Alright, my previous rant about JackO on the Sports Guy’s podcast wasn’t entirely accurate, as JackO did mention one thing that is correct: the Yankees always struggle against lousy “quadruple-A” type pitchers who they’ve “never seen before.”
That was certainly the case yesterday, as Matt Palmer completely shut the Yankees down. Do they really struggle simply because they haven’t seen a pitcher? That seems ridiculous. The Yankees have too many elite hitters for that. Could it simply be that the opposition gets extra pumped up because they’re facing the Yankees? Yeah, maybe, but this is the big leagues, you should be ready to go regardless of the opponent.
So really, I don’t know if there is a good answer, but Kevin Long should be studying these guys so that the Yankee batters have a game plan. Maybe he is already, but if that’s the case, then he’s not doing a very good job. You can get video of kids in high school pitching via YouTube, so surely there is enough information out there for Yankee scouts to work with.
CC Sabathia on the other hand, had a strong outing but eventually lost it in the 6th. I’m less inclined to blame CC for this one than I am the Yankee offense. This game had blowout written all over it and the Yankees really let a chance to build some momentum slip away.
But I think it is obvious CC is pitching himself into shape a bit. Every start we see him get a little stronger. Right now, he is a durable pitcher who will keep you in the game and show flashes of dominance. He’s not in his dominant ace form of the last summer. Becuase he’s now pitching under the microscope of NY, hopefully he can make the jump soon, before people start calling him a bust. However, it is frustrating: if the Yankee offense could have just had a couple decent days when he pitched, CC would already have 2 or 3 wins and no one would be worried. Seems like every time out though, CC has to pitch a gem.
– Friday night’s comeback win was great, as it’s nice to see the Yankees finally win a game it looked like they would lose, rather than vice versa. Sure, the Yankee bullpen was awful once again in that one, but the Angels bullpen was even worse. (And both bullpens looked lousy again yesterday). Welcome to the American League, Brian Fuentes.
– So it’s pretty obvious that the Yankee bullpen is struggling, but they’re not the only one. Managing a bullpen is about finding the hot hand though, so really you don’t know in April and May what your bullpen will actually end up like. But it’s becoming clearer that Jose Veras and Edwar Ramirez won’t be part of the equation. The Yankees have so many arms in Triple-A; isn’t it time to call a few up and see what they can do? Veras always walks the first batter. Ramirez can’t throw a decent fastball. Let them go back to the minors and correct themselves. Edwar always dominates down there, so this time make him pitch without his changeup. Make him learn to get guys out with a fastball. Teach him a cutter. Anything.
– Just a thought: the Yankees finished April 12-10. That’s 2 games over .500. There are 6 months to the season. If every month, a team finished 2 games over .500, they’d end up 12 games over .500. That’s 93 wins. So yeah, it’s certainly too early to panic.