Not only did both the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils hold seemingly commanding leads in their opening round playoff series, they both ended up blowing it big time in New York Met-like fashion.
Tuesday, April 28, 2009
Not only did both the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils hold seemingly commanding leads in their opening round playoff series, they both ended up blowing it big time in New York Met-like fashion.
Monday, April 27, 2009
After suffering a sweep at the hands of the hated Boston Red Sox, the Yankees showed little bite against the hungry Detroit Tigers; in fact, they didn't even show up. Whoever was playing in the Yankee uniforms tonight, they were not the Yankees, or, at least, not a team that spent $400 million in the off-season and posts a salary of over $200 million this season.
Justin Verlander cruised by the Yankees, scattering seven hits over seven innings while striking out nine and walking none. In five career games, Verlander is now 3-1 against the Bombers.
As for Tiger offense, they knocked around C.C. Sabathia. In the first inning, Miguel Cabrera's single to center drove in Placido Polanco for the game's first run. It seemed that Sabathia settled in after that, giving up just one hit, but in the sixth, the Tigers went back to hitting around the Yankee ace.
Curtis Granderson's bunt single got things started, and Sabathia was unable to throw up the speedy lead off man. Polanco followed up with a double to left center to drive home Granderson to make it 2-0, Tigers. Magglio Ordonez followed this up with a gigantic home run to right to make it 4-0, Tigers.
The Yankees never threatened again until the final inning, but, by then, it was too little, too late. The Yankees are now 9-10 and beginning to enter panic mode unless they begin to figure things out real fast. BOX SCORE.
Saturday, April 25, 2009
In what has been a week full of woe and misery for the Mets, they finally got something to smile about on a steamy Saturday afternoon in New York. Ryan Church led the way with a three RBI day, as the Met offense pounded Daniel Cabrera, who struggled with his control. Cabrera lasted only two and a third innings for the Nationals, walking four, giving up six hits and five runs to all but cement this game for the Mets early.
Finally, in the sixth the Mets put it away, as Dan Murphy scored on errant throw by catcher Will Nieves, who failed to throw Beltran out at third base. Later in the inning, Church again, singled to right to drive in two more runs to make it 8-2 Mets. BOX SCORE.
Thursday, April 23, 2009
Wednesday, April 22, 2009
Tuesday, April 21, 2009
Can we say it? The New York Mets are an average baseball team. No. Better yet; the New York Mets are a lousy baseball team. As has been the case for the past three seasons, and now in the first two and a half weeks of 2009, the Mets have a series of debilitating problems that cost them one game after another. (1) Bullpen, (2) Starting pitchers NOT named Johan Santana, (3) Lack of clutch hitting, (4) Poor defense.
The Mets had built a shocking 4-0 lead, shocking insofar as the lead came against the St. Louis Cardinals, a team that has haunted the Mets for over three seasons now;. nevertheless, the ghosts of 2006 NLCS past came back to bite the Mets ... as usual.
Oliver Perez lost total control of his pitches in the fifth inning. With two men on base, Albert Pujols lined a double to the left field corner to drive in two runners to cut the Mets lead in half. Then, Perez went wild, really wild. He walked Met killer Yadier Molina and surrendered a single to Chirs Duncan to load 'em up. Next, Perez walked Khalil Green to drive in Pujols to make it 4-3.
Jerry Manuel had no choice but to take Perez out of the game; in came Casey Fossum. As for Fossum, he did his job as if he were employed by the Cardinals: he walked Justin Thurston to tie the game at four, putting New York in a tenuous situation.
In the eighth, the Mets bullpen continued to spring leaks, this time from an unlikely scource ... J.J. Putz. Putz served up a triple to Brendon Ryan to start the inning, but it was not without major fault going to Daniel Murphy. Murphy misplayed the ball, falling down as the ball approached his head. Like they teach kids in little league, keep your eye on the ball; well, Murphy didn't get that memo. The ball glided over Murphy's head and rolled to the wall, allowing Ryan to sprint to third base. Rick Ankiel doubled to right to bring in Ryan with the game-winning run, making it clear that Putz just didn't have anything.
