Thursday, May 31, 2012


 Felt a lot better than most wins!  Maybe it was losing the first two or maybe it was just getting a win against a good team?  Not sure but I really wanted this game. 
Jumping ahead to the 9th inning, I said to my son, it is about time Soriano earns his money because he is making much more than his value to the team, but with Robertson and Rivera out, he must do his job.  Soriano’s stuff doesn’t seem more impressive than most, but he does have a good demeanor about him and he will throw any pitch at any time which is helpful.  The issue of late is that he is missing his spots a lot.  He got squeezed on a few (so did Wade earlier) but it was because he missed his spot by a lot.  I didn’t like the breaking ball to Callaspo on 3-2 as he is a guy who is tough to strike out; I think they should have thrown a strike with Pujols coming up, but Soriano called off the fastball to throw it.  I thought Soriano pitched Pujols very well, especially the first pitch fastball painted on the inside corner, but he muscled a single Jeter could only knock down.  Soriano got the job done with a good mixture of pitches with the hot Trumbo.  Soriano is fun to watch from a catcher’s standpoint because it is a chess game.  He started Trumbo with a slider for a called ball and then threw a fastball for another called ball.  I will get into the ump later…anyway, 2-0 with 1st and 2nd this was a huge pitch.  Soriano threw a good slider that Trumbo swung and missed on.  Now Soriano came back with another fastball for ball 3.  Then came another good slider for strike 2.  The count is full and now the runner will be going which makes a single easily tie the game (Pujols was on 2nd and this was a big deal) and a ball in the gap could score 2.  So far Soriano has worked backward, throwing a slider when one would expect a fastball and a fastball when one expects a curve.  I wanted a fastball though in this spot;  Martin agreed, but Trumbo fouled it off.  The main reason was now I felt was a good time to come back with the slider.  Either pitch could have been the call so I would throw the pitch that sets up the next pitch best.  Soriano and martin agreed and came back with the slider and it was clearly the correct pitch because Soriano threw a slider right over the middle of the plate but Trumbo was out in front of it (assuming fastball) and got it off the end of the bat…which broke…for the final out of the game…whew!
Other points:
·        I didn’t like the home plate umpire Diaz at all.  He was very inconsistent and let the catchers positioning change his calls.  He also blew a lot of big pitches in my view.  Finally, he called ARod out on a check swing that Alex did not swing on.  This ticked me off and ARod as the home plate ump should not call that unless it is clear, he should allow that to be the first (or 3rd) base umps call.  He thought he saw something that he didn’t.
·        Scoscia again argued a call that was correct by the ump…and Aybar is lucky he didn’t get tossed
·        Swisher made two bad plays throwing the ball.  One was where he was pretty shallow and he tried to throw out the blazing Trout at home with bases loaded allowing both other runner to move up…even the slow Pujols from 1st to 2nd.   In the first inning Swisher threw a ball to 2nd base missing all cutoff guys on a play where we would have either been able to throw the runner out at home or he would have stopped and instead the runner came around to score.  Bad plays Swisher!
·        I was calling pitches with my son later in the game and Martin seemed to have a good feel, but I thought Nova threw far too many fastballs early on and two pitches really bothered me.  I didn’t go back and see if they were shaken off but live I didn’t notice them.  One was after a Morales walk, Trumbo was up.  Trumbo like most people had seen all fastballs before this AB.  Nova threw 3 more and had a 1-2 count on Trumbo.  Then Nova threw a pitch that was 90 that appeared to be his slider, but didn’t have a lot of movement.  Nova was actually throwing hard and hit 97 a couple of time so the slider at 89-90 was not surprising.  Whatever the pitch was I wanted another slider or curve ball because Trumbo was looking fastball (remember final AB of the game – even if I didn’t know it at the time).  Nova threw a fastball on the outer half of the plate and Trumbo went with and hit a HR over the RF wall.  I was ticked as it was the wrong call.
·        Nova allowed 4 runs in the 4th which tied the score at 5-5.  His fastball was not being controlled particularly well and I think more off speed stuff was in order.  To his credit he settled down and mixed up his pitches more and got through the 5 and 6th with no more damage.  The Yanks got one across in the 6th to take a lead and then Nova got Collaspo and Pujols out easily and was getting into a groove, but bringing in Logan was the right move to switch Morales around to the right side.  Thinking about this now, I hated the curve ball to Morales as well and told my son fastball away.  I didn’t understand this pitch at all as they tried to come inside on it…if anything, I would have liked to see the curve away of they were going to insist on the wrong pitch thrown.  Girardi kept Logan in to face Trumbo which might have seemed wrong with Wade in the pen but because Trumbo has been better against righties and the HR last night he let Logan allow a single to Trumbo. 
·        Wade came on to face Howie Kendrick…started out with a curve that looked like a strike, a fastball for a ball and another curve that looked like a strike.  These are huge calls with 1st and 3rd 2 outs in the 8th inning.  Wade coming off of the HR he allowed the previous night is in a bind.  He throws a changeup for a taken strike.  Then throws a fastball for another taken strike.  I loved both calls and Wade came through to get the count to full which would release the runner from 1st.  Wade came back with 2 curve balls that Kendrick was out in front of and got a piece foul.  Now what do you throw?  Mixing it up, Wade through a fastball and Kendrick was late on it but fouled it to the right side.  Now you can throw anything at this point, but I was thinking change or curve ball and with only one fastball thrown and he was having good control of the curve it was the better call.  My son agreed and so did Martin as Wade threw the curve and got Kendrick out in front and swing at a pitch that was borderline strike on the outside corner…GREAT job by Wade!   Wade then came through and pitched a 1,2,3 8th striking out 2 more.
·        The Yankees came out of the month of May with the worst hitting with runners in scoring position in the history of the franchise with an appalling .176 batting average.  The previous record of ineptitude was the month of August in 1986 and the average was .183…I hope this team breaks better records than that the rest of the way.
·        We are 4th in OPS and 8th in baseball in runs so that shows you the hitting with RISP has an impact…that just based on luck should get better
·        Don’t look now but Chavez has his OPS back down to .719.  I like the guy a lot and he has a nice swing, but he just is not centering enough hittable pitches.  Over the past 4 years he hasn’t be better at the plate either.  If he is hitting like he is and while we can hope he does better the stats show he is what he is, we should replace the bench position…mostly because we have too many bench guys who can’t hit.  Nix has hit as well as we could hope, but he isn’t a stick…Dewayne Wise can’t hit either so our bench is just awful.

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