Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Knocking On The Door
2007-09-19 22:54
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Andy Pettitte came up big last night, holding the Orioles to one sixth-inning run in 7 2/3 innings on his way to his 200th career victory. It wasn't easy, however, as Brian Burres was nearly as good, striking out seven in 7 1/3 innings while limiting the Yankees to two runs on five hits and three walks.

The first Yankee run scored in the third inning on a Hideki Matsui solo homer into the old Yankee bullpen, his second tater of the series. The second scored in the fifth when Doug Mientkiewicz led off with a single and came around on a Derek Jeter single, a Bobby Abreu groundout, and a wild pitch that Burres threw on a fly to the backstop with Alex Rodriguez at the plate. The O's got their tally in the top of the sixth when Brian Roberts drew a one-out walk, stole second and third, and was plated by a Melvin Mora single.

In the eighth, Joba Chamberlain made his first mid-inning relief appearance, coming in with two out and none on to strike out Melvin Mora on four pitches, two of them nasty sliders. Mariano Rivera pushed things to the limit in the ninth. Nick Markakis doubled on a flare to no-man's land down the line in right. Then, after Kevin Millar flied out, Mo pitched carefully to Aubrey Huff and Ramon Hernandez, walking both of them to load the bases before finally retiring rookie pinch hitter Scott Moore to deliver the 2-1 win.

While Mo was making things interesting in the ninth, the news came across the out-of-town scoreboard that the Blue Jays completed a sweep of the Red Sox with a 6-1 win, the big blow being a Russ Adams grand slam off Jon Papelbon in the eighth that padded their own 2-1 lead. As a result, the Yankees are now just 1.5 games behind in the East, and only one game back in the loss column, while the Red Sox have slipped a half game behind the Indians and Angels for the best record in the American League. The only bad news there is that the Yankees have to play the Blue Jays next.

In other news, Melky Cabrera went 1 for 3 with a single and a walk, making him 2 for 6 over the last two games. Alex Rodriguez went 0 for 4 with a pair of strikeouts, but did cream one ball to the wall in left, where Brandon Fahey (in for Jay Payton who got tossed after tossing his helmet after a third strike call) made a great running catch. Rodriguez also made a great play by charging and bare-handing an infield dink by Brian Roberts in the eighth to keep the tying run off base. That play was assisted by an impressive stretch by Doug Mientkiewicz, who made three such plays on the night in addition to scoring the winning run. The first of those plays came on a double play, the first of three the Yankees would turn behind Pettitte on the night. Shelley Duncan made his first start since September 5, drawing a walk and striking out in three trips as the DH while Johnny Damon got the night off. Finally, Jason Giambi had an MRI on his right foot, which was hit by a Daniel Cabrera slider in Monday's game. The test came back negative and Giambi is expected to return to the lineup once the soreness from the bruise subsides.

Comments (65)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2007-09-20 00:05:25
1.   Mattpat11
I don't consider facing Toronto now a bad thing.

They're not a good team. I'd rather face them when they're playing well because its not going to last.

3 of 4.

2007-09-20 01:01:39
2.   joejoejoe
It's races like this that make me wish there were no wild-card. These two weeks would be even more tense than a World Series. Imagine the Yankees catching the Red Sox in the last few games of the season? I remember carrying around little transistor radio in the fall of '78 so I didn't miss any game.
2007-09-20 01:16:36
3.   Mattpat11
According to the Boston Herald, Fatty might sit out the opener against Tampa.
2007-09-20 03:09:59
4.   OldYanksFan
Since this is an off day (bummer), you might find this relaxing reading:
2007-09-20 03:19:13
5.   OldYanksFan
P.S. For those who sometimes wonder to the extent of the Torre bashing (not so much lately) made 'famous' by NoMaas's Torre Losses... and remembering that someone here recently embraced Francona as a manager and wished Torre was more like him... PLEASE read the above link. (It's really great fun).

It is a wonderful reminder that everytime (OUR/YOUR/THEIR) team loses, that there is a knee-jerk reaction to blame the manager, who for some reason, for all their experience in baseball, and with the power of their respective organization behind them, somehow still knows less about managing then any one of us.

