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Chutes and Leiters
2005-08-23 09:02
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

The Yankees enter tonight's game in a three-way tie for the AL Wild Card lead with the slumping A's and surging Indians. For their part, the Yankees have won three of their last four having allowed just one run in those three wins combined.

Enter Al Leiter. This will be Leiter's eighth start since joining the Yankees. Al has failed to make it out of the sixth in any of his last five starts and has walked a whopping 27 men against 25 strikeouts in his 35 1/3 Yankee innings.

The good news is that the Yankee pen is very well rested at this point. Mariano Rivera and Tom Gordon haven't pitched since Friday, and both were working on two day's rest then. Tanyon Sturtze's eight-pitch inning yesterday was his first since last Wednesday. Felix Rodriguez's perfect inning on Sunday was his first since August 14, two Sundays ago. Aaron Small has pitched just one inning since the Saturday before that, and that came last Wednesday. Scott Proctor's perfect ninth yesterday was his first since last Tuesday, the same is true of Alan Embree's two pitches to Aaron Hill yesterday (the second of which was laced for a double).

On the hill for the Jays is Josh Towers, whom the Yankees beat in Toronto on August 7.

Comments (147)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2005-08-23 15:59:15
1.   randym77
Leiter sure makes games interesting. Better pop some extra popcorn tonight, so I have something to chew besides my fingernails. ;-)
2005-08-23 16:16:08
2.   Mattpat11
Okay Al, we've established that the ump isn't giving you much off the outside. Lets move on...

21 pitch first. I'm not sure where to go with that, because I don't know how many ten pitch at bats we should be expecting tonight

2005-08-23 16:35:51
3.   Mattpat11
Giambi is doing that thing where he stares at a Perfect strike three alot lately. He's caught Posadaitis
2005-08-23 17:25:21
4.   randym77
Man, this game is going fast. The Yankees aren't getting anywhere against Towers tonight.
2005-08-23 17:25:59
5.   Max
5 innings, Towers 47 pitches, 1 hit, no runs, Leiter, 89 pitches, 4 hits, 2 runs. Ugh.
2005-08-23 17:28:02
6.   yankz
Leiter puts together a good start, and the Yankees get one hit through five. Go figure.
2005-08-23 17:28:17
7.   Max
Oops, MLB Gameday didn't update when I posted, that's actually 51 pitches for Towers in 5 innings. Still pretty amazing/depressing when you consider the batters he's facing...or maybe not.
2005-08-23 17:32:47
8.   Mattpat11
I almost cant fault them for 51 pitches. If you take pitches with this guy, you're down 0-2 right away
2005-08-23 17:33:44
9.   singledd
Mr. Al has gone 6 innings... 2 runs, 4 hits, 1 BB. Mr. Randy should do so well.

I don't understand why we score 6-10 runs when we give up 8, but when we get good pitching, we don't hit. Still some time left, by our offense has been cold the last 2 weeks.

Long single for Tino. Good man.

2005-08-23 17:36:02
10.   Mattpat11
Is Al coming out? I think he can probably start the inning.
2005-08-23 17:36:05
11.   yankz
3 singles. If the Yankees don't score...
2005-08-23 17:38:12
12.   Mattpat11
Hell, I'm shocked we got one there
2005-08-23 17:38:33
13.   yankz
What is with Sheffield? They actually had something cooking.
2005-08-23 17:43:28
14.   Mattpat11
eh, he hit it fairly well.
2005-08-23 17:49:04
15.   Mattpat11
Has anyone noticed that the ump seems to have an especially wide right side (inside to righties) and a somewhat lean left side (inside to lefties)?

I guess the directions are reversed for him, but I think you know what I mean. At least I hope.

Good outing by Leiter.

