• April 18th vs. The Indians

    Posted by on April 18th, 2007 · Comments (16)

    What’s not to be excited about now?

    A-Rod homers – again. Last season, Albert Pujols set the “April HR” record with 14. (The A.L. record for April taters is 13 – by Ken Griffey Jr. in 1997.) Alex has a shot at coming close to those marks.

    Igawa did a good job. I think that DP in the third saved his bacon tonight. (It would have been interesting if the umps had ruled that he threw his glove at that ball and awarded the batter three bases – which is the rule when a fielder throws his glove at a batted ball.)

    Giambi now has 8 hits in his last 5 games – a sign that he’s starting to heat up.

    Torre used the right guys to close out a 9-2 win: Henn and Britton.

    Really, the only bummer at the close of business today is this…even with the Yankees playing great the last two days, their record is only 7-6 on the season to date.

    Those one-run losses on April 5th, 13th and 15th have not helped. If the Yankees were 10-3 now, they would be in first place with a two-game lead on the Red Sox. Oh, well, a nice game from Rasner tomorrow will help take some of the sting away from this one little, less than exciting, fact.

    Comments on April 18th vs. The Indians

    1. baileywalk
      April 18th, 2007 | 11:44 pm

      You don’t like giving Igawa credit, do you? I think people panicked (big surprise there) over him way too quickly. I think he is what the Yankees thought he was: a back-of-the-rotation stater. But he might be an almost-three more than a five. If he continues to settle in, he looks like a guy who can give you six or seven, keep you in the game, and strike people out. Not bad at all. People had this guy going to the bullpen before he threw a pitch in America.

      In equally important pitching news, Phil Hughes dominated tonight in AAA. 6 IP, 2 hits, 0 BB, 10 SO. Most of the strikeouts were swinging.

    2. j
      April 19th, 2007 | 12:38 am

      Igawa also talked about how he felt he still had more work to do before he’s where he wants to be. Sure he’s not overpowering, but he’s got good off speed pitches and would be dangerous on a night that he had good control – which is what he’s referring to.

    3. Garcia
      April 19th, 2007 | 9:46 am

      Bailey, I have to disagree. I don’t think he’s anywhere near a three and all he’ll ever be is a five, at best a 4. I didn’t think the Indians were patient at all. With a lineup like the Mets, Red Sox, O’s, etc, then he’ll have some rough outings. That’s not what a three does for you.

    4. April 19th, 2007 | 10:18 am

      ~~~I don’t think he’s anywhere near a three and all he’ll ever be is a five, at best a 4. ~~~

      I concur. I still can’t believe the length of the contract that the Yankees gave this guy.

      It’s like signing Dave LaPoint to a 5-year deal.

    5. MJ
      April 19th, 2007 | 10:33 am

      I might be wrong here but I think the Yanks signed Igawa to a $26M deal. For $5M/season you don’t think he’s a valuable investment as a potential #4/#5 starter? The Yanks were paying more to Jaret Wright to be a #5 and he was dreadful in that role. You really don’t think Igawa can be better than Wright for $2M less? Plus, aren’t we a bit quick to judge Igawa after only a few starts? There’s no reason to believe that he can’t adapt a slightly different style in the big leagues with the proper coaching and time for adjustment. Wright was what he was for a whole decade…

    6. baileywalk
      April 19th, 2007 | 10:38 am

      I said an “almost-three” — not quite a three, but better than a four.

      I think Igawa can (potentially) give you innings and strike people out — two things people value quite a bit in pitchers.

      The bottom line for me on Igawa is that he came here totally UNDER-hyped. He was said to have an 85 mph fastball, which turns out not to be true (he’s around 88-90, with good late life). He was said to not have a third pitch, which is also not true (he has the change we heard about, but also a good curve and he has a decent slider).

      I wasn’t for this signing at all, and it’s still early, but he’s definitely better than I had hoped for.

