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Oakland Athletics
2008-06-10 12:05
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

Oakland Athletics

2007 Record: 76-86 (.469)
2007 Pythagorean Record: 79-83 (.489)

2008 Record: 34-29 (.540)
2008 Pythagorean Record: 37-26 (.588)

Manager: Bob Geren
General Manager: Billy Beane

Home Ballpark (multi-year Park Factors): Oakland Coliseum (93/93)

Who's Replacing Whom:

Daric Barton inherits Dan Johnson's playing time
Kurt Suzuki inherits Jason Kendall's playing time
Emil Brown replaces Shannon Stewart
Travis Buck inherits Mark Kotsay's playing time
Carlos Gonzalez and Ryan Sweeney (DL) replace Nick Swisher
Mike Sweeney and Frank Thomas replace Mike Piazza
Rajai Davis is filling in for Mike Sweeney (DL) and Frank Thomas (DL)
Donnie Murphy and Jack Hannahan inherit Marco Scutaro's playing time
Gregorio Petit is filling in for Donnie Murphy (DL)
Dana Eveland replaces Dan Haren
Greg Smith replaces Joe Kennedy and Dallas Braden (minors)
Rich Harden replaces Lenny DiNardo (minors) in the rotation
Justin Duchscherer replaces Chad Gaudin in the rotation
Chad Gaudin replaces Colby Lewis and Ruddy Lugo in the bullpen
Huston Street reclaims half of his save opportunities from Alan Embree
Embree replaces those save opportunities with innings reclaimed from Ron Flores
Keith Foulke replaces Jay Marshall
Brad Zielger is filling in for Santiago Casilla (DL)

25-man Roster:

1B - Daric Barton (L)
2B - Mark Ellis (R)
SS - Bobby Crosby (R)
3B - Eric Chavez (L)
C - Kurt Suzuki (R)
RF - Travis Buck (L)
CF - Carlos Gonzalez (L)
LF - Emil Brown (R)
DH - Jack Cust (L)

Bench:

L - Jack Hannahan (3B/IF)
R - Rajai Davis (OF)
R - Gregorio Petit (IF)
S - Rob Bowen (C)

Rotation:

R - Rich Harden
L - Dana Eveland
R - Justin Duchscherer
R - Joe Blanton
L - Greg Smith

Bullpen:

R - Huston Street
R - Kiko Calero
L - Alan Embree
R - Keith Foulke
R - Andrew Brown
R - Chad Gaudin
R - Brad Ziegler

15-day DL: R - Frank Thomas (DH), R - Mike Sweeney (1B), L - Ryan Sweeney (OF), R - Donnie Murphy (IF), R - Santiago Casilla, R - Joey Devine

Typical Lineup:

R - Mark Ellis (2B)
R - Bobby Crosby (SS)
L - Jack Cust (DH)
L - Eric Chavez (3B)
R - Emil Brown (LF)
L - Travis Buck (RF)
L - Daric Barton (1B)
L - Carlos Gonzalez (CF)
R - Kurt Suzuki (C)

A lot has been made this spring about the surprising starts of several teams. In the AL Central, Detroit and Cleveland have been surprisingly bad. Down in Florida, the Rays and Marlins have been surprisingly good (even if Baseball Prospectus's PECOTA saw the Rays coming). Still, I haven't heard all that much about the surprising performance of the A's, a team that entered the season in year one of a rebuilding phase only to shoot out of the gate looking like a contender.

The A's have the fifth-best record in the American League and are 3 1/2 games behind the Rays in the Wild Card race. More impressively, they have the best Pythagorean record in the league (and third-best in baseball behind the Cubs and Phillies). Look at that lineup above. Heck, look at the roster. That team has the best run differential in the American League.

What gives? Two things. First, the A's offense has been roughly league average, which is better than they really had a right to expect. The A's have scored just 0.01 runs per game less than the league average of 4.50 R/G despite playing their home games in the most extreme pitchers' park in the league. They've done this by being consistent at home (4.42 R/G) and on the road (4.59 R/G) and by doing what the Yankees were failing to do earlier in the year: get on base.

I know, big surprise coming from the original Moneyball team, but given the fact that the bulk of the A's lineup is composed of first- and second-year players and Emil Brown, I say it's impressive. Besides, the A's are far from the best on-base team in the league. They're nine points behind the Yankees in OBP and in eighth-place out of 14 teams, but that has put their overall run production eighth out of 14 as well, which, as I say, is good enough for league average for a team that plays in a pitchers' park. Of course, they'd be doing better without Brown (.289 OBP, but a team-best 37 RBIs thanks to all of the players ahead of him who actually do get on base), and home-grown catcher Kurt Suzuki (.316 OBP and a dismal .303 slugging) isn't helping much either.

The offense the Yankees will face over the next three nights is somewhat less than average, however, as two of the A's best on-base men (Frank Thomas, .417, who was a gift from the Blue Jays, and Ryan Sweeney, .353, part of the return for Nick Swisher) are on the disabled list. That's one reason that the A's are working to keep Jack Hannahan (.351), who did a fine job of filling in for the injured Eric Chavez over the first two months of the season, in the lineup now that Chavez (.353 in just eight games) has returned. Though both Chavez and Hannahan are lefty hitters, but Hannahan has been getting the hot corner starts against southpaws and, with Thomas on the shelf, has filled in at DH against righties, pushing Jack Cust back into the left field (and Brown to the bench). Hannahan can be used at first-base as well (though the one thing rookie gatekeeper Daric Barton has done well thus far has been get on base, with a .342 mark against a .231 average thanks to a walk total that trails only Cust on the team).

Still, an average offense does not explain the best run differential in baseball. No, that comes from the pitching staff, or, more specifically, the combination of the pitching staff and the ballpark. The A's have allowed runs at the second-lowest rate in baseball thus far this year, just a hair better than the similarly constructed Blue Jays. Still, the 4.44 runs per game the A's have allowed on the road is barely above league average and barely below what their offense gives them in the average road contest. Rather the crux of the A's success thus far has been the dominant performance of their pitchers in their home ballpark.

The A's have allowed just 3.25 R/G in Oakland and opposing hitters are batting just .222/.294/.323 at McAfee Coliseum this year. On the road, the A's are a .500 team (13-14 record, +4 run differential). At home, they're the best team in baseball (.583 winning percentage, .649 Pythagorean winning percentage). Because the A's have played 57 percent of their games at home thus far this year (and host the Yankees for three more starting tonight), that has been enough to place them among the best teams in the game as we get into the middle of June.

When the schedule evens out, the A's record likely will as well. Despite their Pythagorean success, they're really little more than a .500 team, if they can even sustain that. Their best starting pitchers are the injury prone Rich Harden (apparently healthy at the moment after an early-season DL stint) and converted reliever Justin Duchscherer, who missed most of last year to injury and spent most of April on the DL. In his start on Wednesday, Duchscherer will push his innings total to it's highest point since 2005. The other three A's starters have been merely average despite their lop-sided success at home (the most lop-sided of all being Greg Smith, who has a 2.84 ERA at home, but a 4.66 mark on the road).

Tonight, the Yankees face lefty Dana Eveland, who came over with Smith from the Diamondbacks in the Dan Haren trade. Eveland's ERA is 1.46 runs lower in Oakland than away from it this year (3.13 vs. 4.59), in large part due to hit luck (just 6.99 H/9 at home vs. 9.09 on the road--all that extra foul territory, you know). Still, two starts ago Eveland gave up seven runs in 4 1/3 innings to the underwhelming Toronto offense, and in his last start he lasted just 4 1/3 innings in part due to his walking seven in that short span. Both of those starts came at home. Of course, being able to get to Eveland won't mean much if Chien-Ming Wang can't pull out of his funk (8.75 ERA in his last four starts with a 5.32 BB/9).

Late night west coast games this week. We're leaving the light on for ya.

Comments (383)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-06-10 15:13:12
1.   tommyl
Its not likely, but I'd love to see this team go on a run and rattle of an 8-2 or 9-1 stretch or something. I'm sick of constantly being a game above or below .500, though I am beginning to fear that that's where this team will remain.
2008-06-10 15:15:58
2.   Jeb
1 ditto that! If we could pull a rabbit out of the hat and go 4-2 against the A's and Stros and then whip the Pads, Reds and Bucs we could at least go 10-5 over the next 15 though to get to 42-37. That might be about the best to hope for at this point, but 8-7 or 9-6 seems more likely.
2008-06-10 15:17:10
3.   tommyl
On a positive note, Hughes is claiming he's pain free on his blog. You guys all remember him, right? Future ace, my (still hoped to be) future favorite player? I hope he starts throwing again soon. If we're gonna be .500 than the excitement and drama this year will come from watching people like Joba, Hughes and the rest play. IPK is throwing as well though he no longer has a spot in the rotation.