This is a horrendous loss for the Mets, but this is also painfully typical of this team. The Mets left 10 men on base, three of whom were runners in scoring position with two out in an inning. They just can't seem to get a big hit in a key situation. And for all the hoopla that the bullpen was improved, it was a main cuplrit in the loss tonight. There are only so many times during the course of a long season that a bullpen will be perfect; it needs the starters to help out a little, and that is where the Mets problems start. They have no starting pitching outside Johan Stantana and must address this issue sooner then the trade deadline if they hope to compete for a division title. BOX SCORE.
After two days of constant debate how the new wind currents seem to be affecting the jet stream in the new Yankee Stadium, causing ball to fly out of the park with ease, and, more importantly, after days of concern about Chien Ming Wang, the Yankees finally started playing like the Yankees and drove right past the soft hitting Oakland Athletics in the first regular season night game at the new stadium.
With the always reliable Andy Pettitte on the mound for the Bombers, the Yankees were able to put this one away early. In the bottom of the second, Nick Swisher led off with a walk, then Hideki Matsui lined a double to left to move Swisher to third. Brett Gardner laced a single to right center to allow both runners to score easily. Two batters later, Johnny Damon singled off of his former team to drive home Gardner to make it 3-0. Finally, Mark Texieria added another single, this one to left to drive in Derek Jeter.
The four runs were enough for Pettitte, who went seven innings, scattering nine hits and two runs. What is even more impressive about Pettitte's effort is the fact that he didn't strike out a single batter but was still extremely effective.
Still, the big concern with the Yankees is their leaky bullpen, and Brian Bruney did little to earn any confidence of his manager and the fans, when he allowed Jack Cust to score on a Mark Ellis double to cut the Yankee lead to 5-3. However, Dr. Clutch, a.k.a. A. Mariano Rivera, was excellent in the ninth, earning his fourth save of the season. The Yankees are now 8-6 on the year. BOX SCORE.
This is turning into a very difficult series for the New Jersey Devils. After holding both a 1-0 and 2-1 series lead against the Carolina Hurricanes, the Devils just can't seem to be able to put their thumb down on the feisty Carolina team. For the second time in the series, Carolina came back to win a game and tie the series, this time at two to send it back to Jersey for game five, Thursday night.
Carolina got off to a fast start, as Eric Staal and Ryan Bayda scored successive goals in just over a minute apart to take a 2-0 lead over the shell shocked Devils. Martin Brodeur was really put the test in this game, having to defended against 46 different shots on goal but was only able to save 42 of them, not good enough to help his team win the game.
Brodeur's opponent, Cam Ward, got off to a very good start, shutting out the Devils for almost two hole periods but struggled late in the game. With Carolina up 3-0, Brian Gionta scored his second playoff goal of the series to get the score to 3-1 before the second period ended. The Devils used that late momentum to put a charge through their own team and make things very difficult for Ward and the Hurricanes. Brendan Shannahan scored 4:21 into the third to cut the lead to one, then a little more than four minutes later, David Clarkson scored to tie the game at three.
But that was not enough for New Jersey. With less then a second left in regulation, Jussi Jokinen scored the game-winning goal for Carolina to tie the series at two apiece. A crushing blow that could change the momentum of this series. BOX SCORE.
Monday, April 20, 2009
Saturday, April 18, 2009
Get you brooms ready Ranger fans! The Rangers shut out the offensive powerhouse that is the Washington Capitals today in D.C. by a score of 1-0, to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the opening round of the 2009 NHL playoffs.
This game was all about Henrik Lundqvist who recorded a perfect 35 saves in 35 attempts, and more importantly, holds one of the league leaders in scoring, Alexander Ovechkin, to no goals on six shots. It was a brilliant performace by one of the game's top goal tenders.
Offensively, the Rangers didn't get much accomplished against Simeon Valamov, who surrendered a goal to Ryan Callahan early in the first period.
The Rangers will now come home for games three and four on Monday and Wednesday night, where fans will pumped for a possible sweep.
This was not exactly a good day to be at the ballgame, especially if you were rooting for the Yankees, or if you were Yankee pitcher Chien Ming Wang. Wang who has been just awful this season, got worse, and, yes, that was possible, believe it or not.
Wang couldn't get out of the second inning, before he allowed eight runs to cross the plate for Cleveland in a second inning where the Indians put up a 14 spot, all but ending the competitive nature of this game before it even started. Wang's already astronomical ERA climbed up to 34.50. There must be something wrong with Wang, physically, because it doesn't make sense that a guy who won 19 games in 2006 and again in 2007, can't seem to get the ball boy out in 2009.
