• September 2nd vs. The Devil Rays

    Posted by on September 2nd, 2007 · Comments (14)

    I missed this one. We took the kids to Chester, and then to Clinton, to do some lunch, walking, and browsing. When we’re out for the day, like today, driving about, I try not to listen to the game on the radio. I’m always fearful that they’re going to have a bad game, which will make me depressed and pissy – and that’s never a good state of mind to have when you’re out with the family.

    Around 4:30 pm, I figured it was safe, as we were heading home, and had a great day, to check what happened in this game – so, I turned on 880. I was surprised to see that they were still playing. It was the bottom of the 8th, with two outs, and then I heard the score…

    Awwwww, nooooooooooooooo!

    That’s what I first thought, to myself. Then, I thought about what I wrote just before the start of this series:

    Now is the time for the Yankees to drop the Ed Norton/Tyler Durden routine that has been their modus operandi at times this season. New York cannot start to show up in a mild-mannered fashion for any of their remaining series. That team that lost 7 of 8 to the Rockies, Giants and O’s in June cannot show their head again now. The team that recently lost 8 of 13 from August 14th to August 27th cannot be allowed to return as well.

    I guess the Yankees were not listening when I wrote that three days ago.

    There’s just no excuse, if you’re the Yankees, to allow Tampa Bay to come into your ballpark and beat you twice (in three games) by the scores of 9-1 and 8-2. Well, there’s no excuse if you’re a good team.

    The Yankees will probably still win the Wildcard this year. But, when you look at them play, like this, you have to wonder if they’ll get past Game 3 of the ALDS.

    Comments on September 2nd vs. The Devil Rays

    1. Raf
      September 2nd, 2007 | 6:54 pm

      What’s there to do in Clinton & Chester?

    2. Bob R.
      September 2nd, 2007 | 6:55 pm

      I say this as a Yankee fan of 58 years. It is provincial and short sighted to say something like this:

      “There’s just no excuse, if you’re the Yankees, to allow Tampa Bay to come into your ballpark and beat you twice (in three games) by the scores of 9-1 and 8-2. Well, there’s no excuse if you’re a good team.”

      There are plenty of excuses, one of which is that TB is a very talented team that will be challenging the Yankees and Boston seriously over the next few years. I would not trade TB’s 40 man roster for either NY’s or Boston’s right now, and especially if such a trade included some talent not included on the rosters yet.

    3. MJ
      September 2nd, 2007 | 7:38 pm

      Bob R., with all due respect, I think you’re missing the point here. The Yanks got 2-hit by Andy Sonnanstine and got shut down by Jason Hammel, they of the 5.88 and 7.31 career ERA’s, respectively.

      Does Tampa have a nice crop of young talent? Sure they do. But they’re not YET supposed to be crushing the Yanks like this, and certainly not when their two best pitchers (Scott Kazmir/James Shields) don’t even pitch in the series.

      This was a lousy series for the Yanks, there was no excuse for it, and they wasted yet another opportunity to keep pace with Boston.

      I don’t think it’s overreacting to say any of that and I don’t think it matters what Tampa’s future looks like. The present’s what counts and the Yanks looked like crap on Friday and today.

    4. Joel
      September 2nd, 2007 | 9:17 pm

      Bad game. Bad series. It happens.

      At least Sunshine Steve has shifted from “there’s no way they’re making it” to “three and out” in the ALDS.

      Two out of three from Seattle and everything will be just fine.

    5. Bob R.
      September 2nd, 2007 | 9:17 pm

      Their current ERAs are not particularly relevant since they have not pitched enough innings for it to matter. Sonnanstine has an outstanding minor league record at every level, comparable but longer than Kennedy’s for example. Hammel was expected to be in the rotation last year but has been disappointing so far. Tonight he pitched closer to what the Rays have considered his ability to be.

      There is no reason to be surprised that the Rays played well against the Yankees this year or this weekend any more than had it been Boston or Detroit. It is not simply a team with great talent in the minors but with outstanding talent on the major league roster. Some of these players have some experience already and some are emerging this year. Pena is second only to A-Rod in AL home runs. Crawford has been a star for years. Upton is on the verge of superstardom. Young is underperforming but is very talented. And on and on. This was a lousy series for the Yankees because they faced a talented team that may be learning to win. It is not that the Yankees played lousy but that the Rays played well.

    6. Joel
      September 2nd, 2007 | 9:31 pm

      Bob R.–What, are you the PR guy for the D-Rays? This team has the worst record in baseball, and for 10 years have never been remotely close to being good. Every major league organization is littered with high draft picks with “outstanding talent” that are “on the verge” of something big. Spare us.

      The Yanks were flat after an emotional Boston series.

    7. Bob R.
      September 2nd, 2007 | 10:09 pm

      No, I am not. The Rays have been a terrible team for 10 years, and continued being terrible this year. But they also have a front office that knows exactly what it is doing and is implementing their plan with great skill. For other teams’ fans to ignore what is happening may be understandable; we are by nature provincial and narrow in our outlook. But if you are writing as an analyst, you need to be aware of trends. The history of “organizations littered with outstanding talent” may warn Rays’ fans not to be overconfident, but it is irrelevant to the reality of what the team has.

