Thursday, July 9, 2009

A Team Effort Leads Yanks To 6-4 Win And Sweep Of Twins

I didn't get to see any of today's game because of work. Typically when it's a weekday afternoon game, I can follow along online with a gamecast. I wasn't so lucky today. I had to attend a 5 hour training from 12-5. Not fun. Not fun at all. While in the training, I found myself constantly thinking about the Yankees game and what I could be missing. We got to take a little break in the middle of it. As soon as the trainer announced the break I scurried to my desk so I could get an update. Yankees were up, Aceves was out, Robertson was in, and the bases were loaded with look-alikes. The break wasn't long so all I really got to see was Robertson walk in a run. Ugh. As soon as the training ended, I bolted for my PC. The game was over. The Yankees were 6-4 winners. Nice. Very nice.

Considering I didn't see, or follow, any of the action, I can't really say much about the game. I checked out the box score and for the most part, I'm pretty happy with the results. Here are some thoughts.

Teixeira went yard. That ends a very long drought, 23 games to be exact. I heard a little bit of the interview he did with Kim Jones on thr radio post game show. Teix commented that HRs often come in bunches and he's hoping some more follow. I hope he's right.

Alfredo Aceves only lasted 3.1 innings. I was hoping for a little bit more but I'm guessing that the Twins worked up his pitch count knowing that he was probably only in for 65 pitches. It would have been a smart game plan as the Twins probably thought they'd fare better against the Yankees' middle relief. Ace threw a high percentage (63%) of strikes and seeing that he only K'd 2 and walked one, I'm assuming the Twins took a lot of pitches, primarily what I would guess to be first pitch strikes. If someone saw the game, let me know. It's purely an educated guess.

Starting Aceves as opposed to a minor leaguer could come back to bite the Yankees in the ass. They had to use 5 RPs today. Coke, Hughes, and Mariano have each now pitched in back-to-back games. This wouldn't be a problem if tomorrow's SP was anyone other than Joba Chamberlain. Joba doesn't exactly have a reputation for pitching deep into games. In fact, it's the exact opposite. JC has made 16 starts this year. 3 of those starts have lasted more than 6 innings. He's failed to pitch at least 6 innings in 8 of his starts. Chances are that the Yankee bullpen is going to be needed tomorrow for at least 3 innings. You'd like to think that Girardi and his crew would have had the foresight to consider this a possibility. Personally, I wanted to see the Yanks call up someone with some decent arm strength to start today's game. I'm sure there was more to the decision that just picking Aceves. Who would they send down and did they have any options? Who in the minors was available to start? Maybe Ace was the only option. If he wasn't, I hope this doesn't come back to bite us. Good thing the ASB is 3 days away.

The Yankee bullpen, with the exception of David Robertson, was awesome. Robertson pitched an inning, walking 3. He only threw 11 pitches, out of 28, for strikes. That's ugly right there. But the pen as a whole was lights out. 5.3 IP, 2 H, 4 BB, 7 K, and no runs. The pen is the reason why the Yankees won this game. I'm loving Phil Hughes as the 8th inning guy. Don't be mistaken though, I prefer him as a SP. But what they've got him doing is working. I'm glad he's pitching at the big league level and not in AAA. It's a much better learning experience. I'd have to give him an A+!

I was a little surprised to see Brian Bruney's name absent from the box score. He last pitched on July 6th. I think it's very telling that he didn't see any action today. His stock has dropped significantly as of late and it's obvious he's fallen out of favor with Girardi. Bru should see some action tomorrow considering everyone else, except for Brett Tomko, pitched today. He better make the most of it, especially if it's in a big spot.

I was shocked to see 4/5 of the run production come from the 8 and 9 hitters. Cody Ransom finally did something. Good for you Code-man.

Who wants to venture a guess how long it takes Melky to get his average down to .250? Melky's average sits at .277 and it's dropping fast. It's dropped 14 points in his last 9 games. Over his last 9 games, Melk is 6-for-32 (.188) with 1 2B, 1 HR, 4 RBI, 1 BB, and 5 K. Not good. The silver lining is that he's not whiffing a lot. I didn't comb through the game logs to see what kind of outs he's making. My sometimes good, sometimes not so good memory, is telling me he's hitting a lot of weak grounders and pop ups. If Melky doesn't turn things around, I wouldn't be surprised if Cashman looks around for an OF on the trade market.

The Yanks are now off to Anaheim for a 3 game set and then it's the ASB. I said before this last stretch of games started that I'd be happy if the Yanks went into the break no more than 5 games out of first. They were 3 back at the time and had a much tougher stretch of games than the Red Sox. The Yanks have been playing great ball and are only .5 games back. In all likelihood, they'll be a full game back at the end of the day as the Sox are currently up on the Royals 5-3. The Yanks have now won 3 straight, 6 of 7, and 13 of their last 15. They've won their last 8 road games and their 25-18 road record is the best in the AL. Needless to say, they're playing great baseball.

Wow. For someone who didn't see the game I sure had a lot to say.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,



Jason from The Heartland said...

The bottom of the order was money in the Minnesota series, J-Boogie. Money.

I am a bit concerned about Melky, who really hasn't been right or sharp since he banged into the wall several weeks ago. I think he was due to come back to earth, but he hasn't produced a ton. He had two prime chances to deliver runs and failed in both opportunities, flying out twice and not deep enough for a sac fly. I like his defense a lot, but he's faltering at the plate. the problem is that, given Nady's injury and JD's struggles physically, at the plate, and definitely in the field, Melky must play at times. Clearly, he needs to pick it up.

The bullpen has been outstanding. Robertson pulled today what he did against Toronto on the 4th--entering and walking guys, not good. But the rest of the pen was outstanding. Hats off to Albaladejo, who was excellent. Hughes is the eighth-inning guy with his excellent and aggressive work. He's doing just what he didn't last year--go after batters and put them away.

I feel good about the series in Anaheim. I like their chances to win at least two, although the Angels are no pushover, are playing better ball of late, and have Saunders, Weaver, and Lackey taking the ball this series. It must start with Joba providing a good, efficient start, throwing strikes and not shaking off and bickering with Jorge so much.

Great to see this quality of baseball from the boys.