Tony Aubry's Yankee Chronicles
Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3 | Week 5 | Week 6 | Week 8 | Week 10 | Week 11 | Week 12 | Week 13 | Week 14 | Week 15 | Week 17
Record for Season 66-42
Record for Week 5-1
Vs. Toronto: Yankees sweep
About two weeks ago, I wrote that Toronto was going to be a team to worry about in the A.L East. As usual, I was wrong. As a matter of fact, they lost 9 in a row. Boy, did they make me look dumb.
Anyway, Toronto came into the Bronx and got handled pretty easily. On Tuesday, Wright pitched his usual 5 innings and gave up only one run. On the other side, Burnett was disappointing, something he has been all year. He lasted only four innings while giving up four runs. Three of those came off the bat of Bernie Williams, who cleared the bases with a double that was just out of the reach of Reed Johnson. Over the next two days, Wang and Lidle combined to pitch 14 innings and give up only one run. Both pitchers picked up their respective wins; it was also Lidle’s first win in pinstripes.
At Baltimore: Yankees win 2 of 3
Randy Johnson has been up and down all year. He was down against Tampa and down once again against the O’s on Friday night. He couldn’t hold a three-run lead and struck out no one for the second straight outing. He also gave up a home run to Fernando Tatis (yes, Fernando Tatis). It was Fernando’s first homer since 2002. However, Johnson was picked up by Ron Villone and Jorge Posada, who hit a game winning HR to give Chris Ray his fourth loss of the season (third given by the Yankees).
Saturday was a day to forget for the Yankees and their fans. Rookie pitcher Adam Lowen struck out 8 and gave up only one hit. Mussina, on the other hand, was ineffective. He lasted only five innings and gave up three runs. The Baltimore pen also held the Yankees hitless as they lost 5-0. The Yankees played homerun derby on Sunday afternoon. Giambi, Cabrera, Jeter, and Damon all hit homeruns off Rodrigo Lopez. Wright continued to pitch well. He lasted six innings and gave up only one run, which is all you can ask for from your number four starter. The Yankees would close out the series winning the finale by a score of 6-1.
Record for Season 56-40
Record for Week 3-4
Versus Seattle: Yankees take win 2 of 3
Pitching. That’s what the Yankees got this series. Wang and Johnson each pitched very good games while Ponson pitched an average game (can’t expect anything more). Combined, they pitched 21 innings and gave up only 8 runs. Unforutantley, Johnson, who pitched the best game out of the three, couldn’t get a win. With the score deadlocked at 2, in the final game of the series, Johnson gave up an infield hit and a stolen base. Stinnett made a throwing error on the attempt which enabled Ichiro to go to third. Ibanez then proceeded to lift a lazy fly ball which allowed Ichiro to give the Mariners the lead and the win.
In Toronto: Yankees lose 3 of 4
This was a message, a message that told the Yankees that the Red Sox are not the only team to worry about. The Jays simply out-played the Yankees. After Yankee starters allowed 3 runs or less in 9 out of their last 10 starts, they gave up at least four in all four games. Wang was lucky to get a win, Wright was terrible, Ponson was worse, Mussina’s defense let him down, and Rivera gave up his first homerun of the year. The Yankees need to wake up and realize that Sidney Ponson and Chris Wilson are not the answer.
The whole series was a disaster. And on to A-Rod: I’m sure you know I’m the last one to get on him, but he has just played absolutely terrible. His defense has been putrid, and his batting average is under .280. On Saturday he struck out 4 times; it was the first time he has done that since he was a 19-year old kid in Seattle.
Record for Season 50-36
Record for Week 4-3
In Cleveland: Yankees split
The Yankees were outscored in the first two games 24-3. In the next two, the Yankees outscored the Tribe 21-7.
In the first game, Wang pitched a sub-par game to say the least. He struggled through the first 4 innings as he gave up 3 runs. In the 5th, the bubble finally popped when he gave up a 2-run homer. The Yankees’ offense didn’t do anything against Jeremy Sowers. The left handed rookie gave up a 2-run bomb to Giambi and nothing else as the Tribe won 5-2.
Chacon was garbage. There really isn’t any other way I can put it. He’s been garbage all season. He lasted 1 and 2/3 innings and gave up 8 runs. Hafner, Belliard, and Peralta each hit homers. Hafner and Belliard both hit two. The Tribe beat the hell out of the Yankees 19-1.
The next two games were the complete opposite. Their ERA went from 12.00 in the first two games to 3.50 in the next two. Both Mussina and Johnson picked up the wins. However, the Yankees wouldn’t have scored 21 runs if Christmas didn’t come early. The Indians made a total of 8 errors in the two games, three of them courtesy of Aaron Boone. Everything that could have gone wrong for the Indians did as the Yankees took the next two games.
In Tampa: Yankees take two of three.
It’s now been over two months since the Yankees have swept a team. They’ve had numerous chances to do so, yet simply can’t get the job done. It would be understandable if the teams were remotely good, but they’re not. It’s teams like the Devil Rays, Orioles, Marlins, and Ranges that the Yankees can’t put away.
