I was hoping my first post for Lady At The Bat would be about a victory. It was not to be. Welcome to blogging for Lady at the Bat, Pete Colgan. Losing is not fun.
In recent years the Yankees have dominated Toronto in the Bronx, but Thursday night the Blue Jays left town with two wins in three games. And if it wasn't for that strange 8th inning rally on Wednesday, well, that's how it works sometimes.
In his first start, CC Sabathia was less than stellar. Five runs (four earned) in under six innings is not going to cut it. But what if his line was exactly the same: 5 2/3 innings, 8 hits NO WALKS and 8 strikeouts, but instead of four earned runs, just two? That would be a good start. You see, all eight hits were singles and, inexplicably, five were bunched together in that one bad inning. Too bad it wasn't two innings of 3 hits each, one run in each inning (with the other two hits scattered elsewhere). The Yankees would still be in the game. The point is that even though the results saddled CC with a poor start overall, there were some things that make the start encouraging, Just think of the no walks and eight strikeouts. That alone tells me that CC is not washed up and on his last leg.
So what else can we take away from the night? The ugly stat of one hit in nine at bats with runners in scoring position? The two solo home runs with nobody in scoring position, or base period? Second and third with no outs and nobody scores? (At least Teixeira hit the ball hard) That awful moment when Stephen Drew entered the game as a pinch hitter with two outs and runners on base? (You might have noticed that in triple A, Yankee farmhand Rob Refsnyder went 2 for 4 with an RBI and no errors. (No word on how many fielding chances he had.) Truth be told I am on board with Refsnyder at triple A to get more reps in the field at second base, but I do think he'll be the second baseman with the big club, sooner than later.)
What else? They have to keep Jacoby Ellsbury in the leadoff spot. He is their most aggressive base runner. Sure, he was picked off in the first inning of the series opener and, on Thursday was caught stealing. They also manufactured a run in their only win with Ellsbury leading off. What to do with Didi Gregorius? Two big base running blunders in the series. At least he was on base. I seem to recall talk that he would be no more than a platoon player with Brendan Ryan, after starting the season 0 for 47. Don't see that happening. Didi is actually my pick for the next Yankee to hit for the cycle. It will happen very simply. A hard double that he will turn into a triple, a bloop that drops for a double, a check swing single and, something Didi has already done: a homer into the right field seats at Yankee Stadium.
So it was a frustrating night and a frustrating series, But it was only three games. It stands out because it was the first series of the season. Probably just a little blip if it happened mid May or mid June. Anyway, it's too early to panic and I'll stick with my initial prediction. We'll see how that works out.