Baseball Toaster was unplugged on February 4, 2009.
The Yankees held a closed-door meeting for close to an hour last night before they were shut-down by the Jays, 7-2. The Red Sox won again, and the Bombers are now tied for last place with the Devil Rays, thirteen-and-a-half out.
Roger Clemens pitched well in Scranton last night and appears headed for Fenway Park this weekend. Too little too late? Oh, how Sox fans must be licking their collective chops at a chance to bury the dead this weekend.
If it is Clippard, can we all sing, "ALL We Are Saying... Is Give Clipp a Chance!"
"It might not be a coincidence that the Bombers' bad runs in the '60s and late '80s and early '90s coincided with eras of rising crime and economic stagnation."
SF's may be licking their chops, but I still feel good with how the Yanks matchup against them - weird I know.
Someone said yesterday, all they can do is play tonight.
And Clemens - they'd bump Moose? To Sunday or Monday?
They are making a movie too.
So does Clemens pitch next Monday night against the White Sox? Or does he go for the drama of the ESPN Sunday night game, vs. Schilling and the Red Sox? I could easily see that happening, though I hope it doesn't. The Yanks have enough mental issues right now.
Let's win some dam* games so we can stop getting on each others' nerves! And how about an awe-inspiring posting from Alex or some juicy paragraphs from Emma Span to remind everyone why we're here?
Let's Go BAN-ter.
as far as the anger, the tv has been very good about my verbal tirades. no sense taking it out on guys who are feeling as bad as i am.
Maybe what we need is an intrasquad game...
Am I correct in assuming that we a) still can't hit and pitch in the same game b) aren't hitting like we were in April c) can't win a close game and d) still have a BP that shows up sporadically?
I confess that looking at the box scores has given me the feeling that we are already playing for '08 -- this team doesn't seem capable of turning it around anytime soon. But without actually seeing games, it's hard to get a sense of what's happening. Anybody got a quick lowdown for me?
We can keep hoping they get more consistent hitting and pitching. But the sad fact is average teams just ARE inconsistent - just like average pitchers and average hitters.
The sadder fact is the team seems to have gotten old quick - from Abreu to Damon to Giambi - that's a huge chunk of inconsistent production. The same is true of Moose and even Mo, to some extent.
Right now, they've got two consistent pitchers (Wang and Pettitte) and four consistent hitters (Jeter, Jorge, Matsui, Arod). Right now, with that combination, that's barely a .500 team, if that.
Unfortunately, there are no quick fixes (besides shoring up the bench - same as it ever was). Hopefully though they avoid the need for desperate moves (like Clippard and Kennedy for Teixeira - gasp!) that will have little impact.
Thanks. That sounds like the mature way to handle things.
21 "the only thing that has bothered me a little has been the notion (expressed by a small minority) that there is only one way to evaluate the ongoing season"
I've tried to follow the threads and I don't see it this way. The "small minority" you refer to hasn't objected to negative opinions but to the smug way it is sometimes expressed. As in, "This team is going nowhere and you're an idiot if you don't see that." Or something of that sort. And then repeated again and again.
People have made this point previously, and it bears repeating: there's a difference in what one thinks and how one expresses it. It's the latter that's sometimes been a problem here.
Plus, all the losing has made everyone edgy, so some occasional levity a la Chyll Will goes a long way.
Why is he even on this team anymore? FREE BRITTON.
Meanwhile, anyone else catch the MMD interview from two or three weeks back where Torre said that he thinks about what Chris Russo will say as he's considering moves? And he was completely sincere!
I'm still tuning into every game, but a season like this obviously ends the Torre run and hopefully shakes up the GM to the realities of an old roster AND a crappy bench. But hopefully they at least make a more respectable showing in June.
[Always look on the bright side of life...]
30 Does everyone here agree that Torre has no chance of coming back in 2008? If so, I wonder if he'd think of resigning (how weird is it that re-sign and resign are spelled the same but mean the exact opposite) at some point? If the team is dead and Cashman assures him there will be no extension, perhaps Joe will bow out so Mattingly can get a taste. Also, it would give Torre some time to spend with Frank, which I'm sure is important to him.
