"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Oakland Atheltics

Oakland Athletics

2008 Record: 75-86 (.466)
2008 Pythagorean Record: 76-85 (.472)

Manager: Billy Beane
General Manager: Bob Geren

Home Ballpark (multi-year Park Factors): Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum (93/93)

Who’s Replaced Whom:

  • Jason Giambi replaces Daric Barton (minors)
  • Matt Holliday replaces Emil Brown and Frank Thomas
  • Orlando Cabrera replaces Jack Hannahan (minors)
  • Eric Chavez replaces as much of Bobby Crosby as his body will allow
  • Travis Buck inherits Carlos Gonzalez’s playing time
  • Nomar Garciaparra replaces Donnie Murphy, Cliff Pennington (minors), and Eric Patterson (minors)
  • Landon Powell replaces Rob Bowen
  • Trevor Cahill replaces Joe Blanton and Rich Harden
  • Brett Anderson replaces Greg Smith
  • Dallas Braden inherits the starts of Sean Gallagher (bullpen) and Gio Gonzalez (minors)
  • Josh Outman is filling in for Justin Duchscherer (DL)
  • Russ Springer replaces Huston Street
  • Michael Wuertz replaces Chad Gaudin
  • Drew Bailey replaces Jerry Blevins (minors) and Andrew Brown
  • Sean Gallagher replaces Keith Foulke and Dan Meyer
  • Dan Giese is filling in for Joey Devine (DL)

25-man Roster:
1B – Jason Giambi (L)
2B – Mark Elllis (R)
SS – Orlando Cabrera (R)
3B – Eric Chavez (L)
C – Kurt Suzuki (R)
RF – Travis Buck (L)
CF – Ryan Sweeney (L)
LF – Matt Holliday (R)
DH – Jack Cust (L)

Bench:

R – Nomar Garciaparra (IF)
R – Bobby Crosby (IF)
R – Rajai Davis (OF)
S – Landon Powell (C)

Rotation:

L – Dallas Braden
L – Dana Eveland
L – Brett Anderson
L – Josh Outman
R – Trevor Cahill

Bullpen:

R – Brad Ziegler
R – Russ Springer
R – Santiago Casilla
R – Michael Wuertz
R – Drew Bailey
R – Sean Gallagher
R – Dan Giese

15-day DL: RHP – Justin Duchscherer (elbow surgery); OF – Ben Copeland (shoulder sprain)
60-day DL: RHP – Joey Devine (elbow)

Typical Lineup:

L – Ryan Sweeney (CF)
R – Orlando Cabrera (SS)
L – Jason Giambi (1B)
R – Matt Holliday (LF)
L – Jack Cust (DH)
L – Eric Chavez (3B)
R – Kurt Suzuki (C)
L – Travis Buck (RF)
R – Mark Ellis (2B)

Don’t be fooled by the age of their infield or by their big-splash acquisition of Matt Holliday. The A’s are still rebuilding; they’re just trying to steal an AL West title in the middle of the process.

After four-straight playoff appearances (and four straight first-round exits) from 2000 to 2003, the A’s missed making it five by one game in 2004, in part because of the departure of free agent Miguel Tejada and a season-erasing injury to Mark Ellis. They then took 2005 to reload, breaking Nick Swisher into the lineup, Dan Haren and Joe Blanton into the rotation, and Huston Street and Justin Duchscherer into the bullpen.

That paid off with not only a return to the playoffs in 2006, but the franchise’s first ALCS appearance since the creation of the Division Series. Unfortunately, their follow-up season was a complete bust as they toppled from 93 wins to 76 due in part to the discovery that Eric Chavez, Bobby Crosby, and Rich Harden, three players who were supposed to be pillars of the rebuilt A’s, were made of sand. Injuries decemated the 2007 A’s as Street and Duchscherer also missed significant time, as did outfielders Mark Kotsay, Milton Bradley, and Travis Buck, starter Esteban Loaiza, and free-agent addition Mike Piazza.

With their foundation crumbling, the A’s decided to rebuild in earnest heading into the 2008 season. Prior to the 2007 trading deadline, they traded Bradley and starting catcher Jason Kendall. That offseason, they traded Swisher, Haren, who had become the staff ace, Kotsay, and middle infielder Marco Scutaro (who had emerged as a solid major league starter thanks to Crosby’s many injuries). Prior to the 2008 trading deadline, they dealt Harden, Blanton, and swing-man Chad Gaudin. They also let numerous other players leave via free agency or waiver claim, including Piazza, Loaiza, former Cy Young award winner Barry Zito, and first baseman Dan Johnson.

