Last night did much to alleviate my pessimism over the afternoon blowout at the Stadium. Sidney Ponson showed why he keeps getting chances in the majors. As long as the clubhouse attendants keep the beer out of the clubhouse he seems to be able to focus and utilize all the talent in his pudgy arm.
His stuff was good last night. He had some trouble controlling his curve ball, but he had a good fastball that was sitting at around 92-94 for most of his time out there. Plus something has to said about the guile he used to escape several jams including a bases loaded nobody out situation in the second and another base loaded situation in the third.
Ponson wasn't mowing them down in Texas but he was doing enough to win games and with the Yankees, all he has to do is give them six innings of three or four run ball and the offense should carry him.
He may not last long but after last night he may throw a few manageable games before his departure. Today the Yanks will again battle Mr. Johan Santana and he will again face Andy Pettitte. Santana was solid that first game except the Yankees did manage to tag him for three home runs. Pettitte also pitched well, but had the misfortune of having Kyle Farnsworth follow him into the game.
You wonder when all those home runs are going to start catching up with Johan. Last season he was third in baseball in home runs allowed, and this year his totals are down slightly but still not good for a pitcher getting paid as much as he is getting.
I suppose it's a testament to his ability that long balls never beat him because he rarely gives them up with men on base. Anyway the Yankees don't usually hit him hard but they always scrap together a few runs off him and if Andy keeps pitching they way he has, then that should be enough.
Update: A little pregame note that deserves mentioning. According to Chad Jennings's Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankee Blog, Dave Robertson is in New York and ready to go. Robertson has been nothing short of spectacular at both Double A Trenton and Scranton. He posted a 1.39 ERA with 74 Ks in 51.2 innings between the two levels with most of the numbers coming at AAA. Opponents were also hitting a paltry .153 against him as well for the season.
Robertson could be what the Yankees are looking for in the eighth inning and I would rather see him get a chance to crash and burn beforeGirardi starts running Farnsworth or Hawkins out there again. Speaking of Hawkins lets hope this move means he is on his way out. The Yanks got their extra draft pick out of him so now I think this failed experiment can end.