Starting the second half off right

Staten Island walks off with a win
Game 97: Rookie vs Rookie

Posted by mobile phone:
So that was a comfoting win, no?

The Yanks, facing a lefty tonight, got off to a quick start early in tonight’s game. New addition Richie Sexson drove in the Yanks’ first run of the second half and against a lefty to boot. Two innings later, Robinson Cano, badly in need of a strong second half, lofted a home run into the night to give the Yanks a lead that would stick.

For the third place Yankees, tonight’s win was exactly what the doctor ordered. After a rough end to the first half, they beat a fellow Wild Card conpetitor and scored six runs against a southpaw. The Red Sox lost badly in Anaheim, and the Yanks now find themselves 5.5 games behind Boston with many, many games left to play.

Meanwhile, the story of tonight was once again the washed-up and ineffective Mike Mussina. Moose, shooting for that long-elusive 20-win season, nailed down his AL-leading 12th win tonight. While he pitched his way into trouble in the first and an early 1-0 deficit, he gutted it out for six innings, allowing nine hits but no walks for the eighth time this season. His ERA now sits at a nifty 3.49, and he keeps giving the Yanks what they need: innings and wins.

With a stellar pitching matchup later today – Duchschere vs. Chamberlain – Friday night’s game was a good one to win, and win it they did.

Staten Island walks off with a win
Game 97: Rookie vs Rookie
  • cult of basebaal

    it wasn’t the win, it was the how of the win. they walked, they stole bases, they hit with RISP and 2 out. Frankly, it was everything the offense wasn’t for almost the entire 1st half.

    is this some turning point? who knows? we can only hope …

    i will say this, if go-go meacham doesn’t stop green lighting runners into outs, some friends of mine from jersey are gonna have to get medieval on his ass …

  • Mike

    Oakland actually reconfigured their rotation and Gallagher is pitching tomorrow against God.

  • Anthony M

    I’ve been debating this all night. Someone needs to stop Bobby Meachem, but does him sending A-rod earlier in the game and the collision at home plate with the Kurt Suzuki have anything to do with Suzuki misplaying that ball on the Abreu triple that scored Jeter.

    I know Jeter isn’t half as big as A-rod, but was another collision in the back of Suzuki’s head when he misplayed that should-be out?

    I can’t tell. All season Meachem has been sending them on plays where they are out by atleast 5 feet, but I am starting to wonder if this is just a more aggressive approach that Girardi has for the team coming around third.

    It does force the other team to make a play. I’m not saying Bobby Meachem is making good decisions, just that maybe he knows he is making bad decisions with the idea being, “let’s be more aggressive and make them throw us out.”

    Any thoughts?

    • christopher

      way too many automatic outs at home this year. there is a big difference between challenging an outfielder to make a perfect throw and just sending the runner hoping that the defense screws up the play.

      he’s gotta go, but i doubt girardi will axe a coach in the middle of his first season, but maybe he could talk to the guy and tell him that right now the team would be better off with a crash test dummy holding up a big green light. its his job to determine when it is the right move to send the runner – not to decide before the play if he is going to regardless of where and how hard the ball is hit – i.e. dont decide in your head that because there are 2 outs and crap is on deck that i am sending arod on a hit no matter what

      • Matt K

        Willie Randolph

    • Chris

      If there is a 75% chance of scoring on a play, then it makes sense to send the runner. Particularly with 2 outs.

      These plays were probably not the best move, but a third base coach who has no one thrown out at home is not being aggressive enough. More often than not, a third base coach makes a mistake when he doesn’t send a runner. He will never get excoriated in the media for holding a runner, but it won’t score as many runs for the team.

  • christopher

    Is moose destined for cooperstown?

    6 more wins this year for moose i think is more than fair which would leave him 32 away from 300. Gotta believe that he could get that in three years – 4 at the most.

    Does he have it in him to pitch 3 possibly 4 more years? I think he has shown he can pitch very well with an 87 mph fastball in the AL East no less. put him in the NL and he has a great chance

    Would he want to play that long? Fo some reason I get the impression from him that he wont be one to hang on to get to 300 wins. I dont think he will continue to pitch unless he is pitching above average. Another year like last and i thnk he would hang it up. Even though he could pitch to a 5 ERA and still win 7-12 games a year.

