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If Life is a Bowl of Cherries...
2007-05-29 05:32
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

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.

Comments (98)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-05-29 05:49:53
1.   Mattpat11
Tonight's the night. I can feel it in my bones.
2007-05-29 05:50:46
2.   seamus
Maybe we can start a new conversation. Is Clippard pitching tonight? or Pettitte?

If it is Clippard, can we all sing, "ALL We Are Saying... Is Give Clipp a Chance!"

2007-05-29 05:59:35
3.   williamnyy23
Sox fans might be licking their chops, but I know one who is actively rooting that the deficit either goes beyond 14 ½ or never gets that far.
2007-05-29 05:59:54
4.   Shaun P
Does anyone know why Pettitte didn't pitch last night?
2007-05-29 06:05:48
5.   williamnyy23
For some levity, I thought I'd share what is probably one of the most absurd sports-related articles I've read in some time. Below is the best passage for those less inclined to read the whole article:

"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."

http://tinyurl.com/2d2akj

2007-05-29 06:07:48
6.   Mattpat11
5 If only he knew about the bones.
2007-05-29 06:08:41
7.   Mattpat11
4 To avoid putting Clippard and Sir Walks Alot back to back.
2007-05-29 06:08:58
8.   williamnyy23
4 In order to square up Wang, Mussina and Pettitte for Boston, two rookies had to pitch in Toronto anyway. By having Pettitte pitch Tuesday, he'd be on regular rest for Sunday.
2007-05-29 06:10:44
9.   Jim Dean
Pettitte is tonight. I was confused too - the schedule is off in the side bar. I don't know what that means for the weekend.

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.

2007-05-29 06:11:13
10.   jkay
4 Clemens on Saturday, Pettitte on Sunday?
2007-05-29 06:12:15
11.   vockins
5 Remember how bountiful and gracious NYC was from 1976 to 1981? Those were the salad days.
2007-05-29 06:15:43
12.   Jim Dean
7 8 But surely Boston is going to throw Schilling on Saturday, no? And Beckett on Sunday? That would mean Yanks still get Wake on Friday and miss Tavarez! Thank god! :)

And Clemens - they'd bump Moose? To Sunday or Monday?

2007-05-29 06:24:58
13.   williamnyy23
12 If Moose gets bumped, he very well might go on a hunger strike.
2007-05-29 06:51:44
14.   JL25and3
1] My reaction too. The late 70's were a period of resurgence for NYC? "The Bronx is on fire?"
2007-05-29 06:52:13
15.   JL25and3
14 That was supposed to reference 11
2007-05-29 07:02:20
16.   Start Spreading the News
14 That's "The Bronx is Burning"
You should check out the book with the same name:
http://www.amazon.com/Ladies-Gentlemen-Bronx-Burning-Baseball/dp/0374175284

They are making a movie too.

2007-05-29 07:04:42
17.   bartap74
1 6 I know that you've taken a lot of flack for being overly negative, but I'm not sure your newfound but totally insincere and sarcastic optimism is better.
2007-05-29 07:23:04
18.   Shaun P
8 Thanks! That makes a lot of sense.

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.

2007-05-29 07:24:11
19.   RIYank
17 Hey, we've all been kind of irritable, and we each handle it in our own imperfect way. I've personally been harsh with both Mattpat11 and williamnyy23, but really, they're demanding, they're fed up, they're pissed... and they oughta be.
And I think the sarcastic optimism is funny, so what the heck.

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.

2007-05-29 07:32:23
20.   unmoderated
i havent posted in a week or so, i just couldn't come up with anything helpful to say.

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.

2007-05-29 08:01:22
21.   williamnyy23
19 I don't mind people being "harsh" with my opinions...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. Ironically, on a general baseball email list that I've been on for nearly 10 years, I am considered a BYF (Blind Yankee Fan) because of the perceived overly positive tone I take with the team. Personally, I don't think I am positive or negative by nature. I just react to the team in an honest and emotional way. Regardless of circumstances, I love the Yankees and being a Yankee fan, and would welcome your prescription for a few wins.
2007-05-29 08:15:04
22.   Bama Yankee
It seems like our pitching has a way of breaking people out of slumps (Crisp, Figgins, the entire White Sox lineup) and our batters sometimes make an average pitcher look like Cy Young (Taverz, McGowan, several others).

