"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Jays’ Blues

With Oakland slumping (dropping eight of the last nine), the Yankees (on a 9-3 run) and Indians (winners of six straight) have moved a game ahead of the A’s in the Wild Card chase.

Meanwhile, last night’s game-winning single by Felix Escalona handed the Blue Jays their fifth straight loss. On Monday, Toronto manager John Gibbons got ejected whiile arguing a play at the plate. Last night, he stormed into the tunnel leading the visitor’s clubhouse before Escalona even made it to first base (or so it seemed).

Judging by their manager’s behavior, this Blue Jay team appears to be thisclose to a full-fledged slide, which would be good news for the Yankees, who face them eight more times this season including tonight.

Then again, Gibbons could simply be reacting to the fact that over the past two nights his starters have posted this combined line:

13 IP, 12 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 2 BB, 5 K, 0 HR

But has team has lost because his bullpen has done this:

3 2/3 IP, 9 H, 8 ER, 5 BB, 4 K, 1 HR

Tonight, Gibbons hands the ball to Dave Bush, who failed to make it out of the third inning in his last start against Detroit, then two days later was brought in to finish off a game the Jays were trailing 15-5 and gave up another pair of runs in less than three innings of work. Tonight he faces the Yankees’ anchor, Mike Mussina, who looks like he just might be gearing up for another excellent stretch run. This is one of those “go for the jugular” games. This is the team the Yankees play most over the remainder of the season and a win tonight could break them.

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1 rilkefan   ~  Aug 24, 2005 4:02 pm

1.  Check out the lineup - Godzilla's batting 2nd, Giambi 5th!

2 randym77   ~  Aug 24, 2005 4:10 pm

2.  Wow, that is different. And Cano's been moved up to 8th.

3 yankz   ~  Aug 24, 2005 4:19 pm

3.  Why didn't this happen when Giambi was doing his best Lou Gehrig impression?

4 Marcus   ~  Aug 24, 2005 4:35 pm

4.  Gamecast shows Giambi's fly out as over the fence. Did Wells rob him of a HR?

5 Dan-el   ~  Aug 24, 2005 4:37 pm

5.  Marcus,

I think the ball would have hit near the top of the wall had Wells not caught it. Even so, great running catch by Wells.

6 rbj   ~  Aug 24, 2005 5:12 pm

6.  Yeah, that would have been a long single by Jason. (I like him, but he has no speed.)

It's a pitchers' duel.

7 Mattpat11   ~  Aug 24, 2005 5:13 pm

7.  Holy Crap. I thought Kay was calling Posada's at bat the Comedy Adventure of the Year.

I may not like his performance lately, but thats just mean.

8 Mattpat11   ~  Aug 24, 2005 5:17 pm

8.  Le sigh.

Posada must have been furious. Striking out in a big spot is his game and both Giambi and Tino tried to steal his thunder?

He showed them.

9 Alvaro Espinoza   ~  Aug 24, 2005 5:19 pm

9.  Still stuck at work. Based on ESPN's gamecast description of the bot 4th:

A Rodriguez doubled to deep right.
J Giambi struck out swinging.
T Martinez struck out looking.
J Posada struck out looking.

One word comes to mind: disgraceful.

10 Marcus   ~  Aug 24, 2005 5:20 pm

10.  This looks like another case of the Yankees' offense dying when the starting pitcher is pitching well. And boy, is Mussina pitching well...

11 tocho   ~  Aug 24, 2005 5:24 pm

11.  A lot of pitcher's duels lately. Fortunately Yanks pitchers have been up to the challenge. These games are great to watch so long as your pitcher is matching the other.

12 Alex Belth   ~  Aug 24, 2005 5:24 pm

12.  Those three strikeouts were frustrating but to be fair, Bush did a heck of job. His fastball has some bite to it and he's got a very soft, big curve ball. He's moving the ball around very well. Actually, the pitch Rodriguez hit the doulbe on was not so smart on his part. Rodriguez had a couple of good swings in the at bat but fouled the pitches off. His double came off a change up. Don't know why he threw that there.

He blew Giambi away, then went 3-0 to Tino. The 3-1 pitch was a high fastball, Tino's favorite. But it was out of the zone and Tino swung through it.. He then caught him looking with a beautiful breaking ball on the outside corner. Posada whiffed too. Didn't look good at all. He's 4-48 on the season with runners in scoring position and two out.

Mussina looks good but the Jays have two men on in the fifth...

