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Jeff Weaver Syndrome
2006-04-04 22:21
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

The Yankees left ten men on base last night, six of them in scoring position, but what cost them an otherwise thrilling game was the same old bullpen mismanagement that has long plagued Joe Torre's stay in the Bronx.

Give the A's credit. They can pitch. Rich Harden wasn't dominating, but as he showed in the first by striking out Sheffield, Rodriguez and Giambi to strand Damon and Jeter at second and third, even on an off night he has the stuff to get the job done when he needs to. Of course, he got a big assist in the third when Rodriguez cracked a two-out hit to right with Sheffield on second, then proceeded to run into an out between first and second to end the inning. That stopped the Yankees at one run in that inning. Harden continued to struggle in the fourth, but got three straight outs with men on second and third, though another run came home in the process. When the Yankees finally got another RBI hit in the sixth (Posada's first safety of the season, but second RBI of the game) followed by yet another single, A's manager Ken Macha took it as a sign that Harden was cooked. Justin Duchscherer came on and struck out Cano to end the inning.

Duchscherer can pitch too, as he proved again the next inning by retiring Sheffield and Rodriguez to again strand Damon at second. In the eighth, the Yankees had Hideki Matsui at second with two outs and lesser pitcher Joe Kennedy on the mound, but their worst batter was up and Bernie flied out to end the inning. In the ninth it was ace closer Huston Street who would strand Damon at second, this time walking Sheffield, but retiring Jeter and Rodriguez around him.

As for the Yankees, Mike Mussina exceeded expectations by holding the A's to three runs through seven full while striking out six, a very solid outing for Moose despite homers by Swisher and Chavez. The key is that, since he only allowed two walks and three other hits, the two dingers were solo shots. With Mussina out of the game after 102 pitches (63 percent strikes), Torre expertly managed his pen in the eighth, bringing in Myers to face the lefties Kotsay (strikeout) and Chavez (walk) and then calling on ace set-up man Farnsworth to get the right-handed Frank Thomas despite the temptation of lefty Dan Johnson hitting behind him.

Unfortunately, that's where Torre's wisdom ran out. It took Farnsworth all of ten pitches to retire Thomas and Johnson, yet for some reason Torre decided not to use him in the ninth inning of a game that remained tied. That was mistake number one. Mistake number two was who Torre brought in instead.

We've seen this before, most famously in Game 4 of the 2003 World Series. On the road in a tie game, when the time comes to use Rivera, Torre thinks to himself, "I have no idea how long this is going to go. I'm not going to burn Mo here. I'm going to save him to get those last three outs once we get a lead. In the meantime, I'll use my long man because he can pitch all night while we wait for the offense to score." Usually that long man only gets an inning or two of work in because, with no room for error in a game that will end the second the home team scores, that's exactly what happens. The home team scores off the sixth best man in the pen and the game ends without Rivera throwing a pitch. We saw it with Jeff Weaver in the 2003 Series and we saw it again last night.

Torre should have left Farnsworth in for the ninth and used Rivera for the tenth and eleventh before resorting to his lesser relievers. Rivera last pitched on Saturday and threw just 12 pitches in that game against the Diamondbacks. Farnsworth last threw on Friday, using just 20 pitches against the D-Backs. What's more, the Yankees have an off day on Thursday. To make matters worse, the A's had already blown their best set-up man (Duchscherer) and were an inning deep on their closer. The Yanks end-gamers had every opportunity to outlast their Oakland counterparts. There's simply no excuse, especially in a game that could have clinched a series win from the league's top team.

Instead, Torre turned to Scott Proctor, literally the last man in the pen both by virtue of his making the 25-man roster at the tail end of spring training and his recent absence from the team to attend to his newborn daughter in the wake of her cardiac surgery for a congenital heart defect. Proctor's daughter, Emmy, is expected to make a full recovery, but it doesn't take the most sympathetic soul around to imagine that Proctor's focus may not yet be as sharp as it might be after he's had a few more days to lose himself in his daily routine with the team (he rejoined the Yankees after the pre-game introductions on Monday night).

Not that Proctor's mental state should have come into play. Nor should have Proctor himself. But he did. Twelve pitches later, only eight of them thrown with purpose, the Yankees, or more accurately, Joe Torre had blown a winnable game.

