Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
2008-05-15 13:03
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

IPK vs. Kaz.  Come on split.

Comments (111)
Show/Hide Comments 1-50
2008-05-15 13:04:46
1.   cult of basebaal
just in time alex!


2008-05-15 13:08:23
2.   Shaun P
Why not? I hope IPK comes out throwing strikes . . .
2008-05-15 13:21:47
3.   Shaun P
Hey, this ump, unlike his crewmates, is calling the zone by the book! (So far.)

I was going to comment on Matsui sitting, but his splits this year vs LHP are horrible; he's hitting a few singles, nothing more (OPS < .600). So I guess I can't quibble too much.

2008-05-15 13:22:06
4.   RIYank
Hm. Throwing strikes may not be his main concern today.
2008-05-15 13:24:05
5.   Shaun P
4 Iwamura's homer, at least on Gameday, came on an inside pitch. Can't win 'em all.
2008-05-15 13:24:41
6.   RIYank
3 Uh... where was ball two (pitch four) to Upton???
2008-05-15 13:25:43
7.   RIYank
5 Inside part of the plate, but in the zone, I believe. And flat...
2008-05-15 13:25:52
8.   Shaun P
3 Never mind, I spoke to soon.

3rd pitch to Upton, fastball over the LHB box - "strike!"

4th pitch to Upton, slider over the plate, above the knees - "ball!"

I want to know when there will be a commission investigating this crap.

2008-05-15 13:26:32
9.   RIYank
Okay, it wasn't a bad inning, in fact. He did place the ball pretty well. Maybe Iwamura's dinger was just a bad break...
2008-05-15 13:27:19
10.   RIYank
I know: doesn't Arlen Specter watch baseball???
2008-05-15 13:27:30
11.   Shaun P
6 14 pitches, 8 strikes, not bad. I think two of the balls, right around the knees and over the place, could have gone the other way.

Still, I'm pleased so far. Wish I could see it instead of Gamedaying it.

2008-05-15 13:27:42
12.   51cq24
9 the home run pitch was right where he wanted it but i agree it looked "flat." did yes ever show the velocity?
2008-05-15 13:29:57
13.   RIYank
12 Gameday says it was 89mph. But flat, yes.
2008-05-15 13:31:34
14.   OldYanksFan
What a horrid lineup. I understand trying to have RH bats in, but I'd still rather have Abreu or Matsui then Ensberg.

Does anyone this this team needs Ensberg?

2008-05-15 13:33:27
15.   Shaun P
Robbie - don't swing at the first pitch, PLEASE! Kazmir's all over the place.

I wish Gameday showed the hitter to scale. Its impossible to tell whether a pitch is really at the knees or not, and if the ump is calling the high strike (as he should) or not.

2008-05-15 13:35:18
16.   Shaun P
14 Matsui vs LHP:


You sure you want that in there?

BTW, nice job ump, calling Cano out on a pitch almost in the RHB box. Cripes.

2008-05-15 13:35:51
17.   RIYank
This could be worse, though. At least the boys are working the count (except Giambi). Kaz has thrown 34 pitches over two no-hit innings.
2008-05-15 13:36:36
18.   rbj
14 Do you want Giambi playing first.

And speaking of first, the Mudhens have a nice young 1Ber, Jeff Larish, who is mashing the ball this year. He's a lefty (25 y.o.) who's taking advantage of the short RF porch in Toledo. I don't have access to Baseball Prospectus, anyone who does, what does it say about the guy, and how could Cashman finagle him from Detroit?

2008-05-15 13:36:56
19.   Shaun P
14 If not Ensberg, then who? The only other hitter on the 40-man is Juan Miranda, slugging under .400 at AAA. (Chris Stewart too, but that won't last long.) Sure, Eric Duncan is off to a hot start, but is that for real?
2008-05-15 13:38:27
20.   RIYank
I think I might give E-Dunc a shot. I kind of feel like he deserves one.
Maybe that's pathos rather than analysis.
2008-05-15 13:38:54
21.   HugsFromHarold
Floyd hit that one hard. seems like all the Rays so far have made good contact on IPK.
2008-05-15 13:41:22
22.   Jeb
10 no but he did come up with the single videotaping theory.
2008-05-15 13:41:35
23.   claybeez
20 With so many of his struggles supposedly being do to his aggressive handling, I say keep him down in AAA most of the season.
2008-05-15 13:41:43
24.   tommyl
Nice inning kid
2008-05-15 13:41:49
25.   Shaun P
18 How about some bullpen help?

