Random thoughts on yesterday's loss

-First and foremost, Javier Vazquez. Yes, it’s time to start worrying about him. He clearly has no confidence in his fastball, and for good reason. He’s only throwing it about 1/3 of the time, so from a hitters’ perspective pretty much everything is off speed. He needs to challenge hitters and set up his breaking stuff with the fastball, or else hitters can just sit back and look for the slow stuff. He says he feels fine physically, so much like with Phil Hughes in recent years it’s just a matter of getting him to trust his stuff more and Continue reading Random thoughts on yesterday's loss

Game 18: Yankees 4, Angels 8

After improving over his last couple starts, Javier Vazquez took a big step back on Sunday afternoon.  To make matters worse, the Yankees’ offense was no where to be seen, despite the fact that Scott Kazmir did not look particularly good.  The Yankees tried to close out their west coast trip with their sixth straight series win, but the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim spoiled the fun with an 8-4 defeat of New York.

There was tension from the start of the game, when Scott Kazmir began the second inning by just missing Robinson Cano.  The next pitch did not miss, hitting Cano in the back and putting him on first base.  Jorge Posada provided some immediate karma as he got all of the first pitch he saw and parked it over the center field fence.  Marcus Thames followed with a double and moved to third on a sac bunt by Curtis Granderson.  Thames scored on a groundout by Derek Jeter and the Yankees took a 3-0 early lead.

The Halos struck back in the bottom of the third, getting their first run on a solo homer by Bobby Abreu, but it was the bottom of the fourth when things really fell apart for the Bronx Bombers and Javier Vazquez.  With one out, Kendry Morales singled to right.  Vazquez hit Juan Rivera with a pitch and Howard Kendrick followed with a RBI single, scoring Morales.  Mike Napoli walked and Brandon Wood drove a double to the outfield to give the Angels the lead.  A groundout by Maicer Izturis put another run on the board for the Halos and they held a 5-3 edge at the end of the inning.

(click “view full post” to read more) Continue reading Game 18: Yankees 4, Angels 8

Johnson out until Tuesday

If you’re watching the Yankees game right now, you might be wondering where Nick Johnson is as Jorge Posada is today’s DH. Well, yesterday we learned that the brittle Johnson was experiencing some seeminly minor stiffness in his lower back, so, to be safe, Joe Girardi has chosen to give him another day off. The Yankees also don’t play tomorrow, meaning that Johnson will actually receive three days off to recuperate. Hopefully the off-days will allow him to clear his head, too, given his offensive struggles.

Defending A-Rod

I do not usually quote very large blocks of texts, but I want to make an exception in this case. Joe Posnanski hits all the right notes, as usual: In this, A-Rod may be singular in our sports scene. Everybody else has rabid defenders. If you take a moment to bash Bob Knight … or Tiger Woods … or Tony La Russa … or Derek Jeter … or Terrell Owens … or Kobe Bryant … or Ben Roethlisberger … or Michael Vick … … or Peyton Manning … or Tim Tebow … or Phil Mickelson … or Randy Moss … Continue reading Defending A-Rod

Taking inventory, offense edition

Before I get started, a quick analysis of the pitching is in order. The team ERA is 3.43 and the team WHIP is 1.20. Those are good enough for 4th and 1st in the majors respectively. If Javier Vazquez comes around then all five starters will be performing at or above expectations, at least to start the season. The offense is no slouch either. The team ranks somewhere between 1st and 3rd place in the majors in Avg, Runs, OBP, SLG, OPS and Steals. Tampa Bay is as good as advertised, or the Yankees would have a 2.5 game lead Continue reading Taking inventory, offense edition

Keeping up with the ex-Yanks

Here’s another installment on how the former Yanks from the 2009 championship team have been faring this year. Ian Kennedy had a tremendous outing facing the tough Phillies lineup yesterday, by far his best of the year. He went 8 innings and gave up just 4 hits, 1 BB and 2 runs (both solo HRs). You may have also been able to see Melky go 1-4 yesterday and have trouble with the sun catching a fly ball if you’re in the NY or ATL area, since the Mets played the Braves yesterday. Note-Due to popular demand, I’m adding Jose Tabata Continue reading Keeping up with the ex-Yanks

What's up now, Pineiro?

Apparently the Yankees have their own version of Roy Halladay in Andy Pettitte, who tossed a fourth straight gem in hurling 8 innings of one-run ball in the Yankees’ 7-1 win over the Halos in the Saturday afternoon Fox Game of Death. I only saw bits and pieces of the game but did manage to catch Frankie Cervelli’s big two-out two-run base hit in the fourth. Robbie Cano’s torrid hitting continued and the offense finally busted out of its mini three-game slump, tagging Joel Pineiro for six runs — this was particularly sweet, especially after getting owned by the journeyman Continue reading What's up now, Pineiro?

Joba blows game on Morales HR

Last night, with the game tied 4-4 in the 8th inning Yankee manager Joe Girardi called on Joba Chamberlain to hold the Angels and give the Yanks a chance to win. He recently officially named Chamberlain as his bridge to Mo, and in a tie game on the road he wanted his best bullpen pitcher (not named Rivera) to hold down the fort and give the Yanks a chance to win the game in the top of the 9th with Tex and Alex coming up to bat. Joba didn’t pitch well. It’s not as if it was only one bad Continue reading Joba blows game on Morales HR

Offensive hibernation continues as Yankees drop second straight

Friday night’s game against the Angels looked as though it might get out of hand quickly, as A.J. Burnett had almost nothing in the early going, but ultimately managed to somewhat limit the damage, tossing 6 1/3 innings of four-run ball. While not an ideal outing from Burnett, the Yankees still managed four runs of their own (although they were unable to grant my wish). Unfortunately, the team apparently forgot how to hit after the fourth inning, going hitless for the remainder of the evening and ultimately losing a winnable game to the Angels 6-4. As always, the Angels played Continue reading Offensive hibernation continues as Yankees drop second straight