Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
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Spankology
2007-09-04 19:23
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

It was close for awhile. A Dave Winfield-like line drive home run by Jorge Posada and a Dave Kingman-like dinger by Alex Rodriguez--both solo shots--combined with fine pitching from Chien-Ming Wang to keep the Yankees ahead of the Mariners. Lots of ground balls, plenty of handy double plays from Wang tonight. Then, the Bombers blew the doors down and when the smoke cleared it was Yankees 12, Mariners 3. 20 hits for the home team. A typical Yankee win. Close game then the fireworks. The best image of the night was the look on Jeter's face as Rodriguez returned to the dugout after his upper deck homer. Jeter squinted as if to say, "Are you kidding me?"

Onions.

The Tigers lost a close one to the White Sox, so the Yanks are two ahead of the M's, three-and-a-half ahead of the Tigers. A Nice Tuesday.

Here's a pitch-by-pitch of the game.

First.

Ichiro. Strike. Ball, high. Soft, 4-3.

Vidro. Strike one. 4-3, bounce out.

I like it, I like it. Roll them ground balls, Wangarulo.

Red Ass Guillen. Ball, outside. Slider, low and away, 2-0. Fastball, up in his kitchen, spaz swing and a miss, 2-1. Guillen almost lost his balance on the follow through. Fastball, 4-3 chopper.

Bottom One.

Melky. Strike. 6-3, bouncer. Didn't hit it hard.

D. Jeter. Foul. Fastball, up, fouled back. Just missed it, good swing. Fastball, away, 1-2. Fastball, low, 2-2. Fastball, fouled off to the right side. Spike Lee is sitting next to Brad Pitt and his son Maddox. Another fastball, fouled off, this one to the upper deck. Cutter or slider, in on the hands, emergency swing, fouled off. Fastball sliced to right, diving catch by the first baseman Broussard. Jeter robbed of a single. Nice play. Good at bat and good fielding.

Abreu. Ball. Double off the wall in left center field. Breaking ball up.

A Rod. Slider, strike, looking. Oh, man, that was sweet and meaty. Slider inside, 1-1. Another pitch inside, just inside, 2-1. 5-3, easy grounder.

Second.

Ibanez. Sinker, low, 1-0. Foul…Full count, foul. Solid single to center.

Turn two…

Beltre. Inside, ball one. Same pitch, this time a strike, 1-1. Runner going. 5-3, Ibanez to second. One out.

Broussard. Ball. 4-3, the softest dribbler yet. Runner to third.

Johjima, rips a fastball foul. Sinker outside, weak ground ball to Jeter. Throw pulls Betemit off the bag at first but he has plenty of time to make the tag. Side retired.

Bottom Two.

Posada. Curve ball bends in there for a strike. Ball, away. Fastball, got it by him, swing and a miss, 1-2. Slider, low and inside. Curve ball, off the plate, full count. Line drive home run to left. Got out in a hurry. Dave Winfield-brand dinger. 17th of the year for Jorge, 79 RBI.

Matsui. Fastball, strike one. Breaking ball, away, 0-2. Breaking ball, further outside, ball one. Another breaking ball outside, Matsui lunges and fouls it off. Fastball, inside, ties him up. Matsui half-swings, strike three.

Shelley, aka Lurch. The crowd gives him a nice hand. Ball one. Strike one, looking. Ball two. Ball three. Fastball, he's too quick. 5-3, Duncan thumping down the line. Two out.

Cano. Fastball, Strike. Fastball, strike two, both looking. Breaking ball. Little grounder of the end of his bat towards second. It gets passed Ramirez who makes a stab at it. Broussard is out of position at first. Cano beats the throw and the throw is wild, Cano holds first. Cano has a single.

Betemit. Ball. Foul. Lunges, foul. Weak hack. He looks overmatched right-handed. Courtesy throw to first. Fastball, emergency hack. He's got no balance to his swing. Fastball, up base hit to center. He got a favor there. The ball was waist high, right over the plate. He went with it.

Melky. 6-4. Nice play by Yuniesky Betancourt at short, ranging far to his left. Saved run and made it look easy.

Third.

Larry David is at the game. Michael Kay says he's a great guy.

Lopez. Ball. Line drive to Abreu. One out.

Yuniesky Betancourt. Strike. 5-3. Hit well, nice hop for A Rod.

Ichiro. Ball, low. Fastball lined to center. Melky charges and makes the catch. All three balls were hit well. The fastball was up.

Bottom Three.

Jeter pokes at it. 1-3, easy.

Abreu. Four or five pitches in, line drive base hit to left.

A Rod. 6-4-3 double play. First pitch. A Rod immediately sags after swinging. For crying out loud.

Fourth.

Vidro. 1-3. One pitch, one out.

Guillen. Several pitches in…6-3, charging play by Jeter.

Ibanez. Ball. Strike, fastball, tailing away, mid-90s. Slider, inside, fouled off. Nice bite. Slider, or some kind of breaking pitch. Got him looking. Tough pitch. Ibanez, flummoxed.

Bottom Four.

Posada. Ball, inside. Ground ball through the right side, base hit. Career year, what can you say?

