Moose closes in on a milestone, Joba returns as Yanks pound Tampa

Calm before the playoff storm
Joba to face innings limit next year

Based on the numbers, things are not looking too good for the Yankees right now. Earlier today, Clay Davenport’s Playoff Odds Report had the Yanks making the playoffs less than one percent of the time while after tonight’s win, CoolStandings projects them to reach October 1.4 percent of the time. Those are rather overwhelming odds.

But as the Yanks showed tonight, they ain’t goin’ down without a fight. In a nutshell, Moose pitched well, Xavier Nady hit a bomb, A-Rod hit a meaningless home run to tie Mike Schmidt on the all-time list, and some guy out for a month returned to the mound. That’s right; Dan Giese is back. Let’s break it down.

For the Yankees, as we read earlier, pitching is key, and tonight’s pitchers came up big. Mike Mussina, trying for the third time for win number 17, threw 6+ innings tonight, giving up too many hits (10) but striking out eight to minimize the damage. He allowed just one walk and is still on pace to issue fewer walks than the number of games he starts. He has thrown just 24 bases on balls in his 29 starts.

The Yanks’ bats, behind a monstrous Xavier Nady shot off the far reaches of the Tropicana Dome roof, and three runs scored by A-Rod, gave Moose plenty of support. While on Monday in Detroit, they singled the Tigers to death, four of their nine hits off of Tampa on Tuesday went for extra bases. Finally, the Yankees are showing us what they can do on all sides of the ball. They played small ball to score their first run of the game and long ball to put the game out of reach. Where was this all season?

With Mussina’s win tonight, the Yanks will give him a fair shot at 20 on the season. If they keep Mussina on a strict five-day rest schedule, he’s due to make five more starts this year. All he has to do — easier said than done, I know — is win three of those. He’ll face Seattle, Tampa, Chicago, Toronto and Boston, and if he’s going to get to 20 wins this year, he’ll really have to earn it.

Meanwhile, Yankee fans everywhere breathed a sigh of relief as the Yankees eased Joba back into the bullpen trotted out Joba Chamberlain to pitch out of a seventh-inning jam. Chamberlain retired free-agent-to-be Rocco Baldelli on one pitch, and needed just 18 more — only half of them strikes — to make it through the eighth. He didn’t strike out anyone, and he gave up a walk and a hit in that 1.1 innings of work. But no matter; it’s good to see him back, and it’s good to see the Yanks win a crisp game after Monday’s near-nightmare.

Calm before the playoff storm
Joba to face innings limit next year
  • Alberto

    pitching is the key for ANY baseball game….unless the starters on both teams don’t do the job

    • tommiesmithjohncarlos

      I totally agree, Alberto.

      Pitching is always the key to winning, except when it isn’t. Well said.

  • Bruno

    IPK & Gardner & Britton? for Salty & Marlyn Byrd

    With Hamilton, Bradley and Cruz, Texas only needs needs to fill LF with one of Murphy,Gardner, Boggs etc. They don’t need Salty with Laird, Teagarden and Ramirez. They could use the pitching, and the “highly-rated-but-underperforming-prospects” in
    IPK and Salty match up well.

    Sign CC & Dunn
    Trade Matsui




    • Alberto

      dunn is a horrible player…..homeruns dont win you games….get a contact, gap hitter for the middle of a lineup if you want to score runs……Giambi IS Dunn but with about 10 more HR….

      • Jamal G.

        homeruns dont win you games

        So how did we win Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS?

        • Alberto

          Mariano Rivera’s 3 shutout innings won that game…good pitching allows his team’s lineup to get the clutch hit…..

          • Jamal G.

            to get the clutch hit…..

            …That won the game, which was a Home Run. Just like every single game in the history of baseball where the game-winning hit was a Home Run, a HR won the game.

            • Alberto

              for every single game winning hit or HR, somebody had to get the scoreless inning…..good pitching allows the likes of Gabe Gross and other scrubs to be clutch heroes…..

