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Houston Astros
2008-06-13 12:30
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

Houston Astros

2007 Record: 73-89 (.451)
2007 Pythagorean Record: 71.5-90.5 (.442)

2008 Record: 33-34 (.493)
2008 Pythagorean Record: 32-35 (.475)

Manager: Cecil Cooper
General Manager: Ed Wade

Home Ballpark (multi-year Park Factors): Minute Maid Park (99/99)

Who's Replacing Whom:

25-man Roster:

1B - Lance Berkman (S)
2B - Kazuo Matsui (S)
SS - Miguel Tejada (R)
3B - Ty Wigginton (R)
C - Brad Ausmus (R)
RF - Hunter Pence (R)
CF - Michael Bourn (L)
LF - Carlos Lee (R)

Bench:

R - Mark Loretta (IF)
S - Geoff Blum (IF)
L - Darin Erstad (OF)
R - Reggie Abercrombie (OF)
R - Humberto Quintero (C)

Rotation:

R - Roy Oswalt
R - Brandon Backe
R - Brian Moehler
R - Shawn Chacon
L - Wandy Rodriguez

Bullpen:

R - Jose Valverde
R - Oscar Villarreal
R - Doug Brocail
L - Wesley Wright
L - Tim Byrdak
R - Geoff Geary
R - Chris Sampson

15-day DL: R - Felipe Paulino

Typical Lineup:

R - Hunter Pence (RF)
S - Kazuo Matsui (2B)
R - Miguel Tejada (SS)
S - Lance Berkman (1B)
R - Carlos Lee (LF)
R - Ty Wigginton (3B)
L - Michael Bourne (CF)
R - Brad Ausmus (C)

Since the creation of the NL Central for the 1994 season, the Astros have finished below second place just twice. Since 1992, they've finished below .500 just twice, a 16-year run of success that, due to a handful of non-qualifying second-place finishes and some poor posteason performances, went largely ignored. The Astros finally made it to the World Series in 2005 behind the pitching troika of Roy Oswalt and former and future Yankees Andy Pettitte and Roger Clemens, but things have been heading south ever since.

Still, the Astros enter this weekend's series against the Yankees lurking just a game below .500. They're that sort of team: half good, half bad. First baseman Lance Berkman has been arguably the best hitter in baseball thus far this year. He's hitting .366/.451/.720, leading the majors in OPS, and, oh by the way, already has a career-high ten stolen bases and has been caught just once. Then again, the team's catchers are hitting just .193/.266/.307 as rookie J.R. Towels proved unable to out-hit 39-year-old Brad Ausmus (a 1987 Yankee draft pick, incidentally) recently optioned back to triple-A. Some good. Some bad.

Roy Oswalt is still there and will face off against Chien-Ming Wang on Sunday, but like Wang, he's been frustratingly inconsistent. He ran off a string of six strong starts from mid-April to mid-May, but the Astros are just 1-7 in his other eight starts. Some good. Some bad. Oswalt's ERA is over 5.00, but 29-year-old Wandy Rodriguez, who faces Mike Mussina tomorrow, must have been working out with Cliff Lee this winter. He spent a month on the DL due to a groin injury, but when active has posted a 1.99 ERA with strong peripherals in seven starts. Some good. Some bad.

Tonight, the Yankees will face yet another ex-Yankee in Shawn Chacon. Chacon spent the last four months of 2007 as the Pirates' primary set-up man, signed with the Astros over the winter, then started this season by going a record nine starts before earning his first first decision of the year. Though Chacon stayed 0-0, the Astros went 4-5 in those games. Since then, Chacon has picked up the decision every time out and gone 2-2. Same old story: Some good. Some bad. The encouraging news for the Yankees is that the bad has been the most recent trend. Chacon has allowed 11 runs in just six innings over his last two starts as he was torched by the Brewers and Cardinals.

Of course, the big news tonight is that Joba Chamberlain should be allowed to throw as many as 95 pitches. That essentially makes him a normal rookie starter (Phil Hughes averaged 95 pitches per start last year), and should keep pitch count from having an unusually large influence on how deep he goes into games from here forward. Oh, and he gets to hit tonight, too, which should be fun. Joba says he can rake. We shall see . . .

Comments (291)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-06-13 15:53:26
1.   mehmattski
Well, Joba never had an at bat in college, so I guess we're going to have to take him at his word about the hitting. I admit I always look forward to seeing whether the Yankees pitchers can crack one. Sure, interleague play is contrived and gimmicky, but to me it's in a good way.

Also, good news for Joba- most of the Astros' lineup is allergic to walks. Miguel Tejada has fewer walks than Robinson Cano. Carlos Lee, Michael Bourn, Hunter Pence, JR Towles, and Ty Wigginton all can go months between walks... and their bench players (Mark Lorretta and Darin "The Punter" Erstad) have combined for just 15 walks in 215 at bats.

This is good news because Joba seems to be all over the place with his pitches in his first two starts. The Houston Hackers should allow him to hone his command without too much to worry about in the walks department.

2008-06-13 17:00:43
2.   rbj
Oh man, the Dutch destroyed France today 4-1! Go Orange! Seven goals in two games? Wowser.
2008-06-13 17:02:49
3.   ny2ca2dc
Man, the Houston broadcast is plugging this series as "perhaps the most anticipated regular season series in Astros history". wow. I guess people get up for this shit.
2008-06-13 17:03:12
4.   Eirias
2 Don't you mean Oranje?
2008-06-13 17:05:15
5.   Eirias
As a Liverpool fan, I am torn betwixt rooting for the Dutch (Kuyt) and the Spanish (Torres).

Actually, not even a competition. El Niño all the way!

