• May 31st @ The Twins

    Posted by on June 1st, 2008 · Comments (3)

    It would have hurt to lose this one – having a 6-3 lead and only needing 12 outs to nail it down. So, while this one was not the cleanest of victories, it’s still a big one.

    Worm Killer Wang is in a slump. His “Game Score” for this contest was 31. In the last two starts before this one, his “Game Score” for each was 37. This is the only time in his career that Wang has posted three games in a row with a “Game Score” of 37 or less. (In both 2006 and 2007 – bizarrely each time on August 8th and August 13th! – he had back-to-back games with scores of 37 or less. But, he’s never done in for three games in a row – until now.)

    Wang’s next start is a day game, on Thursday, at the Stadium against the Blue Jays. It’s important for him to have a good start that day. If he posts four bad starts in a row, well, maybe then it will be time to break out some Hsiung Huang Wine and see if that can turn things around. Hey, you never know – a big night on the town led to a perfect game for David Wells…

    While it has been beat-up on Jeter time, lately, at many other Yankees blogs, that single of his (in this game) in the 12th inning was a big play. It set up the win.

    Last note: Robby Cano is now 3 for his last 24. (He was 21 for 52 before this mini-slump.) Hopefully, this is not the start of another bad stretch for him.

    May 30th @ The Twins

    Posted by on May 30th, 2008 · Comments (26)

    Gotta give Mike Mussina a lot of credit for this one. After that first inning, Moose could have folded like an Eddie Antar chain of stores. But, he followed that first frame with five solid ones and kept the score to a point where the Yankees could chip away. I know that some Yankees batters had big days today; but, for me, I give this game ball to Mussina.

    “Boom Boom” Farnsworth did make me sweat in the eighth. Kyle really is the Bizarro Mo Rivera.

    Strange game for the Yankees bats tonight: 22 TB and 6 runs. That’s now the 4th time this season the Yankees have had 22+ TB in a game while scoring 6 runs or less. Last season, in total, the team did this 3 times. And, in 2006 it happened 4 times for New York. (Then again, in 1998, the Yankees did this 7 times. But, on average it usually only happens one to four times a season for the Yankees – since 1956.)

    So, we’re at the one-third mark of the season and the Yankees are exactly at .500 (27-27). Back in January, I suggested that June and July would be the best months for the Yankees to put together a nice run.

    Let’s hope that the second “third” of the season is a lot better than the first “third.”

    May 28th @ The Orioles

    Posted by on May 28th, 2008 · Comments (21)

    Since 2004, and including this game, the Yankees are now 69-11 in games where their pitchers allow exactly 2 runs in the contest. Boy, it’s easy when you get some pitching, huh?

    Another five total bases for Jason Giambi tonight. He really has been amazing since May 6th. But, to be honest, while I’m happy to see him do well – because it means good things for the Yankees- I do, at times, get this strange feeling when I see him hitting like, well, the Jason Giambi of 2000 to 2002. While I am able to rejoice over his success, there’s a part of me that starts to hear, off in the distance, the sound of “the other shoe” starting to drop – meaning that some disclosure is going to come forward that will just ruin all the good things that Jason has done in the last three weeks (with the bat).

    Yeah, I know, I’m a terrible person for suspecting that Giambi’s recent great performance may be the result of some enhancing agent…like the one that they can’t test for in baseball (yet). But, hey, it’s somewhat human nature to expect someone to revert back to old tricks…especially when those tricks were so successful in the past and things at the moment are not going so well for them. If Giambi was not the poster-child for PEDs that he was – and a self-confessed poster-child, at that – maybe I would be able to escape this feeling…and the assumption alleys that it leads me down?

    Aw, I should probably stop with this now. I know that reading this will be upsetting to some people. However, I’m just being honest about my feelings here. And, for what it’s worth, I can imagine that there other Yankees fans out there who, at times, watching Giambi hit the way he’s be batting lately, wonder if it’s a “natural” thing. Are they willing to admit it, like me? Maybe? But, then again, maybe not.

    May 27th @ The Orioles

    Posted by on May 28th, 2008 · Comments (22)

    Do I really have to write about this game?

    Just thinking about it…well…it makes me want to go find a heavy-bag somewhere and just start punching away…rather than write about…either that…or…go find a room somewhere…where I can be alone…and cry. Man, what a terrible game.

    You have a 4-0 lead after the top of the 2nd – and then allow the game to be tied, 4-4, in the bottom of the second. Then, you have an 8-4 lead after the top of the 4th – and then allow the game to be tied, 8-8, in the next inning. Then, you have a 9-8 in the 11th – only needing three outs to win the game – and then you blow it…10-9, in the bottom of the 11th.

