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Take The Over (And Be Glad It Is)
2006-05-09 21:07
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

Here's what I wrote in anticipation of last night's game:

Given their performances over the past few weeks, tonight's match-up of fireballers Randy Johnson and Josh Beckett could be the wildest game of them all. In his last three starts, Beckett has posted this combined line:

16 IP, 16 H, 18 R, 17 ER, 6 HR, 10 BB, 11 K, 9.56 ERA

Meanwhile, in three of his last four starts, Johnson has done this:

15 IP, 22 H, 18 R, 18 ER, 2 HR, 8 BB, 8 K, 10.80 ERA

That's ugly enough in and of itself, but consider that, despite all of those crooked numbers, the two have combined to go 2-2 in those six games thanks to their offenses, which have scored 15 runs for Beckett and a whopping 32 for Johnson in those three games. That would seem to place the over-under on total runs scored tonight somewhere around 15.

The Yanks and Red Sox combined for 17 runs last night. What I didn't expect was that the Red Sox scored 14 of them, posting a pair of touchdowns to the Yankees lone field goal.

Thing started encouragingly enough with Randy Johnson pitching around a pair of walks for a scoreless first and Jason Giambi depositing Josh Beckett's twenty-first pitch of the game in the right field box seats for a two-run home run to give the Yankees a 2-0 lead before Beckett had recorded a second out. Johnson followed that with a seven-pitch 1-2-3 inning and it seemed that if either pitcher was going to right his ship last night it was going to be the one wearing pinstripes.

Then it all fell apart. Beckett answered Johnson's 1-2-3 in the top of the second and Johnson fell apart in the bottom of the inning. Dustin Mohr led off the second with a single on a 2-0 count. Johnson then got ahead of ninth-place hitter Alex Gonzalez only to have Gonzalez battle back for a nine-pitch walk. Kevin Youkilis followed with a sinking liner to left that was only turned into an out because of a fantastic sliding catch by Hideki Matsui. Johnson then got Mark Loretta to ground out to Cano, who also made a nice play ranging to his left. That brought David Ortiz to the plate with two outs and runners on second and third.

On a 2-2 count, Ortiz lined a shot just to the left of Alex Rodriguez, who was playing in the shortstop hole because of the shift. Rodriguez smothered the ball, but it trickled behind him and by the time he got the ball to Giambi, Ortiz had crossed first and the other two runners had advanced, cutting the Yankee lead in half. Johnson's next pitch was high and away to Manny Ramirez, ticking off Jorge Posada's glove and hitting the backstop, allowing Gonzalez to score, tying the game. Ramirez then singled to left to plate Ortiz with the go-ahead run. Johnson then walked Jason Varitek before striking out Lowell to end the inning.

After another 1-2-3 inning by Beckett, Johnson picked up where he left off in the fourth. He recovered from a 3-0 start to strike out Wily Mo Pena, only to walk Mohr on eight pitches and surrender a single to Alex Gonzalez. Johnson then struck out Kevin Youkilis before firing another wild pitch past Posada with Loretta at the plate, allowing Mohr and Gonzalez to move up to second and third. Loretta then singled, scoring both men to make it 5-2, and Ortiz followed with a first-pitch double to drive Johnson from the game.

In total, Johnson lasted 3 2/3 innings, walked five, threw two wild pitches and just 53 percent of a whopping 92 pitches for strikes. Quite simply, he had nothing. He regularly missed Posada's glove not just by several inches but by a foot or two. After the game he had few answers, though he did admit that he was overthrowing. When Torre came out to relieve him in the fourth Johnson looked dazed. His body language was that of a puppy that had been beaten with a newspaper, though just one of the five hits he allowed went for extra bases.

Things would get worse.

Aaron Small came on with men on second and third and two outs and got ahead of Manny Ramirez 0-2 only to have Manny battle the count back full over eleven pitches. On Small's twelfth offering, Ramirez popped up behind second for what looked to be the third out only to have a strong wind blow the ball well out of Robinson Cano's range and directly to Melky Cabrera, who was called up earlier in the day and will be starting at right field while Gary Sheffield is on the 15-day DL. Cabrera, thinking Cano had the ball, came in a bit too far and the ball blew back over his head, tipping off the end of his glove as Loretta and Ortiz scored and Manny hustled (no really) into second base.

Small then struck out Jason Varitek to temporarily freeze the score at 7-2, but he would surrender a three-run home run to Gonzalez in the fifth and a solo homer to Ramirez to start the sixth to push the tally to 11-3 (the Yanks picked up a run on in the fifth when Melky Cabrera followed a Robinson Cano double with a two-out RBI single, though Beckett was otherwise untouchable, walking none and striking out seven, including three in that run-scoring fifth, in seven innings of work).

After two scoreless innings from Ron Villone, Tanyon Sturtze came in to put the finishing touch on both an awful night for the Yankees and on his slow descent into Joe Torre's doghouse allowing one-out singles by subs J.T. Snow and Willie Harris to come around to score, the latter on a resounding double by Mike Lowell, who also came around to score to put the final score at 14-3.

