Friday, September 25, 2009

Jon Lester's Knee Injury- A Photo Diary

And down goes Lester!!  Down goes Lester!!

Owwwww, my wittle knee hurts...

Are you crying???  There's no crying in baseball!!

You gotta love the intangibles Varitek brings to the meeting here.
Everybody else is checking to see if Lester can even walk
and he's still in his crouch, putting down signs and getting ready for the next pitch.  That's why he wears the "C."

Why the fuck is the umpire checking out his ass?
What Tim Kurjian wouldn't give to switch places with that ump...

I bet Lester wishes he still had cancer right about now...

OK, Jon, here we go.  Left foot, right foot, left foot, right foot.
Nevermind the fact that you may have just shattered your kneecap, just walk down the stairs to test it out.
I mean, there's only 5 or 6 of us here with you.
What are we supposed to do?  Carry you?

Why the fuck is David Ortiz following him down the stairs?
What medical advice could he possibly offer?

Ortiz- "Here Jonnie, jus' take a few of deez peells an' dreenk dis protein shake, meng."
Lester- "Get the fuck away from me, Papi."

Introducing the Terry Francona:
 "We Are Completely Fucked If Lester Is Hurt" Face.
If I could have a mask of this exact picture made and go as Francona for Halloween, I would.
I only wish I got a good shot of Beckett when they put the cameras on him.
His "Oh Fuck" face was even better than Francona's.

The good news is the Yankees spanked Lester before he took the liner, and the bad news is that X-Rays were negative and right now it's being treated as only a contusion.  But judging by the way the Red Sox training staff handled getting him off the field by making him walk and then hobble down a flight of stairs, I'd say there's a good chance they mismanage Lester's treatment and this injury lingers for the remainder of the regular season and into the postseason, which will just make the Yanks' road to the World Series that much easier.

Free-Flowing Yanks-Sox Game 1 Commentary- 9/25/09

- Jason Varitek has thrown out 9 of 110 attempted steals this season.  9 out of 110.  I repeat, 9 OUT OF 110.  What the fuck is he still doing starting a game at catcher in the Majors?  No doubt Joe knew that stat when he decided to send Jeter on the 2nd pitch of the game.

-Another good stat: The Yankees are 3rd in Major League Baseball with a 79.8% stolen base success rate and are 2-for-2 tonight and it's still the 1st inning.  Sure they can smash you to death, but this is the most complete offensive team since 1998; they don't mind beating you with small ball if that's what it takes.

-2 innings, 4 succesful stolen base attempts for the Yankees and none have even been close.  Granted Varitek hasn't had a great pitch to throw on yet, but at this point in his career, does that really matter?  It's like watching a 12-year-old softball girl throw back there.  I wonder if the Angels are watching this?

-Lester's injury did not look good at all for him, but looked amazing to me.  I was half-aroused watching him writhe around on the ground.  If there was one person on their team that the Red Sox didn't want to see get seriously injured, it was undoubtedly Lester.  That horrible sound everybody is hearing right now is Tim Kurkjian and Peter Gammons sobbing in each other's arms on the Baseball Tonight set.

-I wouldn't have guessed that tonight was the first time in his career that Joba retired the first 9 batters he faced in order, but at the same time I'm not surprised by it.  What does that say about his future as a potential Number 1 or Number 2 starter?

-Final line on Lester: 2.1 IP, 8 Hits, 3 BBs, 5 ER, 3 K, 78 Pitches (47 Strikes), and 1 kick save.  BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!  If you think that's the last time I'm going to joke about that injury, then you should read a new blog.

-Ahh, Michael Bowden, he of the 2-inning, 8 hit, 3 walk, 7 earned run butt raping at the hands of New York on August 21.  Why doesn't Francona just wave the white flag right now?  He's trying his damndest, but he's going to have to use some of his bullpen regulars in this game whether he likes it or not.

-Now THAT'S the Joba we've been waiting to see!!!  2nd and 3rd, no outs in the 5th, and he sits down the next 3 batters in order.  He's pitching with that swagger and intensity that he used to pitch the 8th inning.  I don't know if he's stepping up for a spot in the postseason rotation like Girardi said or getting himself prepped to be a bullpen monster again, but he looks fucking fantastic tonight.