    If he wins 6 more this year and 12 next year puting him at 280, is he a hall of famer? There will be the nay-sayers who say he never won 20 games, never won a Cy young (i may be mistaken, but i dont think so), no rings, and that he was arguably never the best pitcher in the league – a BS argument i hear the gammon’s clones make often.

    if he finishes at

    280 wins – give or take a few
    3.7 career ERA (league average during his career 4.50)
    only 1 season with an ERA above league average
    2 – 19 wins years
    3 – 18 win years
    2 – 17 win years -he will add to one of these three this year, maybe break 20
    career WHIP of 1.19

    I gotta think that even if he pitches only 2 more seasons he belongs in the HOF, but I hope he holds on to make it to 300. Unfortunatly he will have to do it in another uniform though. As much as i love what he is doing the rotation needs to get younger and if they sign CC, it leaves him no room in the rotation, but he is a hall of famer in my book whether or not he makes it to 300. What a difference a season makes – never would have said that let alonethought he could even win another game after last year. He has adjusted incedibly this year to the drop in his velocity.

    • Chris

      If he retired today, he wouldn’t be in, but if he can pitch effectively for 3 more seasons, I think he makes it. I’d love to see him finally reach 20 wins this year.

      On another note, when you compare Josh Beckett and Mike Mussina over the last 3 years, they’re remarkable similar. Beckett strikes out more guys and gives up less hits, but Mussina walks less and gives up less HR. The bottom line is that they give up about the same number of runs.

  • christopher

    Trivia question – need an answer

    Anyone have a stat on how many times a starter has finished the year with more games started than walks (with a minimum 20 or 25 games stated)? 16 walks in 20 games started this season for mussina.

    hell, he has a chance to have more wins than walks – that would be incredible – don’t know if that has ever been done for a pitcher with 16+ wins. I could be totally mistaken.

    Anyone know???

    • Kelvin

      agreed. that is just amazing. 20 games, 16 walks, 12 wins. amazing. is there anyone with a better games to walk ratio? (or IP to walk ratio)

    • dan

      I got your answer:

      It’s happened a bunch of times actually. Just eyeballing it, the total number seems to be about 30 times.

      • christopher


        who the heck is red lucas? never heard of the guy – 21 complete games with only 18 walks

        shows you how different the game was back in 1933 – he only went 10-16.

  • JeremyM

    Mussina has turned into a right-handed (and skinnier) version of David Wells, it seems.

    • Jamal G.

      I’d call him the A.L.’s Greg Maddux.

  • ryan

    isn’t gallagher pitching?

  • LiveFromNewYork

    It’s always amazing when a pitcher adjusts his basic stuff to his declining abilities and most cannot or will not do it.

    Moose is probably smarter than 99.9 percent of all baseball players but to translate that brainiac-ness into pitching is indeed impressive.

    To work it out in your head…what you need to do…and then get your body to do it…is unusual and highly commendable.

    But stats and not that uncanny ability is what gets you into the Hall. So he’ll have to keep up the pace to get there. Don’t know if he can…don’t know if he wants to…but it’s within his reach if he keeps doing what he’s doing. Even without it, the adjustments he’s made to squeeze out this performance this year is incredible.

  • Bart

    It was how they won it — Playing Molina and Gardner — nearly 0 for July

    Gardner pushed that but a little too hard and to much left — a few degrees toward first and he would have been safe – maybe dead with the stupid slide but safe – humans can’t flyfaster than they can run – sliding to 2nd,3rd is often necessary and more efficient than running through those bases — to first base FULL STRIDE IS ALWAYS FASTER and depite the add Brian Roberts – less dangerous.

    2nd half comparisons –

    BACK TO MULTIPLE HOLES IN THE LINEUP — with his hurts Jorge is at less than last year’s production – maybe he can round into form such that the 2nd half 2008 equals 2nd half 2009. He need to catch

    CANO and ABREU has monster 2nd halfs in 2007 — they need to up their production.

