Apr
06

Game Six: Offense is like air and sex, it’s not a big deal until you aren’t gettin’ any

By

Ben and Joe are at the game, so I’m your host for the day. Sunday day games have always been a personal favorite; there’s nothing better than rolling out of bed an hour or so before first pitch, and spending a lazy Sunday with my beloved Bombers. Except, of course, when they’re not doing any bombing at all.

The lineup has been anemic, batting .231-.284-.353 with a whopping 11 extra base hits through one turn of the rotation (Mr. Beltran already has 6 XBH of his own). Maybe they should start getting tips from the guys playing for Low-A Charleston.

While the offense is lacking, the pitching staff for the most part is excelling. Wang and Hughes were solid if not spectacular, while Pettitte and Moose were serviceable in their first go ’round. IPK, eh, not so much, but it’s just one measly start. Outside of Farnsworth and Hawkins (give it up, he’s not Paul O’Neill, we get it already) the bullpen has been outstanding, combining for 14.2 IP of 5 hit, 1 walk, 18 K ball. Goes to show that you don’t need big and sexy names to have a good bullpen.

Eventually the offense will start pulling their weight, but it sure is frustrating to get off to this kind of start year after year.

The lineup :

Damon LF
Jeter SS – I’ll set today’s over/under at 1.5 GIDP
Abreu RF
A-Rod 3B
Matsui DH – where he belongs
Cano 2B
Posada C
Betemit 1B – Morgan Ensberg, hello? Are you out there?
Cabrera CF

On the mound, number forty, Chicken-Wing Wang (trademark Tim McCarver).

Notes: Giambi’s hurtin’, still no word on how bad or how long he’ll be out … there’s a whole lotta stuff going into the New Stadium … two former Yanks celebrate their birthday’s today: Andy Phillips turns 31, Bronson Sardinha turns 25.

Categories : Game Threads
  • Manimal

    Offense isnt the problem, its the clutch hitting. They progress a little and just about when I expect a huge inning its like K’s and GIDP’s.

  • RichYF

    The way I see it, Betemit is getting warmed up to replace Jeter before he sets the record for GIDP in one season. It’s what, 36? He’s on pace to destroy that record. So far I only see him as having 2, but I don’t believe it. He has to have 8 by now.

  • CB

    Jeter’s gdp rate did increase a lot from 2006 to 2007 (which I think was largely due to his knee).

    But there were still 88 players who had higher net double play rates than Jeter did last year.

    The change is abrupt from his past play so we’re noticing it more. But he’s not even close to being amongst the league’s worse at hitting into double plays.

    • RichYF

      I don’t know if anyone else did the same as me, but back when Bernie was getting regular reps in the lineup for no apparent reason, any time he came up left-handed with a man on first I PRAYED for a strikeout because it felt like he had more GIDPs than he did hits.

      It’s obviously still early in the season, but Jeter has just looked awful at the plate (even though Ben is convinced it’s the “excellent pitching” he’s facing). I hope it doesn’t get to the point where I’m praying for a pop out or a K.

      • JT

        I have been saying this for the past several years, but Jeter you can always depend on Jeter to GIDP when you most need it…

        • GoYankees

          Which is why he needs to bunt more. Especially since he’s batting 2 behind whatever speed the Yanks have.

  • Manimal

    Which pinky did Jeter hurt, right or left?

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    Wanger’s really throwing inside so far. Good stuff.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    That was a helluva pick by Pena.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    That was a helluva pick by Upton.

  • RichYF

    I see what you did there.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      That’s what separates the greats, Rich. ;)

  • RichYF

    Wanger looks pretty solid so far today. His pitches aren’t Mike Mussina fast, but they’re getting the job done.

    • yankeemonkey

      >> His pitches aren’t Mike Mussina fast

      Isn’t that a good thing?

  • eli

    nobody picks up more gidps then jorge

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Yeah, but it’s easier to forgive because he’s a catcher and genetically predisposed to running hella slow.

