State of the Yanks
As of Thursday, May 6 the Yanks are one game behind the Rays for first place in the AL East and have the second fewest losses in all of baseball (Rays). The team is coming off a sweep of the O’s and has won four in a row, seven of eight and 12 of 17. How good is their start? Steve Lombardi broke it down and the 2010 Yanks aren’t that far behind the ’01 Mariners and the ’98 Yanks. That’s some good company.
Only two teams in the Majors (Rays, D-Bags) have scored more runs than the Yanks (151). The Yanks have the best OPS in baseball, best OBP, tied for fourth-best team batting avg, third-most RBI and second-most triples. In other words, this team can hit.
The team is not just good at the plate, they are also great on D. The team has the fourth-best WHIP in the Majors, the second fewest errors in the game, four of the Yankees starters (all but Javy) have ERAs under 2.74 and each of them rank in the top-10 in the AL for ERA, and Yankees starters not name Javier Vazquez have given up six homers through 147 1/3 innings. AJ is off to the best start of his career and Andy Pettitte, before the injury, was pitching like he was in his 20s again. It’s no wonder the bullpen is rusty, they don’t get much work with this rotation (again, sans Javy).
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According to Will Carroll, via RAB, it seems that Pettitte might require a trip to the DL. If the Yanks make the injury retroactive to yesterday, Pettitte would only miss two starts (11th and the 16th). Nobody wants to see Andy and his stellar pitching this season go on the DL, but it’s better to have this stuff happen early in the season rather than when the postseason rolls around. However, Cashman seems to have put the kibosh on a DL stint.
"Right now the DL is not something that’s being considered…The MRI came back negative other than some inflammation, and they’re going to address that conservatively with some anti-inflammatories. Hopefully that nips that in the bud.We’ll gather all the troops tomorrow and we’ll make a decision on his next start. I’m inclined personally to have him skip his next start."
The injury bug has not just bitten Pettitte, many of the Yanks have been hurt. Grandy (groin), CHoP (hamstring), Jorge (calf), Mo (tightness in left side), A-Rod (leg, I’m not convinced it’s 100% yet) and Vazquez (suckiness) have all been sidelined for some time, but the amazing thing is that the team is still 11 games over .500 (19-8). Imagine if Javy was the Javy of 2009 and Tex, A-Rod and a few others were hitting. God Damn, this team might be undefeated.
However, this might be a good idea in light of the recent “SI cover jinx”.
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In case you haven’t heard, the Yanks have a weekend set with the Red Sox looming. Some might be wondering if the Yanks will change their approach to speed up the game and appease umpire Joe West, who said the play of the two teams was ‘pathetic and embarrassing’. Girardi, to steal a line from 2Pac, don’t give a f*ck about The Cowboy:
"We’re there to win games, not get finished in two and a half hours. So I expect our players to play hard, continue to be selective and do the things they need to do to win a game. I’m sure they feel that way on the other side. too."
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In other Yankees news:
- Rob Neyer breaks down the Yankee eras.
- Dallas Braden still will not keep his mouth shut about A-Rod and Moundgate. For someone who is all about “unwritten rules” and the sanctity of baseball, this guy really likes to run to the media and run his big yapper. Plus, Braden has some bad teeth (not really relevant, but I just wanted to point that out).
- ESPN will air a documentary on Mo during a segment on E:60 on May 11th.
- Yankee Stadium: not a launching pad for homers anymore.
- Phil Hughes: good, lucky or a combination of the two?
- Joel Sherman takes a look at Jeter and his impending free agency.