Sunday, September 13, 2009

Oodles And Oodles Of O's

It's hard to believe that the Yankees started their 3 best pitchers, at home, against one of the worst teams in baseball and managed to escape with only 1 win in 3 games. That's not what you want to see this late in the game. Andy Pettitte left with the lead but didn't exactly pitch a good ball game. It wasn't bad, but there was a lot to be desired. For starters, Andy has to be more effective with his pitches. Only 59 of his 103 pitches were strikes, which is about 57% of his pitches. I like to see a pitcher throw at least 60% of his pitches for strikes. I know the difference between 57% and 60% is only 2 or 3 pitches, but those pitches could end up being game changers. 103 pitches is definitely way too many pitches to throw in 5 innings. I'd expect that from Joba, but not from Andy. But it happens. As long as it doesn't happen all the time, we're good.

A.J. Burnett's performance wasn't bad if you throw out the 2nd inning. Unfortunately, the 2nd inning is part of the game, so if you look at the outing as a whole, he was awful. A.J. has been pretty inconsistent this season. He started out rough, pitched well in the middle of the season, and has been rough down the stretch. He's basically what he was in Toronto and in Florida, a .500 or so pitcher. A.J. can dominate but at the same time he can stink up the joint. It's hard to blame this on Posada now too. I originally thought maybe that was part of the problem but A.J. has been bad with Molina too, so it's all on Burnett. He's got to get the job done and he needs to do it more consistently. Like we saw yesterday, one bad inning can kill you. 5 of the 7 hits he allowed came in the 2nd inning. He was pretty good in innings 3-7, allowing only a hit and a walk. I hope he figures it out.

CC was dope as usual. If there is one pitcher that the Yankees can count on it's CC. He's been the man. He pitched really well today, allowing 3 runs, which should have been only 2 if not for Johnny Damon's boneheaded play. It's a shame CC got knocked for an earned run on that play. I was a little surprised that he only whiffed 1 Oriole today. The more I think about it, the more startled I am by it. It doesn't happen that often. He picked up his league leading 17th win today. He probably has 3 starts left, maybe 4 depending on how the Yankees try to set up the rotation for the postseason. 20 wins is possible, especially if he pitches like he has been. He's 7-0 with a 2.48 ERA in his last 9 starts. He's been worth every penny. He has the rep for not pitching well in the postseason so hopefully he earns that money in October.

The Yankee hit king's slump seems to be over. Since his bunt single 4 games ago, he's 9-18. That's why he's the hit king. A-Rod had a pretty decent series. Alex went 4-9 with 2 2B and a homer. His average is now sitting at .287. I'm telling you, Alex is going to flirt with .300. He's hitting .429 in September. He's rocking a 7 game hit streak, going 12-24 in those 7 games. It's good to have you back A-Rod. It certainly isn't hurting that Matsui is also locked in. Matsui is hitting .382 this month, with 9 RBI in 10 games. He had a great game today, knocking in 5. Matsui has surprised me the year. I didn't really think he was going to do much. He's got an outside chance at knocking in 100 runs. It's a long shot but if he keeps it up, he could get there. The offense as a whole has been doing pretty well this month. They've scored the most runs (72) in the AL. They have the 3rd highest batting average (.293), the highest OBP (.374), and the 4th highest slugging percentage (.459). Not too shabby. There's definitely some room for improvement, namely from Mark Teixeira. He's only hitting .267 this month. He typically starts slow and finishes hot. I'd like to see a little more from the 3 hitter. Then again, who wouldn't?

There are a mere 18 games left this season. The Yanks are sitting on a 7 game lead, (6 up in the loss column). No lead is safe but they'd have to have a collapse of Mets' like proportions to mess this one up. The magic # to clinch the East is 13 and the magic # to clinch a playoff spot is 10, and could be 9 if the Rangers lose tonight. Even if they go .500 the rest of the way they'd still make it. The Rangers would have to run the table and sorry, but that ain't happening. It's a pretty safe bet that October baseball is returning to the Bronx. They've got a kind of important game tomorrow against the Angels. The Halos currently have the 2nd best AL Record and are 5 games behind the Yanks (4 in loss column). It's important to win this game (and the 3 others next week) as it'll likely determine which team has home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. The Yankees have an AL-high 52 home wins (tied with Red Sox). Home-field advantage would be huge. Then again, they also have an AL-high 42 road wins, so they're looking good either way.

Speaking of looking good, my bed is looking good right about now. I got about 4 hours of sleep Friday night. Last night I went to bed at 10:30, expecting my 2-year old to wake up at about 6:30 and he wakes up at 4:15. I'm hoping he sleeps a little longer tonight. Wish me luck.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,