2008-06-13 17:06:05
6.   tommyl
2nd time through the order could be 4 black holes in a row. Melky, Joba, Jeter, Cano. Yuck.
2008-06-13 17:08:25
7.   Eirias
Ah, Angel Hernandez. What an ump.
2008-06-13 17:08:46
8.   mehmattski
Wait... what just happened? I thought that was against the rules!
2008-06-13 17:09:34
9.   Eirias
8 It is an NL-park. Cano is allowed to walk here.
2008-06-13 17:09:47
10.   ny2ca2dc
Cano has a new lineup spot.
2008-06-13 17:10:04
11.   Eirias
a, rather
2008-06-13 17:10:48
12.   mehmattski
I sure hope the Yankees have the better pitcher wearing a straight bill on his cap.
2008-06-13 17:11:09
13.   MC Safety
5 Arsenal fans have similar problems. But I fancy the Dutch. Go Oranje!
2008-06-13 17:11:37
14.   mehmattski
11 An is correct since NL is pronounced "en-ell," giving a vowel sound.
2008-06-13 17:11:41
15.   rbj
5 Mom's mom was Dutch -- I still have relatives there so gotta go Orange (or Oranje 4 )
2008-06-13 17:12:22
16.   mehmattski
Prediction: Alex Rodriguez is going to hit a home run today.
2008-06-13 17:14:14
17.   OldYanksFan
I found an interesting post at WW on Yankee all-time OWP. OWP (Offensive Winning Percentage) is the percentage of games a team would win with nine of a given player in its lineup, given average pitching and defense.

http://waswatching.com/2007/02/11/best-seasons-by-yankees-left-fielders/

Surprise! Number 1 was the Babe. Near and dear to my heart, Mickey was #2 (.801 OWP or 130 Wins in 162 games)

2 surprises were #9, a mister Bobby Murcer, and #10, our own Derek Jeter. Jeter's OWP is .634, so a team of Jeters wins 103 games. Again, this is with AVERAGE pitching AND AVERAGE defense.

With ARod, Giambi, Cano, Matsui, Abreu, JD, Posada AND Derek, this team SHOULD be better then a Team of Jeters. Our D is slightly below average but our pitching SHOULD be somewhat above.

This is NOT a .500 team. I just wish they would stop playing like one.

2008-06-13 17:14:29
18.   mehmattski
I guess base hits with RISP are only allowed in NL parks too.
2008-06-13 17:16:55
19.   mehmattski
It's Peanut Butter Joba Time!
2008-06-13 17:19:34
20.   mehmattski
Heh. Ok, settle down big guy.
2008-06-13 17:20:18
21.   mehmattski
Joba throws a sinker now?
2008-06-13 17:22:10
22.   mehmattski
Like I said, the Astros don't wait around. 95 pitches may last 10 or 11 innings against these guys.
2008-06-13 17:22:27
23.   nick
Six-pitch inning!? nice...
2008-06-13 17:25:44
24.   OldYanksFan
Giambi should be in for a big night.
2008-06-13 17:31:13
25.   nick
17 the problem with career OWPs is they point to the past; if you use them to project, on a team of guys over 32, you're likely to be disappointed...
2008-06-13 17:32:01
26.   rsmith51
That was a serious phantom tag of second by the SS on the double play. When he caught the ball, he was already a foot off the bag. He sold it, though.
2008-06-13 17:32:34
27.   rbj
24 With the leather no less. Nice scoop Jason.
2008-06-13 17:35:46
28.   mehmattski
Another nice inning. The pitch Wigginton hit was not in the strike zone.

Now, time for the new sensation:

Joba Chamberlain, the slugger experience.

