Wednesday, May 31, 2006

May 31 @ Detroit W 6-1

The bullpen needed a day off. Mike Mussina, facing the dangerous Detroit Tigers, came up as big as any pitcher this year for the Yankees.

With the list of Yankee all-stars out now at Jeter, Damon, Sheffield, and Matsui, Jason Giambi and Alex Rodriguez played like they needed to in order for the Yankees to win. Melky Cabrera almost added a home run too.

20 wins on the way for Moose? Maybe. Mussina needs a couple more very good seasons to get into the hall. It's nice to have a guy pitching for a contract.

Wang against Verlander tomorrow for the sweep. It'll be a tough one. Randy Johnson, Jaret Wright, and Aaron Small roll in to Baltimore tomorrow, so a win would be pretty big against Detroit. It would be nice to have Detroit needing something to prove after Boston arrives in town on Friday.


LF Cabrera
SS Cairo (Why the **** is he batting 2nd?)
1b Giambi
3b Rodriguez
C Posada
2b Cano
Williams CF
Phillips 1b
Long RF

Alex Rodriguez is officially the only Yankee starter to have started every game this year. No matter what you say about him in clutch situations, big games, or whatnot, Alex Rodriguez still goes out there and plays hard every day.

Jeter must really be hurting, because he would play with an amputated hand, let alone a bad bruise. Damon must really be sore too.

The Yankees have thrown themselves into a bind tonight. With Jeter, Damon, and Sheffield unavailable, Kelly Stinnet is the only replacement off Joe Torre bench. Mariano, Farnsworth and Proctor have pitched a lot lately.

I can't remember a contending team being this injured in a long time. Credit to the few healthy Yankees, because we're still in 1st place.

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

May 30th @ Detroit W 11-6

Damon. Sheffield. Both out of the lineup with lingering injuries. Derek Jeter hurting. Posada still recovering. What do the Yankees do? Explode for 11 runs.

Melky is argueably having a better year than Damon. He's flashing more power lately too, hitting a beautiful triple and adding a double tonight. He has pushed his slugging percentage to .409, and his on base percentage to .407.

Sheffield looks to be out for at least two more days. I am very concerned about him. He still has a broken bone in his wrist, which could mean that he will need surgery. Melky is playing great, but we'll be hurting to win without Sheffield.

Why is Scott Erickson on this team? Brian Cashman, get this "proven veteran" off Torre's roster, or else he is going to use him. Word is that when Hill goes down Darrell Rasner will be called up (Matt Smith needs to wait 10 days to be recalled). Rasner could be huge, but is better served as a starter instead of a reliever.

The Yankee bullpen needs a rest. Luckily, Mussina takes the mound tomorrow. Mo looked as good as he ever has tonight, but he will probably be unavailable tomorrow. If the Yankees need reinforcements, Ramiro Mendoza had another phenominal start today, allowing no runs on two hits and two walks in 6 innings while striking out four. Depth is a great thing to have, but you have to use it. Send Erickson and Hill down and call up Rasner and Mendoza.

First place is a glorious thing. With Mussina on the mound tomorrow and the Red Sox unable to beat the Jays, we may just gain sole possession tomorrow. And the Sox will be pushed down to 3rd. Talk about battling through injuries.

Monday, May 29, 2006

May 29 @ Detroit W 4-0

Strange things happen in baseball.

Randy Johnson, who hasn't had a good start in recent memory, brought a no hitter through 5 2/3. The Tigers, even when they got good wood on the ball, just couldn't buy a hit. Even Gary Sheffield made a nice play.

Hopefully the next outing is just as good for Randy. If he can get himself back on track, then we've got quite the playoff rotation.

Ron Villone again showed Joe Torre why he should be put into closer games. Maybe he'll get into a few big spots in the coming days.

Jeter has been added to the long list of Yankees who have missed time for injury this year. Of Yankee position players, just Arod, Cairo, Phillips, Stinnet, and Melky Cabrera have not missed some time for injury. Fortunately, Jeter should be back tomorrow.

The Designated Hitter.... Terence Long?!

New Lineup for today

CF Damon
SS Jeter
RF Sheffield (good to see him return)
1b Giambi
3b Rodriguez
C Posada
2b Cano
DH Long
LF Cabrera

Torre announced yesterday that Cabrera would be a regular for the remainder of the year, even after Crosby returns. Good job Joe.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

May 28 vs Kansas City W 6-5

Thank you Larry Bowa and Melky Cabrera.

I almost stopped watching after the second inning. I figured "It'll be an interesting little 37-5 blowout".

Didn't happen. The Yankees ended the game in a pathetic way, going 20 up 20 down for the rest of the way. The Yankee bullpen slowly gave that lead away.

Joe Torre needs to use Ron Villone more. Scott Proctor seems to have lost it, just like the 2005 version of Tanyon Sturtze. Joe Torre, even though it became clear that Sturtze was no longer an effective pitcher, continued to trust his "proven pitcher" in Tanyon Sturtze. Hopefully Proctor can be an effective pitcher, but he doesn't look so good right now.

It's good to see Damon's power returning. Hopefully Giambi is all right.

Saturday, May 27, 2006

May 27 vs Kansas City L 15-4

Now that's more like it.

Everything went right today, besides Wang only be average. Alex Rodriguez is officially back on track. Kelly Stinnet and Miguel Cairo somehow went a combined 7-9 with 7 RBI, 1 HR and 2bs, which made up for 1-4 in the lineup going 3-18 with a walk.

Another win tomorrow would be nice.

May 27 vs Kansas City L 7-6

Ok, no sweep.

Mike Mussina showed the difference between himself and Randy Johnson tonight. His fastball was not working at all in the first inning. He couldn't control it, and his velocity was down. After getting hit, what does Mussina do? Does he break down and give up four home runs? No, Mussina made an adjustment, in this case he started throwing curveballs like crazy, and held the Orioles down.

It seemed to me like Torre pulled him a little bit too early.

Proctor and Farnsworth failed to get the job done. However, Torre almost made the problem worse by allowing Mike Myers to pitch to two right handed batters. Not good a good move.

Giambi almost was a hero. I would have loved to see Arod take the final at bat in the game, considering that he had three big hits already in the game.

Hey, at least we couldn't have drawn a better pitching matchup tomorrow.

Friday, May 26, 2006

New Lineup

CF Damon
SS Jeter
DH Sheffield
1b Giambi
3b Rodriguez
2b Cano
RF Williams
LF Cabrera
C Stinnet

Not bad, everything considered. Imagine placing Posada in there? Our lineup would look pretty scary once again.

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Broom Time

The Yankees are getting a break this weekend. In a three game series against the Royals, the Yankees are facing the best set of three pitching matchups they could possibly draw.

Tomorrow, Mike Mussina faces the best Royal starter, Scott Elarton. Elarton is 0-5 with a 4.71 ERA. That tells you how good the Royals are.

