Thursday 4/19 game:
I like the lineup with Didi in between Judge and Stanton; that was my original thought and I think it is just better for the later matchups and so a pitcher can’t get into a groove against many righties in a row.
Wade still seems overmatched to me I just don’t see what the scouts see) and Torreyes should be playing at least until Torres gets called up or Drury comes back as Torreyes has been hitting well. This may seem strange but Torreyes is he isn’t a great defender. He is adequate, especially for a backup but he does not possess a great arm or glove; he is quick though. Obviously, he doesn’t have power and doesn’t walk a lot, but he does square up the ball very well for a solid batting avg.
This was the type of game where we should be stronger than other teams. We turned it over to the bullpen and with the exception of Robertson (who really struggled with control), the pen was excellent. In the middle was Betances who pitched the 7th in a 2 run game. I say that because if he would have done poorly, many of us would have questioned Boone for using him in that spot because it was not a mop up situation. I didn’t have an issue with it, mostly because having him straightened out is important because of the upside; but I would have had a very quick hook. If he walked the first batter he was out. Ironically, Betances had an excellent/clean inning and turned it over to Robertson who allowed a single and two walks (on 9 pitches). Fortunately, Toronto helped him work out of the jam with only 1 run by missing some very hittable mistakes. Chapman was very sharp in striking out the side in the 9th, elevating his fastball after mixing in the curve.
Friday 4/20 Game:
While it is very early in the season and it has been a cold month of April (after what I read was the 5th hottest March ever), these Toronto games are very important. Why? Toronto will be one of the teams we will fight for the WC against. Injuries can change a lot, but as I mentioned before, Boston is a very good team (not 17-2 good, but you have to think that 100+ wins is highly probable).
I was very disappointed with Gray’s performance. His stuff wasn’t bad and at times you had to give credit to Toronto for some good hitting (mostly fighting off some good curves), but Gray just didn’t have control and that is key to his game. This game was lost because the Yankee pitchers walked 9 batters and we only walked once! Toronto has not been known as a patient team.
One other note, Sanchez allowed a wild pitch where he made a very poor effort on a curve that was tugged downward and to the left side of the plate. First, with a runner on base, Sanchez had one of his knees on the ground to give a low target (which makes it harder to move the body either direction), then as expected he was slow to react because of part one), then he wasn’t sure which way to turn his glove and turned it the wrong way and thus a wild pitch. Sanchez tries to use his glove too often to stop balls in the dirt when he should be using his chest protector. The good catchers, get their bodies out and around the ball and just let it hit their protector and direct it back toward home plate. Sanchez has not improved very much IMO.