I know many people feel these “rivalry” games are very important, but chalk me up to the person who feels these games are the least important ones of the year. While I am not necessarily against playing a NL division every year, I think the rivalry games are for unfair. Now, this year the Mets are a .500 team so it is an advantage for the Yankees and a disadvantage for the Mets (stuck playing the Yanks 6 times!) Meanwhile Boston has to play Philly and TB gets who??? maybe Florida (I honestly didn’t look it up). But the point is the same; get rid of the rivalry games as it is artificial and actually unfair. Please note that this doesn’t mean the Mets could beat the yanks 5 out of 6 games, it is just to point out that 6 games playing a harder team is unfair. I also would like the DH to be in place for these games…as I like the good batter pitcher matchups (that is another discussion)
On to the games…Friday night’s game was simply that Cora gave the Yankees a break and the Yanks pitching did the rest of the job. It was great to see Javier Vazquez pitch extremely well again…I hope his finger is OK (I had not heard anything new)
As for Saturday, the game was simply about hitting with runners in scoring position and the specifically with 2 outs. The Mets had 2 outs and nobody on in the 1st inning and pushed over 2 runs with 2 out hitting. In the 3rd inning The Mets got their 3rd 2 out hit to knock in runs as David Wright came through for his 2nd 2 out hit (both on fastballs away, although one was a cutter). Then again in the 6th the Mets got a 2 out RBI to knock in their run. Finally, in the 7th the Mets again got a 2 out RBI to put the final nail in the coffin. The Yanks did try and mount a rally, but they failed to score with 2nd and 3rd and one 1 out…again. Outside of Cervelli, nobody could get a hit to knock in a run. For the record, Swisher did get a hit in the last inning with ARod on 2nd but it did not score him, however, if the Yanks could have stopped the Mets ONCE in all those 2 out spots ARod would have been sent home.
Jeter, Gardner and Teixeira were the main issue in losing as they were a combined 0-13. Jeter is continuing to struggle and has a very poor OPS of .698 now. Teixeira’s OPS is .702. These guys both have to get MUCH better.
Once again I had issues with some of the pitch selection, but the main difference I see in Hughes is that his cutter has not had good or consistent movement. In fact, a few times it seemed to almost backup (in the way a backup slider would) and it got hit. People have made a big deal about his changeup being the key pitch for him, but I disagree, the pitch that made the difference for him is the cutter and the movement and location of the cutter have not been good of late.
I liked this ump the best so far (overall he was very good), but he did mess up in a huge spot when he called the first pitch a strike against Miranda (with the bases loaded). The difference between 0-1 and 1-0 is very large.
One of the things that makes Tex an excellent offensive player is his high at the plate, of late he has been letting strikes go by and swinging at a lot of bad pitches…he needs to get the discipline going again.
Chan Ho Park had yet another poor outing. Hard to say what he is doing wrong other than he is hanging too many bad pitches and teams are hitting them. His consistency is not there…he is better than this, but not as good as some of the Yankees brass were making him out to be. You can read what I said about CHP in my World Series preview…
Kevin Russo is doing a nice job. I didn’t really like Hairston very much because I like specialists on the Yanks, however, with the injuries we need some guys who are competent now and Russo reminds of me of a younger and probably slightly better Hairston.
Gardner made another running catch that not many CF’rs could make…this time coming in.
Randy Winn dropped a ball that not many LF’rs would have dropped.
TB and Boston won…back at it tomorrow!