The Jason and Andy Show

Ajax does it again, SI season begins
Mike Mussina, candyman

On Friday, July 7, 2006, the Yankees were in Tampa Bay facing the Devil Rays for a weekend series. Jaret Wright, then 4-5, was on the hill against Jae Seo. It was hardly a match-up for the ages.

That evening, Wright had his best performance as a Yankee. He threw six four-hit innings while striking out ten before giving way to Scott Proctor (two K’s) and Mariano Rivera (two K’s). A fourth-inning RBI single off the bat of Bernie Williams would account for the only run of the game, and the Yanks would improve to 49-35 on the year.

That date matters to us tonight because of the strike outs. That night, Yankee pitchers struck out 14 Rays, and it wouldn’t be for another one year, 11 months and 10 days, that the Bombers’ staff would reach such gaudy strike out numbers again.

Last night, facing the weakest offense in the Majors, the Yankees’ pitchers went to work. Andy Pettitte threw seven strong, striking out nine, before giving way to Jose Veras and his two strike outs. Mariano Rivera came in for the 9th and dispatched the Padres, nailing down three K’s on 15 pitches. And that, folks, is the Yanks’ first 14-strike out game since 2006.

For Pettitte and the Yankees still reeling from the Chien-Ming Wang injury, this game was huge. Andy Pettitte has now thrown 15 innings over his last two starts. After giving up 10 runs to the Royals a few weeks ago, Pettitte has allowed 10 hits in 15 innings while giving up one run on two walks and 15 strike outs. Pettitte passed Ron Guidry on the Yanks’ all-time win list last night, and at a time when the Yanks need Pettitte the most, he seems to be rounding into shape.

Meanwhile, on the other side of the ball, we have Jason Giambi, who is hitting everything with authority. Tonight, Giambi blasted two home runs. One sneaked over the short porch in right field, and the other was an opposite-field shot a hair to the left-field side of center. I was at the game tonight, and that second dinger was gone off the bat. All 52,000 fans in the stadium knew it.

In his own way, Jason Giambi is having something of an MVP caliber season. Through April 20, he had been hitting .109/.288/.283 and nearly every Yankee fan outside of our own Jamal G. thought he was through. But since then, he’s had a monster season. Following tonight’s 2-for-3 performance, Giambi is now hitting .319 over his last 45 games. His OBP during that span is .441, and he’s slugging .694. He’s homered 15 and has 34 RBI. That’s simply sick.

The Yanks are riding high on a five-game winning streak, and it’s hard to argue with that. They face Jake Peavy tonight, never an easy feat, but with the way this team is hitting, look out.

Ajax does it again, SI season begins
Mike Mussina, candyman
  • Joltin’ Joe

    34 RBIs isn’t bad but it’s nothing when you look at what Texas is doing.

    • Ben K.

      Just for reference, 34 RBI in 45 games translates to 122 RBI over the course of 162 games. What’s that about gift horses and looking them in the mouth? :)

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos

        Jason is on pace for 122 RBI’s?

        Damn, I love steroids…

    • ChrisS

      Meh. Josh Hamilton is starting to come back to earth. His walks are down in June, Ks are up, SLG is down. He’s still a fine OF bat, but I think the triple crown talk was a bit premature.

      Hey hey, look who the Sawx just put on the DL! I hope people are still pissed we didn’t sign Big Ol’ Bartolo.

  • Joltin’ Joe

    Hey can we trade our B-listers for Erik Bedard considering the inane stupidity of the Seattle organization?

    Marquez+Igawa+Gardner is my limit. Hey, they have no leverage at this point…

    • Joltin’ Joe

      Yeah, I’m pretty much just guessing who the trade deadline acquisition we make will be in exchange for the inevitable trade of Mr. Marquez, the least useful near-MLB player we have right now. He’s a top 200 i would think, if there was such a thing, right?

      • Joltin’ Joe

        After all this is the last place team that drafts a closer in the first round this year. When they already ruined Morrow and have Putz+Green…

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos

          I’ll even throw in the rights to Ken Phelps.

    • Ben K.

      Why would the Mariners ever make that move? That nets them next to nothing for someone for whom they sold the farm earlier this year.

      • Joltin’ Joe

        Wishful thinking I guess. Either way we both know the M’s are still horrible at the concept of logical thought.

        • Joltin’ Joe

          That’s the kind of package (sans Igawa, + Blister(s)) we would have to surrender for a Millwood/Lowe type I would hope no more than that.

      • ChrisS

        New management, new direction… I’m not suggesting the trade mentioned above is even remotely doable, but I’m sure the new GM will listen certainly listen at least.