Jaret Wright and Wang both pitched great in their starts. Wright pitched 6 shutout innings and struck out 10, while Wang went 8 and 1/3 and only allowed one run. On Friday, the lone run of the game was produced by Bernie Williams (a career .382 hitter at the Trop) by bouncing a single up the middle which scored Giambi. On Saturday, Damon returned to the lineup and contributed in a big way. Johnny delivered a two-run triple to add to the Yankees slim 1-0 lead. The Yankees won the first two games 1-0 and 5-1.
Journeymen Chris Wilson started in place of the Garbage Man on Sunday. Unforutantley for the Yankees, he was no Aaron Small circa 2005. He couldn’t make it out of the 4th inning and gave up 3 runs. It appeared that the Yankees would win this game early, when they scored 5 runs in the 4th inning. Four of those runs came off the bat of Giambi when he hit his 11th career granny. The Yankees bullpen couldn’t hold the lead, though. Villone gave up a 2-run homer to the struggling Cantu, and Proctor gave up the game winning single to Cantu in the 7th inning.
Record for Season 46-33
Record for Week 4-2
Versus Atlanta: Yankees take two out of three
For three straight days, the Yankee starters pitched gems. Overall, they pitched 21 innings, gave up 16 hits, and posted a razor-thin 1.29 ERA. Unforutantley, only one of those starters picked up a win.
That one was Randy Johnson. He pitched a beautiful game. It was his best yet. He pitched 7 strong innings, scattered 5 hits, and struck out a season high 9. The Yankees’ offense was provided by the surging Jason Giambi, who hit 2 HR and drove in all 5 runs.
Jaret Wright pitched against his old team on Tuesday. He failed to go 6+ once again, but only gave up one run. Ron Villone and Scot Proctor helped the Braves pad their lead as they both gave up home runs. The Yankees finally got on the scoreboard in the last two innings, but it wasn’t enough.
Wang continued to pitch exceptionally well. He went eight innings and only gave up 2 runs. However, Smoltz was equally as good as Wang. So in result, the Yankees and Braves played extra innings. In the top of the 12th, the struggling Marcus Giles hit a go ahead homerun. However, it wasn’t enough. With a man on first, Alex Rodriguez hit a behemoth blast over the right field wall to send everyone home happy.
Versus New York: Yankees take two out of three
In the series against the Braves, the Yankees had outstanding starting pitching. In this series, their bullpen was superb. They pitched 16 innings with a minuscule ERA of 1.68.
On Monday, Mussina had his no-hit stuff, literally. He had not given up a hit in four innings, when the weather decided not to cooperate. The rain came down for 63 minutes and chased Mike out of the game. The Yankees were forced to go to their bullpen for five innings. Ron Villone, Scot Proctor, Kyle Farnsworth, and Mariano Rivera combined only gave up one hit. In the mist of all this, Jason Giambi hit a HR, and El Duque pitched a hell of game. The Cuban veteran only gave up two runs and scattered 7 hits in seven innings of work.
In the next two days, the Yankees got poor outings out of Wright and Johnson. Johnson gave up eight runs, and Wright only lasted 1 and 2/3 innings. They were unable to come back on Saturday, but Sunday was a different story. Alex Rodriguez put his critics to sleep as he hit two HR and drove in seven. The first of which was a grand slam that put the Yankees on top 6-4. The second was long three run shot that easily cleared the center field fence. The Yankees pounded the Mets 16-7 in the finale. In the last 4 days, A-Rod has gone 7-17 with four HR and 12 RBI. Rodriguez definitely looks like he will have a MUCH better July than June.
Record for Season 42-31
Record for Week 4-2
In Philadelphia: Yankees win two out of three
The Yankees opened last week’s series on a four-game losing streak; they opened this series on a three-game one. Unfortunately for the Yankees, they couldn’t end the three game skid on Monday, as Johnson was out dueled by Brett Myers. Johnson started off strong, but tired after the first 4 innings. In the first 4 innings, he gave up zero runs, while in the next two, he gave up 3. Myers was excellent. He pitched 7 strong innings, struck out 11, and gave up 2 runs. The Yankees would lose the series opener 4-2.
The second game of the series was by far the best one. Ryan Howard flexed his muscles as he hit 2 homeruns and drove in 7. However, the Yankees found a way to get around this one man wrecking crew and another bad start from Mussina. The first seven innings were a game of cat and mouse. Philly would score three and the Yankees would answer with three of their own. Philly, or should I say Howard, would then put two more on the board. Then, of course, the Yankees answered back with two more. In the seventh inning, Howard added two more runs with a triple, and it looked like the Phils would pull this one out. However, the Yankees weren’t done yet. In the top of the very next inning, Bernie would single, which was followed by a walk. With runners on first and second Cabrera put together a great at bat. Fouling off pitch after pitch, and eventually worked he count full. Melky would then deliver a clutch hit just inside first base. Now the Yankees were within one run, and only needed a fly ball to tie it; they got just that. With Rowand playing in, Damon hit a deep fly ball over his head which resulted in a two run triple. But of course, this game wasn’t over just yet. How could it be? In the bottom of the 9th, with two on and two out; Rivera pitching, Howard was up. He hit the first pitch he saw to Cano, and just like that, the Yankees would even up the series.
|Damon carries the offense this week|| |
Jaret Wright pitched the series finale. Yes, Wright did only pitch 5 innings. However, they were five quality innings. Wright allowed no runs and only 3 hits. Unfortunately, each inning is costing the Yankees 3.2 million dollars. The Yankees’ offense was lead by Johnny Damon, who reached base 5 times and drove in a run. Cairo had two RBI of his own as the Yankees wrapped up the series finale 5-0.
