"A New York Treasure" --Village Voice

The Score Truck Arriveth

And how. It ripped into the piece this afternoon delivering line drive-bat-crackin’-goodness.

It was a close game for six innings, good pitcher’s duel between Andy Pettitte and Mitch Talbot. Every team in baseball wore white hats today, including the Yankees. I usually don’t go in for alternative NY caps, aesthetically not morally, but these looked good. And Pettitte looked regal and in command in the middle of the beautiful field on a nice spring day, hot but with a breeze.

Alex Rodriguez hit a solid line drive to right center field for a two-out RBI in the first. He whiffed in his next at bat and then got hit with a pitch. Now it was the bottom of the seventh and the bases were juiced because the Indians intentionally walked Mark Teixeira to pitch to him, Yanks holding a 2-1 lead.

Paul O’Neill had been talking about Alex being due to bust out sometime over the next couple of days on the YES broadcast. So Rodriguez gets into a fastball and hits a bomb to dead center, good for the 20th grand slam of his career. Only Manny and Lou Gehrig have more. Rodriguez needs four more for the all-time lead.

Robbie was hitching round the back bumber of the score truck, stepped up after the slam and lined a solo homer to right. Later, Rodriguez added an RBI double. Derek Jeter, Curtis Granderson and Nick Swisher had two hits each, and Brett Gardner had three. Eleven runs in all, a series win, and a damn fine way to make up for what happened on Saturday.

Final Score: Yankees 11, Indians 1.

Good show boys, good show. And oh, by the way, Andy Pettitte is 7-1, with a 2.48 ERA. Not bad for an old man.

(Here we go, yo)

It’s gunna be a good summer.”

[Photo Credit: Bags and AP Photo/Frank Franklin II]

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1 Chyll Will   ~  May 31, 2010 4:41 pm

This is Chyll Will, and I approve this recap.

Quite optimal, yes quite.

2 Alex Belth   ~  May 31, 2010 4:43 pm

1) Say, Weeeerd.

High fives all around.

3 jjmerlock   ~  May 31, 2010 5:56 pm

Updated home/away opponent compilations after today/tonight's games.

Just to give people a picture of what's happened near the 1/3rd mark who missed them in the other thread.

I honestly think it is one of those examples of gross, nearly inexplicable stupidity that I don't see anyone in the media running these numbers. It's also a testament to how pitifully unoriginal your basic media hack is. In example after example, teams are completely different entities depending on where the games are actually played. The difference is so common and significant that just looking at overall records is so lacking and deceptive as to be almost irresponsible.

I shoulda stayed in the game.

Won't run them again for a little while. It does emphasize that the Yanks have to take advantage of the upcoming games, because I believe the numbers should even out after the next twenty days or so (have to check the other division contenders' schedules again).

On another note, CB Bucknor needs to be drummed out of the Major Leagues.

I don't look at a ballplayer and think, "Gee, I could do much better than that." I know I couldn't. Not even close.

I could do a better job on the basepaths than CB. No joke.

4 Mattpat11   ~  May 31, 2010 6:34 pm

I was on the beach today. Jeter's injury is minor?

5 jjmerlock   ~  May 31, 2010 6:55 pm

He got hit with a pitch on his hamstring. It tightened up later, as those things do.

I got *drilled* in that exact same spot with a softball by our 6' 4" powerhouse left fielder. I was coaching 3rd base and the guy hit it so hard, that there was absolutely no chance of getting out of the way.

The smartest thing I could think to do was turn a meatier part of my body towards the ball - if you only have time to pivot, you figure better there than in the knee or the like...

I took it in stride, and we all had a few laughs, but sure enough, by the seventh or eighth, that thing tightened up and even batting became much harder.

Just have to see how he is tomorrow. It was amazing how much damage a softball did bruise-wise, but I bruise easily, and I didn't have Geno to work on me.

Lots and lots of ice, and hope it doesn't feel awful tomorrow. The resulting stiffness can definitely impede ease of motion; obviously, stopping the blood from pooling near the impact point is the key.

