Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Vazquez can slowly win over Yankee faithful

Javier Vazquez is making good progress in his attempt to rehabilitate his New York Yankees career. If he keeps it up, he can permanently banish the boo-birds and win over the Yankee faithful.

Known as a solid pitcher on other teams, mostly recently with the Atlanta Braves, Vazquez started the 2010 season once again struggling in the Bronx. But in four of his last five outings, he has shown why the Yankees have so much faith in him.

Last night's start can't count for too much since it came against the hapless Baltimore Orioles and it doesn't erase his rough outing in Minnesota last week. But Vazquez looked strong yesterday, giving up only one run, locating his pitches well and revving up his velocity when necessary. He also showed a lot of guts and poise in getting out of a bases-loaded jam in the seventh inning and ending his outing on a strong note.

"He was great," manager Joe Girardi said. "He attacked the zone all night. He was outstanding tonight and it's kind of what we thought we were going to get from him. We've been really encouraged by the way he's been throwing the baseball."

It would have been a real disappointment to see Vazquez struggle last night, particularly after getting consecutive strong starts from AJ Burnett and Andy Pettitte. But the beleaguered pitcher was rightly pleased with his performance last night. Vazquez even said he felt good in his previous start and was throwing better pitches than he had earlier in the year.

I think it's a good sign that he's focusing on the positives even in his rough starts rather than dwelling on the negatives. It bodes well for making further progress in rehabbing his Yankee career. A couple of more starts like this and he will have the Yankee faithful fully in his corner.

Thanks to sillygwailo via Wikipedia for the photo.

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