"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

In the Soup

Brother is it ever hot in New York. It’s like a swamp outside, absolutely horrible. Tonight gives old man Leiter vs. young gun Santana. Hope everyone enjoys it…from somewhere cool. I’m going to be out for a good portion of the game, so if anyone is around and can leave me their impressions I sure would appreciate it. Thanks.

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1 The Mel Hall Experience   ~  Jul 27, 2005 4:16 pm

1.  There are apparently some rumblings of a Pavano to Seattle deal, anyone hear anything about this?

2 jdasilva   ~  Jul 27, 2005 4:35 pm

2.  Not for Randy Wynn, I hope. That doesn't make sense for either team, unless Seattle would just start fresh next year with Pavano.

By the way, Leiter-Santana is probably the biggest mismatch against the Yankees' chances since the old days of Andy Hawkins/Tim Leary vs. Dave Stewart.

3 tocho   ~  Jul 27, 2005 5:03 pm

3.  I'd say Santana v. Anybody else besides RJ and Moose is the biggest mismatch. Looking at our starting rotation Leiter seems to give the Yanks their best chance. Now if he could just stop walking people, I think they would be fine.

4 rilkefan   ~  Jul 27, 2005 5:10 pm

4.  What happened on the Jeter-out-at-home play? He usually doesn't make unforced outs.

5 uburoisc   ~  Jul 27, 2005 5:12 pm

5.  And what was with walking Boone? Geesh the guy can barely hit at all, don't put him on base.

6 tocho   ~  Jul 27, 2005 5:30 pm

6.  It was a great throw from Hunter, although he was out by a mile.

Leiter has thrown 100 pitches on 4 innings, the Yanks have been really lucky that only one run has scored.

The A-Rod flyout was very close to being a 3-run homerun. Santana was not sharp in the top of the 4th. I think they'll crack him on this inning.

7 tocho   ~  Jul 27, 2005 5:31 pm

7.  sorry, bottom of the 3rd.

8 rbj   ~  Jul 27, 2005 5:33 pm

8.  If Al can give us 5 innings of 1 run ball, I'll take it. Man, Leiter is wild but thankfully the Twins can't score their way out of a cathouse.

PS, it's a nice 72 here in Toledo.

BTW, are more teams releasing players/picking up players on waivers this year or am I only noticing it because the Yankees are involved.

9 Dan-el   ~  Jul 27, 2005 5:43 pm

9.  It definitely feels like more teams are DFAing players. Btw, Jose Cruz Jr. was DFAed by the Diamondbacks today ... a potential short-term centerfield fix for the Yankees?

10 rbj   ~  Jul 27, 2005 5:54 pm

10.  And Al "Houdini" Leiter has done his job. It's up to the bullpen and the offense.

11 Rich   ~  Jul 27, 2005 6:04 pm

11.  Sojo has to be one of the worst third base coaches ever. He doesn't consider the arm of the OFer, or who the next batter coming up is.

Fire his ass.

12 tocho   ~  Jul 27, 2005 6:27 pm

12.  damn

13 Rich   ~  Jul 27, 2005 6:31 pm

13.  Hunter went around.

F-Rod should have been left in anyway. Maybe he'll earn Torre's trust some time this century.

14 JeremyM   ~  Jul 27, 2005 7:26 pm

14.  God, poor Bernie almost poked one over the short porch there.

15 alasky   ~  Jul 27, 2005 7:47 pm

15.  sometimes the manager didnt make any real bad moves, sometimes the game just happened and you lose...tonight that's the case

16 Rich   ~  Jul 27, 2005 9:13 pm

16.  As I said, I don't understand why F-Rod isn't given a more important role, but as long as he was in there, he could have pitched two innings. He has been effective since he came off the DL.

Sojo and the horrible home plate umpire were the goats.

17 mikeplugh   ~  Jul 28, 2005 2:39 am

17.  I thought it would be interesting to look at our roster depth chart at this moment to get a perspective on the season....I'm projecting a few roster spots based on recent developments, so this is not in any way the "official" roster, but probable for the next few weeks....


