On Wednesday the Yankees took on the Kansas City Royals in the Bronx. There was a graphic on the YES Network detailing the Yankees' previous eight games: Since they left Detroit, where they were 1-3 and scored 2.5 runs/game with one home run, they have gone 3-1, scored 6.0 runs per game and have knocked in eight home runs.
Basically, they have either gotten it together or they are incredibly streaky. We shall see what tonight brings.
A.J. Burnett is on the mound, and so far, he has been pretty decent this year. He is sporting a 4-2 record and a 3.71 ERA, but I do not trust him in later innings. Vin Mazzaro will take the hill for the Royals. With Bruce Chen injured, the New Jersey native and former Oakland Athletic is making his debut for Kansas City.
The Yankees normally struggle against unfamiliar pitchers, but this dude is 0-2 with a 9.69 ERA in three starts against them over the course of his career. And in the great words of Pedro Martinez, the Yankees are basically the Royals' “daddy.” Kansas City is 8-37 in New York since 2000. I am ready to make it 8-38, so let’s do this.
Top of the First
The poorly spelled Jarrod Dyson leads things off and strikes out looking.
Melky is up! I miss his crazy handshakes with Robinson Cano and penchant for walkoff hits. His beard, however, is atrocious. And he goes down on strikes out, too. He may have grown facial hair, but some things never change.
And now Eric Hosmer is up. Out of all of the Royals, I am most excited to see him play. He is supposedly a Joey Votto-like talent and rocked the ball in the minor leagues (.430 batting average in Triple A). While it may be a bit premature, he seems to have the makeup to make waves in the major leagues. And he is now on Joe Girardi’s braces, so it would be great if he can get a few hits tonight.
He hits a rocket ground ball to first, but it is easily fielded by Tex. 1-2-3 inning and A.J. looks rather nasty. Whether his dominance continues is a totally different story. Score: 0-0
Bottom of the First
Derek hits a routine grounder to short and is thrown out by about 32 feet. In other news, Vin Mazzaro looks like he is 13 years old.
Curtis draws a walk. I’ll take it, but he has been smacking the ball around lately. And then he steals second. You know, I wasn’t a huge fan of the Granderson deal when it happened, but he has really impressed me ever since Kevin Long fixed his swing.
Tex walks, too. Vinny the teenager does not look very sharp so far, but let’s see what A-Rod can do. Since April 24th, or over the past 15 games, he has batted .175—not hot. And his not-hotness continues. He hits into an easy double play. Score: 0-0
Top of the Second
Oh, super sadness—Gene Monahan is retiring at the end of the season! He has been with the Yankees for 49 years! In 1962, he started as a batboy, only to become the head athletic trainer.
Billy Butler walks, but Jeff Francouer pops out to shallow right. Is he just teasing us with his unbelievable start to the 2011 season? I know it peeves Mets fans to no end.
Oh, Wilson Betemit. A disappointing Yankee, but like his buddy Jeff, he is having a very good season so far. And he walks, too. Uh oh. Bad A.J. may be making a cameo. Then he goes and strikes out Pena. In spite of the two walks, A.J. gets out of it. Score: 0-0
Bottom of the Second
Robbie knocks a line drive to right to start things off. He has such an effortless, pretty swing. Nick Swisher, however, is only hitting .218 and just doesn’t seem sharp. And as soon as I type that, he lines a pitch to right field.
Jorge is up and .218 looks like Ted Williams compared to the .147 that he is sporting. He hits one to right, too—a grounder through the hole! Robbie comes around to score, with the throw to home late. Yankees are winning and still no outs.
Russell Martin pops out to right and appears to scream, “[Sic]!” as he jogs to first. I heart him. Brett is 14 for his last 31, so his batting average is finally creeping up. But he flies out to left.
