Game Five: The lefty returns

What's wrong with Kei Igawa?
Instant Analysis: An offensive offense

The Yanks are mired in something of an offensive slump to start the season. As a team, the Bombers are hitting .227 with a .285 OBP and a .378 slugging percentage. For all the talk about their offensive, they’ve plated just 12 runs over the first four games.

The bats, of course, will wake up, and today’s game may be just what the doctor ordered. Facing the Yankees today will be the righthander Edwin Jackson. For years, Jackson has been hyped as the Next Big Thing. He started out with the Dodgers and made his Major League debut a few months later. But control — and Big League succes — have so far eluded Jackson. Over five seasons and 272.2 innings, he has an ERA of 5.64 and a WHIP of 1.71.

The Yanks haven’t shown their trademark patience at the plate yet. They’ve drawn just eight walks as a team. With Jackson on the mound, the Yanks’ bats may get the reprieve they so need after facing Toronto’s own big three starting pitchers and a surprisingly effective Andy Sonnanstine last night.

On the hill for the Yanks will be Andy Pettitte, making his 2008 season debut. No, my April Fools joke did not come true. He isn’t missing time due to his back right now, and he won’t be replaced by Kei Igawa. Against Tampa last year, Pettitte was 0-2 in four starts with a 5.32 ERA. Hopefully, he’ll find success this season. In all likelihood, Jonathan Albaladejo will be sent back to AAA to make room for Pettitte, and I am not a fan of that move.

The lineups:

Yankees
Damon CF
Jeter SS
Abreu RF
Rodriguez 3B
Giambi DH
Cano 2B
Posada C
Matsui LF
Duncan 1B

Pettitte LHP

Rays
Iwamura 2B
Crawford LF
Pena 1B
Upton CF
Gomes RF
Aybar 3B
Bartlett SS
Riggans C
Johnson DH

Jackson RHP

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What's wrong with Kei Igawa?
Instant Analysis: An offensive offense
  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    I have to say, Michael Kay is dressed to impress.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      I’m just not quite sure who he’s trying to impress though.

      • http://yankeesfuture.wordpress.com Pablo Zevallos

        Christina Staffo, of course

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

    There’s one walk. I like that.

  • RichYF

    Jeter looked silly there.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      Those were some nasty pitches.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

    Ah, Jonny Gomes gets the Kangaroo Court fine for that one.

  • RichYF

    Boy is his face red…

  • Jake S

    Laughing out loud at Jonny Gomes.

    Ben, can one of you guys do a post about Giuseppe Franco? It won’t make him go away, but it would make me feel better.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      Oh, at some point this season, we can probably find something about Giuseppe Franco. That guy’s commercials are pretty annoying.

      • Guiseppe Franco

        You called?

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

    Today is not one of Jonny Gomes’ better days on the field.

  • RichYF

    Wow, that’ll make you appreciate Abreu’s “defense”

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    Jonny being Jonny.

  • Jake S

    Not a great day for Jonny Gomes.

    • http://deleted Seamus O’Toole

      could not happen to a more deserving guy.

  • RichYF

    I guess we’ll chalk that up to excellent pitches again…

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

      That one’s on Derek. Same pitches, same results.

  • Ron

    Jeter must have been out with the ladies last night. He’s looked horrible in both at bats today.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

    Baseball lip reading is great. Johnny Damon’s arm, not so much.

  • http://deleted Seamus O’Toole

    damon is a bitch.

  • RichYF

    Hahahaha, I’ll never miss that throwing arm. It’s like he’s playing in the Sunday Softball League

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

    And these unearned runs will kill ya.

    • RichYF

      Yeah but the offense isn’t doing much to help. I’m not seeing the patience that we should be expecting. Jackson looks very prone to mistake pitches when he’s behind in the count. *Some* players don’t seem to grasp this concept. *Some* players look worse than they should against this mediocre pitching costing us some runs…

  • RichYF

    Wow, that was awful.

  • Brasilian Yankee

    This offense is horrible. You have a guys who can’t throw strikes consistently and yet they are swinging at everything.

    • RichYF

      I think they’re just a little over-anxious right now. Hopefully a week or so of games will settle them down.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

    Maxoderm commercials? Really?

  • Brasilian Yankee

    That pickoff move is really sexy!

  • http://www.thebronxzoo.wordpress.com iYankees

    Anyone else think Matsui should be hitting fifth?

  • Brasilian Yankee

    Anyone else think Damon sucks?

    • BobMikki

      I hate Johnny Damon, besides Pavano , he is the worst signing the Yankees have made this decade. I think after the emergence of Melky the Yanks should’ve just cut there losses and released or traded Damon.

  • RichYF

    Dear Mr. Jeter,

    Please do something useful to make up for your uselessness thus far today

    Signed,
    Your favorite fan

  • http://www.thebronxzoo.wordpress.com iYankees

    lol.

