The title of this post was inspired by Eduardo Nunez, who can play any position on the field, not that you’d want him to. It also applies to CC Sabathia, who, I learned from YES, had locked up with the resident lefty Hulk over in Tampa, David Price, five times previously and not yet delivered a win for the Yanks. Despite E-Nunez gifting two runs to the Rays by botching two routine plays in the first two innings, the Yankees were all over David Price from the word “go” and CC Sabathia clamped down like a too-tight Ace bandage over eight excellent innings for a 5-3 win and a series victory.
What does Eduardo Nunez do well? He’s 24 years old. He can steal a base. He can stand anywhere on the diamond you ask him to and, if the ball is hit in his general vicinity, he might block it with some part of his body and throw it somewhere within the stadium in which he is playing. For some reason, this skill set is the lynchpin of Joe Girardi’s roster management strategy.
Most of the outfield is hurt? Don’t call up a Minor Leaguer, Nunez can stand out there. We have an old and injury prone left side of the infield? Start Nunez as often as possible. The legendary closer broke his knee? Is Nunez already in the game? Damn. Call up a reserve outfielder, I guess. Is this really what the Yankees have become? A team so shitty that Eduardo Nunez and his null set is vital? I don’t believe it.
But I digress. I considered writing about Mariano Rivera again tonight. About how his sudden absence has changed my outlook on the Yanks. Less childish. Less emotional. Less passionate. Then Eduardo Nunez booted an easy inning-ending grounder in the first and I shouted at the TV, “Get him off the field, he’s terrible!”
“What does “terrible” mean?”
Oh, shit, the kids are still up and they heard that. Backtrack and apologize or give them the hard truth that Eduardo Nunez sucks at baseball, relatively speaking? Backtrack. I have to get these kids through Little League, after all.
Anyway, somehow bedtime got extended until the Yanks tied it up at 2-2, so they went to sleep with fresh memories of Curtis Granderson homers. Better than sugar plums if you ask me.
Price sure looked like he had all his stuff, but the Yanks weren’t fooled very often. Granderson homered and blasted another to the warning track. Alex had great swings and two hits. Cano saw him better than anyone, with three hits and the telling blow, a two-run jack. Last night, the Yankees scored one run off of Jeff Neimann and were lucky to get it. Tonight they scored five off David Price and seemed a good bounce away from getting ten. Go figure.
In the six innings without a Nunez error, Sabathia permitted four base runners and held the Rays scoreless. His final line was eight innings, two unearned runs, seven hits, one walk, and ten strikeouts. I think he was better than that line indicates, if that’s possible. CC Sabathia is quite possibly the one thing the Yanks got right this winter. And it’s a big one. Next time we’re bitching about Pineda, Montero and Ibanez, let’s be sure to throw CC on the scales.
Let’s also give Joe Girardi some credit for a smart move tonight. He took Nunez out for a defensive replacement. In the sixth inning.
Photo by Mike Stobe/AP