Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Texas Rangers
2006-05-05 12:48
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

If the Yankees caught the Devil Rays at exactly the right time over the past week and a half, getting off to a 3-1 start in the season series against their nemesis of a year ago while Aubrey Huff, Julio Lugo, and Jorge Cantu languished on the DL, the opposite is true about the six games they'll play against the Texas Rangers over the next two weeks. As of this afternoon, the Rangers had a half-game lead on the Yankees for the second-best record in the American League, they're sixth in the AL in runs scored, but just five runs behind the second place Yankees (the Indians lead by a bunch), and fifth in the AL in ERA with a 4.21.

It's that team ERA that is the big news here. The Rangers pitching has been awful for years, and the primary reason their crop of young hitters has been unable to take the team into the playoffs. In 2001 and 2003 the Rangers were dead last in the AL in team ERA and they were in the bottom three in 2002. In 2004 they lept into the top half of the league on the strength of a fluke season by their bullpen, which posted the third best pen ERA in the majors, but their starters still struggled, posting a 5.16 mark, leaving few leads to be protected. Last year, their pen crashed back to earth and the Rangers once again finished among the worst three teams in the majors in team ERA.

This year, the Rangers rotation features just one pitcher who was with the team last year, and he, 24-year-old Kameron Loe, pitched primarily in relief in 2005. Loe's 4.15 ERA stands as the worst of the five men currently in the Texas rotation. While big trade acquisition Adam Eaton languishes on the 60-day DL following surgery on the middle finger in his pitching hand (he's due back in August), Loe, late-March acquisition John Koronka (25) and veteran free agents and former Phillies Vincente Padilla and Kevin Millwood have combined to record 14 quality starts in 24 tries. Meanwhile, Robinson Tejeda, who is younger than Loe (having just turned 24), and a more recent Phillie than Padilla, and more recent acquisition than Koronka, held the Devil Rays to three hits over five innings in his first start of the year on Tuesday. Other spot starters and new acquisitions Rick Bauer and John Rheinecker have also turned in solid, if abbreviated starts, with only famiar face R.A. Dickey, since dropped from the 40-man roster, stinking up the joint.

Things have been only slightly less encouraging in the bullpen, where Francisco Cordero has lost the closer job he's held for the past several seasons, but Akinori Otsuka, who came over in the Eaton trade, has picked up the slack, posting a 1.98 ERA and a 0.95 WHIP in 13 2/3 innings. No one else has been quite that dominant, but only another member of last year's staff, lefty C.J. Wilson, has been truly bad.

Back on the other side of the ball, the few Rangers hitters who didn't get off to hot starts have heated up in past weeks including Brad Wilkerson, the key player in the Alfonso Soriano deal, and Kevin Mench, who--as the Yankee broadcasters are sure to tell you far too many times over the next three days--discovered his shoes were a size to small and has been hitting the cover off the ball ever since he fixed his footwear. Most notably, Mench fell one game shy of Don Mattingly's shared record for most consecutive games with a homer (the record is eight, shared with Griffey Jr. and Dale Long, Mench hit homers in seven straight).

The good news is that the Yankees have Mike Mussina on the mound tonight and Gary Sheffield back in the lineup to get things off on the right, properly outfitted foot. Moose's opponent will be Vincente Padilla, a borderline All-Star for the Phillies in 2002 who posted similar numbers in 2003 before a pair of disappointing and injury-shortened seasons in 2004 and 2006. Still just 28, Padilla looks to be reestablishing himself as a solid mid-rotation starter, having failed to record an out in the sixth inning just once in six starts, and lasting through five in that exception. Padilla had one dominant outing against the Mariners two turns ago (7 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 BB, 7 K), which was immediatley preceeded by that stinker in Oakland (5 IP, 8 H, 5 R, 4 HR). His other four starts have fallen in between those two extremes, though curiously he hasn't given up any other home runs in those four other starts.

Texas Rangers

2005 Record: 79-83 .488
2005 Pythagorean Record: 82-80 .506

Manager: Buck Showalter
General Manager: Jon Daniels

Home Ballpark (2005 Park Factors): Transarmitronick Ballpark dela Arlington (104/103)

Who's Replacing Whom?

  • Ian Kinsler replaces Alfonso Soriano (Kinsler is on the DL, Drew Meyer is up in his place with Mark DeRosa starting at second)
  • Brad Wilkerson replaces Richard Hidalgo
  • Phil Nevin takes over David Dellucci's playing time
  • Gerald Laird inherits Sandy Alomar Jr.'s playing time
  • D'Angelo Jimenez replaces Adrian Gonzalez
  • Adrian Brown replaces Laynce Nix
  • Kevin Millwood, Vincente Padilla, Robinson Tejeda and John Koronka replace Chris Young, Kenny Rogers, Chan Ho Park, Pedro Astacio, Ryan Drese, Ricardo Rodriguez, and Juan Dominguez with a little help from Kameron Loe
  • Akinori Otsuka replaces Francisco Cordero as closer and Doug Brocail on the roster
  • Antonio Alfonseca replaces John Wasdin
  • Rick Bauer replaces R.A. Dickey, Erasmo Ramirez and others

Current Roster

1B – Mark Teixeira (S)
2B – Mark DeRosa (R)
SS – Michael Young (R)
3B – Hank Blalock (L)
C – Rod Barajas (R)
RF – Kevin Mench (R)
CF – Gary Matthews Jr. (S)
LF – Brad Wilkerson (L)
DH – Phil Nevin (R)


R – Gerald Laird (C)
S – D'Angelo Jimenez (IF)
S – Adrian Brown (OF)
R – Drew Meyer (IF)


R – Kevin Millwood
R – Vincente Padilla
R – Kameron Loe
R – Robinson Tejeda
L – John Koronka


