Game 151: Seriously, these are the freakin’ Orioles

Aiming for an AL East crown
One million thanks

Before I launch into the things I’ve been thinking about for three days (but haven’t posted), I just want to remind everyone of the caption contest, which ends tonight at midnight. A few made me snarf my coffee.

It’s going to be a trying game tonight. First we have Moose on the mound, and although he pitched well last Wednesday, we still don’t know exactly what to expect from him. He was hitting 90 and 91 on the YES gun, which is about three to five miles per hours faster than we’ve seen him most of the season. Hopefully the extended rest gave him a chance to heal up physically. To have the real Moose ready for the playoffs would be nothing short of extraordinary.

However, his stamina is going to be a big issue tonight. Marvelous or not last Wednesday, he still needed to be lifted after 5.2. I didn’t get a good read on him physically, but most people afterwards said he just ran out of gas. That’s understandable, given the long layoff. But Moose hasn’t been able to consistently go deep in games for some time now. He’ll need to tonight, as the bullpen is kind of thin. Mariano, Farnsy (thank God), Vizcaino, and Joba will be unavailable. That is, unless they bend the Joba rules, which I doubt they do at this point.

So who goes tonight in relief of Moose? You have to think Ohlendorf will get an inning, regardless of how the game turns out. Edwar might go one. Veras could, but do you trust him more than Chris Britton (I don’t). Kei Igawa? Hopefully that would only happen if we’re on the bad end of a blowout. Then again, who’d you rather see, Igawa, Henn, or Villone? Personally, I’d rather be kicked in the balls. Jeff Karstens, anyone?

Finally, a story has popped up on the Internets regarding Jorge Posada’s contract situation. From what his dad says, he’s ready to come back to the Yanks next year.

“Jorge belongs to the Yankees, he’s played for the team all his career and wants to remain there,” said Jorge Posada Sr. The article goes onto say that Jorge Jr. intends to sign a three-year, $36 million contract. If I’m Brian Cashman, I’m getting that deal signed now and locking it in a safety deposit box until after the season.

(Aside: The sub-head of the article says “Jorge Posada’s father said that his son, the fourth best catcher in the American League, wants a three-year extension deal for $ 36 million.” Fourth best? If by fourth he meant first, then he’s correct.)

1. Johnny Damon, DH
2. Derek Jeter, SS
3. Bobby Abreu, RF
4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
5. Hideki Matsui, LF
6. Jorge Posada, C
7. Robinson Cano, 2B
8. Doug Mientikiewicz, 1B
9. Melky Cabrera, CF (who is playing, essentially, in the place of Jason Giambi, who went 0 for 1 with three freakin’ walks and a HBP last night)

And on the mound, No. 35, Mike Mussina. Pitcher. No. 35.

Honestly, you want to play your hot hand, and Melky is simply not playing well. I know he brings intangibles like youth and energy to the team (and I say that with only a hint of sarcasm), but if he’s striking out, grounding into double plays, and otherwise swinging at everything thrown to him, it’s not worth it to have him in the lineup. But I suppose you have to give him a chance to bounce back.

Aiming for an AL East crown
One million thanks
  • sleepyirv

    Wait, so “hot hands” is a tangible now? Bench Damon, start Giambi, and put Betemit at first. Melky is more likely to play better than Damon the rest of the season.

    • Joseph P.

      “Hot hand” is definitely tangible. It’s who’s hitting best at the current moment.

      And I don’t think that Melky is likely to play better than Damon at all.

      Since August 15:

      Melky: .221/.279/.265
      Damon: .265/.320/.451

      Now, Damon’s numbers aren’t stellar, but they’re certainly a league above Melky.

      • Ramadan

        stop hating on Melky

      • sleepyirv

        “Hot hands” is certainly is not tangible. A guy can have five good games then five bad games in a row, and it doesn’t mean a thing about how he’ll do in the 6th. You have to gauge his actual ability.

      • brxbmrs

        Yanks need Melk’s glove and arm in the OF in October. Its still kind of puzzling to me that you and Mike are so critical of him.

        THe guy is 23, maybe he needs to be in better shape or needs to mature a bit to withstand the rigors of a 162 game year, regardless, the guy brings alot to the team besides “intangibles and energy” – he’s one of the best defensive CFers in the game (according to RF and ZR and assists) and he’s hit almost the whole year ONCE he started getting regular playing time

        If he doesn’t hit, the Yanks (and you guys) need to look to the guys like Matsui, Damon and Abreu who at this point in their careers are in there almost solely for their bats.

        Ben, Matsui got a huge pass from you guys since August – I guess a HR, a grounder that a real first baseman would have made an out on and an excuse me single means that Godzilla is back!

