Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Toronto Blue Jays VI: Elimination Edition
2008-09-23 14:16
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Though the Yankees are still alive with just six games left to play, a single loss or a single Red Sox win will eliminate them from the postseason for the first time since 1993. Elimination is all the more likely because the Yankees will be facing both A.J. Burnett and Roy Halladay yet again in this series, having already gone 2-7 in games started by those two this season. Of the Yankees' 18 games against Toronto this season, 11 will have been started by Halladay or Burnett. The Yanks are 5-1 against Toronto this year in games started by other Blue Jay pitchers.

Fortunately, Mike Mussina has drawn Jesse Litsch tonight as he goes for this 19th win of the season. Mussina, who will start the final game of the season in Boston, has won 19 games in a season twice in his career, but never for the Yankees. The Yankees are 21-11 in Mussina's starts this year, the fourth time in his eight years with the Bombers that the team has won 20 or more of the games he has started.

Toronto Blue Jays

2008 Record: 83-73 (.532)
2008 Pythagorean Record: 89-67 (.572)

Manager: Cito Gaston
General Manager: J.P. Ricciardi

Home Ballpark (multi-year Park Factors): Rogers Centre (100/99)

Who's Replaced Whom:
Brad Wilkerson (DL) has replaced David Eckstein

25-man Roster:

1B - Lyle Overbay (L)
2B - Joe Inglett (L)
SS - Marco Scutaro (R)
3B - Scott Rolen (R)
C - Gregg Zaun (S)
RF - Alex Rios (R)
CF - Vernon Wells (R)
LF - Travis Snider (L)
DH - Adam Lind (L)


R - John McDonald (IF)
R - Jose Bautista (UT)
L - Brad Wilkerson (OF/1B)
R - Kevin Mench (OF)*
R - Curtis Thigpen (C)*
R - Rod Barajas (C)**


R - Roy Halladay
R - Shaun Marcum*
L - David Purcey
R - Jesse Litsch
R - A.J. Burnett


L - B.J. Ryan
L - Scott Downs
R - Jason Frasor
L - Jesse Carlson
R - Shawn Camp
R - Brandon League
L - Brian Tallet
L - John Parrish
R - Brian Wolfe*
R - Scott Richmond*

*September call-up; **Likely out for the season with a hamstring tear

15-day DL: R - Dustin McGowan, R - Jeremy Accardo
60-day DL: R - Aaron Hill (2B), R - Casey Janssen

Typical Lineup:

L - Joe Inglett (2B)
R - Marco Scutaro (SS)
R - Alex Rios (RF)
R - Vernon Wells (CF)
L - Adam Lind (LF)
L - Lyle Overbay (1B)
R - Scott Rolen (3B)
S - Gregg Zaun (C)
L - Travis Snider (LF)


Comments (91)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-09-23 15:46:15
1.   Mattpat11
Abe Sez

Gardner CF
Damon LF
Abreu RF
Rodriguez 3B
Giambi 1B
Nady DH
Cano 2B
Ransom SS
Molina C

2008-09-23 16:05:37
2.   OldYanksFan
I guess Derek has a booboo on his hand.
2008-09-23 16:07:10
3.   OldYanksFan
I prefer:
Damon LF
Cano 2B
Abreu RF
Rodriguez 3B
Giambi 1B
Nady DH
Ransom SS
Molina C
Gardner CF
2008-09-23 16:12:02
4.   kylepetterson
3 I prefer hot waffles, hot women, and cold beer, but not in that order. Or even at the same time.
2008-09-23 16:16:11
5.   kylepetterson
I've got a bad feeling that the Yankees are going to get eliminated next Sunday in Bean-town.
2008-09-23 16:20:48
6.   OldYanksFan
Nice pick and tag by ARod.
2008-09-23 16:29:46
7.   nick
Wilson Betemit has a career ops of 797 against RHP, and you can't get him in the lineup?
2008-09-23 16:46:43
8.   3rd gen yankee fan
5 I've got a good feeling that the Yankees are going to tie Boston and win the wild card in a playoff.

Dream big, etc.

2008-09-23 16:46:53
9.   3rd gen yankee fan
2008-09-23 16:56:19
10.   ms october
damn moose be okay
2008-09-23 16:57:01
11.   3rd gen yankee fan
2008-09-23 17:04:44
12.   3rd gen yankee fan
2008-09-23 17:09:38
13.   weeping for brunnhilde
I put on the television, saw an aerial shot of that horrid dome they're playing in and thought, can't wait til they get back home.

