I know I have not been posting as much of late and unfortunately this will continue for the next month or so…I am watching but just haven’t had the time to post.
Last night’s game first:
Nova had his decent stuff, but his location was very poor and I thought based on that the pitch selection was awful. When a guy like Trumbo is up you have to use more braking stuff away and when they did it was effective and when they didn’t he crushed them. Pujols hit a decent curve for a HR, but you can’t let them sway your thought process as great hitters will hit decent pitches (BTW, I say decent as it was not a great pitch). All night I wanted different pitches, but at the end of the day Nova allowed two fastball homers to Aybar and Iztarus who hit a combined total of 3 for the year before their long homers. Something is wrong with the pitch selection, the pitch location and/or the quality of the movement/speed/deceptiveness of the pitch when that happens. I am a fan of Nova, but he needs more consistency in his release point as opposing players hit him far better than they should and I think it is mostly because too many pitches don’t finish where they are supposed to.
The Yankees hitting was really good, but their base running was atrocious. Outside of two failed bunts by Martin and two double plays, the Yankees ran themselves out of an inning with 1st and 3rd and 1 out when Cano got caught on “the play that never works” and was picked off and then ARod broke home and got tagged out to end the inning. First, that play sometimes works; I have seen it work 4 times so it does work sometimes, second, it was embarrassingly pathetic, and 3rd, I am glad they are calling that a balk next year as I think it is a play that should have never been allowed to begin with as it clearly is deceiving the runner.
The Yanks did so many things wrong (while watching the Angels pull off a squeeze play) and we still only lost by 2 runs. The good hitting and some stellar D from Granderson kept us in the game. If you haven’t seen the catch he made yesterday Google it and watch it. He covered a huge amount of real estate, was running full speed, caught it back handed and one step later crashed into the wall. The catch itself was excellent, but doing so with the wall so close made it tremendous. Grandy also made another nice catch to his left. I think Granderson’s defense has been better this year than in the past and that was my thought before last night.
Watching Trout play for the Angels is kind of gut wrenching because they guy looks so good and has so many tools; it hurts to know that he is from NJ, would have loved to be picked by the Yanks and the Angels stole him just a few picks ahead of the yanks who supposedly scouted him like crazy and would have taken him…imagine if we would have gotten him; what a difference the guy is.
It was great to see the Yanks grab the two games after the ASB and do it with Soriano closing them out; he is a bit of an odd guy to figure out but he has closed games out really well for us. Robertson looked the best he has looked since coming back and that was very encouraging. Also, Cody Eppley pitched 2 very good scoreless innings and has done really well for us. When he is able to locate that sinker on the outside corner to a righty he can be very effective.
The Yanks came back in the first game after being down 5-2 in the 8th inning and put up a 4 spot punctuated by a big Russell Martin hit and then ended the game on a very athletic play by Martin. He tried to block a pitch in the dirt and the ball got away from him (he still does not turn his shoulder toward home plate and thus the ball went toward the Yankee dugout) but he pounced on it immediately and threw a strike with a quick release to throw out the guy trying to take the extra base to win the game. It was a really exciting play.
I feel we could be playing better as a team, but the results have been really good. Maybe this bodes well for the future? Or maybe it is just that every team has more flaws than we think?