Versus Florida: Yankees take two of three
The Yankees have not been able to finish teams off this season. In the month of June, they had the chance to sweep the Tigers, Orioles, Indians, and now the Marlins. They lost each and every season finale including this one.
In the first game, the Marlins showed their age. They committed 3 errors in the first inning. It could have easily been 4 if it wasn’t for some generous official scoring. The errors lead to a three-run lead for the Yankees. However, it was a short lived lead. In the very next inning, Wang gave the lead right back. He gave up a homerun to Miguel Olivo; it was only the fourth homerun allowed by Wang. The Yankees took the league right back. Alex Rodriguez had an RBI single to give the Yankees a 4-3 lead. It was a lead they would not give up.
Saturday was a very gloomy and ugly day. It was also, a very gloomy and ugly Old Timers Day. When guys like Steve Kemp and Bobby Meacham get standing ovations, you know it’s not the same anymore. Whitey Ford was unable to make it due to the inclement weather. Unfortunately, Scooter (88) has not been feeling very well lately and couldn’t gather the strength to make the trip. I wish Phil and his family the best of luck. The Saturday game was cancelled and was made up the next day in a day/night doubleheader.
The Yankees won the first game. Mike Mussina pitched great. He allowed only one run over 7 innings and struck out 6. Willis was also great, but not great enough. He made one bad pitch all day, and that was to Damon, who sent it into the upper deck. The Yankees won this pitching duel 2-1.
Anibal Sanchez made his debut Sunday night, and made the best of it. He pitched 5 and 2/3 innings and gave up no runs. Chacon also pitched 5+ innings but gave up 2 runs. This was the first time the Yankees were shutout all season, as they lost 5-0.
Record for Season 38-29
Record for Week 3-3
Cleveland at home: Yankees win 2 of 3
The Yankees desperately needed to string together a few wins after getting swept by the A’s. Both Wang and Johnson came up big. Wang, who was 3-1 following a Yankee loss, improved to 4-1, and Johnson followed his worst outing of the year with his best one. Combined, they threw 13 2/3 innings and allowed one run. Their lengthy outings gave the bullpen a well-needed rest. However, Mike Mussina was unable to follow the trend. He pitched his worst and shortest outing of the year. Mike didn’t have his usual razor sharp command. He allowed 6 runs over 5+ innings as the Yankees failed to complete the sweep.
In Washington D.C: Yankees lose 2 of 3
It was a D.C disaster for the Yankees. This weekend marked the first time since 1991 that the Yankees lost 2 games in a row after having a lead after the 8th.
Wright pitched the opener on Friday night. He was his usual self. He pitched 5+ innings and gave up 4 runs. Luckily, his poor pitching performance was picked up by late inning rallies. They were capped off by a go ahead homerun in the 9th off the bat of Bernie Williams.
The next two days were tough losses to swallow. The Yankees pounded Nationals starter Ramon Ortiz. They erupted for seven runs in the fifth inning to take a 9-2 lead. However, their bullpen couldn’t hold it. In the 8th, Rivera blew his first save since the last week of April.
The next day was probably the worse loss of the season for the Yankees. Wang pitched his heart for the third consecutive start, which is good news for the Yankees and their fans. However, Torre, for inexplicable reasons, left Wang in for the 9th. Torre claims that his bullpen was tired, but Villone, who has been fantastic this year, hadn’t pitched since Tuesday. Wang proceeded to give up a single, and homerun. So just like that, the Yankees lost the game, and the series.
Record for Season 35-25
Record for Week 2-4
Boston at home: Yankees
take 2 out of 3 -
Coming into Monday’s game, only a half
game separated the Yankees and Red Sox.
By the bottom of the first inning, you could tell it was going to be a
Yankee night. As soon as the YES network posted a graphic about how great the
Red Sox defense has been, Beckett threw a wild pitch. Then, Varitek threw
the ball into the outfield trying to throw out Cabrera at second. Varitek ran down the line to cover third, only to leave
home plate vacant. With no one covering home, Carbrera
scored the game’s first run. So while Melky had a
lovely tour of the bases, the Red Sox looked liked a sandlot team, and it
wouldn’t get any better. The Yankees opened the bottom of the second inning
with 6 straight hits. Andy Phillips
continued his hot hitting, as he belted a home run in the Yankees 7-run second
inning. The rally was capped off by another home run; this one off the bat of Giambi. On the
other side of the ball, Mussina pitched an OK game.
