Now we're not in the business of bagging on fellow Yankee fans here at AB4AR, but this is just too good not to.
Come on, bro! You're sitting field level right down the line. You gotta be expecting shit like that, especially when Hughes isn't on his game. Get off the fucking phone and make a play. This video right here, which is making major rounds on the blogosphere and TV today (they just discussed it on PTI), is helping to prove every negative stereotype about nerds out there. If you're going to shell out the dough to sit there, pay attention to the game, take those specs off and pop in some contacts, make a fucking catch, and then pick up your phone to call whoever and talk about how awesome you are for making said catch.
P.S.- Gotta love Kay's lack of sympathy for the guy there.
Congrats to Eduardo Nunez and J-Alba for their Triple-A All-Star selections. As the Triple-A leaders in hits and saves respectively, they are more than deserving of the spots. Albs should probably be up in the Majors again right now with the way most of the Yankee 'pen is pitching, and it's probably only a matter of time before he gets another shot at the big time with his new 4-seam/curveball combo.
But the real news is the inclusion of The Almighty Jesus on the team. It hasn't exactly been a good year for Jesus, who has slumped at the plate for most of the season. But in the last week he has shown signs of breaking out and so naturally the voters made the wise choice to pick him as a reserve, lest they risk being struck down dead where they stand for failure to recognize the greatness of The Almighty.
It just goes to show how good this kid really is and how good he's going to be. He's played like poo for almost the entire year and he's still so highly regarded (and feared by the mere mortals that he takes pity upon) that he gets picked to the All-Star game. Once again, nobody fucks with The Jesus!!
Seriously, Cliff. Fuck you. Fuck you right in your stupid face. With your goofy look and your dumb little jog off the field after innings and your high-80s fastball that never seems to move and yet nobody can still seem to hit. Enjoy your little complete game, buddy. You still won't get it done in the playoffs on whatever team you end up with.
The real problem with last night wasn't the loss or the fact that Hughes sucked or the fact that the Yankees continue to do nothing against less than great pitching (seriously, Lee threw 104 of his 115 pitches as fastballs). Oh no, my friends. The real problem was that with Lee shutting the Yanks down again you can cue up the marathon of people who are going to suggest that the Yanks need to trade for Lee now to strengthen the rotation.
The last thing the Yankees need to do right now is trade for Cliff Lee. He has already shown that he commands some serious prospect power in a trade, and call me crazy but I don't see the value in giving up 2 or 3 from the Montero, Romine, Sanchez, Nunez, Laird, McAllister, Nova, Noesi, Brackman, Betances group or even any from the handful of other solid prospects the Yankees have to get a guy that you can sign in free agency for nothing after the season.
The Yankees have plenty of pitching right now, their guy just a had bad night last night. They don't need fucking Cliff Lee this year. They need to strengthen up the bullpen and get some consistency out of there and get everybody on the offense clicking at the same time instead of continuing to ride the Robinson Cano Express. Cliff Lee doesn't help either of those issues, so you might as well keep your stockpile of prospects intact and then put your bid in on Lee after the season.
But thanks again, Cliff. Thanks for feeding coal onto the rumor mill fire. Idiot Yankee fans everywhere are rejoicing today as they start putting trade packages for you together in their heads and then furiously dial into Mike Francesa's show to discuss them.
With Brett Gardner now being day-to-day with a wrist contusion, the Yankees are forced to deal with another injury and another subsequent act of lineup juggling to replace him if he has to miss a few games.
That's bad enough as it is. Don't get me wrong, Chad Huffman and Colin Curtis are cute and all, they're adorable really, and I appreciate what they did on Sunday to key the comeback. But they aren't everyday Major League players. Gardner is. And he's a damn good one at that. Simon and Sharp at ESPN NY compiled a bunch of stats to show just how good and just how valuable Gardner has been to the Yanks this year, and what they will be missing if Gardner misses some time. You can find the complete post right here, but here are some of the highlights:
- Gardner has a higher SLG % than Teix and a higher OBP than Jeter.
- Gardner has the 2nd highest OBP in June behind only Josh Hamilton.
- Gardner has a 1.005 OPS in June, which leads the team.
- his leadoff OBP is .500 for the season.
- he scores 43% of the time that he's on base.
- he currently ranks 5th in ESPN's Fantasy Player Rater, ahead of the likes of Jayson Werth, Matt Holliday, Ichiro, and Ryan Braun.
When you read that laundry list, you start to get a little nervous about how much time Gardner could miss with this injury, how his absence will impact the Yankee offense that still hasn't hit its stride, and how much he might be affected long-term with his wrist even after he comes back.
So thanks, Mark and Katie. I appreciate the downer on an already crappy day. I will now sit here and proceed to chew what's left of my fingernails down to nothing and hope Phil is on his A-game tonight after the long layoff.
P.S.- On the positive side, all that info on Gardner is just further support for my belief that he should be an All-Star.
As much money as A.J. Burnett is making, it seems completely out of the question to even suggest he be skipped before his next turn in the rotation. But when you consider just how bad he has been in June, it actually doesn't seem like that bad of an idea. Javy Vazquez started the year off throwing like a pile of wet dog shit and the entire Yankee world was up in arms, ready to stretch and quarter the dude in the middle of Times Square. Javy's numbers in his first 5 starts:
No one would try to argue that those numbers aren't terrible. They're embarrassingly terrible. They're "worst kid on a Little League team" terrible. And given Javy's track record at Yankee Stadium and the history that was still lingering in everybody's mind, Javy's included, it made perfect sense to skip over him and give him some time to work out his issues and build up his confidence.
Now A.J., surprising as it may seem, has been even worse than Javy's early numbers in his 5 June starts. Read it and wheep:
Burnett's performance over his last 5 starts is worse than Javy's first 5 starts in every way imaginable. He has given his team no chance to win, has been a huge burden on the still thin and still consistently inconsistent bullpen, and has gotten to the point where anybody with functioning eyes can clearly see Burnett quitting on the mound. So why should he be kept in the rotation? Why should the Yanks keep trotting him out there every fifth day at the expense of their chance for a victory and A.J.'s confidence and mental well-being?
The short answer to those questions is that he shouldn't, plain and simple. There is no reason for A.J. Burnett to be in the rotation right now. He's been fucking terrible and clearly is not doing anything on his own to change the situation. With Dave Eiland returning to the team this week, it would be the perfect opportunity for A.J. to get some time away from the mound, watch some tape with Eiland on what he's been doing wrong, and have a few bullpen sessions to clear his head and get his mechanics back to where they need to be before heading out on the hill again.
