Tuesday, July 1, 2008

No Hitting = No Winning

A decent outting by Mike Mussina was wasted by the Yankee bats last night. Moose threw 6 innings giving up only two runs and the rest of the bullpen, including recently roughed up Veras, Ramirez and Giese, all threw scoreless innings.

The Yankees only put together 4 hits on the night. Brett Gardner went 0 for 3 and wasn't exactly smashing in his debut.

Here's the problem with this year's Yankee team. They just don't have it. Whatever "it" is, the Yankees are lacking. Some days it's pitching, other days it's hitting. They just can't put together the total package for more than a few days in a row. Their last big win streak had people thinking that maybe the team could make a late season charge. With Joba moving up to the rotation, starting pitching suddenly looked a lot better. The fact is, this year's team just stinks. They haven't found themselves, found a good team chemistry and they haven't found a way to win.

Starting pitching is decent. Wang, Pettitte, Mussina, Chamberlain, Ponson, Rasner and Giese are all capable of quality outings. That's 7 guys who, when healthy, are capable of pitching at a decent level. Relief pitching is a roll of the dice, with just about every reliever you never know who is going to show up on the mound. Hitting is the same way. Guys are capable of hitting .300 and sometimes will go on a tear for a game or two, then you won't see any offensive production for days.

It all comes down to a lack of consistency and an inability to string hits together for runs.

Giese pitched as a closer today, but if he's not going to start, I hope Girardi can manage to use his long reliever as, well, a long reliever. Don't expect Joe to do anything the conventional way, however.

The team could use another decent set up man. I've been thinking Veras and Ramirez could fit the bill but they just can't be counted on. Farnsworth and Hawkins are way too prone to blow ups and Veras and Ramirez seem to be learning their ways. Ohlendorf looked good at times but looked bad more often and earned his demotion back down to AAA. I don't think there are going to be any answers on the market, as quality relievers are rare these days. Look for promotion within, but not until next year. I think management realizes the guys need a little time to develop and the team isn't going anywhere this year.

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