Friday, September 23, 2011

The Yankees Clinched the East, and We Were There!

Hey guys, Drew back here! Wednesday really seemed to be my kind of day, starting off with my recent big news on being included in Beckett Sports Card Monthly. Just following that, we headed down to Yankee Stadium for the makeup game we missed due to rain in late August, the second game of a double header against Tampa Bay! I was glad the game was rained out because Burnett was going to be the scheduled starter for the game, but with the makeup, we got one heck of a pitching matchup, between one of my favorite young pitchers, Rays' Jeremy Hellickson, and Yankees ace CC Sabathia!

My dad, my Grandpa Charlie, Mike, and I all got down to the stadium after a long day, and hoped to have a nice relaxing night. It didn't look promising. The weather was stable for the ride, but as soon as we got into the stadium the rain picked up more and more. We hoped it wouldn't affect us though. In the meantime, we visited Monument Park! I hadn't been to Monument Park in the new stadium yet, so I was excited to see it for the first time. Check out some pics I took in the Yankees Hall of Fame:

Ain't Looking Too Pretty to Start!
Mike and I with Joltin Joe
R.I.P. George Steinbrenner

Never Forgive, Never Forget.

I have to say, I really enjoyed Monument Park as always. They did a nice job putting it together out in center field, and the plaques and numbers look amazing as always. Even with the poor weather at the time we still all enjoyed honoring the past Yankees greats and of course, Jackie Robinson. Getting back to those ugly clouds though, well, it didn't get much better. It started to absolutely poor. However, they didn't put the tarp down on the field so I still thought there was some hope. Eventually, after about a half hour of rain, I stood up and shouted "Rain, STOP!" Two minutes later... it stopped. Time to go help my dad out with the lottery!

We waited by the Yankees bullpen, which, if you walked down the rest of the row in my section, was right next to our seats! We had these same seats back last year when I got to see Andy Pettitte pitch, even though he didn't last long because of a groin injury he sustained. Soon after we waited, Carston Charles Sabathia came out of the indoor bullpen room and began to throw!

Jeremy Hellickson getting loose

One thing I felt ashamed of not noticing however, was that the whole time CC was throwing, standing right besides Yankee catcher Russell Martin was Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson! I completely didn't realize that he was there until after CC threw out on the field. Fortunately, we did catch Reggie for a moment before he went in to the clubhouse. I double took when I saw him walk by and was like "Oh my god... it's Reggie Jackson!" and started shouting "REGGIE!!" Mike, Dad and I started yelling for him and he stopped to waved to us all before he went in the room. I almost got a perfect picture but I was shaking too much in awe to hold the camera still. 

While that was an incredible moment, I have to say watching CC Sabathia warm up from so close of a distance was unbelievable. He was throwing gas and the pop in Martin's glove was one of the most incredible sounds a baseball can make. Don't get me wrong, watching Pettitte warm up was great, but Sabathia blew him out of the water, especially throwing his nasty slider often in his warm up. 

I also got to snap a few pictures of Yankee pitching prospects, and members of the "Killer Bees": Dellin Betances and Andrew Brackman. Both of them are freakishly huge, Betances being 6'8 and Brackman being a whopping 6'11. Last night they didn't fare well in each of their first pitching appearances, but they certainly have the stuff to become solid pitchers down the road.

At about 8:00, the game began! Unfortunately, being the second game of a doubleheader, the Yankees gave Jeter, Rodriguez, and Swisher a game off, and replaced them with Eric Chavez, Eduardo Nunez, and Chris Dickerson in right field. One of the things I wanted most was to be right behind my favorite player Nick Swisher once again, but sadly, I had to deal with Chris Dickerson in front of me, who was as boring as a rock compared to Swish. 

Jesus Montero!

Here are just a few random shots from throughout the game. Sabathia pitched 7.1 innings, allowing 2 runs, both on solo home runs, including a moon shot by Sean Rodriguez that bounced off the foul pole. Fortunately, the Yankees got in on the action in the home run parade, as one of my favorite players, Robinson Cano, blasted a home run into the shallow right field bleachers. Wait. I was in the shallow right field bleachers! 

Notice anything? Yep, we were on TV! If you're still struggling to realize, we were the 4 people all the way in the front, me being the crazy one with the camera over my neck with my mouth wide open. The ball landed 2 rows behind us, and we came extremely close to adding a game used ball to the collection. Unfortunately, we fell just a bit short, but we got to hold the ball, and we got on TV!

Cano broke the tie game early on, and Jesus Montero added an RBI on a double play with the bases loaded and 0 outs. Boy, was it cool to finally get to watch Montero play!

Andrew Brackman
A Close up on Aaron Laffey
Yankee prospect Austin Romine!
In the eighth, CC was starting to break down, with an extremely high pitch count. The Yankees were loosening up Brackman and Betances, but then in order to keep the game in tact, they warmed up All Star set up man David Robertson to help him out. In a 2-2 game, with the bases loaded and 1 out, the first pitch hit off Robertson made up for a 6-4-3 double play to end the threat! Wow!

Then, you couldn't imagine the joy in my face when Brett Gardner was pinch hit for in the bottom of the eighth by good old Nick Swisher! Well, my joy escalated even more when Swish came up clutch, ripping a double into the gap to lead off the inning!

The Yankees soon loaded the bases, for Jesus Montero.. err.. a pinch hitter...

None other than Jorge Posada was Girardi's choice to come up to the plate in a key appearance, and well, he came up huge, with a 2 RBI double to give the Yankees a 4-2 lead! The stadium, silent all night, erupted with chants, one very big one, was in result of the Orioles triumph over the Red Sox to take the series against the struggling Sox. I started an enormous "RED SOX SUCK" chant that carried throughout the outfield, and took part in the Hip Hop Jorge chant! 

Sadly, Girardi didn't bring Rivera in to close it out, which would've made for a perfect ending to the AL East, instead bringing in our insanely overpaid reliever Rafael Soriano, who worked through the inning, leading to a 4-2 Yankees win! With this win, the Yankees clinched the AL East yet again, which is a major accomplishment given all the smack talk Red Sox fans had to offer before the season. To beat traffic, we left with 2 outs, and missed the celebration, which I regret big time. But its okay, we all had a blast and saw a great game! Congrats to the Yankees! Time to bring home World Series Championship #28!

Also, thanks again so much Dad for taking us and spending all kinds of money on us, you're the best! See Ya!


  1. Very awesome pictures, Drew. Glad you had a blast. So cool to see you on TV.

  2. Great pics! Glad you got to see such a sweet game.

  3. Nice pictures.
    How about a wager? Tiger fan vs Yankee fan?
    I will bet you a 1953 Bowman Black & White Hoyt Wilhelm that the Tigers beat the Stankees. Find a good old Tiger to send my way when it happens, and if somehow your team wins, the Hoyt is yours. Let me know if you're in.
    Peace, Larry the smg

  4. Oh sorry I didn't see this comment Larry! I don't think it'd be fair for me to accept the offer now but I appreciate you giving me the opportunity!

  5. Drew, I'd take that bet (even though I want the Tigers to win). 1953 Bowman... mmm...


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