14-2 Indians. Ball game over. Yankees lose. DDDAAAAAAAAH Yankees Lose. Drive home safely folks; sorry you had to pay so much to see a disgraceful performance.
The Yankees must tap into Wang's mental state at this point and try to figure out what is bothering the man. Wang is coming off of season ending surgery from a collision he suffered in Houston last summer, and one has to wonder if Wang is still bothered by the injury.
This is not a good sign for the Bronx Bombers. Their top two starters have not pitched well at all this April. C.C. Sabathia has been average at best, and Wang has been awful. The only saving grace for the Yankees is the fact that both A.J. Burnett and Andy Pettite have been lights so far this season. They will have to continue that if the Yankees are to stay around .500 before the season begins to really roll later this summer. BOX SCORE.
It was a simply gorgeous day to be at the ballgame Saturday in Queens, New York, as Johan Santana made his first appearance in brand new Citi Field, and made the place sparkle with an electrifying seven inning shutout performance to earn his second win of the 2009 season.
Santana had to pitch most of the game without any run support whatsoever but still found a way to shut down the difficult lineup of Corey Hart, Prince Fielder, Ryan Braun and J.J. Hardy. None of these players could touch Santana throughout the afternoon; he struck out seven batters and surrendered only five hits.
The Mets just couldn't figure out Yovani Gallardo, who was surprisingly brilliant. Gallardo went six innings of shutout ball, surrendering only five hits and striking out seven as well. It appeared that the game was turning into a replay of last Sunday's 2-1 loss to the Florida Marlins, where Santana fanned 13 Fish yet still lost because the Mets couldn't help him past a Dan Murphy error.
When Santana left after seven, it appeared that he was going to leave another brilliant effort for a no decision, but that is when the Mets finally cracked through the ice offensively.
After Ramon Castro drew a walk from Carlos Villanueva, Alex Cora laid down a bunt, but Villanueva's throw to Fielder at first was wide, allowing Cora to move at first and pinch runner Omir Santos to move to third base. Jose Reyes came up and slapped the ball right into Villanueva's glove, who was so surprised by the hit that he dropped the ball and allowed it to trickle behind him; good enough to bring home Santos with the only run of the game.
As Jerry Manuel would like to have it, on a day with Santana on the mound, J.J. Putz and Francisco Rodriguez made easy work of the Brew Crew in the eighth and ninth innings as the Mets captured their second straight to improve to 6-5 on the season. BOX SCORE.
Friday, April 17, 2009
There is a reason why Derek Jeter is Mr. Yankee. He always comes through in the big moments at the biggest times in Yankee history. That storyline did not change at all today, as Jeter hit a solo home run to right field in the eighth to give the Yankees their first ever victory in New Yankee Stadium.
The seesaw continued throughout the afternoon. Chamberlain walked Travis Hafner and Shin Shoo-Choo then surrendered Ben Francisco drove in Hafner for the tying run with a single to center. Cleveland didn't enjoy the tie for very long; Melky Cabrera homered to right to give the Yankees a 3-2 lead.
In the fifth, the Indians would grab the lead right back. DeRosa's single to left brought in Asdrubal Cabrera to tie it up. Later, Victor Martinez's sacrifice fly to left drove in Grady Sizemore and Ryan Garko's double brought DeRosa home to give the Indians a 5-3 lead. All five runs were charged to Chamberlain, whose command, again, waned the longer he pitched. Think he wouldn't be better served in the bullpen? It's time, folks, Joba just can't last longer than four or five innings as a starter without seeing his nasty 97 mph stuff dissipate. A move to the pen is needed badly.
Still, the Yankees found a way to get Chamberlain off of the hook. Robinson Cano's homer and a throwing error by Vinnie Chulk tied the game in seventh inning. BOX SCORE.
This set the stage for Jeter, who blasted a home run to right with two out in the eighth inning. Mariano Rivera came in and worked his way out of trouble to get his third save of the year. So, now the champagne bottles can be broken; the Yankees have finally won at their new home with many more victories to come.
I have a problem with the Jets paranoia over the schedule. The fans will show up no matter what holiday the game happens to fall on.