Kevin Goldstein ranked him as the 5th best prospects in the Tigers' system, after the Cabrera/Willis deal. PECOTA's weighted mean projection for him, going into '08, was .239/.334/.396. Of course, at that point, he had no time in AAA, so I wonder how different it would be now? Too small a sample to work off of?

2008-05-15 13:41:51
26.   RIYank
21 I guess he heard you. No good contact by Longoria or Hinske!
2008-05-15 13:42:57
27.   Shaun P
16 OK, the pitch Longoria was called out on was way outside too, but c'mon ump - call the zone the way the rule book says!

Where's Questec? Is no one in the Commish's Office watching these guys?

2008-05-15 13:44:08
28.   tommyl
Kazmir's velocity is way, way down. That last FB was 88.
2008-05-15 13:44:23
29.   Jeb
19 since I bought a Juan Miranda game used bat in an auction from the Thunder (and then got their wonderful GM to have it autographed for me), I want Juan Miranda to play in NYC.
2008-05-15 13:44:59
30.   claybeez
18 Last I see is the off-season Top 11 where he's projected as a starting 1B on a 2nd division team or a bench player a la Craig Wilson.
2008-05-15 13:46:39
31.   RIYank
Yeah, okay, Shaun, this is just a terrible 'strike zone' today. Both sides.
2008-05-15 13:47:37
32.   HugsFromHarold
27 well as long as the Ump calls it consistently, it's ok.
2008-05-15 13:47:42
33.   tommyl
Another 1-2-3 offensive inning! Go team!
2008-05-15 13:47:48
34.   Shaun P
1st pitch to Gonzalez: a phantom strike.

The pitch Molina was called out on was so far inside, on Gameday, it was over the RHB box.

This is really getting old. Maybe the reason offense is down in the AL is because the umps are calling the old late 90s Maddux/Glavine strike zone, 3 inches tall and 3 miles wide.

2008-05-15 13:49:18
35.   RIYank
I do feel like the strike zone has been very wide this year, and maybe a bit low.
2008-05-15 13:49:53
36.   Shaun P
31 I know. I'll shut up now. It just really bugs me.

Yanks are still making Kazmir work - 46 pitches through 3, even if they have no base runners to show for it.

2008-05-15 13:49:58
37.   RIYank
Okay, I have to go drive. I'll be listening to Sterling and Waldman!
2008-05-15 13:51:09
38.   RIYank
36 They do have one base runner...
But yeah, that's what gives me hope. One decent inning might put a real strain on Kaz and we could get to their bullpen. (And strike out four times against them.)
2008-05-15 13:52:43
39.   Shaun P
38 You're right, of course. I forgot Ensberg's walk.
2008-05-15 13:52:56
40.   HugsFromHarold
37 sorry to hear than Waldman and Sterling make my ears bleed. I've got the MLB Gameday Audio at work and always listen to the opposing team's announcers.
2008-05-15 13:56:23
41.   tommyl
C'mon kid, throw strikes. You can do it.
2008-05-15 13:58:16
42.   rbj
25 , 30 Thanks.
Here's his line so far in AAA
.278/.369/.563/.932 11HR in 151 ABs, 22BB, the downside is 47 Ks.
2008-05-15 13:58:23
43.   Jeb
paging Mr. Ohlendorf...Mr. Ohlendorf, please report to the bullpen mount....
2008-05-15 13:58:35
44.   Jeb
mound that is.
2008-05-15 13:58:35
45.   tommyl
Um, that was a ball how? Gameday has it over the plate, at the knees. Seemed like a perfect pitch to me.
2008-05-15 13:58:53
46.   HugsFromHarold
this could be getting real ugly real quick.
2008-05-15 13:59:56
47.   williamnyy23
Kennedy has to limit the damage here...two runs could already be too much for the Yankees to overcome, but if Ian gets bombed off the mound again it will be like tow defeats in one.
2008-05-15 14:02:15
48.   pwicked
40 Are you kidding? You think these TB clowns-turned-announcers are good? Wow...
2008-05-15 14:02:45
49.   Jeb
The problem is that he gets behind everyone. Velocity is really not the key issue. Lots of pitchers have great careers with average velocity (e.g., Maddux, Glavine). But when you're down 1-0, 2-1, etc., you have to throw a strike and then an 88-90 MPH pitch over the plate gets hammered. The case in point so far is that lead off homer when he was in a 2-1 count.

