Pavano pitches well, but Yanks take the game late

Game 13 spillover
Scranton beats former teammate for yet another W

So much for bombing Carl Pavano in his return to the Bronx. The oft-injured righty tossed six solid innings today, allowing just one run on four hits and a walk. Unfortunately for him, Eric Wedge replaced him in the seventh after 89 pitches, and the bullpen imploded immediately. Three outs after Pavano’s last pitch and the Yanks had taken the lead for good.

On a day when the Yankees needed A.J. Burnett to go deep into the game, he didn’t have much juice. His control just wasn’t there: only 60 of his 111 pitches were strikes and he walked seven batters. He only allowed three hits, including a dinky single to Travis Hafner in the first. Unfortunately, the other two were home runs, leaving him a 3-1 deficit upon exiting in the seventh. With the bases loaded, Jon Albaladejo induced a weak grounder to Ransom, who got Trevor Crowe at the plate. A routine grounder by Victor Martinez ended the threat.

Surprisingly, the Yanks had a bit of trouble hitting Pavano, who wasn’t exactly stellar in his first two starts this season. He didn’t have pinpoint control — 54 of his 89 pitches were strikes, or a hair over 60 percent. Yet he was still perfect the first time through the order. The Yanks managed a run the second time through on a Derek Jeter double, followed by Mark Teixeira reaching for and pulling an outside pitch through a hole on the right side. Pavano also pitched out of trouble in the sixth. Jeter helped him out with a double play, but the Yanks managed to load the bases before Nick Swisher struck out for the third time in the game.

The hero of the game, of course, was Jorge Posada. After Cody Ransom muffed a sac bunt attempt by laying it right back to reliever Jensen Lewis, who got Matsui at second, Joe Girardi sent up Posada to pinch hit for Jose Molina. Three pitches later the stadium was booming. Jorge had just barely cleared the wall in right field, though some arguing from Eric Wedge led to the first instant replay review I can remember of the young season. From YES’s multiple vantage points, it looked as if the ball was going to clear the wall and that the fan didn’t interfere. That the fan even leaned into the field of play is ridiculous; fans are spectators, not participants. No Yanks fans are complaining about the result, of course, but one of those plays could come back to bite the team in the ass one day.

(Also, the guy next to the fan in question had a mitt. I’m sorry, but no one over the age of 14 should bring a mitt to the game unless you have hooks for hands.)

Brian Bruney, while not striking out a batter, dominated the Indians’ four, five, and six hitters, effectively laying a bridge to Mariano Rivera. The Yanks added some insurance in the eighth off once-bullpen-ace Rafael Betancourt, and Mo slammed the door with a quick ninth inning. The Yanks salvaged a split in the series despite two of the most lopsided losses they’ve seen in years. That has to feel good. It also keeps the Yankees above .500 at 7-6 on the season.

Think about those six losses for a second. Four of them were absolute blowouts, started by the Nos. 1 and 2 pitchers in the rotation. The other one was the game in KC which got everyone up in arms over the bullpen. One has to figure that the blowouts won’t happen as frequently from this point on. Two came with CC Sabathia on the mound, and it’s unlikely we see much more of that. Two came from Wang, who will either improve or be replaced. In other words, this team looks to be in better shape than their record indicates.

Oakland comes to town next for a three-game set before the Yanks head up to Boston. They might not get in the game tomorrow night; the weather looks pretty grim. Both teams have an off-day on Thursday, though Oakland has to fly back West for a weekend series against Tampa Bay. Oakland does come back to town July 24 through 26 and the two teams share an off-day on the 23rd, but Oakland would be coming from out West. With the possibility of skipping Wang’s start in Boston, the Yanks might not want to play a double header this week.

Game 13 spillover
Scranton beats former teammate for yet another W
  • Slugger27

    how bout that yankees bullpen????
    hell of a 2.1 innings today

    fuck you pavano :)

  • Chip

    You guys should put up a poll (which we probably already know the answer to) of who should start that game against the Red Sox. Wang, Hughes, IPK, Igawa, Aceves or Burnett

    • Slugger27

      i dont care what wang’s numbers look like right now, id still take him over igawa

  • Pablo Zevallos

    OK, what’s wrong with having a mitt??

