Garcia tames Rangers on rainy Saturday

Prospects on parade in Charleston win
Nearly sent down, Hughes' concerns landed him on DL

With the stench of a record-setting six double plays still on their uniforms, the Yankees took the field on Saturday afternoon looking to get back on the winning side of things. The starting pitching has been sketchy at best early in the season, and everyone was understandably skeptical when Freddy Garcia toed the rubber in the first inning. Sweaty Freddy is already operating with a slim margin of error, but add in the fact that he’d thrown one inning in the last two-and-a-half weeks, and well … I was scared.

(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Like A Chief

Even without Josh Hamilton, the Rangers have a great offense. The lineup is deep and balanced, capable of beating you with power and/or speed. And they were no match for Garcia’s slow, slower, and slowest approach. Sweaty Freddy threw 84 pitches on the afternoon, and not a single one clocked it at more than 87.5 mph according to PitchFX. He threw “fast”balls, curveballs, changeups, sliders, splitters, you name it. It was a good old fashioned junk festival, yet Texas squared very few pitches up and mustered just two hits off the Yankee starter.

It’s impressive enough that Freddy silenced the Rangers bats like that, but it’s even more impressive that he did it in an almost constant rain and brutal cold. He’s been around, this guy has pitched through everything and it showed today. Garcia changed speeds not only with different pitches, but within the same pitch as well. One changeup would be 83, the next 78. As cliche as it sounds, he straight up “pitched” today, mixing everything up and keeping the Texas batters guessing. Tip your cap to the guy, I think CC Sabathia‘s seven shutout innings against the Twins two weeks ago is the only other game by a Yankees starter that tops this one. Freddy brought the pain on Saturday.

Teixeicuted

The puffy face means something good happened. (AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Of course, Garcia’s fine pitching work was only half the battle, the Yankees had to score some runs as well. They took care of that right in the first inning, when Mark Teixeira clubbed his fifth homer of the season. Nick Swisher was on first after turning an 0-2 count into a 3-2 count and then into a single, so this shot counted for two. The most impressive thing about the homer? Tex was batting right-handed (against the lefty Derek Holland), and he hit it out to the opposite field. It was his first opposite field homerun as a right-handed batter since 2008, his fourth since 2005, and the tenth of his career. We’re talking about a guy with 280 dingers to his credit.

Two innings later, Teixeira helped tack on what proved to be the game-winning run. Derek Jeter led the third inning off with a walk, then moved over to third on Swisher’s double. Tex handled a 0-2 fastball and drove it to center, plenty deep enough for Jeter to jog home on the sacrifice fly. RBI’s are stupid except when someone on your favorite team has a lot of them, and Teixeira now leads the American League with 14.

An Almost-Meltdown

Because he hadn’t started in so long, Garcia was lifted after six innings even though his pitch count was still very manageable. Joba Chamberlain struck out two in a scoreless seventh, but things got out of hand in the eighth. Rafael Soriano, the all-important Eighth Inning Guy™, wasted no time giving the Rangers some life, allowing a leadoff ground-rule double to Mitch Moreland. A Julio Borbon ground ball move Moreland over to third, but then Soriano walked Ian Kinsler on five pitches. Just like that, Texas had the tying run at the plate with the heart of the order due up.

Elvis Andrus, who I still hate after his garbage infield hit barrage in the ALCS, slapped a single to right to plate the Rangers’ first run and again put men on the corners. Michael Young followed that up with a junkie infield single, and all of a sudden the tying run was in scoring position (go-ahead run on first) with the 4-5-6 hitters due up. Soriano threw Adrian Beltre nothing but cutters and sliders, hanging a few but lucking out because they were either a) fouled back, or b) crushed deep into the outfield before being blown just foul by they wind. Serious, Beltre missed a three-run homer by about five feet, tops. The seventh pitch of the encounter resulted in a lead-preserving 4-6-3 double play, ending a 27-pitch outing for Soriano.

