Tuesday, April 21, 2009

After Horrible Start, Yankees Still 7-6

How the NY Yankees are 7-6 is quite amazing considering their start. They've been blown out of games, most recently the 22-4 home loss to the Indians. They've given up 10 or more runs in 5 of 13 games. Of course all of this has been without A-Rod, Mark Teixeira had a wrist injury, Hideki Matsui had fluid drained from his knee, and Xavier Nady is banged up.

So where do we begin?

Chien-Ming Wang has been the biggest disappointment by far. This is a guy who nearly won the Cy Young a couple of years ago. Wang has been horrendous, which is even an understatement. I'm not sure if Wang has pitched more than three innings in a game. Through 3 starts, here is Wang's line:
34.5 ERA!, 6 innings pitched, 23 hits, 23 earned runs, 6 BB and only 2 K's.

Holy crap! The Yankees have lost 6 games, 3 of them coming in Wang's three starts. But you know what, no matter how bad you get beat in one game, it's just one game.

So Wang gets skipped in the rotation this week. That's a start. The Yankees are going to need more help in the starting rotation. How does Pedro Martinez in pinstripes sound? Right now, not bad.

The Yankees and many others have not given up on Phil Hughes, myself included. I just don't think they're ready to call him up just yet. But expect him in the starting rotation real soon.

Of course the Yankees are really hurting in the bullpen. But you also have to take in account the high number of innings the bullpen has pitched. Heck, when Wang starts, the bullpen has been expected to pitch basically the entire game.

Demaso Marte has been horrible with an ERA sitting at 21.00! Boy, how does that Xavier Nady/Marte trade sound now? The Yankees could have easily picked up Jason Bay instead of Nady. Bay is a much better overall player and has a greater track record than Nady. And of course the Red Sox quickly jumped on Bay after Brian Cashman failed to cash in on that deal. Once again, Theo Epstein got the better of Cashman on that deal.

And who was involved in that Yankees/Pirates trade last summer? The Yankees sent Ross Ohlendorf to the Pirates. All Ohlendorf did yesterday was blank the hottest team in baseball, the Florida Marlins, pitching 7 innings of 2 hit shutout baseball.

In Marte's defense, the left was basically brought in to put out big time left handers like David Ortiz.

The bullpen issues thus far leads me to this...Joba.

Joba Chamberlain is more of a threat in the bullpen. Coming out of the bullpen, he can hold down the 7th and 8th innings and is the perfect setup for the Yankees most lethal weapon, Mariano Rivera. Also, the Yankees can use Joba 4 to 5 times a week.

The lone bright spot in the Yanks' bullpen has been Brian Bruney with a 2.57 ERA.

But so far, the trusty Yankee veterans have kept the team together. Andy Pettitte has looked good. Captain Derek Jeter has already won two games with a homerun. Jorge Posada won the game on Sunday. And Rivera has been unhittable.

Robinson Cano is notorious for starting slow and finishing strong, has come out his year on fire, batting .388.

And Nick Swisher is already a fan favorite batting .333 and his 4 homeruns leads the team. And oh, he's also pitched one inning with one strikeout and a 0.00 ERA.

So we'll see if Wang can get back to what he's capable of and wait for A-Rod's return. If the Yankees can keep their heads above water, they're still one of the most dangerous teams in baseball.

And there's a little series this weekend at Fenway Park.

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