"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Texas Rangers III: 2 Legit 2 Quit

When the Yankees first played the Rangers in late May, I took a look at Texas and saw Toronto, at hot team with a strong defense that had yet to be tested by its schedule and thus seemed headed for a fall. The Blue Jays fulfilled that prophecy by going 10-24 (.294) against the Yankees, Red Sox, and Rays and playing at a .429 overall clip after going 15-9 in April. The Rangers, however, have proven me wrong.

Against the Red Sox, Angels, Rays, and White Sox this season, the Rangers have gone 24-9 (.727), and they nearly matched their 20-9 May with a 17-8 July. As a result, Texas enters this week’s three-game series in the Bronx just 1.5 games behind Boston in the Wild Card race, and 11.5 games ahead of the seventh-place Blue Jays.

How have they done it? That great defense, led by rookie shortstop Elvis Andrus and break-out right-field slugger Nelson Cruz, has played a large part, as it has helped the Texas pitching staff (brace yourself) allow the fewest runs per game in the American League. Yes, the Texas Rangers‘ pitching staff.

The Rangers have needed pitching since they arrived from Washington. Even two of their three playoff entries allowed more than the league average of runs per game. This year, however, that’s all changed. Leading the charge has been veteran Kevin Millwood, who starts tonight. Millwood has benefited tremendously from the improved defense behind him. In his first three seasons as a Ranger, Millwood’s BABIPs were .310, .340, and .358. This year, opposing batters are hitting just .274 on balls in play, and Millwood’s ERA has dropped a full run and a half as a result.

Behind Millwood, 26-year-old sophomore starter Scott Feldman has paired a similarly low BABIP with improved peripherals to shave a run and a half off of his own ERA. Toss aside his three ugly relief outings in April and he has gone 13-4 with a 3.46 ERA in his 23 starts. More recently, 22-year-old rookie Tommy Hunter has gone 6-2 with a 2.66 ERA in ten starts since joining the rotation at the end of June, thanks in part to a still-lower BABIP.

One Ranger starter who is not just a product of his team’s defense is 22-year-old rookie Derek Holland. Holland, who starts tomorrow night, has thrived since his mid-July return to the rotation, going 4-2 with a 2.95 ERA over seven starts and 4-1 with a 1.85 ERA, 0.91 WHIP, and 3.5 K/BB over his last five. He’s a legitimate prospect who could pair with recently promoted 21-year-old Neftali Feliz (part of the Mark Teixeira booty) to give the Rangers a legitimate rotation in the years to come. Feliz is working out of the major league pen for now and has struck out 19 men in 14 2/3 innings against just one walk and four hits. Be afraid.

The Rangers’ bullpen has been a large part of their success this year. First-year closer Frank Francisco has been on and off the DL, but has struck out 41 in 35 innings against just 8 walks (10.5 K/9, 5.13 K/BB). Deposed closer and current lefty set-up man C.J. Wilson has done admirably both setting up and closing for Francisco, striking out 61 in 56 innings and allowing just three home runs. Righty Darren O’Day, a mid-season waiver claim from the Mets, has posted a 1.87 ERA with similarly sharp peripherals in 50 games since arriving in Texas and leads the team in the win-expectancy-based WXRL.

The Rangers have pitched so well, in fact, that it’s easy to overlook the fact that they’re not hitting as much as they used to. Josh Hamilton has been hurt and only recently found his stroke (.373/.425/.513 since August 3, .657 OPS before that). Chris Davis struck out 114 times in 77 games and was demoted in early July. Hank Blalock has taken Davis’s place by getting on base at a .274 clip and doing little other than hitting homers. Andrus is hitting (and running) just enough to make his glove valuable, but no more. Prior to his current arm injury, fellow Teixeira-trade product Jarrod Saltalamacchia wasn’t doing that. Ian Kinsler is not repeating his production from last year and was hurt for a while himself. All of that has counteracted Cruz’s breakout, Andruw Jones ultimately half-hearted comeback, and Michael Young’s MVP-quality performance (if not for his stone glove and that Joe Mauer guy, of course). As a result the Rangers are actually a tick below league average in runs scored per game at 4.85. As usual, that gets worse on the road, where they’ve scored just 4.2 runs per game on the season.

Could this Yankees-Rangers series in the hitting-friendly Yankee Stadium yield a series of pitchers’ duels? Don’t be surprised if it does.

Joba Chamberlain goes against Millwood tonight on eight-day’s rest. He had nine days off around the All-Star break and came back looking like and ace, allowing two runs on eight hits over his next three starts. He then had seven days off before facing the Red Sox at the beginning of the month and came back looking like the nibbler we saw in the first half of the season, walking seven in five innings. Which Joba takes the mound tonight is anyone’s guess. It was the nibbler who faced Texas in Arlington back in late May (4 IP, 4 BB).

Texas Rangers

2009 Record: 69-54 (.561)
2009 Pythagorean Record: 68-55 (.553)

Manager: Ron Washington
General Manager: Jon Daniels

Home Ballpark: Rangers Ballpark (100/101)

Who’s Replaced Whom:

  • Ivan Rodriguez replaces Jarrod Saltalamacchia (DL)
  • Julio Borbon (minors) replaces Chris Davis (minors)
  • Tommy Hunter (minors) and Dustin Nippert (DL) replace Brandon McCarthy (DL) and Vicente Padilla
  • Jason Grilli has replaced Eddie Guardado (DL)
  • Doug Mathis and Neftali Feliz replace Warner Madrigal (minors) and Kris Benson

25-man Roster:

1B – Hank Blalock (L)
2B – Ian Kinsler (R)
SS – Elvis Andrus (R)
3B – Michael Young (R)
C – Taylor Teagarden (R)
RF – Nelson Cruz (R)
CF – Josh Hamilton (L)
LF – Marlon Byrd (R)
DH – Julio Borbon (L)


R – Andruw Jones (OF)
L – David Murphy (OF)
R – Ivan Rodriguez (C)
S – Omar Vizquel (SS)


R – Kevin Millwood
L – Derek Holland
R – Dustin Nippert
R – Tommy Hunter
R – Scott Feldman


R – Frank Francisco
L – C.J. Wilson
R – Jason Grilli
R – Darren O’Day
R – Jason Jennings
R – Doug Mathis
R – Neftali Perez

15-day DL: LHP – Eddie Guardado (inflamed knee); C – Jarrod Saltalamacchia (right arm); IF – Esteban German (groin)

