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Toronto Blue Jays IV: Go, Go, Godzilla! Edition
2008-08-19 12:56
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

Untitled For the second time in as many series, the Yankees open a three-game set with a significant roster change. On Friday, they promoted Brett Gardner and Cody Ransom at the expense of Melky Cabrera and Richie Sexson. Today, they've activated Hideki Matsui from the disabled list and optioned Justin Christian back to triple-A.

Matsui has been on the shelf since late June due to inflammation in his left knee, but was one of the Yankees best hitters over the first three months of the season, going .323/.404/.458 and failing to reach base in just eight of his 69 games before succumbing to his injury. Matsui has slowly and steadily rehabilitated his knee since then, concluding his work over the weekend by playing in three rehab games with high-A Tampa in which he went 2 for 8 with a solo homer and two walks.

With Matsui back in the fold, two big questions need to be answered. The first is, obviously, "will he hit." The second is, "if he hits, who sits?"

There's no question that Matsui will DH and DH only, that's been stated explicitly by the team, but with Gardner having just been installed in center field and having picked up five hits (including a double, a triple, and a game winner) in the final two games against the Royals, the big question is whose at-bats will Matsui might be taking.

Tonight the answer is Gardner, as Johnny Damon starts in center flanked by Xavier Nady and Bobby Abreu with Jason Giambi at first. To his credit, Joe Girardi has put his best offense on the field (including Ivan Rodriguez behind the plate) against A.J. Burnett, turf be damned. Still, one suspects that if that lineup was intended to be permanent, Gardner, who's being groomed to start, would have been sent down in stead of Christian, who has emerged as a viable bench player. Instead, Gardner's continued presence suggests an intended rotation that will see Girardi continue to rest his stars, be it by giving Damon or Matsui days off, or giving Nady some work at first base in place of Giambi.

No one really knows what to expect from Matsui any more than they know what to expect from Gardner 2.0. If Matsui picks up where he left off and Gardner continues to hit .400 with runners in scoring position, resting Damon and Giambi won't hurt. If Matsui struggles and Gardner's weekend proves to be a fluke, resting Damon and Giambi could undermine what little fight this team seems to have left in it.

Still, replacing Cabrera and Christian with Matsui and Gardner sure feels like a hefty upgrade, even if the offense's biggest problems remain the catchers, Robinson Cano, and Jason Giambi's poor performance with runners in scoring position (which has allowed teams to pitch around Alex Rodriguez in such situations).

The Yanks will need all the pop they can get in Toronto as they have to face not only Burnett tonight, but Roy Halladay on Thursday. The last series between these two teams was also played in Toronto with Burnett and Halladay pitching the bookend games. The Jays won both of those games, while the Yankees pounded Jesse Litsch in the middle match. On the season, the Jays, who are just two games behind the Yankees in the standings, have won four of the nine games between the two teams, with either Halladay or Burnett getting the win in all four victories. The Yankees have won just one game started by either of the Jays' top two starters all year, that coming on Opening Night, when Chien-Ming Wang out-dueled Halladay, 3-2.

Untitled The Jays are a better team than they seem. Since Cito Gaston returned to the site of his past glories by replacing John Gibbons as manager at the end of a miserable June for the Jays, Toronto has won at a .580 clip. Had they done that over the rest of the season, they'd be leading the Red Sox in the Wild Card race (only one team in the NL has a winning percentage higher than .580). Over the same stretch, the Yankees have played .520 ball, which is actually worse than their overall winning percentage of .532.

Halladay and Burnett have obviously been key to that run under Gaston (Burnett is 9-2 under Gaston, Halladay has a 2.24 ERA since Cito's return), as has the Jays' dominant bullpen (a MLB-best 3.02 ERA). As for the offense, Vernon Wells spent most of Gaston's first 50 games back at the helm on the DL and has only recently returned. Scott Rolen hit .229/.338/.382 under Gaston before landing on the DL himself. Instead it's been left fielder Adam Lind who has been sparking the lineup, hitting .329/.363/.587 since being recalled two days after Gaston's return. Gaston's other big lineup change was to bench David Eckstein in favor of starting first Marco Scutaro and, with Scutaro now needed in Rolen's place at third base, John McDonald at shortstop. Neither player provides much offense, but Scutaro has out-hit Rolen under Gaston, and McDonald's defense makes Halladay all the more dominant.

Every little bit helps, which brings us back to Matsui. The last time he returned from a long DL stay he went 4 for 4 on his first night back. Of course, that was in mid-September 2006, when the Yankees had a double-digit lead in the AL East. Things are a bit different this year.

