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Masterpiece Theater
2005-08-17 15:18
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

Al Leiter brings drama to each one of his starts--of which there are now precious few remaining. And not only do we get treated to great theater for free, but Leiter often works so deliberately that it's as if you are sitting through a PBS pledge drive anyhow.

The Sox and A's both lost this afternoon. This is a game the Yanks have to win, 'nuff said. Let's get the Led out gentlemen.

Go Al!

Comments (81)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2005-08-17 16:27:27
1.   Mattpat11
Well, we had 1st and 3rd, one out, and actually scored. That's promising, I guess.
2005-08-17 16:32:01
2.   sam2175
12 pitch inning for Leiter! Miracle! And he threw 8 of them for strikes.

So far so good.

2005-08-17 16:46:09
3.   Mattpat11
And it begins...
2005-08-17 16:53:12
4.   Rich
Watching Leiter pitch when Small is available makes so incredibly contemptuous of Torre.
2005-08-17 16:54:16
5.   sam2175
It is drama all right, only a rather predictable one.

I would appreciate some unpredictability like the first inning every once in a while.

2005-08-17 16:56:16
6.   Mattpat11
Is it wrong for me to think that everytime I see Posada behind the plate, I know he'll do somwething stupid that will bite us in the ass? I called that passed ball from the second Perez walked. Not that Leiter was going to pitch a good inning after a leadoff walk, but he needs all the help he can get.
2005-08-17 17:10:38
7.   Mattpat11
What are the pitch counts per inning? 12, 25 and 13?
2005-08-17 17:17:41
8.   sam2175
Mark Hendrickson is dominating this line-up? Mark Freakin' Hendrickson?

Posada K's twice the same way?

Not looking good.

2005-08-17 17:26:33
9.   Paul in Boston
Is there a statistic somewhere about how often a player strikes out once there are two strikes? Seems to me that Posada must be up around 75%, even higher? It is painful to watch him this year.
2005-08-17 17:29:44
10.   Mattpat11
Hendrickson does have like a 7 ERA, right? I'm not making that up?
2005-08-17 17:39:00
11.   randym77
Yes! Jeter and Sheffield come through!
2005-08-17 17:39:12
12.   BklynBomber
Iron. Sheff. Booya!
2005-08-17 17:39:42
13.   Rich
Hell yeah. Now take out Leiter to preserve this win.
2005-08-17 17:41:52
14.   Mattpat11
Thats more like it. Now its time for Al to get it going. To be honest, 66 pitches over four isn't good, but its not God Awful or anything. And I do believe if we were able to keep the lead runner on first in the second, Huff hits into a DP (or at least the lead runner is out)
2005-08-17 17:45:53
15.   nick
hey, c'mon, he's tossing a "nifty" one-hitter....seriously, nobody's fresh but Sturtz, right? let him throw 100 pitches as long as it's 50% strikes...
2005-08-17 17:47:41
16.   sam2175
Leiter should take these guys to dinner. They are hacking at the first 3 pitches from, uhhh, Al Leiter?

Anyway, in that case, I advocate keeping Leiter. He has thrown only 50% of his pitches for strikes through 5th, walked 4 and hit 1, yet has thrown only 78 pitches.

2005-08-17 17:57:18
17.   Rich
The Yankees remembered who they were facing.
2005-08-17 17:57:27
18.   JVarghese81
I agree, for now let Leiter go through these innings but keep that leash short - of course, the more runs the offense can put up the better...
2005-08-17 18:00:53
19.   Mattpat11
Sam they were swinging at everything from Wright as well. I'm almost surprised that Lou hasn't had a stroke over that yet.
2005-08-17 18:05:26
20.   sam2175
Yeah, that surprises me too about Lou.

Anyway, we have a 3-run lead, but recently, larger leads have been made up (the game Moose pitched against Rangers was a 4-run lead). Hopefully, the Yankee offense is aware.

2005-08-17 18:08:35
21.   singledd
It's interesting that with all the flack Torre has been given, people look to Sweet Lou to replace him. But here's Lou, a smart and diciplined hitter, with a team of young talent with no dicipline.

So is Lou a bad manager.... the worst in baseball... because he can't get his players to play the game the way he knows the game should be played?

