Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Takin' It Easy
2005-10-04 20:59
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

The first pitch Bartolo Colon threw in last night's game buzzed past Derek Jeter at 95 miles per hour for a strike. The second pitch he threw resulted in a Jeter groundout to third. Colon then struck out Alex Rodriguez on three pitches and got ahead of Jason Giambi with strike one. The Angel ace was dealing. After his seventh pitch was called for a ball, the first he threw on the night, Colon unleashed another 95 mile per hour heater that tailed down and in on Giambi.

Giambi, who at the beginning of the season appeared incapable of getting around even on low-90s heat, turned on the pitch and lined it into right for a single. Colon then got ahead of Gary Sheffield 0-2 and attempted to put him away with a similar pitch on the outside corner, but Sheffield stuck out his rear and poked the pitch into right for another single, pushing Giambi to second. Hideki Matsui followed with a seven pitch at-bat that ended with yet another single to right, loading the bases for Robinson Cano's first postseason appearance.

After a quick visit to the mound by Angels pitching coach Bud Black, Colon started Cano off with just his second ball of the night. The rookie second baseman then took a strike to even the count and fouled off another to fall behind 1-2. After Colon again evened the count with another ball, Cano hit a laser down the third base line foul, then creamed the sixth pitch he saw over Garret Anderson's head in left, clearing the bases and giving the Yankees a 3-0 lead.

As it turns out, that was all the Yankees would need. Despite Joe Torre's confidence, even Mike Mussina wasn't sure what he'd bring to the mound pitching on six days rest and coming off a dreadful outing in Baltimore (2 2/3 IP, 7 H, 5 R) last week. As it turns out, Mussina had everything working. His fastball hit 91 miles per hour, his control was excellent, and his knuckle curve was sharp.

After striking out Chone Figgins on a sinking fastball to start the game, Mussina surrendered a hard single on a hanging curve to Orlando Cabrera, then recovered to get Garret Anderson to ground out. He finished the inning with a perfect at-bat against Vladimir Guerrero. Staying away from the Impaler, Moose caught the outside corner twice with his first three pitches to get ahead 1-2. He then threw a perfect pitch low and away that Guerrero lunged at, practically picking it out of the dirt and tapping it back to the mound for a 1-3 groundout.

The Yanks picked up another two-out run in the second when, after Colon struckout Bernie and Bubba, the Captain delivered a classic opposite field Jeter single. Colon then fell behind Rodriguez 2-0. His next pitch was a fastball that sailed up and in, striking Rodriguez in the back just below the ribs (after the game Alex said, "It hit me in a good spot: my fat"). It was a frightening moment as Rodriguez writhed around in the batters box for a while before taking his base. Fortunately Rodriguez appeared to be okay (though he did go 0 for 3 on the night). Jason Giambi then made Colon pay by turning on another mid-90s Colon heater to drive Jeter home with a double, giving the Yankees a 4-0 lead.

Mussina looked less sharp in the bottom of the second. After striking out Darin Erstad by coming after him with a 90-mile-per-hour heater, he needed all 400 feet of Angel Stadium's center field to contain a Bengie Molina fly out. Juan Rivera then singled into right and Steve Finley followed with a grueling nine-pitch at bat that concluded with Finley creaming a pitch into the corner in right. Fortunately for the Yankees, Finley's ball bounced over the short wall in right for a ground rule double, thus holding Rivera at third base. Mussina then got Adam Kennedy to fly out to left to end the inning.

From there the two starters settled down, allowing just three more baserunners combined until the bottom of the sixth, when Vladimir Guerrero singled on Mussina's 98th pitch of the night. That brought Joe Torre out to the mound and Mussina, who hadn't thrown more than 81 pitches in his last four starts dating back to August 24, out of the game.

With a man on first, a four-run lead, and the weak-hitting lefty Darin Erstad due up, Torre decided to try Al Leiter out in the LOOGY role. Leiter threw ball one to Erstad, but recovered with a pair of strikes, one called and one swinging. On the latter, Guerrero broke for second, but got a terrible jump. Jorge Posada sprung out of his crouch and fired to Jeter at second, his throw beating Guerrero to the bag by a mile for the final out of the inning. The replay showed that Jeter actually missed Guerrero with the tag, but he also blocked the umpire's view with his body and the ball beat Guerrero by so much that Vlad didn't bother to argue.

