Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
A Glitsch In The System
2008-06-04 14:59
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

In his final year in pinstripes, Jeff Nelson compiled a 6-0 record out of the bullpen by May 9, putting him on pace for 31 relief wins. He won two more games all year, finishing with an 8-4 record. In his seventh start of this season, Chien-Ming Wang ran his record to 6-0, putting him on a 30-win pace. Since then he's gone 0-2 in five starts. Mike Mussina enters tonight's game with eight wins, putting him in a five-way tie for third place in the majors behind Brandon Webb (10-2) and the surprising Joe Saunders (9-2). I'd still be surprised if he wins more than 15 on the year.

Moose has eight wins because he's had 5.28 runs of support per game thus far and has earned the decision in every one of his 12 starts. Despite his eight wins, Mussina has just five quality starts (four if you use the stringent < 3 R rule rather than the looser < 3 ER standard). In his last three outings he's allowed 15 runs in 11 2/3 innings, but eight of those runs were unearned (all scoring after Mussina failed to pick up his defense following a first-inning error) and he's gone 2-1 in those games. Mussina has exceeded expectations beyond his 8-4 record, but that is largely due to how low the expectations were for him entering the season.

Twenty-three-year-old Jesse Litsch is 7-1 on the season and didn't allow a run in either of his last two starts, totaling 16 innings. Over his last six starts he's posted a 1.67 ERA, 0.93 WHIP, averaged over seven innings per start, and walked just two men in 43 innings.

The Yankees need to snap their sudden three-game losing streak, but unless Mussina's luck keeps up (I though it had ended three starts ago when he failed to get out of the first inning, but I was clearly wrong), tonight might not be their night.

Jorge Posada has been activated with Dan Giese getting farmed out to make room (so much for repeating the Joba-Giese tandem on Sunday), but he's not in the lineup. Moose will pitch to Jose Molina with Wilson Betemit at first base subbing for Jason Giambi who's getting a day of rest after fouling a pitch off his foot late in last night's game. Both Giambi and Posada are expected to start tomorrow afternoon's series finale.

Comments (130)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-06-04 15:31:09
1.   Cliff Corcoran
Make that a 31-win pace for Nelson for anyone who was fast enough to read the mistyped version of the above post.
2008-06-04 16:04:50
2.   Yankees Brasil
Crazy thought that Moose might end up at the All-Star Squad.
2008-06-04 16:14:09
3.   OldYanksFan
2 I honestly think we don't need to worry about that.

It's nice that tomorrow, we have our team back. But then there will be no excuses. Emotionally, I have all but given up on the team, although I think there is still a reasonable shot at the PS due to how the rest of the league is playing. I will guess they have not given up in Cleveland and Detroit.

Derek is still the leader of this team. If he is injured, he needs to take himself out. If not, he needs to step up. I don't expect a great year from him, but he needs to lead by example, and he has certainly not been doing that.

I'm not sure why Melky and Cano are not on short leashes. They are young and not playing well. Joe G., or someone, needs to step in and give them some guidance. At this point, a full week at AAA with the AG at 2nd might give Cano something to think about.

And while I never thought coaches had a big effect on a team.... MAN! I miss Larry Bowa!

2008-06-04 16:16:23
4.   Yankees Brasil
It's good that we didn't allow any first inning runs.
2008-06-04 16:20:00
5.   Yankees Brasil
Swing the bat Derek.
2008-06-04 16:20:47
6.   Raf
If Livan could get away with throwing slop, so should Moose.
2008-06-04 16:23:15
7.   Yankees Brasil
6 He got away against the Yankees. Moose can't face our weakass lineup.
2008-06-04 16:36:58
8.   randym77
Wow. I wasn't expecting Giese to be the one cut.
2008-06-04 16:38:32
9.   tommyl
8 Me either. I see the logic in that he won't be available for a few days, but now he can't be brought back up for 10. I wasn't awed by him, but I thought he could make a serviceable long man. What the hell is Hawkins still doing on this team?
2008-06-04 16:42:53
10.   Yankees Brasil
9 We need bullpen arms who put men on base. A lot of men on base. That's the way Cashman builds his 'pen.
2008-06-04 16:44:53
11.   Yankees Brasil
And Cano continues to do his thing. Swung at all the pitches out of the strikezone. The only pitch that was in the zone, he took it for a strike.
2008-06-04 16:45:18
12.   cult of basebaal
christ, cano, how many times in a row is litsch gonna get you to swing at the same crappy offspeed pitch off the outside corner ... even worse, you tried to pull it EVERY DAMN TIME!!!
2008-06-04 16:54:21
13.   ChrisS
I like how Girardi puts three automatic outs right behind one of the hottest hitters in baseball.

