Eight Straight

Those were the first words I uttered to Frank the Sage during our late-night chinwag last night after yet another win.  Tremendous win streak, just what the doctor ordered.  Hughes was good, allowing two homers to account for the three runs, but he worked out of two jams.  He had first and second with two outs in the second and also first and third in the third, but allowed runs neither time.  In the third, a strike-him-out, throw-him-out DP ended the rally, and I was especially impressed that Hughes fanned the tough Markakis twice.  He wasn’t efficient, needing 89 pitches to get through five innings despite a 12-pitch first, and he had jams from which to extricate himself.  The two homers hurt but, on the whole, not bad from the kid.  I’ll say this–last year, his two downfalls were not putting guys away and not being able to get out of jams.  Things steam-rolled on him.  That didn’t happen last night.

Again the Yankees turned a tight game into a blowout with late-inning runs, this time scoring six in the eighth to make it 11-3.  Mariano came into the game with two down in the eighth, relieving Coke who did a good job getting Markakis and Huff.  Yet why Mariano stayed in the game after it got out of hand, I have no idea.  Up eight, I would have taken Mariano out.  He subsequently allowed a homer, the fifth he’s allowed this season–already more than last year and only thrice has he surrendered five or more, and one of those years was when he was primarily a starter in 1995.  Bad call by Girardi with Albaladejo warming up. [Edit: In fairness, Girardi’s interest in building Mariano’s arm strength has long-term value, and I can’t discount that factor in his decision to pitch Mariano.  However, given his three straight days of work against the Twins recently, to what degree is this really still an issue?  If it is, does it indicate something more than perhaps a slow recovery for Mariano after off-season surgery at the age of 39?  I’ve wondered for a bit, especially more so now as he has surrendered a lot of homers.  Last night’s homer didn’t affect anything regarding the game.  But Mariano, for whatever reason, looks a little more vulnerable.]

Swisher, Cano, and Melky the Once-Again Clutch hit back-to-back-to-back homers in the second off Guthrie, who left a lot of pitches up early.  That trio made him pay dearly.  Good to see them work over Baez and Jaime Walker for the six in the eighth.  Among the hits, Jeter crushed a double off the wall in right that nearly left the yard.  Overall, Cano had a great night, going 3-4 with 2 runs, 3 RBIs (22), his 7th homer, and is at .307.  Melky has been great, really performing well to earn his job in the outfield back, going 2-4 with 2 runs, 2 RBIs (16), and is batting a crisp .321.  Swish was 1-2 with 2 walks, batting .234, with his 9th homer.  A-Rod walked twice and scored twice, and Teixeira drove in JD with a double in the first, his 31st RBI, batting .241.

Get the second straight Crazy Stein tonight, guys.

Published in: on May 21, 2009 at 6:41 am  Comments (6)  

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Well, first off, congrats on eight straight. I don’t like it, but I am glad it makes someone happy 🙂 So how do you feel about Jeter this season? Been roughly average, do you feel he will continue like this? Or get hot?


  2. Good question about Jeter, Joe. I think he’ll improve, and I think it’s more than my usual, glass-half-full approach to Yankee predictions. I think Jeter is typically good for about .300, and should pick it up. But you’re right, he’s been average on the whole and, for him, below average. I’d like to see him get hot for the obvious reason that it will help the Yanks, but also because, going back to last year, there really weren’t many stretches at all that the top of the order was hot at the same time and clicking.

  3. i’ll say this about jeter joe–it has definitely been a down year so far, but he’s been one of the better hitters with RISP and during this homestand despite a few 1 for 4 or 1 for 5 nights///that one hit has been the one we have needed . bases clearing double one night and then also last night. so i haven’t been killing him.

  4. it was nice seeing hughes do well against tough hitters, but it must be said that markakis has been in a dreadful slump for over a week ( he’s on one of my fantasy teams) still he did a good job attacking the zone

  5. Markakis is 2 for his last 18 Mike, but the Yankees thrust some of that upon him–notably the last 0-8. Plus, he was tearing the cover off the ball beforehand, so I’m not sure to what degree he could sustain that incredibly high average. I like that, thus far, the Yankees have controlled Markakis, who had 4 hits against the Yanks the last series, including 3 with a homer in that 12-5 blowout against Hughes.

  6. Agreed about Jeter with RISP, Mike. One could almost feel that double off the wall in the eighth coming.

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