There is only one problem that stands in the way of that solution. The Yankees don't have anybody to pitch in Burnett's spot. Sergio Mitre is still on the DL, as is Alfredo Aceves. And Chad Gaudin has been working exclusively out of the bullpen and won't have the arm strength and stamina to go out and give the Yanks 4, 5, or 6 innings. The team also doesn't seem to have any interest in bringing up the Ivan Nova's of the world for a spot start because if they were thinking that, they would have begun to adjust Nova's workload in Triple-A accordingly.
And even if the Yankees did have another option for a spot start for A.J., they more than likely wouldn't take it because they have Phil Hughes' innings limit to focus on. They have already put the plan in place to limit Hughes now and around the All-Star break and so they cannot afford to change that plan to use him for an outing or 2 if A.J. were skipped, replacement or no replacement. Hughes' long-term health is more important than A.J.'s right-now shittiness and that's the problem.
If Mitre were available, then I think we'd be singing a different tune. In fact, I would be screaming that different tune and would have been for about a week now. A.J. flat out sucks right now, and the bigger issue than that is that he knows he sucks and accepts that he sucks. He isn't going to fix himself, so all we can do right now is wait for Eiland to get back in the clubhouse and hope he can work his magic on A.J. to get him back to where he needs to be. And while that's going on, we also need to hope that A.J. doesn't go out and lay another egg while he's working on getting right.
If you would have asked me before last night's game which 2 players would have the biggest impact on a Yankee comeback win, I would have said Chad Huffman and Colin Curtis. Of course, I'm a fucking genius, which explains my reasoning, but I'm willing to bet that not a lot of other people would have picked those 2 names. But sure enough, it was those 2 who were the key cogs in the Yankee win last night.
After Cano got the comeback started with an RBI 2B in the 9th, Huffman, a mid-game replacement for Brett Gardner, hit a 2-RBI single to right to bring the Yanks within 1. After that, Curtis completed an epic battle with Jon Broxton by hitting a grounder to first that was just slow enough to allow C-Grand to score from 3rd. Bobinson rocked a 2-run bomb in the top of the 10th and the first 5 innings of shitty baseball were erased as the Yanks pulled out another series victory.
Andy wasn't particularly sharp last night, especially after his horrible fielding and throwing exhibition in the 3rd inning. But his offense and bullpen picked him up and got him off the hook. The Horse and Cano were a combined 4-10 with 2 HRs, 5 RBIs, and 5 R scored, and Mo went 2 innings to pick up the win. Normally I don't like to see Mo used for multiple innings unless it's the postseason, but with Chan Ho Park and Boone Logan still out there in the 'pen in the 10th, I would have taken Mo throwing lefty and underhand over those 2.
For nostalgia's sake, I wonder how Torre felt sitting on the other side of a classic Yankee comeback last night. He experienced so many of them from Girardi's seat that it must have felt a little strange being on the receiving side of a heartbreaker. Oh well, I guess that's what you get when your closer only throws one pitch again and again.
The comeback win is good enough, but now you factor in the Rays continuing to blow up while teammates are screaming at each other in the dugout and the Red Sox players dropping like flies, it was a goddamn good weekend.
Hey A.J. Nice job out there tonight, bud. 6 earned runs on 6 hits and 6 walks in 3+ innings. Real quality outing there, chief. Nothing like putting up a 27.00 ERA and 4.00 WHIP after you're staked to a 3-run lead in the 1st inning to really inspire confidence in your teammates and light the path to victory.
Seriously, dude. What the fuck are you doing out there? You're making Javy Vazquez's season-opening starts look like Sandy Koufax's greatest hits by comparison. Somebody please get Dave Eiland, Dr. Phil, Dr. Drew, Dr. Zhivago, and Miss Cleo to the Stadium when this West Coast swing is over, STAT!
Let's not forget that today is Derek Jeter's 36th birthday. On behalf of all 1 of us here at AB4AR, I'd like to personally wish The Captain a happy birthday.
At the end of today, I'm sure the mainstream sports media will say this was an overrated 36th birthday that had terrible range to its left, but I'm willing to bet that those in attendance at the celebration, wherever it is after the game tonight, will all agree that it was one of the best, if not the best, 36th birthday ever.
CC for 8 innings of 1-run ball, The Horse going 2-4 with a 2B and a go-ahead HR, and Mo for a 1-2-3 9th with 3Ks. Neat, clean, tidy, victory. Next!
And don't look now, folks, but CC has 9 wins and a sub-3.50 ERA now. And while you're not looking, try not to take notice of the fact that despite all this talk about his possible injuries and lack of power and production, The Horse leads the team with 51 RBIs. Yes sir, this team still hasn't hit its stride and yet they continue to knock dicks in the dirt left and right.
Sorry for the rude welcome back, Joe. Maybe better luck today.
- Greg Fertel at Pending Pinstripes has a great idea about what to do with Chan Ho Park. I sat at my computer nodding in agreement the whole time I was reading this and then stood up and applauded at the end.
- My boy Lenny Neslin has his AL and NL All-Star picks. Major props to Lenny for not buying into the anti-Pettitte All-Star rhetoric that's been coming from the blogosphere. And even bigger props for picking Brett Gardner as the 6th AL outfielder. I'd like to think I had something to do with influencing his decision, but I'm sure he was smart enough to realize Gardner's awesomeness on his own, even if nobody else does.
- Joe Paw at RAB discusses how well the Yanks have hit lefties this year. Be afraid, Jon Lester. Be very afraid. Now if only Joe could come up with an explanation for why the Yanks can't seem to hit shitty pitching (cough, cough: Moyer, Lopez).
- Matt at Fack Youk looks back at the 1955 World Series between the Yanks and Dodgers. When you get done with that, go to the homepage and read through the entire series they're doing on every Yankee-Dodger World Series. Real good reading, especially if you're far too young to have experienced those matchups like I am.
Finish up the Friday strong, people. And then get home and plop your ass down on the couch to watch Joe's return. It should be fun.
Get a look at that, would ya? Just another masterful exhibition of lockdown pitching and Gold Glove-caliber defense from the Sawx last night. Even aftah Papelbawn blew anothah save, they wuh still able to scratch out a win thanks to Pehdroiah. Whaht a fahckin' game-uh that Pehdroiah is! He is the fahckin' hahht and soul of this fahckin' team. He is tha Tawm Brady of Red Sawx Nation.