Maybe he's from one of those "lineup orders don't matter" advanced sabermetric camps.

2008-06-04 16:54:59
14.   OldYanksFan
Quiet here for a Wednesday night...
2008-06-04 16:55:09
15.   ChrisS
13 Pardon me, I must have offended Molina with that thought.
2008-06-04 16:56:37
16.   ChrisS
It's nice out in the Northeast. I'm skipping a BBQ to sit here and yell at my computer.

Moose is dangerously close to lowering his ERA under 4.

2008-06-04 16:57:57
17.   nick
man, Melky and Robbie are so sad to watch....
2008-06-04 17:00:54
18.   OldYanksFan
13 Where would you put Cano, Melky, Betemin and Molina?
2008-06-04 17:01:03
19.   rbj
Congrats, Cap'n! And an RBI to go with it as well.
2008-06-04 17:01:47
20.   nick
Jeter! "a magnificent Jeterian single by the captain"...
2008-06-04 17:02:42
21.   ChrisS
A couple of more things: Derek Jeter has as many BBs in June than he did in all of April. And I really wish he had taken a couple of days off after getting hit in the hand instead of trying to gut it out.
2008-06-04 17:02:45
22.   ms october
yep the perfect jeter hit
2008-06-04 17:03:11
23.   Eirias
I eagerly await the day when my name is turned into an adjective. Although I probably shouldn't, given that such adjectives are usually bad.
2008-06-04 17:03:55
24.   randym77
Does seem like Jeter's heating up.
2008-06-04 17:03:58
25.   3rd gen yankee fan
Wow. I saw it too!
2008-06-04 17:04:31
26.   Yankees Brasil
When guys start hitting with RISP, bad luck comes into play. Bobby should have had a hit there.
2008-06-04 17:04:32
27.   OldYanksFan
By the by, Hillary has thrown in the towel, Obama is the nominee. Is this the sign dem Yankees have been waiting for?
2008-06-04 17:06:24
28.   Yankees Brasil
27 Hope so. That and Posada coming back :D
2008-06-04 17:07:15
29.   Alex Belth
Nice moment for Jeter. Michael Kay almost spoiled it for me when he called the hit "so very Jeterian." I think that is grounds for a beat down, Michael you pompous ass.
2008-06-04 17:08:24
30.   Yankees Brasil
BS there ump. Should have been strike three. The umps have been very bad this year.
2008-06-04 17:08:44
31.   ms october
18 yeah there's really no where to put them - fortunately betemit and molina are going back to the bench where they belong - and boy do i really, really hope sitting giambi out is just precautionary and not the beginning of his foot/leg breakdown

i thought the pattern was if cano was sucking melky did well and if melky was sucking cano did well, although a somewhat frustrating pattern - this other pattern is much worse

2008-06-04 17:09:01
32.   vockins
29 The worship session by Kay and Leiter got a little over the top.
2008-06-04 17:11:42
33.   SF Yanks
I've said it before and I'll say it again. Best pitch ever.
2008-06-04 17:12:19
34.   ChrisS
18 Unfortunately half the lineup is scuffling along. But I think that Matsui deserves that 3rd spot. Abreu aint gettin' it done (and case in point).

I don't know, this whole frustrates the hell out of me. I haven't seen such bad hitting from the Yanks in many seasons ...

... after some quick team OPS+ research: in 2001 - how odd - they had a worse team OPS+ (100 to 105).

2008-06-04 17:13:16
35.   nick
and the Moose passes....Bob Shawkey! 7th all time on the Yankee K list, did they say?
2008-06-04 17:13:59
36.   nick
Heavy moooos from the crowd--I love it!
2008-06-04 17:14:46
37.   SF Yanks
And Moose with a 3.99 ERA!
2008-06-04 17:16:43
38.   OldYanksFan
It's great to see a guy with fading stuff like Moose still pitch well. Baseball is a game where brains and guile make a difference.
2008-06-04 17:20:37
39.   Yankees Brasil
Sure Litsch's pitches have quite some movement, but he has left more than enough of them in the middle of the plate. It'd be nice if we could get some more runs.
2008-06-04 17:21:00
40.   ChrisS
.... I'll shut up for a bit.

