Interesting lineup with recalled Pena at 3rd base, Nunez at SS. Against the lefty, the Yanks opted to DH ARod and put Swish in the leadoff spot against a lefty. It appears that Girardi may be reading the blog (it just takes him an inordinate amount of time to come around) as he not only made a reasonable move in leading off Swish against the lefty, but now seems OK with a platoon out of the leadoff spot with Jeter gone – something I have been advocating for a very long time. This may bode well for us when Jeter comes back (have he and Gardner platoon out of the 1st and last spot depending on the pitcher.
As for the game, Nova struggled with command most of the night and fought through a little over 5 innings against a good offense to get the win. Nova had good velocity, but struggled with his offspeed pitches. The Yankees offense exploded for 5 homers with our Tex going yard from both sides of the plate. After falling behind 2-0, the Yanks offense kept hitting all night (would have been nice to have 2 of those runs the previous night) as they scored in all but two innings in a 12-4 victory.
A lot has been made of the Yanks scoring so many runs (%) via the HR, but when you hit so many of them, isn’t that common? People are penalizing the Yanks for hitting a HR instead of a single or double? Doesn’t make much sense to me... Yes, if you have guys with lower batting averages (The Yanks rank 10th in batting average in baseball with RISP), it can look worse at times, but if you walk and hit more HR's than another type of team, the production will be there, but it may come in bunches. Overall, the Yanks OPS is 3rd in baseball with RISP behind STL and Baltimore. Overall, that is reasonable and good.
Getting back to the game, Cano had yet another play where he didn’t make a play that should be an 80% for him. He went to his right and had a lot of time to set and throw to first, but instead took a few steps toward LF and then flipped to first but threw wildly. He is getting lazy in the field and it is annoying to watch a player with elite skills not play at the elite level he is capable of. Don’t get me wrong, Cano is great, but it is frustrating to watch because he could be the hands down best player in the game.
Nunez is giving us some offense out of the SS position. He ripped a ball up the middle with the bases juiced and one out and the pitcher deflected it to the SS for a tough break DP, but he bounced back with a HR and a single. He did misplay another ball at SS, but he also made a play ranging to his left that Jeter most likely would not have made.
Cervelli makes far too many off line throws (2 more last night), but he did do a good job blocking the plate on a play at the plate.
ARod came home on a Jones single and the play was close, but ARod made it because he slid straight into home rather than the slide by and touch with the hand. Going straight in got him there the fastest and it made a difference.
Ayala did a bad job in relief
The Yanks brought in Ayala, Wade and Marquez…How many people reading this have any clue about 2 of these 3? For the record the Yanks also added a guy named Brian Gordon to their pitching staff and he is expected to start tonight. He is an interesting pickup as he was a position player until 2008 when he made the transition to pitching. He is 32 years old so his time is now, but he was very good with the Phillies minor league team this year. From what I have read, he is a control type of pitcher, but has movement to strike batters out. This year, in the Phillies minors, he pitched 55 innings (9 starting and 3 in relief) allowing only 39 hits, walking 7 and striking out 56. The walk to K ratio is phenomenal. He does not appear like a guy who will go long in the start, but a guy who can throw strikes with movement can be effective with the Yanks. I am looking forward to watching him. I like that Cashman and his team were all over this as Gordon had an opt out clause and the Yanks went after him. He may stink, but I like taking the chance. BTW, his ERA was only 1.14 in those 55 innings. The two prior years were mostly out of the pen and he had an ERA of 3.47 with solid walk to K ratios.
Beckett pitched a one hitter for Boston…arghhh. Oh, and if anyone cares, the Bruins won the Stanley Cup in 7 games beating Vancouver.