In all seriousness, I can't believe people (and by people, I mean everybody at ESPN) are getting excited about the Sox crawling back into contention in the AL East. It's a fucking joke. After all their moves that were supposedly committed to making them better defensively and on the mound, they have had to win games this year with their offense. This team would be nowhere right now without Youkilis and Adrian Beltre, and maybe a little of Big Sloppi mixed in. And call me crazy, but I don't see Ortiz or Beltre keeping this up all year long. And yeah, Pedroia had a big game last night, but that doesn't change the fact that he came into the game hitting .280 with 36 RBIs, which is nothing to write home about.
The bottom line is, Boston's pitching and defense absolutely sucks. Scutaro and Beltre are both on pace for 20-30 errors apiece, neither Martinez nor Varitek can stop a bad pitch or throw anybody out on the basepaths, and their outfield defense has been pedestrian at best. Their rotation is Lester and Buchholz and nothing else, and there's nobody in their bullpen worth a shit except Daniel Bard, who the Yankees happen to own.
So go ahead, Fraud Sox Nation. Bring out your pink hats and green jerseys. Get all jazzed up about leading baseball in runs scored right now. Don't pay any attention to the fact that some of these guys are going to start trending downward as the season continues to play out. Pitching and defense is what wins in the playoffs and you ain't got it. So enjoy your little run now and then come back and talk to me in late August-early September when you're 9 games out and looking up at Tampa in the Wild Card race.
(Photo courtesy of whoever was awesome enough to take it)
I imagine the sounds coming out of Boston this morning sound something like this:
"Oh my fahckin' gawd! Whaht tha fahck is fahckin Papelbawn doin' out they-ah??? Giving up fahckin' home runs to fahckin' Ian Stewaht and Jason Giawmbi?!? This is nawt whaht we fans of Red Sawx Nation ahh expecting from ow-ah close-uh. He has been giving up way too many home-uhs this yee-ah. It's time fo-ah Daniel Bahhd to take ovah as the new close-uh right fahcking NOW!!!"
And it's just music to my ears. I don't know what made me sleep better last night. Watching the Yankee highlights and seeing Mo work himself out of trouble to get the team a win or following that up by watching the highlights of Papelbon give up 2 of the longest home runs in the history of baseball to cost his team a win against the best pitcher in baseball. Seriously, does Papelbon even still rank in the top 5 of best closers in baseball anymore? He's given up 6 home runs this year and his K/9 numbers continue to go down as his BB/9 and WHIP continues to go up.
Just for the sake of comparison, here's Papelbon's numbers compared to Mo this year:
Pap: 2-4 3.64 ERA 1.21 WHIP 7.58 K/9IP .220/.303/.450 tripleslash against Mo: 1-1 1.03 ERA 0.65 WHIP 7.86 K/9IP .125/.198/.216 tripleslash against
So they-ah you have it. Papelbawn is still nowhey-ah nee-ah Mo's level of dawminance and is now falling back toe-wahds the pack as jahst anothah oawrdinary close-uh.
I don't know if it was a full moon last night, or if Venus was perfectly aligned with Jupiter in the Northern sky or what, but last night was once of the strangest games for the Yankees in a while. You have neither starting pitcher throwing particularly well (only 7 swinging strikes between the 2); you have the Yankees getting more walks (13) than hits (10) thanks to Dontrelle Willis dishing out 7 in just over 2 innings of work; you have Willis throwing just 27 of his 66 pitches for strikes; you have the Yanks somehow managing to score 6 runs in the game despite going 3-14 with RISP and grounding into 3 double plays; and to top it all off you've got Joe using Mo for 2 innings and 40 pitches to get the save, which Mo turns into an adventure by loading up the bases with nobody out in the 10th before wriggling off the hook. Oh, and he got an at-bat in the top of the 10th.
Javy Vazquez wasn't that awful last night, just a little bit off here and there. His pitches didn't have the sharpness that they've had in his last handful of starts and he couldn't put hitters away. But his bullpen picked him up, especially D-Rob and Joba, who shut the door in the 7th and 8th to keep the Yankees within a run. And there were some bright spots in the offense despite the usual suspects coming up short all game. Brett Gardner was 2-5 with an RBI and his 24th stolen base of the year, and C-Grand went 3-5 with a 2B, a HR, and an RBI as he continues to hit the ball well since coming off the DL.
At the end of the day a win's a win's a win and the Yanks will take it. Especially when the Jays, Rays, and Sox all took another one to the L column (more on that later). Now it's just time to get out of Dodge before anything else strange starts happening, like Damaso Marte actually getting batters out.
I'd say the hip is starting to feel a little better, huh? For once, all of Joe's "he's feeling better, looking better at the plate" garbage actually turned out to mean something.
And even if there are still some lingering issues with the hip (and I'm pretty sure there are), that won't keep a good centaur down. He's still got 3 good hips to play on. Or maybe it's more than that. I don't actually know how many hips centaurs have.
How's this for a nice birthday present from your team?
"Phil Hughes has become a victim of his own success.
The Yankees right-hander with the 10-1 record and 3.17 ERA had expected to celebrate his 24th birthday, which is on Thursday, by starting the opener of a three-game series Friday against the Los Angeles Dodgers in front of a crowd that would include his parents, relatives and friends from nearby Mission Viejo, where he grew up.
Instead, having pitched 82 1/3 innings in less than half a season, Hughes' place in the rotation will be skipped and he will have to wait until the Yankees return home against the Seattle Mariners on June 29 to pitch again.
"Innings. Innings,'' manager Joe Girardi said by way of explanation. "He's made 13 starts and averaged over six innings per start. This is a hard guy for me to sit because of the way he's pitching for us, but we can't be shortsighted on this. We have to think of this year and next year and we have to think of his future. We want to make sure we have him for a long time.'' (courtesy of ESPN.com)
Now don't get me wrong, I like that the Yankees are trying to limit Hughes' innings and trying to do it the smart way and not repeat their epic fuckup with Joba last year. But to sit him on his birthday, in front of his entire family and friends, in his hometown??? That's just downright cold.
Let's do the math here. Phil has thrown 82 1/3 innings so far in the team's first 70 games. His innings limit for the year is going to be at or around 175. That means he still has 92 2/3 innings to work with over the last 91 games. The team already had a plan in place to skip some of his starts just before and just after the All-Star Game to give him rest and keep his innings down, and he surely won't be used by Joe in the All-Star Game that he's going to inevitably make. So it's not like Phil is in danger of going way over his innings limit and risking damage to his arm.
