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AJ Burnett, who is coming off back-to-back 7 inning stints, returns to the Anaheim mound for the first time since his failed game 5 start in the ALCS. He’ll be opposed by Ervin Santana, who makes his second start against the Yankees this season. Santana was the losing pitcher on Opening Day.

For much of the past decade, the Angels have had more than their fair share of success against the Yankees. At times, it has even seemed as if the Angels were in the Yankees heads. Well, last year’s ALCS has likely changed that dynamic for good, so it will be interesting to see if the tone of this series is different from the recent past.

vs. Ervin Santana PA BA OBP SLG HR RBI
Derek Jeter SS 31 0.444 0.516 0.815 3 4
Nick Johnson DH 7 0.500 0.714 1.250 1 2
Mark Teixeira 1B 33 0.231 0.333 0.385 1 7
Alex Rodriguez 3B 27 0.240 0.296 0.480 2 7
Robinson Cano 2B 25 0.304 0.320 0.652 2 5
Jorge Posada C 16 0.273 0.438 0.545 1 3
Curtis Granderson CF 29 0.231 0.310 0.500 2 3
Nick Swisher RF 33 0.143 0.273 0.250 0 0
Brett Gardner LF 6 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 0
Total 207 0.261 0.338 0.511 12 31
             
vs. AJ Burnett PA BA OBP SLG HR RBI
Erick Aybar SS 6 0.200 0.167 0.400 0 1
Bobby Abreu RF 77 0.313 0.416 0.453 1 11
Torii Hunter CF 24 0.087 0.125 0.348 2 2
Hideki Matsui DH 17 0.214 0.353 0.214 0 0
Kendry Morales 1B 6 0.167 0.167 0.167 0 0
Juan Rivera LF 10 0.250 0.400 0.250 0 0
Maicer Izturis 3B 18 0.250 0.333 0.313 0 3
Howie Kendrick 2B 12 0.364 0.417 0.455 0 3
Bobby Wilson C 3 0.000 0.000 0.000 0 0
Total 173 0.252 0.341 0.374 3 20

 

Yankees vs. Angels    
Season: 2010 Season: 2009 Season: 2008 All-Time
NYY: 2-1 Tied: 5-5 LAA: 7-3 NYY: 324-272
  • Earlier in the week, the Angels placed Jeff Mathis on the disabled list with a fractured wrist.
  • The Yankees look to change their luck in Anaheim. Since 2000, they have gone 20-27 in the Angels’ home ball park.
  • Before the game, Derek Jeter addressed the Arod/Dallas Braden style in his usual style. According to Marc Craig of The Star Ledger, Jeter said, “”It ain’t like he brought it from home.”
  • On this date in 1903, the Highlanders (as the Yankees were then known) won their first game as a New York franchise. Since then, the team has won 9,467 more games in the city that never sleeps.

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Last night, Ike Davis made his major league debut with the New York Mets. He is the son of former major league pitcher Ron Davis, who had a 10-year major league career that included parts of 4 seasons with the Yankees. Called up to the Yankees in 1978, Davis would emerge as one of the Yankees most effective relievers from 1979 to 1981 and team with Rich Gossage to form one of the more dominant bullpen tandems in Yankee history (see below for a comparison).

In 1981, Ron Davis served up more than just fastballs for the New York Yankees (Photo: AP).

Ron Davis was best known for a powerful fastball that once allowed him to strike out 8 consecutive batters (May 4, 1981 versus the Angels), a Yankee record as well as the top mark for relief pitchers. However, he also gained notoriety during the 1981 strike for pitching daily specials as a waiter at Oren and Aretsky, a restaurant and sports bar on Manhattan’s Upper East Side. Davis, along with many other sports figures and celebrities from the world of entertainment, used to frequent the restaurant when he was drawing a major league paycheck. Over that time, he befriended owner and Yankee fan Ken Aretsky. So, when the strike hit, Aretsky offered Davis the job and he accepted.

Naturally, Davis’ career change garnered a lot of media attention. Pictures of a gangly Davis were splashed across newspapers nationwide and picked up by baseball’s flagship This Week in Baseball. The sight of a baseball player having to wait tables was probably very good PR for the MLBPA, but according to most accounts, it seemed as if Davis actually enjoyed his brief second career.

