• August 24th @ The Tigers

    Posted by on August 25th, 2007 · Comments (7)

    GameOver332AM.jpg

    The first pitch at 11:06 p.m. (because of a rain delay of 4 hours and 1 minute)? That’s just wrong.

    Pin this terrible loss on Clemens and Henn – every other Yankees pitcher did their job in this game. Henn allowed three straight two-out hits to blow the game. Clemens allowed 4 huge extra-base hits in 6 innings of work…along with 3 walks…to allow 6 runs in 6 innings pitched.

    The Yankees bats were good in the first half of the game – they scored 6 runs in the first 5 innings of the contest. I guess they were just sleepy by the time the sixth inning rolled along.

    So, now the Yankees are 6 back, in the loss column, of Boston in the A.L. East – and New York is 4 games back, in the loss column, of Seattle in the Wildcard standings. The Yankees have 34 games left to play.

    I think the Yankees have now found their theme song for 2007. It’s Dave Edmunds’ Slipping Away:

    I can feel you slipping away from me.
    A little bit further now every day.
    I’m holding on, but I can’t believe
    This is how you want it to be.
    Oh, you’re slipping away.
    Oh, you’re slipping away.
    It feels like walking down a long, dark road.
    You never talk to me the way you did before.
    You ride through the city with your head held high.
    And all I can do is watch you go by.
    Oh, you’re slipping away.
    Oh, you’re slipping away.
    I’m gonna give it all I’ve got to give.
    I’ve got to hold on, see what tomorrow brings.
    You’re slipping away, but give me one more try.
    One more chance to wipe these tears from my eyes.
    You’re slipping away.
    Oh, you’re slipping away.

    Cashman: We Have Replacements For Mussina

    Posted by on August 25th, 2007 · Comments (3)

    From George King:

    With talk swirling through the Yankees universe that Mike Mussina could be pitching for his rotation spot Monday night against the Tigers, the right-hander said he isn’t feeling the pressure.

    “Who would they replace me with?” Mussina asked prior to last night’s Yankees-Tigers game at Comerica Park.

    Actually, GM Brian Cashman on Thursday brought up three names as possible replacements for the struggling veteran, mentioning minor leaguers Ian Kennedy, Steven White and, yes, even Kei Igawa.

    Kei Igawa? That Brian is some card, huh?

    Looks Like The Made It

    Posted by on August 24th, 2007 · Comments (4)

    According to the Yankees site, postseason ticket payments are due in full by Wednesday, September 12, 2007.

    They wouldn’t sell tickets unless they were going to make it to October, right?

    Hip, Hip, Hall-Of-Famer!

    Posted by on August 24th, 2007 · Comments (0)

    The Hall of Fame at Pfitzner Stadium, that is…

    Via Our Sports Central -

    The Potomac Nationals announced today that New York Yankees’ catcher Jorge Posada has been elected into the Hall of Fame at Pfitzner Stadium. Posada, a member of the 1993 Prince William Cannons, becomes the seventh member of the Hall of Fame and will officially be inducted prior to the Saturday, August 25, game between the Potomac Nationals and Myrtle Beach Pelicans.

    A five-time American League All-Star, Posada spent nearly the entire 1993 season with the then-Prince William Cannons, appearing in 118 games. The Santurce, Puerto Rico, native hit .259 with 17 home runs and 61 RBIs during his time in Prince William. Overall he collected 106 hits, including 27 doubles and two triples, compiling a .459 slugging average. Posada, who was 22-years-old at the time, was named to the 1993 Carolina League All-Star team. The former 24th-round pick of the New York Yankees out of Calhoun Community College in Decatur Ala., was also a teammate of left-hander and Hall of Fame member Andy Pettitte while with the Cannons in 1993.

    Posada, a four-time World Series Champion with the New York Yankees, joins Barry Bonds (Class of 2004), Bernie Williams (Class of 2004), Pettitte (Class of 2004), Art Silber (Class of 2005), Bobby Bonilla (Class of 2005) and Albert Pujols (Class of 2006). He was selected through voting held online and at Pftizner Stadium. Nominees for the 2007 season included Brad Ausmus, Mike Cameron, Magglio Ordonez, Posada, and J.T. Snow.

