Tonight, the Yankees take on the Kansas City Royals in the Bronx. There is a graphic on YES right now, detailing the Yankees last eight games: since they left Detroit, where they were 1-3 and scored 2.5 runs/game with one homerun, they have gone 3-1, scored 6.0 runs per game, and have knocked in eight homeruns. They either have gotten their shit together or they are incredibly streaky. We shall see what tonight brings. AJ 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.
Bottom 1: 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 ARod 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.
Bottom 2: 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. .218 looks like Ted Williams compared to the .147 that he is sporting. And 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 screams “fuck!” 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.
Bottom 3: “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 ARod 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. But with the bases loaded, R.Mart grounds out to short. But we tack on one more. Score: 2-0, Yankes.
Bottom 4: 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 side-arm throw by Pena clearly gets him. DJ grounds out (shocking) and Grandy strikes out. Score: 2-1, Yankees.
Bottom 5: Now some pitcher name 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. ARod goes down swinging. He is for real having problems at the plate. Oh, oh holy hell. Adcock hits Robbie Cano in the helmet. Wow. His helmet went flying, 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 fucking inning. Score: 2-1, Yankees.
Top 6: Hozz is up again?! Already? He walks. Butler pops out to shallow center. But Jeff Francouer gets plunked hard by AJ. 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. Betemit goes down swinging. And AJ escapes, as Pena grounds to second. Score: 2-1, Yankees.
Top 7: 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.” I mean, A+ to Dr. Purita! So, AJ comes back from a 3-0 count to get Getz. Escobar goes down swinging. And then Dyson flies out to shallow center. AJ 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 8: 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 slow. 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 bone-head error. And then a double play by Granderson. That totally sucked. Score: 2-2.
Top 9: MoBot300X is in. Getz grounds out, Escobar strikes out looking, and Jarrod grounds out. 1-2-3 for Mariano, duh. Score: 2-2.
Top 10: 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 2. 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. Shit. 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. Jesus Christ, another wild pitch, 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 10: Joakim Soria is in, trying to pick up his seventh save. He looks extremely wild so far, 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. Jeters grounds out, but Martin advances to third. It all comes down to Grandy. Who lines a single to right-center!! TIED GAME! (I cannot believe this 4-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 11: Carlisle walks the lead-off batter, Getz. And now we are going to Ayala. Successful sac bunt, with moves Getz into scoring position and brings up Dyson. Groundball and 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.