Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Last Night's Game and Xavier Nady

So the Yankees got a 5-3 win last night over the A's. It was Andy Pettitte's second win and Mariano Rivera's fourth save. Overall, it was a good game for the Yankees. They kept a sustained rally, Pettitte was able to pitch well despite not striking out a batter, and there were some flashy defensive plays. Brian Bruney allowed his first baserunner and run since Opening Day in the eighth, but Rivera was able to shut the door so it was all good. Brett Gardner, who also made a spectacular catch on a long drive from the very well received Jason Giambi, had two RsBI last night, thanks to a Bob Geren mistake. With the infield playing in early in the game, Gardner squeaked a single passed the slick-fielding Mark Ellis to plate the first two runs of the ball game for the Yankees. It was all down hill from there for Oakland starter Dana Eveland. On the plus side for Oakland, it was fun to watch reliever Andrew Bailey come in and throw some smoke. Despite giving up a homer--his first run allowed all year--to Johnny Damon, Bailey was blowing it by the Yankees in the mid-90's.

Two things that may fly under the radar are the two hits Hideki Matsui collected. The first was a double down the left field line and the second was a base hit right up the middle. What's so special about these two things? The directions of the hits. The double was on an outside pitch that Matsui actually went with and smoked down the line. The single was over the middle and that's where Matsui put it back after contact. Matsui usually has a tendency to roll his hands over on pitches that are middle/away and ground out weakly to the right side. It was very, very nice to see him drive the ball the other way and back up the middle. Perhaps he is coming out of his mini slump; I say mini-slump because despite not getting a whole lot of hits, Hideki is still reaching base. Counting last night, Hideki now has 9 walks on the season, and his OBP is up to .409. Matsui coming alive is a very good sign.

Another good sign for the Yankees is that Xavier Nady will not need surgery, and will most likely miss 4-6 weeks. This also likely means that the Yankees won't make a trade or pick someone off the free-agent/waiver wire, since X will be out for a relatively short period of time. It does, however, mean that Melky Cabrera will get more PAs. Melky's hitting .294/.368/.467 as of right now, but I would expect those numbers to fall with more playing time. Regardless, Nady won't have to have surgery and that's good news. Here's to a speedy recovery, X!

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