‘That’s just textbook Yankee baseball’

Game 1: Let's try that again
Trenton downs Scranton 3-2 in exhibition game

As Mariano Rivera fanned Lyle Overbay and a Yankee win grew closer, I thought to myself, “This game was a perfect textbook example of a Yankee win.” Their starter threw seven strong innings; the offense came through at the right time; and the Joba-Mo tandem shut down the Jays to record the final six outs of the 3-2 Opening Day win.

As Rivera got the second out, Paul O’Neill read my mind. “That’s just textbook Yankee baseball,” he said, while Michael Kay yammered on incessantly sitting next to him. Of course, textbook baseball here isn’t much of a stretch. The Yanks won, and they won efficiently.

So let’s enjoy the moment in first place and wrap up the game.

The Good: Yankee pitching. While Wang had a few problems locating his pitches, he needed today’s outing. As much as those two disastrous postseason starts were last year, he needed to have it tonight. He needed to come out and remind everyone how he’s won 38 games over the last two years. When he missed tonight, he missed down, and he managed to go 7 innings on 92 pitches. He got six outs in the air and 13 on the ground.

Joba came in and did what Joba does best. After a bumpy Spring Training, Joba proved why LaTroy Hawkins — “Spring Training don’t mean shit” — was right. With a stellar fastball and some great off-speed pitches, Joba ended his appearance with an impressive K of future Hall of Famer Frank Thomas. The first pump returned; baseball is back.

And, oh yeah, that Mariano Rivera fellow is pretty good too.

The Bad: If we’re going to nitpick and find bad in this game, it’s probably Jason Giambi at bat. He was downright cat-like in the field, but the bat seemed a little slow at the plate. He’ll come around.

The Ugly: Opposing pitchers’ numbers against A-Rod. The reigning MVP was 2 for 3 with a first-inning double and the Yanks’ first RBI of the season. After crushing the ball during Spring Training and dominating the league last year, A-Rod and his $27.5 million a year are still on fire.

Player of the Game: While YES gave their Player of the Game Award to Chien-Ming Wang, I’m going with RAB whipping boy Melky Cabrera. He made two outstanding catches in the fourth inning and brought the Yanks even with the Blue Jays by homering just over the right field wall. That’s a good start to the season for the soon-to-be-suspended center fielder.

Big Three K Craniosynostosis Challenge: With 2 Joba strike outs, we’ve raised a pledged $6.67 for the Jorge Posada Foundation. That’s a good start.

Thanks to everyone who chimed in on the game thread. We’ve cleared 200 comments on a post for the first time in RAB history. Welcome to 2008. How’s 162-0 sound?

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Game 1: Let's try that again
Trenton downs Scranton 3-2 in exhibition game
  • http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=56352514 Jamal G.

    Hey a bit off-topic, but are those MLB games in the 400s on Optimum cable free? Or are they some sort of package that is being previewed at the start of the season?

    • psibe

      free preview for the first week

  • Joey

    oh no, A-Rods $27.5 mill is on fire? Get the hose, I’ll put it out if I could have a fraction of that

  • Billybob

    So, say I got the first hit correct, Abreu. However, I said he would hit a double; he hit a single. Do I still get the 1 point?

  • GoYankees

    Great game, makes up for yesterday’s rain!

    Just to nitpick a bit, Damon on third, no outs, Jeter at bat, bunt maybe? Or are we back to last year’s Yanks wasting opportunities like this?

    • http://jeteupthemiddle.blogspot.com Jeteupthemiddle

      I would argue that the bunt would be wasting an AB.

      Although, I suppose, that a squeeze may have worked.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Forget the bunt. It’s pretty inexcusable that two hitters like Jeter and Abreu couldn’t even muster a lazy fly to bring the run in. Oh well, at least they won.

      Let’s do it again tomorrow.

      • Lanny

        Bunt? Suicide squeeze with no outs and 2-3-4 up?

        Thank God some people are fans and not managers.

  • vinny-b

    YES giving player of the game to Wang = idiots

    wang pitched very well. However, Melky played BETTER.

  • Mike R.

