Wakefield the cure for what doesn’t really ail ya

Comeback for the ages in Tampa
The A-Rod/Hansen incident, explained

Throughout his relatively successful Boston career, Tim Wakefield hasn’t exactly had the Yankees’ number. Over 46 games and 29 starts, Wakefield has thrown 208.1 innings against the Yankees. He has a 9-16 record and a 5.01 ERA against the Bombers.

So the Yankees, riding a seven-game winning streak and just two games behind the Red Sox, didn’t really need to face Tim Wakefield today. But, hey, who’s complaining?

Three hours and twenty-eight innings later, in a game that included an over-the-top retaliation for Joba’s missing Kevin Youkilis on Friday, the Yanks emerged the 10-3 victors over the Red Sox. The team is 58-45, just one game — two in the win column — behind the Red Sox for the Wild Card lead. Since the All Star break, the Yankees are 8-0, and they no longer lose. Also, Mike always writes the game thread. I’m sensing a trend.

Today’s game started out with a bit of a rocky first inning. Alex Rodriguez, later the victim of retaliation off the arm of Craig Hansen, committed an error that led to two unearned runs. With this error, Andy Pettitte nearly reached 50 pitches by the second inning, but then things turned around. The Yanks plated one in the third, two in the fourth and four in the sixth to break the game wide open. While a J.D. Drew home run in the sixth cut the Yanks’ lead to four, three runs in the eighth put the game away for good.

In the end, Andy Pettitte had another stellar outing in a season full of them. He threw six innings, allowing one earned run on five hits and three walks while striking out seven. His ERA now stands at 3.76, and he’s 12-7 on the year. Joba, Moose and Pettitte make a rather effective threesome, eh?

After Pettitte left, the bullpen — sans the useless LaTroy Hawkins — took over. While Jose Veras, echoing Kyle Farnsworth, pitched himself into trouble by allowing two baserunners in 0.1 innings, Damaso Marte, newly arrived from Pittsburgh, struck out David Ortiz on four pitches. Edwar Ramirez retired Manny Ramirez and threw a scoreless eighth while David Robertson ended the formality with a 1-2-3 ninth.

Offensively, eight Yankees scored runs, and Robinson Cano led the way. Cano, now 18 for 35 (.514) since the All Star Break, knocked out three hits and drove in three runs. He also walked for the first time since the break. As much as any pitcher on this team, Cano has been as responsible for the Yanks’ second-half surge as anyone else, and it’s comforting to see his average climbing up to .270. Slumps end; good teams win.

Later tonight, baring a trade, Sidney Ponson will take the mound in an effort to deliver the Yanks their ninth strength win. Ponson has allowed nearly two baserunners an inning and faces the very effective Jon Lester. He will have his work cut out for him. But these are the post-All Star Break Yankees and anything is possible. They’re tired in the loss column with the Red Sox, and they’re three games behind the Rays. They’re buyers at the trade deadline, and anything is possible.

Comeback for the ages in Tampa
The A-Rod/Hansen incident, explained
  • doty

    now with nady in the mix would you trade abreu for lets just derek lowe? the dodgers need a hitter desperately and I am not such a big fan of Abreu

    • Count Zero

      In a word…no. I would rather get the compensation picks for Abreu.

      • Manimal

        same, Nady has never seen the AL, you never know what could happen.

    • Matt

      What would be the point of trading Abreu? He is gonna finish this year most likely around .290, or possibly even higher. He has a good eye and is gonna finish the year with over 100 RBIs.

      Lowe, is a solid pitcher, but why deal Abreu when the Yankees can go out and get Washburn for virtually nothing? Washburn is left handed, and lefties have very good sucess at the stadium.

    • JeffG

      No, that re-opens the hole we just filled… Damond won’t be able to play everyday in left and/or that will leave the DH spot short now that Posada needs to get on with his surgery. Johnny rotating in and out of the DH spot giving Nady/Melky/Abreau a rest is how I better see it.
      I think the better trade for Lowe would be Matsui. I could imagine that Torre would love to have him again and perhaps it would gain a decent prospect. Then again, I really like Matsui it would be great to have him around healthy next year. Big decisions.
      Washburn for a couple of low lever prospects is the best idea in my eyes. I think there might be some life left in him if he is on a team that doesn’t stink. If the Mariners think they are getting Kenndey though – forget it.

