Atrocious series in Boston, with the Yankees getting swept after last night’s 4-1 loss. Again a joke with RISP, going 0-6 with 8 left on, the Yanks simply have not delivered in the clutch this year. They were an abysmal 7-43 with 35 stranded in the 3 losses in Fenway. That’s no way to win games, period. Pettite was on the whole pretty good, though having Ellsbury steal home (the second time I’ve seen that happen on him, with Hill doing the same in 2007) is an embarrassment, and the four walks hurt. The starters have issued far too many free passes of late, damaging their own causes.
It didn’t help that Berroa’s defense was not too surprisingly weak at third, committing two errors, through Teixeira should have been able to make the scoop on the second error. Teixeira, Swisher, and Posada combining to go 0-11 last night was a killer. Gardner needs to show something more, and soon. He had a nice sac fly for the team’s only run last night, but is 2 for his last 21, sinking his average to .220 and helping render New York’s offense anemic at the top (and bottom) of the order. With Melky hitting .303, Gardner will soon hit his way out of the lineup. Yet I’m far from sold on Melky, despite his good average. He still lacks plate discipline, swinging at the first pitch and weakly grounding out to Pedroia to end the rally in the fourth, and fanning to end the rally in the sixth.
Mark Melancon was good in his debut, pitching two scoreless innings and working out of a bases loaded jam in the eighth. His strikeout of Varitek was excellent, though Varitek belly-ached back to the dugout that he didn’t swing. He threw hard, routinely hitting 94 on the gun. Keep him up and give him a chance. In turn, two Boston youngsters in Michael Bowden and Hunter Jones shut down the Yanks for 2 2/3 last night. The lefty Jones threw strikes right away to the two batters he faced, and Bowden got two strikeouts. See, Veras and Marte? It is possible.
In all, the sweep was a colossal annoyance since the Yanks blew scores of chances in three games, having two in hand before losing them. Yet this team has hardly played at home, hasn’t had consistent pitching from the starters or relievers and in fact has the highest team ERA in baseball at 6.26, hasn’t hit for beans with RISP and in fact is second-to-last in the AL and 22nd in baseball with a .237 batting average with RISP, has missed A-Rod for the first 18 games, has had little production from the bottom of the order and inconsistencies elsewhere–yet is still 9-9. They’re playing far from good or consistent baseball and seriously need to shore up some problems, but are far from out of it one-ninth of the way into the season–just in case anyone is panicking.
On an unrelated note, my posting will be sporadic over the next few weeks, with tons of work on my plate and a vacation looming in a few weeks. Interested folks might want to subscribe to the RSS feed to have my screed e-mailed.
Thanks for reading, everyone. I honestly do appreciate it, and am continually surprised that people actually do.