What’s there to say about last night’s 6-0 shutout at the hands of the Orioles that Axl Rose hasn’t already said?
Ian Kennedy was, at the same time, getting squeezed and nibbling, but right now, he has to trust his stuff more. Like Phil Hughes had been doing before Friday, Kennedy is attacking hitters and is trying to finesse his way through his starts. Considering the type of pitcher he’s been before this year, that approach just flat-out will not work.
But at the same time, Joe Girardi has to keep the kid gloves on a bit. He went out to the mound in the third and let loose on Kennedy. IPK did not respond well to that at all, and a few batters later, he was gone from the game, replaced by a very effective Ross Ohlendorf who did not falter until his third inning of work.
The Yankees young guns are very good. Their Minor League track records are off the charts, and scouts across the board love their stuff and make-up. Right now, though, their approach just doesn’t seem to fly. Hughes and Kennedy are trying to paint corners when they shouldn’t be; they’re throwing breaking balls in fastball counts and their throwing fastballs in breaking ball counts. Somehow, the Yankees have to find a fix for this problem that doesn’t involve a trip for either of these two pitchers to AAA. It’s all about patience.
Meanwhile, the problems on the other side of the ball are worse. Tonight, the Orioles’ fourth starter shut out the Yankee offense. Brian Burres and Jim Johnson combined for nine innings of six-hit ball. The two combined threw just 129 pitches to a Yankee team that’s supposed to work the count and really push back-of-the-rotation starters. The Yanks have three regulars hitting below .200 and an otherwise anemic offense.
For all the trouble the pitchers have been through, if the offense won’t score any runs, the pitching doesn’t much matter. They need to score runs, but that goes without saying.
To tie everything together, overall tonight, I saw something I hadn’t seen from a Yankee manager in a while. Joe Girardi was impatient with his team. He was pissed at Kennedy for not putting the ball in the strike zone, and by the end of this frustrating night, he wasn’t too happy with his hitters either. Something’s going to give soon. Girardi has to be patient with his pitchers, and the offense has to come through for the Yanks to accomplish what they want and need to accomplish tonight.
Fat load of good Joba’s doing them pitching the 8th inning down 6-0, eh?