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2006-04-28 20:23
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

On paper, last night's Roy Halladay-Jaret Wright matchup screamed landslide victory for the Blue Jays. As it turns out, the Jays won 7-2, but the game was far closer than that score indicates.

Jaret Wright allowed a two-run home run to Frank Catalanotto before getting an out in the first, but then held the Jays scoreless through five innings, thanks in part to four double plays turned by the Yankee defense. Not that he pitched all that well. He walked four and struck out none, throwing just 52 percent of his pitches for strikes. Wright left in the sixth with two men on and none out. Scott Proctor came on and got away with a hanging curve to Troy Glaus only to have another to Shea Hillenbrand leave the park to make it 5-0. Much like Wright, Proctor settled down from there to pitch two more scoreless frames, though through more of his own doing, striking out two, walking none, and throwing 69 percent of his pitches for strikes. The Hillenbrand homer was the only hit Proctor allowed in three full innings of work.

Roy Halladay, meanwhile, kept the Yankees off the board entirely through five and a third, despite throwing just 55 percent of 99 pitches for strikes. Scott Schoeneweis came on to face lefties Giambi and Matsui, but walked Matsui and then surrendered Bernie Williams first home run since August 26 of last year (184 plate appearances ago). The home run was just Bernie's second extra base hit since September 7 of last year (151 PAs ago). Williams' next at-bat came with two outs in the eighth with the Yanks down 5-3 and runners on the corners and ended in a 5-4-3 double play that was aided by first base umpire Bruce Dreckman, who called Bernie out despite the fact that he was clearly safe.

Joe Torre then handed the ball to Tanyon Sturtze, who, after getting Lyle Overbay to ground out, gave up another Hillenbrand homer, a Bengie Molina single, an Alexis Rios double (oddly the red hot Rios did not start the game), and a sac fly by Aaron Hill that put the game out of reach.

Today, the script is flipped as Randy Johnson, who has been outstanding in four of his five starts (the one exception being a very off night in Toronto last week), takes on Josh Towers, who is 0-4 with an 8.35 ERA after four starts. Here's hoping the results are similarly reversed.

Comments
2006-04-28 22:05:20
1.   brockdc
So it seems that Wright and Bernie both bought themselves more roster currency. That's the bad news. The good news is that Torre won't possibly have the audacity to go to Sturtze again in a crucial situation.

Or will he?

2006-04-28 22:25:14
2.   tommyl
The thing I don't understand with the usage of Sturtze is that Torre seems to keep expecting him to "snap out of" this funk. But when you look at his stats, the last 4 seasons his ERA+ is less than 100, and most of them his ERA has been higher than the league average pitcher. He's just not anything more than a mediocre pitcher, and I don't see why those 3 months a few years ago dominate anyone's thinking. It was clearly a statistical blip.

It seems like exactly the same attitude that was taken with Jeter's slow start in 2003. The difference there was that Jeter's slow start was the blip, whereas Tanyon sucking is the trend.

2006-04-28 22:55:16
3.   brockdc
Yeah, but I've heard Torre say that, when he's on, Sturtze has "electric stuff." Apparently, AL batters beg to differ.
2006-04-28 22:58:14
4.   C2Coke
1 Though as much as we've hoped, and are still hoping that the bullpen has more than one Aaron Small and one less Tanyon Sturtze...don't be too surprised to see Sturtze in a game next week with Boston. Now let's all try to think real real hard:What does Torre see in Sturtze that no one else does?????
I am sure loving Jeter's trend right now!
2006-04-28 23:34:10
5.   Yu-Hsing Chen
Quiet a few things didn't surprise me last game...

1.BB HR BB... gee... glad to know it's the real Jaret Wright .

2.Scott Proctor comming on in a tight situation.. ends up giving up 3 runs... but only 1 attributed to himself... XD

3.Tanyan Sturtze out on the 9th... = time to take the shower.

The only thing that did kind of surprise me is Bernie going deep....

2006-04-29 00:05:03
6.   mikeplugh
We WILL win with Randy Johnson on the mound. I am almost willing to guarantee it. I just have this feeling that the Yankee bats are ready to throw a beating on the Jays and that Randy Johnson is likely to keep the Jays to 3 or fewer runs.

Just an irrational gut feeling.

Alex Rios versus Johnson should be the key matchup to watch as the young man has a 1.590 OPS against lefties this season and a .464 average over 28 at bats.

Against righties in 29 at bats he's got a .734 OPS and a .276 average.

He's still got to play everyday in my opinion.

