After a good win, a lot of bad news

We play today, we lose today, das it
Limiting Molina's workload

It went a little bit something like this: infield single, infield single, line drive single, HBP, ground out, ground out, infield single. And all of a sudden, the Yanks had a 4-2 lead. They wouldn’t look back.

Behind another solid outing by Mike Mussina, the Yanks salvaged a split of their four-game trip to Cleveland. Moose worked his way through five innings, and what we saw today is what we’ll get from Mussina. He tired around 85 pitches; he gave up 7 hits; he struck out just two. But he kept the Yankees in the game.

As long as Mussina’s not throwing against the elite offenses, he seems to be a good back-end starter for the Yanks. He’s 3-3 with a 4.72 ERA, and I’ll be happy if he can keep that ERA around that 4.50-4.75 mark. Anything else is gravy.

After Moose, the bullpen took over. Jonathan Albaladejo, Kyle Farnsworth, Joba Chamberlain and Mariano Rivera combined for four innings of work, three of which were 1-2-3 innings. Tonight’s inning was Kyle Farnsworth’s fourth 1-2-3 appearance of the season. Hell hath frozen over.

Rivera meanwhile continues to wow everyone all the time. In ten games, he’s thrown 11 innings and has allowed four hits. He’s walked no one and has 11 strike outs. He has eight saves already this year.

On the other side of the ball, the Yankee offense again packed little punch. Outside of that sixth inning, the Yanks managed just one hit, and after the wind knocked down a few first-inning blasts, they hardly hit the ball with much authority throughout the remainder of the game. A Hideki Matsui RBI double in the 8th would be the loan rocket. But a win is a win is a win, and the Yanks return home after a brutal stretch of the schedule at 14-13, one game out of first and two games ahead of their 2007 pace.

But for all of this, the win pales in comparison to the news that came out of Yankee camp after the game. When Johnny Damon pinch hit for A-Rod in the eighth, we all knew something was up. And something is up indeed. According to Kat O’Brien, A-Rod has reaggrevated his quad injury. He felt it in the fourth, and it got worse as the game wore on. The slugger says he won’t be able to play on Tuesday, and he feels he rushed back from the initial injury.

In other bad news, the Yankees, according to Tyler Kepner, fear that Posada could have damaged his labrum by playing through his shoulder injury recently. The Yankees and Posada are awaiting word of the catcher’s trip to Dr. James Andrews. It is important to note that this not an age-related injury. Posada tweaked his shoulder on an awkward throw to second on Opening Day. That could happen anytime. Cashman detractors will criticize the Yanks for tossing a 36-year-old catcher a four-year deal, but this injury is not a good selling point for that side of the argument.

The Yanks will take the win, but it’s a bit bittersweet as two of their top sluggers work their ways through injuries. A trip home has never sounded so nice right now.

We play today, we lose today, das it
Limiting Molina's workload
  • RollignWave

    oh my…

    fuck it , just DL A-rod and play Betemit/ Ensberg.

    the series verus Detroit would be interesitng. what’s wores? Hughes / Kennedy’s struggle or Rogers’ age / Robertson’s suckiness and Bonderman’s prepetual Charlie Brown inmitations

  • Mike @ NYYU

    I had basically the same injury as Posada back in July. Tried to get through it with rest, Rx and physical therapy. Finally had to have surgery in October. I still can’t throw a softball to my daughter.

    I think we’ve seen the last of Jorge in 2008.

    • Micky#7

      Bad break Mike, hopefully Jorge will have better news on his injury. Let’s hope it isn’t as bad as yours.
      I pitched (Ed Lopat style/2nd base) in collage, busted up my shoulder playing football…that was about 50 yrs ago…still have trouble throwing. 27/08.

    • J.R.

      No offense, Im sure Jorge has better doctors and surgeons than you.

      • mustang

        Agree. These guys have the best doctors in the world.

        • Micky#7

          50 yrs ago, it was up in the air with the doc’s. You are right , they have it better now…thank god! 27/08.

          • YankCrank20

            i actually tore my labrum back in college and was able to play through a full season before having the surgery to fix it. it really depends on how severe the tear is…i wouldn’t count jorge out yet.

  • Micky#7

    A-Rod, Jorge hurt and DL’d, oh well it could be worse…Maybe!
    We do have three guys that can play 3rd; Wilson, Alberto and Ensberg. Better fielder is Alberto but, will he get the chance to play? We will miss A-Rod’s bat but, s@#$t happens, live with it. 27/08.

  • Jamal G.

    So far I’ve heard DL rumblings for Alex Rodriguez and we still don’t know what the official results are on Jorge Posada. I have to say that the situation we are in with those two, this has to be a good case scenario as of now.

  • RollignWave

    Hey at least we didn’t have to put our highest paid starter in the bullpen ;)

    I think Carl Pavano is sending thank you notes to Barry Zito as people quickly forgetting his existence thx to Zito’s contract and amazing performance.

