There’s one

If the words of John Sterling could be typed accurately enough to give justice to his infamous "Yankees Win" call then I would put them here, however the Yankees were able to hold the lead today for the first time in a long time and maybe it’s time they began to show the league about the Yankees.

Kei Igawa was amazing today and gave the Bombers just what they needed.

6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 4 BB, 6 K, 0 HR

Igawa has obviously pitched himself back into the rotation, and lowered his ERA to 6.08, which could easily be in the fives with another start next week. 

Brian Bruney did his job again (2.04 ERA) and in my mind has earned the spot to pitch in the seventh.  Bruney allowed no base runners and struck out one.

Kyle Farnsworth looked almost like the Farnsworth that Steinbrenner paid for.  He made his pitches, but Mike Lowell fought one off for a bloop RBI single.

Mariano doesn’t look like the old Mariano yet, but it was a good step in the right direction, and he got his first save (22 games later) today.

Overall, a great effort by the Yankees.  They had their chances to blow the game open in just about every inning, but I am glad they held on because they obviously outplayed the Red Sox today. 

The Yankees looked like the Yankees we all thought we were going to see this season.  Now they just need to do it tomorrow, and then again in Texas on Tuesday.

0 for 1

Pettitte_1 Well, like I had said before the Yankees need to win at least two games this weekend from Boston, so that the season series would be at 2-4 and they would have 12 games to play with in order to win the 18-game series from the Red Sox, which ulitmately could decide the AL East Champion and the season.

Last night the Bombers dropped the one game they could drop, one where Andy Pettitte was given the lead, and gave it right back.  The offense was subpar, putting up four runs, and doing nothing to the bullpen.  Doug Mientkiewicz once again displayed how awful he is at the plate right now (no one cares that you hit .283 or that you WERE a good hitter) and Bobby Abreu showed that he has no idea what is coming when Daisuke Matsuzaka is on the mound, as he swung at first pitch strikes, the same guy who walks 100+ times a season and is suppose to be the OBP machine. 

A-Rod has come back down to Earth.  I understand it has only been two games without a home run and no one expects him to hit one everyday, but he did not look at the plate last night, taking terrible swings at outside pitches (mainly breaking balls) the way Alex Rodriguez 2004-2006 did. 

Scott Proctor is still inconsistent, and Luis Vizcaino is worse.  Yeah, yeah they have had a lot of appearances, so what, that is your job, that is why you make multi-millions, not so Julio Lugo, who has about as much power as John Flaherty did, can take you deep down the left field line.  And Mariano, I understand you have had a lack of work, but that contract you were look for in spring training is getting farther and farther away from getting done and it’s only April.

The only positive from the game is that the Yankees know they have Daisuke’s number.  Sure, people will say he got the W and he pitched six innings, but pitcher’s records are not a true indicator of their actual performances (take a look at the Josh Beckett, Mr. 5-0, who easily could be 4-1, had the Yankees pitching not given up so many runs).

All in all, it was another loss, the first of this series, and the seventh in a row.  30 minutes from now, they will have a shot at redemption.  A shot to win a game and possibly go on a streak.  A shot to not be 8-14, and 0-5 against Boston.

Getting late early

Yogi Berra’s “Yogisms” have been etched into my head watching Yankees baseball and hearing of commentators talking about the legendary number eight. But out of all the clever lines Yogi has ever had, “it’s getting late early out here” explains the Yankees 8-12 start to the 2007 season.
20 games in no one would believe that the Bombers would have a .400 winning percentage and be in the basement of the division. Sure, they have done this in this past and even worse in 2005 when they were 11-19 through 30 games. But, this isn’t 2005, and I don’t know how many posts it will take to reiterate the point that the Yankees need to get it going, NOW. After the Boston sweep, I thought they could take these four games, that turned out to be three, but instead they went 0-3. Everyone will say well, the Red Sox went 1-2 well that’s great, but it doesn’t matter what Boston has done or is doing, the Yankees need to worry about their own games and play to win those nine innings everyday, and worry about themselves no matter how cliche it sounds. If they don’t start to soon, they won’t control their own destiny come September.