Way to go, Wilson.

2008-06-04 17:21:03
41.   nick
boom goes....the betemit!
2008-06-04 17:22:16
42.   Yankees Brasil
And Cano with the double. Could Jesse Litsch be the savior of our season?
2008-06-04 17:22:58
43.   nick
Waldman totally trashing Betemit after he homers: "that's the one thing he can do...sometimes...if he guesses right....and gets lucky...."
2008-06-04 17:23:54
44.   ms october
40 no i believe your words had a positive effect:} - let's see how they work on melky
2008-06-04 17:25:02
45.   ms october
40 44 see!!! now we just need abreu to hear them
2008-06-04 17:25:09
46.   randym77
I was at a spring training game this year where Litsch was pitching. (He took a no-hitter into the 7th, IIRC.) I happened to be sitting next to friends of his family. (He's from Florida.) They were also friends of Tyler Clippard's family. Apparently, he's quite the party animal.
2008-06-04 17:25:33
47.   Yankees Brasil
44 Damn, worked again.
2008-06-04 17:25:51
48.   3rd gen yankee fan
Yankees finally wake up? Good for Mattpat.
2008-06-04 17:26:07
49.   nick
17 also had some effect methinks: I almost typed "can't remember when they last hit the ball hard...."
2008-06-04 17:26:44
50.   cult of basebaal
wow ... melky and robbie with hits in the same inning ... surely the end times are near!
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-06-04 17:26:50
51.   ChrisS
44 How 'bout that.

I'm gonna grow a mustache next.

2008-06-04 17:28:32
52.   ms october
49 oh yeah - defenitiely a collective effort

38 i agree oyf - it is not that easy to have to adjust who you are as an athlete

2008-06-04 17:29:06
53.   Yankees Brasil
Litsch at 80 pitches and we have 3 runs already. That's more like the Yankees.
2008-06-04 17:32:38
54.   ms october
50 and michael kay is being quite complementary of moose and his big fa contract the yanks gave him ... stock up
2008-06-04 17:34:36
55.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
Ohayo! Jeterian singles? Betemit with the tater? Alex B calling out Kay for being pompous? I love my morning Banter, arigatou everyone. LET'S go YAN-Kees!
2008-06-04 17:34:45
56.   Yankees Brasil
That 2-seamer on the inside corner to LHBs is crazy good tonight.
2008-06-04 17:36:38
57.   rbj
Someone please tell me Mo's available for two innings tonight -- I guess he'll have to be his own setup man.
2008-06-04 17:38:21
58.   Yankees Brasil
57 Let's get to the 8th inning with the lead before we start thinking about the setup man.
2008-06-04 17:40:44
59.   ChrisS
Alrighty, now let's just Farnsworth this lead and we're all set.
2008-06-04 17:43:57
60.   cult of basebaal
man, betemit's only 1 for 3 hitting that same pitch in that same smack-me location ... meh!
2008-06-04 17:46:49
61.   cult of basebaal
man, moose bought a ticket for uncle charlie tonite
2008-06-04 17:47:29
62.   OldYanksFan
2008-06-04 17:51:13
63.   nick
2008-06-04 17:51:42
64.   nick
61 tio carlos is in the house!
2008-06-04 17:56:02
65.   Raf
still getting squeezed
2008-06-04 17:58:31
66.   OldYanksFan
I would not be surprised to see the Yanks give Moose a 1 yr/$5m contract for 2009. Moose doesn't need the $$ but he is pitching for the HOF.
2008-06-04 17:58:46
67.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
Mussina is coming out now right? RIGHT???
2008-06-04 18:00:13
68.   cult of basebaal
way to wiggle moose, couldn't ask for much more
2008-06-04 18:03:05
69.   ms october
he might have gotten squeezed even worse on stairs before getting the groundout

66 me neither. who knows what will happen with pettitte and with hughes and ian's injuries and hence probably not going to get enough innings and having some rough patches - it might make a lot of sense. also it might be a bit like glavine where it looked like (to me at least) no shot at 300, but then it eventually becomes a more realistic possibility

