*I’ve removed pLI from the tables. The stat doesn’t sit well with me. It doesn’t tell you a whole lot. If you look at the LI for each situation, yeah. But an average over the course of a game? Nothing.
I’m not a big platoon guy unless the numbers — over a reasonable sample size — bear something out. And yes, one game isn’t a large sample size. Is it just coincidence, then, that Abreu, Giambi, and Cano were the offensive goats of the game? Probably. And it’s not like you’re going to sit any of them because of a pitching matchup — especially because of Melky’s ineptitude this season. It’s not like they have bad lefty-righty splits.
Ben summed up the game from the bullpen angle. The talent is all there…it’s just a matter of having them pitch two or three innings a game rather than four or five. But I’ll let Ben’s words speak for themselves.
The game started off on an exciting note. Both of our recently-returned DLers contributed. Despite the WPA, Wang pitched well, especially for a guy who was making his first start of the season on April 24. He scattered a few hits, which is going to happen, but he didn’t really let it phase him until the fourth. After a bloop and a double in the seventh, he came out for pitch count reasons. That move can be contested, but it’s one of those double edged swords, so it’s not worth levying criticism. However, I will say this: I would have rather had pitch to Harris with the bases loaded than Vizcaino. Viz has had control problems all year, and he ended up getting lucky that the liner was hit right at Cairo. Wang, on the other hand, could have induced the groundball double play to end it. Just sayin…
I thought Mike Myers was supposed to be the guy to come in and get out a tough lefty. Yet, when he’s been called upon to do so, he’s gotten smacked around. However, he’s been stellar in mop-up duty. I know it’s a very small sample, but I’d be reluctant to let him pitch to Ortiz or Drew this weekend. Or hell, even Lyle Overbay over the next two days.
There were some highlights on the offensive side, like Matsui’s shot that nearly hit his digital visage out in right field. Every time you think the guy is looking shaky at the plate, he goes and whales one like that. It’ll be extra nice to have him back in the lineup against Boston, where he can do some serious damage.
Phelps was another highlight, driving in the go-ahead run in the seventh. But then Joe pinch ran for him, which kinda came back to bite him in the ass. I understand the situation: Phelps standing on second, one run lead. You want a guy scoring on a single, so you put the faster runner in there. Problem is, the hitter was Miguel Cairo. What, you actually think he’s going to single and bring in that run? You’re going to replace a potent bat because you want the runner on second to score on a highly unlikely single? Some may say I’m nitpicking, but I think I have a valid point here. The worst case scenario arose in the ninth, as the Yanks, down by two runs, have their final two outs in the hands of Melky Cabrera and Doug Mientkiewicz.
I don’t know why Johnny Damon was replaced, and I didn’t hear anything about it this morning. I hope it was because his hammies or back were acting up on him, because there’s really no other way to justify that sub. If it was just to give Damon a break from the turf, well, then that’s just stupid. Instead of having Cano-Phelps-Damon in the ninth, the Yanks trotted out Cano-Cabrera-Mientkiewicz. A considerable drop-off, to say the least.
Thankfully, Andy Pettitte is headed to the hill tonight. He’s delivered when the Yanks have needed him to this season. He’s going to have an “eh” start sooner or later. Hopefully, that won’t come tonight — the bullpen sure could use an 8-inning performance.
New York Yankees
Recalled: RHP Colter Bean, RHP Chris Britton, LHP Chase Wright
Optioned to Triple-A: RHP Darrell Rasner
Placed on minor league disabled list: RHP Guillermo Villalona, 2B Carlos Mendoza, 3B Marcos Vechionacci, SS Angel Chavez, OF Austin Jackson
Reinstated from disabled list: 2B Russell Raley, SS Grant Plumley
Rehabilitation assignment: RHP Jeff Karstens, RHP Chien-Ming Wang (both high Class A Tampa)
Jackson, the clubâ€™s eighth-round pick in 2005, is on the shelf with a lower body injury. Bean, 29, is logging significant big league time for the first time.
Vech hurt his hand on a defensive play last week, I doubt it’s a major injury, but you never know…
Potential Scrap Heap Pickup: SS Chase Lambin, who was cut by the Mets. He can’t be worse than Miguel Cairo, could he? Hee Seop Choi was released by the D-Rays, but word on the street is he’s heading back to Korea.
He’s still in baseball? RHP Paul Shuey (reinstated from the minor league DL by the O’s), OF Wil Cordero (released by the Mets), andÂ OF Angel Fermin (former Yankee prospect was cut by the D-Rays).