Comments (61)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-04-04 23:58:09
1.   JTE
In the first inning, Damon singled and Jeter doubled. Harden then K'd Sheffield, Rodriguez and Giambi.
2006-04-05 00:02:39
2.   Cliff Corcoran
Actually, Damon walked. I've fixed it.
2006-04-05 00:39:46
3.   Zack
This has to be the most irratating thing about Torre, and it is so consistant and predictable. this entire blog knows exactly what Joe will do in certain situations such as tonight, and the results are always predictable. Just as we knew that if Bernie resigned he would play all the time one way or another, we all knew, deep down, even if we didn't want to admit it, that after Farnsworth got out of the inning, we would see Proctor. And lo and behold, who's warming up, its Scott Proctor!

Nevermind the fact that Joe had Cairo playing first base!

2006-04-05 00:41:58
4.   joejoejoe
If Torre means it when he says Farnsworth and Sturtze are interchangeable then you use them 2 innings each per appearance in every other close game and use Proctor and Villone when the game is a blow out. If you have three close games in a row you use the fresher of the two for 1 inning and hope the rest of the pen comes through. Instead - tie ball game against a playoff competitor - bring in your worst reliever in the 9th. It looked like the A's were trying to win a MLB game and Torre was managing a Little League team and wanted to make sure every kid got a chance to play.
2006-04-05 01:32:54
5.   Rich
Torre set up Proctor to fail.

I wanted 12 pitchers on the roster instead of a 3rd catcher, but Torre would have found a way to misuse him too.

Four rings...

2006-04-05 04:29:17
6.   NetShrine
Cliff - awesome recap. Dead, solid, perfect. Thanks.
2006-04-05 04:51:32
7.   rbj
Good news is that Boston lost too. And Andy Pettitte got pasted (not that that is good news), is he basically on his last legs as a pitcher?
2006-04-05 05:01:16
8.   murphy
first off: thanks for the recap, night owl. these west coast games are a little late for me so it's nice to get the straight poop that next morning.

second: i realize i am in the minority, thinking that the importance we place on closers is ridiculous, but last night was just further evidence of not only this problem, but also the fact that torre is the biggest culprit in elevating the closer. it only makes sense that you'd want your BEST reliever in NOW as opposed to waiting for the "right" (read: save) situation.

grr. argh.

2006-04-05 05:23:55
9.   Sliced Bread
Has anyone calculated the Yankee team batting average in support of Mussina, or discovered the source of the powerful magnetic force that prevents our runners from scoring when he starts? Poor old Moose always seems to be going it alone out there.

Encouraging signs: he pitched well, and the bullpen looked good up until Jedi Joe pulled the lever marked "Do Not Pull."

2006-04-05 05:28:50
10.   BobbyBaseBall
Great recap Cliff. I tried staying up as late as I could, but I passed out during the 7th.

An interesting note, I was listening to the radio broadcast from Oakland on my XM (don't have a real radio near my bed)and not 10 seconds before Mussina gave up his first hit (on a 1-2 count no less) their guys in the both were waxing poetic about the 26 batters Mussina retired before Carl Everett came to the plate. I know it was the A's broadcast team, but when will they learn not to jinx no-hitters or perfect games?! Sorry about the rant, but it's one of those things that bothers me.

2006-04-05 05:41:56
11.   Sliced Bread
"Sheff thought he heard Larry say 'No,'"

Is that quote from:

A.) a Three Stooges movie "Larry, Curly, and No" -- nyuck, nyuck.

B.) a "South Park" episode in which Chef (Sheff?) accidentally shoots and kills Larry Hagman.

C.) Joe Torre (as quoted in The Journal News) explaining why Sheffield held at third after Larry Bowa waved him home -- yuck, yuck.

2006-04-05 05:59:12
12.   Sliced Bread
Cliff, according to Star Ledger, Proctor's daughter's name is Mary.

Ledger also reports Al Leiter is expected to officially join the YES broadcast team today -- unless he suddenly decides to take Katie Couric's "Today Show" gig.

