May
08

Nova, Robertson, and Ibanez power Yankees to win over Rays

By

It wasn’t pretty and it definitely wasn’t easy, but the Yankees picked up their first 2012 win against the Rays on Tuesday night. David Robertson cut his teeth in the ninth inning with his first save of the post-Mariano Rivera era in the 5-3 victory.

No sweat. (Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

Enter Strand-man (h/t Peter Botte)

Let’s start this one in the ninth inning. The Yankees gave Robertson everything he could have possibly asked for in his first save chance following Rivera’s injury, including a multiple run lead with the bottom of the order due up. Rafael Soriano had taken care of business against the heart of the order in the eighth and Mark Teixeira‘s run-scoring double down the line gave the team some late breathing room. Piece of cake, right? Wrong.

Things are very rarely easy with Robertson, who has definitely earned his Houdini nickname through the years. The first out of the inning was a simple ground ball to second from Jeff Keppinger, but Will Rhymes worked a walk as the next batter. Sean Rodriguez, the next hitter, nudged a ground ball single through the 5.5 hole to put the tying run on base. Robertson recovered to strike out pinch-hitter Brandon Allen for the second out, but leadoff man Ben Zobrist walked to load the bases and put the typing run in scoring position.

Bases loaded with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, and the absolute last guy the Yankees wanted to see at the plate was the guy due up: Carlos Pena. Pena’s both willing to take a walk and capable of hitting a grand slam, but he’s also prone to the strikeout. Robertson started him off with a breaking ball away for a called strike and followed up with a fastball away for a quick 0-2 count, and that’s when the chess match began. A curveball down was taken for ball one, a fastball up for ball two. Neither was particularly close to being in the zone, so they were easy for a patient hitter like Pena to lay off. With a 2-2 count, the Yankees had one pitch to play with but did not screw around. Robertson painted the black with another fastball, getting a called strike three to end the game.

I plan on writing … something about this whole bullpen situation tomorrow, but I’m not exactly sure what. Robertson did what he always does in this game, but the feeling is quite a bit different when it happens in the ninth inning rather than the eighth. He’s still gotta get three outs, but the fact that there’s less margin for error makes it a little more nauseating. Let’s hope David settles in and has some clean innings going forward now that he’s gotten his feet wet.

Ivan Keeps It Together

(Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

On Monday afternoon I wrote about Ivan Nova‘s need to keep his fastball down and more importantly, the team’s need for him to get in a groove and become a reliable workhorse starter. He showed signs of doing exactly that against the Rays, retiring 13 of the 14 batters he faced before dancing around danger in the fifth and seventh innings. Overall, Nova struck out eight and walked two, surrendering two runs — solo homers to Matt Joyce Luke Scott and Jose Molina — in seven innings.

By far, the biggest outs of Ivan’s night were the last two. The Rays put men on second and third with one out in that seventh inning, though Keppinger was held up at third base thanks in part to Nick Swisher‘s quick recovery of Rhymes’ double. As expected, Nova went offspeed heavy to Sean Rodriguez and Molina, getting the former to fly out to medium right — Keppinger did not score thanks again to Swisher, who made a strong throw home — and the latter to strike out on three pitches. By WPA, those two outs were the second and third biggest outs of the game behind Robertson’s strikeout of Pena. The score remained 3-2 and Nova left the game knowing he’d just thrown his best start of the season.

(AP Photo/Kathy Willens)

I-bomb-nez

Not many Yankees came into the game with respectable numbers against Jamie Shields, and Raul Ibanez wasn’t one of them. He had just one hit in 15 plate appearances against the changeup specialist, but that one was the three-run homer he hit on Opening Day. Raul repeated that effort twice over on Tuesday night, hitting a two-run homer to open the scoring in the third before tacking on another run with a solo shot (off Burke Badenhop and the right field foul pole) in the seventh. Ibanez now has five homers this year, which is about four more than expected following his showing in camp.