An interesting footnote to last night's game was Ron Villone's performance. Not that it was particularly strong. He threw just 53 percent of his pitches for strikes, walking two, hitting one and allowing two singles in his two innings of work, though one of the singles was a perfectly placed infield hit by the speedy Harris. More significantly, hidden in there was a four-pitch strike-out of David Ortiz by the lefty Villone. Also of interest is the fact that Villone hit Trot Nixon with one on and two out in the top of the eighth and then in the bottom half of the inning Keith Foulke plunked Bubba Crosby, who was the second batter he faced.

Comments (75)
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2006-05-09 23:35:34
1.   Yu-Hsing Chen
Why plunk Bubba though ;) he's about the least likely guy to charge and start a fight and one of the weakest bats in the order heh.

ok seriously, the only REALLY bad thing was RJ completely sucking....

Beckett was good but untouchable? he gave up 6 hits... one was a homerun and one was a double... if it weren't for the horriablly demoralizing performace of RJ.. I highly doubted he got away with only 3 ER...

The good news is Sturtze continues to make a strong case for the FO to cement him and throw him into the harbor... that and if any of the 3 miracle man from last season was going to bust... it was best for the Yankees that it was Small.. and not Wang or Chacon. whom have both been from solid to good for the Yankees so far. still.. I find it more likely for Small to be more servicable than Sturtze comparing the array of pitches they use...

Let's just forget about this one except noting RJ needs attention and then hope this version of Moose shows up for the next one.
http://photos1.blogger.com/blogger/6783/2085/1600/moose.0.jpg

2006-05-10 03:52:09
2.   randym77
"Why plunk Bubba though"

Well, he was substituting for Damon. ;-)

"Dazed" and "like a puppy that's just been kicked" was what I was thinking about RJ, too. Even after the game, he just looked lost and confused. No hint of the old fire at all.

2006-05-10 03:54:53
3.   Shaun P
I think its safe to say that Aaron Small has officially turned back into a pumpkin. Thanks for the memories, dude, but 2005 is so last year.

I'm glad Villone finally got to pitch - only his second appearance in the last 10 days. I'm also glad that I didn't watch this game.

BTW Cliff, Villone grew up a Yank fan in the 70s, I believe, which might give some insight into why Trot got one.

2006-05-10 03:57:07
4.   Dimelo
Thoughts and questions I had yesterday while watching the game.

Bernie looked awful in his at-bats. Is there a secret someone would like to come forward with about Bernie? By that I mean a secret like Vito's from The Sopranos. That way Bernie can just walk away to live his life away from baseball, and we would all be happy. We would be left with the good memories and not the way it all ended.

When will the ARod experiment end for the Yankees? I think it's time ARod demands a trade. Love him or hate him, he always finds himself in the center of it all. "Poor" guy.

Randy Johnson is the ugliest SOB on planet earth. If Norv Turner and Manuel Noriega were to ever procreate - a miracle in an of itself - that would be the only mix that can produce such an ugly mofo.

When Melky made the error I felt bad for him. When ARod made the error it was as if I almost expected him to. Go figure.

I love watcing Giambi play.

Sturtze has only one or two more weeks. I think Colter Bean will be called up soon.

Does anyone else get the impression that Sheff's pain has more to do with the Yankees not picking up his option than the pain in his wrist?

I hate Beckett more than yesterday.

Cano had some good range to his left.

V-Tek sure looks thin....hmmmmm?!?!

Lastly, go Yankees. Let's win tonight and you'll make me forget about yesterday. I'm a simple man and I don't ask for much.

2006-05-10 04:11:53
5.   debris
Cliff,

Couple of corrections. Somewhere around the third paragraph, you seem to switch the game to Fenway. Mohr did not lead off the bottom of the second, but the top of the third.

Also, Ortiz ground ball to Rodriguez. The Yank infield was playing only a few step toward right. Jeter was to the left of second. A-rod was barely one step right of his normal positioning. Had he been overshifted, that particular ball would have gone untouched into left field, thus sparing A-Rod the Boss' wrath. Perhaps.

2006-05-10 04:17:00
6.   mikeplugh
I hate losing. I hate losing to the Red Sox. I hate losing to the Red Sox by 11 runs.

I can deal with the occasional loss. I can deal with the occasional loss to the Red Sox. I CAN'T EVER deal with losing to the Red Sox by 11 runs (at home).

It just shouldn't happen. 5-0 is understandable. The Sox pitched a gem. 7-2 is understandable. Our guy stunk it up. 14-3 is inexcusable...an entire staff of pitchers crapped their pants, and humilated the franchise in front of the home crowd.

We may lose Game 2. We may lose Game 2 by several runs. With Moose on the mound, I can't see it getting worse than 6-3 or so.

I think we're going to win a squeaker though. Early prediction. Yankees 5, Red Sox 3.