2005-08-23 17:49:52
16.   randym77
Leiter made it through the 7th!
2005-08-23 17:50:31
17.   singledd
That must be a record. 1 run, 3 hits, 6 pitches. Shit shit shit.
2005-08-23 17:51:06
18.   marc
Hope Towers doesn't go back to brilliance in the 7th. He was getting softened up
2005-08-23 17:53:49
19.   yankz
At least Oakland and Cleveland are losing. Come on offense...just two more runs...
2005-08-23 17:55:09
20.   sam2175
This is Waechter all over again. Probably the scouting report is to swing, so they are swinging with gusto, even though it does not seem to be working very well.
2005-08-23 17:57:42
21.   Shaun P
Nice job by Leiter. Who do we think comes in for the 8th? Leiter to face lefty-hitting Adams - he's still in the dugout - or Sturtze, who's warming up?

Two hours and we're already in the bottom of the 7th . . . I should've known that it meant Towers didn't even have 60 pitches through 6 innings . . .

But nice hit by Giambi! Now its Posada's turn to come through.

2005-08-23 17:58:05
22.   yankz
Runner on 3rd, less than two outs. If only this was 2003 and Posada could hit. PROVE ME WRONG MAN.
2005-08-23 17:59:18
23.   JVarghese81
Posada's gotta be due for a big hit soon - come on Jorge!
2005-08-23 17:59:48
24.   Shaun P
Oh Giambi, you slow-footed %(&(#%, why did you go there!??!
2005-08-23 17:59:52
25.   Mattpat11
Oh Christ. Giambi really does run like Fred Flintstone
2005-08-23 18:00:24
26.   Rich
I don't know why F-Rod is up if he is going to bring in Sturtze, but we're winning this game anyway.
2005-08-23 18:00:37
27.   Shaun P
I'm glad Posada at least got the ball in the air - nice job running by Matsui, too.

If this was 2003, it would be 4-2 Yanks now. Oh well.

2005-08-23 18:01:35
28.   Mattpat11
Leiter's still in. Hopefully just for one guy.
2005-08-23 18:01:38
29.   Shaun P
I could have gotten who was up wrong, Rich - I walked out of the room and was relying on Kay's voice. I'm glad Leiter came out to start the 8th.
2005-08-23 18:02:39
30.   Mattpat11
Wow. What an awful way to go out. Great game by Al Leiter though.
2005-08-23 18:04:17
31.   randym77
F-Rod was warming, back in the 6th inning. Maybe they decided to go with Sturtze after Leiter made it throught the 7th.
2005-08-23 18:05:07
32.   Shaun P
OK Tino, you're up first in the bottom of the 8th, make up for that blunder then!

BTW, only ONE walk for Leiter. A masterful performance.

2005-08-23 18:09:14
33.   Rich
NOT Embree!
2005-08-23 18:10:22
34.   Mattpat11
FUCKING STURTZE.
2005-08-23 18:10:43
35.   Rich
That's why I wanted F-Rod. Tanyon is toast.
2005-08-23 18:12:21
36.   Rich
This team may not be good enough to overcome the Torre factor this season.
2005-08-23 18:15:44
37.   sam2175
So, Cleveland has taken the lead against TB.

I have no idea why Sturtze is so trustworthy after sucking for 3 full months.

2005-08-23 18:15:48
38.   Rich
I hate Torre.
2005-08-23 18:17:25
39.   JeremyM
He did the same thing with Quantrill last year, ran him to the ground and kept using him in key spots when it was clear he was fried. Nothing new to here.
2005-08-23 18:18:27
40.   tocho
I forgot Torre was pitching.
2005-08-23 18:18:32
41.   Rich
Come on offense, save your manager.
2005-08-23 18:19:41
42.   Rich
Oh I see, Torre can use a guy who is totally spent from oversuse, and not use F-Rod who has been underused but effective since his return from the DL, and not get blamed.

Nice work if you can get it.

2005-08-23 18:21:56
43.   Mattpat11
They didn't have a hell of a lot of other options. Rodriguez is an adventure, Proctor sucks, Gordon's sick and its too early for Rivera.

I guess you could have left Leiter in for another batter and prayed for the DP.