Toronto Blue Jays

2008 Record: 64-60 (.516)
2008 Pythagorean Record: 68-56 (.549)

Manager: Cito Gaston
General Manager: J.P. Ricciardi

Home Ballpark (multi-year Park Factors): Rogers Centre (100/99)

Who's Replaced Whom:

Vernon Wells (DL) has replaced Scott Rolen (DL)
Marco Scutaro has repalced David Eckstein in the lineup
John McDonald has replaced Brad Wilkerson in the lineup
Shaun Marcum (DL) has replaced John Parrish (minors)
David Purcey (minors) has replaced Brian Tallet in the rotation
Tallet has replaced Brian Wolfe (minors)

Opening Day Roster:

1B - Lyle Overbay (L)
2B - Joe Inglett (L)
SS - John McDonald (R)
3B - Scott Rolen (R)
C - Rod Barajas (R)
RF - Alex Rios (R)
CF - Vernon Wells (R)
LF - Adam Lind (L)
DH - Matt Stairs (L)

Bench:

R - David Eckstein (IF)
L - Brad Wilkerson (OF)
R - Kevin Mench (OF)
S - Gregg Zaun (C)

Rotation:

R - Roy Halladay
R - Shaun Marcum
R - Jesse Litsch
R - A.J. Burnett
L - David Purcey

Bullpen:

L - B.J. Ryan
L - Scott Downs
R - Jason Frasor
L - Jesse Carlson
R - Shawn Camp
R - Brandon League
L - Brian Tallet

15-day DL: R - Scott Rolen (3B), R - Dustin McGowan, R - Jeremy Accardo
60-day DL: R - Aaron Hill (2B), R - Casey Janssen

Typical Lineup:

L - Joe Inglett (2B)
R - Marco Scutaro (3B)
R - Alex Rios (RF)
R - Vernon Wells (CF)
L - Matt Stairs (DH)
R - Rod Barajas (C)
L - Adam Lind (LF)
L - Lyle Overbay (1B)
R - John McDonald (SS)

Comments (197)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-08-19 15:30:13
1.   Just fair
Good stuff as always, Cliff. Hey, I'm pretty excited about baseball again. That could all be gone by Friday, however. Geez, Burnett's bound to throw a stinker vs. the Yanks one of these days, right? And Rasner's got a gem buried somewhere deep inside of him. I hope.
2008-08-19 15:35:57
2.   nick
the Jays, sez Pythagoras, are a (very slightly) better team than we are. they're just boring. I'm a Canadian, and used to boring stuff, and I find them boring. but a pretty good team....
2008-08-19 15:45:04
3.   randym77
From PeteAbe:

"Joe Girardi said that his plan was to play Matsui as the DH every day, use Damon in center and bring Gardner off the bench."

2008-08-19 15:48:37
4.   cult of basebaal
3 seems a bit weird to bring gardner up to sit him, since they specifically stated they weren't going to do that earlier this year ... i guess they got tired of watching christian screw up during pinch running duties ...
2008-08-19 15:51:49
5.   Schteeve
Here's the trick to this game, don't let Scutaro beat you.
2008-08-19 15:54:26
6.   Schteeve
Keeping Gardner on the big league bench makes sense to me. LIDR and PR duties are in his wheelhouse, no?
2008-08-19 16:00:33
7.   cult of basebaal
5 the trick is, not minding that it hurts ...
2008-08-19 16:01:25
8.   randym77
It's sure nice to see Godzilla back.
2008-08-19 16:09:32
9.   mehmattski
Ah, Cito Gaston

Where's Devon White? Where's Ed Sprague?

I used to have the whole 91/92 Blue Jays lineup memorized, for some reason.

2008-08-19 16:15:11
10.   cult of basebaal
LEMMIWINKS!!!
2008-08-19 16:16:41
11.   cult of basebaal
thanks, alex.

if giambi fails to get the runner home, the only unpredictable thing about this inning would be jeter failing to GiDP with JD on first ...

2008-08-19 16:17:24
12.   monkeypants
The personnel moves are of little consequence now, given that the MiL season is nearly over and September call-up are only a few games away. Presumably they will take it easy with Matsui for at least a week or so, Damon will sit a couple of times on turf. There will be rook for Gardner to get a few ABs.
2008-08-19 16:18:26
13.   monkeypants
11 Wow, tough crowd tonight!
2008-08-19 16:18:57
14.   Cliff Corcoran
4 Christian was hardly Charles Gipson. He never got caught stealing cleanly. He tripped once and was picked off once.

As for Gardner, I guess the deal is that the mL season is almost over, so why not go with the superior player in the PR/defensive replacement role since he'd only have two weeks of starting left in Scranton anyway. This way he keeps that good taste from the weekend in his mouth and could open next year as the team's CF.

2008-08-19 16:19:47
15.   Cliff Corcoran
12 Ah, you beat me to it.
2008-08-19 16:20:53
16.   cult of basebaal
the man of glass returns ...

http://www.nypost.com/seven/08192008/sports/yankees/pavano_skips_bullpen_session_125164.htm

2008-08-19 16:21:49
17.   mehmattski
12 Well, many of the moves might have to wait, since SWB will be playing for the Governor's Cup (AAA Championship). Certainly if the Yankees need a player he'll be up in the big leagues. But Scranton does need to field a team for the first week or so of September.
2008-08-19 16:22:29
18.   mehmattski
16 ...
2008-08-19 16:25:15
19.   cult of basebaal
17 chad jennings was speculating that he thinks the yanks will bring jackson up from trenton in time for the AAA playoffs (since he expects a couple of guys, including christian to come up to NY after 9/1)
2008-08-19 16:25:46
20.   mehmattski
Well that's not going to help Damon's Zone Rating...
2008-08-19 16:26:01
21.   tommyl
Way to reward the faith in you Johnny. Ugh.
2008-08-19 16:26:46
22.   cult of basebaal
20 E-8? what happened???
2008-08-19 16:27:51
23.   Just fair
Man, I was at the game a couple of years ago when Randy Johnson shit the bed vs. the Jays in Toronto Damon made 2 or 3 spectacular catches crashing into the wall. That one, not so much.
2008-08-19 16:28:06
24.   mehmattski
19 But the Thunder have their own playoffs to play as well. Of course, Jackson has earned a look at AAA.