I wonder, do people think its better to bring young pitchers along as Joba has been? Some short relief (where pitch count isn't an issue) and then be stretched out, finally transitioning to a starter? Or is it better to just throw them to the wolves out of AAA al la IPK and Hughes? I'm divided at this point.

2008-06-10 15:29:34
4.   underdog
I'll be at the game tomorrow night with my dad - he with his Yankees cap, me probably the only one there wearing a Dodger cap - if anyone wants to stop by and say hi. Er, I'm not sure where we're sitting, though I think it's the nice club level... Go Yanks, for pop's sake.
2008-06-10 16:02:00
5.   a O
Remember, they're only late night games if you're not on the West Coast!
2008-06-10 18:06:26
6.   Raf
3 Well, there have been successful pitchers who've started off in the rotation, there have been successful pitchers who've started in the pen.
2008-06-10 18:23:24
7.   Bruce Markusen
Tommy, I still think the Yankees would have been better off putting Chamberlain in the rotation to start the season. They're obviously concerned about his innings total, so they could have capped him at an average of six innings per start for 30 starts, putting him at 180 for the season. I don't think that 180 innings is a large workload for a pitcher, even one in his early 20s. But the Yankees have become married to Verducci's Rule, so much so that they've come up with this contrived split-season for Joba. Some might call it progressive; I'd call it an overreaction. And the Yankees are paying for it now by basically having spring training for Chamberlain in the middle of a season in which they're trying to contend. But hey, what's done is done.

I really don't think that Hughes and Kennedy have been thrown to the wolves. The Yankees planned on limiting their innings, even before they got hurt. They just happen to have pitched brutally; Hughes hasn't been able to get his velocity much past 91 or 92 after blowing hitters away in the minors, and Kennedy has looked nothing like the second half call-up that he was in 2007.

2008-06-10 18:34:44
8.   JL25and3
3 Weaver's Eighth Law: The best place for a rookie pitcher is in long relief.
2008-06-10 18:41:19
9.   monkeypants
7 And in reality, he likely would not have gotten to 180 INN, given his inefficiency. There would have been plenty of 4 INN type starts mixed in. That said, if he had to start in the 'pen, I would rather have seen him as a longer reliever instead of the eighth inning guy, a la JL25and3 8 and Earl Weaver.
2008-06-10 18:45:30
10.   Chyll Will
7 I really don't think that Hughes and Kennedy have been thrown to the wolves. The Yankees planned on limiting their innings, even before they got hurt. They just happen to have pitched brutally...

Isn't that really the same thing, as it turns out? The flaw is in not admitting to rebuilding with new young pitchers when they have pitch limits to begin with. How do you expect to win it all when three-fifths of your starting pitching is not allowed to pitch a standard workload? Methinks that hubris has stymied this team as much as injuries to key players; there were a lot of factors that seemed to rely on luck or the propensity for extending one's career: Damon, Abreu, Giambi and Mussina are in walk years, so we expect them to produce their best? Hawkins was very good for one year in a controlled environment, so we expect him to continue that in spite of his past results outside of that environment? This is admittedly in retrospect, but then it still makes little sense to base these expectations on such variables.

What gets me the most is that we're told over and over again that New Yorkers demand winners at all cost, and will not accept a rebuilding team. Says who, Verducci? Gollem? Why do we let reporters dictate what is on our minds, and then refuse to hold them accountable for it when it turns out they're wrong?

To sum it all up: whatever, just play ball...

2008-06-10 18:45:49
11.   tommyl
7 I see your arguments with Hughes and Kennedy Bruce. I just think a lot of the problems Hughes and IPK have had has been of the one bad inning variety and especially in regards to efficiency. I just wonder if some shorter relief stints (2-3 innings each) would allow them to work on these things a bit more and get used to getting big league hitters out. In particular when IPK was sent down, he completely dominated. I expect Phil will do something similar. They need to learn at the big league level, but perhaps they can do it without being in the rotation. Its just an idea.

As for Joba, I disagree with you. I think if you have a potential ace you have to be as careful as you can. Contending in 2008 was always going to be a bit dicey. So much depended on how the kids pitched, how Cano and Melky played, etc. If you asked me to choose between making the playoffs this year or having Joba be strong for the next 6-8, I'd take the latter option every time. Is that really the choice? I don't know, but I'd rather err on the side of caution. Your opinion is certainly a valid one of course, I guess that's why they play the games :).

2008-06-10 18:46:17
12.   Chyll Will
8 Agreed.
2008-06-10 18:48:47
13.   tommyl
8 I think I would agree, and you're got the 8th post too! Good job!
2008-06-10 18:51:56
14.   tommyl
7 11 Let me add one more thing. I think a lot of the problems have also stemmed from the expectations on the young guns. Its true that they have to learn to deal with if they are going to pitch in NY, but there's nothing wrong with easing them into it. I think long relief would allow them to do that. Yes Andy was brought along as a starter for the most part, but people forget how much lower expectations on him and the team were back then.

And Bruce, I know they have pitched brutally, but asking Hughes to be the #3 or 4 starter out of the gate at the age of 21 is sort of throwing him to the wolves. I thought he could handle it (I still do in fact), but that's a tall order for a 21 year old. I was studying for my GREs back then.

2008-06-10 18:59:04
15.   monkeypants
According to Pete Abe, the Yanks released Ensberg. I never expected that he would be great, but at the same time I thought he was a pretty shrewd pickup for the bench. Many of us were pretty excited about the depth of the bench at the start of the season. Here we are in early June and the bench includes Betemit, two BUC, and a mostly invisible Shelley Duncan. Yikes.
2008-06-10 18:59:08
16.   Chyll Will
14 Okay, I know you were more concise and less oblique about it, but I'm jinxing you on that anyway, bub >;)
2008-06-10 19:00:57
17.   Jeb
nice to see the gang's all here. Go Yanks!
2008-06-10 19:06:17
18.   Chyll Will
15 The decision to pick him up in the beginning wasn't wrong, based on what they saw. The results after that changed everything, and I'm glad they didn't drag their heels on that. With Shelly, they've invested a lot of time in him via their farm system, so it makes sense to make sure if he's going to work or not before they cut him loose and he suddenly becomes Carlos Peña...
2008-06-10 19:08:11
19.   mehmattski
This guy still counts as an URP, right?
2008-06-10 19:10:40
20.   monkeypants
18 I don't disagree with the relevant personnel decisions (well, other than the fascination with 3 catchers)--I'm just noting how what we thought was a real strength has turned out very differently.

I do wonder, though, when Moeller/Molina get sent down/released, what position player (if any) will replace him. Gardner? AG? E Duncan? Have I forgotten someone?

2008-06-10 19:10:57
21.   Chyll Will
19 yeahhhh...
2008-06-10 19:11:47
22.   Chyll Will
20 Karim Garcia?
2008-06-10 19:12:06
23.   Jeb
18 I wouldn't worry too much about him becoming Carlos Pena...He's more comparable to Marv Throneberrry
2008-06-10 19:12:14
24.   51cq24
20 gardner is the obvious choice, so probably not him
2008-06-10 19:13:38
25.   Jeb
19 URP?
2008-06-10 19:13:39
26.   51cq24
is eveland hurt? why does he keep stretching his arm out after every pitch like that?
2008-06-10 19:14:19
27.   Chyll Will
Now that was a nice bit of hitting...
2008-06-10 19:15:03
28.   Eirias
It is the little things with A-Rod, like advancing to second, that I like.
2008-06-10 19:15:53
29.   mehmattski
25 Unfamiliar/Unheralded Rookie Pitcher

http://bronxbanter.baseballtoaster.com/archives/421158.html

2008-06-10 19:16:32
30.   Chyll Will
27 ...followed by some unlucky steps on his way to third. Oh well.

25 You're excused... (Unheralded Rookie Pitcher)

2008-06-10 19:17:07
31.   williamnyy23
28 Not only that, but knowing off the bat it was falling, while Abreu held up and then made the mistake if going after he hesitated. Arod is a winning ballplayer plain and simple. Had it been Arod on 1st, the Yankees would be poised for a big inning.
2008-06-10 19:17:49
32.   mehmattski
A base hit.... to left field?!?!?

Cats and dogs living together! Mass Hysteria!