    It’s like losing three games in one. And, that doesn’t even touch all the other stuff…like the errors, Jeter getting picked off, and the 4-2-5 double play (in the 11th).

    Funny, just yesterday, I wrote:

    Yes, outside of Mo, Joba and Ramirez, the Yankees bullpen has not been pretty this season. And, yes, you cannot trust Farnsworth, Hawkins or Ohlendorf.

    And, bang, we see it in this game. (Yes, Farnsworth didn’t allow a run in this game – but, he was darn lucky not to…thanks to Millar being slow in one inning and grounder being hit, hard, right at Cano in another.) Hawkins and Ohlendorf were terrible. Maybe Ohlendorf should be limited to one inning for a while?

    La Troy Hawkins? Hey, just add him to the list of “Cashman’s Brilliant Bullpen Pick-ups” – along with Juan Acevedo, Gabe White, Felix Heredia, Octavio Dotel, Alan Embree, Scott Erickson, C.J. Nitkowski, Wayne Franklin, Allen Watson, Felix Rodriguez and Mike Thurman.

    After the first game of this series, I wrote:

    The Baltimore Orioles are not the Seattle Mariners.

    Again, you can say that…and, maybe, just maybe, it’s now time to say: “The New York Yankees are close to being the Seattle Mariners.” Know what the difference is between the records for the M’s and the Yanks? It’s the 6 games where New York beat Seattle this year. Take away those 6 games and both teams have the same win total at this junction of season. (The Yankees would be 19-27 and the Mariners would be 19-28.)

    And, what’s up with Ian Kennedy? This is now twice, in the last five months of pitching (if you include Spring Training games) that he’s been forced to the D.L. with a lat/back problem. Leave it to the Yankees “crack” scouting staff to find a 23-year old with a bad back condition.

    May 26th @ The Orioles

    Posted by on May 26th, 2008 · Comments (4)

    Breaking News In Yankeeland: The Baltimore Orioles are not the Seattle Mariners.

    Man, what a shame to waste a gem from Rasner. These last four starts from Rasner are probably the best four starts in a row from a Yankees pitcher this season – outside of the four straight from Worm Killer Wang from April 27th through May 13th.

    Big game for Ian Kennedy tomorrow. There’s no way the Yankees want to fall back to being two games under five hundred – because then they’ll have to win (the next) two in a row just to get to .500 at the official one-third mark of the season. I doubt that anyone in Yankeeland had pegged this team to be hovering around .500 with two-thirds of the year remaining.

    May 25th vs. The Mariners

    Posted by on May 25th, 2008 · Comments (5)

    Missed this one – completely.  We took the kids to go see the Newark Bears host Sparky Lyle’s Somerset Patriots.  It was our first time at Riverfront Stadium (in Newark).  It was a real pitcher’s duel out there today, as the Bears beat the Patriots by a score of 15-14.

    In terms of local minor league and independent parks, we’ve been to a few with the kids over the last 4 years.  We’ve been to the Somerset Patriots, Staten Island Yankees, Sussex Skyhawks, Trenton Thunder, New Jersey Jackals, Lakewood BlueClaws, and now the Newark Bears. 

    I couldn’t ask for a better experience in terms of dealing with a ticket office (as when I got my Bears tickets today).  I explained to the Bears staffer that our kids, being four and six, have a tendency to melt in the sun at ballgames.  And, not only did he set me up with a location in the park that was in the shade soon after the game started; but, he also stopped by our seats during the game to see how things in that location were working out for us.  That’s four-star customer service.

    The park in Newark was cozy enough. Click on the thumbnail on the right to see the view from our seats today.

    One thing that I didn’t find great about the park today was my concession stand experiences. (And, since the kids like to eat their way through a ballgame, I made five trips to the concession stands today.) First, there were no vendors working the seats today, at all. I’m not sure if that’s how they always do it there in Newark – but there were zero vendors in the stands today. So, there were always lines at the concession stands this afternoon. (In smaller parks, there are usually some times when there’s not really much of a line.) Secondly, the selections at the concession stands were limited. If you wanted something like lemonade or Dippin’ Dots, it wasn’t happening. Lastly, the folks working the concession stands were clumsy and incompetent. Because of this, even though the lines were usually only about six people deep, when you were waiting on line, you were waiting on line. And, I mean waiting. When I returned after one trip, my wife said she was just about to send out a search party for me. (And, I hit about four different concession stands today and they were all the same.) Considering the crowd there today was probably around 2,000 fans, there’s really no excuse for this – and it could be fixed with better staffing.

