Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Murphy's Law?
2005-06-22 04:59
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Kazmir v. Pavano this afternoon at the stadium. Watch both teams combine for five runs.

Comments (113)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2005-06-22 06:08:15
1.   rbj
Nah, Kazmir will spin a 1-0 shutout. "What, you couldn't save some runs for me?" Carl will be quoted as saying.
2005-06-22 06:24:56
2.   Murray
FYI, the estimable Mr. Belth is quoted in an article in today's Wall Street Journal about the new Yankee Stadium (see the back page of Section D).
2005-06-22 06:32:46
3.   Knuckles
What a game last night. RJ had spotted Tampa to a big lead before I'd even finished my dinner, so I escaped to my back patio to read "The Bronx is Burning" a great book about the Yanks and NYC politics in 1977, the year I was born. I kept the back door open with half an eye on the game, until the skeeters finally drove me inside.

Each time I thought they were in position to come back, the Yanks had their threats ended, though they were still chipping away. Against a team as bad as TB I had a slight feeling they could tie it up. But to go from 8 down, to 4 down, to 9 up was unbelievable.

Add to that a day game today that will help my afternoon go faster, and everything's coming up roses (the Big Unit notwitstanding)...

2005-06-22 07:11:13
4.   jkay
Hats off to Alex for being quoted in today's Wall Street Journal, page D12. Way to go Alex!!

Needless to say, the luxury suites, which will be leased on a yearly basis by corporations, are beyond the means of the average fans. As for the fans themselves, there will be fewer of them at the games if the new stadium is approved: The plan will reduce the number of seats by about 6,000, which, as the law of supply and demand dictates, will raise the price of tickets. As Alex Belth phrased it on the Web site Bronx Banter, "They're taking away good seats from fans to give them to Adidas."

2005-06-22 07:12:43
5.   jkay
here is the link, sub. required.,,SB111939285172465758,00.html?mod=todays_us_personal_journal

2005-06-22 07:51:43
6.   Murray
Well, 4,000 of those seats are actually going to resurface downstairs in the lower bowl of the ballpark.
2005-06-22 08:04:33
7.   blue
Looking at the comparison image of the new plan and the existing stadium is depressing - the tier box seats (where i share a plan) look to be about 50' farther from home plate.

2005-06-22 09:13:45
8.   Rich Lederer
Alex is also quoted on David Pinto's Baseball Musings radio show...

"On tonight's show, Alex Belth of Bronx Banter stops by to talk about the Yankees and the AL East and John Perricone of Only Baseball Matters gives us his insights into the AL West."

For more info, go to:

2005-06-22 09:40:44
9.   Cliff Corcoran
Gameday has today's line-ups posted. With the lefty Kazmir on the mound, Torre's benched Womack, put Sierra in left and Bernie in the two-hole. He's also giving Russ Johnson the start at first and Flaherty the start behind home as Posada wound up playing half of last night's contest.
2005-06-22 10:07:26
10.   Cliff Corcoran
By the way, in eight games thus far this year, the Yankees have allowed the Devil Rays to score an average of 7.5 runs per game, holding Tampa to less than six runs just twice and less than five runs just once.

The Rays have scored an average of 4.35 runs in their other 63 games this season.

2005-06-22 10:08:16
11.   Simone
I give thanks to the baseball gods. Bernie is hitting 2nd. I know Bernie's shoulders are killing him so I appreciate his willingness to save us all from Tony Womack.
2005-06-22 10:08:39
12.   Cliff Corcoran
One Pavano pitch, one Devil Ray hit (a Crawford single), we're underway!
2005-06-22 10:13:22
13.   Cliff Corcoran
Crawford steals second on Pavano's second pitch. Thankfully this trend ends with Pavano striking out Lugo, Cantu, and Lee on ten pitches. Wow.
2005-06-22 10:13:52
14.   rbj
And Meat smokes the side.
2005-06-22 10:22:30
15.   Cliff Corcoran
Bernie's still pissed, knocking a one-out single. Sheffield, meanwhile, just hit his third home run in the last six innings. 2-0 Yanks.
2005-06-22 10:22:33
16.   rbj
Sheff continues to cook.
2005-06-22 10:23:48
17.   Dan M
Dare I say ... en fuego.
2005-06-22 10:25:59
18.   Knuckles
Why there were murmurs of Sheff being on the trading block last week are beyond me. He's not the best defensive OF, but I hardly think he's been dogging it; that flies in the face of his playing thru shoulder pain last year and the hadn problems this spring. The guy is a monster- he punishes the ball and the Yanks will surely, sorely need that to have any hopes of making the playoffs.
2005-06-22 10:30:51
19.   Mick S
Has anyone seen a picute of Bernie staring into the Devil Ray's dugout after his triple last night?
2005-06-22 10:38:26
20.   Cliff Corcoran
Pavano appears to be dealing, throwing 79 percent strikes and striking out four in two innings. My concern, however, is the Rays are fouling off pitches and making him work. 33 pitches through two innings is a tad high for someone who's thrown just seven balls and allowed just one batter to reach base.

