Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Master and Servant
2008-07-05 10:00
by Cliff Corcoran

We all knew the Yankees weren't going to sweep their current four-game series against the Red Sox to pull into a second-place tie in the AL East, but the possibility was there. Now, having dropped the first two games, the Yankees have to sweep the final two in order to avoid losing ground to Boston as a result of this series.

Looking to snap the Yanks out of their malaise in today's nationally-televised afternoon tilt will be Mike Mussina. The bad news is that two of Mussina's three worst starts this season came against the Red Sox in April. Here's Moose's line from those two starts against Boston: 8 2/3 IP, 15 H, 9 R, 3 HR, 0 BB, 2 K, 9.35 ERA, 1.73 WHIP, 0-2. Manny Ramirez did the bulk of the damage against Mussina in those games, going 4-for-5 with a double and three home runs, driving in six of the nine runs Mussina allowed and scoring a seventh. It would thus seem a natural to have Mussina pitch around Ramirez today, but the man hitting behind Ramirez is Mike Lowell, who has a .579/.600/1.158 career line against Mussina. Ironically, Lowell was on the DL when Mussina faced the Red Sox in April, but in 2007, Lowell went 4-for-5 with a walk, a double, and two home runs against Mussina, and in 2006, he went 5-for-10 with a double and a homer against Moose.

So there will be no pitching around Manny today. Instead the Mussina will have to focus on keeping runners off base ahead of Ramirez and Lowell. Third-place hitter J.D. Drew is just 1 for 11 with no walks in his career against Mussina, but Boston's top-two hitters, Jacoby Ellsbury and Dustin Pedroia, have a combined .555 OBP against Mussina (Moose has never walked either one, but he's plunked Ellsbury twice and the two are a combined 8-for-16 against him).


Opposing Mussina will be 23-year-old rookie Justin Masterson. Masterson, who is just the fourth major leaguer to have been born in Kingston, Jamaica (Devon White and ex-Yankee Chili Davis are two of the other three) is a big dude (6-foot-6, 250 lbs.). He's also a sinkerballer in search of an effective second pitch. Masterson made two strong spot starts for the Red Sox in the season's first two months, but since being installed in the rotation at the beginning of June in place of the then-injured Daisuke Matsuzaka, has been merely average, posting a 4.54 ERA, walking 4.79 men per nine innings, and allowing seven home runs in six starts. I keep waiting for the Red Sox to swap him back out for Clay Buchholz, who is younger, better, and allowed just two runs in six June starts for triple-A Pawtucket (4-1, 0.88 ERA).

With Johnny Damon out due to the shoulder contusion he suffered in yesterday's game, Brett Gardner will lead off and play left field today. Wilson Betemit gets the start at first base with Jason Giambi at DH. That means Jorge Posada rides pine as Mike Mussina pitches to his personal catcher in Jose Molina.

Let me get this straight: Molina caught yesterday's game (with Posada DHing). Tomorrow's game is a night game. Monday is an off-day. Yet, Girardi can't find a way to get Posada into the lineup against the Red Sox today with Johnny Damon hurt and his team desperate to pull out a series split? I think I'd like to have my own team meeting with the Yankee skipper. I realize the Yankees are babying Posada's throwing shoulder out of necessity, but Girardi needs to prioritize. Molina has hit .191/.234/.243 since injuring his hamstring against the Red Sox in mid-April. He's killing this team. Posada has hit .263/.380/.421 since coming off the DL at the beginning of June. The Yankees need that OBP in the lineup. Meanwhile, in the last month, Chad Moeller has entered just one game before the eighth inning and had just five plate appearances (in which he's doubled and been hit by a pitch). Even if Posada's shoulder is so tender that he really can't catch today, it's long since time to give Moeller a chance to contribute again, Mussina's preference be damned.

Update: Per Pete Abe, Posada's "a little under the weather." That excuses that, but not the continued preference of Molina over Moeller.

Comments (198)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-07-05 11:12:47
1.   monkeypants
0 Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I have have been beating this dead horse and I will continue to do so. The Yankees' three catcher arrangement/usage is mystifying at best, incompetent at worst. If Molina plays, Posada MUST bat DH, every least until this offense proves that it can score runs otherwise.

Babying Posada's shoulder or not, why is Moeller wasting a roster spot. Yesterday Molina came up twice in high leverage situations (5th and 7th, IIRC), yet was allowed to bat (admittedly he walked in the 7th). He was lifted for a PH in the 9th inning, down by three runs, with no one on base. What are the odds that exact bit of in-game strategery would have any measurable effect?

And another of my pet peeves (or dead horses). Why are they carrying 13 pitches AND three catchers AND with Damon hurting? Unless they have made some move about which I have not heard, the bench today will be comprised of Moeller (who will never play), Damon (who can't play), and Posada (who apparently also can't really play, but is available to hit once--maybe in the 9th inning). What the hell?

With the AS break coming up, put Damon on the DL so that they can carry another bat, even if the options in MiL are slim. Or, stop carrying three catchers if one will never be used.

The only think that will make this better is when Girardi decides to PH for Gardner, which will call into question why the first guy to get batted for is hitting lead off. But maybe I'll be pleasantly surprised.

2008-07-05 11:15:13
2.   williamnyy23
What compounds the curiousity of Girardi's decision is Masterson has severe splits (.864 OPS against lefties; .501 OPS against righties). Not having Damon's and Posada's lefty bat is HUGE.

At this point, I am not so much discouraged by the question of whether the Yankees can beat the Red Sox, but whether it even matters any more. At the very least, I would hope this team can summon enough of something (heart, soul, mind or body) to avoid a four game sweep.

