Thursday, April 30, 2009

Hitting With RISP Pays Off

See what happens when you hit with runners in scoring position? You win ball games! The Yanks went 5-for-11 with RISP tonight. They've been hitting pretty well with RISP over these last 3 games, going 12-for-27, scoring 25 runs and winning all 3 games. Prior to this little winning streak, the Yankees were dead last in average with RISP in the AL. Coming into tonight's game they were ranked 12th out of 14. Hopefully this is the start of something good and they keep climbing that ladder and winning ball games.

I can't believe it took so long for me to see A.J. Burnett pitch a regular season game. While it wasn't the dominant outing I was hoping for, he definitely delivered. He battled tonight, keeping the team in the game and allowing them to pull it out when the game went to the pens. His strike-to-ball ratio was very much to my liking, 66 strikes to 42 balls. Anything close to a 2:1 ratio works for me. Typically when a guy can hit a 2:1 ratio they don't allow a lot of free passes. The Angels are a pretty fast team and the last thing you want to do is give them extra baserunners. A.J. did a great job keeping them off the basepaths. Overall, I think A.J. did a job well done.

It's hard to believe that there is a bullpen out there that is worse than the Yankees. The Angels rank dead last in all of MLB in reliever's ERA. The Yankees barely edge them out. Coming into tonight's game, the Yankees' bullpen ERA was 6.65. The Angels was 6.82. The Yankees definitely took advantage of that tonight, rocking the Angels' relievers for 4 runs on 3 hits and 3 walks. Thankfully for the Yankees, Burnett went a full 7 and the Yankees didn't have to run out more relievers. I almost threw up in my mouth when I saw Albaladejo warming up in the 8th. Phil Coke had a great inning and Mo was vintage Mo, getting 2 Ks and a comebacker. How many times have we seen that? Here's hoping the Yankee starters can keep throwing 7+ innings. They've thrown at least 7 in 3 of the last 4 games. The only one who didn't was Phil Hughes and that's only because the Yankees had a 10-run lead. The starting pitching is picking up.

So the first month of the season is in the books. The team is 12-10 and only 2 games back of first. A-Rod hasn't played yet. Chien-Ming Wang has been absolutely awful and is hurt. Brian Bruney, one of the more reliable relievers, is hurt. Mark Teixeira is hitting a whopping .200. CC hasn't exactly been lights out. Things could be a lot worse.

All things considered, there isn't much to complain about.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,