Anyone watching this on TV who can shed some light?

2005-06-22 10:51:19
21.   Cliff Corcoran
What is it about Alex Rodriguez's fielding in Pavano's starts? Is it something about the way the ball comes off the bat when Pavano throws it? This demands an inquiry.
2005-06-22 10:56:27
22.   Mick S
Cliff - What site do you use for day games? I prefer so far.
2005-06-22 11:00:30
23.   Cliff Corcoran
I use MLB's Gamecast. It's fast, shows pitch location, actual field dimensions and hit locations, updates the box score as it goes, plus a few zillion other features, such as buttons allowing you to see the location of all hits or outs by either team through the game thus far. Top notch.
2005-06-22 11:05:59
24.   Cliff Corcoran
A Travis Lee single and Jonny Gomes's second homer in as many days ties it at 2-2. All this with two outs, no less. Aubrey Huff then singles and is caught stealing by Flaherty. Anyone have any details on the CS?
2005-06-22 11:09:30
25.   Marcus
MLB Gamecast is the best overall, I agree. CBS Sportsline does have a few features that are cool too though. It lists type of pitch and sometimes speed of pitch, in addition to pitch location. I sometimes wonder how accurate they are, and sometimes they leave that information out, but it's a cool feature.
2005-06-22 11:14:21
26.   Dan M
Zilch off Kazmir since the Sheff dinger. 11 up, 11 down.
2005-06-22 11:16:09
27.   Cliff Corcoran
Indeed, Kazmir has been cruising. The good news is it has taken him 67 pitches to get through four, which hopefully means he'll either be gone or tired by the seventh.
2005-06-22 11:20:08
28.   rbj
Oooh, can we get Harper back in? I bet his arm's tired, so he won't be as sharp.
2005-06-22 11:21:57
29.   Marcus
Injury delay? Any word on who's injury (please not Pavano...)?
2005-06-22 11:25:54
30.   Cliff Corcoran
Pavano gets into trouble by plunking Toby Hall with one out and surrendering a Nick Green single to put runners at the corners. He then gets Carl Crawford to ground into a 4-6-3. Doubling up Crawford in a big spot. Not bad at all.

Meanwhile, Aubrey Huff is out of the game, with Reggie Taylor pushing Hollins over to right. But Huff wasn't on the field during the last half inning. Anyone know what's up?

2005-06-22 11:27:45
31.   Fred Vincy
Are folks happy with Neil Allen as Mel's heir apparent? Ex-Yankee Don Gullett is now out of a job ....
2005-06-22 11:30:32
32.   Marcus
Did anyone read that article about John Flaherty in the Times yesterday? His bunt practice is paying off (I'm looking at you Tony Womack).
2005-06-22 11:31:42
33.   Cliff Corcoran
Allen seemed to do a decent job in Columbus. No complaint there.

Meanwhile, does anyone think Johnson was plunked on purpose?

Also, I have to say, I don't mind that bunt by Flaherty.

. . . and as I type that, Cano pulls the ball to second (as he is want to do), scoring Sierra with the go-ahead run and putting Johnson on third for Jeter. Yup. Don't mind that bunt at all.

