Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Shook Ones (Pt. II)
2007-09-28 05:41
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Scott Kazmir was good last night, but Phil Hughes was better. Joba Chamberlain pitched the eighth--including an emphatic strikout of BJ Upton--and Jose Veras earned the save as the Yankees won their 92nd game of the year, 3-1. It is looking more and more like the Yanks will face the Indians in the first round of the playoffs. You can throw the Yankees 6-0 record vs the Tribe out of the window--the Bombers only faced Fausto Carmona once this year, and didn't see C.C. at all. But heck, the American League playoff teams--"the fantastic four," as Brian Cashman called them the other night--are all tough. If the Yanks are to be champs, they've got to beat the best, 'nuff said.

Anyhow, I didn't watch much of the game at all. I watched the Mets instead. Man, can you believe what is happening out in Queens? I have to say that I don't derive a lot pleasure from watching a team fall apart like the Mets have over the past couple of days and weeks. I'm no fan of the Metropolitans, but I've got a lot of close friends who are. So while I don't root for them to win, dude, I just can't get into wanting them to lose like this. Think of the winter-long hangover they'd have to live with. Nah, that's too much to wish on anyone other than a Red Sox fan.

Still, it ain't over yet. So here's the question of the day, if you don't mind me shifting the conversation to the National League for a minute. Who will suck more (or less) this weekend: The Mets or the Phillies? The Mets are playing scared right now, though they said put up a brave front after the game, while the Phils are streaking. But these are the Phillies we're talking about. If history tells us anything, it will be Philadelphia who folds. So if I had to take a pick, I'd say the Mets recover and make the playoffs, despite how awful they've looked this week.

But I'm rooting for a tie and a one-game playoff on Monday.

2007-09-28 06:09:00
1.   Mattpat11
I official prediction is none of the national league teams actually make the playoffs.
2007-09-28 06:09:19
2.   Sliced Bread
'And you're just a prisoner of your dreams
Holding on for your life, 'cause you work all day
To blow 'em away in the night!'

Anybody else just catch Bruce on 'Today'?

Promised Land
Radio Nowhere
Living In The Future
My Hometown
(encore) Night

2007-09-28 06:15:15
3.   Sliced Bread
That's really funny, Alex. After the Met game I wondered if I'd wish such misery on a Red Sox fan.
Yeah, I would.

Not sure if the Mets are going to pull this off. Who's going to pitch them out of this mess? Poor Willie.

2007-09-28 06:38:59
4.   Sliced Bread
Another new one from the Boss right now:
'Long Walk Home.'

Sweet, Clarence! Bring it home!

Alright, enough Backstreet Banter from me, but this is great. Band is on fire. New Bruce, October baseball, Mets-Phils down to the wire. Good times in the dirty Jerz!

2007-09-28 06:41:35
5.   domvjr
I live in Philly, and my wife is a huge Phillie phan. I wouldn't be so sure about them folding their tents this year. They have gone through a lot of trials and tribulations. Injuries, lousy pen, and spotty starting pitching, but they hung in there. I wouldn't mind seeing a Yankee vs Phillies match up in the Series. I might even get to go, although my life at home may suffer for awhile.
2007-09-28 06:53:57
6.   Sliced Bread
Alex, next time you run into Verducci would you please pass along a 'tanks fer nuttin' for me?

A year after his pre-playoffs hatchet-job on A-Rod, Verdooch takes a warmy, soapy loofah to the Papelboner. Weak, dude, but it will make beating Paps that much sweeter next month.

2007-09-28 06:59:42
7.   Mattpat11
6 I blame A-Rod for that
2007-09-28 07:12:01
8.   Raf
Anyone on the ticketmaster site right now trying to get tickets?
2007-09-28 07:13:03
9.   RichB
0 I dunno. It's going to be close. Both are playing weak teams (Nats & Fish). But, the Mets just got swept by the Nats, so I'm not sure that's anything to jump up and down about. Good for the Mets: the Phils have to pitch their two worst starters, Moyer and Adam "The Big Mistake" Eaton. But the Phils offense could easily cover that since they're so hot right now. Anything can happen.
2007-09-28 07:13:52
10.   rbj
Mets are in free fall. I predict they'll fold. It's baseball, you gotta ride the hot hand.
2007-09-28 07:15:04
11.   Raf
Guess only singles are available, given the site
2007-09-28 07:16:39
12.   vockins
Hamels looked pretty good in his last start, and he's starting against the Nats. I think he'll go seven, bare minimum.

