Game 139: A must-win


We’ve always hated tossing around the phrase “must-win” when it comes to Yankee games. Too often, writers label a game a “must-win” only to see a team lose and then rebound. But today is different.

This afternoon, the Orioles, leading the Red Sox 4-0 heading into the bottom of the seventh, gave up two in the seventh, two in the eighth and one in the ninth to lose the game. With that win, Boston is 7.5 games up on the Yankees with 23 left to play. If the Yanks — who have 24 games left — lose tonight, that eight-game deficit will be nigh impossible to cover. They have to win tonight to keep whatever faint glimmer of hope remains alive.

To that end, Carl Pavano will take the mound in search of his third straight win. Once he records the second out of the first inning, he will have thrown more innings this year than he has in the prior two years combined. Go Carl!

Pavano faces Edwin Jackson, and the Yanks do not hit him well. Jackson is 1-1 against the Yanks in four starts this year. He’s sporting a 2.59 ERA in 24.1 innings against the Bombers.

It’s hard to believe that the season could hinge on Carl Pavano.

Damon CF
Jeter SS
Abreu RF
A. Rodriguez 3B
Giambi 1B
Nady LF
Matsui DH
Cano 2B
I. Rodriguez C

Pavano P

Categories : Game Threads


  1. MD says:

    your last sentence tells you all you need to know about this season

  2. D.B. says:

    hey mike,

    why dont the yankees start chamberlain in 09 as a starter and make him a reliever? i think this would put less stress on him arm during the transformation process.

    • Ben K. says:

      Only Mike can answer this question?

      And to think, he didn’t even write this post ;)

      • D.B. says:

        hey Ben K,

        Why dont the Yankees start Chamberlain in 09 as a starter and make him a reliever? I think this would put less stress on him arm during the transformation process.

    • Slugger27 says:

      i dont understand why they dont just start him, skip starts occasionally, and keep him on 90 pitches… it may chew up the bullpen a little more, but is that any different than the past 8 years?

      if u have him be the 5 starter, dont slot him up after off days, be careful about his pitch count, skip occasional starts when able/necessary, i dont see any reason he cant be a starter the whole season…… frankly, the idea of mid-season transition AGAIN kinda turns my stomach

      • Frank says:

        This is why getting C.C. is so important. With Wang and C.C. at the top of the rotation eating up innings, you can afford to have Joba start all season and pull him after 5 innings in some starts.

        I totally disagree with the way the Yankees are handling this BTW. What happens if he goes on the DL again next season? Start all over again in 2010?

    • Ben K. says:

      Also, stop posting the same question in multiple threads.

        • Ben K. says:

          No worries. Here’s the answer: The Yanks would rather have Joba available as a starter down the stretch than at the start of the season. They’d rather have him a available to start in October. If you start him out as a starter, you run the risk of reaching his innings max way too soon, and they don’t want to baby him by seeing him through outings of only five innings or 90 pitches for the entire season. That would stunt his development in other ways.

          The transition was very smooth and fluid this year, and the same will happen next year on the same time frame. That, I believe, is the least of the Yankees’ concerns heading into 2009.

          • Slugger27 says:

            ben, is there any thinking to maybe having him throw some simulated innings after the season is over for a few weeks or so to make up for the time he missed? that way he can come closer to 140-150

          • D.B. says:

            Ok, that makes sense. Thanks.

            • Frank says:

              Ben K.

              “The transition was very smooth and fluid this year”

              You mean other than going on the DL?

              Other than starting games in the middle of the season on a pitch count that prohibits him from going more than 3 innings?

              • Rick in Boston says:

                How else would you have done it? It met all of the team’s needs. The DL wasn’t anything anyone saw coming.

                • Frank says:

                  I was all for it this year as something that had to be done.

                  But I don’t think it went smoothly as was mentioned above and I’ve read an article on either BA or BP where the directly atributed his injury to the way the Yankees used him, 100 percent.

                  Now I don’t know who’s right or wrong, but I think there comes a time when you just have to name him a starter and let the kid start a full season. Like I said, what happens if he goes on the DL next season, only missing around 4 starts? Will he EVER start a whole season?

                  I’m not a doctor but I really think all this bouncing around and changing his role can’t be good for his arm, can it?

  3. Slugger27 says:

    ya know i hate the red sox more than satan, and it takes everything in me to muster courage to compliment them, but dustin pedroia had 3 hits again today 2 of them for extra bases…. i mean seriously whats up with that guy? hes outta control

  4. Frank says:

    This is NOT a must win. The only thing winning this game acomplishes is moving the Red Sox one game closer to first place.

    • Ben K. says:

      If you’ve given up.

      • Frank says:

        Sure have. I mean, the season has been over a long time IMO, just based on my own opinion of what I saw. It doesn’t make me a bad fan, I’m not angry about it.

        But I’d still like to play the role of a $200 mil. spoiler. And I’d like to see the Sox somehow miss the post season. Haven’t given up on that.

        • Geno says:

          So you’d like us to lose tonight so the Sox don’t gain a game on the Rays? That doesn’t make you a bad Yankee fan, just a mediocre Rays fan.

  5. giselle says:

    yea bobby! he’s been on fire lately…

  6. giselle says:

    man, jackson’s really changed in one year. what i remembered the most about him was his inability to throw strikes consistently. he’s a strike-machine out there tonight.

  7. Ivan says:

    Edwin with great command on those inside pitches.

  8. Manimal says:

    Arods repetitive ness is killing me. swing+miss, Swing+miss(bad pitch), looking down the middle for a called third strike.

  9. Manimal says:

    Its just not Iwamura’s week.

  10. Ivan says:

    Hey it was a great catch but it wasn’t Jim edmonds llike in KC years back.

  11. D.B. says:

    carly p’s got some skills

  12. E-ROC says:

    Ugh, Damon!

  13. Ivan says:

    An out turns into a double.

  14. Manimal says:

    well that does it. Carl Pavano has throw more innings this year than the past two combined.

  15. Ben K. says:

    Yup. So the Yanks need to address center field this fall. Damon’s great in left, but….

  16. E-ROC says:

    That Lastings Milledge trade is working out well for the Mets.

  17. E-ROC says:

    No Erin Andrews tonight. Damn college football!

  18. Frank says:

    I love that little star, that “Ray” of sunshine in CF. Such a positive attitude in Tampa.

  19. giselle says:

    look at cano puttin the ball in play! nice!

  20. E-ROC says:

    Yay, it’s tied! Should we tip the cap to Bobby Meachem?

  21. Mike A. says:

    Hinskie returns Damon’s favor.

  22. Manimal says:

    Karma sucks.

  23. E-ROC says:

    2-1 Yanks! Pudgy Pudgy Pudgy!

  24. D.B. says:

    wow where these yanks a month ago

  25. Frank says:

    This may have been a legit comeback team were Wang and Joba in the rotation.

  26. A.D. says:

    1st inning aside, forking out the 13 mil (really 11.5 with the buyout) seems a little less crazy as he pitches well, and should be better nest year, could end up comp for him, and not potentially end up signing a long big money deal that could go south to someone else

  27. A.D. says:

    Pudge showing off for the scouts

  28. A.D. says:

    thats redic the rays havent lost a series since the break

  29. Ivan says:

    Hey Mike even though A-Jax is somewhat raw as a baseball player, he does have an ability to draw walks at a solid rate.

    Wouldn’t that gives you confidence he can reach his ceiling? I mean for a guy who just devoted himself to baseball just three years ago, he does draw BB’s pretty well.

    • Mike A. says:

      That just started this year too. I’d like to see him cut down his swing some, it’s a big ol’ Pat Burrell hack.

      • Ivan says:

        His first year in Class A when he K’d like 151 times, he did drew 60+ BB’s that same year.

        Didn’t last season they made some adjustment to his swing which led to a big year last season.

        From the videos I,ve seen, I gotta admit he does take some big swings.

      • Chip says:

        Or maybe a big ol’ Dustin Pedroia hack?

  30. Mike A. says:

    Nice hustle Bobby. Earn that new contract.

  31. giselle says:

    bobby eyeing the cycle tonight.

