Sunday, April 13, 2008

Oh Clutch, Where Art Thou? (Postgame Notes 13 April 2008)

In a game where Yankee starting pitching was so bad that the bullpen was up in the first inning, their undoing tonight proved not to be the men on the mound, but the hitters at the plate.

It wasn't that the Yankees didn't get on base.

They did, many, many times--enough that midnight rolled around before the ninth inning was done--but when it mattered, when one hit could have tied the game or brought the deficit to within one run, they faltered.

Again and again, it seemed, every inning, a new chance, and every inning, someone else failing to come through in the clutch.

It's frustrating, especially when you know the team is too good to stay mired in a slump, and even though it's not even the tax deadline, the cold weather excuse is beginning to get old.

Yes, the Yankees have had to play baseball in horrible weather--but then, so did whoever it was that they were playing, and somehow, unless Wang was pitching, they found a way to hit as well.

That said, there are some encouraging signs. The walks the Yankees took show that they aren't wholly lost at the plate, and that the famed Yankee patience isn't just a thing of the past. They managed to take a 7-1 deficit and climb to within 7-5 at the closest, again showing that never-say-die is as much a part of the game as cracker jacks and rain delays.

The bats will come out of their slumber, and on a hot night in August, when Mike Mussina or Ian Kennedy has a similar evening like Phil Hughes's tonight, they will complete the comeback. They are too good not to.

OPTIMIST TAKE: LaTroy Hawkins had possibly his best pinstripe performance yet. Every Yankee except for Canò and Rodriguez reached base at least once. The Yankees may have had one of their best games defensively so far this year. Jose Molina continues to hit as if he was a regular and Alberto Gonzalez is turning out to be a better offensive player than many of us thought he'd be.

It's late and I'm tired--driving five and a half hours twice in three days will do that to you--so check ESPN for scores if you need them.

1 comment:

  1. The Yanks were in trouble from the beginning. They fell behind early but they did dig themselves out a bit. There were some positive signs. Right now with Posada and Molina hurt and Joba away, the Yanks need to tread water.