• June 17th vs. The Nationals

    Posted by on June 17th, 2009 · Comments (20)

    Ouch!

    Man, I was all set to start typing “The Yankees Brett Gardner is to the Washington Nationals as former Red Sox Dave Roberts is to the Yankees…” But, the rally in the 9th stalled. Shame that it even had to come down to a rally in the last frame. I mean, hey, these are the Washington Nationals, right?

    Oh, well, anyway…this one must have been a thrill for Washington’s John Lannan…and, know what? He earned it.

    Before I forget, by the way, I’m loving Phil Hughes out of the bullpen. He just seems like a different pitcher, to me, in relief. He’s throwing harder and seems to have an attitude…

    In one of his books, Sparky Lyle talked about Jim Beattie and Ken Clay coming out of nowhere to win Game 1 of the ‘78 ALCS. The way he described them was like:

    They were throwing hand grenades – the way their stuff was so nasty. Plus, they were pitching with a look on their mug that said “OK, go ahead, try and hit this!”

    That’s the vibe that Hughes is giving off now…“OK, go ahead, try and hit this!”

    Cool beans.

    Now, back to the bad stories from tonight – besides the stinging loss to the lowly Nats. Wang and A-Rod.

    I still don’t think Wanger is out of the woods. Lots of high pitches. Lots of pitches with no sink. And, according to Kay and Flash in the YES booth, some ticks off the radar readings. Yeah, sure, I give him another start. But, I’m not feeling like he’s back yet.

    A-Rod? What’s he hitting this month, so far, around a buck-seventy? What if he does that for the entire month of June? It has me thinking…

    At any time in his career, so far, has Albert Pujols hit a buck-seventy over a month? How about Manny Ramirez? Shoot, what about Chipper Jones? Or, David Wright? Or, Chase Utley?

    To be honest, I don’t know the answer. But, it’s an interesting question: How can a batter as “great” as Alex Rodriguez look so bad for an extended period of time like this? You would think that someone with that kind of talent could hit .240 with one hand tied behind their back, no? Hopefully A-Rod goes on a super hot streak over the next two weeks and makes this a moot question…

    Comments on June 17th vs. The Nationals

    1. Rich
      June 17th, 2009 | 10:41 pm

      This took me three three seconds to find:

      April 2007 (89 AB)

      Manny: .202/.314/.315/.629

      June 2009 (48 AB) before tonight’s game:

      A-Rod: .167/.333/.333/.666

      So A-Rod’s OPS is higher and he still has almost two weeks to improve those stats.

      Of course, A-Rod is gutting it out for the team by coming back from major surgery before he was fully healed. But hey, kill him for that too.

    2. ken
      June 17th, 2009 | 10:48 pm

      1- Don’t you get the feeling that the Red Sox facing Lannan tonight would have scored more than 2 runs?

      2- Doesn’t Arod realize that all he needed was to stroke a single to any field to tie the game? Why does he have to try and take a pitch low and away and try to pull it for a walk off? (Which, BTW is for me the signature impression of Arod). Maybe Ball One instead of Strike One changes the whole at bat?

      3- I agree with you Steve on Hughes out of the pen. He seems to have the stuff and the attitude to get tough late-inning outs. Perhaps a candidate to replace Mo?

    3. June 17th, 2009 | 11:17 pm

      ken wrote:

      Perhaps a candidate to replace Mo?

      … *spasm* *spasm* *twitch* *twitch*

    4. June 18th, 2009 | 7:29 am

      Rich wrote:

      A-Rod: .167/.333/.333/.666

      And, of course, A-Rod’s OPSing at Teh Mark of Teh Beast!

      (Please do not give the headline writer’s more ammunition.)

      ken wrote:

      Don’t you get the feeling that the Red Sox facing Lannan tonight would have scored more than 2 runs?

      Is there any particular reason I should get that feeling?

      Doesn’t Arod realize that all he needed was to stroke a single to any field to tie the game?

      He probably did realize this. He probably isn’t as stupid as you seem to think he is. He also probably isn’t the beast of the apocalypse.

      I agree with you Steve on Hughes out of the pen. He seems to have the stuff and the attitude to get tough late-inning outs. Perhaps a candidate to replace Mo?