    In any event, as we were in Newark for a while and then hit our favorite local pizzeria afterwards for dinner, I had to settle for a mixed bag in terms of learning what happened in Yankeeland today – meaning a WCBS Newsradio 880 (AM) sports report on the drive home, some ESPN Baseball Tonight highlights after dinner (as we were getting the kids ready for bed), and SNY’s Geico SportsNite at ten this evening.

    When I heard the sports report on the drive home, they said that the Yankees scored four in the eighth for a 6-5 win. And, that sounded impressive. But, once I saw the highlights on ESPN and SNY, I know now that J.J. Putz and Ichiro Suzuki really helped the Yankees out in that big comeback inning. Without the error from Putz on the ball Matsui hit and Ichiro giving up on Molina’s fly, well, maybe the Yankees don’t win this one.

    Still, a win is a win – and a win is the thing, no? Five-hundred, nice to see ya. It will be very interesting to see how the Yankees do now as they head on a road-trip. Remember, the Mets looked great at Yankee Stadium and then tanked in Atlanta and Colorado. At times, a team looks great and then something happens when they start playing someone else. Hopefully, that won’t be the case for the Yankees. It would be great to see them go on a run now.

    Oh, and, what about Wang today? From what I could see from the game highlights, it didn’t look like Shelley Duncan or having the infield in helped him much in the seventh. I’m not worried about the numbers from Wang in this one. I think he’ll be better next time out.

    May 24th vs. The Mariners

    Posted by on May 24th, 2008 · Comments (11)

    I think they’re going to have to rename the baseball team from Seattle. Instead of calling them the “Mariners,” they should be called the “Panaceas” – because they truly are a great remedy for all ills and/or difficulties.

    Or, are the Yankees just playing this good?

    Will the real New York Yankees please stand up!

    Heck, will the real Mike Mussina please stand up? Is it the Moose who started the season not so hot, or the one who went on a roll recently for five games, or is it the one who has pitched “blah” in his last two games?

    And, how about Jason Giambi? Back on April 19th, I said it was time to let him go. But, since May 6th, he’s been en fuego.

    At this point, I would have to offer that Giambi is not as bad as he appeared in April and he is not as good as he appears (so far) in May. Let’s check on him on June 30th – as that will probably be the true level that we can expect from him, over the rest of the season, assuming that he does not end up on the disabled list.

    In the meantime, another win for New York tomorrow would be sweet – as it would enable the Yankees to reach .500 for the first time since May 10th. As long as they get to play the Panaceas again, I like their chances.

    May 23rd vs. The Mariners

    Posted by on May 23rd, 2008 · Comments (1)

    I had tickets for this game. But, I did the fiscally responsible thing and sold them to my friend, Phil.

    Nonetheless, the Yankee Gods decided to punish me for selling the seats – and I guess they thought it would be amusing to do it via the big inning. So, you can thank me for the score this evening.

    Phil is a big Yankees fan. But, his in-laws are Mariners fans. So, he’s always on the look-out for Yanks-M’s games as they’re a hot ticket in his family. I think he was going to this game with his father-in-law. (But, I’m not positive.)

    You know, it’s the eve of Memorial Day weekend and the Yankees are under .500 and in last place in the A.L. East. And, the Mets…well…it’s open season on the Mets players, manager, and G.M. these days. I was driving about this afternoon, and – between Mike & The Mad Dog (on WFAN) and Michael Kay (on ESPN Radio in NYC) – it was nothing but Mets-Mets-Mets and their woes on the sports-talk radio beat. Between the two New York big league teams, it’s not been a great start to this baseball season in the Big Apple.

    Still, it’s a day at the beach (here) compared to what it must be to like for Mariners fans.

    Seattle was supposed to be, at the worst, at least decent this season. Many (because of their pitching) even picked them to have a strong season. However, the Mariners stink. Using the expression “a sinking ship” may sound too corny – but, it really fits in this case.

    I hope the Yankees don’t let the M’s off the canvas this weekend. New York should take advantage of this opportunity – and get to .500 by Sunday evening.

    May 22nd vs. The Orioles

    Posted by on May 22nd, 2008 · Comments (11)

    Nice show by Joe Girardi, huh? We probably haven’t seen something like that from the Yankees manager in the last 12 and a half years.

    And, I think it helped tonight. Motivational people always talk about breaking the patterns of undesired behavior. And, that’s what Joe did in the ninth. Tie game, one-up, Matsui does his job leading off…then A-Rod goes down on strikes and ditto Giambi (with some help from the ump). I truly believe, if Girardi does nothng there…then we see more bad things. Even if Abreu still got the walk without Joe’s act coming before it, Cano, who was having a bad night at the plate, would probably continue to ride the overall negative vibe that was present.

