Saturday, July 4, 2009

Despite Robbie Cano's Efforts, Yanks Beat Jays 6-5 In Extras

Thank God the Yankees won that game. Had they not, I probably would have driven down to the Bronx and paid Robbie Cano a visit. That was probably the most boneheaded play ever. EVER! Why in the world would you but with a 3-0 count? I hope that Cano did that on his own because if he was given the bunt sign on a 3-0 count then Girardi needs to be fired. I'm all but positive that Cano did it on his own seeing that Teixeira was gunned down by a mile. I didn't stick around to watch the post game show so I have no idea if it was brought up. I can't wait to see that explanation. Man what a dumb thing to do. Quite honestly, he shouldn't have been bunting in the first place. If Robbie pulled off the sac bunt, the Jays would have walked Posada. We would have had to rely on Nick Swisher and Melky Cabrera, or maybe Eric Hinske, to deliver. I'd rather take my chances with Posada.

Robbie hasn't exactly been tearing it up with RISP this year. He's hitless in his last 20 ABs with RISP and he's hitting only .200 with RISP on the year. Girardi must have had no confidence in Cano if he gave him the bunt sign. That begs the question, why is Cano batting 5th? The 5th spot in the lineup is supposed to drive in runs. If Cano is in the 5th spot tomorrow, then I have to seriously question Joe Girardi's baseball intelligence. Posada should be hitting 5th. Period. End of discussion.

I thought Chien-Ming Wang pitched well. He was pulled because of a strained right shoulder. That can't be good. Jorge made it sound in his post game interview with Kim Jones that Wang had nothing on the pitch he threw to Lind. He's had shoulder problems in the past. Hopefully this injury is not as bad as his previous ones. He missed all of 2001 and almost 2 months in 2005 (hat tip to Pete Abe). I'm inclined to think that Wang is going to miss some time. If he does, I hope its not for long. He's been pitching much better lately, kind of reminiscent of the CMW of old.

If Wang does go down for an extended period of time, the Yankees will have a tough decision to make. Do they work Phil Hughes back into the rotation? Do they call up someone from the minors to make some starts? Does Cashman venture out into the trade market to look for a replacement? The answer will definitely depend on how severe Wang's injury is. If it's a short stint on the DL, I call up someone from the minors to make a spot-start or two. I don't think it would make sense to have Hughes take the spot if he's going to go back to the bullpen. If Wang is going to be out for awhile, I think they have to give the spot to Phil Hughes. Hughes will need a little bit of time to build his arm strength back up. I don't think he could throw 5+ innings at this point. I think it would be easier for the Yankees to replace Hughes in the pen than it would be to find a SP on the trade market. That of course would depend a lot on Brian Bruney's ability to get guys out. If Bruney continues to pitch like he has since he came back from the DL then it would make it much tougher to move Hughes out of the pen. If I'm Brian Cashman, I call up someone from the minors to make 1-2 starts while Hughes works up his arm strength. When Hughes has at least 80 pitches in him, I slide him into the rotation and call up someone to pitch in the pen. If Bruney can't turn it around, I maybe explore the trade market for a back of the bullpen RP.

The Yankee bullpen has been pretty lights out lately. They definitely got the job done today. With the exception of David Robertson, they shut down the Jays and that allowed the Yankees to get back into the game. Bruney, Hughes, Coke, Rivera, and Tomko combined for 6 scoreless innings. The Yankees bullpen was their Achilles heel earlier this season. That's not the case now. They had the worst bullpen ERA in all of baseball earlier this season. They now rank 21st and after today they're only moving up that list.

It was a great win today. Anytime you win a game that Roy Halladay starts is a great game. Halladay wasn't vintage Halladay today. The Yanks knocked him around a little bit. I'm most surprised that they took him deep 3 times. Damon's game-tying HR was definitely a new stadium HR. That doesn't go out in the old park. It was good to see Mark Teixeira crank out 3 hits. Tex is off to a good start this month. He's 6-for-17 (.353) with 2 multi-hit games. He had 5 in all of June. He still needs a HR though. His last longball came on June 10th. The Yankees offense though is still struggling when it counts. They were 2-for-10 with RISP today and left 11 on base. Thank God the pitching is holding up.

The Yanks have now won 9 of their last 10 and are only 1 game out of first. The Red Sox are struggling right now and the Yanks are taking advantage. You wouldn't think the Yanks would only be 1 game back seeing that they're 0-8 against the Red Sox. Things could be a lot worse.

Enjoy the rest of the 4th.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,