Tagged: Hideki Matsui

This Moose Is Not Cooked

This entry can also be read at this blog’s likely new home by clicking here.

A series split with the Rays. Considering how the series started I’ll take it. For my money the star of the game was Mike Mussina. I’m glad he got the “player of the game” nod from the fans and crew at YES. Quite simply, Moose was awesome. Shame on those of you Yankees fans who were so quick to write Moose off. He’s been one of the most consistent pitchers in the history of the game. Like any pitcher he’ll have the occasional bad game. But more often that not, he’s going to keep the team in he ballgame. He shut down a pretty good Rays offense giving up only 2 hits through 6 innings. He was definitely on his game. Congrats to Moose on winning #251 and tying the great Bob Gibson on the all-time win list, and on passing David Cone on the all-time strikeout list.

This was definitely the best offensive game to date, albeit it wasn’t anywhere near what they’re capable of. They put up 6 runs on 11 hits. Not bad, but they can do better. It’s still pretty much the same handful of guys coming through. Bobby Abreu is absolutely en fuego. No chance he slumps like he did last season. Matsui had another nice game at the plate chipping in with 2 RBI. He’s much better suited to hit 5th in the lineup than down in the 8-hole where Girardi had him hitting the first few games. Memo to Joe: Don’t tinker with what works. Leave Cano in the 7 spot and keep Matsui hitting behind Alex.

Brian Bruney again showed he was going to be reliable in big spots. He hasn’t shown any signs of the control problems that has plagued him in the past. I almost threw up my dinner when they cut to Farnsworth warming up in the bullpen when it was still a 4-1 game. I am so glad that the Yanks tacked on some insurance because there’s no way anyone should have faith in him in close games. I know he and Girardi were teammates once, but come on Joe, he’s shown us time and time again that he can’t handle it. I’m glad things worked out the way they did. Farsnworth and Hawkins basically mopped up. Hawkins made things a little interesting there in the 9th, and surprisingly, neither he nor Farnsworth gave up a run.

I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again: I love Jose Molina. It’s been a while since the Yankees had a backup catcher that could swing the stick.

Speaking of backup catchers, I need to make mention of something John Flaherty made to Michael Kay during the broadcast. Kay referred to the shift that the Yankees put on Carlos Pena as the “martini glass defense.” As soon as those words came out of his mouth, I was like “ugh.” Where does he come up with this drivel? First we get “generation trey,” now we get “martini glass defense.” For those that missed the broadcast, he called it a “martini glass defense” because the positioning of the right-fielder, first-baseman, second-baseman and shortstop looks like an upside down martini glass. Horrible Kay. Absolutely horrible. After he made the comment, Flaherty interjected saying something like, “I can guarantee you that no one has ever referred to that as a martini glass defense.” Thank you John! That comment made my night. In short Kay, you’re an idiot.

It sounds like they’ll be without Jeter for a few days. Girardi said in the postgame that they were going to take it slow and that he definitely wouldn’t be in the lineup tomorrow. Jeter’s a gamer. He’ll be back in a few days.

It was a pretty successful homestand in my opinion. They took 2 out of 3 from a very tough Toronto team. Halladay, Burnett and McGowan are one of the better 1-2-3 punches in the league. The Rays are a great young team and they’re only going to get better. When Kazmir returns they become a much better team. A team like the Rays always gives the Yankees fits. They’re quick and they’re not afraid to run. That’s why the Angels had so much success against them while Torre was the skipper. Bouncing back to take the final 2 games of the series is just what this team needed before embarking on a road trip. The pitching has been great. The offense has been lukewarm but is showing signs of heating up. A reader named Mike left a comment today that the bats will heat up with the weather. I couldn’t agree with that more. Hopefully, the pitching stays as hot as they’ve been.

Tomorrow is a day game. Yuck. I hate day games for the sole reason that I can’t watch it. You can bet though I’ll have it on my XM radio. At least it’s a 3:30 start so I should be home for some of it. I’ll have to remember to set up the DVR.

Peace, love and Pinstripes,