Maybe what we need is an intrasquad game...

2007-05-29 08:19:55
23.   Count Zero
I've spent the last two weeks on the road (business) so I have been able to catch only a few innings here and there...fortunately???

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?

2007-05-29 08:19:56
24.   Mattpat11
17 I'm offended that you doubt my sincerity.
2007-05-29 08:31:33
25.   JL25and3
23 The offense is completely dead and the bullpen is horrendous. I think that sums it up pretty well.
2007-05-29 08:32:18
26.   JL25and3
16 I thought I might have gotten that wrong. Thanks for the correction.
2007-05-29 08:50:04
27.   Jim Dean
23 I think it's about consistency. After all, the same team beat the Sox nicely last weekend, save for the Moose start. And then proceeed to shit the bed in the last four games. That I think is the story and why when the hitting's on, the pitching is off, and vice-versa 22.

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.

2007-05-29 08:51:30
28.   manila boy
20 "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. "

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.

2007-05-29 09:09:59
29.   unpopster
can someone please, please, please explain to me why Torre brings Viscaino in to yesterday's game with the bases loaded in the 5th inning and the score at just 3-0? Viscaino got hella lucky by a high strike three call, but does Torre WANT to throw these games? How in the world does he even trust Viscaino in that situation, especially after he spit the proverbial bit in his last outing?

Why is he even on this team anymore? FREE BRITTON.

2007-05-29 09:19:24
30.   Jim Dean
29 Talk about getting old quick - hasn't Torre? He used to make these sorts of decisions maybe once or twice a week, and even then only when the reliever had a hot hand. Now? He's so afraid of burning out the guys with a hot hand, he keeps going back to the scrubs.

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...]

2007-05-29 09:28:58
31.   williamnyy23
29 Vizcaino swapped out for Britton seems like such a no-brainer that I wonder why the change hasn't been made?

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.

2007-05-29 09:34:02
32.   Mattpat11
31 I always assumed this was the last year for Joe win or lose. Unless he's near some milestone. At this rate, he may still be going for Stengel's mark next year.
2007-05-29 09:37:02
33.   Jim Dean
31 It would probably be the best case scenario for Torre to resign, but I just can't see it happening.
2007-05-29 09:39:38
34.   Jim Dean
31 Since the change would involve DFA'ing Vizcaino, I think they want to be sure he's cooked. Unfortunately, they're in the same situation with Villone.
2007-05-29 09:44:47
35.   manila boy
29 Because Joe won't bring in his best relievers before the 7th inning. Your setup men are for the 7th and 8th, your closer the 9th, and everyone else whenever. Which is why it feels like the team has lost a lot of games in the middle innings this year.

Why no Britton yet? I have no idea.

2007-05-29 09:45:09
36.   williamnyy23
34 They could also "diagnose" Vizcaino with a tired arm and put him on the 15-day DL. It's been done before. Britton is pitching too well on the heels of a very good ML season to not get a chance.
2007-05-29 09:47:22
37.   Jim Dean
36 Maybe but that assumes the pitcher wants to be complicit. Is Vizcaino really emotionally tied to the Yanks in any way? What would prevent him from saying: FU! I wanna pitch.
2007-05-29 09:48:43
38.   manila boy
33 34 Agreed, I doubt Torre would resign. And I think we all agree there's enough evidence that Vizcaino is cooked. If he's DFA'd and gets back on track in the NL, good for him. I'd rather see how Britton will do.
2007-05-29 09:51:30
39.   Shawn Clap
31 What makes you think Cashman will be around to make that assurance?

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.

