Get ready for complete and utter homerism, folks. I'm live-glogging the New York Yankees for the first time this season as they face the Tampa Bay Rays in the Bronx. The Yanks are 6-5 against the Rays this season and look to move one game closer to first place with a win today.
Your starters today are Sid Ponson (5-1, 4.19 ERA) and Edwin Jackson (5-6, 4.08 ERA). Sir Sidney took his only loss this year in Tampa but he picked up his only two 2007 wins against the Devil Rays. It's basically the same light-hitting team, except without a Devil and with better defense. Jackson, however, is making his fourth start against the Yankees this season. He's 1-1 with a 3.00 ERA and has struck out 13 Yanks in 18 innings. Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez tater-totted off Jackson last year and are OPS'ing over 1.000 against the righty. Get yer lineups over here.
Enough of the intros, let's get glogging! It's Free Moustache Day at The Stadium! There's a jump down there!
12:50PM: Your announcers today are John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman. Say what you will about this pair, but I've been listening to radio folks across the major leagues all season long, and John and Suzyn are probably among the five most listenable duos. Even if all of John Sterling's cultural references are Rodgers and Hammerstein musicals from 60 years ago.
12:57PM: That being said, I'd murder them both if it meant we could resurrect Mel Allen from the grave.
1:03PM: Oh snap, 2004 draft pick Reid Brignac is playing shortstop for the Rays today. He was called up after Jason Bartlett went on the DL and is seeking his first major league hit. Bartlett's glove has helped the Rays go from one of the worst defensive teams in '07 to one of the best in '08, but we'll see how Brignac cuts his teeth here.
1:08PM: See? I know stuff about teams the Yankees play too. Here's Akinori Iwamura to lead off. Ponson's first pitch...strike one.
1:11PM: FYI, the Rays have seven lefties in the lineup. Left-handed batters are OPS'ing .812 against Sid in his career, and .909 against him this year. Iwamura lines a base hit to center. Carl Crawford follows with a comebacker to the mound; Ponson spins and throws to Jeter who taps second and fires to first. Double play.
1:12PM: Upton grounds out to short on first pitch and we're done with the top of the first.
1:16PM: Ed Jackson will face Brett Gardner, Derek Jeter, and Bobby Abreu here in the bottom of the first. Gardner pops up a bunt and first basegentleman Carlos Pena is in to catch it. One out. Jeter lines one to right-center and it drops in for a single.
1:20PM: Joe Posnanski wrote up a great piece about how over-praised Derek Jeter was a while back, and he referred to the time Jeter was saluted for getting caught in a rundown and motioning with his hands to the other runners to advance. Anyway, Posnanski imagined what was going on inside Abreu's mind as such: "I like cookies. They are delicious. Especially when they have chocolate chips." That's probably true right now, as Abreu walks. Alex Rodriguez flies out deep to center and Jeter tags to third. Runners at the corners, two out.
1:22PM: Waldman is wearing a fake moustache now as Giambi comes up to play. "This is very uncomfortable," says Suzyn. Not just for you, Sue. Not just for you. Giambi lines a base hit to left center and it's 1-0 Yanks.
1:24PM: Jorge Posada flies out to Hinske and we're done with the first.
1:28PM: Here's lefty slugger Carlos Pena to lead off the second. He's been around the league a bunch, including stints with the A's and the Yankees. Teams have traded him and released him outright, not unlike what happened to lefty slugger David Ortiz early in his career. Pena walks. Evan Longoria grounds one off A-Rod's glove into left field and we've got runners on first and second.
1:32PM: Cliff Floyd grounds one back to Ponson and it caroms off Sid's leg. Ponson picks it up and throws to first. One out, runners advance. Navarro flies out to left field, Brett Gardner comes up with a strong throw and the runners hold.
1:34PM: Sterling is super-hot for Gardner and claims his arm may be even stronger than what the scouts reported. Damn you Sterling, you should never posit that perhaps scouts aren't being entirely truthful! Ponson hits Hinske with a pitch and according to the rules, Hinske is awarded first base. Bases loaded, but Reid Brignac flies out.
1:39PM: Robbie Cano leads off this inning. He's moved his batting average above .250 for the first time this year, but flies out to Crawford before I can say any more. Here's Melky Cabrera, who pops out to BJ Upton. Next up, the ninth hitter Jose Molina. Molina has caught six games in a row now that Posada has been DH'ing with Damon and Matsui on the DL. Molina singles to left.
1:41PM: Oh Brett Gardner struck out to end the second inning.
1:46PM: Iwamura strikes out looking to start the third inning. Here's Carl Crawford, who also strikes out looking. This is becoming a trend.
1:51PM: B.J. Upton grounds one up to left for a base hit. Next up, Carlos Pena. Sterling and Waldman are trying to remember during which start did Ponson get in trouble in the second inning. John, this is only Sidney's third start as a Yankee. Also, the answer is 'all three of them'. Pena works the count full. Struck out swinging! Sorry, I got a little excited there.
