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Throw Strikes
2008-04-19 21:25
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

You can't win if you don't score. Last night the Yankees got ten men on base, but couldn't push any of them across against the underwhelming duo of lefty Brian Burres and righty Jim Johnson. The Yanks have scored just two runs in two games in Baltimore, but the story last night was the failure of rookie starter Ian Kennedy to get out of the third inning.

Kennedy got into trouble right away, but was rescued from his first-inning jam when Melky Cabrera ranged deep into the left field gap to snag a deep drive for the third out with the bases loaded. (Likely encouraged by that catch Melky later misplayed two long drives which ricocheted off the wall and back over his head.) A nifty pickoff play at second base allowed Kennedy to escape a second inning jam with just one run allowed. In the third, he wasn't so lucky.

After striking out Nick Markakis, Kennedy hung a slider to Kevin Millar, who deposited it in the left field seats to make the score 2-0. Kennedy then walked the next two men, his fourth and fifth walks of the game. That drew his manager out of the dugout, not for a pitching change, but for a stern lecture about the need to throw strikes. Kennedy's first pitch to the next batter was a ball, but he proceeded to strike him out on three more pitches. He then fell behind the next hitter 3-0 before surrendering a two-run double. With that, Joe Girardi had seen enough.

Still fuming over Kennedy's nibbling, Girardi gave a very aggressive post-game press conference. Some of the highlights:

"It's hard to pitch the way he's pitching. You have to attack the zone. Five walks in 17 hitters? You can't pitch that way. You have to attack the zone and throw strikes. . . . You make all hitters better when you're behind them. You just can't pitch that way. To me, it looks like he's not aggressive enough."

"You have to find out what people are made of, and he has to make adjustments. He's gotta fight his way out of it. I'm planning on him being out there his next start. He's just missing. He understands. It's a minor adjustment that he has to make for us, and he'll do it."

"I never lose patience. This game is hard. It was hard for me. It's hard for all players. I'm never going to lose patience."

Kim Jones: "Joe, you say you don't lose patience, but it is obvious this is testing you."
Girardi, angrily: "No. It isn't testing me. I hate losing. That tests me. But I believe in my people, and you continue to encourage them, and you work with them, and they get better.

When asked about both Burres and the Orioles he mentioned specifically the things they did that his team isn't right now, though he didn't make the comparison explicit: "They're playing good fundamental baseball. They're throwing strikes. They're getting hits with runners in scoring position. They're not making errors [Robinson Cano made the game's only error last night]. They're not walking people."

During the YES broadcast, Michael Kay, who has been covering the Yankees since 1987, spanning the terms of 8 Yankee managers, said the only Yankee manager he's seen take losing as hard as Girardi was Billy Martin.

On the up side, Ross Ohlendorf saved the bullpen once again with three-plus innings of scoreless relief (though he was charged with two runs when Billy Traber plated both of his bequeathed baserunners in the seventh setting the final at 6-0 Orioles). Joba Chamberlain returned from Nebraska with good news about his father's continuing recovery from what he described as "some respiratory stuff" and shook off the rust by striking out two in a scoreless inning. Jose Molina also returned to action. He went 0-for-3 and failed to catch the only man who attempted to steal against him, but if Molina can catch and Posada, who played first base, is almost ready, the Yanks should be able to farm out Chad Moeller and bring back Shelley Duncan, who has hit .342/.468/.816 with four homers in ten games since being optioned down to Scranton. Of course, the Yankee roster hijinx will continue with the Rodriguez family still expecting a new arrival and Kyle Farnsworth facing a suspension for throwing behind Manny Ramirez, but with an off day finally arriving on Monday and the weather heating up, things are starting to return to normal.

Comments (157)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-04-20 05:48:26
1.   domvjr
It should be an interesting summer, if the Yanks continue to play up and down. Girardi's post game demeanor, is a complete 180 from Torre. How the team handles it,will be an undercurrent to the season!
2008-04-20 06:06:12
2.   OldYanksFan
MLB history is full of potential quality pitchers who never 'made it' because they couldn't throw strikes. Bruney might be a minor example of that. There are many others.

But those guys always had a history of lack of command. With Phil and IPK, the opposite is true. They both have histories of excellent command. So while I am not happy with their performances so far, I do not believe what we have seen is what we can expect for the future.

And both guys have shown, as rookies, that when their command is on, they are both above average (or better) pitchers.

I said in the previous thread that it's hard for us to fathom the pressure on these kids. Even though we say 'we know they will have growing pains', we still hope and quasi-expect quality MLB performances.

We know they are both mature and level headed. We seem to 'know' they can handle the pressure of pitching successfully in NY.

We know Santana, Liriano and many other stud pitchers took a year or 2 to find 'themselves'. Intellectually, we know what Phil and IPK are experiencing is par for the course.

Yet we still hope and quasi-expect quality MLB performances.

Look at Carlos Pena, once he was on a team where there were no expectations on him. He blossomed.

