Sluggish Start, Fun Finish

First came the raindrops….Then came the members of the Westhill High School girls softball team, who were invited onto the field by Brian Cashman to stand with all the Yankees during the National Anthem. On the outside, the girls were very composed.

Westhill.CN.jpg
On the inside, they had to be feeling like this.
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Well, I would have.
I loved that Mo was asked to throw out the first pitch. How fitting, since he would also throw the last pitch for save #501.
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Joba’s outing was decent, but he kept getting into bad pitch counts and the game slowed to an absolute crawl.
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For the longest time, it seemed as if all we’d get were those two measly runs in the second on Woodward’s two errors. I mean, we were 0-for-10 with RISP, for God’s sake, and the offense looked comatose.
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Joba had trouble getting Ichiro out and Jorge had trouble throwing him out, and Ronny Cedeno, whose average is well below the Mendoza line, homered. Please.
The game was tied at 3-3 for what felt like an eternity, and the most exciting thing at that point was the appearance of a Seattle reliever named Jakubauskas. It was sort of fun listening to Kay and Singleton trying to get their heads around it.
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Phil Coke set down the two batters he faced in the sixth, and Phil Hughes was brilliant in the seventh, including his strikeout of Griffey on a 98 mph fastball. Sweet.
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But it wasn’t until the bottom of the frame that things got really interesting for the Yanks. With Damon aboard, A-Rod crushed one.
A-Rod:Damon.jpg
Bruney blew the lead in the top of the eighth. (Why even go to him when Hughes was pitching like a genius?) Luckily, the Mariners brought in White for the bottom of the eighth, and he’s my new favorite opposing reliever. Why?
Matsui: doubled.
Gardner: pinch ran.
Swisher: bunt single.
Melky: double.
Score: 6-5 Yankees.
Jeter tacked on a two-RBI single, giving Mo an 8-5 cushion for the ninth. Game over – a good night for the pinstripes.
Off topic, I was really looking forward to a quiet July 4th weekend here in Santa Barbara. Now? Not so much. Michael Jackson’s body is being driven up here from LA by some zillion-car caravan on Thursday, and there’s a “public viewing” for fans/gawkers/anybody on Friday. Yeah, Friday of the holiday weekend. I don’t live near Neverland, but you have to pass my exit on the 101 Freeway to get to it.
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The California Highway Patrol, as well as the Santa Barbara County Fire and Sheriff’s Departments, are anticipating that traffic will come to a standstill and hotels and restaurants will be jammed.
Here’s where I’ll be.
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22 Comments

I was upset when they brought in Bruney and then within minutes I became upseter. He does not seem to be cut out for the eighth inning role. Should have stayed with Hughes definitely. Then the bottom of the eighth happened and everything was better. What happened to the Red Sox? That’s gotta hurt! It’s gonna be a real dogfight between the Yanks, Sox, and Rays for those two positions. Hope the Yanks can keep up this year and I believe they can!

My favorite relievers were the Boston bullpen last night! That final pitch by Jonathon Papelbon was very nice! Great protection of a 10-1 lead…I love it, and of course, the Yanks are now only 2 1/2 behind instead of 3 1/2! Works for me! I am not sure why Girardi has to go Bruney just because he’s the 8th inning guy. Why not ride the hot hand? Bruney hasn’t really been that effective since he’s been back. Losing the ‘stache didn’t help, I guess. I am sure that he’ll be okay in the long run but Joe should be more selective with him, rather than just bringing him in because it’s the 8th…

Scott
http://fotr.mlblogs.com

I know that a manager’s role is to try and win every game and it would definitely appear that pulling Hughes for Bruney would go against that goal but I think this is still Spring Training for Bruney and if he is our “go to” 8th inning guy we have to respect that and let him get there.

Yeah. it was fun to see the Sux implode, especially against the worst team in our division. Baseball is totally unpredictable. And at one point the Boston infield headed for the dugout when there were only two outs. What was that all about?

Congrats to Mo on 500 & 501. You’re right…he’s a class act. And I’d stay housebound this weekend too, if I were you. What a logistical nightmare. One road in, one road out. Pure chaos. Try to enjoy your 4th anyway!
Lori
http://luckylori.mlblogs.com

Very funny Scott! I’ve had it with rain – in the games and here in Boston! Good luck trying to get around this weekend.

