Friday, July 20, 2012

The Genius Maker

Nice sweep of Toronto!

I was extremely happy to see the way CC looked.  He looked a little better than before he went on the DL and was sharp with his breaking ball and fastball command.  His change didn't move the way I woudl like and it is a little fast considering he is throwing about 93, but got up to 94.  I think his change at 87 is better when he is throwing 95 consistently; I like a differential of 8 MPH, but if he is throwing 92-93 then 85 would be better

Kuroda actually hit 95 on the gun a few times; add that to his movement and repertoire and he is a really solid pitcher.

Swisher K'd looking 4 times in the last two games at Toronto with a combined 8 people on base.  I don't mind K's as much as most people for a variety of reasons (more pitches and not a DP) as it is just another out to me, but taking a called 3rd strike with a guy on 3rd and less than 2 out is rough, plus sometimes you need to swing at the close ones.

ARod looks really stiff at 3rd base

I still think the two wild card teams will be between Detroit, Boston and Anaheim; of course Chicago and Texas could lose the division and swap their position (Chicago would be the most likely); but these are the teams I see fighting to the end.

The Oakland game saw the cooler weather cool down the Yanks a little.  Garcia was pitching in trouble all day and finished allowing 4 runs in 5.2 inning (11 baserunners) but Phelps came on and pitched a perfect 2.1 innings striking out 4.  I don't like the way they are screwing around with Phelps as they said they put him down in the minors to stretch him out and become a starter again (after being in the Yanks bullpen).  But, then, they bring him up to pitch 2.1 innings?  Just seems very short sighted.  He should take over for Garcia and the Yanks should move Garcia in a trade or move him to the pen.

One pitch selection area I had a big issue with was in the 3rd inning and the Yanks trailing 2-0.  The bases were loaded with one out and lefty Seth Smith was up.  I don't really know the hitter, but the first pitch was a breaking ball he swung over the top (clearly looking for a fastball).  Stewart, he really likes to pound fastballs inside, called for one and I said this was dangerous.  My reasoning was that Garcia had yet to hit the target inside and either threw high or it leaked over the plate...which is did again and the Yanks were down 4-0 at the end of 3 innings.  A catcher needs to not only know what he would like to throw, but needs to understand when the pitcher is struggling to throw a certain pitch or hit a certain spot.  Gracia had tried to come inside on at least 8 occasions and failed on all of them.  Poor job by Garcia not getting it done, but just as bad of Stewart for not realizing the limitation.

The offense didn't do much, but Griffin didn't have overpowering stuff, he really placed his pitches very well.  he was nailing the corner and not centering his breaking ball.  When he made some mistakes we got 2 runs.  I thought the inning we could have come back was the 8th with Balfour on the mound, but he struck out Granderson on a ball, ARod check swung for a comebacker and Cano was in one of his I will swing at anything modes and swung at an inside fastball and then swung at a really inside pitch and shattered his bat.  If Cano would just swing at strikes (or mostly) he would hit .350+, he is as talented a hitter as you will see, but he is so talented he feels he can hit anything so he just is in that I am going to swing mode.

Swisher homered in the 9th off of the A's closer, Cook, but just as cook was flustered after allowing his first career HR, he fell behind Ibanez, but Ibanez missed a hittable pitch and then on 3-2 swung at a pitch way out of the strike zone.  martin then grounded out (after having a good curve ball to hit, but pulled it foul) to end the game 4-3.

Again, let's groom Phelps and get him in the rotation

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