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Bad Day
2008-03-14 21:46
by Cliff Corcoran
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to bronxbanterblog.com.

The Yankees and Reds were interrupted by rain twice, the second time with the game tied 7-7 in the tenth inning, which ended the contest there. Phil Hughes got lit up, and Shelley Duncan and Melky Cabrera (who apparently punched Evan Longoria in the back of the head during Wednesday's mele) were both suspended for the first three games of the regular season. All in all, not the Yankees' best day.

Lineup:

L - Johnny Damon (CF)
R - Derek Jeter (SS)
L - Hideki Matsui (DH)
R - Alex Rodriguez (3B)
S - Jorge Posada (C)
R - Shelley Duncan (1B)
R - Jason Lane (LF)
R - Cody Ransom (2B)
L - Brett Gardner (LF)

Pitchers: Phil Hughes, Jonathan Albaladejo, Edwar Ramirez, Heath Phillips, Chris Britton, Dan Giese

Subs: Wilson Betemit (1B), Bernie Castro (2B/CF), Nick Green (2B), Alberto Gonzalez (SS), Chris Woodward (3B), Kyle Anson (C), Greg Porter (PH/RF), Justin Christian (LF), Jason Brown (DH), Brett Gardner shifted to center field before coming out of the game.

Opposition: Ken Griffey Jr., Adam Dunn, Joey Votto and filler.

Big Hits: A three-run homer by Alex Rodriguez (1 for 3). Doubles by Derek Jeter (2 for 3), Johnny Damon (1 for 4), and Jorge Posada (1 for 3).

Who Pitched Well: Edwar Ramirez retired all five men he faced, striking out four of them. Jonathan Albaladejo retired four of the five men he faced, the one exception being a hit batsman. Dan Giese pitched around a double for two scoreless innings, striking out two.

Who Didn't: Phil Hughes was flat out lit up. He gave up four runs on nine hits, five of them doubles, in 2 2/3 innings. This after having held his competition hitless over his previous five spring innings. Hughes threw 72 percent of his 66 pitches for strikes, which suggests he was missing in the zone, thus the hard hits and no walks. Heath Phillips, last seen getting rocked and ejected against the Rays, faced five men, two of whom walked, two of whom singled, and two of those four scored. Oh, and he tossed a wild pitch somewhere in the middle there. Chris Britton was good by comparison to those two allowing one run on a single and a double in one inning of work.

Oopsies: A bad throw by Alberto Gonzalez, his third error of the spring.

Ouchies: Andy Pettitte threw 47 pitches in the bullpen before the game and reported no discomfort in his elbow.

Hot Wheels: Two more steals by Brett Gardner (1 for 2, BB) who has five on the spring. "He's an exciting player," sez the skipper. "He creates havoc."

More: More LaTroy pranks here. Props to Tyler Kepner for this great find. As for those suspensions, Melky might get his reduced to two games on appeal, but whatever happens, Joe Girardi and Brian Cashman have said they won't change who they're going to take north to compensate for the suspensions, which means Jason Lane and Brett Gardner won't get an extra boost from the fact that the Yankees will have to play their opening series against Toronto with just three outfielders on the roster. That's good news for Morgan Ensberg, who will have to decide whether or not to opt out of his minor league deal with the Yankees if he doesn't make the Opening Day roster. Shelley Duncan, however, sounds devastated. Listening to that audio clip from Pete Abe, my heart kinda breaks for the guy. He's like Lenny from Of Mice and Men; the poor guy just doesn't know his own strength. ("Tell me about the World Series, George.") Despite the split squad today, Duncan will be in the lineup facing the Rays, which seems like a good move on Girardi's part to deliberately defuse this thing. Nonetheless, the umps will be on high alert.

Shameless Self-Promotion: Yeah, so the Yanks vs. Rays battle continues on YES this afternoon, but those of you in north Jersey should tape it and come see Steven Goldman, Derek Jacques and myself at the Borders at (or rather, outside of) the Rockaway Mall at 2pm today where we'll be discussiong Baseball Prospectus 2008, as well as fielding your questions on the Yankees, Mets, your upcoming fantasy draft, or whatever else is on your mind these days. [Update: Bad day for me, too. My car crapped out, so I won't be able to make this event]

Comments
2008-03-15 04:59:15
1.   monkeypants
According to Pete Abe, the team has already decided to play with a two man bench for the first three games, with Matsui in LF. I would rather see an extra OF on the team and one less pitcher, at least for the first game or two. If they need a pitcher, the additional fielder can be sent down to Scranton and a pitcher called up.
2008-03-15 06:45:29
2.   JL25and3
2 The problem is that the Yankees would need to add that extra OF to their 40-man roster.

That eliminates Gardner, because they won't want to start his option clock running for the sake of three games. I suppose they could put Lane on the roster for three days and then release him, but is that really much help?

Maybe "sticking up for your teammates" isn't such a great thing after all.

2008-03-15 06:55:53
3.   monkeypants
2 Good point about the 40-man roster. I was hoping they could avoid the double whammy of Matsui in the field and schlock at DH, and in my heart of hearts I was really hoping for a way that Gardner makes the team. The latter hope is of course largely irrational, I fully admit.
2008-03-15 08:19:59
4.   Cliff Corcoran
Good news. Kennedy is starting the Rays game on YES rather than a minor league game.
2008-03-15 08:49:31
5.   Bagel Boy
2 When have the Yankees ever cared about an option clock? And the 40-man is less an issue when Pavano and Brackman hit the 60-day.

Not that I think that Gardner will make the team. But I agree with the logic of 1 . And I'd rather have a different skill set than the repeat of Ensberg and Duncan.