2008-06-13 17:36:36
29.   OldYanksFan
I guess Joba will give up some lucky hits.
This kid is gonna be a stud.
2008-06-13 17:38:13
30.   mehmattski
I bet they don't throw breaking balls like that at Nebraska-Lincoln Junior College. Can't hit homers every at bat though, Joba.
2008-06-13 17:38:47
31.   OldYanksFan
25 My point was the excellent offense can overcome average defense and pitching. You don't think our old guys are better then a career Jeter (.840 OPS)?
2008-06-13 17:40:05
32.   nick
Mighty Joba has....struck out!?
2008-06-13 17:42:00
33.   OldYanksFan
Joba just thinks this game is easy to play. Kinda cute.
2008-06-13 17:44:08
34.   mehmattski
Joba was lucky he hung that slider to Brad Ausmus and not Berkman or Lee.
2008-06-13 17:44:20
35.   rbj
Tix 50% more for Yankee games? Now who's being the evil empire.
2008-06-13 17:46:52
36.   mehmattski
Wow. That was pretty, Robinson. If he's gonna play like that in the field, it takes some pressure off his bat.
2008-06-13 17:48:16
37.   ny2ca2dc
Made that look easy. Didn't think there was any chance Cano would be in the zip code of that ball
2008-06-13 17:48:55
38.   ny2ca2dc
Oh right, this is where Kaz landed.
2008-06-13 17:49:00
39.   OldYanksFan
The Astro announcers are VERY impressed with Cano's defense.
2008-06-13 17:49:28
40.   nick
31 our offense has had two huge problems: replacing Rodriguez and Posada with terrible, below-replacement-level offense, and way-below average years from Cano and Jeter. #1 is gone for now; if Cano and Jeter pick up while everybody else keeps hitting, we can make some noise. but it would hardly be pessimistic to project a real falloff from one or more of the Damon/Giambi/Matsui group....our upside looks like about a 90 win team to me. I just don't see Wang/Pettite/Moose collectively being good enough for us to play better than .600 down the road.
2008-06-13 17:50:17
41.   mehmattski
Cano is fourth in the majors in Zone Rating among second baseman, at .858... of course, that would have been an "Out of Zone" play.
2008-06-13 17:50:23
42.   tommyl
Damn nice slider to Matsui there. Anyone else think this kid should be a reliever? Joel Sherman? Where are you?
2008-06-13 17:50:40
43.   cult of basebaal
dammit cano! why can't you hit a lick this year?!?!?! you'd be a damn superstar with plays like that.
2008-06-13 17:50:56
44.   tommyl
Where the hell is this strikezone?
2008-06-13 17:51:20
45.   ny2ca2dc
43 '06 was great, wasn't it.
2008-06-13 17:52:42
46.   rbj
Jason, I'd prefer not to have my heartburn act up tonight.
2008-06-13 17:53:10
47.   nick
no Ks, through three--anybody have a sense of what Joba's throwing?
2008-06-13 17:54:23
48.   OldYanksFan
The way Giami throws, I'd rather see him run and cover the bag himself. Either that, or Fed Ex.
2008-06-13 17:54:34
49.   mehmattski
47 He's mixing two different fastballs, some kind of sinker thing in the low 90s in addition to the four-seamer. The 9-pitch at-bat to Matsui featured all five of his pitches... but as I've said before the Astros don't like to go down without swinging, and Joba's not missing bats today.
2008-06-13 17:56:22
50.   tommyl
47 That sinker thing is plain nasty, I think its actually a cutter. He is also throwing a tight slider inside to lefties, its just unfair. Decent curve and every so often breaks out the good old slider of doom. So far, so good. I also think he's trying to be more efficient, which might explain the lower K numbers.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-06-13 17:56:38
51.   OldYanksFan
Joba is just toying with 'em. Imagine this kid with a few years experience!
2008-06-13 17:57:25
52.   mehmattski
Good time to steal, A-Rod.
2008-06-13 18:00:46
53.   OldYanksFan
Is there a reason we are not hitting this guy? MUST Joba throw a shutout?
2008-06-13 18:00:51
54.   Eirias
There's a little man inside your head?
2008-06-13 18:02:06
55.   ny2ca2dc
uh boy, would've expected more offense against Chacon...
2008-06-13 18:04:10
56.   mehmattski
Heh, the Astros' Aflac trivia question was a lie. A lie, I tell you! I don't know who to believe anymore!
2008-06-13 18:04:27
57.   3rd gen yankee fan
So! We're being 1-hit by Cy Chacon! Fantastic!
2008-06-13 18:05:44
58.   mehmattski
This is not a consistent strike zone.
2008-06-13 18:07:08
59.   Eirias
Angel Hernandez is only happy when neither side is.
2008-06-13 18:07:15
60.   SF Yanks
Ummmm, that looked right down the middle to me.
2008-06-13 18:07:30
61.   ny2ca2dc
I'm not really seeing the awesome Joba-ness. Seems like his command is less than fine. Still doing fine, but I wouldn't say he's toying with 'em
2008-06-13 18:07:49
62.   tommyl
56 What was it?
2008-06-13 18:08:10
63.   rbj
Is this a mutable strike zone tonight?
2008-06-13 18:08:59
64.   OldYanksFan
That pitch was well below the letters. Why won't they call the high strike but call strikes on balls 6" outside?
2008-06-13 18:09:18
65.   ny2ca2dc
Where'd Berkman get those jumping beans.
2008-06-13 18:10:07
66.   mehmattski
62 They asked who holds the major league record for RBI in a season by a shortstop. They then interviewed Miguel Tejada for the answer, and he thought it was A-Rod. Tejada was surprised to find out that his 150 RBI in 2004 was the most.

However, the Astros' announcer was dubious, and suggested Vern Stephens, who had 159 RBI in 155 games, all at SS, for the Red Sox in 1949.

2008-06-13 18:10:31
67.   nick
thanks guys...
2008-06-13 18:10:53
68.   ny2ca2dc
65 err
2008-06-13 18:12:57
69.   Eirias
65 Mexico
2008-06-13 18:13:02
70.   tommyl
Um, Joba, strikes, remember?
2008-06-13 18:15:04
71.   ny2ca2dc
Joba still learning to deal with men on base. (uh duh)
2008-06-13 18:15:21
72.   ny2ca2dc
69 You had to go and say it.
2008-06-13 18:15:24
73.   mehmattski
Paging Joba's command... will Joba's command please return to the pitchers' mound.
2008-06-13 18:15:34
74.   tommyl
I see Ausmus is taking cues from the Yankees hitting strategy. A few walks so swing at the first pitch.
2008-06-13 18:16:10
75.   tommyl
No no no, I do not like this move.
2008-06-13 18:16:41
76.   rsmith51
Walking Brad Ausmus!!!!!!!!

You're freakin' Joba Chamberlain!!!!!

2008-06-13 18:16:58
77.   tommyl
Thank G-d for the no DH rule.
2008-06-13 18:17:38
78.   rsmith51
73 I laughed out loud at that one...
2008-06-13 18:18:05
79.   rsmith51
I really hate the pitcher batting.
2008-06-13 18:18:08
80.   mehmattski
Brad Ausmus had a better chance of hitting a 2-run single than Shawn Chacon. After the wild-pitch, the intentional walk was kind of a no-brainer.
2008-06-13 18:18:24
81.   ny2ca2dc
Oh ya, pitchers hit on some planets. hilarious.
2008-06-13 18:18:56
82.   rbj
For all Joba's struggles, it's still just a 1-1 game.

I say the Yankee offense breaks out here.

2008-06-13 18:19:22
83.   rsmith51
Rey Ordonez has something like 50-70 intentional walks in his career.

I really hate the pitcher batting.

Not a big fan of the DH either, but it is a little better.

2008-06-13 18:19:30
84.   OldYanksFan
Guyz... can we remember that Joba is just a big, excitable kid? He's got the stuff but not the experience. I mean how about "Holy Shit! He's better then league average!"
2008-06-13 18:19:44
85.   mehmattski
Is the National League is the only baseball league on this planet without a DH, or does one of the Japanese leagues have it still?
2008-06-13 18:21:21
86.   mehmattski
84 Expecting a guy who has more strikeouts than innings pitched at every professional level to throw strikes is not out of the question.
2008-06-13 18:21:22
87.   tommyl
Joba needs a home run here. I'd laugh out loud if that happened.
2008-06-13 18:21:42
88.   3rd gen yankee fan
84 I'm cool with that. But if we finish this game with one hit, I'm taking a week off. No watching any baseball.
2008-06-13 18:22:08
89.   nick
80 yeah, but I wanna give my tempermental rookie starter some room for error....of course, I would've had Chacon taking the first two strikes, so what do I know....
2008-06-13 18:22:11
90.   rsmith51
Bernie Williams 97 IBB
Rey Ordonez 65 IBB
Brad Ausmus 64 IBB

I was actually surprised that Bernie had that many.