              • steve (different one)

                this is the stupidest logic of all time. what are you even arguing?

                yes, it’s very important to have great pitching.

                but COMBINED with great pitching, HRs will win you lots of games.

                but i’d love to hear the explanation how it’s better to hit the ball in the “gap” than over the fence.

                • Alberto

                  the point is, if you worry more about what your pitching does, the HR or big hit WILL come eventually no matter what….most clutch hits are done by scrub hitters and they get that opportunity brought to them by their pitcher….

                  the explanation WHY it is better to hit the ball in the gap than over the fence is because…..doubles happen WAY more often than homeruns and are easier to get off big closers/big pitchers….

                  if you are in a big spot, you rather have a gap hitter that will get you the double and drive in most of the runners on base without causing the out….than the big slugger that most likely is a low contact hitter and is more prone to the strikeout….this is how the red sox score all their runs, most of them are high contact double hitters……this is the kind of hitter you need in OCT (hoping to hit bombs off big pitchers is not the way to score runs)

            • Mike A.

              Mariano Rivera’s 3 shutout innings won that game

              Right, but the only reason Mo pitched those innings was because Giambi hit two homers off Pedro earlier in the game.

              I agree that an offense shouldn’t rely so heavy on the homerun, but to declare that homers don’t win games is just stupid.

          • mustang

            Well done Mr Alberto.

            • steve (different one)

              dunn is a horrible player…..homeruns dont win you games

              this is beyond stupid.

              • A.D.

                Just keep Matsui, and don’t sign Dunn, Damon in left, Matsui at DH. Matsui (if healthy) will probably give similar (albeit different) production as Adam Dunn

              • Alberto

                top 10 teams in baseball in overall team HRs are:


                there are only 4 (FOUR) contenders on that list……its not only this year, check any other years, homeruns dont win you games UNLESS you have to pitching to go with it…….pitching wins you games

              • mustang

                PICTHING wins a game isn’t that the reason most people here want to keep IPK around.
                Wasn’t that the point of Joseph P. thread about Tampa?
                Alberto’s point is that good pitching is needed more then HR in baseball and I agree. (Ref. 2008 Texas Rangers)

                • Ben K.

                  Why are you so obsessed with Ian Kennedy?

      • Bruno

        Any other available left-handed power?

      • Patrick T

        Reggie just killed the Yanks in the ’77 series, eh?

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos

        There’s so much wrong with both the initial premise (Kennedy/Gardner/Britton for Saltalamacchia/Byrd) or the non-affiliated criticism (Dunn is horrible/Homeruns dont win games/Giambi is Dunn but with 10 more HR) that it’s tough to know where to start…

        Bruno first:

        A.) I don’t see the Rangers giving up Salty AND Byrd, two very valuable, desirable pieces, for a pitcher in IPK who, although still talented and projectable, no longer looks like a front-of-the-rotation option, just a back-end one, and a pu-pu platter of Gardner and Britton. I know they have a plethora of catchers and outfielders, but they could probably split the two up in separate deals and get a better return haul.

        Alberto second:

        B.) Adam Dunn strikes out a lot. A LOT. And he struggles to hit above .250. But, he gets on base, hits doubles and homers (a/k/a your mythical “gap hitter”) and drives in runs like they’re going out of style. His career OBP and SLG are .382 and .520 (for reference’s sake, Hank Aaron’s are .374 and .555). In his two WORST seasons, he had an OPS+ of 114 and 116… meaning that at his absolute suckiest, he was still about 15% better than the AVERAGE player in his league. None of that is “horrible.”

