Wang finally picks up a win as Rivera saves No. 500

Game 75 Spillover Thread III
Fan Confidence Poll: June 29th, 2009

When Joe Girardi summoned Mariano Rivera into the game with two outs and two on in the bottom of the 8th, it was the 561st time in his career that Rivera would enter with a save on the line. For the 500th time, Rivera would complete it. He is just the second closer to reach that lofty mark and the first to do so while driving in a run as well.

The Yankees headed into tonight’s game with a sense of urgency. The Red Sox had lost earlier in the day, and the Rays had won. They could gain a game on first place while keeping two games ahead of the charging Rays. Furthermore, the Yanks needed to see Chien-Ming Wang get that first win. It had been nearly one year and two weeks since his last victory.

Early on, the Yanks seemed to be rolling. Derek Jeter doubled, and then Nick Swisher hit into what should have been an out. Daniel Murphy, an outfielder pressed into duty at first base, tried to get Jeter at third and failed. Mark Teixeira hit a booming double to drive them in. A few batters later — after Murphy dropped the relay on a potential double play — Posada hit a sac fly to give the Yanks a 3-0 lead.

That would be it for a while though, and in fact, the Yanks had a frustrating offensive night. Livan Hernandez gave up just one more hit after the 1st, and the Yanks would add one more against K-Rod in the 9th. However, the team worked out 11 walks against the Mets. It was all for naught though as the Yanks went 1 for 8 with runners in scoring position and hit into three double plays. On another night, we would have bemoaned it. Last night was a night for celebration.

After the first, the highlight of the day came during the 9th. K-Rod had some problems finding the zone, and with the bases loaded and two outs, Rivera’s spot came up. On Friday, he had just his second career at-bat, and he nearly managed to knock in a few with a line drive. Today, he was more patient. He saw seven pitches from K-Rod — including one foul ball — and the Yanks’ Hall of Fame closer worked out a bases loaded walk. It would be his first RBI of his career, and the timing — coming on the same night as his 500th save — could not be better.

It is fitting that Joe Girardi was the catcher for Rivera’s first save on May 17, 1996. It was Girardi who handed Mo the ball in the 8th. Rivera has now saved 18 of 19 this year, and after a hiccup earlier this month, his ERA is down to 2.93. He has walked three and struck out 39 in 30.2 innings of work. Superhuman, indeed.

Lost in the hullabaloo over Rivera was Chien-Ming Wang. After dominating Atlanta last week, he wasn’t as perfect against the Mets, but it worked. He allowed two earned runs and four hits against the Mets in 5.1 innings. He walked three and struck out three while tossing 49 of 85 pitches for strikes. While his sinker wasn’t as consistent as it should be, he generated 11 ground ball outs and just two fly outs — one on the first out of the game.

It’s hard to understate the psychological importance of that win. After a terrible start that had many of us questioning whether or not Wang should be in the rotation, he is seemingly settling down. If Wang can get back to form, the Yanks will have a fearsome rotation indeed.

As the Yanks wrap up Interleague Play, they head into an off-day feeling good. They’ve won five in a row and five of six against the Mets this year. They’ll face Seattle and Toronto this week, and I’m feeling good about the team.

Game 75 Spillover Thread III
Fan Confidence Poll: June 29th, 2009
  • ArodMVP217 FTW!

    we hit some hard hit balls, they were just at people. Baseball Gods wanted the Mets to win, and they still couldn’t get it…

    Los Mets Fanaticos: FML

  • sam

    Congrats to the great mariano.
    not only for the 500’th save, but in my heart, i know that he is the one who made those pitches from K’rod, go out of the strikezone

  • teix is the man

    Mo told the Mets to get their fuckin shinebox.

  • Jesus

    Wang wasn’t perfect but after 3 straight decent starts its hard to argue for taking him out of the pen. More than the psychological effect of getting the “W” is the fact that he saw the 6th inning for the first time this year and actually recorded an out in it.

    • Jesus

      out of the rotation*

    • mustang

      “Wang wasn’t perfect but after 3 straight decent starts its hard to argue for taking him out of the rotation”

      Believe me one or two bad outings and you will get the Hughes cat calls again.
      No doubt.

  • Wolf Williams

    Is it safe to say Mo will be the ONLY player to ever get his 500th save and his first RBI in the same game? Can’t imagine that feat ever being repeated.

    The Era of Rivera….. will be so sad to see it end, but damn, it is a privilege to have been a part of it as a fan.