2008-06-13 18:22:34
91.   3rd gen yankee fan
88 Ok we better get more than TWO hits.
2008-06-13 18:23:07
92.   mehmattski
Taking the first two pitches doesn't mean you can swing at the next two out of the strike zone, Melky...
2008-06-13 18:23:38
93.   rbj
89 You do that at least simply to help drive up the number of pitches.
2008-06-13 18:25:17
94.   tommyl
Oh man, Melky really got a hold of that one.
2008-06-13 18:25:21
95.   mehmattski
Dang. Too much ballpark.
2008-06-13 18:25:53
96.   mehmattski
Let's see the bunting skillz, Joba.
2008-06-13 18:27:11
97.   mehmattski
Now, with the bunt off, hit one out!
2008-06-13 18:27:56
98.   mehmattski
Steal, Joba!
2008-06-13 18:30:41
99.   nick
Jeter popping up 3-1....sigh.
2008-06-13 18:34:04
100.   OldYanksFan
Cincy beats the Red Sox 3-1.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-06-13 18:38:39
101.   mehmattski
Ok, this IBB I don't like at all.
2008-06-13 18:40:03
102.   nick
you had to see the steal sets that ibb up...
2008-06-13 18:40:33
103.   tommyl
Well, Melky still can field. Phew. Nice play.
2008-06-13 18:40:43
104.   rbj
Melky flashing the D tonight!
2008-06-13 18:42:32
105.   OldYanksFan
1 ER in 5 IP.
And this is Joba struggling a bit.
2008-06-13 18:43:52
106.   tommyl
I wonder if the IBB is an indirect way of compensating for Jorge's arm. You steal on us, we'll just IBB your best hitter.
2008-06-13 18:44:11
107.   nick
101 Berkman destroys rhp...I'd have walked him there with one out--with two? maybe not....
2008-06-13 18:44:18
108.   tommyl
105 But what happens when its still tied going into the 8th inning? ;)
2008-06-13 18:44:49
109.   mehmattski
Interesting stat: the Yankees have the second fewest batter strikeouts in the majors, with just 372 trailing only Seattle's 355
2008-06-13 18:45:30
110.   rbj
Chamberlin at 74 pitches. 1 more inning I guess, which will be the 7th. Then for the 8th, Joba! Er, wait, Edwar?
2008-06-13 18:46:20
111.   mehmattski
110 I guess the seven intentional balls still count?
2008-06-13 18:47:08
112.   rsmith51
This Chacon fellow must be an all-star pitcher...
2008-06-13 18:47:53
113.   nick
so we have two singles against this guy...looks like that BABIP luck that helped him for us is helping him against us...
2008-06-13 18:48:49
114.   nick
109 that's gotta relate to our sub-normal walk total. Robbie is a hacker. maybe we should deal him to the Angels....
2008-06-13 18:51:51
115.   rbj
111 Yup. I had flipped the line score, thought Joba had already pitched the 6th. D'oh!
2008-06-13 18:52:53
116.   nick
Joba really not putting batters away--is Jorge unwilling to call for the slider or what?
2008-06-13 18:53:21
117.   mehmattski
Joba, you're supposed to throw a fastball on a pitchout, not a slider...
2008-06-13 18:54:24
118.   monkeypants
114 The weird thing is that their BB rate is really low (21st in MLB), but the OBP is pretty good (8th). So, the Yankees have turned into some sort of singles hitting team, except they are 8th in slugging too.

This is weird, weird, frustrating team.

2008-06-13 18:55:35
119.   cult of basebaal
sweet jesus, WTF was that, joba???
2008-06-13 18:55:41
120.   rbj
Ha ha!
/Nelson Mutz.

Nice to see Jorge nail one again.

Oh sweet a K to follow.

2008-06-13 18:56:30
121.   tommyl
112 He was for us one year ;)
2008-06-13 18:58:08
122.   nick
lull em into security, then catch em stealing 3rd!....ok, so, 88 pitches, end it with a K, that's a nice night's work.
2008-06-13 18:59:58
123.   monkeypants
95 pitch limit and he threw an IBB--I might send him out for the next INN, at least to start the inning.
2008-06-13 19:00:21
124.   mehmattski
123 One-and-three-quarters IBBs
2008-06-13 19:00:28
125.   Shaun P
Not a huge fan of all the walks, but someone tell me again why this kid should be pitching 1 inning 3 or 4 times a week instead of starting?

That's what I thought. Now, where'd that offense go . . .

2008-06-13 19:04:45
126.   OldYanksFan
BUT WHO'S GONNA PITCH THE 8TH!!!!!!!!!
2008-06-13 19:06:07
127.   monkeypants
123 However, if the P bats this inning with men on base, I expect to see a PH anyway--paging Mr. Damon??
2008-06-13 19:06:19
128.   ny2ca2dc
A walk! See other guys, walks are friends, not food.
2008-06-13 19:06:22
129.   RIYank
Hey yall.
I listened to a few innings driving home from the movies. Looks from the comments like Joba has been a little bit good and a little bit lucky?
2008-06-13 19:06:24
130.   nick
126 your mother.

;-)

2008-06-13 19:08:15
131.   nick
the lefty, for Melky and Damon--and we've sent Shelley down! oh noes!
2008-06-13 19:08:16
132.   monkeypants
What's going on--gamecast is hung with Melky about to bat.
2008-06-13 19:09:07
133.   ny2ca2dc
129 Fair enough. Maybe also that his raw stuff allowed him to get away with poor-ish command.

He'll get it right. Can't complain about the results in any circumstances today.

2008-06-13 19:09:16
134.   mehmattski
129 That's about right. As predicted, the Astros hitters were swinging away, and when they stopped doing that Joba got wild.