6 ms october   ~  May 31, 2010 6:57 pm

[4] he got hit by a pitch in his upper leg - basically his hamstring. the hamstring tightened up during the game so he got lifted in the 7th. sounds like he will be evaluated tomorrow to see how it's doing. hopefully it is minor. probably is - let's just hope it is not some lingering thing that hinders him just as he is getting going.

7 ms october   ~  May 31, 2010 6:58 pm

[5] ah took too long to submit [6].

8 jjmerlock   ~  May 31, 2010 7:07 pm

[7] And I'm so long-winded that you had plenty of time!

I wouldn't worry about it lingering *too* long. I know it was a softball, but the ball may have been coming nearly major league pitch speed, it was hit so hard. What may be more relevant is that if I showed you a picture, you would see how ridiculous the bruise was (how much blood had collected in that area). And as bad as it was, within a week, all movement was normal.

With the Yankees' training staff, I would think there's reason for optimism.

9 seamus   ~  May 31, 2010 7:25 pm

Here we go now! Hell yeah! What a beautiful weekend! I haven't had a better weekend in a long frackin time.

10 seamus   ~  May 31, 2010 7:36 pm

jackie chang does kung fu!

11 seamus   ~  May 31, 2010 7:46 pm

robbie and a-rod are in a temporary battle for the team lead for rbis. A-rod took the lead today and is now in the top 5 in the AL. I love stuff like that.

12 rbj   ~  May 31, 2010 8:04 pm

Mudhens rained out. And I come home to find a giant limb, really one of about 4 trunks down in the backyard lying across the electric lines. Least the power isn't out.

Ah well, small problems of life. Not like sacrificing your life for your country.

13 Cliff Corcoran   ~  May 31, 2010 8:36 pm

Making up for watching all of then having to write up Saturday's debacle, I flipped this game on just in time for Alex's salami, then laid down on the couch and took a nap.

14 RIYank   ~  May 31, 2010 8:41 pm

Nice little game Brandon Morrow is pitching in Toronto. Through six, he's given up just one hit to the Rays, and that one was erased when our old buddy Jose Molina picked Sean Rodriguez off first. 3-0 Jays over Rays going to the bottom of the sixth.

15 flycaster   ~  May 31, 2010 9:02 pm

Only Manny and Lou Gehrig have more.

Hey Alex, it struck me as a sign of the times, I guess, that Manny Ramirez gets the modern day tip-o-the-cap, given name only, honorific. While the iconic Larrupin Lou required the surname qualifier. I guess I can see it for Michael Jordan, and all of us would have known who you meant if you had just said "Lou". Maybe I should have stopped at 1 martini...

Pettitte is amazing, no matter how many you've had.

16 Cliff Corcoran   ~  May 31, 2010 9:05 pm

[15] Ah, but you could say "Gehrig" and everyone would know who you meant, but not "Ramirez" -- it's more about uniqueness of the name than anything else.

17 RagingTartabull   ~  May 31, 2010 9:31 pm

the was the most God-awful hot game I've been to since the Damon 6-for-6 game two years ago

18 RIYank   ~  May 31, 2010 9:55 pm

Wow, Jays survive a scare: trailing by one, Longoria triples in the ninth with one out. Semi-intentional walk to Pena, then A-Gon throws Longoria out at home on a FC, and Kapler grounds out to end it.

Another painful Maddon loss, needless to say.

19 seamus   ~  May 31, 2010 10:27 pm

[18] who is tabulating all of the Maddon losses?

20 seamus   ~  May 31, 2010 10:28 pm

Btw, I must share that I was very confused when I got home tonight that there was no Sunday night baseball game. These holidays sure do mess with the mind.

21 thelarmis   ~  May 31, 2010 10:36 pm

[19] i think he was being facetious. i believe it's william who's been pointing out about plays that maddon's been putting on - like successful squeezes - that have led directly to 4 wins. ...i'm just the messenger!

