Moose didn’t lose that game at all

Major comeback in Scranton
Wasting a triple

Why am I writing the game wrap? Because I’m not the one who blew the game last night.

Tonight presented another clear case of why a pitcher’s win-loss record tells us very little. Mike Mussina pitched admirably — six innings, two runs, five hits, two walks, and eight strikeouts — yet was tagged with the loss. His record, now 10-6, seems good, but that doesn’t quite tell the story of Moose’s season. He’s provided more than anyone had expected, so much so that we say something to this effect nearly every time he takes the mound. Last year, we were imagining where we would have been without A-Rod. This year, we’re asking the same question of Moose.

The pull-your-hair-out Yankees offense played predictably tonight. One might think that the Yankees offense, even without Matsui, should school a pitcher with a 4.60 ERA and a 3:2 K/BB ratio. Anyone who watches the games, though, knows that this is like the story your great uncle Chaz tells you over and over again; it gets worse every single time. What’s worse is that this time they also failed to score against a bullpen ranked next to last in the AL in ERA, and dead last in walks. So it only makes sense that they issue none of either to the Yankees.

We did get to see Brett Gardner‘s blazing speed at work, including his first major league stolen base. Here’s to many more. He should be in the starting lineup tomorrow; Cashman has said that he wants Gardner getting regular playing time, so it appears either Damon will DH, or Melky will take a day off. It depends on whether Girardi wants to give Wilson Betemit some at bats. If it is Damon at DH, here’s to hoping that a lineup going Melky-Gardner-Damon can light up the basepaths.

This one should be easy to put behind us. While it’s frustrating to sit through such a grueling offensive experience, we have Joba tomorrow. I don’t think I’ll ever not get geeked up before his starts. Kevin Millwood, who isn’t having quite the year he imagined or the Rangers expected, is on the other side. Hey! We’ve seen him before! Maybe we can muster more than four freakin’ hits.

Major comeback in Scranton
Wasting a triple
  • Adrian-Retire21

    How can this team make mediocre pitching look so good.I still think we are gonna get a starter but remember Mussina like he said won games where he went 5 innings and gave up 4 runs and the Yankees battled back.

    This is the A.L. not the N.L anymore.Mussina pitch count was pretty high these starters need to adjust and bring there A game every start.And this offense is gonna hit against better pitchers.

    • Ben K.

      Are you seriously complaining about Mike Mussina’s throwing six innings of two-run, five-hit, eight-strike out baseball against a team that’s scored more runs than every other team in baseball? You think he didn’t bring his A Game?? Did you even bother to, you know, read Joe’s post?

    • Doug

      While I agree with you that Roberto Clemente was one of the all-time greats and an amazing humanitarian, I don’t think his 21 should be retired throughout baseball~~

    • Geno

      I don’t understand many of your posts. No offense, but your ideas seem disjointed and contradictory.

    • A.D.

      Mussina’s pitch count was high mainly to a labor intensive 1st inning (30+ pitches) & the high strikeout total usually leads to more pitches. If the first inning was normal 15 pitches they can probably get 7 out of him, even so 6 isn’t something to complain about.

    • mustang

      I can’t argue with someone who didn’t think Moose pitch well last night. Take a look at the game posting and see how Texas ranks among the other MLB teams then come talk to me.

  • Rich

    I think the offensive inconsistency is a bigger problem than the pitching.

    As for Moose, a couple of a bad calls in the first inning, the worst on the call at 1B when Jeter had clearly thrown the runner out on a very nice play, ran his pitch count up and probably cost him an inning or an inning and a half.

    Moose has proven me wrong to this point in the season, and I’m damn happy about it.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      the issue with that is that the offensive inconsistency has been here for years. it’s just worse this year. the older guys and getting older, and free swingers are swinging more freely. it’s not going to get better without some changes in philosophy on the offensive side, and the rivers did not exactly part last night with the mighty Brett starting.

      other than that, i’m glad you said this, because people spend too much time obsessing over what prospect’s development isn’t to their liking, or what middle reliever is the answer to our problems.

  • Steve

    “Why am I writing the game wrap? Because Iā€™m not the one who blew the game last night.”

    Hahahahah! Glad you liked it. I can only get so upset about a Baseball game before the silly gene kicks in.

  • pat

    hey mike any idea why Bittle hasnt signed yet? i figured he would have been one of the first people down to staten island. I just wanna see The Thing absoluely wrecking wood bats.

    • Mike A.

      Not sure, but it’s only July 1st, there’s a month and a half before the signing deadline.

      Also, ask any draft/prospect related questions in the DotF thread please.

