Aug
08

And then there were 5…

By

For six or nine times a year, depending on the schedule, I root for the Angels. This week, they aren’t disappointing. Joe Saunders staved off the Red Sox, and the Angels downed Boston for the second night in a row.

Doing some very simple baseball math leads me to conclude that, yes, the Yanks, once 14 games out, are now sitting now just five games behind the Red Sox in the AL East. That’s pretty freakin’ exciting. The Yanks, as I noted earlier, have six games left against the Red Sox, and basically, they control their own October fate at this point. Win and they’re in. It’s that simple.

Meanwhile, up in Canada, exciting happenings. Let’s start with the end. Joba Chamberlain made his big league debut, and it was pretty. While his control wasn’t as perfect as it had been in the Minors, I’m going to give him the benefit of the doubt and chalk that up to nerves. Sporting a high-90s fastball and an utterly devastating and majestically beautiful 90-mph slider, Joba pitched 2 innings in his debut. He gave up 1 hit and 2 walks and struck out 2. The game ended on a double-play ball. Joba even had the guts to shake off Jorge Posada three times on one pitch. He’s 21, folks.

This game also shows that the Blue Jays really have their priorities screwed up. Over two months ago, A-Rod humorously called for a pop-up in Toronto as he was running the bases. Debate the sportsmanship all you want, but realize that this happened in May. It’s August. Yet still the Blue Jays insist on throwing at A-Rod twice.

So in the 7th, Roger Clemens may or may not have retaliated, and he got tossed. He may land a suspension for this move too. Considering that Posada set up for this pitch outside, that it was 7-0 Yankees, and that Clemens was working on his best outing in a month, it’s hard to believe he was aiming intentionally for Alex Rios. But who knows? Hopefully, these two teams can leave this silliness behind them. Chien-Ming Wang isn’t exactly the head-hunting type anyway.

While I’m still unimpressed with Jim Brower — couldn’t Brian Bruney do that? — I am officially apologizing for advocating that dumb trade of Eric Gagne for Melky Cabrera. I’ve changed my mind. I love Melky. And I love Robinson Cano even more. That’s all.

Categories : Game Stories
  • http://www.pinstripealley.com John

    Isn’t it August now?

  • kris

    Hats off to the Angels for a fine job of exterminating the vermins at their stadium…

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

    Yeah, Jeez, and it’s been August for 7 days. How did I miss that one? It’s been corrected.

  • Stuart

    again Melky is 23 and has guts and plays with an edge..

    I am not saying he is going to be a star but he is more then serviceable. The guy is playing CF at 22 or 23 whatever for the Yankees!!!!!!!

    His minor league manager said he will be a 300 hitter, and he can field.. Look at the younger guys fire….Shelly DUncan slide like DOn Baylor use to.. He destroyed McDonald on that play…………

    Joba looked great. It is scary that I felt more comftorable with him on the mound then anyoneexcept Mariano..

  • Adam B.

    Clemens was retaliating. Even Singleton predicted it earlier in the game.

  • Barry

    Joba was, awesome. Clemens, was, the Rocket and I know I cheered when he retaliated, and he did, its Roger, Roger is the king of intimidation and retaliation. Roger will probably miss a start(enter Joba?) which means we’ll have to fill that roll. Best team in baseball since the end of May and we’re going nowhere but up, Sox are blowing it.

  • The Scout

    I was less impressed than others by Joba’s debut, but I’ll credit his uneven control entirely to nerves. We’ll have a better idea after 3-4 appearances. I’m optimistic he’ll become more efficient with his pitches. The slider was terrific at times; I hope we’ll see a true off-speed pitch now and then. If Clemens has to miss a start, Joba won’t replace him, not after the Yankees have put him on a bullpen schedule. they’ll use Karstens or someone now at Scranton not named Igawa.

  • http://jeteupthemiddle.blogspot.com Jeteupthemiddle

    I find it hard to believe Clemens was doing anything BUT retaliating.

    He had great control all game and he hit Rios right in the numbers.

    It was stupid.

  • monkeypants

    Ummm…doesn’t the fact that “that Posada set up for this pitch outside, that it was 7-0 Yankees, and that Clemens was working on his best outing in a month” actually suggest the opposite of what you conclude–that he DID intentionally hit him? I mean, he had great control all night, and then almost on cue he puts one right between the numbers? Meanwhile, where else was Posada supposed to set up for a buzz bomb (assuming he even knew what Clemens was going to do), behind the runner? That would be a tad obvious, no?

  • Freddy

    Boston Massacre Part 3 this year? I sure hope so.

    As for our game yesterday…good on Roger for protecting his teammates. I expected nothing less. And Joba…sweet Joba, oh how we’ve waited for thee! And how he delivered…whoa mama! The future is indeed bright!!

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

    Re: Clemens. Tongue in cheek, folks. Tongue in cheek.

  • Marsha

    Melky + Cano = the dynamic duo. Long may they reign.

  • Count Zero

    Thank goodness Rocket was on the mound because I don’t think anyone else on this staff (except maybe Farnsworthless, but he would have missed) would’ve done what he did.

    When A-Rod got hit, I thought to myself: “Man, you guys are dumb because if you think Roger isn’t going to pay one of you back in spades you’re all rookies.” There was no way Rocket was coming out of that game without someone getting drilled. You gotta’ protect A-Rod in that situation — you just gotta.

  • Frank

    Trade Melky!!!!! (Ben, Ben, Ben…maybe a lesson about advocating trades based on “names”?)

    Seriously, the kid is just about to turn 23 and has a .800 OPS on the season with plus-plus CF defense (11 FRAA) and a cannon arm (9 assists in CF).

    He may not only be the reincarnation of Bernie, he could very well be better than Bernie.

    BTW: How dumb is Peter Abraham. His insider posts are great but he just commented that he’s “not sure the Yankees are a half-game out of the wild card race without [Cairo].” You know cause “Back in June, when the only other choice at first base was Josh Phelps, he filled in admirably”.

  • Frank

    Count –

    What I don’t understand is why not bring in Farns to nail someone. I know that’s not the Torre-way, but he’d throw heat into their back, maybe redeem himself with his teammates, and get a few off days to work on his mechanics. Better that than losing Rocket for a start.

    That’s when a Martin or Valentine makes baseball fun.

  • Mike R.

    Two things:

    1- Ben. Apology accepted. Don’t ever do it again. :)

    2- You can’t bring Farnsworth in to hit the batter because with his control he might end up hitting Larry Bowa.

  • Count Zero

    Frank -

    You’re absolutely right — Billy would have done that. He also would have been the first one out of the dugout when A-Rod got whacked. ^_^

    Billy had his shortcomings but dramatic sense was not among them…he could make a scene like nobody’s business.

    I’m wondering what’s going to happen today — I assume nothing because neither team would want to get their ace suspended (particularly the Yanks), but the Jays do seem like they’re in a mighty bad mood. Don’t rule out a Farnsworth appearance just yet. :-o

  • Mike K

    - Why not bring in Farnsworth in? He is to bench clearing brawls as Mariano Rivera is to relief pitching. Its his true medium. A master. Couldn’t you see a WWE situation if this happened? Farnsworth hits Rios, benches clear, you think they will go at it, and Farnsworth turns around and sucker punches Larry Bowa. He walks over to the Jays dugout amidst boos (because what fans actually want Farnsworth?) and John Gibbons dons him with a Jays hat.

    - Ben, I’ll trade you Ken Phelps for Melky Cabrera.