Given another shot at Erstad in the seventh, Leiter struck him out on four pitches. Torre then turned to Tanyon Sturtze to pitch to the righty Bengie Molina only to have Sturtze surrender a moon shot to dead center to make it 4-1 Yanks. As Tom Gordon hurriedly warmed in the pen, Sturtze got Juan Rivera to ground out, finally yielding to Gordon after throwing a grand total of six pitches to two batters. Gordon's first batter was Steve Finley, who ripped a ball to the wall in right only to have Gary Sheffield track it down for the final out. Gordon then worked a 1-2-3 eighth aided by another inning ending catch at the wall by Sheffield.

As per the October tradition, Torre then turned to Mariano Rivera to finish the job in the ninth. Rivera was greeted by a fly out to the warning track in dead center by Garret Anderson. Vlad Guerrero then worked a seven-pitch walk and stole second (this time he was clearly safe as it took an impressive leap by Jeter to keep Posada's throw from sailing into center field). Darin Erstad followed with a hard chopper up the middle that Robinson Cano attempted to backhand only to have the ball bound under his glove for a single, scoring Guerrero and bringing the tying run to the plate in the form of Bengie Molina, who had homered in his previous plate appearance.

Molina hacked at the first pitch he saw sending the ball into the hole between third and short. Derek Jeter raced over and gloved the ball, spinning and throwing to Cano at second just in time to force out Erstad. Cano then turned and threw to first to try to double up the laughably slow Molina. Unfortunately, his throw tailed down and up the line and Tino Martinez, in for Giambi at first, was unable to scoop it for the final out (though he did keep it from skipping by him).

While it was clear that Cano should have gotten his body in front of Erstad's chopper, which at the very least would have kept Guerrero from scoring, the play on Molina's ball is open to more debate. The way I saw it, it didn't look like a play that was likely to result in two outs and I credit Cano with having the awareness of Molina's lack of speed to attempt to get the second out at first. Others might accuse Cano of not thinking double play all the way with Molina coming down the line, and indeed there was a slight hesitation before Cano turned to throw to first. That said, it was a fantastic play by Jeter to get the speedy Erstad at second. With his momentum going toward third base, Jeter's throw was all arm and Cano had to stretch for it, which is most likely what was most responsible for his hesitation.

At any rate, it didn't matter. Having failed to pinch-hit Robb Quinlan for Erstad against Leiter in the sixth and seventh, let alone start Casey Kotchman in Erstad's place, Mike Scioscia sent the left-handed Kotchman to the plate to face Mariano's cutter in place of the right-handed Juan Rivera. Representing the tying run, Kotchman took ball one, fouled off strike one, then had his bat sawed off at the handle by a Rivera cutter that he popped up to Alex Rodriguez to end the game, giving the Yankees a 4-2 victory and a 1-0 lead in the series.


Yankee Heroes

Robinson Cano despite his questionable fielding in the ninth and the fact that he saw just four pitches in his last three at-bats, going 0 for 3 in those trips, Cano delivered the game-breaking hit at the end of an excellent six-pitch at bat in the first. For that bases-loaded, bases-clearing double, as well as an excellent play ranging to his left to retire Figgins leading off the third, Cano gets the top spot.

Mike Mussina he only lasted 5 2/3 (though I think he could have gotten Erstad to finish the sixth), but he didn't allow a single run all night. Coming into the game a complete unknown, Mussina made Joe Torre look like a genius by allowing just five hits and walking none while striking out four and throwing 68 percent of his 98 pitches for strikes.

Gary Sheffield 2 for 4 with a key hit in the two-out rally in the first, also made a pair of tough running catches at the wall to end the seventh and eighth innings.

Jason Giambi 2 for 4, turned around a pair of mid-90s heaters for a two-out single that started the rally in the first and a two-out double that plated the Yankees fourth run of the game in the second.

Derek Jeter 2 for 3 with a walk and a stolen base, singled with two outs in the second and came around to score on Giambi's double, made that crucial play in the ninth on Molina's grounder to get the penultimate out of the game.

Hideki Matsui only reached base once, but it was part of that first-inning rally. He also made a nice sliding catch in foul territory to end the fifth with a runner on first.

