Some Trends Are More Positive Than Others

August 11th, 2011 by Jane Heller

No, I’m not talking about the vagaries of the stock market. I’m talking about the ever-changing winds of the Yankees.

(courtesy: denninger.com)

Today’s series victory over the Angels continued some upward trends:

  1. Colon’s terrific starts.
  2. Granderson’s remarkable power.
  3. Soriano’s perfection since his return from the DL.
  4. Cano’s home run derby-ness. (I think I just invented a word.)
  5. The Yankees’ ability to beat a team that used to bedevil us.

But there were some downward trends that carried an ominousness to them.

  1. Mo’s ineffectiveness against lefties.
  2. Mo’s decreasing velocity.
  3. Mo’s cutter not cutting.
  4. Mo’s recent tendency to serve up the long ball.

Yes, I’m freaked out about Mo. (Cory Wade’s little meltdown didn’t register on my freakout scale.)

I know I said he goes through rough patches in August, and he does. The runs he gives up tend to come in bunches. He always bounces back and I expect him to do the same this time too and then be his god-like self for even longer stretches. But whenever he shows he’s human, it’s hard to take. With Jorge having been marginalized, I can’t conceive of Mo retiring and the Core Four eroding into the Core One.

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15 Responses to “Some Trends Are More Positive Than Others”

  1. new yawk lover says:

    the game a couple of days ago was proof positive for both Granderson and Rivera that the old adage “the sun don’t shine on the same dog’s ass every day” still holds true. Granderson snapped back into form,and so will Mo. It has been an eye opener, though, I must admit.

  2. Mihael says:

    I think Soriano is putting something in Mo’s water in order to get that closer spot.

  3. Audrey says:

    Definitely cause for concern. We’re so used to Mo being “Lights out” that it is upsetting when he gives up two homeruns in as many appearance.

    Let’s concentrate on the positive Yankee trends for now and hope Mo’s difficulties are just part of his usual August slump. Granderson and Cano are definitely players to smile about, or, in the case of today’s homers, cheer. At least anyone walking by my house this afternoon heard a few “Yay!”s from the kitchen window.

    Just one game behind – let’s hope that has changed to one or more games ahead by the end of the weekend!

  4. Jane Heller says:

    I’ve never heard that adage, NYL, but it’s pretty funny! I know Mo will snap back into form, but this recent stretch of his has brought home the fact that he won’t last forever and it’s depressing.

    I said the same thing this afternoon, Mihael. LOL. I was imagining Soriano on the phone to his mother saying, “Just biding my time, Mom.”

    Yes, let’s concentrate on the positive, Audrey. Cano’s smile after the grand slam was priceless and I loved his curtain call (with Jorge right there cheering him on – nice to see). Looking forward to the CC-Price duel tomorrow night.

  5. Antonella says:

    Hey Jane..

    In the words of Mo himself:
    “It happens! It always happens! We always have this conversation, for 16, 17 years!”

    He’ll be back.. this was the 3rd game.. So I’m assuming he’ll be back to normal come tmro :)

  6. Jessica says:

    Jane, let’s not freak out. Like you said, Mo is going through his usual rough patch. I don’t think what’s left of the core four will become the core one. New Yawk Lover perfectly captured the essence of what his happening with that saying! But that’s the beauty of baseball! What a grand slam by Robbie! It was a stunner. Granderson continues to redeem himself from his role in your “Dumb and Dumber” post the other night. You know, last year I showed my mom the interview you posted of Granderson getting emotional right after he was traded. Well ever since then, she has harbored a special love for him. As you can imagine, she has been thrilled with the year he’s having, as I’m sure we all are. I hope you’re enjoying your vacation back East. Take care and until next time!

  7. Jane Heller says:

    Mo is one cool customer, Antonella. He always shrugs off his little displays of mortality and it usually makes me feel better. If he’s nonchalant, we should be too, right? I’ll feel better when he’s back to normal.

