Tagged: Mariano Rivera

Pitching Is Outstadning, Offense Still Blows

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It was a pretty uneventful game today.  I actually napped through most of it.  When you have a 7-month old sometimes that’s going to happen no matter how hard you try to stay awake.  So this recap will probably not be too in depth.
Wang was absolutely outstanding.  It was great to see how effective he could be while throwing something other than the sinker.  He’s definitely the team ace and he showed it today with his performance.  Want to stop a losing streak?  Call 1-800-4WANGER.
I didn’t see the tail end of the game so I missed the performances of Joba and Mariano.  I did catch the post game show and was able to read some recaps and they dominated as expected.  Chamberlain came in and got the Yankees out of a huge spot in the 7th.  I give a lot of credit to Girardi for not being afraid to use Joba in big spots prior to the 8th inning.  I’m just thankful he recorded the outs on very few pitches because the last thing any of us wanted to see was Kyle Farnsworth come out for the 8th.  And Mo looked like typical Mo.  12 pitches, 10 for strikes, 2 ks and a save.  Vintage.  He’s been pretty dominate so far this year also.  If the Yankees can hold a lead through 6 or 7 innings, they’re going to win a lot of ball games.
Surprisingly, I was awake to see the Yankees score their only runs considering how futile the offense has been.  They did a little better today racking up 9 hits but the only scoring came off of 1 swing of the bat when Matsui went yard.  They’re starting to show a little bit of life and they’re due for an explosion.  I like Matsui batting ahead of Cano in the lineup.  I think it makes more sense and I think it will benefit both at the plate. 
Considering how things went today I’m glad I slept through most of it.  I would have liked to have seen Chamberlain and Mo pitch, but what can you do? 
Moose gets the ball tomorrow and he better pitch a little better than he did in his first outing.  A repeat performance won’t be good enough if the offense continues to sputter.  Moose is one of my favorite pitchers and I think he’s going to have a bounce back year.  Hopefully, it starts with tomorrow’s outing.  The Yankees bats should be able to get to Rays starter Jason Hammel.  Considering how the offense has been a series split and a 4-3 record wouldn’t be a bad start to the year.
Peace, love and Pinstripes,

Stealing Victory From The Jaws Of Defeat

Is it me or was this game a near carbon copy of the opener? Another well pitched ball game by both teams and the Yanks getting the winning run after a defensive miscue by the Jays. The only difference is that the tying run was 90 feet from home. Mo was Mo and got Hill looking. Yanks win 3-2.

For those of you that don’t know me or are new to this blog, likely don’t know I’m a big Phil Hughes guy. I frequent his blog. I drove 5 hours just to watch him pitch in Scranton (only to have it rained out). I have a Phil Hughes BP Jersey. I have a Hughes 65 t-shirt. I drove to Erie, PA two years ago just to try and get his autograph, which I did. I also bought one of those “I Want To Thank The Good Lord” Joe DiMaggio signs that they sell on Steiner Sports that’s signed by Phil. I got it from MLB auctions for $100. I was biting my nails all off season while rumors were flying about him going to Minnesota for Johan. Thank God the Yankees were smart enough to hold onto Phil.

Personally, I thought Hughes was awesome tonight. He had great control with 57 of his 86 pitches were strikes. He consistently pitched ahead in counts. He made Frank Thomas look absolutely foolish. He scattered only 4 hits. That bloop double by Eckstein was ridiculous. You knew Rios was going to drive him home. As I said yesterday, Rios owns the Yankees. And then Eckstein drives in a run with an infield single. Hughes very well could have escaped tonight without giving up a run, but that’s baseball. I wasn’t pleased that he was on the hook for the loss after such a great performance. Thankfully, the boys picked him up scoring twice in the 6th. If only they could have plated one more run, my boy would’ve been in line for the W. That would been nice. Hughes is a great talent and I’m really looking forward to seeing him pitch many years in Pinstripes. They’d be stupid to let him go. Sign him long term. You won’t hear me complain.

The Yankee bats have been pretty silent so far this year. I credit most of that to the Jays pitching staff. Halladay, Burnett and McGowan aren’t slouches. They pitched extremely well and I think the Yanks are lucky to have escaped with 2 wins. They very well could have lost all 3. Honestly, they probably should have lost all 3. The Jays made some bad plays late in game 1. And they followed that up today with another game-costing error late in the game. When Damon reached on Downs’ fielding error that set it up for that run to score. This could have been an entirely different post had Downs made that play. I’m glad to see the Yanks went with back-to-back bunts there in the 8th. That’s the style of play that’s going to win these games. I like Girardi because he’s bringing that to the table. We don’t really need these guys swinging for the fences every at-bat. That was their downfall in last night’s game. It’s early April and these guys should know the ball doesn’t fly out of the park like it does in June. 3 months from now and Giambi ties that game up. Considering the situation and the elements they should have just tried to keep the line moving. I’d like to think Girardi won’t let that happen often.

We as Yankees fans should feel pretty comfortable with our bullpen. It’s been a long time since we’ve seen such a formidable duo at the back of the pen. I think the tandem of Joba and Mo is much better than the pairings of Gordon and Mo, or even Wettelnad and Mo. Odds are good that if the Yanks have the lead heading into the 8th that the game’s over. I was impressed with Traber and Bruney. They looked good. I’m not sure how many of you have ever played Strat-O-Matic or Diamond Mind Baseball. I’m an avid replayer of past seasons and when I play as some of the past Yankees teams from recent years, I always worry about having to give the game to the pen if it’s close. I have a feeling that when I replay 2008 I won’t be worried too much.

So they won 2 out of 3. Not a bad start. The series was chock full of great pitching. Like I mentioned earlier, taking 2 out of 3 when you’re facing Halladay, Burnett and McGowan is no easy task. They held the Yankee hitter in check. 2 of the 3 runs in game 1 came on a HR that barely cleared the wall and on a fielder’s choice that only happened because Eckstein couldn’t turn a double play. The only runs in game 2 came on a homer by A-Rod. And tonight they scored on a wild pitch, a sac fly and a single that followed a sac bunt and an error. They’re not exactly tearing the cover off the ball. Thankfully, the pitching kept the games close and allowed them to win the series.

Random Notes:
Mo notched his 2nd save. That didn’t take long. Much faster than last year.

I love having Jose Molina as Jorge’s back-up. When he steps up to the plate I don’t think to myself that it’s an automatic out like I did with Nieves, Stinnett, and Flaherty.

We’re winning with pitching and defense. What wins championships again?

Peace, love and Pinstripes,


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