    • CT Yankee

      Kinda like hotdogs and ketchup

    • My Pet Goat

      Sure nothing wrong with wearing a mitt to a game, just so long as you remember to paint an interlocking NY on your cheek. And don’t forget the cotton candy!

    • Slugger27

      if ur an adult, its lame

      if u have a son there and u BOTH have a mitt, then i can respect that

      • dc1874

        what if your son is 43..??

  • BigBlueAL

    Well the Yankees are tied for most runs allowed in the MLB with 87, and have a -17 run differential but are 7-6 in 2nd place behind only the Blue Jays who really shouldnt be a threat in the divison before it is all said and done.

    Tampa is 5-8 and just got drilled twice in a row at home by the White Sox. Boston however has won 4 in a row after starting 2-6 but are pretty banged up. It sure hasnt felt like a good first 2 weeks of the season, but it really hasnt been too bad all in all. Considering, rainout tomorrow not withstanding, the Yankees have 6 games next week w/o Wang having to pitch any of them if Girardi has any clue, the Yankees could have a nice week including hopefully winning 2 out of 3 in Fenway.

  • My Pet Goat

    When will Michael Kay start referring to the Captin’s double plays, Jeterian?

    • My Pet Goat

      “as” Jeterian…

  • Mike Pop

    My boy A.J. had me scared today but he pitched well enough to keep the Yankees in the game. Albie came up uuggge there, which was awesome.

    I do agree with you with the whole glove thing too, kind of corny. That guy would of tried to catch that ball over a 11 year old at his first game. People need to learn not to get involved in the game but it helped us today as well in Baltimore I beliee.

    • Slugger27

      he didnt have his A stuff, but kept us in the game into the 7th… thats worthy of high praise in my book

  • Nady Nation

    I was at the game today – couple of observations:

    1. I know it’s still early in the season, but the Yanks have to consider slashing prices on those infield boxes. One section off first base today had literally 8 people in it. It looks awful, and it’s contributing to the quieter feel at the new Stadium.

    2. I was sitting in the Grandstand between 3rd and the foul pole, and I was really having trouble picking up the ball. I noticed this on Opening Day as well, but thought maybe it was just me. It might’ve had something to do with the sun b/c of the day games, but I wasn’t entirely sure. Has anyone else whose been to games yet noticed this?

    • Slugger27

      how could that be the stadiums fault?

      im not saying it isnt… but what do you think could be fixed?

      • Nady Nation

        Huh? I’m not blaming the Stadium, just curious to see if anyone else had trouble locating the balls in play.

        • Jonathan

          I was sitting in sec 132 so i was right by you, i didnt have any problems with the ball

          • kunaldo

            I was in 405, nosebleeds(literally the last row)…i didnt have a problem seeing the ball…unless it was obstructed by the lower part of the upper deck(not like it matters, anything hit there i assume is a HR anyways)

            by the way, i agree about the infield boxes…the reall problem is that $80 seats last year are now $375…which is insane

            also, i think the yankees have created a monster in the whole open concourse thing…i mean, i personally think it’s awesome, but i noticed a LOT of people watching the game from those open areas(i myself did so to get a closer look at the game)…so that contributes to a lot of the empty seats…not to mention all the other attractions in the ballpark….

            i dunno, maybe when the fresh new feeling goes away and we get used to it, people will stay in their seats more?

            all in all though, i really love the stadium…we just have to pack the house(and they need to sell those standing room tix)

  • dkidd

    albaladejo was the hero today. that game could have easily turned into another rout

    • Will

      Jorge wasnt the hero?

      • andrew

        Well, if Albaladejo implodes then Jorge’s HR is irrelevant. Rarely is there one person who wins or loses a game. I’d say they both get game balls from me.

  • Tom Zig

    Fun facts:

    Yankee pitchers have given up 25 walks this series.

