The Yankees won their third straight game, as they defeated the Royals 6-1 on Saturday evening. The game was over when Jorge Posada knocked in 2 runs in the top of the first, as that was more than CC Sabathia would need in his stellar 7.2 innings of shutout ball. Posada, Nick Swisher, and Xavier Nady all had multiple hit games, while Robbie Cano had his first 0-fer of the young season. Jose Veras allowed a run in 1.1 innings of relief work.
What I Liked
1) CC Sabathia- after an awful outing on Opening Day in which he failed to escape the 5th inning, CC showed the world the talent that made the Yankees hand him 23 million dollars a season. He went 7.2 innings, struck out 6 and walked none. He scattered 8 baserunners (6 singles, 2 HBP) and was throwing 93-97 free and easy, which should quiet those trying to paint him as being injured after one bad game in nasty weather.
2) Nick Swisher- How locked in is this man? He has forced himself into the starting lineup with a hot start, and continued to dominate by going 2-3 with a 3B, HR, 2 BB’s, 3 RBI, and 3 runs scored. Xavier Nady did finish at 2-4, and has respectable numbers to this point. However, Joe Girardi needs to find Swish AB’s, and some are certain to come at the X-Man’s expense.
3) Posada and Matsui- Posada went 2-5 with 3 RBI, and has looked as good as ever both at the plate and in the field. He is now at .313/.389/.688 on the very young season, with the slugging number particularly encouraging, as it suggests that he has regained full strength in his shoulder. Hideki Matsui is off to a rough start, but did notch a double and a walk tonight. He is another guy watching Swisher over his shoulder.
What I Didn’t Like
1) Cody Ransom and Brett Gardner- Ransom went 0-4, putting him at 1-18 with one walk on the season thus far. He also has looked very shaky in the field, as he notched the Yankees first error of the season. It may be time to give Ramiro Pena a look, as his fielding is certain to be better and his hitting cannot be worse. Ransom just looks overwhelmed. Gardner has been better than that, but his OBP is hovering under .300, an unacceptable number. For his speed to really play, he needs to reach at a .320+ clip. He gets on the bad list tonight because he actually hit into a DP.
2) Jose Veras- Nothing too terrible here, just the fact that a leadoff walk with a 6 run lead is the kind of stuff Jose needs to avoid. His stuff has looked excellent thus far, and cutting down a bit on the walks would make him a legitimate option for the 8th inning.
3) Mark Teixeira’s wrist injury- apparently he has tendinitis and will play tomorrow. With A-Rod out until at best the very end of April, the Yankees need Tex in the middle of that order. Hopefully this does not turn into a chronic issue.
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