2006-04-05 06:01:28
13.   Knuckles
So Sheff stopped at a green light, and Alex gets hung up off 1st base. The inning is all but done at that point so why doesn't Sheff break for the plate then? If they continue to pickle A-rod, Gary may score before they tag out Alex. If they decide to throw home, it escalates the possibility that a throw is dropped, Sheff gets under a tag, etc. It's a sliver of hope in an otherwise losing situation. Pissed me off, and that's when I had to head to sleep, not optimistic about the rest of the game...
2006-04-05 06:12:55
14.   Count Zero
I stayed up for 8.5 -- mercifully went to bed before I saw Proctor come into the game.

Biggest things I took away from my first game of '06...

1) This team looks pretty crappy on defense.
2) Mike Mussina is not a #2 starter -- despite the fact that he only gave up two earned runs, he looks like more of the same from last year. When he makes a mistake, it goes over the wall. Nearly every time. As Cliff mentions, his saving grace last night was he made the mistakes with nobody on.
3) Farnsworth looked good -- he should have come back for the ninth after only 10 pitches.
4) Damon looks really good, and happy too. I think he's going to win over most of the naysayers before it's all said and done.
5) GOB cannot play over 100 games this year -- he looks like a .250 hitter with about 15 HR over 400+ ABs. Totally unacceptable from a DH.

All in all it wasn't a bad game other than the Proctor incident. But hey -- a week ago many of you were saying this guy needs to be the fifth starter and wanted him on the roster. If you're going to tell me how he deserves a chance, then you can't cry when he gets into a meaningful game situation and blows it. It was the bottom of the order for crying out loud -- he got beat by the 6, 7, 8, 9 hitters in a rather weak bottom of the order. Marco...Scutaro. If you can't get Marco Scutaro out in a meaningful situation, exactly who can you get out? If he's only there to pitch innings in a blowout, you're better off with Mendoza.

Personally, I see Proctor as a career minor leaguer, but maybe that's just me. :)

2006-04-05 06:26:03
15.   Bruce Markusen
I was disappointed that none of the YES broadcasters questioned the decision to bring in Proctor during that ninth. It has to be at least mentioned, if not discussed. Michael Kay, where are you?

Now maybe someone talked about it on the postgame, but I wasn't going to stay up till three o'clock to find out.

2006-04-05 06:26:33
16.   Simone
Good thing I went to bed in the 7th. All the best to his family, but why is Scott Proctor even on this team? The guy is a career minor leaguer at best. He is like Joe's version of crack. Send him away, Cash.
2006-04-05 06:47:20
17.   Sliced Bread
Count 14,

Proctor certainly pitched well enough this spring to earn his temporary spot on the roster, but he wasn't the right guy for the situation he was placed in last night.

As Cliff suggested, the Yanks should have been going for the throat last night, looking to win the series in 2 games. Farnswacker (a proven closer) should have pitched the ninth, as you noted. Proctor has not yet proven his reliabilty in late-inning situations, so why give him an audition in a game in which the team should have been maneuvering for the kill?

Mussina might not be a number 2 starter in your eyes, but he's the number 2 starter on the Yankees, and he certainly pitched well enough to win last night. The bats let him down again.

2006-04-05 06:57:13
18.   unpopster
We all know that a win/loss in April is just as important as a win/loss in September. If the Yanks lose the AL East by 1 game I'll be eating my words -- but maybe, just maybe this loss might have proved to Joe and the staff that Proctor's good spring was just a fluke and that they should return to their original plan on having him start in AAA Columbus rather than relieve in The Bigs.

But then again, it is Joe Torre we're talking about here and he might just run Proctor back out there again tonight. ugh!

You'd think with a supporting staff of 4 ex-managers on the bench next to Joe, one of them would have questioned Joe's move after the game or is that just wishful thinking?

2006-04-05 06:57:53
19.   Cliff Corcoran
12 It's Mary Elizabeth, the call her Emmy. The MLB.com piece on Proctor I linked to appears to have vanished, however.

14 Mendoza, exactly, I think he should have made the roster instead of Proctor. But neither should have been pitching the ninth last night.

2006-04-05 07:02:52
20.   Shaun P
Thanks for the great recap, Cliff. With a three-month old, I'm learning to pick and choose the games I watch. I skipped last night's (Tivo'd it) and I'm glad I did. I watched it on superfast forward, and as soon as I saw Proctor come out to start the 9th, I turned it off. I already knew what was going to happen.