    But, Joe does his thing…clears the air, resets the mood, gets the crowd going, ices the O’s pitcher a bit…and, presto! A beautiful win.

    I’ll talk about Ian Kennedy tomorrow – he’s part of the story here too. But, for now, this one’s for General Joe.

    May 21st vs. The Orioles

    Posted by on May 21st, 2008 · Comments (3)

    How much you wanna bet that those yellow stairs are painted black tomorrow?

    It was the Rodriguez and Rasner show tonight. A-Rod was robbed on that second big fly. But, as the guys in the YES booth said…it was too hard to make that call with the naked eye at real time speed. (Man, if I’m Mitch Seone, I’m going to get myself run on that call. If you’re going to be a BP pitcher fill-in first base coach, you might as well get yourself on SportsCenter jawing with an ump. Yes, I’m kidding – sorta/kinda.)

    Hey now…if Rasner keeps this up…it’s going to be interesting at the end of June when Joba is ready to join the rotation. Wang, Pettitte, Chamberlain, Mussina and Rasner leaves no room for Phil Hughes or Ian Kennedy – assuming there are no injuries. Phil and Ian might want to consider being roomies down in Scranton this summer. (Sure, one of them could stick in New York as a long-man; but, I doubt the Yankees would do that.)

    Lastly, here’s a question that no one is probably thinking about coming out of this game (now that the Joba news has everyone’s attention): Chad Moeller went 2 for 5 tonight and had a third hit lost to a great play in the field. He’s now batting .262 on the season. Is it an automatic that he goes down when Posada returns? Jose Molina has an OPS of .522 – and it was .530 last year when the Yankees picked him up from the Angels.

    May 20th vs. The Orioles

    Posted by on May 20th, 2008 · Comments (5)

    The kids wanted to watch Dora the Explorer at seven tonight – they usually do. It follows Max & Ruby – which follows dinner. So, that’s what was on our T.V. this evening when the game started.

    For a second, a few minutes past seven, the kids left the room and I clicked over to YES – to check on the game.

    It’s the top of the 1st. Mike Mussina on the hill. Brian Roberts is on first. Melvin Mora grounds out to third with Roberts moving to second on the play. No score in the game. All looks fine.

    The kids return – and we’re back to Dora.

    My son goes to bed first – at the usual time, around 7:30 – and it’s my wife’s turn to tuck him in and read him a story. I’m hanging with my daughter – as she wants to watch Go, Diego! Go!

    Around 7:50, my wife enters the room – and now it’s my daughter’s turn for tuck-in and a story. So, as the girls leave me, I click back to YES.

    Now, it’s the top of the second inning. Ross Ohlendorf is pitching to Kevin Millar and it’s 7-0 in favor of Baltimore. “What the [bleep]?” I think to myself.

    I turn the T.V. off and go to the kitchen to get a snack. My wife joins me and we hurry back to the T.V. to watch the competition finale for American Idol. During one of the first commerical breaks, I flip back over to YES.

    It’s the bottom of the third and the score is now 9-zip in favor of the O’s. They’re showing a replay of Derek Jeter getting hit, hard, on the hand with a pitch. Oh, it’s going to be one of those nights…

    After some more Idol, I go back to the game for a peek.

    It’s now 10-0, Baltimore, and La Troy Hawkins in pitching to Brian Roberts leading off the fifth inning.

    At the end of American Idol, I check the game again.

    It’s just the top of the sixth. Edwar Ramirez is now pitching for New York. (I found out in the post-game why Hawkins was removed from the game.) It’s still 10-0, but, the O’s have two on with two outs in the frame.

    My and wife I decide to watch an old episode of Star Trek on DVD at this point. Forty-three minutes later, I tune back to YES (to stay).

    It’s now the top of the ninth and Mariano Rivera is pitching in the game. Singleton, Kay and Flaherty are talking about how Mo needs the work. The score is 12-2 now…with the Yankees on the short end.

    In the post-game, I hear about the ugly first inning, Jeter being day-to-day, the brush-backs from Hawkins, and…Yea! A-Rod hit a homer. Yeeeeaaaaaa! They show, in the post-game, the replay of Alex beaming in the dugout after homering when his team was down 10-0 in the sixth.

    Me? All I can think about…watching those “plays” by Jeter, Damon and Abreu in the field…is something that I wrote about yesterday…and, seeing that seven-run first inning by Baltimore on the line-score, reminds me of something else I wrote that same day.

