Lester shuts down punchless Yanks

At least the Yanks' AA affiliate beat the Red Sox's AA affilate
The three-catcher situation

Posted by mobile phone:
I don’t have too much to say about tonight’s game. I’m out of town this weekend, and once the Sox were up 4-0, I had no desire to hear John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman bemoan another Yankee loss at the hands of the Red Sox.

When I checked the game a short while ago, I was dismayed but not shocked to see a 7-0 final. The Yanks, one night removed from their best offensive outburst of the year, couldn’t put anything together against Jon Lester. Andy Pettitte coudln’t recover from a first-inning Derek Jeter error.

When the dust settled, the Yanks’ pen turned in another fine effort, but it was far too late to impact the game. Another day, another loss from the consistently inconsistent Bombers. I can’t wait for Friday’s marquee Josh Beckett-Darrell Rasner match-up.

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At least the Yanks' AA affiliate beat the Red Sox's AA affilate
The three-catcher situation
  • Chucky

    We can only hope that Joe scared a little life into this offense, because tonight I watched us go from bad shape…to worse.

    • B

      One word:

      Pathetic!!!!

      Don’t we have some better options in the minors to pitch for us than Rasner? I am not sold on him, he started off great but he has not pitch well in his last couple of starts and was never that great before this year.

  • Rich

    Before tonight, Lester’s Away ERA was 4.66, his BAA was .289 and he had given up 20 BB in 48.1 IP. ‘Nuff said.

  • BigBlueAL

    Everybody wanted Torre gone and were thrilled when Girardi was hired, how is that looking right now?? Dont give me all the injuries and stuff crap, cause look at the Yankees in 2005-2007. Pete Abe made a good point I think, in that room when the coaches were screaming half those players didnt give a crap cause they are young or are scrubs and have no responsibility in a team with a 200 million dollar payroll. The other guys, the stars, you think getting yelled at by Girardi and Dave freakin Eiland has much impact????

    Look these guys are professionals and realize they are playing bad and have to step it up, but Torre right now would have a much greater impact because I guarantee you his words carry 100X more impact than this coaching staff’s. I mentioned this the other day, forget even Girardi, but cmon Rob Thompson, Dave Eiland, Bobby Meacham and even Kevin Long???? It doesnt help that Girardi’s moves this season have all basically backfired and dont think the veterans dont take notice like we do. Im not saying these players tune them out, but lets be honest their words probably dont mean as much to them. Torre, Mattingly and Larry Bowa and now these coaches????

    I understand they are going through a mini-transition and not making the playoffs this year wont be a travesty, but with that being the case this team should stop being judged on the previous teams let alone the championship teams who would wipe the floor with the current Yankees. The season is FAR from over and I still think they could/should make the playoffs but if they dont lets not act shocked and blame players like Melky and Hawkins because the last few years Torre has been getting killed so if they dont make the playoffs I dont want Girardi and this coaching staff getting a pass at all. Zimmer and Stottlemyer got fired and Torre basically got run out of town so these coaches better get ripped too.

    Obviously as I have stated before I am very loyal to the Torre Yankees and in some ways am happy with what is going on at the moment because hopefully people realize how good they had it with Torre as the manager. BTW, everybody here who before the season ripped Lester and said Hughes was way better blah blah blah, Lester before this game had an ERA of +123 and a decent WHIP of 1.353 and the scrub Pedroia who everybody here makes fun of (although Id take Cano in a second over him) has a OPS of +114 which is slightly better than last season’s +112. Admit that the Red Sox are the defending champs for a reason and have won 2 titles since the last time the Yankees have even been to a WS. Relax its not so hard to actually give them credit because they are pretty damn good team too you know….

    • r.w.g.

      Whoa. Calm down, it was one game. It’s still possible for the Yanks to, you know, win this series.

      Torre, Zimmer, and Stottlemeyer all were retained for YEARS before they were fired. And seriously.. let’s not gloss over how Torre certainly had no qualms (for the most part) about a coach getting axed over him.

      Stop freaking the hell out because you got pasted by the world champs. Look at that lineup they run out there. It is every single bit as good as ours on paper (so is Tampa Bay’s really, at this point) only they are getting the job done with RISP.

