A.J. delivers while offense powers Yanks to 7-2 win

Extra inning wins & rain outs
Anticipating a hitters' park


Yankees 7, Rays 2
What is this nerdy graph?

Just like in his first start, A.J. Burnett was just what the Yankees needed last night. After a night when they were thumped 15-5, he went eight innings, taking a no-hitter into the seventh. It was not to be, but Burnett still came away with a win as the Yanks rallied in the late innings to beat the Rays 7-2.

Not only did the Yanks need A.J. to keep the score down, but they needed him to do it efficiently. With heavy bullpen usage over the past two days and no off-day for another eight, the relievers could have used a rest; A.J.’s eight innings gave them just that. Jeter’s late homer bought Mo another day off, and Brian Bruney closed out the game by striking out the side in order.

Burnett With Butterfly Wings (keeper?) was on from the first batter. Only a few hitters made even decent contact through the first six, and a few guys (ahem, Dioner Navarro) looked downright silly. His curveball was absolutely filthy, made even more so because A.J. used it both in the strike zone and in the dirt. In short, the Yanks $82.5 million man earned his keep tonight.

Gritt Girtner starred on the offensive side with two doubles and three runs scored. It did help that Carl Crawford and B.J. Upton had him played like a Little Leaguer, but a double’s a double. Swisher continued his hot-hitting ways with two more hits, including a homer. The Captain, who as we mentioned was 1 for his last 20, went 3 for 5 including a game-icing homer in the ninth.

The game in general felt like the anti-2008. The Yanks worked a run on a sac fly in the first and another on a Nick Swisher solo homer in the fourth and then let their pitching do the talking. Then, when A.J. allowed a forgivable two runs, the offense came back and scored some more. That just never seemed to happen last year.

They’ll do it again tomorrow at 4:08, when Andy Pettitte takes the hill against Andy Sonnanstine. Hopefully we’ll know more about Xavier Nady’s elbow before game time.

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Extra inning wins & rain outs
Anticipating a hitters' park
  • A.D.

    In Gardner’s defense BJ Upton plays everyone like a little leaguer

    • Chris C.

      They play him there because that’s where he hits it most of the time. It’s no different then playing a power hitter deep, then he drops one in front of you.

      Gardner wasn’t “lucky” they were playing him shallow. He simply hit it where they weren’t playing him.
      If he lines one over the middle and Upton catches it because he’s playing in back of second base, would anyone say that Gardner was robbed?

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        A.D.’s comment

        ————-

        Your head

        B.J. Upton plays EVERYBODY like a little leaguer because he’s wicked fast and counts on his ability to go back on a ball to allow him to play shallower than most infielders.

        Gardner didn’t hit it where the Rays/Upton weren’t playing “him”, he hit it where the Rays/Upton never play anybody.

        • Chris C.

          “Gardner didn’t hit it where the Rays/Upton weren’t playing “him”, he hit it where the Rays/Upton never play anybody.”

          But he was playing extra shallow for Gardner. And so was Crawford in left when Gardner doubled in the previous at-bat. These guys were playing Gardner to where he usualy hits it, and he drove it over their heads. He deserves credit fo that. He wasn’t “lucky” they were playing him there. They were playing him there for a reason.

          He wasn’t that shallow for Nady the other night, and Crawford doesn’t play “everyone” 20 feet behind the shortstop.

  • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

    Then, when A.J. allowed a forgivable two runs…

    Psh. I demand shut-outs from my pitchers. Anything less is unforgivable.

    On a serious note, this game started out on a note very reminiscent of 2008 though. The Yanks had bases loaded, no one out with the middle of their order up, and they plated just one run. Luckily, that wasn’t a sign of things to come tonight.

    • http://www.new.facebook.com/home.php?ref=home#/profile.php?id=594331910&ref=name Jamal G.

      Yeah, but when you have pitchers the caliber of Matt Garza on the mound it makes it much more understandable.

      • Rich

        True, but they were without a guy who has pretty good stats v. Garza, albeit in only 6 AB:

        .333 .444 .833 1.278

        (Hint: He wears #13)

        • Drew

          (Hint.. he lives in a Fun House)

    • Tom Zig

      Except Darrell Rasner wasn’t on the mound with 6 ERs already.

      • andrew

        I don’t miss it.

