A three-way tie for 1st place (ahead on %). Based on our injuries, I am more than happy with that. I am surprised we have won 62% of our games, but was hoping Baltimore and Boston wouldn’t have been playing so well. I knew Toronto was improved, but also knew that they were not able to play with the others in this division. I do expect them to play better as the season goes on though. Tampa is a solid team as well. We have been a little lucky as well so far as we have one a larger share of close games than normally happens. Rivera at 43 has been amazing so far for us and I am constantly amazed by The Genius Maker. It really is special watching him play at such a high level so far and he has been perfect in save situations…truly amazing.
I wrote about Cervelli and where he puts his hand and how critical I was of that. I am shocked that Stewart still keeps his hand in harms way for no apparent reason? I just don’t get it? As I used to say about Posada, you are just asking for an injury that is easily preventable and Cervelli broke his hand because of it. I don’t get why nobody is watching this?
Stats are inflated a little after last night’s offensive explosion. Overbay had a great day and Ichiro and Gardner had a lot of bases as well. Chris nelson even got a few hits (I didn’t understand that signing either as I said I would have given a minor leaguer a chance. Ichiro has his OPS over .700 at .719, so he is now officially not awful, just very weak. Gardner is at .742 so he is avg for a CF’r, but his D is still very good.
Wells misplayed a ball yesterday as he crossed to his left (our right) rather than going back and then couldn’t catch up to the ball. Overall he has played as well as we could hope, but I am not so sure it will continue. Because of injuries and because the way his contract was structured, it might have been necessary, but I am still luke warm on it. I hope he can keep it up, but I get the feeling he will drop back into the mid .700’s for OPS. I hope I am wrong as we will need him because he has to be better than Ichiro or we will be in trouble.
I hated the signing at the beginning, but can we just end the Ben Francisco era? It was a mistake and let’s just move on and give someone else a chance. I would rather see Brennen Boesch play in every situation Girardi wanted to put BeFran into.
BTW, Cano has 21 RBI’s and Overbay has 20 (Hafner has 18).
Shawn Kelley looked dominant yesterday and while it was one game, he has made an adjustment that has put more life on his fastball (movement wise) and he has not walked anyone in his last 4.1 innings (allowing only 1 hit with 9 k’s!). Hard to say whether he has turned a corner yet, but his numbers have been great in this stretch and he does show strikeout stuff. Nothing is sharp though and I usually like that in a pitcher.
Preston Claiborne has done the job so far as well, but while nothing stands out, these guys have been throwing 93-94 so they have a fastball that needs to be respected and they have some movement as well as a decent slider and change. Those are traits you can work with.
I have been missing the Vidal Nuno pitching opportunities but I would like to see what he has because, as you know, I feel it is a must to have at least two lefties in the pen.
Hughes continues to be inconsistent in his command. His stuff is fine, but command is a big issue as he doesn’t seem to be able to be as consistent as one would like. Overall, an ERA of 4.43 is not bad and he is showing signs of being able to consistently throw a little harder, but he will need to get a little better command to stop allowing so many big hits (7 HR’s in 40 innings is not getting it done).
The one area that the Yanks are doing a good job in is not giving away too many free passes as they have walked 86 batters in 305 innings. Only 2 teams have a lower walk % in the AL.
Just a random note is how many strikeouts are happening in the AL. The ratio of strikeouts per inning is .874 so far this year when in past years it has been .824, .771, .759 (notice the trend going up)
The injured are getting ready to come back…I am looking forward to seeing Youk, Grandy and Tex back in the short term along with Joba. Then Cervelli, ARod and Jeter (who am I forgetting?) Girardi got his 500th win and while I think he is far too condescending, he has done a good job this year and overall is not bad (except for keeping Robby Thompson). BTW, sending Nix yesterday with one out was not a bad choice and not because he made it, it was because the other team executed perfectly and Nix still beat the throw.
Finally, I thought Girardi has made all the right pitching moves the last two days as he followed my exact thoughts. Maybe he is maturing…or maybe I am losing it J