Monday, September 24, 2012

Wild Weekend Thoughts & Afterthoughts

(Eduardo gets the Josh Hamilton walk-off treatment.  Courtesy of the AP)

If you don't already know from my 2 previous mentionings of the topic, or if you just forgot, I spent the weekend in Chicago with a couple of my buddies for a bachelor party.  The hijinks that ensued upon our Saturday morning arrival were right on par with the craziness that defined the Yankees' weekend series against Oakland.  They got a lights out pitching performance from CC on Friday, only to lose the lead in the 9th and win on a walk-off HR in the 10th; Saturday's game was up there with the wackiest games in MLB this season, and yesterday was another close game full of missed opportunities, blown calls, errors, and late-inning drama.  Seeing as how I missed most of that, I figured I'd use this morning to catch up and give my thoughts on the events that transpired while also sprinkling in some observations from my own wild weekend in Chicago.

- First off, that picture at the top of the post.  What the hell is up with the bottled water shower?  You win a game like that walk-off style and you should be hosing Nunez down with beer.  Hell, you would be justified in driving a beer truck onto the field Stone Cold Steve Austin-style and literally hosing him down with beer, and yet Swish decided to go with a couple bottles of Poland Spring?  For shame.

- Curtis Granderson replacing Andruw Jones in the 3rd inning of Saturday's game has to be proof that Jones is dangerously close to being relegated to the bench for the rest of the year.  If you aren't even good enough to play a third of a game, then why should you even play in the first place?

- What is up with Robbie Cano?  He's been a ghost in the middle of the order lately, and he continues to look like he's just going through the motions at second base sometimes.  Strange to think that he's still top 3 in the AL in WAR.

- I wear all my Yankee stuff pretty much anytime I'm out in a public setting.  In Milwaukee it gets me nothing but scorn and half-witted comments, but in Chicago nobody batted an eyelash or gave me a second thought when they saw my Yankee hat.  That was a nice change of pace.

- What a 6-game stretch for Ichiro!  15-25, 5 XBH, 7 R, 5 RBI, 6 SB, and outstanding outfield defense.  Dude should be in the lineup every day until he completely falls off a cliff.

- Ivan Nova, on the other hand, did everything possible to muck up how I, and I'm sure the entire Yankee fanbase, feels about him.  A week ago today, people were lining up to make Nova the team's must-win game starter.  Now we're right back to talking about all the usual problems with him- no command of the strike zone, inefficiency with his pitch count, too many XBH, failure to limit damage.

- Props to Derek Lowe for working 2+ innings of 1-run ball after Nova got the hook.  That was big in helping to keep the Yankees in the game and ease the pressure on the rest of the bullpen crew later in the game.

- When you're in a really nice hotel and getting comped some booze and food because of the room you purchased, it's probably not wise to answer the door for the delivery of those comped items with one of your friends standing half naked behind you wearing a hotel robe and shouting about how fucked up he is.

- As good as he looked in his first 3 innings of work, Freddy Garcia's implosion in the 13th inning probably killed any chance he had of making the postseason roster.  As bad as Nova looked, I would bet he and Phelps are going to be the long men out of the 'pen.

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

- This.  Everything about this picture and this play is awesome.  Old man Raul Ibanez going crane style and just straight mollywhopping the shit out of Derek Norris on a play at the plate.  Only thing wrong with it was that he was out, but I've looked at this picture at least 20 times now and I still laugh.

- While we're on the topic of Ibanez, where did this sudden surge of productivity come from???  Dude came off the bench on Saturday to go 3-4 with an all-hustle double and 2 HRs, the last one an absolutely clutch bomb to tie the game up in the 13th.  Definitely the biggest moment of the season to date for the Yankees.  And then he followed it up yesterday with 2 more hits.  I still have to think that Ibanez is running on empty right now, but if he can heat back up that's a plus for the continually inconsistent offense.

- Melky Mesa finally gets into a game and almost costs the Yankees the win by overrunning third base.  Tough break for the kid and an even tougher break for my Melky Mesa Theory.

- 15 ER, 27 H, and 4 HR allowed over 24.0 IP for Hiroki Kuroda over his last 4 starts.  I can't help but think he might be starting to tire after carrying the staff earlier in the summer.

- You would think a city like Milwaukee that has such a long standing tradition tied to the beer industry would keep its bars open past 2AM, but that's just not the case.  It's always nice to go to a large city like NYC or Chicago where they do it right and keep bars open 'til 4-5 in the morning on weekends.

- I mentioned this in my game recap earlier this morning, but it seems like every game there's always an 0-fer coming from the Cano-A-Rod-C-Grand group and it's getting a little annoying.  With Teix out and the lineup shortened, the Yankees can't afford to have these guys be black holes in run-producing spots in the order.

- Lastly, I started with Eduardo and I'll end with Eduardo.  It was almost like he felt bad for winning Saturday's game on an error, so he decided to make things right and make 2 of his own yesterday.  Here's hoping Jeter's ankle holds up from here on out because Nunez is still an absolute abortion in the field.

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