With postseason hopes hanging on every pitch, Danks delivered with a masterful, eight-inning shutout performance in which he allowed just two hits, three walks, and struck out four. He struck out AL batting champ Joe Mauer twice. He held Carlos Gomez and Denard Span, who came up so big for the Twins last week in Minneapolis, hitless. Possible AL MVP Justin Morneau? Not a chance. He went 0-3 against Danks, who looked unhittable for much of the game.
Pitching isn’t exactly like riding a bike, but as long as Peavy’s mechanics are fine, his command should come back to him. It’ll take repetition before his command is back to where it was from May-July of 2010, but it should come back quicker than his velocity and stamina. That being said, whatever results Peavy sees in spring should be taken with a grain of salt given his command will take some time to return. But, if by some miracle, his command returns after a handful of spring outings and he’s able to locate within the strike zone well, his return schedule could be sped up.
Most run production will come from the 1-5 spots in the lineup. Sure, Juan Pierre could have better on-base skills, but for the team’s roster, he’s the ideal leadoff hitter. If Pierre can replicate his .341 OBP from 2010, he’ll at least be acceptable.
I would keep instant replay away from judgment calls such as whether a runner is safe or out. I would also not use it for balls and strikes. This way, the human element remains in the game and replay is only used when it is absolutely necessary. A play will only come under review when the umpires feel it necessary to do so. Umpires will be evaluated in the same manner they are now. Those that make too many mistakes will not be available to work postseason games and thus will lose out on bigger paychecks.
I do believe that Friday’s game, the next “home” game people will be more interested in the game not only because it’s against the sale jerseys, but also because we’re nearing the end of Spring Training and the rosters should be just about complete. We’ll have a better idea of who will be on the team and what the lineups for the regular season will look like.
After Brett Gardner was called out on strikes to start the inning, The Yankees rattled off five straight hits, including a double by Robinson Cano and RBI singles by Alfonso Soriano and Curtis Granderson that tied the game at four. Two batters later, Nunez cleared the bases with a shot down the left field line, bringing Granderson and Alex Rodriguez home and giving the Yankees a 6-4 victory.
Rodriguez himself had a chance to drive in the go-ahead run in the 11’th, yet grounded out with a runner at third. The Yankees have had to welcome him back because they have few other big bats for these clutch situations, but he missed on his first big opportunity.