Philip Hughes looked fine tonight. About as good as a 20 year old kid, in his first major league start, in Yankee Stadium, against the powerful Toronto lineup should look. He is being held to the pitch count, no matter what Cashman tells the media, and if Derek Jeter had been playing short tonight, Hughes could have finished the fifth. But instead, Torre opted for the pen early and continues to overwork the only true power arm we have in Brian Bruney (Kyle Farnsworth as well, but Farnsworth isn’t getting work in crucial situations).

The lineup gave no run support, not one single run off A.J. Burnett who has struggled all year except the one night we need a W. Doug Mientkiewicz continues to be awful at the plate, taking up the number two hole tonight, going hitless, and Johnny Damon continues to fail as the leadoff man, hitting in the mid 200s.

This weekend means a lot, a lot more than last weekend, and we need every win right now to get SOMETHING going, anything. Everyone needs to play, that includes you Derek. We can’t afford to have Wil Nieves in there with his solid .000 average against Boston while Jorge sits on the bench only to pinch hit in the ninth with two outs against Papelbon.

It is time this Yankee team shows some character, some grit, some emotion. If Daisuke wants to bean someone early on, then Andy needs to go out there and do the same. Several runs were scored the last two nights because of Miguel Cairo at short, since Jeter was on the bench due to a Scott Kazmir fastball to the knee. If someone with the control of Matsuzaka wants to play that game, it is time the Yankees started playing as well.

Gametime 7:05.

Rain out

With the Yankees game being postponed tonight, here is a look at the rotation the next couple of days:
Thursday vs TOR, Hughes
Friday vs BOS, Pettitte
Saturday vs BOS, Igawa/Karstens
Sunday vs BOS, Wang

Also, with the Yankees off tonight, and the luxury of the MLB package, I had a chance to watch the Atlanta/Florida game. The Braves led 3-0 the entire game (from the 2nd on) until the bottom of the ninth. Bobby Cox left Tim Hudson in and after a single in the ninth he let him stay in. After another single in the ninth, Hudson still in. Another single, still in. So, after Hudson loaded the bases with no outs, Cox brought Wickman in, who gave up a double, got a strikeout, gave up a single, and then threw a wild pitch that ended the game. Good managerial skills by Bobby Cox bringing the closer in with the bases loaded and no outs rather than a clean slate in the ninth. Bobby Cox deserved to lose the game after those decisions.

Need these two

Pettitte If Luis Vizcaino and Mke Myers did their job then Joe Torre would have been a genius. However, that is not the case and the Yankees fall to 8-11, dropping five straight. Only five days ago, the Bombers were about to play Boston for the first time, were 8-6, and had swept the Indians, the last game coming from behind down four runs with two outs in the ninth.

But here we are, 8-11, last place in the East, chasing not the Red Sox, but hte Blue Jays, Orioles, and Devil Rays as well, with a pitching staff that starts and ends with Andy Pettitte. The Bombers have a two-game set with Toronto and then Boston comes to the Bronx for a weekend rematch.

I know I have said befoe that the Yankees need to win this game, and need to sweep this team, and I have said it loosely, hoping they would, but not putting all my chips in the pot. However, it is April 25th, and most people will say don’t worry or panic, however if you don’t play with urgency in this division, in this league, you will find yourself on the outside looking in when October comes.

It is nice to know that today is Andy Pettitte’s turn on the mound, the one arm that has been reliable both starting and relieving, and who Mo has stolen two wins from. Philip Hughes (#65) will be in the Stadium tomorrow night and face the Jays, getting his feet wet in the league, and we are all hoping that he is dominant enough to remain wearing pinstripes, and not hearing about the diaster that the staff is all the way from Pennsylvania.

