Monday, June 3, 2013

Yankees postgame notes: Goodnight, Emerson

I'm not at the game, so I won't get quite the same postgame report as some of those reporters who are.. you know, on payroll. But the time known as postgame starts after the final out, so I'll share what I've got before turning my attention to the NBA Game 7.

The Yankees are now 32-25, taking the first game from Cleveland after dropping two of three to Boston and that four game series against the Mets that my fan bias precludes me from detailing. Or remembering. So, needless to say, winning the series against Cleveland would be great momentum before heading into a west coast swing that includes Seattle, Oakland, and the Angels.

Right before Nick Swisher flew out to Vernon Wells for the final out of the game, the ESPN announcers were talking about how he had not only a new contract, but a baby girl, Emerson. Very nice, Nick. Now fly out to left to end your first game back in New York. If the Yankees were willing to pay, there most certainly would have been room for him, what with the Granderson injury and the scuffle at the end of spring training to pick up the man who put him out to end this game, Vernon Wells. But his well-documented postseason struggles combined with his regular-season consistency that would put him out of the Yankees' price range made him one of Cleveland's top targets. His line: 0-for-4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SO. Unfortunately for him, that also comes with 4 left on base. Maybe it was the Bleacher Creatures.

Andy Pettitte started solid in his first outing since May 16, but sort of unraveled in the 5th inning. At one point, he offered 9 straight balls to Cleveland hitters, finally serving a strike with the bases loaded and two outs. Unfortunately, he couldn't quite put another hitter away. 83 pitches was enough for Girardi to pull him, and here's his final line: 4.2 IP, 7 H, 4 ER, 3 BB, 3 SO. Nothing spectacular, and hopefully just a stepping stone. He'll get the Mariners next, perhaps a more favorable matchup against a lighter-hitting team in a big park.

Little known fact: I own a Lyle Overbay jersey. No joke. True, I got it as a gift somewhere around seven years ago, meaning seven years before he was a Yankee. Back then, I called it a Hideki Matsui jersey, and for a couple of years, a Russell Martin jersey. And I will go so far as to say that I was less than enthused when I learned of my apparel's new significance this year, but he has been a pleasant surprise both offensively and defensively in place of Mark Teixeira. Plus, any guy who doesn't bring extra attention to himself, especially when he's a 36-year-old in a new position just trying to stay on the team's roster, is most certainly doing something right.

I also thought the move to bring in Overbay was designed out of espionage - he was in Red Sox camp right before the season, we were about the play the Red Sox... what better way to learn about their new strategies in camp, right? .. well, either he's a better right fielder than he is a spy, or my idea is completely debunked because the Yankees are 2-for-6 against Boston.

Real shame about Asdrubal Cabrera, who was just starting to pick things up after an extremely slow start to the season. Apparently he'd been battling this injury for a few days, according to a tweet by the Indians, before having to be carried off the field in the 5th inning. According to this article by Ryan Rudnansky of Bleacher Report, Cabrera has the third-highest fielding percentage of qualifying AL shortstops. No official word yet, but we'll see what kind of time this injury will cost him.

The big blows in this game were by Teixeira and Gardner. It's very important that the leadoff man hits, but establishing more presence in the heart of the order is something that the Yankees had to be hoping for when Tex came off the DL. Vernon Wells was excellent to start the season but has cooled off considerably of late. Clearly the Yankees are not going to push the envelope with Youkilis, as he got the day off today, but this puts a premium on the production of Cano and Teixeira while the bats of Granderson and A-Rod are unavailable, not to mention the contact hitting and speed of Jeter, Nunez, and Cervelli. Teixeira's grand slam was a breath of fresh air for Yankee fans and fantasy owners everywhere who hope that the notoriously slow-starting first baseman will consider this to be June rather than his own April.

I had a really good time following this game tonight. I can't say I'll almost ever have this kind of free time again, but if I have the opportunity to spend a few hours with the Yankees and my computer, you'd better believe I'll consider it. Maybe with a few viewers and commenters, we'll make it a party - nothing with regularity, but something we can all look forward to when we get the chance.

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