The Yankees have been a little out of balance over the past four games. Walloped in game one against the Pie-rats, they came back to pound them in game two. Shellacked in game one versus the Mets, they came back to dominate in the second half of the double header. Thrown in there for good measure was Moose’s 4 inning start that was washed out by a torrential downpour in Pittsburgh. That game will be made up on July 10th, costing the team another day off.
The performance of the team has been directly linked to its starting pitcher. In game one against the Pie-rats, Darrell Rasner got mowed down for seven runs in five innings, and the Yankees lost 12-5. The next start, Joba pitched 6 and 2/3 innings of shut out ball, and the Yankees won 10-0. Moose pitched 4 good innings, but that doesn’t count, so next up was Dan Geise. He gave up six in four, also walking four. The Yankees lost 15-6. Finally, the Yankees turned to… Sidney Ponson. Six shutout innings later, the Yankees were on their way to a 9-0 victory.
I hope I’m not the only one who’s wondering where some of this run support was earlier in the season. I recall at least one gem pitched by Moose and one by Rasner where they lost 2-0 or 2-1. Now, it seems like they’ve found ways to score a lot of runs and still come up short. They scored at least 5 runs in all four games (plus four in the one that didn’t count), but won only two of them. In case you didn’t know it yet, this game is all about starting pitching.
Admittedly, the bullpen appeared to give up after being handed the bad outings to salvage and appeared to coast through the easy ones. They pitched well in the good blow outs and poorly in the bad ones. As usual, it all comes back to starting pitching. Now let’s see if a rotation boasting Joba, Moose, Pettitte, Rasner, Geise, and Ponson in some combination can carry the team to September.
In other news, Hideki Matsui was placed on the 15 day DL with a sore knee. As much as I hate to see him go, I believe its better to be safe than sorry at this point. Justin Christian was brought up to cover for him during the Pie-rats series and has done a passable job thus far. The thought was (I’m guessing) to bring him up instead of Brett Gardner because the Yanks were facing 3 lefties in a row and Christian’s a righty. Better luck next time, Brett.
Also earning frequent flyer miles from Scranton to the Bronx (or spending a lot of time on I-80) are Ross Ohlendorf and Kei Igawa. Ross pitched poorly in the first game of the double header and was immediately told to pack his bags as Not O-Kei was on his way. Actually, I’m sure it was planned before that, but Ross didn’t help his cause much. Kei pitched the 9th in the last game of the double header and gave up two hits but no runs, cutting his ERA down to 13.50. Let’s hope that we don’t have to see him much longer.
Back to Sheaat 3:55 PM, true believers!