Wednesday, May 7, 2008

No Bugs Can Be Blamed For This One

The ending of last night's Yankees game was such a downer. Watching Joba give up a 3-run pinch hit HR to David Dellucci was painful. I was laying on the couch and I had one of my son's little plastic toys in my hand. As soon as I saw Dellucci make contact with the ball, I threw the toy on the ground as I instantly knew the ball was gone. I've come to expect that when the Yankees take a lead into the 8th that the game is over. I should know better. Nothing is automatic. I've seen Mariano blow many a lead in my time. But for some reason, I thought last night's win was in the bag. If you ask me Joba brought that loss on himself. In my opinion, Joba has yet to earn the right to shake off his catcher. I'm not sure why he shook off Molina there but it was the wrong move. In my opinion there's no excuse for that. A rookie pitcher in my book should never shake off a catcher's sign. You haven't pitched long enough to make that call. Just throw what they ask for. Had he thrown the pitch Molina called for this could be an entirely different post. Hopefully Joba takes something away from that. I don't think this will by any means cause Joba to start a downward spiral and bring on a string of bad outings. He's got the greatest bounce back pitcher in the history of the game on his side in Mariano Rivera. Mo's blown some pretty big games and has always been able to put that behind them right after it happens. If there's anything that Mo can instill in Joba, it's that. You're going to get the occasional bad beat. Rise above it and put it behind you. I think Joba has the makeup and mindset to accomplish that. No worries with the back of the bullpen.

I thought Andy Pettitte had another solid outing. It's a shame he didn't get the win. He definitely pitched well enough to earn the victory. But what typically happens when andy pitches of course happened again. No run support.

The offense let Andy down. Carmona gave the Yankees several opportunities but was able to keep them from scoring as good pitchers will do. It all starts at the top and an 0-5 performance by Johnny Damon sets the tone. JD has been unbelievably hot lately. I can't fault him for going hitless. It's bound to happen. It's just a shame it happens when there isn't much else happening offensively. Damon, Jeter and Abreu went a combined 1-12 with 3 walks. Not exactly what you're looking for from the top of the order. The big bright spot again yesterday was the hot bat of Hideki Matsui. Mats went 3-3, raised his average to .342, and extended his hitting streak to 15 games. Hideki is 7 for his last 12. If only we could say the same about Giambi and Cano, who are now both hitting .157. Giambi stroked a nice double yesterday and knocked in all 2 of the 3 Yankee runs. The 3rd run was knocked in by Cano. I'm not used to seeing that happen with how poorly those 2 have hit. You know there's a problem when that happens. Giambi has 4 hits in hist last 27 ABs but has somehow managed to knock in 9 runs. Go figure.

Tonight's game has the makings of another pitcher's duel. Chien-Ming Wang, in his quest to beat everyone's best pitchers takes on Cliff Lee, the leader of the free world in ERA. Lee is 5-0 with a league leading ERA of 0.96. Wang has been awesome all year. He's definitely assumed the role of team ace and he's a legitimate top-tier #1. He'll show it again tonight. I just hope he gets some run support.