        Bavasi kinda got hosed on that deal and they’re not going to get an Adam Jones level talent back if they give up Bedard. But they need help in a major way, especially OF defense. Bedard isn’t thrilled with being in Seattle and he’ll most likely be leaving as a FA after next season. So essentially, they’d be pushing back a rebuilding date by waiting on the draft picks they’d get for Bedard. May as well write that one off as a loss and get what they can now.

    • E-ROC

      LOL, Igawa isn’t a B-lister.

      I don’t think the Mariners will take that package. Bedard’s stock isn’t that low. Bavasi talked about Bedard being a 100 pitch pitcher, whatever that means.

      • Pablo Zevallos

        um, remember people saying that Pedro? Think that when you read this about Bedard

      • Jamal G.

        Actually Bavasi completely and totally trashed Bedard when asked why Bedard couldn’t throw 100 pitches. Bavasi said Bedard would give you some “dumb ass answer” as to why he couldn’t throw 100 pitches.

        I am always skeptical of that makeup BS, I do not buy into that crap affecting performance but for the first time in my life I would pass on the talent of Erik Bedard because of his talent. He just seems like a complete and total fuck, not a Barry Bonds type who is just a dick but the type that is just unbelievably self-centered and does nothing but cause problems. Baseball is an individual sport in a lot of cases that’s why I never care about a player’s makeup but something about Bedard just does not fit with me.

        • E-ROC

          Bedard does seem like an a-hole. Have heard of him not ever reading scouting reports when he starts? Bedard hasn’t ever gone over 200 IPs. When he has gotten close, he seems to always come down with an injury. I guess we should pass.

  • E-ROC

    Hopefully, Peavy’s elbow feels like sh!t tomorrow. Let’s go Rasner! Hopefully, he and Mussina don’t start regressing to the mean.

    Was anybody impressed with Chase Headley?

    • Josh

      He was simply dismissed by Mo.

      • TurnTwo

        a lot of people are.

        to me, he just had the look of a good hitter at the plate… seems like he has a promising future.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    Only Girardi and Jamal believed in Giambi. If you put their names together and add a b you come with Giambi (if you’re nice and drunk).

    I was screaming for Girardi to sit his moooostached a$$ down for WEEKS. I guess that shows what I don’t know. (they’ve written books about the same).

    Now if Joe would just lay off bringing Traber in, I’d be a happy camper.

    I think the Yanks definitely and desperately needed that decisive win last night even if San Diego looked like crap. They are actually starting to look like a team.

    • TurnTwo

      i really think this is the last chance for Traber… he’s got a 40 man spot they need for other players soon, and no point in keeping him on the roster if he cant get his one specific job done… so lets throw him against the wall one last time and see if he sticks. my guess is that he doesnt, and he’ll be released for another pitcher in due time.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos

      Jamarardi? Giraramal?

      • LiveFromNewYork

        Take the GI from Girardi ; take the AM from Jamal, carry the B and go back and take the I from Girardi.

        See I told you that you have to be drunk.

  • Rick in Boston

    I don’t know about you guys, but I’m comfortable with where the Yankees are right now. Not too many teams can have the bad luck the Yankees have had with injuries and slow starts and still be in contention. Five and a half back of the Sox, with (I believe) three games in hand. Let’s also not forget the fact that the “vaunted” Sox pitching staff has allowed only six fewer runs than the Yankees “unimpressive” staff.

    • Joey

      I wouldn’t say comfortable, but definitely better than last year

  • http://2009 Haggs

    It’s probably too late now, and I realize no one in NY normally cares about such things (as evidenced by the voting), but during this homestand Yankee fans need to do the right thing and rock the vote for the Giambino. And vote online too. The ‘stache deserves to start!

    I don’t have a problem with Manny, but for some reason I find it bothersome that Youkilis will be the likely starter at first base for the AL, with Pedroia next to him. Boo.

    • Jamal G.

      I agree, we need to start a campaign for Jason Giambi. Hideki Matsui seems like he is going to make it due to David Ortiz’s injury and although Jorge Posada seems like he still should make it even with the time missed I think Joe Mauer is going to overtake him. There is no way Jason Giambi should not be the starting First Basemen for the AL All-Stars at Yankee Stadium for Christ’s sake.

      RAB, you guys should round up the rest of the Yankee blogosphere and start a campaign for Jason Giambi. Let us use the power of the internet for good!

  • Rich

    I still think it’s time to bring up Gardner.

    • TurnTwo

      i’m a gardner fan myself, but actually, this wouldnt the best timing at all… he’s gone cool with the bat, and all of our current OFs are solidly contributing, either offensively or defensively.

      where is his role? he doesnt have a spot on this team right now.

      now if there is an injury, thats another story.

