Game Seven: What about Morgan?


Morgan Ensberg sits on the bench each day after a successful Spring Training wondering what he has to do to get into the lineup. Meanwhile, with Giambi out of the lineup, Wilson Betemit gets another start at first.

Further down the line, with Mike Mussina on the mound, Jose Molina is behind the plate. That’s not a coincidence, but the corresponding move means that Jorge Posada will miss this game. If I’m putting this lineup together, I probably go with Ensberg at first today. In six games, he’s been up to bat just once this season.

On the hill is my favorite Yankee pitcher. Mike Mussina will attempt to blow his 84 mph fastballs past the Tampa Bay hitters. In all seriousness though, today’s start should be one in which we see how Mussina responds to his stuff. Last week, he had a slow fastball and some good breaking pitches. But he spent the game relying on his fastball when it’s not quite good enough to be an out-pitch anymore. Hopefully, Mussina will befuddle and confound the Rays’ hitters with an array of slow, slower, slowest that doesn’t involve 60 percent fastballs.

The Yanks face Jason Hammel today. Maybe Hammel is the cure for what ails them. Hammel, making his first start of the season, does not have much Major League success. Over 129 innings spanning two season, Hammel is 3-11 with a career ERA of 6.70. He’s given up 161 hits — 19 of those home runs — while walking 61 and striking out 96. Opponents are hitting .308/.381/.514 against Hammel, and the Yanks really should tee off against the Rays’ righty tonight.

Damon LF
Jeter SS
Abreu RF
Rodriguez 3B
Matsui DH
Cano 2B
Betemit 1B
Cabrera CF
Molina C

Mussina P

Iwamura 2B
Crawford LF
Pena 1B
Upton CF
Floyd DH
Hinske RF
Aybar 3B
DiFelice C
Bartlett SS

Hammel P

Categories : Game Threads


  1. matt K says:

    Also my favorite yankee pitcher, I realy want to win the world series this year for Moose

  2. E-ROC says:

    No love for Ensberg?! :(

  3. AndrewYF says:

    Why in the world would you start Morgan Ensberg over Wilson Betemit tonight? Betemit is good against RHP. Ensberg is awful against them. Case closed.

  4. h2munro says:

    “. . . Rays’ righty tonight” . . . Isn’t that why Ensgerg sits again? I’d like to see him get some ab’s as well but it’s not likely with a righty starter on the mound. Just a thought.

  5. GoYankees says:

    Weird. I hope this is not a doghousing issue. Perhaps Ensberg is being protected for the purposes of a trade, like for Nick?

  6. mustang says:

    I agree on the Ensberg part he needs a game soon. Anyone no if were facing a lefty anytime soon ?

  7. Jamal G. says:

    Can someone explain to me why carl Crawford is not the Rays’ leadoff hitter?

  8. RichYF says:

    Yes Ben! Finally some love for that heater! Don’t be fooled by the radar guns folks, Moose throws nothing but gas!

  9. AndrewYF says:

    Ensberg will likely pinch-hit for Betemit if he’s facing a left-hander out of the bullpen. He likely would have started if Kazmir were on the mound. John Bale is a crappy lefty on the Royals’ staff. Jon Lester is a mediocre young lefty on the Sox staff. Adam Loewen is a lefty on Baltimore’s staff. The White Sox have Buehrle and Danks. Cleveland has CC Sabathia and Cliff Lee. Detroit has Robertson, Rogers, and Willis. That’s for April. Ensberg will certainly be getting some at-bats soon enough, the Yankees just haven’t actually faced a lefty yet.

  10. E-ROC says:

    Hideo Nomo is back in the majors.

    Does anyone want to predict Mussina’s statline for today’s game?

  11. J.R. says:

    6.1 IP 6 H 4K 2BB 3ER

  12. Manimal says:

    5.2 IP 7 H 2 K 3 BB 2 ER

  13. Manimal says:

    BTW guys, Off topic but still cool,I found out today one of my friends are second cousins with NL Rookie of the year Ryan Braun. My friend is getting free tickets to Brewers vs Sox game this year.

  14. Ben K. says:

    My point about Ensberg is that he should be getting in some ABs whether it’s today or not. He worked hard to make the team, and I would hate to see that progress dashed because he’s been up once since Opening Day.

