Some thoughts from the Red Sox series

– As faithful reader, Jay Robertston, stated in a recent comment, the Yankees have reached a tipping point with their outfield defense. Granderson’s gaffe was awful on Saturday night and makes this writer look totally stupid for defending his defense the other day. And Andruw Jones could not have had a worse game in the outfield yesterday. Watching Jones play outfield is sort of like watching Joe Namath after he left the Jets. It is obvious that this once gifted outfielder could not run down a racing president at a Nationals game. Hopefully Swisher will return tonight and Ichiro Suzuki will end the misery in left.

Derek Jeter looked almost rangy in two plays yesterday up the middle. One he converted into an out and the second was victimized by too speedy a runner. It was still nice to see.

– It was a few weeks back when the Yankees had several runners thrown out at the plate, or is the memory mistaken? Anyway, ever since then, how many times has the Yankees’ third base coach stopped a runner at third on a double or a single? As one tweet from a follow mentioned over the weekend, the Yankees have gone from not being able to get a hit with runners in scoring position to not being able to score from second when there is such a hit. What is all this station to station stuff? If you have Ichiro Suzuki on second and he is still one of the fastest men in baseball, you don’t send him on a single? If Ichiro scores on that play, the Yankees win. It’s that simple. Andruw Jones scoring from second to tie yesterday’s game was the first time in quite a while where the Yankees took such a chance. And it wouldn’t be a surprise of Jones ran through a stop sign.

Pedro Ciriaco is a nice little player. He should probably be the Red Sox’ shortstop right now. He has great range and is a good offensive player. But geez, he is not superman, which he was this weekend. Gosh, he will haunt dreams for several nights to come. And in each one, there will be a bloop hit.

– Should the Yankees switch Granderson out of the two-hole? Wouldn’t his strikeouts be better suited in the five-hole? The Yankees should put Swisher in the two-hole, bat Cano at third and Teixeira at cleanup. That’s one man’s opinion anyway.

Russell Martin does not look like an automatic out at the moment. That is progress.

– The Yankees couldn’t ask for much more from the starts of Phil Hughes and Hiroki Kuroda. Both pitched well enough to win but only Hughes did.

– Too much stock is being put into the last two losses and the role of Rafael Soriano and David Robertson in both. There were some unfortunate “hit-em-where-they-ain’t” balls in there. And again, that’s the way the ball bounces. Both are fine and the Yankees are in great shape at the back end of the bullpen.

– Admit it. Come on, admit it. When Josh Beckett got thrown out of yesterday’s game, didn’t you immediately think chicken as he went down the runway?

– If Alfredo Aceves pitched that outing yesterday for the Yankees instead of against them, it would have been painted as legendary and warrior-like. Well, it was. Aceves was amazing for the Red Sox yesterday and you would be silly not to tip a cap to him.

– The Red Sox left-handed relievers were pretty darned effective against the Yankees all weekend. Granderson, other than the grand slam, was shut down most of the weekend as was Robinson Cano.

– Speaking of Cano, he shined in the field in this series, but not at the plate. He looks a lot like the beginning-of-the-season-Cano right now.

– Was that homer by Mark Teixeira off of Vincente Padilla epic or what? Talk about in-your-face! The luster of it was somewhat worn off when Granderson blew the game in center.

C.C. Sabathia is starting to seriously be a worry. Where are the shut-down games? Where are the three-hitters? His dominance has been missed big time.

– Ichiro has been kind of a dud at the plate so far. His stranded runners are piling up and his at bats in those situations have been anemic.

A lot of the bad taste of this series will disappear with a successful series against the Orioles. There is no panic necessary, but things haven’t gone swimmingly in the last week and a half.

About William Tasker

William Tasker grew up in Bergenfield, New Jersey but has lived in New England since 1975 and in the far reaches of northern Maine since 1990. Tasker is the author of nine (non-baseball related) books and, besides writing here for three years, has written for his own site at since 2003.

10 thoughts on “Some thoughts from the Red Sox series

  1. Since it was on opposite the Olympics, some folks might have missed it, but Aceves was pretty cool in the 10th inning. The acting manager came out to pull him and Ace pretty much told him he was staying in, don't worry, I'll get this Aceves guy out. (if you have MLB.TV, or dvr'd it – go back and watch the last conference on the mound, before the last ab. fairly entertaining.)

    And then he did. In Raul's defense, he lasted at least 5 pitches longer than Jones would have.

  2. Two questions. First, why won't they bat Ichiro leadoff? I know his OBP is pretty bad right now, but still, didn't they get him for his speed and outfield defense? I though one of the things he was going to do was fill some of Gardner's role in creating havoc on the base paths. That's not going to happen much if he bats eighth. Second, was I the only one that noticed his obvious flaw when he bats? Every time he swings, it looks as if he's diving away from the plate as he does so. I think it's time for Mr. Long to do that voodoo he does so well with his swing.

  3. He's had that "flaw" his entire career. At one point, he managed to get 268 hits with it. Trying to mess with the swing of a hitter who has over 3000 international career hits and is now 38 years old would be folly. It would be like trying to mess with Derek Jeter's swing. Oh, wait, Long already tried that and DJ only started hitting again after completely scrapping Long's adjustments.

  4. Well said on all points, William, especially the "Granderson to the 5th spot in the lineup" argument. I've been saying that for a few weeks now and the high K totals from that 2-spot are becoming problematic.

  5. The problem with batting Granderson 2nd doesn't have much to do with his (only somewhat) high strikeout rate. He's getting on base enough in front of the presumed slugging 3-4-5 hitters to justify giving him the abundant plate appearances of the 2nd hitter in the lineup. The inefficiency is he is among the league leaders in homers for two years to date. Too many were solo HR, since batters 8, 9, and Jeter are in front of him. A lineup with OBP-heavy Jeter, Rodriguez, and Cano in front of him would likely produce more runs over the season than the current order.

  6. "When Josh Beckett got thrown out of yesterday’s game, didn’t you immediately think chicken as he went down the runway?"

    Actually, my first thought was beer and chicken!

  7. Ichiro has been kind of a dud at the plate so far. His stranded runners are piling up and his at bats in those situations have been anemic.

    I hate to say I told you so …