Why no Britton yet? I have no idea.
I think it should be NY State law that: If you're gonna play centerfield for the NY Yankees, you need to be able to throw a baseball 200 feet.
Damon is comical out there. Looks like he never bothered to learn the proper way to throw a baseball.
The Yanks' starting pitching has been pretty woeful with the injuries. For instance, Tavarez and his 82 ERA+ would be the number 3 on the Yanks right now (ahead of Moose's 72 ERA+ and of course Igawa and Meat and DeSalvo and Wright).
Clippard may still be the real deal (118 ERA+). Hopefully he nails down a spot tomorrow night.
It's impossible to go on a winning streak if the starting pitching is inconsistent. Clemens will help. As will Hughes.
[ALways look on the bright side of life...]
We know this.
Without decent starting pitching, does Torre have any choice but to bring Villone and Vizcaino into a 3-0 game in the fifth. Has he alread trotted Proctor and Bruney out there alot?
Sure, none of that explains the hitting problems. But trouble with pitching has killed a great many teams.
36 "Back spasms" and/or "flu like symptoms" would also work. Shoot, I once heard about this guy who went on the DL with "bruised buttocks".
I wish Cashman would also trade Myers - don't the Twins need a LOOGY? - and bring Henn back. It can't hurt.
Finally, if Damon is hurting, screw his pride and tell him to go on the DL and get rest. Call up KT. Ditto with Giambi. Why not see if Shelley Duncan can't mash in the bigs for 2 weeks? Can't hurt.
Exactly. It would have been nice to have a cushion in the standings to have let DeSalvo figure out a way out of that situation. Being a dozen games out and not even sniffing .500, you gotta try to keep the game close. Unless, of course, you're prepared to write off this season.
I do have one suggestion: swap Mattingly and Bowa. Donnie can coach third (& give Cano the evil eye whenever he swings at ball four) and maybe Bowa can give Torre some good in game advice.
Come to think of it, this habit seems to be an extension of Joe's Jeff Weaver syndrome: when on the road, bring in your closer only when you've got a lead (though you may lose the game without ever using your best reliever).
this season is getting ugly!
not giving up though.
if we can get to .500 by the break...a few games above would be a bonus.
I'm not saying that Torre is still teflon (taking out Clippard early on Friday was plain silly) - but there is a built in excuse with so much pitching down.
We all thought they were fine this year with plenty of league average pitching. But with six starters DL'ed at various times (Moose, Wang, Meat, Karstens, Rasner, Hughes) plus Igawa's troubles, is it really any wonder that they stunk up the joint?
Ask yourselves this: What team could survive that nuclear scenario?
Just because it's the Yankees, folks fixate on other things, but really it's begins and ends with the pitching.
Meanwhile, whoever thought I'd be the voice of reason?
What the best string of quality starts this year?
My guess: 3 or 4 in a row, and even then only once or twice.
and even when we do get a quality starts, its usually borderline...in other words, just well enough to lose...aka Mike Mussina.
Or did you mean for the Yankees?
7 GS 35.3 IP 41 H 23 ER 7 BB 18 K 5.86 ERA 72 ERA+
I bet not.
So then have they even had Wang, Pettitte, and Moose have a string of three in a row? My guess is maybe once - again cause Moose has sucked.
And since those 17 games weren't consecutive and/or the starter wasn't lasting through the 6th, then things were still going to be tough going.
My point: it's hard to get on a roll if only three of the five starting pitchers are doing their job.
54 No argument there from me.
Half a billion dollars! I guess he could recoup that by selling the Red Sox. Not for nothing did I predict that Henry/Werner et al. would be unloading the team by its 5 year deadline for depreciation.
Quality starts of games started:
Pettitte: 8 of 10
Wang: 4 of 7
Mussina: 2 of 7
Rooks is more time comsming.