2007-09-20 03:51:46
6.   OldYanksFan
Wow... this article is too good. TOO GOOD!
It seems that William has a bizarro twin who is a Sox fan. This is in response to Manny needing to say when he's ready to play, and the Sox play of late in general. Sound familiar?

"Francona needs to be fired. He never puts his best team on the field. He is continually letting his players decide when they want to play. Does Francona really believe he has the organization's and the fan's best interest at heart? How can Sox management keep him as manager? He is still managing like it is the middle of the season and that it is a given that the Sox are going to the playoffs. I now find myself cheering against the Sox to make the playoffs because if they make the playoffs Francona and Epstein (yes, Epstein - he needs to be held accountable for this travesty) will think they have done a good job - which they have not. Henry is a weak owner to let this happen. The Henry lovefest should end. What a joke!"

I really do want to win the division, but listening to the turncoats of Red Sox Nation is soooooooooooo much fun, it may be better then the division itself.

It's amazing how you can take many of their comments and simply substitute JT for Francona, Cashman for Theo, Farns for Gagme, and you have exactly what was said by some here when the Yankees were going bad.

2007-09-20 03:56:14
7.   OldYanksFan
"Sorry for the rambling. I needed to vent and my fellow Red Sox fans in Chicago are not answering their phones or emails today." Just too good. Just too damn good!
2007-09-20 04:05:33
8.   williamnyy23
6 doesn't sound familiar, unless you can point to an instance where I claimed Torre doesn't want to or isn't trying to win. I just think his managing is woefully inadequate. Just because the Yankees are now playing better doesn't mean Torre has absolved himself. He is still a poor in-game manager and still has trouble managing his bullpen. With the postseason now on the horizon, Torre causes me even more concern as that is when he has done his most damage over the past 4 years.

I think you are seriously stretching things to create parallels between knowledgeable dissent and unadulterated panic.

2007-09-20 04:51:57
9.   JL25and3
8 Gee, I thought those letters exactly mirrored the criticisms of Torre. I suppose you could say that the difference is that you're right, but I still thought the parallels were pretty amusing.
2007-09-20 04:58:28
10.   williamnyy23
9 Criticisms here have centered around moves that Torre makes, not whether he cares about winning or has control of the clubhouse, which many of the letters in that mailbag (including the one excerpted) suggested. Of course, a few letters also correctly challenged Francona's bullpen decisions, so in that respect, their is similarity. It seems as if both Torre and Francona have a similar fatal flaw...they use formulas to manage the pen, leading to overworked relievers (Okajima and Proctor); 8th inning men (Gagne and Farnsworth); and closers who hang out in the bullpen as tie games turn into losses.
2007-09-20 05:00:56
11.   rbj
4 Sweet article.

"With all the crap about Drew, Gagne, etc., which is needed, why leave out the real problem? The real problem lies with the manager. I know this, you know this, and anyone who watches the Sox knows this. We have a manager that does [not] know how to use the bullpen, who will not make needed changes because it might hurt someone's feelings. This is a poor way for the manager to work, or in this case PLAY. If we fall behind the Yankees you can place the results at the feet of one man, FRANCONA. From now on tell it like it is. "


"Just because the Yankees are now playing better doesn't mean Torre has absolved himself. He is still a poor in-game manager and still has trouble managing his bullpen. With the postseason now on the horizon, Torre causes me even more concern as that is when he has done his most damage over the past 4 years."

Nope, not at all similar.

2007-09-20 05:18:30
12.   OldYanksFan
11 Really... I think we could spend a lot of the off-season enjoying that article. I don't know if GE cherry picked the letters, but there was not one single compliment, reason for hope, or kudos to anyone anywhere. And this from fans who had a 2.5 game lead at the time.

Can you imagine a mailbag if WE pull off the division? (Too good to stand!)

2007-09-20 05:21:09
13.   OldYanksFan
Oh... and just to make the Nation a little happier, here's the response to all the calls for Tito's head:

"On the day after, manager Terry Francona was unwavering in his support of reliever Eric Gagné. Even before Gagné blew a save in Tuesday's 4-3 loss to the Blue Jays, Francona said he told the reliever, 'We'll do it again, in case you were wondering.'"

Too Good.

