They've done it. I'm actually impressed that it happened as early as it did. I expected the downward spiral to take a lot longer than it has since I first started this blog in August of 2009, but it has officially happened on the afternoon of August 14, 2012. The Bahhston Fraud Sawx have become so pathetic as a professional sports organization that it's almost not even fair or funny to try to make fun of them anymore. The story that came out today is so perfect, so deliciously enjoyable if you're a Fraud Sawx hater like I am, that there's no need to comment on it. You just sit back, read, and then laugh.
(Not an image I expected to see. Courtesy of Getty Images)
See what I did there? That's clever shit. It's gold, Jerry. Gold!
In all seriousness, I, like many others, was not excited about the prospects of Derek Lowe joining the Yankee pitching staff, even if it was as a temporary bullpen arm to help cover for the loss of CC Sabathia. There wasn't much in his final days as a Cleveland Indian (10.03 ERA/5.45 FIP, 0.57 K/BB in 23.1 IP) to suggest that he was going to going to be anything more than a batting practice pitcher for the opposing team. And despite his claims that he had "fixed" what was wrong, without actually seeing it in action it was hard to take that as gospel coming from an older, no-stuff guy like Lowe.
(I feel ya, CC. I'm pretty bummed about it too. Courtesy of Getty Images)
Despite the idiotic argument of "yeah, but he hasn't been pitching like an ace this season" coming from the contingent of mouthbreathing Yankee fans and writers who have nothing better to do than stir the pot, there's no denying that CC Sabathia is the best and most important starting pitcher on the Yankee staff. When he's healthy and in the rotation, a 4some of CC, Hiroki Kuroda, Ivan Nova, and Phil Hughes can be pretty formidable, even with Nova and Hughes pitching as inconsistently as they are right now. When he's not, a top 3 of Kuroda, Nova, and Hughes is a bit suspect, especially with Nova and Hughes pitching as inconsistently as they are right now, and the lack of depth on the back end becomes a little more exposed. That's why it's frustrating to see CC go back on the DL for a second time in less than 2 months after never once landing on it in his first 3 years in pinstripes.
Well the Yankees finally got to reap the benefits of sending David Phelps back down to the Minors to be stretched out as a starter. It was about 5-6 weeks too late to really be called a benefit, but that's just details. Phelps sais he felt like he was good for 75-90 pitches before the game, and with Derek Lowe as his caddy in the bullpen it probably would have been a solid strategic move for Joe to let Phelps throw that many if he was pitching well. As it turned out, Joe was smart enough to let Phelps pitch as deep as he could AND Lowe ended up pitching big innings well. Who knew??
- It was a shaky beginning for Phelps. Some bad BABIP luck led to a Texas run and a 26-pitch 1st inning for him, and then David Murphy led off the 2nd with a solo HR to right to make it 2-0. That pitch count was coming in a hurry.
- But then Phelps got his Andy Pettitte on and started picking guys off left and right. He got Ian Kinsler at first to end the 2nd inning and Elvis Andrus at second with 2 on and just 1 out in the 3rd.
- It was at that point that the offense finally decided to show up. They loaded the bases with 1 out against Ryan Dempster and then unloaded them on a Nick Swisher grand slam. A walk and a couple more singles and they loaded them up again to push another run across on a Curtis Granderson sac fly.
- From there, Phelps was golden, working the 4th and 5th effortlessly. He found the command of his 4-seamer a little better in those innings and really threw his curveball well. After the start he had, to get through 5 and only give up 2 against that lineup is a job well done.
- The offense didn't stop once Phelps left. Eric Chavez hit a leadoff solo HR in the 6th, showing that the few days off over the weekend didn't cool his hot streak. Then a triple-double-single combo by Ichiro Suzuki, Derek Jeter, and Swish brought in 2 more in the 7th to make it 8-2.
- The story of the night was Derek Lowe. There was reason to be wary of bringing him in with the way he pitched on his way out of Cleveland, but Lowe was money last night. In 4 scoreless innings of work he got 4 groundball outs and 4 strikeouts, and his sinker and slider were both on.
- Whatever he said he figured out before coming back, it sure looked like Lowe knew what he was talking about last night. The Yankees didn't need to use another bullpen arm for the rest of the game and cruised to the finish in the series opener.