• July 25th @ The Royals

    Posted by on July 26th, 2007 · Comments (16)

    Mike Mussina looked sharp in this game. He had some nice bite to the knuckle-curve and when he missed with his fastball, he didn’t miss by much. Still, five and two-thirds is not great from him. Moose has to give you at least six innings in a game when he’s on with his pitches. I’m still concerned about his value to this team – both in the short- and long-term.

    Switching gears, let’s talk about Melky Cabrera. Where are all those scouts, fans, and media-types who kept saying last year that Melky was not a full-time big league type player? Have we seen enough yet? How about some retractions from those critics of Cabrera now?

    This was a big win for the Yankees – with the Indians beating the Red Sox.

    New York is now 6 back in the loss column of Boston in the A.L. East. And, New York is now 4 games back in the loss column of Cleveland in the Wildcard standings.

    If you count the suspended game in Baltimore as already being played, this means the Yankees have 60 games left after their July 26th game with the Royals.

    If New York is 5 games back, in the loss column, or less, of either Boston or Cleveland with 60 games to go, you have to consider them as being legit contenders for the post-season this year. Five games with sixty to go is very doable. Therefore, to have a chance at being 5 back of Red Sox, the Yankees need to win their next game. Is Kei Igawa up to it? We’ll see…we’ll soon see…

    If Igawa bombs, and Boston wins, and the Yankees fall 7 games back in the loss column of the Sox, with 60 games to go, I think it’s then time to start thinking only about the Wildcard and focus your win-loss wishes for other teams in a manner that helps the Yankees get the ‘card.

    Yeah, it’s only a one game difference. But, the clock is ticking…and New York does not have a ton of games left with Boston…at least not enough to make up for 7 games in a head-to-head fashion.

    Comments on July 25th @ The Royals

    1. Tex Antoine
      July 26th, 2007 | 8:32 am

      No retraction required. No one ever said Melky didn’t belong on a big league roster. And you certainly CAN play him every day if you want to. It’d just be an incredibly stupid decision if you did. He’ll hit .270 with about 10 HRs, drive in 70-80 runs, and he won’t steal very many bases. That’s pretty mediocre production for a centerfielder and downright dreadful if you play him in one of the corners. Defensively, he adds nothing. The problem us “scouts, fans, and media-types” have with him is he’s basically a fourth outfielder, but the keepers of his cult talk about him like he’s some kind of holy talisman, a vital sparkplug who makes the team go. Rubbish. I’m convinced a lot of his appeal stems from his unusual name. If his name were Kevin Thompson no one would even notice him.

    2. RICH
      July 26th, 2007 | 8:59 am

      Placing tonight’s game as a Must Win coupled with a Boston win or else only think about the wildcard is over the top in my opinion but whatever floats your boat.

      Time is getting shorter but there’s still lots of games left. I don’t expect the team to play as well as they are right now for the rest of the season but I also don’t see any 6 game losing streaks likely. Maybe some 2 or 3 gamers but nothing too long.

      It’ll be interesting to hear the gnashing and “Man Overboard” cries the next time the Yanks lose since every loss brings on Ragnarok by the fans and papers.

    3. antone
      July 26th, 2007 | 9:47 am

      Tex Antoine – your comments about Melky would make sense IF:

      1) Melky wasn’t only 22 years old, most hitters don’t reach their prime until 26 or 27, so you have to figure he will improve.

      2.) They had a better option for CF, which they don’t unless you think Damon will stay healthy playing CF every day.

      3.)Melky wasn’t the 8 or 9 hitter in the lineup, I’ll take .280 10 HRs 80 RBIs from my 9 hitter anyday.

      You’re not gonna have 25 HR 100 RBI guys at every position.

      Steve – the next game means nothing..there’s no difference between the Yankees losing the next game and winning the next two after that and then having Boston winning their next game and losing the next two after that. The only thing that matters is their total record in the 62 games left.

    4. July 26th, 2007 | 10:12 am

      I know these are the Royals and these are the games the Yankees are “supposed” to win, but still, when you consider that they didn’t win these games in the first half of the season it’s great to see them playing so sharply.

      Steve, I kind of see your logic about tonight’s game but in the end I have to agree with Antone. What the Yankees do is independent of what the Red Sox do (unless they are playing head-to-head) and the Yankees should just try to win as many games as possible. They might not win tonight – no team wins every game. But 3-1 on *any* four-game set – even against the Royals – is a reason to celebrate, as is 12-4 since the break, which is what they will be if they lose tonight.

