• August 28th vs. The Red Sox

    Posted by on August 28th, 2008 · Comments (9)

    I saw the first three innings of this one on YES. And, I listened to innings four and five on the radio via WCBS.

    I missed innings six through eight – although I was told about the situation in the bottom of the sixth (shortly after it happened) where the Yankees had runners on first and second, with no outs, and Abreu, A-Rod and Nady due up – and they couldn’t score.

    Luckily, I was able to see the bottom of the ninth, live, on YES – picking it up where Gardner had just stole second and Matsui was at the plate.

    I’m glad that I got to see that last inning – and the eventual win…and seeing Papelbon suffer…allowing the game winning hit on an 0-2 pitch. (I’ll get back to the matter of “seeing” it in a minute.)

    This was a good one for the Yankees to win. Very nice job by Giambi in his only two PA in this game. If they would have lost this one – after losing the previous two – wasting a wonderful effort from Mussina…well, just how much hurt can a team and its fans take?

    The seven innings and two runs from Moose today was just outstanding. And, for what it’s worth, it seems like it should have been just one run allowed by Mussina. John Sterling and Suzyn Waldman were all over Robinson Cano for not taking Ellsbury’s grounder in the fifth for the out, himself, and then throwing to first for the double-play. I mean they were just killing him for making a stupid play (flipping to Jeter) and not being aware of the situation and the batter’s running speed, etc. It was very interesting to hear that from the two of them.

    Now, in the big picture, this win means nothing. The Yankees are still in a huge hole. However, if by some miracle the Yankees win their next three in a row and Boston loses their next three in a row, then this win could be looked at as a turning point in the season. But, again, until that miracle happens, this one is just another game.

    Speaking of just another game…and getting back to, as promised, the matter of “seeing” this game…there’s something that I should clarify. When I wrote last night that the season was over, I meant it was over in terms of the Yankees post-season chances. It doesn’t mean that people should stop watching their games and rooting for them to do well.

    Hey, it’s the Yankees. And, we’re Yankees fans. Of course you should root for the team. And, of course, you should watch the games. Hey, on a standalone basis, you never know what you might see in any given game. Why not watch it, and enjoy it, if you can? That’s what baseball is all about.

    This game is a perfect example. You don’t give up on the season – from the perspective of tracking the games and hoping for the Yankees do to well on that day. You just take the game for what it’s worth – and try and enjoy what it represents.

    Just don’t delude youself with any notions about the Yankees playing this October. Because, barring some sudden miracle, that’s still very improbable albeit not yet an indisputable fact.

    Comments on August 28th vs. The Red Sox

    1. butchie22
      August 28th, 2008 | 6:34 pm

      Good points all around, especially the fact that Yankee kryptonite, Halladay and Burnett are coming to town. This win prolonged the inevitable, because Waldman and Sterling had a little banter about facing AJ and Doc. Look, on paper the two decisions that the Yanks lost were theirs( against Boston), so who knows about the series against the Jays.

    2. ken
      August 28th, 2008 | 6:56 pm

      The Yanks can beat AJ and Doc if they can follow their old formula: Get good starting pitching that keeps the team in the game, be patient and work the pitch count on the opposing pitcher, then cash in on the bullpen.

      But that means we can’t give up 3-4 runs in 5-6 innings.

    3. OnceIWasAYankeeFan
      August 28th, 2008 | 7:47 pm

      Just be sure and give a big assist to Francona for this debacle. For a guy with all of the statistics at hand, it is remarkable that he would bring Okajima in knowing that Giambi is on the bench. He’s gone 2 for 6 against him with two homers! Plus everyone and their aunt knows that Giambi hits soft-tossers and not hard-throwers. First choice was to leave Lester in and dare Girardi to pinch hit for Molina. Second choice is to bring in Masterson because even though lefties have hit him harder, he’s still more likely to keep the ball on the ground. Worst of all possible choices is bringing in Okajima.

      No, I take that back, its a tie for equally worst choice – Timlin, or Okajima. But if he brought in Timlin, there would have been an immediate MLB investigation into Francona’s betting habits. As it was, he got the result he wanted.