In a year’s time, the A’s traded four-fifths of their rotation, their entire outfield, their starting catcher, and what amounted to a starting infielder, and also bid adieu to their starting first baseman and DH and two other members of their 2006 rotation. When the 2008 season drew to a close, the only members of 2006′s starting nine remaining were Mark Ellis and the fragile (and thus untradeable) Chavez and Crosby (the A’s even put Crosby on waivers, but he went unclaimed). Not a single member of the 2006 rotation remained.

What the A’s did have was a bounty of prospects. Entering this past offseason, the A’s seemed to be taking the long view with a system suddenly restocked with pitching and outfield prospects especially. The Bradley, Kendell, and Kotsay deals had restocked the bullpen (adding Andrew Brown, Jerry Blevins, and Joey Devine, respectively). The Haren, Harden, Swisher, and Blanton deals had brought in another 15 players (in exchange for just six). Those 15 players were pitchers Dana Eveland, Greg Smith, Brett Anderson, Josh Outman, Gio Gonzalez, and Fautino De Los Santos, outfielders Ryan Sweeney, Carlos Gonzalez, Aaron Cunningham, Matt Murton, and Matt Spencer, infielders Adrian Cardenas and Eric Patterson, and catcher Josh Donaldson.

Then a weird thing happened. The A’s traded for Matt Holliday, an established and expensive star entering his walk year. It wouldn’t have been such a terrible shock if the A’s had simply given up injury prone closer Huston Street, who is already into his arbitration years, and Greg Smith, on whom they sold high by trading him after he turned in a surprisingly strong showing in the major league rotation last year despite poor peripherals. After all, Beane does like to use pending free agents as a source of extra draft picks. What was surprising was that he gave up talented 23-year-old center fielder Carlos Gonzalez in the deal. He then went out and signed 38-year-old Jason Giambi to play first base, 34-year-old Orlando Cabrera to solidify shortstop, and the fragile 35-year-old Nomar Garciaparra to caddy for Chavez (now 31) and Giambi at the infield corners.

The thing is, it makes sense. The A’s clearly noticed that the Angels are a much weaker team than their 100-win season in 2008 would suggest and made several low-risk, minimum-commitments moves to try to take advantage of the Halos’ tilt. Giambi, Cabrera, and Garciaparra are all on one-year, incentive-laden deals. The A’s total minimum commitment for those three players is $10.25 million. Giambi is replacing first-base prospect Daric Barton who was awful as a rookie last year, but who remains the team’s first baseman of the future. Cabrera is keeping the fragile Crosby on the bench (or at third base when Chavez can’t go) while Cardenas works his way toward the majors. Garciaparra is simply a million-dollar contingency plan.

The only real head-scratcher is the Holliday deal, but if you believe that the A’s soured on Gonzalez after just one season and saw enough of an opportunity in their very weak division (one I rated as the weakest in baseball in SI.com’s prediction extravaganza), one can explain away the trade and the $13.5 million they’ll owe Holliday this year as the one risky move they had to make to take a run at the division. Besides, if their pursuit of the Angels doesn’t pan out, Holliday could bring in still more prospects at this year’s deadline, or he could yield one big one in next year’s draft. Also, if you deduct Street’s 2009 salary from Holliday’s, the A’s are really only spending $9 million more for their All-Star right fielder, or less than $20 million total for Holliday, Giambi, Cabrera, and Nomar.

The early returns point toward the A’s trading Holliday at the deadline. Intended closer Joey Devine could miss the entire season due to a still undiagnosed elbow injury. Intended staff ace Justin Duchscherer (who moved into the rotation with great results last year) is out until mid-May or later following elbow surgery of his own. Chavez has already had some problems with his surgically repaired shoulder, and Garciaparra has proven as fragile as ever, missing some games due to tightness in his right quadriceps.

They’ve played just a dozen games, but the A’s have hit just three home runs (one by Nomar, two by DH Jack Cust). Other than Cust (.286/.423/.476), no one on the entire team is hitting yet. Amazingly, they’ve won five games and averaged 6.8 runs in those five wins, but in their seven losses, they’re averaging less than two runs per game, and they’ve been shut out thrice already (by Joe Saunders and the Angels on Opening Day, Erik Bedard and the Mariners the following Sunday, and this past Sunday by Rickey Romero and the Blue Jays).