2005-08-23 18:23:02
44.   tocho
F-Rod sucks in pressure situations, period. He would have walked 3 batters. Who else was available? Embree? Proctor? I'd take my chances with Tanyon 8 out of 10 times. This team has lived and died with this system and in 90% of the cases it lives.
2005-08-23 18:23:45
45.   sam2175
So what is the current streak of HR less games that we have?

If ever we needed one.

2005-08-23 18:24:05
46.   yankz
Run, Tony, Run.
2005-08-23 18:24:09
47.   Rich
F-Rod has been effective since getting off the DL, despite not getting regular work.

Tanyon's arm is hanging by the proverbial thread.

2005-08-23 18:25:09
48.   JeremyM
I have no problem going to Sturtze this time, but I do have a problem with the way he's been used all season. The guy pitched last night in a 6-0 game!
2005-08-23 18:25:17
49.   yankz
And Cleveland takes the lead...
2005-08-23 18:26:13
50.   sam2175
tocho,

I think the only memory that you have of F-Rod is one of 2002 WS. That is selective memory, to say the least. The fact that Giants even got there is because F-Rod was pitching lights out for most part of the year.

At least his track record begs for him to be tried out in pressure situations.

Tanyon Sturtze had just 1 month of incredible effectiveness, that is May. Please look it up.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2005-08-23 18:26:22
51.   Rich
Torre has Cano bunting 3-0? Are you kidding me?
2005-08-23 18:27:58
52.   Mattpat11
FRod has also walked 4 batters in his last seven innings (10 games) and a total of ten baserunners in that period. (Four runs also scored in this period as well, but I dont know the details)

That's not exactly encouraging when there's already a runner on.

2005-08-23 18:28:17
53.   JeremyM
Womack can't steal there, and then get sacrificed? What good is this guy.
2005-08-23 18:28:49
54.   Rich
It's tought to have your best command when you pitch once a week.
2005-08-23 18:29:36
55.   JeremyM
F-Rod is effective against lefties, so he could've started the inning. But in Torre-world, righties are not effective against lefties, and vice versa. It's the Chris Hammond syndrome.
2005-08-23 18:32:07
56.   tocho
I'm not basing my comments on performance of past seasons, just this season and I have not liked anything from him. I think you have to know what Tanyon has left in the tank. He is now well rested and has to perform. With no Gordon, he is the most trustworthy guy outside of Mo.
2005-08-23 18:32:08
57.   yankz
Ouch, captain.
2005-08-23 18:32:46
58.   Rich
Tanyon is not well rested. It's well known that is arm is killing him.
2005-08-23 18:33:01
59.   Mattpat11
Adams was also 0-3 against Leiter and reached when a ball deflected off someone's glove. Its not like Leiter wasn't capable of getting the guy out.
2005-08-23 18:33:04
60.   tocho
Bernie, the mail has arrived, please deliver it...
2005-08-23 18:33:54
61.   weeping for brunnhilde
Jeremy M, exactly my thoughts. The one thing he ought to be able to excell at--pinch run and then stealing at will.

Sigh.

2005-08-23 18:35:57
62.   Mattpat11
NOTHING is worse than Bubba Crosby coming into pinchrun for Tino last week, and not even not stealing, but never drawing a throw, never dancing off the bag. He just stood there and did nothing. I think Tino could have done that just as well.
2005-08-23 18:36:12
63.   randym77
Mail delivered. :)
2005-08-23 18:36:16
64.   yankz
BERNIEEEEEEEEEEE
2005-08-23 18:36:17
65.   Rich
Bernie!
2005-08-23 18:36:21
66.   weeping for brunnhilde
My beautiful man Bernie.
2005-08-23 18:36:27
67.   Mattpat11
Bernie!
2005-08-23 18:36:27
68.   sam2175
Well, again, Tanyon showed just one month of effectiveness. I agree, that May was spectacular. But he is not the same pitcher anymore, whatever the reason. Time to accept it and move on.

