Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Yankees Do Just Enough to Beat Lowly Nats (Postgame Notes 16 June 2009)

Someone must have sent the Yankees a memo: beating the Nationals (or, as some prefer, Natinals) is a simple affair.

Hang in against the starter, get a few off the bullpen and pitch competently on your own side.

Was it the best game the Yankees have played all year?

No, probably not. The pitching was decent sure, but the offense could have been much better. Still, when one plays a team on pace for as many losses as the Yankees had wins in 1998, one's flaws are more easily hidden.

The offense was able to do just enough--take the lead, and add one more as insurance--to win without making one sweat too much, though, it could be argued, against a starter with an ERA over 5, they should have probably done more.

CC Sabathia pitched two outs into the 8th inning; Brian Bruney faced one batter and retired him, and Mariano Rivera, with some help from the Yankee defense (which, when one keeps the Nats in mind, isn't to be underestimated) retired the side in order in the ninth. Rivera, for the record, is fast approaching his 500th save.

The only real concern of the evening--don't mind the offense, they don't like hitting guys they've never seen--is that Derek Jeter left the game with left ankle stiffness. No word yet on the severity, but losing Jeter's bat for any length of time wouldn't be a good thing, to say the least.

Also, the Yankees might want to consider giving Alex Rodriguez a day off--while they probably don't want to play Angel Berroa and Ramiro Peña in the same game if Jeter is out for any length of time, Rodriguez needs the day off. Really, really, really.

Tomorrow, Chien Ming Wang, the proud new papa, will get what might be his last chance to stay in the rotation. Expect a quick hook if he can't get it going--the games against the Nationals are must wins because, really, do you expect Boston to drop any against the Nats?