As for 16 , the Post calls Phil Hughes "not-major-league-ready." While it's to argue with the statistics, saying Hughes isn't ready is simply revisionist history. Hughes's minor league stats were insanely good.

2008-08-19 16:28:40
25.   mehmattski
22 It just bounced off the side of Damon's glove, as he was traveling sideways towards the ball. Little-league type of error.
2008-08-19 16:28:55
26.   Chyll Will
22 Doink!
2008-08-19 16:31:08
27.   cult of basebaal
wow ... gameday just showed the 3rd pitch, which was called a ball, was more of a strike in every way than the 1st pitch, which was called a strike.

i for one, welcome the coming of our roboump overlords ...

2008-08-19 16:31:10
28.   tommyl
Do you think Toronto fans are posting somewhere: Come on! Its Darrel Rasner!
2008-08-19 16:32:15
29.   tommyl
16 Hahahahaha, I'm trying not to laugh. I can't wait till the offseason when he gets nothing but minor league offers or 1 year, 1 million type of offers.
2008-08-19 16:34:27
30.   Chyll Will
29 You forget, Drayton McLane still lurks in Houston...
2008-08-19 16:37:34
31.   Chyll Will
At least Hideki made contact.

Damn. Good play, hard luck for Cano. Why has Cashman never tried to get Scutaro?

2008-08-19 16:39:18
32.   mehmattski
31 Considering teams are still willing to make Scutaro a starting job, I doubt that he'd be willing to be a backup.

Which is what a guy who has a lifetime OPS+ of 85 should be- a backup. He's a modern day Bobby Richardson...

2008-08-19 16:41:44
33.   rbj
I'm flipping between the game and Olympics boxing. There seemed to be a weird chant in the crowd, then I noticed one of the boxers is Irish, apparently Irish boxing fans travel well.
2008-08-19 16:42:05
34.   cult of basebaal
nice done, razzler, way to pick johnny all thumbs ...

btw ... i think razzler is going to be my nickname for darrel ... it reminds me of the Dazzler, that crappy infomercial product that sounded like it ought be something great (i mean, who doesn't want something that beDAZZLES?!?!?) but that turned out to just be some cheap plastic PoS that affixed crappy shit with even crappier shit; sorta like how rasner seemed like such a good idea for those first few starts, then turned into late-night-shopper's regret ...

(and yes, i know, he's been adequate for a 5th starter, but dammit, work with me here, i'm making up nickames!!!)

2008-08-19 16:46:52
35.   cult of basebaal
wow ... i think i'd punch myself in the face repeatedly if i had to watch pudge hack away at 1st pitches an entire season ...
2008-08-19 16:49:56
36.   Just fair
What is the scale for the DQ? Whatever it is, A.J. has got to come in pretty high. He really chaps my ass.
"I thought I was looking at my mother's old douche bag, but that's in Ohio." Guess who watched Revenge of the Nerds last night?
2008-08-19 16:52:11
37.   Eirias
So... by how many points have we lowered Burnett's ERA this year?
2008-08-19 16:55:55
38.   mehmattski
37 http://www.baseball-reference.com/pi/psplit.cgi?n1=burnea.01&year=2008

Burnett has a tOPS+ against of 60, the worst of the teams he's faced more than once this season. The Yankees have hit .216/.259/.353 off Burnett (54 PA) versus .263/.340/.420 against everyone.

2008-08-19 17:01:11
39.   mehmattski
At least Abreu decided to show up today.

Blue Jays announcers mistakenly called it the first RISP for the Yankees tonight. Abreu has been here before. And was so lonely out there....

2008-08-19 17:02:48
40.   cult of basebaal
sweet-teeny-tiny-jesus-on-a-fancy-music-box, WTF are you doing arod?!?!?!?!?
2008-08-19 17:03:19
41.   Just fair
Uh, Alex, If the 3 hitter needs to hit, he's got to swing the bat. Quick guessing. Shorten up. Do something. Ugh.
2008-08-19 17:04:59
42.   cult of basebaal
41 seriously, at least move the runner OVER!
2008-08-19 17:05:31
43.   rbj
You know, I think this Burnett kid is pretty good.
2008-08-19 17:06:41
44.   cult of basebaal
aaaaaaaaaaaaaand another great pair of at bats by the Dynamic-Death-to-RiSP Duo ...
2008-08-19 17:17:27
45.   cult of basebaal
RAZZLER!!!!
2008-08-19 17:18:24
46.   OldYanksFan
AJ is good, but he's no Razner Dazzler!
2008-08-19 17:22:08
47.   rbj
So will the Yankees strike out 20 times, but win the game?
2008-08-19 17:25:14
48.   cult of basebaal
WOW! is that more stolen bases than ANY molina has this year?*

*probably not, but i'm too lazy to look ...

