This is the kind of game that no one wants to relive. It was painful from the outset, and the Sox continued to twist the knife, scoring in five of nine innings. Overall the Sox raked up 15 hits, 11 of which were of the extra base variety. It hurt even more that all but one run came with two outs — and the one that didn’t was a homer by the all-glove Alex Gonzalez. They were harsh on every Yankees pitcher to appear. They were efficient, too, leaving just three men on base.
The Yankees did have their chances, but went 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position. This included seven men left on base for Hideki Matsui, the star of last night’s game, and six for Melky Cabrera, each of whom left three runners in scoring position with two outs. On a night after the team went 15 for 25 with runners in scoring position, they went 0 for 9 yesterday, leaving 13 men on base. That’s on 12 hits and three walks, with the only run coming on a seventh-inning Nick Swisher home run.
The post-game rhetoric was of Jorge Posada and A.J. Burnett not being on the same page. I would hope not. If they were on the same page and A.J. was giving up runs when he was one out away from escaping unscathed, I’d have bigger concerns. They’ve worked together well at points this year, but seem to cross each other up more frequently than other pitcher-catcher combos. They’ll use the remainder of the season to work on that.
Unfortunately, this one will linger for a bit. ESPN has the game, so it’s a day without baseball (unless you want to watch the Mets) until 8 p.m. Expect a light day around these parts, as we’ll be off doing various summer things. But at 8 p.m., our asses will be parked in front of our TVs for CC and Beckett. Please let this be a pitcher’s duel. I don’t think I can stomach much more offense.
Austin Romine and Brandon Laird are both heading to the Arizona Fall League. Zach Kroenke is in the same boat as Mike Dunn – if he doesn’t get Sept. callup, he’ll head to Arizona. Ian Kennedy and Colin Curtis have already been confirmed for the AzFL. Expect the last few spots to be filled by pitchers.
Stephen Strasburg and Dustin Ackley will also be in Arizona.
Triple-A Scranton (1-0 win over Buffalo)
Kevin Russo & Reegie Corona: both 1 for 3 – Russo drew a walk & committed a throwing error
Reegie Corona & Shelley Duncan: both 2 for 4, 1 K – Pena swiped two bags & scored a run … Shelley doubled in Pena for the game’s only run
Austin Jackson: 0 for 4 – AVG drops back under .300 to .298
Colin Curtis: 1 for 4
Yurendell DeCaster & John Rodriguez: both 0 for 3, 1 K – DeCaster walked
Chris Stewart: 1 for 2
Josh Towers: 6 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 1 WP, 11-2 GB/FB – 55 of 84 pitches were strikes (65.5%)
Mark Melancon: 2 IP, zeroes, 2 K, 1-3 GB/FB – 13 of 19 pitches were strikes (68.4%)
Jon Albaladejo: 1 IP, zeroes, 2-1 GB/FB – 8 of 12 pitches were strikes
Well that was an ugly one, but whatever. Sabathia-Beckett should be fun tomorrow.
Use this thread to talk about whatever you want tonight. The Mets are playing the Phillies and the Giants-Rockies are on the MLB Network. The latter game has major playoff implications, believe it or not. You’ve also got the Giants and Bears on NBC in preseason action. Anything goes, just be nice.
Oh, and you could come hang out with me at MLBTR too. I plan on dropping an Anchorman quote later. Should be fun.
The personal attacks and cursing at each other needs to stop now. If you’re not mature enough to handle a loss like this, I suggest you go elsewhere. We’re going to have to start banning people if it keeps up, and we don’t want to take that step.
The Yankees will bring the tying run to the plate in this game.
The Yankees have fond memories of Junichi Tazawa. Not only did they victimize him for the winning run in the 15th inning a few weeks ago, but they generally hit him around that evening. The game nearly ended an inning earlier, but J.D. Drew was just barely able to snag an Eric Hinske liner. The latter is in the lineup today, hoping to get some similar pitches.
Despite his rough early showings, Tazawa is a pretty solid prospect. You can read Keith Law’s quick take on him here. This was in his first start, against Detroit in the Porcello-Youkilis game. Tazawa has since been pounded by the Rangers for 10 hits and four runs in five innings. So while the stuff might be there, he hasn’t been able to harness it yet. The Yanks would do well to unnerve him early.