  • eli

    no doubt, but it wouldnt kill him to put the ball in the air every once in awhile when theres a guy on first

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    Gotta love the pace of this game.

  • E-ROC

    What the hell is going on? Wang is striking people out. Screw groundball outs. Strikeout is the way to go.

  • JT

    Man, Wang is working that slider today. Did he always have a good slider??? Or did he learn it in the off season?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      He’s always had it, it’s just working exceptionally well today.

  • eli

    he was working on it this summer and in a few of those sub par preseason starts (with the strong start indicating he was probably over featuring it jsut to work on it) and it seems to really be paying off giving him another option to getting out of jams other then the dp

  • eli

    *winter

  • http://www.thebronxzoo.wordpress.com iYankees

    didn’t wang always have a slider, and wasn’t he told to scrap it after having arm issues earlier in his career (and now that he’s healthy he’s brought it back)?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      I know they took away the splitter he threw in the minors, not sure about the slider. CMW is an interesting case, he didn’t become a sinkerballer until 2005, before that he worked with a regular four-seamer.

  • http://myspace.com/lincolnsworld Link

    Betemit running like he had a refrigerator on his back…laser by upton as well..

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    At least Melky was smart enough to go to second on the play.

  • eli

    how long has upton been an everyday cf? making some plays…

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    Hahaha, that kid’s dad just totally embarrassed him by planting a big ol’ kiss on him after he got the foul ball. The kid pulled his hood up and everything. Too funny.

  • steve (different one)

    remember when Jeter used to walk?

  • steve (different one)

    Jeter literally just swung at ball 4 on 4 straight pitches. not helping.

  • RichYF

    Jeter needs to take pitches there and draw the walk. What happened to passing the baton? At least he made him work for the out (8 pitches). Still though, Jeter is a better player than that.

  • claybeez

    Yeah, I’ve never understood why Wang throws the splitter when he can touch 95-96. Is it that his 4-seamer lacks movement?

  • JT

    Was that a changeup or splitter? Gameday say splitter, flaherty says a changeup.

  • JT

    Even though he walked upton, those we’re 2 good put out pitches with 2 strikes

  • steve (different one)

    Wang is dealing.

    • RichYF

      Apparently so is Shields

  • cjc

    other than arod this lineup don’t do shit

  • Realist

    Home run!!!!!!!!!!! Go Godzilla!

  • http://myspace.com/lincolnsworld Link

    damn i should have called that out loud…Godzilla lives…

  • RichYF

    Matsui has been mashing. Credit Girardi for getting him in the 5 hole.

  • E-ROC

    Is Matsui still expendable?!

    • RichYF

      What are we getting back for him? If something useful comes back, then I say yes.

      • E-ROC

        I was just being sarcastic.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    Hinske ate some Kentucky bluegrass right there.

  • RichYF

    Is that the first time Robbie has hitten the ball on a line? I feel like all I’ve seen is grounders and pop-ups from him this season.

  • E-ROC

    Jeter’s last AB might’ve set up Shields for this offensive explosion in this inning.

    • steve (different one)

      that seems like a stretch.

      • RichYF

        Your brain has the shell on it.

        • steve (different one)

          i love the Tommy Boy reference. not sure how it applied, but i still chuckled.

      • E-ROC

        Maybe. But it was a high stress AB for Shields, sort of. Then Wang had a quick inning and Shields was back out on the mound. But I guess you can say it’s a stretch.

  • E-ROC

    There goes the no-hitter.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    I had a feeling CMW would lose the no-no this half inning; he sat on the bench for a long time (compared to the other innings) and he left some pitches up.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    Nice.

  • RichYF

    If that’s Moose pitching, I’m pretty sure he gives up a grand slam. Nevermind the fact that only 2 guys were on base at the time, Moose gives up the old 4RHR.