2006-05-10 04:17:16
7.   debris
DiMelo,

Randy Johnson is not the ugliest man alive. Don Mossi still lives and, at age 77, probably looks better than he did in 1963.

Re; Sheffield. Bingo. Sheffield has already gone on record that he's not playing hurt as he did in 2004. This is his free agent year and he is not planning to "jeopardize his future."

2006-05-10 04:27:18
8.   Dimelo
Debris, thanks. I feel better now that a Saux fan is up early to answer all of my questions. These must be your favorite days, get up, go to Bronx Banter, drink coffee while I give these a-holes crap about their team. NICE!!!!

6 My feelings exactly.

2006-05-10 04:31:07
9.   murphy
i had the - ahem - pleasure of this being the first game i have gone to this year. ugh. here are some thoughts:

- the stadium was MEAN last night. i have never seen so many police situations. i think that once the game got out of hand, people got bored and started entertaining themselves. my favorite "fans acting up" moment came when two different guys took their matsui jerseys or tshirts off and three them over the ledge in disgust after he botched that play.

- right before giambi's homerun, the ump called strike two (about two seconds after the pitch) after giambi had just about turned and started trotting to first on what he thought was ball four. everyone in my sectio n predicted what would happen on the next pitch.

- the fans didn't seem to boo as much as moan after melky flubbed that first pop out. with all the confusion around the ball, he deserved a little leeway. when he DID make the next catch, i hear what was perhaps the most sarcastic round of applause EVER.

- torre shouldn't have even let johnson come in the fourth. he had already walked four guys and three over 70 pitches through three, but i guess his BIIIIG strikeout (note sarcasm)to end the top of the third was enough to hav torre give him another shout out there.

- it was almost humorous to watch the game unfold in the 8th and 9th. with the way guys didn't go after ball within range and the way they stood around with the ball not knowing WHERE to throw it to, i honestly felt like i was watching little league... or the royals.

- bernie getting tossed? i never thought i'd see that. he needs to retire. today.

- villone's plunk: unintentional. foulke's: intentional. the LEAST sturtze could have done (since he used to be our "fighter") was plunk somebody to shake up the game and maybe regain some stature in the eyes of his teammates. but no. torre took the moral high ground instead of giving alex f'ing gonzalez (who entered the game hitting .207) what he had coming to him.

- many boston fans hit an all time low by starting up a "let's go red sox" chant in the top of the 7th.

- it was freakin COLD in the upper tier!

- it was friggin cold in the uppper tier.

2006-05-10 04:54:25
10.   rbj
Well that sucked.
If it's not raining, I'm going to watch the Mudhens tonight.
2006-05-10 05:26:27
11.   Fred Vincy
I've been a pretty big Sheffield defender, but if he thinks he's helping his contract situation by going on the market as a 39 year old who just lost a ton of time to injuries ... well, let's just say maybe he should get an agent this time. Maybe he should be reminded of what Frank Thomas had to take....
2006-05-10 05:33:01
12.   BobbyBaseBall
4 "I hate Beckett more than yesterday."

But not as much as...the one pitching today.

2006-05-10 05:36:48
13.   Simone
After reading all the articles about RJ this morning, I am confident that he will be okay as the season goes along. He has just lost his confidence as he has gotten older and now he is on one of the biggest stages in baseball.
2006-05-10 05:37:48
14.   jayd
I was feeling down this morning until I noticed that the Orioles and the Royals won, too. Perspective, Will Robinson, perspective.

A major difference here being that Oriole and Royals' fans aren't strutting around like peacocks talking about "statement" games. Nitwits.

2006-05-10 05:38:26
15.   bp1
13 Amen, brother. The best way to wash out the bad taste of last night's game is with an old fashion pasting of Schilling and a sparkling gem from Moose.

I have nothing else to say.

BP

2006-05-10 05:50:49
16.   jedi
In regards to Small,

He has never been good out of relief dating back from last year. He has better poise and control when he starts a game from the beginning. I think we are jumping on this guy too much, because we are expecting lights out pitching from him in relief. It's just not his thing. IMO, insert Small in the 5th spot of the rotation and you will see a difference in his performance.

2006-05-10 05:52:06
17.   Knuckles
I watched until they got down 7-2, then thankfully I had my own softball game to go to, where I could take out my frustrations on the ball rather than my television.

Back at 'em tonight.

I can think of nothing better than 55,000 people from NY telling Schilling to shut the F up.

2006-05-10 05:58:59
18.   tommyl
Randy's mechanics must be out of whack. The majority of his sliders last night looked very flat, aside from the 1-2-3 inning. You could see it even in the first, which was why he was so careful to Ortiz. If his slider isn't diving, it doesn't set up his fastball and he gets scared to challenge in the strike zone.
2006-05-10 05:59:20
19.   Count Zero
All I can say is I'm glad I turned it off at 7-3. RJ afraid to throw strikes to the 8 and 9 hitters was more than I could bear to watch. That was like watching Jeff Nelson squared. Much as I hate to say it -- I wasn't particularly fond of Jorge's pitch selection either. Maybe there is something to this personal catcher thing...

