June 08, 2006
June 8th vs. The Red Sox
First off, you can't win every game. Secondly, even if you win almost all your games, you're not going to win almost every time against the Boston Red Sox. So, I can sort of file this game in the "It's bound to happen sometime" drawer.
That all said, there are two things that I would have liked to seen happen differently in this game.
In the top of the 6th, Alex Rodriguez has to make that play on the ball hit by Alex Gonzalez. A superstar third baseman has to make that play. And, at first, it was ruled an error. (Why they later changed it to a hit, well, I can only wonder.) If A-Rod makes that play for the out, then it's a 3-3 game heading into the bottom of the sixth.
Sure, the non-play only made the score 4-3 (in favor of the Sox). But, if Alex Rodriguez makes that play, and gets the double play, then Crisp and Loretta will lead off in the 7th inning - instead of Ortiz and Ramirez. And, if that happens, it changes the whole complexion of that inning (where Boston then scored five runs and iced the game).
Also, in that Boston 7th inning, with runners on 1st and 2nd, with one out, and the Sox up by one, I would have brought in Mike Myers to face Varitek. It makes more sense to have Varitek bat right-handed and against a pitcher that is not going to supply a lot of power. Let him try and power the ball out to Death Valley on his own merit.
If Varitek doesn't homer in the 7th, then it's still a close ballgame and then we never see Scott Erickson pitch.
But, this is all hindsight - so, what can you do?
At least Melky worked Papelbon for a walk in the 9th. That's another brand name pitcher this year where he's worked the guy for a walk. He also did it to Curt Schilling the last time in New York - and he did it to Billy Wagner in Shea this year. This kid knows the strike zone.
Posted by Steve Lombardi at June 8, 2006 10:28 PM
Yeah ur right...you win some and you lose some...but I would have liked to see Torre handle that bullpen better than he did. It just makes me wonder if these kinds of decisions will cost us big time come the post season...Only time will tell.
Hell, he knows the strike zone better than the ump. He knew there were 4 balls thrown despite the ump only calling 3 and was heading to first before returning to officially draw the walk.
Yeah, A-Rod has to make that play, but I put this loss squarely on the hair transplants of Zucchini Nose himself, Joe Torre.
Wright loads the bases with no outs. Torre trots in Proctor. Fine. Proctor gets out of the inning, gives up two runs, and we're down one run. It's a pretty tough inning for Proctor. Ortiz will lead off the seventh. After Manny there's another lefty.
Proctor has been overused. We all know this. He shouldn't have to pitch two innings every time out.
So for both of those reasons Torre should obviously have brought in Ron Villone. You let him face the lefty Ortiz and the lefty Nixon.
What's more disturbing is that Erickson was warming up even before Proctor served up that home run to Veritek, which means Matt Smith (whose ERA still stands at 0.00) will be going down once Dotel gets here. (The fact that Erickson is even on this team makes me sick; what do they see in this guy?)
Why did Torre have to go to Proctor for that second inning? What was the point? He had a rough inning AND Manny would be facing him -- and we know how Manny has treated him recently.
Torre simply has no idea what he's doing. He trusts Erickson more than Villone. Trusts Smith, despite his obvious stuff, not at all. The only way to have him not fuck up the bullpen usage is to clone Mo and give him six of him. It's an unending cycle.
As though Torre's bullpen mismanagement isn't bad enough, Wright's 5 inning starts are unacceptable. At this point, he's just a glorified long reliever. Too many question marks in the starting rotation right now.
Poor Proctor. We'll never know if he was really coming around or not, as it has taken Torre fewer than three months to destroy this guy's career.
At least they're much better (albeit only 5 innings at a time) starts than those from before. If Wright doesn't give us at least those five innings, then who will?
Looking back, I'm not entirely displeased with leaving Wright in there for so long. His pitch count was relatively low. Torre needs to see if he can really rely on this guy or not. It's not like Wright was near 100 pitches and looking tired. Apparently, his arm at 80 pitches is the same as Moose's at 100.
Either way, I knew the game was over as soon as proctor came in. That guy is done. Either his stuff is no good, or Torre just ruined him.
Agreed on rafael's point. Basically, if I'm Joe Torre, I look at Wrights starts and realize he's good for 80 pitches MAX. No matter what the situation, he needs to be pulled. 5 innings isn't great, but give Villone an inning, Smith an inning, Myers a batter or two, then you have Farns and Mo. It's not that big of a deal. Just stop using Proctor and Erickson because "it's only the 6th inning."
Coming off a rainout (off day) and especially given his overuse of Proctor, Joe's bullpen moves baffle me.
In a 4-3 game in the seventh inning, after you just lost a 2 run lead, you have to keep it to a one run game. Proctor was fine for the sixth, but you know Manny owns him, so why would you let him pitch to a lefty like Ortiz and then Manny?
Mike Myers should have been brought in to get Ortiz and then Villone for Manny and Trot. If you get to Varitek, you would rather him hitting from the right side in the Stadium anyway, so you could leave Villone in for him too. If you're still behind after 7, you could still bring Villone back for one more inning. If you tie or go ahead, then Farnsworth and Mo.
Proctor is not a "Seventh Inning Guy." There are no Seventh Inning Guys in this league. Joe needs to mix and match until Farnsworth.
I agree that Torre muffed the bullpen calls tonight. I also agree that while Wright has given us some decent starts, someone has to figure out a way to get him to be more efficient. 60 pitches through 4 innings and 86 through 5+ is not the way to go. Wright has the tendency to go ahead in the count and then start nibbling with curveballs and quickly gets to 3-2.
Beyond that though, last night featured some seriously poor at-bats from the Yankee lineup. 5 of the 6 outs Schilling recorded in the 6th and 7th innings came on at-bats of 3 pitches or less. In 3 of those instances, Yankee hitters grounded out on 0-1 counts. Here's a guy who gave up three homers in a game. He's pitching in a rhythm but he's certainly not blowing people away (4K in 8IP) so Yankee hitters should've been more patient, trying to work the count a little better. At least to try and get to Tavarez and Seanez instead of Papelbon.
People are going to blame Torre, Wright, and ARod (justifiably so, I suppose) but the Yankee lineup forgot the virtue of patience after the 4th inning.
Nice stats on the hitters, MJ.
I'm glad you guys agree with me about Torre's latest bullpen bungling. I got effing ripped for the thought at Abraham's blog.
MJ, sadly I think the Yankees' game plan with Schilling is to hit fastballs early in the count and avoid his splitter in pitcher's counts. Remember the game against Haren? Same game plan. Just because Schilling doesn't walk people doesn't mean you can't effectively work the count on him. And his splitter is a dim memory at this point. Luckily Beckett doesn't throw a splitter. We would have never knocked him out of the game.