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Horseshoes and Hand Grenades
2007-04-22 20:52
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

I must say, I think the Yankees acquitted themselves rather well this weekend. Facing the Red Sox three best starters, the offense scored at least five runs in each game and, save for the eighth inning on Friday and Scott Proctor's outing last night, the bullpen shut the Red Sox out over 9 1/3 innings. Unfortunately, that eighth inning on Friday and Proctor's outing last night led directly to two of three loses in a weekend sweep that will loom large as the AL East race heats up toward the latter part of the season.

The Yankees got out to an early 2-0 lead on Daisuke Matsuzaka in the top of the first on a two-out Jason Giambi double and added a third run in the third when Giambi singled home Johnny Damon, again with two outs. Chase Wright, meanwhile, stranded two runners in each of his first two frames, then started the third by getting Kevin Youkilis and David Ortiz to fly out. Then Manny Ramirez homered. Then J. D. Drew homered. Then Mike Lowell homered. Then Jason Varitek homered.

To get the trivia out of the way, it was just the fifth time in major league history that a team had hit four consecutive home runs and just the second time ever that all four homers were surrendered by the same pitcher. No pitcher has ever given up more than four homers in a single inning, consecutive or otherwise (the last to do it was Randy Johnson against the White Sox two years ago). The first time a team ever hit four consecutive homers, the fifth batter was Joe Torre, and the one previous time that a single pitcher surrendered four consecutive homers, the third was hit by Terry Francona's father Tito.

Wright struck out Wily Mo Peña to end the onslaught, the inning, and his start. Colter Bean came on in relief in the fourth, and Derek Jeter tied the game up with a solo homer of his own to lead off the fifth. The Yankees then took the lead in the sixth on singles by Robinson Cano and Doug Mientkiewicz (who had his second multi-hit game as a Yankee going 2 for 3 with a ground-rule double to dead center).

With the top of the Boston order due up in the bottom of the sixth, Joe Torre brought in Andy Pettitte for his second throw-day relief appearance of the season. Pettitte issued a one-out walk to Kevin Youkilis, but got David Ortiz to ground into a double play on the next pitch, ending the inning after just nine pitches, seven of them to Youkilis.

The Yankees entered the seventh inning nursing a slim 5-4 lead, but before one could begin to wonder about handing that lead over to Mariano Rivera, Scott Proctor came on to surrender a single to Ramirez, a double to Drew, and a three-run homer to Mike Lowell to make it 7-5 Red Sox.

Luis Vizcaino finished the inning without further damage, and the Yankees mounted a rally in the eighth. Alex Rodriguez led off with a single that drove Matsuzaka from the game after 108 pitches. Hideki Okajima came on and got Jason Giambi to pop out, but Robinson Cano followed with a single. Joe Torre then turned to Jorge Posada, whose thumb is still too swollen to allow him to catch, but not so bad that he can't hit, to pinch-hit for Mientkiewicz. Posada, making his fourth pinch-hit appearance of the young season, drew a walk to load the bases (he also has a pinch-hit double on the year), driving Okajima from the game in favor of Brendan Donnelly. With Miguel Cairo running for Posada, Melky Cabrera grounded into a fielder's choice that plated Rodriguez to make it a one-run game.

That's when Torre, who had already made two great moves by using Pettitte out of the pen and the sore-thumbed Posada to pinch-hit, made his most impressive move of the day. With the still hitless Wil Nieves due up, Torre didn't concern himself with the fact that Posada was out of the game (and couldn't catch anyway). With two outs and the tying run at third, he sent Josh Phelps to the plate to hit for Nieves, knowing full well that Phelps would have to catch for the first time since 2001 in the bottom of the inning. Phelps fell behind quickly 0-2, but sent Donnelly's third pitch screaming toward center field just to the right of second base, but as the ball started to sink toward the grass in shallow center, Boston second baseman Dustin Pedroia lept seemingly out of nowhere to make a game-saving, inning-ending catch.

In the ninth, Bobby Abreu drew a two-out walk against a dominant Jonathan Papelbon to bring Alex Rodriguez to the plate as the potential winning run. Rodriguez, like Phelps, fell behind quickly 0-2, then grounded to third to end the game and a series that was far more exciting than the word "sweep" would suggest.

Incidentally, according to Pete Abraham, Wil Nieves dislocated his left thumb in the fourth inning, but trainer Steve Donahue reset it and Neives, knowing Posada was already out with a left thumb injury, caught four more innings. Neives also hit a pair of screaming line drives off Matsuzaka, but they were right at Lowell at third and Pedroia at second, thus his hitless streak is intact. As for Phelps, he caught the bottom of the eighth without incident. Supposedly Phelps was moved off the position because of his terrible throwing arm. Still, now that I've seen it done, I do tend to wonder if the Yankees would consider having him catch an entire game in Posada's stead just to see if he might make a viable backup catcher since Posada's thumb has been slow to heal and Nieves's is likely sore as well. Then again, it could be a disaster. The Devil Rays could steal bases in the double digits off Phelps if they get on base enough against Igawa, and the last thing the Yankees need after those four consecutive homers last night is to set another unwanted record.

Finally, I was rather impressed to learn that the Red Sox had not swept the Yankees at Fenway Park since 1990, when the Red Sox were AL East Champs and the Yankees had the second-worst record in baseball (to the Braves). The Yankees were outscored 29-5 in that three-game series and the winning Red Sox pitchers were Gene Harris, Mike Boddicker, and Tom Bolton. That said, those Stump Merrill-era Yankees have come up once too often this past week, even if both mentions have produced a positive contrast (the aggregate score of this weekend's series was 21-17).

Comments (189)
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2007-04-23 03:23:40
1.   Chyll Will
Not strangely as it sounds, I was not really as amped about this series as most seemed. Sure, I didn't get to watch, but with half the team hurting and Torre like a kid in a candy shop with the bullpen, I figured this series was an experiment for what could work best and what not to do with Boston down the line when winning their games was more imperative. That said, last night sounded not only really good from a pure baseball perspective, but important in that the Yanks aren't as bad off as it seems, and we also can take their best pitchers even when we're down. Good show.
2007-04-23 04:56:42
2.   Jim Dean
I appreciate the perspective but this reads like "Always look on the bright side of life..."

Fact is they lost six games in what will be the pennant race. Nothing else matters. And they were all very winnable games. It might be just me, but they lost more because of decisions made (Cashman and Torre) than because of the play on the field. That's a much tougher chum to swallow.

Me, I can't figure out out why, if Torre was willing to go to those lengths late in the game, he didn't just DH Jorge and play Giambi at 1B.

Though with how well G has been hitting in the DH slot, I do wonder if we'll ever see him at 1B in an AL game again. Once Matsui returns I'm afraid that spells the bench for the young Melkman. It might make more sense to send him down and keep him playing everyday with Thompson as the 4th OF, than have him playing once or twice a week.

But at least that's a way to keep Mfhrsdkgealhisfd's hot bat in the lineup.

Otherwise, it's a complete fantasyland to think that Phelps could ever be the BUC. During the Spring, Torre laughed off the suggestion of giving him even emergency innings there. You know, because Phleps was in the middle of a platoon at 1B.

2007-04-23 05:01:50
3.   Cliff Corcoran
2 Again with the absolutism, Jim. I did write "a weekend sweep that will loom large as the AL East race heats up toward the latter part of the season." But other things do matter. The whole point of analysis is to look for signs within each win or loss that indicate how the team will fair in the near (or distant) future. If all that mattered was the actual L or W then why bother reading this blog? The scoreboard would tell you all you needed to know.
2007-04-23 05:08:15
4.   C2Coke
1 Definitely a good show in April.

I was thinking the Yanks should try Phelps at C and forgot they are playing Devil Rays next. Further, Wang is pitching on Tuesday, I just hope God will give Jorge his finger back.

2007-04-23 05:24:56
5.   rbj
2 Jim, I am sorry, but I am just going to haave to stop reading your comments. Far too doom & gloomy -- and unrealistic to boot.
Yankee's offense scores 6, 5, and 6 runs in three games vs. Boston's best three pitchers and yet the line up & Torre are the problem. Not the fact that the usually reliable Mo had a bad inning (happens to everyone, heck even Sandy Koufax lost games) and the Yankee's starting rotation is in shambles due to injuries and Torre had to start two rookies -- one making only his second start above AA ball (where he's only had two starts anyway).

Nope, it is obviously the fact that Doug Mientkiewicz (who had two hits last night) and Nieves (robbed twice last night, youch -- having a dislocated thumb reset in the dugout) played.

Me, I just wish Moose & Wang had pitched the last two games.

2007-04-23 05:26:38
6.   Simone
I am disappointed that the Yankees didn't take at least one game. The offense was outstanding. I never thought they could score so many runs off the Red Sox top starters. The Yankees' starters were okay. Wright had a bad time of it, but those are the breaks sometimes. It is unfortunate the the bullpen imploded. They let the team down, but it happens. Now the Yankees move on and have to rebound.
2007-04-23 05:26:50
7.   Sliced Bread
Thanks for accentuating the positive this morning, Cliff.

The anti-Yankee chatterboxes of sports radio sure are chirping and cheery this morning.

They're thinking Pettitte's inning of relief smacked of pinstripe panic.

Not me. Though I hope the Yanks will not make a habit of turning to Andy between starts -- especially this early in the season, especially against teams the Yanks play 19 times.

Fug it. We'll get 'em next time.

2007-04-23 05:28:06
8.   The Mick 536
Minky and Nieves didn't lose Sunday's game. Good defense kept the Janks hitless. Chase's not holding the runner led to the steal. Weak pitching to Boston's big bats cost the game. 5 dingers. Commmmmmme onnn?

I hope A-Rod doesn't get down on himself. Had two real bad ABs. He nodded yes to an outside pitch called a strike. He swung softly and missed an outside slider. Dice K had him looking out and got him looking at a ball right over the plate. His dejected look as he strode from the plate didn't inspire.

