Leaping To The Top
The 2 week drive that saw the Yankees go 8-2 placed them to be back in the race last weekend. This week the Yankees lost the third game to the World Champion Phillies, but won a series in Texas and the first game in Cleveland, going 3-2. It was enough to place the Yankees at the top of the AL East by half a game.
Jorge Posada has come back, and while Melky Cabrera fell and hurt his shoulder, Brett Gardner has been there to hit really well. The Yankees have finally got most of the lineup they thought they would have with the exception of Xavier Nady. That being said, the big turnaround was probably chracterised more by better pitching than hitting.
With a third of the season gone, we’re starting to see what this team is capable of doing. If they ca build on the lead and go to Boston with a few games in the standings, it would be a good thing, Winning there might just determine the season.
Joba To The Pen?
For some reason, this crowd just won’t shut up. It’s insane, but this week saw the Bleacher Report take the line that Joba was better as the intimidator in the 8th inning. As Joe Girardi noted, the good thing about Presidential debates is that they end. This one just keeps going.
Chien-Ming Wang In The Bullpen
With Phil Hughes pitching well as a starter in the last 2 outings, Wang is still consigned to the bullpen. It really comes down to the fact that between 6 pitchers going in to 5 spots. With three taken by Sabathia Pettitte & Burnett, it’s Joba, Hughes and Wang trying to fit into 2 spots.
After 2 relief outing, Wang looks like he has some of his sink back. It maybe the case that Wang pitches ‘Teh Eighth’ until such time that a starter is needed. I’s not a bad thing having pitching depth. This year, the Yankees have not had to dig deep down to option no. 7, 8 and 9, unlike 2005-2008. Ian Kennedy and Kei Igawa are not within shouting distance of the Bronx this year, while Alfredo Aceves is yet to make a start.
I know it’s early days but signing AJ Burnett in the off-season was a good deal.
After hitting like Ruth in April, Swisher has been struggling at the plate in May. He took a HBP to the elbow in early May and has been hititng like crud since. It’s reminiscent of Jeter last year when he got hit in the hand by Daniel Cabrera in May and he didn’t really hit the way he can until September.
I just wonder when Swisher is going to stop hurting and turn it around.
Derek Jeter Nudges .300
I mentioned a couple of weeks ago that Jeter’s BABIP was way below his career norm. In the last few weeks he has seen it rise to above league average, and with it, he has rasied his Average to close to.300. It doesn’t seem like Jeter is actually slowing down at all.
In the field, Jeter’s defense has been average for Shortstop, with a UZR/150 of 0.7. Even at 35, reports of his demise were probably premature.The Yankees actually need to figure out a way of not letting him get so banged up.
F*ck You Pavano
Carl Pavano went 5-1 for the Indians this May. It’s more wins than he ever got for the Yankees.