Friday, May 17, 2013

Scandal Finale vs. Mariners

Last night was the finale of a 3-game series at home to the Seattle Mariners.

It was also the season finale of American Idol.  Not to many idols in this game, American or otherwise.

It was also the season finale of Scandal.  The Yankees played 3 games in this series, against the Seattle Mariners, and scored a total of 8 runs.  Now that is a scandal finale.

It was also the season finale of Grey's Anatomy, which is set in Seattle.  And, again, the Yankees resembled a medical drama.

In the top of the 5th, the Yankees were trailing 2-1, and Andy Pettitte started grimacing.  Joe Girardi didn't like that, so he consulted his Binder.  Under, "Pitcher, starting, grimace" it read: "Go to mound, talk to him, see how he feels. * " He did not check the asterisk, which read, "A pitcher is usually going to tell you he's all right, even if his arm feels like Jell-O." (Major League reference.)

Girardi pulled Pettitte, and the Yankees went on to lose, 3-2.  Although we can't really blame the bullpen.  Shawn Kelly allowed 1 run in 2 innings, 2 hits and no walks.  Boone Logan actually managed to pitch an inning and a third without setting the Stadium on fire.  And Adam Warren threw a scorelss 9th.

The Yankee pitchers allowed 3 runs on 7 hits and 3 walks.  That should have been enough to win.

The Yankees got 8 hits.  Three of them came from Curtis Granderson.  Oddly, none of those hits drove in a run, although he did score 1 of them.  The Yankee runs came on rookie David Adams doubling Grandy home in the 2nd, and Robinson Cano singling home Ichiro Suzuki in the 7th.  Other than that, there were singles by Ichiro, Brett Gardner and Chris Stewart -- more on that in a moment.

Vernon Wells and Lyle Overbay, who've been lovely surprises thus far, went a combined 0-for-6 with 3 strikeouts.  And Jayson Nix, starting at shortstop in place of the still-injured Derek Jeter, went 0-for-5, with 2 strikeouts and 5 men left on base.  That's right, 5 LOB.

That is a scandal.

WP: Oliver Perez -- yes, ex-Met Ollie Perez, alive and well in the Pacific Northwest.  SV: Tom Wilhelmsen (11).  LP: Pettitte (4-3).


Pettitte has a tight left trapezius muscle: That's the neck, shoulders and upper back.  Girardi thinks Pettitte will not miss his next start, which should be next Tuesday in Baltimore, although I wouldn't be surprised if Joe's Binder says, under "Pitcher, starting, muscle, tight, throwing side," "Hold him back another day."

But Stewart, who is already the Yankees' backup catcher, and is only starting because Francisco Cervelli is on the 60-Day Disabled List, pulled his groin in running out his hit in the 7th.  He could be headed for the DL as well.

Which means Austin Romine and his 37 career major league plate appearances and his -34 OPS+ this season will be starting.  (1-for-16, albeit the 1 hit is an RBI double.  And a hit-by-pitch.  So BA .063, OBP .118, slugging .125, .243 OPS.) Romine is 24, from Orange County, California.  He should be better than this by now.

In case you're wondering: The starting catcher for the last 2 years, Russell Martin, has a sizzling 154 OPS+ for the Pittsburgh Pirates.  However, Jesus Montero, whom the Yankees traded to the Mariners along with Hector Noesi for Michael Pineda -- who is apparently almost ready to throw rehab games and could reach the majors in June -- is batting a mere .204 with an OPS+ of 68.  Stewart's is 89, and before he got hurt Cervelli's was 136.  Montero's season, so far, would be an improvement on Romine's, but not Stewart's, and not by a long shot on Cervelli's, although Martin's would be.

So again citing the lousy trade of Montero for Pineda is pointless -- since, thus far, it's been a wash, and reversing it wouldn't be helping the Yankees much.

The Toronto Blue Jays come in for a weekend series.  Here's the pitching matchups for Pinstripes vs. Peskies:

Tonight, 7:00: Hiroki Kuroda vs. Mark Buehrle.  Could be a great pitchers' duel.  (But then, as John Sterling reminds us, "You know, Suzyn, you just can't predict baseball," so expect a slugfest.)

Tomorrow afternoon, 1:00: David Phelps vs. Brandon Morrow.

Sunday afternoon, 1:00: CC Sabathia vs. R.A. Dickey.  Battle of the initials, the Yankee ace vs. the Cy Young winner the Mets let get away (in this decade).  So far, Dickey's found that pitching against American League teams is hard.  Let's show him just how hard it is.

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