It seems as though for the A’s to win they’ll have to do it with pitching and defense. Their defense should be up to the task; thus far Oakland has the second-best defensive efficiency in the American League, thanks in large part to the non-Giambi members of their infield, the addition of Holliday in left, and Kurt Suzuki behind the plate. Their pitching, however, is likely experience some growing pains. With the fragile Duchscherer out, the A’s rotation consists of tonight’s starter, 25-year-old lefty Dana Eveland, and four prospects who entered the season having made 28 major league starts combined.

Eveland is no staff ace. Originally a mid-round draft pick by the Brewers, he’s on his third organization and last year went 9-9 with a 4.34 ERA and a 1.53 K/BB for the A’s in his first full season as a major league starter. Eveland posted a 6.09 ERA over his last ten starts last year and, after a quality start against the Angels in his first turn this year, gave up five runs in 4 2/3 innings against the Red Sox in his last start.

Eveland will face fellow lefty Andy Pettitte, who aced his first two starts, completing seven innings in each and posting a 2.51 ERA, 0.77 WHIP, and 5.0 K/BB. Curiously, despite their disparate performances, neither has started a game their team has lost this year. That will change tonight.

Joe Girardi has is starting his usual nine, though Jorge Posada is hitting cleanup followed by Robinson Cano, Nick Swisher, and Hideki Matsui. Bob Geren, the former Yankee catcher who manages the A’s, is sitting Travis Buck against the lefty, moving Ryan Sweeney into right field, putting Rajai Davis in center, and moved Mark Ellis up to the sixth spot in the order.

Categories:  Cliff Corcoran  Game Thread  Series Preview

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150 comments

Show/Hide Comments 1-100
1 monkeypants   ~  Apr 21, 2009 7:09 pm

Yay...for some reason I'm getting the Yankees instead of the Blue Jays on the boob tube up here!

2 Diane Firstman   ~  Apr 21, 2009 7:12 pm

Nice play Gardner!

3 monkeypants   ~  Apr 21, 2009 7:19 pm

Is the Nady-injury news really good? Hell' be out a month and it's still not clear that he'll be able to fix his partial tear. Wouldn't it be better to put him on the 60-day DL (retroactive) and free up a spot on the 40-man roster?

4 PJ   ~  Apr 21, 2009 7:23 pm

Wow! What a catch Gardy!

Giambi's current slump somehow "rings a bell"...

;)

5 The Hawk   ~  Apr 21, 2009 7:25 pm

Ooohh - the "bad" Cano. I get scared when I see that.

6 PJ   ~  Apr 21, 2009 7:33 pm

[5] I'm sorry Hawk! For "obvious reasons," including posting here, I am "officially not allowed" to watch the Yankees bat.

: /

I can watch the Yankee pitchers, though!

:)

7 tommyl   ~  Apr 21, 2009 7:35 pm

Uh, Alex, you can't come back fast enough.

8 Mr. Max   ~  Apr 21, 2009 7:36 pm

Anyone else getting MLB.TV lag? It's a full inning behind for me, on both channels....

9 tommyl   ~  Apr 21, 2009 7:36 pm

Thank you Brett

10 PJ   ~  Apr 21, 2009 7:38 pm

[8] I have the My9 feed on MLB EI, Max... sorry...

11 tommyl   ~  Apr 21, 2009 7:38 pm

Thank you again Brett

12 The Hawk   ~  Apr 21, 2009 7:38 pm

Very Gardner-esque ... But it worked that time!

Player of the game???

13 The Hawk   ~  Apr 21, 2009 7:41 pm

[6] What are you sorry for? Now I'm confused ... Is someone curbing your Yankee offense watching due to anger management issues?

14 tommyl   ~  Apr 21, 2009 7:41 pm

Well, sort of thank you Damon

15 PJ   ~  Apr 21, 2009 7:42 pm

[12] So far? Yes!

I'm still reserving judgement though, because I'm holding out for Pettitte to spot his fastball a bit better...

Giambi's ball sure had "that sound!"

16 PJ   ~  Apr 21, 2009 7:43 pm

[13] No... I'm not allowed to watch them hit for kybosh reasons.

:)

17 PJ   ~  Apr 21, 2009 7:47 pm

[16] Every time I watch them hit, they don't...