Matsui. Breaking ball, fouled off, and thank god, he was way out in front. Another looping breaking all, this one is too far outside, 1-1. Line drive knocked through the box. Ramirez gets his glove up and the ball knocks the mitt off his hand. But the ball deflects to the second baseman. Posada is tagged out, Matsui beats the throw to first. Just beats it. One out one on.

Shelley. Ball one. Slider ripped into the upper deck. Way out in front. A legit, "Whoa" from the jumping ones in the crowd. Foul tip, strike two. Fastball, Duncan leaning in, now turning away, up and in. Low and away, ball three. Matsui runs, Duncan swings and misses, Johjima throws Matsui out. "A Strike 'em out, throw 'em out double play." God, I hate Michael Kay.

Five.

Beltre. Sinker, low and inside, ball. Another sinker, swing and miss, 1-1. Fastball, inside, 2-1. Another fastball, tailing inside, 3-1. Sinker, right after him, Beltre fouls it back. It was up there to hit. Full count. Sinker, tails inside, ball four.

A lead-off walk.

Broussard. Now, it's our turn to turn two…Ball one. Inside, ball two. Ball three, outside. Fat fastball, 3-1. Turn two…Nope, ball four.

This isn't good.

Johjima. Ball one, away. Gator jogs out to have a word. Johjima has not walked in his last 99 plate appearances. Slider, strike one on the outside corner. Another one, swing and a miss, he's way out in front. Pulling way off. Another one, Johjima sticks the bat out and lines a ball past Jeter. Matsui charges. Beltre runs. The throw reaches Jorge on a short hop. Posada reaches back with his glove and tags Beltre. But the replay showed the ball was in Posada's hand not the glove. Close.

Lopez. First pitch. 5-4-3 double play. Awww, Bacon.

Bottom Fifth.

Cano. Single to center. Hits the ball hard at least once a night it seems.

Betemit. Strike. Bunting. Decent bunt down the third base line. Johjima pounces on it and makes the play easily. Slick. Cano to second.

Melky. Strike one. 4-1. Two out. Sox up 4-0 against Doc Halladay at Fenway. Dag.

Jeter. Two out, runner at third. Inside out swing. Soft line drive to Guillen in right, first pitch.

Sixth.

Yuniesky Betancourt. Fly ball out to center.

Ichiro. Line drive, base hit to center.

Vidro. Strike one, looking. Sinker, outside, check swing, ball. Single slashed to left. It was another sinker. Good hitting.

First and second, one out.

Guillen. Low, ball one. Fastball, taken for a strike. Applause. Wang steps off, Posada runs through the signs again…sinker, in on the fists, humpback liner bounces in front of Cano. 4-6-3 double play. Thank you very much.

Bottom Six.

Abreu. The Yes cameras are showing a squirrel sitting on top of the foul pole in right field. He crawls down and gets cheered. Strike one. Breaking ball, away, 1-1. Strike two, looking. The fans are clapping and cheering, "Let's Go Squi-rrel." The squirrel climbs back to the top of the pole. Ball two. Fastball, way inside, ball three. Almost hit him. Abreu stares out. Breaking ball. High fly ball, just shy of the warning track in left center, deepest park of the park.

A Rod. Okay, asswipe, let's see a good ab here…Breaking ball, high and away, 1-0. Another one, even worse, 2-0. He's not going to throw him a strike now…Again with the breaking ball, A Rod nubs it off the end of his bat but it rolls foul. 2-1. Breaking ball inside, 3-1. Another breaking ball, inside, fouled off. A Rod steps out, steps in, twirls the bat. Ramirez steps off the mound. Another breaking ball hit, way, way WAY WAY UP in the UPPER DECK in LEFT. WHAT A MONSTER SHOT. That one sailed into the night. A Rod twirls the bat one time and lets it go, tries to keep composed, but breaks out into a huge grin as he rounds first. It is the smile of a man who is giddy with his own talent. Jeter just looking at A Rod as he comes back to the dugout like "Are you kidding me?" Classic. 510th dinger. MVP chants. Blue Jays pull to within 1, 4-3. Three-run bomb by my man Matt Stairs.

Posada. Full count. Fouling pitches off. Ball four. 10-pitch at bat. Now, that's the way to demoralize a starting pitcher.

Matsui. Posada runs, hit and run. Matsui slaps at pitch, but it hits Johjima's glove. Catcher interference is called and runners are on first and second, one out.

Shelley. Low, ball one. C'mon Lerch. Let er rip. Slider, taken for a strike. Oh dag, that looked smokeable, Meat. Slider, away, big swing and a foul tip. Another slider away, waved at, strike three. Terrible ab for Duncan.

Cano. Breaking ball, swing and a miss. Robbie way out in front of it. Single off the pitcher's mound into center. Posada rounds third, but Ichiro inexplicably chooses to go to third at the last moment. But since he made such a late decision, the ball slips out of Ichiro's hand and reaches the cut off man on a hop. Posada scores easily and Matsui reaches third. Ichiro would have had Jorge dead to rights at home. Jorge got away with one there. That's all for Ramirez.

Eric O'Flaherty, a lefty, pitching.

Betemit. First pitch fastball, lined up the middle, off Betancourt's glove. Matsui scores, 4-0.

Melky. …0-2. 1-2. 2-2. Ripped foul, Sheffield-style, but lighter. Another foul. Again a foul, this one Punched down the right field line. Ball three. Strike three, swinging.