One thing I think we can all agree on: when Raul gets a hold of one, he really gets a hold of it. According to Hit Tracker, his five homers a) have averaged 412 feet, b) were all considered “No Doubt” homers, and c) would have been out in all 30 ballparks. That’s pretty awesome.

Leftovers

There was a little offensive funny business in this game worth mentioning. First of all, how come Curtis Granderson Alex Rodriguez didn’t take third base in the top of the first? The third baseman was a mile away from the bag because of the shift. Nitpicking, I know. Secondly, Robinson Cano running home on contact on Swisher’s ground ball in the fourth was terrible. The infield was in and the ball was hit directly to second, so Robbie was out by a mile. Gotta be a little smarter than that.

On the bright side, Granderson capped off a ten-pitch at-bat with a solo homer off Shields and Teixeira beat the shift for that insurance run in the ninth. Not only did they have the shift on, but Joe Maddon brought in the right-hander to flip Tex around to his weaker side. That was satisfying. Everyone in the lineup had a hit except for Swisher and Russell Martin, and the best at-bats of the night award goes to Alex Rodriguez. He walked in the first and laced a line drive single to center in the ninth, seeing a total of 30 (!) pitches in four plate appearances. That’s part of the reason why Shields needed 100 pitches to record the first 15 outs.

Soriano’s eighth inning was incredibly shaky, though I give him credit for limiting the damage. Zobrist led off with a triple, but Soriano rebounded to whiff Pena and B.J. Upton. He would have escaped the inning unscathed if not for the wild pitch that allowed Zobrist to score. Following a walk to Joyce, Soriano fell behind in the count 3-0 to Luke Scott before rebounding to strike him out. That was a little hairy. The new eighth inning guy has yet to have a 1-2-3 inning this season, which is nothing new, unfortunately.

The win was Joe Girardi‘s 400th as Yankees manager, so congrats to him. He’s the seventh winning-est manager in franchise history and has a real chance to climb into the top five during his current contract. The top four — Joe McCarthy (1.460), Joe Torre (1.173), Casey Stengel (1,149), and Miller Huggins (1,067) — are pretty much out of reach though.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some more stats, and ESPN the updated standings.


Source: FanGraphs

Up Next

Game two of this three-game set will be played Wednesday night, when David Phelps makes his second career start. Right-hander Jeff Niemann will give it a go for the Rays. RAB Tickets can help get you in the door if you want to head to the Bronx.

Categories : Game Stories
  • Chris

    The Strandman vs Houdini–Which is the better nickname?

    • http://twitter.com/jmhs Jake S

      I have been trying to get “Dealin’ Dave” to catch on. Help me out!

      • Preston

        Strandman is derivative, and Robertson’s going to have enough problems being compared with Mo already. I like the Houdini concept. But I think it needs a little flare. The “High-Socked Houdini” would be my choice. It needs to catch on. I want good old fashioned baseball nicknames to make a comeback. No more of this first letter, first syllable crap. D-Rob is just such a terrible tired pseudo nickname.

        • Tom

          How about “High-Hosed Houdini” to get a little alliteration in there?

        • Havok9120

          Sandman was plain, I say we keep Houdini plain too.

    • Midland TX

      Strandman and it isn’t close.

      • http://riveravenueblues.com marty l

        STRANDMAN. not close.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Are you kidding me? Strandman forever.

  • Craig

    Martin’s bat…,yikes.

    • Brian

      I was at the game tonight. His bat looks slow

      • jsbrendog

        from what section? being at the game, far away, now qualifies you to say this? you know who else’s bat looked really slow for a month or so? raul ibanez….

        • mustang

          LOL

      • jsbrendog

        bro, i was at the game bro, and, like, from the 300 level on an angle 15 rows back that little dot that looked like martin bro, i could totes tell his bat was slow cause i was THERE bro.

        • mustang

          LMAO….. Just stop Please..LMAO!!!

        • Robinson Tilapia

          I was watching on one of the little TV’s, pretending I could afford a drink at the Tommy Bahama Bar, and I saw the same shit! Plus, you could totally hear it from John and Susyn over the PA in the concourse.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            BTW, Brian. I’m sure you’re a nice guy. Allow us to have some fun here.

