What a difference a week makes

Hughes activated from the DL

It’s always easy to blame the new guy. It’s always comforting to point fingers at the interloper. It’s his fault, they say, that Andy Pettitte was off his game. That Ivan Rodriguez fellow, who needs him with Jose Molina calling better games?

Of course, it’s never quite that easy. Andy Pettitte just didn’t have it tonight. He allowed 14 base runners to reach in 5.1 innings and gave up nine runs tonight. Chris Britton, fresh up from AAA, finished the job in a way by allowing two inherited runners to score on the Angels’ third three-run home run of the night.

While Bobby Abreu continued his hot hitting with another homer and Xavier Nady launched his second Bronx bomb, the Yanks fell to the torrid Angels 12-6. It was just one of those nights, and with Sidney Ponson due to face Ervin Santana tomorrow, the timing couldn’t have been worse. There is, of course, a silver lining. While a flat-out awful call in the seventh squashed a Yankee rally before it could take off, the Yanks plated three runs in the bottom of the ninth, and we’ll get to get Joe’s belief that the team that scores last the night before starts off hot the next day.

For the Yankees, tonight’s loss dropped them a half further back behind the idle Red Sox and Rays in the AL East. With the Red Sox playing a fading Oakland team this weekend and the Rays, 40-16 at home, hosting the Tigers, the Yanks will have to bring their A game later tonight.

Meanwhile, more alarming is the fact that tonight’s loss was the Yanks’ fourth in five games. Since their eight-game winning streak to start the second half, the Yanks have cooled considerably. Sure, 9-4 over a 13-game span is still great baseball, but the hot streak has been dulled by a run of terrible baseball.

There is, in fact, no denying that these last few games have been terrible. Over their last five games, Yanks’ pitchers are throwing to an 8.80 ERA, and opponents are hitting around .350/.400/.600 against them. On the other side of the ball, the team’s hitters are hitting, but they can’t overcome such large deficits night after night.

Of course, the slate is wiped clean each day in baseball, and tonight the Yanks have a chance to start another winning streak. Maybe Ponson can launch them in a better direction.

Hughes activated from the DL
  • Joey H

    why not blame arod ;)

    • Joey H

      for all the people who want to argue with me this was a J-O-K-E. me and ben had an argument early on in the week about arods non clutchness lol

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

        I woulda played along last night, but, um, I could only access the back end of the site due to our upgrades. Lovely.

  • Arizona Steve

    Maybe Ponson can launch them in a better direction.
    Maybe the Yankees should launch Ponson in a different direction first.

    • Doug

      Like into the sun.

      • Tim

        Don’t talk crazy! Launching Ponson into the sun could kill us all!

  • stuart

    really how can a team that wants to make the playoffs be starting Ponson?/The Angels if the yget on base are more lethal then any other team. What is Ponson a 1.6 + WHIP guy, they will need a lot of luck and runs to win tonight….

    When Pettitte has a game like this it is reinforced that the games the Yanks lose against junkie teams are so important..

    the Angels are on a roll now.. When will Cash and Giradi try something new insted of Ponson? Any predictions?

    Nice out call at home tonight.. these umps blow so many blatant calls it is sick….

  • Todd S.

    Don’t forget though, Ponson does lead the team in back fat.


    • Thurman

      Best Blog Name Ever.
      Sorry guys.

  • Steve

    If it was passed balls or stolen bases that were the difference, then I could get on I-Rod, and not even that much since it was his first day here.

    I can’t blame I-Rod for Pettite not throwing strikes.

    • sam

      but you can blame him for allowing Tex to steal second because he botched the exchange.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

    “we’ll get to get Joe’s belief that the team that scores last the night before starts off hot the next day.”

    I have zero confidence in that theory right now.

    • RCK

      I think any theory that includes a start by Sidney Ponson among its data points needs a huge freakin’ asterisk.

  • r.w.g.

    Got to find a way to get Ponson out of here. He just sucks and I don’t want to see him throw five innings of BP for the Yankees ever again.

    Never thought I would be so psyched for a Carl Pavano rehab start.