        C.) “Homeruns don’t win games.” – You’re right. Absolutely right. You know what does win games? Grit, heart, guts, gumption, class, giving 110%, intangibles, leadership, Joe Torre, Alex Cora, Joe Emanski, playing National League style ball, playing the Joe Morgan way, fire, passion, the will to win, scrappiness, facial hair, white guys, short guys, slow guys, Jacoby Ellsbury, Jason Varitek, not being the Yankees, not having a big payroll, not being Barry Bonds, 8th-inning bullpen specialists, and having a lineup full of 9 little David Ecksteins. THAT’S what wins ballgames..

        D.) “Giambi is Dunn but with 10 more HR” – wrong again. Jason Giambi v. Adam Dunn, HR’s hit from start of career (first full season):

        1996/25 OAK 20
        1997/26 OAK 20
        1998/27 OAK 27
        1999/28 OAK 33
        2000/29 OAK 43
        2001/30 OAK 38
        2002/31 NYY 41

        Giambi’s career 162 game avg and career high: 35/43

        2002/22 CIN 26 (6 more)
        2003/23 CIN 27 (7 more)
        2004/24 CIN 46 (19 more)
        2005/25 CIN 40 (7 more)
        2006/26 CIN 40 (3 fewer)
        2007/27 CIN 40 (2 more)
        2008/28 TOT 35 (in progress)

        Dunn’s career 162 game avg and career high: 40/46

        And Giambi was on the sauce…

    • Ben K.

      Bruno: Stop posting the exact same off-topic comment in multiple threads. You do this again, and you’ll lose your commenting privileges for a little while. We’re very explicit about it in the comenting guidelines.

  • mustang

    “A day after Albert Pujols become one of just 17 players with at least eight consecutive 30-home run seasons, Yanks 3B Alex Rodriguez became one of only three players to have at least 11 consecutive such seasons.”

    So much power and how little the understanding of what to do with it.


    • Bruno


    • Alberto

      he will have earned about $1Billion with all that power, when its all said and done……

      • mustang

        Tiger will make as much and maybe Jordan has already, but the difference between them and A-Rod is…….

        • Rick in Boston

          Is that Tiger didn’t have to worry about anyone but himself, and Jordan benefited from refs swallowing their whistles or calling no-touch fouls.

          Apples to oranges, folks.

          • mustang

            EXCUSES…when your the best you don’t use them or need them. Then again it’s A-Rod that we are talking about.

            • Rick in Boston

              What excuse has A-Rod used? He hasn’t taken time off when he hasn’t felt like playing. He hasn’t performed, and it’s clear that he admits that as much as anybody else.

              • mustang

                “Jordan benefited from refs swallowing their whistles or calling no-touch fouls.”

                I’m talking about the ones you are making.

      • mustang

        Yes and how many rings you can’t buy those you have to earn them.

  • Steve

    Updated Elias Rankings

    Abreu-Type A
    Mussina-Type A
    Giambi-Type B
    I-Rod-Type B

    I think its fairly safe to say all those guys will be gone. So were looking at getting 2 1st rounders and 4 supplementals next year. Plus we have the Gerrit Cole pick (28A) again, which I believe is protected. We also have our 2009 1st rounder assuming we don’t sign anyone, which we will. Lets assume we lose our 2009 1st and supplemental by signing a Type A.

    Total it up and we should have 3 1st rounders and 4 supplementals next year. 7 of the first 63 picks drafted, or one out of every 9. Could be a huge year for the farm system.

    BTW-I don’t count Pettitte because its Yanks or retirement for him. Plus I think he’s coming back, wheras Moose will get better offers elsewhere.

    • TurnTwo

      so according to that website, which analyzes, i guess, pure stats, you’re telling me that Matt Holliday has the highest rating of any NL OF, 1B, and DH in the league, over Albert Pujols? wow.

      the more i think about it, the more i could see Mike Mussina getting a nice little 2 year/$20 million from the Mets in the offseason.

      • steve (different one)

        i don’t think it’s safe to say Moose will be gone. everyone else, probably.

        • MD

          I think Yanks offer him 2 years…but I wouldn’t be surprised if an NL team goes 3….the Phils gave Gordon 3 and his arm was falling off….