  • Tony

    I was one those people who didn’t want to see the Yankees sign Burnett. After two starts I have officially changed my mind. This guy seems to thrive in big games. Both of his starts have come when the Yankees have needed a win. I’d like to see how he does in October. Hopefully he can keep this up.

    • MasterShake

      I was on the same boat here, I didn’t want the Yanks to sign Burnett for the money they ended up signing him for…but so far it looks solid (but its only the first couple weeks of a 5-year contract).

      Lets just hope what he said on Baseball Tonight after the start (and throughout the preseason is true), which is that he learned from Halladay on how to be a better pitcher, and one that doesn’t just try to throw fastballs by everyone. If that’s what really caused him to have all those health problems, maybe he really can minimize his health issues that made many fans nervous in giving him a long-term contract.

      • Tony

        Very true. Four years down the road I’ll see if I feel the same way as I do after two weeks. If he can stay healthy I think he has an opportunity to do huge things in New York.

      • AJ

        I’ve got to agree with everyone else. In the offseason, I thought the Yankees were throwing money at a guy who only succeeded in his potential walk year, and they were making a mistake. Through two games, he’s been stellar. Like many of you, I hope he continues to:

        1. Stay healthy
        2. Continue to pitch well

        Clearly, two games is a small sample size. But he’s looked good so far.

        • Ben Ross

          AJ,

          You couldn’t have said it better. As a Met Fan, I was drooling at the prospect of having AJ Burnett btwn Santana and Pelfrey – he dominated us when he was with the Marlins, but can he pitch 200 Innings for at least 2-3 yrs before some of your fellow Yankee fans, who are ready to run Wang out of town, hail Burnett as the second coming of Clemens.

  • anonymous

    The 2 sac flys were a sight for sore eyes.

  • Roman

    Todays game was very entertaining . A great game played by both and the Yankees prevail with AJ’s gem and clutch hits later in the game to close the deal . Hopefully this can be consistent . Fan confidnce has to be high considering when we get alex back and everyone comes onto mid season form yanks will only get better as a team .

  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

    That the Yankees signed Burnett never bothered me.

    What bothered me was giving a five year contract to a guy with an extensive injury history. Don’t want to speak to soon, but it looks like, for the moment, my doubts are quelled.

    What’s impressed me the most about the 2008 Yankees is that they’ve never scored less than four runs and that they’ve only scored as few as four runs twice.

    5,5,11,4,6,4,5 and 7.

    Last year:

    3,2,3,4,3,2,6 and 2.

    that’s 47 runs to 25.

    47 to 25.

    That’s tied for fourth in the league, and two of the teams ranked higher-Toronto and Baltimore, are supposed to come back down to earth. Baltimore’s Mora was just placed on the DL.

    It’s also a higher run total than any NL team.

    There’s only a +3 run differential, but you need to remember that 8+7=15of those runs are because of Wang’s poor starts, and 5+3+7 = 15, another 15 were the bullpen in game one v. orioles, coke’s blowing Joba’s starts and last night’s 15-5 drubbing.

    So what that means is that Yankee starters, outside of Wang, are responsible for 44-30 = 14, 14-1 (Veras v. KC) = 13 of the RA. 143. And 6 of those runs were Sabathia in game one.

    So, AJ’s two starts, Pettitte’s one, Sabathia’s one of two and Joba’s one, five starts, have combine for 7 runs. Closer to one run a game than two.

    Being ‘Optimist Prime’, I’d like to think that Wang’s starts are outliers, as is CC’s bad starts and the few poor bullpen performances (noticably, Coke is responsible for a lot of the 15 bullpen runs (there are, IIRC, 16 bullpen runs total, but I’m not counting the lone run Veras gave up in the 6-1 win).

    So, in conclusion of this not very coherent essay, take what the offense has done, and then take what the starting pitching has done outside of Wang and CC’s one poor start, and then consider the possibilities.

    Oh, and we don’t have A-Rod back yet.

    • Drew

      Your injury worries shouldn’t be quelled off of two starts. You should just be hopeful that his dedicated work ethic and “Halladay-esque” pitching mindset will help him be a great starter for this year, and years to come.

      • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

        Yeah, they’re not quelled, but they are soothed by Burnett’s performances so far.

        He does really seem like he really wants to be here, and I know that’s probably the softest of soft factors, but FWIW, I think it goes a long way towards effort.

