• September 28th @ The Red Sox – Game 2

    Posted by on September 28th, 2008 · Comments (8)

    And…that’s a wrap.

    Hey, it would have been nice to, in the end, win 90 games this season – all things considered. But, in reality, there’s really no difference between winning 89 or 90…when you’re still outside the dance, looking in, when the music starts.

    Yet, I give the Yankees some credit. They came out of the All-Star in a rush…winning 11 of 16 games. And, then, on August 4th, Joba Chamberlain got hurt in a game that the Yankees lost. And, that was iceberg that sank the ship. After that game, the Yankees went 15-17 in their next 32 games…and, in the process, they took themselves out of the Wildcard case.

    Need evidence? On August 4th, the Yankees were 2 games back, in the loss column, behind the Red Sox in the ‘card standings. And, 32 games later, after going that aforementioned 15-17, the Yankees were 10 games back, in the loss column, behind the Red Sox in the chase for the ‘card. That’s ten games back with 18 games left to play. It hit rock bottom on September 8th when the Yankees mailed in a game against the Angels.

    Yet, the Yankees didn’t tuck tail at that point. In those 18 games left to play, the Yankees, including this loss, went 13-5. That’s pretty impressive. It shows some pride. And, it shows that the team didn’t totally quit on Joe Girardi when they truly had a chance to check out.

    Yesterday, Ed Price, on Girardi, wrote:

    (The following analysis is based on conversations with people inside the Yankees clubhouse, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they didn’t want to criticize the manager publicly.)

    Girardi’s shortcomings this season have been a lack of communication with players and some of his coaches, an inability, at times, to create a productive atmosphere, a lack of a deft touch with the media (no small issue in New York) and an occasional disregard for players’ egos.

    Now, maybe it’s true that General Joe has some warts…at least this season. But, again, when your team is dead in the water and then goes out and wins 13 of their last 18, it says something…and part of that is that Girardi didn’t let this team limp across the finish line. That’s a positive…and more important than winning 90 instead of winning 89 games.

    September 28th @ The Red Sox – Game 1

    Posted by on September 28th, 2008 · Comments (3)

    Congrats Moose!

    Mike Mussina finally gets that “20 Win” season.

    Way back when, I was a big Mike Mussina fan. I had him on my rotisserie teams in the 1990′s when he was with the Orioles. And, as such, I was pumped when the Yankees picked him up in 2001. And, I remained a fan of his…during his first three seasons in New York.

    But, then in 2004, I began to sour on Moose. In my mind, I saw him as a priss, a carpetbagger, and, worse, someone who was coasting until his free agent walk season in 2006. And, at the end of 2007, I thought that he was toast – and that the Yankees shouldn’t expect much from him this season.

    However, Mussina proved me wrong this year – in terms of his ability to still pitch. And, in reading “Living on the Black,” I gained some further insight towards Mike as a player. And, through all this, he won me over – back to where I was when he first joined the Yankees – and I was back in his corner. So, I’m thrilled that Moose was able to get this win today.

    Man, it looked close for a while – and kudos to Girardi for lifting Joba and then later bringing in Mo, early, to lock it down. And, of course, thanks to Jonathan Papelbon for taking all those tension out of this one with his performance as well.

    And, if this does turn out to be Mike Mussina’s final game, hey, there’s no better high-note to go out on. Attaboy Moose. Great job this season.

    September 26th @ The Red Sox

    Posted by on September 27th, 2008 · Comments (2)

    This was the 11th time since 1956 that the Yankees have scored 19+ runs in a regular season game. And, it was the 29th time since 1956 that the Yankees had 28+ men on base during a regular season game that was 9 innings or less.

    But, this was a garbage time game. Therefore, take the stats from this one with a grain of salt. The biggest news out of this one is that Derek Jeter is probably done for the season.

    Neither team really had an interest in this game – just check the players used and rested on both sides. If not for the fact that it officially had some impact on the A.L. standings, and that the weather forecast for the rest of the weekend doesn’t look great, I doubt that it would have been played.