Phil and IPK are kinda like our kids. They need to know we still 'love em to death' even if they fail. I think the super high expectations, the Santana stuff, the 'fall of the Yankees'... all this stuff weighs on them. They have to learn how to crawl before they can walk. I don't doubt their talent. I just hope the fans give these kis the support they need.

This year, like last year, we win with our offense. The team needs to give our pitchers the feeling that no matter how well/poorly they pitch, the team will keep them in the game.

In 2 years it will be different, and we will expect of young pitchers to carry the team. But for now, winning or losing is on the offense. If we give up 10 runs, we have to expect our O to get 11 runs.

It is up to our vets, and especially JD and Jason, to step up. I don't think we have a better chance with Brett and Shelly. Maybe lightning will strike or a midseason trade will change things, but my feeling is this year, we live or die with 'the old guys'.

2008-04-20 06:10:37
3.   monkeypants
Girardi can get testy (or whatever he calls it) about the offense, but he's the one who fills out the lineup card. He's the one who keeps putting JD in the leadoff spot. He keeps trotting Giambi out there (although Ensberg has seen some playing time). I am starting to wonder if Cano doesn't need a swift kick in the ass--maybe he should ride the pine for a couple of days, and give those ABs to Gonzalez or the rapidly disappearing Betemit.
2008-04-20 06:18:15
4.   monkeypants
2 "It is up to our vets, and especially JD and Jason, to step up. I don't think we have a better chance with Brett and Shelly."

I think that you may be forcing a false dichotomy, that this is a choice between JD/Jason or Brett/Shelly. I know you are a big fan of defense and count the innumerable balls that JD catches, but at some point you stick Matsui or Duncan in the OF because their bats outweigh JD's glove. Moreover, moving Matsui into LF opens the DH spot for Posada (since he may never catch again at this rate) or the DuncBerg/Betemit platoon.

Similarly, at 1B you have Ensberg/Duncan/Betemit/Posada on any given day. At some point you have to pull the plug on the Giambi Resurrection Project.

So basically, 1] there is no need to go outside of the current roster (+ Duncan, who is only at AAA b/c of Posada's injury) to try to find some offensive solution; 2] there is no reason to be trapped into a simple solution (Gardner for Damon, Duncan for Giambi). Cashman has done a very good job of constructing a much more flexible roster than we have seen in years. They need to start using that flexibility.

2008-04-20 06:20:01
5.   horace-clarke-era
There is a wonderful New Yorker cartoon from last year, I have it clipped, showing a lanky pitcher, head down in contrition being hugged by his stubby manager on the mound. The manager is saying "I love you, we all love you, now throw strikes."

I have two comments here. One is a repeat: careful what we wish for. Everyone was so excited (or many here were) about 'the kids', there was grief and dismay at the thought of dealing PKH and/or IPK for the best starter in the game (along with Melky, to be fair). This may very well have been the right move ... but as OYF (sort of) says, it takes time. Where I disagree a bit is his implication that time might be, like, May or June? It may be 2009 or even 2010. And it remains a 'to be seen', Judging talent is a guess, an educated one but ... so it was ALWAYS going to be a bumpy ride this year with two rookies and at least one aging control pitcher and not a lot behind them. That led to my hoping for a sixth starter pick-up all winter and spring.

Next comment: good hitting takes pressure off kid pitchers sometimes, but not always (we did give IPK a 6 run lead last start). But what really takes pressure off a whole team is a manager with some equilibrium and poise. You can kick the vets if they are 'giving away at-bats' which is what Leyland just did in Detroit, but kicking the kids ...? I said it more than once ... the Yankees run last year after the way they started ought to have got Torre manager of the year. Bullpen management? If NO one is throwing well, the middle relief is a landmine for any team. Right now I'd call Girardi a rookie, too. One year in the quiet of Florida does not a New York media manager make. Not out the gate.

2008-04-20 06:22:32
6.   horace-clarke-era
In fairness again ... OYF did say 'in two years' I misread him when he talked about 'history of control' and I thought he meant the control would come back soon.

In short, I think he and I are saying the same thing, which isn't that uncommon except when the topic is Roger.

But I think if he'd JOINED me in calling for another starter to be signed, Cash might have listened! :)

2008-04-20 07:07:46
7.   mehmattski
The thing that kind of bothers me is that at the end of April last year, the team was 9-24 but our Pythagorean record was several wins better. Right now the Yankees are 9-10 but the Pythag record is actually worse.

Digging further, the "projected records" based on offensive statistics has the Yankees at the same place as their actual record. So it's not as if the team is getting unlucky- they're hitting and pitching like a .500 team right now. Last year, the team had scored 27 more runs than they allowed and still were 4 games under .500. This year, they've scored 14 fewer runs than they've allowed, and are in the middle of the pack with both hitting and pitching.

All in all, a very average team so far. I'm much more concerned than I was at this time last year...

