Before I get into the game(s), I have to give my obligatory comment that I am not a fan of the interleague rivalry games. I understand playing some of the other league if you must, but the Mets/Yankees and some of the other forced rivalries mean very little to me. In my opinion they are technically the least meaningful games of the year. I also don’t like the forced rivalries where the Mets have to play the Yanks 6 times while other teams get cake walks. If anything it is unfair for the Mets.
Saturday night was well played and managed game by the Yanks. Burnett struggled early on, but settled down to avoid letting the game get out of hand and Girardi pulled him at the right time to bring in Boone Logan. Unfortunately Logan has continued to be mediocre and in a good spot for him to come in, he failed and allowed a hit. Can’t blame Girardi for that…although it is sad that we still don’t have a 2nd lefty option as it really hinders our managing ability. Robertson, Joba and the Ayala who was used instead of Rivera because it was not a save situation closed the game out well. I was good with using Ayala, but I was hoping it was not just because it wasn’t a save situation; I always hate when managers manage the game differently because of the rule.
While we had 4 homers, The Martin homer with 2 outs was a real big one in my mind. He has really been an awesome pickup for us. My original take was that if we were going to pay him 10 mil a year I thought we would be overpaying; I am not so sure right now. Good defense and offense that has been far better than expected is one of the reasons we are in first place. As for our starters, Granderson has an OPS of .942 and then Tex, ARod and Martin are all within 2 points at .879, .878 and .877 respectively. Cano is at .906 and Gardner at .752, followed by Posada at .666, Jeter at .652 and Swisher at .633. BTW, some people made some comments to me about Posada not hitting better than Jeter. All I can say is that this is the exact reason why OPS is so much more valid than batting average. While Jeter is hitting .268 to Jorge’s .182, Jorge has 6 homers to Jeter’s 2 and 20 walks to Jeter’s pathetic 13 and Jorge is doing that in 62 less AB’s. Jorge has the same amount of doubles and one less triple. The good news is that both players have been doing better of late.
Sunday’s game – The Mets jumped out to a 3-1 with some cheap hits, but one where Granderson again took a step back and was not able to catch a ball that fell just in front of him. His offense has been great, but defensively he is an average CF’r.
I was making comments that I thought Pelfrey had very little all game; he was giving the Yankees VERY hittable pitches and they just did a poor job with them. ARod had a lot of good pitches to hit and he just was off. It took the Yankees until the 7th to finally break through, but even though the announcers were talking up Pelfrey, I didn’t see it all. Pelfrey even was supported by some questionable calls that had the Yankees VERY angry. Posada and Gardner had legitimate gripes on poor calls.
The Yanks were aided by some cheap hits in their 8 run 7th inning to even out the luck factor. Nova looked pretty good to me, but I thought the Mets did a nice job of going the other way. They hit Nova really well (11 hits in just under 7 innings) but the Yanks bullpen of Ayala and Pendleton closed out the final 7 outs. Ayala has an impressive 1.50 ERA, but I am not that impressed with him. He may be a reasonable arm, but he is not going to be someone getting critical outs in my opinion. He is no youngster at 33 and I don’t see him being much more than help in the bullpen until we get some of our guys back. Either way, he helped tonight and overall has helped.
Pendleton doesn’t light up the stuff chart either, but he may be the rare crafty righty. He seems to have pretty good control and good movement. Again, I am not sure how many critical spots he will be in, but at least he is 27 and has some upside. I need to watch more of him to get a better feel, but I don’t go on the outcome of their performance as much as what I see to predict future performance.
Gardner missed a dinger by only a few feet; he has been swinging very well and made another really nice catch.
Jeter’s defense was a little off today as he could have turned 2 but instead of coming across the bag he (for some reason) stopped on the bag and then threw wildly to Nova covering. Jeter also just missed a throw from Cervelli that dropped a little at the end, but it was an accurate throw (he did get an error on the play). I also thought the ump made a bad call on Jeter for the last out of the 7th inning; I thought he beat the throw.
Dickerson should keep playing against righties as his defense is better than Swisher’s and his offense has been better. I am not sure Dickerson isn’t much more than a 4th OF’r, but he can still play better than Swisher right now and with Granderson and Gardner that makes up a very fast OF. BTW, when I talked about what to expect from Swisher at the start of the year, I felt he would drop, but then I looked at how he had the same OPS for 2 years with the Yanks and I tempered my large drop to just doing worse. I should have stuck with my original thought as I would hope he could end up just doing worse than last year and not have a terrible year (which he is doing). I did say he would be the guy I would trade as his value was highest, but people gave me grief because of his personality. That is good and he is a cool guy, but winning makes team chemistry in my opinion, not the other way around.
We end the day tied for 1st with TB, the only question is whether Boston is ½ game back or 1.5 games back. Go Cubbies