  • mike

    An aside – every time I want to kill M&MD or Kay or Lupica, I realize how lucky we are in NY.
    I was reading the BosHerald this morning about Manny, and they did a “grade” of the trades which were made…..i re-typed (sorry) the Sox, Yanks and Cubs for giggles.

    Please tell me how the Sox grade higher than the yanks when they trade their HOF cleanup hitter and two real prospects for Jason Bay, while the Yanks add NadyI-Rod and Marte and lose only Farns from the ML roster? Or how the Cubs got Harden the moment CC was traded? Its just nonsense, but its bothersome!!!

    B+: Red Sox trade outfielder Manny Ramirez to the Dodgers and end up with Pirates outfielder Jason Bay. All things considered, general manager Theo Epstein did about as well as could have been expected, considering it was obvious Manny had to go. But we’ve seen Jason Bay, and he’s no Manny Ramirez.

    B: Yankees get catcher Pudge Rodriguez from Tigers, outfielder Xavier Nady and lefthander Damaso Marte from the Pirates. Rodriguez isn’t the player he used to be – he was losing playing time to Brandon Inge in Detroit – but he addresses a need for a team that has lost Jorge Posada for the season. Getting Nady keeps him away from the rival Mets.

    B-: Cubs get righthander Rich Harden from Athletics. It was a nice response immediately after their division rival got Sabathia. If Harden stays healthy, the grade could go up. But that’s a real risk, based on his track record.

    • steve (different one)

      Getting Nady keeps him away from the rival Mets.

      this is stupid.

      the yankees have no “rivalry” with the Mets except in the imagination of fans and sportswriters. they don’t play again this season, they don’t play in the same division or league. keeping Nady away from the Mets probably never crossed Cashman’s mind.

      Rodriguez isn’t the player he used to be

      do people think that the Yankees THINK he is the player he used to be? i keep reading this, but it’s completely irrelevant. everyone knows this, it’s a given.

    • dbroncos31

      Manny for Bay isn’t a bad trade. Bay is a much much much much much (I can’t emphasize this enough) better fielder, which will make a big difference. In addition, he’s a very good hitter and the Monster will help turn flyouts into HR and 2B. In addition, Hanse was a bust and Moss would never play. I’m not saying it’s better than the Yanks, but the Red Sox made a great move and they now have Bay under contract for next year at $7.5 mil instead of Manny at $20 or some other FA for $15+

      • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

        Keep selling it, we ain’t buying it.

      • mike

        right – Im not saying getting Bay was a bad move at all , but to think the Sox grade higher than the Yanks over the last week (forgetting hawkins for a live body??) when the Yanks filled every hole except a back-of-the-end rotation guy (who candidly would get 3-4 starts before Wang/IPK etc takes it) is nonsense.

        Thats why a team of gritty RedSox will finish out of the money this year, and while they have alot of $ off their payroll next year ( Varitek, Schilling, Manny) and will contend for CC/Sheets etc., they have some big holes to fill as well – without the certainty Manny brings to the offense

  • TurnTwo

    if there is one thing that ive taken from the last month or so, and specifically in the games since the ASB, is that its the pitching, stupid.

    first 8/9 games out of the break, pitching was impeccible. last 4/5, notsomuch, Joba aside.

    even in last nights game while squandering opportunities, the new and improved offense managed to score 6 runs. i think we’re going to see more consistency from the offense thru the rest of the season.

    but man, when your pitching stinks, its a killer. last night was a biggie, esp when you consider we have Ponson going tonight, and Rasner against Lackey on Sunday… and to see Andy go out and lay an egg so early in that game, just took the excitement out of the crowd and the intensity out of the game.

    Cashman was able to perform magic to help get the offense what it needed, but the team was unable to upgrade in the rotation.

    i know the team has a lot of road games in the month of august, but they include games against Texas and Minnesota and Toronto, who should all be handled with ease.

    but those remaining games with Anaheim and Boston, and those stupid f’n orioles, can come back to bite us if our pitchers get destroyed in those series.

    • Bo

      You’re just realizing that fact now??

      How do you think we have 4 titles since 96?

      You don’t win titles with guys like Rasner and Ponson.

      Moose should be the 5th starter. And what a good 5th he would be. He shouldn’t be a 3.