Can Captain Clutch come through again?!?!? No...no he cannot. He strikes out looking on a close pitch on the outside corner. That was a good at-bat/battle though. Score: 1-0, Yanks
Top of the Third
Kim Jones is talking to the family of Eric Hosmer (pictured). Fifteen people are here, including his grandparents. His older brother Mikey’s lap looks about 25 and is sort of hot, but the name “Mikey” is not okay. Not. Okay.
Nevertheless, they are very proud of him and cannot believe he is playing with “people he idolized as a kid.” And they are Yankees fans! They are all SO cute. I am even happier he is on Joe Girardi’s braces now.
So, Escobar, the No. 9 batter, hits a swinging bunt that rolls to A.J., who cannot pick up the ball. He bent down, picked it up and dropped it again. Super effing lame.
Escobar is fast and 15 of the last 16 batters have successfully stolen against Burnett. But he gets Dyson on strikes and Melky on a lazy fly ball. Melky also appears to scream “[sic]” as he jogs to first.
Now my boy Hosmer is up. Wow, he stands so far outside that one foot is basically out of the box, Johnny Damon-style. Escobar is thrown out trying to steal, so Hosmer’s bat is an anxiety-inducing “To Be Continued" and the Yankees are out of it. Score: 1-0, Yanks
Bottom of the Third
“Track…Wall…See Ya!”—Michael Kay. Granderson knocks one out. That was his 12th of the year! He learned how to hit, for real!
Tex walks. Then A-Rod smashes a ball into the ground, about a foot from the plate; it bounces so high that the third baseman has no play. The Bombers have something cooking here, but then Robbie laces one to left, right to his BFF Melky Cabrera, who does not have to move to catch the ball.
Swisher uselessly pops up to second and Jorge walks. Teenage Vin looks exhausted. We are only in the third and he is at 77 pitches.
With the bases loaded, R.Mart grounds out to short. But we tack on one more. Score: 2-0, Yanks
Top of the Fourth
Hosmer is back up. Michael Kay just said something like, “I made up a nickname for him...The Hozz.” AND HE KNOCKS ONE OUT! Second deck! His family is all cheering and smiley. Awww. The fans admirably throw the ball back, so he will get to keep his memorable first smash.
Then Billy Butler rocks one to center, but Granderson makes an awesome catch. Now they are showing a slow-motion replay of Hosmer’s family during his at-bat, and they are just precious. All of their hands come slowly up, you can see them mouthing “Oh my god” and crying and screaming in glee.
Francouer hits an easy fly ball to left.
Jeez, Betemit just hit a ball that was about one foot from being a homer, but Swish hauls it in. That was four hard-hit balls in that inning. Officially entering into “A.J. Scares the Bejesus Out of Me” territory. Score: 2-1, Yankees
Bottom of the Fourth
Brett legs out a perfect bunt single up the third-base line. Betemit didn’t even try to make the play. And then he gets thrown out stealing. A weird sidearm throw by Pena clearly gets him. D.J. grounds out (shocking) and Grandy strikes out. Score: 2-1, Yankees
Top of the Fifth
Pena grounds out to Robbie, and then Getz also grounds out to Robbie. Ugh, Escobar walks. Why would you walk the No. 9 batter with two outs? He is most definitely going to try to run here and put himself in scoring position. At worst, the top of their order would lead off the fifth.
And…he takes off, but it’s a foul ball. UGH, A.J. walks him too. But Melky finally ends the inning, flying out to left. Score: 2-1, Yankees.
Bottom of the Fifth
Now some pitcher named Adcock is in for the Royals. He is a fire crotch, with a goatee the color of Charlie Brown’s great pumpkin. Tex and his "ginormous" ass lead off the inning. He lines out to first.
A-Rod goes down swinging. He is for real having problems at the plate.
Oh, holy hell. Adcock hits Robbie Cano in the helmet. Wow. His helmet went flying and there was a loud crack sound—Robbie is on the ground. He looks shaken.
Whew, now he is up. Still looks shaken. Okay, now he is smiling. It hit him right on the brim of his helmet, an inch from his forehead. He is coming out the game.