      And Dave LaPoint? Damn, you really DON’T like this guy, huh, Steve? Tell you what, though — I’ll take Dave LaPoint’s totals from 1998 for Igawa (with a few more strikeouts).

    7. baileywalk
      April 19th, 2007 | 10:39 am

      Typo. Make that 1988.

    8. Raf
      April 19th, 2007 | 10:58 am

      I concur. I still can’t believe the length of the contract that the Yankees gave this guy.
      =============
      Given other contracts that were handed out this season, why not? Looking at the contracts given Pavano and Wright, why not?

      I’m not going to get worked up after a handful of innings. Talk to me after the season.

    9. April 19th, 2007 | 10:58 am

      I think we have to brace ourselves for the fact that Igawa is the lefty version of Jae Weong Seo. Alotta baserunners and too much contact allowed.

    10. Garcia
      April 19th, 2007 | 11:02 am

      bailey, I don’t think Steve is saying he doesn’t like the guy. I won’t call him a #3 and we’ll see at the end of the year what # we’d like to assign him. Can he be valuable? Absolutely. Nobody said he couldn’t be valuable and be a solid #5, but he’ll never be a #3. Isn’t that too high an expectation for the guy?

      I don’t really care about the money part as much as Steve, but MJ had a perfectly logical explanation as to what his worth actually is. I think he’ll be better than Jaret Wright, but to what degree? I don’t think it’ll be that much better, and time will tell that he’s more like Jaret Wright – except that he can give you an extra inning (through the 6th) with more frequency. How we interpret that frequency might differ between each of us, but I don’t think it’s going to be the norm – where he consistently gives us 6 or 6+.

      Ask yourself this, if we have a week where Pavano, Pettite, Wang, and Mussina can’t go that far in each of their starts and the bullpen is looking for some time off, then how confident are you that Igawa will provide that relief? I sure am not.

      Do you think he’s a #3 the caliber of a Dice-K, Chacin, Nate Robertson? I would consider those more true #3. I will give you this, looking around the league there aren’t that many good #3.

    11. JJay
      April 19th, 2007 | 11:22 am

      Steve! C’mon! RE: — Really, the only bummer at the close of business today is this…even with the Yankees playing great the last two days, their record is only 7-6 on the season to date. —

      They were 5-6 and now they’re 7-6. That’s the best you can ask for. They won the past two games in convincing fashion against a good team. Enjoy it! A-Rod is. ;)

    12. April 19th, 2007 | 11:46 am

      JJay – what I was trying to say with that was…that we shouldn’t let the last two games make us forget that, overall, the Yankees have gotten out of the gate like the last shot out of a roman candle.

    13. JJay
      April 19th, 2007 | 12:10 pm

      I understand but this has been the case the past few years. This isn’t nearly as bad as 05.

    14. rbj
      April 19th, 2007 | 1:18 pm

      Yanks started off 1-3 in 1998. I’ll take another season like that

    15. brockdc
      April 19th, 2007 | 1:40 pm

      Though I wasn’t thrilled with the Igawa signing, I still think he can be somewhat useful, providing they don’t expect a performance last night every time out. Look, Jamie Moyer has been a successful #3 for years and couldn’t break a spiderweb with his fastball if you held a gun to his head. Igawa would seem to have a similar arsenal to Moyer’s with slightly better velocity and slightly worse control. So why can’t it happen?

    16. April 19th, 2007 | 4:03 pm

      Giving Igawa a 5 year $20M deal is a great contract for the Yankees.

      At $4M per, if he isn’t quite what the Yankees are looking for…despite the length of the contract…he is easily movable.

      I am quite certain that other teams would be willing to take a shot on him.

      Not to mention that only $20M counts towards the luxury tax as opposed to $46M.

      It was cheaper to sign Igawa than, say, someone like Lilly for the Yankees when the luxury tax is calculated…for an extra year even…and I think it is likely that Igawa will be just as good if not better than Lilly during that time (even counting the NL and AL differences).

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