A-Rod’s walk-off shot ends instant classic
Yankees slugger drills two-run homer in 15th inning vs. Sox
By Bryan Hoch / MLB.com
NEW YORK — Alex Rodriguez delivered a game-winning two-run homer off Junichi Tazawa in the bottom of the 15th inning as the Yankees defeated the Red Sox, 2-0, in what can only be considered an instant Yankee Stadium classic.
Derek Jeter led off the frame with a bloop single into shallow right-center, and after a pair of outs, Rodriguez ended a career-high 72 at-bat homerless streak in his seventh plate appearance of the evening, driving in the only runs of the night with a rocket into the left-center-field bullpen.
The early-morning push came after J.D. Drew made a sensational catch to prolong the game in the 14th, and authored a finish to a contest that — through seven innings — featured an epic duel between A.J. Burnett and Josh Beckett. The former teammates littered the scoreboard with zeroes, making August feel an awful lot like October.
Burnett allowed a single to the first batter he faced, Jacoby Ellsbury, on a ball that fell just shy of Nick Swisher’s diving grasp in right field. That was it, as Burnett clamped the Red Sox quiet with 7 2/3 innings of scoreless ball as he turned in arguably his best performance since signing with the Yankees.
He worked out of damage with the help of timely defense and big pitches — twice inducing double plays and pitching out of a two-on, none-out jam in the sixth. Burnett walked Ellsbury with his 118th and final pitch, walking off the field to a loud standing ovation from the sellout crowd of 48,262.
Ellsbury stole second base on a pitchout, moving the potential go-ahead run into second position, but Phil Hughes exhaled as Dustin Pedroia flied out to deep center, ending the inning. Mariano Rivera came on and worked the ninth inning against the heart of the Red Sox’s lineup, and Alfredo Aceves hurled three scoreless innings, allowing Brian Bruney and Phil Coke to set up the classic finish.
On the Boston side, Beckett showcased some of his sharpest stuff of the campaign, limiting the Yankees to four hits through seven innings and facing the minimum through the first four frames, walking two and striking out seven in a 115-pitch performance. Hideki Okajima recorded four outs and Daniel Bard pitched out of trouble in the ninth before Jonathan Papelbon, Manny Delcarmen and Takashi Saito moved the game on to Tazawa.
I should have been at this game! Ah… it would have been bliss. 🙂
I can’t wait till I come home and go to a game (I’m currently in Atlanta getting my MBA at Emory University). I so can’t wait. I’ve been away for way too long…
It feels GREAT to be up ahead of the Sox by 4.5 games at the start of August. I LOVE IT!
Life rocks right now… can’t complain. Goooooooo Yankees!!!!!!!!! 😀
….and boy have we missed him!
Now, lets hope the team can build on today’s awesome win and build up that momentum again! =) Enough of this minor league play they’ve been playing. Get it together!
“Are you watching Sportscenter? If you aren’t, turn it on…something about your boy Alex, and you’re really not going to like this one”.
I don’t even really have or know the right words to say right now. To put it simply, I am devastated and on the verge of tears. This is AWFUL news for baseball, period. I’m not going to act like this affects me more because i am a HUGE A-Rod fan. I am not going to act like it affects me more because ever since he came to the Yankees in 2004, i have ALWAYS ALWAYS defended him, be it in the stadium, online, in person or on the phone.
It affects us all. A-Rod fans, Yankees fans, and Baseball fans in general. The game we know and so wholeheartedly love carries around tarnished legacy and each one of our superstars is being impacted.
Ivan “Pudge” Rodriguez.
Gary Matthews Jr.
Paul Lo Duca.
All these players have been implicated in one way or the other by steroid allegations.
Alex + 103 other players were implicated today.
I remember when the thing to say was “At least we have Alex who can help wipe the slate of the Barry Bonds saga clean”. What do we say now?
For all we know, no one is clean. Everyone seems to have been doing it in 2003. No one is a safe bet.
The sport we know and love has been forever tainted.
Well, at least i will always have Mickey Mantle.