I think he is okay, but this is precautionary, which I think is super smart in the concussion era. Nunez is pinch-running, but Adcock gets Swisher and the Royals are out of it. Scary effing inning. Score: 2-1, Yankees
Top of the Sixth
Hozz is up again?! Already? He walks.
Butler pops out to shallow center, but Jeff Francouer gets plunked hard by A.J. You would think it was intentional, but it really didn’t look that way. It looked like he totally lost control of the ball.
Both teams are warned by the umps, then Betemit goes down swinging and A.J. escapes, as Pena grounds to second. Score: 2-1, Yankees
Bottom of the Sixth
Jorge hits a single to center and Martin lines one to center. Dyson tries to make a diving play but juuuust misses. Fat-ass Posada doesn’t advance.
Gardner hits the ball hard, but directly to center field. Come on, we need some insurance runs. The Baseball Jesus has grounded out twice and struck out once…And now he has softly flied out once. LAME.
We start the inning with back-to-back singles and now two straight outs. Collins is in to pitch to Granderson and he gets him to pop out. Both runners are left stranded. Score: 2-1, Yankees
Top of the Seventh
Huh, interesting note from Rotoworld, via the NYT: Bartolo Colon had an experimental procedure in April of 2010, whereby Dr. Joseph R. Purita used fat and bone marrow stem cells from Colon and injected them back into his elbow and shoulder. It “had never been performed before, with the goal being to help repair ligament damage and a torn rotator cuff for Colon.” An A+ to Dr. Purita!
So, A.J. comes back from a 3-0 count to get Getz. Escobar goes down swinging and then Dyson flies out to shallow center. A.J. finishes strong. You know, with all of the scariness, he only let up one hit in seven innings! He had a slew of walks, but was otherwise dominant. Score: 2-1, Yankees
Bottom of the Seventh
Aaron Crow is now pitching for the Royals. I mean, I would really like at least one insurance run. Tex hits a super-slow grounder to short that basically anyone else on earth would have beaten out—but his ginormous ass slows him down. One out.
A-Rod walks. Why is he sporting weird scruff that makes him look like he went on a four-day bender?
Robbie hits a line drive off the glove of Getz, A-Rod hauls ass to slide safely into second. Maybe we can score with runners in scoring position; that would be swell. Nope, not Swisher. Who flies out on the first pitch to Melky in left field.
Good god, this at-bat with Jorge is taking forever. He finally walks. Bases loaded for Russell Martin. I didn’t notice this earlier, but he has a weird round Band-Aid patch on his neck. He either cut himself shaving, got a very small tattoo or is injecting himself with narcotics. Sigh, he grounds out.
The Yankees suck at being clutch tonight. Score: 2-1, Yankees
Top of the Eighth
David Robertson is in and Melky is up. Oh shit, I totally forgot the Celtics and Heat were playing tonight (that is how much I really care about the NBA). Sigh, The Whore of Akron continues his whining into the next round; I never thought I would feel badly for Boston.
Robertson walks the leadoff batter. Always a terrific sign when you are up by one run in the eighth inning with the heart of the Royals order coming up. My boy Hosmer is stepping to the plate. But he strikes out with a huuuuge swing.
Now Billy Butler…who walks on four pitches. Mitch Maier, who represents the go-ahead run, takes first in his place. Jeff Francouer looks at strike three, right down the middle. Two outs.
CRAP! An RBI single for Betemit, who ties up the game with a line drive to right center. UGH. What a wasted effort by A.J. I am so annoyed. Alex Gordon is pinch-hitting. Boone Logan comes on to induce a pop-up to third. Score: 2-2
Bottom of the Eighth
With all of the failed opportunities that we’ve had to score in this game, I almost feel like we deserve to lose, but Brett leads off with a chopper up the middle for a single.
I hope Jeter bunts. I want to win and I want this game to be over. For whatever reason, it has moved incredibly slowly. Then again, I have never been a big fan of 2-1 games or pitching duels. I would prefer to see a 14-12 slugfest.