Seventh.

Minky in at first for D. The Return of Minky.

Ibanez. Ball one. Foul. Ball, low and inside. Sinker, low, 3-1. Sinker, bounced up the middle. Wang hops up, snares it, throws to first for the out.

73 pitches for Wang…

Beltre. Ball, low and away. Fastball, outside corner, 1-1. Fastball walloped onto the screen over the fence in the left center field. That was a Bomb. He launched it. Not so much height. A line drive with some arc.

Broussard. Strike one. Ball. Fastball, swinging. He chased that one. Posada goes out to talk to Wang. Fastball, inside, 2-2. 95 mph…Sinker, check-swing, full count. Nobody is warming up in the Yankee bullpen. Crowd starts to cheer. Wang slowly winds, then delivers…foul ball. Just low, ball four. He's just missing. Gator walks slowly to the mound. Half-way out he begins to trot. Vizcaino gets up to throw. Joba, still wearing a blue pullover, yawns and does some stretches.

Johjima. First pitch, 6-4-3 double play. Hey now!

Bottom Seven

Brandon Morrow relieving.

Jeter. Flies out to right on the first pitch. After that tough first at bat, Jeter has been hacking.

Abreu…full count…Line drive home run ripped to right. The squirrel still squatting on top of the foul pole.

A Rod. Breaking ball, called strike one. MVP chants. Change up, in, lined to left for a single. Another 2-4 night.

Posada. Strike, looking. The squirrel is down at the bottom of the pole now. Ball one. Ball two, outside. Low, outside, 3-1. Foul tip, 3-2…Alex Rod goes, time is called. A Rod, leaning, throw to first, but he gets back. Goes. Lined to left. A Rod goes into third head first. Slides in with his arm, safe. Beltre's weight rolls over A Rod's right ankle and A Rod rolls over in pain.

Gasp.

Gulp.

Yipe.

Torre and Monahan come rushing out. But it looks as if Rodriguez is okay. He stands up. Applies weight on his leg. Stays in the game. His detractors would be puking, thinking that he was just being overly dramatic. Chants of MVP and a pitching change.

Ryan Rowland-Smith, a lefty comes in.

Matsui looks at a breaking ball, 1-0. Another one, 73 mph, Matsui waves at it, 1-1. Fastball, in, 2-1. The Mariners have an army of call-ups. The kids are mostly on the top step of the dugout, watching. Funny to see so many players on the bench, especially when their team is also in the field…Fastball, way up and in, 3-1. Overthrew it. Breaking ball, away, ball four.

Bases loaded.

Shelley "Frankenstein" Duncan. Fastball, up and away, Duncan takes a Conan cut, all over it, and tomahawks it past Beltre down the third base line for a double. Two runs score. Out and out hilarious. He was sitting on a fastball and was intent on swinging at virtually anything. 7-1, Yanks.

First and second one out. Damon pinch-running for Matsui.

Cano. Fastball away. Line drive to the right center field gap. Two RBI double. 9-1.

Rowland-Smith is out, John Parrish is in.

Minky. Strikes out on a full count breaking ball.

Melky. Jeter gives a bat to Brad Pitt for his son. Spike also has his little boy with him. Melky singles to right, Cano scores, Melky advances to second on throw home.

10-1.

Jeter. Singles to center, Melky scores, 11-1. First hits for both Melky and Jeter tonight.

When they are good, they are good…

Abreu. Dunks the 2-2 pitch into center for a single.

Alberto Gonzalez pinch-hits for A Rod. #63. His first big league at bat. He was part of the Randy Johnson trade. A glove man. Strike one, looking. Fastball, outside, 1-1. 6-4, force.

That half-inning took a half-an-hour.

Eighth.

Wang gets an out and then Ron Guidry comes out to the mound. He saw something he didn't like. Wang leaves with an injury? But it doesn't appear serious. Probably just got a little tight sitting all the time...

Jeff Clement's first big league at bat. 2-0…2-2. Swing and a miss, strike three.

Adam Jones, pinch-hitting for Ichiro…I missed it. Jones reaches first.

Charlton Jimerson, another pinch hitter. What a great name. The Red Sox beat the Blue Jays, 5-3. Singles full count pitch off Vizcaino's glove. Viz botched the play.

Again with a big league debut pinch hitter. This time, it's, who else? None other than, Wladimir Balentin. Viz, wild, taking forever, down 2-1. Posada goes out to talk to him. 3-1. Double to left, 2 RBI. Welcome to the Majors, Wladi!

12-3.

Britton replaces Viz.

Nick Green pinch-hitting. Sixth pinch-hitter of the inning. 1-3 ground out.

Bottom Eight.

Posada. Line drive homer to right. Pouring it on.

19th Yankee hit. 12-3.

Damon. Bloop single to left.

Shelley. 5-4-3, double play.

Cano. 4-3.

Ninth.

Missed who was up but Johnny Damon makes a nice catch in foul territory, then gave a pound with his mitt to a fan.

Rob Johnson pinch hitting. His first big league at bat. Lines a 3-0 fastball to Melky. That'll learn him.

Jeremy Reed. Pop out to Minky.

Game.

There. I knew they'd win all along.