2007-09-20 05:24:58
14.   rbj
12 And you just have to think that 3 years ago Francona was never going to have to buy a meal in Boston again. RS Nation was content to have finally won once.

And while I do think there is legitimate criticism of Torre's in game managing, Edes makes a very good point:

"Tito wanted to see if a guy he's hoping to count on in October against Jeter and A-Rod or Vladi or Sizemore in October could get out the immortal Russ Adams in September. He couldn't, which sends up all kinds of red flags. You can certainly make the argument-and many of you are-that Tito lost sight of the first priority: The heck with tomorrow, win today, get Paps in there."

Sometimes you put the wrong guy in, just to see what he has for later in the season & the post season.

2007-09-20 05:38:21
15.   Chyll Will
With respect to my fellow William, I must throw in the caveat that he has never rooted against his own team to miss the playoffs. Entertained the possibility and assigned blame, yes. But actively root for total failure?? I may hazard a guess that even Rob Gee with all his, er, brimstone wouldn't go there...

That said, that Mickey D's angus burger commercial where Boston is begging to be a test market would be in heavy-heavy rotation if they do fall out of the playoffs, no?

2007-09-20 05:42:12
16.   OldYanksFan
OhMyGod Guys... Bad news! The sky is falling!
2007-09-20 05:50:18
17.   Sliced Bread
Drew was solely responsible for the Red Sox only run. That's rich.

Toronno? Meh. I guess it's easy to imagine the Yankee bats going quiet during that 3 game stretch of matinees, lulled to sleep in the shadowy warmth of summer's last gasp.

On the other foot, the Blue Jays have annoyed the Yankees to the point that they might have to get smacked in the chops a couple times this weekend, put in their place for winter storage. Figure the third baseman will lock in on any mistakes they throw him, though they pitched him very well last week. Gave him nothing to drive, which started his struggles.

2007-09-20 05:50:38
18.   RIYank
13 (HA!)
'We'll do it again, in case you were wondering.'

O happy day! Do it three more times, Tito. I'm sure he'll come through for you.

2007-09-20 05:58:15
19.   Dimelo
I'm sorry, I have 150% faith in Torre's managing now and in the playoffs.

All decisions will be disected if the Yanks lose, if they win he's a genius. If any normal person can't see how unfair that logic is then why watch if it's to run to one side or the other.

Sometimes you have to take a deep breath and accept things for what they are. If the Yanks lose then they weren't good enough. If your starter can't give you 6+ innings then it makes any decision you make to be questioned and second guessed. Especially if it happens on back-to-back days and your bullpen throws too many pitches and/or innings. We can all act like we know what the right decision should be, that we are smarter and holier than thou, but the fact remains is that we just don't have all the information in front of us like a manager does.

Any decision that involves Farnsworth, will probably result in failure 60% of the time. That's just my gut talking, I don't have anything factual to support that. That's the sole weak link, IMHO. If he's not in the post-season roster then I think the Yanks chances increase.

2007-09-20 06:06:46
20.   3rd gen yankee fan
This post is a classic for Sux fans panic:

2007-09-20 06:13:25
21.   Sliced Bread
Wang wasn't good last time out, but I feel good about him tomorrow under the Friday night lights at Yankee Stadium. Working against Halladay will be a good tune up for him.

19 Well said re: Joe, but couple points about Farnswacker.

- He's not the sole weak link. The bullpen chain is full of them. There are only a few links that are not likely to snap.

- I trust that Joe, at this point, knows Farns can't be trusted to maintain a lead of less than 3 runs. His leash is short.

- As for Farnswacker's place on the postseason roster: think about a scarecrow. They don't really scare crows, but farmers keep them around just because its the thing to do. That's pretty much Kyle's role. Scarecrow.

(sing it with me now) "If I only had a brain."

2007-09-20 06:16:04
22.   ny2ca2dc
21 Classic
2007-09-20 06:20:52
23.   williamnyy23
15 Just give them the burger then...that should even things out, right?

19 I guess, but I still have visions of Weaver giving up the walkoff in 2003 as Mo looked on; the Yankees never bunting on Schilling or sending runners against Varitek as he boxed Wakefield's knuckleball; and the panic the ensued from movig Arod all the way down to 8th when most of the lineup wasn't hitting.