I certainly dont have much faith in him based on his performances from June-August. He has a 5+ ERA during the priod.

I agree somewhat that choices are limited. But you still have to use the people in the roster regularly to have them effective.

Why is F-Rod then in the roster in the first place, if he was so bad to begin with? We have released relievers before, why not him?

2005-08-23 18:38:21
69.   yankz
Hudson makes a very rare error. A-Rod has to capitalize.
2005-08-23 18:38:58
70.   sam2175
Wow, Hudson made an error? What happened?
2005-08-23 18:39:57
71.   randym77
Ball went right to him, but took a funny bounce and got past him.
2005-08-23 18:41:49
72.   Mattpat11
Anyone else see that coming? The K's in big spots are happening alot more often lately.
2005-08-23 18:42:22
73.   yankz
I really hope it doesn't go to extras.

Who's in for the yankees in the 9th? Mo could easily go 2 innings today.

2005-08-23 18:42:40
74.   Mattpat11
Waitamnute.

Who's playing first?

2005-08-23 18:44:21
75.   Mattpat11
Escalona can play 1st?
2005-08-23 18:45:43
76.   Mattpat11
nice save there by Felix
2005-08-23 18:47:52
77.   marc
Hmmm, I wonder if someone besides Escalona would of had the out at 1st
2005-08-23 18:49:44
78.   Rich
Unreal.
2005-08-23 18:50:05
79.   Mattpat11
We were just destined to lose this game
2005-08-23 18:50:06
80.   randym77
I saw it coming. A-rod hits a lot better when it doesn't matter. Solo home runs, or bases-clearing doubles when the Yankees are already up by 6. Some people are at their best under pressure. He's not one of them. At least, not yet.
2005-08-23 18:50:18
81.   Rich
Phillips would have had it, but you know, he has no experience.
2005-08-23 18:51:18
82.   Rich
Please, A-Rod has had the most clutch hits of the year. Boston off Schilling. Remember the game in Cleveland? What's wrong with you people?
2005-08-23 18:51:25
83.   marc
This will be another tough one if they don't come back
2005-08-23 18:51:31
84.   Mattpat11
marc, I guess Andre the Giant may have. Awful throw from Jeter.
2005-08-23 18:51:35
85.   sam2175
Well, if Mo gets beat, they deserve it.
2005-08-23 18:53:35
86.   tocho
We'll win it in the 9th. Vintage Posada will come through, some mail was not fully delivered.
2005-08-23 18:53:37
87.   Mattpat11
Rich, he's been miserable with RISP since the allstar break.
2005-08-23 18:53:48
88.   weeping for brunnhilde
Oi, Yankz!

Be careful what you wish for!

2005-08-23 18:54:34
89.   Rich
BOOM
2005-08-23 18:54:46
90.   JVarghese81
Oh hell yeah.
2005-08-23 18:54:58
91.   yankz
I know, I'm sorry. As I say a lot, "Even Babe Ruth struck out sometimes." Mo's going to give up runs sometimes.
2005-08-23 18:55:18
92.   Rich
Matt, Would the Yankees even have a chance at the playoffs without A-Rod? Sheff has said he has carried the team.
2005-08-23 18:55:38
93.   Mattpat11
MATSUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUIIIIIIIIIIII
2005-08-23 18:55:49
94.   Cliff Corcoran
I just got home from softball to see Rodriguez make out and Rivera give up the run.

But I had a feeling about Matsui in that at-bat.

2005-08-23 18:56:13
95.   JVarghese81
Now Matsui...in spite of the slumps and streaks, jeez is he a pro hitter - locked and loaded in pressure situations. I Heart Hideki.
2005-08-23 18:56:13
96.   marc
a thrilla by godzilla
2005-08-23 18:57:01
97.   sam2175
Posada and Giambi has to get it done.

I mean, Tony probably can, but I wont bet on it...

2005-08-23 18:57:19
98.   randym77
YES! Gonezilla!

