Thursday, August 1, 2013

Robertson Sitting Out Last Night- Problem?

After declaring him not an injury risk and talking down concern when a heavy short-term workload left him unavailable for a night early last month, it was more than a tad disconcerting to read that David Robertson was not available last night due to arm fatigue.  That makes his 9-pitch, 1-and-done appearance on Tuesday night more understandable and should be looked at as somewhat of a concern based on Joe saying that D-Rob came to him to tell him he wasn't feeling it.

D-Rob was lights out in July, allowing 0 runs in 13 appearances and striking out 18 batters to just 1 walk.  In fact, he hasn't given up a run since June 16th.  He also had his heaviest workload of the season in July, 13.0 IP in all.  That's a pretty decent toll considering a few off-days and the ASB are included.  Robertson had pitched in 3 of the last 4 nights before last night, but only 3 times in the preceding 2 weeks because of the break.  It's not like Joe has been riding him into the ground lately, so why the arm fatigue now?

Chances are it was just a one-time thing and D-Rob will be good to go.  He'll have a second straight day off tomorrow and it wouldn't shock me to see Joe hold him out a third day tomorrow if the lead or deficit is big enough.  As long as we see Robertson back out on the mound fanning guys this weekend, I think he's fine.

Granderson To Return Vs. Padres

Even though they got nothing at the deadline, the Yankees could still be getting an upgrade to their lineup as soon as tomorrow.  Via Josh Norris, Curtis Granderson was not listed on the Double-A Trenton roster today and is traveling to California to meet up with the Yankees for their weekend series against the San Diego Padres.  Norris did not specify which day, and there has been no follow-up on the report by anybody else, but as someone who covers Trenton intimately, Norris would have a better idea of what's going on than anybody at ESPN NY.

For C-Grand, this will mark the second return to the lineup for him this season.  Hopefully this one is more than 8 games.  In 6 MiL rehab games, Granderson was 4-19 with 4 BB, 5 K, and 3 R scored.  He's not the right-handed power bat the Yankees need, but he is another power bat and he's a better everyday lineup option than Wells and Ichiro.  For the Yankees, this is a greatly needed lengthening of the middle of the batting order and through association a deepening of the bench.

Slurping Hiroki Kuroda

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

The title of the post tells you the whole story.  No underlying storylines here, no projections or predictions, or trying to figure out what it may mean for the future.  This is just some straight up, good old-fashioned appreciation of what Hiroki Kuroda has done this season and recognition of how badass he is.

Kuroda has been the unquestioned best starting pitcher on the staff this year.  After last night, he now leads all Yankee starters (with 10 starts or more) in ERA (2.38), FIP (3.38), BB rate (4.9%), K/BB (3.67), WHIP (1.03), strand rate (83.7%), wins (10), and fWAR (3.0).  He's second in IP (139.2) and strikeouts (99) and the innings count is really only because Joe doesn't seem to have it in him to take CC out early when he's pitching like crap.  Kuroda has officially become the ace of this staff.

Game 107 Wrap-Up: NYY 3 LAD 0

(Courtesy of the AP)

I half-joked on the Facebook page Tuesday that if I set the betting line at 5 total runs scored in this series, would you take the over or the under?  Most people were taking the under and it was hard to blame them with who the Dodgers were putting out on the mound.  Zack Greinke did the job on Wednesday night against the still sputtering Yankee offense and big lefty and once pipe dream future Yankee Clayton Kershaw looked primed to best that last night.  If we're being honest, he actually did, but he was bested by the best the Yankees have on their staff in Hiroki Kuroda and the Bombers left LA with a much needed split.

Game Notes:

- Kershaw surrendered just 3 hits through 6 innings, 2 of them groundball singles that found holes.  He was on his game and working efficiently to mow down the Yankee batting order.

- Across the diamond, Kuroda was doing the exact same thing to the Dodger lineup.  He allowed just a single walk the first time through the order, and completely torched the 1-4 spots in the lineup between the 3rd and 4th innings with a K, groundout, K, K sequence.

- Hirok could have gotten himself into trouble in the bottom of the 7th, when he gave up 3 base hits in a 4-batter span.  Luckily Adrian Gonzalez got greedy trying to stretch his leadoff hit and got thrown out at second by Vernon Wells.

- Boone Logan replaced Kuroda after Melky Mesa pinch hit for him in the top of the 8th and navigated his way around a leadoff single and an intentional walk of Yasiel Puig to get the Yankees to their last chance in a 0-0 9th.

- Kershaw hit for himself in the bottom of the 8th, but for some reason was removed for the top of the 9th.  Derek Jeter worked a leadoff walk off Ronald Bellisario, who also walked Ichiro after 2 groundouts.  Pinch hitter Lyle Overbay faced lefty Paco Rodriguez, and after getting a VERY generous check swing call with 2 strikes, came through with an RBI single to center to put New York on the board.

- The Yanks would plate 2 more in the next at-bat when Mark Ellis and Puig failed to communicate on a pop up and let it drop in off the bat of Jayson Nix.  Mo went 1-2-3 in the 9th and that was all she wrote.