2008-06-10 19:18:05
33.   Jeb
29 thank you. I haven't read the link but I am guessing that he's the kind of guy that eats us up and then gets killed by the bottom dwelling teams. (and yes, we are bottom dwelling now, but we don't down the road).
2008-06-10 19:18:15
34.   tommyl
I love it when Giambi goes the other way.
2008-06-10 19:18:46
35.   Chyll Will
Giambi and his mustache Ron? - 27
2008-06-10 19:19:14
36.   Jeb
I have to say that I was 100% dead wrong about Arod. After he opted out I didn't want him back. Now I see where we'd be without him.
2008-06-10 19:19:25
37.   Eirias
33 You would be correct in that assumption.
2008-06-10 19:20:08
38.   Jeb
31 we may still have a big inning.
2008-06-10 19:20:25
39.   51cq24
31 but arod coming from home is at a better angle to determine that than abreu from 1st. not that i don't necessarily agree with you, but it's not totally fair to abreu.
2008-06-10 19:20:47
40.   williamnyy23
38 Of course...I only meant to point out that Arod not only hits bombs, but he does the little things that create big innings.
2008-06-10 19:20:53
41.   Jeb
37 and I actually got that bit of info from John Sterling talking about it ad infinitum.
2008-06-10 19:21:07
42.   tommyl
Way to actually take a pitch after a walk Wilson. Thank you.
2008-06-10 19:21:24
43.   Jeb
40 Yeah, he's freaking great.
2008-06-10 19:22:17
44.   Chyll Will
34 Did you see this?

http://www.grimmy.com/comics.php

2008-06-10 19:22:36
45.   monkeypants
Speaking of Shelley, isn't he supposed to start against LHP when Giambi sits/DHs? He's really played himself to the end of the bench.
2008-06-10 19:22:43
46.   williamnyy23
39 It's not a slam on Abreu..he didn't read it right, but it's not easy (although once he hesitated, he should have held). Time and again, we see Arod get a great read on a ball like that. He is really one of the best baserunners in the game.
2008-06-10 19:22:46
47.   tommyl
43 This guy, Alex you say? Did we just call him up and he's getting the spot start? :)
2008-06-10 19:25:00
48.   Jeb
45 Yeah I think that's right. Maybe Betemit's right-handed homer the other day has made him more of an option (of course if one homer doesn't scream "sample size" nothing does).

I'd rather then just send him down for someone who can at least pinch run. Actually, I'd like Gardner to take his spot and give him a couple games a week to see if he can take over center.

2008-06-10 19:25:21
49.   williamnyy23
I'd like to see what would happen if Wang would go back to throwing all sinkers.
2008-06-10 19:25:25
50.   tommyl
Well, Wang clearly has it tonight. Sigh.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-06-10 19:26:06
51.   Chyll Will
Dance, sucka! >;)
2008-06-10 19:26:09
52.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
46 more and more I can see that A-Rod is simply the best all-around player in the game. Pujols maybe a better pure hitter though...
2008-06-10 19:26:10
53.   Jeb
47 they're giving him a look-see.
2008-06-10 19:26:42
54.   mehmattski
A's announcer is complaining that there are too many Yankees fans there.
2008-06-10 19:27:10
55.   tommyl
53 Only against lefties though right?
2008-06-10 19:27:26
56.   Jeb
lotsa BABIP for wanger tonight.
2008-06-10 19:27:35
57.   Chyll Will
49 Not a good sign, eh? Well at least Damon was on the ball, nicely in fact...
2008-06-10 19:27:41
58.   Eirias
This is ominous.
2008-06-10 19:27:55
59.   williamnyy23
Even though Damon can look very awkward in LF, he has rated very well since moving there next year. Still, it seems like the ones he does botch come at a big time.
2008-06-10 19:27:58
60.   Jeb
55 haha right. Oh, and ambidexterous pitchers.
2008-06-10 19:28:39
61.   mehmattski
49 He just needs to keep the ball down. I've watched gameday closely in his last two starts and he's leaving everything up. Even Sutter would get hit if he left sinkers up.

Unfortunately for Wang, he doesn't seem to be getting the low strike tonight.

2008-06-10 19:28:45
62.   tommyl
Just checked the scores, Beckett got hammered again. Wish I had the package to watch the LA/SD game. Future versus legend there.
2008-06-10 19:29:30
63.   OldYanksFan
45 Maybe... but maybe it would just be nuts to take Giambi out of the lineup.

May: .315 .446 .644 1.090
Jun: .348 .444 .739 1.183
LHP: .255 .433 .569 1.002

Insane OBP. Hard to bench those numbers.

2008-06-10 19:29:41
64.   williamnyy23
52 Pujols and maybe even Manny are better pure hitters, but no one combines power, speed, smarts and defense like Arod. I love the fact that I have gotten to watch him every day since 2004.
2008-06-10 19:29:53
65.   tommyl
60 We drafted that kid again! I'm so psyched, if we sign him I may go to Staten Island or whatnot to see him pitch. It must be awesome.
2008-06-10 19:30:55
66.   mehmattski
62 And they're both on my fantasy team!
2008-06-10 19:31:44
67.   Jeb
OT: I checked MLB.com today and went to the A's team site. From there I checked their draft history from 2000 to the present. I realize the Yanks didn't draft at all (based on their picks from 2000-2003) but I was none too impressed with the A's picks. Bobby Crosby, Huston Street, some guys from moneyball fame (Bonderman, Jeremy Brown) and a couple other guys and about 300 guys I've never heard of. The Yanks drafts from 2005-2006 looked pretty strong in comparison.
2008-06-10 19:33:22
68.   Jeb
65 Preisendorfer?
2008-06-10 19:33:37
69.   mehmattski
There are a few lefty hitters who would murder that pitch, but Cano couldn't extend his arms and rolled it over. It's the typical Cano at-bat this season.

Someone's gotta snap him into shape.

2008-06-10 19:33:44
70.   OldYanksFan
62 Yup, Ace Beckett gave up 4 ERs in 6 IPS for a season ERA of 4.22. Sox lost to lowly Baltimore at Fenway 10-6.
2008-06-10 19:34:01
71.   Just fair
Who will be the 1st manager brave enought to employ the Cano shift? 5 guys milling about the secod base area. : )
UGH!
2008-06-10 19:34:16
72.   mehmattski
68 Pat Venditte

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8U2xkHOTvvw

2008-06-10 19:34:19
73.   tommyl
68 I forgot his name, starts with a V I think though.
2008-06-10 19:36:16
74.   tommyl
72 Does it take him twice as long to warm up then? What about gloves? Does he switch every hitter? Its crazy! Crazy I say!
2008-06-10 19:36:22
75.   Chyll Will
71 Do we play the Dodgers anytime this year? >;)
2008-06-10 19:36:32
76.   williamnyy23
70 Everyone was quick to annoint him the second coming, but Beckett's ERA+ since 2004 is 108, 118, 95, 148, 108. Perhaps the outlier was last year?
2008-06-10 19:37:44
77.   Jeb
72 cool video. So he can occupy two rotation slots and throw 400 innings?
2008-06-10 19:38:02
78.   Ken Arneson
54 Tell Ray Fosse I'm hanging out here just to even things out.
2008-06-10 19:38:15
79.   tommyl
74 Oh man, I watched 72 . He has a six fingered glove with two thumbs (insert Princess Bride jokes here)! I love this kid already.
2008-06-10 19:38:20
80.   Shaun P
Does Eveland even qualify as a rookie pitcher anymore? He hasn't thrown over 50 innings in a season prior to this year, but he made his debut back in '05 . . .
2008-06-10 19:39:10
81.   mehmattski
77 He's definitely a reliever. Just imagine what Joe Torre would have done to him... set up man one day, LOOGY the next, rinse, repeat until both arms fall off.
2008-06-10 19:39:15
82.   Chyll Will
74 I say he should develop a windup where he starts by facing CF and then whips around with whatever arm he feels like throwing with, thus confusing the hitter into oblivion. Also, who's gonna steal second or third on him that way?
2008-06-10 19:40:22
83.   mehmattski
79 You have six fingers on your right hand. Someone was looking for you. (clonk on head)
2008-06-10 19:40:29
84.   Jeb
78 Ken, a good friend of mine is Chad Bradford's brother. I know it's been a few years, but that's my A's link.
2008-06-10 19:41:11
85.   Jeb
83 I'd just spend even more time alone.
2008-06-10 19:41:50
86.   tommyl
82 He can't switch hands mid-AB (same for a switch hitter).