2005-06-22 11:34:01
34.   Marcus
If you missed it, Gameday just said that Aubrey Huff left because of an injured knee.
2005-06-22 11:34:42
35.   Cliff Corcoran
Gameday reports that Huff left with an injured knee. Perhaps it had to do with that steal attempt? I'm lost here.

No matter, the Yanks have a 3-0 lead after five, though the rally only cost Kazmir ten pitches.

2005-06-22 11:41:30
36.   Oscar Azocar
Hmmm....5 combined runs so far. If this score holds up, I want that crystal ball that Mr. Belth is using!
2005-06-22 11:42:54
37.   Cliff Corcoran
Given the lead, Pavano gets the Rays 1-2-3. Good stuff. He's at 88 pitches (69 percent strikes). He'll surely pitch the seventh, and if the lead holds, Mo will surely pitch the ninth, but who will get the eighth? Gordon and Sturtze both pitched last night.

(the answer is likely Gordon, but debate it anyway)

2005-06-22 11:44:34
38.   Cliff Corcoran
By the way (and thanks for mentioning it, Marcus), that NYT article on Flaherty is worth a read:

2005-06-22 11:45:21
39.   rbj
dare one say Stanton?
Or, if he's looking for some work and atonement, RJ.
2005-06-22 11:49:09
40.   Simone
See Joe, this is what the 2nd hitter is supposed to do, get the occasional hit and walk to keep the inning alive. Isn't it nice? How about you hit Bernie second in almost every game instead of the Rally Killer? It would be a really, really good thing.
2005-06-22 11:57:26
41.   Cliff Corcoran
Not getting an insurance run after Bernie and Sheffield lead off the seventh with a walk and a single hurts. The key at-bat there, if you ask me, was Matsui's soft grounder to first. Rodriguez moved the runners up on the first out, it was Matsui's job to at least get Bernie home on the second. No dice. Piniella walks Sierra to get to Russ Johnson and, despite me rooting my rump off for him to come through and earn his stripes, Johnson flies out to right, leaving the bases loaded.
2005-06-22 12:06:28
42.   Cliff Corcoran
2005-06-22 12:07:13
43.   atc
2005-06-22 12:07:17
44.   Cliff Corcoran
A walk, a hit-by-pitch (Hall again!) and a Nick Green homer make it 5-3 D-Rays. I can't stand it.
2005-06-22 12:07:43
45.   Cliff Corcoran
An there's Stanton. Good call, RBJ.
2005-06-22 12:09:31
46.   rbj
It came a batter too late. We want Harper. Lou, give him a chance to redeem himself.
2005-06-22 12:09:37
47.   JohnnyC
I'll say it before Kaat does...mistakes late in the game on inside pitches will kill you. He has always preached against it. Throw it low and not put it in the batter's wheelhouse. But, where was Flash's target? You betcha, down and in. Good Lord, can Stottlemyre effing coach or what?
2005-06-22 12:12:08
48.   Cliff Corcoran
I'd love to see Kaat become the Yankee pitching coach, but I know he doesn't want to work that hard at his age.

Meanwhile, the Yanks have Flaherty, Cano and Jeter up. Think Joe will be smart enough to hit Posada for Flash?

Also, how huge is the failure to score in the seventh now? Here's hoping Matsui gets redemption.

2005-06-22 12:12:44
49.   Zack
Another homer by an anonymous Devil Ray. I just don't get it. We used to go 16-1 against them, and now we struggle to win a game a series.

Honestly, I know it has been said many many times, but the pitching staff's problems really have to fall onto Mel's shoulders. I know that probably isn't the only issue, but he sure isn't helping. RJ gets advice on arm angle from Flaherty, Pavano can't keep consistant mechanics and is turning into yet another Yankee unable to pitch consistantly under Mel's watch. I like the guy as a person, but something has to give here.

