t make it out of the second. Instead, Price gave up more runs and was chased early; meanwhile, Warren pitched into the sixth, and the Yanks ran away with it, 13-4.

It was a cold night in Detroit, snow flurries swirled for a while. When Warren was removed from the game with two men out in the sixth, Michael Kay moaned that the Yankee bullpen would have to get 10 outs. This with a day game today and the weekend series vs. the Mets. I understood his point but considering how things began for Warren getting into the sixth inning was an accomplishment.

Picture by Bags

Muddy Waters

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Yanks face their old pal David Price tonight in Detroit. Adam Warren goes for the Bombers.

Supposed to be cold and rainy–wait, does the forecast call for sleet?

Jacoby Ellsbury CF

Chris Young LF

Alex Rodriguez DH

Mark Teixeira 1B

Brian McCann C

Carlos Beltran RF

Chase Headley 3B

Gregorio Petit 2B

Didi Gregorius SS

Never mind the galoshes:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

 

[Photo Credit: Andres Medina via untrustyou]

Nice

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Nathan Eovaldi pitched his best game as a Yankee and Andrew Miller worked into and out of trouble in the 9th as the Yanks beat the Tigers, 5-2. Miller would have been OK had the home plate ump not missed a strike three call. But a couple of walks later, the score was 5-2 and the bases were loaded and Yankee fans were nervous. Fortunately, he got the last out–a strikeout. Chris Young had a nice game, too.

[Photo Credit: Rob Kalmbach]

Hey Ma, What’s Fer Dinner?

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It’s Eovaldi, Take Three. And our first look at Shane Greene in a Tigers uniform. 

Jacoby Ellsbury CF

Brett Gardner LF

Alex Rodriguez DH

Mark Teixeira 1B

Brian McCann C

Chris Young RF

Chase Headley 3B

Stephen Drew SS

Gregorio Petit 2B

Never mind the cold:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

[Photo Credit: Christer Stromholm via Kvetchlandia]

Yanks Lose a Close One

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I’m sorry that I don’t have the time to do justice to last night’s game because C.C. Sabathia pitched well. It was the kind of game where you can see what kind of pitcher he’s trying to become. And there was some wonderful fielding from both teams. Sabathia had a 1-0 lead in the 7th when the Tigers scored a couple of runs. (It as cold and nasty out–couldn’t be much fun for the hitters.) In the 8th, the Yankees had runners on the corners with one out when our old chump Joba Chamberlain came in to face Jacoby Ellsbury. The Yankee outifielder hit the ball hard but it was snagged by Ian Kinsler who turned an easy 4-6-3 double play.

“I hit it at the wrong person,” Ellsbury said after the game. “I’ll take 600 more of those swings the rest of the season.”

And that, really, was the game.

A bummer for sure–frustrating–but the loss was balanced by Sabathia’s encouraging performance.

Final Score: Tigers 2, Yanks 1. 

Picture by Bags

Simon Says

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Yanks are in Detroit to start the week. Tonight, they’ll face the tough Alfredo Simon.

Jacoby Ellsbury CF

Brett Gardner LF

Alex Rodriguez DH

Mark Teixeira 1B

Carlos Beltran RF

Brian McCann C

Chase Headley 3B

Stephen Drew 2B

Didi Gregorius SS

Never mind .500:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

Picture by Bags

Keep it Movin’

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First series win, check; first series sweep, check.

A 5-3 win yesterday afternoon in Tampa puts the Yanks at .500 as they head to Detroit for four games.

Getting Even

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Yanks going for the sweep this afternoon in Tampa, trying to to reach .500.

Pineda’s on the mound.

Jacoby Ellsbury CF
Brett Gardner LF
Alex Rodriguez DH
Mark Teixeira 1B
Chase Headley 3B
Stephen Drew 2B
Garrett Jones RF
John Ryan Murphy C
Didi Gregorius SS

Never mind the blossoms:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

Return of the Score Truck

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A low-scoring game turning into a blow out thanks to a 7-run 7th inning, highlighted by Chris Young’s grand slam (and off a 3-2 pitch no less). Brian McCann had a big night, a good sign if there ever was one.

Masahiro Tanaka had his best start of the year and the Yanks won, 9-0.

