Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Ka Boom
2005-04-26 17:57
by Alex Belth

If anyone believed that Alex Rodriguez was still looking for his defining game as a Yankee, I think we've found it.

This is a lot of fun.

2005-04-26 18:06:58
1.   seamus
i've been hard on A-Rod but driving home from work and hearing the report on his 3 HR, 9 RBI night in the 4th inning! wow!!! wow!!!
2005-04-26 18:15:17
2.   Marcus
So he's got 2-, 3-, and 4-run shots already. Can we clear the bases for Alex and make it a home run cycle?
2005-04-26 18:22:05
3.   rilkefan
1-run single - a cycle of sorts. Wonder how many IBBs he gets the rest of the game.

Those homers were with 2 outs, in case anybody cares (well, Yahoo does, since they count 2-out RBIs).

2005-04-26 18:22:27
4.   seamus
phenomenal! wish I had A-roD on my fantasy team... :(
2005-04-26 18:34:39
5.   Jen
And Colter Bean is up in the pen!
2005-04-26 18:50:59
6.   Simone
Wow! I mean, WOW! A-Rod is having an awesome game! Even Womack got more than 1 hit tonight. Lets hope the Yankees go on a tear now.
2005-04-26 18:53:23
7.   Jen
Colter's a big boy, ain't he.
2005-04-26 19:03:18
8.   weeping for brunnhilde
Yes, Rodgriguez' performance is impressive, of course, but let's see him come through when it counts before we start gushing.

We know he's capable of this sort of performance, that's not the point. I want to see him get a key single or walk in a big spot before I feel comfortable. We need to know that we've got what it takes to win one-run games against hot pitching.

I've had it with this bludgeon-or-be-bludgeoned baseball. It proves nothing.

2005-04-26 19:07:55
9.   seamus
yeah, damnit, i want a-rod to stop having 10 rbi nights. Look, for one night at least, this guy deserves our praise. I still would like to see a-rod produce in tight situations but I think we need to cut this guy some serious slack.
2005-04-26 19:13:06
10.   Marcus
Well, aren't we demanding? Colon has been hot at the start of the season, so I saw A-Rod's performance as a good sign. Of course, Colon has never been particularly hot against A-Rod. If hitting a home run with 1 to 3 men on base is not "when it counts", I don't know what is.

Meanwhile, Colter Bean gives a shaky performance in closing out the 9th, but it'll do.

2005-04-26 19:13:23
11.   JeremyM
Hey, I've been as big an A-Rod critic as anybody, but at least the first two homers came with the game close. This was a big day for him and I think he deserves at least a day off from criticism.
2005-04-26 19:36:08
12.   Jen
I think his RBI single says a lot too, that he wasn't pressing for a 4th HR and was able to put the ball in play.
2005-04-26 19:47:57
13.   weeping for brunnhilde
All right, everyone, your points are well-taken. I can't see his performance (no television) and was only listening to the game with half and ear, I'll admit, so if y'all tell me this was big, I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

But part of my point wasn't about Rodriguez, per se, but about this slugfest baseball we've been seeing. I just want to see evidence that this team can win tightly played games in the late innings, like the old Yankees did.

Slugfests just don't impress me, generally. They make for dull, sloppy and unrepresentative baseball. I just meant to say that I'd feel better about both Rodriguez and the Yankees if his contribution had been less spectacular but more timely.

But again, your points are well-taken.

2005-04-26 19:48:08
14.   markp
"Yes, Rodgriguez' performance is impressive, of course, but let's see him come through when it counts before we start gushing."

Wow. He leads MLB in HRs, is tied for the RBI lead, and there's still "Yankee fans" that need to make posts like that? He hit one when they were tied, another when they were one run ahead and all of them with two outs. What kind of dope doesn't think that's not "when it counts?" Talk about blind hatred.

I loved the AB in the 6th when he drove the pitch up the middle. 3/4s of the players in MLB would have being going for the 4th tater. A few gold glove plays at third topped a great night for a classy player.

2005-04-26 20:15:11
15.   Jen
And so much for the big Pedro/Smoltz showdown that was being hyped all day on the radio. Looks like the Yankees will snag the back pages again.
2005-04-26 20:18:43
16.   weeping for brunnhilde
I understand your suspicion. I also understand that I may be overstating my case, but I don't know. A three-run homerun in the first inning is great and all, I'm not saying it's not. I'm just saying that it's not a pressure spot the way it would be if the tying run were on second with two outs in the eigth against Boston. I'll concede that maybe I'm being too demanding. Fine. But honestly, it's how I'm feeling.

I don't hate Rodgriguez, actually. It's more like indifference. He just doesn't jazz me up so much.

And admittedly, it takes me a long time to warm up to superstars on my team.

Clemmens, for example. I didn't really embrace him until that game against Boston in 03. The big brawl. Pedro, Zim. I remember really feeling like Clemmens had proven himself that day, which was his fifth season with the Yankees.

So I concede, I have high standards and my affections are not easily won, especially with superstars, who are supposed to perform. With them, they've got to really capture my imagination and creating a one-man slugfest just doesn't do it for me. Much better an epic, 15 pitch ab that results in a walk in the late innings.

Like when O'Neill grinded out that walk against Benitez in the 2000 WS. That's what I look for, that's baseball. Maybe it's just a matter of taste.

