Sunday, July 29, 2012

The Genius Maker 7-29

I didn't see the game so perhaps I am off base here, but in looking at the box score, what is/was the purpose of taking Phelps out of the game when he was pitching very well (struck out the last two batters) and supposedly we want to stretch him out.  Even if we don't, let him pitch until he gets into trouble as it is a tie game?  Maybe I am missing something because I didn't watch it, but it seems like a very poor decision...even if Granderson turned an out into a triple

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Genius Maker (a lot here)

I am sorry I have not been as consistent in writing as last year, and over the next few weeks I won’t be able to get much out (all is good, just busy), but I have a lot I want to blast out!

I spoke about how I think they are messing with Phelps in the way they did with Joba and Hughes and we know how that worked out (or how long it took to undo it (hopefully Joba comes back strong).   The Yanks said they put Phelps down “to stretch him out because he is a starter.”  Ok, so now they bring him up and use him in short situations?  Either the Yanks/Girardi is FOS or they are stupid; which one is it?

Kuroda has pitched at least seven innings in nine of his past 11 starts since May 27. … He’s 7-1 with a 2.49 ERA in those past 11 starts.  I stated I liked the signing when they inked him, but I was only looking at the stats; I can see why is stats were solid.  He has a nice repertoire and isn’t a slop pitcher, he can get his fastball up there.

Ichiro!  Let me get this out of the way; this was a no brainer pick up for what we gave up both minor league and money wise.  That being said, the fact we had to is a bad thing.  People can say what they want, but Ichiro is not a good hitter anymore.  Can we find lightning in the bottle?  Sure, and could he be rejuvenated coming to a winner?  Sure as well.  We might even see an uptick from him, but how big of one?  The key why this was a no brainer is this team needed some more speed and some defense in the OF.  In fact, I was in favor of not shutting down Gardner for the year and use him for those two situations and if he had to bat he could bunt, but basically he is a pinch runner and defensive replacement.  Unfortunately, Ichiro is a poor man’s Gardner now with a horrible OBP as he is a free swinger.  I also should note that I have always said Ichiro was one of the more overrated players in the game as people were enamored with how many hits and his batting average, but they didn’t take into account his lack or power and walks.  Of course, his defense has always been excellent with great range and a great throwing arm.  Pardon my own interruption here but I have to speak about this as I was extremely disappointed in the late Tuesday night game.  Ichiro’s great throwing arm needs to be changed to great arm strength because his overall time of when he touches the ball to when the ball gets to its destination is NOT great. 

In the 3rd inning twice Seattle went from 1st to 3rd on Ichiro and twice they should have been out.  Ichiro made strong velocity throws, but he took forever to get rid of the ball both times.  In fact, each time he wasn’t charging full speed (which is OK because the game wasn’t on the line and you don’t want to let the ball by you), but I am OK with that if he gets rid of it quickly, however he then fielded the ball both times then took a half step with his right foot and then “hopped” with right foot coming down again and then his left and then came down another time with his right foot and threw off his right foot stepping with his left with a normal throw.  He took those two extra steps which of course allows the runner to get extra steps as well.  I was so shocked after I saw this I went back and watched it the first time a few times and was a little annoyed.  I thought that maybe he just was off balance or didn’t have a good grip so he double clutched, but then later in the inning the same exact situation happened!  This was very alarming to me as I am big on getting rid of the ball quickly.  There is a reason why a catcher doesn’t take longer to throw the ball down to 2nd base even if he would get a more accurate and more powerful throw; it is because he can’t give the runner another step.  The same applies to an OF’r, but it isn’t as critical because it is a longer throw.  Either way, his overall throw is not that good and in fact was not good yesterday and clearly was not effective…very disappointed.  BTW, this inning was a 2 run inning for Seattle and might have cost us the game as Seattle has an awful offense.  Also contributing the loss was a key moment when the Yanks had 1st and 3rd nobody out and bases loaded 1 out in the same inning and Cano & Ibanez screwed up.  Later Cano redeemed himself but Ibanez K’d again later.

