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June 18, 2006

June 18th @ The Nationals

I was spared today. I missed this game. We took the kids to go see the Sussex Skyhawks play at Skylands Park in Augusta (NJ). It was 75 miles (each way) to get there - but, it was worth it.

It's a cozy park, with quiet fans - at least they were today, and the staff is very polite. We had a fun time at the ballpark today - unlike the Yankees.

When the Yankees play the Washington Nationals, they're supposed to win either two or three out of three games. They're not supposed to win one game and then blow the other two for losses.

When we got to the car today, and I heard the score of the Yankees final, and then how it happened, all I could think about was what Joe Torre said after yesterday's game:

[It's] "As bad as you can get..."

Guess what Joe - it just got worse. This is a devastating loss.

The Yankees have now lost 7 of their last 10 games. And, one of those wins was by the score of 1-0. So, we could be looking at 8 of 10 right now. New York is lucky that Boston and/or Toronto has not taken advantage of this slump.

The way the Yankees are playing right now, it seems like this team needs a shot of adrenaline, or something. How that happens, I don't know? In the absence of adrenaline, maybe a slap in the face will do?

It just seems like, if they do nothing, then nothing will happen.

Posted by Steve Lombardi at June 18, 2006 07:51 PM

Comments

It's not adrenaline that's needed but some more starting pitching. I'm not worried about the offense, they'll do what they do.

Sounds like you got a nice father's day gift.

Posted by: RICH [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 18, 2006 09:30 PM

In essence though, I think these two loss, espically the later one, should really give the rest of the team a punch in the gut that they need to start pulling it together realllll soon.

There's just no way the rest of the team can be excused when you have ur starter pitching into the 9th and holding them to 1 run and then lose. and everyone else knew it.

Posted by: Yu Hsing Chen [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 18, 2006 09:49 PM

Fire TORRE now. His continued mismanagement of the bullpen has gotten so bad this year, and it is not going to get better. He has to go now.

Posted by: Ghostwheel [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 18, 2006 10:36 PM

Yeah, fire Torre. I mean we are only 10 games above .500 and only 1 game back despite losing for periods of time every member on our 25 man roster except Robinson Cano, Ron Villone, Kelly Stinnett, Miguel Cairo, and Andy Phillips.

Oy.

Anyway, Met fans aggrivate me. They need to go away. I was spoiled when I was upstate. Upstate, Mets fans do not exist. Now I'm subjected to obnoxious fans that root for their own team to win (which is fine...go for it...you should), but often on more occassions root for the Yankees to lose.

Isn't that pathetic? Doesn't that make you not a Mets fan at all? Aren't you really just an Anti-Yankee fan?

Posted by: Jeteupthemiddle [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 18, 2006 11:26 PM

Just about the most painful loss of the year (though the a loss earlier against the Twins was pretty bad). You just have to feel awful for Wang. He pitches his heart out, he's brilliant, and then because the bullpen is exhausted and Torre won't trust anyone, he loses the game. Torre did the right thing today by letting Wang pitch the ninth, but it's really his mismanagement of the bullpen that brought us to this moment. You can't blame him for Farns being hurt, but you can blame him for overusing Mo two days in a row and overusing Proctor all year.

There's no silver lining here, but Wang was brilliant. On any other day, he pitches eight innings of one-run ball and Mo closes it out for him. It was just one of those days. I've really been encouraged by his starts recently. It seems the thumping he took against the Tigers woke him up.

The offense stagnated once again. Torre makes some odd decisions. Because of a nice game, Torre put Bernie in the two-hole yesterday. Today it was back to Melky. He has the best two-hole hitter in baseball -- Jeter -- so why is he messing around with that? Especially with Melky not hitting right now. Also, the guy on the mound today for the Nats was hell on lefties. Cano, Damon and Giambi did nothing against him. I'm assuming this was in the scouting report. Why not throw Andy Phillips out there for a start? Just a thought...

Anyway, if anyone wants to be cheered up -- it did me -- Phillip Hughes went seven inning, gave up two runs (both on solo home runs), and struck out eleven. Oh, he's coming into his own in AA.

By the way, I watched the game at my brother-in-law's house, and every time I do, the Yankees lose a painful game (he's a Mets fan and a huge Yankees jinx). If it makes anyone feel better, I'll take full responsibility for this loss.

