Yanks Beat Reds 7-1

Joba bounced back with a good start, the rest of the pitching was very good, and the bats pounded out 14 hits as the Yanks beat the Reds 7-1.  Brett “The Jet” Gardner went 2-3 with an RBI, but was thrown out at second base trying to stretch a single into a double.  I didn’t see the play, but my understanding from the YES crew was that it was a close play.  It might have been mistaken judgment by Gardner; it might have been a perfect throw to get him.  But with Gardner’s speed, being thrown out on what was described as a close play at second is a risk from him that, with his speed, I’ll usually accept.  Cody Ransom was 2-3 with an RBI, Matsui had a double and scored, Ramiro Pena was 2-3 with a double and two runs, Juan Miranda hit a long homer to right center in the fourth, and Shelley smashed a three-run homer in the seventh to salt it.  Austin Jackson added an RBI single, and Berroa, Montero, and Nady added singles.

The pitchers controlled the Reds, with Joba getting his first good start of Spring, going three innings, allowing three hits and a run, walking none and fanning three.  Joba’s control was much better, and his fastball had more life on it, topping out at 96.  He also picked off Chris Dickerson. From Pete Abraham:

He threw his slider for strikes and he hit 96. His command and arm strength are coming. The adjustments Dave Eiland made worked well. Joba had to stand taller on the rubber and work on the timing of his front leg. He was wasting energy and out of balance.

Coke was very good, allowing three hits but himself picking off a base runner and fanning three.  He fanned Encarnacion with a 93-mph 3-2 fastball and got Laynce Nix with a tremendous 0-2 slider.  Igawa worked two excellent innings, not allowing a hit, run, or walk and fanning two.  Garcia and Claggett each worked an inning, striking out two apiece.

Even before A-Rod’s injury, pitching is nothing short of vital for the season.  It has to be significantly better than last year’s often poor, inefficient showing that, albeit influenced by the injuries to Wang and Joba, produced just shy of 900 total innings, 263 of which by a cast of fill-ins, cast-offs, rookies, and reclamation projects.  Health is obviously crucial, and the Yanks need the top five to be as good and durable as possible.  But it is also important to have replacement starters, whose work to some degree will be inevitable, throw quality innings.  Hughes has been promising this Spring.  Igawa was good–efficient, loose, throwing easy for a change.  Yet watching Igawa buzz through two innings didn’t make me encouraged as it did sad, that he just may be nothing more than a good Triple-A pitcher, that in the majors he might never do anything but pitch Spring and warm-ups well–a tweener, somewhere between Triple-A and major-league quality.  That’s one expensive tweener, one who currently isn’t even on the 40-man roster.  I’d like to see him come around, I really would.  But I feel that waiting for that would be nothing more than setting myself up for disappointment, like Waiting for Godot.  What inevitable fill-in work comes must be from others.

Sabathia goes tomorrow, Wang Friday, Hughes Saturday, and Burnett Sunday.

Published in: on March 10, 2009 at 9:36 pm  Comments (1)  

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  1. Back to that 3rd base situation we were talking about in the other post. I know this is going to sound so obvious I do think your right in if we keep Ransom if the rotation is at its best. If they do the Yanks will be fine we got 3 aces, a potential ace and the best veteran you can get.

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