Random thoughts on yesterday's loss

Photo courtesy of the NY Daily News

-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 let it loose. I wouldn’t go so far as bumping him from the rotation, but with the off days coming up it may be time to let him skip a start and clear his head.

Marcus Thames. Have you ever seen a worse defensive Left Fielder? He makes me pine for Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui’s gloves.… Click here to read the rest

Game 18: Yankees 4, Angels 8

Robinson Cano continued to tear things up with a solo homer in the sixth, bringing the Yankees within a run of Los Angeles.  New York’s renewed hope was short-lived, however, when the Angels put up some insurance runs in the seventh.  Damaso Marte replaced Alfredo Aceves with one out and promptly walked Bobby Abreu and hit Torii Hunter with a pitch.  Hideki Matsui hit into a fielder’s choice, but Kendry Morales smacked a three-run homer to left center, giving the Angels the 8-4 lead.

Bronx Cheers:
Javier Vazquez: He got threw the first couple innings relatively unscathed, but completely fell apart in the fourth.  He gave up five runs on five hits in just 3.2 innings.  Vazquez gave up three walks and struck out three.

Damaso Marte: Remember during the playoffs when Marte was actually pretty awesome?  Well, that was most definitely not the pitcher who was throwing for the Yankees Sunday.  Marte gave up three runs on one hit and a walk in just .2 innings.… Click here to read the rest

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.… Click here to read the rest

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 … or Roger Clemens … or John Calipari … or Roy Williams … or Barry Bonds … or just about any other athlete or coach who might spark negative views (even if is is because they are so positively portrayed), there will likely be a swam or people who will tell you (with gusto) that you are wrong. There are a lot of people who believe John Rocker was misunderstood.

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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 in the AL East.
Despite that, I’m concerned about the offense. The team’s recent run drought didn’t surprise me one bit, not when our two best offensive players, Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez, have combined for only 4 home runs. So far the opposite has surprised me. I’m pleasantly surprised the team is producing so many runs when it’s 2 and 3 hitters are both well shy of the Mendoza Line.
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Keeping up with the ex-Yanks

Photo courtesy of the Associated Press

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 since I received so many requests to include him last time.

Melky Cabrera

G-16 PA-65 H-8 BB-8 HR-0 BA-.143  OBP-.250 SLG-.179 OPS-.429

Hideki Matsui

G-19 PA-79 H-22 BB-8 HR-4 BA-.310  OBP-.380 SLG-.563 OPS-.943

Johnny Damon

G-18 PA-75 H-20 BB-13 HR-0 BA-.328  OBP-.453 SLG-.426 OPS-.880

Ian Kennedy

G-4 ERA-4.43 IP-22.1 H-18 ER-11 BB-7 SO-21 WHIP-1.12

Austin Jackson

G-17 PA-82 H-23 BB-7 HR-0 BA-.307  OBP-.366 SLG-.413 OPS-.779

Arodys Vizcaino (A)

G-3 ERA-4.24 IP-17 H-19 ER-8 BB-5 SO-13 WHIP-1.41

Xavier Nady

G-13 PA-32 H-6 BB-2 HR-1 BA-.222  OBP-.344 SLG-.333 OPS-.677

Brian Bruney

G-9 ERA-5.40 IP-8.1 H-5 ER-5 BB-9 SO-6 WHIP-1.680

Phil Coke

G-9 ERA-2.16 IP-8.1 H-10 ER-2 BB-6 SO-4 WHIP1.92

Mike Dunn (AAA)

G-5 ERA-1.29 IP-7 H-5 ER-1 BB-2 SO-9 WHIP-1.00

Jose Tabata (AAA)

G-14 PA-67 H-20 BB-5 HR-1 BA-.323  OBP-.373 SLG-.403 OPS-.776… Click here to read the rest

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 scrub two weeks ago.

But the story of the game was another ridiculous start from the apparently ageless Andy Pettitte. In picking up his third victory of the year, Pettitte lowered his ERA to an AL-leading 1.29.

Here are Pettitte’s numbers on the season so far:
1.29 ERA, 22 Ks, 1.07 WHIP, 2.51 FIP, 3.63 xFIP

And just for fun, here are Halladay’s season numbers in Quadruple A:
0.82 ERA, 28 Ks, 0.88 WHIP, 1.98 FIP, 2.45 xFIP

While no one expects Pettitte to continue pitching this well, it has been an absolute treat to get results like this from the veteran lefty thus far.… Click here to read the rest

Joba blows game on Morales HR

Photo courtesy of the NY Daily News

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 pitch, he allowed the first three batters he faced to reach base. Matsui hit a single, then Morales hit a 2-run HR, then Juan Rivera singled before Joba induced 3 fly ball outs to close out the frame. It’s not as if the fly balls were lame ducks, either. They were hit pretty hard and the outfielders were able to flag them down.… Click here to read the rest

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 a tough game and were seemingly on base in every inning. Kendry Morales was the star of the night, going 3-3 with a huge go-ahead two-run home run off Joba Chamberlain, who looked flat-out awful in the eighth inning. Speaking of Joba, what the hell is going on with him? He’s been anything but a sure thing in the ‘pen thus far this season, and Joe Girardi is crazy if Joba is indeed his eighth inning guy despite h not having pitched worth a damn yet in 2010.… Click here to read the rest