LADY AT THE BAT: Yanks Weekend In Review: Injuries, Call-ups & A Sweep

Monday, April 29, 2013

Yanks Weekend In Review: Injuries, Call-ups & A Sweep

After this weekend's sweep of the Toronto Blue Jays, the Yankees are in 2nd place behind the Boston Red Sox. What was the recipe for their success? Just a couple more injuries and the long ball. "You know Suzyn..." As appropriate as that quote is right now for the Yankees, I won't use it. Remember in my ridiculous AL East predictions, I picked the Yankees to be AL East Champs come the post season. So when they win, that's right, I predicted it.

Yesterday Brennan Boesch and Lyle Overbay, of all people, hit the two homeruns that helped to complete the sweep of Toronto. It's hard to believe that in winning 7 of their last 10 games about 40% of their runs came as the result of home runs. They're still not matching home run numbers they would have possibly had with Mark Teixeira, Curtis Granderson, and Alex Rodriguez around, but they lead the AL East with 35 (division average = 28). Go figure.

Phil Hughes gave his team another positive start; I'd say that makes three in a row. He gave up two runs but New York took back just enough for the win. Is it me or does it seem like many of the games have ended with close scores? Overall, the Yankees' pitching staff has allowed too many runners on making for close games. That formula has given Mariano Rivera plenty of opportunities to make his trademark journey from the pen to the mound for a record 9 saves in April, as ESPN's Andrew Marchand pointed out on twitter. Before I saw that tweet, I was already thinking that I 'd seen Mo come out to close games a little too often. Such a start to the season will be a worry if the Yankees don't have some blow outs soon. Mo said he still had gas in the tank, but should fans expect the same 60+ outings he's given us for the last 9 years, excluding 2012?

The positive trend in Hughes' pitching is refreshing in the midst of two more injuries to the roster. In a matter of minutes Friday night, while I was enjoying a live ball game at The Ballpark at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport, CT, I read that Cervelli would be out for a minimum of 6 weeks and Nova would be put on the Disabled List. As I read this aloud from my phone at the ball game, two little boys in front of me were just as devastated by the news. As they walked passed me to leave the game early, they asked, "Are they at least winning?" I answered, "I don't even know the score, I was too distracted by the injuries to even bother with the score." Little did I or those boys know that despite having to go to David Phelps early in the game and Chris Stewart's clumsy catching, the Yankees went on to beat the Blue Jays 6-4.

I'd say losing the #5 starter is the least of the Yankees' worries since they like to stockpile starters in their bullpen. They called up Vidal Nuno from AAA, but everything I'm hearing and reading is that, true to the past pitchers' shuffles, Nuno will be pitching out of the bullpen. Nuno has not pitched since April 21st--right about when he won International League Pitcher of the Week. I'm still hoping that the speculators are wrong and they'll give him a shot at the start of the game, not after a few innings of someone else's mess.

Next up for the Yankees are the Astros. This will be the Astros' first series as an American League team vs the Yankees. Boston will be playing Toronto; I expect New York will keep pace with them in the standings. Neither Toronto or Houston have proven to be strong teams. Keep an eye out for Wednesday's starter for New York, as all signs point to David Phelps starting. That will be a certainty if we see Vidal Nuno out of the bullpen today or tomorrow.

No comments: