Round 1: The Yankees in a Knockout

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There was a lot to like about tonight’s 9-5 win over the Red Sox. Yes, the victory reduced our magic number to three. And yes, it’s always fun to beat Boston, even if the games do take a zillion hours. But this one was full of genuine baseball pleasures. I’ll go around the horn and mention a few of my favorite moments.
#1) Joba didn’t suck.
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I don’t know if it was the “stern” lecture Girardi gave him before the game or if my video chat had an effect on him. Either way, it was his most effective and efficient start in a long time. He worked quickly, threw strikes, and – best of all – didn’t unravel after a few mistakes.
#2) The Bombers stole seven bases.
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They got great jumps and were able to move runners up, make things happen. Very small ballish of them, wouldn’t you say?
#3) A-Rod put on a hitting clinic.
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Not only did he steal three of the seven bases, but he’s really stepped it up in the RISP department lately, knocking ‘em in with singles, doubles, homers, you name it. An impressive performance tonight.
#4) Cano’s back-handed flip to Jeter to start the DP and end the game made me faint.
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Talk about a smooth move. I watched the replay over and over and applauded each time.
#5. Phil Huuuuughes is a beast.
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He only pitched to Bay, but he got the strikeout and continues to be a great eighth inning guy for the Yanks.
And now for the not-so-wonderful parts of the game:
Melky’s comebacker that hit Lester (glad he’s OK).
Damon’s moronic error.
Leadoff walks by Albaladoodoo and Coke.
Otherwise, a good time was had by me. More, please.
 

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26 Comments

Every time I get ready to discard Joba for the rest of this season he comes up with something good like today. He just might have rescued his playoff chances. All I can say is that there is nothing better than beating the Sox and Angels in September. Unless it’s in October!

Awesome blog, as always. I must say, Joba ruled last night…for the first time in a long time. When he retired the first 11 batters, my jaw was on the floor. I have to hand it to him. I’m glad that you included a part about Hughes, because I agree…he is a beast! I’ve liked Hughes ever since he was called up and he has definitely found his calling in the pen. Let’s hope for another win tonight!

ALBALADOODOO!? hahahaha LMAO. My husband calls him Montevideo because it is easier to say and (strangely) easier to spell. I LOVE your blog Jane!

Great win! Those fighters are a little scary, especially that one with a squashed face.
http://catlovesthedodgers.mlblogs.com

It was clearly your video conversation.

Never expected what we got last night but I’ll take it. A-Rod was remarkable – the detractors keep talking about how he shuts down come September, but the late start of his season and Girardi’s regularly resting him seems to have made quite a difference. He is not afraid to walk, and he isn’t just aiming for the fences; although his long ball was truly a LOOOOOOONG ball. Joba was fantastic – clearly the difference was just going out and pitching. As the announcers said, he wasn’t just walking around the mound between pitches and overthinking things. They need to keep him focused like that and it should be okay. He was truly amazing when he has men on 2nd and 3rd and got out of it without letting Boston score.

Even the few negatives you mentioned don’t bother me; I guess because of the outcome. It seems clear that Boston doesn’t care how they get to the post season – I guess I understand that but I couldn’t imagine the Yankees ever focusing like that. I have to say that all the pitchers had a tough job because the strike zone kept changing drastically throughout the game.

Anyway, we can also thank my tee-shirt, earrings and necklace for the win — hopefully they will work today and tomorrow as well. GO YANKEES!!!

It’s funny, Len. After the game I kept saying to myself, “Don’t get too excited about Joba. He could be awful the next time he pitches.” But then I scolded myself. He’s bound to have more ups and downs, but he showed what he’s capable of and he could make a big contribution in October if he just stays focused like he did last night.

My jaw was on the floor too, Brian. I was wondering if we’d see a perfect game for awhile there! Hughes has been such a factor in the Yankees’ success this season, and who would have guessed it? I don’t know what next year will bring, because the Yankees have talked about how he’s a starter, but for now I like him just where he is.

Glad you’re enjoying the blog, daisytat. And your husband’s right: Montevideo IS easier to spell and say. I think I’ll be using that name whenever I see Alby now, although he’ll probably be DFA-ed any day.

It was a great win, Cat. And you know me and my pics: they’re never going to be tame. I go for broke here.

I think it was the video too, David. How could it not be? LOL.

A-Rod was amazing, Diane. I’m impressed with his new approach of not swinging for the fences on every pitch. I love the bombs, of course, but I especially love the RBI singles. And I should have mentioned Jeter. He had another spectacular game. He continues to hit, steal and field his position. What more can you ask for? Thanks for wearing your Yankees garb and being our lucky charm. I hope they work again today too!

Jane: Thanks for straightening out Joba. I really appreciate it :) I felt awful for Lester. I hope he is not in too much pain. I wish the Yankees wouild steal bases more often. To me, it is the most exciting aspect of the game. They have a lot of guys who can do it. I bet we will be seeing more stealing to get ready for the postseason. Good luck to C “Cy” today, the quest for 20 wins continues.
-Virginia
http://southernbelle.mlblogs.com

Great fun watching all the stolen bases, Virginia. I loved that part too. Now let’s hope CC has it all going today. How cool would it be if he got 20 wins, but I’ll take #19 for now.

- http://janeheller.mlblogs.com

It’s hard to imagine there was actually a time this season that we wondered if Hughes belonged on the major league roster or down at Scranton/Wilkes Barre. He has been an awesome story this season, and with the disappearance of Brian Bruney, I hate to think where the Yankees would be if he hadn’t found his niche. I felt a classic Red Sox 9th inning rally coming so the DP was a very wonderful thing indeed! It was good to see that Jon Lester was not seriously hurt. That was a scary moment, and he is one of the game’s’ good guys. The deep bruise will be no fun, but it could have been very worse.

