It’s the joke that keeps giving. I’ve talked to a few bleacher creatures attending tonight’s game — our own Ben K. included — and it appears we could have a “Where’s my lap-top? Clap, clap, clap clap clap” chant going on at some point.
Buchholz pitched well last time out, giving up a run over six innings of work. Of course, he ran up his pitch count a bit, hitting 98 by the end of the sixth, forcing Terry Francona to go the bullpen. He chose Mike Timlin, freshly off the DL, and paid the price.
On the other mound is Chien-Ming Wang, who was just slightly better than Buchh on Friday night. Okay, a lot better. To the point where if it wasn’t for a botched Abreu play, we’d have been screaming at Coco Crisp for his 9th inning bunt single (noting, as Michael Kay would, the fallacy of the predetermined outcome). He kept the Sox on their toes last time around. Let’s see what he’s got up his sleeve tonight.
Johnny Damon gets the night off, so Melky Cabrera moves into the leadoff spot. You’d expect me to complain about this, but I’ve been more than pleased with what I’ve seen of Melky thus far. No, I still don’t like his swing all that much, but he’s looked a bit more comfortable at the plate, and has taken his share of pitches — a hair over four per plate appearance. He’s also walked four times to just five strikeouts.
And on the mound, number forty, Chien-Ming Wang
And for your visiting Boston Red Sox:
1. Ellsbury, CF
2. Pedroia, 2B
3. Ortiz, DH
4. Ramirez, LF
5. Youkilis, 3B
6. Drew, RF
7. Varitek, C
8. Casey, 1B
9. Lugo, SS
And the damn laptop stealer is pitching.
Emma Span writes her Opening Day swan song to the New York stadiums in the New York Press today. While the media has been pouring on the nostalgia this month, Span’s piece brings a fan perspective to the teary-eyed good byes to Yankee and Shea Stadium. · (0) ·
Ah, Carl Pavano, the forgotten punchline to the Yankees’ efforts the last four years. Remember when he started Opening Day last season? That was quite the sight.
Anyway, Carl Pavano, the Rajah of Rehab, is still on the Yankees payroll, and today, Lisa Kennelly of the Newark Star-Ledger checked in with Carl. As you would expect, his teammates don’t miss him, and he’s trying hard — really hard, he says — to build his arm back up:
In his time with the Yankees, he’s pitched in only 19 games, going 5-6. He missed all of 2006 and is still a ways off from throwing off a mound this year, as he focuses on getting his surgically repaired elbow up to strength with long-tossing.
Aside from watching the Yankees games on TV, Pavano doesn’t stay in contact with any of his teammates. When asked if he would visit the team during their series with the Tampa Bay Rays this week, he shook his head and said, “no chance.”
“They’ve got things to focus on right now,” Pavano said. “To go in there after not being there for a month? I’m not going to interrupt what they’ve got going on. It’s just not where I need to be right now.”
If Pavano is able to make any starts this year, it will be almost certainly be more of an audition for other teams than to prove anything to the Yankees. The team has a fifth-year option on his contract, but there is no chance they will prolong what is already one of the worst free-agent signings of GM Brian Cashman‘s tenure.
I’d say that the chances of Carl Pavano making a start in the Bronx this season are slim-to-none. Unless the Yankees are way up or way out, they’re not going to do Pavano any favors by showcasing him.
Kennelly’s profile is top-notch. It really wraps itself around the way Carl’s story has been on one hand pathetic and on the other hand absurd. Soon, the Carl Pavano Era will be over in the Bronx. I’m sure Brian Cashman is counting down the days.
While Joba Chamberlain is eligible to come off the bereavement list today, he will be missing the series against the Red Sox, according to the Yankees. Manager Joe Girardi said yesterday than Harlan is feeling a little better but is still awaiting more tests in the hospital. Yankee fans all over continue to hope for the best for the Chamberlains. · (6) ·
Nice work, folks. We’ve booed LaTroy Hawkins into submission. I hope everyone feels good about that. Hawkins, previously wearing number 21, will switch to 22 tonight after fans couldn’t deal with someone else wearing the number seven years after Paul O’Neill retired. No word yet if the Omar Moreno or Jimmy Key fans plan on booing Hawkins for the switch. · (119) ·
It’s a sweep. It may only be two games, but hey, a sweep is a sweep is a sweep. And the Yanks come back to the Bronx to face the Red Sox riding a two-game winning streak.
