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Big comes up Small
2005-08-07 07:46
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

Randy Johnson allowed six runs in four innings and did not return for the fifth as the Yankees lost 8-5 in Toronto. As a result, the Bombers lose another game in the wildcard standings as the A's won again, but kept pace with the Sox who fell to the Twins for the second straight day.

Tyler Kepner wonders how much of Johnson's ineffectiveness has to do with his back. While we don't know for sure what the status of Johnson's health is, his performance has been uneven all year:

"There've been some games where I've gotten roughed up where I felt like, 'O.K., I made a pitch here, I made a pitch there,' " Johnson said. "Today, I didn't make a pitch all day. I wasn't effective, for whatever reason. Obviously, if I knew, I would have corrected it. But I threw every pitch that I had."

If Johnson and Mussina are not able to lead the pitching staff--like our old friends, with the help of one Roy Oswalt, are doing down in Houston--then it is likely that the Yankees will miss the playoffs this year. It's not terribly complicated: the Yankees desperately need greatness from their top two starters.

We could be in for a long one this afternoon as Curtain Call Al Leiter performs in a matinee. Let's hope it's not "Long Day's Journey Into Night." Stay away from the O'Neill, Al, and you can skip the Arthur Miller while you are at it. Keep it snappy and light like "A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum." Or some cornball Neil Simon affair.

Break a leg, boys.

Comments
2005-08-07 11:46:43
1.   singledd
Al Leiter is not a great pitcher, but he still has some stuff. When he throws strikes, he usually keeps us in the game. It's all the damn walks that kill him.

If he is WILLING to throw strikes, he is not a bad #5 guy. With our offense, he should be able to be a .500 pitcher. And If our 1-4 guys do what they should, .500 from Leiter will be just fine.

2005-08-07 12:05:18
2.   JVarghese81
Another one bites the dust..?

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2127912

2005-08-07 12:44:58
3.   Shaun P
I'm patiently waiting for the Torre-bashing to begin, as Gordon comes out to get Sturtze out of a bases-loaded, 1-out jam in the 8th . . . with the Yanks up 6-0. I was watching - Sturtze had crap. Me thinks going to Gordon is the right thing.

And I don't know if Matsui honestly didn't know if there was only 1 out when he caught the ball - or else he's the greatest actor I've ever seen. Either way, I'll take the double play anytime!

2005-08-07 12:46:02
4.   dtrain
That was the best double play I've ever seen.
2005-08-07 12:46:30
5.   yankz
does anyone else agree that Matsui looked like he knew exactly what he was doing. Any way you slice it, it was lucky and hilarious.

Sturtze looks done. At least Gordon didn't throw that many pitches.

2005-08-07 13:09:09
6.   singledd
Not a bad win.
ARod and Jason keep their OPS above 1.
Rivera get a 1 pitch Save.
Jetes is beginning to heat up.
Matsui looks confused in Japanese.

RJ says he tweaked his back in the 4th.
Was that after giving up 6 runs?

2005-08-07 13:15:44
7.   Rich
Bashing? That's a joke. Why can't F-Rod pitch with a six run lead? Torre has Quantrillized Sturtze. The Torre defenders crack me up.
2005-08-07 13:27:21
8.   sam2175
Me too, Rich, I simply don't understand what is going through his mind. And Gordon is indeed beginning to give up tons more hits, I think that is a function of overuse.

And finally, bringing out Mo with a 4-run lead to again give him a cheap save? When even a HR keeps it a 1-run lead? That is seriously obnoxious.

2005-08-07 14:07:53
9.   Schteeve
Managing to a stat (the save) is one of the most ridiculous things I can conceive in sports. It's so dumb. I wish they'd just get rid of the save stat altogether and managers would have to, gasp!, think a little.
2005-08-07 14:56:50
10.   randym77
There must be something in the air. The same thing happened in the Red Sox game. Only worse. Shannon Stewart caught a fly ball, then threw it to a fan, thinking there were three outs. There were only two.

Matsui has always been just a little goofy in in his defense. He's usually very good, but every once in awhile, he'll do something astonishingly clumsy or boneheaded. Luckily, it's usually few and far between.

2005-08-07 15:56:53
11.   Jen
Oddly enough, the Kids on Deck that was on before the game featured Matsui talking about learning the fundamentals.
2005-08-07 16:56:56
12.   JohnnyC
I wonder if Jamie Moyer could get through waivers far enough to reach the Yankees who by virtue of being in 2nd place behind Boston can block every significant player from the Red Sox. Any other waiver candidates who can strap it on for the pinstripes? I don't have a good feeling about Nomo...although you never know.
2005-08-07 18:54:35
13.   Shaun P
We may see Nomo sooner than any of us wanted to. I just saw this headline as espn.com:

"Pavano to visit Dr. Andrews"

http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/news/story?id=2128147

Pavano feels his shoulder isn't right. At least its not his elbow (i.e. possibility of Tommy John surgery). Good thing Leiter pitched well today . . .

With (now) 4/5 of the initial starting rotation out, PLUS the guy who took Wright's place initially (Wong) out, in some ways it is downright amazing that the Yanks are 59-50, only 3.5 out in the East and 4 back of whoever isn't leading the West. I guess we should consider ourselves lucky?

2005-08-07 20:44:29
14.   brockdc
Plus, can you imagine if we had a skip who had a clue about managing a bullpen - we might even be in first!

Seriously, Torre just cannot be bothered when it comes to on-field strategy.

Using an already overworked tandem of Tangor with a five run lead is, dare I say, assinine?

2005-08-07 20:51:35
15.   brockdc
"Torre has Quantrillized Sturtze."

Rich, that was spot-on. This madness has got to stop - Sturtze's gradual descent into mediocrity post All-Star break mirrors Quantrill's last season.

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