    Just a warm-up for Cooperstown someday?

    Schedule Hurdles

    Posted by on August 24th, 2007 · Comments (3)

    From the Detroit Free Press -

    Starting Tuesday at Yankee Stadium, the Yankees play the first of two remaining series against the Red Sox. The Yankees have 16 home games and 19 road games left; the Red Sox play 17 of their 27 September games at Fenway Park.

    There’s a key three-game series remaining with wild-card leader Seattle at the Stadium, Sept. 3-5. The Mariners have five games left with Cleveland and have a road trip to Cleveland, Toronto, New York and Detroit.

    Look for the Red Sox to have a strong September – with all those home games. The way the schedule plays out, going for the Wildcard seems to make the most sense for New York. If the Angels hang on to the West, that would set us up for another Yankees-Angels ALDS.

    Great.

    It makes for some strange rooting in Yankeeland. You want to root for the M’s to lose, to help the Yankees get the ‘card, but, you want to root for the M’s to pass the Angels – so that you don’t have to face the Halos in the ALDS again.

    So, you have to root for the M’s to lose, and for the Angels to lose even more than the M’s. (And, you want the Tigers to lose as well.)

    Justin Snyder

    Posted by on August 24th, 2007 · Comments (4)

    Here’s someone in the Yankees chain that we should start to keep an eye on…Staten Island Yankee Justin Snyder…who keeps getting on…as his on-base percentage is a league-leading .488 and he leads the league in hitting at .375.

    Snyder was drafted out of the University of San Diego in the 21st round of this year’s draft.

    Primarily a third baseman earlier in the season, he’s moved to second base and center field before settling in at shortstop recently.

    Baseball America ranked him as the 191st best overall prospect coming into the 2007 draft and thinks he profiles best at either second or center field in the majors.

    We might be seeing him in the Bronx around 2010.

    Star Hugs The Whitey Lama

    Posted by on August 24th, 2007 · Comments (2)

    From Dailyindia.com -

    Actor Richard Gere’s burst into tears when he met his childhood hero, baseball star Whitey Ford, recently.

    The ‘Pretty Woman’ star met Ford at a recent induction ceremony at the National Baseball Hall Of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.

    Gere asked for a hug from the Ford, when he came across the 78-year-old sports ace.

    It was actually Gere’s seven-year-old son who pointed out that Ford was present at the event.

    “I came in the hotel and my son says, ‘That’s Whitey Ford over there.’ And I went, ‘Oh my God.’ That was my team as a kid, that era of the (New York) Yankees, from ’57 to ’61′,” Contactmusic quoted him as saying.

    “I walked over to Whitey, like, in a cloud, I started stammering, then I started crying. I was tearing up and I didn’t know what to say. I said, ‘Is it Whitey Ford?’ and he said, ‘Yeah?’ And I said, ‘Can I give you a hug?’ So we stood there for five minutes hugging, with tears streaming down my face,” he added.

    I wonder if Gere would have been just as thrilled to finally meet Eli Grba?

    Moose Math

    Posted by on August 23rd, 2007 · Comments (8)

    Ben K. at RAB takes a moment to praise Mike Mussina.

    On the flips side, I can understand why some see Mussina as the poster child of the post-2000 ringless Yankees.

    But, in truth, Moose was the Yankees best starter in 2001 and 2003 – and those were the only two seasons, post-2000, where the Yankees won the pennant. You do have to tip your cap to Mussina for his efforts on those two flags.

    Here’s something about Moose the Yankee:

    His ERA marks pitching in the Bronx, with 2007 to date:

    2001 3.11
    2002 4.25
    2003 3.04
    2004 3.94
    2005 3.52
    2006 3.19
    2007 5.51

    His ERA marks on the road, with 2007 to date:

    2001 3.19
    2002 3.83
    2003 3.81
    2004 5.25
    2005 5.34
    2006 3.83
    2007 4.88

    If Mussina had pitched better on the road, during 2004 and 2005, we might be talking about him having one of the best six year runs (during 2001-2006), pitching-wise, in Yankees history.

