Tagged: Brett Gardner

Get on Board for an A.J. Adventure!

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There’s no way around it: A.J. Burnett is a badass. (He also gets extra points for not being as mean and nasty about his badassery as his buddy Josh Beckett. But I digress.)  Last night he didn’t really have control of anything but his fastball, but you gotta respect the way he battled. I was surprised to be thinking in the seventh inning that they should have kept him in there a little longer.

Yes, three wild pitches and four walks are not ideal. But when he needed an out, he buckled down and got an out. That’s the kind of resilience I want to see. Joba should stop arguing with Jorge and start asking A.J. what he does to calm down in those situations.

Speaking of needing to calm down, and people thinking you need to calm down, we have Phil Coke and Nick Swisher.  Always eager to add to the adventurous nature of a game, Phil Coke seemed to have a bit of a hyper moment out there, giving up a home run to Joe Mauer.  I often want to tell him to count to ten, do some yoga, picture Joe Mauer in his underwear. (Whatever works.)

Swisher on the other hand loves being out in the field so much that he needs to dispel some of that pent-up energy with little hops, skips, and jumps up against the padded walls. He must have been an exhausting little kid.  I kind of understand why Girardi talked to him in the dugout about it, but I tend to think that Girardi is Debbie Downer. C’mon man, Swisher is high on life and you’re just killing his buzz.

Swisherout.jpgAll in all, the game moved a little slowly for my taste. My boy Brett Gardner was actually the only one trying to inject any speed into the proceedings. My fondness for Brett continues to grow with each passing day. I don’t care what people think the racial implications of calling a white ballplayer “scrappy” or “gritty” are.  That’s not how I see it. White, black, Latino, Native American: if you exceed expectations, prove you can help the team, and don’t take your spot there for granted, you’re good in my book. I want you on my team and I will call you scrappy, gritty, gutty and, occasionally, awesome. Keep it rolling, Brett the Jet.

Gardner.jpgFinally, I just want to say how endearing Francisco Cervelli’s comments were about his time in the big leagues.  Now that he has returned to AAA-Scranton, and even though I have a soft spot for Jose Molina, I think more people than just CC and AJ are going to miss him. 

Sometimes All You Need is a Little Push

Okay. I know. I was the pessimistic one yesterday. And I think the frustration had reached a boiling point for many in the Yankee Orbit. Then, we were treated to this:

Girardi_argue.jpgThe drama! The intensity! The incredibly terrible call by this here ump! I believe that a manager getting thrown out can fire up his/her team. But in this case, I think it was actually the bad call on Gardner getting “picked off” first. It wasn’t even close. Something that maddening is bound to push a frustrated group right over the edge whether the manager gets thrown out or not. And it did. In a good way.

Francisco Cervelli, who does have a way of making good things happen (although I am emphatically not in the group calling for Posada to be put out to pasture), hit his first major league home run, and nobody in the dugout even bothered with the pretense of giving him the silent treatment.

(Speaking of Cervelli, I can’t get a handle on his accent. I know he is from Venezuela and that he played in the WBC for Italy. Is he of Italian descent? His accent kind of had that feel to it in the postgame interview with Kim Jones.)

The home run opened the flood gates for a string of hits and runs to preserve a win for Joba, who pitched very well. But the best moment was yet to come:

Mo-hitting.jpgMo’s got a bat! Look out. He actually hit the ball pretty hard to center field, although it was caught by Nate McLouth. Of course, CC Sabathia’s reaction was priceless. As soon as the ball came off the bat he started jumping up and down like a mad man. It was kind of an awesome moment. That’s the kind of enjoyment I look forward to seeing from my boys. I hope we get to see lots more of it in the near future.

Late to the Party

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I didn’t realize that today’s game was a day game, so I was too late to agonize over what must have been a very frustrating performance by Chien-Ming Wang.

Nope, by the time I showed up the Yankees had already battled back from a 5-1 deficit, and the score was tied 6-6.

This is what happens when I’m not at work and in front of a computer all day. Instead I was at home, nursing a strained quad and hopped up on pain meds.

I’m always happy to see a comeback victory, of course, but I kind of wish Chien-Ming had put all questions to rest with a solid outing. Now, everyone will go bananas for a week about whether or not he should start against the Red Sox. Here it is: Yes. He. Should.

He has got to get back into a routine. He’s got to get the confidence back that comes from knowing others are behind you and not ready to give you the hook at the drop of a hat.  And, I’m sorry, but at this point, I just don’t see a Red Sox game as any more do-or-die than a game against any other team. I just want the Yanks to keep chugging along overall.
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Speaking of chugging along, let’s talk about Melky. I’m quickly coming to rely on him as the late-inning hero. I also like that he’s doing well and that Brett Gardner is still getting playing time. I really don’t think it has to be an either-or thing.

