• May 19th @ The Mets

    Posted by on May 19th, 2006 · Comments (13)

    Oh, how far we’ve come from the days of O’Neill and Rojas.

    As much as the question of this evening seems to be (still) “What’s wrong with Randy Johnson?” perhaps it should now be “What’s wrong with Mo Rivera?”

    Over the span of the last 15 days, Rivera has pitched in 8 games now. In those 8 games, he has thrown 8 innings – in which he has allowed 12 hits, 3 walks and only whiffed 2 batters.

    That’s almost 2 base runners per inning pitched – and, if I’m doing my math right, only 2 punch-outs in 39 batters faced.

    I know that the Yankees and YES-heads are saying that this is Mariano being rusty because of the lack of save chances so far this season – but, come on, how can you be rusty when you’ve come into games 8 times in the last 15 days? Something is wrong with Mo.

    As far as Johnson, at this point, it’s just a shame that his name is “Randy Johnson.” The way he’s been pitching, if his name was “Jaret Wright” he would have been removed from the rotation by now. Heck, if his name was “Scott Proctor” and he was pitching this way, he would be in the minors by now.

    It’s interesting, I’m reading Birth of a Dynasty now and I just came across a quote from Torre where he says (something like) “I manage by the game and not by the name” (where a reference was made to him having Charlie Hayes pinch hit for Wade Boggs, if I recall correctly).

    I wish this were still true about Joe. Granted, you could never send “Randy Johnson” down to Columbus to work out his problems now – because he’s “Randy Johnson.” But, given that (in his last 7 starts) he’s allowed 31 runs in 36.2 innings pitched, it’s time either remove him from the rotation or put him on the Disabled List.

    Let Ron Villone start in his place and make Johnson pitch mop-up to work out his issues. Or, disable him and send him to Tampa to work things out.

    I just read that Johnson has allowed four runs or more in five straight starts for the first time in his major league career. Something is wrong. And, running him out there every five days doesn’t seem to be the answer. It’s time for Plan B.

    Semi-related to all this, tonight’s news also tells us that Carl Pavano needs surgery to remove a bone chip above his right elbow. I have to wonder – did this chip just show up, or, was it hiding from Yankees doctors for the last 325 days? If it’s the latter, could it be possible that the same crack-staff of M.D.’s have missed something on Randy?

    At the least, if they won’t move Johnson to the pen, get another MRI. Shoot, do a full body scan – and a head x-ray while you’re at it. And then get him on the D.L.

    And, then they can move on to trying to fix Rivera.

    Comments on May 19th @ The Mets

    1. May 20th, 2006 | 12:12 am

      Yes, Yes, Yes!!! I’m not sure about having Villone start, but YES on everything else. I think not only do we have to worry about players getting old; we have to worry about the skip getting old. I have ‘Birth of a Dynasty’ coming in the mail. How are you liking it?

    2. Yu Hsing Chen
      May 20th, 2006 | 2:17 am

      At this rate, they should let Scott Proctor start ….. or leave Aaron Small in the rotation if he does decent in his next start…

      Granted a rotation of 5 righty is somewhat discouraging…. Randy time seem to be equating to Lima time and thus Hammer time lately…

    3. brockdc
      May 20th, 2006 | 2:25 am

      Or perhaps we’re witnessing the culmination of the past five years’ front office philosophy: Older, Slower, Less Athletic.

      Let’s see, three of the four guys who are currently on the DL are over thirty (Pavano excluded). Damon is laboring, Giambi has neck issues, R.J.’s knee is cooked, and Rivera’s entering his late-thirties. Was this not inevitable and utterly predictable?

    4. Don
      May 20th, 2006 | 3:04 am

      You couldn’t send RJ down because he can and would veto such an idea. Giambi 2005.

      MO? Age catches up with players differently. Some lose obvious velocity while others can no longer put the pitch where they want it as often as they used to. Seems true of MO and RJ, at least right now.

      You can’t buy a WS. George?

    5. May 20th, 2006 | 8:36 am

      Ally – it’s good – I’ll do a review soon.

      The shame with Johnson is that he can still throw 90ish – on the low side, and can still throw a slider OK, sometimes – you would think with those skills, and the fact that he’s almost 7 feet tall, that he would be able to do an average job at the big league level – say, pitch to an ERA around 4.75. Sure, that’s not what the Yankees are paying him to do – but, it’s better than an ERA around 9.00 (which is where he is now – in his last 7 starts).

      It may just be a matter of the Yankees and Johnson working it out – to the tune of “You can’t throw 98 with an unhittable slider anymore – but, this is what you can do, and based on those skills, this is how you’re going to pitch (meaning have a game plan).”

      But, the first person who need to buy into this and own it is Johnson.