  15. Manimal says:

    Yankees enjoy signing people for the sake of it.

  16. Mike A. says:

    Mooooooooooooooose. Nice first inning.

  17. Manimal says:

    WOW JOHNNY DAMON TOOK A PITCH, and then hit a single.

    btw moose looks nice.

  18. Manimal says:

    Jeter sucking is completely throwing off the offense, no hit and run, no bunting, oh yeah GIDP.

  19. Manimal says:

    Abreu hr! 2-0 lead in the first inning, thats already as many runs as yesturday.

  20. Mike A. says:

    It’s nice to finally start a game like this.

  21. Manimal says:

    yeah it feels great, If anyone is happy its Moose.

    Is it just you and I today Mike?

  22. E-ROC says:

    What’s the likelihood of Steve Phillips receiving the pink slip during the broadcast?

  23. E-ROC says:

    It’s good to see Abreu get a homerun.

    I wonder if Moose and Posada get along.

  24. mustang says:

    I’m on the Moose train….. Abreu nothing like a guy on his contract year $$$$$

  25. E-ROC says:

    I guess the warm weather will give Moose three ticks on his fastball. 82-84 is as good as it gets in the cold for now.

  26. yankeemonkey says:

    Huh. Moose getting outs and being economical to boot. Weird.

  27. E-ROC says:

    WTF is wrong with Jeter????????

  28. Number 27 says:

    see what all your pining for ensberg gets you. jeter out… uh oh

  29. Manimal says:

    The yankees should bring Abreu back

    whats up with Jete? Atleast Ensburg is in.

  30. E-ROC says:

    Betemit at short; Ensberg at 1st

  31. RichYF says:

    Hey Ben,

    You got your wish. Hope you’re happy now!!!!

  32. Manimal says:

    to make things worse, its 2-1.

  33. E-ROC says:

    That was right down the middle.

  34. mustang says:

    what happen to Jeter ?????

  35. Jamie says:

    He was limping running to 1st after his at bat…

  36. Manimal says:

    This just in, He trips on Dioner Navarro and grabs a 2 foot Machete to catch himself.

  37. yankeemonkey says:

    No word from YES on Jeter yet…

  38. Joey says:

    this sucks… I’m blacked out of the game on MLB.tv because I’m in Orlando and it’s not on ESPN2 because ESPN2 has ESPNNews on to cover this bullshit march madness crap… bad day just continuing

  39. E-ROC says:

    ESPN just showed a replay of Jeter’s AB and busting down to first. Jeter had a painful look on his face when he started running. He might’ve pulled something.

    Damn, Orel’s son is 6’8″ 240. He’s a reliever for USC. Orel says his son does mop up duty, lol.

    • Mike A. says:

      His son is only a freshman, Working mop-up duty is standard for a kid that young pitching for a program like USC, even if his dad was a great pitcher.

  40. E-ROC says:

    Damn, Molina had him by a mile, if only there was some accuracy.

  41. Mike A. says:

    Michael Kay, master of the predetermined outcome. It’s only a good call if it works…

  42. E-ROC says:

    I hope Jeter’s injury isn’t serious. Might we see The Attorney General? Nevermind, Girardi would probably go with Giambi at short.

  43. Manimal says:

    Molina has been amazing! Jesus christ was he a good pick up.

  44. Manimal says:

    God damn it damon.

  45. Jamie says:

    Geez can another Beat Blogger step up and pull his weight when Pete isn’t covering games? I mean none of them right now have an update on Jeter (not even something like, Jeter gets taken out of game. Finding out what happened as I type this)

    I love what Pete does on a regular basis, but I mean its not that hard to just update the damn blog. Its almost like the other journalists have conceded the all-access to The Lohud Yankees Blog.

  46. Mike A. says:

    Come on Morgan!

  47. E-ROC says:

    Steve Phillips didn’t like Damon bunting because Ensberg hasn’t played in a while.

  48. Mike A. says:

    2-0 count … hopefully he turns on the upcoming meatball.

  49. Xavier says:

    At least you guys get to watch the game, I have to listen to Ster&Sus all the way here in Bolivia,..can´t even watch it on mlb.tv cause internet too slow!! this REALLY sucks

  50. Manimal says:

    Strained left quad! NO!

