• September 12th @ The Blue Jays

    Posted by on September 12th, 2007 · Comments (10)

    Don’t sweat the failures of the Tampa Bay Devil Rays and the heroics of David Ortiz this evening. Bottom line, the Yankees won this game – a contest where New York only had four hits and was robbed of a fifth via a blown call by an umpire. And, now, with seven wins in a row, the Yankees are just about a lock to make the post-season this year…no matter what happens with Boston.

    Interesting game for Mike Mussina here. You could make the case that he was pitching for his Yankee-life…at least for this season. Was he outstanding?

    I’m not sold – despite Moose’s five and two-third shutout innings. First of all, Cano made two hit saving plays behind Mussina – as did A-Rod as well. That helped Mike. And, it still seemed that Moose was gassed after (around) 75 pitches. I want to see another outing from Mussina before I would declare him “back.”

    Don’t get me wrong, I have a fear that the Yankees are going to need Mussina this year. It’s because I think Clemens’ elbow could explode at any minute. So, I would be thrilled to see Mussina be capable of providing the Yankees with an option (for him) to be a third starter (behind Wang and Pettitte) for October. It’s just that I want to see him pitch well, again, beyond this game.

    Comments on September 12th @ The Blue Jays

    1. Pete
      September 12th, 2007 | 11:29 pm

      Mussina was decent, but in a way that reminded me of Hughes’s start last night – he escaped a lot of dicey situations because of the defense, and didn’t quite blow anyone away IMO.

    2. JeremyM
      September 12th, 2007 | 11:33 pm

      I would agree, while the final results were good, the fact that he couldn’t finish the 6th and only had one K puts a damper on things. Still, I’m glad he was able to contribute and it gives him something to build on.

      I would sure like to sweep this series, I hope they can get it done. I’d like to put Detroit away, but I have this nagging feeling that they won’t go quietly into the night.

    3. baileywalk
      September 12th, 2007 | 11:50 pm

      Mussina was definitely just okay in this start. There were some positives, though. It was the best fastball he’s had in a long time (not so much the velocity, which was 87-91 on the YES gun, but the reaction by the hitters).

      A big yippy thumbs-up to A-Rod for making that atrocious throw and ending Joba’s streak. I don’t consider that a mark against Joba; his ERA still stands at 0.00. Joba’s last two appearances have actually been his worst. He got hit pretty hard in K.C. And he did give up a long double this time around. I’m not worried or anything, but I was wondering when there would be a slight crack in the invincibility.

      And finally… the Devil Rays. Outside of Kazmir’s starts, have they EVER won a game at Fenway? Their bullpen is a disgrace. I’m “watching” the game on GameDay and Reyes has Ortiz three-and-one. I look away for a second to tell someone this, look back, and the game is over — walk-off home run. I saw the replay of the home run later on and it looked like the ball could have and should have been caught, but whoever was playing right field ran over to the foul pole for some reason and was out of position.

    4. RICH
      September 13th, 2007 | 7:57 am

      ~Was he outstanding?~

      I wasn’t aware he needed to be outstanding to meet your approval.

    5. September 13th, 2007 | 8:02 am

      RICH – I meant he was not “otstanding” as a shutout performance may imply that he was, to some people.

      ~~~I saw the replay of the home run later on and it looked like the ball could have and should have been caught, ~~~

      Ditto. Lou Piniella, circa 1978, catches that ball.

    6. Bob R.
      September 13th, 2007 | 8:22 am

      Frustrated fans should know something about other teams if they are going to critique them. The outfielder who missed Ortiz’s home run is Delmon Young who is an excellent outfielder but was turned around on a twisting fly ball. He messed up, just as many other players do on occasion.

      As for the Rays’ bullpen, since the trading deadline it has been quite good, and Reyes has been better than good this year. His high era comes as a result of a few bad games and one slump in late July. Otherwise, he has blown very few saves, and you may recall that he closed out Kazmir’s game with a perfect 9th inning.

