Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Two Bad
2006-08-17 05:53
by Alex Belth

Yanks lost a close one, 3-2 to the O's last night in the Bronx. I missed most of the game but got home in time for the last three innings. The Yanks had their chance. They even got a lucky call in the ninth. The Stadium was packed and the place was electric in the late innings. In the eighth, Bobby Abreu and Alex Rodriguez singled to open the inning. After Baltimore's closer Chris Ray whiffed Robinson Cano, Bernie Williams--who passed Don Mattingly for second place with the most doubles in team history earlier in the game--lined sharply into a double play. Bad luck and a tough loss. Coupled with a Boston victory, the Bombers' lead in the East is down to two games.

Regardless, it was a wonderful moment for Williams when he passed Mattingly. Bernie had lined a double against the left field wall. He ran hard out of the box and didn't let up until he was close to second. When he reached the bag, he turned his head quickly towards the right field line, in that inimitable, deadpan manner of his, where you don't know exactly what he's doing, if he is just random or if he's doing something on purpose, exposing a private joke. The crowd gave him a sustain round of applause. Eventually, Bernie tipped his cap. The best part of it all was seeing the pride that Williams displayed. He just looked genuinely humbled and grateful for the moment and the accomplishment. It reminded me that Bernie is one of my very favorite Yankees ever because the game hasn't ever come naturally or easily to him. I'm probably as proud of Bernie's career--a borderline Hall of Fame career, when all will be said and done--as I am of any Yankee I've ever rooted for. Even though Williams' good vibes would be stifled by his hard-luck at bat in the eighth, Williams standing on second, acknowledging to himself, his fellow players, and the fans, what a good job he's done all these years, was special.

Octavio Dotel made his Yankee debut and the Yankee bullpen was sharp once again. Melky Cabrera collected his 11th outfield assist of the season and had a good game as well. And there is encouraging news about the injured Gary Sheffield.

Nothing to do but let it slide, come back and pound the O's the rubber match this afternoon. And that's word to Big Bird.

Comments (65)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2006-08-17 06:20:30
1.   mehmattski
This will be the first Yankees game I won't see since the trade deadline. I might go through withdrawal, but I have a meeting from 1-3 this afternoon. And I already allowed myself to take a "long lunch" tomorrow. Am I just making excuses?

Good news about "SCUBA Sheff." So do they put sealant on the bat when its underwater, so it doesn't warp? Who is the all time leader in underwater OPS? Does this mean Bud Selig is looking to expand to Atlantis? I have so many questions...

2006-08-17 06:24:21
2.   JL25and3
I hear the Yankees are trying to sign Prince Namor.
2006-08-17 06:41:26
3.   mikeplugh

Ponson - long man/scrub
Myers - LOOGY
Villone - Abused middle reliever #1
Proctor - Abused middle reliever #2
Farnsworth - slightly wild late inning heat
Dotel - 8th inning set up man
Mariano - Zeus

At least that's how I see it coming down the wire. Dotel will find himself in less pressure sitations at first, but I expect that to be the eventual depth chart come October. That's actually an embarassment of riches when you look at it.

2006-08-17 06:51:54
4.   randym77
Kris Wilson pitched a complete game in Columbus last night. Gave up only one run. Guess they aren't thinking of calling him up.

The Red Sox are rumored to be on the verge of acquiring Eric Hinske. Presumably because he's got great numbers against Wang.

2006-08-17 06:52:36
5.   Dimelo
Alex - your paragraph about Bernie was as touching as watching him last night. You captured that moment perfectly.

When I think of Bernie, I always think of something my coach would say: "It is not what you do when I'm looking that counts, it's what you do when I'm NOT looking that really counts". Bernie has been a great role model and he would make Roberto Clemente proud.

2006-08-17 06:53:41
6.   seamus
4 i'm still hoping on Karstens. I don't trust Ponson enough. But I think they'll pitch Ponson tomorrow. I just hope the Yankee bats wake up a notch before tomorrow. We cannot sleep through this weekend.
2006-08-17 06:56:27
7.   rsmith51
Giambi made a nice throw to second catching the base stealer last night. Not that I like seeing him in the field when there is a better option.

Did Bernie have any issues in CF? Also why didn't the Yanks DH Andy or Wilson against the LHP yesterday instead of Damon?