R – Akinori Otsuka
R – Francisco Cordero
R – Antonio Alfonseca
R – Joaquin Benoit
R – Rick Bauer
L – Ron Mahay
L – C.J. Wilson

15-day DL: R – Ian Kinsler (2B), R – Frank Francisco, L – Brian Shouse, L – Fabio Castro
60-day DL: R – Adam Eaton, R – Josh Rupe

Restricted List: R – Omar Beltre

Typical Lineup

S – Gary Matthews Jr. (CF)
R – Michael Young (SS)
S – Mark Teixeira (1B)
R – Phil Nevin (DH)
L – Hank Blalock (3B)
R – Kevin Mench (RF)
L – Brad Wilkerson (LF)
R – Rod Barajas (C)
R – Mark DeRosa (2B)

Comments (233)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-05-05 15:15:33
1.   rabid stan
Another interesting thing about Rangers' pitching so far is that they've done it playing only one more game on the road than at home in that sandbox of theirs. It's not like you could say that their team ERA has been depressed by playing an inordinate number of road games in better pitchers' parks.

I don't know their peripherals, but I doubt the rotation can keep it up. They would have to be truly loaded to remain where they are pitching in that park. And (big surprise) they've been pitching better on the road.

Go Yanks.

2006-05-05 16:06:41
2.   randym77
Looks like A-Rod's been moved back one spot in the lineup.

Johnny Damon CF
Derek Jeter SS
Gary Sheffield RF
Jason Giambi 1B
Alex Rodriguez 3B
Hideki Matsui LF
Jorge Posada C
Robinson Cano 2B
Bernie Williams DH

2006-05-05 16:42:16
3.   joejoejoe
Gary Matthews Jr. is having a career year to this point - .293/.364/.520 - 40 points higher than his career average and lots more pop. If he keeps that up the Rangers will score a bunch of runs and Matthews Jr. will make himself some nice change as a free agent in '07.
2006-05-05 16:55:27
4.   Cliff Corcoran
2, See, I knew Joe wouldn't be able to keep Giambi down that long. That Sheffield collision just might have fixed the batting order. With Matsui's swing back in working order, Sheff back in the lineup and Giambi hitting cleanup, the Yanks could score a lot of runs down in Arlington. Not that they haven't scored a lot of runs everywhere this year. They're averaging 6.19 runs per game thus far, which projects to 1003 runs over 162 games.
2006-05-05 17:05:24
5.   Cliff Corcoran
Hey look! Cinco de Mayo unis for "Los Rangers."
2006-05-05 17:05:29
6.   BklynBmr
'Los Rangers'?
2006-05-05 17:06:22
7.   David
If you don't mind a quibble, Detroit has the 2nd best record in the AL at 19-10. The Rangers have a half-game lead on the Yankees for the third-best record in the AL.

So, how did Detroit improve so much? Are they for real?

2006-05-05 17:07:39
8.   Cliff Corcoran
7 Oops. The Tigers can hit and have some good young pitchers. I picked them to finish third in the central ahead of the Twins. They'll fall back, but not by as much as most expect.
2006-05-05 17:10:19
9.   Cliff Corcoran
Kenny just said something I never though of. That veteran hitters will intentionally swing at a bad pitch with less than two strikes just to lure a pitcher into throwing it again.
2006-05-05 17:11:28
10.   Cliff Corcoran
Sheff has good numbers against Padilla, but he got fooled three times in that at-bat.
2006-05-05 17:14:35
11.   Cliff Corcoran
Kay just said Padilla is either great or terrible in his starts, but never average. Try checking the numbers sometime, Mikey. That's the exact opposite of what he's done this year.
2006-05-05 17:18:31
12.   Marcus
Clutch fielder's choice!
2006-05-05 17:20:46
13.   Cliff Corcoran
Wow, tough ball four call there, that dropped into the zone from my view, perhaps the call was that it curved around the zone and dropped in behind the plate.
2006-05-05 17:22:24
14.   Jeteupthemiddle
I think when it crossed the plate it was high. The catcher dramatically lowered his mitt at the end...makes me think it didn't cross at the plate...
2006-05-05 17:22:37
15.   jayd
Michael Kay reaches into the mind of Alex Rodriguez: "He is putting so much pressure on himself, he is practically choking himself." We are so blessed to have this kind of knowledge... See ya.
2006-05-05 17:23:52
16.   Cliff Corcoran
He's just not getting that curve called for a strike. Tough break for Padilla.
2006-05-05 17:25:26
17.   Jeteupthemiddle
I agree with Singleton that the catcher is the reason he isn't getting the call. If you have to move the glove so much to put it in the strike zone, why should the umpire think it was in the zone the whole time?
2006-05-05 17:25:34
18.   jayd
I love how Cano always has his head on the ball.
2006-05-05 17:25:51
19.   Cliff Corcoran
Rick Bauer warming.
2006-05-05 17:26:27
20.   Cliff Corcoran
Padilla is getting squeezed. If this strike zone is consistent it could be a long night for Moose as well.
2006-05-05 17:27:23
21.   tocho
that ump will be on Moose's nerves since the first pitch.
2006-05-05 17:27:31
22.   Cliff Corcoran
Los Rangers have to be pleased to get out of that with just two runs having scored.
2006-05-05 17:27:53
23.   Jeteupthemiddle
Padilla threw about a million pitches.

Well, 39 rounds up to a million.

