Posts Tagged ‘Alfredo Aceves’

Phillies Hold Off Yankees, Force Game Six

November 3, 2009

Like George Costanza, the Philadelphia Phillies did the opposite last night.

Instead of having tuna on toast, with coleslaw, and a cup of coffee and trying to wait out AJ Burnett, the Phillies had chicken salad, on rye, untoasted, and a cup of tea and jumped all over Burnett.

The Phillies were aggressive and ambushed Burnett in the first inning thanks to a Chase Utley three-run homerun and eventually held on for an 8-6 victory to force a Game Six back in the Bronx.

The Yankees now lead the best-of-seven World Series 3-2.

What ever respect Burnett earned in his gutsy performance in Game Five of the ALCS and his brilliant performance in Game Two of the World Series, he lost last night.

Yankees Orioles Baseball

Burnett gave the Yankees nothing last night

To go out in a World Series game and give your team absolutely nothing, is pathetic. At least battle like you did against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim.

Here is all you need to know about where Burnett’s head was last night.

In the bottom of the third, Burnett was facing Jayson Werth with two on and nobody out. Burnett gets to 0-2 on Werth on two fastballs. The second fastball he blew by Werth.

Now one of the first things you learn when you become a pitcher is if a guy can’t catch up to your fastball, don’t throw anything offspead.

So what does Burnett do? He throws a tumbling curveball right over the middle of the plate. Werth was all over it and ripped the ball right back up the middle.

You can’t throw that pitch, if a guy just couldn’t catch up to your fastball on the pitch before. Let him prove that he can hit your fastball.

Burnett was then taken out of the game.

Just a terrible performance.

Here are some other observations from last night.

When Shane Victorino got hit on the finger squaring to bunt in the first inning, it reminded me of David Cone breaking his finger in 1987 on a bunt attempt.

In a potential clinching game in the World Series, the Yankees had Nick Swisher batting fifth.

Lee was good last night, but wasn’t great. He walked three guys last night and had only walked three guys in his previous four starts.

Lee only threw first-pitch strikes to 18 out of the 31 batters he faced. Very uncharacteristic for him.

I was very surprised to see Lee come out for the eighth inning. I thought Charlie Manuel should have gone to Chan Ho Park to start the inning and preserve Lee for a relief appearance in a potential Game Seven.

Great job by David Roberston and Alfredo Aceves to keep the Yankees in the game. Four innings, two hits, and three strike outs.

The Yankees have to be encouraged by Phil Hughes’ performance last night. 1.1 innings and looked sharp.

I guess we now know why Damaso Marte is ahead of Phil Coke on the depth chart.

With five homeruns, Chase Utley has tied Reggie Jackson for most homeruns in a World Series.

Why does Swisher look up at the scoreboard before every pitch? If this was the 1960’s, he would be accused of stealing signs.

Can someone please teach Brett Gardner how to bunt? This guy is one of the fastest players in baseball and he is hitting the ball in the air every AB.

I had no problem with Manuel going with Ryan Madson in the ninth. Lidge threw 30 pitches the night before and Madson was solid in Game Four.

Whatever praying the Phillies’ dugout did before the Derek Jeter AB–it worked. Jeter hitting into a 6-4-3 double play is more than anyone could have expected.

Say what you want about Johnny Damon–when the game and season is on the line, he shows up to play.

You can make all the great defensive plays you want, but Mark Teixeira’s postseason honeymoon is over. He has been awful in this World Series and for the most part, the entire postseason.

Hideki Matsui leads the Yankees in total bases this World Series (11) and has only started two games.

Citizens Bank Park has an X-Ray machine in the stadium. How far have we come in terms of technology? It really is amazing and we all, including myself take it for granted.

Hypothetical here: Let’s say Teixeira tied the game with a two-run HR in the ninth and Brett Gardner wins the game for the Yankees in the 15th inning. Does Utley still win the MVP award?

Ryan Howard has struck out 12 times this postseason tying Willie Wilson’s World Series record. I am confident that he will break that record in Game Six.

Another hypothetical here: Game Six, the Phillies are up 4-3, and heading into the ninth inning–who close’s for the Phillies?

If there ever was a “good loss” last night was it for the Yankees. They took the Phillies best punch last night and managed to get back up and make a fight out of it.

The Yankee teams from 2001-2008 would have taken that punch and not gotten back up.

Hero for Game Five – Chase Utley

Goat for Game Five – AJ Burnett

Series MVP – Chase Utley

Game Six is Wednesday at 7:57 ET.

Joe Girardi Overmanages, Angels Take Game Three

October 20, 2009

If you are going to be uptight, nervous, and overmanage in the postseason, you better win. Time and time again, New York Yankees manager has overmanaged in this postseason and the Yankees’ talent has bailed him out.

Today, there was nobody to bail Girardi out.

Girardi overmanaged yet again

Girardi overmanaged yet again

In the bottom of the 11th this afternoon in Anaheim, with the score tied at four, Girardi took RHP David Robertson out of the game with two outs and nobody on base. Why Girardi took Robertson out is anyone’s guess.