I am still trying to compose my thoughts, but despite how crushed i am by this news, i still love A-Rod and yes, still do believe he is the best player of our time. I am so so so so sad this had to come about and tarnish a great player’s image, and allow anyone to question his natural ability, but unfortunately now, i guess i’ll have to live with it.
I still love and support Alex Rodriguez.
Right now, i do not have the energy to explain why and i am so grateful to Rob Neyer at ESPN for doing it for me, so i’m just going to go ahead and copy and paste. My sentiments, exactly.
However it shakes out, A-Rod still a great player
– By Rob Neyer (ESPN).
Today — Feb. 7, 2009 — a date which will live in infamy …
At least for Alex Rodriguez.
His image, so obviously, so often clumsily constructed, has been shattered into a million tiny pieces. You could say whatever you wanted about his astronomical salaries and his postseason struggles and his “Single White Female” relationship with Derek Jeter, but you couldn’t argue that he wasn’t perhaps the most talented baseball player on the planet.
Until now, perhaps. Now, some of the pundits will argue that A-Rod wasn’t so great after all; and further, that even if he was a great player, his (alleged) cheating should taint his entire legacy and perhaps even keep him out of the Hall of Fame.
But then there’s this …
I’m reading Tom Verducci’s new book, and flagging passages worth returning to later. As you’ve no doubt heard, most of the material about Alex Rodriguez isn’t particularly flattering. I’ve flagged most of those parts. But I also flagged this one:
Rodriguez did impress his teammates with a relentless work ethic. They found him to be the baseball equivalent of a gym rat. He knew everything going on around baseball and he never stopped working. One night in 2007 he showed up in the dugout 10 minutes before the first pitch with blood dripping from his hands and knees. “What the hell happened to you?” somebody asked.
Rodriguez explained that he just had been running full tilt on the treadmill in the weight room when the belt broke and he went flying off the back end of the machine, skinning his hands and knees as he was thrown into a wall. Who the hell ran at sprinting speed on a treadmill right before a game was about to start? The most talented player in baseball did. That was A-Rod, too.
“Nobody has ever worked harder in my memory than this guy,” [Joe] Torre said. “Jeter, I’m sure he does his weight work in the wintertime. In the summertime he gets dressed and gets the hell out of there. He doesn’t hang out. Nobody’s in better shape than Alex. Nobody works harder than Alex. For a star player, who gets there as early as he gets there, and still he might hear Coach Larry Bowa say, ‘You need to take groundballs.’ And he’ll do whatever it takes. He’ll do it all the time. He’s just a workaholic.”
Said Bowa, “If he missed on a slow roller, the next day he’s out there early and we’re working on slow rollers. If he missed a backhand, the next day we’re working on backhands. This guy would be the first one to admit, ‘I need to work on that,’ or, ‘I didn’t approach that ball the right way, so let’s go work on it.’ And that’s why he was such a great player.”
I hope Alex Rodriguez didn’t cheat. If we do find out that he cheated, I will wish that he hadn’t. But whatever happens, I’m not going to change my opinion that he’s a great baseball player. Like many of the greatest players, he’ll do whatever it takes to be the best player he can be. For a stretch of five or 10 years — and yes, perhaps even today still — being the best player could have meant cheating. Maybe the cheaters were wrong; that’s the direction in which I lean, probably because I’ve got a streak of the moralist in me. But I will not sit idly while great athletes looking for an edge — not all that different from the many generations before them — are demonized by the high priests of baseball opinion. I will not.
So i’m checking my email this morning and i see an email that i have a comment from Mark!! Everytime i get a comment from Mark always makes me smile, cause Mark is awesome and i am always happy when he takes the time out to visit my little corner of MLBlogosphere! =D
Well, he did it again!! (= This time, he visited to inform me that i had made the MLB bloggers top 100 list, coming in at a whooping number 54! (Congratulations to everyone who made it to the top 100!! =)
I have been so bad with updating my blog lately that, although number 54 is not as high as i would love to be, it feels good to know that i have not been forgotten around these parts =). This used to be my constant daily “hangout” spot, where i made some cool acquaintances like me who love to talk about baseball and we would do just that all day.
