Mar 15, 2007

Igawa: feast or famine

- Will this be the story of Igawa's season?

1st inning:
Johnson, bb
Renteria, bb
C. Jones, k looking
A. Jones, k swinging
Wilson, k swinging

It's quite funny (of course, it wouldn't be as funny if he was getting hammered), and so far his impressive strikeout ability has allowed him to escape a lot of jams.

The bad news: he throws so many pitches that he doesn't last long. He was supposed to go four innings tonight, but because of his high pitch count, he was pulled after three.

The good news: obviously his 'escapability,' or his knack for the strikeout. He pitched three innings tonight and struck out five, and has the most Ks among Yankee pitchers.

The question is this: why is Igawa walking so many hitters? He had impeccable control in Japan, walking just 2.1 per 9 ip last season. Is Igawa used to getting high strikes in his favor in Japan? Is his lack of control just a spring training/getting ready thing? Is it an early game thing? (I say this because his control definitely improved over the course of the outing tonight.) I'm going to assume it's an early season thing (having pitched just 7 innings so far), and come April, he'll have improved control.


- The first booing of the season for Arod tonight: Jeter on 3rd, 1 out, he takes a curve down the middle for a called strike 3. I don't know if this is 'newsworthy,' but hell, I found it interesting. Of all the Yanks hitters, I have the least confidence in Arod to do anything in those situations (runner on 3rd, less than 2 outs). Is the problem with me or him?

9 comments:

Cherish said...

The problem is with you.

Matsui struck out right after. Giambi was in that position how many times yesterday? 0 for 3 with one k.

You need to stop pretending that you are reminding yourself that it is still March.

Clint said...

Igawa is going to be better than "Dice K". You wait and see.

Clint said...

PS, can Diamond Hoggers get a linkage? We'd appreciate it.

Travis G. said...

clint, sure. it's added now.

cherish, i understand your point. in that situation last night though, Matsui was forced to get a hit (instead of a much easier sac fly/grounder) as there were now 2 outs BECAUSE Arod had failed. And Giambi before him had at least advanced DJ with a sac fly.

i dont remember all the situations from the previous game re: Giambi going 0-3, but perhaps i'm giving Giambi a pass bc he was so good in that situation last year (the best on the team if i remember the stats correctly), whereas Arod was the worst among Yankee regulars last year.

and Arod is our CLEANUP hitter and the highest paid player in the game. i apologize if i expect a bit better in easy rbi situations.

Cherish said...

No need to apologize, thinking that I do not expect high things from him as well would be inaccurate. But 3 posts highlighting his failures when this spring he has a higher avg than Giambi sacfly or not, to me is too much worrying.

The bigger thing to me is that your point has too many ifs and buts in it. And those fools today chanting MVP and booing are just adding to my frustration.

I wish people would just shut up and watch him play. Failures and all.

Travis G. said...

i didn't listen to today's game. could you explain what you mean by 'chanting MVP and booing'?

on my blog, i talk about the pitchers, i talk about the hitters, why should Arod be excluded? if he receives more attention, he brings a ton of it on himself. he actively sought out that interview on wfan the other day. he made a point of talking about his relationship with jeter (which i have mostly refrained from talking about). and if not for his opt-out clause (that HIS agent included), there would be far less attention on him this season.

some of it is simply the reality of being the highest paid player in the sport and all the expectations that come with it. but i doubt he'd give back any of that money to receive less scrutiny.

look, i think Arod is a good person, but this blog isn't about people, it's about baseball. and while Arod can be a devestating hitter sometimes, at other times he is extremely frustrating. i get frustrated when any player cant get a sac fly/grounder (especially in close games), but moreso with Arod bc of the money and the cleanup hitter role.

Cherish said...

I did not tell you/ask you to stop talking about AROD. I said to me, from reading your blog it seems like you are worrying too much, in ST at that. I am responding to your I think 3 ST posts and nothing else.

And why would you think he actively sought out that interview? The only thing he did different was sit with them (like Cashman), that was what he insisted on. Sort of facing the fire instead of the distance of a camera.

And I think it is kind of naive to think the attention would be less if not for his opt-out clause. Plus, I am VERY HAPPY he brought up Jeter. At his now infamous book signing those same beat writers were asking him about his relationship with Jeter. At a freaking children's book signing, WTF? At the beginning of ST he answered "honestly" or whatever, and said no more questions and still Mad Dog asked him! And by the way, he was asked like 3 times about Jeter ["how's Jeter, where's Jeter, are you guys friends"]by different beat writers before he answered with his little speech.

And now, even an innocuous interview like the one of the other day is dissected looking for hidden meanings and agendas.

oh, he was booed and MVP was chanted to mock him. For what, batting +300 and having the temerity to K during ST?

Everyone wants him shut up and play. I want everybody (sans your blog or anybody else's, what else are they for!) to shut up and just watch the guy play. His money, contract and position notwithstanding.

mlb1996 said...

Travis,

First of all, I like your blog.

It's not just you regarding A-Rod. Personally, I just don't have a good feeling about Alex on this team. I don't know why. I just cannot put my finger on it. He's an incredibly gifted and talented player -- a fantasy league favorite -- but there is an uneasiness for me when I watch him play for us.

His uneven and shaky defense is still there. That is not a good sign. I was hoping his seemingly new attitude and weight loss would have some positive effects on his psyche, but I don't think it will happen.

It's gonna suck that we won't be able to offer him arbitration. It'd be nice to get those comp picks.

Travis G. said...

cherish, i do think some of the media has vilified/villainized Arod. they made something out of nothing with the Piniella comments. and no fans should ever boo members of their team unless they dont play hard. that's the only time i feel it's warranted.


thanks mlb. that no compensation clause definitely sucks. i was hoping Cashman would have a real genuine talk with Arod this past off-season to determine how likely Arod was to leave after 2007. if so, Cashman could have traded him to one of the LA teams for prospects. there's no way he's getting traded at the deadline this year, so if he leaves, the Yanks get nothing. Boras pulled the same thing with JD Drew.

i have the same uneasy feeling everytime Arod has an rbi opp in a close game. something that happened last year was very telling about Arod. it was an August game in Chicago, and Arod failed twice with runners on 3b, less than 2 outs, and also made a fielding error costing the Yanks a run (or more). they lost by one run. my father-in-law is a HUGE Yankee fan (going back to the Mantle days), and he's an extremely even keeled, tempered and thoughtful man who has seen thousands of games. His words: "Baseball is a team game, and i know no one player is responsible for losing a game, but that game was the closest i've ever seen to it [with Arod]."