Tuesday, June 03, 2008

Month in Review: May 2008

Record for the Month: 14-12, RS: 124, RA: 119

Player of the Month: The bats came alive this month, none more than the one belonging to Jason Giambi. Giambi's porn-stache makes him look like some bizarre refugee from the 70s, but if he continues to hit like he did in May (.315/.446/.644, team-leading 6HR and 14 RBI), he can walk around wearing a feather boa for all that Yankee fans will care. Hideki Matsui followed up strong on his good April, hitting .350/.409/.480 last month with 13 RBI and a team-leading 21 runs scored; Bobby Abreu also got hot with the bat (.330/.407/.570, 14 exta-base hits), although his fielding this month has been ghastly.

Giambi, however, has to share player of the month honors with a couple of pitchers. Mariano Rivera repeats his player-of-the-month honors from April, with an 0.64 ERA and 7 saves, and Darrell Rasner (3-1, 1.80 ERA in May), who came out this month throwing his middling fastball and decent slider around as if he had the heat of Nolan Ryan and the breaking ball of Ron Guidry. Sadly for Rasner, the season didn't end May 31: he got raked in his first start of June. Honorable mentions on the pitching staff go out to Edwar Ramirez (one run allowed in 11 2/3 May innings) and Mike Mussina (5-1, 3.72 ERA).

Dregs of the Month: Three players--Chad Moeller, Morgan Ensberg, and Alberto Gonzalez--combined for 82 AB in May, without a single extra-base hit. That's how the Yanks are rolling for depth right now. Ensberg was DFA'd in June, likely meaning that the Yanks threw away $1.75 million on a guy who barely got a chance to play. Shelley Duncan (.163/.213/.256), Jose Molina (.207/.230/.276), and Melky Cabrera (.234/.270/.319) also contributed to the team's unbalanced "Stars 'n' Scrubs" lineup. On the pitching side, it was a bad month to be a young Yankee, not named Joba. Phil Hughes went on the DL, Ian Kennedy sucked a bunch (0-1, 6.27 ERA in 4 starts) and then joined him, and Ross Ohlendorf--a guy who could move up, seeing how the Yanks will now be relying on Blockhead Kyle and Latroy Hawkins to get them from the starters to Rivera--was all over the place (6.94 ERA on the month, with four good outings and three awful ones). Oh, and Kei Igawa's name might as well be Pavano, right now. What are the odds he'll make another start in Pinstripes?

Story of the Month: ...is actually happening this month. A down-in-the-mouth Yankees congregation turns its lonely eyes to Joba Chamberlain, tonight, hoping that the beginning of his career as a starter helps get us over the disappointments of this season. Ask Mets fans about how young starters can make your year (see 1986) or break your heart (see Generation K).

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