Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Series Wrap: v. Red Sox
2007-08-30 19:47
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Offense: The Yankees only scored 4.67 runs per game, but that's actually excellent considering the fact that the Sox have allowed just 3.63 runs per game since the All-Star break. Not only that, they did it against the Sox's three best starters, beating Matsuzaka and Beckett, and tagging one of the league's best relievers in Hideki Okajima in the finale.


Derek Jeter 7 for 11, 2B, HR, RBI, 2 R, BB
Melky Cabrera 4 for 8, RBI, R, BB, SacB, CS
Robinson Cano 3 for 10, 3B, 2 HR, 2 RBI, 3 R, BB
Johnny Damon 3 for 13, HR, 4 RBI, 2 R


Bobby Abreu 2 for 11, 2B, RBI, 2 R, BB, 2 K
Jason Giambi 1 for 6, K
Andy Phillips 1 for 5, K

Wilson Betemit went 0 for 1 with a K and a run scored as a pinch-runner after entering the opener in the seventh inning. Jose Molina and Shelley Duncan did not play in the series.

Rotation: Outstanding. Pettitte came up huge with seven strong innings in the opener, limiting the Sox to six leadoff hits (though two were homers and a third was a triple, which also scored) and a pair of walks while striking out six. Clemens then no-hit the Sox for 5 1/3 innings before allowing his only run (and one of only two hits) in six innings on a David Ortiz homer. Chien-Ming Wang then no-hit the Sox for six innings and shut them out for seven on a single hit while striking out five. Sure, Clemens and Wang walked a combined nine men in 13 innings, but I'll take nine walks and three hits in 13 innings any time. The last time the Yankee starter earned the win in three consecutive games? Pettitte, Clemens, and Wang against the Tigers two weekends ago. On both occasions the Yankees allowed just six runs total across the three games.

Bullpen: Well, Kyle Farnsworth turned back into Farmaduke, but otherwise, excellent, which is how it tends to go when the starters are strong and the lesser arms in the pen aren't required. Remember in my series preview when I said, "If Torre needs Britton tonight, something's likely gone wrong?" Well nothing went wrong. Though here's hoping Britton and Brian Bruney get some work in against the D-Rays this weekend, but not because things have gone wrong. The good news on Bruney, by the way, is with rosters expanding tomorrow, he's here to stay. I just hope Torre gives him the opportunity to succeed or fail legitimately.

The Good:

Mo pitched 2 1/3 perfect innings and struck out two to pick up saves in the first two games. His four-out save in a one-run game in game two was huge, even if he did face the turnaround of the Boston order. Those four outs took him 14 pitches, 11 of which were strikes. Joba Chamberlain actually allowed four baserunners and struck out just two in his 2 1/3 innings, but one of those baserunners was the walk of Youkilis after he got tossed in the finale, and he still hasn't allowed a run in 11 1/3 major league innings. Edwar Ramirez threw that ball four to Youkilis as well as a pair of wild pitches, but struck out the hot-hitting Mike Lowell and stranded Youkilis at third to wrap up the shutout in the finale. Luis Vizcaino walked one and struck out one in a scoreless inning in the middle game to the delight of Roger Clemens.

The Bad:

Farmaduke faced five batters in relief of Vizcaino, one struck out, one walked, one singled, one homered. Fortunately the walk came after the homer. Still, he nearly blew the middle game and didn't even finish his inning, necessitating that four-out save from Mo.

Conclusion: The Yankees quite simply played great baseball over the last three games and swept the best team in the majors as a result. I don't know what more there is to say. As a special bonus, they are now a game up in the Wild Card race and tied in the loss column with the Mariners, who were swept by the Angels and have lost six straight.

2007-08-30 21:18:58
1.   yankz
Hooray for staying up late!

As I posted in the previous thread, I hope Joba won't be afraid to come inside in his next outing.

2007-08-30 21:33:18
2.   Zack
Joba will be fine. And Youkilis is a guy I really try to like. He's an overachiever with a good baseball eye, into the history, hes a man of the tribe etc, but he is just so damn annoying. Everything seems to relate back to HIM on the field, and he just whines and bitches about everything. He's like Paul O'Neil I guess but uglier (and that's saying a lot)and not as good...And with worse facial hair...
2007-08-30 21:34:10
3.   Zack
I was thinking, realistically, its very possible for the Yanks to drop 2 of 3 to the Rays with Hughes and Kennedy going. But I prefer not to be realistic :)
2007-08-30 21:59:26
4.   zgveritas
The Sox may have the best record in baseball. Calling them the best team in the majors may make the sweep sound even sweeter.

But the Angels are clearly the best team in the majors right now.

