Friday, August 17, 2012

Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 8/17

No stories or random thoughts today.  I'm just looking forward to being able to watch Yanks-Sawx on Sunday night.  Believe it or not, I actually didn't watch either of the ESPN games against the Rangers this week.  Well, I caught part of Wednesday night's game at a bar I was at with some people, but I missed every single scoring play so it's hard to say I really watched it.  Now onto the links!

- On Monday, Mike Jaggers-Radolf of TYA looked at the decrease in Derek Jeter's OBP this season and how it's tied to a change in approach at the plate as he's gotten older.

- On Tuesday, Josh Norris had some good quotes from a scout who gave his opinion on a few of the bigger-name A-ball prospects.  Surprising take on Tyler Austin.

- William Juliano of The Captain's Blog commented on The Captain's historically-good offensive season and the potential for it to hurt the 2014 payroll plans.

- SJK of NoMaas got the exclusive scoop on the infamous Adrian Gonzalez text that started the latest Fraud Sawx calamity.

- Chris Carelli of Yanks Go Yard looked towards September and the potentially deep bullpen that could exist when rosters expand.  I wouldn't count on much, if anything, from Feliciano, but hope springs eternal.

- Steven Goldman of Pinstripe Alley mused on A-Rod's contract and the absurdity of the idea that the Yankees should be surprised by A-Rod's decline.

- On Wednesday, Mike Axisa of RAB examined Curtis Granderson's continuing slump and the potential root causes for it.

- On Thursday, Brien Jackson of IIATMS weighed in on the Melky Cabrera suspension and commented on the flawed logic in suggesting that the MLBPA "has to do something" to address guys who get caught/punished.

- El duque of It Is High... said exactly what I was thinking in relation to the upcoming Yanks-Sawx series when he talked about the opportunity to end the Sawx's season in August this weekend.

- Bill Ballew of had a nice little write-up on Dante Bichette, Jr., and took a much more positive tone with Bichette's tough first year in a full-season league.

- On Friday, Curtis Clark of Bronx Baseball Daily unveiled his latest AL East power rankings.  No surprise as to which team was at the top.

For the Friday jam I'm going back to the pick I originally had planned for last week before Deftones showed up on scene.  It's "Wires" by Red Fang and it's a completely kickass rock song.  It works for every situation.  You can rock out to it, hang out to it, cook out to it, chill out to it, smoke out to it.  It's a 5-tool rock song, the Matt Kemp of rock songs.  The video ain't bad either.

Enjoy your weekends, everybody.

Relax With Joba, People

(Give the guy a break, folks.  He's just coming back.  Courtesy of The AP)

I appreciated Joba's openness and matter-of-fact assessment of his performance yesterday.  In the same vein as Eric Chavez's straightforward comments about the losing streak last week, Joba's real talk when discussing the job he did on the mound yesterday was refreshingly honest and the type of thing I would expect Joba to say.  He's a professional, he wants to do well, he wants to help the team win, and he's smart enough to recognize that he hasn't been doing that since coming back from his long injury layoff.  Joba has never been one to shy away from blame when he doesn't get the job done, and going just on the numbers so far it's pretty clear that he hasn't been getting the job done.  6 ER on 13 H and 4 BB in 6 IP is an ugly line for a reliever, and normally well within the parameters for determining a guy's worthiness of receiving some Bronx cheers.

Game 118 Wrap-Up: TEX 10 NYY 6

(Be the ball, Ivan.  Courtesy of Getty Images)

It was Yankee Pitching 3 Texas Hitting 0 coming into yesterday afternoon's series finale against the Rangers.  But at long last, the Texas bats managed to wake up and put together the kind of offensive day we all know they're capable of.  Ivan Nova wasn't as sharp as his last outing in Toronto, especially not with his offspeed stuff, and the bullpen wasn't much better behind him.  But a 3-1 series win is still pretty damn good against Texas, so that end result makes yesterday's dud a little easier to take.

Game Notes:

- Nova struggled right out of the gate yesterday, allowing 2 runs on 3 hits in the top of the first, including a badly hung curveball to Josh Hamilton, and it looked like it was setting up to be over quickly.

- The top of the 3rd was even uglier, as Nova loaded the bases with no outs on a leadoff double and back-to-back walks.  But in a display fitting of his "works out of trouble" rep, Nova struck out Hamilton and David Murphy and got Adrian Beltre to ground out to strand all 3 runners.

- For their part, the lineup didn't do much to help Nova through the first 5 innings.  The only baserunner they managed was a single by Jayson Nix in the 3rd.  Derek Holland had his sinker working, and the Yankee bats were lifeless against it.

- Nova couldn't repeat his 3rd-inning escape in the 6th, giving up 2 more runs on a collection of hits, walks, and hit batters.  He couldn't locate his curveball where he wanted to and his fastball command was not very good, and Nova didn't make it out of the inning, leaving with a 4-0 deficit.

- In the bottom half of the 6th, the Yankee offense finally solved Holland, striking for 5 runs to take the lead.  A bunch of singles got the action started, and the big blow was a 2-run HR by Andruw Jones that I honestly didn't think even needed to be reviewed in the first place.

- Boone Logan came on to hold the lead and basically puked on his shoes in giving it up in 4 batters.  Joba Chamberlain came on to replace him and wasn't much better through the 8th.  He's allowed 17 baserunners in 6 innings since coming back.

- The Yanks got 1 run in the 7th on a Mark Teixeira groundout, but that was as close as they would get again.  Just a tough day for the pitching staff all around.