Game 141: Killing Meche

What he said
On the brink

It’s been a busy couple of hours, so a few posts may have been buried. Make sure you check out the story of Troy Glaus receiving steroid shipmens and of outrageous prices for parking at the new Stadium. If you want some positive thoughts before the game, check out some words of encouragement for Andrew Brackman and the continued attendance growth at the Stadium. With 2008 being its last year, you can be sure it will only go up.

That said, here is tonight’s lineup:

1. Johnny Damon, LF
2. Derek Jeter, SS
3. Bobby Abreu, RF
4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
5. Hideki Matsui, DH
6. Jorge Posada, C
7. Jason Giambi, 1B
8. Robinson Cano, 2B
9. Melky Cabrera, CF

Pete Abraham notes that Royals starter Gil Meche has an ERA over 8.00 in two starts against the Yankees this year.

Ron Villone, sadly, has been activated from the DL. I understand that Joba is young and inexperienced, and thus the Yankees want to keep him under close watch. But I just don’t get why Ron Villone is allowed to come into games with runners on base and Joba isn’t. It goes against logic, really. That rule will hopefully be lifted later in the season, when the playoff field starts to unfold more and we know exactly what we’re playing for (and against whom we’re playing it).

Recently DFA’d Kevin Thompson has been traded to the A’s for cash considerations. He could get some playing time there this month, as the A’s are riddled with injuries.

Should the AL Wild Card end in a tie between the Yankees and either the Tigers or Mariners, the Yanks would host the tie-breaking game. There were a bunch of other coin-flips held today. This was clearly the only one of interest.

Melky is hitting .256/.301/.295 since August 15. His approach has looked terrible lately, kinda like it did back in April. He’s swinging at the first pitch far too often, and is hitting weak choppers and infield pops at a rate you’d expect from a September call-up.

Here’s the pre-game question: If Melky continues to slide, do you play Minky at first, Giambi at DH, Damon in center, and Matsui in left later this month and, God willing, in the playoffs?

What he said
On the brink
  • yankz

    I know nothing about defensive stats, but I would guess that Melky in CF + Giambi at 1B > Damon in CF + Minky at 1B, so I’d say no, especially if you consider Melky and Minky a wash offensively.

  • Mike A.

    If Melk doesn’t improve, you have to start Damon in CF, Matsui in LF, Giambi at DH & Mink at 1B in the playoffs. Melk can come off the bench for D and pinch run.

    Maybe if you’re facing a strong lefty like CC or…uh…well, CC’s the the only strong lefty the Yanks could end up facing in October I guess…then you can start Melk and sit one of the LHB (namely Mink).

    • Ben K.

      Replacing the starting center fielder in time for the playoffs with someone to play first who had been injured most of the year. For some reason, that sounds familiar.

      Bad idea. Melky’s in a slump. Let him hit his way out of it.

      • Mike A.

        Oh come on Ben, you’re better than that. Last year they dumped Sheff at first after he spent a decade in the OF, Mink’s been playing first his entire life.

        • Malcard89

          so how is it that when Hughes is having a terrible start, you’re ready to come to his defense the minute he gives up a monster homerun(s) and lays an egg, but Melky is in a slump for 20 days and you’re ready to replace him with Doug “what’s an extra base hit?” Meintkeweicz? thats not a hughes insult, because he just pitched great his last time out, thats just saying that to tell us to not have a panic attack after someone he has a bad start is hypocrisy if u think doug has any right watsoever to replace melky.

          • Mike A.

            Because the chances that Phil Hughes will do something special are far greater than the chances that Melk will.

  • Ramadan

    Leave Melky where he is

  • zack

    No way do you start Mink. How is that an upgrade? Do you really expect him to hit better than that line you posted of Melky’s??

  • kunaldo

    the nightly arod HR has been hit

  • Travis

    Give Melky a break. He’s been slumping for two weeks. He’ll be back in a matter of days!

  • Jersey

    Jeez, Kennedy looks like ish tonight.

    • Jersey

      Of course, he strikes out the next guy he faces after my comment.

  • kunaldo

    nah man, he really looks off tonight….not an encouraging sign…hopefully he pulls it together

  • Travis

    Who cares that Gil Meche has pitched 1,000 innings in the major leagues? I didn’t know that was an historic milestone.

  • Mike A.

    Did I hear that correctly…Emil Brown leads the Royals with 55 RBI? Sheesh.

  • Mike A.

