How about that? Yesterday, I predicted a five-inning, four-run game from Kei Igawa and the man nearly delivered. While it only took him
357 115 pitches to make it through five innings and he surrendered two more home runs in the process, Igawa kept the Yanks in the game, and the bats delivered a win. I love it when I’m right.
Meanwhile, we should be elated with the Yanks’ performance of late. Since the All Star Break, the team is 4-1 and 9-4 in July. They are six games behind the Indians in the loss column for the Wild Card (seven out overall) and are playing crisp baseball. Since there’s not much else to say about tonight’s game specifically â€” other than beware Troy Glaus, that is â€” I wanted to drop in a few notes and observations about the Bombers of late.
- Let’s start with Luis Vizcaino. On June 4, I wrote off Viz in a poll. Most of you figured it would take an act of God to get Vizcaino off the Yanks. Who knew the act of God would turn him into one of our more reliable relievers? Since the day of that poll, Vizcaino has thrown 18 innings, giving up just 10 hits and 2 earned runs while striking out 16. Those two earned runs came in one outing. I should dump on struggling Yankees more often.
- Speaking of which, how’s Johnny Damon working out for us? The second coming of Bernie Williams has been downright terrible for the Yanks. With his average down to .241, Miguel Cairo looks like a better hitter. Splits-wise, in the one hole, Damon is hitting .243/.344/.335 on the season. Last year, he hit .284/.358/.479. He’s lost the starting center fielder job to Melky Cabrera and can’t hit. We still have him under contract for two more years. But, hey, at least he won’t be getting $18 million from us at age 37 like some other center fielders I know.
- Has anyone seen Edwar Ramirez lately? Is he still alive?
- How about that Andy Phillips this month? He’s 15 for 40 so far with a .419 OBP and a .500 slugging. He’s had a few game-changing RBIs since the All Star Break and some nifty plays in the field. Eat your heart out, Doug Mientkiewicz.
- Kei Igawa is on a pace to surrender 52 HR in 200 IP. While he clearly won’t get to 200 IP, that’s pretty terrible for a lefty at Yankee Stadium. The record, by the way, for most HR allowed in a single season in the American League is 50. Bert Blyleven did that in 1986, but it took him 271.1 innings. If Igawa had made it to 271 IP this year, he would, at the current rate, give up 67 HR.
- And finally, Hideki Matsui in July: .327/.397/.769 with 6 HR, 10 RBI and 14 runs scored. Wrist injuries can take a while to heal. I think his finally feels better, and it couldn’t have come at a more opportune time. The Yanks need another power threat in the lineup to provide a Ying to Alex Rodriguez’s Yang. Godzilla’s reemergence is the shot in the arm the Yanks need.
So with Andy Pettitte and Roy Halladay facing off tonight in what will be a stellar match up, I say only lets keep up those winning ways. One at a time, boys. One at a time.