    162-0 is ridiculous. We can’t go undefeated. I’m thinking 140-22. That sounds about right to me.

    • dan

      With Phil Hughes and A-rod winning co-MVP awards. But if they’re that far ahead in the division, they might pull back and finish with 135 or so.

  • Chris H.

    Great game tonight. Just what Wang needed to get back on track. Lets just hope the Moose can start out on a good note tomorrow night because he needs it bad too

  • http://bleacherreport.com/users/11036-Ryan_Barry barry

    If Hughes and Kennedy pitch like Joba did tonight I’m going to be broke. And I’m fine with that.

  • Lanny

    We seriously cannot nitpick at bats against a stud like Halladay can we?

    This was an old school Yankee win against a great starter.

  • mustang

    Just got back from one of the most perfect Yankees wins I have been to. The crowd was jumping, the weather during the game was great ( started to pour about ten minute after the game), the game was 2 and half hours and we won.
    What a difference 24 hrs makes. From a rain out and all you can here is about how great Santana looked. To a text book Yanks win and Pedro out for who knows how long. Also add a little touch of a 10th inning walk off HR lost.
    Life is good my friends… life is real good.

  • mustang

    Now if the Red Sox lost the world would be a beautiful place. LOL

  • http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=56352514 Jamal G.

    They lead 2-1 in the Bot of the 9th wit the top of OAK order ready to bat.

  • mustang

    The Red Sox had to ruin a perfect night…..Oh well

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      The Red Sox didn’t ruin anything. It’s Opening Day; just enjoy the return of baseball and a very solid Yankees win. There will be plenty of nights later on to worry about the Red Sox.

  • http://yankeesetc.blogspot.com/ Travis G.

    who were those guys making defensive plays tonight, and what happened to the real Jeter, Giambi and Melky?

  • LiveFromNewYork

    When they said Player of the Game I said Melky Cabrera. They said CMW. It was Melk man by a mile.

  • Bart

    Game situation – last of the 8th – 1 run lead can use a cushion – Mo 3 outs – 1 run is a big deal — some fans should be managers

    Jeter bunts when it occurs to him – often at the wrong time – an insurance run from an NL manager – squeeze – safety squeeze would have been huge with 3 out to go – stil have 3 and 4 runner in scoring position

    Others may have commented but Wang stats against Toronto on the carpet are awful — balls in play get through especially when Jeter is hampered / defensively challenged to his glove side

  • mustang

    Come on Ben K. take it light… I was joking with ” The Red Sox had to ruin a perfect night” you write Blods man your not the Holy Pope of Yankee land. LOL

  • http://www.magicball.net LBA Prequel

    Was a little disappointed to see for the first six innings or so, our hitters weren’t being very patient. Good job by Melky and Damon to turn things around.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      That was the game plan against Halladay. He doesn’t throw many pitches out of the strike zone, and the Yanks hadn’t beaten him since 2004 exactly because they tried to be too patient.

  • mustang

    Good point. That’s what was most impressive about the win they muscle out a good win against a guy who own them. But let me tell you that Melky HR was so wind aided. I can’t believe it left the park. Have to give it up to Giambi and how he stay out of the double play.

  • mustang

    Halladay was so pissed after the HR can’t say I blame him. LOL

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      He was pissed that Melky took a curtain call while he was in the middle of delivering another pitch. I don’t blame him for that either.

  • mustang

    Yes. I thought that was a little odd myself, but I guess the kid just got caught up in the moment. You can’t blame him he had a great day.

  • mustang

    Another strange thing was having George pulling down the count towards the new stadium. It’s now down to 80 games for those us that can’t do the math. LOL

  • mustang

    I guess Mr Halladay was pissed since he took Melky down in 3 pitches on his next at bat. I like that from Halladay if they to ever brake down that team I want that guy. He is a baller.

  • Art Vandelay

    Could anyone tell if Joba threw the curve last night? It looked like some of those breaking pitches were up in the zone more than his slider usually is. Or were they just hanging sliders? It would be nice to know that he’ll continue to work on his secondary pitches in the bullpen.