60-day DL: RHP – Joaquin Benoit (rotator cuff surgery); RHP – Eric Hurley (torn rotator cuff); RHP – Brandon McCarthy (shoulder fracture); LHP – Matt Harrison (Thoracic Outlet Syndrome)

Typical Lineup:

L – Julio Borbon (DH)
R – Michael Young (3B)
L – Josh Hamilton (CF)
R – Marlon Byrd (LF)
R – ian Kinsler (2B)
R – Nelson Cruz (RF)
L – Hank Blalock (3B)
R – Taylor Teagarden (C)
R – Elvis Andrus (SS)

Categories:  Cliff Corcoran  Game Thread  Series Preview

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Show/Hide Comments 1-100
1 Mattpat11   ~  Aug 25, 2009 6:00 pm

I have a good feeling about this series, but I do think there is plenty of potential for disaster, because all three Yankees starters have the ability to implode out of nowhere

Chamberlain's nibbling drives me nuts not just because he nibbles, but also because he loves the awful, pointless waste pitches. He'll go 0-2 on someone and decide that we need to follow that up with a pitch over the head, a pitch at the feet, and a pitch in the other batters box. Of course no one swings, and then we start going for the corners, which leads to 13 foul balls and the eventual walk.

Is maddening.

2 The Hawk   ~  Aug 25, 2009 6:32 pm

[1] Word

3 ms october   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:01 pm

singleton and coney!!!!

yeah about time

4 Just Fair   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:04 pm

[3} I'm glad the 3 days I spent missing Red Sox weekend to find Cone paid off. : D

5 ms october   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:09 pm

[4] no doubt.

it's going to be weird seeing pudge in a ranger uniform again.

6 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:13 pm

A 3-2 breaking ball to a speed guy leading off. I guess Joba has picked right up from where he left off.

7 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:15 pm

Just about every playoff contender has a speed element to their game. That could wind up being the Yankees biggest achilles heel.

8 ms october   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:16 pm

we need to hope texas swings at shit in the dirt all night

9 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:17 pm

Oh boy...Jorge isn't off to a good start.

10 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:20 pm

How did he not score?

Off the bat, Joba has already reverted back to the bad habits.

11 ms october   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:21 pm

good job getting the dp

12 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:21 pm

Joba pitches backwards in every sense. In an AB, he starts off with the breaking pitches and goes to the fastball late in the count. In an inning, he nibbles with no men on base, but gets more aggressive in a jam. It really doesn't make much sense.

13 Mattpat11   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:23 pm

I hate that pitch in the other batters box.

14 ms october   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:27 pm

jeter with the walk - unreal he went that long without a walk

15 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:28 pm

The Rangers can't be happy about the current schedule. They get the Yankees, while the Red Sox get to face Contreras and Garcia and TB faces a Jays team that has already flown south for the winter.

16 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:28 pm

[14] Because he has been swining very early in the count AND getting a ton of hits.

17 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:29 pm

Pudge can still throw.

18 ms october   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:30 pm

[16] and mp and i know how you disaporve of the first onet :}

damn pudge got him

19 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:30 pm

[18] I don't disapprove of it as a rule...just in ABs when the team is behind by a lot.

20 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:33 pm

This feels like an A-bomb.

21 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:33 pm

[20] There was a wiring problem.

22 Mattpat11   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:33 pm

[16] Don't necessarily think that's a bad thing.

23 Mattpat11   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:35 pm


24 ms october   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:35 pm

beautiful hit hideki

25 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:35 pm

Wow...alot of action on that play...and it all happened very quickly.

26 Just Fair   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:35 pm

Damn, Mats. Can't hit it any harder. Why do guys coming home refuse to watch the on deck batter?

27 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:36 pm

[26] In Arods case, I think he wants to avoid a jarring slide into the plate at all costs.

28 monkeypants   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:36 pm

Hello all. I just showed up...on the Score Truck!

29 Just Fair   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:37 pm

Eat it, Millwood.

30 Mattpat11   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:38 pm


31 Raf   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:38 pm

Just like that, 4-0

32 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:38 pm

Think Texas is ready for the next stop on their road trip. I am not sure how long it will last, but the Yankees have established themselves as a cut above everyone else, with the possible exception of Anaheim.

33 ms october   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:41 pm

[28] surprised the score truck had room for you

34 tocho   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:42 pm

hate that the yanks are doing a favor to the red sox...

35 monkeypants   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:42 pm

So, I'm going to the game on Thursday. Can anyone tell me when the new Stadium opens for day games--two hour or three hours before game time?

36 The Hawk   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:43 pm

As soon as Jorge's home run went out, I wondered how frustrating the top of the second would be. Cause that's how I roll (and how Joba rolls, let's be honest).

37 monkeypants   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:43 pm

[33] There's always room for one more on the Score Truck!

BTW, Posada really killed that rally, huh?

38 ms october   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:43 pm

after jeter got thrown out i was a bit pessimistic about that inning - glad i was wrong

39 The Hawk   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:44 pm

[34] I was thinking that too. Just hope the Red Sox lose.

40 ms october   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:46 pm

[37] yeah guess it has been a roomy score truck lately

yes damn those rally killing hrs

41 tocho   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:46 pm

anybody see Teix yesterday on letterman; i thought he was pretty cool, interesting answers. he said he saw himself playing in NY this time of the year last year... had a couple of other nuggets.

42 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:47 pm

[34] It does give this game a somewhat odd feeling, but I am keeping my eye on that best record. Also, you really can't start picking your playoff opponent because that always seems to bite you. Afterall, the Yankees would probably be best served by having Anaheim bounced and the Sox historically have the best chance to do that.

[35] Two hours.

43 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:49 pm

[36] There's your answer. With all the good things in Yankeeland, Joba's resistance to learning how to pitch is definitely a concern. We all keep waiting for him to emerge as an ace, but maybe he just wont be anything more than a highend #3 or #4.

44 NickL   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:49 pm

here comes the frustration....

45 tocho   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:50 pm

[42] i agree that you can't start picking your opponent; I just want the red sox out of the playoffs! I want their season to be a complete failure

46 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:50 pm

2-0 pitch to Andrus! and he throws a slider. I can't believe Eiland and Girardi approve of his pitching pattern, but then why do they allow him to continue?

