These are fairly random, with the only connection being the fact they were brought up last night and I’m not sure what to make of them.
CC Sabathia is better in warm weather
We’ve heard this one before, and there’s at least some evidence to suggest it’s correct. His numbers have typically, but certainly not always, gotten better as he’s gotten out of April and into the summer months, and I can remember extremely hot days when Sabathia has been terrific.
“The four-plus years that we’ve had him, this is about where he is usually this time of the year,” Joe Girardi said. “I understand why people have some cause for concern, but he’s a guy that, a lot of times when it warms up, he gets on a roll. (Last night) was really the first hot night that he’s pitched in, and it was the best stuff that we’ve seen from him.”
So is Sabathia in for improved numbers now that we’ve flipped the calendar to June? I don’t doubt that Sabathia has an easier time getting loose in the heat, and he may be a guy who thrives in those conditions, but I certainly have a hard time considering the temperature to be an overwhelming factor in whether he’s successful. Surely other things are more important.
“I think just in general, just getting in the flow of the season, for whatever reason it’s one of those things,” Sabathia said. “Hopefully I can keep it going, keep working hard and keep giving the team a chance to win.”
Patience is contagious
This idea was brought up after the Yankees drew four walks last night. They hadn’t walked in any of their previous three games, and it seemed convenient to suggest the arrival of Mark Teixeira and Kevin Youkilis — two patient hitters — might have affected the rest of the lineup.
“I think you get two guys who come back, they grind out at-bats and I think some of that affects everyone else in the lineup,” Girardi said.
I think players do feed off one another, and guys can take a thing or two from a teammate’s approach, but Youkilis himself basically dismissed the idea that he and Teixeira somehow made the other Yankees more patient last night.
“A lot of it is the knowledge of the hitters watching the game,” Youkilis said. “I think our guys do a good job watching what’s going on. You know, Jon (Lester) wasn’t commanding the ball as much as he probably would have liked (last night), so our hitters really kind of played into that and made him throw more pitches and made him work. I think if you have a team that really focuses on that stuff, I think that’s really a good thing, and I think this team does a good job of that.”
Dry swings are a stepping stone
This one really had nothing to do with last night’s game, but Teixeira brought it up, and I thought it was interesting.
After several injuries, the Yankees have talked about players taking “dry swings” before they begin hitting off a tee. A dry swing is basically a swing without hitting a baseball, kind of like what hitters do in the on-deck circle. The theory is simple enough to understand: It quite literally removes the impact, which seems safer. Teixeira, though, seemed to see things differently.
“It’s weird,” he said. “It feels better when you make contact. I (had) been dry swinging for so long, I finally said, ‘Let me just swing a bat, and let me just hit the ball.’ Guys don’t usually get hurt when they hit the ball. They get hurt when they swing and miss. So since I’ve got back to the cages, and BP on the field, it’s felt really good since then.”
Associated Press photo