  • Marsha

    It should be noted that Andy Pettitte passed Ron Guidry on the all-time win list on the 30th anniversary of Guidry throwing 18 strikeouts. And I got to see that feat immortalized in my first visit to Monument Park before last night’s game (although I had my picture taken in front of Phil Rizzuto’s placque).

  • mike

    Great game – but Jeter’s defense up the middle is pathetic.

    Any reason why we all missed the oportunity to see Giambino swing in the 7th, and instead got to enjoy Bettemit look silly, when Joe could have pinch-hit for Jorge instead and gotten Moeller (for Jorge) and Bettemit (for Giambi) into the game on defense to give Jorge a break as well?

    • TurnTwo

      it makes me wonder why he doesnt just play a step or two to his left to compensate for his inability to cover groundballs up the middle… is that him, or the defense that Girardi/coaching staff institute for him/team? or is that Jeter just positioning himself?

    • steve (different one)

      Any reason why we all missed the oportunity to see Giambino swing in the 7th, and instead got to enjoy Bettemit look silly, when Joe could have pinch-hit for Jorge instead and gotten Moeller (for Jorge) and Bettemit (for Giambi) into the game on defense to give Jorge a break as well?

      um, who gives a shit?

      i’m not trying to pick on you, i’m really not, but why does there have to be something to bitch about EVERY night?

      that was as perfect a game as you can have.

      who cares that Betemit got the AB?

      • Rob_in_CT

        I was happy Betemit got an AB. The game was clearly won, and Giambi is red-hot, whereas Betemit is struggling. Giving him ABs in low-leverage situations is exactly what I want Girardi to do.

      • mike

        not really a bitch, but when its 8-0 in the 7th and I’m waiting for Giambino to get another shot at a homer to keep me interested, i have to wonder what the plan is since it makes no sense to do what Giradi did:

        I agree with getting Bettemit and at-bat, as we need to keep them a bit fresh on the bench – and at least he is getting at-bats, not like Shelly, who didn’t hit, but neither was he given many at-bats in the last two weeks anyway. With 3 catchers and a big bullpen, the bench needs to be used a little more, and a 8-0 game in the 7th is the perfect time BUT…

        What was gained leaving Giambi in the field when he is a complete albatross, and Pettitte is dealing and the Pads gave up on the game? If you want to get Bettemit into the game, you are up 7-0 going into the 7th and you know Giambi is coming up anyway and isnt going to hit – put Bettemit in the field for the 7th and get the benefit of his (slightly) better range at 1B-

        Plus we have not one….not two…..but 3 catchers on the team – Im more worried about Giambi getting a pulled hamstring running the bases anyway, but to have Posada catch the end of the game is borderline insane. Give Bettemit that at-bat instead…..

        Or pinch-hit for both of them….or something….. but the logic escapes me unless there is a plan/injury of which I am unaware – but on the surface it struck me as odd at the time, and upon reflection it still does.

        More importantly, i suppose this forum will be nothing but cupcakes and smiley-faces when the Yanks win, and cupcakes and smiley faces when they lose too? I hope to enjoy the insight most everyone here provides, and I learn a bit from everyone too, but I guess we will only give a sh*t about the really important stuff in the future. Thanks for clearing that up for me

        • steve (different one)

          sorry man, i wasn’t trying to single you out.

          my comment was probably coming from the fact that this move absolutely baffled Michael Kay, and i just didn’t see how it mattered in the least.

          you need to get your bench ABs sometimes, and remember, Giambi is almost as fragile as Posada when he plays the field too much.

          your idea about resting Posada is valid, and a good idea.

          i just thought it was a non-issue, that’s all. i apologize for coming across too harsh.

          • mike

            no worries – i do not listen to the audio much anyway – its usually just the picture as Im likely working or on the phone – I can’t stand the babbling banter of Kay and whichever stiff is in the booth (it seems like George just wants to have a full Old Timer’s day by keeping everyone around) , nevermind Sterling/Suzyn.

            No offense taken – and Im sure none intended!

  • Jamal G.

    LoL, the first nine stories on the NY Daily News website is all about the Mets and the Willi Randolph ordeal. Hell, even a roundup of those stories re ahead of the recap of last night’s 8-0 Yankee victory. Hey, the Wilpons long wanted to be the back page story of NYC, have fun!

  • Jamal G.

    Here’s some injury updates on Dellin Betances, J.B. Cox and Chris Garcia. Kudos to Dave at PeteAbe’s blog.

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