Case in pernt...

LOL

18 tommyl   ~  Apr 21, 2009 7:56 pm

It is so nice to have a good fielding first basemen

19 ms october   ~  Apr 21, 2009 7:57 pm

i guess it takes a catcher to maker another one (po) look faster

what was the reaction for giambi's first ab like?

20 PJ   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:00 pm

[19] Not a standing ovation, but no boos, lots of cheers, and he tipped his batting helmet. He crushed one to straight away CF, and Gardner made a diving catch away from the plate on the warning track at about 400 feet. Catch of the year for him so far!

:)

21 tommyl   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:00 pm

Oh man, I had totally forgotten about the Swisher hair thing. He really is awesome.

22 PJ   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:14 pm

Wow @ even more empty seats on the Field Level tonight...

23 cult of basebaal   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:14 pm

crickets?

24 cult of basebaal   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:16 pm

[22] yeah, PeteAbe was commenting on it


By the way, there are embarrassing — I mean embarrassing — swatches of empty eats here. There’s an entire section of Legends seats down the RF line and a huge empty section on the 200 level.
...
Meanwhile, as I look over the Legends seats, no more than 40 percent of them are full. In the front row between the dugouts, 25 seats are empty. So either those fans didn’t show up or they’re in the restaurant.

according to the Yankees, they sold 80% of those seats ... seems *really* hard to believe 1/2 of the people who dropped the serious cash for those seats didn't even bother to show up ...

gonna be interesting to see how long this can continue

25 OldYanksFan   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:18 pm

I like Jason Giambi.

26 OldYanksFan   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:18 pm

"... up here". MP... where are you?

27 monkeypants   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:19 pm

[26] Where I always am...Montreal.

28 OldYanksFan   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:20 pm

[22] Those seats are just hard to re-sell. My guess is season ticket holders only attend a minor percentage of games, and sell the rest of their tickets. But how do you re-sell a $1000+ ticket?

29 monkeypants   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:20 pm

Pettitte has not ben exactly sharp tonight. Let's see if he can wriggle out again.

30 tommyl   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:21 pm

[22] [24] Yeah, at some point they're going to have to do something. It is really embarrassing.

Meanwhile, Andy, um...you know we're all impressed at your ability to get out of trouble, but you don't have to keep showing us you can do it. 1-2-3 innings are ok too.

31 monkeypants   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:22 pm

Although the value of defense at 1B is often exaggerated...

32 tommyl   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:23 pm

[31] Doesn't mean it has no effect. But a team can survive a lot more playing a statue at 1B than at SS or CF.

33 cult of basebaal   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:24 pm

[28] stub hub or ebay.

i imagine that sellers were holding close to their cost per ticket right now, assuming that they'd find somebody willing to pay.

i imagine that prices are going to start dropping to what the market will bear pretty quickly ... it will be interesting to watch to see where things settle.

34 tommyl   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:24 pm

Its just like kickball!

35 monkeypants   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:24 pm

Nickel and dime call really helps the Yanks there.

36 tommyl   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:25 pm

[33] Now see, what you need to do is package a bunch of these partial tickets together, and then there are these things called ticket-default swap options I want to tell you about....

37 OldYanksFan   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:26 pm

[35] Ball hit the runner

38 monkeypants   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:28 pm

[32] Oh I agree entirely. But when the 1B flashes leather, it does give a warm glow. Meanwhile, Andly is slowly giving the game back.

39 tommyl   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:28 pm

Wow, did I just see an entire section empty down the first base line?

40 monkeypants   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:29 pm

[37] Because it was a bad throw. Ironically, a good throw would have missed the runner, and the umps would not have made the call.

41 RIYank   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:29 pm

[38] Hey, Andy isn't an adverb.

42 cult of basebaal   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:30 pm

[39] i dunno, but there's been one section down the 3rd base line that's been 95% empty ever single game i've seen.

pretty stunning.

43 PJ   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:31 pm

[39] Yes you did...

: /

44 OldYanksFan   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:32 pm

In a small sample size in the minors, Duncan is playing OF and currently has a line of .364 - 421 - .455 . Wouldn't it be nice if his bat comes alive for real?

45 tommyl   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:32 pm

[42] I wonder if this isn't just the economy. Could they have drastically miscalculated how much people are willing to pay to watch a baseball game? I mean at $2500 a seat or so, even a midsize firm couldn't afford that.