Angels Heroes

Bengie Molina 1 for 4 with a home run that broke up the shutout

Steve Finley 1 for 3, saw 22 pitches in three at-bats (compared to 10 in four trips for Cano), his ground rule double was the only Angel extra base hit other than Molina's homer, and he hit another shot off Tom Gordon that Sheffield tracked down at the wall.

Vlad Guerrero 1 for 3 with a walk and a stolen base, scored the only other Angel run.

Angels Goats

Bartolo Colon he eventually settled down, but he put his team in a hole right away.

Garret Anderson 0 for 4 and it could be said that with a better jump he could have caught Cano's double in the first.

Mike Scioscia terrible line-up construction and poor in-game management (specifically his deployment or lack thereof of pitch-hitters) forced his team to play this game at a disadvantage.

Chone Figgins the igniter failed to reach base all night and informed FOX that Rocky V is his favorite movie

Vlad Guerrero special double mention for that inning-ending caught stealing in the sixth.

Yankee Goats

Tanyon Sturtze Called upon to get two outs, he instead gave up the first Angel run of the game on a solo homer by Bengie Molina.


The Yankees got their split and look to go home with a chance to sweep by sending Chien-Ming Wang against John Lackey in Game Two.

Comments (51)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2005-10-05 00:40:17
1.   markp
With RJ coming up in game three, tomorrow night is almost a must win for the Angels.
2005-10-05 03:42:50
2.   Paul in Boston
Short series = anything can happen. The more years we're away from the 1996, 1997-2000 run, the more astounding those wins are.

About the only "lock" is St Louis vs San Diego, and even one guy at Prospectus chose the Padres (this was before Peavy went down).

2005-10-05 04:30:06
3.   randym77
Cano didn't think he had a chance to get the DP. He didn't know Molina was slower than molasses flowing uphill in January. In his post-game interview, they asked him about Molina, and he said he turned around and was surprised to Molina was still a mile away from first.
2005-10-05 04:33:25
4.   atc
I really hope Arod's not more hurt than he's letting on. That hbp was brutal, and regardless of the fact that Colon hung his head afterwards, I have a hard time believing it wasn't intentional. I was absolutely fuming afterwards, and really hoping someone would drill Vlad at some point.
2005-10-05 04:55:35
5.   Fred Vincy
Yes, let's give full credit to Joe, who started Moose when probably 90% of us wouldn't have. Let's hope he keeps Bubba in center despite the 0 for 4.

Cano seems a capable fielder, but he really does seem to space out a fair bit. Don't know what you do about that except keep nagging the guy.

I am leaning toward agreeing with atc on the A-Rod HBP.

2005-10-05 04:57:34
6.   Alex Belth
Cliff, I'm with you on faulting Cano more for not getting in front of Ersad's ground ball. At the very least, if he gets his body in front of it, he prevents Vlad from scoring. I believe he should have been able to make a better throw on the Molina ground ball, but still, that was a crack play by Jeter to get the force at second.

What I didn't realize until I saw the replay a few times after the game was just how bad G. Anderson's route to that Cano smash in the first was. He didn't only get a bad jump, his first step was toward the infield. Rich Lederer mentioned yesterday how Anderson has become a guess hitter--and you could see that last night. When he guessed right, he hit the ball solidly, and when he didn't, nothing but little nubbers.

I think the same goes for his outfield play. He was cheating in, especially after Cano prolonged his at bat by fouling an outside pitch down the third base line. I know Cano hit the ball well, but that ball should have been caught. If it was, the entire game would have been different. Anderson gets the goat horns.

2005-10-05 05:28:43
7.   Alex Belth
Oh, and Tino should have picked that relay throw from Cano cleanly as well. But, none of that matters anymore.

After the game I thought about how the Yanks have lost Game One in recent playoff series that they've gone onto to win. I also remembered how they won Game One against the Angels in 2002. So do the Angels. Doesn't mean much now.

"Everybody around here is talking about how we lost the first game of every series in 2002 and still won it all," said Darin Erstad. "Well, we lost the first game of last year's series and got swept." (L.A. Times)

2005-10-05 05:33:14
8.   bp1

That was a shot to A-Rod. You don't see these guys buckle their knees and drop to the ground very often unless they are really hurting. He laughed it off, but I bet he's got a bruise the size of a dinner plate on his ribs today. Hope he can still swing freely. We need his bat, regardless of last night's results.