      Steve is right, it won’t matter in the end but this one really really sucks.

    4. Joel
      August 28th, 2008 | 8:35 pm

      It’s weird being a spoiler, but it was enjoyable watching Papelbon walk off the field today. :)

      A fitting end to the last Yankees-Red Sox game at the Stadium. The ghosts are proud.

    5. John ONeil
      August 28th, 2008 | 10:56 pm

      Steve,

      I think you hit both sides of the coin with this post and the earlier post about optimism. The Yankees could still make it. Stranger things have happened. But I am not one of the optimists.

      So that puts me on the other side of the coin, looking forward to watching September call ups playing without the pressure than has been constant since 1995. I was actually prepared for a July, August and September of this. Teams don’t really go 14 + years without a rebuilding year (unless you’re a hockey team where 2/3rds of the league makes the playoffs.) The Yankees were due – despite their unlimited payroll.

      I know that Brett Gardner may not want to win any more than Bobby Abreu, but I know I am more willing to forgive Gardner for striking out with a guy on third than I am for Giambi, Abreu, A-Rod, Damon, I-Rod etc. When the Yanks broke open the bank after losing to Arizona in ’01, the balance shifted from a handful of free agents (only some expensive) to an army of guys making top dollar who came to NY to win a ring (and cash a big check.). And every time they step on the mound or in the batters box, that is what the fans expect.

      It is a formula doomed from the start. I can’t imagine the pressure. I hope the millions of dollars makes up for it. But that is little comfort to us fans.

      Expectations were always high for a Yankee. If you come in with a salary like Giambi, A-Rod, Abreu, Randy Johnson, Sheffield, etc., you won’t get the slack the fans may have given to Brosius, Martinez, Wells, or O’Neill let alone young homegrown talent. Those teams got clutch hits from different people at different times. You grew to expect that someone would come through – you didn’t know who. This team sends 6 guys to the plate making north of $14M – each one expected to deliver. If they do, it is not a surprise — more like “its about time.”

      I am looking forward to watching some games with some young guys on the way up. And hopefully a season next year with a mix much closer to what we had in the late 90′s. It will not only be more fun to watch, it can’t perform much worse that this year’s bunch.

    6. August 28th, 2008 | 11:40 pm

      Great post John ONeil

    7. butchie22
      August 29th, 2008 | 9:47 am

      Ken, the problem with the Jays is that they have the most dominant pen in the majors hands down. That old 90s formula doesn’t work the same way because these teams have better bullpens and closers. In addition, Doc and AJ might pitch complete games or near complete games so how does that overhyped old skool 90s philosophy come into play? Ken, the reality is that Toronto’s offensive is terrible. Overbay has more GIDPS than Jeter, their RISP is absymal and they made Rasner look like CY Young last week. Even still, AJ and Doc have the Yankee number and the Yanks have to battle back. They can win because of the Jays’ offense and not by getting to their pitching. It’s just the opposite.

      Once was, remember when the Boston Massacre Part Deux happened in 2006? Papi said, “Man , the Yankees could have made it interesting and let us win one.” Look be happy that the Red Sox got a gift in Toronto and the Yankees looked poised to win two. I know that the Red Sox want the division, but it’s almost Sept 1 and Tampa is still around. You can’t have everything…….

    8. susanmullen
      August 29th, 2008 | 5:44 pm

      According to Baseball Reference, going into Thursday’s game, Giambi was 2 for 7 v Okajima with only 1 homerun. And 3 strike outs. Not 2 for 6 with 2 homeruns as stated above.

    9. susanmullen
      August 31st, 2008 | 10:54 pm

      On John and Suzyn’s comments about Cano, I heard them as well but in a different way. They explained what he did wrong a couple times in normal tones of voice, nothing drastic or excessive. Yes they faulted Cano but by no means did they kill him. I appreciate their commentary and hope they continue it. They are usually accurate and have meaningful things to say, they don’t spout off just to fill up dead air.

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