Brandon Morrow is 24 years old. Prior to Friday evening, he had thrown 100 big league innings and had made a grand total of zero starts.
This year, Morrow, one of the Mariners’ top pitching prospects, has thrown up some impressive numbers. In 36.2 innings, he’s allowed 18 hits and has a better than 3:1 K:BB ratio. He also throws in the upper 90s.
The Yankees, meanwhile, were coming off a night game in Tampa and a cross-country flight. Clearly, that’s a winning combination for the Mariners, and Morrow did not disappoint. The youngster didn’t give up a hit until Wilson Betemit doubled in a run in the 8th. He walked three, struck out eight and threw 72 of his 106 pitches for strikes. On nights like these, you just tip your cap to the opposing pitcher and salute him for a stellar game.
On the Yanks’ side of the ball, Andy Pettitte, with his pinstripe future in doubt, had himself a nice outing. He threw seven strong innings, striking out nine Mariners and allowing three runs on seven hits and a walk. He did what he’s supposed to do against a punchless offense. Too bad the Yankees were even more punchless tonight.
With that loss, the Yanks fall 8.5 games behind the Red Sox for that final playoff spot. More alarming, however, is the 0.5 games separating them from the Blue Jays. Right now, I’ll retire my pipe dream of seeing the Yankees overcome the odds to play in October and start rooting for them to avoid a fourth-place finish. Considering their schedule the rest of the way, they don’t have a lock on third place.
Damon Sublett is heading to Hawaii Winter Baseball after missing most of the season due to injury.
Triple-A Scranton (6-4 win over Pawtucket) SWB leads the best-of-five series 2-1 … Phil Hughes takes on Bartolo Colon in Game 4 tomorrow
Justin Christian, Juan Miranda, Shelley Duncan & Chris Stewart: all 1 for 4 – J-Chrizzle drew a walk & scored a run … Miranda doubled, drove in a run & K’ed … Shelley K’ed twice … Stewart committed an error on catcher’s interference
Bernie Castro: 0 for 4, 1 K
Juan Miranda: 1 for 4, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K
Ben Broussard: 3 for 3, 2 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 BB
Matt Carson: 0 for 3, 2 R, 1 K – playing CF now that Melky’s back up
Eric Duncan: 1 for 3, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB – drove in the game winning runs with a 3-R jack … but it came in the 4th inning, so it doesn’t count because it wasn’t late in the game and therefore not clutch, right?
Nick Green: 2 for 4, 1 RBI, 1 K
The Ghost of Kei Igawa: 7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 10-7 GB/FB – 61 of 103 pitches were strikes (59.2%)
Steven Jackson: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 WP, 1-0 GB/FB
Scott Strickland: 1.1 IP, zeroes, 3 K, 1-0 GB/FB – now that’s how you slam the door in the playoffs
Last night’s game ended at roughly 10:30pm EST, then the Yanks had to board their charter for the longest possible flight in baseball. I’m guessing the team didn’t get to their hotel until about 7am EST this morning. That’s why they get paid the big bucks I suppose.
Don’t be surprised if they look a little flat tonight, especially with Brandon Morrow and his 98mph heat making his first career start for the M’s. Seattle sucks, but the Yanks are set-up to lose tonight.
1. Damon, CF
2. Jeter, SS
3. Abreu, RF
4. A-Rod, 3B
5. Giambi, 1B
6. Nady, LF
7. Matsui, DH
8. Cano, 2B
9. Molina, C
And on the mound, Andy Pettitte.
Notes: Darrell Rasner is out of the rotation, Al Aceves is in … after throwing only 43 pitches last night, I suspect Rasner will be available out of the pen as early as tomorrow, good thing considering Ponson’s starting … Wilson Betemit has three at-bats since August 15th, he’s basically useless now, no way he can do much of anything with all that rust …
- Since July 31st, Andy Pettitte has a 7.02 ERA and has a 1.75 WHIP.
- Opponents are hitting .288-.337-.422-.756 off him this year, roughly equivalent to facing all Derek Jeters.
- Pettitte’s ERA at Yankee Stadium is nearly two runs higher than it is on the road this year.
- He’s 36 years old.
Is Pettitte falling off a cliff right before our eyes, or is he just in a rut? Either way, the Yanks will have to decide what to do with Andy next year. Given that he’s a Type-A free agent, offering him arbitration is a no brainer … or is it? Is he worth $16M a year?
What do you think, should the Yankees try to bring Andy Pettitte back next year (assuming he doesn’t retire)? Talk it out here while we wait for the West Coast game to start.
In six months, the Yankees and the City of New York will begin the soul-destroying and heart-wrenching process of tearing down Yankee Stadium. But they want to do it carefully. To that end, The New York Times’ City Room blog has a story on the looming destruction of the House that Ruth Built.
Writes Patrick McGeehan:
New York City is looking for demolition companies that think they can tear down Yankee Stadium without damaging any of the seats or other pieces that might be sold to collectors.
The razing of the famous ballpark is scheduled to start in March and last as long as a year, according to a solicitation form issued by the city’s Economic Development Corporation. The first stage of the demolition will involve salvaging all of the stadium seating as well as some large features like the white frieze that adorns the wall behind the bleachers and the 120-foot-tall bat-shaped boiler stack outside the main entrance.
City officials are still working out a plan with the Yankees for selling the parts of the stadium that belong to the city and memorabilia, like lockers and signs that belong to the team, said Andrew Brent, a spokesman for Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.
It will be a sad, sad day when the demolition of Yankee Stadium begins.
The Yankees last turned a triple play during the waning months of the Johnson Administration. In the eighth inning of a game against the Twins on June 3, 1968, John Roseboro came up to the plate with two on and no out. He lined the pitch back to Dooley Womack, a name largely lost to baseball history. Womack threw to Bobby Cox at third to double off Tony Oliva, and Cox threw to Mickey Mantle, who was manning first base, to double off Bob Allison.