While I am in such a sour mood after hearing Gardner is out for the year (I have said he is more valuable than people gave him credit for) the news got worse when after the 3rd Yankee was hit by a pitch and it resulted in ARod getting hit on the hand and breaking it!  ARod seemed to be just starting to swing well and got his OPS above .800 (.807).  ARod is a brunt of so much criticism because of the absurd contract the Yankees game him, but he is an important part of the team and as much as he is struggling, we could only hope that many of our players had an OPS of .807.  I was listening to Michael Kay talk about the “great” year Jeter is having and I am thinking to myself what is he watching?  I am thinking he must be talking about Jeter’s .758 OPS or his team leading 15 DP’s or his great range?  Now, please don’t take this as a knock on Jeter, the guy is 38 and playing SS, only a few guys have done this, but because he is a great guy (and he is), he gets so many passes.  ARod is clearly hitting better than Jeter, but you wouldn’t think so from the way everyone talks.  BTW, ARod’s OPS with RISP is better than Jeter’s (even though they both are poor).  I guess I don’t think people realize how valuable ARod is even when he isn’t playing at his best and even if he isn’t close to justifying his contract…but that is a sunk cost.  ARod is 3rd in the AL for OPS of 3rd baseman behind Cabrera and Beltre.  That isn’t as bad as people make it out to be and he had an .860 OPS for July…he was swinging pretty well.  This is another big blow for this team.  We are lucky that the competition is as weak as ever this year.  I think we might need another bat now as Ibanez has been slowing down and hitting into a lot of DP’s (his OPS is about .600 over the last two months).  Jones is OK but that is about it.  We better hope Chavez can keep playing the way he has so far; it will be critical now as ARod is probably out until a few games before the playoffs

Oh and why does Girardi try and be too smart?  Freddie had just retired 15 straight batters after Joe sent him out for the 8th inning and he struck out the initial guy in the 8th?  Then Joe takes him out, I assume, because he was pitching too effectively?  Rapada walked his first batter on a 3-2 pitch and then retired his 2nd guy before Qualls walked Montero after allowing a SB and Logan came on to walk the bases loaded (on a 3-2 pitch).  Then Logan allowed a check swing “bunt” down the 3rd base line for the 4th run.  Eplley got them out of it, but why did we need all those relievers when Garcia was absolutely cruising and not even thrown 90 pitches?

I know I have said that I would have Phelps in the rotation instead of Freddie and I still want that, but I am talking about letting a guy who is pitching well to continue and not look for the guy who might struggle that day.  It is about being flexible with your application of statistical knowledge based on the watching what is happening with your human team.

Just closing on Ichiro, I do think he will get some life with us and we clearly need him now, but he is just an extra piece and I do not think he should be batting all the time against lefties.  I would play him and see if he responds, but you should also remember he is also 38 years old and his game was predicated on speed.  Good pickup, but we are not getting a HOF player; we are getting someone who can help us; even if it is just for defense and a pinch runner.  BTW, I was thrilled they batted him 8th.  I might want to bat him 9th so if he does get on base he could try and steal and if there are 2 outs we go to the top of the lineup.  I bring this up because he was on 1st with 2 outs and Stewart was up and I thought I am not sure if I want to risk getting him thrown out and having the “pitcher” lead off.  Either way, I am glad they didn’t even think of putting him at the top.

Just a quick note on some of our hitters:

Tex has been swinging the bat real well and had a great walk against King Felix last night to load the bases.  He also was up with the bases loaded and 1 out and scorched a bullet right at the CF’r and if that found a gap we would have won.  His OPS in July is 1.161 and his overall is now at .847 which is 3rd behind Cano’s .947 and Granderson’s .859. 

That should be it for me for a little while…

Sunday, July 22, 2012

The Genius Maker 7-22

I don’t want to get into many of the details that bothered me the last few days because overall, we just lost some very close games.  But, two things stood out to me Sunday.  1) The game could have been won early on with Ibanez up and runners on 2nd and 3rd with 2 outs, but he failed to get the runners home.  Colon was struggling and the bullpen was ready to come in.  Getting out of that kept them in the game. 

Then after the Yanks offense didn’t do anything from the 4th inning on; Soriano was not able to hold the lead, but at least he didn’t give it up.  Notice I have not listed my 2nd issue yet…but here goes; 2) Girardi goes to Phelps to start the 10th.  First of all, and I wrote this the other day, Phelps should be in the rotation.  Second, he should be ion the rotation, because he is the most deserved to be there and 3rd, because the Yanks sent Phelps down to stretch him out so that he could be a starter.  So why are they screwing him around?  OK, after being upset seeing this I said, well at least they will just leave him in until the game is over; I still think it is silly because they are not doing what they should with a young arm, but I can’t get so aggravated even if I think it is stupid.  Phelps threw the ball great and then Girardi took him out after a stellar 1 2/3 innings.  Now he matched up Rapada well, but that is not the point, now you are looking for the guy who is not sharp when you know the guy pitching is and the game is tied with nobody on…let me repeat…and the game is tied and nobody is on.  Rapada does the job and then hands it over to Eppley who ends up losing the game (with the help of an error by Jeter, I don’t care how they scored it…also Nix played poor defense earlier that cost us a run on a DP as he failed to get the ball to Cano quickly and he also misplayed an earlier play as well.)

