Friday, April 18, 2008

Pitching Woes Continue & Offense Does Nothing To Help

There's not really much to say about tonight's Yankee game that hasn't been said before. We've seen these types of Yankee games more often than we'd like to. Starter goes less than 6, bullpen gives up some runs, offense is almost non-existent. Same story, different day.

I didn't think Phil Hughes pitched that bad. He seemed to be a lot better with his control though he didn't help himself out at all by going deep into counts. I'm not sure why he couldn't finish anybody off either. He only picked up 1 strikeout. I would think a pitcher of Hughes' caliber could have racked up a few more. His outing wouldn't have been as bad if the defense helped him out. A-Rod's indecision to throw to home or to first cost the team an out, chased Hughes from the game, and forced Girardi to go to an ineffective LaTroy Hawkins who again failed to do his job. Just when you think maybe Hawkins has turned it around, he comes on and stinks up the joint.

But back to Hughes, and for all intents and purposes Ian Kennedy also. These guys are going to struggle. Michael Kay mentioned in the broadcast a comment Brian Cashman made and it basically was that the Yankees understand that when you have pitchers this young, you're going to have to experience their growing pains. Hughes is the youngest pitcher in baseball. Considering he's only 21 and most guys hit their prime around 26/27, he's got quite a ways to go before he hits his stride. In all honesty, the youngsters could probably benefit from a little more time spent down on the farm developing their skills and honing their craft. Unfortunately that's not an option. The decision was made to go with the youngsters and any windows to bring in "veterans" that could pitch effectively have closed. I think we're going to see these guys go through a lot of ups and downs early on but in the long run they'll do just fine. The biggest thing we need from them right now is for them to be more economical with their pitches. Hughes threw a lot of first pitch strikes but ended up getting into trouble with all the deep counts. Hence the 97 pitches thrown in only 5 and 1/3 innings. They've got to attack the strike zone.

Is it me or does Daniel Cabrera seem to kick it up a notch when he faces the Yankees? I'm going off of memory and sometimes it thinks it knows things that it doesn't, but I recall him having their number quite a bit last year. He's another guy that hasn't been able to fully harness his potential. He had the Yankees stymied tonight. The Yankee bats had their chances but never really took advantage when they could have. It all goes back to failing to hit with runners in scoring position. With 2 on and no out in the 7th our 3-4-5 guys go down 1-2-3. They're hitting the ball hard. They just all seem to be right at defenders. But it is what it is and what it is is failing to deliver hits when they're needed. They always seem to start slow and you know they'll eventually start running on all cylinders. But right now it's the same story, different year.

Edwar Ramirez pitched pretty well. I still don't think he's ready for prime time but the Yanks need fresh arms in the pen right now. Hurry back Joba. We miss/need you.

Ian Kennedy gets the ball tomorrow and he really needs to eat some innings to give the pen a rest. Hopefully Girardi takes advantage of the off day Monday and uses it to slide Andy Pettitte in between Phil and Ian. It can only help.

I guess I did have quite a bit too say.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,