2006-05-05 17:29:38
24.   jayd
Orioles up 3-2 against the sox
2006-05-05 17:31:44
25.   Jeteupthemiddle
That was a nice play.
2006-05-05 17:32:48
26.   yankz
Easy inning
2006-05-05 17:33:03
27.   jayd
There are not many 2nd basemen who would dare to make that play. That kid is so loose now.
2006-05-05 17:44:42
28.   hensley
So now has the Texas radio announcers on the Texas video feed. Huh? I understand that there's probably some deal between teams and MLB that to broadcast these games over the internet they have to use the Home t.v. broadcast, but I don't get this.
2006-05-05 17:44:50
29.   Jeteupthemiddle
Did Michael Kay just say "that is the biggest head in major league baseball, not counting broadcasters?" I need someone to confirm this for me.
2006-05-05 17:45:59
30.   BklynBmr is in rare form these days...
2006-05-05 17:47:18
31.   randym77
29 Yes, he did. Then he went into some story about how the guy's head was so big because his shoes were too tight.
2006-05-05 17:47:55
32.   jayd
whaddaya mean "it looked outside from here"; that ball to Mensch was breaking back toward the plate.
2006-05-05 17:55:08
33.   nyctarheel87
29. Yeah apparently he has a size 8 head, biggest in baseball
2006-05-05 17:56:45
34.   yankz
I hate leadoff triples.
2006-05-05 17:57:17
35.   Jeteupthemiddle
That was like a Bernie triple.
2006-05-05 17:59:21
36.   Marcus
Anyone care to describe the play on Wilkerson's triple? Did Damon leap for it and miss? Bang into the wall?
2006-05-05 18:00:14
37.   Jeteupthemiddle
He ran for it and couldn't get it...bobbled it a bit, Wilkerson ran on Damon's arm.
2006-05-05 18:01:53
38.   jayd
When you think of it, it takes a special kind of failure not to bring a run home from a leadoff triple. Like having the bases loaded with no out and only scoring a run. It felt good for a while but robs the spirit. Whoa! Looked like Sheff's glove ran into a ball out there.
2006-05-05 18:02:14
39.   tocho
I just realized what's wrong, the ump is missing his right eye. It must be difficult judging balls and strikes without that eye.
2006-05-05 18:03:44
40.   jayd
OK Matsui and Cano. I feel some scoring coming on...
2006-05-05 18:10:43
41.   jayd
Alright it wasn't pretty but I'll take it.
2006-05-05 18:14:42
42.   jayd
Now that was an ugly single, but I'll take that, too.
2006-05-05 18:15:13
43.   jayd
Finally, a pretty infield hit.
2006-05-05 18:15:54
44.   Jeteupthemiddle
I hate that David Ortiz.
2006-05-05 18:17:17
45.   BklynBmr
Jason's due for a slam...
2006-05-05 18:17:57
46.   rabid stan
44 He'll turn into Mo Vaughn soon enough
2006-05-05 18:20:37
47.   Jeteupthemiddle
Yay Arod.
2006-05-05 18:21:21
48.   jayd
I was going to say shame on you buck showalter for thinking Pedilla would do well against Arod. I don't care if the guy is in a slump, he slumps different from any player I've ever seen.
2006-05-05 18:23:23
49.   rabid stan
Way to give Moose run support
2006-05-05 18:23:58
50.   nyctarheel87
The Road to 1000 looks back on track
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-05-05 18:41:45
51.   monkeypants
Hmmm, Sterling and Waldman just discussed ho Rick Bauer grew up in SoCal and his idol was...Kevin Brown.

I have no comment.

2006-05-05 18:43:05
52.   rabid stan
51 Kevin Brown didn't always suck.
2006-05-05 18:48:55
53.   monkeypants
53 True. But: 1] The story reminded me how old I am (or how young some of these players are) when they "grew up" watching players who were just in the league; and 2] it was a twist of the knife, considering how worthless Brown was in NY.
2006-05-05 18:49:48
54.   monkeypants
Er, that was 52. Bad, bad editing night.
2006-05-05 18:51:00
55.   rabid stan
Man, this team always seems to get a bunch of PA's.

It's only the end of their half of the 5th, but the front three have already been up 4 times. That's what eight hits, 6 walks and an error will get ya.

2006-05-05 18:52:15
56.   rabid stan
53 Point taken. Sometimes Yankee fans understandably seem to think a players career starts when he comes to the Bronx.
2006-05-05 18:53:07
57.   jayd
We are witnessing another mooseterpiece. I'll shutup now...
2006-05-05 19:00:56
58.   rabid stan
O's lose. Pity.
2006-05-05 19:06:12
59.   Jeteupthemiddle
53 That's like when Michael Kay told Derek Jeter that BJ Upton grew up watching Jeter and wanting to be him. I'm sure Jeter all of a sudden felt old.

And on a side note, I think you are officially old when there is a major league player younger than you.

2006-05-05 19:11:17
60.   rabid stan
59 Jeez. A little harsh on the side note, don't ya think? Every year there's a 17 year-old Major Leaguer. Robbie's only 23.

Makes me think I've wasted my life or something.

Can't we agree that when you start having back problems for no reason, you're old?

2006-05-05 19:11:43
61.   monkeypants
And now Sterling just said that "Matsui makes it look easy" in the OF.
2006-05-05 19:13:27
62.   rabid stan
I'm trying to guess what "it" is over here.
2006-05-05 19:13:48
63.   monkeypants
60 How about, you're officially old once you are older than every MLB player? Thank God for Julio Franco!
2006-05-05 19:14:50
64.   rabid stan
63 I hope that man plays till he's 80, then.
2006-05-05 19:15:24
65.   Jeteupthemiddle
60 eh. I'm only 20. My perception's skewed. :P
2006-05-05 19:16:01
66.   rabid stan
Speaking of old timers, how about Moose out there?
2006-05-05 19:17:28
67.   randym77
Once upon a time, the nekkid ladies in Playboy were women. Now they are girls. NFL players were men, and now most of them are boys.

I don't know when it happened, but I think I'm old...

2006-05-05 19:17:44
68.   rsmith51
I think Bernie has looked better at the plate over the last few days. He doesn't look lost as much.
2006-05-05 19:26:09
69.   yankz
I love you Moose.

What's his pitch count at?