2007-05-29 09:56:33
40.   Jim Dean
You know, one thing that hasn't been said enough:

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...]

2007-05-29 10:01:04
41.   kylepetterson
I never thought this would happen, but I've officially "checked-out" of baseball. Don't really pay much attention. Don't really care. You can't really call it "fair weather fan" because I don't mind them losing. It's this utter lack of passion they seem to hit the field with every night that gets me. Who knows, maybe I'll check back in in a month or 2. Let's Go Yan-Kees. Feel free to talk amongst yourselves.
2007-05-29 10:02:55
42.   manila boy
40 ... then DL Damon and Giambi, make Phelps the DH, send down Melky, trade or bench Abreu, call up the Kevins and Shelley Duncan, DFA Minky, call up Andy Phillips, trade Farnsworth for a decent BUC, and ... and ...
2007-05-29 10:03:06
43.   Jim Dean
30 Since I need reminding as well - hasn't the bullpen problems really been a function of the starting pitching problems?

We know this.

Don't we?

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.

2007-05-29 10:06:45
44.   Shaun P
37 Excellent point. OTOH, that behavior is generally frowned on. Add in how bad he's pitched, and many teams might shy away from him for next year, when he's a free agent for the first time. Not exactly the best way to get a long term, big money deal.

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.

2007-05-29 10:17:16
45.   rbj
43 "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?"

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.

2007-05-29 10:17:28
46.   manila boy
43 No, Torre doesn't have to bring in his worst relievers -- Vizcaino and Villone -- in the fifth inning when the deficit is only three runs. Others have argued it here and elsewhere: bring in someone who'll put out the fire, and only when that's done do you bring in the long man. But Torre won't waste Bruney in the fifth. The risk: the game gets out of hand and your best relievers never get a chance. This seems to have happened a lot this year.

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).

2007-05-29 10:18:34
47.   NotGivingUp
Just got off a conference call with a colleague in northern CT... he ended the call with a "hey, how are the yankees doing, i haven't been following much baseball". the guy is a die-hard red sox fan.

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.

arrrgh!

2007-05-29 10:28:06
48.   Jim Dean
46 The point is: You can't keep bringing in your best relievers (Bruney and Proctor) in the fifth inning.

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?

2007-05-29 10:33:13
49.   Jim Dean
Can anyone answer this for me?:

What the best string of quality starts this year?

My guess: 3 or 4 in a row, and even then only once or twice.

2007-05-29 10:38:58
50.   NotGivingUp
yeah, 3 to 4 sounds about right.

and even when we do get a quality starts, its usually borderline...in other words, just well enough to lose...aka Mike Mussina.

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-05-29 10:47:03
51.   RIYank
49 I think it might be Jake Peavy. He's right now working on a string, he's got seven in a row. And ten out of eleven this year.

Or did you mean for the Yankees?

2007-05-29 10:47:08
52.   Jim Dean
50 Hold on. Mussina has been definitely not just good enough to lose - he's sucked:

7 GS 35.3 IP 41 H 23 ER 7 BB 18 K 5.86 ERA 72 ERA+

2007-05-29 10:49:10
53.   Jim Dean
51 I meant for the entire rotation - i.e. have they even gone once through the rotation with quality starts all around?

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.

2007-05-29 10:49:38
54.   williamnyy23
43 That explains some games, but not all (see Mussina on Sunday). Also, Torre's penchant for using his effective relievers in blowouts adds to the problem. In other words, is Joe working with his hands tied? Yes. Is he helping the team make the best of a bad situation? No.
2007-05-29 10:52:54
55.   seamus
49 Then again, we've held opponents to 3 runs or less in 17 games in May and 4 runs in two others. We lost I think 7 of those games.
2007-05-29 10:56:01
56.   williamnyy23
49 Actually, Ken Singleton read a stat yesterday that kind of argues against your point. Apparently, in May, only the Padres have held their opponent under 5 runs more than the Yankees. I just checked the numbers and they've done that 20 times. The pitching actually hasn't been that bad in May. In fact, with any offense, the team would be in good shape heading into June.
2007-05-29 10:56:35
57.   williamnyy23
55 56 What he said.
2007-05-29 11:02:41
58.   RIYank
53 Okay. Hm. I don't see an easy way to do that. I guess you could get all the game logs for the year from Baseball Research and check through them, but it doesn't seem worth it.
2007-05-29 11:03:34
59.   Jim Dean
55 That means they were 10-7 in those games. That's not terrible. But the question is: What was happening in the other games?