1:55PM: Sterling just referenced a Nat King Cole song when talking about the weather. I wasn't lying about his old-timey references. Granted, it's an awesome fucking song. Jeter flies out to right.
2:00PM: Cookies Abreu lines out to Upton and there are two away. Here's everybody's favorite slugger Alex Rodriguez. He's like Mickey Mantle, except without the bum knee and the respect of fans everywhere and the crippling alcoholism. A-Rod grounds a dribbler to Iwamura, who fields it but throws late. We'll call that an infield single. Here comes Senor Stache, who works a five pitch walk.
2:04PM: Posada is up. Dioner Navarro fires down to second to try and nab A-Rod but he gets his hand back just in time. Posada works a full count, but then grounds out hard to first. End of third inning.
2:10PM: Sir Sidney starts off the fourth inning by plunking Longoria. Cliff Floyd ambles up to the plate and lashes a screaming grounder down the first base line THAT IS CAUGHT BY THE SENOR STACHIO! One out, Longoria moves to second.
2:14PM: Here's Dioner Navarro. No relation to Dave Navarro. Or Dion and the Belmonts. Or Diana Ross. Navarro lines out to Jeter, who scrambles to second in an attempt to double off Longoria, but gets outscrambled. Evan is safe. Here's Hinske, with two outs...he works a full count...and walks. First and second.
2:20PM: Massive liveglog update: I'm now liveglogging while watching the game on TV, no longer while listening on XM. So I may have missed some stuff during my move. It's the bottom of the 4th with two outs and no one on. Still 1-0 Yankees. Molina is up.
2:24PM: Okay, Molina grounded out and we're in the top of the fifth. Iwamura beats out an infield single but replays show he is out. I'm about to stomp around and argue with the ump.
2:28PM: Carl Crawford grounds lightly to third and A-Rod gets the lead runner at second. Speedy Carl ends up standing on first with a fielders choice. Upton grounds lightly to third and A-Rod gets the lead runner at second. Speedy BJ ends up standing on first with a fielders choice. Weird!
2:30PM: Speedy BJ Upton gets thrown out stealing and we're halfway through the game.
2:35PM: Speedy Brett Gardner leads off the inning with an infield single.
2:40PM: Speedy Derek Jeter flies out to right. This game, however, is not speedy.
2:43PM: Speedy Brett Gardner steals second, Bobby Abreu grounds out to first, and Gardner advances to third. Seriously, as soon as I switched from radio to TV, the game switched from vivacious to plodding.
2:46PM: A-Rod struck out swinging and that's the fifth for ya.
2:48PM: The best part about the YES network today is that Michael Kay has the day off. Rejoice! Instead, it sounds like John Flaherty and the black guy. Here's Carlos Pena to lead off the inning. He hits a deep one to right center....ding-dong! 1-1 game now.
2:52PM: Sidney Ponson turned and watched that one fly out with a look on his face that said: "I shouldn't have eaten that black bean chili for breakfast." Longoria takes one for a ride to deep right center, too, but this one lands nicely in Cabrera's glove. Here's Cliff Floyd.
2:54PM: Floyd rockets a deep fly to right center, Melky comes in a bit, then retreats, lifts his glove, and the ball just falls in. Two out, but these lefties are taking Sidney for a ride this inning. Navarro strikes out swinging, and that's three outs. Tied 1-1!
2:58PM: This Giambi moustache thing has certainly reached the breaking point. I'm tired of it now. Let's move on to Jose Molina's hairlip or Jorge Posada's total lack of chin. Giambi pops out. Here's the aforementioned chinless wonder. Posada flies out to right, and Jackson has really gotten into the groove. He's throwing in the mid-nineties.
3:00PM: Cano flies out and we're done with six innings.
3:03PM: Welp credit Chubs McGee with a quality start as Ponson goes six innings allowing just one run. Here's right-handed reliever Jose Veras to face Hinske, Brignac, and Iwamura.
3:06PM: Veras gets Hinske looking. At strike three. He didn't catch him looking up his gramma's skirt or anything. That'd be horrible. Here's Reid Brignac, still lookin' for his first major league hit. Some advice, Reid, it's not up Jose Veras' gramma's skirt, so don't bother lookin' there. Brignac grounds out to second.
3:09PM: Iwamura works a full count on Veras. Veras throws a low fastball that Aki simply cannot hold up on. Strikeout on a check swing. Oops. Seventh inning stretch time! Regarding God Bless America at Yankee Stadium, I think we've had enough of the jingoistic b/s. I stand up and remove my hat for the moment of silence but put my cap back on during GBA. It's okay though, I tell people. I don't believe in God.
3:13PM: Melky Cabrera lofts a single over Iwamura's head and the Yanks have a leadoff runner on against Jackson. Here's Molina. Will he bunt? Can he bunt? Yes, and yes. Molina sac-bunts Melky to second.
3:15PM: Pitching change time, y'all. Eddie Jackson's day is done. Whoa, I just realized I had a friend in HS named Eddie Jackson who died on the ski slopes. This glog's for you, Eddie.