Next up, Tampa Bay. I hope the pitching rebounds a bit in this series. 

Every Team Should Have a Retractable Roof

I hate rain delays. Last night in Texas, the delay was more than two hours, forcing me to go to bed without watching a pitch. Apparently, it also gave Joba too much time to think, and the results were not good:
Joba_Ugh.jpgHe only gave up three runs, but he left in the fourth after 85 pitches, leaving the bullpen to blow up the game. Which they promptly did.

Then, there was this:
Melky_Ugh.jpgOh sure, one of the few guys who’s actually hitting in clutch spots jams his arm against the wall trying to make a catch? They said last night that tests were negative, but Melky will have an MRI today. Remember when people wanted the Yankees to send Brett Gardner down because Melky was hitting better? Now, it’s a good thing he’s around.

Not to mention that he’s the only one who seemed to do his job last night, going 3-for-5 with three stolen bases and a run scored. The rest of the team’s batting can be summed up perfectly with this image:
Matsui_Ugh.jpgMatsui says, “I can’t believe we left 12 men on base and went 2-for-12 with RISP!”  To be fair, Matsui wasn’t the biggest culprit here.  That honor was shared by the foursome of Mark Teixeira (4 LOB), Nick Swisher (4), Francisco Cervelli (4) and Robbie Cano (3). Grounding into three double plays also didn’t help.

I know that the last couple of weeks have been great and that one or two losses are not a big deal. But this game uncovered some issues that will only get worse as the season rolls on.  Or maybe the rain delay just put them all to sleep. What the hell do I know?

I Could Get Used to This

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Love the walk-offs! Love the pies in the face!

This was a banner weekend for the Yankees. Ok, maybe not completely storybook. I mean, you don’t want to keep getting yourself in the position of having to win by walk-off. But the qualities I want to see in a team that’s in it for the long haul are there.

Even when some people are having critical lapses in judgment…

Brett out2.jpg…there is an aggressiveness that wasn’t there last year. I’m seeing sacrifice bunts and nice defensive plays. I’m seeing better things from the bullpen (which I’m superstitiously scared to even type).  And for some reason, we’re seeing a lot more of the guys’ tongues:
 
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Even Phil, Joba and A.J. kept their mental composure and did their best to limit any damage. 

This makes me a happy gal right now, as my Bruins and Celtics have fallen by the wayside. I hope, in the future, that they won’t need so many comebacks. But I hope that the scrappy attitude stays exactly the same.

Melky and Brett Serve Notice

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Here’s the thing about conventional wisdom: if you hold onto your belief in it for too long, you get screwed.

At the very moment the Minnesota Twins indicated they were going to walk Robinson Cano to get to Melky Cabrera last night I said to myself, and my television, “why?”

Nothing against Robbie, but he’s been in a slump recently, and Melky has been hitting the ball solidly even when he’s making outs. Plus Melky’s a switch hitter. What’s the strategy there? I’m sure someone who has way more strategery than me could tell me, but at that point in time it seemed like a bad idea.

And it turns out it was a bad idea.

I’ve noticed this year, more than ever before, that people are relying on old assumptions and outdated information when it comes to the Yankees–both on and off the field–instead of actually doing the quick homework it would take to find something out about the actual skills and character of this team.

Brett Gardner has speed? Who knew?

There’s more young talent coming up every day? We thought the average age of prospects in Trenton and Scranton was approximately 75.

This team has heart? Oh, we didn’t notice because we focus obsessively on A-Rod 24/7.

Wake up, non-Yankee fans, and check out what this team is really about. They may not always win, but they’re not the robotic, soulless men you wish they were. 

Melky Mania, Apparently

Last night, I was taken away from The Boys when it was 4-4 in the fifth or so. What could possibly tear me away?
Pierce-Rondo.jpgEnough already with the crazy overtime games! Fifty-one points from Ray-Ray squandered!

While I was watching that (and an incredibly irritating episode of Survivor), the Yankees apparently were tearing it up.  I can’t lie – I liked the fact that the Bobby Abreu Defensive Follies worked in our favor this time.  I also enjoy Melky doing well, but I feel for Brett Gardner. I’m always a fan of the “gritty, gutty” players, as Pete Abraham likes to call him. I hope there will be a place for him at some point. I mean, Johnny Damon’s arm couldn’t throw out my grandmother.  She’s pretty spry for an 80-year-old.

In other news, Nick Swisher doesn’t even really need to try anymore in terms of winning me over. It’s in the bag. But he just keeps showering down the awesomeness anyway. Take this little bit from Kevin Devaney of LoHud who blogged the game last night in place of Pete A.:

“Swisher’s collage was completed by tonight’s return to the stadium. He
cut out pictures of every teammate and taped them all together on the
right side of his locker. Most of the players are in snazzy suits.

In addition to being The Man, he’s also an aspiring artist. I’m so hooked.