Breaking News: Sergio Isn’t Halladay

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In the first inning, I started worrying. Sergio looked so hittable, giving up a run on a double, a single and a wild pitch before I even settled into my favorite TV-watching chair.
“Oh, great,” I said to my husband Michael. “This guy is another Darrell Rasner. The score will be 10-0 before you know it.”
“You’re such a pessimist,” he said. “He got out of the inning without much damage. He’s not bad at all.”
Then came the third inning. With the score tied 1-1, Sergio not only served up a single to Roberts but made a throwing error trying to pick him off. Suddenly, it was 2-1 Baltimore.
“See?” I said. “He stinks.”
“He does not,” said Michael, after Sergio struck out Markakis and Scott.
We had our third and final debate about Sergio in the sixth inning, after the Orioles scored two more.
“He just lays ’em in there,” I muttered.
“One of those runs wasn’t his fault,” said Michael. “Damon should have been charged with an error.”
In came Aceves, Sergio’s night was over, and he ended up notching his first win since ’07 as the Yanks went on to beat the O’s 6-4. The truth is, he didn’t stink. I was much too hard on him.
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He pitched quickly, was around the strike zone (only walking one), and kept the Yankees in the game. Will he be a serviceable fifth starter going forward? As far as I’m concerned, the jury’s still out.
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But I’ll keep an open mind. What choice do I have, since it’s clear that Wang won’t be pitching in the foreseeable future and hasn’t been the same since this happened?
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Meanwhile, could we talk about how the Yankees got their six runs? They only had six hits. The O’s starter, Rich Hill, was very gracious and walked five in his short appearance. I had the Baltimore TV feed, and it was pretty funny how Jim Palmer and Gary Thorne went on and on about how bad Hill was. Talk about ripping your own guy.
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A-Rod has been very clutchy lately and came through again tonight with a two-RBI single.
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(Quick aside: Who does the Yankees’ laundry and how do they get the dirt stains out?)
Cano, who took a single away from Roberts in the seventh with a great play, silenced those critics who said he wasn’t clutchy (me, for instance) by homering with Swisher aboard.
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Mo earned save #509, and the win put the Yanks back in first place in the division. They’ve played well since the break and deserve to be there. I’m feeling on top of the world right now. 
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I’m also very excited that I’ll be going to see the Dodgers on Friday night. Yes, the Dodgers. Thanks to Cat of the Cat Loves the Dodgers blog, I got an invite to sit in the Dugout Club that she often writes about. I’ll be able to see what Joe and Donnie and Bowa have been up to since they left the Yankees. Josh Ravich, the Dodgers’ director of media relations, has rolled out the red carpet for me. It’ll be a revelation to watch a game without having a nervous breakdown, which is the beauty of having a “second favorite team.”
To put me in the mood for Friday…

25 Comments

Jane, I can’t wait to meet you. I know you will have a lot of fun watching my Dodgers. Hopefully Manny will be recovered from his injury by then.
http://catlovesthedodgers.mlblogs.com

Your video had me in stitches.
http://catlovesthedodgers.mlblogs.com

Have a great time at the Dodger game and say “hi” to Mr. Torre! At least your #1 and #2 teams are on top. That has to feel good!
Lori
http://luckylori.mlblogs.com

I wasn’t easy on Mitre either, Jane. But the guy did fine, all in all. If he could throw about six innings and keep the opposition to four runs or fewer, he’ll be doing his job and, with that offense, the Yanks will certainly be in the game. He doesn’t have to be a world-beater from the #5 spot, just competitive. I think that the more the game went on, the better his sinker was. He got 10 ground balls, which is pretty good for 5 2/3.

Again, the defense was tremendous. Cano had an outstanding game in the field as well as at the plate. Teixeira’s unassisted DP was a big moment. My friend Frank made a very good point on the horn tonight, saying the Yanks could easily have three Gold Glove infielders right now. That’s unquestionably true. Jeter, Cano, and Teixeira all merit strong consideration for their excellent play.

I was thankful that Hughes got another day off after throwing 40 pitches Friday, then pitching Sunday. With such good starting pitching, the bullpen hasn’t been taxed at all thus far after the break.