    • ARX

      Maybe ages from now, but noone else active is even within sniffing distance of 500, other than Percival i think

  • e mills

    I’m gonna get a lot of flack, but I just don’t see that sinker coming back this season. Yea, yea you can only pitch to the lineup the other team puts out there, but a stellar performance against a team’s “A” lineup would go a long way, but like I said, I don’t see that happening, IMO.

    • pat

      Why? just because you don’t see it happening? Thats why it’s not gonna come back? If you had some evidence people would be more understanding but just saying its not gonna happen because you think so is kinda silly IMO.

      • e mills

        although it is ESPN, I’ll go with some video evidence they showed of Wang’s sinker in 07 v. the Mets and the sinkers he was throwing today.

        • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

          I watched the same thing, and they compared those pitches to ONE pitch from tonight’s game, and I highly doubt they are going to pick a very good one when trying to make a point.

          • e mills

            I don’t know how to get those damn pitch f/x graphs to work, I just tried lol, but after watching 90 some pitches tonight and his previous starts, I think it’s pretty clear, at least from what I’m seeing, that the ball isn’t moving down like it used to.

            • e mills

              85 pitches

            • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

              Oh, I agree. I just think that it had more bite over the last two starts. As long as I see progress, I’m happy.

              • JP

                Last night was the first of his pitching appearances this year where I saw every pitch. I thought last night the ball was up alot, the Mets just didn’t hit it. I saw at least 2 innings of all his prior starts, and my memory was that in those, he was very good for one inning, but so so the others–in terms of the ball being up. I thought the ESPN pitch track thingies were pretty good. I had no idea there was that much difference between his sinker now and then…well, I knew it because people had been saying so, but I had never been able to visualize the movement. All I could see was that the ball was up alot lately.

                Next start against Toronto…keeping fingers crossed.

    • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

      I disagree. He’s getting plenty of groundouts. He is still elevating too much, but he no longer looks far away anymore. I think his last two outings have shown a lot of progress.

      • JP

        I’d say his starts now look like the old Wang’s bad starts, if that makes sense. We still haven’t seen the “old good Wang,” but at least now we’re not seeing the batting practice pitcher who overtook the body of CMW the first month of the season.

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

          I’d say that’s 100% accurate. His June starts now look like the bad starts of a good pitcher, rather than the mediocre starts of a horrible pitcher.

          As was implied in an earlier thread, if you wipe those three horrid April starts from your mind and just pretend that he was injured and on the DL and made his first appearance in May, Wang’s line on the year would be 1-3 with a 5.28 ERA, and we’d all be pulling for him to get it together but not calling for him to be removed from the rotation.

    • Accent Shallow

      That’s a big fear of mine, that it’ll take until 2010 for us to see Good Wang again. However, if they keep giving him the ball, I think he’ll be fine.

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

    Rivera’s first career RBI, 500th save AND a sweep of the Mets?

    Tonight is never gonna get old.

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

      Says the Optimist Prime who was ready to jump out a window when Bruney put some runners on.

      That’s right, Rebecca. I’m calling you out!

      • teix is the man

        OOh…I felt the sting!

      • Will (the other one)

        Careful, Ben. Do you really want the wrath of Aunt Becca upon you?

      • http://and-that-happened.blogspot.com Evan
      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

        She just got served.

      • BigBlueAL

        Oh No he didnt!!

    • mustang

      And pick up a game on Boston.

  • ewu

    As much as I like CHM I don’t think he can find it here. I’d say trade him in this market when his value is still high before other teams figure out he doesn’t have it anymore. I wouldn’t go for Street, but maybe something from the Ranger/Dodgers/Phillies farm system would be good.

    • ewu

      sorry meant to say CMW

    • mustang

      Yes because cost controlled good starting pitching grows on trees.

    • http://theyankeeuniverse.com Moshe Mandel

      He’s more valuable to the Yankees than anyone else- you are not going to get much for him at this point, so you are better off holding on to him and hoping for him to revert to the CMW of old. I see progress. If he can get back to himself by August, this rotation will be primed for a great stretch run.

      • mustang

        Then if you want to trade him in the off season for MAJOR LEAGUE talent that would be fine.

      • JP

        Moshe–if he rebounded and finished the season strong, such that his trade value was higher, would you trade him then?

    • mustang

      “maybe something from the Ranger/Dodgers/Phillies farm system would be good’

      For a good MLB starter…..ok then.

    • JobaWockeeZ

      Unbelievable. Who the hell are we going to get from Wang now? Seriously is he a freakin’ cancer or something? He won his first game in a while! We’re not going to get anything worthwhile for him right now and I cannot even think of why people want him gone after tonight! Can’t find it here…seriously? You’d think he gave up 40 runs in his past 4 starts but he gave up 11. What part of a we need to let Wang pitch to get a dominate Wang do people not want?

