Last night, I journeyed south from my Park Slope enclave to Coney Island to catch the home opener of the Brooklyn Cyclones with fellow blogger Emma Span. The Cyclones, the Mets’ affiliate, faced the Staten Island Yankees. The Yanks strung together a bunch of hits and baserunners early on but couldn’t capitalize. Nick Chigges relieved Gabriel Medina after the demoted righty gave the Yanks 5 solid innings. Chigges promptly gave up a three-run home run to Jeffrey Voyles. Chigges walked away from the game with a loss. For more on this game and some pitchers, check out Emma’s post on Eephus Pitch .
The Padres just picked up heavyweight champ Michael Barrett from the Cubbies, leaving the incumbent Josh Bard in a precarious position. Now Bard isn’t nearly as good as his 2006 numbers suggest (.338-.406-.537, 9 HR & 40 RBI while splitting time with the Pizza-man), but he’s better than his 2007 showing (.253-.335-.349, 2 HR, 19 RBI in full-time duty) as his career line suggests (.267-.330-.408).
Bard would unquestionably be an upgrade over Wil Nieves, but he’s also an almost ideal backup:
Thanks to reader C-Note for pointing out this story in the NY Post regarding Phil Hughes’s rehab:
Phil Hughes had the walking boot removed from his left foot yesterday and expects to start throwing within a week in Tampa. Hughes has been out since May 2 with a hamstring injury. He then suffered a severe ankle sprain doing agility drills later in the month.
It’s impossible to even speculate as to a timetable at this point (though I’m sure Pete Abraham will). I think it’s safe to say, though, that anticipating a return before August is being aggressive. We sure could use him, though.
There is perhaps no pitcher in the majors who gets as worked up over the strike zone as Mike Mussina. If he throws a pitch near a corner and it’s called a ball, he seriously turns into the Hulk. What usually follows is not pretty. Thank God we weren’t subject to that last night, what we term the Mussina Meltdown. Then again, allowing a home run to a fringe major leager is meltdown-esque.
All in all, Mussina didn’t pitch badly. Three runs over six innings is acceptable when you have a lineup like the Yankees. Really, it was the offense that didn’t deliver. Of the 21 outs recorded by Josh Fogg 13 of them were in the air. That’s usually a bad sign for someone pitching against the Yankees. However, for the most part they weren’t strong flyouts; they were shallow pop ups. And it seemed like everyone was catching the fever.
Via Peter Abraham comes this gem from my favorite Yankee starter:
â€œWith my National League inexperience I didnâ€™t think about who was on deck. I probably would have pitched a little differently had I thought about it.â€
Not that the extra run mattered in the end, but everyone makes such a big deal about Moose being a smart baseball player and a cerebral pitcher. I think we can put that notion to rest right here. Situational pitching; it’s more than a good idea.
As is DotF tradition, full Opening Day lineups for Staten Island and the GCL Yanks (man, I forgot how much those kids down in Rookie ball strikeout) after the jump…
Triple-A Scranton (8-4 loss toÂ Durham)
Kevin Reese: 2 for 4,Â 1 3B, 1 RBI
Eric Duncan: 0 for 5, 3 K, 1 E (fielding)Â – 1 for his last 17 with 8 K…
Shelley Duncan: 0 for 4, 1 K
Bronson Sardinha & Angel Chavez: bothÂ 2 for 4, 1 R, 1 RBI – Sardinha swiped a base, Chavez K’ed
Alberto Gonzalez: 0 for 3, 1 K, 1 E (missed catch)Â – 0 for his last 17
Juan Francia: 2 for 4, 1 R, 1 2B, 1 KÂ
Colter Bean: 4 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 0 BB, 6 K
Steven Jackson: 2 IP, 3 H, 1 R, 1 ER, 2 BB, 1 K, 1 WP – he’s taking to the bullpen…i guess…
Charlie Manning: 0.2 IP, 2 H, 3 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 0 K
Ben Kozlowski: 1.1 IP, 1 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 1 K – breaks a streak of 5 consectuve outings in which he gave up an ER
Pete Abraham has the scoop: Andy Phillips is returning. He speculates that Josh Phelps will be the odd man out. Methinks it’s Basak. I’ll update this post when we hear more.
Update: Tyler Kepner says it’s Phelps. While there is no official confirmation (i.e., from Brian Cashman), it would appear this is accurate.