2005-08-17 18:09:29
22.   JVarghese81
Hmm - one hit - yep, that's a short leash all right.
2005-08-17 18:09:34
23.   rbj
Lou's very bad, he's only won one world series.
/sarcasm
2005-08-17 18:09:36
24.   Rich
Kudos to Torre for having the quick hook.
2005-08-17 18:09:50
25.   randym77
Wow. I guess Torre doesn't have a lot of faith in Leiter.
2005-08-17 18:09:50
26.   Mattpat11
That might have been a little too quick. Leiter was (for the most part) in control and had a decent pitch count.
2005-08-17 18:10:41
27.   singledd
Do we have a new starter? Al Small?
2005-08-17 18:12:28
28.   sam2175
Ok, that was a really short leash.
2005-08-17 18:13:24
29.   JVarghese81
I don't know - I would have probably given Leiter one more hitter - still, I have faith in Small.
2005-08-17 18:13:53
30.   randym77
Arrghhh. Shoulda left Leiter in.
2005-08-17 18:14:15
31.   Mattpat11
Well Leiter couldn't have done that...
2005-08-17 18:14:29
32.   Rich
Bringing in Small was still the right move.
2005-08-17 18:14:32
33.   sam2175
So that didn't work out very well. We need to keep swinging.
2005-08-17 18:16:21
34.   JVarghese81
Yeha, can't second guess EVERY move ;) Still, we just have 3 more innings to keep that lead (and hopefully pad it some) and honestly, this team SHOULD be more than capable of that.
2005-08-17 18:23:17
35.   BklynBomber
I'm getting a bad feeling about this one. The mo is going the wrong way. Then again, everytime we're not thumpin' this Triple A team, I get a bad feeling.
2005-08-17 18:29:11
36.   Rich
I guess Small's stuff doesn't translate as a reliever.
2005-08-17 18:30:07
37.   Rich
Take him out.
2005-08-17 18:31:16
38.   sam2175
This is not bad judgement, but bad luck for Torre. Small chose that day to suck when Torre actually made a sensible move.

Still, Yankees need to slug this one out. If we cannot hit the TB bullpen, we should not be making plans for October anyway.

2005-08-17 18:32:39
39.   sam2175
Ummm, Alan Embree. I hope I am wrong, but I have a horrible feeling about an impending disaster in the making.
2005-08-17 18:33:17
40.   Rich
Not Embree!
2005-08-17 18:37:14
41.   Marcus
Nice! Caught Crawford napping!
2005-08-17 18:37:14
42.   BklynBomber
OK. Big bullet dodged there! Now let's get the bats going!
2005-08-17 18:37:19
43.   randym77
Hey, Embree doesn't suck. At least tonight. So far.
2005-08-17 18:37:30
44.   Rich
Phew.
2005-08-17 18:40:46
45.   sam2175
Embree doesn't suck is kind of a random momentary event. He could start sucking anytime.

That being said, I would love to see him get 3 quick outs if he is left in the eighth.

2005-08-17 18:45:47
46.   Rich
PO!
2005-08-17 18:46:56
47.   sam2175
Ok, that was a huge steal by Womack, and for a change, Posada did not suck at a crucial time this year.

Now hold onto it like dear life.

2005-08-17 18:48:38
48.   randym77
What a weird night. Stalwarts like Small and A-rod have been disappointing, while the much maligned Posada, Embree, and even Womack done good.
2005-08-17 18:49:00
49.   singledd
Am I imagining it, or was Posada's hit a double that he dogged into a single. Then a DP. Jeez... when guys get paid 10-$20,000 per AB, why can't they run?
2005-08-17 18:52:27
50.   bp1
My eyes!!! My eyes!!!!

Did Cano throw that ball away?!?

I can't look!!!

Augh!! Sturtze gives up a hot single.

My eyes!!!! My eyes!!!

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2005-08-17 18:52:33
51.   sam2175
Ok, mini-disaster indeed strikes, but Embree is not at fault.

GET. SIX. OUTS. ANYHOW.

DONT. GIVE. UP. A. RUN.

2005-08-17 18:52:53
52.   yankz
Boston and Oakland have both lost. If the Yankees lose another game to the DRays...

Is Gordon going to close this one out? I really don't want to see Mo- dont get me wrong, i have 100% faith in him, but the guy needs a break.

2005-08-17 18:54:10
53.   yankz
Yikes that Cano error hurts.
2005-08-17 18:55:46
54.   randym77
What a disaster. Shoulda left Embree in. o_O
2005-08-17 18:58:47
55.   bp1
MY EYES!!!!!!!!