      • Ed

        What part of a we need to let Wang pitch to get a dominate Wang do people not want?

        That’s not at all the issue. People would love to have a dominant Wang. But his skillset is not one that traditionally leads to long term success, and this year he’s showed that if he’s not 100% he’s extremely hittable. Signing Wang to a long term deal is a risky move, so if he returns to form and regains trade value, he may be more valuable to the team in a trade.

        It’s just about exploring options. Signing a player longterm is not the best course of action for every player.

  • crawdaddie

    His value isn’t high which is why you keep him and do your best to help him keep making progress towards being his old self.

  • Jamal G.

    Gldly, we miss King Felix in the Mariners series at the Bronx. However, Doc Halladay will be scheduled to go against the Yanks in the wrap-around, four-game set on either Saturday against Chien-Ming (if he’s kept on his regular’s four-days rest even with Toronto’s off-day on Thursday) or Sunday against Joba Chamberlain. I sincerely hope for the latter.

    • Accent Shallow

      I wonder when the last time the Yankees missed Halladay was. Ugh.

      • ARX

        I think we faced that ****er all 6 times last year, so it had to be summer of ’07

  • crawdaddie

    By the way, judging by Cashman’s history there is no way in hell he trades Wang this summer.

  • Bill

    Wang was ok. I think it’ll be a rotation battle between him and Pettitte for the next couple weeks. Whoever loses is demoted to long man in the bullpen and Hughes is promoted to starter. Phil Hughes is a starting pitcher. He should be in the rotation. Wang won’t get as lucky against better lineups if he continues to leave the ball up. Pettitte looks old and a trip to the DL might do him good anyway. Phil Hughes to the starting rotation.

    • crawdaddie

      Not happening unless Pettitte and Wang take some steps back and pitch much worse than they are now.

      • Bill

        Well it should happen! You can’t continue to use Hughes 3 innings a week. He’s too good for that. Either pitch him regularly in a 7th or 8th inning role, or put him in the starting rotation. And I’d prefer him to be in the rotation.

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

          Or, the smartest option: Scranton Wilkes-Barre.

          • JP

            No.

            /tsjc’d

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

              You’ll rue the day you crossed me, Trebek.

    • e mills

      I think they’re gonna go with what some others were syaing in the game thread…they are kinda stuck with Hughes in the pen because someone is going to have to eat Joba’s starts after he hits his limit

      • Mike bk

        u mean with 20 games left in the year? joba has thrown 75 innings in his 14 starts, so its not like he is going out there 7 a time and will be done with his innings limit.

      • Mike bk

        if he keeps this pace up per start he is projected right now to only go 164 innings which basically means if you want to cap him at 150 he misses a whole 3 starts. that is not enough to get phil anywhere near his limit considering he needs about 100 more innings this year.

  • crawdaddie

    By the way, I think it’s time for the local media to put some pressure on Girardi about keeping Cano hitting #5 with his output being so poor lately.

    • pat

      Please, the media doesn’t have ANY influence on team decisions otherwise Joba would be in the bullpen no? He was unlucky today, he killed three balls but happened to hit them right at people. Shit happens, what you gonna do.

      • crawdaddie

        I never said the media is going to change his mind, but they need to turn up the heat on Girardi because the metrics should be showing his ineffectiveness in that batting slot.

        • ArodMVP217 Retire 51

          If media could make decisions like that, steve phillips wouldn’t be a commentator/analyst either.

    • Bill

      There’s this thing in baseball called variance. Cano drilled a couple balls that just happened to go right at people. It happens. It happened during the Yankees mini slump. Jorge Posada hits a little pop up to shallow center and gets a hit because of inept Mets defense. Once again, that’s variance. Robbie did everything right tonight except get lucky.

      • The Fallen Phoenix

        But it’s the results, not the process! AND ANDY PETTITTE IS A STARTING PITCHUH!

        The local media should not put pressure on any front office. If the local media was filled with brilliant baseball minds, they would be hired outright by MLB teams, or used as paid consultants like Tom Tango, Will Carrol, etc.

        • crawdaddie

          Are you kidding me about not putting pressure on the front office?

          • The Fallen Phoenix

            I think pressure can, and should, be put on the front office by certain people, in certain instances.

            The local New York sports media does not qualify as a body that I think should do such a thing. By and large, the “pressure” they place on front offices and their employees (be them players, managers, or coaches) is counter-productive.

            Calling for Girardi’s head because the Yankees slump for a week? Sorry, I’ll take a pass on that.

