Thursday, May 22, 2008

Offense Still Sputtering But Yanks Walk Off With 2-1 Win

That was quite the 9th inning. Joe Girardi comes up and throws a hissy fit after a questionable foul-tip strikeout of Jason Giambi. Abreu works a pinch-hit walk and Robbie Cano (Don't Ya Know) comes through in the clutch with a game-winning walk off single to left. It's real nice to see these guys finally have an on-the-field post game celebration. We're 2 games into the slingshot. Who would have thought that they would have rode Ian Kennedy's arm to victory?

Ian Kennedy. It's about time. We've been waiting patiently all year for you to throw a decent game and you finally delivered. It only took you 8 starts. The turning point of his outing was definitely the 3rd inning K of Nick Markakis with the bases loaded. That was huge. I thought to myself after that whiff that it would be Kennedy's turning point. That had to be a huge confidence boost for IPK. He wasn't exactly on point with his control but pitched well nonetheless. If only the offense could have scratched across another run. Ike deserved the W.

Ah the offense. Still terrible. Is it me or does every opposing starting pitcher seem to last into the 7th or 8th inning every game? Opposing starters have gone at least 7 innings in 7 of the last 9 games. And in 1 of the 2 they didn't, they went 6 innings. I've said it quite a few times this year. The Yankees aren't playing their game. They're being very aggressive at the plate and the approach isn't working. They've gotten away from working counts. They've gotten away from running up pitch counts. Am I the only one noticing this? Cano saw 6 pitches tonight in his 4 at-bats. Robbie has always been a free swinger but he needs to show some plate discipline. Jeter is another prime example. Jeet has walked on average once every 5 games this year. Last year he picked up a walk once every 2.79 games. His OBP is down 40 points. Bobby Abreu is another example. Walks per game this year 2.81, Last year, 1.89. A-Rod? This year, 1 walk every 4.33 games. Last year, 1.66. They're definitely more aggressive and like I said, it doesn't appear to be working. Patience my friends. Patience.

I'm becoming increasingly agitated with Shelley Duncan. I've never been high on Shelley and watching him swing at a pitch over his head just makes me more down on him. Don't get me wrong, he's exciting to watch at times, but he doesn't belong in the majors. He's the quintessential 4-A player. Too good for AAA, not good enough for the bigs. He doesn't look like he has any balance at the plate. He often ends up in the other batter's box after a swing. not a good approach. Sure he'll run into the occasional home run, but more often that not, he's going to come up empty. Shelley is now hitting .182. I'm not sure what the Yanks see in him. I don't get it.

The bullpen did a stellar job tonight. Veras gave up a single to the first batter he faced. After that it was smooth sailing as the trio of Veras, K-Farns and Mo sent the O's down in order. I'll admit I was a little nervous see Farnsworth pitch in the 8th inning of a tie game. I thought for sure the theme of this post would have to do with the move of Joba to the rotation backfiring right out of the gate. I'll bet the Yankees' brass issued a huge sigh of relief after he mowed them down 1-2-3. I was particularly impressed he sent them down on a mere 7 pitches. Way to go K-Farns. And Mo was of course typical Mo. Ball game over. Yankees win. The Yankees win.

I think it's a safe bet that the ball did glance off Giambi's bat in the 9th inning and he was rightfully called out on strikes. I don't think the ump saw it though. It looked to me like he thought was a ball inside. How else can you explain the long delay between the ball hitting the mitt and the actual strike call. It was a little odd that he made the call after Ramon Hernandez tried to sell it as hitting the bat. Joe Girardi was definitely in the right coming out and going berserk. That was pretty fun to watch. Very reminiscent of Sweet Lou. Man Joe looked ticked. It worked out well. I think it was the perfect opportunity to come out and fire up his team. I'm not sure it had an impact on tonight's win but we might see these guys play with a little more intensity and not appear as flat as they've been playing. Way to go skip.

It's sad that we get so excited over a 2 game winning streak but I'll take it. They've played like garbage lately and picking up a series win against a divisional opponent is never a bad thing. We might be catching a break here as the lowly Mariners are coming to town, owners of the worst record in the AL. It may not be as easy as it sounds as they're drawing Erik Bedard and King Felix in the 1st 2 games of the series. The Yanks lit up Hernandez in their last meeting. It would be real nice to see them do it again. I'd feel a little better about things if they had hit the ball tonight. We'll see. Games aren't played on paper so anything is possible.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,