2008-07-05 11:17:05
3.   williamnyy23
1 I am with you, but do you really think that 25th roster spot has mad much of a difference. This team has played so poorly, and Girardi has managed so poorly, that I don't think it really matters. The Yankees problem is that the top and middle of the roster isn't performing (or is injured), not that the bottom of the roster is thin.
2008-07-05 11:17:57
4.   thelarmis
according to Pete Abe, Jorgie is apparently a little under the weather today, otherwise we'd perhaps see him at 1B...
2008-07-05 11:26:24
5.   williamnyy23
4 Speaking of Pete Abe, he has another facile "there is no reason to panic because last year the Yankees were 11 games out on this date and then won 11 of 12" comment. Of course, it ignores that 11 of 12 stretches do not occur at the snap of finger as well as the fact that there weren't two formidable opponents in the division last year.

I think a big problem with the Yankees this year has been a reliance on their past and a refusal to acknowledge that the team was in trouble from a much earlier standpoint.

2008-07-05 11:33:21
6.   monkeypants
3 No, I don't think that the 25th man means all that much. That said, the situation speaks to two more serious issues: 1] my eroded faith that anyone in the organization knows how to put together a roster OR properly deploy the assets on that roster; 2] the "trickle down" effect of poor roster construction. That the 25th man is a never used catcher hamstrings the roster in other ways. This is especially true of an extra extra catcher, because such a player is both offensively inept and defensively inflexible.

I agree with you that poor play at the top is much more serious. But that does not excuse failing to deal with easily remedied problems at the bottom.

2008-07-05 12:04:26
7.   ny2ca2dc
Agree with the comments on the roster construction/3 catchers. I would much rather have, say, Josh Phelps as the 'third catcher' - he could be a pretty good RH bench bat and catch a few innings here and there. Who cares if Moeller is lost - get PJ Pilittere a shot if JoPo eventually has to Dh full time. Honestly, I'm ready to punt the season - not just because of this year, but because of what the offense portends next year. Scary to imagine another year of decline with the same cast.
2008-07-05 12:29:11
8.   randym77
Molina seems to have become Moose's personal catcher. Or at least, Jorgie doesn't catch him. Which is really odd, because a couple of years ago, Jorgie pointed to Moose as someone he got along well with (as opposed to Randy Johnson). What happened?
2008-07-05 12:56:29
9.   JeremyM
8 In "Living on the Black," Mussina talks about how he ended up with Nieves as his catcher last year pretty much by accident, and that he had no problems at all throwing to Posada. Basically, Mussina was struggling and had a good game with Nieves behind the dish, and Torre figured since Nieves had to play every 5th day anyway, he'd try to see if there was something there with Moose and Nieves.
2008-07-05 12:57:42
10.   JeremyM
7 Good call and Phelps is down in AAA in the Cardinals system where I'm sure he can be had for a song. They're not being creative at all.
2008-07-05 12:58:32
11.   rbj
SWB is in town starting Monday, and I don't even feel like going.
2008-07-05 12:59:50
12.   rbj
Gardner! Way to be greedy, Dusting.
2008-07-05 13:11:11
13.   monkeypants
One of those grounders will find a hole eventually.
2008-07-05 13:13:54
14.   monkeypants'm getting....sleepy....
2008-07-05 13:18:46
15.   monkeypants
Nice little play by Cano and Betemit there.
Hello out there (...out there...out there...out there)
2008-07-05 13:23:58
16.   rbj
I really don't give a flying fig about A-Rod's personal life. I do care about him grounding out weakly.
2008-07-05 13:25:20
17.   standuptriple
Timmy suggested switching numbers for A-Rod. Uh, yeah. That'll fix everything.
2008-07-05 13:27:38
18.   standuptriple
Giambi moves quite well for a guy carrying a piano.
2008-07-05 13:27:42
19.   rbj
Wow, Jason beat the throw.
2008-07-05 13:28:06
20.   OldYanksFan
Good God the Big Lug is slow... but fast enough!
2008-07-05 13:28:31
21.   randym77
Gee, the one-day benching seems to have done Melky good.
2008-07-05 13:29:01
22.   standuptriple
I'd be ashamed if I were Nancy Drew.
2008-07-05 13:31:03
23.   monkeypants
Giambi with a finesse slide!
2008-07-05 13:32:15
24.   monkeypants
Of course, that should mark the end of the Yankees' offense for the day. We have come to expect about 18 meek outs and 2 singles to follow.
2008-07-05 13:33:05
25.   standuptriple
Excellent play, Robbie!
2008-07-05 13:34:26
26.   rbj
22 Nancy would be. She has a better arm than this clown.
2008-07-05 13:39:39
27.   monkeypants
Me likey this new-old-new Moose. I can't tell if this is a fluke, but after 90 games can it be just a fluke? Who knows, maybe he can milk another season or so out of his arm, if that's what he wants.
2008-07-05 13:39:53
28.   ny2ca2dc
Beaut of a last pitch to K Drew.
2008-07-05 13:43:18
29.   rbj
Brett needs to file a police report on that theft.
2008-07-05 13:44:59
30.   monkeypants
Poor Brett has hit a few sharp grounders that have found gloves. Maybe he needs to hit some dribblers or high hoppers instead.
2008-07-05 13:53:03
31.   JeremyM
My God. Another bases juiced situation with less than 2 outs, and nothing to show for it.
2008-07-05 13:53:26
32.   rbj
Why am I not surprised.
2008-07-05 13:59:34
33.   rbj
Looks like Melky's determined not to get Wally Pipped, at least on defense.
2008-07-05 14:03:21
34.   OldYanksFan
27 There are a number of soft toss guys who are still pretty good. And of the soft tossers, Moose's junk is about the junkiest.

It just shows how much 'smarts' is a part of baseball and how making the right adjustments can make all the difference.

2008-07-05 14:03:27
35.   monkeypants
31 32 See 24 . I have this feeling it will be just like yesterday, except one run early instead of three.
2008-07-05 14:08:57
36.   monkeypants
34 It's interesting to look at very successful players with long careers. It is my anecdotal impression that they often have a bad season or two at, say age 30 0r 31, then a few more really good years, then another bad season. And the really great ones can hang on for a couple more years.