1 Sturtze really does need to be released. NOW.

3 Pumpkin...exactly. Let's pray that Pavano comes back as this year's Cinderella. Let's hope Dotel can become Dotel again.

11 Personally, I hope Melky keeps getting shots in right for a couple of weeks...I don't want Sheffield re-signed. The fact that he still can't raise his arms over his head to make a catch, tells me that his shoulders are never going to get any better...just worse.

2006-05-10 06:08:00
20.   yankee23
My prediction:

After that whole Delmon Young situation, Bernie might be handed a couple-of-games suspension for that helmet toss in the direction of the umpire.

And, of course, Yankees win tonight. If only by a slight margin.

2006-05-10 06:10:44
21.   debris
Dimelo,

Note how carefully I avoided gloating, though certainly reading this thread this morning was almost as much fun as watching the game itself. For some reason, many of the posters on this board treat every loss as if it were the end of the world. Last night was only the end of the world for two people, Sturtze and Small.

As far as the Unit is concerned, I don't believe anyone can lose it this quickly. I don't believe that he is healthy. Either the back or the knees are giving him serious problems.

As good as Beckett was, my son, a Freshman JV pitcher, was better. Two innings, 17 pitches, 15 strikes, mostly at the knees or knee buckling yakkers. Four ground balls, 2 punchados.

2006-05-10 06:17:24
22.   Shaun P
9 20 BERNIE got tossed? WOW. The Yanks were peeved, huh?

16 I hate to say it jedi, but I think even if Small went into the rotation, he's still turned back into a pumpkin. Let him go back to AAA and work on his stuff, fine, but get him out of the 'pen now and bring back Smith - or give Bean a chance.

19 That's why I'm glad Sheff is resting now and not playing through this injury. Maybe come September he won't be in pieces this year. I think Sheff would make a fine DH for next year, but I wouldn't commit to him beyond '07. And especially not as a RF.

2006-05-10 06:19:53
23.   Shaun P
21 Props to your son, debris - where does he pitch?

And let me be the first to say, everyone here hopes it is the end of Sturtze and Small, but we've heard that song before. That's what drives us nuts, more than anything else.

2006-05-10 06:24:19
24.   Knuckles
21
"certainly reading this thread this morning was almost as much fun as watching the game itself"

This is my number one problem with Sox fans. 86 years of suckitude has conditioned them to get off on misery, so when they don't have any of their own to wallow in, they go find other people's and gawk at it.

2006-05-10 06:26:31
25.   Rob Gee
21 Looky here - debris with the most sober assessment of the evening!

Small and Sturtze are offically cooked and ready to eat with the forks sticking out of each of them. Small probably does need to start - it just won't be for this team.

Can your son pitch middle relief? We might have a 1mil signing bonus for him.

BTW: A-Rod ain't going anywhere - The reigning MVP will either learn to perform when it counts or go down as the most curious case of 'clutch' syndrome. But him and Jeter will man that side of the infield till the end of their careers.

2006-05-10 06:32:35
26.   wsporter
22 23 MFD, Small looks like he's still in spring training. I wonder what the rush was to bring him in. He looks like he could use a solid 2 weeks or more in Tampa in EST to get the snap back on his breaking ball. I'd offer Sturtze an opportunity to keep him company. Smith and Beane look like a smile to me.

I like Sheff in an expanded GOB role next year, but not at $1 billion or what ever the option calls for. He won't get that money elsewhere.

I agree with yankee23 that GOB gets some required League pine-time for tossing off in the blind umpire's direction. It was great to see a little passion from the laconic one.

Bad game last night, get 'em tonight though.

2006-05-10 06:33:42
27.   Sliced Bread
Last night, if the Yanks were David Blaine, their personal aquariums would have been filled with a diluted flesh-eating acid. They would have died slowly, and painfully, disappearing before our eyes into the clouded solution.

How humiliating did it get? Was the team forced into forming a naked human pyramid after good ol' Bernie went Uncle Junior pazzo and got himself ejected? That's when I turned it off, deciding it would be more relaxing to remove my teeth with my "talking" Yankees bottle opener, you know, the one with John Sterling's repeatedly understated home run call?

The Big Pup, The Old Unit, Rocking Chair Randy, whatever we're supposed to call whatever's left of Johnson, his performance was just, just, just a frickin' Nick Lachey record -- spectacularly bad, but mercifully less than 3 minutes long.

But before we go bashing A-Clod, or crying over spilled Melky, or again revising the definition of how bad Sturtze is, let's try to help the real victims of last night's red tide tsunami in the Bronx. The real victims were not the Yankees themselves, nor their fans at the Stadium who had to endure this torture in person. No, the real victims are our NY Yankees loving brethren who live in New England.

