Apology/Update

Hey folks, I just wanted to say sorry for the lack of posts lately.  A busy schedule combined with computer problems has kept me from posting frequently, but thats not a good enough excuse.  As Jerry West once said,”You can’t get much done in life if you only work on the days you feel good.”

You can count on a daily posts from here on out, because I’m challenging myself to not let my readers (Even if it is only 10) down.

As for the Yankees, Mariano going down was tough obviously, and the team has been struggling lately.  However, Robinson Cano’s grand slam led them to a 10-4 victory over the Royals, earning them a 2-2 series split.

Despite my angst for Phil Hughes, he pitched fairly well, going 7 innings giving up only 3 runs.  Up next, the Yankees have a day off, and then will play a pivotal 3-game set with the division rival Rays in New York.

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Excuses, Excuses

After Phil Hughes went 5 and 2/3 innings, gave up 4 runs, and earned the loss,  Joe Girardi and many others were making excuses about his performance.  Saying things like, “Today was a step forward, he just made a couple mistakes that got hit.” Newsflash- you can’t throw fastball’s straight as an arrow, right down the middle of the plate, and not expect them to be punished.  Everybody is lying to themselves about Hughes, saying he is making strides, but those strides are more like half-baby steps.  When will he be taken out of the rotation? When he’s 2-13? Oh, I forgot to mention the Yankees lost 7-1. Hughes sucks, simple as that.

1-2-3: The Yankees had all of 7 hits off of one the worst starters in baseball, Brian Matusz. The guy hadn’t won a game since June of last year.  All of those hits came from the top of the order.  Jeter went 3-5 and brought his average back above .400.  Curtis Granderson just went about his business like he always does, crushing a home run in the bottom of the first, and adding another hit to go 2-4. Alex Rodriguez was not very impressive, but he placed the ball well. He had one bloop single, and he also bunted for a base hit to lead off the sixth.

Mediocre: It’s really the best way to describe the Yankees season.  They’ll look good for a couple games, and then it falls apart for them in the next couple.  Without the bullpen, Curtis Granderson, and Derek Jeter, our 13-10 record could be a whole lot worse.  It’s the first day of May, and no more excuses can be made about a slow start.  It’s time to play pinstripe baseball.

Look Ahead: Ivan Nova will look to give the Yankees the series win, and keep his consecutive winning-decision streak alive against Jake Arrieta. 7:05 start.

Question Of The Day: Whats more surprising, the Yankees getting shut down by Brian Matusz, or Joe Girardi saying he “liked” the way Hughes pitched?

Kuroda Leads The Way

Up to this point, Hiroki Kuroda has had an up and down season. He will have one good, and then one bad start, but today he pitched a good game for the second staight start.  He threw 7 innings, and gave up only 1 run on 4 hits.  His performance led the stifled Yankees offense to a 2-1 victory.  With all the rotation struggles, Kuroda and CC made things look a whole lot better, by each giving a quality start and giving the Yankees bullpen some much needed rest.

Chavez Goes Deep:Eric Chavez provided all of the offense tonight, when he belted a 2 run home run.  It was his first home run at home as a Yankee, all of his previous home runs were on hit on the road. He’s being given more playing time with the injury to Brett Gardener, and he’s put up respectable numbers.

Pettite Set To “Help”:After a 96 pitch outing at Class A Tampa, Andy Pettite said he feels strong, and is “ready to help” at the big league level.  Phil Hughes is set to start tomorrow, could it be his last?

Look Ahead:  As I stated, Phil Hughes will take the mound tomorrow night, and I already have the feeling he won’t get past the fifth inning.

Question Of The Day: What should the Yankees do with Andy Pettite and the rest of the rotation?

 

A Good Day All Around

CC Sabathia was truly dominant for the first time this season, and that wasn’t the only good news.  He went 8 innings of 2 run ball, and led the Yankees to a 6-2 win.  The win gave the Yankees the series win, taking 2 0f 3 from the high powered Detroit Tigers.  The game was pretty straightforward, but we have many things to talk about.

Milestones: Alex Rodriguez moved into 8th place on the all-time RBI leaders, passing Willie Mays after he drove in two more runners today. He still doesn’t look entirely comfortable at the plate, but he could break out at any moment.  Curtis Granderson also had 2 RBI’s, and recorded the 500th of his career.

Swisher Day-to-Day: Nick Swisher tweaked his hamstring after a walk in the third inning, and an MRI showed a slight strain in his hamstring.  Things could have been much worse, and Swisher is only expected to miss 3-5 games.

Best News Of The Day: After 4 painful starts, Freddy Garcia has been removed from the starting rotation, and will be replaced by David Phelps.  Phelps has been strong in long-relief situations this year, posting a 3.47 ERA and showing the ability to throw strikes with all of his pitches.  Garcia will now go into the bullpen in a long-relief role, which I don’t really understand.  This move makes things even more interesting for when Andy Pettite returns to the Yankees.  He has a minor league start tomorrow, and then he could be promoted to the big club, which would put Phil Hughes job security on high alert.

Look Ahead: The Yankees have a chance to take first place from the surprise Baltimore Orioles, as they face off in a 3 game series.  Hiroki Kuroda will pitch, and he will look to feed off of CC’s great performance.

10 Feet Short

After going only 1 and 2/3 innings against the Tigers, you wouldn’t think Freddy Garcia would be smiling. After giving up 6 runs, Joe Girardi yanked him from the game.  The Yankees would rally, but a fly ball off the bat of Eric Chavez fell about 10 feet short to end the game.  After a comeback victory in game 1 of the series, the Yankees fell to the Tigers by a score of 7-5.

