A-Rod = Clutch

a-rod.granny.jpg
Just a tip for Ron Gardenhire: Don’t walk the bases loaded to pitch to A-Rod. I mean, didn’t he hurt the Twins enough in the ALDS last year? Sheesh. Talk about not learning your lesson. If I were a Minny fan, he’d have a lot of ‘spaining to do.
gardenhire.jpg
Other highlights:
* Brett Gardner’s homer. He can run AND hit for power?
* Francisco Cervelli’s triple. He can catch AND run the bases?
* A.J. Burnett’s six-plus innings. He can look good WITHOUT having his best stuff?
* Derek Jeter’s hit. He can shoot one off the pitcher’s leg AND get a double out of it?
* Joba’s eighth inning. He can strike out the side AND get the win?
* Mo’s ninth inning. He can be 40 years old AND pitch like he’s 30?
Okay, that’s the good news – that the Yankees opened the homestand with a sweet 8-4 victory, that A-Rod passed Frank Robinson on the home run list and that we continued our dominance over the Twins. The bad news? Yet another casualty. When I posted a few weeks ago that the Yanks were dropping like flies, I had no idea the situation would keep getting worse. But now Swisher? If he goes on the DL, I can’t be trusted to watch Randy Winn and Marcus Thames patrol the outfield. I really can’t.
And now for those who haven’t read this story, take a look. We love baseball or we wouldn’t be wasting time on my blog, but this kid loves baseball in a way that should inspire all of us.

20 Comments

Oh, I didn’t even see a new post. I told you, if no one gets hurt they don’t win😐 Either Marte or Girardi needs a slap on the head, Burnette looked pretty peeved when Marte blew his chance of a win. Luckily a Grand bomb came from Arod came soon after. I think I need to get a Cervelli shirt ASAP! And I’m actually starting to feel bad for the Twins. 3 for their last 24 against the Yanks. When i heard that I said Awah?? It’ll be fun to see Pettitte back🙂

Now that the Tigers series is over, the Yanks can feel free to beat up on the Twinkies. With my blessing.
Good luck!
–Mike
‘Minoring In Baseball’
http://burrilltalksbaseball.mlblogs.com

Hiya, Jane…
Normally I don’t post on weekends (lucky to have time), but with a long strange week ahead, I’ll drop in when I can…
Good win last nite. Conked out early, we were down 4-3, not optimistic…nice to wake up & see the Slam. And thanks, Mr. Gardenhire (wonder how many of your younger bloggers know what “spainin’ to do” [note the typo] really means, Lucy! Sorry, couldn’t resist…)
Very inspiring story and video. Every time I see something like that, as the father of two boys, I think “there but for the grace of God…” Never know what life will hand you…grateful that we’ve come this far…
Last li’l tidbit. Read a story yesterday about baseball players who woulda/coulda been football players. On this list were Todd Helton (QB at Tenn. b4 Peyton Manning), Grady Sizemore, and…Joe Mauer. Never knew that Mauer was a HOT QB prospect — so good that Florida State had him all wrapped up…then he decided to choose baseball. FSU, which had one of THE premier teams of the 1990s in college football, has never recovered, and their longtime coach, Bowden, just retired. Ah, the might-have-beens…

Yesterday was a classic case of what looks like a good call is actually a managers worst nightmare…. today will be tough for the Yankees, with Pettitte going against Liriano, sounds like the pitchers actually get in on in a WWE style cage or something…

-peter
Phillies Outside

No seesaw in today’s photos? Those first few innings were sort of crazy.

Thank goodness for the grand salami – which probably would not have happened if that adorable Cisco Kid hadn’t gotten on. When they showed the replay of the home run, Cervelli raised both his arms on third. His enthusiasm is wonderful, mostly because it seems sincere and not arrogant. He just loves being out there.

Winn and Thames. Oh my goodness – it’s like a black hole at the bottom of the line up – all the offense gets sucked into deep space.

That story you linked to made me cry. You gotta love stuff like that!