I guess the good news is that Rafi’s missing velocity came back; he threw several pitches at 93-94 and averaged a little over 91. Soriano didn’t get one swing-and-miss though, and he’s already allowed six earned runs this year after allowing just a dozen total last year. There was talk after the game that he has trouble pitching in the cold (in fairness, it was ugly out today, cold and wet), but this guy spent the first five years of his career pitching in Seattle. You’d think he’d be used to it by now. If the cold really is that much of an issue, they’re going to have to find someone to take his place on the roster if the Yankees make the postseason, because that kind of performance simply won’t cut it.

(AP Photo/Frank Franklin II)

Leftovers

After Soriano’s near-blowup, Robinson Cano got the runs back with a two-run homer off the right field foul pole in the next half-inning. That was Holland’s 112th pitch of the day, which seems completely ridiculous since a) it’s April, b) they were losing, c) he’s 24, and d) he spent nearly three months of last season on the disabled list with a shoulder issue. I get that Nolan Ryan wants to extend his pitchers and get to work a little deeper into games, but my goodness.

Alex Rodriguez left the game in the sixth inning with what was called “stiffness” in his lower back and oblique. Joe Girardi said after the game that he’ll see how A-Rod feels tomorrow before deciding whether or to put him in the lineup. Given how great he looks at the plate, I wouldn’t have any problem if they played it safe and gave Alex tomorrow off. Better one day now than a whole bunch later.

It’s amazing how much better Jeter looks against left-handed pitching than he does against right-handed pitched. He only reached base once today (on that walk), but he also drove a ball deep to left-center that the wind knocked down. In the middle of the summer, that ball might have been a homerun, which would have been no small feat for the Cap’n.

Swisher and Andruw Jones had two hits apiece, and Curtis Granderson beat out an infield single. Mariano Rivera was himself in the ninth, reminding everyone what a real eight-figure reliever looks like after Soriano’s sloppy inning.

Believe it or not, this was Garcia’s first scoreless start of at least six innings since September 19th, 2006. For some perspective, the Yankees starter that day was … Jeff Karstens. Yeah, it’s been a while.

WPA Graph & Box Score

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the nerd score.

Up Next

For the second straight weekend, the Yankees will play the rubber game of their series on ESPN’s Sunday Night broadcast. CC Sabathia gets the ball against Alexi Ogando. Just win series, baby. Just win series.

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Prospects on parade in Charleston win
Nearly sent down, Hughes' concerns landed him on DL
  • squishy jello person

    “it was ugly out today, cold and wet), but this guy spent the first five years of his career pitching in Seattle. You’d think he’d be used to it by now.”

    Seattle has a roof.

    That said, if he can’t pitch in this, there’s a major issue in October. And don’t undersell it–the Yankees might not win the 2009 ALCS if the cold weather didn’t help destroy LAA’s fundamentals in games one and two.

    • Greg

      I think John Lackey’s curveball was more affected tha the Angels defensive woes

  • zs190

    Weren’t those 83 mph “changeup”s just Freddy’s extra slow fastball?

  • Urban

    Oh, no. I have to listen to the new ESPN team again tomorrow? I was ready to welcome back Joe Morgan after listening to last week’s broadcast.

    • Greg

      Luckily no Red Sox are involved

  • stunna4885

    prisoner of the moment syndrome strikes again. soriano is an elite reliever and will be fine. hes had some early command issues but lets be honest hes really given up 3 actual runs not 6. (3 runs on bloop double off d rob) as the year drags on and d-rob and joba go through there usual inconsistentcies yankee fans will be thrilled to have that lock down 8th inning guy.

    • NJ_Andy

      The bloop double was just that–a bloop.

      The three baserunners added by Soriano were his own fault. I’m sure he’ll bounceback, but it’s not fair to try to pin this on Robertson.

      Also: what makes this any different from Joba/D-Rob’s “usual inconsistencies” ? Are these rough patches any more lock down than theirs would have been?

