Monday, April 28, 2008

What a tough loss for Yankees

I am just glad that Wang was able to stop our three-games losing streak. On top of that, Wang did this on the road.

If we are able to split this series against CLE on their ball park and finish our record one game above .500, we will be in good shape. Even though we lost today game, we still will be fine, especially when you consider what a tough schedule we have in April and how inconsistent our offense, pitching, defense are. Of course, we also have a lot of injuries as well.

What a tough blow for Yankees when we probably lose Posada for a long time. I hope we see Posada very soon. Before that, I am sure our bombers will be able to weather this storm and come through on top again.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Why no one pay more attention on defense?

Talk about ugly(ok! maybe not pretty) defense. We really need to tighten our defense, especially when Ensberg at 3B and Giambi at 1B. If we want to have a nice, clean, well-played ball game, we really need to improve at this aspect, especially when you consider how important defense will be in the playoff. When I saw at least couple of rusty defenses from both Ensberg at 3B yesterday and Giambi at 1B yesterday and tonight(7th inning Pop-up/8th inning Thome's RBI Single), I realized how much better A-Rod's defense has been improved since he has joined Yankees.

I am a little bit different than most baseball fans who enjoy watching offense than defense. Actually, I enjoy watching defense at most sports, such as basketball, football.etc. Since I start watching baseball, my Taiwanese team never has a strong offense and we always focus on defense, pitching and small ball. That's why I always pay more attention on defense, pitching and tactics. If you guys expect reading more about offense on my blog, you guys probably won't feel satisfied.

When Posada and Molina recover from their injuries fully, I think we can call up Shelley Duncan to play right fielder or first baseman, But, I like Ensberg playing 1B. I always feel Shelley Duncan play right fielder better than first baseman.

I also think we really need a long reliever in the bullpen. Maybe is it Darrell Rasner's time? I do change my mind about Ross Ohlendorf. Talking about what an idiot I am when I made up my mind too soon. I do think Ohlendorf have potential being a good setup man "if " he can keep improving his command of all pitches.

I am a little bit surprised that Joe Girardi hasn't addressed defense, but I think he will do it later when you consider Yankees have been struggled with their offense so far this season.

Updated: Giambi had few more ugly defense tonight and I was not so impressed by Ensberg's defense as well, but it seems his defense is much better than preview game. Rusty is probably the reason for him, but it certainly is not Giambi's excuse. I miss A-Rod over there.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

A Toxic Yankees fan..

I know, I know, I am still online. I am going to go to bed after this post. I was about turning off my computer, but somehow decide to go to Peter's LoHud blog again. Peter has an amazing great post about Yankees' 9-9(.500) record. He speaks my mind. I can't put in words better than he just did. Just in case, you must check it out if you somehow miss it.

Crazy Yankees fan...

I just finish some works which are due to today without sleeping too much for two days. Of course, I somehow find some time to watch Yankees-Red Sox games. I know, I know. I am crazy, but I think most Yankees fans are the same as me.

I have two more works to do before Monday, so I really need to catch some sleep right now. If you were me who didn't sleep for two days and watched Yankees-Red Sox series, you would certainly feel frustrated at getting news that Yankees lost to Orioles when you just turned on the computer.

There is something wrong in that 6th inning, but it seems to me that Hughes has an improved decent outing. Because Yankees lost this game, I don't think a lot of yankees fans will have positive reaction. Patience, Yankees fans. This is only the 18th game of 2008 season. After sleeping for few hours, I will catch on Hughes' start and figure out what happened while I start doing my other works.

By the way, I catch some interesting news from Taiwanese website regard Wang. I will post them later.

Friday, April 18, 2008

This is our captain.

"If Kyle said he slipped, he slipped."

"Close. I get hit all the time. Close doesn't hurt. When you get hit, it hurts"

If there is any good thing about Joba's absence...

If I don't make mistakes, I think I mention this earlier during spring training. It's hard to find out Joba's replacement if we have Joba in the bullpen. It's good time for us now to find out who he is and we can move Joba back into rotation smoothly later on.

Why keep pitching to Manny?

Well, Manny beat us. I know, I exaggerate the fact, but this is probably the truth when you consider the final score is 7-5. You may scream at Television,"Why Yankees keep pitching to him?". I somehow come up with a reasonable theory.