I'm not saying that A-rod never makes clutch hits. Just that he's a lot better when it doesn't matter.

Seriously, I was hoping A-rod would walk so we could get to Matsui. Matsui seems to step it up when the heat is on. At least, he doesn't seem as bothered by the pressure.

2005-08-23 18:57:21
99.   Zack
Matsuuuuuuiiiiii!
2005-08-23 18:58:10
100.   Zack
Damn, I was beaten to it. Cliff, I did the same thing. Just turned it on to see the score 4-3, then saw that it was Mo who gave up the run!
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2005-08-23 18:58:48
101.   yankz
I'm still loyal to Jeter, but after him, there's no one I'd rather have up with the game on the line than Matsui.
2005-08-23 18:58:50
102.   Mattpat11
Rich, I love A-Rod on this team, think he's the MVP and doubt we'd be anywhere without him.

But he's still hitting .196/.277/.390 with RISP since the allstar break. He seems to do alot of his damage with a man on first (which is just as important, dont get me wrong)

2005-08-23 19:01:08
103.   JVarghese81
How funny would it be if Tony hit one out - I mean, seriously, who among us would not piss their pants laughing?
2005-08-23 19:01:41
104.   Mattpat11
Oh for Christ sakes, Tony even Posada did something this inning. What the hell was that?
2005-08-23 19:01:51
105.   yankz
Wow, I didn't see Womack's K coming.

(kidding)

2005-08-23 19:02:13
106.   tommyl
Come on Robbie...
2005-08-23 19:02:33
107.   JVarghese81
But of course, he's on the team for one reason and one reason only - not hits, not homeruns, not exceptional defense...just making outs and man, he is exceptional at that.
2005-08-23 19:02:54
108.   Shaun P
I would send him a box of chocolates or something. But of course, Womack struck out.

Meanwhile, let's see if what Cano can do with a 3-1 count and a runner on first this time. Thank God there's two outs so he can't bunt!

2005-08-23 19:03:19
109.   tommyl
Lets go Jeter
2005-08-23 19:03:55
110.   Mattpat11
why is the slowest man on earth still on second? Are we afraid that a meteor will strike Flaherty?
2005-08-23 19:04:14
111.   Shaun P
See, Torre? See why its stupid to have a guy bunt with a 3-1 count and a man on first? He might just walk!

OK Captain, time to make up for your too-high throw that should've been scored an error.

Rich, this team might be good enough to overcome Torre's bunting blunders.

2005-08-23 19:05:25
112.   JVarghese81
Also, keep an eye on the Cleveland game - 2 outs, bottom of the 9th, 2nd & 3rd.
2005-08-23 19:05:34
113.   tommyl
Lets go...Felix.....?!
2005-08-23 19:05:54
114.   marc
gee, could we use Sierra
2005-08-23 19:05:58
115.   sabernar
Pinch run for Posada!!!
2005-08-23 19:06:02
116.   Marcus
It's been noted that Jeter has made the last out of a lot of games this season. Let's see him get the last at bat here.

Wow, nevermind, they're walking him for Escalona, ugh.

2005-08-23 19:06:06
117.   yankz
YOU WIMPS
2005-08-23 19:06:22
118.   Shaun P
Now I know you're not supposed to walk the bases loaded, but geez, Escalona is up . . . please prove me wrong, o light-hitting middle infielder playing 1st while Andy Phillips destroys AAA!
2005-08-23 19:06:31
119.   Mattpat11
LEAN INTO ONE FELIX
2005-08-23 19:06:37
120.   sabernar
Escalona up with the game on the line. Who would have thunk it.
2005-08-23 19:06:46
121.   weeping for brunnhilde
Yankz, first of all, Ruth struck out more than sometimes, IIRC, he's the all time strike out king, or at least was when I was a kid.

JVarghese81, I know, I have no idea why anyone even thinks about letting Matsui go. It really baffles me.

2005-08-23 19:07:21
122.   tommyl
YESSSSSSSSS

Great Game!!!

