Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Dr. Feelgood

Yesterday's ballgame was really the picture of a feel good game. A lot of things happened to make you smile. Let's count them one by one. You'll get a sense of why that game was so satisfying after the rundown.

1. Derek Jeter busted out of his 2 for 11, and 8 for 40 skid with a big 3/5 night that featured an absolute bomb to dead center for his 10th home run. The fans chanted "MVP" with about as much conviction as I've seen all season for the Captain.

2. Abreu seems like he's 1/3 with a walk every night. He has a .346/.424/.462 line in pinstripes which goes for an .886 OPS.

3. Giambi is stinging the ball lately. He was only 1/3 with a walk and a sac fly, but it felt like more the way he was swinging the bat.

4. A-Rod made some very slick plays in the field and showed a really good arm. He was also 1/3 with a walk and 2 RBIs. The ball he hit to Cabrera bounced off the shortstops face and he smiled. So did I. Funny.

5. Cano is also swinging a great bat. He only had one hit, but it was a very nice one on a ball low and inside. He stroked it into right field and continues to impress. Plus, he's not Miguel Cairo.

6. One of my favorite things about tonight was Jorge Posada breaking the longest hitless drought of his career at 0 for 25 with a 3/4 performance including a line drive home run that went out of the park so fast that Jim Kaat commented he high fived Tony Pena on his way past 1st. Hip Hip....Jorge!

7. Craig Wilson is quietly putting up a .300/.300/.525 line for the Yanks. The .300 OBP draws attention to the fact that he has no walks against 13 Ks in 10 games, but the .525 slugging is wonderful. Andy Phillips, we hardly knew ye.

8. LECHE!!!!!!!! The other favorite part of the night was Melky going 3/4 with 2 runs. He seems to get better and better every game. Much like Cano did last year. He's now at .282/.358/.416 which is only a .774 OPS, but looking more closely reveals that he's .313/.373/.507 for a .880 OPS in July and August combined! Se hace un cuerpo muy bien!

(I left out Damon, who scored twice, but I didn't feel good as a result of anything he did, so I skipped him. Get you tomorrow bro.)

9. Randy Johnson was sharp again through 7. His 2 run 7th didn't even bother me because it never felt like it was snowballing out of control. It was midly annoying, but I thought he was excellent all game. The ovation from the fans on his 4,500th K was a nice Stadium moment for him. One of his few so far.

10. Kyle Farnsworth hit 100 about 10 times. That was nice to watch. He had control of his heat tonight, which you can't always say. His 90 MPH slider was working too. Impressive.

(I'll leave out Mo, because his feel good moments are bigger than this game. It was beneath him.)

The only things I didn't like we're Jim Kaat and Michael Kay's discussion of the Angels leading the Majors in "productive outs". That's a really backhanded compliment if I've ever heard one. Like, "For a fat girl, she's got a pretty face.", or, "This sauce don't taste too bad if you put a lot of salt." I'm all for making a productive out if there's an out to be made, but the really productive out is the one you don't make when you hit a home run over the center field wall. The Angels are smack dead in the middle of the Major League pack in runs scored. Maybe, if they turned some of those "productive outs" into "productive hits" they'd be a better ballclub.

The other thing I didn't care for was all the bunting. It is what it is, but you need to have your head examined when you ask Bobby Abreu to bunt with runners on 1st and 2nd with nobody out. I mentioned earlier that Abreu has a .346 average in pinstripes. He also has a .424 OBP which means he's just as likely to walk the man to third without making the out as he is anything else. It was bad enough that he laid down his first sac bunt since 1998, but he did it after working the count to 2-1. I couldn't find the chart, but I'm sure OBP goes up when guys are ahead in the count. Just say "No" Joe Torre.

Here are the numbers for the teams in the 4 game series. The Yankees and Angels split at 2 games apiece.

Yankees Bats
.307/.389/.551 (.940 OPS)
19 runs on 7 doubles and 8 home runs
2/3 in stolen bases

Angels Bats
.285/.347/.409 (.756 OPS)
16 runs on 5 doubles and 4 home runs
10/12 in stolen bases

Yankees Starters
21.2 IP
4.57 ERA
1.662 WHIP
9 walks, 13 strikeouts

Angels Starters
25 IP
3.96 ERA
1.600 WHIP
12 walks, 21 strikeouts

Yankees Pen
14.2 IP
3.07 ERA
1.023 WHIP
3 walks, 10 strikeouts

Angels Pen
9 IP
7.00 ERA
1.667 WHIP
4 walks, 10 strikeouts

There you have it. I wanted more from the Yankees in this series, but we have a 2 game lead on the Red Sox (3 in the loss) and the Orioles are up next. That's the double feel good ending for today. See you tomorrow. Go Yanks!