Taking the hill for the Yanks is A.J. Burnett. He’s coming off what was actually a pretty good start in Oakland, one poor inning aside. He threw all eight innings, using just 99 pitches along the way. Even better, 66 of them were for strikes. The one inning hurt, because the Yanks couldn’t muster any runs off of Brett Tomko and the vaunted Oakland bullpen, but generally it was up there in terms of his starts. Of course, he did have that one-hit effort against the Sox in the last series.
Johnny Damon‘s out today, and could miss tomorrow, though he’s holding out hope that his knee will be in good enough shape. Eric Hinske slides in for him. He has a career .834 OPS at Fenway Park in 368 career plate appearances.
And on the mound, number thirty-four, A.J. Burnett.
What does it mean to you to be a fan? The specific response will vary from person to person, but I think we can all agree on one aspect: we root for the laundry. There are some bandwagon fans, sure, but I’d think the heavy majority of people reading this will be with the Yanks through thick and thin — through the dark days of the late 80s and early 90s before the championship run of the late 90s. We might not like certain players as much as others, but we’ll always cheer them when they come through in big spots.
In other words, how can anyone with a human head actually attend, say, a Yankees-Royals or Yankees-Orioles or Yankees-Rays or Yankees-A’s or Yankees-Mariners or Yankees-Rangers or Yankees-Twins or Yankees-Anybody Except The Red Sox or Mets game and truly, strongly, lovingly, audibly root for the Yankees to win?
Look, I’m a fan of the game. I buy MLB.tv every year, hooking up a second monitor to my laptop so I can work while having a game on. I have an extensive RSS reader with general baseball blogs which talk about all 30 teams with relative parity. But when it comes to what really gets me riled up, it’s the Yankees. They’re my team. They’re your team. We live and die by them, and that’s what makes baseball all the more interesting. Not only is there an enormous set of data for us to pore over, analyze, and evaluate, but there’s the emotional level of rooting for your team. It’s always been part of the game.
Apparently, Jeff Pearlman can’t understand this aspect of the game and instead wonders how I am a human being. He then goes on to describe baseball in terms of movies, which I don’t think works. Movies are scripted. They’re supposed to make you like a certain character. No one rooted for the Empire? No shit, Jeff. That’s the way the movie was written.
Baseball is not scripted. It’s not an isolated experience, like a movie. It spans days, weeks, months, seasons, generations. The Star Wars story ended. Baseball does not. It makes for allegiances, and as men of integrity we don’t just run out on our team. And we most certainly do not find them “boring” when they’re the best team in baseball. In fact, that’s quite exciting.
Of course, we can expect this kind of talk from Pearlman at this point. After all, we need only throw his own words back at him: “Oddly, I like their moves more than the Yankees. Penny and Smoltz could easily win more games than Sabathia and Burnett.” Yes, that’s verbatim from his website. Let’s see that again:
“Penny and Smoltz could easily win more games than Sabathia and Burnett.”
Brad Penny and John Smoltz? Win as many games as CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett? This one deserves another appearance.
“Penny and Smoltz could easily win more games than Sabathia and Burnett.”
Of course, the Yankees have had recent field days with both of those pitchers. A few weeks ago the Yanks smoked Smoltz, and the Sox DFA’d him the next day. Last night they laid into Penny. Two guys who Pearlman thought could work out as well for the Red Sox as Burnett and Sabathia did for the Yankees.
(For more afternoon amusement, check out the rest of Pearlman’s predictions.)
So, what did we learn with this? That Jeff Pearlman questions the humanity of anyone who doesn’t enjoy the game like he does. Which is like a movie. Also, he’s terrible at predicting things. Embarrassingly bad. There’s no shame in rooting for the Yankees, even though it makes for some embittered narrative.
The New York-Boston rivalry goes beyond wins and losses, extending down to the individual players. In the 90′s it was Jeter vs. Nomar, a few years ago it was Posada vs. Varitek, and nowadays you’ve got Cano vs. Pedroia in a second base matchup. Both are obviously tremendous young players, but they go about their business in different ways. Jack Curry spoke to injured Mets infielder (kinda redundant, no?) Alex Cora about which player he’d prefer, to which he essentially said Pedroia because “people are going to say [Pedroia] is going to show up every day and [Cano] might not.”
That mentality comes through again in this conveniently timed follow-up by Joel Sherman. Sherman polled seven executives about which second sacker they’d take, and all seven said Pedroia because he “has better makeup and gives his all every day.” He also noted that several execs “kept telling me Cano was erratic on D,” which Sherman (and I) disagree with. There’s certainly merit to guys who play hard all the time, but there’s no denying that Cano has more more talent and raw ability, and both articles reflect that.
