How about that? Yesterday, I predicted a five-inning, four-run game from Kei Igawa and the man nearly delivered. While it only took him
357 115 pitches to make it through five innings and he surrendered two more home runs in the process, Igawa kept the Yanks in the game, and the bats delivered a win. I love it when I’m right.
Meanwhile, we should be elated with the Yanks’ performance of late. Since the All Star Break, the team is 4-1 and 9-4 in July. They are six games behind the Indians in the loss column for the Wild Card (seven out overall) and are playing crisp baseball. Since there’s not much else to say about tonight’s game specifically â€” other than beware Troy Glaus, that is â€” I wanted to drop in a few notes and observations about the Bombers of late.
Austin Jackson’s incredible run with High-A Tampa has earned him the #4 spot on BA’s Hot Sheet, where he’s joined in the top 10 by . . . oh who am I kidding, you know who. I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that personal fave Phil Coke was named FSL Pitcher of the Week. Props go out to former Yankee farmhand Randy Ruiz, who honored his old mates by launching a 3-run job off a certain Red Sawx prospect (who’s stats really aren’t that much better than Ian Patrick Kennedy’s, by the way) tonight.
Oh, and if Torre is going to steadfastly refuse to use Edwar Ramirez, just send him back to Triple-A so he can get some regular work. This is effin’ ridiculous. Stats after the jump…
Sheesh, and I though Steven Lombardi was a pessimist! (hat tip to Pete Abraham) (I’m justÂ messin’ Steve, but would it kill ya to see the little ray of sunshine in Yanks’Â universe every once in a while?) · (10) ·
From the SI Advance:
Right-hander Dellin Betances left after three innings because of tightness in his throwing elbow, overshadowing what was an already forgettable 7-2 loss to the Vermont Lake Monsters yesterday at the Richmond County Bank Ballpark at St. George.
“We took him out because he was complaining of stiffness in his elbow. We wanted to error on the side of caution,” said Staten Island manager Mike Gillespie of Betances, a highly-touted 6-foot-9 prospect out of Grand Street Campus HS in Brooklyn, who received a $1 million signing bonus in June of 2006.
“He’ll be seeing the doctor (today),” said Gillespie of Betances, who was making his sixth start of the season for Staten Island yesterday after pitching last year for the Gulf Coast Yankees. “The good news was that he wasn’t complaining of pain. We’ll just keep our fingers crossed. There’s no real reason to think he’s done (for the season), but we’re a little bit worried.”
(hat tip to BAPR+)
Update: I had some time to think about it (mostly because my boss was looming over my shoulder), andÂ I’m just thankful it’s not his shoulder. Elbows are relativelyÂ easy to fix (but they have aÂ crazy long recovery time), and this is his first trouble with it (as far as I know). I remain optimistic, and hope this isn’t a precursor to something more serious down the road.
Update Part Deux: I find it pretty funny that an injury like this would be devastating to most team’s farm systems, but the Yanks have so much pitching depth these days thatÂ they can absorb the injury without missing a beat. In the words of my Italian grandfather: Beautiful, fuckin’ beautiful.
The Toronto Blue Jays are a pretty potent offensive team. They’re tenth in OPS and eighth overall in home runs hit. But those numbers shoot up when they face a lefty. Against southpaws this season, the Blue Jays are downright brutal. With a .293/.364/.470 line, the team is third overall in OPS vs. lefties.
So who are the Yankees sending up against a team that seemingly struggles with right-handed pitching? Not any righty farm hand who has a good chance of shutting them down. No, tonight, they are going with their lefty specialist Kei Igawa. Kei, who in an alternate universe, is a good pitcher, stands as good a chance as any at getting utterly shelled tonight. Let’s review.
When last we saw Mr. Igawa, I noted that the Yanks were winning in spite of Igawa’s contribution. Since he hasn’t pitched in over 10 days, things haven’t really gotten any better for his season numbers. I wrote then:
Specifically, Igawa has thrown 16 innings, surrendering 17 hits while walking 9 and striking 12. Heâ€™s given up 3 home runs and has retired just 14 batters via the ground ball as opposed to 21 via the fly ball. He pitches like a disaster waiting to happen, and itâ€™s only a matter of time before he gets pounded for an ungodly number of runs in, say, 1.2 innings.
And so this is the Igawa that will stride to the mound in Yankee Stadium tonight at 7:05 p.m. to face a lineup of Blue Jays who devour lefty pitching. Tonight could really be that night that he’s out after 1.2 innings never to return to the Bronx.