            Sometimes the sports media gets it right, and sometimes the media can be a force for positive change. But I’d rather take my chances with the minds inside the organization, nine times out of ten. Of course, if the front office is competent – and I think that it is – it will be immune to the boneheaded suggestions and pressure that is put on it by the media. And you hope the players can block out the negativity, too. And I’d rather not have to hope for anything, and know that the people whose jobs are actually on the line, the people who actually get paid to make the big decisions, are making those decisions independent of what the local sports media are saying.

            Now, if the local sports media provided – with regularity – the coverage and analysis that you find on independent blogs like these, I would be signing a different tune. But it doesn’t.

            • crawdaddie

              Believe what you want, but the sports media is not going to stop putting pressure on any sports team when it stuggles and loses games.

              It’s been that way for many years and will continue to be that way in the future. I like blogs like you and they serve a certain role for some fans, but their role is still limited to only hard line fans and not the general public.

              • The Fallen Phoenix

                I was not writing about how things ought to be, not about how things are now.

                • The Fallen Phoenix

                  Wow, I completely screwed that comment up.

                  I was writing about how things ought to be, not how they are, and I have no delusions about things changing any time soon. I accept that the media is going to continue to put what I strongly think is nonconstructive pressure on organizations and individuals in professional sports, and I understand that no single tirade on a blog is going to change that.

                  Still, just because things are a certain way, does not mean that is the right way, and just because there is a small probability that something that’s wrong can be corrected does not mean that one should shirk any opportunity to demonstrate that wrong.

        • CB

          Here’s the sticky thing about process. Which process do you want to pick? What’s the relationship between process and the result?

          Cano made hard contact on the ground. That’s true. But that very well could just be an outcome depending on what process you want to focus on.

          You could decompose his process into his pitch selection. Which wasn’t good. On those first three at bats he hit DP’s on he swung at balls that were outside. On the first two he tried to pull those outside pitches and hit ground balls to the right side of the infield. On the third at bat he grounded out to SS. On the fourth DP he swung at a strike but the pitch was again towards the outside part of the plate and low in the zone. Once again he tried to pull a pitch that theoretically should have been taken the other way if one were to judge his process as being appropriate. He didn’t do that. Instead he pulled the pitch and grounded out. So in all of these process one could say Cano did poorly yet he still produced the result of hard contact.

          So what process did he exactly excel in? He swung at balls outside of the zone in 3 of the 4 DP. So his process of pitch selection wasn’t good. In 3 of the 4 at bats he pulled pitches that were either outside of the zone or on the outside part of the plate. So his process of pitch handling could be judged as poor becuase he didn’ try to go the other way. Finally, they threw him exactly the same pitches in the same location each time at bat and he didn’t change his approach much. So one could judge his process of adjustment as being poor.

          This process-result/outcome idea is really being oversimplified as it’s being applied to baseball. It’s a pretty old management notion and it’s not as cut and dry as it’s portrayed.

          • The Fallen Phoenix

            I know, and I actually agree with everything you’ve written here – by and large, however, mainstream media coverage of professional baseball is all-too quick to judge a situation on its outcome, and not its process.

            Not just in-game, but also when it relates to player development, roster decisions, etc.

            I actually think Cano should be moved down in the batting order, and it’s for the reasons that you provide here – Cano’s pitch selection skills – and not because of how he’s performed with runners in scoring position.

            Ultimately, Cano’s at-bats yesterday is a terrible place to begin the outcome vs. process analysis discussion, at least as I initially did (with a throw-away snarky comment), so thanks for calling me out on that, CB.

            • CB

              FP: I know you weren’t trying to make any major statement on the issue so I hope my post didn’t seem like it was belaboring the point or attributing to you more than you intended.

              Your point on the media is well taken. But to be honest, I’ve seen a very similar or at least analogous way of looking at the game by many bloggers and sabermetricians. That’s why I made the point – it seems like a general issue that is seeping into the analysis of the game. And it becomes tantamount to:

              Anything that I support I’ll chalk upto process. Then I’ll dismiss the rest as “outcome” e.g. Raul Ibanez signing by Amaro was bad process with a good outcome but Friedman’s signing of Burrell’s this winter was of course good process with a bad outcome. The problem space gets set up so that any arbitrary level of process can be chose to say that your preference was the correct one as you can disregard the outcome as you please.

              I’ve seen that a lot in baseball blogs recently. It seems like this idea has really come into it’s own vogue since Depodesta did that blog post on process vs. outcome last year.

              Again – I guess this is a more general point on my mind than anything regarding the scope of your particular point. Probably something to discuss in more detail at another time.

