Melky the enigma walks off

Melky Cabrera mercifully ended an extremely frustrating 14 inning game for the Yanks today.  If the Yankees had lost a game in which they outhit their opponent by such a large margin at home, it would have left a pretty bad feeling going into the off day and subsequent matchup with the Red Sox. 

I still am completely mystified by the Yankees inability to hit with runners in scoring position.  Bases loaded and nobody out the Yankees have to get a run home. 

Of course, you could question Girardi’s decision to pinch hit Brett Gardner for Cody Ransom.  I know Ransom’s been terrible, but Gardner hasn’t been much better at the plate.  At least Ransom has enough power to routinely get a ball into the outfield for a sac fly.  Plus, Gardner was then wasted so he could not be used as a pinch runner later in the game, which is the role he is best suited for.  As is the case with Girardi sometimes, he overthought that one and got too concerned with the matchup.

But before that move was even made, Melky had a chance to drive the runs in.  He hit a homerun in the 2nd, so he looked poised for a big day.  So what does he do?  Strikes out swinging on a pitch over his head, one of three consecutive strikeouts where he looked completely overmatched.  I literally said aloud at one point, “why does this guy even have a bat?” 

Of course then in the 14th Melky smoked a game winning home run to right.

So let’s recap: home run to left batting righty, walk, three strikeouts in a row on feeble swings, game-winning homerun to right batting lefty.

Does that just sum up Melky in some ways?  He really can sucker you in.  He has some power and should develop more.  He hits from both sides.  He shows flashes of patience as well.  He has a good arm and is an adequate defender. 

But there are just long stretches where he doesn’t even look like a Triple-A caliber player.  I really don’t know what to make of it, but Melky is definitely at a bit of a crossroads.  He must show signs of developing this year if he’s going to be a major league regular.  The homeruns today are a start.

Other thoughts:

–  I know Sabathia is a slow starter, but his lack of control is getting pretty frustrating.  Hopefully he can start building on his previous efforts.

–  Jose Veras had a day much like Melky.  He showed his flaws, but then found redemption.  What I mean is, Veras came in and walked the first guy he faced, which has been his major issue.  But after that he simply dominated.  Most games Veras doesn’t get the chance to really overcome that initial walk, but today he did.  Makes you wonder if maybe he needs more preparation in the bullpen.   



One response to “Melky the enigma walks off

  1. I have a feeling Girardi had a little chat with Melky after the game. On the walk off home run, he kind of stood there for a little while and watch his home run, then he kind of showboated around the bases. Anyway, nice day for Melky despite the one terrible looking strikeout.

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