      • stunna4885

        my point is he himself(soriano) has only given up 3 runs and he was charged with 6. one of those runs was a walk also so while the base runners are definitely his responsiblity its his “command” thats been off. he hasn’t been hit hard either he was dominant in 4 of 6 outings and the 2 bad outing were the result of walks and infield hits and other soft hits.

        • stunna4885

          and people still complaining about the soriano contract get a life please. its laughable to me that “fans” who have no money invested with these signings complain about money thats not there’s. fact remains they went out an aquired a top flight reliever to help the team. if the worst case scenerio plays out and he gets hurt and misses the season, we still would have that same top flight reliever next year. the feliciano sighning i still have no problem with either. cashman went out and signed the best loogy reliever out there who had never been hurt for a market value contract. it sucks that he suffured a fluke season ending injury but hindsight is always 20/20. and those that say the yankees should have known because of feliciano’s workload with the mets is “crap” because he had proven all those years that despite that worload he could stay healthy.

          • http://danielslifka.wordpress.com Jerome S.

            Oh yeah, I have no investment in the finances of this team.

            Lemme call my accountant real quick before I get those bleacher seats for the next series.

          • matt

            a) I don’t think Soriano’s hurt and I think he’s going to be perfectly effective, but he’s only guaranteed to be here this year under all conditions. Of course if he misses the season, he’d be a fool to opt out, but you simply can’t consider Soriano’s hypothetical contributions over the next two seasons as a counterbalance to this once, so there may not be those two seasons. And for the record, while in 99% of cases I would not, I support the Sofiano contract, the club had cash to spend and there weren’t starts worth spending it on, so to me, in that one instance, investing so heavily in an elite reliever is fine.

            b) we don’t know nearly enough about whether something was overlooked in Feliciano’s meds that shouldn’t have been. Falling down the stairs is a fluke. A tear in the back of a shoulder, nothing fluky about it. We do know that the MRI the Yanks did on Feliciano before signing him was not read as showing a tear (which is not say it couldn’t have been missed), but that would be on the medical staff, not Cash, and its not as if he was pitching as though he was hurt late last year or early in ST, so Cash gets a pass on this one mostly That said, shoulder tears don’t often just pop up out of nowhere, it is almost certainly a result his ultra heavy workload.

          • hogsmog

            Good thing that 20/20 hindsight gained from signing Marte was put to use.

        • http://danielslifka.wordpress.com Jerome S.

          wait…
          are you suggesting that walks don’t matter?

        • NJ_Andy

          Good point, walks don’t count against a pitchers performance. Yes he’ll bounceback, but you can’t say his walks don’t count against him OR say he’s lock down while a similar stretch from Joba is because Chamberlain is “inconsistent” while MFIKY is elite.

          Also: there’s no guarantee we have the same top-flight reliever next year. Unless you’re talking about Mo, relievers don’t last all that long. If Soriano does get injured (not impossible given his past) or simply suddenly becomes hittable (not impossible given what we’ve seen so far) they’re on the hook for three years. Yea, it’s not my money (though the tickets and gear and I buy sure helps) but I want my team to win. Not having dead space on the payroll helps with winning.

  • matt

    This has got to just be the oddest start I can remember this club having a bit less than 10% in. More than satisfied with being 8-5 and I think that record is an accurate reflection of the team’s overall performance. Just more feast and famine than I can ever remember.