Overall, tonight’s game wasn’t the best game. Andy Pettitte didn’t have his best stuff but persevered. The Yankee offense didn’t come through too often, but their five runs stood up. And Mo — good ol’ Mo — nailed down this one for his fifth save in five chances this year.
Since a lot of little things struck me during this game, let’s break it down bullet-point style:
- Derek Jeter sure didn’t like missing games. He went 5 for 9 in Tampa. He’s recorded just one extra-base hit this season, but I’m not too worried about that quite yet. The leg will turn some doubles into singles for now.
- Jason Giambi wuz robbed! With A-Rod on third, the Rays drew the infield in during the fourth inning. An Edwin Jackson wild pitch allowed A-Rod to score and the infield to move back to normal depth. Giambi scorched a ball that, two pitches earlier, would have been an RBI double, but Carlos “Vacuum” Peña turned it into an out. Maybe Giambi’s coming out of it.
- Hideki Matsui looks very comfortable at the plate no matter his defensive role. I like his as the long-term DH this season.
- When I saw Kyle Farnsworth warming in the pen, my heart dropped. But then he nailed down a 1-2-3 eighth for a huge hold. That’s about as surprised as I’ve ever been during a Farnsworth inning.
- The Yankees left eight runners on base during the last three innings of the game. That’s an alarming stat that will be forgotten because they won. At some point, the Yanks have to start driving in runners.
- On the season, Mariano Rivera has thrown 6.1 innings over six appearances. He has allowed 3 hits and no runs or walks while striking out seven. He has five saves. Rivera did not pick up his fifth save last season until May 3 when he was 0-2 with two blown saves. What a difference a year makes.
The Yanks are now 8-7, and the sky isn’t falling. They’re one game out of first and are playing better as a team. It’s funny how fan attitudes can shift after seeing the team go from a 1-2 weekend in Boston to a 2-0 swing through Tampa. It’s a marathon, folks, not a sprint, and today was another good leg of the race.
Triple-A Scranton (6-2 win over Charlotte)
Brett Gardner: 2 for 4, 1 3B, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB – check out this guy with his .694 SLG
Bernie Castro: 3 for 5, 1 K, 1 SB
Juan Miranda: 1 for 4, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K
Shelley: 0 for 4, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K
Jason Lane: 3 for 4, 2 R, 2 2B, 1 BB, 1 K – he’s been raking this year
Eric Duncan: 1 for 3, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB
Steven White: 6 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 2-14 GB/FB, 1 E (missed catch)
Sean Henn: 2 IP, zeroes, 1 K, 0-5 GB/FB – his rehab time is going to be up soon, so a decision will need to be made about his roster spot since he’s out of options
Jose Veras: 1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
Second of two against the Rays tonight. The lineup, despite the absence of Jorge, doesn’t look too bad. Actually, put Molina in that 9 spot — or put him at 8 and Melky at 9 — and it looks pretty formidable. Not that I in any way want Jorge out of the lineup. Just saying…
Don’t let Johnny Damon‘s poor line fool you. He got off to a slow start, but he’s racked up six walks and seven hits over the past seven games. Yeah, he’ll have to do a bit more in the hits department, but at least he’s getting on base. It’s still early. I wouldn’t write off Damon so quickly.
You know what I loved about last night? That there were three shots that I could yell “gone!” right off the bat: A-Rod, Ensberg, Cano. Maybe we get a couple tonight off Edwin Jackson. He’s been top-flight in his first two starts of the seasons, as we witnessed first hand two weeks ago. But he has a history of control problems. Let’s hope those resurface tonight.
Now, onto your lineup:
And on the mound, number 46, Andy Pettitte
The stupid internet topic of the month appears to be pitching mechanics (next month, pickoff moves!), but amidst the crap comes this gem about what makes Scott Patterson effective, courtesy of Frankie at Saber-Scouting. Frankie details how Patterson uses not only his size, but general quirkiness to create massive amounts of deception. Check it out. · (6) ·