Friday, July 18, 2008

Yanks Get Off On The Good Foot, Good God, Moose Gets Some Run Support

Moooooooooooose! That's my man. Pickin' up win #12. Again tied for the league lead in wins. Lowering his ERA to 3.49. What more could a card carrying member of the Mike Mussina Fan Club ask for? The only thing we've been jonesing for lately when it comes to Moose's starts is some run support. Prior to this start the Yanks have scored 2 runs or less in 5 of Moose's last 6 starts. Tonight, they picked him up getting him 7 runs. Funny though how when they only need 2 runs, they bust out with 7. But when they need 3 runs, they can only muster 2. In his last 9 starts, Moose has pitched to an ERA of 2.64. Who would have thunk it, right? He pitched another solid game tonight. He allowed 9 hits in his 6 innings, but was able to neutralize the hits by not issuing any walks and striking out 6. He struck out the side after allowing a leadoff single in the 2nd. Struck out Mark Ellis to end the 4th with 2 on. Struck out Jack Cust in 5th with 2 on and no out, and followed it up with a double play. That's pitching right there. Moose has totally overshot everybody's expectations this year. It's hard to believe the season he's having when you look back at last year. I really hope the Yanks take a good hard look at bringing him back. They could use his veteran leadership with all the young arms. The starters getting schooled by Moose. The relievers getting schooled by Mariano. Nothing wrong with that. I have a feeling that Moose is going to make a serious run at his 1st 20 win season this year. The offense just needs to give him a little support. He could already have about 15 wins if this offense would perform to its potential. Tonight was a step in the right direction.

The offense did an outstanding job tonight, working 10 hits and 7 walks off A's pitching. They played their game. They saw a lot of pitches, worked a lot of counts, swung at the right pitches, and racked up 7 runs for their effort. Richie Sexson had a pretty good debut in Pinstripes. You definitely want to see him get off on the right foot an a 2-out RBI single in his 1st AB is a great start in my book. 1 for 3 with a walk and a ribbie. I'll take it. Cano slumped a little bit right before the break but got off to a nice start. Robbie in his career has statistically been a better hitter after the All-Star break. I wish I wrote down the stats they flashed on the broadcast tonight that showed his 1st half vs. 2nd half numbers but I wasn't thinking. But take my word for it, his 2nd halves have been better than his firsts. And his first half this year was one to forget. 2 for 4 with a 3-run shot isn't a bad beginning. A-Rod, well, he's just A-Rod. On the field, he's been quietly (in my opinion) having a pretty good year. Off the field, well, that's a different story. But tonight he hit his 20th longball, raised his average to .318, and knocked in his 54th and 55th RBI of the season. I don't think he'll be able to catch Josh Hamilton for the most RBI, but he'll make a run at the batting title and the HR title. Take that to the bank. Johnny Damon, please hurry back. I like Brett Gardner and all, but let's face it, he's a big bust so far. I didn't think he'd do worse than Melky, but I was wrong. I know the sample size is a lot smaller and a few base hits will change things but he looks overmatched right now. It's definitely not his time. Finally, the most encouraging stat of the night is that the Yankees had 6 2-out RBI. Tonight was all about getting off on the good foot, and the offense did that. Let's build on it and roll it into a nice long winning streak.

How great is the Yankee bullpen right now? David Robertson, Edwar Ramirez, and LaTroy Hawkins combined for 3 perfect innings, striking out 6 collectively. In their last 10 games, the Yankees bullpen has thrown 28.1 innings, allowing 11 hits, 6 walks, 6 earned runs, and has struck out 32 hitters. For those of you without a calculator, the ERA works out to 1.91. Not too shabby. Some might even say lights out. I think we can safely say that we're better off with Joba in the rotation. The guys in the pen have kicked it up a notch and it's going to win us some ballgames.

I don't think we could have asked for a better start to the 2nd half tonight. Great pitching from the starter. Great pitching from the pen. Timely hitting. 7 runs. Yeah, that'll do. Let's build on it. There's plenty of baseball left to play. We ain't done yet.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,