  • Brasilian Yankee

    I wonder when is this offense going to come out of hibernation.
    If they can’t do it against Edwin Freakin’ Jackson, we migth be in for a looong season.

    • BobMikki

      This is the Yanks new M.O. for the first month of the season they struggle offensively , and then they suddenly click in May, and become a prolific offense.

  • Manimal

    My dream line up

    B Gardner LF
    D Jeter SS
    B Abreu RF
    A Rodriguez 3B
    J Posada C
    H Matsui DH
    Duncan 1B
    Cano 2B
    M Cabrera CF

    • http://www.thebronxzoo.wordpress.com iYankees

      You forgot Big Tex instead of Duncan. They’ll get him next year.

      • Manimal

        That is this years roster, next year they will get hopefully get Tiexiera

    • Jon

      If you could put your blind hate of Damon aside you would see that Gardner was overmatched by AAA pitching last year. What makes you think he could handle big league pitching?

  • Brasilian Yankee

    We are playing like the Rays and they are playing like the Yanks.

  • ansky

    ugh..more come from behind action

  • Brasilian Yankee

    I don’t know what you guys see in Duncan. Yeah, he’ll one out every now and then, but he’s not good at the field, he’s not gonna hit for average and more often than not he will strikeout or simply pop up because of his long swing.

  • BobMikki

    Uhh… wtf , how are we losing to the Rays the bottom four of there lineup, and there pitcher are all career minor league scrubs.

  • Brasilian Yankee

    Giambi hurt or we’ve just given up?

    • BobMikki

      No, Giambi just sucks, and the skip finally recognized that.

      • RockAesopRock

        lol

  • http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=56352514 Jamal G.

    I liked what I saw from Pettitte. Command did desert him in a couple innings and the HR by Gomes obviously are low points but other than that he looked good.

  • http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=56352514 Jamal G.

    Every time I hear someone talk about David price it just makes be giddy knowing that there was a debate (before the health issues) on who had a higher ceiling, Price or Yanks #1 pick, Andrew Brackman.

  • http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=56352514 Jamal G.

    Bruney is straight owning Mofos.

  • Alan

    I’ve got to say, I’m pretty impressed with Bruney so far. Its early in the season, but he’s shown marked improvement.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    Bruney was great last April too.

  • http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=56352514 Jamal G.

    Boston bullpen getting owned, 6 runs in the 6th and the Jays lead 10-2. Buchholz struck out 7 over 5 and allowed 3 ER.

  • Manimal

    Yeah bruney has impressed me unlike Farnsworth. Why is it that Farnsworth is kept when Albie is clearly better.

  • Ivan

    Hey I,ve always likd and supported Bruney. Even when he sucked, I liked him more than Farnsworth, because his fastball has life life through the zone and has that extra at the end. I said it before and I said again, if his command is solid and has a reliable secondary pitch he could be a devastating arm comming out of the pen.

  • http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=56352514 Jamal G.

    This impatience is kind of annoying me.

  • http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=56352514 Jamal G.

    It’s the same story with Farns. If he could stop falling behind the count he can use that slider effectively. Also he said that he will use his 2-seam more this year, let’s see.

  • http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=56352514 Jamal G.

    Elevation Holmes. Cmon Ohley, drive that sinker down.

  • pete

    i hate the rays and our offense right now. and life
    losing sucks

  • http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=56352514 Jamal G.

    I actually am real happy about what I’ve seen from the Yankees this year. Going in we were all paying attention to the bullpen. What we’ve seen has been great multiple outings by the recently optioned Jonathan Albaladejo, Bian Bruney, Ross Ohlendorf, and Billy Traber. Phil Hughes was great and so was Wang. Mussina and Pettitte looked good with some mistakes sprinkled in. Lastly Kennedy was not hit overly hard just struggled horrendously with his control which should not be an issue over the course of the season.

    The offense will be the offense, so I am not worried one iota about that. Only thing I want to keep my eye on is the effectiveness of Hawkins/Farns.

    • yankeemonkey

      I want to keep my eye on the day Farnsie gets cut.

  • http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=56352514 Jamal G.

    Also our middle relief looks strong thus far, with obviously the back end doing its thing. So far the Tigers and Red Sox middle relief (hell the whole staff for the Tigers other than Verlander and a good start by Rogers) have looked horrendous.

  • Ivan

    Hey Detroit is 0-4 and Boston hasn’t been playing great either so, it happens.

  • Brasilian Yankee

    Cano really looks lost, he didn’t come close to getting a hit.

  • http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=56352514 Jamal G.

    A BB and a hit would be so excellent right now.

  • Brasilian Yankee

    Whaaat is wrong with this ump?? That’s not a strike

  • Brasilian Yankee

    Comon Duncan, take on for the team, leave your body there.

  • http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=56352514 Jamal G.

