Tagged: Joba

Stealing Victory From The Jaws Of Defeat

Is it me or was this game a near carbon copy of the opener? Another well pitched ball game by both teams and the Yanks getting the winning run after a defensive miscue by the Jays. The only difference is that the tying run was 90 feet from home. Mo was Mo and got Hill looking. Yanks win 3-2.

For those of you that don’t know me or are new to this blog, likely don’t know I’m a big Phil Hughes guy. I frequent his blog. I drove 5 hours just to watch him pitch in Scranton (only to have it rained out). I have a Phil Hughes BP Jersey. I have a Hughes 65 t-shirt. I drove to Erie, PA two years ago just to try and get his autograph, which I did. I also bought one of those “I Want To Thank The Good Lord” Joe DiMaggio signs that they sell on Steiner Sports that’s signed by Phil. I got it from MLB auctions for $100. I was biting my nails all off season while rumors were flying about him going to Minnesota for Johan. Thank God the Yankees were smart enough to hold onto Phil.

Personally, I thought Hughes was awesome tonight. He had great control with 57 of his 86 pitches were strikes. He consistently pitched ahead in counts. He made Frank Thomas look absolutely foolish. He scattered only 4 hits. That bloop double by Eckstein was ridiculous. You knew Rios was going to drive him home. As I said yesterday, Rios owns the Yankees. And then Eckstein drives in a run with an infield single. Hughes very well could have escaped tonight without giving up a run, but that’s baseball. I wasn’t pleased that he was on the hook for the loss after such a great performance. Thankfully, the boys picked him up scoring twice in the 6th. If only they could have plated one more run, my boy would’ve been in line for the W. That would been nice. Hughes is a great talent and I’m really looking forward to seeing him pitch many years in Pinstripes. They’d be stupid to let him go. Sign him long term. You won’t hear me complain.

The Yankee bats have been pretty silent so far this year. I credit most of that to the Jays pitching staff. Halladay, Burnett and McGowan aren’t slouches. They pitched extremely well and I think the Yanks are lucky to have escaped with 2 wins. They very well could have lost all 3. Honestly, they probably should have lost all 3. The Jays made some bad plays late in game 1. And they followed that up today with another game-costing error late in the game. When Damon reached on Downs’ fielding error that set it up for that run to score. This could have been an entirely different post had Downs made that play. I’m glad to see the Yanks went with back-to-back bunts there in the 8th. That’s the style of play that’s going to win these games. I like Girardi because he’s bringing that to the table. We don’t really need these guys swinging for the fences every at-bat. That was their downfall in last night’s game. It’s early April and these guys should know the ball doesn’t fly out of the park like it does in June. 3 months from now and Giambi ties that game up. Considering the situation and the elements they should have just tried to keep the line moving. I’d like to think Girardi won’t let that happen often.

We as Yankees fans should feel pretty comfortable with our bullpen. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen such a formidable duo at the back of the pen. I think the tandem of Joba and Mo is much better than the pairings of Gordon and Mo, or even Wettelnad and Mo. Odds are good that if the Yanks have the lead heading into the 8th that the game’s over. I was impressed with Traber and Bruney. They looked good. I’m not sure how many of you have ever played Strat-O-Matic or Diamond Mind Baseball. I’m an avid replayer of past seasons and when I play as some of the past Yankees teams from recent years, I always worry about having to give the game to the pen if it’s close. I have a feeling that when I replay 2008 I won’t be worried too much.

So they won 2 out of 3. Not a bad start. The series was chock full of great pitching. Like I mentioned earlier, taking 2 out of 3 when you’re facing Halladay, Burnett and McGowan is no easy task. They held the Yankee hitter in check. 2 of the 3 runs in game 1 came on a HR that barely cleared the wall and on a fielder’s choice that only happened because Eckstein couldn’t turn a double play. The only runs in game 2 came on a homer by A-Rod. And tonight they scored on a wild pitch, a sac fly and a single that followed a sac bunt and an error. They’re not exactly tearing the cover off the ball. Thankfully, the pitching kept the games close and allowed them to win the series.

