Two Losses

I’ve been away doing work for the last couple days, so there’s a decent amount to catch up on.  The Yankees have dropped two straight, losing to Philly 8-3 today and 5-0 to Tampa yesterday.  Wang was very good through five but wore down a bit in the sixth, failing to retire the two batters he faced, and they eventually scored.  In the sixth, the Phillies turned a 2-1 deficit into a 5-2 lead, adding three more in the seventh.  Wang’s final line was pretty good–5+, 5 hits, 3 runs earned, 2 walks, 2 K’s, and 8 ground outs.  Bruney struggled again, giving up two runs earned on two hits, including a homer to Matt Stairs.  Giese also struggled, allowing 4 hits, 3 runs earned, and a two-run homer to ex-Yankee Miguel Cairo. The two of them have floundered this Spring, and hopefully Bruney can shake all this off once the season starts. Tomko continues to impress, finishing up the eighth with a hit in a scoreless inning.  As things stand now in the race for long reliever/spot starter, the job would seem to be Tomko’s.  Teixeira has had a hot Spring, doubling and scoring on Nady’s RBI single.

The offense was bound to cool off, and it did yesterday against Tampa as the Yanks got shut out.  Brett the Jet had a single and a walk.  Cano had two hits, and Austin Jackson had a triple, but the Yanks got only five hits and four walks against David Price and the Rays.  Aceves allowed two hits, a run earned, and a walk in 2 2/3, but the pitching on the whole was poor, walking nine. Igawa finally struggled this Spring, allowing a run on four hits and four walks in just 2 2/3.  Otherwise, he was very good, but has been sent down. Marte, however, threw a good inning, working around a walk.  Good to see him back and effective after his injury scare/snafu. The defense matched the bad pitching, committing three errors although Melky and Nady contributed an outfield assist apiece.  I have to say that Price really impresses me.  He has nasty stuff, his arm angle provides extra deception to his pitches, his slider is nasty, and his fastball is dangerous.  Honestly, he reminds me of a left-handed Joba–or a younger, slimmer Sabathia.

Pete Abraham has a good article on Jorge’s continued progress back from shoulder surgery.  Jorge threw out three of four runners in a minor-league game, one on a change-up he called.  That’s a good sign of arm strength.  There was also a good tidbit in the piece about Sabathia’s cognizance of runners and Jorge as well, with CC using a slide step to hasten the ball to home and help Jorge.  That Sabathia, can’t say enough good about the guy thus far.

Apparently Nady is ahead of Swisher in right field, with Girardi having told Swisher that he’ll be coming off the bench.  This should surprise no one, and Swisher handled it professionally, if with a subtle expression of his anger by saying that he’d like to play.  I still think Swisher has an important place on this team, and should be given some reps early to keep him sharp, to allow others like Damon and Matsui some time to start fresh, and honestly to put pressure on players.  No one gets a free pass to play, especially if someone capable is waiting in the wings.  I do like the improved bench strength with Swisher, I must admit.

Jeter returns after the US team was eliminated by Japan last night.

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Published in: on March 23, 2009 at 9:43 pm  Comments (5)  

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5 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Hey Jason. I’ve haven’t been too much in to spring training but from what I have seen. I’ve seen nothing of Austin Jackson this spring what been going on with him some people said he had a chance to make the team.

  2. Austin Jackson needs more time in the minors. As for Bruney, I’m starting to worry about him. Girardi said he’s a lock to make the roster, but he’s pitched horribly this spring.

  3. i guess that move should have surprised no one jason, but it did surprise me. with 2 weeks to go in ST, there was no reason to “end the contest” IMO.

    jane, i’m right with you on bruney-he looks just like he did in 07 minus the weight. its just so typical with relievers, aside from the mitacles like mariano and papelbon, they just can’t be counted on form year to year. i think there are enough pieces though whether bruney fails or not.

  4. How did you like the season preview Jason?

  5. Austin Jackson doesn’t seem slated to make the team this Spring, Nick, but has been good. I think the Yanks will keep him at SWB, allow him to grow and get regular at-bats, which he would not in The Bronx. I also haven’t seen anything yet to make me think that the Yanks don’t want Melky around–not yet, anyway.

    I hear you on Bruney, Jane and Mike. He’s been terrible. It is Spring, and we’ve seen players both go from good to bad and lousy to good from ST to the regular season. But it’s discouraging to see him REGULARLY rocked. Part of it is location, and part of it to me is he’s trying to throw the ball through a wall all the time.

    I get the impression that the RF “race” was one in name only, Mike. I didn’t get much of an impression that Swisher was getting a real chance to supplant Nady in RF, in good part because Swisher has spent considerable time at first. That’s fine in a way, since he is versatile. But as ST has gone on, that hasn’t seemed to be nearly the kind of race as CF. I just haven’t had the impression from what Cashman and Girardi have said that it’s been nearly as open as Gardner and Melky. Personally, whether or not he starts, Swisher should still get 300-400 at-bats with the Yanks. They should rotate Swisher in with Nady, JD, and Matsui between the corner OF spots and DH. Whether or not Nady starts, Swisher deserves playing time. And I agree about the bullpen should Bruney falter during the season. I want to see him succeed, but don’t think he makes or breaks the pen.

    I thought it was very good and quite detailed, Tim. I think the Yanks need to work hard to improve on their situational hitting, which was terrible last year. But I totally agree about the Rays. They have something to prove to me. I think they can still win lots of games, but I seriously doubt it will be the way it was last year–decent offense, very strong starting and relief pitching. I’d be very surprised if Balfour, Howell, and Wheeler shine in 2009 as they did last year. If the Rays thrive in ’09, it will be because the offense has stepped it up from last year, to me.

    Good stuff, Tim. I read it Sunday night, but I’ve been swamped with work, and in and out of town.


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