Okay, let’s take a deep breath. We’ve seen this happen before. The Yanks put up an impressive win following a disappointing loss (i.e., the double header in Chicago) and we think it’s the start of a run, only to be disappointed a few days later. No, I’m not trying to take the wind out of everyone’s sails. It was a damn good win last night, the kind the Yanks should be having all freakin’ season. And who knows, maybe they do turn this ship around, sweep the Red Sox, and continue on a path of prosperity.
As we all saw, it began with Tyler Clippard. I’ll be honest: I hadn’t seen much of him beyond a handful of video clips before this start. He looked okay in those videos, but for the most part I agreed with Mike: he’s not blowing anyone away up there, and when you have a righty like that, his long-term success is almost a crapshoot. Yes, it’s possible, but when so many similar guys fail, it has to raise a red flag.
Joe Morgan seemed fixated on one aspect of Clippard’s delivery (and, of course, the most obvious one): that he falls off to both sides of the mound. Joe further observed that he fell off to one side for the two-seamer and the curve (or was it the two-seamer and the change?) and the other side for the four-seamer and the change (or the curve). Did anyone else make that observation? And, if he does go a certain way for each pitch, will that tip off batters once they get used to him? Further, can he mix it up later in a game so that he catches guys trying to guess? Those are all questions that will be answered in his next few starts.
I do have to say, though, that I’m glad we have him in the rotation over Rasner. We’re much better off with Clippard, a promising 22-year-old, than Rasner, a 26-year-old who is a known quantity at this point. Rasner may find some success as a spot starter, but he always leaves you feeling uneasy out there. Even when he shut out Seattle, it wasn’t like he was demonstrably dominant.
So where exactly does this leave the rotation? Wang, Mussina, and Pettitte are lined up for the Red Sox series this week, which is mercifully followed by an off-day. Then you run into a quandary. You have six games, followed by an off-day, and then a 10-day stretch kicked off with a trip to Fenway. Rocket is also due back in that time — presumably May 28th against the Blue Jays (he pitched Friday, so he’ll pitch Wednesday, which puts him on turn for Monday). Let’s just say that’s the case.
If you’re the braintrust of the Yankees, who do you throw on Friday: Clippard or DeSalvo? If it’s me, I’m taking Clippard. He threw strikes early in the count, something DeSalvo struggled with, especially in his start against the ChiSox. He also defeated a team stronger than the Mariners. So that’s Clippard Friday, Wang Saturday, Mussina Sunday — and then Pettitte and Rocker Monday and Tuesday (in whichever order; Pettitte seemingly does better on normal rest). With the off-day on Thursday, that means DeSalvo’s services will no longer be needed — in the rotation at least.
The pertinent question here: ship DeSalvo back to AAA and call up Britton? Or just stick Matty in the bullpen? Honestly, I’d go with the former. As much as I think DeSalvo can help this bullpen, Britton more than deserves a shot. You have another week until you need to make the roster move to activate Clemens (which means we’ll be seeing the last of Colter Bean or Jeff Kennard on the 40-man roster), so you might as well audition some bullpen help.
All the sudden, things are starting to look brighter. Hell, I just rambled about the next few games rather than the one we just won — which I think is a good thing. No need to reflect on what’s been done. Just go out and win, baby!
Other Good Signs
The entire starting lineup — including Clippard — reached base safely. Mientkiewicz was the only one without a hit, but he drew a walk (and was hit by a pitch, but that was negated by a bullshit call). We hit three freakin’ home runs, which is a nice way to break out of a drought — and six doubles on top of that. Twelve hits total, nine of which were for extra bases. That’s what I like to see.
For all the crap we give Torre about his bullpen management, leaving Proctor in for two innings was one of his best moves of the season. There’s just no need to go to another guy at that point. Let Scotty get in his two innings and give him the day off against the Sawks, who normally slaughter him (7.45 ERA vs. the Sox since the beginning of 2006). And then Mo scraped some rust off (that’s what we’re calling that home run, scraping off rust) in preparation for the series.
Wakefield vs. Wang tonight. Let’s bust up this knuckleballing douche.
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