2005-06-22 12:13:00
50.   jkay
Not to worry. Another 13 run-8th and we are good to go.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2005-06-22 12:14:19
51.   JohnnyC
Does Stottlemyre need a stadium plan so he can memorize the effing dimensions of his home park? You want the batter to hit it between the gaps not down either line. Stop asking your pitchers to throw it down and in. It got Vazquez run out of Pavano (and it better not bite the Unit too).
2005-06-22 12:15:02
52.   Patrick
Congrats Alex.
2005-06-22 12:17:54
53.   JohnnyC
Kaat said it.
2005-06-22 12:21:38
54.   Cliff Corcoran
That was dreadful. Torre doesn't send up Posada and Flash, Cano and Jeter hack their way to a 1-2-3 with Kazmir up around 110 pitches. I can't blame Cano too much as he was dealt nothing but strikes and took the one ball, but Joe not hitting Posada and Jeter hacking at the first pitch were dreadful (unless Jeter really did sting that liner to short).

Meanwhile, Sturtze is the man in the eighth (following Joe's eighth inning formula of winning=Gordon, losing close=Sturtze, regardless of workloads).

2005-06-22 12:22:53
55.   Dan M
Captain Clutch rides again! How many times does he have to swing at the first pitch in late game situations?
2005-06-22 12:23:09
56.   JohnnyC
The question for Mel: what exactly does throwing a meatball down and moving in from the middle of the plate supposed to accomplish? Does he subscribe to a different form of physics than we humans are familiar with? Or, alternatively, has he pioneered a new kind of physiology that has discovered that people's arms actually are naturally bent at upward angles instead of hanging down from the shoulders? I'm serious. He's killing any chance that the Yankees have of having a good pitching staff. He can't seem to let go of 1964.
2005-06-22 12:25:45
57.   aboveavg
Am I the only one that wants Sterling and Waldman to fall out of the broacast booth and be impaled by somehing?
2005-06-22 12:26:56
58.   Knuckles
Do it.
2005-06-22 12:27:33
59.   Cliff Corcoran
Lou goes not to Lance Carter. Yanks have the heart of the order: Bernie, Sheff, Rodriguez, Matsui. Time for some redemption.
2005-06-22 12:28:01
60.   Cliff Corcoran
(er, strike the "not" in that last post)
2005-06-22 12:29:21
61.   JohnnyC
I'm really close to giving up on the season.
There is no reason for them to have this kind of struggle playing the DRays. No reason. It may be time to call it a day and back up the truck. Unfortunately, we'll have to wait until the end of the season to be rid of Torre and Stottlemyre. Sometimes, a little rain has to fall before the sun can peak through the clouds.
2005-06-22 12:30:29
62.   Cliff Corcoran
Good job by Bernie making an out on the first pitch there when a walk would have been ideal. Crap. Two outs, none on. Still, a bloop and a blast will tie it.
2005-06-22 12:31:23
63.   rbj
Come on Godzilla
(and that was "now", not "not", right Cliff?)
2005-06-22 12:31:48
64.   JohnnyC
Geez, when's the last time Bernie got a clutch hit? He's getting to be just like Jeter, useless in the clutch. >
2005-06-22 12:32:16
65.   Cliff Corcoran
Alex Rodriguez provides the bloop. Piniella brings in his closer, Baez to face Matsui representing the tying run with two outs in the bottom of the eighth.
2005-06-22 12:32:58
66.   JohnnyC
Sorry about that remark. Selective memory. It's a Yankees fan's prerogative. Pace Bobby Brown.
2005-06-22 12:33:55
67.   Cliff Corcoran
I don't know that's thicker in here, the tension or the sarcasm.
2005-06-22 12:36:22
68.   Cliff Corcoran
Boooo! Baez doesn't come close to throwing Matsui a challenging pitch, walking him on five throws. Now Sierra's up as the potential go-ahead run, with the tying run on first in the form of pinch-runner Womack.
2005-06-22 12:36:58
69.   JohnnyC
It's sad in a way but doesn't it seem like Lou's trying to "pass the audition" in this series?
2005-06-22 12:38:58
70.   aboveavg
here is mr. clutch. You know he has is averaging an rbi per at bat. this is why you have a guy like sierra on your team. blech.
2005-06-22 12:39:05
71.   Cliff Corcoran
Passed ball moves 'em up, tying run on second. Also, how close was Sierra to crushing that first strike?
2005-06-22 12:39:27
72.   Oscar Azocar
Yes, finally, putting Womack in a role where he will excel: Pinch Runner.
2005-06-22 12:40:50
73.   aboveavg
kotsay would have looked nice in that position
2005-06-22 12:41:26
74.   Cliff Corcoran
Oh . . . I . . . am . . . so . . . mad. Seirra was up 3-1 and swung at a borderline outside pitch that could have been ball four, then strikes out with the tying run on second. Oh . . . must . . . not . . . break . . . stuff.
2005-06-22 12:42:00
75.   vockins
Also, was Sierra close to crushing the third one?


