Right now the Yankees‘ biggest problem is not that a Red Sox jersey was buried at the new stadium. It is that Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy are doing a pretty fair imitation of Tyler Clippard and Matt DeSalvo.
Thus begins today’s Joel Sherman’s article. The statistics actually imply that the Yanks’ biggest problem has been its anemic offense. Take last night’s crapfest as an example. Yeah, Hughes was awful. But the Dice Man was a couple of well-timed Yankee hits away from a Hughsian pitching line as well. Call it a gutsy performance by Matsuzaka, but the Yanks, when they’re right, don’t let him get out of the fifth inning last night. Alas, the Yanks’ bats haven’t been right all season. Maybe that will change tonight.
But then we’re still left with the problem of youth. The assumption is that the Yanks are eventually going to hit. We assume based on what we know about these established veterans. A-Rod is A-Rod. Jorge Posada is Jorge Posada. We hear these names and we think about a certain range of offensive stats that go with them. on the low end, Jeter will do this. On the high end, Jeter will bat .330, etc. We know these guys. We’ve spent some years getting to know them. But we don’t know Hughes and Kennedy that well. And so we’re presented with tonight’s game. It’s another chance to get to know Ian. Here’s what we know of him so far. He could be good. He could be bad. Eventually, we’ll all figure out which one it is. Or maybe we’ll not appreciate how good he is. Or maybe we’ll think he’s better than he is. This is an exciting time in Ian’s and our relationship.
On the other side, you got the Rays. All these years we thought we knew them! Suddenly, they seem different. Tonight they throw out their line-up of young seemingly up-and-coming talent (Evan Longoria has arrived by the way) to face young Ian. You never know what’s going to happen in one baseball game. That’s what makes it fun. So enjoy all the stuff you’ll be learning or unlearning tonight. Chat away!
New York Yankees Phil Hughes
Pete Abe has the line-up. The Captain is back. Cano sits and Alberto Gonzalez takes his place. There’s even a Morgan Ensberg cameo.
Chad Moeller is in the the house. Jose Molina–on pace to break the
single-season doubles record–is hurt. Quite a bit of change.
Also, I wasn’t quite sure where to fit this note, but my thoughts are with Joba and his family during this difficult time.