Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Sloppy Defense Derails Yanks

It has been awhile since the Yankees have played a game this poorly, actually they haven't played this poorly since their trip to Anahiem. The defense, Nick Swisher in particular and the left side of the infield cost the Yankees all night long. It begs the question as to why the Yankees have yet to call up another outfielder in the wake of Brett Gardner's thumb injury.

Aside from the shotty defense, CC Sabathia was far from the top of his game. He hard trouble locating his fastball and when he did get ahead of hitters he failed to put them away.

Sabathia hasn't quite been the pitcher the Yankees thought they were getting when they shelled out $160 million this off-season. While he hasn't been bad, he just hasn't been the same pitcher the Yankees saw in Cleveland never mind what they saw on the highlight reels from Milwaukee. The main culprit has to be his diminishing strikeout rate, which has fallen below his career of 7.47 k/9. They Yankees are banking on a strong second half from Sabathia and they need him to find his footing soon or hope that the offense will give him the support he needs to polish over his mistakes.

Sabathia, dare I say, needs to pitch a little bit more like A.J. Burnett who has been the Yankees ace for the past month and a half. Sabathia's performance will become even more crucial as Joba edges closer to his innings limit now that Wang is official done and Alfredo Aceves shoulder begins to act up as well.

It was gonna be a tough game for the Yanks considering what is at stake for the Rays in this series. A sweep would have devastated them and Scott Kazmir showed up big for Tampa Bay. Tomorrow brings about a match up of young hard throwing right-handers Matt Garza and Joba Chamberlain.

As an Eagles fan I would be remiss if I didn't offer my condolences to the family of Jim Johnson, the renowned defensive coordinator who kept the Eagles defense at the top of the NFL year after year. It was always exciting when the Eagles defense took the field. You never knew where the blitz was coming from, but you knew it was coming hard and fast. Johnson's defense was a joy to watch and he will be missed.


Dan said...

I didn't hear that about Jim Johnson. That is too bad. I admired his style of defense as well (except of course when Philly played Washington). It's pretty amazing that he coached up until the day he died.

Joey said...

As a giant fan, the highest compliment I can pay Jim Johnson is he was a really pain in the ass and made Eli look like a high school quarterback on more than 1 occasion. Johnson was battling cancer, but hasn't been the sole defensive mind in Philly for several months. As a show of ultimate respect, the Eagles kept him in that position mainly in title this off season.