Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Pettitte Cruises, Yanks Burn Rays 5-0

Andrew Eugene Pettitte. He was the man tonight baby. 8 stellar shutout innings. He threw strikes, kept runners of base, and pitched his way to his 10th win. Andy has been absolutely outstanding lately. 7-1 in his last 10 starts. He rebounded quite nicely from his last start against the Red Sox. The key today for me was that Andy didn't walk anyone. The Rays are a speedy team and the last thing the Yanks need is to let these guys have at the basepaths. Andy has always been a stronger pitcher in the 2nd half. I've said it before. I'll say it again. Looks like the 2nd half started early.

The Yankees need this from Pettitte. Joba, Moose, and Pettitte are a strong 1-2-3. If the Yanks can get solid outings from these 3, which they have been, we could be looking at a serious run if the offense gets going, and if the bottom 2 in the rotation can squeeze out a win here and there. Rasner and Ponson don't excite me too much. I think we're going to see some other guys get those starts real soon. I hate to say this but Kei Igawa is having a pretty solid year in Scranton. Igawa is currently 8-4 with an ERA of 3.82. Maybe he gets another shot? Igawa right now is too good for AAA but not good enough for MLB. He's been a colossal bust so far. But at the rate Sidney Ponson is going, he probably won't do any worse.

Still feeling a little underwhelmed with the offense, but not as much as I was yesterday. But not too many teams have great offensive explosions against Scott Kazmir, so I guess it's all good. Robbie Cano continues to impress. His 11 pitch at-bat against Jason Hammel was the at-bat of the game. That AB was a great indication that Cano has finally turned the corner. Robbie had another multi-hit game tonight. The 8th in his last 13 games. Robbie hitting is going to be clutch. He's a natural hitter and at the end of the year he'll be hitting about .300. Mark my words. 5 Yanks had 2 hits tonight. Abreu being one and boy did he need those. Bobby has been slumping, 0-15 in his last 4 games, and 4-30 in his last 8. Any night your 2, 3 and 5 hitters rack up 2 hits is a good night I suppose.

When Melky was down 0-2 in the 8th and was 1 strike away from a golden sombrero, I was sitting there thinking, man they got to trade for someone that can hit. I like his range and arm, but he's been horrible at the plate. And sure enough, he goes yard. Build on that Melk. Build on it.

I blogged a few days ago that the Yanks would be in trouble against the Sox and the Rays with Posada behind the plate. Girardi must have heeded my advice because Molina has been behind the dish the last 4 games. He's had an amazing arm all year. I had no idea coming into tonight's game he has gunned down 12 straight runners and how high his caught stealing percentage was. I don't remember the exact % of caught runners but it's a few percentage points under 50%, like 47 point something, one of the tops, if not the top in MLB. Jose Mo has been a blessing for the Yanks this year. His bat has certainly cooled but you can't put a price on valuable his arm has been. Definitely one of Cashman's better signings in my opinion.

Is it me or has Jeter's range improved in the last few days? Granted Dioner Navarro isn't the fastest dude out there but he had to cover some serous ground to nab him at 2nd with his patented jump throw. That was awesome. He's also gotten to a few balls that I thought were surely destined for center field. Regardless, I'm liking what I'm seeing from the Captain. People think he's overrated and I'm inclined to disagree. And I'm not being biased when I say that. Here's what I find funny: Jeter won last year's Gold Glove, which is voted on by managers and coaches. Yet when players are surveyed about who they feel is overrated, Jeter tops the list. Seems odd to me that coaches/managers respect his defense but everybody bags on his defense and thinks he's overrated. I'm sorry, but I respect the opinion of coaches/managers more than pretty much anyone else. People need to stop hating.

Tomorrow is a day game which is good and bad. I can't watch it on TV because of work but I can listen to it on my radio, though I can never devote 100% attention to it. I'd miss it anyway if it were a night game due to softball. So I'll take what I can get. Sidney Ponson gets the ball tomorrow. Ugh. In his 2 starts as a Yankee he's allowed 14 hits and 7 walks in 11 innings. Surprisingly, he's 1-0 in those 2 starts, the beneficiary of some run support as the Yanks scored 27 runs in his 2 starts. I think they'll need all the runs they can tomorrow. It'll be tough because they always struggle with Edwin Jackson. In his 2 starts against them this year, Jackson is 1-0, giving up only 1 run in 13 innings. I'm not excited about their chances but they're definitely capable of running this winning streak to 4 and picking up another game on the first place Rays. Sorry, that's still weird to say.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,



Yankee Stadium Crew: said...

J-Booggie, sweet blog!

Heres mine!


Joe said...

I believe that people let what they see take over for statistics sometimes. Derek Jeter is the only SS that most Yankees fans see on a regular basis, therefore it is difficult to compare him to the other 29 starting SS's in the league when one doesn't have the proper sample size. Range isn't always so obvious. If a player doesn't get to a ball a lot of fans will just say that it wasn't in reach, not placing any blame on the player. But what they don't realize is that there may be 15 SS's who make that play because they have much better range, but the fans won't see them enough to realize this. John Dewan's metrics have been saying that Jeter has been one of the worst fielding SS's in the game for several years now. Check it out: http://www.fieldingbible.com/

The "Plus/minus" tab is where the stats are located.

Defensive stats probably aren't great, but I feel that they have some legitimacy.

Oh, and I do think Jeter is a Hall of Famer, just for the record.


Joe said...

Pettitte career 1st half ERA 4.11

second half ERA: 3.53

You were right about that.