This Time, The Yanks Win The Battle Of The  Pens

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Actually, Russell Crowe looks enough like Joba to play him in the movie version of tonight’s Yankees-Red Sox contest. But who needs a movie when we were treated to the real thing – yet another roller coaster battle that had me yelling at the TV. (It’s a good thing this isn’t a podcast, because I’m really hoarse.)
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Lester looked unhittable early, just like Beckett did on Sunday night, but he headed for the showers after going five innings and giving up four runs. A.J. had a nearly identical line (five innings, four runs/three earned), but he only gave up one walk – a nice stat for him – and had five K’s. He wasn’t The Horrible A.J. and he wasn’t The Amazing A.J., so I guess I’d call him The Better-Than-Satisfactory A.J.
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I know he frustrates people, but I always look forward to watching him pitch. He’s got tremendous stuff and he’s unpredictable – you never quite know when or if he’ll unravel.
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But let’s talk about the bullpen.
Aceves: Tremendous.
Robertson: Shaky, but Joe had a quick hook.
Marte: Bizarre lollipop pickoff move, but he did his job with Ortiz.
Joba: Looked almost like the 2007 Joba, complete with the old fist pump.
Mo: Do I even need to say he got his first save of the season?
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The picture wasn’t all rosy for the Yankees, by any means. They stranded 10 runners and were 3-for-14 with RISP. They had chances to break the game open and didn’t (hence, my yelling at the TV), and were sloppy on defense, committing three errors and allowing that ball to drop between Jeter and Thames, whom I’m calling this year’s Angel Berroa. Still, there were many “Yay!” moments:
Swisher: Two doubles? I like it. Must be his svelte new bod.
Cano: Talk about a great start to the season — he even walked!
Johnson: The guy drove in the game-winning run by using his much heralded eyes!
A-Rod: Delivered in the clutch, picking up where he left off last year.
Granderson: Got a hit off the lefty Lester (shock and awe).
So the Yankees won their first game of 2010, which was a relief. And let’s face it: It’s really, really sweet to beat the Red Sox at Fenway. I love when that place goes all quiet and the fans seem, well, preoccupied.
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P.S. Here’s my nightly reminder about the Cooperstown Cookies contest. If you haven’t entered, click here.

31 Comments

Yippeee! Win Number One. If they aren’t going with a strict platoon in left, I’m not sure I will agree with yo-yo’ing Gardner and having Grandy bat 9th. Let the kid play.
(wait a second…i didn’t just sound like a fan did I? – NURSE!)
Congrats on numero uno M’Lady.
Mike

Jane,
Yea for the Yankees :)! Yea for Mo :)! Yea for Joba :)! Yea for Cano :)! Yea for AJ maintaining the status quo :)! Boo for awful fielding :(! Boo for stranding runners :(!
I am looking forward to tonight’s match-up between Andy and Lackey. Andy, Cano and Mo are on my fantasy baseball team and I am hoping to pick up steam for this week’s play.
I visited the Cookie website yesterday and entered the contest for the trip to Cooperstown. I think I might order birthday gifts for friends from their website! What cute products.
Enjoy tonight’s game!!

The iffy defensive play early in the game made me a little nervous but Jeter’s two big elevated catches were superb. Its pretty rare when you know early on which of these 2 teams is going to come out the winner — I guess because they are basically so evenly matched. But in the end we did what we needed to do. Cano giving Mariano a little extra insurance before he had to come in to close was a good thing. I feel like Girardi kept a better handle on the pitching in this game and that also helped with the outcome. Go Yankees!!!!!!!

i slept much better last night and woke up much happier this morning. so much for being in control of my life and my emotions i guess it’s all in the yankees hands. oh something to work on some day.
i hate not being able to execute fundamentally. runner on third one out and not scoring (and runner on 2nd and no outs) makes me crazy. just wondering what everyone thought about jeter’s error. yes it was a bad throw but i was surprised that tex didn’t glove it anyway. he saved way worse throws from being errors last year.
go andy.
barbara

Very enjoyable evening. Yankees and UCONN girls win. Buz is off Dancers and I am still LOST watching LOST. Didn’t have enough fingers to check out IDOL.

