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Series Wrap: vs. Orioles
2007-08-16 07:12
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

Offense: Once again, the Yankee offense went missing in action against the Orioles, this time going 17 straight innings without a run between Tuesday's shutout and Erik Bedard's performance yesterday afternoon. Shelley Duncan's three-run homer with two out in the ninth yesterday drove in all of the runs the Yankees have scored since Melky Cabrera's game-winning run in the bottom of the ninth on Monday night.

Studs:

Alex Rodriguez 6 for 10, 2 BB, 2 R, 2 SB
Hideki Matsui 4 for 10, 3 BB, 2 R
Shelley Duncan 2 for 6, HR, 3 RBI, R, BB, 3 K

Duds:

Derek Jeter 1 for 12, RBI, HBP, 2 K
Robinson Cano 1 for 10, 3 K
Wilson Betemit 1 for 9, HR, 2 RBI, R, BB, 6 K
Melky Cabrera 1 for 10, 2B, RBI, R, 3 BB, HBP, K
Jorge Posada 2 for 11, RBI, R, 4 K
Andy Phillips 0 for 5, K
Jose Molina, 1 for 5, K

Rotation: Not s'good. Not a single quality start. The Jeff Karstens' disaster can be dismissed as he's been optioned and was merely spot-starting for Clemens anyway, but Chien-Ming Wang and Phil Hughes, the present and future aces of the Yankee rotation, combined to allow eight runs (seven earned) in a mere 11 innings. Wang's last two starts have increased his ERA by 0.60 runs, pushing it above 4.00 for the first time since the beginning of June. His next start comes on Sunday after an extra day of rest due to Clemens' return on Saturday.

Bullpen: Due to the lack of a quality start from the quality starters and Karstens' disaster, the pen was called upon to pitch as many innings as the rotation in this series. Things rarely go well when that happens, and indeed they did not.

The Good:

Just typing this is fun: Joba Chamberlain struck out two in a perfect eighth inning on Monday, and Edwar Ramirez struck out three while allowing only a bunt single in 2 1/3 innings yesterday afternoon. Edwar also stranded the two inherited runners he picked up from Sean Henn, who was also solid, allowing just those two singles, one of which didn't leave the infield, in 1 2/3 innings. Luis Vizcaino and Kyle Farnsworth both struck out one in very efficient 1-2-3 innings to finish up the Karstens disaster. Farnsworth threw eight of nine pitches for strikes in his frame.

The Bad:

Jim Brower poured gas on Karstens' fire and thus joined Jeffrey on the trip to Scranton. Here's hoping he had a one-way ticket. Ron Villone allowed all four of his inherited runners to score and added one of his own. Finally, Mariano Rivera blew a one-run save on Monday night only to vulture the win as the Yankees rallied. Brought into the tenth inning of a tie game yesterday, he coughed up the lead after two batters, then heaped on some insurance to take the loss.

Conclusion: The seven runs in the opener and the two bottom-of-the-ninth rallies were nice, as were the performances of the rookie relievers, but otherwise the Yankees stunk up the jernt. Here's hoping this works the way the last Orioles series did to get that bad play out of the Yankees' systems and wake them up for the very tough stretch of fourteen games that begins tonight against the Tigers, continues on a road trip through Anaheim and Detroit, and concludes with three against the Red Sox back home. If the Yankees can't at the very least split those 14 games, all the good work they've done since the calendar turned to July might have been for naught.

Comments
2007-08-16 10:20:51
1.   YankeeInMichigan
I'm not sure whether or not history is on the Yanks' side. The last Baltimore disaster precipitated a hot streak, but the last Cleveland sweep precipitated a major swoon.

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