It was the first game of the year in which he allowed 4 runs, but he picked the
right game to do it. The Yanks won a laugher 13-5.
Leaping To Victory
The expected pitching duel came a
day late in this 4-game series. Chien-Meng Wang and
rookie David Pauley both pitched excellent games. Wang blinked first as he gave up a solo home
run to David Ortiz. However, in the next inning, Pauley gave up a solo shot of
his own to Bernie Williams. The score was deadlocked at one until the 7th
inning. With two out and no one on, Miguel Cairo hit a soft ground ball back to
Pauley. Somehow, it rolled under his
glove and under the hand of second basemen Mark Loretta as Miguel reached base
safely. For inexplicable reasons, it was ruled a hit. Pauley then gave up a
single to Damon, and a 4-pitch walk to Melky. So with
the bases loaded and 2 out, Red Sox skipper Terry Francona
pulled Pauley and brought in Seanez. With the bases
loaded and two out, Yankee slugger Jason Giambi
walked (surprise, surprise), and drove in the go ahead run.
In the top of the eighth, Loretta
popped out, and Papi, who has been in a terrible
slump, struck out. With two out and no one on, Manny Ramirez proceeded to lift
a high, towering drive to left center field. Melky Cabrera,
on his horse, raced to the wall, leaped and made a SPECTACULAR catch to save
the game. Mariano came in the 9th and got himself a 5 pitch save as
the Yankees held on 2-1.
Game 3 was postponed and no make
up date has been announced yet.
Long Balls Come Up Short
The Yankees and the Red Sox won’t
meet again till mid August, and the Red Sox left a bad taste in the Yanks’
mouth. All of the Yankees runs came on homeruns, and unfortunately for the
Yankees, they were all solo shots. Curt Schilling pitched a solid game, while Wright
pitched his normal outing: A decent 5+ innings. Jaret
left in the sixth inning with a 3-1 lead, but also with the bases loaded. Proctor traded an out for a run as he got Youkilis to hit a sac fly to Damon. Alex Gonzalez then hit
a ground ball down the third base line and off of A-Rod’s glove. As the ball
trickled down the line, two runners came around to score to give the Red Sox a
4-3 lead. Things would only get worse for Proctor and the Yankees. In the next
inning, Varitek hit a 3-run shot to put the game away
for Boston as they went on to win 9-3.
At home vs. Oakland:
A’s bust out the brooms -
On Friday, Randy Johnson was
nothing but an embarrassment. He gave up a homerun to a guy hitting .030. .030!!!
Johnson was just totally lost. He was fighting with the umpire over balls and
strikes. He was talking to the ball. He just didn’t belong on the mound.
Despite all of this, the Yankees tried to come back. After an hour and thirty
minute rain delay, Giambi hit a 3-run jack to help
the Yankees pull with in one. However, it wasn’t enough. Huston Street came in and slammed the
door as the A’s won the game 6-5.
All Moosed Up
|Thomas has slugged .846 in 78 career at bats aginst Mussina|| |
took the mound on Saturday and didn’t get off to a good start. Frank Thomas,
who absolutely OWNS Mussina, hit a 2 run laser into
the left field seats. However, neither Mussina nor
Thomas was the story of the game. It was Kirk Saarloos,
whom the Yankees couldn’t figure out. Giambi and
Kevin Thompson hit solo homeruns, but those were the only runs the Yankees
could put on the board. They had a chance to come back in the 7th
inning. With men on first and second and no one out, Bernie hit a soft
groundball to advance the runners. Damon tapped the ball back to the pitcher
and Jeter struck out swinging. In the 9th, Street came in and closed
the game for the second straight day.
Chac Gets Racked
Chacon made his first start back
since suffering a deep bruise in his calf. In his first outing back, he was
mediocre at best. He pitched only 5 innings and gave 4 runs, 3 of them earned.
Chacon could have easily given up 5 runs if Damon didn’t rob Swisher of
homerun, who had already hit an inside-the-park homerun. In the 7th,
down 4-3, Jorge Posada hit a 2-run homerun to give the Yankees a one run lead,
their first one of the series. However, the lead was short lived. The A’s
scored the very next inning on a ground out.
Kyle Farnsworth pitched the 7th
and came in to start the 8th. With one out and no one on, Dan
Johnson, who was hitting .230, hit his second homerun of the game. So once
again, in the 9th, Street came in and slammed the door on the
Yankees as the A’s swept the series.
On a side note, the fans need to
get off A-Rod. It’s getting ridiculous now. These
"fans" should cut him some slack. While their beloved Jeter can't do
anything wrong, A-Rod can't do anything right. He hits a homerun and people
think it's not enough because it wasn't in a big spot. He wins an MVP and still,
it's not enough. He absolutely annihilates the Twins in the 04' ALDS, and
yet again, it's not enough. Jeter made the last out twice this weekend and both
of them were close games. He also made a base running mistake. However,
not one boo. A-Rod pops up, and even before the ball
is caught he's booed out of the park. Don't tell me Jeter isn't booed
because he has won 4 rings, because I've heard MO get booed, and he is FAR
more valuable the Jeter.