    I think the lift Garcia provided the club today can’t be overstated. What he showed me is that in the great majority of his starts, he’s going to give the club a chance to be in the game. It’s easy a dream and of course he simply doesn’t miss enough bats any more, but one wonders if maybe he is sort of completing the process of redefining his approach into that of a “crafty” righty. Call me nuts, but for the next 6-8 weeks or so, I believe the Yanks can with the current rotation. CC is CC. AJ’s not winning any Cy Young awards but if you’re not at least mildly bullish on him right now, you’re not watching. Every indicator with him is positive except for the home run rate. The willingness to actually throw the change with some frequency, in key counts and to good effectiveness so far is huge in terms of on field results and as a measure of where his head is in working with Rothschild/Martin. The curve looks noticeably sharper to the naked eye, gotta love that his K rate is back in line with his historicals, the low WHIP, the better than 3:1 K/9 and how even keeled he’s been in each of his starts. Need to see more of Nova, I really like the stuff a ton, but he can’t win walking the ballpark, plain and simple. In any case, plenty of other AAA options that they can give a shot to if Nova totally blows up. And now we have Bartolo. Who would’ve thought. Call me crazy, but i think he he has 6 weeks of at least league average starts in him. He’s missing a ton of bats, not walking guys, lots of late life. He’ll be a 5-6 inning guy, but I’d expect him to keep the club in most games he starts,

    Then moving forward, of course, you pray that the regime set up for Phil does the trick and that Cash does his job in acquiring a front line starter (that’s gonna be fascinating, won’t be any perfect options, but certainly some interesting ones).

    It’s not an ideal rotation by any means, but what I do think it is is a staff that can keep you in the game night in, night out. Hughes wasn’t able to provide that at this point. And the jury’s out on Nova. But with the way the team is scoring runs despite absurdly low .babip (yes to some extent compensated for by out of this world slugging), ni reason they can’t continue to win. One can certainly argue that Boston’s rotation problems are much more serious than the Yanks, Lackey and Dice-K are non-competetive at the moment and Buchholz has been bad too and he was always due for a pretty decent correction off of last season.

    I like the pen. Feliciano really hurts and yeah, seeing Sori come out two nights out of six with nothing is mildly worrisome. But he was so untouchable those other four outings, I’m stil giving him the benefit of the doubt. D-Rob’s been great and I think Joba looks primed for a monster year.

    And then the offense. First thing is that Montero should be here. I like what Martin’s done, but .obp is his calling card and he’s under .300 at the moment. And Jorge is lost at the moment unless he runs into one. I want to see Montero’s bat. Gardner’s been easily the biggest disappointment, it’s not the awful numbers that trouble me, its his totally getting away from the approach that allowed him to succeed last season – walking more than he kd, basically never swing at balls outside the zone and virtually always making contact when he did offer in the zone. Now I never in a million years believed he’d be a 5.4 WAR guy again, but I still think last season is more in line with his minor league track record at least in respect of getting on base – he struck out plenty in the minors and last year was a revelation for him contract wise. He’s where it’s a nice to have a real bench. Do I want Jones playing everyday? Of course not. But he’s clearly capable of playing a decent chunk of those innings out in left (absolutely love having Chavez on this team too, once Montero gets here, the bench will be flat out sick).

    And then my truly biggest concern, the captain. I’m desperately looking for positives. All I really see is his walk rate is up a tad from where it was early last season. I don’t think he’s gonna hit .240, though I’d be surprised if he significantly outpaces last year’s .270 and given that its quite evident his .slg numbers aren’t rebounding, he needs to walk a ton for it even be worth having his bat in the lineup. Right now this is a team without a leadoff hitter and that’s troublesome. Gonna be a fun division to watch.

    • http://www.mystiqueandaura.com/ JMK

      I don’t mean to be rude by casually dismissing the essay you’ve written with a simple, “Dude, they’ve played 13 games and there’s good reason to believe things will look very, very, different once the sample grows larger” but . . . I think you’re reading a lot into 13 games.