Not that I adore Joe Morgan, I don't, but he did a valid analysis of how the opposing pitchers get A-Rod out. At the end of the ever wearing mid-game manager's interview, Torre bid good-bye to Morgan by calling him "Joseph." Is that his nickname?

2007-04-23 05:30:22
9.   Dimelo
Good write up, Cliff. There's still a lot of game to be played.
2007-04-23 05:39:36
10.   Sliced Bread
8 Morgan also made an astute observation about Chase Wright early in the game, noting the only pitch Wright was consistently throwing for strikes was his change up.

Morgan was right, and before you knew it, it was BP time for Boston's hitters.

Proctor is also good for what ails the Sox hitters. His 1.2 innings of work looks like this: 16.20 ERA/ .444 BAA/ 3.60 WHIP

In his short career against Boston (25.1 innings) Proctor has a 7.82 ERA/.324 BAA/1.70 WHIP.

2007-04-23 05:40:57
11.   Jim Dean
3 Not so cheery under the surface - eh?

The analysis is very slanted to look at Torre's "inspired" moves. Surely I can point that out can't I? Why not mention that he was throwing Proctor for the third night in a row? And to start him against Manny?

5 My problem isn't with the runs they DID score, it's the ones they never had a chance of scoring with Mfhdjlgk and Nieves. That's what burns. We knew they could get by this year with mediocre pitching. But that's only with exceptional offense. A lineup that features those bums isn't one I can take much good from.

I'm sorry but I crowed when those decisions were made that they could very well decide the race. And so far I've seen nothing to forgot that. They lost three games by four runs - every bit of offense mattered.

2007-04-23 05:49:53
12.   Knuckles
Coming into this series, I was hoping for a split among the six Sox games this past weekend and next...given the state of the Yankees pitching staff.
I've now amended that hope to 2 out of 6, though taking all 3 from the Sox this weekend would be ideal. I'm glad we got a good # of runs off their 'aces' but keeping 3 games close is no moral victory- if anything, it says to me that we have to leave Boston last night with at least one win.
2007-04-23 05:53:07
13.   manila boy
3 Thanks, Cliff, and for the cool-headed analysis. Considering how dinged up the lineup is, it's amazing the Yanks even had the chance to pull each game out.

The game threads over the past few days have been particularly negative and hard to read, what with all the expletives and snarkiness. Glad to hear the world hasn't ended after all.

2007-04-23 05:56:58
14.   manila boy
Since I haven't been watching the games, I want to ask: how bad does Melky look at the plate? The comments in the game threads make it sound like he's really struggling.

Would it make sense to send him down, when Matsui comes back, so he can get regular ABs? Then Thompson becomes the fourth OF.

2007-04-23 05:58:19
15.   rbj
11 So the Yanks have to/are supposed to score 8 runs every game? I think a 1300 run season would be a record breaker by far.

Far too early to panic, people. Good news is Wang is coming back Tuesday, and I hope Moose isn't too far away either. I'll be enjoying August, when our rotation is full & healthy (Rocket going for win #360) while Beckett & Schill are on the DL.

2007-04-23 06:00:23
16.   chrismarz
Can we take any consolation from the fact that Matsuzaka was by no means dominant, and in fact looked pretty ordinary last night?

I believe that we'll get another crack at him next weekend in the bronx. Can't wait to face him again, with Matsui & Jorgie back in the lineup.

More important, having Wang and Mussina back will probably make more of a difference.

2007-04-23 06:05:34
17.   Jim Dean
15 Their average going in was what - 6.2 runs a game?

Well, they didn't get that in any of the games.

And me, I'm not panicking. As I've said once or twice before, this race is going to be close. But it's the decisions already made (and somes still being made) that will make the race much closer than it should have been otherwise.

Yanks were at least ten wins better last year. The Sox improved more because the Yanks went on vacation in mid-December.

2007-04-23 06:06:59
18.   Jim Dean
16 If the schedule holds up, we also get another look at Chase Wright against him.
2007-04-23 06:20:24
19.   rbj
16 Exactly. Matsuzaka had looked pretty durn good against lesser teams, but not against the Yankees' lineup. With us having some decent starting pitching, I think he's vulnerable. As are Beckett and Schill.

I just wish Clemens would hurry up and sign already. He knows he wants to. The question is, do you just go ahead and pre-empt and assign the 7th inning to Proctor, and the 8th to Bruney in his starts?

2007-04-23 06:27:02
20.   vockins
I thought it would be a hell of a lot worse considering the Nieves/Mink time, the Karstens/Wright starts, and how the bullpen is working overtime. Hopefully the starters can go the distance during the Tampa series and give everyone a break. I won't hold my breath, but it would be nice.
2007-04-23 06:44:03
21.   mehmattski
2 Sending the Melk-man to the bench will also provide quite a few more runs:

Cabrera 66 AB .197/.229/.197

I don't think it's unfortunate at all. I hope he turns it around, but he's rapidly approaching a point at which he is no more than a place holder for Jose Tabata.

2007-04-23 06:44:29
22.   AbbyNormal821
7...yeah, what you said! The NY Post is already saying that Steinbrenner is going to have a knipshen fit. Whatever dudes!
16 - yeah, I wasn't overly impressed by him either! He was good...that's about it.
Was it 2004 or 2005 where the Sox took 5 of the first 6 games between them & the Yanks?
There must've been a Sox fan in my apartment building last night (and I live in Queens, for sobbing out loud!) because at one point I heard someone screaming "WOOHOOOO" about a million times. Sure enough, I get back to the TV and those Sox hit those 4 home runs! (I'm going to find my traitor neighbor, and put a bag of flaming poop at their door!)
2007-04-23 06:45:43
23.   seamus
so, is this the lineup to expect tonight? we have such a lefty heavy lineup.

Johnny Damon CF
Derek Jeter SS
Bobby Abreu RF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Jason Giambi DH
Robinson Cano 2B
Hideki Matsui LF
Josh Phelps 1B (one can dream)
Wil Nieves C

2007-04-23 06:52:38
24.   seamus
With Posada healthy, I'd like to see this. But I cannot get over the notion that Cano hitting 8th is beyond bizarre.

Johnny Damon CF
Derek Jeter SS
Bobby Abreu RF
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Jason Giambi DH
Hideki Matsui LF
Jorge Posada C
Robinson Cano 2B
Josh Phelps 1B

2007-04-23 06:58:52
25.   monkeyball
The Ship Be Sinkin', folks. And judging by these boards lately it's sinking into De Nile. At random:

1)Time moving in one direction like it does, Yankee pitching is not going to get any better this year. Maybe Wang comes back and pitches like the solid #2 starter he is, but that's it. Mussina, Petite, Pavano will all be able to share one jersey this year since they will not be on the active roster at the same time. On the back it can say, "Injury Prone Journeyman".

2)This lineup can hit for real. So much so that three lucky fans can hit at the bottom and they'll still score five runs (eg last night). But it's slow and brittle.

3)All the people who saw last night's game and come away thinking "Matsuzaka's not so hot" have evidently never seen a baseball game before. He gave up some runs, hit a few guys, evidently has some problems pitching from the stretch, ok. But all night long he had A+ stuff, and pithced into the 8th inning. It was a vintage Pedro Martinez performance.

2007-04-23 07:01:34
26.   seamus
25 don't recognize monkeyball, but sure sounds like a Sox fan who has drunk some serious koolaid. Let us know when you come down from that sugar high!
2007-04-23 07:19:16
27.   monkeyball
26 Nah, I'm just a Yankee fan who remembers what a good team looks like.
2007-04-23 07:21:02
28.   C2Coke
14 Don't believe every post you've read here in the past few days. Like you said in 13, some of the posts here in the recent games are enough to make a sober person drunk and a drunk person an alcoholic.

Sliced, some of us are counting on you for some comical touch that is sorely missed.

2007-04-23 07:29:16
29.   mehmattski
25 To be fair, Pedro Martinez did, at one time, pitch into the eighth inning against the Yankees and have a similar result:

7.1 IP, 9 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, 5 K

http://tinyurl.com/27q6cn

As for the rest- come on. The Yankees lead the league in runs scored (108) and have three starting pitchers on the DL. Doesn't the fact that they can do that with three fans at the bottom of the lineup instill at least a tiny bit of confidence? And who's slow and brittle, other than Giambi? Damon, Jeter, and A-Rod are all considered plus runners. Abreu leads the team with 4 SB. Slow and brittle was a poor choice of words.

So too was Journeyman. Mussina and Pettitte are "Injury Prone Journeymen?" I don't see where the Journeyman part comes from, given that only one of those pitchers (Pavano) has ever pitched for more than two teams.

And Matsuzaka did have some impressive stretches, striking out Abreu and A-Rod back-to-back with runners on. But as Steve Lombardi noted... any pitcher who allows two screaming line drives from Wil Nieves cannot be the Best Pitcher in the world, as advertised. Not to mention the booming double from Doug Out.

2007-04-23 07:32:52
30.   Max Nomad
5 He had his thumb reset on the MOUND. I saw him wince when it happened. Very gutsy.

11 The only thing I agree with is that Torre used Proctor heavily, three games in a row. It wasn't like he didn't throw pitches each time out. He threw an awful lot, great mechanics or not. The rest is way too absolutist.

14 21 I was a supporter of sending down Melky before the season started, but I realized that he doesn't NEED a lot more seasoning. He's not gonna be a great player, but for now he is a solid backup because of his defense and speed, and slightly better than Thompson because of his bat. That said, he pretty much IS a place-holder for Tabata. But batting .197 ain't all that bad, considering Giambi is up to .280 after his long slump. It's so early in the season that a few games fixes an AVG.

19 I wouldn't jump to assuming Clemens is signing with the Yanks. While I've thought that for a while, he HAS said that he'll figure in the standings as well, and the Yanks are losin'. In the end, he probably just wants money and special comforts, but the Sox suddenly have an edge in winning percentage. And the Sox rotation IS NOT THAT GOOD. I think it's comparable to the Yanks. Schil is old and fat, and almost as inconsistent as Beckett. Dice-K might be the best and he's yet to prove it. Maybe if Lester is good when he comes back, but not if he's the Lester of last year. They have innings eaters, like we have Pettitte, Moose, and Wang.

