Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Grumble, Grumble, Grumble
2008-04-26 18:03
by Alex Belth

Well, my streak of fury-less baseball watching is over as the Yankees lost to the Indians 4-3 on Saturday afternoon. It started off poorly and got worse. Em and I listened to the first few innings on our way back from my mom's house, where we made traditional Belgian waffle cookies this afternoon. It was late in the day and I was crashing from all the sugar. Add John Sterling, a dash of S. Waldman, and well, it was not a good combination. Especially--or "ekspecially," as Paul O'Neill likes to say, with Ian Kennedy nowhere near the strike zone in the early going.

We got home in time to watch the majority of the game with more friends, Buck and McCarver, who made sure to keep us updated on the baseball game inbetween talking about the NFL draft. To be hoenst, it was a frustrating day for both sides, a game that moved in fits-and-starts, with failed rallies, hard-hit balls turned into outs, lucky double plays, failed bunt attempts (that means you, Melky), and a horrid missed call at second base. The Yankees had no business winning the game and yet they had their chances. They had 12 hits. Alex Rodriguez had a spirited 11-pitch at bat with runners on in the seventh, and just missed three pitches in the sequence, fouling them off, before going down on strikes. Later, with the game tied in the top of the ninth, Mariano Rivera warming in the bullpen, and runners on the corners, Derek Jeter hit into a double play. Here's the play-by-play ugliness.

Ross Olendorf took the loss when he allowed a bases loaded single to Victor Martinez. But the Yankee pitchers were behind in the count all day long--Kennedy regrouped in his final two innings, but didn't give the team any length and was subpar once again; LaTroy Hawkins threw six straight balls before throwing a strike, walked the lead-off man in the sixth and seventh, while Kyle Farnsworth walked the first man in the eighth.

Ah, I'm sore just thinking about it. And I'm not the only one who is irritated. Hopefully, the boys will show up tomorrow.

2008-04-26 18:38:53
1.   williamnyy23
This was a horribly managed game... Girardi might as well wear #6. I had a feeling that Thursday loss was a sign of things to come. The team is pretty lifeless.

What's worse is watching Buccholz dominate, while Kennedy and Hughes continue to flounder.

2008-04-26 18:42:02
2.   Alex Belth
That was just a horseshit afternoon all around.
2008-04-26 18:47:12
3.   monkeypants
0 "but didn't give the team any length and was subpar once again.."

True, but maybe a little exaggerated. Starters so far in 2008 have averaged 5.7 INN/start (the averaged for the AL and ML are almost identical) and AL starters have a 4.44 ERA. So basically Kennedy needed 2 more outs to equal average length for a starter, and he have up about a half a run too many.

Again, the problem was not with subpar Kennedy, who was pretty darn near par, but with the sluggish offense.

2008-04-26 18:55:46
4.   williamnyy23
3 The slugish offense was a problem, which is precisely why Girardi's autopilot approach is hurting the team. Why not try a a squeeze with Jeter in the 9th, for example. Scoring that runs pretty much meant a win.
2008-04-26 19:01:33
5.   monkeypants
4 Squeeze would have been a good play, but I can also see letting one of your best hitters hit. Girardi also showed some creativity with the lineup and PH/defensive positioning. I'm not ready to declare his managing autopilot just yet.
2008-04-26 19:07:49
6.   williamnyy23
5 The positioning is a real change, but that's pre-game prep, which he has definitely been better. In terms of game management, however, he has not been creative at all.

I am not a big fan of the bunt, but Jeter is automatic laying them down, and that would have been a run and Mariano. If you know you are going to use Ohlendorf in a tie game, you MUST get that run in.

2008-04-26 19:14:29
7.   monkeypants
6 By positioning I meant his willingness to use his admittedly more flexible bench more creatively--using Duncan in RF, AG at three IF spots, etc...which has allowed for more creative PH and lineups. In that regard he has been a more interesting game manager than Torre. Similarly, his BP usage has been better overall, though not with some irritating similarities (like no using Mo today, especially once a couple of guys got on base).

You may be right about the bunt in the 9th.

2008-04-26 19:20:08
8.   williamnyy23
7 Ultimately, the somewhat more creative bullpen usage is meaningless if he isn't going to be adjust in games like this one. I was expecting a noticeable change from Torre, so I guess I am disappointed that I don't see it.
2008-04-26 19:45:01
9.   monkeypants
8 Fair enough.

I guess I do see the differences, even though there has been some disappointment as well. Unfortunately Girardi is not Stengel reincarnated.

That said, if I ever think that things aren't different, I remind myself two things:

1. Imagine how Torre would deal with this staff and bench.
2. Just look at the old Torre shenanigans in LA so far this season (I mentioned a few in the last thread).

2008-04-26 20:02:36
10.   randym77
Speaking of #6...the Trolley-Dodgers just hung a 10-spot on Mark Redman in the first inning. (Juan Pierre. You can't stop him. You can only hope to contain him.)
2008-04-26 20:21:25
11.   Cliff Corcoran
Girardi managed the last inning of that game exactly as Torre managed countless others like it. With speed on at third (Damon) and less than two outs in a tie game in the ninth with a good bunter (Jeter) at the plate he did not squeeze. Instead the batter ground into a double play, blowing a gimme opportunity to hand Rivera a lead in the ninth. Then, with the game still tied in the ninth inning on the road, he turned to the guy who has been his junk-time reliever all season despite the fact that Rivera had been warming in the pen. I can excuse not going to Joba as Pete Abe has reported that Joba tweaked his hamstring on the wet mound in Chicago on the night he took the loss, but I can't excuse letting Mo watch from the pen as another reliever lost the game in the ninth. Same shit, different Joe.

As for Kennedy, I was pleased with how he settled down and look forward to his next start.

2008-04-26 20:25:57
12.   fansince77
I do have to say that bunt crossed my mind a couple of times with Jeter coming up. But ultimately I thought- Jeter will get this in the air, he knows to avoid the double what does he do?
2008-04-26 20:32:08
13.   fansince77
11 Read the posts from the game many times were we calling for hit, Ok mo time- hit number two- what are you waiting for Joe G.- bases loaded- paging Mariano Rivera. How frustrating is it to lose without putting your best in the game two nights in a row.

Another thing- what does that do for Ohlendorf? If Mo comes out and we lose, first of all it is not his fault and secondly he can handle it and come back tomorrow and be lights out.
Leaving the kid in an almost impossible situation is detrimental to his progress.
Be smart Girardi be smart.

2008-04-26 21:43:24
14.   Chyll Will
I wanted to turn the game off after the first hit in the ninth, but Uncle Woodrow still held out hope as he quoted Yogi Berra, so I left on an errand. When I came back, he told me that sometimes he thought Yogi was a damn fool.

This was so annoying, losing without putting your best pitcher in when he was available. And why are these guys getting hurt all over the place now? Is this further indictment of the training staff?

(OT, I didn't know that the comment box here was expandable... not that it helps much. Italics, now that would help... )

2008-04-27 06:33:31
15.   Raf
I didn't see the game yesterday, but was there an opportunity for Melky to run in the 9th inning of yesterday's game? I would think with he and Damon on the corners there would've been an opportunity to steal.
2008-04-27 06:39:19
16.   Scott Brosius Would Make a Good Neighbor
Was this title actually a Zelda reference? I love it!!

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