2006-05-05 19:26:40
70.   rabid stan
Low. 75 going into the inning
2006-05-05 19:26:44
71.   Cliff Corcoran
My dad once told me the weird thing is when all of the managers are your age. When you're a kid the players are men and the managers are old men.
2006-05-05 19:27:12
72.   Jeteupthemiddle
He's only at 85 now. He could probably pitch the entire game...
2006-05-05 19:28:24
73.   RichYF
Where's Geoffrey the Giraffe when I need him. At least I'm still in college you old men!
2006-05-05 19:30:23
74.   singledd
AVG .311 | HR 7 | RBI 16 | OBP .430 | SLG .566
Remember this Guy.
Nick Johnson.
(we got the wrong Johnson)
2006-05-05 19:31:37
75.   tocho
The ranger fans keep booing A-Rod. GET OVER IT!!!!!!!

68 Agreed, he's in a good strech now.

Moose has been a pleasure to watch this season. Masterful. I hope he gets a CG today.

2006-05-05 19:36:20
76.   Jeteupthemiddle
I disagree with pulling Mussina. I see no reason for it.

I guess they don't want to push him with such a lead?

2006-05-05 19:36:28
77.   Cliff Corcoran
Now I know why Moose looked so peeved at that hit, Torre musta told him he'd leave him in until the next guy got on.
2006-05-05 19:37:00
78.   rabid stan
Texas pitchers have thrown 164 through seven.
2006-05-05 19:37:21
79.   Cliff Corcoran
76 No harm in it. I'd like to get the complete game for my fantasy team, but in baseball terms, why not give Small some innings here in a low leverage situation?
2006-05-05 19:38:21
80.   Jeteupthemiddle
Yeah no harm, but I'd still like to see him get a complete game.

I would hate for Mussina's ERA to go up because of Small....

2006-05-05 19:38:25
81.   rabid stan
I don't understand that. Moose was cruising. Give him the eighth at least.
2006-05-05 19:38:34
82.   Cliff Corcoran
Bubba and Andy are in. The Yanks would have to have a huge rally (or give up the lead) for either to hit.
2006-05-05 19:41:12
83.   Cliff Corcoran
See, better we learn that Small's turned back into a pumpkin in garbage time than in another tie game against the Red Sox.
2006-05-05 19:41:55
84.   rsmith51
Where is Matt Smith when you need him? Small doesn't look too good.
2006-05-05 19:42:04
85.   Cliff Corcoran
Wait, Farnsworth is throwing in the pen? I'm gonna be sick. Use Sturtze, Proctor and Villone, freaking save Farnsworth for . . . grrrrrrr (#()@#&@#*&)
2006-05-05 19:42:55
86.   rabid stan
And how long do you think it will take Torre to realize this if indeed the magical ride of Aaron Small is over?

I'd say at least two seasons of 5+ ERA.

2006-05-05 19:44:07
87.   Jeteupthemiddle
And now Farnsworth coming in.

See...shoulda stuck with Mussina.

2006-05-05 19:44:30
88.   Cliff Corcoran
Wow, that's a whole lot of suck right there. But I think I just vomited blood due to Farnsworth being the guy he calls on.
2006-05-05 19:44:59
89.   rsmith51
Farnsworth??? Isn't that a little premature? Mariano can always put out a fire.
2006-05-05 19:45:42
90.   Jeteupthemiddle
I don't particularly have a problem with Farnsworth coming in...
2006-05-05 19:46:07
91.   rabid stan
Why don't they slap a fake mustache on Moose and put him back out there?
2006-05-05 19:46:43
92.   randym77
Yeek. Not a good night for Archie. He wasn't that bad the last time we saw him.
2006-05-05 19:47:09
93.   Cliff Corcoran
87 Using Farnsworth isn't the result of pulling Moose, it's the result of Torre being clueless when it comes to bullpen management. This is the hidden factor that leads to Steve Karsay Syndrome despite Jeff Weaver Syndrome.
2006-05-05 19:48:19
94.   Cliff Corcoran
That is, this is how Torre's top relievers get overworked despite not being used appropriately in high-leverage situations.
2006-05-05 19:48:40
95.   JeremyM
Why not bring in Mo for a 5-out save here?
2006-05-05 19:49:13
96.   rsmith51
Is it now a save situation?
2006-05-05 19:49:38
97.   randym77
I can't believe this. Mo is going to have to clean up the mess.
2006-05-05 19:49:51
98.   tocho
just get a stupid f------ DP and stop with the nonsense.

mariano is warming up

2006-05-05 19:49:54
99.   Cliff Corcoran
Having just read the Bronx Zoo, when Sparky Lyle was being used in junk innings despite winning the Cy Young the previous year as a stopper, this is the sort of crap that really pisses off end-game relievers.

And now they're warming up Mo. This is a freaking disaster, even if they win.

2006-05-05 19:50:33
100.   JeremyM
I was just kidding (it might be though, I'm a little foggy on save rules), but the sad thing is we might need him to really come in!
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2006-05-05 19:51:12
101.   rabid stan
I know it's terrible, but I can't stop giggling to myself.
2006-05-05 19:51:14
102.   Cliff Corcoran
Remember, folks, Farnsworth didn't pitch in that tie game against Boston, but he can be used now. Idiocy.
2006-05-05 19:51:50
103.   Jeteupthemiddle
I just don't think it is THAT much of a disaster...however, I maintain Mussina shoulda stayed in for the 8th...I'd rather Small start an inning.

But in this situation, I'd rather Farnsworth in than Small, Villone, or anyone else.

2006-05-05 19:52:17
104.   Cliff Corcoran
Hell, Farns, give up a homer here and then you and Mo can shut 'em down for a nice one-run victory.
2006-05-05 19:52:27
105.   rsmith51
102 How does that make any sense?
2006-05-05 19:53:28
106.   Cliff Corcoran
103 Up five runs? You just don't waste these guys in this situation. Like I said, even a grand slam would leave the Yankees with a lead. Let someone else get these outs and save Farns and Mo for when they're needed.
2006-05-05 19:54:47
107.   Jeteupthemiddle
yes, up 5 runs, but with the bases loaded. (however, I concede they weren't loaded when Farnsworth came in).