Here is a breakdown of our record according to opponents runs scored:
0 = 1-0
1 = 3-0
2 = 6-1
3 = 2-4
4 = 0-2
5 = 0-1
7 = 0-2
10 = 0-2
14 = 0-1
15 = 0-1
We haven't won a single game where we have allowed more than 3 runs, and we are 2-4 when we have ONLY allowed 3 runs (remember 3 runs in 6 innings is a quality start).
0 = 0-0
1 = 1-1
2 = 1-0
3 = 2-0
4 = 1-1
5 = 2-7
6 = 1-0
7 = 0-1
8 = 1-2
9 = 0-1
11 = 0-1
12 = 1-0
note, when yankees pitchers have held 17 teams to 3 runs or less, the devil rays have held 5 teams to the measure. we are 12-14. they are 10-14.
60 ESPN.com shows you quality starts for the team: Yanks have 20 in 49 games (26th out of 30 MLB teams). Unfortunately, they don't let you sort it out by month.
Pettitte has 8, Wang has 4, Moose 2, DeSalvo 2, Pavano, Igawa, Hughes, and Clippard 1 each.
Moose's 2 came on May 27th and May 9th. Wang had a QS on May 26th (but bombed on May 10th). Pettitte had one on May 8th. And DeSalvo had one on May 7th. So there's a 3-game QS streak: May 7, 8, and 9.
If Torre had let Rasner get one more guy out on May 6th, he would have had a QS (5.2 IP, 0 ER). Given that Wang had a QS on May 5th, that would have been a QS from everyone once through the rotation.
So yeah, its happened once.
I await your verbal lashings!
So that's actually 12-7. Point taken 6365 but it's the games where they don't get good pitching that they suffer - 0-9 when opponents score >4 runs. Is that 63 the whole month of May?
Not surprisingly, crappy pitching is happening more often not 62 - even in games where they're started by Wang, Pettite, and Moose, they only gotten 14 of 24 quality starts.
The good news is that should get a bit better with Clemens then Hughes.
Then we can really fixate on the offense if they continue to crap themselves.
Is it any wonder then why their record is 24th of the thirty teams?
69 What role would he have? His defense would be worse than Damon and recall that Papi took 2nd on his arm on a single to right last year.
Far as I can see, the suck is pervasive:
1) Fewer runs scored than expected (4th in runs (or OPS): expectation? lead the AL)
2) More runs allowed than expected (11th in AL ERA: expected? middle of the pack)
3) Bad distribution of runs (ineffective pen and bad hitting close & late)
#3 is pretty big: we are 4-15 in games decided by two or fewer runs....but correct for "luck" and it only makes us .500 or so--still a long way to go....
To make a wild card run, I think, all 3 of these areas are gonna have to be significantly improved. We need hitters to get healthy, Clemens and Hughes to be effective, and at a minimum either DeSalvo or Clippard to become a plus out of the pen down the stretch....
But now the question is, will the offense heat up to take advantage of the improved pitching?
An 0-10 skid in one run games later, and they were out of the race. They ended the year at 30-31 in one run games.
Meanwhile, I only brought up the pitching because I had forgotten it explains so much. I'm not sure what you mean about arbitrary - that difference in IP by the starters of the top and bottom teams is over 50 IP. Is it any wonder the bullpen is shot?
I would make the argument that our rotation has mostly done their job in May (with a handful of exceptions). The fact that we cannot win a game in May is due to the fact that we cannot win if our opponents score 3 runs or more.
76 we are 11th in runs scored in May and 23rd over the last 7 days. Our problem of late has been offense.
and timing. There is no question that when you allow 10 or more runs four times and score 6 or more runs in 3 of those games, and you haven't won a single game in May where the opponent has scored 4 or more runs, your timing sucks.
and thanks!...that wasn't so harsh!
1) Giambi's drop-off has been a huge blow to the offense. Because it is injury related, there is every reason to fear it will continue. As a result, the offense going forward is likely to be more like the May version than the Arod-fueled and Giambi abetted April lineup.
