Today, as I enjoyed the nice weather from the upper deck at Yankee Stadium, I watched what could be the low point of this season. After a disastrous 1-7 road trip, the Yanks came home to win on Friday but were one-hit today by Chad Gaudin.
The one hit was a groundball single up the middle by Johnny Damon. It wasn’t a pretty display, and there is nothing new to say about this game. We know Mike Myers is ineffective; we know that Kei Igawa gives up home runs like it’s nobody’s business.
But while the Yankees struggle, it was good to hear that the Yankee scoreboard operators still have hope. In the bottom of the 8th with one out, the Yanks mounted their own “rally” of the game. This “rally” game with one out when Rich Harden, rehabbing his arm by coming out of the bullpen, walked Andy Phillips and Johnny Damon.
As Derek Jeter walked to the plate, the A’s had a short pow-wow on the mound. The scoreboard operator played the ever-popular Queen song “We Will Rock You.” I can’t help but chuckle at that display. The Yankees aren’t rockin’ anyone these days. Their one hit barely made it out of the infield, and up to that point, that had hit just five balls out of the infield.
The Yankees offense: pathetic. The Yankees scoreboard operators: ironically funny.
Mike Mussina pitched 7 strong innings against a team struggling as much as the Yanks were, and Mariano Rivera closed out the final 1.1 innings with 3 K’s to nail down his 10th save of the year. But what happened in between Moose’s departure and Rivera’s arrival was the story of the game.
To start the 8th inning, Joe Torre went with his typical game plan. Now, keep in mind that this game plan has worked approximately three times this year. That’s right; just three times this season, Farnsworth has worked 1-2-3 innings. As you can guess, tonight was not one of them.
Triple-A Scranton (5-4 loss to Buffalo in 11 innings)
Justin Christian: 2 for 6, 1 R, 1 K, 1 SB
Shelley Duncan: 1 for 4, 1 2B, 1 BB – in other news, Andy Phillips went 0 for 3 with 2 K and was taken out of the game for Miguel freakin’ Cairo…
Bronson Sardinha: 1 for 4, 1 R, 1 RBI, 1 BB, 2 K
Eric Duncan: 2 for 5, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 RBI, 1 K, 2 E (fielding, throwing)Â – 3 doubles in his last 5 games
Alberto Gonzalez: 0 for 4, 2 K
Run-Elvis: 5 IP, 6 H, 4 R, 2 ER, 3 BB, 4 K, 7-4 GB/FB
Edwar:Â 3 IP, a whole bunch of zeroes,Â 6 K, 3-0 GB/FBÂ – in other news, Kyle Farnsworth allowed 2 more baserunners tonight (Kper9 up to 16.62)
Jim Brower: 2 IP, 4 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K – first run allowed since June 8th
According to the Daily News, Jason Giambi hasn’t made much progress in his quest to heal his torn plantar fascia. The report says he’s still wearing a boot. While the initial timetable put his return date at around the start of July, some less optimistic writers speculated that Giambi could miss the whole season. Right now, it’s not looking too good for the Yanks’ DH. · (4) ·
In an interview on the Michael Kay Show on Thursday, Brian Cashman declined to say if Joe Torre’s job was safe. “I think everybody currently shouldn’t feel very comfortable and I don’t think anybody does,” he said. With this lukewarm endorsement in mind, I think the next 10 games against the A’s, Twins and Angels will go a long way toward determining Torre’s future with the Yanks. · (5) ·
All numbers cited are as of 6/28 before the game
Oh, our outfield. Coming into this season, it looked so promising. Matsui, Damon, Abreu. And Melky as a backup to boot. Yeah, there were chirps and whispers about the age of the unit, but hey, 34 isn’t exactly old. And for guys who had been were great last year (with the obvious exception of Matsui), you wouldn’t expect them to turn shitty overnight.
But really, that’s what they did. At least in relative terms. Any way you want to slice it, they’re not performing to expectations. And it’s freakin’ killing this offense (among other things, of course, but this one is just glaring). A quick look at rate stats will make this abundantly clear.
We didn’t quite win, either, but we’re winning. Thanks to changes in the MLB rules effective this year, we’ll pick this game up exactly where we left it off: with Derek Jeter standing on first with one out in the top of the 8th with an 8-6 lead.
Some times, you just catch a break.
Some tidbits from LoHud:
Spoke to Brian Cashman this afternoon. He is interested in acquiring a first baseman but offered no comment on Shea Hillenbrand. He did say, however, that he will not be trading Phil Hughes, Joba Chamberlain or Ian Kennedy.
Hughes has started his throwing program and a few days ago threw off the half mound in Tampa.
Update by Joe: Better news on Hughes: he’ll throw off a full mound this weekend. According to Pete Abraham, “The hope is that he will return by the end of July.” The article also mentions that they’ve signed third-round pick Ryan Pope (the pitcher from Savannah College of Art and Design) and are laying it on thick for Carmen Angelini. End of update.
Good news all around, although don’t think that just because Cash didn’t comment on Hillenbrand that means he isn’t interested; if he said he wanted him, it’d be tampering (I think).
Triple-A Scranton (6-2 loss to Buffalo) it’s not fair that Buffalo can roll this guy out of the ‘pen to protect a 4 run lead…
Justin Christian: 1 for 4, 1 R, 2 K
Kevin Reese: 2 for 4, 2 RBI
Shelley Duncan, Bronson Sardinha & Alberto Gonzalez: all 0 for 4, 2 K – Sardinha threw a guy out at third
Eric Duncan: 0 for 2, 2 BB – 6 for his last 44 with 13 K
Tyler Clippard: 3.1 IP, 8 H, 6 R, 5 ER, 3 BB, 1 K, 1-7 GB/FB – 38 H, 26 ER, 22 BB, 15 K in 28.1 IP since he beat the Mets in his MLB debut…
Sean Henn: 2.2 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K
Steven Jackson: 2 IP, 0 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 1 BB, 2 K – 5 H, 3 ER, 3 BB, 4 K in 7.2 innings since moving to the ‘pen
It was so close to happening last winter. The Yankees sought a right-hand-hitting first baseman, and Shea Hillenbrand was on the free agent market. So, you’d think this was a bada-bing, bada-boom deal, right? Well, unfortunately, Hillenbrand and his agent far overvalued his worth and demanded a two year contract. The Yankees declined and signed Doug Mientkiewicz, leaving Hillenbrand to sign with the Angels. Well, it’s nearly a half-year later, and Hillenbrand is on the verge of yet again becoming a free agent. It seems that the Angels have realized the errors of their ways, and are prepared to cut bait, giving Bill Stoneman 10 days to trade him, lest he become a free agent (he would almost certainly clear waivers). This is the Yanks’ big opportunity. They must sign Shea Hillenbrand.
You need an iPig:
“This is the most anticipated pig since Porky,” [St. Paul] Saints general manager/executive vice president Derek Sharrer said in statement. “Taking on a major player like Apple is daunting, but our sense is that Apple has exposed a niche that these pigs fill. Our critics will say there’s no market for trying to reinvent the pig. We’ll see.”Now if only the Yankees could get an iWin. (hat tip to TPA) · (0) ·