Now, those bad seasons could be blips, or they could be injury seasons. But I sometimes wonder if those are seasons where the athlete' physical abilities decline without the player adjusting--changing his swing or finding a new pitch, etc.

This is my roundabout way of talking about Jeter. I still think that this season is the product of injury. But if it is a decline year, perhaps Jeter will bounce back as he adjusts to his own changing abilities. Anyway, just musing.

2008-07-05 14:20:13
37.   randym77
How good is Melky on defense? The Fielding Bible ranked him the second worse defensive CFer in MLB at the end of last year. But we tend to think of him as being pretty good. Are we just so used to statues in the outfield that Melky looks relatively good?
2008-07-05 14:22:04
38.   monkeypants
Now, I will grant that Molina can really throw!
2008-07-05 14:22:36
39.   OldYanksFan
It seems to me that Jeter no longer has the consistant power for opposite BHs to right. Unlike most players who are too pull happy, I don't think Jeter pulls enough. I don't want him to try and pull outside pitches, but I do want him to start turning on the inside ones.

The inside-out thing is resulting in too many weakly hit balls.

I swear, Molina (over Posada) must save 1/2 run a game for us.

2008-07-05 14:22:38
40.   randym77
Man, Ellsbury is actually a pretty good base stealer, but the Yanks pwn him.
2008-07-05 14:22:45
41.   monkeypants
37 Interesting...based on what metrics? Our standards for OF defense are pretty low, I imagine.
2008-07-05 14:24:03
42.   ny2ca2dc
Irrelevant in this case as the CS was all Molina, but Girardi has been spectacular at calling pitchouts this year.
2008-07-05 14:25:44
43.   OldYanksFan
37 RLYW did an evaluation of CFs and Melky was near/at the bottom in offense and towards the top in defense. I would give him a C+/B- in fielding an an A for throwing.

There goes Jeter again, inside-outing a weak fly. TURN ON THE FUCKIN' BALL DEREK!

2008-07-05 14:26:02
44.   monkeypants
39 I agree on Jeter--in his best seasons (my memory here) he did turn on the ball more. yeah, I would like to see him pull some inside pitches with more autjority.

Regarding Molina--there is no way him throwing out the odd base runner saves 1/2 run per game (80 runs on the course of the season).

Heck, they have both started the same number of games of so (around 43), and Molina has only thrown out around 10 more runners than Posada.

2008-07-05 14:27:16
45.   Zack
Ahh, it was only a matter of time until McCarver started the asinine assertion that "the Red Sox organization has blown the Yankees' out of the water in terms of youth infusion."
2008-07-05 14:29:05
46.   Zack
Oh my God, it burns the ears! Apparently the Yanks don't have "impact talent," which the Sox apparently do. I guess Buccholz counts as an entire system's worth of "impact."
2008-07-05 14:30:05
47.   randym77
41 I think it's mostly a range rating. So what it's saying is that Melky's range is not really good enough for CF. It doesn't take into account his great arm. Defensively, he's probably better suited for right field, where there's less ground to cover and his arm will be put to good use. But he doesn't have the bat for that. At least so far.

He's got good speed, but I don't think he reads the ball off the bat that well. Josh Hamilton is the same way. He's got amazing tools - runs like a gazelle, has an arm that's stronger than Melky's and more accurate - but he's not a very good CFer, because he doesn't read the ball off the bat very well.

2008-07-05 14:31:51
48.   mehmattski
46 Yeah, but rank the Sox/Yankees rookies and other young players. At this point it's got to be:

1) Joba
2) Pedroia
3) Lester
4) Cano
5) Ellsbury
6) Masterson
7) Melky
8) Buchholz
9) Hughes
10) Kennedy

Their best five young players beat our best five young players, in terms of "impact," I have to admit.

2008-07-05 14:33:16
49.   ny2ca2dc
46 ditto
2008-07-05 14:33:42
50.   monkeypants
39 44 I stand corrected.

Posada: 25 GS, 30 SB, 7 CS (1.2 SB/G)
Molina: 44 GS, 25 SB, 22 CS (.57 SB/G)

Still, I am not convinced that .5 or .6 SB per game difference accounts for .5 runs per game.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-07-05 14:36:29
51.   ny2ca2dc
that second strike to Drew was eye popping!
2008-07-05 14:36:51
52.   monkeypants
46 Yeah, the announces say the Yankees have trouble integrating young talent on the field in a game where Melky, Robbie, and Brett Gardner are starting in the field, Joba is in the rotation, and by the way, look at the BP.

Whatever. As long as the Sox are the last of the two teams to win the big cheese, we get to listen to this and other mythical narratives.

2008-07-05 14:37:30
53.   Jeb
48 How in the WORLD do you rank Melky Cabrera that high? He's not a prospect. He's a guy that's had two seasons of 98, 89 and (this season) 78 as his OPS+

Even if Melky is a prospect, he sure as heck wouldn't rank higher than Buchholz, Hughes or IPK.

2008-07-05 14:38:48
54.   mehmattski
53 None of them are prospects. But at least Melky is playing in the major leagues, unlike the three below him. That counts as more "impact" to me.
2008-07-05 14:39:20
55.   Zack
48 There is absolutely no way you can rate Masterson that high. There is absolutely nothing besides, as Cliff pointed out above, his first few starts that suggests he will be anything other than average, which is what his numbers have ALWAYS been.

I also don't think you can rank Pedroia over Cano based on one bad half season. Cano STILL has an OPS+ higher than Dusties, and he's only been getting generally better as the season has continued.

And to that end, I would put Melky at the bottom of that list. I would put it at
Lester (in his 3rd year, to be fair, so does Wang get to be on there for only his 4th year?)

I never said that the Yanks were doing BETTER than the Sox, but the idea that the Sox have somehow been so great at developing their talent and are doing well because of them is simply not true and is the result of Gammons-hype. They are doing well generally despite their "kids," save Lester and Pedroia in the last two weeks.

But its this whole "impact" crap that really bothers me. The Yanks have had lots of impact from their farm in their BP, while the Sox' farm arms have been awful. And just because Hughes has been injured and not so good doesn't mean he loses "impact" status.