-Now THAT's the Joba we're used to seeing.  2 outs, ahead in the count, and he grooves a fastball for an obviously juicing-again David Ortiz.  That's been his undoing over his recent stretch of ineffectiveness; getting ahead of guys and making horseshit pitches that batters have made him pay for and that pitch was no different.  Still a good outing for him tonight, but the way it ended can't make Joe or Yankee fans totally comfortable.

-A-Rod is stinging everything tonight.  Looks like Joe knew what he was doing with that day off for everybody on Wednesday after all.  If he can stay this locked in for the whole series, the division title could be the Yankees' by late Sunday afternoon.

-If you used to read my "Shallow Thoughts" on Facebook, then you remember what I wrote about Jason Varitek on August 9:

"If the Red Sox were a car cruising along a county road, Jason Varitek would be the random blinking red light in the middle of nowhere; the guy just absolutely rapes any chance to have a big inning and has been doing this since 2007."

No time was that proven more true than tonight.  He pops up on the first pitch with runners on 2nd and 3rd and no outs in the 5th and grounds into a double play after J.D. Drew gets on to lead off the 7th.  Actually, now that I read that metaphor, it might be taking it too easy on Varitek.  The guy is absolutely, positively, fucking awful.  I could dedicate an entire separate blog to just how bad a baseball player he is.  If ESPN didn't permanently have the Red Sox's cock stuffed up their ass they would find a way for John Hollinger to calculate a new statistic to prove just how useless Jason Varitek is because VORP simply does not do his ineptitude justice.

-P.S.- It's now the bottom of the 7th inning and he's a perfect 0-6 in throwing out Yankee basestealers.  You gotta love the "intangibles" that he brings to the game, huh?

-Stat of the Night: The top 3 American League batters in HRs hit from the 7th inning on:

1) Mark Teixeira- 15
2) Alex Rodriguez- 13
3) Hideki Matsui- 13

That's how you accumulate 48 comeback wins.

-There's just something great about watching Dustin Pedroia strike out.  It sends a little tingly feeling from the top of my head all the way down to the underside of my balls.  Truly awesome.

-I love what Joe is doing here by throwing his regular bullpen guys instead of the Triple-A "cup of coffee" boys.  Get guys like Marte used to their roles for the postseason now and still keep them fresh for the next game, great move.  I hope Big Floppi and Bay enjoyed facing Marte and Hughes, because they're going to get a lot of that if these 2 teams meet up in the ALCS.

-I was a little wary going in tonight, but I have to say I have thoroughly enjoyed Chip Caray and Buck Martinez calling tonight's game on TBS.  They have been almost completely objective and spent equal time praising each team and criticizing them for the appropriate reasons while focusing on the trends of the game at hand.  They also brought a ton of great stats to the table (see Varitek and Yankee HRs) that ESPN wouldn't dare mention because they portray Boston in a negative light.

There were some bumps in the road (conveniently skipping over the fact that he has sucked for the better part of a month when discussing Josh Beckett; neglecting to mention or even suggest that lower steroid use in today's game could contribute to an increase in running and stolen bases in baseball this year), but overall a good job.  I would take these guys over anybody at ESPN and especially Buck and McCarver 25 hours a day, 8 days a week.

-And that's all she wrote, folks.  If you're Joe Girardi or a Yankee fan, you have to be happy with how tonight went.  Joba finally put a good performance together and the bats came alive.  Even before he left the game, the Yanks were knocking Jon Lester, a noted Yankee killer, around like he was Rhianna.  To cap it off with Cano flashing some And-1 baseball skills was basically the Yankees wiping their sacks across Boston's faces.  The best comparison for this game would be saying it was like hitting a line drive right off someone's knee (ask Lester how that feels), BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!

The Sox can keep their cheap Wild Card champagne on ice for now while the Bombers move one step closer to setting the universe back in order.  Start spreading the news, bitches...

5 Reasons Why This Weekend's Series Matters

1) It Puts the Yankees back into a higher-pressure situation than what they've been playing under the last month.

