Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Slim Pickings
2007-09-14 05:34
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

"I think that might be the best pitching staff in the league," [Johnny] Damon said. "Detroit hasn't been healthy all year I know and you have to look at Anaheim and Boston.

"But these guys [the Blue Jays], all of them throw the ball well. I really tip my hat to those guys. They're a scary team, they're really close."
(Globe and Mail)

The Yankees lost a well-pitched game 2-1 against the Blue Jays last night. Ian Kennedy was terrific, giving up just a run off one hit over seven innings, and A.J. Burnett was McNasty allowing a single run over eight innings. But Battleship Chris Britton gave up two consecutive hits in the bottom of the ninth and that was that.

Kennedy made one mistake in the first inning. With a runner on, he grooved an 0-2 fastball right over the heart of the plate to Frank Thomas. The Jays' DH pounded a long line drive to deep center field. Melky Cabrera looked as if he was going to catch it, but missed the ball at the wall, allowing the first run of the game to score. It wasn't a can of corn but it was a ball Cabrera should have caught. Kennedy then retired the next 15 batters, as he mixed his fastball, breaking ball and change-up wonderfully.

Burnett, in a complete contrast of styles, was simply overpowering. His breaking ball was hard and sharp and it often skipped in the dirt. But that didn't matter much as Yankee hitters waved at it anyway. Wilson Betemit whiffed three times on breaking pitches. Johnny Damon caught a change-up from Burnett and planted it into the seats for a solo home run in the sixth. By the time Alex Rodriguez came to hit three batters later, there were two runners on. Rodriguez couldn't hold up on the first pitch, a hard slider, but he laid-off the next two pitches, also breaking balls. Then, Burnett spotted a fastball right down the pipe, and to cap it off, he threw the same pitch again. Rodriguez, guessing breaking ball, took both pitches (he'd strike out again in the ninth, after just missing a slider).

The Yankees left two runners stranded in the sixth and in the ninth and when Britton entered the game, well, it didn't look good. Britton was pitching because Kyle Farnsworth was unavailable due to a sore neck. And so the Yanks lost a squeaker, ending their seven-game winning streak. It wouldn't seem like such a tough loss if the Bombers hadn't put themselves in such a pickle early in the season.

Ah, no use crying. Tonight gives Boston. Here comes the pain.

2007-09-14 06:11:58
1.   Sliced Bread
Bring The Pain.
2007-09-14 06:14:47
2.   3rd gen yankee fan
The pain??? I expect to get in there and wipe the floor with Matsusucka. Boston has looked like crrrrrrrrap lately.
2007-09-14 06:30:34
3.   rbj
You mean the pain the Yankees are going to inflict on Boston, right?

Or is it the pain of having Saturday's game on Fox and Sunday night's on ESPN?

2007-09-14 06:32:34
4.   Sliced Bread
Anybody see Alfonseca bringin' the pain, at least trying to, against Helton last night?

As my Phillies fan buddy explains it the Phils are fed up with getting beaned all year.

Another of theirs got plunked last night. Werth?
Enter Alfonseca. Helton's up. Alfonseca looks into the Phils' dugout. Orders from the boss. Affirmative nod from the pitcher. Busts a curve toward Helton's skull which fortunately only grazes his arm. Outta the game.

Method Man woulda laughed.

Gentleman's game mine arse.

Whut up, Boston? Joba Rules for ya Joba Fools.

2007-09-14 06:42:31
5.   RichB
My favorite part of last night's game was a shot of Kennedy walking off the mound after the 6th. He had just retired 15 straight batters as you mentioned, but issued a two-out walk in the 6th to Adams before getting Alex Rios on a loud fly out to left. The YES cams caught his expression walking back to the dugout. He was shaking his head and looking back at where the ball landed in Damon's glove and cursing himself.

Now that's what I love to see - a young kid who beats himself up over a pitch that he got away with instead of smiling because he got out of the inning. The guy was throwing a one hitter, but that wasn't good enough for him. That's what you call character.

2007-09-14 06:55:03
6.   Yankee Fan in Chicago
You know what I'd like to see more than anything else this weekend?

A smackdown of Becks on Saturday. If Wang pitches well, and PtGtRW gives up 8 er in 3 ip or something, that could balloon his era, vaulting the Wanger right over him in the Cy Young race. We got a lot of hits off him in the Bronx, but couldn't translate them into runs. Let's change that.

(Of course Sabathia should win it, but you can't overestimate the big-market, NY/Boston hype machine.)