            • jsbrendog

              oh agreed, brian i got no problem with you, i’m just hoping you realize how that comment came off in internet land where there is no context or sarcasm detection.

  • Will (the other one)

    I’m really uncomfortable with the phrase “post-Mariano Rivera era.” Just reading it sent a chill down my spine.

    • Cris Pengiucci

      Yup, I agree. This isn’t the post-Mariano era. That will come when he decides to retire. Not sure what to name this period

  • Perry

    Michael Kay and Al Leiter being completely perplexed by the fact that Joe Maddon wanted Teixeira to hit from the left side was hilarious. I would ask if they even watch the games, but given their job description…

    • UNCC Josh

      I mean do they realize Teix hits a whole lot better from the right side? Kay’s probably busy thinking of Paul O’Neill

      • jim p

        Paul O’Neill and food.

    • Mike HC

      Cone would have straightened that out in a second if he were in the booth.

  • jayd808

    Enter The Strandman in the ninth is going to get some getting used to. Carlos Pena with the bases loaded. I couldn’t watch it, wound up cowering in the bathroom until it was over. Oh Mo is me. What happened to easy and enjoyable?

  • flamingo

    Mild annoyances aside (sigh, Soriano), this was a really satisfying game. Nova beat Shields. Love it.

  • Pat D

    In other news, I see that Middlebrooks came out of the Red Sox/Royals game with a hamstring injury.

    I’m starting to think that maybe this team is overly snakebitten. You know, as if some higher power is making them suffer horrible retribution for their wrongs. I just keep hearing Johnny Cash’s “God’s Gonna Cut You Down” in my head when I think about this.

    But I guess that’s just the poet in me.

    • Havok9120

      I can’t wait to get around to reading Over the Monster’s Game Thread and recap tomorrow during a study break.

      Methinks it will be highly amusing.

    • jsbrendog

      they sold their soul for two ws. for serious

      • Robinson Tilapia

        More like they bought two WS from your friendly neighborhood anti-aging doc.

        • jsbrendog

          ehhhhhhhh who didn’t, though?

          • Robinson Tilapia

            I still haven’t ruled it out. That’s for sure. As long as I don’t become an asshole like Canseco.

            Other fun fact from my high school years: While not at the same time, my first HS I went to was the same as Canseco, which means I actually briefly went to HS on Jose Canseco St.

            I also have a funny story about the Canseco brothers, Blockbuster Video, and a rented copy of Tony LaRussa Baseball for Sega Genesis.

            • jsbrendog

              I also have a funny story about the Canseco brothers, Blockbuster Video, and a rented copy of Tony LaRussa Baseball for Sega Genesis.

              this can only end….well.

              • Robinson Tilapia

                Buddy of mine worked at BB in the early 90’s, post Canseco in Oakland. The brothers walk in, both with garden-variety Miami floozies in arm. Ozzie taunts Jose with a copy of the game all over the store. Jose refers to LaRussa as “mamao.”

                Look at “mamao” if you need to.

                • jsbrendog

                  haha nice

  • Betty Lizard

    Great game, and now I am longing for an RAB t shirt with some variation of “fuck that shift.”

    • Preston

      Well done sir, I would buy that shirt.

    • Jesse

      Or to make it clean it could say “That’s Bullshift”

      • Betty Lizard

        Or “eat shift and die”

    • Manny’s BanWagon

      “take that shift and shove it”

      Mike, Feel free to use this. Just send me a free T shirt.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        I’m still with Betty on “Fuck that Shift.” Just don’t wear it to church.

  • Pat D

    634, 423, 318, 257, 245, 235, 192, 177, 146.

    The Yankees have a lot of home runs on their roster.

    • Get Phelps Up (formerly Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat)

      A-Rod, Jones, Tex, Ibanez, Jeter, Swisher, Cano, Granderson?

