August 31, 2006
August 31st vs. The Tigers
This game is a reason why I will not miss Joe Torre when his time is done in New York.
Sure, Damon, Jeter, Abreu, A-Rod, Bernie and Melky had nice days at the plate this afternoon, but, the story of today was Randy Johnson.
Through eight, the Big Unit was the real deal - allowing only two Han Solos and an infield hit. But, after eight, he was bumping up against 100 pitches.
At that time, the Yankees had a 4-run lead heading into the 9th. This would have been the perfect time for someone like Dotel or Myers to pitch the last frame - where a grand slam would only tie you, at the worst (or best, depending on your position).
Joe Torre tries to milk another inning from Johnson and it back-fires. Unit allows a walk and then a homer and now it's a 2-run contest - and then there's a need to bring in a sore-armed Mariano Rivera for the save.
Rivera never should have been used in this game - if Torre had gone to another, fresh, pitcher in the 9th. As bad as some of the "B-men" in the pen may be, I'm sure that one of them could have gotten three outs before allowing four runs. Or, at least try and use someone else, who is rested - and then if they allow two, then bring in Rivera.
"Joe Torre" is to "handling pitchers" as "Clark Griswold" is to "family vacations."
Posted by Steve Lombardi at August 31, 2006 04:43 PM
I would have brought Randy Johnson in to pitch the 9th and not given it a second thought. Randy Johnson's sudden inability to throw strikes is the reason Rivera had to pitch.
Posted by: Jeteupthemiddle at August 31, 2006 05:09 PM
I agree about Joe Torre and when his time is up in NY, but this one wasnt his fault. People get thrown out for 120 pitches all the time and Randy's 100 pitches werent all stressful. Sure he shouldve just used Dotel but you cant expect perhaps the greatest lefty of all time to just "lose it" again like he did against the White Sox.
What’s angersome about this game is that nothing is ever easy. The loser tigers again couldn’t just go down w/o a fight. Also Jim Leyland decided to argue b/c Randy Johnson was finally being treated like Randy Johnson of the Mariners & Backs, in ONE inning, the 7th. Just like Mike Scoscia sat in the dugout looking angry during all 3 games v the red sox but did nothing about it and decided against the Yankees he was going to come out to argue 2 calls which the umpires got correct for a change.
Finally, a quote from loser Gary Thorne before the 7th inning in which Randy finally got treated fairly: “James Hoye, the home plate umpire, has had a favorable strike zone for the Yankees today”. If that isn’t the biggest lie, b/c we got cheated out of so many at bats b/c of outside pitches to lefthanders being called strikes. The biggest one came in the first inning when it should have been 2-0 to Robbie w/ the bases loaded but was cost the at-bat with a cheapo strike.
Jete - Randy has done this ALL YEAR LONG! Crusing for a while then a blow-up inning.
You've gotten 8 great innings from him - why would you have chanced it? Do you seriously think that no one available in that pen outside of Rivera could have gotten 3 outs without giving up 4 runs? And rosters expand tomorrow so you could have rested anyone who pitched today...it's inexplicable! (that's my word of the day ;)
Posted by: James Varghese at August 31, 2006 05:14 PM
I would have chanced it because our bullpen is constantly overworked due to starters not going deep into the games. (I admit, however, that they have had rest of late...mostly because of a day off followed by a rain out, and an unusual performance by Jaret Wright).
I would have sent him out in the 9th inning because Randy did not get to the 100 pitch mark, and at no point during the game was he particularly high stressed.
I am not going to blame Johnson for forcing Rivera to pitch in the 9th, but he could have saved the entire bullpen an additional day...it just didn't work out that way. It happens.
That doesn't mean that Torre was wrong for sending Johnson out there for the 9th.
Posted by: Jeteupthemiddle at August 31, 2006 05:28 PM
In fact, RJ has done this...this year! Against the same team, the Tigers. Remember his no-hit bid on Memorial Day? Well, you might remember it but Torre obviously didn't.
And if he brought in Dotel or Myers to start the 9th and they gave up 2 or 3 runs still necessitating bringing in Rivera there would be just as many complaints about "there wouldn't have been a need to bring in Rivera if he had only let Johnson pitch the ninth as he did his previous game."
Damned if he does, damned if he doesn't. Torre-likers will agree with the 9th inning strategy, Torre-dislikers won't like most things he does.
It's easy to play Monday morning quarterback (or in this case, Thursday afternoon manager), but I don't have a problem with letting RJ start the inning.
He didn't throw a high stress pitch all game, but as soon as he allowed a baserunner I'd have brough Dotel in, then Mo if needed as a last resort.
Posted by: Mike A. at August 31, 2006 06:14 PM
At SOME point Dotel has to pitch. We need a third set-up arm for the post season. Does anyone think Brian Bruney is going to be legit in October? Today, although it was an important game, was definitely a perfect time to find out what he's worth. If not now, then when?
