Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Ivan Nova Shines, Rafael Soriano Doesn't, And The Yankees Bats Don't Help Anybody Out

Like last night, I don't feel like blogging much after that loss. I could cut and paste yesterday's blog into this one, change a few things, and it would work, but that would be lazy. It was a tough loss and there a plenty of things you can point to as contributing factors but the bottom line is when you don't hit you shouldn't win. Four hits isn't getting the job done. The Yankees could have won a game tonight they shouldn't have but alas, it wasn't meant to be.

I didn't get to see much of Ivan Nova's outing but I saw a little bit here and there in between doing some things around the house. I didn't need to see it to know it was the best start of his career. He looked good and for once the wheels didn't fall off in the middle innings. It was actually the longest start of his career. I'm very encouraged by it. It's too bad he didn't pick up the W.

I did find it curious that Joe Girardi left him in to pitch the 7th. Now don't take that the wrong way. I'm glad he did. It was the right call. But I'm curious why he left him in and not Freddy Garcia a few days earlier. The two had very similar outings through the first 6 innings. Here's what we know: Garcia had thrown 90 pitches thru 6, Nova 85. Nova had pitched 1 inning in the last 11 days. Garcia was virtually unhittable and was pulled with a 3-0 lead. Nova had good stuff and was left in with a 2-1 lead. Garcia is an experienced pitcher who's been there before. It was Nova's deepest start of his career. I thought that Joe should have left Garcia in to start the 7th like he did with Nova tonight. I'm curious why the change in philosophy because if anything, Garcia's situation was a little better. The only thing I can think of is age. Anybody have any thoughts?

Girardi made another curious move in the 9th when he had Curtis Granderson give himself up with no outs and Jeter, they tying run, on 1st. Based on my Twitter timeline there were very few people that were OK with the move. I was one of those OK with it. Now that's not to say I wasn't a staunch supporter of the bunt. I hate giving away outs and am not a huge fan of sac bunts to begin with. All I'm saying is I get the logic behind it. Here's my take on it: It was a lefty-lefty matchup. Granderson is his career was 2-15 vs. Thornton. Granted, Granderson has done much better vs. LHPs since last year and Thornton is struggling, but that matchup still favors Thornton in my opinion. I get why you'd want to put the tying run at 2nd with your 3, 4, and 5 hitters waiting to drive them home. There's no way to know what would have happened had Curtis had the green light to swing away. It could have been a double play. Nobody knows. If not for two unbelievable catches by Brent Lillibridge the move would have worked. Hindsight is 20-20. Bunting may not have been the right move but it wasn't a wrong move, if that makes sense. Damn you Brent Lillibridge.

Who would have guessed that the Yankees starting rotation would be a positive and the bullpen would be a negative? The Yankees rotation has been awesome over the last 5 games. Over the last 5 games the 5 SPs have combined to throw 35 innings, allowing 21 hits and 9 walks, while striking out 26 and allowing 7 ER. That works out to an ERA of 1.80 and a WHIP of 0.86. That's outstanding.

The bullpen, specifically the major players, have been scuffling over the last 3 games. We've seen 2 blown saves by Mariano Rivera. We've seen Joba gave up a 2-run HR. We've seen Rafael Soriano pitch in the last 2 games and absolutely stink up the joint. In those 2 innings he's allowed 4 hits, 2 walks, a HBP, a HR and 3 runs. Simply put that's terrible. And that's putting it nicely. Soriano has been a sore spot in the pen but I'm not ready to give up on him yet. I have some faith but it's wavering.

I was planning on writing a little more but I've been having laptop issues and I'm on a backup computer. I wasted about 20 minutes tinkering with that and in addition to being tired I've grown agitated, and I still have to iron clothes for tomorrow. So I'll leave you with this: As I mentioned above you shouldn't win if you don't hit the ball. The Yankees offense has been non-existent these last few games. Talk about no run support. You can blame the bullpen. You can blame Girardi. But none of that matters in you don't hit the ball.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,



Uncle Mike said...

I was there, down the right field line, with a great view of both homers (Cano and Gardner) and the What's His Name catches to end it. Nova was fine. He had good control and looked very poised. Girardi should have left him in. Failing that, he should have left Robertson in. Soriano had nothing and got the hell booed out of him, but they should have saved it for Girardi. He blew the game.