13 Alex Belth   ~  Aug 24, 2005 5:26 pm

13.  Make it bases loaded...

14 Marcus   ~  Aug 24, 2005 5:27 pm

14.  Ugh, Mussina not looking so good right now...HBP to bring in a run?

15 Alex Belth   ~  Aug 24, 2005 5:27 pm

15.  Mussina hits Hinkse on the hand--grazes is more like it, and a run is forced home. Bullshit.

16 Mattpat11   ~  Aug 24, 2005 5:27 pm

16.  Nic acting bu Hinske there. Even I almost thought it hit him.

Of course, a baseball hitting a hand should make some kind of sound, but dont let that stop the ump.

17 tocho   ~  Aug 24, 2005 5:28 pm

17.  the elusive 5th. inning

18 Mattpat11   ~  Aug 24, 2005 5:30 pm

18.  God almighty.

19 Alex Belth   ~  Aug 24, 2005 5:30 pm

19.  Walks in a run, 2-0.

20 Mattpat11   ~  Aug 24, 2005 5:30 pm

20.  God almighty.

21 yankz   ~  Aug 24, 2005 5:30 pm

21.  God not the fifth again.

22 Dan-el   ~  Aug 24, 2005 5:30 pm

22.  God.

23 Alex Belth   ~  Aug 24, 2005 5:31 pm

23.  C'mon.

24 Mattpat11   ~  Aug 24, 2005 5:31 pm

24.  The miserable home plate umpire has thrown Moose off. The bad call before the Zaun hit and the phantom HBP.

25 Mattpat11   ~  Aug 24, 2005 5:32 pm

25.  Its obvious that we're going to lose this game. The real question is if we get another hit the rest of the way.

26 Mattpat11   ~  Aug 24, 2005 5:33 pm

26.  And I turned it off. That wild Card lead was fun while it lasted.

27 Alex Belth   ~  Aug 24, 2005 5:34 pm

27.  Hanging breaking ball to Adams, single, two more runs. Don't have a good feeling with Frankie C up.

28 Dan-el   ~  Aug 24, 2005 5:35 pm

28.  Mussina just disintegrates, wow.

29 Alex Belth   ~  Aug 24, 2005 5:35 pm

29.  Like I said. RBI single, 5-0. Bull-fuggin-shit.

30 randym77   ~  Aug 24, 2005 5:35 pm

30.  What a disaster.

31 Alex Belth   ~  Aug 24, 2005 5:36 pm

31.  Three run dinger for Vernon, 8-0. Move along, nothing to see here. There goes Mike's ERA.

32 Alex Belth   ~  Aug 24, 2005 5:36 pm

32.  Good night professor.

33 yankz   ~  Aug 24, 2005 5:37 pm

33.  Oh, my. I left when it was 2-0. Now it's epically bad.

34 Mattpat11   ~  Aug 24, 2005 5:37 pm

34.  This is why the team is going absolutely nowhere this year. Every single time they start going somewhere they do this.

They rock our best pitcher, we cant hit a bad one.

35 Marcus   ~  Aug 24, 2005 5:38 pm

35.  This would be a good come back win (optimism?).

36 yankz   ~  Aug 24, 2005 5:38 pm

36.  Incidentaly, Oakland is also leading 8-0...Cleveland's down though.

No way this team makes the playoffs with Moose pitching like this.

37 tocho   ~  Aug 24, 2005 5:39 pm

37.  I'm the eternal optimist, but this is just BAD. OK when Mussina is pitching nobody is allowed to say he is pitching well until he's out of the game.

38 Mattpat11   ~  Aug 24, 2005 5:40 pm

38.  To come back we'd have to *gasp* swing at two strike pitches!!!!

That can't happen.

39 sam2175   ~  Aug 24, 2005 5:40 pm

39.  So Felix Rodriguez is our long reliever?

Wasn't that Aaron Small? Or is Torre trying to play match-up 8 down?

40 Alvaro Espinoza   ~  Aug 24, 2005 5:41 pm

40.  Where is Mussina's mettle? Every time an ump flusters him he turns to mush. Gut check, Mike...

Never seen a guy go lights out for 1/2 the game and then get abolutely crushed as often as this guy does. What's that all about?

41 Mattpat11   ~  Aug 24, 2005 5:45 pm

41.  Ive never seen a borderline HOF type pitcher get f*cked over as much as Mussina did. I wasn't aware that the criteria for a HBP was shaking your hand in fake pain after a ball misses it.