    • Steve

      Nady is a FAR superior RF to Abreu. Nady leads Baseball in range factor and has a good ZR while Abreu sits at the bottom the AL as a RF.

      I know we have to wait until Damon is healthy (he wanted to play the field yesterday but Girardi wants to wait) but once Damon is ready, Abreu REALLY REALLY should be our DH for the rest of this year. We don’t need him turning outs into doubles because he’s scared of walls, and we don’t have such dominating starting pitching where it doesn’t matter much.

      Nady-RF Melky-CF Damon-LF is our best defensive OF. By a LOT.

  • Manimal

    Your closing sentence reminded me of Justin timberlakes song during the Espy’s/KG. What a great song. Anyways I was impressed with the yankees. They seemed to have the right approach. Played really well.

  • doty

    they can get those same picks for lowe, I would love to see nady in right, and there has been rumblings of manny being released hey u never know!

    • JeffG

      Give me a break… if there is one thing I’m proud of is that the Yanks are the Yanks. That is something completely opposite of what Manny is. If this statement is something you can’t understand – you really don’t know your team.

    • Steve

      The Yanks could have had Manny for nothing (but his salary) a few years back when he was placed on irrevocable waivers by the Sox. They passed, and so did 28 other teams.

      Manny has a rude awakening coming if he thinks he can do better than the 20 mil he has coming from Boston. This could be the dumbest contract move since Ray Knight left the Mets or Graig Nettles decided to negotiate his own deal (in 82?).

  • Joey H

    that whole arod HBP showed them what pricks are on the team. but o well it got us like 6 more runs. im suprised joe didnt have edwar throw at whoever was up at the time, lowell?

    • Manimal

      Its ok Hansen is a shitty pitcher anyways. If Ponson has cojones then he will throw at someone.

      • Brian

        I don’t know, guys. I don’t think the HBP was over-the-top at all. We can’t call Youk a bitch and say it’s over-the-top when they squarely tag us. It’s just not honest.

        I say we just call Youk a bitch and let A-Rod’s plunking be the price of having some fun.

      • Tim

        He doesn’t need cojones. All he needs is a dozen or so shots of liquid courage . . . just like he takes before any other start.

        • Jeremy

          Ponson is going to throw at someone

        • Jeremy

          I’m glad they did not have Edwar throw at anyone. Edwar could be broken like a stick by most MLBers.

          I would not mind if Ponson or Farnsworth throws at someone. They’re both pretty crazy and can take and deliver a punch.

          • Steve

            Seriously, if Edwar can’t cut it as a pitcher he can always get work in Baseball as a fungo bat.

  • dan

    Looks like Mike deserves a raise.

  • dan

    Oh and McCarver’s exaggerations were unbearable today.

    He said that Kevin Youkilis was one of the best hitters in all of baseball.

    And then later said that Craig Hansen is one of the most valuable trade chips in the game.

    • Bobtaco

      Well Bobby Meacham introduced Melky in the lineup at the beginning of the game “as one of the Yankees brightest young stars” :-P

    • JeffG

      Worse to me of McCarver’s (all of Fox’s) crazy talk is that the Pirates got very little in the trade. I think they got what you expect. Good prospect players that will be under contract for a long time. Tabata Has been a top prospect in all of baseball for a while, he’s young, and pretty much he’s had 4 bad months. Cashman’s interview on Pete’s blog puts it pretty plainly.

    • A.D.

      And he keeps saying that Veras was signed of TJ, 2 different games now

  • Paul

    I’m as ardent a Yankee fan as anyone but Youk is a VERY good player and why shouldn’t he be upset with Joba’s pitches whizzing by his head. I’d take him on the Yankees any day.

    • Geno

      Youk is a good player, yes. However, I think the whole point of throwing at him is to get him upset. It has a ripple effect throughout the Boston dugout.

    • John NY

      Now that the yanks take at least 2 out of 3, you have to wonder what the sox are going to do next in the trade market. As a response, they’re going to have to do something with their bullpen and manny. Is it me or does it seem like manny is done with playing in boston? I have a feeling the sox are going to dramatically change in the next few days.