  • J.R.

    Ok, maybe if Jorge is out 1 month+. this is why Cash$ signed molina, a legit backup, imagine if nieves was here this time. On my front Molina is looking like a major backup sign. But if A-Rod is hurt, then its a whole new ball game that none of us like or want to think about.

  • The Bronx Stop

    A-Rod will be back soon….

    Molina is legitimate and he seems to fit in very, very well in the Yankee clubhouse…

    I really F*&king love Posada and please never get that twisted….But did we honestly miss him tonight??? Yeah. I said it. And I think if i said it again it still wouldn’t register right…Posada is the number one choice to be a Yankees catcher…but are we backpedaling that hard with Molina?

    I honestly think Molina is more than ready and capable to be able to take on the role that he has been given…I honestly can’t explain it…but I just feel really, really comfortable with Molina behind those hitters…Weird…isn’t it?

  • mustang

    “Cashman detractors will criticize the Yanks for tossing a 36-year-old catcher a four-year deal, but this injury is not a good selling point for that side of the argument.”
    Agree totally.
    Even if it is a good selling point for the argument what other option did they have?
    These things happen at least Cashman had the foresight to sign Molina. This line-up should be able to hand the lost even if it’s for the year. I hope its not.

  • mustang

    A-Rod is a different story. It sounds like his injury is not as bad, but they should DL him just so he can’t talk his way back in.
    It’s early, but this month feels like it’s taken half the season.
    It would be nice to get a strong outing from Hughes just to lighten things up.

  • RichYF

    I’m kind of pissed at A-Rod. What’s an extra two days? Not like we weren’t losing anyway. He should have rested up. Now he’s going to be on the DL. I hope he didn’t make it worse.

    Also, Mr. Cano. Would you please learn how to swing a bat? .153 isn’t going to cut it in the big leagues. A shocker, I know.

    • steve (different one)

      who said he is going to be on the DL?

      he’s not.

      they are not going to DL him. if they do that, it’s 15 days. at MOST, he’ll miss a week.

    • steve (different one)

      who said he is going to be on the DL?

      he’s not.

      they are not going to DL him. if they do that, it’s 15 days. at MOST, he’ll miss a week.

  • blah

    Both of these injuries sound like they were aggravated because the players came back before they were fully healed. With the money invested in these players, why isn’t the team being extra cautious about these guys getting fully healed befoer they start playing again? It may cause players to miss more games in the short term, but what if Posada misses the entire season because he came back before he was ready?

    • Chris

      Unfortunately, for some of these injuries there is no way to know if the player is fully healed until you try it out.

  • Steve S

    Ben you are brutal with Mussina. Im the first guy who says he is done but you hate him enough to qualify his start because its not against “elite offenses” but when Kennedy struggles through 5 innings against that very same offense, its a turning point and we should give him some credit.

    As for Posada, anyone who criticizes Cashman for that is insane, he had no other choice. There wasn’t a viable guy on the free agent market or the trade market. Cashman and the organization couldnt leave this team without Posada’s bat and his presence in the clubhouse.

    • Ben K.

      I’m not brutal with Mussina. He had a good outing against a team that’s struggling offensively. There’s nothing wrong with that. He just doesn’t line up well with, say, the Red Sox right now. That’s just reality. The Yanks aren’t asking much of him, and right now, he’s probably exceeding expectations. I’m not quite sure how that’s my being brutal.

      • steve (different one)


        but how many pitchers “lined up” with the Red Sox in the first 3 weeks of the season?

        their offense basically steamrolled through everyone, including Chien Ming Wang.

        luckily, it looks like the mighty Rays finally slowed that train.

        • Ben K.

          Wang also two-hit the Red Sox the start before.

          • steve (different one)

            true, and Moose pitched 5 2/3, 4 ER the start before. of course that’s not great, but you’d take that from your 5th starter in Fenway.

            it’s not easy for ANY pitcher to see the same team back to back, let alone a team that was hitting as well as the Sox were at the time.

            Moose has kept them in the game about 4.5 out of his 6 starts so far (the .5 is the aforementioned Fenway start).

            if he does that for the rest of the season, the Yankees will be in very good shape.

    • mustang

      Totally agree.
      Excellent point. You can use the last write-ups on the Mussina and Kennedy outings as an example.
      However, if you haven’t figured out that there is a bias here for certain young starters than you just haven’t been pay attention. It’s ok everyone has their favorites its human nature I guess. The best you can do is to make your point, which I think you did very well.

      • Ben K.

        READ: I’m not criticizing Mussina for this outing. He pitched well. That’s now the third time I’ve said this. Are you paying attention?

        • mustang

          “As long as Mussina’s not throwing against the elite offenses, he seems to be a good back-end starter for the Yanks.”
          A back handed compliment.