      So I will not spare you. The Rays won not because the Yankees were lousy but because the Rays played well. Their pitchers in 2 of the games were better than the Yankee hitters, and it was not a fluke. The Yankees were not flat. That is Mike and the Mad Dog stupidity. They were beaten on the field, not in their heads. There is no question that NY is currently a better team than TB, but the gap is not so great that a series win by TB is a huge upset.

    8. brockdc
      September 2nd, 2007 | 10:37 pm

      The Drays are the prototypical brash, athletic, aggressive team that continually give the Yankees fits. Think of them as LAA lite or Detroit South. They’re still at least one solid starting pitcher and a dominant closer away from being competetive, but give ’em credit – they ain’t intimidated by the big stage.

      Ironically, I think the Yanks match up much better with Boston, Seattle, and the Indians. Detroit, not so much and Anaheim – fuggetaboutit.

    9. baileywalk
      September 3rd, 2007 | 12:00 am

      Damn. I was hoping for another big, dramatic entry like the one that said Hughes was no Sonnanstine, and that he should have his hands cut off for failing to win when Seattle lost.

      Anyway, Pettitte was awful today. Maybe those last few games took a lot out of him.

      This series just shows the wisdom of “get to a bad team early.” It was hard to tell how well Ian Kennedy was pitching because once the Yankees took the lead in that game the Rays’ hitters were hacking at EVERYTHING. But if you let them hang around, they will burn you.

      It’s disappointing to see Edwar get smacked around, but he needs to learn to control that fastball better. He has decent velocity on it, but if it’s over the plate, it gets whacked.

      Incidentally, Peter Abraham is the biggest asshole ever, my friends. He wrote: “Finally, while watching a no-hitter is always interesting, I just hope the kid (Buchholz) stays out of the press box. I need my laptop.”

      I know Abraham likes to go super-anti-Sox because people claim he’s a Sox fan, but that’s over the line.

    10. Jen
      September 3rd, 2007 | 1:18 am

      //Incidentally, Peter Abraham is the biggest asshole ever…

      I know Abraham likes to go super-anti-Sox because people claim he’s a Sox fan, but that’s over the line.//

      Talk about over the line. Calling someone an asshole over that? Personally, I thought it was kinda funny. Even if you’re not amused, calling him an asshole seems a bit harsh, no? Oh, that’s right, you just don’t like the guy. Have you thought about getting your own blog for your Pete rants?

    11. baileywalk
      September 3rd, 2007 | 2:44 am

      And I always so appreciated what you brought to the comments section, Jen. Oh, well. You can’t please everyone.

      It’s my philosophy that once someone crosses a line and acts like an asshole, it doesn’t cross a line to call them an asshole. Example: diminishing a young man’s extraordinary accomplishment by bringing up some stupid thing he did, which has nothing at all to do with anything. Why would you low-blow a kid who just threw a no-hitter in his second start? Why does Peter Abraham low-blow EVERYONE on his blog? I say it’s because he’s a jerk. Sorry if I offended your sensitivities by calling out your roly-poly buddy, Jen.

    12. September 3rd, 2007 | 7:44 am

      ~~~It is not that the Yankees played lousy but that the Rays played well.~~~

      Did the Jays play well? Yes, they played outstanding – and that’s part of the reason why NY lost these games. However, the games were not close – and, they were not close because NY played very poorly. It’s the latter that upsets me. Even if the Rays play well, the Yankees should be able to keep up with them – which NY did not do this in this series.

      Raf – for Chester and Clinton, click the links to see what’s there.

    13. Bob R.
      September 3rd, 2007 | 8:42 am

      I suppose it gets kind of silly after a while debating whether one team played well or another poorly. After all, unless there are obvious anomalies in a game, the winner outplayed the loser. It comes down to how we report it, and in my view, we should give credit to the opponent. It is churlish, even if typical fanspeak, to claim your team was lousy rather than the other team was good.

      If your team makes a lot of bonehead plays or doesn’t hustle or starts hacking at every pitch, it is fair to say they played lousy baseball. But that is not what happened here. The Yankees failed to score because Rays’ pitchers induced double plays and strikeouts, not because Yankee batters hit stupidly. When Wang escapes men on base jams, it is his skill in getting ground balls we celebrate; so too with Hammel yesterday and Sonnanstine Friday. And the Rays scored a lot of runs because it is hard even for a good pitcher like Pettitte to keep them down although he did not pitch badly.

      Of course the Yankees should be able to keep up with any team that plays well. NY is a terrific team. But it won’t always happen that way, and there ought to be a distinction between games they lose badly where they are to blame for poor play and those they lose badly simply because the other team beat them.

    14. Jen
      September 3rd, 2007 | 11:03 am

      Sorry to disappoint you bailey, but you didn’t offend any of my sensitivities. I don’t agree with everything that Pete writes, but I’m not about to discuss them here (unless the thread is about one of Pete’s writings). This is Steve’s blog. I simply suggested that you get your own blog in order to share your thoughts about Pete since you seem to have some issues with the man.

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