• May 17th vs. The Twins

    Posted by on May 17th, 2009 · Comments (38)

    This makes three walk-offs in a row for the Yankees. First time they’ve done that since 1972:

    August 27, 1972 – Game 1
    August 27, 1972 – Game 2
    August 29, 1972

    But, as you can note, in 1972, the three games were broken up by an off-day…whereas this time, in 2009, it’s been three days in a row. Wow.

    I was at this one with my son – who turned five last month. It was his first time at the new Stadium – getting even with his sister who had her first trip there two weeks ago.

    The first six innings flew by – pretty quick. During those frames, my biggest thrill was the DP the Yanks turned to close out the fourth inning. I just love it, being there in person, watching the Yankees turn-two on an infield grounder, to end an inning. I must be crazy, but, I get off on the way that keeps you on your seat – seeing it unfold – and then it gives you what you want in the end.

    For my son, in the first six, his biggest thrill was either the cotton candy that he had in the bottom of the fourth inning or hearing Paul Cartier play “What Shall We Do with a Drunken Sailor?” because he knows that one from being a SpongeBob SquarePants junkie. Hey, when you’re five…

    In the seventh inning, he wanted to go for a walk – so, we left our seats in Section 213 (in the Main Level) and headed out to the bleachers. Here we are, below, out in centerfield:

    outincenter_bd_blog

    We were in the bleachers when Burnett started to unravel – allowing the Twins to score two. From there, we started to loop back around to our seats – taking a dip down through the field level as the Yankees were coming to bat. As luck would have it, we arrived just behind home plate, at field level, when A-Rod went deep. Man, that’s a nice view. We stayed there to see Matsui’s double, Swisher’s sweet bunt, and Melky’s sac-fly to knot the score. After the end of the seventh, we ran back up to our seats.

    During our dash, we saw a lot of people leaving the Stadium. What’s up with that? It was two-two, in the seventh, and not very late in the day. (If I had to guess, I would say it was around 3:30 pm ET.) Sure, it was starting to sprinkle, a tad…but, nothing crazy.

    Speaking of crazy, how about that eighth inning? Denard Span and Hideki Matsui would probably like to forget those At Bats. And, that play that Joe Mauer made in the ninth? Dude, that had Thurman Munson, 1971, written all over it. Even as a Yankees fan, you have to tip your cap to a play like that one.

    Nice to finally see a regular season game, in person at the new Stadium, that ended up as a “W” for the Yankees. Having been there for Opening Day and May 2nd, and coming home with a loss, each time, this one was sweet – especially since my next ticket is for August. It would have been a long two and a half months to ride that out…waiting for a win.

    Lastly, a question for ya’ll. What do you think of the Minnesota Twins this year? They must be a great team, right? After all, the Yankees have barely beaten them now, for three games in a row, no? It’s been tooth and nail playing these Twinkies. Or, if you think Minnesota is not that good, what does that say about New York?

    Comments on May 17th vs. The Twins

    1. yagottagotomo1
      May 17th, 2009 | 11:47 pm

      “What do you think of the Minnesota Twins this year? They must be a great team, right? After all, the Yankees have barely beaten them now, for three games in a row, no? It’s been tooth and nail playing these Twinkies. Or, if you think Minnesota is not that good, what does that say about New York?”

      This is part of your usual, “the wins dont count against bad teams” type thing. But the truth is that in baseball, there is no such thing as “barely beaten.” Bad teams win at least one of three against good teams all the time. Taking three straight against anyone is an accomplishment. That being said, I think the Twins are the best team in that division if Liriano straightens himself out. The Tigers might give them a run, but I dont trust Detroit’s pitching to hold up. I picked Minny to start the year and I am staying with them. Someone is going to win that division with 86-88 wins, and I think the Twins have the most well rounded team for that- strong middle of the order, some speed, a deep and young rotation, and a great closer.

