6/27 – Yankees at Mets
A.J. Burnett RHP (5-4, 4.24)
A. Reyes 2B
Tim Redding RHP (1-2, 6.08)
FROM THE CLUBHOUSE
The nasty flu bug continues to infiltrate the Yankees, as Johnny Damon was kept up all night with a cough. Derek Jeter told Joe Girardi that he is feeling better and would be ready to play on Saturday (shocker!) but the Yankees are playing it safe and limiting both players to pinch-hitting duties. Mark Teixeira said he is also among those feeling under the weather.
One good part about this new Citi Field could be the center-field food areas. I can honestly say those Blue Smoke offerings were the best barbecue ribs I’ve ever had in a Major League stadium. Not coincidentally, that was also the first time I’ve ordered barbecue ribs in a ballpark.
I wanted to reserve judgment on Day 1, so here we are on Day 2. My initial scouting report on this place is that, sure, it’s an upgrade over Shea Stadium. That’s what Jeter said yesterday and he’s right: look, Shea was one of the worst facilities in the Major Leagues circa 2008. But there is something very generic about this new place — if you air-lifted it and dropped it in, say, San Diego, I’d believe the Padres could have played here.
There’s a lack of ‘feel’ to the building. The Mets’ colors are orange and blue, yet the seats are green and the outfield walls are black. I understand the fascination with the Brooklyn Dodgers and the Jackie Robinson rotunda, but why are the security guards wearing Phillies maroon?
Beyond that, it’s almost as though the Mets wanted to ignore their history at Shea Stadium – or at least put it on the back burner – and say that a new era is beginning now. They used to proudly display the achievements of ’69, ’73, ’86, ’99 and ’00 on the right-field wall, and that is barely acknowledged anywhere here.
That’s in stark contrast to the Yankees, who obviously went to great lengths to try and bring all of their tradition across the street. Of course, the Mets’ fortunes haven’t gone all that well since Game 7 of the 2006 NLCS, so maybe that was intentional. Nobody asked, but there’s my impressions of the building
FROM THE GAME NOTES
Tonight the Yankees will play the second game of a three-game series at the Mets, after winning 9-1 in their first-ever visit to Citi Field on Friday…have won three consecutive games and are 4-3 on their current nine-game road trip (2-1 at Atlanta from 6/22-24 and 1-2 from 6/19-21 at Florida)…is the 14th of 15 straight Interleague games for the Yankees (are 7-6 thus far)…concluded a 3-3 Interleague homestand on 6/18, going 2-1 vs. the Mets (6/12-14), and 1-2 vs. Washington (6/16-18)…the Yankees trail the Red Sox by 4.0 games for first place in the American League East…are tied with Detroit (also 41-32) for the third-best record in the Majors (Los Angeles-NL, 48-26 and Boston, 45-28)…the Yankees have won 26 of their last 41 games, including a season-high nine-game winning streak (5/13-21) to start the stretch…are 15-10 in their last 25 road games (since 4/28).
RUNAWAY: Including the inning of Joe Girardi’s ejection on 6/24 at Atlanta, the Yankees have scored 28 runs in their last 21 frames…prior to the ejection, scored just 18 runs in 67 innings following their 15-0 win on 6/14 vs. the Mets…their 13 runs scored over a 1-5 stretch from 6/16-23 matched their lowest output over a six-game period since 5/13-20/08 when they also scored 13 runs and went 1-5.
LEAVING IT OUT ON THE FIELD: The Yankees have left exactly 14 men on base in each of their last two games on Friday at the Mets and Thursday at Atlanta (both victories)…marks the first time since 6/1-2/97 that the club left 14-for-more runners on in consecutive games, when they also won both contests.
PUTTING IT IN PERSPECTIVE: According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the 2,623 career hits accumulated by SS Derek Jeter prior to turning 35 on Friday were 65 more than all-time hit leader Pete Rose (2,558H) had on the morning of his 35th birthday.
DEEP THOUGHTS: 3B Alex Rodriguez hit his 564th career home run on Friday at the Mets’ Citi Field, surpassing Yankees Hall of Famer Reggie Jackson (563) for sole possession of 11th place on Baseball’s all-time home run list…according to the Elias Sports Bureau, though Rodriguez did not make his Major League debut until 1994 (seven years after Jackson’s final season in 1987), there are five pitchers who allowed home runs to both players: Tom Candiotti, Roger Clemens, David Cone, Doug Drabek and Jimmy Key…Rodriguez is 10th on the Yankee’ all-time home run list with 219HR, and Jackson is 29th with 144HR…next up on Baseball’s all-time list is Rafael Palmeiro (569HR).