Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Abreu Grand Slam Propels Yanks to Win

Chien-Ming Wang was getting hit frequently Tuesday night in Chicago, but Bobby Abreu came through with a 2 out grand slam home run.

Wang gave up 10 hits in 6 innings and allowed 3 runs. Many of Wang's pitches that were put into play went deep and were caught on the warning track. In a different ballpark the results could have been much uglier for the Yankees. Chien-Ming's win was the 50th of his career, reached in only 85 games. Dwight Gooden and Ron Guidry reached the 50 mark after 82 games.

The Bullpen was less than stellar today. Billy Traber was only allowed to face one batter, which he walked. Brian Bruney came on and proceeded to load the bases while only getting one out. Finally the Yanks called in Joba Chamberlain to get out of the bases loaded, one out jam. Struck out one batter, walked in a run, and then got the final out on a pop fly fielded by Posada.

To keep things interesting, New York manager Joe Girardi gave every fan watching a scare by brining in Kyle Farnsworth to close out the game. With the Yankees up 5 in the the bottom of the ninth, Farney walked one, gave up a hit, and allowed a run to score before getting the third out of the inning and ending the game.

Bobby Abreu had the biggest clutch hit of the night and put the Yankees on top in the seventh inning. Johnny Damon went 3 for 5 with a home run of his own. Jason Giambi was removed from the game with a swollen thumb after a horrible defensive play at first that should have been scored an error. While Giambi did hit a solo home run, his offensive production is still poor and he remains a huge defensive liability.

Surprisingly there were no stolen bases with Posada behind the plate, and no runners were caught stealing. Yankee pitchers did a good job of keeping runners close to first, but the one or two times runners went early, balls were put into play. I'm surprised that there weren't more attempts to steal, given the vulnerable arm that Jorge has.

The team LOB tonight was 6, a respectable number. If the Yankee bats can get on base and drive runners home like they did tonight, they'll be able to overcome their problems with pitching. Up until now it's mostly been starting pitching, but tonight the bullpen looked particularly vulnerable.

Congratulations to Alex Rodriguez and his wife on the birth of their second daughter.

Competition Notes: The Boston Red Sox beat the Los Angeles Angels 7-6, and are showing no signs of letting up. This is troubling to Yankee fans because the Sox ace Josh Beckett was scratched from the game. Instead, David Pauley was called up from the minors for the start. Pauley was shelled, giving up 7 hits and 5 runs in 4.1 innings of work. The Boston bullpen held strong, and even Mike Timlin got a batter out as they waited for the offense to come alive in later innings and secure the win. Even with their best starter out, this team finds a way to win. The Yanks will have to wait another day to try and close the gap.


Anonymous said...

Hey Jeff, thanks for stopping by before. I appreciate the comment and I'll add you to my blogroll.

Chris (iYankees)

Jeff said...

Chris, thanks for stopping by here - I've added you to my blogroll as well.