All Things Bubba

Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?

Monday, July 17, 2006

Breaking out the brooms

Bubba, on deck, signals to Andy to slide home

July 16, 2006: N.Y. Yankees 6, Chicago White Sox 4

The Yanks have had trouble sweeping series this season, but today, they came through. The entire team was solid. It was one of the best games of the year, with stellar defense and clutch hitting handing the Sox the loss...the first time this year that the Pale Hose have been swept.

Johnny Damon has had a stomach bug since Friday, and Joe decided to sit him. Damon said he felt fine, and was disappointed to be out of the lineup. He admitted his legs still hurt from the cramps yesterday, and Joe said he felt Damon was "heavy-legged." With a righty on the mound for Chicago and flyball-prone Wright going for the Yanks, Bubba got the start in centerfield.

Many fans were less than enthusiastic about a lineup that included Cabrera, Guiel, Phillips, Cairo, and Crosby. Some went so far as to call the bottom of the lineup a "black hole." Apprehensions rose when the bottom of the order went down in record time in the 2nd inning, with Bubba striking out swinging.

The fears were unwarranted. In the end, production was evenly spread over the entire lineup. Everyone except Guiel got a hit, and only A-Rod had two. Jeter got his first homer in what seems like forever, and A-Rod hit a two-run dinger.

But it was the 4th inning that was the most fun. Two outs, bottom of the lineup coming up. No one's expecting much. Then Andy Phillips hit a double to left. Cairo scored him with a single to right. Then, on the fifth pitch, with a 1-2 count, Bubba laced a double down the line into the right corner, scoring Miggy. Way to come through in the clutch, Bubba!

Bubba's third and last at bat was in the sixth. He came up with two outs, no one on. It was a pretty long battle - six pitches, only one a ball. Bubba kept fouling off pitches, most of them low, if not in the dirt. Finally, he grounded out to 3B. (Hey, Bubba - it's okay to take a walk. Even with two outs.)

What a great game. The entire team contributed to the win. Even Guiel, the only one who didn't get a hit, contributed on defense. He jumped on what looked to be a sure base hit and ended up turning it into a fielder's choice by throwing out Thome at 2B. Very heads-up play at a critical point in the game, and great hustle. He saw Thome hesitate before running, and knew he had a chance. Sheff wouldn't have made that play, because he would never charge the ball like Guiel did. And Bernie wouldn't have made it, either, because he doesn't have the arm to throw it in like that.

And Bubba seems to have really turned it around. Maybe he just needed a few days off. Maybe that WebGem of a catch gave him a shot of confidence. Maybe it was just inevitable that he would bounce back; he is not a .100 hitter.

(Hee. ESPN's "last seven days" for Bubba right now is .500 / .500 / 2.000. What a slugger! :-)

In any case, it's been a great series for him. Flashing the leather Friday, a homer on Saturday, then a clutch RBI double today. He just seems a lot calmer and more confident. Not as visibly anxious. Here's hoping he goes on a tear. He's due. :-)

posted by BubbaFan, 12:51 AM


So excited to finally see Bubba showing everyone else how great he really is. these last couple of games have been so exciting to watch! i hope he keeps up the good work!
commented by Anonymous Anonymous, July 17, 2006 2:14 PM  

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