It doesn’t matter what sox Kevin “Bleep Youk” ilis wears, Yankee fans will hate him.
Such was the case tonight as he hit a grand slam off of Ivan Nova to beat the Yanks 7-3.
As was the case last night, the Yanks got off to a lead. Derek Jeter led off the game with a HR. That HR set some milestones. First of all, hit #3256 enabled Jeter to pass Eddie Murray on the all-time list and make Derek #11 on the all-time list in hits. He’s now 27 behind the “Say Hey” kid, Willie Mays.
Secondly, HR #12 of the season was #252 of his career. That enabled him to tie a few people on the all-time list, two names of which should be very familiar to Yankees’ fans—Bobby Murcer and Joe Torre.
The Yanks proceeded to load the bases in that first inning, but got only one more run out of the deal on a Granderson force out.
Staked to a 2-0 lead, Nova was lucky to get out of the first without giving up a run. A single and walk put runners on 1st and second, no out. On a WP, DeWayne Wise (our old buddy) moved to third, but Kevin Youkilis was thrown out at second. Bleep Youk would get his revenge later. Dunn struck out and then a groundout by Konerko and Nova was out of danger.
However Nova gave up a leadoff triple and SF to start the second. 2-1 Yanks.
In the fourth, Paul Konerko tied the game with a HR. I believe that Konerko is the most underrated, least talked about superstar in baseball today. How many of you realize that the HR Konerko hit tonight was #417 of his career? That he has a .283 lifetime B.A.? That he was the 2005 ALCS MVP? Despite all that, he’s only been top 10 for the MVP award twice. His OPS+ for his career is 122. His 162 g. average is .283-32-102. Solid. But he is so overlooked, IMHO.
To the sixth, and that man “Bleep Youk”ilis, hit a grand slam to make it 6-2. For all intensive purposes, that was the ballgame.
Nova 6 IP, 6R, 7H, 2 walks and 3 K. 11-7, 4.92.
The Yanks have to either straighten him out or replace him in the rotation with Phelps.
Of course, when Pettitte is ready, they can then replace Garcia.
But one thing is apparent. Phelps should stay in this rotation, and someone, be it Nova or Garcia, should go. As of now, in my mind, Nova should go. Garcia should stay until Pettitte is ready.
Meanwhile, 39 yr. old Ramon Ortiz, not on the 40-man roster, has gone 12-5, 3.13 at AAA SWB. I’m not sold on the age and his recent record, but there’s no doubt that he’s done well and deserves to come up.
One other move: I advocated Kelvin Perez come up for Joba yesterday. Joba has a 9.45 ERA since being called back to the majors. Perez is at 1.03 combined AA/AAA this year.
Russell Martin homered (#14) in the seventh to make it 6-3. One thing is for sure. Unless he gets on a hot streak, Martin, at .196, looks like he’ll set a Yankees record for most HR in a season for a Yankee who didn’t hit .200.
Derek Lowe finished up. 2 IP, 1 R, 5 H, 1 walk and 2 K. ERA (combined Cle/NYY) 5.34.
Some observations: first of all, Robbie Cano has to get it together. With tonight’s 0 for 4, he is 3 for his last 32.
Secondly, and this goes for all the A-Rod haters: the Yanks are suffering right now vs. lefty starters. Liriano pitched tonight, Lester the other night. Price is coming up.
With a righty on the mound right now, Ichiro, Chavez and Ibanez are in the lineup.
Tonight? Those three are on the bench, replaced by Jones (.215 after tonight’s game), Nix (who has done Ok, but is at .250) and McGehee (.226 combined between Pittsburgh and the Yankees).
HUGE, HUGE dropoff.
Then there is someone who, as a righty hitter, should help vs. lefties. Russell Martin (who did HR tonight). But Martin has a .196 batting average.
Look at that again. Vs. Lefty starters, you don’t have A-Rod, out with the broken hand. You have Ichiro, Chavez and Ibanez on the bench, replaced by Nix, Jones and McGehee. Jones and McGehee are each hitting below .230, joined by the .196 hitting Martin.
I advocated for Ronnier Mustelier from SWB a few weeks back, but he hit a slump (down to .282 at SWB) and now has hit SWB’s DL for the second time.
The Yanks need the righty bats to pick it up.
They also need Cano to be Cano.
They also need to straighten out Nova or replace him in the rotation with Phelps.