1. Randy Johnson
2. Mike Mussina
3. Al Leiter
4. Aaron Small
5. Hideo Nomo

Injured: Pavano, Wright, Brown, Wang


1. Proctor
2. Groom
3. Graman
4. Rodriguez
5. Sturtze
6. Gordon
7. Rivera

Injured: none


1. Jeter
2. Cano
3. Sheffield
4. Rodriguez (Phillips)
5. Matsui
6. Giambi (Tino)
7. Posada (Flaherty)
8. Williams (Womack)
9. Crosby

Injured: Sierra, Sanchez

It appears as though we are solid if not spectacular in most areas, but the notable weaknesses in pitching have got to worry you. Beyond injuries, we have a lot of question marks that need to be answered before too long.

1. Can Pavano return soon as a legit #3?

2. Will a combination of Groom, Rodriquez, and Proctor hold down the fort for a playoff bound Yankees, or contribute to our eventual fold?

3. Will Bernie and Posada get back to something of their old selves in the stretch or continue to creak towards the rocking chair?

I hope the Yankees make a trade. I'm not looking for a big splash, and I don't particularly think their is anything out there worth giving up our young players, but we have some dead weight that we need to clear out and a decent hitting CF and a solid strike-throwing middle reliever would help.

We have Womack, Crosby, and maybe young Duncan to shop. I'd love to see Andy Phillips get more at bats instead of Tino, Bernie, or Crosby. We may be able to send Aaron Small to the middle reliever role if Pavano can come back and do anything. All big questions....

18 alasky   ~  Jul 28, 2005 5:03 am

18.  WOmack and Crosby pretty much have no trade value, whereas Duncan seems to be the jewel of the system and a guy we'd not want to trade. Why is Andy Phillips on the roster if Joe Torre is never going to play him. In what role could he possibly thrive not touching a bat for weeks at a time. Is having Tino start vs. left-handers instead of Phillips utilizing the roster at its best. After attending a discussion where Steven Goldman talked about Casey Stengel's great ability to get the most out of his roster, I have to say that his philosoph clashes with Torre's roster management greatly.

19 jedi   ~  Jul 28, 2005 5:37 am

19.  I was at the game last night and I am livid on some key points:

1) I think Sojo likes to put Jeter in "dislocate my shoulder" situations every game this year. You can sense Jeter would be out by a mile rounding third because you saw Hunter cocking that arm of his and releasing a gun of a throw. I dont know if anyone noticed in the 1st game of the series, but Hunter could have made it two nights in a row of throwing a runner out at home if Cuddyer didnt cut of the throw. I know Jeter probably went on his own, but no way did I see Sojo put the breaks sign on. I'm tired of Jeter always in these plays. Thats the last thing we need this late in the season.

2) There was almost an exact replica of of "hunter's" play when Bernie had a shot of getting someone out at home. When you see Bernie Live, try and throw a ball from the outfield into the diamond, it just magnifies his inability to do so. I know everyone says they dont mind him playing a few nights in CF, but he is no longer capable of the job, seriously. He looks so slow out there. DH him or let him come off the bench as a PH. He is done. Sorry Bernie lovers, but I wouldnt be surprised if he doesnt resign next year.

3) It seemed every single inning Leiter loaded the bases. How in the hell did he get out with only one run, you might say?. Well, I dont know what people are talking about as Yankee defense being second rate, but when you have a pitcher give up over 10 hits and 100 pitches thrown by the 4th inning and he gives up only one run, you got to tip your hat off to the defense. Yankeee defense in the first 4 innings was incredible. I was proud for one night. I dare say the defense is underrated these days. We really have turned a corner since the 1st half regarding defense. Best plays of the night. Jeter's throw out at home and ARod's slow roller for the final out in the 2nd. Hunter running to third tried to interfere with the play and got in front of AROD, but AROD had the onfield presence to slow up and keep his eye on the ball. Great play and saved a disasterous inning.

4) Every fan seemed to waiting for the yankee bats to explode. Waiting so much, that they cheered on a fan who went escaped onto the field and slid into second base. Obviously, drunk he gave himself up without a fight. The stadium erupted when police handcuffed and booed, not the fan, but the Five-O for ruining the best entertainment of the night.