2007-08-30 22:07:16
5.   Mattpat11
Kevin Youkilis has a lot of that Trot Nixon "Do you know who I AM?" in him.
2007-08-30 22:07:40
6.   Vandelay Industries
4 I think they are too. However, ESPN and the usual suspects are reluctant to pin that title on them as they are without a name to compliment Vlad, Escobar and Lackey. Winning and playing well is what matters, otherwise the Yankees would be 100-31 right now. Names shmames.
2007-08-30 22:13:12
7.   Mattpat11
6 ESPN gets VERY stubborn. They were calling the White Sox the best pitching staff in baseball last year all year long.
2007-08-30 22:19:47
8.   zgveritas
After Francona got ejected for arguing the out of the basepath call Youklis started arguing the call again.

At the time I remember thinking that he was purposely trying to take time and trying to mess with Wang's rhythm. I was thinking to myself "what a dick maneuver."

If Joba was throwing at Youk I imagine this was why.

2007-08-30 22:24:58
9.   Vandelay Industries
7 I'm pretty sure the Mets are now the NY team without any pitching. Eh Mr. Phillips?
2007-08-31 00:52:03
10.   snydes
cliff, nice wrap.

actually, as a red sox fan, i just wanted to commend your work. a very fair assesment as always.

2007-08-31 00:54:44
11.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
9 Steve Phillips? Way off topic here, but my friend was saying that his entry on Wikipedia claimed he was a 'practicing homosexual who lived in NYC with his boyfriend Julio'.. This seemed like Wiki-fraud to me, but did this have anything to do with the sex-scandal he had while with the Mets? Sorry for Qs but been away awhile and don't read the Daily News online anymore...
Anyways: Let's get another sweep this weekend! and Go Blue Jays!
2007-08-31 04:16:33
12.   JL25and3
5 Was that Trot Nixon or Larry Craig?
2007-08-31 04:52:56
13.   williamnyy23
8 There was no way Chamberlain was throwing at Youkilis. If he wanted to hit him, he wouldn't have waited for a 1-1 count. Also, why would he throw 2 98mph fastballs at his head. Unless you Joba is a homicidal maniac, I can't we how anyone would purposely fire two fastballs at a man's head. In the back, sure, but not at the head.

Youkilis is a whining drama queen, so his reaction means nothing. Francona on the other hand was probably simply trying to turn the media's attention toward a non-incident and away from the embarassment of the 3-game sweep.

2007-08-31 04:58:09
14.   williamnyy23
As for the baseline play, I think the call was obvious. I was at the game and when Aarod missed the tag the entire section shouted "he's out of the baseline". When I saw the replay, it confirmed the observation. The rule on the topic is very clear. Once a fielder attempts a tag, the runners baseline is defined as a range of three feet from the runner's position at that time. By running on the grass, Youkilis was more like 6 feet from the baseline established by Arod's tag attempt.
2007-08-31 05:17:06
15.   monkeypants
Whatever Joba's intent, what should we think about Torre starting the ninth with him? On th eone hand, this shows that he has earned a very close sopt in Joe's circle of trust--few players would be allowed to finish a game and earn a save except Mo.

On the other hand, with Hughes going today and Kennedy on Saturday, and considering the three extra runs the Yanks tacked on in the 8th, would it not have made more sense to save him for Saturday (when in fact two innings might be needed)?

Ultimately, this probably won't matter much anyway. I suspect that there is a special rule that says if your get rung after throwing five pitches, the inning doesn't count.

2007-08-31 05:19:38
16.   Sliced Bread
Easy to feel good about our pitching today. But let's not forget the Sox were mostly Manny-less there. A shark is not quite as dangerous if you remove half its teeth.
Even so, offensively the Sox aren't a shark I'm too afraid to swim with.

The Tigers and Angels lineups are much more imposing, and each team has more than a few excellent pitchers. Fuck the stats. In my eyes, both of those teams are better than the Red Sox. The Yankees are better than the Red Sox. Here's hoping they prove me right over the next 8 weeks.

Cliff, I understand your studs-duds designations are based on the entire series, and despite going 2 for 11 I just don't see Abreu as a dud. His double against Okajima was tremendous. Then, he's in on the double steal, inducing an errant throw from Varitek (BONUS!) to blow the game open. When a player comes up big, even once in a series, I can't classify them a dud or a goat, so I very respectfully disagree.

