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Eight Runs Out
2007-08-03 01:03
by Emma Span
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

So, is anybody else yearning for a nice, crisp, old-fashioned pitchers’ duel?

Thursday's game passed rapidly from disastrous blowout, to mind-blowing Yankees Classic comeback, to just kind of meh; it was like the Yankees' entire season – so far, anyway - condensed into nine innings. This is terrible! No, wait, it’s awesome! No, no, wait… it’s just kind of mediocre! And it took four hours! When the dust settled, it was White Sox 13, Yankees 9.

I thought Clemens looked pretty strong in his first inning of work, but – You Can't Predict Baseball, Part 37,854,237 - the second inning was one of his worst ever, and the White Sox scored eight runs before he was mercifully lifted. Thanks to an uncharacteristic and costly error by Robinson Cano on what should have been an inning-ending double-play, only three were earned, but nevertheless, Clemens simply had nothing yesterday: the ball ball was right up over the plate, it wasn't thrown all that fast, and it wasn't moving. The inning is a blur of bloopers, line drives, singles and doubles, loaded bases and scoring White Sox; the nine hits in the frame were the most Clemens has ever allowed, and the last time he allowed eight… uh, Gorbachev was introducing glasnost? Sorry, but it seems like every time Clemens starts this year, he does something or other for the first time since the 80s, and I’m starting to run out of Cold War references.

I tend to assume that any game in which I so much as glimpse Mike Myers in the second inning is a game the Yankees are going to lose, and indeed he issued a walk to the first and only batter he faced. But he was followed by Jeff Karstens, returning from his freakishly fractured leg, who came in with the bases loaded and induced Juan Uribe to fly out. The Yankees then began the arduous climb back against Sox starter John Garland; it took them all of three outs.

 

Matsui singled, Posada doubled, Cano singled, and new Yankee Wilson Betemit introduced himself with a nice big three-run home run, which earned him a curtain call. Scott who? That got the Yanks halfway there, and a long string of singles (plus a Posada ground-rule double) took them all the way back. This was only the second time in Major League history, apparently, that both teams have scored eight runs in a single inning... and as YES put it, the first time ever in all of Major League history that two teams accomplished this in the second inning. “We’re a part of history,” said Al Leiter, in the booth. “… A really small part.”

Other than a Bobby Abreu homer in the sixth, though, that was all the offense the Yankees had in them. Go figure that the Yanks would torch a pretty solid starter in Garland, then flail helplessly at the White Sox’s largely inept bullpen; You Can't Predict Baseball, part 37,854,238.

The White Sox fared better against the Yankee relievers. Jeff Karstens wasn’t terrible given that this was his first outing back, but he gave up three runs in three innings, and far, far too many of those runs were created by Scott Podsednik. Ron Villone was actually quite good, but he was followed by Kyle “Oh… You’re Still Here?” Farnsworth, who, to the surprise of absolutely no one, allowed two impressive home runs in his inning of work. To be fair – and despite what you might have gathered from the crowd’s reaction - the game was largely lost before he got there; but damn, the guy’s just excruciating to watch. “I still believe Kyle Farnsworth is going to be a contributor to this,” Joe Torre said after the game. Well sure, I believe that too… but what exactly is “this”?

 

It was a tough loss, particularly given that Cleveland won, and so the Yankees are once again three games back in the Wild Card race. But on a basic humanitarian level, it may have been for the best: if the White Sox had lost, I would have feared for both the mental and physical health of Ozzie Guillen.

In other news, Jorge Posada left the game in the 8th with banged-up knees, stemming from a nice double play he completed at the plate (Robinson Cano, trying to atone, started it with a great throw after catching a popup in shallow center). But it sounds like the injury isn't serious, so it's probably okay to start breathing again now.


Finally, A-Rod hit his 500th home run. What - you didn't hear about it? Man, I'm telling ya, this whole milestone's just not getting enough media attention...

 

 

 

Comments
2007-08-03 06:13:07
1.   rufuswashere
For many reasons highlighted nicely by Emma above, that loss was particularly dispiriting.

One thing is for sure: Clemens is not a dominant pitcher anymore. Even the games he pitches "well", he's not missing many bats.