2008-08-19 17:25:32
49.   rbj
Good ole' Pudge, sticking to the one base on a steal concept. No need to hustle to third.

/sarc

2008-08-19 17:25:50
50.   cult of basebaal
c'mon LEMMIWINKS, it all comes down to you!
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-08-19 17:29:13
51.   cult of basebaal
50 oops, forgot the outs ...
2008-08-19 17:30:26
52.   OldYanksFan
When is the last time you've seen a throw to second, get by the CFer backing up the play?
2008-08-19 17:31:48
53.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
O-Kaerinasai Matsui-san!
A-Rod and Giambino each whiffed in the 2 ABs...ahh, nice to see things are still the same...
2008-08-19 17:35:03
54.   cult of basebaal
52 is that what happened when pudge stole 2nd?
2008-08-19 17:37:27
55.   OldYanksFan
Another infield single for Jetes. Gee... I wonder if he is getting more of those this year.
2008-08-19 17:40:07
56.   OldYanksFan
ARod not looking good.....
2008-08-19 17:41:00
57.   Just fair
It must be nice to make one of the better hitters in the league look foolish 3 times. Geez Louise, Alex.
2008-08-19 17:41:11
58.   cult of basebaal
fuckin' 'ell, alex ... quit bein' a wanky ponce.
2008-08-19 17:43:43
59.   mehmattski
52 I know that you're referring to the discussion this weekend, but I found a site that details it nicely.

http://www.statcorner.com/batterAJAX.php?id=116539&team=NYA&leag=MLB

See "IF%" Yes, Jeter has more infield hits this season, than last season. But he's had seasons with more.

2008-08-19 17:46:00
60.   OldYanksFan
59 I was just trying to instigate trouble.. but thanks.
2008-08-19 17:46:29
61.   Jeb
I have been watching this game and sweating bullets with Rasner. I'm counting every damn pitch from that bastard Burnett (he's up to 95 BTW). Damn I hope Darrell can get through this inning.
2008-08-19 17:47:09
62.   OldYanksFan
Pretty hard to have serious, drawn out arguments here without William...
2008-08-19 17:49:00
63.   Alex Belth
Amazing how a pitcher with "stuff" who is on his game can make great hitters look like doo doo. I mean A Rod and Giambi have just looked over matched, though A Rod got beat with a "hittable" 95 mph heater in his third K. Man.
2008-08-19 17:49:19
64.   Jeb
WOO HOO D-Raz-ma-tazz..Take that AJ!

Now hopefully we'll take a lot of pitches, foul a lot off and be done with Burnett this inning! How about a 25 pitch inning?

2008-08-19 17:50:07
65.   3rd gen yankee fan
Jays announcers STILL not over the Howie Clark incident... lame.
2008-08-19 17:50:31
66.   OldYanksFan
Cy Rasner 6.0 2 0 0 1 3 0 68-44 4.87. 68 pitches.
Last inning (hopefully) for AJ.
2008-08-19 17:50:44
67.   nick
so I can't watch, only radio--Burnett is dominant, yes, but what about the approach our guys are taking up there? :^;
2008-08-19 17:51:56
68.   Jeb
and on the 98th pitch, AJ gave up a hit. Let's steal here!
2008-08-19 17:52:00
69.   OldYanksFan
Amazing how a pitcher withOUT "stuff" but with excellent command can make hitters look like doo doo. (That's Raz I'm referring to).
2008-08-19 17:52:44
70.   Jeb
65 HA!
2008-08-19 17:53:54
71.   tommyl
Anyone want to see what Gardner can do?
2008-08-19 17:54:10
72.   Alex Belth
Horseshit call on the Matsui punch out.
2008-08-19 17:55:01
73.   nick
I hope Girardi is ready with the pen to try and win this one 1-0...
2008-08-19 17:55:06
74.   Jeb
71 not particularly considering Johnny's batting average and that we need Godzilla. I'd rather go for the pennant and use Gardner as a LIDR and pinch runner (he's got to run better than Christian).
2008-08-19 17:55:30
75.   Alex Belth
Not for nothing but what those circular silver things that look like cd's on the wall of the dugout in Toronto. Been wondering about that for years.
2008-08-19 17:56:08
76.   3rd gen yankee fan
70 HA HA! :-)
2008-08-19 17:57:44
77.   tommyl
What's Burnett up to?
2008-08-19 17:57:49
78.   Alex Belth
C'mon Ras, hang in there!
2008-08-19 17:57:55
79.   3rd gen yankee fan
75 Platinum records leftover from Sam the Record Man? j/k
2008-08-19 17:58:18
80.   Alex Belth
Over 100 pitches now, but 13 K's.
2008-08-19 17:58:45
81.   Jeb
110 pitches for Burnett...Is he done or will they send him out there again? Do the Yanks continue to play with fire or do they go to the pen now?
2008-08-19 17:59:40
82.   Alex Belth
67, Burnett's stuff is beyond any approach tonight. He's throwing enough strikes early. All three pitches--heater, slider, curve are all sharp.
2008-08-19 18:00:14
83.   OldYanksFan
13 Ks and 110 pitches for AJ. How does this guy have a 4.54 ERA (slightly higher then Sir Sidney)
2008-08-19 18:00:43
84.   nick
82 thx, I was mostly wishing for weeping to come out of hiding....
2008-08-19 18:00:53
85.   3rd gen yankee fan
Burnett is sick.
2008-08-19 18:00:56
86.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
75 It's a Canadian thing..like Videodrome..

very quiet at the Banter today, did everyone give up on the season last week?