          “Before wrapping this one up, let’s toss some credit Ian Kennedy’s way. He threw 105 pitches in five innings and walked four while striking out two. But he showed clear signs of improvement.”
          This is bias.
          Dense is not being able or not wanting to see it.

          • Ben K.

            Dense is not being able to understand that Mike Mussina, 39, and Ian Kennedy, 23, should be and are analyzed through two different lenses. You’re comparing apples to oranges.

            • mustang

              You might be right, but when they are on the field I analyze their performance regardless of age.

        • mustang

          What happen to the how dense are you part?
          It’s ok speaking your mind I can take it.

          • Ben K.

            Hah. I wanted to change it a bit.

            I’m glad we can have good-natured debates around here without delving into the Internet realm of too much name-calling.

            • mustang

              It’s find to get heated. As long as it’s kept respectful. Don’t worry I have thick skin. LOL

          • mustang

            Note: How the ” How dense are you” change to “Are you paying attention?”
            It’s ok I can take.

      • mustang

        Last comment was agree with Steve S.

        • Steve S

          I getting things started and letting Mustang do all the heavy lifting. Ben I hate Mussina but Im honest about it. I dont see these different lenses you are talking about. Kennedy’s development is one thing, but his performance on the field should be evaluated and analyzed just like Mussina’s.

          • mustang

            No problem I got myself into to it. LOL

            “Kennedy’s development is one thing, but his performance on the field should be evaluated and analyzed just like Mussina’s.”

            Dead on.

  • Ron

    Realistically, how much would Alex going on the DL hurt the Yanks offense? He isn’t carrying the team this year like he did last April, what with his current .286/.343/495 and 11 RBI. One would expect him to get going soon, and he probably will, but right now, we really aren’t losing much production if he goes on the DL. And if that’s what it takes for his injury to heal, then the Yanks should absolutely do it, and not worry about losing his “production”

    • Jamal G.

      That’s a questionable statement because A-Rod is 3rd on the team in SLG%, 2nd in HRs, 4th on the team in Runs Produced (R+RBI+HR) and 4th in OPS. Sure, those are not “A-Rod numbers” but they damn sure will be losing a big portion of their production thus far this season. His numbers may not be gaudy and impressive, but compared to the rest of the offense he is doing a damn good job.

      • RichYF

        I’m with Ron on this one Jamal. You take negative statements so personally. You’re young, lighten up.

        A-Rod, so far, has not been a keystone for this offense. He’s third in HR and I didn’t even look at how many he has. Giambi has 5 and so does Melky. That puts him third with probably 3 HRs.

        The point being made here is simple: Last year, around this time, if A-Rod went down the Yanks were done. This year he’s not as big of a factor in the offense. Other guys are hitting. Actually, nobody is hitting. But A-Rod doesn’t have a 1000+ OPS right now. He’s under 850. Can Ensberg and Betemit do that? Probably not. We’ll lose say, 100 points in OPS with those two vs 350 last year if he goes down. A couple weeks without him will be fine.

        I believe that was the point being made. We’re not replacing a 1000 OPS guy with 750 OPS. We’re replacing 850 with 750. Not that big of a deal. Let him get healthy, and then he’ll start mashing.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    I can’t figure out if I am a cockeyed optimist or I just have knee-jerk reactions to Ben’s “woe is us” posts. I keep telling myself to ignore posts that are not only dripping with negativity but dripping with unconfrimed negativity (what is actually wrong with Jorge).

    Jorge is a big loss but we figured that out yesterday and we can moan again when the official diagnosis and treatment is released to us. Arod can go on the DL for a while and people have to step up. This is a big team, everyone has to perform.

    I don’t fret over injuries because they happen and sometimes nice little surprises follow. Remember in 2006 when Hideki/Sheffield both went down and we went woe is us and all was well until they came back and Torre screwed with the lineup during the PLAYOFFS? Sometimes people step up that might not have otherwise gotten a chance to show what they’ve got (ie Andy Pettitte). There’s so many times when people think a season-ending injury for one player is the worst thing that can happen to a team and then it’s not. We have a deep bench and a thriving farm system. It could be SO MUCH WORSE. But we have NO IDEA how any of this translates to ON FIELD performance.

    We don’t have to win by 10 runs every time. The offense always sucks in April. Even if Jorge is out for the season, Arod isn’t and the rest of the guys on the team should know how to hit well enough to stay in the game. They don’t have to bash the ball out of the park every single at bat.

    I was very encouraged by the win last night. They figured a way to do it. And that’s what we need. It wasn’t pretty. It wasn’t normal. It wasn’t Bomber style but it was a W. And that was good.

