Sunday, May 15, 2011

AB4AR Yanks-Sox "Let's Get It Together" Series Finale Live Blog

I've got a stomach full of McDonald's, a fridge full of beer, a mind full of concerns about the current state of the team, and a heart full of hope that tonight will be the night the Yankees start turning this recent poor string of games around.  All that adds up to the perfect formula for a live blog opportunity.

First, an update on the upstanding clubhouse leader formerly known as Whore-Gay Posada.  No, he's not in the lineup tonight, but with lefty Jon Lester on the mound and Jorge's 0-24 performance against lefties this year, that's not surprising.  Jorge did say to the media that he apologized to Joe today when he arrived at the clubhouse.  Next up is an apology to the rest of his teammates for bailing on them yesterday.  But we'll talk about that more this coming week.

Here's tonight's lineup:

1) Derek Jeter- SS
2) Curtis Granderson- CF
3) Mark Teixeira- 1B
4) Alex Rodriguez- 3B
5) Robinson Cano- 2B
6) Nick Swisher- RF
7) Andruw Jones- DH
8) Russell Martin- C
9) Brett Gardner- LF

SP) Freddy Garcia- RHP

There's a lot of turmoil in the clubhouse right now and not a lot of sterling play on the field to inspire confidence, but I'm going in with the happy face on tonight.  Hopefully the boys can get it together, rough up Lester early, and keep that smile there all night.

7:00PM- Is Wendi Nix wearing jeans tonight?  Come on, honey!  This is Yankees-Red Sox.  Put some dress pants on.

7:02PM- I don't know if I like Jorge's "I had a bad day" explanation for his actions yesterday.  That's the kinda shit you say when you mess something up at your job, not a viable excuse for flat out refusing to do your job.  And despite what Captain Jeter says, Jorge definitely owes everybody in that clubhouse an apology.  All of his dramatic crap yesterday shifted everyone's focus to that situation rather than the task at hand.

7:11PM- That's why you gotta love Brett Gardner right there.  Whether he's hitting well or not, he always covers a ton of ground in the outfield and makes tough plays like that look easier than they really are.  Going back and to his left, ball tailing away from him, and he catches it on the run with a neat little slid to finish.

7:14PM- 1-2-3 for Not-So-Fast Freddy in the top of the 1st and the Yanks will come to bat looking to draw first blood.  His offspeed stuff already looks good tonight.

7:22PM- Even though a ton of time has passed and enough articles have been written about it, it's still cool to me to see the differences in C-Grand's stance and swing after Dr. Long rebuilt it last August.  And even cooler to see the results he's had since then.

7:23PM- RBI single from Teix to score Jeter from 2nd and the Yanks are on the board.  Lester didn't catch as much of the outside corner as he wanted and Teix made him pay.  A hit yesterday to break a long hitless drought against Boston and an RBI single to start today.  Maybe Teix is starting to break out of his funk a little bit...

7:26PM-  Can't say the same for The Horse, though.  He still looks lost on offspeed stuff low right now.

7:29PM- Swish is now 0-16 on the season w/ RISP & 2 Out.  That's an "Oof" and "da," ladies and gentlemen.  1-0 Yanks after 1.

7:33PM- Perfect example of the shoddy defense that has plagued the Yankees lately: Garcia strikes out Youkilis on a nasty curve, Martin doesn't catch it, it rolls to the backstop, and Youkilis is aboard.  Ortiz follows with a base hit and the trouble is officially brewed.

7:38PM- Shulman tried his best to jinx Garcia's "most innings without allowing a grand slam" streak, but Lowrie just hits a sac fly to center.  1-1 game.  Shut the fuck up, Dan!