2006-08-17 07:01:57
8.   Javi Javi
4 Karstens won't see any playing time unless it's a laugher and ponson gets knocked out early (hopefully wont' happen!).

Tough loss yesterday--alot of well hit balls, straight at fielders. Oh well, can't win everyone. It was good to see Octavio Godot, but he clearly was way too pumped up, overthrowing and missing the strike zone. I do think he is going to be great down the stretch.

2006-08-17 07:03:17
9.   randym77
7 Well, they were running on Bernie without even looking up.

Damon didn't have a great night at the plate, but he wasn't the only one. I'd rather have him as a DH than Andy.

2006-08-17 07:05:08
10.   randym77
8 I don't think they'll actually call up Karstens unless Ponson has to pitch today.

Veras has already been sent down to make room for Dotel. So if they call up Karstens, Andy Phillips will probably be DFA'd. I don't think they'll want to do that unless it's absolutely necessary.

2006-08-17 07:06:47
11.   rbj
Middle relievers are born to be abused.
Good to see Dotel pitching.
2006-08-17 07:10:44
12.   Ron Burgundy
Three things:
1)STOP LOSING to the Baltimore Orioles!
2)Why did we get beaten by the 2nd worst pitcher in the AL again?
3)I know why the Sawx have been below .500 since the ASG break. But why have WE been below .500 for the past two weeks? We lost 4 games we had in the bag. We had a Chicago sweep all ready but somehow blew two of the games. And ANY game where you are the Yankees and the opposing pitcher is Adam Loewen is a game you should've won. That's 4 games right there we blew. Why? Somebody, please tell me why. I can't believe how incompitent and pathetic this team has been for the past two weeks, and we're playing the RED SAWX tommorrow. AAAAAAAAAAAARGH!

Ron Burgundy needs some Scotch. I love Scotch. Scotchy, Scotchy, Scotch. There it goes, down into me belly.

2006-08-17 07:17:54
13.   seamus
12 Three things:

we should have beaten Loewen at least once, but you are going to lose games to teams like Baltimore and no amount of complaining is going to change that.

We are struggling right now to hit in certain situations. It seems to have started with the return of Cano (which is strange) and the departue of Crosby. It may be a clubhouse thing.

Chicago is damned good. Other than that, we've played competitive, just not our top game. Bad time for a slump, and hopefully not a harbinger for this weekend.

2006-08-17 07:21:44
14.   Ron Burgundy
13 Thanks. Along with the Green Tea I'm currently drinking, your post helped. But really, they have to wake up here. If we keep this up against Adam Loewen, Vazquez, Garcia and the likes, how are we gonna handle Bahston's even worse pitchers? It seems the worse the opposing pitcher, the worse the offense hits. Kind of counterintuitive.
2006-08-17 07:22:42
15.   randym77
I don't think it's all that strange (the return of Cano thing). Someone here (was it Yu-Hsing?) posted the LOB numbers for the Yanks, and Robby Cano was the worst. He's great with bases empty, but doesn't hit very well with runners on. While Cairo is terrible with bases empty, but great with RISP.
2006-08-17 07:27:33
16.   Chyll Will
1, 2 Gotta go with Moses, yo. He led everyone with a big home run after the seventh, then hit one up the middle with runners in scoring position. Pharoah's guys rallied, but never really got close after that.

Kevin Mitchell is a close second.

2006-08-17 07:29:25
17.   Alvaro Espinoza
Once thing is for certain: Barring injury, Torre will have Wright throw today until his arm falls off.
2006-08-17 07:37:14
18.   Bama Yankee
1 I'm not sure about underwater OPS, but the leader in swinging underwater has to be Gregg Jefferies...
2006-08-17 07:37:26
19.   Ron Burgundy
17 And if Kearstens pitches good against the Sawx, he can just replace Wright, right? (Damn it with the rhymes) But yeah, we need 7 IP from Wright. And most importantly, it's the ORIOLES, so can we WIN? And make it a blowout. We haven't had a blowout win since June.
2006-08-17 07:41:27
20.   Sliced Bread
Great energy at the Stadium last night, really crappy end-result.

Throughout the night, everywhere you went, you heard bits of conversations about the new stadium, and felt privileged to be under the lights of the good old Stadium.