The following game, Chien-Ming Wang faces Jeremy Affeldt, who is 2-4 with a 6.51 ERA. Our second best starter against their one of their worst.

The series concludes with our third best starter (I can't believe I just typed that) Jaret Wright (assuming he does not miss with a small groin injury) faces Runelvys Hernandez, who is probably the worst starter in the major leagues.

We must sweep. There is no excuse to not sweep the Kansas City Royals. They are 10-34 on the season, on track to finish as the worst team in my lifetime. They have one, maybe two, above average hitters (Mark Grudzielanke and Esteban German).

I say let Posada and Damon sit, maybe DH. We face the powerhouse Detroit Tigers on Monday.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

May 24 @ Boston W 8-6

Another classic game tonight. I'm short on time, so I am going to bullet point some of this.

  • David Ortiz, enjoy the tequilla. 4 strikeouts.
  • Manny Ramirez, it took awhile, but hopefully Mariano taught you a lession. You are the #1 Yankee killer during my life time. I would respect you if you were not a worthless scumbag showboater. But you can hit. Next time, pick a less sacred sport please.
  • Melky Cabrera, hopefully now Torre will not bench you in favor of Terrence Long.
  • Derek Jeter, that was one hell of a throw to end the game.
  • Bernie Williams, you may finally be useful again. Keep it up.
  • Joe Torre, you finally made the a good, yet difficult, decision. Melky Cabrera was the clear choice for the #1 slot with Damon out, but he's also a 21 year old rookie. No beat writer would fault you for using Terrence Long or Robinson Cano to fill the void, but you exercised your best option and wrote Melky's name into the lineup. My hat is off to you.

Oh yes, it's injury report time.

Jaret Wright may miss a start with slight groin pull. Hopefully this does not throw him off his recently rediscovered pitching ability.

Jorge Posada may have a strained hamstring. If he goes on the DL, Kelly Stinnet (batting .175) starts batting every day. Ouch.

Damon's foot is hurting. He'll enjoy his day off.

Gary Sheffield is playing with an injured hand.

They really need this off day. By the way, Matt Smith is back with the team.

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

May 23 @ Boston W 7-5

Despite the bullpen making it close, this one a very encouraging game. Lots of things happened. Too much for me to write in my usual long-winded prose.

  • Long did not get a hit. Hopefully Melky will be back out there tomorrow.
  • The Yankees won. Against Tim Wakefield. Finally.
  • Mariano Rivera absolutely destroyed the batters he faced, including David Ortiz with men on.
  • Johnny Damon, who had hit just one extra base hit since May 4th, hit a home run and a double.
  • Could Jaret Wright actually be a useful pitcher? Hopefully this groin concern doesn't mean anything. He has a 2.8 ERA in May.
  • Alex Rodriguez took a huge weight off his back, even though he didn't even realise he hit a home run. The opposite of Manny Ramirez, who should be plunked in the head.
  • Andy Phillips is quietly hitting the ball pretty well.

Randy Johnson, don't fail me now.

New Lineup

Damon CF
Jeter SS
Sheffield DH
Rodriguez 3b
Posada C
Cano 2b
Williams LF
Long RF
Phillips 1b

Taking Melky Cabrera (a breaking ball hitter) out of the lineup for Terrence friggin Long...

Maybe a day off is the answer to Giambi's problems.

May 23 @ Boston L 9-5

Terrence Long sucks. Oh dear god, he sucks. He probably missed two if not three balls in the outfield that should have been outs. He allowed a key runner to advance by throwing to the wrong base. He didn't even manage a hit off of Keith Foulke, who allowed five straight balls hit hard enough or nearly hard enough to be home runs.

This was the one pitching matchup that really favored us. Wang looked great for some of the game, but was not able to keep the ball low in the zone near the end of the game. The Yankee defense (*cough* Long) didn't help him out, but Wang allowing all those hard line drives and fly balls isn't helping himself.

We need to take an unexpected win in this series. We cannot lose three games. Steve at believes that there is a chance at Steinbrenner taking a shot at firing Torre if the Yankees continue to lose. I don't see that happening, but I can dream can't I?

Maybe that last inning against Foulke (who we absolutely own, don't we?) sent a message to the Red Sox. Gary Sheffield may be in the lineup again tomorrow. Wouldn't it be nice to see Damon-Jeter-Sheffield-Rodriguez-Giambi again?

Monday, May 22, 2006

Its Going to Be a (Terrence) Long Series

Terence Long sucks. There is no other way to put it. Long is a bad defensive player who cannot hit for average, power, patience, or even steal a base. Being batless and gloveless, there is a reason that Long found himself jobless this offseason.

He is worse than Bubba Crosby. Worse than Bernie Williams. Worse than Melky Cabrera. He is plan D, but unfortunately, he turned 30 last February (interestingly, on February 29th), so he's officially in Torre's favor.

He will get starting time over better options than him. It will not surprise me to see him regularly circling fly balls in left field over Melky once Sheffield returns.

That all said, the Yankees are certainly stockpiling reinforcements at the AAA level. In addition to Long, the Yankees have former major leaguers Carlos Pena, Erubiel Durazo, Richard Hidalgo and Ramiro Mendoza. The Yankee bench, a sorespot all year, could potentially look like:

(Lineup Damon/Jeter/Sheffield/Arod/Giambi/Posada/DH/Cano/Melky)

Erubiel Durazo (DH)
Bernie Williams (DH/OF)
Carlos Pena 1b
Kelly Stinnet
Bubba Crosby/Terence Long/Richard Hidalgo

And a bullpen of:


Of course, this would require the Yankees to make some tough decisions (dumping Phillips, Small and Erickson). Darrel Rasner could also make a good starter.

Still, that would be a decent 4 man bench and Durazo would add a lot to the lineup.

Sunday, May 21, 2006

May 21 @ New York L 4-3

Tough win.

All things considered, the Yankees' play this weekend is pretty encouraging. Considering that today we were minus Farnsworth, Rivera, Proctor, Chacon and Posada (not to mention Matsui, Sheffield, Sturtze, Crosby, Dotel and Pavano), we were at a strong disadvantage against the Mets. The Red Sox lost, so we didn't lose any ground.

Aaron Small once again proved why he found himself in AA at age 34 last year. Small has now allowed 5 home runs in 15 innings this year.

Bernie played one hell of a game today, even though his second "double" was really a botched infield pop up. Still, 5 times on base in 5 attempts is something special. In the month of May, Bernie has posted a respectable .790 in the month of May.

Joe Torre made a big mistake letting Mike Myers pitch to Carlos Beltran in a close game. He got lucky and got the out, but Myers makes right handed hitters look like Albert Pujols.

Alex Rodriguez is starting to worry me. I thought that he was coming around last week, but his turnaround did not last. He went 0-4 tonight with a walk, leaving seven on base.

Gary Sheffield may be back sooner than we all thought. Unfortunately, it won't be soon enough to make the Red Sox series.