    2. May 17th, 2009 | 11:52 pm

      Silly boy. Of course, all the wins count. But, have you ever heard of the Strength Of Schedule concept? That tells you that not all wins are the same – in the sense that some come easier or harder…and that two teams, with the same win total, are sometimes not the same. And, sometimes, a team with less wins is better than a team with more – because of who they had to play to get them…

    3. yagottagotomo1
      May 18th, 2009 | 12:01 am

      I know the strength of schedule concept. But you use this all the time in your strange quest to discount wins. And are you honestly going to tell me that you believe in the idea of “barely beating” them in baseball? Bad teams play close games with good teams every single day. Its just not the kind of sport where the better talent asserts itself every day. It has too much to do with the starting pitcher. Look at the series the Sox just had with the Mariners- there is a good team that had the advantages in the pitching matchups, losing to a bad team two weeks after they destroyed the Yankees. Strength of schedule means less in baseball than in any other sport. And lets be honest- the Twins are at worst a .500 team. So in this run, they have taken series from a below .500 team, an above .500 team, and a .500 team. Discount that however you would like.

    4. Evan3457
      May 18th, 2009 | 2:12 am

      The Twins, like most of the teams in the AL, are OK. Nothing special, except for Mauer, Morneau, Nathan, and possibly Liriano if he gets his command back.

      In the current AL, that makes them an 83-88 win team, and therefore they could win the Central. They also came into the series on a small roll. It is therefore slightly impressive that the Yanks beat them in three straight nailbiters. It’d be more impressive if their hitters, outside of Mauer and Morneau, weren’t doing such a bad job with runners on base. Now, that could be the Yankees’ pitching, but it may just be the worst hitting with men on since…since…the Yankees, 3 games out of 5 this season.

      ==========================================
      Realistically, the Yanks have to win the majority of the games at home against teams of this caliber. As they were 6-7 in home games before this series, this is a pleasant turnaround, so far. The best part about this is that they’ve given up 5 solo HR to Mauer and Morneau, and the Twins have a total of 10 runs in the series.

      5 wins in a row? I’m happy about it. 4 straight late come from behind wins? Gotta be real happy with that. 3 straight walkoff wins? Steve, you’re sometimes a glass half-empty kind of blogger. This isn’t the time for it. Wait till they lose 2 of 3 to the O’s later this week for that. ;)

    5. May 18th, 2009 | 7:10 am

      yagottagotomo1 wrote:

      I know the strength of schedule concept. But you use this all the time in your strange quest to discount wins.

      All the time? The Yankees have won about 400 games since I started writing this blog. Show me the…what?… 300+ times that I’ve done this…

      Oh, what’s your verison of all the time, like twice?

    6. Raf
      May 18th, 2009 | 7:27 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Silly boy. Of course, all the wins count. But, have you ever heard of the Strength Of Schedule concept?

      Sure, in football. But how many teams in baseball have snuck into the playoffs due to a “weak schedule?”

      If you really want to rail against a soft schedule, get rid of interleague play.

    7. Raf
      May 18th, 2009 | 7:30 am

      That was a great play by Mauer. What happened on the other end, did Gardner not have a big enough lead, did he break late? Regardless it was a good attempt on his part, especially with the way he was trying to break away or to the outside of the plate.

    8. Corey
      May 18th, 2009 | 8:30 am

      Gardner took a chance, and it would have been an amazing walk off win right there, if Maur didn’t make an all-time kind of play and mock that he was throwing to first to lure Gardner in…If maur throws to first there, the yanks win the game…very exciting play, and I’m extremely impressed with Mauer..

      it bothers me to no end however that YES picks the “___ of the game” awards so early…It was 2-2 in the 7th when they picked the player of the game, how can u justify that?

    9. yagottagotomo1
      May 18th, 2009 | 9:38 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      All the time? The Yankees have won about 400 games since I started writing this blog. Show me the…what?… 300+ times that I’ve done this…

      Oh, what’s your verison of all the time, like twice?