  • Ron

    Offensive inconsistency? What offensive inconsistency? They consistently suck, at least w/ runners in scoring position. With RISP, their avg, obp, and slg is 12 out of 14 in each category. That’s about as consistent as you can get. And if that doesn’t change (and there is no reason to believe it will, as a half a season is not an insignificant sample size), there’s not a snowball’s chance in hell of this team making the play-offs.

  • Bo

    With matsui probably done for a long time they are going to need a big bat.

    • Ben K.

      And where might they find a big bat for only money right now? I can’t for the life of me figure it out.

      • Tripp

        How about a trade for Adam Dunn? Wouldn’t it only be a rental?

        • A.D.

          Dunn is hitting .212 with RISP this season, and has never hit over .250 for a season….not really an upgrade

          • A.D.

            Bonds: .313 BA with RISP
            Garett Atkins: .303

            …that’s career since 1987, which doesn’t affect Atkins, and would affect Bonds, but due to the the large sample and that he was a rookie in 1986, it really wouldn’t make a difference

            • Tripp

              Dunn’s 48 RBIs would be 2nd on the team.

              I’m not really advocating THAT much for him, but nothing wrong with 40+ homers and 100+ walks in the 5 or 6 hole.

              Also 31 of his 56 hits are for extra bases. Pretty impressive.

              • christopher

                does this team need another DH?

                there are too many holes on this team right now and looking around the AL they are arguably the 6th best team in the league behind the angels, red sox, rays, and even the twins and surging tigers.

                for all of those who want to hold the kids at all costs is this team really going to go out and get a set-up man, a top flight starter, and an impact righty bat. And is cashman going to trade away of his children.

                this is an old and unbalanced team and should b looking to unload some of its older players with value – damon and mussina could net a nice return.

                any trades that they make shuld be fr young up and coming players i wish they would make a major play for LaPorta using some of thei pitching depth.

                start preparing for 2009 and beyond – with every passing day and every pitiful offesnsive performanc, 2008 is looking more and more like a lost casue

          • tommiesmithjohncarlos

            Plus he doesn’t like baseball that much and doesn’t have a passion to play the game… I’ve done my homework on guys like Adam Dunn and I think there’s a reason we don’t want Adam Dunn.

      • Geno

        I’d rather try getting Juan Rivera.

  • Geno

    “Baseball needs the Red Sox to win because the Red Sox are rock stars,” Jayson Stark, on Mike & Mike today.

    Memo to Jayson: When the kneepads you’re using to help you blow Boston wear out, I’m pretty sure ESPN issues them to employees for free.

    sorry to hijack the thread. i just had to note this unreal bs here.

    • TurnTwo

      i understand the resentment of ESPN to their love affair with the Saux, bc at times it overwhelms me too, but look at that statement again… is it really that far from reality?

      they’ve 2 of the last 4 WS, and if they can do it again, which they’ve got as good a chance as anyone, you’re talking dynasty territory in this age of sports.

      theyve got larger than life players: DiceK, and Manny being Manny, and Big Papi, who has to be in as many commercials, if not more, than Peyton Manning at this point.

      theyve got the young kids you can route for that bring energy to the ballpark, and the old vets who help ground the young kids when they go to far.

      and theyve got a manager who is one of the best people in baseball.

      they are rock stars.

      • A.D.

        They may have popular players, and a good team but “they need to win the WS” no one said that about the Yanks during their run. Wouldn’t it be better to say something like it would be great for the game for TB to make the playoffs or even win a WS because they can show the game that small market teams can very much compete, and how building from within is the way to go.

        • A.D.

          Guess the quote isn’t actually win the WS, but thats generally what I take they need to win to mean

      • christopher

        never thought i would eny the red sox – they are beating us in every facet of the game. they have guts something i think many would agree most yankees lack, their farm system is far superio than the yanks as it seems eveyone they bring up contributes, killin us international free agents and forget big trades – lowell was a throw in and he is an all star

        they have become what the yankees were in the 90s and baring a catostrohic injury to beckett and dice-k they will continue to dominate for the net years. a team buit for the present and the future – it is just scary – in fact it is bizzaro baseball

        although it is sickening how all of the sudden there ae so many so fans all over

  • BillyBall

    I have TWO bones to pick with the editors of RAB. I am a supporter of this website but wow, you guys are really missing the boat.

    Point number 1 of contention: The above post states “Baseball needs the Red Sox to win because the Red Sox are rock stars,ā€ Jayson Stark, on Mike & Mike today. Why are we waiting sooo long to post an article demanding all RAB viewers to vote on the All-Star game and make sure that little punk Pedroia does not beat out Ian Kinsler for the AL All-Star 2nd base starter? This is extremely important as we NY Yankee fans do not want to watch the last All Star game at the old stadium feature 5 Red Sox in the starting lineup. Red Sox fans by the way are eating this up!

