Pavano wins last Yankee Stadium start too

Game 154: Going Out With A Bang
Marquez to the AzFL

While Mike Mussina earned himself a nice curtain call last night, Carl Pavano wishes he could win the adulation of the fans that way. Pavano, another high-priced pitcher who failed to deliver for the Yanks, won what will probably be his last start for the Yankees in a home uniform as New York triumphed over Baltimore 3-2.

Pavano threw five innings against Baltimore tonight, allowing two earned runs on six hits and a walk. He also struck out two. Somehow, improbably, Pavano is now 4-1 with a 4.99 ERA. While he probably has just two starts left in the Bronx, he is somehow pitching his way to another guaranteed contract, albeit one with incentives.

But while Pavano stymied the Orioles through five, the real pitching stars came out of the bullpen. Phil Coke, Brian Bruney, Damaso Marte, Joba Chamblerain and Mariano Rivera combined for four shut-out innings. This group gave up just two hits — both off of Rivera in the ninth. Coke and Bruney faced two batters and struck them both out; Joba faced three and walked away with three K’s. With Bruney and Coke set to return and Mark Melancon and Humberto Sanchez waiting in the wings, the Yanks’ bullpen is primed for a huge 2009 season.

On the other side of the ball, Brett Gardner flashed his talents. He made a stunning catch in the fourth inning and then doubled in the game-tying run. As Joe texted me at that point, “Melky who?”

With their victory tonight, the Yanks moved back into sole possession of third place. They’re nine games behind Tampa and 7.5 behind Boston. They are on the verge of postseason elimination for the first time in fifteen years. Yet, the fans care about these final games at the Stadium, and the team is playing with an urgency we haven’t seen all year. While it might be a little late for the Yanks’ October dreams, at least they’re sending the stadium out on the right note.

Game 154: Going Out With A Bang
Marquez to the AzFL
  • Joltin’ Joe

    At this point I would be happy with sole posession of 3rd place and like 87 wins (or whatever we can do). Let’s go Yankees.

  • UWS

    Yankees are now 12 games over .500. Isn’t that the high point for them this season? Kinda sad that it took them all season to start playing well when it really doesn’t matter much anymore. Then again, I’d always rather they win than lose, even if playoffs are not in the cards this year.

    Gardner had himself quite a ballgame, but someone needs to show the kid how to use pine tar on his bat before he kills somebody.

    I’d have been curious to see what kind of sendoff Pavano would get if he came out mid-inning, a la Moose last night. I’m also kind of happy I didn’t get to find out. He was lucky not to get hit harder than he did (and he owes Brett a nice dinner!).

    • BigBlueAL

      High point of the season if im not mistaken was 13 games over which happened after the Saturday afternoon win in Fenway, which was the debuts of Nady and Marte and was the culmination of the 8 game winning streak following the All-Star break.

  • Old Ranger

    Pavano a Yankee next year?
    Sounds really bad right? A 3 year deal at 5mm per, plus incentives would be a good deal. Wouldn’t have to give up $$$mmmmm for CC etc. Joba, CMW, Pavano, Phil and Moose/Aceves.
    Had ya’ll going, didn’t I. To be honest, I don’t have any thoughts eather way. If he could help the team…so be it.
    I am all amped up for 2009. See if Cervelli, Cody, Miranda, Brett and a couple pitchers can make it next year. Dropping Jason, Bobby, Andy, Wilson, Pudge, and trading Johnny.
    Anyhow, it should be a very lively off season.

  • Simon B.

    I’m glad to see the fanbase has cooled down a bit. It was intolerable reading any Yankee forums/blogs/comments for a while because of all the rage and finger-pointing. Nobody’s happy that the Yankees are going to miss the postseason, but it’s nice that we can ride out the regular season on a high-note and just discuss baseball rationally.

