Minnesowhat? It’s Still Early

Beneath this calm cool headline lies a writer who is living and dying with every pitch. Swearing when Nuñez commits an error, screaming about how much of a bum Phil Hughes is and what a bust the Kuroda signing was while simultaneously starting the Derek Jeter for MVP campaign. To be honest it’s stressful, so now I’m going to take a deep breath and look at things with a little more objectivity. Goosfraba….

Last night Curtis Granderson brought some power to the stadium. (Errol Anderson, MCT)

Hello and welcome to SeeYouInOctober’s recap of the Yankees four game series with the Twins. Not much is expected of Minnesota this season with a pitching staff full of mediocre arms and a line up counting on the reassurance of both Joe Mauer and Justin Morneau. Much was made by the YES broadcasting team of their misfortune in the Bronx, but this time they came ready to play. Over the four game stretch the Twins scored 22 runs and split the series with the Yanks. The problem lay primarily with the starting pitching, giving up all but two of the runs, as the Bombers actually outscored the Twins with 23 runs.

Nobody penciled Garcia in the top of the rotation, but this is bad. (Al Bello/Getty Images North America)

Freddy Garcia made his second start of the season with similar results minus the wild pitches. He labored through 5.2 innings while giving up five runs. Did it sting just a little bit more because it was Carl Pavano on the mound of the Twins? Yes. The Bombers only managed three runs against their former teammate and dropped the first game. With CC Sabathia on the mound it looked like it would be more of the same with the Twins scoring three runs in the first three innings, but CC settled in and even gave the Yankees some length they haven’t gotten as he went 7.1 giving up only those three runs. The offense went out and supported their ace with hits coming from up and down the line up including a surprising three RBI from backup catcher Chris Stewart. Stewart now has more RBI than Russell Martin who has struggled mightily at the dish, although that has never been his strength.

Who would have thought that this series could turn into somewhat of a slug fest? I’m not talking a Texas Rangers type slug fest, but both teams averaged more than 5 runs a game. Hiroki Kuroda put up another awful performance to follow up his fantastic home opener. It only took 4.1 innings for the twins to collect 10 hits and six runs. The bullpen continued it’s stellar season and shut them down for the rest of the game allowing the offense to claw their way back to a one-run deficit, but failed to complete the comeback. Jeter hit his team-leading fourth home run and Robinson Cano delivered the Bombers’ first two RBI from the cleanup spot. There was a lot to be happy about with last night’s game after the Yanks salvaged the split of the series and Curtis Granderson went 5-5 at the plate while hitting three homers and driving in four. Phil Hughes had another shaky outing. He only made it through 5.1 giving up six runs although only two were earned thanks to a throwing error from Eduardo Nuñez who played second last night.

The starters are still working out the kinks. With the countdown to Andy Pettitte’s return to the majors bearing down, the heat is on for Garcia or Hughes to show the organization something that says they deserve a spot in the rotation. I’ve felt all along those two would be the odd-men-out with Garcia relegated to mop up duty and Hughes probably ending up on the trading block or returning to the bullpen. The bullpen doesn’t look like it has room for them, but with the innings they are putting in they won’t make it to the all-star break.

Offensively Granderson had a big night and that might kick start his season and Tex hit a home run as he goes through his annual early season slump. A-Rod had a couple hits, which is good because I’m tired of hearing about making “good outs.” It looks like the power hitters are coming around.

No positive and negative report this series. I can’t say anything I haven’t said before. Starters need to get deeper in the game, offense is trending upward, but I’m starting to worry that the rest of the American League is catching up. The Yankees look like a whale with their massive contracts and aging all-stars while Texas and Detroit are on the rise. Has everyone tricked themselves into believing that these Bombers are the same from 2009? Hank Steinbrenner has made it a priority to get under the luxury tax, which increases in 2014 when the new collective bargaining agreement takes effect. In years past they may have pulled off a trade to get rid of players while eating most of their contract, but now they don’t want to pay for guys who aren’t performing. Fans have to hope the older guys hit their stride at Fenway Park this weekend.

-Erik

Has everyone been fooled? Are the Yankees not as good as predicted? Let us know what you think via our twitter (@seeuinoctober) or leave us a comment.

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