It’s dark and rainy. The Yanks just played a marathon of a game and lost last night. The only guy I can imagine wanting to be here today is Phil Hughes, who was announced as the starter some time in the past 12 hours. Honestly, I think it’s for the best. I’m concerned about IPK surely, but Hughes should be going every fifth day. He’s the one who’s short on innings; Moose, Rocket, and Pettitte are the ones who could stand for an extra day off over the next week. The Yanks magic number is 5, and I’d imagine that over the next nine games there will be a combination of five Yankees wins or Detroit losses.

We’re in a rain delay right now. According to Pete Abraham, Rocket will be able to go Monday. That should help, since he can go again on Saturday, lining him up with plenty of rest to pitch Game 3 of the ALDS. Indulge me while I go through a projected/ideal rotation, assuming IPK can go on Tuesday:

9/22: Hughes
9/23: Moose
9/24: Rocket
9/25: IPK
9/26: Wang (last start of season)
9/27: Pettitte (last start of season)
9/28: Hughes
9/29: Rocket
9/30: IPK

The ALDS begins on October 3 or 4, so here’s what we’d have:

Game 1: Wang (6 or 7 days’ rest)
Game 2: Pettitte (7 or 8 days’ rest)
Game 3: Rocket (7 or 8 days’ rest, with the off-day)

We’re still in a rain delay. No word on a start time. Here’s the lineup:

1. Melky Cabrera, CF — I despise him in the leadoff spot
2. Derek Jeter, SS
3. Bobby Abreu, RF
4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
5. Hideki Matsui, LF
6. Jorge Posada, C
7. Jason Giambi, DH
8. Robinson Cano, 2B
9. Doug Mientkiewicz, 1B

And on the mound, No. 65, Phil Hughes.

P.S. So I’m at a recording studio right now with my roommate, who is working on new album with his band. It feels appropriate to then post this picture of a guitar I really want to own:

If you want to check out his band’s music, you can check out this YouTube video. Yes, someone created a Guitar Hero track of one of their songs:

The things that amuse us during rain delays.

Update: 2:30 is the word on the street.

Categories : Game Threads
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Joe Torre and Ron Guidry are engaged in the old American dance called the pitching rotation shuffle. Good thing for the Yanks they have pitching depth.

Shortly before tonight’s game — which I’ve decided to chalk up to the “Yanks shouldn’t have won anyway” column — we learned that Ian Patrick Kennedy would be missing his start due to what the AP is calling a strained muscle in his upper back. For what it’s worth, the guys on My9 were saying that Kennedy was, by and large, all right, but the Yanks are being cautious with their young arms. Some sources are calling what Kennedy experienced simply tightness.

But now comes the news that Roger Clemens, he of the $20 million and two September starts, will be pushed back until at least Monday because his left hamstring is giving him some issues. In his stead, Mike Mussina will start on Sunday, and Phil Hughes will toss the game that begins at 1:05 p.m. today. (That means I get to witness yet another Mike Mussina start this year. Save me.)

As the season winds down, the Yanks will try to line up their rotation for their opening playoff series. I think we’ll see Wang, Pettitte, and Clemens, if healthy. The last spot will go to whomever is more effective: Hughes or Mussina. Right now, Mussina is winning the battle. But for now, the Yanks can afford to rest their aching pitchers.

Meanwhile, let’s do some quick notes on tonight’s disappointing game:

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Categories : Game Stories
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  • Introducing a new site at River Ave. Blues
    By

    As part of our effort to take over the Internets expand our blogging reach a bit, we here at River Ave. Blues have launched a new Major League Baseball-focused site called Breaking Balls. The main authors on that site — Tommy and Caleb — are two of my buddies from college. They’ll be analyzing the game from angles. Start with this piece on declining home run rates. And we’ll be bringing you the same pithy asides you’ve come to know and love here.

    Don’t worry; the three of us aren’t going anywhere. We’re just expanding and bringing some new writers into the River Ave. Blues family of sites. So stop on by at Breaking Balls, say hi to the new guys and check back regularly. Onward and upward.
    · (2) ·

Before we start, the Yanks have announced that IPK will be scratched from his Saturday start due to an upper back strain. Everyone slides back. You can never have enough pitching. Hat tip to anaconda.

The Yanks are rollin’, but things aren’t going to get any easier over the next four days. The Blue Jays are throwing four guys at us that we haven’t exactly hit well this season.

Tonight’s starter, Roy Halladay, in 14 innings has allowed 5 runs (3 home runs), walked 4 and struck out 14.

Tomorrow’s starter, Shaun Marcum, in 16.1 innings has allowed 11 runs (2 homers), walked nine and struck out 12. Okay, so maybe we’ve hit him well on the whole. I just can’t forget that May 29th start where he held us to two hits and no runs over six innings. Then again, he walked three that night, and we were playing remarkably shitty ball, so hopefully that doesn’t carry over.