2008-04-20 07:08:58
8.   mehmattski
7 Er, make that 9-14. The Yankees weren't that bad last April (though it was close.)
2008-04-20 07:12:36
9.   monkeypants
7 Good observations. I'm not sure if I am more or less worried. Their PYTH Record last year early was buoyied by some big scoring games, and one could have reasonably argued that the team would never keep up that pace. Similarly this season I am pretty sure that the team will not be in the bottom three or so in runs scored, so it is likely the case the the PYTH REC is distorted low right now.

That said, I am wondering when, exactly, the offense will come around.

2008-04-20 07:37:43
10.   OldYanksFan
5 Hoss, I was all for Cashman getting another/backup SP EXCEPT he had to definitely be considerably better then Moose.
So... who was that? Lohse? And at what cost? Colon? We didn't hear of it, but are we sure Cashman didn't look for someone, and found nothing worthwhile?

4 DH Posada and then what? Molina's bat over JD's? And have both of our Cs in the same lineup?

Matsui missed a ball that lead to 6 runs. Hard for his bat to make up for that. He is painful to watch in LF. As long as he hits, DH is a fine place for him

At what point is JD's glove worth his bat? .750 OPS? Maybe the problem is not his bat, but his bat leading off? Maybe a .750 OPS batting 9th is OK?

Shelly has a career 7 yr MiLB OPS of .822. Last year, when he exceeded expectations, his OPS against RH pitching was .802.

And as bad as Jason is on D, he is good at scoops. He has already saved a number of errors. Posada at first is NOT better D. If you want Shelly/Ensberg at 1B against LH pitching... fine. Thats maybe 20% of our games.

My point is, unless Jason can't even post a .800 OPS, he seeme to be our best bet at 1B against RH pitching.

And while JD is not longer a great runner, his base running is still a small asset over Mats/Duncan.

I agree we have options within our current roster. I'm saying if we get .750 OPS from JD and .850 OPS from Giambi, we are OK. I think we need to give them enough time for them to prove they CAN'T do that, before alternatives look better.

I may be nuts, but I think Jason is still good for a .850 OPS.... but not if he's not close to an everyday player.

2008-04-20 07:56:53
11.   Sliced Bread
Took the kids to two birthday parties yesterday, and did some other running around - so I was plenty exhausted by the end of this game. Watched the postgame coverage with the sound turned down, zoning out to Joe Strummer's last album instead. Girardi looked plenty peeved, and I was with him... but I didn't feel compelled to hear what he had to say. Not much to say when they're on an ugly three game skid other than today's a new day.
Go git 'em, Stopper. Show the kids how it's done.
2008-04-20 08:47:09
12.   horace-clarke-era
10 No of COURSE I'm not sure Cash didn't look ... in fact I have to assume that if something seems an issue to us it has to seem one to him and the team as a whole. I was joking about the Banter influencing actions (I hope that was obvious!).

I also agree with you about giving Damon time and even Giambi (less sure about Jason myself, would like to be wrong). But yes, Giambi's scoops have saved Jeter (especially) several times already. We could lead off with Jeter/Melky for now, and wish Cano had his act together to bat 2nd.

Posada as DH? Agreed again, way too soon for that in a 4 year contract! It may get there but ... we really don't want both Cs in the game at once. Is Matsui really and truly stick-a-fork as a LF? If so, means his knee is NOT back, you know.

2008-04-20 09:26:25
13.   SF Yanks
I hate games like today where a win doesn't necessarily feel good because today you HAVE to win, a game you SHOULD win. A game you are SUPPOSED to win. The chances of getting swept by the O's are highly unlikely, so a win is expected. So if they win today then good, that's how it had to be, but if they lose...Ugh, it just makes it that much worse. It's one of those games where emotions will probably flatline...and maybe pick up when they have a 2-3 game winning streak.
2008-04-20 09:35:53
14.   mehmattski
Times like these make me reconsider my joint beef with Time Warner Cable and Peter Angelos, for

1) Making Durham, NC part of "Orioles territory"
2) TWC refusing to air the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network because too few people care about Orioles games in North Carolina.

And yet, not being able to watch the game might be a good thing...

2008-04-20 09:42:27
15.   Zack
[0 If by "things are starting to return to normal" you mean SNAFU!
2008-04-20 09:46:12
16.   mehmattski
God help the first person to suggest that the Yankees sign Frank Thomas...
2008-04-20 09:48:35
17.   ms october
10 giambi should be thankful he doesn't play for the blue jays :}

13 you captured the feeling well

2008-04-20 09:48:44
18.   rbj
14 Yeah, the dojo had a whole bunch of tests yesterday so I was otherwise occupied and didn't get to see the game. Today I think I'll go see the Mudhens play, with a rehabbing Granderson. Mudhens are at least scoring runs.

And I really hope Cashman does not sign a now free Frank Thomas.

2008-04-20 09:49:05
19.   monkeypants
10 "DH Posada and then what? Molina's bat over JD's? And have both of our Cs in the same lineup?"

That's a specious argument. Posada will have to DH if cannot throw the ball. So, you are going to have a BUC in any case. By keeping Damon in the lineup you are therefore sacrificing either Posada or Matsui.

"Matsui missed a ball that lead to 6 runs. Hard for his bat to make up for that. He is painful to watch in LF."

This to is a somewhat bogus argument. So, Matsui's bad play gets "credit" for ALL the runs that follow? And we assume that he will make such negative plays every single game? Show me the stats.

That he is painful to watch is an aesthetic argument, not a scientific one.

2008-04-20 09:58:08
20.   weeping for brunnhilde
Seven plus, no more than two runs for Andy today.

Mark my words.

I can't vouch for the "offense," though.

2008-04-20 10:03:14
21.   monkeypants
10 To continue:

"At what point is JD's glove worth his bat? .750 OPS? Maybe the problem is not his bat, but his bat leading off? Maybe a .750 OPS batting 9th is OK?"

First, this assumes that he will hit .750 OPS, which he is currently about 60 points below (if I recall). Matsui's career OPS is around .850. Are you convinced that Damon makes up 100 points of OPS with his glove? Moreover, Matsui is streaky and he currently hitting .900+ OPS. Wouldn't it make sense now of al times to stick him into LF and ride the hot streak, since his mat surely will outweigh his glove as long as he is raking?

Yes, a good start would be to move Damon down to 8th or 9th in the lineup. But if he continues to scuffle around .680 OPS, they may have to think about benching him...at least as long as the offense is scuffling.

Finally, you sort of ignored the suggestion that Duncan can stand in LF with a glove tied to his arm.

2008-04-20 10:08:47
22.   Simone
With Kennedy and Hughes starting out, it was always going to be a tough season full of up and downs. At some point, Joba will be joining them so things will be rocky for awhile.
2008-04-20 10:11:44
23.   ny2ca2dc
Mother of god J.P. Ricciardi is one of the most blithering idiots I've ever seen. I'll betcha Joe Shehan rips this nonsense to pieces. I wish I had the inclination to detail this debacle in its entirety, but my goodness.
2008-04-20 10:19:49
24.   joejoejoe
OT: Frank Thomas vs. lefties in '07, .336/.431/.631

I wonder if he wants to be a platoon DH?

2008-04-20 10:28:40
25.   monkeypants
One last reference to the value of Damon's "D" v. Matsui's "O", then I will leave the dead horse to rest for a while. All should check out Steve Goldman's piece from about a week ago:

http://tinyurl.com/62esgu

The money quote:

"Damon is clearly the better fielder when it comes to chasing balls in the gap, and he doesn't have the judgment problems that Matsui has. Having said that, there is very limited evidence, be it statistical or anecdotal, that he redefined play out there. The huge gap between Matsui and Damon is a creative invention, an urban legend generated by the expectations that Damon, as a relocated speedy center fielder, is somehow overqualified to play left."

2008-04-20 10:44:44
26.   weeping for brunnhilde
Come on, Alex, nice and easy.

Up the middle, please, for God's sake.

2008-04-20 10:46:02
27.   weeping for brunnhilde
Oh, God. Terrible 1-1 swing by Alex.

Please, just meet the baseball.

2008-04-20 10:46:29
28.   weeping for brunnhilde
How 'bout that Cy Trachsel, eh?
2008-04-20 10:49:29
29.   mehmattski
So, Steve Traschel is a strikeout pitcher, now?

Geez, the Yankees make everyone look like Carlton and Koufax.

2008-04-20 10:53:04
30.   nick
how can we possibly deal with the overwhelming stuff and command possessed by the 37 yr old Steve Traschel?
2008-04-20 10:55:49
31.   fansince77
AROD has sucketh thus far. Why should pitchers fear him when he goes after so many bad pitches. I think that is the difference between he and Manny. With Manny, you know he won't often go after shitty pitches- and if you make a mistake? OH SHIT. With Alex- he will chase out of the zone and mistakes are not automatic taters.
2008-04-20 10:56:55
32.   weeping for brunnhilde
One sixty-four.

That's not good.

2008-04-20 10:57:10
33.   Zack
Did this game start at 1:05 and is now only in the 2nd inning, or did it start late?

I knew this game was going to be infuriating just be looking at who was pitching for the O's

2008-04-20 10:57:46
34.   nick
why is Wang pitching according to Sterling, but Pettitte according to everything else?
2008-04-20 10:58:36
35.   weeping for brunnhilde
Nice drive by Robby, there.

Even nicer play by Jones.

Oh well, at least that's two well-struck balls.

Here's Jason.

2008-04-20 10:58:57
36.   weeping for brunnhilde
33 1:35.
2008-04-20 10:59:23
37.   Zack
Pa. Thet. Ic.
2008-04-20 10:59:36
38.   weeping for brunnhilde
Oh, Christ.

Someone do something with/to Jason.

2008-04-20 10:59:47
39.   nick
aha! ignore that--answer discovered--####### mlb gameday....
2008-04-20 11:00:33
40.   Zack
36 Gracias. Seriously, I can't believe Giambi is still in the lineup and Damon is still leading off.
2008-04-20 11:03:40
41.   weeping for brunnhilde
31 Believe me, I've been thinking a lot about the difference between Manny and Alex lately and it's hard not to conclude that Manny's just a flat-out better hitter, whatever the numbers say, for the reasons you mention.

I know it might just be my imagination and that I don't see Manny everyday, but man, he just never seems to look bad at the dish the way Alex does. He always seems in complete command of the AB, especially in "pressure" situations.

He never seems jumpy or on the defensive. Alex, for his part, seems to enter an AB on the defensive when he's struggling. You just know he's feeling the pressure and will swing accordingly.

Sigh.

Maybe he needs to start wearing his headphones again.

2008-04-20 11:07:07
42.   Zack
41 thats not really true though. Its really obscured by the fact that Manny has KILLED the Yanks the last few years. But remember, last year for the first half he looked AWFUL. And when Manny is going wrong, he, I would say, looks worse than Alex. Swinging at really bad pitches way outside, looking nonchalant about it (Manny being Manny) etc. The thing is, when a hitter who normally looks so good is off, they will look particularly bad, a lot of which is in comparison to when they are on.

A-Rod, when off, is jumpy and swings at pitches that aren't his pitches. You can see it coming and see him thinking. Manny is sort of the opposite in that you don't see him thinking through it, even if he is

2008-04-20 11:07:22
43.   weeping for brunnhilde
Melky needs to switch places with Damon.

Robby needs to fucking start hitting.

2008-04-20 11:09:56
44.   Zack
Cy Traschal does it again...
2008-04-20 11:10:16
45.   weeping for brunnhilde
42 Yeah, fair enough. As I say, I can't even picture what Manny looks like when he's bad because when we're facing him, he always seems locked in.

Whatever with Manny, Alex needs to step it up.

He doesn't need to be a superstar (though that would be nice), but Christ, is it too much to ask him to have a representative ab, line a single somewhere with Derek out there on second?

Someone has to drive in runs, you know?

2008-04-20 11:12:10
46.   weeping for brunnhilde
Wow, amazing!

A nice little groundball up the middle!

Ok, Team, keep it coming!

It's on you, Derek.

It's on you.

2008-04-20 11:13:19
47.   nick
Manny: .313 .410 .594
Alex: .306 .389 .578
the numbers alone say that Manny is a flat-out better hitter...
2008-04-20 11:15:33
48.   rsmith51
47 While I would probably agree, there is probably some adjustment for home ballparks.
2008-04-20 11:19:18
49.   nick
Looking at career "clutch" splits, only one thing jumps out: Manny overachieves with 2 outs and RISP, Alex underachieves.....but on the other hand Manny is terrible late and close. (I'm looking at tOPS: OPS relative to that batter's overall performance.)

This is what is so frustrating about trying to track clutch performance. If clutch=2 out RISP Manny is a monster; if it=late and close, he's a choker......

2008-04-20 11:21:29
50.   nick
47 oh, sure, I wasn't trying to be precise...I guess the bigger point is that we all often assume Alex should be the best hitter in the game; he was considered the best player in the game because he hit like he does and played good defensive shortstop. Manny, on the other hand, plays left, like a DH...
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-04-20 11:22:12
51.   OldYanksFan
Is Matsui really and truly stick-a-fork as a LF? If so, means his knee is NOT back, you know.
------------------------------------------
I can't say for sure, but if you remember, I have been advocating (here) that Matsui be taken out of LF since July last year. This young year already, there was a HR into the first row that JD definitely would have caught, and a ball over Mats head, that lead to 6 runs, that JD could have caught. Those arew just 2 I remember.

Did you see Matsui running the bases when he (barely) scored a few games ago? I assume he was running full out, but he looked like he was running in quick sand. I would guess that with a ball hit in the LF gap, that in the time it takes to run it down, JD would gain 5'-10' over Mats.... which is huge.

2008-04-20 11:23:53
52.   Zack
47 Manny is a more consistent hitter, Alex tends to range a lot from great to super great or some such. But I suspect, when their careers are over, that those #s will even out and Alex will have the longer, more productive and impressive career. PLUS, there is the position factor, Alex has played far more taxing, less power positions...
2008-04-20 11:25:45
53.   Zack
50 Right, beat me to it on your own point. I am not sure anyone would argue Alex is the best hitter period, but rather, the best "all around player," as his combo of power, average, speed, and defense is unmatched. Until this season Bonds, Manny, and perhaps Pujols might be considered better "hitters"
2008-04-20 11:26:05
54.   Zack
And just like that, a key A-Rod hit!
2008-04-20 11:28:00
55.   rsmith51
Let's stop sitting Hideki for a while!
2008-04-20 11:28:55
56.   rsmith51
How come Matsui hasn't gotten a 1b glove yet?
2008-04-20 11:29:27
57.   nick
could we get Sterling a seeing-eye-homer dog? that way we could all ignore his excitement, unless the dog started barking....
2008-04-20 11:32:04
58.   rsmith51
Giambi should have swung on 3-0. I was thinking anything middle in, he could crush for a HR.
2008-04-20 11:34:20
59.   OldYanksFan
You gotta admire that Giambi puts not making an out above taking a HR swing.
2008-04-20 11:35:24
60.   Zack
Ugh, while they take the league, another disappointing ending to an inning, and 5 freaking k's for Cy Traschal, if that doesn't tell you something is wrong, nothing does...
2008-04-20 11:43:36
61.   rsmith51
Damon hit the ball hard for the 2nd time in a row.
2008-04-20 11:47:59
62.   JeremyM
I know I'm late, but how do they release a Hall of Famer like Frank Thomas like that? Has to be more to this story, or Toronto is filled with idiots. I heard nothing but good things about his time in Oakland, but maybe it just wasn't working.

I know the Yanks need another DH-type like a hole in the head, but it's tempting to think about. Nah....

2008-04-20 11:53:43
63.   Zack
How annoying
2008-04-20 11:53:45
64.   SF Yanks
Cheap.
2008-04-20 12:04:39
65.   OldYanksFan
62 Thomas asked to be released he he didn't play regularly. Toronto offered him2-3 days/week of playing time. Big Hurt said no, so toronto was fair and released him. Frank still gets his $10m salary.

Before his slump, in the first week, he was batting .240 w/3 HRs. So... what AL teams needs a cheap and possibly good DH?

2008-04-20 12:05:12
66.   rsmith51
62 Option for $10M vested for 2009 if Thomas had reached 300 or so plate appearances.
2008-04-20 12:05:32
67.   OldYanksFan
Boston losing 5-0, 1 out, 1 on, bottom 6th.
2008-04-20 12:06:07
68.   Zack
Oh Jesus. You can't be serious
2008-04-20 12:06:35
69.   rsmith51
Seattle is the obvious destination for him or another well known LH slugger.
2008-04-20 12:06:44
70.   weeping for brunnhilde
So now he's hurt?

Man, just what we need.

What's next?

2008-04-20 12:07:32
71.   OldYanksFan
OH SHIT!
2008-04-20 12:08:35
72.   Zack
Funny, despite the harder work out and no Marty Miller to blame, this creaky old team is just as hurt as last year. Go figure
2008-04-20 12:09:58
73.   rsmith51
I imagine ARod will at least DH on Tues.
2008-04-20 12:10:05
74.   weeping for brunnhilde
Nice, off-balance hit by Robby.

Thank you, Robby.

2008-04-20 12:10:38
75.   rsmith51
Based on my visual inspection of the situation.
2008-04-20 12:10:43
76.   nick
ok, if Jason hits a double play into the shift I want him released and replaced by Frank Thomas before the game ends--
2008-04-20 12:11:54
77.   weeping for brunnhilde
Is the shift on?
2008-04-20 12:12:25
78.   Zack
Please, for the love of God, bench Giambi!
2008-04-20 12:12:48
79.   weeping for brunnhilde
No shift, it appears, but you still got your 4-6-3, so never fear, all's right with the universe.
2008-04-20 12:13:57
80.   rsmith51
76 Nick, you are correct, sir!
2008-04-20 12:14:10
81.   fansince77
Note to Giambi.

Hit a fucking fly ball there. Situatonal hitting. Lift the fucking ball.

THIS GUY IS KILLING US!

2008-04-20 12:14:24
82.   nick
has there ever been a player who was cooked & yet still thought & said "I'm just hitting em foul or right at people"?

i submit to you that 99% of all ballplayers who are cooked think and feel exactly that....

2008-04-20 12:14:41
83.   OldYanksFan
I guess it doesn't matter how hard Jason hits the ball... everything's an out.
2008-04-20 12:14:41
84.   Max
Well, if that wasn't a microcosm of the season so far, I don't know what was. Bases loaded, one out, Alex gets hurt, Giambi hits into DP, no runs.
2008-04-20 12:16:05
85.   weeping for brunnhilde
84 And that's about the size of it.
2008-04-20 12:16:13
86.   nick
on the other hand, the guy can flash the leather....maybe just demote him to late-game defensive replacement--
2008-04-20 12:16:36
87.   fansince77
You know things are bad whe Giambi is a better fielder than he is a hitter (by far!)...and he's a pretty average fielder.
2008-04-20 12:18:10
88.   weeping for brunnhilde
JESUS H. FUCKING CHRIST!!!!!!!!!
2008-04-20 12:18:17
89.   fansince77
I disagree. That is a routine play at the major league level. It did not short hop Jeter whatsover. Lousy play period.
2008-04-20 12:18:37
90.   Zack
84 You could say the same about that sequence. Defense fails to make a play, then they pick off the guy, and defense again fails to make a play...This team is really unwatchable
2008-04-20 12:19:23
91.   nick
........or maybe not.
2-0 for us, why does it feel like we're down 4-1 or something?
2008-04-20 12:19:25
92.   fansince77
At least Giambi can throw.

I thought fake tags are illegal!

2008-04-20 12:19:45
93.   Zack
Giambi needs to be benched. There is no way that him trying to "fight through this" is helping this team right now. Maybe when others start to hit he can, but right now they need someone swinging the bat...

And the comedy of errors continues. Freaking amazing when the O's make you look like a sloppy team

2008-04-20 12:19:47
94.   weeping for brunnhilde
Maybe Roberts will steal...

Ok, as I type that, he does steal third, but I was going to say maybe he'll steal third and then steal home.

2008-04-20 12:20:51
95.   fansince77
God are we sharp on "D"- fucking set of Ginsu knives out there.
2008-04-20 12:21:24
96.   rsmith51
Who else could the Yanks have gotten in 2002? Of course, NJ was on his way so they didn't really need a 1b at that point.
2008-04-20 12:22:45
97.   Zack
Now that was some nice freaking pitching by Andy. Phil and Ian take note
2008-04-20 12:22:46
98.   weeping for brunnhilde
Andy's a golden god.
2008-04-20 12:22:53
99.   nick
if Millar comes up this inning I'll call the 3-run jack.

might as well stand behind my pessimism...

2008-04-20 12:24:29
100.   nick
....phew. didn't want to have to do that.....
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-04-20 12:24:32
101.   fansince77
Someone help me...are fake tags legal? Seems like the propensity for injury there would dictate so. Maybe that's just in high school and college? As a former middle infielder, I know that you can "deke" (ie pretending to wait for a throw or pretending to field a ground ball or fly ball) but I was certain that a fake tag was illegal? Anyone?
2008-04-20 12:24:54
102.   rsmith51
In my alternate Yankee history, the Yanks don't trade Mike Lowell, don't sign Giambi and do sign Beltran.
2008-04-20 12:27:52
103.   weeping for brunnhilde
Ssssoff the wall!
2008-04-20 12:28:22
104.   Just fair
Michael Kay caught John Sterling disease.
2008-04-20 12:28:25
105.   SF Yanks
What IS IT with our BU catchers? This is a bizarre season so far...
2008-04-20 12:29:11
106.   fansince77
We just need a roster of BUC's.
2008-04-20 12:29:44
107.   51cq24
i was listening to the game on the radio in the early innings and sterling called "it is high, it is far..." around 5 times. here it really looked like the ball would go out, so is it really just not carrying today, or just the usual sterling nonsense?
2008-04-20 12:30:21
108.   weeping for brunnhilde
104 Is it adrenaline, I wonder? I mean, how hard is it to just not get ahead of youself?

Watch the flight of the baseball and describe said flight to the audience.

Just because you have some special homerun call doesn't mean you have to prepare ahead of time to use it.

2008-04-20 12:32:12
109.   weeping for brunnhilde
Come on, Johnny Damon.

Oh, God, it's this Bradford clown.

I hate watching him pitch.

2008-04-20 12:32:34
110.   weeping for brunnhilde
A homerun for Johnny Damon!

Nice.

2008-04-20 12:32:42
111.   51cq24
104 108 why do we even need a play by play man on tv?

i'm sure they both got this one right.

2008-04-20 12:32:46
112.   nick
I've got the radio, and I still maintain Sterling needs a seeing-eye home run dog--if it's really a bomb, the dog will bark--otherwise, no need to get excited.

On the other hand, given Moeller's prowess, you had to assume that ball was gone....

2008-04-20 12:34:14
113.   51cq24
112 i also notice that sterling has started to just not call quite a few pitches. so all of the sudden the count is 2 and 1 and you only heard one pitch.

what a catch.

2008-04-20 12:35:47
114.   weeping for brunnhilde
113 It was some catch. That guy's a vacuum cleaner out there.
2008-04-20 12:37:55
115.   weeping for brunnhilde
Now it's going to rain?

111 Good question. I guess they need someone to go into histrionics so the fans know when to get excited.

2008-04-20 12:40:41
116.   fansince77
Some more NONCHALANONSENSE from Cano. He would have been out if Little Robbie had a bit of a sense of urgency about applying a tag!
2008-04-20 12:43:35
117.   OldYanksFan
ARod lised as day-2-day with a quad strain.
2008-04-20 12:45:12
118.   Zack
Soo, do we do the Joba-Mo thing just to get more work and, well, we need the win, or let Andy do the 8th at least?
2008-04-20 12:45:16
119.   fansince77
Damon actually made a great throw on Millar's double. Some signs of life from the strange lefty lizard in left. Still pissed about Cano not snapping a tag there.
2008-04-20 12:46:56
120.   fansince77
Let Pettite finish the seventh then get Mo some work. Joba can use a day here.
2008-04-20 12:47:09
121.   fansince77
Meant eighth.
2008-04-20 12:48:21
122.   OldYanksFan
Jesus... The Sox won't die. Lowrie looks good and will Pip Lugo.
5-3 Texas, man on 2nd, 2 out, bottom 8th, pitching change.
2008-04-20 12:49:38
123.   weeping for brunnhilde
Let's give Andy a chance to go for the shutout, I say.
2008-04-20 12:52:57
124.   fansince77
Way to go afer YETANOTHERPITCH out of the stike zone Robby. God this guy can be as Infuriating to watch as he is marvelous.
2008-04-20 12:53:42
125.   Zack
122 Lowrie might Pip Lugo, but that has nothing to do with Lowre's true ability and more to do with Lugo's. I wouldn't read too much into Lowrie yet. It will be interesting to see if he can develop into more than an around .300, low power middle infielder or can make the jump to more than that. On the other hand, the same could have been said about Cano

Just remember, Fenway makes lots of hitters look real nice

2008-04-20 12:53:52
126.   dcpi
Joba Joba Hey!!!
2008-04-20 12:54:43
127.   Zack
I would say, however, that the Yankees pitching was oh so nice to "spark" the Sox offense...

Ok, Joba here, you know, b/c "he's the 8th inning guy"

2008-04-20 12:56:46
128.   Zack
Comedy of errors. The mighty yankees defense
2008-04-20 12:57:30
129.   OldYanksFan
Freakin' Sox tie it up and have a runner at 3rd,
2008-04-20 12:58:16
130.   weeping for brunnhilde
That was nice hitting.
2008-04-20 12:58:24
131.   mehmattski
128 What happened? I'm on gameday.
2008-04-20 12:58:24
132.   mehmattski
128 What happened? I'm on gameday.
2008-04-20 12:58:46
133.   pistolpete
Oh jesus, here comes the tarp.

Just call this thing.

2008-04-20 12:58:48
134.   Zack
Oh come on, weather screwing things up yet again
2008-04-20 12:58:54
135.   weeping for brunnhilde
Now we have to wait around.

What clownery.

2008-04-20 12:59:17
136.   pistolpete
132 Damon slipped trying to get to the ball and it went by him. Grass is wet, tarp's coming out.
2008-04-20 12:59:27
137.   Zack
131 Damon let it get by him, but the runner didn't notice. Could have easily taken 3rd
2008-04-20 13:00:08
138.   weeping for brunnhilde
132 Damon kicked the ball around a little bit, but nothing came of it.

It caromed under his legs and he had to turn around and chase after it like a stooge.

2008-04-20 13:00:24
139.   mehmattski
That was the first extra base hit given up for Joba this season in 23 batters.
2008-04-20 13:01:33
140.   Zack
As I have said, fat lot of good having a dominant 8th inning guy is when you rarely need him. And he can never be as dominant as he was in his short stint last year. I really hope these recent games have swayed all the mediots to this fact
2008-04-20 13:01:56
141.   OldYanksFan
bases loaded for the Sox.
2008-04-20 13:34:23
142.   weeping for brunnhilde
Ok, here we go.

Now Bruney's got himself quite a mess to clean up.

2008-04-20 13:35:25
143.   rsmith51
They should have started the inning with Bruney. Didn't they know that the rain was coming? I guess they hoped they would get 3 outs before the rain came.
2008-04-20 13:36:40
144.   weeping for brunnhilde
143 Joe II works in mysterious ways.
2008-04-20 13:36:55
145.   weeping for brunnhilde
And there's Joba's first run of the season.
2008-04-20 13:39:24
146.   rsmith51
Joba just wanted Mo to get a save.
2008-04-20 13:42:06
147.   weeping for brunnhilde
Oh, it's Millar.

I was just about to say I have a bad feeling about this.

He popped up, good.

2008-04-20 14:00:29
148.   rsmith51
NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO, NO , NO, NO, JOE!
2008-04-20 14:00:38
149.   Mattpat11
When was the last time Mo pitched?
2008-04-20 14:01:55
150.   Zack
Bruney sure has been holding his own this season. Wouldn't it be great if he kept it up all season instead of pumpkining like last season?

Ugh, can't we just call this game now???

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-04-20 14:02:35
151.   rsmith51
NEWSFLASH!

Girardi does not think any of his relievers can get 3 outs before allowing 6 runs.

2008-04-20 14:13:22
152.   Mattpat11
151 I'm sort of iffy on that one myself.
2008-04-20 14:39:53
153.   williamnyy23
Why would you eventhink of bringing Mo back after the rain delay? Why was he even on the mound in the pouring rain before the delay?
2008-04-20 14:43:33
154.   rbj
Hi, just got in from the Mudhens game (10-7 loss, despite 3 homers from Mike Hessman).

What is Mo doing in a 7-1 game, just getting some work in?

2008-04-20 14:43:43
155.   51cq24
153 i don't have any problem with him coming out again now, but i would have had a problem with him pitching in that rain
2008-04-20 15:01:08
156.   Zack
Thank you Mr. Pettitte, nicely done...
2008-04-20 17:00:48
157.   Raf
If we're looking DH, I would rather Bonds than Thomas. But I'm not too keen on the idea of picking up Thomas for the simple fact that there really isn't a place to play him.

If Giambi's released tomorrow, I suspect that Duncan & Betemit will get time @ 1b. Ensberg will see time there as well. Maybe Posada.

DH will have some rotation of Damon, Matsui, Abreu & Duncan and whomever needs a day of rest or is rehabbing from injury.

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