Bernie's return to center was received very differently than I imagined it was around here on the Bronx Banter board. Fans were genuinely excited to learn he was in the lineup. I heard a sincere voice behind me say about Bernie, "They never shoulda replaced him." I love Bernie as much as anybody, but had to laugh.

Before Bernie stroked his landmark double, as if cuing up the moment, the jumbotron reminded us that he was tied with Mattingly. Obviously, the place went nuts when he came charging around first.

The fans got crazy fired up again when Posada came in. "Hip hip Hor-hay! Hip hip Hor-hay!" is still the best salute I've ever heard for an individual ballplayer and, for those who participate in that silly chant, it never gets old.

There was another big buzz of excitement when Giamburgundy entered the game. Two girls in the row behind me informed their goateed boyfriends how repulsed they were by Giambi's "stoopit" moustache.

Speaking of 'staches, everybody laughed at the Stadium jumbotron treatment of Fasano, the cartoonish Hitler 'stache that was slapped onto Sal's photo, which really didn't require such doctoring to be amusing.

Lidle had settled down, and you sensed that good things were about to happen. You got that feeling several times right up until Damon grounded out in the ninth.

Dotel's debut took a lot of people by surprise. I knew he had been called up, but most of the fans around me seemed to have no idea, and were shocked by the jumbotron message that he was warming up in the bullpen. Everybody was jazzed when he zipped his first strike at 94mph.

One final observation from last night: if you think the A-Rod scrutiny is just media hype, listen to the Stadium crowd whenever he steps to the plate, or has a ball hit at him. People are ready to pounce on him no matter what he does. It is truly sad and sick how the crowd treats him. Even the girls in the A-Rod shirts seem reluctant to defend him. They watch him nervously, and support him hesitantly. Despite the level-headed support A-Rod mostly receives in the Yankee blogosphere, our third baseman is on thin ice in the big city.

2006-08-17 07:42:34
21.   Cliff Corcoran
15 Robbie was terrible with runners on base before going on the DL, but he's had a pair of RBI hits in his last two games and has been raking overall since being activated.

17 That shouldn't take long, lest we all forget this is Jaret Wright.

7 Andy hasn't hit a lick against lefties this year.

2006-08-17 07:44:53
22.   Yankee Fan in Chicago
Sheff? Swinging under water?

Presumably it'll be in a pool. Will they have to refill it after every cut?

Hopefully it's not in the Hudson. Albany could end up underwater.

Or the Atlantic. One cut from Sheff could produce a tsunami headed for Europe.

(Man, if Sheff could come back and man first base it'd be huge. Right now Wilson is the only weak link in the lineup. The dude has yet to walk in a Yankee uniform after 46 abs, and sports therefore an insane .283 obp.)

2006-08-17 07:54:23
23.   Alvaro Espinoza
A laugher would be nice today. The O's are at the point in the season where I think they'll be more than happy to give up if the Yanks jump out early, particularly on a travel day.
2006-08-17 07:57:50
24.   Bama Yankee
20 Thanks for the first hand account of the atmosphere last night Sliced. Good stuff.
2006-08-17 07:58:08
25.   mehmattski
3 Remember, oh, April, when there were people here and on other blogs complaining about Villone's playing time, and criticizing the overuse of Sturtze. Becareful what you wish for, armchair bullpen managers...
2006-08-17 07:59:50
26.   Dimelo
A laugher would be good, the ABSOLUTE worse would be to see a 18 inning game.
2006-08-17 08:03:15
27.   JL25and3
16 No question, if there's such a thing as "clutch," Moses had it. He's definitely the guy you'd want to see coming up with the future of your people on the line. But I don't think he was much of a hitter underwater, or he wouldn't have needed to part the sea in the first place.
2006-08-17 08:03:51
28.   Shaun P
23 And it might keep Wright's arm from falling off!

Watching last night's game, I realized how much I miss Aaron Guiel. I would have rather had him out there vs Ray in the 8th, instead of Bernie. I love Andy and all, but if he isn't going to play anymore, why not DFA him and bring Guiel up? As others have pointed out before, Guiel would be very useful as a reserve OF/PH, especially when Torre decides to rest Damon so Bernie can play CF.

2006-08-17 08:06:23
29.   randym77
20 Thanks for the report. You're right that the reaction to Bernie in the lineup was quite different here on the Banter. But we, too, felt the game was in reach until the last out. (I still can't believe we didn't beat up their bullpen.)