    The only starter not to walk 5 batters in the game was…Chien-Ming Wang.

    Just one of those series I guess. We could have done a lot worse than splitting this series.

    Okay so those weren’t fun facts.

    Now let’s go out and crush the A’s.

    • 27 this year

      we didn’t give Wang enough batters to get to five walks and frankly, throwing meatballs isn’t going to lead to walks as much as it leads to doubles, and homers.

  • Manimal

    Bruney’s shutting up B-Jobbers. Rest of the bullpen… not so much.

    • Slugger27

      the bullpen i think has been good as a whole

      in a 4 game span, id rather the bullpen be lights out for 3 games and have a shit-show in 1 game, then 4 games of consistent mediocrity

      if u look at the numbers game by game instead of looking at season ERA total, the bullpen has been pretty damn good the majority of the time

      • jmas12

        Definitely feeling optimistic about the bullpen except for our lefties. Wasn’t a big fan of bringing Marte back but I’m willing to give him some leeway to see if he can turn it around. Not sure how to feel about Phil Coke yet. But I love Bruney, Ramirez, Veras, and Albaladejo. And we have lights-out righty Mark Melancon waiting in the wings, and Robertson who should be in the bigs right now..

        Alot of analyst have not been shy to say our bullpen is a weakness, which I disagree with. Just because there’s not any big names out there other than Mo and Marte doesn’t mean they’re ineffective. I would have thought we proved that last year. My concern is more about our defense (Jeter and Cano up the middle) and offensive consistency. Heard something very true on the TBS telecast today: we need 5 hits in an inning to have a big rally. Gardner is pretty much the only guy who isn’t station to station. If anyone else takes an extra base it’s pure hustle (like Swisher on Saturday).

        • steve (different one)

          Heard something very true on the TBS telecast today: we need 5 hits in an inning to have a big rally. Gardner is pretty much the only guy who isn’t station to station.

          Jeter? Damon? A-Rod when he comes back…

          the heck are you talking about?

          • Drew

            Cano, basically everyone can move except Jorge, Jose and Hideki.

    • Tom Zig

      Marte, Veras, and to a lesser extent Edwar have been the ones stinking up the joint.

      I’m confident that if Marte can get some regular work in, he’ll rebound to his normal self. He has performed at the majors before.

      I will always be nervous with Veras on the mound, we’ve all seen him do well, and we’ve all seen him just implode.

      Albaladejo has been great and Coke has improved.

  • jmas12

    Not overly surprised by Pavano’s success today. When he took the hill for the Yanks, as seldom as it was, he generally was not horrible. Matter of fact he had a few respectable starts. Today he just kept painting the outside corner and throwing alot of offspeed pitches early in the count. That’s generally a good way to pitch.

    And quick question, if Hughes or Kennedy or whoever is to take Wang’s next turn in the rotation, who goes down? Because if I understand correctly, it can’t be Wang since he’d have to clear waivers. Thus he’d have to go the bullpen. My guess is that it would be either Albaladejo or Coke because they both have options. Depends on how Girardi feels I guess because technically, Coke is the long man and Wang as a starter should be able to eat some innings out of the pen until we get him straightened out and back in the rotation. But at the same time if Wang can’t get outs, it would make more sense to send down Albaladejo despite his general effectiveness because he’s probably not going to throw more than an inning.

    • Darth Stein

      My guess is that they would send Jackson back down.

      • jmas12

        Right but I thought with Swisher being our everyday right fielder now that they would want to callup another position player (Miranda again) until Arod comes back. As it stands right now we’ve only got 3 bench players and a DH (which you lose if you move him into the field). When Arod comes back it seems simple, you’d just keep Ransom and Pena on the roster and option down a pitcher.

        • BigBlueAL

          No chance. When Arod comes back, Pena goes to AAA to play SS everyday.

          • jmas12

            Makes sense. I mean as a true prospect we want him to get at bats and to mature as a player. Especially if we have any aspirations of moving Jeter to DH or a corner outfield spot next year. But I love his glove too much. Good range, good hands, good arm… perfect late inning replacement.

