Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Anything You Can Do Moose Can Do Better

Take that Yankee starters. Moose just put on a clinic. At least it sounded that way. My 2pm meeting ended up being canceled so I got to listen to the second half of the game on the radio. I was able to follow along with the first half of the game with the Yahoo gamecast. It never sounded like Moose was in any kind of trouble. The hits sounded soft, when guys were on base he struck guys out or got the double play. Moose is the man. What amazes me is that he's managed to lower his ERA in each of his last 5 starts. Over those starts it went from 3.93 to 3.87 to 3.64 to 3.61 to 3.49, and with today's 8 shutout innings, it's now 3.26. It's really impressive to me because his ERA was south of 4 when this run started. Over those 5 starts, Moose has thrown 32 innings, allowed only 33 hits, 3 walks, has struck out 31, and has only allowed 5 runs, all earned, for an ERA of 1.41. Moose is having a dream season. I don't think anyone, Moose included, could have predicted this. Mooooooooooooose! 1 O for each win. Count 'em up. You'll find 13, which again ties him for the league lead in wins. His career total is now 263. Had Moose gotten some run support, he could easily have at least 15 wins. A lot of people thought Moose was a borderline HOFer when the season started. I think it's safe to say the pendulum has swung in Moose's favor, especially when you look at how he did last year.

It took a while again for the offense to get going. If not for a really bad defensive miscue by the Twins, the ending to today's game might have been drastically different. But it happened and it worked out well for the boys. Justin Christian made a solid case to play over Brett Gardner. They each are pretty fast and Christian is showing he's got a little better stick. Why not give him a go? Robbie Cano had another multi-hit game, his 6th straight. Talk about being on a tear. He's raised his average 16 percentage points since the break. Boo yah. I thought A-Rod put one out in the 6th. I had a fellow colleague talking to me at my desk when John Sterling broke into his "It is high. It is far. It is gone" catchphrase. I paused our conversation only for Sterling to say "off the base of the wall" instead of "gone." Typical Sterling. Drives me crazy.

Mo had to come in and bail out LaTroy Hawkins. Mo remained perfect in save opportunities, picking up his 25th save in his 25th save opportunity. Mo is having the best season of his career. I outlined this a few weeks ago, and I might as well do it again. Mo's lowest ERA for a full season was 1.38 in 2005. This year it's 1.21. His lowest full season WHIP was 0.87, again in 2005. This year it's 0.68. The lowest opponent's batting average against Mo was .176 in 1999, in 2005 it was .177. This year, it's .169. He's striking out 10.88 per 9 innings. His career best was 10.87 in 1996. His strikeout to walk ratio is 13.5 strikeouts for every one walk. His career best was 6.92 Ks to BBs, back in 2001. That stat blows my mind. And again, he's perfect in save opportunities. He's putting up career bests in every statistical category. Best. Closer. Ever.

John Sterling commented on the broadcast that Joe Girardi mentioned that they corrected a mechanical flaw in Hawkins' delivery. Can you say jinx? I wonder who the odd man out will be when Brian Bruney comes back? Hmm. I wonder. It should be Hawkins, but it won't be. Deal him for somebody and eat his salary. He's the worst we've got right now, by far.

6 straight baby! Not a bad way to start the second half. Now we have a well deserved off day and then it's time to renew the rivalry. Joba vs. Beckett in game 1. That should kick the series off just right. I kind of wish there wasn't an off day. Don't want to see them lose any of this momentum. I unfortunately won't be around for the Friday and Saturday games. I'm headed to Cooperstown for the Induction Weekend festivities. This will be my 3rd straight year. It's a real good time, if you don't mind sleeping in the front seat of a Toyota Corolla. At least this year, my sleeping quarters will be slightly bigger, the back of a Kia Rondo. Ahh, good times. I wouldn't miss it for the world. Not even for Sox/Yankees. You guys hold down the fort and I'll see ya sometime Sunday. Enjoy the off day and go Yanks!

Peace, love and Pinstripes,