Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
A Tale of Two Seasons
2008-03-25 12:21
by Cliff Corcoran

The season has begun. The season has not begun.

On the other side of the world from where the A's and Red Sox kicked off the 2008 season, the Yanks got to Paul Byrd, but a pair of three-run homers by the Indians were enough to beat the Yankees by a 7-5 score.


L - Johnny Damon (DH)
R - Derek Jeter (SS)
L - Bobby Abreu (RF)
L - Jason Giambi (1B)
L - Robinson Cano (2B)
L - Hideki Matsui (LF)
S - Wilson Betemit (3B)
R - Jose Molina (C)
S - Melky Cabrera (CF)

Pitchers: Ian Kennedy, Scott Patterson, Kyle Farnsworth, Darrell Rasner

Subs: Shelley Duncan (1B), Nick Green (2B), Chris Woodward (SS), Morgan Ensberg (3B), Greg Porter (C), Chad Moeller (RF), Brett Gardner (RF/CF), Bernie Castro (PR/LF), Jason Lane (DH)

Opposition: The Indians starters save for Casey Blake.

Big Hits: Doubles by Jose Molina (3 for 4), Jason Giambi (2 for 4), and Robinson Cano (3 for 4), the last of whom had two of them.

Who Pitched Well: Scott Patterson struck out the only man he faced to end the fifth inning for Ian Kennedy. Kyle Farnsworth pitched around a single for a scoreless sixth, two of his three outs coming on the ground.

Who Didn't: Kennedy walked four and gave up a three-run homer to Ryan Garko with two outs in the first. All four runs Kennedy allowed in his 4 2/3 innings were unearned (due to an error by Melky Cabrera), but three of the five hits he allowed went for extra bases. He was also inefficient, needing 91 pitches to get through 4 2/3 innings and throwing just 53 percent of those for strikes. Darrell Rasner may have handed the long-relief job to Kei Igawa by giving up a three-run home run to Andy Marte with two outs in the in the eighth with the Yankees holding a slim 5-4 lead. Rasner had worked a scoreless seventh, but allowed four baserunners in his two innings, Marte included.

Oopsies: Fielding errors by Cabrera in center and Chris Woodward (his third of the spring) at shortstop.

Ouchies: Andy Pettitte played catch (42 tosses) today and will throw a bullpen tomorrow. If all goes well, he'll start a minor league game on Saturday and start the third game of the season, simply swapping spots with Mike Mussina, who will start the second game. Johnny Damon went 0 for 4 as the DH after missing Monday's game due to the flu.

Roster News: Per Chad Jennings, Sean Henn will likely start the year on the DL with biceps tendonitis (which explains why he has barely pitched in camp). That also allows the Yanks to avoid having to pass Henn, who is out of options, through waivers. Instead they can hold on to him on the DL and get him back to the minors via an eventual rehab assignment. Nick Green can opt out of his Yankee contract tonight and likely will. He's fourth in line for the Yankees' utility spot at best.

More: The Record's Pete Caldera on new bench coach Rob Thomson. Chad Jennings details the minor league outings of Joba Chamberlain and LaTroy Hawkins.

Tokyo: It's a shame it started at 6 a.m. EST (or 3 a.m. PCT), because the A's and Sox played a gem of a game in Tokyo to start the 2008 season. The no-name A's scored a pair against hometown hero Daisuke Matsuzaka in the first and just kept putting men on against him, drawing five walks off the Sox starter, but Matsuzaka battled and locked it down. A's starter Joe Blanton then tired in the sixth and coughed up three runs to make it 3-2 Sox, but the A's then jumped right back in in the bottom of the sixth on a two-run dinger by Jack Hannahan, who is filling in for the still-injured Eric Chavez, off Kyle Snyder. The A's got the ball to closer Huston Street with a 4-3 lead in the top of the ninth, but Brandon Moss, who was literally a last-minute replacement for an achy J.D. Drew in right field, tied it up with a solo homer. The Sox added two more off Street in the tenth, but the A's rallied in the bottom of the tenth against Jonathan Papelbon, only to be outdone by an Emil Brown baserunning mistake that turned a one-out/man-on-second situation into a two-out/none-on situation with the A's having closed to within one run. The A's sloppy play was their undoing throughout the game, while the play of the game was a leaping catch at the wall in dead center by Boston's Jacoby Ellsbury. Three hours and 39 minutes is too long, and the Red Sox did get the win, but otherwise, here's hoping all the games are that good this year.