Good Lord, Sturtze!! You threw the ball over his freaking head!

MY EYES!!!!!!!!

Must. Turn. Off. The. Tv.

BP

2005-08-17 18:58:54
56.   BklynBomber
Thanks, Robbie. See what you created. The more I look at this guy, the more I'm seeing a bit of Soriano, or God-forbid, Manny. This too-cool casual shit needs to be addressed with Cano. Sori is still in the batter's box, admiring his warning track shots.
2005-08-17 19:00:30
57.   JVarghese81
Oh, FOR THE LOVE OF...This post should be renamed from Masterpiece Theater to "A Comedy of Errors"
2005-08-17 19:03:35
58.   Marcus
Sturtze looks like he needs to take a week off. But he made it out without causing too much damage.
2005-08-17 19:04:16
59.   bp1
C'mon bats. Don't fail us now. Cano has a chance for a bit of redemtion in the top-o-the-9th.

(fingers and toes crossed)

Must sit in another chair. This one has bad karma.

BP

2005-08-17 19:06:39
60.   sam2175
Ok, the bullpen officially sucks full-fledged right now. None of these guys have the ability to put together a single inning on any given day without giving up a freaking run.

I exclude Mo from it, but lately his performance is just like I said. But still, Mo does get a free pass.

Not others.

2005-08-17 19:08:44
61.   BklynBomber
Thank God we're getting out of Tampa to play the White Sox. At least we'll have a chance there. Good grief!
2005-08-17 19:11:07
62.   JeremyM
4-9 against the D-Rays on the season. 0-3 so far against KC. This team continues to bring the suck.
2005-08-17 19:11:45
63.   randym77
I can't freakin' believe this. What is it about Tampa Bay?
2005-08-17 19:12:16
64.   Rich
This team sucks.
2005-08-17 19:20:35
65.   Mattpat11
I just dont even know where to begin.
2005-08-17 19:23:54
66.   domvjr
Most of you are to young to remember, but this team reminds me of the 59 Yanks. After a great run of World Series, they just didn't have it that year. This team is a 87 win team. They just don't have the ability to take advantage of the numerous chances they have had to cut into the wild card and the division leads.
They are very disappointing!! AROD goes into a slump, Cano makes an egregious error. The bullpen is whipped. It's going to be a long winter. Torre is most likely gone, Cashman too. I am just one frustrated Yankee fan!!!
2005-08-17 19:24:02
67.   yankz
If they had beaten TAMPA FREAKING BAY, theyd be .5 games out of the wild card.
2005-08-17 19:25:02
68.   randym77
I don't get it. How can they sweep the Rangers, and take 3 out of 4 from the Red Sox, and get swept by the Devil Rays???
2005-08-17 19:34:55
69.   Mattpat11
I still think pulling Leiter in the sixth with one out and a three run lead, while Al was still pretty in control of things was a stupid move that cost us the game.
2005-08-17 19:43:21
70.   randym77
That struck me as a panic move.

Their bullpen is exhausted. I can't see pulling the starter when he's still effective. Leiter has worked out of much worse situations than the one he was pulled from. He makes a habit of it.

2005-08-17 19:45:23
71.   Mattpat11
Its not even like it was a bad situation. After retiring five straigh batters, he let up a dribbling single with one out and a three run lead.
2005-08-17 19:59:36
72.   Max
Fifteen games ago, the Yanks got a glimpse of the abyss that is missing the playoffs when Mussina wasted a strong pitching performance against the Tribe and choked up six runs in one inning, squandering a four run lead. With that loss, the Yankees fell 4.5 games back.

Twelve of the 14 games since then have featured solid to outstanding starting pitching for at least six innings, despite our Salvation Army pitching lineup. Any other ML team would love to have this good a stretch....yet after the dust has cleared, the team remains 4.5 back and the WC seems more and more remote.

Bad bullpen management, overtaxed relievers, tight batters, bad defense...whatever it is, it does not look good. I thought the Yanks had turned the corner after the White Sox series (even though they lost two tough games), but things seem to be getting worse again, not better.

2005-08-17 20:00:50
73.   brockdc
See, this is what I mean about Torre: We're killing ourselves trying to make sense out of his managerial moves. He is common sense's biggest nemesis.

Yanking Leiter at that point only makes sense if you plan on stretching Small out for at least three innings (someone jokingly mentioned Al Small, and that's exactly what I assumed Torre was seriously thinking), thereby not going to the so-called exhausted pen.

