Got Melky?

May 16, 2009 – 1:19 pm

NYY 5, Minnesota 4. It was back to the rookies’ time to save the day, and Brett Gardner and Melky Cabrera came through nicely. Great scene at the end of the game, with Gardner being the first one to join Melky in the celebration. That could, and hopefully will, evolve in to a season-long story with the two of them competing for the center field job. So far Melky is having by far the best year of his career (.330 / .394 / .511), but Brett Gardner is starting to hit as well — plus he’s matching Melky with his defense, and of course his speed is something to behold and has game-changing potential. Look no further than his inside-the-park home run and how that kick started a lethargic Yankee offense. It’s going to be fun watching those two guys play the outfield this year!

It’s a lot harder to get enthusiastic about one of the other youngsters, Phil Hughes. At least this outing he kept the Yankees in the game, and gave them a chance to win. So that’s progress. But still he seemed to struggle every inning, giving up 6 H and 4 BB in just 5 innings. And what is it with the umpire’s strike zone every time Hughes starts? The two called third strikes on Johnny Damon were as bad as it gets. Occasionally a hitter is going to get rung out on a clearly missed call — that’s just baseball — but when it happens on back-to-back at-bats, you can hardly blame Damon for arguing. Wally Bell owes him an apology. Yeah, fat chance, but still.

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