2008-06-04 18:03:14
70.   Dimelo
Great job by Moose!!!!
2008-06-04 18:04:23
71.   nick
Molina gettin back to early-season form!
2008-06-04 18:04:37
72.   ms october
i guess molina wants to make sure moeller doesn't pass him on the depth chart
2008-06-04 18:04:59
73.   cult of basebaal
hey ... how 'bout a pinch runner for the big slug, hmmmm? we've got an emergency catcher if moeller gets struck by lightning or is swallowed by a land shark or something
2008-06-04 18:06:55
74.   rbj
73 Candygram
2008-06-04 18:07:44
75.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
73 is Molina slower than Giambininjho?
2008-06-04 18:08:36
76.   cult of basebaal
behold! the power of the 'stache!!!
2008-06-04 18:09:16
77.   rbj
Hey, picking up the insurance run. Who are these guys?
2008-06-04 18:10:54
78.   ms october
73 the sad thing is i think shelley would have to have been the pinch runner (unless i am overlooking someone else on the bench)
2008-06-04 18:12:05
79.   nick
78 would you block the plate with young frankenstein rumbling homeward?
2008-06-04 18:13:36
80.   ms october
79 um no - good point

this would be a good time for the bullpen to have a good game

2008-06-04 18:13:38
81.   OldYanksFan
Can Cano and Melky grow a 'stache?
2008-06-04 18:15:24
82.   Raf
Ross Ohlendorf kinda reminds me of Scott Proctor when he first came over. This in regards to the way he's been used, as well as the results.
2008-06-04 18:15:55
83.   cult of basebaal
another great infield throw ... sheesh
2008-06-04 18:17:37
84.   cult of basebaal
81 well, ollie's trying one ... we'll see if it helps
2008-06-04 18:20:12
85.   tommyl
Well that was better than Kyle and Veras. See, he's not a long man! Dear lord who pitches the 8th?
2008-06-04 18:20:48
86.   cult of basebaal
85 is there even a question? the farnswacker, dontcha know?
2008-06-04 18:20:57
87.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
84 scarier stache possibility, Duncan or Eckstein?
2008-06-04 18:22:26
88.   OldYanksFan
Let's hope Farns can hold them to 2 runs...
2008-06-04 18:24:01
89.   ms october
87 i say eckstein and to the earlier stache question 81 i say in 10 yrs

86 what have we done to deserve this?

2008-06-04 18:24:54
90.   tommyl
Oh dear lord. Why do we continually bring in our second worst relief pitcher to pitch the second highest leverage inning?
2008-06-04 18:27:32
91.   Raf
90 Because he's a proven veteran, and he has Girardi's trust. Apparently Farns is the only one with experience setting up.

Also, it's part of the "formula."

2008-06-04 18:27:54
92.   cult of basebaal
wow ... i didn't know, but abreu has gone o'fer since the at bat where he hit blackburn ... leiter and kay are pondering whether that's mere coincidence
2008-06-04 18:28:31
93.   ms october
i would like to see a bit more of that to stay out of so many dps (haven't checked the #s recently, but i am assumig the yanks are faring fairly poorly in gidp)
2008-06-04 18:28:51
94.   rbj
90 The other option is bringing up Igawa? No one else in the pen has looked good.
I say bring in Mo for two. Or which ever starter's throw day it is.
2008-06-04 18:30:29
95.   Dimelo
92 Yeah I'm "sure" he's afraid to hit the ball again because of that. I mean, it makes perfect sense and since Kay brought it up and he's a genius then he knows best.

Man is Kay annoying and he sure can suck the wind out of a booth. I think the Red Sox and Mets have the best announcers. Remy and Mex are pretty good. Kay has got to go.

2008-06-04 18:31:19
96.   Dimelo
2008-06-04 18:32:31
97.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
95 i don't mind Kay's podcast, he has some good guests. Heard Ron Darling the other day and was very impressed, is he announcing all the SNY Mets games this year?