2007-08-31 05:25:13
17.   Sliced Bread
15 At the time, I didn't have any problem with Joba coming out for the 9th to contain the meat of the order, but in hindsight I agree with you. I just love watching him, so I can easily overlook the "longterm" ramifications of having him go 2 innings.
bottomline: They were up 5-zip, and Joba didn't look particularly sharp in the 8th. And now I deeply regret that his 9th inning fiasco had been avoided.
2007-08-31 05:27:49
18.   Sliced Bread
17 not been avoided, obviously.
2007-08-31 05:29:34
19.   rbj
14 On BBTN even Tim Kurkjin was saying that it was close. I guess the Powers That Be have gotten to him too. Both feet on the grass = outside the baseline.
2007-08-31 05:32:18
20.   Sliced Bread
14 wasn't even close, as I saw it.
2007-08-31 05:35:53
21.   JL25and3
16 Good point about the Manny-less lineup. I also thought the Yankee offense on Wednesday was not as impressive as it seemed at first glance. They gave up way too many chances in that game - they should have scored 6 or 7 runs, at least.
2007-08-31 05:36:51
22.   JL25and3
2 MOT is Member of the Tribe. I learned that one from the Joys of Yiddish.
2007-08-31 05:53:52
23.   3rd gen yankee fan
Man I really envy all you people who were at yesterday's game! What a great one!
2007-08-31 05:56:32
24.   Sliced Bread
Good observation over at the Pride of the Yankees blog:

"Joba could be seen wiping his hand after the pitch, implying the ball was slipping out. It was a terrible, hasty call from Hernandez."


And as Emma Span notes at Eephus:
Chamberlain's demeanor suggested it was an accident -- he looked really confused and surprised and kind of awkward when he got tossed from the game, and in his interviews afterwards seemed genuinely worried that people would get the wrong idea.


2007-08-31 05:59:46
25.   Sliced Bread
love, LOVE, LOVING this from NoMaas:

Production from homegrown Yankees during the 3-game sweep of Boston:

Homegrown Yankee pitchers threw 19.1 innings with 9 H, 8 BB, 3 ER, and 16 K (WHIP: 0.88; ERA: 1.40)

Homegrown Yankee hitters went 21-of-54 with 2 2B, 3B, 4 HR, and 6 BB.
(.389 BA /.450 OBP /.630 SLG / .980 OPS)

2007-08-31 06:33:35
26.   Mattpat11
I don't want to alarm anyone, but The Stinkster is lighting up Scranton. I fear he may return soon.
2007-08-31 06:40:04
27.   AbbyNormal821
22 Hysterical! I've got me a copy of that book too that my grams gave me!
2007-08-31 06:56:09
28.   aronneil
On Joba rules: during the middle game of the series, the ESPN guys said something about how there had been no rules on the Marlins for Beckett, Pavano, and Burnett. Of course, no mention of the injuries suffered by 2/3 of that trio.

I like the Joba rules. Keep 'em healthy, especially with the expanded rosters. Then use him like crazy in the playoffs.

2007-08-31 06:58:15
29.   rsmith51
26 I hope that Torre doesn't mess up the chemistry by replacing Andy with Minky. They are basically the same player. I am hoping that Minky will get DFA'd.
2007-08-31 07:05:24
30.   monkeypants
29 They basically the same player, except that Andy is a littl eyounger, less injured, and can play some 2B and 3B.

Really, if Minky comes back they could carry five 1B--the mind biggles at the PR options that Torre would have.

2007-08-31 07:11:27
31.   rbj
Quick, someone go to Scranton and go all Tonya Harding on Minky's knee. Giambi actually looks serviceable at first, which allows Damon to DH/LF with Matsui.
2007-08-31 07:15:39
32.   Raf
28 Don't you mean 3/3? While his may not have been as serious as Pavano or Burnett, Beckett has a decent injury history.
2007-08-31 07:47:52
33.   JL25and3
30 For now, at least, I think Giambi will be the almost-everyday first baseman. He's looked surprisingly slick around the bag, even making a few downright spectacular plays.

I know, a few days doesn't mean he's turned into a great fielder (though he's looking pretty slim and agile, for Giambi). But it may convince the Yankees that they can afford to put their best lineup on the field every day.

2007-08-31 07:54:51
34.   pistolpete
0 Cliff, did you mean Britton when you wrote this?

>> The good news on Bruney, by the way, is with rosters expanding tomorrow, he's here to stay. I just hope Torre gives him the opportunity to succeed or fail legitimately. >>

2007-08-31 08:03:04
35.   Chyll Will
I have to say, I'm pleasantly surprised that the NY Daily Rues did not overreact to the two overhead pitches from yesterday; their take seems to be that the Sox were justified to be upset at 98 heaters, but you're crazy to think he did it on purpose and Staingel Hernandez was the one who overreacted. I didn't think they had it in them; I'm happily wrong about them so far (all it really means is I don't have to skip out on my comics >;) I haven't read the others yet, but then the others have sucky comics pages, so I'm not in a big hurry.

I agree; I hope it doesn't compromise his ability to go inside, and likely some hitters are going to try and exploit that next time he does, but I definitely admire his get up, so I don't think it's likely.

