The Yankees try to salvage their dignity tonight against the Royals as Carl Pavano looks to do the same following the pasting he took at the hands of the Red Sox on Saturday (five runs on eleven hits in 3 2/3 IP). In his way stands . . . Ryan Jensen?
The 29-year-old Jensen failed to stick in the Giants' rotation a few years back, posted a 5.36 ERA in triple-A Fresno last year before being released by the Giants over the winter. Filling an injury hole in the Royals rotation, he's thus far made two starts for Kansas City: 2 runs on 3 hits and 3 walks in 5 IP for a win over the Cardinals (not bad!), and 7 runs on 8 hits and a walk in 3 1/3 against the Angels (bad!).
The Yanks sure could use a win tonight going into a weekend series against the Twins, and the offense really needs to get going heading into Minnesota, even if the Yankees did get a huge break by drawing the bottom three Twins starters this weekend.
To that end, Joe Torre held yet another team meeting after last night's game, in large part due to the terrible approach his hitters were displaying at the plate. Quothe Joe afterwards:
I didn't like what I saw. I didn't see a lot of patience. It just didn't feel like we were having good at-bats. I'm trying to find a different way to say it, but we didn't make [the opposing pitchers] work like we normally do. It's something I'm surprised about and certainly it's no fun watching it.
Indeed, going into the ninth inning down three runs, each of the first four batters swung at the first pitch, with only Robinson Cano having a positive result from that swing. On the night, the Yankees made seven outs on the first pitch of an at-bat.
He also seemed frustrated with the teams' general lack of heads-up play adding, "We've got to think better than we think." Here's hoping they have their thinking caps on tonight.