Friday, June 26, 2009

Yanks Meet the Mess (Postgame Notes 26 June 2009)

Quietly, or perhaps not-so-quietly, it looks like the Yankees have begun to emerge from their June swoon.

In the past three games, the Yankees have scored at least eight runs...and, while these games weren't necessarily laughers, given the timing of the scoring, the wins still count.

Tonight, the Yankees did the type of things that a competitive team needs to do: pitch well, take advantage of the other team's miscues, and add a couple of tack on runs just for form's sake.

Let's break it down:

1) Pitch well...

CC Sabathia, apparently recovered from his biceps tendinitis, had a very good outing, allowing just three hits in seven innings. Had the Yankees not blown it open in the 8th, he would have come back out again.

Although he was no doubt the beneficiary of a very pitcher-friendly appeal umpire at first, Sabathia's performance was what the Yankees needed after Pettitte's struggles and thus the stretching of the bullpen last night.

While Sabathia may not have received the attention that the FA success stories of K-Rod and Raul Ibañez have, he is pitching up to the standards expected of an ace. His record doesn't reflect it as the Yankees haven't always scored on his behalf, but he is clearly giving the Yankees what they need.

2) Take advantage of the other team's miscues...

The New York Mets had three infielders commit an error in the 2nd inning, though, strangely, Luis Castillo didn't have any of them. Ok, bad joke aside, the Yankees turned the three errors into four runs, all with the names like Gardner (who had the game of his career, thus far, with five hits), Peña, Sabathia...(Sabathia is no automatic out).

With the early lead, the Yankees didn't falter. It's a good thing they got the lead, too, because after that inning the Yankees had only one baserunner until the seventh inning.

3) Score some tack on runs...

I don't know if the Yankees want to play mean and keep Mariano Rivera from getting his 500th save, but you can't really complain about the tack on runs.

Three runs can be erased with one swing. Seven can't. And with eight runs to work with, you have more than enough time to change pitchers if yours starts to struggle (thankfully, Tomko was excellent).

And, you know what, the tack on runs weren't useless.

They meant that CC didn't have to pitch the 8th, got the Yankees a comfortable lead, and let them rest Teixeira and A-Rod, if only for a half inning. Still, with a flu bug going around, any rest would likely be welcome.

AJ Burnett takes the mound tomorrow, but the real interesting pitching match up comes Sunday when Wang takes on Livan Hernandez.

Oh boy.