81 He's Mike Stanton, Jeff Nelson and Mike Myers all rolled into one!

2008-06-10 19:42:27
87.   mehmattski
To someone who hasn't seen the movie, reading 85 after 83 is particularly dirty...
2008-06-10 19:42:55
88.   tommyl
Ah that inning was good Wang. I like Good Wang. Please stay.
2008-06-10 19:43:24
89.   51cq24
49 a relatively simple inning apparently
2008-06-10 19:43:52
90.   Ken Arneson
84 I've been running into an inordinate number of low Kevin Bacon numbers lately. I'm beginning to feel like I'm two or three degrees of separation from everybody famous.
2008-06-10 19:44:13
91.   Jeb
88 yes, leave bad wang at the hotel
2008-06-10 19:44:15
92.   Chyll Will
86 Too bad, that would've been one hell of a change-up >;)
2008-06-10 19:44:40
93.   mehmattski
88 Wang is keeping it down, and the A's offense has gone soft.
2008-06-10 19:45:45
94.   51cq24
85 i do not think that means what you think it means
2008-06-10 19:45:45
95.   tommyl
91 Along with swing at everything Derek?
2008-06-10 19:45:55
96.   Jeb
84 Chad told us about some woman who's somewhat of a hippy/goth/witch who meets up with A's and puts their pictures on the InternetS. His picture was on there when we looked
2008-06-10 19:46:23
97.   williamnyy23
If Wang and Pettitte had been Wang and Pettitte over the past 3-4 weeks, the Yankees would be 6 or 7 games over .500.
2008-06-10 19:46:46
98.   Jeb
94 um...I'd spend more time in the bathroom?
2008-06-10 19:46:57
99.   tommyl
94 Anybody want a peanut?
2008-06-10 19:47:03
100.   mehmattski
Sucks that he got hit, but it's funny to watch the ump doing the chicken dance back there...
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-06-10 19:48:40
101.   51cq24
97 but i thought we were supposed to recognize that this team is nothing more than a .500 team
2008-06-10 19:49:31
102.   Chyll Will
100 Better than the ballerina in the first inning?
2008-06-10 19:50:26
103.   51cq24
100 does that mean it's bad that i always get a little happy when an umpire gets hit?
2008-06-10 19:51:11
104.   tommyl
97 If Cano and Melky could take a walk or get a hit we'd be there as well.
2008-06-10 19:51:37
105.   williamnyy23
101 If the Yankees would play better, they wouldn't be a .500 team. They haven't played well, so they are. I don't that's breaking much ground...I don't think anyone thinks the Yankees can pile up wins without playing better?
2008-06-10 19:53:33
106.   mehmattski
Eveland's doing a chicken dance of his own out there.
2008-06-10 19:53:42
107.   51cq24
105 i'm just kidding with you. i think we all know that if the players were playing better we'd be winning more games.
2008-06-10 19:53:55
108.   Just fair
104 If Giambi had his porn stache since March they'd be undefeated.
2008-06-10 19:55:01
109.   mehmattski
This is one of the livelier Banters of the season so far. I expect to see all of you in the ninth inning!
2008-06-10 19:55:24
110.   nick
104 if ifs and buts were candy and nuts, we'd all have a hell of a Christmas......hey folks: how's the Wang?
2008-06-10 19:55:51
111.   Yankees Brasil
At least the offense scored 2 before going to sleep.
2008-06-10 19:56:04
112.   Chyll Will
108 Don't forget the thong... well actually, DO forget it if you can help it... :(
2008-06-10 19:56:05
113.   mehmattski
110 The only pitch that hasn't been around the knees was hit for a double by Ellis. These things are related.
2008-06-10 19:57:42
114.   Chyll Will
109 Don't know man, I've got to get up for work tomorrow. If you hear about a ten-car pileup on the West Side Highway, you know I was way up past my bedtime...
2008-06-10 19:58:53
115.   Jeb
109 gotta go to bed. I gotta wake my ass up at 6:00 a.m. every day this week, drag up to Las Colindas. Yeah, I'm doin' the drywall up there at the new McDonald's.
2008-06-10 19:59:48
116.   williamnyy23
Wang seems to be reverting to a problem that plagued him early in his career...he seems to struggle when a man is on first base...almost as if he quickens his windup and opens up too much.
2008-06-10 20:00:14
117.   bartap74
Singleton: The A's have been looking for a lead-off hitter dating back to Bert Campeneris.

I don't know, that Henderson kid wasn't bad.

2008-06-10 20:01:27
118.   mehmattski
115 Someone's got a bad case of the Mondays.
2008-06-10 20:01:59
119.   williamnyy23
I've always liked West Coast games, even though they take their toll. My wakeup is 4:30am ET, so I'll be in a coma by Thursday.
2008-06-10 20:02:10
120.   Just fair
Nothing personal for Hannahan, but
Hey, Hammerhan. You're wife's a .......!!!!
That's a quote from Slapshot. And since this a family show, I will refrain from filling in the blank.
Love them double plays.
2008-06-10 20:02:12
121.   mehmattski
A Wang Worm-Burner special!
2008-06-10 20:02:41
122.   Jeb
118 no....hell...no. I believe you'd get your ass kicked saying something like that.

haha.

2008-06-10 20:03:15
123.   Just fair
120 Your wife....
Sick minds should have better grammar.
2008-06-10 20:03:31
124.   Chyll Will
115 Is that what they call a McJob?
2008-06-10 20:03:59
125.   Ken Arneson
117 I ran into Campaneris (almost literally) on the Oakland Coliseum concourse a few weeks ago. He's listed at 5'10", 160 at baseball-reference.com. I'm 5'10", 160. I was at least three inches taller than him.
2008-06-10 20:06:14
126.   Jeb
124 McYes
2008-06-10 20:06:26
127.   Just fair
Ad nauseum alert. If Duncan is officially buried on the bench, it's time to send him to The Office for Gardner. And it's time for another 1st pitch out for Cano. GRRRR.
2008-06-10 20:06:39
128.   williamnyy23
I wonder if they are working with Cano on anything? His approach hasn't changed all season.
2008-06-10 20:07:17
129.   Chyll Will
125 I always pictured you bigger and taller... dang, you sunk my battleship!
2008-06-10 20:08:38
130.   williamnyy23
127 This Yankee roster seems to be screaming for a player like Gardner. Unless they think he is a long-term fixture better off getting ABs in the minors, it doesn't make much sense why he isn't up here.
2008-06-10 20:09:34
131.   Jeb
129 I'm 6 4 if that helps.
2008-06-10 20:10:47
132.   Ken Arneson
129 I have a soccer player's body.
2008-06-10 20:11:11
133.   mehmattski
128 I'd like to see a side-by-side analysis, like the ones that you can find at Baseball Analysts and The Hardball Times, of Cano's swing from 2006/late 2007 and this year.

David Cone had some good analysis the other night, about how Cano was staying back and rolling over the pitch outside, while Johnny Damon would take the same pitch and smack it to left field. I bet that would be borne out in the slo-mo.

2008-06-10 20:11:46
134.   Jeb
127 yeah, Cano's rich and he's doing nothing...nothing.

Well you ain't gotta be rich to do nothing. Take a look at my cousin. He's broke, don't do shit.

2008-06-10 20:12:04
135.   mehmattski
Baseball Cliche #491: He let the ball play him.

This just in: Wilson Betemit is not a first baseman. He's also not a good right-handed hitter, either.

2008-06-10 20:12:10
136.   Just fair
WILSON!!!
That play has gotta be made.
2008-06-10 20:12:15
137.   tommyl
Wilson Betemit, Don Mattingly he is not.
2008-06-10 20:12:34
138.   williamnyy23
Firstbase may be the "easiest" position to play, but it really seems as if bad defense at the position proves costly.
2008-06-10 20:13:14
139.   tommyl
132 I'm built more like a goalpost.
2008-06-10 20:13:21
140.   williamnyy23
135 Betemit seems very miscast in this game.
2008-06-10 20:13:21
141.   Chyll Will
131 But you are not God of Toaster, Abe Lincoln >;)
2008-06-10 20:14:59
142.   williamnyy23
Bad defense has really hurt the Yankees all year.
2008-06-10 20:15:05
143.   nick
it seems to me that we want the following bench:
1) Betemit as a bat
2) the AG as a glove
3) somebody who can run a little

this means Shelley D's time should be up...

2008-06-10 20:15:14
144.   mehmattski
Left another pitch up to Ellis.

Throw more sinkers, please, Wang.

2008-06-10 20:16:02
145.   Just fair
140 He'll look better when the A's bring a righty.
Ellis. This series' Yankee killer? He's annoying me already.
2008-06-10 20:16:18
146.   51cq24
144 i believe it was a sinker, just too high
2008-06-10 20:17:04
147.   Shaun P
145 Ellis has been en fuego lately. Might just be one of those things.
2008-06-10 20:17:40
148.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
143 does Shelly D have any other function at this point beside desginated-high-fiver?

Oakland's stadium always seems so sad...all that foul territory is very upsetting for some reason...

2008-06-10 20:17:44
149.   Shaun P
144 Ask, and ye shall receive!
2008-06-10 20:18:19
150.   monkeypants
143 For whom would AG-the-glove replace, so as to warrant a spot on the bench?
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-06-10 20:18:26
151.   williamnyy23
If the Yankees stay close enough in the race, I think they have to look into acquiring a 1B with a good glove and a decent bat against righties.
2008-06-10 20:18:53
152.   mehmattski
146 No, definitely a slider, only a tiny bit outside, but it broke over the plate. Ellis did hit a sinker for his first double, that was dead center at the belt.
2008-06-10 20:18:54
153.   mehmattski
146 No, definitely a slider, only a tiny bit outside, but it broke over the plate. Ellis did hit a sinker for his first double, that was dead center at the belt.
2008-06-10 20:19:14
154.   williamnyy23
150 Right now, I might use AG to push Cano a bit.
2008-06-10 20:20:21
155.   monkeypants
154 I can agree with that.
2008-06-10 20:20:21
156.   51cq24
152 yeah when they showed the replay it was definitely a slider, but the problem was still that it hung too high
2008-06-10 20:20:45
157.   Jeb
141 I feel more like toast right now.
2008-06-10 20:21:04
158.   Shaun P
151 The question is, who is that? Once upon a time, Richie Sexson fit the bill, but not anymore.

