Record for the Month: 18-10, 3rd best record in AL
Player of the Month: Surprisingly, Alex Rodriguez. A-Rod batted .330/.416/.615 with 8 HR and 28 RBI. The only one of those categories he didn't lead the team in was OBP (Jorge Posada, in a month where he missed a lot of time, did .323/.429/.565 in 77 PA).
The Pitcher of the Month: Mike Mussina, again. He had a 3-0 record with a 2.53 ERA on the month, in 42.7 IP. Runner up goes to Mariano Rivera, who recorded 7 saves and a 3-1 record, with a 1.53 ERA.
Dregs of the Month: The really bad performances are in the pitching staff--"standouts" in this area are Aaron Small (0-2, 7.78 ERA in 19.7 IP) and Randy Johnson (3-2, 6.62 ERA in 32.3 IP). On the side with the bats, Robinson Cano had an empty batting average month (.273/.302/.339). In a much smaller ration of plate appearances, Terrence Long murderlized the offense (.214/.313/.250 in 32 PA).
Story of the Month: The outfield has been decimated by the injuries to Hideki Matsui and Gary Sheffield. Matsui's injury, which feels like it happened an eternity ago, has him out for the season, with an off-chance of returning in the final month. Sheffield's injury has him out for the time being, with a possibility that he could miss the rest of the season. For effective purposes, you can't really count on either man to contribute the rest of the way.
In the meanwhile, some good things have developed from this. Melky Cabrera posted a .318/.392/.394 performance, given playing time in May. Despite the odd defensive hiccup Melky's shown a strong arm in the outfield, and he looks like a keeper. Andy Phillips got some playing time in May and finally started to hit a little, .306/.333/.389. Phillips needs to hit for more power to cement a spot on this club, but at least he's getting a better chance than ever before. Not just that, but the Yanks have started to look at the free talent market more closely, and have signed a few players--Carlos Pena and Erubiel Durazo, possibly Richie Hidalgo, too--who could pay dividends later in the season.
On the downside, we have Terrence Long, rightfielder, a greater role than we'd prefer for Bernie Williams, and as an extension, Scott Erickson, bullpen stalwart. Bernie actually had a nice May (.301/.353/.409), but he'd probably be at his best doing only spot duty in the outfield, DHing and pinch-hitting more. Long and Erickson are a couple of veterans whose main quality is veteran-ness. Hopefully, Octavio Dotel and Bubba Crosby can come off the DL and kick these guy's butts off the roster.
- OK. Derek Jeter comes back from his injury, just in time for Alex Rodriguez to get "stomach disorder." We'd be whining about not being able to catch a break, if the Yanks weren't just a half game out of first place.
- By the way, the Red Sox are having some injury problems of their own, losing the Beast, Willie Mo Pena, to wrist surgery just as they get Coco Crisp back into the lineup.
- That's almost as bad as me writing about Mariano Rivera putting the team on his back, and then the next day, he messes up his back tying his shoelaces.
- Seen a couple of great indie films recently, teen-set noir Brick and the 1969 French film, Army of Shadows. Both are very highly recommended and I hope to have reviews up soon.