• May 4th vs. The Orioles

    Posted by on May 4th, 2010 · Comments (12)

    1928.  1939.  2010.  Those are the only three teams in Yankee history to open a season by winning eight of their first nine series.  Pretty neat, huh?  After winning tonight’s game 4-1, the Yanks locked up the series heading into tomorrow afternoon’s series finale.  Oh, and in case you were wondering, the ’28 and ’39 Yanks both went on to sweep the World Series.

    The Good:

    • AJ Burnett was lights out tonight, as he has been all season long.  Burnett pitched into the 8th inning, allowed only seven baserunners (5H/2BB) and struck out eight O’s.  He had command of his fastball and his breaking pitch and, when he had to, was able to work quickly and more efficiently by pitching to contact.  In short, everything people said about his maturation as a pitcher was on display tonight;
    • Francisco Cervelli put on a defensive clinic with acrobatic catches over the dugout railing, blocking all varieties of pitches in the dirt, and generally commanding the area behind home plate for his pitchers.  His enthusiasm is infectious and it really looks like the staff loves throwing to him.  Best of all, Cervelli had his first three-hit game, going 3-for-3 with a sacrifice bunt that led to an additional insurance run.  Posada who?

    The Bad:

    • It’s hard to find any “bad” in tonight’s performance by the team.  Sure, I could nitpick Cano’s swinging at the first pitch in a bases-loaded, two out situation in the bottom of the 5th after Orioles starter Brian Matusz had walked three batters in the inning but Cano had two hits on the night (both opposite field singles).  I could also nitpick Jeter’s declining plate discipline but I won’t be overly concerned until we reach mid-season and he’s still swinging at bad pitches early in counts.  There’s just not much to quibble with after back-to-back wins against the woebegone O’s.
    • It’s not so much “bad” as a legitimate question: Joba Chamberlain has thrown 31 pitches in back-to-back days of work in place of Rivera.  Say tomorrow’s game is a save situation.  Who comes in?  It surely can’t be Robertson, as he’s off high-leverage work until further notice.  Aceves?  Marte?

    The Yanks have won three in a row and six of their previous seven games.  At 18-8, they’re off to a nice start.  Pettitte goes for the sweep tomorrow…

    Comments on May 4th vs. The Orioles

    1. clintfsu813
      May 5th, 2010 | 8:15 am

      When guys like Cisco and Pena are stepping up, you gotta feel good about your team

    2. MJ Recanati
      May 5th, 2010 | 8:28 am

      clintfsu813 wrote:

      When guys like Cisco and Pena are stepping up, you gotta feel good about your team

      Absolutely. I have a major man-crush on Frankie C. After Mo, Swish, CC and A-Rod, he just might have pushed Tex out of my fave-5.

    3. Scout
      May 5th, 2010 | 8:36 am

      Cervelli is “The Bridge” — the guy who will hold down the fort between an aging Posada and one of the future stars, whether it be Montero, Romine, Murphy, or Sanchez. And The bridge is sturdy.

    4. YankCrank
      May 5th, 2010 | 9:15 am

      Posada who?
      —–

      Uh, let’s not go too far here :)

    5. Corey Italiano
      May 5th, 2010 | 9:19 am

      Joba was stretched out during spring training, he’s gotta learn to come in 3 days in a row at some point.

    6. YankCrank
      May 5th, 2010 | 9:24 am

      clintfsu813 wrote:

      When guys like Cisco and Pena are stepping up, you gotta feel good about your team

      Agreed. It’s nice to have a backup catcher who can shine defensively and get a few pokes every once-in-a-while, and a young guy who can play plus defense at multiple positions. Thames has displayed adequate power and Winn can provide above average defense, so this bench that everybody was up in arms about seems to be playing out pretty well if you ask me.

    7. MJ Recanati
      May 5th, 2010 | 9:58 am

      YankCrank wrote:

      Thames has displayed adequate power and Winn can provide above average defense, so this bench that everybody was up in arms about seems to be playing out pretty well if you ask me.

      Meh, it’s still too early to say that. They’re playing well now, but let’s see how it shakes out at the end of the year. We don’t obviously expect Thames to continue hitting over. 400 so I’d have to assume there’s a very cold winter coming to his bat at some point soon. As for Winn, he’s just awful at the plate, continuing what was an awful year for him last year.

      No complaints on how it’s gone so far but I definitely don’t think the criticism of the bench was unjustified.

    8. MJ Recanati
      May 5th, 2010 | 10:01 am

      Corey Italiano wrote:

      Joba was stretched out during spring training, he’s gotta learn to come in 3 days in a row at some point.

      I suppose, but he was stretched out as a starter. He didn’t work back-to-backs in spring training from what I remember.

      In any event, he could possibly go this afternoon if he had to but it’d be better if he didn’t have to.

      Kinda raises the question — if Cashman/Girardi/Eiland stacked the deck against Chamberlain joining the rotation, why didn’t they work him in back-to-backs in spring training for exactly this type of scenario?

    9. Corey Italiano
      May 5th, 2010 | 10:08 am

      @ MJ Recanati:
      If the guys a pen arm now, he might as well get used to it sooner than later, if you ask me. If not him, It’ll be Aceves closing it out if a save situation occurs, I’d bet.

    10. clintfsu813
      May 5th, 2010 | 10:16 am

      I think we’ll murder Hernandez today. Some guys are due for some bombs.

    11. YankCrank
      May 5th, 2010 | 10:18 am

      MJ Recanati wrote:

      No complaints on how it’s gone so far but I definitely don’t think the criticism of the bench was unjustified.

      Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think there should have been any bench criticism, especially because we know how the Yankees bench is built ever year. Who genuinely thinks that the Yankees are going to finish the year with the bench that they currently have? Other than that, the way this bench was constructed has it pretty similar to the bench everybody loved last year.

      -Cervelli is Molina, only he can actually get some hits
      -Thames is the same exact player as Hinske, only from the right side
      -Winn offers a similar skill set to Hairston, just hasn’t worked so far
      -Pena is Pena
      -Golson can be the speed off the bench that Gardner was used for, if needed

      Other than Winn not being able to play the infield and looking lost with a bat, this bench is pretty much the same as last year. If Winn can’t start hitting, he’ll be gone and replaced with somebody who can. If Thames’ power goes away, same deal. All of these pieces are easily fixable if they don’t work. We see it every year.

    12. MJ Recanati
      May 5th, 2010 | 10:59 am

      clintfsu813 wrote:

      Some guys are due for some bombs.

      You can say that again. Teixeira/A-Rod have had brutal seasons so far. I’d love it if they jumped all over Hernandez, if only to give them a bit of momentum heading into Boston.

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