Monday, July 9, 2012

New York Yankees Postgame notes from Boston

Four games in three days at Fenway. We all knew it was coming, and we knew there was no hope of making it quick and easy. The best the Yankees could hope for was to win a few more games and go into the All-Star break on a roll, which is exactly what they’ve done.  The Yankees took three of four and lead the Red Sox by 10 in the loss column.  The Sox are battered and bruised, they could still make a run but it will take a lot for them to beat out the Yankees.  Here are the postgame notes from Sunday night in Boston.  Thanks to Chad Jennings of the Journal News and the Lohud Yankees blog for the information and my thoughts are mixed in. 

“I’d rather play four-hour games that we win than four-hour games that we lose,” Mark Teixeira said.
The Yankees took three of four here in Boston. They have the best record in baseball and a seven-game lead in the American League East. Monday will mark seven weeks since the Yankees lost that game against Kansas City, the loss that dropped them into a last-place tie with a .500 record. Since then they’ve gone 31-12.  I would say that is pretty impressive, they hit rock bottom and then a switch went on.  The Yankees have had injuries and ineffectiveness offensively but they have had great pitching and a great bench to lead them to this. 

“There’s a lot more attention paid when we play Boston,” Derek Jeter said. “But I think we’ve been playing good regardless of who the opposition has been.”  The Yankees have been playing good no matter who they are playing and have mostly played teams with winning records which makes it more impressive. 

 Jeter was rolling his shoulder around quite a bit tonight, especially early in the game. “It’s fine,” he said. “Just a little muscle spasm.” He’s still going to Kansas City and still planning to play in Tuesday’s All-Star Game.

With that muscle spasm, Jeter had three hits including a first-inning single. He’s now hitting .400 in the first inning this season. He also tied Carl Yastrzemski for 16th place on baseball’s all-time runs scored list with 1,816.  It is amazing to see all the guys he is passing on different lists now. 

That said, which Jeter moment do you most remember from tonight’s game? “I wish I had a good story for you to say a bird hit it or something, but it basically was a popup and I dropped it,” Jeter said. “Nothing else to say. I think I’ve done it one other time in my career that I can remember, in Anaheim. I don’t know, man. I dropped it. I had two hands, and it didn’t go in my glove or my hand, so I dropped it. It’s probably, if you think about it, it’s probably the most embarrassing thing that can happen to a player on defense. Whether it’s an infielder, outfielder, catcher. I wish I could tell you the wind was gusting and blew it all over the place, but it didn’t happen. I just dropped it.”  You have to respect him for that honesty but what else could he say.  In that case there is nothing to say, he did just drop it, nothing else happened why even bother trying to say something happened when it didn't. 

Jeter said absolutely no one on the bench gave him a hard time about the error. “No, you don’t do that,” Jeter explained. “Because then there will be more popups hit. I remember the last time I did it, I was laughing at Johnny. Johnny Damon missed a popup to left field the day before and I was laughing at him, and the next day I dropped a popup.”

 Girardi’s take on the dropped popup: “I’ve seen it happen twice and both of them were under my managerial watch, so it must be me. He’s as good on popups as I’ve ever seen.”

 Andruw Jones has four home runs in two days. Surely he’d rather keep playing than take an All-Star break. “Not really,” he said. “Not after yesterday. I barely made it today.”  I thought he would say no way also but he said he was tired and looking forward to the break. 

 After throwing a lot of pitches early, Ivan Nova admitted that he didn’t think he’d be able to pitch past the fifth inning tonight. Instead, he started getting some quicker innings and gave the Yankees six innings with 10 strikeouts. “I wanted to keep pitching all day,” he said. “But (Girardi) said that I threw too many pitches.”  You have to love the competiveness and toughness of this guy. 

 This was Nova’s second double-digit strikeout game of the year. He said it’s beacuse of being aggressive more than anything else. “I’m getting aggressive, trying to get ahead in the count,” he said.

Sloppy defense behind him and a lot of men on base tonight, but Nova never let the Red Sox take the lead after that two-run first inning from the Yankees. “He overcame some things tonight and I think that’s a sign of maturity,” Girardi said.

 Robinson Cano’s ninth-inning double extended his hitting streak to 15 games, tying Jeter for the Yankees longest streak of the season. He’s hitting .393 with five home runs and 16 RBI during the streak.  He has been on an unbelievable streak and now your seeing the real Cano, he was hitting terrible the first couple of months of the season. 

 Mark Teixeira hit .348 with two doubles, two homers, seven runs and 10 RBI during this road trip.

Alex Rodriguez tripled for the first time since April 21, 2010 in Oakland. This was only his fourth triple since the start of the 2007 season.

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