May 22, 2007
May 22nd vs. The Red Sox
Julian Tavarez, coming into this season, has been a Freddy Lima type hurler - meaning he looks like Freddy Krueger, acts like Jose Lima, and pitches like some hybrid of the two. Basically, he's only on the Red Sox because Manny Ramirez wanted a puppy. There's no excuse for being shut down by him...therefore, the Yankees offensive performance this evening (against Boston and Tavarez) is inexcusable.
And, as much as I want to say "I told you so" and point to Mussina's oreo performance tonight - crunchy start, sweet middle, crunchy end - and blame Moose's hits and runs allowed for this loss, at the end of the day, it was the Yankees weak bats against a weak pitcher which makes Mussina's failure today a moot item. (And, yes, I know about the blown call in the seventh on the Crisp steal. Sorry, that doesn't give Moose a pass for allowing all those hits in this game.)
This loss sets-up an interesting match-up tomorrow. Will Curt Schilling win and put a huge nail in the Yankees hopes to get into the A.L. East race? Or, will Andy Pettitte perform CPR for the Yankees and allow New York to prove that their overall streak of poor play in 2007 is coming to an end?
Five days ago, I made the following prediction: "If, at the close of business on May 23rd, the Yankees are 13.5 games out of first (or greater), there will be an organizational meeting in Tampa on May 24th and Joe Girardi will be managing the Yankees on May 25th."
A loss tomorrow would put the Yankees 11.5 games back of Boston at the close of business on May 23rd. As such, I do not think a loss tomorrow will cost Joe Torre his job. However, if the Yankees lose tomorrow and then split their next 6 games, or worse, you still might see that organizational meeting - just a week later (being held on May 31st).
The Yankees play Boston again on June 1st - in Fenway for three games - including a FOX game on Saturday and an ESPN game on Sunday. I would have to think that Big Stein would want the ship to be right by then - or have a new skipper at the wheel (if Team Torre has another bad week).
It's a good thing Andy Pettitte has broad shoulders. There's a lot riding on them tomorrow. Of course, if the Yankees bats pull another no-show, even Pettitte may not matter.
Posted by Steve Lombardi at May 22, 2007 11:13 PM
I don't know--you can't expect even the Yankees to overcome 7 runs against such a good team. I would have liked to see something closer than 7-3 though. And that blown call at 2nd did make a big difference, as the last blown call did.
I also maintain that the last 2 called strikes on Jeter weren't strikes.
The ground outs that easily could have been DPs by Jeter and Posada though really irked me. They're better than that.
Let's Go, Andy!
Torre makes some pretty weird decisions, doesn't he? Normally, we scream that he doesn't leave starters in long enough (and he doesn't). But tonight he lets Mussina stay with the game on the line, and Moose at around 100 pitches, to face a really tough hitter.
I thought it was right to let Moose start the seventh, but once Youkilis gets up, you have to take Moose out of the game.
It was complete deja vu: blown call at second, cheap hit to right, run scores. Bizarre.
I was actually pretty encouraged by how Moose bounced back from a bad start -- normally he doesn't do that. It's too bad he was left in there at the end; with thirty pitches in the first inning, he was probably gassed when he got to 100.
It doesn't really surprise me that Tavaras pitched well against the Yanks. I don't have the numbers, but it's like they can't hit him. I believe this is the third time he's pitched effectively against them. If he doesn't blow up and walk the ballpark, they don't score off of him.
The Yankees had plenty of opportunities to get back in this game for real, but they couldn't come through -- even Posada and Jeter, who have been red hot, couldn't get the big hit.
One good sign is that it looks like Vizcaino has his fastball back -- he was hitting 92-93 on the YES gun tonight.
There's a kid that was just promoted to AAA by the name of Edwar Ramirez. He put up insane numbers in AA and is now the closer in SWB. Chris Britton is also having a fine year in AAA. I think it's possible that one or both could help the team. Personally, I would like to see one of them up right now and have DeSalvo back in AAA. I'm particularly intrigued by Ramirez -- his strikeout numbers are unreal. If he keeps it up in AAA, he should be, at a minimum, an option for next year.
Let me just say, you told me so.
Posted by: Ben K. at May 23, 2007 02:04 AM
baileywalk--I find myself more or less agreeing with pretty much everything you say. Torre pulls the Captain Hook routine when it's unneeded, then leaves Moose in at least a third inning too long.
Which Andy Pettitte do you think we'll see? The scary one who actually made me cover my eyes and want to hide when he started against the Red Sox at the Stadium, or the one that deserved the win at Fenway before the bullpen blew it? I peresonally expect to see the latter. And the 'pen is working their shit out, so hopefully there won't be a repeat of that outing from them.
The Yankees can and have hit off of Schilling. Let's show that sock-painter who's boss! (or something).
That game sucked!
I don't see how joe goes until roger fails -- that's the last piece of leverage joe has. If arod can get his own first baseman (minky), then roger gets his manager. If the good ship yankees goes up in flames then the whole thing goes: cash, joe, giambi and arod...13 1/2 games at the end of May? why is that so magical?
With cano coming back, abreu coming back, damon coming back -- then the hitting and OBP will be there. Mussina did well considering he had nothing and like the true pro he is kept us in it until the whole thing collapsed in the 7th.
The sawks have the magic now but how can this possibly last? Will Tavarez win 15 or 12 for that matter? Will the Japanese reliever kid finish the year with an under 2 era? Will Lugo, Lowell and Youkilis hit over .300? History tells us a big fat NO. Manny will hit .300/30hr/130rbis but the rest of this lineup is due for a seasonal "readjustment."
I don't buy we're out of this and in mid-june we'll have the best starting rotation in the league. Sawks have yet to hit any kind of challenge; we're resolving ours. Last time I checked, Hideki has cleared .280 and will continue the march to .300. things are looking a lot sharper than 2 or 3 weeks ago. Although last night's game did suck.
Tavarez is just a bullshit factor. Problem is that it feeds into Mr. B.S. himself, who takes the mound today. Man would I like to see an arod a-bomb with 2 or 3 on the bottom of the first today....