It's going to take me a long, long, long time to come to terms with this.

2008-09-23 17:09:57
14.   Biscuit Pants
Marco . . .
2008-09-23 17:10:46
15.   Max
5 8 Not to be a spoilsport or anything, but six games on the road for us and six games at home for the team we're chasing...if we had been tied with the Red Sox, it still would have been brutal.

It'll be over sooner than this weekend. Maybe tonight even.

I'm just glad this team had it in them to stay alive through the final game at YS, if nothing else.

2008-09-23 17:18:53
16.   Just fair
2-2 Red Sox-Indians. Howz about 6 in a row for both the good guys and the bad guys. (Whoops! I dropped my glue)
eh. Keep at em', Moose,
2008-09-23 17:19:58
17.   nick
2008-09-23 17:22:21
18.   3rd gen yankee fan
15 That's okay. Because IF we go to the playoffs, everyone will dig it. If not, everyone's ready for it anyway.
2008-09-23 17:23:19
19.   3rd gen yankee fan
4-2 Indians.
2008-09-23 17:24:08
20.   OldYanksFan
Cleveland up 4-2!
2008-09-23 17:24:15
21.   nick
I just wanna get to 4 back with 4 to go, so I can enjoy a little bit of Sox pants-pissing as a conclusion to this lousy fucking season....too much to ask?
2008-09-23 17:24:39
22.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
13 When it opened I thought the "Skydome" was the coolest times change...
2008-09-23 17:25:00
23.   ms october
tha's the kind of swing gardner needs to practice all winter and he can be a very useful 4th outfielder.
no more pop-ups.
2008-09-23 17:25:12
24.   nick
"Brett Gardner tripled to deep right center"!?
2008-09-23 17:28:08
25.   3rd gen yankee fan
21 There ya go. The evil dragons Halladay and Burnett lie between us and the sweet sound of RSN pissing their pants. Now, remember how good that RSN panic feels? Don't we want to feel that again?
2008-09-23 17:29:11
26.   ms october
21 ugh i just checked back over to nesn and it's 4-4. BUT it is not too much to ask to make the sox sweat a bit.
2008-09-23 17:30:41
27.   3rd gen yankee fan
Cliff Lee's gotta hold them down. Darnit.
2008-09-23 17:33:20
28.   Max
21 25 Oh believe me, I would love it as much as anyone...I live in the cesspool, after all. :-) I'd also love to screw with their plans for the postseason as much as possible and kill any chance for the division.

But Cliff Lee didn't seem to get the memo, unfortunately, and is crapping the bed spectacularly.

2008-09-23 17:34:15
29.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
53 doubles this year for Dustin McWheaties..
2008-09-23 17:35:42
30.   Just fair
C'mon Moosey. Just think of all the classic cars you could purchase with a nice, little ol' one year deal. Man. A year ago I never thought I would have conjured that sentence.
2008-09-23 17:38:35
31.   Biscuit Pants
5-4 Sawx
2008-09-23 17:42:04
32.   3rd gen yankee fan
die Boston die
2008-09-23 17:45:07
33.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
33 not German, right?
2008-09-23 17:49:14
34.   Just fair
I just realized Mauer might win the batting title for the 2nd year in a row. Would have been the 3rd except for Maglio Ordonez 2 years ago.
Any shots at who was the last American Leaguer to lead in batting avg. 2 years in a row. (no cheating, even though I had to)
2008-09-23 17:49:53
35.   nick
Moose hurt?
2008-09-23 17:57:05
36.   monkeypants
He is frustrating, but when Cano is going good, does anyone else get more doubles on screaming liner/grounders up the middle?
2008-09-23 18:00:51
37.   Flip Play
35 Via Pete Abe:

UPDATE, 7:58 p.m.: Mussina got through the inning. The ball appeared to hit him in the right triceps. The question now will be whether it stiffens up on him between innings.

Moose has been brilliant so far, striking out five of the 10 batters he has faced.

UPDATE, 8:44 p.m.: Mussina's arm must have tightened up. But he certainly pitched a great game for five innings. Now we'll see if the Yankees can hold the lead for him.

It must be a helpless feeling for him in the clubhouse.

