Monday, April 16, 2007

Week In Review: April 9-15, 2007

Record for the Week: 3-3, 31 runs scored, 21 runs allowed
Overall: 5-6, 4th Place AL East, 2 games behind the Red Sox

The Breakdown:

4/9 Yankees 8, Twins 2
Carl Pavano controlled the Twinkies' attack, while Bobby Abreu led the offense, with two singles, a homer, and 3 RBI.

4/10 Yankees 10, Twins 1
Johnny Damon with 3 RBI, A-Rod with his 6th homer in 7 games, and Andy Pettitte pitched 6 clean innings.

4/11 Yankees 1, Twins 5
It looked so promising--Moose on the mound, Ramon Ortiz on the other side--so promising until Mussina motioned to the dugout in the third inning, and took himself out of the game. Kyle Farnsworth spit the bit after some good relief work by Sean Henn, Scott Proctor, and Luis Vizcaino.

4/13 Yankees 4, A's 5
After more Kyle Farnsworth silliness (homer to Nick Swisher in the 7th) this one went 11 innings before the Yanks took the loss.

4/14 Yankees 4, A's 3
Like the previous game in reverse, the Yanks coming back from early deficits, before breaking out behind Jason Giambi's homer in the 13th.

4/15 Yankees 4, A's 5
It's strange when Mariano--the only guy who normally wears #42, anymore--blows one. I was actually on the phone when Marco Scutaro took the Sandman deep for a three-run shot, and I just trailed off in mid-sentence...of a business call. A fitting end to a lousy week for the team.

Player of the Week: Another three homers, another seven RBI, .364/.448/.864 line. Alex Rodriguez is having a monster April, and leading the league in homers through Sunday. Nice. Jorge Posada put in a good supporting performance, .348/.423/.478 and three doubles. Derek Jeter would make this list with his .360/.467/.360 week, but his defensive troubles continued--he now has six errors in eleven games. Suddenly, people we've never heard criticize Jeter's "d" are saying things like "It's a well-known fact that he's an overrated defender." Yeah, it was a well-known fact back in 2000. Where were these guys then?

As noted above, the starters corrected course after earning joint Dregs honors (dishonors?) last week. Andy Pettitte came back with two quality starts--he gets co-Player of the Week honors with A-Rod--Pavano pitched in one of his own, Kei Igawa and Darrell Rasner managed tolerable starts, going five innings.

Dregs of the Week: Kyle Farnsworth's 13.50 ERA for the week is a great hint. In a bullpen that has a couple of established righthanded setup guys in Proctor and Vizcaino, plus the surprisingly good Brian Bruney, Kyle the blockhead could be losing his his place in the feeding line. His effort was more than matched by Doug Mientkiewicz's .050/.136/.050 week. That's bad enough to make you forget Melky Cabrera's ultrabad .240/.231/.240 week, as well as the bomb Mariano gave up to Scutaro. Lucky them.

Story of the Week: ...and then there were two. At this point, the entire righthanded compliment of the Yankees starting rotation is down with injuries, which we're told are of the nagging type--so far. But hamstring pulls can be a nasty kind of nagging injury, and the fact that be if the injured fellows is Carl Pavano is just plain bad news. Last time he was going to "just miss the minimum" with a not-so-serious problem, we didn't see him in uniform again for more than two years.

The horrible thing is I saw this happening. I watched Pavano's start and thought, "Hey, that isn't bad at all. Guy knows how to pitch." I that point I should have known something bad was going to happen. Maybe I could have called in a warning to the Metrodome switchboard. Too late now.

Chase Wright, who looked good in Spring Training and dominant in his first two AA starts (five baserunners and 19 Ks in 14 innings) comes up to pick up the slack. Wright's a curveballer who tore up the Florida State League last year, albeit at the age of 23. He's not a horrible pick for the start since he's not considered a top prospect--still, it's surprising that with all the depth the Yanks picked up at starting pitcher, the guy who they're calling on is someone who has all of 2 games of experience at AA. It'll be an interesting game.

In the meanwhile, if you see Andy Pettitte or Kei Igawa, please treat them gently.

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