• July 21st @ The Angels

    Posted by on July 22nd, 2005 · Comments (17)

    Ah, there’s nothing like snatching a defeat out of the jaws of victory! It’s a shame, standalone, and even more so in the bigger picture – as the only ‘real loss’ on this road trip so far is that game where Redding and May fed the lions. What could have been!

    I’m 9 and 1/2 months older than Randy Johnson. So, when I tell you this, it’s from experience. This is always the way it’s going to be for him. Stuff is going to pop-up – esp. with the back. I know, trust me, I know. That’s the most frustrating part about being this age, with respect to doing anything physical, like sports, when you least expect it, something happens that will prevent you from performing at 100%, or even 90%, and it’s almost always nagging. For me, it’s the back, or my neck muscles, or the Achilles Tendon, or tendonitis in the elbow/forearm, or a chest pull. It’s just no fun getting older, when it comes to sports. And, all the titanium jewelry in the world is not going to make a difference.

    Now, to the game, I fell asleep just as Proctor came into the game and woke up in the 8th inning. So, I was spared most of the bad news, in terms of getting it first hand. But, I think, at least I hope, that we will soon see the last of Scott Proctor. It’s just not working for him at this level.

    And, despite Groom’s night, I’m not giving up on him. I think the issue there is how he’s being used. If you just use him as a LOOGY, he should have value. If you think he can be a bridge pitcher, you’re wrong (Joe).

    And, I know that Giambi hit two bombs last night. (By the way, four homers and five runs? These Han Solos are killing the Yankees.) And, I know that Jason has his BA up to .288 after being left for dead. But, I’m sorry, if you’re going to be The Man, then when you’re up in the 9th, down by a run, with a runner on 3rd and there’s only one out, you have to make contact in that situation. It’s the difference between being an Aaron Boone and a David Ortiz.

    Lastly, if only Posada’s ball in the 9th had been 8 feet to the left or the right……..it was that close. Sooooo close. Darn, darn, darn, darn, darn.

    Comments on July 21st @ The Angels

    1. Jen
      July 22nd, 2005 | 9:59 am

      It never fails, whenever I go to a soccer game at Giants stadium the Yankees manage to lose.

    2. Raf
      July 22nd, 2005 | 10:07 am

      I got in just in time to see Vlad’s GS. Right before he hit it, I told my uncle “Gordon’s not going to get anyone out with that kind of stuff, not in that location.” Then Flash throws one right down the middle, maybe it was inside a bit (Vlad took something of a funky swing at it)

      Proctor has a good arm (so did Eric Plunk, for that matter), but RH RP are a dime a dozen; send him down, or see if you can get something of value, like someone who can throw strikes.

      Hey, it was a hell of a pitch Rodriguez threw to K Giambi. Gotta give him credit for that

    3. Raf
      July 22nd, 2005 | 10:09 am

      How was the game? Honduras lost ):

    4. July 22nd, 2005 | 10:19 am

      Jen – please stop going to soccer games at Giants stadium – at least until November.

      Raf – maybe Giambi should have not let the count go as deep as he did, IIRC, it was full? And, then, he would have not been at the mercy of a killer, last, pitch?

      When all you need is a fly ball, it’s OK to go out of the zone, a bit.

      I always remember a game winning HR that Donnie hit at the Stadium. It was on a pitch around his eyes. And, Bill White, who was doing the game on TV, went crazy with praise – saying what a team player he was, knowing that he would not get a strike, and being willing to go up and something to try and win the game.

      Taking the walk, or trying to get it, is not always the best approach when you’re *The Man* and the game is on the line.

    5. JohnnyC
      July 22nd, 2005 | 10:34 am

      I hear you Steve on Giambi not getting the job done…tying run on third less than 2 outs you need to make contact. It’s a mind set you have to have (ironically, Big Rube will put the ball in play in a situation like that). Of course, old schoolers will tell you to never play for a tie on the road. But, not to sound like a broken record, the game was lost when Torre panicked in the fateful 7th. He revealed once again he has no grasp of what roles (if any)most of his bullpen should have. Buddy Groom is not (the young) Mike Stanton…he is a LOOGY or he shouldn’t be on the roster. If you’re saving Gordon for the 8th and the meat of the Angels’ order, you don’t panic and become a sudden convert to sabermetrics. And even if you were, wouldn’t you rather have Rivera pitch against Vlad than Flash. Of course, I’m not suggesting that. I’m pointing out how random and scattered Torre’s thought process has become in dealing with his pen. And when will we see Graman? Never is a good answer, it seems.

    6. Raf
      July 22nd, 2005 | 10:40 am

      The count was full, the sequence went something like
      1-0
      1-1
      2-1
      3-1
      3-2
      K (swinging)

      The odds of turning around a K-Rod fastball at the eyes are remote.

      If the walk is there, you take it. I was taught that on a 3-1 count, you look for a pitch in your zone. If you can handle it, take care of it, if not, let it go. I suspect Giambi was taught the same. It was a hell of a pitch; clearly Giambi was looking fastball.

      Anecdotal evidence is nice, but there’s no telling the number of times Mattingly swung through a high fastball, or made an out expanding his zone.