      • Pat D

        ARod, Jones, Teix, Ibanez, Cap’n, Chavez, Swish, Grandy, Cano.

        • Havok9120

          So easy to forget that Chavez hit for power on the rare occasions he was healthy.

        • Brian S.

          I forgot that Chavez used to be mash when he was on roids.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            Do you have proof of that other than “he used to play every day and be great and now he’s injured all the time, therefore….”

  • Havok9120

    “Ah, well then, this is a much more comfortable and familiar situation, isn’t it? After winning on Monday and carrying a lead into the eighth, the Sox were in very real danger of putting together a winning streak. But, sure enough, they managed to nip that one in the bud.”

    I love Ben Buchanan.

    The comments below that post are pretty priceless, as most of Over the Monster’s comments are these days. I like to think that I’m not being petty and that I’m getting enjoyment solely out of the wit being turned on a team that nearly everyone on that blog thinks is totally doomed…but I know that that isn’t completely true. I’d not enjoy this as much if it weren’t Boston (though I did enjoy the Ranger’s blogs when we beat them).

    • jjyank

      Don’t feel bad. We’re Yankee fans, and they’re Red Sox fans, we’re supposed to smile at each other’s misfortune (as long as it’s baseball related). It’s just the way it is. I proudly wear a t-shirt around that says “I root for two teams. The New York Yankees, and whoever beats Boston”.

      Besides, I took so much crap from Red Sox fans for my four years of undergrad (being that I was in Red Sox Nation territory) that there’s nothing that can make me feel bad about enjoying the Boston cliff-jumpers now.

      • The Irony Guy

        Explain again why Montero being brought up is bad but you guys bringing up the also completely irrelevant OTM posts is fine why?

        • jjyank

          OTM is fun, do you not enjoy seeing Red Sox fans panic?

          Montero would be fine if it was occasional. OTM is not referenced in every damn threat. The Montero comments are seriously everywhere, and most of the time it’s some sly backhanded comment about how Cashman is a moron for not having a crystal ball. The other times, it’s just someone posting his stat line whenever he gets a hit, and disappearing when he doesn’t. That’s waaaay more obnoxious than the occasional OTM mention.

          If you actually read all the threads on this side, you’d know that Montero gets mentioned about 5 times more than OTM.

          • jjyank

            *thread and *site.

            That’s what I get for posting before having my coffee.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Explain why you try to play netcop on here when you’re so crappy at it?

  • Matthew

    Isn’t it James Shields rather than “Jamie”? “Jamie” really doesn’t suit him. “Jamie Shields” weirds me out, like how Adam Carolla insists on referring to Steve Jobs as “Steven Jobs.”

    • FIPster Doofus

      I think he went by Jamie Shields years ago, but has since moved past it.

      • MannyGeee

        Kinda like when Ricky Schroder started going by Rick and doing Cop Dramas.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          I’d say it went better for Shields than it went for Ricky Schroeder.

          So sad that Debbie/Deborah Gibson was standing right over there and no one cared.

  • jim p

    Robertson. My Mets friend treated me to Yankees visit to Citifield. Houdini started an inning and I told my friend: “he’ll load the bases and strike three guys out. He likes it that way.” Sure enough, walk, K, I think two infield singles.” “Seriously, don’t get excited,” I told him then. Then came 2Ks.

    He’s more a Wetteland than a Mo.

    • Midland TX

      Exactly. Well put. I am buying more antacids tomorrow.

    • Havok9120

      And, hey, if he turns into Wetteland, I’ll be a happy camper. Very happy actually.

    • Mike HC

      hahah … funny

  • LarryM.,Fl.

    I worry about David R’s, 23 pitch innings and Soriano was not much better. These guys have to be efficient with their pitches. So, they can come back the next day.

    • Jim Is Bored

      Robertson has never been pitch efficient, and has come back the next day plenty of times.

      • LarryM.,Fl.

        This may not show up in the short term but will rear its ugly head later in the season. I do not expect David R. to be Mariano but the beauty of Mariano was his ability to be ready most of the time.

