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Yankees @ Red Sox 8:05 pm Sunday

The path to #28 begins!

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I’m going to have to keep this short since I am so frustrated, but the Yankees took all the nostalgia, history and great feelings of the day and let the bullpen squander the chance to open the new stadium with a win.  Instead, the bullpen allowed 9 runs to be scored in the top of the seventh to blow the game completely out of control.

The Yankees also ended their streak of winning 11 straight home openers.

The final score was 10-2

CC Sabathia took the mound today and threw the first ever pitch at the Stadium.  Sabathia did not look dominating at the plate, he had to throw a lot of pitches to get through 6 innings.  Despite that, Sabathia allowed only one run on 5 hits and left the game with the score tied 1-1.

Johnny Damon has the honor of the first ever hit at Yankee stadium, a single into right field.  He ended up going 1-5 in the game.

Jorge Posada has the honor of hitting the first ever homerun in Yankee Stadium, a 1-run shot to the center field, right near the 408′ mark.

The bullpen has the honor of allowing the first ever collapse at Yankee stadium.  After Edwar Ramirez and Phil Coke finished the sixth inning for Sabathia, Jose Veras took the mound and proceeded to take it up the figurative ass from the Indians.  He allowed two hits, 1 BB and 3 runs to score.

Damaso Marte then took the mound and bent right over for the Indians, allowing two homeruns, including a grand slam to Grady Sizemore.  He allowed 6 earned runs on 3 hits.

One bright spot was the appearance of Dave Robertson, who joined the Yankees just in time for the home opener.  The team called him up Thursday morning from AAA Scranton/Wilkes-Barre and he pitched the eighth and ninth innings, allowing 2 hits, but no runs and struck out 3.  Not bad for the newbie.  Perhaps we can send Jose Veras and Damaso Marte away and replace them with Robertson.

I’m disappointed.  I was extremely excited that my schedule worked out so that I was able to watch the game.  Now, I wish it hadn’t.  Friggin heartbreakers.  The Yankees are now 5-5, the Indians are now 3-7.

Player of the Game: Victor Martinez (3-6, 1 RBI, 2 Runs, 1 2B, 1 HR)

Honorable Mention: Grady Sizemore (1-4, 4 RBI, 1 Run, 1 Grand Slam HR, 2 BB)

YANKEES (5-4)
Derek Jeter SS
Johnny Damon LF
Mark Teixeira 1B
Nick Swisher RF
Jorge Posada C
Robinson Cano 2B
Hideki Matsui DH
Cody Ransom 3B
Brett Gardner CF

Pitching today: LHP CC Sabathia (1-1, 4.50).

Cleveland Indians vs. New York Yankees

Thursday April 16, 1:05 pm, TV – YES, Radio – CBS 880, 94.3 FM (Mid-Hudson Valley Area)

Friday April 17, 1:05 pm, TV – YES, Radio – CBS 880, 94.3 FM (Mid-Hudson Valley Area)

Saturday April 18, 3:40 pm, TV – FOX, Radio – CBS 880, 94.3 FM (Mid-Hudson Valley Area)

Sunday April 19, 1:05pm, TV – YES, Radio – CBS 880, 94.3 FM (Mid-Hudson Valley Area)

Preview:

After the longest road streak ever to open a stadium, 9 games, the Yankees finally are able to open their 1.5 Billion gem of a stadium.  The Yankees have had a rough road trip, coming out with a 5-4 record and currently in third place in the American League East.  Since starting 0-2, the Yankees are 5-2, having won their last two series against Kansas City and Tampa Bay.

The Indians (2-7) seem lost in this young season.  They were swept by the Texas Rangers in their first series, and allowed the Toronto Blue Jays and Kansas City Royals to take 2 of 3 from them in the next two series.  They are coming off a 5-4 win last night that prevented a sweep by KC.

A sub-plot of this series is CC Sabathia facing his old team for the first time in his career and injury-prone Carl Pavano who spent the last four season with the Yankees, collecting $40 Million while spending most of his time watching Yankee games on TV.  It will be fun listening to the thrashing Yankee fans will give him on Sunday.

The Pitching Matchups:

Thursday: CC Sabathia LHP (1-1, 4.50 ERA) vs. Cliff Lee LHP (0-2, 9.90 ERA)

Friday: Joba Chamberlain RHP (0-0, 1.50 ERA) vs. Anthony Reyes RHP (1-0, 6.00 ERA)

Saturday: Chien-Ming Wang RHP (0-2, 28.93 ERA) vs. Fausto Carmona RHP (0-2, 9.00 ERA)

Sunday: A.J. Burnett RHP (2-0, 2.70 ERA) vs. Carl Pavano RHP (0-2, 16.71 ERA)

Who’s Hot

Indians: Victor Martinez and Travis Hafner.  These two gentlemen make up most of the Indians offense so far.  Martinez is hitting .361, with 2 HR, 7 Runs and 3 RBI.  Hafner is hitting .286 with 3 HR, 7 RBI and 5 Runs.  Hafner is also 4-11 with 5 RBI against Burnet, who he will face in the last game of the series.

Yankees: AJ Burnett has looked exceptional on the mound.  He has been dominating in almost every single inning he has pitched, and he has almost single-handedly ended two different 2 game losing streaks with his 2 wins.

Brian Bruney – After allowing a 2-run HR on Opening Day in Baltimore, Bruney has not allowed a single batter to reach base in 4 2/3 innings, striking out a total of 10, including the last 5 batters he has faced.

