Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Yanks Fall With Poor Starting Pitching

Phil Hughes didn't have his stuff yet again, and only lasted 3.2 innings while giving up 8 hits, 6 runs, 3 BB, 2 SO, 2 HR, 82-50  PC-ST. Hughes didn't look in control of the mound at all and could have been pulled even sooner. Newly acquired catcher Chris Stewart didn't make things any easier, frequently getting signals crossed between himself and all 4 of the Yankee  pitchers used.

The good news pitching wise is that the bullpen was sharp once again. Joe Girardi called in Ohlendorf to be the de-facto long closer and Ross pitched 3.1 innings giving up only 1 hit while striking out 5. Edwar Ramirez and LaTroy Hawkins each came in to pitch one hit scoreless innings.

The Yankees offense was pretty anemic again with Matsui being the only hitter with multiple hits. Robinson Cano had a 2-run homer but couldn't deliver later in the game in a pressure situation. The Yankees blew a bases loaded 2 out situation without scoring any runs early on, and didn't show many signs of life.

Team LOB = 18. You're not going to win games leaving 18 men on base. I've been harping on this particular stat a bit lately and tonight was a prime example. Even with horrible starting pitching, the bullpen kept the club in the game but the offense fell flat, stranding runners without scoring.

Alex Rodriguez was placed on the 15-day DL with a strained quadriceps. With both Rodriguez and Posada out, the offense is taking a big hit. Posada is getting multiple opinions on his shoulder and the early word is that it will require extended rest but no surgery. Wilson Betemit is going to start a rehab stint in AAA. Brian Bruney is getting several opinions and is looking for an option other than surgery. Regardless of the outcome, he likely won't be back for a long time.

Once again we get to the same old story of starting pitchers not able to get out of the first few innings. This cannot and will not go on too much longer. I think the first thing for the Yankees to do will be to bring up Darrel Rasner to fill in either as long reliever or as a starter. Joba may end moving to the rotation sooner rather than later. If they move Joba up now, he might not be available to start in August and September due to his innings limit but if they don't they might be too far back in the fall to have any chance of making the post-season.

I'm sure the Yankees will jump on any halfway decent starter that becomes available for a reasonable price. The question is how many prospects will they have to give up. Rich Harden could be attractive if he can stay healthy. The Rays might be looking to move Kazmir although it's doubtful they'd let him go to another AL East team.

Stay tuned - more to come as the season continues!


Mike said...

Why do you send a 21 year-old, inexperienced and struggling pitcher out there with a minor league scrub catcher? Coming off of a travel night or not, Molina needs to catch that game.

Jeff said...

Agreed. Hughesy has had 4 different catchers this season. A little consistency wouldn't hurt.