  51. Jamie says:

    Just a side note on why I just said what I said… I work in the Press Box for the Baltimore Ravens in the PR Department.. and we know why a player comes out of a game within 1-3 minutes after he comes off the field….this info is then announced out loud to the entire press box simultaneously…

  52. Jamie says:

    Upton has a hose

  53. Jamie says:

    Manimal.. did they say that on YES?

  54. Manimal says:

    Lets see if arod is going to try for an hr or line drives.

  55. Manimal says:

    They gave him right field! Why didnt Abreu steal with that nonsensical shift and then Arod can swing away.

  56. E-ROC says:

    Is A-Rod pulling off the ball?

    Orel will be doing a piece on the evolution of Mike Mussina when they return to commercial break; in case anyone wanted to know.

  57. Joey says:

    Gameday is reporting that Jeter came out of the game due to an injured leg

  58. RollignWave says:

    shit, here we go again…

    if Jeter’s on the DL… who do we call up? Alberto? Green?(yuck)

  59. mustang says:

    Sprained quad for Jeter

  60. Batty says:

    Yup – confirmed by my bleeding ears from John Sterling and Susan Whoaman.

    • RollignWave says:

      i would assume that when they heard the news they must be wailing like a banshee ;)
      what’s with Yankees getting hurt during ESPN broadcast?

  61. Batty says:

    Strained left quad.

  62. mustang says:

    ok strain

  63. Manimal says:

    Since when was Hinske a freaking ballerina.

  64. KW says:

    Man Cano’s gotta start taking some pitches!

  65. Mike A. says:

    While I don’t like seeing the offense struggle (4 pitch inning … whaaaaa???), I’m loving these crisp, 2 hour and 30 minute games.

  66. h2munro says:

    This is not the way I wanted Ensberg to get ab’s.

  67. Manimal says:

    If it was bad he couldnt walk. Id say 2 games is optimistic. 5 games at most.

  68. Mike A. says:

    Moose’s curve is hysterical. It looks like a whiffle ball pitch.

  69. Joey says:

    since I can’t watch the game right now I have to ask– is Hammels really pitching that good or is our offense really looking that bad? and how is Mussina doing with his location and velocity and all?

    • Manimal says:

      impatient hitting and Moose is dominant. One mistake and that ended up in the right field seats.

      Go to gameday or something…

  70. Ben K. says:

    This is not how I envisioned Morgan Ensberg receiving more at bats.

  71. Manimal says:

    NVM, tied Cone.

  72. KW says:

    Moose needs to develop a funky motion, he’d be a pretty effective junkballer ala paul byrd

  73. Mike A. says:

    Only 20 people in the history of the universe have struck out more batters than Moose. That’s impressive.

  74. Joey says:

    I’m at gameday, but I’m not paying that much attention to it, watching TV more

  75. RichYF says:

    Completely OT, but I’m laughing hysterically…

    Since I was at work I missed out on the Hughes post, but what a BEATING you guys gave He-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named. It’s like a chain reaction. Actually, it’s like the wave. One person started what most people were reluctant to do…then another jumped in…and another…next thing you know BAM! We’ve got a wave going…

    Anyway back to your regularly scheduled program..

  76. yankeemonkey says:

    Doesn’t it seem like whenever someone’s 0-fer is mentioned, the next pitch is always hammered?

  77. Manimal says:

    fast ball in the middle of the plate for a double, his second mistake.

  78. Mike A. says:

    Why does Michael Kay think that everyone who watches a game on TV is a total nitwit?

  79. Mike A. says:

    So here’s the million dollar question. If this game says 2-1, how do you work the set-up situation? Joba not only worked the 2 innings yesterday, he also warmed up in the pen the day before. Do you make it three days in a row?

    I say go with Ohlendrof, Traber and Bruney, in that order.

  80. Joey says:

    according to gameday moose hasn’t thrown 1 fastball. anything between 82-88 is a slider for him. lol

  81. Manimal says:

    I hope Joe doesnt leave Moose in too long like last time and waste a good effort by Moose.

  82. Manimal says:

    Ensburg has had the greatest at bats besides Abreu and Arod.

