Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"The Day After Cervelli" Yanks-Sawx Live Blog

(No, Joe isn't doing the Carlton Dance there.  And no, the ump doesn't look amused.)

There is all kinds of sizzle to tonight's Game 2 of the latest 3-round Yanks-Sawx regular season brawl, about as much as you can have for a regular season game in a sport that plays 162 regular season games.  There's the potential fallout from last night's beanball wars, potential gas to add to that fire in the form of noted Yankee HBP specialist and all-around dickhead Josh Beckett being the starter for the Fraud Sawx, Phil Hughes countering Beckett for the Yanks and needing to balance handling retaliation if Beckett decides to get silly and rebounding from his horrendous last start to keep himself in rotation contention, and last night's fire starter Frankie Cervelli catching and batting 9th for the Yankees again because of Russell Martin's bumps and bruises.  And to top it all of, the division lead is on the line again.

Yeah, I'd putting money down on the benches emptying again tonight if I were you.  And for the first time since Opening Day, I'll be here to live blog the shit out of the evening's events.  Aaaaand since it isn't a day game and I don't have anywhere to be or anything to do after, I have the added bonus of being able to invite my good friend Mr. 12-Pack of Beer to the party.  That means you, dear readers, get the added bonus of increased profanity, tasteless jokes, and additional potshots at ESPN sprinkled in with my usual game analysis as the game goes on and the beer count dwindles.  This night has good times written all over it.

Here's the lineup for the Yankees tonight, via LoHud.  The Horse will join Martin on the bench again tonight because of his thumb injury.  It's almost getting to the point where the thumb issue is becoming post-worthy.

1) Brett Gardner- LF
2) Derek Jeter- SS
3) Curtis Granderson- CF
4) Mark Teixeira- 1B
5) Robinson Cano- 2B
6) Nick Swisher- RF
7) Eric Chavez- DH
8) Eduardo Nunez- 3B
9) Francisco Cervelli- C

I'm not posting the Fraud Sawx lineup because they're a bunch of assholes and I hate them.  Check back some time before 7 PM EST/6 PM Central when we kick this baby off.

Boone Logan Is Good Again

I don't how it happened or when, but I checked Boone Logan's line this morning and was a bit shocked.  I know he's been better over the last couple months, but I honestly had no idea he's been THAT good.  Logan stumbled through the first couple months of the season, that's no secret.  At the end of May he had an ERA and a FIP in the 4s, and his R/L splits were very disconcerting.  At his best, Logan is a shutdown type of LOOGY but his performance through the season's first 2 months, through a combination of misuse by Joe and ineffective pitching by Boone, did not translate into that role.  Logan wasn't getting lefties out, and with Damaso Marte and Pedro Feliciano shelved for the season, the Yankees started a mad scramble to find another lefty bullpen arm.

Over the last 3 months, however, Logan has been a much different pitcher.  After his talk with The Horse about having a plan on the mound, Logan's approach and results have been more in line with what we saw from him in the 2nd half of 2010 and what we were hoping to see in 2011.  Since May 28, Logan has thrown 21 innings and allowed just 4 ER on 22 combined H and BB while striking out 30.  His K/9 numbers have skyrocketed from the low 5s in May to 12.79 in June, 13.00 in July, and 14.21 in August, totaling out to a 10.13 K/9 for the season (2nd best amongst Yankee relievers behind D-Rob).  His walks are also down significantly, all adding up to a season line that is now even better than what he produced in 2010.

- 2010: 40.0 IP, 2.93 ERA, 3.73 FIP, 8.55 K/9, 4.50 BB/9, 12.2 SwStr%
- 2011: 34.2 IP, 2.60 ERA, 3.01 FIP, 10.13 K/9, 2.86 BB/9, 12.8 SwStr%

More importantly, his numbers against lefties have evened out and are back in line with what fans, his teammates, and his coaches expect to see.  in 21.1 total innings vs. lefties this year, Logan has 28 Ks, and a tripleslash of 2.53/3.34/2.90.  Last night was a bit of a freak reverse platoon split for Logan as he gave up a hit to the lone lefty he faced and then struck out 2 righties to end the 7th inning, but that has been the exception rather than the rule this summer.