          • Steve


            Moose would be part of a youth movement for Philly if he takes Moyer’s spot in the rotation. And I’m sure Hank would find that quite ironic.

        • TurnTwo

          yeah, i’m not sure either. very tough call.

          if he accepts arbitration, and agrees to a 1 year deal, i could see him coming back… the yankees have always had a desire to bring in, or retain, players coming up on milestones in the hopes that they go into the HoF in pinstripes.

          but do you bank on Moose reproducing this season in 2009, or is there a better chance he regresses back to a more mediocre pitcher?

          would it be 100% crazy to say that if Pavano pitches well down the stretch here, you’d be better off taking his one year option next year over offering Moose a 2 year deal?

    • 27 this year

      Steve, I see your logic but it is off a little. Abreu is an unknown on whether he would accept arb. He would get a raise considering his numbers are good. Pudge might accept because I don’t think anyone is giving him more than the 13 mil he would get by accepting. Giambi is unknown but he could accept and would make somewhere around 20 mil which no team would give him. Moose, we could offer arb because he will sign with someone so either we get him on a one year deal which is good or we get picks which is also good. The arb process makes it harder to get picks as no one who sign them for that much money.

      • tommiesmithjohncarlos

        Don’t forget Bittle…

        I think both Abreu and Pudge decline arbitration… they’re both still far enough away from 40 that somebody probably gives them a multi-year deal that trumps the one-day payday of arb. One last good-sized contract… I don’t see anything keeping them off the open market.

        Only people we’d potentially offer arbitration to who would take it are Giambi (which is why we wouldn’t offer it) and Pettitte (who’s probably Yanks or bust again for ’09).

        Abreu – declines arb, walks for two picks
        Mussina – declines arb, walks for two picks
        I-Rod – declines arb, walks for a pick
        Pavano – option not excercised, arb not offered, walks for nothing
        Giambi – option not excercised, arb not offered, walks for nothing
        Pettitte – re-signs or retires

        7 picks added (3 extra 1sts with the Cole pick, 3 sandwiches, one extra 2nd with the Bittle pick)

        One first and one second round pick lost from signing two type A free agents (CC/Sheets and Tex/Dunn/Burrell/Manny)

        = 3 first rounders, 3 sandwich picks, 1 second rounder

        • Steve

          Has there ever been a FA that the Yanks have let walk who they DIDN’T receive arbitration for?

          I’ve posed this question many times and never has anyone come up with a player who walked that we did not receive FA comp for. I cant think of any myself. Clemens doesn’t count, he retired and then un-retired and would therefore have missed the deadlines involved.

          I think that offering arbitration is largely a formality. If the team lets it be known to the agent that they don’t want the player back they will automatically decline. It wouldn’t surprise me if there is even language for this in the contracts. With the Yanks the money pay players, I would think getting them to decline arbitration is part of the deal.

  • Bart

    Moose can pitch the way he is pitching now for 3 more years — there is virtually no strain – nearly knucklball like — I think I would try to keep him but not be inclined to overspend — he would have a shot at 300 wins – an elusive WS and thereby a tciket to HOF as a Yankee – he is bright guy with a sense of history and might take that – but the Yankees dare not “Pettit’ him — if they insult him he would walk for less. He wil be a terrific 3/4/5 as the youngsters work to the front of the rotation

    I have not done enough reading to understand how solid the 2009 draft class will be — styaing near the top may have beeter than avergae benefits —

    This team needs the “next” Jeter, Bernie, Mo, Pettit combination to juice it

    the hope is that Joba and Hughes fill two spots — where do the other two come from and how do you piece it together over the 2009 and 2010 to have the beginnng of a 15 year run in 2011

    and who plays the roles of David Cone and Paul O’Neill to set that tone — Jeter plays Don Mattingly

    With Joba nd Huges penciled in — the team still needs a CF, a decision on 1b/DH and a decison on Damon, Abreu, Nady rotation

