"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

Haiku California

To honor Hideki Matsui, this recap will be presented in 5/7/5 form:

Yankees and Angels
First of three at The Big A
A.J., Ervin, Ks!

Bottom 1st
A.J. Burnett wild
Walks Erick Aybar on pitch
That reached the backstop

AJ then wheels and
Catches Aybar trying steal
Who needs Posada?

Bobby Abreu
Jealous of Matsui-love
Shown by former team?

Abreu doubles
He states “No walls were hurt in
making of this hit”

Next, Torii Hunter . . .
Swisher slides for liner, but
Can’t hold it, two on

Matsui lines out
But then Kendry Morales
Chops a pitch, hang time!

Mark Teixiera waits
And waits . . . and waits for it to
Come down . . . But too late

Abreu scores run
AJ gets Juan Rivera
To fly out to right

Top 2nd
Santana is sharp
Through two frames only one hit
(A-Rod line single)

Bottom 2nd
Maicer Izturis
Brings Yankees only tsuris
Singles past A-Rod

Kendrick named “Howard”?
He flies out to warning track
Burnett not fooling

Who’s Bobby Wilson?
All Angel catchers must have
Six letters in names?

Napoli is one
Mathis is another one
Who cares? Wilson Ks

Tsuris stole second
While Wilson was striking out
But Aybar ends threat

Top 3rd
Swisher pops to short
Gardner lines hit down left field
First double of year!

Jeter mirrors Brett
Dumps double down right field line
Tying game at 1

Johnson K’s, close pitch
Teix hit on elbow (again?)
Takes first base, two on

Alex rips a hit
Past Izturis, a single
Jeter scores, 2-1.

Teix now at second
Cano drives score truck, singles
Teix charges round third

Plate was his to have
Wilson was out front, up line
Teix plowed over him

Wilson groggy, hurt
Was assisted off the field
No weight on left leg

That made it 3-1
Posada popped out to short
Could A.J. hold lead?

Bottom 3rd
Up stepped Abreu
He doubles again, off wall
Hunter lines to third

Alex snares it, throws
Off mark, Hunter runs into
Teix no harm no foul

Now its first and third
Matsui up, AJ gets
A pitcher’s best friend

4-6-3 DP
Run scores, can Burnett escape?
No, Kendry gets plunked

Rivera doubles
High off right-centerfield wall
Tie game now . . . field goals?

Tsuris adds to woes
He doubles, Angels 4-3
Pins in A.J. dolls

Burnett finally
Gets third out of the inning
On Kendrick groundout

Top 4th
With one out, Swisher
Goes yard, deep to dead center
Second of season

After second out
Jeter singles, owns Ervin
Johnson dumps single

Yes, a hit for Nick
Breaking 0 for 21
Who needs aggressive?

Angels get revenge
On Teix, as he watches pitch
For strike three, three out

Bottom 4th
Napoli leads off
(6-letter swap of catchers)
He gets plunked . . . a trend?

Aybar, Abreu
And Hunter . . . none of them gets
Ball out of infield

Top 5th
Yankees are jealous
Of last three Angels at-bats
Go three up three down

Top 6th
Still 4-all, quiet?
Pitchers finally settled?
Nope, Granderson walks

And since we haven’t
Had one in what, three batters?
Swisher gets hit too

Gardner squares to bunt
Rizzuto turns in his grave
As Brett pops it up

Bottom 6th
Tsuris and Kendrick
Continue the recent trend
Igor? More groundouts!

Napoli obeys
Fetches another groundout
A.J. is happy!

Top 7th
Meet Kevin Jepsen
But no, Jane is not his wife
He’s the new pitcher

Bottom 7th
Pitch 103 ends
Burnett’s night, as Abreu
Works walk with one out

Rally monkeys out
David Robertson? He’s in
Abreu tries steal

Posada pegs throw
Nails Abreu, so much for
That Rally Monkey

Robertson fires
Hunter flails at the high heat
We’re still tied at 4

Top 8th
Scioscia’s set-up man
Fernando Rodney comes in
Two quick outs ensue

Gardner works a walk
Jeter works his at-bat hard,
Give Gardner a chance

Brett complies, steals base
Jeter, on Rodney’s eighth pitch
Taps back to the box

Bottom 8th
Girardi makes move
But why bring in Joba now?
Morales owns him

Matsui first up
Knocks a hard single, Willits
In to pinch-run now

Morales lifetime
4 of 6 versus Joba
Can you guess outcome?

I don’t think the ball
Has landed yet, no doubter
Rivera singles

Joba yells in glove
Joba? That won’t solve problem!
I’d blame Girardi

Top 9th
Fuentes on to close
Thames pinch-hits for Nick Johnson
Why? Need baserunners!

Three pitches, goodbye
Teix flies out to right and its
Up (down?) to A-Rod

A lazy flyout
Rally Monkeys roaming free
This one stings a bit

Burnett’s offspeed stuff
Was missing first three innings
But AJ battled

Only hit, walk, plunk
In his last three-plus innings
Robertson lights out

Santana also
Settled after shaky start
Relievers did job

Yankees held hitless
Last five and a third innings
But had some chances

Categories:  Diane Firstman  Game Recap

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1 callison   ~  Apr 24, 2010 3:27 am

Brilliant job, Diane.
Neck and neck until the eighth...
Wish we could have won.

2 Boatzilla   ~  Apr 24, 2010 5:11 am

Scooter turns in grave?
Love that, Diane, you're aces
Wish Yankees were, too

3 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Apr 24, 2010 5:34 am

Haiku recap, tops!
Shame it's from a Yankee loss
Well, even Zeus rests.