2008-09-23 18:05:19
38.   3rd gen yankee fan
Let's go Injuns!!!!
2008-09-23 18:07:29
39.   nick
why on earth not just give Joba the 7th and 8th?
2008-09-23 18:08:03
40.   nick
if Joba does not start 30 times next year I am gonna be so fucking pissed off...
2008-09-23 18:11:25
41.   ms october
34 i saw something about him somewhere the other day - so while i didn't cheat i was aided by this story, because i wouldn't have known the answer otherwise

answer: nomar in 1999 and 2000

2008-09-23 18:16:10
42.   Just fair
41 Bingo
40 That's a lot of 4 inning starts. : (
2008-09-23 18:17:23
43.   nick
42 throw a little winter ball, get him ready: I mean, for fuck's sake, Girardi was trying to let him ONLY PITCH THE 8th tonight--they're treating him like the most fragile commodity in baseball....
2008-09-23 18:18:18
44.   monkeypants
Oh God, the Toronto guys are rehashing the whole Joba "debate." I'm so glad Posada said what he did.

Meanwhile, it will be a major bummer if Joba blows this lead for Moose.

2008-09-23 18:21:01
45.   ny2ca2dc
44 So extra innings still has only the home feed?

I'm digging the away (YES) feed on ;)

2008-09-23 18:24:19
46.   ny2ca2dc
That poor young man had no chance.
2008-09-23 18:24:31
47.   monkeypants
45 Nah, I live in the great white north, so Toronto is the home market on every cable TV channel.
2008-09-23 18:29:07
48.   ny2ca2dc
Little dude is fast... and a little over excited. At least he didn't slide into first.
2008-09-23 18:29:22
49.   monkeypants
Not looking good in Bastan.
2008-09-23 18:30:21
50.   monkeypants
48 Yep...bad decision to try to take 2B from a standstill. Hell, just stay on 1B and steal second!!
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-09-23 18:35:02
51.   ms october
49 maybe paps will blow it - that would add a little extra something to the loss
2008-09-23 18:37:26
52.   ny2ca2dc
Cano when he's good makes me so happy.
2008-09-23 18:38:27
53.   ny2ca2dc
So Kay thinks Ransom is the new Cairo? meh
2008-09-23 18:39:33
54.   monkeypants
Wow, they are out to keep Moose from getting this W...
2008-09-23 18:40:31
55.   ny2ca2dc
Where have you gone mr former Attorney General
2008-09-23 18:41:04
56.   monkeypants
53 Is that a good thing?
2008-09-23 18:42:27
57.   ny2ca2dc
Wait, what? Why not right to Mo? huh?

56 If a Cairo falls in the forest and no one is there to hear it, does it matter when your All Star catcher and #1 starter are lost for most of the season?

2008-09-23 18:44:22
58.   monkeypants
Go fastball he doesn't bite on the slider.
2008-09-23 18:45:14
59.   monkeypants
OK, nice pitch there.
2008-09-23 18:45:19
60.   ms october
that was little too exciting for me and moose.
2008-09-23 18:46:08
61.   ny2ca2dc
this is the most excited i've been in weeks
2008-09-23 18:46:14
62.   monkeypants
57 If Cairo fall in the forest, is he still the best little .200 hitter you've ever seen?
2008-09-23 18:46:28
63.   Shaun P
Bang! on the changeup. Whew. Its almost impossible for the Yanks to get one of the 15 worst records in MLB, and a protected draft pick - so now I hope they win. I care more about Moose getting 20 wins than a protected pick anyway.
2008-09-23 18:49:34
64.   ny2ca2dc
62 Well, he was the M's (and ours, ewwww) starting first baseman, so he must be.
2008-09-23 18:53:36
65.   Just fair
62 What's the sound of one Cairo clapping?
Let's go Mo.
2008-09-23 18:53:50
66.   monkeypants
64 First base? At least that is a position. He got a couple of starts at DH this season. Even more remarkable, he was not measurably worse than the M's starting DH, Jose Vidro.

Whenever I get sad about this season, I thank my stars the Yankees are not the Mariners.

2008-09-23 18:56:23
67.   Shaun P
66 If the M's had just not made the Bedard move, they'd be in so much better shape right now. Guess there's something to be said for holding on to the kids. =)
2008-09-23 18:56:29
68.   ny2ca2dc
66 Or the Tigers, or the Indians (OK, they at least have a shot at the future, but hey).

Ah shit, sawx won.

2008-09-23 18:56:57
69.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
65 beautiful..

66 watched a LOT of Mariners games over here this are right, twas painful at times...

2008-09-23 18:57:11
70.   OldYanksFan
Sox clinch. Dream over.
2008-09-23 18:57:53
71.   Just fair
Wait'll next year I tells ya!
2008-09-23 18:58:34
72.   monkeypants
70 You mean it's ovah?