I really do miss blogging over here, but with increasing career responsibilities have come decreasing personal time that i then have to allocate between the 35483026383 other things that are going on in my life. But thats no excuse, or at least it shouldnt be. So one of my New Years Resolutions is going to be to begin blogging again. I know i have made that “promise” quite a number of times now, but i mean it this time. (Next year Mark, watch out for me trying to make my way back into the top 20 😉
In other news, i have finally adjusted to working in NJ, and have been lucky to have found a network of co-workers who are fellow Yankees fanatics like me :-D. We have a listserv that we comment on daily and its fun to have that Yankee community again! Thanks to them, working in NJ has been a lil less “frustrating” when it comes to the Yankees.
I am very happy about the signing of CC, although i could have done without the dramatics that preceded it. But the Yankees needed pitching and i felt he was definitely the best option that we had. He along with A.J. Burnett would add the missing piece of the puzzle that we needed to complete for pitching.
Now i patiently await to find out if Teixiera (yes yes yes please) and/or Manny (eeer, not feeling it) will be in pinstripes come opening day. And please God, let Andy Pettitte just take the offer already!!!!!!!! Andy, i love you, but seriously, which team is going to take you for higher than that? $10 M in this economy and you are saying no? Uhmmm… bro, just take it and end your career with dignity, as a Yankee, the way its supposed to be.
I really hope he takes it. I will always have an extremely soft spot in my heart for Andy, and would love to see him end his career in the stripes! I am still heeling from that whole Astros stint, and dont think i can stand to see him in another uniform again!
Who’s going for opening Day?
A co-worker and i are trying to get some good tickets now. It would be an amazing time and nothing will feel better than me getting to be right there when they Christian the new stadium. I can only hope to recreate half the amazing memories i had at the old one at the new one. =)
Thank you so much for the very warm welcome back Vanessa, Jason and Levelboss!!! 😀 I didn’t think anyone would even notice, lol. Now i’m motivated to start writing consistently again!! I’ve missed you guys and definitely missed blogging here =)
I guess its only right i give a reason as to why i have been absent. Well, no big breaking news, its just, my life has been insanely busy and has had lots of changes in the past few months. For one, i switched jobs and no longer work in NY, which was bittersweet, because while the new job is great for my career, it steals me away from New York City. Now i’m stuck in Central Jersey, boooo 😦
I mean, i love Jersey and all, but i miss everything about working in NY…. working on Wall Street, the atmosphere in midtown, hot dog stands, a pret-a-manger on every corner, more than 3 lunchtime options (which is what i currently have, lol), happy hours with co-workers, inifinite shopping options, and MOST IMPORTANTLY, being able to go to Yankees games after work during the week. That is DEFINITELY what i miss the most about working in the city. In fact, it almost made or break my decision. But you know…the yankees don’t pay my salary, my student loans, or put gas in my tank, lol.
Other than that, i have been on the go a lot and racking up major flier miles. I’m always ecstatic when i am able to get a Yankees game on the road, either through MLB.TV or by just being blessed enough to have it be shown on ESPN. But when i’m home, my TV is still married to the YES Network. =)
This year has been the first year in many that i am not going to meet my “at least 10 games per year” goal :(. At this point, i think i’ll be lucky to make it to 4 total games before the year ends. (I’m going on Friday August 1st, and Friday August 15th). I definitely definitely will also try to make it to one of the last games in September to pay my last respects (lol) to the old Yankee stadium. *sigh*. I’ve had A LOT of wonderful memories in that place…. oh man, it brings tears to my eyes *cue sad song in background* it’s soooo hard, to say goodbye…to yesterday… *end song* LOL . But no, seriously, i am definitely going to miss where i once referred to as my 4th (then 3rd after school ended) home cause i was there so much…
I’ve sat EVERYWHERE at Yankees stadium (except for bleachers) and i love every last corner of it…even the $7 hot dogs and $8 bottles of smirnoff ice. And of course when you sit in field champ, they come to serve you VIP style and then you can order those delicious artery-clogging fries with chicken fingers! YUM! 😀
I’ll miss the bright lights when you first come into the arena, the feeling of adrenaline when the starters are announced, gametime and all the corny “ball under cap games” we get to play in between innings, the stupid wave that was always bound to erupt, the stomping feet calling for a rally, the feeling of euphoria when a Yankee slugs one out the park, the rush that i feel when i hear Enter Sandman and know that Mo’s about to shut it DOWN, even hi-fiving complete strangers after the game and even congratulating ourselves for a “good game” like we had anything to do with the scoreboard, LOL.