Record for Week- 4-2
Overall Record- 28-20
At Boston, Yanks take 2 out of 3 -
The Yankees limped into Boston on Monday morning. To say their lineup
was depleted would have been an understatement. During their series with the
Mets, their lineup had Cairo,
Stinnett, Cabrera, Philips, all bush leaguers. Schilling was great and Wang
wasn’t. After giving up back to back hits to Melky
and Damon, he was lights out. Pitched 8 strong innings, scattered 5 hits and
gave up only one run. On the other hand, Wang lived up to his name (Mr.
Inconsistency). In the first two innings, the Red Sox batters couldn’t do
anything but pound the ball into the dirt. However, in the third, Wang gave up
a walk, a hit, and a screaming line drive off the bat of David Ortiz, which
gave Boston the
lead. Keith Foulke came into the 9th,
giving up back to back homers, and then back to back doubles before recording
the last out. Boston
took this one 9-5.
The Wright Stuff
Jaret Wright continued to be a
ball magnet. Youkilis lined the first pitch right up
the middle; Wright knocked it down, but smothered the ball between his right
hand and his ribs. Wright would remain in the game and pitch five shutout
innings. In the top of the 4th, with the Yankees already up 1-0
Jeter knocked a single to center field to drive in two and gave the Yankees
some room to breathe. Fast forward to the 7th: With
men on first and second, A-Rod hit an A-Bomb to give the Yankees comfortable
7-1 lead. In the bottom of that very inning, Proctor got himself into
some trouble. With two men on, Manny drilled an absolute shot to dead center
field. As the ball traveled into the deep night, Ramirez just stood there in
awe, as if he was a kid at the Macy’s 4th of July firework show. In
the bottom of the 8th, Rivera was forced come in. With men on first
and second, and Big Papi up, Rivera popped him up, and
sent Ortiz back
to the dugout. Disgusted with himself,
Ortiz broke his bat over his knee. The
Yankees held on to this one 7-5.
Johnson pitched yet another sub-par outing, but fortunately
for the Yankees, Clement wasn’t any better. Johnson gave up 2 runs in the first
inning, the third start in a row where he gave up runs in the first inning. The
Yankees backed up Johnson by putting up 4 runs in the 2nd inning,
capped off by a 2-run single by Melky Cabrera.
However, Johnson gave the lead right back. After striking out the first two
batters, he gave up a bloop single and a homerun to Youkilis. In the bottom of the next inning Randy gave up
another run. It seemed like Clement and Johnson were having a competition, a
competition to see who can pitch worse. As soon as the Sox got the lead, he
gave it right up. It was another four run inning, capped off by another 2-run
single by Melky. Johnson, as bad as his pitching line
looked, finished strong. He retired 7 in a row, 5 via the strikeout. In the 7th inning Manny hit
another bomb, but it wasn’t as enough as the Yankees walked away with a win,
and more importantly, walked away wining the series.
Vs. Kansas City, Yankees take 2 out of 3 -
Well, the Yankees’ bullpen sucks. It’s that simple. When you
blow a lead to the 10-35 Royals, you know you’re bad. Mussina
didn’t pitch the greatest game, but he was solid. He gave up 3 ER in 6 IP, while
fanning 6. When Mussina left the game it was 4-3
Yankees. Proctor gave up another homerun in the 7th. In fact, it was
the third homerun he gave up in as many days. In the 8th inning,
Farnsworth gave up a 3-run shot to Angel Berroa. That
made it 7-4. The Yankees fought back, though, pulling to 7-6. In the bottom of the
9th, with men on first and third, Giambi rapped
into a game ending double play.
Alexander The Great Conquers
The Yankees were seeking revenge after losing a tough game
to baseball’s worst team. The Yankees just ate up Affeldt.
Jeremy gave up 10 runs in only 5.1 innings. A-Rod hit two long homeruns in
consecutive at bats. When do you know you’re a bad pitcher? I’ll tell you when.
When Miguel Cairo, Kelly Stinnett, and Melkly
Cabrera go 9-13 with 10 RBI. Stinnett was only a triple away from the
cycle. No, that is not a misprint. He went 3-4, with 4 RBI. The Yankees romped the Royals 15-4.
When today’s game started, it looked like the Yankees were
on their way to another 15-4 win. Johnny Damon hit a leadoff homerun, then
Jeter singled, Sheffield singled, Giambi doubled, and A-Rod singled. So before Runelvys Hernandez could record an out,
it was 4-0. Hernandez pitched only 2/3 of an inning while giving up 5 runs.
After the Yankees scored another run in the 2nd, they were shut
down. The Royals came all the way back to make it 6-5, but Rivera came in the 9th
and slammed the door. He recorded his 390th career save, tying him
with Eck for 4th all time.