25 Yea, seriously, get of the Kool Aid. Dice-K might end up good, but he's not CLOSE to vintage Pedro.

2007-04-23 07:37:20
31.   Max Nomad
Oh, and the starting pitching will be fine enough to make the PS. It's the great bullpen that is being overused that lost two of these games. If not for Mo and Proctor, including that Oakland game, the Yanks would be 11-6 or something, not 8-9.
2007-04-23 07:39:06
32.   Bob B
To me, the loss Friday night was the only disappointment. I figured the Rookies were going to get lit up and the bullpen would not be able to stop the bleeding. But Friday made me wonder if Mariano is starting to lose it. He's not really ever done that well against the Sox the past three years and there was a noticeable decline in the velocity of his fastball. Game one was in the bag as far as I was concerned but I guess no lead is too big against the Sox. The meetings later in the season will tell us a lot more of how they really stand, toe to toe when the Yanks are healthy(if that time ever comes).
2007-04-23 07:41:11
33.   monkeyball
29 That's my point, Pedro Martinez would frequently get roughed up by the Yankees, but nobody is going to remember it when he's in Cooperstown. If you just look at his line last night, he looks ordinary; if you saw the game, he's a bona fide Ace.

I did not say that any given player on the Yankees was both slow and brittle. I said that as a whole they are slow and brittle. Johnny Damon therefore does contribute, by making up in brittleocity what he lacks in slowness. Also, I did say they could hit so they may lead the leagues in runs, and finish 3rd in the AL East.

The term 'Journyeman' does haven anything to do with travelling. A journeyman is someone who's been around for a while, knows their craft very well, is better than average, but not great. It comes from the Medieval guild system, ie Apprentice, Journyeman, Master.

2007-04-23 07:41:17
34.   williamnyy23
Cliff's silver lining analysis is valid because the fact of the matter is the Yankees SHOULD have won 2 of 3 in spite of being at a significant disadvantage. You can't really make light of the relative state of both ball clubs.

Having said that, Jim's point about Torre and Cashman coming up small in this series can't be swept under the rug. We've rehashed the BUC debate to infinity, but my biggest gripe with Cashman is his intent on withholding the Yankees best pitching prospects in favor of guys that at best project to be bottom of the rotation fillers.

The real culprit to me, however, was Torre. His Friday decision making was borderline incompetent. There were so many obvious head scratchers that I think Torre's ability to manage this team needs to be called into question. On Sunday, Torre's mismanagement reared its head in a more subtle way. On the surface, brining in Proctor seems like a reasonable move, but when you examine his work load, it becomes the height of foolishness (why was he pitching in the Indians' blowout?). Some here keep saying "it's the players who failed", but it is Torre who is putting them in vulnerable positions. Proctor isn't alone…everyone jumped on Viz for his Friday blowup, but it shouldn't have surprised anyone. On Thursday, he labored through a 30 pitch inning and looked tired while doing it. So, what does Joe do…he brings him right back. It boggles the mind how Torre simply does not know how to manage a bullpen. Unfortunately, Torre's ineptitude is going to turn a strength into a burnt out weakness.

Injuries tied one hand behind the team's back, so I agree with Cliff that a weekend sweep isn't doomsday. However, Torre (with some help from Cash) tied the team's other hand. Sure, the team should get healthier, but if Cashman doesn't relent on Hughes and Torre doesn't have an epiphany, these issues are going to plague the team going forward.

2007-04-23 07:42:53
35.   ric
"And the Sox rotation IS NOT THAT GOOD. I think it's comparable to the Yanks. Schil is old and fat, and almost as inconsistent as Beckett. Dice-K might be the best and he's yet to prove it."

theyve pitched pretty well... they struggled this weekend against the best lineup in baseball... its like having your pitchers pitch three all star games!

2007-04-23 07:48:45
36.   williamnyy23
If people want to paint 6 runs in 7 innings as a good performance, then god bless their generosity. Personally, I think Dice-K's performance was not even as good as the numbers indicate. It may be anecdotal, but all the evidence I needed were the ABs of Will Nieves. The Yankees heralded BUC smoked two line drives off Dice-K. Without exaggeration, I don't think I'd have ever seen Nieves make close to solid contact. What's more, Melky and Minky also had very good ABs.

What saved Dice-K in the game was that Abreu seemed completely baffled. Three Ks in the middle of the lineup really hurt the Yankees momentum. Dice-K gets credit for that, but the solid contact up and down the lineup leads me to believe that Matsuzaka may not be an elite level pitcher.

2007-04-23 07:50:20
37.   Max Nomad
33 WHAT? First of all, I saw the game fine, and Matsuzaka was gutsy, but puh-leeze. Maybe he's good, but last night sure wasn't an indicator.

And Journeyman may have some medieval roots, but in baseball it means you travel a lot, a la Aaron Small, or even Kenny Lofton, though it is usually used to refer to a lesser player.

34 Totally agree that Torre is not always thinking clearly with the bullpen. He does believe in getting his "trusted" players back out there after they've been hit hard, to build back confidence or something, but he sure is good at using the wrong relievers. I'd love it if he managed a little more agressively, a good start to that idea last night offensively. Besides, I think Phelps will hit righties just fine, and the kid is CLUTCH. Play him!

2007-04-23 07:59:49
38.   Max Nomad
35 My assessment was not on the last three games, but overall. Schil is still a good pitcher, but not a consistent ace (just when he needs to be). Beckett has yet to prove ANYTHING. He went to 200 innings for the first time last year, and he did it in poor fashion. I panicked last year when his line through the first 3 starts was 21 IP with a 1.29 ERA, and then he just started sucking, dropping to a 2.54 ERA his 4th start to begin it all. This year, lo and behold, he had a 1.50 ERA through his first 19 IP, and then while his 4th start was not as bad as last year's, he was lit up, and sports a 2.55 ERA.

He's gotta be consistently good against good lineups and without a big lead before I'm convinced. Otherwise he's just current day Randy Johnson (who's good, but nobody in this blog would want him, 200 innings or not). And like Randy, he's a stubborn as a mule and thinks he's better than he is.

2007-04-23 08:01:31
39.   Jim Rice
I'm a Sox fan, and would have liked to see more dominating performances from the pitchers-- I was most disappointed by Schilling's performance, and most encouraged by Beckett's. Matsuzaka's game was not great, but he got some big outs and pitched into the 8th, meaning the bullpen didn't have too much time to screw things up. (Of course, anyone who thinks Matsuzaka equals vintage Pedro is crazy, but he could still be very good.)

Anyway, the main reason I'm posting is to pass along these stats, via a poster at Sox Therapy:

Red Sox: 363/454/647
Yankees: 269/325/417

Those are the offensive numbers from the series. One can probably make the argument-- though I'm not certain I would-- that the Sox outplayed the Yankees more dramatically than the final scores indicated.

2007-04-23 08:01:57
40.   Chyll Will
25, 27 Okie-dokey :D

But seriously, isn't this a bit too early to deconstruct the team's efforts and pronounce them to be also-rans already? There are entire regions in this nation that either do that out of first nature or don't even aspire to good baseball out of habit. I would be willing to petrose that (if he had the time and inclination) Cliff could pull up an analysis of the teams from the past six years that show the Yanks are a better in-season team (and the most consistent) than anyone, and that less-than stellar starts are a pattern. This almost reminds me of the year when the team started 11-19 and then came back to win the East, which would be sad only because you figure they would be worn out at the beginning of post-season again.

The bigger picture (which many of us easily miss like that block of wood that spells out a word, but looks like Mandarin when you first stare at it) is that the teams of the last six years (from my perception, not backed by facts yet) have been well-conditioned to win the season, but not prepared for post-season. What it boils down to is pitching, and judging by Torre's eccentric overuse of the bullpen, I'm thinking he feels like he doesn't have the horses this year, either. One must not forget that he has consistently stated that pitching wins championships, and has proven that in the past. That he over-relies on the bullpen does not imply that he has suddenly lost his ability to reason with pitching altogether, but does suggest that pitching (and catching) is a problem that has consistently been overlooked and has manifestly kicked them in the tail year after year.

This might take a unwanted (but necessary) reboot for the Yankees to overcome some of the decision-making that lasted well into the middle part of this decade. While other teams have spent their time quietly grooming impressive players, the Yanks, the entire East has been building arsenals that ultimately hurt themselves when the playoffs come. Kinda like a scientist living next door to an ATF agent. I'll leave that for you to figure out.

As for "Always look on the bright side of life", I like to watch Monty Python a lot, but I put it down from time to time or else it will lose it's effectiveness. That's not to say it's not still funny. The same here; the Yanks are a good team going through some bad luck. I don't see myself or why anyone should get worked up over a streak of bad luck when they've proven that they are capable of handling the worst of anything that was thrown at them. Two of those games the Yanks should have won, but didn't because of a handful of bad pitches. Well, fire Torre, put Mo on the DL and release Scott Proctor if it bothers you that much, and by the way, trade Phillip Hughes and Tyler Clippard for Greg Zaun and give Clemens the deed to the Hummer factory and have The Governator personally deliver them to his ranch in Katy. If that's what it's going to take to win a few series with Boston or to get another ring, then I'm trading in my Yanks parephanalia for a Red Bulls blindfold...

2007-04-23 08:04:59
41.   Max Nomad
39 The 4 consecutive homers skew the stats. The Sox (I think) were something like 1-9 with RISP. I don't know what the Yanks were. I DO agree with the fact that the "aces" gave innings to the team and saved the Sox Pen. Bad for the Yanks, too, cuz I woulda loved to see Arod torch Pineiro, Timlin, Romero, Snyder, and all the other bums not named Papeljerk and Okajima.
2007-04-23 08:05:41
42.   rbj
Great post over at nomass
"Red Sox last team to honor Jackie Robinson

Wow, that's a surprise."