      I am not claiming the Rays’ bullpen is good or even adequate yet, but it is no longer a disgrace as it was early in the year. Wheeler and Reyes are veteran relievers with a history of success while Balfour has generally been excellent this year (until Tuesday, that is) and Dohmann has also been effective. Salas is also a promising reliever who has performed well this year.

    7. rbj
      September 13th, 2007 | 8:41 am

      Moose was decent, which is a big step in the right direction. After his last three starts “decent” is itself outstanding.

    8. MJ
      September 13th, 2007 | 9:15 am

      Bob, you’re a big Tampa Bay guy, right? You were the one who kept on trying to argue that Tampa beating the Yankees in New York shouldn’t have been a shock or a letdown to Yankee fans since Tampa’s a good team with the best 40-man roster in the game, right?

      Tell me if I’m reading this wrong about Tampa’s bullpen:

      Dan Wheeler, 18 IP, 11 ER, 5.50 ERA
      Al Reyes in the 1st half, 33 IP, 15 ER, 4.09 ERA
      Al Reyes in the 2nd half, 23.2 IP, 13 ER, 5.40 ERA

      Tampa’s bullpen 2007: 450.2 IP, 310 ER, 6.19 ERA

      Do I wish the Yanks had BJ Upton, Carl Crawford, Delmon Young, Evan Longoria, Scott Kazmir, and some of the other highly-touted kids? Sure. But don’t go off the deep end with Tampa. Their 25-man roster is still short on pitching talent and their bullpen is horrendous. Yes, horrendous.

    9. baileywalk
      September 13th, 2007 | 11:08 am

      Bobby. Sorry if I don’t have the time to watch every Devil Ray game, like the their ten-thousand-strong devoted fanbase. But, since the team I follow is in the same division, I see them quite often. I know who Delmon Young is — he’s a great hitter who swings at everything and from what I’ve seen, yeah, he’s a pretty good outfielder, but on THAT night, no, he wasn’t. He made a mistake — and at the worst time.

      Their bullpen might be improved — I’ll take your word on it — but with the way they’ve performed this year, ANYTHING would have been an improvement. I know that Reyes is good — he’s only on the Rays because of an injury. Wheeler — eh, I wouldn’t call him a vet with previous success. He was just okay, in my opinion, in Houston.

      As to their effectiveness, though, I think it’s hard to defend them after the bullpen blew an 8-to-1 lead just TWO days ago. Dohman gave up three runs, and your boy Balfour gave up 4 runs without recording an out.

      I like young players, so I enjoy the Devil Rays and root for them (when they’re not playing the Yanks). I really like Kazmir and I think B.J. Upton’s power is scary. But trying to shine a light on this team, or say its bullpen isn’t a mess — especially after a series in Fenway, where they historically suck — is a losing battle.

    10. Bob R.
      September 13th, 2007 | 1:45 pm

      First of all, I am a Yankee fan and have been for nearly 60 years. I consider it necessary to respect other teams and to evaluate them based on information and reason, not stereotypes and bias.

      Second, you will note that in my remarks I was replying to the phrase “whoever was in right field” and that I clearly stated that the Rays’ bullpen is still not adequate. As for Reyes’ numbers, they are less stellar in the second half, but much of the problem comes from a few poor outings, not from consistent ineffectiveness. ERA is a lousy way to evaluate relievers anyway. By and large, he has done a good job this year. The same holds for Balfour.

      Wheeler has been something of a disappointment since arriving in TB, but has shown some return to his form when he was in Houston. While there, he was among the better middle relievers in the league, and did a decent job filling in at closer last year when Lidge lost his job.

      I will repeat. The Rays are a poor team with an embarrassing history of ineptitude. But if you are at all alert, you should recognize that they have made significant improvements this year. If you wish to claim that the bullpen Tuesday performed disgracefully, nobody could disagree. If you wish to say that Reyes pitched poorly yesterday or that Delmon made a bad play, again it is legitimate. But to say the bullpen is a mess now (it certainly was earlier in the year) or that it is a disgrace or horrendous or that the right fielder is an anonymous “whoever it is” is to demonstrate undeserved contempt for a team that is building a promising team.

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