I have been watching the games, but have not been able to post much, but should be able to get back in a groove like last year.
First, I will discuss last nights win and then give some general comments about past games
CC was not sharp all game and while he ended up shutting down Minnesota after a bad start, he was a little lucky more than good. He did make an adjustment getting a little more on top of fastball and this enabled him to spot his fastball better, but when CC is averaging 91-92 MPH it changes a lot of his game. His change was not very good location wise and when you add the differential not being as great because of the fastball it didn’t work well. I have no idea why all the Yankees can’t throw as hard as expected?
Gardner hit a ground rule double that left 2nd and 3rd with nobody out (and one run in). After Chris Stewart dribbled out on a play Nunez should have run home, Jeter was thrown 6 straight balls, but struck out on the 6th pitch. This was a frustrating AB too watch as he should have just kept the bat on his shoulder. After Swisher walked, Cano, failed to get around on a very hittable pitch and grounded out. He is not snapping the barrel out like he normally does, but I have no doubt he will get it together.
Gardner made a great catch where he bent his wrist back. He seemed OK as he ripped a double later in the game, but something to watch for. Gardner’s defense is so outstanding I think people underrate him because of his slap type of hitting. Speaking of defense, Granderson made a bunch of nice running catches in CF over the beginning of this year. I think if Granderson hits like last year he is great, but in general he is an average defensive CF’r.
On to some observations from the start of the year
Jeter has come out hitting really well and this is great that he continued his 2nd half hitting. He has as many extra base hits already as he had in his first 40 games last year.
Garcia had nothing the other night. No location and little movement.
When Hughes pitched McCarver was praising how well the ball was coming out of his hand and how good he looked after a scoreless first inning. I was saying to my family that McCarver is done because I have no idea what he was watching? McCarver had one of the best calls of all time when he said bringing the infield in during the 9th inning of the WS in game 7 against Arizona with Luis Gonzalez at the plate was a risk with Rivera on the mound. He talked about a broken bat bloop being an issue. I can’t blame Torre for bringing the infield in though with the score tied, but you have to tip your cap to an amazingly prophetic call. But, his time has come in my opinion. Hughes had a little more velocity than last year, but was missing spots by a lot and he ended up getting predictably crushed.
Robertson has looked good (with a little reduced velocity as well) and has had good control.
I didn’t like the way Girardi decided to let Garcia pitch to the Twins lefties rather than using Rapada, but it will be interesting to see whether Girardi learns anything from his past mistakes…opening day was not encouraging though.
ARod has a weak .674 OPS this year, but he has hit a lot of line drives right at guys. I expect him to get it together, but it is concerning that the balls that are line drive outs used to be homers or doubles.
Russell Martin has not hit but he does have 9 walks and a .417 OBP.
Chris Stewart gives us another excellent defender and while he hit well last night is not a good hitter. I am better with him than Cervelli though.
The Ibanez watch is going better than I thought. While his OPS is a non impressive .748, he does have an OPS of .838 against righties. While that is decent (and better than I thought) it is not very good and I expect it to drop. I give this update because I hope I am wrong.
Non Yankee news…Congratulations to the 49 year old Jamie Moyer who became the oldest player to record a win. As an ex player it amazes me that these guys can still throw let alone comb their hair using the arm that much. I am due for another shoulder surgery later this year as my arm hurts just to hold above my head. His ERA is 2.55 right now. I am rooting for him as I remember playing strat-o-matic baseball with his card (which probably is why I know platooning is a good strategy) back in the late 80’s.
Lester got crushed by Texas yesterday. Texas and Anaheim are very solid teams along with Detroit. Boston and TB are a not below in my estimation and Baltimore while on the right path is not there yet. We will win our division.