3:18PM: Lefty JP Howell is your new Rays pitcher today. Here's Speedy Brett Gardner, a lefty. Girardi would pinch hit with a righty, but his bench is more barren than Madonna's womb. RELEVANT JOKE! ZING! Gardner strikes out looking on a slow slider.
3:23PM: Here's Derek Jeter. He works a full count. Tension runs high. Melky leads off second...Jeter fouls it off his foot...Joe Maddon polishes his spectacles...Howell sets...and the pitch...another foul ball. Annnnd Jeter strikes out looking on a pitch at his shoulders. Sigh.
3:28PM: Top of the eighth, and our new pitcher is wacky Kyle Farnsworth. He'll face Crawford, Upton and Pena. Prof. Farnsworth gets Carl Crawford to ground out to second.
3:31PM: Farnsworth gets Upton to strike out swinging. He's in a groove! Here's the dangerous Carlos Pena....who drives one DEEP to right field...it's back...and Abreu leaps...at the wall...he caught it! Cookies Abreu made a play at the wall without cowering in fear! Middle of the eighth...
3:35PM: The Rays new reliever is...oh it's still Howell. He'll face Cookies, A-Rod, and Giambi. Abreu grounds out to first. Here's A-Rod.
3:39PM: Mr. Rod lines one into the gap, but shallow enough that Upton can range over to nab it. Two outs. It's Senor Stache's big chance to garner some more All Star votes now. Still a 1-1 game. And he strikes out swinging. Let's go to the ninth!
3:43PM: Girardi summons Mariano Rivera for the top of the ninth. He'll face Longoria, Floyd, and Navarro. Longoria strikes out on three pitches. Foolish youngster!
3:46PM: Cliff Floyd watches a 3-0 count accumulate; it turns into a walk. Jonny Gomes comes in to pinch run for Floyd.
3:48PM: Navarro is squaring to bunt. He takes a ball, then a strike, as Molina throws down to first and nearly picks off Gomes. Mo deals and Navarro flies out to center. Two down.
3:51PM: Next up is Eric Hinske, who fouls one off his face. Ouch. 2-2 count, and then Hinske strikes out looking. WE'RE GOING TO THE BOTTOM OF THE NINTH NOW.
3:55PM: JP Howell is still in the game; he's thrown 26 pitches in 1.2 innings. He'll face Posada, Cano, and Cabrera. Posada is 1-for-10 career against Howell. He's batting righty now. It's a full count...and Posada walks.
3:59PM: Speedy Justin Christian is your pinch runner for Posada. Here's Robbie Cano. He might bunt. And he does bunt. Christian moves to second as Longoria fields and throws out Cano at first. Here's Melky Cabrera. Joe Maddon is bringing in a reliever.
4:05PM: Grant Balfour is the new Rays pitcher. He's got a tidy 0.96 ERA. Good for him. He'll face Cabrera with one out and a runner on second. Haha 'Bal-four' is a terrible name for a pitcher with good control. GET IT? ZING. Melky is fouling off pitches and stays at 0-2. The mood is tense. And..CHRISTIAN SWIPES THIRD!
4:06PM: The count moves to 2-2. The infield comes in. The outfield comes in. A long fly ball ends the game. And Melky strikes out swinging on the heater.
4:08PM: Here's Jose Molina with two outs. He pops up. EXTRY INNINGS.
4:10PM: Should I keep glogging? Is anyone still listening?
4:12PM: My battery is dying but screw it. Mariano gets Brignac to strike out. It's pouring in NJ, so they'd better hurry up with this game. It'll be pouring in the Bronx tout de suite.
4:15PM: Iwamura strikes out swinging. That's Mo's fourth K of the day. Here's Carl Crawford, who grounds out to second. Let's do the bottom of the tenth!
4:19PM: Balfour stays in the game to face Gardner, Jeter, and Cookies. Rays guard against the bunt for Speedy Brett Gardner. Oh boy Brett struck out looking. This Balfour character has good control.
4:22PM: Seriously, when you pronounce his name with the emphasis on the 'four' and not the 'Bal', it sounds like he's giving up a walk. Here's Derek Jeter. The Original Dreamboat. Take a back seat, Tom Brady. Jeter works a full count. Folks, you could cut the tension in this park with a knife. Oh that's not tension, it's the humidity. Jeter walks.
4:26PM: Hurry up and finish this game! Get off the mound, Maddon! Here's Cookies Abreu. He's fouled off like four straight pitches. Still 0-2 though. OMG ITS A GAPPER. JETER ROUNDS THIRD. BEING WAVED HOME. GAME OVER! JETER SCORES!
4:28PM: To recap: Abreu doubled to the gap in right center, Jeter hustled his buns, Meachem waved him in, and the throw never even made it in. Jeter scores both runs in the game. Walkoff Cookies!@!!!@!!
4:30PM: That was Abreu's first walkoff hit as a Yankee. Cabrera and Cano gave him the Gatorade bath while Cookies was being interviewed by Kim Jones. Thanks for joining me in the FIRST EVER EXTRA INNINGS LIVEGLOG. You are all extra special readers and commenters. On behalf of CTC and Darren, we salute the WoWies!