Another good series for the Yankees. It seemed like Cleveland was finally gaining momentum coming off their sweep of the Rays, but the Yanks took 3 of 4 and were one Brett Gardner steal from sweeping the series.
So the Yankees enter June in first place in the AL East; everyone must feel a little silly for getting so riled up in April, no? The Yankees are in first place and it’s not like everything has gone to plan. They’ve lost some tough games, had some tough injuries, and had some key players underperform.
At the end of the day though, the Yankee pitching staff is too good and their lineup is too deep for them to stay down for long.
– I don’t listen to WFAN. But from what people have told me, Mike Francesca has been on his Joba to the bullpen rant in full force lately. I’m not going to go over all the reasons that’s insane – I’ve done that enough already. I just don’t understand how anyone who follows sports for a living could have such a limited grasp on the sport of baseball. I’ve disagreed with Francesca’s opinions on trades, hall of famers, and whatever else, but that stuff is somewhat different. Maybe I don’t think a player would be good for the Yankees and he does, but in this case both parties are agreeing to the same thing: that Joba is a great pitcher and important to the Yankees. Except the argument is because of that, he should be in a less important role. Makes no sense.
Anyways, Joba’s start last night should (though it probably won’t) silence any more of that kind of discussion. Not only did Joba pitch well, he got stronger as the start went on and was much more economical with his pitches. Oh, and did I mention he’s only 23?
– Those were a couple big doubles last night for Nick Swisher and it seems like the off day in Cleveland last Thursday really helped snap him out of his funk. If he can get hot again now that Tex is playing well, the Yankee lineup will hit another gear, especially with Posada back.
– Speaking of Swisher, the great thing about him and Teixiera for that matter, if that even when they slump, they still draw a ton of walks and make pitchers work. That’s part of the reason Cano was so awful last year; since he doesn’t see many pitches, if he’s not hitting, he’s essentially worthless.
– Alfredo Aceves is quickly becoming the 8th inning guy for the Yankees and I don’t think the Ramiro Mendoza comparisons are too far off. Let’s hope Aceves has the same kind of rubber arm. It will be up to Girardi to carve out a role for him where he doesn’t get overworked (or should I say, Proctered).
– I still think the Yankees are going to need one of their young pitchers to step up and become a reliable bullpen piece. I’m rooting for Robertson, but clearly there are a lot of candidates.
– It’s interesting how little the bullpen seems to matter though when your starters are going deep into games.
– Wang looks like he’s ready to start again. But who does he replace? Hughes didn’t have a great outing last time out, but he still racked some Ks and looks like he’s ready for this level. It’s a good problem to have but I don’t know if there is a good solution. All 6 guys need to pitch.