Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
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2005-08-20 06:20
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

Mike Mussina out-dueled Jon Garland in Chicago last night as the Yankees beat the White Sox, 3-1. The Yanks did not gain any ground as both Oakland and Boston won, and the White Sox lost their sixth in a row. Moose threw 115 pitches over seven innings and had his good stuff working last night: crisp fastball mixed with sharp breaking pitches. Garland threw 120 pitches over seven, but never dominated. If the Yanks did not score much, they at least put together stubborn at bats, making Garland work for his outs. Chicago is excellent in the field, no wonder their pitchers have done so well this year--Joe Crede made a couple of nifty plays at third last night.

Bernie Williams had two hits and an RBI batting in the two-hole, while Robinson Cano collected a couple of hits himself from the ninth slot. Gary Sheffield had an RBI single as well. Flash Gordon worked around a one-out hit in the eighth, and Mariano Rivera pitched a one-two-three ninth to earn save number 33.

Meanwhile, off the field, Joe Torre continues to be the center of attention. He was publicly criticized by George Steinbrenner recently, and after the loss to Tampa Bay on Wednesday he let his players have it. Tyler Kepner has a terrific article on the Yankee manager in the Times today:

Torre blistered the players for about five minutes after a 7-6 loss featuring a crucial throwing error by the rookie second baseman Robinson Cano and five walks by starter Al Leiter. Torre emphatically let the players know how displeased he was that they had given away the game.

"They knew I was upset," Torre said, while providing no specifics of the postgame meeting. "Just the carelessness, I think, more than anything else - that ball thrown away. It just didn't sit right with me. And the kid, you don't drop it on his shoulders. But you don't think in terms of rookie when you're in a pennant race. You think in terms of, you know better. Just the way that whole game started out with Leiter with all the walks. So a little frustration."

..."He hates mental mistakes," the third-base coach Luis Sojo said. "Errors, you're going to make those mistakes every day. But the fact that you make a mental one was really bad to him. In 10 years, I've never seen him that mad."

Bernie Williams explained:

"I think (the calm Torre) is just the image that he's been given over time here. There are times when he shows his emotions, sometimes very much. When it happens, it doesn't surprise me. When the cameras are on, he wants to put on a neutral face as much as he can. But that isn't how he is all the time."

As far as the Boss goes:

"I've never been concerned about managing to save my job, because I always manage to try to win," Torre said. "I'm happy to say that other than having to answer questions about it, it's never really affected the performance of my job. Here I've had more success than I've ever had anywhere, so certainly I know what we've managed to do here for nine-plus years has had some semblance of continuity."

Chisox skipper Jose Guillen appreciates the difficulty of Torre's situation:

"That's why Joe Torre gets paid a lot of money, not to manage the team (but) to deal with that stuff," Guillen said. "I think I'm overpaid. I don't have to deal with the problems he deals with. Unfortunately, Joe has so many managers around him, it's not easy. It's not an easy spot."

Chacon verus El Duque today on the Fox Game of the Week.

Comments (64)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2005-08-20 07:19:04
1.   bp1
I savor these low scoring wins. How many times has Moose come up with a big win this year? Or at least a good solid outing? He's held up his end of the bargain, no doubt.

I still have a soft spot for El Duque, but I wouldn't mind at all if A-Rod sort of blasted his way out of his little funk with a couple big fly balls to lead the team to a stress free win. I think we've all bitten our nails to the flesh over the past week. C'mon A-Rod - show us whatchya got today. Vlad is making another late summer MVP run. Time to step up, ya big lug.

BTW - Love the new lineup. That feels like the right move.

2005-08-20 08:09:20
2.   Ryan
I would rather see Giambi in the two hole and Cano in the six spot. Oh well.

I just got a new cable box that has a DVR so I managed to watch the game in about an hour, with all the stupid crap left out. Good times.

2005-08-20 08:54:40
3.   Cliff Corcoran
It's interesting to note that the series between these two teams last week also started with a nice tidy Yankee win behind Mike Mussina, in that case the final score was 3-2 and Moose only went six, but Sturtze took care of the extra inning nicely.

Remember what I said yesterday about the balance having been tipped in the Yankees' favor? That extra inning by Moose and one missing Chicago run is about the degree of it. Last week the Yankees lost the final two games of the series, each by a score of 2-1. Here's hoping the balance has been tipped far enough to flip the script.