Enjoy the Dodgers game.

Jason from The Heartland
http://heartlandpinstripes.wordpress.com

In sole possession of first place!!! Its been a while. And did I just hear Wakefield is on the DL? Moving right along.

Bats woke up a little. We Yankees fans are the only ones that complain about 2-1 victories. We expect so much more of our team than any other fans do.

Mitre did fine and the defense and offense did the rest. Aceves is fantastic – he never shows any emotion in his face – positive or negative. I kind of like that for a change.

There is no such thing as an undefeated season in baseball obviously so we will have to deal with the occasional loss now and then…but we can enjoy what the team has been able to accomplish this season. So many players have already exceeded last year’s full-season stats — I’m feeling pretty optimistic.

Enjoy the game Friday, Jane. I’m sure you’ll be watching the score board more than the game in the beginning, until our Yankees close out their game. Later!

Wow, finally figured out sign in issue. Going to the Cathedral today for afternoon game. Sitting in Mohegan Sun seats Row 1 behind the “black”. It will be interesting to see the perspective from there (with air conditioning!) I’ll let you know. Also going Sat. afternoon. All is well in Mudville and I hope it stays that way.

“Sole possession of first place” has a lovely ring to it. I was another one who was in doubt about Mitre’s abilities, but it turned out for the better and I’m happy. The small ball and run manufacturing isn’t something to complain about either.

Hope you have fun at the Dodgers game! Tell Torre & Co. that we miss them over here in NY!

And finally, I love the batting stance guy. He’s hilarious.

– Lisa
http://perennialpinstriper.mlblogs.com/

First place is a wondeful thing…. keeping it is the challenge… I think the Sox are in choke mode, I think you will have to watch out for those Rays sneaking up….
Just glad it wasn’t 2-1 again
Outside the Phillies looking In
http://devilabrit.mlblogs.com

hey–i have a lot more hope for sergio after watching him. i really thought he did quite well. considering. i also think he will improve and you know how skeptical i am of most of these guys. maybe i’ll be wrong but call me optimistic.

I know exactly what you mean about a nerves-free game. and i LOVE dodger stadium. have a great time.

I love the former Cub matchup with Mitre and Hill. Funny, I LOVED those guys when they were in Chicago. Mitre was a fireballer and Hill had that knee-bending curve that guys could not hit.

What happened? I think it just shows my talent evaluation abilities.

Impressive leap into first place, by the way. How did that happen!? I blinked and suddenly the Yanks are in first and the Rays are only 3 1/2 out. Last I remember the Yanks were 4 out and the Rays 6 1/2.

I love this game…
http://raysfanboy.mlblogs.com

Well, well…going to The Other Side on Friday, are we? Sounds like it’ll be a Whole Lotta Fun! My wife still thinks that the Dodgers have THE most beautiful baseball unis, but remember too, she hates The Pinstripes (esp. lately!)…BTW, good one to get last nite, with “?” (without The Mysterians) as our starter…and, like you, I thought that Cano’s middle name had become “GIDP,” so that HR was nice too…and where DID you get that Batting Stance video? LOVED it!! We old beisbol geeks used to play that game all the time — “okay…whose stance is THIS one?” I recall that Roger Maris ALWAYS grabbed his crotch — not quite like Michael Jackson, but he musta had the worst-fitting…well, you know…and that Ron Cey “Penguin” stance was PERFECT…LOL funny!

Oops, guess we’re 4 1/2 out. Darn!
http://raysfanboy.mlblogs.com

Have a great time at the game! And I’ll be ready when the Red Sox shake off all the cobwebs from the All-Star break. It happens all too often – teams hot at the break cool and teams that are cool heat up. Fenway is in our sights so all will be good.

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Congrats to the Yankees! What is this 5 game winning streak you’re on? Still going for more or are you ready to cool off for a bit?! You guys are on fire!
Ginny
http://watercooler.mlblogs.com

I’m positive this is my favorite entry title you’ve created so far, Jane. I did a spit take w/ my coffee after reading it (thanks, i’ll send you the dry cleaning bill😉 And batting stance guy is wicked cool. Nice to see him getting the She-Fan exposure he deserves!
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/
http://mtrredstatebluestate.com

Looking forward to it too, Cat. Watching the batting stances from past and present players was fun. That guy is hilarious.