47 ms october   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:51 pm


48 NickL   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:51 pm

Joba just needs to have his ass kicked relentlessly. he's not smart, he's not experienced: he just has a great arm. other people need to do the thinking for him.

49 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:52 pm

A small part of me really wants Joba to get absolutely hammered because his stubborness and ignorance on the mound is angering. I don't know what it is going to take for him to finally learn, but maybe a few drubbings would do the trick.

50 tocho   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:52 pm

[34] I take it all back. I want the yanks to win this one no matter what.

51 monkeypants   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:52 pm

[42] Blast--I was hoping for three hours, watching BP and the like.

52 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:55 pm

I hate to say this, but Joba really reminds me alot of Jose Contreras. Both have excellent breaking pitches and hard, but straight fastballs. They also both rely too heavily on the breaking pitch and wind up having to throw their fastball in obvious hitter's counts. When you look at both pitchers' stuff, you can't imagine how they give up runs, but then you watch some of their decisions on the mound and you see why.

53 tocho   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:55 pm

[49] he's had his share of very bad games and hasn't learned. I hope he'll eventually figure it out. he has a good role model in CC to teach him how to do it. he better not hang out with AJ who hasn't fully figured it out.

54 Mattpat11   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:55 pm

Same old shit from Joba, huh?

55 The Hawk   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:55 pm

[43] Huh, that was worse than I thought. I figured he'd just drive everyone crazy but get it out of his self-made mess. Not so!

I suspect Posada's approach to his job is ill-advised. He doesn't look like a helper or a guide for the pitchers - he looks like a task-master and a scold.

56 The Hawk   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:58 pm

[55] And a busy-body. I know that with Chamberlain, staying on top of him may be necessary, but it's annoying how often Posada goes out to chat with the pitcher.

57 ms october   ~  Aug 25, 2009 7:59 pm

bah nice stop

58 RIYank   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:00 pm

Freaking Jeter.

Hey all.

59 Mattpat11   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:00 pm


60 ms october   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:01 pm

[59] that counter has been moving fast

61 RIYank   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:05 pm

Millwood was luck Teix didn't launch that pitch.
Well, he did launch it, but you know what I mean.

62 ms october   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:09 pm

wow swisheroo!!

63 OldYanksFan   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:09 pm

"...he’s not smart, he’s not experienced.."
Just because he's still very young...
and has fewer profession IP than any other pitcher in MLB....
and was called up prematurely because the Yankees had pitching troubles...
and has been in both the SR and BP....
and has had an irregular routine due to injury and an innings limit....
Is ABSOLUELY NO EXCUSE not to be experienced and smart.

64 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:10 pm

Now that's a great catch.

Meanwhile, another flat fastball by Joba.

65 RIYank   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:12 pm

Very nice.

66 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:12 pm

[63] I agree with everything you said, but considering all those things, should Joba will be taking such a significant role in how his cames are called? Unless the Yankees want him to pitch backwards, it seems as if that is the pattern Joba prefers. Because he is inexperienced, the Yankees should perhaps dictate how he approaches the hitters.

67 Just Fair   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:13 pm

A little over 250 innings at the big league level. Joba really should have it all figured it by now. The fact that he's not going 7+ every game and shutting down everyone just goes to show how overrated he his.
/ sarcasm.

68 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:13 pm

3-2 fastball with a lead and no men on! Thank you.

69 ms october   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:18 pm

i hope kevin millwood sends a whitman's sampler over

70 RagingTartabull   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:19 pm

[69] everyone loves a whitman's sampler

71 NickL   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:23 pm

67, 63--I'm not interested in blame, or snark. I neither blamed Joba, nor suggested he was overrated. I'm interested in figuring out the best way to handle Joba so that he fulfills his potential. I recognize that MOST young pitchers don't fulfill that potential. I feel that Joba tends to mess around and overcomplicates things rather than going after hitters. Just my opinion....

72 RagingTartabull   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:23 pm

Cashman better sign this kid


73 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:24 pm

Why is he nibbling on the corner!!

74 seamus   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:27 pm

what irks me is that that percentage of joba's pitches that are strikes is barely over 50%.

75 randym77   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:32 pm

So, I take it Joba's having his bad inning now?

76 OldYanksFan   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:32 pm

[66] My guess is if the Yankees disapproved of Joba's technique the way you do, they would get involved... and ARE involved. In terms of raw potential, it has been a long time since the Yankees have had anyone like Joba. I'm quite sure a LOT of hours of interest by the FO has been invested in Joba.

The truth is many fans are just too impatient and expect Doc Gooden. A few hot prospects go right to the top, but most have some struggles and many take years to reach their potential.

Let's not forget something. The 2 best pitchers in baseball (?), Santana and Halladay have career ERA+s of 143 and 132. Our immature, inexperienced, disappointing, not-so-smart Joba's career ERA+?

One hundred forty five.

77 The Hawk   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:33 pm

Joba seems to aspire to being Greg Maddux, when he should be aspiring to be Roger Clemens (on the mound, that is). There's no reason, if you can throw 95-96, trying to be tricky and clever.

78 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:33 pm

Oh boy...this inning is a replay of the 2nd. Joba is basically just giving runs away. If the Yankees don't start taking more control over how he pitches, the habits are going to be harder to break. Right now, Joba is a poor pitcher with very good stuff. That's enough to get by, but it really is a waste.

79 Just Fair   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:33 pm

Elvis was a hero to most but he never meant shit to me.

80 NickL   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:33 pm

What happened to Joba's new quicker approach on the mound? Painfully slow again tonight.....

81 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:34 pm

1-2 count....Joba shakes...another slider. There is absolutely no variance in the pattern. Why the Yankees continue to allow Joba to shake off is beyond me.

82 The Hawk   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:34 pm

Oy vey

83 ms october   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:36 pm

[79] that sucker was simple and plain

[76] what is his era+ as a starter?

this is turning into a fucking hit parade

84 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:36 pm

What a disgusting performance by Joba.

85 RagingTartabull   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:37 pm

[81] I really don't see how "allowing" even comes into it, unless you wanna fine him an undisclosed amount everytime he shakes off. There is only so much coaching that can be done, at some point it's just on him.

This inning is ridiculous btw, I would almost be happier if they were smacking him around. Right now everything is just landing in the right spot for Texas.

86 cult of basebaal   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:37 pm

used to be a Joba start was a reason to stay home at night.

now a Joba start is a reason to go out and skip the game.

just pathetic.