2005-08-20 08:58:10
4.   rbj
Good win. It's what, the 3rd win when scoring less than 4 runs?
If the Yankees are the wildcard, they'll probably be facing the White Sox first. Nice to know we can hang with and beat them.
2005-08-20 09:00:50
5.   Nick from Washington Heights
It's been said a lot in recent posts but I thought I'd add to the chorus. Mussina has done a very admirable job this year, about as good as could be expected. And overall, in his time with the Yanks he's been very good. It'd be a shame if the Yanks didn't win the whole thing while he was here.
2005-08-20 09:07:42
6.   sam2175
This is from a message board I visit, and I think the poster whose post I am about to usurp visits here frequently, but I am not sure if he posts. SO I will take the liberty of repeating what he pointed out about Mike Mussina:

2004: 27 GS, 165.2 IP, 178 H, 22 HR, 40 BB, 132 K, 223 GB, 181 FB (full season)
2005: 26 GS, 165.2 IP, 176 H, 21 HR, 40 BB, 131 K, 223 GB, 188 FB

ERA:

2004: 4.59.
2005: 3.88.

Go figure.

2005-08-20 09:16:14
7.   uburoisc
If anyone can be called an "ace" in this underperforming pitching staff, I think it is Mussina; he has been the most consistent guy on the mound this year. Saw some wicked stuff from him last night. I think we are better than the WSox, but I admire their strong defence. They are a strong team that would be much harder to beat if they had a little power in the line-up. On another subject, it looks like Schilling is rehab'd and ready to go. He sent the Angels down swinging last night and closed out the game. He'll be back on the mound for the play-offs.
2005-08-20 09:31:12
8.   Chucksax
Moose has been absolutely wonderful this year - the only non-Wang pitcher I've (emotionally) relyed on this season. He absolutely has been the ace of the staff this year - better than the inconsistent Randy Johnson & the injured entire rest of the staff.

I wish the Yankees played the White Sox more often - these have been the best four games of the year, IMO! Best pitching, best defense, most interesting at bats... I'm really looking forward to the rest of the weekends' games!

2005-08-20 09:39:02
9.   Andre
Is it only in Boston that the Yanks game will not be shown on Fox? This sucks. . .
2005-08-20 10:16:55
10.   Paul in Boston
Andre, I agree. I hate these Fox game days, we frequently don't get the Yankee games up here in Boston.

Love the Womack-less lineup! Keep it coming, Joe!

2005-08-20 10:17:14
11.   yankeefan1
schilling is ready to go?

he certainly did not look that way earlier this week when he was getting roughed up by the tigers.............keith foulke got injured yesterday trying to rehab himself so who knows what the sux are gonna do

2005-08-20 11:00:55
12.   Nick from Washington Heights
I'm near-sighted, so take this with a grain of salt, but something about Ozzie Guillen's face reminds me of George W. Maybe it's the squinty eyes or the barely hidden arrogance.
2005-08-20 11:18:26
13.   rilkefan
Thought Chacon was in for a bad inning there, esp. with the 12(?)-pitch AB to the #9 hitter.

I don't think I read 'popped into a double play' very often.

2005-08-20 11:28:57
14.   yankz
A-rod is the man
2005-08-20 11:31:53
15.   rilkefan
I find 150 google hits for "popped into a double play", while "grounded" gets (only) 38k.

In case anyone cares.

2005-08-20 11:37:01
16.   yankz
Picked off 3rd by Pierzynski?! With only one out!!!
2005-08-20 11:38:47
17.   randym77
Was A-rod really tagged? Looked like an air tag to me.

This game is getting heated...

2005-08-20 11:51:48
18.   Cliff Corcoran
He looked out to me, I think Crede got him on the hand.
2005-08-20 11:53:28
19.   singledd
Helllllllllllllllllp!
I am in NH. Fox is broadcasting 3 games, but I am getting NONE of them. I;m getting an infomercial. I have spoken to ComCast but they say it's coming from Fox. Is anyone out there getting ZERO games on Fox now????

This happened last week also. Until then, everything was fine. Tried to get Fox on the phone, but not sure if I have their correct phone#. They go out of their way to hide it.

Paul in Boston: Are you getting (at least) A game? Anyone else on Comast?

WTF!!!!!!

