Monday, September 7, 2009

Wrapping Up The Toronto Series

I'm back from Toronto. I was up the middle 2 games of the 4 game series. I saw the Yankees lose to Halladay on Friday, and win on Saturday. I was back home for Sunday's game. I'm going to wrap these 3 games up in one long post, so buckle in. I'll post about the autograph seeking a little later on. So stay tuned for that.

I kind of expected the Yankees to lose to Halladay. I didn't expect them to be held to 1 hit. Halladay looked great. Joba, on the other hand, not so much. I was talking to a couple of my Toronto buddies after the game and some felt it was an embarrassing loss for the Yankees. I have to disagree with that. Sure getting held to 1-hit is pretty bad, but it is Roy Halladay, who is arguably the best pitcher in the game. I'm also not overly concerned about the pitching. With the exception of Joba, none of the relievers (Melancon, Ramirez, Albaladejo, and Dunn) the Yankees used in that game are going to see the light of day once the postseason starts. So it's not like the team the Yankees used on Friday was a fair representation of the Yankees. Even the offense was a little light. If you need proof of that, just like at their 2-hitter. It was Eric Hinske. Ramiro Pena also got the start. Even had the lineup been at full strength it wouldn't have mattered. They weren't going to hit Halladay. I thought that early on. I started pulling for the perfect game/no-hitter around the 5th inning. I thought he had a real shot at it. Doc looked that good. It's hard to believe that Ramiro Pena broke it up. I didn't see that coming. So I saw a 1-hitter. Pretty cool. I once saw Randy Johnson pitch a 2-hitter when he played for the Diamondbacks. He gave up 2 solo shots and lost to the Pirates 2-0. The game took an hour and a half. Talk about quick. One of the things I hope I see before all is said and done is a perfect game or a no-hitter. My buddy Don had the good fortune of being at David Cone's perfect game. Lucky jerk.

Saturday was a much better day. The weather was absolutely gorgeous. The Rogers Centre is an absolutely beautiful place to be when the sun is shining and the dome is open. Then again, what ballpark isn't, right? I'm glad I was up there for this game. I wanted to see Andy Pettitte pitch one last time in person. Who knows? This could be his final go-round in Pinstripes. AP didn't disappoint. I blogged the other day that I thought the Yankees were going to run into a bump or two with the starters they were using in Toronto. Chad Gaudin, Joba, and Sergio Mitre aren't exactly guys that will go much past the 5th inning, if that. I knew Andy was going to be out there, good or bad, for at least 6. Andy didn't throw a bad game, but it wasn't one of his best. He had some control issues, which I could see from my vantage point. All things considered, not a bad day for AP. He picked up win #13. Andy has surprised me this year. I didn't expect him to be 13-6 with a 4.10 ERA at this point in the season. He's definitely been a bright spot.

Speaking of bright spots, Phil Hughes is freakin' awesome, eh? He was, again, untouchable, striking out 3 of the 4 hitters he faced. I love watching Phil pitch, especially in person. I really hope people are starting to take to Hughes like they took to Joba. I still think it's pretty ridiculous how fast Joba's star rose. I mean, they were selling Chamberlain 62" shirts up here in the local Dick's Sporting Goods after his 1st September in the majors. I still can't believe that. I've said it before. I'll say it again. Hughes is, was, and will always be the better pitcher of the two. If you ask me, Hughes is doing better in his stint as the 8th inning guy. Where's the love for Phil? He deserves it. I can't wait for him to get back into the rotation.

Now speaking of low spots, I've officially dubbed Nick Swisher as "The Rally Killer." I was talking to my buddy about that before the game started. I saw him listed in the 2-hole and I was like, oh crap. I hate Swisher batting 2nd. He has the OBP for it, but the average is too low and the Ks are too high. I prefer to see Swish as low in the order as possible. Let him get on base for the top of the order to drive in. Keep him away from the top. So what's Nick do? He goes 1-5 and comes up empty with 8 runners on base. He popped out with 2 out and the bases juiced in the 2nd. He grounded out to 3rd with 2 on and 2 out in the 4th. He grounded out with 2 on and 2 out in the 9th. Like I said, he's a rally killer. Keep him out of the 2-hole.

I had an interesting exchange with another of my buddies while I was up there. He wanted the Yankees to deal Phil Hughes, Joba, Robbie Cano, and other stuff for Aaron Hill, Ricky Romero, and Roy Halladay. The Yankees would have been ridiculously stupid to do a deal like that. At least that's what I think. Anyway, the conversation focused around Cano and Aaron Hill. He prefers Hill to Cano. What? I did everything I could to try and convince him that Cano is better. Here's my argument: 1)He's 7 months younger than Hill. 2)He hits for a higher average. 3)His OBP is higher. 4)Despite having fewer HRs, his SLG is higher. 5)Cano is a lefty. Hill is a righty. Lefties will do much better in Yankee Stadium. 6)In 709 games, Cano is a career .306 hitter with an .817 OPS. In 610 career games, Hill is a .284 hitter with a .766 OPS. Pretty convincing argument wouldn't you say? He didn't go for it. I think he's blinded by Hill's 31 HRs. Hill has some pop, no doubt, but it's one season. He'll flatten out. I'll take Cano any day.

Sunday's game was an ugly game. Sergio Mitre remembered he was Sergio Mitre, and got hammered. That was ugly. Like with Friday's loss, nobody at all should put any stock in this loss. Mitre, Melancon, and Towers aren't going to be pitching in a few weeks. Anything they do should be of no real concern to any Yankee fan. It was also an ugly game defensively. Just ugly. Ramiro Pena and Jerry Hairston committed 2 of the errors. They won't be playing much come October. Mark Teixeira and Robbie Cano committed the other two. They both have a shot at winning the Gold Glove award this year. I have no concerns about the sloppy defense from that game. While I'm talking about the Gold Glove Award, Jeter, Cano, and Teixeira could each bring home that award. I wonder if that's ever happened in a season. I'm sure it has but I'm too lazy to look it up. The team was fine offensively yesterday. They scored 8 runs on 13 hits. Most days you do that and you win. I guess when Sergio Mitre pitches, 8 runs isn't good enough. All of the offense love right now deservedly is going to Derek Jeter. The Captain is rocking. His 3 hits yesterday put him 3 behind Lou Gehrig for the most-hits all time by a Yankee. He plays two today and could easily pick up the 3 hits needed to tie, or the 4 needed to break the record. He's no doubt going to break that record on this homestand. I really hope he does it today because tomorrow's game is on My9 and we still don't get those games here in Buffalo. I'm assuming the MLB Network will be doing live break-ins whenever he's up so I'm probably covered. But I really hope that record falls today.

The game's about to start. We've got a double-dip today. Not a bad way to spend a Monday. It sure as hell beats work. CC Sabathia goes in the opener. A.J. Burnett goes in the nightcap. One is hot. One is not. A sweep is possible, but a split is more likely. Lots of reasons to watch today. Enjoy the games.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,



FK said...

Cano over Aaron Hill?

It is nice that you are able to drink so much and still write such complete posts. Usually when people are that intoxicated they pass out, or vomit, or drunk dial their exes.

J-Boogie said...

Yeah, I can be pretty coherent when I'm a little liquered up.

If you feel the opposite way, how about letting me know why. Drop some reasons on me.