      Firstly, as I’m sure you know when you typed that, all the time does not literally mean every day. Secondly, it happens pretty frequently, as in 5-6 times a season. We are not even through the season’s second month and this is the second time. You did it a few weeks ago, when you said something like “The Yankees have lost 7 out of 11, but the Angels blew some of those games, so really they have lost 9 out of 11″ or something of that nature.

      Oh, and the condescending “silly boy” type stuff is not appreciated.

    10. butchie22
      May 18th, 2009 | 10:11 am

      Yes, Steve the Twins are a good team. I understand your point that is it that the Yanks are better than a mediocre team or did they just beat a good team? The Yanks have won these games by the skin of their teeth. That play that Joe “Slight of Hand” Mauer made. That was even more amazing than the Teix play in the game. Mauer is one damn good catcher and that amazing play went for naught as the Bronx Bombers took it at the Palace. In spite of Gardner losing that battle, the team didin’t give up and that is a commendable aspect of the team during this run.

      @Yagotta/silly boy, mate chill he’s not attacking your dignity,it’s all in good fun.It’s easy to get cynical about this team especially after seeing the Red Sox becoming the model franchise and the ascent of the Rays.And in terms of the schedule, you play who you play. I do think that the Yanks are a fundamentally flawed team with an excess of veterans and a dearth of youth relative to other teams in the division.Quite frankly though, the Yanks are playing well enough to eck out victories in the last 5 of 6 games. Arod’s coming back has big a big jolt in the lineup, where Teix isn’t “DA MAN” anymore so the pressure is off him. CC is pitching quite well and the roleplayers are coming through. Does this stick? It’s too early to tell BUT they sure as hell have been playing well lately regardless of who they are playing. Yeah, the Rays and Red Sox shamed them BUT they have to win against the other teams just the same. They’ll have other chances to play the Rays and Red Sox again so it ain’t over til it’s over.

    11. yagottagotomo1
      May 18th, 2009 | 10:28 am

      butchie22 wrote:

      I do think that the Yanks are a fundamentally flawed team with an excess of veterans and a dearth of youth relative to other teams in the division.

      Yankees average age- 28.3. Boston AA- 28.4. Toronto-29. Tampa- 28.

    12. May 18th, 2009 | 10:37 am

      yagottagotomo1 – for the record, it’s never appreciated, by me, when someone posts a comment here, claiming that I said something that I never said, or have done something a million times – when I have not, or where they claim to know what I was thinking, or trying to do, when it’s more a matter of them projecting something to fit their own agenda.

      So, I apologize if I struck a nerve with my tease of “Silly Boy.” Will you now do the same for calling my on the carpet for something that’s an inference on your part towards me – and which I view as unfair?

    13. Corey
      May 18th, 2009 | 10:51 am

      yagottagotomo1 wrote:

      butchie22 wrote:
      I do think that the Yanks are a fundamentally flawed team with an excess of veterans and a dearth of youth relative to other teams in the division.

      Yankees average age- 28.3. Boston AA- 28.4. Toronto-29. Tampa- 28.

      part of the reason our average age is so low is cause the veterans have gotten hurt and we’ve plugged it in with young guys, if u take the avg age of what our team “should” be (what cashman invisioned on paper) you get:

      Jorge Posada# 37
      Mark Teixeira# 29
      Robinson Cano* 26
      Derek Jeter 35
      Johnny Damon* 35
      Brett Gardner* 25
      Hideki Matsui* 35
      Alex Rodriguez 33
      Xavier Nady 30

      bench

      Melky Cabrera# 24
      Jose Molina 34
      Nick Swisher# 28
      Cody Ransom 33

      pitching

      C.C. Sabathia* 28
      A.J. Burnett 32
      Andy Pettitte* 37
      Joba Chamberlain 23
      Chien-Ming Wang 29
      Mariano Rivera 39
      Jonathan Albaladejo 26
      Edwar Ramirez 28
      Jose Veras 28
      Phil Coke* 26
      Brian Bruney 27
      Damaso Marte* 34

      avg age: 30.44

    14. yagottagotomo1
      May 18th, 2009 | 10:54 am

      You are right, I apologize for projecting. Are you saying that this is not something you do frequently?