We Have “Confidence”: Those were Joe Girardi’s words before Garcia made this start, but i’m wondering what kind of confidence that is. He’s made 4 starts, and his ERA is above 12, and players are hitting over .400 against him. I have “confidence” that Garcia has no more than 1 start left with the Yankees this year.

The Positives: The Yankees bullpen was forced to pitch great once again, and for yet another game they did.  They pitched 7 and 1/3 innings of 1 run ball. Rapada, Phelps, and even Epply threw well.  Nick Swisher continued his successful April, hitting 2 more home runs, and putting his RBI count up to 23, which is first in the AL. Curtis Granderson proved that he can still hit left-handed pitching, when he belted a solo shot off the player he was traded for, Phil Coke. Granderson has 17 home runs off lefties last year, which was the most in baseball.

Up Next: The Rubber game of the series will send CC Sabathia to the mound, as he’ll face off against Max Sherzer.  It really feels like we need this game to get going in the right direction.

What concerned you guys most about today’s game? I would be happy to have some conversation about it.

Day Off Dilemma: Brian Cashman

Before you start reading this, I want everyone to know that I think Brian Cashman gets too much criticism than he deserves.  He’s under a lot of pressure, and he has made many good decisions, along with many bad ones.  I will mainly focus on Cashman’s pitching decisions in this post.

Ah yes, the scapegoat, Brian Cashman.  A team with a payroll around 200 million dollars, and he has only produced one championship in 11 years.  This is the common complaint Yankees fans make when they talk about the GM.  They have many valid arguments, but they also must realize that he has made many good decisions.  I’m going to go through some of Cashman’s poor decisions in recent years, with regards to pitching.

Well lets start with the most obvious one.  A.J. Burnett.  He signed a 5 year, 95   million dollar contract in 2009, and boy did he disappoint.  His first season was his best, even though his ERA was above 4, and he only won 13 games.  However, he did come through in game 2 of the World Series, pitching 8 innings of one run ball.  After that, he was terrible, hardly even getting through 5 innings without major damage.  Ironically, A.J. threw 7 shutout innings in his first start with the Pirates.

Javier Vasquez: Cashman signed this guy on two different occasions, but neither one of them worked out.  He had an ERA of 4.91 in 2004, and a 5.32 ERA in 2010.

Kei Igawa: After Boston made a splash and signed Matsuzaka to a big deal, Cashman felt he needed to make one as well.  Igawa was a terrible sign, as he went 2-4, with a 6.66 ERA in only 13 starts.

Carl Pavano: He went 9-8 over 3 seasons, and spent nearly all of his contract on the DL.  Very easy to hate the guy.

Jeff Weaver: If only Jeff had some of his brother Jered’s talent. I remember Jeff Weaver for one pitch that cost the Yankees the World Series, although I haven’t forgotten that he sucked other than that too.

Jose Contreras: In two years, this hyped up pitcher had an ERA of 4.64, and only 15 wins.

Hughes, Chamberlain, Kennedy: I have to be careful here.  Personally, I have always loved Joba Chamberlain, and I really hope he can come back and eventually help the Yankees.  But after being the best set up man in baseball, he disappointed  as a starter.  Phil Hughes was so hyped up, that he probably never could have lived up to expectations.  Still, the guy has the straightest fastball I’ve ever seen, and he can’t get outs.  Ian Kennedy is the wild card here.  We all know that he’s currently the ace of Arizona’s staff, but don’t you remember how much he struggled in his time with the Yankees?  I always wanted him traded, and I was glad when he was.  He proved me, and many others wrong.  I can’t blame Cashman that much for trading Ian Kennedy.

Not Signing Lee: The Yankees put all their ducks in one pond in 2011, hoping to sign Cliff Lee.  They offered him the most money, but it was not enough as he signed with the Phillies. After that, the whole off-season was ruined because we had counted on getting Cliff Lee.

There Is No Crying In Baseball

If you thought that the Yankees performance Wednesday night was pathetic, you probably had a good reason to think so.  What was more pathetic, and perhaps more interesting, were two fans at the game.  The Rangers first baseman Mitch Moreland threw a ball into the crowd intended for a young boy.  The ball was caught by an elderly man, perhaps in his 50’s, and he gave it to his apparent girlfriend, who looked significantly younger.  The young boy cried for a few minutes because he didn’t get the ball.  The fans next to him were almost mocking the child, by looking and taking pictures of the ball.  The YES commentators rightfully criticized the couple for not giving the boy the ball, and eventually a Rangers player tossed the innocent child a ball.  Rangers fans, so classy.

Bad News Hughes:  Joe Girardi showed his lack of confidence in Phil Hughes, yanking him from the game after only 2 and 2/3 innings.  He gave up  4 runs, and hit two batters.  The Yankees received terrible news that Michael Pineda will be out for the entire season with shoulder surgery, so it looks like only one of the current starters will lose their job.

The Positives: Seems like Derek Jeter always finds a way into my blog.  He extended his hitting streak to 15 games after picking up two more hits.  David Phelps wasn’t great, but he continues to throw strikes, which I love.

Look Ahead: A day off tomorrow, and then the Yankees look to avenge their 2011 playoff exit, as they face off against the Detroit Tigers.  Ivan Nova will start.