            But in terms of development, that is the right thing to do. To bad Angel Berroa puts bricks in his cleats before every game. I really didn’t expect his range to be so bad.

            • Tony

              Hahaha, “true prospect”

              Hahahahahahaha… Pena has never hit and there’s little reason to think he ever will.

              • andrew

                What’s so funny? He won’t be the first prospect to make the majors based solely on his glove…

                • Tony

                  He would be the first Yankee to do that in… ever.

                  Rey Ordonez was on the other team.

  • Tom Zig

    Are we getting an open thread tonight? Or is that what the game thread was for?

  • Accent Shallow

    How did Rafael Perez look? Glad to see Cano and Matsui hitting a tough lefty, so I’m wondering if they hit good pitches, or if he just looked off.

    • Slugger27

      cano just had a good piece of hitting… took a ball outside and slapped it the other way… the matsui hit he left out over the plate, but in perez’s defense it wasnt hit hard

  • Bryan

    Is anyone else concerned about the amount of homers hit at the park already? I mean there’s little they can do about it right now, but 20 homers in 4 games is a bit ridiculous.

    • jmas12

      Yea a little. I haven’t been to any games yet so I can’t say this with any conviction, but I would think it would die down as the season goes on. Typically it’s pretty windy in early spring in the Northeast, so I would think that’s helping the ball carry better, and that the architecture of the new stadium essentially blows the wind out to right. Of course though, as it gets warmer and the humidity picks up, the ball is going to carry better despite no wind.

      Again, I haven’t been there yet so I can’t say. Also, the Indians can flat out mash. Sizemore, Hafner, Garko, Martinez… not alot of lightweights in that lineup. Now if Mark Ellis comes in and hits 3 homers in the series with the A’s, I might be a little worried. And if the A’s were watching the highlights the last few days, I would think that Giambi, Cust, and Holliday can’t wait for tomorrow night.

      • BklynJT

        Dude… ransom hit a broken bat pop up that almost reached the warning track!

        • MattG

          That ball < 300 feet. That is not a massive shot, and despite the broken bat, he did center it. The bat must’ve been cracked already.

      • andrew

        Yea, although the winds may die down, balls travel further in summer because of the heat. This may become an ongoing issue.

        • jmas12

          I don’t think the height of the wall is helping either. The wall at the old stadium was definitely higher, so some of these cheap homers that are barely getting out would probably be off the wall across the street.

          • andrew

            I’m not so sure about that… the wall looks to be the same size to me. You might be right though.

    • MattG


      • andrew

        Care to elaborate? As of right now (i know, small sample size) home run’s have jumped 250% at the new stadium… that’s a big jump.

        • MattG

          “small sample size”

          Posada’s ball is caught in the old stadium.

  • Rebecca-Optimist Prime

    Apparently Joe Girardi answered my question on the Joe Girardi show. I didn’t see it, but now I need to.

    Missed most of the game today but saw Ransom’s double and loved the ‘dude wtf just happened’ look on his face.

  • Tom Zig

    Who takes Wang’s start on friday?

    • BigBlueAL

      Hopefully with the off-day on Thursday they just skip Wang and let him start in his next turn on Tuesday, or Monday if they want to give Joba an extra day to further protect him (which is in Detroit I believe so not much of a break there either).

  • Will

    This is off topic but I didnt see it mentioned earlier. A lot of us were wondering what would happen to Wang, and if he were to be sent down, who would come up. According to Bryan Hoch, if Wang is out of options, and if he is sent down, someone else could pick him up.

    • Will

      **According to Bryan Hoch, Wang is out of options**
      Typo, whoops.

  • BklynJT

    I’m starting to think that the league is catching up to Swisher’s weakness towards changeups. At least from what I see on Gameday, Swisher does terribly against the changeup, and it seems that 80% of the pitches he is getting as of late are changeups.

  • MattG

    Melky has just one strikeout–and 2 home runs–in 19 plate appearances this season. With Gardner struggling, maybe that should earn him a couple of starts.