    But, Boston really doesn’t care if they’re the wildcard winner or the champs of the A.L. East – at least going into this one they didn’t care…their focus is on getting ready for the post-season, period.

    Basically, the Sox provided the Yankees with batting practice in this game – albeit a wet one. That’s all this game was about…outside of Jeter establishing that his injury will not allow him to play again soon.

    September 25th @ The Blue Jays

    Posted by on September 26th, 2008 · Comments (11)

    This time of the year, I usually start to panic a bit. Why? I’m about to lose my fix and delirium tremens are right around the corner. You see, I need actual, live, Yankees games – just about everyday. Sure, if I have to skip them for a few days in a row, I can handle that…but, the thought of having to go five or six months without them is a killer for me. So, this time of the season, when there are just a few games left, I try and soak in every pitch of every game – to get ready for the big layoff.

    The problem with this game was that Carl Pavano was pitching. And, I have many issues with Carl – like him being able to audition now on the Yankees dime, etc. So, as much as I wanted/needed to watch this game, there was a side of me that didn’t want to watch this game.

    Here’s where more bad news, good news comes into play. Right now, I have a killer cold. It started to set in the day after the last game at Yankee Stadium. And, it’s snowballing. Last night (as I am now) I was really hurting. So, I doped myself up on cold medicine. And, that actually helped me get through watching the Pavano part of the game last night.

    Did anyone really expect the Yankees to win this game with that line-up facing Doc Halladay? Really…

    That said, I enjoyed watching Francisco Cervelli work behind the plate. He seems fundamentally sound. And, Brett Garnder had a fun night at the park. How about Humberto Sanchez? He was really gassing it up there…at 88 MPH. That Sheffield trade really looks good now.

    How about A-Rod? I understand why Jeter missed these games. For all we know, his hand is broken. But, did Alex beg out of these last two games because Burnett and Halladay were pitching? Protect those stats baby, protect those stats….

    Lastly, unrelated to this game, why was Ryan Church not called out for going out of the baseline in the Mets game last night? If you cannot touch the base/plate in your approach – and he could not because he had to leap back to touch it – is he not too far out of the baseline and should be called out? Then again, the Cubs didn’t whine about it…so I probably shouldn’t either…

    September 24th @ The Blue Jays

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

    Obviously, the story of this game is Phil Hughes.

    In the spirit of full disclosure, in terms of access to this game, this is all I had this evening:

    1. I heard the bottom of the 2nd inning on the radio (via WCBS 880 AM).
    2. Via the coverage on YES, I picked up the action in the top of the 3rd inning when Abreu struck out (and then Nady singled to center, etc.) and watched it through the completion of the bottom of the 3rd inning.
    3. I tuned back into the game, on YES, just as Abreu hit the grand slam in the top of the 10th inning – and then watched the YES coverage through the end of the game (including the post-game coverage).

    Now, back to Hughes…you could make a strong case that this was the best game that Phil Hughes has ever thrown in the major leagues. At the least, it was the first time that Hughes has ever gone 8 innings in a big league game…and that’s a fact.

    Again, I didn’t see much of his pitching. However, on the radio, when I was listening, Suzyn Waldman talked a lot on how Mike Mussina got on Hughes about the use of his curveball. As she told it, Moose asked Hughes how often he threw the curve in his last game – and Phil told Mike that he thought it was something like seven times. To this, reportedly, Mussina told Hughes that he should try throwing the curve more often – like seven times an inning (rather than seven times a game). As Waldman spun it, Moose told Hughes that using the deuce only when he was ahead 1-2 or 0-2 allowed hitters to sit on it…and get a good whack at it. And, the recommendation was to throw the curve early in the count for a change. And, during the YES coverage that I saw, Al Leiter also talked about Hughes throwing the curve more often – in order to be successful.

    Now, does this all mean that Phil Hughes has arrived?

    Let me put it this way…besides this evening, Phil Hughes has thrown seven innings in a major league only once…and that was just about one year ago from this time – on September 27, 2007. That game was a lot like this one…in the sense that the Yankees were playing with a “garbage time” line-up.

    Today, the Yankees started Brett Gardner in center, Wilson Betemit at third, Cody Ransom at short, Juan Miranda at first and Chad Moeller at catcher. Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez did not play.

    In that game where Hughes did well last year, the Yankees started Bronson Sardinha in right, Wilson Betemit at third, Alberto Gonzalez at short, Shelley Duncan at first and Jose Molina at catcher. Derek Jeter and Alex Rodriguez did not play.

    Granted, the Yankees faced good pitchers in both these games – A.J. Burnett tonight and Scott Kazmir back on September 27, 2007. However, clearly, both tonight’s game and the one from last year had a “Spring Training” feel to them.

    Therefore, just as September 27, 2007 was not a sign that Phil Hughes had arrived and was ready to star in 2008, tonight’s game is not a sign that Phil Hughes had arrived and was ready to star in 2009. Why? It’s just not the same pitching in a game like this, or the one from 2007, as it is during a game that “counts.”

    And, anyone who wants to believe that this the launching point for Hughes in terms of being someone who can help the Yankees next season is still dealing more from a position of hope rather than from one of solid evidence.

    September 23rd @ The Blue Jays

    Posted by on September 23rd, 2008 · Comments (8)

    Hey, it took 157 games to eliminate the Yankees from post-season play this year. Considering everything that went down this season, that’s not too shabby.

    It’s not great – when you consider the talent on the Yankees roster. But, it’s not terrible either.

    Congrats to Mike Mussina for getting his 19th win this evening. When he took that shot off the elblow, I thought he was toast. Nonetheless, Moose gutted it out and Girardi pulled out all of his guns from the pen to lock it down.

    Check out this stat: The last time that a 39-year old right-handed pitcher won 19+ games in the American League was Early Wynn in 1959. And, the time before that was Cy Young in 1909. That’s saying something.

    On the flip-side of nice things to say…

    Did you know that, since August 1st of this year, including this game, A-Rod is batting .251 (44 for 175) and he has whiffed 48 times in 175 At Bats? Yup. It’s true. O.K., I’ll just hang up now and listen to your comments on that…

    September 21st vs. The Orioles

    Posted by on September 22nd, 2008 · Comments (9)

    Ahhh…

    The House That Molina Closed.

    Nice day at the big ballpark in the Bronx. Left my house at 3:30 PM on Sunday. Arrived in the Bronx at 4:40 PM. After finally finding a parking spot, I was in the Stadium just before 6 PM. Enjoyed the pregame – but enjoyed the game and the post-game even more. Left the Stadium shortly past midnight on Sunday. Got home at 1:50 AM on Monday morning…today. (It’s 2:20 AM on Monday as I type this…)

    Lots of comments and photos to come…what is now later today.

    In the meantime, while I try and get some sleep now, please share your comments on the game, ceremonies, etc., here – and if you have any specific questions about the experience of being there…leave those too…and I’ll get back to you with my answers.

    September 20th vs. The Orioles

    Posted by on September 20th, 2008 · Comments (0)

    The storyline for this game should be a toss-up between the fact that Alfredo Aceves is now just about a dead-solid lock to go down in history as the last Yankees pitcher to be credited with an unassisted double-play in this Stadium and the heroics of some of the Yankees batters in the bottom of the 9th inning. (Yeah, I think the Yankees got lucky when the O’s muffed the chance to turn two on A-Rod’s grounder.)

    But, sadly, in the end, the story of this game is whether or not the pitch that hit Derek Jeter, leading off that aformentioned 9th inning, caused enough injury to prevent Jeter playing in the last game, tomorrow, for this Yankee Stadium. It’s beyond sick to think that Derek Jeter would be prevented from playing in that last game tomorrow – it’s just cruel for the potential of that happening to be a matter of reality. If anyone deserves to play in that game, it’s Jeter.