I started to swear when I saw Jeter square to bunt in the 7th, but I caught myself, as I was feeding my daughter at the time. With all the 'managerial experience' on that bench, you'd think someone would say to Torre, "Hey Joe, maybe giving up an out needlessly in this situation is a BAD idea." Then again, Bowa and Pena (who obviously weren't on the bench at the time) strike me as guys who would recommend sac bunts. Sigh.

Can't wait to read the comments from last night!

2006-04-05 07:04:39
21.   atc
I went to bed before the end of the game so I didn't hear the postgame show, but did anyone question Jeter's bunt in the 7th after Damon led off w/ a single? Did he do it on his own?
2006-04-05 07:09:30
22.   wsporter
It's one game but I think Count's point re Proctor [] is a good one. If you can't hold down the bottom of that order in that situation what are you doing on the 25 man roster? Some guys have the belly to handle 9th inning relief work some don't. I think we've seen that's not one of Proctor's gifts. If he's developed a third pitch then go ahead and send him down to Columbus and let him start as was the plan. What I'm really wondering is why Proctor has Smith's, Mendoza's or DeSalvo's spot on the 25.

This time of year when arms aren't fully stretched and the weather is cold it's a little more excusable to baby guys a little and find out what they have. I can see Mr. Torre's rationale for not bringing Farnsworth back out for the 9th or why Villone didn't go back to back. I wasn't happy about it but then again I don't have to get this team through a 162 game marathon and engage in an October death struggle. I really do hate loosing them that way. I can't believe there was anyone in that clubhouse that was all that pleased either.

2006-04-05 07:35:02
23.   JohnnyC
Babying Farnsworth? He threw all of 10 pitches. And it's obviously not why Torre did what he did. He let Mussina pitch in the 7th, ahead 3-2, having already thrown 93 pitches...to face Chavez, a lefty power threat and the type of guy Cashman signed Mike Myers to get out. But, nooooo, Torre plays by another book (perhaps a "four-ring" binder)...and totally misuses Myers by having him start an inning...after the game is tied! What? Macha's not going to pinch hit for Dan Johnson? He sure wasn't going to pinch hit for Chavez. But the spectre of Adam Melhous on the bench, bat in hand, I'm sure scared off Torre. Oh, BTW, recently Torre said he "learned" a lot about how to use his bullpen because of last year's misadventures. Yeah, a lot.
2006-04-05 07:40:34
24.   Rich
Moose did not look like he did last year:

April 2004 ERA: 6.14
April 2005 ERA: 4.97

Moose's ERA as of last night: 3.86

If Moose continues to pitch like he did last night, the Yankees will be in pretty good shape, Torre's ineptitude notwithstanding.

2006-04-05 07:47:28
25.   singledd
Cliff,
Everything you say is true. Exactly. My buddy Joe, once again, blew it.
However....
We have sacrificed defence and paid BIG money for a tremendous offense. Having men in scoring position with ZERO outs, and having 3 strikeouts (no less with the 55 million$ heart-of-the-order up) is unforgivable.

As Jorge did, you must put the bat on the ball. a LONG drive is not always necessary.

I think these guys have a poor average with 'men in scoring position'. And if you take away the hits with 'men in scoring position' when we are already up by 3 or more, I think the numbers are terrible.

I don't know if it's available, but I'd love to see our team's average with 'men in scoring position' when we are BEHIND. I think we are the Devil Rays farm club in this situation.

There's one of Torre who blew it. But we had numerous opportunities to win. We count on our offense. Mariano might have given up a run. It may have gone many innings past Mariano. Maybe one day Proctor won't give up any runs. But it's moot.

We should have won that game with offense.
We weren't shut down... we choked.

Our pitching is not good enough to go all the way unless the offense steps up when the opportunity is there.

When Shef, ARod and Giambi (or Matsui) ALL strike out with men on base, they should be fined 10,000 each!!!!!

Put the God-Dammed bat on the ball!!!!

2006-04-05 07:48:38
26.   wsporter
23 Why did he do what he did regarding Farnsworth and the 9th JC?
2006-04-05 07:52:44
27.   Cliff Corcoran
25 "We should have won that game with offense.
We weren't shut down... we choked."

