The Devil Rays were up by 4 after 1 inning, up by 1 with 3 outs left. But Julio Lugo with his .296 OBP and his .351 slugging percentage, walked to lead off the 9th. One out later, David Ortiz hits a 3-1 pitch into the seats for his second home run of the game, and the Red Sox win 5-4. Ortiz drove in all five runs, and the Devil Rays just made the best case for how utterly worthless they are as a Major League franchise. Pathetic does not even begin to describe this half-assed display of baseball Tampa Bay has put on over their last 18 innings. · (22) ·
Double-A Trenton (3-2 win over Akron, walk-off style)
Reegie Corona: 1 for 4, 1 BB
Austin Jackson: 1 BB, 2 K
Colin Curtis: 1 for 2, 2 R, 3 BB – 9 for his last 20 with a double, 2 homers, 4 RBI, 3 walks & zero K’s
Noah Hall: 3 for 5, 1 RBI – walk-off single to drive in Curtis…I guess sitting Juan Miranda with the lefty on the mound was the right move
Matt Carson & Cody Ehlers: both 0 for 3, 1 BB – Carson K’ed
PJ Pilittere: 1 for 4, 1 RBI, 1 K, 1 PB
Marcos Vechionacci & Gabe Lopez: both 2 for 4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 E (throwing, yes both guys) – Vech K’ed & stole a base…Lopez drove in a run
Chase Wright: 7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 PO (at first) – great job outpitching a much more heralded lefty
Mike Gardner: 1 IP, zeroes, 1 K
Scott Patterson: 1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K – back to help out on the title run, and this is where he should be after being a workhorse for the team all year
Trenton leads the best-of-five series 2 games to none. Primo pitching matchup set for Game 3 on Friday, as Alan Horne takes on Jeremy Sowers in a battle of former Cleveland first round picks (Horne in 2001, Sowers in ’04). If Game 4 is needed, Danny McCutchen (drafted 4 times, twice by the Yanks) will face off against Bobby Brownlie (Cubs first round pick in ’02). Great stuff, should be fun.
Mike Mussina, one of the Yankees’ three weathered pitching arms in the twilights of their careers, take the mound tonight. It is his first start since the end of August, and I’m guardedly optimistic that he may be able to keep the Yanks in the game for five innings today.
And really, when push comes to shove, isn’t that all they need? The Yanks didn’t have to use their bullpen bullets last night. Joba’s available; Farnsworth’s available; Rivera’s available. If Mussina can get the Yankees through five innings, I like their chances.
The Yanks are going with their A Team. Every game counts, and if the Yanks can keep the winning streak going through tomorrow, they’ll head into Boston at the most 4.5 games out. Dreams of the division are dancing in my head.
J. Damon DH
D. Jeter SS
B. Abreu RF
A. Rodriguez 3B
H. Matsui LF – He’s in a bit of a slump right now.
J. Posada C
J. Giambi 1B
R. Cano 2B
M. Cabrera CF
M. Mussina P
Last week, at the Yankees-Mariners game on Wednesday, a marriage proposal flashed across the screen. It was a fake one, part for a prank perpetrated by two guys from CollegeHumor.com. The video, embedded below, tells the story (but there is some adult language if that’s not your thing). Today, Deadspin interviewed the architect of the prank.
Fun fact: I was at the that game last week, and my friends and I laughed at that marriage proposal. We talked about the disastrous Houston proposal and wonder what happens when the woman says, “No.” Now we know. Classic.
It’s rough being an old pitcher on the Yankees these days. All the talk swirls around the young arms: Joba, Ian, Edwar, Phil. Even Brian Cashman gushes for paragraphs about Humberto and Ross, not to mention the slew of injured pitchers rehabbing with the Yanks.
For the Yankees and their October dreams, success lies squarely in the past, and starting tonight, we’ll see if that past is ready for one last gasp of greatness.