Scott
http://fotr.mlblogs.com

Speaking of Bruney, Scott, I figured we’d see him in that game at some point and am glad we didn’t. He’s another puzzle. Was the Good Bruney a fluke? Or is he just going through a rough patch (a very long one) and will he work through it? Time is running out either way. I don’t think we’ll see him on the postseason roster.

“Joba didn’t suck.” Never thought we’d be saying that at this point. I’m glad it came against the Sox during crunch-time though. It was definitely something we’ve needed for a while now. Yesterday was just a game of good baseball, on our side at least. I’m looking forward to watching the game [on mute] today. CC will be CC, no doubt about it!

- Lisa
http://perennialpinstriper.mlblogs.com

Your blog is awesome. I am 100% sure that your video is what has straightened out Joba. Be ready for more advice -giving, ’cause who knows when he’ll need it again? I too am so glad Lester’s o.k. I was worried for a while there. I enjoyed watching the game with my family red sox fans and loved the outcome! Go Yanks! -Ellen

I sort of expected Joba to do better, Lisa, because he’d pitched well against the Red Sox before. I wonder if he focuses more when he’s facing them? In any case, I’m glad it worked for him – and for the Yanks. CC’s up next. May he take charge and set the tone in the first inning.

I’m happy to take the credit, Ellen. LOL. And there’s plenty of advice where that came from, so not to worry. I bet you did enjoy watching the game with your family, but I bet they weren’t quite as celebratory!

Jane,
Thanks for all the support you give my daughter (The Future Blog of the Boston Red Sox). She admires your writing (certainly justified) and sees you as a strong mentor. As for your post, Joba greater consistency does not bode well for a potential Yankees-Sox ALCS (at least not for a Sox fan!). As for the steals, just look at the stats. Tek throws no one out and the Yanks took advantage. It’s still tough for me to give A-Rod many props considering his steroid history. He’ll always be just another asterisk to me. I’m even more impressed with people you didn’t mention, like Swisher who made a sensational catch in right field and has contributed greatly to the Yanks in recent months. Here’s hoping the Sox give the Yanks a bit more trouble this afternoon (as Dad raised his glass, both to toast a better matchup and another nod of thanks to the mentor)

Ha – you got us once. Now its our turn to get you!! ;-)

Ted – http://tribewithted.mlblogs.com/

What a lovely comment, “Elizabeth’s Dad.” I’m touched and honored if I’ve been a mentor to Elizabeth. I have to tell you that she has impressed me so much. She has really grown as a writer – not only in terms of the subjects she chooses but in her ability to communicate her ideas. A very smart girl you’ve got there! As for the game, yes, the Yankees ran on Varitek, no question. But what I enjoyed about the stolen bases and A-Rod’s offense was the variety. The Yankees used to be a one-dimensional, home-run-happy team. Not anymore. Swisher is very acrobatic in right field. He’s contributed more than I expected. But every ball hit to him is an adventure and I hold my breath! Today brings another contest (and probably another marathon), and who knows what will happen. The tension mounts! Thanks for stopping by.

We’ll see, Ted. Should be an exciting game.

And just who might YH be?? chuckle. What a game! What a statement!
Buz – http://buzblog.mlblogs.com/

It was the chat you had with him, Jane. We all know this. And I’m a boxing fan but that pic you posted has affected me… didn’t know that could happen to a real human’s face.
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/
http://mtrredstatebluestate.com

I have a hunch which player you picked, Buz, but I’ll head over to take a look!

Photography is a wondrous thing, Jeff. Who knew that a punch could smash a face to smithereens? I’m glad I chose writing over boxing. :)

I wouldn’t get too hung up on one start—-going from a Roger Clemens-style phenom to “not sucking” is a pretty precipitous decline in two years—-but he did pitch well last night.
http://www.paullebowitz.com/
http://princeofny.blogspot.com/

Joba pitched well, Paul. No one said he was the Second Coming. Now if he does it again, maybe I’ll elevate him to Second Coming status!

Keep up the great blogging Jane, a strong yankees run in the post season is good for all (good the the Yanks, good for us because we get more blogs from you, and proably even good for book sales!) Creative and funny.

Cob
http://cobf.mlblogs.com

It must be embarrassing for the Red Sox to let other teams run at will. If something else isn’t their undoing, this will be. The Yankees and Angels won’t pass up chances to take free bases. Martinez isn’t even much of an upgrade over Varitek, and he isn’t used to catching everyday anyway.

Joe
http://joekotsovos.mlblogs.com/

I guess we do not have to worry about Phil Hughes anymore.
He seems to have fit in fine in his new role, and is kicking some major booty.
But that is just another piece of this season’s Yankee machine working in rhythm with the total machine.
So as the playoff come closer, all the parts are working great, which is what you want at this juncture in the season.
And as for Mo hitting Youk.
Good for him! So many other pitchers want to buzz his tower every at bat or hit him.
But then with mo, you never know if it might have been intentional, which is a good thing.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

It’s hard to believe I started this blog over a year ago, Cob. The Yankees were out of the playoffs and I was trying to keep my head in the game. And now here we are with them about to play October baseball. Very exciting!

The Yankees did take full advantage of Varitek in Friday night’s game, Joe. And while I agree about Martinez’s abilities, he did a good job in today’s game, I thought. Plus, his bat is such a huge factor – a very tough out.

You thought Mo hitting Youkilis was intentional, Renegade? That’s funny. Mo hasn’t hit a batter the entire season, and he had just given up a single to Martinez. I know pitchers want to “buzz his tower” (LOL), but I doubt this was one of those times. Anyhow, yes, the parts are working great. I only hope they continue to work when it really counts!

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