This should be it for Joba with two men on.

2008-06-13 19:09:55
135.   tommyl
Pinch hit Shelly Duncan! Oh wait, shoot.
2008-06-13 19:10:13
136.   RIYank
Jesus. That pitch wasn't even in the strike zone. Dammit.
2008-06-13 19:10:15
137.   ny2ca2dc
131 At least we have 2 backup catchers and a disgraced former attorney general, all rightys.
2008-06-13 19:11:16
138.   RIYank
And now, ladies and gentleman, the best hitter on our bench...
2008-06-13 19:11:41
139.   ny2ca2dc
Why doesn't Betemit just abandon switch hitting. He can't be worse facing lefties from the left box.
2008-06-13 19:12:25
140.   rbj
So the team flew from Oakland to Houston. Did the offense get diverted to Chicago?
2008-06-13 19:13:02
141.   RIYank
Oops. Impressive out. Sorry, Wilson!
2008-06-13 19:14:23
142.   ny2ca2dc
Wilson does usually K or smack it hard - but those big fly balls sure are easy to catch.
2008-06-13 19:16:31
143.   mehmattski
Um, why did they double-switch when the 9-spot made the last out? I guess so Damon will pinch hit earlier?
2008-06-13 19:18:44
144.   ny2ca2dc
143 really, wtf? I guess your suggestion is plausible. Gotta get all them BUCs in...

I do like taking Georgy out, he's made a lot of throws today. I'm protective of my JoPo.

2008-06-13 19:19:47
145.   monkeypants
143 well, I guess they have to use all three Cs to justify their roster spots. Remind me, did Girardi manage in the NL?
2008-06-13 19:20:18
146.   OldYanksFan
Look! It's Mini Matsui!
2008-06-13 19:20:49
147.   OldYanksFan
145 What's the prob? It was a good move.
2008-06-13 19:22:05
148.   RIYank
Holy Jose.
That half inning makes Joba's performance seem less impressive.
2008-06-13 19:23:25
149.   ny2ca2dc
Veras impressive again. BUT WHO"LL PITCH THE EIGHT.

Hey look, good pitching, bad hitting - what does that remind you of? The 2008 season thus far you say?

2008-06-13 19:24:04
150.   monkeypants
147 Why? The P spot was coming up 9th in order. By double switching, he lost Posada's bat. What is the advantage? Seriously, am I missing something?
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-06-13 19:24:33
151.   tommyl
Now that's the Derek Jeter I know and love
2008-06-13 19:24:33
152.   pistolpete
CAP!
2008-06-13 19:24:45
153.   RIYank
CAP-i-TAN!
2008-06-13 19:24:51
154.   mehmattski
Jeter? Home Run? I guess it takes a 41 year old pitcher...
2008-06-13 19:25:40
155.   nick
wow!...........who believed Sterling on that one??
2008-06-13 19:26:31
156.   pistolpete
155 Not me, I was burned after the Melky shot a few innings ago.
2008-06-13 19:26:59
157.   pistolpete
Jesus, Cano is as close to an automatic out as anything right now.
2008-06-13 19:28:10
158.   RIYank
I like how Brocali gave Cano a big head start on that at-bat. Very sporting.
2008-06-13 19:30:50
159.   OldYanksFan
150 Posada's next AB will be replaced by JD. Molina is a better LIDR. Po has also made a bunch of throws already, and may be slated to start the next 2 games.

My guess is the main reason is to give Po's arm a rest.

2008-06-13 19:30:57
160.   nick
no WAY do I wanna see Farns against Berkman....better Veras, better Veras for an out and straight to Mo...
2008-06-13 19:32:19
161.   OldYanksFan
The Yankees are magic. Presto... and Robinson Cano turns into Tony Womack.
2008-06-13 19:32:41
162.   rbj
Who pitches the ninth? Hasn't Mo pitched a lot lately?
2008-06-13 19:33:24
163.   mehmattski
159 Sorry, but even if it's Mike Piazza back there, the absence of Posada's bat is way worse than the hypothetical benefit of Molina's throwing arm.
2008-06-13 19:33:58
164.   monkeypants
159 It only makes sense if this is to rest Posada's arm, but that seems a bit silly to me (how many throws will he make in the 8th? You could let him bat in the 9th and still sub him out on defense later). the Better move would have been to sub JD for Matsui, since both are LH, JD has been hot with the bat, and he plays better LF defense.
2008-06-13 19:34:51
165.   nick
163 well, overall yes, but with a one-run lead? how was Jorge looking on those throws?
2008-06-13 19:35:28
166.   ny2ca2dc
Man, if Veras gets thru this, major props
2008-06-13 19:35:47
167.   pistolpete
Anyone else's cable signal hosed tonight? I'm on Cablevision in CT and every channel is stuttering like mad.
2008-06-13 19:36:10
168.   tommyl
But who is going to pitch the 8th?!
2008-06-13 19:36:54
169.   tommyl
167 My HD on my9 conked out. Otherwise its working ok.
2008-06-13 19:37:00
170.   mehmattski
Veras was pretty awesome tonight.

Still, I have a bad feeling about the bottom of the ninth. Because I have a sinking feeling that the pitcher is going to be...

... no, I can't say it. It hurts too much to think about...

Please score six runs this inning, Yankees. Please.

2008-06-13 19:37:40
171.   ny2ca2dc
Those who have made the point about this being an indictment of Farns (and the rest) - damn are you right. Holy moly, do games get any tighter, and JoeG is going with Veras for TWO innings?! Yankee relievers turn into pitching machines after 1 inning!

and fuck that was a tight curveball! holy shit!