Just in case anyone’s wishing we had the Big Unit this year instead of a debacle of a pitching staff, worry no more. Against the Padres last night in his 2007 debut, Randy Johnson was terrible. He threw 5 innings, giving up 6 hits, 6 earned runs and 4 walks. While he struck up 7, he also allowed two home runs. Some things don’t change when you’re a 43-year-old pitcher with numerous injuries. · (0) ·
I have nightmares about these guys now only to wake up to find they really did blow yet another game.
In The Shield last season, Walton Goggins’ character Shane told the rest of the show’s main characters a joke with the intent to distract Forest Whitaker. The tale Shane told was the infamous Death by Chichi story. Well, after tonight’s game, the Yankees are going through not Death by Chichi but rather Death by Bullpen.
The Yankees have not won since coming off a strong three-game sweep of the Indians five games ago. Since Friday night, the Yanks, who lead the Majors in runs scored, have plated 29 runs. 29 runs! Five games! That should be, well, five wins really. But they’ve also surrendered 35 runs. So, oops.
While the Yankees starting pitcher has been terrible, the team has also been victimized by its bullpen, and after tonight, I am once again left wondering why Brian Bruney is brought in after Luis Vizcaino and Mike Myers to clean up their messes instead of before to pitch out the jam. But I digress.
Tonight, the Yanks’ bullpen threw 1.2 innings which including a sighting of the endangered species known as Kyle Farnsworth. They gave up 2 earned runs and did an excellent job allowing all of the inherited runners to score. Wang got the loss, but who would you blame for this game? I finger Vizcaino and Myers. Final bullpen tally: 1.2 innings, 1 hit, 2 earned runs.
Last night, Kei Igawa was bad and the bullpen matched him. The bullpen started up with the score 6-4 in favor of the Devil Rays. Colter Bean allowed yet another inherited runner to cross the plate, and the bullpen managed 3.2 innings, 7 hits, 3 walks and 3 earned runs. That 10 baserunners in just over 3 innings led to only three runs is luck.
In Boston, the story was the same. On Sunday, the bullpen had to throw 5 innings. They gave up 6 hits, 6 walks and only 3 earned runs. On Saturday, the bullpen did its job. Hallelujah! 3.2 innings, 4 hits and no runs. Only the wacky centerfield dimensions prevented Bobby Abreu from hitting a game-tying home run. C’est la vie.
And Friday was the start of this debacle. The bullpen went 1.2 innings giving up 5 hits and 5 runs.
So for those of you keeping score at home, the Yankees’ bullpen over their five-game losing streak has gone 15.2 innings. They’re 0-2 and have given up 25 hits and 13 runs for an ERA of 7.46. They’ve managed to strike out just 8 while walking 14.
This is what death by bullpen looks like. And after another loss in another game that the Yanks should won, I’ll take death by chichi instead of this nightly torture.
Georgie Kontos was put on the DL, and I don’t think it’s related to his little run in with the law. Usually a team will just put a player on the restricted list for disciplinary stuff. On the bright side,Â check out who replaced him in the Tampa rotation…Â
Triple-A Scranton (9-2 loss to Ottawa)
Kevin Reese: 1 for 3, 1 BB
Alberto Gonzalez:Â 1 for 4 -Â 2 for his last 16
Bronson Sardinha:Â 2 for 4, 1 K
Andy Phillips: 1 for 3, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB
Shelley Duncan: 1 forÂ 4 – last XBH was 7 games ago…
Ross Ohlendorf: 5 IP, 9 H, 4 R, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K, 1 HB, 9-2 GB/FB
Darrell Rasner: 3 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K – 40 pitches in 3 innings, God forbid he could be that economical in the bigs…
Justin Pope: .2 IP, 3 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 0 BB, 0 K – 8 H, 9 ER in his last inning pitched
From NCAA Fanhouse:Â
College baseball is much different from college basketball and college football; most games are not televised, most fans don’t know any players, and it draws very little revenue for the athletic department. In short, college baseball is not popular. Except in Malibu, CA. That’s where the Pepperdine University Waves have become the trendy hometown team for the bourgeoisie Hollywood-type. So trendy in fact, that actress and uber hottie Pamela Anderson has adopted the Pepperdine baseball squad as “her” team.Well, I suppose Billy ain’t that bad, and hey, we’ve always got the Mayor of the World. At least we aren’t stuck with Ben Affleck! (hat tip to TPA) · (1) ·
She participates in fundraising activities for the Waves, going so far as to allow dinner dates with her to be auctioned. Her winnings in an NBA.com fantasy league are earmarked for the baseball program. Last spring, after Pepperdine reached the NCAA tournament, she hosted a barbecue for the Waves at her beachside home. Her sons – Brandon Thomas Lee, 10, and Dylan Jagger Lee, 9 – serve as part-time batboys for the team. … Her presence serves as a distraction to Pepperdine opponents, says former Waves pitcher Paul Coleman, a Dodgers farmhand. “They’re warming up, stretching,” he says, “and their necks are turned toward the stands looking for her.”