Girardi made the mistake of trying to find the one guy who wasn’t pitching well and he did it in a tie game and he did it when the guy he went to originally should have been able to go until the game was over.  So he screwed up the game and also did not help the maturation, or at least the lengthening out of Phelps.  Girardi did not have a plan!

The standings on the right show Baltimore getting it done of late; luckily the other teams have not played well - Boston in last.  Even more reason to make sure you take care of Phelps Girardi!!!

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

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


Hughes was laboring to throw strikes and then throw quality strikes and went deep with a lot of counts.  It looked like he wouldn’t get out of the 6th, but Toronto started swinging at the first pitch and Hughes did a good job battling and getting our of an early jam and getting through the 7th inning.  He threw too many balls and missed on a lot of pitches, but they didn’t hit a lot of them.  On the positive side he was around the plate and mixed in his changeup which is something he will need to do.  He also threw 2 sliders (at least I think they were sliders as they came in around 74 and his curve is usually high 60’s), it was hard to tell as both pitches hung inside and didn’t get outside like he wanted them.  I believe he should also throw either his cutter or a slider to make something go more away to righties rather than more up and down on his curve (I know it goes some right to left but it is also about another speed as his curve is so slow that sometimes the batter can be fooled but can recoil and still hit it).

Overall, though a positive game for Phil and while he seems to struggle, he has been pretty solid over a decent stretch.

Girardi took Hughes out after 7 as he should have (sometimes he sends the starter out for another batter when they should shut them down – look at Nova the other night).

In the 8th inning there was a very cool play when Toronto ripped one in between first and 2nd that Tex dove for and it went off his glove toward Cano who quickly picked up the short hop and fired to Robertson who still went and covered to get the batter.  It was a good play by all 3 of them to get the out.

Key moment(s) of the game:

8th inning score tied 2-2
After Curtis Granderson grounded out, ARod singled and after Cano got on an infield hit where the fielder made a good play just to keep it in the infield the Yanks had 1st and 3rd and 1 out.  Tex was up with a 2-0 count on him…big pitch and they (Frasor) threw a fastball way inside that tex checked his swing but fouled it off.  It was a big mistake, but he still had the 2-1 count in his favor (but 3-0 would have been real big).  The next pitch tex swung threw a high strike fastball for a 2-2 count.  The next pitch hit him to load the bases.  Up stepped Swisher with the bases loaded for the 2nd time this game.  The first time, Swisher saw 4 pitches and never took his bat off his shoulder (the pitcher made good pitches but you need to swing at one strike).  This time Swish was ready for the first pitch and it was grooved but he fouled it back.  Frasor was having control issues and that was the pitch to crush.  The next pitch was a strike as well and Swish was in the hole.5 pitches later the count was full and Frasor dropped a breaking ball in for a called 3rd strike.  Again Swisher has to try and put the ball in play, but he failed.  Up stepped Ibanez and he found himself in the favorable count of 3-1 and Frasor had to come in and he grooved one and Ibanez hit a Grand Slam to win the game.

Ibanez was really fading with an OPS of .515 for the month of June and he has hit into a lot of DP’s lately, but has rebounded in July and came through on the Grand Slam to win the game.

Guess who is leading the Yankees in SB’s?  Of course, it is ARod with 10 and when he went home and got caught that was his first CS of the year. 

Our leadoff guy probably should not bat leadoff against righties (as I have been saying for a few years) as Jeter has an OPS of .621 against righties this year, after a .667 last year and a .633 in 2010.  This is a pretty consistent trend showing he simply isn’t good against righties anymore.  BTW, he has been excellent against lefties with an OPS in the rough ball park of .940 or so.  So my belief is that someone else should lead off against righties and I used to say Gardner and I would swap him and Jeter between 1 and 9, but I know that is heresy.  Seriously, though, if Gardner is out (and unfortunately it appears he will be out for longer and shutting him down is a possibility) I would leadoff Swisher or even better get Granderson up 1st and then have the switch hitting Swisher bat 2nd followed by Cano, Tex, ARod, Ibanez, Jeter, Chavez and Martin.  The only thing bad about the lineup is Granderson may not hit HR’s with guys on base, but it really isn’t much different than the way it is now if you think about it.  Chavez could also bat 2nd if you like as he has been swinging pretty well of late.