2007-08-03 07:01:54
2.   JL25and3
This one bothered me the same way the last game in KC did. After taking the first two (or three) in convincing fashion, a team trying to make a run really needs to go for the sweep. In both cases they not only lost , but did it in a dispiriting way. They really have a way of making sure that every silver lining has a cloud.

Michael Kay Irony of the Day...YES showed some footage of another August Yankees-White Sox game - Tom Seaver's 300th win, on Phil Rizzuto Day, August 4, 1985. "Ironcially enough," August 4th is Roger Clemens's birthday, and Roger Clemens got his 300th win on that same mound.

(I was at that game, btw, and I considered it a low point for Yankee fans. In the late innings, with Chicago up 4-1, the fans were rooting for Seaver to win. I liked Seaver, too, but nowhere near enough to root against the Yankees.)

Later on, on the radio, Waldman was talking about "Struggling Mightily" Farnsworth's tendency to give up homers despite his blazing fastball. "Roger Clemens told me something one time after Reggie Jackson hit a homer over the Green Monster - Roger said, 'The harder it comes in, the faster it goes out.'" Other baseball insights Suzyn learned from Clemens: It's a round ball and a round bat, but you gotta hit it square. It seems like the guy who makes the great play in the field always leads off the next inning. Oh, those bases on balls.

2007-08-03 07:06:34
3.   Comrade Al
A minor point, but why didn't Joe use Farnsworth on Wednesday with a 7 run lead and Vizcaino on Thursday in a close game?
2007-08-03 07:22:35
4.   Shaun P
3 That's not the formula!

In all seriousness, Farnsworth can't pitch back-to-back days, and he pitched on Tuesday. Still, why Villone didn't pitch Wednesday instead of Vizcaino is beyond me. Its not like he needed Villone in case Thursday's game got out of hand - he had Karstens and Henn to use as long men if needed.

2007-08-03 07:33:12
5.   JL25and3
4 Why is it either/or? Vizcaino had two days rest, then threw 15 pitches Wednesday night. Why couldn't he have pitched again yesterday?
2007-08-03 07:37:12
6.   Shaun P
5 Wish I knew. No good reason that I can see, and I don't know if any of the reporters asked Joe that question.
2007-08-03 07:40:22
7.   Shaun P
5 And, as far as I'm concerned, if Vizcaino is one of Mo's primary set-up guys, there is no reason to pitch him in a game the Yanks are leading by 6 runs. Its August, not April - its not like Vizcaino needs to get his work in.
2007-08-03 07:53:54
8.   Schteeve
I would love to know why Farnsowrth is still on this team.
2007-08-03 07:55:36
9.   DadinIowa
Is there ANY hope that Farns will be sent down to the minors or DFA'd if no waiver deal can be accomplished? If none of the three things happens, he needs to be sat down and never heard from again (except in ten run blowouts).
2007-08-03 07:57:12
10.   JL25and3
7 I don't necessarily have a problem with that. There's something to be said for nailing down the win that's right in front of you - as Leo Durocher said, Tomorrow it may rain. If that was the reasoning, Joe used Vizcaino appropriately - one inning, so you can still use him tomorrow, have your cake and eat it too. Except he forgot to eat it.
2007-08-03 09:47:23
11.   Count Zero
2 "Waldman was talking about "Struggling Mightily" Farnsworth's tendency to give up homers..."

No. Come on...she didn't actually say that did she? That's her insightful contribution to the game?

Perhaps she could be paired up with Joe Morgan on ESPN games. ^_^

2007-08-03 10:43:41
12.   JL25and3
11 Swear to God. And you know it's true, because Roger Clemens told her so!!!

Emma, you really got short shrift today.

2007-08-03 13:40:23
13.   Kered Retej
0 Thanks again, Emma, for brightening up what was otherwise a pretty blah kind of day. It's always a nice little pick-me-up to see your name on the byline (no offense to Cliff, Alex, and others). You'll probably want to notify the police, but is it wrong that I think I'm starting to develop a little crush? In the meantime, I'm keeping my eye out for You Can't Predict Baseball, Part 37,854,239.

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