• September 23rd @ The Devil Rays

    Posted by on September 23rd, 2006 · Comments (8)

    Well, Torre wanted a “squeeze” play, and, tonight, he got one.

    Personally, this game reminded me of another old song.

    Looks like it’s now an 8-game season to see who gets the best record in the American League.

    Comments on September 23rd @ The Devil Rays

    1. baileywalk
      September 24th, 2006 | 12:00 am

      Be afraid of Randy Johnson, Yankee fans. Be very afraid.

      Let’s just be honest. Though Randy has won 33 games with the Yankees in two years, you can count on one hand the truly good starts and important wins he has had. There’s still enough talent in his old bones to spin the occasional gem (though not without late-inning fatigue rearing its head), but he has been on a real slide lately, and I have no confidence in him whatsoever. Unless he’s pitching to Detroit (who swing at pitches over their heads), we’ll have to score a lot of runs to win a Johnson-started playoff game. And if Moose or Wang have an off day during the playoffs, things could get ugly. The one plus (in my opinion) is that the bullpen can pick him up (as long as Torre doesn’t go with him too long). Bruney, Proctor, Farnsworth and Mo make for four good innings of relief.

      The depressing thing is that Randy will be around again next year, with even lesser stuff, and the Yankees owe him a ton of money. Unless they can convince him to go back to the NL, we’re stuck with him. The Yankees would be much better off with a rotation of Moose-Wang-Hughes-Rasner-Pavano (until he gets hurt, then Clippard or someone else). But that won’t happen.

      We’ll be stuck with this home run machine and his flat sliders and scowls and once-great-now-diminished stuff (with even more ego-stroking, no doubt). I just hope he doesn’t screw us in the post-season the way he did last year. I don’t think I could stomach it.

    2. MJ
      September 24th, 2006 | 12:06 am

      Last September, when the Yankees needed to treat every game like Game 7 of the World Series, Randy Johnson stepped up huge. No surprise, since RJ’s always been a September ace, going 44-13 with a 2.80 ERA and a 1.12 WHIP. Not in 2006, however. He’s a lucky 2-1 with a 5.47 ERA.

      Honestly, if this is the RJ we’re going to get in October, then a) we’re screwed if Moose only pitches once per series as a Game 3 starter and b) we’re screwed anyway because we’re talking about two guaranteed losses in RJ’s starts since it’ll be hard to count on Wright to win playoff games for us.

      Guidry and Kerrigan better come up with something quick, otherwise the Yanks are carrying a playoff rotation not unlike the 2004 and 2005 versions that sucked it up, big time.

      PS – Since RJ’s only got 1 start left in 2006, it’s looking sorta likely that he ends up with an ERA at or over 5.00. I pray the Yanks win the World Series this year and RJ takes it as a sign from heaven that it’s time to hang ‘em up and wait on Cooperstown’s call. He’s friggin’ done.

    3. MJ
      September 24th, 2006 | 12:10 am

      Bailey – I’m ripping RJ a new one for giving the Yanks so little in 2006. But I don’t see how anyone can really not take what RJ gave the team in 2005. He pitched his butt off in September to get us into October and while his start in Game 3 was poor (bad weather conditions didn’t help), he pitched valiantly in relief in Game 5 to keep the team in the game. The Yanks lost in the ALDS last year because they simply couldn’t get the hits they needed to. Game 2 and Game 5 were both winnable games where the hitters just didn’t finish the job. I can’t really blame RJ for 2005. Not in good conscience, anyway.

    4. RICH
      September 24th, 2006 | 5:53 am

      Do you want the Yankees to play all out for the home field advantage or do you want them to be cautious to avoid injury and be rested?

      Yesterday you were concerned about injuries re: Jeter’s well-being on the botched squeeze play.

    5. baileywalk
      September 24th, 2006 | 11:33 am

      MJ, I remember two big wins from Johnson down the stretch in ’05 — both against the Red Sox. The first was a 1-0 job against Wakefield where Giambi hit a homer, and the other was the second-to-last game of the year. THAT game was huge — and Randy pitched his heart out. I still think that the 120 pitches he threw in that game took so much out of him that he had nothing against the Angels. If Torre had used Chacon in that game and Johnson in the next, we would have gone on to beat the Angels, the then White Sox, and probably the Astros. Just my opinion.

      So I don’t totally blame Johnson for stinking it up in the post-season. Torre is at fault too. And I guess it’s better to give the team a couple of big wins than none, but I’ve grown more and more tired of Unit. I was really excited to get him here, because I had seen him dominate in the NL for so long, and he’s been nothing but a disappointment. I also hate his attitude — this bitter, angry, grumbling vibe. For the money the Yankees are paying him, and for the tradable players they gave up, I think Johnson has been an unmitigated disaster.

      Johnson makes this year’s playoffs pretty precarious. I don’t trust either Johnson or Wright. And Moose has been great, but not shutout-baseball great. So what happens if Wang wins, Johnson get pummeled, Moose pitches well but gets outdueled, and it’s all on the line for Wright to win a game? I don’t want to see this team in that position.

      Johnson has to come up big or this team isn’t going anywhere. And the thing I’m most sick of is the way everyone kisses Randy’s butt. ENOUGH ALREADY! He’s a Hall of Famer. One of the best lefties EVER. But right now he’s no better than Jaret Wright. Stop coddling him (it worked for A-Rod). We still have Torre talking about starting him in game one. If he’s even considering that, he’s putting Johnson’s ego ahead of the team.

    6. baileywalk
      September 24th, 2006 | 12:01 pm

      Just out of curiosity, I went back and looked at Randy’s September in ’05. No doubt about it, it was a good one. He started six games and won four (with two ND). Two of the wins came against the Red Sox. The biggest being the September 11th start I mention above, where he went seven innings of shutout ball to beat Wake and the Sox 1-0. In the October 1st game, which clinched it for the Yankees, Johnson went 7.1 innings, gave up 3 ER, and struck out eight. Those were HUGH wins for this team.

      The other starts were against the Devil Rays, Blue Jays, and O’s (two). He got a no-decision against the Rays (6.1 IP, 3 ER), won both O’s games decidedly (8 IP, 1 ER; 6 IP, 0 ER), and was tossed from the Blue Jay game in the second inning for arguing (he was getting pounded — he had already given up 3 ER).

      Like you said, the guy who turned it on last year is nowhere to be found. I guess it makes sense (in a way) to start Johnson in game two — because you don’t want to depend on him to win game three if the game two starter loses.

      Boy, Hughes can’t get here fast enough!

    7. JeremyM
      September 24th, 2006 | 12:42 pm

      I kind of feel like it might be better to let Johnson start game 3 since it will most likely be in the dome and we won’t risk him pitching under less-than-ideal conditions like last October. Also, I’m not a big fan of the “if we lost the first two games we need a strong starter in 3 idea.” Think positive!

      The more I think about it, the more I want Giambi to get healthy. When this guy is going right, making the pitcher throw a ton of pitches, the whole team is better off. I’m growing a little more concerned about losing him. Maybe if Sheffield starts mashing I’ll feel differently, and it’ll take him awhile to get up to speed, but I like Giambi’s patience more than what Sheff brings to the table.

    8. Jen
      September 24th, 2006 | 12:58 pm

      //Think positive!//

      I think you’re at the wrong blog :-)

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