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Perspectives: After the Tampa Bay Series

by Paul Semendinger

April 12, 2021

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On a personal note, yesterday was a huge disappointment. Those who have read my series One Last Shot, knew that yesterday was to be Opening Day. It rained and rained and rained… Opening Day is now next Sunday. I can’t wait to pitch!

Speaking of pitchers, I know Corey Kluber did not look great on Friday. I’m not worried. At all. I still think he’ll win a bunch of games for the Yankees and come up big down the stretch. This is all part of a comeback and a return to the grind of playing baseball and pitching every fifth day.

Ultimately, I am not all that concerned over the Yankees, yet. They look terrible in many games. No energy. No hustle. Poor fundamentals. Most of the hitters have an inability to do anything other than swing for the fences. They are fragile. But, as down as I am on the team right now (they are just not all that fun to watch) I still think it’s going to be a great season. I still see the Yankees in the pennant race.

Things also always feel a lot better after a win. Wins bring hope. And there is hope that yesterday’s extra inning win might have sparked something positive. Finally.

I absolutely believe that the reason so many of the Yankees hitters look so bad at the plate is that they are pure guess hitters. When they guess correctly, they look fantastic. When they guess wrong, they look terrible by taking batting practice pitches right down the middle or swinging wildly at balls 45 feet from the strike zone. This is the approach they have to change.

The guessing approach is why pitchers who can mix their pitches do so well against the Yankees. This is also why good to great pitching will defeat the Yankees time and time again.

I still think Giancarlo Stanton can put up huge numbers, but I’m telling you, he sometimes has a hitch when the ball comes out of the pitcher’s hand. There’s a very slight, but noticeable flinch when the ball is thrown. I think that little flinch is getting in the way of his ultimate success.

Yesterday’s game not withstanding, Gleyber Torres has not looked good defensively or offensively. He keeps swinging from the heels. Hopefully yesterday’s game is an indication that he has a better approach, but overall, he has changed as a hitter this year. For the worse.

In extras on Sunday, the Yankees lost a run when they sent the runner from third on the old “run on contact” play. It is a play that has not worked for the Yankees. The fact that the Yankees keep going to a play that doesn’t work befuddles me.

Also, regarding sending Aaron Judge home on that close play… YIKES! The guy is hurt, a lot. The Yankees need to be more careful.

Can it be that Rougned Odor is the player that brings the energy that the Yankees need? He provided a spark in yesterday’s game that made it fun to watch. His energy has been one think lacking. If a team has high energy, even if they lose, they’re fun to watch.

I’d like to see Aaron Judge have some of that fire. Something is missing from his game right now. Is he hurt? Is he taking is slower so he doesn’t get hurt?

Michael Kay, “Odor had to shave his beard, but he found himself in a hairy situation and it all came out smooth.” (Or something like that.) How much time does Kay spend thinking of terrible puns like that? That was just bad to even listen to. (I could say, it was very rough, but I won’t stoop to that.)

I still hate, a great deal, the extra inning rule. (We will see what our writers think of the rule tomorrow in the Tuesday Discussion.)

Tonight the Yankees head to a minor league park to play the Blue Jays. Oh, wait, they just left a minor league park in Tampa. (At least there are no rainouts at the Trop.)

Let’s Go Yankees!

#AaronBoone #AaronJudge #CoreyKluber

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