Saturday, April 26, 2008

I Didn't See Much But What I Saw Was Enough

As I mentioned yesterday, I wasn't going to get to see much of today's game as I'd be at a 2 year old's birthday party. We left the part around 6:30 and when I got home I immediately went to the TV, flipped on the game and saw Grady Sizemore get cut down trying to steal 2nd base to end the 7th inning. Since it went to commercial, I hopped online to look at the box score. I was specifically interested in Ian Kennedy's performance. It was a 3-3 game so I was hopeful he made it into the 7th. 5 innings, 105 pitches, 4 walks. Not good. Now I didn't see him pitch so I can't really pass judgement on his performance, but it's gotten to the point where he's not benefiting the ball club in any way. Ike needs to be relied on to get a little deeper into games, especially when the bullpen is in shambles. I know he's young. I know there are expected growing pains. But right now, the negatives outweigh the positives. It looks like he only had 1 bad inning, which makes the high pitch count even more of a head scratcher to someone who didn't see the game. If the Yankees are going to keep him in the rotation, Kennedy needs to start pitching like a major leaguer. Right now, he doesn't deserve his spot in the rotation.

A quick scan of the offensive numbers told me that it looks like the Yankees were back to their old selves, failing to knock in runners that were in scoring position. all of the runs came on a pinch-hit triple by Posada. Lots of men LOB. The offense has been improving lately. Today's game looks like a step backwards. All i needed to see to validate that was the 9th inning. Johnny Damon, who has been on absolute fire lately, picks up a 1out single and moves to 3rd when Melky singles in his next AB. Jeter steps us and does the one thing he can't do in that situation and that's hit into the inning ending DP. Typical. I had seen a few minutes earlier in my box score scan that Jeter already had 3 hits so I liked the chances of him bringing home Damon and getting the ball to Mariano. I should have known better. Is it me or does it look like Jeter is trying to hit everything to right field? it seems like a lot of his singles are liners the opposite way, but so are a lot of his outs. Just an observation. They always talk about his great inside-out swing and his tendency to hit the opposite way. Maybe it just seems like he's hitting everything over there. I don't know. To me though it looks like Jeter is trying too hard to do that. Could be a reason why he's scuffling.

The Yankees have to do something with their bullpen. It's the same story every year. With the exception of Mo and for the most part Joba, everyone else is way too inconsistent. Nobody wants to step up and be the man. They all seem to have a string of good outings and then when they get into a pressure situation they cough up some runs. Today it was Hawkins and Farnsworth pitching well and it was Ross Ohlendorf's turn to be the guy who sucks it up. It's puzzling. And with the season-ending injury to Bruney, the demotion of Traber, the "maybe injury" to Joba, it doesn't look like it will be getting better anytime soon. Hawkins, Ohlendorf and Farnsworth need to step up their game.

I had hopes that this April would be different than the Aprils of the last few seasons. It started out so-so, got a little better and when they were 12-10 I felt good. Today's loss drops them below .500 and it's starting to be more and more like last year, except without all the A-bombs. It's been a rough schedule and I'm hoping they can hold on and salvage a game or two from Cleveland before heading to the D. If they can be .500 at the end of this roadie I'll be pretty happy. The ace gets the ball tomorrow and he really needs to have a good, long outing.

Come on Chien-Ming. We're counting on ya.



Bill said...

I didn't think Kennedy was going to make it through the second inning. He just did not have his command and only threw 60 of 105 pitches for strikes. He needs to take his lumps and get experience, but it could cost us the division.