Apr 8, 2008


That perfectly sums up today's game. Horrible defense, inconsistent pitching, no clutch hitting: just general poor execution.

First off, the homeplate ump was atrocious. His strikezone wandered and changed throughout the game, which didn't help either pitcher. Phil Hughes was off his game: he fell behind too often and couldn't locate his fastball consistently. One particular pitch (3-2, 2 outs to Tony Pena) was a no-doubt strike (called a ball) - Pena didn't score but it caused Hughes to throw another 15-20 pitches that inning. Meanwhile, a called third strike to Arod the next inning was a no-doubt ball. So very frustrating. (By the way, how can anyone not advocate using some kind of computer strike calling system in MLB? It would insure a fair, totally unbiased and unchanging strike zone. What's not to like?)

The Royals ran all over us, and although they were caght stealing just once, it should have been three times: Betemit dropped a great throw from Posada and Giambi couldn't even throw to 2nd on a pickoff (how can a ML first-baseman be so bad at that?).

The offense was again non-existent, scratching across two runs in the 2nd inning, then nothing after that. They stranded nine baserunners; Arod and Betemit went a combined 1-8 with 7 Ks, yes seven strikeouts. Brian Bannister, displaying an 87-88 mph fastball, walked five and allowed four hits, yet made pitches when it counted: he K'ed Cano with the bases loaded (an 87 mph fb right down Broadway), and stranded two others Yankees in scoring position.

I don't know if it was getting in around 4 a.m., but this offense has to wake up. 25 runs in eight games (a hair over three a game) is 2nd worst in the AL (just ahead of Detroit).

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