              • JP

                Nice comments, good discussion. I need to watch the Cano ABs again. I thought he had better ABs last night than he’s had before, and he hit the balls hard. I guess he has to lay off low pitches, but it’s tough because he’s gonna get rung up.

                Singleton said last year that Cano has a “problem” because he hits balls hard and in play that alot of guys just foul off. Don’t know if that makes sense or not, but I’m not sure I want him taking those outside pitches at the knees. They call lots of those for strikes, even ones out of the K-zone. Maybe he needs to learn how to punch those pitches or float them to LF, like Damon does.

                Damon should coach Cano and Melky. Damon seems to cover an awful lot of plate in his ABs.

      • crawdaddie

        I am not a reactionary fan, but I’m sick and tired of seeing Cano failed in big spots. It’s a perception that is becoming a reality for me.

        • Conan

          The numbers don’t lie – Cano has been horrendous with RISP this season. Clearly, a spot in the bottom third of the order would put less pressure on him.

      • JP

        I thought the same thing. Cano’s ABs will go down as ground ball outs, maybe hard ground ball outs, in fangraphs, but they were actually close to being line drives, all three of them. With a bit of luck he’d have had 3 hits last night. I felt really bad for him because twice it was bases loaded, and he had pretty good ABs both times, taking pitches, then drilling ones he could handle. Just didn’t work out. When did Luis Castillo become Bill Mazeroski?

      • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

        Robbie’s tough-luck night has nothing to do with people wanting to put him down farther in the order. It’s his lake of plate discipline and general impatience at the plate that makes him a little less valuable towards the top of the order. Cano, IMO, is best utilized with a bunch of high OBP guys (Jeter, Damon, Tex, Rodriguez, Posada) in front of him that he can drive in with his power.

        • JP

          “…It’s his lake of plate discipline…”

          I’d say his plate discipline is more like a puddle. At best a small pond, but never a lake.

          ;-)

          • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

            Good catch ;)

  • Dela G

    another great thing is that the yankees avoid king felix…

    however, i have a feeling we will run into roy halladay on saturday…

  • pollo

    I still remember my 13 year old self being worried when Rivera transitioned to closer — ‘who the hell is going to set up for him?’

    heh.

    • ArodMVP217 Retire 51

      nice logic, dumb kids

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

    Damn, you guys are harsh. Just know this: I don’t jump. I just like the view, sometimes…

    • http://and-that-happened.blogspot.com Evan

      Don’t worry about it. It’s out of love. ;)

  • billbybob

    “After dominating Atlanta last week, he wasn’t as perfect against the Mets, but it worked”

    Since when is three earned runs in five innings dominant?

    • Bryan G

      He probably pitched his best game in Atlanta, and he could have gone out and done the 6th as well. We pulled him for offense reasons, but that shouldn’t be held against him. Would I say he was “dominant”, no. But was he good and effective, yes.

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

        Efficient would have been a better choice of word. He needed just 62 pitches to get 15 outs. That’s very good.

        • Bryan G

          you are correct sir, efficient is more accurate. If he had come out for the 6th and finished it, he would have had a “quality start”, which technicaally, he did not have tonight.

        • JP

          But I would agree his sinker looked better in Atlanta than in Citi. But I wasn’t paying as close attention in the Atlanta game, so I don’t know. His sinker was kinda iffy last night, but they weren’t hitting him.

          • Bo

            If calling that start against ATL dominant the bar has been set really low.

            • JP

              But did you read that Posada was calling for more straight fastballs last night (can’t remember which is the straight one and which is the sinker…I think the 4-seam is the straight one…anyway, Posada wasn’t calling for the sinker much last night, he said)? So our judgment–and Joe Morgan’s–of his “sinker” may have been unfair, because maybe they weren’t sinkers!

  • Bryan G

    If Wang keeps playing JUST decently enough to keep being fed starts, and if we get another bullpen arm at the trade deadline, then Hughes goes down to Scranton to pick up innings and probably comes up when Joba gets close to his innings limit…maybe around 120 innings or so.
    btw-not trying to defend the poor bastard, but Murphy is actually a 3rd baseman converted to an outfielder then converted to 1st base. No wonder he’s having trouble in the field. Even at our worst, we have never screwed with a prospect like that, have we?

    • JP

      I know everyone wants Phil to “get his innings,” but isn’t there something to be said for having him on the MLB roster and getting out MLB hitters? Will there be another relief pitcher who will be better than him now? Even Street? Not saying no, but it would be close.