2005-08-23 19:07:21
123.   Shaun P
YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don't know how he did it, but I'm sure glad he did!!!!!!!!
2005-08-23 19:07:22
124.   randym77
YANKEES WIN!!!!!!
2005-08-23 19:07:35
125.   Cliff Corcoran
WOW.
2005-08-23 19:07:36
126.   Marcus
WOO HOO!!!!!!!!
2005-08-23 19:07:37
127.   weeping for brunnhilde
Un-fucking-believable!!!
2005-08-23 19:07:43
128.   Rich
Don't tell me that Ecalona isn't clutch. ;)
2005-08-23 19:07:48
129.   yankz
FELIX ESCALONA!!!!!!!!!!!
2005-08-23 19:08:02
130.   JVarghese81
And Escalona has redeemed the name Felix in Yankee-land...
2005-08-23 19:08:52
131.   marc
holy shit, if that would have happened against Boston in a playoff Escalona would have earned a middle name
2005-08-23 19:09:09
132.   Marcus
Oakland lost, Cleveland won, Boston won. This was a much needed win.
2005-08-23 19:09:19
133.   Mattpat11
Felix!!!!!!
2005-08-23 19:09:23
134.   JVarghese81
and unfortunately, Cleveland ended up winning that game - still, TB will be a tough series for them - TB has the second best record in the majors after the ASB (Oak is #1)
2005-08-23 19:09:45
135.   Shaun P
Well done. Cleveland won 5-4, Sox are winning 5-0 in the 7th over the Royals, and Baltimore has scored 4 in the 9th to make it 7-6 Angels (gotta keep an eye on them, in case the A's go on another role). We had to win tonight, and we did. Makes staying up worth it.
2005-08-23 19:10:08
136.   yankz
The worst hitter (with apologies to a Mr. Womack) on the team did what A-Rod and others haven't been able to do: gotten a clutch hit with 2 outs.

WOW what a story.

2005-08-23 19:11:08
137.   Zack
Wow, I have no idea how that happened, and I know that Torre will now have total, complete, and irrational trust in Escalona and he will stay on the team no matter what (maybe he will bump Womack?) but I'll take that hit anytime!
2005-08-23 19:13:22
138.   JVarghese81
Damn, that was a good game - and I give much praise to Al Leiter, who gets his fair share of critism from people, esp. me. He pitched very well today.
2005-08-23 19:16:03
139.   Schteeve
Escalona just earned himself a place in Torre's old boys club.
2005-08-23 19:17:00
140.   Rich
Phillips should take Woe's spot on the roster.
2005-08-23 19:22:16
141.   randym77
Yes, this game was as nerve-wracking as I expected...but not, as I had expected, because of Leiter. He done good tonight.
2005-08-23 19:32:21
142.   randym77
Jeez, they just said the same thing on YES. Bases loaded, bottom of the ninth in Game 7 of the World Series, you'd want Matsui, Sheffield, or Jeter at bat. A-rod "tries too hard."
2005-08-23 19:35:17
143.   Schteeve
A-Rod's 900+ OPS with RISP or Close and Late over the last 3 years, contradicts the astute observations of some broadcasters.

I mean, do you people want a robot, who always gets the big hit no matter what? Manage your expectations already.

2005-08-23 19:51:25
144.   alasky
...what schteeve said!!!
2005-08-23 19:53:35
145.   Mattpat11
I dont want a robot, but I'd prefer it if his second half RISP numbers didn't suck so hard.
2005-08-23 19:57:17
146.   brockdc
Crap: Now I can't get that *!@# Knack song out of my head.

(singing) My Es-ca-lona! Whoo! Muh-muh-muh my Escalona...

2005-08-23 20:04:01
147.   randym77
I'd take a robot. :)

Seriously, though...don't get me wrong, I love A-rod. I'm glad he's on the team.

I'd just rather have Matsui coming to the plate with bases loaded at the bottom of the ninth.

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