Record for Week- 3-3
Overall Record- 21-14
Boston at home, Yanks lose 2 out of 3
The Sox came into town on Tuesday night. Giambi started the game off with a 2-run homer to give the Yankees a short-lived lead. To quote Ron Guidry, Randy Johnson was a "Lost Little Boy." He was horrendous. Walked 5 batters, threw 2 wild pitches, gave up hits left and right. The defense definitely didn't help Johnson, but it was no excuse. Boston romped the Yankees 14-3.
The next night, the Yankees got yet another good outing out of the Moose. He gave up a homerun to Ortiz in the first and settled down after that. In the 3rd inning, Giambi took Schilling deep to pull within one. Later on in the game, with the score tied at three, A-Rod hit a majestic homer to break the tie. Posada would then tack on a few with a homer of his own and the Yankees would never look back, winning this one 7-3.
On Thursday night, not only did they lose the game, but they lost their left fielder
. Hideki Matsui broke his left wrist trying to catch a bloop off the bat of Mark Loretta. The Yankees are going to miss him dearly, and he probably will be out for the year.
The Yankees took an early 2-0 lead on a 2 out RBI single by Posada. Shawn Chacon pulled a Houdini act by escaping out of jams in just about every single inning. This hurt the Yankees by forcing to go to their middle relief pitching. With a man on first, Kevin Youkilis hit a lazy fly ball to right field. The ball looked like it was going to go into the stands based on the way Williams played it, but he misjudged and it bounced fair for a ground rule double. Loretta then followed by hitting a sharp ground ball to short; Jeter made a nice play to stop it, but rushed his throw. He threw the ball wild, but Cairo actually got to it. Unfortunately, he couldn't hold on after the tag. This allowed both runners to score and give Boston a lead they would not give up.
Oakland at home, Yankees take 2 out of 3
I think Alex Rodriguez logged on to baseballevolution.com and read my article, Wristful Thinking
. I mentioned that he would have to get something started against Oakland, a team that they usually enjoy beating up on. He went 4-11 with 2 HR, 4RBI, 2 runs scored and a walk. Both of his homeruns gave the Yankees the lead in the first two games.
On Friday night, Wang pitched an absolutely brilliant game. He faced only 25 batters in 8 innings. Out of the 24 outs he recorded, 20 of them were ground balls. He also got Oakland to hit into 4 double plays. Both A-Rod and Williams went deep to give the Yankees their only runs. The Yankees took this game 2-0.
Jaret Wright took the mound on Saturday afternoon. He pitched a very mediocre game, but it was good enough to earn himself his first win since September of 2005. A-Rod started off the game with a 3-run shot that bounced into the left-center bleachers. Jeter also went deep in this game as the Yankees won 4-3.
I'm sure many Yankee fans have been quoting Vince Lombardi and saying, "What the hell is going on here!" after watching Johnson's past 3 performances. Now, by no means did Johnson pitch a gem, but he it was better than his past few outings. He really only threw a few bad pitches, and two of them left the ballpark. Both of those homeruns just got over the wall down the left and right field lines. Again, it wasn't a great outing, but it could be something for him to build on. On the other hand, Danny Haren was terrific. He pitched a 6-hit complete game, holding the Yankees to only one run. Haren and the A's salvaged the last game of the series 6-1.
Week’s Record- 5-1
Overall Record- 18-11
The Yankees opened up their week on the road in Beantown. It seemed as if Yankee fans cared more about how the Red Sox fans would treat Damon rather than winning the actual game. It came as no surprise when the BoSox fans booed the hell out of him.
Wang gave up one run in the first inning and could have given up a lot more if it wasn’t for the great catch by Crosby. The Yankees answered back in the 4th inning by putting up a 3-spot on the scoreboard capped off by Cano’s 2-run single up the middle. In the bottom of 5th inning, the Sox tied the game with 2 RBI singles.
|Mr. Inconsistent|| |
Aaron Small made his 2006 debut on Monday. His first outing was without a doubt a bad one. He left with runners on first and second and only one out. Sturtze then came on and give up the go ahead run. With men on first and second, Mike Myers came in to face David Ortiz. This was the reason the Yankees acquired Myers in the off-season, to get Ortiz out. Myers failed to do his job as Ortiz hit a mammoth homerun into the Red Sox bullpen to give Boston a 7-3 lead. They went on to win by that very score.
Tuesday’s game was rained out and will be made up on August 18th.
The Yankees headed down to Tampa for a mini 2-game series. Jaret Wright would start for the Yanks, and surprisingly, threw a quality ballgame. With the game knotted at 0 in the bottom of the 5th Wright surrendered his first runs of the game on a two run shot by Tomas Perez. The Yankees answered back with a pair of their own in the 7th to tie the game at two. The game would remain tied until the top of the 10th inning when A-Rod delivered the game winning hit and the Yankees would win 4-2.
Randy Johnson continued his struggles in Tampa. He quickly gave up a run in the first, but the Yankees answered back with a run of their own on Matsui’s homerun.
In the top of the fifth, the Yankees put together a three-run rally to take a 4-3 lead.
