Thursday: Burnett pitched well. I like when he is using the changeup as it works well to complement his curve and fastball. It was good to see Soriano get back on the horse in a close game (understand your player Girardi). AND The Genius maker just keeps plugging away as he pitches another perfect inning with only one run to spare (7 pitches). Oh, I do want to point something that I hope Girardi doesn’t just stick to his mindset of “Soriano is my 8th inning guy” no matter what mentality. With Logan not looking as sharp I understood what was going through Joe’s mind, but in the 8th inning Mauer, Morneau and Thome were coming up. This is a classic 3 lefties situation where the first 2 would not be pinch hit for and then the 3rd lefty if they make a move you bring in Soriano…But with Logan still trying to get going I understood staying with Soriano. If and when Feliciano comes back I hope Girardi doesn’t mindlessly throw out his 8th inning guy every time because in a one run game there is always a chance of extra innings and you want as many favorable matchups as possible. Soriano is better against rigthties if you were wondering. Just so I am on record I was ok either way with the move, but I wouldn’t have had an issue if Girardi went with Logan in that spot. As it turned out having the confidence in Soriano was paid off and Joe deserves credit for that because if you knew it would turn out well getting Soriano back in a tough spot was a good thing.
I reiterate what I said after Hughes’ first outing. I am very concerned about Hughes because with a 88-90 MPH fastball he will simply not be effective. I also think his cutter before was more effective than this slutter because the thing about the traditional cutter that works well is late movement that is hard to detect and it makes the bat not get a square hit on the ball. This is why the great cutters like Rivera and Halladay use it so effectively. Hughes didn’t have that type of cutter, but it still worked for him last year. This slutter actually moves a lot more but the movement starts early and thus can be detected. Think about when people say late life on a fastball; this is the same thing. In previous years, even without the cutter, Hughes had that life on his fastball and got people out with it. Throwing 93 and hitting spots worked, throwing 89 and not having the late life is a recipe for disaster and it has been. I am not ready to pull him from the rotation or anything like that though.
• Colon did a nice job yesterday and gave us a chance, but…
• Logan did another poor job and put the game out of reach.
• Need to get Jeter, Granderson and Swisher hitting better. Posada has 3 homers which is great, but nothing else
• Martin does not stay down on balls in the dirt well, but he does have a great quick tag at home plate. He hasn’t used it for an out yet, but on a close play it will make the difference at some point.