• August 26th vs. The Red Sox

    Posted by on August 26th, 2008 · Comments (29)

    The Yankees entered this game sitting in hot water. And, now, they’re just about cooked.

    As a result of this loss, New York needs to win the next two games – just to stay somewhat alive in the Wildcard chase. Yes, winning the next two only keeps them slightly alive – as New York would still be ice skating uphill after that…having to face the Blue Jays next and then go on a killer road trip for ten games starting on September 1st.

    Worse, while the Yankees must win the next two games – again, just to barely stay alive in the ‘card race – Boston is sitting in the driver’s seat now (for this series) as they get to face Sidney Ponson tomorrow and they will have Jon Lester (who is murder on left-handed batters) pitching for them on Thursday.

    It’s not over for the Yankees – but, it’s as close to being over as it can be in terms of their place in the standings, the calendar, and the remaining schedule for them and the teams that they’re chasing.

    You can blame the home plate umpire for squeezing Pettitte tonight. You can blame all those seeing-eye hits for Boston. You can blame all those 2-out hits for the Sox with runners in scoring position. You can blame Giambi’s defensive play. But, those are all excuses.

    The Red Sox played without Drew and Lowell. They don’t have Manny anymore. And, they started a rusty Tim Wakefield. Yet, they won this game.

    Was it just me, or, did this game have the look and feel of a cheap reenactment of Game 7 of the 2004 ALCS? Man, the Yankees just didn’t look good…except…

    You have to give credit to Damon, Jeter and Abreu for doing a great job setting the table in this one. You really couldn’t ask for anything more from those three. However, the “meat” of the Yankees line-up was…well…let’s just say “lacking” tonight.

    And, how about Alex Rodriguez’ big symmetrical evening (K- GIDP-FO8-GIDP-K)?

    Let us review each PA in this game for A-Rod:

    1st inning: Yanks leading, 1-0. No one on base. Two out. Alex goes down on strikes.
    3rd inning: Yanks losing, 3-2. Runner on first. One out. Alex hits into a double-play.
    5th inning: Yanks losing, 6-3. Runners on first and second. One out. Alex flies out to shallow center.
    7th inning: Yanks losing, 7-3. Bases loaded. One out. Alex hits into a double-play.
    9th inning: Yanks losing, 7-3. Runner on first. Two outs. Alex goes down swinging.

    It will be interesting to hear A-Rod’s post-game quotes after this one…

    Comments on August 26th vs. The Red Sox

    1. Joel
      August 26th, 2008 | 11:08 pm

      Yes, A-Rod stunk tonight. But Andy was worse. He had to be better against this Red Sox lineup tonight. He needed to keep us in the game.

      A-Rod will bear the brunt of the fans and media anger. And as usual, it will be way out of proportion. I mean, the guy has only won two MVPs in his first four years here.

      A so-so performance by Andy would probably have been enough.

      It ain’t over yet. One game at a time.

    2. August 26th, 2008 | 11:12 pm

      ~~~A so-so performance by Andy would probably have been enough.~~~

      Not when your offense could only score three runs – two of them coming on solo homers by your lead-off hitter.

    3. TurnTwo
      August 26th, 2008 | 11:50 pm

      I know people want to chant the “one game at a time” mantra, but realistically, they needed to sweep this series to have a chance.

      now even if they win the series, they gain only one game in the standings, which leaves them what, 4 games back, with the Saux playing over half their games left at home?


      it’ll be interesting to see who they call up with the expanded rosters come Sept 1st, and if they use the time effectively to evaluate talent for 2009… aka giving Montero, and maybe Nady too, time at 1st over Giambi, letting Gardner play CF over Damon, etc.

    4. August 26th, 2008 | 11:54 pm

      Beware September performances…see Kennedy, Ian, last year.

      Heck, see: Mata, Victor, 1984.

    5. TurnTwo
      August 26th, 2008 | 11:58 pm

      i’m not saying you base your roster for 2009 on sept callups, but why not get some guys more of a look? its one thing to depend on scouting reports from Scranton, or Trenton, and another when you see a guy play on the field in front of you, or see him and how he handles the clubhouse culture.

      especially when you need to potentially replace positions like RF, 1B, CF, etc.

