First to Saturday’s game…I thought Burnett pitched very well and I credit Toronto for swinging the bat well. I had a few takes while watching the game
1) The Yankees seemed to refuse to pitch Bautista inside and that made his life easier.
2) Joba pitched so well in the 7th that in a one run game I would like to see the Yankees extend a pitcher when he is looking good. This so and so has an inning is a little too cookie cutter for my liking. Soriano did his job, but his control is still not what it should be and Rivera did his job but has not been as sharp because he has not used his running fastball inside to righties yet this year (and his control has not been as pin point as normal). Either way, a 1 run lead entering the 7th and the bullpen held on.
3) Gardner is starting to hit the ball on a line more. He is key.
4) Swisher and Jeter still not doing well
5) ARod got another day off and has not looked good since he missed those few games.
Nova had control problems and was not throwing as hard as normal early on as he normally does. But his curve was excellent. Overall he did pretty well, but was in trouble because of his walks.
I thought Girardi handled the bullpen well in this game because Robertson came in at the right time and I wanted Logan exactly where he was brought in. He got lucky with his behind the back grab on the grounder through the middle but it was the right move. Soriano walked a guy so he is still not sharp, but got through the inning on yet another really good play by Gardner is LF. Brett also made an excellent play earlier in the game (might have been Saturday?) where he cut off a ball and threw a perfect strike to 2nd base holding their speedster Davis to a single.
Jeter made a nice play on the final out of the game, charging a ball hard and getting it on a short hop just before it became an in between one.
Rivera finally used the running fastball inside to righties and it worked great. This was Cervelli’s first game catching and I wonder if this was a coincidence? If so, that is pretty sad as this was a huge pitch for Rivera last year. I was very happy to see this because I was getting worried that either Rivera lost the feel for it or it put strain on his arm and he thought it was best to shelve it.
Gardner continues to look better at the plate. He will need to work on his SB’s though as he has stunk on them this year. I think the Yankees need him to go when he feels comfortable and leave it at that.
Earlier in this game, with Gardner on 2nd base and someone on first, Granderson singled and our 3rd base coach held up Gardner at 3rd base. I was kind of shocked as Gardner was a few steps beyond 3rd base before the ball would have been thrown home. I believe he would have made it even with Bautista’s arm. I think a perfect throw and this was still a bang bang play and with one out and our propensity to hit into DP’s, I wanted him sent. The flip side was Tex and ARod were waiting on deck but with ARod struggling that does matter as well; but at the time I said I didn’t like the move. Of course Tex then hit into a DP. I just don’t think Robby Thompson is any good at 3rd base.
Swisher and Jeter still look awful. I make the move right now with Gardner leading off against righties and swapping with Jeter between 1 and 9 based on a platoon. This is getting ridiculous with how weak Jeter is hitting the ball. This entire notion that you can’t do this because it is Jeter is absurd. Most of us think Jeter is the classiest guy around and has been a great player. I still think he is better than this, but why are we “bad people” because we want to do what makes sense for the team right now? If Soriano kept blowing the 8th inning, would we keep sending him out there every 8th inning or would we wee more of a bullpen by committee for the 8th? His OPS is .571! If we were hitting line drives once in awhile I would say OK, but he has an OPS of .571 and he actually has a bunch of cheap hits. At least Posada (.622 OPS) hit a few balls hard yesterday and got a double and was robbed on a great diving stop. Swisher has a .606 OPS which is still bad, but he has hit a few balls hard for outs (but he is really struggling too)
Gardner’s OPS is up to .700 and he deserves to leadoff against righties right now.
Cano left the game with sore left hand. He seems to be OK, but I will feel better if he plays tonight