46 OldYanksFan   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:34 pm

Ouch... at least a foot outside.

47 monkeypants   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:35 pm

[45] I have no evidence, but my instinct is that they miscalculated economy or not. I just have a hard time believing that a 300% increase in the cost of many comparable seats is not a miscalculation.

48 tommyl   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:36 pm

[47] So far, I'm not trying to be an curmodgeon but NYS just makes me sad. Its quiet, expensive and just...sterile....maybe we'll get more used to it and it'll be great again but so far, its sad.

49 RIYank   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:36 pm

Ahhhhhh.
I would have been unhappy if Rob had made the third out in three of the first four innings.

50 PJ   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:37 pm

I'm concerned not so much with the empty seats as I am about their effects on the restaurants and their employees. Food for 15K and 2K or so show up unless it's a "premium series?" That can't be good for all of those bottom lines.

They also botched allowing Freddy in without a ticket for a couple of days, too...

You just know Lobel's isn't going to last very long in there, unless they have a "Meat Day!"

: /

51 cult of basebaal   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:38 pm

[45] i dunno, i suppose you could see what tickets were going for on the secondary markets last year and extrapolate from there.

i assume the yankees did something like that.

the thing about relying on that is that there was tremendous distortion in the economics of NYC the last couple of years, that frankly, isn't going to return, even as the city's economy bottoms and then begins to recover.

52 RIYank   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:38 pm

I think the 'quiet' and 'empty' problems will be worked out. They have to figure out the right price, and that will basically take care of it.

53 monkeypants   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:39 pm

[50] I feel bad for the employees, but otherwise I could not give two shits about the restaurants at the new stadium. When I go to the game, I get a pretzel or, if I'm feeling wild, a dog. I get a soda, or if I'm feeling wild, a beer. And I watch the game.

54 tommyl   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:39 pm

[52] But how can they do that midseason? I mean if I had already bought one of those tickets and now they were selling them at half price, I'd sort of demand some money back, ya know?

55 ms october   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:41 pm

[20] thanks pj.

56 cult of basebaal   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:41 pm

bullshit call there, blue.

57 RIYank   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:41 pm

[54] Well, I don't think you could 'demand', but yeah, I agree.
But they could do that. I think it would be the smart move, to give back some of the price of the sold superexpensive tickets.

58 monkeypants   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:42 pm

[52] Some of the 'quiet' is the product of the shape of the seating bowl. It will be hard to replicate the sound of 5000 more fans in a seating bowl that was much more vertical.

59 tommyl   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:42 pm

I think the thing that bothers me is that yeah, OYS had its issues, but the thing I loved about it was that you went there to watch baseball. It didn't have all these fancy bells and whistles, or gourmet food or a super big screen or fireworks. It was Bob Sheppard, an organ and baseball.

Now, its all about stuff that's not baseball. They need to change that and fast.

60 ms october   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:45 pm

[51] it's the economy - but it's also that it was the last chance to see that yankee stadium - while many people wanted to get in the new ys this year - if you can't make it this year there is always next year for new ys - i think the yanks misread this dynamic as well

61 RIYank   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:46 pm

Hey, is Beckett serving a suspension, or not?

62 cult of basebaal   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:46 pm

[60] that's a good/interesting point!

63 ms october   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:48 pm

[61] beckett got 6 games that was reduced to 5. whoopty doo.

64 RIYank   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:49 pm

[63] I know, but is he serving the suspension now?

65 monkeypants   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:51 pm

Am I the only one who thinks the ads on the OF walls look a little bush league? I mean, OK, I accept that there will be ads to begin with. But they look like fabric draped over the wall, wrinkles and all.

66 tommyl   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:52 pm

Who the hell is this kid? Woah.

67 monkeypants   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:53 pm

[66] I think is name is Joba something.

68 ms october   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:53 pm

[64] oh sorry - that was the extent of my knowledge. he is scheduled for saturday - is that 5 games (does tonight's rainout count)?

69 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:53 pm

Late to the game, damn work PC has problems..wish we had Macs here!

4-2..no reason Yanks should not sweep the As..who in Syakamuni's name is Dana Eveland?

70 cult of basebaal   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:54 pm

[66] AND WHY ISN'T HE PITCHING TEH 8TH?!?!?!?!

