Thursday, July 24, 2014

Yankees Win for the Nieces and Me

Today was a very special day. For the first time, my 7-year-old nieces watched an entire Yankee game with me.

Making it imperative that the Yankees win.

But before I get to that, I forgot to discuss last night's Yankee game.

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So after playing 14 innings against the Texas Rangers the night before, last night the Yankees only played 5. So that's 19, which comes out to 2 full and change.

David Phelps started against Yu Darvish. I was not optimistic. But Phelps was very strong over his 5 innings: One run, 5 hits, no walks.

In the bottom of the 3rd, with the Rangers up 1-0, Francisco Cervelli was on 3rd, and Brett Gardner was up. Darvish committed a balk, and that sent Cervelli home with the tying run.

Darvish must have been rattled, because he gave up a  home run to Gardner. Imagine if, before the season started, I had told you that Gardner would have more home runs than Jacoby Ellsbury. You'd have thought I was crazy. But it's true: Gardner has 10, Ellsbury 8... and Robinson Cano 7.

In the bottom of the 5th, with the Yankees still up 2-1, the rains came. The umpires waited over 2 hours before calling it. With the home team up in the bottom of the 5th, the game was official. Yankees win.

WP: Phelps (5-4). No save. LP: Darvish (9-6).


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Now, for this afternoon's game. Brandon McCarthy started, and, using the cutter that the Arizona Diamondbacks told him to stop throwing, pitched 6 very strong innings. He only allowed 1 run, and that was partly due to an error by Brian Roberts.

Chase Headley, doing very nicely since the Yankees got him a couple of days ago, singled home Gardner in the 4th. In the 5th, Cervelli doubled home Ichiro Suzuki, advanced to 3rd on a Brendan Ryan bunt, and scored on a sacrifice fly from Ellsbury.

Joe Girardi brought Adam Warren in to pitch the 7th, and he gave up a home run to J.P. Arencibia. A guy batting .133, and he hit 2 home runs in this series. Then Girardi brought in Matt Thornton to pitch to 1 lefty. It just occurred to me now that he wears Number 48, the same number as Boone Logan, Girardi's previous "Save me, lefty!" But Thornton got out of it.

My niece Rachel kept calling Girardi "Joe DiMaggio." I had to remind her that DiMaggio was a long time ago. But she was much more into the game than Ashley was. She heard the announcers mention that Girardi was wearing a wristband in connection with something that his daughter Lina was doing. Lina is the same age as my nieces, and Rachel noticeably perked up every time the cameras showed Girardi and his wristband.

Dellin Betances pitched a scoreless 8th, and then the Yankees got an insurance run when Brian McCann doubled home Carlos Beltran. David Robertson walked a batter in the 9th, but finished it off.

Yankees 4, Rangers 2. WP: McCarthy (5-10). SV: Robertson (25). LP: Colby Lewis (6-8). Happy Uncle: Me. Happy Nieces: Ashley and Rachel. And the time of the game, a very nice 2 hours and 47 minutes.

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So the Yankees have now won 6 out of 7 since the All-Star Break. They are just 2 1/2 games behind the Baltimore Orioles for 1st place in the American League Eastern Division, and they have the 2nd AL Wild Card berth -- pending the results of tonight's games. All this despite loads of injuries, including to 4 of the 5 opening week starters.

There's still quite a bit of baseball to be played, and anybody who counted the Yankees out is looking pretty silly right about now.

By the way, during the game, I saw a fan in the Stadium bleachers wearing a 2005 Arsenal home shirt -- with the O2 sponsorship.

Just over 48 hours from kickoff between Arsenal and the Red Bulls at Red Bull Arena, and the Gooners aren't merely coming to New York and New Jersey... they're HERE!

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Hours until the Arsenal-Red Bulls match at Red Bull Arena: 48. Just 5 days after that, Red Bull Arena will also host Bayern Munich, perennially and again Champions of Germany, vs. C.D. Chivas of Guadalajara, perhaps the most legendary club of Mexico.