Of course, lack of control has contributed to things in the third too with the HBP and the walk. IPK must have control and must pitch to contact EARLY in the count.

2008-05-15 14:04:04
50.   williamnyy23
49 Velocity isn't the end all, but Kennedy is topping out at 89. That seems a bit slow.
Show/Hide Comments 51-100
2008-05-15 14:04:49
51.   Jeb
Good recovery by IPK anyway. If he can go another 3 innings with no more runs, then this game won't be that bad.
2008-05-15 14:05:18
52.   HugsFromHarold
IPK is a-ok! Now lets get some runs.
2008-05-15 14:05:33
53.   YankeeInMichigan
Two weeks ago, this would have been a big inning. I think the boy's growing up.
2008-05-15 14:06:07
54.   Jeb
49 59 Right. Velocity isn't the issue if he's hitting his spots. BUT, when he's not hitting his spots and is pitching in hitter's counts then Velocity (or lack thereof) BECOMES the issue (or at least becomes more of an issue) when he has to throw a strike and the hitter knows that.
2008-05-15 14:06:24
55.   tommyl
Way to recover kid. That's learning how to pitch in the majors. Now lets go offense, wake the eff up.
2008-05-15 14:08:07
56.   ms october
is anyone who is watching this game on tv think he is tipping his pitches - i can see what grip he has with the ball on nearly every pitch as he is adjusting his grip outside of his glove - though obviosuly he may be changing it during his windup and not sure if the hitters can see it
2008-05-15 14:08:45
57.   williamnyy23
54 No pitcher is every going to always hit their spots. Velocity gives a pitcher a margin for error. At 89, Kennedy doesn't seem to have much margin. Hopefully, Kennedy will be able to reach 90-92 more often so he can better set things up.
2008-05-15 14:09:06
58.   51cq24
54 i wonder if it's true that hard throwers are better when pitching from behind in the count
2008-05-15 14:12:29
59.   Jeb
58 well, I think that EVERY pitcher is better when throwing ahead in the count. But I also think that a hard thrower can pitch better than a soft thrower when behind in the count because a 95 MPH fastball down the middle is harder to hit than an 88 MPH fastball down the middle.

Even Farnsworth -- who throws really hard -- doesn't pitch well when behind in the count. That wasn't really my point. Just that the slower you throw the worse it gets.

2008-05-15 14:13:11
60.   tommyl
Well, to be fair, that pitch to Jason was very much a strike. Is the Trop a questec stadium?
2008-05-15 14:15:02
61.   williamnyy23
59 That pitch illustrates your point. Kaz through a fastball down the middle and Giambi popped it up.
2008-05-15 14:15:21
62.   Shaun P
49 Except he hasn't. The Iwamura HR came with IPK behind 2-1, but a quick summary on Gameday shows he's been ahead of more than half the guys he's faced.

I believe in the importance of throwing strike one too (which he did to Iwamura), but I think he's doing fine today.

/gritting teeth after that 4th pitch to Giambi

2008-05-15 14:15:26
63.   Jeb
Shelly Duncan is hitting .182 and has no homeruns. I understand that he's a great AAA player, but this isn't AAA. Can someone tell me why the hell he is on this team?
2008-05-15 14:16:46
64.   51cq24
61 what was the velocity of that pitch?
2008-05-15 14:17:32
65.   Jeb
62 yeah, but that's the point isn't it? He was behind in the count to Iwamura and had to throw for a strike and Iwamura hit it out. Then he showed lack of control in the 3rd (if a HBP and Walk isn't lack of control, I don't know what is) and that led to another run.

He has to get ahead of 9 out of every 10 hitters. When you don't throw hard, the margin for error is narrower.

