August 01, 2006
August 1st vs. The Blue Jays
Welcome to first place - albeit by percentage points.
Abreu's nine-pitch walk in the 4th really took a toll on A.J. Burnett - and helped set up Bernie's record double. That was the whole ballgame to me (this evening).
Villone and Proctor combining for three good innings, and bridging the game to the ninth, was also a key.
Outside of Giambi having to leave the game with cramps, this was a very good day for the Yankees. A-Rod looks to be in August form already. And, Boston seems to be getting nothing but bad news these days.
Yankees fans will sleep well this evening - assuming their AC is working if they live in the NY/NJ/CT area.
Posted by Steve Lombardi at August 1, 2006 11:04 PM
Pardon my carping, but the difference between .602 and .600 is not "percentage points". If anything, it's "permil-age points".
In a sport obsessed with numbers, this abuse of terms drives me nuts. The NY Times did it in their article about the game also, and I'm sure many others have too.
I was at the game last night and the atmosphere was fun. Fans gave ARod some cheers, especially after his CLUTCH double to get Jeter home and tie up the score. Jaret Wright was his usual self, battling against the heat and his own limitations. The bullpen did their job too. The thing that stuck out most for me was how the old cliche of "a game of inches" is true. Proctor seemed like he was going to get totally bombed, allowing a sharp hit and a deep fly to RF. And then, just like that, ARod turned a nice DP and Proctor got a weak grounder on the next pitch to end the threat in the 8th. It went from "uh-oh" to "great job!" in a split second.
How hot was it in the stands MJ?
Posted by: Steve Lombardi at August 2, 2006 10:05 AM
Credit where credit is due: when I saw Bernie's name in the lineup, I thought, "Typical Torre." But he did get the big hit in the game. So props to Joe for the move.
Bobby may or may not have had butterflies (as Torre suggested). Pretty unspectacular beginning. And while I'm always willing to take a break from the umps... WOW!... Burnett had Bobby struck out three times in that at-bat. The umps really handed a walk to him. Burnett still gave up two hits in that inning and it wouldn't have really changed anything, but Bobby got some really favorable calls in that at-bat.
The bully remains strong despite ol' Zucchini Nose and his bizarre decisions. On the one hand, he did something he should do and almost never does: with a four-run lead, he let Farnsworth close out the game. It's taken him all year to figure out that Mo needs rest. BUT... with two outs in the seventh inning, and Villone giving up NOTHING, Torre trots in Proctor after Villone puts a man on (on a horrible, horrible HBP call). Villone just eased his way through 1.2 innings. How is the situation any different? Why can't he get out Reed Johnson? I don't understand Torre's thought process when dealing with Villone. It's like he's forced to acknowledge that he's a good and effective middle reliever, but he still doesn't trust him, and still pulls the "you're a lefty and you can't get righties out" card even though Villone DOES on a nightly basis, and at the drop of a hat he'll replace him. Villone is going to start pulling on his collar and talking about getting no respect soon.
Then Proctor comes in, can't get out Johnson, and very nearly gives the game away on a home run.
Anyway, Wright was okay. Nothing great. I guess you take five good innings over seven mediocre ones, but watching him struggle to throw first-pitch strikes and throwing breaking ball after breaking ball when he has a 95-mile-an-hour heater, made me really wonder if there's any chance he's on this team next year. Almost definitely not. In a perfect world the rotation for next year is: Moose, Wang, RJ, Pavano (wouldn't it be great if he came back healthy and effective?), Hughes. And then after that: Moose, Wang, Pavano, Hughes, Clippard.
Steve, they said it was 96 degrees at gametime last night but it felt much, much hotter with the sellout crowd. I guzzled five bottles of water and still probably perspired six bottles worth out. Stifling heat man.
Bailey, I was getting one of those bottles of water so I didn't see the Villone "HBP" but when I got back to my seat, I couldn't figure out what had happened and why Proctor was in the game. It seems like Torre counters every good move with a bad one. I can't complain too much because we won and Boston lost and that's all I care about in the end.
As for Wright, I think he got very lucky that he didn't get totally crushed last night. It seemed like he would go 1-0, then get two quick strikes, and could never finish hitters off. He was at 3-2 on almost everybody. While I'm happy he finally broke through the 80-pitch barrier and logged a 100-pitch evening, it was still in 5 innings. There's got to be a way to get him to be a bit more efficient. He could've gone 6 or 7 if he could've cut down on wasted pitches in the 1st and 2nd.
Wright doesn't look like he has command issues. He looks like he has confidence issues. He nibbles at the corners like crazy, which ups his pitch count. Yet, every once in a while, he lets it fly in the middle of the zone and is virtually unhittable.