Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Relieving Dangerously (Postgame Notes 18 June 2008)

It certainly wasn't pretty, but it was still a win.

After scoring three runs in the first two innings, the Yankees played a see-saw game with the Padres, letting the Padres get close--on two occasions, within one run--but never to tie or take the lead.

While Darrel Rasner cruised through the first two innings, striking out four in that span, he labored through the third, and threw so many pitches that, although he did not surrender the lead, he was done pitching after the fifth inning.

Still, it was enough for Rasner to get his first win in his last five tries, and even his overall record at 4-4.

While Darrel Rasner will never be Joba or even a #2 or #3 starter on the Yankees (he might have a shot at a #3 spot on a pitching-poor National League team), he does eat innings, and with the exception of his poor start in Oakland, he has always kept the Yankees in the game--certainly he can't be blamed if there was a lack of run support in many of his outtings.

Tonight, however, there was no lack of run support. Every Yankee starter except for Jason Giambi had at least one hit; Johnny Damon, Wilson Betemit and Alex Rodriguez each had three hit games.

Alex Rodriguez now has homered in four consecutive games, and tonight's home run was a no-doubt-about-it moon shot that nearly made the left field bleachers. He has supplemented his all-powerful bat with terrific defense that has likely saved the Yankees' countless runs over the past six wins.

Derek Jeter continues to befuddle--though his average is only in the .270-.280 range, he has a seven game hitting streak, and has a knack for making the hits matter.

Wilson Betemit, starting at first base, had perhaps his best offensive game of the season, easily atoning for an error he made in the first inning. Though he's not the best defensive player on the Yankees, he can still hit for some power from the left side.

The Yankees bullpen was not shut-down, but it never surrendered the lead. Instead, after an easy 6th inning, Edwar Ramirez and Kyle Farnsworth both flirted with danger before giving the ball to Mariano Rivera in the ninth, and even then, Mo (uncharacteristically) gave up a lead off double before retiring the side).

That said, the Yankees have now won six in a row. Though they haven't been able to make up much ground on Boston and Tampa, as those teams keep winning, they've made up some, and that they've been able to do this while missing three of their five starters on Opening Day is all the more remarkable.

These are not the eternally .500 Yankees you are watching any more.


  1. Edwar Ramirez is starting to show his stripes a bit. He got off to such a great start and is capable of pitching very well, but also has a tendency to get hit very hard when he's not on his game. He's still our best option when Rivera isn't around, but every so often he's going to get shelled.

  2. The Yanks are playing some good baseball. Last night, even though the pitching was not that good, the Yankees offense managed to score at will. Every time a pitcher gave up runs, the Yanks answered right back.

    And Alex is showing why he truly is the MVP. He makes such a difference in this line-up.

  3. I'm not too worried yet. As good the boys are hitting they must all be downing that Purple Mo is promoting. I feel confident the Yanks will pull back into the race, they just need time.