Lori, I know how to pick ’em. Haha. I fully realize that it’s only July, but it’s fun that the Yanks are playing well right now.

You’re so right about the defense, Jason. Cano, especially, has improved this year, even though there was that one play last night when the error was charged to Mitre and it was Cano who didn’t hang onto the ball. Tough call. But overall, they’ve all been great, including A-Rod, whose arm is as strong as ever.

Diane, you know I’ll be checking on the Yankees’ game on Friday night. I’ll be taking furtive glances at my iPhone! And yes, there will be highs and lows over the course of the long season, so we have to prepare ourselves for the lows and enjoy the highs while they last. (So philosophical. LOL)

Glad you got the sign-in problem solved, John. I’ll look for you at the Cathedral today. Hope the seats are good and you bring the Yanks luck.

Whenever I see the batting stance guy, Lisa, I think about how smart he was to take his totally hilarious but useless “skill” and turn it into a successful business. Last night’s game was a nice break from the 2-1 nail biters. I enjoyed the small ball.

I think the Yankees just have to keep playing good baseball and let the other teams do their thing, devilabrit. The Red Sox and Rays will be right there until the bitter end. I have no doubt about that.

Mike, I should be more optimistic about Sergio. It’s just that we’ve been down this road before many times, so I’m reluctant to anoint him as “the answer” just yet.

You hit it, raysfanboy. It’s baseball. Anything can happen, and it can happen in the blink of an eye. That’s why, after the Yankees’ debacle in Anaheim, I kept telling myself it’s a LONG season.

I loved the Penguin batting stance routine too, Dave. And I still stand in my living room imitating various Yankees hitters and pitchers. I’m just glad no one but my husband can see me! (I do a really good Mo though.)

I know all too well that when the Red Sox get home, they’ll be very tough for anyone to beat, Julia. The only time they’re vulnerable is on the road. Enjoy your visit this weekend.

Who knows how long this little streak will last, Ginny? What I do know is it sure beats losing!

Hahhaa nice video! & Congrats on being in 1st place🙂
http://tribechick.mlblogs.com/ -TC

Uh-oh. Spit takes can be dangerous, Jeff, especially if you’re sitting across from a stranger. Glad you enjoyed. How much do we all want to be batting stance guy?

Thanks, tribechick. Nice to be in first for as long as it lasts.

Yeah, it was pretty great. I bet it felt even better winning last night’s game! I think you guys just might be in first for a long time- Good Luck. http://tribechick.mlblogs.com/

I sure hope you’re right, tribechick.

Sergio Mitre did okay going 5 and 2/3 innings for the Yankees, I think he’s well deserving of his next start. The Yankees win 6-4 over the Orioles with him pitching, at least the offense was on his side that night.

Matthew T.
http://matt7.mlblogs.com/

Mitre’s not any good.
Did you see your friend Bombko was popping off about not getting a “legit shot to show what could do”?
http://www.nydailynews.com/sports/baseball/yankees/2009/07/22/2009-07-22_yankees_have_no_use_for_bret_tomko.html
If you ask me, he did get a legit shot and he did show what he can do. If he wants to complain to someone, the mirror’s a good place to start. Now you can tell why Tony La Russa and Dave Duncan got rid of a pitcher with his mid-90s fastball a few years ago.
http://www.paullebowitz.com/

Mitre is definitely in the rotation for now, Matthew. He said later that he was nervous during that first inning, so hopefully the jitters will be behind him in his next start.

Yes, I did read what Bombko said, Paul. Poor guy. He thought he should have made the team after spring training. But, alas, there wasn’t much he could do except eat innings in blowouts.

You guys are still at it! Another win in the books today. When do you go to see the Dodgers? It’s this weekend, isn’t it?
Ginny
http://watercooler.mlblogs.com

Another win, Ginny. I love the way they’re playing right now. And yes, I’m going to see the Dodgers this Friday night. I’ve been to Dodger Stadium before (when the Yanks played them in interleague several years ago), but this time I’ll be going as “media!”

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