The Yanks have now built up a 7 game lead on the Red Sox and tonight it will be at 8 or 6 so this could swing the Red Sox thought process on making moves. They are a good team with good pitching, but a banged up Yankee team still hit hard two very good pitchers. Buchholz has very good stuff, but simply couldn’t throw his breaking pitches, which are excellent, for strikes. The one time he did Swisher took a strike 3 on a nasty breaking ball on the outside corner. He also throws 94 consistently and with movement. Obviously, controlling it is a huge part of pitching, but the Red Sox have to feel down and this is a little bigger game than your normal May game. Not trying to make more out of it than it is, but Lester has only allowed one run in his last 15 innings so losing with him could divide their team a little bit…
Then again, it is only May, we have Burnett on the mound who has been as hot as Lester and the offense is clicking…either way, this is an opportunity to put together a larger lead while Boston is not playing well and I would love to see us take advantage of this.
As for the game yesterday, there were a few things that stood out to me.
1. We have now been thrown out twice at home plate with nobody out; that should be a season total. That being said, yesterday Randy Winn beat the throw but did the stupid slide to home, I have commented many times at how much I hate it, where ¾ of the player’s body is past the bad before they touch home plate with their hand. Just go in very hard and straight to the softest part of the catchers positioning. I am telling you form experience that it is almost impossible to stop a hard straight slide in with one leg; the leverage is almost impossible. In fact, if find the opening, and there always is one, you just slide into the five hole, but you go in straight and hard. Johnny Damon did this a few times and he was safe every time.
2. After Cervelli’s clutch 2 out 2 run single to make the score 6-3, Randy Winn got caught trying to take 3rd, but was really just forcing the throw to 3rd and ensuring the run scored. The Yankees do this too often and give away out they don’t need to. It is possible that with 2 outs and 1st and 2nd some more could have scored and unless the run is either extremely close (play at the plate) or you have a 2 run lead in the 8th inning and you want that 3rd run to be guaranteed, I think it is a waste of an out and possibly needed runs.
3. Back to Cervelli, the guy has been excellent! He is getting big hits, has an OPS of 1.000 and has played solid defense. He made a fantastic block the other day quickly moving his body out and turning his body back toward home plate so the ball went in that direction.
4. Gardner continues to be excellent as well; doing everything we could ask.
5. Texiera finally broke out and had a phenomenal game (3 HR’s); hopefully this will be the start of his 900+ OPS the rest of the way. He also made a great leaping across the body snag of a line drive (I think it was Pedroia).
6. The injuries are continuing as Aceves had to leave the game and hopefully he is ok.
A few of you have asked me what we will do about the DH position, but one enormous plus we have now is that if Cervelli can catch as a full time player (not convinced that is the case yet, but hopefully a light has turned on and he can at least be solid), we could use Posada as DH and occasional catcher. I also thought the Yanks may bring up Montero their hitting star in the minors. I think Thames against lefties will play all the time and Pena should play against righties frequently as to give the Yankee infielders a DH spot along with Posada DH’ing, I think we will be ok. Hopefully Winn can give us a .750 OPS as well, although I am not optimistic.
Happy Mothers Day to all!