2008-05-15 14:19:18
66.   Shaun P
Because, albeit in a small sample size last year, he destroyed LHPs, and the Yanks' lineup is full of LHBs who don't hit LHPs at all.

Duncan's .182 has come in another small sample size (34 ABs, only 23 of those vs LHPs - we know he can't hit right RHP, so I'm inclined to ignore his appearances vs RHP). I'm not ready to say give up on him yet. Lots can happen in 23 ABs. Just ask Cano.

2008-05-15 14:19:37
67.   Jeb
61 I really can't tell if you're being sarcastic with that comment or not. If your point is that Kaz is a harder thrower so he can "get away" with locating down the middle (when down 3-1) more than Kennedy can then I agree with you. If IPK did that, he'd be more likely to give up a hit.
2008-05-15 14:21:06
68.   51cq24
"if a HBP and Walk isn't lack of control, I don't know what is"

wildly missing the strike zone instead of just missing on arguable pitches?

2008-05-15 14:21:27
69.   HugsFromHarold
63 yeah. i'd like to see the Yanks call up Jason Lane and give him a chance. Always thought the Astros kept jerking him around.
2008-05-15 14:22:43
70.   Shaun P
65 But the pitch Iwamura homered on, at least according to Gameday, was a ball inside, not a strike. The HBP could have just gotten away from him - tough to draw conclusions from 1 pitch. (Moose has hit 4 guys this year - hard to say he has no control.)

The walk? Again, tough to draw conclusions from just a few pitches.

Overall, IPK is at 59 pitches now, 37 strikes, 22 balls; 63% of the pitches for strikes. Given what he was doing before, I'll take it!

2008-05-15 14:23:48
71.   Jeb
68 when you hit someone, you're missing the strike zone fairly wildly I'd say. I didn't witness the walk, but I can only say that a walk is some indication of lack of control.

Nice 4th inning by IPK.

2008-05-15 14:24:48
72.   cult of basebaal
2008-05-15 14:25:06
73.   Shaun P
65 I agree that, when you don't throw hard, your margin for error is slimmer (cf. Moose, so far). But only the greatest pitchers of all time get ahead of 9 out of every 10 batters. That's Maddux territory. Expecting IPK to do that, and in his first full season, is unreasonable.
2008-05-15 14:26:32
74.   Jeb
65 perhaps you're right, but don't expect him to have under an 8 ERA then.
2008-05-15 14:28:13
75.   YankeeInMichigan
70 Gameday has a video alert on that homer. It was on the inside corner and very flat. Since then, he's pitched quite well.
2008-05-15 14:28:25
76.   Shaun P
IPK has thrown more strikes than Kazmir so far, has walked the same number of guys (1), and has struck out one more. The 2 home runs hurt, but I think he's doing OK so far.
2008-05-15 14:31:39
77.   pwicked
76 Yeah, he's doing just fine. Hope he didn't unpack his bag.
2008-05-15 14:33:45
78.   cult of basebaal
eek ... another potential GIDP situation for molasses molina
2008-05-15 14:34:05
79.   Jeb
76 There's a difference though. Kaz throws harder and is facing an anemic lineup at home. IPK throws softer and is apparently facing the 1927 Yankees on the road.
2008-05-15 14:34:07
80.   tommyl
Ok Jose, now lets GIDP and speed this thing up!
2008-05-15 14:35:40
81.   cult of basebaal
a moral victory for molina ... how sad is that?
2008-05-15 14:37:54
82.   tommyl
Phew, almost thought we might score a run there!
2008-05-15 14:48:03
83.   tommyl
We have one hit, one hit through 5 innings. Dear lord, we are awful, simply awful. Whine all you want about IPK, but we have one freakin' hit.
2008-05-15 14:58:13
84.   OldYanksFan
Rays get a leadoff double and score on 2 sac flys. I wish we could do that. 5 IP, 5 hits, 1 BB. Seems like a decent outing... until you look at the score. However, I can't say he's getting hit THAT hard. Am I wrong?
2008-05-15 14:59:20
85.   rbj
I'm back, after getting home from work and walking the dog. Seems like I didn't miss anything.
2008-05-15 15:00:42
86.   claybeez
84 The home runs were definitely HARD hit...Sac flys, a lost Yankee art (absolutley no stats to back that up).
2008-05-15 15:03:42
87.   OldYanksFan
The Rays have signed Langoria, Kaz and a few others to deals. They have a decent team that's VERY young. Will the owner spend a few dollars over the next few years to help them get to the next level?