The Melky Way

Joe Torre is notorious for not trusting his young players. One sometimes has to wonder what would have happened had Derek Jeter or Bernie Williams come up initially through the farm system during Torre's reign.

Robinson Cano was a special case last year. Not only did Cano come up during Torre's tenure, but he also struggled at first. Torre still wrote his name into the lineup every day, even while Cano was batting south of .150. My theory is that Brian Cashman forced Cano into the lineup.

This year, Torre initially did not show any respect for Melky Cabrera. He took him out for a defensive replacement late into games, despite Melky's defensive reputation. From the New York Daily News:

"As for Melky, who didn't have any errors charged to him in left field last night but seemed to have an awful lot of balls dropping in around him, Torre acknowledged: "He's in a foreign land and he's got to prove to himself he's capable. It's not his fault he wasn't supposed to be up here yet."

Things may have changed last night. Melky Cabrera may have won the game with a brilliant at bat against William Wagner last night, drawing an 11-pitch walk after going down 0-2. He looked like the antithesis of Robinson Cano. Wagner seemed to lose his control after Melky fought him so hard, resulting in a Yankee rally. Torre commented:

"Torre called Cabrera's at-bat "wonderful. Spectacular, really." Alex Rodriguez said Cabrera "laid off some nasty pitches. I was on second and they looked so hard to lay off." If Wagner had thrown good pitches to Cabrera, they were his last of the day, because he walked Kelly Stinnett on four pitches, then hit pinch-hitter Bernie Williams with his next delivery, bringing Willie Randolph out of the dugout to yank him."
Melky may have entered Torre's "circle of trust". This is a good thing for Melky fans. Hopefully he can replace Bernie in that circle once Sheffield returns and Damon heals.

Damon Needs to Sit

Johnny Damon is officially hitting at below the average level of a major league player. His season line has come down to .269/.346/.404. He started out very strong, batting .312/.400/.512 in the month of April. However, he injured both his shoulder and his foot banging up against walls against Boston. Due to these injuries, Damon is batting .218/.274/.282 in May.

We need Damon's bat in the lineup. We don't need Tony Womack's bat. Johnny Damon needs to heal, or else he could produce this poorly for the rest of the year. When we get back to American League play, he should DH. Our outfield may have to consist of Bernie Williams, Melky Cabrera, and Kevin Reese for that time, but that is a step that we will have to take. He may even have to sit some of those days.

Last season, Damon suffered a shoulder injury but elected to play through it. He batted .343/.386/.473 before the all star break and .282/.343/.397 after.

Could Be a Tough Night

We have a problem. Mariano and Proctor both have gone three innings in the past two days. They have both worked quite a bit over the past week. They both should be unavailable tonight, for we have a series against Boston coming up.

The problem? Kyle Farnsworth may also be unavailable. That means that our available bullpen tonight will consist of:

Mike Myers
Ron Villone
Scott Erickson
Colter Bean

Thats it.

The Yankees should consider calling up another arm.

Saturday, May 20, 2006

May 20 @ New York W 5-4

I was prepared to write a little entry about why the Yankees did not deserve to win today. Well... they won.

Joe Torre should not have put Miguel Cairo in left field. Miguel Cairo has played left field in the past - in desperate situations. Early in the game, Cairo showed why he only plays left field in desperate situations when he misjudged a fly ball and let it get behind him. Thanks to the misjudgement, the Mets scored two runs.

Moose pitched his heart out, as did Pedro. Moose now has 59 strikeouts and just 10 walks in 66 2/3 innings. We are so lucky to have him this year.

I was skeptical about Scott Proctor when he started to succeed at the begining of this season. But the guy was just nasty today. He is looking unhittable out there. Mariano also looked scary today, throwing some really sharp cutters out there.

Jorge Posada must be suffering, because Kelly Stinnet batted in the 9th with the game on the line. Hopefully he can play tomorrow, as we'll need all our bullets against Glavine.

Hopefully Melky and Phillips scored some brownie points today. Melky especially. He very quietly is batting .310/.433/.310. The power has not come, but those are incredible on base skills for a 21 yea old. If Damon needs to rest for a game, Melky should lead off.

No injuries today. Rejoice.

New Lineup

Damon CF
Jeter SS
Giambi 1b
Rodriguez 3b
Cano 2b
Cairo LF
Cabrera RF
Stinnet C
Mussina P

Miguel friggin Cairo. Why is Kevin Reese even on this roster? I keep asking the same question. We're not even facing a lefty.

Fire this bastard.

Update: The Yankees decided that they would need the extra arm, so they called up Colter Bean and sent Mitch Jones down. Probably a good move, considering that Farnsworth may be unavailable.

Friday, May 19, 2006

May 19th @ New York L 7-6

Jorge Posada drew the short straw today. He had to suffer the daily injury, although Kyle Farnsworth drew the "middle straw", both with back pain.

To recap:

May 18th: Bubba Crosby injures hamstring running out of the box
May 17th: Carl Pavano leaves minor league game, later revealing that he needs surgery
May 16th: Shawn Chacon aggravates a bruised knee
May 15th: Jason Giambi injures his neck
May 14th: No injury (two days!)
May 13th: No injury
May 12th: Hideki Matsui breaks his wrist.

"Limping" doesn't quite cover it. Barely able to turn the wheels on the wheelchair might. Oh, and Eric Duncan and Jose Tabata are both injured too.

Randy Johnson is worse than Jaret Wright right now. He is actually the weak link in our rotation. Who would have thought? This feels like David Cone 2000.

If Jorge misses even a game, we're in trouble. Still, Brian Cashman should not go out and trade the farm away. If we have to limp around with Reese and Melky in the outfield for awhile, then so be it. This organization has a future and that future is two years away from one hell of a prospect base.

Edit: Add Bernie Williams to the injured list. Finally some good news.

Bubba Down

Bubba Crosby was placed on the 15 DL with a strained hamstring.

The Yankees purchased the contract of Mitch Jones from AAA Columbus.

What does Kevin Thompson have to do?

Imagine the outfield if Damon gets injured:

RF Melky Cabrera
LF Kevin Reese
CF (and I'll cry) Bernie Williams

Thursday, May 18, 2006

May 18 vs Texas L 6-2

We just weren't destined to win tonight.

As both a fan and critic of the Yankees, I have a tendency to get worked up over every loss. You know something, we're going to lose some games.

Joe Torre showed unusual discipline in the 9th, allowing Villone and Erickson to eat up the inning so he could rest his normal bullpen guys. Erickson showed us all why no one would sign him to a major league contract over the winter. Straight fastball, 87 Mph sinker, and no control. Luckily, word on the street is Dotel could be ready by June.

After playing stellar defense prior to this series, Cano blew the game today. These things happen, but they don't get less frustrating.


Anyone see the outlier?

Bernie in CF tonight

Melky is in RF, Bubba in left. Damon is getting a DH day, as his foot continues to bother him. Melky also bats 7th tonight.

I love Torre's logic. "Let's put our two good CFers in the corner positions, and our worst OF in CF".