Thursday, April 16, 2009
How does pitcher John Maine reward Carlos Delgado and his teammates for giving him a 3-0 lead early in Thrusday night's game against the San Diego Padres? Surrender five runs in the third and get slapped around by a guy named Chase Headley. Nice job.
The Mets, who had a chance to beat up on Jake Peavy early in this game, had no more answers for the Padres ace. Peavy lasted through five innings and only surrendered that three run homer to Delgado in the first innning. Peavy is now 2-1.
In the fifth, Headley added to the Padre lead when he doubled to right to bring in Gonzalez, making it 6-3. Headley went 4 for 4 on the day with three RBI, not bad for a guy who was hitting .171 entering tonight's game.
The Mets are 4-5 and are already four games behind the surging Florida Marlins who are 8-1. If that continues, the Mets won't have to worry about another September collapse. At least Met fans will have a happier September if that's the case. BOXSCORE.
Not exactly what Yankee fans envisioned when they were dreaming about the first regular season game in the history of the new Yankee Stadium. After a pre-game ceremony to inaugurate in the new ballpark, the Cleveland Indians went ahead and broke in the Yankee stadium, pounding 13 hits and scoring 10 runs in the opening regular season game.
C.C. Sabathia once again was shaky in a big spot. He surrendered only a single run but lasted only five and two-thirds innings, throwing 115 pitches, walking five batters to boot. It was the first time that Sabathia faced his old team since they traded him to Milwaukee last summer. Was it nerves again? One never knows, but if Sabathia continues to build a repuation of a guy who gets nervous when it matters most, the Yankees are in big trouble.
After the Yankees tied the game on a Jorge Posada homer in the fifth, the Indians brought out their hitting gloves in the seventh. Cleveland torched the Yankee bullpen for nine runs and five hits in the seventh, sending 12 batters to the plate. With Victor Martinez and Mark DeRosa already on base, Johnny Peralta doubled to the right field corner to drive in both runners to give the Indians a 3-1 lead.
Joe Giradi had to make a move, so he took out Desemo Marte out of the game for Jose Veras. Big mistake. Veras hit Shin-Soo Choo, then allowed Ben Francisco to reach on a fielder's choice to load up the bases. Kelly Shoppach laced a single to right-center to drive in Peralta, making it 4-1. Three batters later, Grady Sizemore blasted a grand slam homer to the new bleacher creatures in right field to give the Indians a shocking 9-1 lead. Victor Martinez capped the inning with a solo shot of his own to make it 10-1 Tribe.
Cliff Lee, who had struggled in his first two starts this season for the Indians, settled in against the Yankees, pitching six solid innings for his first victory of the year. Last season, Lee won 22 games and was a Cy Young award winner, so he is due for some big victories in the coming weeks.
The Yankee bullpen is a mess. They have to address it. If the Yankees have any plans of getting the ball into the hands of Mariano Rivera in the ninth inning, they must find a guy to get the team through the seventh and eighth inning. One of those guys should be Joba Chamberlain, but the Yankees are still trying to fool themselves into thinking that Joba can be a starting pitcher.
Someone needs to tell the Yankees to make a change sooner rather than later. BOXSCORE.
Unlike the Rangers, who had to sweat out their game against the Washington Capitals, the New Jersey Devils took a walk in the park against the Carolina Hurricanes in Newark, Wednesday night. The Devils totally dominated the contest with 39 shots on Carolina goalie Cam Ward and held a pretty good Carolina offense to only 19 shots on goalie Martin Brodeur.
In the first period, the Hurricanes got off to a terrible start when they were called for penalty for having too many men on the ice. Yes, even the NHL can have NFL-like rules about the number of men on the field of battle. That pretty much set the tone for the night; later in the period, the Devils started to tighten the noose on the Canes, as Mike Mottau scored an unassisted goal to give New Jersey a 1-0 lead.
Looks like the Rangers are gearing up for a long playoff run in 2009.
The Rangers stuned the number two seeded Washington Capitals 4-3 in Game One of a best of seven series in the first round of the playoffs. The Rangers lead the series 1-0.
