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Yankees: May Update

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Sunday the Yankees beat up the Chicago White Sox a cool dozen to 3. It would’ve been 12-0 if the Sox hadn’t scored in the ninth inning off Mark Melancon, who was making his 2010 debut after being recalled from Scranton, but hey, it was a good time to give a rookie the practice. It might’ve been 14-3 if Nick Johnson hadn’t hit into a double play earlier with two players on base. Thus, my first note in this update is about Johnson; just because he later hit in two RBIs does not erase the damage he’s doing to the team overall. I don’t think this guy belongs in pinstripes, but if he has to be on the team, why the hell doesn’t Joe Girardi take him out of the Number Two spot in the lineup, and put Brett Gardner there instead? Gardner’s getting base hits nearly every at-bat, and today he even hit a home run. Despite his comfort in his usual role as base hitter, he was quite pleased with himself.

“That’s my one for the year,” he joked. “Now I know how all the other guys feel when they hit one like that.”

But back to Nicky J. The guy should not follow leadoff hitter Derek Jeter – he messes Jeter up every time he gets on base. I was actually glad when Johnson led off one inning, rather than making the second Out, as he does whenever theres a first, thus ruling out any chance of scoring without a base hit. I complained about the two Nicks as holes in the lineup a few posts ago – but Swisher’s coming back strong, and he contributed to today’s win. Meanwhile, Johnson goes on, seemingly blasé, like a big ole slug.

Speaking of blasé, Joe Girardi is the man responsible. He’s the Manager. He arranges the line-up. Does he not see there’s a problem here? I can’t figure out Girardi: he reveals not a clue of what he’s thinking.  I swear his decision-making process is a game of pin-the-tail on the lineup: blindfolded, he must throw darts at their names, and goes with whatever sticks.

(By the way, for great game recaps, which I myself am not very good at and seldom do, I highly recommend The Captain’s Blog.)

Some good news: It’s May, when Mark Texeira emerges from hibernation. In today’s game he collected a career-high-tying four hits and showed his versatility from both sides of the plate. He said he didn’t know where to place the credit – on the turn of the calendar, or being the day’s DH, or having Swisher behind him.

“Swish will say [it was him],” Teixeira said, laughing.

In Other Good News: So far this season, the Yanks have won seven out of eight series. They’re the only team with three undefeated starters who have at least three victories. And  Jeter’s 13 multi-hit games lead all of MLB, with Cano coming up behind him at 12.

Pitching:

Tex was one of several guys to praise  Phil Hughes, who pitched seven no-hit innings. “His confidence is incredible. He’s throwing every single pitch with authority.” Even the opposition, White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen, admitted that Hughes “had unbelievable stuff,” and was “the best guy we faced this year.”

Actually the whole starting rotation, with the glaring exception of Javier Vasquez, is doing phenomenal work. Sabathia, Pettitte, Hughes and Burnett are all going strong, and can frequently go for seven or eight innings. As for Vasquez, well, he sucks. Girardi is as insousciant about him as he is about Johnson. “It’s no secret,” he says, “that Javy’s struggling, and it’s something we’ve talked about. We’ve got to find a way to get him going.”

I wonder what the plan is. Pin the tail on the pitcher?

Disaster of the Day (A new regular Dirty Laundry mini-report): Storms in the mid-South cause flooding; 19 deaths so far in Tennessee, Kentucky and Mississippi. Cumberland about to overflow.

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