    Sometimes, I just hate it when I’m right.

    May 18th vs. The Mets

    Posted by on May 18th, 2008 · Comments (1)

    The most games that the Yankees have been over .500 this year, so far, is two. And, the last time they were two games over .500 was April 23rd. Tomorrow is an off-day. And, the team is now 4 games under .500.

    It could be June before we see the Yankees be two games over .500 again.

    This was only the 5th time in Worm Killer Wang’s career that he’s allowed 7+ earned runs in a game. Two of the other four times were also in May: May 10th last year and May 22nd the year before that one. Strange, huh?

    But, even with Wang having a bad day, it didn’t matter – as the Yankees bats were…well…did you see that AMP Energy commerical with the goalies that ESPN was running tonight? After this game, the last line of that spot should be changed from “Your Mama’s so ugly she made an onion cry” to “Your Mama’s so ugly she’s like the Yankees batters with runners on base.”

    The Yankees now have the same exact record, after 44 games, this year (20-24) that they had this time last season (after 44 games). But, last season, they were 10.5 games back of first after 44 games – so, they’re lucky this year (I suppose).

    Still, this doesn’t look like a post-season contender, to me, the way they’ve been playing this season. Back in March, I thought the Yankees would win about 92 games this season. Now? I dunno.

    Yeah, I guess they could play .610 baseball the rest of the way – which would bring them to 92 wins on the season. The math seems possible…but, I’m just not feeling it right now.

    Tomorrow should be an interesting off-day in Yankeeland. Now, that I’m feeling pretty sure about…right now.

    May 17th vs. The Mets

    Posted by on May 17th, 2008 · Comments (7)

    Another loss for the record. And, yes, it came to the Mets. But, you know what was most distressing about this one for me today?

    It was a beautiful day for a baseball game. The weather was just perfect. And, the YES broadcast offered some wonderful shots in their early coverage – via both remote cameras in the stands and from the blimp, up above. There was some awesome footage from the blimp of the two stadiums, side-by-side. And, you got some great location views showing you different angles of the park and fan views, etc. About half-way through the game…which I was taping as I knew I would miss the end of the game because we were going to see Iron Man (it was O.K. for me – not as great as some claimed it to be)…anyway, about half-way through the game I was thinking “I’m going to have to burn this one to a DVD when it’s done. It’s a perfect visual to store for years to come because of weather, it’s Yankees-Mets, you get the footage of the soon to be old stadium and the construction site of the new one…there’s no better video capsule of what’s happening right now in the last season of Yankee Stadium…”

    But, because of the final score in this one, the whole thing is wasted. There’s no way I want to see this game again – ever. If I burn this one, it will be in a fire and not to a DVD.

    Andy Pettitte did his job today – six and three. Sure, he had that funky fourth inning – but, there were some things there that were, indeed, just plain unlucky. And, through six, we had ourselves a ballgame – with the score just 3-2 (in favor of the Mets).

    But, then, along came Farnsworth. And, that was basically the game. Once Kyle allowed those three runs in the seventh, the way the Yankees hit (or I should say “don’t”?) with runners in scoring position, it was ‘turn out the lights’ time. Funny, in the YES post-game, Cone, Kay and Leiter said Farnsworth got burned on cutters. But, in his press conference after the game, Joe Girardi said the long-balls from Kyle came on sliders. Maybe we can just spilt the difference and call them “meatballs”?

    Great time for Farnsie to have a reverse Mel Rojas moment. It would have been nice to see how this game would have worked out if the score had still been close through seven. Heck, it might have still, then, been DVD worthy.

    May 15th @ The Rays

    Posted by on May 15th, 2008 · Comments (20)

    If you wanted to pick one game, and use it to depict the Yankees season to date, this would not be a bad choice.

    New York’s kid starting pitcher allows one run for every inning pitched.
    Bomber batters, for the most part, fail with runners in scoring position.
    Weak and shallow Yankees bench exposed.
    Yet, no name relief pitchers do surprisingly well.
    The Yankees lose.

    Be truthful here – the Yankees, in this set, just missed getting swept in a four game series by the Tampa Bay Rays. In fact, the Yankees are darned lucky that they won last night – via a bloop hit and gift DP liner – or else they would have been spanked in four straight.

    At this point, I’m almost hoping that the Mets do something stupid against the Yankees this weekend – like tick them off with some taunting or by hitting some batters…anything – that will maybe give this team a chance to show that they can be sparked to life.

    Right now…the Yankees play is just flat-out depressing.

