Thursday, April 7, 2016

Quick Pitch: Why can't I be completely happy with Yankees performance?

It is incredibly difficult to not indulge in the fantastic offensive performance the New York Yankees pumped out in Wednesday night’s thumping of the Houston Astros. I even praised Ivan Nova last night after he turned in a very good relief stint. My pleasure was especially heightened after the Yankees gave away Tuesday’s contest. But, as great as it was the offense knocked Collin McHugh from the game after he recorded just one out and then continued to tack on runs, I cannot shake Michael Pineda’s performance.

Am I being greedy in asking that Pineda pitch just a mediocre game once handed a five-run lead after one inning— let’s say, six innings and three runs (he allowed six in five innings)? It is entirely possible that I am. Shouldn’t I and anyone else who is thinking about the one poor aspect of a 16-6 win be able to look past Pineda’s performance?

I actually don’t think so because it was classic Pineda. His stuff was actually moving quite well Wednesday. The problem is that he was beginning his pitches in the wrong part of the batter's zone and his many of his offerings drifted over the middle of the plate. Three of those pitches were deposited over the fence, and others he got lucky with.

David Cone commented on Pineda’s location issues often during the YES Network telecast — he was missing in the zone, a continued problem for Pineda. Cone said that Pineda has great control, but when he loses it, he is still throwing strikes. Bingo. Sometime, and soon, Pineda needs to master having his pitches rotate at the edge of and then drop outside of the strike zone. Use that great movement and force players to chase, versus allowing them to wait for the mistake that seems to come too often.

Was I happy with the Yankees offensive outburst? Indeed, I was. Am I concerned about Pineda, who I believe is one of the keys to the club’s success. in 2016 I absolutely am.

Christopher Carelli is a freelance baseball writer. Besides his work here, Christopher is a featured Yankees writer for His baseball commentary has also been published on The Cauldron via Sports Illustrated, Yahoo Sports and linked multiple times on MLB Trade Rumors’ Baseball Blogs Weigh In. He is a member of the Internet Baseball Writers Association of America, the Baseball Bloggers Alliance and the BYB Hub.