In the bottom half of the inning, it looked like Johnson would settle down by having an easy 4th and retiring Gathright and Crawford with ease. However, things would quickly turn around for Johnson. With 2 out and no one on, Gomes laced a single. Then Wigginton hit a two run shot to get the lead back for Tampa. In the eighth, the Yankees had a slim 6-5 lead. With two out and one on Sheffield had a pinch hit single. Crosby
followed with a walk. So with the bases loaded and two out, Damon would deliver a grand slam and put the game away for the Yankees.
The Yankees would fly to Texas for a three game series. Mike Mussina continued to pitch great. Giving up only one run on 3 hits and walking none. Surprisingly, Torre took out Mussina in the eighth with only 86 pitches under his belt. Hell would then break loose in the eighth. Small came in and only recorded one out while surrendering 3 runs on 3 hits. It was then Farnsworth turn to help Texas climb back in this one while giving up two more runs and only recording one out. Rivera would then be forced to come in and stop the bleeding with a weak ground ball to Cano. Rivera went on to pitch the 9th and nail down the 8-7 win.
Chacon pitched the middle game of the three game series. It seemed like he was in a jam every inning but some how gave up only one run. A-Rod went deep in this one, as he continued to kill the ball in Texas. The Yankees easily won this game 6-1.
Mr. Inconsistency (Chien-Ming Wang) would try to complete the three-game sweep for the Yanks. Sunday was the third day in a row the Yankees would score 5 runs in one inning. The big blow came off the bat of Hideki Matsui’s 3-run homer. Wang really had only one bad inning. In the 6th, he gave up 2 runs on three hits. That didn’t stop the Yankees from winning their 5th straight game and getting Torre his 1000th win as a Yankee.
Record for week- 3-2
Overall record- 9-8
The Yankees would start their week on the road once again.
It looked like the Yankees would breeze through their first game against the Blue Jays. A-Rod and Giambi hit back to back, belly to belly homeruns to give the Yanks a 4 run lead. However, Randy Johnson got shelled. He only lasted 3 innings while giving up 7 runs and issued his first walk of this season. It was the first time in his career in which he failed to win a game with a 4-run lead. After the first inning, Gustavo Chacin and his funky delivery would settle down and pull a win out his hat after a very shaky first inning.
The next game, Mike Mussina took the mound and try to salvage the second game of a short two game series. It was a pitching duel between Mussina and the ex-Yankee Ted Lilly. Lilly would blink first by giving up a solo homerun to Alex Rodriguez. That was just about all the Moose would need. He struck out a season-high 7 while walking none. Rivera came in and close out the 3-1 victory for the Yanks.
If there is one word to describe Chien-Ming Wang so far it would be inconsistent. He showed that in his start against the Orioles. He had some innings where he would throw only 5 or 6 pitches and then there would be some innings where he would throw much more. However, he was the victim of a bad call by the first base umpire. With the bases loaded and 2 out, Melvin Mora hit a soft ground ball to Jeter. Jeter threw the ball over to the first base bag and Melvin was called safe. Replays would show that he was out. What could have been a scoreless inning turned into a 3 run inning. Fast forward to the bottom of the 9th. With the bases loaded, 2 outs, and a full count, Matsui was up to bat. Chris Ray would deliver a fastball that looked like it was outside, it was called for strike 3 and the game was over. The Yankees were victimized by another bad call and lost yet another 1-run game.
On Saturday, the Yankees dodged the raindrops and got the middle game of a 3-game series in. Shawn Chacon took the mound and pitched a strong game. As young Daniel Cabrera's control problems continued, the Yankees broke an 0 for 16 slump with the bases loaded on Matsui's double. The Yankees trounced the Orioles 6-1.
In the rubber game of the series, Randy Johnson pitched for the second time during the week. It was a totally different outing for the Unit. Other than Miguel Tejada and his homerun in the first inning, Randy dominated. Other than Tejada, the Orioles went 0-24 against Johnson with 5 strikeouts. On the other side of the ball, Jason Giambi continued his hot hitting. He clobbered two homeruns and missed a third by about 5 feet. The Yankees would win the game and the series.
Food for thought:
After witnessing Johnson's two starts during the week I've come to a few conclusions:
A - He's going to have about 4 more outings like he did on Tuesday.
B - On the other hand he definitely has some gems left in him.
C - Johnson is going to be more of a pitcher than a "thrower". He's not going to strike guys out like he used to. However, he looks like he's going to be a lot more effective by letting ball be put in play and trust his stuff more.
Week 2 - April 10-16
Record for week- 4-2
Overall record- 6-6
Tuesday was the Yankees' home opener. Wang started where he left off on that Wednesday night in Oakland. Wang pitched poor in his six innings of work giving up five runs on eight hits. As Wang would leave the game Yankee fans would wonder if last year was just a fluke. Before the bottom of the eighth, the fans were hanging their heads thinking that the string of 8 straight home opening wins would come to an end. However, the Yankees erupted for 5 runs capped off by Jeter’s three run homeruns as he lived up to the name “Captain Clutch.” The Yankees would then go on to win the game 9-7.