    • UWS

      Oh, there’s still plenty of fingerpointing and rage going on in Yankeeland! This site has always been on the rational side, though, except for a few notable outliers. I wouldn’t venture into LoHud comment section if I were you, however.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    Was at the stadium tonight and the fans are giving them the love. I think it’s the Stadium, history and organization in general that is getting the love and not the 2008 team but everyone seems to understand there were injuries and missteps and that’s all behind us so send the great Stadium out with a fond farewell.

    I’m going to be there Sat and Sun and it’s bittersweet, def, but the fans are behaving better now that they’ve resigned themselves to the fact that the season is basically over.

  • pat

    brett gardner may hve just scrapped himself into my heart tonite. I might allow him to babysit cf until torri hunter jr takes over in late 2009 or 2010. As im tytping this i just realized that it 2010 we prob wont have any corner outfielders on the roster so we may be seeing big game gardner in center and austin texas jackson in left at that point. never mind my ramblings it has been a long happy hour and the 7 to flushing is very strange.

  • Bonos

    The Yankees need to replace the offense of Giambi, Abreu, Damon and Matsui in the next two years. I’m not impressed with Nady, too slow and marginal offense in the AL East. I would sign both Giambi and Abreu and then eating half the contracts trade them. Letting them go for draft picks is a maybe three to four years down the road. Would Giambi (with a cheap reliever or starter) at 7 mil per for two years be worth a stud OF like Rasmus, Bruce or our favorite OF in LA? Someone from SD (They have budgetary problems)? What about Nady in trade? They have to think outside the box.

    • Rich

      If they need to think outside the box I hope it’s not the box you’re using because your expectations for what you could get in return for Giambi are ridiculously high.

      Why would the Reds trade Bruce for Giambi, because you’d like them to use Giambi instead of Votto?

      Why would the Cards trade Rasmus for Giambi, so the Cards can release Pujols to bask in the glory of a 37 year old Giambi?

  • Bart

    Happy for Gardner and for everyone to see why I advovcated trading Melky last winter and playing him — his stroke needs fixing that slash gets under the ball way too often – but maybe it can be fixed with some dedicated instruction — the Yankees did not mess with him in the minrs because with his walks and speed he was on on base enough that they let it go

    Everyone on the blog has a pet this or that -sign this guy and trade him – let that guy go

    Choose a lineup that gets 900 runs and put the pieces in place

    Choose a strating P that gets close to 1200 innings, keeps you im the game and with relief support nets 96 wins – with no margin of error to the downside

    Everyone wants to pencil in Wang for 18 wins and 200+innings- when we are uncertain as to how effecrive he will be — he is not an ace #1 – relatively unreliable aainst the top tier hitting teams; and awful on artificial turf —

    The team still needs a #1 – buy one and it is not burnett or shields; or grow one MAYBE Joba although I suspect his body can’t take the innings; or Hughes who may only be 15 starts from really “finding it”.

    The rule is you can trust dazzling September call-ups but as noted above you have to love what you see of Coke – Trade Edwar while anyone thinks there is value there – simply can’t afford the killing HRs always 1 pitch away- still not sure about Marte and Robertson, Veras – but the kids in the minors are impressive bunch

    So we are back to

    – Who is the starting five P — and who are the 7 eveyday Players to go with Jeter and ARod — Matsui/Posada are potentially relaible offense but maybe nearly useless defese unless 1B is an option. So the teo guys might be your DG 1B combo

    There are some who do not like Nady – but he is an offensive weapon who has done well in very poor lineups Mets/Pittsburg — in a well constructed Yankee lineup he will put up superior RH numbers — if you move him you need to find 30HR and 100RBIs — granted he is not one of the guys for 2011-2025 – so he has to be of merit for 2009 – 2010
    Jeter loves the game and may be Pete Rose like in staying with it – can the Ynakees keep him that long and get value — he never speaks to individual accomlishments but he can tally 300HRs, surpass Ruth and Gehrig in some respects, and maybe beat Rose for the hits record.

    and try to do it with a multi-year plan – that is win in 2009 and 2010 and beyond – continuing the buy – trade add the piece parts – or take a chance that 2009 and 2010 are developing years but the pieces are in place for 2011 to 2025

    Trade anyone who is tradeable

    For amusement – the Rays are on the way but they will not be able to stay in the financial game for their maturing stars — see Oakland

    but the Red Sox are and they are very nearly set

    • Ben K.