Good acting by Colon. I don't buy it. He had good control and didn't miss any other pitches last night. Funny how it just happened to be A-Rod. I was screaming for a little retribution from Giambi and/or Sheff in the form of a monstrous home run. I told my wife "Gee, any other team, and Vlad would be strapping on the body armour for his next at bat."

Where's Quantrill when you need him, eh?


2005-10-05 05:51:46
9.   mikeplugh
Yes. Up a game and the Sox get smoked. Good day in the books. Can we make it two in a row?

I said something a few days ago that I'd like to revisit. I'm not afraid of any team in the playoffs except the Red Sox. I think the Yankees are looser against every other team and we have the better lineup on paper than every other team. Our pitching is as good as the rest of the field, save maybe Houston.

When we play the Red Sox both teams seem to tighten up, and it makes for those nail biter classics. I'd love to sweep The Halos and go on to play Chicago. I think we'd be back in the Series and that's where our greatest mountain will be climbed.

2005-10-05 06:18:38
10.   rbj
That shot to A-Rod did look intentional. Problem is, it's the playoffs and unless you're up 15-3, two outs, in the ninth inning, with Embree on the mound you just can't afford to retaliate. Even if no one gets tossed & suspended, there will be warnings issued and you lose the inner part of the plate. Maybe Embree can retaliate on Friday, when we're one out away from a sweep.
2005-10-05 06:48:40
11.   Yanks in NH
Beautiful stuff from Mussina - except for Cabrera and Juan Rivera, the Angels looked baffled all night long by his stuff. Sturtze has not inspired much of any confidence in me for a couple of months now and last night looked like more of the same, but Gordon looked very sharp and Mo should be even better the next time out as he seemed pissed that he gave them anything. Defense was also superb, what with Cano ranging wide left for a nice one and a trademark Jeter falling toward third and arming it, and how about the nice outfield play by Matsui sliding for a key out and the running catches at the warning track for Sheffield (2) and Crosby. But, boy Crosby did not impress me much at the plate - in fact the whole bottom of the order was pathetic until Bernie drove that shot in the ninth. A little concern there as our past championship teams always seemed to get production out of the unexpected, but boy as an opposing pitcher, the first five in a row (Jeter, A-Rod, Sheffield, Giambi, Matsui) have got to be tough!

If Wang has his best stuff tonight, we could be looking real good, but our offense needs to stay alive because after the first few they were pretty quiet with alot of what looked like them swinging for the fences and not quite making it.

2005-10-05 07:08:46
12.   Kevin
Great game last night. Vintage Yankees. Hopefully they keep it up. I'm already stocking up on caffeine for tonight's 10 pm ET start.

On a housekeeping note, I always enjoy that Alex posts links to all of the Yankee-centric articles from the New York papers in his game recaps. As a displaced New Yorker (in Boston no less!), I appreciated the "one stop clicking" aspect of making this blog every morning one of my first visits in the morning. I hope you'll consider making it a regular part of every recap, particularly in the postseason.

Great stuff, though, guys.

2005-10-05 07:18:14
13.   sam2175
Crosby ran down balls, and that was what he was supposed to do starting against a Cy Young candidate.

To be perfectly honest, today is the day to get Bernie at CF with Wang, and Giambi as DH with Tino at first. I am sure Cliff will come up with a good preview on this one.

Lets just hope Torre does not get any ideas with Sierra. But watch out for John Lackey, he is a good "big game" pitcher, and had a very, very good season this year.

2005-10-05 07:22:17
14.   Rob S
The big fear obviously is that one of our starters has to be taken out in the 4th or 5th inning. Seeing how effective Moose was made me feel good about Small's ability to keep things close in that situation. Off speed just off the plate & make the Angels get themselves out.
It's amazing how greedy I get. Now with a chance at 2 in a row in Cal., I'm convincing myself that tonight is a must-win. Gotta get some de-caf.
2005-10-05 07:27:01
15.   Dimelo
mikeplugh, I am not sure I agree with you entirely. This year I am NOT afraid of the Sawx, did I think they were better last year? Yes, absolutely and in the end the best team was left standing. This year is not last and I think the Yankees will show up ready to play against them.