    15. Sicilian Lou
      May 18th, 2009 | 10:55 am

      butchie22 wrote:

      Yes, Steve the Twins are a good team. I understand your point that is it that the Yanks are better than a mediocre team or did they just beat a good team? The Yanks have won these games by the skin of their teeth. That play that Joe “Slight of Hand” Mauer made. That was even more amazing than the Teix play in the game. Mauer is one damn good catcher and that amazing play went for naught as the Bronx Bombers took it at the Palace. In spite of Gardner losing that battle, the team didin’t give up and that is a commendable aspect of the team during this run.
      @Yagotta/silly boy, mate chill he’s not attacking your dignity,it’s all in good fun.It’s easy to get cynical about this team especially after seeing the Red Sox becoming the model franchise and the ascent of the Rays.And in terms of the schedule, you play who you play. I do think that the Yanks are a fundamentally flawed team with an excess of veterans and a dearth of youth relative to other teams in the division.Quite frankly though, the Yanks are playing well enough to eck out victories in the last 5 of 6 games. Arod’s coming back has big a big jolt in the lineup, where Teix isn’t “DA MAN” anymore so the pressure is off him. CC is pitching quite well and the roleplayers are coming through. Does this stick? It’s too early to tell BUT they sure as hell have been playing well lately regardless of who they are playing. Yeah, the Rays and Red Sox shamed them BUT they have to win against the other teams just the same. They’ll have other chances to play the Rays and Red Sox again so it ain’t over til it’s over.

      I got to agree with Butchie here… You can only play the schedule that is given to you.. A win is a win and if it’s by one one or 20 runs does it really imply the type of team you are?.. Would it be nice to spank the Twinkies by 10 runs each game?.. Sure would, but then again you can’t have everything just win the games you have too…

    16. yagottagotomo1
      May 18th, 2009 | 11:02 am

      Corey wrote:

      part of the reason our average age is so low is cause the veterans have gotten hurt and we’ve plugged it in with young guys, if u take the avg age of what our team “should” be (what cashman invisioned on paper) you get….30.4

      That’s not really the point- the team is playing well now with this younger team, and a guy like Ransom likely will never make it back here. You are right, the numbers are not entirely meaningful, but you can point to Boston using young guys over Masterson and guys like Kotsay and until recently Baldelli as bringing down their numbers as well.

    17. yagottagotomo1
      May 18th, 2009 | 11:03 am

      I meant over Dice-K, not Masterson.

    18. May 18th, 2009 | 11:19 am

      yagottagotomo1 wrote:

      You are right, I apologize for projecting. Are you saying that this is not something you do frequently?

      Use your number. YOU CLAIM this is something that I do “5-6 times a season.”

      If true, that would mean that I’m NOT doing it 94% of the time – assuming the Yanks win 100 games – again, according to your claim.

      Is 6% of the time “frequent”? See why I take exception to claims like this?

    19. yagottagotomo1
      May 18th, 2009 | 11:27 am

      No, you reflect on the performance of the team only every so often. Nobody said you did it after every game. When you reflect on a period of games by the team, yes, you do it frequently in that context. In this context, frequently would be, say, mentioning that the Yankees were lucky to win the games they did or only beat up on bad teams in 3 of the 6 weekly recaps thus far, as well as mentioning it in two game recaps off the top of my head. Is that not frequently.

    20. May 18th, 2009 | 11:31 am

      yagottagotomo1 wrote:

      No, you reflect on the performance of the team only every so often.

      Again, in your own words, it’s not frequent.

      Let’s agree to disagree, if needed on this. A continuation will not serve anyone well.

    21. yagottagotomo1
      May 18th, 2009 | 11:43 am

      True. Listen Steve, I dont mean to jump on you about these kind of things, and obviously from the fact that i comment here, you know I enjoy the blog. It just frustrates me that you always go half glass empty about the team, regardless of the situation. They just took three exhilirating, well pitched games against at worst a .500 team and you are trying to poke holes where there aren’t any. If you want to be glass half empty about the bullpen, or Cashman’s inability to build a bench, or other things that actually are troubling about the team, that makes sense. But I think posts where you detract from the club based on this strange logic detracts from the great stuff you do.