71 tommyl   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:56 pm

I'm gonna remember the name Andrew Bailey. What did he throw, 1 ball? 98+, a cutter and a sick curveball with near impeccable command? Oh and he came up as a starter. Yikes

72 RIYank   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:56 pm

[68] That's what I was wondering -- whether he could make the Saturday start.
The rain out definitely doesn't count as part of the suspension, but they'll play a double-header so it doesn't matter.

73 OldYanksFan   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:57 pm

Wow... I'm watching the A's broadcast and they just mentioned tomorrow's game... at 10:00 AM. Weird.

Matsui is done. Even when he gets a hit, he looks bad.

74 RIYank   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:57 pm

[71] Yeah, and he's from Jersey, so.

75 cult of basebaal   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:58 pm

Wow… I’m watching the A’s broadcast and they just mentioned tomorrow’s game… at 10:00 AM. Weird.

not for us out west

=)

76 tommyl   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:58 pm

[74] What, you're thinking we are going to sign him in 8 years or something?

77 RIYank   ~  Apr 21, 2009 8:58 pm

Verrrrrry nice, needed that short inning. Now I'm feeling good. Pettitte, Bruney, Mo.

78 RIYank   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:00 pm

[76] No, just sayin'.
(When I guy's from Jersey, you have to just say.)

79 The Hawk   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:00 pm

Cody Ransom has done as much to re-validate A Rod as A Rod could ever do himself. I don't care if the entire Fenway crowd coordinates their clothing to make a giant living mural of A Rod kissing his reflection, we need that weirdo back now.

80 PJ   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:00 pm

[55] You're welcome!

:)

81 RIYank   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:02 pm

Wow, that's amazing. (Kenny's story about Bailey.)

82 tommyl   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:03 pm

Yankee Stadium Jet Stream!

83 RIYank   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:03 pm

Good stuff, kid, but you've still got some room to grow.

84 tommyl   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:03 pm

[81] Doh, wasn't paying attention, what was it?

85 PJ   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:05 pm

[79] LOL Hawk! There are no mirrors in Boston. They don't work for some reason...

;)

86 PJ   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:07 pm

I do like how Pettitte finally got his curve over! Makes a difference not being behind in the count on every hitter and all...

;)

87 RIYank   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:08 pm

[84] He was a starter in AA, went (something like) 1 -11 with an ERA of over 6. They flipped him to a reliever, and he then went 4-1 with an ERA of 0.9.

Al suggests that it was the cutter they taught him; Ken thinks he has a 'closer mentality' (or something like that.

88 tommyl   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:09 pm

[87] Thanks!

89 RIYank   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:10 pm

Alba and Coke warming up. Why not Bruney?

90 cult of basebaal   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:12 pm

[89] whaaaa?

does he look like Scott Procter to you???

=)

91 ms october   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:14 pm

forget fenway - we should start making the shirts for the arod mural NOW

92 RIYank   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:15 pm

Big batter here, very big.

Oh, crap, I just said what Michael Kay said. That's not a good feeling.

93 cult of basebaal   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:16 pm

[89] besides, BaBa's our 8th inning guy.

who'd pitch the 8th if he pitched the 7th?!?!?!?

94 PJ   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:17 pm

Wewt @ second quality start in a row!

95 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:19 pm

I am really, really confident about our staff this year. Andy P is a bargain at $5million!

So how many days till A-Rod returns?

96 PJ   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:19 pm

[91] There aren't enough in attendance for such a thing I'm afraid Ms.October... unless it's a mural of Alex in a navy BP Jersey!

;)

97 RIYank   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:21 pm

[95] Wow, no kidding.
If in November you had looked in your crystal ball, Mr. OK, and told me that we were going to have a great bargain pitcher at $5M/yr, I would have been pretty damn sure it was Wang!

98 RIYank   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:21 pm

Ah, there's Bruney.
Okay, Alba and Coke really were warming in case Andy faltered in the 7th. That makes sense.

99 RIYank   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:22 pm

Oops. I didn't know you could do that here -- my finger stuttered and hit 'submit comment' twice in rapid succession.

100 cult of basebaal   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:25 pm

aight ... off to a sushi/sake pairing at my favorite sushi place ... i leave this game in y'alls capable hands.

Show/Hide Comments 101-150
101 PJ   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:25 pm

Anyone else notice that the Yankees' games are going significantly quicker? Not including the blowouts of course...

No more four-hour nine-inning games?

Curious...

102 PJ   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:26 pm

Happy Handrolls, Cult!