    After the game, Jeter said that he was playing, of course, tomorrow. But, you never know what might develop over the evening hours. Cross your fingers, arms, toes, legs, eyes and whatever else that you can manage to cross for Derek…and the hope that he will be able to be a part of that last game tomorrow once he wakes up and looks at how bad his condition is at that point.

    By the way, did anyone get the count on how many times Michael Kay used the word “penultimate” today? I lost track after a while…

    September 19th vs. The Orioles

    Posted by on September 19th, 2008 · Comments (1)

    Yanks got three runs in this game – and the last one was a gift on a wild pitch. However, the O’s only got two runs in this game – partly thanks to a great catch by Brett Gardner in the fourth inning. So, the Yankees win…even with Mo Rivera giving us a scare, allowing runners to reach first and third, after two outs, in the ninth.

    So, this was the 8th time in 19 days that Phil Coke got into a game. Seems like the Yankees really want to give him a look, huh?

    Carl Pavano is now 4-1 on the season. This means, at this moment, Carl Pavano, alone, has won as many games for the 2008 Yankees as Joba Chamberlain, Phil Hughes, and Ian Kennedy…combined. I’m starting to get afraid that Brian Cashman, seeing all this, might try and take Carl to go see Mamma Mia again this off-season…

    Don’t do it Brian…do not do it.

    September 18th vs. The White Sox

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

    How cool would it have been if Zack Hample had caught Bobby Abreu’s second homer tonight – giving the kid three homers caught in three games in a row? I guess it would have slightly more cooler than finding out the hair on the top of A-Rod’s head is now the same color as the hair in Juan Uribe’s goatee… [Insert Madonna Blond Ambition Tour joke here.]

    Was this the last time that Mike Mussina pitched in Yankee Stadium for the home team? If true, he went out in style!

    Moose got his 18th win with this game. So far, this season, he only has 9 losses. There have only been 7 pitchers in baseball history with 18+ wins and 9 losses or less in a season where they were 39-years of age (like Mussina now) or older in that year. The list:

    Pitcher		W	L	Year	Age
    David Wells	19	7	2002	39
    Warren Spahn	23	7	1963	42
    Kenny Rogers	18	9	2004	39
    Jack Quinn	18	7	1928	44
    Gaylord Perry	21	6	1978	39
    Jamie Moyer	21	7	2003	40
    Roger Clemens	18	4	2004	41
    

    Mussina has an excellent chance to make this into a gang of eight…and be one of the few righties on the list that made it without some sort of help. What an incredible and magical season this has been for him.

    September 17th vs. The White Sox

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

    Nice little win, tonight, for the Yankees in this one. Credit some fine work by New York’s bullpen.

    Before I forget: Man, I cannot believe that Dancin’ Bleacher Creature Dude has now caught taters two days in a row. The YES booth was right. What are the odds?

    The White Sox…I dunno. They have some holes. If Chicago and Tampa Bay end up playing in the A.L.C.S. this year, the Red Sox and Angels should be kicking themselves…for sure. (Yeah, I know, for that LCS match-up to happen, the Rays would have to slip into the Wildcard slot.)

    Of course, congrats to A-Rod this evening for becoming the first player in baseball history with 12 seasons of 35+ HR/100+ R/100+ RBI. That’s just incredible. By the way, the record for most seasons in a career with 40+ HR/100+ R/100+ RBI is 11 – by Babe Ruth. (A-Rod has 8 seasons with 40+ HR/100+ R/100+ RBI.)

    O.K., now, on to the story which is why many are probably reading this, here, etc. – Mr. Phil Hughes.

    First, let me share that I’ve watched many major league baseball games, to date, in my lifetime. If I had to come up with a quick number – but one that I felt comfortable claiming – I would say that I’ve watched at least 3,500 big league contests…and have learned a few things in the process…including developing a feel for certain things.

    And, I’ve now watched Phil Hughes pitch a few games too – including this one – and I am going to go on record something that may not make many Yankees fans happy.