    Jeter and ARod need to be at 2nd half 2007 form — Jeter is shpwoing signs of life — Arod may be there.

    Melky is bad to sporadic and not at all good RH — maybe he should sit agiants lefties when Damon gets back.

    The O fers — I get playing Gardner – I advocated trading Melky in the iwnter because i thought Gardner superior in the OF (he is actually) with better plate judgement — he needs to show it

    Playing Molina is wasting an offense slot where the Yankees are really not scoring consitently (hopefully last night continues – but Hope is not a plan or a LINEUP

    I have a theory that playing Molina is like Playing GIRARDI – who kept Posada off the field 1.5 seasons too long – while getting credit from Torre for mentoring Jorge. Girardi is playing Molina with the same prejudice that Torre played Girardi.

    The Yankees do not have the luxury of an O-fer in the linelup — at the moment they have 2 —

    OFFENSE needs consistency – Bat Sexon or Gimabi at DH and 1B and Jorge behind the plate – giving him a day when needed. If the Yankees fall out of the race with that lineup then Giradi can give Jorge extra rest.

    The Yankkes will continue to see lefties — so Sexon will gets lots of ABs — but Gimabi is an on base machine even when not getting hits and over the week before the All Start break he was getting ever more comfortable going to LF — a very good sign.

    • LiveFromNewYork

      Molina catches Moose and his defense is unbelievable. Jorge is hurt….we all know it, we all see it. I don’t think it’s a prejudice thing at all. And Girardi was a brilliant on field manager…something Jorge is not and never will be. I fault Torre for a lot of things but playing Girardi instead of Posada is not one of them.

  • RIYank

    It’s true that the good hitting was what we needed to see, and I love to see Moose do well (even if it’s his high wire act almost every inning). But for me the story of the night was… the bullpen. How is it that we started the year with what pundits thought was one of the worst bullpens in the AL, then exported Joba to the starting rotation, and now we have what is pretty plainly one of the top relief staffs in MLB? Amazing. David Robertson is downright exciting, and last night even La Terrible was perfect.

  • RIYank

    Problem with Posada, Bart, is that he can’t throw. Like, at all, practically. Whereas Molina is the best thief-nabber in the business this year.
    It might still be worth playing Jorge 3/4 or 4/5 of the time, but I think Girardi just can’t stand the idea of allowing opposing runners to steal at will. I’m not defending Girardi, really, just trying to explain.

  • BillyBall

    Nice article about our favorite Red Szwk, Mr. Jonathan Papplepuss from YankeesGM.

    I have no problem with a young guy being confident, even a little cocky regarding his talent; but Papelpuss goes waaaayyyyyy too far.

    In addition to continually comparing himself to Mariano (are you kidding me?!?), the guy has zero class. Add this to all of the crap about him thinking that he should close the ASG, Peteabe had this from the AL clubhouse –

    Yankees clubhouse manager Rob Cucuzza said how impressed he was with the Red Sox players. A few of them asked to see Thurman Munson’s locker. “Those guys and Terry (Francona) have been incredibly respectful,” he said. “I didn’t really know them before this and they’ve been great.”

    Then we have Jonathan Papelbon, who is wearing a sleeveless blue t-shirt with a drawing of a hand making an obscene gesture. Yes, that obscene gesture.


    • Whitey14

      Just out of curiousity, who should he compare himself to? If you want to be the best, you have to compare yourself to the best. Just be clear before I add some numbers, I’m not disagreeing that Mr. Papelbon should learn what it means to be seen and not heard more often, nor am I saying that he’s a better closer than Rivera because even though I’m a Sox fan I think Rivera’s the best of the past 20 years. I just think that one day we may be able to look back and say the same thing about Papelbon.

      I know we’re talking about vastly different sample sizes, but Papelbon’s percentage based numbers compare very nicely with Rivera’s which could (I said could) lead his career cumulative numbers to compare very favorable one day as well.

