Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Are They Doing It With Mirrors?

Far ahead of expectations Vernon Wells celebrates another Yankee win.
Somehow, against all expectations, the Yankees keep on winning. A bunch of their stars are injured (heck, even Brian Cashman is on crutches) but it doesn't seem to matter. They recently passed the very successful Red Sox and are in first place.

They play a series against the Blue Jays later this week and I would have expected that New York would be in last and the Blue Jays in first, but it's the other way around.

Say, I couldn't figure out why the heck they rehired him in the first place, but when are the Jays gonna get rid of  John Gibbons?

It seems like forever since the Jays had a crew that got clutch hits. It is interesting that they have three of the leaders in home runs. Encarnacion, Arencebis, and Bautista, respectively are tied for first, 5th, and ninth. But where are they in RBIs? They are 8th, 36th, and 27th.

The Yanks are winning with just one star performing as he usually does, i.e., Robinson Cano. Ichiro Suzuki is recovering from a terrible start. Francesco Cervelli got off to a surprisingly good start and then broke his hand, to join Jeter, A-Rod, Teixeira, and Granderson on the DL.

Jayson Nix congratulates Lyle Overbay on a home run
that gave him two of his five RBIs against the Royals on Friday.
Up steps Chris Stewart to take his place and hit better than he's supposed to. Jayson Nix has done pretty well at shortstop, though he is no Jeter. Vernon Wells is hitting a lot better than I thought he would. He's tied for the team lead (.299) with Cano and has nine homers and 22 ribbies. In his last two seasons out west he hit .218 and .230 and he already has almost as many homers as he had all last year.

Lyle Overbay has also hit better than expected and Travis Hafner, who's thrilled not to have to play the field, has been Mr. Consistent with a .999 OPS and a .582 Slugging Average.

Hiroki Kurado
It’s not any one thing you can point to. The Yanks are 3rd in home runs and ninth in Slugging, but fourteenth in Runs Scored, fifteenth in average, and sixteenth in OPB. Their staff is fourth in ERA, however, and they lead the AL with 17 saves (Rivera has 15 of those).

Their big three have been excellent. Hiroki Kurado is 5-2, with a 2.31 ERA and a 1.05 WHIP. C.C. Sabathia is 4-3, 3.23 and ancient Andy Pettitte is 4-2, 3.83. Even Joba Chamberlain, fresh off a dustup with Mariano Rivera, is pitching well.

"I still think we have a lot of good players," says Joe Girardi. "Maybe not the names of the guys we're used to having her, but guys that have had big years. They're playing extremely well. It seems to be a different guy every night finding a way to get it done for us."

Worse news for the rest of the league is that Curtis Granderson had eight hits in five rehab games with the Scanton Wiles-Barre Rail Riders last week and appears ready to return.

Final Note: Is Miguel Cabrera planning to win back-to-back Triple Crowns? He's second in average at .369, first in runs batted in (40), and only a few back of the lead in home runs.

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