Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Get On The Good Foot
2008-07-18 23:04
by Cliff Corcoran

Everything the Yankees needed to go right in their first game of the second half of the season did. Mike Mussina pitched six innings of one-run ball, the bullpen pitched three innings of perfect relief, and the offense got in gear, dropping a seven-spot on the A's. As a result, the Yankees pulled even with Oakland in the AL Wild Card picture and gained a game on the Red Sox (thanks to the Angels who beat up on Clay Buchholz; not cooperating: the Rays, who beat A.J. Burnett 2-1).

Mussina scattered nine hits, walked none, struck out six, and threw 69 percent of just 93 pitches for strikes. David Robertson struck out the side on twelve pitches (all but one strikes) in the seventh. Edwar Ramirez threw nine of 11 pitches for strikes while striking out two in a perfect eighth. Even LaTroy Hawkins was dominant, getting two groundouts on his first four pitches, then striking out pinch-hitter Matt Murton to end the game.

As for the offense, new addition Richie Sexson got the Yankees on the board in his first pinstriped at-bat by plating Bobby Abreu from second with a single up the middle off A's lefty starter Greg Smith. Sexson struck out with two on and one out in his second at-bat in the third, but Robinson Cano picked him up with a game-breaking three-run homer. The Yanks then tacked on two more in the fourth on a Derek Jeter walk, a Bobby Abreu RBI double, and an RBI single from Alex Rodriguez, all of which came with two outs. A sixth-inning Alex Rodriguez homer off Dallas Braden pushed the final score to 7-1 Yanks.

Sexson's final tally was 1 for 3 with a walk, an RBI, a strikeout, and a double play. Abreu, Cano, and Melky Cabrera combined to go 6 for 13, each contributing a single and an extra-base hit. Alex Rodriguez went 3 for 4 with two RBIs, two runs scored (as well as a loud out at the plate on a reckless, first-inning-ending send by Bobby Meacham), a home run, and a stolen base. Derek Jeter and designated hitter Jorge Posada combined to walk five times in nine trips. Jose Molina and Brett Gardner combined to go 0 for 8, each with a strikeout (at least they were hitting eighth and ninth). Molina and Gardner (and that pesky Rays win) may have been the only things that didn't go right for the Yankees last night.

2008-07-19 01:04:30
1.   Just fair
Word. Watching Moose lately is akin to Watching Houdini. I can't quite believe what I am seeing, but it's happening anyways.
2008-07-19 04:44:33
2.   ChrisS
Robertson's combined career professional line?

80 G, 145 IP, 195 K, 57 BB 136 H, 0 HR, 19 ER

Which is all good for a 1.33 WHiP and a 1.18 ERA and 12Ks/9IP.

Your set-up guy? This guy is sick. While some of the moves haven't panned out for Cash, he's built a helluva bullpen. And there's plenty more help on its way.

2008-07-19 05:03:55
3.   RIYank
Where did you find that line, ChrisS? His MiL Baseball Reference page

must be missing nine very bad innings, because it lists just 136 IP but only 54 BB and 71 H, for a minor league WHIP of .92.

Anyway, the bullpen in general is exciting, for sure. Also, three-run homers.

Is there really no chance of Posada regaining the ability to throw this season? That plus Damon's return would make our line-up scary again.

2008-07-19 05:11:09
4.   ChrisS
I added his ML innings to the minor league career numbers and I f'd up the hits (and subsequently the WhiP). My bad, I didn't think it looked right, thanks for the save.


80 G, 145 IP, 195 K, 57 BB 77 H, 0 HR, 19 ER and a 0.92 WhiP.


2008-07-19 05:20:32
5.   Raf
Gardner should be made to do pushups when he either pops out, or slides head first into 1b. I think had he not tried to slide, he would've been called safe. At least that was my vantage point from the bleachers :)

I still think Molina should've bunted in the 5th, advancing Melky to 3b. Had he been successful, I would've tried a squeeze play with Gardner.

Anyway, it was a good game all around.

2008-07-19 06:25:09
6.   rufuswashere
Amazing what this team can do when it hits with runners in scoring positin.

Was at the game (probably my last at the Stadium, I don't live here). Great from bottom of the 1st on, Moose putting practically every lead-off runner on but otherwise doing great, the bullpen staggeringly good.

Go Joba.

2008-07-19 07:16:13
7.   Schteeve
Wiggle your big toe.
2008-07-19 07:32:56
8.   JL25and3
I'll be at today's game. It's the first time I've seen Joba start, so I'm damned excited about that. My biggest concern is that the Yankees teed off on a URP last night, and it may be asking too much for them to do it again.
2008-07-19 08:25:19
9.   Jeb
I've been pessimistic all year, particularly with our injuries, reduced scoring, upcoming schedule, run differential problems, crappy 4 and 5 pitchers, and having 2 competitive teams in our division. But last night's game has filled me with hope. The Yanks grinded out at-bats and looked like, well, the Yankees.

Plus it appears that Boston is suddenly imploding. Their prized prospect got lit up last night. AND Manny Ramirez! Oh Manny!

First their was the bitch slap job on Youkilis, then the push of a Red Sox official, then a fine for the push, then a 3 pitch bat-on-the-shoulder strikeout against Mo (which the Boston Globe claims Manny did purposely because of the fine), then Manny's recent quotes about re-upping and Henry's response, and then came last night....