2005-06-22 12:42:10
76.   Dan M
FYI: flat out monsoon here in Newark, w/ wicked lightning, and probably headed your way. Too bad they couldn't tie it before the deluge.
2005-06-22 12:43:46
77.   JohnnyC
Yes, but Sierra's a changed man, doesn't disrespect the manager, Mr. Torre, anymore. More important to worship the Great God Torre than to win, right?
2005-06-22 12:44:53
78.   jkay
Rain in mid-town.
2005-06-22 12:45:25
79.   rbj
Man, I go away for a minute (this damn work stuff), come back and not only does Gamechannel show the same 5-3 score, but it has these dreaded words:
Womack at designated hitter.
At least the folks here give some insight (pinch runner.)
2005-06-22 12:45:54
80.   Cliff Corcoran
Tanyon was clearly as pissed as I am, he got the D-Rays down on six pitches in the ninth.

Dan M, it is indeed pitch black in Greenwich Village. Methinks my softball game is in danger.

2005-06-22 12:47:25
81.   Alex Belth
All that tough talk about the last night turning the season around is all well and good but don't mean dick if they turn around and lose today.

Not that this is a surprise to anyone, but man, you've got to be discouraged with Pavano's performance today. He really let the team down.

2005-06-22 12:47:38
82.   Cliff Corcoran
Alex Gonzalez in defensively at third.

Johnson, Flaherty, Cano due up. Here's hoping Giambi and Posada will pinch hit for the first two.

2005-06-22 12:48:12
83.   tocho
I'm watching on MLB.TV, its pouring
2005-06-22 12:50:06
84.   Cliff Corcoran
Jorge goes down swinging, but at least he worked a full count. I could taste the walk there. Here's Giambi.
2005-06-22 12:51:01
85.   Cliff Corcoran
Giambi flies out, so much for that. All down to Cano.
2005-06-22 12:51:58
86.   Cliff Corcoran
Cano triples!

Jeter up, two outs, lets see if he takes a pitch.

2005-06-22 12:52:22
87.   rbj
Did gamechannel have it right, did Giambi actually hit a ball to left field (even if it is an out)?
2005-06-22 12:55:23
88.   Cliff Corcoran
Full count.
2005-06-22 12:56:23
89.   Cliff Corcoran
Strike three, game over, pitch low and away.


2005-06-22 12:56:34
90.   jkay
No 13 run magic today.
2005-06-22 12:56:49
91.   rbj
(kicks chair)
2005-06-22 12:57:18
92.   tocho
the stike-out pitch wasn't even close and DJ had a very bad swing at it...bummer. Now let's all go back to work...
2005-06-22 12:57:27
93.   Dan M
At least Captain Clutch worked a full count this time. But he's ended a lot of close games lately - at least 4 in the last 2+ weeks (2 in MIL, Monday, today).
2005-06-22 12:57:44
94.   Mick S
Wasn't Jeter the final out in Monday's game too?
2005-06-22 12:58:13
95.   Knuckles
freaking joke
2005-06-22 12:58:48
96.   yankee23
i'm not the only one who just hyperventilated through a full count before letting out an agonized scream, am i?
2005-06-22 12:59:27
97.   atc
I really don't like this team
2005-06-22 12:59:57
98.   Zack
Another chance for Jeter wasted. How is it that he seems to have made the last out of a game a lot lately?

So, once again, after winning a whole bunch in a row, we turn around and crap up the joint. This is not fun to watch, it is frustrating and likely to induce violence. I would almost rather they just lose 15 ina row, fall out of contention, and get it through their thick skulls that a trade for Roger isn't going to fix anything. At least that way they can just cut Brown, Womack, and Giambi, take the hit, and call up some young players to get experience. They would suck even more, but they would be far more entertaining. Right now they are inconsistant, no fun to watch when they lose, and not very likable. But yet, they will be just streaky enough to ensure that they make some stupid trade...