Before going into my theory, I have to say that I understand every game counts even the ones in April. Here we go.

First of all, You can't be a successful athlete if you're not a strong competitor.

Secondly, Yankees need to find a way to get Manny out. You can't find out how to get Manny out if you always pitch around him. One day, We are going to face him at much more important moment and need to get him out, such as games in August, September or playoffs. If all our pitchers don't try to figure out that game plan now(April) and try to execute it now(April), when they are going to find out that game plan. There must be one way to get him out. No one is perfect and Manny's batting Ave is not 1 as well.

As the possibility of signing Manny this off-season, I don't think Red Sox will let him go one way or the other, so there is no point to discuss that. I think Theo will pick up his 2009 option while Manny and Boras may want a longer extension.

PS. It seems I am right on the money. Joe Girardi use Mussina(3IP), Albaladejo(3 IP), Farnsworth(1 IP-New Farnsworth? I mean that scoreless inning) and Traber(2 IP). He also give Mo another day off which is two days in a row. Great Job, Joe.

By the way, I still think Moose will be fine as no. 5 pitcher if he keep pitching like has done so far this season, especially after reconfiguring rotation.

Ross Ohlendorf...

I have been said this many times and you guys probably are tired of hearing this. I like the way Joe Girardi manage his lineup and bullpen. I think we will see Moose, Albaladejo, Billy Traber, Kyle and Mo tonight no matter what the score is. I expect Girardi won't overuse bullpen guys.

One more thing I want to address is about Ross Ohlendorf. I have been watched him pitching for a while. Ohlendorf has dominant stuff for sure, but I am not sure he has enough command on his pitches to be effective reliever pitcher. He may need more seasons down AAA. Is it time to give Darrell Rasner or Scott Patterson a shot? or Will you give Ohlendorf more time to gain that experience at the major? How do you guys think?

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Great win for Yankees, not so good for Wang

I am sure tons of people will show up to say, " See, I told you, Wang is not an ACE" after this outing. I am kind of sensing this happening at my preview posts. Even after that great outing at Fenway park last Friday, a lot of people still come out to say that Wang was just lucky because Red Sox hit so many balls hard without getting good results and he was not dominant at all. People expect ACE is a power pitcher with high strikeout numbers. Wang is a contact pitcher with great command and the ability to pitch deep in the game. He never will be "ACE" in a lot of people's mind if he can't pile up strikeout numbers.

Wang was terrible without question, but he pitched great three games in a row before this one. You can't expect him to be perfect all the time because he is human being like everyone else. This is just a reminder how good Wang has been for Yankees, especially how many innings he has eaten up for us. We just simply can't take him for granted.

Baseball is a team sport. I am glad to see Wang's teammates pick him up this time after he has been picked them up so many times. LaTroy Hawkins, Billy Traber and Brian Bruney come up big tonight, especially Hawkins and Bruney. I still feel the same way before season starts which Hawkins will be a good addition for Yanks. I concern Yankees' bullpen a little bit when we have Moose, Hughes, Kennedy up for next three games. We really need an off day to reconstruct the order of our rotation.

Anyway, Moose will go for Yankees tomorrow against Josh Beckett tomorrow. Let's wait and see what will happen. I often hear people saying, Wang is not an ACE because he is a one-pitch pitcher. When his sinker is off, he is in trouble. I want to ask these people one thing, If Beckett doesn't have his curve ball, will he be in trouble as well? In my opinion, Any pitcher without his best pitch will be in trouble, no matter what his best pitch is. And then people will come out to say, that's why he is not an ACE because he can't gut it out like a lot of "ACES" will be able to do. I am not sure how many "ACES" will be able to gut it out against Red Sox when they like Wang without sinkers, sliders and changeup all night. Wang may be able to do that against weak opponent, not Red Sox.

I also have one more question for you guys. When I watch Wang struggling through all night, I don't understand one thing. Why not just throw some four seamers for strike which Wang has around mid 90s when he don't have command on two seamers, sliders and changeup all night? When Wang try to command new pitch in the major league level which is not easy, I am sure the command of his sinker will take some hits as well.

I hope Posada or Molina will be back soon, I think Wang probably will be a little better than he was last night if one of them was there instead of Chad Moeller. Wang is not one of those pitchers call their own pitches, such as Moose. He need a good catcher to rely on, especially on the day he has nothing to offer.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Red Sox is coming, again

I always trust Andy because I know he will try his best and find a way to come through, but Farnsworth certainly is not on my trusty list for sure. I was sweating all the time during that 8th inning which just last 10 pitches, but it seems it lasts longer than that.

