Sunday, May 24, 2009

Game 44: NY Yankees vs Philadelphia Phillies. Pinch Live Blog

Hi kids! (Hi Dr. Nick!) Elizabeth here from Blogging The Mystique to cover the first hour and a half of today's game for Rebecca. Today's matchup sees everyone's Second Favorite Lefty face Cole "Don't Call Me Brad Pitt" Hamels. Can Carsten Charles keep his hot streak rolling? Will today be the day that Hamels remembers how to pitch? Can Melky Cabrera get any more awesome? All the answers to these questions and more today on....Oh! Hey! YES is doing a small pre-game feature on Melky! Gotta go!

...that was disappointing. No matter! It's almost time to play ball! (Can you tell I just had sugar?)

Top of the 1st

It's an absolutely gorgeous day here, in Rochester, and it looks even nicer in the Bronx.

1-2-3 Inning for Sabathia, including getting Ibanez (I wish I had a tilde key on my computer) to ground into a 3U.

I know the Yankees have been living by the walk-off, but I wouldn't turn down a few early-game runs, here.

Bottom of the 1st
Leadoff single and 8-game hitting streak for Jeet.

Just checked Baseball Reference. CC is a career 3.26 pitcher in the month of May, which is more than a run less than his career April ERA. So he's right on track to continue his trend of lights-out summers.

Stolen base there for Cap. Can you believe he's stolen 9 bases so far? Jeter will be 35 on June 26th. Many Yankee fans would appreciate if that speed translated to the field.

Alas, Jeter is stranded at third as Alex strikes out to end the inning.

Top of the 2nd

The announcers are heaping praise on Melky. This is like Christmas for me. I'm curious, o readers: who is your "Melky Cabrera?" Which player have you been rooting for from the get go? Which player has a special place in your cold, grizzled heart?

I always cringe when I see a pop up head for third base. Alex Rodriguez's fear of pop ups has been well-documented. We all remember opening day in 2007 when he dropped a pop up on the first play of the game. Though it is amusing to see him stare the foul pops into the stands for so long. "Darn. If only you weren't 20 rows back, I could have caught you."

Another 1-2-3 for CC. He's thrown 27 pitches.

Bottom of the 2nd

Speaking of Melky (when am I not?) he has an infield hit deep to shortstop.

The announcers are discussing Matsui, and are touching on some of the things I've mentioned about him--streaky hitting, bailing on the ball--but as a fan I like Matsui in my lineup a lot. He's the epitome of "professional hitter." He's steady and unflappable. However, there's no denying the effect that the knee issues have on his hitting. I'm not an injury expert, but is there a possible correlation between his extreme pull hitting and the knee issues?

Yikes. Strike-em-out-throw-em-out as Matsui whiffs on a high fastball. You can't blame the knees for that.

Top of the 3rd
Two-out single by Hank Aaron Ruiz. No-hitter gone, sadly.

And that, boys and girls, is why you should not be diving after every single ball hit to the outfield. I will never understand why Girardi insists on putting Gardner in centerfield over Melky, outside of the difference in their arm strengths. Sometimes that catch gets made, but more often than not, you'll miss, and the ball will roll to the wall. If Gardner simply cuts that ball off, Rollins doesn't score on Victorino's base hit.

2-0 Phillies

Bottom of the 3rd

You've gotta love when your AA fill-in catcher who was only on the team to avoid a 40-man move rips a leadoff double down the line. Maybe what he needed was a major league hitting coach.

Gardner can redeem himself here with an RBI single.

My brother always says that popping out behind home plate is the worst possible out to make because (besides the futility of it) it shows that you not only were late on a ball but you got under it, as well.

Nope, lined out softly to second base.

Lies and the Lying Liars who Tell Them (tm Al Franken) as Jeter "strikes out" on a foul ball that bounced in the dirt. No double checking with the first base umpire. Just a "yup, catcher caught the ball. Go sit down."

If Hamels does so well pitching with RISP, as YES informs us, then the Yankees will clearly need to hit six or seven solo home runs.

Oops, spoke too soon. Double down the right field line by Johnny Damon to plate Cervelli (which I think should be pronounced "chair-velli," since he's of Italian ethnicity, even though his immediate family is from Venezuela. I won't bore you with the history lesson on the South-Central American/Italian immigration and connection. 2-1 Phillies

Base hit by Tex, but Damon gets thrown out at the plate for the second time in three games. I applauded the move by Thompson on Friday but I'm not so sure this time. Would you really turn down a first-and-third situation with your best hitter coming up?

Top of the 4th
I like seeing Jeter range all the way behind second base to snag Howard's bouncing hit, but sometimes you have to hold on to the ball.

Meanwhile, Twitter has exploded with people crucifying Thompson for sending Damon. I don't really like the call of sending him, but Thompson's been a very good third base coach thus far this year.

Hey, Nick Johnson was a late scratch against the Orioles (thanks, RotoWorld). Injury? Trade? Mets or Red Sox?

Bottom of the 4th
Wow. There was a LOT of cheering when Alex struck out. I wasn't looking up and assumed he had walked. Thanks a lot, Yankees fans, for selling your tickets.

And the Yankees strand another running in scoring position. Time to have those knees drained again, 'Sui!

Alright. I'm off for the day. Time to go to work! Enjoy the rest of the game and Go Yankees!