42 randym77   ~  Aug 24, 2005 5:45 pm

42.  Maybe Torre's given up on this game.

43 Mattpat11   ~  Aug 24, 2005 5:47 pm

43.  Oh well. We just need to turn around and take the series tomorrow.

44 Alex Belth   ~  Aug 24, 2005 5:47 pm

44.  I don't mind so much the Yanks dropping one of these three games but with Chacin going tomorrow, it would have been nice to get a win tonight. Of course, it's not over, but at 9-0, this is going to be a rough one...

45 Alvaro Espinoza   ~  Aug 24, 2005 5:48 pm

45.  Let's see if Bombers can make it interesting...

46 Alex Belth   ~  Aug 24, 2005 5:50 pm

46.  "Never seen a guy go lights out for 1/2 the game and then get abolutely crushed as often as this guy does."

Kaat just made an interesting comparison and said that Bert Blyeleven used to have games like this too. Said his pitches were too much the same speed and he'd just have games where his location would go south in the middle of the game and he'd just get plastered. I remember that Blyeleven.

There was 26 minutes between outs number one and two in the fifth.

47 sam2175   ~  Aug 24, 2005 5:51 pm

47.  Unlikely, they get a lead-off man at second base, and proceed to make a strike-out procession.

And the next inning, the pitcher walks in 2 runs, and then gives up double, single, HR. The reliever is a set-up man who obviously came to mop up the inning.

No chance in hell Yankees are winning this one. Tomorrow is a new day, and let's hope TB holds onto that lead against Cleveland.

A 3-way tie again.

48 Mattpat11   ~  Aug 24, 2005 5:55 pm

48.  I've calmed down a bit since I turned the game off. We just need to put this behind us.

49 rbj   ~  Aug 24, 2005 5:58 pm

49.  As soon as I hit submit on "pitchers' duel" I thought Jinx.

Mea Culpa. I'll never do that again.

Though we have had a couple games this season where we've scored 13 in an inning. . .

Mo & Flash get another day off.

50 Alex Belth   ~  Aug 24, 2005 6:02 pm

50.  Two men on, two out, ouch, Sheff whiffs (on another slow curve ball), and is now 6 for his last 37.

51 Alex Belth   ~  Aug 24, 2005 6:05 pm

51.  To conclude the post above, Cliff wrote:

"This is one of those 'go for the jugular' games. This is the team the Yankees play most over the remainder of the season and a win tonight could break them."

Dag. A game like tonight only makes me appreciate what kind of special team the Yanks had in their recent championship years, especially 98-99 when they almost always went in for the kill and just put teams away.

Jay's blues indeed.

52 randym77   ~  Aug 24, 2005 6:08 pm

52.  Sheff's definitely in a slump these days. Seems like half the team is. :-(

53 tocho   ~  Aug 24, 2005 6:11 pm

53.  I'm not overexcited about this loss in the playoff chances picture. What really has me extremely worried is that for the second time Moose just deflates in a single inning after cruising the first four. This is something that will give me a stomach pain each time he pitches.


Meanwhile, F-Rod is not doing much to earn the trust of anyone, he sucks big time.

54 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Aug 24, 2005 6:20 pm

54.  Randym77,

Well Escalona is 2 for 4. :)

Sheffield, Giambi, Posada, Cano, and Bernie are all slumping. Matsui seems to be coming out of a slump. Womack blows, but has stuck some hits together. Tino's been doing well, but without any power. Ditto Jeter. That leaves Rodriguez who at .304/.360/.478 is hitting well below his season level over the past week.

55 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Aug 24, 2005 6:26 pm

55.  Scrubs in.

56 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Aug 24, 2005 6:31 pm

56.  Thank heaven for Kaat. Down 9-0 he's telling pitching stories and showing pitch grips in the booth. One of the best in the biz.

57 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Aug 24, 2005 6:41 pm

57.  Yeah, I'd say Matsui's out of that slump.

58 brockdc   ~  Aug 24, 2005 6:42 pm

58.  I have a problem with Torre conceding the game in the 7th. This lineup is due to explode and he puts in the AA squad. Lame.

59 randym77   ~  Aug 24, 2005 6:43 pm

59.  Godzilla strikes again!

60 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Aug 24, 2005 6:44 pm

60.  Amen. If Rodriguez is up here and hits a homer, it's 9-5 in the 7th. Instead it's Escalona hitting clean-up and down 0-2.

61 BklynBomber   ~  Aug 24, 2005 6:47 pm

61.  Cliff, Kaat is definitely one of the best. Always on target observations, nice 'inside pitching' tips, and great yarns of past players. A joy to listen to.

62 BklynBomber   ~  Aug 24, 2005 6:53 pm

62.  brockdc and Cliff — Exactly! With the potential punch in the lineup, how the hell can you wave the white flag with 3 innings to go? Down by 15, maybe I could understand...