    May 14th @ The Rays

    Posted by on May 14th, 2008 · Comments (10)

    Derek Jeter, after the game, on YES (with Kim Jones): “We needed this one.”

    Gee, Derek, ya’think?

    Not exactly a great game for the Yankees fan with onychophagia. Actually, for any Yankees fan, this one was probably as tense as a game in May could be…well, at the least, I was pretty nervous over the outcome of this one.

    Mike “Money Drive” Mussina now has an ERA of 2.76 over his last 5 starts…and he deserves a ton of credit (and then some) for the “W” on this one. I am truly amazed at how good Moose was tonight – and has been over the last month or so.

    Still, there were some things in this game that tell me the Yankees are not out of the woods yet. Abreu’s bloop double in the 5th and that that liner-DP to Jeter in the 7th were big plays in this contest and could be classified as lucky (in terms of placement). If either one of those doesn’t happen, then the Yankees may not win this game. (And, that Melky throw to third in the 2nd was close too.)

    I still want to see how the Yankees show up tomorrow before we can start to think about them turning a corner.

    May 13th @ The Rays

    Posted by on May 13th, 2008 · Comments (14)

    Go ahead.  Flip it.  After a game like this one, it deserves it.

    May 12th @ The Rays

    Posted by on May 12th, 2008 · Comments (4)

    That’s some bad hat, Harry.

    Tonight was a Bones/House night at our home. (By the way, if you’re a fan of House, and you missed it today, well, you missed a great one.)

    I was relegated to checking the game during commerical breaks from 8 pm ET until 10 pm ET. And, every time I flipped to YES, I either saw bad things happening against the Yankees or nothing positive happening for the Yankees.

    By the time I got to the game full-bore, Veras was pitching to Upton in the bottom of the eighth.

    Seeing the post-game, I now know that everything I saw in flashes, from eight to ten, was pretty much the story of the game – meaning it’s not a great night in Yankeeland.

    So, the Yankees are now 19-20 on the season. Last year, at this time, New York was 18-21.

    Really not much difference, is there?

    May 10th @ The Tigers

    Posted by on May 10th, 2008 · Comments (3)

    Amazing how it’s somewhat easy to win when your starting pitcher gives you six solid innings, huh? (By the way, between Darrell Rasner and Johan Santana, who pitched the better game today? Think Hank is keeping track?)

    Just how good can Ranser be for the Yankees this season? Will he be Charlie Hudson circa 1987 good? Or, better, say, like Melido Perez circa 1992 good? Or, something less, like Joe Cowley circa 1985 good?

    Whichever of the three it may be…or if it’s somewhere in between…it’s still better than what the Yankees were getting out of Hughes, Kennedy or Igawa. I can’t wait until his next start.

    May 9th @ The Tigers

    Posted by on May 9th, 2008 · Comments (4)

    Well, if we were not sure, at least now we know…it’s May 2008 and not May 1980, and, Shelley Duncan is not Rick Cerone. (Follow the link and see the play-by-play for the 5th and 7th innings if you don’t remember Cerone burning the Tigers, and Sparky Anderson, twice in the same game back in May of 1980.)

    You know how Accuweather.com has the “RealFeel Temperature”? To me, this game, heading into the 9th inning (and before the Yankees failed comeback) had a “RealFeel” Score of 15-1…even though the actual score, at that time, was 6-3. Really, until the last frame, even though the score was close, it didn’t feel close at all. Anyone else feel that way too?

    And, by the way, listening to Al, Kenny, and Michael do the game on My9…fellas, please, stop playing the “Missing A-Rod and Posada” card so much as an excuse for the Yankees performance. It’s truly starting to get weak. There are still, usually, around six “All-Stars” in the Yankees line-up even without Rodriguez and Posada. That should be enough carry your weight – even against the good teams.

    No, I haven’t forgotten about Kei Igawa. Sure, maybe, if Clete Boyer or Graig Nettles were playing third base this evening – and they were in their prime – then, perhaps, Igawa would have been a tad luckier in terms of the final ugly numbers (for him). But, in any event, it sure as heck looked the the same old Kei Igawa on the hill today – right down to the terrible body language once he started to get waxed.

    Igawa has got to be the biggest pile of money, at $46 million, that Cashman has ever thrown out the window on pitching. Yeah, Brian tossed $40 million for Carl Pavano, I know…but, at the least, Pavano had a few decent games pitched…whereas Igawa is an absolute human batting tee.

    On the bright side, while the Mets were rained out today, there will be a double-header at Shea tomorrow (with the make-up game for today). Imagine having to watch Igawa, and this bummer of a Yankees loss, and also finding out, thanks to the rain in NYC, that you now had to face Johan Santana when the Mets series comes up? See…it could have been worse today in Yankeeland.