2005-06-22 13:00:21
99.   Cliff Corcoran
You can't blame Jeter for the catch Jenkins made on him in that first game in Milwaukee.
2005-06-22 13:03:32
100.   Oscar Azocar
This is the frustration of watching a .500 team, which the Yankees have yet to convince me they are not. They will tantalize you with success, only to go through periods/games where they play like dung.

Enough of this schizophrenic play. Either play like winners, or just suck.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2005-06-22 13:04:11
101.   yankee23
it sounds as though the kotsay trade is actually very realistic. anyone know anything about Philip Hughes?
2005-06-22 13:04:23
102.   Cliff Corcoran
You know what, I can see being down on this team, they should not have lost a second game to Tampa, but you can't say today's game wasn't entertaining. It was close throughout, the Yanks threatened several times. It was a good game, they were just on the wrong side of it.
2005-06-22 13:08:12
103.   JohnnyC
Oh, Cliff, it's so much fun to blame Jeter. Don't chide the kiddies.
2005-06-22 13:12:55
104.   rbj
What the starting pitchers need to do, when given two runs, is say "ok, this is what I have to work with, I'm just going to shut down the other team."
How many close, low scoring games have we won?
2005-06-22 13:16:02
105.   JohnnyC
Cliff, the definition of entertaining depends on which side you're on. I'm sure Lou found today's game more entertaining than yesterday. My favorite reaction to Tuesday night's game came from a Met fan who called into NY1's One On One Show who opined that the game wasn't entertaining at all. A close, well-pitched game is entertaining not a slugfest, he said. The host, who I think is rubbish otherwise, looked into the camera and drawled, "You're a Mets fan, I take it." As for the train wreck of a team we're watching this season, I agree with Zack that we should call it a day, lick our wounds, and back up the truck, get younger, get better, wait till next year, yadda yadda. Really, why trade Phil Hughes for Mark Effing Kotsay or even Roger "I just want to play close to home" Clemens? When Torre and Stottlemyre are gone, things will change...for the better.
2005-06-22 13:18:40
106.   aboveavg
I was only listening on the radio, but it sounded to me like Pavano was throwing one of his better games until 2 outs in the 7th. Of course listening to the Yankee broadcast is not the best way to get an objective view on the game. Should Torre have taken him out before the HR to Green?
2005-06-22 13:22:40
107.   Cliff Corcoran
JohnnyC, I think you're confusing "entertaining" and "enjoyable." Any game that has you hanging on until the last pitch is entertaining, even if your team is on the wrong side of the score. That game might not be terribly enjoyable, however.
2005-06-22 13:23:42
108.   JohnnyC
Maybe but the real problem was asking him to throw an inside fastball to Green that, predictably, moved over the middle of the plate (like so, so many pitches thrown by Yankees pitchers in the last 3,4 seasons). Of course, it comes down to execution and maybe Green gets jammed on the pitch if it's on target but...really, as Kaat says, why tempt fate? Throw it low and away. Where was the last pitch to Jeter from Baez? Down and away...out of the strike zone. With 2 strikes, Baez could extend the hitter's zone. That's what good pitching is about. Hear that, Mel?
2005-06-22 14:10:48
109.   seamus
i thought pavano looked good. One pitch from keeping TB to two runs. Of course, that has been the story all year - one pitch from...
2005-06-22 14:35:29
110.   Simone
This is the 3rd poor pitching performance in the row. The Yankees aren't coming close to the playoffs with this kind of pitching.
2005-06-22 17:03:18
111.   dtrain
I know Womack didn't even bat in this game, but check this out:

Roger Clemens' OPS against: .537
Tony Womack's OPS: .548

In other words, Womack's performance is basically what you would get from an average major league hitter....if they faced Roger Clemens every single at-bat.

2005-06-22 18:25:32
112.   Cliff Corcoran
Better yet:

Roger Clemens' OPS: .569

2005-06-23 01:40:07
113.   Jeff P
RBJ, the Yanks have won exactly zero close low-scoring games. No wins scoring three runs or less. Every other major league team has at least two of those.


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