2007-09-14 07:07:44
7.   pistolpete
5 I think all the new rookies have that quality, and it definitely bodes well for the future.
2007-09-14 07:09:55
8.   RichB
6 I dunno... I think you have to consider Fausto Carmona too. He's been brilliant all year and his run support has been pathetic (4.55). Meanwhile Sabathia's RS is over 1 run higher (5.69) and Wang & Beckett have gotten 2-2.5 runs more (7.12 & 6.54).
2007-09-14 07:12:39
9.   Sliced Bread
6 Wang's our guy but he's no Cy.

Not a campaign slogan fit for a bumpersticker, but probably truer than anything you'll read in traffic these days.

I was trying to think of a Kennedy campaign slogan to respond to 5 , but was coming up empty.

Anyway, it's starting to look like this Kennedy kid is the Yankees best use of the #36 since Cone, who he's beginning to resemble grit and stuff wise. Good to see.

2007-09-14 07:18:50
10.   williamnyy23
8 Right now, the AL CY Young should be Sabathia hands down. His 141 ERA+ is second only to Johan's 143, but CC has pitched 20 more innings. Compared to Beckett, CC not only has a better ERA+, but he also nearly 40 innings pitched. If everything stays the same, Sabathia is really the best candidate, by far, with a case to be made for Santana.

9 Wang shouldn't really be in the discussion...he is probably around 8-10 on the list of deserving candidates.

2007-09-14 07:35:07
11.   RichB
10 Hey, I'm all for ERA+ as a measure, but we're taking about differences of 0.18 between the Johan the ERA leader and Becket in the #8 position. That's a difference of 1 run every 50 innings, which is more than explained by luck, ballparks and infield defense. The ERA field is very close and I think this year we've got to look deeper than ERA. I don't think anyone is a hands down choice.
2007-09-14 08:31:14
12.   JL25and3
5 I don't know if that's necessarily a good thing. Recognize you got away with one, sure, maybe even file it as something you have to work on - then let it go. Those things happen an awful lot over the course of a season, and cursing himself out in the dugout seems like a serious overreaction. The fans tend to love overreaction, but I don't think it's actually any more valuable than underreacting.
2007-09-14 08:36:47
13.   Chyll Will
Wow, slow day... or is everyone as exhausted as I am?
2007-09-14 08:55:14
14.   Zack
Don't worry, the Beantown papers are already trying to fan the flames around Joba.I think it mostly stems from the fact that the Sox wanted/needed a reason to dislike a guy who, in reality, they have no business disliking. Period.

I'm off to "the Nation" in about an hour for the wedding weekend, so I turn over any mojo I might have to y'all. I really really really want a sweep this weekend. How great would that be? I have little confidence of it happening in Fenway, but you never know!

Let's go Yankees!

2007-09-14 09:05:33
15.   E-Rocker
14 I hope he actually beans Youkilis this weekend, and shuts his mouth up. I loved in one of the articles how Tavarez says that we gotta respond. Respond to someone not getting hit. That makes a lot of sense.

God, how I hate the Red Sox!!!!!

2007-09-14 09:11:52
16.   Chyll Will
A welcome distraction from their football issues, I suppose. You don't like what people are saying to you or about you, so you go dump on someone who has nothing to do with it... typical.
2007-09-14 09:20:54
17.   OldYanksFan
Where forth art thou Farnsworth?

Who ever thought this BB crowd would be bemoaning that fact that Krazy Kyle wasn't available? HA!

2007-09-14 09:21:55
18.   C2Coke
As much as Kennedy didn't deserve "not to win", I felt a bit relieved for the Yankees to end the winning streak before going to Boston. Anyone feel the same?

9 ,10 Years from now, Wang could be the guy with most wins and still won't get Cy Young, no? Well, as long as he stays with the Yankees and keep getting those wins, we will all be happy, right?

2007-09-14 09:24:26
19.   Just fair
I heard Peter Gammons on the radio this morning. He claims he saw Joba look in A-Rod's directions after the whole Youkilis ordeal and nod, as if to say, "I got your back after Dice-K beaned you." He definitely felt it was intentional.
Thanks, Peter. Feed the nation.
2007-09-14 09:36:34
20.   OldYanksFan
Steve at WW has the definitive numbers on IF it's possible to catch Boston.
Numerically possible... EXtremely unlikely.
My botton Line:

1) We MUST sweep this weekend. Numerically, but especially psychologocally, it's a must.
2) After that, we both have 4 against Toronto and 3 against TB. Then Boston has 2/Oakland and 4/Minn... both of who can beat Boston with good pitching. We meanwhile have 6 against Baltimore. So.... the schedule favors us slightly.

