Friday, April 15, 2011

The Genius Maker #9

What went wrong?

Hughes continued to have nothing but pretty good control. His fastball did get up to 92 on a few pitches, but he was mostly throwing 89-90 and his velocity was down after the first 2 innings where it probably more around 88-89. This is extremely concerning and I would not have an issue pulling him from the rotation until he can work through this. He is getting pummeled.

Gardner and Jeter have both been awful to start the year. Interestingly, these are the two guys who changed their stances in the off season. Jeter needed to change, but as I said I would have calmed his bat down in the same way ARod, Swisher and Granderson did rather than focus on his stride and Gardner I was surprised only because he was doing well before his injury. That being said, Gardner may need to step back before he goes forward? Jeter, while doing poorly with a .562 OPS, is doing better than Gardner (.452), but they are both doing nothing. The main issue is that Swisher (.535) and Granderson (.719) would be the guys who would make sense to switch spots. So what do you do, just keep plugging away? Or do you shake things up. For example, I have felt that Jeter should not be at the top of the order (although I did think Gardner should and that has been wrong for now), so maybe you shake things up by moving both Jeter and Gardner down and this way there isn’t as much attention just on Jeter, it can be a move to shake up the lineup. I like The Tex, ARod and Cano combo, so maybe just bat Granderson leadoff and move Tex up to the 2 hole? I know this isn’t conventional, but if someone has to get an extra AB, why not let it be our better hitters?

What went right?

Obviously, down 5-0 when you have an exciting come back to win there has to be some good things that happened.

Colon did a great job going 3 scoreless innings. He did allow one of Hughes’ runs to score on a seeing eye grounder, but he pitched great and did the job. Girardi had his best managed game of the year and not because it was a walk, but because he pulled Hughes when it was obvious he had nothing and gave the potent Yankee offense a chance to come back. I would have said this even if they didn’t win.

ARod continues to hit well. He is really locked in and has a BA of .414 and an OPS of 1.394. That is video game level

Cano hit the ball hard and was out on a line drive grounder right between the pitchers legs where Baltimore had him played perfectly as well as a bullet in the bottom of the 10th right at the SS, but he still got 2 hits.

Joba took over with 1st and 3rd and 1 out in the top of the 8th with the Yanks trailing 5-4. He did throw a wild pitch but blocked the plate with his leg and the Baltimore runner (Pie) didn’t touch the plate until well after the tag (and a good throw by Martin). This was a huge play in the game. Joba looked great as he threw 95 and even got up to 98 on one pitch (that was a ball). His control of the breaking ball wasn’t great, but he looked sharp and gave us 5 big outs as his fastball was controlled well with good velocity.

A couple of other notes:

The Yanks were 2-13 with RISP

Baltimore played an excellent game defensively keeping us from doing more damage.

Jeter made a nice play going to his left (that is said and seen so rarely I had to mention it) where he ranged a long way and the spun and threw accurately to first.

The Genius Maker closed out the game looking sharp. He did allow Markaikis to lead off with a single as he did not get the cutter in enough. Queue enter sandman!

Great win against a good team. Baltimore has a pretty solid lineup and if they can get some starting pitching they will be in the hunt. I didn’t realize all the new faces. I knew they picked up Guerrero but didn’t know they picked up the 36 year old Derek Lee. He did fade a little last year with a .775 OPS, but before that he was always a solid player both offensively and defensively. In fact, he made some nice scoops in the 2 games we played the O’s.

We are one game in first and 5 ahead of the Sox!


  1. I presume you meant to recommend having Grandy lead off and have Tex bat 2nd, rather than 3rd. I agree. Let's give the most ABs to the high on-base guys.

  2. Yes, that is correct, move up to 2nd. I made the change to the blog (I normally don't proof read my work...obviously :)