Deploy the National Guard into Red Sox Nation immediately, as several hundred thousand Yankee fans are desperately waiting, silently screaming to be airlifted out of there.

14-3. The levees have been breached, and the floodwaters of Red Sox ridicule are rising. God help the Yankee fans of New England today. Only a dose of magic Moose mojo or a Schilling shelling can save these unfortunate souls.

Ehh, just one game, right?

2006-05-10 06:35:49
28.   KJC
25 // But him and Jeter will man that side of the infield till the end of their careers. //

Interesting comment, and I believe it (I can't picture Jeter anywhere else). But is that the best for the team in the long run? As Jeter ages, will he "overstay" and end up being like having a Bernie at SS? (If A-Rod stays, too, that would prevent Jeter from moving to 3rd, like Ripkin did.)

Also, did anyone else notice the "Boston sucks" chant early in last night's game? I'm a hater of the "Yankees suck" chant and was surprised that this was the "19-18" replacement.

2006-05-10 06:38:36
29.   debris
One game.

The lad, an Oakland A's fan, pitches for Burlington (VT) High School. He'll be missing this Saturday's game as we head for the Bronx to watch his heroes in action. Either that or sit out a pair of rainouts.

2006-05-10 06:40:54
30.   Felix Heredia
Everyone's just a little too exercised over Small. The guy didn't get a normal spring training and has never been good out of the bullpen. He enters the game with two on and Manny Ramirez at the plate and gets him out, except for a two-run error.

He's rusty, but I'm not prepared to ship out someone who went 10-0 because he had a few bad relief appearances after coming back from a hamstring injury.

2006-05-10 06:45:29
31.   wsporter
30 It's not a case of shipping Small out. Rather, it's sending him down to EST to get the work he needs to come back and be the successful pitcher he can be. I hope no one wants to jettison the guy, he's capable and a great story; the kind of story we don't have enough of.
2006-05-10 06:54:08
32.   Rob Gee
28 No, of course it's not what's best for the team. But neither was moving A-Rod to 3rd. Still, can you see Jeter playing another position, even managing to play another position? Maybe 2B or LF, but I just can't see that, unless he really ages badly. He's certainly not going to ever play for another team.

And A-Rod is going to continue to put up huge numbers (yeah, I know, but not in the 'clutch') for the next eight to ten years. But there's no reason to ever move him. He plays great baseball, he's great pr, and he puts peeps in the seats.

The thing with A-Rod though is he just needs one huge post-season. One Serious and he goes into the HOF as a Yankee - no question in my mind. With all the chances he'll get (unless the pitching goes Candelaria/Hawkins Part 2), is there any doubt it's only a matter of when?

2006-05-10 06:54:18
33.   mikeplugh
I wrote a little addendum to my game commentary over at Canyon of Heroes. Seems Torre is still seeing things through rose colored glasses when it comes to Tanyon Sturtze. Check it out.....

www.canyonofheroes.blogspot.com

2006-05-10 06:57:04
34.   Shaun P
30 Sure, Small was hurt by the defense last night. But c'mon - he's not the first person to miss 'normal spring training'. I don't think that has anything to do with it.

What he did last year was almost certainly a fluke. A Carl-Pavano-in-2004-type fluke - one season with great numbers way out of line with the rest of his career. I loved watching him succeed, and it was a great story, but its time to move on.

Let Small work out the rust in AAA. If he can show that he still can get batters out, then bring him back. In the meantime, Smith and Bean are pitching lights out in AAA and deserve a chance to be in the bigs over Small. And Sturtze, but I think that particular horse is due to be buried.

2006-05-10 06:57:53
35.   Alex Belth
I was impressed with Beckett last night. Sure, getting some runs put him in a good spot, after throwing 29 pitches in the first inning, but his fastball was really moving, wasn't it? I know I've been riffing about how easy it'll be to disklike him because he's animated and because he's a red ass, but watching him last night, I have to admit I didn't feel as hostile towards him as I expect to. Go figure.

Really tough game for Yankee fans but man, I'm just not as worked up as a lot of people seem to be. It was just one game. Yes, RJ was awful, and Alex Rodriguez had a poor game offensively and in the field. Then it became an embarassment with Melky and Bernie and Taynon, etc. (And yo, did anyone think that Bernie stood a chance against Beckett on a night when Beckett's fastball is moving like that?) But it's not the end of the world or the end of the team.

Rodriguez had a fine weekend in Texas and looked shook last night. In the Daily News today, John Harper--normally a columnist I like just fine--wondered if Rodriguez will ever do anything against the Sox, forgetting about his 9th inning dinger against Schilling last summer.

I realize that everything is magnified when it is the Sox, and I get as knuts as the next guy, but some times you just take one on the chin. Let's have a little faith here. Today is another day.

Let's Go Yan-kees.