  32. D.B. says:

    lars anderson=unclutch 0-2 k’s arodian like performance in the post season

  33. Frank says:

    Check out the hustling Yankees! Unbelievable.

    There was a time not too long ago where they would haveen thrown out 10 times out of 10 trying that, no matter who was running.

  34. Ivan says:

    Man Hinske Sucks as a fielder.

  35. giselle says:

    wtf is wrong with hinske tonight? he sucks at fielding.

  36. Frank says:

    lars anderson=wish we drafted him

  37. Manimal says:

    You guys have no idea how cool Raymond is.

  38. Ivan says:

    Yankees hitting good pitching.

  39. Doug says:

    double the pleasure, double the fun~

  40. mustang says:

    See how much fun Yankees baseball can be when your 4th and 5th spots hit with RISP.

  41. Jamal G. says:

    Fuck it, better late than never.

  42. Doug says:

    (cue Yakety Sax)

  43. giselle says:

    whats up with all the speculation from kay and singleton tonight? first kay says that if abreu hadnt stretched his hit into a double, alex’s grounder *could* have been a DP. now singleton says longoria *might* have made that play on cano.


    • A.D. says:

      did that in the 2nd on the Hinske miss play, saying Crawford *probably* would have had no problem

      Odd since we know Kay hates the predetermined outcome

  44. Ivan says:

    Rasner Vs. Karmir. Well that’s great uh.

  45. A.D. says:

    Abreu making catches against the wall, is this the psedo-yankees??

  46. D.B. says:

    now all the yanks need is hughes and kennedy pitching well in the majors

  47. A.D. says:

    Nice start for Hacker in the playoffs tonight

  48. Ivan says:

    That Trivia question was easy, It’s Randy Johnson.

  49. Jamal G. says:

    These Yankees sure are old, lethargic, lifeless jerks who only seek to get their $30M paychecks at the end of the day. They sure quit on Joe Girardi.

  50. Jamal G. says:

    Heh, it sure seems like all bad karma the Yankees got over the course of the season has transformed over the course of these past two innings.

  51. cupz says:

    I made a lot of friends eat their words when I said that Carl Pavano would be pitching in the majors this season, but even I’m having trouble believing he might go 3-0 in his first 3 starts back. Really hard to believe that one.

  52. Jamal G. says:

    Take your pick:

    Max Scherzer


    Matt Garza

  53. D.B. says:

    carl pavano was our ace in the hole

  54. giselle says:

    was price called up this month?

  55. Doug says:

    Alex Rodriguez is not impressed by your submariner relief pitcher.

  56. Jamal G. says:

    I like how the BBTN guys were all lauding the Chad Bradford pick up for the Rays, saying how he would be a tipping point in the pennant race. Funny, seeing as how he’s making an appearance in the fourth inning of a 4-run ballgame.

  57. Chip says:

    Where was this team all season? This is just fun to watch

  58. Jamal G. says:

    Oh God, that douche is back.

  59. Ivan says:

    Iight I was ready a brief biography on Wilt Chamberlain.

    It got me wonering, did he really had sex with 10,000+ Women?

    I mean that’s alot of sex. ALOT.

    If he said 3,000, then okay, but 10,000. Wow.

  60. A.D. says:

    fyi, this website works much faster for me on Google Crome instead of Internet Explorer

  61. pete c. says:

    Did I just hear Kay say Pavano had TJ in April? That ain’t right is it?

  62. Jamal G. says:

    People say that Adam Dunn is not a winning player. I say: What the hell is that? Doesn’t that depend more on the rest of his team than him solely? Last time I checked, a guy with 40-HR allows for a team to win a nice sum of games.

    So seriously, why are people so against Adam Dunn? I just want to throw two stats at you: Secondary Average and weighted On-Base Average. Adam Dunn leads the Major Leagues (at a considerable margin) in SecA with .531 clip, the number two guy in that stat is Albert Pujols (.493). A .531-SecA, that is just nuts, absolutely nuts. Yet people say this guy doesn’t help you win games? Dunn has a .426-wOBA w/RISP, but he is not a winning player. Lastly, amongst National League outfielders, Adam Dunn has the fourth best WPA (2.46).

