Monday, April 21, 2008

Weekend Wrap-Up

Considering today was an off day (finally!), I thought I'd take a little tiny break from blogging and combine my last 2 recaps into 1 post covering the last 2 games. I spent the bulk of the weekend enjoying the weather and hanging out with my 8-month old son. We of course though made time for Yankees baseball.

Saturday's game was absolutely horrible. As I stated so succinctly the other day after the game, "The Yankees suck right now. The pitching sucks. The offense sucks." It was pretty brutal watching the game on Saturday. They couldn't get anything going. Ian Kennedy was absolutely horrible. I'm so glad there's an off day today because it finally gives them the chance to break up Hughes ad Kennedy in the rotation. With Pettitte in between them the bullpen should at least get some kind of break when Pettitte throws. Kennedy and Phil Hughes suffer from the same problem right now and that's that they're trying way too hard to nibble around the strike zone as opposed to attacking it. If any of you saw Joe Girardi's post game interview after Saturday's game you could totally tell he was frustrated with the free passes and the short outings. While I understand the growing pains that comes with young pitchers that are basically learning on the job, there is no excuse for not throwing strikes. We're only 20 games into the season and both Hughes and Kennedy have only made 4 starts. It's way too early to think that they'll continue to falter. Give them time and they'll be fine. Look at last year's Cy Young award winner. He's not doing too much better. They'll both be fine.

Hughes and Ian need to watch a replay of Sunday's game because Andy Pettitte showed everyone how it's done. 7 scoreless innings and no walks. He was economical with his pitches (89) and he was throwing the ball for strikes (59). Andy gave the Yankees exactly what they needed. He pitched deep into the game and finally gave the bullpen some much needed rest. I'm so glad that Andy came back for one more year. We'd be in trouble without him. But back to my point. I hope Phil and Ian were paying attention because Pettitte gave a pitching lesson. Throw strikes. Don't be shy. I don't know if Phil and Ian are trying to pick up cheap strikeouts getting guys to chase outside pitches, but they don't have to do that to be successful as Andy showed them. Throw your stuff over strikes and you'll get your Ks.

It might help the pitching staff if the offense could put some runs up on the board. Maybe the results would be a little different if these guys could pitch with a lead. Their inability to hit with runners in scoring position boggles my mind. I can see maybe 1 or 2 guys failing to deliver but it's pretty much the whole team, with the exception of maybe Derek Jeter. A-rod has been absolutely horrible. The one time he gets a hit with a guy on 3rd the runner fails to score. I'm sick of watching Melky strike out with runners on. And Giambi? I'm not saying the Yankees should follow Toronto's suit and release the Big G a la Frank Thomas but the guy has to start hitting. I'm wondering when the monster that is Shelley Duncan will reappear. Hopefully he spends the rest of them month with Scranton. They come to Buffalo a week from today and I'd like to see him.

It was nice to see some offensive production on Sunday. Figured that it happened the one time the starter gave up no runs. It's still hard to believe that as a team they're hitting around .200 with RISP, especially when about half the lineup is hitting north of .300. When it rains it pours. How awesome has it been to have backup catchers that can hit the ball? Moeller has definitely been a pleasant surprise. Never in a million years would I have expected him to hit above the Mendoza line. Thankfully he's showing me to be wrong. I couldn't stand our last few backups for the sole reason that they couldn't hit. You've got to give it up to Jeter too. He's the MVP of the team so far in my estimation. Leading the team in RBI when you typically hit in the 2 hole is pretty impressive especially when you look at the other bats on the team. A-Rod may have been on to something when he predicted Jeter would have an MVP type season. I won't go as far as saying he will, but I definitely think he'll be the team's MVP.

So they're sitting at 10-10 and headed to Chicago. It could be a heck of a lot worse all things considered. They've struggled mightily yet are still managing to play .500 ball. They've been pretty bad in recent Aprils. I'm encouraged for the most part about what I've seen. They'll only heat up. If they can just finish out the month at around .500 I think they'll do just fine.

Here's hoping the starters bounce back from last week's abysmal performances. Enjoy your night/day.



Bill said...

With the pitching the way it has been they are lucky to be at .500. They were 8-12 at this point last year. They need Hughes and Kennedy to step up though if they are going to catch the Sox.