Knowing that, what is the harm in letting him pitch on his birthday in front of his biggest fans in his hometown and then have him skip his next start? The next game he would pitch would be against the fucking Mariners. THE MARINERS!!! The team that's last in practically every major offensive category in the American League and some categories that we probably don't even have stats for yet. You could throw Mike Harkey out there against the Mariners and he could probably give you 6 solid innings.
This is just a dumb move by the Yankees here. They've gone from not thinking and planning ahead enough with Joba to overthinking with Phil and blowing a huge opportunity. The kid is going to be stoked to pitch in his hometown and he would be pitching against a team that has no history against him. The makings are there for a dynamite performance that would lead perfectly into some well-deserved rest when he returned home. Instead, everyone is starting to worry about his innings before they even have to and we'll end up getting to watch Chad Gaudin or Ivan Nova go out there and potentially shit the bed. "Oof" and "Da" to that decision.
Can somebody please explain to me what the fuck A.J. Burnett was doing out there last night? Dude gets the first 2 outs, things are looking pretty good and then all of a sudden it was a goddamn home run derby! Fastballs over the heart of the plate, flat curveballs over the heart of the plate. He might as well have put it on a fucking tee! Then the sad face and frustrated conversations with Jorge start on the mound and it was all over but the crying after that.
Final line for A.J. last night: 4 IP, 9 H, 7 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 3 HR. In his last four starts he is 0-4 with a 10.35 ERA and a 2.00 WHIP thanks to 29 hits and 11 walks allowed in just 20 innings. And to top of that shit sundae, 9 of those 29 hits have been home runs. So basically A.J. is getting hit and he's getting hit hard right now.
But even more disconcerting than those numbers are some of the comments by A.J. and Jorge after the game last night, such as:
“I don’t feel like myself. I’m not having fun right now. Who would during a stretch like this? The game’s supposed to be fun, and to come out and take the air out of your team right away for a handful of starts, it’s quite frustrating.” - A.J.
“Missed location. What I’m seeing, I can’t see if it’s delivery or anything, I’m just seeing the location of the pitches is not where it’s supposed to be.” - Posada.
“I think by now I know how to correct it and I think earlier in the year I was correcting it. I was slowing the game up, and I was able to get out of jams. Whether I’m trying too hard or everything is speeding up, it comes down to just remembering what it feels like to succeed and keep the positive thoughts rolling and eventually it will turn around.” - A.J.
Basically what that tells me is that neither of these 2 fucks has a clue what's wrong with A.J. right now. All they know is that he isn't happy, he's missing his spots, and he should know how to correct the problem. Other than that there is no helpful information or theories or suggestions coming from these guys or from anybody else on the team for that matter. Without Dave Eiland around to coddle him, A.J. is like a little kid lost in the mall right now, just wandering around scared and alone, hoping his mommy comes to save him.
I can relate to A.J. not having fun out there on the hill because quite frankly it's not very fun as a Yankee fan to watch him pitch right now. But spare me all the "keep the positive thoughts rolling and eventually it will turn around" crap. It has nothing to do with positive thoughts, you asshole. And even if it did, you just admitted that you don't have any positive thoughts because you're sad and mopey and not having fun. So instead of waiting for some positive karma to change your fortunes, why don't you get in the clubhouse early, watch some game film, figure out where your mechanical issues are right now that are causing everything to tail over the plate, and fucking work the issues out! Be a man, be a professional, and fix your shit. It's that simple.
But I suppose a few positive thoughts here and there wouldn't hurt.
Chalk up another series win and the outright division lead for the Bombers!! And they have the 2 big prizes from the 2008 free agent sweepstakes to thank for it.
Teix still doesn't look like he is all the way back to where he should be at the plate, but his grand slam off of Santana today was picture perfect. He's still hitting under .230 on the year, but at least he's producing runs with the hits he does get (44 RBIs on the year). It almost makes you wonder where Teix's numbers would be right now if he was hitting half as well as he did last season. His GS today did represent the only Yankee offense for the day, but it was the only offense they would need with the way CC threw.
CC was an absolute machine, much more like the CC we're used to seeing than what he had been before last week. He threw 8 shutout innings, allowing just 6 baserunners and striking out 6. He showed much better fastball command than he had been showing, and used his off-speed stuff beautifully on both sides of the plate to force a lot of bad Met swings and to get strikeouts when he needed them. The only thing that prevented CC from finishing this masterpiece up himself was that bitch, Mother Nature, because the Mets certainly didn't have anything for him.
In his 4 June starts, CC is 4-0 with a 2.48 ERA with 28 Ks in 29 IP. He has lowered his ERA from 4.16 to a much more CC-like 3.68 and his record is now 8-3. If he can keep this hot streak going as the weather continues to heat up, the Yankees are going to be in good shape.
After the Yankee offense continued to get shut down by Takahashi's crane style last night, they turned to Phil Hughes today to get back to their winning ways and Hughes did not disappoint.
After allowing a couple of cheapie home runs to Jose Reyes in the first 3 innings, Hughes buckled down and shut the Mets out over the next 4 innings, giving the Yanks' offense just enough time to wake up and take the lead thanks to a pair or 2-run homers from Teix and C-Grand. After that it was Joba and Mo for 2 and the news was being spread.
No Jeter in the lineup today because of a bruised heel, and without The Horse out there the left side of the infield was made up of the dynamic duo of Ramiro Pena and Kevin Russo today, so that's still a concern for the Yankees moving forward. And it's also not good that they scored more runs today than they had in the past 3 games. But once again, the Yankees found a way to win and have a chance to win the series tomorrow.
... Because this motherfucker is ready to rock and roll in the bleachers!! Probably going to be leading the roll call in the top of the 1st tonight. It ain't the best beer choice, kid, but kudos to you anyway.
Enjoy the game tonight, Yankee fans. I won't be able to watch it but I'll be getting hammered anyway. Check back tomorrow and all weekend for hastily-thrown-together recaps and childish analysis of each game.
Ya know, I was still a little down in the dumps this afternoon thinking about how shitty last night's loss was. And then I remember that the Mets will be in town this weekend and suddenly everything was all better. See? There they are above boarding the team bus. David Wright, Jose Reyes, Gay-Rod, even Mr. Met himself is coming.
And the pitching matchups are the same as last time so we get to see Hughes-Pelfrey II, CC-Johan II, and the even more epic Vazquez-Takahashi II matchup tonight. Hopefully the rest of the Yankees remember to bring their bats with them. If they can do that, I promise you it will be a good weekend.
If only I wasn't stuck out here in Wisco with the fucking Brewers...