Just an observation, did anyone notice how uncomfortble the sardines, I mean fans, looked behind home plate? The steady stream of vendors, especially the women with the case of Poland Spring water on her head, had to be distracting to all of those CHEERS patrons. Also noticed a new inovation in John Henry’s house. Check out the “garbage collectors” in the green shirts. Red Sox ownership has finally figured out there is not enough room for fans and their trash over 9 innings in Fenway so they now have “trash” vendors. Also noticed none of them had rubber gloves on handleing the Sox fans residue. Yuck!!
Go Andy!

Lots to say today…first off, congrats to ooaooa and any/all other UConn ladies’ fans out there…you had your moments of doubt, as did my boys on Monday, but you prevailed…as a distant rival, a tip of my cap to your great achievement.
And now to beisbol. Nice to get the first W outa the way, esp. there!! And winning “The Battle of the Pens” in the Fens was extra nice. I’ll focus on the pitching. Read a story on espn.com about how John Smoltz, of all people, came by to talk to Joba and REALLY picked him up. Seems that Smoltzie was one of Joba’s idols…he told Joba “trust your stuff.” Always liked Smoltzie (even as a Hosehead, for perverse reasons!), but now I like him a whole lot more.
And now to sign off. DID YOU KNOW that when Mo took the mound last night, he & Jeet & HorHay BROKE A RECORD for most consecutive years that 3 teammates have played together…16 seasons? Well, in my bizarre musical mind, it recalled a cute old tune from 1960 by Connie Stevens, called “Sixteen Reasons” (maybe your mama knows it, Jane)…so to the tune of Connie, here we go again:
“SIXTEEN REASONS…why we…love…you…
ONE — the way that Jeter looks
TWO — the way Mo’s pitches hook
THREE — the way Posada hits
FOUR — they give opponents fits!
That’s four of 16 reasons…why we…love…you…!!”

I don’t really mind any of the things that happen against Boston – the Yanks/Red Sox games seem to happen in an alternate universe. They are unlike any other games.

During the middle innings, all I could think of was that these games are relentless. No time to sit back and relax. Never a dull moment! Especially with that Green Monster out there.

Glad for the win, the pen, and Nick Johnson’s good eyes.

Melissa

PS I also was distracted by the woman balancing the water on her head.

Well, I knew the season was really back when I saw Joba get all crazy stupid on the mound with those fist pumps. That was a wicked pair of Ks so I’ll let it slide. Great game…. long, but great.
–Jeff
http://redstatebluestate.mlblogs.com/
http://mtrredstatebluestate.com

Love the Connie Steven’s song bit!
Glad those guys have been around so long.
Melissa

Jane,

13 – 4 Yanks

Thanks for the link to Cooperstown Cookies. I was at The Hall twice last year, and never noticed cookies as an option. I’ll blame that on my cousin, who thinks he has to buy every Yankee shirt and batting helmet that ever existed.

I went to their site hoping to find that they had a retail location in Cooperstown, all the while wondering how I could have missed it. I was disappointed, but in another way relieved when I found that they use other outlets for their retail sales. (My conscience and I were having a discussion wondering why I was able to find The Cooperstown Brewery, which is about 8 miles from the The Hall of Fame, and missed Cooperstown Cookies, if it was just down the street. Score that one: Ed 1 – Conscience 0.)

That picture of Stephen King reading during the game is hysterical. When will there be good news? Hopefully not this year for the Red Sox!

There are two things I like about Fenway Park (which I hope to visit someday, but NOT while they are playing the Yanks). 1) It holds an important place in baseball history. 2) It is so small and cramped the Red Sox will never be able to generate the amount of revenue Yankee Stadium can so they will always have a disadvantage financially.

Great to see the bullpen do it’s job so well. Let’s go Yanks!