    Actually, it ties back to a few things that I’ve said about Hughes in the past as well.

    Way back on March 2, 2007, I suggest that Phil Hughes reminded me of Andy Benes.

    Later, back on February 2, 2008, I shared that the scouting report on then 22-year old pitcher Carl Pavano read very much like the scouting report on Phil Hughes coming into this season.

    And, after that, back on June 21, 2008, I shared that another scouting report, in my mind, painted Hughes as being the next Aaron Sele.

    Today, based on the some-seven-thousand starting pitching performances that I’ve witnessed at the big league level and the feel that I’ve gained from that experience, and watching Phil Hughes pitch again tonight, I have to say that my past thoughts on him continue to ring true.

    Phil Hughes…at his worst will have a major league career much like Carl Pavano and at his best will have a major league career like Andy Benes. And, in all likelihood, Hughes’ career will probably fall somewhere in the middle between Pavano and Benes…and mirror someone along the level of Aaron Sele.

    Hughes has shown enough to suggest that he will be given a chance to pitch in the majors, many times, over the next ten years – provided that he is physically up to the task. However, while his “stuff” is major league caliber, there’s nothing that Hughes has shown (consistently in the bigs) that suggests he has the mind, heart and ability of someone who will go on to be one of the best pitchers in the history of the game.

    Maybe this will all change someday? Curt Schilling was a high-profile draft pick for the Boston Red Sox back in 1986. After that, he spent time with the Orioles and Astros. He had talent – but, it wasn’t clicking at the big league level…something was missing. And, then in 1992, it turned around for Schilling, at age 25, and he went on to star for the Phillies, Diamondbacks and Red Sox. Perhaps Hughes will have a turning point in his career…like Schilling…where something happens…or maybe someone throws down the chicken foot on him…and then everything will align into place for him?

    Anything is possible. But, unless that happens, I don’t think anyone in Yankeeland should start thinking about Hughes being a future ace in the majors. It’s just not there for him.

    September 16th vs. The White Sox

    Posted by on September 16th, 2008 · Comments (7)

    Another FOX night at my house this evening. This time it was House and Fringe. So, I missed everything in this contest between the top of the fourth and the top of the ninth. But, I did catch the game recap on My9.

    Congrats, of course, to Derek Jeter for setting the all-time record for most hits at this Yankee Stadium. It would have been nice if the “hit” had come cleaner…but, years from now, when people look at the record book, there will be little debate as to whether or not that should have been an “E-5.” Oh, and, for the record, this was the 775th game where Jeter played at Yankee Stadium and had at least one hit – for those into those types of stats.

    Speaking of stats, Andy Pettitte’s record is now 13-14 on the season. In the 13 seasons prior to this one, Pettitte’s never had a season with a losing record. He’s got one, maybe two, starts left this year. Let’s hope he can square off his ledger and keep his “positive” streak going.

    Speaking of going, it’s time to stick a fork on Jose Veras. And, if the Yankees are counting on him to be a big part of their pen in 2009, they’re making a mistake.

    After the Yankees game, I did catch the end of the “Bricktown Showdown” being played at AT&T Bricktown Ballpark in Oklahoma City between the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees and Sacramento River Cats (on ESPN2). Pretty ballpark – but, lots of empty seats for this game.

    I picked that one up during bottom of the 7th with Mark Melancon pitching for the Yankees. Man, he looks a lot smaller than 6′ 2″ (as he’s listed).

    Speaking of getting small, looks like the Mets, Phillies and Brewers now have themselves a tight race in the National League. The two teams who win the most of their remaining games will make the post-season. Half of the Mets’ games are against the Braves and the Marlins. Betcha those two teams would love to knock the Mets out of it. If it happens, it should make this off-season a little easier for Yankees fans…not having to listen to Mets fans brag about making the post-season, etc.

    Now, in a perfect world, the Mets choke again this regular season in the National League. And, in the American League, the Red Sox make it to the ALCS…winning the first three games there and then losing four in a row to miss making the World Series. Hey, a Yankee fan can dream, can’t he?