    I don’t think the Core One is imminent, Jessica. I just think we have to prepare ourselves for the eventuality that Mo, like everybody else, has an expiration date. My preference is that he would pitch forever and I’d never have to watch a Yankees season without him. Meanwhile, yes, Cano’s homer was a stunner. Boom – that ball left the park in a hurry. I’m glad your mom fell in love with Grandy after watching the video I posted. He’s worth falling for. Love that guy! And yes, I’m really enjoying my stay back east, thanks. It’s so different watching games in ET. Yesterday I was all set to watch at 10 am, since that’s when they’re on in CA for day games, but my husband said, “What are you doing? They’re not on till 1!” A little disoriented, I guess. LOL.

  8. Jeff says:

    I still have to give Mo the benefit of the doubt… ‘cuz it’s pretty scary to think he might be in decline. At least he never looks rattled. Stone. Cold. Killer.

  9. Jane Heller says:

    Mo only looks rattled for a second after someone pops one off him, Jeff. It’s like, “Hey, how did THAT happen?” So maybe it’s more surprised than rattled. But as he keeps saying, “I just want to do my job.” And I’m sure he will.

  10. Guido says:

    I’m as BIG a Mo fan as everybody else… He IS without a doubt THE greatest closer of all-time… and smart money says he will ultimately get that 602nd so that the numbers will back him up.
    But “Father Time” has no mercy… He is 41, and I have to believe his cutter ain’t what it was 10 years ago!! I do think Girardi ought to consider Soriano “intermittently” for 9th inning duties… not an outright benching, mind you, like he seems to have done for Jorge… but simply because Rafi’s HOT right now… and the team and wins matter the most.
    What I find MORE disturbing these days is the latest entry to the “mysteries-of-mankind” list:
    1) When did the universe really begin?
    2) Why can’t man build a machine that perpetually powers itself?
    3) Why is CC 0-4 against the Sox, and 16-2 against the rest of the world??!! (I hope he finds his groove again tonite against the Rays— a very important game, to be sure. Rays are on fire, of late…)

  11. Jane Heller says:

    Rafi is hot right now, Guido, but I would still go to Mo for the 9th every time – until and unless we see that this little “blip,” as Girardi calls it, becomes a more persistent problem. Your other mystery, about CC, is so….mysterious. I guess the Red Sox just have his number. It happens that way sometimes, but he needs to fix it! And yes, the Rays are playing good baseball right now and Price has something to prove after giving up Jeter’s 3000th, so we need to be right there with them.

  12. Bob Cerv says:

    “I can’t stand it, no Mo’…
    (He’s goin’ away?)
    I can’t stand it, no Mo’…
    (We’ll ask him to stay)
    I can’t stand it, no Mo’…
    (There’s nothin’ left to say)…”
    With apologies to Peter Frampton. Sheesh…this is gettin’ worry-some. Jane, as usual you said it best…that cutter just doesn’t seem to be cuttin’, and that don’t cut it. For years, analysts & others have said how ya gotta come out hackin’ against Mo, ’cause you won’t get many to swing at. But now they do. Or so it seems. Now, the fact that this slump has come in two VERY HR-friendly parks may explain something, but one of them is OUR park, so that ain’t good either. I’m grateful he settled down, but…
    Don’t wanna nitpick, but boyoboy were the boyz lucky that that Angel infielder muffed a slow grounder right before Robbie came up. With two outs. Games can turn on such little bitty things…
    And now, another showdown of sorts. This could be a REAL pitchers’ duel — in some ways, I hope it is — but Evan Longoria is particularly poison to CC. We need Grandy to “stay hot.” And as painful as this is to type, if another game is “bombed out,” they gotta look long & hard at Soriano a time or two…

  13. Jane Heller says:

    So lucky Izturis made that error, Dave. If he hadn’t, Cano wouldn’t have been able to show us that great swing. Tonight should be a terrific pitcher’s duel, but as you say Longoria has been dangerous and the Rays are a determined ball club. And to your last comment, I’m plugging my ears and going, “lalalalalalala.”

  14. new yawk lover says:

    Only ninety minutes till the Sabathia-Price showdown. I’m hoping for copious Yankees scoring early, (so I don’t miss much of the Djokovic-Monfils tennis match), and a relaxing, uneventful evening for us all.

  15. new yawk lover says:

    back to back to (almost) back round trippers against CC? Really?