I don't want to get ahead of myself, but the Yankees mean buisness more than ever this year. Maybe, just maybe, last year's collapse, the bad start this year, and the inconsistent play for a good part of the year may have been the best thing that ever happened to these Yanks.

I am not afraid of anyone who stands in their way and if they are to lose, then I guess they were never that good to begin with. I feel good about this team. There are too many good hitters and the pitching has been great lately.

This is a perfectly gelled team right now, they seem committed more than ever to the big prize that awaits them at the end. I firmly believe that and I hope I'm right.

For now though, let's focus on the Angels and whatever Sux team awaits us then we'll handle them when we get there.

2005-10-05 07:47:37
16.   Yankee Fan in Chicago
Any one else think that if we put Bernie in center last game and the Halos had Juan Rivera in left instaead of Anderson, we lose that game?
2005-10-05 07:55:40
17.   rsmith51
Lineup tonight?

I would play Bernie in CF and DH Giambi. Maximize the infield defense. Basically the same lineup with Bernie batting 9th.

2005-10-05 07:59:52
18.   uburoisc
As much as I like Cano, and want him to start, and appreciate his contributions, would it be inappropiate to put in Belhorn in the last inning when we only need defense, much for the same reason Tino plays and Giambi comes out? I just have my doubts about Cano's fielding with the game on the line. Also, Bubba was way overmatched with Colon, he looked like a minor league player at the plate; I want him in CF, but his plate discipline was awful. Great catches by Sheffield, but the way he catches them drives me crazy. Great win guys, especially while watching the game from Orange County (the locals here were not happy with Anderson in LF; the consensus was he should be DH.) Sciocia was equally the goat in this game for his questionable roster decisions.
2005-10-05 08:15:25
19.   Knuckles
Kevin (12),
I also like Alex's links to Yankee articles. Another good resource is the ESPN Local portion of ESPN Insider- you pick your team and sport and it'll sow you all the links either for the current day or the past week.

After I check out Bronx Banter each morning, I generally peruse that page for the Yanks, their opponent, NY Giants, and Devils.

* Note: I think ESPN is pretty much garbage, but I get an Insider account free with my ESPN Mag subscription, of which I am an original subscriber and thus have been paying like 25c an issue since it came out...

2005-10-05 08:16:41
20.   Schteeve
Bubba is in the games for his glove. With the offense we have we can afford to carry a defensive specialist in the lineup. Any offensive contributions from Bubba are gravy and our expectations of what's gonna come off his bat, should be nil.I do like the idea of Bernie starting in CF tonight because Wang should afford him the opportunity to chill out there and think about hitting.

So that would leave you with the following decision: Do you leave Giambi at 1B and DH Ruben or do you put Tino in at 1B and DH Jason.

To me, the trade off is the mystical Giambi effect where he hits better when he plays the field v. the opportunity to have Giambi still in the lineup late in the game, because you wouldn't have to lift him for a defensive replacement.

And it should be noted that in any scenario, The difference between Bubba and Ruben offensively is probably not a great as we might think.

2005-10-05 08:21:16
21.   uburoisc
Stick or no, I'd go with Bubba in CF and sit Sierra under all circumstances. Bubba may hit some of the Halo pitchers, and he has some speed on the bases. I like Tino at 1st and Giambi DH for this game, though Giambi seems to be playing a pretty good defensive 1b from what I can see.
2005-10-05 08:32:56
22.   markp
Bubba vs. Ruben:
Bubba isn't hitting much, but Ruben isn't doing any better. Bubba can bunt, he does run well, and accoasionally takes a pitch so any power advantage RS has is pretty much negated.
Meanwhile, Crosby is pretty good in CF (not as good as the guys in the booth would have us believe, but much better than Bernie.)
Playing Sierra costs the team (defensive) runs-not a lot, but getting every edge is important.
2005-10-05 08:38:07
23.   hugo
Bellhorn at second is not a good option in the 9th, in my view. He is not a good fielder at all. Even if you accept the possibilty that he may be less likely to make a big mistake than Cano b/c Cano is a rookie and Bellhorn a veteran, Cano has much much better range than Bellhorn, who will allow seeing eye singles left and right (literally). I would go to Womack in the field before Bellhorn, and he's nothing special defensively.
2005-10-05 08:39:26
24.   BobbyBaseBall
Is it me or was anyone else surprised that Joe took Tanyon on the playoff roster over Felix Rodriguez. Especially after last night's performance. I mean, I know Felix is young unproven and inconsistant. Sturtze is consistant, but only at giving up dingers. It seems that every appearance that Tanyon has had in the past month (or two or three) he's given up AT LEAST one runa and usually more.
2005-10-05 08:40:48
25.   Shaun P
Hopefully Scioscia will not correct his mistakes from last night, and play Anderson in left, have Kotchman sit, hit Cabrera second and Erstad fifth, etc. I always heard before that Scioscia was pretty savvy - so we'll see if he learns quick or not.