Ah, well. Maybe Moose gets a cheap one at the end of the season if the playoffs are all set.

2008-09-23 18:58:55
73.   Shaun P
70 C'est la vie.

The important thing now is to get Moose his 20 wins.

Travis Snider is supposed to be a heck of a hitter. I wonder what he's thinking facing Mo for the first time?

2008-09-23 18:59:58
74.   Just fair
69 Mo is bee-you-ti-ful
Let's hope Moose is healthy enough to beat the Sox for 20.
2008-09-23 19:00:34
75.   ny2ca2dc
Backup catcher will be a tough slot to fill this offseason. Molina is still under contract, and I like him as a BUC, but without the ability to get a read on Po's shoulder, maybe they should just arb Pudge or sign Zaun... I'd like to arb Pudge anyway, and if he takes it, trade him (or keep him).

Uh, ya guys, those were strikes, nice try though.

2008-09-23 19:00:55
76.   ms october
alright get moose his 20.
2008-09-23 19:02:16
77.   monkeypants
75 No arb for Pudge, but I like Zaun in a one year deal, if he would take it.
2008-09-23 19:03:12
78.   weeping for brunnhilde
Mariano Rivera, ladies and gentlemen.

Just never gets old.

2008-09-23 19:03:30
79.   ny2ca2dc
Regardless of the nice round number 20, Moose just getting 19 after a season in which everyone except williamnyy23 said he was D U N done is so overwhelming. That's a good year's work Mikey Moose.
2008-09-23 19:03:30
80.   Mattpat11
Well, the season may be over, but we still have something to play for on the last day.


2008-09-23 19:04:34
81.   Dimelo
Oh well, I am still happy today to be a Yankee fan. Even w/o a playoff berth (right).

Go Giants!!!!
Go Knicks!!!! (sorry I even said that)
Go Hot Stove Season!!!!
Go No Panic Moves!!!!
Go 27th!

2008-09-23 19:04:38
82.   OldYanksFan
As long as Pudge does NOT get a NTC, he can be moved during the season, so signinh him is not a big risk.
2008-09-23 19:06:43
83.   ny2ca2dc
77 why the heck not - if he takes it he's an expensive BUC and great Po insurance and you trade Molina, or you just trade him. I think this is a good place for the Yanks to leverage the financial advantage, even if Pudge+cash only yields a B prospect. What downside am I missing?
2008-09-23 19:08:52
84.   ny2ca2dc
82 NTCs should really never be given to players over 30, and only under exceptional circumstances to anyone. The Yanks have really been far too generous with the NTCs. It's a big part of the inability to convert aging talent into prospects (Shef and Randy should be the rule, not exception).
2008-09-23 19:10:03
85.   3rd gen yankee fan
Good game guys, and F- Boston. Go Mooseter!
2008-09-23 19:12:27
86.   Mattpat11
84 We got prospects for Randy Johnson? Didn't we just take whatever crap the D-Backs had laying around?
2008-09-23 19:15:53
87.   monkeypants
83 Because I think that he's cooked. It's sort of a visceral response. But he does appear to be as hell of his former self on both offense and defense. He's certainly a step up for BUC, but Molina is already under contract for next season.

I would rather fish for someone like Zaun, who is a switch hitter and put up comparable offensive numbers. Of course, looking over his stats he did not play nearly as much 1B as I had thought, so in the end Zaun is probably no better than Pudge.

In the end, it probably doesn't matter all that much, because of Molina or Pudge or Zaun have to start 100+ games at C, things will not be good next season.

2008-09-23 19:19:31
88.   Mattpat11
87 If they're going to put up comparable numbers, I'll take the guy without the absurd website.
2008-09-23 19:23:57
89.   ny2ca2dc
86 Latroy Hawkins yielded the highest draft pick the Yanks signed this year, that's something. Alberto Gonzalez had a hilarious name, and my wife thought he was cute, so that's something.
2008-09-23 19:27:37
90.   Mattpat11
Listening to Girardi talk just reminds me of all the times we lost a game when when he would put in a pinch runner and refuse to actually put on a play, leading to a loss.
2008-09-23 19:58:11
91.   Sonya Hennys Tutu
Does this mean we can start the hot stove talk?

Oh, and also. . . OK I was absolutely positively wrong about Moose this season, ALL season. And yes, I want him back, in an incentive laden 2 year deal.

Bye bye: Giambi and Abreu.

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.