These days, if the Yanks turn a triple play, one lucky fan — if you count listening to John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman lucky — will win $10,000 and a year of cable from Time Warner. But there’s a catch: The triple play must come in the third inning. The odds are, as you can imagine, not very high that someone will ever win this contest.
Nowadays, with the Yanks nearing elimination, the broadcast partners are struggling to keep their audiences. To that end, WCBS has been pimping their unlikely contests. Win $1,000,000 if someone throws a perfect game. Score $10K for that third inning triple play. Carl Bialik, the Numbers Guy at The Wall Street Journal, drilled down on those contests this week. He found that Time Warner has a 99.4 percent chance of never paying out the prize and that the Yanks had a 0.3 percent chance of tossing a perfect game.
But keep watching. Someone might win.
In yesterday’s New York Sun — which might close its doors at month’s end — Steven Goldman penned a gloomy article on the near future of the Yankees. The main idea of his post is highlighted in the above headline. According to Goldman, the Yankees will not be good in 2009.
The main argument is age. He notes that only one player currently under contract, Robinson Cano, is under 30. That’s never a good thing, though they do have control of Xavier Nady for one more year before he reaches free agency. Then you have to look at the players who are under contract. A-Rod is still a monster. Jeter could have a rebound year, but even if he doesn’t, he’s still a solid shortstop while at the plate. Jorge Posada should be back and healthy, supplying above-average performance for a catcher. Chien-Ming Wang can come back and win us another 19 games. Johnny Damon has been great this year, and hopefully he can eke out one more good year before hitting free agency.
There are a few IFs in the above paragraph, of course. More IFs circle around the pitching staff. Moose and Pettitte get the double IF: IF they come back, and IF they continue giving you quality innings. IF Joba Chamberlain can stay healthy and in the rotation for most of the season (Goldman has a few words on that). Then you move on to free agency. IF they sign CC Sabathia or Ben Sheets. IF they’re able to fill the center field hole. IF…the lost goes on.
So I can understand where Goldman is coming from. In a boatload of IFs, a few are bound to fall overboard. However, that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. The Yankees will have to be shrewd this off-season. They can’t afford to be sentimental. We’ll go over this in more depth as the season comes to a close.
As you can imagine, we’re utterly thrilled with this news: Melky Cabrera will rejoin the Yankees today. Melky was exiled to AAA last month after 440 Major League plate appearances of .242/.296/.337 production. While in the minors, Melky hit .333/.409/.368 with just two extra-base hits. He also went 1 for 7 in the playoffs. So either Melky actually improved and may contribute with Bobby Abreu’s missing a few games or he’s just your consummate AAAA player. I know what I think, and I’m sure you all do too. · (28) ·
Is there a game out there more illustrative of the frustrations of the 2008 Yankee season that this one? Because this one really laid it all out there for us.
It started out so promising. The Yanks had two on in the first against Scott Kazmir, and while they didn’t have a hit, it seemed as though the one-time Mets farmhand didn’t have his best stuff. Of course, Kazmir settled down and Darrell Rasner, well, he pitched just like Rasner. In fact, to cap of a progression of bad starts, Rasner reached some valley. It may well have been the last start Rasner makes for the 2008 Yankees.
After getting out of the first, Rasner just ran out of everything. He made it through four outs and twelve batters today. He allowed six hits and two walks en route to a five-earned run effort. When Al Aceves took over, you could feel that collective “here we go again” sigh ripple its way across the Yankee Universe.
While Rasner couldn’t deliver, Aceves could. The Mexican Gangster threw five stellar innings. He allowed one run on five hits. And two walks while striking out four. Sixty one of his 97 pitches went for stikes. I would have liked to see Aceves take Sidney Ponson’s spot a few weeks ago, but now it seems as though he’ll inherit Darrell Rasner’s starts this month.
As the game progressed, the Yanks couldn’t put much of anything together. But in the ninth, an unlikely rally materialized. Cody Ransom – 3 for 3 on the evening – drove in the Yanks’ first run of the night. Derek Jeter blasted a three-run shot, and A-Rod went back-to-back with another monstrous home run. But 7-5 would remain the final score, and the Yanks would slip another half game in the Wild Card.
Rasner’s outing tonight highlights something that has impacted the Yanks all year. While some fans feel the Yanks just had bad pitching this year, Darrell Rasner had no business being in the rotation. Had Joba not gotten hurt, had Chien-Ming Wang not gotten hurt, had Phil Hughes remained healthy, we wouldn’t be watching Darrell Rasner fall to 5-10 with a 5.43 ERA on the season.
But for the Yanks, 2008 has been one long season of what-if’s. Tonight’s loss and the short Rasner outing is just one more of those games in a season filled with them.
Triple-A Scranton (3-1 loss to Pawtucket) best-of-five series is tied 1-1 … an old friend did them in this game
Justin Christian, Melky, Juan Miranda & Shelley Duncan (aka the 1-4 hitters): all 0 for 4 – Christian K’ed twice, Melky & Miranda once each, Shelley thrice
Ben Broussard: 1 for 4, 2 K
Nick Green: 0 for 2, 1 R, 1 BB
Eric Duncan: 1 for 2, 1 2B, 1 BB
The Chrises: both 0 for 3 – Stewart drove in a run with a groundout & K’ed … Basak K’ed twice
IPK: 7 IP, 5 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 5 K, 1 HB, 5-11 GB/FB – 56 of 94 pitches were strikes (59.6%) … pitched well enough to win, but it just wasn’t meant to be
Zack Kroenke: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
Oneli Perez: 0.1 IP, zeroes