2005-08-20 11:55:50
20.   JVarghese81
Wow - Real Big Spot - it's the story of the year - what will the Yanks do in the big spot? Let's see Jeter come through here...
2005-08-20 11:57:18
21.   yankz
Drat.
2005-08-20 11:59:26
22.   JVarghese81
Just passing the baton, I guess. On the plus side, Duque is getting up there in the pitch count after going through the first couple innings pretty quickly.
2005-08-20 12:03:18
23.   Cliff Corcoran
Anyone else notice that Sheffield slowed up short of the bag on that inning-ending grounder deflected by El Duque? If he's safe, the run scores, he has to bust it through the bag there, even if he'd be out anyway.
2005-08-20 12:04:11
24.   rilkefan
Ah-ha, dropping the "a" gives me 8k for "popped" and 163k for "grounded".

Any insight out there into Giambi's August? Did he change his swing?

2005-08-20 12:06:36
25.   JVarghese81
Rilkefan,
It's a little scary but here's a speculative post about it.

http://www.waswatching.com/archives/2005/08/sliced_giambi.html

2005-08-20 12:07:14
26.   singledd
It ain't about the $$$, but Shef gets paid about $18,000 PER AB!!! How about A fine of the cost of the AB for guys who dog it?

Why can't guys run hard? When you lose the PS by a game or 2, you can probably find a game or 2 that was cost by non-hustle.

Why can't guys run hard?

2005-08-20 12:09:00
27.   Andre
I'm not getting any FOX games either (Adelphia in Gloucester, MA). This has happened for almost every Saturday this year for me.
2005-08-20 12:13:32
28.   jayd
Not only is there no game on in Boston, I got some mlb package that also has nothing on. We got Little League and the Red Sox: draw your own conclusions...
2005-08-20 12:13:35
29.   singledd
Andre,
Can you see any reason for Fox NOT to broadcast games? The pay a forture for the rights and are losing advertising $$. Is this a Cable Company screw up?

I'm pissed! I gotta get Fox on the phone.
No (800) number and not at their 'old' address in CA. Man, these guys are hiding.

2005-08-20 12:14:17
30.   rilkefan
I don't get the August juiceless Giambi theory - the stuff doesn't just completely stop working at some point after cessation of ingestion, does it?
2005-08-20 12:15:09
31.   singledd
P.S. Chacon looks to be real. Another bargain basement pickup outperforming our $15 million man.
2005-08-20 12:18:16
32.   yankz
Little league baseball is pretty cool. A kid from Guam has a nasty hook.
2005-08-20 12:20:12
33.   JVarghese81
This is where having Phillips up would have helped - anyone have info on Giambi?
2005-08-20 12:20:14
34.   yankz
Matsui below .300, Giambi below .270. Why now...
2005-08-20 12:22:48
35.   Andre
The MLB extra Innings package (which I also subscribe to) cannot show games on Saturdays during the day. FOX has exclusive rights to Saturday days, which makes it even more frustrating when they don't show a 1:00 game. I don't understand why they don't -- they've been showing infomercials all morning instead.

Lots of other teams play many night games on Saturdays -- the Yankees almost never do.

Extra Innings also suffers on a lot of Fridays. The Yankees must broadcast on an alternate channel to YES on Fridays, and I guess Extra Innings doesn't carry it, so I end up missing out on Fridays and Saturdays, which is really awful.

I wish MLB would get around to offering single team packages for BBall. It's not like football where people can enjoy watching games with almost any team. I really have no interest in watching anything other than Yanks games & Sox games, except maybe during the playoffs, which are nationally televised anyway.

There's a rumor that YES may partner with NESN to show Yankees games in Mass. and Red Sox games in NY/NJ. Hopefully that happens. I don't understand why the Yanks don't make YES national anyway (like TBS for Braves). I'm sure there are plenty of Yanks fans around the country that would pay a few $$ a month for it.

Just venting.

On a baseball topic, why would we consider doing anything other than keeping Chacon for next year? The guy is pitching a 2 hitter? He seems to have more guts and talent than many of the hacks we've thrown out there over the past few years (Weaver, Brown, Vazquez, Loaiza, Contreras, Pavano)

2005-08-20 12:22:55
36.   Cliff Corcoran
I had the TV on mute, what happened to Giambi?
2005-08-20 12:23:25
37.   Mattpat11
Wow. Giambi got short, skinny and black...
2005-08-20 12:26:03
38.   Zack
And as if on cue, Womack hits into a DP. Totally worthless
2005-08-20 12:26:03
39.   Cliff Corcoran
Giambi: bruised hand from fouling a ball off earlier in the game. I missed that, but that's the report. Day-to-day.
2005-08-20 12:29:07
40.   rilkefan
sports.yahoo.com/mlb says "bruised calf".
2005-08-20 12:29:23
41.   Mattpat11
It could have been worse, Zack. Bubba could have been put into the game. There's a guy who literally has no business on an MLB team.
2005-08-20 12:33:32
42.   Cliff Corcoran
Sorry, Rilke, I must have heard it wrong.