63 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Aug 24, 2005 6:53 pm

63.  Awful play by Womack there, why isn't Crosby in CF and Womack in (forgive me) right?

64 brockdc   ~  Aug 24, 2005 6:54 pm

64.  Not that I need the aggravation, but ESPN2's signal went down and now I'm forced to listen to Gammons tell me that Colon is the frontrunner for the Cy Young. Huh?!

65 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Aug 24, 2005 6:55 pm

65.  The YES crew reasoned that with the day game tomorrow, Torre's giving his guys an advantage tomorrow. But I agree, nine runs is not enough.

66 BklynBomber   ~  Aug 24, 2005 6:56 pm

66.  OK, anyone still here think the tying run will reach the plate in this game?

67 brockdc   ~  Aug 24, 2005 6:58 pm

67.  Bubba must've given Joe "Sphere: Special Platinum Edition" on DVD for his b-day

68 brockdc   ~  Aug 24, 2005 7:00 pm

68.  These are some of the worst hitters in baseball we're watching here.

69 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Aug 24, 2005 7:01 pm

69.  Cripes was that a bad movie.

Adams boots a DP ball and still turns it. That's what happens when Tino and "Flash" Flaherty are running. Ouch.

70 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Aug 24, 2005 7:03 pm

70.  My middle-school math teacher used to call a problem that was easy to solve "an insult to your intelligence." The same can be said of the Yankee bench.

Donde esta Andy Phillips & Russ Johnson?

71 Max   ~  Aug 24, 2005 7:06 pm

71.  Mussina's latest meltdown is an interesting bookend to a terrific stretch of pitching from a patchwork crew of starters.

20 games ago, Mussina had a 6 run, 5th inning implosion against Cleveland after looking untouchable for 4 innings (sound familiar?).

Yankee starters have allowed no more than 3 runs in 17 of the 19 games since then -- the two exceptions both pitched by Randy Johnson (stinkers against the Jays and the White Sox).

And now Mussina turns back into a pumpkin. Hope this isn't the end of a great pitching run...based on the way the offense is going these days, we're definitely not slugging our way to the playoffs.

72 brockdc   ~  Aug 24, 2005 7:11 pm

72.  These guys on ESPN are so bored that they're coming up with scenarios in which Toronto could make the playoffs. Blowout indeed.

73 sam2175   ~  Aug 24, 2005 7:11 pm

73.  Ahhh, there is always a next day until we run out of days.

Cleveland lost (or will lose soon) too, so we are still tied for the WC lead.

Forget about division, the Sox game is tied, but the KC pen and Sox line-up is gasoline on fire.

74 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Aug 24, 2005 7:12 pm

74.  Okay, that cinches it, Bubba has to get Mowack's starts in center. Tony, meanwhile, get's stapled to Kevin Brown and launched into the sun.

75 randym77   ~  Aug 24, 2005 7:15 pm

75.  Well, KC and Boston are tied in the 7th. Maybe this is KC's night.

76 brockdc   ~  Aug 24, 2005 7:17 pm

76.  How in the hell is Womack hitting .245? Somebody?

77 brockdc   ~  Aug 24, 2005 7:18 pm

77.  Er, .243.

78 randym77   ~  Aug 24, 2005 7:19 pm

78.  I like Bubba's defense, but his hitting makes Womack look like A-rod.

79 BklynBomber   ~  Aug 24, 2005 7:21 pm

79.  It seems like Womack has been between .240 and .245 all season now matter what he does. 0-27, whatever. Funny you mentioned that, it's been on the back of mind all season ;-)

80 yankz   ~  Aug 24, 2005 7:22 pm

80.  Post 74 is what this team needs to get into the playoffs.

81 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Aug 24, 2005 7:26 pm

81.  .243, shmoo-43. His OBP is .272 and he's slugging .275 (actually both of those are worse now).

Bubba is 2 for 2 in this game. I don't really think he can hit much, but Womack can't hit any.

82 randym77   ~  Aug 24, 2005 7:26 pm

82.  Bernie Baby!!!

83 brockdc   ~  Aug 24, 2005 7:26 pm

83.  Ah, hells jyeah!

84 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Aug 24, 2005 7:28 pm

84.  God bless Bernie. Glad Joe took Rodriguez, Sheffield and Posada out, who needed those other four runs anyway.

That's not to say they would have gotten them, but he helped make sure they didn't.