2005-04-26 20:44:10
17.   Fred Vincy
We all have our personal favorites, but I really don't see what's not to like about A-Rod. The second best player in baseball over the last 5 years, with a chance at proving himself the greatest player ever (a chance, by the way, that he compromised by shifting positions so he could play in New York). Works incredibly hard. Never misses a game. Wants to win. His stats were a bit down last year, but a lot of that was a shift out of Texas, and "clutch hitting" should be assumed random until proved otherwise.
2005-04-26 22:37:41
18.   strangeluck
A-Rod's performance was great, and it was incredibly considerate for him to have it when I happened to be watching my first game in gorgeous high-def. However, as great as it was, I think the best part of the game, at least as far as the future of the season is concerned, was Andy Phillips charging hard to first base and taking advantage of Chone Figgins error. A-Rod hitting homeruns this season is a certainty, but Andy Phillips getting at bats isn't. That kind of play, though, is exactly the kind of thing that gets young players into lineups.
2005-04-27 03:02:13
19.   Adam B
I'm happy to see A-Rod hitting like this. Shows that his work in the offseason to build muscle paid off.

Jeter drew another walk. I wonder if Willie was the reason for Jeter's consistent aggression at the plate last year. Look at what Reyes has done OBP wise. Nothing more than his average.

Andy Phillips got a hit, a ground rule double, which should prove to Torre that if Phillips is on the bench he can come off and hit for power. Hopefully he gets atleast another start this week, with Washburn going tomorrow.

On Bean, he seems to have pitched a great 8th and almost worked out of the trouble in the 9th. But he ran into Chone, who is a good player. And it was a blowout, so he was probably told just to throw strikes and get out of there as quickly as possible. It's likely he may have been experimenting to try and see how MLB players will take to some of his pitches in certain locations. Here's to hoping he gets another chance before Saturday.

And of course, Pavano showed good control again. He's made me a believer.

2005-04-27 04:23:08
20.   Howie
Amazing performance by A-Rod.

It's good to see Mr. Bean and Andy getting more playing time. Tino has solid numbers against Washburn, but maybe Andy can play 2B tonight.

Any chance the Braves (Mazzone) want to take a chance on Karsay, and we can keep Colter in the show?

2005-04-27 05:00:43
21.   Alex Belth
weeping for b,
As far as Rodriguez performing well in a big, important game, don't you recall last year's playoffs against the Twins? He had several huge, clutch hits.
2005-04-27 05:28:09
22.   Sully
So does this mean Alex is like, a real Yankee now?

Hopefully the NY media chills a bit. Guy's a helluva player and accordingly, will probably play like one this year.

2005-04-27 05:51:12
23.   jkay
A-Rod is now a true Yank!

If you were not impressed by his perormance last night, you never will be. 3 dingers off a "brand-name" pitcher, as Jim Kaat put it. That was a lot of fun too watch.

2005-04-27 05:58:48
24.   rbj
A-Rod's second homer came after the Angels cut the lead to 3-2. Sure it was early (3d inning) but with 2 outs it was an opportunity to erase what LA/A had done. And without Alex, the Yankees lose 4-2, so I'm not calling this game a slugfest. Also good to see him not just wind up and go for a fourth dinger, but add another run.
Colter looked good in not getting flustered with the jam in the ninth.
2005-04-27 06:46:16
25.   nicole
I feel vindicated in my defense of A-rod. I am happy to see him do well.

Let's not forget this is the second HUGE game for him this month. (April 18, 5/6 2HR 6RBI)

How many big hits does this guy have to have before people lay off a bit?
And why must it be against Boston, as I have heard so many people say? They are only one team we play (granted quite often, but still)

Pavano looked good. I am liking him more and more with each start. Here's hoping Mussina will get it together.

2005-04-27 08:06:18
26.   Alex Belth
Unfortunately, people won't lay off Rodriguez until he's on a team that wins the World Serious. Or unless he goes out like Bonds did in 2002 when the Giants lost. It's too bad, but I think that's just the way it is.
2005-04-27 11:33:19
27.   Cliff Corcoran
Adam B, Willie Randolph had a career .373 OBP (0.97 Isolated Discipline) and 1243 walks to 675 Ks. Far better numbers than Donnie Baseball (.358 OBP, .051 ISD, 588 BB).

Ken Singleton nailed it on the broadcast last night, Jeter didn't walk much last year because he was trying to hit his way out of that awful month-and-a-half slump. The splits support this he drew 8 walks in April and that was his most in any month until August. He then drew 10 in August and 13 in Sept. This year, he's tearing up the league, so he's taking his pitches and has 17 walks with four games to go in April.

As for Reyes, some guys just don't take pitches (see: Soriano, Alfonso).

Meanwhile, word is that Bean has already been sent down in favor of Wang. I suppose this is to let Chien-Ming get comfortable in the Yankee clubhouse so he's slighly less on edge on Saturday (if that's at all possible) and because with Colter having pitched two innings yesterday Torre's even less likely to go to him in the remaning three games he would have stayed up anyway (simply to spread the work around and rest his arm). I'm really guessing here, though.

By the way, did you all notice how much Bean's pitches move?! Amazing. As I emailed Alex this morning, Bean is an odd bird. 6'6" 255 (!) with a flabby belly, thick legs and a huge rump, but thin in the arms and face. He doesn't really use his weight to pitch, but slings it side arm like a scrawny LOOGY might (like Brian Shouse who the Yanks just saw with Texas, actually). But the movement he has!!! And the fact that he can keep his walks down with that movement (2.50 BB/9 in Columbus last year) is just remarkable. No wonder he's had so much success. Here's hoping Torre noticed that.

By the way, anyone else notice that Neil Allen's been the bullpen coach for less than a month and both Bean and Chien-Ming Wang have earned call-ups? It's a bit coincidental (I doubt Allen was vigourously shaking the hands of Sturtze and Wright in an attempt to clear roster space for his men), but it's exactly what I had hoped to see when he was promoted from being the Clipper's pitching coach.

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