I'll be the first to admit that I thought Cashman blew it big time when he placed the ridiculous bid for Kei Igawa, but he'll make a believer out of me if he can make at least 15 starts during the 2007 season like he did Wedneday night.
Igawa's line: 6.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 92 pitches
The stat I find most telling about Igawa on Wednesday night is that he threw a first-pitch strike to 19 of the 23 hitters he faced. I don't care if you pitch in Japan or in the major leagues, any pitcher who can throw strikes and get ahead of hitters with that kind of consistency will be successful in any league.
I certainly don't expect this kind of production out of Igawa every time he takes the hill, but he's going to win a dozen games or more for this team as the #5 starter if he continues to pitch the way he did Wed night and his last start against Oakland.
Once again, A-Rod looks like he's playing on another level and making everything look easy. I mentioned this on the game thread, but the thing I find most impressive about A-Rod at the plate these days is that he is hitting laser beams off pitcher's pitches and not simply taking advantage of mistakes. Both pitches he hit for homeruns the last two games were down and not bad pitches at all. Nobody has ever denied his talent, but he's really putting on a display the last 12 games that few players in MLB history can match.
In addition to A-Rod, another great night for the offense -- scoring 9 runs and pummeling the Indians' starting pitching. The Yanks have outscored the Indians 19-5 in the series.
Once again, the bullpen was stellar and added another three scoreless innings without giving up a hit. I also like that the go-to guys in the pen have been rested this week so far -- which is certainly a good thing since they will likely be used on Thursday against Cleveland and used extensively this weekend at Fenway.