      Last night the Yanks scored 16 runs, tonight zero. I mean, we all know there is no way Andy Pettitte could ever beat the Red Sox in the future, right? That’s how ridiculous you sound. I know it’s frustrating, but Pettitte will bounce back like he always does (he’s won 200 games man…) and he will probably beat the Sox sometime this year (i may be mistaken but I think he already did this year, too). Take something good out of tonight, which is that once Dan Giese looked like a zero-bullshit guy out of the bullpen who will continue to help us. That’s a positive.

      Keeping Joe Torre would not make the Yankees go 162-0, something you seem to forget.

      And about the Lester/Hughes thing you said. I have no clue who’s better. Lester threw a no-hitter (right?) and Phil almost did. I’m pretty sure they are both under 25 (I know Phil is), so I don’t know if it is very clear who is better after a start in July when one of the guy’s is on the DL (yeah.. that loser Phil Hughes who was pitching with a broken rib for us). Personally I think both guys could be pretty good, but the idea that it is definitive at this time is nonsense.

    • mustang

      I think BigBlueAL has some points one of which is that the Boston youth movement seems to be working out better then the Yankees at this point.
      I just think it was unrealistic for the Yankees to think they could rely so heavily on rookies and make the playoffs.
      I hate to say it, but the facts are this right now is a mediocre team and I’m not basing it on one game, but half of the season.
      With a GM unwilling to make any major trades (whether you think it’s right or wrong) I don’t see things changing much.
      I just don’t see this team pulling off what they did last year for many reasons one of which is the manager, but he is just the start of the problems.
      Here to hoping that I’m wrong.

      • mustang

        Yankees 4/4/2007: 40-42 11.5 games out.
        Yankees 4/4/2008: 45-41 8 games out.

      • zack

        How exactly is that “youth movement” working out so well for the Sox? Is that the same Sox that are the 4th OLDEST team in the league? Who exactly is the youth on the team?
        -Pedroia-see Robbie Cano
        -Ellsbury-Been, by any indication, a massive underachiever for the year
        -Lester-This, his THIRD season, he is finally putting it together. So perhaps in two more seasons we can see where the Yanks’ younger pitching is.
        -Buccholz–In AAA, maybe pitching this series, but quite inconsistent.
        -Hansen, Delcarmen etc–Yuck.

        So how exactly is that youth movement working out better? In fact, its exactly the opposite, its that the Sox’ VETERAN movement is working out better than the Yanks’.

        The Yanks have seen Hughes and Kennedy not live up to expectations and have had some injuries in the minors. On the other hand, Joba has been as advertised and they have seen major contributions from their minors in the pen.

        Right now, the Yanks are losing because their rotation is a mess, their offense can’t hit, and their “youth movement” of Cano and Cabrera have been awful. Cano has been better of late and that is a good sign.

        But the notion that the Sox have somehow had better results from their “kids” is absurd and Gammons level reporting.

        • mustang

          “So how exactly is that youth movement working out better?”

          How many championships have the Yanks won in the last few years? and Boston ?

  • MD

    Read Joel Sherman in the NY Post today…..he is often off-base with his opinions, but I must say I agree with what he says here….it is about time we faced some hard realities……this is an old team, and the support from the minors just isnt there (yet)…..the Sox have clearly done a better job to this point, developing talent and trading for talent…….

    • BigBlueAL

      Dont say that, you (along with me too) might get banned from this site for God-forbid giving the Red Sox credit!!!! LOL

      • mustang

        I guess we are all gone, but I think have on the edge for while anyway.
        LOL

        • mustang

          …have been…

    • mustang

      Totally agree.

    • zack

      Again, see above. the idea that the Sox “have clearly done a better job to this point, developing talent and trading for talent” is absolutely wrong. WRONG.

      Its one thing to be disappointed in the results from the Yank’s two highly touted rookie pitchers, but its another thing to simply get the analysis wrong

      • MD

        Z…it’s another thing to just ignore reality……the sox not only have gotten more from their recent young players, they had enough in the tank to trade them for an ace……and as crisp as the Yank vets have performed this year, we have significant down turn in critical positions…..ss, catcher, right field, center field (up the middle)…..all issues going forward…..the roster will be quite a challenge to Cash, and it wont be resolved by getting a Sabbathia or Sheets……we need the talent from the minors to really take over……right now, I’d take Ellsbury over Melky or Gardner, Lester over Hughes…..hopefully that will change in the future (Hughes I particularly thought could be a stud)…..but the real position talent is still several years away…regardless of who wins the rest of the series, there’s still Tampa Bay with significant young talent in the division….Cash has to make the future happen, and not hope for it to happen……I’m sure they’re trying, but not with the immediacy of ole George.

