Monday, April 14, 2008

Thoughts & A Live Blog

Since it's 11:00 and we're only in the bottom of the 6th inning, I'm going to post my thoughts on the game thus far and live blog the rest of it. It wouldn't be Yankees/Red Sox on ESPN if the game didn't last 4 plus hours. I'm going to mix in the commentary along with the live blog so this post will be all over the place. If you're checking it out during the game, refresh regularly.

Cano just made a great diving tag on Pedroia. I t doesn't quite make up for the failures at the plate though. My friend Dave left a comment that Cano couldn't hit him right now. I don't think Cano could hit my 7 and a half month old son. Cano is struggling. We need that bat, especially if he's batting at the top of the lineup.

Hawkins just K'd Manny looking. I was scared when he came in and promptly gave up a shot off the Monster. He better thank Cano for saving him there. 2 scoreless innings and his ERA drops to 9.00.

Phil Hughes was down right awful tonight. That makes two really bad outings in a row. It's way too early for anyone to think that this is the Hughes we're going to see all year long. I can hear same fans now: they should have traded the kid for Johan! Phil is the youngest pitcher in the majors. As great as it would be for him to dominate each and every start, it's not going to happen. He's only 21 years old. He's still growing and he's still learning. He's going to do just fine. Have patience.

A-Rod almost snuck one around Pesky's Pole and then he popped out. That's the story of the season. I've got a huge beef with A-Rod this game. What was he doing swinging at the 1st pitch in the 1st inning? Dice-K was wild and A-Rod swings at the first pitch? A nd of course, he grounds into an inning ending DP. Come on now. Patience. I've been saying quite frequently that they need to be more patient at the plate. It's probably one of the reasons why they're not hitting.

A-Rod just gunned down Youklis and Casey just grounded out to Giambi. Go Hawkins go. A popout to Abreu. Hawkins actually did his job. I'm somewhat impressed. But he still shouldn't pitch in close games.

There have been 14 walks in this game through 7 innings. Talk about control issues. I was really hoping that Francona would be forced to yank Dice-K before he made it through 5 innings. Terry Frank'n'beans really must have wanted Matsuzaka to get the win. 116 pitches. When did Dusty Baker start managing the Sox? I'd love for the Yankees to at least tie this up so Dice-K doesn't pick up the W. All those extra pitches would be all for not.

No Papelbon or Okajima tonight. Mike Timlin is on and Giambi just took him deep! It's too bad Giambi can't face Timlin every at-bat. 2-2 with 2 HRs. Not a bad stat line. I t's too bad the Big G stinks against everybody else. The Sox bullpen, with the exception of Okajima and Papelbon, isn't really that good.

Jose Molina just roped his 2nd hit of the game. It's time for my obligatory "I love Jose Molina" post. I've been saying that a lot lately. And with good reason. It's about time we have a backup catcher that can hit. He's now hitting .364. I love Jose Molina.

Molina just got pulled for Betemit. Interesting move. I'm curious who's going to step behind the plate for the final 2 innings. Melky just hit a pinch hit single. 2 on and no out. It's a good thing A-Rod isn't up. If there is ever a time for a timely hit it's now.

With Alberto Gonzalez out, I imagine Betemit is going to short. Yikes. Alberto has done a phenomenal job as Jeter's stand in. I really hope he stays and Betemit goes. The Yankees need to bring back Shelley Duncan, keep Gonzalez, and DFA Betemit. Ensberg backs up Alex. Duncan backs up (or starts for ) Giambi. Gonzalez backs up Jeter and is your emergency 2B. Betemit has to go.

Nice job Johnny. Typical. That's how things have been. He grounded into a DP. If there was ever a time for a timely hit it was then. Robbie's up. He needs to bring in Betemit. And he grounds out weakly to Pedroia. I didn't see that coming. Cano is 0-5 and the only Yankee hitter who hasn't reached base. I'm thinking Girardi needs to give him a day off.

The Yankees missed their big shot there in the 8th. 2 on and no out and Damon grounds into a DP and Cano grounds weakly to second. I don't know the exact Yankees average with RISP but I wouldn't be surprised if it were the worst in the league. And the moves by Giradi now weaken the Yankees. Betemit is a defensive liability. Jorge can't throw and the Sox have their speed coming up. Since the Yankees didn't score, the moves backfired.

Hey look at that. Crisp steals 2nd uncontested and moves to 3rd on a sac fly and then scores on a sac fly. With Molina we at least had a chance to cut down Crisp at 2nd. I'm not a fan of lifting guys for pinch runners. It never seems to work out. Torre used to try this a lot with Giambi and the pinch-runner would never come around to score. And then of course Giambi's spot in the lineup comes around in the 9th inning and the Yankees have a weak bat at the plate.

Pedroia steals second. Imagine that. Molina should have never been lifted.

Headed to the bottom of the 9th down by 3. Abreu-Rodriguez-Matsui. Those are the guys you want up there in this situation. There's an obvious statement if there ever was one.

Abreu grounds out to short. He got down the line quickly but the throw just beat him. Time for a pitching change. Yay. Drag the game out a little longer.

I'm predicting a K from Alex. He'll step up and try to hit an 8-run HR and whiff in the process.

LOL. A-Rod strikes out on the high heat. I hate watching guys swing for the fences when they should be trying to get on base. When you're down by 3 runs you need baserunners, not solo homers.

A Yankees Suck chant. How original.

Matsui is battling.

And Delcarmen wins the battle. Yankees lose 8-5.

The Yankees had 16 baserunners and only managed 5 runs. That's pathetic. This team needs to start hitting with runners in scoring position. This team needs to start hitting period. And they will eventually. It's the same story year after year. It's just written a little differently. Last year it was lots of offense and no pitching. This year it's decent pitching and no offense. Either way, it's a slow start, and that's what we as Yankees fans should be used to. Last year through 13 games they were 7-6. In 2006, they were 6-7 and 3.5 back. In 2005, they were 5-8 and 3 back. In 2004, they were 6-7 and 2 back. With tonight's loss, they're 6-7 and 1.5 back. Their record is actually a lot better than it should be. They're struggling but it's early and they'll come around.

It's 12:15 and 6:30 is going to come real early. It would have been so much nicer to have stayed up this late for a win but what can you do? There will be more nights like this where the bounces will go our way. All in all it wasn't a bad series. The pitching was pretty decent with the exception of Hughes. The offense is showing signs of life. They'll be fine. It's just frustrating to watch them start so slow year after year after year.

But they always seem to find a way.



BillZe said...

Phil Hughes will be fine. He was probably nervous enough playing not only pitching against a rival but also a team he grew up cheering for. In the long run, the Yankees will be way better off with Hughes.