7:41PM- Great heads up play by A-Rod to come home and get the running Big Sloppi at the plate.  Great 'head up your ass' play by Tim Bogar a/o Ortiz in deciding to run on contact with 1 out.  BUT WHAT A FAHCKIN' GRITTY PLAY BY PAWPI THEY-AH.  TRYIN' TO MAKE A FAHCKIN' PLAY.  THAT'S WHAT THE SAWX AHH ALL ABOUT!!!!  Inning over, 1-1 game.  An acceptable result considering Boston had the bases loaded and nobody out.

7:44PM- BOOM!!!  A laser shot by Andruw Jones into the left field bleachers and it's 2-1 Yanks.  Got ahead in the count and just crushed a belt-high cutter.

7:47PM- Lester does not look sharp early.  His approach has been away to start each batter he's faced, but he hasn't been able to hit the outside corner consistently for strikes.  He also hasn't been able to locate his breaking stuff in the zone yet.  Everything is too low to even be swung at or called for a strike.

7:48PM- And per the Joe Girardi version of the Yankee way, Gardner tries to bunt against a pitcher who just gave up a home run and walked a guy and pops it up for an out.  Somebody explain to me why Joe continues to choose this plan of attack and why he continues to use one of his few productive hitters of late (Gardner) to do it.  Seriously, what the fuck?

7:54PM- THE GRANDY MAN CAN!!!!  Pretty much a mirror image of the Jones home run into the right field bleachers and the bunt doesn't come back to haunt them.  4-1 Yankees, and Curtis now has 6 HR against LHP this season.  For the sake of comparison, he had 5 against LHP all of last year.

8:02PM- And nobody has told Valentine how to pronounce Teix's name right.  He just called him "Teck-SHARE-uh" again.  Gah!

8:05PM- Garcia wanted no part of Gonzalez in that at-bat, and I can't say I blame him.  2 on, 1 out, Youk coming up.  A ground ball here would be nice...

8:09PM- Mike Everett's outside corner has been absolutely brutal tonight.  Maybe that has something to do with Lester's struggles out there early on.  Sometimes shit's a strike when it's wayyyyyy outside and sometimes shit's a ball on the black.  That corner is completely amorphous right now and it's complete bullshit.

8:11PM- And that bullshit absolutely cost the Yankees as Youkilis hits a 3-run homer to tie the game.  Horrible pitch by Garcia to be sure, but no doubt about it, Everett's call on the 2-2 pitch on the corner made that home run possible.  Whatever happened to QuesTech being used to help improve balls and strikes called at the plate???

8:15PM- Well, it looks like we might as well all settle in for another 4-4.5-hour Yankee-Red Sox marathon.  The game is over an hour old, it's not even through 3 full innings, and it's 4-4.  Good thing I have a lot of beer.

8:21PM- And the Yankees respond by going down 1-2-3 and only making Lester throw 10 pitches.

8:24PM- Nice play by Teck-SHARE-uh at first to get Crawford.  He ain't hitting worth a damn right now, but he can still play a slick 1 spot.

8:28PM- Garcia has looked progressively worse in every inning he's been out there tonight.  He has completely lost his command and is on the border of losing control in general right now.  Can't locate anything.  Hitting a batter with a 2-2 curveball is never a good sign that a pitcher's stuff is working.

8:29PM- And Dustin Pedroia grittily bails Freddy out with a GIDP, Horse-to-Bobinson-to-Teix.  I just exhaled for the first time in the inning.

8:34PM- "John Lackey has an ERA of 8.00 right now"- Shulman.  That sentence makes me smile.

8:35PM- Martin draws his 2nd walk of the night.  Let's see if Gardner lays another one down here to keep with tradition...

8:37PM- Nope, but he almost grounded into an inning-ending DP, another recent Yankee tradition.  I'd love to see a frame-by-frame replay to see if Lowrie's foot was actually on the bag when he caught that bad throw from Lester, but we all know ESPN isn't going to show that.  Not when it could paint their favorite team in a negative light.

8:39PM- Brett Gardner is a mess on the basepaths this year.  That's all I can say.