Perez blows hot and cold. Kim will get hit, but this one will be a high scoring loss for the Mets and the Phils will be one game up come tomorrow morning.

2007-09-28 07:17:41
13.   Schteeve
Since I live in Chicago, my only chance of attending a playoff game in person is if the Yankees and Cubs match up.

So I'm a lot less focused on the collapse in Flushing than I am the collapse over on Sheffield and Addison.

Go Cubbies!

2007-09-28 07:19:52
14.   Raf
Jeez, average wait time, 10 minutes
2007-09-28 07:21:07
15.   williamnyy23
11 The only decent seats in the pre-sale were singles, so I'd imagine the same will be true in the general distribution. I'd rather watch the games on TV then sit in the wings of the upper deck or in the bleachers.
2007-09-28 07:23:40
16.   Shaun P
I am cheering for the Mets to win, if only to keep Steve Phillips from walking around with a big grin on his face all postseason (and beyond).

I would also like to see Colorado get in, because that would be different.

2007-09-28 07:25:05
17.   Jersey
As someone who's been to the stadium 40+ times but never for the playoffs, I'd gladly take a crap sign for the experience...

Living in DC, I'm praying the Nats somehow make up their 15 game deficit in the final weekend and go storming to the World Series to face the Yanks.

2007-09-28 07:28:28
18.   Schteeve
The things that I find very encouraging about the Yanks right now, are:

1) They seem very loose, and seem to be having fun.

2) They are used to adversity this season. If they find themselves in a hole in a playoff series, it will not be uncharted territiory and we'll have to see how they respond. They were in a hole all season, and they dealt with it.

I think these two things bode well going into the postseason.

2007-09-28 07:30:58
19.   Jersey
17 That should be "crap seat," not "crap sign". Don't know where that came from...
2007-09-28 07:32:49
20.   vockins
Heads up if you're trying to buy ALCS game 4: the link on the Yankees site directs you to Game 3 wheelchair seating. Go directly to Ticketmaster and search for game 4.

There are very good seats available.

2007-09-28 07:37:41
21.   vockins
20 Not that the game is likely, but just in case...
2007-09-28 07:40:22
22.   OldYanksFan
18 I agree there is much good, but I am alarmed at:
1) We are often shut down by good pitching... a lot because Cano, Melky and now Matsui are impatient and swing at shit

2) Melky is in a deep hole, God knows what's going on with Matsui, and while ARod has had a few good games, since he hit #52, he is taking a LOT of bad swings... and missing balls he creamed before #52. I think/hope he got HR conscious, and will drop that in the PS.

3) We only have 2.5 reliable BP arms, although I think Hughes or IPK will be in there.

4) We need a healthy and determined Roger.

What's the story with IPK? Is he shut down.. injured? Is he available/healthy for the PS?

2007-09-28 07:55:17
23.   unpopster
I married into a Philadelphia family that lives and breathes everything Phils, Eagles and Sixers. While I can't stand the Eagles or 76ers, I think this Phils team is very, very likable. And the fact that they play in the Mets' divison doesn't hurt.

I would LOVE to see a Yanks-Phils WS because for numerous reasons: the match up of potent offenses, two older franchises with traditions and their own authentic personalities (see Anaheim Angels, rally monkey), and each team is stacked with REAL, likable superstars.

While it's going to be a tough road ahead for the Yanks before they even make it to the WS I think if the Phils win a playoff birth they might have a much easier road to the World Serious.

2007-09-28 07:57:48
24.   Raf
22 Kennedy has a muscle strain, I think he may be done for the season.
2007-09-28 07:58:54
25.   wsporter
I'm really feeling for my Mets Fan friends, what a gag job. If it wasn't for Willie I'd be laughing my ass off.

I can't wait for the lineups on Sat and Sunday. If we're one out on Saturday I wonder what they'll run out there. Last game, street dudes looking to move inventory, the Baltomorons in a state of complete malaise; we might even be able to get a pro Yankees sign in.

Shook Ones? not nearly enough cursing in the post.