Melissa

that game was making me crazy. runners on 2nd and 3rd and no outs and not scoring. lead off double not scoring. has anyone heard of advancing a runner, sacrifice fly, doesn’t that ring a bell? ok so a rod bailed us out–really gardenhire did. i mean he had to know arod’s stats off that pitcher before the grandslam.
the globe today has it listed as burnett giving up an inherited run. ok that’s just a mistake but i thought it was another mistake that joba was given the win. interesting since marte was the pitcher of record when we went ahead. not much in the times exception a mention of a rare scoring decision. it isn’t wrong it just is strange that you never see that happen. usually you get the blown hold and the vultured win.
ok there was lots of nick johnson bashing yesterday. i just want to say that he is still in the top 10 in walks. he still has a good on base percentage and he hadn’t starting hitting. so i, for one, want him back. he will hit and he will help us.
i also would like to win without another player going down. despite swisher’s infectious/crazy personality, i have not been enamored of him as an everyday outfielder but now we need him. seriously bubble wrap for everyone and let’s win and stay healthy.
still happily amazed with gardner–it would be so good if he is for real because speed is so fun. also happily amazed with cervelli. i mean nothing was expected of him last year.
i hope jeter comes back to being jeter. go andy.
barbara
ps thanks for those of you reminding us to stay optimistic as i haven’t been so even keel during this recent downswing.

Wow Jane, that story about the CA ballplayer made me cry so much I had to let my eyes clear before I could blog to you! What an inspiring story!
On to last nights game: A-Rod is a wonder! When Tex got walked and A-Rod came to bat, A-Rod had THAT LOOK on his face and I had a good, good feeling! It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out how that was going to be a bone head move on Minny’s part. I am sad and worried about Swisher. Let’s start a blog chant to end this injury curse on our team! Go Yankees! No hurt!
Kathleen

i have to chime in with the others; that story was so moving and inspiring. you could really see the love on his team mates faces. great stuff. there were some pretty tense and frustrating moments with all the men left on base by the utterly useless pair of winn and thames, but what can we do now? wait… anyway. you nailed it…if last years ALDS wasn’t enough to teach anyone not to hand the game to Alex on a silver platter, i don’t know what would. i know they were hoping for the GIDP, but it was a dump move. we sure needed to see the offense come back to life. can’t wait for today

I didn’t so much question Gardy’s decision to give Tex-Mex the free pass (to set up the DP) as I did the decision to bring Guerrier in to face A-Rod. It looked like the right move at the time, but once I saw those stats, I just knew something terrible was going to happen. Why not stick with Duensing and see what happens?
http://zkonedog.mlblogs.com/

Don’t feel bad for the Twins, seindsfeld. They’re a tremendous team that made improvements over the winter and are even tougher than before. We’ve been lucky to beat them. Amazing about the win/injury combo. But it sounds like Swisher’s bicep soreness isn’t serious.

Thanks, Mike. We’ll do our best. LOL.

Wow, Dave. Those are some pretty good baseball players who might have been lost to football. I knew Carl Crawford thought about playing FB, but not the ones you mentioned. Too bad Joe Mauer didn’t take FSU’s offer; Jeter would have won a batting title. Very cool to see you here on a weekend!

I didn’t even think Gardenhire’s decision was a good call, Peter. Sure, if A-Rod hits into a DP they’re out of trouble. But what are the chances? He’s the cleanup hitter.

Cisco is so much fun to watch, Melissa. I absolutely love his energy and enthusiasm. Whenever there’s a closeup, I look at his eyes. They’re so full of expression. He and Gardner have really lit a fire with their offense. (Gardner’s throw, on the other hand, was horrible. I forgive him because of his speed!) Yes, that story made me cry too. As Dave said, you never know what life will hand you.

The official scorer deemed Marte “ineffective,” Barbara. That’s why he gave the win to Joba. It was an unusual move but perfectly within the rules and I applauded it. Marte stank it up and Joba was perfect. So great to see him (Joba) back in 2007 form. I, too, think Nick Johnson will help us at some point – BUT he has such a long injury history that I don’t know why Cashman thought he’d be a good idea. Players are more than their stats. On-base percentages are useful, but Johnson spends way too much time on the DL. Jeter will be fine. Slumps are bound to happen. And stay positive!!!! I know it’s hard, but we have an amazing record, especially at home!