    6. baileywalk
      May 20th, 2006 | 10:07 am

      That was the LAST situation in which I wanted the Yankees to lose. I can take a loss, but David Wright? I fucking HATE that kid. And I hate that he beat Mo to win the game. If I had a few more beers in me last night, I would have Kevin Brown-ed a Mets fan’s face. God, that was, without doubt, the worst-case scenario.

      I continue to scratch my head with Torre’s decisions. I’m not blaming him for Mo’s performance — he has to be able to get three outs — by why not let Farnsworth pitch another inning?

      Here’s why it made no sense to bring in Mo: if Farnsworth or Mo pitches through the ninth, in the tenth Billy Wanger’s going to be facing the bottom of the lineup, and I can almost guarantee they wouldn’t have scored. So even if Mo then threw a perfect tenth and the Yankees scored in the eleventh, you have to bring in Scott Erickson to close the game. (Unless Mo’s going three innings, which I doubt.) The sensible thing to do was to leave Farns in, but, amazingly, I just don’t think Torre trusted him with the game on the line.

      Johnson is done. I truly believe it now. He will never dominate again. He looked good (at times) last year, he looked good to start this year, but right now he’s cooked. I’m not going to say the same for Rivera, though he’s leaving his pitches right over the plate a lot. I turned away so quick I can hardly remember, but I think the pitch to Wright was low and in, and it might be a situation where you just have to tip your hat to the hitter. I mean, that double to the Squat Italian (Do Luca) was a jam shot.

      Mo isn’t done. Johnson probably is. Which is scary: now Cashman is looking for a pitcher, and he might be tempted to give up Hughes, Cox, Beam, Tabata, Clippard, Jackson, Duncan, etc., etc.

      They probably should be looking for a pitcher, since Pavano’s probably out for the year (see, the guy WAS really hurt, people), and Johnson is cooked. If they have to trade Duncan, I can live with it. Even throw in Proctor if you have to (Beam can take over his role). But don’t touch those other guys. I’d rather lose this year than give those guys away.

    7. hopbitters
      May 20th, 2006 | 10:25 am

      I’ve doubted Mo in the past. It’s always been a mistake. Perhaps age catches up to him by giving him a slower start every year.

      And why would you walk Delgado with the best reliever in the game, possibly ever, to get to Wright? Why would you hand the opposing team the winning run? “Psst. Hey Mo…I know you’ve been a pretty good pitcher in the past, but well, hey, we’ve got Delgado coming up here. He’s REALLY good, man. We’re talking .383/.567 good. He must be what? about the 7th best-hitting 1B in baseball right now. Yeah, he’s THAT good. I’m not saying nothing about your fastball or anything, but well, you know, let’s just go after Wright (ahem .397/.510), OK big guy?”

    8. hopbitters
      May 20th, 2006 | 10:31 am

      I guess LoDuca was already on second, so the IBB didn’t put the runner in scoring position, but there were already two outs…why?

    9. baileywalk
      May 20th, 2006 | 10:38 am

      The IBB to Delgado is debatable, but Torre can justify it because Delgado has seen Mo a lot and hit him. Wright hasn’t seen much of him. I’m with you, though. I don’t like closers walking people. (And Mo is tough on lefties.) But who knows — maybe Delgado pops up there or maybe he smacks a shot to left field and wins the game. The bottom line is that Mo has to get out Wright there. And the truth is, as much as it makes me sick to even think about it, that might have been a home run in other ballparks.

      Also, anyone else disturbed by the orgasm Kay had over the Beltran home run and then the Wright walk-off? What is with this guy? Sometimes he’s so annoying I put on the SAP. If there’s a God, an anvil will drop on his head while he screams “BACK — TRACK — WALLLL!” like a moron.

    10. JohnnyC
      May 20th, 2006 | 1:08 pm

      Torre’s reasoning was transparent: Delgado veteran, Wright young un-tested player, Delgado hits Mo well despite being a lefty, Wright (despite the scouting report showing he likes the ball out over the plate and drives the ball to right)can be had with pitches up and in (despite Mo’s inability in his last 8 innings to get an inside strike). Torre discovers, after the fact, Wright can hit and Mo can’t locate. Maybe shooting the dice with the lefty Delgado might have been better. After all, you’re not trying to prevent an extra-base hit, only a single. Typical of Torre in the post-Zimmer era.

    11. JeremyM
      May 20th, 2006 | 1:23 pm

      I don’t know, that sequence in the 9th was kind of a pick your poison-both guys can mash.

    12. Don
      May 20th, 2006 | 1:40 pm

      Farnsworth had to come out due to some back problem. So the Yankees have called up another pitcher and reducing their bench with Cairo in LF.

      Maybe if some guys weren’t so knee-jerk Torre bashers they’d think…… once in a while anyway.

    13. TomP
      May 20th, 2006 | 4:23 pm

      I guess I was wrong about Pavano. Maybe he is just unusually fragile. I’d be happy if everyone could agree just not to mention his name at all for the rest of the year. It grates on me just to hear it, now.

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