3 series in the books, all 3 are good teams, we have won each series and we are 6-3! We are on a pace to win 108 games; I think we all could live with that.
The middle game of the series (Wednesday) saw the Yanks face a pitcher who had a ton of movement on all his pitches and the Yanks never really squared him up. Joel Pineiro mixed things up very well and the Yanks never adjusted and were not able lay off the balls to force more hittable pitches. Vazquez never got in a groove but battled before allowing 2 runs in the 6th inning that turned a decent battling performance into a poor one. His main issue was his command of his fastball as he could not spot it for strikes and fell behind too often. In the 6th, Posada and he threw 5 changeups out of 6 pitches before allowing a key hit that put the game just about out of reach. It was bad pitch selection by the 2 of them, not because it didn’t work, but because the batter had seen far too many of them and was not fooled by them. The Yanks tried to be cute and it backfired.
Yesterday’s game (Thursday) saw the Yanks offense take control of the game led by Cano’s 2 line drive homers. Hughes was falling behind people as well and did not pump enough strikes at the batters. Overall, he did OK, but, 5 walks in 5 innings are not acceptable, although he should have never been out there for the 6th inning. It seems that my disagreement with the Yanks handling of pitchers has put me on the less aggressive side every time. However, after 90+ pitches through 5 innings and allowing only 1 run, I would have taken my young pitcher who I have already stated will be on a pitch inning limit out of there. It defies logic in having him throw more pitches than he ever has in a start in his first start of the year? What were they thinking? I mean isn’t an innings limit just a way to have your pitcher throw less pitches? There is no way Hughes should have come out for the 6th inning and I am sure whatever answer Girardi gave would be one I would disagree with. If Hughes were not on some inning limit then I wouldn’t be as concerned (although I still would not have done it), but for your young future (hopefully) stud…no chance he sniffs the 6th – very poor job by Girardi. Not only that, Hughes allowed a single and a walk before exiting (and eventually a run). It gave Anaheim some life. All that being said about Hughes, it was good to see him work the changeup into his repertoire along with his good breaking ball and usually well spotted fastball. The pitch I thought was extremely effective though was his cutter. He had very good movement on that pitch and I am very confident that with that cutter, Hughes will be just fine. I hope that was not an aberration and he can throw that cutter consistently. While Hughes is not in Halladay’s league, Roy Halladay became one of the best in the game when he harnessed that cutter.
Robertson bounced back after giving up the grand slam and looked good in 1.2 innings allowing only a walk and K’s 3.
Jeter failed to get to 2 balls to his left that would be routine for guys with very good range. The last one (which was easier) cost Joba a save as Jeter should have received an error for a play he just got eaten up by. I would not have brought in Mo to get the save; I would have given Joba one more batter. I still think managers bring in their closer just when it becomes a save situation regardless of whether the situation warrants it. If the rule was changed about a save, I really feel managers would act differently with their closer…and that is pretty silly.
Nice start to the year!