And, finally, who do the Sox have in the minors right now besides Buccholz who is an "impact" player?

2008-07-05 14:39:29
56.   ny2ca2dc
51 And then he walks him on the next pitches. yeesh.
2008-07-05 14:39:37
57.   rbj
It must be a contest between Fox & ESPN to see who can make the most inane comments.
2008-07-05 14:41:09
58.   monkeypants
Moose is kinda funny when he's cranky. That is, unless he implodes.
2008-07-05 14:41:33
59.   Zack
48 And of course I was responding to the idiotic announcers assertion that the Yankees SYSTEM is lacking impact players while the Sox system is chock full of them, so much so that, and I approximate the quote here, "they have plenty of replacements to step right up who the Yankees would kill for..."
2008-07-05 14:42:11
60.   Zack
The Yanks offense really does have that special ability to make an opposing pitcher look like Cy Freaking Young
2008-07-05 14:42:38
61.   Jeb
54 yeah, he's playing in the majors, but he's playing HORRIBLY. Would you trade Melky for Buchholz or Masterson? I sure as hell would.

On another note, if they're going to talk about Arod's personal life in this broadcast and then spend 5 minutes talking about Julio Lugo's sunglasses and bench warming ability, it might be fair to mention that Lugo has a less than savory personal life (e.g., beating up his wife in a parking lot, which is a hell of a lot worse than what Arod's doing).

I do like the irony of the Sox getting Lugo for his "hitting" ability. just ask his wife.

2008-07-05 14:43:10
62.   monkeypants
What's Moose's pitch count? Fox announcers are too busy discussing who starred in Rear Window (a great film, by the way) to provide much relevant detail about the game.
2008-07-05 14:44:14
63.   Jeb
59 the problem is, in part, due to the fact that the announcers announce don't know much about any team their covering. It really ought to be their business to know what each team has in the minors.
2008-07-05 14:46:37
64.   JeremyM
62 89 pitches for Moose.
2008-07-05 14:46:46
65.   monkeypants
55 To be fair to the Fox announcers, Joba used to be an impact prospect/player when he was TEH EIGHTH INNING GUY !!!!11!!!11.

But once they made the terrible decision to move him to the rotation, he lost his impact status BIG TIME.

2008-07-05 14:47:06
66.   Zack
63 Yeah, that would require them to do work, when its much easier to just spew diarrhea out of your mouth for 3 hours...
2008-07-05 14:47:25
67.   rbj
62 89 pitches, 54 strikes. I'd give him 1 more inning
2008-07-05 14:47:52
68.   Zack
65 Yes, and I quote(ish) "Joba hasn't been able to get deep enough into games so he is making the bullpen throw a lot of pitches..."
2008-07-05 14:47:54
69.   monkeypants
64 Not too bad. Should be get another inning out of him. Somehow Manny will bat with men on base in the 9th no matter what.
2008-07-05 14:49:04
70.   monkeypants
2008-07-05 14:49:33
71.   monkeypants
2008-07-05 14:50:06
72.   TimBrow
Moose is delivering another solid outing. After Hanks tirade, unfortunately, we are now in 4th. We can all break it down, but, it is glaringly apparent. Firing a manager is never a long term solution. Failing to out and get quality pitching is the reason for our record.Inconsistent hitting, yes. Pitching wins World Series though. Doing the AAA pitching yoyo has been our killer. Wong worked, young players like Cano and Cabrera worked, but as we can see, terrible short/long term strategy. Hughes, Kennedy, Rasner are/were AAA pitchers for a reason. They aren't ready. So, where does it lie? Hank obviously is over matched. Depending on the Golden Boy is his down fall. Reminds me of Lumpy on Leave it to Beaver. "Daddy!". Daddy ain't there. Gotta deal with Eddie Haskell now. About to choke typing this next line, but Theo Epstein of BoSox has proven himself via massive diversity and a thinking GM. The Yankees also have a very old team. Not as old as Johnson, Brown, Clemens, Leiter. Look at those fabulous moves. Short term and a bust. So, Hank, you need to look from within and admit Cashman' record/success was probably set up by Watson. The vision is clear as it is requiring pitching and rebuild. Cashman I believe is over matched in both categories. Someone needed to be fired last year. Torre and staff were not the guys.
2008-07-05 14:50:08
73.   Zack
Molina sucks
2008-07-05 14:50:17
74.   mehmattski
59 And the Yankees' replacements who are ready to "step right up" are..... who, exactly? The Yankees' pre-season top ten prospects are either struggling (Tabata, Betances, Marquez, Ohlendorf) or injured (Kennedy, Horne, Tabata, Brackman) with only Joba and Jackson living up to their pre-season promise.

I guess I was looking at the two teams, each of whom have a CF, 2B, and three starting pitchers all pretty young and home-grown. Would you trade the Yankees five for the Red Sox? The injuries/ineffectiveness of Hughes/Kennedy/Melky make up for the advantage of Joba/Cano?

2008-07-05 14:50:43
75.   monkeypants
Does Molina get credit for advancing the runners by swinging at a pitch so far outside it missed everything on its way to the backstop?
2008-07-05 14:51:00
76.   Zack
72 Wow, where did THAT come from?
2008-07-05 14:51:39
77.   Jeb
66 I agree. They really ought to be embarrassed though -- How would you like it if you had no competence in doing your job and everyone watching you said, "Zack doesn't know what the hell he's doing"? You'd probably have some pride and say to yourself, "well this is this little book I can read ... [fill in the blank, but in their case Baseball Prospectus or something like that] ... and I can even read it on the toilet and impress everyone with my depth of knowlege."

But no, they lack that pride. McCarver played the game so he assumes he knows everything. He's probably good at telling you which foot to plant off as a catcher or when a pitch is a passed ball (as he just did), but he simply stinks at real analytical content.

Frankly, listening to McCarver is like listening to George W. Bush give a speech on the nuances of the English language.