      • matt

        oh not rude at all, i pop out of my cave very so often to write a treatise and of course its all completely qualified by SSS. I generally think a club’s gotta play probably 40-50 games to really start drawing conclusions, and I don’t care a lick about the tine items, I think going throeugh your first five series gives you a chance to look at the underlying peripherals and see if anything jumps out at you that is staggering in either direction. Other than Phil, the one guy there is Gardner, what he’s doing at the plate is essentially the polar opposite of the approach he took from day one last season. He’s the only guy where I’d actually look at the numbers (other than Phil) and say wow, that worries me. And in the positive direction, it would be clearly be Al, crossing my fingers about today’s news, but I thought he came to camp healthy and happy and using some pretty bold language in calling his last two years unacceptable by his standards – and the dude hasn’t stopped mashing since his first string training AB, and it’s just quite evident that he has the hip flexibility to have dramatically improved plate coverage than he showed last season.

        Everything else, particularly the hitters, extreme SSS. My concerns about Jetes have nothing to do with this year, except in the sense that he’s done nothing to dispel any of the very real concerns based on a full year of 2010 that he may not even be a league average starting SS anymore (I’ll caveat that though, by duly noting that he started badly in ’09 after a down ’08 and ended up having a sick ’09 – but course his down ’08 was leap years ahead of what he did in ’10 and the whole body of baseball history is so stacked against the notion of his ever being a top tier regular again.

        The pitching, I’m just all going naked eye in feeling ok about Garcia and Colon for the time being, though I do note that Garcia improved over the course of last season letting me dare to dream – not predi, ct – that he’s figured something out. Nova is a mystery, AJ is always a mystery, but also the one, just because he’s actually made a significant change in approach that I think one can even begin to say anything potentially meaningful after 3 starts.

        And with that, back to the cave, to re-emerge with a new essay (or my own essay format blog haha in a few weeks).

    • bexy on another computer

      tl;dr

    • epy0n

      Good stuff. I agree mostly with what you say and love having a deep bench especially if one day when we bring Montero here. So far Russel Martin has been great so I don’t know when the right time it is to bring in Montero in place of Martin but right now he is working well defensively and offensively. Colon, Garcia, Joba, and D-Rob I can say that as of right now I am fairly confident in those pitchers.

  • stunna4885

    its disturbing the lack of perspective some fans and especially moron reporters have game to game. its a long season folks and barring injury track record’s will play out. its too long a season to whine and bitch about every little thing after every game.

  • Esteban

    Mike-
    Yes Soriano has not pitched stellar but do you think your dislike for his contract is affecting how you frame his performance? Though you seem more measured in your criticism in this recap, on Twitter you’ve been pretty harsh. Given that Soriano has a history of pretty good performance, I would think that more people would be preaching patience instead of bringing up the eigth inning stuff and his contract so frequently. Am I off base here?

    • Zack

      “Given that Soriano has a history of pretty good performance”

      He also has a history of pretty major injuries, and having a GB% of 30. So people who say “Soriano will be Soriano” are kind of ignoring those factors.

      • stunna4885

        stop with the injury garbage. hes been hurt twice. the first time was 7 years ago when he had tommy john surgery. hes been hurt once since then and it wasn’t even serious. people act like the guy gets hurt every year.

        • Zack

          Moving the ulnar nerve and removing bone spurs in 2008 wasn’t a big injury that cost him the whole year?

          “people act like the guy gets hurt every year.”
          He’s never pitched 3 full seasons in a row. Sorry, he gets hurt every 3rd year instead.

          • stunna4885

            so like i said hes been hurt once in the last 7 years since his tommy john surgery. so are u predicting that hell be hurt again this year beacuse if you are thats funny. ill take that bet.

            • Zack

              Taking a bet that a reliever is going to stay healthy? Yeah ok.

              And I don’t believe I predicted he would get injured – I said if you’re going to mention his history of “good performances” then you should mention his history of injuries and extreme FB rate.

            • http://twitter.com/#!/iiKeane JobaWockeeZ

              Name a reliever that has been consistent in 5 straight years that’s not Mariano River or Trevor Hoffmann.

              10 million or more dollars is never worth it for a reliever. I preferred the development route when they do the same thing for 300K.

              • Esteban

                You’re right, but what if you take away the negatives of the contract? Like it or not, Soriano is on the team this year. How do you feel about Soriano’s performance going forward?