      There’s still lots of season to go. I think Hughes has a ceiling of 180 IP this year, and if he reached that, he’d be unlimited next year. But if he didn’t get to 180 this year, his ceiling would be 180 next year, too.

      In today’s game, if a starting pitcher has a great year, meaning he pitches deep into games and stays healthy all year, he pitches normally about 210 innings. Halladay, the most durable pitcher around today, has gone 246, 225, 220 the last 3 seasons. So, worst case scenario, if Hughes doesn’t get above his previous high this year, he loses out on 30-40 IP next year.

      But how often does a starter get to 200 IP? Last year for the Yankees, Pettitte/Mussina were 204/200. ’07 Pettitte 215, Wang 199. ’06 218/205/197 for Wang/Johnson/Mussina. ’05 Johnson 225 Mussina 179. ’04 198/176 Vazquez/Lieber. ’03 214/213/211/208 Mussina/Wells/Clemens/Pettitte.

      I think the likelihood that we “lose” significant innings next season with Hughes is pretty low. There’s a reasonable likelihood he wouldn’t pitch much more than 180 next year even if he is healthy and starting regularly.

      The other argument for sending him down is that, maybe, in the minors he has more freedom to work on additional pitches. I have no idea whether that’s better than having him use just 2 pitches as a bullpen pitcher, but against major league hitters.

      I’d rather have him stay on the 25 man roster and pitch however they want to use him. I think the more experience he gets pitching against the Yankees real, MLB competition, the better.

      The final thing to consider is that maybe we don’t want him to hit his limit too soon this season. Maybe we’d want him to have some room under his cap so he can pitch in the playoffs. Especially if they have to shut Chamberlain down before the playoffs, it’d be nice to have one of the young guns for the playoffs. In case Andy’s back starts barking.

      • ArodMVP217 Retire 51

        Phil pitching in the playoffs would be cool. He has shown flashes of pure dominance in his last couple ML starts and in the BP. Pettitte hasn’t been able to finish off anyone and is struggling to get through most innings lately

        otherwise, are you on the fence for the subject. YOu listed all of the advantages/disadvantages well

        • JP

          I’m strongly in favor of him staying. I’m trying to convince the people who want him to go to SWB that he should stay, so I’m stating both sides diplomatically. I think it’s a close decision; I’m not saying I think it’s “obvious” he should stay in the majors, but if I were the manager or GM, there is no way on earth I’m sending him to the minors right now. He’s one of the most effective pitchers in the majors now. Seems like cutting off your nose to spite your face if you send him down to “get his work in.”

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

            Seems like cutting off your nose to spite your face if you send him down to “get his work in.”

            Or, it seems like being frugal and saving your money to pay for a much needed plastic surgery nose job next year.

            • JP

              Don’t get it.

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

                We’re not demoting Hughes out of “spite” or intentional self-hurt. “Cutting of your nose to spite your face” implies that the act in question is excessively and needlessly self-destructive in an attempt to seek revenge or quench anger.

                That idiom doesn’t apply to the Hughes situation at all. We’re not demoting him to punish him or get revenge against him, and it’s not needlessly or intentionally self destructive. It’s the opposite on both counts.

                We’re demoting him to get him ready to have a LARGER role next year, that of an uncapped starter, and we’re not demoting him in an attempt to hurt our current or future teams to punish either team in any way, rather to make our current and future teams stronger, by making Hughes stronger and better both for the stretch run of 2009 and for all of 2010 and by giving another opportunity to one of our young situational relievers like Melancon or Claggett.

                • JP

                  Tommie, you are so concrete and flawlessly literal/logical at times you make me spin in my office chair.

                  I was using the idiom loosely…Sending Hughhes to AAA to “improve” (multiple ways) is only valuable because you want the MLB team to succeed. I mean, we want to have good minor league teams, because they have fans, etc., but obviously we wouldn’t be sending Hughes to the minors to help SWB win a pennant.

                  My point is, if the guy is already good enough to be helping the MLB club bigtime, maybe it isn’t such a smart move to give that up for what are possibly very marginal improvements in Hughes for next season.

                  My point, as concise as I can make it: He’s already an MLB pitcher, he doesn’t need more minor league fine tuning of his stuff. As for stretching him out, I’ll take the bird in hand over the 20-30 extra innings next season, which hardly amounts to 1.2 birds in a bush.

                  Does that make sense?

                • Ed

                  My point is, if the guy is already good enough to be helping the MLB club bigtime, maybe it isn’t such a smart move to give that up for what are possibly very marginal improvements in Hughes for next season.

                  Pitching an inning of relief 2-3 times a week, often not in important situations, is not helping the team big time.