Of course, in case you haven't noticed, Giambi's glove by some advanced metrics at least, has been league average (or better) this year . . .

2008-06-10 20:21:13
159.   Just fair
Don't bunt, Jeter.
2008-06-10 20:21:16
160.   OldYanksFan
132 In the basement?
2008-06-10 20:21:23
161.   51cq24
that was a close pitch
2008-06-10 20:22:23
162.   williamnyy23
158 Giambi has been a lot better with the glove of late. Still, even if he was Mattingly with the leather, his arm is a timebomb waiting to blow up a big game.
2008-06-10 20:23:09
163.   williamnyy23
158 As for who it is? Kevin Millar comes to mind, although he is more bat than glove. Still, I think Millar has become a very solid 1B.
2008-06-10 20:23:23
164.   51cq24
nick johnson is hurt again unfortunately
2008-06-10 20:23:55
165.   nick
158 yeah, I read that....does that metric account for his throws to second....does it account for the pyschological damage those throws cause the fanbase?

to be fair, he's good on low throws and he has reasonable feet: he's in better shape this year, it makes sense he'd be quicker at first...

2008-06-10 20:24:13
166.   tommyl
162 But he's OPSing almost 1.000 at this point. I don't think they are going to find that on the market during the season.

Man, we are going to have a lot of holes next year. RF, 1B, could be a bit dicey.

2008-06-10 20:24:50
167.   mehmattski
162 In the grand scheme of Things to Worry About on My Baseball Team (TWAMB), the arm of the first baseman is very low, somewhere around "Is the bullpen well-stocked with sunflower seeds?" and "Does the catcher wear the traditional mask or hockey-style?" Whether he has the ability to hit walk-off homeruns, meanwhile, is very high.
2008-06-10 20:25:39
168.   tommyl
163 Only against us.

G-d damnit, Jeter is killing us. What is he hitting like .260 something? How many DPs has he hit into?

2008-06-10 20:25:42
169.   Just fair
Like I said, Jeter. Instead of bunting, go for the 5-4-3. Bollocks.
2008-06-10 20:25:44
170.   nick
163 my guess is that the O's have an inflated idea of Millar's worth--especially re. the Yanks.
2008-06-10 20:26:12
171.   williamnyy23
Jeter is really hurting the team...that's a 3-1 pitch, so you'd expect a better swing. It might be harsh, but I think Jeter and Cano have had way too many rally killing ABs.
2008-06-10 20:26:42
172.   monkeypants
167 Well said.
2008-06-10 20:26:43
173.   williamnyy23
166 Of course...I am thinking more as a late inning replacement or option when you have Giambi DH.
2008-06-10 20:26:55
174.   Chyll Will
And with that, I retire for the evening. G'nite folks, hope that Giambi, Alex and Damon keep OPSing all over everything this game...
2008-06-10 20:27:08
175.   nick
151 think we could get Nomar dirt cheap?
2008-06-10 20:27:42
176.   williamnyy23
167 Yes...it's a luxury concern on a playoff team. The Yankees list of problems is too deep to focus on that one.
2008-06-10 20:27:42
177.   Jeb
5 walks...William are you watching?
2008-06-10 20:27:47
178.   OldYanksFan
Have we seen back-2-back hits from JD and Jeter this year? As bad as Cano, and to some extent Melky has been, Jeter is in the 2 hole. His suckatude is really hurting us badly.
2008-06-10 20:29:15
179.   Ken Arneson
Ha. Can't remember seeing a batter tricking a pitcher into a balk before. Well played, ARod.
2008-06-10 20:29:18
180.   williamnyy23
177 Yep...it's just not translating.

Jeter's AB was monumentally bad in this inning. You almost get the feeling the Yankees woukd have broken the game open otherwise.

2008-06-10 20:29:57
181.   tommyl
178 I'd say its his sub .350 OBP that is killing us. This has been his worst start since the infamous .087 year.
2008-06-10 20:30:02
182.   51cq24
seems like eveland could have snuck a strike past arod there but instead chose to give abreu 2nd
2008-06-10 20:30:54
183.   Jeb
180 it will. Grind out at-bats (wearing down the starter), take walks, and as Ted Williams said, "get a good pitch to hit" and we'll be okay.
2008-06-10 20:31:16
184.   mehmattski
179 "HA!" indeed.

180 Well, the theory is that if you take walks, eventually the hits will come with men on base. In the Earl Weaver/Bill James offense Patience isn't just for the hitters, it's for the fans too...

2008-06-10 20:31:30
185.   nick
171 --there are currently 138 mlb players who have 100+ plate appearances with runners on base. wanna guess who's 138th?
2008-06-10 20:31:48
186.   williamnyy23
178 Not that often...and you can't blame Damon for that. Damon, Abreu, Arod, Matsui and Giambi are all hitting, so having Jeter shor circuit rallies is very demoralizing. He is the captain and has done great things, but would the Yankees be better off dropping him down?

Personally, I'd lead him off and bat Damon second. That's kind of a backhanded way to move Jeter out of the way, while also trying to jumpstart him.

2008-06-10 20:32:23
187.   Just fair
In lieu of Jeter.
Bobby Crosby has missed about 250 games over the last 4+ years. Having a decent, healthy, shorstop is not too shabby.
2008-06-10 20:33:26
188.   williamnyy23
184 Yes...I am big fan of that theory...you just can't have the second batter of the inning swing at ball four and grounding into a weak DP.
2008-06-10 20:33:47
189.   williamnyy23
That's the 5th lead off man to reach base for the A's.
2008-06-10 20:34:53
190.   tommyl
Man A-Rod is sooooo good
2008-06-10 20:35:05
191.   monkeypants
178 Jeter is hitting 4.3 RC/G, 94 OPS+. That's bad, but in terms of suckatude it is nothing compared Cano's (2.8, 66).
2008-06-10 20:35:10
192.   williamnyy23
185 You set me up, but it's gotta be Cano, who, it should be said, is still playing great defense despite his struggles.
2008-06-10 20:35:13
193.   Just fair
At least Robbie can still make the sweet pivot.
2008-06-10 20:35:38
194.   tommyl
187 I don't think Jeter is a bad SS, in fact I think he's a great one. I do think he's hitting for shit right now though.
2008-06-10 20:36:08
195.   51cq24
nicely turned.

we could pretend to be half-full people and assume that jeter and cano will turn it around at some point. but it's already june and it's particularly hard to envision cano changing his approach.

2008-06-10 20:37:05
196.   tommyl
191 Yeah but I have such higher expectations for Jeter. Its like if A-Rod was OPS+ing 105, he's above average, but for A-Rod that's crap. Also, Cano plays good defense, Jeter is a black hole.
2008-06-10 20:37:12
197.   williamnyy23
191 There are two things to consider...Jeter is batting in the middle of hot hitters, so his bad ABs seem huge, whereas Cano has been making his outs in front of Melky and Molina for most of the year. Secondly, this is so sudden for Jeter. I still expect him to drive a single through the 1B hole and send Damon to third. Instead, he is flailing away.
2008-06-10 20:38:19
198.   Jeb
195 that's how I feel about it. They'll both explode in the second half. Come September our biggest worry as we head to the post-season is whether to sit Joba for 2-3 weeks so we can have some playoff innings from him.
2008-06-10 20:40:29
199.   monkeypants
194 He is, no doubt. But it's a little much to compare his struggles to Cano's.
2008-06-10 20:40:43
200.   williamnyy23
The most troubling thing for me this season is the Yankees have had so many games where I have felt they were going to win easy early on, but then something bad happens and it all gets away.

After the first inning, this game felt like a win, but Jeter's AB gave me that lump in my throat.

Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2008-06-10 20:41:05
201.   tommyl
Robbie, see that! Walking is good! Taking pitches is good!
2008-06-10 20:41:11
202.   nick
192 I did, and you got it: .191/.224/.255......the really scary thing is he's second in the team in PA with men on, behind only Abreu
2008-06-10 20:41:26
203.   Just fair
If Jeremby Giambi just slides, Yankee land sure would be different. D'oh. There's that if word again.
2008-06-10 20:42:29
204.   tommyl
200 You mean like the game we took the lead but Kei Igawa was the pitcher? ;)
2008-06-10 20:42:50
205.   nick
ok, this is old-school Yankee offense, we'll cash in this walk...
2008-06-10 20:43:20
206.   mehmattski
Looks like that Kershaw-Maddux matchup is quite the duel.