*sigh*…Yankee stadium, i love you with all my heart, and you shall surely be missed…
I can only hope i can create such great memories at the new Yankee Stadium as well. =)
I am even trying to make it to Shea Stadium before it closes as well. I am, of course, not a Mets fan, but i have respect for them and like them as long as they arent playing the Yankees =). I have lots of childhood memories of growing up in Brooklyn and hearing my uncle stress about the Metropolitans cause he is a HUGE fan, and i used to wonder, what the heck is a Metropolitan???, LOL. I have to figure out when to go and it’d better be a day that the Yankees are away cause i am not going to waste a game in NYC on going to Shea stadium (LOL, sorry, no offense). I havent been on the 7 EVER, or at least in a million years. I harly ever go to Queens, EVER, except to visit my fam in Far Rockaway, so that will be an experience…
Anywhoo, i have to head off to work now, but just wanted to check in and yap away. The next blog will be completely baseball related, i promise 😉 Just wanted to check in on a personal tip prior.
Speaking of which, GO GO GO NOW, GO VOTE FOR GIAMBI AS THE FINAL VOTE!!!
SUPPORT the ‘STACHE man!!!
I have voted like a million times! 😀
I cant wait for the All-Star game! Its going to be fun times =)
PS. Great game last night. How about that kid Justin Christian stealing 3rd like that? Gutsy and daring move…i love him already =).
Way to knock the Rays down a notch. I was about tired of hearing of them on darn Sportscenter! Arggghhhh. lol
Have a great day! =)
I have been horrible with updating my blog (hopefully i can get back into the swing of it soon), but i’m pretty much still one of the biggest fans i know on this side of the Mississippi. Thats never going to change. 😀
How excited am i about the All Star game in New York? You dont even know the start of it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Plus i am going to get to see Bon Jovi this Saturday in Central Park. Its a Beautiful thing 😀
Lets Go American League!!! 😀
– Josh Hamilton…amazing story. Coming from where he was to where he is now… wow… God bless him. I am happy for him being a starter….
– Its the summer time and the Yankees are currently 5 million games behind first. What else is new? Its like we are addicted to playing catch up in September.
– And the Devil Rays??? Really?
Where did that come from??? This year has been bananas. There’s no possible way i imagined that going into the All Star game, the D-Rays would be anywhere other than last place.
Maybe its a bad dream and i’m going to wake up soon. =)
PS. I am currently amusing myself by making myself into Bobble heads 😀 lol
The Mitchell Report.
Today/yesterday has had to be one of the most depressing days for true baseball fans everywhere, irregardless of what team you support. But for me especially, having my favorite pitcher EVER, Andy Pettitte, be implicated by the Mitchell investigation has been a bit too much for me to swallow : (.
Right now, my emotions range from disbelief to anger to hurt to confused. I do not know what to think at this point. I’m just not a happy camper overall…
As we all know by now, big names were implicated by this…from Miguel Tejada, to Gregg Zaun, to Paul Lo Duca, to Eric Gagne, to Jay Gibbons, to Jose Guillen, to Gary Matthews Jr, etc…i mean, we’re talking MAJOR names… but to me, none more major than these two…
Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens.
