Squandered Opportunities June 9, 2008Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Alex Rodriguez, Brett Gardner, Game Recaps, Melky Cabrera, Mike Mussina.
I went to the game today with a friend who has season tickets in the nosebleed seats, even in the probably 100+ heat. It was quite the intense experience, but the stadium prices just sank me a bit.
But what sank me more was the poor play, at times, of the Yankees today. In the first inning, Johnny Damon led off with a single and stole a base. Now, Derek Jeter hit a flyball to fairly deep left-center, with Joey Gathright on the ball. Gathright doesn’t have an arm, as we know, but Damon fails to tag up. Why? Damon has plus speed and Gathright, as mentioned, has no arm. We didn’t know at the time, but the Yankees needed runs, and it never hurts to tack one on in the first inning. Granted, you never want to make the first or last out at third base, but you have to be aggressive. Had he done so he would have likely scored on Abreu’s flyball to left, also to Gathright.
But the eighth inning was more annoying. Jorge Posada leads off on a pinch-hit single with Chad Moeller subsequently pinch-running. Besides the blown call on the bunt by Ed Montague, who, with other umpires recently calling umpires, seems to be working for ESPN as opposed to MLB, Bobby Abreu grounds out weakly to first with Jeter on 1st (on a walk) and Moeller on 2nd. Abreu’s weak and unintersted swings are often at the worst times, and they make me and (I’m sure) other fans irate.
Worst of all was the ninth inning. The cutter to Guillen wasn’t a bad pitch, and I’m not sold that Damon could’ve gotten the homer. But with the bases loaded (even Moeller miraculously gets hit by a pitch!), Melky Cabrera grounds weakly to the pitcher. Soria has a plus 12-6 curve, but it’s not like he’ll blow you away (why you’d take a 90mph fastball in the bullpen and put it in the rotation is beyond me, but that’s for another day….). Beyond that, he looked overmatched at the plate, and he has yet to drive the ball. Maybe the blown call at 1B was in his head, but he has to get over that.
He may be an inspiring player, but Melky has to be benched, at least for a while. Of course, the loss is certainly not solely on his shoulders today. But today’s weak hack for a strikeout and his weak groundout to end the game don’t do much good for me.
On the bright side, Mike Mussina had a great day. Outside of the hanger to Miguel Olivo, Moose was changing speeds like a complete master and just owned some hitters with good pitches. He sat at86-88 with his fastbal, topping out at 90. I love his use of his 2-seamer, and I think he should stick to his current plan. But I’m not sure if we need him back next season–I’d like to wait before I make a judgment. I’d also like to say that I called A-Rod’s home before it happened .