I have no problem if Bernie plays CF tonight with Wang pitching as long as Bubba comes back in CF in Game 3 and so on. I'm not sure if having Tino play 1B and Giambi DH is good or not - Giambi hasn't been bad with the glove and his numbers at 1B are astronomical . . . Sierra should be limited to pinch-hitting and nothing else, IMHO.

I think tonight will be a pitcher's duel. It will be interesting to see how the Angels do against Wang, as they've never faced him before. Cano better bring his no-error glove . . . is Bellhorn really better in the field? Boston never seemed to think he was.

2005-10-05 08:42:12
26.   alterity
Regarding Cano being lifted for Bellhorn in a defensive switch:

Cano's Defense: fielding percentage: .975; range factor: 5.12; zone rating: .818.

Bellhorn's Defense: fielding percetage: .983; range factor: 5.14; zone rating: .818.

Cano did this in 1143.2 innings, while Bellhorn's work came in 728.0.

(All stats from ESPN.)

In other words, Bellhorn's stats are only marginally better than Cano's, enough that it's a wash. They're both butchers with the glove (even if Cano does have a tendency to make a nice play once in a while). I'd give the edge to Cano because it appears to me that his arm is stronger (I can't believe he even made that potential DP close last night; even if it was Molina running, it was such a late throw). Also, subjectively, he is "one of the guys who got us here." Unfortunately, he often appears to be the Nuke LaLoosh of second base.

2005-10-05 08:52:03
27.   unpopster
since Wang is a sinker ball pitcher, I think it's a no-brainer that Giambi DH's and Tino plays 1B. But, that would also require Cano moving back in the order to the #9 slot. With Tino's sub-par bat in the line0up, we can't afford a Posada-Tino-Bernie trio at the bottom of the order.
2005-10-05 08:58:35
28.   Mattpat11
Must win for LAoA tonight, but I want the game as well. I'd like RJ to be able to finish it off Friday
2005-10-05 09:09:42
29.   its430
I agree with uburoisc, I was chugging pepto watching Sheff crash into that right-field wall twice in two innings. And was anyone else surprised at the two out base hits and RBIs? Definitely something I was not expecting.

Inherent Yankee-fan pessimism tells me they won't get another two out run in the series.

I also share the feel-good vibe having taken game one and having Wang go in game two. The key though is the consistent offense, we need those 7,8,9 guys to provide something. In that respect, I advocate for the Tino at 1st - Giambi DH setup tonight. Tino's got something left in the tank, I can feel it.

2005-10-05 09:10:46
30.   Simone
Good win. Mussina was really good. He said in the post-game press conference that the extra 2 days helped his elbow. I still think that he is declining, but he may be more injured that I thought originally.

Kevin, a great place to get local articles on your favorite teams in the MLB, NBA, NFL, and they just added a section on the NHL. Great resource for the avid sports fan.

2005-10-05 09:16:35
31.   Yankee Fan in Chicago
In the spirit of my insane superstitions -- considering that I posted these stats yesterday and they seemed to have taken the whammy off the Yanks and put it on the Halos -- I'll repost:

With runners in scoring position and 2 outs the Angels hit a major league best .279, while we hit a pathetic.233, 2nd worst in the AL, only ahead of Seattle's .222.

