Note from Mike: Just a heads up, Matt wrote this Thursday, so some of it sounds kinda weird after the blowout win over the Royals.
1. The Yankees offense looked pretty anemic against the Rockies, which is kind of surprising given the fly ball tendencies of Colorado’s ballpark. Then again, maybe it isn’t all that surprising as half of the Yankees lineup belongs in AAA (you know it’s bad when soon-to-be-canned Ben Francisco is batting fifth) and Travis Hafner is stuck on the bench. The Yankees pitching is pretty solid, but they’ll need to plate more than a couple runs on the board if they’re going to be successful this season, unless they plan on taking a page out of the 2012-Orioles-win-by-a-run-every-night handbook. When Hiroki Kuroda gives the team seven strong innings of two-run ball you’d like to see a W. On a side note, it’s really too bad CC Sabathia’s start was cut short by rain. He was looking really sharp prior to the delay.
2. Speaking of run production deficiencies, I can’t stand watching the pitchers hit. Don’t get me wrong, I love interleague play – especially since the Yankees have generally fared pretty well through these matches. But I can’t stand pitchers hitting. Aside from the fact that they are generally terrible hitters at the plate (yes, even the “good” ones), the risk of injury is simply too great. Frankly, I cringe every time I see CC step up to the batter’s box in general, but now more than ever, the Yankees depend on him taking the ball every five days with half their team out of commission. Here’s to the AL and the designated hitter.
3. Not really Yankees related, but I thought I’d mention the fiasco in Cleveland. For those not familiar with the situation, Oakland’s Adam Rosales was ripped off of what would have been a game tying home run. Here’s the video. The umpires had an opportunity to reverse the incorrect call but they didn’t despite the replays showing definitively that they screwed up. I find this pretty inexcusable. I get the argument (though I don’t necessarily agree with it) that it’s nice to have the “human element” in the game (aside from the players apparently). But for goodness sake, get the damn call right when the tools have been implemented, are easily accessible and are designed specifically for that purpose.
4. During Thursday afternoon’s chat, I received a number of comments mentioning Joe Girardi’s nomination for the Manager of the Year award should the team make the playoffs. First, that seems a bit arbitrary to me – if the team has a successful season but just barely misses the playoffs by a game or two, shouldn’t that still count? Kind of like when he won the award with the Marlins? Second, Girardi’s doing the best that he can with the pieces that he has, and keep in mind those pieces are generally veteran players. That said, I don’t know that you can give him credit for the performance of the players. Guys like Hafner or Vernon Wells or Kevin Youkilis are going to do what they’re going to do. I’m just not sure how much Girardi has to do with it. At the end of the day, the players are accountable for their own performance. Just my $0.02.