August 02, 2006
August 2nd vs. The Blue Jays
Since the Abreu deal, the Yankees have found a new religion. Clearly, they've become believers of "In The Big Inning." It was the 6th inning tonight - and the 4th inning last night.
I believe that we're going to see innings like those very often over the rest of the season - where the Yankees bat for a half-hour, see somewhere around 35 pitches, and plate a bunch of runs. Thinking about it, I'm starting to wish that boxscores would now show "Pitches Seen" for each batter - along with the AB/R/H/BI/LOB totals that are there (in every boxscore). I want to see that for each Yankees game now. It's fun to watch this team conga-line pitchers to death.
And, of course, W-K-W 40 ("Worm Killer" Wang) was his usual Robo-Stopper self this evening - which always helps. And, it's very much appreciated.
Lastly, nice deke-slide on that double in the 4th by A-Gust A-Rod, huh? The YES boys are right - Alex is lookin' real loose these days. For him, probably more than it is true for any player, this is very important - in terms of enabling success.
Speaking of loose, I see that Yankees dugout this evening, and I see signs that Dr. Scholl would love to see in there. The Yankees are gellin' like a felon in there. I see lots of energy and smiles.
It's all good - so good that no one should care about what happened in Boston today. Hey, the Red Sox beat the Indians today - barely. Big whoop-de-doodle. If they want to act like they just won the World Series over that, then, have a party Boston.
Posted by Steve Lombardi at August 2, 2006 10:46 PM
Of course, hopefully the days of benched loaded with DL guys (as in Pavano and Sheff tonight) will come to an end... soon...
Carmona screwed us AGAIN! The Indians' "closer," after giving up a three-run bomb to Papi, strikes out the first two batters he faced, then hits Mirabelli (who can't hit), hits Alex Gonzalez, walks Youkilis, and gives up a game-ending double to Loretta. Two runs on ONE HIT! Are you kidding me? I know the Indians traded Wickman with the thought that Carmona would close for them, but this kid just doesn't have it. He throws hard and he can be filthy at times, but his control is awful and he simply does not have the head for closing. We should be up two games right now.
Papi went 0-4 with FOUR STRIKEOUTS SWINGING. When Alex did this it was front-page news and got a round-table discussion on "Baseball Tonight." Something tells me Papi won't get the same treatment.
Wang got squeezed early -- even stared in a bit! -- but held himself together and put up another eight scoreless innings. Whoever found him and signed him should get a raise. Him and Moose set us up nicely for a short playoff series. Seeing the way Wang has lifted this team with his pitching, it should only make you drool even more for Phil Hughes, who threw another five scoreless innings and struck out eight tonight.
Everyone got involved offensively. Giambi got the night off. Wilson did what he's here for (hitting lefties). And Cano is on his way back and Cairo will be gone, gone, gone. Quite nearly a perfect night at the Stadium.
One thing, though: what are the Yankees waiting for with Ponson? Get rid of him already. If you're only going to carry six relievers, one of them being Myers, the sixth guy can't be Ponson. Otherwise you'll have more nights like this, where someone who threw more than one inning the night before has to pitch again (and with a huge lead). Since Ponson is only for mopup and Myers for lefties, that means the bullpen is really four men deep. Not enough. Maybe the Yanks are waiting for Dotel to get healthy.
So what's the under/over on Pavano making it back this year? He threw batting practice today. Could a rehab start be far behind? It's not going to happen, but if Pavano comes back and pitches well in September, it will mean the magic is back on our side and we're guaranteed a World Series win.
Oy, with the W.S. Champion predictions! Have you guys never heard of a jinx?
Uh, you might notice I was saying "if Pavano comes back and pitches well, which will be a miracle, that means the magic is back on our side in such an extreme way that we will win the World Series." In other words: Pavano isn't coming back to pitch!
I believe strongly in jinxes. I won't watch a Yankee game at my brother-in-law's house because I'm convinced his HOUSE is jinxed. So don't accuse me of that. You're talking to a guy so superstitious, I won't change the game once it's on because I think THAT'S jinx. I could go on with this, but it'll just get embarrassing...
One of my biggest superstitions only really applies during the post-season and to my school during the NCAA tournament. I have a rule that once we start winning or get a lead that nobody in the room can move from the spot they're in. So usually, I end up watching games standing up.
As for the Yanks, in 2003, I didn't watch any of the games that the Yanks won. I was at school, and I had to totally isolate myself. My roommate was from NYC, so he was a huge NYY fan, but he'd go to the bar. Any game I watched vs Boston, we lost. It really sucked for me, but I was more concerned with winning than I was with seeing the wins. I might have to try that again this year, because it seemed to work.
Steve, you sound different than from a few days ago. Are you considering the Yankees to be a legitimate contender now?
Bailey, I was actually going to ask about Ponson from another point of view. Why not ask him, instead of Villone, to get the final three outs on a game that was essentially in the bag? Villone pitched 1.2 IP the night before and with a day game today and an unknown quantity on the mound (Lidle), I'd rather have Villone rested for today than possibly trying to get a win today with Ponson available.
As for superstitions, I've got the same affliction as lower-case Rich, where I didn't watch a single pitch of the home games in the 2001 World Series because they lost Games 1 & 2 when I watched. Then, feeling like I was missing out, I watched Game 6. I swore off Game 7 until The Sopranos ended and I flipped over just long enough to see Rivera come out for the 9th...and, well...
I've also got mantras that I have to repeat over and over during playoff games when we're pitching. It's very embarrassing...
I had been wondering what Sportscenter would do with Papi's golden sombrero. They did mention the strikeout with the Red Sox down one in the 8th, and mentioned the 4Ks, but then immediately showed his walkoff homer the previous night and claimed "He gets a pass because of this." Meanwhile A-Rod does the same thing (deficit-erasing walk off homer) and the next night is booed on a ground out in the first, an act which leads off Sportscenter that night. Joe Fan is as much to blame as the boys in Bristol, but its still unbalanced journalism.
Rich - Yes. And, I think they're now the favorite.
Posted by: Steve Lombardi at August 3, 2006 09:07 AM
I know it's not the same as a "pitches seen" stat in a box score, but on EPSN's play-by-play, they also have a pitch-by-pitch option. So I guess if you really wanted to know the numbers you could count them up yourself.
Posted by: Jen at August 3, 2006 09:34 AM
ESPN would do well to just come clean on the whole matter and admit their extreme Red Sox bias...what are they afraid of? Hell, everyone knows the story with them. At least that way, they could all eat crow in public view when the Yankees kick the Red Sox out of the post-season this year. Maybe they can televise a crying circle led by Bill Simmons. It might be therapeutic.