2006-04-29 01:26:21
7.   Rich
I agree with brockdc, but when Wright > Sturtze, it's apparent that Sturtze has no place on this roster.

When Small is activated, keep Smith and DFA Tanyon. Save Torre from himself.

2006-04-29 04:49:20
8.   singledd
The Yanks lead MLB in OPS and lead the AL in ERA. We have the 1 and 2 slot (in the AL) for OBP (Giambino and Jetes) and Giambi is #1 in OPS.

Furthermore, we are FAR from the lead in HRs. This team has showed it is NOT a one-dimensional team.

While this may not continue (these great stats), our record is deceptive of our Stats. Certainly on consistancy and timing we get an 'F', but it seems like just a matter of time before we jell.

While the Sox are missing Coco and 1/2 of Manny, they are not as dangerous a team as in the past few years.

Once we stop stepping on our own toes, we could run away with the AL. If Mats steps it up, and ARod starts driving the ball (he has not been hitting in the last week or more), we could really make this look easy.

I am frustrated at our play so far, but have hope, as there are many possitive signs. Even Proctor looks like he might displace Sturtz (and none too soon).

2006-04-29 05:45:48
9.   monkeypants
8 Singledd--I agree. My real concern is ironically the lack of HRs. The team is, in fact, constructed as a patience-power team, but I wonder if sufficient power is there anymore. Matsui has not been Japanese Babe Ruth, Posada's power is certainly in decline phase, Bernie's is completely lost. Damon? The bench?

I'm probably just overreacting to the scuffling start..

2006-04-29 06:46:56
10.   jayd
The danger of the Sox is, having now realized the stupidity of the phrase "a surplus of pitching" by trading away the 2006 National League's Cy Young Award Winner in Bronson Arroyo (as well as the Rookie of the Year in Hanley Ramiriz), through sheer shit luck they wind up with Clemens or Dontrelle.

This will either be a different team after July 31st or be reclassified as a Boston real estate entity.

HR problems? Arod, Sheff, Giambi will have 40+; Damon, Jeter, Cano, Matsui 20+ Posada in the 18-20 range. Arod and Giambi have a chance to clear 50 this year. HRs come in bunches, particularly in the Merry Month Of May. If these guys don't clear 200HRs this year, Iran is nation of peace-loving clerics.

Matsui needs to play the redsox to break out of his slump. He's hit a couple fly balls that would be outta Fenway. It's about time we put some Pop into the young Johnnie Popplebum before the reverie here over the young lad passes into legend. Sweeping majestically into First Place would get me off to a good start next month with the loveable redsox nitwits I work with.

2006-04-29 08:15:53
11.   monkeypants
10 "HR problems? Arod, Sheff, Giambi will have 40+; Damon, Jeter, Cano, Matsui 20+ Posada in the 18-20 range. Arod and Giambi have a chance to clear 50 this year. HRs come in bunches, particularly in the Merry Month Of May. If these guys don't clear 200HRs this year, Iran is nation of peace-loving clerics."

Damon has had (exactly) 20 HR exactly once in his ten+ year career. He averages about 12-14/year, and at 30+ y.o. I don't think we see an increase.

Jeter has had 20+ three times. He's off to a good start, but really, a likely max of 25 HR.

You're probably right about Cano, Matsui, and Posada.

Sheffield: 40+ only twice in 18 seasons, and playing in the Stadium for two seasons: 36 and 34. Probably 30 this year. Likewise Giambi: 40+ only three times in his career; at 35 y.o. he may get 40+. 50+ no way.

ARod clears 50? Well his 48 was the most by a Yankee RH ever--I'm not sure we can expect an increase there.

The bench? Well, Bernie has 1 HR.

I'm not saying they won't hit any HR. But the most powerful bats in the lineup are on the wrong side of their careers (except for maybe A-Rod), and there is little depth off the bench. So, I wonder how it will play out with a team that is built around BB and HR (less than on BA), yet has the very real chance to see nearly every one of its batters hit fewer HRs this year (with little or no infusion of new or young power).

2006-04-29 09:18:52
12.   Benjamin Kabak
Here's to hoping that Tanyon Sturtze doesn't pitch in a meaningful situation in a long time.
2006-04-29 10:03:35
13.   yankaholic
The umpiring sucks... not saying balls n strikes... but clear groundouts?? we have had 4 bad calls on bases loaded situations.. yes Bernie DP... man what a pil-a-junk
2006-04-29 10:35:50
14.   Cliff Corcoran
Giambi is awesome.

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