Saturday, July 19, 2008

The One That Didn't Get Away

OK, I think I need to start keeping my thoughts to myself because I said some things yesterday and today the opposite happened. I said how great the bullpen was: blown save and Mo almost gets tagged with a loss. I said A-Rod was going to make a run at the batting title: 0 for 5 w/ 3 Ks. I cracked on Brett Gardner calling him overmatched: He picks up 2 hits and a ribbie. I said the offense was great: today they managed 4 runs. Shows what I know.

Joba had a strong outing. It's too bad Jose Veras blew the win for him because he deserved it. It's hard to believe that Joba only has 2 decisions in 9 starts. His ERA since becoming a starter is 2.64. That's pretty darn good. Joba has suffered the same fate as Moose: no run support. But he was on today. 6 IPs, 6 H, 1 BB, 8 K. Nice. The Yankees pitching staff is a lot better than people give it credit for. They've improved since day 1. The team ERA in April was 4.56, 11th best in the AL. In May, it was 4.13, 10th best. June saw another improvement, 3.83, 6th best. July is better still, 3.49, 2nd best team ERA in the AL. On the season, the team ERA is 4.08, 7th best in the AL. Hard to believe when you take into account the God-awful starts from Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy. Chien-Ming Wang has been on the shelf for over a month now. They've demonstrated that they have a pitching staff that is going to hold its own. and now that I say, that, it's all downhill from here.

The offense didn't really get it done today. 13 hits and 11 walks = 4 runs??? That's pathetic. 21 guys left on base. I remember thinking to myself in the 2nd inning that this is going to be 1 of those games where all the offense comes from the bottom of the order. For those that forgot what went down in inning #2, Cano singled, Betemit doubled, Melky singled, Gardner doubled, and then Jeter, Abreu and A-Rod all went down swinging. Batters 1 thru 5 went 3-24. To their credit they accounted for 10 of the 11 Yankee walks. The 6 thru 9 hitters went 10-22, each having a multi-hit day att he plate. Robbie Cano was again the Yankees' hottest hitter going 4 for 6, and he's hitting the ball hard. 6-10 isn't a bad way to start one's 2nd half. I mentioned yesterday that Robbie typically does better in the 2nd half. At least something I said yesterday didn't get negated today.

Now even though I cracked on the bullpen earlier, they did a pretty good job today as a unit. 2 runs in 6 innings isn't all that bad. But they need to be better. They almost let this one slip away. Edwar Ramirez appears to be back on track after a string of rough outings back in late June. In his last 8 games, he's thrown 11 innings, allowing 1 hit, 1 walk, no runs and has struck out 15. David Robertson has been awesome since he was called up. He's allowed 3 hits and no runs in his last 7 games. And then there's Kyle Farnsworth. Dude has been lights out. I'm amazed. I didn't think he had this kind of run in him. Check these #s out: In his last 9 games, K-Farns has thrown 8 hitless innings! I know. I'm shocked too! The Yanks are getting solid pitching from pretty much everybody. Fingers are crossed that the opposite doesn't happen tomorrow.

It may not have been pretty today but a win is a win. It doesn't have to be pretty. The best part is the Red Sox lost again. The Yanks are now 3 back in the loss column for the wild card. If anybody thinks they don't have shot, I'd like to hear why. The Red Sox in my opinion are highly overrated. Their bullpen is terrible, currently 10th best in the AL. They're terrible away from Fenway (21-31). I just don't think they're as good as people think they are. I wouldn't be terribly surprised if come the end of July, the Yanks are ahead of the BoSox in the standings. Nothing would be better than coming out of next weekend's series in Fenway ahead of them in the standings. That would be killer.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,