Friday, October 06, 2006

Adjustments, please?

The Monk thinks the Yanks need to adjust their thought processes. Soon.

Here are the problems: (1) defense still stinks. I noted Posada's failure to prevent a wild pitch in the 5th, which led directly to a run. Posada has been one of the weakest defensive catchers in the league, especially at blocking balls in the dirt, throughout his career. Joel Sherman notes that Matsui couldn't get to a bloop single in the 7th, which led to the winning run. In other words, the defense may have been the difference between a 3-2 win and a 4-3 loss. That's unacceptable, especially considering that the Yanks' stinko defense was the key series difference in BOTH their 2002 and 2005 losses to the Angels (Game 4 2002 - failing to catch popup led to 6-run inning; Game 2 2005 -- bad defense led to three runs in 4-1 loss).

(2) Pitching too finely. The Tigers are entirely too comfortable because the Yanks' pitchers are throwing too many strikes. Curtis Granderson led the league in striking out (174 -- for a leadoff hitter!), but he's pretty comfy at the dish so far (4-for-9, two big RBI in situations where the Yanks needed a K). Craig Monroe (126 K) and Marcus Thames (4-for-8, but 92 K in 110 games this season), are also not flailing away. In other words: THROW SOME JUNK. The Tigers are free swingers and the Yanks should be using that to their advantage. Sherman notes how the Tigers have shackled Cano by enticing him to hack away at crud; the Yanks need to respond in kind to Monroe, Thames and Granderson (Inge, their other K-able starter, has taken the bait: 1-7, 3 K).

It's better to make the changes early, rather than later. Just look back at how the defensive switch to an uncomfortable Bubba Crosby hurt the Yanks last year in game 5 against the Angels.

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