Jeets is trying to bunt, but he fouls it off, and then he bunts it straight up in the air, giving away an out. What a little league-level bonehead error. And then a double play by Granderson. That totally sucked. Score: 2-2
Top of the Ninth
MoBot300X is in. Getz grounds out, Escobar strikes out looking and Jarrod grounds out. A 1-2-3 inning for Mariano, duh. Score: 2-2
Bottom of the Ninth
Tex leads off with a single through the right side. I am sort of ready for the Yankees to win, so I can go watch Modern Family. But if we win, it will be a walkoff, and I adore walkoffs.
A-Rod can end it right here. Instead he strikes out. Wow. It looked like a perfect double-play ball, but Getz drops it on the transfer and Nunez is safe.
Nick Swisher—COME ON. Nunez steals second. Wait, WTF? They are intentionally walking Nick Swisher? In favor of Posada?? Swish is struggling, and while Jorge hasn’t been any better, he is one of the proudest, angriest veterans out there. How insulting. Please make them pay for this…(Also, if the Royals take one more mound meeting, I am going to flip).
Jorge fouls a bunch off. This is so tense. And now another mound visit? Really?! This is ridiculous, even coming from a Yankees fan. He struck out. Damn it. Damn it. Damn it. The Yanks are 1-for-14 with runners in scoring position and we are going to extras. Score: 2-2
Top of the 10th
Free baseball, anyone? Because you are getting it. It is 10:48pm, and I am eating churros right now. For the record, the Yankees have 11 hits, while the Royals have two.
Rando Carlisle walks Melky to start the 10th. All we have left in the bullpen is Joba, who is unavailable, and Ayala. No one else, which is always encouraging.
Hosmer grounds into a fielder’s choice, beating out a potential double play. A crazy-wild pitch like 14 feet above Russell Martin’s head; Hosmer takes second. This does not look good, folks.
Maier goes down swinging, but Francouer rocks a ball over Granderson’s head, scoring Hosmer easily. The Royals take their first lead of the game.
They are intentionally walking Betemit to get to Treanor. Jeez, another wild pitch and runners move up. With the Sox getting creamed by Toronto and Tampa winning (again), it would suck to lose this game (even if we sort of deserve it for our inability to hit with runners in scoring position). Treanor strikes out, but it is do-or-die time. Score: 3-2, Royals
Bottom of the 10th
Joakim Soria is in, trying to pick up his seventh save. He looks extremely wild so far with three straight balls all over the place. R.Mart walks on four pitches. Another ball to Gardner. Everything seems up in the zone and his velocity is way down (87ish mph).
Michael Kay is finally commenting on the obscene number of mound trips the Royals have taken. Six balls in a row. Gardner bunts but fouls it off, gifting Soria with his first strike. Gardner gets the sac bunt down, with Martin moving up to second.
Top of the order. Jeter grounds out, but Martin advances to third. It all comes down to Grandy, who lines a single to right-center! TIE GAME!(I cannot believe this four-hour disaster continues).
I would pretty much do anything for a Mark Teixeira double right now. DAMN. He pops out to left. We are going to the 11th. Score: 3-3
Top of the 11th
Carlisle walks the leadoff batter, Getz, and now we are going to Ayala. A successful sac bunt moves Getz into scoring position and brings up Dyson. A ground ball and a diving stop by Nunez to save a run, but Dyson reaches, and then steals second.
The Melk Man, who has seen a lot of late inning magic at The Stadium, is intentionally walked, which sets up the double play. Hosmer hits a sac fly, though, and the Royals re-take the lead. Hosmer is all smiles, pounding his hands together in celebration.
The Yankees get out of it, but we are losing. Again. Score: 4-3, Royals
Bottom of the 11th
Okay. A-Rod, Nunez and Swisher. We can totally do this. Or not. A-Rod flies out to right. Nunez strikes out. Swisher too. Game over. What a frustrating game to lose. Final Score: 4-3, Royals
Enjoy your Thursdays, everyone, and check back later!