    Why he had road woes from 2004 to 2005, is anyone’s guess. So, what’s your guess?

    The Embedded Red Sock

    Posted by on August 23rd, 2007 · Comments (3)

    You know, this game should have been a tip-off that Carl Pavano was a secret agent working for the Red Sox.

    How did Cashman miss that one?

    Torre, Cone & Mussina

    Posted by on August 23rd, 2007 · Comments (3)

    From Newsday -

    Mike Mussina’s back-to-back awful outings are not simply being taken in stride by the Yankees.

    Pitching coach Ron Guidry acknowledged, “Yeah, I’m concerned.” And manager Joe Torre hinted that Mussina must pitch better to stay in the rotation.

    Mussina has given up seven runs in consecutive starts, and did so in only 1 2/3 innings in Tuesday night’s loss to the Angels. When Torre was asked if Mussina would absolutely remain in the rotation, he said yesterday afternoon: “We’re going to talk. After his next start we’re going to talk … The ability to pitch and pitch well is there somewhere. We just need to get it out.”

    Guidry said Mussina had not told him anything that would make him believe he was hurt. And Torre said that in a chat in his office, Mussina was baffled at his struggles because he said his arm felt so good.

    Even though Mussina had not complained of any physical problems, and even said he was fine after his last start, Guidry wondered if there might be something wrong. He wondered aloud if something Mussina believed was a minor ailment, such as a tired arm or a tinge of soreness, was lurking beneath the surface. Perhaps, Guidry said, there was something wrong that Mussina believed he could pitch through and has not been able to.

    One person asked Torre if a comparison could be made between Mussina, 38, and David Cone in 2000 at age 37. Cone went 4-14 that year with a 6.91 ERA, after going 12-9 with a 3.44 ERA in 1999. Mussina is 8-9 with a 5.22 ERA, after going 15-7 with a 3.51 ERA last season.

    “That’s a good question,” Torre said. “I hadn’t thought about it, but you could probably do that. One thing about talking to Coney, and same thing with Mike, is they’re realistic about everything.”

    That, Torre said, means Mussina realizes that the club can ill afford many more outings like the one he turned in Tuesday night. The Yankees are in the midst of a pennant race, and need every win they can get.

    “I did more than struggle today,” Mussina said Tuesday night. “Going into September, I can’t be pitching like this.”

    Cone was terrible in 2000. But, Torre kept running him out there every five days – without fail. It will be interesting to see if he handles Mussina any different, now, seven years later.

    The Angel Bugaboo

    Posted by on August 23rd, 2007 · Comments (2)

    Some theories via the L.A. Times yesterday -

    The Angels are 61-54 against the Yankees since 1996 the year Joe Torre became their manager — making them the only American League team with a record over .500 against them in that span. The teams met in the division playoff series in 2002 and 2005, with the Angels advancing both times.

    The Angels have won 21 of their last 32 meetings and are 12-7 in their last 19 games at Yankee Stadium. Mike Scoscia’s team took four of their six games in the Bronx this season, including three in a sweep in May. Torre couldn’t provide much of an explanation.

    “Even when they were not as good 10 years ago, they were a thorn in our side,” Torre said. “When I was managing the Cardinals, we couldn’t win in San Diego. Just one of those things. The Angels are one of those teams that seems to have the confidence because they’ve had success.”

    Torre noted that the Angels haven’t fared nearly as well against the Boston Red Sox, against whom they are 47-64 over the last 12 seasons.

    The Angels’ success when facing New York has not only transcended time, but also a shift in philosophy that Giambi noticed while playing for their divisional rival in Oakland.

    “They were kind of built like we are,” Giambi said. ” They had Jimmy Edmonds and [Tim] Salmon and J.T. [Snow]. They had power. They slowly made the transition to more of a defensive, hit-and-run, steal bags style.”

    The new style is one that Giambi said matches up well with the Yankees’ more power-centric approach and that Torre describes as “distracting.”