But then taking Small out so prematurely (I say prematurely because look who our options were) renders the previous strategy of yanking Leiter all the more ill advised. Enter the usual litany of bullpen characters, along with another ignominious Cano error, and, voila, an instant loss to suckbag Tampa Bay.

2005-08-17 20:03:50
74.   carl
Maybe its just my view living at 6,000 feet and God knows I hope I am wrong but this team is done. You can't be 5 games behind the Red Sox and 1.5 games out of the wild card and lose 2 games to Tampa Bay in mid August. It's over. When this season started there were so many high hopes alas this might be least valued team in many years given the cost of the players and the return. What a mess. I hope I am wrong.
2005-08-17 20:20:59
75.   Matt B
I think this team is pretty dead in the water, but on the other hand, no one is pulling away from them either. As crappy as they are, they're really still alive. All it might take is a red-hot 2 weeks, and these guys may have that in them. The bullpen is crap and Torre is completely out to lunch, but they still can put up a LOT of runs...I think it's just that we're one of those middling playoff hunt teams instead of our usual imposing, regal YANKEE greatness, etc etc. blah blah woof woof.

Does Girardi do anything as bench coach? I have a bad feeling he's just a yes man for Torre and backs up all his bad choices.
Did you see Torre in the post-game saying Leiter "struggled" and that they had already decided to bring in Small for that batter before the inning started? What the hell? It was something like a panic move, or the kind of plotting you do in April, not August.

2005-08-17 20:29:33
76.   Rich
I don't really blame Torre for this loss, except to the degree to which he has needlessly killed Sturtze, but I wish George was ten years younger. If so, he would likely fire Torre to try to salvage the season. George at 75 doesn't have the energy to do it.

btw, What has Embree done to earn more trust than F-Rod?

2005-08-18 01:29:55
77.   NBarnes
#76:

Play for a world series champion?

2005-08-18 04:23:32
78.   mikeplugh
Two points.

I like what domvjr said in post #66. I'm not old enough to have seen the '59 team, but I have that same feeling. This is simply an 87 win team, and they don't have the steam they need.

That having been said, I also agree with part of Matt B's post #75, where he talks about how no one is pulling away from us. The '59 Yanks didn't have the luxury of a Wild Card chase, and these Yanks are within striking distance of the WC. They absolutely won't catch the Red Sox this year. Give that quest up. They can catch Oakland with about a week and a half of strong baseball. It's in them.

The starting pitching is so-so and the bullpen is shit in the middle innings. You'll forgive Gordon and Mo for an occasional hiccup, but the middle guys don't do their jobs. The bottom of the lineup is hot and cold with the older guys, and that needs some work in the offseason.

I can't blame Torre and company completely for the mess. A lot of it comes down to the players, and they have been throwing flat sliders and straight fastballs from the mound. The top hitters are mashing, but the other guys rarely pick them up on off nights. Hot and Cold is the best way to define this team. If we can get one more good Hot streak in there, we'll make the playoffs.

2005-08-18 05:36:26
79.   Shaun P
I think brockdc in #73 is right - the advantage to putting Small in the bullpen is that you can use him for multiple innings. He was an effective starter because, even if he got into trouble and gave up a run or two in an inning, he would get out of it and then pitch great. If you limit him to just one inning, there's no way he can work out of any trouble. I would have stuck with him unless he completely blew it.

I think this is part of Schilling's problem as a closer. Starters are used to giving up a run here, a run there, and otherwise pitching out of and around their mistakes. But if you've only got 1 inning to work with, that's much much harder to do.

That said, of course I hope Schilling stays in the pen for the rest of the year and keeps blowing games for the Sox.

2005-08-18 05:51:04
80.   STONER
Sorry guys, I've seen enough to convince me and my pinstriped pajamas that these Yanks aren't going to make it this year...the bullpen is bullshit...come on, we are talking professional baseball players here, absolutely choking the chicken - geesus, what the hell was that wild pitch all about from Tanyon anyway. Just how did we get sooooo bad in the pen??? When the gate opens, I cringe. Well, the team has two days to stew over this loss and hopefully, get so wissed off that they come out and kick some Chisox butt (opps, there I go again, eternal optimist)!
2005-08-18 19:57:37
81.   Rich
#77

So did Clay Bellinger.

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