Holy Christ! Did anybody tell A.J. that it wasn't Game 5 of the World Series last night? Talk about being nervous in the service out there. Dude couldn't locate the fastball anywhere other than right over the heart of the plate and couldn't throw the curve for a strike if his life depended on it. And when you're almost exclusively a fastball-curveball pitcher that's a dangerous combination.
Of course it didn't help that the Yankee offense was mastered by the slow-slower-slowest garbage of Jamie Moyer. Yes, THAT Jamie Moyer. The same guy who's closing in on the all-time record for most HRs allowed and the same guy who got his teeth absolutely kicked down his throat by Boston last Friday. It was like watching the old Bugs Bunny cartoon where he throws the slow pitch and everybody swings and misses 3 times while the ump yells "One, Two, Three, You're Out!!"
On the positive side, Boone Logan and Chad Gaudin came in for 5.2 innings of hitless shutout ball to keep the Yanks in the game. On the negative side, the fact that Boone Logan and Chad Gaudin were in the game was a clear sign that Joe was willing to throw the game away and wave the white flag early.
With the rest of the 'pen intact and Andy on the mound tonight, the Yanks are still in good shape to win the series. Hopefully Jeter can get it going at the top of the order tonight. He's just 1-12 after his 2-HR job against Houston on Saturday.
Upon first glance at that title, you're probably inclined to say "fuck no!" and ask what I've been smoking. But if you really stop and look at what Gardner has done so far this year, it's worth taking a second to think about it. Observe Gardner's stat line so far:
.322/.406/.436 BA/OBP/SLG tripleslash
44 run scored
13 extra-base hits (6 2Bs, 4 3Bs, 3 HRs)
22 steals (in 26 chances)
Those numbers put Gardner in the top 10 in 4 major offensive statistical categories in the AL. He's currently 9th in batting average, 10th in on-base, 5th in runs scored, and tied for 3rd in stolen bases. Not too shabby for a guy who went into the season with plenty of people, some within his own organization, questioning whether or not he was capable of being a full-time Major League player. And within these great numbers is proof that Gardner is more than able to handle left-handed pitching, something that was a major concern for the Yankees. His tripleslash against lefties this season is .295/.371/.410.
But All-Star selection is about more than just good stats and exceeding expectations, and selections are based on position, so Gardner has to be looked at against his fellow outfielders to truly determine if he's worthy. Luckily for Gardner, his numbers look even better when stacked up against the rest of the AL outfield.
His .322 average is 3rd amongst AL outfielders, behind only perennial All-Star Ichiro and Magglio Ordonez.
His 44 runs scored are 2nd amongst outfielders, behind only Carl Crawford's 50.
His .406 OBP is 1st amongst outfielders, leading Ordonez by a slim margin and making Gardner and Mags the only 2 AL OFs with a .400+ on-base.
His .842 OPS is 10th amongst outfielders, and better than that of Ichiro and Crawford.
No matter how you cut it, Gardner has been one of the top 10, if not one of the top 5 outfielders in the AL this year. And he's done it with just 202 at-bats, which is anywhere from 20 to 60 fewer than his major competitors. Who knows? Give him those 50-60 more and we may be talking about the AL outfield leader in average, runs, steals, and OBP.
And as if that wasn't enough, Gardner has played stellar outfield defense this season, splitting his time between left and center and making the transition back and forth between the two look seamless. He has made only 1 error on the season, which was made on a shitty throw home in the season opener against Boston, and has a perfect fielding percentage in center field. Sure, his UZR ratings are both in the slight negatives this year for both OF spots, but UZR is a funky stat anyway that doesn't take a lot of other factors into account. The bottom line is, Brett Gardner has played Gold Glove-caliber defense to go along with his excellent all-around offense.
It's doubtful Gardner will get a nod to the All-Star Game, even with his manager calling the shots to fill out the roster. But the case can certainly be made and Joe certainly could make a solid argument for including one more of his guys. Jeter, Cano, and Mo are shoo-ins, Swish should be there, and Pettitte and Hughes will most likely make the team unless they fall apart over the next month. That's 6 Yankees right there, and although 7 from one team would be a lot, it's not unheard of. Usually the best team at the break has the most representation, and if the Yankees continue to play the way they have and Gardner keeps putting up the numbers he has, he's got a legitimate case to be included as the 5th or 6th All-Star outfielder.
More quality stuff from around the Yankee blogosphere. As usual, all of it is better than my slop.
- Joe Paw at RAB looks at Frankie Cervelli's jaw-dropping numbers with RISP this season. 447/.500/.553 is an incredible triple slash for ANYBODY in baseball, especially somebody who was always considered not enough of a stick to play every day in the Majors. It must be the helmet.
- LoHud has some details on Yankee first-round pick Cito Culver and his decision to skip on his commitment to Maryland. No word on whether or not this move will affect Jeter's contract negotiations.
- 2 pieces from TYU regarding All-Star selections, one good and one bad:
- Stephen R. rains on Andy Pettitte's parade by arguing that Pettitte doesn't deserve an All-Star selection. Come on, dude! Really?!?! Don't get me wrong, I like sabermetrics as much as the next guy, but that's not what the All-Star game is about. It's about giving props for a job well done and giving fans who they want to see. And when a 38-year-old guy is rocking it with the best young arms in the game, he deserves to be there no matter what his xFIP is.
- On the other side of the All-Star poo-pooing coin is Chris H. pleading with Yankee fans to not vote for Teix. Now this I can get on board with. Teix has been awful and pretty much every stat you can think of supports that. I'd rather he use the All-Star break to get his shit together.
- Rob at BBD has some good stuff on the resurgence of Andrew Brackman and Dellin Betances. Sure these guys are still a long ways away from being "serious" prospects, but it is encouraging to see these 2 monsters putting up the big numbers many people thought they were capable of.
How's 8 hits, 2 walks, 6 earned runs, and 3 home runs by left-handed batters in 6 innings sound?
Roy Halladay became the latest in a long line of media-created "Yankee killers" to get his dick smashed in by the Bombers last night. Granted, Halladay actually has a long track record of success to speak of against the Yanks, unlike Josh Beckett, Scott Kazmir, or John Lackey, but baseball is a "what have you done for me lately?" sport and Halladay looked anything but a killer last night, except if you count him killing his team's chances to win. The Yankees jumped on him early and jumped on him often and save for a blip on the radar in the 4th inning, it was smooth sailing from there.
