• April 14th @ The Twins

    Posted by on April 14th, 2006 · Comments (7)

    Just two days ago, I wrote:

    Of course, against good pitching, the Yankees need to find another way to win – because you’re not going to get the chance to try and wear down the other team. But, that’s a topic for another day.

    Boy, I was hoping to have a few more days than two before that ‘nother day came around.

    I really have no issues with the Yankees pitching today. If you watched the game, you may have noticed that there were a few plays where the Yankees could have helped out their pitchers tonight. Giambi on that foul pop. Bernie in RF on a ball that dropped in front of him. A-Rod on the bouncer down the line. And, there were a couple of key balls that were just out of Jeter’s reach too.

    I bet, if you took the best fielders at 1B, RF, 3B, and SS in the league, and gave them those same chances, you’re looking at three (or maybe four) big outs being made as opposed to balls falling in.

    Still, at the end of the day, even if the Yankees held the Twins to just one run tonight, at best they’re still playing, and, for sure, it’s not a win (as I write this). You’re not going to win many games when you only score one run.

    There’s a problem when you live and die by walks and the three-run HR. When you face great pitching, you’re not going to get the walks and then you’ll have less chances for that three-run HR.

    It’s the reason why the 1969-74 Orioles did not win more rings. Ditto the 2000-04 A’s. Once they faced great pitching teams in the post-season, they were unable to find ways to score (outside of the 3-run HR).

    To be a champion, you need to be able to find a way to win against great pitchers. It’s either throw an ace against their ace, or find a way to get some runs on their ace. Since the Yankees don’t have many aces, and even when they do, the defense usually hurts them, New York needs to be able to find a way to score runs outside of waiting for the walk and the homer.

    It’s either that, or, two things: Pray that you can play the Kansas City Royals everyday, or, get used to losing games against teams with very good pitching.

    Comments on April 14th @ The Twins

    1. Raf
      April 15th, 2006 | 7:40 am

      It’s the reason why the 1969-74 Orioles did not win more rings. Ditto the 2000-04 A’s. Once they faced great pitching teams in the post-season, they were unable to find ways to score (outside of the 3-run HR).
      ================

      I don’t know about Oakland’s case, but Baltimore led the AL in ERA from 1969-74. Memorial Stadium may have helped, but they had little to no issue with their pitching.

    2. Raf
      April 15th, 2006 | 7:50 am

      Farnsworth should stick to throwing fastballs when ahead in the count. Got too “slider happy” last night.

      As a #9 batter, Bernie needs to learn to lay one down every now and then :)

    3. April 15th, 2006 | 9:24 am

      Raf – check the teams that the O’s lost to in the post-season. While Baltimore had great pitching, it was great pitching that beat them – because they didn’t score.

    4. baileywalk
      April 15th, 2006 | 9:49 am

      Last year lefties had a .197 batting average against Kyle Farnsworth (righties, .165). Farnsworth started the year as a setup man and ended it as a closer. HE CAN GET OUT LEFTIES. Why does Torre insist on bringing in a lefty before he enters the game to get out a lefty? What is the point of this? He can’t make it anymore clear that he doesn’t think Farnsworth can get the job done. I don’t understand why, from before spring training, Torre has had a lack of faith in him. He might have given up a few runs last night (they weren’t exactly smashing the ball) but he is Gordon’s equal, he came here to be the setup man, and all this bullshit from Torre is effing with his head. Kyle right now wishes he was the savior of the Braves’ bullpen — and I don’t blame him.

      You know those melodramatic prison movies — straight-to-cable jobs about criminals who band together against evil guards? In those movies, someone pisses off the warden, gets taken away, and is never seen again. Well, Farnsworth is that prisoner and the warden is foul-smelling Joe Torre. I can almost guarantee you that Sturtze is the unofficial setup man now. Torre didn’t trust Farns to begin with, and you could see in the bullpen he was cursing him (while talking to Maz). Don’t be shocked when Farns is in the seventh in close games and Sturtze in the eighth. And when Dotel comes back, Farnsworth won’t be heard from again. And if he’s lucky, he’ll be traded away from the old-school dope who runs this team.

      Mussina was good last night. I’ll take the kind of performance from him all the time. In that last inning, the thing that killed him was walking someone. His velocity was still good after 120 pitches. And the offense was pitiful. A-Rod needs to strike out on more high fastballs. Why do pitchers give him anything BUT high fastballs? He couldn’t hit them with a shovel. And Raf is right — all this talk about bunting, and Bernie has two on and no out and (predictably) hits into a double play. Way to go, Torre.

    5. JeremyM
      April 15th, 2006 | 10:43 am

      To be fair, Farnsworth has shown some diva tendencies that probably grate on Torre–i.e. only wanting to pitch one inning and not return after sitting down. That said, work with him and give him the full inning. Torre made a ton of blunders last night–not bunting with Bernie, stretching Moose too long considering he wore down last year, leaving Bernie in right after his probable last turn at bat, bringing in Sturtze again. He really needed to manage that game with the idea that he has Wright vs. Santana the next day, which means it was a must win as today is almost a surefire loss. Use Rivera for two, bunt with Bernie, do what it takes, just get the win.

    6. baileywalk
      April 15th, 2006 | 12:45 pm

      Jeremy, that’s a good point about Bernie. He should have sat him and let Bubba play right. With Bubba’s speed, he probably would have caught that dunker from Hunter.

    7. JohnnyC
      April 15th, 2006 | 1:08 pm

      Sheffield would’ve caught it, baileywalk. Wasn’t Bernie’s speed…he didn’t get a jump on the ball at all…typical Bernie. Of course, I’m sick of Torre’s managerial tics (or is it just outright insanity?). Another winnable game flushed down the toilet because he’s too pig-headed to realize he’s wrong, wrong, wrong on so many personnel issues, including playing Bernie every effin’ day, extending Moose when he just limited Unit to 87 pitches the game before, pitching Sturtze yet again in a crucial situation, not bunting when he had a textbook situation for it with Bernie in the 8th, then not replacing him defensively after what was his last at-bat unless the Yankees rallied against Nathan in the 9th. Oh, and I love the “new” demonstrative Torre on the bench, shaking his head, shrugging his shoulders, waving his arms, hands out flat as if to say, “fucking morons can’t play,” to his confidante Mazzilli, who dutifully nods. Why isn’t Cashman reading him the riot act? Is it the 13.5 million somolians George still owes him? Yeah, probably.

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