2007-08-31 08:05:26
36.   Chyll Will
36 But then, if the Yanks had lost, they could have easily flipped the script. Whatever.
2007-08-31 08:15:55
37.   Peter
Injury concerns aside, my biggest issue with Giambi playing 1B is that Torre won't let him finish a game, which inevitably leads to Andy Philips (or Betemit) coming up to bat in a big situation in the 8th or 9th inning.

Also, I noticed this wording in an AP article in the Metro on my way into work this morning. In the recap of yesterday's game, they write how Francona was ejected following a "controversial play involving Alex Rodriguez" without any mention of Youkilis at all.

2007-08-31 08:21:22
38.   monkeypants
37 Interesting point about Giambi at 1B, but you're damned if you do, damned if you don't in that situation. If Giambi doesn't play 1B, then you have three or four ABs of Betemit/Phillips. Now, you could argue that in this case, one could PH Giambi for Betemit/Phillips in that big spot in the ninth--but you can't do that if Giambi is DH. So, basically you are arguing that it would be better to sit Giambi for eight innings on the chance that he could be used to PH in a big spot in 9th, rather than play him for 7 or 8 innings (three ABs, say) and risk the chance that Phillips has to bat in a big spot in the 9th.
2007-08-31 08:26:35
39.   NJYankee41
I'm just throwing this out here and I don't know if anyone else has done this yet.

I looked at the past 4 seasons to see how many times Jeter and A-Rod have been hit by Sox pitchers and how many times Manny and Ortiz have.

HBP Since 2004:
v. Red Sox

v. Yanks

Thats our 2 biggest targets versus their biggest targets. 14-1.

With that said Manny and Ortiz do not get hit often so the total is expected to be low, while Jeter and A-Rod do get hit pretty often so their totals are expected to be high. In the past 4 years A-Rod has been hit every 11.82 games and Jeter has been hit every 12.46 games. Against the Sox A-Rod has been hit every 12 games and Jeter every 8.5 games. So it doesn't look like they go after A-Rod anymore than he would get hit on avergage. But you could have a bit of a case with Jeter. Or it could just be their philosphy to really pound him inside.

If the Yanks were into sending messeges one would think the Sox' 2 best players would be hit more than 1 combined time. Which makes me think that people like Youkilis should stop flattering themselves and realize they may not be as important as they think they are.

I'm not trying to provide a stance I just thought it was interesting to look at and I wanted to share.

And I would also like to point out that the Angels have hit Jeter every 7.6 games so maybe we should keep an eye on that one ;)

2007-08-31 08:26:38
40.   Mattpat11
29 I don't believe in team chemistry. I want no part of the Stink because he's horrid.
2007-08-31 08:50:25
41.   NJYankee41
Who cares if the Stink comes back? He will be here when the rosters expand, so they won't be getting rid of Andy or Shelley for him. I don't mind him coming in to replace Giambi late in the game provided they let Duncan hit if the spot comes up later. Then they can put Andy in for defense. If he was going to be added to the 25 man roster I would say no thank you, but on a roster of 40 I see no harm so long as he doesn't start.
2007-08-31 08:59:09
42.   rsmith51
I think the point is that giving Minky as an option for Torre may backfire, and badly, IMHO.
2007-08-31 09:19:09
43.   Sliced Bread
As the person who named him "Doug Out" upon his signing, my aversion to the player is well-documented here, and admittedly not entirely rational.

But for the love of Babe Ruth, please send him away.

I'd rather see Mussina take his at-bats.

2007-08-31 09:41:12
44.   JL25and3
42 Really, what's your fear? That Torre will play Mxyzptlk over Giambi? or over Damon? Those are really the only options.

If he uses Minky as the DR instead of Phillips, I don't have a huge problem with that. Otherwise, I'm hard pressed to see what you're worried about.

2007-08-31 10:12:07
45.   Dark Knight
thanks NJYankee41 for the HBP data! i've wondered about that for years. the sox routinely seem to plunk a-rod, if for no other reason than to funk him for the game. this year, against the sox, has 3 HBPs, gone 2-9 with no HRs; overall, he's been hit 17 times in 2007, hit 8-49 (.163) with 2 HR and 1 2B. it's a small sample size, but somewhat telling. would you hit him on an opposing team? i think torre should warn the umps beforehand.

also, am i the only one concerned that even an effective clemens may only last 6 innings a start, especially in the playoffs (i hope)? he's appeared in 16 games and exceeded 6 innings 3 times. that's not a small request for this yankee bullpen, joba notwithstanding.

2007-08-31 10:21:51
46.   monkeypants
45 Everyone should have known he was basically going to be a six inning max pitcher, at age 45 in the AL. If they didn't, they were deluding themselves. He's not really a concern other than what should have been predicted.

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