    Pena is still amazing me with his leather.

  83. E-ROC says:

    F*cking Pena.

    I’d go with Farns, Bruney, Ohlendorf. Maybe bring in Traber for a tough lefty. I know Farnsdearth has been sucking, I just think the free swinging Rays will make him look good.

  84. yankeemonkey says:

    Starting to feel like a hex or something.

  85. Mike A. says:

    The Martini Glass Defense? Good grief.

  86. Alan says:

    The hell? The Martini glass defense? Someone take the microphone away from Kay.

  87. Mike A. says:

    Ugh, nice throw Cano.

  88. E-ROC says:

    The ever casual CANO!!!!!

  89. Batty says:

    Crap – error. 2 run hr coming up.

  90. RichYF says:

    2R HR inc

  91. Alan says:

    Robinson Cano, ladies and gentlemen.

  92. usty says:

    On the bright side I’m pretty sure Moose is going to have a stroke on the mound one day after all these errors.

  93. Alan says:

    Good outing so far for Mussina *knocks on wood*

  94. RichYF says:

    GJ Moose.

    Maybe he’s turning a corner. It only took what? 18 years? Better late than never right?

  95. E-ROC says:

    A triple by Abreu.

  96. Mike R. says:

    When is Abreu’s contract up? does anyone know?

  97. Batty says:

    Man Abreu’s on fire!

  98. Joey says:

    this season is his last, I don’t think there’s another club option

  99. Xavier says:

    it is high it is far!! oh wait off the wall!!! classic sterlin

  100. E-ROC says:

    Finally, A-Rod goes to the opposite field for a base hit.

  101. Batty says:

    Thank you A-Rod for not swinging for the fences.

  102. Joey says:

    Moose pitching well and getting run support? My head hurts…

  103. mustang says:

    Abreu’s contract up this year. He is on his walk year why do you think he so hot $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$

  104. Batty says:


  105. E-ROC says:

    4-1 Yanks.

  106. Mike A. says:

    Wow, that bat exploded.

  107. E-ROC says:

    LOL @ Betemit.

  108. Mike A. says:

    IBB??? I wonder if Joe Maddon knows that the good M. Cabrera plays in Detroit.

  109. Joey says:

    well it worked…

  110. urbanshocker says:

    why pull mussina after only 82 pitches? couldn’t they at least have brought him out for the seventh and gone batter by batter?

  111. Mike A. says:

    wtf did Bruney just spit out of his mouth??? That was not your standard baseball player spit…

  112. Number 27 says:

    I like this move: taking moose out with 82 pitches. While he prob could have pitched a couple more outs, he leaves with a good outing and prob feel better for his next start.

  113. Mike A. says:

    Gotta love Mike Kay – “we predicted this earlier in the series, the better these guys pitch, the more they’ll see important late-game innings.” Kay’s crystal ball expired in 1983 apparently.

  114. Greg C. says:

    Thats probably all Moose is good for at this point in the season at this point in his career- though I would’ve gone batter by batter also. Maybe Girardi didn’t want Moose to show him up and tell him to sit back down in the middle of the inning.

  115. Batty says:

    I think it’s better to take him out on a high note – the relievers need to work and its early in the season.

  116. mustang says:

    I hate to put this out there, but does anyone thinking Moose is loading the ball. Because man those breaking balls were of the hook.

  117. mustang says:

    If he is please keep doing it and don’t get caught. LOL

  118. Mike A. says:

    Farnsworth is warming up. Girardi must want his team to improve their record in 1 run games.

  119. Ivan says:

    Farnsworth Warming up. Surprise he didn’t use Traber with the three lefties.

  120. mustang says:

    YES!!!!!! BABY Morgan Ensberg !!!!!!

  121. Mike R. says:

    A double here would be nice to see.

  122. mustang says:

    MORGAN….. MORGAN….. MORGAN !!!!!

  123. Jamie says:

    Verryy Random question… maybe Mike or Ben would know… but has there ever been a study done on the Best Hitter(s) against the Best Pitcher(s) over.. say a 10 year span or something?

    It would be interesting to see where guys like A-Rod, Manny and the like would rank

  124. mustang says:

    You have got to be kidding me…..WOW no way was that a strike

  125. Batty says:

    Godzilla x 2!