  • Realist

    Cano got the error? Was it just me or did Jeter throw it to his non glove side that would have pulled him off the bag?

    • JT

      Cano was trying to hard to get the double play, he should of just gloved it.

    • steve (different one)

      yeah, not a great throw, but Cano tried to barehand it. he should have realized they weren’t going to turn 2 and taken the sure out.

      i’d probably give the error to Cano i think.

  • Realist

    Meaning he had to cross his body to glove the ball………..

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      I thought it was Cano’s error. He could fielded that ball with the glove, although they probably only would have gotten the runner at second. Cano’s fault for attempting to barehand the ball.

  • JT

    I predict a GIDP from Jeter.

    • JT

      ohh a single.. All right, I should probably make this prediction everytime he comes up with a man on first

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

        Hey, if it ain’t broke…

    • http://myspace.com/lincolnsworld Link

      oh ye of little faith

  • doty

    forget about jeter’s hititng, his defense his horrible! Last yr. I was by so many games where doug m, and andy philips saved his ass!

    • JT

      its sad but true. Our captain has no range and terrible aim.

    • steve (different one)

      i think his range so far this season has been MUCH improved.

      i was a huge critic of his range last season, but he’s been making plays near 2B all season.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

        I agree. I think his knee was bothering him more than he let on last year.

        • steve (different one)

          also, he’s so much thinner this season. he probably should have adopted this type of training regimen 2-3 years ago.

  • doty

    nice piece of hitting jete

  • Realist

    Thanks for the feedback guys! I was doing some work while watching and saw it quickly..I am watching here on a Florida network and the announcing is terrible….so i was unsure ;-)

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    I have to say, Shields has a nasty changeup. You don’t see many righties that can pull the string like that.

  • doty

    bobby looked lost at that at bat.

  • doty

    the rays got some nice young arms shields kazmir garza

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      And David Price is better than all of ‘em.

      • pete

        true dat. thats gonna be one helluva rotation some time in the not too distant (2011ish) future: Price, Kaz, Shields, Davis, McGee, Garza

  • http://myspace.com/lincolnsworld Link

    ok im calling grand slam now lol…

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Great, see what you’ve done???

  • doty

    a-rod is looking better than last yr. showing absolutely no signs of any pressure whatsoever!

  • http://myspace.com/lincolnsworld Link

    never mind…

  • steve (different one)

    RAB should start a Guiseppe Franco watch.

    it would be amusing to look at the end of the season and see how many times we watched this commercial.

    i’d guess 5 X’s per game times, what, 150 games on YES?

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      You know, I haven’t seen it once. I don’t really pay attention to commercials, but you’d think I’d have seen at least once in 5+ games so far this year.

      • steve (different one)

        it was on while i typed that…

  • doty

    forgot about him, if they can all say healthy, i think the american league east has the most young pitching talent of any division in baseball, between the yankees sox , tampa bay there is about a dozen top pitchinh prospects wow!

  • Joe

    On a positive note, Austin Jackson is two for two with a walk today.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Yep. Eric Duncan is 2 for 2 with a double.

    • JT

      Jackson and Tabata seemed to be off to a slow start this year. Hopefully this can get them on a roll

  • doty

    i would love the yankees try to pry away one of san frans young pitchers for some young hitting talent, such as tobata, jackson

    • steve (different one)

      why would you want to deal from a position of weakness to fortify a strength?

      that is NOT to say i wouldn’t LOVE LOVE LOVE to have Cain or Lincecum, but it just doesn’t feel like a match to me.

  • doty

    i must have seen wang pitch in person about 10x last yr. he is probably the most under appreciated pitcher in all of baseball. just one hell of a pitcher who just goes about his business. granted he was not good in the playoffs, but i will pass judgment on that, he said he was tired

  • steve (different one)

    wow, that was a great play by Wang.

  • doty

    first of all the yankees have melky gardner tobata and jackson, there is a surplus of outfielders, besides for matsui damon and abreu. Also i cant count on mussina, and if you can get Cain or Lincencum , then Joba cn stay in the bullpen where it would become a 7 inning game!

