Yesterday’s game helped me put the value of defense in a better perspective. When you have a pitch-to-contact guy on the mound, you’re going to need some solid performances by the guys behind him in order to get through it. Most of the time — even though they aren’t the best fielders in the league — the defense is solid in support of Wang. Unfortunately, guys are going to have bad games; some guys are just bad.
Not that Wang did himself many favors. He didn’t look his sharpest, leaving that sinker higher in the zone than he normally does (and a consequence of leaving that baby up is that it doesn’t have nearly the bite as a lower version). Flat and waist high is no way to go through life.
If you saw the game, you know which plays I’m talking about. If you didn’t see the game, you surely heard from a friend who is as frustrated as me. It was one of two games this season I clicked off in the middle — and I’m sure you can guess which the other was.
Let’s start with my boy Bobby. On the first pitch in the fifth inning, Gerald Laird (.209/.284/.297) hit a deep fly ball to right. Melky makes that play. Damon makes that play. Matsui makes that play. Hell, fuckin’ Bernie makes that play. But Bobby has all sorts of trouble when he has to run backwards, can’t get under the ball, and it falls. Now, thankfully it’s the fifth inning, and it’s a 1-1 game, so even if the run scores it’s not a fatal deficit.
Add Mitch Hilligoss to the list of casualties, dunno what’s wrong with him, but he’s out with something…Â
Triple-A Scranton was washed out. No makeup date was announced.
Double-A Trenton (3-2 loss to New Britain)
Carlos Mendoza: 1 for 2, 1 R, 1 BB, 1 K
Matt Carson: 1 for 2, 1 R, 1 HR, 2 RBI, 1 BB
rest of lineup: 0 for 24, 6 K, 2 CS, 1 HBP, 1 E – the team is hitting .252-.331-.350-.681
Jeff Marquez: 6 IP, 6 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 10-7 GB/FB
Edwar Ramirez: 3 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 8 K, 1 WP – he’s struck out 31 of the 48 batters he’s faced this year…
Yeah, it’s early. Yeah, guys hit slumps. But ask yourself: does it look like Abreu is proactive in changing what’s wrong? He looks lazy at the plate, and he’s completely out of rhythm (i.e., his leg and bat are out of sync, and they don’t even go to a rhythm individually). And then there’s his fielding habits, which are atrocious. He’s afraid of the wall, and completely lacks the ability to go back for a ball. Today it looked like Jason Giambi could have done a better job in right. What do you guys think? Is there any way to turn Bobby around? This certainly transcends most slumps. · (15) ·
How you know you pwn a team: it becomes old and hacky to say, “I wish we played them all 162 games.”
I only caught certain bits of the game so I think we’ll have to do this in bullet form. If anyone has anything else to add, please do so.
- Robinson Tejeda’s ERA climbed nearly a point (0.98 to be exact) last night. I was telling a buddy that Tejeda was experiencing a market correction, but after looking at the numbers, I’m not so sure about that. He’s walking a ton less this year, and is keeping his strikeouts at a 2:1 ratio (though that kind of ratio works better if you’re striking out closer to one per inning). Plus, he’s only 25, so it’s tough to gauge how he’ll develop. His stuff is pretty good, so maybe he can be a 3.80 to 4.30 pitcher.
- Wil Nieves got a hit! And I missed it. By far the most disappointing part of the season so far for me. I may never get to see one…
- Will there ever be a recap without something about the bullpen? I turned on the TV again in the seventh, just in time to see Proctor fan Nelson Cruz. Of course, I thought Proctor had pitched the entire seventh, with the logic being that he’ll serve his suspension soon and he’s decently rested, so let’s give him some innings. However, when I checked the box score, I was dismayed to see that he was the third pitcher of the inning. Looks like Joe’s quick hook got Bruney out of a four-run game in a hurry. It’s tough to disagree, because I didn’t see what was going on at the time. However, Wilkerson has been putting the ball on the ground at a tremendous rate this season (44.9%, though we have the small sample size caveat). Seriously, Mike Myers needs to come in to face this guy? You’d think Bruney had/has a longer leash than that.
- I’m totally on board with pitching Mo with a four-run lead tonight. Yeah, you might need him this afternoon, but the opposing pitcher (Brandon McCarthy), has an ERA near 8.00. One would hope the Yanks could tee off on his for a few runs. And then you get into the weekend, where the Yanks face just one guy with an ERA below 5.50 (Jarrod Washburn, whom we beat on Sunday). Gotta keep Mo sharp.
