Friday, June 13, 2008

Yanks Win Pitching Duel - THEY'RE FINALLY 2 GAMES ABOVE 500!!!

I'm a little giddy right now. Tonight's victory against the Astros is huge step in the right direction. The Yankees have finally made it over the hump. Well, maybe they're not over it yet, but they're closer than they've been in a long, long time. In my last entry, I wrote that this 15 game stretch against the National League could be make or break. They're not exactly taking on the toughest teams in the NL. They need to take advantage now. Tonight they did and it was all about the pitching.

Joba looked real good. There's no doubt in my mind that he's going to excel as a starter. I'd still prefer to see him in the 8th inning, but if he keeps pitching like he did tonight, I'll change my tune real quick. Especially if Jose Veras continues to dominate like he did tonight. This was definitely Joba's best outing to date. Granted the sample size is pretty small, but he looked real comfortable out there. He pitched 6 complete innings and likely would have gone a little longer had we been playing in an American League park. He was pretty efficient with his pitches, throwing only 88, 7 of which were intentional balls. In his next start, he won't be subject to a pitch count. The Yankees rotation just got a lot stronger.

Jose Veras was on tonight. I had really hoped that he pitched the 8th was a sign that Farnsworth was knocked down a peg in the pecking order, but those hopes were dashed when I saw K-Farns warming up to pitch the 9th. Veras has done pretty well this season. He's now thrown 7 straight scoreless innings. And there's your jinx. Don't worry. I'm knocking on wood. He pitched tonight in a huge spot, retiring the heart of the Astros order in the 8th. Right now, he's the guy I want to see pitch late in close games. Too bad I'm not running things.

Farnsworth finally (and thankfully) broke the recent pattern he's been in of pitching poorly after pitching alright. Not counting today, he's given up at least 1 run in every other outing going back to May 13th against the Rays. In short, this is the first back-to-back outings he's had in 12 games where he didn't give up a run. I thought for sure the Yanks were done for when he hit Ty Wiggington. Leadoff walks usually come back to bite you in the behind. K-Farns got a lot of help from the Astros. A failed sac bunt attempt and a caught stealing. Not a bad way to get hooked up if your a pitcher.

If you ask me, the Astros ran themselves out of that game. 3 caught stealings. Ouch. I'm not sure why they tried to steal 3rd with 1 down in the 6th. You'd also think a team that successfully steals 4 bases is going to score more than 1 run. Joba did a heck of a job making sure that didn't happen. Extra points for him.

Derek Jeter's HR in the 8th. In a word, clutch. There wasn't much offensive tonight, but it was enough. Cano is still struggling. Insert deep sigh of disappointment here. Enough already Robbie. It's getting to be beyond ridiculous. We need that bat. Especially in these NL parks because the team is forced to sit 1 of their 3 hottest hitters. The non-producers need to produce. No 2 ways about it. The pitching isn't going to be this sharp every night. A little run support would be nice.

My boy Moose goes tomorrow. Should be a good one. Enjoy.