        I’m sure over time David R. will improve his pitch counts per inning as he made mention of it the other day. I’m confident he can be a very good closer but with a little more dramatic endings.

        • Cris Pengiucci

          Yeah, gotta cut DRob some slack. First time truely filling in for Mo, the kid had to feel some pressure. He’ll continue to improve as he gets more comfortable. But I doubt we see many 8 pitch, 3 out saves from him.

          • Jim Is Bored

            Yeah, this. Mariano was incredibly special, Robertson doesn’t need to be Mo.

            I’ll take scoreless innings any way he wants to deliver them.

  • Bavarian Yankee

    very impressive start by Nova, maybe the best one of his career. He’s been pretty prone to homers this year but if he can correct that he’ll have a pretty nice year.

    Robertson’s save was a bit shaky but again he does his job. He’ll have enough of those easy 1-2-3 saves, at least that’s what I hope.

  • MannyGeee

    I miss Mo already… Not that I don’t like Drob. I actually think he’s pretty great. Just that efficient 10 pitch 9th we came to know and expect.

    I am not sure my heart can take this kind of save for the next decade… Seriously, you’ll never hear from me again one day and realize that DRob walked 3 and K’d 3 the night before. I’ll be in intensive care recovering from a stroke.

  • jjyank

    How about Ibanez, eh? I was pretty indifferent to signing him, but for his salary, I’ll gladly settle for a couple of well-timed dingers every once in awhile.

    • DJ4K&Monterowasdinero

      Yes. I have been wrong so far on Ibanez. Clutch hits are all that counts for him.

      • Cris Pengiucci

        Let’s hope he can keep this up. And that he’s never asked to play the field again with the Yankees.

  • jjyank

    I’m sure some of you saw this already, but I just was reading some stuff on LoHud, and found this pretty awesome:

    “Curtis Granderson hit his team-leading 10th home run of the season. He has 51 homers in the past two years, tied with Matt Kemp for the most in the Majors over that stretch. He was hitless in his previous 18 at-bats against Shields before going deep in a 10-pitch at-bat.”

    The Grandy Man Can.

  • Bonnie Parker

    Supernova put a stop to all of these doubts about him. I thought what the pitching staff needed was a dose of the Longoria-less Rays, Mariners, As and National League. Expect them to rebound this month now that we’re not playing Texas, Detroit and Boston all the time.

    Robertson was probably nervous. Those nerves will die down as he gets more comfortable in the role. Our starters won’t always go 7 so we have to find guys to get to So and Ro. Maybe it’ll be Hughes if Phelps impresses tonight.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Does Clyde agree? I bet he doooooooooes.

  • SRB

    From Mo to Ro- Here’s wishing David the best of luck replacing a legend

    • jsbrendog

      but he isn’t….he is a temporary fill in for 6 months.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        You know…..not that I think this is likely, but I’ve played around with the idea that Robertson has an amazing season and Mariano decides to return in order to pass the torch and sets him up next year. There’d be such a symmetry to that.

        • GardnergoesYardner

          That would be cool, but really weird. Plus the media would bite Joe’s head off.

        • jsbrendog

          honestly, i thought mo would be like, well i said god would let me know when it was time to go but his i’m not going out like this shows he is a normal prideful and competitive human being. no way. it’s on next yr. he’s gonna come back and treat the regular season like spring training.

          girardi: you good tonight mo?

          mo: i’m going to throw 9 pitches

          girardi: chuckling, ok mo, you got it.

          ::rivera comes in and ks the first batter on two pitches before getting a first pitch popout to second followed by a ball and a broken bat grounder back to the mound::

          mo: told ya joe.

          aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand scene

          • jsbrendog

            edit: in the 9th, for the save, against the rays, in may

            • Erica

              That was beautiful.

            • jsbrendog

              edit edit, you can’t k someone on 2 pitches….obv i meant 3…or DID I?!?!?!?! aaaaand I can’t count…9 pitches was meant to be 3 ks. wow i need coffee….

              you get the idea, DON”T LOOK AT ME, I’M HIDEOUS!!!