Now, if Farnsworth gets out of this without any damage, and he...or Rivera...come in to pitch the 9th, THEN i'll agree with you.

But right here, with this situation, I want Farnsworth on the mound.

2006-05-05 19:54:50
108.   monkeypants

Excellent observation. A recent article (in the NYTimes?) noted that the Yankees under Torre have consistently won more games than their Pythagorean expected win %. Now, one interpretation is that this is dumb luck; another is that Torre is a very good manager who 'steals' more wins.

But especially after last year, I wonder if it's not actually persistent BP mismanagement. That is, blow out games like this turn into closer-than-necessary games, and over time Torre panics and goes immediately to the one or two players he trusts. Then these guys get burned out.

In the meanwhile, the Yanks win a seemingly disproportionate number of "close games," thus skewing the Pythag. formula.

I have no data to back this up...just a (frustrated) hunch.

2006-05-05 19:54:51
109.   Cliff Corcoran
Farns's stuff is moving a lot, that's why all the balls, it's all starting in the zone and breaking or moving out of it.
2006-05-05 19:55:26
110.   rabid stan
105 It makes sense when you look at IP and not the situation. Torre knows Farns is under-used. He doesn't seem to know when Farns is necessary. So he ends up wasting him when Villone could do the job.
2006-05-05 19:55:37
111.   Cliff Corcoran
Here comes Mo. Disaster.
2006-05-05 19:55:46
112.   tocho
8-4, a HR ties it............
2006-05-05 19:56:12
113.   JeremyM
Cliff I agree, but Torre thinks Farnsworth is the equal of Sturtze and doesn't think he's a commodity over any of the other guys in the bullpen, he's just another one of the guys in the pen.
2006-05-05 19:56:28
114.   Jeteupthemiddle
108 I think the reason they consistently out perform their pythagorean percentage is because of Mariano Rivera. Nothing more, nothing less.
2006-05-05 19:57:10
115.   rsmith51
114 It certainly isn't because of Mr. Torre.
2006-05-05 19:57:54
116.   randym77
Cheez Whiz. A 7-run lead in the 8th, and we end up having to bring Mo in.
2006-05-05 19:57:58
117.   Mattpat11
Just got back from the Nats game. I miss anything important?
2006-05-05 19:58:05
118.   Cliff Corcoran
108 I wrote about the Yanks Pythagorean records in Baseball Prospectus's Mind Game, it is indeed a result of winning close and losing big. As it was a book on the Sox, however, I didn't have a chance to dig deeper.
2006-05-05 19:59:06
119.   Mattpat11
what in the bloody fucking hell is going on?
2006-05-05 19:59:17
120.   tocho
2006-05-05 19:59:23
121.   Cliff Corcoran
108 Well, that allows tghem to win close games, for sure.

117 Classic dunderheaded bullpen mismanagement by Torre exacerbated by poor pitching from a misused Farnsworth and Mo.

2006-05-05 20:00:23
122.   Rob Gee
Why was Moose pulled exactly?
2006-05-05 20:00:29
123.   tocho
this is why people die of heart attacks.
2006-05-05 20:00:43
124.   Jeteupthemiddle
If the bullpen loses the game for Mussina, I'm gonna scream.

And yes, I said bullpen...not Torre.

2006-05-05 20:00:46
125.   Mattpat11
Christ on a fucking cracker.
2006-05-05 20:01:18
126.   rabid stan
123 Moose was pulled because he gave up his third hit of the game.
2006-05-05 20:01:22
127.   Cliff Corcoran
Think about this. If you're Farns or Mo and Moose is cruising with a 7 run lead in the eighth, you're not even thinking about pitching today, right? So then Torre goes to you instead of Villone/Proctor after Small struggles and you're not going to be ready. This is what happens when you misuse your relief pitchers.
2006-05-05 20:01:34
128.   randym77
This is a nightmare.
2006-05-05 20:01:40
129.   monkeypants
114 Is this really true? Has Mariano, for all of his greatness, really save that many more games by % than other closers, at least during the regular season.

And in any case, the leads that Torre squanders occur before Mo time. In fact, your observation would fit my theory--Torre 'creates' close games through mismanagement of the BP, forcing unnecessary appearances by Mo. Meanwhile, in a tie game on the road, Sturtze (or whomever) is used, the game gets out of hand, and Mo is never used.

2006-05-05 20:01:41
130.   JeremyM
I agree, as bad as the managing is the bullpen still has to nail a 7-run lead down in the 8th.
2006-05-05 20:01:54
131.   rabid stan
Well, 122 then.
2006-05-05 20:02:01
132.   weeping for brunnhilde
125 Yup.
2006-05-05 20:02:20
133.   yankz
125 sounds about right. I want to cry.
2006-05-05 20:02:35
134.   Cliff Corcoran
124 Granted, Jete, if they lose, it's the pen's fault. I'm blaming Torre for the effect this sort of thing will have on the pen for the remainder of the series (and season), not for the performance of Small, Farns and Mo (despite 127)
2006-05-05 20:04:14
135.   Cliff Corcoran
Props to Jete for 76, whodathunkedit?
2006-05-05 20:04:17
136.   Mattpat11
134 The coach is starting to turn back into a pumpkin in regards to Small. I'd have him on a ridiculously short leash so we dont have Sturtze 2.
2006-05-05 20:04:52
137.   tocho
Well this is a close game on the road now. FarnsMo have already been used.
2006-05-05 20:05:59
138.   Cliff Corcoran
Hey, no biggie, still got the lead.


2006-05-05 20:06:00
139.   weeping for brunnhilde
I really just can't believe any of this.

