Seattle has a pretty weak hitting team. While Hughes had a solid fastball last night (generally 94-95 even though he hit 96 a couple times), his command of the fastball was not great as he missed his target often. Posada called a great game as there were about 5 times where I was adamant about what to throw and Posada did it 4 of the times. The one he didn't happened to be the double knocking in their only run. I wanted nothing but fastballs as the batter swung through 3 fastballs in his 1st AB and took one for a strike before Hughes threw a cutter that was hit for the double. It was still a fastball, but it didn't have the extra 5 MPH that the batter was struggling with. Hughes cutter also did not have greta movement.
The Yankee starting pitching has allowed more than 1 run only once on this west coast trip...and that was when Burnett allowed 2. Weak hitting teams or not, that is impressive. This is the 1st time since 2002 that the Yanks have allowed 2 runs or less in 5 straight games.
Teixeira (now on base in 30 straight games) and Cano were the offense tonight as Cano had a huge 2 out triple and Tex had 2 dingers. Tex's OPS is now above .800 for the year and not that far behind ARod's .839. Posada's OPS is down to .837 as the hand injury has impacted his swing. When you look mostly at ARod, Tex, Jeter (.730) and Granderson's poor OPS (.713) it shows you how good our starting pitching has been, along with the Genius Maker. The only player really playing above where you could have thought is Swisher with his .910 OPS. I also think our defense is really good with Gardner in LF as he seems to get to a ball I am not so sure an average speed guy would get to every couple of games. Add him to Tex and Cano and our defense is solid. The middle relief has been shaky, but overall only TB in the AL has allowed less runs than us. Our offense is 2nd only to Boston in runs scored which shows you how much better we could do offensively. I think it is reasonable to project our offense to be the #1 scoring offense when the season ends.
Finalizing my thought on the Lee trade
Justin Smoak was the key player Seattle got from Texas. he is only 23 so it is hard to make a good judgment on the guy and honestly I have never seen him swing (or concentrated on him), but in full time action this year, he has an underwhelming OPS of .669 OPS. The guy may be awesome, but I am not so sure our package wasn't better. For perspective we are making judgments on Colin Curtis (25) and Pena who will be 25 in a about a week. So he is about a 1.5 behind our guys, which can be a lot at that age, but Montero looks like he could be a huge hitter and at a premium position (he could always move to 1st). Baseball America rankings:
Justin Smoak #13
Jesus Montero #4
Kind of interesting, but perhaps we were saved if we can sign Lee next year and then still have our prospects. i respect Cashman for putting a stake in the ground and giving up more, but having Lee and the player we were supposed to move Javy for would have made us better. Texas now has 2 good lefties they could throw at us and while our team OPS is slightly better against lefties, I think we are a little more vulnerable to lefties (I guess that is more of a prediction that flies in the face of the stats).