      Papelbon 201.3 IP 10.9 K/9 1.79 ERA/259 ERA+ .929 WHIP
      Rivera 995.3 IP 8.2 K/9 2.30 ERA/198 ERA+ 1.029 WHIP

      Papelbon 14.6 IP 5.5 K/9 0.00 ERA/ ?? ERA+ .886 WHIP
      Rivera 117.3 IP 7.1 K/9 0.77 ERA/ ?? ERA+ .750 WHIP

      These numbers come from Baseball Reference and they didn’t have a listing for ERA+ in the postseason.

      Obviously it’s a testament to Rivera that he’s been doing this for 14 seasons now and is currently enjoying one of his finest campaigns at the age of 39. His dominance and longevity are what make him a first ballot HOFer. Whether Papelbon is able to do that remains to be seen and whether he accumlates 6 40+ save seasons would be a big factor in his career Save total. We’ll see when Free Agency comes around if he decides to stick with a competitive organization like Boston, which should only help his numbers, or if he’ll take a big contract to go play with an organization that doesn’t win as much, but will offer him the kind of dough he wants. After watching Rivera, he has to realize that 12-14 seasons of what he’s currently done for just 2.5 seasons would make him a HOFer too.

  • huuz

    check out this flyball that manny missed, and turned into a triple. the camera cuts to a shot of theo, it is priceless.

    i think just sealed manny’s fate in boston. he’s out of there.

    it is the video with the title, “Izturis gets a triple with a little help from Manny”

    • Ivan

      I can’t wait when he can’t hit anymore, and how many people will say it’s just “Manny being Manny”.

    • Count Zero

      I doubt that play sealed anything — ugly as it was.

      Given the Big Papi situation, the Red Sox would be stupid to decline the option on Manny at the end of the year. If they had to sign him for 4+ that would be one thing. But they don’t — they just have to pay $20MM for one season while they buy time to find another solution. It’s a no-brainer IMO.

  • Joey

    Will someone tell me why Goose just won’t shut up? On Joba:

    “I think he’s more valuable, personally, in the bullpen, to utilize him two or three or four days out of the week is more valuable to a ballclub than starting him,” Gossage said of Chamberlain. If Joba goes back, who starts in his place? “The way starters are used today, now it’s getting closer to five innings to being a quality start,” Gossage said. “I think they can get most anybody to be a starter today. With the emphasis on those set-up guys, they’ve really been instrumental. Now you don’t win a world championship without a great, great bullpen. So I think he was more valuable in the bullpen.”

    Seriously Goose? Anyone can be plugged in to be a starter? (found it via SI Rumors section)

    • Jamal G.

      Just because he was a great player and a great Yankee player doesn’t mean we can’t call him a fucking idiot. Unfortunately, that is what he is. Remember quotes like these next time you hear a player has an opinion on personnel decisions.

      There is a reason why you see basically no former players in the front offices of baseball and football organizations. To evaluate talent and things of that sort takes one book-smart type person. There is a reason why people like John Kruk, Eric Young, and Chris Singleton either wanted Joba Chamberlain to stay in the bullpen or not have instant replay, they are dumb.

      • LiveFromNewYork

        I love Goose but that’s just stupid.

        • Whitey14

          The guy is just stating his opinion fellas. He’s not chastizing the yankees, or Chamberlain. Are you under the misconception that he called up the reporter and asked to be interviewed? Because I’m guessing that didn’t happen. He was asked the question and he answered it, with his honest and informed opinion.

          Think about where it comes from, a guy who was once turned into a starter for a season (for the horrible 1976 White Sox) before going on to become a lights out HOF closer. Of course he’s going to think that relievers are more valuable than starters. What he’s saying is Joba would have great value in the pen, and he would. He also has great value as a starter. The team needed to decide where they felt he would have the best value and they decided it was as a starter. It’s working out well for him and the team so obviously they agreed with those of you who wanted him in the rotation, but that doesn’t mean that there aren’t people out there who disagree and I don’t neccesarily think it makes them idiots or dummies.

      • TheLastClown

        He’s just a bitter old man who’s angry he had to throw so many 3 inning saves while he feels Mariano does a third of the work & gets double the credit.

        It takes power away from your brain to have chops that muttony, too…….