Meanwhile, across town, Floyd hit a game-tying homer in the eleventh after the Mets tied it with four runs in the eigth.

It's official, the roles have been reversed. The Mets are winning games we used to win and we're losing they used to lose.

Sad to say, friends, but the Mets are the far more dynamic team while we're a collection of fading, uninspired superstars.


2006-05-05 20:06:51
140.   Mattpat11
127 Horseshit. They're allowed to pitch this ungodly poorly because they were caught off guard? They didn't think they'd be used, so when they are put in, we can't ask a decent outing out of them? Total bullshit.
2006-05-05 20:06:56
141.   Cliff Corcoran
139 Game-winning homer?
2006-05-05 20:07:02
142.   Rob Gee
I see Moose with 85 pitches and 3 hits and 1 ER in 7 full innnings - that's his f'in game to win or lose. He starts getting smacked around, or tops 100+ pitches, then you go to the pen.
2006-05-05 20:08:16
143.   Cliff Corcoran
140 Are you saying you disagree?
2006-05-05 20:08:44
144.   Jeteupthemiddle
135 I thunked it! I thunked it! ::wink::

That was an absurd inning. And I really don't think it any of it was torre's fault (well aside from the pulling of Mussina thing).

I still maintain, taht in that situation, we want Farnsworth to pitch.

When was the last time he pitched anyway?

And what he did today, will not effect him pitching tomorrow...although, Rivera might.

2006-05-05 20:08:47
145.   rabid stan
Well, that sucked. Pretty funny though.

Insurance runs!

2006-05-05 20:08:51
146.   weeping for brunnhilde
Oh, and btw, Hernandez is by far the best commentator; he just referred to his scorecard as resembling an "acid trip."

Can you imagine?


2006-05-05 20:09:36
147.   JeremyM
Pulling Mussina was not one of Torre's finer moments. Yes, he's had some arm troubles, but he was at 86 freaking pitches. Let Small work the 9th if need be but give Moose the 8th.
2006-05-05 20:09:39
148.   Knuckles
A little melodramatic don't you think?

I'm as pissed as anyone that Mo has to go and get a 1+ inning save tonight after Moose went 7 strong and left with a 7 run lead, but if you think the Mets are gonna play .700 ball all season against our 'only' .600, you got another thing coming...

2006-05-05 20:10:19
149.   rsmith51
Don't bunt!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
2006-05-05 20:10:47
150.   JeremyM
One of my biggest pet peeves is good hitters who have 2 or 3 balls on them and no strikes, and the manager still wants them to sac bunt.
Show/Hide Comments 151-200
2006-05-05 20:11:02
151.   weeping for brunnhilde
141 Sorry, Cliff, Mets are "across town" in Queens. The Braves had a solo shot in the top of the inning off Wagner that Floyd answered in the bottom.
2006-05-05 20:11:16
152.   Cliff Corcoran
I disagree with the bunt here. You bunt to get to Bernie?
2006-05-05 20:11:29
153.   Rob Gee
Fuck Tea if you're so interested in small ball PR Bubba and bring in Kelly.
2006-05-05 20:11:31
154.   rsmith51
Lead the league in sac bunts. Criminy?!?
2006-05-05 20:12:24
155.   weeping for brunnhilde
148 Of course it's melodramatic, it was a rant. Still, do you not see the parallel, for what it's worth?
2006-05-05 20:12:45
156.   Cliff Corcoran
151 Ah, so the game's still going then, I see. So the Yankees are goons for having a lead and the Mets are awesome for being tied in extras?
2006-05-05 20:13:04
157.   Cliff Corcoran
153 Bubba's already in the game for Damon.
2006-05-05 20:13:41
158.   Jeteupthemiddle
I think its important to note, that Bubba is currently our number 3 hitter and Phillips our number 4 hitter.

Here's to hoping the lineup gets to them.

2006-05-05 20:13:44
159.   tocho
all in all, mo threw just 10 pitches, and I would call them warmup pitches.

he should be ready to close the deal in the 9th. and give moose his well deserved W. Despite the brain farts in the 8th.

2006-05-05 20:13:49
160.   Mattpat11
143 Completely. That's nothing but a cop out for the pitchers and an easy way to blame Torre for yet ANOTHER thing. Mariano Rivera, the greaest reliever ever, can't be expected to pitch well in a four run game because the inning started with a seven run differential?


2006-05-05 20:14:01
161.   singledd
Hey Cliff,
Small and Farns gave up/set up 6 runs.
How can you blame Torre?
Maybe his decisions aren't the best, but shouldn't we all expect better then we got.


2006-05-05 20:15:16
162.   weeping for brunnhilde
It just breaks my heart watching Bernie go out this way. He looks like a broken man.

Just breaks my heart.

2006-05-05 20:15:32
163.   Cliff Corcoran
160 & 161 see 134
2006-05-05 20:17:04
164.   Cliff Corcoran
Kay: "If this games not good enough [pitch for tomorrow's game]"

This game isn't good at all!!! (well, not any more)

2006-05-05 20:17:17
165.   rsmith51
I'm with Cliff. I think you go with at least 2 relievers before you get to Farnsworth. He just stayed with Small too long, IMHO.
2006-05-05 20:18:37
166.   Cliff Corcoran
165 I don't even think he stayed with Small too long, he just went to Farns too early.
2006-05-05 20:19:01
167.   rabid stan
161 The disaster last inning is an extreme case of just the kind of thing the Yanks can expect as Torre's mismanagement continues.

Sure, the bullpen deserves any shillacking you could give them, but let's not forget where this began: Moose cruising at 86 pitches, having given up a stray single. Why swap him there?

This kind of thing blowing a seven run lead may not happen again this season, but it could kill any number of modest wins, tire out relievers unnecessarily, and cost us games down the stretch.

