If you look at your calendars you will clearly see the year we are in is 2009, or for “The sky is falling” Yankees fans, 5 AD. That would be five years After Devastation.
Last time I checked this year’s roster was a little different from the roster in 2004. Last time I checked the starting pitching wasn’t as shaky as the San Andreas Fault. Last time I checked the lineup was about as solid as its been in quite some time. Last time I checked, I weighed 195 pounds. I need to get back to the gym.
Look, I know as well as everyone else that the spector of 2004 popped into every Yankee fans head as soon as Nick Swisher’s pop out with the bases loaded was squeezed at shorstop on Thursday night. The difference between 2004 and 2009 fans? Pitching and defense.
Mark Teixeira doesn’t have the numbers with his bat. Although he has hit a walk off home run, and helped the Yankees claw their way back in Game 5 Thursday night with his bases clearing double in the 7th. The intangible that Tex brings to this team more than his hitting right now, is his glove. He has saved more than a handful of games during the regular season and a couple of post season games as well.
Now the pitching. Game 6 in 2004 you starter was Jon Lieber. Game 6 in 2009 is Andy Pettitte. Advantage 2009. Game 7 if necessary your starter will be CC Sabathia. Game 7 in 2004 was Kevin Brown with Javier Vasquez on deck. Yuck.
The bullpen has been unreliable as of late, but the thing you have to remember is, the Angels are a great team. Phil Hughes will get big outs. Joba Chamberlain will get big outs. They got big outs all season long, and there time will come again in Game 6 and Game 7.
Sure the Yankees could have wrapped this up in four. Sure the Yankees could have wrapped this up in five. They didn’t. We are here for a Game 6. The past is the past.
By the way, all you Yankee haters, and you know who you are, why not succumb? Join the Darkside. Resistance is futile. Wait, that was Star Trek: The Next Generation. Great, now I’ll have the Trekkies as well as everyone who hates the Yankees on my case. Such is life.
Also for the non-believers 2009 playoffs (thanks for the research YES Research staff):
Wins 6 2
Runs 43 (5.4 /G) 23 (2.9 /G)
AVG .257 (76–296) .241 (71–295)
HR 14 4
ERA 2.52 (22 ER – 78.2 IP) 4.60 (39 ER – 76.1 IP)
Seven more. Yesterday it was eight. Today, the Yankees magic number is seven. To help us all understand a little better, I put my thinking cap on (dusted it off from first grade) and came up with a math problem for the Yankees post season. I guess it would be algebra. I’m not quite sure. Considering I couldn’t decipher an algebra problem if it jumped off a piece of paper, smacked me in the face, and said, “I’m an algebra problem, solve me!” Maybe if I called on Vanilla Ice during my SATs I would have had a better score. Let’s face it, Robert Van Winkle did tell us all, “If there was a problem, yo, I’ll solve it.” I need to seek help. This I know. Follow this logic though, if I make it up, I can understand it. Here we go:
7 W + 7 OL = 27 WS. I think you can figure it out if I made it up, but for those of you who need me to break it down, seven more wins plus seven more opponents’ losses will equal the Yankees’ 27th World Series title.
Seems like an easy equation, but to get too geeked over one win, especially my rollercoaster fans on Twitter, who live and die with every pitch in the Yankees season. I give you guys all the credit in the world for being the fans you are, but you are certifiable. Case in point, against the Twins, CC Sabathia gave up a leadoff double to Denard Span, and all of my Twitter Chicken Littles thought the sky was falling.
The Angels are better than what we saw last night. They’re not going to go down without a fight. Even if the Yankees take Game 2, the next three games are in LA, or Anaheim, or in LA of Anaheim, I don’t know ask them.
Hopefully Mother Nature cooperates with us and we get this in because we have Giants football tomorrow. We’ve gone from rain, to no rain, to chocolate rain, to rain again. It must be nice to be a forecaster. Nostradamus they are not. Hopefully Nostradamus isn’t Nostradamus. However, I have been looking through quatrains to see if the Yankees will beat the Angels. So far, nothing to report. I’ll let you know.
Update: After reading some of Nostradamus’ Quatrains I found this:
The Royal scepter will be forced to take
that which his predecessors had pledged.
Because they do not understand about the ring
when they come to sack the palace.
Century 7 Quatrain 23
Ring? Sack the Palace? Was Nostradamus a Yankee fan? I know its a stretch, but it’s pretty cool.