    6. August 27th, 2008 | 12:15 am

      Most of the prospects that the Yankees have, close to being call-up ready, are pitchers.

      The next CF and 1B, etc., will probably come from outside the organization.

    7. Don
      August 27th, 2008 | 2:57 am

      Players not on the 40 man roster will not be called up. That includes Montero.

    8. August 27th, 2008 | 7:26 am

      Well, at least the Mets blew a 7-0 lead, losing a heartbreaker in extras, after being just one out away from a win…

      ..so, Yankees fans would be alone in feeling grumpy on August 27th.

    9. TurnTwo
      August 27th, 2008 | 7:47 am

      “Well, at least the Mets blew a 7-0 lead, losing a heartbreaker in extras, after being just one out away from a win…”

      really, the only reason why listening to the radio going into work today was tolerable, thank god.
      “Most of the prospects that the Yankees have, close to being call-up ready, are pitchers.

      The next CF and 1B, etc., will probably come from outside the organization.”

      yeah, i dont disagree entirely. i think the next 1B will come from outside the organization for the next couple years, but that doesnt mean you cant get a look at Juan Miranda.

      Matt Carson is a guy who will be a minor league FA after the season if he’s not put on the 40 man roster, and he’s put together a real nice season at Scranton this year. throw him on, and give him a look before he prob goe

      give Chase Wright a couple starts, unless you want to keep him in Scranton for the AAA playoffs.

      i’m ok with letting Gardner play out Sept in CF, too.

    10. OnceIWasAYankeeFan
      August 27th, 2008 | 8:06 am

      Beware September performances…see Kennedy, Ian, last year.

      Also see Dustin Pedroia, 2006.

      It works both ways – Pedroia looked horrible, carried it over for a month of 2007 and then became a RoY winner and batting champion contender this year.

    11. ChrisS
      August 27th, 2008 | 8:13 am

      Terrible game for A-Rod. But he’s not perfect and no matter how good a player he is, he never will be perfect. Baseball is a game of failure. Some people can’t see that and expect irrational results. As for his post-game comments, he took full responsibility for his failures and Damon defended him.

      Unsurprisingly, I don’t see a lot of posts on here bashing Jeter when he goes 0-fer with 2 GIDP and an error that opens up the game. And you know, looking at the stats, Jeter’s contribution to the offense is pretty average.

      Continue your hating.

    12. August 27th, 2008 | 9:32 am

      Sure, and you continue being an A-Rod Apologist. 😉

    13. MJ
      August 27th, 2008 | 9:45 am

      Sure, and you continue being an A-Rod Apologist.
      It’s got nothing to do with being an apologist. It’s simply keeping everything in perspective. A-Rod’s overall contribution to the team has far exceeded Derek Jeter’s in 2007 and 2008.

      If anyone is an apologist, it’s the legions of Jeter fans who think “Captain Intangibles” and his four rings exonerate him from the criticism which he so richly deserves for turning in a stinker of a season. And since money is always thrown around when criticizing Rodriguez, I wonder if people think they’re getting ROI on the $20M Jeter’s making this year…

    14. butchie22
      August 27th, 2008 | 9:49 am

      A-rod apologist? Can you imagine where this team would be without his production? Try possibly last place. BTW, many people on this team have stiffed including St Derek. I don’t care care how many rings Jeter has, you are only as good as your last movie. Jeter has been stinking up the joint this year ,too.

      It’s apparent that the Red Sox have a strong farm system in that all these pieces ( a lot of newbies and not the bashing Manram Sox of 2003-2008 RIP) came together to win the game. This is something Theo and Co have done well draft postion players AND pitchers. Cashman has drafted too heavily on the pitching side and they need an infusion of good talented youthful players. Ricciardi did the same thing in Toronto and look at how anemic their offense is.

