Igawa’s start could get ugly fast

Elbow woes for Betances

The Toronto Blue Jays are a pretty potent offensive team. They’re tenth in OPS and eighth overall in home runs hit. But those numbers shoot up when they face a lefty. Against southpaws this season, the Blue Jays are downright brutal. With a .293/.364/.470 line, the team is third overall in OPS vs. lefties.

So who are the Yankees sending up against a team that seemingly struggles with right-handed pitching? Not any righty farm hand who has a good chance of shutting them down. No, tonight, they are going with their lefty specialist Kei Igawa. Kei, who in an alternate universe, is a good pitcher, stands as good a chance as any at getting utterly shelled tonight. Let’s review.

When last we saw Mr. Igawa, I noted that the Yanks were winning in spite of Igawa’s contribution. Since he hasn’t pitched in over 10 days, things haven’t really gotten any better for his season numbers. I wrote then:

Specifically, Igawa has thrown 16 innings, surrendering 17 hits while walking 9 and striking 12. He’s given up 3 home runs and has retired just 14 batters via the ground ball as opposed to 21 via the fly ball. He pitches like a disaster waiting to happen, and it’s only a matter of time before he gets pounded for an ungodly number of runs in, say, 1.2 innings.

And so this is the Igawa that will stride to the mound in Yankee Stadium tonight at 7:05 p.m. to face a lineup of Blue Jays who devour lefty pitching. Tonight could really be that night that he’s out after 1.2 innings never to return to the Bronx.

Now, for the Yanks’ sake, I hope that’s not true. They’re above .500 for the first time in over three weeks. They’ve trimmed a few games off of Boston’s lead this weekend and stand a manageable nine games out of first and eight games behind Cleveland, the Wild Card leader. They won, in dicey fashion, three out of four in Tampa Bay and now need to manage a 17-7 record over their next 24 games to meet our expectations of 20-8 against sub-.500 teams to start the second half.

A decent start tonight by Igawa would probably mean 5 IP and 4 ER. The Yanks are facing Josh Towers, a righty in the Blue Jays’ rotation only because no one else has worked out. I expect this to be a game decided by the bullpens, and I hope the Yanks can keep up their post-All Star Break winning ways. But with Kei Igawa on the mound, it’s tough to be optimistic.

A bad start would exile him from New York. A good start would be great for the Yanks as a team but bad overall because Igawa would inevitably get rewarded with another start. Tonight, we’ll see what happens.

Elbow woes for Betances
  • Luddy Bazcej

    I am crossing my fingers on this one because I really want Igawa to work out for us. But the more he pitches the more I have my doubts. That, plus we have such a slew of arms down in AAA and AA, there’s no way we can have Igawa going out there every fifth day and getting bombed, especially when we need to be in every game nowadays. How can Cashman argue it’s better to have him out there than Kennedy, Hughes, Chamberlain, DeSalvo, even Wright or Clippard?

    If he gets shellacked does he get demoted or dealt? Personally I would not be adverse to dealing him at this point if we can get a few workable parts back in return or some cash to cover the fee we paid. I dont think we have the time to let him work out his kinks at the major league level. But at the same time, he’s pretty pricey to be in the minors.

  • James

    Exile him from New York? He’s signed for four more years! No, no Kei will be the gift that keeps on giving!

  • Count Zero

    Given the large posting fee and his relatively meager salary, it is unlikely Quest goes anywhere other than back to Scranton.

    Personally, I’m hoping the Yankees score in double digits tonight because that’s about the only way I see them winning…and in the even worse news department, Halladay is up tomorrow against another lefty who is looking more and more like his ’07 resurgence is over.

    Somehow we need to get 3 of 4. If I chant my mantra over and over again — “Wang, Hughes, Joba, Kennedy…Wang, Hughes, Joba, Kennedy” — maybe I can find inner peace?

  • http://riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    As good as he can be, Halladay has been pretty crappy his last 10 outings. Hopefully the Yanks can put a hurtin’ on him.

  • Mike R.


    I think Cashman wouldn’t argue that Igawa is a better option than Hughes. As for The Dynamic Duo of Kennedy and Chamberlain I think he could throw them to the wolves, but I would prefer the route the Yankees are taking. Cashman doesn’t want to affect their development. Clippard was getting clobbered near the end of his run. If you are stuck with an expensive mediocre pitcher and a cheap mediocre pitcher you go with the expensive one, not for any baseball reasons, but for business reasons.

    I think the real option here is DeSalvo, and this Saturday is probably an audition for the role of fifth starter until Hughes comes back.

  • Luddy Bazcej

    Good point on that Mike 5. Sucks that having spent a heap on Igawa means were probably stuck with him.

  • Yankee Doom & Gloomer

    Go Jays!

    I’m Gay!

    Edited for your amusement by RAB. Go troll on someone else’s site.

  • C-Note

    is there anyway to kick that asshole D&G off this site permanetly? I know it sucks for him that he’s never been on a date in his life and lives in his mother’s basement but that subnormal dickhead is not why ANYONE comes to this site

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