Who's "we," white man?

2006-04-05 08:08:41
28.   bp1
25 I don't have the numbers in front of me, but I recall that Sheff has excellent numbers with RISP. He is exactly the guy you want at the plate in that situation (1st inning w/ men on 2nd and 3rd and no outs).

He got fooled by a good pitch. He looks a bit rusty as far as selecting his pitches to swing at. He's had a couple half swings that are totally unSheff like. Same with Giambi. They are swinging at pitches they normally would not swing at. I expect that to go away as they get more into the season.

A-rod - well - A-Rod. Nothing more to say there. People said just yesterday that he was padding stats with his slam, but my God. The game was 3-0 - hardly out of reach. His slam essentially put the game away. Tonight - he didn't. That's life. Nobody does it every game. Mickey Mantle didn't. Reggie didn't. A-Rod won't.

Three K's in a row hurt. I agree that you have to put the bat on the ball. But I also saw that Harden is the real deal. Good pitchers can make good batters swing and miss.

BP

2006-04-05 08:13:31
29.   singledd
Cliff, I thought it was "Who's 'we', Kimosabe". Anyway, 'we' is a bunch of guys who were up with men on and less then 2 outs, who did NOT move a man over.

It was tied 2-2 after 4, and 3-3 after 6.
We scored ONE run in the last 5 innings.
While Proctor sucks and Torre needs a bullpen manager, this one was lost by not-hitting.

Cliff... you are extremely astute with numbers. Are you telling me this team does not have a problem with 'men-in-scoring-position-when-behind'?

2006-04-05 08:20:18
30.   wsporter
Cliff 27 you've made that "we" point a number of times. The "we" feeling is I think part of the passion a fan feels for their team, it's part of the close personal identification we all or most of us feel with the Yankees for one reason or another. After a lifetime of rooting it has to feel like "we" or you can't keep coming back for more. Coming back for more for example in the way we do here. Without it you don't get over 700 hits the last 2 days here at BB.

It must be part of the down side of your position to be a professional observer and a fan at the same time. I imagine you loose a little of the "we' feeling as you get a closer look at the man behind the curtain than most of us do. Be patient with us Cliff, the day the Yankees become a "them" instead of a "we" most of us won't be here.

2006-04-05 08:20:41
31.   standuptriple
I was very distraught in the 1st. On one hand I expect to see a lot of 2nd and 3rd w/no outs in the 1st. I'd like to give them a pass this time, but I can't. Harden is a legit #1 starter (Zito got Opening Day for nostaglia). When you're facing a premier SP wouldn't it be in your best interests to jump on him early? Take a pitch the other way, sac fly...something. At least put the damn ball in play. But what I saw from Sheff was an "opportunity to make the Sportscenter highlight reel" swing. It's not team baseball and it effectively stole much needed runs from Moose. I hope this was an abberation and will not be the norm. It might be a little early to hand out fines but I'd put that on the table right now if I were Torre. This happens again and it will affect your pocket. Sadly, that seems to be the only thing that garners attention these days.
2006-04-05 08:34:49
32.   JohnnyC
wsporter, you are obviously not a close follower of Torre's managerial habits. The only reason Farnsworth was even in the game was to relieve Myers (Torre thought Myers could get through the entire inning...yes, LOOGY is not in Joe's lexicon). In a tie game, Torre doesn't like to use his primary set-up guy. He would have gone to Sturtze in the 9th except he's decided to alternate using his set-up guys this year and both Tanyon AND Villone had pitched last night. Ultimately, he managed himself into a trap because he doesn't use Rivera in tie games on the road. Didn't you read his book on bullpen management? The one in the four-ring binder?
2006-04-05 08:38:55
33.   Sliced Bread
19 Emmy it is then, Cliff. Let's go, Em-my! (clap, clap, clap-clap-clap)
2006-04-05 08:48:42
34.   wsporter
32 JC so why has he decided to alter his set up men?
2006-04-05 08:55:51
35.   Count Zero
24
You're comparing one-game ERA against a whole season?!? Mind-boggling.