The team has basically been on cruise control since their last series against Boston so this will be a good test of where their collective mindsets are at as they head toward the finish line of the regular season. Playing in a playoff-like atmosphere for 3 games will be a good indicator of just how well this new team can handle the pressure of playing playoff baseball as a Yankee, something that the last few Yankee playoff teams could not handle. The ability to get clutch hits and clutch outs was what dogged the 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 Yankees and while this year's team has reversed that trend, they still haven't shown they can do it on the biggest stage.

2) It represents Joba's last chance to prove he has value as a postseason pitcher.

Let's be real here, Joba is hanging on by a thread to his chances of being used as a 4th starter in the playoffs. Nothing he can do in the last 2 series is going to be more influential to Joe's decision than tonight's game. Don't forget, if the Yankees sweep this series, they clinch the division, so you know they'll be playing to win. As much as everybody wants to see him do well, I can't imagine Joe leaving Joba out there tonight to stretch him to 4, 5, or 6 innings if he sucks again at the expense of winning the game. And if Joba does suck again, I would give a serious look at Chad Gaudin as my 4th starter before I considered Joba.

3) It will show if Andy Pettitte's shoulder can be counted on for the rest of the season and the playoffs.

So Andy's shoulder didn't bother him after his last start, big fucking deal. I don't even I could have told you his shoulder wasn't going to bother him because he had a ton of extra rest for it. That's like saying it's a groundbreaking discovery that eating more fruits and vegatables is going to help your overall health. The important thing is not to see if more rest helps his shoulder, but whether or not his shoulder can remain strong on regular rest, because that's all he's going to get in the playoffs. You can't afford to skip a start in the postseason rotation and risk throwing Sergio Mitre or Joba out there in a must-win situation, so how Andy and his shoulder feel after Sunday is a much bigger deal than him feeling better after a week off.

4) It will be a good indicator of which team's bullpen has what it takes to get the job done when it matters.

I know I'm a Yankee fan and so my opinion is a little jaded, but is there any doubt the Yankees have the better bullpen than Boston? The New York 'pen has been more consistent and come up bigger in bigger spots more times than Boston's this season, especially in close games. Most of Boston's main bullpen guys are all or nothing and none of them have looked particularly great lately: Ramon Ramirez, Manny Delcarmen, Hideki Okajima, and Daniel Bard, who was absolutely raped by New York the last time he faced them. None of those guys have been lights out or even half of that lately, and Papelbon is never a sure thing. Putting 2 guys on might work against Baltimore and Oakland, but when you're facing the Yankees' lineup, you're always one swing away from losing the lead.

Plus, with Aceves, Joba, and Gaudin out there, they Yankees are far more well-equipped to handle long-relief situations if a starter bombs than Boston, whose bullpen is basically a collection of 1-inning guys, 2 tops. If Dave Robertson is good to go then the advantage in consistency and versatility has to go to New York, but this series will provide some insight on which guys on which teams can get 1, 2, or 3 outs in a clutch situation.

5) It will show where the national media's allegiance lies: still with Fraud Sox Nation or back over to the Dark Side now that the Yankees are viewed as the favorites.

With the mad dash to pick up late-season games, tonight's opening game will be on TBS and ESPN has the Sunday afternoon affair, which means we get to see who Chip Caray and Buck Martinez and Jon Miller, Joe Morgan, and Steve Phillips are rooting for, and thus get a clue as to what the spin will be as both of these teams move into the playoffs and possibly to a meeting in the ALCS.

The Leader in Hype's allegiance is still blatantly to Boston. The SportsCenter and Baseball Tonight coverage of each Yankee game vs. Red Sox game over the last month has been laughably prejudiced to the point where an uneducated person would assume that Boston was nipping at New York's heels for the division lead, if not actually in the lead of the division themselves. The one shining beacon of objectivity has been Joe Morgan, who at least attempts to give the Yankees their due. The real wild card in the ESPN stable is Phillips. As much of a bumbling idiot as he is, he always likes to be associated with the flavor of the month so don't be surprised if he jumps ship to the SS Yankee if New York dominates this weekend's series.

One thing is for certain, though, and that is that Joe Buck and Tim McCarver will continue to be the biggest Red Sox fans this side of Ben Affleck, so hopefully Caray and Martinez are smart enough to side with New York and give a good balance of announcer favoritism for the playoffs.