    22. Sicilian Lou
      May 18th, 2009 | 11:52 am

      Speaking of help…. did anyone notice the yankees made a trade for bullpen help?..
      But what is it with the Pirates? They are trying to assemble the 08 Scranton rotation?

      Ohlendorf, Karstens, McCutchen, and now word that Eric Hacker has been traded for somebody named Romulo Sanchez.

      This winter, Baseball America ranked Sanchez as the No. 25 prospect in the Pirates system. Here’s part of what the magazine wrote in this year’s Prospect Handbook: “Sanchez is a big, intimidating presence whose fastball reaches 98 mph, though it usually sits at 92-94. His curveball has improved significantly in recent years, giving him a second quality offering, which is all he needs in relief… Sanchez has the talent to be a big league reliever if he rounds off the rough edges.”

    23. May 18th, 2009 | 11:54 am

      yagottagotomo1 wrote:

      True. Listen Steve, I dont mean to jump on you about these kind of things, and obviously from the fact that i comment here, you know I enjoy the blog. It just frustrates me that you always go half glass empty about the team, regardless of the situation.

      Moshe – you realize that you’re jumping on me for having an opinion, right? If it’s my opinion that the glass is half-empty, is that wrong? No. Again, it’s just my opinion. And, while I think it’s fine for someone else to have a different opinion, I don’t think it’s fair that also means they should beat up on mine.

    24. Raf
      May 18th, 2009 | 11:58 am

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Moshe – you realize that you’re jumping on me for having an opinion, right? If it’s my opinion that the glass is half-empty, is that wrong? No. Again, it’s just my opinion. And, while I think it’s fine for someone else to have a different opinion, I don’t think it’s fair that also means they should beat up on mine.

      If it’s fair to have an opinion, is it fair to have an opinion of your opinion?

      Rhetorically speaking; I just wanted to have an excuse to write that question :D

    25. yagottagotomo1
      May 18th, 2009 | 11:59 am

      @ Steve Lombardi:

      I’m not jumping on you for having an opinion, I’m jumping on you for the logic you use to support your opinion.

    26. Raf
      May 18th, 2009 | 12:04 pm

      Sicilian Lou wrote:

      Speaking of help…. did anyone notice the yankees made a trade for bullpen help?..

      I don’t think it’s so much a trade for help so much as the both organizations looking for someone to take an extra player off their hands. Both players were moved off their organizations’ 40-man roster

      I wouldn’t expect to see Romulo Sanchez anytime soon, though stranger things have happened.

    27. Sicilian Lou
      May 18th, 2009 | 12:13 pm

      RAF…Raf wrote:

      Sicilian Lou wrote:
      Speaking of help…. did anyone notice the yankees made a trade for bullpen help?..
      I don’t think it’s so much a trade for help so much as the both organizations looking for someone to take an extra player off their hands. Both players were moved off their organizations’ 40-man roster
      I wouldn’t expect to see Romulo Sanchez anytime soon, though stranger things have happened.

      Hacker was on the 40 man roster prior to this move?… I don’t recall that… But is it kind of strange that the Pirates now have 4 pitchers off the Sracton roster?..

    28. Pat F
      May 18th, 2009 | 12:15 pm

      steve – flawed reasoning on your part. as quoted in this thread, you do not talk about one game, you talk about a group of games as in the 11 games you talked about earlier this season. so saying something after a block of 11 games, but then doing the math based on 1 game, simply does not make any sense, whatsoever, on any level. if we did the math based on that 11 game comment and this 3 game comment, that’s an average of 7 games per comment. if you did this 5-6 times per year over a 7 game block, that’s 42-49 games. that could be termed as “frequent”. i’m not saying you do or don’t do this, but the reasoning/argumentation/math was too far out there on this one not to point it out.

      either way, you can’t really take anything from a 3 game series. the twins could be the best team in baseball, and the yankees could blow them out 3 striaght. they could be the worst team, and the yankees could get swept. then it could change the very next week. baseball is too long a season with bad teams beating good on the regular to take anything away from any small sample size of games.