New Yorkers may be used to it, but back in Texas, we don’t get to see too many movie stars up close. Another reason why I like working here is that I can see a lot of famous people. Farrah Fawcett has been in here, Miss USA, as well as television soap opera stars and athletes from other sports. I am a big soap opera fan; I watch them every chance I get. – Ron Davis, quoted by AP

Fortunately, or unfortunately for Davis, the baseball strike would come to an end on July 31. The season resumed played on August 9 with the All Star Game, to which Davis was selected as an injury replacement for the Goose. Perhaps eager to show off his new found culinary skills, Davis also hosted a “welcome back” barbeque for the entire Yankee team. Eventually, however, he settled back into his more customary profession, and tossed a shutout inning against the Texas Rangers when regular season play resumed on August 10.

The Yankees would go on to lose the 1981 World Series to the Dodgers, thanks in no small part to Davis’ 23.14 ERA in only 2 1/3 innings.  Before the following season, Davis would be traded with Greg Gagne to the Minnesota Twins for Roy Smalley. Although he did pitch well in 1983 and 1985, Davis would really never regain the same level of consistency and, after brief stints with the Cubs, Dodgers and Giants, eventually end his career pitching in Japan.

With the promotion of his son, Ike, the elder Davis probably won’t have to fall back on his second career, but should he get the itch, I am sure there are a lot of restaurants in Manhattan who can use an experienced waiter.

Dynamic Duos – Best Relief Tandems in Yankees’ History

1979 W L ERA G SV IP H ER SO ERA+ SO/9
Rich Gossage 5 3 2.62 36 18 58.1 48 17 41 156 6.3
Ron Davis 14 2 2.85 44 9 85.1 84 27 43 143 4.5
Total 19 5 2.77 80 27 143.2 132 44 84   5.3
                       
1980 W L ERA G SV IP H ER SO ERA+ SO/9
Rich Gossage 6 2 2.27 64 33 99 74 25 103 173 9.4
Ron Davis 9 3 2.95 53 7 131 121 43 65 133 4.5
Total 15 5 2.66 117 40 230 195 68 168   6.6
                       
1984 W L ERA G SV IP H ER SO ERA+ SO/9
Dave Righetti 5 6 2.34 64 31 96.1 79 25 90 163 8.4
Jay Howell 9 4 2.69 61 7 103.2 86 31 109 142 9.5
Total 14 10 2.53 125 38 199.3 165 56 199   9.0
                       
1985 W L ERA G SV IP H ER SO ERA+ SO/9
Dave Righetti 12 7 2.78 74 29 107 96 33 92 146 7.7
Brian Fisher 4 4 2.38 55 14 98.1 77 26 85 170 7.8
Total 16 11 2.59 129 43 205.1 173 59 177   7.8
                       
1996 W L ERA G SV IP H ER SO ERA+ SO/9
John Wetteland 2 3 2.83 62 43 63.2 54 20 69 178 9.8
Mariano Rivera 8 3 2.09 61 5 107.2 73 25 130 240 10.9
Total 10 6 2.38 123 48 170.4 127 45 199   10.5
                       
2004 W L ERA G SV IP H ER SO ERA+ SO/9
Mariano Rivera 4 2 1.94 74 53 78.2 65 17 66 232 7.6
Tom Gordon 9 4 2.21 80 4 89.2 56 22 96 204 9.6
Total 13 6 2.10 154 57 167.4 121 39 162   8.7
                       
2005 W L ERA G SV IP H ER SO ERA+ SO/9
Mariano Rivera 7 4 1.38 71 43 78.1 50 12 80 308 9.2
Tom Gordon 5 4 2.57 79 2 80.2 59 23 69 166 7.7
Total 12 8 1.99 150 45 158.3 109 35 149   8.5

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Now Batting…

The Captain’s Blog is the latest in a growing lineup of Yankee-centric web logs. While coverage of the Yankees is far from scarce on the internet, it is the hope that this blog with provide a unique perspective on both the team and the game from a passionate, life long fan. Please check back over the coming weeks as this blog launches into cyberspace…the real final frontier!

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