Random Notes:
Mo notched his 2nd save. That didn’t take long. Much faster than last year.

I love having Jose Molina as Jorge’s back-up. When he steps up to the plate I don’t think to myself that it’s an automatic out like I did with Nieves, Stinnett, and Flaherty.

We’re winning with pitching and defense. What wins championships again?

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


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Well Worth The Wait

Man it’s good to have real baseball back. Don’t get me wrong. I love Spring Training but it can be sooo boring. Nothing beats Opening Day! Unfortunately for me, my 7 month old son Cooper chose tonight to throw a huge fit at bedtime. It was bad enough I had to pause the game after Wang got the 1st out to help give him a bath and then help put him to bed. But the little guy picked tonight, of all nights, to go absolutely berserk after finishing his nighttime bottle. We think he’s teething. And I only minded a little. I love the little guy.
God bless DVR. I finally caught up to live action at about the midway point. I would fast forward and watched each pitch. I didn’t think the Wanger was overly sharp but he was definitely good enough. He had his work cut out for him going up against Doc Halladay but he rose to the occasion and pitched a solid 7. Getting Rios to whiff was huge. And what was up with all the broken lumber? It was like watching Mariano out there. The defense definitely stepped up big for him. Melky made 2 great catches that could have turned things south real quick. He just missed making a 3rd stellar catch. I’m so glad that the Yanks didn’t deal him (or Hughes and Kennedy) for Johan. He’s great with the glove and his arm is just outstanding. You wouldn’t get that from Damon. And Giambi! Dude is like a cat out there. It was quite the opposite of last year. Didn’t Jeter make 2-3 errors and if i remember A-Rod dropped a pop up in foul territory? We didn’t see that today. I guess these guys like Chien-Ming more than they do that scrub Pavano.
A-Rod and Abreu looked real good at the plate but Melky’s at-bat against Halladay was the highlight of the night for me. I think it went 11 pitches and we all know how it ended up. It wasn’t a bomb but he hit it far enough. Did I mention already that I’m glad they didn’t trade him? And who would have thought you’d see great baserunning by Jason Giambi? He stops in the baseline and instead of a DP we get runners on 2nd and 3rd with one out. If he hadn’t done that A-Rod likely doesn’t score the go-ahead run. Am I giving the big G too much credit? Was it great baserunning or a crappy play by Eckstein? Since I’m a Yankees fan, I’ll call it good baserunning.
Joba rules. I don’t really need to say anything more about that but what kind of blogger would I be if I had no comments. I think he was a little amped up when he first took the hill and got a little too excited when he had 2 strikes on Rios. I was worried for about half a second and then I thought to myself “Joba rules.” Then he picks up 2 huge Ks. Wells looking and the Big Hurt swinging. You gotta love it. I know I do.
I was extremely tempted to throw my remote at the TV after Jeter, Abreu and Giambi all grounded out weakly, wasting Damon’s leadoff triple. But then I realized it’s a nice TV, so I threw it at my wife instead. Hit her pretty hard too. April Fools.
Enter the Sandman. I get chills every time they show him walking through the bullpen doors with his back to the camera. I have a little 3 inch McFarlane figure of him on my desk at work. If you haven’t seen it it’s a miniature version of the big one, which is Mo walking through the bullpen doors. I have it turned around so the 42 is facing me. There’s a signed photo that Steiner sells of him walking through the doors but I’m not made of money so I’ll just stick with my little 3-inch toy. Mo looked great. Vintage Mo. Very fitting that the final opening day in the old Stadium ends with Mo picking up the save.
It was a day late in coming but it was well worth the wait. Solid game all around. 7 innings from the starter. Joba. Mariano. Yankees win! Thaaaaaa Yankees win!
Take it away Frank.