94 Igawa and Farnsworth in the pen together would give me gout..

2008-06-04 18:34:09
98.   Raf
96 Karim Garcia?
2008-06-04 18:34:55
99.   doslobo38
92 I was thinking the same thing, Bobby has been consistant all season but since hitting Blackburn he is 0 for 13. I hope he can break out of it
2008-06-04 18:36:10
100.   tommyl
Well here we go...
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-06-04 18:38:09
101.   cult of basebaal
wow ... farnsworth in, benitez warming for the jays, NO BASEBALL IS SAFE!!!
2008-06-04 18:40:55
102.   Dimelo
98 Who is dis Karim Garcia?
2008-06-04 18:41:41
103.   Raf
At least he's keeping the ball down
2008-06-04 18:41:50
104.   tommyl
102 134
2008-06-04 18:42:12
105.   rbj
Wow, good job by Farnsworth!
2008-06-04 18:42:12
106.   tommyl
Did Kyle just go 1-2-3? Is the sky falling? Someone run out and check quick please.
2008-06-04 18:44:56
107.   Yankees Brasil
A pitcher wearing pinstripes got Alex Rios out? Damn.
2008-06-04 18:45:17
108.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
Gameday has crashed Farnsworth really getting the job done??
2008-06-04 18:51:18
109.   rbj
BTW, Redwings 2, Penguins 1 end of second period.
2008-06-04 18:52:23
110.   ms october
the steinbrenners should fund a study that selects about 1000 fairly knowledgeable yankee fans and hook them up to a machine that measures heart rate, blood pressure and what not when they see different pitchers in the bullpen - based on the results of this study giradi is given a list of who his most reliable pitchers are

there really is nothing like the feeling of seeing mo warming up and running in

2008-06-04 18:52:29
111.   tommyl
Man, Mo is sooooooo good. I feel privileged to watch him.
2008-06-04 18:53:44
112.   tommyl
See 111
2008-06-04 18:54:00
113.   tommyl
That pitch literally brushed the corner.
2008-06-04 18:54:02
114.   rbj
Mo is like a 20 year old scotch.
2008-06-04 18:54:57
115.   tommyl
He has thrown three straight pitches to literally the exact same spot. If this was arrows he'd have split them.
2008-06-04 18:56:20
116.   tommyl
Oh, a win! I remember these!

Mike Mussina: Yankees Ace.

2008-06-04 18:56:38
117.   Just fair
C.B. Buckner's punch out is good stuff. I love a good puch out. My investment was in the Penguins this eve, but it's nice to know the boys ended the skid.
2008-06-04 18:56:46
118.   Yankees Brasil
Mo's such a god.
2008-06-04 18:57:32
119.   tommyl
Um, Derek, Toronto has the worst offense in the AL. They don't know how to swing the bats.
2008-06-04 18:57:35
120.   RIYank
I got home just in time for the dessert.
2008-06-04 19:00:54
121.   nick
very nice evening..
2008-06-04 19:07:43
122.   RIYank
Mo was even better than usual. The Stairs AB was just astounding (even though the Rolens one took only three pitches). Matt could only stand there and watch.

I gather from the comments that Kyle has disappointed us all by earning himself another dozen appearances? And Moose must have pitched well. Any summary remarks for a latecomer?

2008-06-04 19:12:17
123.   tommyl
122 Moose was pretty much outstanding. Great control of all his pitches, nice curve.

Kyle, sadly was good. Robbie had a nice double and made good contact. Melky had a clutch hit. Jeter passed the Mick (wow, that's insane).

Mo is G-d.

2008-06-04 19:14:21
124.   ms october
122 yes moose pitched very well. got squeezed a few times - gave up a hit that led to the run after being squeezed but did quite well. thanks to some strong banter encouragement got some hitting from betemit, cano, mely, and molina including a betemit hr. derek passed mickey mantle for hits with an rbi single to score the first run. alas kyle pitched a 1-2-3 inning and he will live to see another 8th inning.
2008-06-04 19:16:35
125.   ms october
123 sorry - was in the process of s l o w l y typing my summary before i saw that yours was posted
2008-06-04 19:17:46
126.   RIYank
123 124 Thanks, that was better than hearing John Sterling's recap!

And thanks be to Mo.

2008-06-04 19:18:42
127.   Bags
73 Uhh... TV Repairman
2008-06-04 20:00:38
128.   Raf
Anyone see McLaren (M's) meltdown? Yipes!
2008-06-04 20:15:35
129.   JL25and3
123 Passing Mantle didn't shock me that much, just because I've never thought of Mantle as a hit machine - too many walks for that. But I have to admit, it really sank in when Kay read the list: Gehrig, Ruth, Jeter. Holy crap.

Tommy, I can't believe Lisa survived another round. Hasn't she been the second worst on just about every show?

2008-06-04 21:04:01
130.   Chyll Will
128 Wowzers... the M's are to' up from the flo' up... If I were McLaren, I'd find any excuse to visit Dr. James Andrews, quick.

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