Like the gorgeous weather of the last few days, baseball returned to us this week in grand fashion. The season started on Sunday night with our beloved Bombers taking on the rival Red Sox in Boston. The series ended last night when Mariano Rivera induced a fly ball to left field off the bat of catcher Victor Martinez. As the Yankees fly (back) south to Tampa to take on the Rays for the first time in 2010, let’s wrap this first series up.
–At the plate, the Yankees did one thing overwhelmingly well in this opening series: take pitches. While we may chalk some of this up to pitcher rustiness and lack of control, the Yankees were ultra-patient in Fenway. Nick Johnson walked five times in the series (including a game winning bases loaded BB in game two) and defined the Yankees offensive approach for the series: wait for the right pitch. Unfortunately for Nick, he waited a bit too much and left Boston without any hits (they’ll come).
–Robinson Cano and Curtis Granderson both looked strong in the series, as they hit the ball very hard.
–Jorge Posada’s hitting well thus far, too, though he looks like a turtle on the basepaths.
–Zero hits each for Johnson and Mark Teixeira. Obviously, this trend isn’t going to continue, but it would’ve been nice to see them collect at least one hit in Boston.
–Granderson didn’t look too great against lefties. It’s only three games, but Curtis looked iffy against the lefties the Sox threw at him. In my amateur opinion, it seems as if Granderson’s discipline goes away against lefties. He swings at pitches he’d never swing at otherwise and it gets him into trouble. Like with Tex and Johnson, though, I have faith in Curtis righting his ship.
–What was with all those Jeter groundouts to shortstop? None of them seemed to be hit all that hard either.
–Two out of three nights, the bullpen was fantastic. While it couldn’t get the job done on Sunday, it pitched brilliantly on Tuesday and Wednesday. Both Chan Ho Park (CHoP) and Joba Chamberlain looked much better in their second appearances than in their first. And though I’m still not happy he’s in the bullpen, it was great to see Joba let a fist pump fly after the 8th on Tuesday.
–The only bad thing from this series in terms of pitching was that CC Sabathia ran out of gas in the sixth on Sunday. I can’t get too mad about this, though, because CC’s not been great in April historically and most pitchers aren’t very stretched out at this point. I don’t expect this to be a problem going forward.
The Yanks play again on Friday against the Rays. Javier Vazquez will make his season debut for New York and he will face David Price, also making his season debut.