Saturday, May 16, 2009

Kickstart My Heart

Man oh man. I didn't think today's Yankee victory could top yesterday's Yankee victory, but I was wrong. I was happily wrong.

Mark Teixeira has finally arrived. This series against the Twins so far is proving to be Teixeira's coming out party as a Yankee. Mark went four-for-four today and was two-for-four yesterday. His average has jumped 35 percentage points and he's now sitting at .238. More importantly, he's 9 for his last 16 w/7 RBI. Barring a huge slump, I think it's safe to say his days of being below the Mendoza line are behind us. It's on now. We can expect a lot more of: "A tex message to the left center field bleachers. You're on the mark Teixieira." Oh John Sterling. You are such a tool.

I love the tradition that A.J. Burnett seems to have started with the pie to the face of the guy who hits the walkoff. I love it. It brings a whole new dynamic to the team. I don't ever recall a time where they've all seemed to be so loose and having so much fun. Yesterday's victim was Melky Cabrera. Melky is having a pretty solid year. I still don't think he deserves to be on the roster but there really isn't a better option. But if Melky can keep doing what he'd doing, I won't complain. He just needs to start hitting with runners on base. Melky is hitting a whopping .239 with runners on base. That's a huge drop from the .385 average he has with the bases empty. He's even worse with RISP, hitting .167. With RISP and 2-outs, he's hitting .133. The Melkman needs to be better than that.

A-Rod was today's victim of Burnett's antics. How great for Alex! Coming through in a big way. It was insane how much that mirrored his last walk off. It felt like deja vu all over again. As I watched him round first and put his hands up, I couldn't help but think of that walkoff. I'm pretty sure if you ran those two split-screen it would like almost identical. Alex hasn't exactly been tearing the cover off the ball since his return. But he got the job done today. Hopefully that kick starts things.

The Yankee bullpen is still terrible. Like they have been in recent years, they continue to be plagued by a lefty that can't seem to get out the lefty in a big spot. Phil has now given up 4 HRs this season, 3 to lefties. He's only given up 6 hits to lefties, but 4 have been the longball. Phil's problem is that he gives up a lot of fly balls. I don't think I've ever seen anybody point up in the sky indicating a pop up, or in Coke's case a deep fly ball, as much as I've seen Coke do it. Coke will be fine if he can find a way to keep the ball in the park. Giving up 1 HR every 4 innings is not a good ratio. And I'm really puzzled by the moves Joe Girardi is making. Specifically, why is he using Jose Veras when the team has a lead? I know that everyone out there pretty much sucks, but come on Joe, Veras?

Joba looked good today. It looks like his arm strength is just about there as he was hitting 96 on the gun. He still needs to work on his control. 61% of his pitches today were strikes, which isn't bad, but he walked 4 and that got his pitch count up. It would be nice to see Joba, or any starter, pitch deeper into the game. They need to have the bullpen pitch as little as possible. His stuff is good enough that he can afford to throw more strikes. He should have gotten the win today. That's the 3rd time this year the pen has blown the lead for Joba. Friggin' bullpen.

Despite pitching only 5 innings on Friday, I thought Phil Hughes had an alright outing. He battled his way through that game. It could have been a lot worse for the Yanks had Phil not wiggled his way out of trouble. He worked out of a 2-on no out jam in the 2nd. He had the bases loaded in the 4th with 1 out and only let 1 run score. It wasn't a great outing but I think on the whole it was a positive. I hope Phil's confidence goes up after that. It could have been a lot worse.

The Yanks are on a roll right now. They've won 4 straight and have won 6 of their last 8. The 2 walkoff wins have to be huge for the clubhouse. It's hard to believe that they have the 5th best record in the AL. A-Rod missed 28 games. Wang has an ERA of 34.50. The bullpen is one of the worst. There's been a good number of injuries. After all that, they're only 3 back in the loss column behind the Blue Jays. I am very happy with the current state of the Yankees.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,



She-Fan said...

I'd really like to see Veras shipped off somewhere. I can't believe I'm saying this, but why not call up Igawa, who's been great in Scranton.

Subway Squawkers said...

I agree with your observations - 'm always happy to see this team acting loose and fun.