After a scoreless first period and a goal by Washington's Thomas Fleischmann, the Rangers stormed back to take the lead and quiet the Capital faithful. Scott Gomez tied the game with an unassited goal with 7:49 to go in the second. Later, Nik Antropov scored on a power play goal to give New York a 2-1 lead. Two minutes later, Markus Naslund scored on another power play goal, giving the Rangers a 3-1 lead.
But the Capitals would come back. Viktor Kozlov and Alexander Semin scored on consecutive goals to tie the game at three in the opening minutes of the final period. The game went into a defensive standoff from there, as neither team could get anything past the respective goalies.
Finally, 11:43 into the thrid, Brandon Dubinsky scored the Rangers fourth goal of the night to take a 4-3 lead. Rangers goalie Henrick Lundqvist bore down and held the Capitals shooting star Alexander Ovechkin scoreless for the entire contest, which was a huge factor to the Rangers success. BOXSCORE.
Tuesday, April 14, 2009
The Giants will open the 2009 season at home against the Washington Redskins for the second straight season. In 2008, the Giants opened the year with a 16-7 thumping of the Redskins, the lasting images of the game being Justin Tuck and the Giants defense swarming all over quarterback Jason Campbell. Kickoff is scheduled for 1:00 on FOX. The Giants will end the season exactly the way they ended it in 2008: home to Carolina and on the road to Minnesota.
The Jets will open the season on the road for the second straight year. This time they will start against the Houston Texans. The last time the Jets played Houston was in 2006, a 27-11 victory for Gang Green. The Jets have not played in Houston since 2003 when they beat the Texans in the first ever matchup between the two by a score of 19-14. Kickoff will be 4:15 on CBS. The Jets will then play the Patriots at home in week two for the second straight season. It will also be the third straight season that they open the home schedule with New England.
@ Dallas.......8:15 NBC
@ Tampa Bay....1:00 FOX
@ Kansas City..1:00 FOX
@ New Orleans..1:00 FOX
@ Philadelphia.4:15 FOX
SAN DIEGO......4:15 CBS
@ Denver.......8:20 NFLN
@ Washington...8:30 ESPN
@ Minnesota....1:00 FOX
@ Houston......4:15 CBS
NEW ENGLAND....1:00 CBS
@ New Orleans..4:05 CBS
@ Miami........8:30 ESPN
@ Oakland......4:05 CBS
@ New England..4:15 CBS
@ Buffalo......8:20 NFLN
@ Tampa Bay....1:00 CBS
@ Indianapolis..4:15 CBS
View everyone's schedule.
In a digital world, it is now more important than ever to publish, produce and edit online videos. So here at Cohen's Corner, I will post videos produced and edited by myself as video blogs that will feature commentary and predictions on the daily events in sports. Above is my first video created a week ago on Opening Day of the baseball season.
You can also find my videos on YouTube by either typing in "Cohen's Corner" into the search box on YouTube or log onto http://www.youtube.com/user/mcohen07834. More videos will be on the way in the coming days.
Monday, April 13, 2009
Anyone thinking that the Tampa Bay Rays were phony last season, better think twice. The Rays went to the World Series for a reason, and they are a good young team for a reason as well. That was on display and more, as the Rays bombed the Bronx Bombers 15-5 on Monday night.
Chien Ming Wang got blasted for the second straight start. Wang lasted only a single inning, surrending six hits, eight runs and walking three on the evening. His ERA is now 28.23. Maybe it is time for Wang to consider working on his pitches a tad more. Maybe now is a good time to have a pow wow with pitching coach Dave Island and manager Joe Girardi about his work thus far this season.
Wang opened the evening the way any pitcher at any level of baseball would NOT want to start a game: walking the lead off man and hitting the second batter of the game before anyone got a chance to bite into a lukewarm hot dog. After Evan Longoria struck out, Carl Crawford and B.J. Upton advanced on steals of third and second, putting more pressure on Wang. Wang, then, served up a grapefruit to Carlos Pena, who blasted the ball as big as the Ritz off the right center field wall, giving the Rays a quick 2-0 lead. Pat Burrell, who made his career beating up the New York Mets, started a new career in beating up the New York Yankees, by doubling to center to allow Pena to score. 3-0 Rays.
Duaner Navaro followed with a single to center to move Burrell to third, and finally, Gabe Gross singled to left to drive in Burrell to make it 4-0 Rays.