WOW! I can’t believe you called Jeter Angel Berrora!!!! Thats a gutsy call lady. LOL!

We did notice that Chan, I’m giving Padroia a HOmerun Park didn’t see action last night. GOOD! He needs to go.

I don’t think Robertson was going to face more then one batter regardless. Marte was already warming up waiting for Ortiz to come to the plate.

~Mike
http://evilempire.mlblogs.com/

Good Morning Jane & fellow baseball fans…

I’m with you Jane …I love to watch AJ pitch because you never know when he just might throw that no-no. He has such amazing stuff which leads to a lot of excitement (except when he walks 10 ..lol). AJ and his new BFF Jorge looked just fine last night. I was happy for Joba too…fist pump and all. I feel he’s just been so confused the last two years and hopefully …at least for this year he stays in the bullpen. I have always wanted to see him as a starter with NO limitations and I still hope to at some point but for now his job is the bullpen and I hope he excels once again. Lots of men on base and some sloppy fielding but also plenty of good stuff as Jane mentioned. No 0-8 against the Sox for us this year …. :o). The best part about that is not having to read and listen to all the NY media droning on and on like last year. NY media drives me nuts and I only take half of what they write (if even that) seriously. In the end they basically know as much as we do except for a little inside information here and there. Their stories are based on opinions …just like us and for the most part I usually can’t stand their opinions …lol.

I’m off to Mickey Mantle’s to watch Andy pitch tonight. I hope he’s as dandy as ever and wins it because I always
sleep so much better after a Yankee win … :o)

Have a great day all ….

Go Yankees 2010 !!!

The Red Sox defense “thing” is failing already.
http://www.paullebowitz.com/
http://princeofny.blogspot.com/

HAHAHA, you did sound like a fan, Mike. Forget the nurse. Call a doctor. In principle, I agree with you about yo-yoing Gardner and Grandy in the lineup, but I think it’s OK to try things out in the beginning of the season and see what sticks. That said, I think Gardner should play every day and Thames should be on the bench!

Really looking forward to Andy versus Lackey, Kathleen. And I’m so glad you entered the contest for their trip to Cooperstown. I did too, so we’re both in the running!

When that play happened in the beginning, Diane (the ball that dropped between Thames and Jeter), I thought, Oh, God. Here we go. But it was just a glitch and we got to Lester, and I felt better. Cano’s insurance run for Mo was huge and I felt even better still!

I didn’t expect Tex to catch Jeter’s errant throw, Barbara. It was just a plain old error to me – and an odd one, since Jeter had just made a great play on that liner. But those situations where the bats couldn’t drive runners home were so frustrating. They need to work on that.

I didn’t see the “garbage collectors,” John. LOL. But Yankee Stadium has that wonderful water lady who carries the products on her head. You’ve probably seen her. She screams “Ice cold water” at the top of her lungs. She’s even in my book. Sardines. You crack me up.

I read about Joba and Smoltz too, Dave, and it was really interesting that Smoltz was one of Joba’s idols and that he was “star struck” upon meeting him. Apparently, he told Joba that relieving is like pitching a one-inning game and he should think of it that way. Whatever he said worked, because Joba looked awfully good, striking out two. And yeah, wow, about Mo, Jeter and Posada breaking that record, not just in baseball but in ALL sports. Amazing. Nice Connie Stevens reference. Whatever happened to her? I lost track after she married Eddie Fischer!

You’re right, Melissa. These games are being played in some alternate universe. Anything can happen and usually does.

“Long, but great.” That pretty much sums up every Yankees-Red Sox game, Jeff. I’m surprised Bud Selig hasn’t fined both teams for their first two games of the season. Isn’t there supposed to be a new penalty for taking too much time to play baseball???? I don’t mind Joba’s fist pump. It was tame compared to displays by some others I won’t mention.

Your entry into the cookie contest is duly noted, jojovanb. And I love your competition between you and your conscience, although I’m not sure which one to root for.