  126. Number 27 says:

    betemit looks terrible at the plate.

  127. KW says:

    Hat trick for Bet, yikes

  128. mustang says:

    Betemit bad spring training and right into the season.
    Calling Mr. Gonzalez……

  129. Mike A. says:

    Farnsworth with a 1-2-3 inning. Something like that could only happen at Yankee Stadium.

  130. Batty says:

    Whoa – Farnsworth got out unscathed.

  131. Mike A. says:

    If someone gets on, Bobby will get another shot at the cycle…

  132. RichYF says:

    I’m amazed by Michael Kay right now. He actually made a rational thought. Two of them.

    1. The Gold Glove has nothing to do with your glove
    2. Rafael Palmeiro won the Gold Glove in 1999 with 28(!!!!) games at first base. How the hell is that even possible?

  133. RichYF says:

    Lol, Paul O’neill chants in the background. Poor LaTroy, all he wants to do is get some outs!

  134. Mike A. says:

    I never thought a “Paul O’Neill … Paul O’Neill” chant would be annoying. Get the fuck over it people.

  135. ansky says:

    Charleston up 3-2 in the 7th. nothing to write home about.

  136. Greg says:

    So because a new guy has O’Neill’s number, let’s do our best to get in his head so our team can lose games. Yeah that makes a lot of sense.

  137. Manimal says:

    Yankees fans are real dicks for that, Its getting into his head now.

  138. Batty says:

    I think Hawkins is a great teammate but a 3 ERA at Coors Field is not going to translate well to the AL. I’d be very surprised if he’s on the postseason roster.

  139. Manimal says:

    Game over.

    That was nasty pitch for a K.

  140. doty says:

    i dont know why mariano had to get up no need to waist him there. we had a 5 run lead

  141. Steve A says:

    Always a good night when you hear Frank Sinatra singing at the end! Nice win.

  142. Batty says:

    OK, I know Matsui did great but the Star? Really? How about Moose or Abreu?

  143. the stadium looked half empty today.

    • Mike A. says:

      It’s been like that all season. The fucking corporate types by loads of tickets, then don;t bother to show it. It’s terrible.

      • Batty says:

        Not so sure. I went to the box office to pick up a ticket for last Friday – they told me they were all sold out. I checked the tickets before leaving and told them which section to look at, then all of a sudden they were like, “oh yeah – I missed that one, sorry.” Worse part was a group of kids next to me trying to buy tickets (looked like they were in Jr. High) and they told them the same thing. Way to build the fan base.

        Friend of mine said you used to have to bribe them to get a ticket – apparently they’ve gone back to that figuring there would be lots of desperate fans. That and they are REALLY socking it to anyone buying tix online – criminal. $6-8 surcharge for each ticket. Fuck them.

    • Stryker says:

      it’s a shame. the girlfriend and i have been looking to go to our first baseball game together. the games are all sold out for the most part, and look at the stadium today – virtually no one there. i hate that it’s become an issue of have’s and have nots when it comes to seeing a freakin’ baseball game.

  144. steve (different one) says:

    so Moose has definitely looked NOT BAD so far this season.


  145. Jamal G. says:

    Doesn’t Sinatra sing at the end of every game?

  146. Victoria says:

    You jinxed Jeter by saying that Ensberg should be in the line-up! I’m disowning you.

  147. Jamal G. says:

    That comment by Ken Singleton yesterday is still in my head, “Isn’t there such a thing as shortening the game from the beginning?” in response to the Joba debate.

  148. Mike A. says:

    It’s a truth. He put it beautifully.

  149. ansky says:

    4-2 Charleston over Savannah final.

  150. Batty says:

    Update on Jeter. The leg pulled – he’s day to day but probably out for at least a week and they’ll take it easy. When Girardi was asked about moving A-Rod to SS he didn’t dismiss the idea.

  151. Jamal G. says:

    Girardi says no DL for Jeter but they’re thinking a few days.

  152. doty says:

    love to a-rod at ss he is much better at the position than jeter. may be a blessing in disguise, jeter comes back and has to play 3rd! would be nice -but doubt it will happen

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