August 10, 2006
August 9th @ The White Sox
This morning, I "heart" two grown men - Mike Sweeney and Joey Cora. Sweeney got me for taking it to the Red Sox last night. And, Cora got me for not sending Brian Anderson home, and holding him at third, in the bottom of the 9th of the Yankees-Chisox game.
Considering it was Bernie throwing the ball to Cano, which means Cano had to go out and get the lob, and factoring in Anderson's speed, I'm thinking it's a tie game if Cora doesn't throw up the stop sign to Anderson.
How about New York heroes in this one? There were many Yankees who did well in this game, but, in retrospect, if I'm giving out the game ball, it goes to Ron Villone. His work in the 7th is the key to this victory - especially given what Farnsworth and Rivera did in the 8th and 9th.
It was nice to see Randy Johnson be nasty again on the mound. By the way, when did he switch from the black glove to the brown one? Maybe this new mitt is a good luck charm in the making? Still, to be honest, I feel that every start with Unit is "you never know what you're going to see" material. This start is not going to move me from that position.
Speaking of "see" - is it just me, or, does anyone else see a little Lance Kerwin of "James at 15" fame when they look at Craig Wilson?
OK, now, time for a rant. Has someone dropped acid in Joe Torre's green tea? He puts Bobby Abreu in CF when Damon has to leave the game? Did you see Ozzie Guillen's reaction when the umps told him about the switch? (You could read his lips. "Abreu's in centerfield? Oh, boy!') Come on now Joe. Why not move Cabrera to CF and then put Wilson in LF? If Melky can play LF in Yankees Stadium, he can play CF in Chicago. And, then, you never have to put Bernie in CF at all.
But, you know what? I think Torre gets off on playing Bernie in CF. It gives him the jollies or something. That has to be the reason. Because, otherwise, any sane man would try and avoid doing that at all costs. And, by putting Abreu in CF, it's an excuse to later move Bernie from DH to CF in the late innings.
At this point, it's time to take Sidney Ponson off the 40-man roster and get Bubba Crosby back on the team and admit that cutting Bubba for Veras was a mistake. With this run of games the Yankees are on, and given the nature of Damon's injury, you need a quality defensive-minded back-up CF on this team - and pronto.
Posted by Steve Lombardi at August 10, 2006 09:04 AM
Last night was an ugly game. Very ugly. A win is a win but jeez, the Yanks look lousy in how they're approaching the final few innings of games recently. We need the Moose to give the bullpen some rest.
PS - I've never seen a team with the injury bug like this before. I hope Damon doesn't have to go on the DL. It's bad enough that Posada has to hit 5th when he swings and misses at everything these days...
-- But, you know what? I think Torre gets off on playing Bernie in CF --
Of course he does. Bernie, even with all of the Yankee injuries has played way too much, and will continue to get too many at bats because of clueless Torre. A few weeks ago, around the trade deadline there was an iterview with Torre where he was saying he wanted someone, anyone with experience to replace Melky in left, because he doesn't trust his youth. Which was Torre telling us that Melky will sit in the playoffs for oldman Bernie.
I'm glad you mentioned Villone, Steve. Getting Villone is the off-season move no one talks about. Where would this bullpen be without him? Despite not being "trusted" by Torre for months, Villone is putting together a career year, and though everyone talks about the overuse of Proctor, he's thrown a ton of innings and done nothing but come back and ask for more. This guy really deserves more credit than he gets. He comes out of that 'pen a little wild, but he gets the job done. He was a huge pickup for the team.
I'm glad MJ didn't take Farnsworth to task today. My heart broke a little for the big man last night. After being untouchable for over a month, he got a little dumb and a little unlucky. He really should have been out of that inning. That little roller by Dye was a poor excuse for a hit (it was really A-Rod's ball, but he backed off for Farns). That home run to Crede was bad, but that three-two slider to Konerko was worse. He cannot throw sliders in that count, and he can't throw sliders EVER to Iguchi, who can't hit a good fastball.
