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Jorge Joo?
2008-07-21 20:23
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

There's no crying in baseball, and rather than sit around and mope about having likely lost Jorge Posada for the year, the Yankees went out and put a whuppin' on the Twins, winning the game in this series that they seemed least likely to win on paper, 12-4.

Sidney Ponson wasn't great, but got more groundballs (9) than flyballs (6) and held the Twins to three runs over 5 2/3 innings thanks to a sixth-inning assist from Edwar Ramirez. That left room for the offense to do it's thing. Bobby Abreu and Alex Rodriguez got things going with two outs in the bottom of the first with a single and a bomb into the Yankee bullpen. Ponson promptly gave those two runs back, but in the bottom of the second the Yankees blew things open with a barrage of singles and some help from some sloppy Twins defense.

The rally got started with one out when Twins shortstop Brendan Harris made an unnecessary dive to stop a Melky Cabrera grounder to the left of second base and then couldn't get a handle on the ball to make the throw, allowing Cabrera to reach (headfirst, to the aggravation of many) with an infield single. Legitimate singles by Jose Molina and Brett Gardner then loaded the bases. Johnny Damon followed by hitting a potential double-play ball to second, but Alexi Casilla, perhaps thinking the ball was a bit to slow to turn two, threw home, short-hopping catcher Joe Mauer, and allowing all the runners to advance safely. A single by Derek Jeter plated another run, and Bobby Abreu beat the relay on another possible double play to make it 5-2 Yankees. Alex Rodriguez then singled off the glove of third baseman Brian Buscher to push it to 6-2 and drive Twins starter Nick Blackburn (unfairly, in my opinion) from the game.

After reliever Boof Bonser struck out Jason Giambi to end the rally and Sidney Ponson retired the Twins in order, Robinson Cano led off the bottom of the third by wrapping a towering home run around the right field foul pole and well into the upper deck to make it 7-2. Melky Cabrera then reached on his second infield single in as many at-bats (this one off Bonser's ankle) and was later plated by a Johnny Damon flare into no-man's land in shallow left that hopped into the stands for a ground-rule double.

Things were quite for a while after that. The Twins picked up their third run in the fifth when Jason Kubel followed what looked like a rally-killing double play with an RBI single. The Yanks then went back to work in the sixth against reliever Craig Breslow. Derek Jeter led off with an opposite-field home run into the front rows of section 37 of the right-field bleachers. Bobby Abreu then singled, moved to second on a balk that initially looked like a successful pickoff, then moved to third and scored on a pair of wild pitches. The latter moved Alex Rodriguez, who had walked on the first, to second where he was able to score on a Cano single. The Yanks made it an even dozen in the eighth and the Twins picked up a run against LaTroy Hawkins (who could lose his bullpen spot to Brian Bruney by the end of the week) in the ninth.

With Posada back on the DL, Jose Molina went 3 for 4 with a run scored. In his first game off the DL, Johnny Damon went 1 for 4 with that flared RBI double and a run scored. Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera stayed hot, going a combined 4 for 10 (though neither of Melky's two hits left the infield, while Cano's homer nearly left the earth's gravitational pull). Jeter, Abreu, and Rodriguez went a combined 6 for 12 with a pair of homers and 6 RBIs. Even Brett Gardner got a hit (1 for 4). Only Jason Giambi failed to pick up a safety, though he did walk. Giambi is 2 for 7 since the break, but has six walks in that span for a .615 on-base percentage.

The Yankees are now just a game behind the Twins for second place in the Wild Card chase, and stand a decent chance of sweeping their way into Boston this weekend. Not bad considering how the evening began.

Comments
2008-07-22 06:18:40
1.   rbj
I seriously doubt that 2 weeks of rest is going to heal Jorge. Might as well have the surgery ASAP and get ready for next year.

Aside from that, it was a good game. Sidney actually pitched not bad.

2008-07-22 06:20:45
2.   Cliff Corcoran
1 I completely agree on Posada. He should just go under the knife and get it done with. Girardi's optimism about injuries is proving to be both misguided and harmful to the team.
2008-07-22 06:36:18
3.   Simone
2 Same with Matsui. He has been trying to rehab that knee forever. Girardi's judgment is suspect when it comes to player injures.
2008-07-22 06:43:03
4.   williamnyy23
2 Do you really think Girardi is calling the shots on these injuries? I sincerely doubt his optimism is dictating how the Yankees treat injured players. As long as he hasn't usurped the responsibilities of the team's doctors, I don't mind him being optimistic.
2008-07-22 06:49:23
5.   JohnnyC
2 At least he's aware that his players are injured.
2008-07-22 06:53:48
6.   Sliced Bread
yeah, Dr. Girardi tends to view injuries through a caleidoscope, but that doesn't mean we should dissect the frogs until they're officially dead.

