Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
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Back On Track?
2007-07-29 15:17
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

The Yankees scored four runs early yesterday afternoon to overcome another less-than-crisp start from Chien-Ming Wang (6 IP, 9 H, 4 BB, 3 ER). They then scored six runs late to overcome more shoddy relief work from the bullpen (3 IP, 6 H, 3 R). Put it all together and the Yanks beat the Orioles 10-6 to salvage the final game of the weekend series and the glimmer of hope for their season.

The Yanks got all four of those early runs off Daniel Cabrera in the first two innings. They did this despite getting only one run out of a bases-loaded no-outs situation in the first and Derek Jeter being called out at the plate on an inning ending 3-4-2 double play off the bat of Alex Rodriguez in the second despite the fact that it appeared that catcher Paul Bako missed the tag.

Rodriguez, incidentally, is still hitless since he launched career homer number 499 in Kansas City. After last night's game, Rodriguez said he was being pitched very carefully and that instead of pressing to make things happen he had to learn to take his base and keep the line moving. Yesterday, after striking out and grounding into the afore mentioned double play in his first two at-bats (both with the bases loaded), he took his own advice and took three walks (one intentional) in his three remaining trips. That's further evidence of the increased maturity that Rodriguez has shown this season. In the 2005 Division Series against the Angels, Rodriguez was in a similar situation. The Angels gave him nothing to hit in that series, but he tried to force it and wound up going 2 for 15 with five Ks and just six walks in 21 plate appearances.

Cabrera largely settled down after the bad call on Jeter, while Wang coughed up those two runs in the bottom of the fourth, stranding two other runners on base thanks to a fantastic inning-ending catch by Johnny Damon heading back toward the wall in the gap in left field to snag a drive by Brian Roberts. Roberts got his revenge on Wang by driving in a run in the sixth to pull the O's within 4-3. The Yanks got that one back in the seventh off John Parrish, but the O's returned the volley in the bottom of the inning by plating Nick Markakis's leadoff double off Luis Vizcaino.

That made it 5-4 Yanks with Vizcaino burned and Kyle Farnsworth warming in the pen. Watching the game, I was convinced Farnsworth would blow that one-run lead in the eighth. Fortunately, the Yanks exploded for five runs against Paul Shuey and Dany Baez in the top of the inning, which cushioned the blow of the two-run Brian Roberts home run Farnsworth eventually surrendered in the bottom half. Mariano Rivera struck out the side around a pair of singles and a wild pitch in the ninth to wrap things up.

The Yankees are now back home for a much needed rest today followed by six games against the White Sox and Royals. They really need to go 5-1 in that stretch. It's a lot to ask, but times are tough in Yankeeland.

Comments
2007-07-29 22:43:33
1.   Mattpat11
We really need to sweep Kansas.
2007-07-29 23:24:13
2.   BklynBmr
We really need to sweep Chicago.
2007-07-30 03:23:40
3.   RIYank
Kansas needs it more. That place is seriously dusty, especially in the summer. For Chicago, I'd use a mop.
2007-07-30 04:01:03
4.   joe in boston
"Watching the game, I was convinced Farnsworth would blow that one-run lead in the eighth."

We all were convinced weren't we ?

Farnsworthless has to be sent away

Off day, rainy up here in Boston, lots to read.... wish there was a game tonight

2007-07-30 04:35:26
5.   Rich
Melky has become an indispensable part of this team:

For the season:

.291/.348/.409/.757

Since May 15th:

.315/.372/.452 /.825

2007-07-30 05:06:27
6.   nemecizer
I woke up this morning convinced that Karl Farnsworth had been traded to either Atlanta or the Tigers for pitching prospects. I dug around the interweb for a news story, only to find none. It must have been a dream.

I am literally dreaming about trading players. I need to watch less baseball.

2007-07-30 05:32:52
7.   Cliff Corcoran
5 Better yet, since he became the regular CF on June 1: .330/.386/.466. As far as I'm concerned, he's the team's center fielder for the forseable future. Consider that Bernie made his major league debut at the same age Melky is now and hit .238/.336/.350.
2007-07-30 06:15:19
8.   Knuckles
Joba's not starting in AAA again, but rather going to get some relief work in.
2007-07-30 06:42:51
9.   bp1
7 I agree. The Yankees are a better team with Melky being a regular starter.

It will be interesting to see what they do when Giambi comes back. I think I'd like to see Abreu put on the bench (or traded), with Damon back in center, Melky in right, and Giambi as DH. Giambi is a more productive hitter, and Melky is a better fielder.

Hard to swallow paying a guy $16mil to ride the pine, though, so I doubt that'll happen.

Like I said - it will be interesting to see how this plays out.

2007-07-30 06:50:57
10.   Knuckles
9 Why Abreu on the bench? Aside from a couple slick catches in the field, Damon has been much worse than Abreu...similar OBP, but much worse in the SLG department...

And if Melky and Damon are both to be in the field at the same time, Melky's arm should be in CF, and Damon in one of the corners.

2007-07-30 06:55:50
11.   rsmith51
9 I would probably just rotate the OF/DH to get everybody work and then stick with the hot bats. Melky should be the CF, though. I think Damon is better defensively than Matsui, but Matsui has a better bat. Damon should probably be the first guy off the bench if it is a .900+ OPS Giambi.
2007-07-30 07:34:41
12.   joejoejoe
They need to make up 4 games to force a Wild Card playoff. That is about 1 game every two weeks - very doable. I can't sweat them going 3-3 over any given stretch as long as they keep winning 6 (hopefully 7) out of every ten games.
2007-07-30 08:25:32
13.   rbj
Wow, Moose vs. Contreras. I predict an ugly, 4 hour game.
2007-07-30 08:31:10
14.   thelarmis
the braves just got teixeira (and ron mahay) for salty, elvis andrus and 2 pitching prospects...
2007-07-30 08:42:38
15.   ChrisS
14 Well, the biggest argument on these threads goes "poof!" in a cloud of smoke.

All that text expended ...

I guess Joba is being relegated to the bullpen is so that they will be able to use his arm and keep his innings down at the same time. But I would still like to see him and Hughes in the rotation instead of Moose and the recently departed Kei-Quest.

Chris Basak? WTF? Bring back Edwar and Britton, send Farnsy to pasture, and give Proctor a damn rest.

2007-07-30 09:57:49
16.   JL25and3
15 I don't think Edwar has been down 10 days yet. And isn't Britton hurt?

Not that any of that changes "Chris Basak? WTF?" Cairo, for all his BFOG+, isn't getting any at-bats, so what's Basak supposed to do?

Not getting Teixeira doesn't upset me much, but it's a shame to see Salty get traded without the Yankees getting into it. It seemed like a nice setup for a three-way deal.

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