Robertson, who led all American League pitchers in K/9 with12.98 was cruising along. He had thrown only 11 pitches and six of them were for strikes. There was absolutely no reason to take him out–especially since a right-handed batter was coming up in Howie Kendrick.

Girardi took Robertson out to bring in Alfredo Aceves. Aceves proceeds to give up a single to Kendrick and then a double to Jeff Mathis–game over.

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim win 5-4 and now they are back in the ALCS.

I guess we can stop called Aceves “Ace.” That might be the worst nickname in sports. Aceves as “Ace?” Come on. Does CC Sabathia say “Hey Ace what’s up? and start laughing?

Here is what has to kill you if you are a Yankee fan. Robertson is just better than Aceves. He is better and it is not even close. There is no way Girardi could possibly think that Aceves gaves the Yankees a better chance to win the game than Robertson does.

I can’t wait to hear Girardi get ripped in the newspaper and on the radio tomorrow in New York. If I was Girardi, I would block out all forms of media tomorrow. It’s going to get ugly.

Here are some other observations from today’s game:

Why did Girardi pinch-hit for Mariano Rivera in the 10th with Francisco Cervelli? There were two outs and nobody on. Let Rivera hit and use him for another inning. Just stupid managing on Girardi’s part.

How great has Jeff Mathis been for the Angels? He is a lifetime .200 hitter and he has been hitting the ball all over the ballpark in the ALCS.

Did Bobby Abreu go to the Nick Punto school of baserunning? It was such an awful baserunning play, that I thought that would have taken all the wind out of the Angels sails.

Girardi just made another pitching change. He just summoned Eric Plunk out of the pen.

On that play, it wasn’t a great play by Derek Jeter. It was a great play by Mark Teixeira backing up second base. Being the cutoff man and turning around and throwing to Teixeira isn’t a great play. Let’s give other people credit when it’s due.

Why do pitchers continue to challenge Alex Rodriguez when they are behind in the count? Just walk him at that point. Hideki Matsui hasn’t done a thing this postseason.

I loved how Jered Weaver begged Mike Scioscia to stay in the game. I thought that was awesome. I wish more pitchers were like Weaver.

Did Jeter’s HR remind anyone else of Game 4 of the 2000 World Series?

Didn’t you just know that the Angels weren’t going to score with first and third with nobody out in the 10th. It was almost inevitable.

If Torii Hunter is up in a big spot–don’t throw him a strike. Hunter is so anxious to be the hero, he will just swing at anything.

If Joba Chamberlain was playing in Pittsburgh, he would be a nobody. Mr. Mediocre nearly gave the game away for the Yankees as he gave up a triple, sac fly, and a double in one third of an inning. Remember, this is the same organization that hyped up Russ Davis as the next Mike Schmidt.

Vladimir Guerrero’s sixth inning, two-run HR saved the series for the Angels. The Angels were 10 outs away from their season essentially being over and Guerrero tied the game and gave the Angels a new life.

Girardi just made another pitching change.

Besides Girardi, the other concern you have if you are a Yankee fan is that they are having a hard time scoring if they don’t hit a HR. Something to watch for in the remainder of the series.

Somebody should tell Kendry Morales and Juan Rivera the ALCS started. These two were a combined 0-for-10 today and have a combined .077 average for the ALCS.

Hero for Game 3 – Jeff Mathis

Goat for Game 3 – Alfredo Aceves

Series MVP – Alex Rodriguez

Game 4 is Tuesday at 7:57 ET.

Phil Hughes: The New York Yankees MVP…

August 15, 2009

One of the things on my “to do” list when I woke up this morning was go to the grocery store. I needed your basic stuff like bread, cereal, and pasta sauce. As I was shopping, I thought I should buy some beer. Everyone needs beer in their apartment, right?

As I was looking at the stores many beer selections (oddly enough, The Associated on 22nd and Park in New York has a tremendous beer selection), I saw they had Corona. If I was going to buy some Corona, I was going to need a lime. After all, you can’t have a Corona without a lime.

Then it got me thinking. The Yankees’ bullpen at the beginning of the season was like a Corona without the lime. Sure it was okay, but if they had a lime, then it would go from okay to great. Enter Phil Hughes – the New York Yankees’ lime in their Bullpen Corona.

I know what you are thinking and A. I think about baseball more often than I should and B. I had to dig deep for this analogy.

I got to watch Hughes start a game against the Boston Red Sox in early May. As a starter, I saw a guy with zero confidence on the mound. He threw what seemed like 200 pitches in four innings (94 actually), he nibbled, shook off Jose Molina like 50 times, and gave up a homerun to Mike Lowell I don’t think has landed yet.

I don’t care what kind of stuff you have – if you don’t have confidence in your ability to get batters out, then you have no chance at the major-league level.

Then, Hughes was moved to the bullpen in June and the Yankees’ bullpen and the Yankees in general, went from good to great. Hughes has stabilized the bullpen and has given the Yankees a late inning force they haven’t had since the Mike Stanton and Jeff Nelson days.