His home/road splits are still a bit of a concern, but there's no doubt that Boone Logan has rebounded from his poor start to turn his season into a fantastic one.  His stuff is on point, he's being aggressive with hitters, and living up to his role as the lone lefty specialist in the bullpen.  If he can keep this trend up for the rest of the season, he will ease concerns about carrying another lefty on the postseason roster and make the already dangerous Yankee bullpen even deeper.

** REMINDER- Live blog coming tonight at 7PM Eastern, 6 Central. **

John Lackey Is A Big Ol' Bag O' Douche

(I'd say this is courtesy of, but it's more of a tragedy that they subject people to looking at this guy.)

Look at this clown.  Nice backwards Nike hat, dick.  You look like a drunk BC fan on the set of College Gameday, assuming ESPN would ever be dumb enough to send Corso and Herbie to that horseshit school.  And cool magnetic balance wristband thing.  That's obviously helped your game this season (5.94 ERA, 4.78 FIP, 1.55 WHIP, < 6IP/start avg., 1.0 WAR in 136+ IP).  Makes A.J. Burnett look league average by comparison.

Not to mention he looks and sounds like Baby Huey with a touch of Bell's palsy.  Just a complete mess of humanity all around.

P.S.- The pitch that he put in between Cervelli's numbers in the 7th last night was the best command he showed all night.  Sad.

A Win You Have To Love

I'm not even going to bother talking about how many hits CC gave up or how many baserunners the Sawx had last night or any of that.  The important thing is that the Yankees won the game.  And there were so many other good things that happened last night to love if you're a Yankee fan.

- I love the fact that everybody seemed to be a little extra hyped for last night's game.  With the small margin they have trailing the division lead and the wide margin they have leading the Wild Card, these games really don't mean that much in the grand scheme of things.  But there was a sense that the Yankees WANTED to win last night's game.

- I love that Joe was out of the dugout to argue the C-Grand HBP in the 1st inning last night.  And I love that he was still pissed about it during the postgame interview.  You don't usually see managers get that agitated that early in the game.

 (Girardi AAANGRY!!!  Courtesy of The AP)

- I love that CC was smart enough, and a good enough teammate, to use the umpire's bad call on C-Grand to his advantage and take his pound of flesh from Ellsbury in the bottom of the 1st.  Because it was ruled a strike there was no HBP and no warning, but CC knew Curtis got hit just like Curtis did and he made damn sure revenge was exacted.

- Speaking of the big fella, I love the fact that CC had to work hard to get his win last night.  You can talk about the 10 hits and say he got lucky, but the dude made pitches when he had to.  In 6 innings he struck out 10 and had 20 swinging strikes.  He varied his approach against righties and lefties and kept the Bahhston hitters off balance in pressure situations.  Dude brought it.

- I love that CC owned Adrian Gonzalez's world last night, getting him to strike out 3 times in 4 hitless at-bats against him.

- I love that Francisco Cervelli crushed a home run off of Lackey.  I love that he clapped in Saltalamacchia's face when he touched home plate.  I love that he was pissed when he got hit the next time up.  And I love that he didn't just lay down and take it.  He talked shit to Lackey and basically told Saltalamacchia to get fucked when he tried to intervene.  I'm on record as not being a Cervelli fan, but last night he won a few points from me.

(Cervelli's probably calling him a bitch for leaving his mask on.  Courtesy of The AP)

- I love that soft-spoken Larry Rothschild got tossed after the benches emptied in the 7th.  And I love his response when asked if he said some inappropriate words to the ump- "More than one."

- I love that Boone Logan is back to being the guy he was in the 2nd half of 2010.  Back-to-back Ks with the bases loaded in the 7th.  We wouldn't have gotten that from him a few months ago (more on Logan later today).

- I love that Mo decided to throw a little sweet chin music Saltalamacchia's way in the 9th.  Don't fuck with the G.O.A.T.

Most importantly, I love that the events that took place last night add a little extra sizzle to tonight's game.  With Beckett on the mound, you can put it in the books that a Yankee is going to get plunked early, and we'll see if Phil mans up and protects his boys.  It should be an interesting game tonight, and the potential drama could make my live blog that much better.