September 24, 2010
If being assigned to the New York Yankees playoff roster doesn't work out, right-hander Javier Vazquez(notes) should try his luck at a Coney Island arcade, specifically the game where you try to knock the milk jugs off the pedestal.
After his mass plunking Thursday night, Javy proved he could knock down three straight canisters just as easily. He maybe could win a keen prize, such as a stuffed panda bear (pictured).
He'd be a big-time winnah!
In what's being called a "new low" for him, Vazquez hit three consecutive Tampa Bay Rays batters in the seventh inning of New York's 10-3 loss at Yankee Stadium. Reportedly, only seven other major leaguers have ever equaled such a feat, and nobody had done it since 2004.
Until Javy, who has had a mostly disastrous return to the Bronx after a Cy Young-ish experience with the Atlanta Braves in 2009.
Vazquez, who came in with only four hit batters all season, and who had hit three batters in the same game only once in his career, plunked Desmond Jennings(notes), Willy Aybar(notes) and Kelly Shoppach(notes) (on the helmet) in succession to force in a run.
"Sincerely, I don't think it's that big of a deal," Vazquez said. "I felt pretty good out there. I had good command besides those pitches. I was throwing the ball where I wanted it and some pitches I didn't finish."
When Vazquez began his season with a perplexing swoon, the Yankees bumped him from the rotation, giving the veteran a chance to fix his faulty mechanics. The time off did wonders, and by the midpoint of the season, Vazquez was in the middle of a season-saving stretch.
It's not that big of a deal in the moment, he's right. The Yankees didn't bring anyone up in the bullpen and Vazquez went on to pitch three innings, allowing two runs and a hit.
But taken into the context of his season, it's at least a little alarming — hitting three guys in a row.
Certainly, it's quite amusing, as long as you're not a Yankees fan or one of the guys being hit.
Now let's see what Javy can do at skee ball!
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