The offense continues to get it from all sources. C-Grand was 2-5 with a HR and is now hitting .276/.358/.551 since coming off the DL; Swish was 2-5 with another HR, 2 RBIs, and 2 runs scored, and continued to make his case for an All-Star selection; Teix cranked what turned out to be the shortest homer in the Majors this year and helped creep his average closer to .230; and Brett Gardner and Frankie Cervelli each had big 2-run hits to get things started and close things out offensively. In case you haven't noticed, Gardner is hitting .322/.406/.436 on the season with 22 RBIs, 22 steals, and 44 runs scored, and despite cooling off from his torrid start Cervelli now has 29 RBIs on the season. Fuck rushing A-Rod back. Let the guy's groin, hip, and hooves rest if the rest of the team is going to play like this.
And it was another solid if not stellar outing for CC last night. He started out like a house of fire, striking out 6 through 3 shutout innings before running into trouble in the 4th and 5th. His high pitch count through those 2 innings almost certainly sapped him of his sharpness for the rest of the game, as he only recorded one more K before leaving after 7, but after the 5th CC bore down and got the job done, and at the end of the day he still put up 7 innings of 3-run ball to get the win. He still isn't all the way back to top form (only 17 out of 30 first pitch strikes), but he's getting better, getting the job done, and still picking up wins for his team.
Last night was Philly's best chance to get a win in this series and they got absolutely smashed. Now they have to hope and pray that Kyle Kendrick and Jamie Moyer don't continue to pitch as horribly as they have this season, otherwise they can kiss any hope of revenge goodbye with the weekly garbage.
The Phillies return to the Bronx tonight looking to exact even MORE revenge for last year's WS loss as they send last year's postseason hero, Cliff Lee, to the mound against Carsten in a rematch of last year's Game 1.
Oh wait, that's right. Philly doesn't have Cliff Lee anymore because they stupidly traded him for Roy Halladay, leaving their spotty rotation exactly where it was to end 2009 and less than up to the task of beating teams with their pitching now that their supposed "American League" offense has forgotten how to hit the ball. And it's not even like they have an excuse like the Yankees, who have dealt with major injuries to 3 All-Star-caliber starters, some key bench players, and pretty much the entire bullpen since the season starter. The Phillies have just flat out played like dogshit for the better part of the season.
BAHAHAHAHAHA!!!! Suck it, Philly. Go ahead and get all excited about this series and how it's going to help jumpstart the rest of your season. I personally don't give a fuck if you come in and sweep the series starting tonight. You're still going to be toiling away in the middle of your division behind the Braves, setting yourselves up for an epic battle for the NL Wild Card, while the Yankees will still be cruising towards another division title and World Series while they wait for the rest of the team to finally get healthy.
I know you still don't want to admit it, but the time has come for you to stop being an everyday catcher. I know that's difficult to hear but it's true. Your value to this team has never been behind the plate, but rather at it. In the last 2 games you've hit 2 grand slams and that swing of yours is still a thing of beauty.
(Photo courtesy of The AP)
The thing is, the more time you spend behind the plate, the more your body wears down and the more time you spend on the bench and the DL instead of mashing the shit out of balls like you've been doing the last 2 days. First game back behind the dish or not, when you have to leave after 8 innings because you're too sore and tired, that doesn't bode well for your health or the team's success. And it's hard to produce at the plate when you got sore feet and strained hammies and messed up hands and fingers.
Don't take it personally, dude. It's not like anybody in the locker room or in the stands is going to think less of you. You're still going to be the slightly crazy vocal clubhouse leader that you have been over the last decade. And you're still going to be hearing those "Hip, hip! Jorge!!" chants raining down upon you from the bleachers. And you're definitely going to be helping the team win more games and march towards title 28 with your bat in the lineup. And isn't that what's most important? Certainly more important than throwing on the chest protector and shin guards and crouching back there for 3 hours a day. And sure, you can still catch every now and then. Frankie's young but he's still going to need days off. You can throw the gear on and hop in when you're needed. But please, don't be a hero anymore. It's time to face reality. As the great Marcellus Wallace once said, this business is filled to the brim with unrealistic motherfuckers. Motherfuckers who thought their ass would age like wine. If you mean it turns to vinegar, it does. If you mean it gets better with age, it don't. Please Jorge, don't let yourself turn to vinegar. Take off the gear, step into the DH role, and keep mashing the fuck out of the ball.
... But the Yankees are back on top of the division, folks.
Sure they are still technically tied for the division lead with the Rays, but that's not the point. The point is the Rays have had their fun in the beginning of the season, and it was cute and all, but they've spent the last 2 weeks coming back to Earth and now it's time for them to step aside and fall in line for the race for the Wild Card because the Yankees are fucking coming.
Injuries? What injuries? So The Horse has a bad groin or hip or both or whatever. So Brett Gardner's thumb is still banged up. So Marcus Thames is heading for the DL with a strained hamstring (much to the disappointment of all flyball-hitting AL players). The Yankees just keep plugging motherfuckers in and having them perform and keep winning games.
Another quality start from the suddenly solid Javy Vazquez, a grand slam from Jorge, 2 shutout innings out of the bullpen by D-Rob and Chad Gaudin. Oh, and some old fart named Jeter went 2-4 with w 2 HRs, 4 RBIs, and 3 runs scored. But in defense of all of his critics, they were 2 pretty overrated-looking home runs and 3 of the 4 RBIs looked a little slow moving to their left. Yep, just another underachieving, not-that-good day at the plate for Jeter as he continues to put up pedestrian .295-8-39-42 numbers from the leadoff spot. Guy should really just hang 'em up now before he starts embarrassing himself out there.
Only 2 pitchers in Yankee history have won 200 games as a Yankee: Whitey Ford and Red Ruffing. Until tonight that is. In an outing that has become the norm for him this season, Andy Pettitte put on another masterful performance against the only remaining non-Yankee team that he had not beaten, shutting down the Houston Astros to pick up his 200th Yankee win.
You can argue all day and all night about his HOF credentials, and with the HGH thing still hanging out there it's a safe bet that Andy won't make it to the HOF when his career is over. But there is no arguing that he has been one of the best pitchers in Yankee history. From a consistency standpoint, from a big-game standpoint, and from any other standpoint imaginable. The guy has just been dynamite over his time in pinstripes and tonight was the culmination of his Yankee greatness, as he firmly etched himself into Yankee history.
I'm still pretending that last night's game never happened. To help everybody else do the same, here's a few choice nugs to check out this morning:
- Matt at TYU has a nice little writeup on Swish's splits as a 2- or 6-hitter in the lineup and what the numbers show us. The analysis tells us what we already knew, Swish has been the tits this year, but it's always nice to see the numbers supporting it. With the way guys like Teix, Jorge, and Cervelli are not hitting lately, and with A-Rod's groin still acting up it's good to know the Yanks can plug Swish in anywhere and have him produce.