87 Just Fair   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:38 pm

[49] So is this enough of a hammering?. Or are you dissappointed in all the seeing eye hits?

88 monkeypants   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:39 pm

[76] That's a bit misleading, no? Joba's ERA+ as a starter is 3.56...still good, but surely not 145 or the like.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again--Hughes will end up the better starter. But we'll have to check back in a few years to revisit this particular conversation.

89 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:39 pm

Great Joba...way to embarrass yourself.

90 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:40 pm

[85] It's as simple as telling him he throws what the catcher puts down or he comes out the game and works on his mechanics in Scanton.

91 OldYanksFan   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:41 pm

[83] BR doesn't have ERA+ in splits. His OPS against as a starter is .725. His WHIP is high at 1.4, Mind you, I agree that Joba has issues. But not as many as us fans. I believe we expect to much (typical Yankee fans, yes?)

92 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:42 pm

[87] If they are going to lose, I wouldn't mind seeing more runs. It looks like he is "unlucky", but that's a product of a stubbornly predictable pattern and horrid location. The reason those two ground balls got past Jeter is because he was cheating up the middle based on the location. Joba missed both times and sure enough the ball got through.

93 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:44 pm

[88] I definitely agree that Hughes will wind up the better starter. Unless he isn't being coached properly, I am starting to think that Joba will be another example of a talented pitcher unable or unwilling to actually learn to pitch.

94 Just Fair   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:45 pm

[92] I agree his location is horrible. But if he throws everything Posada calls for his location is STILL going to be terrible. All this Joba bashing is beyone me. IMHO.

95 monkeypants   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:45 pm

Hm. This is starting to feel, unfortunately, like a Sergio Mitre evening. In two ways. First, that Joba was unluckied to death and will last only about four innings. Second, that I bet Sergio comes into the game as the "long man."

96 Albany-Carolina Yankee   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:45 pm

WOW! I went to put the kids down for the night with 2 outs and I come back to this? Man, Joba is frustrating.

97 cult of basebaal   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:46 pm


98 ms october   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:47 pm

[91] thanks for checking.
i agree that the expectations of him are often too much - but there are a two things that are problematic that can and should be addressed that i think would make a big difference- shaking off the catcher to the degree he is and throwing so many junk pitches on 2 strike counts

99 Just Fair   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:47 pm

Do the Yanks lead the league in replays. WTF?

100 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:47 pm

[91] I don't think it's too much to expect Joba to be more consistent, efficient and dominant. He has ++ stuff (or had)...the kind of arsenal that should allow him to be a borderline ace even at his level of relative inexperience. Furthermore, it isn't the result that is frustrating, but rather his approach and his stubborness.

Show/Hide Comments 101-200
101 The Hawk   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:47 pm

Joba has been unlucky tonight, in his defense. But I'm getting sick of Joba talk, in general. And in general, he places that target on his own back.

102 joe   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:47 pm

44 pitch inning. Did I see that right? Joba's been getting shelled out there.

103 ms october   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:48 pm

[95] :{

104 ms october   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:49 pm

yeah robbie - chip away boys

105 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:50 pm

If the Yankees can win this game, Joba giving up 7 runs might be a good thing. It might take a few more similar outings to finally break through, but if Joba continues to pitch this way, he will be much better than the 4ERA pitcher he is today.

106 Albany-Carolina Yankee   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:53 pm

[95] monkeypants, I hope you're right. I'm going to the game Friday and I see that CC was pushed to Sat and Mitre is pitching. Bummer.

107 monkeypants   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:54 pm

To play devil's advocate--how do we know that it's Joba's stubborness that is leading to all of the slow stuff with two strikes? Sure, he's shaking Posada off, but for all we know it's Posada putting down two fingers every time.

I find it interesting that when AJ shook off Po and got sheeled, everyone was quick to blame Posada, and many called for marrying AJ and Molina. But when Joba shakes off Posada and gets shelled, everyone blames the pitcher.

108 monkeypants   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:55 pm

[106] Oh man, that is a bummer. I went to two games last season (a rarity for me--I usually can only make to one game at most), and saw Ponson both times. Grrrr.

109 cult of basebaal   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:56 pm

But I’m getting sick of Joba talk, in general.

Oh, yeah???

"Ha! Mongo wan chee kospah ooh. Pee cha ka wunchy culpa tong me too chonky troi. Peecha wanchee lockhba tang nannee du chonky troy. Solo fol too ma kay chalia."

Take that!


110 joe   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:56 pm

I was a little more inspired by Gaudin's start than by any of MItre's... I wonder why Gaudin is the long man.

111 seamus   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:56 pm

[108] that sounds like a rotten conspiracy against you. ouch!

112 monkeypants   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:56 pm

[106] Wait a minute [he says, actually thinking about it], are you saying that Mitre, who got "unlucky" against Boston, has earned a ticket back to the rotation? Sometimes this team has an interesting way of handling merit and promotion.

113 monkeypants   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:58 pm

[111] At they won both games! The first Ponson pitched "well" (a million runners but no one scored). The second was that crazy game against the Angels, when Teix hit a HR but Nady came back and hit a HR to put the Yanks ahead for good. The final score was like 13-11.

114 Albany-Carolina Yankee   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:58 pm

[108] My game last year was an evening with Ponson. I thought it would be a blowout and Sidney pitched out of enormous gourde. Yankees lost 1-0 and Mariano took the loss. That was a bummer.

115 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:58 pm

[107] The difference is AJ is a veteran and Joba has not yet learned to pitch. The biggest difference is AJ does not have a discernible pattern. He basically goes with what is working. Joba, on the other hand, is easy to predict.

116 ms october   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:58 pm

[107] i have consistently "blamed" the pitcher in both cases
i think with joba, he is shaking off to get to the slider - i looked at this on gameday a few weeks ago to try to confirm and that is what seemed to be happening

117 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 8:59 pm

[107] Another interesting thing about your comparison is that like Joba, AJ wasted his youth refusing to learn how to pitch. His early stubborness and immaturity is well documented. Joba's stuff isn't even as good as AJ's, so if he doesn't get his head on straight, he could have the same underachieving career.

118 ms october   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:01 pm

[117] and aj was advising joba earlier in the season!!

well no unlucky mitre tonight - gaudin it is

119 Albany-Carolina Yankee   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:01 pm

[112] That's the word on the street......and Yankees.com.