Now, for the Yanks’ sake, I hope that’s not true. They’re above .500 for the first time in over three weeks. They’ve trimmed a few games off of Boston’s lead this weekend and stand a manageable nine games out of first and eight games behind Cleveland, the Wild Card leader. They won, in dicey fashion, three out of four in Tampa Bay and now need to manage a 17-7 record over their next 24 games to meet our expectations of 20-8 against sub-.500 teams to start the second half.
A decent start tonight by Igawa would probably mean 5 IP and 4 ER. The Yanks are facing Josh Towers, a righty in the Blue Jays’ rotation only because no one else has worked out. I expect this to be a game decided by the bullpens, and I hope the Yanks can keep up their post-All Star Break winning ways. But with Kei Igawa on the mound, it’s tough to be optimistic.
A bad start would exile him from New York. A good start would be great for the Yanks as a team but bad overall because Igawa would inevitably get rewarded with another start. Tonight, we’ll see what happens.
Did you see what I did with the postÂ title there? Horrible . . . Horne-ible . . .Â eh, eh? Oh screwÂ you guys…Â
Anyways, it looks like EricÂ Duncan has become a platoon player for Scranton; tonight marks the 3rd straight time he’s satÂ when the opposing teamÂ started a southpaw.Â Even though E-Dunc has demolished LHP throughout his career, he’s hitting only .151-.258-.226-.484 against them this year, justifying the move.
Triple-A Scranton (3-1 loss to Louisville)
Brett Gardner, Justin Christian & Andy Cannizaro:Â all 1 for 4 – Gardner K’ed…Cannizaro scored a run
Shelley Duncan, Angel Chavez & Chris Basak: combined 0 for 12, 4 K
Mighty Matt: 7.1 IP, 3 H,Â 2 R,Â 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 2-13 GB/FB -Â picked a runner off first…tough luck loss prior to what could prove to be an ideal situation in his Saturday startÂ with the big league squad
Sean Henn: 0.1 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 0 BB, 1 K
Chris Britton: 0.1 IP, zeroes across the board – in other news, Kyle Farnsworth isÂ terrible at his job
Anyone know ifÂ there’s a way to watch a replay/archived versionÂ of Joba’s start on CN8?Â Thanks in advance…
Triple-A Scranton (7-3 win over Louisville)
Brett Gardner: 2 for 4, 3 R, 1 RBI, 2 BB, 1 SBÂ - on base 8 times in 3 games with Scranton
Justin Christian: 1 for 5, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K, 1 SB – threw a runner out at the plate
Kevin Reese: 3 for 4, 1 R, 1 RBI
Shelley Duncan: 0 for 1, 4 BB, 1 SBÂ - getting the Bonds treatment…how does a guy get walked 4 times and not come around to score even once?
Angel Chavez: 3 for 5, 1 R
Eric Duncan & Chris Basak: bothÂ 1 for 5 – Duncan K’ed twice and was caught stealing…Basak K’ed once
Andy Cannizaro & Raul Chavez: both 2 for 5, 1 R, 1 K – Cannizaro made a throwing error
Ross Ohlendorf: 5 IP, 8 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 3 K, 1 HB
Ben Kozlowski: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K
Many of us thought we’d never see him back in pinstripes, but Mighty Matt DeSalvo is headed back to the Bronx to start one game of a doubleheader next Saturday. Here’s the problem with DeSalvo: he doesn’t have overpowering stuff, so he has to work the edges. If he’s getting the calls, he can be fine. If he’s being squeezed, he’s going to get killed when he puts one over. That’s not exactly the kind of pitcher you want on your roster full-time, but he can suffice for a spot start. · (9) ·
Triple-A Scranton (5-2 win over Louisville in 10 innings)
Brett Gardner: 2 for 5, 1 R, 1 2B
Justin Christian: 2 for 4, 2 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 1 K – after A-Rod & A-Jax, he’s the hottest hitter in the organization
Shelley Duncan: 1 for 5, 1 2B, 2 RBI, 2 K – 8 RBI in his last 3 games
Angel Chavez: 2 for 5, 1 R, 1 HR,Â 1 RBI
Eric Duncan & Chris Basak: both 1 for 4, 1 2B – Duncan K’ed
Andy Cannizaro: 1 for 3, 1 BB, 2 K – 12 hits in 9 games with Scranton
Steven White: 7 IP, 4 H, 2 R, 2 ER, 2 BB, 6 K, 1Â WP – know who went 3 for 3 off White in this game? this guy…
TJ Beam: 0.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 0 K, 2-0 GB/FB
Charlie Manning: 1.1 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 2 K – in other news, Mike Myers gave up another XBH to a LHB
Jim Brower: 1 IP, zeroes across the board