8:42PM- Joe on Jorge: "He needed a day to rest his mind..."  Oh please.  Can we all cut the crap with this?  It was unprofessional and it was childish.  Period.  Guarantee Cash rolled his eyes when he saw that, assuming he's watching the ESPN broadcast.

8:49PM- GUH!!  Sloppi with a classic "New Yankee Stadium" home run and now it's 5-4 Fraud Sawx and he's a triple away from the cycle.  Did I miss the part of the night where we all traveled back in time to 2005?

8:50PM- Garcia Ks Drew to end the inning, but not before giving up the lead.  And that kid who got Ortiz's broken bat can eat a dick.  Yeah, I'll insult 10-year-olds.  It's that kind of night.

8:54PM- Jeter grounds out to short to lead off the bottom of the 5th.  WHO SAW THAT COMING?!?!  Beer?  Where are you?  I need you, beer...

8:57PM- Another hit for Teix.  Too bad the heart black hole of the lineup is coming up behind him with 2 outs.

8:59PM- The Horse goes down hacking and the inning is over.  I thought he and Long had figured out the problem with his stride/swing last week, but it's really looking ugly right now at the plate for A-Rod.  I've taken better swings than he is right now, and I only had 4 or 5 hits in my entire baseball career.

9:03PM- Now would probably be a good time to get Freddy out of there.  He's luckier than lucky that Lowrie missed that belt high fastball and flied out to Swish.  That pitch should be sitting in the 2nd deck right now.

9:04PM- Thankfully Joe agrees with me.  Freddy is gone after 5.1 IP.  He wasn't great, but wasn't really bad either.  The pitch to Youkilis was an awful one, but it never should have come to that as he should have gotten the 3rd strike call from Everett on 2-2.  And Ortiz homer aside, he recovered nicely after giving up the homer to Youkilis.  Against a good offensive team, Garcia's stuff isn't going to play as well and it didn't tonight.  Time for the 'pen and the offense to pick him up.

9:08PM- Another FANTASTIC play by Gardner in left to rob Crawford and bail out Boone Logan.  He can't get a jump or reader a pitcher on the basepaths to save himself, but he can read a ball in the air with the best of 'em.  Proving his value again.

9:12PM- I can't get excited about "The Hangover: Part 2."  I'm sure it will be funny and I'm sure I will go see it, but it just looks a little forced to me.  I mean, bringing back the Leslie Chow character and having him play a bigger role?  I know Ken Jeong is the flavor of the month but come on.  That should have been left alone as it was in the first movie.

9:18PM- What the fuck is Bobby Valentine talking about???  He was going on and on about Lester going into the 8th in the 5th inning and now he's talking about Lester finishing the game when he's up to 100 pitches in the 6th and struggling with his command.  What planet does Valentine live on when he's not doing Sunday Night Baseball??  For a guy who was a former manager he is fucking clueless.

9:22PM- Hershiser on Lester: "Jon Lester knows how to win games."  Yeah, that's why he just walked the 8-hitter for the 3rd time tonight.  Come on, Orel!  You've been good about keeping the Red Sox's dick out of your mouth in the games I've watched.  Don't start licking the head now.

9:24PM- FUCK, GARDNER!!!  TAKE A FUCKING STRIKE!!!!!  Pop up to end the inning with 2 on and it's still 5-4 Fraud Sawx after 6.  Lester has officially wiggled off the hook.

9:28PM-  And The Fireman is in, kids!  Get ready for lots of walks and Ks!

9:31PM- I'm sorry, I have to say it, and I know it's going to make me sound like a typical stupid Yankee fan but the Red Sox have straight up gotten more calls on the outside corner than the Yankee pitchers have tonight.  There.  I said it.

9:33PM- Another questionable move by Joe here.  Pedroia steals 2nd and they opt to put Gonzalez on to set up force plays.  I don't see the logic in doing that with the heart of the Red Sox order coming up and D-Rob on the mound.  He can get guys out without allowing the ball to be put in play, but why risk putting more runners (and potentially more runs) on base if he doesn't?  You need to hold Boston to 5 here, not give them chances to make it 7.