2008-06-13 19:37:45
172.   tommyl
170 Oh no...I hadn't thought of that. They can't do that, can they?
2008-06-13 19:37:49
173.   monkeypants
165 But you know Po will bat in the 9th, yet you don't know if he will have to make any throws. If one thinks really out of the box, and if the throws are such a concern, why not leave Posada in until someone gets on base, then mane a defensive switch? hell, you could have one of the army of BUC already in his gear and ready to go.
2008-06-13 19:37:49
174.   Eirias
With innings like that, Veras gets another try. I still think the Yankees should call up "Doc" Hopkins from the Trenton Thunder, though.
2008-06-13 19:37:58
175.   nick
Veras! best setup performance of the season....
2008-06-13 19:37:59
176.   RIYank
Man, Veras has helped Joba shut up the critics, huh?
2008-06-13 19:39:05
177.   tommyl
Jose Veras: 1996 Mariano Rivera for one night.
2008-06-13 19:39:20
178.   tommyl
Oh no no no no no no no no no no no no no no
2008-06-13 19:39:22
179.   ny2ca2dc
175 Gosh darn just might be!
2008-06-13 19:39:26
180.   OldYanksFan
164 Not to be rude, but since Girardi is on the field, my guess is he has a better perspective. Houston is stealing a lot, and this move rests Po and maybe limiting SBs. JD, Po and Mats have somewhat interchangable bats.

Unlike Torre, Joe Jr. has shown he would rather mix up the lineup and use the bench to keep players rested/healthy. If we make it to the PS, this might ultimately be a good strategy.

2008-06-13 19:39:53
181.   thelarmis
170 ugh, i'll be VERY nervous if it's worthless facing Ty Cobbington to lead off the 9th. i hear ya -- c'mon insurance runs!!!
2008-06-13 19:40:03
182.   rbj
Dammit, I hate it when the games interfere with Battlestar Galactica.

Auuughhhh! No. Not him. Hit a homer Hideki!

2008-06-13 19:40:05
183.   mehmattski
172 Oh god. The nightmare is becoming true.
2008-06-13 19:40:09
184.   ny2ca2dc
178 ????
2008-06-13 19:40:34
185.   ny2ca2dc
183 uh, what? don't tell me.
2008-06-13 19:41:13
186.   tommyl
184 Kyle Farnsworth warming in the pen.
2008-06-13 19:41:17
187.   Eirias
Alright Valverde. I took you out of my lineup and put you on the bench for one reason. That reason is to lose. Get to it.
2008-06-13 19:41:17
188.   mehmattski
180 Sorry... the explanation "Girardi just does stuff" is much more plausible.

Unless Posada is actually hurt, that move makes no sense.

2008-06-13 19:41:46
189.   RIYank
The double-switch isn't looking so smart right now.
2008-06-13 19:41:54
190.   ny2ca2dc
Oh shit, Farns warning. That's what all the moaning is about. Just shoot me. Someone is going to need to hit a 5 run homer.
2008-06-13 19:42:10
191.   monkeypants
I am a little confused, though. What is this thing with using a reliever for two innings, in the 7th and the 8th?
2008-06-13 19:42:12
192.   OldYanksFan
The mistake, IMHO, was using Mo last night with a 3 run lead. Is he available tonight?
2008-06-13 19:42:20
193.   nick
the big G is due...
2008-06-13 19:42:32
194.   RIYank
Mo must be in the wings, though, right?
2008-06-13 19:42:45
195.   tommyl
So do we root for the win? or do we root for Kyle to immolate himself on the mound so he's never heard from again?
2008-06-13 19:42:57
196.   ny2ca2dc
Damon on deck with one on and no out is looking pretty smart right about now.
2008-06-13 19:43:08
197.   Eirias
Seriously, I've been harping on this all night, but Angel Hernandez is absurd.
2008-06-13 19:43:35
198.   rbj
Nope, no Mo.
2008-06-13 19:43:38
199.   ny2ca2dc
191 What is this a reliever performing well enough to merit being left in!
2008-06-13 19:43:47
200.   cult of basebaal
176 yeah, maybe, let's wait and see if the wacker gets the save ... if not, the mouth-breathers will complain that joba would have been available to close for mo
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2008-06-13 19:43:50
201.   mehmattski
196 But Posada would be better...
2008-06-13 19:43:53
202.   RIYank
That was a nice gift.
2008-06-13 19:44:19
203.   Eirias
195 Yeah, but how many times has Farnsworth already immolated himself on the mound, as you eloquently put it?
2008-06-13 19:44:20
204.   rbj
195 Win. I don't care who's on the team, just win baby.
2008-06-13 19:45:00
205.   tommyl
201 Not this year. Damon is hitting like a rockstar.
2008-06-13 19:45:10
206.   nick
192 I know....how many 3-run lead saves does Mo get every year? that's probably 6-8 innings that could be used in tie games....
2008-06-13 19:45:18
207.   RIYank
200 Good point. I spoke too soon.
2008-06-13 19:45:35
208.   ny2ca2dc
201 I want my JoPo babied until his shoulder is good and ready. I don't like these guys running on my man. I'm very sensitive about Goergy.
2008-06-13 19:45:37
209.   mehmattski
Aww, the outfielders weren't playing the Giambi Shift.
2008-06-13 19:45:40
210.   tommyl
Jason continues to go opposite field. Wow, that would be nice.
2008-06-13 19:46:45
211.   ny2ca2dc
206 Maybe a first start in demolishing the silly closer utilization patters would be to make saves be only in 2 run games.
2008-06-13 19:46:57
212.   RIYank
205 True, Damon is hitting better than Posada. Hm.
Giambi took the pitch in the right direction, but I think it was outside. A walk would have been really nice there.
2008-06-13 19:47:17
213.   monkeypants
196 Smarter than Posada on deck and Damon still available for Molina?
2008-06-13 19:47:41
214.   ny2ca2dc
209 I thought the outfielders were actually shading a bit opposite field in the typical shift.
2008-06-13 19:48:18
215.   RIYank
211 It would be completely absurd if changing the semantics changed managers' behavior.

Absurd, but plausible.