Keep it rollin', Rasner -- that's all I know.

2008-07-22 06:54:09
7.   JasonO
Hold on a second before we begin to heap scorn on Joe G.

1) Does keeping the media 100% up to date with injury help or hurt the Yankees in the trade market? To state it another way, if you're the Yankees do you want the state of your team's health to be 100% transparent? Be honest...

2) Wasn't Posada publicly angry last week, something to the effect of "I'm a catcher, I want to catch?" If everyone within the Yankees knew his shoulder was seriously injured, this must mean that even Jorge himself was in on the Belichickian injury disinformation conspiracy.

Or, Occam's razor: His shoulder took a turn for the worse in the last 5-7 days or so.

2008-07-22 07:07:54
8.   OldYanksFan
8 Really... Does Macys tell Gimbals? I'm amazed that anyone here takes anything said to a MICROPHONE as gospel. I'm sure what is said is decided by company policy, which is probably headed by guys in black suits who aren't allowed in the sunlight.

I think before they send Posada under the knife, we need to know if he can hit STRICTLY as a DH. No catching, no 1st base. The question is if he never has to pick up a baseball again this year, can he swing the bat.

As a DH, if he can hit, he repaces Betemins bat, and keeps betemin on the bench to sub, which MIGHT be a good thing. Po said every throw hurt, but didn't say a thing about swinging the bat. If Matsui were here I'd say cut him open. But without Matsui, unless they get Bonds, IF Jorge can hit, he fills a role as a DH.

I believe this is what the Yankees are looking at. They know he can't throw.... but can he hit?

2008-07-22 07:11:18
9.   OldYanksFan
Oops... OK, from PeteAbe:

Meanwhile, Jorge Posada now says that his shoulder did in fact bother his hitting, which was prettty obvious from his lack of power. It seems pretty evident that he should have his surgery now and get healthy for 2009. What is the point of having a DH/1B without power?

OK... cut the bastard open.
Cashman is saying a trade for a bat is unlikely, which might mean it's imminent.

2008-07-22 07:14:38
10.   tommyl
Cliff, no kudos to Edwar and Robertson last night? Sure it was only mop up duty, but Edwar used the Bugs Bunny change to literally screw the hitter into the ground, I couldn't stop laughing. Robertson just continues to strike out everyone. That K of Mauer was beautiful.

I have to say, considering all the injuries, roster turnover etc. I think Girardi has done a good to great job so far. His handling of the pen is a thing of beauty. If Torre were still in charge, Hawkins would still be the "7th inning setup guy" and we'd be waiting for his veteran presence to turn things around.

As for JoPo, considering he said that the shoulder has affected his hitting he just needs to go under the knife. Especially because this surgery requires a 6-month recovery period. I'd rather have a healthy, catching Jorge to start next year than a singles hitting DH down the stretch this year.

2008-07-22 07:16:38
11.   tommyl
Oh, one more thing, Matsui is a bit of a different case than Jorge. Presumably his knee needs only a scope so he could have that done in November and be ready for spring training without a problem. In terms of honesty, Cashman has admitted the doctors all think Hideki should have the surgery now, but he asked personally for one more try at rehabbing it. It won't work of course, but you have to admire the guy. There's been no dishonesty there as far as I can tell.
2008-07-22 07:35:33
12.   Schteeve
Dear Jorge,

They'll need you next year too. Schedule the surgery and get to rehabbin.

Love

Schteeve

2008-07-22 07:48:55
13.   Vandelay Industries
11 Considering the fact that no manager or team can force a player to have surgery, and intimations that Girardi is harming the team are specious at best.

What should he say, "Well, I think he should have surgery but he won't, I'm not optimistic about his chances to play without it, and Posada is being selfish?"

2008-07-22 07:49:21
14.   Raf
7 Does keeping the media 100% up to date with injury help or hurt the Yankees in the trade market? To state it another way, if you're the Yankees do you want the state of your team's health to be 100% transparent?

If I'm an owner, I would like to think that my GM sends scouts and the like to observe a player, instead of reading media reports. Watching Posada catch and throw, or how he's deployed, or the fact that the Yanks are carrying 3 catchers on the roster would probably tell me more than an interview or a newspaper article.

2008-07-22 08:00:59
15.   Rob Middletown CT
If the shoulder is impacting his hitting - as appears to be the case - then I hope he has surgery now so he's ready for 2009.
2008-07-22 09:28:16
16.   Sonya Hennys Tutu
4 my thoughts exactly.

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