Yup, it’s inspiring, Kathleen. It really brings into focus how people can support each other, even through the hardest times. A-Rod did have a “look,” didn’t he? He kind of pursed his lips, scowled and stepped up to the plate. I loved it! Talk about waking a sleeping dog. Swisher’s MRI came back negative, so it’s probably one of those nagging injuries that just needs rest. I was so worried he tore a muscle, but just a slight strain.

That’s what got me, Mike – the love and support of his teammates, who could easily have been cruel and said, “Who needs this kid and all his problems?” Yeah, lots of missed opportunities last night, but A-Rod erased all that with one swing. The real issue is the bottom of the order, which used to be formidable with Granderson and Gardner. Pitchers had no weak spots to count on. Now? It seems like every time we have a rally, up come Thames or Winn (or Miranda). I have to hide my eyes.

Barbara et al –
This item in the loHud blog should make you feel better:

The Yankees are struggling lately? They’ve won eight of their past 12 games, outscoring their opponents 74-42 in that span. They have the best home record in baseball at 11-2.

Melissa

I was surprised to see Gardenhire load the bases for A-Rod. It’s not too often that happens. I definitely have the same concerns with you when we discuss a potential starting outfield that includes the names of Winn, Thames or Golson. Hopefully, Swish will rebound quickly from the strained biceps. I am glad the tests were negative, but geesh, these nagging little injuries on the team have the potential of becoming very problematic. As for the comment about about it being a tough day for the Yankees today versus Liriano, I recognize that Liriano is looking more like the pitcher he was when Santana was on the staff than the one we’ve seen in recent years, however, it will be a tough day for the Twins against Andy Pettitte (stiff elbow or not). So, I don’t see today as being any tougher than facing countless other top shelf pitchers we’ve defeated along the way this season.

Scott
http://fotr.mlblogs.com

Zkonedog, you’re raise a good point about the matchup. Why not stick with Duensing in that situation? It’s easy to second guess managers and I do it all the time, but that move last night just had disaster written all over it.

Glad you posted the excerpt from today’s LoHud, Melissa. I was trying to think of it when I was responding to Barbara’s comment but couldn’t summon it up. Yes, best record at home at 11-2. Not too shabby.

Right on about today’s pitching matchup, Scott! Liriano has been having a great season so far, no question, but Andy hasn’t exactly been a slacker. Except for the rough patch in Detroit against Porcello and Verlander, the Yanks have, indeed, done pretty well against the top pitchers. So let’s go Andy!

Gardner’s looking better and better the more he plays.
http://www.paullebowitz.com/
http://www.princeofny.blogspot.com/

His speed, both on the bases and in the outfield, is just so much fun to watch, Paul.

Hey, Diane. Hope the “hectic” is good hectic. Wasn’t today’s win great? Andy was superb and the bats came alive. Would love to sweep but with Mitre on the mound it’s certainly not a given!

It feels like ages since I’ve been on your blog, Jane. Its just been very hectic.

The Saturday game just ended with a great 7-1 win for our heros in pinstripes. Jeter, Tex, Posada & A-Rod all came to the game with their bats turned on and Andy was spectacular, as he has been all season so far.

We’re really in The Twins’ heads — we always find a way to get the win. Would like to sweep this series — this next week is going to be tough but I think we have a good shot at making headway — GO YANKEES!!!

Given the history that A-Rod has had against the pitcher. That would have been the last pitcher I would have used against him. In seven plate appearances he has hit three home runs against him. That is better odds than the lottery.

http://thehooks.mlblogs.com/

(My internal pressure is approaching Red Zone. I am still trying to observe my boycott of the player formally known as Alex Rodriguez. I do not think I can last much longer though.)
mike

I agree, hooksfan. It just didn’t make sense to me at all.

Maybe it’s time to give up your boycott, Mike.

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