      Please, for the love of all that is holy, just stop. To reiterate two years of Joba arguments: starters are more valuable then guys who pitch teh eighth. Which isn’t to say Hughes shouldn’t be used in the bullpen while he waits for a rotation spot to open up. I’m inclined to think he should. But I’m also inclined to think I’m going to be really annoyed by all the people insisting he never go back to starting.

    5. MJ
      June 18th, 2009 | 8:08 am

      Perhaps a candidate to replace Mo?
      ———
      Why on earth are people so obsessed with trying to find Rivera’s replacement before Rivera has even retired. Granted, #42 has looked completely mortal this year and it makes people wonder if the end is approaching but, still, there’s no need to start grooming a replacement at least 1.5 seasons before necessary.

      Also, what Justin said…STOP WITH THE NONSENSE ABOUT CONVERTING STARTERS TO RELIEVERS!!!!!!!

    6. MJ
      June 18th, 2009 | 8:10 am

      Separately, further to my post on another thread yesterday…that’s now six times in 10 weeks of play where the Yanks went completely limp against a non-name starter with average to below-average stuff.

      Do they have advance scouts? Sure. Do they have coaches on the payroll? Yup. Do either seem to be making a difference? Nope, not in the slightest. Even the hitters’ approach last night seemed to be affected. Too many hacks early in counts that let an otherwise pedestrian pitcher go deep into the game. Infuriating.

    7. YankCrank
      June 18th, 2009 | 9:15 am

      Doesn’t Arod realize that all he needed was to stroke a single to any field to tie the game? Why does he have to try and take a pitch low and away and try to pull it for a walk off? (Which, BTW is for me the signature impression of Arod). Maybe Ball One instead of Strike One changes the whole at bat?
      ——–

      Why are you criticizing this one A-Rod at bat, much less swinging at that first pitch? With the game on the line he was given one good pitch to hit (later in the at bat) and he fouled it off. Then, when a pitcher was essentially giving him a walk, he took it rather than swinging out of the zone and nubbing one somewhere.

      None of us know what his intentions were with that at bat, nor can we safely assume he was going for a walk-off. Maybe he saw a guy who throws hard, nasty stuff and thought that if he gets behind it would be hard to do anything with the at bat, so the first pitch may be his best pitch…we just don’t know. Give the guy a damn break for once, he had a great at bat and kept the game alive.

    8. June 18th, 2009 | 9:56 am

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    9. Raf
      June 18th, 2009 | 9:56 am

      Justin wrote:

      Rich wrote:
      A-Rod: .167/.333/.333/.666
      And, of course, A-Rod’s OPSing at Teh Mark of Teh Beast!
      (Please do not give the headline writer’s more ammunition.)

      LOL

    10. G.I. Joey
      June 18th, 2009 | 10:57 am

      MJ wrote:

      Separately, further to my post on another thread yesterday…that’s now six times in 10 weeks of play where the Yanks went completely limp against a non-name starter with average to below-average stuff.

      This qualifies as a trend IMO and it has me livid. They still can’t figure these guys out a few times through the lineup. C’mon.

    11. ken
      June 18th, 2009 | 11:21 am

      When I suggested that Hughes might replace Mo as the closer I was thinking about a year or two in the future. Not this season.

    12. Raf
      June 18th, 2009 | 11:25 am

      Has anyone seen Lannan’s game logs before this start? While he may not be an ace, he isn’t exactly chopped liver either.

    13. Pat F
      June 18th, 2009 | 11:41 am

      i thought the most frustrating part of last night was the way they just completely let lannan dictate the pace. he was working quick (to his credit – wish more pitchers did it), but they just allowed him to do it. no stepping out. no calling time. no taking a few extra seconds to look down at third for signs. no long walks in between at bats. it was like because lannan was in a rush to get back on the rubber, they were in a rush to get back in the box, and it got worse as the game went along. when a pitcher is in a rhythm like this, you want to get him working slower, at your pace, not faster at his. in my opinion, this is on the players initially but then on the coaches. if they aren’t going to insist the team as a whole make adjustments like this, what are they there for? your team is getting sped up, and it is in their best interest to slow down. so please, slow them down. lannan worked the 7th and 8th in about 30 seconds each it seemed.