    “There’s no one in their lineup who won’t run,” Torre said.

    Added left fielder Hideki Matsui: “You get the feeling that they really study the Yankees. And they’ve assembled the talent to execute their game plans, particularly their pitchers. They don’t make mistakes. They don’t self-destruct.”

    Particularly at Angel Stadium, where the home team is 10-4 in their last 14 games of the series, including the playoff contests.

    Sure, the Angels’ record is 61-54 against the Yankees since 1996. But, from 1996 to 2005, it’s just 49-47. In the last two years, including this one, the Angels are 12-7 against the Yankees. Why?

    I heard Mike Scioscia on the radio the other day, on the X-M baseball show with Dibble and Kennedy, and he was talking about the importance of being able to go from first to third – - as the runner on third with less than 2 outs puts pressure on the pitcher, even the great ones, to stop the run from scoring.

    Then, I looked it up, and saw that the Angels have an OPS of .926 w/RISP against the Yankees this season. In 2006, it was .948 – whereas from 2002 through 2005, the Angels were not so good w/RISP against the Yankees.

    That’s been the key for Angels beating up on the Yankees in the last two years. They’ve been getting home those RISP.

    Ian Kennedy Time?

    Posted by on August 23rd, 2007 · Comments (16)

    Ian5.jpg

    The above stats are the results of Ian Kennedy’s first 5 starts in Triple-A this year.

    Should the Yankees call him up in the next week or so – and then have him on the post-season roster?

    Ron Villone’s ERA in August is 7.59. I think I’d rather take my chances with Kennedy (on that roster spot) now.

    Daisuke Matsuzaka Splits

    Posted by on August 23rd, 2007 · Comments (6)

    The Red Sox’ Dice-K threw a good game against the Devil Rays last night. Still, at this point it the season, I find myself asking the question “Is there a reason for Boston to still have Matsuzaka-mania?

    Yes, Matsuzaka’s ERA on the season is now 3.76 – which is very, very, good. But, when you look at how Matsuzaka has pitched against A.L. teams with post-season hopes, it paints a different story.

    In the 66.2 IP (over 10 games) that Matsuzaka has thrown against the Yankees, Tigers, Indians and Mariners this season, his ERA is 4.86 – and that’s not as pretty as 3.76.

    Could it be that Daisuke Matsuzaka has the stuff to beat bad teams but not enough stuff to beat the good ones? It will be interesting to see how Dice-K does in October this year, should Boston make it to the post-season (which they should).

    Need A Good Cry This AM?

    Posted by on August 23rd, 2007 · Comments (3)

    This has nothing to do with the Yankees, but, this blog entry by Dirk Hayhurst is too good not to link to…click here to read it.

    Just have a box of tissues handy when you read it.

    August 22nd @ The Angels

    Posted by on August 23rd, 2007 · Comments (10)

    When you factor in:

    1. The results of the two games before this one.
    2. The Yankees place in the standings.
    3. The calendar.
    4. The losses by Boston and Seattle prior to this game.

    This contest was as close to “must win” for the Yankees as you can get during the regular season. And, Andy Pettitte came through for New York.

    Pettitte did not allow the Angels to take a lead in this game, through six, and then threw a shutdown inning in the seventh after the Yankees took a 3-1 lead. You cannot ask for more than that from a pitcher.

    Given Hughes’ learning curves, Mussina’s ups-and-downs, Clemens’ age, and Wang’s issues with pitching on the road, you have to think that Pettitte is the Yankees “Game 1 Starter” and ace for the post-season, no?

    One beef on this game for me: Joba Chamberlain is your “Barney Fife Bullet” – meaning he has to stay in your pocket and only be used carefully – and you bring him into a game when you have a 7-1 lead in the eighth? Is the Yankees bullpen that bad that no one else can help get the last 6 outs of a game where you have a 6-run lead?

    O.K., sure, I realize that there’s an off-day between this game and the Yankees next series. And, that factors into it. However, if there’s an overall innings limit that the Yankees are applying to Joba this year, it seems like a waste to have him pitch an inning in a situation like this one, no?

