Thursday, April 28, 2011

Yanks Give White Sox a Colon-oscopy

In 2000, comedian, Bronx native and Yankee Fan Robert Klein, celebrating the 25th Anniversary of the first HBO comedy special, Robert Klein: A Child of the Fifties, hosted Robert Klein: A Child In His Fifties, and, calling upon his Broadway musical background, sang... well, see for yourself.

Over their last 3 games, against the Chicago White Sox, the Yankees have gotten just 13 hits and 6 runs. At home. Against a team that, while often noted for good pitching (and defense and baserunning), came into the series with an 8-14 record -- that's a .364 winning percentage, which would translate, over 162 games, to 59-103.

If you only get 13 hits and 6 runs over 3 games, you'll be lucky to win even one of them.

Yes, the Yankees were lucky to win 1 of them. Lucky that general manager Brian Cashman took a chance on the seemingly-washed-up, still-quite-overweight Bartolo Colon... and it worked.

Last night, as he did the night before, Robinson Cano hit an early home run, his 6th of the season, this time in the 1st inning rather than the 2nd. This time, however, he did it with men on base: Derek Jeter led off the game with a walk, and, after Buehrle got the terribly struggling Nick Swisher and the once-again-struggling Mark Teixeria to strike out, Alex Rodriguez blooped a single to set up Cano's 3-run blast, giving Colon a 3-0 lead.

That was all the 5-foot-11, 265-pound Dominican needed, as he gave the Yankees a 2nd straight fine start, going 8 innings (which was badly needed after Joe Girardi FUBARed the bullpen the night before), allowing 7 hits and only 1 walk. He advanced his record to 2-1, and Mariano Rivera got his 8th save of the season, the 567th of his career.

Mark Buehrle (1-3) has been a hard-luck pitcher so far this season: After the Cano homer, he pitched scoreless ball through the 7th, but, this time, the Yanks got enough. It should be noted, though, that, in 12 career starts against the Yankees (counting last night), Buehrle is 1-8 with a 6.38 ERA. Overall, in his career, Buehrle, author of 2 no-hitters, 1 of them a perfect game, is 149-113, a 3.87 ERA, a 119 ERA+ and a 1.281 WHIP.

"When you struggle against a team, stuff like that happens," Buehrle said. It's true, some teams have a player's number, and vice versa. It's hard to explain why certain players do poorly against other teams but well against the Yankees (Pat Tabler, Scott Fletcher, and, currently Marco Scutaro come to mind), but the Yanks can turn the tables often enough, hitting Buehrle and, not that long ago, Pedro Martinez better than anyone else.

In the 1st inning, Paul Konerko, the slugging 1st baseman who won the Tuesday night game for the South Siders, took a called 3rd strike from Colon, ending the inning, and he argued with home plate umpire Todd Tichenor. White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen came out of the dugout, argued with Tichenor, and was ejected. It's so unlike the former White Sox shortstop to get upset, especially with an umpire.

But the motormouthed Venezuelan was quite sane and calm when discussing Colon, whom he managed in 2009. (Colon also pitched for the ChiSox in 2003, the last year before Ozzie became their manager.)

"Colon was amazing," Ozzie said. "Colon was, wow. I thought (current White Sox coach Don) Cooper was a pretty good pitching coach. I don't remember seeing him throwing that good since Cleveland, or when he was pitching in Anaheim.

"It was amazing how that ball had a lot of movement. Buehrle pitched very good. Colon pitched better."

Ozzie may be nuts, but he knows baseball as well as anybody.

Anyway, the finale of the 4-game set, scheduled for 7:05 PM, weather permitting (thunderstorms have been predicted for today), will feature CC Sabathia started against Edwin Jackson.

Jeter 2948 52
Rivera 567 34
A-Rod 618 145
Magic Number 138 (to eliminate Rays and O's, 136 for Scum and Jays)


The countdowns have been adjusted, taking my previous errors into account.

Days until the Red Bulls play again: 2, this coming Saturday night, at home, against Sporting Kansas City, formerly known as the Kansas City Wizards.

Days until the next Yankees-Red Sox series begins: 15, on May 13 -- a Friday the 13th -- at Yankee Stadium II. Just 2 weeks.

Days until the Red Bulls play another "derby": 44, on Saturday, June 11, against the team that should be considered their biggest rivals, the New England Revolution, at Red Bull Arena. The next play the team that is usually considered their biggest rivals, D.C. United, on Saturday, July 9, at Red Bull Arena. And they next play their closest rivals, the Philadelphia Union, on Thursday night, October 20, at Red Bull Arena.

Days until Derek Jeter collects his 3,000th career hit: 59 (estimated to come on June 26 -- his 37th birthday). Under 2 months.

Days until the next North London Derby: As yet unknown. The 2011-12 Premier League season begins on August 13, so it can't be any earlier than that. The schedule is usually released in the 2nd week in June. It's just as well, as Arsenal, once seemingly within reach of all 4 trophies, are already in "Wait 'Til Next Year" mode, with the only 2 things left to play for -- 2011-12 Champions League qualification and finishing ahead of Tottenham in the League -- both all but assured.

Days until Rutgers plays football again: 126, on Thursday, September 1, home to North Carolina Central. Just 18 weeks, or 4 months.

Days until East Brunswick High School plays football again: 134, on Friday night, September 9, and the opponent and location are TBD. Just 19 weeks.

Days until the Devils play another local rival: As yet unknown. The next season's schedule hasn't been released yet, save for the season-openers at the neutral but hockey-loving site of Helsinki, Finland, games that will include the Rangers. That will be on October 7. Figure the Devils' season opener will be the next day, which is 177 days from now. Figure they'll probably play a local rival, either the Rangers, the Islanders, or the Flyers soon thereafter, maybe a week after, so, tentatively, I'm going to say the number of days is: 170. Or 24 weeks, less than 6 months.

Days until the Rutgers-Army football game at Yankee Stadium: 198.

Days until the next East Brunswick-Old Bridge Thanksgiving clash: 210.

Days until the last Nets game in New Jersey: 360 (estimated, as the 3rd Sunday in April 2012 is the 22nd). Less than 1 year, unless new owner Mikhail Prokhorov decides he'll stay in the Prudential Center, the great new arena he's already got.

Days until the 2012 Olympics begin in London: 456 (July 27).

Days until Alex Rodriguez collects his 3,000th career hit: 767 (estimated).

Days until Alex Rodriguez hits his 700th career home run: 889 (estimated).

Days until Super Bowl XLVIII at the Meadowlands: 1,011 (tentatively scheduled for February 2, 2014, although it could end up being moved back a week or 2).

Days until Alex Rodriguez hits his 756th career home run to surpass all-time leader Hank Aaron: 1,509 (estimated).

Days until Alex Rodriguez hits his 763rd career home run to become as close to a "real" all-time leader as we are likely to have: 1,623 (estimated).

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