The Yankees were one Mark Teixiera at-bat away from a 9-1 homestand, but instead had to settle for 8-2 (though I still can’t believe he didn’t take ball 4 on that first 3-2 pitch that was way out of the zone. Alas.). The Yankees are only a game out of first right now and despite Sunday’s loss, the team inspires a confidence that they will find a way to win close games. That was not the case last season or early this year. Could it have anything to do with the return of the league’s best hitter? Nah, that guy’s a choker.
– Phil Hughes looked tremendous today. So what happens if in the next few years he realizes his potential and becomes a top-flight starter? Do all those people who have already called him a bust owe him a written apology? Just a verbal one? Are they suspended from commenting on baseball for a month? Surely, there has to be some sort of penalty.
– As soon as Hughes pitched one good game his first start in Detroit, people started calling for his move to the bullpen once Wang came back. I said, and still believe, that Hughes should always start, even if that means in Triple-A. But now I am just confused; what are the Yankees planning on doing with Wang? Why did they activate him weeks before they had to just to have him sit in the bullpen? He can’t be trusted in a close game so he’s pretty much relegated to mop-up duty. Wouldn’t it have been better for him to have a few more starts in Triple-A? I get the feeling the Yankees organization doesn’t really have much confidence that Wang will bounce back to his prior form.
– The Yankee’s good play hasn’t been because of Nick Swisher or Hideki Matsui who are both struggling at the plate. It will be good for Nady to come back and be able to rotate with those guys occasionally. Hard to criticize Swish too much though; the guy pretty much carried the offense in the early going.
– It’s nice the Yankees put a game away relatively early today. Sure, close wins build chemistry and all that, but it’s always good to rest the bullpen. Jose Veras is bound to have fewer walks if he pitches less innings.
– When Melky squared to bunt in the 9th inning on Sunday, I almost had an aneurysm. I mean… seriously? Melky has been great lately and just hit Lidge THE DAY BEFORE. Oh and another thing… bunting makes no sense, unless you have a completely incompetent hitter at the plate. And if we needed any more proof, Melky awkwardly foul bunted his way to two strikes and then delivered the game tying single. But, yeah, would have been great if he got that bunt down.
– I don’t know if anyone has been watching the NBA playoffs, but as much as I think umpiring in baseball is a real issue, I think the NBA officiating might be worse. Sunday night’s Cleveland-Orlando game was absolutely ruined by the refs. It was a 3 point shooting fest (43 attempts) that still managed to have 86 free throws. 86! It also had what might have been the worst call ever, where Dwight Howard clearly deflected a LeBron James three, only to have his 6th foul called on him. You can’t foul out one team’s best player on a three pointer unless you know it’s a foul and this wasn’t even close. The ball left LeBron’s hand before it was deflected. You didn’t even need the replay to see it – it was obvious watching it live. Really too bad, because these playoffs have been fun and competitive otherwise.