• April 17th vs. The Red Sox

    Posted by on April 17th, 2008 · Comments (17)

    This game, for me, touches five Yankees pitchers. I’ll explain…

    I missed the first few innings of this one. (More on that later). And, I didn’t pick up the contest until the bottom of the fourth – when the Yanks were already down, 5-zip. At that time, I was listening to the radio broadcast (in my car).

    Props to John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman for getting on Kyle Farnsworth (Pitcher #1) in seventh inning for throwing behind Manny. As they stated, yes, please, move him off the plate. But, you never throw behind a batter’s head just because he’s using your team as a batting tee.

    While on Waldman, she and John (at one point) were talking about the Brewers signing Jeff Weaver. Suzyn said something like “I cannot believe that someone didn’t sign him until now” or “I was surprised to see him not get signed until now.” Man, if I were in charge of the Yankees broadcasts, I would fire her for making a comment that dumb. Jeff Weaver? Has she seen his stats over the last two years? He’s been the worst pitcher in baseball since 2006.

    Speaking of bad pitchers, some job by Mussina (Pitcher #2) today, huh? Seventeen batters, 77 pitches, and 5 earned runs. Thanks to that terrible effort, the Yankees had to use Jonathan Albaladejo (Pitcher #3) and he didn’t exactly help either.

    I was able to catch the last couple of innings on YES. It was exciting when the Yanks got the tying run to the plate in the ninth. Looking at all those empty seats at the Stadium, I was thinking “How cool would it be if they came back and won this game? All those who left would be kicking themselves.” But, again, thanks to Moose and Albaladejo, that hill was too tough to climb tonight.

    Now, when you combine this game with the one from Wang (Pitcher #4) last night, it really puts some pressure on Phil Hughes (Pitcher #5) to give the team some innings on Friday. If not, the bullpen is going to be working on fumes this weekend.

    Why I missed the start of the game: Tonight, I had dinner with some of the good folks from SNY.tv at Ben Benson’s in NYC. (It took me two and a half hours to drive from Peapack-Gladstone, NJ, to 52nd Street in Manhattan. Thank you, Lincoln Tunnel.) Good eats at Benson’s – much better than the usual Hungry Heifer steakhouses that I usually frequent. It was great to meet some of the creative forces behind SNY.tv. They’re doing some cool things at the site. And, they’re continuing to add more to it. If you haven’t checked it out, or been there recently, give it a try.

    Comments on April 17th vs. The Red Sox

    1. baileywalk
      April 18th, 2008 | 12:09 am

      Okay, I see how it goes. They talk the entire broadcast about having to pitch inside to Manny — and it’s been a subject going on for YEARS — and then Farnsworth finally tries to do it, the ball gets away, he throws BEHIND Manny (doesn’t hit him), and now everyone is saying Kyle is a big ol’ dumbass. People seem unable to determine what they actually want. When you throw inside, sometimes you hit people — Mussina hit Ellsbury twice with zero malice. Farnsworth obviously let one get away and missed so far that it went behind Manny. End of story. He did what all these boneheads have been calling for, and now he’s a monster. (Pete Abraham has to be the biggest hypocrite here — he talked about doing it his entire game-blog and then blasted Farnsworth.)

      Mussina still has enough to be a fifth starter in the AL — I believe this. But his performance tonight was bizarre. The toughest hitter in the lineup is Manny. Manny has owned him since ’04 and killed him just a few days ago. So to the guy he had to make his BEST pitches against he made his WORST pitches against — two fat fastballs right over the plate. Tonight it wasn’t about Mussina’s stuff — it was just about ridiculously bad location.

    2. Pete
      April 18th, 2008 | 12:22 am

      Yeah, not sure what everyone who wanted Manny ‘off the plate’ expected when all was said and done. Is there a warm & fuzzy way to pitch a guy up & in? If so, I’d like to see it.

      Also not sure why Mussina’s being so obstinate about pitching to Manny the way he does. The guy’s just in a zone right now, the same way Ortiz was seemingly for 3 years straight against our entire staff. Just walk him already, Mike. Swallow your pride and go after Baldy.

      BTW, did anyone see the pinheads on BBTN after the game? Gammons was aghast at the whole incident, actually referring to Farnsworth as a “Triple A” pitcher in relation to Ramirez.

      So where was the outrage last night Peter? You know, when AAAardsma drilled future HOF’er A-Rod between the numbers?

      Hypocrisy is right, sheesh.

    3. Rich
      April 18th, 2008 | 1:17 am

      They showed replays after the game of Farnsworth’s pitch to Manny and Aardsma’ pitch to A-Rod (that actually hit him). The respective locations were virtually identical.

      So spare me the selective outrage.

    4. Don
      April 18th, 2008 | 3:26 am

      Rich……. Amen.

      Steve, what the heck is up with you? That was no head-hunting pitch. Kudos to Farnsworth; the worst part of the Joe Torre era is over. That is, not moving these guys off the plate.

    5. antone
      April 18th, 2008 | 8:24 am

      Yeah instead of not moving hitters off the plate, now we do it 3 at bats too late…that really helps.

      Why on earth are they STILL pitching to Manny? He’s the only guy in that lineup that can really hurt you right now. Ortiz is struggling badly and nobody else on that team has any power.

      If they pitched around Manny last night they would have given themselves a better chance to win that game.

    6. Raf
      April 18th, 2008 | 9:40 am

      Given Kyle’s control does anyone think that pitch was intentional?

      *the worst part of the Joe Torre era is over. That is, not moving these guys off the plate.*

      That was never a problem during the Torre era.