    September 15th vs. The White Sox

    Posted by on September 15th, 2008 · Comments (8)

    I only caught bits and pieces of the first part of this game – while we were getting the kids ready for bed. And, come 8 PM, it was time for The Sarah Connor Chronicles and Prison Break. So, in my house, score this one: FOX 1, Alfredo Aceves 0.

    I did catch the tail-end of the post-game on YES shortly after 10 PM.

    When I was watching early, I saw the whole thing with Tony La Russa. I have to confess that, animal rights efforts aside, I always thought that La Russa was a bit of a horse’s rear-end. But, the fact that he went out of his way to come see one of the final games at Yankee Stadium impressed me. I mean, if there’s anything that Tony La Russa doesn’t need in his life…it’s to watch a baseball game on his off-day. And, yet, there he was…attaboy Tony.

    Congrats to Mo for career save #479. I swear…the dude is just an absolute freak. As much as we, as Yankees fans, appreciate Mariano Rivera (and we do!), it’s probably not enough. Years from now, we’re going to look back at his career and say “Did that really happen, or, were we dreaming?”

    Nice little win for the Bombers today…but, with Boston winning, our tragic number is down to four. The Yankees should have that “x” next to their name by the end of the week…if not sooner….

    Meanwhile, how ’bout those Mets? They’ve lost 3 games off their lead since Wednesday. Wouldn’t it be something if they provided some October humor again this year? Sure helps to deal with the stink/sting of this Yankees season.

    September 14th vs. The Rays

    Posted by on September 14th, 2008 · Comments (1)

    Totally missed this one. We went shopping this afternoon, followed by a walk, and then out for an early dinner. At one point, we were in the car and I did tune in to catch the score. At that time, it was the fifth and David Price was just getting ready to start the inning against Derek Jeter. I heard that the Yanks were up, 6-3 at that moment, and, figured it was safe to listen to some music on the radio instead.

    So, I missed Carl Pavano finding a fitting close to his Yankees career.
    And, I missed Joe Girardi doing the right thing with Robinson Cano – albeit probably something like 30 games too late. And, I missed Derek Jeter (playing with no hope for October baseball for the first time in his big league career) showing the world, again, why he’s one of the most mentally tough players in baseball today.

    In any event, I’ll say this about the Tampa Bay Rays…

    If they’re going to do anything this post-season, at all, they’re going to need their starting pitchers to pull a trick like the 2005 White Sox did…having their starters just over-power the other teams and carrying them through. Otherwise, they’re going to fall short in October. That may be the biggest story for them in the post-season…closely followed by how many tickets they actually sell for their October home games.

    September 13th vs. The Rays – Game 2

    Posted by on September 13th, 2008 · Comments (7)

    Please, let this be the last time we see Sidney Ponson pitch for the Yankees. Just release him – now or first thing on Sunday morning.

    I have to wonder…if Zobrist and Gross don’t start playing hot potato with the baseball in the 7th, do the Yankees still win this game?

    In any event, a win is a win…and, yet, seeing Boston win their second game against the Blue Jays today, after losing their first game, maybe it would have been better to see the Yankees not win this game? You know…ice the Sox out of first…make them sweat the White Sox, Twins and Jays some, etc.

    Nah…ya’ gotta take the win…for the fans who took to time to watch this game. They deserved it.

    Speaking of watching this game…watching Evan Longoria get that pinch-hit off Mo in the 9th…and considering the game he had this afternoon…I wonder….

    …If you took a poll of all 30 big league G.M.’s, and asked them “Who would you rather have now as your third baseman, A-Rod or Longoria?,” I wonder which player would get picked more often…

    Lastly, I’m digging Phil Coke…not sure what to make of his work, it being September and all…but, the kid seems like he cares out there. And, passion is good – especially on this team.

    Oh, and, yeah, that Derek Jeter dude had a pretty good day today, huh?