No Posada tonight either. He gets a day-after-night day off.

Why is Kevin Reese even here? I don't understand putting Bernie in the outfield for Jaret Wright start instead of for "ground ball freak" (as Steve Lombardi of calls him) Wang.

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

May 17 vs Texas - W 4-3

After a string of early exits, the Yankees needed Wang to give the bullpen a break tonight. In typical Wang fashion, he managed 8 innings while only throwing 80 pitches.

Mariano Rivera finally had a 1-2-3 inning, protecting a fragile lead in the 9th.

Jorge Posada came to play once again. And to think I wanted him traded during the offseason?

Not much more to say. Arod, Jeter, and Posada are stepping it up when the team needs it most. And did Giambi hustle on that double or what? That was definately unexpected.

Jaret Wright starts tomorrow. He could have a job for a little longer, because Carl Pavano left his rehab start today in AA Trenton after one inning. Oh Pavano...

Email That I Recieved

(Sorry for the small text)

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5/16 Graph

This graph measures each team's chance of winning a single game at each out. As you can see, the Rangers enjoyed a 99% winning percentage after Chacon left, but the tide turned on Derek Jeter's home run. Jorge had the biggest night, turning an ~85% chance at a Ranger win into a Yankee victory with one swing. (click to enlarge)

Courtesy of

Bust? Don't Speak So Soon

Brian Cashman took a lot of flak for picking C.J. Henry over Craig Hansen. With J.B. Cox nearly matching Hansen's production in the minors (albeit at AA), a good performance by Henry could tip the balance toward the Yankees over the Red Sox. Thing is, Henry had a bad rookie ball season and was batting below .200 half a month into the season before going on the DL.

Since coming off the DL on May 8th, Henry is 11-29 (.379) with 4 doubles, 1 HR and 1 3b (.689 Slg%), plus two walks (.448 OBP).

After going 3-4 last night with a triple, Henry raised his season numbers to .276/.354/.500.

He's got tremendous offensive potential. If he can find some consistency, he'll be something special.

Tuesday, May 16, 2006


Scott Proctor has pitched in 18 of the Yankees' 37 games this season, throwing a stunning 26 innings. At this rate, he is on track for 113 innings on the year.

Farnsworth and Rivera have also both pitched a decent amount too. This season echos of the QuanGorMo days, where Torre blew out three relievers by September, leaving the Red Sox to come back in the postseason against an exausted Yankee bullpen.

The blame does not rest with Joe Torre. Torre has made some dumb decisions, but he isn't at fault as much as the front office is here.

The Yankee bullpen consists of:

Mariano Rivera/Kyle Farnsworth/Scott Proctor
Mike Myers
Ron Villone
Scott Erickson/Aaron Small.

The top three right handers in Pro-Farn-Mo are all pitching pretty well (though Mo and Farnsworth could pitch better, but it's too early to worry at this point), and are being used in all the Yankee close wins. Mike Myers is a 40-inning pre season guy, pitching to one batter at a time. Ron Villone is an average lefty who handles same-side batters pretty well but is exposed against right-handers (although, unlike Myers, he doesn't make them all look like Barry Bonds).

Those five pitchers are fine. However, the bottom two are not. They are the Yankees' long relievers. As demonstrated tonight, sometimes a starter-like appearance is neccessary out of the bullpen. Thing is, we don't need two pitchers for that. Only one of Aaron Small or Scott Erickson really needs to be in this bullpen.

So, we have a big bullpen with limited options. Let's take a scenario. 7th inning, Yankees on the mound with a two run lead. The opposing batters align R-L-R-S-R, and the Yankee starter is done. Who do you bring in? Torre certainly cannot bring in Erickson or Small. He would have trouble bringing in Myers, because he would only see one left handed batter. Villone isn't a great option, because he also would only see one left handed batter. Proctor or Farnsworth are his only options.

The Yankee front office cannot afford to have both Myers and two long relievers in the bullpen. If we have a couple of big blow outs, former starter Ron Villone can fill in. Otherwise, the Yankees need an effective right handed batter to take the load off the big three.

I've written plenty about our stacked bullpen in Columbus. Colter Bean, Jose Veras, and Mark Corey combined for 4 2/3 scoreless innings today, striking out five, walking one, and allowing just two hits. One of these guys (or Mendoza or Bergman) should be up to lend a hand over Erickson.

Tanyon Sturtze was pitching like crazy in 2005 through May. My faint memory thinks that he had a 27 to 2 strikeout to walk ratio while allowing just three runs all month. However, he was also on track to pick something like 140 innings. Let's not repeat that again.

Octavio Dotel will be back relatively soon. Until then, Proctor needs some aid.

May 16th vs Texas W 14-13

I love baseball.

My friends and I were supposed to go out tonight at 9. At 8:45, I called them up and told them to leave without me. I don't know what it was, but I felt the comeback in the air. Did anyone else feel that way? The moment that Derek Jeter stole third, I called the comeback. They just seemed to have some serious fight in them tonight.

Can I really deride Joe Torre after the Yankees played that game? I'm going to give the Yankee front office a type-lashing, but Torre didn't make any serious mistakes. I would have prefered keeping Villone in the lineup a little longer. With a bullpen as tired as the Yankees have right now, it's a waste to keep him in for just one pitch, but I can understand going to Proctor. I kind of fault Cashman and friends more than Torre for Proctor's overuse. But that is for another article.

This is one of those games that will be on the YES network for years. If we finish the season in a tight division race, this is the game that we will remember. You can go a dozen years without seeing a game like this. I can't wait to see's WPA graph tomorrow.

And we did it all without Matsui, Giambi, or Sheffield.

One big thing that people will miss in the drama of tonight is the performance of Andy Phillips. He went 2-5 with two doubles. With some big bats hurting, Andy Phillips could supply some much needed offense out there if he finds his stroke. Remember, he is the guy who consistently hit .300/.380/.570 at AAA.

Melky Cabrera, despite fumbling every ball ever hit off the stands in LF, has 4 OF assists. Maybe that will buy him enough trust from Joe Torre to label him superior defensively to Bernie Williams?

Almost Spit My Drink Out

Kimberly Jones:

(not an exact quote) "I talked to Joe. He said that there is not a lot of rhyme or reason to the lineup tonight. He moved Arod up to 3rd, and knew he wanted to keep Cano 5th. He thought about putting Bernie 4th, but instead decided to move Jorge up".

I have no words.

Torre Article

From The New York Sun,

Joe Torre has for many years been lauded as an operational genius, mostly because it's in the nature of things for a manager who's won four World Series to be held up as a great leader. But it's also because his tactical and strategic failings in everything from in-game management to setting up a sustainable bullpen rotation are evident to all, including the paid shills who work for the Yankees' broadcast network.