        • Drew

          He definitely looks as though he operates best in a pressurized environment, hopefully it’s not a mirage. Can’t wait till his first start in the stadium.

          • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

            Me niether!

            • Bo

              So you’d rather have a more (perceived) durable yet less talented pitcher?

              Havent you learned anything the past 8 yrs???

              You ALWAYS go for the more talented players. You dont take the safe choices because you end up with average players.

              Every pitcher is a risk even the so called durable ones. Better to take that risk on huge talent.

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                So, let me ask you a question, there, Grantbo:

                Back in the winter of 2000-2001, the Dodgers gave their own talented but super-injury prone pitcher Darren Dreifort 55M over 5 years.

                Was that a smarter move than signing, say, Kevin Appier, which the Mets did for 42M over 4 years?

                Or what about two years ago: Did the Dodgers giving Jason Schmidt (who was an ace, but already had signs of injury and fatigue at the end of his Giants contract) 47M over three years make more sense than betting on Gil Meche at 55M over 5, like the Royals did?

              • Chris C.

                “You ALWAYS go for the more talented players. You dont take the safe choices because you end up with average players.”

                Like the talented Carl Pavano?
                You know how many “average” players gave the Yankees more than Pavano in his 4 years as a Yankee? And Jaret Wright was an extremely talented pitcher. As was Randy Johnson, Kevin Brown, Javy Vazquez, and Jeff Weaver.

                There are many other things to factor in when dealing with “talented” players, my friend……such as age, NL transition, injury history, contract demands, etc. Sometimes the “average” guy will help a team more. The past few WS teams, and even playoff teams, are filled with “averaged” pitchers who took their team to the playoffs, and even the championship.

            • kunaldo

              I’m going to be there…hopefully he finishes the no-hitter this time :o)

  • http://schteeve.wordpress.com Schteeve

    Can we talk about Brian Bruney for a second? Was he throwing actual laser beams? I haven’t seen major league hitters look so hopelessly overmatched in a very very very long time.

    • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

      Holy fuck did he look good tonight.

    • http://ryanhandt.blogspot.com/ handtius

      Actually, they were sharks with laserbeams attached to their fricken heads. It was amazing.

      • http://schteeve.wordpress.com Schteeve

        Scotty don’t!

    • Rich

      94-95 mph FBs with a couple of 88-89 mph sliders, with command. So yeah, lasers is apt.

      • http://ryanhandt.blogspot.com/ handtius

        No No No! Sharks with Laser on their heads…much better then just lasers.

    • Drew

      FRICKIN LASER BEAMS

      • http://ryanhandt.blogspot.com/ handtius

        AHHH. read above ? Sharks…Lasers. Damnit.

        • Drew

          mine was cooler cuz i capitalized for the effect.

          • http://ryanhandt.blogspot.com/ handtius

            Damnit. FAIL.

    • Chris C.

      Is it me, or does Bruney seem much better in less pressurized situations?

      It’s very strange that Bruney can look that good one night, then look tremendously hittible on another. I know pitchers don’t always bring the same stuff to the mound from night to night, but his contrast seems enormous.

  • Drew

    Okay, I respect this WPA thing, even though I don’t fully understand it. Howeva, the fact that it considers Jose Molina a negative contributor is ridiculous. The guy called a no hitter through six. He wasn’t pitching but the catcher is far more valuable than offensive stats indicate.

    • Joey H

      Not to mention that snap throw down to first to stop the bleeding.

      • Bo

        Hes a defensive catcher. If they dont have numbers for that in this formula it is pretty much worthless overall.

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

          Only Bo would pooh pooh a graph which shows how the game unfolded.

          Question player WPA if you want — I’ve done it in past game recaps. Nick Swisher’s error on Sunday was charged as a negative to Joba, for example. But to call it worthless because it doesn’t take defense into account? Might as well throw away OBP and SLG while we’re at it.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Blood pressure is a worthless stat because it doesn’t measure my cholesterol levels.

            Cholesterol numbers are a worthless stat because they don’t gauge my blood pressure.

    • andrew

      Yea… there are plenty of shortcomings to WPA, but it’s still a cool graph to show the story of the game unfold

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Okay, I respect this WPA thing, even though I don’t fully understand it. Howeva, the fact that it considers Jose Molina a negative contributor is ridiculous.