I like the way Joe Girardi manage his starting lineup, but we certainly need a healthy catcher and Shelley Duncan. How can we come away with just 5 runs tonight? I still don't understand it.

I know we are going to play against Boston for another two games, but I really hate to play Red Sox again this soon, especially on April. Wang and Mussina will go for us. When Wang was asked about it by Taiwanese media, he said he understood the situation of bullpen and young pitchers. Therefore, he will try to pitch at least 7 inning every time out. Sound great for me. By the way, has a very nice detailed article about Wang. Click here to check it out, you will understand Wang and Taiwan more after reading it.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008



Our captain is BACK and contribute 2RBI immediately. Kennedy pitches a good game. On top of that, We will have Pettitte, Wang the next two games.

This game is from relax to nervous to sweat to angry to happy, right?

We all know they play indoor ballpark. If weather is the reason why our offense is struggling, we certainly can see why we struggle at playoff, right? We may need to put the top on New Yankees Stadium, right? Just Kidding...

ACE? Wang? who cares...

I am not going to keep talking all negative things about my team. Instead, I am going to talk about that great Wang's start. I learned this lesson while I rooted for my favorite Taiwanese pro baseball team who lost a lot. Of course, In the end, they finally won a title. I am not trying to compare Yankees to my favorite Taiwanese pro baseball team, but the reason why those Yankees games are so special and emotional for us because Yankees is our favorite team and we love them. Be happy and enjoy the moment, Yankees fans, especially for my readers.

Before going into my post, go to check this post from Dom Amore's baseball blog. He came up with a theory why Wang was so terrible last ALDS. It seems a lot of people wonder about that as well. My take? No matter the truth of matter is which we never will find out, no excuse. I think Wang will be the same boat on this with me. Sometimes it takes some failures and hits to let people grow up to another level. Wang keep improving and his humble attittude since called up in 2005 which is the most important thing for me. The same goes to Hughes, Kennedy and Joba as well. They won't turn into ACEs overnight. It takes time.

A lot of people start admitting Wang's ACE status. Me? The pitching style Wang has probably never strike 200 peoples out in a season. People always can come up with all different kinds of reasons that he is not ACE. Tons of people will come up to say that once Wang has one bad game. This is just how ridiculous to play for New York Yankees. That's why I always feel you always have to give extra credits for players who can succeed in New York. I don't care whatever people want to call Wang. I am just glad he pitch well on the road and help my Yankees to win another game. According to Molina's words to Taiwanese reporters,"I don't think about no hitter. Only thing I know is that Wang want to win every game so much. I just try to work on that with Wang"

First of all, a lot of people image what would be if Abreu catch that home-run ball. I have different opinion on this possible "no-hitter"stuff. I am glad it turns out this way because this actually increase the chance Wang pitch complete game. If that no hitter still in tact, Wang and Red Sox hitters will approach game differently. When Wang was asked how he felt that home-run after game by Taiwanese media, Wang said, it's his fault to let hitters hit that far and he had great defense all night. He only wants to pitch complete game to help team win.

some tidbits:

According to their manager, Red Sox's game plan against Wang is waiting a sinker which doesn't sink. Unfortunately, they don't get one the whole night.

According to Molina, they threw four-seamers, sinkers, sliders during the game. Wang's sliders, change-ups and splitters are getting better every time out, but it still take more time to become his out-pitch.

According to Wang. The game plan against Papi is throwing a lot of insider pitches. Against Manny? Let him guess the location of pitches(inside or outside)

In the past, He always tries too hard to aim the corner. This year, He just wants to throw strikes and uses different pitches, sequences and locations to confuse Boston's hitters.

The reason for more fly ball outs? He threw more four seamers, but he lost control on sinkers at 5th innings and got command back between innings.

My conclusion? Wang is still improving. So does all the kids.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Relax and Use energy to pray for Joba's father

First of all, nothing is more important than family for me. Joba, take all the time you need. Taiwanese believe God will bless good guys. Your father will get better.

On top of that, We got more injury. Molina got hurt as well and Kids haven't pitched well so far.