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    Gotta love how this game is setting up. CMW for 7, Joba, Mo, then Sunday dinner at Grandma’s. Beautiful.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    Look’s like Cano’s getting his stroke back.

  • doty

    I would love Joba to become a starter one day down the road, but for now he is a tremendous asset in the bullpen. He really solidifies the pen, which is crucial for the yankees to make the playoff’s and to go far in it.

  • Manimal

    FINALLY, cano gets it going with a double.

  • doty

    cano is starting to heat up! i’m liking it!!!

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    Old man Beckett got lit up by the Jays. 5 R and 4 BB in 4.2 IP.

  • doty

    he is so over rated granted he pitched great in the post season, and agains the yanks as a member with the marlins, his first season with the sox his era was over 5!

  • doty

    jorge can u move the runner over! i thought this yr. we would have girardi have the yanks play abc baseball

  • E-ROC

    Man, I wish the Yanks would’ve kept Carlos Pena.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      I’m sure the Rangers, A’s, Tigers and Red Sox are saying the same thing.

  • doty

    is nick johnson available? thats an ex yankee i would love to have back!

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    Get Farnsworth away from Joba. His suckiness might rub off through osmosis.

  • JT

    i think dmitri young is injured so nick is pretty safe at washingtron

  • doty

    i know that san fran has shown interest in him

  • E-ROC

    Wang might be getting tired.

  • doty

    joba time!!!

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    According to Michael Kay, this is a very, very important relief appearance for Joba. The 6th game of the year is so critical.

    • E-ROC

      This is important, lol. It could bring the Yanks back to .500.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    Aybar had no chance.

    • RichYF

      Thank God Life Savers have a hole, because I swallowed one after that K

  • doty

    maybe we should bring in farnsworth to see if he can handle the pressure!!! lol!

  • doty

    joba wow!!!

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    Singleton after a Joba fastball “that’s the most heat we’ve seen all day.” Get it? Cause it’s so cold out? You so funny…

    • RichYF

      Wait, that’s what he meant? I thought he was mocking Wang and Shields for their inferior fastballs. What a good joke though! Now I get it! Thanks Mike!

  • JT

    that was beautiful!!!!!

  • Manimal

    WOAHH!!! ROBBY! Nice play.

  • Jake T

    No way in hell Giambino makes that play.
    Whew, that scared me off the bat.

  • doty

    what a plaaaay!!!!

  • doty

    Hate to say this, but the yanks should take a look at the mets tv broadcast and emulate them. They have a tremendous tandem!

  • Manimal

    Pena at first base has impressed me, when is his contract up he would be a great upgrade if Big Tex goes elsewhere.

  • Joe

    He’s got to be a starter one day, but it is really nice having a guy come in and be able to do that. I can’t recall one instance in the past few years where I felt safe with our middle relief. That was really cool. It adds a new elements to this team.

  • JT

    they just need to get rid of michael kay. That would improve the broadcast by three fold.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Less Kay, more Leiter. Simple as that.

  • doty

    hey- i’d rather hear sterling!

  • doty

    and maybe they can find s/o who is not an echo of sterling (susan)

  • doty

    how about sweeney murty?

  • JT

    one thing that gets me about sterling is his inaccurate homerun calls sometimes.

    He gets me so hyped up as if the hr was a no doubter. and it ends up just being normal fly ball.
    and then other times he doesnt get excited at all and its a hr.

  • doty

    but if you are a yankee fan specially a kid there is no one better for your team than sterling

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

    Flaherty: It’ll be hard to take Joba out the ‘pen, he and Mo shorten the game to 7 innings.

    Singleton: Isn’t there such a thing as shortening the game from the start?

    Booya. 2 points for Kenny.

  • doty

    no fist pump?!