85 randym77   ~  Aug 24, 2005 7:29 pm

85.  I guess at this point in the season, you have to think about conserving your energy. But darn, I really think Torre gave up too soon.

86 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Aug 24, 2005 7:32 pm

86.  Actually, at this point in the season, in a three way tie for the Wild Card, you have to think that every win matters and have faith that no deficit is insurmountable for the second best offense in baseball.

87 brockdc   ~  Aug 24, 2005 7:33 pm

87.  Damn.

The following is my everyday lineup for the balance of the season. It must be followed or the Yankees will be watching a lot of WWE in late-October.

1. Jeter - SS
2. Bernie - DH
3. Sheff - RF
4. A-Rod - 3b
5. Matsui - LF
6. Giambi - 1b (can't hit for shit while DHing)
7. Cano - 2b
8. Posada - C
9. Crosby - CF

In a perfecter world, they'd call up A-Phil to platoon with Giambi and Tino at 1b-DH, but COME ON.

88 brockdc   ~  Aug 24, 2005 7:35 pm

88.  Well-rested for what? For golfing? For trick-or-treating?

89 randym77   ~  Aug 24, 2005 7:38 pm

89.  I think what bothers me most is that it shows he has no confidence in his team. He didn't think they could come back. Understandable, I guess, but jeez, put on a show at least.

90 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Aug 24, 2005 8:46 pm

90.  Not understandable at all.

91 Mattpat11   ~  Aug 24, 2005 9:01 pm

91.  Bubba Crosby can't be anywhere near the everday starting lineup. That will cripple this team. As bad as Womack is, .240-.250 with the odd double and the ability to steal a base beats out Bubba and his .150-.180, no extra base hits and whacky base running

92 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Aug 24, 2005 9:16 pm

92.  First of all, neither should be starting every day, they should be platooned in center with Bernie, getting the starts against righties when there's a fly ball starter on the mound for the Yankees.

That said, I have faith that Bubba can hit at least as well as Womack (which is a very low standard). And I know he has more pop in his bat. He just needs the exposure to get his swing up to that modest level of "production." Meanwhile, he's by far the best defensive centerfielder on this team, if not in the entire organization.

I've been a Bubba doubter for most of the season, but something about watching Womack out there and at the plate last night convinced me, Bubba must be better.

93 Jay Jaffe   ~  Aug 24, 2005 9:25 pm

93.  Damn, and here I was hoping the post was about me ;-)

The decision to pull A-Rod, Sheffield and Posada at the end of 6 when trailing 9-0 is entirely excusable considering that it's a day game tomorrow. At this stage, every little bit of rest helps, especially when it comes to the big bats and the differnce between even the diminished Posada and Flaherty Will Get You Nowhere.

94 brockdc   ~  Aug 24, 2005 9:28 pm

94.  Matpat,

GRANTED, neither of these guys is Andruw Jones here. I think we can pretty much agree like hell on that. But how could you compare Womack's 320 ABs to Bubba's (a wopping 42 ABs). I really think their respective offensive output would be a wash if Bubba were given the opportunity to play on a daily basis, while Crosby is far superior defensively - advantage Crosby.

95 Jay Jaffe   ~  Aug 24, 2005 9:29 pm

95.  Bubba, schmubba. As long as we're keeping our standards so low, Clay Bellinger could play a better CF AND hit for power. I bet he could be had for the cost of a plane ticket from whatever oblivion he's living in now. Crosby should be returned to the Make A Wish Foundation headquarters at once.

96 brockdc   ~  Aug 24, 2005 9:31 pm

96.  Oh, yeah - like Cliff said.

Except I do have a problem with Bernie being anywhere near CF anymore.

97 brockdc   ~  Aug 24, 2005 9:35 pm

97.  "Clay Bellinger could play a better CF AND hit for power."

Again, our complete lack of outfield depth borders on the surreal.

98 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Aug 24, 2005 10:16 pm

98.  Jay, I did think of you when typing that title.

I'd forgotten that Bellinger had some pop in his bat (10 career ML homers in 275 ABs). Bellinger, now 36, slugged .427 in part-time duty for the Oriole's triple-A team in Ottawa last year (don't ask about his AVG and OBP, they're not pretty). I'm not sure where (or if) he's playing this year.

I doubt he was a better defensive CF than Crosby, though. He has a career Rate2 of 87 in 36 ML games in CF in 2000 and 2001.

99 Cliff Corcoran   ~  Aug 25, 2005 7:48 am

99.  And I only just now realized that I punctuated the headline incorrectly. Should be Jays' Blues.

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"This ain't football. We do this every day."
--Earl Weaver