      As for being “The Man” and taking a walk, hey, it works for Barry Bonds…

    7. JohnnyC
      July 22nd, 2005 | 11:07 am

      Walking in that situation, that specific situation not the 3rd or 5th inning with a different score, would have set up the game ending double play (regardless of Womack being inserted as a pinch-runner). In that AB, K Rod was not trying to walk Giambi. He was throwing stuff up and away from him, hoping to have him chase something outside of his wheelhouse inside or over the plate. Giambi could have chosen to take what K Rod gave him: drive that pitch to left field in the air and score ARod, tying the game. He chose not to. I’m not condemning him for that. I think Steve and I are pointing out an alternative to what he ended up trying to do. Anyway, Giambi didn’t lose the game.

    8. Jason O.
      July 22nd, 2005 | 11:12 am

      Only 2 teams the Yanks face regularly annoy me…Boston and Anaheim/LA whatever:

      The Frank Robinson thing tells you everything you need to know about the manager, i.e., contemptible.

    9. July 22nd, 2005 | 11:20 am

      Actually, the Sox and the Angels are a lot alike. Both have stars that are Latin, and have great Latin pitchers – at least the Sox did until this year – and both teams seem to beat the Yankees as much as they lose to them.

      Raf, JohnnyC nailed it. A-Rod, Matsui, and Posada had no issue making contact with K-Rod in the 9th. It’s not like he was Herb Score out there. All Giambi needed was to get the bat on the ball.

    10. Raf
      July 22nd, 2005 | 11:55 am

      And my point is that you have to take into consideration all the outcomes, not just the one you want to happen. Giambi could have just as easily swung through that pitch, or lofted a shallow fly ball, or lofted a deep fly ball, or grounded to short, or grounded to third, or gotten a base hit. Ok, so maybe Giambi walks, and Womack’s inserted as a pinch runner. Maybe Womack gets picked off, maybe KRod throws the ball away, maybe there’s a straight steal, maybe there’s a double steal, maybe Womack’s thrown out maybe there’s a wild pitch, maybe Bernie swings on the first pitch hitting into a double play, yadda yadda yadda…

      KRod wasn’t looking to walk Giambi (don’t put the go-ahead run on base), but apparently he wasn’t looking to give in either (3-2 slider). A hell of a pitch. Gotta give KRod credit

    11. Jen
      July 22nd, 2005 | 12:41 pm

      Raf, the game took a while to get going. The grass they put down is in horrible condition, players falling down all over the place. The US was flat until the end of the game. They were lucky to pull that one out. The Colombia vs. Panama game was much more exciting.

      Sorry Steve, I’m going to the finals on Sunday.

    12. July 22nd, 2005 | 1:41 pm

      Do you think that the problem with Proctor is that he’s unable to develop the control, or is the problem the fact that he just has not pitched enough to maintain any kind of effectiveness? When you come in to pitch less than once a week, I cannot imagine that any kind of consistency is possible. I think Torre was panicking a bit, to pull the kid after a 3-2 count walk; while Proctor should have thrown a BP fastball down the middle (it’s the NUMBER 8 HITTER, for cryin’ out loud), Torre should have let him have one more batter. Worst case scenario: 5-4 Yankees, THEN bring in Groom.

    13. Don
      July 22nd, 2005 | 1:45 pm

      In his prime Mattingly hit high fastballs, that was one of the near legendary things about him.

      As for the pitch to Vlad, the guy is like Clemente and Yogi, he hits non-strikes better than he hits a pitch down the middle.

      Murcer and Kay suggested in the post game that Gordon was not properly warmed up.

      As to Rivera in the 7th…… even suggesting it is _______ (fill in the blank).

      The real problem here is starters going six innings or six-and-a-third. Then when a RJ has to leave because he tweaks something your pen is rested not abused. That is what is needed, seven innings from the starters not six. They won’t get those innings tonight from Leiter without divine intervention.

    14. josh
      July 22nd, 2005 | 1:51 pm

      Another dumbfounding loss. Memo to Joe: We have only 3 pitchers who can pitch in a close (or relatively close) game after the sixth inning and Proctor and Groom aren’t two of them. If you are going to use Gordon with one out in the 7th anyway why not just start the inning with him or at least put him in after Proctor’s awful walk? Forget about this specialization crap – a bad pitcher is a bad pitcher. So instead Joe throws Gordon out there with the bases loaded and Vlad up. Gordon’s pitch was not bad – Vlad reached down and golfed it, he is just that good. Joe asked for trouble by using Gordon that way and he got it.

      As for the Giambi criticism – I think it is wildly unfair. Giambi worked a 3-1 count and he got ball 4 – the umpire made a terrible call on a pitch well outside. He then struck out on a very tough pitch. But K-Rod really didn’t give him anything to drive and was clearly staying away. Of course, with Bernie and Jorge coming up the game was effectively over.

    15. hopbitters
      July 22nd, 2005 | 3:20 pm

      I didn’t think Gordon’s pitch was necessarily a bad one so much as it was a bad call. Vlad’s in a big slump. You didn’t need to throw a perfect pitch, but you sure didn’t want to put one on the golden tee Vladdy reserves for his one wood.

    16. July 22nd, 2005 | 4:40 pm

      Chuck, FWIW, in the post game, Torre said that he brought in Proctor, to face the first guy, and would have left him in, as long as he was getting people out, but, the plan was, according to Joe, that he was only to face one batter, assume he did not retire him.

    17. Don
      July 22nd, 2005 | 6:06 pm

      Use Proctor and gamble. Ouch……

      Proctor’s ‘stuff’ is why they keep running him out there. Million dollar arm, ten cent head.

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