Monday, April 04, 2005

Yawn

You know what that was like? It was like showing up at the airport for
a big vacation and finding out you’re taking the bus. “Oh one of the
seats by the bathroom, yeah, I guess that’s ok.” Crumm-y. It’s not so
much that they lost, we saw that coming. It’s that it was precisely no
fun. No hitting, crummy pitching, uninspired defense. Anyone concerned
with the State of the Union at this point needs to get a grip, but we
all have a gripe about the nap we could’ve taken from the hours of 8-11
last night. Some points:

- David Wells looked distinctly unprepared. The first couple of innings
he was able to sneak his fastball by players, and that gave him a
chance. But after 50 pitches or so that zip was gone, and all he had
left was the lollipop curve. Obviously that’s a matter of conditioning.
He boasted and blubbered all spring long that he needed only a few
appearances to get ready for the season which sounded about as true as
his listed weight (225 lbs). Boomer ran out of gas early last night
because he wasn’t ready for baseball, and I’m sure Francona saw it
coming. That’s not acceptable. David will be fine in 3 or 4 starts when
his fastball can hold up over 6-7 innings, but those 3 or 4 starts
count too. Someone should’ve had the chutzpah to run Wells out a few
more times this spring though and get his arm strength up, no matter
what he thought he needed.

- Randy Johnson was, I would say, very good. Far from spectacular
however. The fastball had juice, but wasn’t overpowering, and the
sliders and splitters didn’t have much bite. It’s only fair that we
give him the David Wells benefit of the doubt and assume that in a few
starts he’ll be back to excellence, but The Ninth was unimpressed. Good
pitcher, absolutely. But a huge step up from Javier Vazquez? Not yet.
Especially against the Red Sox, a team with great fastball hitters.
Varitek, Millar, Nixon, Manny, Ortiz – they can all really turn one
around. Of course, they didn’t do much yesterday. But give it time…

- How bout that bullpen, hu?

- Did you know that every member of the Yankee starting lineup last
night has at one time been an All-Star? How can you not love a team
like that?

- If it wasn’t already obvious, the Sox have a real problem in Hideki
Matsui. They still haven’t figured a thing out. Up and in boys, up and
in.

- Expect something good from Matt Clement tomorrow. He’s had a very
good spring and is perhaps the most adept Boston pitcher at missing
bats. The Yanks will take their licks, and if you let them make good
contact, sooner or later you’ll pay. The Clement slider might be just
what the doctor steinberg ordered.
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