It would be a lot more accurate to say that Torre is a manager of average strengths and weaknesses whose skill in dealing with organizational politics, handling egos, and dealing with the press make him particularly well-suited to his situation, and whose weaknesses in judging talent and defining roles for players who aren't superstars make him particularly ill-suited to it. On balance, any manager with Torre's record must be judged a success, and he'll earn his plaque in Cooperstown one day, but he deserves a lot more blame for the Yankees' various problems than he ever gets.

Just look at this weekend's series against Oakland. In place of the injured Gary Sheffield and Hideki Matsui, Torre started Melky Cabrera and Bernie Williams, and in yesterday's lineup found room for Bubba Crosby at the expense of Andy Phillips, who hasn't hit a lick yet, but is twice as good a hitter as any of the Yankees' corps of no-hit scrub outfielders.

Giambi May Be Out

Jason Giambi strained his neck on the diving play in the 3rd inning last night. He may miss a game. The Yankees are performing tests on him right now.

If Giambi misses a game, our lineup would look something like:

Damon CF
Jeter SS
Arod 3b
Cano 2b
Posada C
Phillips 1b
Bernie DH
Bubba RF
Melky LF

Though I would suggest:

Damon DH
Jeter SS
Arod 3b
Posada C
Cano 2b
Phillips 1b
Bubba CF
Melky LF
Reese RF


Monday, May 15, 2006

May 15 vs Texas 4-2 L

It's official, the Yankees miss Sheffield and Matsui.

It seems to me like the Yankees are very jumpy without them. As was the case against Haren last night, everyone is swinging and making outs early. The Yankees have walked 166 times this year, good for 4th in the American League. However, the Yankees haven't managed to draw one since the 4th inning on May 13th against Oakland. Their patience is obviously lacking right now.

We have 5 more games until Sheffield is eligible to come off the DL, and two of those in Fenway. Giambi, Damon, Posada, and the bottom of the lineup need to pick it up. Otherwise, we could be going into Fenway 3 games out.

At least we're pitching well. Mussina looked sharp today, didn't he?

Sunday, May 14, 2006

May 14th vs Oakland - L 6-1

Lots of streaks came to an end today. Payton finally hit a home run. Randy Johnson allowed his first home run to a lefty in over a year. The Yankees finally lost during the day time.

I half expected Jason Kendall to hit one into the right field bleachers.

Oh well. Encouraging start by Randy Johnson today. He looked good after the first inning, only allowing Payton to beat him. You'd like to see more strikeouts, but Randy induced quite a few easy ground balls. He faces the Mets next time out, so he'll have his work cut out for him.

This offense is really struggling without Sheffield and Matsui. Sheffield is eligible to come off the DL one week from today, at which time we will be getting ready to face the Red Sox. Considering that we're throwing out Wang, Wright, and Randy Johnson agains the Sox, we'll need the offense. Haren just owned us today.

Erickson pitched pretty poorly today. The move looks even worse after Mendoza's start tonight. 6 innings pitched, 3 hits, 1 walk, and four strikeouts. Need a long reliever?

To make matter worse for Cashman's decision, Joses Veras relieved him, pitching one inning so far and striking out two without allowing a baserunner.

Another lineup

Damon DH
Jeter SS
Giambi 1b
Rodriguez 3b
Cano 2b
Posada C
Bernie RF
Crosby CF
Cabrera LF

At least Torre dropped Bernie down. But why not start Reese against the right handed Haren?

Prediction: Randy Johnson pitches a quality start.

Saturday, May 13, 2006

We get Erickson

I am going to present a list of six pitchers for AAA Columbus. I will not name them. I will simply post their stats.

Pitcher A: 2.52 ERA, 34 SO, 6 BB, and 33 hits in 32 innings.
Pitcher B: .77 ERA, 30 SO, 11 BB, and 14 hits in 23.1 innings. *
Pitcher C: 4.14 ERA, 11 SO, 11 BB, and 11 hits in 17 innings.
Pitcher D: 2.81 ERA, 20 SO, 7 BB, and 15 hits in 16 innings. *
Pitcher E: 2.66 ERA, 21 SO, 3 BB, and 20 hits in 20.1 innings.
Pitcher F: 1.80 ERA, 7 SO, 3 BB, and 7 hits in 10.1 innings (between AAA and MLB) *

* - On 40 man roster

You tell me. In what order would you rank these pitchers?

Hell, just tell me, "Who is the worst pitcher on this list?".

Would it be pitcher C?

What if I told you that the Yankees just called up pitcher C to replace Tanyon Sturtze?

Is there some sort of requirement in the Yankees bullpen that Joe Torre needs some crappy pitcher to put runners on for Scott Proctor?

May 13 vs Oakland W 4-3

Oh Tanyon Sturtze. What will I ever write about without you blowing every other game?

I missed most of the game today, as I had the chance to watch the Devils fend off elimination in the Meadowlands.

Jaret Wright pitched well, but like the bad pitcher he is, he only managed to go 5 innings. Still, a win is a win.

Is anyone else a little concerned about the Yankee offense? 2 runs yesterday, only four today. This lineup is looking very thin.

Jason Giambi started at DH tonight. In 42 plate appearances as the designated hitter, Giambi has hit .219/.422/.563. In his other 89 appeances, Giambi has hit .323/.543/.790.

He should not be starting more than a handful of games at DH. Joe Torre, put Giambi in the field.

And is anyone else disturbed that Torre considers Bernie a better defensive player than Melky?

Talk About a Reduced Lineup

Damon CF
Jeter SS
Giambi DH
Rodriguez 3b
Bernie RF
Cano 2b
Phillips 1b
Stinnet C
Cabrera LF

Losing Posada really makes this lineup look a lot more thin. Torre should consider DHing him.

Friday, May 12, 2006

May 12 vs Oakland W 2-0

Yesterday, a question arose among Yankee fans. "Can they do it? Can the Yankees overcome the losses of Gary Sheffield and Hideki Matsui?"

The Yankees stepped it up in a big way today. Chien Ming Wang was as dominant as a pitcher can be... without striking out a single batter. Wang pitched 8 inning and faced just 25 batters. He was on his game, getting twenty ground ball outs. And he did it all with just 85 pitches.

Rivera struggled in the 9th, but the Yankee's 5th double play of the night prevented any runs from crossing the plate.

Zito pitched a rare gem against the Yankees. You know that the Yankees are banged up when they can't get to Barry Zito. But Wang and the defense came through, and Alex Rodriguez hit the big home run for the second time in three nights.

Hell, Giambi even stole a base.

Torre probably shouldn't have hit Bernie 5th, considering that Posada and Cano are both clearly better hitters than he (and argueably so are Melky and Phillips...), but he hit a big blast so we'll forgive Torre tonight.

Good old fashion pitching and defense wins... where were they all this time?

Outfield Platoon

We have five outfielders. Johnny Damon is set (although Rotoworld says his shoulder may be bothering him, which is exactly what we need right now) , but the combination of Bubba Crosby, Bernie Williams, Melky Cabrera, and Kevin Reese will need to fill the corner spots.

