• June 21th @ The Phillies

    Posted by on June 21st, 2006 · Comments (4)

    When I left work today, I asked one of my Yankees fan friends there what the odds were of Jaret “Five & Pine” Wright throwing a good game in the Philly bandbox. He laughed and said “You never know.” I answered back with “Sorry, I don’t have a lot of confidence in him tonight.”

    So, it’s not an understatement to say I’m surprised – but happy – that Wright posted goose eggs tonight (albeit in his customary five spot). With an off-day tomorrow, it’s not so bad that he didn’t pitch the 6th today. (And, I buy into what they said on YES – that it may have been all those LHB coming up, in what was then a 1-0 game, that was the driver to go with Villone.)

    In closing tonight, I would like to personally “thank” the Washington Nationals for rolling over to the Red Sox (for three straight) like a patient at the proctologist after playing the Yankees like it was the 7th game of the World Series for three days in a row. Everybody wants to beat the Yankees but nobody ever shows up against the Red Sox. Let’s just say that I’ll be rooting against the Nationals now, when given the chance, whereas before they were never on my radar. They’ve made my “list” after this past week.

    Comments on June 21th @ The Phillies

    1. Don
      June 22nd, 2006 | 2:20 am

      I don’t think it was so much a case of playing the Yankees tough as it was the Yankees sucked.

      In the end you cannot have one starting pitcher be a five inning guy. He alone will overburden the bullpen and allow for little margin of error for the other four.

    2. JohnnyC
      June 22nd, 2006 | 10:39 am

      The Yankees certainly did “suck” over the weekend but Steve’s point is valid nevertheless. Teams do not get up for the Red Sox — not even the Mets –and that’s a reflection of what the Yankees and Red Sox mean in the total picture of MLB. There’s no edge to a series with the Red Sox, especially if you’re not in their division. Even after their championship. Like it or not, outside of Red Sox Nation and maybe 2/3 of its own roster, the reaction to the Old Towne Team is apathy. The Yankees symbolize everything you either admire or despise about the game from multiple perspectives. That’s true for fans as well as players. Do you think Frank Robinson et al. are thinking a well-played series against the Red Sox means anything more than another 3 games on the schedule? But, the Yankees at home in front of their fans? You betcha. Plus, someone as young and promising as Ryan Zimmerman can dream about Steinbrenner dollars, can’t he?

    3. MJ
      June 22nd, 2006 | 11:10 am

      Case in point to JohnnyC’s comment – the way the Minnesota Twins celebrated at home plate when Mo blew the save on that Sunday afternoon in April (the game when he K’d 2 hitters and then gave up the slow roller between 1st & 2nd base to score the guy that shouldn’t have been at third had Matsui made the correct throw).

      Teams definitely get up for the Yanks and treat every win like a big moment. That’s a compliment to who the Yankees are, even if they’re not in the midst of a dynastic run. Teams care about beating the Yankees because they can say “our $50M beat their $200M” or something along those lines. I certainly don’t mind it or disagree with it, I just wish the Yanks would recognize that people are still gunning for them and play with a touch more vigor from time to time.

      Off-subject…did Mo have to pitch last night? With a 5-0 lead, Matt Smith and TJ Beam could’ve been given a little leash, no?

    4. baileywalk
      June 22nd, 2006 | 11:52 am

      Other teams do get up to play the Yankees. There’s no doubt. It’s like Duke in college basketball. USC in college football. When you are THE team, people bring their best, because even a late-June win is a big story.

      One difference between the Yankees-v.-Washington and the Sox-v.-Washington is that the Sox got to play them at home. Which means no Wang and Chacon at the plate. Which means Papi didn’t have to strain himself at first. AL teams playing on the road makes a big difference (which the Yankees’ numbers in interleague show).

      I agree, MJ. There is absolutely no reason Mo needs to pitch in the ninth. It ended up being a pretty easy inning, so it’s not a big deal, but it’s kind of frustrating when Torre had to “save” Mo in the Wang game in Washington (because he had over- and misused him the two previous games), but doesn’t think he needs to “save” him here because there’s a day off. Mo isn’t a guy who fades down the stretch or anything, but he’s not a kid, either, and you have to consider that every meaningless inning you pitch him today is an inning out of his arm for later in the year. A lefty-righty combo of Smith and Beam would have been perfect last night — a chance for them to get some work, and a chance to throw in a non-pressure situation. You have to have Farnsworth throw the eighth because he was warming up, but after that you can use Farns for two or the young guys — and you have Mo as a safety net.

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