2008-03-15 09:54:23
6.   Bagel Boy
Brackman is already on the 60-day, whereas Pavano is not. I'm not sure how the 60-day works such that Brackman is on it but Pavano is not, perhaps simply because there hasn't been a need for the slot. I don't think it has anything to do with MLB status as Schilling is currently on the 60-day.

Basically, the Yanks have one easy slot on the roster if the move Pavano to the 60-day DL.

2008-03-15 10:22:03
7.   weeping for brunnhilde
IPK having control problems.

He's missing the corners, though not by a mile.

2008-03-15 10:24:06
8.   weeping for brunnhilde
Very nice 3-2 paints the inside corner.

Nice, nice pitching.

2008-03-15 10:33:53
9.   weeping for brunnhilde
Someone has to teach this Gardner not to slide head first.
2008-03-15 10:35:39
10.   Bagel Boy
The B lineup is crushing Verlander - 7 ER with no outs in the top of the 2nd.
2008-03-15 10:37:13
11.   Bagel Boy
Brett Gardner is a bad man.
2008-03-15 10:37:42
12.   OldYanksFan
Anyone think Jeter would have had Gardner's grounder up the middle?
2008-03-15 10:37:56
13.   weeping for brunnhilde
Oh, that's so not fair.

Abreu hit a rope to first, but the firstbaseman made a nice play and then doubled up Gardner at second.

Oh well.

Abreu smoked the ball, though. He's been hitting the ball very hard as far as I've seen him.

Derek, on the other hand, seems out of whack.

2008-03-15 10:38:15
14.   weeping for brunnhilde
12 Ha ha haha ha aa !!!
2008-03-15 10:46:43
15.   Cliff Corcoran
Self-Promotion Update: My apologies to anyone headed over to the Borders/BP08 event mentioned above. My car just crapped out on me, so I won't be there. Steve and Derek will be, however, so it should still be a good time for all.
2008-03-15 11:15:12
16.   weeping for brunnhilde
Kennedy's great, man.

He's pitching really well for a guy without his best command.

Wow.

2008-03-15 11:28:43
17.   Chyll Will
Sorry to hear that Cliff; still, someone should have told you fuzzy dice weren't necessarily the way to go if you're shooting craps. Get home safe! >;)
2008-03-15 11:30:05
18.   Chyll Will
Is that any way to eat cotton candy?
2008-03-15 11:32:16
19.   Chyll Will
(ugh, can't stand hot dogs unless you burn them to a crisp...)
2008-03-15 11:35:11
20.   Chyll Will
(cricket, cricket...)
2008-03-15 11:43:29
21.   Chyll Will
Well? Good way to not run into the catcher or was Alex being a prima?

Myself, I agree with Kay that it makes Joe's point loud and clear; perhaps sarcastically if you're cynical. Bobby shouldn't have sent him there, but it's spring and the point was made...

2008-03-15 11:46:09
22.   OldYanksFan
I agree. No reason to send ARod with 1 out.
Prima donna? or $270,000,000 investment?
2008-03-15 11:48:53
23.   Chyll Will
Caught him by a mile.
2008-03-15 11:50:55
24.   Chyll Will
Alex looks like he's on cruise control at third...
2008-03-15 11:51:36
25.   Jeteupthemiddle
I have an Andy Pettitte community projection on my blog, if anyone would like to participate.

jeteupthemiddle.blogspot.com

:)

2008-03-15 12:06:35
26.   Chyll Will
Oh well, this game was interesting until now. Someone email Mattpat and make sure his head hasn't exploded...
2008-03-15 12:36:13
27.   OldYanksFan
this little Iggy went to market
this little Iggy stayed home
this little Iggy had roast beef
this little Iggy had none
and this little Iggy went
wee wee wee
all the way back to Japan.
2008-03-15 12:49:09
28.   Chyll Will
Switch "Japan" with Nippon and it's a deal...

Switch it with that place opposite of Heaven and you get a bonus >;)

2008-03-15 15:18:14
29.   Sarasota
the HR off Igawa was smoked.
2008-03-15 19:13:20
30.   joejoejoe
I know the team wants to have more RH options on the bench but I'd rather have Gardner on the roster as a PR than Ensberg as a PH. You can't hide the fact that there are more LH hitters on the roster than you would want and especially more LHs who play OF/DH but at least Gardner gives you an excuse to pull Matsui or Giambi when they are on-base, PR Gardner, then sub in Duncan or Betemit or pull a double switch and lose the DH. I think it's better to have a bunch of guys playing 130 games with a lot of those games 2-3 ABs then have guys playing 90 full games each.
2008-03-15 20:32:22
31.   monkeypants
30 I'm not sure you want to have good bat habitually getting 2ABs/game for the sake of a PR. I am a big fan of adding Gardner to the roster, but I'm not sure your argument makes the best case.

If he continues to play well this spring, and if the Yankees are not concerned about his options clock, he should start the season on the bench (with Ensberg) while Duncan/Cabrera serve their suspensions. The 40 man roster is not a problem (Cervelli to 60 day DL and/or White gets cut), so long as options are not an issue.

2008-03-15 21:21:45
32.   OldYanksFan
I found this clip on Steve Goldman's blog.
http://technorati.com/videos/youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3Dac6o8PXthzQ
I guess it's 56 years old.
(You can fast forward to the mid point of the clip)
They didn't have CGI back then, but they did pretty good with what they had.
(Too bad Jetes can't move like this).
2008-03-15 21:25:51
33.   OldYanksFan
Oops... better version here:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggDjnjrinkY&feature=related

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