Billy Bean's philosophy is essentially "The real injury replacements don't come from your bench. Bench players aren't good enough to play every day. The real replacements you keep down at AAA, allowing them to get better. A good baseball organization trusts it's depths guys"

Based on Torre's comments following Sheffield's injury, I fully expect Melky Cabrera to play full time. He will play RF, and play it quite well. I have full faith in Melky's ability to hit for average, discipline, and a little bit of power. Being a switch hitter, he shouldn't end up on the bench too often.

Left field is a little tougher. Kevin Reese is probably the best option against right handed pitchers. Against left handers, the choice is harder. The best option would probably be Brian Cashman dropping Tanyon Sturtze and adding Kevin Thompson, but Bernie Williams is the likely choice. He's bashing lefties right now, in a very limited amount at bats, so maybe he can be productive in that role. Torre will likely play Bernie every day, which is a huge mistake.

Hey, at least the outfield defense will be good.

Oh, and Rotoworld also has Dotel coming close. He's throwing 95, and tossed two innings of minor league ball. He's not throwing breaking balls yet, but he can't be more than a few weeks away. Reinforcements are good.

Matsui Hurt

I was at the game today. Immediately after Matsui fell, I saw the look on his and Damon's face and went "Shit".

Predictions range on Matsui being back anywhere from one month to four. As of now, any prediction is premature. Matsui will have surgery tomorrow and then we'll have a time table. From my experience, these things are usually forecast are more serious than reality early on. My guess is Matsui will be back in July.

Brian Cashman's next move will be determined by the Yankees' internal knowledge of Gary Sheffield's injury. If he will be back in two weeks or so, then the Yankees probably should suck it up and stand pat. If he will be gone for a month or more, then the Yankees might consider a deal. What options do the Yankees have?

1. Promote Kevin Reese/Thompson. Reese might be more useful for a left handed bat, even though Thompson is probably the better overall player.

2. Promote Brett Gardner. Yeah, he's only in Tampa, but the Yankees are pretty desperate right now. Although rare, college players are sometimes called up straight from High-A ball, especially in desperate times like these. It probably won't happen, though Cashman might want to consider trying Gardner out in AA sooner rather than later. He would also have to displace someone (Henn, Karstens) on the 40-man.

3. Swing a trade. If both Matsui and Sheffield are likely out for a long time, then the Yankees may need to replace them with a respectable bat. Names like Reggie Sanders are going to be floating around in the coming days, but I would like to offer some alternatives. Lew Ford. Shannon Stewart. Craig Wilson. All options that wouldn't cost a Phil Hughes.

Looks like Melky will be with this team for longer than we thought. Melky may have a chance to make a permanent mark on the major leagues. In fact, with the current dirth of serious ROY candidates, Melky may be an outside contender.

It's grind time.

May 11 vs Boston L 5-3

"Hey, what's the worst that could happen?".

I don't know what to say. We lost the guy that we all least expected would go out. Hideki Matsui - especially if he is out for two or three months - is a major loss. This isn't Gary Sheffield going on the DL for two weeks. It's been awhile since a major Yankee injury to a position player (Not counting Aaron Boone). The last one that I can remember was Giambi in 2004, and Jeter in 2003 before that.

It was a good game. Shawn Chacon got bailed out by Bubba Crosby and Johnny Damon, who supplied some serious web gems. Cano also made a pretty little catch. Chacon was throwing a lot of pitches, managing to go only 4 2/3 innings.

The 6th inning really took the wind out of the Yankees. The outs just wouldn't come. 4 pitchers, 1 inning? At least Myers got a few past Ortiz. I can't really fault Torre for using Sturtze (although Farnsworth or Rivera would have been the money moves, strictly speaking), because he was pretty much out of right handers, and he brought Villone right in. Can't fault Kyle Farnsworth either, as he got the last out even though a combination of Bernie and mother nature took it away from him.

It's time to buckle down. These next two weeks are going to define the season for the Yankees.

I am going to cover Matsui's injury in a seperate post.

Thursday, May 11, 2006

Weatherman, Don't Fail Me Now

I have my tickets for the game tonight in my hand. Beautiful seats. Right behind home plate. Now the game just needs to be played.

Has anyone else noticed that we face Brad Halsey this weekend?

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

May 10th vs Boston W 7-3

Fun game. It's good to finally beat the Red Sox.

I missed most of the game, as I was forced by the New Jersey Devils to have a screwdriver bore through my head. I caught some of it on the radio and the last two innings on TV.

Mike Mussina continues to impress. 6 wins in 7 starts? 20 might just be in store for Mussina. A 20 win season (and maybe a Cy Young award) might just be what Moose needs to push himself into the hall of fame. A ring wouldn't hurt either.

Alex Rodriguez forgot about his two errors pretty solidly. And Jason Giambi again showed why the Yankees gave him 20 million a year so long ago. It's also nice to see Jorge hit for a little power. He's been getting on base fine this season, but before tonight posted just a .407 slugging percentage.

Anyone want to tell me how Melky did? I am very interested in this kid's performance. Wish I was around for the game. Hopefully I'll see him close up tomorrow night, but the weather might not hold up.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

May 9th vs Boston 14-3 L

It's my birthday. Think that the Yankees could produce?

Randy Johnson looked to be back on the game at first. Although he walked two people, he got away pretty easily through the tough Red Sox hitters in the 1st. He looked very solid, keeping the Sox from making solid contact in the 2nd. Then the flood gates opened. Randy had gotten himself out of the inning, giving up a hard ground ball to Alex Rodriguez. However, Arod drop the ball, allowing a run to score and David Ortiz to reach. Johnson then tossed a pitch way over Posada's glove, allowing another run to score. Then he allows a single, but gets out of the inning on the next batter. The Yankees are still in the game.

So coming in to the 4th inning, Randy Johnson allows two men on with just one out. He then tosses another sky-high wild pitch, allowing the runners to advance, for Mark Loretta's 2 RbI single. Score is now 5-2. Ortiz then hits a double in the gap, and two men are on. Aaron Small comes in. After an epic at bat, Small comes up on top, causing Manny Ramirez to pop it up sky-high. Robinson Cano and Melky Cabrera can't decide who should catch it, and it falls in. Two more score. The game is officially out of hand.

It looks like Aaron Small isn't going to be what we wanted him to be. We may need a new long man. Sturtze stunk it up again in the 9th. Hopefully those two will be cut eventually in favor of Pavano and Dotel.

Yep, time to be worried about Randy Johnson. Johnson usually kills the Red Sox. He had nothing at all tonight. Granted, his defense did desert him, but that is no excuse. Randy let a ton of guys get on base.

At least Melky got two hits. Maybe his bat will keep him in the lineup after Sheffield comes back.

I fully expect Mike Mussina to get some revenge tomorrow night.

Monday, May 08, 2006

Sheff to the DL?

Melky Cabrera, who has been playing CF/LF/DH all year, makes his first start since spring training in right field.