(and yes, it's unfair because it was due to weather. But still funny.)

2007-04-23 08:07:47
43.   seamus
40 I guess I don't follow your logic because, put simply, I thought the reason Torre is overusing the bullpen was because 4 our of our top 6 starters have been hurt - and had nothing to do with the ability of our starting rotation (even assuming we never see pavano again).
2007-04-23 08:08:11
44.   Max Nomad
40 "Well, fire Torre, put Mo on the DL and release Scott Proctor if it bothers you that much, and by the way, trade Phillip Hughes and Tyler Clippard for Greg Zaun and give Clemens the deed to the Hummer factory and have The Governator personally deliver them to his ranch in Katy. If that's what it's going to take to win a few series with Boston or to get another ring, then I'm trading in my Yanks parephanalia for a Red Bulls blindfold..."

You da man, Chyll.

2007-04-23 08:10:17
45.   dianagramr
32

Mo has NEVER blown 3 consecutive save opps, and only booted 2 in a row 8 times in his career.

http://tinyurl.com/2pq3aa

2007-04-23 08:12:17
46.   Chyll Will
43 I'm looking at it from a historical context, but a few times (most recently Pettitte) it was questionable timing, even given the fact that Andy's older. Perhaps as someone implied in an earlier thread, he's test-driving the new imports. Still, it seems like a similar story that we know the ending to.
2007-04-23 08:13:09
47.   monkeyball
37 http://wordnet.princeton.edu/perl/webwn?s=journeyman

I agree that many people frequently misuse and misunderstand the word Journeyman, and that's too bad. But it's worse when people insist that their misuse is correct.

People who keep saying the Matsuzaka is overrated because Nieves hit the ball hard off him twice (not one hit, mind you just hit the ball hard, twice!!!) are exactly the kind of grasping-at-straws fans who are making this blog so hard to read these days. Matzusaka gave up 8 hits and 1 walk in 7IP and struck out 7. Anybody who saw that game, must have seen he did it with real stuff. A fastball that moves, a slider that breaks and a changeup that makes Bobby Abreu poop his pants. It's called good pitching. I recoginzed it because the team I root for, the Yankees, used to have players who could do it too. Now it seems that the only guy who remembers what that was like is in the bullpen getting old and rusty.

2007-04-23 08:15:22
48.   yankz
These posts are hilarious. DoucheK was Pedro-like? What? Were we watching the same game?

Also, I can think of two reasons the Sox hit much better than the Yanks, and they rhyme with "Hairy Fly-Ball Guys."

2007-04-23 08:15:44
49.   Jim Rice
"The 4 consecutive homers skew the stats."

I'm not sure what you mean by "skew." Just because they were consecutive doesn't mean they don't count.

But you're right, of course, that those rate stats don't say anything about situational hitting, at which the Yankees bested the Sox this past weekend-- that's the only reason the games were so close. The question is, is that a repeatable skill (and one can consider it from either the pitchers' or hitters' perspectives) and one at which this Yankee team is likely superior? Maybe, maybe not.

2007-04-23 08:15:44
50.   monkeyball
41 "The 4 consecutive homers skew the stats"

My favorite baseball quote of all time.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-04-23 08:19:26
51.   Chyll Will
47 I wouldn't necessarily call Andy rusty just because he only pitched twice from the bullpen >;)
2007-04-23 08:20:48
52.   Shaun P
Perspective (sadly, without a humorous slant - that's more Sliced/Chyll/Bama's department):

2004:
April 16: At Fenway: Yanks 2, Sox 6
April 17: At Fenway: Yanks 2, Sox 5
April 18: At Fenway: Yanks 7, Sox 3
April 19: At Fenway: Yanks 4, Sox 5

April 23: At Bronx: Yanks 2, Sox 11
April 23: At Bronx: Yanks 2, Sox 3 (11 inn)
April 23: At Bronx: Yanks 0, Sox 2

2005:

April 2: At Bronx: Yanks 9, Sox 2
April 3: At Bronx: Yanks 4, Sox 3
April 5: At Bronx: Yanks 3, Sox 7

April 11: At Fenway: Yanks 1, Sox 8
April 13: At Fenway: Yanks 5, Sox 2
April 14: At Fenway: Yanks 5, Sox 8

2006:

May 1: At Fenway: Yanks 3, Sox 7

May 9: At Bronx: Yanks 3, Sox 14
May 10: At Bronx: Yanks 7, Sox 3
May 11: At Bronx: Yanks 3, Sox 5

Joe Sheehan of BP often remarks on his own tendency to over-analyze the first 20 games. He says that after 20 games, no one really knows anything - and if you start drawing conclusions, you're in trouble, because often your 'analysis' is just your preconceived biases in disguise.

Thanks for the sober analysis, Cliff. I too am not worried.

2007-04-23 08:24:43
53.   seamus
52 good post. i haven't forgotten at all how Boston is team April from the get go. The Yanks haven't had a good APril in a while it feels like.
2007-04-23 08:25:54
54.   Jim Dean
52 Sheehan is right - I'm just repeating the same preconceived biases I was spewing in December.

I hope I'm wrong in September, but then that means the Yanks winning the division by 5+ games. It doesn't seem likely today but then many crazier things have happened (coming back to win the division after an 11-19 start; 5 game sweep leading to a ten game division win, etc.)

2007-04-23 08:28:54
55.   williamnyy23
35 The Yankees do have the best lineup in baseball, but it wasn't involved in this series. Matsui and Posada in place of Melky and Nieves would have been significant.

Ironically, I came away from this series LESS impressed by the Red Sox. What concerns me, however, is the health of the starting staff and the misuse of the bullpen. In other words, if some semblance of health returns to the rotation, I honestly think the Yankees will win or lose based on Torre. Unfortunately, I have little confidence in him.

2007-04-23 08:31:50
56.   Chyll Will
48 Another double-entandre, for shame >;)

Really happened: I was reclining on the bed, reflecting on the dulcet tones of Bronx Banter last night as my roommate was rooting through the fridge when she spied a frosted bag. "Where did you get those nuts from?" she asked. "I dunno," I replied, naturally without thinking, "I was born with em?"

2007-04-23 08:43:39
57.   Chyll Will
(cricket, cricket...)

O-kay, my apologies. Just trying to loosen the tension.

2007-04-23 08:53:26
58.   Max Nomad
57 Where would we be without Chyll. Bravo, Nutty, bravo. :)
2007-04-23 08:55:56
59.   Schteeve
I'm not concerned about the Yankees chances. If they can get healthy, I think they are the best team in the AL East.

I was not overly impressed with Matsuzaka last night either. The comparisons to Pedro are a little much.

2007-04-23 08:59:21
60.   AbbyNormal821
57 Sorry, Chyll - I was coudn't reply sooner as I was trying to catch my breath from laughing so hard.

That was damned funny!

2007-04-23 09:02:59
61.   Chyll Will
58 umm... Thanks?
2007-04-23 09:03:06
62.   maineyank
Living in New England, it seems every year I have to show Red Sox fans how to read a calendar. It's April for cripes sakes I tell them. It's April people. The Yanks will get healthier and therefore better. The Sox are playing as well as they can play. They threw their big three out there and the Yanks held their own. I like our chances. Straight up, both teams healthy, we're better.
2007-04-23 09:03:47
63.   mainmanmaitland
Knowing the condition of the team (injuries to the pitching staff, worn down bullpen, Matsui's injury, etc) most people would have been happy to play .500 ball. The Yankees did that. They swept the Indians and got beat by the Sox. Keep in mind, the team the Red Sox beat this weekend won't be the same team that they'll face in June, July, August and September.

Do you think that if the Red Sox had injuries to 3/5 of their starting rotation and were missing Manny that they would be able to manage as well as the Yanks have?

Keep in mind that we will have our regular rotation back in a few weeks. Once the starters are back, the bullpen innings will go down. Our offense isn't the problem here. If we had played those games with anything close to our regular rotation we would have taken 2 out of 3 games.

2007-04-23 09:05:10
64.   Chyll Will
58,60 (whew!)
2007-04-23 09:05:30
65.   mehmattski
From PeteAbe's blog, re: Wil Nieves:

"The kid has a lot of guts," Torre said.

Ohhhhhhh. That's the one thing we all forgot when debating the BUC situation. Nieves has a very high BFOGARP (Belly Full of Guts Above Replacement Player)

2007-04-23 09:06:10
66.   seamus
63 heck, it isn't the same team that will be playing boston this weekend.
2007-04-23 09:06:35
67.   Max Nomad
61 Seriously, you're right, too tense.
2007-04-23 09:07:30
68.   Max Nomad
Who goes against the Sox? Wright, Igawa, Wang?
2007-04-23 09:07:51
69.   Max Nomad
The fact that Pettitte is in the Thursday game is good for the Pen
2007-04-23 09:07:51
70.   yankz
65 You took that quote out of context. What Torre said was true.
2007-04-23 09:11:09
71.   C2Coke
56 LOL. Thanks.
2007-04-23 09:11:56
72.   ric
"Ironically, I came away from this series LESS impressed by the Red Sox."

pitching? agreed. however the loss of Matsui and Posada is not detrimental to that superior lineup... offensive? did you expect the Sox to bat over .367?

2007-04-23 09:12:59
73.   Max Nomad
70 Yea, that was impressive. And I think too much is being made of Nieves' inabilities. He has fine minor league numbers for a back up (consistent minors numbers are a good indicator of performance in MLB) and he has always been held as a superior defensive catcher, at least to the likes of Todd Pratt, who's pretty damn good. I'm not sure if he calls a good game, haven't heard anything. THAT would be the big factor if posada were out a while.

I also learned today that Posada is only one of a handful that hasn't been on the DL with at least 10 years MLB service. WOW.