(There, hope that works again as it did last night)

2005-10-05 09:18:37
32.   Nick from Washington Heights
Off topic, but anyone get to see Contreras against the Red Sox yesterday? Was that the same Contreras I remember getting lit up as a Yank? To think, he even got Millar out!
2005-10-05 09:33:59
33.   yankee n CA
2005-10-05 09:37:28
34.   rbj
I agree with Bernie in CF. If he has to do more than make one catch tonight, it means that Wang is getting lit up. Jason DHs, it's just for one game and his back could probably use the rest. Tino at 1B. I think we can get by with a Posada/Tino/Bernie bottom third.
Of course, I'll only catch the first hour. Er make that first half hour, what with all the ceremonies they have for these games.

Glad Torre trusted his instincts and went with Moose last night instead of Sunday.

2005-10-05 09:40:07
35.   yankee n CA
2005-10-05 09:54:58
36.   Popcult
Didn't catch Cano during the postgame interview last night but according to the Daily News, he was sporting sunglasses and serious bling on his fingers. A few days ago the NY Post also ran a story (
about how he and some other players were partying it up at a Boston nightclub (he was reportedly double-fisting a glass of Grey Goose AND a champagne flute while dancing with a blonde AND a brunnette). I'm hoping that all his success isn't going to his head. Sure, he's 22, soon-to-be very rich, and playing for the most distinguished sports franchise in the world, but he needs to be careful and maintain his focus (i.e. look at how Jeter handles the fame and fortune).
2005-10-05 09:58:44
37.   uburoisc
Alterity, thanks for the sound analysis; I think you're right, it's a wash, and Woemack is a bad choice always, and under any circumstances, except pitch running. Cano is the future of 2nd base for the Yanks; may as well get his yips out sooner or later, but god I hate seeing them come in the 9th.
2005-10-05 10:05:19
38.   rbj
Yankee n CA
Please don't shout. We can hear you just fine.
2005-10-05 10:09:27
39.   vockins
Yankee in CA


It's been a while since you've been to Yankee Stadium, I assume.

2005-10-05 10:16:36
40.   profound


I hate when they try to psych up fans already in a frenzy. Is all that really necessary?

Like I used to say about the Knicks vs. The Nets.
Knicks games you wont see sumo wrestlers at 1/2 time for the kiddies. Let teams who sell out to watch baseball, watch baseball.

2005-10-05 10:28:29
41.   Schteeve



I Love lamp.

2005-10-05 10:55:02
42.   yankee fan in Hollywood
What an honor it was to be at the game last night to witness the "Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim of Orange County, California of the Western Region of the United States of North America" take a shalackin' from the Yankees. My boy "Yankee n CA" and I went to the game for a price of only $365 a ticket. Man am I broke now!!!! But none the less...It was worth it. I was lucky enough to get a ball from the best utility player in Yankee history; Mr. Luis Sojo, during batting practice! And once the game started it was fun to talk some major shit to the weak ass fans in Anaheim. And all I got was a couple of peanuts thrown at me. After Cano hit that base clearing double in the 1st inning you could hear a pin drop. How "sweep" it was man!!! Anybody have $400 bucks I can borrow so I can go again tonight???
2005-10-05 11:29:08
43.   BxSparksNYC
A couple of points
Cano - don't we all wish we could be a 22 yr old playing for the NYY. I'd party every night so long as I can perform on the field. Still wish he would have got in front of the chopper in the 9th.
Bernie in CF tonight - I don't mine it but for some reason I have a bad feeling that there will be at least 1 opportunity for the Angels to take advantage of it. Not sure in a short series we can afford that.
Tino at 1st and Giambi DH - With Wang on the mound, this is a must. We've already seen recently the possiblities (Last Friday).
Crosby - does anyone else think that Donnie should try and cut down Bubba's swing. He's a speedy guy and that long follow thru looks good for the cameras but he should be Ishiro-ish in trying to hit line drive and out run everything. I know he's swing is what got him to this point but I alway thing no one is above improving. I believe is was Jose Oquendo who completely change his style to a very Rod Carew-ish style that help him become a 300 hitter in the later part of his career. I think Bubba could be alot better if he toned down that swing.
2005-10-05 12:34:41
44.   Ben

do you really love lamp? Or are you just looking around your office and saying you love what you see?

hey, anybody see Jeter's little nod of encouragement to Cano after he was slow to turn that double play in the ninth. jeter's throw looked to pull Cano into a stretch, then scramble to make the throw to first. It definetly looked like Cano was of two minds. Jeter's little nod said worlds about his understanding of human error, and the complexity of the muscle/memory/mind/action dynamic of professional sports. Cano's botched fielding a few plays earlier was less pardonable, going for the backhand and whip before he even gathered the ball in. Wouldn't be surprised if that error in judgement got him a'thinkin' too much on the double play ball.

