Thursday, August 15, 2013

Soriano Makes Cashman (and Me, and the Angels' Pitchers) Look Like Fools

Technical problems prevented me from posting yesterday.  Maybe I should have technical problems more often, because the Yankees have scored 25 runs in the 2 games since I last posted.

On Tuesday night, against the Los Angeles Angels of State College Boulevard, Anaheim, Orange County, California, 92806, United States of America, North America, Western Hemisphere, Earth, Sol System, Alpha Quadrant, United Federation of Planets, Milky Way Galaxy, Known Universe...

The Yankees hoped for a snap-out-of-it game from CC Sabathia.  They didn't quite get it: He went 6 innings, allowing 3 runs (just 2 earned), 3 hits, but 6 walks.  He did have 7 strikeouts.

Fortunately, the Yankee bats came alive.  Alfonso Soriano had a pair of 3-run home runs, and Vernon Wells hit a solo homer (his 11th round-tripper of the season).

The Yankees scored 1 in the 2nd, 1 in the 4th, 2 in the 5th, 4 each in the 6th and 7th, and 2 in the 8th, taking a 14-3 lead in the 9th.

Even Boone Logan can't blow an 11-run lead, right? We'll never know, because it was Dellin Betances, the former "Killer B" who made all of 2 appearances in the majors before last night, who showed that he is far from ready for the majors.  He allowed 4 runs, including a 3-run homer by Mike Trout (no shame in the who, only in the what), and the Angels closed to within 14-7.  Joba Chamberlain came on and got the last 2 outs.

That's right: Joba Chamberlain had to clean up someone else's mess.  And did.

WP: Sabathia, in spite of all those walks (10-10).  No save.  LP: Jason Vargas (6-5).

*

Yesterday, my whole immediate family was in The Bronx.  No, not for the Yankee game, but to spend the day at the Bronx Zoo.  My sister had taken her daughters a few times, but my mother and I hadn't been there in over 30 years; my father admitted he hadn't been there in about 60 years.  (He hates to travel, and he considers going the 35 miles from his house in Central Jersey to Midtown Manhattan "traveling." To say nothing of the 47 miles to the Zoo.) And both parents hate New York City, thinking it's dirty, crowded, impolite, and out-and-out depraved.  And obsessed with sports.  (Sheesh, those are the things that a lot of Yankee Fans like about The City.)

But they'll do it for the grandchildren.

It was a great day, but the Zoo is too spread-out.  Too much walking.  They need to add the Wildwood Sightseer.  If you've been to the Wildwood boardwalk, you know the vehicles I'm talking about: "Watch the tram car, please!"


That said, if you get the chance to go to the Bronx Zoo, go.  Just make sure you get plenty of rest the night before, and wear comfortable shoes.  The place is gorgeous, and they know how treat and display the animals.  They even have great architecture.  This building no longer has elephants in front of it (although they had newly-acquired rare rhinoceroses -- rhinocerii? -- inside), but you just don't find buildings like this in America.  You find them in Paris.  In Venice, maybe.

 
Anyway, on the way back, my mother had to remember one thing: "95 South." Once you get on the Bronx River Parkway, look for the signs saying "I-95 South," "Cross Bronx Expressway," "George Washington Bridge." She missed the turnoff.  She got lost.  In The Bronx.

Fortunately, I knew how to get us out of it.  I got her onto the Major Deegan Expressway.  Of course, the upside of this is that we passed the new Yankee Stadium, which neither of my parents had ever seen before.  Of course, the downside of this is that we ran into game traffic.

*

Fortunately, we eventually got onto the Cross Bronx and the GW Bridge, and got back to Jersey.  She dropped me off at my place just in time for me to hear the Yankees jump out to an 8-0 lead after just 2 innings.

Like Brian Cashman, I didn't want the man I once (fairly) nicknamed "Strikeout Soriano" brought back.  Like Cashman, the Yankee brass overruled me.  Like Cashman, I now look like a fool for it.  Unlike Cashman, I am now happy to admit that I was wrong.

You know who else Soriano has made look like a fool? The Angels' pitching staff.  He went 3-for-3 last night, with 2 more homers, a grand slam and a 2-run shot, a double and a walk.

Soriano now has 24 dingers on the year.  Just since he came back to the Yankees, in 69 plate appearances, he is batting .258, but his OPS+ is 139 (it was 104 while with the Chicago Cubs this season), 7 homers and 21 RBIs.  He had a decent 2 months in just 17 games.  He had 13 RBIs in these last 2 games -- Eduardo Nunez had 17 in 58, and Chris Stewart has 18 in 81.

None of this would have mattered if the Yankees hadn't gotten decent pitching.  They did: Ivan Nova continued his renaissance, pitching 7 1/3 innings, allowing 3 runs, 10 hits, but no walks, and 6 strikeouts.  Preston Claiborne got the last 5 outs without allowing a run.  Way to save the bullpen -- especially with today being the dreaded DGANG: Day Game After a Night Game.

Yankees 11, Angels 3.  WP: Nova (6-4).  No save.  LP: Jered Weaver (7-6), brother of Jeff Weaver.  (Don't get me started.)

The Yankees wrap up the series with the Angels this afternoon at 1:05, going for the sweep.  Don't count on it though: We're pitching Phil Hughes, who is really struggling, and they're pitching C.J. Wilson, who's had some really good performances against the Yankees.  Still, 3 out of 4 against the Angels is nothing to sneeze at -- although they're having a much worse season than we are, 13 games under .500.  (We're now 5 over.)

After today, the Yankees head up to Boston for 3 big, big games against The Scum.  They are 8 1/2 games ahead of us, 7 in the loss column.  We're 5 games behind the Oakland Athletics for the 2nd American League Wild Card entry (same in the loss column).

Come on you Pinstripes!

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