      The Yankees will probably win tonight – but even if they don’t, I just don’t think the season hinges on the outcome of this one game.

    5. Raf
      July 26th, 2007 | 10:35 am

      Switching gears, let’s talk about Melky Cabrera. Where are all those scouts, fans, and media-types who kept saying last year that Melky was not a full-time big league type player? Have we seen enough yet? How about some retractions from those critics of Cabrera now?
      ==================
      Once Melky adds either patience (above lg avg; .336/.331) or power (below lg avg; .387/.412), then we’ll talk.

      Until then, he’s a 4th OF.

    6. Joel
      July 26th, 2007 | 10:42 am

      There is no reason to be concerned about Moose in the “long term” because he is here only through 2008. At this point in his career he is a number 4 or 5 starter and a performance like last night is just what you want from a back-end of the rotation guy. If Hughes comes back in top form I’m not sure that Moose even gets a post-season start.

      Also, anyone who says in regard to Melky that “defensively he adds nothing,” has not been watching many Yankees games this season.

    7. July 26th, 2007 | 11:05 am

      ~~~the next game means nothing..~~~

      Potentially, it’s the difference between being 7 back in the LC and being 5 back in the LC – and when you only have 6 games left with Boston, and 54 other games on top of that, it’s a big difference, IMHO.

    8. July 26th, 2007 | 11:08 am

      ~~~Once Melky adds either patience (above lg avg; .336/.331) or power (below lg avg; .387/.412), then we’ll talk.~~~

      Melky became the FT CF around 4/28. Since that time, his OBA is .364 and his SLG is .443

      So, let’s talk.

    9. July 26th, 2007 | 11:10 am

      ~~~If Hughes comes back in top form I’m not sure that Moose even gets a post-season start.~~~

      Two words: Joe Torre.

      Think Joe would do that?

    10. Southern Yankee
      July 26th, 2007 | 11:31 am

      Your doomsday call for tonights game is ridiculous! Until they’re out mathematically the Yanks have a chance for the division. They could have a run of wins versus Sox losses at any time. Beside all of this you wrote the Yanks off about two months ago. I didn’t accept that then and won’t accept this now. Be prepare to eat a lot of crow !!!

    11. antone
      July 26th, 2007 | 11:41 am

      I guess my point was that the next game means nothing MORE than the rest of the games, they all have equal value and you won’t win them all, so a loss here or there on a day the Red Sox win is not something to look at right now. They just have to finish with a better record over the last 60 or so games then the Red Sox do. Until they are 6 games back with only 6 games to play, then there is no reason to look at any game as must win.

    12. JohnnyC
      July 26th, 2007 | 11:48 am

      Here’s a sobering thought. Winning tonight’s game and/or any game in this current 29 game run against sub-.500 teams is critical. Yes, the Red Sox and the Yankees both have 60 games to play this season…but the Red Sox have 15 games left with the smoldering ruins of a pitching staff that wears Tampa uniforms. Uh, time IS of the essence.

    13. Raf
      July 26th, 2007 | 11:52 am

      Melky became the FT CF around 4/28. Since that time, his OBA is .364 and his SLG is .443

      So, let’s talk.
      ==================
      Sure. The season started 4/1. He’s been a FT player this year; he was starting in both LF & CF. So, that isn’t an issue.

      How’s his RCAA looking?

      Talk to me after the season.

    14. Raf
      July 26th, 2007 | 11:54 am

      Hit the submit button a bit too quick;

      Giving credit where credit is due, Melky’s numbers are trending upward, which is a good sign.

    15. July 26th, 2007 | 12:36 pm

      re: Melky,

      did y’all forget his D?

      he leads AL CFers in assists, range factor, and is 3rd in zone rating. his FRAA of 12 is higher than Ichiro, Rowand, Andruw, Torii, Granderson, Sizemore, Wells, Beltran, Taveras, Gary Matthews.

      only Coco is ahead. so according to FRAA, he’s the 2nd best CF in baseball! (while still making some ‘rookie mistakes’) at the most important non-catching D position, I’d take a .250 hitter, but the fact he is a .280/.340/.390 hitter makes him all the more valuable (AND he’s just 22, so the growth should continue).

    16. Joel
      July 26th, 2007 | 4:34 pm

      Steve,

      I do think that if Hughes is really rolling and Mussina is struggling to give us 5 or 6 solid innings, Joe would go with Hughes in the playoffs. My sense is that Joe knows that he must at least get out of the first round to have any chance to keep his job.

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