Sunday, July 22, 2012

Girardi: You Kids Get Off My Lawn

Oakland A's starters Jarrod Parker and A.J. Griffin
I can picture Joe Girardi in a Scooby Doo scene,  a mask pulled off him as the gang, in unison, said "Mr Girardi!"  Girardi's response, of course, would have been, "That's right and I would have gotten away it too if you not for your snooping kids). When Bartolo Colon steps on the mound this afternoon (Sunday) in Oakland, you couldn't blame the Yankees if they gave their ex-teammate a standing ovation.

It wouldn't be for anything Colon has done other being born in the 1970's, well before teammates A.J. Griffin, Tom Milone, and Jarrod Parker. Colon has pitched in 375 games; that's 329 appearances more than Griffin (5), Milone (24), and Parker (17) combined.

Colon will be looking to join his young teammates in the winner's column as Oakland tries to complete a four game sweep of the Yankees on Sunday afternoon.  The series began Thursday night when Griffin, a 13th round draft choice by the A's in 2010, limited the Yankees to two runs over six innings in the A's 4-3 victory. The win improved the 24-year old's record to 2-0, 2.70.

The bullpen prevented the 25-year old Milone from earning his 10th win, but the left-hander shut the Yankees out over seven innings. Milone and the pen's performance snapped the Yankees streak of scoring three or more runs in a game at 43. Milone (9-6, 3.34) was acquired in the Gio Gonzalez deal with Washington this past off-season. Ryan Cook, the team's young closer, blew the save, but got the win when the A's scored in the bottom of the 9th for a 2-1 victory. Cook was picked up from Arizona for Trevor Cahill last December.

Parker, the team's top rated prospect coming into the season (acquired along with Cook in the Cahill deal), matched up in an old fashioned pitcher's duel with Phil Hughes on Saturday night. Hughes had allowed just two hits through seven innings, but Brandon Inge's opposite field home run gave the A's a 2-1 win.

The Yankees had one last chance in the 9th inning against left-hander Sean Dolittle, the team's 1st round pick in 2007. Dolittle was a power hitting 1st basemen/outfielder back then- he'd produced a 22 HR, 91 RBI season in 2008, but a knee injury contributed to Dolittle's decision to go back to pitching. Dolittle had excelled on the mound for the University of Virginia. One look at Dolittle and you would think he played violin from the way he tucks his glove under his chin as he waits for his catcher's signs, but he showed last night that he can definitely pitch.

After Alex Rodriguez reached on an infield single, Dolittle dominated the teeth of the Yankees lineup. He blew a high fastball past Robinson Cano for a swinging third strike. As Rodriguez stole second base, Dolittle caught Mark Teixeira looking on a called third strike on the outside corner. Finally, Dolittle completed the strikeout hat trick when he blew a third strike past Andruw Jones.


Robinson Cano's 23 game hitting streak came to end on Saturday.

Nick Swisher will sit out again on Sunday with a strained hip flexor tendon. It's up in the air whether he'll play in the next series in Seattle or not.

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