      This has absolutely nothing to do with last night’s game and is way too long. Got an executive summary for us?

  • YankCrank20

    It’s fun to see them play efficiently for once. I think it’s because of two things.

    1) Final games in the Stadium are a rush…they want to win them.

    2) Lots of guys playing for a job

    I’d say everybody not named Jeter, Rodriguez, Chamberlain, Bruney, Marte and Rivera are playing for a contract or role with the Yankees or another team next season. Some contracts are up (Abreu, Giambi, Pudge), some kids are fighting for a job (Sanchez, Coke, Gardner) and some are viable trade options (Damon, Cano). There are few games left and they have little time to prove themselves.

    On that note, wouldn’t it be fun if Gardner could become a decent hitter? He’d be fun out of the leadoff spot.

    • Mike Pop

      Ya Reyes like

  • Jake H

    Gardner also threw out a runner on a very strong throw.

  • David Brown

    As for next year’s team. I honestly do not believe that Marte is any lock to return. Phil Coke looks very good (And you still have Sanchez on the left side). I would just as soon let him go, and take a draft pick and use his $600,000,000 salary on draft picks and International free agents (No MORE Gerrit Cole or Ina debacles) On the right side you need to make room for Mark Melancon. Wong will be one of the starting pitchers next year (So that is pitcher number one). I would say the odds are good Mussina will be back (That is pitcher number two). I think Joba will start (And that is pitcher number three). Phil Hughes is still a possibility (Ian Kennedy should be sent packing ASAP (Along with Melky)).
    I would not sign Petitte, Abreu, and the rest of the Yankee free agents (Except Moose). Nor would I consider any free agent except for Texieria or Sabathia (If he would come to NY).
    The biggest problem they face in the future, is in the outfield . But after next year, you get Damon’s, Matsui’s, and Nady’s contracts off the books (Nady is 50-50 about staying long-term because he is a Boras client), and Matt Holliday and Carl Crawford become free agents, and one of those two could fill a corner outfield position (To go with Jackson and either Nady (If he stays)) or Gardner).
    I am looking at 2009, to improve, and the following year to contend when Brackman and Romine are ready.

  • ortforshort

    Here’s what next year looks like to me:
    Relievers – we have more than we can use – I wouldn’t trade any yet because you need to let things shake out a bit
    Starters – Wang. Mussina and Pettitte will both be back if they want to be. The fourth starter needs to be a free agent, hopefully Sabathia. The fifth starter is a competition among Pavano, Aceves, Hughes and Kennedy. They won’t pay Pavano his 12M option, but he is 4-1 and he doesn’t even have his fastball back yet.
    Catcher – You’d be crazy to pencil in Posada and leave it at that. I’d sign Pudge for a year as insurance. You can sort it out in spring training next year.
    First Base – go hard after Teixeira. If you don’t get him, the position becomes a weakness no matter who you put there: Giambi, Miranda, Posada, etc.
    Second Base – Keep Cano. Hopefully he’ll become the superstar that’s inside him
    Shortstop – I love Jeter.
    Third Base – Maybe A-Rod will remove his head from his ass in clutch situations like he did last year. You can only hope
    Outfield – Not many options out there to replace the guys we’ve got. I wish I thought Gardner was a keeper, but I don’t. Your’re going to have to re-sign Abreu, he’s not pretty, but he’s not a bad ballplayer, either. Wait ’til next year on doing major surgery to the outfield

  • jme

    I understand Pavano hasn’t been around but, he hasn’t done all that bad. I’d be pissed if he came up and did horrible. Hes doing okay so far. & if there is a chance he comes back next season then, so be it. Maybe he’ll surprise us.

    I hope kennedy/hughes/melky are able to come back up. There still all young