I'd be a lot more confident if I was sure similar lapses in judgment weren't likely to reoccur.

2007-09-20 06:24:55
24.   Yankee Fan In Boston
20 that pretty much sums up what i'm hearing around here.

(jordan's is a furniture store that ran a promotion where if you bought stuff from them during april, you'd get it free if the sox won the world series... and i heard someone voicing their concern over their sofa set this morning.)

21 could be worse. we could've had farnsworth AND gagne.


2007-09-20 06:37:16
25.   Chyll Will
23 Not if Papi gets to them first. By the way, they're not missing anything, so they'd probably cry about something else (like having to pay for their furniture)...

24 I smell LIQUIDATION!!!

2007-09-20 06:43:22
26.   OldYanksFan
21 Wonderful. So much fun. Really enjoyed the spelling and grammar too. Another one to sum things up:
"Sure, we're all quite dissapointed. But think about it....are any of us really surprised? I don't think so."

Of course, there are a few Yankee fans who (THANK GOD!) don't know about the Banter:
"I mean, what do ya got to say for yourselves? I guess it's all coming out now: you simply hate your betters! Why, you simple shits. Seriously. What the fuck is Boston? A ZERO. Nothing but a white-Irish-trash town, full of "northern rednecks". You clowns. You sad sacks of shit. Pathetically whining at NYC for OBVIOUSLY being the bigger, better city. GET OVER YOURSELVES. Or you will face this same disappointment EVERY YEAR."

Wow. We have it really good here, don't we.
Thanks again, Alex and Cliff.

2007-09-20 06:50:19
27.   OldYanksFan
It's too much to hope for.. with the Sox playing TB (who is shutting down anyone with talent) and us facing Toronto, who while not great, is really 'better' then a .500 team...
but IF we can gain ONE more game...
IF only for a day...

Think about the reading bonanza we will have!
I mean really, listening to the Nation piss and moan is far more fun then the games themselves. I want the division, but the ONLY thing that will be remembered, for both us and the Sox, is the PS.

But I don't want this to end.

I'm not a cruel man.
I usually don't take pleasure in others pain.
This is toooooo Good!

2007-09-20 06:53:13
28.   Chyll Will
26 Of course, you don't want to call too much attention to such stupidity, right? >;)

I like this schadenfraude-flavored ice cream for breakfast >;)

2007-09-20 06:58:31
29.   Shaun P
27 The funny part is, RSN has no reason whatsoever to worry about winning the division or not. The Sox are in the playoffs, one way or the other. How is irrelevant.

That RSN is still panicking makes it even more funny.

19 23 Those kinds of things scare me too, william, but I wonder if simply having two Mo's (ie Mo and Joba) will cure any bullpen mis-steps.

As for Torre, Tito, and every other manager - when they make a poor move, they ought to be criticized, win or lose. (ie, Weaver pitching instead of Mo in Game 4 of the '03 Serious) When they make a good move, they ought to be praised, win or lose (ie, anytime Mo has come out to pitch in a tie game on the road that the Yanks lost). Its the process that matters, not the outcome - because far more often than not, the right process gives the right outcome.

2007-09-20 07:01:10
30.   Shaun P
BP (Regular) Postseason Odds

AL Wildcard:
Yanks - 81.41539
Red Sox - 17.74568
Tigers - .78367
Indians - .00378
M's - .05016
Angels - .00132

AL East:
Red Sox - 82.23770
Yanks - 17.76230

BP Postseason Odds, ELO Version (weighing more recent games more heavily)

AL East:
Red Sox - 67.63300
Yanks - 32.36700

2007-09-20 07:09:58
31.   Count Zero
19 "All decisions will be disected if the Yanks lose, if they win he's a genius. "

See now, my problem with that statement is you're referring to the crappy sports media, and I take it as an insult that you think the people here are that stupid.

The many of us here who think Torre is a terrible in-game manager will not think "he's a genius" if they win. Winning (or losing) does not justify bonehead decisions (or good ones) -- the decisions are brilliant or stupid because of the facts and the numbers around them, not because one game is won or lost. I think Torre earned a "NoMaas Anti-monkey" on Sunday -- but that doesn't erase the six monkeys he earned prior to that.

