Thoughts On Yesterday's Thriller

  • Melky Cabrera came up with another walk-off hit, his third of the season, to cap a three run ninth inning. I was not a big believer in Melky coming into the season, and I think it is dangerous to judge a player during their hottest stretch in years. That being said, Melky looks a lot better at the plate, taking more pitches and being more selective on pitches up and out of the zone. Pretty soon a good stretch will turn into a good season, and I will be forced to happily admit that I was wrong about the Melk Man.
  • Alex Rodriguez is Mr. Clutch. With the Yankees on the verge of losing their second straight disappointing game against an average at-best starter, he drove a ball into the right field seats to tie the game. He has been having better at-bats over the last week, and is reaching base at a .381 clip and slugging .653. With a BABIP of .088, his .204 batting average is likely to go up as hits begin to fall for him.
  • Seriously, Fox? John Mayberry Jr. hits his first career home run, and you pan to some random dude in Phillies gear about a thousand times before realizing that you do not in fact have the player’s father on screen. Good job on the research there.
  • Johnny Damon has slowed down a bit, but he drew a huge walk to start the 9th yesterday. With the way balls are flying out of the Stadium these days, the easiest way to start a rally against a pitcher with hard breaking stuff is to keep the bat on your shoulder and try to work a walk. Damon did so, and it paid off.
  • Nick Swisher and Hideki Matsui have both been slumping pretty badly lately. Kudos to Joe Girardi for being willing to move Melky ahead of Swish based on their current performance. The Yankees really need Xavier Nady back, to spell both players and to play against lefties.
  • Ramiro Pena and Frankie Cervelli have both slowed down as well, a development that most of us expected. As I said last week, both are great defensive players who are not overwhelmed at the plate, and both should be members of this bench for a long time. Neither is a starter, and I am pretty sure that the Yankees feel the same way, being that they did not seem to care about possibly stunting the development of either player.
  • Andy Pettitte’s best days are behind him, but he will keep this team in every game. If Chien Ming Wang can get back to form, Pettitte will become the league’s best fifth starter.
  • Robinson Cano went 2-4 and is back up to .314. It seems that his weak play last week was just a slump, and that he has left 2008 behind.
  • Phil Coke gives up a few too many home runs, but he seems to be turning into a fairly reliable reliever as a rookie. That bodes well for his future.

0 thoughts on “Thoughts On Yesterday's Thriller

  1. Not sure I buy the ‘stunting their development’ stuff on Pena and Cervelli. If anything, you might jump start their progress when they are both eventually sent back to AA. That will seem like a picnic compared to the bigs.

    Also, Melky’s development wasn’t stunted by his disastrous 2006 callup. To quote Brian Cashman “The good ones will find their way back.” Often times, we seem to blame an early call up on a players failure, when we really have no idea if they would have ever succeeded at this level.

    • Yeah, but Pena was expected to sit on the bench for 6 weeks doing nothing.

  2. I had always agreed with you about Melky, but check this out:

    Similar Batters through 23
    View Player Links in Pop-up
    Compare Stats to Similars

    1. Curt Flood (969)
    2. Bobby Tolan (968)
    3. Jimmy Sebring (965)
    4. Jose Cardenal (962)
    5. Jose Guillen (962)
    6. Sixto Lezcano (960)
    7. Harry Heilmann (959) *
    8. Cliff Heathcote (958)
    9. Paul Blair (957)
    10. Johnny Damon (957)

    (Baseball Ref Melky’s player page)

    Curt Flood is his best comp, and he was a very good player. Those are some pretty good players on that list. Most of them got some MVP votes in their prime. This is why I’ve never totally given up on Melky.