  • Manimal

    16 pitches for 2 innings.

    x4

    =64, add some fatigue and more balls,

    and thats like 85 pitches for 8 innings. and btw, Joba usually fist pumps for K’s.

  • doty

    just one MO time i want to celebrate!!!

  • RichYF

    Conversation with my buddy:

    him: 3 saves in week 1 for Mo
    him: not bad
    me: pretty sure he didn’t get his first save last year until july
    me: it’s good that we can win 3-2 games
    him: well the way we’re playin
    him: hes gonna save all 68 games we win

  • Joey

    We’re winning close games while the offense is in a recession like the economy (or a slow down ala Presidente Bush), I like it. Once the bats warm up we can go back to winning normally (Yanks 10- Loser other team 0). As long as we put up the W’s is all that matters

  • Chip

    How does gameday determine what’s a cutter and what’s a fastball?

    • Manimal

      Hopefully bats warm up with the temperature.

  • Manimal

    Game.

    Back to 500 boys.

    • http://yankeesfuture.wordpress.com Pablo Zevallos

      3-1 in the Joe Girardi era! (Rob Thomson doesn’t count!)

  • Joey

    Well Joe and Ben had a nice game to watch, once they get back they have to tell us how hearing the recorded Voice of God announce Jeter’s name sounds

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      I heard it the other day. It sounds like Sheppard, can’t really tell it’s a recording.

  • Joey

    Red Sox lose to Toronto 7-4, Ellsbury final fly out (sweep of series by Jays)

  • Realist

    Great win! Gotta love that Wang is 2-0 , Mo has 3 saves and Joba has 3 holds (I believe) and deserved the save for this one ;-)

    • RollignWave

      in his career so far Wang has never had a good April in the bigs. in 05 he was just called up, in 06 he was very mediocare in April and in 07 he was hurt … a good start by him would be incrediable.

  • Joey

    just an update: Zito went 5 IP, 5 R, 3 ER (a HUGE improvement for him). If anybody’s playing Beat the Streak on MLB.com, I have a secret strategy I will share: whoever is batting against Zito, doesn’t matter who, pick them for that day. I’ve done it twice now, worked both times. Who to pick in between his starts is anyones guess

  • steve (different one)

    play of the game? Girardi going to Joba in the 7th with 2 men on.

    it’s such a simple concept: use your best reliever in the highest leverage situation.

    Girardi “gets it”. Torre used his relievers strictly by inning (except when, to his credit, he occasionally went to Mo in the 8th).

    i am THRILLED with this development.

    • yankeemonkey

      Torre probably would’ve gone with lefty-lefty matchup, followed by Farnswacker. I shudder to think.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      He woulda brought in Proctor and we all woulda bitched about it.

      • Joey

        Torre bringing in Proctor? Nah, get out of here… lol

  • http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=56352514 Jamal G.

    You know it’s funny, watching these extra games on MLB Extra Innings, these announcers can not go a day without mentioning the Yankees or their payroll. Hasn’t this story died yet? I mean fuck already, give it a rest.

    • LiveFromNewYork

      And part of it is that we pay our players well, many times over paying them (A LOT OF OVER PAYING). We all know it’s not possible to buy championships otherwise we would have them. Our highest paid player is notoriously sucky in the post-season. We’re just good to our people. So there. Screw off.

  • pete

    don’t forget the jays – Halladay, Burnett, McGowan, Marcum, Listch

  • pete

    i was actually very impressed by Girardi’s decision to bring in Joba when he did. A lot of managers (ahem torre) would have avoided bringing in the big guy in the 7th b/c conventional wisdom says that the 8th is more important or w/e. Girardi also seems to understand when wang is done – he was still throwing same velocity in the 7th but his ball was up which means his arm was tired and the sinker was flat and getting hit hard. good move Joe.

  • doty

    girardi said he was going to use farnsworthless in the 8th inning but joba threw very little pitches in the 7th so he allowed him to pitch the 8th