120 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:01 pm

Lots of Banter posts from the hosts, and 1120+ game thread comments to catch up on..from the box score I take it Joba wasn't "all that" in this start? Oh well, I guess he made good pitches but give credit to Texas' lineup..something like that?

121 Just Fair   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:04 pm

[115] A.J. has 2 pitches. Joba has 4. If onnly A.J's curve is working that is predictable. If only his fastball is working that too is predictable. Joba is a young kid trying to figure it all out. He threw a great 2-0 change to Pudge that he was way ahead of on his swing and miss. A 2-0 change is not predictable in most cases.

122 monkeypants   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:04 pm

[116] So have I. But I do find the variant assumptions and conclusions interesting.

[115] That may be, and it is clear that Joba is "stubborn" inasmuch as he shakes off Po a lot, but in the end there is insufficient evidence to determine who is "winning"--it may be that Posada gets his way, eventually, on the pitches thrown. I'm not sure I believe this, of course.

123 cult of basebaal   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:04 pm


124 monkeypants   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:05 pm

[119] This team boggles my mind sometimes. I guess they gotta justify that 13-man staff.

125 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:07 pm

[120] Nope...he was awful.

126 tocho   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:07 pm

silver lining. boston is losing 3-2 and tb is winning. if all holds up boston is only .5 games ahead of tex in the WC and 2.5 up on TB. the yanks lead would remain intact. I like it

127 seamus   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:08 pm

[113] right on. at least it turned out well. :)

128 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:10 pm

[108] That is beyond hysterical..reminds me of the time Jason Seaver and Carol got free tickets to Frank Sinatra...only to be seated and find out it was Frank Sinatra Jr...

129 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:10 pm

[121] Joba "has" 4 pitches, but he mostly throws only 2. The one change to Pudge might have been an example of a good pitch in an unpredictable spot, but that's one example.

[122] I guess Posada could be winning out, but that would kind of go against what Jorge usually does...which is call for the fastball. If that's the case, then I apologize to Joba.

130 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:13 pm

One more point about Posada and AJ...part of me wonders if Posada doesn't call for the curve from AJ because he has so much trouble catching it.

131 OldYanksFan   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:15 pm

"That’s a bit misleading, no? Joba’s ERA+ ...(you mean ERA?)... as a starter is 3.56…still good, but surely not 145 or the like."

Wow... a crappy 3.56?
CC Sabathia of the AL Central has a career ERA of 3.65.

132 Just Fair   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:16 pm

[129] He mostly throws only 2? Well that clears that up.

133 Diane Firstman   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:17 pm

Evening folks ....

134 monkeypants   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:18 pm

[131] I never said is was crappy. In fact, I said that it was "good,"as you quoted. And it was misleading to cite his career ERA+, which is distorted by his ERA as a reliever. Just like Hughes' ERA this year obscures his poor ERA as a starter and super-duper ERA as a reliver.

135 ms october   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:20 pm

this whole shaking the catcher off stuff has got me thinking about pitchers that supposedly called their own game. when it is said that moose called his own game how exactly did that work?
the catcher was putting signs down because the catcher obviously has to know the pitch type and location - moose wasn't first giving signs to the catcher, right?
so if that is right, basically it seems the catcher put the sign down and moose either shook him off or not - how is that different than any other pitcher?

136 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:23 pm

[131] You are really relying on small sample sizes to make your point. Joba has such a small body of work as a starter that after today his career ERA has jumped all the way to 3.82. He also has a WHIP over 1.4 and a K/BB ratio of only 2. Throw in his career IP/GS average of 5.4 and I don't think you can argue that Joba has been particularly impressive as a starter aside from a few brilliant starts.

Instead of making excuses for Joba, we, he and the team need to fully acknowledge that he is performing well below his talent. Whether it's stubborness, poor approach, injury or inability, the Yankees have to figure out the cause and make needed adjustments. Otherwise, the Yankees have an end of the rotation pitcher where they thought they had an ace.

137 OldYanksFan   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:24 pm

This year, a 3.56 ERA translates to a 126 ERA+. We just paid $23m/yr to a guy with a career ERA+ of 121, which is, as you would say, a little less then 'good'.

138 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:24 pm

[136] Man..he's 23 yrs old..not everyone is Doc Gooden, fully formed at 20! Give him some more time..I have no problem with people criticizing Joba's performance and attitude but he is still just a kId!

139 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:25 pm

[132] Joba rarely throws his curve and change. What needs to be cleared up?

140 Just Fair   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:27 pm

[136] Whether it’s stubborness, poor approach, injury or inability,
None of those. It's. Location. Location. Location.

141 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:28 pm

[138] What does give him more time mean? How about teach him how to pitch? I am not suggesting the Yankees ship him out, but do think they need to start cracking the whip. Joba is not making progress. He is regressing. I don't think the Yankees should stand by and watch him waste his talent by hoping he'll figure things out.

142 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:29 pm

[140] Location is not a cause...it is an effect. His location is poor because of one of those other things I cited (he nibbles, he throws pitches in the wrong count, he is injured or he is hurt).

143 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:29 pm

Is Joba still in?

144 OldYanksFan   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:30 pm

What I posted in [63] are not excuses. They are history. Facts and circumstances. Even with all that, to date, Joba has still been an above average pitcher.

Joba is trying to teach himself to pitch... no just throw heat. It's frustrating to me also, but I believe it is just part of the process.

145 monkeypants   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:31 pm

[141] I wonder how much is scouting by the opposing team. When he first came, as I recall, he got lots of swings and misses on that slider well off the plate. I think the league has caught up to his pattern of pitching. I'm not sure that is regression on the part of Joba, though one would like to see better counter-adjustments.

146 Just Fair   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:31 pm

[139] Fastball and slider are his 2 best pitches of course. Rarely throwing his curve and change is what's known as mixing his secondary ptiches. He does this. That fact that he even has these pitches in his arsenal and is willing to throw them in unpredictable counts is all about the process.

147 Just Fair   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:33 pm

[142] Ask Greg Maddux if location is not a cause. It caused him to win about 340 games and be a sure fire hall of famer. : D

148 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:34 pm

[144] It is also history and fact that young pitchers with Joba's "stuff" can and are dominant within their first 200 innings. It is also history and fact that Joba has been regressing, not improving. If he keeps up the pattern, he wont even be above average anymore. My point is Joba should not be teaching himself to pitch...the Yankees should be. If they don't have the time, maybe Joba needs more time in the minors. Otherwise, they need to figure out the root causes of the problem and address them. Also, Joba needs to own up to his poor performance. We'll see after the game if he does that...or if he credits the approach of the hitters and laments his "bad luck".