[20] dude. i'm right there with you! when i left the studio, i put on espn radio and was confused, as well.

glad you had a good weekend! at least one of us did. mine was brutally uneventful...

22 seamus   ~  May 31, 2010 10:53 pm

[21] ah shit, sorry to hear your weekend... Well, uneventful sounds dull, but brutally uneventful sounds bad. I hope it wasn't truly terrible. Maybe just boring? And yeah thanks - I had fun.

Oh and I kind of got facetiousness in the post but forgot my own snark tags. But yeah, thanks! :)

23 Chyll Will   ~  May 31, 2010 11:36 pm

[21] At least you had some quiet; I can't seem to get away from sociopaths who blast music for the whole neighborhood to deal with at the wrong time of day and night. (At least they don't live directly above me or below me, but still...) NYC and the greater area it soaks should be called NPD, just to be honest for a change. Yet, I'm afraid I may realize when I see other places that the whole world is Roman Territory...

24 thelarmis   ~  May 31, 2010 11:44 pm

[23] oh yeah, it wasn't awful by any stretch. i was somewhat productive and all is well. no gigs, no girls, nothing social - that's all...

ooh, i'm sorry it's loud by you. i was thinking your situation was better since those horrible rednecks left. i'm on a wonderfully quiet cul-de-sac in a safe neighborhood. i loves it!

that said, i am listening to metal at a somewhat decent volume right now! : ) but i never listen to music too loudly and it's not disturbing anyone. i hope you find some quietude and get some sleep.

perhaps the perpetual purring of the pinstriped score truck will rock you to neverland! : )

25 jjmerlock   ~  Jun 1, 2010 1:18 am

[18] You got a laugh out of me with "Maddon losses."

So, here's the rundown:

The Yanks sit two games back of Tampa in the loss column, and have two and three less losses, respectively, than Toronto and Boston.

It's hard to get that excited right now about a team that has absolutely zero arms I trust outside of Mo (I'm falling on the side of that short stretch being just a blip, and possibly injury-related). If we don't start to see some reliability from Robertson or Joba or Marte, if Ace doesn't come back and we don't see a magical resurrection of CHoP, I'm not tooptimistic.

We gave William his two weeks, though, and instead of the 7 to 8 games back he imagined, it's two in the loss column.

If the bullpen doesn't turn it around, things could get ugly fast enough, again - and there's so much left of the season that anything could happen. That being the main point - *anything can happen*.

And in case folks missed it the other day, as much as the Rays *look* like a very good team, they got out to that start, in part, by playing the easiest schedule - and I mean the easiest BY FAR.

Here's who the Yankees, Rays, and Red Sox have ACTUALLY faced thus far, breaking opponents into home versions and road versions (Toronto may be for real - if our bullpen hasn't sunk us by then, and if Toronto proves some staying power by being in the thick of things at that point, at the All Star break, I'll add them to the spreadsheet):

#1: Updated Opponent Combined Winning Percentage, 2009 pre-September records plus current records -

Yankees: .527

Rays: .490

Red Sox: .509

#2: Updated Opponent Combined Winning Percentage, Current Records only (aka Big Willie-style, aka what has happened so far is *overwhelmingly significant*) -

Yankees: .517

Rays: .454

Red Sox: .505

What's happened so far is of dubious significance, and anything can happen from here on in. But the numbers don't lie - those are significant differences in the difficulty of opposition faced in the first 50+ games. No matter how you slice it.

26 Mr. OK Jazz TOKYO   ~  Jun 1, 2010 3:37 am

feel like Java waiting for these day games to end...

27 williamnyy23   ~  Jun 1, 2010 6:31 am

[18] The Jays had the infield playing in, so the squeeze wasn't an option (at least not a high percentage one). Sometimes the players just have to win a game on their own. Maddon has already won his fair share of games.

[25] Not sure where your numbers are coming from, but ESPN has the Yankees, Red Sox and Rays strength of schedule at .513, .521 and .484. Over 50 games, the difference between those records is about 2 games. Quality of opponent is clearly important, but it has not been nearly as significant as you keep suggesting.