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.

2007-05-29 11:05:07
60.   Jim Dean
58 I can't believe it's that hard - maybe though - I couldn't find it on BR or BP.
2007-05-29 11:08:44
61.   JohnnyC
John Henry's not doing all that well these days...
http://online.wsj.com/article/heard_on_the_street.html?mod=djemheard&apl=y

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.

2007-05-29 11:15:31
62.   Jim Dean
The Game log feature on ESPN makes it fairly easy for individuals - but not for strings:

Quality starts of games started:
Pettitte: 8 of 10
Wang: 4 of 7
Mussina: 2 of 7

Rooks is more time comsming.

2007-05-29 11:16:52
63.   seamus
59 i'd venture, without doing the research, that most of the 17 games were quality starts.

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).

2007-05-29 11:18:10
64.   seamus
63 what really bothers me is 2-9 in games between 3 and 7 runs scored against.
2007-05-29 11:22:53
65.   williamnyy23
59 But it is terrible. 10-7 is a .588 WPCT. Last year, the team was 67-12 (.848), and from 1996 to 2006, they were 817-168 (.828).
2007-05-29 11:25:58
66.   seamus
and for contrast, the devil rays in May:

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.

2007-05-29 11:26:41
67.   Shaun P
61 Hey JohnnyC, long time no see . . .

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.

2007-05-29 11:27:24
68.   RIYank
Seamus, your breakdown only gives the Yankees 12 wins. What's up with that?
2007-05-29 11:27:29
69.   AbbyNormal821
Can I ask a question that will probably get a lot of grumbles, groans and rolling of eyes (and perhaps a beating with a Louisville Slugger)? Has anyone thought about and/or is anyone against EVER bringing Bernie back in some capacity? Yes, he's old, yes, he's not that good in CF anymore. But couldn't his bat help a little bit off the bench? Or is it just a moot point? I've heard no talk about him in a while and I can't help wondering...or maybe I'm just being naively nostalgic.

I await your verbal lashings!

;-P

2007-05-29 11:31:19
70.   Jim Dean
65 I think I added it up wrong based on 55: "Then again, we've held opponents to 3 runs or less in 17 games in May and 4 runs in two others. We lost I think 7 of those games."

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.

2007-05-29 11:36:17
71.   Jim Dean
67 Excellent - well done!

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.

2007-05-29 11:44:13
72.   seamus
68 just May. I figure we all know we had starting pitching problems in April.
2007-05-29 11:44:26
73.   nick
Guys, the quality start is kinda arbitrary Just look at innings pitched by starters:
Angels lead at 314.2, league average 291, we're at 261, in basically a 3-way tie for last with Texas and Seattle....

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....

2007-05-29 11:45:52
74.   Shaun P
71 Nope.

But now the question is, will the offense heat up to take advantage of the improved pitching?

2007-05-29 11:51:52
75.   Shaun P
73 That record in one-run games is likely due for a big correction. Remember in 2005, when the Nats were in the playoff hunt at the ASB? It was because they had a ridiculous record in one-run games; at one point, it was 24-8.

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.

2007-05-29 11:55:47
76.   Jim Dean
73 See, I don't think you can hammer on #1 at all. Sure, they've underproduced, but being 4th in runs is not the problem. It's the other side of the ledger.

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?

2007-05-29 12:03:46
77.   seamus
74 can you break that stat on starting pitcher innings by month? Including April is pointing out the obvious and skews the results heavily.

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.

