Thursday, May 14, 2009

Somehow A-rod Makes Things Better

Without A-Rod: 13-15
With A-Rod: 3-2, including one loss against Halladay which would have likely been a loss even with the 1927 Murderers' Row line up.

Okay, so there isn't a big, walloping noticeable difference here, but even while you talk about the Yanks being 3-7 in their last 10 (yay five game losing streaks), also consider that the Yanks have won two of three and three of five.

That's the funny thing about baseball--you can always make the numbers say what you want them to say.

A-Rod hasn't done much since he's been back--the three-run HR on his first swing, of course, and the RBI against Halladay--but that's about it. This, however, can likely be attributed to not facing major league pitching since last September; yesterday A-Rod did walk twice, which is at the very least an improvement over swinging at pitches not in the zone.

He also looks slower on the basepath, and as though his range is all but gone--not a good idea when you play next to Derek Jeter.

So has A-Rod made the team better all by his lonesome? It can't possibly be, right?

So let's consider the last five games:

Over the last five games the Yankees have gotten a bad start from one pitcher (Hughes in Baltimore). Burnett had one bad inning against Halladay; alas against Halladay one bad inning is all it takes.

Johnny Damon has an extra-base hit in nine straight games--and some, like the home run in Baltimore on Sunday, have come at incredibly important moments of the game.

The bottom of the line up has shown itself to, quite possibly, being something other than a black hole. Melky Cabrera has swung one of the hottest bats all season. Francisco Cervelli is legging out grounders for infield hits--and he's a catcher (!). Even Ramiro Peña has shown a knack for some line drives down the line or in the gap; with his speed the singles become doubles and the doubles become triples.

It's really not all that bad in Yankee land.

A-Rod's back, and Brian Bruney and Jorge Posada are on their way.

Things are looking up.

Oh, and here's some food for thought from ESPN's game recap:

The Yankees have allowed just 49 runs in their 16 wins this season but have given up 149 runs in 17 losses.