Yanks Stomp Rangers Again 9-2

First off, sorry for no post last night or about it.  I pulled an all-nighter the night before with work, then taught, then had to tend to the family and make dinner, then helped my daughter study for a while for a final exam.  I listened to a couple innings, but was honestly totally out of gas by 10:30 CT which, with the extended rain delay, put things in about the 3rd inning.  After such a long day-plus, what a sublime pleasure it is to get eight hours of sleep.  Agreed with Mike’s comment in the previous post about Aceves, and what disgusting work with RISP–an area in which the Yankees have dramatically improved of late.  Not last night–2-12, stranding 12 and scoring only three runs despite 13 hits and 4 walks.  Yay-Howza.  Nor was Joba good or economical.  Great, Mauer-like play by A-Rod at third, diving to the bag to nab a somnambulant Kinsler.  Great stuff.

However, the Yanks made up for it tonight with an impressive and dominant 9-2 win, with Burnett very good if inefficient, and the offense electric from the get-go.  Jeter began the game with a hard single laced up the middle off hard-throwing young lefty Derek Holland and, after JD fanned, Teixeira got a fastball down and in and absolutely crushed it past the last row in the lower section in left, 2-0 in a blink.  Back-to-back two-out doubles from the juggernaut that is Kevin Cash (who reads The Heartland daily and sent several irate e-mails to the author swearing he’d rub it in my face when he starts to hit, and now is hitting) and The Captain in the top of the second made it 3-0.

Matsui crushed the first pitch of the top of the sixth, a belt-high fastball grooved over the plate, for a homer to very deep right, 4-0.  Swish walked, and Brett the Jet bunted his way on for a single and went to second, and Swish third, on Holland’s throwing error.  I’m so glad this was rightly called a hit and error, for The Jet was a step past the bag before the ball sailed past, a clear hit, and a stark reminder that the dude can fly.  The force that is Kevin Cash singled to left to score them both, 6-0 Yanks, although a tremendous throw from Murphy may have had the speedy Gardner at home had Saltalamacchia been able to grab it.  That says a lot about Murphy’s arm, for when The Jet rounded third, I thought it was a sure run despite being in somewhat shallow left.  Murphy’s throw was on the fly and just a couple feet off.  Cano doubled to lead off the eighth, and Matsui smashed his second homer of the night to right center, 8-0 Yanks.  I really feel for Matsui, for especially on the second homer, he was trotting around the bases–and not in slow, watch-my-backside, Dave Parker style.  I remarked before that I believe his knees have been bothering him.  There’s no question about it in my mind, he’s not right physically.  If Matsui doesn’t have to run, he isn’t running at all.  Pity, a terrific Yankee and a guy who seems genuinely decent, someone about whom no one, ever has an untoward word.  He’s laboring now, no question in my mind.  Cano led off the ninth with a homer off Kent/Robby/Kris Benson, a no-doubt laser to deep right, 9-2 to cap the Yanks’ scoring.

Burnett was quite good, pitching six solid shutout innings, but requiring too many pitches to do so–118.  He threw first-pitch strikes to 14 of the 25 batters he faced, and 70 of his 118 pitches he threw were for strikes.  But he battled, came back from 3-0 counts to retire Hamilton in the first and Cruz in the fourth, and simply refused to allow runners to score.  His line is on the whole good except for the walks–6 IP, 3 H, no runs, 4 BB, 7 K.  Again, he got behind some batters, I think to a good degree he was up in the zone way too much, a sign that he, I believe, is too upright in his delivery.  But Burnett was better than he has bene in some time and, with kind of offensive support, Burnett was more than good enough tonight.

Veras is someone for whom I am having increasing difficulty justifying any use. The guy allowed a double to Saltalamacchia and a homer to Kinsler, after which he walked Young before being lifted for the more effective and accurate Robertson.  It’s about time Veras got the DFA slip, seriously.  Seriously.  Let him go; let someone else try to make sense of a guy with an arm that can hurl 95+, but continually ends up wretching. Wang, who should have pitched sometime before tonight since he’s had a few days off, threw 2 perfect innings (albeit with a couple hard-hit balls) and, among 26 pitches, threw 18 strikes.  He looked good and, to me, deserves a start sometime soon.  If the guy was truly hurt, and this truly led to his early-season struggles, then why not give the guy–who has twice been a 19-game winner–a shot to get back in the rotation?  I don’t see him as a long reliever and, given their passing on him in such a role yesterday, apparently the Yanks don’t either.

Offensively, I could start with a lot of guys, but I’ll begin with Teixeira, who was 2-5 with his 15th homer, and has 39 RBIs, batting .275.  How much has he improved in May, especially after A-Rod returned?  Let’s discuss:

  • April: 3 HR, 10 RBI, .200/.367; 17 BB
  • May: 12 HR, 29 RBI (11 HR/24 RBI post A-Rod), /327/.395; 10 BB.

It’s worth pointing out not just Teixeira’s significantly improved numbers, but also the fact that his OBP hasn’t sky-rocketed because teams don’t want to walk him with A-Rod immediately behind him. The ball he hit tonight was positively crushed.  Jeter was 3-4 with his 22nd RBI, batting .298.  Cano was 2-5 with his 28th RBI, batting .320.  Matsui was 2-5 with his 6th and 7th homers and, with his 3 RBIs, has driven in 18 and is hitting .257.  Despite his bad knees, Matsui is key to the Yanks as an effective DH–as long as he can be.  Every starter in the lineup had a hit, and a tip of the cap to Kevin Cash, who is actually hitting .,231 after his 2-4 night.  Good for him, after I questioned his right to wear a major-league uniform.  I’ll gladly gulp down a little crow on that one, though he, Berroa, and Veras should still go as soon as possible.  Brett the Jet’s 2-5 puts him at .277.  Melky and Gardner together as a CF tandem are batting .303 (71-234) with 39 runs scored, 10 doubles, 2 triples, 7 HR, 28 RBI, and 13 SB.  Through 47 games (not 30% yet), those are actually terrific combined numbers for the position.  A little competition has probably done some good and, while Melky has earned his job back, Brett the Jet has done sufficiently well to earn his place on the team as far more than a pinch-runner, but an OF with some real disruptive potential.  Today he looked good at the plate, taking the ball the other way and, yesterday, stealing 3 bases with ease.

The Yanks are now tied for first with Boston at 27-20, with tomorrow off and four upcoming against Cleveland, which is playing better ball lately.  Still, I like the Yanks’ chances to take 3 before returning home to face Texas and Tampa.  The Yanks are one of only five teams to have winning records both at home and away (the others are Texas, St. Louis, Milwaukee, and LA).  I like the balance and poise the Yanks bring on the road.

Published in: on May 28, 2009 at 12:40 am  Leave a Comment  

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