Look -- Moose did pitch a pretty good game last night. He deserved to win. BUT if you actually watched the game, you saw what I saw:

1) His velocity is around 87-88 on his fastball -- he can't throw the ball by anyone except that...
2) He was locating well and changing speeds very effectively -- which makes his fastball look half-decent
3) He's very smart...and he's leveraging that to try and win with diminished skills
4) When he makes a mistake in the zone...hanging knuckle curve...fastball in the heart of the plate...he can't get away with it because it looks like BP. Every time he throws a mistake, it goes yard.

This is exactly the same thing as last year -- how many runs he gives up depends entirely on how many men he allows to get on base prior to making that mistake...which he always makes at some point in the game. He can't pitch out of jams by getting strikeouts against good hitters (like he used to), and he can't get away with mistakes.

He was not (and never again will be) dominating. The days of 200K+ seasons are gone for Moose. Thanks to his command, ability to change speeds, and guile, he can be an effective starter with 12-15 wins. But he's not a #2 by the standards of any good pitching staff.

2006-04-05 09:06:28
36.   YankeeInMichigan
There seems to be a new orthodoxy among managers regarding using relievers for more than one inning. Allan Trammell drove me crazy with it last year here in Detroit. It was Farnsworth in the 7th, Urbina in the 8th and Percival in the 9th, regardless of how few pitches anyone threw. This approach had two obvious drawbacks. First of all, you had to count on all three of them being hot. Second, if the game went to extra innings, you might get one more inning out of Percival, and then you had to expose the weak underbelly.

I recall that, in the first half of 2003, Torre would handle these tie-game situations with Hammond in the 8th and 9th and Rivera in the 10th and 11th before going to the "long man."

When did this "one inning pre reliever" orthodoxy come about, and when was Torre smitten by it?

2006-04-05 09:20:02
37.   Cliff Corcoran
36 YiMI, your memory of Torre using Hammond and Rivera in these situations in early 2003 is interesting (though it requires some Retrosheet research to confirm). If that's true, his current strategy came about later that season, as Hammond and Rivera both sat in the pen and watched Weaver blow Game 4 of the Series.

As I detail in my Stevie Hearsay piece on the sidebar, Torre's bullpen fell apart in 2003 with the departure of Stanton and the beginning of Karsay's long DL stay. Hammond was the only solid non-Rivera option he had, but Hammond made the mistake of having a bad outing against the Red Sox on July 27 of that year and Torre burried him after that (much like he did Andy Phillips after his five-K day against Kazmir and company last May). Perhaps it was after he (incorrectly) decided that Hammond was unreliable that he felt the need to adopt a new tied-on-the-road strategy.

2006-04-05 09:21:29
38.   brockdc
This blog is my bottle of booze, my crack pipe, if you will, whenever I'm forced to choke down a travesty, such as the one from last night.

True story: After Proctor gave up the double to Suckatero, I stumbled into the living room, half-asleep, and mumbled two words to my girlfriend. "Jeff Weaver."

Joe Torre, some days you're hard to like.

2006-04-05 09:29:59
39.   wsporter
JC 34 sorry that should have read "so why has he decided to alternate his set up men?'
2006-04-05 09:35:16
40.   JL25and3
I want to go back to the question raised by 21 - why on earth did they have Jeter sacrifice? Tie game, none out, 7th inning, second game of the year, with Jeter, Sheffield, Rodriguez and Giambi coming up - in that situation, how can you give up an out to play for one run?

And 29, Cliff had the line right. Lone Ranger: Well, Kemosabe, it looks like we're surrounded. Tonto: What do you mean "we," paleface?

2006-04-05 09:55:12
41.   Marcus
First off, Cliff you nailed it with that headline. I was at the game last night, sitting right next to the Yankee bullpen. When I saw Proctor start warming up during the top of the 9th, at first I didn't even recognize him, and I'm searching through my memory banks about who this little kid (he's not the most intimidating guy) could be, it dawned on me. "Not Proctor. Please, not Proctor." And I immediately thought back to Jeff Weaver, game 3, 2004 World Series.

32 JohnnyC, Torre had Farnsworth warming in the pen during the 7th before Myers came out there, then in the 8th Kotsay and Chavez were coming to bat, so I don't think we can start the "Torre doesn't know what a LOOGY is" bashing just yet. He was in there to face Kotsay and Chavez and that was it.