      Allow me to rejuxtapose these sentences for you. What you meant to say was:

      Okay, I respect this WPA thing, even though the fact that it considers Jose Molina a negative contributor is ridiculous. Howeva, I don’t fully understand it.

      Much better.

  • http://ryanhandt.blogspot.com/ handtius

    I’m going with, “Bullets Burnett: Nobody Stands a Chance”

  • Drew

    Why is Johnny Damon on this team if he can only make 3 out of every four starts? The thing that pisses me off, is Johnny wants to play. Joe treats him as if he needs a hover-round. We see this already this year as we saw it down the stretch last year when he was the hottest hitter in the lineup. Someone needs to get in Joe’s ear IMO. If the guy cannot start, he shouldn’t be a starter. I for one, think he can and should start. Treating him as if he is a catcher is unbelievable in my eyes.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

      He has the flu.

      I hope you feel good about yourself now.

      • Drew

        I get the flu and go to school and work Ben. As do you. Work doesn’t stop when you have Boo-boo.

        • Joey H

          It will when you go 0-4. And why are we bitching about this to begin with? Our starter pitched brilliantly, our offense jumped in front early and then jumped again when needed. All without Damon. So yeah. *BREATH IN…. BREATH OUT* They won.

          • Drew

            Wait, so he was benched because he went 0-4 or because he had booboo? I’m not bitching. I’m just mad that Girardi treats Damon as if he’s out in left field with a walker. The season is much larger than one game, I’m ecstatic that AJ has shown to be a stopper in the season’s infancy, howeva, if Girardi continues this stuff with Damon the team will be in a worse place. Especially if Nady’s elbow is an issue.

            • Joey H

              No, what I was saying was that if he is sick and doesn’t give a typical Damon performance then it’s better off just to give him a day off, common sense tells you that. If you have been a Yankee fan for at least the past year you would know Girardi likes to rest his regulars early in the season to keep them fresh because once crunch time comes they’re going out there every day. I can’t count how many times we saw this last year.

              • Drew

                True, I don’t disagree with keeping guys fresh, but if he has the “flu” he won’t be “right” for over a week. Should we DL him? I mean I know it’s only one day, but my frustration stems from that lineup we threw out there the other day. Along with what Girardi did down the stretch last year with Damon.

                • Drew

                  Plus, if we saw it last year, maybe it’s not worth repeating.

                • http://statspeak.net dan

                  HE HAS THE FLU. WHAT DON’T YOU GET?!

                  Symptoms (from WebMD):

                  # fever (usually high)
                  # severe aches and pains in the joints and muscles and around the eyes
                  # generalized weakness
                  # ill appearance with warm, flushed skin and red, watery eyes
                  # headache
                  # dry cough

                • Drew

                  How long does WebMd say symptoms last for?

                • http://ryanhandt.blogspot.com/ handtius

                  “HE HAS THE FLU. WHAT DON’T YOU GET?!….dry cough”

                  So what are you trying to say?

                • http://statspeak.net dan

                  I thought it was pretty clear that I’m saying he’s unable to play.

                • Drew

                  Lol. Unable… because of the flu.. BTW, since Johnny’s already on the Hover-Round, the elderly do have priority to the influenza shot.
                  I’ve had the flu. Unable, is quite an overstatement. Now, if he had a bad hang nail, that’s a different story, that hurts!

                • http://ryanhandt.blogspot.com/ handtius

                  Dan, I was kidding..pointing out the obvious. quoin pop culture at the same time.

                • http://statspeak.net dan

                  Sorry, didn’t get the joke. Drew is still being ignorant here, though.

                • Drew

                  Ignorant is not seeing both sides, Dan. I never claimed my opinion was fact.

                • andrew

                  Ok. Well the flu has a much larger effect on one’s ability to do physical activity than on one’s ability to go to school. So stop comparing yourself to Damon.

              • Joey H

                Well there were a flurry of injuries last year. So thats a totally different story. We saw Damon Abreu ect.. sat a lot early on randomly last year.

                • steve (different one)

                  Abreu played 156 games last year.

              • Drew

                Btw, I have been a Yankee fan for “at least the past year,” that doesn’t mean that I have to agree with Joe’s method of resting regulars. As far as the crunch time deal, that’s BS. We were in crunch time and Joe gave Damon a day off last year. So, resting Damon a week into the year is moot concerning crunch time.

                • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

                  Are you being dense or stupid? He has the flu. It’s a 162-game season. He should take the day off. Get over yourself.

                • steve (different one)

                  i cannot believe this discussion is still going….

                • Joey H

                  No Ben he is neither dense or stupid. He’s a Doctor!!!!

                • Drew

                  I wasn’t being dense nor stupid. If someone says Joe rests players 6 games in to the year so they’re available for “crunch time,” I don’t really believe that. BTW, I’m aware he has the flu, I’ve read it enough.

        • anonymous

          I hate when people do that.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          I get the flu and go to school and work Ben. As do you. Work doesn’t stop when you have Boo-boo.

          A) Depends on the severity of your flu, doesn’t it?
          B) Does your work or school require you to sit at a desk, thinking and reading and writing, or does it require you to perform skills of high athletic degree of difficulty?

          • http://ryanhandt.blogspot.com/ handtius

            I have the flu and I took out my jetpack and defeated Colonel Clink today. Jonny’s a wuss.

        • Chris C.

          “I get the flu and go to school and work Ben. As do you. Work doesn’t stop when you have Boo-boo.”

          Aside from Damon, the Yankees have 5 guys on their major league roster who can play the outfield, so why the hell would you feel the need to play a guy who’s sick???

          And let’s be honest……it’s not like he’s Willie Mays.

          • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

            Because, Chris. Everyone needs to play every game like it’s their last and like it’s life and death. No fun. No days off.

            • Chris C.

              If Damon played with the flu, would he gain instant Chuck Norris status?

              • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

                If Damon played with the flu, would he gain instant Chuck Norris status?

                Maybe, but not enough to warrant Nick Swisher status.

                • Jack

                  Chuck Norris wears Nick Swisher pajamas.

                • Chris C.

                  “Maybe, but not enough to warrant Nick Swisher status.”

                  The flu is scared shitless of Nick Swisher.

    • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

      Dude, Johnny D was sick today. Sick. It happens. His mom’s not well and he lost sleep caring for her. People get sick. Heck, I’ve felt like shit this past week.

      That’s why he didn’t start today.

    • http://ryanhandt.blogspot.com/ handtius

      “I hope you feel good about yourself now.”

      Damn…You Got Served!

      • Bo

        I hope complaining about Damon being sick was a joke.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          The irony meters are FREAKING OFF THE CHARTS with this comment, Grantbo.

  • Joey H

    Well, I hate to say it and I know all you stat obsessed people are going to throw all these numbers at me but quite honestly if Nady is hurt, it can’t be the worst thing for the team. Now Girardi can start Swisher without pussyfooting around X. This way we have no hurt feelings. Ahhh ha! Swish for MVP.

    • http://ryanhandt.blogspot.com/ handtius

      Screw that, put wang on the DL and Swish is the Cy Young.

      • Joey H

        You may be on to something there man. LOL. He was the only Yankee pitcher not to surrender a run last night

        • http://ryanhandt.blogspot.com/ handtius

          I know..imagine what he could do in the rotation…JOBA TO THE PEN…we got the swish. Babe Ruth reverse.

          • Joey H

            Alright. Easy there.

            • http://ryanhandt.blogspot.com/ handtius

              No way man…THE 8TH!!!! Most important inning. Death to the 1st-7th.

              • Joey H

                Anyway… Do you like sniffing glue?

                • http://ryanhandt.blogspot.com/ handtius

                  no…pam spray. butter sented.

                • Joey H

                  Never heard that one before. Wouldn’t that be considered huffing? Or is that what you do with the air cans. I have no idea when it comes to these homemade drugs. Or any for that matter.

                • http://ryanhandt.blogspot.com/ handtius

                  i don’t know…goes well with pancakes. tall stack.

              • Drew

                Burnett killed it in the 8th. I’m just sayin.

                • http://ryanhandt.blogspot.com/ handtius

                  see. he’s the perfect 8th inning guy too.

    • http://schteeve.wordpress.com Schteeve

      73! 5.2!! EQa!! 5567@

  • Tony

    No mistakes at third base tonight. Keep Pena at third until AROD comes back?

    • Joey H

      He actually made a hell of a barehanded throw if I remember correctly.

    • http://ryanhandt.blogspot.com/ handtius

      agreed.