      As for the Yanks, I’m still not sure washburn is the answer. Ponson/Rasner haven’t been great but they haven’t been bad either. And, why should we give up more than Igawa and cash for him. I hope Cashman sticks to his guns on this one.

    • Steve

      Because the Yanks are doing it ON PURPOSE. They know that he’s a high strung, overly serious type and they are trying (and succeeding) to get him off his game. Joba was down 3-0 after that pitch and he struck Youklis out 3 pitches later.

      Remember when Pinella used to do that to O’Niell all the time? The way to handle that is the way Torre told O’Niell to. Put your head down, get back in the batters box and get a base hit.

      • A.D.

        down 2-1, that pitch was a strike (hit the bat), the scoreboard had it wrong

  • Bart

    Ponson and Rasner have been awful BUT lucky — they are slotted aginst 4 and 5 opposing starters and have needed and not always gotten huge run support — Combined they are an acident waiting to happen
    — if Pettit Joba or Mussina gets nicked, a tired arm, a little tendonitis the rotation blows up – the matchup of Lester against Ponson today will reveal how fragile this is
    — Washburn replaces luck with some skill, provides insurance (who saw Wang’s injury coming — the 3B coach is responsible for losing 7 games and Wang with baserunning mistakes and nearly geting ARod hurt) Meacham is a disaster), is lefthanded and can be useful next year — frees up the ability to trade Rasner who would bring propsects (in the offseason -Ponson is the guy you dump now)

    Nady and marte were a briliant stoke — hope Cashman has afew more for next Feb.

    Matsui is not going to play the outfiled for the Yankees — he is not as good as Damon – despite being a superb hittter and an all around classy Yankee — he was not great OF and the repaired knee not only won’t help you can’t risk his knees if you want the bat in the lineup.

    They can play Damon and Nady — they need to replace Melky — but finding a true upgrade may be themost difficult thing to do.

    Posada’s repaired shoulder will not allow him in 2009 to throw out Sr. Agnes — maybe he can throw out Molina — in 2010 with the arm fully recovered he will still be challenged by the good base runners he could get last year.

    The Yankees need a C who can play and hit — tough to find

    Jeter needs a replacement – maybe he can get another year but how do you set up for 2010. My view is you move him to CF and use Melky plus to bring a top flight SS. Withh Jeter in CF all you need at SS is someone with better hitting line than Melky ito be a net plus. Increased range will save a fair number of potentially bad innings fo Moose and Wang (and support the kids as they mature).

    You could move Cano to SS and get at least an Eckstein for 2B.

    Can’t affortd to lose Texierria

    So the run to 2008 looks absolutely terrific and the way Joba Pettit and Moose are going you have to begin to like the short series playoffs. Washburn is the insurance piece. Melky is not a deep hole in a short series – Molina is deeper — but 1 to 7 are excellent (barring injury – ARod getting hit on a hand- stop this the risk is too high) — mix Sexton and Giambi (again speaking short series and in the WS the lack of DH is not a problem in the NL park. In Yankee Stadium – NL teams can’t match the 1-6 lineup — most have a Molina Melky hole, Girardi has a NL experience/strategy and the pitchers to imx and match.

    Play today Win today is real–

    So think trades/internal moves for 2009 -2010 that fix CF RF C 1B and SS

    We love Jeter but age is a thief — Do not forget the lesson of Ripken and the damage to the O’s playing him beyond his age/skill level at SS.

    Do not trade Abreu — pick up the draft choices — unless you can replace his coming 80 hits / 50 RBIs, ability to set up ARod and fill one of the 2009-2010 needs.

    • A.D.

      Cano isn’t going to play SS

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

    Also, Mike always writes the game thread. I’m sensing a trend.

    Dude, are you trying to jinx it?

  • Bart

    Cano can play SS — he is an upgrade over Jeter — it does not mean he wil but he has the tools and that gives the Yankees options – if not in 2009 then perhaps in 2010.

    He is a plus over all nearly all othe 2B but 2B is easier to find than a Jeter, Arod SS.

    No matter what you do you have to prepare to replace Jeter — Cano is an option that is all