Who would have thought…
- The Yankees’ pitching staff would allow the fewest walks in the American League after finishing ninth the past two seasons?
- That same pitching staff would lead the American League in strikeout to walk ratio?
- That at this point in the season, Eric Chavez would have 220 plate appearances and still have his highest wOBA since 2004?
- That Derek Jeter would have a lower walk percentage than Robinson Cano and still have his best OBP since 2009?
- That his same Jeter would have his highest wOBA and slugging percentage since 2009 and be batting .320 in the middle of August?
- Raul Ibanez would field his position better than Curtis Granderson has fielded his?
- That Raul Ibanez would field at all?
- That after last season, Cory Wade would disappear?
- That two castoffs named Cody Eppley and Clay Rapada would have important roles and both have an ERA of 3.00 or better?
- That Joba Chamberlain would throw any innings this season after that trampoline accident?
It’s no secret that Yankee Stadium is a known for it’s small dimensions, it’s shallow right field porch, and its gritting relationship with right handed fly ball pitchers. Phil Hughes knows, and his career 12.3% HR/FB in Yankee Stadium contrasts with a 7.1% on the road. It wasn’t too long ago that
David Adams hits a two run home run in the very first inning, and that would be all the runs Trenton could muster in the game. Adams would do his best, however, adding two more doubles to finish the night 3-4 with eight total bases and two runs driven in, for a pretty good day at the office. The Thunder didn’t get the job done on the mound, however, giving up the early lead by allowing two runs in the first inning, the go-ahead run in the third, and two runs in each of the sixth and seventh innings. Starter Mikey O’Brien was charged with five of the runs, four of which were earned, while allowing nine hits and a walk with five strikeouts in six innings. Mark Montgomery worked a perfect eighth inning, striking out two.
The Yankees got seven hits, two walks, and benefited from an error by Clearwater tonight, but couldn’t bring a single runner home and found themselves on the wrong end of a goose egg.…
As good as Kuroda was in this game, the outcome of the game was in doubt until the seventh inning as the Rangers’ starter, Matt Harrison, matched Kuroda zero for zero for the first six innings. The Yankees had Harrison on the ropes early and could not deliver the knockout blow. Two-out rallies in the second and third pushed Harrison’s pitch count to 60+ pitches by the end of the third inning. Inexplicably after the third, the Yankees started swinging and putting in play first-pitch pitches by Harrison to allow him some quick innings and hang in the game through six plus.
In the bottom of the seventh, the Yankees finally pushed across some runs. Harrison retired Nix to start the inning. But then Derek Jeter laced a line drive single to center and Ron Washington came out to pull Harrison. With what happened after, it is easy to second guess Washington’s decision. Harrison was at 106 pitches when Washington came out.…