;)

103 ms october   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:27 pm

[96] hahaha - guess that will have to do.

i really hope matsui's can be viable - and these past few games are somewhat predictive.

104 RIYank   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:27 pm

[101] Could it be the weather? Maybe April games are quicker (pitchers don't like standing around in the cold, prefer to keep moving, kinda thing)?

105 PJ   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:30 pm

[103] Like Wang, I question Matsui's "readiness" for games in terms of his full recovery, especially since they have to drain his left knee these days, and he's merely been DH'ing...

106 RIYank   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:30 pm

Derek and Johnny seem to be having a good time.

107 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:31 pm

[100] enjoy! not a sushi man really, but the sake goes down well these days..

108 OldYanksFan   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:32 pm

Cool.. A's have a reliever name 'Outman'. He needs to follow Balfour.

109 PJ   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:32 pm

[104] I dunno RIY. Yankees games regularly under three hours are as foreign to me as the new stadium... unless you go waaay back to the pre-DH days...

110 RIYank   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:32 pm

Michael Kay just said "breaking ball inside" on that 95 mph heater (ball 2 to Holliday).

111 RIYank   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:35 pm

Oh, damn, there goes Bruney's perfect game.

112 PJ   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:36 pm

[110] LOL He's already got one foot out of the booth door! You know how he loves games "with tha quickness"...

It's a bonus for him.

113 RIYank   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:37 pm

... and there goes his shutout.

114 ms october   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:37 pm

[105] agreed pj.

the games against the red sox will be a good test - will we see the typical closer to 4 hours than to 3 hour games?

[108] that sounds like a bizarro team.

alright bruney - get it together.

115 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:38 pm

Mo please. We want Mo. Is Mo there? I'd like to speak to Mo please. Hi, is Mo available?

116 RIYank   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:39 pm

Whew.
Funny, Bruney looked dominating against Giambi and Holliday, then 0-2 to Cust, and then something happened and he was very hittable.

Kudos to Girardi for sticking with him, by the way. I would have been annoyed if Coke had come in to face the lefty.

117 PJ   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:40 pm

Bruney has to give up a run now and then so he can "fly under the radar" more effectively.

;)

118 Mattpat11   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:41 pm

I love this name. And the socks.

The numbers, not so much.

119 PJ   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:42 pm

Well I guess it's difficult to "take pitches" when strikes are thrown. Therefore, the games move right along?

Shrug...

120 RIYank   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:42 pm

I dunno, to me "Outman" just sounds like a really lame superhero. "What, they were all out of invisibility and flying?"

121 Mattpat11   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:43 pm

Good thing no one is actually at the game. Someone could have been killed.

122 RIYank   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:46 pm

OMG. What if Grant Balfour had to pitch against Nick Swisher?? It's like the immovable object and the irresistible force. Or what if Josh Outman pitched against Homer Bailey?

123 OldYanksFan   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:47 pm

[120] The first openly gay superhero?

124 PJ   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:53 pm

Sorry... have to go here... it's required.

"The fog is getting thicker"...

LOL

125 tommyl   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:54 pm

Ok, you have a seat behind homeplate and Mariano Rivera is pitching. Why the hell are you texting people?

126 RIYank   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:54 pm

Impressive piece of hitting.

127 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:54 pm

[121] What's the announced attendance? from watching on mlb.com the other night it was just so so noticable..depressing atmosphere for sure.

128 RIYank   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:57 pm

Jeez.
That was masterful.
I wonder if he knew that Sweeney was 3-for-3 against him.

129 tommyl   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:58 pm

Good, crisp win. Way to go!

130 RIYank   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:58 pm

Yum, perfect finish.

131 tommyl   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:58 pm

There's something very heartwarming about Andy starting and Mo getting the save.

132 monkeypants   ~  Apr 21, 2009 9:59 pm

Nice game1 Very nice!

133 OldYanksFan   ~  Apr 21, 2009 10:01 pm

[131] for the 57th time!
I said "The first openly gay superhero?"
OUTMAN!
(get it?)

134 PJ   ~  Apr 21, 2009 10:01 pm

No problems with that win!

Good job all around!

Tonight's Attendance: 42,065

Inching it's way to less than 40K...

135 Shaun P.   ~  Apr 21, 2009 10:02 pm

And the Jays lost (not that I'm scoreboard watching, but MLBN kept showing highlights from that game).

