• Predicting The Five Spot At Fenway

    Posted by on August 18th, 2006 · Comments (19)

    It always comes down to pitching. So, I will use that view in an attempt to predict what we will see from the Yankees-Bosox series over the next four days.

    This afternoon:

    Jason Johnson (3-11, 6.26 ERA) versus Chien-Ming Wang (13-5, 3.84 ERA)

    This is a must win game for the Yankees because Johnson is starting for the Red Sox. The only thing that concerns me here is that Wang is not the same pitcher on the road – as he is in the Bronx. And, Wang has not been lights-out sharp in recent starts. Also, it always seems like the Fenway infield gives the Yankees players issues – and that’s not going to work in Wang’s favor. I could see this game being one of those 7-6 affairs – and I hope the Yankees come out on top.

    This evening:

    Jon Lester (6-2, 4.09) goes against Sidney Ponson (4-5, 5.82)

    Ponson has never pitched well against Boston. But, Lester has been punched around lately. This one will be a battle of the bullpens. Whichever team does not burn out it’s pen in the first game today should win this game. Since Torre always burns his pen, and the Wang start is a must win game, I expect Boston to be better prepared to take this game tonight.

    On the whole, I see the teams splitting the day-night double-dip today. Yanks get the day game and the Sox get the night-cap.

    Tomorrow:

    Josh Beckett (13-7, 5.02) and Randy Johnson (13-9, 4.92)

    You never know which Randy Johnson will show up. And, if I recall correctly, he’s not a great Fenway Park pitcher. You also never know which Beckett will show up each start as well. I think this game has the potential to be another 7-6 contest. Since I think the Yankees will probably end up punting the night game today, and (hopefully!) not using their good staff from the pen, I think that Villone, Proctor and Farnsworth are going to be needed in this game. But, I think they will come through and the Yankees will win the game.

    Sunday:

    Curt Schilling (14-5, 3.83) versus Mike Mussina (13-5, 3.54)

    Mussina always pitches well in Fenway – at least it seems. But, Schilling, even when he’s going bad, always hits another gear for the Yankees – at least it seems. I expect this one to be a close game – and not as high scoring as the three before it. Since the Yankees will have to use their pen to win the day game on Friday and the game on Saturday, I can see this one going to the Red Sox, late, because Torre went to someone like Proctor or Farnsworth (or even Mo) too many times in the first three games and then he tries to get blood from a stone in this one – and gets burned. Plus, it’s an ESPN game. The Yankees always lose the ESPN games – at least it seems. Boston evens the series with a win in this game.

    Monday afternoon:

    David Wells (2-2, 6.06 ERA) against Cory Lidle (9-9, 4.64 ERA)

    This one is going to be fun. Both teams are going to want this one. Since the bullpens on both teams should be toast by this game, it’s going to come down to Wells and Lidle. You know Wells wants this game. And, I believe that Lidle will be up for it as well. I can see this game coming down to which team makes the plays in the field. All I can say is: Please don’t hit it to A-Rod.

    I cannot get a good feel for this game at this point. So, I will play it safe and say that Boston wins this one.

    In total, I expect Boston to win 3 of the 5 games in this series. And, since that will result in just a one-game move in the standings – with the Yankees leaving Boston still in first place, that won’t be the worst thing that can happen to New York.

    All I can say to the Yankees is: Make sure you win the two that you’re supposed to win in this series. And, that starts with the first game in a couple of hours.

    Comments on Predicting The Five Spot At Fenway

    1. RICH
      August 18th, 2006 | 11:39 am

      I love you but less than 24 hours ago you predicted the Yankees winning one of five (The August 17th thread). Which one do you want us to measure you against?

      Enjoy the series!

    2. August 18th, 2006 | 11:57 am

      I’m hoping for 2 of 5 – but would not be shocked if it’s 1 of 5.

    3. baileywalk
      August 18th, 2006 | 12:01 pm

      I cannot get a good feel for this game at this point. So, I will play it safe and say that Boston wins this one.
      ——————————————-

      Huh? You can’t get a feel for the game so you give it to the Sox? Why? Afraid you’ll look like a homer?

      Only two games give either team a significant advantage: game one on Friday and game two on Friday.

      Jason Johnson isn’t really a major-league pitcher. If the Yankees don’t pound him like every other team pounds him, they don’t deserve to win anything this year.

      Jon Lester is a lefty rookie with a good curveball, and the Yankees CANNOT hit rookie pitchers with good breaking pitches. I don’t care what anyone says, it’s been proven that the Yanks can’t handle rookies.

      So clear advantage to the Yanks in game one and to the Sox in game two.