2008-08-19 18:01:01
87.   OldYanksFan
HEY, HOW MANY PITCHER DOES AJ HAVE???
2008-08-19 18:01:40
88.   Alex Belth
What's a worse feeling for a hitter? To get smoked by nasty stuff or get chumped by the soft stuff? Vernon Wells looked like he was going to kill someone after missing that pitch.
2008-08-19 18:02:59
89.   Alex Belth
Hey, I was thinking about how quiet it's been today...think it's a combo of the Yanks sliding but more than that heads are prolly just away on vacation. The whole down is pretty tame right now.
2008-08-19 18:03:31
90.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
75 It's a Canadian thing..like Videodrome..

very quiet at the Banter today, did everyone give up on the season last week?

2008-08-19 18:04:03
91.   Just fair
F#@$
2008-08-19 18:04:32
92.   Alex Belth
Well, that was bound to happen.
2008-08-19 18:05:03
93.   cult of basebaal
well, you had to figure he was going to turn into the RAZZLER at some point tonite ... oh, well.
2008-08-19 18:05:07
94.   Alex Belth
I don't know why Rasner wasn't yanked right then and there...
2008-08-19 18:05:17
95.   Jeb
87 110 pitches for AJ. hopefully he is done. I knew we should have pulled Raz.
2008-08-19 18:05:42
96.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
90 D'oh, sorry for double posting...weird Firefox things are going on here..

everyone here in a tizzy about the Olympics and High School Baseball Tournament..no MLB on tv for awhile..

2008-08-19 18:05:56
97.   Alex Belth
Hey, wasn't Burnett just getting that pitch off the plate, dammit?
2008-08-19 18:06:11
98.   cult of basebaal
94 still, if the RAZZLER goes 7 and gives up 1 ... and you're NOT winning ... it ain't his fault ...
2008-08-19 18:06:58
99.   Alex Belth
EXCELLENT job by Rasner.
2008-08-19 18:07:11
100.   OldYanksFan
TB DOWN 2-1 after 7.5.
Boston UP 6-2 and rallying, top of the 5th.
Minn UP 3-1 after 2.5.
White Sox UP 3-0 after 3.5.
We gotta have this one.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-08-19 18:07:12
101.   tommyl
Oh well. Battle of the pens now.
2008-08-19 18:07:50
102.   mehmattski
Is Girardi cold? Weather.com says it's 63˚F in Toronto right now, but he's wearing his warmup jacket...
2008-08-19 18:08:00
103.   3rd gen yankee fan
It's cool, it just gives the offense yet another chance to quit f'in around...
2008-08-19 18:08:10
104.   OldYanksFan
Yeah, pull a guy with 68 pitches pitching a 2 hitter. Very Torre like.
2008-08-19 18:08:21
105.   cult of basebaal
94 95 y'all got any extra of those fancy "20/20 Hindsight" Glasses i can borrow? sure would come in handy when i go out drinking on weekends ...
2008-08-19 18:09:36
106.   Alex Belth
I LOVE Matt Stairs' swing.
2008-08-19 18:09:42
107.   tommyl
Gotta say I like going straight to Veras here.
2008-08-19 18:10:12
108.   Jeb
105 Read comment 81 NOT hindsight for me.
2008-08-19 18:10:33
109.   Alex Belth
Oh and p.s., the Yanks are going to knock Burnett's dick in the dirt this inning, that is if the coward dares to come out and face the music.
2008-08-19 18:11:03
110.   mehmattski
Veras has been used sparingly since the Marte trade: 9 G 9.1 IP 6 H 2 R 13 K 3 BB 2 HR (1.93 ERA).
2008-08-19 18:11:18
111.   Alex Belth
105, no I meant Ras should have been yanked after he gave up the homer not before...
2008-08-19 18:12:20
112.   Alex Belth
Here we go Johnny!
2008-08-19 18:12:47
113.   Alex Belth
Second pitch to Damon...not a strike, blue, c'mon.
2008-08-19 18:13:00
114.   3rd gen yankee fan
C'mon out Burnett... bitch!
2008-08-19 18:13:00
115.   Alex Belth
Ugh.
2008-08-19 18:13:40
116.   Shaun P
109 Gosh I hope so, because something about Burnett drives me nuts. Probably because he always seems to bring his A game vs the Yanks, and manages to suck against other teams.

I'll never forget his no-hitter, where he managed to walk 9 guys. (BTW OYF, that's why he has a 4.54 ERA - when the control is off, he is wild.)

2008-08-19 18:14:17
117.   Alex Belth
C'mon Cap'in Jetes.
2008-08-19 18:14:36
118.   cult of basebaal
108 RAZZLER had faced the minimum over the last 4 innings and had only thrown 68 pitches overall and hadn't been hit hard at all ... i've got ZERO problems with girardi's decision to leave him in there ...
2008-08-19 18:14:38
119.   Alex Belth
Grrrrr.
2008-08-19 18:15:44
120.   cult of basebaal
leaving burnett in?

i guess the blue jays are resigned to AJ exercising his option and leaving in the offseason ...

