Saturday, Tim and I set off to the gleaming new palace in the Bronx at 7:30 a.m. Our trip consisted of an uneventful drive to New Haven to pick up the new Yankee Stadium Metro North train. This is unquestionably the best thing they ever did. (And, after the game they have separate trains leaving for those who are only going as far as Stanford and those going on to New Haven, so no overcrowding. Bless you stadium planners, whoever you are!)
The Stadium itself is really a lot to take in all at once. Tim and I agreed that it is now an awesome place to see a game.
Before, it had the mystique but not the comfort. Here’s my sad little no-zoom-lens picture of Pettitte and Molina warming up:
In fact, we had a perfect view of the Swisher Salute during the roll call. I think Tim might have sprained his muscles from rolling his eyes so much. Then, just because it wouldn’t be a Yankee game for us unless Tim felt tortured, they played a montage of Swisher highlights on the enormous screen during the changeover in the middle of the first inning. Delightful. Here are two of the many Swisher fans in our section (I thought I would be in the minority):
Andy looked good through the first six. The game was flying by. Everything was going good (well, not everything. WTF, A-Rod???). And then, the wheels came off. Andy suddenly couldn’t throw a strike; they took him out in favor of Aceves. I have a lot of faith in Aceves, but on this day, it was not to be.
Now, it might have been something I said. Something that was not so nice. About the family of a certain senator from the great state of Massachusetts. I don’t even know why we were talking about that. But whatever it was, Tim said I was about to be struck down by lightening, and immediately Aceves started coughing up runs. Finally, David Robertson got the Yankees out of the inning. With a 6-1 deficit. Great.
At this point, Tim and I had spent our first-born’s college money on bottles of water. I had brought a travel-sized bottle of sunscreen, which was down to its very last bit. But I wasn’t going anywhere. I’m a ride-the-game-out-no-matter-what kind of girl. So, we baked in the sun some more, and I was rewarded with a two-run homer by Jeter that just barely went over the fence and a sweet right-field shot by Tex.
In the top of the ninth, Nomar Garciaparra came up to bat, and the fans booed him as they had been doing all day. Tim, once again, rolled his eyes. “He’s been on three different teams since his was a Red Sock, ” he said. “Well, they’ll stop booing him when you guys stop booing Johnny Damon at Fenway. Get over it.” (Note: I actually like Nomar. I don’t consider him part of the Boston teams that I have grown to hate.)
“Get over it” may have been a little too strong, considering my karma wasn’t that great at the moment. We did get to see Brett Gardner make two great catches in center field, but later found out he’d broken his thumb. The Yankees ninth-inning comeback didn’t materialize, and I was forced to ride the train back to New Haven with a smirking hubby. Here I am smiling before things took such a disappointing turn:
When we got home that night, I told myself that I was not going to watch the game on Sunday. I held to it for about an hour and a half after game time. I didn’t want my terrible karma to interfere with another Yankee win.
But soon curiosity got the better of me, and I turned on the tv….just in time to see Phil Coke give up the lead! Poor Phil Coke – I definitely have a soft spot for him. Thankfully, the Yankee bats came back this time, and Hughes, Bruney, and Mo tied the win up with a nice, neat bow. I guess three out of four isn’t bad. Next time I’ll be nicer in my thoughts about the Kennedys.
TEX PASSES YOUKILIS IN ALL-STAR VOTING (via Pete Abraham on the LoHud Yankees blog).
Most of the time, as a grown woman, I would feel silly about voting more than once for players in the All-Star game. I mean, we know it’s all a ruse, right? Stats mean nothing and many of the fans voting just want to see who they perceive as “stars,” which would explain why Ken Griffey Jr. has more votes right now than Nick Markakis.
I also suspect that many fangirls have been busy voting, which is the only thing that makes sense when you consider that Jarrod Saltalamacchia and his .245 BA are in second place behind Joe Mauer, while Victor Martinez (BA .344) is in fifth. I mean, I love me some Salty; he’s a solid starter on the AL hottie team:
And apparently he’s quite the natty dresser, but I don’t see him as an All-Star this year. But I digress.
One of the few things that could make me vote multiple times is the nausea-inducing idea of Kevin “Melon Head” Youkilis beating out Tex. So please, go vote for Tex. Or vote for Justin Morneau. I would be okay with that. Because if Kevin Youkilis wins, we all lose.
On the very next play, Tex slid hard into Elvis Andrus at second to break up the double play. That’s what he’s supposed to do, but he seemed extra intent on flipping Andrus like a pancake. Fine by me. I mean, I’m not big on displays of anger or frustration, but he simultaneously kept the inning going and blew off some steam.
If I’m remembering correctly, this Padilla guy is the same guy Swisher charged and tackled when the Texas pitchers hit him two or three times in a row two years ago, when Swish was with Oakland. So, no surprise that Padilla’s still throwing at people. I guess, if anything, it’s weird that tonight he was throwing at a former teammate.
Whatever. His coming unglued got the Yanks fired up to the tune of seven runs. Anyone else want to make Mark Teixiera angry? Be my guest.
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:
He 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:
Oh 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 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?
And, of course, CC was kickin’ it.
He’s another guy who must have that selective amnesia thing down pat. Even after a mistake, he just goes back and tries something else. I guess you can do that when you’ve got a bunch of options in your arsenal.
- This isn’t Yankees news, but last night Dontrelle Willis (Detroit) pitched well and got his first win since coming back from an anxiety disorder. I’ve always liked Dontrelle, and I’m keeping my fingers crossed for him to continue doing well. Anyone who knows how debilitating anxiety issues can be should be thrilled to see him get back on track.
- This trend is somewhat disturbing. Really, Phil Coke? You’re a nice blonde California boy – what are you thinking? Anyway, it looks like the razors are here to stay. I’m still trying to make my peace with this:
This is why chicks dig the long ball:
The crack of the bat, when you know for sure that it’s gone, is one of the coolest sounds ever. Tonight, Mark Teixeira went yard twice, one from either side of the plate. A-Rod also hit a bomb. It was nice to see the two of them jumping on some pitches.
The defense was great behind Pettitte tonight. I am lovin’ Ramiro Pena and Francisco Cervelli. And Texy gets the gold star because in addition to his two jacks, he also made a couple of great plays at first.
And, although, he gave me a minor heart attack at the end, I love that Phil Coke got the save. I’ve actually been pulling for him – out of all the bullpen guys in there – because I think he can be really good behind Bruney and Mo. He’s definitely a work in progress. It was nice to see him strike out Justin Morneau in convincing fashion in the eighth.
Last year, nobody could get it going at the same time as anybody else. This year, it’s so much fun watching different players contribute in bunches. I’m looking forward to seeing them play in person in July.
PS: If you have some time on your hands, check out the clip of CC, Swish, and Bruney fishing from Yankees on Deck on YES. Bruney is the Trout Master, apparently. Swish, like my husband and Joey on Friends, just wants to sit around eating sandwiches.
And that means that Teixiera almost hitting it over the wall about six or seven times this weekend counts as good news. Here’s the reality check part: I know he’s frustrated, but in all honesty, he’s missing on these pitches by inches. It shouldn’t stay that way for the whole year.
I was also impressed that Ramiro Pena got some hits against Justin Verlander, who woke up yesterday and decided to be Justin Verlander again. As a fan of good pitching in general, I have missed him ever since his body was taken over by a crappy clone last year. Pena, though, wasn’t intimidated. I like that – considering all the Yankee veterans were.