    29. Raf
      May 18th, 2009 | 12:23 pm

      Sicilian Lou wrote:

      Hacker was on the 40 man roster prior to this move?… I don’t recall that…

      Yep, he was DFA’ed to get *drumroll* Brett Tomko on the roster…

    30. Sicilian Lou
      May 18th, 2009 | 12:36 pm

      @ Raf:
      Good to know.. Thanks…

    31. OldYanksFan
      May 18th, 2009 | 12:48 pm

      Steve – 6% is ‘too frequent’ on a bogus comment. We all know you win it all by beating up on the weaker teams and playing .500 against the best teams. And Minn. is not even a weak team.

      As people have pointed out, baseball is very unpredictable. A bad team with their #4 going should never beat a very good team with their #2, but it happens all the time. It’s a long season and indeed, a win is a win is a win.

      We’ve taken 3 of 3 from Minn., the best possible outcome so far. So what’s to find wrong?

    32. May 18th, 2009 | 1:19 pm

      OldYanksFan wrote:

      Steve – 6% is ‘too frequent’ on a bogus comment.

      Gosh. I love you guys. “Bogus comment”? Dude, that “bogus comment” in my OPINION. What, I’m not allowed to have an opinion? Really? You guys really crack me up.

      But, as I said last year, just about this time – thanks for the support!

      http://waswatching.com/2008/04/09/some-housekeeping-on-comments-regarding-me/

    33. yagottagotomo1
      May 18th, 2009 | 1:32 pm

      Steve, that’s a copout and you know it. There is such thing as a bogus opinion. I could say, in my opinion Al Aceves is better than Tim Lincecum. Just because I said it and defended it as my “opinion” doesn’t make it any less bogus.

    34. Pat F
      May 18th, 2009 | 2:19 pm

      very good point yagotta.

      of course no response on steve’s wild math to even arrive at 6% in the first place.

    35. May 18th, 2009 | 3:07 pm

      yagottagotomo1 wrote:

      Steve, that’s a copout and you know it. There is such thing as a bogus opinion. I could say, in my opinion Al Aceves is better than Tim Lincecum. Just because I said it and defended it as my “opinion” doesn’t make it any less bogus.

      Explain to me how my opinion on this matter is the same as saying that Al Aceves is better than Tim Lincecum.

    36. yagottagotomo1
      May 18th, 2009 | 3:49 pm

      Steve Lombardi wrote:

      Explain to me how my opinion on this matter is the same as saying that Al Aceves is better than Tim Lincecum.

      It is not. I was picking a particularly ludicrous example to illustrate the idea that saying “hey, its my opinion” is not an answer to questions about the information and logic that you base those opinions on.

    37. May 18th, 2009 | 4:03 pm

      Then explain to me how, when I wrote:

      “Lastly, a question for ya’ll. What do you think of the Minnesota Twins this year? They must be a great team, right? After all, the Yankees have barely beaten them now, for three games in a row, no? It’s been tooth and nail playing these Twinkies. Or, if you think Minnesota is not that good, what does that say about New York?”

      that it is “ludicrous” – as you state. It’s a FAIR QUESTION, again, in MY OPINION. And, for anyone to call it a “bogus” or “ludicrous,” is just someone’s attempt to take a shot at me…

      …but, I’ll say this: I am STUPID for engaging you guys on this – and I’m now done with that.

    38. yagottagotomo1
      May 18th, 2009 | 4:30 pm

      I never said that your words were ludicrous. Nowhere. I just want you to go back and read my first two comments- all I did was question the logic of your strength of schedule concept. At no point did I say that you cant have your opinion or take shots at you. I only questioned your logic on this theme that recurs on the blog. At that point, you got defensive about me saying that you do it all the time and it devolved from there.

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