      The rest of the games are tossups. Beckett hasn’t been good, but Johnson could always get bombed. Schilling/Moose are pretty equal, and who knows what you’ll see from Wells/Lidle. Plus, because this series is SO highly condensed (a day-night doubleheader followed by an afternoon game and another day-game-after-night-game to finish it) that we can’t possible predict what will happen with player usage. There’s no way to predict who will and won’t be available from the ‘pen, which makes predicting the final three games impossible (what if Mo, Farns AND Proctor can’t pitch in the last two games?).

      The Yankee philosophy should be: hope for a sweep, aim for three wins, accept two wins, and feel disappointed with anything less than that. If the Yankees come out of this no longer in first place, it will be a big blow to the team.

    4. rbj
      August 18th, 2006 | 12:23 pm

      I’ll be ok if it is two of five, though I’d prefer four of five.

    5. August 18th, 2006 | 1:42 pm

      FWIW, I’m watching the 1st game now.

      Top One. First and second. One out. Giambi and A-Rod due up. Both Jason and Alex popped up on huge hangers – - even Kaat and Leiter were shocked that they missed those pitches.

      Not a great start.

    6. baileywalk
      August 18th, 2006 | 2:34 pm

      Why is it that this lineup can be shut down so easily by bad pitchers? As potent as this lineup SOMETIMES is, it’s very inconsistent — a lousy pitcher can, on any given day, shut them down. It makes no sense. EVERYONE has banged Johnson around all year, and yet this team is making him look like an ace. I hope they get to him soon.

    7. August 18th, 2006 | 2:41 pm

      This might be the last shot. Based on pitch count, I don’t think Johnson is going past 5.

    8. Athos333
      August 18th, 2006 | 2:51 pm

      Johnny’s on fire…. Would tick me off too if I saw my old team made up of almost all new guys in the field… No ol’ loyalties anymore…

    9. baileywalk
      August 18th, 2006 | 3:02 pm

      Ha, ha. That’s what you call a “reverse jinx,” kids.

    10. August 18th, 2006 | 3:11 pm

      FWIW, for those who can’t see it, Manny was out on strikes before he hit that cheapie HR. The ump blew the call – after Manny bitched about the pitch just before it.

    11. Athos333
      August 18th, 2006 | 3:16 pm

      God it’d be great if Sheffield was our first baseman… seems like a Wilson at bat winds up like a Crosby at bat…

    12. August 18th, 2006 | 3:28 pm

      Wilson should not be allowed to play against RHP. This is where Carlos Pena would have helped.

    13. Athos333
      August 18th, 2006 | 3:44 pm

      Keep wearing out their bullpen boys!

    14. baileywalk
      August 18th, 2006 | 3:57 pm

      Wang can’t protect a five-run lead?! Torre drives me nuts. They have to play again tonight and tomorrow afternoon. Loosen the reins a little, Zucchini Nose. God. You get insurance runs and then run your bullpen out in the seventh anyway. Way to go, Transplants.

    15. christopher
      August 18th, 2006 | 4:22 pm

      bailywalk – are you familar with the Red Sox and Fenway Park? They’ve been known to put some runs on the board there, especially against tiring, ineffective pitchers. People have been whining about how Torre has not used Myers, and now he uses him to get out the most feared hitter in the AL and some people are still whining. How can anyone find anything to complain about when the Yanks are winning 8-3 in Fenway?

    16. August 18th, 2006 | 4:28 pm

      I can understand using Proctor. This is a win that has to be nailed down. You have to win this game because of the advantage in the match-up. For all Joe knows, he’s losing the next four games. And, then it doesn’t matter if Proctor is rested.

    17. baileywalk
      August 18th, 2006 | 4:29 pm

      First, say that with your mouth full, if you know what I mean.

      I haven’t complained about his lack of use of Myers. I also would rather have Proctor available tonight, when Ponson is sure to be gone after three innings. Same goes for Farnsworth, who’s now warming up. Wang wasn’t “ineffective.” What game were you watching? Three runs in six innings is ineffective?

      And if you don’t trust Bruney or Beam to get some outs with a five-run lead, why have them on the team at all? Only for mopup?

      And if you don’t want to hear complaints from sports fans, don’t read blogs and their comment sections.

    18. christopher
      August 18th, 2006 | 4:40 pm

      Wang gave up 6 doubles, 1 home run, and 4 walks. He also had 10 fly ball outs. I’m not sure how many Wang games you have watched, but that is not an effective outing for him. Torre made the right move.

    19. baileywalk
      August 18th, 2006 | 5:16 pm

      Give me a break, Chris. Talk about manipulating the numbers. Three of the doubles were by one guy, who owns Wang (he’s hitting about .700 off of him). The home run was a fly ball (it just got around the pole, meaning it was hit about .295 feet), and two of the walks were intentional.

      I don’t know how many Wang games you’ve watched, but I guess you didn’t see this one.

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