    May 8th vs. The Indians

    Posted by on May 9th, 2008 · Comments (23)

    Now that I’m among that 15% of the population that Lee Elia ranted about a quarter of a century ago, I had a chance to watch, live, about 70% of this game.

    And, for the last 12 hours or so, I’ve been sitting on what I wanted to write about it – but, in the end, it keeps coming back to the same thing.

    Yes, this was a pretty big win for the team. You didn’t want to lose three in a row heading into a road game, in Motown, with Kei Igawa on the mound for you…because that’s how you start knocking on the door of a five-game losing streak. And, it was interesting to see just how much Paul Byrd and Mike Timlin have meant to Jason Giambi’s season this year.

    But, at the end of the day, this game comes to down to two things for me. First, the celebration of Clique de los Yanquis in the dugout – meaning Cano, Melky, Abreu, Betemit (and sometimes A-Rod) after Cano’s homerun. And, secondly, the Joba Chamberlain reaction after striking out David Dellucci.

    Let’s be honest here. As Yankees fans, if we were playing the Mets, and, during the game, Jose Reyes, Luis Castillo, Moises Alou, Ramon Castro and Angel Pagan were carrying on in the dugout – like Cano & Co. were in this game – after Reyes did something on the field, many of us would be seeing red over it. And, again, as Yankees fans, if we were playing the Red Sox, and, during the game, Manny Delcarmen reacted the way Joba did, after striking out some Yankee to end an 8th inning, we’d be on him afterwards like hair on soap.

    Therefore, as a Yankees fan, I wish that some of the vets on the team would get the attention of the youngsters (like Joba, Cano, Melky, etc.) and tell them “It’s great to be excited and to have passion – but, there’s a line on displaying it and you guys have crossed it. So, let’s pull back on it…understand?”

    O.K., go ahead, now, start telling me that I’m an old man and that “old school baseball” went away a long time ago…

    May 7th vs. The Indians

    Posted by on May 7th, 2008 · Comments (0)

    It would be very easy for me to say I was wrong about Cliff Lee and just write this loss off to his brilliance. But, I can’t do that – at least not 100%.

    Let’s face it: The Yankees lost this game because, between Cano, Molina, Duncan, and Ensberg, who were in the line-up today, there’s just too many free outs in those Yankees bats. (Although, this evening, Molina’s arm made up for his lack of bat.)

    Really…Wang as not awesome in this one. But, he still deserved to win. In fact, when you look at the back-to-back starts now from Pettitte and Wang, and see that the Yankees lost both games, at home, well…that tells you something about this team.

    Thank the heavens for the Seattle Mariners…or else this would be the home-stand from hell.

    Watching Cano make the final out of the game, I wondered “If A-Rod was in a ‘slump’ like this, he’d be hearing ‘boos’ like mad. How much longer will Yankees fans stay kind to Cano…and Giambi?” It’s an interesting question, to me.

    In any event, anyone else think the beat reporters will be peppering Hank’s cell phone after this game tonight?

    May 6th vs. The Indians

    Posted by on May 6th, 2008 · Comments (4)

    When you see the way that Ian Kennedy pitched in his game today (down at Triple-A) and the way that Joba Chamberlain pitched in this game, you start to wonder if there was some sort of Freaky Friday/Vice Versa/Like Father Like Son/18 Again body-swapping mix-up between the two before Kennedy headed out to Scranton/Wilkes-Barre…

    Seriously, tough one tonight. Pettitte pitched his heart out. Farnsworth actually did well. The Yankees aren’t supposed to lose these games. Or, at the least, they cannot afford to lose these games.

    With this game, the Yankees have now batted in the 7th and 8th innings 34 times this season. And, in 25 of those 34 seventh innings they have scored zero runs. Ditto the 8th inning – they’ve posted zero runs in 25 of those 34 too. Gone are the days where the Yankees used to beat up on other team’s middle relievers.

    May 4th vs. The Mariners

    Posted by on May 4th, 2008 · Comments (1)

    Jeter and Abreu are starting to heat up.

    Jeter is batting .410 (16-for-39) in his last nine games. Abreu is batting .563 (9-for-16) in his last four games.  Add those two to the other Yankees bats who have been doing well (Damon, Matsui, and Cabrera) and all of a sudden you have an offense that’s capable of a big inning. (Did you see that note on YES – that the 3rd inning today was the first time this season that the Yankees have scored 5+ runs in one inning?)