2008-06-13 19:48:28
216.   monkeypants
205 If Damon is hitting like such a rockstar (he is), it as foolish to bench him for Matsui in LF.
2008-06-13 19:48:51
217.   tommyl
alright I'm out for drinks. Crossing my fingers on two games above.
2008-06-13 19:49:00
218.   RIYank
... and maybe Damon isn't so good at pinch-hitting, come to think of it. Not the role he's used to.
2008-06-13 19:49:16
219.   ny2ca2dc
213 I'm just not going to get worked up about protecting Po's shoulder in a 1 run game in which the opposition is running wild. Especially with 2 BUCs and JD on the bench.
2008-06-13 19:49:18
220.   nick
ah, we cunningly contrive to get Molino up in a two-out, two-on situation!
2008-06-13 19:51:35
221.   OldYanksFan
219 Or maybe Girardi is trying to throw the game?
2008-06-13 19:51:58
222.   RIYank
216 He's old. He has to have nights off.
217 Good move, I think that's going to help us! Have fun.
2008-06-13 19:52:03
223.   tommyl
216 Matsui is also kind of raking and Damon needed a rest.
2008-06-13 19:52:05
224.   mehmattski
Valverde with a fist pump! He's showing up the Yankees! Unacceptable showmanship! Rabble Rabble Rabble!
2008-06-13 19:52:26
225.   rbj
And Farnsworth for the one run save.
Gulp.
Stock up on liquor and antacid.
2008-06-13 19:53:14
226.   rbj
221 This isn't the NBA.
2008-06-13 19:53:26
227.   nick
when you combine the .500 Factor and the Farnsworth Factor, you've gotta be worried--I suggest we all pour a drink....hell, I suggest we pour one, down it and pour another...
2008-06-13 19:54:17
228.   thelarmis
full pint of sierra in hand! : )
2008-06-13 19:54:38
229.   monkeypants
219 I agree, except that Girardi has poorly managed even that situation. One BUC is still on the bench, so the three headed C monster was not fully employed, and in so doing he still has his lesser defensive 1B and LF in the game.

And hindsight is 20-20, but Molina made 0 throws in the eighth.

2008-06-13 19:54:44
230.   mehmattski
227 I'm breaking out the big guns: Magic Hat #9
2008-06-13 19:54:46
231.   RIYank
Just keep telling yourself:
The Astros suck.
The Astros can't hit.
We don't have to worry, even with Farnsworth, because they're bad. At hitting.
2008-06-13 19:56:09
232.   OldYanksFan
Jeez... Farnsworth is in and I happen to be out of hard drugs. We can only hope any HRs are solo shots.
2008-06-13 19:56:46
233.   RIYank
229 And one more thing. If we go to (not to jinx anything) extra innings, who will pinch hit??
2008-06-13 19:57:24
234.   mehmattski
Just for knowledge:

Michael Bourn has four homers in 359 major league at bats.

Brad Ausmus has four home runs in his last 450 at bats.

2008-06-13 19:57:53
235.   mehmattski
232 Looks like I picked the wrong night to stop sniffing glue.
2008-06-13 19:58:00
236.   RIYank
Unbe-farnsing-lievable.
2008-06-13 19:58:54
237.   ny2ca2dc
Well, he started out right. fak
2008-06-13 19:58:57
238.   dianagramr
234

what about Bourn triples?

2008-06-13 19:59:09
239.   nick
let 'em bunt, Kyle needs outs....
2008-06-13 19:59:34
240.   RIYank
So, Mo is completely unavailable?
2008-06-13 20:00:14
241.   RIYank
239 And outs he shall be given! Nice.
2008-06-13 20:00:17
242.   dianagramr
240

for weddings, bar mitzvahs ... maybe

2008-06-13 20:00:34
243.   ny2ca2dc
Whoo doggy! (as they say in texas)
2008-06-13 20:00:53
244.   mehmattski
238 He does have six career triples. But no matter. Geoff Blum, meanwhile, is slugging a Melky-esque .382 on the season.
2008-06-13 20:01:07
245.   thelarmis
full pint of sierra in hand! : )
2008-06-13 20:01:23
246.   mehmattski
240 I hear his facebook profile says "It's Complicated."
2008-06-13 20:02:01
247.   rbj
Vodka tonic here.
2008-06-13 20:02:13
248.   thelarmis
245 oops. don't know what happened there, sorry.

230 nice! that's cool you get magic hat down in NC. i think it's from vermont, or something...?

2 more outs please!

2008-06-13 20:02:40
249.   pistolpete
This ain't Jorge, Coop.
2008-06-13 20:03:01
250.   rbj
Yay Molina! Wowsie wowsie woo!
Show/Hide Comments 251-300
2008-06-13 20:03:10
251.   RIYank
246 Not sure I get that. Like his 'status'? (I'm too old for facebook.)
2008-06-13 20:03:11
252.   pistolpete
I'm going cold turkey, but I might pop open something if Farnsy pulls this off.
2008-06-13 20:03:23
253.   thelarmis
girardi's a genius!
2008-06-13 20:03:38
254.   nick
Joe Girardi, genius.
We salute you, with beverages in hand.
2008-06-13 20:03:44
255.   RIYank
Magic Hat is definitely from Vermont.
2008-06-13 20:03:47
256.   mehmattski
248 For sure. I even have a Magic Hat bottle opener, which I got at the Durham World Beer Festival.

Magic Hat's in my top 3 favorite breweries, following Dogfish Head and Highland's.

2008-06-13 20:03:59
257.   pistolpete
w00t!
2008-06-13 20:04:06
258.   ny2ca2dc
GOT YOU!!!! Girardi is a genius!!!!!
2008-06-13 20:04:12
259.   RIYank
254
(Bourbon, straight.)
2008-06-13 20:04:21
260.   OldYanksFan
PERFECT THROW BY POSADA!!!!!!!!!!!!
2008-06-13 20:04:34
261.   3rd gen yankee fan
omg we won.
2008-06-13 20:04:43
262.   mehmattski
Farnsy doesn't suck ass! Two games over .500! Pandemonium!

252 And a cold one for you, sir.

2008-06-13 20:05:04
263.   RIYank
Wow!
Nice game!

If there are 'Girardi Losses', that was definitely a 'Girardi Win'.