It's hard to believe they can't sell 20k seats a game. If you live on Florida's west coast, there isn't that much to do. What do they need, a stadium with A/C... or at least all the seats in the shade?

2008-05-15 15:04:53
88.   seattleyank
84 Well, there were two homeruns, at least two doubles I saw and lots of deep flies in just five innings. So I think you could argue he was hit pretty hard.
2008-05-15 15:05:04
89.   rbj
Gee, those Hawkins booers sure are looking stupid now.
2008-05-15 15:12:13
90.   rbj
Has any Yankee made it to third today?
2008-05-15 15:13:42
91.   Just fair
90 Al Gonzalez and Bobby Meacham.
2008-05-15 15:14:46
92.   rbj
Yay! LoL 91
2008-05-15 15:19:59
93.   rbj
Now that's an AB I could take home to mom.
2008-05-15 15:20:47
94.   Just fair
Unless Giambi can go yard. Now that would be nice.
2008-05-15 15:22:42
95.   OldYanksFan
OK... I'm bumming, so I will copy an optimistic post from Lohud:
hey, guys, the sox just got swept by the o's, the tigers just got swept by the royals. no matter what happens here, we are right in the thick of it with only 4 starting pitchers, out 2 best hitters out and the rest slumping like crazy. THIS is the worst part of this season. arod's coming back tuesday, the schedule gets much easier. Someone is going to step up and grab that #5 spot with both hands and not let go (just like razner is doing) and this team WILL hit. relax, better we look like this now than in mid september!

i say they come back in this game, kazmir is gone.

2008-05-15 15:32:32
96.   JL25and3
I don't think anyone can complain about an offensive slump anymore. This makes two straight games the Yankees have scored in double figures.
2008-05-15 15:38:55
97.   claybeez
96 LOL Nice one.
2008-05-15 15:47:49
98.   williamnyy23
67 No point was Kaz has a margin for error, while Kennedy does not.
2008-05-15 15:52:24
99.   Just fair
It's right down the fucking middle, Abreu.
Ugh. Stop the train.
2008-05-15 15:57:48
100.   OldYanksFan
Ugly. Depressing. No candy for these guys tonight.
Show/Hide Comments 101-150
2008-05-15 16:06:07
101.   vockins
Perhaps the Yankees are better than a .500 team, but I'm not entirely convinced that they are better than the Rays.
2008-05-15 16:10:02
102.   williamnyy23
This loss is a double blow...not only is the offense in a seemingly irreversible slumber, but Kennedy was pretty bad once again. What's more, he doesn't even look like a prospect, which also has implications for the long-term future. I had pegged an impressive Kennedy as being a key sign for a Yankees turnaround, but can't come up with a reason why that's even a decent possibility.
2008-05-15 16:36:45
103.   rbj
I pegged IPK as merely a #5 starter this year -- a kid who's going to take his lumps while learning to pitch in the bigs this year. Today didn't really disappoint me, well, except for the offense.
2008-05-15 17:46:17
104.   Shaun P
I'm not too disappointed in IPK*, but if anything, continued poor performances by him probably means Joba is a lock to see the rotation this summer. They have plenty of guys who could come up and dominate the 8th inning: Cox, Melancon, Robertson, etc. Outside of maybe Horne, there are no guaranteed at least #3 starter types in the high minors.

*Ok, he gave up 5 runs. On the one hand, two of those runs were off a HR to Shawn Riggans. Dude has 3 career homers; every dog has its day. OTOH, dude has 3 career homers!!!

I keep telling myself, the Yanks were in worse shape at this point last year. Its doesn't really help.

2008-05-15 18:19:14
105.   williamnyy23
It's all well and good to want to be patient with IPK, but I am not sure how one could not be disappointed. Not only has he failed to pitch well all season, but he also doesn't look impressive. He has shown a mediocre fastball that he doesn't command well to go along with a decent change and inconsistent breaking pitch. With stuff like that, he isn't even a 5th starter.