2008-08-19 18:16:24
121.   nick
knock his dick in the dirt--Ball Four, yes?--gotta love it...

AJ is knocking our dicks in the dirt.

2008-08-19 18:16:40
122.   Alex Belth
So much for that...dag...Now, BJ will come on in the 9th.
2008-08-19 18:19:34
123.   Jeb
118 that's not the point. I was questioning whether Rasner should be pulled BEFORE the inning. The point is that my later post wasn't written in hindsight, as it echoed my earlier post.

Burnett through 10 pitches that inning and is at 120. He appears to be done finally. I hate him.

2008-08-19 18:20:15
124.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
122 I have an illogical dislike for any grown men who are called "BJ" or "AJ"...and of course, "Dusty"...
2008-08-19 18:23:03
125.   OldYanksFan
Wow... a foot outside and he swung after Pudge caught it.
2008-08-19 18:24:01
126.   mehmattski
Veras is behind Marte on the bullpen "BFOG" chart because.......?
2008-08-19 18:25:04
127.   Alex Belth
Nuts...base hit.
2008-08-19 18:26:03
128.   Alex Belth
If this game remains tied, I say A Rod doubles or better to start the 9th.
2008-08-19 18:26:23
129.   OldYanksFan
Unfortunately, IF we lose this game, it will be due to ARod/Giambi 'failure to launch'.
2008-08-19 18:26:48
130.   tommyl
You have to be shitting me
2008-08-19 18:26:57
131.   Alex Belth
Un Be Liev Able
2008-08-19 18:27:18
132.   mehmattski
126 Oh, I see. Because he makes Johnny Damon drop the ball. Shame on him.

Okay, Damon can learn to play first base any time now.

2008-08-19 18:27:37
133.   cult of basebaal
ah. jose veras. how long will they play with fire?
2008-08-19 18:27:55
134.   Just fair
Tougher my ass. Catch the GD ball JD. HORSESHIT.
2008-08-19 18:28:08
135.   nick
what a fucking ridiculous ballclub.

end of an era, folks--end of an era....

2008-08-19 18:28:10
136.   Alex Belth
Now, A Rod will whiff easy.
2008-08-19 18:28:21
137.   mehmattski
129 But, under the OYF Fielding Scoring System, Johnny Damon's defense "cost" the Yankees a run, and perhaps the game. What say you to that?
2008-08-19 18:28:48
138.   Jeb
133 well THAT's perfect hindsight.
2008-08-19 18:29:37
139.   Alex Belth
That's really an inexcusable gaffe on Damon's part, man.
2008-08-19 18:29:39
140.   Mattpat11
Ohforchristsakes
2008-08-19 18:29:57
141.   OldYanksFan
137 What??????
2008-08-19 18:30:22
142.   mehmattski
Ah, a "Johnny Damon" chant from the Blue Jay faithful. Cute... I like that a whole lot better than "Yankees Suck," that's for sure.
2008-08-19 18:31:03
143.   OldYanksFan
I hate when OFers backpedal instead of turning and running back.
2008-08-19 18:31:42
144.   Alex Belth
Well, I sure ain't feeling the love right now...anyone think the Yanks can find a way here?
2008-08-19 18:32:05
145.   vockins
Total clown college. Christ.
2008-08-19 18:32:09
146.   mehmattski
141 When you criticize a fielder around here, usually you cite specific plays and say that a particular player cost the Yankees a run. So it was odd for you to blame the offense, because if it were Cano that made the error, you would normally be all over him about it.
2008-08-19 18:32:13
147.   cult of basebaal
138 naw, i was just trying out gibberish.

next up?

my hovercraft is full of eels ...

2008-08-19 18:33:10
148.   Alex Belth
2 more whiffs, A Rod and Giambi...
2008-08-19 18:33:27
149.   OldYanksFan
Yes... "Johnny Damon's defense "cost" the Yankees a run, and perhaps the game"... but nonetheless, I expect our offense to get more then 2 runs.
2008-08-19 18:33:57
150.   Alex Belth
Jesus
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-08-19 18:34:03
151.   tommyl
Well that sums up the night
2008-08-19 18:34:34
152.   cult of basebaal
this team is starting to piss me off ...

if you're going to play like this half of the time, play like this ALL OF THE TIME and SUCK bad enough to lock in a protected draft pick next summer.

either way, QUIT FUCKING AROUND.

2008-08-19 18:34:42
153.   Mattpat11
This team invents ways to lose.
2008-08-19 18:35:21
154.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
what happened there??? Gameday makes no sense "single on soft liner to first, out at 2nd"??
2008-08-19 18:36:07
155.   Alex Belth
Jesus.
2008-08-19 18:36:19
156.   mehmattski
149 Mmk. More generally I was commenting that to me "costs a run" is more quantitative, as in "Cano is 3 runs above the average player," such that over the course of a season Cano would prevent 3 runs by fielding alone.

Johnny Damon's CF Zone Rating, meanwhile, suggests he costs more than just one run...