        • zack

          But the exact same thing can be said for the Sox too. Nobody could pretend that Hughes and Kennedy haven’t been disappointing, but based on rookies THIS YEAR, the Yanks have gotten far more than the Sox have. Sure, Cano, Cabrera, Hughes and Kennedy have all not lived up to their potential, but Cano and Cabrera have been around for 3-4 years now. Cano and Wang are past the point of being recent young players. The Yanks have more than enough resources to make trades, they are just choosing not to. And rightly so, much of their blue chip prospects are at a low point, doesn’t mean they will stay that way though.

          As for the Sox, I’m not sure what you mean by having enough in the tank or the vets, but they have as many serious issues going forward as the Yanks do.

          Ortiz, Manny, Lowell, Varitek, Lugo, Wakefield, the ENTIRE bullpen save Paps–all of these need to be addressed and are if not on the downside of their careers, are already there. And in terms of their recent youth, only Pedroia has been helpful this season. Like with Cabrera, LEster has been around too long now…

          Of course you would take Lester over Hughes right now. Lester is going into his third FULL season at the Major League level. And for the first time in his entire career, he isn’t walking the house. Does that mean that in two years time you would say the same thing? Not at all. Does that have anything to do with the Sox “preparing their prospects” better than the Yanks? Not at all. Lester is over two years older than Hughes.

          As for Ellsbury over Cabrera and gardner, well sure, but that has nothing to do with Ellsbury producing at all. Carbera and Gardner simply aren’t as good. But I’d also take Cano over Pedroia, Joba over Buccholz, the Yanks’ pen over theirs…

          As I said from the start, its okay to be disappointed with the Yanks’ farm production this season, but its not okay to claim things that aren’t true. The Sox team is getting contributions from some young players, but not anything more than what the Yanks are/have gotten from theirs. They are an older team built on veteran talent acquired via trades and free agencies, and that is what is carrying them.

          • Whitey14

            Define full season please…..15 starts in 2006, 11 in 2007 and 19 counting today’s in 2008…that’s 45 total.

            When somebody sayd the Red sox youth is outperforming the yanks, it just means their younger players, not neccesarily rookies. I’ll take Lester, Masterson, Buchholz, Pedroia and Ellsbury over Hughes, Kennedy, Chamberlain, Cano and Cabrera as things stand right now. To deny that they’re performing better right now is to place one’s head in the sand.

            If the Sox address their obvious needs in the bullpen, the yanks might as well settle into third place and get used to it for the rest of the season. It’s probably best for the yanks to stay in third anyway then your Fat Head Blow Hard Owner won’t push to destroy a farm system that is finally producing young talent again. They certainly have as much, if not more, talent on the farm as Boston, but the point was simply made, and correctly so, that it is not yet translating into as much success in the majors as Boston’s has.

  • Rich

    Was it foreseeable that Posada would hurt his shoulder, that Wang would suffer a lisfranc injury, that Matsui would injure his non-surgically repaired knee, and that both Hughes and IPK (part of the youth movement) would both suck and get hurt?

    If not, then I think the age of the team is only a partial explanation for their current W/L record, which was only three games behind the Sox in the loss column before last night’s game.

    What wasn’t foreseeable was that the team’s offense would be this inconsistent, and that the collective personality of the team would be so passive.

    Granted, Girardi has been underwhelming at times, and has not met the expectations that I had when I strongly supported his hiring, but someone mentioned Torre above. The Dodgers are 1.5 game out of 1st, while last year they were 1 game out on this date (they’re record to this point is considerably worse than it was last season). I’m not sure what kind of positive difference that he would have made in New York.

    I don’t think that a manager, any manager, really makes much of an impact, other than on bullpen management, an area where Girardi has performed fairly well.

    Overall, it’s on the players, and they are either in a collective decline or are having down years at the same time, apart from the tangible reasons for their poor play that I mentioned above. It’s hard to believe that they suddenly don’t care.

  • Casey

    Well is would be nice if our Captain didn’t set the tone for the game by playing like his head was stuck up his ass.