Sunday’s starter, Dustin McGowan, in 19.2 innings has allowed 8 runs (1 homer), walked 7 and struck out 16. However, he did allow four runs over five innings back on September 12, so he’s not invincible.

Finally, Monday’s starter, A.J. Burnett, has been a royal pain in the ass. In 15 innings, he’s allowed just one run (on a solo shot to Johnny Damon), walked 6 and struck out 13.

However, the Blue Jays’ offense isn’t in good shape. Vernon Wells and Troy Glaus, in theory their two best hitters, are done for the year. Lyle Overbay hasn’t started since September 14, after getting screws removed from his wrists. However, he has played in the 8th or 9th for defensive purposes pretty much every game since. Basically, Frank Thomas, Matt Stairs, and Alex Rios are the only players left with remotely respectable numbers. Aaron Hill is okay, but he’s still below league average. Russ Adams has fared well lately, but we know how streaks tend to even themselves out.

Remember, you can still vote in the caption contest. It seems voting has slowed in the past few days. Thankfully, Dane Cook is still in the lead.

1. Johnny Damon, LF
2. Derek Jeter, SS
3. Bobby Abreu, RF
4. Alex Rodriguez, 3B
5. Hideki Matsui, DH
6. Jorge Posada, C
7. Robinson Cano, 2B
8. Doug Mientkiewicz, 1B
9. Melky Cabrera, CF

And on the mound, No. 40, Chien Ming Wang.

Categories : Game Threads
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  • A-Rod a fit anywhere
    By

    In his blog today, Buster Olney lays out a case for A-Rod and the Dodgers. Olney, who has spent the season imaging A-Rod everywhere else but New York, claims that the future Hall of Famer would be “a perfect fit for the Dodgers.” This begs the question: Isn’t A-Rod – one of the best baseball players ever – a perfect fit for any team? · (17) ·

2008patches.jpg

Major League Baseball teams love their commemorative patches. By pretending to honor something meaningful, teams create marketing campaigns during which obsessed suckers collectors will buy every new hat or t-shirt with a patch.

Trust me; I’m one of those collectors. I have eight different Yankee hats all with different patches (World Series: 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003; 100th Anniversary Season, Post-9/11 U.S. Flag).

Well, with history inevitably heading our way in 2008, the Yankees’ uniforms – but not their hats – will be adorned with patches. The patch shown on the left in the image above will commemorate the rich history and final season of Yankee Stadium. The team will wear that patch on their left sleeves.

The patch on the right will adorn the right arm of the Yankee uniforms from the start of All Star balloting in late April through the All Star Game in July. You can bet that the All Star Game will bring with it a whole slew of merchandising opportunities as well. In fact, you can already buy some All Star Game merchandise, and it’s still just 2007.

So keep those wallets ready. It’s marketing time around the Bombers.

Patches and uniform information courtesy of the Something Awful forums. For a larger view, click here or anywhere on the image above.

Categories : All Star Game
Comments (4)
  • Boy would I hate to live in Canada
    By

    I feel bad for even directing you to this article, but give it a read and lemme know what you think. Personally, it makes me think two things. 1) Being a Blue Jays fan must really suck, and 2) Dave Perkins must hate his life. Nihilists should not be sports writers. · (4) ·

Nothing brightens up a Friday morning better than a hot cup of coffee, the morning paper, and a story on ESPN about a company fined over HGH distribution. Sweet. George Mitchell again has reason to live. And there I thought he’d string himself up in his closet, what with the lack of steroid news for, oh, a week and a half.

So why do I write about this if I have such contempt for the issue? Well, it appears that someone we know may be implicated:

The U.S. Attorney’s office disagrees, saying that Specialty supplied HGH for a “well-known” athlete in Massachusetts and an “entertainer/athlete” who received a shipment was 6-foot-5, 276 pounds, according to the New York Daily News.

Unfortunately, there appears to be a separation between the “well-known” athlete in Massachusetts and the “entertainer/athlete” whose dimensions are given. Because you know who kind of fits those dimensions? Yeah. Ortiz. And no, I’m not at all implying that he’s the one in question. He’s listed as 6-foot-4, 230, though it’s clear he’s just a wee bit heavier than that. It’s just funny to poke fun at Red Sox fans. Plus, I interpret “entertainer/athlete” as “professional wrestler.”

That said, the “well-known” athlete in Massachusetts is likely Rodney Harrison, who has already been busted by the NFL. So yeah, we can poke fun, but we can’t make any serious allegations.

Steroid stories are George Mitchell’s Viagra. Go bang a hooker tonight, George.

Tip o’ the hat to Tony

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