Monday, April 14, 2008

Offensive Explosion, Bullpen Implosion (Postgame Notes 14 April 2008)

Ken Singleton summed up the offense back in the first few innings of the game:

"These are some real swings the Yankees are taking tonight."

Indeed, over the first four innings, there were three Yankee home runs and seven runs in total. The Yankees were overdue for an offensive breakthrough, and tonight it happened. Only Hideki Matsui missed being part of the hit parade, and even then, his last out was a long fly out that looked like it might clear the fence as well.

It's the first game of the year the Yankees have won on offense, but that should not take away from Ian Kennedy's start.

By all rights, Ian Kennedy should have gotten the win, going six innings and surrendering three runs (though Billy Traber was on the mound when the last one scored), and had he not been hit by Bartlett's infield single in the seventh, the complexion of the game may have remained a laugher.

However, as the baseball deities are fickle beings, it was not to be.

Going to Billy Traber in the seventh was the right choice. That needs to be clear. With three lefties in a row, you are supposed to go to your lefty specialist, and before today, Traber had been excellent. Every reliever will have a poor game, and today, Traber was the unfortunate one.

Brian Bruney had been good so far this season, despite faltering Saturday (probably just because I was there), so there was no reason be outraged at his appearing in the game; though if Joba was around he would have been in as soon as the game became a one run affair. The outrage, however, should come from Upton's home run on an 0-2 count.

Robinson Canò had been due to break out of his offensive sputtering; as far as moments to do it go, he picked a very good one. With luck, that will be the spark he needs to get back to the Robbie Canò we all know.

OPTIMIST TAKE: Best offensive showing so far, and a great bounce-back start for Kennedy. Four home runs, but more importantly, two hits with less than two outs and RISP from Johnny Damon and (a healthy) Derek Jeter. Mariano Rivera was himself in a four-out save. Theoretically, sometime before midnight tomorrow, I'll be done with the thesis. Theoretically.


  1. Traber and Bruney have been solid so far, I'm not going to be upset with their performances tonight.

    Overall lots of positives for the Yankees. Moeller throws out BJ Upton, A-Rod goes on a tear, Jeter back in the lineup, Cano delivers in the pinch hit clutch and Ian Kennedy throws strikes and goes at batters to deliver a quality start.

    Good game!

  2. Who would have thought that with a 7 run lead early on Mo would need to pitch? The Yanks won and that is the bottom line, but an absolute meltdown by Traber and Bruney.

    The offense had a lot of positive -Derek's return, the HR outburst, and hits with runners in scoring position.

    Rebecca - good luck on finishing the thesis.