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.

10 thoughts on “Some thoughts from the Red Sox series

  1. jay_robertson

    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. Norm

    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.

    • roadrider

      Well, "havoc on the base paths" is one of the most overrated aspects of the game in my opinion but that aside Suzuki has a sub .300 OBP. How much "havoc" do you expect him to create if he can't get on base consistently? And what does what spot in the order he's batting have to do with how much "havoc" he can create on the base paths? Gardner wasn't batting lead off either you know. Having Suzuki lead off will only take at bats away from far more productive players.

      As William pointed out, Suzuki had three chances to do something with runners in scoring position and did not come through. A single base hit in any one those situations would have meant far more to the Yankees chances than any "havoc on the base paths' would have.

  3. Frank S.

    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.

    • BrienJackson

      Um, no. Jeter wasn't hitting particularly well after he gave up on his new swing, and only started hitting again after he got hurt and went to Tampa to work out and…spend a lot of time making adjustments to his swing.

      • Frank S.

        How is what I said incorrect? He still only started hitting again AFTER scrapping Long's adjustments, even if he needed to also spend some time in Tampa working on his swing (and not incorporating Long's adjustments) to do so.

  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. michael

    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. friend

    "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. roadrider

    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 …

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