    • Rich

      He also hit a line drive to the LF/CF gap that Upton impressively saved from being a WPA raising hit. Factor in a BB, and I think he did earn more PT.

  • Matt K

    Stats question.
    I was comparing fielding stats for melky vs gardner and melky clearly has alot more major league stats to go by. Gardner is mostly minor league numbers. So what I am wondering if it is safe to compare melky’s big league heavy numbers vs gardners mostly minor league numbers. Is fielding at the minor league level the same as fielding in the majors??

    Thanks for the Help

    • http://statspeak.net dan

      The numbers aren’t as reliable in the minors. I’m curious as to what you’re looking at for both of them. If you want the best apples to apples comparison, use Total Zone (TZ) from Sean Smith. You can get Gardner’s minor league TZ numbers on minorleaguesplits.com. The numbers aren’t super-accurate for the minors (they’re not for the majors either, but they’re at least better), but it’s your best bet.

      • http://statspeak.net dan

        Oh, and there’s pretty much no translation factor going from minors to majors.

        “For center fielders, the relative performance is relatively flat. Give or take a run or two, the average center fielder in Low A is about as good as the average major league center fielder.”
        http://www.hardballtimes.com/m.....he-minors/

        • Matt K

          I was using fangraphs (UZR RngR). and was also looking at baseball-ref. I am kind of a novice at this stuff. So hopefully they are good sources.

          A friend of mine thinks melky is a better fielder than brett. basically basing this off a few plays (misplays in his opinion) from this season. Since Ive always heard brett is better I wanted to get some stats to back it up. Your opinions/facts on that would help to.

          • Chip

            As you can probably see from the numbers, Gardner’s range>>>>>Melky’s range and they both take the wrong subway on the way to fly balls. Also, Melky has a better arm but it’s more inaccurate, he often throws to the wrong base and a great arm isn’t that important in center

          • http://statspeak.net dan

            Well before I check the numbers, Total Zone will be the most “honest” way to compare since it’s the same engine for both players (UZR and TZ have different engines, so it’s like apples to, say, pears. Same goal, but not the same route to get there).

            What I would do, personally, is look at how each player is projected to field this season. This is obviously based on past performance, and will ensure that it’s correctly weighted. Melky is projected for -3 in Center and +5 in the corner spots. Gardner is projected for +5 in center and +11 in the corners. So Total Zone thinks Gardner is around 5-10 runs better this year.

            http://www.baseballprojection.com/of2009.htm

            Gardner doesn’t have much major league data yet (obviously). But scouts seem to think that Melky’s not all he’s cracked up to be in CF, while Gardner is solidly above average. Melky has the advantage with the arm, but that only comes out to probably < 3 runs per year, if that.

  • Tom Zig

    woo hoo Boston loses on a walk off.

    • Drew

      That is always good news.

    • http://ryanhandt.blogspot.com/ handtius

      i love others misery.

      • Matt K

        The big G walked was pinch ran for than that pinch runner came around to score.(hopefully iam reading the box correctly) Thanks Giambi!!

        • Matt K

          Great work by the sox pen though 10 innings of scoreless ball after dice k left in the first. but they still gave up the game winner.

  • Chip

    You know, people were complaining about the giant black hole in our lineup. Boston continually runs a lineup of Lowell/Varitek/a stick figure shortstop/Ellsbury out there. And they don’t have an A-Rod coming back.

    Note to AL pitchers: Keep throwing to Pedroia up and in

    • hoosierdaddy

      up and in is over his head.. aim for the ankles..

    • Thomas A. Anderson

      Yeah, apparently he really can’t hit the high and inside fastball.

    • andrew

      And they don’t have an A-Rod coming back.

      Makes me so happy.

  • Drew

    Let me just say, since everyone has jumped on me for criticizing Joe for giving Damon too many days off. If Johnny needs off because of a family illness, such as his mother, that’s understood. If Johnny is ill, and can be a contagion in the locker room, I understand that, he shouldn’t be in the locker room. If Johnny has cramps, and a mood disorder, I understand that. My displeasure was not based on one day. Joe has been very cautious with Damon since he took over. I have been critical of this practice then, and I’m critical of it now.

    • Chip

      And last year Damon had an OPS+ of 118 vs his 2007 OPS+ of 97. I’m fine with Girardi’s kid gloves with Damon

      • Drew

        True, I can’t argue with that… I have my opinion though. I think we all know the team is better with Damon in the lineup. As for if that is better for us in the long run, that is certainly debatable.