                  Starting in AAA to build stamina helps the team far more than pitching the 9th inning of a 15-0 game.

                  If Hughes was being used for multi-inning stints, or regularly being called on when the game was on the line, you’d have a case. What he’s doing now doesn’t help the team that much, as he’s not getting used often in tough situations. It also doesn’t really help his development, as it’s a lot easier to get guys out if you know you can just go all out for an inning and not have to worry about pacing yourself or having to get the same guys out multiple times.

              • JP

                And just so you know, that first sentence was meant with smilies and good natured ribbing and all sorts of RAB Fan love. It was not nasty, k?

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

                  I gotcha.

                  In response, as Ed said immediately above and I said twice below, 12 innings a month from Hughes is not really helping the club all that much at all. That’s 5% of the innings pitched. I’d rather have Hughes keep learning how to be a starting pitcher and mix in his secondary stuff and turn a lineup over multiple times and pitch into the 7th and 8th and 9th innings rather than keep him here and cut his workload in half.

                  In terms of his development, 28 innings a month in Scranton helps Hughes FAR MORE than 12 innings a month in the majors.

  • josh

    whats your opinion on this stint in the pen for hughes helping his confidence as a starter in the future. i dont think i buy it but you never know…. i guess. his stuff is really sick right now and he doesnt really walk anyone. would love to see him pitch the 8th inning if they arent going to start him.

    i dont know if this is realistic but if he is going to pitch like this as a starter then it looks like he is going to live up to all of the expectations. he is pitching SICK right now. i am psyched!!

  • John

    Congrats to the best, No.42 Mariano Rivera!!!

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

      *cough*jackierobinson*cough*

  • josh

    hope wang keps on this track. he has basically gottten better each time out. if he can get his era to sub 4.50 i think that will be huge for this team.

    is that even possible? anyone really good with stats that can figure how he would have to pitch the rest of the way to finish the year in the 4.40 area

    • jim p

      back of the envelope: he has about 36 innings, 41 earned runs to get an ERA around 10.00.

      The Yanks have 87 more games, so figure everyone has 17 starts (knock on wood). So if CMW puts in about 6 innings a game, 104 innings, and gives up 27 runs, he’d be near 4.40. That means he’d have to have a 1.75 ERA for the rest of the year.

      • ARX

        Unless my math fails me horribly, if he maintained an ERA around 4 for the same time period, it would end up at around 5.55 for the year. I’d settle for THAT, and it also has the benefit of being far more realistic.

  • Anonymous

    Pitch down and away, Cano will chase.

  • Tony

    PHIL HUGHES IS A STARTIN PITCHUH

    I’m serious. The stuff they’re doing right now reeks of Joba ’07. Short-sighted moves that cost years of development. Joba isn’t as refined as he should be at this point, and they’re doing it to Hughes now too. And for what, two guys who won’t be here in 2011? I like CMW, but his command is horrible right now. Pettitte looks done.

    Yet somehow, these are the guys we’re favoring instead of stretching out Hughes and getting his secondary pitches on track.

    • Bo

      Well theres no place for him in the rotation. What do you want? Hughes pitching 6 innings in Scranton or Veras pitching in the Bronx?

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

        Well, Veras is no longer in our organization, and the “or” situation you posed is really an “and” situation (since Hughes would be pitching in Scranton WHILE Veras would pitch in the Bronx, not instead of), so your question is laughably moot (as usual).

        But, since Edwar and Albaladejo have been every bit as ineffective as Veras this year, they’re pretty interchangeable. So, if the question is “Would you rather have Hughes pitching in Scranton AND Albaladejo pitching in the Bronx rather than the current setup?”

        … then yes, I’d rather demote Hughes and call up Albaladejo or Edwar, if those two were my only options (they’re not, though).

        I’d rather have a drastically inferior reliever up here if it allows me to demote Phil, because he needs innings like nobody’s business. Every week where he’s not a starter, he loses about 3-4 innings off his goal that he’s not going to have time to make up.

        I’d rather put Edwar in the 2008 LaTroy Hawkins Zone (banished to the furthest reaches of the bullpen, to pitch the lowest leverage innings possible) if it allows me to put all six of my starters back in starting rotations where they belong.

  • Charlie

    Good to see the yanks rolling, but Hughes needs to start soon, just not good for his development. Also, nothing against him as a player for the most part, but I can’t remember a time when Cano actually came through in an important spot. He’s totally unclutch.

    • Don

      Cano for Cain in 2010.

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

        No.

      • Bo

        Cain is showing himself to be a fonrt line starter who is now putting it together getting W’s. Why would they trade him?

