I didn’t get a chance to watch too much of the ceremony, but it was nice to see the team mob Matsui and also the way the fans gave him a standing ovation when he came to the plate. Andy Pettitte was classy as he stepped off the mound to allow Matsui to tip his hat. Then, Matsui went out and helped us again, going 0-5!
I thought Andy and Posada pitched/called a great game. They mixed up pitches extremely well and many times the Angels were looking for different pitches in different locations. Andy also didn’t leave too many pitches over the heart of the plate. Extremely well done by Andy and I have to say I am pleasantly surprised!
The Yankees really should have blown this game wide open with 22 guys on base, but with a 7-1 lead one would think the game was in the bag. After Robertson gave the Angels some hope, Girardi didn’t mess around and went right to The Genius Maker who didn’t disappoint. While his velocity was still low, his movement was MUCH better and he looked good. That was very encouraging because it appears that nobody is ready to take over for Rivera yet.
BTW, a few comments from some of you I will answer. I really like Nick Johnson in the 2 hole. Many people don’t like him clogging up the bases, but he isn’t horribly slow and you have to figure 70+ times the guys behind him will be hitting homers so he will be trotting around the bases.
Some have taken me to task about Granderson against lefties, but in the very small sample this year, he has a .664 OPS, which is 2 points behind Gardner’s .666. Of course, this is such a small sample, but I think Gardner will have a better OPS against lefties than Granderson after the year is over. That says something considering Gardner is not setting the world on fire right now, although he was robbed by a fantastic play by Aybar at SS with the bases loaded. The infield was in and Aybar dived (I still think this should be dove) to his right fully extended and snared the one hop and then threw home for a force out. I think we will see Thames bat against lefties every time, but the platoon partner will go back and forth between Granderson and Gardner unless one is a lot better. Swisher tends to be streaky so I think they will ride his hot runs and use Winn when he cools, but Swish is the clear starter and will only get a blow here and there. Swisher is a little better from the right side (.851-.801) over the last 3 years and Winn is identical so I would expect rest would come against a righty pitcher if it can be planned.
Don’t forget to check periodically the archives and specifically the predictions of the players. I have a bunch completed and will load them over the next week.