Monday, April 02, 2007

Yanks Win Opener

Bottomline: Yankees win.

Pitching: Carl Pavano was OK all things considered. A rather Jeff Weaveresque performance. Looked good for 4 innings, and then 1 bad inning that was really bad. With that said, the first 4 he looked like an opening day strater - I believe he just got tired come the 5th inning - in his own words "today was a good starting point". A big positive was how the bullpen came in for 4 2/3 and was lights out - all 5 that came in relief did a great job (especially Bruney and Vizcaino).

Batting: There are 3 main points that are worth noting in this 1st victory of 2007.
  1. The return of small ball. Sacs and Bunts and Steals were welcome and proved to be effective
  2. The depth of the lineup. Due to the full lineup participation in working counts etc. the Bombers were able to get to the bullpen which proved to be the down fall of the D-Rays today. If you don't have a bullpen to get you through matchups, then chances are you're headed for a loss against the boys in pinstripes - a story that you will see play out maybe as much as 1/2 of the games this year
  3. Production - the beuty about the 9 runs today is that every single person that was penciled into the lineup added to the production - everyone made it on base on today. Further, they scored just about everyway you can score: HRs, hits, stolen bases, Sacs - they did it all today. Absent injuries, this team will break all run scoring records in 2007.
Questions: Damon's cramps - are they a sign of things to come or just a fluke occurance? How effective will Pettitte's back allow him to be come Wednesday? Will Pavano build off of today's start and be able to make it through 6 innings next time?

Opening day grade: B + (points taken off for errors by Jeter, A-Rod, and Phelps, and bad 5th inning for Pavano)


old professor said...


Pavano's performance was better than okay. He made some tough pitches when he had to. The fatigue in the fifth inning could have been due to having to throw more pitches to record more outs than he should have. Errors did not help him. Jeter made one of his consistently low throws to first that Phelps was not able to scope (strange as it might seem, Giambi would have come up with the scoop - a residual from having played in Oakland); Phelps also made a Giambi type throw to second which ended up in centerfield and led to a run.

Torre made a very good point in the postgame, the Yankees were able to overcome the mistakes they made because they were playing Tampa Bay. If they made the same mistakes against Boston, the results would have been different.

The team is too good defensively to make the kind of errors they made on opening day. Hopefully the concentration will improve and the errors will lessen.

By the way, you failed to mention the bomb hit by A-Rod that put the game out of reach.

Anonymous said...

On an unrelated note, how about Gil Meche earning the Gil Meche money he was paid in shutting down the Sox yesterday!

A-Rod played great, base hit, HR, stolen base - too many good performances to single out.

The Scooter said...

The infield defense will be fine. A-rod never could catch a pop-up, but I'm getting the feeling that he is going to have a monster year at the plate.

Jeter may make 2 errors in 2 games and then not make another one for 30 games. As long as he continues to do what he does...and that is HIT in the clutch, he will have a great year.

I'm not concerned with Phelps at first. Jitters lead to the bad throw, and he will get used to scooping balls from A-Rod, Jetes and Cano. What I found very encouraging is the way he fit right into the lineup...seeing a lot of pitches and getting on base.

Mariano Mariano Mariano. Scouts have been raving about how well he threw all spring....Maybe this is the year he gets his Cy Young or MVP.

This may be nitpicking, but what concerns me most about this team is the lack of arm strength in the outfield. Ok, Abreu is slightly above average, but watching Damon throw is painful....and when did Matsui's arm get so bad? I have a feeling Melky is going to get a lot of late inning work replacing these guys.

Hey, Props to Pavano. As Torre said, "He competed". Let's face it, in his BEST year he never approached being an ace, but maybe he can be an upper echelon back of the rotation guy.

The Undefeated Season has begun.

The Fanatic said...

Pavano was better than I expected. His line looks out of wack because of some shaky defense behind him. He's gotta start somewhere. Not a overall bad effort at all.

Middle Relief said...

Any early predictions for APs return home?

I'll be happy with 6 and change in terms of innings, and 2 or less earned runs.

The Fanatic said...

I'll be happy with six solid innings as well. If he keeps the Rays to 2 or 3 runs it should be another win for the Yanks.

I added your blog to my site as well.

old professor said...

Game number 2 postponed because of bad weather. By now, you would think that Major League Baseball would recognize the fact that early April weather in the Northeast is not good for baseball. The first week or two of the season should be played either on the West Coast or in domed stadiums.

Hey this gives Damon's calf issues one more day to get right.

The Scooter said...

With the weather forcast being cold and possible flurries in NY tonight, does anyone think Torre will consider skipping Andy turn in the rotation and protecting his back? With the rain out yesterday, he could away with it.

old professor said...

While it might make sense to let Andy sit, there are probably two reasons he won't sit. First, because of the back issue, he lost some time in building arm stregth and needs to get out and pitch. Second, pitching is a large part mental. Andy has probably been focusing on starting. Delaying the start one day wouldn't be an issue, but delaying it for a second day could have an adverse affect on the mental preparation process.

It now appears that Damon's calf injury is more than a cramp. If it is a strain (which it now appears certain to be), he may be out more than just one or two games. Hopefully it is not a DL situation. Interesting to here that if it happens, it will be Reese or Thompson, not Bernie.

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