Sunday, May 24, 2009

Game 44: Aces High

It's a beautiful afternoon on a holiday weekend, but this game makes it pretty tempting to stay inside. Perhaps you have a screened-in porch you could watch it on? This afternoon will feature another lefty on lefty tilt, except this time it occurs at the top of the rotation. CC Sabathia will oppose Cole Hammels for the tenth and final game of the current homestand during which, the Yanks are 8-1 with four walkoffs. It has been a ravishing success so far, regardless of what happens this afternoon, but doesn't 9-1 just look so much better than 8-2? The Bombers are tied with the Red Sox and a half game behind the Jays. 

Like Sabathia, Hamels got off to a bit of a rough start, but his ERA has declined in every start since his first. Back on April 28th, Hamels rolled/twisted/sprained his ankle fielding a bunt against the Nationals. He didn't end up on the DL and only missed 10 days - essentially one start. Since his return, he has given up 5ER, 15H and 5BB, and in the process, lowering his ERA to 4.95.

The last three times CC Sabathia has taken the ball, he's averaged 8IP, 1ER, and 4H. If the Yanks didn't explode for 7 runs in the bottom of the 7th during his last start, he probably would have come back out for the 8th. He has struck out 20 and walked only 6, and hasn't needed more than 112 pitches in any game to do it. This is one of the stretches that the Yankees paid the big money for. If every one of your starters gave you eight innings of one run ball, you'd have a lot more nine game winning streaks. 

A-Rod is back at 3B today, as Nick Swisher rides the pine. After hitting .312 with a 159 OPS+ in April, Swish has plummeted back to earth (and possibly into the mantle), with an anemic .117 and 25 OPS+. He is slugging .233 this month. Ouch. Robby Cano, who is hitting .435 over the past week will bat 5th (behind A-Rod) today. 

Will it be a pitchers duel or a slugfest? If this song was a baseball game, the final score would be like 14-10.

Running, scrambling, flying,
Rolling, turning, diving, going in again,
Run, live to fly, fly to live, do or die,
Run, live to fly, fly to live. 
Aces high.

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