2006-05-10 06:58:44
36.   Rob Gee
9 Oh and murphy - I'm really, really sorry. I would write George and ask for my money back.
2006-05-10 06:59:20
37.   Shaun P
32 Rob, I take it that you mean A-Rod needs to have a huge postseason where the Yanks win it all as well. Because his numbers in the postseason are already better than god-of-clutch-Derek Jeter's, as I believe nomaas recently pointed out.
2006-05-10 07:14:34
38.   murphy
thanks for sympathy RG. ; ) i was gonna call the boss and ask for a refund, but i was afraid he might think i'm DALE murphy and offer me the RF while sheff is on the DL. seriously, folks: ANY night at yankee stadium is better than a night @ home listening to the game.

i am no expert as per mechanics and stuff, but Unit did something funny during his warmups for the first or second inning. on his fifth or sixth pitch, he started his delivery, and, about halfway through, he stoppped, shook his head, and started over. hmmm...

arod will be fine. groundout with a man on, 2 outs, will just add more fuel to the "choke" fire, but we all know better.

go moose!

2006-05-10 07:18:15
39.   vockins
It's May, ladies and gentlemen.

If the World Series was always this month, the Red Sox would be 26 times World Champion. Don't get yer undies in a bunch. Consider it the final sorting of the wheat from the chaff. Of course, many of you knew some of the team was chaff all along, and those same people (including myself) would have also sent Scott Proctor packing on April 10th.

Let the Sox have a healthy serving of Moose today.

2006-05-10 07:20:00
40.   Dimelo
Alex, great post....
2006-05-10 07:21:15
41.   Rob Gee
37 Sorry, that's exactly what I meant. A post-season where he obviously leads the team - puts them on his back - slugs the way to a Serious title.

As for Small, I agree that if he's worth anything it's a starter. Unfortunately for him, we don't have a need for that right now. A stint in Columbus is probably right.

Can't feel too bad for him though. Last year meant 1 cool mil for him. Sturtze is getting 1.5 mil. Even if they suck big time, they're still millionaires.

2006-05-10 07:24:23
42.   wsporter
41 Rob, don't forget about Uncle, it aint a million after taxes. I'd like to see Small earn big contract. Good for him good and for us.
2006-05-10 07:27:57
43.   rbj
35
Well put Alex.
2006-05-10 07:28:47
44.   debris
When are the Yankees, their fans, and Joe Torre, in particular, going to get past their fascination with Tanyon Sturtze. He isn't a good pitcher, has never been a good pitcher, and will never be a good pitcher.

The Yankees picked him up a the beginning of 2004, he had about three good weeks, and the fascination continues, in some quarters, to this day. After those three good weeks, he reverted to form and wound up with a 5.47 ERA for the season. Last year, his second best in the big leagues, he had a fairly miserable 4.73 ERA. And so far this year, oh my god...

2006-05-10 07:43:28
45.   kylepetterson
.....and everyone says "Where are Dotel and Pavano going to fit in this rotation/bullpen?"

There has been some resounding answers coming off of the diamond over the last couple weeks......

2006-05-10 07:43:58
46.   Sliced Bread
Now that I got 27 off my chest...

Of course in the big picture of the season last night's NY-Boston score was as significant as:

Orioles 7, Tigers not enough
Twins 15, Rangers about a third that amount
Cardinals 4, Rockies half as much
etc, etc.

Cliff's headline expresses the appropriate stoicism perfectly: be glad last night is over.

2006-05-10 07:51:20
47.   Rob Gee
44 And after all those good, and endearing, posts you have go and ruin things by trying to incite us.

I've never heard Tanyon cheered coming into or leaving any game. I don't think you can say the fans are fond of him.

I've also never heard the GM or Big Stein ever praise Mr. Sturtze.

That leaves one person - albeit one with tremendous pull over who plays. So yeah, Torre likes Sturtze. But Torre's also a HOF'er with four rings from managing this club.

Tell us something we don't know or climb back into the hole you and Schilling crawled out of.

Lessgo Yannkk-eeess!

2006-05-10 07:53:22
48.   Alex Belth
debris,
I can't speak for Torre or the Yankees obviously, but I think a majority of Yankee fans who read BB had enough to T. Sturtze a long time ago. We can only hope a healthy Dotel spells the end for T. Sturtze. I think that's probably wishful thinking, but hope springs eternal, don't it?
2006-05-10 08:01:44
49.   Dimelo
I hope Bean gets called up and Sturtze gets released. Look at his numbers:
http://tinyurl.com/lk2kr

Bean needs to cut-down on his walks though.