28 seamus   ~  Jun 1, 2010 8:02 am

[27] I believe he is using home v away records rather than overall records. Which is an interesting distinction.

29 williamnyy23   ~  Jun 1, 2010 9:00 am

[28] The difference would still only be three games, which isn't significant when you consider all the possible errors involved in the comparison. For example, you have to remove the team's own impact from the equation. The three game difference between the Yankees and Rays in the standings pretty much erases the three game difference in their strength of schedules.

30 seamus   ~  Jun 1, 2010 10:43 am

[29] but what's your point exactly? That three games is insignificant? Perhaps. But that's just because it's early in the year. So really, any concern about records that doesn't involve more than a 10 game difference in the standings is insignificant.

31 williamnyy23   ~  Jun 1, 2010 11:38 am

[30] Quite the opposite. My point is it is inaccurate to imply that strength of schedule has played a major role in the standings.

32 seamus   ~  Jun 1, 2010 12:23 pm

[31] Woah, if you want to say it's statistically difficult to prove that's one thing. But inaccurate? You can't prove that. You can't dismiss the sample size and then claim that the sample size is large enough to prove the point inaccurate.

33 williamnyy23   ~  Jun 1, 2010 12:38 pm

[32] The Rays are three games better than the Yankees and their strength of schedule is three games weaker. When you factor in the direct impact on the schedule coming from the primary team, that makes things even. I think that's sufficient to evidence to refute the claim that SoS has been one of the primary drivers in the standings.

34 jjmerlock   ~  Jun 1, 2010 12:45 pm

[29] Are you suggesting that, on average, that would be the difference between playing a team that is 26-24 every night, versus playing a team that is 23-27 every night?

Because, at present, that's the difference between playing the Detroit Tigers or the Texas Rangers every night versus playing a slightly better Chicago White Sox every night.

When you take that over fifty games, playing that same team every night, the 26-24 team presents a significantly more difficult challenge than the 23-27 team.

Or, if you look at the numbers which represent a full season worth of games, those differences are like the differences between playing an 85.5-76.5 *every single night* versus playing a team that is 79.5-82.5 *every single night*.

Which is six full games. Or, if you look at last year's final results, something very close to the difference between playing a playoff team from last year (Minnesota or Detroit) *every night* versus playing something close to last year's Chicago White Sox *every night*.

Both of these represent significant differences. It's like you're pretending to not understand the weight of averages when you pile that many games into creating them.

Right now, I'll bet you're drooling over guys whose stats represent a 3 WAR (a Robbie Cano, last I checked) - and rightly so.

As to my comps, to be more accurate, I could try to cobble together the home versions and road version comps that you would be facing *every night*.

But the power of averages with some numbers underneath them means that 3 full games in the standings - or 6 full games (if you look at the full season numbers) - is a significant weight when it represents what you face for every one of those days.

I'll have comments on whether or not you remove games played by the relevant team against their opposition later - which I have had thoughts for and against - but that has to wait for now.

35 jjmerlock   ~  Jun 1, 2010 12:50 pm

I see that seamus has responded to certain things in posts [30] and [32] while I was otherwise occupied, so certain things in my above post may be duplicative.

As I said, I'll respond to the other point later.

But there is a certain comedy to making such a fuss over what's happened so far and then dismissing numbers based on what's happened so far - seeing as my point, all along, has been that what has happened so far has only limited significance.

36 williamnyy23   ~  Jun 1, 2010 2:25 pm

[34] I am suggesting that the three game difference in question is not very meaningful because the method leaves open a significant margin of error. Most notably, it doesn't seem as if you've removed each team's own record from their opponent's record, which wipes out the three game difference off the bat.

I am also unclear about how you were able to get a full season's worth of data, considering that we've only played two months. If you used last year's data, I don't see how that is relevant this season.

I really can't follow your comments, so I apologize if you've already addressed these issues.

[35] What fuss? I just don't think your conclusion has any merit. What has happened so far is significant, but your conclusion is not, in my opinion (which could very well be wrong).

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