The Angels have lefty Joe Saunders on the mound, so you know what that means: No Giambi. I’ve long been a Saunders fan, but this isn’t exactly Randy Johnson in his prime. Giambi’s got a 1.457 OPS on the road trip, and the team needs as many wins as possible. He should be in the lineup, no doubt about it.
Billy Traber’s in the house, even though he provides as little relief as a relief pitcher possibly could. Not sure what the corresponding roster move is yet, but we’ll let you know. Ian Kennedy was optioned to Triple-A Scranton to make room. PeteAbe says he apologized for his comments the other day, and was given specific instructions on what to work on.
1. Damon, DH
2. Jeter, SS
3. Abreu, RF
4. A-Rod, 3B
5. Nady, LF – .346-.426-.755 as a Yank … if he keeps hitting like this & the Yanks make the playoffs, his performance will be very reminiscant of this guy‘s
6. Cano, 2B
7. Dick Lock Sexy, 1B
8. Christian, CF
9. Molina, C
And on the mound, a guy who’s really gotta step it up the rest of the year, Andy Pettitte.
Frequent RAB commentor Eric Sanlnocencio spoke with Baseball America’s Jim Callis in the latest edition of Baseball Digest Daily’s podcast. The conversation starts around the 19:00 minute mark, and Callis drops some knowledge on some of the top unsigned players, of course touching on Gerrit Cole. The signing deadline is this coming Friday. Check it out. · (0) ·
No, this will not shore up the bullpen, nor will it give us an extra starter. It could, however, mean drastically reduced playing time for Melky Cabrera. The AP reports that Hideki Matsui has intensified his running program, and will soon running the bases. His return might not be that far off. The only question is if his knee will hold up, allowing him to contribute to this still-frustrating offense. · (10) ·
When Manny orchestrated his departure from Boston, you knew this gem of a news item would come sooner or later. Manny, according to news reports, wants to play in New York, and it seems as though he simply wants to don Yankee pinstripes in order to stick it to the Red Sox 19 times a season. Five years ago, I would have drooled over the idea of Manny in the Bronx, and five years ago, the Yanks could have had him for the price of his contract. But now I’m not so sure. He’s better than Bobby Abreu, but is he, as he approaches 37, worth $100 million over four or even five years? I doubt it. · (29) ·
Since joining the Detroit Tigers on August 1, Kyle Farnsworth has been a bit less than impressive. He’s thrown 4.2 innings, allowing seven hits and four earned runs. By all accounts, his Detroit performance has been something of a market correction after a stellar four months in the Bronx. But, right now, the Yanks actually miss him.
This afternoon, in Anaheim, the Yanks’ bullpen imploded. While Dan Giese exceeded expectations and earned himself another start, after Giese left the game, everything fell apart. Jose Veras, Edwar Ramirez and David Robertson combined for the worst two innings I’ve seen any bullpen toss in a long time. The three gave up 11 hits and 10 runs — nine earned — en route to blowing a 3-1 Yankee lead. When the dust finally settled, the Angels walked away 11-4 winners, and with the Red Sox winning, the Yanks saw their October hopes slip further away.
Offensively, the Yanks didn’t do much against John Lackey and the Angels. A-Rod homered for the second straight day; Jason Giambi added his second post-mustache home run; Damon singled; and Jeter hit a sac fly. That would be all the Yanks would muster against the Angels.
But again the story focused around the bullpen. After giving up the game on Friday night, the gang out of the pen did it again tonight. In August, the pen has been beyond horrible. They’ve thrown 28.2 innings with an ERA of 8.16. They’ve blown Yankee leads and close games; they’ve snatched defeat from the jaws of victory and have stymied potential comebacks. It has, in a word, been a disaster.
Ironically, the problems started when Kyle Farnsworth was shipped out for Ivan Rodriguez. While Farnsworth was never a sure bet, he provided stability in relief. With Krazy Kyle around, the rest of the Yankees relief corps were all pushed back an inning. But when Kyle left and Damaso Marte arrived, the New World Bullpen Order collapsed. Marte hasn’t yet filled in for Farnsworth, and no one else is getting the job done.
Perhaps, this rough patch is just one of those things that happens in August when everyone’s feeling the aches and pains of a 162-game season. Perhaps the pen will snap out of it and restore itself to its July grandeur. But right now, it’s costing the Yankees precious games in August in a pennant race, and I actually find myself missing Kyle Farnsworth. What ever have we come to?
Wilkins DeLaRosa was deservingly promoted to High-A Tampa, but Eladio Rodriguez, the 2007 Israeli Baseball League MVP, was released. DeLaRosa has been revelation this season, easily one of the biggest surprises in the system. E-Rod was a spare part, he had no place to play with Trenton since PJ Pilittere, Frankie Cervelli & Joe Muich are all on the team as well. He’ll definitely get an opportunity elsewhere.