      The Mets blowing a 7-0 lead? The Mets are only half a game behind the Phillies so that loss is nowhere near as devastating as this one is to the Yanks. If this week is a disaster, then this game was the penultimate nail in the coffin for the Yanks. With this series a potential sweep for Boston, then Halladay and Burnett coming in this might be the end of any playoff dreams. The Mets don’t have an uphill battle yet, so that “feeling” they have is less intense BECAUSE every loss for a Yankee fan this week will hurt ten times as much.

    15. JeremyM
      August 27th, 2008 | 10:08 am

      I know “clutch” is basically a myth, but why does Girardi continue to bat A-Rod and Giambi 4-5? That particular combo has been killing the Yanks with runners on virtually all season. Maybe it’s a fluke, I don’t know, but a change is overdue. Nady should’ve moved up to 5th weeks ago.

      As far as A-Rod, yes, I am an apologist for him, but man, I’m getting sick of having to do so. He does have a knack for living up to his rep in the biggest games, or so it seems. Last night really couldn’t have went worse for him.

      Can we kill the “Pettitte is a big game pitcher” myth once and for all? His playoff numbers are slightly worse than his regular season numbers. Curt Schilling’s playoff numbers show that he’s been a “big-game” pitcher. John Smoltz’s playoff numbers show it. Andy Pettitte’s do not. Period.

      I’m really disappointed that Yankee Stadium is going to go out with a whimper…..

    16. Joel
      August 27th, 2008 | 10:22 am

      Sure it was a bad loss. But much stranger things have happened in baseballl than a team making up 6 games with 31 to go.

      With all of their flaws the Yanks have a more talented team than either the Red Sox (with all of their injuries now) or the Twins. They have just underperformed so far this year, especially in RISP situations. You never know–the worm could turn quickly.

      Let’s hang in there!

    17. antone
      August 27th, 2008 | 10:51 am

      Jeter has history…A-Rod does not…Jeter bats 2nd in the lineup…A-Rod bats 4th..you ask of different things from those two spots in the lineup…end of story

      A-Rod and Giambi batting back to back has killed the Yankees lately…neither one hits with RISP…Damon, Jeter, and Abreu were all hot in August…

      Damon: .305/.385/.474/.863
      Jeter: .355/.392/.430/.822
      Abreu: .347/.410/.432/.841

      So they have been on-base about 40% of the time. Yet A-Rod has only 5 HR and 13 RBI this month and 4 of the 5 HR came with nobody on base. So A-Rod has 1 HR and 9 RBI with runners on base. The top three in the lineup have been on base 119 times this month. A-Rod has seen 62 runners on base this month and knocked in only 9. 32 of those have been in scoring position.

      AROD in August: .238/.363/.488/.851
      None On: .281/.395/.719/1.114
      RISP: .214/.361/.357/.718

      Same deal with Giambi. 5 HR and 15 RBI on the month, 3 of those 5 HR with nobody on. Giambi has seen 48 runners on base this month and knocked in 12. 33 of those have been in scoring position.

      Giambi in August: .206/.309/.426/.735
      None On: .179/.273/.410/.683
      RISP: .182/.310/.318/.628

      By the way Giambi is also 1 for 24 against relievers in August. If that doesn’t ask for someone to be pinch hit for late in the game, I don’t know what does. Giambi should be batting 7th and come out late in the game. If you want to stay righty/lefty, then just bat Matsui 5th and Nady 6th. That way you won’t have 3 lefties in a row at the bottom of the lineup. I still prefer Nady batting 5th though.

      You guys can defend A-Rod’s “numbers” all you want but fact of the matter is that they are empty numbers. A-Rod and Giambi have combined for 36 SOLO home runs out of the combined 53 they have hit. Neither one has hit all season with RISP, there is a reason why they both don’t have a lot of RBI.

      When you get runners in scoring position, your top players have to make the other team pay when there are less than 2 outs, that is what makes you a good hitting team. A-Rod and Giambi aren’t doing that and they shouldn’t be batting back to back. Damon, Jeter, and Abreu have been getting on base at an outstanding clip, 119 times total and have scored only 44 runs this month.

      You guys say what have you done for me lately in regards to Jeter but he hit .355 so far this month and A-Rod is hitting .238, so what has A-Rod done for you lately is what you should be saying. Ridiculous.