Monday, July 16, 2012


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.

Past games:

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?

Friday, July 6, 2012

The Genius Maker 7-6-12

Pretty wild Yankee/Boston game as each team scored 5 in the 1st inning and the Yanks winning a 10-8 game.  My thoughts:
Some negatives:
The Yankees had some more sloppy play with two poor throws by Chavez, Jeter simply never moving his feet on a liner from Gonzalez that showed glacial range. 
With a 3-0 count on Swisher with 2nd and 3rd (1 out) and the infield back they gave Swish the green light and he hit a hard grounder that was in the air some of the time before it hit the ground…ARod then hesitated before going home and was thrown out.
Chavez also got thrown out trying to go to 2nd on a ball off the wall and he didn’t run hard the entire time.
Jeter misread a line drive and got doubled up
Kuroda didn’t have his sharp movement down as he has had and credit Boston for hitting some low and outside pitches.
I know Martin has been struggling with a back issue but he has been in a horrible and extended slump at the plate.  We should be happy he didn’t take our offer of what I believe was 3 years at 24 mil or so (I may be off on this number)

The Positives:
Tex with a big triple into the stupid part of this part of the park where it would have been a homer if it was hot 3 feet to the right and up to 8 feet shorter.
ARod had a hard liner then did a great job stealing 2 and then 3rd.
Cool stat showing how close these two teams are; since 2002 the Yanks are now 102-100 against the Sox.
Jeter made a big play on a ball in the hole getting a force out at 3rd with 1st and 2nd and 1 out
Arod was on base 4 out of 5 times.
I believe that Boston is our largest competitor in the AL East so it would be great to lay a knock-out punch to them , but 3 of 4 would be really good as well.
Roberston came in and shut down the 7th but with 2 outs allowed 2 guys to get on and didn’t have control.  Girardi made the right move going to Soriano who went 3-1 on Gonzo with 2 men on but had some sink on his fastball and got a grounder to tex.  Then Soriano was sharp in the 9th and did an excellent job

The Genius Maker 7-4

Happy July 4th to everyone. 

Some notes from a very good and satisfying game:

·         I should have written earlier how much I hate the TB camera angle as it is really is hard to tell the strike zone. 
·         I would not have had Phelps start the 5th inning as he had reached his supposed pitch limit and why push it?  He really had excellent movement on his fastball and it was extremely encouraging.  He will be sent down to continue starting and then brought back up right after the break
·         Good play by Martin to not throw to 3rd on the 1st and 2nd situation as Nix didn’t cover the SB attempt.  This is hard to do as a catcher as you are up and ready to move and throw to a spot not a fielder.  It was heads up.
·         Of course, later that inning, Girardi decides to not allow Martin to throw to 2nd with 1st and 3rd as he was afraid they would pull the double steal on the throw.  I think this is absurd as nobody is as quick as Cano so I would have total faith in Cano seeing the play in front of him if the runner went.  Girardi is not as smart as he thinks
·         Eppley did a great job!  He has really pitched far better than we could have hoped.  He even got Luke Scott out, the same lefty Girardi didn’t let him pitch to the other night that hurt our chances to win.  When a pitcher has his good stuff, I would trust him unless the matchup is really bad and the other choice is a great matchup.
·         A very cool game with the game situation that I love.  Granderson was up against Price in the top of the 6th inning and the Yanks trailing 1-0.  Price is throwing great, but the last time up, Granderson had a 10 pitch AB that ended in a walk where Price threw nothing but fastballs (all 95-98 MPH).  This situation was not huge in the game as there were 2 outs and Jeter on first, but it was the batter pitcher matchups that are interesting as Granderson is a dangerous hitter (it is also why I enjoy the DH as I like good matchups).  Anyway, the first pitch was a curve ball that was low and Grandy took it for a ball.  This showed Price was paying attention to the first AB.  The next pitch Grandy took a fastball for a strike, followed by another fastball for a ball.  At 2-1, Grandy is looking for the fastball and he doesn’t get it and swings at a curve ball that would have been ball 3.  The next pitch was a 97 MPH fastball for a ball and a full count.  With the runner going Grandy gets his fastball and he is all over it but fouls it off.  I am now thinking Price would throw a curve, but he throws the fastball and Grandy is all over it again, then another fastball and Grandy was ready but fouled it off again.  Finally, he throws the curve and Grandy was naked with a swing and miss.  It was very interesting AB that showed the chances batters have and the control pitchers have…a lot of fun, even if it ended poorly
·         Price really gave our guys some very tough AB’s.
·         The Yanks had lost 9 in a row in Tampa and as one of their main competitors it felt good to win this game, especially with a very tough pitcher in Price on the mound.
·         Upton has so much talent but he is lazy and ARod had excellent hustle out of the box after struggling for a bunch of games.
·         Not sure why Jeter was upset with two calls form the ump; they were both clear strikes; I don’t like when we complain when there is no reason.  I actually thought the ump was very fair all game.
·         Piniella is done IMO.  He tries to bring some things up, but there is nothing there.
·         Swisher has hit pretty well in June, but he swings at far too many pitches out of the strike zone
·         Cano could be the best player in the game!  He has such incredible skills
·         So, here is a question, which team is “ahead when there is one out in the top of the 8th inning and the bases are loaded but the team up is down by one run?  This was the situation and I think it depends on who is coming up and the speed on the bases because the home team also gets an AB in the inning.  With Cano coming up I liked our chances.  
·         BTW, I was glad to see Farnsworth in the game and not Murphy to start the 8th

