Thirty-two days later, I was back at Camden Yards watching CC Sabathia again. I preferred this version better as CC was the dominant pitcher we’ve been missing since the start of the season.
With CC overpowering batters with a high velocity fastballs (one fastball clocked at 96 MPH in the 7th inning and another at 94 MPH in the 8th inning), the Yankees won 4-0 in Baltimore tonight, snapping a 5-game losing streak.
I sat in section 29 tonight, around 25 rows up from home plate, with a good view of Peter Abraham in his pale yellow button up shirt and his shaved dome sitting in the front row of the press boxes. The weather was crisp and perfect tonight.
After Jeter grounded out to open the game, Damon and Tex walked, bringing A-Rod to the plate and he mashed the first pitch he saw in 2009 to left field. 3-0 Yankees just like that.
That would be all the Yankees could do until the seventh inning when Johnny Damon doubled to bring home Francisco Cervelli, our 23-year old backstop.
I was engrossed into the game, much to my friend’s dismay. I think the weather helped as Opening Day was windy and cold for me and my brother. I was able to observe closely the players, their batting rituals (I didn’t know Jeter did some kind of superstitious patting at home plate every time he comes up for an at-bat.
I also laughed while I watched Baltimore fans wave foam syringes at A-Rod and another couple of fans waved printed cutouts of buttocks and a syringe labeled “A-Roid”. Sorry the photos are grainy, they were taken with my Palm handheld.
Look in the middle of the photo and you’ll see the “pointy” part of the foam syringes waving in the air.
There were about a dozen fans waving these every time A-Rod came to the plate.
In this photo on the right, you can see a cutout of a buttock and on the right a guy holding a syringe to the buttock. Hilarious.
While it was good to get the win tonight, some things are bothering me about the Yankees.
- Mark Teixeira is in a serious slump right now. He got on base only once. While he has 20 walks (which is nice), his BA is .192 and he struck out three times. Something needs to be done. It’s May. Tex, your “spring slow-start” is now officially over.
- Derek Jeter was off tonight. He went 0-5 and didn’t do much. He did get some nice defensive moves, but that is to be expected.
- Nick Swisher wasn’t paying attention in the fourth inning when he was picked off at third base. That was an idiotic move. Pat attention.
- The Yankees had ten strikeouts. That is plain atrocious. They need to get better discipline at the plate.
- Damon (and Jeter)…how could you let that easy pop fly drop in front of you in the 9th inning. That was Little League.
The good things?
- Melky Cabrera is quietly having a strong spring. He’s hit well as of late and was 2 for 4 tonight, raising his average to .342. For now, he’s my starting center fielder. Keep him there, along with Swisher in right field (nice couple of catches, Swish).
- Francisco Cervelli was pretty good at the plate tonight, both as backstop and as a hitter. He lay down a nice sac bunt in the second inning and did well calling the game with CC.
- CC was super tonight. He struck out three straight batters (after allowing two to get on base) to finish the complete game shut out.
The Yankees play again tomorrow in Baltimore with Phil Hughes on the mound at 7:05 p.m.
It was a good game for me to be at!