    Did I say that out loud??

  • Steve

    I’ve been trying to find the Yanks stats vs left handers as a team this year. Seems like (outside of a few raw rookies) they haven’t beat a decent lefty starter all year and have generally been dominated by them.

    Their L/R batting splits are actually not as bad as I thought, but that can include a lot of weak relief pitchers.

  • A-Point

    Its been talked about that Torre had made moves which cost the Yankees games last year. NoMass had that total at 8 games.

    This year Girardi made moves, or refused to make a move that in all likelihood cost the Yankees a game. I have that total at 7. That’s in half a year.

    Every manager will do things that just don’t seem to make much sense. These moves don’t guarantee a win or a loss, but some of them make it lean heavily toward the oppositions favor.

    If the Yankees had won 3 out of those 7 games where Girardi made a stupid move or had a poor lineup put together the Yankees would be looking a bit better right now.

    I think Girardi is too much of a micro-manager for a veteran team. While the team needs to be lead, it doesn’t need to be dictated to. He has treated them like children with him making them only having the food HE deems is right for them, rather than what these grown men would decide for themselves when in the clubhouse. That doesn’t gain respect from Veteran players. Look at the comments that Mussina has made through his veiled means of writting witty comments on his board.

    Those jibes contain a truth about how the players feel.

    Girardi isn’t the whole problem with this team. Torre had just as many struggles and injuries to deal with. The thing is Torre had proven time and again that he could get the team turned around in the right direction. Girardi has proven nothing, yet. Other than that he can be caustic, so much so that he was fired after being named Manager of the Year.

    Casey, Jeter isn’t playing with his head up his ass. Some of his throws are going off and his batting just isn’t as consistent as it normally is, and was even this season, right up till Cabrera’s fastball hit him in the hand. As to the error last night, part of that is on Betemit trying too hard to keep the foot on base. One step toward home, ONE SINGLE STEP, would have had him getting that ball, and possibly a tag out. At the very least it wouldn’t have sailed past him.

    The first base defense is terrible. Betemit isn’t good defensively. Giambi isn’t either. Both have cost a number of runs at game changing moments.

    • Steve

      So when A-Rod comes up with runners in scoring position, he doesn’t get a hit because there’s no ice cream in the clubhouse.

      Gotcha.

      • A-Point

        Come on now, don’t be silly.

        Have you ever worked for a terrible manager? A boss who treats you with less respect than you deserve?

        Have you ever been in a job where the boss is a micro-manager?

        I have. I have seen great workers, supervisors and mechanics turn into far less than they had been because of having an incompetant jerk running the business. Their efforts are devalued, their respect for their job becomes less.

        I’ve also seen where a worker is trying to do his best, but it gets torn down by such a manager to a point where it causes the worker to question his every move.

        Baseball requires talent, but it is very much a mental game. If the leadership is causing each player to begin thinking too much or causing them to be distracted, it will come out on the field.

        • r.w.g.

          A-Rod hitting poorly with RISP is not unique to Joe Girardi and his reign as Yankee manager.

          Last year was the aberration for Alex. And while I like the guy and with his freakish power his counting stats always look great at the end of the year… I am a whole lot more concerned about having him as the cornerstone of the offense for the next decade than who Girardi is bringing out of the pen.

          The pitchers on the roster are the pitchers Joe can use. Maybe Dan Giese and Rivera can each throw about a million innings this year, and Joba can swing back and forth when he’s not starting! That way the bullpen will always work just how we all want it to! Yay ice cream!

          If the multimillion dollar athletes with track records aren’t getting hits when they need them, that’s on them. Girardi is not in the box with them, he’s not telling Abreu and Derek Jeter which pitches to take and which to swing at. These guys make their own beds.

          If Giambi can pull his weight with all the steroid, can’t hit, too old, washed up, no defense, contract is up, gold-thong rehashing, mustache-growing chatter going on around him, so can everybody else.

          • mustang

            Agree.

        • Steve

          Ahhh. So you admit you have an ax to grind. I will factor that in to everything else you have posted.

          • r.w.g.

            I don’t have an ax to grind. Look.. I wouldn’t be here if I wasn’t a Yankee fan. I really want A-Rod to hit very well. If I had an ax to grind, I would be bringing up all of his off-the-field behavior that I find very, very lame.