The Yankees never got any closer to the Rays. It was just too big a deficit for the Yankees to recover. The Bombers now fall to 3-4 on the season. BOX SCORE.
At least the Mets are consistent.
The Mets opened brand spanking new Citi Field the same way they burned down Shea Stadium in September ... in ignominious defeat. Only the Mets can find a way to start things off on the wrong foot.
After a pregame ceremony that included a first pitch by Tom Seaver to Mike Piazza, a fly over by B-15 jets, and the National Anthem performed by the cast of the recent rendition of "West Side Story, Jody Gerut became the next tough trivia question as he laced a solo home run to the right field corner to give the Padres a 1-0 lead, silencing the crowd of 41,000 plus. The home run was the first in Citi Field history.
Mike Pelfrey just didn't have it for the Mets. He was slapped around all day by the formerly light hitting Padres for eight hits and five runs over five innings. Surpise! It was such an embarrassing night for Pelfrey that he actually fell off the mound when he was trying to deliver a pitch. Someone forgot to tell Pelfrey that he was supposed to let go of the ball and not use his own body like a projectile at opposing hitters.
Anyway, in the top of the second with two out, opposing pitcher Walter Silva singled up the middle. This was followed up by a single for Gerut and a double by David Eckstein to drive in both Gerut and Silva. Later, Brian Giles singled to center to allow Eckstein to score to make it 4-0 Padres.
The Mets did make a comeback. In the fifth, Dan Murphy singled down the right field line to drive in pinch hitter Gary Sheffield. Moments later, David Wright lifted a 1-2 pitch into the left field stands to tie the game at five. The crowd exploded, and the brand new apple in center field popped out of its hole for the first time.
Still, the Mets defense came back to kill them. Luis Rodriguez' fly ball to right was misplayed by Ryan Church, who couldn't get a hold of the baseball, allowing Rodriguez to sprint to third base. Rodriguez would then score on a balk by the struggling Pedro Feliciano to give San Diego a 6-5 lead.
The Mets never answered. Heath Bell, who has been seeking revenge on the Mets for not giving him a chance to be a reliever for them earlier in the decade, shut down the Mets in order in the ninth to earn the first ever save at Citi Field.
The Mets are now 3-4, and are not looking good when Johan Santana is not pitching. It is getting pretty obvious, this early in the season that the Mets are in need of some better starting pitching. Problem is they don't have a solution on this team, or in the minors. BOX SCORE.
Sunday, April 12, 2009
If there is one aspect of the 2009 Yankees that will need to concern the team's fans and supporters, it is this: the Yankee bullpen, excluding Mariano Rivera, is a crap shoot. The Yankees don't have the perfect bridge to Rivera now that Joba Chamberlain is cemented in as the club's fifth starter, and it is very apparent that the Bombers better start to rethink the idea of having Chamberlain in the pen, or they must go out and try to find a decent eighth inning reliever.
Speaking of Chamberlain, he did get the start this afternoon, and his performance was average at best. Joba went six innings, allowed five hits and three runs on the afternoon. His biggest mistake of the day was a fat pitch he threw to John Buck who ripped the pitch out of the ballpark to tie the game at one in the third inning. However, it was not until the fourth inning that the Royals started to hit Chamberlain hard. First, David DeJesus walked, and Mark Tehan was hit by a pitch; not a good sign for Chamberlain who is wild but usually effectively wild. Three batters later, Alberto Callaspo made Chamberlain pay for his wildness by lacing a single to right to drive in DeJesus. Buck followed up with single to left to drive in Tehan, giving Kansas City a shocking 3-1 lead.
If the Yankees think that extending Chamberlain as a starter will increase his effectiveness, they are greatly mistaken. The speed on his pitches has been dropping the longer he is on the mound, and that was clearly the case today.
Still, the Bombers are not called the Bombers for nothing. The Yankees stormed back with three runs in the seventh inning to retake the lead. Xavier Nady doubled to left to drive in Nick Swisher. Robinson Cano was called safe at first after Mike Jacobs' defensive error at first allowed Hideki Matsui to score to tie the game. The Yankees finally took the lead on Melky Cabrera's RBI-double-play ground out. Hey, whatever works, I guess.