Boston goes 7-5 of their remaining 12.
We go 10-3 of of remaining 13.
That's a tie.
WHERE is the playoff held?
Or is it the best season series record?

We gave her a good post-ASB run.
But methinks we are out of time.
A sweep keeps the hope alive.

2007-09-14 09:36:39
21.   Sliced Bread
19 Gammons was on with Kay the other day talking about the young Yankee pitchers.
He had some complimentary things to say about Joba, but instead of pausing between sentences he kept awkwardly injecting the words "Clay Buchholz." It was fascinating.
2007-09-14 09:41:41
22.   Knuckles
Gammons decides what he wants to believe on his own, then makes up back stories like that crap to justify it, and no one calls him on it because he's a HOF writer. He should just go work for NESN or fade into Bolivian.

I never thought I'd be happy that a Yanks-Sox game is on ESPN, but my cable box died this week, so I'm surviving currently w/o hi-def, DVR, or Extra Innings, until I can get my butt down to Comcast and trade for a new box.

I like this sentence from the Union Leader article:
"The mere mention of throwing at a batter's head enlists strong reactions."

Umm, hey idiot, don't you mean elicits strong reactions? Or do you follow a different set of grammar rules up yonder in NH?

2007-09-14 09:47:34
23.   ric

sox actually end up avoiding harden, blanton and santana in those series as well as halladay in toronto.

2007-09-14 09:56:54
24.   OldYanksFan
23 Hi Ric, trolling for some intellectual Banter I assume? Maybe you should start a sister site... the 'Rox Ranters'.
2007-09-14 10:02:12
25.   williamnyy23
11 That's exactly why Sabathia should be the clear leader. He has many more innings pitched than most of the other top contenders, including Beckett, Wang and Carmona. He is even 20 IP ahead of Santana.
2007-09-14 10:04:36
26.   williamnyy23
15 If anyone is going to handle that job, it should be Krazy Kyle. I would love to see Youkilis charge the mound against Farnsey. As much as I hate his pitching, knowing that Kyle would willingly protect his boys prevents me from putting him on the list of all-time hated Yankees.
2007-09-14 10:06:09
27.   williamnyy23
19 That's much so, I actually wish it was true.
2007-09-14 10:06:22
28.   williamnyy23
19 That's much so, I actually wish it was true.
2007-09-14 10:06:52
29.   williamnyy23
27 28 And I had to say it twice.
2007-09-14 10:12:42
30.   williamnyy23
20 At this point, I am looking at these games as a chance to maintain or pad the WC lead. Basically, I'd be happy if the Yankees match the Tigers win for win. If that means a sweep, then you can look at the division. I honestly think 10-3 is a very reasonable expectation. With the Orioles pitching in free fall and the D'Rays bullpen in midseason form (which is a bad thing), those 9 games should provide a haven.
2007-09-14 10:16:15
31.   SF Yanks
Not to think too far ahead or anything, but who sits next season out of the young pitching crop starting rotation? Can you really put Hughes, our best pitching prospect since...a long time, in the pen or back to the minors? Who doesn't want to see what Joba can do starting a game instead of pitching only one inning? Doesn't he have to be in the rotation? And if Kennedy keeps going at this rate, why wouldn't he be in the starting rotation? We also have Wang and likely, Pettitte. Do the Yanks go after a pitcher over the off-season? (I don't think there's many available) But even if they don't go after another pitcher, I can't see them starting the season with potentially 3 unknowns in Joba, Franchise, and IPK, although I wish they would.
2007-09-14 10:22:26
32.   ric

ill tell you what oldballs, theres nothing very controversial about what i said so if its too much for you to bear, just ignore.

2007-09-14 11:21:54
33.   JL25and3
20 Fine, but the Orioles manage to beat the Yankees with bad pitching. Yanks are 4-8 against the O's this year; doesn't feel like much of an advantage.
2007-09-14 11:35:19
34.   pistolpete
31 I could see any one of those guys being sent down in '08 if they hit a rough spot.

I would also be in favor of the Yanks signing another lefty starter from the free agent market (but who) to compliment Pettite. This is pending Clemens' (next) retirement of course.

But then there's Moose, who's still hanging around too.

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