Also, "throwing heat" is very much part of being a pitcher, especially if you possess a 95 mph fastball, which I presume Joba still does.

149 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:35 pm

[145] I think that is absolutely part of the equation. The league has adjusted to Joba and he has not returned the favor.

150 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:35 pm

Yankees better get some runs here because Feliz is game over.

151 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:37 pm

[146] His rare use of those pitches limits them as weapons. He may use them 2 or 3 times per game, but a real four pitch pitcher uses his full arsenal alot more.

152 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:41 pm

This is great managing by Ron Washington. Instead of letting the Yankees strike against Millwood, he goes right to Feliz.

153 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:43 pm

The Rangers' haul in the Teixeira deal was massive.

154 monkeypants   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:46 pm

[152] I'm pretty surprised that Feliz was not saved, though, for the eighth inning.

155 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:46 pm

[154] Breath of resh air, right?

156 monkeypants   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:48 pm

I wonder when (or even if) Washington will come under insane pressure to keep Feliz as a reliever, or make him the "eight inning guy," or "the heir to XXXXXX closer," etc.

157 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:48 pm

Damn White Sox...if Boston gets this back down to 6, who knows. With Joba and Mitre and Gaudin, maybe we shouldn't be counting chickens just yet.

158 Just Fair   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:48 pm

[151] What does that mean percentage wise for a 4 pitch pitcher with 4 pitches?
25%, 25%,25%,25%,
33% 33% 17% 17%
45% 45% 5% 5%
Just curious.....

My guess is more the last one.

159 Just Fair   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:50 pm

[154] A 4 pitch pitcher with 4 pitches is rather redundant. Probably. : O

160 Just Fair   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:52 pm

[159 was for 158} I am going to quit trying to talk to myself now. D'oh!!!

161 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:52 pm

[156] Not facing that presure might be one of the perks of managing in Texas. Of course, Washington has pretty much been using him for more than one inning, almost like Rivera was used in 1996. I think he is the secret weapon for this team.

162 randym77   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:52 pm

They couldn't Photoshop that ZZTop beard off Gaudin's Gameday photo?

163 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:52 pm

Joba Gaudin hasn't pitched very well tonight.

164 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:53 pm

Boston up 4-3...all of sudden things might be tightening up again. What a shame that Joba just completely shit the bed tonight.

165 monkeypants   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:54 pm

Unless the evening changes in a hurry, I won't have to worry about seeing the house money lineup on Thursday. However, I do somewhat dread the day-game-after-a-night-game lineup, especially if it is also a rest-a-rod's-hip day. I might see all two of the bench as starters!!

166 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:54 pm

Gameday here again..was Feliz stuff as advertised or too soon to tell with only one batter?

167 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:54 pm

[158] I don't know the percentage, but from watching him, I'd guess Joba's rare use of his curve and change would not meet the cutoff.

168 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:56 pm

[166] I've seen him a lot before, so yes, his stuff is as good, if not better than the hype. He did absolutely blow one fastball by Damon, but he did hang a curve that Johnny just missed. I am sure having to be quick played a part in that.

169 monkeypants   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:57 pm

[164] "All of a sudden" ? "Tightening up again"? Worst case scenario, the lead went from 7 back in the loss column to 6 back in the loss column.

Boston is not winning this division. I say this tempting every jinx and curse.

170 Raf   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:57 pm

[161] Bleating from talk radio does not equal pressure. If the organization feels Feliz will do better as a starter, they will put him in the rotation.

171 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:58 pm

The dreaded 2-0 swing down by alot late! Ugh.

172 monkeypants   ~  Aug 25, 2009 9:59 pm

[163] Joba Gaudin hasn’t pitched very well tonight.

That should just about guarantee that he starts a game soon.

173 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:00 pm

[169] In two days, the lead was timmed 1 1/2. With Mitre looming and some good teams on the schedule, a few more games could be dropped. After watching Joba continue his slide, that leaves two weak slots in the rotation.

174 Diane Firstman   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:01 pm

Good grief!
Add J.J. Putz to the list of Mets players done for the season.

Putz has been shut down indefinitely and will not return this year after an MRI on Tuesday found that he has some new fraying and a slightly torn ulnar collateral ligament in his right elbow.

Putz had surgery on the elbow in June to remove a bone spur and fragments of bone and was slated to make his first rehab appearance Tuesday for Class-A Brooklyn. But he was scratched from that appearance after complaining of soreness in his right forearm, the team said in a statement.

175 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:01 pm

Wow...Feliz looks like a stud. Of course, so did Joba three years ago.

176 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:02 pm

101 for Feliz on Gameday...yikes...

177 Raf   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:02 pm

[167] FWIW, Fangraphs has Joba's pitch percentanges as

FB: 64.6% (92.5)
SL: 22.4% (84.2)
CB: 8.6% (77.4)
CH: 4.4% (82.1)

178 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:03 pm

6-3 Boston...hopefulyl Chicago comes to town playing the same shitty baseball.

179 Diane Firstman   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:05 pm

Feliz reminds me of 1995 Mariano .... bring him in in the 6th/7th, let him K everyone for 2 innings, bridge to Wetteland.

180 monkeypants   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:05 pm

[170] It was a little more than talk radio silliness. Every newspaper columnist, every reporter asking the same questions. It must have some impact. Even the players (I'm looking at you, Jorge) started to weigh in the pitcher's proper role (in the case of Joba). Is the manager completely immune from this? Perhaps. Or does doubt creep i? Is he concerned that he will be the scapegoat if he makes the "wrong" decision?

I'm convinced this is a contributing factor to the way closers are used. There may be (I would even hazard to guess, probably are) managers who would use their closers differently, but know that if they bring him in in the sixth inning and fails even once, they're on the hot seat. I recently linked to an article (from espn.com?) about pitch counts, in which it was argued that managers feel pressure not go with their instinct, but instead conform to the 100-pitch orthodoxy.

I have to imagine that intense media scrutiny over a specific issue, in this case the "eighth inning guy," has some impact. At the very least, it must be a relief for a manager if he simply doesn't have to deal with the same questions and second-guesses again and again and again.

