Wednesday, July 2, 2008
Mo and Melky criticized; Joba given a pass: Do I hate Latinos?
Yes. Of course I do. Which is evidenced by the fact I love Spanish language, culture and food. Also, my favorite athletes are Rivera and Bernie. Still, all kidding aside I am going to do the unthinkable, criticize Mo. Rivera has compiled a perfect 0.0 era in save situations this year. This is fantastic obviously. However, he has given up 4 runs in 7 innings in which the game was tied and has compiled a 1-3 record in such situations. This is good for a 5.14 era. Yes, many closers struggle in tie games because they don't come in with the same intensity or adrenaline rush that they do when they know they can end the game. However the G-d like Rivera has always been above this problem throughout his brilliant hall of fame career. It is frustrating that a guy who is having his finest season overall to date has been downright bad in tie game situations. Tonight's game was very winable if Mo had simply been his usual brilliant self in the 9th inning of a 2-2 game.However, a double to Ian Kinsler and a single by Michael Young put the game away against a pathetic Yankee offense. Put another way, Mo feel free to give up 1 run when you come in with a 2 run lead or 2 runs when you come in with a 3 run lead instead of giving up 1 run when the game is tied.
This leads to my next problem.
What the hell is wrong with Melky Cabrera. Melky is now down to a paltry 239 average as he in the throngs of a slump the likes of which I have never seen before. It reached the point of no return tonight when Melky hit into a double play down 1 in the 9th shortly after Betemit lead off with a walk. Melky is killing this team. He is always up with several men on base and is consistently leaving these ducks on the pond. I don't know if something is in his head or if he hears the footsteps of Brett Gardner but Melky needs to be moved into a utility role for the time being. He is as sure an out as there is in the game right now. If you don't believe me , Melk is now 0 for his last 19. Lets continue to see how Gardner fares with a week's worth of games under his belt.
Finally I give Joba a pass. He did not pitch well and he was horribly inefficient as threw a robust 91 pitches in only 4 innings of work. Still, thanks to another strong bullpen effort, The Yankees more than made up for Joba's poor outing. He is learning how to be a consistent and dominant starter. Part of this process is necessarily learning that sometimes a double play is better than a strikeout and that it is okay to have balls hit the bats of hitters. I trust Joba will continue to improve in this regard. So this is why Joba gets a pass.