Tuesday, April 15, 2008
So after the first two weeks of the 2008 season, the Yanks are 7-7. Not bad considering their bats have been sleeping for the most part and Captain Jeter was out for 6 games (the Yankees went 2-4), missing the weekend series against the BoSox (It was Jeter's first missed game against Boston since '96).
What's surprising most people (not me) has been their starting pitching. Chien-Ming Wang is 3-0 and two hit the Red Sox at Fenway Friday night (This was exactly one year after Felix Hernandez 1 hit the Sox at Fenway). If Bobby Abreu would have jumped more than 6 inches off the ground, he would have robbed J.D. Drew of a solo shot and probably no hit the Sox.
Pettitte and Mussina have looked good. Moose pitched a good game Saturday at Boston. If it wasn't for Manny (early favorite for MVP) Ramirez and Joe Girardi's young managerial mistake, Mussina would have gotten a W. With runners on second and third, Girardi went out to talk to Moose. Mussina talked Girardi out of intentionally walking Manny, who taken Mussina deep in his previous at bat. Manny then delivered the go ahead double.
Phil Hughes had one good start against Toronto but got the loss. Sunday night Hughes got his first taste of Yankees/Red Sox rivalry and got hit up for 7 runs. Hughes had problems getting ahead of batters which was obviously his downfall. You also had to look at the fact that Hughes and Jose Molina must have been having communication problems. In the first inning, the Yanks did a pitch out and Molina made a bad throw that allowed Jacoby Ellsbury to take third. Ellsbury later scored on a wild pitch. Molina also had a passed ball/wild pitch which allowed another run. Give the Yankees bullpen credit, they only allowed one run after the third inning.
Ian Kennedy looked great against a real dangerous Tampa team until he was knocked out of the game by a line drive. Let's hope he's ok.
The one thing Girardi has brought to the Yankees that we never saw Joe Torre do is move runners over by sacrificing. Wow! There's an idea!
Game 3 against Toronto. Bottom of the 8th game tied 2-2. Melky Cabrera singles, Johnny Damon bunts and is safe at first on an error. Jeter then bunts and all of a sudden runners on 2nd and 3rd and one out. Bobby Abreu singles in the go ahead run and the Yanks win 3-2.
Last Friday at Fenway. Jose Molina doubles. Alberto Gonzalez bunts him over to 3rd and Cabrera hits a sac fly to score Molina.
Saturday at Boston. Molina and Gonzalez both single. Damon bunts them over. Cabrera hits another sac fly and Gonzalez later scores on a wild pitch.
Then Sunday night, Girardi goes against all of this.
Top of the 8th, Yankees cut the Red Sox lead to 7-5, the first two batters get on and Damon comes up with runners on 2nd and 3rd no one out. Girardi doesn't sacrafice and Damon hits into a double play. Threat over.
Already, A-Rod has failed to deliver in the clutch.
Saturday's game against Boston. 8th inning, two runners on, two outs and A-Rod up. Jon Papelbon comes in. Talk about suspense. The game is then delayed for over two hours. When play resumes, Paplebon K's A-Rod.
Sunday night, the Yanks put runners on first and second against Dice-K (Who throws a ton of pitches and has a hard time throwing strikes) with A-Rod up. And A-Rod hits into an inning ending double play. Dam!
Last night against the Rays (that still sounds silly), the Yankee bats finally awoke but their bullpen nearly blew it. Robinson Cano came off the bench to save the day with a go ahead solo shot.
So once again, the middle relief for the Yankees is questionable, showing why Joba needs to stay in the bullpen. Joba's back in Lincoln with his ailing father. Latroy Hawkins will really have to step it up.
The Rivalry resumes at Yankee Stadium Wednesay night.