    14. YankCrank
      June 18th, 2009 | 11:43 am

      When I suggested that Hughes might replace Mo as the closer I was thinking about a year or two in the future. Not this season.
      —–

      Of course, I think what he was referring to in his response was how Yankee fans feel the need to take guys like Joba and Hughes, who have had or are having bullpen success, and say they can be Mo’s replacement when Mo’s replacement isn’t exactly necessary at this point.

      Anybody can close a game, just look at guys like Ryan Franklin who was an AL castoff that nobody wanted and now has 16 saves for the Cardinals. Todd Jones was a guy with no “stuff” and an ERA around 4.00 for the Tigers the last few years and closed for a team that went to the World Series. I believe somebody also said Armando Benitez had 289 career saves, and we all know how good of a pitcher he was. In other words, closers can be drafted, traded for, purchased as a FA or picked up out of the trash…we’ll find a closer when Mo’s career is done.

    15. June 18th, 2009 | 11:45 am

      Raf wrote:

      Has anyone seen Lannan’s game logs before this start? While he may not be an ace, he isn’t exactly chopped liver either.

      Yes. I tried to make this point earlier, but it hasn’t shown up yet. In any event, because I’m impatient, I’ll reiterate.

      Lannan is 25 and hasn’t had an ERA+ below 100 in his career. He’s not great, but he’s a good, young pitcher. The only reason people haven’t heard of him is that he pitches for the Nationals.

    16. butchie22
      June 18th, 2009 | 11:46 am

      The Wanger is not back 100% yet, but he looked like he’s on the road to become a somewhat reliable part of the staff again . I heard the grade of C bandied about on the YES and Sny Sportsnite last night regarding the Wanger’s performance, that sounds about right.

      Arod though has been pretty bloody abysmal. The 27 million dollar man indeed….I will defend him this time round though. At least,he got on base and didn’t pop out. Yeah, it would have been great for him to have had a walk off home run OR even a productive out BUT at least he didn’t pop out.One can microanalyze his at bat, but ultimately Robinson Cannot was the goat not Arod.

      AS for the starter/reliever conversion debate, many people look at the Yankee pen and don’t see very much with the exception of an older Mo. To make it in the regular season and in the postseason to a much larger degree, a team needs a great pen. The Yankees simply don’t have one. I understand the fans who worry about that BUT they can’t take kids that can potentially become big time starters and go 6 or 7 innings to become relievers. The dearth of starting pitching is so enormous in baseball is that a team needs a surplus of starting pitching. @Ken, does Hughes have stuff that is that overpowering to become closer? I’m not the biggest fan of his BUT the kid is a starter, they should keep him there long term IMO.

      It is so strange that this team is weak at the knees of young piitchers they’ve never seen before. Chumping out against Halladay is one thing,but they have a hard time against these kids like Lannan or Nieve who are not exactly world beaters. It seems that Kevin Long is very detailed on his pre-series work regarding opposing pitchers, so what is the problem? It’s a mystery to me……

    17. G.I. Joey
      June 18th, 2009 | 11:48 am

      @ MJ:

      I just found out that Lannan is from Long Beach. He probably had alot of family and friends there and rose to the occasion.

    18. MJ
      June 18th, 2009 | 1:08 pm

      G.I. Joey wrote:

      @ MJ:
      I just found out that Lannan is from Long Beach. He probably had alot of family and friends there and rose to the occasion.

      Yep, he went to Chaminade on Hillside Ave. in Mineola!

    19. MJ
      June 18th, 2009 | 1:09 pm

      Raf wrote:

      Has anyone seen Lannan’s game logs before this start? While he may not be an ace, he isn’t exactly chopped liver either.

      I’m familiar with Lannan and I agree that he’s not chopped liver. Even still, the Yanks could’ve and should’ve done better against him. As someone else wrote, the Yanks totally let him dictate the pace of the game and took bad AB’s against him (too many swings at pitches early in counts). They looked unprofessional out there on back to back nights.

    20. Pat F
      June 18th, 2009 | 5:53 pm

      completely agree here mj.

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