Moose offers up some perspective

Clemens undergoes MRI
Yanks, Bronx have yet to fulfill park money promise

Peter Abraham has a few choice words from Mike Mussina:

“We’re leading the wild card now and we want to stay after it. The last four days we haven’t played very well. We’ve been flat it seems like. We’ve got to get our heads on right and play with some energy.”

I was all set to write a post on this tonight, but Mussina summed up my feelings in fewer words. After dropping three of four this weekend, panic has set in a bit among Yankee fans. But the Yanks still lead the Wild Card, and they will win games. I think we’re see a re-energized Yankee team take the field behind Chien-Ming Wang on Tuesday night. Time to go for the kill.

Clemens undergoes MRI
Yanks, Bronx have yet to fulfill park money promise
  • Stuart

    yeah some perspective is needed.. they need Hguhes nad kennedy to pitch well with Clemens situation.. really they need the big 2 to pitch really well and then hope for some big offense…

  • Count Zero

    The sad truth of the matter is that while I can definitely see the Yanks pulling the WC, I have very little faith in their ability to get past a first round matchup with the Halos. They just don’t have the pitching.

  • Kyle

    I disagree Count Zero, I think the Yankees are built for the playoffs. They dont have pitching depth but Pettite, Wang, Clemens should match up well with most teams. Then in your bullpen you have Joba and Mariano.

    They have to win to get to the post but I think they are well built for it

    • Count Zero

      I would disagree and here’s why:
      1) As of today, Clemens’ availability for the rest of the season is in doubt. I would counter that even if he were available, 93.0/97/51/46/28/64 are hardly numbers that inspire fear in the hearts of opposing lineups. We know he has a BFOG, but I don’t know how much is left in his arm.

      2) Aside from CMW, nobody pitches consistently through the 7th. (Look what happened to Andy when JT rolled him out for the 7th this weekend.) So…if only one starter goes 7, how is two good RPs in the bullpen going to be enough? And that’s assuming that the Joba rules are suspended for the PS, which I highly doubt.

      This team is definitely NOT built for the PS right now. In fact, it looks very much like the teams that have bowed out of the PS early since 2003. I would feel much better about if Hughes showed me 2 quality starts this month. Right now I see two good starters, neither of whom has been CY material, and a shaky bullpen anchored by the best (but after his peak), and a lights-out 21 year-old who is on a strict innings count. Then three questionable starters, and a bunch of questionable guys in the BP. This team has to mash to win.

  • zack

    Carlos Gomez has another article out, this one comparing Kennedy and Buccholz’s mechanics and long term projections. Of course Buchholz comes out on top in terms of long term (I don’t think anyone would argue that) but at least he sees Kennedy as more than the “5th start at best” line. But what I noticed is that a lot of the things that he loves about Buchholz are things he knocks about Hughes. Overhand curve and fastball, 93 mph velocity etc. I know their mechanics are different, it just seems funny to me. I mean, heck, 3 months ago all the articles written about Clay about how he “is something special” will “be an ace” has “electric stuff” etc etc were being written about Hughes. I think it is pretty much indicative of this season that its worked out this way, and I find it hilarious that so many people are calling Hughes a “bust.”

    Oh well, sorry for the off topic post

  • http://RiverAve.Blues Joseph M

    Count Zero is absolutely right on this one. Without question this is the weakest staff the Yankees have had in the 21st Century. The team seems to now hinge on Hughes doing for the Yankees what Ford did back in 1950, and Stottlemyre did in 1964. The bullpen may have enough but Rivera is not the pitcher he was in his prime so closing post season games out may get a little dicey (this of course assumes they are able to make the playoffs, which is far from a given).

    Clemens is at best a six inning pitcher, Mussina may be little more than a mop up man in the pen at this point, so the margin of error for Wang and Andy is the size of a pin hole.

    This season could easily turn into another Atlanta Brave-like post season pratfall unless Hughes catches lightning in a bottle. And honestly, what is the chance of that?

    • zack

      I don’t think it would be Hughes catching lightening in a bottle so much as pitching like he can/will. But b/c it seems to be a deeper issue (mechanics/injury), I don’t think it will happen

    • Mike A.

      I have to disagree, both the 2004 & 2005 staffs were worse than this staff.

      Wang & Pettitte are a very good 1-2 punch, they can just about matchup with any 1-2 we’d have to face in the playoffs, and the Yanks offense can crush most #3 starters. Easier said than done, of course.

      • Count Zero

        That’s actually my point exactly. The 1-2 punch is indeed “very good” — but they are not “dominant” good. They can indeed “matchup” with just about any 1-2 in baseball — but they aren’t significantly better than the 1-2 of Boston or the Angels.

        Thus, odds say that unless the Yankee bats produce big (as they did in July), they will split the games started by the 1-2 punch. Which means that in order to win a series, they will have to either mash or do better than split the games that are started by 3-4, or have a dominant bullpen. (No knock on Phil — I firmly believe he will come back healthy and strong in ’08, but right now he looks a bit weak and lost.) And this is where it all falls apart because right now, I don’t see Clemens-Hughes as a good 3-4., and the bullpen is serviceable but not lights out aside from Joba.

  • steve (different one)

    “Without question this is the weakest staff the Yankees have had in the 21st Century. ”

    i think there are plenty of questions about this. i would take this staff over any from the last 3 years.