2008-07-05 14:53:44
78.   randym77
Got a run in. Not bad, kid.
2008-07-05 14:55:10
79.   ny2ca2dc
2 innings of bases loaded 1 out, outcome: 1 run.
2008-07-05 14:57:00
80.   ny2ca2dc
74 I'll tell you in 3 years. ;)
2008-07-05 14:57:16
81.   monkeypants
72 So apparently developing young players is bad short and long term strategy, because it has only worked with Cano, Melky, and Wang (not Wong)?
2008-07-05 14:57:27
82.   Zack
74 I wouldn't exchange Joba for anyone.

And I wouldn't trade Joba/Cano/Hughes/Kennedy/Melky for Lester/Pedroia/Buccholz/Ellsbury/Masterson

Joba/Cano>Lester/Pedroia. Buzzholz and Hughes have been equally ineffective this year, Clay has just come back from injury earlier. Ellsbury>Melky, but not by as much as one might think. Ellsbury's speed seems to have a vast overhyping factor, much like Gardner. As for Masterson vs. Kennedy, I can't really make a call on that one yet

2008-07-05 14:58:22
83.   monkeypants
I might have gone to Moose here to face Youkillis and the bottom of the lineup.
2008-07-05 14:58:29
84.   thelarmis
why not moose to start the 7th?! wtf?!?! 89 pitches...
2008-07-05 14:59:36
85.   Zack
Yeah, i would have stuck with Moose here...
2008-07-05 15:00:42
86.   Eirias
I really like Hal Steinbrenner. Reading his interview that River Ave. Blues linked to makes me all the more convinced that Hank is the blustery face, but that Hal has, or at least should have, all the real power.
2008-07-05 15:01:54
87.   ny2ca2dc
I would've preferred more Moose, but the BP has been great of late. Hey look, a rhyme.
2008-07-05 15:02:09
88.   Zack
Those hats keep throwing me off...
2008-07-05 15:05:15
89.   monkeypants
82 Also, in terms of integrating young impact talent, the Yankees should get some credit for signing one of the best players in the for the next decade: A-Rod.

What is the Sox' plan to replace homegrown talent like Manny or Lowell or even Ortiz (whose Mo Vaugn body type looks like it might be catching up to him)? Does Youkilis and his career 114 OPS+ still count as young at age 29?

2008-07-05 15:05:19
90.   rbj
I'd have trotted Moose out there too, but this has seemed to work. Next is the dreaded Kyle 8th inning.
2008-07-05 15:06:23
91.   Zack
I guess Veras isn't an "impact player?

Is there any reason he hasn't been nicknamed "Truth" yet? Other than its obviousness and Paul Pierce?

2008-07-05 15:08:18
92.   randym77
Holy crap. Maybe god is on the Rockies' side.
2008-07-05 15:08:32
93.   mehmattski
I still can't figure out exactly where Veras came from. Seven mediocre years as a starter in the minors before he was converted to a slightly above average closer at AAA at 24. Signed with the Yankees and suddenly figured out how to not walk the world. Is he one of Mo's little projects?
2008-07-05 15:08:41
94.   ny2ca2dc
This is just Sid's throw day, right?
2008-07-05 15:09:12
95.   Zack
I'll be happy if I never have to look at Ponson again...
2008-07-05 15:09:45
96.   ny2ca2dc
95 Roger that. I really hope Kennedy is ready to come back after the ASB.
2008-07-05 15:11:20
97.   mehmattski
89 How is getting hit in the wrist with a pitch indicative of a decline?
2008-07-05 15:11:54
98.   OldYanksFan
50 We will never know. Did Molina save a run there? Well, if the next guy got a hit, he did. That is my issue with defense. Not only does poor defense allow a baserunner, but gives away an out. You never know if eliminating that extra runner AND extra out results in saving any runs or multiple runs. I remember a Matsui non-error/poor play leading to six runs. There have been MANY games where our questionable defense has allowed bunches on runs.

In the first game, Jeters error turned a scoreless game into an 0-2 deficit. What is the emotional impact of falling behind the Sox in the 1st inning. When it was 4-0, did we 'give up' when we may have emotionally be in a 2-0 game?

We know that a single and a double lead to a run. It's easy to quality. But if you save a single and a double, it is impossible to know what was saved.

2008-07-05 15:13:20
99.   OldYanksFan
I vote for a biblical flood. How about you guys?
2008-07-05 15:13:45
100.   Schteeve
I'm gone for 2 weeks and they're nine back? Cripes.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-07-05 15:14:20
101.   Zack
93 TO be fair, while he did take a leap in his first year as a Yank, the year before was a big improvement for him as well...
2008-07-05 15:19:15
102.   ny2ca2dc
I wish Betemit would stop switch "hitting". Worth a shot.
2008-07-05 15:19:27
103.   mehmattski
101 Yes, but it looks as though his lone season with the Texas organization was the one in which he was converted to a full-time reliever. So we would expect his stats to be better for anyone making the conversion. His strikeout rates jumped that year, but his walk-rate was still horrendous.

Credit to Dave Eiland I suppose, but I still worry a bit that the wheels will fall off.

2008-07-05 15:22:31
104.   SF Yanks
Hey look, it's our 8th inning guy!
2008-07-05 15:23:18
105.   Zack
103 I have no actual trust in him, but if he can bridge a gap until the kids with the real legit potential can be ready next year, then all the better. I doubt his future is as "TEH 8TH INNING GUY!!11!!!!1," but he may have a nice future as, I don't know, a "6-7th inning guy?"
2008-07-05 15:24:50
106.   monkeypants
98 But you can estimate. There are studies that estimate correlation between base runners and runs, and between bases and runs. It should be easy enough to calculate how much an extra base 9SB) costs on average.

Look at it from the other side: everyone knows that if you do not steal bases at a rate of about 75% then you are hurting the team offensively. That the rate must be so high for a SB to "pay off" suggests that the advantage gained by the occasional extra base is marginal.