181 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:06 pm

[177] Maybe some more changes is the answer? Those percentages suggest about 3 per game.

182 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:07 pm

Oh well...this was a very bad day for the Yankees.

183 monkeypants   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:07 pm

[173] Now who's using misleading numbers! GB is less important than difference in losses. The Yankees had an off day, and then lost, and unsurprisingly they went from 7 ahead in the loss column to 6 ahead.

184 monkeypants   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:08 pm

[177] Three pitch pitcher! Three pitch pitcher!

185 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:11 pm

[183] I don't buy into the "loss column" argument. Wins are important too...they are games you didn't lose. Part of a comeback would be Boston winning, so that part of the equation factors in as well.

186 Just Fair   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:11 pm

[177] Thanks. I've been searching different places to find those.
: D

187 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:14 pm

Gaudin wins the battle with Joba for least ineffective pitcher of the inning, also know as the Sergio Mitre award..

188 monkeypants   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:16 pm

[185] Well, then we will have to disagree. The "loss column argument" makes sense because, to use the phrase, the Yankees control their destiny. Just because the Sox won when the Yankees had an off day, that does not equate to a "real" reduction in their lead. Because the Sox had played one game less, the "extra" half game lead was illusory to begin with, a fluke of scheduling. The Yankees have lost one game from their lead over second place in two days, that's all.

Moreover, I refuse to panic when, after the team won a series against the second place team in the division to balloon their lead to its largest of the season, that the Sox manage to claw a game back the next day or two.

Nothing has happened "all of a sudden," other than the Sox won one and the Yanks lost one.

189 Raf   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:21 pm

[174] I think the Mets knew Putz wasn't right.

[180] I dunno, it appears to me that closers are used the same just about everywhere, regardless of the size of the media market. I'm sure there are opportunities for managers to be creative with their pitching staffs, but for whatever reason they don't. But looking at guys like Joba, Feliz, Pedro and Wainright, I'm sure if their teams think they're better served starting, they will start, no matter what players and the press think.

Mind providing the link to the article.

190 Raf   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:22 pm

[189] "Mind providing the link to the article?" is much more better :)

191 monkeypants   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:22 pm

I'm not listening to the game any more, but following occasionally on gameday. I am very confused that Feliz is still in the game. I mean, he's a hot young pitching prospect, being used in parts of three innings out of the pen. Very odd indeed.

192 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:22 pm

[188] I am not saying they no longer control their own destiny, but they have seen their lead reduced by 20% in 2 days. I don't see why you consider refusing to believe that the season is over with 25% of it yet to be played as " panicking", especially because of how quickly things can change in baseball. All of sudden is the hallmark of a schedule in which you play everyday. That's this start by Joba should be more of a concern than most people seem to think. He/Gaudin/Mitre could wind up starting 16 more games between them. If each pitches as they have recently then AJ/CC/Andy better all stay sharp.

193 Raf   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:24 pm

"I’m sure there are opportunities for managers to be creative with their pitching staffs, but for whatever reason they aren't..."

I could use a proofreader :p

194 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:27 pm

Well, hopefully we wont have to see Mr. Feliz again in this series.

195 monkeypants   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:33 pm

[189][190] OK, I tried to answer you, but my comment is waiting moderation, so it's lost. I'll try again, by breaking up the links..

Part 1:


But in 2001 the 120-plus pitch games were cut in half. By 2006 they were cut in half again. Last season there were only 71 games where a pitcher threw 120-plus pitches … these games have become almost extinct. I do think it’s fear-driven … most of the managers I talk to around the game privately DESPISE the pitch count. Or, more to the point, they despise the oppressive nature of pitch counts…

196 monkeypants   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:34 pm

part 2:


When pitch counts reach the century mark, the end is near … but why?

We, the media
“What year was it that Pedro Martinez was left in the game against the Yankees in the playoffs?” asked Wakamatsu, referring to the 2003 American League Championship Series when Red Sox manager Grady Little chose to leave Martinez in the game. Martinez lost the lead, the Yankees won in extra innings and knocked the Red Sox out of the playoffs, and Little was fired after the season essentially for leaving a starting pitcher in too long. “After that, the education of the public has changed so much. There was so much public scrutiny over that.”

Duncan agreed, saying, “If you’re a die-hard supporter of a team, or someone who covers the team, what happens when the top pitcher on the team breaks? Everyone looks at the pitch count. The first thing they’re going to do is see if there’s any possible way that the pitcher was abused. The media is now setting the standards for how many pitches to throw.”

197 Raf   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:35 pm

[190] Is much better too...

Looks like the Rangers have "Neftali Rules," so we won't be seeing him the rest of the series.

198 Raf   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:36 pm

thanks, MP

199 monkeypants   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:37 pm

[192] Because historically it is very, very, very rare for teams to lose 71/2 game lead (more importantly, seven games in the loss column) late in August. It happens, sure, but it is very rare.

They lost a game because, after taking two out of three from Boston, they dropped agame and Boston won. This sort of thing will happen to teams with leads. I suggest that it is rare for a teams lead to keep growing nearly every day, without the lead being cut by a game or two now and again.

200 monkeypants   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:41 pm

[192] I mistook your statement "things are tightening up all of sudden" (not an exact quote) as having the tenor of panic, because in the grand scheme, things have not tightened up all that much. Look at it this way, the Yankees were six up in the loss column before they played Boston, and now five days (and four games later, for the Yankees), they are...six games up in the loss column.

The six game lead was not "tight" then, nor is it "tight" now...in fact, with a few games knocked off the schedule, that six game lead is effectively even larger.

Show/Hide Comments 201-251
201 Raf   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:52 pm

[196] I wonder if the media in Boston was screaming about pitch counts when Pedro was hurt?

202 randym77   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:52 pm

Holy cow.

203 NickL   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:53 pm

hmmmm, our reward for sticking around?

204 Yankster   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:54 pm

well. this is. kind of exciting.

205 Raf   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:55 pm

we'll take it!

206 Yankster   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:55 pm

0 outs.

207 NickL   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:55 pm

or Robbie could line into a triple play......

208 Diane Firstman   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:56 pm

Hmmm .... could the Rangers end the game on a triple play? (j/k)

209 JeremyM   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:56 pm

This team does not quit, that is for sure. Come on Robbie!

210 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:56 pm

Could they possibly...???

211 Diane Firstman   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:56 pm



212 Raf   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:57 pm

10-9, wow

213 Yankster   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:57 pm

did I hear 4 runs in the ninth? I think I heard that. heeeellllll yes.

