May 9, 2011

Nate’s Takes: Colon, strikeouts, Nunez

So a week that saw two pitchers throw no-hitters with a combined five strike outs, ended with Francisco Cervelli hitting a grand slam over the center field wall. The Yankees overall had a rough week, but still find themselves in first place in the American League East. Last week, I predicted the Yankees would go 4-3 and they instead went 3-4. The Yankees offense stopped hitting and we can only hope that Cervelli’s homer sparks the Yankees offense much like in 2009.

If you also remember, I predicted Derek Jeter would hit his first home run against Texas. So right now I am 2-2 in home run predictions! Anyway, here is my take on the week.

For years, the Yankees offense has been focused on batters who get on base on an at least a .350 clip. This year, however, on base has not been a big part of the Yankees game. Robinson Cano (.313), Jeter (.331), Nick Swisher (.338), Jorge Posada (.257), Brett Gardner (.337) all have a history of being high OBP hitters. Cano has been swinging at more pitches than ever this year. Posada and Jeter are getting old and farther away from their career norms. Swisher and Gardner are high OBP players in the middle of their career. Hopefully, the start to the season has just been an outlier for this group.

The Yankee starting pitchers are striking out fewer and fewer batters. Bartolo Colon has 37 strikeouts in 37.1 innings. Besides him, no other Yankee starter has even close to a strikeout per inning. Starting pitchers with strikeouts lead to wins in October. Something to think about…

The Yankees have been in more close games than most teams in baseball. What does that mean? It means the main pieces of the Yankees bullpen have been pitching more than they should. Hopefully, the Yankees can try to avoid burning key pitchers early in the season.

Eduardo Nunez has five errors already at shortstop. I don’t care how good of a hitter he is, there has to be a better option as a backup infielder. If only Ramiro Pena could hit.

The Yankees are off Monday and face the Royals and the Red Sox later in the week. My bold prediction of the week is that the Yankees sweep the Red Sox at home. I also see them going 5-1 on this homestand. Hopefully, it will be a good week to be a Yankees fan.

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