As for your "we'll never know what would happen" / "did we give up at 4-0" argument. It's emotional, but not very logical. If we want to play that game, do we know if the team "gave up" when Molina failed once again to drive in runners on base? Did they lose heart knowing that the lineup was so weak?

There may have been many games when the questionable defense gave up runs...with the help of the pitcher, of course. Yet we KNOW that in almost 30 games this season the offense did very little. That is measurable and verifiable.

I'll take my chances with Posada's bat, which I can measure, than speculating about the hundreds of runs Molina has "saved" by stopping 10 base stealers.

2008-07-05 15:24:50
107.   rbj
This lead is not Kyle-proof.
2008-07-05 15:26:02
108.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
Just woke up, turned on the tv and saw Farnsworth pitching. Scary way to start the day!! Mussina shut them down then I guess??
2008-07-05 15:26:27
109.   Eirias
Farnsworth is TCB.
2008-07-05 15:27:43
110.   Jeb
...this must be why we have 3 catchers...
2008-07-05 15:27:50
111.   Zack
2008-07-05 15:27:58
112.   OldYanksFan
2008-07-05 15:29:38
113.   Jeb
108 he pitched pretty well; seemed to locate.
2008-07-05 15:30:06
114.   mehmattski
2008-07-05 15:30:27
115.   monkeypants
Nice play by Cano.

That probably save 14 runs, right OYF? : ) I'm just kidding around with you now.

2008-07-05 15:31:12
116.   OldYanksFan
106 But what about the extra out? Getting 4 outs in an inning CAN be much harder then getting 3. If may not be 1/2 run a game, but it is a lot more then we probably give him credit for (especially when he is at bat). One of Cashmans more important recent pickups.
2008-07-05 15:33:43
117.   Jeb
I loved how Buck and Mccarver were speculating that the Yanks might use Rivera for a 2 inning save because they need this game and then they were surprised when Kyle came out. If they'd bothered to look at any numbers this year, they'd see that Rivera has rarely been used in the 8th this year and has only pitched two full innings in an appearance once (against Baltimore in the 9th and 10th).

This kind of shit is easy to find on the internetS. Why can't they bother to look it up in the 10 second it took me? Seriously, how much analysis does that take?

2008-07-05 15:34:48
118.   Jeb
("seconds" that is).
2008-07-05 15:40:30
119.   monkeypants
116 Getting four is presumably always harder than getting three. No one denies this. You just have a tendency, in my opinion, to make wildly speculative claims about how many runs are "saved" by this or that defensive play, or to ascribe many, many runs directly to some or other perceived defensive gaff.

One can estimate the value of a SB pretty clearly. We can look at how the extra base affects run expectancy. One can also estimate the value of the outs from CS. And I'm telling you, that extra base or two every three or foru games just doesn't make that much of a difference.

Look at it this way, if Molina (for example) wee worth 1/2 run on defense alone, he would start for any team, because he by himself would account for 80 runs a season. There is almost no way any slugging catcher could make that up with his bat (Posada's best seasons were c. 115 RC). Yet Molina is a backup. Why?

Because you would be crazy to start a player who hit as bad as he does just so he can throw out 45% of base stealers.

2008-07-05 15:43:25
120.   rbj
Mo did get the memo that this is a save situation, right?
2008-07-05 15:43:54
121.   Zack
Oy, just what we need
2008-07-05 15:44:27
122.   monkeypants
Looks like bad Mo v. the Sox. Sigh.
2008-07-05 15:45:18
123.   Zack
Finding new ways to lose everyday
2008-07-05 15:45:22
124.   randym77
This lead may not be Mo-proof.
2008-07-05 15:45:28
125.   nick
if Mo loses this game, it'd be a fitting way to slam the door on the season, eh?
2008-07-05 15:45:32
126.   monkeypants
This team is not cursed...they are doomed.
2008-07-05 15:45:35
127.   thelarmis
2004 v.2 : (
2008-07-05 15:45:36
128.   ny2ca2dc
Just that kind of year. Looks like Mo's a little too rested.
2008-07-05 15:45:51
129.   Bob Timmermann
Manny is the first ALer since Reed Johnson to get thrice in a game. Johnson did it twice in 2006.

Chase Utley got dinged three times early this year by the Mets.

2008-07-05 15:46:04
130.   ny2ca2dc
Poor Moose, if this doesn't turn out right.
2008-07-05 15:46:23
131.   3rd gen yankee fan
Please god just flush this season down the toilet.
2008-07-05 15:46:23
132.   monkeypants
I wonder how many runs they might have scored if Posada got a meaningful AB this game? I guess we will never know.
2008-07-05 15:47:01
133.   Zack
Abreu looks like he is running in quicksand out there
2008-07-05 15:47:04
134.   thelarmis
good god, that was close. strike this fucker out, then DP...
2008-07-05 15:48:06
135.   thelarmis
jesus! wtf?!
2008-07-05 15:48:09
136.   Jeb
great, now we're going to lose this game. wonderful just wonderful.
2008-07-05 15:48:15
137.   ny2ca2dc
how in the...
2008-07-05 15:48:30
138.   rbj
What is this, hit a batter, win a suit day?
2008-07-05 15:48:31
139.   ny2ca2dc
K please
2008-07-05 15:48:39
140.   randym77
Ugh. Please, Mo, don't let this slip away.
2008-07-05 15:48:40
141.   thelarmis
has Mo ever hit 2 batters in 1 inning before? i kinda doubt it...
2008-07-05 15:48:45
142.   Jeb
131 he already has
2008-07-05 15:48:55
143.   monkeypants
Even worse, once Mo blows the save, we have to watch the futile bottom of the 9th inning.
2008-07-05 15:49:14
144.   SF Yanks
What the hell is happening? Poor Moose as 130 stated.
2008-07-05 15:49:44
145.   Jeb
of course if WE had bases loaded, nobody out, we all know how that would end.
2008-07-05 15:49:48
146.   Zack
144 Poor Moose? Poor us, we have to watch this team!
2008-07-05 15:50:12
147.   thelarmis
c'mon baby, double play. thank you, please!
2008-07-05 15:50:17
148.   ny2ca2dc
Boo ya. Veritek hits Mo well though. I'll take a DP please.
2008-07-05 15:50:30
149.   monkeypants
Mo > Crisp.

