Friday, May 14, 2010

Long and Winding Road

It wasn't a spectacular road trip for the New York Yankees (3-4), but considering the number of injuries that affected the team, it wasn't all that bad either.

Obviously after taking 2 of 3 in Boston, losing 3 of 4 in Detroit was a letdown. But considering that Sergio Mitre and a struggling Javier Vazquez were penned in for starts, one could argue that the Bombers shouldn't have expected to do more than split with their Motown opponents. As it turned out Vazquez was very good, while ace CC Sabathia struggled.

The Yankees offense hit a slump in Tiger town, virtually disappearing save for one inning in the third game. Considering the number of at-bats given to Ramiro Pena, Marcus Thames, Randy Winn, Greg Golston, and Juan Miranda, that's not all that surprising either. Throw in a slumping Derek Jeter (5-43), and a banged up Nick Swisher and Jorge Posada, and you see what I'm getting at.

The season is a series of highs and lows. The Yankees offense is certainly riding one of those lows right now. There's absolutely nothing wrong with losing to Jon Lester and Justin Verlander, but not being able to muster offense against the likes of Jeremy Bonderman and Emilio Bonine is another matter.

The Yankees open a three game series with the Minnesota Twins tonight and the pitching won't be getting any easier. Scott Baker, Francisco Liriano, and Nick Blackburn are scheduled to go for the Twins this weekend.

Look more more at-bats for Miranda, who should supplant some of both Winn's and Thames' at-bats. In fact, Joe Girardi opted for Thames over Winn in left field tonight against the right-handed throwing Baker. It hurts the Yankees defensively, but Girardi is clearly looking to add some punch.

Swisher returns to the lineup tonight after sitting out the finale in Detroit with a sore bicep. Francisco Cervelli gets the call at catcher, so Jorge Posada gets the day time duty on Saturday and the task of facing the left-handed Liriano.

Getting back to the Tigers' series- another spectacular performance by Phil Hughes on Wednesday night. He's rounded into the pitcher that the Yankees had always hoped he would be. The guy that the hype was all about.

Hughes' mid-90s fastball, mixed with his change and curve have been out and out dominant. He's the first Yankees pitcher since Bob Turley in 1958 to go 5-0 and have a sub-1.50 ERA after 6 starts.

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