2006-05-05 20:19:03
168.   Jeteupthemiddle
ok, I can see you saying he stayed with Small for too long...before it got to that point, Villone or Proctor or someone should have come in.

But I still maintain that the situation Farnsworth came into is the situation I want him in. In other words, I don't want anyone else in during that spot.

2006-05-05 20:20:04
169.   Rob Gee
157 Yeah, missed that - in for Shef though.

And when will the Bernie as starter nonsense end (.619 OPS, 1 HR in 79 AB's)? How much longer? Please Lord make it stop. Make it STOP.

2006-05-05 20:20:09
170.   Rob Gee
157 Yeah, missed that - in for Shef though.

And when will the Bernie as starter nonsense end (.619 OPS, 1 HR in 79 AB's)? How much longer? Please Lord make it stop. Make it STOP.

2006-05-05 20:20:58
171.   Cliff Corcoran
169 Right, my bad.
2006-05-05 20:22:16
172.   Cliff Corcoran
Big hitters up, a homer wins it for Los Rangers.
2006-05-05 20:22:28
173.   rsmith51
170 If Andy and Bernie's PA were reversed, how many more runs would it be worth?
2006-05-05 20:22:31
174.   tocho
OK, so the ump has just decided that there will be no called strikes for rivera tonight.
2006-05-05 20:23:08
175.   BklynBmr
172 Are you trying Los Reverse Ranger Jinx?
2006-05-05 20:23:17
176.   tocho
2006-05-05 20:23:52
177.   Rob Gee
Hell I'll blame Torre. This WAS just one of those games you don't pull the starter. You just don't. Why? Moose was cruising. You give the other team a chance when you change things up - 7 run lead or 3 runs. There was no reason for it - he over-managed.
2006-05-05 20:23:53
178.   Cliff Corcoran
172 No, I'm just being a pesimist now.
2006-05-05 20:24:50
179.   Knuckles
I heard the Angels are suing the Rangers for using the word 'Los' on their jerseys tonight...
2006-05-05 20:25:26
180.   Rob Gee
173 Heck if Bubba and Bernie's PA's were reversed how many more runs would it be worth - offensively and defensively?
2006-05-05 20:25:32
181.   tocho
177 completely agreed.

I'm sure the guys in the bullpen were already drinking.

2006-05-05 20:25:35
182.   Cliff Corcoran
Know what's amazing? 8-7 game in Arlington and no homers.

Having written that, we'll see one now. Sorry.

2006-05-05 20:26:04
183.   BklynBmr
Wow! Great play, Cap!
2006-05-05 20:26:41
184.   rabid stan
179 I heard the Angels got the plastering that the Yanks should have put on the Ranger tonight.

Maybe the Yanks could sue them for the money they get from the Rangers.

2006-05-05 20:26:46
185.   Knuckles
2006-05-05 20:27:04
186.   Mattpat11
177 That I agree with.
2006-05-05 20:27:07
187.   Cliff Corcoran
Farns and Mo should beat the crap out of Torre now that the game's in the bag.
2006-05-05 20:27:21
188.   BklynBmr
182 Great observation, Cliff. But you were pushing it there ;-)

Yankees win!

2006-05-05 20:27:31
189.   Jeteupthemiddle
Ok. We win.

Ok, I would like to say, that I like looking at the Yankees ERA in the morning and watching it go down everyday...well at least when Mussina pitches.

This game kind of ruined that for me tomorrow. lol.

2006-05-05 20:27:32
190.   yankz
Last year, there was a game where the Yankees had a close lead against Los Rangers in the 9th. I knew, i just KNEW, that Mo would come in and strike out the side. Sure enough, he blew away Blalock, Teixeira, and Soriano. Sadly, I'm not that confident anymore.

As I write this, he ends the agony. Thank god.

2006-05-05 20:27:37
191.   randym77
Thank you, Jete. And thank you, Bubba.

Jeez. This almost turned into Stinko de Mayo.

2006-05-05 20:28:23
192.   tocho

that was toooooooo close.

on a side note, I didn't know the guy from American Pie played for the Rangers... (teixeira)

2006-05-05 20:28:35
193.   Jeteupthemiddle
187 No no, Farns and Rivera should beat the crap outta Small now that the game is in the bag. :-D
2006-05-05 20:28:46
194.   yankz
Wow, Small's ERA is at 16.88. Yikes.
2006-05-05 20:29:03
195.   Rob Gee
And it still feels like we lost. My god, schmuckin' Green Tea...
2006-05-05 20:29:16
196.   marc
ah, Joe had it all figured out. Give the bullpen a little work and spread it out, give moose a rest. Worked like a charm. Brilliant
2006-05-05 20:30:21
197.   Cliff Corcoran
Anyone else get some Wayne Franklin flashbacks when the Rangers start hitting the bullpen in Arlington?

2006-05-05 20:30:45
198.   yankaholic
What a shame. this is a disaster.. absolute disaster..
2006-05-05 20:31:11
199.   42YrOldRookie
Cpt Clutch's highlight reel got a little refresh tonight.

The meltdown was not fun, but on the bright side 1) starting pitching looked good and that's a larger concern than the bullpen 2) yanks demonstrate the will to win a close game

2006-05-05 20:31:35
200.   Cliff Corcoran
192 tocho, don't do that, you stretch out the screen and ruin the text wrapping on the entire thread.
Show/Hide Comments 201-250
2006-05-05 20:32:33
201.   Cliff Corcoran
199 1) Moose is not a concern, the other four guys are. 2) That wasn't a close game, they demonstrated the "will" to blow a blowout.
2006-05-05 20:33:35
202.   rabid stan
199 Yanks demonstrate the will to make a close game.

192 In the future, break that crap up.

Am I the only one who thought this game was hilarious?

Now for serious - Moose is officially back, right? I mean, he should be 7-0 and has given the team nothing but quality starts.

Welcome back, Mike. (is it weird to call him Mike?)