                • http://twitter.com/#!/iiKeane JobaWockeeZ

                  I’m not expecting anything great. Passable most likely. Good enough to opt out too.

                  This will probably change seeing how he performs in the AL Bandbox Division during the summertime with a 50 % FB rate.

                • 28 this year

                  You’re basically saying we should look at players beyond their contract. So, we should look at A-Rod and be happy with a 3.0 WAR season because that would mean he is above average. Players have to be looked in some way reflective of their contract. You expect someone making 12 million to play like they are making 12 million. Thats just a fact of baseball.

      • Esteban

        And a career .592 OPS against on the road (if you want to try to neutralize his numbers a little) and a career 3.23 FIP and 153 ERA+. He is a good pitcher. I’m not saying that he won’t get hurt or that is contract is good, only that I think maybe it’s too early to be pessimistic about Soriano going forward.

  • stunna4885

    as a fellow diehard yankee fan i find myself wondering how do other yankee fans make it through a whole year without losing there minds when they react to every game, play, player, etc… like its the world series already. so this week its gardner sucks, jeter’s done, soriano is a waste of money. etc… gimme a break people let the season play out and im sure well win our 90+ games and be in the playoffs again. (oh yeah i forgot phil hughes is trash too) lol

    • matt

      you are like my polar opposite – yeah I’ll write an essay about every Yank game cause I love the club and I love numbers and starting to try and pick out trends and hence my posts turn into essays – and then there’s you chasing strawmen, really, the writers of this blog based entirely on today’s game have stated that Gardner sucks, Jeter’s done, Phil’s trash, etc. If I missed those conclusions in the posts please point me to them, would be interested to read them.

      And btw, we for sure agree that yeah the club is gonna win 90+ games and make the playoffs. But 6some of us that’s the beauty of the season, getting to break it down 162 times. Why even bother reading a blog updated hourly if you’re so adamantly opposed to some degree of instant – and yes, sometimes overly emotional, though frankly, almost never by Mike, Joe and Ben as to the latter reaction/analysis?

    • epy0n

      Sometimes when I watch games and cringe at certain bad pitches(Burnett giving up 2 home runs the other night) I tell my self to just relax since the beauty of baseball is the how long the season is.

  • stunna4885

    and people wonder why players dont like the media. what a joke people like sherman, heyman and the list goes on are. and bloggers like this steve lombardi scumbag where every post is negative and ignornant. if u hate the yankees then dont write about them, go jump off a bridge or something. lol

    • http://www.twitter.com/yanksnats4ever Alex C.

      Thank you. +1

  • http://www.twitter.com/jordansmed JGS

    For some perspective, the Yankees starter that day was … Jeff Karstens. Yeah, it’s been a while.

    Karstens was relieved by Mike Myers, TJ Beam, Jose Veras, and Kyle Farnsworth. Who pitched 2.2 scoreless. YCPB.

    • http://www.twitter.com/tomzig Tom Zig

      of the 49 players to play for the Yankees that year only 5 players are still on the team today. Only 1 is a pitcher.

      • http://danielslifka.wordpress.com Jerome S.

        let’s see, mo’s the pitcher… jorge, jeter, a-rod… cano!

  • Angryankee

    Isn’t this the season (so far) most of us were expecting?

    • matt

      Maybe not as to the particulars, but yeah, 8-5 is def right around where I would have hoped the team would be. And these first 13 mean just as much as the last 13. Sure one argue there’s one more to make up ground and you’d be right, but a win is a win is a win, that’s a mathematical certainty – if the team hadn’t started out 21-7 last year, maybe YOU’re not battling TB for the division on the last day, but rather Boston for the WC.

      Sorry btw, I know you didnt say a thing about early wins not mattering, I just get annoyed by fans who seem to think a win later in the year “when it counts” is somehow fundamentally better – it always counts and anyone who thinks that it was a fun night in the clubhouse after Soriano tossed away CC’s gem, or if he had tossed away Garcia’s gem today is kidding themselves. Can’t win them all, sometimes you’ll lose a game in order to try to win two down the line, but hell, the goal should always be to win every time yet get on the field.