    18. MJ
      August 27th, 2008 | 11:08 am

      Jeter has history…A-Rod does not…
      ?? How is that relevant? We’re playing in 2008, not 1998.

    19. antone
      August 27th, 2008 | 11:16 am

      It’s relevant to how the fans respond when Jeter isn’t doing well compared to A-Rod. You cut Jeter some slack because he has come through before numerous times. I won’t go through every time. He can’t be great all the time. I think he’s earned the right to have an off season.

      Plus, Jeter is hitting .355 this month like I said and A-Rod is hitting .238. We need A-Rod this month and he isn’t getting it done. A-Rod has history too and his history is that he doesn’t get it done when we need him too. Whether real or not that is how he is percieved.

      Did you completely ignore the rest of the numbers I posted on A-Rod and Giambi? This has nothing to do with Jeter really. He’s been doing his job lately along with Damon and Abreu at the top of the lineup.

    20. butchie22
      August 27th, 2008 | 12:04 pm

      Joel, the Yanks don’t look better than the RedSox or Twins right now. The team Boston put together has a lot of scrappy roleplayers/kids who play the game correctly whereas the Yankees have a bunch of aging and underachieving players swinging for the fen should have watched that Boston vs Toronto game on Sunday(which I believe was stolen from the Jays)…. the Boston kids in the field went after the ball in the field with a sense of urgency. With the addition of Bay and the subtraction of Drew and Manram, their outfield seems more athletic and more energetic.

    21. John ONeil
      August 27th, 2008 | 12:10 pm

      It is a sad measure of how disappointing this season has been that we are arguing over who has hurt the Yankees more: A-Rod or Jeter. The way the Yanks have hit this year, there is an ocean of blame to divide.

      I have been commenting on Jeter’s propensity to hit into DPs since before the ASG. He was on pace to break Winfield’s Yankee season record. Given the GiDP pace A-Rod has been on lately, he might catch Jeter. Both have failed to meet expectations based on their history. If I were forced to say who was a bigger disappointment, I’d say A-Rod. But I have more confidence he may come back next year with another monster year. Not so sure about Jeter.

      I agree with TurnTwo regarding September call ups. I am not counting on their performances being reliable predictors of next year – I just want a reason to watch the games.

      Going into this season, I was doubtful we’d make the playoffs but excited about watching young players come up to play, with the expectation that many would fail. I hoped that if the team was failing, it did so before the trading deadline. Unfortunately, our mid July burst got us close enough to think we had a chance and made us buyers not sellers at the break.

      So instead of a real rebuilding year where we really found out what talent we had down on the farm and cleared out some deadwood, or a real run at the playoffs, we end up with neither. So unless Cashman is afraid that bringing up the young ones in September will reveal their shortcomings and hurt their trade value this winter, I’d like to see a lot of Corey Ransom and no Jason Giambi. A lot of Brett Gardner in center, Nady in right and no Bobby Abreu. And if IPK/PH/Joba are healthy, let them get better in the majors next month with no must-win pressure.

      Apart from a handful of games after we had cliched home field advantage in the great years, the Yanks haven’t played pressure free games since 1993.

    22. ChrisS
      August 27th, 2008 | 12:50 pm

      What a horrid discussion.

      Give me a team A-Rods and I’ll smoke the team of Jeters in 90% of the 7 game series played.

    23. antone
      August 27th, 2008 | 12:53 pm

      What a horrid discussion.

      Give me a team A-Rods and I’ll smoke the team of Jeters in 90% of the 7 game series played.

      Great..show me that team and I’ll sign up for it…but good luck making that happen!

    24. butchie22
      August 27th, 2008 | 1:27 pm

      John, I think that jeter is right behind Lyle Overbay for most GIDPS. To the Jeter faithful, that last World Series win was in 2000. A lot of things have happened,since then. The Red Sox have won twice in the last 4 years and they might repeat this year. Since then, another shortstop Eckstein has two, one in 2002 and 2006 so do I get to deify or canonize Eck,too?