Giambi tags from first! Nice wheels, buddy!

2008-06-10 20:43:39
207.   tommyl
203 Or you know, if the wind doesn't blow back Shane Spencer's flyball. Or if Mo makes that throw. Or Brosius goes for two.

Of course, if not for Jeffery Maier, who knows how 1996 would have turned out, eh.

2008-06-10 20:43:54
208.   williamnyy23
199 His last 28 game OPS of .666 makes it seem that way. Hmm...666...it must be the work of the devil.
2008-06-10 20:44:27
209.   tommyl
205 Except we have Cano on deck.
2008-06-10 20:44:47
210.   monkeypants
196 Robbie could be Ozzie Smith, but I'm not sure that makes up for the 66 OPS+, 30 points below Jeter at a (supposedly) easier defensive position.

Also, just because we have higher expectations for Jeter does not mean that his play is hurting the team more than Robbie.

197 Maybe that adds up, maybe it doesn't. The fact is that Robbie is creating a lot of outs, and that really hurts the team no matter where he bats.

2008-06-10 20:45:22
211.   williamnyy23
202 That's really bad...I don't think it's hyperbole to say Cano's dormant bat has cost the Yankees 3 or 4 games.
2008-06-10 20:46:28
212.   williamnyy23
I've never seen an AB where the hitter should have K'ed on three straight pitches...lets see what #4 has in store.
2008-06-10 20:46:48
213.   mehmattski
210 Note: Ozzie Smith's career OPS: 89. He had six seasons with an OPS below 80.
2008-06-10 20:48:37
214.   monkeypants
213 Well noted!
2008-06-10 20:48:41
215.   tommyl
Well at least Robbie is as pissed off at himself as I am.
2008-06-10 20:48:43
216.   williamnyy23
That was a Cano AB...unfortunately, it's another missed opportunity.
2008-06-10 20:48:55
217.   Ken Arneson
Wow, Cust actually caught that one.
2008-06-10 20:49:12
218.   Just fair
Bad luck for Cano. I'm glad he showed a modicum of frutration.
2008-06-10 20:49:28
219.   51cq24
well it's good to see robbie angry at least, and driving the ball to left, and thinking better of slamming the helmet
2008-06-10 20:51:28
220.   williamnyy23
6 leadoff men reach!
2008-06-10 20:51:44
221.   mehmattski
BTW, Pat Venditte has been assigned to Staten Island, per Pending Pinstripes:

http://mvn.com/milb-yankees/

2008-06-10 20:52:20
222.   Just fair
AWSOME DP. Good stuff.
2008-06-10 20:52:27
223.   51cq24
219 and not letting his anger affect his fielding
2008-06-10 20:52:27
224.   mehmattski
220 Wang just wants to see all the double plays.
2008-06-10 20:52:51
225.   tommyl
We need some more runs here. Wang has been living dangerously all night.
2008-06-10 20:53:13
226.   51cq24
i wonder if the apparent return to throwing more 2 seamers is a product of jorge's return
2008-06-10 20:53:42
227.   williamnyy23
224 This game is defying conventional wisdom. So much for getting your leadoff man on. I think Tim McCarver would be shocked to see that is in deed easier to score with a leadoff homerun than walk or hit.
2008-06-10 20:54:48
228.   51cq24
227 but a leadoff hr is a rally killer before a rally even gets started!
2008-06-10 20:55:08
229.   tommyl
221 Yes! Field trip anyone?
2008-06-10 20:56:08
230.   tommyl
STOP SLIDING
2008-06-10 20:56:30
231.   mehmattski
STOP FUCKING SLIDING INTO FIRST BASE

Ok, I'm ready to be done with Melky. Paging Mr. Gardner...

2008-06-10 20:56:33
232.   williamnyy23
Is Melky just stupid, or do the Yankees not believe in coaching their players?
2008-06-10 20:57:59
233.   williamnyy23
Is Mo available for his 4th straight game?
2008-06-10 20:58:57
234.   nick
231 ballplayers get away with anything that connotes "hussle"
2008-06-10 20:58:58
235.   OldYanksFan
That Melky is just plain stupid!
2008-06-10 20:59:20
236.   tommyl
Ok, I'm sorry, but Jeter is killing this team
2008-06-10 20:59:32
237.   williamnyy23
You could see Damon spin his wheels...man this game is giving me a very bad feeling.
2008-06-10 20:59:41
238.   51cq24
wow quick tag
2008-06-10 20:59:48
239.   OldYanksFan
Great throw.
2008-06-10 21:00:07
240.   williamnyy23
If that was a hit and run, that's another bad AB by Jeter.
2008-06-10 21:00:10
241.   Yankees Brasil
Jeter, oh my..
2008-06-10 21:01:00
242.   OldYanksFan
Fucking Girardi! Should have called for the Hit and Run instead of the Miss and Run.
2008-06-10 21:01:39
243.   tommyl
240 It was. So Jeter comes up with a runner on 1st, one out. First he botches the hit and run, one out. Then he Ks, two outs. Yet another DP started by Jeter.
2008-06-10 21:01:57
244.   williamnyy23
I am just not going to criticize Jeter anymore after today. His horrendous ABs keep mounting, and I hate to pile on him after so many good years. Still, it's very hard to watch.
2008-06-10 21:02:39
245.   tommyl
Ah, and Derek's edge commercial. At least he has a second career waiting for him ;)
2008-06-10 21:03:19
246.   monkeypants
I'm usually a big fan of the steal-second-with-two-outs play when the batter is a leadoff type (the ol' "worst case scenario you have X leading off next inning"). That said, it seems like every time they have run Damon in this situation this year he has been caught (well, at least tonight and a couple of games ago, IIRC).
2008-06-10 21:04:44
247.   51cq24
245 i assume you mean as a car salesman, because it's certainly not as an actor
2008-06-10 21:05:01
248.   monkeypants
246 Whoops, I am an idiot--there was only one out.
2008-06-10 21:05:40
249.   mehmattski
Mark Ellis: Yankee Killer
2008-06-10 21:05:49
250.   51cq24
was melky playing 400 feet deep?
Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2008-06-10 21:05:59
251.   williamnyy23
The differnce between last year and this year is the Yankees would have easily won the Rasner, Mussina and tonight's Wang game. Why can't this offense get going. Is it all Jeter and Cano's fault?

Damn it...seven leadoff men. Can Wang keep leading a charmed life?

2008-06-10 21:06:19
252.   Ken Arneson
OK, let's see how the A's hit into a DP this time.
2008-06-10 21:07:49
253.   Mattpat11
The worst part of the botched hit and run is now Girardi won't put on another play all month.
2008-06-10 21:08:09
254.   williamnyy23
That was close to Posada's first major test throwing the ball.
2008-06-10 21:08:09
255.   Ken Arneson
Wow, the A's actually tried a hit-and-run play.
2008-06-10 21:08:12
256.   mehmattski
Prior to tonight:

Mark Ellis, career: .268/.338/.412
Mark Ellis, vs Yanks: .234/.306/.297 (125 PAs)

2008-06-10 21:08:14
257.   OldYanksFan
251 Yes, my guess is if Jetes and Cano have average years, we win 4 or 5 more games... which puts us 8 or 10 games over .500.
2008-06-10 21:10:17
258.   mehmattski
Time for some bullpen. Bring on some Edwar.
2008-06-10 21:10:36
259.   williamnyy23
257 In that case, Girardi has to shake up the lineup. Of course, he can't move Jeter. As a first year manager demoting the Captain, Girardi would be slaughtered. My greatest fear is Jeter turning into a Ripken situation (a player being placed ahead of the best interests of the team).
2008-06-10 21:10:49
260.   monkeypants
251 Well that was a short promise 244 . Of course it's not all Jeter and Cano's fault. What about Melky, and 120 ABs from Molina?
2008-06-10 21:11:01
261.   williamnyy23
This is the danger inning...I am starting to feel sick here.
2008-06-10 21:11:45
262.   Yankees Brasil
Throw strikes Wang.
2008-06-10 21:11:47
263.   williamnyy23
260 I said after today...can't get it all out of my system so suddenly.
2008-06-10 21:13:19
264.   mehmattski
259 The Orioles still managed to win the division with a 36-year-old Ripken.

If Cano's struggles become permanent, Gonzales at short and Jeter at second may be the long-term solution.