2008-08-19 18:36:34
157.   OldYanksFan
146 It's easy to point to a single play and say 'that lost the game'... but that is not the issue. Our defense, in general, has cost us greatly.

But again, I expect more of our offense regardles of the game situation.

2008-08-19 18:36:53
158.   Mattpat11
I cannot fucking stand losing to this team.
2008-08-19 18:37:19
159.   mehmattski
154 The ball squirted away into short right field foul territory. MacDonald recovered the ball down the right field line, slid and popped back on his feet. He fired to second and got A-Rod by 10 feet.
2008-08-19 18:37:23
160.   weeping for brunnhilde
Well, then I guess that's that.
2008-08-19 18:37:34
161.   Just fair
Ok guys, to get back in the race. We gotta get one of our best pitched games of the year by our #5 starter, our Centerfielder's going to play shit defense, and I'm going to strike out 3 times, then hit a bloop down the line, admire it in the box for a split second b/c I don't know where the hell it went, and then I'll get thrown out at second. It's a recipe for success I tell ya.
2008-08-19 18:37:58
162.   rufuswashere
How can it be that games like this still rip the heart out of your chest? It's not as if the season is on the line or anything.

It just sucks, plain and simple, to lose this way. F--k.

2008-08-19 18:38:04
163.   Jeb
Meanwhile Boston's beating Baltimore and after they sweep Baltimore the Baltimore bats will come alive for the Yankees. I fucking give up.
2008-08-19 18:38:05
164.   Alex Belth
kick in the teeth loss
2008-08-19 18:38:18
165.   tommyl
ugh

Two Damon errors. Wonder if we'll be seeing Gardner in CF tomorrow?

2008-08-19 18:38:50
166.   OldYanksFan
Meanwhile, TB wins and Minn, Boston and Chicago are all in control. Fuck this shit. G'night all.
2008-08-19 18:39:15
167.   Max
Fourth place is getting closer and closer. So sad to see such an impotent offense, injuries or no injuries.
2008-08-19 18:39:24
168.   Jeb
164 What do you think -- worst loss of the season? I'd say this one is right up there with losing on a wild pitch the other night or leading Baltimore 4-0 and then 8-4 only to lose in extras 9-8
2008-08-19 18:39:30
169.   Alex Belth
To be fair, Overbay made a sensational play there to nail A Rod...aggresive base running by Alex, not a terrible move, took a perfect play to nail him and that's what happened.
2008-08-19 18:39:34
170.   Schteeve
See my comment 5 I can't fucking believe it, and I can't stand watching this team.
2008-08-19 18:40:01
171.   mehmattski
On the bright side, we will no longer have to hear about that "amazing" 26-straight-games-against-the-Yankees hit streak by Alex Rios, as he went 0 for 4.
2008-08-19 18:41:06
172.   cult of basebaal
seriously, either give a shit and play like every pitch, every play, every out, every game counts ... or pack up and fuck off ... you'll be doing the next good yankees team a favor and getting them a high draft pick.

this inconsistency is driving me crazy.

2008-08-19 18:41:44
173.   Shaun P
163 I'm usually not this pessimistic, but not only what you say Jeb, but Burnett's next start is vs Boston on Sunday - and you just KNOW that having thrown 120 pitches tonight, he'll be throwing batting practice to the Sox.

Damn but I really don't like the Blue Jays.

2008-08-19 18:42:43
174.   nick
a team that doesn't hit in the clutch, doesn't hit tough pitchers, loses this way....it may or may not be a character flaw, but they are REALLY not a fun team. Mid-August, Melky in the minors, Robbie sucking, and the three pitching prospects either hurt or sucking. Worst-case scenario for this team, no? I just gotta give up for the year, it's getting to me....
2008-08-19 18:44:56
175.   Schteeve
yeah i don't know what to hope for anymore. This offense is just excruciatingly lousy. They had to get Melky out of the lineup but Damon was washed up defensively 2 years ago. No good options. None. They are dead.
2008-08-19 18:46:37
176.   Alex Belth
Can't give up...We stand strong even if when our team isn't appealing or good even...still, this is another body blow...feeling kind of sick to my stomach.
2008-08-19 18:46:57
177.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
things to look forward to next year: Wang, CC, Joba, Moose and Andy on the mound....that's a penant-winning rotation...

i'm going to go all out for the TB Rays come Sept, hope they hold off Boston..

2008-08-19 18:48:39
178.   vockins
174 It's not this season that's killing me. It's next year and the year after that.
2008-08-19 18:48:53
179.   rufuswashere
Matsui looked horrible at the plate, so get Damon back to DH, out of CF.

See, thinking of tomorrow already? Ah, baseball.

2008-08-19 18:51:45
180.   Alex Belth
...man, I'm still burning about this one...shooote.
2008-08-19 18:57:52
181.   williamnyy23
Once again, the Yankees didn't hit and didn't field. As a result, it's no surprise that they didn't win.

It's hard for me to look at this as a tough loss because I haven't been able to fool myself into believing that a team that has played poorly for 120 games can put up a .700 winning percentage down the stretch.

169 I don't think it was a sensational play...it was a hustle play. Overbay went after the ball hard, while Arod took his time getting out of the box and then still didn't turn it on until he rounded 1B. Plain and simple, Overbay wanted the out more than Arod wanted the 2B. Not only have the Yankees been outplayed regularly, they have been outhustled. You can't quantify it, but this team seldoms gives a full effort.

