Yet another chink...while normally I get into the pitch selection and detail, we need to address what is happening with the name of the blog.
First, let's not say this is the end; it clearly isn't. A few years ago, I expected a very slow loss of control making performances like the recent run to become more prevalent. That didn't happen. In fact, he had some of his best OPS against years.
Each of these blips can be explained somewhat. I already gave my explanation on the 1st two in previous blogs. As for this one, first, i was surprised that Rivera was brought in just because it become a save situation. I have no idea why a manager would make moves based on some rule; makes little sense to me. You get the feeling that if the save rule changed, Girardi would change the way he uses his closer. I would have let Cory Wade face one more batter. Then again, I would have been fine with letting Rivera start the 9th, but once he didn't, Wade gets to allow 3 guys on if I let him start. Regardless, you saw Rivera come in with a first pitch strike that was on the inside part of the plate, but was low and allowed a guy with great power to drop the head of the bat on it. The big hits against him the last few nights have not been grooved pitches; they have been on the corners and they hit them. The Abreu one was the worst, but mostly because he was down 3-1 which was his own fault, and he had to come in with a strike. What was interesting was that Rivera went away on almost all of his pitches after the HR by Branyan.
Overall, his OPS against is .595 which is not his best or worst, but more toward his worst 5. For comparison, Papelbon has an OPS against this year of .581. The key is to see him get some consistency back and I also think Martin needs to look at the way he calls the game with Rivera.
Speaking of Martin, his throwing ability is great. he has a quick release and has phenomenal velocity on his throws to 2nd. They used to talk about Molina's ability to slow the running game; Martin's is far better.
To yesterday's game. Early on, the key pitch/play was Granderson up with 1st and 3rd and 1 out and he had a 3-1 count on him. This was looking great, until he bounced into a DP to end the threat.
Colon pitched a good game. His main issue was that he was not able to use his curve well and probably threw a ball with it most every time. Even so, he spotted the ball well.
Cano's grand slam was obviously a huge hit after the error they gave us. Cano has his OPS up to .878 and hopefully is on his way to breaking .900 (which is where it should be). Granderson is still leading the club with a .950. Jeter had 2 cheap infield hits, but also walked and got another hit. His OPS has now broken the .700 mark for only the 3rd game of the year. Jeter has been swinging well over the last 40 days with an OPS slightly above .800. This longer term trend is great to see.
We are now 1 game out and by beating the Angels we are now 8 games ahead of them. (TB is next at 8.5 back).