Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Tuff Enuff?
2005-05-13 13:41
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

The Yankees' mini-hot streak will be put to the test tonight as they face Rich Harden in Oakland. The A's have dropped five straight. Harden sure looked good to me last Sunday, but Ken Arneson assured me that it was one of Harden's worst performances of the year. Yikes. Hopefully, the Bombers can win the weekend series, then take two-of-three in Seattle before they return to New York to face the Mets. (A week from now, we could be looking at Pedro v. Johnson: mmmm, juicy.)

But let's not get ahead of ourselves. First up is the tough young, Mr. Harden. After throwing a lot of pitches in his shut out last Saturday, Mike Mussina is back on the hill for the Yanks. It will be interesting to see how he responds.

2005-05-13 14:17:50
1.   Cliff Corcoran
The A's have made just one roster move since we last saw them. Two days after he gave up four runs without retiring a batter on homers by E-Rod and Posada on Mother's Day, Kiko Calero was placed on the 15-day DL with elbow tendonitis. He has been replaced in the pen with Tim Harikkala, who has yet to make an appearance, begging the question of why the A's continue to go with twelve pitchers.

Meanwhile not much else has changed, the offense is still scuffling. Bobby Kielty is still hot, Eric Byrnes has joined him, otherwise, what I wrote last time still applies:

Note that the A's have finally shuffled their line-up to take advantage of their hot hitters, now going with something approximating:

L - Kotsay
R -Kendall
L - Chavez
L - Durazo
S - Kielty
L - Hatteberg
R - Ginter/Ellis
R - Byrnes
R - Scutaro

Also, they have again shuffled their rotation, using yesterday's day off to skip Kirk Saarloos and get their three young bucks in against the Yanks. The Yankees, meanwhile, are using the off-day to give an extra day of rest to their aging starters after a week of excellent, but long outings.

2005-05-13 14:18:11
2.   singledd
Interesting how well we played against a great team and the best Pitcher... Pedro. When Pedro was pitching, we played smart. Long ABs, taking walks when possible, not trying to hit HRs. We played SMART and beat Pedro and the Sox at a much higher rate then any other team.

Could we use this philosophy against Hardin and other top-of-the-line pitchers?

2005-05-13 14:19:12
3.   Cliff Corcoran
Correction: it was not Rodriguez who homered off Calero, but Tino Martinez, the second in his current five-game streak.
2005-05-13 15:01:31
4.   femal
Oh Alex, great stuff. Great pictures. Thanks for all the great stuff. What great seats. You 'da man. Thanks again dude. You look great! More Yanks stuff dude.

Thanks for the great analysis!

Yanks rule!

Alex, you rule!

2005-05-13 19:46:55
5.   Shaun P
Womack with a two-run triple - off Rich Harden?! Will wonders never cease . . . its 4-0 Yanks, Womack on 3rd, no one out, and Sheff (who's already homered) up.
2005-05-13 21:31:53
6.   Adam B
6-2, still top of the 8th. Moose strikes out 9 through 7, putting up a great line of 7.0-6-2-2-1-9-0 on the night. Cano has TWO hits, and one of them is a line drive double to the outfield. And their 5-8 hitters are doing nothing. Nice confidence booster.
2005-05-13 21:40:43
7.   Adam B
I know I've asked this before, but.. Why is Gordon in in a 4 run game in the 8th?
2005-05-13 22:05:55
8.   jayd
Robinson Polancano, baby. Finally, a second baseman. The last one I remember was Bobby Richardson. By the end of the road trip, the kid will be hitting .300
2005-05-13 22:24:41
9.   rilkefan
By the end of the road trip, the Yankees may be only a couple of games back. I just hope Moose et al. keep up the good work when facing stronger teams. And maybe Seattle (about to take another game from Boston) isn't even that bad...
2005-05-13 23:20:44
10.   weeping for brunnhilde
Adam B, I know, it's so weird. If you can't rely on your other arms in that situation, why are they on the roster? Not only a 4-run lead in the 8th, but against a team that can't hit. If your other guys can't get six outs before the A's can get 4 runs, really, what purpose do they serve? So basically it's Gordon, Rivera and a cast of Mop-Up Men.
2005-05-13 23:35:17
11.   Cliff Corcoran
It all goes back to the push-button style. At least he skipped Rivera and got some rust off Stanton.
2005-05-14 06:11:15
12.   Jen
If the Yankees didn't score those 3 in the 9th do you think he would've skipped Rivera?
2005-05-14 07:31:30
13.   weeping for brunnhilde
Cliff--so what Torre say if someone asked him what good those guys are if they can't hold a 4-run lead for six outs against a no-hit club? Would he concede (if he were being honest) that they are indeed mops and nothing more? Or would he have some other explanation?
2005-05-14 08:30:44
14.   jayd

"It's frustrating to me to see him struggle," Chavez said. "But I'd love to have him back here. I don't know if it's what he needs, but I still believe in him. If he was a dirt bag, then I could care less about the guy. But knowing how he treated people here, from the clubhouse guys to myself and all of his teammates, I'll always be his biggest fan…."Regardless of whatever mistakes he's made," Chavez said, "it doesn't diminish the amount of respect I have for him. No matter what he's done, he's the coolest guy I've ever met." You hear that a lot from Giambi's former teammates here, where he played for seven years. He was the beloved, hell-raising leader of a young team on the verge of a championship it never won…"

I am still so hoping for a Jason comeback because of comments like this and others. There was a suggestion made elsewhere that the true upside (and the real cheat) to steroids is the psychological edge they give to the user, not so much the physical stimulus (which could be duplicated through longer harder work and diet). This was always a question I had watching some 260lb meat mass of a linebacker launch himself for a "hit": how they could do this after seeing guys with their spines cracked or severed. So much of baseball is in the eye and "seeing the ball" and "being in the zone"; so I think steroids can be an enormous edge pyschologically.

I really don't want our sports heroes to become chemically created automatons or, worse yet, these godless materialists that pose as bb players here in Boston. I can't even get a fucking cup of iced coffee these days without having to relive the "miracle at Fenway." I'm beginning to see why these dufeless losers only win one every 86 years -- they create enough hype and mindless chatter to last that long. Give the universe a rest, will ya.

But I digress. The question is, can an admitted user now clean, recapture the magic he once had. There's not a day I don't pray for the guy to make it. He's a fragile guy, like the Mick, and can make himself a true Yankee hero for the ages. It's a great story that needs a Yankee ending. If Giambi doesn't make it, the loss is greater than an $81 million payroll hit.

Excuse me now while I get back to Theo and Johnny Damon… Dude, they are so cool!

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