Other than the late inning heroics, game two was no different than game one. A lot of hitting and bad starting pitching. Chacon started the second game of the three game series looking to rebound from his previous outing in Anaheim. Unfortunately, he failed to do so. After a rough first inning, Gary Sheffield knotted things up at three with a homerun. It looked like Chacon had settled down until giving up two more runs in the fifth. Even though the Yanks won a laugher 12-5, Yankee fans should be worried about Chacon.
Game three was a little different. All the offense was there, and the Yankees finally benefited from a quality start. Through the first four innings, Johnson was razor sharp. In the fifth inning Johnson looked fatigued, as he was 0-2 on two consecutive batters and was unable to put away either one of them. Johnson did prevail though, as he escaped further trouble. The Yankees went on to win this one easy, 9-3.
After their mini-homestand, the Yankees were back on the road. In game one, Mussina threw another good game going 6 2/3 giving up 3. Unfortunately the Yankees couldn’t get anything started offensively while getting only 4 hits. They would lose this game and waste another quality start out of the Moose.
Game 2 of this three-game series was a tough one, a very tough one. The Yankees had their work cut out for them as they went up against baseball’s best pitcher: Johan Santana. The Yankees would send out Jaret Wright for his first start of the season. Wright simply stunk, going only 3+ while giving up 3 runs on 7 hits. However, the Yankees battled back in the 7th as they put 3 up on the scoreboard and took the lead 5-4. The Yankees still had that lead going into the 9th. With the best closer of all time on the mound, it looked like the Yankees could pull of a great comeback against Santana. There was some controversy in the 9th. On a 2-2 pitch it looked as if Luis Castillo went around, but the umpire thought differently. So with a free swing, Castillo got a 5 foot hit. No, it really was 5 feet. Anyway, Mauer then came up after Castillo and on another 2-2 pitch it looked as if Rivera had caught him looking for a third strike, but the home plate umpire didn’t think so. On the next pitch, Mauer laced a single to left and Matsui’s woes in the field continued. Instead of throwing the ball to second to keep the winning run out of scoring position he threw the ball to third. It still looked like Rivera would wiggle out of the jam after consecutive strikeouts. As the game rested on young Justin Morneau shoulders, he would come through with a jam shot that would find a hole, and for the first time in a very long time, the great Rivera showed plenty of emotion as Mauer crossed the plate and the Twins won 6-5. This, my friends, was a tough, tough loss to swallow.
In game 3 the Yankees looked to avoid a sweep by the hands of the Twins. Wang would have to come up big, and he did. He threw 7 awesome innings while giving up only one earned run and striking out an unusual 8. The most important stat of all was Wang’s walks. He had none, which is a good sign due to the fact he has had control problems in his first two starts. The Yankees were homer-happy Sunday, as they hit 4 and won the series finale 9-3.
Week One -
April 2nd - April 9th
Record for the week - 2-4
Overall record - 2-4
|2-4? Fah-get-abawttit!|| |
Sure 2-4 doesn’t sound good, but it sure sounds A LOT better than 1-5. Which is what the Yanks’ record could have easily been if their bats didn’t wake up today. Everything looked good on opening day. Scoring fifteen runs and knocking out Zito in the second inning. A-rod hit a granny. Johnson pitched well. However, it all went downhill from there. In the next five games, the Bombers bats hit the snooze button while scoring only 9 runs in 4 games and going 4-26 with RISP. In the second game the Yankees got a pretty good outing out of the Moose for a change, but couldn’t hold the lead. For some reason Torre put in Proctor, who doesn’t pitch well in a good week, and he blew the game along with the terrible play by Matsui in left. Torre said he wanted to give Proctor some work. I don’t buy that. If he wanted to give him some work, why didn't he let him pitch when they had a 13-RUN LEAD THE NIGHT BEFORE????
In game three, the Yankee defense looked like a team from the Sandlot. In what could have been an inning-ending double play, Jeter and his “Gold Glove” booted the ball, and everyone was safe. That pretty much opened the floodgates and the A’s never looked back as they went on to win 9-4.
An already bad road trip got worse. The Yankees' clutch hitting in the first two games in Anaheim remained unfound as they left fifteen men on base. Chacon looked lost in his 2006 debut while only going 4 2/3 innings and giving up four runs. The next night, the Yankees wasted a stellar performance from the Unit. He went 8 while striking out 8 and giving up only 3. Unfortunately, the Yanks’ bats remained in snooze mode and dropped their 4th in a row losing 3-2.
Today was a totally different story, as they put up 10 on the scoreboard and pounded out 15 hits. This came as no surprise, though. Since 2000, Colon’s ERA is an inflated 7.50 against the Yankees. He couldn’t last 2 while Posada and A-rod both took him deep in the second inning. Other than that hiccup in the 3rd inning, Mussina pitched great. He tossed 6 innings while only giving up one run and fanning 5.
Believe it or not there is a bright side to all of this. Even though the Yankees went 2-4, their 1-2 punch threw 28 innings with an ERA of only 2.57.
Tony Aubry provides weekly New York Yankees coverage, and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org