    Lastly, congrats to Joe Torre – for getting sole possession of second place on the franchise win chart behind Joe McCarthy. That’s pretty impressive. It makes me wonder if Joe wants to keep his job through 2010 to try and get the all-time record. Given his pay-rate, and the perks of being the Yankees manager, I can’t imagine why he would not want to stick around. If the Yankees don’t get a ring this year, it will be interesting to see what happens with Joe and his future plans.

    Verducci: Alex & Boras Will Opt Out

    Posted by on August 22nd, 2007 · Comments (6)

    From Tom Verducci yesterday -

    Yankees GM Brian Cashman said the team can’t afford Alex Rodriguez without the $30,304,500 it is getting from Texas, a subsidy over the next three years that goes away if A-Rod opts out. I find that incredulous, which is why I said this to Cashman: “I’m assuming that Alex is going to be employed somewhere next year. So if he does opt out, you’re telling me the Yankees can’t afford Alex as a true free agent, but another franchise can?”

    “Uh, well, yes,” Cashman said.

    I mean, where is the franchise that can afford a player the Yankees can’t? Microsoft? I understand it’s part of a negotiating game to keep Alex and the Texas money. But to borrow from former umpire Durwood Merrill, Scott Boras didn’t just fall off the back of a turnip truck.

    Let me get this straight: The Yankees want the most aggressive agent in the business to swear off the last shot at free agency for the most valuable commodity in baseball at a time when a $6 billion industry is flush with gobs of cash? And we’re to believe that $30 million — which is $3.75 million per year, assuming a five-year extension or eight-year deal — suddenly is prohibitive to the Yankees? The only way Boras doesn’t put his client on the market is if the Yankees throw some really stupid money at A-Rod, the kind of money no other franchise can dish out.

    We’ll soon see.

    Rodriguez has until 10 days after the World Series – November 10th the latest – to opt out of the contract. That’s 80 days from today.

    Let the countdown begin.

    Are The Yankees A “Contender Tease”?

    Posted by on August 22nd, 2007 · Comments (7)

    Back on July 28th, I wrote:

    I think it’s time to face it, and admit it, that this Yankees’ team is a “C.T.” – as in “Contender Tease.” They excel at scratching at the door, making it look like they want to come in – but, when it’s time to come in the house, they shy away like a cat sensing water and flee back into the yard.

    Maybe I was just being harsh at the time? Or, was I? Check this out:

    From June 5th to June 17th of this season, the Yankees went on a nice run. In that time, they improved from their 24-31 record to be 35-32. What did they do next? They lost 7 of 8 to the Rockies, Giants and O’s to fall back to 36-39.

    Then, from July 2nd to July 25th, New York went on another nice run. In that time, they improved from their 39-41 record to be 55-46. What did they do next? They lost 3 in a row to the Royals and O’s to fall back to 55-49.

    Next, from August 1st to August 13th, New York went on yet another nice run. In that time, they improved from their 58-49 record to be 67-51. What did they do next? They lost 3 in a row to the O’s and Tigers to fall back to 67-54. (After this, the Yankees took three games from the Tigers – before getting waxed in their last two games by the Angels.)

    This is now the last three months, in a row, where the Yankees have gone into mini-slumps just when it appears that they’re about to start really rolling.

    If that’s not a “Contender Tease,” then what is it?

    The Good & Bad Of Mike Mussina

    Posted by on August 22nd, 2007 · Comments (3)

    Mike Mussina has made 22 starts for the Yankees, so far, this season. The Yankees have lost 12 of those 22 games started by Moose. Here are some stats on the breakdown of these games:

    In the 12 games started by Mussina where the Yankees lost: Mussina averages 4.8 IP per start and has an ERA of 8.16.

    In the 10 games started by Mussina where the Yankees won: Mussina averages 6.3 IP per start and has an ERA of 2.57.

    This season, Mike Mussina has become what Randy Johnson was to the Yankees last year: A pitcher who’s great when he’s on, but, one who is terrible when he’s off. In a word, Moose is inconsistent.