      *He’s the only guy in that lineup that can really hurt you right now. Ortiz is struggling badly and nobody else on that team has any power.*

      You never know when Ortiz will break out of it. Also, Youk & Drew are perfectly capable of hurting the Yanks.

      As for Jeff Weaver, given the state of pitching, I am surprised that it took him so long to be signed. I mean not even an invitation to ST? A minor league deal? I mean just a few days ago we saw Hideo Nomo in a Royals uniform.

    7. gphunt
      April 18th, 2008 | 12:43 pm

      “Given Kyle’s control does anyone think that pitch was intentional?”

      I’m not trying to be insulting, but that’s pretty naive.

    8. Raf
      April 18th, 2008 | 1:16 pm

      Kyle may be a meathead, but he isn’t stupid.

      Manny Ramirez, over his career has hit Yankee pitching to the tune of .322-.409-.623 (1.032 OPS)

      Brushing him back, drilling him, whatever, isn’t going to do squat. ESPECIALLY if the starting pitcher leaves a couple of fat fastballs over the plate. What do you expect Ramirez to do with them?

      We have seen enough of Farnsworth here to know that he isn’t as good as he should be. We know that he cannot afford to put extra runners on, because they seem to usually come around and score.

    9. antone
      April 18th, 2008 | 1:30 pm

      Youkalis and Drew for the most part will not take you deep like Manny will. I would much rather pitch to them and give up bleeding singles.

      I don’t think you should be pitching to Manny at all right now, ESPECIALLY if your name is Mussina. I agree if Mussina threw inside on him then it wouldn’t do squat but Mussina should be pitching around him, end of story.

    10. baileywalk
      April 18th, 2008 | 1:41 pm

      I guess there’s some confusion here as to whether Farns was brushing him back or retaliating for A-Rod getting hit the night before. I forgot all about A-Rod getting hit, so I didn’t even connect the two. But I think Rich and Pete are right, and Farnsworth’s comments after the game seem to back it up. He mentioned A-Rod getting hit — and so did Manny, by the way.

      “Brushing him back, drilling him, whatever, isn’t going to do squat.”

      You sure about that? He seemed pretty uncomfortable after that ball almost hit him, and Farnsworth did get him out. And, funny enough, the guys that came up after him looked pretty uncomfortable too. Pitchers have said forever you have to make a batter uncomfortable and come inside (not hit them, but put it in their minds). A lot of the great modern pitchers have pitched inside. And it’s true that a guy as great as Manny is going to get his hits regardless, but only pitching to one side of the plate almost seems like guaranteeing he will pound you. The game is built toward offense nowadays and these pitches have to take every advantage they have — including making a hitter like Manny think about getting hit in the face with a 95 mph fastball. Maybe that split-second hesitation keeps a ball in the yard.

    11. Raf
      April 18th, 2008 | 2:28 pm

      If Farnsworth has turned a corner, and is going to become an effective reliever with the Yanks, because he decided to pitch inside, I’ll believe it when I see it. Hope he does, as it means good things for the Yanks

      As for Manny, 16 seasons in the bigs trumps one at-bat against Farnsworth (or even the handful of HTH at-bats they’ve had)

    12. Don
      April 18th, 2008 | 2:51 pm

      Raf, it most certainly was a problem during the Torre era. The Yankees were hit way too often, and retaliation, when it did occur, was too mild.

      And Mussina is a clown for pitching to Manny.

    13. Raf
      April 18th, 2008 | 3:07 pm

      Raf, it most certainly was a problem during the Torre era. The Yankees were hit way too often, and retaliation, when it did occur, was too mild.
      It didn’t show in the standings nor the season series.

    14. baileywalk
      April 18th, 2008 | 3:42 pm

      Not that this adds to the discussion or proves anything, but it’s funny to note that Manny has eight at-bats and one hit off of Farns (a double) and Ortiz is oh-for-seven with four Ks. So while Farnsworth has had his struggles, at least he can claim to get out the two guys that have pounded the Yankee pitchers over the years.

    15. #15
      April 18th, 2008 | 3:43 pm

      No need to head hunt, but getting him to move his feet is critical. I think Manny is as comfortable at the plate as any hitter in the history of the game. He was less comfortable after getting pushed back. Remember his reaction a few years back when Roger threw one up and, just a hair, inside? He was rattled.

      On another note, if Giambi was hitting his weight, we’d be in first place by a game or two right now. I know Cano is struggling some and Damon hasn’ gotten it going full tilt either, but Giambi is killing us. At some point, Girardi has to say “Enough! Have a seat.” Otherwise… Meet the new Joe, same as the old Joe. B-U-Y-O-U-T time. Bring me Shelly. Doubt he could do worse and he might do a lot better. I hear all the feel good chatter…”He’s just missing.” “He’s just finding fielder’s gloves”. “He’s getting good swings.” BS. He continues to barrel-hook a high percentage pitches, leading to predictable ground balls, right into the teeth of the shift. He can’t handle fastballs up, and he’s a sucker for the change up.

    16. yankees76
      April 18th, 2008 | 3:52 pm

      I expect that Farnsworth meant to brush him back, and simply lost control of the pitch.

      If he had good control, he wouldn’t be Farnsworth, he’d be a pretty decent reliever.

    17. JeremyM
      April 18th, 2008 | 7:22 pm

      My personal theory on Manny Ramirez is he is the ultimate non-thinker in baseball, and that’s partly why he’s so good. When I used to play baseball and bat, all I did was go up there and overthink things; Ramirez isn’t capable of such a thing. So getting him to move his feet a little bit gets him to think, and that’s his Kryptonite. In my opinion.

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