The answer is, “The quote from the movie that most represents the 2009 Yankees so far.” Ooh, ooh, I know this! What is, “Life is like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.” Mama always said it about life, and now I am saying it about these Yankees.
From the lineup, to the bullpen, to the starters, I don’t know if I’m getting butter cream, peanut butter, or coconut filling. I hate coconut filling by the way. And, lately, the Yankees are giving me plenty of coconut.
The losing streak is now at four. Chien-Ming Wang is on the DL with a hip flexor issue, (hip flexor issue in this case means he’s out of options, couldn’t send him down to Triple A) and has an ERA over 34. CC Sabathia was supposed to come in here and be a shut-down ace, injecting CC’s of 0’s and K’s into opposing lineups. Still waiting for that to happen. Yes, I’m aware of what he did last year with the Indians and the Brewers. He was 12-0 over 18 starts last June 10th through September 10th. But, CC, “What have you done for me lately? Ooh, ooh, ooh, ooh, yeah.” Janet Jackson Disease (JJD) is very catchy and I think I am coming down with it. Everyone is worried about Swine Flu now, but JJD is what I am worried about catching.
Sabathia pitched well enough to win last night, but either Justin Verlander miraculously remembered how to pitch, or the Yankees forgot how to hit.
A.J. Burnett has been OK, but, in his last start, the Yankees had a 6-0 lead on Josh Beckett, and they couldn’t hold on. Unfortunately, that’s what sticks in your head. Big time symptom of JJD. You’re only as good as your last start or your last at-bat.
Joba Chamberlain’s days as a starter should be numbered. I’m Maverick here and I am calling the ball — especially if Phil Hughes can make an instant impact. Hughes has been lights out at Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre (three wins, 19.1 IP, 1.86 ERA 19K, 3 BB), and tonight he gets the start against the Tigers.
I may be getting ahead of myself with Mark Melancon, but with Brian Bruney being on the shelf, the bridge to Mariano would be a lot sturdier if it went Melancon, Chamberlain, Rivera. John Flaherty told me in Flash Forward this week that the Yankees were forced to bring Melancon up a little early, but to be put in at Fenway Park in front of a national television audience, and to do what he was able to do was impressive. (You can catch the entire Flash Forward in the video section of YESnetwork.com.)
As far as the hitting goes, Robinson Cano has really been the only consistent plate performer. The Yankees second baseman is the only one hitting over .300. Nick Swisher has cooled off, and Brett Gardner and Mark Teixeira are both hitting .220. There is some good news, though. Alex Rodriguez took live batting practice down in Tampa today, and you will see the video on Yankees Batting Practice Today at 6 p.m. ET on YES.
I know its “still early” in this 2009 season, but when does it start to get late? Yogi Berra said it the best, “It gets late awfully early around here.” He was commenting on the adverse sun conditions in left field at the old stadium. His quote, however, will stand the test of time to the spreading disease that is Janet Jackson. Nineteen games in, I’m already suffering from the symptoms. However, I promise … no, I guarantee … no wardrobe malfunctions will occur on the set.
No, the title has nothing to do with bras opening up without warning. It’s what I have been calling sports in the New York area since I was in high school. Janet Jackson disease is quite simply, “What Have You Done For Me Lately?” We all suffer from it, we can’t help it, and the only cure for this dreaded disease is winning.
So, Yankee fans waking up today with the sniffles and a mild case of JJD, let me give you this advice…IT’S ONLY ONE GAME!
Peter Parker’s uncle Ben said it a long time ago, “With great power comes great responsibility.” It translates to the Yankees year in year out: with big contracts come big expectations. I get that, but what you have to get is these guys are human and baseball is a cyclical game.
Let me throw some numbers at you to prove my point. Last season, CC Sabathia started the year 1-5 with the Indians. Then in a stretch from June 10 until September 10 with Cleveland and Milwaukee, he went 12-0 in 18 starts. Even in the no-decisions he pitched well enough to win.
Mark Teixeira went 0-for-4 and left five runners on base. It wasn’t the first time, and it won’t be the last. Big Tex is going to be the most popular Yankee since Paul O’Neill or Bernie Williams.