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

“Crushed” is right. Man, that ball look like it came off the bat of a PED-aided bat. Uh oh, did I say that? My bad. And Jane, high school softball team or not, even I would be acting like those Beatle fans if given a chance. I ran into Craig Biggio in a hotel lobby once and nearly fainted… and I HATE the Astros!
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/

How sweet it is …Yankees winning and Balti demolishing the Sox. A perfect night for me even tho’ I had to wait out the
rain delay after being at the Stadium since noon that day. I was with my cousin (the Met fan) and his nephew (the Yankee fan) for a Baseball Clinic for kids. Joe Pepitone, Mike Torrez & Mick (the Quick) Rivers were the guest instructors (the kids probably had no clue but the “older” generation loved seeing these guys). Pepi was as funny as ever and looked really good. Each child was allowed 2 chaperones so my cousin invited me along because he knew I’d get a kick out of it. The kids & chaperones had a blast ….nice lunch was included, tour of the Museum & Monument Park, autograph session with Pepi, a large goodie bag with all the giveaways from the season, signed bat by Cano, framed collage with dirt from both stadiums, another crystal item with the dirt from the original place and tickets to the game. Needless to say it was a LONG day but very enjoyable especially topping it off with the Yankee win. It was so cool to see Mo throw out the first pitch and finish the game with the last pitch…nobody in baseball better than Mo. He definitely is the GREATEST …player and person alike.

I’m going again tonight and tomorrow and PRAYING no rain delays !!!!

Go Yankees 2009 !!!

Jane, maybe you can carpool to the funeral with Janet and her entourage in one of their limos. If not, Tito can take you there in his pickup truck.

Steve T.
http://soxblog.mlblogs.com

We won the game and that’s all that counts.
-Dillon
http://dillonm.mlblogs.com

Jane-
Loved the game last night.
Today, though, I am really feeling some love for the O’s, and, to some extent, Pappelbon. Does anything beat seeing him hang his head in the dugout?
Methinketh notsomuch….
Ahhh….A great day in MLB!
Wendy

The Jackson funeral sounds like race weekend here in Dover…50,000 people crammed into 5 blocks and me, hiding under the covers and trapped in the house all weekend. Hang in there and good luck!

Jenn
http://philliesphollowers.mlblogs.com/

You’re right about the dogfight, Len. The Rays have gotten it together and the Red Sox aren’t going away, so it should be a fight to the finish this year. Oh, boy.

I’m kind of on the fence with the 8th inning theory, Scott and Diane. On one hand, I like the idea of having one guy in the setup role. On the other, I like the idea of riding the hot hand. In this case, Bruney’s coming back from the DL so why not give him work in the 7th and let Hughes pitch the 8th? Bruney needs to shake off the rust or get his mechanics straight. Plenty of time for him to settle into the 8th inning role if that’s the right move.

Lori, it will be a total logistical nightmare. My friends and I are thinking we should set up a lemonade stand on the 101 and sell sunscreen too!

All the rain has been strange, Julia. I don’t remember the east coast having this kid of weather in June and now July. And we don’t see a single drop here in CA!

Funny story, Jeff. I ran into BJ Surhoff on the street in Baltimore and started acting like one of those Beatles girls. So embarrassing.

Peggy, what a kick to be able to go to the clinic and hang out with Pepitone!!!! I’d love to meet him and am glad to know he’s doing well. Must have been a very long day for you, but you’re going back again today and tomorrow. You are one energetic Yankee fan.

Steve, I think I’ll stick to the lemonade stand (see above comment to Lori). Think of all the money I could make! Although it would be interesting to take the She-Fan Cam…

We did win, Dillon. Yay!

Wendy, I bet the O’s are really charged up today. Great win for them to come back like that. I hope we don’t face them soon now that they’re feeling so good about themselves!

Jenn, that sounds scary!

Julia, I hope it’s true, but they keep changing things so I don’t know what to believe! Up here they’re still talking about “preparations.” Maybe they’ll bury him in LA this weekend and have a memorial at Neverland at some point. Who knows, but thanks for the update.

I caught a bad case of Jakubauskas back in the eighties…a little ointment and some cranberry juice knocked it out in a jiff though.
http://jonestein.mlblogs.com/

You weren’t kiddin’ about it being sluggish. I was almost passed out on the couch with a crossword puzzle book in the fifth inning! I’m glad I rallied, though.

LOL, Jonestein. I think I had it too.

That fifth inning was dragging, YRC. I was nodding out, but thank goodness things picked up.

Wow, that’s pretty cool that Mo threw out the first pitch and the last. And I feel sorry for all the people in the viewing thingy. That’s going to be sooo crazy!!
http://kaybee.mlblogs.com

They’re not having the memorial at Neverland, Kaybee. I guess they changed plans. Whew.

Jane, they may be trying to throw everyone off. Never trust the media. They may be coming in the backway.
http://catlovesthedodgers.mlblogs.com

I don’t think so, Cat. You need to get permission to bury a body in Santa Barbara County, and they haven’t been granted it. But I fully expect some sort of “event” at Neverland. I just hope it’s not this weekend.

Damn this weekend is gonna be a total mess out there. And could poor Farrah Fawcet have picked a worse day to die on by the way haha.
http://payoffpitch.mlblogs.com/

Poor Farrah is right. But I’ve been spared here in Santa Barbara. The Jackson family announced they’re not having the memorial up here. For now.

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