Days until the next Yankees-Red Sox series begins: 8, a week from tomorrow night, at 7:00 PM, at Fenway Park.

Days until the Red Bulls next play a "derby": 9, a week from Saturday, at 7:00 PM, home to the New England Revolution. So that's New York vs. New England in both MLB and MLS.

Days until the 2014-15 Premier League season begins: 23, on Saturday, August 16, with Arsenal at home to Southeast London club Crystal Palace. A little over 3 weeks.

Days until Rutgers plays football again: 35, on Thursday, August 28, at 10:00 PM (7:00 local), away to Washington State, at CenturyLink Field, home of the NFL Champion Seattle Seahawks. Just 5 weeks.

Days until the U.S. national soccer team plays again: 41, on Wednesday, September 3, a friendly, away to the Czech Republic in Prague. The Czechs have given the U.S. trouble before, including a 3-0 humiliation at the 2006 World Cup. But things are different now. There's also discussions about playing Ireland away later in the year.

Days until East Brunswick High School plays football again: 42, on Thursday, September 4, home to Woodbridge. Just 6 weeks. It's on a Thursday night, rather than a Friday night, because of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year.

Days until Rutgers makes its Big Ten Conference debut: 51, on Saturday, September 13, at 8:00 PM, against old enemy Penn State. A little over 7 weeks.

Days until Derek Jeter's last regular-season home game (barring injury): 63, on Thursday, September 25, against the Baltimore Orioles. Exactly 9 weeks.

Days until the next North London Derby between Arsenal and Tottenham: 65, on Saturday, September 27, at the Emirates Stadium. Just over a month.

Days until Derek Jeter's last regular-season game (barring injury): 66, on Sunday, September 28, against the Red Sox at Fenway Park.

Days until the Devils play again: 77. They open on Thursday, October 9, away to the Philadelphia Flyers. Just 11 weeks. They once again get screwed by Commissioner Gary Bettman and his schedulemakers, this time having to play 4 road games before their home opener, on Saturday, October 18, at 7:00 PM, vs. the San Jose Sharks.

Days until the Devils play another local rival: See the previous answer. The first game against The Scum is Tuesday night, October 21, at the Prudential Center. The first game against the Islanders is Saturday night, November 29, at the Nassau Coliseum. The Devils' last trip to Uniondale, before the Isles move to Brooklyn, is Monday night, December 15.

Days until Game 7 of the 2014 World Series -- the absolute latest you can ever again see Derek Jeter in a competitive game: 97, on Wednesday, October 29. A little over 3 months, and no more Jeter -- not as an active player, anyway.

Days until the next East Brunswick vs. Old Bridge Thanksgiving game: 126, on Thursday morning, November 27, at 10:00 AM. A little over 4 months.

Days until New York City FC make their Major League Soccer debut: Unknown, but a new MLS season usually begins on the 2nd Saturday in March, which would be March 14, 2015. That's 233 days. Under 8 months. Whether it will be a home game, and thus at the new Yankee Stadium, is yet to be determined.

Days until Alex Rodriguez is eligible to play for the Yankees again: 251 -- presuming, that is, that 2015's Opening Day is on April 1, and wouldn't it just work out that way, that A-Rod is again allowed to play a regular-season game for the Yankees on April Fool's Day? Anyway, that's a little over 8 months.

Days until the New York Islanders' last game at the Nassau Coliseum: 261, on April 11, 2015, at 7:00 PM, against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Under 9 months.

Days until the Islanders' first home game at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn: Unknown, but an NHL regular season usually begins on the 1st Friday in October, which would be October 2, 2015. That's 436 days. That's a little over 14 months. Or, to put it another way, "436 Sleeps Till Brooklyn." Until then, even with their 4 straight long-ago Stanley Cups, they're just a Small Club In Hempstead.

Days until Euro 2016 begins in France: 688, on Friday, June 10. Under 2 years.

Days until the next Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil: 745, on Friday, August 5, 2016. A little over 2 years.

Days until the next World Cup begins in Russia: 1,418, on Friday June 8, 2018. Under 4 years.

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