The Genius Maker 7-3

Tuesday's game gave me only two things to write about:

1)      The Yankee poor defense and base running continue (our defense is actually really good when Gardner comes back)

2)      Robby Thompson did it again; and should not be our 3rd base coach – he just doesn’t get it or just isn’t very good.  I have written about this since we lost Larry Bowa (and I criticized Girardi for letting Bowa go).  Getting a guy thrown out by a lot (regardless of whether the catcher didn't tag well or not) with one out was yet another glaring example of how bad Thompson is.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Genius Maker 7-2-12

Last night’s game:   My main eye raising move was when Girardi took Eppley out.   Eppley had pitched well in the 6th inning to get his 2 outs (he allowed an infield hit, but his ball was moving well and down.  Girardi allowed him to face Zobrist who he handled well.  Zobrist is a pretty equal hitter against both so that seemed OK.  Then with the lefty Luke Scott up, Girardi went to Logan (who of course was pinch hit for with S. Rodriquez).   It is OK to make other managers make moves, but as many of you have read over the years, when a pitcher is looking very good, I don’t like looking for the pitcher who may not have it (even though I do advocate matching up).  Yesterday, Eppley faced 3 hitters and all 3 beat the ball into the ground.  I would have let him face Scott and the righty catcher on deck.  At that point you can see what is going on.  Girardi went to Logan who walked Rodriquez and then went 3-0 with a wild pitch before getting the right handed catcher.  At this point Girardi went to Robertson.  Kind of makes you wonder why he didn’t go to Robertson to face the righty immediately? 
While I am criticizing Girardi, why did Garcia come out and pitch the 6th?  In the 4th he allowed the HR and in the 5th just a single, but you got 5 innings with only one run; time to go to the bullpen…right?  No, after getting the first out he allows a HR to Pena and then Girardi takes him out?  Pena is a HR hitter, so if you really want to take him out, then bring in a lefty against Pena before any damage is done.  There is no plan there.  Did the HR make Girardi think Garcia had lost it?  People talk about his bullpen skills, but when you don’t have the 7, 8th and 9th easily covered, is it really hard to manage the pen?  I think Girardi failed last night and failed the previous loss as well.
That being said, it would be nice to see Robertson get the job done!  His oblique injury has been really costly for us because he has come back and not been anything like his former self.  We will need him.
Other notes:
·         I never wrote about the Pettitte injury; and I won’t write much…it is a big loss as he was pitching really well.  Hopefully when he comes back he will be back at full strength (unlike Robertson)
·         Joba has been throwing 20 pitch sessions so he should be back this year
·         Aardsma is scheduled back to the Yanks in a 2-4 weeks
·         I even heard Feliciano may have a shot at coming back; would be nice to get something out of him
·         It would have been nice if Tex could have kept the ball in the infield even if he missed it…he has been pretty rock solid though so it just happens sometimes.
·         Don’t overlook the good start by Garcia.  Part of the frustration I had with not taking him out after 5 innings of one run ball is that I would hope he could get another good start in and perhaps be trade bait (not that we would get a lot but someone might see value?)
·         Yanks made a trade getting Qualls as a bullpen righty for a PTBNL.  Qualls has a sinking fastball that was 92-94 last night and a slider.  He is pretty good against righties, but lefties can hit him.  He is an OK pitcher with that good sinker, but with Aardsma and Joba potentially coming back I am not sure the value unless  some trades are in the works (as they should be)
·         How about the job Tampa has done with Fernando Rodney.  He has a career over 4 ERA and this year it is 0.98.  He has a ridiculous .415 OPS against this year!