Joe also came up short here. After Dye gets that grounder, why not walk Crede and then have Myers, who was warming up, pitching to A.J.? You have two outs and Mo as insurance if anything goes bad (or if Ozzie sends up a pinch-hitter). Instead he lets Farnsworth, who's thrown a lot of pitches, pitch to a guy who, as annoying as he is, is a very good clutch hitter, and this year is a legit home run hitter. It didn't make any sense to me.
Torre seemed utterly disgusted with Farns after the game. But, hey, over the last few days Papelbon, Mo, Zumaya and Izzy all gave up home runs. No one is perfect.
It's once again scary how Johnson can go from no-one-can-touch-him to he-can't-get-anyone-out. Once again the umpire went nuts (his strikezone suddenly shrunk after RJ gave up that one hit). I think it's time to start to think of RJ as they think of Wright: once he gets to the seventh inning, you have to go batter by batter. RJ loses his bite quickly these days.
What is it with Mo and "sox" teams? First it was the Red Sox, and now it's the White Sox. Mo doesn't look comfortable pitching against them. This is three games in a row where he was shaky against this team.
And finally -- please, for the love of God, keep Bernie out of centerfield. I could not believe he let that ball drop in front of him in the ninth. It was an easy out. He could easily have lost the game for them right there.
And what is WRONG with Torre? He says he wants to play Melky in all three outfield positions next year, but he won't put Melky in center now?
A heartfelt thank-you to the K.C. Royals, who broke the hearts of Red Sox fans everywhere. I was "watching" the game on Gameday and that ninth inning was a sweet, sweet joy. If Papelbon comes back down to earth, that team is in trouble.
Papelbon has already come back down, bailey. He leads the AL in blown saves since June 1st. All five of his BS in 2+ months...works out to about 12 BS in a full season. That's about his level really once the league has seen him a couple of times.
Considering the strength of Bernie's arm (or lack thereof) can anyone tell me why in the world Torre would play a "no doubles" outfield defense in the 9th? That Texas Leaguer should have scored Anderson as it was, if not for COra's red light. Does Torre seriously think Bernie could have made any sort of play on a ball to deep centerfield?
I'm sitting here smiling, Bailey, because I was real close to dropping a few anti-Farns lines in there.
You know me pretty well, buddy.
I'm sorry Steve, but your comment regarding Bubba Crosby was completely out of line...yes, Ponson needs a bus to Columbus but hopefully they'll keep Bubba away from a Yankee at bat and bring Kevin Thompson back to where he belongs...
I disagree Athos. Hopefully Damon will be OK to start and they would only have to use Bubba as a defensive replacement. But even if Bubba needed to start some games, with Cano back they really shouldn't have to worry about having him in the lineup (Melky seems to thrive in the lead off spot too, so they might not even miss Damon's bat all that much). Why bring Thompson up now where he'll likely be sitting the bench. Let him get his ABs at Colombus. In less than a month the rosters will expand and Kevin can come up then.
Posted by: Jen at August 10, 2006 01:05 PM
This is kinda off-topic, but I just saw this at Baseball Musings and wanted to share:
"[In the Astros-Pirates game:] Shawn Chacon started and lasted 1 2/3 innings, giving up seven runs and three homers, including one to Roy Oswalt. It's Roy's first home run as a major leaguer. His career slugging percentage is lower than his OBA, and his OBA isn't very high."
Poor Chacon - but that Wilson trade was brilliant.
Posted by: carla at August 10, 2006 01:07 PM
I really loved Chac last year and was hoping the magic could carry into 2006. Unfortunately it was not to be. Whatever it was about his performance last year, wherever it came from, we should all be thankful and remember him. He was a great Yankee in 2005.
I dunno why Wilson wasn't out there in LF either; I guess Torre sees him as a strict platoon guy?