But, when it mattered most, the Yankee pen imploded. Jose Veras came in relief of Dasemo Marte, who had recorded two outs in the inning already, to face the right handed Billy Butler. Veras walked Bulter, forcing Joe Girardi to make another pitching move. Girardi, instead of bringing out Mariano Rivera for a four out save, decided to bring in Phil Choke. And, as a result, Coke choked.
First, Brayan Pena drilled a double to center to allow pinch runner Tony Pena Jr. to score from first. Next, Callaspo singled up the middle to drive in Pena to give the Royals a 5-4 lead. Finally, Buck delivered again, this time doubling to left to drive in Callaspo to make it 6-4 for good measure.
The fact that Girardi didn't have Rivera at the ready was inexcusable. Rivera has made a career of pitching the Yankees out of jams with a four or five out saves. There is no reason why he couldn't have done it in the present situation. Girardi needs to stop acting like Cardinals manager Tony LaRussa by making a million different pitching changes and simply play the game out; otherwise, he will kill his own team again. BOX SCORE.
When Johan Santana pitches for the Mets, it usually means that the Mets have their best opportunity to come away with a victory. Well, thanks to a defensive miscue by left fielder Daniel Murphy, and a masterful performance by Marlins pitcher Josh Johnson, the Mets lost any hope of winning for Santana on this Easter Sunday.
What has to be noted from this game is not the performance of Johnson, but the performance of Santana. Santana was brilliant this afternoon, going seven strong innings, surrendering three hits and two unearned runs, while striking out 13 batters. Santana has always pitched well against Florida, i.e. his masterpiece on the next to last day of the 2008 season when he threw a complete game shutout against Florida.
Saturday, April 11, 2009
The Yankees continued their domination of the Kansas City Royals Saturday with another convincing 6-1 victory. However, the biggest story of the evening for the Bronx Bombers is the bounce back effort by C.C. Sabathia.
Sabathia, who was lit up Monday in Baltimore, settled into his role as the new ace of the Yankees, pitching for seven and two-thirds innings, scattering six hits and no runs, while striking out six Royals. It was a dominating effort by one of baseball's best starting pitchers.
Offensively, the Yankees pounded Horacio Ramirez for six runs on eight hits in four and a third innings. In the first inning, after Johnny Damon singled and Nick Swisher walked, Jorge Posada doubled down the right field line to drive in both runners to give the Bombers a quick 2-0 lead.
In the third, Derek Jeter led off with a single and stole second, which set up Swisher's RBI triple into the right field corner.Two batters later, Posada delivered again with a double to the left center gap, driving in Swisher to make it 4-0 Yankees. Finally, in the fifth inning, Swisher capped his big night with a two run home run to left off Ramirez to make it 6-0 Yankees.
The Yankees now improve to 3-2 on the season. BOX SCORE.
The Mets were able to extract some revenge Saturday evening; they pounded Florida Marlins ace Ricky Nolasco in an 8-4 triumph. However, what was most surprising about the evening was the stellar pitching performance by Livan Hernandez.
Hernandez, who earned the Mets fifth starting job by default during spring training, was superb, going six and two-third innings, surrendering six hits and two runs, while striking out four. Hernandez is now 1-0 with a 2.73 ERA.
Hernandez got plenty of run support in the effort. Luis Castillo and Jose Reyes teed off of Nolasco early and often. In the third inning, Castillo led with a sharp single to center; two batters later, Jose Reyes doubled to right to drive Castillo in with the Mets first run.
In the fifth, the pair was at it again. Castillo, again, singled up the middle off Nalasco to start the inning. When Reyes came up later, he lifted a pitch deep into the right field stands for his first home run of the season, giving the Mets a commanding 3-0 lead. Daniel Murphy followed the Reyes homer with a single of his own. After David Wright struck out swinging, Carlos Delgado doubled down the right field line, allowing Murphy to cruise into home to make it 4-0 Metropolitans. The outburst was so good that the Mets were able to knock out Nolasco from the game.
The Marlins could not keep up after that. They had a small two run rally in the ninth inning off Darren O'Day to make things interesting, but it wasn't enough. Mets manager Jerry Manuel pulled O'Day out of the game before things got any worse and inserted K-Rod into the game. Rodriguez worked around an RBI single by Hanely Ramirez to close the game out. The Mets are now 3-2 on the season. BOXSCORE.