              • Erica

                You definitely meant two pitches.

                • Cris Pengiucci

                  After all, it is Mo. He can do that.

            • Robinson Tilapia

              edit: gets suddenly distracted by guy making out with garden gnome from last year, gives up one bloop single, still gets it done in nine pitches.

              • jsbrendog

                knowing yankee stadium policy they probably won’t let gnomey in next year despite him having been a promo give away….

                so we do what any red blooded american would do. sue.

                • Erica

                  Would Gnomey be on the level of John Rocker Ban Status?

  • OldYanksFan

    We all agree that Strike 3 to Pena was outside?
    Well… in truth, Mo got/gets a lot of outside call Strikes.
    I love DRob, but with as good as his stuff is, I wish he would throw more Strikes. I mean, ‘Walking the Tightrope’ is a bit like skating on thin ice, no?

    Again, my main concerns are still our 3-4-5. I’m pretty sure Robbie will come out of it (right?) but ARod and Teix just LOOK bad. Arod looks a lot like early 2011 Jeter. Off-stride, off-balance, topping dinky grounders all the time. He’s healthy and looks in good shape, but at the plate, he is OFF!

    And Teix… if he leaned back at the plate any further, he would fall over. He needs to change his approach, as I don’t want an ‘Ultimate 3 Outcome’ player in our lineup. I mean, if he continues this way, imagime him in a year, or 2, or 3 from now.

    I just have to hope that guys as talented as these two will work it out, but it is depressing to watch these guys at the plate.

  • GardnergoesYardner

    It has been great to see Robertson’s development as a pitcher since 2009. Last night looked more like his earlier self, but his location this year has been spot on, and he has really been able to control that dynamite fastball and killer curve. Here’s hoping that he makes us forget Mo for at least this year.

    In a related note, I have retired Enter Sandman from my Ipod for the year and encourage you all to do the same.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    What I love about Nova: You can quote me all the [accurate] peripherals you want, but all I ever see to remember is him getting key outs and pitching deep into games. What a great outing from him tonight. It’s almost as if he read Mike’s column yesterday.

    The Strandman will be an All-Star this season. Bold, optimistic prediction of the day just got dropped, flapjack.

    Would loooooove to see improvement from Phelps today and six strong innings. We may just field an actual rotation in 2013 just yet.

    • jsbrendog

      as i have said, i still believe in phil hughes (although my belief slightly became man i really really want him to do it and hopoe he does but it is really hard to believe in him for a minute there….ledge jumpers, pffft)

      if his curveball can look as good as it did against the royals, he can keep up his 92-94 through his 100th pitch like he did against the royals (depending on the gun obvs) and keep getting put outs (since my biggest complaint was every ab went strike 1, strike 2, ball, foul, foul, ball, hit\walk) with his fastball up in the zone by overpowering people then, well, looks like we got ourselves a ballgame.

      and phelps will put on a good show when he spot starts for pettitte when he misses a couple with the inevitable groin/hamstring nagging injury sometime around aug/sept

      • Robinson Tilapia

        All the AAA/Phelps guys have to seize the moment. The opportunity will be there for the taking.

        I’ve resigned to being the scorned lover who keeps on running back to Hughes, no matter how many times he breaks my heart.

        I hope you were all comfortable with the gender-bending there.

        • Erica

          You go and get your Hughes, Robbie Tilapia! Go! Go before it’s too late!

          No but really, excellent analogy concerning Hughes. There’s just something about the guy and we just keep hoping he’ll change each time we return to him…

          • Robinson Tilapia

            I’m trying to find a hair metal song here which captures our feelings about Phil Phucking Hughes. Struggling. Help.

            • Erica

              Please give me a few minutes as I troll my iPod.

              **elevator muzak**

              • Robinson Tilapia

                I already went through the Poison and Whitesnake catalogs. Even considered Steve Perry’s “Foolish Heart.”

