The leaves are falling here in upstate New York, September is turning to October, and that means time for playoff baseball with the New York Yankees.
Not, however, before we turn our attention to reviewing September's best and worst Yankee performances. So, let's get started with the September 'Kudos & Wet Willies.'
Kudos to ...
- Alex Rodriguez: After struggling mightily to reach 600 home runs, A-Rod has gone on a tear. He has nine home runs, 26 RBI and a .309 batting average this month. Let's hope he carries the hot bat right into the postseason.
- Curtis Granderson: The Grandy Man struggled much of the season, but his work with Kevin Long is paying dividends. He has nine home runs and 23 RBI this month, along with a .278 batting average.
- David Robertson: Has continue to get better and better as the season has gone along. A 2.08 ERA in 13 September appearances.
- Kerry Wood: Has been a terrific addition to the Yankees bullpen. In 12 September appearances covering 12.1 innings he has yet to allow a run.
Wet Willies to ...
- A.J. Burnett: Ugh! Cover your eyes when this guy pitches a postseason game. Better yet, say a prayer. Or a few prayers. A.J. needs divine intervention. A 6.14 ERA in September, after a 7.80 mark in August. Hey, it's an improvement, right?
- Javier Vazquez: It's amazing what has happened to this guy. He's tossing beach balls to home plate. An 8.84 ERA in September. No way he can be part of the postseason roster. Even less chance to gets an offer to remain with the Yankees in 2011. See ya, Javy! It most definitely has not been nice.
- Mariano Rivera: As I write this, a 4.76 ERA in September and two blown saves. Mo will be fine, but this has not been his best work.
- Chad Gaudin: The most amazing thing is that Yankee manager Joe Girardi has seen fit to use the utterly awful Gaudin nine times this month. Nine! All I can do is take that as a sign that the Yankees have not been good, since he should have a "we give up now" sign pasted on his back when he enters the game. Gaudin has a 7.45 ERA in September. I hope I never see him pitch in a postseason game.
- Mark Teixeira: At this writing, only .232 with three homers and 12 RBI for the month. He has to pick it up in October, especially since the Yankees are not likely to be winning a lot of 2-1 games.
- Brett Gardner: The speedy Gardner has been getting jerked in and out of the lineup by Girardi, but I can't argue too much. September is the third straight month in which GGBG has hit below .250, and he only has three stolen bases in September as I write this. As they say, you can't steal first base.
- Joe Girardi: Yes, the Yankees qualified for the playoffs. But, does anyone else feel like Girardi has not been able to make up his mind the past couple of weeks? Push hard for the AL East Crown? Back off and rest? Juggle the pitching rotation, change it back, then change it again. Use Chad Gaudin seemingly every day. What is going on with Joe G?