By the way, I don't know if it was caught on TV, but during the top of the 9th Proctor and Mo were both warming in the pen, while the Yankees were attempting a rally (if only that Damon double had about 3 ft more vertical...). Mo was tossing with a bullpen catcher and overthrew the ball twice, WAY over the catcher's head and into right field, causing a couple delays. Mo started laughing his ass off the second time, perhaps he was slightly embarassed. It was great to see that huge smile up close though, it's amazing that a competitor like him can have such a relaxed attitude at the same time.

Also, Cano hit two LASERS directly at Kotsay in center field, with nothing to show for it. He even took the two first pitches against Street for balls. I have good feelings about Cano, despite the lack of patience.

2006-04-05 09:56:38
42.   Marcus
That should be 2003 World Series....
2006-04-05 10:07:48
43.   Shawn Clap
Dear Octavio Dotel,

Get well soon. Please, for the love of god, get well soon!

Sincerely,
Shawn Clap

2006-04-05 10:11:56
44.   Marcus
I heard somewhere that Torre's explanation for not bringing out Farnsworth for the 9th is that he doesn't intend to use him or Sturtze for more than one inning per game this season. Is that what he "learned" last season? Is 10 pitches and two outs too much for Farnsworth? I know it's early, but this could be a loooong season...
2006-04-05 10:18:36
45.   Count Zero
40
Interesting question...although I could see the SH there. I guess what bothers me is that it didn't look like having Damon steal second was an option...isn't that supposedly why he's in the leadoff spot? Is Kendall's arm that good?
2006-04-05 10:23:19
46.   Shaun P
40 My thoughts exactly (see 20). This is the last team on the face of the Earth that should ever bunt. Now maybe if its the 9th and the bats have been cold all day, I could see the bunt being a reasonable strategy.

Marcus, thanks for the at-the-game recap. That story about Mo is hilarious - I wish I hadn't deleted the game from Tivo, perhaps the cameras caught it.

And finally, to me it looked like that Torre jumped out of the dugout a millisecond after Myers walked Chavez. I think he knows what a LOOGY is, and I think he'll use him properly.

2006-04-05 10:41:12
47.   tommyl
43, I am still laughing at this one.

As for that bunt in the 7th, I was wondering the same thing. Does someone have Torre's work or home address? We could mail him a copy of the Book.

And Proctor, yeah, well lets just say when I saw him come in, I switched to my Tivoed episode of Robot Chicken, which ended just in time to see Proctor give up that hit. I really feel for the guy personally, and to his credit he made zero excuses about his pitching last night, but he should not be in the game at that point. Mazzili must know this, no?

2006-04-05 10:41:34
48.   tommyl
p.s. How do you get the hyperlink to previous posts to appear?
2006-04-05 10:42:19
49.   wsporter
40 JL25, Tonto actually referred to the Lone Ranger as Kemo Sabe during both Movie and Television productions. Only during the earliest radio productions (which I have never heard) did the Lone Ranger apparently refer to Tonto as Kemo Sabe.

I believe what Cliff had working there (consciously or otherwise) is the punch line of a joke about the Lone Ranger and Tonto being surrounded by "Indians". The Lone Ranger says something like "we're in trouble now Tonto" and Tonto replies "what do you mean WE, white man?"

2006-04-05 10:53:25
50.   wsporter
48 put the number inside sqaure brackets that occur under the parenthesis key on your keyboard. [] Pretty cool little feature
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-04-05 11:41:07
51.   jordank
bringing proctor in was definitely a mistake. but as steve goldman points out today, matsui probably should have come up with that ball that scutaro hit.

torre's biggest mistake of the evening, i believe, was letting bernie williams hit off of joe kennedy in the eighth inning. there's one good bat on the bench - andy phillips - and he absolutely mashes lefties. if you're ever going to pinch hit, it's got to be there!

2006-04-05 12:09:26
52.   Shaun P
Not that I don't have work to be do, but I went through retrosheet's box scores from 2003 and 2004 (they don't have 2005 up yet).

I found 15 road games (9 in '03, 6 in '04) where the game was tied going into the bottom of the 9th (including playoff games). 4 games Mo probably wasn't available to pitch, based on recent usage. 4 games Mo came in with the game still tied.