    Looks like Lil’ Joba is in the house to see daddy pitch…

  • Joe

    If this is what it looks like when Kennedy struggles, I’ll take it over Mussina or anyone for that matter

  • Mike A.

    Holy crap it’s only the 7th? Joba for 2!

    Way to go Johnny D!

  • Joseph P.

    Well, Melky is in the process of making my question moot.

  • Mike R.

    Maybe we should trade Melky for Gagne. Sound familiar?

  • Count Zero

    I would say Melky stays.

    Unlike 1B where we can debate the importance of D, CF D is crucial. Defensively, Melky to Damon is a downgrade, and Damon to Matsui is another downgrade. Yet you’re willing to take those two defensive downgrades to do what? Add…Mink’s bat? Are you serious?

    I mean, I might almost buy the argument if you told me you were going to put Duncanstein at 1B. At least then you might convince me you were actually trading D for more O. With Mink your basically trading CF and LF D for 1B D.

  • C-Note

    this whole dropping MElky from line-up for a bad 20 days comes off as certain people at this site still trying to cover their ass for the “hey, lets trade Melky for Gange” subnormal posts from about 6 weeks ago- thank you Mike R for bringing that up… & mike A- “Minky’s been playing 1st his whole life”… who gives a shit, he’s gonna hit better than Melky now & in the playoffs? No, didn’t think so

    Melky 2 for 4 tonight BTW

  • Rich

    You’ll swap (Melky in CF + Damon in LF) defense for (Damon in CF + Matsui’s LF) defense? That’s quite a dropoff and that’s when Matsui is healthy, imagine how bad Matsui will be in LF with his knee as it is?

    Matsui’s not exactly tearing up the ball now either.

  • brxbmrs

    I think everyone needs to look at Matsui’s stats – he’s got a slg% under .400 since Aug 1st and has 9 extrabase hits since then.

    Before last night SUi was hitting under .75 in September – where is the article about him?

    Joseph, you are making the same mistakes of impatience that still continues to plague some Yankee fans – when the young guys scuffle or make a dumb mistake you are right there but a guy like Matsui can go under the radar because why? he’s a “proven veteran’?

    For Sui, how bout those great HR stats in July – 13 dingers – anyone bother to see 6 were off Tampa and another two were off the White SOx in a 16-3 rout.

    Or how bout Matsui’s great July was just a byproduct of every Yankee having a great July?

    In short, Matsui kills the interleague and bad pitching – approx 40% this year of his HR’s and RBI’s are against interleague and Tampa.

    Also take a look at his situational stats which don’t differ from Melk’s much – except with the bags juiced, digest that one.

    If you want to analyze AB’s look at SUi’s 0-4 last night – and the DP Meche booted.

    Melky is not only the future he is the present. Damon, Matsui and Abreu all are in decline. Melk is going to continue to get better – how much? DOn’t know, but he brings alot to the table already.

    Melk is in the top 10 of all CF’s for RBI, hits, Ba, alg and ops and he’s a whisker away from #1 in RF and ZR – in short he’s one of the best cf’ers in MLB at 23. SO by all means lets bench him – especially in October because that worked so well last year, didn’t it.

    One last tidbit – compare Matsui’s ba against the Sox this year vs. Melky.

    Damon is playing a better LF now as well – If the Yanks weren’t obsessed with marketing $’s in Asia, Sui would be sitting and those AB’s would go to a combo of Duncan\Bet and Giambi

    Giambi is scuffling as well, but he’s got not only a better chance of coming out of it, if he does he’s a hitter that still scares the sh*t out of most ml pitchers.

    Matsui’s numbers this year while impressive on the surface are pretty hollow – especially the lastt 6 weeks – the quality of his AB’s are horrible.

    WIsh the Yanks could trade him before his body betrays him further.

    • Joseph P.

      I don’t think I’m making mistakes of impatience. I posed a question pursuant to Melky looking like he did in April. Honestly, Matsui’s been looking poor lately, too. I didn’t say how I would answer that question. It was also contingent on Melky continuing his slide. If he hits, which he has, the question becomes moot.

  • brxbmrs


    Truer words, my friend, Don’t forget the stolen base as well. Melky flat out rocks. Personally I do think he needs a day or two off, but Torre will run him into the ground – like he did last year when he ran out of steam.

  • Doublegrapes

    Meintkeweicz can’t hit at all. Leave him on the bench as a late inning defensive replacement. I wish Andy Phillips didn’t get hurt, so that the possibility of Torre (who’s not too bright) starting Meintkeweicz would be almost nil.