Ah well. One to Grow on, Cano.

2005-10-05 12:55:17
45.   Kevin
Ben - I noticed Jeter's nod, too. I like when TV cameras pick up stuff like that.

I do NOT, however, like it when Fox insists on showing close-ups of Bartolo Colon's sweaty-ass face. I was lucky enough to recently acquire a big-screen TV (wedding gift from college roommates), and I don't need a larger-than-life sweaty Colon in my living room while I'm trying to enjoy my baseball.

2005-10-05 13:16:52
46.   markp
in re Tino at 1B-he continues to make poor defensive plays-he really should have had the DP throw in the ninth-but he's still regarded as a GG 1B. He's dropped more than one pop-up and failed to field bad throws on several occasions as well, all in limited service. Considering playing Tino means putting Giambi at DH, where he hasn't done as well, and playing Bernie in CF, I would think Bubba has to be the guy.
2005-10-05 13:26:55
47.   rbj
"don't need a larger-than-life sweaty Colon in my living room"


Unless maybe its Jessica Alba's. Er, check that. I want that only lifesized.

2005-10-05 13:41:28
48.   Shaun P
I think I'm with you, markp - there may not be that much difference between Tino and Giambi in the field:

(from ESPN)
Tino .991 FPct 9.87 RF .880 ZR
Giambi .988 FPct 9.64 RF .750 ZR

(from BPro)
Tino 90 Rate2 -3 FRAR2 -8 FRAA2
Giambi 87 Rate2 -4 FRAR2 -8 FRAA2

Except for zone rating, they look awfully close, and I'm not convinced that the difference is enough to justify Giambi DHing, giving what he seems to lose in his bat when he DHs.

That said, if Bernie is in CF, I'd like to see Tino DH. Besides Bellhorn, he's the only guy on the bench who knows how to get on base, and unlike Bellhorn, he doesn't strike out a lot (54 Ks for Tino vs. 112 Ks for Bellhorn in ~300 ABs each), which might help given that Lackey is a strikeout pitcher this year.

2005-10-05 14:05:45
49.   randym77
I am not afraid of the Bosox, either. We've handled them well this season. (Aside from the rocky start.) I'm more nervous about the White Sox (because they really played us tough, and seem to be peaking at the right time) and the Astros (because of their pitching).

Cano...this is like the 3rd or 4th time I've seen him screw up by failing to get his body in front of the ball. I guess it's hard to change the habits of a lifetime.

The Molina thing...he didn't know how slow Molina was. Rookie error. At least he didn't throw it into the stands, like he did that time before.

I think Tino is suffering from a bit of rust. He has made a lot of errors lately, and I suspect it's at least partly because he's not getting much playing time. That missed popup, for was because Cano knocked it out of his glove. I suspect if he played with Cano more often, it wouldn't have happened.

Giambi is pretty good at fielding grounders, so I think he'd be okay with Wang on the mound. OTOH, it might be better for his back if he DHed. I always hold my breath when I see Giambi have to stretch or reach for a ball.

Would be nice if Tino got hot, like he did at the beginning of the summer.

2005-10-05 15:22:34
50.   Nick from Washington Heights
Yeah, there were horses, and a man on fire, and I killed a guy with a trident!

Re: Giambi. It's very very encouraging that he was turning on balls last night. This is the good Giambi, and as we know there's only a very good Giambi or a very bad Giambi. With the very good one, the Yanks are the best team in the AL.

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2005-10-05 17:01:55
51.   Marcus
Nick, that really escalated out there. Maybe you should lay low for a few weeks, let this blow over a bit.

I don't think Giambi's problem is fielding, so much as his throwing. If he has to throw to home (as in the Boston game last weekend) or try to turn the double play, it makes me want to cringe every time. I don't know enough about Zone Rating and Range Factor to know if they include throwing, but I suspect they don't.

Meanwhile the Red Sox are getting a little payback. Wells must have lathered up his forearms a little extra tonight.

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