    • BigBlueAL

      The only reason I would start Melky at CF once in awhile is to let Gardner know he better play better. Competition is always a good thing, and even in a small sample size Melky has earned some playing time at Gardner’s expense.

      • Drew

        Al, you would also start him at CF because he plays better, right? It’s too small a sample to say now but in a month, if it continues as is, wouldn’t you have to give the Melkster the nod?

        • BigBlueAL

          Quite frankly I think they both suck, but I am a much bigger Melky fan than most here at RAB are. So yes like I said I would give Melky more games in CF if Gardner continues hitting at a .600 OPS clip with Im sorry to say pretty poor defense in CF so far.

          I mean Melky was horrible last season but his OPS was .642 which quite frankly I dont even know if Gardner can hit that for an entire season. At least in the past Melky could hit at an OPS clip above .700. I know Gardner has only had 168 career AB’s but I just dont see him hitting better than Melky to be honest.

          Also Gardner’s arm is almost Damonesque and if he cant get to that many more balls than Melky, plus playing so shallow he lets alot of balls get past him in the gap that has turned a couple of singles into double, I dont see how you really can play him over Melky on an everyday basis. I say go with the hot hand, but to do so you have to give Melky some more AB’s.

          But again, they both are pretty awful. Just please Girardi stop batting Gardner leadoff even once in awhile. Gardner should never bat above 9th, even in interleague when the Pitcher has to hit….

          • Drew

            Eh, I don’t even want to talk about how shallow he plays. I’ll take my chance with bloopers, I never want to see the center-fielder’s back.

  • Rich

    This team may not be getting a lot of timely hits early in games, but they have showed an impressive ability to come back late.

  • Kilgore Trout

    I booed Pavano and hurt my vocal chords. Grandstand seats behind the plate are better than I expected.

    • pat

      Word. Ive sat in sections 424 and 418, both offer good ass views and lots of beer/dog/ CrackerJacks guys come around.

      • Kilgore Trout

        They stopped selling beer in the 7th inning. WTF?

        • Jonathan

          they always do

        • Drew

          Yea dude, they do it in all sports, you’re suppose to stock up before hand.

  • cuponoodles

    My thoughts as a whole:

    – At 7-6, we could be a lot better off, but also worse off (you consider if we actually pitched okay in 2/3 Wang blowouts and had not had Coke/Veras meltdown in the Royals game, we could be looking at 10-3)

    – My confidence level for our bullpen is a strong 10 (though I still don’t trust Veras). We just suck up the place when our starters last 1.2 innings. No bullpen can pitch 8 innings every 5 days on top of their normal workload. Once Wang figures it out, the bullpen will start performing exceptionally.

    – Very glad to see Tex starting to hit a bit more.

    – I honestly CANNOT wait for A-Rod to come back. The 3 run double notwithstanding, he is a black hole in that lineup. Also, I really hope Matsui actually continues to show signs of life. If he can’t even DH, I would suggest a Miranda/Duncan split at DH, who can also take time at 1B and the corner OF spots as necessary.

    – I would give Wang one more start. If not, phantom injury and a DL stint where he gets his act together.

    • andrew

      Calling up Miranda and Duncan plus bringing back ARod is 3 roster spots… where you do plan on coming up with them? I see Pena as one… but two more? Matsui possible to the DL could be 1, but we’re still one short. And Matsui to the DL would be a 2 week thing… I don’t think it would be possible to bring up Duncan and Miranda

  • Stew

    As my dad use to harp on my when I was little, it’s a catcher’s mitt and a baseball glove. No one over the age of 14 should bring a glove. I concur.

  • touchtoneterriost

    What did the poster mean that AJ didn’t have juice to go deep in the game.He went 7 1/3 innings.Most pitchers don’t go that long.AJ did a good job.He kept the team in the game.]

    AJ isn’t gonna go go 9 innings every game.

    • BigBlueAL

      Well he went 6 1/3, but I agree he went deep enough.

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