Whew. I was feeling a little out-of-sorts there for a minute. There were the Yankees, blasting the ball all over the field on Wednesday, scoring runs, hitting with guys all over the bases, hitting bombs with people on base… It really had me feeling like the world was upside down. Luckily, tonight in the first inning, the Yanks had men on first and third with one out. And Allie and Giambi both struck out. That’s when I knew the world was back to its warm, fuzzy, comfortable self. Nice feeling….. Nice feeling….
Kudos to Jon Lester. He pitched a great game. He was around the strike zone all night, which is where you want to be against the Yankees. Just don’t walk them. Give them a chance to get themselves out. They’ll take care of the rest. Lester made his own good fortune by throwing strikes, but he also saw everything fall into place for him. How about this stat. Every single inning the Yankees put a runner on base they hit into a double play. Four double plays. I know the stat sheet says it was three, but anybody who watched the first inning saw quite clearly that Abreu was o-u-t, out. Not that Lester really needed those double plays. But as I said, everything just kind of fell into place. He faced just four over the minimum. One note for Lester, though. I counted four or five times he held his followed-through pose and stared at the ump when he didn’t get a strike call that he wanted. You know what? I’m okay with that in the first inning when you are trying to expand the zone, but he was doing it in the eighth inning with no one on base and a seven run lead. Jon – shut up; get back on the mound, and pitch.
So with all that went right for the Red Sox tonight, you’d think the Yankees were due to get some breaks tomorrow, right? Wrong. The Yankees are going to lose tomorrow. Why? Because they’re supposed to lose. Darrell Rasner is facing Josh Beckett. And the 2008 Yankees lose every single game they’re supposed to lose. I could be wrong. Lord knows I’m wrong enough. But I don’t think I will be.
So here’s my captain obvious, you’ve-all-heard-this-a-million-times stat. The Yankees have scored 25 runs in their last 6 games. Not good. An average of just over 4 runs a game. That’s not going to get you a whole lot of wins. And then consider that 18 of those runs came in one game, and the other 5 games produced a grand total of 7 runs. Yeah. That’s 7 runs in 5 games.
Can anyone explain to me why I’m forced to watch Wilson Betemit night after night? Apparently Joe Girardi and the Yankee announcers are convinced this guy is a great hitter. What exactly is giving them that impression? They go on and on about how Girardi wants to get him going because he’s so good with the bat. I’m not getting it. This is his fifth year in the league. He’s going to turn 27 this year in November. He’s a .260 career hitter with a career OBP of .329. He’s got 40 home runs lifetime. If he was going to be any good, wouldn’t he have put up better stats than that by now? I’ll tell you what I’m watching. A guy who is simply not a tough out. Not even close. He exemplified the Yankees ineptness tonight. A double play and two strikeouts swinging at balls that almost bounced off of his spikes. Not a tough out. Two other guys who are not tough outs. Melky and his buddy Cano. Cano is better than the other two because he makes up for his shortcomings with one of the prettiest swings in the league. But even though he can hit when he’s right, he’s not a tough out. He may go 2-4 any given night, but he’s just as likely to pop up to the infield or hit into a double play with bases loaded and one out in a one run game. And Melky might be streaky enough to get himself up to the .275 range, but he’s not a tough, disciplined hitter. This is a problem.
This is the post that no one will read, unfortunately, or fortunately, as I hope everybody will be out celebrating the USA tomorrow with family and friends. Best wishes for everyone on this Fourth of July.