214 Diane Firstman   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:57 pm

Score Truck must be loaded ...

215 NickL   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:57 pm


216 NickL   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:58 pm


217 Raf   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:58 pm

wtf swisher...

218 randym77   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:58 pm

WTF? Why bunt? Twice, no less.

219 Yankster   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:58 pm

pop up bunt. puke.

220 Diane Firstman   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:59 pm

Brett Gardner would have been useful there ... alas ...

221 JeremyM   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:59 pm

What are they thinking?!?!?!

222 Raf   ~  Aug 25, 2009 10:59 pm

pitcher isn't throwing strikes, may be rattled, so why give up an out?

223 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Aug 25, 2009 11:00 pm

WHY was he bunting???

224 JeremyM   ~  Aug 25, 2009 11:00 pm

Girardi, know when to stay the f out of the way of your $200 million team, buddy.

225 Raf   ~  Aug 25, 2009 11:00 pm

especially with a guy who can work the count, and is a power bat?

226 NickL   ~  Aug 25, 2009 11:01 pm

Be nice to have that out back, eh, Joe?

227 Diane Firstman   ~  Aug 25, 2009 11:01 pm

Eric Bruntlett playing SS ... sigh

228 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Aug 25, 2009 11:01 pm


229 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 11:02 pm

Even in a 10-5 game with no outs in the 9th, this team has so much talent that it battles back AND, unfortunately, Girardi manages to pull another rock and help cost his team the game.

Two painful reminders from this outcome: Joba is still not right and Girardi is still an awful manager. Both do not bode well for the post season.

230 Mattpat11   ~  Aug 25, 2009 11:02 pm

What a fucking debacle.

And the worst part is I'm sure Chad Gaudin impressed someone.

231 JeremyM   ~  Aug 25, 2009 11:02 pm

What a terrible decision. It's not like Swisher is even a decent bunter to being with. $@^*!@&%

232 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 11:03 pm

If decisions could be made in a vacuum, firing Girardi would really give the Yankees the best chance of winning a World Series.

233 Raf   ~  Aug 25, 2009 11:03 pm

I think Swisher may have been bunting on his own. Guess we'll find out postgame... But it was a dumb move from our 3TO player.

234 randym77   ~  Aug 25, 2009 11:03 pm

Is Girardi to blame for the bunt?

Torre let at least some players decide for themselves. Which explains why Jeter sometimes bunted at the darnedest times.

235 Yankster   ~  Aug 25, 2009 11:04 pm

Yep. that was some real special coaching. [224] true dat. girardi is the shithead of the game, despite joba's pitching.

236 JeremyM   ~  Aug 25, 2009 11:05 pm

Well, either way Swisher gets a big chunk of the blame for not executing. I like that they fought back, but I can't help but think that they win if Swisher hits straight up there.

237 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 11:05 pm

[233] [234] If Swisher was bunting on his own, Girardi had a chance to instruct him not to after the first attempt. Too many times Girardi has pushed his own awful managing decisions onto his players. I hope he doesn't try to do the same thing today.

238 JeremyM   ~  Aug 25, 2009 11:06 pm

[237] That is a good point.

239 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 11:07 pm

If this was horse racing, Hal would pull the ineffective jockey off the stud thoroughbred before the big race.

240 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 11:09 pm

The worst part is this is the same mistake Girardi made with Damon in the 15 inning Boston game. Arod bailed him out, but the awful decision stands. The Yankees have a tremendous record, but amazingly, it would be that much better if they had a manager with some semblance of a clue when it comes to game managing. Over 162, the talent can overcome the bad manager, but if Girardi is allowed to blow one game in the post season, it could be a death knell.

241 Mattpat11   ~  Aug 25, 2009 11:10 pm

I think we're all forgetting the most important thing here.

No one would have ever expected Swisher to bunt. Therefor, it was a BRILLIANT MOVE.

242 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 11:12 pm

[241] Actually, the Rangers did, which makes it an even worse decision. With any imagination, Girardi could have put on some kind of play to take advantage of the charging infielders. Instead, he turns a productive hitter into an out. Even if Swish was successful, you are still giving away an out and setting it up for a struggling Melky. This was text book awful managing. Joe Girardi is well on his way to re-writing that manual.

243 Mattpat11   ~  Aug 25, 2009 11:15 pm

I'm sure Swisher will get thrown under the bus too. Remember when Girardi put in a pinch runner and the Melky bunted? People were appalled and Girardi immediately blamed Melky.

Then we did it again a few weeks later?

244 Chyll Will   ~  Aug 25, 2009 11:18 pm

So, did we lose? Do we say Joe Officially Gave One Away™ yet?

245 randym77   ~  Aug 25, 2009 11:19 pm

Pete Abe says:

Some are suggesting that Swisher bunted on his own, perhaps. No matter as far as I’m concerned. The manager should tell the player not to bunt before he goes to the plate.

Knowing Swisher, I doubt he walks to the plate looking to bunt on his own. Guy has seven bunts in his life.

246 JeremyM   ~  Aug 25, 2009 11:20 pm

I think Abraham nailed it. I can't imagine he would've bunted on his own, and if he was, william called it above- after the first muff, tell him to stop. I just don't see Swisher as a guy who goes up there wanting to bunt.

247 The Hawk   ~  Aug 25, 2009 11:23 pm

I missed the end. Sounds like mistakes were made.

248 Chyll Will   ~  Aug 25, 2009 11:23 pm

[244] So I take it that's a yes on all accounts. Perhaps we're looking at the only two-time Manager of the Year who got fired the same year he won. Not that I think it would happen, but I'm taking the surprise out of it now.

249 williamnyy23   ~  Aug 25, 2009 11:30 pm

[248] If Joe Girardi wins manager of the year, the BBWAA is more incompetent than I thought.

You really have to watch Girardi everyday to appreciate the fact that the manager of a team 30 games over .500 actually does deserve to be fired.

250 Raf   ~  Aug 25, 2009 11:41 pm

The manager should tell the player not to bunt before he goes to the plate.

I thought it was pretty obvious not to bunt. I could understand it if it were Gardner, Pena, Melky or Hairston, but Swisher has the ability to put the ball in the seats, or take a walk.

251 Chyll Will   ~  Aug 25, 2009 11:49 pm

Any excuses put forward during the post-game?

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