Comments (85)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-09-04 19:44:10
1.   Bob Timmermann
Isn't Wladimir pronounced the same as Vladimir?
2007-09-04 19:44:39
2.   weeping for brunnhilde
Wangarulo.

I like it.

A lot.

:)

And my God, that's quite a commentary, Alex. Impressive.

2007-09-04 19:45:25
3.   tommyl
I just got back from the game. Sitting just under the roof near the left field foul ball. I can say that A-Rod's home run was the farthest hit ball I have ever seen in my life. When he hit it the entire crowd just gasped in shock. Some were waiting for it to come down, and it just never did. I was in awe.

Wang looked great, does anyone know why he left? pitch count? something else?

One last note: A-Rod, please, please, please stop sliding headfirst. I don't think I've seen Gene Monahan run faster in my life.

2007-09-04 19:52:18
4.   tommyl
Oh, one more thing. I left in the 7th after they went up like 9-1 or something. As I got off the subway with my uncle, I joked that they probably brought in Vizcaino because you know, he hasn't pitched in about a day, and he warmed up and all. Sigh, little did I know...
2007-09-04 19:54:17
5.   pistolpete
Was bored during the last few innings and I started looking up HR leaders by year for the Yankees.

I'm sure this is not news for the faithful, but does everyone else realize there hasn't been a 50-HR hitter on this team since the M&M Boys?

Boggles the mind considering all the great teams & players since then.

2007-09-04 19:56:05
6.   yankz
I really want to know where A-rod's ball would've landed.
2007-09-04 19:57:08
7.   RIYank
Wang left because of back stiffness. They aren't worried.
A-Rod went for x-rays (said Joe -- presumably an MRI). Ankle. They aren't too worried.
2007-09-04 20:01:07
8.   weeping for brunnhilde
Man, Frankenstein Lurch is being interviewed by Kim now.

He's one intense dude.

A little weird, too. In a compelling way.

Well-spoken, though, and thoughtful.

2007-09-04 20:03:36
9.   weeping for brunnhilde
Alex: "The thing is, it doesn't matter where it lands, it only counts for one run."
2007-09-04 20:33:17
10.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
Great re-cao Alex, thanks.
Just a quick Q to everyone out there...but surely I was dreaming when I saw Minkeiqwerticz at first base???
2007-09-04 20:58:34
11.   Mattpat11
10 Nightmare
2007-09-04 21:17:59
12.   Zack
Damn Alex, impressive recap! Anyone catch this from the Times recap?:
Hughes was optimistic yesterday because the Class AAA pitching coach Dave Eiland, who tutored him in the minor leagues, supervised his last two bullpen sessions. Hughes said they had worked on smoothing his mechanics by not rushing his delivery.

Coaches have encouraged Hughes to use all his pitches and attack the strike zone. Hughes has been too predictable for hitters because he has not thrown enough changeups, a pitch that helped him no-hit the Texas Rangers into the seventh inning on May 1.

"It's not my second-best pitch or even my third-best, but it's a pitch I definitely need to show," Hughes said. "It's not a swing-and-miss pitch, but it's a pitch to get them off my fastball. In Texas, I threw three in the first inning, and that set the tempo. They weren't really able to sit on one pitch.

"It's something I'll concentrate on, but the number one thing is strike one. After that, I can kind of play around a little bit."

2007-09-04 21:21:25
13.   yankz
12 Warms my heart.
2007-09-04 21:28:53
14.   tommyl
12 13 But in a way, it doesn't. Isn't Ron Guidry the major league pitching coach? Shouldn't he be able to help work with Hughes, smooth his delivery and get him to use other pitches? I realize Hughes might have a prior working relationship with Eiland, but what exactly is Gator's purpose on the team then? Why not just make Eiland the pitching coach?
2007-09-04 22:34:33
15.   Zack
14 Next year its very possible he may be. With a rotation that may have three "kids" on it, and if Torre doesnt come back, wouldnt he be a logical choice?
2007-09-04 22:44:32
16.   seattleyank
12 I'm admittedly a total novice in these areas, but in the breakdown done by Carlos Gomez of the mechanics of Hughes and Joba, one of his critiques of Hughes is that he doesn't generate enough speed/momentum through his delivery. If he's right, wouldn't slowing down Hughes' delivery only exacerbate the problem and decrease his velocity?
2007-09-04 23:29:47
17.   rabid stan
16 I don't have the Gomez article in front of me (links, anyone?), but if he's opening his hips too soon, that will reduce his angular momentum. So a pitcher "rushing" his delivery actually loses something on his pitches.
2007-09-04 23:34:50
18.   rabid stan
17 That said, I don't think Hughes will find the missing 2-3 mph on his velocity in the next start. That's something they'll have to work on over the off-season, maybe if they send him to winter ball to get his innings.

I'd settle for him keeping his fastball in the low 90's past 80 pitches tomorrow, and driving the ball low in the zone. The mid-90's may have to wait till next year.