2007-05-29 12:05:14
78.   AbbyNormal821
71 :::SIGH::: I know, that's what I thought. I'm just surprised that his name hasn't even come up on the Yanks end either as.

and thanks!...that wasn't so harsh!

2007-05-29 12:06:26
79.   Bama Yankee
Off topic: Hey Shaun, did I read your post from yesterday correctly to say that you got the My9 Yankee broadcast from Extra Innings during last Friday night's Angels game? I remember the MLB.TV broadcast being the My9 broadcast, but I thought that EI was going with the FSN feed. I watched the game, but I can't remember which one I saw. I seems like it was FSN, but I could be wrong. I guess I have tried to block that series out of my mind. ;-)
2007-05-29 12:07:24
80.   williamnyy23
76 I think you need to consider two things:

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.

2007-05-29 12:14:52
81.   seamus
80 don't forget father time.

it seems that injuries would relate to both woes to some extent (though obviously not exclusively).

2007-05-29 12:15:07
82.   Bama Yankee
78 As I said the other day, who knew that Bernie Williams was the difference maker for this team... ;-)

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.

2007-05-29 12:17:35
83.   seamus
82 i know what we can do to change our fortunes around. we can have the entire team where bernie masks for a game.
2007-05-29 12:18:16
84.   williamnyy23
82 I miss Bernie too, but Abreu is doing a damn fine impression :).
2007-05-29 12:18:44
85.   RIYank
80 I think you're mistaken about how important Giambi is. He has 22 Runs Created (using Baseball Research's version), and last year he had 100, so after 49 games that's about 30. So the Yankees have scored 8 fewer runs than they would have if he'd been hitting this year the way he did last year.
2007-05-29 12:24:09
86.   nick
Answers to everybody at once here--

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.....

2007-05-29 12:24:17
87.   seamus
85 to be fair to 80's point, that is biased by his excellent production in April, isn't it? i.e. he was + runs in April, so he is probably 10+ runs down in May.
2007-05-29 12:29:41
88.   seamus
I agree with william (checks for apocalyptic signs) in that this has been the tale of two seasons. Bad pitching in April. Bad Hitting in May. Or to some extent, inconsistent hitting and pitching all year. But I really think we have seen two completely different months overall. So when look at hitting and pitching stats, I think we'll get a better pichter if we break them down by month.
2007-05-29 12:30:48
89.   williamnyy23
85 I thik 8 runs over 50 games is somewhat significant, especially when you consider the team's record in close games. Also, while your figures make a rough comparison of what has happened, they don't account for what will happen. If Giambi continues to struggle because of the foot, the net loss could very well be much more than 8 runs over the next 50 games.
2007-05-29 12:36:10
90.   Bama Yankee
83 & 84 Funny stuff.
2007-05-29 12:48:39
91.   RIYank
89 8 runs probably amounts to one win.
But yeah, it's true that projecting from his current rate rather than his season-so-far rate would probably be more dramatic.
2007-05-29 13:12:00
92.   Jim Dean
Sorry - I missed that the conversation has continued here.

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.

So far:

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.

2007-05-29 13:28:15
93.   seamus
92 why do we need to win 10 straight like in 2005? I've done this research before. Every year in the last five years, we have gained games on Boston between May and the end of the year. 2005 was actually one of our least impressive advances.

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.

2007-05-29 13:31:28
94.   Jim Dean
Seamus -

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.

2007-05-29 13:46:00
95.   Jim Dean
BTW:

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.

2007-05-29 14:08:23
96.   seamus
ok, i think we've argued this one out. We'll have to agree to disagree I guess. It was a good debate though. In any case, I hope that things turn for the better. The talent is there. I hope the wins follow.
2007-05-29 14:14:53
97.   Jim Dean
96 Me too! But after I wrote 95 I realized how daunting the task is looking - it will require the hitting of April with better pitching than of May.

Who knows - it could start tonight!

2007-05-29 16:10:21
98.   nemecizer
47 YOU MUST SLAY HIM!

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