At this time yesterday, i was getting ready to celebrate the fact that my current favorite player Alex Rodriguez, was going to be signing a record breaking contract 10yr / $275 million contract with my favorite team, and I was going to be in baseball heaven. I mean, what better way to cap off the drama that had been the New York Yankees since our 1st round demise from the post season for the second year in a row?
In October…it seemed like being a Yankee fan had to be the most depressing thing in the world…everything was falling apart. Our beloved manager, Joe Torre, left us to go to our rival, The Dodgers…our best hitter, A-Rod opts out of his contract during the world series…we didnt know if Mo, Jorge or Andy would be back…and everything was just in disarray for us yet again. But then everything started coming together. We got a new manager we actually love. Each player we had questions about re-signed back with the team, we were in active pursuit of some pretty good pitchers, and as a fabulous cherry on top our best hitter and the greatest player in baseball, was going to be a Yankee for what seemed like forever (10yrs)…and all was right with the world. I was breathing a sigh of relief again, and felt like i was back in at least, partial baseball heaven.
But now, i feel like i am in baseball h*ll *sigh*
Honestly…I dont even know what to feel at this point.
On one hand, i want to say that the Mitchell investigation is bulls*t. To gather vocal testimony from two men facing a criminal conviction, and possibly with hidden agendas of their own, with no possibility of them being cross examined, sounds like a load of crap!
But then on the other hand…i’ve been reading this report…(and holy smokes is this crap long…and oh, should i mention quite “juvenile”…come on…millions was spent on this, and yet this is what we get? Even lowly analyst i can write a waaaayyy better report than this!! And i wont charge more than five hundred thousand!!)…and well, the evidence against some, especially Roger Clemens is quite damning. I dont know if i can really throw this out the window as c r a p…some of this stuff sounds too real to be made up.
And i am really sad about Roger ….I mean…i’ve not been the hugest Roger Clemens fan in the world, but I’ve always recognized and praised the man as the greatest pitcher of my era. And now for this to come out…i mean, even if some of this isnt true (and i’m sure not all of it is), his reputation, much like Barry Bonds’, will be forever tainted by this. As a great fan of the great sport of baseball, to watch both the greatest hitter and pitcher of my generation “go down” in such fashion, is ultimately the most depressing thing i have had to endure as a baseball and probably overall, sports fan.
As for Andy…he seems to only be implicated for one season..the 2002 season. He’s never tested positive for any of that stuff, and its been 5 years now, so there’s no way to really have concrete proof. Call this hypocritical, BUT, i have absolutely no love lost for him. Even if the whole world points fingers at him and calls him guilty, without a positive test result in front of me, i will still have his back. He still remains …my beloved Andy Pettitte.
Overall, the report seems to not be a very credible source, especially with the fact that some major names that were suspected initially were left out (where is Sammy Sosa in all of this??), and you know as a Yankees fan, I question why there are no Red Sox players on this other than Mo Vaughn. But majorly because this was a report from testimony gathered by two men who are facing criminal charges and could possibly have second agendas of their own. There are no positive tests being presented to us…just word of mouth. But whether credible or not, this definitely has dealt us all a big blow and put the sport that i love into the limelight in the worst way possible…
Its gonna be quite hard to move forward from this, and at this point, i am not sure we will be able to do so for a long long time. We are always gonna have a crooked eye when we look at players stats from now on…everyone seems to be guilty until proven innocent. This has not done well for the sport of baseball at all…
But then again…I know MLB is not alone. The NFL and the NBA are right there with us… its a sad day in sports in general.
I’m off from work today, and i was supposed to be studying for GMATs…but I dont think i will really be able to do much of that today…I’ve been glued to ESPN/YES/Sportscenter/mlb.com/baseball blogs around the web all morning, and i dont see that changing anytime soon…even though i must say, ESPN analysts make me sick and i am tired of hearing their “expert” analysis (especially Steve Phillips…i cant stand his guts!), but still, i cant seem to stop watching… maybe I’ll soon get so sick of it i wont be able to bear the sound of their voice…but for now, i’m glued in.
*sigh*…what a depressing day…