Monday, August 11, 2008

Sounds like somebody's got a case of the Mondays

It's pouring out, the Yankees just got their asses kicked in Anaheim, and now they must face the tough pitching, playoff contending Minnesota Twins. The Yankees spanked the Twins in three straight at home in their second series after the All-Star break, but at that point the team was feeling good about themselves.

Sidney Ponson goes tonight against rookie Glen Perkins. Do you really think Ponson can put a third straight good start together? Our savior, who would have thunk it, Mike Mussina faces Nick Blackburn on Tuesday, and then John Sterling will attempt to ruin our Wednesday afternoon when Darrell Rasner takes on Kevin Slowey.

Those three Twins' kid pitchers are a combined 25-17 with a 3.97 ERA. They've walked just 63 batters in 351 innings.

Xavier Nady has been one of the few Yankees to make a consistent contribution since his acquisition. After going 0-7 in his first two games up at Fenway Park, the X-Man has gone 19-45 (.422) and is hitting .365 over all. In 15 games, he has 5 home runs and 13 RBI, with an 1.162 OPS. Nady's play is reminiscent of Bobby Abreu's arrival in 2006 when he hit .330 with 42 RBI in 58 games.

The same can't be said for Ivan Rodriguez, who is just 5-18 (.278) with 1 RBI, on a home run, in 8 games. He also doesn't get the opportunity to catch Mussina or Andy Pettitte, since they both prefer Jose Molina behind the plate.

Damaso Marte has been terribly inconsistent, especially if asked to pitch more than one inning. Sunday's game was a perfect example where he threw a dominant eighth, but put the Yankees in trouble in the ninth by allowing a single and a walk. He's been scored on in four of the eight games he's pitched.

With Phil Hughes set to throw 80 pitches in his next minor league assignment, could a major league start be around the corner? We think if he pitches well, they'll give him one more minor league game and then he'll be back with the big club.

Maybe this will lift our spirits.

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