    Point number 2: The NY Yankees had an accepted offer for Michael Inoa an international signing. Pending Pinstripes has a great article covering how thru shady dealings the player was able to wiggle out of the accepted offer and the A’s signed him. This kid is viewed as a pitcher that comes along once every decade. Now that means nothing and there is no guarantee that he will even make it to AAA. But if it were the Yankees that pulled this off and the A’s were left standing on the dance floor with no partner we would be labeled bullies and the problem with baseball. Now that this kid signs with the A’s for 4.2 million after accepting a contract with us and it goes unnoticed. Pure shady bullshit!

    • Ben K.

      Perhaps scrolling down on the main page would be a good idea. We covered the All Star Balloting a few times, more recently yesterday afternoon. Inoa we got here.

    • TurnTwo

      not for nothing, but RAB has posted a couple of All Star Game threads re: voting.

    • steve (different one)

      who gives a crap about the All-Star game?

  • justin

    Someone needs to remind this team that they need to earn their pqychecks. They look way too satisfied with taking a few swings, grounding out softly, and killing rallies that the few members of the team who actually seem inspired to play this game start for them. Like it or not this team looks slothful and content and the only guy who can take the fall for that is Girardi. He has yet to prove to me that him being prepared and looking at stat sheets makes a good manager. In fact he has made some hyper-analytical moves recently that haven’t panned out (see the lineup against the mets on Sunday and pulling Gardner in favor of Damon instead of Melky the inning prior. He doesn’t seem to have a feel for anything besides calling pitchouts and managing his bullpen. Up until this point he seems to be over-managing everything else.

    • steve (different one)

      oh no, he pulled Brett Gardner!! the guy with 3 major league ABs!

      and after Gardner stole a base after beating out a double play ball!!!! wow!!!

      implying that the yankees don’t “care” or aren’t “trying” is stupid.

      the Yankees are ahead of where they were last year with basically the same team, but somehow it’s all on the manager.

      • A.D.

        Its because they’re still underachieving, underachieving generally falls on the manager

      • Ben C

        Underachieving? Based on the injuries this team has had to go through, I would not say we are underachieving. I think we’re in a fine position right now, and with plenty of games left against the Red Sox and Rays, especially in late August/September(when we’ll, cross your fingers, finally be healthy), I think that is where we can come alive and win this race. Grant it, if we lose 5 or 6 of the next 8, playing the teams we need to beat, I might be with you.

    • Ron

      Girardi has not impressed me at all to this point. He has batted Melky leadoff on numerous occasions. Last night, lets Molina bat in the bottom of the 7th, then pinch hits for Gardner in the 8th. WTF? Why carry 3 catchers if you’re only gonna use 2? And concerning his use of the bullpen, you wouldn’t know it wasn’t Torre making the moves. Yeah, we should give him more than 1/2 season before we pass judgment, but so far, I’m not impressed at all.

      • TurnTwo

        hasnt melky actually had his best performances statistically speaking while batting leadoff this year?

        • Ben C

          yea I don’t have a problem with throwing Melky up in the leadoff spot a few times to see if he can get going. If you’re going to try to play him as an everyday player you have to figure out a way to get more than .220 avg from him, no matter where he is batting.

        • steve (different one)

          Melky has 41 plate appearances batting leadoff and we are halfway through the season.

          Torre gave Melky 162 plate appearances batting leadoff last year.

          so, Girardi is only batting Melky leadoff 50% of the time Torre did. so, that’s a 100% improvement.

          also, many of Melky’s ABs leading off came in National League parks where the pitcher was in the 9th spot AND Damon was out. that doesn’t make it right to bat Melky leadoff, but you can kindof follow the thought process.

          also, you guys complaining about pinch hitting for Gardner are cracking me up. most managers, if they had one real threat on the bench (Damon) would use it to pinch hit for the guy playing his first game in the majors.

          • Ben K.

            I probably would have PHed Betemit for Molina in the 7th and then used Damon for Gardner in the 8th. No offense to Brett but using Damon in that spot was absolutely the right move. Anyone saying otherwise is just being a contrarian.