2006-05-10 08:02:50
50.   wsporter
47 Trashie just yaps. If you ignore it, it'll go away.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-05-10 08:18:17
51.   Rob Gee
If you'd like, you can listen to a webcast of Hughes pitch today at 12pm:

http://www.nj.com/thunder/

2006-05-10 08:21:41
52.   baitshax
I look at last night like this:
WIthout those errors, RJ gets out of the inning with minimal damage. With this Yankee team my biggest problem is that when they get seriously behind, they lose it. There was a time when no matter how bad it got, you knew they would at least make a game of it... but that of course was a few versions back from this current team. They get out of that inning and they make a game of it because it's still within reach. RJ let those erros get to him, and it showed with his performance. I'll be at the stadium tonight and am hopiing for the gem I've been dreaming about.
2006-05-10 08:23:49
53.   JCP22
How come Villone can throw an up and middle-in fastball to Ortiz (making him look silly) and 6'10" Unit can't? Where is this guy's fire? If you miss and he cranks one, so be it. Be aggressive. Beckett was dealing, I like the look of him. Pavano better have something when he comes back or Yanks are in for some tough times heads up versus Sox.
2006-05-10 08:26:23
54.   bloodyank78
35 Good post Alex, it made me feel better. Here's a little perspective for everyone today. Yanks record after 30 games 2005: 11-19. Yanks record after 30 games 2006: 18-12. There's no need to worry boys! GO GET 'EM MOOSE!!!!!
2006-05-10 08:38:54
55.   Alex Belth
One thing I was wondering...as evenly matched as the Yanks and Sox have been over the past few years it seems as if the Sox have blown the Yanks out a lot more than the other way around. If anyone has the time and is enterprising enough, I sure would be curious to know how many lopsided wins the Sox have enjoyed over the Yanks and vice versa over the past two, three years.
2006-05-10 08:53:24
56.   Knuckles
Alex,
I know exactly how you feel. Me and my buddy from home were talking on Monday about the evenly distributed outcome over the past few eyars, but it's not fun anymore because when the Yanks win, it's a typical ballgame, but when the Sox win, it's a blowout/ late inning collapse/ comedy of errors, etc. Could be it's the frustrating things we remember more, but these regular season series against Boston are less fun to watch than many other games.
2006-05-10 08:54:16
57.   dpmurphy
"murphy:villone's plunk: unintentional. foulke's: intentional"

Oh whatever. You might as well be telling me how to time travel. You have no idea if it was intentional or not, no matter that you were at the stadium (with a much worse view than I had at home). Foulke isn't one to hit batters, and he was laughing at the warning. He's trying to get back to his old self. He wasn't throwing at anyone. Baseball needs to relax. It's gotten to the point that if one hitter is hit, you better not come inside in the next few innings or you'll get tossed because it has to be intentional. And fans who make such ignorant statements are part of the problem. Take of your fan goggles for once.

"Knuckles:This is my number one problem with Sox fans. 86 years of suckitude has conditioned them to get off on misery, so when they don't have any of their own to wallow in, they go find other people's and gawk at it."

Yankee fans do the same thing. How many times have I read on this board after a yankee loss "at least the red sux lost". And is the irony lost on you that you seem to take glee in our "suckitude"? Pot, meet kettle.

"It was great to see a little passion from the laconic one."

Has it really come to the point that we equate throwing equipment at the ump as passion? How unfortunate.

"And A-Rod...He plays great baseball, he's great pr, and he puts peeps in the seats."

Arods a great player. But puts people in seats? Do people actually come to see arod? I doubt it. He's godawful boring.

2006-05-10 08:57:40
58.   Dimelo
Alex, I think you're right. The Sawx have blown out the Yanks more.

Check this out, this could make you forget about last night's game.
http://tinyurl.com/qkf6n

2006-05-10 08:58:06
59.   Knuckles
I (and most Yankee fans I know) are glad when the Sox lose because it helps the Yanks keep pace in the standings. I don't know any NY'ers who feel the need to go trolling Boston area message boards after a Sox loss to feel better about themselves.
2006-05-10 09:04:22
60.   wsporter
55 Alex, a quick survey gets me 16 - 11 (SAWX) in games decided by 5 or more runs from 2001 through last night. When we get killed by those guys we get good and killed (17 -1 etc.) We seem to come back on em the next night pretty well though.
2006-05-10 09:08:57
61.   Dimelo
Dave Pinto has some great insight on Randy's problems.
http://www.baseballmusings.com/archives/014653.php
2006-05-10 09:19:56
62.   Rob Gee
57 Yeah, call me crazy, but I think having the league MVP on the team certainly helps sell tickets.

Keep enjoying Beckett though. Hope he makes you forget Hansley (.311 .387 .484 .870). Good thing you traded him though! Not that you need him at short orr anything. You might just make the playoffs this year too. And Beckett might hold up all year! I see Anibal Sanchez is also progressing nicely (38 SO to 12 BB in 37.2 innings). But you probably didn't want to hear that.

2006-05-10 09:22:09
63.   Shaun P
60 MFD, I think your 50 applies equally well to 57.

That said, 57 I'd gladly pay money to watch A-Rod play, as I'm sure many folks would. Boring is about the last word I'd use to describe him.

61 Nice pickup, Dimelo! I hope Guidry and Kerrigan are all over that today. Which reminds me - given how well the Yanks' pitching staff has performed, I'd say some of the criticism directed at one Mel Stott was perhaps justified, no?