2008-06-10 21:13:29
265.   monkeypants
259 Where would you bat him? Seventh is the only spot most nights, right? Or do you drop him below Melky and/or Cano? Where does he bat when Molina starts?
2008-06-10 21:13:57
266.   Mattpat11
Ugh.
2008-06-10 21:14:00
267.   williamnyy23
264 How did they do over the entire back half of his career though?
2008-06-10 21:14:02
268.   monkeypants
263 : )
2008-06-10 21:14:53
269.   Mattpat11
That was nice.
2008-06-10 21:15:10
270.   Ken Arneson
OK, that's how they hit into a DP--not pinch hitting for Suzuki.
2008-06-10 21:15:35
271.   monkeypants
If we're frustrated, imagine what it must be like to be an A's fan tonight.
2008-06-10 21:15:37
272.   mehmattski
I'm going to start calling Chien-Ming Wang "Noah," because he believes he can only get hitters out two-by-two.
2008-06-10 21:15:44
273.   Just fair
Winning this game would be a borderline miracle.
Not that there's anything wrong with that. : )
2008-06-10 21:15:57
274.   williamnyy23
265 First I would try leadoff. See if that jump starts him. If it's July, you are still in the race and he keeps hitting to the tune of a mid-600 OPS, then yes, you have to consider the 7 slot. If the Yankees aren't in the race, you just leave him in the leadoff spot.
2008-06-10 21:16:03
275.   Yankees Brasil
Phew..that was close.
2008-06-10 21:17:04
276.   51cq24
270 271 cut out that perspective shit, it's been almost 8 years since we won the world series for the 3rd straight time!
2008-06-10 21:17:38
277.   OldYanksFan
Chien-Ming Houdini
2008-06-10 21:18:07
278.   Ken Arneson
271 Meh, I'm used to this stuff. A's games have been just like this for years and years.

Besides, Sweden won this morning in Euro 2008, so nothing's going to ruin my mood today.

2008-06-10 21:18:29
279.   Mattpat11
267 Couldn't much of that be attributed to Angelos' anti-pitching stance?
2008-06-10 21:18:40
280.   nick
274 Robbie leading off? Wow--that's extreme therapy..
2008-06-10 21:19:27
281.   Just fair
The Mussina high-wire act worked in the 8th the other day. Will it work for Wang? Hopefully we'll get some Geico runs here.
2008-06-10 21:19:36
282.   williamnyy23
279 There were lots of reasons for the Orioles demise, but I think a big part of it was the organization's focus became come see Cal Ripken break a record and not come see the Orioles win games.
2008-06-10 21:20:13
283.   williamnyy23
280 No...Jeter. Maybe it will help him relearn a patient approach.
2008-06-10 21:21:39
284.   nick
a little insurance, please...
2008-06-10 21:21:47
285.   Yankees Brasil
278 That was one horrible game. I'm glad Sweden won, Ibrahimovic is god.
2008-06-10 21:23:14
286.   williamnyy23
Giambi is great at that.
2008-06-10 21:23:35
287.   Just fair
That's why ya' need a lefty in the pen.
2008-06-10 21:24:09
288.   monkeypants
274 The difference between a struggling Jeter batting leadoff or second is negligible. Seventh is the only spot that makes sense, assuming he continues to slump.

I do think that the manager needs to think about resting Jeter more frequently. He never seems to get the "half day off" afforded Posada and Damon, or a full day off. Betemit is on the team for a reason other than to BU1B, or so I thought.

2008-06-10 21:24:14
289.   Ken Arneson
285 Yes, it was. It would have been more appropriate if the second goal was the only goal of that game, because aside from Ibrahimovic's goal, that was the least entertaining soccer game I've ever seen. My rec league soccer games are 100x more entertaining.
2008-06-10 21:25:22
290.   williamnyy23
288 I am going on the belief that part of this slump is mental. If Jeter can get a fresh start in the leadoff spot, maybe he'll revert to form? I don't know, but I'd like to try something. Moving him down to 7th is a nuclear option, so it's not worth considering.
2008-06-10 21:27:49
291.   nick
290 Jeter's career OBP is higher than Damon's, he's probably a better baserunner, why not lead him off all the time?

Thing is, though, managers are reluctant to mess with a guy who's going good--& Damon is going better than good...

2008-06-10 21:27:53
292.   williamnyy23
Jorge had some good swings...that's an example of a pitcher doing a great job.

I hate Betemit in this situation...prove me wrong Wilson.

2008-06-10 21:28:40
293.   williamnyy23
291 I agree...Jeter is a better leadoff batter than Damon. Also, Damon would be very dangerous with Jeter on 1B.
2008-06-10 21:28:58
294.   Just fair
RISP looks to much like R.I.P.
2008-06-10 21:29:17
295.   mehmattski
Why is Shelley Duncan on the team if not to bat in that situation?
2008-06-10 21:29:42
296.   Mattpat11
I don't enjoy watching Wilson Betemit play baseball.
2008-06-10 21:29:55
297.   Just fair
294 to looks much like too.
2008-06-10 21:31:17
298.   williamnyy23
Betemit is so bad as a RH, why would he be in this game tonight? After a game where Girardi refused to use him with the game on the line against a right hander, you have to scratch your head. Better game management could have really helped the Yankees over the past two days.
2008-06-10 21:31:29
299.   monkeypants
291 That would be the argument to make last year or before. His OBP is far worse this year, and he has had a rough year on the base paths. The better argument is that Damon's high SLG this season is being wasted in the leadoff spot.
2008-06-10 21:31:39
300.   williamnyy23
I think I am going to throw up.
Show/Hide Comments 301-350
2008-06-10 21:31:47
301.   tommyl
How can a player so good be so completely awful on pop-ups?
2008-06-10 21:32:04
302.   Mattpat11
The sad thing is A-Rod is still better at pop ups than Gonzalez
2008-06-10 21:32:11
303.   Yankees Brasil
298 Girardi is not a very good manager. He has shown this time and time again this season.

Comon Alex, gotta make that play.

2008-06-10 21:32:21
304.   mehmattski
297 I'll look to like, if looking liking move.
2008-06-10 21:32:47
305.   Just fair
A homer after that butcher of a pop-up would have been a supreme bummer.
2008-06-10 21:32:54
306.   tommyl
What?! Why lift him here? He's under 90 pitches.
2008-06-10 21:33:13
307.   Mattpat11
Where is Wang going? Does he think the game is over?
2008-06-10 21:33:17
308.   williamnyy23
299 Clearly, you still have to factor in Jeter's past because otherwise he isn't even even worthy of playing.
2008-06-10 21:33:37
309.   monkeypants
298 295 Girardi is displaying disturbing Torre-like traits.
2008-06-10 21:34:10
310.   williamnyy23
Regardless of the outcome, I don't want to see Edwar here. Wang has been living a charmed life, but I still trust him more. Hopefully, it works out.
2008-06-10 21:34:33
311.   mehmattski
It turns out "Third Baseman's ability to catch foul pop-ups" is also very near "First baseman's arm" on the list of TWAMBT 167 .
2008-06-10 21:34:57
312.   williamnyy23
301 Superman had kryptonite; Arod has pop-ups.
2008-06-10 21:35:35
313.   williamnyy23
What was Veras doing?
2008-06-10 21:35:57
314.   mehmattski
So, Kyle Farnsowrth has officially entered purgatory? Or, given Mo's recent work, is Girardi saving him for a (shudders) save??!?
2008-06-10 21:36:27
315.   Mattpat11
I'm telling you, Girardi just does stuff.
2008-06-10 21:36:43
316.   51cq24
312 and playoffs
2008-06-10 21:36:55
317.   tommyl
314 Oh dear lord, why would you even think that?! I'm scared now.
2008-06-10 21:37:00
318.   williamnyy23
311 Right...I can live with a thirdbaseman who can't catch pop-ups and a firstbaseman who can't throw when they OPS over 140!
2008-06-10 21:37:34
319.   williamnyy23
316 Not true...see his playoff performance before 2004. Those games count too.
2008-06-10 21:37:46
320.   tommyl
316 Except his career postseason numbers are close to his regular season numbers. Do you not remember him single-handedly winning the series against Minnesota?
2008-06-10 21:38:07
321.   Just fair
Veras really does has nasty stuff. His trainwreck of a motion can't help the batters either.
Not throwing strikes and walking guys doesn't help me.
2008-06-10 21:38:43
322.   monkeypants
308 That's just too strong of a statement--many teams have a light hitting SS, albeit better defensive players. If you follow your line of argument, however, it may still not be worth batting Jeter leadoff all the time, since his career .460 SLG is more wasted in the leadoff spot than Damon's .435.
2008-06-10 21:38:47
323.   williamnyy23
Yuck...that was a bad AB to Cust. It always scares me when your reliever doesn't even come close. It seems to set up a fastball down the middle going over the wall.
2008-06-10 21:38:51
324.   mehmattski
Haha, shot of Ohlendorf in the bullpen, with his mustache. Without it, he looked like a 12-year old. With it, he looks like a history teacher.

Farnsworth, meanwhile, was sitting with his face in his hands.