At least that is still true.

2008-07-05 15:50:59
150.   Bob Timmermann
The 7 total HBP ties an AL record. The alltime record is 8 in an NL game and that last happened in 1897!
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2008-07-05 15:51:37
151.   ny2ca2dc
Boo Ya. One more.
2008-07-05 15:51:42
152.   thelarmis
Beter Mit! 1 more. let's go Mo!!!
2008-07-05 15:51:49
153.   monkeypants
14 Thank God. If 'Tek got the big hit FOX and ESPN would have been insufferable...
2008-07-05 15:51:57
154.   ny2ca2dc
I have faith in the great Mariano!
2008-07-05 15:52:18
155.   monkeypants
150 Let's not see that record tied or broken!
2008-07-05 15:52:43
156.   Bob Timmermann
The last 7 HBP game in the AL:

There have been a few.

2008-07-05 15:53:18
157.   Jeb
c'mon Mo....
2008-07-05 15:53:40
158.   ny2ca2dc
Thanks for that call!!!
2008-07-05 15:53:52
159.   SF Yanks
Lucky call.
2008-07-05 15:54:25
160.   monkeypants
Dear Mo,

I doubted you. I am a bad man. I am sorry.

Sincerely, Monkeypants

2008-07-05 15:54:30
161.   Zack
2008-07-05 15:54:37
162.   ny2ca2dc
2008-07-05 15:54:38
163.   Jeb
Lugo finds hitting his wife easier than hitting Mo.
2008-07-05 15:54:47
164.   rbj
Yes! Phew!!
2008-07-05 15:54:51
165.   Zack
Mo reaffirms his status as a God among Men
2008-07-05 15:54:53
166.   randym77
Hallelujah. That was almost really, really bad.
2008-07-05 15:55:08
167.   thelarmis
YEAH!!!! WHEW!!!! waaaay too freakin close. thanks for the near heart attack Mo - i still love you.

wasn't planning on drinking tonite, but i might have to now... : ~

2008-07-05 15:55:27
168.   Jeb
Now let's get the split tomorrow and pound the damn Rays twice next week and get back into this motherfucker.
2008-07-05 15:55:41
169.   SF Yanks
Oh fuck, thank the lord!! I almost had a heart attack.
2008-07-05 15:56:00
170.   rbj
163 Cold. I like it.
2008-07-05 15:56:07
171.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
awesome, thank Yaweh for Mo and the rubbish at the end of the Sox lineup!
2008-07-05 15:56:46
172.   thelarmis
168 rock the fuck on, bro!!! : )
2008-07-05 15:57:35
173.   3rd gen yankee fan
168 172 I just hope the Yankees hear you.
2008-07-05 15:59:36
174.   SF Yanks
So much for Mo's sub 1 ERA.
2008-07-05 16:00:24
175.   nick
oh, man........what can you say?
2008-07-05 16:00:39
176.   OldYanksFan
199 I am NOT making any claims at all. I am raising the question. This season, OUR eyes have shown us that poor defense has cost us many runs, as well as losing many runs to THEIR above average D.

The '1/2' run was tongue-in-cheek, but throwing out runners at 2nd and 3rd (both eliminating a baserunner and getting the extra out) does save runs. And games.

2008-07-05 16:01:01
177.   OldYanksFan
2008-07-05 16:01:31
178.   monkeypants
And the Moose shall rejoice... and Monkeypants and old Yanks Fan shall clasp hands...
2008-07-05 16:04:43
179.   monkeypants
176 Now you are anticipating my arguments? : )

Seriously, though, now is the time for happiness. We can resume the debate later!

2008-07-05 16:17:40
180.   OldYanksFan
I am reading over the comments (as I was eating dinner as Mo entertained us).
And what's this I'm reading?
Doubt in Mo?
Shame on you Banterers.
In Mo We Trust... yes?
2008-07-05 16:47:26
181.   RIYank
So, my internet connection was (and is) cranky, but I want you to know I was watching, and thinking about the Banter while I watched.

The ninth inning was, uh, exhilarating. I'm glad I watched it. Before Mo threw his first pitch, I made a deal with God that the Sox could score one run if they definitely, guaranteed wouldn't score more. So I wasn't worried.

2008-07-05 17:57:05
182.   Alex Belth
Holy M'Gosh, I missed the game today, checked the score, saw they won 2-1 and said, "Jeez, that's a heart attack missed, how wonderful that a) they won, and b) Moose got the win." Then I got home and checked out wha' happened. When I told Em she said, "Good thing you missed it, that would have shaved years off your life." You ain't kidding. Man, what a freakin dramafest in the ninth. Thankfully close don't count. Way to go Mo!

Now, Joba's due to come through, and the Yanks can split this series, then go sweep the Rays.

2008-07-05 18:21:41
183.   monkeypants
Pete Abe: "The Yankees will decide tomorrow whether to put Johnny Damon on the DL. Every indication is that they will. Damon said it could be 10 days before he can throw again."

Why? Why wait until tomorrow? Just so they can play shorthanded against the Sox again?

He's either injured or he's not. If he is, put him on the DL through the ASG, and get another usable OF on the roster.

2008-07-05 19:49:42
184.   Schteeve
A man once said, "A man is not finished when he is defeated, a man is finished when he quits."

Well, I'm almost finished with the Yankees 2008 season.

Wang, Matsui, Damon, likely all gone for meaningful stretches. Jeter a shell, Posada clearly not ready to play catcher everyday. Cano and Cabrera regressing, Jim Mora's famous tirade comes to mind.

