Last night’s game was worth writing about because of the excellent defense both teams played. Texas’ RF made a diving play saving a run and their CF’r made two really good plays as well keeping the Yanks lead to only 3 runs. Texas’ young 3rd baseman also made an outstanding play at 3rd base saving at least one run (robbing our rookie Melky Mesa).
Gardner, on our side, did all the defensive wizardry himself single handedly saving a handful of runs (at least) making some outstanding plays and getting great jumps on balls. He went in, out, left and right and saved us big time. He was a star!
The one huge mistake we made was when our other rookie Lillibridge got out of the way of a grounder and waved at it as it went by. Very poor play that led to 3 unearned runs but all 4 runs Texas scored (Logan came into that inning in relief and allowed a 2 run HR). I am not a big fan of Hughes, but he was pitching OK and some poor umpiring and the error is what made that inning tough on him. I was surprised Girardi took him out when he did, but I can’t blame Girardi for it considering a lefty was coming up (even if his splits are not much worse against lefties) and Logan is not better against lefties. I can see Girardi saying I can’t risk a Hughes dinger, but unfortunately, that is what Logan did. THIS IS THE EXACT SPOT WHERE A LEFTY SPECIALIST IS SO BADLY NEEDED.
In the 9th inning, facing Joe Nathan, Overbay K’d and Wells walked. A key play happened when Nathan slipped and threw a wild pitch allowing Wells to go to 2nd and then “force” Texas to move their OF in a little to give them a chance to cut the runner. Regardless of whether it is a smart move, they did move their guys in and Nunez his a long fly ball to the base of the wall that their CF’r (Gentry) just missed catching up to allowing us to tie the game. Lillibridge was able to have a little redemption for his bad play in the field lining a single giving us the go ahead run and allowing us to witness another Rivera save. The part of watching the Genius Maker this year is how many one run saves he has had. I don’t know the percentages, but is sure feels like he has had more one run saves than in the past (if anyone has those numbers, let’s share them?).
As for the Soriano possibilities of joining the team, my feeling is that Soriano will help us against lefty pitchers; but that is mostly because we are so incompetent with our options. He also could be a viable option off the bench as a pinch hitter; something we sorely need. He has an .806 OPS against lefties and .728 against righties. Not a killer, but a lot more productive than we have. The real question is what do we do as an organization, this is a band aid and we may need more than that. If our guys would come back healthy, it would be a big boost, but so far everyone who has come back has reinjured themselves…(Tex, Grandy, Jeter, Youkilis) and even Arod sort of and Nunez. Getting Cervelli back could be very important as well. If we don’t give up much, getting Soriano is a little bit of help and I would hate to throw in the towel on Rivera’s last year. While I don’t think Nunez will be a good defensive SS, I think moving Jeter to 3rd base would be a smart move. It appears ARod may be suspended anyway and that is what I would do. Less issue for his ankle and let Nunez have an extended look.