            • steve (different one)

              i forgot about Betemit. you nailed it, that’s exactly what he should have done.

              also, i don’t get how it’s on Girardi that Jeter came up and hit exact same grounder to SS three times in a row.

              are we saying that Jeter needs to be motivated by his manager?

              i know it feels better to blame the manager (and yes, we were guilty of this with Torre at times, no question), but this lineup needs to score more than 1 run against Scott Feldman. it justs does.

              it doesn’t matter what order Girardi puts them in, or if he didn’t pinch hit someone. that is just tinkering.

              the bottom line is that this lineup needs to score more than 1 run against Scott Feldman and the Texas bullpen. Girardi can’t hit for these guys.

          • A.D.

            Melky is hitting .273 in the leadoff spot with a .375 OBP this year, and its only been 8 games there, which isn’t much

      • A.D.

        I think his bullpen management has been pretty good, and well beyond Torre, no one has been overworked this year, and with injuries & the Joba move guys are now settling down to positions, you can disagree with Farns in the 8th, but he’s pitching pretty well there, Veras has stepped up for 7/8th.

        The catcher thing I don’t get, if you’re going to carry 3 catchers that’s fine, but use the, it means late in the game you should be pinch hitting for Molina, yeah he cracks the occasional double, but it’s not something to rely on. Molina is probably better at throwing out runners than Moeller, but Moeller seems to being doing quite well behind the plate this year, so its not a big dropoff.

        Otherwise Girardi is a victim of how the Yanks are playing, he can’t make Posada get a hit with Giambi on 3rd, he can only manage the pitching and get runners moving when they get on, players have to get hits, which they haven’t been doing, at least with any consistency

        • Tripp

          Moeller was 3 for 10 lifetime against Perez with 3 homers…..why didn’t he get the start?

          His one pinch hit AB was almost another homer.

          • steve (different one)

            i assume what you meant to type was 1 for 13 with 0 HRs and 5 K’s, b/c those are the real numbers.

        • jyates29

          wow…I started a thread! I’m kinda proud of myself. Maybe I’m being contrarian but I really don’t think putting Damon in there was the right move. It’s not about Gardner plate appearances for me so much as the thought that his legs are fresher and younger than Damon especially with the foot injury. I don’t think it was the wrong move per se, it didn’t lose the game by any means. I would have pinch hit Damon for Melky in the 8th and moved Gardner over to center, but hey I’m not the manager of the New York Yankees so what do I know.

          • jyates29

            Maybe I just want to see Brett Gardner starting instead of Melky so I can at the very least try and watch someone new struggle to catch up to major league pitching.

            • steve (different one)

              i don’t think many people would disagree with you there.

              once Damon is 100%, i would also like to see Gardner start in CF over Melky at least for a little while.

              in the big picture, you have a point.

              but my point was simply that you have to look at it from Girardi’s POV: Gardner has 3 AB’s in the majors. if the choice is to PH for him or Melky, 30 out of 30 managers would choose to PH for the guy playing his first game ever. criticizing Girardi for that just seems like a stretch.

              • jyates29

                Oh I see your point completely, and I don’t mean to say Girardi is a bad manager because he pinch hit for Brett Gardner. Its just something that stuck out in my mind as an odd circumstance and definitely too little too late. It was a frustrating game and I think by that point my blood was boiling over. Now if Damon gets a double there, we’re having a different conversation. Its just another instance of something that didn’t work for the Yankees, which seems to be the general trend this year.

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos

      Absolutely fucking right. There’s only one possible solution for this: Make Girardi a player-manager.

      If he was behind the plate instead of that slothful Jorge Posada, who’s sitting on his fat paycheck, Girardi’s exuberance would lift the whole team.

      • jyates29

        I get that your trying to say that criticizing the enthusiasm and energy of established veterans is silly, and that blaming it on the money is even dumber because f*** me right? Well to your point, Girardi’s exuberance and energy is supposed to be driving this team isn’t it? He is the manager, he is supposed to be keeping these guys sharp isn’t he? Or is he only getting paid to look over gigantic stat books and figure out who OPS’s more against lefty relievers in late innings? I know that I’m making a tired argument…maybe we should just sit back, watch the offense suck and not complain at all.

        • tommiesmithjohncarlos

          I’m just being stupid, dude… don’t take it personal.

  • jyates29

    One thing I do know is that the Yankees roll over and die after the 6th inning. As a team they have hit .258/.331/.400 after the 6th inning and are 2-35 when trailing past the sixth. The Red Sox by contrast, are hitting .252/.325/.430 after the 6th inning. Bullpens have not gotten that much better, this offense IS under-performing. To provide a little bit of perspective the American league average in those innings is slightly lower than the Yankees at .252/.325/.393. Call it injury, call it the manager, call it whatever you want this is a $150 million dollar offense that isn’t earning its money.

