Monday, June 8, 2009

Above Average Pitching + Below Average Hitting + Average Defense = 2 Game Split For The Yanks

Good afternoon everyone. I hope you all had an enjoyable weekend. Mine was nice and relaxing. I just hung out and enjoyed the family. The weather was nice and we spent a lot of time outside. Good times. I did get to catch the 2 games versus the Rays? Was it me or were both games pretty similar in nature, the defense withstanding? Both were exciting. Both went down to the wire. If only they could have won both games.

I thought CC pitched pretty well on Saturday. He was definitely better than his pitching line. Joba pitched pretty well on Sunday. It looked like he just ran out of gas in the 6th. Overall, solid outings by the two.

I hope Joe Girardi learned a lesson on Sunday. Let Mariano do what Mariano wants to do. It's not like Mo is some chump. It's Mariano Freaking Rivera. For my money he's the greatest closer of all time. If he wants to pitch to a guy, you let him pitch to a guy. I know the numbers were better for a Rivera/Upton matchup, but still. It's Mariano Freaking Rivera. So when it comes to Mo I say numbers schmumbers. You let Mo make the call. Who knows what would have happened had he faced Longoria? Longoria could have taken him deep. Mo could have gotten him to ground out weakly to end the inning like he did on Sunday. I guess we'll never know. Mo was pretty bad on Saturday. He was the polar opposite on Sunday and was vintage Mo. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little worried about Mo. He hasn't been his dominant self this year. His ERA (3.33) and batting average against (.263) are higher than they've been since his rookie year (5.51 and .266). He's definitely having a down year statistically speaking, arguably the worst of his career as a reliever. Well, it's definitely the worst year of his career as a reliever. But he's Mo. Before the year is all said and done, those numbers will be more Mo-like.

What happened to our solid defense? They break the record for most consecutive errorless games and then commit at least one in 5 straight. WTF? Let's get back to some clean baseball.

The offense over the last 2 games was pretty blah. They've hit to the tune of a .200 average (13-65) and are 1 for 18 (.056) with RISP. I expected them to struggle against David Price. The Yanks, as Jane pointed out in the comments, aren't good when it comes to facing pitchers they've never faced before. Most of the time, the pitchers they're facing aren't exactly highly touted and are below average pitchers. David Price is probably the best rookie pitcher the Yankees have faced in a long time. He's definitely the best that comes to mind. So struggling against him was not a surprise. Matt Garza has been one of the league's best pitchers over the last 3 seasons. It's understandable that they'd struggle against him as well. I did expect a little more but it's nothing of concern.

The series wraps up tonight and the Yanks can pull out a series win with a W. We have what I hope is a healthy Andy Pettitte on the mound tonight. If he has any missteps, I'd expect to see Phil Hughes get some innings. Hughes hasn't pitched since May 31st, which is over a week ago. I really wonder what the team's plans for Phil are. I agree with him pitching at the major league level but I disagree with letting him juts sit around. I know if he pitched on his regular rest he would have started on the 5th so it's really only been 3 days, but still. It's obvious to me that Girardi prefers Aceves over Hughes when it comes to pitching a few innings in relief. I'm not sure what their plan is as I doubt there are enough innings to go around for both Aceves and Hughes. I'm curious to see how this plays out. If you're not going to pitch Hughes, send him down.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,