Buster Olney thinks that injuries are a bad fit for the Yankees’ starting rotation

Introducing a new site at River Ave. Blues
Game 154: Just imagine playing today

Joe Torre and Ron Guidry are engaged in the old American dance called the pitching rotation shuffle. Good thing for the Yanks they have pitching depth.

Shortly before tonight’s game — which I’ve decided to chalk up to the “Yanks shouldn’t have won anyway” column — we learned that Ian Patrick Kennedy would be missing his start due to what the AP is calling a strained muscle in his upper back. For what it’s worth, the guys on My9 were saying that Kennedy was, by and large, all right, but the Yanks are being cautious with their young arms. Some sources are calling what Kennedy experienced simply tightness.

But now comes the news that Roger Clemens, he of the $20 million and two September starts, will be pushed back until at least Monday because his left hamstring is giving him some issues. In his stead, Mike Mussina will start on Sunday, and Phil Hughes will toss the game that begins at 1:05 p.m. today. (That means I get to witness yet another Mike Mussina start this year. Save me.)

As the season winds down, the Yanks will try to line up their rotation for their opening playoff series. I think we’ll see Wang, Pettitte, and Clemens, if healthy. The last spot will go to whomever is more effective: Hughes or Mussina. Right now, Mussina is winning the battle. But for now, the Yanks can afford to rest their aching pitchers.

Meanwhile, let’s do some quick notes on tonight’s disappointing game:

  • Thanks for all of the comments, Mike everyone. We topped last Friday’s Red Sox game thread, and it’s great to see so many people commenting and contributing during the games. I’m working on restoring permalinks to comments. So soon you’ll be able to link back to earlier comments.
  • Really, this was a game the Yanks should have won. They ran themselves out of two innings early on; they got some very lucky hops in the 9th; they never really hit the ball; they never really did much of anything. When all is said and done, those are games you lose.
  • That being said, I never want to see Brian Bruney pitch in a meaningful spot again. Was Kyle Farnsworth really that unavailable? Was Torre saving Farnsworth for a potential relief situation in Saturday’s game? Remember: The bullpen was shot, and Farnsworth can only go one inning every other day.
  • A third catcher would be nice for the next few days.
  • It was clear from the get-go that Edwar Ramirez had nothing tonight. He hit Reed Johnson after throwing one no where near the plate. Somehow, he got out Matt Stairs before falling behind Alex Rios. He left a meatball out over the plate, and Rios crushed it. I could see that happening from the time Johnson went to bat, and I told my dad that Torre should just yank him because he had no command tonight. Funny how that came back to haunt us.
  • This is not a knock on Chien-Ming Wang, but… After watching Josh Beckett and Roy Halladay face him in his last two starts, I can’t shake the feeling that maybe Wang is simply a very good number 2 starter and not quite yet the ace of the Yankee staff that many have labeled him. That’s not to say he can’t be a number 1 starter; I’ve seen the flashes of brilliance. I just don’t think he’s quite there yet.

In the end, frequent contributor mg said it best: “I had that bad feeling as soon as I saw Bruney warming. I found myself actually wishing it was Farnsworthless warming up. This is one of those losses that hurts for a few days…What a tough night.”

But we’ve just gotta shake it off. The next time starts in less than 10 hours. We’ll get ’em today.

Introducing a new site at River Ave. Blues
Game 154: Just imagine playing today
  • http://SportingGurus.com Adam

    Maybe it’s the lack of strikeouts that makes you wonder about Wang. However, his shtick has stuck for 2 1/2 years now, so maybe it’ll work.

  • Zack

    I’m okay with Wang being a #2, since we have two #1s in Hughes and Joba :) I think Wang falls a little short in that he’s not necessarily a “stopper.” On the other hand, Beckett and Doc are more than capable of throwing stinkers. Doc gets hit hard by the Sox, and Beckett I still don’t trust…

  • Bob Taco

    I was there last night hoping for Ohlendorf or Britton. I guess Torre has more faith in Bruney.

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  • dan

    In a shocking turn of events, Buster Olney reports that Brian Bruney is not a good fit for a tie game in extra innings.

  • http://www.nosenseworrying.com/ Jen

    Re: Farnsworth, on the radio post-game they said that his shoulder tightened up during the game. I just think that jerkoff doesn’t want to pitch at Yankee Stadium in a tight spot. He knows he’s going to get booed.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

      Couldn’t agree more, Jen.