Derek Jeter – Seemingly as soon as the media started mention Jeter was like 1-20 since Opening Day earlier this week, Captain Clutch has been a catalyst for the Yanks last two wins.  He has hit 5-9, with 4 RBI, 1 HR, 1 BB and has accounted for 2 Runs.  Perfect timing to get hot right before the new stadium opens.

Goes without saying: Nick Swisher and Robinson Cano.  Unless you have been living under a rock, you already knew about these two fellas.  I could not be more proud of Cano and the turn around he has had after last year’s ridiculously horrid season.  Swish has been the catalyst the Yankees needed in the clubhouse to get everyone relaxed and juiced up (figuratively juiced, not literally.)  Swisher has (rightly so) earned the Cleanup spot in the lineup.

Who’s Not:

Indians: Most of the starting rotation and most of the starting lineup.  When you are 2-7 everyone gets the blame.

Yankees: Hideki Matsui has been horrible at the plate this season and really needs to get it together, because since he cannot play the outfield for another few months, what’s the point in keeping him around?  Greg Cohen over at Sliding Into Home has actually named Matsui his “Player to Watch” this series due to his 4-12, with 2 2B career against Lee and his 3-5 game against Carmona last year.  I just don’t know if that is enough history to sway me.

Chien-Ming Wang – The Wanger pitched batting practice on Tuesday in what the Yankees coaching staff hopes was an unconventional way to get the guy back on track.  If he loses again, don’t be surprised to see him sent to Tampa to work on mechanics and Phil Hughes, who did very well in the offseason and spring, be sent up to replace him in the rotation.

Keys to Winning the Series

Indians: Get the starting pitching staff to be consistent and inspire the hitters to do more at the plate.  The Yankees are a tough team to beat at home.

Yankees: Since it is a 4 game series, 3 wins are needed to win it.  They will need at least 3 solid outings from the starting rotation to make that happen and will need the bullpen to hold it together.  The Yanks offense has been on most games, so it comes down to pitching.

I love Opening Day.  The excitement of baseball returning.  The hopes and dreams that every fan has for their team are huge – right now, every fan (except those of Pittsburgh) thinks that their team has a chance of winning the series this year.

I was very excited to go to Camden Yards for the first time.  Chris has been there countless times and has spoke highly about the stadium in general and especially Boogs BBQ.camden-yards-opening-day-2009-002

The day started off rainy and cold.  Not exciting for opening day.  But, being the fans that we are, we threw on our Yankee Gear and headed to the “Yard.”

We stopped first at the Babe Ruth Museum.  Neither of us had been there before and as true Yankee fans, we wanted to go.  As Chris said, it was a HUGE disappointment.  First, there were like 40 Orioles fans there eating BBQ (not Boogs).  And the place is NOT a museum.  Its a house with some signs and pictures hung up of the Babe.  I learned nothing about the Babe that being a casual fan wouldn’t have taught me.  So that was a waste of time.

We then headed out towards the stadium where there was this HUGE block party going on.  Very fun.  Yankees fans and Orioles fans mixing it up, drinking some beers and enjoying the feeling of Opening Day.  Oh yeah, at this point, the sun comes out, pulling a complete 180 on the day.  Sunny and WARM.  Hot almost.

camden-yards-opening-day-2009-004 After some drinks and some food, we headed inside where Chris beelined it straight for Boogs.  I think they must put something in there to make you happy, cause he wolfed that sandwich down faster then a starving man with a Christmas ham.

Then it started to rain again so we headed inside to the concourse and made our way up to our seats in section 380 and by the time we got there it stopped raining, but the sun was gone.  We waited around for the Opening Ceremonies, the introduction of the Yankee team and then the Oriole team.

At this point the game begins.  I won’t bore you with the details, if you haven’t seen the highlights, come out from under your rock and turn on ESPN.

I do have some thoughts I want to share.  First, I couldn’t believe how negative Orioles fans are.  I guess that’s what 11 straight losing seasons will do to you.  There were twice as many “Yankees Suck” chants then “Let’s Go O’s.”  When you go to Yankee stadium, you really only hear “Let’s go Yankees.”  Not “Mariner’s Suck.”

The other thing was the blatant homophobia of everyone in the upper deck.  I have been to Yankees games, Mets games, Jets and Giants games.  I’ve been to a Pirate’s game and several minor league games.  I even sat in section 39 (now 203) in Yankee Stadium, with the Bleacher Creatures and never before have I heard so many “faggots” and “homos” and “salad tossers” yelled out before.  It seemed as if the only insults they had for Yankee players, were that they were gay.

How limited do your brain functions have to be to only be able to use those words as insults?  I think, in this day and age, we can all come up with better insults then someones sexual orientation.  I realize that some guys will never get it, will always be homophobes and will always use gayness as an insult, but I have never heard it used to an extent like it was Monday.  It was atrocious.

The blatant hate for Mark Teixeira was also evident.  I don’t know how much it cam across on the TV, but they booed him constantly.  It was loud and consistent.

I find it amusing how feisty they are about this.  Most fans seem to be upset cause Teixeira blew them off for the Yankees.  Oh well, that’s business.  GET OVER IT.  Or, as I told one fan, tell your team owners to start investing in their team.

At the beginning of the game, the announcer spoke highly about the new sound system (which cut out a few times, obviously a bad investment) and the new Kentucky Bluegrass that was laid on the field.  Hmmm….probably coulda taken that money and invested in a new first baseman.

All in all, it was a great day, a little cold, and kind of crappy with a loss, but Yankee baseball is back!!!!!

camden-yards-opening-day-2009-007

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