Chad Jennings shares his opinion on Ian Kennedy, check it out.
Triple-A Scranton (7-6 win over Syracuse, walk-off style) they scored 4 runs in the bottom of the 8th to tie the game
Brett Gardner: 1 for 3, 2 RBI, 2 BB – walk-off single
Matt Carson: 2 for 5, 2 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 K
Shelley Duncan: 0 for 1, 1 R, 4 BB, 1 K – the Barry Bonds of the International League
Juan Miranda: 1 for 5, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 3 K – tied the game up in the 8th with a 2-run double
Cody Ransom: 0 for 4, 1 BB, 2 K
Ben Broussard: 0 for 3, 2 BB
Chris Stewart: 1 for 3, 2 R, 2 BB
Eric Duncan: 2 for 4, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K – had been 5 for his last 40 (.125)
Chris Basak: 3 for 5, 1 R, 1 3B, 2 K - 13 for his last 31 (.419)
Chase Wright: 5.1 IP, 7 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 3 BB, 2 K, 10-4 GB/FB – 47 of 77 pitches were strikes (61.0%)
JB Cox: 1.2 IP, zeroes, 3-2 GB/FB – 10 of 16 pitches were strikes (62.5%)
Scott Patterson: 2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 2 K – 27 of 37 pitches were strikes (73.0%) … gave up what appeared to be a pair of insurance runs in the 8th, but he ends up walking away with a win
What do you get when Sidney Ponson is your No. 3 starter? Dan Giese on a Saturday in Anaheim. Not that Giese has been bad at all this season. He’s done more than any Yanks fan could have reasonably expected to this point. In more than one way, he’s looking like Aaron Small v2.0.
Maybe he can conjure some of that magic today. The Yanks need a win in a bad way. After going on an eight-game tear to start the second half, they’ve faltered since, going 5-8 in the subsequent 13. You’d like to see them go 4-1 over their next five, evening out the above mark to 9-9 over 18, heading into their first off-day since July 24.
And on the mound, number 38, Dan Giese.
Pitching for Triple-A Indianapolis last night, ex-Yankee Ross Ohlendorf walked a rehabbing Michael Cuddyer in the first inning, then threw a pitch that the next batter ripped down the first base line. The ball hit Cuddyer as he tried to jump out of the way, breaking his foot and effectively ending his season. Cuddyer was scheduled to come off the DL in the coming days and make his return to the lineup when the Yanks visit Minnesota early next week. Thanks Ross, we know you and your Princeton education planned that. · (7) ·
Dave Brown, Yahoo! Sports’ very own Answer Man, sat down for an interview with Mike Mussina, and the results are priceless.
The always amusing and rather verbose Mike Mussina discusses the new Yankee Stadium, living in New York City, crossword puzzles and the smells on the subway. We also learn that the Yanks’ 15-game winner subscribes to Popular Photography, no longer throws a knuckleball and doesn’t find The Onion’s constant ribbing particularly amusing.
But my favorite part is this exchange:
Q: Why don’t people go to Orioles games anymore?
MM: I don’t think fourth place every year really brings in the fans.
This might just be my favorite interview with an athlete I’ve ever read if for the simple fact that Mike Mussina actually has something to say and sounds smart while saying it. Check it out. (Hat tip to BBTF.)
Manny Ramirez is the gift that keeps on giving. Today’s Manny-related headline comes to us from the Los Angeles Times: Bud Selig questions Dodgers’ Manny Ramirez trade.
The headline itself is a bit misleading; Selig isn’t concerned with the Dodgers’ acquisition of the future Hall of Famer but rather with the way Manny finagled his way out of Boston. Bud doesn’t like it and plans to send his minions to make some noises before declaring the whole thing a non-issue.
To this, I say: Of course, Selig doesn’t like it. Any self-respecting fan of baseball shouldn’t like it. With an assist from Scott Boras, his agent, who knows what Manny can get on the open market, Manny Ramirez put on a show to get the Red Sox to trade him. He took a few calculated risks, sat out a few key games, said just the right things to the ever-rabid Boston press. Voilà, Manny Ramirez has his options declined and gets himself a one-way ticket to Chavez Ravine.
Now in LA, Manny is hitting .464 with four home runs this month, and the Red Sox aren’t happy. But this is what baseball has become, and while A-Rod‘s opt-out shenanigans in October highlighted the baser business side of the game, Manny’s in-season antics drove home the idea with an exclamation point.
When players know they can get more money than their contracts allow and teams are willing to give their top players any sort of leverage with an option, those players and their shrewd agents will do anything they can to get out of seemingly bad deals even when those deals are for more money than you or I will see in our lifetimes. Bud Selig can cry foul; the Red Sox can cry foul. But Selig loves touting the economic health of baseball, and the Red Sox are among the richest, most successful teams in the game these days. They can’t have it both ways, and we the fans just get to watch a shouting match between the rich and the richer. How pleasant.