Amazing! The same-old-same-old.
Ahhh! The thought of some other manager, regardless of who, he must be better than Joe Torre. Mustn't he?
He brings in Dotel and Dotel pitches poorly, and that is no stretch, who is blamed? Joe Torre. Yeah right Steve, like you'd be happy if Dotel or Myers gave up two runs, you'd keep them out there, still holding out MO. And not blame Torre. Not likely.....
And who says MO has a "sore arm"? After that double he looked damned good.
This is a situation in which Joe Torre cannot win...... with fickle fans that is.
And who says MO has a "sore arm"?
The New York Times does:
"Rivera has experienced inflammation in his right elbow and will have a precautionary M.R.I. on the elbow soon, perhaps today."
IMHO, leaving Johnson out there was a defensible move, although I would have gone to the bullpen, given RJ's track record this year and last.
I don't have a problem with him starting the ninth IF Torre wasn't going to use Mo no matter what. But if Torre WAS willing to use Mo, why not just let him start the ninth? He had him warming up anyway. Just use him.
As it worked out, Randy went from a great start to a just-okay start, and because of the way it ended, all the good feelings he probably had were gone. As others have pointed out, Torre should have also known that Randy tends to hit a wall and become horrible. As soon as he couldn't find the plate he should have brought Mo in (pre-two-run-home run).
Honestly, I was surprised Farnsworth didn't pitch the ninth. He's had plenty of rest, it was a four-run lead, and Johnson was nearing 100 pitches. Maybe it's just my own paranoia, but it seems like Farns might be in Joe's doghouse (because of his performance in Anaheim, his bad back preventing him from pitching yesterday, and then contradicting Joe in the press about the aforementioned bad back).
Anyway, I like the way we've handled the Tigers this year. We went 5-2 against them, and both losses came in the ninth without Mo on the mound. I'm really hoping that it's the Tigers and the Twins in the playoffs this year.
With all due respect, I think the story of today was that A-Rod got three hits (including a double, a home run and a stolen base) and looked stronger and stronger with each at-bat. That was nice to see. I hope he can carry it over into the Twins series.
I agree on A-Rod. The guy had a good game and hopefully he can turn it around. Frankly, nobody is going to give 2 shits about August and July if he has a good October. If he can get into a good groove now and have it carry over this team is going to go from good to great. And you know, the difference between A-Rod being clutch and being a choker is one fucking stolen base from Dave Roberts?
Boy, David Wells, the human white flag? I realize the Sox have a slim to none shot, but still. This is the same organization that came back from slim-to-none two years ago--unfortunately.
I don't know what's worse -- the fans booing A-Rod for everything, or giving him a curtain call for hitting that home run today.
I want A-Rod to turn it around as much as anyone -- especially if Giambi is seriously hurt -- but let's take it easy. Every time A-Rod gets a hit, we say he's turning it around. This builds the expectations up, then he doesn't do well, and everyone starts throwing up their hands again. The home run was off a soft-tossing lefty, so I'm not THAT excited about it. I was more excited by seeing Alex look... HAPPY. He didn't look constipated today, and that's a good thing.
T.J. Beam and third-string catcher Wil Neives are coming up, and Rasner is starting Sunday. Great choices all around. Beam can continue to hone his skills, W.N. can give Joe more flexibility to take Jorge out, and Rasner means they won't be starting Villone, which would have been a disaster (plus he's a pretty good pitcher, too).
Steve - You do a great job, but sometimes you say some things that leave me scratching my head.
"This game is a reason why I will not miss Joe Torre when his time is done in New York."
I really hope you get your wish. Hindsight is 20/20...I would have let RJ start again. I thought he had a very easy day up until the 9th. If he goes out and throws 10 pitches then you are quiet. It's a chance you are taking. A manager is always taking a chance with his moves, sometimes they work out and other times they don't. Torre's moves, for the most part, usually work out. When they don't I think it makes it easy for the NoMass' of the world to critique Torre. But.....
....I wouldn't expect the same vitriolic comments from you.
DFLNJ...... I 'broke' the story about MO's elbow at Was Watching.
This does not mean MO has a sore arm. Joe Torre told Chris Russo after today's game that MO has had this almost every season, that it was purely muscular and they had an MRI as a precaution. MO told Torre that he was available. He does not have a sore arm.
Steve is right about Joe. The thing is, he is a great manager of egos and people. When he is gone, I can only hope that our clubhouse doesnt turn into basically a bunch of cliques with one hated guy like Curt Schilling. Ive maintained for the past few years that we should have two managers, one for strategy and Joe to maintain a family atmosphere.