1 game Mo came in after the Yanks got the lead. And the other 6 games, Mo didn't see the light of day, because some other reliever blew the game - 5 games in '03 (including the Weaver game), one game in '04.

Are we quibbling too much here? 7 out of 175 road games (including the playoff road games) Torre should have used Rivera even though it wasn't a save situation, but didn't. 1 time it worked out, the other 6 it didn't. Is this really a trend, or are we remembering the Weaver game 'too much'?

I wish retrosheet had 2005 PBP data up.

2006-04-05 12:35:48
53.   Stormer Sports
Well, a game that was almost good to the last out.

I have to say I was not heartbroken not to see Mo out there with a temperature below 50 and raining. It's the second game of the year, late, cold and slippery out there.

However, if you are going to pay a middle reliever 6 Mil. per year, you may as well use him.

I hate to bash Joe this early, but what is this love affair with Scot Proctor, I just don't get it. Farnsworth should have pitched the 9th and let the chips fall where they may.

2006-04-05 12:42:22
54.   Stormer Sports
And as for pinch hitting Phillips for Bernie. That is never going to happen, never ever ever is Joe going to pinch hit a guy like that for Bernie Williams. I'm not saying he shouldn't give it a shot now and then. I just don't see it happeneing.

Futher, Andy Phillips doesn't "bash" anyone, lefty or righty.

2006-04-05 12:44:10
55.   Marcus
Hey Shaun, personally, I think the problem was not bringing Farnsworth back for the 9th; I'll buy Torre's choice to save Mo. According to the LoHud Yanks blog, Torre didn't want to do that since Farns warmed up twice (7th and 8th), but why not bring him out to start, and if he's wild, yank him? I think Farnsworth mows down 3 out 4 of Oakland's 6-9 hitters, or at least, he's supposed to, so why not give him a chance?
2006-04-05 12:44:17
56.   Stormer Sports
Jordank,

Of course Mats should have had that ball. As the Chicago White Sox proved last year, defense wins you close games. If the Yanks cannot get those runners home with no out and one out, their shotty D will cost them more than a few games this year!

2006-04-05 12:48:56
57.   Stormer Sports
Marcus.

I agree 53. I just don't get the Proctor over Farnsworth decision.

2006-04-05 13:01:23
58.   Shaun P
Marcus, I just read the LoHud blog (thanks for the tip 55!). I suppose I understand Torre's reasoning for not using Farnsworth. However, what about the real question - why not Mo? Was this asked of Torre?

For me, at least, if Mo had pitched the 9th and lost, no problem. If Mo had pitched the 9th, threw a lot of pitches, and then Proctor came out to pitch the 10th and lost, no problem. I'm not upset beacuse the Yanks lost, but that they lost with their worst reliever on the mound, when their best reliever was available.

If that only happens in 7 out of 175 road games 52 (now 8 out of 176), maybe its not worth getting upset about.

2006-04-05 13:34:47
59.   Cliff Corcoran
Shaun, killer research, did you save the info as to which games you found, and if so, can you email it to me via the link on the sidebar?

Thanks. Tremendous contribution.

Oh, and you can find 2005 box scores and PBP on ESPN.com.

2006-04-05 14:47:18
60.   Shaun P
Thanks, Cliff. I just e-mailed the file to you.

And thanks for giving me something to do to kill time at work tomorrow 59!

2006-04-05 16:52:39
61.   YankeeInMichigan
I know that one such example was the 17-inning Roger Clemens thriller in Comerica (I believe the date was Sunday, June 3 -- I was there). After Osuna spoiled Clemens' bid for 300, Hammond and Rivera went two apiece, then making away for a surprise long man, David Wells (who had missed his scheduled Friday start with a bruised foot). Wells then traded goose eggs with Steve Sparks until the 17th, when Soriano led off with a monstrous homer into the ivy in center and Posada added a shot into the right field pen. After Wells let up a hit in the bottom of the inning, Torre made things interesting by bringing in Juan Acevedo. One line drive to center went to the wall for a double and made the score 10-9. The next went right to Bernie. Game over.

I do recall Hammond going two innings, followed by Rivera, in a few instances previous to that one.

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