It’s Pettitte against A.J. (Mr. Inconsistent) Burnett and the Blue Jays who are coming off of a two-game sweep at Fenway, the same place where the Yankees faced a sweep, in reverse style. The Bombers need this one. They need need tomorrow’s and they need two out of the three this weekend against Boston to start showing the league this past week has been just a fluke, and they are the scariest team to face in major league baseball.

I am tired of reading ESPN.com and hearing Bill Simmons tell the world the Yankees are losing invincibility, I am tired of him getting his facts wrong (saying that Torre used Pettitte in a panic move, rather than knowing it was Pettitte’s bullpen day), and I am tired of Red Sox Nation being proud of mediocrity (three standing ovations to Sox starters who gave up five runs each), and I am tired of starting off the season playing catchup.

Winning needs to start today. I’m glad it starts with Andy.

6.4

The Yankees are averaging 6.4 runs per game, 18 games into the season, and only have eight wins to show for it. That number hasn’t changed since Cleveland was in town.
Last night was another great example of what the Yankees are capable of if they had even somewhat decent pitching from their starters (not named Andy Pettitte). Kei Igawa was horrible and this time it cost the Yankees a much needed win against the Devil Rays and the then the bullpen that people were worried about being overworked for September is already tired and their fatigue was displayed last night.

I don’t think it is even important to talk about the game last night besides the fact that A-Rod is finally A-Rod and then some. But, Joe Girardi did make a good point on YES last night when Michael Kay reported that the Red Sox also lost. Girardi said that it is April and not important to worry about the Red Sox, but that good teams try to win each series and that is how they are successful. So, if you look at the Yankees to this point in the season in the few series that they have played. Here is what it looks like:

1-1 vs TB (Tie)
1-2 vs BAL (Loss)
2-1 vs MIN (Win)
1-2 vs OAK (Loss)
3-0 vs CLE (Win)
0-3 vs BOS (Loss)
0-1 vs TB

The Yankees are currently 2-3-1 in their series to this point and now this two-game series in Tampa Bay can only get them a tie if Wang can win tonight.

Basically what it comes down to is the fact that the Yankees need to go back to their old formula, the one that gets team in the playoffs. Beat up on the teams you are suppose to beat up on, and then play .500 ball against the true competition. If the Yankees had followed this method to date, they would atop the AL East, but instead they are chasing. Let’s hope it changes tonight.

-1

0-3.  A horrible weekend even worse, the Yankees have dipped below .500 once again (8-9) and are four games back of Boston.  There are still 145 games left in the season, so it is not like the Yankees are out of the race, but to go Tampa and pull a sweep Tuesday and Wednesday, then do the samr thing to Toronto on Wednesday and Thursday, getting back on track before Boston comes to town.

Like, I talked about the other day. the Red Sox starting three are not scary in the least bit, and all had their worst starts of the season (well, Schilling was worse on Opening Day at Kansas City), but between Schilling, Beckett, and Matsuzaka, all three could have easily gotten the loss in their respected games, and their combined line was:

20.2 IP, 25 H, 16 R, 15 ER, 4 BB, 19 K, 1 HR

Not exactly what Boston was looking for, but Schilling got off the hook for a loss, and Beckett and Dice-K both got a W, even though they were awful.  Standing ovations were given to their starters as well, Boston praising mediocrity once again.

Last night I was at the game three rows off the field from the Boston on deck circle.  I was able to get a good view of Daisuke’s movement when right handed batters were up.  Last time I saw him against Felix Hernandez was on the other side of the field, but Matsuzaka’s stuff isn’t special.  Sure, he beat up on the Royals, but since then has had his trouble and last night was no different as he got tapped for five runs.  The Yankees saved $103 million.

Tonight Kei Igawa will try to turn this three-game losing streak around as he faces Casey Fossum tonight Tampa Bay.