5) I like Yankee Stadium. period.

20 Dan M   ~  Jul 28, 2005 6:04 am

20.  Rich, I wouldn't blame the home plate umpire: his zone was crazy but he squeezed both sides. Santana threw a pitch to Posada in the 7th that was absolutely stunning, breaking over the plate and ending up on the inside corner. Dude called it a ball. The first base ump was the one he did the most damage to the Yanks. Having said that, the home plate up should be fined for his over the top antics when calling strike three.

21 sabernar   ~  Jul 28, 2005 6:48 am

21.  Jose Cruz Jr was just released by the D'backs. I say we pick him up and stick him in CF. His BA is low (.217), but his OPS is a healthy .795, thanks to 41 BB in <200 AB.


22 Shaun P   ~  Jul 28, 2005 7:04 am

22.  On the radio last night (with some help from the weather, you can get 880AM in the greater Boston area, especially in a car), Sterling and Suzyn were saying that Sturtze hasn't looked the same since he made that emergency start on the 4th. They then looked up his numbers . . . and I lost the signal.

I looked up those numbers myself this morning (including last night's debacle):
10 IP, 10 H, 5BB, 6K, 1.50 WHIP, 1.2:1 K/BB, 1 HR, 5 ER, 4.50 ERA

Before last night, the line looked like this:
9 IP, 7 H, 2BB, 4K, 1.00 WHIP, 2:1 K/BB, 1 HR, 2 ER, 2.00 ERA

Not bad. I haven't seen Sturtze pitch since the 4th - does he really look that off, or was it just last night?

BTW, now that Graman gave up a HR to Justin Morneau - you know, the Twins' lefty-hitting 1B who was "hitting" .208/.305/.368 since June 1, with 5 HR (only 1 since July 2) - have we seen the last of him or what? Of all the mistakes to have made . . . was he trying to get himself exiled?!? I won't judge him on just 1.1 IP, but we all know who likely will . . .

23 JohnnyC   ~  Jul 28, 2005 7:05 am

23.  I'd take a flyer on Cruz. Couldn't hurt. And I'm sure that in the middle of a pennant race with a rested bullpen, it's heartening to realize that our fortunes rest on the right arm of just one, indispensable man...the 7th inning man...the man what am...Tanyon "I get to finish the inning no matter what the score and how crappy I'm throwing with Gordon and Rivera ready to go" Sturtze. It's good to know the MAN trusts you enough to have you walk a batter that Buddy Groom is being paid to get out (or what is he doing on the roster in the first place?) so that MORE runners can be on base for the ultimate kill shot. It's beyond ludicrous.

24 JohnnyC   ~  Jul 28, 2005 7:10 am

24.  Graman, 2 strike slider, hangs it, it go boom. Sound familiar, folks? How many times does Jim Kaat have to bemoan mistakes on breaking balls late in the game on 2 strike counts before someone (you, Mel) takes notice? If you want location, throw a fastball. If you're looking to fool a batter, throw a change-up or even a slow, slow curve. What does a bad slider accomplish? This is not 1972, Mel. Please wake up!

25 Shaun P   ~  Jul 28, 2005 7:18 am

25.  sabernar, his OPS aside, your link to Cruz's DT card at Prospectus gives him an 87(!) Rate2 as a CF. Even Bernie has a 93 Rate2.

It also seems he missed a month of the season with lower back problems. I don't think he's worth the risk.

26 JohnnyC   ~  Jul 28, 2005 7:46 am

26.  I think I over-reacted on the Sturtze deal. What's a 4 run deficit against Santana and the Twins' bullpen? Piece of cake. We beat that clown all the time.

27 uburoisc   ~  Jul 28, 2005 9:47 am

27.  Sturtz walking Cuddyer to put up Stewart was truly stupid--and on what, 4 pitches? Leiter did his job and kept us in it; more than I can say for Brown. And yes, the infield D looked pretty good. Nice to see Cano didn't have any problems with Santana.

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