Maybe the Yankees are preparing him to fill in for Gary Sheffield for a few weeks?

I hope so.

Sunday, May 07, 2006

May 7 @ Texas W 8-5

Oh Tanyon Sturtze. Sturtze's appearance tonight was a great thing for the Yankees. He came in to an easy situation, struggled, looked stupid, and the Yankees came out without significant damage after Scott Proctor saved him. Hopefully Joe Torre's mind is changed (he certainly looked pissed off during the game).

Good win. Good series. We swept a 1st place team in their ballpark. Matsui and Arod broke out of their slumps (though the previously hot trio of Jeter, Giambi, and Damon are batting under .200 this month) and our starting pitching looked excellent. All despite Gary Sheffield's injury (which may send him to the DL it turns out).

We're going to roll into the Boston series now. We're back home, our best pitchers will be on the hill, and we're on a big streak. Sheffield has an off day to rest his wrist.

Amount remaining on Joe Torre's contract: 12,083,333 dollars

Saturday, May 06, 2006

May 6th @ Texas - Win 6-1

Woohoo. A game without a big mistake to speak about! Works for me.

It's good to see Arod continue to break out of his slump. That was a pretty important home run at the time. It's also good to see Shawn Chacon pitch his third straight gem. Too bad mother nature prevented him from pitching like that against Boston.

I just got a ticket for the Boston game at the stadium on Thursday. Ten rows directly behind home plate. Thank you connections.

Wang tomorrow. Should be a good game. The Red Sox can't keep winning forever. We're rolling, and first place will be ours for awhile.

May 5th @ Texas W 8-7

Didn't catch much of the game last night. Last day of classes, Friday night. Sometimes baseball has to take a back seat. I glanced at the score on my cell phone and it says "8-1, top 7th". I go "All right, nothing big to tune in to". I glance back half an hour later and I see "8-7, bottom 9th". Not what I expected.

Joe Torre probably expectations for Aaron Small higher than he is worth. Now, he did come in to a blow out at the time, so I applaud Torre for trying to get him some work in when he shouldn't hurt the team too much, but give him a short hook for god's sake. At least he didn't bring Sturtze in.

Farnsworth stumbled. It happens. He's looked so good this season that I am not worried by one outing. Relief pitchers are human too.

Giambi, who was the AL's best player in April, seems to be cold right now. That would be a problem, if sleeping dragon hadn't been awakened. Alex Rodriguez, reigning AL MVP, is coming back with something. Plus Mussina was on his game.

Best storyline of the night? Arod being moved back to 5th. Why was this so great?


Manager Joe Torre said that batting Rodriguez fifth was unintentional. With Gary Sheffield back, Torre told bench coach Lee Mazzilli to move everyone down a spot, forgetting that Jason Giambi had been hitting third ahead of Rodriguez. That doesn't necessarily mean that he'll go back to the old way on Saturday. After all, the Yankees did score eight runs tonight.

Batting Arod 5th probably makes for a better lineup than batting him 4th. Torre finally changed the lineup around, after weeks of being pushed around by opponent's bullpens - by accident.

Hopefully it sticks. I'd prefer Sheffield lower than Arod, the superior hitter, but Arod hitting home runs behind a .500 OBP isn't bad either.

Amount remaining on Joe Torre's contract: 12,120,987 dollars

Friday, May 05, 2006

Why Phil Hughes is so great


After ringing up hitters in the Florida State League as if he were working a cash register at Wal-Mart, Hughes appeared rattled, was uncharacteristically wild and allowed seven hits and a career-high four earned runs before being lifted after six innings during a 5-3 loss to the R-Phils.

Renowned for his pinpoint control since being signed to a $1.4 million bonus as the 23rd player taken overall in the 2004 first-year player draft, Hughes walked two batters in a game for just the second time in 26 career outings. He fell behind 12 of the first 17 batters he faced, 15 of 26 for the game and unfurled a first inning wild pitch -- his first since May 25 of 2005 against Class-A Lakewood -- which accounted for the game's first run.

"I was maybe a little over excited, and it probably showed when I wasn't getting ahead of a lot of guys," Hughes (0-1) admitted.

"But it won't happen again I know that. I'll be a little more settled in for my next outing. It was just a case where I wasn't hitting my spots, I wasn't throwing strikes and when you do that you have to go back at them with hittable fastballs. It was just one of those things."

They say that the jump from A ball to AA is harder than the jump to the majors. I bolded some sentences that display just how good this kid is. We could very well see him in a September call up this year. Major leagues in 2007? You never know.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

May 4th @ Tampa Bay - W 10-5

Ugly win today. Sometimes this blog just writes itself.

The Yankees manage to bring in two runs on a two out rally, going ahead to a score of 6-5. It's the 7th inning. Randy Johnson gets two outs. There is a righty at the plate. Joe Torre, what do you do?

Torre brings in Tanyon Sturtze. Why Joe, why? This is like a broken record. Managers are paid to exercise their best options in game situations. Joe Torre continues to put the worst pitcher in his bullpen into important situations.

I don't know what to say. Brian Cashman needs to get rid of Tanyon Sturtze. That is the only way that we can Torre-proof this bullpen. Letting Myers face righties in big situations (Bases loaded in the 8th) hurts too.

Randy Johnson just can't beat Tampa and Toronto, can he? At least the Yankees gave him the run support you can usually expect when Doug Waechter is on the mound. Matsui seems to have corrected his problems. He's staying back on the ball and hitting hard line drives and foul bouls instead of weak choppers.

I'm not really liking what I am seeing out of Scott Proctor. He's getting lucky out there, allowing a lot of baserunners. If I were Cashman, I'd trade him while his value is so high.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

May 3rd @ Tampa Bay W 4-2

All two thousand fans at Tropicana Field today witnessed a thriller. Who would have thought that the matchup of Jaret Wright vs Cassey Fossum would become a pitcher's duel?

Tonight pretty thoroughly demonstrated some of the Yankee hitting troubles lately, but the game's journey was ended by two struggling hitters, which hopefully is a good sign.

Gary Sheffield was one of our "hot" hitters. We've been struggling to hit since he has been injured. Why? No team can survive on 3 hitters. For the past few games, we've been trying to win games with Johnny Damon, Derek Jeter, and Jason Giambi being the only players hitting well. Unfortunately, even with Jeter and Giambi hitting like Rickey Henderson and Babe Ruth, that isn't enough. This lineup is so dangerous because we can throw powerful hitters at you 1-8 (9 being Bernie Williams... 3-5 tonight). Problem is, when 4 of those powerful hitters are either not hitting well (Arod, Matsui), or not in the lineup (Sheffield, Posada), we have problems.

Luckily, Jaret Wright had a little Leo Mazzone sprite in his ear tonight saying "Use the Force Jaret, Use the Force". He pitched beautifully tonight, probably buying him another 5 days in the rotation.

