October 03, 2006
October 3rd vs. The Tigers
Just about every time this game started to look closer than it should be, along came Bobby Abreu. And, that Jeter guy had a pretty good game too. (At the rate Derek is going, his Yankeeography is going to have to be a two-parter.)
I thought that Worm Killer Wang pitched better than his final numbers read. That double by Polanco was barely fair. Take that out of the Tigers rally against him and it's a whole different line-score in this game for Wang.
Two sightings from this game to note:
1. Tanyon Sturtze in the Yankees dugout. So, where was Carl Pavano?
2. FOX showing Patrick Ewing in the stands during the bottom of the 2nd inning. That is one large man. Imagine if he went for baseball instead of hoops. As a batter, how would you like to see a seven-foot, 250-pound, Ewing taking toe to the pitching rubber with his extra long wings and looking downhill at you?
This was a good win for the Yankees. If they lost this game, given Johnson's condition and the questions around Game Three, a loss tonight would have made Game Two "must win." It's nice not to have to deal with that kind of pressure this early in the post-season.
Lastly, the Tigers did not look scared or tense tonight. They sure did not look like a team that just choked up a division. I expect them to show up tomorrow and play tough. The Yankees should expect that as well.
Posted by Steve Lombardi at October 3, 2006 11:39 PM
I'm just back from the game. It was a terrific night. Almost near-perfect except for Torre pointlessly taking out Wang with two outs in the seventh. Their was a collective "what the hell?" in my section.
The fans also trashed Fransworth mercilessly. I couldn't tell because I was off to the side, but he looked like he was getting squeezed. The stadium gun had Wang's fastball at 96 all night, with the occasional 95 and 97. It seemed out of whack with Mo and Farns -- Farns was around 92-94 for most of his inning, but got up to 97, and Mo was clocked at 99 on one pitch.
There was a crazy Japanese dude by me who begged the crowd to cheer "HOME RUN, HOME RUN, MAT-SU-EE" every time Matsui came up. Did that come through on TV? It was actually pretty hilarious.
Great night for Giambi and Wang. Terrific night for Bobby. And an out-of-this-world, are-you-effin'-kidding-me? night for Jeter.
Farns seemed to get squeezed from where I was sitting. But then again, I was 450 feet away.
Posted by: Jen at October 4, 2006 01:09 AM
Looked like Farns got squeezed from the TV angle, but he was wild enough to not earn the close ones. Didn't get any calls on the outer half of the plate. You might still hear the echo from when I screamed at Torre to not take out Wang. He nearly "managed" us into a loss. Two out, no one on base, 94 pitches? Huh??? That kind of effort by Wang throughout the post season ought to be good enough to rack up 3 or 4 wins.
A-Rod has to be shaking his head after watching DJ make another "How To Become a Beloved Yankee" documentary video last night. Wow. Bobby A, Giambi, Posada and Johnny D appeared as guest stars. Matsui, Cano and A-Rod left a total of 12 men on base. 10 more wins to go.
Jen, you probably had the angle...did Johnny have a chance on that home run? It looked like he just got to the wall late, and that the ball barely cleared the fence.
A-rod have 2 outs where he drilled a line drive right at a fielder, and another where he was squeezed. he's game went much better than the numbers showed.
As for Joe taking out Wang, it's a second guesser move either way, and it was nice that Joe gave the crowd a chance to applaud Wang. There's really nothing wrong in bringing in Myers to face a lefty.
One more win tomorrow and this one is in the bag.
#15, I didn't have an angle. I can't see that part of center field. I saw the replay on Sports Center and it looked like he mistimed it, but I think it was too far out of his reach.
Dave at Baseball Musings has a theory that he took Wang out to maybe bring him back for a possible Game 4. I'm not going to complain about the move to take him out. It's not like Meyers was being used like Proctor during the season. I had no problem with him getting his playoff feet wet in that situation. They still had a 3-run lead after the home run. Better he shakes some rust off in that situation than in a closer game.
Posted by: Jen at October 4, 2006 03:21 AM
Matsui and Cano both seemed off last night, like they just couldn't time the pitches or something. They were either early and ripping liners foul down the 1B line or late and popping/grounding things opposite field. Hopefully seeing a righty tonight will help them out a bit.
As for the decision to pull Wang after 6 2/3, I really don't get it. One more out to go and you can save Proctor and Farnsworth for an inning each in the 8th and 9th. No need for Mo. No need for Myers. I think Wang could've gotten one more out before he hit the 100-pitch mark. Vintage Torre.
Re: Sturtze; it's a big dugout, maybe Pavano was there, just not able to get in a camera shot.
Re: Ewing; I guess facing Randy Johnson, or Eric Hillman will be the closest you can get to answering that question (:
I was just as suprised as everyone to see Torre take Wang out. Didn't think it was necessary either.
::A-Rod has to be shaking his head after watching DJ make another "How To Become a Beloved Yankee" documentary video last night.:: Cameras showed him to be one of the first guys on the steps clapping.
RE: The Damon chance. On live TV it also looked as though he had a chance and mistimed it but after they showed the replay (different angle) leading into a commercial there was no chance he could have gotten it.
