Thursday, April 12, 2007
Just One of Those Days
When you look at the box score for last night’s Scranton game, you’re probably going to think Tyler Clippard pitched poorly. When you give up 8 hits and 7 runs in 4 innings those thoughts are expected. However, much of what went wrong with Tyler was just bad luck. His 4:1 K:BB ratio does a better job of demonstrating the quality of his performance. Clippard was getting swings and misses with his curve, change, and fastball. His fastball was particularly impressive tonight as he was able to nail the outside corner on a consistent basis. Really, he had one pitch that was terrible. The pitch in question was a hanging curveball to T.J. Bohn that was deposited over the LF wall for a 3-run homer in the 3rd inning. Other than that, pretty much every hit Clippard gave up was of the just past a diving X or over the outstretched glove of X variety. So, despite the ugly box score that might lead one to doubt Clippard’s ability to succeed at the AAA level, I’m still in his corner.
One night after looking horrendous at the plate, Eric Duncan was a different batter. While he would finish the game 0 for 3, 2 of those outs were hard liners, one on the ground and one to deep RF. In addition, Duncan drew 2 walks. On Tuesday, when he was in position to draw a walk he started thinking homer and gave away ABs, but Wednesday he remained patient and took what the pitcher gave him. The results were positive.
Alberto Gonzalez had another solid go of it at the plate as he was 2 for 5 with a single and a triple. I’m not going to lie, I don’t remember much from his ABs. I do have a comment on his defense though. Gonzalez has a terrific arm and glides from side to side. I’m beginning to think me not noticing him on defense is a testament to how good he is.
Around The Minors:
Chase Wright continued his hot pitching for AA Trenton. Obviously feeling that his terrific Opening Day performance wasn’t good enough, Wright would strike out 10 in 7 innings of 1 hit, 1 walk ball. Wright had a little bit of hype surrounding him when he first entered full-season baseball, but the hot start isn’t enough for me to think of him as more than perhaps a potential solid swingman. Where his performance does provide immediate help is in giving the Yankees another option in case the rest of the staff feels like getting injured.
Cody Ehlers was 1 for 4 with a double as he ran his streak of not striking out to 2 games in a row. Brett Gardner, obviously responding to his watch on the sidebar, was 1 for 3 with a double and a walk. The thought of Brett Gardner hitting for extra bases just brings a smile to my face.
Tampa had a doubleheader today with mixed results for the offense. Jose Tabata was 1 for 6 with a walk and 2 strikeouts, Marcos Vechionacci was 1 for 4 with a double and a strikeout, and Reegie Corona was 2 for 7 with a double and 2 strikeouts. The older guys on the team, Juan Miranda and Colin Curtis, had good games. Miranda was 2 for 5 with a homer, a walk, and 2 strikeouts and Curtis was 2 for 4 with a double.
In the second game of the doubleheader, Ian Kennedy took a complete game loss. He went 6 innings and struck out 4 while walking 2 and giving up 3 hits. Unfortunately, 1 of the 3 hits was a solo homer that would leave Kennedy with the loss.
The Charleston offense put 6 runs and 10 hits on the board en route to a victory. Mitch Hilligoss was the star as he went 3 for 5 with a double and a strikeout. Wilmer Pino also had a good game as he went 2 for 4 with a strikeout and 2 steals. Finally, Austin Jackson continued to show newfound power, a double in 5 at bats, with old school deficiencies, 4 outs collected at the plate, 3 of which were strikeouts.
8 games into the season the Yankees have gotten 2 good starts out of their rotation. To make matters worse, Mike Mussina looks DL-bound. So, of course the spotlight is going to continue to shine on Scranton. It doesn’t hurt that Phil Hughes is starting either.
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