With the much ballyhooed come back of Yankees Captain and his quest for 3,000 hits, the Yankees offense thanks to in a large part of Indians starter Josh Tomlin’s 7 IP 3 H 2 R performance Monday night at Progressive Field in Cleveland. The Yankees offense seemed to revert back to the pre-Jeter DL levels. The 14-4 record the Yankees enjoyed in Jeter’s absence was based on Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner seeing 3.5+ pitches per plate appearance while in the lead-off spot. Jeter’s plate appearance in his first game back in the line-up saw him come to the plate 4 times and see 2,3,1 and 5 pitches in those with a reach on an error in the 1st, a lazy fly ball to center in the 3rd, ground-out to third and a humpback liner to second to round out his night. Joe Girardi has to take the temperature of his team, and all this could become a mute point tomorrow if Jeter goes 3-5 but with a .256 average and the ability to not hit the ball hard sneaking back into Jeter’s repertoire, Girardi has to respect the 24 other members of the Yankees and not the future Hall of Famer who isn’t producing.
What gets lost in tonight’s 6-3 Yankees loss was that through 99 pitches A.J. Burnett may have had one of his best starts of the season, but that was lost on a foul ball down the Left Field line in which a Brett Gardner and Alex Rodriguez miscommunication caused the ball to fall between them.
So the Jeter 3,000 campaign resumes tomorrow, but the Yankees and Joe Girardi in particular need to right the ship to not lose the momentum they carried through their 14-4 record sans Jeter.
What’s Brewin with the Bombers is back LIVE tomorrow at 4 PM eastern and can be found here www.blogtalkradio.com/whatsbrewin
Think back to mid February, when fans and media were questioning Brian Cashman on his off-season acquisitions. What is he thinking signing Freddy Garcia and Bartolo Colon, what is this pitching rotation going to look like? Is a question that many fans asked. Well after Saturday’s 5-2 win over the New York Mets, the Yankees get to the halfway point of the season with a 50-31 record. The most staggering part of the record is that the team is 1-8 against the 2nd place Boston Red Sox, a team that coming into the season, the prognosticators had them running away with the AL East.
While it is easy to say that Mark Teixiera has had a great season to this point or Curtis Granderson is on his way to the best offensive season of his career, don’t overlook that the 2011 Yankees have their share of problems. As of late some have corrected themselves, there are still some issues that need to be addressed.
Derek Jeter hitting lead off: While Derek Jeter has been on the DL for a strained calf, Brett Gardner and Nick Swisher have filled in just fine and have flourished in the lead-off spot, but the stress an anxiety caused by Jeter’s impending return maybe causing on players like Gardner who is in flux as to where he will hit in the lineup come Monday. The argument of many fans an media comes back to is having a 37 year old lead off hitter going to help the Yankees in the short and long term? Well due to the platoon that Gardner is still in with veteran outfielder Andruw Jones is truly keeping Gardner out of the lead-off hole in the order, but this brings up another question while Gardy has lead off against RHP’s since June 14, and Swish has lead off against LHP’s is another one of the decisions facing Yankee Manager Joe Girardi. The move for the short term is to bring Jeter back into the lineup as the lead-off hitter but give him a very short leash especially, if he doesn’t turn around his season by August 1st. The other position that the Yankees are now in is to see if Jeter is the ultimate team player that everyone since 1996 has made him out to be. The move that keeps the Yankees at the top of the AL East and keeps them as a World Series favorite is Gardy 1, Swish 6, Jeet 7, but let’s if THAT happens.
Bullpen: The Yankees bullpen has been downright fantastic this season, without Pedro Feliciano, who has been out since spring training, Rafael Soriano, who has been out since mid-May, but even before his DL stint, he was awful. Joba Chamberlain who was quickly showing that he could be the 8th inning man or closer of the future, has been lost until late 2012 or 2013, the overwhelming need of a 2nd lefty that can help Boone Logan going forward. Between David Robertson and his near 1 ERA and Mariano Rivera doing what Mariano Rivera does, the Joe Girardi bullpen management is again a reason why he is in the discussion for American League Manager of the Year.
The Yankees have 2 major problems heading into the 2nd half of the 2011 season, but they are full on ready and up for the run, as fans the good thing is we get to sick back enjoy a nice tall Samuel Adams Summer Ale, in a perfect pint glass or straight out of the bottle and enjoy the 2nd 81 of the MLB season.
Posted by Brian Capozzi http://www.bronxbombersbeat.com
While one win doesn’t exactly take away the sour taste left in our mouths after the Yankees-Red Sox series, an offense blowout can definitely help. Backed by a solid outing from Ivan Nova, the Yankees beat the Indians last evening in the Bronx by a score of 11-7. A 4-run 9th inning by the Indians is the reason why the score seems closer then it was. In the bottom of the 1st inning, patience… that’s right, patience is what led the Yankees to a 3-0 lead. Jeter led off the game with a walk, followed by a Granderson strikeout, and 2 walks to Teixeira and A-Rod. Cano stepped to the plate with bases load and drove a single to right field to plate Jeter. Nick Swisher followed up with a sacrifice fly to score Teixeira, and Posada singled in Rodriguez. Fundamentals helped the Yankees work their way to a 3-0 lead heading into the second. A Granderson home run in the bottom of the second was followed by abench clearing ‘argument’ after what appeared to be an intentional HBP at Teixeira. It was a bush-league move by Fausto Carmona who threw a cock-shot fastball to Granderson. That was his own fault and Teixeira should not be thrown at because Carmona can’t hit his spots! Brett Gardner had an RBI double in the bottom of the 3rd, and an Alex Rodriguez homer in the bottom of the 4th inning gave the Yankees a 6-0 lead heading into the top of the 5th where the Indians finally got on the board to make it 6-1.
A throwing error by Carlos Santana allowed Granderson to score in the 6th, and then the Yankees erupted for 4 runs in the bottom of the 7th thanks in part to back to back doubles by Mark Teixeira and Alex Rodriguez. Outside of a poor performance from Amauri Sanit (0.2 IP, 4 H, 4 ER) and 8 walks by all Yankees pitchers, the team won a game that they needed for a while. They played smart baseball and did not rely solely on the long ball. A game like this could help get the offense going and get the team on a hot streak they have needed for a few weeks. Fingers crossed that they can keep this up, and that it wasn’t just a one-game fluke. We know the team is old, but the fact is, they still have talent to get the job done. Robinson Cano and Jorge Posada each collected 3 hits apiece, while Teixeira had 3 RBIs. It was indeed a team effort that we need to see more of for the rest of the season.
Yankees Starting Line-up
- Jeter, SS
- Granderson, CF
- Teixeira, 1B
- Rodriguez, 3B
- Cano, 2B
- Swisher, RF
- Posada, DH
- Gardner, LF
- Cervelli, C