            Maybe I shouldn’t have said last year was an ‘aberration’.. maybe that’s too strong a word. I did say that his counting stats are always impressive because he manages to hit so many HR and doubles. He’s a fantastic hitter.. but he’s not hitting with RISP.

            And I really shouldn’t have brought it up because it once again puts all the focus on A-Rod instead of the original point.. it’s not Girardi’s fault if A-Rod can hit a grand slam when the Yanks lead 5-0 in the 6th, but can’t get a single in the 8th when they trail. Or if Robbie Cano or Melky can’t do the same thing.

            In a lot of other posts I have talked about how I am nervous about extending Derek Jeter past his current deal. Does that mean I have an ax to grind with Jeets? In the words of the best New York point guard of all time, Mark Jackson.. Steve… You’re Better Than That!

            I just get tired of Girardi getting dragged into things when for the most part, I see a guy who is actually running this team pretty damn similar to the way Torre did, with the exception of the running and the junk food deal (baseball players can’t buy ice cream and cake when they’re off the clock?).

            If anything Joe G. has been extremely gracious towards his players in the media. To me, it really just seems like they switched one Joe with another.

            • r.w.g.

              And I am an idiot who needs to examine the comment nesting a little better.

              You were not responding to me, Steve. So, in reality, you are better than that.

              • Steve

                I was actually going to post something like “this reply is for A-Point” or something when I saw how far down the page my response was. I replied at his “I had a boss like this” and wound up at the bottom of the page.

                So don’t feel like an idiot.

    • Jeremy

      What were the 7 Girardi losses? I’m just curious. (I know one off the top of my head, Mussina pitching to Manny, but that’s probably the most infamous.)

    • Jeremy

      What were the 7 Girardi losses? I’m just curious. (I know one off the top of my head, Mussina pitching to Manny, but that’s probably the most infamous.)

  • Lonn Trost

    We need to make some changes. Let’s send Melky Cabrera down and bring up Melky Mesa. Loosely translated, his name means ‘Milk Table’.

  • BillyBall

    The fact that Cashman stated to Hank that he is more worried about the offense than the starting pitching and this was right after Wang’s injury shows that he isn’t as lost as some on this site would make him out to be. We have a predominately lefty lineup. Our one big power force from the right side is once again emerged in a slump especially with runners in scoring position. A-Rod has off the field problems once again as well. I would love to see what his stats are with runners in scoring position when the game was meaningful. I venture to bet that his avg in those situations is below 250. Apart from that I think it is time to see if Abreau has any trade value and look to deal him for a right handed bat that can play the field. I cannot think of one right handed bat that plays right field for the life of me at this moment, but trading him to get a more balanced lineup would not be the worst idea. Or maybe trading Melky for a right handed CF that can platoon with Gardner. Hopefully we get something more for Melky than a platoon player but that is what he has become. Who knows, but I am tired of people posting that the reason we are playing this way or that is because Torre is not here no more. How’s Torre doing over in LA? Maybe instead of putting all that pressure or giving all that credit to the coach we should start blaming these overpriced players such as A-Rod that has outside baggage each season and aside from his personal trophies never seems to hit in the clutch. I can count on my hand how many meaningful hits he has had with the Yankees including the 2004 post season and last years big home run against the Sox and the Indians to win both games. Manny and Pujols avg each season regarding big hits equals what A-Rod has done as a Yankee!

  • mustang

    Not a bad guess A-Rod batting .250 with runners in scoring position.
    What’s new ?

  • mustang

    With A-Rod and Reyes it’s a lot more fun to watch the things that happen off the field then on it.
    New York baseball is just terrible right now.

  • Hank Steinbrenner

    Madonna will be in our box for the game……. and A-Rod will be in her box afterwards.

  • mikef

    Im more afraid for the lineup next year – Jeter looks like an old man, Abreu and Giambino are likely gone, Posada looks like a C/1B more than a C due to his shoulder, and Melky is a sub-standard player, especially for a 90-win team.

    Finding RH power, corner OF with some pop ( not Burrell!!)…..this is going to be an interesting season/winter!

  • tommiesmithjohncarlos

    Jon “Cancer Survivor” Lester threw a complete game game shutout of the Yankees. I just splooged all over myself.

    For Diamond Cutters, I’m Peter Gammons, ESPN.