I don't know to create a "Tiny URL" link, but if you go to check out the insane little league play that Manny made on the triple (which was really a soft single), you'll see that the Sox really have a problem. He didn't just miss the ball, but he also began flopping around and landed on the ball and even threw to the wrong base. Then with Francona looking on (as well as some Red Sox official in the stands who I think was Epstein), Manny just laughed and laughed, while his team trailed 9-3.

So, I'm getting hope at the expense of the Red Sox.

My childhood friend Dave is making his first ever trip to Yankee Stadium today. He's a Pirates fan, but wanted to drive up from Virginia to see the BB in the Bronx. I hope he sees a gem from Joba.

2008-07-19 08:36:32
10.   RIYank
Yeah, that was quite a Manny Moment. That could be his career equivalent of when Nomar sat out the game and Jeter dove into the stands to catch a foul ball. By which I mean, the night Red Sox Nation turns definitely against him.

It was Theo in the stands, for sure; and the triple was probably an out, caught by Alex Cora if the Sox hadn't had the infield in.

To make a tinyurl, just go to
and follow instructions. If you like it (and everybody does), you can get a toolbar button there, a snap to install and very convenient.

2008-07-19 08:36:41
11.   Jeb
9 correction -- I watched the video again and it appears that Manny threw to the right base. Still, the whole play was bad.
2008-07-19 08:38:43
12.   OldYanksFan
Manny... being... a TOTAL ASSHOLE.
It is hard to expect the Sox to sit or suspend Manny when he is a key player in their fight to make the playoffs.
This guy is simply trashing baseball traditional. What he does it funny, like watching a skier blow a jump, and do pinwheels in the air, before a near fatal landing is funny. It ain't really funny.

MLB needs to establish to "rules of decorum" and fine players who are offenders.
I love to hate the Sox, so watching Manny being Manny is funny. But it's also discusting. I just don't think there is room in the game for these kind on antics.

And do we want other players to follow in his footsteps? Punishing his team by taking 3 strikes in a critical situation? It's outrageous. He should have been suspended without pay for that one.

I'm tired of it.

2008-07-19 08:46:41
13.   OldYanksFan
via PeteAbe:
YANKEES (51-45)
Jeter SS
Abreu RF
Rodriguez 3B
Giambi DH
Posada C
Cano 2B
Betemit 1B
Cabrera CF
Gardner LF
Chamberlain RHP

I guess considering our current state and a RHP, this is our 'A' lineup. With Joba pitching, I feel very good about a Win here.

2008-07-19 08:47:28
14.   Jeb
12 that play last night was some shit though. Holy cow. Especially the flop and rolling he did. What an absolute tool.

Here's a link to that Boston Globe story (and I'm sorry I don't know the tiny URL protocol)

Check out this quote about that strikeout:

"The thing that most people are forgetting and haven't talked about is the strikeout in Yankee Stadium," Lobel said. "The bat on the shoulder for the three pitches from Mariano Rivera. That was a big [expletive] to the Red Sox after the fine. I'm just telling you ... there are things in the front office that are perceived ... I'm saying that there is a strong feeling that that [three-pitch strikeout] was the message to the Red Sox and it's a strong feeling that that's unacceptable ... there's a feeling that he didn't give it his all, let's put it that way ... I'm just saying the front office has not forgotten that moment. It's akin to Nomar sitting on the bench [in a game in which Derek Jeter dove into the stands at Yankee Stadium in 2004]. It's the same thing. It's an at bat that resonated very strongly in the front office."

This is getting delicious.

2008-07-19 08:55:33
15.   ms october
10 i agree riyank - it seems the manny followers here are slowly but surely turning against him

and it was definitely theo and he was furious

anyway back to the yanks.
9 yes, last night's game was inspiring because that is the way we expected the yanks to approach abs - obviously the production is nice but not always guaranteed. we haven't seen to many games where the bulk of the lineup had good abs.
i came into this year thinking it was a transition year and so have not been that focused on what happens this year as the goal. but if last night's team is who we are getting for most of the rest of the year i think making the playoffs and then doing something in the playoffs is a lot more feasible. but a lot rests on posada's ability to catch at least 60% of the time and damon's ability to come back and play at a level close to where he was the 1st half of the season.

2008-07-19 09:33:40
16.   Jeb
10 Thanks's my very first tiny URL:

(it's the Manny being a Jerk article)

2008-07-19 09:58:58
17.   OldYanksFan
9 Just go to:
You don't HAVE TO make all links Tiny. Just LONG ones that will STRETCH the screen.
2008-07-19 10:00:32
18.   OldYanksFan
Something decent from PeteAbe:

UPDATE, 12:00 p.m.: Johnny Damon took BP in the cages and on the field today. He took 19 cuts and hits two home runn, one off the facing of the upper deck in right field. To me, he looked very comfortable. He didn't stop for an extended interview but he would like to be activated and play tomorrow.

That could be a stretch, but he's very close.

2008-07-19 10:18:33
19.   cult of basebaal
way to work the pitcher, cap'n.
2008-07-19 10:27:35
20.   cult of basebaal
crickets ... crickets ...
2008-07-19 10:33:25
21.   RIYank
I don't like this strike zone at all. I mean, worse than usual.
2008-07-19 10:34:13
22.   RIYank
Wow. Well, that's a good way to immunize yourself against a dumb ump: get 'em swinging.
2008-07-19 10:38:25
23.   RIYank
Damn, Joba's heater is like a lightning bolt today.
2008-07-19 10:51:22
24.   SF Yanks
There's a game thread up for anyone still lingering here.

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