Hughes has been a force this year

Hughes has been a force this year

As a reliever, Hughes has been almost unhittable. He has a 1.25 ERA, only has given up 20 hits, and has struck out 44 batters in 33.1 innings pitched. Hughes went from having no confidence as a starter, to looking like the next coming of Goose Gossage.

What Hughes’ emergence has done is allowed guys like Phil Coke and Alfredo Aceves to move into more suited roles in the bullpen. The Yankees’ bullpen, which was a weakness in April and May is now a force.

While Mark Teixeira and Derek Jeter will get MVP votes at the end of the season, the real MVP of the Yankees this year has been Phil Hughes. He has made the bullpen better, which in turn has made the starting rotation better, and has made the Yankees as a team better.

Hughes is not only the line in the Yankees’ Corona, but their MVP as well.

Fantasy Week In Review, June 29 – July 5…

July 6, 2009

I hope everyone had a great July 4th weekend!!! It was finally nice out for more than one day here in the northeast so the bbq’s were grilling, the beach was crowded, and the softball’s were flying.

Last week was a very intriguing week in fantasy baseball. We finally saw everyone’s preseason man crush get crushed and we saw one pitcher who is trying to make a run at something that only two other pitchers (Greg Maddux and Randy Johnson) have done in the National League – win back to back Cy Young awards.

Here are the fantasy studs, players who have us concerned and the potential pickups for the week of June 29 – July 5.

Fantasy Studs

Derek Lee – .250/4/12. Lee only had seven hits during the week, but four of them cleared the fence. That is being efficient.

Albert Pujols – .429/3/8/.571 and one SB. The look on David Weather’s face when Pujols hit the grand slam off him on Friday was priceless.

Casey McGehee – .370/2/10. McGehee is doing just fine filling in for Rickie Weeks.

Shin-Soo Choo – .409/3/9. Any guy who has seven RBI in one game is a fantasy stud.

Marlon Byrd – .450/3/9/.556. Byrd has filled in nicely for Josh Hamilton. Now with Chris Davis being sent down (more on that later), Byrd should continue to get AB’s.

Oswalt was a stud last week

Oswalt was a stud last week

Roy Oswalt – 2-0 with a 1.06 ERA and 14 K’s in 17 IP. Oswalt got off to a slow start, but has really turned it on as of late.

Ricky Nolasco – 2-0 with a 1.13 ERA and 20 K’s in 16 IP. It looks like Nolasco’s time in the minors served him well. Good to see him back to his 2008 form.

Tim Lincecum – 2-0 with a 0.00 ERA and 17 K’s in 16 IP. Lincecum is making a serious run at his second consecutive Cy Young award. If the season ended today, I would vote for him.

Reasons for Concern

Chien-Ming Wang – The New York Yankees placed Wang on the 15-Day DL with a right shoulder strain. At this point, I am confident in saying this isn’t Chien-Ming Wang’s year.

From his early season struggles, to being put in the bullpen, and now to being put on the 15-day DL this season has been a disaster for Wang. He is 1-6 with a 9.64 ERA this season.

There is no time table for Wang’s return.

Randy Johnson – Johnson left Sunday’s game against the Astros with a left shoulder strain. Johnson is going for an MRI today.

Hopefully for Johnson owners, the MRI is just a precautionary move. If it’s anything more, there is a good chance Johnson could be placed on the DL.

Davis was finally sent down

Davis was finally sent down

Chris Davis – Well, well, well everyone’s preseason man crush finally crushed the hopes of fantasy owners across the world. Davis was sent down to Triple-A in order to make room for the returning Josh Hamilton.

Davis was batting just .202 this season and was leading baseball in strikeouts with 114. I am guessing this won’t be the last we will see of Davis this year.

Potential Pickups

Ryan Sadowski – Two starts, two quality starts, two wins, and more importantly – zero runs allowed in 13 innings. As long as he is pitching in the very pitcher friendly AT&T Park, Sadowski has a chance.

As long as he keeps pitching the way he has, he will stay in the rotation for the San Francisco Giants.

Alfredo Aceves – With Chien-Ming Wang headed to the DL, Aceves becomes the likely choice to replace him in the rotation.

I will ignore that Aceves has the most inappropriate nickname in baseball “Ace,” and focus on what he can bring to your fantasy team. With the Yankees’ offense rolling, Aceves should be in line for some five inning, seven to four victories.

Softball Update

It’s been awhile since I have done a softball update, so I thought I would give one today. It’s been a rough couple of weeks for the Vipers. The players we lost from last year’s team that made the finals is starting to show in the lineup. Not being able to score runs in softball is probably the most frustrating thing ever.

We started off 4-1 and now we sit at 6-4 through 10 games.

As for me, I am hitting .520 with three HR’s, nine RBI, and seven runs scored in 25 AB’s. Very Miguel Cabrera-like. I am also fielding like Miguel Cabrera would if he was to play shortstop, but that is a different story.

Two big games for the Vipers this week, so I will give another update next Monday.