    I swear, Carlos Pena must flinch over at 1B whenever Duncan takes that long ass swing.

  • Brasilian Yankee

    There it is, that big ugly swing. I honestly don’t see anything in Duncan that can help this club.

    • zack

      Nothing? Really? can’t help the club at all because your expert batting eye notices he has a “big ugly swing?” Always great to see how many professional scouts and coaches post at RAB

      • Kw

        that’s a silly comment. think of it this way:

        Shelley’s past history of minor league at bats suggests that he’s mostly an all or nothing at all type of hitter. He has mammoth power and had good success last year in AAA and in his callup. But, he’s old for a prospect, which suggests that his skills have taken this long to be considered major league worthy. His average was not high, we’ve seen his defense at first is really nothing stellar, and ensberg is a better hitter now and in the past (with success at the MLB level). And yes, his swing is long. So let me ask you, does YOUR expert batting eye tell you he has something to contribute this year? I always thought he was the odd man out. If anything, he’s on the team as the backup OF in case one of Abreu/Matsui/Damon get hurt. And even then he’s more like a 5th outfielder.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    Michael Kay, you are not allowed to try to be funny anymore.

  • CB

    Not a big deal in the scope of the game but i don’t like them warming up Joba and getting him loose on the off chance they take a lead down that much.

    Warming up over and over is one of the reasons why reliever’s flame out so quickly. We often focus on how many appearances and innings a reliever puts in but a lot of the stress on their arms comes from loosening up and then not getting into the game.

    Joba’s innings limit is one thing – and its’s easy to observe, measure and keep track of.

    But if they’re going to get him loose while they’re down in the game 6-3 (tying run at the plate or not) then they’re going to put a significant amount of additional stress on his arm over and above the actual innings he throws.

    • RichYF

      I actually agree. At this stage in his career, if Mo warms up he comes in to the game. I think the same should go for Joba. If he warms up, it counts against him pitching for the day. So he can pitch say the next day but not “two in a row” because it’d really be three in a row. Let’s see how they handle it. I’m sure nothing will be done, but it’d be nice to pay attention that that kind of stuff.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Well, you certainly have to consider how much he threw in the ‘pen. If it’s just a few tosses, then it’s no big deal. If he’s fully warmed up, then yeah, it’s an issue, albeit a minor one.

  • Flynnie

    Another season, another slow start. This is getting silly. Pitching has been all over the place and the bats are dead. Is it too much to ask to have a decent start one year?

  • http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=56352514 Jamal G.

    We’re 2-3 man, this isn’t the NFL, a start can not be determined until 20 games or so.

  • mustang

    Cano looked more then lost and that first strike to Mastui in the 8th was a total joke.

    Well so much for a cake walk for the Red Sox or Yanks in the east.
    Ladies and Gentleman we have ourselves a division.

  • Brasilian Yankee

    Another thing that has been horrible so far this season is the umpiring.
    For all 5 games we haven’t had an umpire with a consistent strike zone, the zones were all over the place in every single game.

  • mustang

    I second that.. the umpiring has just been bad.

  • mustang

    But the bull pen minus the Cashman twins (Hawkins and Farnsworth) has been great and that always a good sign.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    It’s 5 games. You can’t draw any real conclusions from that.

  • mustang

    Yes, I know but if guys can king three minor leaguers the “Big Three”. I can draw
    some conclusions from 5 games. Our take a big gamble and say the Cashman twins (Hawkins and Farnsworth) will suck the rest of the season. I could be wrong… want bet ? LOL

  • Whitey14

    Jonny Gomes must have dropped by RAB during a bathroom break. I find it funny that some of you were crapping on him and then he whacked a dinger, but nobody acknowledged it. I’m not saying he’s good or anything ignorant like that, but he did make some of you sound silly for speaking to soon.

    • Yankee Fan in NY

      How exactly did we do that? We were criticizing his baserunning and his fielding, both of which looked pretty terrible early on. No one said anything about his hitting.

      Don’t you have something better to do on a Saturday night than troll Yankee blogs anyway?

      • Whitey14

        I meant the comments like “could not happen to a more deserving guy”. I just find it funny that he took offense to your Red Ass duncan going out of his way to try and hurt an innocent infielder and all of sudden he’s a bad guy and the enemy of yankee fans everywhere. It was okay for your guy to be a douchebag, but not Gomes. That’s decidely different than the conversations over the past week where many of the commenters here decided that since they like jabba’s fist pump, they’ll no longer criticize Papelbon’s because they realize it would make them hypocrites. I guess the same doesn’t ring true for the Gomes/duncan situation,but then again, that one was a bit more heated so maybe they’re not quite the same.
        I just found it funny that he was getting criticized and then he hit the home run to help win the game, Poetic Justice for him I guess.

  • mustang

    No he doesn’t..LOL
    Good one Yankee Fan in NY…LOL