Guys, Relax, Are you looking at calendar? Are you sure you are looking at calendar now? It's only April 14th and our Yankees is only 1 game under .500 despite how terrible our offense is, how many injury we have so far and how bad kids have been pitched. Take a deep breath. When you consider how tough April schedule we have, we will be fine if we are able to hang around .500 at the end of April.

I believe my team. Kids will be fine. You have to expect some starts like them from kids which are normal. Hughes and Kennedy will bounce back without doubt. I believe Wang, Pettitte and Moose will carry this team. I saw good signs from our hitters, such as Giambi, Cano. I believe they will score a lot of runs soon. I also believe Jeter and Posada will be back soon. R...E...L...A...X...

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Game 2 of Yanks at Fenway~This is what I want, I am fine with any outcome

Right now, I am waiting for that damn rain delay. As you guys know, I am in Sydney now, so I am in totally different time zone as where the games have been played. I usually watch games the day after, in the middle of night or early morning, so you guys have to forgive me about the way I update my blog.

I am very sorry about this, but I have to admit. I was falling sleep around 3~5 innings and woke up around 6 innings. I don't know the outcome of this game now, but we got another good pitching performance from Moose who gives us a chance to win as No. 5 pitcher, especially against tough Boston Red Sox lineup. If we get this kind of performance out of Moose the rest of season, we are in great shape.

I won't second guess the decision not to walk Manny under that circumstances, but I do think Joe Torre would walk Manny. I know Youkilis is not Manny, but he is tough out. I don't think we will be in better situation to face Youkilis when bases were loaded, so I am fine with that decision.

I guess Joe Girardi chose to let Moose make the call. I like it. Just like Joe Girardi chose to let Wang pitch complete game last night. I do think Mo would pitch 9th inning last night based on the tight score if Torre were still here.

We are in the position we want. No matter how this game turn out to be, I am fine with that. Top of 8th inning. 2 on, 2 out, A-Rod vs Papelbon. Let's Go Yankees.

P.S. I told you we will be fine if we win the last game vs KC because I know Andy is the man who always come out big for us. I like Joe Girardi playing a lot of small ball recently, especially Yankees' offense is still not there yet. Melky and Molina probably are two outstanding examples for that.

I also like how Girardi manage bullpen. You can see the great example from Kennedy's game at KC. I heard Joe's interview at radio. The reason he eventually let Kennedy pitch because he wouldn't overuse certain bullpen guys. On top of that, In order to hold back Kenndy, you can avoid losing him for just two innings and burning bullpen or risk hurting young pitcher(Kennedy).

By the way, I will post some stuff about Wang's game later after I catch up more sleep and more information from Taiwanese news

Updated: Well, the result didn't turn out too well for us, but it's a overall good game. Let us see Hughes pitching and experience his first rivalry

Thursday, April 10, 2008

2005 again?

Is this just me? Why do I have similar feeling I had back to 2005? I remember our Bombers looked old and struggled to score runs at the beginning of 2005 season while starting pitchers also were inconsistent. Of course, they have a slow start in 2005. On top of that, all teams in AL East got off slow starts except Orioles who was getting a hot start. Sound Similar, right?

Basically, our bombers were inconsistent the whole 2005 season and stormed back to grab AL East title. We also got tons of injuries back to 2005. I hope this won't be the trend this season. But, the difference between 2005 and 2008 is having a strong farm system now.

I am pretty satisfied at Yankees' record when you consider they only score 25 runs for 9 games which is average 2.8 runs per game. If Yankees somehow win tomorrow game and keep win enough games a little better than .500, we will be fine.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

A team without SS and Catcher?

This is one of those games you simply got beat when opponent play an overall better game than you, including starting pitching, bullpen, defense, and offense. This is also one of those games you don't care the outcome too much when one of your important players left game earlier.

It seems it's impossible to have injury-free season. After having so many injuries from pitchers last season, the injury bugs bite position players this season. When your team struggle to score runs and more and more position players go down for injuries, you know your team is in trouble.

Man! The list is getting long. Giambi, not 100% recovery Matsui, Jeter, Posada, Damon(possible? base on my observation from today game)....

I only hope they go to DL if they can't play for a while and we actually can call up someone to help us out. Ego or pride sometimes play a role on this DL stuff. For example, Johnny Damon play through pain earlier last season.