    Darrell Rasner made some friends today. Six innings. Didn’t hurt himself: 3.3 pitches per batter, 65% for strikes, and zero walks alllowed. You can’t ask for anything more than that from a guy in the back end of your rotation.  In his big league career, Rasner now has a WHIP of 1.23 in 58.3 IP.  He really hasn’t killed himself in the majors yet in terms of allowing baserunners.

    By the way, is it just me, or could Rasner pass for Brian Austin Green after a long night out on the town?  

    May 3rd vs. The Mariners

    Posted by on May 3rd, 2008 · Comments (4)

    This, is why, you should never bet on baseball. (Well, this, and, the fact that it could screw you out of getting into Cooperstown, even if you have 4,256 career big league hits.)

    Coming into this game, who would have thought that the Yankees would have 15 runners reach base against “King” Felix Hernandez in less than six innings? Granted, it was mostly the guys who have been doing it all season long so far for New York – Damon, Melky, and Matsui – yet, still, that’s not something that you would normally predict to happen in a match-up like this one.

    And, how about Mike Mussina? To be honest, Moose has made seven starts now this season and the only ones that were “bad” were the two against the Red Sox. Outside of those two Boston games, he’s been quite good.

    Could this be shades of 2006 – the last time Mussina was very good (and also in the walk-year of his contract)? Hey, if it takes a carrot on a stick to make it happen, given the state of Yankees starting pitching this season, who cares what the root cause is…as long as Mussina keeps stringing together starts like this one today?

    Lastly, another bad day at the plate for both Giambi and Cano. I have to wonder: Has there ever been a baseball team, all-time, who has had the entire right-side of their infield batting less than .160 – thirty-two games into the season (where both guys were full-time players)? I have no idea on the answer to that one. But, if it’s not the first time, I can’t imagine it’s happened too many other times.

    May 2nd vs. The Mariners

    Posted by on May 2nd, 2008 · Comments (0)

    I said it last August, but, it bears repeating again:

    Wednesday may be Sundae at Carvel, but, in Yankeeland, Worm Killer Wang day is winner day.

    Only three earned runs for the Yankees offense today. And, Wanger made it hold up – with some help from the pen. And, I’ll confess, heading into the 8th inning, I was somewhat nervous about this one – given the way things have been going lately in Yankeeland.

    But, maybe today’s a sign of better days to come? Bobby Murcer returned to the Stadium. Kyle Farnsworth actually looked impressive…hey, you know me, always looking for the half of the glass that’s full. [wink]

    By the way, that Seattle reliever who allowed the Yankees to open up their lead in the 8th, Ryan Rowland-Smith, well, did you know that he’s the first player in big league history to have a hyphenated last name? Maybe that means nothing to some. But, to me, that’s pretty noteworthy. Then again, I’m still somewhat bothered by the fact that more people don’t remember that Charlie O’Brien was the first catcher to wear the hockey-style catcher’s mask that so many use today.

    Speaking of pen men….Joba and Mo…man, they’re like Bacardi and Cola – they get the job done.

    Lastly, speaking of booze commercials stuck in your head, anyone else have the hook from this one sticking in their head like an Ear-Worm from Perdition?

    May 1st vs. The Tigers

    Posted by on May 1st, 2008 · Comments (5)

    Ian Kennedy.
    Jonathan Albaladejo. Chris Britton.

    A Not Ready For Prime-Time Player and Two Tons of Fun.

    Actually, I can see where some may say that Ian Kennedy was not helped by Bobby Abreu on that Cabrera triple in the third. But, at the end of the day, Ian threw too many pitches and did not complete enough innings.

    I’m starting to think that Kennedy is on the Ryan Bradley train. (Bradley was a 1997 first-rounder signed by New York. In 1998, he was rushed from Single-A, to Double-A, to Triple-A, and then to the majors to work in the Yankees pen. After five games in the majors, he was toast. Four years later, at the age of 26, he was out of baseball.)

    Maybe it’s time to send Kennedy down to Triple-A to log more innings at that level? If you have to replace him with Kei Igawa, could Igawa do any worse than Ian’s been doing?

    Lastly, to that picture on the right. Yes, that’s Claude Rains as the Yankees offense. Invisible.

    Watching this team play tonight, well, it was like watching the 1988 Yankees play. Seriously, the team has that type of feel to it. (And, for the record, Dave Eiland and Bobby Meacham were on the ’88 Yanks, so, maybe that has something to do with it?)

    And, General Joe? He must feel like he’s playing wet nurse to a last-place, dead-to-the-neck-up ball club, and choking to death. And, if not, he should.