Meanwhile, Chacon just passed 100 pitches and Sturtze was warming. With a 4-run lead I'd rather see Rodriguez. Actually, I'd rather see a combo of Small/Proctor and Rodriguez to try to get through the game without using any of the Big Three, perhaps use Embree in a match-up situation of necessary. And I'd I think I'd go straight to the pen in the 7th.

2005-08-20 12:34:00
43.   yankz
There's no one to take the role of designated HITTER other than womack?!
2005-08-20 12:37:13
44.   JVarghese81
Nope, exactly why a lot of people have been vocal about sending down escalona & bringing up Philips
2005-08-20 12:39:42
45.   rbj
Sweet Tino.
Bye Bye El Duque. (I still like him, but this is business).

And what happened between El Duque and A-Rod? Was the pitch that close? (I was out running errands, only heard about on the radio.)

2005-08-20 12:39:44
46.   JVarghese81
I'd go with F-Rod for the 7th myself and I agree with Cliff - start out the inning with him.
2005-08-20 12:41:13
47.   yankz
Is Sturtze still warming up? If Torre brings him in now...
2005-08-20 12:42:27
48.   JVarghese81
Whoa - Jenks is a BIG boy...I hadn't actually seen him before
2005-08-20 12:43:26
49.   Mattpat11
JVarghese, is Phillips really that much of an improvement? He's a career minor leaguer who showed earlier this year that he's completely neutralized by a breaking pitch. And if anyone's smart enough to know that, its El Duque.
2005-08-20 12:51:44
50.   JVarghese81
DO I think Philips is the second coming of Lou Gehrig? No...but the improvement over Womack & Escalona in terms of a pinch hitting bat would be huge. Also, Womack & Escalona are redundant - do we really need TWO no hit middle INFs on the roster?
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2005-08-20 12:57:25
51.   sam2175
Phillips at least deserves a decent run before it is known for good that he cannot do anything with the bat. A total of 36 ABs is hardly that.

I mean, we are talking about piling on Womack ABs here. How much worse could it possibly be to give some of those to Phillips? Plus, he will have some of his hits going for extra base. With Womack and Crosby, there is hardly a chance.

2005-08-20 13:08:40
52.   yankz
We need Chacon for the stretch run. Even our bullpen could hold a 5 run lead for two innings...I think...
2005-08-20 13:08:44
53.   Cliff Corcoran
Chacon starts the 8th with 112 pitches. I suppose that's one way to save the Big Three, but with a 5-run lead it seems a foolish way to treat your starting pitcher. Give Rodriguez some work fercryinoutloud.
2005-08-20 13:11:30
54.   JVarghese81
123 pitches so far...hmm, NOW would be a good time to take him out Joe.
2005-08-20 13:14:08
55.   JVarghese81
And hey, F-Rod is gonna be coming in too - good deal.
2005-08-20 13:14:41
56.   yankz
127 pitches.
2005-08-20 13:19:31
57.   yankz
Who thinks Chacon will give up a HR on pitch 128, and then Torre's gonna go to Mo?
2005-08-20 13:25:55
58.   sam2175
Ok, finally F-Rod for some work.
2005-08-20 13:33:33
59.   rbj
Another nice win.
2005-08-20 13:35:48
60.   JVarghese81
Damn right - the sweep tomorrow and a couple Ls from the Red Sox tonight and tomorrow will be even nicer - let's hope it gets done. Go Yanks!
2005-08-20 13:48:51
61.   NetShrine
//Chisox skipper Jose Guillen appreciates the difficulty of Torre's situation://

What's a Washington National doing running the White Sox? [wink]

2005-08-20 18:01:20
62.   Rich
The Chacon deal will go down as one of the all time great trades. He still doesn't have his velocity back from his leg injuries earlier this season; he has one of the best curves in baseball; and he is only 27. He is going to be a star.

btw, Sox lose. Three out.

2005-08-20 18:43:28
63.   randym77
Dang. Does Ervin Santana pitch like that all the time?
2005-08-21 04:04:54
64.   Paul in Boston
For all us poor Yankee fans in New England, the issue with the Fox game is that they played the Red Sox-Angels at 4pm.

I like that NESN-YES deal. Why not? I would happily switch back and forth between the two games and bag the MLB extra-innings package pronto.

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