Friday, May 18, 2012

The Force Is Still Strong With This One...

"The Force is what gives a Jedi his power. It's an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us. It binds the galaxy together."

Stop Waiting For Something To Happen And Make It Happen

(Courtesy of The AP)

There are an abundance of different managerial/coaching styles when it comes to professional sports.  Some guys are real good at the people level, like Joe Maddon, and get the most out of their players through basic human motivational tactics.  There are guys like John Tortorella who yell and scream and curse and act like dicks to the media to try to keep the focus solely on their players and off of them.  And then there's Joe Girardi.  I've spent plenty of time and space on this blog questioning some of Joe's tactics, mainly his reliance on his bullpen matchup binder and his love for the sacrifice bunt, but overall I think Joe does do a good job managing the Yankees.  One thing I don't think he's good at, however, is providing useful commentary and explanations in situations where the Yankees are playing poorly, like what has happened over the past 3 games.

Friday Afternoon Linkapalooza: 5/18

I don't know what's been rougher (probably not a word), my week at the office or the week the Yankee lineup had at the plate.  I'm not quite 3-for-41 with RISP bad this week, but it's been a damn long week.  Hopefully everybody else's has been full of sunshine and rainbows.  Onto the links!

- On Monday, Brien Jackson of IIATMS commented on Teix's horrible start at the plate and what may need to happen to try to get him fixed.  Maybe Teix read this before his 2-4 game that night.

- Chris Carelli of Yanks Go Yard wondered if this dimished version of Teix that we've seen in 2011 and early 2012 is what we should get used to seeing through 2016.  Not a comforting thought, but one that has to be considered given Teix's huge statistical declines.

- Nick Fleder of Bronx Baseball Daily used the PITCHf/x-colored glasses to analyze Andy's first start back in pinstripes.

- On Tuesday, Joseph Kringer Jr. of NYY Universe discussed the Yankees' merry-go-round situation with the closer's role since Mo's injury and what it might say about Girardi's thought process.

- On Wednesday, Mike Eder of TYA studied A-Rod's numbers against the fastball to see if declining bat speed is a cause for A-Rod's lack of power this season.

- Frank Campagnola of Pinstripe Alley offered up his own opinions on A-Rod's missing power.

- On Thursday, William Juliano of The Captain's Blog examined the Yankees rotation's high HR rate and what it might mean moving forward.

- El Duque of It Is High... , inspired by the back-to-back (and belly-to-belly) no-shows by the Yanks on Tuesday and Wednesday, listed the 10 most horrific truths about the current state of the Yankees.

- Mike Axisa of RAB looked at Mason Williams' absurd contact rates and low K rates and concluded that he should be promoted to High-A Tampa sooner rather than later.
- Fishjam 25 of Yankees Fans Unite dissected the recent sluggish of the Yankee offense, and the big dip in hitting with RISP and SB that has made them very one-dimensional.

- Eric Schultz of TYA analyzed the numbers on Hiroki Kuroda's early ups and downs to see how a different a pitcher he has (or hasn't) become since transitioning to the AL East.

- On Friday, Lisa Swan of Subway Squawkers was not amused to know that the Mets currently have a better record than the Yankees.  I myself am not amused at this either, so thanks for the cruel reminder, Lisa.

- Steve Goldman of Pinstriped Bible got real deep and philosophical on changes.  It's pretty heavy, dude, and I'm sure there's some underlying message there about the current state of the Yankees, but being a zombie this morning, I have to admit that I missed it.

We're going back to the hippin' and the hoppin' for the Friday Jam.  That new Kanye track is hot fire.  Maybe a little G.O.O.D. Music swag will help wake the Yankee bats up.

Don't work too hard this afternoon, people.  I know I won't.  And enjoy your weekends.

Game 38 Wrap-Up: TOR 4 NYY 1

(Courtesy of The AP)

The last 2 games before last night's series finale against Toronto hadn't been pretty.  In fact, they might have been the 2 ugliest games the Yankees have played this season.  The goal was to get back on track offensively and salvage a series split before heading back home, but the Yankee bats still couldn't shake the cobwebs off to support starter Phil Hughes.

Game Notes:

- The rest of the lineup has been quiet, but Robinson Cano has continued to hit over the past few days.  He didn't waste any time last night, smoking a double to the left-center field gap to score Curtis Granderson and give the Yankees a quick 1-0 lead in the 1st.

- Hughes worked through the first 2 innings scoreless, but he was hardly sharp.  He walked 2 batters, threw 40+ pitches, and was pretty much exclusively 4-seamer & curve with his offerings.  In the 3rd inning, after striking out Jose Bautista on fastballs and curves in the 1st, he hung a cutter to him and Bautista hit it for a 2-run homer and a 2-1 Blue Jays lead.

- Hughes didn't allow any more runs after that, but he also didn't give the Yankees the length they needed.  I don't know if he just didn't have enough of the reliever mentality or whatever, but there was a lot more of the typical Hughes inability to put hitters away with 2 strikes, and he used an inefficient 107 pitches to get through just 5.1 innings.  He wasn't awful, but he wasn't that good either.

- Drew Hutchison pulled a repeat performance of Drabek's outing from the other night.  He wasn't overly dominant or efficient in his 6 innings of work, he didn't have great command, he gave up 4 walks, but only the 1 run from the 1st because the Yankee bats could only manage 4 more hits off him.  If you're a Toronto fan, you're thrilled with 6 innings of 1-run ball from Hutchison, and that's what they got.

- Cory Wade entered to finish out the 6th, and got 2 outs in the 7th, but he hung a change to J.R. Arencibia with a runner on and Toronto got a couple of much-needed insurance runs.  I said earlier in the week that Wade, as good as he's been, wasn't going to go a whole season with a 0.0% HR rate.  There you go.

- For the first time, the Yankee hitters swung like they were starting to press at the plate.  After Hutchison left, they went down in order in the 7th, 8th, and 9th, only making Darren Oliver throw 7 pitches in the 8th and only making Casey Janssen throw 9 in the 9th.  There's plenty of pitches to hit out there, they just aren't doing anything useful with them.