2006-05-05 20:33:59
203.   yankaholic
U rite cliff, i thought baseball toaster had changed the layout all of a sudden.. haha, well that was funny.. not the meltdown
2006-05-05 20:35:04
204.   randym77
Arrgggh. Is it possible to edit Tocho's post, and put a line break or two in? This is really unreadable now.
2006-05-05 20:35:54
205.   42YrOldRookie
Cliff, you're more right than me, but 6 spot looks like a fluke to me and not a fundamental issue. It's what I need in order to sleep well tonight..
2006-05-05 20:35:58
206.   nyctarheel87
wow what happened?! I went to watch the nba playoffs expecting this game in hand.
2006-05-05 20:36:39
207.   Rob Gee
200 I was wondering what did that? Any chance the Fairpole guy can set a character limit for lines?
2006-05-05 20:36:39
208.   singledd
They should have traded Small when he had some value in the off-season
2006-05-05 20:37:07
209.   marc
The nice thing is they never tied it so Moose gets his win. That would've been a tough no-decision to swallow
2006-05-05 20:37:49
210.   rabid stan
206 Oh, nothing.

They just turned a blowout into the worst Yankee Classic ever.

2006-05-05 20:37:59
211.   yankaholic
Talking abt bullpen mgmt, braves Cox has used 9 pitchers so far in that game..
2006-05-05 20:39:24
212.   Cliff Corcoran
211 Is that still going? I have to put that one on!
2006-05-05 20:39:50
213.   yankaholic
Yes 13 strong.. going to top 14
2006-05-05 20:40:38
214.   Cliff Corcoran
Wow, the Braves have used 22 players in this game!
2006-05-05 20:41:43
215.   Cliff Corcoran
Jorge Julio vs. Chipper? How does this not end right here?

Ah, single for Chipper.

Jorge Julio vs. Andruw? How does this not end right here?

2006-05-05 20:42:39
216.   yankaholic
Cliff, look slike u had a good coffee.. but Billy Wagner is Billy "Braden" looper now..
2006-05-05 20:43:00
217.   Cliff Corcoran
Two answers to my own question:

1) Julio walks Andruw

2) Braves are on the road

2006-05-05 20:43:38
218.   Cliff Corcoran
216 no, I'm just a night owl, my energy goes up around 10pm.
2006-05-05 20:45:36
219.   Cliff Corcoran
Weeping's praise of the Mets is even more puzzling knowing that they have Jorge Julio and Darren Oliver in their pen. I'll take Sturtze and Small over those guys.
2006-05-05 20:46:55
220.   nyctarheel87
I honestly think Moose lost more energy watching that 8th inning than if he woulda pitched the rest of the does a guy go through that without a heart attack?
2006-05-05 20:47:36
221.   Jeteupthemiddle
Mussina thinks to himself "see, this is why I never won 20 games!"
2006-05-05 20:51:08
222.   Cliff Corcoran
The Braves are using Sunday's starter (Sosa) having drained their bullpen. The Mets have one guy left in the pen: Oliver. I might have Reyes pitch before Oliver.
2006-05-05 20:51:52
223.   nyctarheel87
Mussina must be the best pitcher with the least luck ever. Never won 20 games, never got a cy young, never won a World Series, 1 out away from a perfect game at Fenway...
2006-05-05 20:54:49
224.   Jeteupthemiddle
4 of the Braves starters pitched less than an inning...
2006-05-05 20:56:47
225.   rabid stan
223 Yeah. The final indignity would be if he's not selected to the HOF if he never does any of those things.

You'll always be a winner to me, Moose.

2006-05-05 20:57:38
226.   JeremyM
To get rid of the bad spacing just click on "hide" for comments 150/200.

I really hope Mussina can keep this up and finally get that one season that proves he's a Hall-of-Famer.

2006-05-05 20:59:24
227.   Jeteupthemiddle
Mets won.
2006-05-05 20:59:54
228.   Cliff Corcoran
David Wright just won it with a two-out double in the 14th, thanks to a Carlos Beltran walk and heads-up advance on a close passed ball.
2006-05-05 21:01:46
229.   Cliff Corcoran
226 Ken fixed that long comment.
2006-05-05 21:01:53
230.   JeremyM
Boy, we were all on the same wavelength for Mussina. But the man has the worst luck ever, look at game 5 last year where he was nickel and dimed to death, and then the Bubba play.
2006-05-05 21:03:49
231.   rabid stan
Love his edit.
2006-05-05 21:41:17
232.   Yu-Hsing Chen
In all fairness I think we should just look at that 8th inning like the crazy 14 walks 6 hit QS from starter and a solid pen up to the 9th ..... (where we lost 2-4 in the tenth if you recall...) it's just one crazy inning with a lot of luck involved.

Granted Small didn't look good up there and nor did Farns and even Mo.. but aside from the walks and HBP that many singles all landing in the right places was just a bit of pure luck... any of them drifting a bit more towards the fielders and we were outta the inning without that much damage (remember the rocket Johnny Gomes hit right into Jeter yesterday?)

The bullpen decision wasn't bad this game.. it was just that they met with freakish results.

As for that bunt.. one could look at it two ways... having a .300 hitter at the plate who can't bunt properly with no outs and ur slowest runner on first and ur worest hitter on deck... bunting seems retarded.

Then again, Bernie followed with a GIDP that wouldn't have happened if Cano did bunt succesfully.

But in all honesty, if ur going to play small ball.. at least make sure ur players can lay down a bunt properly sheese... after seeing the first failed attempt Torre shoulda realized this guy doesn't have a clue on how to bunt.

2006-05-06 01:10:20
233.   C2Coke
Drama,drama,drama. How much more dramatic can they be compared to as of late? Soon, the Yankees will need to have a warning message at the beginning of each game: "Scenes may contain unsuitable materials for viewers with high blood pressure or with risks for heart attacks."

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