Newsday’s newest Yankee beat writer Kat O’Brien has the story on A-Rod. Said the super-human third baseman, “I want to stay in New York, no matter what.” If the image-conscious A-Rod is serious and doesn’t mind giving up a few bucks to stay in pinstripes, that’s the best news I’ve heard since, well, yesterday when the Yanks announced Hughes as tomorrow’s starter. This April has shown us all that Alex Rodriguez is the biggest piece to the Yankees offense. They gotta keep him. · (1) ·
The very first post here at River Ave. Blues was a look at someÂ college kids to keep an eye on for the 2007 draft, which I then followed up by previewing some noteworthy high school kids. With less than 2 months until the big event goes down, it’s time to start getting serious with the draft coverage.
I brought in the big guns for the next installment ofÂ my draft preview series, enlisting the services of Brian Foley, editor of The College Baseball Blog, a blog about (duh) college baseball which is just too great for words.Â You’d be hard pressed to find a site that’s more informative, comprehensive and entertaining than Brian’s. If you have anyÂ interest in college ball whatsoever, make sure you head on over and bookmark it, if you haven’t already.
Anyways, I asked Brian some questions, and he answered. I slacked off a bit putting this together, so any stats mentioned DO NOTÂ includeÂ action from this past weekend. Enjoy.Â
Q: Teams love to draft college righthanders, they’re generally safe, cheap and plentiful. But outside of Andrew Brackman and Josh Fields, there doesn’t seem to be any truly elite RHP prospects, whereas last year there was Tim Lincecum, Brandon Morrow, Max Scherzer,Â Daniel Bard, Joba Chamberlain, Jeff Samardzija…I could go on and on. Are there anyÂ RHPs who could sneak up, have a great spring and really vault themselves into that elite prospect category? Read More→
Do you think Phil Hughes should have gotten the call? The debate sweeps through Yankeeland, as two opposing sides butt heads on the issue. On one side are the “babyers.” They want to see him “learn” in the minors and keep his innings limited, thus reducing the risk of injury. On the other side are the “throwers.” They believe that pitchers should pitch, and that a guy like Phil Hughes has little, if anything, left to learn in the minors. Obviously, the three of us are “throwers.” Let’s start this argument from the top.
Igawa’s performance last night helps illustrate why calling up Phil Hughes is the smart move. If the Yankees really just needed a pitcher or two for a couple of spot starts in place of Moose and Pavano, fine. You expect them back soon (Mussina at least), and the rest of your rotation is fine. However, this is obviously not the case. Pavano might not be back for a very long time, and even when/if he does return, there is even less a chance that he helps the team. He needs to build endurance, and you don’t do that sitting on the DL with an elbow strain (which is what King Felix has, by the way).
Then you have Igawa, in whom I have a dwindling amount of faith. I did point out that he had pitched better in each of his starts against progressively better opponents. If that was real progress, he would have fared well against the Devil Rays last night. Alas, he had no control and continued to leave the ball up in the zone. At a time when the bullpen desperately needed a rest, Igawa did not deliver. And I’m not convinced that we’re going to see him pitch well in more than one out of six or seven outings. That won’t even cut it for a No. 5 starter.
So that’s 2/5 of the Opening Day rotation in question. If you’re looking to replace just a No. 5 starter, Karstens or Rasner might be able to fill in temporarily. However, the Yanks are replacing two No. 5 starters, and inserting both Karstens and Rasner will probably have damning results (it is, by the way, excruciating to sit through a Darrell Rasner start).
So what do you do in that situation? You insert your next best pitcher, which is Phil Hughes. Cashman may say that he’ll be up as long as Mussina is on the shelf, but I think we can distance ourselves from his PR-speak. The rotation stinks. It will probably get better with Wang now back and Moose about a week away. But then that leaves you with just three quality starters — surely not enough to overcome Boston. By adding Hughes to the mix, you now have a fourth quality starter. Add Clemens, and you have the best rotation in baseball, without question.