2007-09-05 02:48:25
19.   Yankee Fan In Boston
amazing recap, alex.
2007-09-05 04:15:16
20.   williamnyy23
5 In spite of the short porches, Yankee Stadium still suppresses home runs, especially for a right handed hitter. That's what makes Arod's Yankee career so impressive. I believe he already has the HR record (48 in 2005) for a righty, and would also be the first RH'er to hit 50. The only other Yankees to hit 50 were Ruth, Gehrig, Maris and Mantle. Also, if Arod can get to 55, he'd end up with the 4th highest total in team history. Also, with a very strong finish, he could also crack the all-time top-10 RBI list. Joe D. currently sits 10th with 155 RBIs in 1948.
2007-09-05 04:17:25
21.   williamnyy23
14 I wouldn't be surprised if Eiland is the next Yankee pitching coach. Guidry would probably exit with Torre, so he's the logical choice when you consider he has experience with the Yankees' young arms.

Whatever happens in the off season, I just hope Mattingly and Guidry do not wind up with a Berra-like grudge.

2007-09-05 04:20:34
22.   williamnyy23
16 Rushing his delivery would imply that he is getting ahead of his base. Gomez' point, I think, was Hughes doesn't have enough drive and arm action through his pitches. Regardless, while Gomez' work is interesting, I wouldn't consider it definitive.
2007-09-05 05:09:38
23.   Sliced Bread
0 Outstanding piece of hitting there, Alex. Touch 'em all.

Yeah, what the hell was that pitch Wang froze Ibanez with to end the fourth. I thought it might be a change, but another Banterer (I think it was Weeping) thought it mighta been a slider.
Maybe Wang has devised some sorta nasty hybrid. Whatever it was, it was soft and pretty, just like I like 'em.

Feel good win all around, 'cept for A-Rod's ankle scare. Him and those damn belly slides. Knock it off, MVP-Rod, we need ya upright and outta sight.

Feels like the Ice Age finally ended this morning, and we're back on the beach. Jump in, the water's fine!

2007-09-05 05:10:54
24.   rbj
22 Doesn't "doesn't have enough drive and arm action through his pitches" imply that his mechanics are off? How long was Eiland his pitching coach -- has he had more time with Hughes and understands his mechanics better. Eiland might at least be the bullpen coach next year.
2007-09-05 05:45:29
25.   Sliced Bread
What a play at the plate by Jorgie in the 5th. What a game he had.
Nothing to say about his bat other than "damn." But anybody who doubts his worth as a catcher, check out the final two graphs of Feinsand's wrapup in the NY Deli News:
---------------------------------------
Guidry headed back to the dugout, but Posada stayed on the mound, pointing to the dugout.

"I wasn't going to let him pitch," Posada said. "The two pitches he threw, something about them didn't look right. I wanted to make sure he was all right."
----------------------------------

So, looks like it was Posada who took Wang out of the game. Looked like Wang convinced Guidry that he could keep going, but Posada wouldn't have it.
Po protects his guys. Way to go Po!

2007-09-05 06:03:36
26.   Rob Middletown CT
Way to go, Jorge, indeed. IMO, Wang should never have come out for the 8th with a 10-run lead, having waited in the dugout for half and hour or more while the Yankees batted.
2007-09-05 06:13:54
27.   Sliced Bread
26 Yeah, people get too caught up in pitch counts. He only had about 80 to start the 8th, but I would not have sent him out there for the reasons you stated.

Joe has really lost his touch with the pitching. But I give him props for starting Shelley and Betemit. Those moves worked out fine.

By the way, it's time to start worrying about the Viz again. Edwar is lookin' shaky, too. Britton looked good, but the Mariners had already checked out, so I still don't know if he can be relied upon.

2007-09-05 06:22:28
28.   JL25and3
10 , 11 I don't have a problem with using M'ntk'w'cz as a defensive replacement.
2007-09-05 06:26:18
29.   JL25and3
26 , 27 I think that's another case of hindsight. If he'd taken Wang out and the bullpen had frittered away a bunch of runs (always a possibility), there would be outrage. How could he take Wang out after 80-something pitches! OK, he'd been on the bench - but at least bring him out to start the inning and see what he's got left!
2007-09-05 06:29:35
30.   Sliced Bread
29 Well even in hindsight we're right.

Sorry, no need for him to go more. Not with a huge lead, and relievers who need work.

2007-09-05 06:49:30
31.   rsmith51
29 Even if they give up 5 runs, they are still up by 5 and have Joba and Mo available.
2007-09-05 06:55:15
32.   Sliced Bread
31 Plus, tomorrow's an off day. Absolutely no reason for Wang to go more than 7 last night.

In fact, despite his low pitch count, I was agitating for the Yanks to pull him for Joba to start the 7th, before the Yanks blew it open.

Thankfully, we still have Joba and Mo for tonight's crucial game. Hopefully, they're not rusty.