- We’re back at .500! Too bad the Red Sox are just as hot.
Wang vs. Brandon McCarthy today at 1:05. Please, I don’t want to be under .500 again.
Triple-A Scranton (5-4 win over Pawtucket in 10 innings, walk-off style)
Kevin Thompson: 1 for 4, 1 R, 1 K
Kevin Reese: 2 for 3, 1 BB
Chris Basak: 3 for 4, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 E (throwing)Â - gave Andy Phillips a day off in the 3-hole, and hit just like’em…
Eric Duncan: 0 for 4, 1 BB, 1 K – 8 for his last 35, but just as many BB (7) as K during that span…
Shelley Duncan: 0 for 4, 1 R, 1 BB
Bronson Sardinha: 1 for 4, 1 BB, 2 K
Alberto Gonzalez: 1 for 5, 1 R, 1 2B -Â 4 XBH in last 6 games after 1 XBH in first 22 games…
Omir Santos: 1 for 4, 1 R, 2 RBI, 1 BB, 1 SB – walk-off groundout with the bases loaded (it’s all about fundamentals)
Chase Wright: 7 IP, 6 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 14-5 GB/FB – 4-9 K/BB ratio in Triple-A
Chris Britton: 1.2 IP, 4 H, 3 R, 0 ER, 2 BB, 2 K, 0-3 GB/FB
Jim Brower: 1.1 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K
With David Ortiz and Curt Schilling opining about steroids – always a loaded topic among MLB clubhouses – Terry Francona, the esteemed manager of the Red Sox, has ordered his star players to shut up. I, for one, am very jealous of Francona as I too have longed to tell Curt Schilling to stick a bloody sock in it. This ranks up there among Terry Francona’s best moves as Red Sox manager. · (6) ·
On the heels of a victory stolen, the Yanks fired back against the always vulnerable Texas Rangers, beating up on Mike Wood en route to a 8-2 win. It was a great game to watch — we got solid starting pitching and some life out of the bats. Combining those will lead to wins nine times out of 10, making me a bit more optimistic about the rest of the season. Unfortunately, we have precious few games left against the Rangers.
Before I jump into the main points of the game, let it be said that the scorers screwed Matsui. Third inning, runners on first and second, two out, Matsui up with the score tied at one. After being issued two balls, he laid into one and drove it to right-center. Jerry Hairston (who, in addition to being named in the most recent HGH scandal, cannot play center field) raced over to make a play, but wasn’t able to get there in time. Instead of giving Matsui a triple, they scored it an error on Hairston. I really don’t know what the scorers were thinking. The play was basically right in front of me, and I just assumed it was a triple. The box score says differently. I think they’re wrong. Am I?
Finally, Dougie-do-nothing is doing something! He continued his hot streak — obviously caused by this image — knocking two singles and driving in Jorge with a sac fly. He’s hurdled the Mendoza line (though, to be fair, he did that Monday with his two doubles), and maybe, just maybe he can reach the levels at which he hit last year. However, since he’s done so well while we’ve been bashing him, my official statement is, “Doug, you suck. You have no place on this team. Go back to the Red Sox.”
I know life in the minor leagues can be rough, with theÂ long bus rides, crappy hotels and baseball groupies (well, maybe that last part ain’t so bad), butÂ no team should ever have to play a doubleheader when the first game starts at 6 pm. Double-A Trenton did just that tonight.
Triple-A Scranton (3-1 win over Pawtucket)Â
Kevin Reese: 1 for 4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 K
Andy Phillips: 2 for 4, 1 R, 1 HR, 3 RBI – he’s killin’ it, Â clearly theÂ best hitter in the Yanks systemÂ so far this year…
Eric Duncan: 0 for 3 – you know what, his numbers really haven’t been THAT bad this year…
Shelley Duncan: 0 for 3, 1 K
Bronson Sardinha: 1 for 3, 1 K – 8 for his last 37, but 10 RBI in that span
Alberto Gonzalez: 0 for 3, 1 E (throwing)
Steven Jackson: 7.1 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 1 BB, 5 K, 1 WPÂ - best start of the year BY FAR
Ron Villone: 1.2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K