Wednesday, September 5, 2012

No Time To Panic, Or The Perfect Time?

I don't think I'd rank it up there with Pulp Fiction or A Clockwork Orange on my list of all-time favorite movies, but gun to my head, I don't think there's any way I could come up with a top 10 and leave out Toy Story.  That movie is flat out awesome, and if you don't agree then you have less of a soul than even I.  Arguably the best scene in that movie is the scene shown above in which Woody and Buzz Lightyear, alone and exposed in the outside world for the first time, argue about how best to handle the situation.  Bizarre as it may seem, that scene lends itself well to explaining the predicament in which the Yankees currently find themselves, and whether or not it's time to panic.

In Case You Haven't Had Enough Slump Coverage...

There's these 2 shit-flavored tidbits to hold you over:

- The Yankees' team .332 OBP is their lowest since 1992

This point was talked about multiple times by the ESPN broadcast crew last night, and I think it's very telling to what's gone wrong with this offense lately and all season.  There aren't a lot of grinders in this lineup anymore; there aren't guys who work counts, foul balls off, take walks.  There's a lot of hackers and a lot more swings and misses.  Probably explains why the Yanks have hit so many home runs but likely won't finish with a single 100-RBI guy.

- The Yankees have had 6 hits or fewer in 5 straight games for the first time since 1990

I don't care who you are, what side of the plate you hit from, and how much good or bad BABIP luck you have, that's fucking awful.  Awful.  Mike Axisa pointed this out in his game recap on RAB this morning and I can't think him enough for contributing to my early morning depression.

Game 135 Wrap-Up: TB 5 NYY 2

(If this was supposed to fire the team up, it didn't work.  Courtesy of The AP)

The Yankees used their off day last Thursday to reorganize their rotation and get their top 4 starters lined up for the first 4 games of this all-important, all-Baltimore/TB 10-game span.  That moved backfired on them, as they'd gone 1-3 heading into last night's game, and they had the outright lead in the division on the line and essentially their 5th starter, Freddy Garcia, tasked with holding on to it last night.  Garcia had been shaky at best his last few times out, and his margin for error was very small with an ineffective bullpen and weak-hitting lineup backing him up, but a good outing could help stop the boat from rocking so violently.  Needing to be a stopper, Garcia just kept things right on a-rockin'.

Game Notes:

- The offense drew blood early.  Alex Cobb got 2 quick outs in the top of the 1st, but then Nick Swisher worked a 2-out walk and Robinson Cano, DHing a day after tweaking his hip, drove a 2-1 fastball out to left for a home run and 2-0 Yankee lead.

- Top 3rd, runners on first and second, Swish at the plate with a 2-0 count, what happens?  If you answered, "Swish strikes out swinging on the next 3 pitches and Cano grounds into an inning-ending double play," congratulations.  And go fuck yourself.

- It took Freddy just 9 pitches to get himself in trouble, but he worked out and only gave up 1 run in the process. He wasn't so lucky in the 3rd when he got 2 outs on 2 pitches, then walked Ben Zobrist and gave up a 2-run HR to Evan Longoria, repeating Cobb's mistake and giving Tampa a 1-run lead.

- Both Garcia and a few Yankee hitters were unhappy with Tony Randazzo's strike zone in the early innings, and it quickly came to a head at the end of the top of the 4th when Randazzo ejected Joe Girardi.  Joe charged out of the dugout and got his money's worth, but nothing positive came from it.

- The 5th inning has been Freddy's undoing the last 2 times he's pitched, and last night was no different.  With a pitch count in the 80s, he gave up back-to-back HRs to Desmond Jennings and B.J. Upton to make it 5-2, but at least he got through the inning this time, right?  Right??

- At least the offense was supporting him.  Oh wait, no they were disappearing again.  3 hits and 5 baserunners through the first 3 innings, just 1 hit, 1 baserunner, and 10 straight retired by Cobb after that.

- Derek Jeter broke up the hitless streak with 1 out in the 8th, but watched Curtis Granderson and Swish strike out to end the inning.  A measly A-Rod infield hit is all they could muster in the 9th, and the Yankees went down quietly again.

- If you want to try to put a positive spin on this, you could say at least A-Rod looked good and smooth at third base.  That's something I guess.