As a co-worker of mine (Mets fan) said to me back in June after Torre earned one of those monkeys: "I'll give you one thing -- you've been saying Torre is a lousy manager for several years, even when the Yankees were winning. You didn't just jump on the bandwagon this year."

2007-09-20 07:13:43
32.   williamnyy23
29 I think Torre deserves a lot of credit for the Yankees success early in the run, but for whatever reason, he has regressed each year. Partly, I think that is because of age, but also I think losing Zzimmer and not replacing his creativity has caused Torre to adopt stale formulas. Still, I give Torre a lot of credit for managing this clubhouse, but think that skill no longer mitigates against his poor and declining game management. Is it so wrong to say that Torre did a great job for the Yankees, should have his #6 retired, but no longer merits continuing to manage the team?
2007-09-20 07:17:05
33.   williamnyy23
27 Right now the Yankees are a giant tractor trailer roaring down the highway at 90mph and the Blue Jays are a speed bump. If Wang can go toe-to-toe with Halladay and the bats touch up Marcum again, the Truck isn't going to stop until it clinches first place. If, however, the Yankees stumble early in the series, then I can see them being side tracked.

In any event, could you imagine the Sox being down 1-0 to Kazmir and then looking up on the scoreboard to see the Yankees put a 3-spot on Halladay?

2007-09-20 07:18:27
34.   weeping for brunnhilde
20 ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!


So, so priceless!

2007-09-20 07:18:30
35.   williamnyy23
32 Also, isn't that what happened with Stengel?
2007-09-20 07:19:31
36.   weeping for brunnhilde
21 :)


2007-09-20 07:21:38
37.   weeping for brunnhilde
26 Hear, hear.
2007-09-20 07:22:03
38.   RIYank
Hm, so according to BP, we only gained 7% for the division title by winning yesterday while the Sox lost. That's surprisingly low. BP must be giving Boston a considerably better chance of winning in its remaining games, than it gives us. (Run differential, strength of opposition.)

Gaining another game must get us close to 50%, though, right?

I guess I shouldn't be concerned about these things. But winning the division would just put the dagger in RSN. The Sox themselves it won't bother much.

2007-09-20 07:23:09
39.   weeping for brunnhilde
27 I know, I know! It sure kindles the otherwise dormant bloodlust in the lizard part of my brain.
2007-09-20 07:25:23
40.   weeping for brunnhilde
29 Agreed, wholeheartedly. It's the process, not the outcome.

I can take when the right process (a quality ab, a quality pitching sequence, a good managerial move, etc.) leads to a poor result.

I don't like it, but you know, you tip your hat.

It's when the process is poor that I get crazy.

2007-09-20 07:29:07
41.   Chyll Will
40 Does that explain your craziness on last night's thread, or was that bloodlust? >;)
2007-09-20 07:32:09
42.   weeping for brunnhilde
41 :)

The latter.

2007-09-20 07:34:19
43.   weeping for brunnhilde
I can't believe today's an off-day...
2007-09-20 07:35:56
44.   weeping for brunnhilde
Oh, and what the hell's up with Derek?

Do you think he's found a swing to go with his bum knee, or do you think his knee's feeling better?

Or perhaps he's just sucking up the pain even more now?

Because he seems to be hitting again, which is really kind of amazing to me.

Couldn't have come at a better time, Derek.

Thank you.

2007-09-20 07:39:08
45.   Chyll Will
42 Two film-related responses to that:

1.) Why do I get a picture in my mind of a guy standing in the same hallway that kid in "The Shining" was standing, except with Jack Nicholson's grin?

2.) "Come Drink With Me"... (which would make a really cool headline if we win the division, yes?)

2007-09-20 07:40:33
46.   Chyll Will
44 Derek's knee: "WHO'S A BUM ???"
2007-09-20 07:46:02
47.   williamnyy23
45 Sometimes, during a particularly bad game, I've been compelled to log onto the Banter and repeatedly type:

"All Yankees and no play makes williamnyy23 a dull boy".

Oh...and REDRUM.

2007-09-20 07:46:49
48.   Yankee Fan In Boston
44 "Oh, and what the hell's up with Derek?"

the man smells october. he's getting warmed up.

i was beginning to get worried about the guy. his resurgence is a welcome sight, and would be even if we were still 15 games back.