2007-04-23 09:13:09
74.   seamus
72 against an exhausted bullpen and our B-rotation, I entirely expected them to hit .367.
2007-04-23 09:16:46
75.   monkeyball
To use a familiar expression, "Please Explain":

If it's April and you've already burned out your bullpen, and your middle aged players are all either on or lined up for the DL, and your best hitter is tearing the cover off the ball, how are things supposed to be better in August?

It's like a man who's going bald who says "It'll be alright, I'm only 29".

2007-04-23 09:17:11
76.   C2Coke
67 No kidding. I am now approaching an alcoholic's state. Re: 28. I am seriously considering cutting back the reading of the comment section on the Banter. Then I think, the community of the Banter is what makes it special and unique compared to other blogs.
2007-04-23 09:17:19
77.   mainmanmaitland
I didn't expect the Sox to bat .367 but I did expect the Sox to get their hits against Karstens (fresh off of the DL) and Wright (one start above AA). It's not as if the Sox hit that off of Pettitte, Mussina, Wang, etc.
2007-04-23 09:18:51
78.   C2Coke
75 Really? you are a Yankees fan?

73 I believe Damon is another.

2007-04-23 09:20:03
79.   Zack
Just remember, in addition to getting Wang, Matsui, and Posada back by Tuesday, within another two weeks, Phil Hughes will be our #5, quickly moving to our #1. If he turns in two more starts like he's capable of, he will force their hand,what with Pavano not pitching anytime soon. Chase Wright can take his AAA spot happily...

4 games is a lot to make up in the standings, but come another week, we can get three back real easily...

2007-04-23 09:21:02
80.   Max Nomad
78 Yea, I can understand that, and Arod and Jeter are combined 3 times DL at most I think, but to do it as a catcher, especially the way posada is used, is really amazing.
2007-04-23 09:22:26
81.   Mattpat11
I didn't watch ESPN last night. Was anyone impressed with Matsuzaka? I certainly wasn't.
2007-04-23 09:22:35
82.   Max Nomad
79 Anyone think that the fact that Hughes' numbers are slightly bloated by his pitch count babying will affect his MLB starts? I dunno if he'll be as amazing as he can be someday. He may not show up at all this year.
2007-04-23 09:29:32
83.   Zack
According to LoHud, Wright is still in the rotation and set to pitch on Friday vs. the Sox. Ummm, why? Perfect opportunity #2 to bring up Phil Hughes. I'll just lay it out there...
2007-04-23 09:30:03
84.   mainmanmaitland
Monkeyball -

Here is your explanation -

1.) The bullpen issue is tied to the starter issue. If the starters are pitching 6-7 innings a game and you only need 2-3 innings out of the bullpen, tney will be fine. Because of the injuries to the starters, the bullpen has had to pitch far more than normal and that has helped to diminish their effectiveness.

2.) I'd be careful throwing around the middle-aged player issue as the Red Sox have two pitchers in their 40s in their starting rotation and another in the bullpen. They are somehow less of an injury risk than the Yankees' players?

2007-04-23 09:31:18
85.   Zack
82 He def. will not be as good as he can be in his first starts/season, but who is? He can certianly be better than the three other rooks out there...

I think the innings limit/pithc count limit has been a good thing, and should remain, but you also have to think about whats best for his development too, which is to pitch in the majors.

2007-04-23 09:37:47
86.   mehmattski
82 Hughes will be a great pitcher at the MLB level. For how long he is great depends on whether he is overused as a 21 year old facing hitters with six more years of experience. He's struggled in his first two starts at every level (A- Tampa, AA- Trenton, AAA- SWB), and I think he will probably get roughed up in his first few starts as a big leaguer. Which is why 83 the Yankees FO is wise to hold Hughes back until the starting pitching situation is not as dire. Ask Alex Rodriguez how easy it is to enter the Bronx with hyper-hyped expectations and then not produce 100% of the time. Then let's add more pressure of a start against Boston in the middle of a starting pitching crisis. If he fails to pitch a perfect game in his first start, the NY Media will be all over Hughes. Let him make his next two starts in AAA, and then we'll talk.
2007-04-23 09:38:44
87.   Jim Dean
81 He looked good only against Arod and Abreu. Everyone else seems to be all over him, including Mfhfjdkhgfl and Nieves. So take that as you will. Me, I have trouble seeing how he'll ever live up to the hype but then those are my preconceived notions again. #3 - yes. Ace - hard time seeing.

82 No, he'll be up. They just want him to work on his change a bit more. I suspect that explains his early numbers more than anything. Still, he should have been the 4th starter last year. Depending on the injuries and Rocket I expect toward the end of May or June we'll see him. They'll have controlled his early season pitch count so they won't have to in NY.

2007-04-23 09:40:58
88.   Max Nomad
Wuz reading about ARod's "postseason failures" on SI.com. I hate that this is so blown out of proportion. Then again, it's the reason I support Arod so much, from the start.

In '04 he hit great, and except for maybe Matsui, if Mo closed the door on the Sox in Game 4, he woulda been ALCS MVP. People say he didn't hit after that game, but the only one who did was Matsui.

In '05 he was fine in the postseason, exemplified by his 6 walks. The struggle came when he got frustrated that they were pitching around him so much and would swing at bad pitches.

'06 is the only year I really consider, and he struggled in the regular season the same way (not to mention that Posada was the only person who hit well against the Tigers, as all Jeter's damage came in Game 1).

The man is a beast. A-God. Coddmeyer! I wish the press would shut up already. I think they will if he continues this way, though the Heymans of the world (not to be confused with the Karim Garcia World Organization of Karim Garcias) will just stir all the shit they can until he doesn't actually opt out.

2007-04-23 09:44:27
89.   monkeyball
84
1)You still don't see it do you? Even when they are not on the DL, the Yankee starters (with the exception of Wang, maybe) can't get past the 6th inning. Not Petite, not Pavano, not Igawa, not Mussina. Add to that the fact that they will be making frequent trips to the DL, during which they will be replaced by AA pitchers who can't get past the 5th inning. The situation the Yankees find themselves in is not some tough break, it's the nature of their staff, and it's only gonna get worse.

2)Evidently, around here if you refuse to drink the Kool Aid, you're one of the terrorists. I'm a Yankee fan, I hate the f-ing Red Sox in ways that would shock even you, but at the same time able to use the brains God gave me to see the deal. Outside of Schilling, the Red Sox have a much more robust staff than the Yankees. All you people who weren't so impressed with Daisuke last night were probably surprised to learn that it isn't against the rules for a starting pitcher to be on the mound in the 8th inning.

2007-04-23 09:45:49
90.   Max Nomad
87 I just think that Hughes' numbers would not be as good were he pitching more after the 80-count against hitters who have then seen him at least twice. I've no doubt he'll be good someday. And I totally agree with 86. No need to rush the kid or push the panic button less than 20 games in.
2007-04-23 09:52:31
91.   Max Nomad
89 One comment 1) The starters might not get much past the 6th, but they AVERAGE 6, so they are consistent (as you put it, WHEN HEALTHY). Health is a big factor, yes. Pettitte has been great, and I expect solid #3 from Moose when he's back. I think Igawa is still getting better.

On comment 2) Sorry to alienate you like it seems has happened, but your brains are just as scrambled as ours are because we're fans and can't help the biases.

On Schilling: I think it's wrong to say he's not the ace of the Sox. The man is a dick, but a clutch pitcher for sure. He's at the end of the line now, but he can still step it up when he needs to, a lot like Pettitte. Don't get me started on Beckett, you all know what I think of him. If by "robust" you mean inning-eaters, then yes, I think in that regard, at least so far, the Sox starters are better.

2007-04-23 09:53:14
92.   seamus
89 "Even when they are not on the DL, the Yankee starters (with the exception of Wang, maybe) can't get past the 6th inning. Not Petite, not Pavano, not Igawa, not Mussina."

Pettite has gone 6+ in 3 of 4 starts, plus relieved twice.
Igawa has 3 total starts in MLB.
Moose went 6+ in most of his starts in 2006.
citing pavano is just silly. noone counts on him.

2007-04-23 09:53:23
93.   Max Nomad
And I love that Dice-K's ERA is an even 4.00 now. >:-)
2007-04-23 09:53:50
94.   yankz
Um, Pettitte has gotten past the sixth twice, and even Pavano has done it. Wang and Moose did it many, many times last season, and haven't had the chance to this season.

Who let Pete Abraham's commenters loose?

2007-04-23 09:57:04
95.   seamus
89 to be more precise. Moose pitched in 32 games in 2006. in 26 of those games he went at least 6 innings. In 14 games he pitched into the 7th and beyond.
2007-04-23 09:57:57
96.   yankz
What boggles my mind is that Ortiz never throws out his back with that swing of his.
2007-04-23 09:59:17
97.   Mattpat11
Didn't Mike Mussina average more than six innings a game last year?
2007-04-23 09:59:43
98.   Max Nomad
94 Yea, and during the FOX game that ass Ken Rosenthal was talking about how Wang doesn't go deep into games. Does he even WATCH baseball?

Anyone else amused by how Randy Johnson is a bum on the Yanks, but suddenly one of the "aces" of the Diamondbacks? It's like last year and people talking about the White Sox "stable of aces" when the whole staff was falling apart and they didn't make the playoffs.

I think it's amazing how a team just needs one true ace and they can go a long way. Guys like Santana and Carpenter carried their teams, give them hope for later games where guys like Ponson are starting. I'm not sure I buy into Ramon Ortiz's sudden resurgence, though, new Johan-changeup or not.

2007-04-23 10:01:42
99.   Mattpat11
98 ESPN was calling Beckett a Cy Young contender until the bitter end.
2007-04-23 10:02:12
100.   Max Nomad
96 All the extra fat padding protects his spine. Like Garfield the cat says, "You didn't know you could flex fat, did you?"

Anyone catch the ESPN Olney Q&A with Ortiz saying that the guy he's closest to outside of the Sox is A-Rod?