        As for Giambi, yeah he’ll blast one, but he is an embarassment to the org – he hit once HR last year in the ALDS and didn’t do much after – hit .125 if I remember – no way am I trading what Melk gives us for that.

        Matsui in LF last year (in the ALDS) also misplayed a ball in LF and hit a pretty pedestrian .250.

        The Melky stuff just reeks of impatience on your part.

        Anyone see Lastings Milledge throw last night from RF (he’s a 5 tool player allright) or Rueben Gotay K with the tying ruin on third last night? Compare those guys to Melky and realize how good the kid is already.

  • NYFan50

    I think, with Mussina on the mound and his tendency lately of giving up hard hit, long fly balls, you want the guy out in center that has the most range. And that is Melky.

    • Joseph P.

      Good point. But if that’s the case, why Matsui instead of Damon in left?

      • dan

        right, matsui and damon should be flipped, especially with matsui’s knee problems. I like the wording of NYFan50, “hard hit, long fly balls.” How can anyone (including torre) expect mussina to do well when he allows bullets all over the field (and out of it)?

      • NYFan50

        Yea, that I can’t answer. :)

  • Greg G.

    I think you nailed it in your initial post – gotta let Melky try to work his way out of this. It’s not like the lineup is THAT much weaker with him hitting ninth.

    • Greg G.

      And yes, I would rather get kicked in the balls that watch Igawa, Henn or Villone.

  • Ben K.

    Moose flashin’ the leather right there with that DP. Nice.

    • Greg G.

      Say this for Mussina, he can still field his position.

  • Ben K.

    Damon’s bat speed hasn’t been too stellar this season on the whole.

  • Pingback: One million thanks | River Ave. Blues | A New York Yankees blog

  • Ben K.

    Go us. We just one million page views. Thanks to everyone reading and commenting every day.

  • NYFan50

    Boston just tied the game in Toronto at 1. Detroit up on Cleveland 4-1.

    • NYFan50

      And Cleveland just tied it at 4.

  • ansky

    go Tribe!! Go Jays!!

    I hate to wax off topic but the (sorry) article about Dr. Andrews and his “saves” is really interesting. Now on front page of ESPN.

    Sorry for the minor thread jack but its a pretty good read.

  • zack

    Who is that guy pitching and what did he do with Moose?

  • Frank

    That “fastball” is really working for Moose tonight with late movement. It looks like it’s heading way inside (to lefties) then breaks out over the plate. I think that’s the pitch he was missing last month when it didn’t have that movement. Now he can throw the off-speed stuff inside and not get killed when he throws the flat 1 to the same spot.

  • ansky

    wow, Jete has been doin some serious hitting of late.

  • Frank

    MASN just showed Moose having the ballboy getting the ball from that last K. Moose gave a big smile and a little fist pump when the kid got it.

    I’ll say it’s not easy to like Moose. But you have to appreciate what he’s done the last two starts after how he handled his demotion. He is a class act.

    • ansky

      Spot on Frank. Good to see him smile and his demeanor of late has been admirable.

      With Boston losing again, the reality of this close race is getting crazy!!

  • NYFan50

    Toronto rallies in the bottom of the 8th…2 on, 2 out, down 2-1.

    • NYFan50

      Come on Toronto, bases loaded, 2 out, just one single, please!

      • NYFan50

        Bases loaded walk! I love you, Eric Gagne!

        • NYFan50

          I love you too, Russ Adams! Toronto takes the lead!

  • Mac


    • Mac

      *Wrong thread…

  • NYFan50

    And it’s now official – Boston loses, Detroit loses, and barring a 13 run, 9th inning performance by the Os, Yanks pick up games in both races.

  • Ivan

    Hey Mike A or Ben K,

    Since Mussina would probably be the fourth starter in the postseason, What would you do with a guy like Hughes?

    A guy like Hughes can definitely help the team. The problem is with a guy like Hughes he probably is unconfortable being in the bullpen and being a long man with the way it takes him a while to get a rhythem is very tricky.

    Not to mention with a guy like Kennedy as well who probably more likely the first pitcher to come out the pen if Mussina is in trouble because he’s older, more polish and slighty more experience coming out of the pen than Hughes.

    • Mike A.

      Stick Hughes in the ‘pen. It’s the dang postseason, and if Hughes really is the mature kid that’s he’s being touted as, he’ll understand that’s how he can best help the team. He’s got his whole career to start postseason games.

      Remember how Ervin Santana trotted out of the ‘pen to save the Angels’ asses after Bart Colon imploded in the ’05 ALDS? I can totally see Hughes doing that.

  • Mike R.

    I once thought that Eric Gagne could be a difference maker in the Yankee pennant chase. Oh how right I was!

  • Ivan

    This has to be one of the better nights for yankee fans all around this year.