            • Erica

              “Cry Tough” by Poison.

              Book it.

              • Robinson Tilapia

                “I, I can’t quit you, baby
                So I’m gonna put you down for a while
                I said I can’t quit you, baby
                I guess I gotta put you down for a while
                Said you messed up my happy home
                Made me mistreat my only child
                Yes, you did, babe, oh

                Said you know I love you, baby
                My love for you I could never hide
                Oh, you know I love you, baby
                (From: http://www.elyrics.net/read/l/.....yrics.html)
                My love for you I could never hide
                Oh, when I feel you near me, little girl
                I know you are my one desire

                When you hear me moaning and groaning, baby
                You know it hurts me deep down inside
                Oh, when you hear me moaning and groaning, baby
                You know it hurts me deep down inside
                Oh, when you hear me, honey baby
                You know you’re my one desire
                Yes, you are, oh my”

                Led Zepellin, by way of Willie Dixon

                • Robinson Tilapia

                  It just captures the deep pain and heartache of being a Hughes fan so well.

                  • jsbrendog

                    i was gonna say dragon force but i guess that’s not really hair metal.

                    • Robinson Tilapia

                      Just thinking about that band gives me a headache. It’s just…..too much.

                    • jsbrendog

                      and is that not what phil hughes does to you at this point? my sentiments exactly

                  • Erica

                    HAHAHA. Can someone make this his song? Please? That’s brilliant.

                    I’m done here, ladies and gents.

        • jsbrendog

          hey, it’s me!! Bender!!

        • Cris Pengiucci

          “I hope you were all comfortable with the gender-bending there.”

          Gender bending and hair metal always seemed to go together. The long hair, make-up, the skin-tight clothes that could be worn by either sex … I was there too, although it wasn’t fully my scene. (I loved the way the girls dressed though!)

          And BTW Robbie and Erica, not sure how much more of this love fest between you too I can take! :-)

          • Erica

            I so wish I could have lived during the hair metal era; being born in 1987 kind of doesn’t get that job done.

            As for this supposed love fest – naw dude, it’s a mutual respect for hair metal plus my short attention span at work. And baseball!!11one

            • jsbrendog

              INTERWEBZ LOVE AFFAIRZZZ!!11!1!01011!111!!!!1!

              • Robinson Tilapia

                I’m sure Erica could do better for herself than someone who already has a wife and child. That’s never a good road to go down. Take note, impressionable teenage women of RAB. When they tell you “oh, but it’s on the outs,” you’ll still be the other woman five years from now. Just don’t do it. Plenty of other fish in the sea.

                You all don’t seem to mind the Havok/jjyank bromance.

                • Erica

                  Plenty of other tilapias! Harharhar.

            • Cris Pengiucci

              “I so wish I could have lived during the hair metal era”

              The stories I could tel you … And those were only from the club scene!

    • GardnergoesYardner

      I agree about your all star prediciton, but hoepfully he gets in straight up instead of waiting around for 20 injury replacements.

    • Mike HC

      Not to rain on your parade, but predicting an all star from last year who has now been upgraded to the closer role, will be an all star again, is not exactly bold.

  • Erica

    Thrilled with last night’s win! Even more excited over Raul’s longball and Grandy’s 10-pitch at-bat!

    Anyway, David Robertson – you guys said it a lot more eloquently, but I certainly was hiding in my seat last night, covering my eyes in the 9th. In the back of my head, I knew he’d get out of the jam. But holy crap. That was stressful.

    Let’s just hope the weather holds up tonight because it’s pretty darn miserable here in the city today.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      As long as the weather gets better tomorrow morning, I’m fine. Flying out….with my kid….for the first time. *gulp* I just hope Plank isn’t sitting in front of me on the plane.

      I kid, of course.

      Now we know what Tiger fans go through, but are spared the truckfuls of Valverde assholery.

      • Erica

        Good luck to you! I hope you’re off to somewhere warm and nice (which is how it’s supposed to be here, right now – stupid rain).