2008-06-13 20:05:43
264.   OldYanksFan
PERFECT THROW BY POSADA!!!!!!!!!!!!
2008-06-13 20:05:54
265.   ny2ca2dc
dat dat da da da, dat dat da da da, start spreading the news!
2008-06-13 20:06:12
266.   thelarmis
ballgame!

256 Highlands is excellent! i love the gaelic ale and porter. i still miss Devil Mountains Ale from Cali. miller bought 'em and discontinued it. really sucks. Steelhead from the bay area is also fantastic but nearly impossible to find, esp here in the southeast. i stick with Sierra. can you get atlanta's Sweetwater in The Triangle? good stuff...

2008-06-13 20:06:38
267.   rbj
Wait, me confused. Did Kyle Farnsworth actual save a one run game? In Minute Maid park?
2008-06-13 20:07:25
268.   ny2ca2dc
267 He did hit the leadoff man and require a sweet CS from the C
2008-06-13 20:07:43
269.   monkeypants
260 That Girardi is crazy (krazy?) like a fox. Who knew that subbing in Molina to make 0 throws in the eight and then bat with two on an two out in the ninth, thus guaranteeing the slim one run lead, would pay off when he threw out a base stealer in the bottom of the 9th.

Then again, who knew that using Mo in a 3 run situation yesterday after heavy work, leading to the Whacker coming in to tonight's one run game would pay off?

I guess that's why he gets the big bucks!

2008-06-13 20:08:01
270.   RIYank
262 I wouldn't go that far.

Farnsworth managed to parlay one earned out (the CS and the attempted sac he gets no credit for) into a full inning facing the minimum.

2008-06-13 20:08:27
271.   ny2ca2dc
Wow, PeteAbe notes that's Farns' first save since '06.
2008-06-13 20:09:31
272.   monkeypants
263 ?

Maybe I'm in a grumpy mood, but I see this as winning despite of rather than because of...

But two games above .500 never tasted so sweet!!

2008-06-13 20:09:56
273.   ny2ca2dc
Everyone says the inside-the-park-HR is the most exciting play in baseball. I think it's the caught stealing, and it's not even close. At least when it's their guy getting caught.
2008-06-13 20:09:57
274.   pistolpete
I think we need to trade Krazy Kyle to an NL team, pronto.
2008-06-13 20:10:09
275.   mehmattski
266 I got to go to the Angus Barn in Raleigh last month and they have Highland's Oatmeal Porter on tap . Heaven! (especially since I wasn't paying...)

I'm not sure about Sweetwater, I'll have to check it out!

2008-06-13 20:10:23
276.   rbj
268 Which is the Kyle equivalent of a 1-2-3 from Mo.

Good night everyone!

2008-06-13 20:10:59
277.   OldYanksFan
PERFECT THROW BY POSADA!!!!!!!!!!!!
2008-06-13 20:11:03
278.   thelarmis
273 play at the plate...runner out?
2008-06-13 20:12:22
279.   RIYank
272 Maybe, but I have this kind of pet peeve. When a manager makes a bad move, and I mean when it's legitimately bad, it's usually not as bad as it looks. It generally has an upside and a downside, and the downside is bigger, when it's a bad move. But, if you blame him for all the bad results, you have to credit him for the good ones, otherwise your accounting is wrong.
I felt the same way about Torre.
2008-06-13 20:13:33
280.   RIYank
Someone wake OYF. He's talking in his sleep. But it sounds like a good dream, so never mind.
2008-06-13 20:14:28
281.   thelarmis
275 mmm, their porter is fantastic! i like it better in the winter, though. Sweetwater is excellent and i'm sure you'd love it. not positive if you can get it in the raleigh area. they discontinued their ESB for some reason and that was my fave of theirs. their Pale Ale is their most famous. they have a fantastic Exodus Porter and a good Sweet Georgia Brown brown ale. good stuff, but i just stick with my sierra : )

if you get Magic Hat, do you get Troegs down there? it's a great beer from Pa...

2008-06-13 20:15:07
282.   mehmattski
280 I just think it's an extremely late reaction to Michael Born being gunned down at third in the sixth inning...
2008-06-13 20:15:53
283.   monkeypants
279 Fair enough. And Pete Abe made a reasonable point, or at least implied so: Girardi's moves made more sense is he was planning all along to use Veras for two innings. I'm skeptical, but maybe I need to reconsider.
2008-06-13 20:21:24
284.   monkeypants
In other news, did Papelbohn basically theaten to continue to retaliate against the Rays? Now it will be interesting to see what happens if he plunks someone later this month--will he get tossed? Will the league lay down a suspension?
2008-06-13 20:22:15
285.   RIYank
283 Okay, I thought about it and I don't see how Veras' two innings makes it a better move.

To be clear: I was against that move. But it worked out well because of the CS, so I'm giving Girardi the win. ;-)

2008-06-13 20:23:07
286.   RIYank
284 Missed that.
(When the Celtics win, I have to stay away from all local sports media.)
2008-06-13 20:24:41
287.   OldYanksFan
I love to read Lohud in games like this just for the sheer panic. However, a funny line from commenter #9 when he saw Farnsworth come in:
"The Captain has switched on the 'Seatbelt' sign - turbulence ahead."
2008-06-13 20:27:22
288.   3rd gen yankee fan
Did you guys see... Philly is beating the crrrrrrrrap outta St. Louis, 20-2 in the 8th.
2008-06-13 20:33:01
289.   thelarmis
287 i never read the lohud comments, but that's pretty damn funny!
2008-06-13 20:58:31
290.   ny2ca2dc
278 Always makes me nervous about the collision. And the fact that the rule says you cant block the plate, but the C does, is annoying.
2008-06-13 22:12:04
291.   tommyl
I guess my going out for beers and crossing my fingers worked. On the way to our bar of choice, we passed a bar with a tv and I happened to peak in just in time to see Kyle hit the leadoff batter. After that I was glad I was drinking and not watching. Can we please get rid of him now?

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