2007-09-20 07:48:18
49.   Chyll Will
47 Been there, done that. Nobody noticed. I swear it's ad nauseum around here...
2007-09-20 07:51:11
50.   Chyll Will
48 "the man smells october. he's getting warmed up."

That's the napalm in his cologne >;)

Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2007-09-20 07:56:24
51.   Yankee Fan In Boston
18 the francona quotes get better the deeper i dig. riyank asked if francona would send gagne back out there three more times.

look at what the skipper had to say:
"Ten games, he can probably make five appearances if we want. That's a significant amount. Ten games is a long time. [He could make] probably more appearances than that if you want, because of the days off."

read that again. it made me grin even more upon a second reading.


2007-09-20 07:57:20
52.   wsporter
Oh to be in New England as the leaves are turning and the panic is spreading.

I got a call (voice message) from my brother-n-law on Friday. The dope was ragging me about the score;I'll never forgive my sister for marrying a sux fan. I left a return message, he hasn't called me back!

This may not turn out to be quite as good as '78 but it has to be the next best thing right now.

2007-09-20 08:03:29
53.   Bama Yankee
46 Imagine if Derek's body parts could actually talk. Oh, the stories they could probably tell...
2007-09-20 08:05:31
54.   wsporter
The other thing that makes me smile as I sit and do my work is this lead from Gordon Edes in today's Globe:

"Francona determined not to give up on Gagné"

Please Mr. Francona, don't ever give up on Gagne, you just keep running that guy on out there.

Francona is like a piromaniac who owns a gas station: "sooooo much oportunity"

2007-09-20 08:11:44
55.   Dimelo
21 Sliced, very well said.
2007-09-20 08:12:53
56.   Chyll Will
53 ...and that's why they have V-Chip technology >;)

I missed your encore last night, wsporter, welcome back! (handshake and much dap!)

2007-09-20 08:20:05
57.   Bama Yankee
50 Joe Torre: "I love the smell of Jete's cologne in the morning. You know, one time we had a Red Sox game, for 12 hours. When it was all over, I walked out to the mound. We couldn't see any of 'em, not one stinkin' Sox fan. The smell, you know that "Driven" cologne smell, the whole infield. Smelled like... victory."
2007-09-20 08:27:44
58.   Chyll Will
57 Redux
2007-09-20 08:27:58
59.   wsporter
56 Hey Chyll, thanks - back at ya. Missed you, Slice, Bamma, Weeping, My Fellow Dutchman and all the rest. I see you folks have been busy over the summer: lots of funny stuff and some things maybe not so funny. Good to be back.
2007-09-20 08:39:25
60.   Chyll Will
59 I may know what you're referring to. I'll miss him. His spirit is certainly among us, enjoying the early and rapid autumn in the northeast. Here's to good folks in good times, and good memories in bad times. (quaff)
2007-09-20 08:55:43
61.   RI Yankee
52 This may be better than '78. The vitriol and the utter arrogance up here was pretty rough to deal with . . .

of course, I was only 15 in '78 . . .

2007-09-20 08:56:31
62.   RI Yankee
I never really hated the Sox until I moved up here.
2007-09-20 09:01:40
63.   Mattpat11
23 I hold Torre responsible for 2004. His choice not to embarrass Varitek or Schilling bit us on the ass and likely cost us the ALCS.

In 2003, he went to Jeff Weaver, which should always be frowned on, but at the same time, I think all managers in baseball do that. Also, the idea of using Rivera and only having Weaver in the pen with no safety net is terrifying.

In 2006, he was trying something with A-Rod that worked with Giambi three years earlier. It failed. It happens.

2007-09-20 09:04:44
64.   Shaun P
52 MFD, good to see you again. The leaves are pretty, and the needless panic makes for great comedy.

33 This gives me a lot of hope. Here's Burnett's pitch count since he came back from injury: 90, 106, 102, 110, 115, 114, 120, 124

Anyone want to bet that he's effective this time out? Me neither.

Icing on the cake? McGowan also threw over 120 pitches in his last start. Victory, thy first name may be Jeter, but thy middle name is 'fatigued pitchers'.

2007-09-20 09:45:33
65.   OldYanksFan
funny picture:

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.