2008-07-05 20:06:33
185.   OldYanksFan
Let's see.
Yanks against Sox.
Our old crafty vet against their kid.
Our kid singles in the first run.
Another kid sacs in the next run.
Crafty vet throws 6 shgutout innings.
Another kid pitches in the 7th.
Then God comes in for the 9th.
4 consecutive batters reach, 1 run scores, bases loaded, none out.
Some are worried.
Not I. In Mo I trust.
Bing, bang, boom
Thhhhhhhhhhe Yankees win.
And it's on Fox.
Not a bad day at all.
And tomorrow.....................
2008-07-05 20:32:01
186.   SF Yanks
185 Very nice.
2008-07-05 20:41:10
187.   monkeypants

Hey OYF--

I found this article by Rob Neyer comparing the defensive value of Piazza v. Pudge Rodriguez, relevant to our discussion today.

The basics: according to Neyer, a SB allowed is worth 0.16 runs for the offense (-.16 R for the defense). A caught stealing is worth 0.49 R for the defense, almost half a run (!).

Comparing Posada to Molina this season, based on their games started.

Posada has started 25 games at C, allowed 30 SB (x .16 = 4.8 R allowed), caught 7 base stealers (x .49 = 3.43 R saved) = -1.37 R, or -0.055 R/G

Molina (44 GS) --> 25 SB (x .16 = 4.00 R allowed), 22 CS (x .49 = 10.78 R saved) = 6.78 R, or +.154 R/G.

So, preventing the opposing running game, especially CS is more valuable than I allowed. Still, on average the difference is not huge--Molina is about 0.2 R/G better than Posada on defense.

I'm pretty sure Posada makes that up and then some with his bat.

Anyway, a fun discussion today--let's hope Joba rocks tomorrow!

2008-07-05 21:00:47
188.   monkeypants
187 ] Follow up--

This season (Using GS to make it easier)

Molina has 11 RC in 44 GS = .25 R/G

Posada has 21 RC in 37 GS = .57 R/G

So, Posada has had about a .32 R/G advantage over Molina hitting, but that is not that much more than the .2 R/G advantage Molina provides on defense.

Hmmm...maybe you're right after all, Molina's defense has been pretty valuable.

2008-07-05 23:34:14
189.   TimBrow
With all the useless banter, my expose on the future and the removal of the cause of our demise is not important, and appears to be removed. I stand be my comments that Cashmans days should be numbered.
2008-07-06 05:12:52
190.   OldYanksFan
187 Nice post and follow-up Dude.
" A caught stealing is worth 0.49 R for the defense"
Well... while my statement of 1/2 run was a made in a half-assed, tongue-in-cheek manner, now that you have posted some 'real' numbers, I will publicly apologize for my wild exaggeration and distorted opinion! :-)
And.. hows this.
If there is a man on first and he tries to steal, there are basically 2 outcomes. Safe or out.
If he is safe, the O is credited for .16 runs.
If he is out, the D is credited for .49 runs.
Therefore, the differential in the outcomes is 0.65 runs. Agreed?
2008-07-06 05:18:13
191.   RIYank
188 Still, over the course of a season it's about three games (well, it would be if Posada could play every game). On the other hand, there may well be other defensive advantages for Molina besides CS.

On a different topic, is there any chance at all the Brett Gardner can hit a knuckler?

189 Huh?

2008-07-06 05:24:19
192.   RIYank
190 Not to be picky, but you said Molina saved a half run per game over Posada. That was a largish exaggeration.
But right, a CS saves .65 runs over a SB.
2008-07-06 06:43:46
193.   monkeypants
189 Don't worry chief, your manifesto is still there in all its glory 72 .

191 I hope Gardner can hit something. He's had s tough start and I'm hoping he succeeds, for the simple reason that he should be a fun player to watch.

2008-07-06 07:11:08
194.   OldYanksFan
OH SHIT! I just lost a very long and detailed post! FUCK! So I will sum it up and y'all believe me. Using the stats posted in 50 , and extrapolating it out over 162 games of Molina v. Posada, I calulated the difference is Molina saves 0.24 runs/game.

Again, this is a direct numerical interpolation and does not take into account many additional 'real' variables that might be applied. Of course on offense, my guess is Posada generates more then 40 runs/season more then Molina. But maybe the overall differnce between the 2 is not as great as we may have thought.

72 Dude... you make many points, and many are flat out wrong. However, they have not only been debated here (and on other blogs) at length, but I can't address any of your issues until:
1) You come down from whatever you are on
2) You back off your 'Leave-it-to-Beaver-kitchen sink approach, and layout ONE specific issue you have with Cashman, so it can be addressed.

Simply look at the ONE simple statement I made: "Molina might save 1/2 run/game over Posada" and the intelligence and statistical data/analysis that was offered by the Banterers.

The 'Cashman' issue is a bit of a deadhorse here, but it IS still a current issue, especially with it being a 'contract year' for Cash. If you really want to re-open this can-of-worms, you need to post ONE succinct idea and let the Banterers have at it. I can only say your post in 72 would make G.W. Bush proud.

2008-07-06 07:18:40
195.   OldYanksFan
On Gardner:
Obviously, Brett has not been terribly productive yet. But I LOVE his approach. He is truly the anti-Melky. He takes pitches and LOOKS for a BB in every AB. And I am fine with that. He seems to understand his stregth is not as an impact hitter, but as an impact runner who therefore must get on base, anyway possible.

I love players who adjust, who play smart, who are better then their talent. I say the anti-Melky because Melky plays under his talent. If Melky and Brett swapped heads, Brett would never to close to MLB and Melky would be a .280/.370/.430 guy.

2008-07-06 08:06:53
196.   JL25and3
193 , 194 You think there is no conspiracy to silence those who would tell us the real truth? Well, consider this: his post was number 72 , which happens to be exactly half of 134 , if your math isn't so good.

Coincidence, you say? I think not.

2008-07-06 08:13:55
197.   RIYank
2008-07-06 10:53:36
198.   Chyll Will
197 (cricket, cricket...)

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