This week was started in true baseball fanatic fashion. I had the luxury of attending 3 games at Yankee Stadium against the Minnesota Twins on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday night. The first time out to the ballpark each year is always one of the best feelings any baseball fan can experience. Looking back on the “Twins trifecta” at The Stadium there is no better way to describe it than with the title of the famous Clint Eastwood flick “The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly.”
The Good came on Monday night in a showdown between Ivan Nova and Scott Baker. A good preface to how this game played out came on the 4 train from Manhattan to the Bronx. Listening into a conversation between a Twins fan, who flew in from Minny-sooooota for the game, and a Yankee fan I heard the Justin Morneau lover explain that Scott Baker is a fly ball pitcher which likely would not fare well against the Yanks. He was right. The Yankees scored all 4 of their runs on a pair of 2 run homers by Jorge Posada and Alex Rodriguez. Big flies killed Baker on this night. Ivan Nova was impressive registering a quality start(6 inning of 3 run ball.) He took a no hitter into the 4th inning and had it broken up by Morneau one pitch after the obnoxious woman to the right of me started talking about the no-no. Clearly she did not know the etiquette on that type of thing. The Yanks then went to what has come to be known as “The Formula;” Joba in the 7th, Rafael Soriano in the 8th and Mariano Rivera in the 9th to close it out. The trio now known as JoSoMo blew threw the Twins order and secured the win.
The Bad came on Tuesday night. The Bronx Bombers were in the drivers seat from the very first inning through the 7th inning. A Mark Teixeira 3 run bomb and Andruw Jones solo shot, both off south paw Brian Duensing, gave the Yanks an early 4-0 lead. Then came the 8th inning. At 4-0 in the 8th inning Joe Girardi chose to go to Rafael Soriano instead of sticking with his work horse CC Sabathia. “The Bad” came on two fronts in this inning. First, Joe Girardi can not pull CC in that spot. Sabathia had a shut out going and only 104 pitches under his belt; which is not a heavy load for the big man. In a rotation which has pitchers who can not work as deeply into games as Sabathia it is imperative that the bullpen, that needs to be leaned on heavily this season for the Yankees to have success, not be overused in his starts especially. However, the move was made and Soriano was the man called on. Rafi had no command of his pitches and simply could not find the plate. Soriano allowed the game to be tied at 4(David Robertson could not bail him out) and we got some free baseball in the Bronx. Boone Logan, who has not been sharp this year in his lefty specialist role allowed the game winning run to come across the dish in the 10th inning on a Joe Mauer RBI single. This was a grand disappointment to all the New York fans including myself. Bad decisions and bad execution.
Finally, The Ugly came on a wet Wednesday night. After arriving to cathedral that is Yankee Stadium an hour before the game the tarp was still on the infield. Fifteen minutes passed, then thirty, then forty five and the tarp was still sitting on the field. The rain was not coming down particularly hard but it was that just enough to disrupt a baseball game for players and fans alike. A delay was announced and ultimately this game was delayed. It was certainly an ugly night at the Stadium given the gross weather, the hole burned in my pocket snacking on goodies, including Nathan’s cheese fries and Twizzlers, and the fact that this baseball lover did not get to watch a single pitch!
All in all it was a tremendous week of baseball games and this guy is looking forward to seeing the AL East leading Baltimore Orioles take on the Boys from the Bronx. Make sure you vote in the WTP Weekly Poll below; post follow up coming tomorrow.