  • BKLYN

    My main beef with Soriano is that if a call doesn’t go his way, the dude seems to completely break down (at least from what i have noticed this year – granted i didn’t watch him pitch with the Rays). In all honesty, this is probably a case of confirmation bias, and in all likelihood, I’m probably just still upset about that blown lead in the Sabathia game.

    • Monteroisdinero

      but he had a strike 3 called a ball in the Sabathia game and Swish botched a dink double in front of him that allowed 3 to score. I think Soriano will be worth it once the season is said and done.

  • Jenny

    Mets are so lucky the media focuses on the Yanks. They can collapse and implode right out of the starting gate in near complete anonymity.

    • Greg

      Since the Mets were given low expectations for this season anyway, the media is not surprised and therefoer doesnt bring them up

  • Kosmo

    To pick up on Mike´s game analysis one has to wonder at the wisdom of Washington´s decision to leave Holland in the game when he has Oliver and Rhodes in the pen two very experienced crafty lefties.Mind you I´m not complaining and granted NY has kind of owned Rhodes for years.Still a curious decision.

    • http://www.twitter.com/tomzig Tom Zig

      Organizational philosophy
      Lefty vs lefty
      Up until that point Cano had 0 HRs vs lefties
      Up until that point Holland was cruising

      • Kosmo

        Oliver AND Rhodes are BOTH LHRP .Oliver can carve up a LH with the best of them.
        Holland was up around 100 pitches AND has a recent history of arm problems and yet Washington on a cold day in April left him in the game.
        You should know who Rhodes and Oliver are ??? if you don´t check out baseballreference.com to get started.

        • Camilo Gerardo

          *bad organizational philosophy
          is that better?

        • http://www.twitter.com/tomzig Tom Zig

          Hey I didn’t say it was a great idea, it’s just what Washington was thinking

  • Total Dominication

    Gonna be at the game tonight. I hope A-rod will be in the lineup, although I’d understand if he isn’t.

  • JimAbbottFan

    So far here’s my perspective on this season and moving forward:

    Last year I had that whole DOOM and GLOOM approach to watching a lot of the games, in that if things were going sour for the Yankees, I’d turn off the TV in frustration and just be in a foul mood for a bit after.

    I’m not sure why. Maybe it was because they were the defending champs and the losses felt worse, or possibly because I never actually followed a season as closely before. Either way, it definitely wasn’t enjoyable, especially the way they played after the All Star break and ALCS.

    This year I’m trying to utilize the Zen Baseball approach in that the law of averages will ultimately prevail, and overreacting to day-to-day successes/failures saps the joy of the game. And so far, it has been working out nicely.

    Yeah, things will still frustrate me such as Soriano’s meltdown against the Twins, or being blanked by an apparently revived Beckett. But now I will at least watch the game in its entirety rather than give up, and that has already rewarded me with seeing that great comeback against the Orioles and an almost comeback against the Rangers.

    In the end I’m just glad we have good baseball to watch. And even though I mostly lurk during game threads, it’s a lot of fun to partake in the reactions as the game progresses.

    • Camilo Gerardo

      agreed, it’s very fun to read the nerdy reactions to homers, ks and plays

    • epy0n

      Yea man just relax and enjoy the game. We will all get pissed off when Soriano, who cost us lots of money, will blow us games but that also is the fun in baseball. The up and downs.

      • First time lawng time

        How is he costing us lots of money?

  • http://danielslifka.wordpress.com Jerome S.

    I have the feeling that people will continue to praise the Rangers’ use of pitchers, and then one of them will become an ace. People will talk about him like they talk about Sabathia. Bu then, he’ll get a career-ending injury, and we can blame the Rangers.

    • Greg

      Look at the man who’s leading them.