Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
2006-06-17 18:33
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

"As bad as you can get," manager Joe Torre said.
(Associated Press)

I brooded and pouted throughout most of Friday night's game. It was the first time since last season that I felt sure the Yanks would lose in an ugly, frustrating manner. Well, they pulled it out and waited for Saturday afternoon to make Yankee fans ill. Thanks to a wonderful offensive afternoon from Johnny Damon who had four hits, including two doubles and a grand slam, the Yanks led 9-2 after four-and-a-half innings. Alex Rodriguez added two hits--a solid line drive single to center and then a monstrous two-run homer to straight away center--but nine runs would not be enough. Tbe Nats rallied to win 11-9.

Mariano Rivera was eventually saddled with the loss but a lion's share of the blame for this one falls on the shoulders of a highly ineffective Shawn Chacon. When he walked Alfonso Soriano on four pitches to start the bottom of the fifth, man, I just started to think the worst. For my money, this was the worst loss of the year. Fortunately, they play another one in less than 24 hours, cause for all of the good things that happened offensively for the Yanks today, this one ended fugly ugly. A regrettable, unfortunate loss if there ever was one.

Still, the Yanks have a chance to win the series on Sunday. The bats are alive, now they really need some length from a starting pitcher. Paging Mr. Wang. Whatta ya hear, whatta ya say, bro?

2006-06-17 20:01:56
1.   randym77
Some days are diamonds, some days are Chacon's...

These things happen. Sometimes you come from nine down to win, sometimes you blow a big lead and lose. The former is a lot more fun, I must say.

Joe should give some thought to breaking up the Wright-Chacon tandem. Too much strain on the bullpen. If Tiger doesn't go deep tomorrow, we'll be suckin' swampwater. On the bright side, he is able to go deep, if he's pitching well. Maybe we'll get that CG this time.

Also, Bernie in the two-hole is not a good idea.

tqmalachi noted in the previous thread that Mo tends to get skittish with a speedy runner on base to start an inning. I'd never noticed that, but it sure seemed true today.

And some fans who were celebrating Small's being DFA'd this morning are wailing that we need him for long relief now...

2006-06-17 20:24:18
2.   rsmith51
Matt Smith pitched 9 pitches, still has an E.R.A. of 0.00. Do you think maybe he can pitch a little? I think maybe stretch him a little and see what he can do. It would give Proctor a break. I didn't see the game, but I am guessing they could have started the next inning with him.

I think maybe putting Cano 2nd instead of Bernie or Melky, but Torre's rides the hot hand(except for Smith, apperently).

2006-06-17 20:25:23
3.   Maz
I wonder how Mazzilli might have managed the end of this game. Perhaps Joe didn't watch last night!?! Maybe he didn't realize Mo got 5 outs yesterday. He didn't realize that whole batting order snafu earlier this year.

I suggested to the guys at NoMaas they start a "The Mazzilli Wins" tote board.

2006-06-17 20:29:37
4.   kdw
Ugh, this was about the most painful game I've ever gone to see. First Chacon couldn't hold a 7-run lead and then the bullpen continued the mess. Watching Mo pitch is usually one of life's true joys for me so it was awful to see him end up with a loss in a game in which he never should have had to pitch. Seems to me that Yanks have got to focus on improving the starting pitching somehow, not getting another bat.
2006-06-17 20:35:04
5.   randym77
I'm not sure ERA is the best way to assess a relief pitcher. Smith gave up two runs, but they were charged to Chacon. I suspect that's why we didn't see him after that inning.

Though all things considered, I think I'd have sent Smith in for another inning. Farnsy unavailable due to back spasms. Beam pitched almost two innings last night (in Columbus). Proctor pitched two innings yesterday, and Mo pitched almost two. Only Myers and Villone could be considered reasonably fresh. Guess Torre won't consider using Myers as other than a lefty specialist. Dunno what the deal with Villone was. Saving him for tomorrow?

2006-06-17 20:41:24
6.   Max
The team has lost 7 of its last 12 games. In six of those seven losses, the starter couldn't make it past the sixth inning...and often didn't even get to the sixth inning (Wright, RJ, Small, Chacon).

Wang is the closest thing we have to a atopper these days...let's hope he can stop the bleeding.

Nats announcers were giddy at the win, though they took pains to point out that Jeter had figured out Sori was going to steal third, but Mo never turned around for the pickoff. They were praising the heck out of Jeter, which was weird to hear from opposing announcers in the middle of the Nat rally.

Otherwise, they were pretty difficult to listen to, and the game was painful to digest. Remember, though, that last year it seemed like there were a lot more games like this...we lost 11 times to Tampa Bay, and every loss felt like this, it seemed.

2006-06-17 21:05:02
7.   dhsilver
suzyn waldman said on WCBS the last time Yankees blew >7-run lead and lost was 1902. Didn't the Yankees blow a (9-1?) lead in (1968?) and lose 10-9 at Fenway? My recollection is that a Frank Fernandez grand slam staked Mel Stottlemyre to the big lead. I tried to confirm this by surfing the net but found only a blog by Johnny7 posted June 2005 when the Yankees overcame 11-run deficit and beat Tampa Bay. His recollection was very similar to mine but again not definitive. Anybody know for sure?
2006-06-17 21:16:05
8.   Yu-Hsing Chen
Cano's been on fire lately, so putting him up in 2 or 3 seems like a good idea... at least better than Bernie...

Not to meantion Cano always seem to come up pretty big when Wang's pitching...

Speaking of Wang... when's the last outting we didn't need him to come up big?

2006-06-17 21:57:20
9.   Cliff Corcoran
7 That's a hell of a memory. Here's your ballgame:

The Yanks never did have a seven-run lead in that one, though. They were up 9-3 in the top of the fourth, Fernandez's salami coming in a six-run the top of the third. The defending AL Champion Red Sox got on in the fourth, one in the fifth, then chased Stott on their way to putting up a six spot in the eighth to win 11-10.

2006-06-18 04:31:39
10.   vockins
The Yanks blew a seven run lead as recently as 7/14/2002. Went up 7-0 against the Indians and ending up losing 7-10.
2006-06-18 04:34:10
11.   vockins
Here's the box for the Bastille Day game I mentioned. Mo got absolutely pounded. Yeesh.

2006-06-18 05:11:42
12.   Knuckles
I'm ashamed to say I left early yesterday, right after the Yanks went down in their 7-run inning. We hustled over to a bar to watch the 2nd half of the USA game (also frustrating) and watched the Yanks slowly blow it on a tiny TV in the corner. A-rod's dinger was an absolute laser, the CF knew it right away and made only a halfhearted attempt to track it.

I went Friday night as well, and the crowds these days were split pretty much 50-50. It sounded like 2/3 of the stadium was booing A-rod during his homer AB, which turned into about 3/4 of the crowd cheering him after the bomb- weird.

My 3rd game in a row today, here's hoping they score 5 in the first and slowly pull away.

PS- Wright and Chacon have each drawn a walk this weekend- I wonder how often that has happened with AL pitchers during interleague.

2006-06-18 10:08:40
13.   Count Zero
1 This is a good insight on the bullpen and pitching Wright / Chacon back-to-back. Unfortunately, putting one of them next to RJ is only a moderate improvement unless RJ suddenly turns it around.

I am curious as to what we're holding Mendoza back for. Looks like he's mostly being used as a starter in Columbus???

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