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The X-Factors


When the 2010 season started, the Yankees roster seemed good enough to challenge for another World Series ring. I mean come on the pitching is filthy, the line-up is stacked with weapons of all shapes and sizes and gaining post-season and World Series experience is always precious. What was expected from the outfield though? Curtis Granderson was supposed to bolster that group, but could fan favorites Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner play at a high enough level to keep this machine running smoothly? The doubters were definitely out there, but Gardner and Swisher have done nothing but prove them wrong as they’ve been centerpieces of this Yankee offense thus far.

When Brett emerged with the Yankees, I instantly loved the guy. He hustled, stole bases, and added a dimension to the team that we hadn’t seen in a while. However, one Yankee fan I know, a Miami (Ohio) alum, had doubts and told me when Bretty G came up that he would never make it as a starter. “He can’t hit for squat, and his arm is weaker than my Mother’s” was along the lines of what he said, and I couldn’t really argue. He made progress last year, appearing in 108 games while hitting .270 with 26 stolen bases, but coming off the bench as a speed guy seemed like it would be Gardner’s role forever. I’m not sure if A-Rod slipped a little HGH in the kid’s Gatorade, but Brett has come back this season looking jacked and ready to swing a big stick. He’s hitting .333 with 14 stolen bases in 15 tries, and just seems way more comfortable at the plate. His hit streak of 11 games was just snapped last night in Detroit, but that’s the type of consistency we hope to see more of as the season rolls on. Good start Brett, now keep it goin’.

We all knew Swish would be good for hitting 25 homers with high energy play while keeping the clubhouse loose, but questions regarding his defense and low average loomed entering this season. However, he too has answered the bell. Nick has been “Swishing and Dishing” as my man Walt Clyde would say, hitting .306 with 7 homers and 24 RBIs in 30 games. That’s been key as his solid hitting has allowed Girardi to be flexible with Nick’s spot in the order. I actually like him a lot hitting in the two hole while Nick Johnson is rehabbing at the buffet. Swisher is a switch-hitter who has been getting on base, hitting for power AND average, and he packs MONSTER lips which is great to see. As for his defense, he isn’t Ichiro out there in right, but he hustles after every ball, plays hard, and loves getting the fans into it. Swish aint winning any batting titles anytime soon, but we don’t need him to. A steady offensive output and OK defense from Swish is all the Yankees need. Let’s face it, we don’t want to see Randy Winn or Marcus Thames playing any more then they are now so keep crushin it Nick.

The Yanks continue their series with Detroit tonight when Javier Vazquez returns to face Rick Porcello, so keep an eye on Brett bouncing back from his first hitless game in a while. As for Swish, he looks to keep a 5 game hitting streak of his own alive tonight.

Shout out to my man Nick for his birthday today

Brew

6 comments:

  1. Dig it. Swish and Gardner are so clutch this year. Gotta give some love to my man Cervelli as well. He's been raking as much as the other x-factors. His enthusiasm is infectious. I'm tired of watching Jorge "Mr. Serious/Boring" Posada waddle around the base paths. Cervelli is the man. I hope they keep him as a starter, but unfortunately, I think I'm the only one who feels that way.

    Vasquez had his best outing yet tonight with the rainout. Let's hope he keeps it going.

    Cheers,
    R.

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  2. Although I agree that Cervelli is the man and I love what he has done, I think Jorgey boy has enough left in the tank to make an impact. He's part of the core 4 and it wouldn't be fair just to yank him after all he has done for us. Cervelli's bench production is huge anyway, and I like having him as a reliable backup if Posada's injuries add up. But how does Cervelli's success impact what we do with stud catching prospect Jose Montero? It will be interesting to see how it all plays out and who claims the job in the years to come

    As for Vazquez, couldn't agree more - big confidence booster tonight with the rainout.

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  3. check the pipes bro

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  4. Swisher and Gardner are not enough. We need a productive Granderson back AND SOON,

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  5. Swisher, Gardner and Cervelli are plenty. I don't think we NEED Granderson back right away. The Yankees continue to rake without him. If he comes back and gets hot, then yes, of course that would be great. But we've been doing just fine without him, so clearly we dont NEED him.

    When Granderson got injured, he was 18 for 80. That's .225. Winn and Thames are a combined 26 for 91, or .286. So... what's the rush? They're filling in just fine for him. (better actually.)

    Don't get me wrong, I really like Granderson in the field and on the basepaths. But to be honest, I haven't really noticed he's been gone.

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