Once again, I am watching the games, but haven’t been able to write these articles…but I will chime in.
Starting with yesterday’s games. I thought knowing we had two games with Toronto I didn’t like Girardi taking Nova out with 88 pitches and a 2 run lead. Bringing in Logan for one batter and then flipping him out for Kelley was over managing in a situation where you didn’t need to because once Kelley looked bad (no control of his slider) and walked Encarnacion, Girardi let Kelley face the lefty Lind (of course because we don’t have two lefties…which is absurd). Lind is a good hitter against righties and an awful one against lefties. Once the questionable move of going to
was made, he should have stayed in for 3 batters and force the move away from Lind
and then gone to Kelley to face the righty if the inning was not over. We got out of it, but we had a pitcher
struggling who walked two guys and loaded the bases and we got lucky the long
fly ball went to RC. Because we won,
nobody would say anything, but that was very poor managing.
ARod – I don’t want to get into the legal side of this, but I will say that ARod should have gotten 100 games not some arbitrary number. I think Braun was even worse. That being said, all these guys who were cheating now tick me off because they all know that there was a focus to get this out of the game and they still cheated. The guys prior I really don’t have an issue with because everyone was getting an edge and the players union and baseball looked the other way. But again, once baseball took the hard stance, players still looking for that edge don’t get my leniency. Back to ARod, his AB’s are something we have been missing. Seeing a lot of pitches and taking walks. As hot as Soriano has been (he is streaky), he and a lot of the team are just not disciplined hitters and we lose out on wearing down pitchers. Granderson yesterday had a 3-2 count with ARod on first and nobody out and ripped a fastball foul. The next pitch (from a lefty) was a slow curve that was outside and in the dirt and he swung. You have to take that walk there by having a plan or thought that he may be going off speed. The pitch was not close and this is why I was mad. Stewart came through later that inning with the 2 out 3 run HR.
Having all these “extra” players has really helped the lineup in a ton of ways. For one, we just start a better team (obvious), but the real help comes when we can matchup later on and actually force moves. If you remember I couldn’t believe how bad we were that Stewart had to bat against a tough righty in the 9th inning because he was our best option. Fast forward to the early game yesterday and we bring in Reynolds with the very good lefty Cecil on the mound. Gibbons takes out Cecil to bring in a mediocre righty (Wagner) who gets Reynolds out. But then he walks Nix and allows the HR to Stewart. Just having Reynolds “forced”
Toronto to take out their
better pitcher and we took advantage of it.
Our lineup has been scoring a lot of runs, but we are not this good…we are just hot…but let’s ride it. I want more guys who get on base and I don’t like Ichiro batting 2nd. Why have a guy with an OPS of .670 bat 2nd? Let alone his OBP is only .308…and for the month of August he has an OBP of a pathetic .254 (one walk) and an OPS of .513. I would rather Granderson bat 2nd, at least getting him another AB makes sense. I like Ichiro, but he simply is not a good offensive player. I will say that in the one spot where all you need is a single, he would NOT be my last choice to step to the plate though…
We still have to keep a steady run of wins coming and I am concerned a little about Rivera as he has not been as sharp. His arm angle looked a little different yesterday to me and I can’t say I have ever said that before. He seemed to be coming around a few balls and that caused some inconsistency. I also am concerned about CC as he simply not that great. I was hoping we would already have Hughes out of the rotation, but Pineda had a setback and other injuries have kept anyone else form stepping up. Hughes got the job done last night, but I have no confidence in him.
I am happy we are getting something to root for. Not sure we have enough, but we are 5 out of the wild card and 6.5 out of first. There are a lot of teams to jump but winning cures a lot.