Hopefully that helps get everybody through their Friday. Weekend's coming, bitches! Get excited.
** UPDATE 8:41PM- The piece on The Wave was actually written by Larry Koestler, Ben was just the delivery boy of said piece. That's what happens when I'm rushing to get posts put up at the office, but sincerest apologies to Larry. I'm always one for posts ragging on the stupider side of sports and you, sir, hit the nail right on the head.**
CC picked up another win last night with what looked to be a solid 7-inning, 2-run, 8-K performance against the steaming shit pile that is the Baltimore Orioles. But beneath the surface of that victory are the continued issues that have plagued CC for over a month now and make his numbers not as good as they look.
Right now CC stands at 6-3 on the season with a 4.01 ERA, a 1.22 WHIP, and a .244 BAA. The ERA isn't spectacular, but the WHIP and BAA are pretty solid, so at first glance it appears he is having another great year. But 4 of his 6 wins have come against the previously mentioned Orioles, a team whose record and play on the field brings back memories of the Bad News Bears. In fact, the Orioles are the only team CC has beaten in over a month, and his ERA in those starts is 2.79, so it's a safe bet to say he's been feasting on weak competition and his numbers have been inflated to reflect that feast.
The 2 biggest problems with CC this season have been fastball command and the long ball. He has struggled to locate the fastball and has gotten himself behind in a lot of counts. Last night, for example, he threw first-pitch strikes to only 16 of the 32 batters he faced. Driving up a pitch count is no concern for a horse like CC, but when you're constantly pitching in hitter's counts it severely limits the options you have as to what you can throw. More often than not, CC has had to go back to the fastball to try to even up the count, rather than be able to go to the changeup or power slider as his out pitch. Like most pitchers, the fastball sets up the rest of what CC tries to do, and when he can't consistently locate the fastball for strikes like he's struggled to do lately, he can't give himself as many opportunities to put batters away.
The home runs have also hurt CC this year by driving up his ERA higher than it should rightfully be with his WHIP and BAA numbers. He's only allowed 77 hits in 85.1 IP to this point, which is very solid, but 12 of those 77 hits have been home runs. When teams are connecting of off CC, they are connecting big and making their hits count. If you eliminated a third of the homers he has given up, even if they were all solo homers, CC's ERA would drop down to 3.58, which is much more like what we're used to seeing from him.
More than likely, the high home run rate is a byproduct of CC's inconsistent fastball command. The more strikes you don't throw early in the count, and the more hitter's counts you get yourself into, the more pitches you have to risk grooving and the more at risk you are of giving up the big bombs.
The other peripheral numbers are there so there shouldn't be any worry about CC's stuff, it's just a matter of getting the fastball back into the strike zone earlier in the count. I personally don't think there is anything physically or mentally wrong with CC. He probably is working through some mechanical issues and once he gets those resolved and gets back to throwing more first pitch strikes, we can expect to see the homer rates going down, the ERA go down with it, and the wins keep on coming in.
Curtis! Buddy! Glad to have you back in the lineup. Things weren't quite the same without you. I don't think we could have made it through a less-than-stellar Phil night like last night with Randy Winn fucking shit up in your spot.
And what's this?!?! You brought Mark Teixeira with you! Well will you look at that! It's almost like there's a dangerous lineup back intact here with all you boys hitting. What a concept!
So apparently the Major League Baseball draft was last night and apparently the Yankees took a high school shortstop named Cito Culver with the 32nd pick of the first round. See, here he is:
(Photo courtesy of MLB.com)
The book on this kid is that he's got a great arm and is a great athlete that still needs to put the polish on his overall fielding and hitting, but the Yankees were high on him so they reached. The MLB draft is such a crapshoot that it's almost impossible to predict who will turn into something and who won't, so I'll let all the other blogs analyze the shit out of this kid.
If the Yankees actually do sign him and pull him away from his commitment to Maryland, give him a couple years in the Minors and then come back and talk to me. In the mean time, I've got division standings and bullpen issues to worry about.
Well it's an off-night for the Bombers tonight, which sucks, but it does leave me with more free time to bag on Mark Teixeira. As if the poor bastard hasn't had things go hard enough for him lately, today's MLB press release on the AL All-Star voting carried this saddening news:
"Three-time American League All-Star Justin Morneau of the Minnesota Twins has continued his surge through the standings by overtaking Mark Teixeira of the New York Yankees in the third set of American League balloting figures for the 81st All-Star Game, to be played on Tuesday, July 13th at Angel Stadium of Anaheim. The third National League All-Star balloting update will be released tomorrow, Tuesday, June 8th.
Bidding for his first fan-elected starting assignment, Morneau has jumped atop a deep field at first base with 973,563 votes, slightly ahead of 931,405 cast for Teixeira, who is aiming for his second straight fan election and his third overall. Miguel Cabrera (659,965) of the Detroit Tigers and Kevin Youkilis (456,101) of the Boston Red Sox rank third and fourth at the position, respectively." (courtesy of Major League Baseball)
I'll admit, I voted for Teix the last couple times I was at Miller Park recently and they passed out the ballots. But I'm a fucking Yankee fan. It would be sacreligious for me not to vote for him. Anybody else in that group of 931,000+ who has been voting for Teix should have their fucking head examined. The dude is terrible this season. His yearly April slump carried right through May (save for 2 weeks) and has already settled in nicely for June and Teix has resorted to having clubhouse therapy sessions with his hitting coach to get his shit together.
Now Teix is staring at a .211/.363/.326 split a third of the way through the season, virtually guaranteeing himself no chance of replicating last year's almost MVP-Award-winning numbers and setting himself up to be on a shorter leash than A-Rod was on in the last few postseasons when the Yankees inevitably get there. Good thing the Yanks have Jeter, Cano, A-Rod, Swish, Hughes, Pettitte, and Mo setting themselves up to be selected to participate in the ASG. At least then Teix can feel like he's part of the action when he's curled up on the couch in his Snuggie watching the game with his wife.
I wonder if Teix called another impromptu meeting with Kevin Long today to discuss his drop in the ASG polls. At least he can take solace in the fact that he's still whooping Kevin Youklis' candyass in the votes. What's the story, Fraud Sox Nation? Too busy jerking off to Rajon Rondo that you can't show ah little suppoaht fah yah boy, Thah YOOKAH?!?! Figures. Fucking fugazis.
Well everything looked to be sunshine and lollipops in Yankeeland after the consecutive beatdowns of the Indians and Orioles, and then the Yanks went north of the border and ran into a little trouble in the form of the surprising Toronto Blue Jays.