    Oh yeah, and he had a walk-off double today that, you know, won the game against the St. Louis Cardinals.

  63. Mike A. says:

    JP Howell, Texas’ all-time strikeout king. More than Clemens.

  64. Pavano takes forever to get to the plate

  65. Frank says:

    Edwar. 13 HR in 72 IP.

  66. Nady Nation says:

    G-Men predictions anyone on this NFL Eve?

  67. Ivan says:

    Wht happen on that play.

  68. Mike A. says:

    Edwar should never be brought into the game in the middle of an inning. He should strictly be used to start innings.

  69. E-ROC says:

    Edwar just doesn’t have command of his fastball.

  70. Nady Nation says:

    Two times a charm

  71. Mike A. says:

    Nice rebound Robbie.

  72. Mike A. says:

    Yeah, I didn’t think Edwar was getting out of that one.

  73. Mike A. says:

    These Erin Andrews commercials are a nice addition to YES. I approve.

  74. E-ROC says:

    There is nothing like watching Serena play tennis.

  75. Jamal G. says:

    Idiots at LoHud:



  76. Nady Nation says:

    Palin. Wow. Obama ’08

  77. Mike A. says:

    I was going to make fun of Shepard Smith’s name, but then he added that “Go Yanks” at the end of the Fox News Break. We cool now.

  78. A.D. says:

    Trenton pen held on, Jhonny Nunez was lights out

  79. Mike A. says:

    Check out this Phil Coke character.

  80. Jamal G. says:

    Jesus, Michael. If the Phil Coke jokes are this bad, I can’t imagine the days of Jesus Montero as a Yankee, let alone Montero and Ryan Pope as battery-mates.

  81. Chip says:

    Phil Coke looks GOOD!

  82. Jamal G. says:

    OMFG, how many times must we hear this story? For the love of Mariano, Michael, let it be.

  83. Mike A. says:

    An actual comment from LoHud:

    Coke is trade bait, he is not this good.

    Coke for Matt Kemp?

  84. A.D. says:

    not good for the Rays if Balfour goes down

  85. why would A-Rod slow done?

  86. Jamal G. says:

    Steven Jackson and Anthony Claggett, two of the more pleasant surprises in the Yanks’ system this year?

    • Yeah, but Jackson is in his second go-around of AA and is already 26. He needs a change of scenery. He could probably get an MLB spot somewhere next year though.

      Claggett walks too many people and his WHIP is high (1.49). Escape act. Though only 1 HR and 1.52 GO/AO is encouraging.

    • A.D. says:

      toss on Z-Mac, Hacker, and Coke

      • Hacker had real nice stuff but after missing 2004 and 2006 with various injuries, I think of him as a very good org guy/spot starter right. He is 25, though, but he’ll be at least be in AAA. Besides, he’s incosistent with the strikeouts and BBs some times.

  87. Frank says:

    Does anyone else think PeteAbe is a douchebag?

  88. Mike R. says:

    Someone should tell Michael Kay to have a Coke and a smile and shut the F* up! Seriously though. Gameday had Coke’s FB topping out at 95 MPH!!!

  89. Joe says:

    Maybe Riveaveblues can start an FJM type of section where they review the ridiculous Lohud comments each day

  90. Mike A. says:

    So I finally cracked and went to, and one of the games involves, believe it or not, controlling a virtual Jeter and ranging all over the field to make plays on defense. No joke.

  91. Jamal G. says:

    Heh, you know that kid’s big brother is going to rob him in his sleep.

  92. E-ROC says:

    I am officially a Coke Whore. ;)

  93. Why the fuck is Michael Kay talking about Coke as the next big thing with only two innings!

  94. Mike A. says:

    Bush league fist pump by Coke. Who does this rook think he is?

  95. Jamal G. says:

    Fist pump alert! Fist pump alert! Bush1!!11111!11

  96. Frank says:

    They sure did hit the ball hard off him…

  97. Mike A. says:

    6 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K for Ohlendorf tonight. First MLB start.

  98. Manimal says:

    Ohlendorf didnt do to bad., 6IP, 7 hits 2 K’s

  99. steve (different one) says:

    my amateur scouting report after seeing him once: Coke looks like a LOOGY

  100. Jamal G. says:

    That fat sum bitch.