9:37PM- And there you go.  They got what they wanted, a grounder to A-Rod, and he just completely flubbed it.  Pedroia scores, 2 runners still on, still 1 out, I'm chugging beer. now.  Would A-Rod have fucked that up if there isn't a force play at 3rd because of the walk?  We'll never know...

9:44PM- Typical Robertson inning: 3 Ks, 2 BBs.  He definitely got screwed by The Horse throwing a shoe on that routine grounder and probably got screwed by Everett on at least 3 pitches that should have been called strikes.

9:50PM- I don't know whether to be happy or pissed when I see Aceves on the mound.  The Yankees just gave up on the guy because of his injuries and he's been playing since Day 1.  He couldn't have been held onto to help this team?

9:55PM- HEY!  A hit for The Horse!  And C-Grand scores on the error by the greatest baseball player in the history of baseball, Carl Crawford.  And what do you know?  There are actually people in The Stadium as we hear them cheer again for the first time since the 2nd inning.  Bard coming in, Horse on 2nd, Cano at the plate, 2 down.  Huge at-bat coming up...

10:02PM- Francona elects to put the go-ahead run on in Cano after falling behind 3-1.  I would argue with the logic of that as well except Swish and his "0-16 w/ RISP & 2 Outs" is coming up.  So maybe it's a good move by Boston.

10:05PM- Swish swings through a 98MPH fastball and extends his hitless w/ RISP and 2 Outs streak to 0-17.

10:11PM- Joba gives up his mandatory close game run in the form of a home run to Jarrod Saltala-whateverthefuckhislastnameis.  Coincidentally, that's the first HR for a Fraud Sawx catcher this year, so that's a nice cherry on that shit sundae.

10:17PM- The fact that the entire Stadium is on their feet and giving Jorge a standing ovation right now is a testament to how stupid the Yankee fanbase is.  I don't even know what else to say.  The guy QUIT yesterday because he wasn't happy.  How do you cheer for that???

10:20PM- Francona really wants this game.  He brought Bard in for 4 outs in the 7th and now he has Papelbon up in the 8th at the first sign of trouble.  Is getting to .500 in mid-May really that important?

10:27PM- Bard gets Martin, Gardner, and Jeter in order to quash the threat.  If you're keeping score at home, that's 4 groundouts for Jeter tonight.

10:33PM- If this wasn't a 2-run deficit, that Mo vs. Gonzalez at-bat would have given me a boner.  That was simply incredible location on the outside corner.  And even more impressive when you consider how terrible Mike Everett's outside corner strike zone has been tonight.

10:37PM- That graphic by ESPN just showed how pathetic the Yankee offense has been as a whole of late.  Nobody in their starting rotation has an ERA above 4.08 and yet they are all collectively barely over .500.  Of course wins are a flawed stat in terms of measuring a pitcher's effectiveness, but what that graphic tells you is that the Yankees are wasting good outings by their rotation and wasting opportunities to win games that they should when they get those good outings because of their offensive struggles.

10:39PM- Mo gets them through the 9th without any more damage, and they need to tack 2 onto Papelbon to keep this thing going.  C-Grand, Teix, A-Rod coming up.  The ideal 3 guys on paper, but we'll see...

10:45PM- Is Mark Teixeira kidding with this first-pitching swinging shit???  And is he kidding even more with the constant pop ups???  What.  The.  Fuck.  At least try and pretend like you have some fucking composure at the plate, dude.

10:51PM- A-Rod grounds out and that's it.  The Yankees have been swept by Boston at home for just the 3rd time in the last 25 years.  I'm too pissed to comment on anything else so I'll talk about it tomorrow.  Or maybe I won't.  At this point, it's almost a waste of time to try to analyze this team.  They fucking suck right now.  It's that simple.

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