Thursday, May 28, 2009

Start Spreading The News, The Yanks Are In First

Extra! Extra! Read all about it. Yankees beat Rangers 9-2, move into first place tie with rival Red Sox. The best part of waking up isn't Folgers in your cup. It's knowing that the Yankees are in first and all is right in the Yankees Universe. I wrote a song about it. I'm tempted to record it as a video blog and post it, but I probably won't. It's a spoof of Sinatra's "New York, New York." Maybe someday. When I convince myself it won't be a jinx. Anyway.....

A.J. Burnett won a game!! 3 cheers for A.J.! It's his first win since April 14th, a span of 8 starts. It was a pretty solid outing. The only drawback is that he only went 6 innings which is a by-product of walking 4 and throwing only 59.3% of his pitches for strikes. But he got the job done, allowing only 3 hits and 0 runs in his 6 innings of work. Pitching 6 shutout innings isn't anything to scoff at. A.J. now has 10 starts under his belt and his record sits at 3-2. I don't think it's the start that we Yankee fans envisioned or hoped for, but there is a silver lining. I don't think any of us would have any beef if A.J. could pitch like he did last year, when he went 18-10 with a 4.07 ERA. Last year thru his first 10 starts, Burnett was 4-4 with a 4.71 ERA. His WHIP was 1.48 (58 hits, 27 walks, 57.1 IP). This year after 10 starts, he's 3-2 with an ERA of 4.78. His WHIP is lower at 1.41 (59 hits, 31 walks, 64 IP). The biggest difference is that he's given up 10 HRs this year and had only given up 4 at this point last year. I'm sure part of that has to do with pitching in the new Yankee Stadium. My point is that AJ will get better as the season moves on. Hopefully last night's outing is the jumping off point.

Joe Girardi. WTF man? Why did you bring out Veras and Robertson to pitch the 7th when you could have easily gone to Chien-Ming Wang for 3 innings? Today is an off day so it's not like it's a question of making Wang fatigued. I don't get it. As I was "tweeting" I noticed a lot of people felt the same way. It's as if we were all on the same wavelength. I just don't get what Girardi is thinking most of the time. Inquiring minds want to know. Wang looked very good in his 2 perfect innings of work. His sinker was sinking. His velocity was there. All in all a great outing for Wang. He's on the road back to respectability. For those keeping track at home, the Wanger needs to pitch 39 scoreless innings to get his ERA down to 4.50. That's quite the tall task but he's on his way. I hope he gets there. I think we all do.

The offense is clicking right now. They put on a nice display while in Texas, scoring 23 runs on 47 hits. You know things are going well when Kevin cash goes 5 for 9. Jeter is on a tear. The Captain is in the midst of an 11 game hit streak that's seen his average jump 31 points, from .266 to .297. He's knock-knock-knocking on the door of .300 and should enter that room real soon. He's hit safely in 15 of the last 16, and 19 of the last 22 games. Hitting leadoff seems to suit the Captain.

Mark Teixeira is also ripping it up. He's got a 10-game hitting streak going on and has hit safely in 14 of his last 15, and 16 of his 18 games. That piss-poor start has been pretty much wiped out. It's hard to believe the tear he's been on over the last 18 games. The average is up 83 points to .275. He's gone deep 10 times, knocking in 24. Talk about blowing up. If only A-Rod started the year healthy and in the lineup. Wow.

How 'bout Hideki Matsui going yard twice? Was it just me or was it painful to watch him trot around the bases? He looked so uncomfortable jogging. I'm hoping those 2 bombs break him out of his funk. you can always tell when Matsui is scuffling because he's pulling his body out on every swing. Correct those mechanics Godzilla.

I'm really curious to see if Girardi makes any changes in the OF when Melky Cabrera comes back. Brett Gardner is playing really well and has to be raising some questions about whether he should be starting over Swisher. Gardner is 8 for his last 16. Swisher has 9 hits in the month of May. The Yankees would be better defensively if Gardner played over Swisher. Gardner can also ignite something with his speed while Swisher can't. I love Swish and his personality. I think he's great for clubhouse chemistry. But if he's going to play, he needs to kick it up a notch.

And if things weren't good enough already, Jorge Posada should be back behind the plate on Friday. The offense, as good as it is, just got exponentially better.

Enjoy the off day and don't forget that the Boogie Down is now on Twitter. Click the link to follow me.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,