(Yeah, he was on the mark on Saturday. Courtesy of The AP)
It had been a very hot and cold start to the season before the Yankees coming into the 100th anniversary party for Fenway on Friday. They were getting more bad starts than good, and the offense was nowhere near clicking on even half its cylinders. A year after we had to deal with the stupidity of the "too many home runs" theory about the offense, the Yankees came into this weekend not hitting very many at all, at least not from the guys you usually expect to hit them. Well, after this weekend, I think anybody who was thinking of commenting on the lack of power from the Yankee lineup will have to reconsider, even if the pitching inconsistencies still linger. Here's my take on the 2 games I didn't get to watch over the weekend.
- The more I watch Ivan Nova pitch, and the more I look at his postgame lines, the more I like the kid. He's a tough, confident kid who has grown leaps and bounds with both his stuff and his control in the last calendar year. He still needs to refine his command within the strike zone to lessen the number of big hits he gives up, but there's something to be said for a pitcher with an ability to consistently limit damage and that's just what Nova does. He makes his best pitches when he really needs to, and I think he can continue to progress as a pitcher having that skill in his bag of tricks.
- There's no reason for Eduardo Nunez to ever be subbing for Robbie Cano at 2nd unless Cano is banged up. That ball he threw away on Thursday night couldn't have been more routine. Keep him on the left side of the infield to give rest to the guys who really need it, and keep Cano's Gold Glove out there at all times.
- Good to see Russell Martin hit a homer on Friday. Save for his walks, the guy had done nothing at the plate, and last time I checked it was Stewart who was supposed to be the "all D/no O" catcher.
- I wasn't a huge fan of the decision to carry a 13th pitcher to replace Gardner on the active roster, but I'll say that it was the right move to make for this past weekend, and props to Joe for using Cody Eppley and props to Eppley for getting the job done.
- Eric Chavez? On steroids? His 2 homers on Friday were no joke.
- Major bummer on Michael Pineda's latest setback on Friday. I've preached patience on him all spring, but if it took less than 15 pitches for him to feel the same pain he felt when he was initially shut down after as much rest as he got, I think that's a bad sign for him for the rest of this year.
- When D-Rob has his command, he is frighteningly good.
- He obviously won't continue his current 216-RBI pace, but if Swish can avoid any major slumps or injuries he is going to earn himself a big new contract. Give the guy credit for not worrying or talking about his situation and just going out and playing ball.
- By the time I got to a spot where I could watch the game on Saturday, Freddy was already gone. From what I gather, he had low velocity, and when you're velocity is already as low as his is to start with, that's not a good place to be against the Bahhston lineup. He's had a rough spring between the hand injury, having his role changing, and now not pitching well. I actually feel bad for the guy.
- That being said, I think it would be stupid of the Yankees to not skip his turn after the off day this Thursday. His velocity being down isn't a good sign for him, and the rest could help him regain that, regain some feel for his offspeed stuff, and regain some confidence,
- As much as I liked him while he was a Yankee, there was some sweet joy in watching Alfredo Aceves fail to even get an out as part of the 7th-8th inning offensive explosion on Saturday.
- Even better than that was watching the look of utter disbelief and confusion on Bobby V's face every time he went to the mound to call for the next bullpen victim. He looked like a beaten man already as the game was going on, and he sounded like a beaten man during his postgame presser.
- Oh, and the slight hat tip to the crowd? Idiotic. I hope he gets run out of town before the season ends.
- Beautiful swings by Teix on his opposite-field HR and his 2-run double. It's great to see the power start to come so quickly after I commended him on his approach and cleaner swing mechanics. The guy has put up numbers too good to ignore when evaluating him as a hitter and he's not THAT old yet. If he maintains this new balanced approach from the left side and doesn't fall back into bad habits, watch out.
- The Fraud Sawx's bullpen line on Saturday of 3 IP, 12 H, 13 ER, 5 BB is the stuff dreams are made of.
- HUUUUUUUGE suck factor not being able to watch last night's game because of the weather. I was really looking forward to seeing CC pitch, and really looking forward to seeing if the Yankee hitters could continue their ownership of Daniel Bard now that he's a starter instead of a reliever.