    • jyates29

      wrong number in there….the Red Sox line is: .270/.350/.430…I copied the wrong line from my notes…its like high school all over again!

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos

      We are, according to, 3-33 when trailing after the 6th inning. That’s horrible, right?

      Let’s take a look at the teams who have a better record than us.
      Rays: 3-26
      Cubs: 10-26
      Angels: 3-28
      Red Sox: 8-24
      White Sox: 5-25
      Cardinals: 3-22
      A’s: 7-27
      Twins: 7-28
      Brewers: 7-26
      Phillies: 6-31

      Pretty much every team sucks when they’re trailing after the 6th inning. Perhaps our problem is not that we die after the 6th but that we haven’t had good starting pitching entering the sixth. Or maybe we’ve just had so many injuries to key offensive producers that we can’t build a lead going into the 6th.

      Oh, by the way, our record when leading after the 6th? 36-1. It’s baseball…both good teams and bad teams tend to lose when their behind late and win when they’re ahead late.

      • ceciguante

        so, of the 10 teams with better records than the yanks, all have better records when trailing after the 6th, and 7 out of 10 have managed at least a couple more wins in those situations. i wouldn’t call that insignificant.

        what’s more troubling to me are the #s cited earlier, that the yanks are 12 of 14 in the AL with RISP in BA, OBP and SLG.

        so the yanks are not so good late, and bad with RISP.

        where’s the confidence, the belief that the yanks are going to win? i just don’t see it in their body language, or in their opponents. guess that’s what happens when they’re one of the easiest teams to work out of jams against, and not too tough to hold off in the late innings.

      • steve (different one)

        Oh, by the way, our record when leading after the 6th? 36-1

        impossible. i was assured the Yankees would lose every single one of those games if they took Joba out of the bullpen.

  • jyates29

    Oh my god! Really!? I thought the Yankees were a basketball team?! I know we’re talking about baseball. If you look at the numbers I gave it says that the Yankees are slightly over league-average after the 6th inning which would coincide with your point that everyone else would have a decently similar record when trailing after the sixth. My problem with the team as I can see from the numbers you gave is, aside from the Phillies, none of those other teams have trailed after the 6th as much as the Yankees. The Rays have as many wins as we do but 7 fewer losses. I know its not as easy as this, but If you take those seven losses and put the in the win column, the Yankees are in first place. Your point is well founded. There have been a lot of injuries to the team and our pitching hasn’t been great. We have been basically a league average team overall for the season, which, given this roster is unacceptable…agreed?

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos

      Yes, I agree that being slightly above league average is unacceptable. I’m just saying it’s not simply some mythical inability to “deliver” in the late innings that’s to blame for us being slightly above league average… I think the real reason we’re only slightly above league average is because we’ve played large stretches of this season with our best offensive players hurt (Posada, ARod) or hobbled (Jeter, Matsui, Damon) or slumping (Cano, Cabrera) and that we’ve given too many starts to league average or worse pitchers (Hughes, Kennedy, Rasner, Giese, and periods of limited effectiveness by Moose, Pettitte, and Wang.)

      We haven’t consistently put out a lineup and a rotation that is demonstrably better than league average. I know people look at the payroll and say we’ve got to have a great team, but if Posada, ARod, Damon, and Molina are all hurt and out of the lineup, Pavano is on the 60 day-DL and Igawa is in the minors and it’s Darrell Rasner’s turn in the rotation, all of a sudden your $190-million dollar juggernaut is actually 9 guys and a DH who make a total of $78 million, and teams like the Brewers and Diamondbacks are putting out lineups that make more money than ours does.

  • Rob_in_CT

    “This one should be easy to put behind us.”

    Not for me. This one really pissed me off. This happens too often (making a mediocre pitcher look like pedro in his prime) to the Yanks. Wasting a really good outing from Mussina… arrrrrgggggghhhhh!

  • christopher

    i hate to say it but this is just not a good team. it was old and breakking down with the majority of its stars on the downside of their careers. we went into the season wiith a staff that could not possibly have success and have been bitten by the injuy bug.

    unlike last year there are more than just the fadig tigers to wory about and the rays are for real. how long before we sto talking about acquiring players and start to talk about dumoing some players for some young offensive talent.

    its a shame that the team very well miss the playoffs in the stadiums final season, butif they could add some youn offenive talent, even if that means trading some of the bue-chip pitchers this team can make some noise net year with all the money coming off the payroll. a 2009 rotation of sabathia, sheets, joba, wang and hughes sounds mighty good wnad with the money coming off the payoll and the new stadium such a splash is cetainly not inconcievable

    gettig late ealy in the bronx this year