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August 11, 2006

August 11th vs. The Angels

I know that he wasn't feeling well prior to this game, but, I have to wonder if giving Cory Lidle 8 days rest (before this start) impacted his effectiveness. At the least, for sure, we know the extra rest didn't help him.

Watching the Angels' Joe Saunders work tonight, for the first time, I thought I saw something that reminded me of someone else. It's the look in his eye, the expression on his face, and somewhat the way he pitches from the full wind-up. It took a few minutes, but, then it came into focus for me. He reminds me of a young, thin, left-handed Curt Schilling. I stress "thin" because I don't think Schilling was ever thin - even as a young pitcher. It looks like the Angels have a keeper in Saunders.

By the way, tonight, it became official for me. After seeing that Orlando Cabrera "double" in the 5th - which was just really Alex Rodriguez playing third base like that "Baginsky" guy from the lotto commerical - I'm now finding myself saying "Please don't hit the ball to A-Rod!" very often as pitches are being delivered in big spots.

Lastly, how about Jason Giambi's new budding mustache?

Maybe the rest of the team should follow his lead? The way the team has played in their last seven games (meaning going 3-4 and being lucky in two of those three wins), perhaps the Yankees should look into something that might, as a team, change their luck?

Posted by Steve Lombardi at August 11, 2006 10:39 PM


It's games like these that make me hope Torre retires this off-season.

1) He takes out Lidle after four innings to bring in Ponson, who promptly bombed. (How do you look up when a ball hits your leg?) Lidle wasn't doing WELL, but he wasn't flat-out awful, and he certainly could have pitched one more inning. Plus the alternative was Ponson. It's not like he had someone effective to go to. A so-so Lidle is better than an out-of-the-'pen Ponson.

2) Melky leads off the inning with a walk and Fasano is up. Torre doesn't have Fasano bunt! Fasano cannot hit and has no speed -- he is the perfect double play victim. And that's exactly what he did. How do you not have him bunt when it looks like the team cannot hit the pitcher?

3) Fasano -- let's just be honest and call him Fatso -- comes up with first and second and AGAIN Torre doesn't have him bunt, which, amazingly, works out! Fasano hits a ball to Vladdy that the crippled Vladdy ridiculously plays into a double (boy, Vlad is a HORRIBLE outfielder these days). (Though he got the runners in, this was still a mistake.)

4) Nick Green comes up with Fatso on second. NOW Torre decides to have someone bunt, when it makes less sense. Green ends up popping the bunt up and Fatso gets doubled up at second.

5) Torre didn't pinch-hit for either Green or Fatso. Bernie KILLS lefties -- why not use him as a pinch-hitter in this game? Why make Green bunt there? Why not bring in Cano?

6) Torre brings in Jose Veras to pitch to Vlad. Veras gives up a homer and then Torre brings in Villone. If you're going to use Villone anyway, let him start the inning! All he ended up doing was getting three outs anyway. Why in the world would you bring someone like Veras in to pitch to Vlad? Because he's a righty? Isn't a good lefty better than a crappy righty in this situation?

7) Then, after NOT pinch-hitting when it mattered, Torre uses both Posada and Cano in the ninth, when it's too late. Where were these pinch-hitters when men were on?

Obviously bad pitching and not being able to get big hits lost this game, but I hang this "L" on Torre. He was horrible tonight.

Everyone was dismissing my concern about not burying the Red Sox and how it was so disappointing that we were only three games up after the Royals swept them. Well guess what? The Sox killed the O's, which they will do for two more games, and now we're only up two. Don't be shocked if we're only up one game by the time the Angels series is over.

Posted by: baileywalk [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 11, 2006 11:20 PM

Re: #1, Lidle just wasn't feeling a little sick. He had a stomach virus (or food poisoning or whatever they're calling it). He told Joe that he could give him 4 or 5 innings. I give credit to the guy for even going out there.

Posted by: Jen [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 11, 2006 11:53 PM

bunting with Fasano on second and nobody out and down 3 runs was one of dumbest moves he's made all year. and there have been a lot of them. they gave Scott Shields two outs and he has been pretty shaky lately. I stress though: the score was 6-3 and no one was out. the score was not 6-5. what the hell?

the Yanks played a crappy game. from A-Rod's lame third base to Jeter not handling a throw from Fasano on a steal. next guy up hits a homer.

Posted by: grovermonkey [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 12, 2006 02:12 AM

I guess I'm different. I saw the Angels get good starting pitching, they made key defensive plays and got enough out of their bullpen to win the game.

Why does it always have to be what the Yankees did wrong? I never understand that. Everyone analyzes games to the point that they feel justified that the Yanks should win 162 games. Does anyone ever give credit to the opponent anymore?

I never thought the Yanks would lose the game till Figgins made that catch. The Angels played better than the Yanks last night, the Yanks will just have to go out get them today.

We are in the playoff push right now, so having to overcome some more adversity is a good thing. We need to see who is going to step up.

Posted by: Garcia [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 12, 2006 07:40 AM

Can I just say that I hate the freaking Angels? It doesn't even really matter how they did it, they beat the Yanks again and they'll probably find some other way to do it at least once more this series.

Posted by: JeremyM [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 12, 2006 10:25 AM

Garcia, the point is that Torre is a random manager. There are times in a game -- even an AL game -- where the manager's actions have an effect on the game. There is no excuse, in my mind, for not pinch-hitting Cano for Green last night. It just makes it more annoying that he later brought him in to pinch-hit in the ninth. And with a lefty on the mound, where is Bernie?

As Jeremy pointed out, we never beat the Angels. And it's hard to beat them if the manager is making moves that work against the team.

Posted by: baileywalk [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 12, 2006 10:58 AM

Garcia hits the point directly. The fans' lack of respect of the opponent makes them incredulous that the Yankees can lose a game. I find it weird that many people (not all, of course) who don't give credit to the opposition can only find fault with the Yankees. They could have the Mona Lisa and they'd complain about the frame.

That's why some of the most ruthless, petty posting here happens after a win. "We won but we should have won by more."

Posted by: RICH [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 12, 2006 11:57 AM

RICH, has it ever occurred to you that your opponent ISN'T always better than you? And that if your manager doesn't makes moves that could have potentially helped the team, he lessens your chances to win?

Sometimes you do get beaten by a better opponent. But sometimes you lose the game yourself.

Posted by: baileywalk [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 12, 2006 12:19 PM

I'll be honest... I've never seen what the big deal is about the Mona Lisa.

Posted by: JeremyM [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 12, 2006 12:55 PM

Yep, it's occurred to me the opponent isn't always better. But since most posters here never give credit to the other team playing better than the Yankees and give reasons why (in this case) the Yankees lost, not why the Angels won, the pick-pick-pick gets tiresome to me.

In last night's game which team hit better? I think it's a tossup.

Which team pitched better? Angels

Which team fielded better? Angels

Torre might have affected the hitting portion but the Angels executed the latter 2 categories better enough to overcome any hitting advantage the Yankees might have gained with some changes in Yankee offensive strategy.

Posted by: RICH [TypeKey Profile Page] at August 12, 2006 01:42 PM