      • TurnTwo

        no, im not just realizing this now. im just saying, when you look at the last 13 games after the break as a microcosm to the entire season, its so obvious.

        ive been saying the yankees wont win, and will find it hard to make it to the playoffs, when Ponson and Rasner are making 40% of your starts. this past week just reinforces the idea.

        bc with Ponson and Rasner in the everyday rotation, you are expecting Moose, Pettitte, and Joba to be lights out every start from here thru Sept, and its just not possible. you need a little room to breath, for error.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

        The guy who is 12th in the AL in ERA should be our FIFTH starter?

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594331910 Jamal G.

          When you have Johan Santana, C.C. Sabathia, Joba Chamberlain, and Andy Pettitte, where do you expect Moose to pitch? The Yankees are only allowed to have the best of the best, duh.

  • kunaldo

    i dont understand why ponson is still starting….anybody with cognitive reasoning will realize that this guy almost guarantees us a loss……why can’t we call up aceves?? he’s lined up to pitch today…why not give him a shot over this clown??

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph P.

      He’s had two starts since an injury, and has rocketed through the system. I’m totally fine with not starting him. Doesn’t mean I like Ponson, however.

    • TurnTwo

      because i think Aceves is working back from his groin injury, and is still unproven at the AAA level… so we dont really know if he’s a better option or not.

      were it not for the setback, you might have seen him here at this point, but like it happened with Horne earlier this season, the injury cost Aceves, and the yankees.

    • steve (different one)

      anybody with cognitive reasoning will realize that this guy almost guarantees us a loss

      and yet the yankees won 4 of the 5 games he’s started.

      look, everyone knows Ponson sucks. including the Yankees.

      but they were really short on options when they picked him up, and they are still short on options.

      Kennedy and Aceves are getting closer. maybe even Pavano (i know).

      but this is what happens when you lose a guy like Wang. it eventually trickles down to the rest of your staff.

      you can’t just replace a #1/2 starter on the fly.

      • Thurman

        Though I understand that we won 4 of 5, I think it is time to give Kennedy another shot. His last start he wasn’t sharp by ANY means (in DOTF I believe your words were “bad peripherals”), and still shut down the AAA team he was facing. That is the sign that he isn’t gaining anything else down there.

        • kunaldo

          we won 4 of his 5 starts out of sheer luck…if you watched the games, you know that….no1 can survive with a 1.6+ whip…that is horrendous

          can coney come down from the booth and start? maybe leiter?

          • steve (different one)

            we won 4 of his 5 starts out of sheer luck…if you watched the games, you know that

            i did watch the games.

            in some of them he was lucky, in a few of the others, he was a little better than lucky.

            there weren’t a lot of hard hit balls against the mets or rays.

            texas and minnesota were more flukey.

            bu i agree that he isn’t good, and kennedy should be getting a shot soon, but i don’t blame the yankees for not sending Kennedy into Fenway on a Sunday night ESPN game and i don’t blame them for not having him in to pitch to the Angels.

            what good will it do to have him shelled in his first start back?

            and i am 90% sure he’d get shelled by Boston or Anaheim.

  • Chono

    It looks like the Yanks are the team to beat now – Tampa Bay will fade, and the BoSucks just traded away their best bat…

    Check this link out – they say the Yankees are the deadline winners, and one of the guy rips on the Red Sox pretty bad – it’s kinda funny:


    • TurnTwo

      what has TB done to show you that they will fade?

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

        Yeah, all TB has done is keep winning.

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

          It’s their intangibles, Ben. They don’t do the little things you have to do to win a ballgame. And, they’re young, so they’re not very consistent. If they can get some more consistency and start doing the little things, and maybe get a little experience, then sure, they’ve got a shot. I will probably be a three team race and they’ll be in it until the end, but they need consistency.

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

            I didn’t realize RAB had turned into a Joe Morgan chat.

            • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

              Couldn’t resist.

              • Doug

                Bill Fremp reads RAB?

  • http://www.droppedthirdstrike.com Chono

    Their pitching is excellent, but very young, and many of them haven’t thrown a significant numbers of innings until this year. Scott Kazmir is excellent but usually doesn’t go very deep, and they really needed to get another bat to keep pace with the Yankees – I think the Rays can win the Wild Card, but the Yankees will pass them by.