2007-09-05 06:55:17
33.   williamnyy23
29 I agree. The Yankees needed to get as much from Wang as possible, but only because Joe Torre isn't creative enough to manage a bullpen with an 11-1 lead. Why he would bring in Viz is mind boggling. It looks like Viz is going through another dead arm period thanks to Torre's kamikaze usage, and the only thing that is going to allow him to bounce back is a long rest.
2007-09-05 06:57:36
34.   Sliced Bread
33 Britton, Bruney, and Farnswacker were the guys who needed work. Viz clearly needs a vacation, and I think he's going to get it.
2007-09-05 06:58:46
35.   Sliced Bread
33 and they got as much as possible out of Wang, which was 7.
2007-09-05 07:04:20
36.   williamnyy23
35 Right, but that wasn't known until after he came out in the 8th. My basic point is if Torre was smart enough (and that's defining smart pretty low) to follow 34 , I would have also advocated lifting Wang after 7.
2007-09-05 07:12:45
37.   yankz
And it's not hindsight. A bunch of people were calling for a reliever at the beginning of the 7th last night.
2007-09-05 07:12:52
38.   yankz
Or 8th, rather.
2007-09-05 07:18:51
39.   Sliced Bread
36 And while Bruney and Farns still need work, here's hoping they don't get it tonight for the wrong reasons.

Perfect world: Hughes goes 6, Joba 2, Mo 1.

If it's close after 5, and Hughes is struggling, I'd plan on Bruney for the 6th.

Farnswacker needs work, but not if it's close tonight. This game is too important. Shame that they need to plan around him like that.

2007-09-05 07:22:09
40.   mehmattski
According to hit-tracker online, A-Rod has hit fourteen homers further than his homer last night (which would have gone 408 feet had it not hit the upper deck seats). His furthest homer of the season was on June 26 at AT&T Park, which would have gone 456 feet with no obstructions. However, that was A-Rod's second highest homer of the season, based on the vertical angle off the bat.

http://tinyurl.com/3bg6y9

2007-09-05 07:28:03
41.   Mattpat11
This squirrel is going to lead us to the promised land
2007-09-05 07:35:35
42.   Sliced Bread
40 Sheesh, 408? Woulda guessed 450 on that bomb.

That's the most impressive thing about A-Rod's run at the AL home run record, he's hitting looong ones, lotta old school bombs, that would have been outta the old parks.

When Ortiz hit what was it? 54? I wondered how many of them were merely Fenway shots, but I never looked it up. I'm sure he had his share of old skoolers though.

2007-09-05 07:40:12
43.   JL25and3
42 Well, quite a few of them wouldn't have been homers in the old Yankee Stadium. He hits a lot into the bullpens, which are monster shots but still wouldn't have gone out back then.

I agree, 408 doesn't sound right at all. That's 9 feet past the gate in left-center, and I really think it was going further than that.

2007-09-05 07:40:34
44.   Mattpat11
I'd have to see both shots again, but I remember an old Cecil Fielder shot that was even harder and further into the upper deck.

That's amazing.

2007-09-05 07:42:14
45.   mehmattski
42 One thing I've learned since I found that website is that the 500-foot homer, at least in regular play, is mostly a myth. In the 2+ years he's been tracking homers, only one homer (a Matt Holliday shot in Coors Field) got close, at 498 feet. I don't know what ESPN uses to track homers, but this guy uses physics and ballpark specs to accurately show how far a homer would have gone had nothing been in its path all the way back to the ground.

A-Rod's homers to Center and Right-Center are the longest, but his dead-pull homers are also impressive because he maintains a high speed off the bat (over 113 mph) while achieving a high angle of elevation.

2007-09-05 07:44:13
46.   rufuswashere
Proposition: This 2007 AL Wildcard race creates much more tension 1997, but much less than 1995. At least so far.

Discuss.

2007-09-05 07:44:17
47.   mehmattski
43 Here's the link to the path of the homer in question. If you click the "show range rings" button, you'll see that the 400 foot (from home plate) mark is right around where the ball landed.

http://www.hittrackeronline.com/hrdetail.php?id=2007_20547

2007-09-05 07:46:27
48.   ChuckM
The Cecil shot was absolutely ridiculous. IIRC, they were towards the end of the season when he was either approaching or padding his 50 total...
2007-09-05 07:47:24
49.   mehmattski
46 That's a pretty easy affirmative, given that the 1995 wild card was a tight race with the Angels and marked the first playoff appearance in 14 years. And the 1997 Yankees won the wild card by ten games. I think these Yankees will win the Wild Card by a couple games, I'll go with three.
2007-09-05 07:49:26
50.   markp
That ball would have gone a lot further than it did if the stands weren't there. It was only beginning to descend. 408' doesn't even sound right for where it hit in the upper deck, let alone how far it would have gone.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-09-05 07:49:50
51.   Sliced Bread
43 Yeah, he has had a lot of those bullpenners hasn't he? That's why DiMaggio's accomplishments can still be so appreciated today. I still say his 13 k's was the most amazing one.

My dad saw plenty of DiMaggio, and played quite a bit of ball himself. My dad was a southpaw junkballer who earned a try out with the Yanks before he reported for duty with the Navy. Not sure why I mention that but he still says the hardest hit ball he ever saw was a DiMaggio line drive, that he swears the 3rd baseman, or shortstop (I can't remember) jumped up for... that carried and carried for a left field home run. Amazing when you remember how far he had to have driven it.

2007-09-05 07:56:26
52.   Mike T
20 I read an article on A-Rod recently where the writer said that if Alex gets to 150 RBI and 150 runs scored, he will be the first player since Ted Williams in 1949 to do that.
2007-09-05 08:02:58
53.   Mike T
A-Rod planted one about halfway up the black seats last season or two seasons ago.
2007-09-05 08:05:58
54.   yankz
51 What else is amazing: 361 HR vs 369 K (career)

Think about how even more absurd that ratio would be if he'd played in a different park.