I'm rather disturbed to hear that A-Rod is on "thin ice," though...

2006-08-17 08:10:25
30.   randym77
28 Guiel is not really a CFer. He is playing 1B now in Columbus. (And hit a homer last night!)

I'd probably rather have Guiel than Bernie, if only because Guiel's arm is better...but I don't think Joe would ever use Guiel in CF.

2006-08-17 08:13:45
31.   Cliff Corcoran
25 I dunno, I'm delighted with how things have turned out with regards to Sturtze and Villone.

I just hope the Yankees don't still think of Sturtze as a valuable player to bring back from injury next year (I consider him an ex-Yankee at this point, even though he's still technically with the team). And I hope they don't overvalue Villone based on this season in which he's pitching over his head at age 36.

2006-08-17 08:15:17
32.   Cliff Corcoran
30 As if Bernie's really a CF anymore. I've put my plea for Guiel's return in the Suggested Reading section, it's the post linked to his first name.
2006-08-17 08:16:27
33.   randym77
30 I know, I know, but Joe doesn't see it that way. Remember how he put Bernie in as a LIDR for Abreu in CF? If Joe doesn't trust Abreu in CF, he sure won't trust Guiel.
2006-08-17 08:22:12
34.   bobtaco
20 Speaking of moustaches... check out the new look Yankees...

2006-08-17 08:25:04
35.   Cliff Corcoran
34 Very nice.
2006-08-17 08:28:21
36.   Ron Burgundy
34 You make Ron Burgundy proud.
2006-08-17 08:30:07
37.   Alvaro Espinoza
34 There's a few good jokes in there somewhere. Good stuff!
2006-08-17 08:30:19
38.   Yankee Fan in Chicago
34 Cano actually might consider a mustache based on the pic.

Cano, Damon, Bernie, and RJ don't look 1.2 bad.

Jeter, A-Rod, Jorge, Mely, Mo, and Moose on the other hand . . .

Meanwhile Wright looks like h'es in a police lineup.

2006-08-17 08:30:53
39.   Yankee Fan in Chicago
1.2 huh? Should be 1/2
2006-08-17 08:31:46
40.   Alvaro Espinoza
39 You keep rating the team that way and people are gonna start to talk!
2006-08-17 08:32:00
41.   ChuckM
IIRC, Cano also had a couple of BIG K's the other night with men on and less than 2 out that had me screaming into my pillow to keep from waking my daughter. He was able to break through on his last AB, so naturally, all was forgiven. But the Yanks just can't keep doing stuff like that, which is why teams like the Angels kill us. Even when they're making outs, they're moving guys over to keep pressure on the pitchers. With the Yanks, every pitcher knows he has a shot at getting a K and improving his chances of escaping the inning relatively unscathed...
2006-08-17 08:32:46
42.   C2Coke
I have a better explanation for the Yanks' performances in the past two weeks.

They were reserving all they can for this nauseating weekend. Just wait and see!

In other news, don't know if anyone of you heard about Wang's troubles lately? It's nothing related to his mechanics or that he's entering uncharted territory.

In the past week or so, Wang was very frustrated with the Taiwanese medias invading his family's privacy in Taiwan (partly due to the Times article). It's to a point of which Wang (and possibly the Yankees as well) can't take it anymore. He issued a statement in English yesterdy banning all medias from Taiwan from interviewing him (and hence from even entering the clubhouse after the game I presume) until further notice.

If the medias were that distracting, I think this is good news for us on Friday.

2006-08-17 08:34:53
43.   Sliced Bread
24 29 One more observation from last night:

The cooler weather has Yankee fans of the fairer sex wearing more clothes than they were during the heat wave a few weeks ago, which is disappointing.

Happily married as I am, I'm always amazed and delighted how many beautiful women you see around the ballpark. Last night our section resembled what I imagine the casting room for "America's Next Top Model" looks like.