Posted by: baileywalk [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 19, 2006 12:18 AM

Today's loss hurt...BAD.

Posted by: brockdc [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 19, 2006 12:46 AM

I'm with Baileywalk on this one, except I see some serious positives from the game. Sure this was a painful, even stunning loss. But devastating? Hardly. I was at the game, and believe me, it ended so quickly that you hardly had time to react. Wang was absolutely brilliant and no way he should lose that game. But we were really hoping to get lucky and get 9 complete out of him. He was shaky in the 8th - Cabrera had to make a nice running catch on Fonzi - and probably pitching on fumes. The one decision you can question is not bringing in Myers/Villone to face the lefty Anderson with 1 out and no one on in the 9th. But it's hard to realy kill Torre for that one. Yesterday, is a different story.

Still, there's a lot of positives to take from this game: Wang was great and is becoming a real rock for the rotation; ARod was terrific, seems to be fully emerging from his slump, and was very animated and excited when he knocked in the then game-leading run (a very clutch close/late hit); the bullpen got much needed rest. I sense that we are close to going on a major run.

Posted by: Josh [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 19, 2006 12:46 AM

I read that, after the game, in the clubhouse, Wang was CRUSHED. That's why, IMHO, this was a devastating loss. This kid doesn't need that kind of pain.

Posted by: Steve Lombardi [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 19, 2006 11:11 AM

I'm as quick to blame Torre as anybody (just ask Don), but really, Wang was rolling up until the 8th and even in the 9th, the single was a ground ball that got through. If his last pitch sinks and he gets a DP, it's a very different outcome. Yes, he probably got the ball up because he was tired, but we're talking a difference of one pitch. If Torre had put in whatever's left of the bullpen, no matter what the result, we'd be complaining that he didn't trust Wang to get the complete game.

Posted by: hopbitters [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 19, 2006 11:39 AM

Steve, Wang will get over it hopefully. I know Curt Schilling suffered a number of similar losses when he was managed by Terry Francona with the Phillies...pushed for a complete game because Francona didn't trust his balky bullpen, predictably he ran out of gas quickly (two of these losses came against the Mets). Schilling, as we all know, recovered nicely from these devastating defeats. After he was traded. And in 2004, with the Red Sox bullpen pitching on fumes, Francona learned never to over-extend Schilling (I think the spectre of good ol' Grady loomed large in Boston, don't you know), regardless. Trust is not only something that is earned, it can also be given freely, with faith and hope. Even Mo stumbles. If it is truly a 162 game marathon then you can't be a miser in using a 13 man staff. Distribute innings more effectively. And, one more thing, don't explain not using a pitcher (Villone) by claiming you were holding him out for extra innings and then designate him the closer the next day and then never have him throw one pitch in either game. It's weak. Just get rid of him and replace him with someone you don't have to think twice about using.

Posted by: JohnnyC [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 19, 2006 11:47 AM

"If Torre had put in whatever's left of the bullpen, no matter what the result, we'd be complaining that he didn't trust Wang to get the complete game." He had 4 pitchers available to get 2 outs: Veras, Smith, Villone, and Myers in no particular order. And Jaret Wright would have been the long man if it had gotten tied up. And that's not counting Proctor who volunteered and Torre said was available for one out if needed. Not to mention that he twisted the bullpen into a pretzel the day before because he kept trying to extend pitchers beyond their effectiveness AND decided to use Rivera but didn't let him start the 8th with a clean slate (either you use Mo to start an inning or you don't use him at all...past history supports his problems with keeping speedy runners from stealing at will). It's a desperate situation because he's made it so. 13 man staff, whittled down to a 3 man bullpen by his pattern of usage. He must think it's 1972 and Darold Knowles and Rollie Fingers are pitching everyday for us.

Posted by: JohnnyC [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 19, 2006 11:56 AM

I'm not defending his bullpen use in general, but there was no reason to even consider going to the pen until the 8th and Wang got out of it (with a big assist from Melky). So he left him out for the 9th and Wang got the first out, and gave up a ground ball single. Could he have taken him out? Yes. Did he have options? Yes. But it wasn't an untenable situation and Wang could just as easily have come away with a great win. We're not talking about giving a guy completely losing it here. He threw one bad pitch.

Posted by: hopbitters [TypeKey Profile Page] at June 19, 2006 12:44 PM