• June 27th vs. The Braves

    Posted by on June 27th, 2006 · Comments (7)

    With the exception of Jaret Wright and Melky Cabrera, the Yankees played (today) like a team that partied way too hard last night. They were flatter than Debra Messing before she had her baby.

    Really, where was the Yankees offense in this game? Or, the last four games (for that matter)?

    Just look at the 8th inning of tonight. Yankees down by two, runner on 2nd, one out, and the batter has a 2-0 count. Who’s the batter? A-Rod. What does he do? He whiffs. It’s almost predictable.

    Looking at how Atlanta has played this month, and how bad their starter for this game pitches on the road, the Yankees have to win this game. Throw in 6 good innings from Jaret Wright and it stings even more.

    I’m starting to think that the month of May was a fluke (for New York). The Yankees were just about a .500 team in April. And, this month they’re just about a .500 team.

    Really, if the Yankees played .500 ball for the next two months, I would not be shocked (at this point). They’re not playing like a playoff contender. That much is obvious.

    If they lose tomorrow, then I expect something to happen on Thursday (in terms of a trade). With the Mets coming into the Stadium, George will want something to shake the Yankees cage. It’s an even money bet.

    Comments on June 27th vs. The Braves

    1. baileywalk
      June 27th, 2006 | 11:27 pm

      Don’t worry about panic trades. That just doesn’t seem to happen anymore.

      The offense has been stagnant for a while now. They scored two off of Willis, got shut out by a rookie, Giambi did all the scoring yesterday, and then today they could barely scratch a run in.

      I guess one of the big stories is Farnsworth. Okay, yeah, he was AWFUL tonight. And, no, I DON’T want to make excuses for the guy. But Posada does him no favors. Again, I’m NOT making excuses for him, but I’m continually baffled by how Posada sets up for him. Everything is outside-corner, outside-corner, outside-corner (to both righties and lefties). There’s no point going outside, outside, outside if you never establish in. If you look at the hits against Farns, they’re mostly slapped balls to the corners. You see it again and again. Batters flick the bat out there and hit little shots to the corners. I don’t understand why Posada doesn’t have Farnsworth challenge hitters more.

      If Posada is not going to have Farnsworth come inside, people are going to keep whacking the ball because they’re looking for it outside.

      Villone gave up that home run tonight, but he’s looked good this year. I also really like what I see from Beam (he got beat on a ball in the dirt). So if Torre wants to let Farns cool off, I would split the eighth among those three.

      I also really hope Beam doesn’t get sent down when Dotel gets back. For whatever reason, Smith can’t get out lefties in the show — he continually walks them. With two lefties already in the ‘pen, though I wouldn’t want either one gone, I’d rather keep Beam.

    2. brockdc
      June 28th, 2006 | 12:30 am

      I really don’t think Steinbrenner’s going to do anything, which is a good thing. The worst case scenario at this point is not for this team to finish in third and out of the postseason but for it to panic and trade off Hughes and/or Cox for Abreu or Soriano. Niether one of those guys would make a big enough impact to put the Yanks over the top this season, I’m afraid.

      I do agree that the team we’ve been watching lately…well, it is what it is. And you can attribute this to untimely injuries or poor roster construction or age or whatever. But taking everything into consideration – starting pitching, bullpen, defense, and offense – I see a slightly above average ball club, a second or third place ball club. I’m going to try to lower my expectations, enjoy the sprinkling of youth, and pray that Hughes stays put.

    3. MJ
      June 28th, 2006 | 8:32 am

      I want to think that it’s one of those ebb-and-flow things that happen in a season. The truth is that no matter what Matsui and/or Sheff were or weren’t doing when they went down (my recollection is that neither was playing particularly well) we are two hitters short on this team. The whole plan for the season was to club people over the head and hope we win games 7-5. Now we’re losing them 5-2. Our pitching has been about what I’d expected. Our bullpen is deep and capable (but Torre’s killing them). My only wish is that we’d thrown serious money at Tom Gordon. I’d rather have him than Farnsworth any day of the week. I do agree that Posada’s doing a lousy job back there when Farns pitches.

      I think we’re all looking at things in a particularly unfortunate time of the season. The Red Sox, Tigers, Twins, and White Sox are a combined 37-3 over the past 10 days while we’re only 5-5. Streaks happen. As those guys cool a bit, we’ll pick it up.

      I’m not saying I think we’re a lock for the playoffs (far from it, honestly), but I do think things look worse than they might actually be.

      As a complete aside, lots of folks on this site and John Sterling have said that for whatever reason the Yanks don’t hit guys they’ve never seen before. Is this an issue of bad advance scouting? If so, isn’t that just one more reason why Brian Cashman should’ve been fired years ago?

    4. rbj
      June 28th, 2006 | 9:19 am

      I think it’s just that the Yankees don’t have good scouts for other teams’ AAA and AA squads. That would be a lot of scouts.

    5. Jen
      June 28th, 2006 | 10:14 am

      Probably a combination of poor scouting and that those pitchers always get pumped up for their first start against the Yanks.

    6. baileywalk
      June 28th, 2006 | 10:24 am

      Sorry, but in what universe are the Yankees just an average team, a “third-place team”? They’re in a division with two very good clubs — and they’re not the third-place team among them. Things look gloomy now because the Red Sox haven’t lost in ages. If we didn’t lose those two painful games to Washington, we wouldn’t be looking up so far at the Sox.

      You can’t tell me this still isn’t a good team. If you go simply by who’s on the roster, you still have five or six All-Stars in the lineup, your pitching staff has Mike Mussina, Randy Johnson (and Wang) in it, and your closer is Mo Rivera, the best ever. I don’t think that’s an average team.

      Damon, Jeter, Giambi, Posada, Moose, Wang and Mo are all having good years. Johnson might be coming around. A-Rod could — SHOULD — get it together again. Wright has shown signs that he can be fairly effective. Villone has exceeded all expectations, and I think Beam and Smith look good so far.

      So things look a little down now, but I think this team is far from done.

      If A-Rod wasn’t struggling as he is — and I don’t care how many statistics they show; I watch this guy with my own eyes and he seems to swing and miss every time men are on with less than two outs — things would be much smoother now.

    7. JohnnyC
      June 28th, 2006 | 11:59 am

      Ah yes, the advance scouting issue. It’s ironic because under super scout Gene Michael and his group of scouts in the late ’90s, Yankees advance scouting was one of the keys to their post-season success as it seemed they had the proper plan to stop people like Ichiro and Timo Perez and hit Greg Maddux and Trevor Hoffman, among others. Of course, the cadre of scouts has been completely replaced, Torre’s coaching staff has been turned over, and we have patched together hitters and pitchers from a rainbow collection of other teams. Whatever data points they’ve gotten from their scouts apparently don’t survive the journey from scouts to coaches to players. My own thought is that it’s the players. From all accounts, the Yankees have extensive and detailed meetings before each series going over scouting reports. Perhaps the coaches are not able to communicate well or the players simply prefer to do their own thing regardless. Who’s ultimately responsible? That depends on your worldview of how a baseball team should be run. Suffice it to say, it’s not how Billy Beane or a number of other GMs organize things.

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