2006-08-17 08:36:29
44.   C2Coke
34 Ok, that moustach is a magical, it actually sells on all of them (not saying they won't look better without it). Thanks for the laugh, bobtaco.
2006-08-17 08:39:22
45.   Alvaro Espinoza
43 I can only imagine how invasive the media are to the ballplayers. I understand that it's a reciprocal relationship but it must get daunting. Every day you know you're going to have a dozen microphones thrust in your face with the same monotonous questions and you have to appear enthusiastic about it all the time or you'll be labeled as spoiled, a jerk, etc., Not saying I feel bad for these guys but I do see where it can be as pleasant as a kick in the balls.
2006-08-17 08:43:23
46.   Alvaro Espinoza
Whoops, make that last post in reference to 42 though I am equally saddened by Sliced's revelation.
2006-08-17 08:43:27
47.   C2Coke
45 Wang didn't just do it for him, but more for his family. Both sets of his parents (due to the adoption) were apparently being harrased by the media back in Wang's hometown.
2006-08-17 08:47:55
48.   Cliff Corcoran
42 I don't doubt that has effected his performance, but his innings pitched totals remain a major concern and likely are already influencing his performance as well.
2006-08-17 08:50:36
49.   Bama Yankee
16 & 27 Good call on Moses. He could handle the lumber pretty well: Two of his hits resulted in water from a rock and he turned a bitter lake sweet with another. Although he did need help holding the "bat" on one occasion. ;-)

BTW, Did you know that the Yankees third baseman is mention in the Bible?
Exodus 4:2 "And the LORD said unto him, What is that in thine hand? And he said, A rod."

2006-08-17 08:55:06
50.   mehmattski
49 Don't forget Tolkien... In the book version of Two Towers, Aragorn, Legolas, and Gimili run into the riders of Rohan in search of Merry and Pippin. The riders of Rohan offer them horses. The name of the horse given to Legolas and Gimili:

you guessed it..... "Arod."

No joke. You can look it up.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2006-08-17 09:10:59
51.   JL25and3
49 That's just brilliant.
2006-08-17 09:14:02
52.   Sliced Bread
49 Sweet, Bama.

And he said, A rod." And the LORD booed.

2006-08-17 09:15:33
53.   Schteeve
Mike Plugh, I don't think Villone has been all that abused. I couldn't find any PAP for relievers but he was the forgotten man for the early part of this season.
2006-08-17 09:21:07
54.   domvjr
Anyone out there in cyberspace know why Cory Lidle was just put on the bereavement list. The Yanks just called up a AAA pitcher named Brian Bruney. Never heard of him!
2006-08-17 09:23:18
55.   Travis
53 FWIW, Villone leads the AL in post-All-Star-break games pitched (18) and relief innings (21). Proctor is tied for second in games (17), 2nd in IP (20.2). Mariano is tied for 4th in games (16).
2006-08-17 09:23:21
56.   Chyll Will
50 Even in that lineup, Arod bats cleanup? Wowzers.
2006-08-17 09:25:55
57.   Travis
Correction to 55: A couple of relievers have thrown more innings than Villone or Proctor, albeit in far fewer games. Kevin Gregg (11, 21.1), Todd Wellmeyer (10, 23.1), and Jake Woods (9, 21.1).
2006-08-17 09:27:27
58.   Schteeve
So if they are throwing more innings in fewer games, I would think they are being more abused than if their inning load were spread out across more games.
2006-08-17 09:30:17
59.   Chyll Will
49 Blessed art thou >;)
2006-08-17 09:39:02
60.   Travis
58 It's hard to say.

Also, Proctor and Villone are 1-2 in relief innings in the AL for the entire year. Mariano is 4th.

2006-08-17 09:57:17
61.   pistolpete
60 Which means one of two things - either our starters stink, or they're fairly reliable relievers that can be counted on time & time again.

I like to think it's a little of both.

2006-08-17 10:08:19
62.   Travis
61 There's more possible reasons:

1. None of the Yankees starters besides Wang can pitch through the 7th. However, they're typically effective in the 5-6 innings they do throw.

2. The Yankee offense has kept the team in nearly every game, meaning that the "good" relievers have to be used.

3. Mike Myers doesn't pitch at all, meaning that more work has to be given to the other pitchers.

4. The lack of any reliable "long man" who can eat up innings in case the starter is ineffective. Erickson, Chacon, and Ponson haven't done the job.

2006-08-17 10:11:43
63.   Travis
Jaret wright gets off to a great start. Ugh.
2006-08-17 10:24:50
64.   pistolpete
63 S'ok, Damon gets it back.
2006-08-17 10:35:05
65.   Cliff Corcoran
game thread on the post above, guys.

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