Wednesday, April 11, 2012

First Time Through

The first time through the Yankee rotation has been less than stellar. C.C. opened the season by giving up five runs in six innings, followed by Kuroda's shaky performance in a game where a Nunez error may have changed the outlook of the game. Phil Hughes could not put hitters away on Sunday against Jeremy Hellickson, resulting in his early exit. Last night, Freddy Garcia tied a record that stood for 23 years by throwing five wild pitched in 4.2 innings of work.

The only bright light the first time through the order was Ivan Nova. Even though he allowed ten hits in seven innings, he didn't get the game get away from him. His confidence in his pitches and his authority on the mound gives Yankee fans something to look forward to even more as he fully matures as a major leaguer. Nova allowed hits in six of his seven innings of work, while walking none. I'll take that over a guy who pitches seven innings, allows one hit and walks six batters. I'm fully convinced that the young right hander could have pitched an eighth inning on Monday night, but Girardi wanted to take it easy the first time through the rotation.

The hitting has been much like the Yankees starting pitching. The 4-5-6 hitters in the Yankee lineup all have averages under .160. The only players who are performing on the offensive side of the ball are Jeter, Cano, Gardner and Ibanez. The rest of the guys, especially Alex Rodriguez, Mark Teixeira, and Curtis Granderson are struggling badly. I'm very concerned with Teixeira especially. This is a guy who has shown a steady decrease in batting average over the last three years, and also a guy who pulls everything left-handed. He needs to figure something out and quick because the Yankees will not win if he continues a downward spiral.

Tonight, the Yankees face Jake Arrieta with their ace on the mound. I expect a sweep of Baltimore before the opening home series on Friday against Pujols and the newly improved Angels.

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