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2007-04-23 10:04:02
101.   williamnyy23
72 The Red Sox offense faced Jeff Karstens and Chase Wright...so no, I was not impressed by the .367 BA. Quite frankly, the only three dangerous batters in the lineup are Papi, Manny and Drew. When Drew inevitably gets injured, the lineup will be that much more thin.

The Red Sox are not the Yankees biggest obstacles this season. Health and bullpen management are.

2007-04-23 10:13:07
102.   pistolpete
Bummed, but not devastated.

We were in every single game right up until the end, despite throwing only one regular starter out against Boston's top three studs. We scratched out 6 runs against the mighty Dice-K (oooOOOOooo-EEEEeeeoooo), and FOIP we hammered Schilling & Beckett the previous 2 days.

Deep down I knew this series would be a problem because as others have mentioned, April at Fenway always seems to favor the Sawx. You can basically put the Yanks down for at least 4-5 losses every year in the first few go-arounds, and I'm okay with that as long as the end result continues to be the same.

Not panicking, but I tend to agree with MATMD this morning: 'take the Huggies off of Hughes and Clippard' and kick this youth movement into high gear already... IMO the push for Clemens is only going to lead to disappointment. The man's 45 fercrissakes, and he's spent the last 3 seasons in the NL Central.

I would appreciate his intensity in the locker room, but I don't see him overwhelming anyone outside of Kansas City or possibly Tampa Bay.

2007-04-23 10:16:53
103.   mainmanmaitland
Monkeyball -

Actually I do see your point and you are not wrong. As things stand Beckett, Schilling, Wakefield, Dice K are likely to go longer in a start than most of their Yankee counterparts.

I remember Wang going into the 7th and 8th inning a lot last year having only thrown 80-90 pitches. I think, with what I have seen so far of Andy P, he looks like he could go past the seventh as the season goes on (he is coming back from the back issue, etc).

I don't know what to expect out of Igawa and Mussina. Igawa could probably pitch longer but can he be effective and I don't know that it is reasonable to expect anything past six innings from Moose.

I guess what I don't see the revolving door to the DL for the entire pitching rotation. I expect injuries, etc (with Pavano on the team how can I not) but now that we are past the cold weather, I expect the staff to be healthier than it has been in awhile.

Also come June, the Yanks would probably be more likely to promote the AAA starters (who would go longer, have more experience, etc) than they would the guys in AA.

2007-04-23 10:18:13
104.   Mattpat11
88 About the ALCS MVP. A-Rod is the only one I ever heard of suggesting that the MVP would have been anyone but Matsui.
2007-04-23 10:19:15
105.   Jim Rice
More fuel for the "how good is Matsuzaka" fire (via Sox Therapy):

"Clemens career WHIP is 1.17, a K/9 of 8.6 and has a K/BB ratio of 2.97."

"So far, Dice has a WHIP of 1.15, a K/9 of 10.33 and a K/BB ratio of 5.17."

Now, it's early, of course-- and, remember, those are Clemens's career numbers, not his peak numbers. Still, it's been a pretty good career.

Point being: Dice-K's peripherals suggest a better record and probably ERA than he currently has. Maybe your own eyes tell a different story-- scouting is at least as important as numbers with such a small sample-- but there's plenty of evidence that suggests Dice-K will be one of the better starters in the AL this year.

2007-04-23 10:20:31
106.   Orly Yarly NoWai
"All you people who weren't so impressed with Daisuke last night were probably surprised to learn that it isn't against the rules for a starting pitcher to be on the mound in the 8th inning. "

Do you know what WHIP is?

I'm seriously curious. For someone who was touted as a power pitcher with control to give up ten hits and two HBP is NOT ace-like. Yes, he has good stuff. Woo. Lots of people have good stuff. Being able to control that good stuff is what's important.

I'm not saying he's a shitty pitcher; au contraire, he's their second or third best starter, which is certainly nothing to sneeze at. For you to imply that he's the second coming of Pedro, frankly, is ignorant. Pedro Martinez, in his prime, was playing a different game. No other pitcher has ever come close. Matsuzaka resembles Pedro in that he is, technically speaking, a pitcher. I could say the same for Chase Wright resembling Cole Hamels. I don't give a flying fuck about Pedro looking like an ace, because it doesn't matter. What IS important is results. Matsuzaka's results were NOT as good as you seem to think.

"If it's April and you've already burned out your bullpen, and your middle aged players are all either on or lined up for the DL, and your best hitter is tearing the cover off the ball, how are things supposed to be better in August?"

The bullpen will improve as the starters come off the DL, as Igawa settles in and as Hughes is called up. The "middle-aged players" could conceivably be lined up for the DL in that they are on a baseball field. Matsui went on the DL so that we could call up additional pitchers. Posada was hurt catching a pitch, and while I wish we had a better BUC, it doesn't matter that much. Abreu and A-Rod are perfectly healthy. Jeter may or may not be healthy. Giambi is healthy and is DHing. Melky is neither hurt nor middle-aged. Cano is neither hurt nor middle-aged. Damon seems like he has minor leg issues. You are neither insightful nor intelligent, and I wish you'd crawl back into whatever hole you came out of.

2007-04-23 10:21:26
107.   Max Nomad
Question about the 40-man:

First off, why aren't Clippard and Hughes on it? Don't they need to be to be protected from Rule V when the time comes? And if a player needs to be moved onto it, doesn't that mean waivers for the one coming off? Or do options play a role?

The fact the Hughes and Clippard aren't 40-man guys makes me think they're not coming up soon.

2007-04-23 10:21:50
108.   AbbyNormal821
96 Wishful thinking...DOH! Nah, I keeeeeed! I actually really like Papi in spite of the fact that he's been a one man ass-kicking machine against the Yanks. As my grandma would say...he's a mensch!

100 ...and have any of you caught the Sportcenter commercial with Papi & Posada...now THAT is some funny sh*t!

2007-04-23 10:22:55
109.   Orly Yarly NoWai
105 I don't think anyone is seriously denying that Matsuzaka is a good pitcherr, even a potentially great one. However, I really don't see how someone could give up five runs, hit two batters, and demonstrate a lack of control out of the stretch and be subject to the amount of fellatiating that Dice-K has gotten so far, both from our friend Monkeyball and ESPN.
2007-04-23 10:23:19
110.   OldYanksFan
2 "Me, I can't figure out out why, if Torre was willing to go to those lengths late in the game, he didn't just DH Jorge and play Giambi at 1B."
... An obvious answer is that Jorge was hurt, enough so that he could not catch. Joe used him to PH ONCE in what we all know was a minorly dire situation. I'm sure Joe would have preferred NOT to take a chance of hurting Jorge's thumb more. Would starting Posada at DH at the risk of prolonging Jorges injury really make sense to you, Jim?

The other thing is that the Yanks have $21m/yr invested in Giambi for this AND next year. He is aging and seemingly getting more fragile. It is a calcualted risk to put Giambi in the field. It may happen late in the year in must win games and possibly against NL teams. My guess is an executive decision to NOT put Giambi in the field was made by the FO/Torre. Similar to only 1 inning at a time for Mo. There will be exceptions, but when you have too many exceptions, you no longer have a rule.

7 "They're thinking Pettitte's inning of relief smacked of pinstripe panic."
... Not panic, but an intelligent move that used one resource (Andy) to give some rest to our PB. It's not something to do all year long, but it does have plenty of historical presidence. It;s also nice to see Torre think 'out-of-the-box'.

17 "Their average going in was what - 6.2 runs a game?"
... Yes Jim, we only average 5.33 r/g against the 3 best pitchers on the team that leads the AL in ERA, with Matsui and Posada out and Damon hurting. Time to throw ourselves on our swords.

31 Absolutely accurate. Our BP has either been unhittable or pitching soft toss.

2007-04-23 10:24:37
111.   Max Nomad
104 ARod suggested that Matusi should not be MVP? What?
2007-04-23 10:24:53
112.   Orly Yarly NoWai
110 Four man rotation! Four man rotation! Four man rotation!
2007-04-23 10:25:42
113.   Orly Yarly NoWai
104 Cite please.
2007-04-23 10:31:07
114.   Max Nomad
108 Yea, that WAS funny.
2007-04-23 10:35:50
115.   Marcus
107 Putting them on the 40-man roster starts the clock on their arbitration timeline. After three years on the 40-man (i.e., major-league) roster, they are eligible for arbitration (i.e., starting to get more expensive). After 6-years they are eligible for free agency.

Players are eligible for the Rule 5 Draft (http://www.baseballamerica.com/today/columnists/askbarule5.html) depending on when they were signed:

"Players who were 18 or younger on June 5 preceding the signing of their first contract must be protected after four minor league seasons. Players 19 and older must be protected after three seasons."

2007-04-23 10:38:02
116.   Knuckles
105
"Now, it's early, of course"

Yeah- 4 whole starts is early. Esp when comparing it to almost 700 for Clemens.

As fun as it was at the time, I don't think any Yankee fan would have called Maas or Spencer the next Babe Ruth after their first 100 AB's...

2007-04-23 10:39:19
117.   monkeyball
106 Do you know what WHIP is?

Matsuzaka gave up 8 (not 10) hits and 1 walk in 7IP. HBP are not counted in WHIP. And struck out 7. I would say a guy with a 7/1 K/bb ratio is a power pitcher with control. It was a very good start, and it was his worst of the season.

"The bullpen will improve as the starters come off the DL, as Igawa settles in and as Hughes is called up."

While we're pulling scenarios out of our asses, how about giving Melky Cabrera the ability fly at supersonic speed. That way he can play the whole outfiled by himself and we could put one more guy on each side of the infield.

2007-04-23 10:41:52
118.   williamnyy23
116 The thing that struck me most about Dice-K was that he didn't really exhibit complete command of his fastball. Most of his K's seemed to come off of the breaking ball. Like Nomo, Dice is going to enjoy an early season run around the league, but once teams develop a good scouting report, some of the edge will be mitigated.

The jury is still out on Dice, but it seems to me as if he will not fall into the extreme categories mentioned as possible comps (Irabu on the bad side; Pedro on the great side).