4 Boatzilla   ~  Apr 24, 2010 6:12 am

[3] Dig. That. Jazz. (I've switched to Beat)

5 RIYank   ~  Apr 24, 2010 6:36 am

Comic relief from the Seattle Times. I guess the Seattle sports writers have to develop the proper attitude toward Oakland.

6 Boatzilla   ~  Apr 24, 2010 7:16 am

[5] That's pretty good. Thanks.

7 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Apr 24, 2010 7:44 am

[4] Rhythmic, Daddy-O.

8 Sliced Bread   ~  Apr 24, 2010 7:57 am

Bravo, Diane, bravo!

Joba in the 8th
The bridge to Mo is broken
Angels strike again

9 OldYanksFan   ~  Apr 24, 2010 8:56 am

Brilliant job, Diane! (fixed)

So.... 3 days ago we were lamenting that Joba wasn't in the SR, and now we question if he can even pitch out of the pen?
Yeah... he had nothing last night.
We were lucky it wasn't worse, as the Angels were launching projectiles off of Joba.

So in all of 9.i innings this year, with 3 BBs, 10 Ks and a 3.86 ERA, we're ready to shitcan Joba?

Are people really questioning his talent?
To me, he is AJ Jr. Tremendous below the neck, questionable above.

Joba was called up too soon, got way too famous too fast, and got bounced around his whole major league career. I'm not making excuses or blaming the Yanks, just saying his development path has been far less then ideal.

He's 24, with far less experience then most pitchers his age, and has still managed a career 1.37 WHIP, 3.62 ERA, in the AL East.

I, for one, am not ready to give up on him, as a starter or BP guy.

10 Alex Belth   ~  Apr 24, 2010 9:29 am

Loved this D! Wonderful write up.

11 monkeypants   ~  Apr 24, 2010 9:35 am

[9] I agree...to a degree. It is hard to evaluate him this year using ERA, since that stat rarely tells the story for short relievers. He has not always looked to me (warning: subjective!!) as good as his numbers would indicate He does not seem to have the same velocity coming out of the pen as he did a couple of years ago. He was positively lit up last night.

I am not at all ready to give up on him, especially as a starter. That is why I think the best thing they can do is send him to AAA. As you say, he was rushed to the bigs---the whole Joba in the pen thing in 2007 was a desperate move by a club in need of bullpen help. Those few innings of super-success appear, in turn, to have given him a get-out-of-AAA-free card. Meanwhile, his narrative counterpart, Phil Hughes, has been jerked around every bit as much: to the pen and back, and multiple trips between AAA and MLB. Perhaps in the end this has been beneficial for the Phranchise.

Send Joba to AAA for at least half a season, to work on mechanics and approach. In my ideal world, he would be sent to AAA to work especially on being a starter.

12 monkeypants   ~  Apr 24, 2010 9:42 am

[9] To continue: I am more concerned about his near-to 1.40 WHIP--somewhat below average for a reliever this year, and certainly not inspiring for the eighth inning guy™. At the very least Girardi needs to consider moving him out of this role. The problem, though, is that if he is stuck in nebulous middle relief, it will be difficult to get him regular work. So again, the best thing for his development may be at least a short stint at AAA.

13 The Hawk   ~  Apr 24, 2010 9:57 am

[11] I don't think Hughes has been jerked around nearly as much as Joba. It's also the way Joba has been handled; the stretching out from reliever to starter in the bigs was weird, the innings limits were handled bizarrely at times. Hughes has had only one stint as a reliever where Chamberlain has had, what, four? It's on a different level.

Joba's numbers when looked at selectively don't tell the whole story. As a starter, his innings per game was at times ludicrous. He would give up one run but he was out of there after 4 2/3 innings.

14 weeping for brunnhilde   ~  Apr 24, 2010 10:08 am

Sublime, Diane. Absolutely sublime.

15 monkeypants   ~  Apr 24, 2010 10:35 am

[13] We agree more than disagree. I would contend that stretching Joba at the big- league level is not really so weird. Also, short starts (made shorter by inefficiency) are not unusual for young pitchers, especially in today's climate of strict pitch counts. I do agree completely that the way his innings limit was handled was bizarre, or at least betrayed no real plan whatsoever.

All this being said, my gut feeling is that much of the jerking around has little to do with the problem. Rather, I think that the league figured out his tendencies (he will nibble and try to get batters to chase his slider waaaayyyy off the plate) after his big splash in 2007, and there may be some mechanical issue (his velocity seems down not only as a starter but also as a reliever).

The comparison to Hughes was only meant to highlight the willingness of the organization not only to "demote" him to the pen (a decision that still galls me) but also to send him to AAA (parts of three seasons, including some rehab time).

Joba was essentially skipped over AAA, except for a few innings in 2007 when they were converting him to a reliever. He should really be given time to hone his craft at AAA.

16 The Hawk   ~  Apr 24, 2010 11:09 am

[15] All in all I agree going to AAA isn't a bad idea. It seems like a fresh start might help - I think the organization (and Joba himself) need to pry themselves away from the narrative forged in 2007 and take a good hard look at what he really is and isn't capable of now.

It seems to me without his blow-away velocity he may be better suited to be a starter, physically. They just need to try their best to get his noggin in line because his approach as a starter has been ... inconsistent, at best. But like I say if he can't throw 98 mph, his snorting bull out of the pen routine doesn't really work either. Too bad.

17 kenboyer made me cry   ~  Apr 24, 2010 11:56 am

Recap most serene
Of quirky game as witnessed
Joba, Joba, do

18 nettles   ~  Apr 24, 2010 12:09 pm

Pure genius! Makes a bad loss somewhat easier to take.

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