2007-09-05 08:08:19
55.   williamnyy23
43 While the old Stadium was definitely more of a bear for righties, it might have been more friendly for lefties. The OYS was only 295/296 down the right field line and didn't taper off for a good distance. Imagine all the fly balls hit 20 feet from the wall in right now…well, most of those would have been homeruns in the old park. I'm sure Alex, with his immense power, would have found going the other way even more to his liking.

As for the distance, 408 sounds right to me. Keep in mind, that ball was pulled straight down the line. Usually, when you pull the ball for a home run, the trajectory is higher (which this one was), meaning more of the force goes into lifting the ball and less into propelling it.

2007-09-05 08:09:26
56.   Shaun P
54 Or if Yankee Stadium in those days didn't have Death Valley. DiMag might have hit 500 HR - even with the time off for WWII.
2007-09-05 08:10:38
57.   williamnyy23
51 Scooter used to also talk about Joe D. hitting screaming liners that never seemed to come down.
2007-09-05 08:12:59
58.   williamnyy23
52 Even more impressive, he could be on the exclusive 50/150/150 list. The only player to do that more than once was named Babe.
2007-09-05 08:13:16
59.   vockins
408, my ass. Perhaps if it dropped straight down from where it hit the seats in the upper deck. I was sitting directly below the trajectory of the ball in Main Reserved (20-25 rows back from the left field wall) and it was out of view before I could see it start to descend.
2007-09-05 08:23:45
60.   williamnyy23
59 Keep in mind that the outfield tiers overhand the lower stands (which is why I hate sitting in those sections). The ball was clearly dropping, so would have needed to travel another 75 feet or so to hit 408. That sounds about right to me.
2007-09-05 08:35:31
61.   JL25and3
55 Yankee Stadium is actually a little shallower in right-center than it used to be. The front wall of the bleachers used to be the outfield wall.

On the other side of the old bullpen was a different story. Not only was it shallower then, the fence was lower.

2007-09-05 08:38:47
62.   markp
I seriously doubt he gets a WTF!? look from Jeter for a 408' HR.
2007-09-05 08:54:04
63.   Mattpat11
Chipper went off on the umpires.
2007-09-05 08:55:23
64.   williamnyy23
61 Now you are comparing different versions of the remodeled Stadium. The OYS didn't have that bleacher wall, of course.

62 408' down the line deserves WTF a lot more than 460' to straight away CF.

2007-09-05 08:57:38
65.   williamnyy23
63 With good reason...this season has had the worst umpiring that I can remember, by far. I think it's time for some new blood in the ranks.
2007-09-05 08:59:15
66.   Mattpat11
65 It seems like we say this every year.

And every year it gets worse.

2007-09-05 09:00:41
67.   monkeypants
55 61 Yes and no. From the corner to the old BP the new stadium is deeper (314 down the line and 353 to the padded door, compared to 296 and 344). However, once out of the RF field corner, the stadium's dimensions flared out dramatically: 407 the RCF compared to 385 now, 461 to CF compared to 408 now, and so on around the fence until you reach the LF corner, which was only 301 in the old days.

Actually, except for extreme pull hitters, Old Yankee Stadium was NOT particularly easy for LHs, at least not statistically. It almost always played as a pitcher's park (park factor); Babe Ruth hit more homers on the road than Yankee Stadium; etc.

By the way, the contour of the current fence from RF to CF, then the outer blue fence from CF to LCF follows the contour of the original bleachers/OF wall, more or less. They didn't really bring the fences in when they remodelled in 1976, so much as they removed a whole bunch of bleachers, added seats behind home and down the lines, and moved home plate forward about 20 or 30 feet (the orientation of home plate was adjusted slightly to). Remodelled YS in 1976 looked a good bit like the old park in terms of field play, but they ruined it (in my opinion) in the 1980s when the brought the fences in AGAIN (LCF 430--> 399, CF 417 --> 408).

2007-09-05 09:02:20
68.   Zack
16 17 18 etc. First off, Hughes seems to have found that "missing" 2-3 mph as his last two starts he was constantly around 92-93. That really is where he sits. AS he gets older/stronger, he may add 1-2 mph and sit 94 or so, but 93 is plenty. As for the Gomez article, well, I don't buy any of it, yet. Its well and good from an armchair to talk about how a person's mechanics "should" be etc, but what matters is what helps you succeed. Gomez praised Buchholz for the same things he critiqued Hughes on two days ago, so take it with a grain of salt. And Gomez' main argument was that although the mechanics he had pre injury gave him better break, it took off about 2-3 mph, supposedly. The problem is that he based that on one video shot of the futures game and hearsay. I've heard a lot of reports that Hughes never threw 95+.

In any case, I want the mechanics that allows Hughes to regain his pinpoint control and nasty breaking pitches, no matter the velocity, b/c that is what will make him an ace, not throwing 95. And the Times article also mentions that he will be trying some more variety of pitches, which I think is key

2007-09-05 09:07:05
69.   monkeypants
64 This is heretical to some, but the new YS is actually harder than th eold park to hit the ball out of. When Mantle's shot hit off the frieze in RF, it was only about 320 feet from home along the horizontal, plus the upper deck was lower in the old stadium (they lowered the field AND added rows to the back of the upper deck). His homer probably would have landed in the middle of the current upper deck, even though it just missed clearing the top of the front of the old roof.
2007-09-05 09:10:35
70.   pistolpete
24 I'd go for that - I was under the impression that Kerrigan was doing a lot of work with Randy Johnson, but haven't heard his name a lot since.

