Sunday, May 4, 2014

Game 30 Wrap-Up: TB 5 NYY 1

(Courtesy of the AP)

For the Yankees to successfully tread water while Michael Pineda is out, they need CC Sabathia to be better.  No matter how good some of the peripherals look or how most of his damage has come in bad 1-inning samples, at the end of the day it's the final results that matter and CC's haven't been all that good.  He could have gotten back on the right track with a strong performance in today's series finale against the Rays and sent the team back on the road with some positive momentum.  Instead he pitched very poorly and got the sputtering offense into a hole it couldn't climb out of.

Game Notes:

- In short, it wasn't a good start for CC.  He wasn't commanding his 4-seamer or sinker and he gave up 4 runs on 4 XBH through the first 3 innings, including a 3-run inside-the-park home run by Wil Myers in the 3rd.

- Joe probably wanted to try to get at least 5 out of CC, but there was no way he could let him continue if he wanted to win.  CC gave up another run on 3 hits and failed to cover first base on a potential double play ball and he was out with 2 outs in the 4th, leaving to some well deserved boos.

- Regardless of how CC was pitching, the Yankee offense had no excuse for not scoring more than 1 run off of Erik Bedard in the first 4 innings.  They left 5 men stranded and were 0-6 with RISP.

- Give a big tip of cap to Alfredo Aceves.  He took over for CC in his re-debut appearance and kept his team within striking distance.  5.1 scoreless IP, 3 hits, 5 strikeouts.  And he gave the rest of the 'pen another day off.

- It didn't matter much.  The offense never found its footing, stranding 2 in the bottom of the 7th and never mounting a credible threat in the 8th or 9th.  Pretty pathetic showing all-around.

Ian Clarkin Says Hello

I wasn't even aware that Ian Clarkin was slated to pitch for Low-A Charleston this season, let alone make his first start of the season for them last night.  After he had his pro debut delayed last year, I thought the Yankees would take the cautious approach with his HS arm and start him in one of the short-season leagues.  Guess that would have been a waste of time based on last night's results:

5 IP, 4 H, 0 R, 0 BB, 5 K.

Yeah, I guess that's pretty good for a 19-year-old kid who gave up 6 ER in 5.0 GCL innings pitched last season.  Clarkin was nasty with his stuff, sharp with his command, and efficient with his pitch count (61 pitches, 42 strikes).  He also picked a runner off of first base.  It's just 1 game, but it was a helluva way to introduce yourself to a Yankee fanbase that has high hopes for their 2013 draft class.

How Much Did Derek Jeter Need That Day Off Yesterday?

(Courtesy of Getty Images)

Heading into last weekend, Derek Jeter owned a .294/.385/.338 slash line.  The power had not been there at all, but his high average and OBP made him a useful piece at the top of the order and were positive signs that he had his legs back under him.

Since that weekend, things have started to trend in the wrong direction.  In Jeter's last 5 games played, he's gone just 3-24 with 0 BB and 7 K, including his first career 0-7 game on Friday night.  His batting line is down to .250/.324/.283 and Joe elected to give him a day off yesterday.  Has Jeter been a bit overworked in the first month of the season?  The statistical signs that he may be tiring have been prevalent in his recent performance.  The lack of walks, the increased K rate, and the complete disappearance of power in his game.  Jeter hasn't had an XBH since April 17th.  So is it time to start being concerned about The Captain?