Freddy Garcia did last night what he has been doing most of the year: keeping the Yankees in the game. He went 6+, allowing only 1 earned run (on a homerun to ex-Yankee Melky Cabrera no less). Girardi chose to pull him at the first sign of trouble in the 7th, even though Garcia had not yet topped 90 pitches. Clearly, Girardi thinks anything Garcia does past 6 innings is bonus and isn’t going to let him lose the game at that point. Last night, it worked, though in general it would be nice to see the rotation go deeper.
Notable player and their WPAs:
David Robertson: .228
That’s a crazy high WPA for just pitching an inning. Robertson inherited 2 runners from Garcia in the 7th and after a flyout and walk, he got 2 consecutive strikeouts to end the inning. The Yankee stadium gun had him at 97, which is clearly too high, but PitchFX had him almost hitting 95. With the nasty curve, that is a pretty lethal combination.
Alex Rodriguez: .127
A-Rod only had a single, but it drove it 2 runs that ended up being the game winners. Still seemed like a lot of grumbling via Twitter about A-Rod not getting an extra base hit. Let’s take the game winning single for now and hope the power comes back soon. Alex still doesn’t seem quite comfortable out there.
Derek Jeter: .114
The resurgence of The Captain continues. Apparently he must have heard I wanted to bat him 9th.
Tim Collins: .088
Some nasty stuff from the Royals young lefty reliever. His crazy motion almost made me think of a left-handed Tim Lincecum.
Joba Chamberlain: .086
Absolutely dominant stuff from Joba, who hit 98 at one point. When he commands the fastball over the outside part of the plate, he is tough to beat. It’s when he can’t get the outside strike over and had to throw down the middle that he gets in trouble.
Brett Gardner: .048
The way Gardner runs, it would not surprise me if he hits another inside-the-park homerun at some point. His stand up triple had not even hit the ground last night and he was already on his way to second.
Rafael Soriano: -
So Soriano is heading for an MRI. From what everyone is saying it shouldn’t be serious, but Soriano has a history of injury problems with his elbow. I know I was criticized on this site quite a bit when I suggested that signing Soriano was a puzzling move, but I still don’t get it. Is there any way possible he justifies that absurd contract? Is it ever a good idea to sign a middle reliever to a big money deal? You wonder what the Yankees would have looked like through the 2000s if ownership would just let Brian Cashman do his job.
Jorge Posada: -.100
Jorge is really struggling. His peripheral numbers (BABIP, Walk Rate, K-Rate, etc) continue to suggest he has been somewhat unlucky, but he’s had enough ABs at this point that the sample size isn’t that small. Plus, now he’s not even hitting homeruns consistently. I’m sure the Yankees will continue to give Posada a chance to bounce back because they do not want to relegate Jesus Montero to DHing at this point and give up on his development as a catcher. But keep in mind that DHs are one of the easiest things to pick up before the trade deadline. Right now Cashman needs to have some patience and assess whether Posada has anything left and whether or not Chavez will return before he addresses the problem.