        We will never know what it’s like to be a Tigers fan because although D-Rob and Valverde may need a number of pitches to get outs… D-Rob doesn’t have a small woodland creature residing on his chin. And that counts.

        • jsbrendog

          and knows how to act like he’s been there before

          • Erica

            All of D-Rob’s knowledge is contained in his High Socks.

            • Robinson Tilapia

              At least he washes his hat, unlike Mo’s equally-frustrating predecesor.

              • jsbrendog

                fat jobba used to close?!!?

                i keed, i keed

    • jsbrendog

      seriously, i better get my garden gnome tonight. and pettitte better not be moved off sunday rainout or not cause i spent my hard earned money on tickets off secondary ticketing interfaces!11!1!!!1!!1 or cashman is gonna get it!!!11!!1!!!

      • Erica

        I’m kind of jealous of your to-be garden gnome.

        • jsbrendog

          we’re gonna have so much fun together, me a gnomey. we’re gonna take instagram pics with filters! and boo teixeira cause he is teh suxoriest!!!!11!!! come join the party in the grandstand!!!!

          • Erica

            Trololo I wish I could party it up with the gnomes!!1one

            Just make sure Gnomey doesn’t join in the wave or he shall be shunned by the Bleacher Creatures ohnoez

            • jsbrendog

              if he tries to do the wave he’ll end up in rf.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        I hope you get your garden gnome and become the envy/laughingstock of the neighborhood.

        • jsbrendog

          seriously, though, the only reason i bought tickets to this game was because after seeing the calendar on opening weekend and riffing on garden gnome day for about 4 innings with my buddy there was no way i couldn’t see how it played out. shit, i’ll sit through the rain, just to see what the hell they plan to handout for such a promotion.

          • Erica

            Did you go to the game on Tomato Seed Packet Day? That would have been boss for your gnome to guard your growing tomatoes.

            • jsbrendog

              haha, first off, let me say you’re my new favorite person for using “boss.” i tried to bring it back recently and was met with disdain and disapproval. secondly, sadly, no i did not make it to tomato seed packet night haha but i can still plant vegetables in the backyard garden (although I don’t know if i trust anything grown in the outdoors of smog filled queens)

              for now it looks like gnomey will just have to guard my lazy hammock sessions.

              • Erica

                Yuss! We’ll team up and bring “boss” back and make it as cool as “flapjack” is right now.

                As far as your vegetable garden goes – if you can laze in smoggy Queens, surely you can eat smoggy vegetables! Gnomey has a job to do!

                • jsbrendog

                  is flapjack cool? nice. at least i have contributed something to the board haha. it’s been awhile since oaktag haha

                • Robinson Tilapia
                  • Erica

                    YEAH!

                  • jsbrendog

                    “like a bawse, rick ross” has become a mainstay in my vernacular as recently as 2-3 months ago

                    • Erica

                      Me TOO. Half of my boyfriend and I’s dialogue to each other consists of saying “like a BAWS” – we’re clearly meant for each other, based on our high intelligence levels.

  • Mike HC

    Loved watching Nova pitch this game. Hated the reality of our late inning bullpen situation without Mo.

  • altajoe

    The LEFTOVERS section should have mentioned Swisher’s failure to bring ARod home in the 8th. It is absurd to think that his ego can’t handle a measly run scoring single, instead opting for the big bomb.

    Maddon has a shift on, with the SS playing behind second base. Only the 3rd baseman is covering the 90 foot gap between the bags. All Swish has to do is nothing more than what any player can do in a hit and run situation…tap a grounder to the opposite side of the infield. Instead, Swish cranks it up and pulls one, right to the 1st baseman for the easy out and holding the runner at third.

    We all love Swish when he hits a bomb and clown his way back to the dugout for accolades, but what he did last night was pure selfishness.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      The ARROGANT SHIFT returns!

    • Havok9120

      ……

      I love these people who assume guys choose just where and how to hit a ball in every at bat. The shift only works because guys DON’T have such control.