    I would not even watch baseball if I could only see what was wrong with everything. We don’t need a championship every year to enjoy the Yankees. I went to about 10 games a year in the 80s and am glad I got to watch guys like Donnie Baseball play and soak up the rays on a nice weekend afternoon at the Stadium even when we lost. I had no idea, back then, that the House of Ruth would one day be no more and I’m SO GLAD I was there that much even if we weren’t anywhere close to wining. I would have liked a championship or even to the playoffs most years but I just enjoyed baseball. And rooting for the most winning franchise in history.

    I’m not focusing on injuries or the growing pains of our young pitchers. If I have to complain it would be the inability of the offense to bring guys home and Cano and Jeter are just annoying for me to watch. More than 2 guys need to be able to produce on this team and people like the Captain and Robbie need to fix whatever isn’t working right now. Injuries you can’t do anything about. Hopefully some of the suckyness that has been on parade CAN BE something we do something about.

    We’ve banned the tabloids here and that is GOOD but I get the Sports Newsletter from the Daily News every night in my email. Both yesterday and today’s headlines had NOTHING about the two wins. NOTHING. A pitchers duel the night before and good stuff from Moose plus bullpen. What did the “headlines” read? Mindy McCready. BOTH DAYS. That is your “sports” headline from the Daily News. Full of crap and utterly ignoring the good news. Okay we’re not THERE at all, but we can’t have the glass half full ALL the time. We have to be encouraged when injuries happen and we still find a way to win.

    I’m not trying to be outrageously rosey but I always feel compelled to remind us to keep our heads. Don’t stick them in the sand, of course, but don’t announce the end of the world just yet.

    • Joseph P.

      I’ll admit, I’ve been quite annoyed by some of your posts in the past. But this is good. Thoughtful and explanatory.

      And I couldn’t agree more on the Jorge thing.

      • Micky#7

        Good post, I like optimism, it lets you age better. keep it up! 27/08.

  • Wolf Williams

    I’m all for sitting Cano for awhile. Left-handers three of the next four days…. Play Gonzalez and Ensberg and let Cano avoid getting booed all to hell when his average drops to .111 by Friday.

    If Hughes or Kennedy is stinking up the Stadium, the crowd will be in the mood for blood. It’ll be totally Roman. Cano will be thrown to the lions if he pulls another outside pitch into a groundball to second.

    Bench him and spare his fragile psyche….

  • Jen

    I have one extra ticket for tonight. Bleachers, $14. Email me at jen AT nosenseworrying DOT com if interested.

  • Scott

    I don’t want to be debbie downer but….Is it any coincidence that A-rod and Posada both have gotten hurt after career season last year in their contact season?

    sorry to bring this up

    • Ben K.

      It’s not like they both went out and stabbed themselves. One guy hurt his quad running out a groundball and then reaggravated it when he tried to come back too soon; the other hurt it on an awkward throw. I highly doubt either of those were intentional injuries brought about by some kind of contract complacency.

    • steve (different one)

      Is it any coincidence that A-rod and Posada both have gotten hurt after career season last year in their contact season?

      yes, it’s a coincidence. what else COULD it be?

      Jeter has the same exact injury as A-Rod.

    • blah

      Maybe not a coincidence. Maybe both players felt so much responsibility for their large contracts that they didn’t want to let the fans or team down, so they came back sooner than they should have. That’s plausible.

  • Chip

    I agree with the guys who aren’t too worried. Molina has been good enough and I think everybody is getting too strung up about the catching situation. Hopefully we can get Moeller back as he did a very stand-up job backing up the backup. Cano will come around, he’s a notorious late-starter. I wouldn’t be surprised if the guy hits .380 in May as he gets comfortable and it starts to warm up. The guy has just too beautiful of a swing to stay down for long.

    I can’t wait for Hughes to come in there tonight and just shut the Tigers down, he’s just due for a good game and has made major strides since the beginning of the season.

    I’m right here with ya Ben on the Moose, he just always seems to be on the edge and I give him credit for bending but not breaking. Kennedy was almost dominant towards the end of his last start. He stopped nibbling and went after guys, his next start is going to be beautiful

    • steve (different one)

      i think Hughes will pitch well, but i’d be surprised if he goes deep into the game. the Tigers have a very good offense, and he still throws too many pitches.

      i’d take 5+, 2/3 ERs.

      i’d consider that a good start against Detroit.

  • Luke S.

    Anyone commenting out there in Yankeeland can you help me?

    How come Mo got credit for a save last night? I thought the tying run had to be in the on-deck circle at some point for a finishing reliever to get a save.

    (Doing my best Cleavon Little): He’p me, he’p me! Can’t you see I’m desp’ate?

    • Ben K.

      Three-run lead in the ninth is a save situation as per the Official Rules. See Rule 10.20.

      • Luke S.

        Thanks, Ben.

        I didn’t know about the three-run clause in the rule. And thanks for the link. I added it to my faves.