2007-09-28 08:09:45
26.   RZG
22 Tell me any team that isn't shut down by good pitching.
2007-09-28 08:20:04
27.   RIYank
Every team is shut down by good pitching. But the point is that the way the Yankees won a lot of games is by awesome run production. If that gets negated, suddenly we're just another team with a so-so rotation and half of a good bullpen.
2007-09-28 08:23:06
28.   RIYank
I didn't mean 27 to be answering on behalf of OYF. But I mainly agree with those sentiments in 22 .

I'm not worried about A-Rod or Matsui. Matsui's been fine for the past couple of weeks -- he was badly slumping before that.

2007-09-28 08:25:57
29.   yankz
I definitely think it's Philly's to lose right now. I don't really hate the Mets, I'm kind of indifferent. But I think it would be so badass if Philadelphia pulls it off, and Chase Utley is one of my favorite non-Yankees.
2007-09-28 08:45:54
30.   Schteeve
I think Melky and Cano each had 10 pitch at bats that ended in walks, in the last 2 games. So I'm less worried about their discipline than I used to be.


2007-09-28 08:45:58
31.   OldYanksFan
When did IPK's injury happen? That is a serious loss for us in the PS.
2007-09-28 08:48:17
32.   Bob B
I predict both the Phillies and Mets get swept. Howard wins the one game playoff for the Filly's with a walk-off home-run leading off the bottom of the 11'th inning.
2007-09-28 08:54:07
33.   Raf
31 Around the same time Clemens' injury happened; maybe about a week ago? That start Clemens missed, IPK was supposed to fill. Then HE got hurt, so Hughes filled in for him.
2007-09-28 09:01:56
34.   Cliff Corcoran
Kennedy has been shut down, but it was done in the hope that doing so would allow him to heal up for the postseason.

Meanwhile, the Yanks faced Carmona twice this season. The first time was the game-winning salami by Rodriguez of Borowski. The second time, Hughes outdueled him.

Finally, my Wild Card post over at Fungoes on today deals with the NL races and specifically the Mets. It's not up yet, but check it out this afternoon.

2007-09-28 09:08:54
35.   pistolpete
25 There's not really a lot of Mets fans in my circle of friends that I feel sorry for, because they were the 2nd ones to jump on the '200 million-dollar disaster dogpile' in mid-May.

I hope they miss the playoffs entirely and fire Willie.

Then, of course, the Yanks win it all, Joe retires & we have Girardi & Randolph riding the pine in the Bronx!

Everybody wins!

Prediction: Bobby V manages again in Flushing before the decade is over.

2007-09-28 09:32:46
36.   Ben
A few weeks back some high school friends of mine and I decided to get together for a game at Shea. It'a reunion of sorts, catch-up time, since none of us are really Mets fans, one of us lives in DC, another in China for crying out loud. We thought it would be fun to go to a late season game when nothing was on the line...


I've never been to a playoff game, or a game that was a must win for that matter. I gotta say, I'm loving the idea of going to another teams must win and not the Yankees. Save myself a coronary.

2007-09-28 10:11:00
37.   OldYanksFan
MILWAUKEE -- John Hirschbeck replaced Mike Winters on the umpiring crew calling the San Diego Padres' final series beginning Thursday night in Milwaukee.

Winters was suspended for the rest of the season on Wednesday for using a profanity aimed at San Diego's Milton Bradley last weekend.

World Umpires Association spokesman Lamell McMorris said the WUA would not challenge the penalty handed down by Major League Baseball.

Nice to see an Umpire held accountable for their actions. Now if they could only do this for calling balls and strikes so badly.

2007-09-28 10:17:55
38.   OldYanksFan
Nice of the Angels to lose 3 in a row. Short of a miracle, hopefully we won't see them this year again.

There has been little discussion about the 'extra rest day' now allowed. I'm not sure of the specifics, but it's a terrible rule. It means a team like the 2001 Diamondbacks, who weren't that good but rode to the PS on the backs of 2 greats pitchers, have a further advantage.

The PS should be about seeing and exercising an entire teams pitching staff and ballclub. It is the entire ballclub that decides what happens over 162 games. This is especially bad in a 5 game series.

2007-09-28 10:27:41
39.   wsporter
35 Both my Met friends seem to have less of an inferiority complex and didn't join the canine hump fest of May/June. But I see what you mean. It would bug me if Willie got fired over there but I'd sure like to get him back.

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