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Twice As Nice
2008-09-15 20:32
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

Alfredo Aceves matched Mark Buehrle for six innings last night. Xavier Nady put the Yankees on top with a two run jack to dead center in the second. Aceves uncharacteristically started the fourth by walking leadoff hitter Orlando Cabrera, his only walk of the night, then was made to pay for it when Dewayne Wise turned on an inside cutter and kept it fair into the left field box seats to tie the game. Otherwise, both pitchers kept the game moving (official time: 2:39) and the opposition at bay.

Untitled Aceves was inexplicably pulled after just 87 pitches (69 percent strikes and just two three-pitch counts), but Phil Coke worked a 1-2-3 seventh to set up the Yankees breakthrough after the stretch. With Buehrle out after 101 pitches, Xavier Nady led of the bottom of the seventh by coming back from 0-2 to work a walk off sidearming righty Erin Wasserman. Cody Ransom, starting at second base for the still-benched Robinson Cano, then bunted Nady to second, and Joe Girardi sent Wilson Betemit in to pinch-hit for Chad Moeller. Ozzie Guillen called on Horatio Ramirez to turn Betemit around to the right side. Betemit took ball one from Ramirez, fouled a fastball straight back, swung through another, fouled an outside pitch down the right field line, took ball two, then laced ground-rule double over the wall in the left-center field gap to plate Nady with the go-ahead run. Brett Gardner followed with deep fly that moved Betemit to third, and Johnny Damon drove Wilson in with a single through the right side.

Girardi handed that 4-2 lead to Joba Chamberlain, who pitched around an infield single in the eighth striking out two, and Mariano Rivera, who passed Lee Smith for second on the all-time saves list with a 1-2-3 ninth. Rivera's reaction to passing Smith: "S'arright." Pete Abe says, "The closer is furious the team isn't going to the playoffs. Furious."

As with Aceves' first start, it was a nice, quick, clean Yankee win. It also moved the Yankees into a tie for third place with the Blue Jays, for what it matters. Elsewhere, the Red Sox pulled into a technical tie for first place by stomping the Rays 13-5, though Tampa Bay still holds a one-game lead in the loss column.

Comments
2008-09-15 22:02:33
1.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
Anyone see a looong post on Pete Rose and Derek Jeter by Joe Poznanski? interesting debate for sure...Jeter would rate so much higher alltime if he had let A-Rod play SS...
2008-09-15 22:25:53
2.   thelarmis
1 yeah, i read it. someone linked it here, i believe, or it was pete abe, or something. article was okay... weird article on joba's mom was linked at mlbtraderumors today.
2008-09-16 05:20:41
3.   monkeypants
1 He would rate higher by playing at another position, which would assume a higher batting expectation, so he would be less good relative to his position.

That makes no sense pretty much no matter how you slice it.

By the way, what is your evidence that Jeter did not "let" A-Rod play SS?

2008-09-16 06:00:31
4.   Knuckles
I like the fact that Mo is pissed. Hopefully it carries into next year and spreads to his teammates and we can put a hurting on the league to inaugurate the new ballpark.
2008-09-16 06:26:59
5.   williamnyy23
4 While everyone focused on Jorge's comments regarding Joba, a far more telling comment was overlooked.

According to Michael Kay, Posada said the difference between this team and others before was that they were indifferent to winning and losing. Posada said that in the past, the team expected to win and would be angry if they didn't, whereas thiis group seemed to roll with the punches win or lose.

I am not sure who you can blame for that. I want to say Girardi, but I know he really wants to win. You can see it on his face. Maybe, the way he has communicated with his players created that disinterest? It's also hard to start singling out players. There are usual suspects (Abreu, Giambi, Cano, Melky), but maybe it's players you don't suspect. Either way, the Yankees need to determine if Jorge is right and then weed out that presence. Then, they can figure out what to do with Joba.

2008-09-16 06:40:28
6.   ms october
5 while this team may have been indifferent to winning/losing (i don't really know either way, but certainly hope they are not)- and while jorge is one of my favorite players, i also think we have to take what jorge says with a grain of salt. he is sort of known as a clubhouse enforcer and a red-ass - and it's human nature to want to think that when you are gone something you provide (in this case competitivesness and toughness) is missing. also, jorge was not around the team for a good chunk of the season.
2008-09-16 07:00:17
7.   ny2ca2dc
5 6 I agree with both of you - the 'go along get along' guys should have an attitude adjustment (or go away), but also that Po sets a near impossible standard. That's why I love him! I'm not arguing that what this team really needs is just a little Paul O'Neil, but the Cano/Abreu mindset does seem a bit overrepresented these days.
2008-09-16 07:03:57
8.   Shaun P
6 Well said, and I agree. Posada's a great catcher, but I'm not sure how much I trust his ability to evaluate the team and what it needs (and doesn't need).
2008-09-16 07:06:07
9.   Shaun P
7 By whom, other than Cano and Abreu and Melky?

3 out of 25 (or how many ever guys who are in the dugout now) is a pretty low number.

2008-09-16 08:27:45
10.   ny2ca2dc
9 Lemme first say I think the bigest problem is the decline of veterans and regression of kids leading to a huge drop in overall OBP and therefore run production (oh ya, and injuries and Phil/Kennedy sucking). But I think a number of guys who fall into a "lackadaisical" category include Cano, Abreu, Melky, maybe Kennedy and Giambi, while the "I'm just happy to be here" category includes Betemit/Ransom, Pudge/Molina, Gardner/Christian, Nady, almost all of the bullpen and the non-Moose/Pettitte/Joba/(Phil?) rotation pieces. I think that really only leaves Jeter and Damon as the real 'heart' guys, with ARod and Matsui being more introspective.

Again, if you score 970 runs and never have to employ the likes of Rasner/Ponson/Pavano it don't matter. I really don't hold the attitude against these guys, I mostly care about their performance - For example, Cano gives me a lot of joy with his personality when he's right and Rasner really seems to want to win and be upset with his poor performances, but he just doesn't have great ability. Just sayin maybe the pendulum has swung too far.

2008-09-16 12:30:10
11.   Raf
5 So then the question is what changed between this year and last? Because the team that started this season was by and large the team that ended last season.

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