    They’ll still do well, but it won’t be enough.

  • http://www.droppedthirdstrike.com Chono

    Hey, I am a Rays fan, I just don’t think they can keep pace with the Yankees…

    • TurnTwo

      dont you mean the Yankees will have to keep pace with the Rays?

      i’m all for yankees optimism, but lets be real for a moment. as of August 1st, they are 4.5 GB of TB.

  • John NY

    Angels have a balanced attack with pitching. I have little hope Ponson can get through this lineup w/o giving up big numbers. We need to get the #4 and #5 spot fixed. I say IPK is a better option than Ponson….i know he’s gotta earn his spot….hopefully he’s been humbled and girardi can bring him in.

    Another thing…in spring training Girardi stressed fitness…..what the hell happened? Britton looks like a tick ready to explode!

    • Thurman

      Watch Ponson go to town tonight. 7 innings 2 earned runs and an interview tomorrow saying he was “motivated by all the negative blog attention”

      • TurnTwo

        ive seen crazier things happen!

    • kunaldo

      b/c britton said screw that, they’re just gonna toy with me anyways!

  • Doug

    I do not like Ponson, but he has served the purpose for why they got him. He is a cheap, temporary replacement until Hughes, Wang, or Kennedy can come back or a decent trade happens (Please not Washburn)

    Problem is Rasner (who I like) really isn’t meant to be a 4th starter. Rasner should have more wins but lack of Run Support is a 5th starter.

    I say give Kennedy another shot and show Ponson the door. Hell Start Giese

  • jsbrendog

    i feel that first 3 run homer by hunter shouldnt have happened, pudge botched the throw to second bang homer,

    then, cano missed a not routine but what shouldve been a play that shouldve been made with the ball under his glove, those 2 chances to end the inning were botched and bang, 6 runs….what we lost by…..its not jus tptiching that wins championships its pitching and DEFENSE

    • steve (different one)

      the defense tends to play better when your pitcher is throwing strikes.

      pettitte didn’t have it, no need to make excuses for him.

      the best catchers in the league only throw out 40% of baserunners. it’s not on the catcher to keep his pitcher from giving up titanic HRs by gunning down all the baserunners he’s allowed.

  • Old Ranger

    This winter; Bobby, Matsui, Jason, Melky, Pavano, Betemit and maybe even Johnny must go…by way of trades or contract.
    We need to get younger and more athletic. OF of Nady and two guys like Johnny (5yrs, ago) would be great. The WS teams of 96-2000 were not built on the HR rather, on timely hitting and people that could take the extra base. With good pitching on the horizon, we only need to acquire the right type of people for two OF spots. With the people we have already and our pitching staff coming together(Next year)…#1-Joba, #2-CC, #3-Phil, #4-Andy, #5-IPK, #6-Aceves, we need players such as Crawford/B.J. Upton. We have two that are better then Melky, Justin-Brett, let them play for more then a few games. 27/08??

    • Chris

      Keep trying, you might get it eventually. No, probably not.

      • Old Ranger

        Chris…it is very creative of you to criticise my diatribe by using your great intellect to be insulting…but, not coming up with a good approach yourself.
        If you think it is a disaster, check the line-ups of the team 1996 Thu 2000. History teaches us, if we pay attention. As I have been following the team from the 1940s I have seen the team lose WS games (remember Pitts) because they were built on power and passable pitching only. 27/08??

  • LiveFromNewYork

    If we do not replace Ponson and Rasner soon the year is done. It’s not just that they are bad but losses are bad for a team’s psyche. Last night you figure Andy had a bad night, the team can work through it mentally and cut Andy slack. Joba and Moose as well. But Ponson and Rasner are like why bother showing up. It has to grate on you as a player.

    The losses pile up, the mentality starts to be “we can’t win with these guys?”

  • nick blasioli

    the yankees addressed all problems except starting pitching…maybe they are waiting for hughes or kennedy..why they havent won a game yet…should have gotten washburn…for just a gardner or lesser player, we could have had a done deal…gardner is overmatched in the majors…