Torre's decision to start Wright tonight was actually one that I support. Because of the nature of our current schedule - no off days for a little bit - even if he had skipped Wright, Wright would still have to make Saturday's start (which Chacon would have had without a rain-out) against Texas. I'll take my chances with Wright against Tampa Bay and Chacon against Texas over the other way around. Plus Wright probably would be hurt moreso than Chacon by the extra rest.

Tomorrow should be fun. Hopefully Sheffield reenters the lineup sometime soon.

Amount remaining on Joe Torre's contract: 12,156,864 dollars.

It's promotion time

One month has gone by. Throughout the Yankee system, some prospects are struggling, and some are thriving. One month into the season, let's look at some guys who should move up a level, including some guys who could improve our major league roster.

Phil Hughes recieved the first promotion of the year, after a stellar 5 starts in Tampa. He now moves on to his first big test - AA hitters. They say that the pitchers who fail at the jump to AA (often called the most difficult jump in a player's career, even tougher than AAA to the majors) are the ones with junk stuff. Hughes most definately does not throw junk. His 30 to 2 strikeout to walk ratio is as impressive as his 1.80 ERA and his only 19 hits allowed in 30 innings.

On that Trenton team, T.J. Beam has been rock solid out of the bullpen. After converting the 25 year old to the bullpen down in A ball, the Yankees added Beam to the 40-man roster. It looks like a good move now. Beam has pitched 18 innings out of the Trenton bullpen, allowing just one earned run (.5 ERA), while striking out 14 and walking just 4. He might make an impact in the Bronx this year, and we will almost certainly see him in a September call-up.

Speedster Brett Gardner has looked like vintage Chuck Knoblauch down in High-A Tampa. He's currently batting .372/.520/.500, in one of the most punishing pitcher's parks in minor leagues. He's shown power, speed (9 sb, though he was caught 4 times), and patience (23 walks). Time to see how he handles AA.

Now that brings us to some AAA guys who have earned a spot on the major league roster.

Tanyon Sturtze has been pitching... like Tanyon Sturtze. Who do we replace him with? Well, Colter Bean has pitched 16 innings out of the Columbus bullpen, allowing only one earned run, while striking out 19 and allowing just 10 hits. The sidearmer is on the 40-man for a reason. He's torn up AAA for three years. He deserves a chance. Too bad Torre hates young pitchers.

Jose Veras has also done quite a job. He has struck out 17 in 11 innings, allowing 4 earned runs in the process. He's a fireballing right hander. Could certainly do better than Sturtze.

And now that brings me to the big one. On May 2nd, 2005, the Yankees had decided that Tony Womack's bat was killing the team, hitting .280/.330/.329. They called up 22 year old Robinson Cano, then batting .333/.368/.574 for AAA Columbus. They turned things around pretty quickly.

Well, it's May 3rd, 2005. 22 year old Melky Cabrera is hitting .373/.429/.529 for AAA Columbus. Bernie Williams is hitting .217/.262/.283. Melky Cabrera can do a better job, while actually playing defense.

Bernie is actually on track for the worst hitting performance in Yankee history. I respect Bernie so much, but he needs to retire.

Monday, May 01, 2006

May 1st @ Boston - L 7-3

I go to school at Providence College. So do half of the Catholics in Massachusetts, including three die hard Red Sox fans who live in the same room as me. Every time that David Ortiz hits a dramatic one, there are fifteen guys running into my room screaming like little schoolgirls.

Oh well. It's just one game. Mike Myers failed to do the one thing he was brought here to do - take down David Ortiz. He'll get more cracks at him.

Joe Torre made a huge mistake today. 7th inning, 2 outs, with men on base, he had Myers locked and loaded for Trot Nixon. This should be a no-brainer move. Nixon is one of the worst batters against a left handed hitter, and Myers is one of the best anti-lefty pitchers in the game. Small got lucky and would have gotten the out had Jeter not lost the ball in the wind. Inning extended, leading up to the big hit by Ortiz. Why did Torre warm up Myers in that spot if he didn't intend to use him against one of only two left handed hitters in the Sox lineup?

And to make it worse, he brings Tanyon Sturtze in to the game when Small falters. Why Torre, why?

Wakefield was on tonight, and again we couldn't hit him.

Not much more to say. Tomorrow is another day. Josh Beckett revenge day? I sure hope so.

Amount remaining on Joe Torre's contract: 12,196,296 dollars.

One Month

It's May 1st. We're 13-10, tied for 1st in the American League Eastern Division. But why are we here?

All performance in baseball really boils down to two things: the ability to score runs and the ability to prevent the other team from scoring runs. We've been excellent at both.

Our team ERA is sitting pretty at 3.65, good for second in the American league. Our pitchers have allowed just 16 home runs, best in the MLB. They have walked just 61, 3rd in the AL. Our pitchers boast a phenominal OB% against of .308. They have also prevented opposing batters from hitting for power, holding them to a .360 Slg%, 2nd best in the American league.

Our bullpen has been one of baseball's best. The group has pitched 53 innings out of the bullpen, allowing only 18 earned runs, to the tune of a 3.05 ERA. Impressively, the bullpen has just three losses all year, one of which came during game 2 (Torre puts the jet-lagged Proctor into a tie game in the 9th). The other two came from bad Mariano Rivera outings - something that can be attributed to lack of work for the ace reliever.

Fielding? Well, Jorge Posada and Kelly Stinnet have done an excellent job, throwing out 8 runners while allowing only 9 to steal, good for second in the American League (to Oakland). Team defense was a huge problem last year, but this year we've improved to the middle of the pack with a .7150 DER (71.% of our balls in play are converted to outs). Yankee fielders have committed just 9 errors, second best in the league.

Hitting? The Yankees have scored 6.26 runs per game, good for 2nd in the American League. Thanks to Derek Jeter and Jason Giambi, we post a league-high .395 on base percentage. Thanks to those two plus Gary Sheffield and Robinson Cano, we are batting .299, third in the league. Even better, we are slugging as a team .495, 1st in the league. Yankee hitters have been especially patient, seeing 3.95 pitchers per plate appearance.

All of this despite:

  • Bernie Williams hitting .217/.262/.283 in 64 trips to the plate.
  • Andy Phillips hitting .154/.214/.269 in 28 trips.
  • Hideki Matsui and Alex Rodriguez starting the season with early slumps
  • Tanyon Sturtze blowing every big appearance he had to the tune of a 5.40 ERA in 8.1 innings.
  • Randy Johnson struggling in two starts against the Blue Jays, raising his ERA to 4.71
  • Jaret Wright making two starts, going a combined 8 innings and giving up 7 earned runs.
  • Octavio Dotel, Aaron Small and Carl Pavano on the DL
I predicted 102 wins on another site at the begining of the year, that looks to hold up right now. Considering Boston and Toronto's problems, this should be a pretty easy year for the Yankees. If they could just solve the DH/Backup 1b and OF problem, and get rid of some dead weight (Tanyon Sturtze, Jaret Wright), they could be golden.

#27? I sure hope so.