2007-04-23 10:42:03
119.   Mattpat11
111 he came out one day and said the MVP would have been him or Matsui.

Up until that point, I'd never seen anyone suggest anything but Matsui being the MVP of that series. Since he said that, people have decided A-Rod could have won the MVP of the 2004 ALCS. He wasn't in Matsui's league that series. No one was.

2007-04-23 10:42:57
120.   Orly Yarly NoWai
117 While you are correct in saying that the two HBP are not counted in WHIP, I fail to see how that's evidence of control.

"It was a very good start, and it was his worst of the season."

Pitching against a good offense instead of the Royals or Mariners will do that to you.

Why exactly are you here? You're more obnoxious than Jim Dean; at least his concerns are valid. You're just an alarmist. Go have a Tootsie Pop and everything will be ok.

2007-04-23 10:45:21
121.   Max Nomad
117 Cut the bullshit. You're right about WHIP, but a good start? No, not at all. Perhaps an encouraging for a Sox fan if you just look at the positives of IP and K/BB, but he failed to pitch well inside, and when it comes down to it, he could not keep the runs off the board, and blew one lead, and close to two. Anytime a pitcher gives up more than 3 runs his start is suspect, and needs a LOT of positives to get over that (e.g. a CG). Not nearly enough positives, even if the Sox did win in the end.
2007-04-23 10:46:17
122.   C2Coke
117 Re Matsuzake, see 116, 4 starts is about 1/8 of his total season starts.

94 That question's been mind-boggling, yankz.

2007-04-23 10:47:28
123.   C2Coke
118 Didn't you watch the game last night? I believe the correct term is gyro-ball.
2007-04-23 10:47:58
124.   Shaun P
116 Exactly. Matsuzaka has pitched all of 27 innings in MLB, against 4 teams.

So far his peripherals do suggest he's been a little 'unlucky' and that his overall numbers will probably look pretty good. But its only 27 innings! (Preconceived notions!)

I hope Phil Hughes isn't greeted this way when the Yanks finally call him up (BTW - I continue to believe it will be September, maybe August at the earliest if someone is hurt.)

2007-04-23 10:49:34
125.   ric
"The Red Sox offense faced Jeff Karstens and Chase Wright...so no, I was not impressed by the .367 BA."

i hear what youre saying but they faced those guys for a total of what, 8/27 innings? they scored 11 of 21 runs off of those two guys... the sox did damage against other more established pitchers as well.

2007-04-23 10:49:59
126.   Orly Yarly NoWai
123 The gyroball basically seems to be a fading changeup. It dips and moves to the right a bit. It's a good pitch, but it's not anything particularly amazing, unless you combine it with his fastball (when he has control), his slider, his forkball and his curveball.
2007-04-23 10:50:03
127.   Mattpat11
121 Its the flaw of just looking at peripherals and somehow deciding that trumps runs allowed in a real game setting.
2007-04-23 10:50:12
128.   Max Nomad
119 It was up to that POINT that they were comparable, not after Game 4. After that, Matsui was the man.

118 Anyone remember that Irabu was actually REALLY good the first half of his first real full year? He made the AS team and then fell apart second half. Not saying Dice-K is the same, but these things are so unpredictable and it's EARLY. :-P

120 Hear hear. Perhaps I should re-register under "Orly Yarly NoWai Fan Club President"

What does Orly Yarly NoWai stand for anyway?

2007-04-23 10:50:39
129.   Orly Yarly NoWai
125 Like EDSP? Like our version of the Gas Can?
2007-04-23 10:51:17
130.   C2Coke
126 Hence, that was a joke in 123.
2007-04-23 10:51:42
131.   Orly Yarly NoWai
128 It's internet-speak for:

Oh really? Yes (Ya), really. No way!

2007-04-23 10:52:45
132.   C2Coke
131 That's pretty hilarious.
2007-04-23 10:54:00
133.   Max Nomad
125 The biggest pitcher was Mo. Myers left with his runner on, and we all know how Banterers feel about him anyway. Viz was running on fumes and should have never been out there. Similarly, most of the non-rook runs were off of tired relievers.
2007-04-23 10:57:12
134.   monkeyball
120 So you're saying that DiceK is no Pedro, and your using as proof of this the fact that he hit ARod and Jeter last night. Hmmm. I guess you're right, Pedro would never be that reckless. Especially the way Arod f'd up Schilling the other night. Come to think of it, I don't think Pedro ever hit a batter.

Again, Matsuzaka's walked 6 men and struck out 31 this season. Santana is at 7 and 32. I guess he's overrated too. I mean, he's no Philip Hughes, right?

As for why I'm here, the reason is empathy. I can't simply walk by a fellow Yankee fan who's got his head shoved as far up his butt as yours is, and not try to help him ou.

2007-04-23 11:03:42
135.   Orly Yarly NoWai
134 Your assistance is neither necessary nor desired.

Your proof that Dice-K is Pedro is... what? That he can get Jose Vidro out? That he dominates the Royals? That, in his first time through the league, he's doing pretty well?

I wouldn't care if he had hit A-Rod intentionally. He didn't. He consistently had problems throwing inside, and it showed.

As for Johan, he's been in the league for a while now. There's no novelty there.

2007-04-23 11:04:51
136.   Max Nomad
134 Pedro hit guys on purpose, and was known for it. I always loved that he's a sweetheart outside of baseball, and that he talks to his flowers at home.

Dick-K may or may not be a jerk, but the two HBPs were probably accidental.

And don't even TRY to compare the Greatest Pitcher On the Planet to Dick-K. Johan is established ten times over. I'm not even discussing that one.

I think you oughta chill out (Chyll, little help?) on this board. You're totally messing with the Karma, man...

To be fair, my first post on this board ever was a shot at Cliff and a bias I thought he had, and after being here a while I regret it. This is a great group. sniff

2007-04-23 11:05:15
137.   seamus
134 let us see. you've declared DiceK as the next Pedro, that Yankee pitchers can't go more than 6 (then stopped talking about it when everyone threw facts back at you), and now are using peripherals to establish that DiceK is as good as Santana. Seriously, folks here aren't always as level headed as we like to think we are, but shouldn't that sugar high be coming down soon?
2007-04-23 11:06:28
138.   C2Coke
134 Again with "this season." Come back in September, then we'll talk. Oh, and personal attacks now?
2007-04-23 11:07:34
139.   Orly Yarly NoWai
138 In his defense, I've been attacking him. It's all good.
2007-04-23 11:10:10
140.   C2Coke
139 Well, then take it easy on the attacks. There shouldn't be any need for that.
2007-04-23 11:11:20
141.   Orly Yarly NoWai
You're right. Comparing him to Jim Dean was a bit below the belt.
2007-04-23 11:17:00
142.   Mattpat11
128 No they weren't. Through Game Four, Matsui hit .550 with 2 HR, 5 2B, 1 3B 8 Runs 10 RBI and 1 BB. A-Rod hit .368 with 2 HR, 2 2B 8 Runs 5 RBI and 2 BB.

Matsui was much better than anyone else on that team.

2007-04-23 11:18:47
143.   seamus
how exactly did this discussion become about arod? It really is true then. He is to blame for everything wrong in the world.
2007-04-23 11:20:39
144.   Max Nomad
142 OK, you got me. I was wrong. Good work on finding that info. Thanks.
2007-04-23 11:21:02
145.   seamus
143 btw. i'm not really serious.
2007-04-23 11:22:26
146.   williamnyy23
134 Peripherals are all well and good, but the job of a pitcher is to prevent runs. Also, it has already been documented that Dice's peripherals are not nearly as good out of the stretch as compared to the full wind-up (which makes sense because he can't use his full hesitation). That leads me to two conclusions:

1) Dice is going to give up more runs than his peripherals suggest because most of his hits and walks are going to come together.
2) As hitters adjust to his motion in the stretch, his effectiveness will be lessened somewhat (even if only a little).

I don't see how any reasonable person could come away thinking Dice is not a good pitcher, but to suggest he has been great in his first four starts is misleading. A 4.00 ERA is exactly that…peripherals don't take runs off the board. Also, facing the Royals, Mariners and a depleted Jays' team (no Glauss and Johnson) is not the barometer I'd use for greatness.

2007-04-23 11:25:21
147.   pistolpete
146 Then again, we could also just be witnessing another in the long line of 'slightly above average' Japanese pitchers who fall to the wayside once US hitters adjust to their idiosyncrasies - it just takes longer with some pitchers than others...
2007-04-23 11:26:16
148.   Orly Yarly NoWai
147 Given Dice-K's stats in Japan, I highly doubt that. He's going to be good here, but he will NOT be Pedro.
2007-04-23 11:27:54
149.   williamnyy23
146 I meant "As hitters adjust to his motion in the wind-up".
2007-04-23 11:28:18
150.   Max Nomad
147 You know, Wang has that hesitation idiosyncracy as well, and sure enough, he's worse out of the stretch. That bowling ball sinker keeps him good, thoug his skeptics would say that he doesnt K enough and so he's doomed to fail. Guys like Kaat and Singleton have been saying from the beginning that a guy like Wang who can get it up to 96 sometimes could eventually turn into a K pitcher.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2007-04-23 11:28:18
151.   Mattpat11
144 No problem. I just never understood why everyone jumped on the "A-Rod would have been the ALCS MVP" bandwagon without looking into it.

For what its worth, if Rivera had closed out game four, he wouldn't have been a terrible choice. But I still think they had to give it to Matsui.

2007-04-23 11:30:45
152.   Max Nomad
151 Who we all know is as clutch as anyone, and reputation goes a long way with these things. I mean, look at Jeter's Gold Gloves, or that Brooks Robinson kept beating out Graig Nettles even when Nettles was better...
2007-04-23 11:32:03
153.   monkeyball
1) I'm not saying DiceK is necessarily as good as Pedro. I'm simply saying that all those people who are underwhelmed by him don't know what they're talking about. And one of my points was the Pedro turned in performances much like Daisuke's last night. Putting men on base w/ hbp, having trouble with the stretch, and then having one of the Yankees lefties get a key hit.