He might move on voluntarily, at which point it makes perfect sense to have someone from the farm system in the bullpen, considering all the young arms forthcoming.

2007-09-05 09:14:54
71.   JL25and3
64 You may be right about the wall. Still, at the left side of the old bullpen it's about the same distance that it used to be; as you go further out, it's shallower than in the old Stadium.
2007-09-05 09:14:56
72.   pistolpete
Anyone hear the Sterling call, btw?

Nearly a textbook definition of an orgasm.

2007-09-05 09:18:10
73.   williamnyy23
69 I think that's taking the argument too far. Death Valley in the old Stadium (and first version of the remodeled Stadium) was very real. Where the OYS was more friendly was to right field (down the line extending toward straight away). Of course, if you argue that pitchers collectively threw slower in the "old days", then it would have been easier to pull the ball, which would have permitted players to take advantage of the shorter distances down the lines (which existed in many older ball parks).
2007-09-05 09:38:37
74.   JL25and3
69 It was substantially shorter from the right-field line over to the old bullpen. Also, the wall there was only about 4 feet high. I think it was also shorter directly down the left-field line, but the left-field wall went almost straight back from there.

The rest of the old Stadium was deeper, most of it considerably deeper, some of it insanely deep. The flagpole and those monuments were on the field.

67 I completely agree. The later remodelings took away almost all of the distinctiveness from the Stadium dimensions; "399" in left-center is a damn shame. That's why "preserving the same dimensions" in the new Stadium doesn't mean much to me.

2007-09-05 09:47:56
75.   monkeypants
73 I meant hitting the ball out of the STADIUM (i.e., over the roof), not just hitting a HR. It was much, much harder to hit a HR in the old days, no doubt.

74 Yep. I am in many ways ambivalent about the new stadium--I've made my peace with it. But I do think that they missed a real opportunity to recapture some of the old play of the former ballpark. 460 to CF? Obviously not. But what a bout 415 to CF and 405 to LCF, just to invoke a little more of the distinct OYS asymmetry.

2007-09-05 09:50:01
76.   YankeeInMichigan
Joe Sheehan of BP recently concluded that, if all games were played against 2000 league-average pitching in Olympic Stadium in Montreal, the single season home run king would be (drumb roll please ...) Lou Gehrig in 1927! That's because his doubles and triples in the alleys would have translated into homers.
2007-09-05 09:52:46
77.   rbj
70 That's my thinking. This way Eiland can work with Gator on those young guys' mechanics. "No, Ron, he's had success pitching this way. His problem is he's not landing like he used to."

BTW, anyone else catch Al Leiter's comment about wanting to look at the back of his pitching coach's baseball card before deciding whether to listen to the guy or not? I thought that was kinda strange -- those who can, do; those who can't, teach.

2007-09-05 09:56:09
78.   YankeeInMichigan
Speaking of BP, can a subscriber share (summarize) Nate Silver's September/October rotation ratings? I would imagine that the Yankee rotation is better fit for October (where they can leverage their 1-2 punch) than for September. Then again, they'll still fall a bit behind the Angels, Indians and Red Sox (and, of course, the Padres).
2007-09-05 09:58:17
79.   Sliced Bread
76 Cool!

77 I imagine Leiter likes to look at his own baseball cards, and would trade a mint Koufax rookie card for any version of his own.

2007-09-05 10:28:51
80.   JL25and3
77 That's just idiotic. I wonder what he thinks of Leo Mazzone's baseball card - not to mention Dave Duncan's.
2007-09-05 10:34:43
81.   williamnyy23
77 80 Actually, I think Leiter was making the exact opposite point...that usually when a pitcher has an impressive "baseball card", he doesn't make a great coach because so much came easy to him.
2007-09-05 10:46:23
82.   rbj
81 Maybe. Maybe I misunderstood it because I thought it sounded like Leiter only wanted successful ML pitchers to be his pitching coach.
2007-09-05 10:48:51
83.   rsmith51
82 I imagine that a good pitching coach could be either. Either way Leiter sounds is pretty suspect.
2007-09-05 10:49:17
84.   Shaun P
78 Silver ranked the Yanks 4th overall (behind Cleveland, Boston, and SD). He rated the Yanks "September" and "October" rotations as equal, FWIW. I only skimmed the article, so maybe someone who read it in depth can provide more insight.
2007-09-05 10:54:42
85.   JL25and3
75 Well, no one's hit one out of either version, so it's hard to say - but I think you're right, the new version is harder. People sometimes hit foul balls out of the old Stadium - I remember listening once when Bob Allison did it - and I don't know that anyone's done it since the renovation.

I took the Stadium tour last year, and learned that Josh Gibson actually came closest to hitting a ball out. He hit it to the right of the left-field stands - where the ambulances are now. It happened that they were doing some construction and had put some netting up in that gap, and Gibson hit it right into the netting.

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