Sunday, June 1, 2008

Back Above .500

It took extra innings, but the Yankees toughed out an exciting win last night. The winning pitcher? Ross Ohlendorf. Joe Girardi brought Ross to pitch the 10th and 11th innings and the struggling reliever walked 2, gave up 2 hits, and struck out 4 all the while allowing no runs. Granted Joe didn't have a lot of other options, but it looks like he's still got faith in the young pitcher.

Notably absent in both Friday and Saturday's games was LaTroy Hawkins, who looks to be in the doghouse and won't be called on in close spots. Kyle Farnsworth, on the other hand, has been brought in two nights in a row. The YES announcers commented on how Torre never used to use Kyle two days in a row and were hesitant as to how he'd perform. On Friday he gave up a quick run to close a 2-run lead to a 1-run lead. Last night he quickly got all three batters out.

Veras and Ramirez both continue to look good and are the heart of the Yankees middle relief right now. I'd take either of them over Farnsworth in the set-up role, but Girardi has been a longtime Farnsworth fan and that doesn't look like it's going to change any time soon.

Neither of the starters looked particularly sharp, but both Wang and Mussina managed to get through the bulk of the innings with the score close, and sometimes, that's all you can ask.

Bobby Abreu has been the offensive star the last two games, going 2 for 5 and then 3 for 4.

There has been a bit of sloppy play lately, and errors and bad plays that could be scored as errors are starting to creep into the mix more and more. Alex Rodriguez got picked off of second base after stealing it, and a similar thing happened to Derek Jeter a few days back. Last night's game had an errant throw by Jeter that cost the team a run and the night before Shelley Duncan had an error.

Shelley Duncan is a fun guy to watch. He brings a great deal of enthusiasm to the game and is good for bench morale. Unfortunately, he really hasn't improved his game much over the last year. He's hitting .161 and is playing average defense at best. He really hasn't turned out to be much of an improvement defensively over the lumbering Giambi and hasn't come close to the offensive production, despite the fact that Giambi was in a huge slump.

I like Shelly and would like to see him stick around, but he's got work to do. He might last a bit longer than Ensberg, but he's going to have to start bringing something more to the table if he wants to be successful in the big leagues.

No comments: