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Detroit Tigers Redux: Igawhy Edition
2008-05-09 12:01
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

When the Tigers completed their sweep of the Yankees in the Bronx last week, it completed a 12-5 stretch that made Detroit's 2-10 start seem like nothing but an injury-plagued fluke. Since then, the Tigers have gone 1-6 against the Twins and Red Sox, throwing things into doubt once again. Since leaving New York, the Tigers have scored just 3.14 runs per game, with 10 of the 22 runs they've scored over that stretch coming in their lone win on Wednesday. In the other six games, they've averaged just two runs per game.

Much like the Indians, who reacted to an offense not living up to expectations by punting a veteran platoon outfielder in favor of a rookie and dropping their aging DH to sixth in the order, the Tigers have responded to their own offense's underperformance by releasing Jacque Jones, calling up 23-year-old lefty-hitting rookie outfielder Matthew Joyce (.299/.367/.536 with five homers at triple-A Toledo before his promotion), and dropping Gary Sheffield (.202/.366/.315 thus far) to sixth in the order (though, curiously, they've also made Sheffield their left fielder).

It won't do them any good. Even if the Tigers got their offense up to last year's level, it wouldn't be enough to out-slug the performance of their pitching staff, which is allowing 5.53 runs per game, the second highest mark in the majors. Taking the season as a whole, the Tigers have actually had the third-best offense in the AL, but they've still been outscored by 27 runs.

Of course, in three games last week, the Tigers outscored the Yankees 20-10. The Yanks will face the same three Tiger starters this weekend in Detroit that they faced last year in the Bronx. What's different is who the Tigers will face, starting with Kei Igawa tonight and Darrell Rasner tomorrow.

Assuming Ian Kennedy's second triple-A start goes even half as well as his first, Kennedy will likely return to reclaim one of those two rotation spots when his subsequent turn comes due. That means Igawa and Rasner are competing to be the man who occupies Phil Hughes' spot in the rotation until Hughes is able to return from his fractured rib. Rasner already has the lead in that race as he was sharp in his season debut against the Mariners last Sunday.

In parts of four seasons now, Rasner has never posted a major league ERA worse than league average and has a solid 4.01 mark (110 ERA+) in 58 1/3 career innings along with a respectable 1.23 WHIP and 2:1 K/BB ratio.

Igawa's another story entirely. In 67 2/3 innings last year, Igawa posted a 6.25 ERA (72 ERA+), 1.67 WHIP, and a limp 1.43 K/BB while allowing a Farnsworthy two homers per nine innings. Worse yet, there were no encouraging streaks during his season. Igawa posted a 7.63 ERA in six outings (five starts plus his six innings of relief following Jeff Karstens' broken leg) before being demoted in early May. After working with organizational pitching guru Nardi Contreras, Igawa returned to the major league rotation in late June and put up a 5.97 ERA over six more starts. After being banished to the minors a second time he reappeared at the end of September to pitch 5 1/3 scoreless innings, but walked five against just two strikeouts along the way.

Here are Igawa's triple-A rates from amid those ugly major league stints along with his triple-A line thus far this year:

2007: 3.69 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 9.35 K/9, 1.98 BB/9, 4.73 K/BB, 1.32 HR/9
2008: 3.86 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 9.08 K/9, 2.72 BB/9, 3.33 K/BB, 0.68 HR/9

Igawa's triple-A homers are down, but his walks are up. Otherwise, there's very little meaningful change between those two lines, and thus, it would seem, very little reason to expect Igawa's major league performance to differ from what he did last year. To lower expectations even further, Igawa gave up eight runs and walked six in his last 12 innings for Scranton. Igawa is a Three True Outcome pitcher in that he clutters his pitching line with walks, homers, and strikeouts. The heavily right-handed Tigers, whom the left-handed Igawa did not face last year, tend to do those things a lot as well.

Come back Ian Kennedy, all is forgiven!

In other news, Chris Britton (surprise!) was optioned to Scranton to make room for Igawa and Sean Henn was claimed off waivers by the Padres. Alex Rodriguez is working out in Tampa, will have his MRI on Monday and could play in an extended spring training game on Monday. Also rehabbing in Tampa: Jorge Posada and Jeff Karstens. Kyle Farnsworth got his suspension for throwing behind Manny Ramirez's head (cripes, was that this season?) reduced to one game and will serve it tonight.

Johnny Damon gets the night off against the lefty Kenny Rogers tonight, though interestingly Wilson Betemit remains at third base. Shelley Duncan starts at first base, pushing Jason Giambi to DH and Hideki Matsui into Damon's vacated left field position. Melky leads off, Duncan hits fifth. Chad Moeller will catch as Jose Molina played yesterday's day game after Wednesday's night game.

Damon doubled and homered yesterday and is a career .302/.373/.434 hitter in 69 plate appearances against Rogers. He went 1 for 4 with a single and two strikeouts against Rogers last week. Hideki Matsui went 1 for 3 with a single and Jason Giambi went 0 for 2 with a walk against Rogers in that game. Giambi is a career .400/.545/.920 hitter in 33 PAs against Rogers. Matsui is 3 for 6 with a homer against Rogers on his career.

Detroit Tigers

2008 Record: 15-21 (.417)
2008 Pythagorean Record: 15-21 (.428)

Manager: Jim Leyland
General Manager: Dave Dombrowski

Home Ballpark (multi-year Park Factors): Comerica Park (101/101)

Who's Replaced Whom:

Matthew Joyce replaced Jacque Jones
Francisco Cruceta replaced Jason Grilli
Freddy Dolsi is replacing Denny Bautista (DL)

25-man Roster:

1B - Miguel Cabrera (R)
2B - Placido Polanco (R)
SS - Edgar Renteria (R)
3B - Carlos Guillen (S)
C - Ivan Rodriguez (R)
RF - Magglio Ordoñez (R)
CF - Curtis Granderson (L)
LF - Gary Sheffield (R)
DH - Matthew Joyce (L)

Bench:

UT - Brandon Inge (R)
OF - Marcus Thames (R)
OF - Ryan Raburn (R)
IF - Ramon Santiago (R)

Rotation:

R - Justin Verlander
L - Kenny Rogers
R - Jeremy Bonderman
L - Nate Robertson
R - Armando Galarraga

Bullpen

R - Todd Jones
L - Bobby Seay
R - Aquilino Lopez
R - Zach Miner
L - Clay Rapada
R - Francisco Cruceta
R - Freddy Dolsi

15-day DL: L - Dontrelle Willis, R - Joel Zumaya, R - Fernando Rodney, R - Denny Bautista, R - Vance Wilson (C)

Typical Lineup:

L - Curtis Granderson (CF)
R - Placido Polanco (2B)
S - Carlos Guillen (3B)
R - Magglio Ordoñez (RF)
R - Miguel Cabrera (1B)
R - Gary Sheffield (LF)
L - Matthew Joyce (DH)
R - Edgar Renteria (SS)
R - Ivan Rodriguez (C)

Comments (233)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-05-09 15:13:32
1.   rilkefan
0 "In parts of four seasons now, Rasner has never posted a major league ERA below league average and has a solid 4.01 mark (110 ERA+) in 58 1/3 career innings along with a respectable 1.23 WHIP and 2:1 K/BB ratio."

"Below" is "above" I take it, ignoring "above average".

2008-05-09 15:15:19
2.   horace-clarke-era
Dammit, william, from over in the other thread (moving here for obvious reasons) ... if you are gonna get all reasonable and judicious this afternoon, and agree that Igawa deserves a looksee for a couple as 5th (not busy in May) starter WHAT are we gonna expect from you tonight?

Can no one be counted on anymore? Do I have to bring up ... Roger again?

2008-05-09 15:16:18
3.   Cliff Corcoran
1 Bah, that was just a typo, but to avoid confusion I changed it to "never posted a major league ERA worse than league average."
2008-05-09 15:18:14
4.   rilkefan
3 Ta. Also for the great opponent wrapups.
2008-05-09 16:03:27
5.   Eirias
I am rarely a pessimist, but I do not think that this game will end well. Or begin well for that matter. Come on Kei, prove me wrong!
2008-05-09 16:08:30
6.   yankee23
[∞] Just want to thank everyone who posts on Bronx Banter for the intelligent and (generally) friendly commentary throughout the season. Comparing the comments on BB to Pete Abe's blog made me realize how nice it is to discuss with you folks. Nothing against Pete, of course, but the comments are simply much better here. Thanks everybody.
2008-05-09 16:18:48
7.   Yankees Brasil
Here we go. God help us.
2008-05-09 16:19:45
8.   Yankees Brasil
Who would have thought? Hard hit double on a hanging curve/slider/whatever he calls that pitch.
2008-05-09 16:21:33
9.   Eirias
Igawa heard my advice, but he chose to go in a different direction.
2008-05-09 16:21:39
10.   Yankees Brasil
He threw like 5 pitches and 3 of them were hit really hard. This is going to be a long night.
2008-05-09 16:23:11
11.   Mattpat11
I wonder if this is as much fun for Brian Cashman as it is for us.
2008-05-09 16:24:01
12.   Yankees Brasil
This is horrible, who had the horrible idea to bring this guy up? He's pathetic. Every ball hit was hit hard. This game might be over after 2 innings.
2008-05-09 16:24:19
13.   Eirias
I think we may be about to reach new lows in terms of Igawa's pitching performance. I would say that we would reach his nadir tonight, but we all know Kei has reserves of suck. He is a deep individual.
2008-05-09 16:25:47
14.   Eirias
Any Catholic fans here? What is the typical penance for taking the Lord's name in vain? Multiple times?
2008-05-09 16:25:58
15.   Mattpat11
12 The same guy that thought he was being clever by ending the Igawa bit with "194" because Igawa was going to just mow em down here.
2008-05-09 16:26:07
16.   fansince77
Did anyone expect anything other than four smoked balls in the first inning? What more do we really have to see of this guy? He's a double A lifer. Pro hitting will inahilate him. No swings and misses coming in this game. Going to be a long night.
2008-05-09 16:26:13
17.   Yankees Brasil
Now if only we could score some runs. Mr. pine tar ain't that good.
2008-05-09 16:26:27
18.   Mattpat11
14 We have an exemption for Igawa related incidents.
2008-05-09 16:26:51
19.   ms october
well on the bright side - that all kei gave up was 1 run and being drilled in the rear was amazing - if not for the little things this night will be truly insufferable
2008-05-09 16:27:11
20.   Mattpat11
16 Several walks, actually. So this is an improvement of sorts.
2008-05-09 16:30:17
21.   rbj
14 , 18 I thought Igawa was the penance. Can't someone take him for a long walk in a dark forest somewhere -- give him some bread crumbs to find his way back.
2008-05-09 16:30:41
22.   Yankees Brasil
I know their lefty isn't as mediocre as ours, but hey, he's not that good either. Why do our guys only pop it up and their guys hit it really hard? and far!
2008-05-09 16:31:41
23.   Mattpat11
22 Their lefty is mediocre. Ours is horrendous.
2008-05-09 16:31:57
24.   Eirias
Slugfest! Everyone into the pool.
2008-05-09 16:32:20
25.   Yankees Brasil
22 Now that's what I'm talking about Giambi!
2008-05-09 16:34:30
26.   rbj
Thanks, Kenny.

Did anyone check his hand, making sure he washed it?

2008-05-09 16:35:42
27.   OldYanksFan
Jason DFA Giambi leading the Yankees in HRs.
2008-05-09 16:35:44
28.   Mattpat11
I'll be honest, I'm really, really not a fan of Wilson Betemit.
2008-05-09 16:36:37
29.   Mattpat11
Oh Christ. Here we go again.
2008-05-09 16:36:51
30.   OldYanksFan
Ug Ly!
2008-05-09 16:37:08
31.   rsmith51
I don't feel real good about tonight. Maybe the Yanks can win a slugfest, but I doubt it.
2008-05-09 16:40:27
32.   Eirias
I'm ambivalent about Bonds on the Yankees, but it is simply absurd that he isn't playing baseball now.
2008-05-09 16:42:06
33.   Yankees Brasil
32 Imagine our lineup with Bonds and A-Rod back-to-back. Sick!
2008-05-09 16:42:46
34.   rbj
Wow, a 1, 2, 3 inning from Kei. Pull him now Joe.
2008-05-09 16:45:45
35.   rsmith51
Boy the Tigers D is going to be bad in LF. That is what is referred to as an easy play.
2008-05-09 16:45:49
36.   Eirias
So, not to take much away from the game or start a new trend here, but how are everyone's FB teams doing?
2008-05-09 16:46:25
37.   rsmith51
33 I don't want Bonds, but yeah he should be playing somewhere. Go Melky!
2008-05-09 16:47:09
38.   Mattpat11
37 I really do have a hard time shedding tears for Barry Bonds.
2008-05-09 16:47:28
39.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
Can't believe it..Igawa is so bad that they aren't even showing him on tv here, and they ALWAYS broadcast games started by Jpnese pitchers! They're broadcasting the BoSox starting at 9am instead of the Yankees...
2008-05-09 16:49:09
40.   rsmith51
I can't remember the last time Jeter was in a full count.
2008-05-09 16:50:39
41.   OldYanksFan
Is Jeter's decline in XBHs and power in general a sign of decline, or just a bad early part of the year?
2008-05-09 16:52:47
42.   Eirias
That was a surprisingly informative speech on pitcher positioning.
2008-05-09 16:53:23
43.   rsmith51
42 Seems like a conscious effort to swing earlier in the count. He isn't drawing many walks or hitting the ball for XBHs. The fact that he is batting .300 won't help him change his current approach.
2008-05-09 16:54:06
44.   rsmith51
Er... 42 = 41
2008-05-09 16:54:58
45.   Yankees Brasil
Another inning, another two left on. So predictable.
2008-05-09 16:55:14
46.   rsmith51
6 I agree about Pete Abe's readers. Like the site, but I come here to chat during the game.
2008-05-09 16:59:12
47.   Yankees Brasil
Duncan killing us.
2008-05-09 16:59:21
48.   rbj
45 Technically one one in the first, (double play) but yeah. Too freaking many men left on base.
2008-05-09 16:59:56
49.   Jeb
The tigers announcer just said, "Jeter hasn't lost a step at that shortstop position." I agree with him; he's been bad at short for years.
2008-05-09 17:01:12
50.   Eirias
What do you all think of Cody Ransom?
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-05-09 17:01:38
51.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
Gameday has Igawa throwing 86mph, straight fastballs...umm, do they look that bad in real life??
2008-05-09 17:03:11
52.   Jeb
50 career minor leaguer.
2008-05-09 17:03:23
53.   Eirias
28 Even more of a fan now?
2008-05-09 17:04:05
54.   Yankees Brasil
51 Worse.

That's the difference between a good offense (theirs) and a bad offense (ours). When they get the chance, they score, we don't. They are probably gonna score 3 more runs this inning and pull away for good.

2008-05-09 17:04:17
55.   rsmith51
How bad do you have to be to say I need to bunt to get on against Kei Igawa?
2008-05-09 17:04:47
56.   rbj
Can we just leave Igawa behind in Detroit?
2008-05-09 17:05:23
57.   Jeb
Ok, I said this a couple of years ago in the playoffs: The Tigers have a bush league - strip club wannabe - public address announcer. He announces in marked contrast to the stoic and classy Bob Sheppard. I despise everything about Detroit, particularly their announcer.
2008-05-09 17:05:33
58.   rsmith51
Has the person who recommended that the Yanks sign Igawa been fired yet?
2008-05-09 17:06:44
59.   Mattpat11
57 Screamer? I haven't noticed.
2008-05-09 17:07:35
60.   ChrisS
I really can't believe the kind of drop-off in talent between Daisuke and Igawa.

The runner-up prize sucks.

2008-05-09 17:07:38
61.   Mattpat11
58 I'd fire whomever thought they were being clever by ending the bid with "194"

I can't even explain why it annoys me so much. It just comes off as smug and obnoxious.

2008-05-09 17:09:46
62.   Jeb
60 yeah he has. He's now the Tigers Public address announcer.
2008-05-09 17:10:59
63.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
61 194??
2008-05-09 17:11:03
64.   Yankees Brasil
Igawa and Rasner back-to-back? We must like losing streaks.
2008-05-09 17:11:30
65.   rbj
57 And I hate Rod Allen as an announcer.
2008-05-09 17:11:51
66.   Paul in Boston
Igawa's fastball is bleh, high 80s. The curve has no snap to it, consistently floating high and not fooling anyone.

In short, he sucks.

2008-05-09 17:12:40
67.   Mattpat11
Yeah, Ian Kennedy couldn't do this.
2008-05-09 17:12:46
68.   weeping for brunnhilde
Hey, Team!

We having fun yet?

Ra-rah-rah!

2008-05-09 17:13:08
69.   ChrisS
Betemit sucks too.

Can we get Proctor back?

2008-05-09 17:13:58
70.   Mattpat11
63 The bid for Igawa was $26,000,194

The 194 represented Igawa's K total the year before.

It just annoys me for reasons I can't fully explain.

2008-05-09 17:14:26
71.   weeping for brunnhilde
What were Igawa's strengths supposed to be?

Anyone remember?

That curve, I guess?

And maybe he hit spots at one point?

(Help me out here 'cause I really don't get it.)

2008-05-09 17:14:33
72.   ChrisS
Rasner actually has had success in the majors. He won't likely be a #1 type, but he's not horrid.
2008-05-09 17:14:44
73.   3rd gen yankee fan
It's the Igawa-go-round.
2008-05-09 17:14:50
74.   Mattpat11
On the bright side, he's yet to walk someone.
2008-05-09 17:16:29
75.   Mattpat11
64 I think Rasner may be a little underrated. I think he can be your prototypical fourth starter. I just think that with Hughes healthy, we have much better pitchers than him.
2008-05-09 17:17:33
76.   williamnyy23
I'd imagine he is being hammered here, but the Yankees are not losing because of Igawa. The Yankees are losing because they can't field and they can't hit bad lefty pitching. On offense, they squandered two 1-2, one out innings...and on defense, Jeter, Matsui, Duncan and Betemit all muffed played an average fielder would make.

Focusing on Igawa obscures the really reasons the Yankees have stumbled through the first 40 games.

2008-05-09 17:18:09
77.   rbj
71 A cheaper, slightly less good version of Matsuzaka.

Matsuzaka was (apparently) unbelievable in Japan, and while he's good here, he's not at that same level. Igawa was very good over there, and horrible here. Amazing the difference in talent levels between Japan and MLB.

2008-05-09 17:20:01
78.   OldYanksFan
Oh crap! Can't leave for a second. How did Detroit score 3? HR? Hit parade? Bad defense must be in there somewhere....
2008-05-09 17:20:57
79.   Mattpat11
78 Doublepalooza.
2008-05-09 17:21:55
80.   williamnyy23
78 90% bad defense. Jeter made another bad throw to begin the inning (and Duncan failed to scoop an easy hop), Betemit played 3B like a statue, allowing two ground balls to get past and Matsui and Jeter combined on a relay at the plate that featured two very weak throws.
2008-05-09 17:22:52
81.   Mattpat11
76 The Yankees embarrassed one of their top prospects so this goofball could come up and pitch better. The least he can do is that.

And I think the very fact that Kei Igawa is still in the organization is a troubling symptom of an issue that the team has.

2008-05-09 17:23:31
82.   Mattpat11
Here we go.
2008-05-09 17:23:52
83.   Paul in Boston
76 I don't deny the Yankees have been weak in many areas. But Igawa just seems to have none of the features one looks for in good starting pitchers in the majors: no velocity, no control, no breaking pitches. Nothing.

As Cliff so nicely summarized, this is someone who has NEVER shown us much of an ability to get big league hitters out.

2008-05-09 17:24:26
84.   Yankees Brasil
Betemit can't make a single play. And he can't hit lefty pitching. Why is he playing tonight? Or ever?
2008-05-09 17:25:29
85.   Mattpat11
84 Does Wilson Betemit know how to catch a fucking ball?
2008-05-09 17:25:43
86.   ChrisS
The hit parade continues.

Betemit needs to go.

2008-05-09 17:26:40
87.   Yankees Brasil
Betemit sucks!

80 Jeter's throw wasn't bad. He was off-balance and deep in the hole. It was as good as throw as one could make. Duncan's D on the other hand, was horrible. As is Betemit's.

2008-05-09 17:26:50
88.   williamnyy23
81 If you blame Igawa for this game, then you are being irrational. Bob Gibson couldn't win in front of this defense or with the support of this offense.
2008-05-09 17:27:45
89.   rbj
I did call for pulling Igawa after the second inning 34 .
2008-05-09 17:28:32
90.   ChrisS
88 For god's sake, just stop.
2008-05-09 17:28:53
91.   williamnyy23
83 Granted, but if the Yankees would field ground balls and actually hit Kenny Rogers (which everyone else seems capable of doing), they could have and should have won this game something like 9-5.

Igawa is way down the list of reasons the Yankees are going to lose yet another game. If you want to assign blame to Igawa, that's fine, but it misses the point and ignores the Yankees much deeper problems.

2008-05-09 17:28:59
92.   Mattpat11
88 Kei Igawa is pitching an atrocious baseball game. This isn't the defense failing him. They are hitting almost everything on the screws.

He was a bad signing at the time. He was a bad signing all of last year. And this team just stubbornly holds on to him and keeps bringing him back so they can prove some kind of fucking point that totally eludes me.

2008-05-09 17:29:29
93.   Yankees Brasil
88 You can't blame Igawa because he sucks and he can't do better than that. You can blame our coaching staff and FO for even thinking about starting Igawa.

We should leave Igawa there to throw 200 pitches tonight. It's not like we are coming back on this one. And even with 200 pitches I don't think he can go more than 5 innings.

2008-05-09 17:29:30
94.   3rd gen yankee fan
My boyfriend the Giants fan just said that Igawa is worse than Zito. :-\
2008-05-09 17:29:42
95.   rbj
The error was taken away from Jeter. And the Tiger announcers were saying that Thames still has speed. Betemit is a fill in, not a starting 3B, I wouldn't expect him to make that play.
2008-05-09 17:31:11
96.   dianagramr
94

But we don't still owe Igawa $100 million or so.

2008-05-09 17:32:02
97.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
On the bright side..I don't think we'll be seeing Igawa-san pitch in pinstripes ever again...hope they have good ramen in Pittsburgh, Kei-san!
think i'll head out to the park for the Thai Festival, too depressing to follow this on GameDay...
2008-05-09 17:32:18
98.   williamnyy23
90 Why...so you can continue bashing Igawa and blaming him for everything from the team losing to the cyclone in Myanmar?
2008-05-09 17:33:12
99.   williamnyy23
87 An average SS plants his feet and fires a strike. Jeter uses the off balance throw because he doesn't have the arm strength.
2008-05-09 17:33:53
100.   Yankees Brasil
97 Yeah, right. You know they'll send him donw, he'll have some decent starts in triple-A and we'll give him another chance to fuck us. This FO/coaching staff is that dumb.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-05-09 17:34:05
101.   rbj
Yes!
2008-05-09 17:35:31
102.   cult of basebaal
good going by betemit to stay with that tag
2008-05-09 17:36:53
103.   williamnyy23
92 Again, if he had any defense behind him, he could have had a decent outing. Igawa is not a good pitcher, but he is far from the Yankees biggest problem. I realize it's easy to use him as a punching bag, but it's delusional to focus on Igawa and ignore everything else in this game.
2008-05-09 17:37:02
104.   Yankees Brasil
99 There's always something wrong. And you are always the voice of reason to point it out.
2008-05-09 17:38:51
105.   williamnyy23
104 I see...you're ok with pointing out what you think is wrong, but have a problem with someone else doing the same. Nice.

By the way, if you think I am breaking ground by stating Jeter is a below average defender, you're mistaken.

2008-05-09 17:40:51
106.   Mattpat11
98 I can't understand why you're defending the man. Its not like he was pitching even halfway decently and the defense failed him. They were smacking him all over the field. He's no damn good and its long past time for this team to give up.

Tell me. What did the Yankees hope to accomplish by calling Igawa up?

2008-05-09 17:41:05
107.   dianagramr
Isn't Igawa a flyball pitcher anyway .... isn't the OF defense more important for him than Betemit and Jeter (maybe not tonight, but ...)
2008-05-09 17:41:07
108.   Simone
90 He never stops. Seriously, I mean NEVER.

Igawa has turned out to be a bad signing. A reaction to the stellar Matsuzaka signing by Boston. Igawa isn't the first and won't be the last.

I really think that it is time to work Joba into the starting rotation. I wouldn't mind these losses if they were by young starting pitchers learning their trade.

2008-05-09 17:41:31
109.   Yankees Brasil
105 He's a bad defender. But that play was a good one. The throw was there in time and where the first basemen could get. He just didn't get it.
2008-05-09 17:43:40
110.   Mattpat11
103 The fact that the Yankees refuse to give up on their busts is one of the organization's biggest problems. The fact that Carl Pavano is still part of this team is unfathomable. That we just keep on trying with Farnsworth and Igawa is mind boggling.

And almost more than anything, the idea that you think he pitched decently and if if not for Wilson Betemit he'd be in goo shape baffles me.

2008-05-09 17:44:25
111.   williamnyy23
106 I am not defending him...I simply pointing out that he isn't alone as the reason why the Yankees are losing this game. In the 3rd inning, he most certainly wasn't smaked around. Jeter and Betemit each had plays they should have made. With some defense, Igawa could have pitched a scoreless frame that inning. Also, is it Igawa's fault that the Yankees have one run off Kenny Rogers. Igawa is a small part of the problem, but it seems like many would rather key in on him and ignore the other more relevant issues.

As for what they hoped to accomplish: get 5 innings out of Igawa and hope to score runs off Rogers.

2008-05-09 17:45:09
112.   ChrisS
98 continue beating your horse, please.

The defense apparently is only adequate when Wang, Mussina, and everyone else pitches. These guys aren't going win gold gloves, but they're not horrid. Especially since we have no 1b, a slow SS, and sub at 3B and C.

The offense is down two key hitters and, still, I wouldn't count them out yet (line drive by Cano!).

Kei Igawa's line 3.0 IP 11 hits.

Line drive by Melky!

2008-05-09 17:45:10
113.   Mattpat11
107 He's allegedly a fastball slider pitcher. One would assume that would mean strikeouts and groundballs, but who the hell knows with Igawa anymore.
2008-05-09 17:45:13
114.   williamnyy23
108 Always for your pleasure...I am glad you haven't forgotten.
2008-05-09 17:45:58
115.   Yankees Brasil
110 That's the only issue here. Can't blame Igawa. He sucks. You gotta blame our manager and GM for sticking with him.
2008-05-09 17:46:23
116.   williamnyy23
109 If the argument is over who made the bad play, it doesn't refute the point. An out should have been made there. I think a SS with a good arm plants and doesn't bounce the throw. Regardless, someone has to make a play.
2008-05-09 17:48:32
117.   ChrisS
111 Because the problem with Igawa was that he was the starting picther tonight and is easily remedied.

Don't give him more starts.

Now, mister voice of rational thought and brilliance, fix the offense and defense.

2008-05-09 17:48:51
118.   Yankees Brasil
This is painful to watch.
2008-05-09 17:49:04
119.   williamnyy23
112 Your making my point. The team has a depleted offense due to injuries and is starting three below average infielders tonight. That's not an excuse for the poor play of the Yankees...that's a direct reason for it. Arod's presence alone could have made a difference on both sides of the ball...his absence is a much bigger reason for the results of this game than Igawa being ineffective.
2008-05-09 17:50:43
120.   williamnyy23
117 Simple...get Arod and Posada back healthy.
2008-05-09 17:51:19
121.   williamnyy23
110 So, you have no problem with how the defense played in the third inning? Really?
2008-05-09 17:51:48
122.   ChrisS
via radio, of the 64 pitches by Igawa, 2 were swung on and missed.

Obviously, he would have had a chance to win this thing if the Yankees had AG at SS tonight.

2008-05-09 17:52:41
123.   williamnyy23
115 That's another point...the biggest dead horse here is that Igawa was a bad signing. Using some people's philosophy, that means no one should discuss it unless they can offer positive thoughts.
2008-05-09 17:52:56
124.   Mattpat11
119 Lets argue for a second that the Yankees defsnse is the root problem here.

Why then, would you call up a pitcher known for his hard smashes down the line and deep fly balls?

2008-05-09 17:54:00
125.   williamnyy23
122 If AG was at third and the Yankees could have scored 7-8 runs, then yes, they would have had a chance. If the Yankees are only going to score one run off Rogers, Igawa's performance is really irrelevant any way.
2008-05-09 17:54:19
126.   rbj
The Yankees' defense seems to have picked up when Albaladejo came into the game.
2008-05-09 17:54:41
127.   Mattpat11
123 I don't see how the Igawa signing is a dead horse. His continued employment makes it a relevant issue.
2008-05-09 17:54:51
128.   ChrisS
Well, I can't believe Cashman hasn't waved his magic wand and wished Arod and Posada back.

I'm not sure what your point is, or if you even have one.

Wow, that sub par defense just had a 1-2-3 inning.

Albaladejo has given up 1 hit in 2 IP with the same defense Igawa had. Weird.

2008-05-09 17:55:55
129.   Mattpat11
125 So wait. You concede that the Yankees would have needed to score seven or eight runs to win this game?

Doesn't that suggest that the starting pitcher sucks and shouldn't be on the team?

2008-05-09 17:56:22
130.   cult of basebaal
screw this, i'm gonna go get drunk ...
2008-05-09 17:56:24
131.   Mattpat11
128 The defense is racist. Matsui included.
2008-05-09 17:56:35
132.   williamnyy23
124 That's another point...the Yankees rolled the dice with Igawa and it didn't work out. You could easily argue they should have looked elsewhere. But, Igawa did start. Assuming he doesn't pitch again, he will have no impact on the remaining 120 games. The Yankees poor defense and struggling offense will remain, however. That's why I'd be more concerned about those elements than angered by Igawa.

After all, Rogers hasn't pitched much better than Igawa this season and he is about to shut the Yankees down twice in 10 days!

2008-05-09 17:57:25
133.   williamnyy23
127 I agree...but when the Yankees continue to play badly, that too is a relevant issue.
2008-05-09 17:57:27
134.   OldYanksFan
With better defense we are losing by less. However, last year we won games after giving up 4,5, and 6 runs. This team is built on overpowering offense and better then average pitching. Since we have gotten neither, bad defense and poor SP outings only make it look worse.

Both sides of the argument are correct. Our D is below average, but not enough to kill our chances of winning. Todays pitching was very poor, and as is usually the case, exaserbated by the bad D. I believe both Phil and IPK were victumized by our D on a number of plays. And unfortunately, our O continues to hybernate.

2008-05-09 17:59:35
135.   Eirias
10th in the league? That is unacceptable and obviously a directive from management. Blame Cashman or not, we cannot do that.
2008-05-09 17:59:56
136.   rbj
Yargh! Good thing Battlestar Galactica is on tonight.
2008-05-09 18:00:07
137.   williamnyy23
129 YES! Igawa is a bad pitcher, but with defense, he could have given you 5 innings and 4 runs or so. If the bullpen gives you 4 innings and 1 or 2 runs, you could win the game 7-6. Of course, the offense hasn't given you anything, so it's all moot. Over the past few seasons, many bad pitchers have taken the mound for this team, but their offense still gave them a chance. This year, the offense has left no margin for error. That's the theme of this team's first 40...not how bad Igawa is.
2008-05-09 18:00:46
138.   Mattpat11
132 The Yankees did not roll the dice on Igawa. They hit on 20.
2008-05-09 18:03:21
139.   Yankees Brasil
137 They were smacking him around. I doubt he would make it to the 5th giving up only 4 runs.
2008-05-09 18:03:57
140.   Mattpat11
137 YES! Igawa is a bad pitcher, but with defense, he could have given you 5 innings and 4 runs or so

I disagree. He gave me no indication that he was going to stop giving up hard smashes.

I see absolutely no point in embarrassing Ian Kennedy for the sake of this.

2008-05-09 18:04:24
141.   OldYanksFan
Look, 4 important players, Phil, IPK, ARod and Po are not on the team now. 2 others are slumping horribly. We can't expect much in our current condition.

I believe Iggy is gone, or maybe gets one more chance to put the final nail in his coffin. Iggy will suck again next week, and they will bring IPK up.

2008-05-09 18:04:56
142.   williamnyy23
139 In the 4th, they were hitting him hard, but the 3rd inning that was not the case. If he hadn't thrown so many pitches in the 3rd, the rest of the game could have been different. Forget about Igawa though...if any pitcher played in front of the defense tonight, they too would have struggled.
2008-05-09 18:05:03
143.   Yankees Brasil
We could have had Albaladejo start and go 3 or 4 innings, than had Britton go another 3 or 4 innings. It would have been better. And we would actually have a chance to win this game.
2008-05-09 18:06:00
144.   williamnyy23
140 Kennedy embarrassed himself. His performance was only mildly better than Igawa's. If Kennedy's demotion was a wake-up call, then it served it's purpose.
2008-05-09 18:06:27
145.   williamnyy23
141 Bingo!
2008-05-09 18:07:21
146.   Mattpat11
142 They were smacking him around in the first as well. If you want to use the defense in the third as an excuse, you have to go back to the first where he's damned lucky he didn't give up at least three runs.
2008-05-09 18:08:24
147.   williamnyy23
146 Again, focus on Igawa all you want. I just think you are missing the big picture.
2008-05-09 18:09:08
148.   ChrisS
64 pitches, 2 were swung on and missed.

TWO.

Igawa would have lost tonight regardless of which team he started on.

If your point is that he gave the Yankees a chance to win, it's not supportable by any metric.

2008-05-09 18:10:01
149.   rbj
142 There were two doubles in the third. There was the Ivan double in the first and some very loud outs. Kei was getting hit hard from the beginning. He did have a successful 2nd, but that's about it.

Sure I'd like better glove work on the left side of the infield, but Betemit is only a fill in,
Oy, as is our catcher, the third stringer. These guys necessarily are not going to be as good.

2008-05-09 18:11:51
150.   Mattpat11
147 I think the big picture is the organization is so fucked right now that they sent a pitcher out there who had no chance of helping this team win to prove some kind of point.

And again. You bitch about the defense in the third, but overlook how lucky Igawa was in the first to get out of it with one run. By all rights Carlos Guillen should have had a three run homerun in the first.

Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-05-09 18:11:59
151.   ChrisS
147 We're focusing on Igawa because he started the game tonight and he can be corrected. Easily.

williamnyy23's blog:

8 May 2008 - The Yankees suck on offense and defense.

9 May 2008 - The Yankees suck on offense and defense. I can't figure out why they won't start their injured players.

10 May 2008 - The Yankees suck on offense and defense.

11 May 2008 - The Yankees suck on offense and defense. How am I the only noticing this?

12 May 2008 - The Yankees suck on offense and defense.

2008-05-09 18:12:14
152.   williamnyy23
148 Your completely missing the point. If the Yankees are going to play sloppy and score one run, most pitchers were going to lose, regardless. It also doesn't matter if Igawa gave them a chance or not because neither has the defense and offense.

As I assess this team and try to figure out why it is struggling, the poor defense and offense stand out much more than Igawa. If you want to heep scorn on Igawa, have at him.

2008-05-09 18:13:55
153.   williamnyy23
151 Well, I have been focusing on the Yankees poor offense and defense because it rears its head almost every night. Considering that it keeps resurfacing, I think it says more about the real roots of the team's problem. So, yes, I'll keep harping on those elements, and you can blame Igawa.
2008-05-09 18:15:17
154.   rbj
Damn, I hope it's nothing serious with Albaladejo. The bullpen has been a surprising strength this year.
2008-05-09 18:15:27
155.   williamnyy23
149 Those are fair points, but it's not Igawa's fault the Yankees have poor defenders playing today. They were just as much a part of the problem as Igawa was.
2008-05-09 18:16:39
156.   williamnyy23
150 Why should he have had a 3-run homer? He hit the pitch and it didn't go out? What is your basis for that. Igawa got hit hard in the first but only gave up 1 run. He didn't get hit hard in the third and gave up 3. I don't follow.
2008-05-09 18:16:54
157.   OldYanksFan
Let's move on people. Question: Will the Yanks give Iggy one more game, or is this it? I say one more shot.
2008-05-09 18:18:32
158.   williamnyy23
157 They probably give him another. If they have another viable option, they shouldn't
2008-05-09 18:20:02
159.   ChrisS
I think you should just collect your insights and analysis and forward them in memo form to Cashman. He probably hasn't noticed yet.
2008-05-09 18:20:35
160.   williamnyy23
Cano's swing looks like it's coming around...that is a MUCH bigger story from tonight's game than is Igawa's performance.
2008-05-09 18:21:22
161.   ChrisS
Cano is turning it on. His BABIP is going to regress to the mean.
2008-05-09 18:22:03
162.   Zack
Just checking in to note that Williams defense of Igawa looks a lot like what we were doing for Hughes. Cant really have it both ways sir...
2008-05-09 18:23:29
163.   williamnyy23
162 Really? My defense of Igawa has been he sucks, but he isn't anymore a reason for the Yankees losing than their poor offense and defense.

Is that how you were defending Hughes?

If it was up to me, Igawa would be shipped to SD for a bag of balls.

2008-05-09 18:23:41
164.   Mattpat11
156 Polanco should have had a basehit. Guillen hit the ball 80000 feet. He got two hits do to freak luck and the ballpark he was in. Nothing of his own doing. If you are going to complain about his luck in the third, how can you ignore the good luck in the first?
2008-05-09 18:24:01
165.   rbj
155 Yeah, the defense is shaky tonight, but that's because our thirdbaseman is on the DL, so the bench guy, not as good, is playing. OUr catcher is on the DL, with BUC needing a night off so 3rd string guy is playing. Yes Matsui is not that good in the field, but that's been known for years and I think his bat makes up for it (anyone have the stat?) Jason, at least, is DHing so even with Shelley at first that's no drop off. And Jeter is Jeter.

Really, the decision was made that a lesser defense at certain positions (LF, 1B) would be offset by increased offense. The other positions (C, 3b) tonight, are due to injuries. Nothing to be done about that. Just don't throw out a horrible pitcher with a lesser defense.

2008-05-09 18:24:07
166.   williamnyy23
164 Bad defense is not bad luck.
2008-05-09 18:24:47
167.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
yawn..rainy morning, Yanks losing...anyone for classic ballpark discussions? Stadium I wish I had caught a game at: Old Tiger Stadium...
2008-05-09 18:24:54
168.   Mattpat11
158 He'll pitch again. Its clear the team is trying to prove some kind of point with Igawa.
2008-05-09 18:25:56
169.   rbj
Polanco did get a basehit, the official scorer changed it. Even the Tiger announcers thought it was a hit.
2008-05-09 18:28:21
170.   rbj
If we can go back in time and get Brooks Robinson, then I'd let Igawa pitch again. Otherwise, hand him a listing of rental properties in San Diego. IPK has shown potential, Igawa not.
2008-05-09 18:28:42
171.   Mattpat11
169 The liner off Igawa's ass.
2008-05-09 18:30:45
172.   Mattpat11
170 Brooks isn't going to do much about the gappers.
2008-05-09 18:32:26
173.   OldYanksFan
"Jason, at least, is DHing so even with Shelley at first that's no drop off."
Shelly MIGHT have better range, but as he demonstrated on Jeter's ball, he can't scoop... which with our infield in very important. I'm not really sure if Shelly is a better bet then Jason at 1B (and isn't that a really sad thing to say about Shelly!)
2008-05-09 18:33:10
174.   rbj
171 Ah.

I'm not so worried about the defense. I am worried about the offense. But again that's due in part to injuries.

2008-05-09 18:34:27
175.   Yankees Brasil
Miner, of the 9.00+ ERA, came in and the only one able to hit him was Moeller. Crazy shit.
2008-05-09 18:34:41
176.   williamnyy23
167 I was lucky to have a caught a game there and it was a great park to watch the action. Every seat seemed to be close to the field (I moved around a bit as the stadium was pretty empty). The surrounding area, well, that's wasn't so nice.
2008-05-09 18:36:08
177.   Mattpat11
Its amazing how the defense has improved since Igawa left.
2008-05-09 18:36:22
178.   OldYanksFan
Injuries suck, but on the entire team, only 2 players have exceeded expectations... Melky and Mats (the M & M boys?).

Bobby with an .800 OPS is weak, and Jetes is around .700.

2008-05-09 18:36:40
179.   rbj
173 I'm not sure he's worse. And if we were to stick Matsui or Jorge there, I think it would be a wash.

It's kind of interesting in that the Yankees are looking at 1B traditionally, with the bopper who doesn't have range or mobility anymore. Nowadays everyone wants an athletic guy there.

"Where have you gone, Mattingly, a fan base turns its lonely eyes to you"

2008-05-09 18:36:46
180.   williamnyy23
177 Back to blaming everything on Igawa?
2008-05-09 18:38:33
181.   williamnyy23
178 The loss of Arod and Posada are huge, but Jeter, Cano, Giambi and even Abreu have been very disappointing too. Hopefully Cano is coming around and Arod returns soon. Otherwise, well...
2008-05-09 18:40:58
182.   Mattpat11
180 Just noticing that when the balls aren't crushed the defense is actually fielding them.
2008-05-09 18:41:38
183.   williamnyy23
182 Or, when they're not hit a step or two to Betemit's left or right.
2008-05-09 18:43:51
184.   rbj
I really hate losing to Kenny Rogers.
2008-05-09 18:46:13
185.   Eirias
Why does Santana give up so many home runs?
2008-05-09 18:49:05
186.   OldYanksFan
If our O wasn't in the toilet, I think the AG would be on the team and Betemin traded. I thinks Ensberg is a waste and could be replaced.
2008-05-09 18:49:39
187.   ChrisS
177 I was thinking the same thing.

As for the offense, the Yankees had a few questions marks coming into the year, unfortunately one of their easiest bets to be successful has been injured. Giambi isn't easily dealt with (he's old, slow, immobile, and expensive). Abreu was the best of a bad situation (it could be Melky in right with Andruw Jones in CF). Swapping Damon with Matsui in LF was a good move. Cano is a slow starter. Posada got hurt. I'm not sure what harping on the offense every night will do to fix that.

And I think they should send Suzyn Waldman to SD with Igawa. Seriously, they can't find someone better? Sterling opens the inning by pointing out that Matt Joyce replaced Sheff in LF. Two batters later Waldman pipes up with "Oh, Matt Joyce has replaced Sheffield in left".

2008-05-09 18:51:26
188.   Mattpat11
183 Wilson Betemit really isn't good at anything. But I've seen plenty of hard smashes down the third baseline go for doubles against good fielders.

At some point the pitcher has to stop the other team from hitting the ball hard.

2008-05-09 18:52:01
189.   rbj
Good leather by Duncan.
2008-05-09 18:58:10
190.   ChrisS
whew.

I kinda hold my breath when Edwar pitches. It can be brilliant or a trainwreck.

2008-05-09 18:58:44
191.   williamnyy23
Hmmm...I step away and Betemit makes an error...did they bring Igawa back in?
2008-05-09 19:00:06
192.   williamnyy23
188 That's what he is good at...hitting right handed pitchers.
2008-05-09 19:00:44
193.   williamnyy23
I'm calling it...Yankees score 5 runs here.
2008-05-09 19:02:33
194.   rbj
Per Peter:
"UPDATE, 9:46 p.m.: Albaladejo has "discomfort in the medial right elbow" according to the Yankees.

That doesn't sound good."

2008-05-09 19:03:03
195.   Mattpat11
Robbie jogs up the line
2008-05-09 19:03:53
196.   williamnyy23
194 Yikes...that really sucks. The bullpen has been a real bright spot, but first Bruney and now Albaladejo. That's a shame. Hopefully, it isn't serious.
2008-05-09 19:04:24
197.   williamnyy23
195 That bothers me more than the Joba fist pump.
2008-05-09 19:05:36
198.   Mattpat11
197 Me too.

He had almost no shot whatsoever of beating it out. But come on, try

2008-05-09 19:06:25
199.   Mattpat11
6-4. Imagine if we had a starting pitcher.
2008-05-09 19:08:10
200.   ChrisS
194 Not good, but if there's one strength of the Yankee farm team, is that there is a surplus of right handed arms in AAA and AA that could make serviceable replacement level relievers.
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2008-05-09 19:08:51
201.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
does Abreu ALWAYS have to take the first pitch..
2008-05-09 19:09:21
202.   Mattpat11
Oh Christ. Come on Hideki.
2008-05-09 19:10:04
203.   weeping for brunnhilde
Amazing hitting by Abreu.

Wow.

2008-05-09 19:10:28
204.   Mattpat11
Damn. I thought they might do this.
2008-05-09 19:11:11
205.   Mattpat11
Come on Shelley. Just a single/
2008-05-09 19:11:22
206.   rbj
C'mon Shelley, be a hero.
2008-05-09 19:11:35
207.   weeping for brunnhilde
Nice and easy, Shelley, nice and easy...
2008-05-09 19:11:57
208.   rbj
Gruffle mumbler.
2008-05-09 19:12:09
209.   weeping for brunnhilde
Damn.

He hit it hard, though.

Nice little rally, boys.

Still, day late, dollar short.

2008-05-09 19:12:10
210.   Mattpat11
Damnit.

Too bad we had to punt the game before it started. Five runs could have been enough to win.

2008-05-09 19:12:16
211.   williamnyy23
193 One run short...nice try, but if anything illustrates how badly the Yankees miss Arod, it was this inning.
2008-05-09 19:12:42
212.   ChrisS
Well, Shelly gave it a ride.
2008-05-09 19:13:21
213.   Mattpat11
212 Hit it on the screws. It looked pretty good for a second.
2008-05-09 19:13:38
214.   williamnyy23
210 If Betemit makes one play, the Yankees could have won! Oh well...maybe next time.
2008-05-09 19:14:04
215.   Mattpat11
If we want to take a moral victory, this might be the first time all year that the Yankees didn't roll over down after seven innings.
2008-05-09 19:15:30
216.   Mattpat11
214 I'm sure they'll start Igawa again to the delight of...well, nobody but you and Brian Cashman. So we can see this scenario play out all over again and see how it goes.
2008-05-09 19:17:35
217.   williamnyy23
216 Yes...that's what I look forward to...another Igawa start. I'd gladly trade that reality for a more solid defense and an offense that can score more than a couple of runs against Kenny Rogers.
2008-05-09 19:18:26
218.   Yankees Brasil
216 It won't be Igawa's fault that he gives up a ton of hard hit balls. The D is supposed to catch every single one of them.
2008-05-09 19:20:52
219.   Mattpat11
217 Well, if you think he pitched well if not for defense. I can only assume you'd like to see him again.

And since Brian Cashman signed him, refuses to trade him and keeps bringing him back to the team, it stands to reason that Brian Cashman enjoys these performances.

2008-05-09 19:25:34
220.   williamnyy23
219 No...as I've stated about 10 times now, I think Igawa pitched poorly (I did say he could have given 5 innings/4 runs or an ERA around 8!), but think the poor defense and lackluster offense is at least as much to blame and a more pressing concern going forward.
2008-05-09 19:27:40
221.   Mattpat11
220 I'm baffled that you think he showed anything to suggest he could give up four over five.

The only thing I can reason is you don't think he was getting smashed around all game and the defense is to blame for most of this.

2008-05-09 19:31:27
222.   williamnyy23
221 I think he should have gotten through the third scoreless if Jeter/Duncan makes that play. Then you are talking about two innings and 4 runs. In 70 IP, Igawa had a 6.25 ERA, which is better than 4 runs in 5 innings. So, I am baffled why you think he couldn't do it.
2008-05-09 19:34:43
223.   Mattpat11
Oh Christ help us. Igawa's starting again
2008-05-09 19:36:51
224.   OldYanksFan
220 William, while I agree with you in principal, and I noted at the times that both Hughes and IPK looked worse then they were because of our D, Iggy gave up 11 hits, mostly hard hits, in 3 innings. 4 runs in 5 IP might be optimistic thinking.

I mean, this was a bad start even for Iggy.
Headline: Shields' one-hitter helps Rays shut out Angels.

2008-05-09 19:39:31
225.   williamnyy23
224 You are judging what he would have done based on the 4th inning. If the Yankees field the ball in the 3rd, I think the 4th inning would have been different (if only because Igawa would have thrown 25 fewer pitches). With some help, I think Igawa could have pitched to an ERA just below 8. Call me an optimist.
2008-05-09 19:40:58
226.   Mattpat11
222 Because frankly, other than the bunt and the swinging bunt, I think all the other balls were hit well enough to be legitimate. If the defenders made some nice plays, yeah, they could have gotten outs. But they were not routine. It was a bad pitcher pitching badly and giving up hard hits that the defense was not able to defend. That's on the pitcher for pitching so poorly, not on the defense for not making up for Igawa's mistakes.
2008-05-09 19:43:49
227.   williamnyy23
226 The Jeter groundball wasn't hit well. Either he has to make a stronger throw or Duncan has to make the scoop. Neither play would have been extraordinary. The first double past Betemit also wasn't hit hard...a second harder hit ball also hopped over Betemit's glove. Neither of those plays would have been standouts. Arod fields them all the time. This is the major leagues...fielders should be able to glove hard hit balls a step or two to their side.
2008-05-09 20:01:27
228.   Mattpat11
227 I don't think they had a play on the Jeter ball regardless. I think if Jeter takes the time to steady the throw Raburn beats it out anyway. I think both doubles are plays that can be made, but not plays that have to be made.

We clearly saw different games. You saw a pitcher with a rough first inning that settled down. I saw a pitcher that lucked out of the first inning and was continuing to get smashed afterwards.

2008-05-09 20:36:53
229.   Zack
2 straight blown saves for Papelbon. Once again, the Sox lose a game they "simply don't lose"
2008-05-09 20:42:09
230.   tommyl
Just got in, so thankfully missed this game. Reading over the game comments I can sort of see both sides of this. Its true what william says that with a better defense (or some key plays) Igawa's line would have looked better, but still getting two swings and misses in 64 pitches, and giving up that many hard hit balls, you just can't expect to do well. For every "if" that goes positive (e.g. Betemit makes a few of those plays) there's one that goes negative (e.g. Sheff's hard liner is hit deeper and closer to the line and becomes a triple). Its one thing if he's pitching well and a few bad plays hurt him, but if you're constantly getting hit hard you can't just hope for the blind luck that it gets hit at people.

I continue to believe that the most underrated aspect of pitching is command, its much, much more important than velocity. The difference between Joba and Farnsworth is all command. Its also the reason Moose can still be effective and why Cliff Lee can be dominant with a 90mph fastball. The point is, if you can hit your spots, change planes and keep it off the middle of the plate you will be a successful pitcher. If you can't a 100mph fastball won't help you. Igawa just seems to completely lack command. He needs to be sent back down, and sent back down now. This is not a promising rookie who needs another shot, this is a pitcher who has been bad to awful in nearly every single major league inning he has pitched. There is no upside to giving him another start, even if he lucks into a good one from small sample size. I would much rather watch IPK struggle and learn something than this garbage.

2008-05-09 20:48:49
231.   Mattpat11
230 The funny thing about Mike Mussina's command. Obviously the days of Mussina's big K numbers are long gone. He has 20 Ks in eight games over 44 IP.

But his K/BB ratio is 4:1 and he's sixth in the AL in that category because he doesn't walk anyone (5 in 44 innings).

I totally agree with tommy that control is very underrated by baseball teams, fans and announcers. I'll take a Mike Mussina 2008 or Curt Schilling 2007 over Daniel Cabrera any day.

2008-05-09 21:01:59
232.   tommyl
231 Thanks and great work digging up those numbers. I think the single greatest example of a command pitcher is none other than Mo. Those nasty cutters are so nasty because they are right on the hands of lefties or on the corner to righties. When Mo has his yearly WWWMR week its usually because his command is a touch off, so he starts missing over the middle. That same nasty cutter, when thrown over the middle breaks right into a hitters wheelhouse.

Following up on Igawa, the reason I want him sent down is not because he pitched a bad game tonight. Its instead because he has shown exactly zero improvement at both this and the AAA level. I'm coming around to believe that this is just what Igawa is, and as good as he'll ever be. If we're gonna lose a game because of a poor pitching performance, I'd much rather it be done productively, so that IPK or someone else can learn something.

Also, I have to ask this, why was Igawa brought up and not Steven White? White's better, younger and has significantly more upside. Igawa needs to be sent to the NL West where he can pitch against the Giants and the Padres in Petco. Though far more entertaining would be to send him to the Rockies and see how many HRs he could give up.

2008-05-09 21:23:19
233.   Mattpat11
232 I actually just went to baseball reference. I'm far too lazy to do all that work myself. :)

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