2008-03-25 15:08:51
1.   Jeb
It sure would have been nice for the A's to have beaten the sox. Here's hoping for a split.

I heard Dale Petrovskey resigned from the Baseball HOF today. I don't know if anyone remembers, but he was involved in a controversy a few years ago involving a "Bull Durham" reunion that was scheduled for the HOF. He claimed that Tim Robbins would use the event to promote anti-war sentiment. Maybe now they can have a 20th reunion.

2008-03-25 16:24:59
2.   cult of basebaal
this little gem was hidden inside of chris jennings' piece:

Over in Triple-A, LaTroy Hawkins walked the lead-off batter, then struck out two in a row, walked another guy, then got a fly out to end the inning. When he was done, Hawkins said he walked the clean-up hitter on purpose after he went down 3-1 in the count. That clean-up hitter was a huge guy named Val Pascucci who hit 34 homers in the PCL last year. No since risking a two-run shot. One of the New York reporters asked Hawkins if this spring training has been about as good as he could have hoped, to which Hawkins gave one of the best, most honest answers I've ever heard from a baseball player.

"Spring don't mean sh**, dude."

indeed ...

2008-03-25 17:25:46
3.   unmoderated
he did resign, amid some financial 'inaccuracies.'
2008-03-25 17:50:46
4.   mehmattski
Wow, is Robby Cano dialed in the last few days, or what?

Thursday: 2 for 4
Friday: 1 for 3
Sunday: 0 for 3
Monday 3 for 4, homer, triple
Tuesday: 3 for 4, 2 doubles

On the spring: 56 AB, .464/.474/.696

I'll overlook the fact that he has just one walk on the spring because he also only has two strikeouts. There is some statistical evidence that spring training slugging percentages are correlated to young players having "breakout years." It was true for Ian Kinsler and Brandon Phillips last year; let's hope it continues for our second baseman. Go Robby!

2008-03-25 17:51:32
5.   Mr OK Jazz TOKYO
3 There are always "inaccuracies"...

The Sox game was great (except for the broadcast being cut off). My initial impression was that though they won, I think their line-up has holes. Varitek looked completely overmatched, and Lowell is due to decline. That Ellsbury is going to be a star though, what a catch! As for Oakland..wonder how much sake Billy Beane needed after that "baserunning"??

2008-03-25 17:57:46
6.   weeping for brunnhilde
Oh my God.

Watching the encore of today's game on YES and what should I see?

A Cano hit in the seventh that makes me want to weep for joy.

He just went right with that ball and drilled it down the left field line.

A thing of beauty.

It doesn't get any better than that, my friends. As good, maybe, but no better.

2008-03-25 18:01:07
7.   weeping for brunnhilde
4 Two strikeouts??


Don Mattingly come back again.

That's amazing.

There's no reason Robby shouldn't be a .330 hitter. All he has to do is learn to lay off the high heat (and two strikeouts suggests perhaps he has) and stay out of those funks where he gets pull happy.

If he can do that, this guy will get 3000 hits, easy.

(Plus, of course, staying healthy, but he seems pretty physically fit so far, no?)

I'm so happy he's ours.

2008-03-25 20:43:39
8.   dianagramr
In the "creepy editing error" category, check out the last entry on the transactions for Monday, March 24.


2008-03-25 21:26:47
9.   Jeterismyhomeboy
8 That is just plain disturbing. Is it weird that I literally jerked away from my laptop when I read that?


2008-03-25 23:57:00
10.   Cleveland Steamer

Who knew he was traded to Toronto?

What did we get n return?

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