        • andrew

          Considering that Damon had one of the best years in his career last year at age 34, while playing the 2nd fewest games of any season in his career, one could attribute the increase in his numbers even at his old age to his extra 5-7 days off.

    • http://statspeak.net dan

      Damon had the 29th most at bats of any outfielder in 2008. 20 fewer than that young whipper-snapper Hunter Pence.

      • andrew

        Well, while I’m generally disagreeing with Drew on this one, that disparity in atbats probably came from Damon hitting leadoff and Pence batting 6th.

    • JeffG

      You have beaten us with this nonsense until the horse is dead and now that the horse is dead you are still trying to fight it. Damon is a veteran who can’t be run into the ground. Further, allowing Swisher to fill in for him was not exactly a bad move.

      • Chris C.

        Further, allowing Swisher to fill in for him was not exactly a bad move.

        Well, Swisher will be the everyday rightfielder for a while now. So now we probably have Melky filling in when he’s out.

    • Chris C.

      “Joe has been very cautious with Damon since he took over. I have been critical of this practice then, and I’m critical of it now.”

      Oh, boo-hoo. And how has the top of the order done the two games Damon missed with the Gardner-Jeter combo?
      Has Damon really been that missed?

      The Yankee lead-off hitter has scored twice in the first inning this year……..both times when Gardner was leading off.

      Not saying Damon isn’t a good player…….just that the Yankees haven’t suffered in his absense.

  • hoosierdaddy

    correct me if im wrong but isnt the injury ridden aj the ace for now.. at least this week.. dont ya think igawa could do better than a 28……. era… and swisher is nothing more than a god send.. x who??? oh i know what x means.. ex yankee player represented by boras..

    • Chip

      Igawa wouldn’t be left in long enough to put up an ERA of 28. Wang has been one of the best pitchers in the league for the past 3 years so let’s give him about 5 starts before we determine that he’s useless.

      And CC is the ace of this staff. He’s the horse who can and has consistently put up great numbers. I personally think AJ is going to win the Cy Young this year (which I predicted before spring training) but I’d still argue that CC is still the ace

      • KelvzPhp

        Agreed. besides, if they are both “aces”, who would complain ’bout that?

        (i guess everyone else would go with the “they both aces, and championships”.sheesh)

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Agreed. besides, if they are both “aces”, who would complain ’bout that?

          Grantbo?

          • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

            B-Jobbers. They could be bridges to Mo instead of aces. 5 inning game.

    • JeffG

      You have got to be kidding – right? There is this weird feeling I get that people really don’t see the big picture. Remember how Melky started last year? Players get hot and cold. One week is not something you should alter your whole fame of mind for.

  • Alan The Dominicanyorker

    I am new here and all but I believe that Matt Garza did that last week and PEDroia sure looked foolish after the up and in pitch.

    PS: Nick Swisher drinks PED’s. (Performance Energy Drinks)

    • Alan The Dominicanyorker

      damn wrong post, me Fail.

    • Tony

      MLB 09 The Show has exposed Pedroia. Curse of “The Show” ?

      • Chip

        Until they put Nick Swisher on it next year and find out that he can hit the high inside fastball

        In fact, Matt Garza once threw a ball that hit Swisher in the head yet still flew over the fence for a 5 run homer

        • jon

          Swishers bunts 450foot home runs

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Nick Swisher would never be the cover athlete of a video game.

          He can’t stand still long enough for them to take the photo.

          • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

            Any game with Nick Swisher on the cover would be the greatest game ever.

            On another note, Thabeet officially declared. On a scale of 1-10, 10 being the most disappointing, how disappointing will Thabeet be at the NBA level? I’m going with an 8.

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              The fact that Chad Ford has Thabeet ranked as the THIRD best prospect in this draft class is a traveshamockery.

              Thabeet’s absolute ceiling is Samuel Dalembert. His much more likely comp is Steven Hunter. Somebody taking Thabeet with a top ten pick would be the worst idea since Shelden Williams.

              • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

                I wouldn’t go quite as low on that ceiling, but, yeah, he’ll be a big time disappointment.

