"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice
Tag: david ortiz

Sore Winner

Let me get this straight, David Ortiz Cadillac’s a home run and tells Joe Girardi to “take it like a man” when the Yankee manager doesn’t care for the theatrics. Then, after getting drilled last night, Ortiz blames the press.

Reminds me of this:

Take It Like A Man

CC Sabathia, Francisco Cervelli, Joe Girardi

CC Sabathia heads to the dugout after giving up a 2-0 lead in the seventh. (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

If a game happens and no one stays awake to watch it, did it actually happen? The answer, of course, is yes.

The start of Thursday’s game was delayed 3 hours and 27 minutes due to thunderstorms that ripped through the New York metropolitan area. The lone West Coast game in San Francisco started and finished before the Red Sox-Yankees series finale.

And if you thought a first-inning home run by Curtis Granderson, one that gave the Yankees a 2-0 lead, would be the start of a big night against Josh Beckett, you’d have thought wrong. Beckett, who entered the evening 2-0 against the Yankees this season, with 19 Ks and holding the Yankees to a .128 batting average against him through 14 innings, settled in and only allowed five more base runners (2 H, 2 HBP, 1 BB), and no one advanced beyond second base.

CC Sabathia, on the other hand, was an ace in his own right, but only through six innings. The turning point was a dumb-luck triple by Jed Lowrie to right field in the top of the seventh inning. The ball was scooting along the ground down the right field line, and Nick Swisher anticipated playing the carom. Instead, the ball stayed close to the ground and skidded, finding its way onto the metal below the padding of the wall and hydroplaned past Swisher and into the corner. Swisher fell down in the process. This mishap, all of which took about two seconds to develop, allowed David Ortiz, who led of the inning with a seemingly harmless single, to score.

At that point, you could sense the Red Sox’ attitude morph into a collective “We’ve got ‘em now.” And they did. When the carnage of the inning was completed, 11 men were sent to the plate, eight got hits, and seven scored. Ortiz alone had two hits, scored a run, and drove in two. Ballgame over. The outs were louder than some of the hits. The singles by Jason Varitek, Jacoby Ellsbury, and the bases-loaded single by Adrian Gonzalez that eventually sent Sabathia to the showers were seeing-eye singles. Bleeders. But they were better than anything the Yankees could muster against Beckett.

The good tidings the Yankees brought home following a 6-3 West Coast trip have officially been erased. A one-game lead is now a two-game deficit. The Yankees are 0-6 against the Red Sox at home this season, and 1-8 against them overall. A quarter of the Red Sox’ wins and a third of the Yankees’ losses have come against each other.

We could say, “This is setting up for the typical second-half surge against the Red Sox,” but doing so could be a mistake. This Yankees team has not hit well with runners in scoring position. The Red Sox have. (Thursday’s split was 7-for-15 for the Red Sox, 0-for-5 for the Yankees). The Yankees’ bullpen is in shambles, with the recent news of Joba Chamberlain’s season ending and the high likelihood of his requiring Tommy John surgery. The starting lineup only carries one hitter with a batting average above .275.

To paraphrase former NFL coach Dennis Green from one of the all-time greatest post-game press conferences, the Red Sox are who we thought they would be. What are the Yankees?

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.

The ? Remainz

Last Friday, David Ortiz hit two long home runs against the Tigers, reminding us that he can still turn on a fastball. At least for one night. He creamed both pitches, too. Shades of the old Big Papi not the Old Big Papi.  

The question remains: Is Ortiz back, or was that just a blip? Today at ESPN, Howard Bryant has a long profile on the Boston slugger:

“You have to remember how proud David is,” said his former Minnesota Twins roommate Torii Hunter. “He treats people well. He makes you feel good. He makes it fun to come to the ballpark and play this game. Now, he’s having a tough time, and it looks like the same people he used to make laugh want him out? How would you feel?”

…Last year was supposed to be old news. He had conquered the bad start. He thought he had proved that last year was not evidence of a trend.

“Do you understand that this is killing me?” he tells me one day. “Do you know when I’m going good I cannot sleep because I’m trying to remember everything that I did right so I can repeat it the next day and the next? And that’s when I’m going good. When I’m going bad, it’s even worse because everybody looks to me to be the guy who comes through for this ballclub. It’s like I never sleep anymore.”

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