Also, I am sorry, but 5 runs in 5 innings is exactly that. Also, I am not sure how giving up 2 HRs to light hitters makes things me, it makes things worse.

2008-05-15 20:14:10
106.   Shaun P
105 "Also, I am not sure how giving up 2 HRs to light hitters makes things me, it makes things worse."

I was grappling with that vs. cautious optimism on IPK myself, hence my "on the one hand, on the other hand" line.

Its not "early" any more, but, IPK has thrown all of 28.7 innings in the big leagues this year. He's "looked" bad (I guess, I don't think I've seen him pitch on TV yet), the results aren't there - but that's too few innings to make a solid judgment on.

Every piece of info we had on this guy coming into this year - stats, scouting reports, etc - said he was going to be good. I'm not ready to disregard all that on the basis of 28.7 innings.

In any case, as long as Rasner keeps pitching OK, IPK is the 5th starter, and that's fine. rbj is right 103 .

2008-05-15 20:45:56
107.   williamnyy23
106 The flip side to that is Kennedy has only had 100 professional innings at AA or higher, so there really wasn't a body to justify the info we had coming into this year.

Also, if the Yankees are hoping to contend, it isn't fine to have IPK as a fifth starter. The Yankees are 1-6 behind IPK this year. Even if they were hitting, it is very hard to overcome a 9 ERA from your pitcher.

I am becoming increasingly concerned about this season, but what worries me more about Kennedy is that he simply doesn't look like a prospect. If he wasn't wearing pinstripes, I'd scoff at the thought that he was a blue chip.

2008-05-15 21:01:18
108.   Shaun P
107 Re: IPK, that's why you have to rely on the scouting stuff more, and, IIRC, it was universally good. In any case, its far too early to give up on him.

Re: contending - I don't know, the Yanks have managed to contend with some pretty awful 5th starter performances over the years. Last year's motley crew, Wright in 2006*, Brown and Wright in 2005**, Contreras and Loaiza in 2004, Weaver's 160 IP of 5.99 ERA in 2003 . . .

You have to go back to 2002 to find a rotation that was rock solid, top to bottom. (Damn Angels.) The Yanks can contend, even if IPK stinks up the joint for another few starts. I doubt he's so bad that his ERA is going to be 8+ all year.

If I wasn't on my way to bed, I'd say between the two of us, william, we could get this thread to 110 comments. Maybe someone will pinch hit for me. Things will get better, have faith!

*From looking it up, the back end of the rotation (4 and 5 slots) were some combo of Wright, Chacon, and Lidle. None pitched well; they had almost 250 IP combined. Unit had over 200 IP and an ERA of 5; the Yanks still contended.

**Brown, Leiter, and Wright in 2005 threw over 200 innings; the best ERA of them? Leiter's 5.49. Add in Pavano's 100 IP and his 4.77 ERA, and that's damn ugly too.

2008-05-15 21:15:17
109.   williamnyy23
108 The scouting reports on IPK weren't really outstanding before his MLB debut last season. In fact, he wasn't on most radars before then. The "scouts" in the media I trust like Goldstein and Law have always pegged IPK as a lower rotation prospect IF he has perfect command. So far, he has had very bad command.

Your point about the Yankees bad #5 starters is spot on, but there are two key differences: the Yankees could hit then (it remains to be seen if they will again) and as bad as they were, they were significantly better than IPK has been. Sadly, I might sign up for IPK throwing to a 5 ERA.

I might as well get to bed too...definitely don't have the spirit for 110 comments.

2008-05-16 01:00:53
110.   Chyll Will
109 You just leave that to me.

I still think we're asking too much from the kids, and given that they have to pitch to no run support AND learn to pitch in the bigs at the same time, it's really unfair to dump on them. I'm not looking for contention until the lineup proves it can hit big league pitching consistently without injuring themselves or their feelings, whatever...

Sue Simmons is right: course correction is bad baseball, period >:(

2008-05-16 05:33:43
111.   rbj
It doesn't matter how poorly the #5 starter pitches. If you've got the Worm Killer pitching as well as he did the other night and it winds up going in the L column, you aren't going to be successful. The offense (and defense) need to step up, even without Alex & Jorge.

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