Baseball Toaster Bronx Banter
Cella Dwellas
2008-05-18 19:47
by Alex Belth
Note: The Bronx Banter blog has moved to

Mostly Dead...

The Yankees have not been getting hits with men are in scoring position.  They have not been scoring many runs, one of the telling differences between last year's early-season slump and this year's version.  When their ace pitcher is not on his game--Chien-Ming Wang was knocked around to the tune of seven runs--there is no way for them to win, even with the umpires helping them out with a huge missed call, negating a three-run home run by Carlos Delgado (who singled in a run instead).  The game was actually close enough until the eighth when the Mets busted it open, but given the way the Yankee offense has been going it didn't feel close at all.  On consecutive plays in the top of the eighth, Bobby Abreu made poor throws to the plate and a 5-2 lead quickly became 7-2.  Jose Reyes' three-run shot into the right-centerfield bleachers sealed it.  Oliver Perez, the Mets' inconsistent left-hander, allowed only three hits in 7. 2/3 innings, the only damage coming from a two run-homer by Hideki Matsui.

Final Score: Mets 11, Yanks 2.     

So the Yanks are the winners of an abbreviated scrubway series--right now, they are worse than the Mets.  Their offense is worse, their record is worse, and, of course, they are in last place.  I wish I had something positive to say, but I don't.  Okay, how about this?  At least we don't have to watch this team play on Monday.  They've got the day off.  Alex Rodriguez is scheduled to rejoin the team on Tuesday night.  But even Rodriguez, the reigning AL MVP, won't be enough to help save these pinestriped suckas all by himself.

It's going to be a long season, boy.         

2008-05-18 20:20:06
1.   mehmattski
The upside is that the reason the Yankees are losing is that every hitter is either matching or underperforming their preseason projections:

While preseason projections are clearly not an exact science, the conclusion I have to make is that some serious adjustment is due at some point in the season for all these hitters. This happened last year as well, and the entire team played about as amazing baseball as one can expect from July 15-August 31 last year.

The other cause for optimism is noticing the discrepancy between the calculated Batting Runs (which come from the Yankees' offensive numbers) and Actual Runs. Just like last year, the Yanks are not scoring the number of runs they should from the raw stats. While someone who believes in clutch (I don't) may come to a different conclusion, I have to think that an adjustment will come.

Also, yeah, A-Rod playing like himself gives the Yankees an extra win per week.

2008-05-18 20:20:28
2.   tommyl
As the wonderful groundskeepers said in Major League:



They're shitty!

2008-05-18 20:22:39
3.   mehmattski
1 Er, I meant an extra win every other week. A-Rod's VORP would have to be 200 or so to satisfy my first claim; he was at 96.6 last year. And the two-headed Alberto Gonzales/Morgan Ensberg monster is the very model of Replacement Player.
2008-05-18 20:22:43
4.   tommyl
1 Cliff said it well in his series preview. We're below the average in OBP. That's the reason we suck. Nothing more, nothing less. We start hitting a bit more, and walking a lot more and we'll start winning. We don't, we won't.
2008-05-18 20:23:01
5.   tommyl
3 Below replacement player.
2008-05-18 22:42:25
6.   bartap74
Hmmm...something positive....

We're only two games out of 4th.

Best I could do.

2008-05-19 00:16:41
7.   joejoejoe
Yankees '98: "I've got soul and I'm super bad."
Yankees '08: "I've got soul and I'm unironically bad."
2008-05-19 03:13:19
8.   Adrian
Probability that Hank hulks out and is spotted flipping cars in midtown: approaching 1.00.
2008-05-19 03:46:28
9.   Bagel Boy
In the disgust with Girardi department:

Oliver Perez - 2008:
vs. RHB: .295 .403 .411
vs. LHB: .103 .280 .179

So he leaves the only two RH bats on the bench? Who replaced Girardi with a Torre clone?

2008-05-19 03:49:13
10.   Bagel Boy
Of course, they aren't the only two - but the only hitters that could have possibly helped last night (and Sat too). Seriously, it's time to DFA Ensberg and send Duncan back down. This manager has decided he has no use for them - not even when the numbers beg for their starts.
2008-05-19 04:37:14
11.   randym77
10 But who replaces Ensberg and Duncan? Juan Miranda and Brett Gardner?

Maybe the Reds would be willing to part with Andy Phillips. He's been en fuego in Louisville. One of the hottest hitters in the IL. Had a 17-game hitting streak that just ended a couple of days ago.

2008-05-19 04:48:44
12.   ny2ca2dc
I actually would like to see Brett Gardner up. Ensberg is clearly cooked, so lets see what a little more speed can do. Why the hell not.
2008-05-19 04:52:29
13.   rbj
Embarrassed. Embarrassed and frustrated. That's about all I've got. Can't anyone here play the game?
2008-05-19 05:01:01
14.   Bagel Boy
11 Someone that the manager will use.

Seriously, is there any doubt at this point that Ensberg gets DFA'd with A-Rod's return? If not, he damn well should be. Really, what's the point with him?

As for Duncan, I suppose Gardner or Miranda work. I think the former is much more helpful, especially since it seems Girardi is going to give Giambi 500 ABs this year regardless of whether he deserves them. With that, I can't see where Miranda fits in.

As for Phillips, I can't see that happening. And it would be a bit depressing to think he's a solution. Though with Cashman, nothing stupid surprises me.

2008-05-19 05:25:03
15.   bp1
14 I smell a Terrance Long or Josh Phelps type solution coming our way. Cash likes to shop for solutions in the trash heap of baseball, trying to find someone else's uneaten Aaron Small.



Depressed Yankee Fan

2008-05-19 05:33:44
16.   horace-clarke-era
Although I'm the Preacher of Patience, it gets hard right now. I feel a bit like calling, "Joe come home, all is forgiven!' Though I have to say that if people actually think Duncan + Ensberg were any kind of 'solution' given their current numbers ... surely a manager has to look at present-day not history (and Shelley has little history anyhow). I'd agree that one or both are gone, with A Rod, and (one assumes) Betemit.

I was also thinking about Cliff's long post where he concluded that OBP was the key, tracking various numbers ... but really, Cliff, doesn't that just amount to saying that missing Rodriguez and Posada have killed the offense? Both were on base all the time last year. Jorge would not do .426 again (sheesh!) but he is lifetime .380. I wonder what happens if we just plug those obp numbers in, instead of Molina and the revolving door at 3rd. Bet we get something close to pleasant ... and pick up 4-5 games over the month they are missing.

In other words, we are 'down' the reigning MVP and the guy who probably deserved to come 4th or 5th last year (at least) and that WILL hammer a team. Blaming injuries can feel lame, teams get them (though it is often the lucky team that escapes them that wins a Series) but it is also wrong to savage a roster (or even a Manager and GM) when superstars (and right handed bats) are gone.

I'm not grasping for a silver lining, the team had a depressingly bad week after sweeping the Tigers, but neither have I scrapped the season. Having said that, I still hold the view that it was at least possible we might have to, from the time we refused the Santana deal and went with developing kids and holding fire till free agents arrived next year.

2008-05-19 06:19:35
17.   Bagel Boy
16 We might be down two high VORP players, but it drives me nuts that the manager doesn't use his roster the way it was designed. Call me an abused child from the Torre Era. There's a reason you have 25 players. There's also a reason you sit lefties who can't hit lefties.
2008-05-19 07:52:20
18.   Raf
15 Nothing wrong with searching the trash heap; sometimes you catch lightning in a bottle.

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