BTW, what a way for the red sox to win a game. Alex Rios just ran back to the warning track lost the ball out of his glove and knocked it five feet out for a home run w/ his hand. Even though the loss shouldnt be his fault b/c he battled, the good old Doctor couldnt get Mike Lowell out with 2 outs. And loser Don orsillo and jerry remy said the red sox deserve some luck. Like they didnt get everything to go their way in 2004 including the perfect time for a rainout.
Every baseball blog I go to the writers of the blog and the people that comment all think their manager sucks at strategy.
Which manager is the best tactician that would make you happy, nysupremacy? I'd like to know. I agree that Joe Torre isn't perfect, but guess what....despite Tore being the manager of the most successful franchise in American sports history, he's still a part of the human race and that means he's going to make mistakes like we all do at our jobs, personal lives, families, etc. Torre can go 162 - 0 and some of you will still find something to be pissed about.
Yeah....two managers seems like the best solution. Maybe we can have a robot and Torre, the robot runs the strategy aspect and Torre handles the human element - like massaging egos, talking to the press, keeping the club-house under control, etc.
And loser Don orsillo and jerry remy said the red sox deserve some luck. Like they didnt get everything to go their way in 2004 including the perfect time for a rainout.
Given the way things are going, they could use a little luck...
Well, with the Wells trade, I guess the Sox are admitting they're looking to next year?
Goodbye Red Sox of 2006.
btw, how the hell did they get such a highly touted prospect as Kottaras (rumored) for Wells?! I know Wells has been good lately, but he's still 43!
nysupremacy, I'm sure glad I live in NY, so I dont have to watch the Yanks on ESPN. I might kill myself. Michael Kay ain't great, but I love Kaat, Singleton & O'Neill.
for the record, I agreed with letting Randy start the 9th. If he suddenly didn't have control problems - which were frankly unforseeable, we would be praising him for giving the pen a full day off with a great game.
I can't help but chuckle at how SL buries Alex's huge game into the middle of that sentence with other guys who had "nice days at the plate."
At least SL is consistent in his bias against Alex...you can't take that away from him!!
Come on guys. A-Rod had a HR and a 2B - and a gift bloop single.
It's not like he had 3 HRs and 10 RBI in this game. And, given all the other Yankees who had great days at the plate, I have to assume that the Tigers pitching was not that good in this game.
Let's see on A-Rod before we say that he's "back" or playing like an All-Star.
Posted by: Steve Lombardi at September 1, 2006 09:40 AM
And that ad pops back up:
"Gee A-Rod, only one home run today?"
You make it sound like its such a stupid idea. I know and appreciate that Mr. Steinbrenner is willing to lose money to win. But if you are going to go that far, you might as well go the extra mile and pay 4-6 million for a second manager and get a GM who isnt "constantly looking to cut payroll" and whos stated dream job is wanting to get the Red Sox their 1st WS in 9 decades. Basically, Joe Torre is like Bobby Cox. Except for the fact that we got lucky with 4 while Cox only got 1 w/ his stupidity. I dont know who would be a good strategic manager, everyone in the world seems to jump on the Scoscia bandwagon (though he only knows how to manage versus us). Our only advantage is our money and one day that will be gone. There eventually will be a salary cap to hurt the NYY like they did to try and hurt the NY Rangers. Though the Rangers did well this year, it was in spite of a salary cap, and due to 2 men.
i get the Directv and MLB.TV too, i just watch the games on ESPN if there on b/c the satellite and computer are behind. ALso, when a game is on espn, i Keep the volume off if we are losing or tied so i dont have to get even more angry. Speaking of ESPN, did anyone hear the Jon Miller call of Giambis 3 run homer v Schilling and David Ortiz' homer later in the game. If that wasnt enough evidence of his bias. Also, does anyone remember our 4 run comeback v Billy Wagner on FOX. Joe Buck the entire 10th inning was saying "we shouldnt even be here right now, etc." b/c he just wanted us to lose. LOL
Also, how did they get a highly touted prospect for a 43 year old who pitches well in a couple games in a row and you really cant count the game against us since just about anybody can pitch well against us. (Come on, we got shut down earlier this year by Scott Baker) BECAUSE THEY ARE THE RED SOX and THEY GET WHATEVER THEY WANT. I hope they end up not giving adam stern to the orioles at the end of the year so Ill have another reason to despise them when they backstab the O's and end up trading w/ them again (this is facetious, but perhaps a Miggy for Manny trade in the offseason when, again facetiously, it has been deemed that Manny can no longer play baseball due to his knee)
Orioles Response: "Sure, well give up one of the best players in the league in a prime defensive position for a higher paid outfielder who can no longer play. Anything to help you beat the Yankees, Theo."
Also, how did they get a highly touted prospect for a 43 year old who pitches well in a couple games in a row
Padres are desperate, that's how. They want to put the race to bed.