Fenway is a good place to visit, cheshirecat. It’s a very unique ballpark with lots of history, as you said. As for revenue, I think the Red Sox are doing just fine. They sell out for every game and have figured out new ways (like Remy’s restaurant) to let fans enjoy the game without even sitting in the stadium. They know how to market their brand like nobody’s business.

I called Marcus Thames Angel Berroa, not Jeter, Mike! Oh, wait. You were just pulling my leg. Never mind. My problem with the pen last night was that I didn’t see Marte warming up for Ortiz. It seemed like Robertson would have stayed in if he hadn’t given up the single and that Marte was kind of rushed into action.

Good morning, Peggy. You articulated my sentiments about A.J. exactly. You never know when he might pitch a no-hitter because he has that capability. I hope all the talk about him and Jorge will die down now. It’s enough already. I watched the game on the MLB Network, so I didn’t hear the YES guys. I had the choice of Costas and Smoltz or NESN and I went with Costas/Smoltz. Have fun at Mickey’s tonight!

I don’t really get the “defense” thing, Paul, because their offense is plenty potent.

Okay, She-Fan…since you asked, I did a (very) little research on Concetta Ingoglia, aka Connie Stevens…
*Born in BROOKLYN, a long time ago (b4 you & me)…
*”16 Reasons” was her biggest hit, but she also did a duet with Edd Byrnes: “Kookie, Kookie, Lend Me Your Comb”…which I remember, I’m ashamed to admit…!
*In ’77, she appeared in one of the two pilots for The Muppet Show; “the other guest, Juliet Prowse, ALSO dated Elvis[!]”
*GET THIS: Wikipedia sez — “While considered an attractive personality from the start, it wasn’t until the early 1980s when Stevens became recognized as a sex symbol. The unusual aspect of this was that she was in her early 40s and her male fans were almost exclusively teenage boys. This was largely due to her appearance as a sexy high school teacher in Grease 2…”[!!]
Let’s hear it for the Brooklyn Cougars!!!
Connie still has homes in Bev Hills and NYC — think she’s a Yankee fan?…naaah…prob’ly just the Dodgers…

Jane,

You might as well root for my conscience. He, or it, doesn’t drink. Which when I stop to think about it, is a very sobering thought.

That speeding up the game thing that umpire Angel Hernandez tried to enforce last night could lead to some interesting situations. So far, the players are over-ruling the umpires and just stopping play, but as Al Leiter noted during the broadcast, sooner or later pitchers and catchers are going to realize they can get a quick strike if they just throw the pitch. MLB may have changed the rules interpretation as part of their speed-up effort, but the former rule was that a batter who steps out of the box and then jumps back in is out if he makes contact with the pitch.

I’ll try to get some insight from our local umpiring supervisor. He tries to stay up on those arcane rules at all levels of play, just so he can say to coaches, “Yes, that’s true in the Major Leagues, but not here.” Or occasionally, “I know Tim McCarver said that, but he was wrong.”

And the Yankees slip into the win column. Nice at bat by Nickster huh? No hits and an OBP of 500.. pretty slick Nick! Congrats on the 1st of many this year Jane.

P.S. – Did I win yet? huh, Did I : )

Buz – http://buzblog.mlblogs.com/

HAHA, you really do want those cookies, don’t you, Buz! Yeah, sweet at bat for Johnson. All he has to do is show up and he’s on base. I like it.

Great research, Dave! I had no idea Connie Stevens was in Grease 2, for one thing, although I do remember the “Kookie” song (I just didn’t know she was the one who sang it). Mostly, what I remember is she’s one of Carrie Fisher’s stepmothers!

The speeding-up thing presents some interesting dilemmas as well as opportunities, jojovanb. I’m just against any kind of intrusion by the umps into the natural flow of the game. Sure, if a pitcher is taking forever to throw the ball, the ump should come out and say hurry up. But I, personally, love the fact that there’s no time clock in baseball. If people want a shorter game, they can turn off the TV!

Fenway is a great old park and worth a visit!