    That’s O.K. – if you’re the fifth starter in the rotation. I just hope, if the Yankees make the post-season this year, that New York treats Mussina like a fifth starter and only has him pitch in a game, if it’s an absolute must – because, at this stage of his career, he can’t be trusted to come through for you.

    Anderson, Anaheim & August

    Posted by on August 22nd, 2007 · Comments (6)

    August 29, 1996

    August 21, 2007

    Garret Anderson missed…in terms of pounding the Yankees, by himself…twice, eleven years apart, to the day, by just 8 days.

    I wonder how many Angels (or Yankees) fans were at both games in Anaheim? Torre, Jeter, Rivera, and Pettitte were at both games for the Yankees. And, only Anderson was at both for the Angels.

    August 21st @ The Angels

    Posted by on August 22nd, 2007 · Comments (4)

    Back when I was a sophomore in high school, a classmate of mine, big bad Carl Myers, got the drop on me and landed a sucker punch right to my gut. It was the first and last time that happened. In any event, it’s hard to forget that sickening feeling of getting the wind knocked out of you – the instant and simultaneous sensation that you’re going to blackout and puke at the same time.

    When I woke up this morning and saw the “highlights” of how the Yankees got pounded in this game, coupled with seeing the scores of the games for Boston and Seattle, I started to get that feeling again – a brilliant flash of blinding light followed by an increasing dimming towards total darkness along with involuntary spasms of the stomach.

    And, as long as I continue to think about this game and the residual standings impact for the Yankees, I keep feeling that way. Therefore, for the sake of hoping to have a better day (as compared to how it started when I turned on the news at five AM this morning), I’m not going to think about it any more.

    Ever see the Star Trek episode “Requiem for Methuselah” where Spock does a mini-mind-meld on Kirk at the end and whispers “Forget“? That’s what I need about now.

    Music & Memories

    Posted by on August 21st, 2007 · Comments (2)

    Have you ever heard the Steely Dan song “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number“? I’m sure that you may have, at one time or another. For me, “Rikki” brings back a good time Yankees-related memory.

    This goes back over 30 years. It was probably 1974 – but, it may have been 1975.

    One day, my dad and I were on our way to a Yankees game.

    We were living on Staten Island at the time. As a result, my father would drive over to St. George and park the car near the S.I. Ferry – which we would take into Manhattan.

    Once downtown, we would walk over to the Bowling Green Station and take the “4″ train up to the Stadium. We always took the train to the game. When the Yankees played at Shea, I’m pretty sure we took the train as well – but, I have no idea which one or where we made transfers.

    This particular day, dad parked the car on Stuyvesant Place – just at the top of a long stairway that brought you right down to Richmond Terrace (where the Ferry Terminal was located).

    Back then, my folks drove a green Volkswagen bug – with an automatic stick shift. I’ll always remember that fact about the transmission – because the car had a decal on the back window that read “Automatic Stick Shift” which I found to be funny as the capital letters on the decal formed the acronym “A.S.S.” (Hey, I was 12-years old at the time and the word “ass” was a big deal to a kid in those days.)

    Since we were early for the boat, we sat in the car for a bit and listened to the radio. Most likely, we were listening to “Musicradio 77 WABC” on AM – as they ruled the airwaves back in 1974-75. As we sat there, “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number” came on…and, we began to kid around and sing along with the chorus of the song.

    Rikki don’t lose that number;
    You don’t wanna call nobody else.
    Send it off in a letter to yourself.

    Rikki don’t lose that number;
    It’s the only one you own.
    You might use it if you feel better,
    When you get home.

    I wish that I could tell you what game we saw that day. Since this was 1974 (or 1975), it was one of those Shea games. And, to be honest, the only Yankees Shea game that I truly member from those days, in terms of being there, was August 2, 1975 – because that was also Billy Martin’s first game as Yankees manager.

    But, for some reason, I will always remember listening to “Rikki Don’t Lose That Number,” sitting in that VW bug, parked up at the top of the stairs on Stuyvesant Place – just getting ready to head off to a Yankees game, in the 1970′s, hanging out with my dad.