2) While the team is averaging 5.22 runs per game, they have scored 4 or fewer in 46% of its games. Also, they have scored nearly half of their total runs in just 14 games (approx. 28% of games played). In other words, this offense has been wildly inconsistent.
I am more than comfortable blaming the pitching in April and the offense in May.
it seems that injuries would relate to both woes to some extent (though obviously not exclusively).
Seriously, Abby I'm with you. I wouldn't mind seeing Bernie back on the team in some capacity (it's never going to happen now, however).
I realize that there is no room for him (although his bat might actually be an improvement over Abreu at this point) but it is still hard for me to picture the Yankees without Bernie around somewhere.
sorry--I said "arbitrary" only because total innings pitched is a better measure; qs draws a line in the sand and puts a start on one or the other side....though locating a whole bunch of short starts in a row matters for BP abuse purposes....
Being 4th in runs is a problem--of course it is! I guarantee if you'd told Cashman we'd end the season 4th in the AL in runs he's say "We're f**." Our expectations were to win with dominant offense--if our pitching was BETTER than expected, we could live with 4th in runs, but this team as constructed? Nope.
EVERYTHING that goes into scoring and preventing runs matters, right down to playing Minky, right down to Nieves--it ALL matters, and it bewilders the hell out of me that anyone would think otherwise....
If you look at any team that scores fewer and allows more runs than expected, you can say "well, in May, August and September the offense was ok; in June July the pitching didn't totally suck" etc, etc. Nobody scores 5.72 runs in every game. If we could distribute our runs IDEALLY, we could give this team a damn good record. We've had an unusually inconsistent distribution so far, but is that all on the offense? Every year, one team has the worst record in MLB in close games. That team will have a bad bullpen, and will have hit badly close and late. Check, check. The first isn't luck, though the second probably is.....
The problem with the pitching in May argument:
9 of those 15 QS have come from Wang and Pettitte. The rest have been scattered.
So the Yanks just haven't been able to put any streaks together like the 10 gamer in 2005 - the pitching hasn't allowed it.
Hitting - 110 OPS+ (4th in AL)
Pitching - 90 ERA+ (11th in AL)
If anything, their hitting kept them around in April (when they should have sunk much worse), and as it cooled the pitching picked up a bit, but not enough to make a big difference.
Otherwise, isn't consistent Quality Starts from your top two guys plus help from the rest when possible pretty normal for a decent rotation? Seeing as the best QS teams only get 3/5 of their games as QStarts, I find it hard to believe that this isn't good.
from next thread:
april: 5 QS in 23 games
May: 15 QS in 26 games
april: 9-13 record
may: 12-14 record
We have a huge differential between April and May performance.
Meanwhile of those 15 QS - How many went to 7 innings?
The point is: Even if the starters have been going a bit longer, the bullpen was still getting taxed almost everyday.
Let's see - 15 QS:
Pettitte: 5 QS - 34.1 IP
Wang - 4 QS - 29.1 IP
Moose - 2 QS - 12.1 IP
DeSalvo - 2 QS - 13.2 IP
It was Pettitte and Wang and just a little bit else. An elite team can't live on above average pitching from only two starters. I'll say it again - Julian Tavarez would be the #3 on this team right now!
The rest of the starts - it's not like the starter was giving up 5 runs in 8 IP - they were getting bombed in the non-QS appearances.
So combine few innings from the starters plus an already overworked bullpen from April, and the Yanks had little chance unless they continued to mash like in April. Problem is: They were way above their heads in April.
15/26 = .576
3/5 = .600
Neither of those marks will get it done for the team this year at this point. The pitching still has a way to go.
Let me clear: It's not that I think the hitting hasn't slumped. It's just that the pitching has had and still has to make up more of the difference caused - especially the impact on the bullpen.
Clemens will help if he can consistently go more than 6 IP. But Moose also has to turn it around, and whoever is their number 5 has to give them better than average innings.
Who knows - it could start tonight!
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