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Few observations:

1) I thought Hughes threw harder.

2) What's up with Cano? He's killing my fantasy team.

3) I only saw some of the game, but I think you may be giving a little too much credit to the manager. The difference between a good and bad manager (in my opinion) is nothing more than a couple of wins at the end of the year.

Hughes was throwing 93-94 in the first couple of innings. He'll be right around there when he's in mid-season form. He was throwing harder than Dice K by a pretty large margin, which surprised me.

Cano always starts slow, I think it's a cold weather thing for him. I bet he gets hot in Tampa.

You're wrong about a manager's effect on the game, especially in games between the Sox and Yanks. When the talent level of two teams is close the manager has a huge influence on the outcome. Last night was a decent example, but nowhere near the game before. Leaving Moose in to face Ortiz should've cost the Yanks the game. Letting him pitch to Ramirez did.

1) Cano left 6 men on base.
2) Perhaps Girardi wanted to give Farnsworth more rope to hang himself.
3) my dad always taught us to "hold the label up" ...I can't see it on teevee but is Damon's label facing him when he bats...?

I always check for the label, my dad taught me the same thing. I don't think he really checks it. I'm pretty sure the problem is the design of the bat. Too thin of a handle.

Just to play devil's advocate here, wouldnt the Red Sox have just brought in a RHP (Delcarmen) to face Ensberg if they pinch-hit for Damon?

What Girardi could have done in that situation was pinch-hit Ensberg for Gonzalez, instead of Melky. That way, you can pinch-hit Melky for Damon, eliminating Boston's platoon advantage on the mound.

As for the Molina substitution, if it was a purely injury-related thing, then I guess I kind of understand. But if Molina's slow foot-speed was a factor, then it's a tactical error. The Yankees were down two runs, so it doesnt matter how fast or slow the lead runner is. They need the second base-runner to be fast. The lead runner can be the fastest guy in the world, and he can steal second, third, and home, and the Yankees would still be losing.

One at-bat that frustrated the hell out of me was A-Rod in the first inning. Dice K has walked two batters in the inning, including the previous batter (Abreu) on 4 pitches. He's obviously struggling with his command. So, what does A-Rod do? Swings at a breaking ball way out of the strike zone ON THE FIRST PITCH!!!!

He's just thrown 4 straight balls...take a pitch! Force him to start throwing strikes. And if you're going to swing, only swing at a fastball!

Instead, A-Rod lunged for a ball and bailed him out.

They couldn't bring delcarmen in, Lopez came in to face Damon, he has to face 1 batter in that situation. Melky faced a righty (timlin), so I like that move.

Excellent point about A-Rod. I don't have a problem with him swinging, but like you said, he has to make sure he gets a fastball and he really has to do something with the pitch if he's going to swing.

Ah ok...I couldnt remember what the bullpen/bench situation was, thanks for the clarification.

Brian,
As the Sixers season starts to wind down and I prepare for the playoffs, decided it's time change gears to the Yankees. I've always followed them and watched almost every game, every year but Baseball isn't really my love.

Anyway, I think Phil Hughes has the stuff (as he showed Pedroia on that nasty curve in the first that almost made him buckle) he just has to put it together. Ian Kennedy on the other hand might be a solid pitcher down the road but he relies on being a perfectionist and if he isn't getting the corners (control or umpires) he will probably run into trouble with.

I had an off-topic question and maybe you already answered it before but-- Would the Girardi insert Joba into the rotation if a starting pitcher went down or does he need to work his innings up in the minors or something?

Joba's going to need to work on his stamina somewhere. Probably in the minors, if it happens at all. If a starter goes down, we're going to see Igawa first, I would bet.

Nothing like having to watch Boston play three times in one week on TV...Thanks ESPN!!

Bleh

I have to say, no one would be happier than I would if the Yanks never played on ESPN or Fox again. I just can't take any of those guys. I'd much rather watch on YES.

On national television this year, including Fox, even though not everyone sees the same game (and excluding the Japan games, since it wouldn't matter who was playing in those games, they were going to be on ESPN), the Red Sox are playing 21 games. Twelve of those games are being broadcast by an ESPN network. Five of those 21 games are against the Yankees. Similarly, the Yankees have twenty nationally televised games, ten of which are on an ESPN network. Boston is playing one more nationally televised game over the course of the season.

Yes, the Sox are playing on ESPN three times this week. But two of those games are against the Yankees, and the third is the first meeting of the Indians and Sox since last year's ALCS. It's not like they're broadcasting a Sox/Rays game.

But I agree with Brian. I would rather not see a single nationally televised game, and instead just watch the NESN broadcast.

I agree with most everything you said, but couple things:

I too agree that melky should have been in center...but you cant really fauly girardi too much, when damon has excellent numbers at fenway, also as you said decentn umbers againstr Dice-k. Also without Jeter, you take all the speed you can get against varitek, he did steal twice but no one brought him in. 40% of baserunners who steal go on to score on average i beleive, and its probably higher against Tek normally...too bad Cano hits behind him.

Also, he wasn't really hitting bad before that (even though i'm saying this off of my head and not looking at stats), didn't he have a 5 game hit streak before girardi rested him?

In the larger scheme of things however, the blame for this game should be SQUARELY on the offense, once again. There were multiple "gimme" pitches down the middle from Dice K and Aardsma to Arod, Cano (sooo many of them...), Damon, and Abreu (who has some sort of f*cked up timing versus Dice K, i might add...).

Honestly they should have scored at least ten...not even an exageration. "Cold" bats or beginning o f the year is not an excuse when the other team throws that bad. Dice-K pitched far worse than his stats, he got off the hook yesterday. Ugh im so pissed.

I didnt see or hear the Damon vs. Dice-K numbers, but considering Dice-K made his MLB debut a year ago, Damon's faced him at most 10-15 times...That's certainly not enough at-bats to know if a guy "owns" a pitcher or if it's just been luck so far

totally unrelated, but I read this ideal lineup at some yankee site which escapes me right now--

1. CF Gardner (if he can keep up hitting with a bit of power as he is right now)
2. DH Derek Jeter (even tho we know thats not gonna happen...)
3. RF Abreu
4. 3b Arod
5. 1b Matsui (it never occured to me...but that would solve a lot of problems for Matsui and for the yanks, AND save some $)
6. C Jorge
7. 2b Robbie
8. LF Melky
9. SS Alberto Gonzalez

It would be more of a next y ear thing since they would never bench damon AND giambi...it would be awesome on so many levels on Offense and Defense...

I would sign up for that today. The one change I would make is putting Jeter at 1B and moving Matsui to the DH. This would improve overall team defense and provide a more dynamic lineup as well.


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