    That moment in time will probably always stay with me – since it’s been with me for over thirty years already.

    Rikki don’t lose that number…
    Rikki don’t lose that number…
    Rikki don’t lose that number…

    Good times.

    The Serendipitous LOOGY?

    Posted by on August 21st, 2007 · Comments (3)

    When I first heard that Mike Myers signed with the Chicago White Sox, my reaction was: “This makes no sense. Why would a guy, his age, and with his limitations, be picked up by a ball club in last place? What difference is Mike Myers going to make to the White Sox season, this year, over the last six weeks of the schedule? Why even bother?”

    But, now, that I think of it, from the angle of a Yankees fan, how cool would it be if Myers stopped David Ortiz once or twice in this upcoming Boston-Chicago series and maybe prevented the Red Sox from getting a win in a contest? Would that be serendipitous or what?

    Can Alex Top Two Charts?

    Posted by on August 21st, 2007 · Comments (3)

    Today, YF at Yanksfan vs. Soxfan wonders about the chance of A-Rod catching the records of Barry Bonds and Pete Rose.

    It’s an interesting question. How about the A.L. marks for career homers and hits? Can A-Rod catch Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb for those marks?

    What about the A.L. career leaders in homers and hits by a RH-batter? That’s Harmon Killebrew and Paul Molitor. If Alex stays in the league for the rest of his career, I think he passes those two – no problem.

    Back In The Day Before PAP

    Posted by on August 21st, 2007 · Comments (4)

    Here’s a little Yankees trivia question to try on your friends today –

    Name the 5 Yankees starting pitchers, since 1989, to throw 145+ pitches in a single game.

    Here’s the answer:

    Pitcher, Date/Opp, Pitches Thrown

    Al Leiter, April 14, 1989/MIN, 163
    Scott Sanderson, June 4, 1992/DET, 156
    David Cone, August 5, 2000/SEA, 147
    Roger Clemens, May 20, 2001/@SEA, 145
    Andy Hawkins, July 6, 1990/MIN, 145

    Anyone who watches YES regularly would have guessed Leiter – as Michael Kay brings up that game, for Al, every time he’s in the booth with Leiter (or, at least, it seems like every time). Perhaps, someone might guess Cone and Clemens. But, I doubt that many would remember that Sanderson and Hawkins did it too.

    That Andy Hawkins game was amazing. He started the game, went 11 and 2/3rds, and then blew the game when he allowed back-to-back two-out singles to plate two runs.

    By the way, that game was the last time that a Yankees starting pitcher threw 11+ innings in a single contest.

    What to really be impressed? Catfish Hunter went 11+ innings in a start for the Yankees – three times in 1976. Yes, three times in one season: May 9th, May 22nd, and August 27th.

    There were no pitch counts available back in 1976. One can only imagine the damage the Hunter did to himself in those games.

    That August 27th game for Catfish was special – he started, went 13 innings, and threw a shutout for all 13 frames. It was the last time that a Yankees starter went 13 innings in a game. I think that record is probably safe for a while.

    And, for those who don’t know what “PAP” is, click here for more.

    Update, 12:28 pm ET, 8/21/07: Click here for more perspective on that Catfish Hunter game of August 27th.

    August 20th @ The Angels

    Posted by on August 21st, 2007 · Comments (21)

    This one hurts.

    Down, 3-1, after two.
    Up, 4-3, after six.
    Down, 6-4, after seven.
    Tied, 6-6, after eight.
    And, then, losing it, 7-6, in ten.

    And, on a night that Boston and Seattle both won too.

    To come back, twice, and then blow it…well, like I said, it hurts.

    SOTD: Blazing Out Of The Pen

    Posted by on August 20th, 2007 · Comments (1)

    You have to wonder about this one – did the Cubs have rules on how to use Todd Wellemeyer too?

