Sunday, July 20, 2008

No Run Support. No Problem.

It's a good thing that the Yankees pitching staff is pitching lights out baseball because the offense is doing absolutely nothing to help these guys out. It's absolutely amazing how bad this offense is considering the talent and firepower that makes it up. Granted, it's been knocked down a few pegs by injuries, but still, they should be able to muster more than 2-3 runs a game. The Yankees have now played 15 games in July and have manged to score more than 4 runs a total of 5 times. They've scored 2 runs or less in over half (8) of their games this month. That's insane and it's puzzling. It really is. The Yankees would be running away with things if they performed up to their potential. Surprisingly, they're right smack dab in the thick of things. They currently find themselves 4.5 games back of the Rays and 3 games back of Boston, and only 2 in the loss column. Unreal. The pitching my friends, is carrying them this year.

Andy Pettitte took his turn today and kept things rolling. Right now, I don't know if there is a better 1-2-3 punch than Moose, Joba and Andy. Andy was magnificent today. He threw a lot of first strikes and was ahead in the count most of the game. His strike to ball ratio was 2 to 1. He didn't issue any freebies and when guys did get on, andy neutralized things by picking up a needed strikeout or DP. The A's managed 4 hits of Andy. 2 were in the 3rd and Andy ended up striking out the 3 guys who made outs. He got a double play to get out of a jam in the 6th. Andy has always been a better pitcher in the 2nd half. I've stated a few times after his recent outings that it looks like the 2nd half started early. It officially started today and it was arguably his best outing of the season. With the win, Andy is now 8-2 over his last 10 decisions. The pitching staff has definitely raised its game. And they've had to, since the offense is so lackluster. Well done Andy. Well done.

Not much to talk about from an offensive standpoint that I didn't say yesterday. I know Justin Duchscherer has been brilliant all year, but I still expect more from these guys. They've got to do better. The pitching staff isn't always going to allow 5 runs in a 3 game series. They need to do their part. Robinson Cano has been on a tear recently. Recently being the last 3 games. Cano racked up 8 hits against the A's, raising his average 12 points in the process to .258. I foresee a steady increase in Robbie's average. He's hitting the ball hard. He looks good. And the 'stache came through in the clutch today picking up the game winning slamalamadingdong. The Giambino actually had a decent game at the plate. He and Robbie's average have been running neck and neck all year. It seems like when one got a few hits, so would the other. The Giambino had a lot of distance between his and Robbie's average a few weeks ago, but a slump dropped Jason back to almost identical averages. Cano actually now has a .001 lead over the Big G. Jason slumped terribly to end the 1st half. He's 4 for 8 with 2 HRs and 5 walks in his last 3 games. Slump over? The power of the 'stache is recharged? Let's hope because the offense needs it.

Now the look-alikes come to town for a pretty important series. The Twins are currently 2 games ahead of the Yanks in the wild card standings. It should be a pretty good series. The pitching matchups in my estimate favor the Twins. Sideny Ponson goes tomorrow for the Yanks. He's for the most part been erratic since joining the Yanks, allowing a lot of baserunners but somehow he's pulled a Harry Houdini and hasn't been too bad. The Yankees have actually won all 3 of his starts despite Sidney allowing 28 baserunners in 17 innings. He's gotten some nice run support also: 9 runs and 18 runs in 2 of the 3 games. Hopefully he gets it again tomorrow.

So far the return from the All-Star break has been kind to the boys in Pinstripes. They sweep the A's. The Sox get swept in LA. The Rays drop 1 of 3 to Toronto. Not a bad start. The Rays are going to fade. They don't play as well on the road (19-25) and 38 of their remaining 65 games are away from the Trop. It's a nice time to make a move.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,