After striking out Vernon Wells to open the game, Phil Hughes didn’t fan another Blue Jay. The result say it didn’t matter much, as he went six innings, giving up only two runs. Hey, you kinda hope for more from Hughes, but we’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: we can’t be expecting the sun and the moon from a 21-year-old rookie who had two consecutive injuries to the same leg.
Overall, Hughes threw 67 of his 106 pitches for strikes, which would be a good sign if he didn’t use up those 106 pithes in six innings. He walked three and gave up three hits, all of which came in the first two innings. Hughes also used more than half of his pitches — 54 — in those innings. Half of his innings were of the 1-2-3 variety, and he would have retired the side in order from the third through the sixth had Alex not made an error behind him.
So all in all, he did a good job out there, really settling down after allowing two runs. Thankfully, the Yanks had scored three to that point, and would add six to that number, powered by homers from Jorge Posada and Jason Giambi. Alas, even the longball did not make them the stars of the show.
Hughes was followed by Edwar Ramirez, who was absolutely sick. In his two innings he struck out five Blue Jays, while giving up two hits and walking no one. He threw 31 pitches, 23 of which were strikes. This is the Edwar Ramirez we’ve all hoped to see. He has now allowed zero runs in eight of his 13 appearances. Yes, he’s a bit shaky, and if he’s not keeping that 90-91 mph fastball low in the zone, he’s prone to be pounded. But when he’s on, he’s as good as any reliever in the pen not named Mo.
My personal favorite last night was Ross Ohlendorf. I had turned the game off as the Yankees batted in the ninth, and just happened to flip back right as Ross was throwing his first pitch. Ignoring everyone else in the room — and their requests to change the channel, this was a blowout — I watched Ohlendorf throw 11 pitches, seven of which were strikes. His first major league out was a strikeout, and a beauty at that. He annihilated Lyle Overbay with what appeared to be a sharp sinker, though the scouting reports name no mention of such a pitch; a slider is supposedly in his repertoire, along with a changeup. Two groundouts later — one of which was a fine play by the Former Attorney General — and we were finished in Toronto.
I know it’s a long shot, but with Andy Phillips and Carl Pavano on the 60-day DL, the Yanks are afforded the opportunity to take two players to the postseason roster who weren’t on the 25-man on August 31st. If something clicks with Ohlendorf and he pitches well down the stretch, we could certainly see him and IPK pitching in October, should we make it that far. Exciting proposition, huh?
This has nothing to do with the Yankees, but I want to express my general frustration over the news that Ozzie Guillen has received a four-year extension in recognition for his efforts this season. That’s right; baseball’s clown — the same guy who threw his team under a bus last month — gets a four-year deal in the midst of a Worst-in-Baseball season. The White Sox, under Guillen, have gone just 94-125 since the 2006 All Star break. · (3) ·
Double-A Trenton (5-3 win over Akron) Trenton leads the best-of-five Championship Series 1-0…Chase Wright takes on personal fave Chuck Lofgren in Game 2 tomorrow
Reegie Corona: 1 for 3, 1 R, 1 K, 1 HBP
Austin Jackson: 2 for 4, 1 R, 3 RBI, 1 K – all 3 RBI came with 2 outs
Colin Curtis: 1 for 4, 1 2B, 2 RBI – both RBI came with 2 outs…which means all 5 of Trenton’s runs came with 2 outs
Juan Miranda, Cody Ehlers & PJ Pilittere: combined 0 for 14, 1 BB, 7 K – Miranda got hit by a pitch & K’ed thrice…Ehlers & Carson each K’ed twice, but Matty threw a runner out at the plate…PJ drew the walk
Marcos Vechionacci: 2 for 4, 1 R, 1 K – signs of life
Gabe Lopez: 2 for 3, 2 R – one thing that all championship clubs have that gets no attention whatsoever is production from the bottom of the lineup
Tyler Clippard: 5 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 4 BB, 5 K, 1-8 GB/FB – still walking too many
Steven Jackson: 3 IP, 2 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 3 K – gave up a solo HR to Akron’s #3 hitter, which isn’t all that bad when you have a 3-run lead in the 8th with a stacked bullpen to back you up
Justin Pope: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K