I was happy to see Tanyon in there. As much as his dopey blank stare and cruddy performances annoyed me, I think a journeyman like him really appreciated and enjoyed his time as a mini go-to guy in 2004 and 2005 and it made me happy to think that he was able to enjoy a bit of success in the game he grew up loving. It's probably hard for him to be sitting in the dugout, feeling a bit left out but I hope the team gives him a ring if the Yanks end up winning the Series this year.
Also, I hope he's able to get healthy for next year. All kidding aside, with Bruney, Farnsworth, Proctor, and a healthy Sturtze, that's as deep and as hard-throwing a bullpen as anyone could want or imagine. Throw Myers and another lefty into the mix and the Yanks would have a phenomenal bullpen that Torre could mismanage in 2007.
PS - I love Patrick Ewing. He was the most unfairly-treated NY athlete before ARod. The two of them could probably talk and have some common experiences to share.
I think Farnsworth definitely got squeezed early on in the inning, there were maybe 2-3 pitches from watching on tv that looked like they could have been strikes...also FOX didn't really give a good replay of that Polanco double because if it hit the line, it BARELY hit the line, I would have liked to see another replay of that...
Torre shouldn't have taken out Wang, I dont care about the lefty-lefty matchup or if Torre wants to bring him back for Game 4...there were 2 outs and he only had thrown 93 pitches, if he left him in, he would have thrown 10 more pitches max to Granderson, who is also a free swinger and might have swung at the first pitch and gotten out...but I would have let him pitch then maybe pull him if Granderson got on base..
I had no problem with taking Wang out. He pitched a great game, but he was also pressing more often than not. Joe probably should have let him finish the inning, but we really need a guy like Myers to be able to get a lefty out in a big spot. Joe was probably testing the water. Proctor threw all of 9 pitches, and there's a day off tomorrow, so it's not that big of a deal. It's not Jaret Wright tonight, it's Moose. Let's not forget we still have Bruney and Villone (if he can pitch) in the pen. Proctor probably pitches the part of an inning tonight, which is fine. I'd like to see Villone out there as well. Joe said Farns would pitch back to back nights as necessary.
The pen is fresh, let's not get so worked up about things. Just think, if we need Wang in game 4 and he comes out and pitches a gem, Joe will be praised for "pulling him too early." Just watch.
I think it would be a mistake to bring back Wang for Game 4 (if, as the saying goes, needed). His success at Yankee Stadium suggests he's got game 5 (if needed) locked up. I'd say a win tonight is going to just about nail the coffin shut. Don't see Detroit having enough hitting, or back of the rotation pitching, to fight back from two games down. Pitch around Magglio. Don't think there are too many other guys in that line up that have a good chance of beating us. Still, Leyland is a dangerous manager, just not enough horses there compared to the good guys. One other thing about bringing in Myers. My sense is that in a short series, you want to give the opponents hitters as few looks as necessary at your relievers. The same logic that says it was a no stress situation for Myers could also apply to Wang. Let him go one more...if he gives up a bases loaded dinger with two outs and no one on, no big deal. Now, a bunch of the Tigers got a good look at Scottie, Farns and Mo, and Myers confidence took a big hit. Farns better find the strike zone, or they'll be walking to the plate without bats in their hands, looking for walks.
#15, if we're down 2-1 in game 4, who do you put on the mound?
I agree to an extent regarding the bullpen, but Myers needs to do his job in that situation. If he does, we don't even see Proctor, or maybe we don't see Farnsworth. Either way, it comes down to execution. Myers needs to be able to get big outs (Mauer, Morneau come to mind). I feel it was as good a situation as any to see what he's made of. You're right, Wang probably should have faced one more batter, but he didn't have his easiest night. It's game 1, he was probably overthrowing a bit, I think Joe made a gut call.
We all remember the night Wanger went 8 2/3 and gave up a walk-off 2-R jobber. Last night wasn't that, but if he gives up a HR right there and then gets the hook, who knows how he feels about himself. Joe's logic isn't always great, but he took him out on a high note, and it didn't come close to costing the team the game. Proctor needs to be able to get that first batter out, but he still only threw 9 pitches. I'm with you, but it's hard to fault Joe when he's managing for tomorrow.
If the Yankees are saving Wang for Game 4 in case they are down 2-1 in the series, then why even play games 2 and 3? That's like expecting to lose, and I don't see why anyone would think Wang is pitching Game 4, even if Johnson bombs in Game 3...you still have Wright and Lidle for games 3 and 4, which is what I would expect Torre to do...
And maybe Wang was done. Could be as simple as that, he was done for the game.
If we are down 2-1 in game 4, I have the entire staff at my disposal to avert a loss. Bruney for 2, Proctor for 2, Farns for 2, Mo for 2, and any combination of the others. With no history for Wang on three days rest, slam dunk that I've got him lined up as my Game 5 starter. I think Torre even made comments after the game that he didn't think it was all that great of a move on his part. Moose goes 7 strong tonight in a winning effort and it's all academic.