  101. Chip says:

    Phil Coke helping the team as a ploy to get Crawford out, what grit!

  102. Jamal G. says:

    Let me ask you guys something, would anybody that is:

    A) Not a Red Sox fan

    B)Doesn’t have a dislike for Robinson Cano and/or Joe Girardi

    have come to this conclusion:

    UPDATE, 9:04 p.m.: Robbie Alomar Cano took his eye off the ball there, looking to double the runner of first before catching the liner. Can’t make mistakes like that.

    I’m sorry, but that ball was hit way too hard to say Cano took his eye off the ball, he didn’t even have time to fully extend his arm.

    • Ivan says:

      He dislikes Girardi and he always seem to bash Cano all the time.

      Always making slick comments.

      Then he said that Girardi lost credibility cuz he defended Cano and didn’t rip him. Gee, Joe Torre almost never ripped his players either Pete.

    • steve (different one) says:

      Abraham’s anti-Cano crusade of late is all meant to imply that Girardi can’t get Cano to play hard.

      it all comes down to Girardi for that jerkoff.

      Girardi has made some mistakes. but that’s not the kindof crap that Abe harps on. he harps on things like Girardi not badmouthing his players in the press, concealing injuries (and thus making Abe have to actually workfor info), and other crap that really doesnt matter to anyone except overweight beat writers.

      he’s a hack. worse, he’s petty and unprofessional. try to disagree with him in the comments, he’ll either delete it or come after you.

      he sucks.

      • Ivan says:

        The he said that Girardi looks overmatch. Come on.

        That’s a guy losing credibility.

      • Frank says:

        All of the above.

        The media are a fickle bunch and PeteAbe is one of the worst. Girardi had an attitude with the media early on, and he doesn’t give injury info. It’s been all downhill from there.

    • cult of basebaal says:

      wow. apologists out in force tonite. Cano *totally* should have had that ball. easy, easy, easy out.

  103. A.D. says:

    Be nice if Coke picked up his first ML win

  104. A.D. says:

    Coke next year, likely to start in the ML pen, or minor league rotation, we’re likely to have a ton in the pen, especially if Joba starts there again this year, as some reports are suspecting

  105. Manimal says:

    Do you take your chances on Coke in the Pen or do you resign marte(to have a LOOGY)

  106. A.D. says:

    This is a great site with insight to the idiot meat head that live down the jersey shore:

  107. E-ROC says:

    Clutch’em all!

  108. A.D. says:

    no doubt about it

  109. Chip says:

    That was CRUSHED!!!! Bring on the instant replay

  110. Jamal G. says:

    Meaningless, two extra runs in a three-run game against the best team in the A.L. means dick.

  111. Manimal says:

    PLEASE replay.

  112. E-ROC says:

    That ball went right over the top of the foul pole and hit the catwalk.

  113. Manimal says:

    Grampa Manimal- I saw the first time instant replay was used. Arod hit a homerun.

    Kids-Really gramps? your old.

  114. Jamal G. says:

    Two minute delay!111!!1 Oh the humanity!1!1!1

  115. A.D. says:

    they’re definitely playing up Abreu’s grit

  116. A.D. says:

    thanks Kay for letting me know for what seems like the 10th time that this isn’t a save situation

  117. A.D. says:

    no shit it could hook around, its useful if the ball is well over the fall pole when it goes into the stands

  118. Mike A. says:

    Holy fuck. Shut up Kay. We get it, that second pole shouldn’t be there.

  119. steve (different one) says:

    has anyone ever seen a ball go over the LF foul pole before?

  120. Ivan says:

    Kay seriously need to shut the fuck up.

  121. Mike A. says:

    Christ. Michael Kay brought his A-game tonight.

  122. Jamal G. says:

    Eh, no issue with that as long as he’s throwing it over the plate with a lead of five runs.

  123. E-ROC says:

    Abreu with range?! What?!

  124. Manimal says:

    Nice win. Tampa Bay does have its flaws, this could be the beginning of the end for them.

  125. A.D. says:

    Kay is still at it on the foul pole

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