136 OldYanksFan   ~  Apr 21, 2009 10:02 pm

Is that actual 'Attendance' or sold seats???

137 PJ   ~  Apr 21, 2009 10:04 pm

[136] I got that from the Box, OYF...

138 tommyl   ~  Apr 21, 2009 10:05 pm

You know, I say it every time, but Mariano Rivera is unbelievable. I feel honored just to watch him pitch, even in some random game in April in bad fog against the As.

139 monkeypants   ~  Apr 21, 2009 10:05 pm

[136] It's always paid attendance (i.e., sold seats). Still, that's the lowest of the season so far.

140 monkeypants   ~  Apr 21, 2009 10:08 pm

[136] The Yankees PR machine can talk all they want about how the premium seats are sold but season ticket holders are in the restaurant or not attending that evening. At 42,000, the stadium was 10,000 shy of capacity. There is no way that all 10,000 seats can be accounted for by the scattered empty seats in the "cheap" sections.

In the Yankees' defense, however, they are leading the league in attendance. It looks like attendance is down league wide.

141 PJ   ~  Apr 21, 2009 10:10 pm

I don't think they will be announcing that during games if it's that low. At least I didn't hear Kay mention tonight's attendance. I don't think I missed it...

They will have to average 49,383 at each home game to crack 4M.

142 Rich   ~  Apr 21, 2009 10:25 pm

It's kind of refreshing seeing standout defensive plays contribute to wins: Gardner's leaping grab, a GB up the middle that was not past a diving Jeter, and Tex with a couple of nice plays.

Ransom, however, is awful, both offensively and defensively, and should not be on this team for any length of time in any role.

143 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Apr 21, 2009 10:54 pm

[142] I heartily second that emotion.

Am so, so ready to hear the ovation A-Rod gets in his first AB back, and the inevitable dramatic tater!

144 williamnyy23   ~  Apr 21, 2009 11:36 pm

Looks like the game thread was more focused on empty seats than the actions on the field. I guess it's kind of an interesting storyline considering all the political cards that have been played with this stadium, but considering the current state of the economy, I am not sure why everyone is so surprised. Either the economy will rebound or the Yankees will have to make an adjustment. Having said that, from an economic perspective, having empty seats isn't such a bad thing. Selling one $2,500 seats is the same as selling 10 $250 seats, so it's easy to do the math. As a "regular fan" with a seat in the grandstand, I really don't care who is seating in those seats.

As for the game, it was great to see the Yankees flash some leather and even better to see Andy continue to pitch so well. It also looked like the ball wasn't carrying in the first night game. The HR Damon hit was legit.

145 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Apr 21, 2009 11:59 pm

http://tinyurl.com/dzels5

Verducci on Matsuzaka and insane pitch counts..

146 Mattpat11   ~  Apr 22, 2009 12:17 am

[144] When YES pans a crowd to show a standing ovation for someone (Giambi) and there's well, no one there, its still striking even if you expect it. Same thing for when a bat goes flying into the stands and doesn't come all that close to anyone. We're not used to seeing gigantic sections of empty seats, so anytime something draws attention to it, it will probably be mentioned.

147 Rich   ~  Apr 22, 2009 12:25 am

Via Ham:

A.J. Burnett is an interesting cat. He downloaded the WordPower application to his iPhone and is learning words and phrases in Chinese so he can talk to Wang in is native tongue.

Before the game, A.J. was trying out his Chinese on Wang, making the pitcher (and the Taiwanese media) laugh. Trust me when I tell you, Wang needed to laugh. This last week has been trying for him.

Kind of shows you what a good teammate Burnett is, something the Yankees really didn’t know too much about before they signed him.

148 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Apr 22, 2009 12:44 am

[147] Super cool move by AJ. Am liking him more and more.

Wonder if that would have worked with Irabu..probably not..

149 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Apr 22, 2009 6:09 am

watching the replay now. it's a pleasure to watch Tex play 1B, the guy is smooooth.

Andy P pitching well..if A-Rod gets back and is productive I smelll 98 wins!

150 seamus   ~  Apr 22, 2009 7:13 am

[145] How can Boston complain about Dice-K's pitch counts? They drive them up as much as anyone. I'm not looking at his stats but I remember so many high pitch count games for him I've been expecting this for a while. While certainly his other epxerience doesn't help you'd think Boston would develop a way to help him ease up his shoulder some.

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