2)His numbers so far (cuz that's all we have) stack up well with the benchmark pitchers in baseball (Santana, Oswalt, Sabathia ). So for people to knock him because Nieves hit the ball hard (twice!) against him, is just sad. maximumnomad, if we can't compare him against Santana, who are we allowed to compare him to? He's sure as hell getting payed better.

3)I've been reading this blog (and occasionally posting) for over a year I think. It had never ocurred to me that it was a YES-sponsored feelgood circle-jerk for Yankee fans to convince themselves it's 1999. I think it was everyone's reaction to the Allen Barra piece the other day, that made me realize what a playground it's become. So in what will probably be considered good news to both you guys and my employer, I give up.

2007-04-23 11:34:28
154.   Mattpat11
152 If they had given it to Rivera based on reputation, it wouldn't have been a shame. Especially with the family issues going in. And, if he would have closed out that game, he would have had an awesome series.
2007-04-23 11:38:33
155.   Mattpat11
153 I'm sorry, I'm not going to be impressed with someone that puts 11 base runners on and gives up six runs in seven innings. I'll trade 7 strikeouts for six runs any day of the week, Peripherals be damned.
2007-04-23 11:39:43
156.   Max Nomad
153 Matt Cain and Gil Meche come to mind, and Johan they ain't.
2007-04-23 11:41:29
157.   pistolpete
153 You're lying about how often you frequent this site if you think we're all about making each other feel good.

Then again it IS April 23rd.

Realism is one thing, doom n' gloom is another, and nastiness is an entirely seperate matter. You won't be missed if you continue on your current manner of conversation. Buh-bye.

2007-04-23 11:42:00
158.   Max Nomad
156 Cain is actually a great example, now that I think about it, just because his mechanics are very similar to Dick-K's. There's a video article on hardballtimes.com that's pretty good about showing it.

155 Yea, and Wang has shown that he does just that :P

2007-04-23 11:48:24
159.   Mattpat11
158 When was the last time Wang gave up six runs in seven innings?
2007-04-23 11:51:37
160.   Orly Yarly NoWai
159 That's the point; he doesn't. His peripherals are pretty bad, though.
2007-04-23 11:51:56
161.   Max Nomad
159 I meant that he trades 7 K for scoreless frames
2007-04-23 11:53:23
162.   Mattpat11
Ah. Sorry. I thought you were talking about baserunners
2007-04-23 11:53:29
163.   Chyll Will
136 Play nice everyone, I'm about to eat. You know how it is when you keep a man from his food...

Monkeyball, seems no one has said this yet, but welcome. We have so many monkeys around Toaster I lose track. Seeing that you've already made friends 138,139,157 I don't need to explain how it works around here, but I will warn you if you don't know that Ken Arneson is lord and master on all these boards and he's always watching the 'fun', so put some thought into what you say and be ready to back it up or you'll be banished to the land of LoHud in an Oaktown Minute. For historical context, review the cautionary tale of "Rob Gee" in the search box on the sidebar ----->

Anyone else? Is it okay for me to eat now? By the way, I did notice some others that have jumped in the pool maybe the first time, so I'll get around to teasing you ladies and gentlemen soon enough; just reintroduce yourselves and we'll do our best to incorporate you into some Sliced/Chyll/Bama type of fun 52 >;)

(Nomad, it's cool. Cliff is not so sensitive to not be able to take a few shots every now and then; even so, plenty of folks around here ready to spank anyone who attacks without merit, and since then you've comported yourself quite nicely, so if it was regrettable I'd say that you'd be at LoHud nursing your wounds right now. Have fun, dude!)

2007-04-23 11:58:32
164.   Max Nomad
163 Chyll is my hero
2007-04-23 12:00:45
165.   Bags
94 I'm with you, re your second point.

I hope this isn't out of line, but could we try harder to be polite to one another?

I've always loved the fact that this place operates as a community and isn't generally full of angry people flailing around with profanities.

2007-04-23 12:05:44
166.   C2Coke
157 Word.

163 LOL. Enjoy your lunch now.

2007-04-23 12:11:39
167.   williamnyy23
A 4.00 ERA DOES NOT stack up with benchmark pitchers. Also, if you want to look at splits and peripherals, then consider these Dice-K numbers:

Pitch 1-25: OPS+A =76
Pitch 26-50: OPS+A =18
Pitch 51-75: OPS+A =200
Pitch 76-100: OPS+A =123

1st PA in G: OPS+A =50
2nd PA in G: OPS+A =97
3rd PA in G: OPS+A =144

I looked at Clemens splits and they look nothing like the ones above.

Right now, the picture of Dice-K is a pitcher who dominates early and then falters as his pitch count rises. When you consider that no one has ever faced him before and he is not used to throwing every 5th day, these are two VERY important factors. I'm sorry, but having a 4.00 ERA is not mitigated by a lot of K's. Anyone arguing that Dice-K has been anything more than good is simply wearing Red Sox colored glasses.

2007-04-23 12:13:16
168.   Jim Dean
Who's Rob Gee?
2007-04-23 12:14:42
169.   Max Nomad
Doug Out has an old nickname:

http://tinyurl.com/yvcomz

2007-04-23 12:19:02
170.   maineyank
Matsuzaka looks like the real deal to me. He may or not be the next Pedro (WAY too early for comaparisons to anybody IMO). But here's hoping that he does have something in common with our old friend Pedro. Big problems with the Yanks. I hope somebody brings a sign to the stadium when Matsuzaka pitches with "who's your daddy" in Japanese!
2007-04-23 12:22:59
171.   Shaun P
168 Karim Garcia?

So . . . Devil Rays tonight. Ought to be a fun game. Quest goes for win #2. A-Rod is 6 for 26 vs Fossum, half the hits being HRs, but 12 Ks.

And presuming Nieves catches, at least we'll see what he does against a high-powered running game - though its not a smart one (16 steals in 30 chances, ouch). That's what a Torre-brand backup is supposed to do, right, play good defense, call a good game.

Otherwise, maybe we'll see Phelps in catcher's gear more often, which sounds fine to me.

2007-04-23 12:43:04
172.   Bama Yankee
This is what makes the Banter a great place to be, we've got people out on the ledge (sounds like monkeyball might have just jumped) and we've got some "glass half full" people helping ease the pain of the sweep. Heck, we've even got some trolls stopping by to pay their respects (actually, you guys are not that bad). Unlike most places, the discussions are well thought out and usually don't end up in personal attacks.

As I have said before, this site is made up of a very diverse group of Yankee fans with very different ideas about the same team. The only thing we all agree on (with the exception of the trolls) is our love for the Yankees. It seems like when the Yanks are losing more people start to climb out on that ledge, but that's just the way some people roll. Maybe it helps them to get it off their chest... like therapy. Anyway, as others have said, better times are coming (in the form of a few healthy cogs back in the machine) and for those out on the ledge... we'll keep the window open for you.

2007-04-23 12:47:37
173.   Bama Yankee
168 Be honest with us Jim, are you now or have you ever been Rob Gee?
2007-04-23 12:48:14
174.   AbbyNormal821
172
"and for those out on the ledge... we'll keep the window open for you"

Sounds like a new slogan for the Motel 6 chain!

;-)

2007-04-23 12:53:15
175.   Bama Yankee
174 LOL. Yeah, I better watch out or Tom Bodett might sue me...
2007-04-23 12:53:49
176.   C2Coke
173 Seriously, that same doubt I've been having.
2007-04-23 13:05:47
177.   Jim Rice
1st PA in G: OPS+A =50
2nd PA in G: OPS+A =97
3rd PA in G: OPS+A =144

Didn't Pedro in his later Red Sox years (2002-2004, say) have similar splits? I've always thought that THAT Pedro, and not the godlike 98-00 Pedro, might be a reasonable comp for Matsuzaka, and nothing has dissuaded me of that so far.

2007-04-23 13:07:52
178.   Simone
173 Ah, ah, you nailed it! He is Rob Gee.
2007-04-23 13:09:35
179.   Simone
Matsuzaka is an ace. He has good stuff. He had a rough outing yesterday that is all. I wanted the Yankees to get him, but it didn't happen.
2007-04-23 13:20:21
180.   seamus
179 Matsuzaka has the potential to be an ace. He isn't an ace yet, though he may be. I like the guy.
2007-04-23 13:22:54
181.   yankz
100 Oh my god...I remember that strip...I fucking love Garfield
2007-04-23 13:25:01
182.   yankz
I know I'm late, but the "DoucheK vs. Clemens" stats comparisons is possibly the funniest thing I've read all day.
2007-04-23 13:30:53
183.   yankz
153 You know who else turned in performances like DoucheK's last night? Kevin Brown. Jeff Weaver. Jaret Wright. And a whole long line of mediocre pitchers.

Saying "Pedro had bad starts, DiceK had a bad start, they must be the same LOL!" is your worst argument so far.

2007-04-23 13:32:29
184.   yankz
165 You don't want to be around here during a nasty loss. Anger and profanity hits the roof. But not at each other. Usually against ones Torre, Stink, and Alex Rodriguez (kidding, kidding).
2007-04-23 13:33:05
185.   AbbyNormal821
182 and whomever else used it...
DoucheK? Hee hee - that's almost as good as last years Papelbooger/Papelbitch coining! You all make me giggle!
2007-04-23 13:34:17
186.   yankz
169 Ours are so much better.
2007-04-23 13:35:30
187.   yankz
Did I ever tell you guys about the time I saw Rob Gee driving...
2007-04-23 13:57:00
188.   Jim Dean
Is this Rob Gee?

http://www.discogs.com/artist/Rob+Gee

Or this perhaps?

http://www.robgee.co.uk/

Or even (New Jersey?)?

http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=25022003

2007-04-23 14:06:56
189.   Bama Yankee
188 Come on Jim, inquiring minds want to know... you're the poster former known as Rob Gee aren't you? It's time to fess up...

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