I am done with writing negative stuffs about my team. I am not used to do this. It's still early and won't make me panic this early. We have tough schedule ahead this month. If we can just keep our heads above water long enough behind healthy pitching staff and Jose Molina behind the plate, we will be fine.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Your call?

So, did I tell you to relax a little bit? Mussina pitched great ball game yesterday and Yankees split series with Rays. If we keep taking most of three-games series and split most of four-games series, we will be fine. By the way, we score more than 5 runs, right?

But, the bad news is our captain hurt. They sent Jeter to MRI and didn't know when he is going to play. I think Jeter's injury must be serious enough to concern. Well, If I were Joe Girardi, I would move A-Rod to SS and play Ensberg at 3B. If they don't put Ensberg into lineup under this kind of situation, I don't know why we need Ensberg on the roster. I know it's not easy to make this kind of decision because there is some egos among all star players. We will see how Girardi deal with that.

Monday, April 7, 2008

lousy blogger with her lousy Yanks and team?

I have to admit one thing. When it comes down to being a blogger, I am a lousy one. Sorry for lack of posts recently. Being busy should not be a legit reason. I always think and check more than twice before posting any opinion because I want to make sure I say something it's worthy to read, otherwise I will just delete it.

One thing I remain pretty consistently is trying post positive somethings about my New York Yankees. Few Yankees(Kennedy, Andy, Mussina, Farnsworth and Hakwins) all have a rough week for sure, but I am not going to go through that. Even more Yankees fans complain about Yankees' 3-3 record and slow offense start. Well, I actually think We will be fine if we get a split with Rays when we win first series with Blue Jays. It's not easy to win a four-games series against any team and it's normal to split them.

I think Kennedy, Andy and Mussina all will be fine for different obvious reasons. As a whole, I like what I saw from our pitching staff. As long as they all stay healthy the whole season, our pitching staff will be better than 2007 for sure. I haven't gotten the point to worry about our offense for sure.

The most impressive thing I got during the first week of 2008 season is the ability to push the right button and recognize his players from Joe Girardi. For example, He put Matsui on the 8th hole on the opening day because of his bad stats against Roy Halladay, but move him behind A-Rod last night after seeing few good swings from him. He also left Wang in the 7th inning on the Opening day, but quickly made a pitching change last night when he recognized Wang was tired in the 7th last night.

We are going to have a good season behind Joe Girardi. I can feel that.

Thursday, April 3, 2008

What a last opening game!

I must start with this off-line stuff because I was smiling when I saw Mo's styling outfit on the post-game interview. Of course, this comes with Mo's signature big smile. Can't image watching Yankees games one day with this guy.

I actually think Halladay pitch better than Wang, but baseball is a team game which it takes every guy on the roster to win. That's why Yankees win this game when Yankees got amazing defense from Melky, Jeter, A-Rod and Giambi, good pitching from Wang, Joba and Mo and enough offense against tough pitcher Halladay.

Even though Wang doesn't look very sharp which would be expected for first start of season, It's still pretty good for me to pitch 7 IP 2ER on only 92 pitches against Halladay's Blue Jays at Opening Day. I am so sick of nonstop doubts toward Wang with variety of reasons. Just give some credits to who deserve it no matter he is an "ACE" or not. The guy know how to win and always give us innings.

Back to the game, How about Wang's 8 ERA for Spring training? Nothing. Wang was pleased at mixing pitches well and pitching inside more after game, including fews sliders, change-ups, splitters that got him few outs. Of course, he credited this win to teammates' great defense behind him.

Joe Girardi is certainly different than Joe Torre when he replaced Candy bar with Loud Music in order to keep bombers happy and healthy. Need more evidences? Girardi went to mound to check with Wang when game was at 2-2 with 2-outs one man on third.

What did he say to Wang? According to Wang, Girardi asked him: "Can you get this last one?" ; Wang answered: " Yes" and Girardi simply tapped Wang and said:"This is your game! Go get them" before leaving the mound. Great manager's job.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

You never know...

That's why I don't make prediction because you never know what will happen for a baseball game. I don't mind they postponed the game and play it tomorrow night because I don't want someone get hurt because of rainy condition. On top of that, we don't want to throw Wang's start out of window as well. Am I disappointed? Of course. I woke up 3:50am in Sydney for this game and fought with sleeping bugs for postponed announcement. I am going to go back my bed for another few hours now.