On Friday, the Yankee offense was shut down by someone named Brett Cecil (yeah, I don't know who the hell he is either) for 8 innings, and Jose Bautista made A.J. Burnett his bitch, cracking 2 home runs and helping chase Burnett after 6 bad innings. The Yankee offense managed just one run, scored by the immortal Chad Moeller on a Nick Swisher GIDP in the 6th inning, and Robbie Cano took an 0-fer to end his recent hitting streak.
Yesterday the Yankees wasted another solid Andy Pettitte outing (7+ innings of 2-run ball complete with 10 Ks) by getting worked by Ricky Romero for 8 innings. The heart of the Yankee order went a combined 1-18 for the game, and only Derek Jeter seemed interested in hitting the ball and scoring runs as the game moved into extras before the Yanks were finally beaten in the 14th inning by an Aaron Hill RBI single off of Chad Gaudin. And honestly, when you have Chad Gaudin pitching in the 14th inning of a tie game, you have to kind of expect that outcome.
Now onto today, where the Yankee offense once again stumbled out of the starting blocks, getting shut out for 7 innings by Brendan Morrow. Luckily, Morrow hit the wall in the 8th and his bullpen didn't help him much, allowing 4 Yankee runs to score, the 2 go-ahead ones off the bat of Cano. Joba did his damndest to give the game back to Toronto in the bottom of the 8th, but was able to work out of trouble and Mo locked it down in the 9th inning to give the Yanks at least one victory this weekend.
The good news from the weekend was that the Yankees are still getting very good starting pitching. Sure A.J. sucked on Friday, but that's what he is and if you can't accept that by now, then you just shouldn't be a Yankee fan. Andy was fantastic yesterday for almost 8 innings and his 10 strikeouts were a season high and something he didn't seem capable of anymore. And today was another great outing for Javy, who went 7 innings, allowing 2 ER on just 1 hit. He got in trouble with 4 walks, but battled out of everything and struck out 9 batters of his own, a sign that both his stuff and his confidence are improving and coming together at the same time. The rotation finally seems like it is forming into the dominant group that everyone wished for when the season began.
The bad news was that the offense continues to sputter. It wasn't much of a weekend for The Horse, who is taking a lot of bad swings after his big 6-RBI game earlier in the week. And Mark Teixeira is completely lost at the plate again. He was 0-6 with 5 Ks yesterday, and is such a mess at the plate that he had a meeting with Kevin Long after the game to try to get his shit figured out.
(Photo courtesy of The AP)
At this point in the season, the time for patience is over. Teix isn't some rookie or 2nd-year guy trying to complete his adjustment to Major League pitching. He's a fucking veteran and it's time he started acting and playing like it. I, like everybody else, has been saying that sooner or later it was all going to come together and the offense would click, well that time better be sooner now for Teix because if it isn't, then he's going to start hearing a few more Bronx cheers when he gets back home.
Also worth noting was Dave Eiland announcing that he's taking a leave of absence from the team. What's that about? And who is going to take over his job of standing in the dugout too long when pitchers start blowing up on the mound?
CC! Good to see you. Especially so late in the game. I didn't think you were allowed to be in the game this late anymore. Musta almost forgotten what the 7th inning felt like, huh? Still rocking the parachute pants and custom Air Jordan baseball spikes, I see.
Well it's good to have you back, buddy. Let's keep these quality 7-inning, 7-K, 1-walk outings coming, alright?
How the fuck are the Orioles still a professional baseball team? Somebody hust disband them already, burn that stadium down and distribute their players to the rest of the franchises still left in Major League Baseball. And when you're done doing that, do me a favor and start spreading the fucking news.
Another day, another beatdown of an overmatched ballclub. I thought this next stretch of games would be important in helping the Yankees get it back together and they certainly have not let me down, taking 5 of 6 already from the Indians and Orioles with the fugazi Blue Jays and Astros still on tap.
Hughes was masterful last night, throwing 7's all over the place (7 innings, 7 Ks, 7th win of the year). Most importantly, he changed his approach up early when the cutter wasn't working. Hughes worked primarily off the fastball and curve last night and once he substituted the curve for the cutter the Orioles really had no chance. Joe might not commit to him right now as an All-Star, and even if he does make the team there is no chance in hell he plays in that game, but right now Phil Hughes could very well be the STARTER of the All-Star game with the way he's pitched.
Robinson Cano is on another tear right now rivaling the one that he kicked the season off with. He's top 3 or top 5 in almost every major offensive statistical category and now it's getting to the point where we can all stop talking about if he's the best second baseman in baseball and start talking about where Cano stands in the hierarchy of best players in baseball period.
It was good to see Jorge back in the lineup last night, especially at DH where he belongs now. Jorge can say he's still a catcher all he wants, but the fact is his body can't hold up the physical stress of catching anymore and his offense is always going to be more valuable than what he gives the team defensively. That and the fact that Frankie has more than proven himself capable of being an everyday Major League catcher.
Yessiree, things are brightening up in Yankeeland again. Jeter is pounding the ball again, The Horse continues to get it done even without his usual power numbers, Jorge is back, C-Grand is back, Joba and Mo have rid themselves of their hiccups, and the rest of team from top to bottom is producing more than well enough to cover CC and Teix's struggles. They still aren't quite hitting on all cylinders, but at some point this summer, it's going to happen and when it does, all Tampa can do is close their eyes and hope the train doesn't hurt them too bad as it goes flying by.
P.S.- spare me all the "they're doing it against shitty teams" routine. Yeah, they are doing it against shitty teams, but that's what good teams do, they beat the shitty teams. And not just beat them, but beat them down, outclass them. And that's what the Yankees have done over the last week, minus one bullpen meltdown. So quit looking to pick nits and just sit back and enjoy the show.
7 innings, 4 hits, 1 walk, 1 earned run allowed, and 7 Ks? And escaping from a bases loaded, nobody out jam unscathed? And all this was done in front of the home crowd who no doubt still treat every Javy start like sharks waiting to smell blood in the water, no less. I think this is what the Yankee brass and fanbase had in mind when they traded for this guy back in December. I wouldn't say it absolves Javy of all his sins in the eyes of the fans, and he's still carrying a 6.06 ERA after last night, but that's 3 quality starts out of his last 4 now and he's starting to pitch with more confidence. I guess trusting and locating your fastball will do that.
If Javy can keep this up, it makes CC's struggles all the less important and give him more time to work his shit out as the rest of the staff seems to be doing just fine.