    It looks to be tough to replace that offense – but each of those guys is aging and contracts all run out in 2010 even if you keep Abreu thorugh arbitration

    The ony 1-9 slots you can be certain of for 2011 are Cano (unless you trade him-which often looks like a great idea) and Arod. Whateber is done with Jeter – i think he is done at SS by 2011

    So how do we get to a 2011 core without making a total mess of 2009 and 2010

    Or instead of step wise – just turn out all the aged ones out ASAP and play 2009 and 2010 with whatever we can put on the field without taking on long term contracts

    • Steve S

      Everyone has to get over the whole late 90’s thing. You just dont replicate those types of things and thats not even getting into how the economic landscape (amongst many things) has changed. Its as relevant as saying we need to find the young guys to fill the Joe D, Scooter, Allie Reynolds and Yogi. Everyone has to get over it, every team has a different identity. It would be nice to recreate some of that stuff but its easier said than done. Its just like the people who sit here and rip Arod day in and day out. The only reason the guy is disliked is because he came here in 2004 which was perhaps the greatest knock against the most spoiled fan base possible. So they found a face to the problem.

      Stop with the 98 references, stop with the Arod isnt clutch stuff. Its become so annoying, its like the people who talk about chemistry. Stop with these intangible things and completely subjective things (i realize there are stats regarding Arod’s clutchness but some of them are taken way out of context).

      The object is to win and there are so many ways to win. They might finish in third place this year, wow the sky is falling. This isnt the New York Knicks, they arent in this terrible downspin contrary to what the New York Post will lead you to believe. They have made it to the playoffs every year since 1995, this was bound to happen and they are playing in what is without any doubt the best division in baseball, not just offensively but pitching wise.

      You don’t react to an 85 win season by tearing it all down with the hopes of contending in two years, especially when the organization is financially capable of making adjustments and corrections on a year by year basis. The only catch is making the right adjustments.

      • Mike A.


        • JohnnyC

          Apropos of this, Steven Goldman’s latest blog entry counsels patience with our pitching prospects (as horrendous as they’ve been this season, Joba notwithstanding). He reminds everyone (and the Yankees FO especially) that very few great pitchers leaped onto the major league stage with easy success (Halliday, Koufax, Randy Johnson, etc.). And he recalls that even Jeff Johnson, whom he calls “the worst pitcher to ever wear pinstripes”, got to throw over 200 innings before being stamped a dud. Yes, try to sign Sabathia but let’s not go bat-sh*t and sign every A.J. Burnett, Ben Sheets, and whomever out there this off-season. BTW, Goldman thinks we should jettison Giambi, Abreu, Pettitte, one of Damon/Matsui, Marte, and consider — just consider — trading Cano.

  • A.D.

    So we’ve have the thought going that if the Yanks score runs late in a blow out it sets a good tone that they will play well and win the next day. Maybe if they finish the season strong its sets a good tone for next year, that they will come out and play how they look on paper?

    I’m for it

  • Batty

    Anyone else get a bit scared at this quote:

    “It’s just the stress of the innings. I haven’t had a full year in the big leagues, and the innings that I have (thrown) have been in pressure-filled situations. It catches up to you,” he said.

    Sounds like the reliever to starter plan could very well have exacerbated the injury. And now they’re planning on doing the same thing next year. Happy days ahead…

    • steve (different one)

      how does B follow A?

      you are taking something he said and drawing the conclusion that he was injured in 100 degree heat because he threw 20 innings out of the bullpen in April/May?

      • Batty

        Coming in and throwing as hard as you can for an inning is different then having to do that once in a while while pitching and fooling batters for the rest of the time. And if he says it I would put a bit more credence on it. He doesn’t throw 100mph for 5-8 innings when he starts but every time he relieved he was throwing high 90’s consistently. Can’t believe that doesn’t put a larger strain on the works.