To help with the healing process Yankee fans, I give you this refrain from Daniel Powter’s song, “Bad Day”
Because you had a bad day
You’re taking one down
You sing a sad song just to turn it around
You say you don’t know
You tell me don’t lie
You work at a smile and you go for a ride
You had a bad day
The camera don’t lie
You’re coming back down and you really don’t mind
You had a bad day
You had a bad day
Read that 10 times, take a couple of Ibuprofen and tune in to Yankees Batting Practice Today, tomorrow night at 6 right here on YES. We’ll get through this ONE loss together.
CC Sabathia and Jorge Posada are the starting battery in a minor league game going on right now in Tampa at the Yankees minor league complex across the street from the Boss….and I will be bringing you updates as the game progresses…
Top of the 1st Sabathia went three up three down – the leadoff batter for the Pirates minor league squad lined out hard to right…and Sabathia struck out the next two hitters he faced. The first one window shopping…just browsing…looking take your pick…and the next one went down swinging.
Bottom of the 1st…Jorge Posada batted second and flew out to left batting from the left handed side of the plate. CC is out for his second inning of work now…I will be back with an update shortly and will definitely let you know if Jorge throws anyone out.
Top 2: After a leadoff double and tag to third on a fly out to center…Jorge Posada made a visit to the mound and we can just speculate that he told him to check second to see if the runner had left early…and CC checked and indeed he did…thats cheating…he was called out…so with two outs Sabathia got the next batter to ground out to first base and he covered the bag with the greatest of ease. Very fleet of foot for the big fella…No score
Bottom 2: Posada came up again just four batters after his first out…obviously just trying to get his at bats in and get them in early…there are no rules in these minor league tilts when the big clubs players are trying to get in some work…and Posada struck out on swinging on three straight pitches.
Top 3: First batter – ground out to short…Sabathia is very economical with his pitch count so far…second batter lazy fly ball to centerfield…we call those a can of corn…two out…but they let the batter stay on first…he stole second on the next pitch and Jorge’s throw sailed to the right side of the bag…it was a strong throw…just off line…safe at second…the runner who was out…then scored on an RBI single into left field…so he was out but he scored…there rules…I don’t make them up…last batter grounded out to Eric Duncan at third. CC so far 3 innings two hits two strike outs and a run if you want to count the guy that was out on the fly ball that they let run at first…
Bottom 3: CC did not bat and neither did Jorge nothing to report on the big club. Jorge is on the bench still in his catchers gear and CC is still on the bench…we expect both will come out for the 4th…
Top 4: CC and Jorge are back out as expected…Jorge was talking to Tony Pena between innings and Pena told us in our interview that the first throw Jorge made to second in a minor league game when Andy Pettitte started on Thursday…was clocked at 2.15 which is good…then the second throw was 2.00 and his fastest throw of the day was his third throw which came in at 1.95 which according to Tony is excellent. When they went down to second before the inning started his throw was pinpoint accurate and quick…First batter of the inning singled into left field, but was quickly erased by Posada who threw him out at second…his first of the spring…and we were here…one out…Sabathia still working…next batter flew out to shallow left…two outs…next two batters singled…one to center and one into left…first and second…two outs… next batter walked…bases loaded now…Sabathia in a bit of a two out pickle…gets the next batter though to ground out weakly to third…inning over…So far…CC through 4…four hits…two strike outs…a walk…and no runs allowed…unless again you count the fake run from earlier…see above…
Bottom 4: Jorge got one more at bat…and reached on an error…his grounder to second was booted by the second baseman…
Top 5: CC and Jorge are still the battery…if your Metallica fans… BATTERY!!! And back to the game…first batter doubled down the left field line…a worm burner that painted the line… after a fly out to right…the runner on second went to the bench and they sent a pinch runner to first…all to help Posada work…and Posada’s throw on the steal was his best of the spring! Nailing the pinch runner by at least 2 steps…another pinpoint throw down to second…and it was on a pitch down in the zone…a tough pitch to throw anyone out on and Jorge did just that…and another pinch runner was inserted and he met the same fate…another throw out for Posada on another tough pitch…a laser beam to second and the runner was meat…Posada then bolted for the dugout…but we are playing five outs this inning…again not my rules…and by the way the Pirates third base coach looked in at the Yankees bench and asked if they should send the runner and the bench said yes…great stuff…the fifth out of the inning was a strike out looking for Sabathia…I would do his line but with the five outs its very confusing…
Bottom 5: CC and Jorge are done for the day…signing off from Yankees minor league camp this is your buddy Chris saying have a great Sunday and we’ll talk again soon…