[Photo Via: Street Art NYC]

Saturday Night Baseball in April

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New York in is in bloom at long last. Yesterday and today are the first ridiculously nice days of the year: warm, sunny, lots of energy, lots of color. I strolled through Central Park last night after work and saw a few ball games.

Tonight, Masahiro looks to give the Yankees their first series win of the year.

Jacoby Ellsbury CF

Brett Gardner LF

Alex Rodriguez DH

Mark Teixeira 1B

Brian McCann C

Chris Young RF

Chase Headley 3B

Stephen Drew SS

Gregorio Petit 2B

Never mind the pollen:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

Here and Now

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Alex Rodriguez had a good spring which seemed like a minor miracle to me. He’s 39, missed a full year, he’s had surgeries on both hips. I just didn’t think he’d be able to hack it, didn’t think he’d make the team out of spring training. But he carried good at bats into the season. Even when he wasn’t driving the ball he wasn’t chasing those tempting breaking balls out of the strike zone. Last night was his best game in a long time as he hit the ball on the nose three times for run-scoring plays.

Rodriguez hit a long home run in his first at bat, off a fastball, giving him three for the season (two of them real shots). Imagine being a has-been and hitting a ball that far? Dag.

Later, he hit another homer, this one a two-run job that tied the game. This one was more like a Mike Piazza home run, a line drive that was hit so hard it didn’t have a chance to curve foul. The pitch was a fastball, inside on the hands, but Rodriguez beat the ball to the spot. Now, I understand if he still has the power to crush a mistake but I did not anticipate him ever turning around a good fastball.

The game stayed tied until the 8th when Rodriguez came through again, this time laying off some good pitches and then smacking a line drive to center for a base hit that drove home Brett Gardner with the go-ahead (and winning) run.

The bullpen was back to its stellar self and the Yanks won, 5-4.

I got an email from a friend after the game. He said, “I don’t want to sound naive, but do really think he’d be stupid enough to take anything after last year. (I know he’d be arrogant enough, just not sure of the stupidity part).” Well, arrogance always trumps intelligence in my book, and of course it’s natural to be suspicious of Rodriguez. But that hasn’t spoiled my enjoyment and watching him locked-in has been one of the few pleasures of this young season for the Yanks. I don’t expect it’ll last. Hot streaks never do. And I seriously doubt that Rodriguez’s body will hold up. All the more reason to enjoy the moment–here and then…gone. 

[Photo Credit: Kim Klement/Rueters]

The Warren Report

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Yanks are in Tampa this weekend. Adam Warren goes tonight.

Jacoby Ellsbury CF

Chase Headley 3B

Carlos Beltran RF

Mark Teixeira 1B

Brian McCann C

Alex Rodriguez DH

Stephen Drew 2B

Chris Young LF

Didi Gregorius SS

Never mind the dome:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

[Photo Credit: Sherif Elhage via MPD]

Our Love is Like Our Music, It’s Here, And Then It’s Gone

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Can you be angry at a team when you’ve got no expectations? The Yanks lost again last night. Had a 3-1 lead, and Eovaldi pitched pretty well but not long enough, and the bullpen blew it. The offense rallied but came up short.

Final Score: Orioles 7, Yanks 5.

I wish I could feel outrage, despair, something other than resignation. But there it is.

It was nice to see Alex Rodriguez’s home run. Man, that was a bomb. I don’t imagine he’ll stay healthy this year but pretty wild to watch a guy well past his prime do something like that.

Picture by Bags. 

You’re All Wet

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My great uncle Georgie once came in the bathroom when my cousin Donny was taking a bath. George pointed at Donny and said, “You’re all wet!” He said in an accusing tone that made Donny cry. Donny was too young to realize it was meant as a joke.

What this has to do with tonight’s game I don’t know. Maybe I just like that story. Or maybe I just like this picture of Steve Martin from The Jerk.

Regardless, it’s Eovaldi, Take Deuce in Baltimore.

Jacoby Ellsbury CF

Chase Headley 3B

Carlos Beltran RF

Mark Teixeira 1B

Brian McCann C

Alex Rodriguez DH

Stephen Drew 2B

Chris Young LF

Didi Gregorius SS

Never mind the suds:

Let’s Go Yank-ees!

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