The Yankees will play their home opener this afternoon, but before that, let’s take a look back at their first 6 games of the season in the road trip that started in disaster and ended in triumph.
Let’s break it down:
The Starting Rotation
Holy hell, what a disaster. Sure, it’s still early and I’m not rushing to judgement, but Ivan Nova is the only starter who’s put in a decent performance so far. C.C. Sabathia can’t command his fastball, Phil Hughes is looking better than last year (but that doesn’t say much), Freddy Garcia is trying to kill the dirt in front of home plate with his splitter and Hiroki Kuroda was up in the zone all night long. Here’s hoping he’ll be better today and everyone else will straighten out. I’m not worried about C.C. Sabathia, and what we’ve seen from Kuroda isn’t his reputation, so not much to worry about there, either – as for Hughes and Garcia… well, the clock is ticking. Andy Pettitte and Michael Pineda are on the way. How Sabathia got through six innings last night is anybody’s guess…
All hail the bullpen! For it is the bullpen corps that were the road trip saviors! Sure, Mariano Rivera did blow that first game, but whatever – that’s going to happen from time to time – he’s rebounded nicely. Just because I worship the guy doesn’t make him an infallible god. David Robertson likes to make us sweat, but he gets the job done. Boone Logan and Rafael Soriano also deserve high praise for their performances last night.
Some ups, some downs, but mostly, I’m happy with the overall production – what I’d like to see is some POWER! What do Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano and Alex Rodriguez all have in common? No homers. I guess if they hang out with Derek Jeter, it’s a No Homers club – they’re allowed to have one. Derek Jeter is on fire so far this year – that guy sure is good at putting naysayers in their place.
For the most part, I’m happy, but let’s do our best to keep Raul Ibanaz on the bench as the DH, hmm? And Eduardo Nunez… I just don’t know what to say about Eduardo Scissorhands. I’d need to see how he plays on a day to day basis (and I am starting to hope I never find out what that looks like) to know for sure, but I’m starting to think that this guy is just not an infielder.
Joe Girardi’s Match Up Binder
I’ve enjoyed Girardi’s tenure as manager so far, particularly his skill with the bullpen and keeping those guys healthy – a refreshing change after Joe Torre’s reign of terror (ask Scott Proctor, Mike Myers, Paul Quantral… you know, anybody that pitched out of the pen for Torre). Still, when he plays match ups in the first inning, I get annoyed – you can imagine what I was thinking when he went to match up strategies and started intentionally walking guys in the first inning of the first game of the season with his ace on the mound! On the other hand, I loved when he brought the extra infielder into the game, even if it was Eduardo Scissorhands.
I think things can only improve from here. Sabathia and Kuroda should round into form, I’m sure Sweaty Freddy will find his splitter and reinforcements are on the way.