2008-06-10 21:39:08
325.   Yankees Brasil
Veras sometimes looks like he has no idea where the ball is going.
2008-06-10 21:39:18
326.   williamnyy23
319 Actually, I mean before 2005!
2008-06-10 21:39:21
327.   51cq24
320 of course i remember, although that double against nathan should have been caught. but i also remember him catching a few pop ups.
2008-06-10 21:40:13
328.   williamnyy23
322 Would you start a SS with an OPS+ of 94 who might be the league's weakest defender at the position?
2008-06-10 21:40:28
329.   tommyl
Not a bad throw by Jorge there though. That's reassuring.
2008-06-10 21:40:56
330.   tommyl
328 What are his intangibles like? ;)
2008-06-10 21:41:13
331.   mehmattski
314 Good news, Rivera can be seen loosening up in the bullpen.

When was the last time Mo pitched four games in a row?

2008-06-10 21:41:29
332.   Just fair
I prefer our pinch runner. The lighting quick
Chad Moeller.
2008-06-10 21:42:02
333.   tommyl
331 Dunno, when was the last time Mo gave up two leadoff HRs?
2008-06-10 21:42:06
334.   williamnyy23
322 Again, I am looking for a way to jump start Jeter. If I was making a lineup before the season began, Jeter would still have been my leadoff man, but Damon would have been more toward the bottom of the lineup. I would have probably slotted Cano second.
2008-06-10 21:43:25
335.   williamnyy23
Come on Veras, I don't want to hear about Joba all day!!
2008-06-10 21:43:44
336.   mehmattski
332 It's like a haiku from hell.
2008-06-10 21:44:30
337.   Yankees Brasil
Why not throw that FB upstairs? They just keep throwing FBs in. Horrible.
2008-06-10 21:44:38
338.   williamnyy23
Can this possibly end well?
2008-06-10 21:44:44
339.   Just fair
Walk + Walk + Ellis = Bad news for the Toros.
2008-06-10 21:44:47
340.   Mattpat11
I'm not enjoying this.
2008-06-10 21:46:04
341.   mehmattski
To be fair, Veras is getting pretty squeezed. Three of his balls have been clear strikes, both on replay and on Gameday.
2008-06-10 21:47:01
342.   tommyl
338 Yes (well so far).
2008-06-10 21:47:18
343.   nick
Veras! never in doubt, big guy! ;-)
2008-06-10 21:47:35
344.   Yankees Brasil
Veras always seems to work in and out of trouble. This is not good for my heart.
2008-06-10 21:47:45
345.   Just fair
pfew. 1 or 2 runs top 9 would would be benfecial, yes?
2008-06-10 21:48:43
346.   williamnyy23
Just when I thought Girardi had adopted a new strategy of pushing his starters (Rasner and Moose went 8, and Pettitte was left in to give up 10 runs), he has a quick hook with Wang.
2008-06-10 21:49:16
347.   monkeypants
328 When the option is Betemit starting full time at SS (as opposed to spot starting), or trusting in AG (50 OPS+ this season), yes I would.

BTW, the average MLB SS is hitting .701 OPS (90 OPS+), so Jeter (.710, .94) is still out-hitting his position, if only barely...before tonight.

2008-06-10 21:51:58
348.   tommyl
Oh Melky! All is forgiven.
2008-06-10 21:52:04
349.   Just fair
That sure was perty.
2008-06-10 21:52:06
350.   williamnyy23
347 Your best bet would be a LH/RH platoon between Jeter and Betemit. Of course, Jeter does have a track record, so you can't just dismiss it.

Thank you, Melky.

Show/Hide Comments 351-400
2008-06-10 21:52:10
351.   mehmattski
Hey, some life from Melky's bat!
2008-06-10 21:52:44
352.   51cq24
346 maybe in terms of pitch count, but it was the 8th inning and he gave up a long fly ball. plus, you've been saying all game that he was living dangerously.
2008-06-10 21:53:05
353.   monkeypants
Yay!
2008-06-10 21:53:11
354.   doslobo38
Well that was a pleasant surprise!
2008-06-10 21:53:28
355.   nick
a melk delivery!?
2008-06-10 21:54:13
356.   Mattpat11
350 I can tolerate Betemit at first.

I cannot, nay WILL NOT watch that man play shortstop again.

2008-06-10 21:55:02
357.   Mattpat11
346 Don't try to apply logic to Girardi moves.
2008-06-10 21:55:13
358.   monkeypants
350 Interesting idea. Of course, in such a platoon Wilson gets about 70% of the ABs.
2008-06-10 21:55:19
359.   tommyl
A Melky hot streak would be most welcome right about now.
2008-06-10 21:56:07
360.   williamnyy23
352 He had been, but I don't think he was getting hit hard. He just kept letting the leadoff man on. If those same hits/walks/Betemit misplays occurred with two outs, it would have looked like he was breezing.

Whether you think it was a good move or not to lift him, I am just surprised that he did after the last turn through. Girardi pushed Rasner, Mussina and Pettitte, but pulled back on Wang. Right or wrong, the divergence is interesting.

2008-06-10 21:56:15
361.   doslobo38
Regarding Cano, I try to stay kind and upbeat during a player's slump...all players have them and good hitters get out of them eventually...but at well over sixty games into the season a .226 batting average is just not gonna getting it done, SNAP OUT OF IT ROBBY!
2008-06-10 21:56:53
362.   mehmattski
According to my research on B-R.com, Mariano Rivera has pitched in four consecutive games only once: June 23-27, 1997. There was a day off during that stretch, however.
2008-06-10 21:57:17
363.   Mattpat11
358 Does no one else remember Betemit at short in April? He routinely missed thrown baseballs.

Like the fat kid in little league.

2008-06-10 21:57:57
364.   51cq24
360 he might just have wanted to get wang out of there with a lead for his confidence. i would have kept him in, but i don't think it's a surprising or wrong move.
2008-06-10 21:58:32
365.   williamnyy23
358 Before this gets too far, I am not adovcating this move. I am just going on the premise of a bad defense/94 OPS+ SS who doesn't have Jeter's track record, which was the original premise. In that scenario, yes, I'd rather have Betemit get the lionshare of ABs.
2008-06-10 21:59:11
366.   williamnyy23
362 That really worries me. I am curious to see how he pitches.
2008-06-10 21:59:45
367.   51cq24
the first pitch looked like a strike to me
2008-06-10 22:01:11
368.   nick
Mo's thrown very small #s of pitches these days, though--10, 7 and 13, 30 in the three games...
2008-06-10 22:01:26
369.   mehmattski
Also, to answer tommyl's question, Rivera has only given up two home runs in a week once before:

August 15, 2003: Jack Cust (Solo Homer with a 3-run lead)
August 16, 2003: Luis Matos (Solo Homer with a 1-run lead)

2008-06-10 22:02:48
370.   williamnyy23
369 Was that the blackout week?
2008-06-10 22:02:57
371.   nick
it'd be nice not to have used Mo with the 6-3 lead....how's he look?
2008-06-10 22:03:36
372.   monkeypants
365 I know that you are not advocating the idea, I'm just pressing you a little. I think that you are over-emphasizing Jeter's badness relative to his position because we have such high expectations for him overall. I think that most teams would continue to play a SS hitting with Jeter's season numbers, even a poor defender, if they had the alternatives that the Yankees do--regardless of track record.
2008-06-10 22:04:32
373.   Mattpat11
370 Yep
2008-06-10 22:05:09
374.   mehmattski
370 Yes it was. Both games were in Baltimore, however.

So, very few people have seen Mo give up two homers in a week, since no one had electricity...

2008-06-10 22:06:09
375.   williamnyy23
372 The piece of information missing from the equation is how good of a defender would Betemit be at SS. That's open to debate. I do, however, think he would do much better than a 94 OPS+ playing mostly against righties.
2008-06-10 22:07:09
376.   mehmattski
Woo! Above .500! Again.
2008-06-10 22:07:09
377.   Mattpat11
woohoo!
2008-06-10 22:07:29
378.   williamnyy23
374 I remember listening to the Cust one, but am pretty sure I saw the Matos shot.
2008-06-10 22:07:46
379.   Eirias
Take that, .500!
2008-06-10 22:08:46
380.   williamnyy23
Looking at the matchups, this was the game they needed to win. Tomorrow, they really need to get back on track hitting. Maybe June 11 is the day the real Jeter and Cano return?
2008-06-10 22:08:55
381.   Yankees Brasil
Great win. No Mo tomorrow? The offense better show up.
2008-06-10 22:11:22
382.   Mattpat11
375 My argument in this debate is I've never seen any player at any position in professional baseball botch as any CATCHES as I did in the week Wilson Betemit played short.
2008-06-10 22:12:52
383.   williamnyy23
382 Let's just hope Jeter snaps out of it.

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