The Connie Stevens stuff cracks me up. My friend’s 5-year-old daughter saw her on a rerun of the Muppets and decided she wanted to dress up as her for Halloween last year.

We watched on YES, and I did yell “SHUT-UP-MICHAEL” at Kaye a couple of times. That man sure can beat a dead horse! And he whines a lot too. Just shut up and talk baseball, man.

The umping/no calling time thing was interesting. Many people think the player calls time, but the player actually is asking the ump’s permission. I personally love the whole dynamic between pitcher and batter and how one will step (out of the box or off the rubber) to throw the other one off. On the other hand the long drawn out rituals with batting gloves (think Nomar Garciaparra) do drive me a little crazy. The true game will be lose a little something if they don’t allow that back and forth to continue.

Melissa

Has anyone noticed that Boston fans go to games, think they cannot lose, and become almost different people? Other than in New York, people in Boston are usually pretty decent. I remember going to Boston for a few days with a group of friends, and some began screaming, “YANKEES!!!” in front of a crowd of people, went into a bowling alley, and started cheering for Tex whenever he got up. This was a New York at Boston game, and everywhere around me, people were laughing. It’s not like people in Boston are always bitter, especially after their 04 and 07 wins.

http://goal27.mlblogs.com/archives/2010/04/game-two–yanks-beat-bosox-6-4.html

Sorry, I meant that Boston has some of the nicest people, next to New York.

Melissa,

I’m with you on the batter/pitcher relationship. Their cat and mouse game adds intrigue and should be allowed to continue. It’s the guys who are a human rain delay after every pitch, who merely slow the game down.

Jane,
Congrats on the W! I enjoy not just reading your entries but the comments! Love the Sixteen reasons parody! I might have to borrow that and do my own version with my Dodgers!
.
Glad to hear Aceves is doing well. I keep an eye on him after you introduced me to him here in your blog.
.
Tanks Jane!
Emma
http://crzblue.mlblogs.com/
http://DodgersBlueBlog.com/

so i don’t think it’s too late for my prediction for opening day- we won’t face weaver or saunders, so I think we will score a bunch of runs. i’ll go with Yanks 8 Angels 4

Jane: Yay for Joba!!! I was so proud of him. I was hoping (but not sure if I would ever see it) for a fist-pump last night, and I got it! A.J. was okay, considering it was his 1st start of the year, and that he was with Jorge.
-Virginia
http://southernbelle.mlblogs.com
http://riveravebombers.com

3/14 witih RISP? That is dismal. Congrats on getting the win, though. I am happy my guys have a ******** .5 game lead on everybody else in the division right now. We had a heart stopping win last night. I am sure our division lead will be short-lived as it is small, but I’ll take it!!!! 🙂

http://raysfanboy.mlblogs.com/

I love the dynamic between pitcher and batter too, Melissa. Such gamesmanship when they try to break each other’s concentration. Yes, the adjusting of the batting gloves, a la Nomar (and Jeter, to a certain extent) is excessive, but I love the quirks.

Boston has great people, hehe. And New England is one of my favorite places. Yankees-Red Sox just brings out the grrrrr in everybody.

The cat and mouse game. That’s exactly how I’d put it, jojovanb. I love that aspect and would hate to see it change.

Aceves was brilliant last night, Emma. He’s been so important for the Yankees when he’s healthy.

You’re going with 8-4 Yanks for the opener/cookie contest, Mike? Which Angels pitcher are we facing?

Joba did great, Virginia. And I thought A.J. was more than respectable considering that he only walked one and seemed to connect with Jorge pretty well. I think those two will be fine from here on out.

3/14 was dismal, raysfanboy. But at least we got the win. Congrats on that big walkoff for your guys. Must have been incredible to watch.

Notice the book title Stephen King is reading? “When Will There Be Good News”. Guess what, Stephen! No news is good news where the Red Sox are concerned!! Yankees in 2010!!

I didn’t even notice the book title, 201028! Thanks for pointing it out. Yankees in 2010 is right!

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