176 They are a mediocre team that doesn't have much grit, but I think once you accept them for what it is, you can still stick with them. This is the end of a great run...kind of like watching Ali in his later fights. Hopefully, the Yankees have their eyes wide open and are prepared to make drastic changes (and are willing to consider a managerial change as well).

2008-08-19 18:58:13
182.   cult of basebaal
178 since next year's team doesn't exist yet, i figure i'll give myself about 6 months of peace and bliss this winter before i start letting them irritate me ...
2008-08-19 19:07:47
183.   vockins
182 Unless Albert Pujols is on the block, I'm having difficulty visualizing how the people that are coming back are going to beat the Rays and the Sox.
2008-08-19 19:12:44
184.   rufuswashere
How to sleep tonight without ruminating? Some evenings a brain transplant (from someone who couldn't care less) would be just the thing.
2008-08-19 19:26:57
185.   cult of basebaal
183 i dunno, it's not really that hard

c: posada
1b: texiera
2b: cano
SS: jeter
3b: rodriguez
LF: damon
CF: some combo of christian/gardner/melky
RF: nady
DH: matsui

buc: molina
bench: duncan
bench: IF
bench: somebody

SP: sabathia
SP: wang
SP: pettite
SP: mussina/hughes
SP: joba

LRP: giese/rasner/ipk
RP: veras
RP: melancon
RP: ramirez
RP: robertson
RP: marte
RP: rivera

that's a pretty goddamn good team ... and it's not out of the realm of possibility, not at all ...

like i said ... next year's team doesn't exist yet and it's almost certainly going to be very different ... so why don't you do yourself a favor and wait until it takes shape before you start tormenting yourself with its shortcomings?

2008-08-19 19:28:56
186.   nick
I just flipped on espn for the lowlights--those two Damon drops.....wow. Sterling and Waldman did not manage to express just what dreadful little league plays those were....
2008-08-19 19:29:20
187.   bp1
An absolute crushing loss. These are the kind that just feel like pieces of broken glass being ground into your skin. Man.

And Pete Abe reports Pavano missed his bullpen with a stiff neck. You kidding me? I mean are you kidding me?

(sigh)

Just dunno what to do. Should go for a walk.

2008-08-19 19:29:41
188.   nick
and william is right, A-Rod did not turn it on until he was basically at first; too late to make the play he was trying to make....
2008-08-19 19:50:53
189.   Chyll Will
184 Wanna trade?
2008-08-19 19:51:39
190.   3rd gen yankee fan
Fuck Pavano. If he comes back to start for the Yanks, THAT will be the absolute low point of this year.

I just can't give up, guys. Not until September 1. I would only torment myself, thinking, 'but it's still August!' Hell I used to brag that I didn't bother looking at the standings until August! It's not in me to quit. I just can't believe that these 25 rather talented guys can't put an offense together!

2008-08-19 19:59:00
191.   Chyll Will
147 Bouncy-bouncy!
2008-08-19 20:10:06
192.   Chyll Will
190 They've been not doing it for quite some time now, and to be frank I'd be pretty perturbed if they did make a run at the last minute to squeak in, then bow out in the first round. To me it would mean that this team didn't take the regular season seriously enough until their backs were really against the wall, and turned it on simply to avoid the embarrassment of not missing the playoffs with such expectations riding on them. I'm not adverse to making some serious changes after the season, but my thinking is that quite a few of these guys cannot function in Girardi's system (whatever that is) and it would come down to choosing between him and the players they would otherwise want to keep.

Does Cash go? Is there anyone left with enough juice to get rid of him? Does Prince Hal come out of the woodwork upon St. Christian's Day? Do we ship Hank off to Mars with Lance Bass and Paris Hilton? Tune in, same no-bat time, same no-bat channel...

2008-08-19 20:30:42
193.   cult of basebaal
192 yes, obviously cashman's to blame for all the injuries (and not just the ones at the major league level, but also the all the ones in the minors, too) as well as hexing arod and giambi and their hitting with RiSP ... and don't forget he's the one out partying with cano and cabrera until dawn, too ...
2008-08-19 20:33:15
194.   cult of basebaal
193 me, i think we should do like the red sox after 2006, you know, throw the bums out of the front office and sell of all the players at $.25 on the dollar ... that'll show them!
2008-08-19 20:47:00
195.   mehmattski
194 But, the Red Sox did pretty well in 2007...
2008-08-19 20:57:32
196.   3rd gen yankee fan
192 Hope springs eternal. Or at least, until August 31.
2008-08-19 21:16:51
197.   randym77
Well, according to Chad Jennings, Melky is impressing them down in Scranton. He showed up on Sunday, even though they weren't expecting him until today. They told him they wanted him to work on his patience at the plate, and he walked four times on Sunday. He also singled but was thrown out trying to stretch it to a double. They spoke to him about the difference between hustle and bad baserunning, LOL.

Tonight, he was 1 for 4.

I'm thinking about going to see the SWB Yanks one last time this week. (They end their season on the road, so it's now or never.) Kennedy is supposed to start tomorrow, Igawa on Thursday.

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