        • JP

          Good point. I’d rather have one of the best 2b in baseball. Warts and all…I still think Cano can learn to be an even better hitter.

          If you knew Cano was going to be one of these players who didn’t get better, but just gradually declined (Wally Joyner?), or never learned plate discipline (can’t remember the 2b who was great but had this problem…Mariano Duncan? Juan Samuel?), maybe it would be a good trade to get a good starting pitcher for Cano.

          tsjc–do you think Cain =/= Cano in value right now? Do you think Cain isn’t for real, or that Cano will improve?

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

            I think Cain is excellent.

            If we had a replacement for Cano, I’d deal Cano for Cain in a heartbeat. We don’t have a replacement for Cano, though. And that deal would be dealing an area of weakness to fortify an area of strength. That’s not good roster construction.

            • Tony

              I would carry Cano’s “lazy” ass to San Francisco for Cain

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

                And then what would you do with second base? Let A.J. Burnett play it, since we now have 7 starters and no MLB capable second basemen?

    • JP

      He had good ABs in all three situations and hit the ball hard 3 times. I cringe when he hits the DP balls, but to be fair, they were well hit. It’s hard to get fly balls on Livan…

      • JP

        Well, when Livan has a decent sinker, which he did last night. And I guess lotsa people think Cano’s ABs were bad, trying to pull outside pitches, etc.

        I’m frustrated with him because he seems to have such great eye-hand coordination; he hits the ball hard so often. He needs a better batting coach.

  • Salty Buggah

    LOL from Wallace Matthews: If the Mets crash in Flushing and there are no Mets fans around to witness it, did it really happen?

  • Salty Buggah

    From Feinsand: In fact, he was having enough trouble with it that he and Jorge Posada decided to stay away from it at times, throwing sliders and four-seam fastballs instead – and getting guys out with those pitches. Earlier in the year, they tried to force the issue with the sinker, figuring it would work itself out. Tonight? A better plan.
    “When his sinker isn’t there, he has enough to go to that we can get people out,” Posada said. “The sinker is his pitch, but today he didn’t have it. We can’t just throw sinkers all day if it isn’t there.”

    And to think some people questioned his game-calling abilities.

    • Mike HC

      That is the key for me. I think he has to re learn how to pitch a little bit. He still has good stuff, but has to get used to throwing those pitches more often. The sinker was not only not there tonight, but it has not been there all year, and it will probably continue like that. Wang better learn to pitch consistent with the pitches he still has. I just think it may take a little while for him to do that.

      • ArodMVP217 Retire 51

        Good in-game Managing, Jorge. His 4seam was still getting at least 4″ break averaging 92.5. he may need an offseason to right himself.

  • Mike HC

    Wang still looks shaky to me. He has pitched ok, but has done so against National League lineups. The Mets lineup was especially depleted without Delgado, Reyes and Beltran. The real test will be when he has to face division rivals and American lineups start after start. I’m not sure he will be consistently reliable.

    I don’t want to be too critical because he has been decent of late. I just don’t think Yanks fans should get too excited quite yet. I suspect that Wang will hit a couple of bumps in the road.

    • Salty Buggah

      Yea I agree with everything but the thing here is that he is progressing.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    Can I just say that last night’s 9th inning is one of my favorite moments in Yankee history? All Mo all the time.

  • Bo

    Wang is hard to watch now. Behind on every hitter. If he wasn’t facing a double A team this would have been much worse. He will not be able to work like this against any AL team.

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

    In April, Phil Hughes pitched 25.1 innings.
    In May, Phil Hughes pitched 28.2 innings.

    His last start was May 31st.

    In June, Phil Hughes pitched 12.0 innings.

    Phil Hughes needs to start. Furthermore, while those 12 innings by Hughes in the bullpen were excellent, it was only 12 innings. That 12 innings represents about 5.3% of the total innings thrown by Yankee pitchers in June. We could trade those 5.3% of innings thrown by a good pitcher in Hughes for 5.3% of innings thrown by a bad pitcher in Albaladejo or Edwar and probably lose like, one extra game, tops. Or, we could trade them for Melancon or Claggett or perhaps WLDR or Dunn and probably not miss a beat.

  • donttradecano

    Citifield had YES and Game 5 of the Subway series on in the bathrooms

  • mryankee

    Not to be a Kiljoy as I am very happy with the series win in CITI FIELD but how do the Ynakees do against a lineup with Delgado-Beltran-Reyes? is the pitching this good or the Mets just that banged up? I hope the latter

  • http://ieatsoupwithafork.blogspot.com/ matt

    congrats mo!