              • Spaceman.Spiff

                No, I actually pretty much agree with that ceiling and comparison. I’ve almost never seen Thabeet put the ball on the floor when he catches the ball in the post and has no more post moves than I do. He’s pretty good defensively in college but the NBA is so much bigger and athletic down low, I can’t imagine that he’ll be so great defensively that his offensive shortcomings are ignored. I don’t need my centers to be hitting 17 foot jumpers but I’d like them to have better touch and post skills than Thabeet.

                • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

                  If Thabeet even tried to put the ball on the floor, it’d be a disaster. His problems in the NBA are going to be his hands and the fact that he’s not too strong. DaJuan Blair pushed him around like he wasn’t even there; I can’t wait to see what someone like Dwight Howard will do to him.

                  Every scouting report I heard on TV about Thabeet was dead wrong. Everyone would say he was a great shot blocker ’cause he never left his feet…untrue. He left his feet. A lot. His size was an advantage he won’t necessarily have in college. He’s done a lot to refine his game, but he still doesn’t a) go up strong on offense and b) put his freakin’ hands up on defense.

              • Chris C.

                “Thabeet’s absolute ceiling is Samuel Dalembert. His much more likely comp is Steven Hunter. Somebody taking Thabeet with a top ten pick would be the worst idea since Shelden Williams.”

                It would be even worse. At least Williams could score some points in college.

        • Colombo

          Swisher then pitched the next inning and struck out the side…throwing right handed…

  • Tampa Yankee

    So Mike and Mike bring up to Steve Phillips this morning that the question w/ AJ has never been “can he pitch?” but “CAN he pitch?” (meaning he has the talent but can he stay healthy?). Phillips says that he thought AJ would be good so he’s not concerned but he is worried about Joba, Andy and CMW’s spots in the rotation and the bullpen.

    To me this is just another example of ESPN’s anti-Yankee bias. Has anyone even heard them bring up the issues with the Red Sox’s right now? I haven’t! I mean only Youk and Bay are the only regulars batting over .230, Ortiz does not have an extrabase hit, Dice-K left with arm fatigue last night and has a 12.79 ERA, Lester has a 9.00 ERA, Beckett got hit around his last start and is the only starter with and ERA under 4.50 and their pen isn’t lighting the world on fire either (Okajihma, their “set-up” man has a 6.75 ERA).

    And they are 2-6! At least the Yanks, despite their poor games are 4-4 and should be 5-3. One or possibly two of the Rays, Yanks and Sox will NOT make the playoffs but its ok I guess, the Sox have the deeper rotation and the MVP (batting .206 by the way)!!! And for the big deal made about the age of the Yanks… only the Rays have a younger team in the ALE.

    Why is this not a bigger f’n issue! Is it just me?

    • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

      So Mike and Mike bring up to Steve Phillips this morning that the question w/ AJ has never been “can he pitch?” but “CAN he pitch?” (meaning he has the talent but can he stay healthy?). Phillips says that he thought AJ would be good so he’s not concerned but he is worried about Joba, Andy and CMW’s spots in the rotation and the bullpen.

      What’s annoying is that Chamberlain had a good start. If not for a silly misplay by Swisher/Cano, it would’ve looked even better. Pettitte pitched great in his one start (but it is only one start) and if he’s your fourth starter, you’re probably in good shape. Wang’s looked troubled but again, two starts is a small size to look at. If he’s pitching the same way in a month, then I’ll get worried.

      The bullpen, aside from 2 awful innings, really hasn’t been bad. Whatever. I’m convinced that no one at ESPN does any sort of research.

      • Matt K

        When do you start valuing what steve phillips says??

        • Matt K

          When did**

        • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt

          Haha, never. I’m just talking about ESPN in general.

      • Chris C.

        “Wang’s looked troubled but again, two starts is a small size to look at.”

        Wang is pitching like a guy afraid to injure his foot again. I believe his problems are all in his head.

  • LiveFromNY

    What sort of welcome for Swisher at the Stadium tomorrow? I can’t believe people are criticizing him (Strawberry) when the fans are loving him.

    • steve (different one)

      huge ovation. dude is a cult hero.

  • Angelo

    Look for Joba to be lights out in his 2nd start against a weak Indians team at the stadium on Friday. I’ll be there so I’m optimist , but I’m sure everyone will agree this should be a successful opening series at our new ball park.

  • Tommy

    Keep the SP reference!