      Seriously, Arod is blamed for the plague by Yankee fans but he is only one piece of the puzzle. Captain Overrated Jeter is another piece but more emblematic of the delusion some fans are under. Jeter’s range has diminished and his “clutch” hitting is down this year. For the mate , who said that clutch doesn’t exist (like Bill James erroneously claimed) watch Big Papi and Manram for the last 4 years vs Arod . Supposedly, Arod is a big late and tight hitter like Papi BUT the perception has clouded reality until now. IN the past, Arod wasn’t that bad with RISP. This year he has gone down in that category along with St Derek.

    25. nwyank
      August 27th, 2008 | 1:37 pm

      The comparisons be/tw Jeter and ARod are unwarrented. Jeter is not, and never was, an offensive powerhouse. No 30 hr season, no 100 RBI season; in short, he’s not a cleanup hitter and that’s OK. His job is to get on base, score runs, provide the occasional pop, steal a base or two, and provide leadership. Sure, he’s not having a great season, but the offense was never intended to revolve around him. ARod’s role is entirely different. Think of it this way: would you compare stats be/tw Lugo and ManRam? Pedroia and Oritz? Ekstein and Pujols? Orlando Cabrerra and Vlad Guerrero? That’s why so many of us are hard on Alex. He has increadibly high standards to reach be/cs he’s often called The Best Player In Baseball. So often, he doesn’t even come close. Worse yet, he seems to perform at his lowest level when the pressure is highest.
      Let’s hope he has a better game tonight.

    26. antone
      August 27th, 2008 | 1:58 pm

      IN the past, Arod wasn’t that bad with RISP. This year he has gone down in that category along with St Derek.

      Jeter hits .315 this season with RISP.

      Once again, Jeter bats 2nd and A-Rod bats 4th and you ask for different things from the 4th hitter in the middle of lineup. Same thing with Giambi in the 5th spot.

      Check these guys out with RISP this season(AVG/OBP/SLG/OPS):

      PUJOLS: .311/.524/.567/1.091
      MANNY: .342/.490/.579/1.069
      MORNEAU: .371/.481/.621/1.102
      YOUKILIS: .363/.433/.605/1.038
      ORTIZ: .352/.451/.670/1.122
      HAMILTON: .325/.383/.636/1.019
      VLAD: .295/.406/.527/.933
      BRAUN: .308/.361/.569/.930
      BERKMAN: .371/.513/.603/1.116
      QUENTIN: .322/.441/.574/1.015
      SIZEMORE: .305/.472/.621/1.093

      Now look at A-Rod and Giambi:

      AROD: .246/.400/.413/.813
      GIAMBI: .203/.342/.314/.656

      Their stats aren’t even close to the other best players. Now ask me if I’m delusional when I say that the Yankees lineup would be a lot better with one of these other STARS in their lineup instead of A-Rod and Giambi. When your 4 and 5 hitters hit like they have with RISP, it’s tough to score runs. With one of these other guys in the lineup, I bet the Yankees would be right up there with Boston at worst.

    27. butchie22
      August 27th, 2008 | 2:23 pm

      Antone, there are a lot of hypothetical ifs there. If Vladie, the Hebrew Hammer Braun, or Papi were on the Yankees then fine. They were drafted AND products of other teams. In addition, they aren’t playing in NY. It is a tough place to play, IMO tougher than Boston or Philly so who knows how they would produce. One of the Yankee problems is that they have no in-house solutions for Giambi and Arod. Where are the position player kids to replace these guys?

    28. antone
      August 27th, 2008 | 2:50 pm

      Butchie…my point is that this Yankees team even though flawed would be a lot better simply if A-Rod was peforming the way other stars around the league are and if Giambi was moved out of the 5th spot. The young players, etc. is a whole different discussion. I’m just focusing on what they have right now, this season.

    29. Raf
      August 27th, 2008 | 5:18 pm

      Jeter bats 2nd and A-Rod bats 4th and you ask for different things from the 4th hitter in the middle of lineup.
      You ask both to get on base. Doesn’t matter where in the lineup they hit, their job is to get on base and to eventually score.

      Just like pitchers and their “roles.” Doesn’t matter what their role is, it’s to get outs.

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