The Boston Red Sox finished off a sweep of the Yankees Sunday with a 4-1 win game which saw Andy Pettitte lose his first game of the season. Pettitte looked sharp for 4 2/3 innings before allowing the Sox to take the lead for good with three runs in the fifth.
The Sox were just a better team all weekend. I think its emulated by Jacoby Ellsbury stealing home in game 3. And he stole home. As soon as left Pettitte turned his back to throw his pitch, Ellsbury took off and made it home easily due to Jorge Posada’s slow response.
The Red Sox simply took advantage of the Yankees weaknesses. Summed up, the Yankees were outcoached this weekend.
The Yankees got off to a good start Friday night, taking a 4-2 lead into the bottom of the ninth when Mariano Rivera blew his first save of the year, allowing Jason Bay to hit a two run shot deep into left-center and over the Green Monster. We cannot fault Girardi for this; Rivera is just not clutch against the Sox. Boston seems to have his number.
Saturday was a fun game to watch, until the previously 0-3 Mike Lowell came to bat in the seventh inning and smacked a three-run homerun. Oh, and then added a three-run, bases-clearing double in the very next inning to tie his career-high for RBI.
Sunday was just a culmination of the entire series. The Sox barely allowed the Yankees seven runs, and the team was virtually shut out by a bunch of unknowns. Michael Bowden made his first appearance in the bigs and threw two perfect innings.
I’m sure there are tons of people upset about this. I am surprised I am not. But its still early. And we need to remember that although the Yankees have played 18 games, only 6 of them were at home and the team is 4-2 at Yankee Stadium. Its tough to play in Baltimore with all the angry Baltimore fans that have not been able to enjoy anything for nearly 11 years. Its very tough to play in Boston, what with all the ugly, fat Red Sox fans that probably haven’t been laid in 2+ years. There’s a lot of pent up frustration and anger in Boston.
So let’s give the Yankees a break.
Two things that need to be addressed. Pitching and hitting. Okay, so the entire program needs to be addressed. How can it be that as of 18 games into the season, only two full-time players are hitting over .300? Robinson Cano (.373) and Johnny Damon (.311) are carrying the offense in the last few games. Nick Swisher has lost his steam, going from over .400, to .286 and consistently lower.
Mark Teixeira is hitting .218. Brett Gardner, who hit .375 in the spring to earn the full-time CF spot, is hitting .220 so far. The hitting coach, Kevin Long, needs to get this addressed ASAP.
But this isn’t the problem. Its the pitching. Despite spending a ridiculous amount of money on CC Sabathia, AJ Burnett, Andy Pettitte, Brian Bruney and Damaso Marte the Yankees have a worse pitching staff then they did last year. The entire pitching staff has an ERA of 6.26 – good enough for dead-last in the American League. The .284 batting average for opponents is ranked 11th in the AL. Something needs to be done. And fast.
Sabathia looks out of shape and out of confidence when he pitches. Burnett looks unhittable one moment, and then gets b**ch-slapped for six runs, all in the time it takes you to walk to the refigerator, grab a beer and come back.
Joba (my boy) looks weak. Not dominating like he did in the past. Pettitte looks slow. He’s mostly getting the job done, but shoot, how do you not see a guy running full speed down the third base line to steal home? He was just over your right shoulder!
And the bullpen, just read the stats for the bullpen. Oh by the way, these are the same guys I was complimenting just two weeks ago for keeping the team in games. Now they are losing them.
Damaso Marte – 5 IP, 9 Hits, 9 ER, 3 HR, 3 BB, 15.19 ERA
Jose Vera – 10 IP, 5 Hits, 6 BB, 7 ER, 10 K’s, 6.30 ERA
Edwar Ramirez – 7.1 IP, 10 Hits, 6 ER, 7 BB, 3 HR, 7.36 ERA
Jonathan Albaladejo, – 10.1 IP, 10 hits, 6 ER, 3 HR, 3 BB, 5.23 ERA
And yet, Girardi keeps putting these guys in! It baffles me.
Oh well, its a new day. Its a new series. Let’s start it all over.