Sunday, May 09, 2010

The Vulture Does It Again

Alfredo Aceves is the Vulture. He has pitched parts of three seasons for the Yankees and after picking up the win on Saturday, his won-loss record stands at 14-1. Last year, Aceves kept coming in with the score either tied or the Yankees behind just in time to see the Yankees rally for the win. He ended up 10-1. This writer has an idea that his manager is starting to see the uncanny ability Aceves has to pick up wins and absolutely fed him one on Saturday. How so you ask?

The game with Boston started innocently enough with Sabathia pitching against Buchholz. Each pitcher is currently or supposedly the best pitcher on his team. Buchholz got nicked for two runs in the top of the third and Sabathia gave the runs right back in the bottom of the third plus one for good measure when he gave up homers to McDonald and Martinez. The Yankees are to much for Buchholz and score another un in the fourth to tie the game up and then three in the top of the fifth to pull ahead 6-3. Sabathia gets the first two outs in the bottom of the fifth...and then the umpire called for the tarp and a 90 minute rain delay stops things cold.

Poor Sabathia. He was one out away from a guaranteed win. If he had just been given a chance to get one more out in the fifth before the delay, it would have been his game. When the rain delay was over, was there any other pitcher that was going to go in there for the Yankees other than Aceves? Heck no. This set up was perfect for the Vulture. All he had to do was get an out and the game was his. Unbelievable.

Turns out that Aceves got three outs. He probably would have been asked to get more, but his back stiffened up on him with two strikes to Hermida. And Aceves was done for the day and maybe for a while. Add one more wounded player for the Yankees. And the funny thing was, the Vulture got a little taste of his own medicine. Since he couldn't finish off Hermida, Logan came in for the Yankees and finished the strikeout of Hermida so Logan got credit for the K.

Let's take a little trip to the Vulture's dinner palate for the last three years:


The legend of the Vulture had not yet been born. He finished the season at 1-0 but his only win was a seven inning masterpiece start.


The Legend Begins!

He won his first three games in May in just five games.

  • May 16 - Came in the eleventh inning of a tie game against Minnesota at home. The Yankees score in the bottom of the eleventh. 1-0
  • May 17 - Two days in a row! He came in a tie game in the top of the tenth against the same Minnesota. The Yankees scored in the bottom of the tenth. 2-0
  • May 21 - At home against the Orioles. Top of the first inning, Joba Chamberlain got the start, but only pitched two thirds of an inning and is pulled. Must have gotten hurt. Aceves came in and pitched the next three and a third innings. The Yankees pull ahead while he's pitching and Aceves gets another W. 3-0
  • May 26 - The only blemish on Aceves' career. Joba again got the start and gave up three runs in four innings. The Joba Rules were in effect and Joba reached his pitch limit due to wildness. Enter Aceves with a golden opportunity to vulture another win. The Yankees indeed rallied but Aceves gave up three runs and is tagged with the loss. His only loss of his career. 3-1.
  • June 7 - It was another Joba start, but he pitched well that time and went six innings, giving up only three runs. But the Yankees managed only one run against Garza. Enter Aceves to pitch the seventh and eighth. The Yankees scored three runs in the bottom of the eighth off of Balfour and the Yankees won. 4-1.
  • June 25 - Interleague game against the Braves at Atlanta. Andy Pettitte got the start but threw 95 ineffective pitches in three and two thirds of an inning and gave up three runs. Perfect opportunity for Aceves and he came in and pitched two and a third innings. Meanwhile, the Yankees gnawed Derek Lowe to the tune of six runs and then scored two more off of Boone Logan, who now pitches for them. 5-1.
  • July 30 - Orioles at home. Hernandez and Pettitte were both masterful. But niether team could break a 1-1 tie. Pettitte starts the eighth inning and gets one out. Phil Coke got the final two outs of the eighth and the first out of the ninth and it was still 1-1. Aceves got the final two outs of the ninth. The Yankees score in the bottom of the ninth to win the game. 6-1.
  • August 5 - At Toronto. One of the most thrilling match ups in history as Sergio Mitre started against Marc (Pat, can I buy a vowel please) Rzepczynski. Both were ineffective. Mitre lasted four and a third inning and is pulled after he gave up his tenth base runner. In came Aceves and pitched two innings. He gave up a run on a homer, but the Yankees surged ahead during that time and won the game. 7-1.
  • August 19 - At Oakland. Chad Gaudin got the start (and the Yankees won the pennant?). He only gave up one hit and no runs in four and a third innings of work. But he also walked five. After his fifth walk, Girardi had seen enough and brought Aceves in. The Yankees were ahead 3-0 at the time. Aceves pitched two and a third innings and gave up another homer and two runs. But was given the victory as the Yankees stayed ahead the whole game. 8-1.
  • August 30 - At home against the White Sox in another Joba start. Joba pitched three innings and gave up two runs. But was ahead 3-2. But it was that Joba Rules thing again and he was done. Aceves came in and pitched three scoreless innings. Meanwhile, the Yankees were taking batting practice off of Freddie Garcia and friends and made it a laugher. 9-1.
  • September 3 - At Toronto in another Gaudin start. Gaudin floundered around for three and two thirds innings giving up three runs on eight base runners. For one final vulture of the season, Aceves came in and pitched two and a third innings. Meanwhile, the Yankees were single-handedly ruining Ricky Romero's ERA for the season after he had pitched so well. Yankees win. 10-1.


The Legend Continues!

  • April 6 - At Boston. Burnett went five innings and gave up four runs, two of which were earned. Lester gave up four runs too, all earned. Aceves came in to a game tied 4-4 and pitched two scoreless innings (the sixth and the seventh). In the top of the eighth, the Yankees scratch out two runs in the top of the eighth thanks in part to a Scutaro error. Joba got the hold. Rivera got the save. Aceves got the win. 1-0.
  • April 30 - At home against the White Sox. Pettitte pitched six innings but left with the game tied 4-4. Who else would you want in there other than Aceves? Right. Aceves pitched a scoreless inning. The Yankees scored two in the bottom of the seventh. Marte and Joba got the holds and Rivera got the save. Aceves vultured the win. 2-0.
  • May 8 - You started this post with this one. 3-0.

It's an amazing thing. Sure, Aceves had to pitch pretty darn well to be in those positions, but still. That's a lot of luck. A LOT of luck. But heck, it sure does work.


bobook said...

Did you see the look CC shot the umpire when the game was delayed one strike from being an official game?
Little paybacks from questioning blue the previous start?

William said...

No doubt, Bobook. Good to see you're still out there. Hadn't heard from you in a while. Hope you are well. Will be down in S. Florida in another 38 days.