Let’s not pretend that there aren’t some stereotypes involved here. The Dominican Cano is often be called lazy, or boneheaded, or something along those lines when he has the audacity to fail at something in a game of failure. Pedroia, short and white, fits the mold of a “grinder” and someone that “plays the game the right way,” something you absolutely never hear about non-caucasian players. But just look at last night’s game, when Pedroia was thrown out at third by ten feet trying to stretch a double into a triple. What would have been said about Cano if the roles were reversed? And then of course, there’s this.
Look, Robbie Cano is a great young player who’s guilty of the occasional brianfart. After an MVP season last year, Pedroia now lags behind Cano in AVG (.296 to .311), SLG (.440 to .499), OPS (.811 to .842), XBH (47 to 54), and VORP (27.5 to 29.4). Pedroia’s great, but the reputation far exceeds the reality right now. When it comes to Robbie, I think this great quote from Bossman Junior fits him perfectly (Upton was talking about himself at the time, but it still applies):
“Just because of the way I carry myself, some people say I’m lazy. I’ve heard that my whole life. Or I don’t work hard, or I don’t play hard sometimes. I can’t help that I make some things look easier than they really are.”
(hat tip for the image goes to @MikeRoper)
It’s late and we’re all kinda tired, so let’s buzz right through this one…
- Holy cow, does Brad Penny stink. Eleven baserunners and eight runs in four plus innings? Downright Ponsonian.
- Poor Mike Bowden. That kid has to have like, no confidence left, right?
- Hideki Matsui had his knee drained earlier in the week, and it’s clearly done the trick. Two jacks and seven steaks is quite the night. That’s a career high RBI in a single game for Godzilla; his previous career high was six, which came way back in 2004.
- How about that A-Rod kid? He might have a future in this game, no? Four-fer-four with his first triple in a long as time. Our boy Adam noted that he missed the cycle by a combined two feet, give or take. One more foot and he’s safe at second in the second for a double, and one more foot and his shot off the wall in the fifth is in the people.
- Andy Pettitte, you have to do better when given a lead like that. Five innings of seven run ball is just unacceptable.
- Brian Bruney … you stink. Walking the eight hitter to force in a run with a ten run lead? Absolutely inexcusable.
- Damaso Marte looked pretty dang good. He threw six pitches – two fastballs and four sliders. Gameday clocked the two heaters at 94 and 93, exactly what you want to see out of him.
- Division lead is up to 7.5 games, magic number is down to 35.
- Seriously, Brad Penny is terrible. He needs to get back to the National League ASAP so he can finish in the top three in Cy Young voting again.
And after all this, the Yanks are now trotting AJ Burnett and CC Sabathia out the mound for the next two games. Life is good.
Zach McAllister was in the team photo in this week’s Prospect Hot Sheet. Melky Mesa got some love in the Helium Watch. Also, Chad Jennings reports that Mike Dunn was told by the organization that he’ll probably go to the Arizona Fall League if he wasn’t called up in September. We already know Ian Kennedy and Colin Curtis are headed to the AzFL.
Make sure you scroll down for tonight’s game thread.
Triple-A Scranton (9-1 loss to Lehigh Valley)
Kevin Russo: 1 for 3, 1 2B, 1 BB
Colin Curtis & Austin Jackson: both 0 for 4
Shelley Duncan & John Rodriguez: both 0 for 3 – Shelley K’ed once, J-Rod twice … Shelley was hit by a pitch … J-Rod walked
Juan Miranda, Reegie Corona & Chris Stewart: all 1 for 2, 1 2B – Miranda scored a run … Corona drove one in … Stewart allowed a passed ball
Yurendell DeCaster: 1 for 4
Romulo Sanchez: 4.1 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 3 BB, 6 K, 1 Balk, 3-4 GB/FB – 52 of 88 pitches were strikes (59.1%)
Zach Kroenke: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 1-2 GB/FB – 28 of 46 pitches were strikes (60.9%) … second straight outing in which he’s allowed multiple runs
Edwar Ramirez: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 0 K, 1 WP, 1-3 GB/FB – 14 of 25 pitches were strikes (56%)
Kevin Whelan: 1 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 2- GB/FB – 20 of 34 pitches were strikes (58.8%)