Saturday, May 31, 2008

I Was Ready to Give Up

Baseball nicknames have pretty much been lame for the last few years. Sure the Yankees have Joba and A-Rod (A-Rod isn't really that good, it's just short for Alex Rodriguez) and, of course, Moose, short for Mussina.

Look back to the 50's and 60's when the lineup included Moose (had nothing to do with his last name) Yogi (where did that come from?) Scooter, Joltin' Joe, Old Reliable, Whitey, and The Mick. They were managed by Casey. Even the 70's had Goose, Sparky, and Catfish.

What happened?

Sure, today, there are still some good nicknames. The Twins starting pitcher is Boof Bonser. What a great baseball name. You have your Big Papi, and a few Coco's, but not a whole lot of great names.

But compare that to some of the names from the past. Names so well-known, that most fans couldn't give the players real name.
Try these on for size
Satchel Paige
Babe Ruth
Vinegar Bend Mizell
Honus Wagner
Boog Powell
Oil Can Boyd
Casey Stengel

How many can you give the real first name without using Google?

Go Yankees

Yankees make it 2 in a row

Mussina got off to a rocky start last night, getting tagged for 4 runs in the 1st (2 earned) but then he settled down, and shut down the Twins until he left after the 6th, and managed to pick up his 8th win against only 4 losses. It was the second win in a row for the Bombers, got them out of the cellar, evened their record, and with Wang pitching today, may have set them in the right direction to finally get and stay on the positive side of .500.
Thed Yankee bats were booming last night,with 16 hits including 2 triples by Abreu, to go along with 2 A-Rod doubles. Matsui continued his assualt on the AL batting title with 3 hits in 4 at bats. In fact, the 2, 3, and 4 batter in the lineup each had 3 hits. You know it's a good night when even Molina had a multi-hit game. Cabrera also had 3 hits in 4 trips to the dish.

Timely hitting (rather, the lack of it) did plague the team as they left 21 men on base, and Giambi was responsible for 7 of those. But, it was some lucky breaks for the Twins as much as anything that kept the score to a respectable 6-5. Giambi was robbed of a solid single up the middle when the Twins pitcher (hey, who knows any names?) surprised himself and caught the hot shot. Later, A-Rod was doubled up when he tried to steal third, and Matsui hit the ball, producing a double play. Sometimes, stuff happens.

Today, Wang takes the mound in search of win 7 at 7:05 (YES.)


Go Yankees

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Yankees lose a tough one

Back when he managed the Mets, the Ol' Perfessor, Casey Stengal, once asked, "Can anyone here play this game?"

That keeps turning over and over in my mind following some of the recent debacles in Baltimore. Monday, the team couldn't buy a hit, it seemed, and last night, they couldn't get anyone out. Twice, the pitching staff blew 4 run leads.

And, in extra innings, Hawkins blew a save.

The Yankee hitters exploded for 15 hits an 9 runs, including HRs by Giambi, Abreu, Rodriguez, and Damon. But it wasn't enough as Ian Kennedy gave up 4 runs (3 earned) in his 3 innings of work. He suffered an injury (surprise, another Yankee on the DL) and Ohlendorf came in. He was even worse than Kennedy, and that's saying a lot. Ohlendorf was rocked for 3 homers in the bottom of the 5th. He managed to turn an 8-4 Yankee lead into a tie in his 2.1 innings. That was all the scoring until the 11th when the Yankees took the lead in the top of the inning, only to have Hawkins come in and get tagged for 2 runs to lose the game.

Some highlights:

Damon continued his hot hitting with 4 hits in 5 trips to the plate, including 2 doubles and a HR. Giambi belted a HR to go with a double, as his average creeps towards respectability. In fact every Yankee starting player had a hit (except, as usual, Molina)

Today, Pettitte starts, and Joba is expected to get some work as he continues getting ready for his starting role. (7:05 YES)

Go Yankees

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Yankees streak stopped at 5

The Yankees were sad to see Seattle leave town. Yesterday, they had to play the Orioles at Camden Yard, and it wasn't pretty.
Rasner pitched great, allowing only 1 run in six strong innings, but the pen got blasted as Hawkins and Veras got hit hard, giving up 5 runs in the final 2 innings.

The Birds pitching was terrific, holding the pinstripers to just 5 hits, including 3 by Matsui. Not much to say about the game other than it was a nail biter until the 7th.

Today, Kennedy will try to repeat his good performance of last week as the Yankees take the field at Camden Yard (at 7:05) on YES.

Posada started his rehab assignment as he caught 5 innings in Florida. He threw back to the pitcher, but won't try throwing to bases for another week or so.

Have faith, Yankee fans, help is on the way.

Go Yankees

Monday, May 26, 2008

5th in a row for the Yankees

This afternoon, the Yankees continued their fine play of recent days as they won their 5th in a row to move to .500, and get out of the AL East basement.

Best of all, they did it by coming back against the Mariners with a 4 run 8th inning, capped by Molina's RBI double. The team only managed to collect 8 hits, but half were doubles. The Yankees also were aggressive on the basepaths, stealing 2 bags off Mariners starter Washburn, who had not allowed a stolen base in over 100 innings.

It seems like they have been playing with a fire since A-Rod is back. The Yanks are done with the Ms this year, winning all 6 games.

Wang struggled with his control, and didn't figure in the decision. He was tagged with all 5 runs in his 6.1 innings of work.

Ramirez picked up the win with 1.2 innings of shutout relief, and Mo racked up save 12 with a 2 strikeout ninth.

Today, Rasner starts against the Orioles 1:35 on YES.


Go Yankees

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Yankees Make it 4 straight

Mike Mussina pitched well enough to notch his 7th victory yesterday as he hung on for 5 innings while giving up 4 runs. It wasn't exactly a quality start, but it was good enough as the Yankees continued their assault on Mariners pitching with a 16 hit, 12 run blowout. The final score was 12-6, but it wasn't even that close. The bullpen did well, allowing only 2 runs in 4 innings of work (Farnsworh gave up a 2-run HR in the 8th.) Joba Chamberlain continued his program to get in shape for the starting rotation by tossing 40 pitches in his 2 shoutout innings.

Giambi continued his hot hitting by belting a big HR in addition to a double and a single as he has raised his average 50 points or so since A-Rods return. Cano also had a multi-hit game, going 4-4 including 3 doubles.

The only starter without a hit, for the second game in a row, was Jeter. His average has dipped into the .280's. Even Molina got a hit, so it looks like it's time for the Captain to man up and put on the thong.

The only thing that bothered me about all this is the pitching coach for the Mariners was one of my favorite Yankees when I was a kid. Mel Stottlemyre was a really good pitcher with some of the worst Yankee teams of all-time. During the mid-late 60's, he won 20 games 3 times, and his ERA was around a half-run per game under the league average. I hate to see him look bad. I hope after the Yankees drub the Mariners today, the M pitchers toss a few shutouts to make Mel happy.

Today, Wang is on the hill, going for his 7th win (1:05 on TBS and YES.)


The Giambino is on a hot streak

Go Yankees

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Downtown, New Jersey, United States
Yankees fan. But the team hasn't been the same since Yogi retired. TV watching expert. Manly man.