2006-05-10 09:22:26
64.   standuptriple
Sterling and Suz (good grief) mentioned that Randy mixed up his throwing schedule and did his off-day work 1 day early so he had an extra day off bfore yesterday's start. I did not like hearing that. What vet makes such a drastic change in their routine? I hope it's just a confidence thing and not a sign of something else. Captain Obvious (Suz) mentioned early that RJ couldn't get the slider over for a strike. I left the game when we were down 3-2, when I finished helping the parents we were down 11-3. I thought my XM was broken/malfunctioning. Wish it was.
Go get 'em Moose. I want Schilling to feel some pain.
2006-05-10 09:22:27
65.   wsporter
I don't always find myself in agreement with Steve Lombardi but I think he has done a great service to truth, justice and level headed thinking everywhere in this post on A-Rod and his pre and post Yankees trade numbers versus the Sawx at and away from the Fens. It's a quick read and well worth looking at I think. For those who have no range to their right here it is.

http://www.waswatching.com/

2006-05-10 09:24:28
66.   pistolpete
"One game, one game, one game"...

While this may be true, it serves more as a cold hard slap in the face after all the good things that happened in Texas. And as we know from 2005, last year can mean the difference between a division title and a wild card. So I'm honestly not placated by the mantra, "it's just one game".

IMO, as much as we were in the Sox' head for Lord knows how many years, it's almost as if the roles are reversed now. It used to be the players with the 'B' hats who would make the errors in big spots, have their pitching aces turn in stinkers, have their bullpens give up game-winning HRs - but now it's the Yankees doing these things, ladies and gentlemen.

I don't know if you can go so far as to call it a 'curse', but when we even look intimidated in our own ballpark, you know things are bad. 2004 seemed to flip the cosmos on its rear end, and I'm not sure what anyone can do to turn it back to its rightful position.

2006-05-10 09:35:28
67.   wsporter
By the way I don't know what the umpire was worried about, it was Bernie "throwing" that helmet after all. Did it reach him?
2006-05-10 09:43:12
68.   Rob Gee
67 Nice wsport.
2006-05-10 10:00:39
69.   bp1
61 No doubt in my mind at all that BU's current problems are rooted in that Royals game where he disappeared in the 5th.

Before (and during) that game - he was lights out.

After that game - he stinks.

He was 42 a month ago, and he was on pace to be a Cy Young winner. He didn't age between starts.

As we've seen w/ Pavano, an injury can screw with your mechanics. I think Unit is hurting, or afraid of getting hurt due to something he felt during the Royals game.

Not good.

BP

2006-05-10 10:04:43
70.   bp1
69 What I meant by "he was 42 a month ago" is that so many people in the press today are saying that his problems are due to his age. He was just as old a month ago and he was pitching like a stud. Listen to him talk during Spring Training when he felt good. He was Randy Johnson, Stud Pitcher, and he pitched that way for the first few games. The biting slider. Great command.

Something broke in the Royals game, and the Yankees (or Big Unit) are hiding it. A pitcher of his stature does not leave the game after five with a 4-1 lead and after just 70-some pitches.

We've got a busted Unit.

BP

2006-05-10 10:15:31
71.   Marcus
Looking ahead to today's game, I have to say I'm excited for it. Last night was terrible (stopped watching when it was after Randy's 7-pitch inning to go to a lecture, got back and it was over 14-3). The main reason I'm excited for tonight is Mussina's resurgence so far this season. I remember last year Ortiz was asked who he thinks the hardest pitcher to hit is, and he answered Mussina because he has 5 pitches and throws them all for strikes. That wasn't the case for parts of the last two years.

Of course, it'd be great to see Schilling get knocked around as well.

2006-05-10 10:24:50
72.   Dimelo
Did anyone get the feeling that after Giambi hit the HR in the 1st, and when ARod came to bat immediately thereafter, that ARod thought he was going to get drilled? I think the first pitch Beckett threw to ARod was a curve, it didn't look like it had a ton of bite but ARod's first reaction was to lean out away from the pitch.
2006-05-10 10:41:39
73.   Alex Belth
D,
I had the same thought after Giambi's homer but I don't think A Rod was bailing, I think he just got buckled cause the pitch was nasty. I mean, I think that Rodriguez was sitting on the fastball--and the curve to A Rod might have been the first one Beckett had thrown--but I don't know that he was expecting to get drilled.
2006-05-10 14:26:08
74.   randym77
19 "Much as I hate to say it -- I wasn't particularly fond of Jorge's pitch selection either."

I don't think it was Jorgie's pitch selection. I think RJ picks his own pitches. It might be better if he let Jorgie call 'em. It might take some of the pressure off him.

67 ROFL! Man, that's harsh. (It did hit him, BTW. Will Bernie get more than a fine for that?)

2006-05-10 17:18:11
75.   Simone
It's a reprieve from baseball hell. Take that big mouth Curt. Yeah, Jason!

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