    The Chases Of 1997, 2005 & 2007

    Posted by on August 20th, 2007 · Comments (1)

    The 2007 Yankees, at this date, are 70-54 and 4 games behind the Boston Red Sox in the A.L. East. Looking at this, I wondered how many times since 1990 have the Yankees not been in first place at this date? Here’s the answer:

    Year – Yankees Record (around this time) – Games Back of First
    2005 – 69-55 – 3.5 (Boston)
    1997 – 74-50 – 5.5 (Baltimore)
    1995 – 53-51 – 10.5 (Boston)
    1992 – 55-67 – 15.0 (Toronto)
    1991 – 56-68 – 12.5 (Toronto)
    1990 – 52-72 – 15.0 (Boston)

    Therefore, in the past 18 years, 2007 (for the Yankees) is the most like 2005 and 1997 (in terms of the race for the A.L. East).

    It will be interesting to see how the 2007 team responds to this chase. There are a dozen players on the 2007 Yankees who were around in 2005:

    Alex Rodriguez
    Andy Phillips
    Chien-Ming Wang
    Derek Jeter
    Hideki Matsui
    Jason Giambi
    Jorge Posada
    Mariano Rivera
    Melky Cabrera
    Mike Mussina
    Robinson Cano
    Sean Henn

    If you want to go back to 1997, only Andy Pettitte, Derek Jeter, Jorge Posada and Mariano Rivera remain with the team today.

    In some ways, 1997, 2005, and 2007 are three different chases – and three different classes as well.

    Why They’re Gone

    Posted by on August 20th, 2007 · Comments (4)

    From The Times-Tribune, last Friday -

    Former Yankees and Phillies and current Chiefs catcher Sal Fasano stole second base in the top of the seventh against Bruney and catcher Wil Nieves. It was Fasano’s first stolen base since playing for Salt Lake in 2002 and just his second swipe of the millennium.

    Way to go, Bruney and Nieves! If you can’t hold Fasano, you’re not trying.

    The Big Week In The A.L. East

    Posted by on August 20th, 2007 · Comments (3)

    The New York Yankees are currently 4 games back of the Boston Red Sox in the A.L. East – with 38 games remaining on the 2007 schedule.

    The Yankees and Red Sox are scheduled to face each other on August 28th. Between now, and then, both New York and Boston have seven games to play this week – all on the road (for both teams).

    The Red Sox play the last-place Devil Rays for three games and then the last-place White Sox for another four games.

    The Yankees play the first-place Angels for three games and then the Tigers (who have the 6th best record in the league) for another four games. By the way, the Angels are 40-17, yes, 40-17, at home so far this season.

    Clearly, the schedule, over the next week, favors the Boston Red Sox. But, we know that things don’t always work out the way the stats sometimes suggest they may shake out.

    Look at it this way, at the best, the Yankees will be three games ahead of the Red Sox, when they meet on August 28th. And, at the worst, the Yankees will be eleven games out of first, when Boston comes to New York.

    Personally, I doubt that the Yankees will be three games up or eleven games back on August 28th. It’s going to be somewhere in the middle. If I had to predict it, I would offer that the Yankees will be five games back of Boston when the two teams face each other in a week (from now). But, with a little luck, it could only be four games back.

    Four games back with 31 games to go? That’s pretty good. I think, when you look at the schedule this week, the Yankees would be happy with that as well.

    The Johan Santana Question

    Posted by on August 20th, 2007 · Comments (24)

    Johan Santana continues to be an ace for the Minnesota Twins. Santana will be a free agent after the 2008 season. There’s talk out there these days that suggests the Twins may look to trade Johan this off-season (because of his contract demands).

    If the Twins called the Yankees and offered them Johan Santana, this off-season, in exchange for Phil Hughes and Joba Chamberlain, would the Yankees make that deal? Would you?

    I would probably pass on that one – and not because of the potential of Hughes and Chamberlain. To me, it’s about money.

    Santana may get a 5-8 year deal as a free agent – for $20-25 million per season. As great as he is, and he is great, I could not sign-off on a deal like that one. Too many great pitchers have broken down at some point in their career. And, if it happened to Santana, I would hate to be on the hook for that kind of money, even with the Yankees resources, if and when it happens to him.

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