    September 13th vs. The Rays – Game 1

    Posted by on September 13th, 2008 · Comments (0)

    James Shields is a heckuva pitcher. But, coming into this game, his ERA on the road was 5.59 in 77.3 IP (over 13 games).

    Oh, well, I guess that number is going down, now, after getting to face these mail-it-in Yankees.

    With this game, Mike Mussina now has an ERA of 5.00 over his last 6 starts (covering 36 IP). Looks like Moose’s tank hit empty right around the time he won his 16th game this season. There’s no way that he gets 20 wins, now, this season.

    September 10th @ The Angels

    Posted by on September 10th, 2008 · Comments (2)

    With this one, the Yankees have played 146 games this season.

    Based on what I know, I would guess – with great confidence – that in at least 100 of those 146 games the Yankees line-up has included Johnny Damon, Derek Jeter, Bobby Abreu, Alex Rodriguez and Jason Giambi (all at the same time).

    Today’s game was the 46th time this season where the Yankees have scored 2 runs or less in the contest.

    How does a team who has Johnny Damon, Derek Jeter, Bobby Abreu, Alex Rodriguez and Jason Giambi – together – more than two-thirds of the time score two runs or less in almost one-third of their games?

    It’s not because Damon, Jeter and Abreu are not getting on base. More so, it’s because Jason Giambi – who has batted 5th in the Yankees line-up, most times when he has played, this season – came into this game with a .216 BA with RISP (in 172 PA). And, it’s because Robinson Cano, who usually bats 6th or 7th in the Yankees line-up, just doesn’t drive in runners – period.

    It’s too late now, but, Xavier Nady should have been the Yankees number five hitter once he joined this team on July 26th.

    Since that time, including this game, the Yankees have gone 20-24.

    During that time span, Giambi has 31 hits in 134 AB – while Nady has 48 hits in 165 AB. That’s a .231 BA for Giambi and a .291 BA for Nady.

    You want to know why the Yankees plate 2 runs or less in so many games? Blame Giambi. And, blame Girardi for batting him fifth too many times too.

    September 9th @ The Angels

    Posted by on September 10th, 2008 · Comments (6)

    First, congrats to Derek Jeter on passing Babe Ruth for second place on the New York Yankees career hits list.

    Now, on to the story of this game: Alfredo Aceves.

    He pitched a really, really, nice game. But, what should be made of it?

    I’m not sure. You have to factor in that he was full of adrenaline – and pitching this game like it was “his” Game Seven of a World Series. Can he do that, consistently, if given a regular turn in a big league rotation?

    I dunno.

    He was as billed: Nice cutter. Enough of a fastball. Threw strikes. Not afraid of contact. But, I didn’t see anything that said he would be a future ace. Could he be a useful fourth or fifth starter in the major leagues?

    Again, I dunno. Who does?

    I suppose, maybe, the kid can go on to have a Vicente Padilla type career. And, he could be a useful pitcher for the next few years. But, it’s not like he’s the next Alex Fernandez or something.

    I just hope that the Yankees use the proper gauge in assessing Alfredo Aceves and what they see from him this season. (By the way, try saying “assessing Alfredo Aceves,” three times, fast.)

    September 8th @ The Angels

    Posted by on September 9th, 2008 · Comments (18)

    I’m going to post this one now, while the Angels are batting in the bottom of the 7th inning, and leading 11-1 in this game – as I feel pretty safe that the Yankees are not coming back to win this one.

    Just now, watching the game, as Chris Britton was pitching, Michael Kay, on the YES coverage, said the Yankees were “disgraceful and an embarrassment” and that someone “should be held accountable” for this.

    So, what do you all think? Is Kay correct? On both parts? If so, on the latter, who should be held accountable?

    September 7th @ The Mariners

    Posted by on September 7th, 2008 · Comments (2)

    Aw, com’on Yanks…Ryan Feierabend shuts you down?

    Ladies and Gentlemen, say hello to the newest 4th place team in the American League East: the New York Yankees.

    The last time the Yankees were in 4th place after their game played on September 7th was 1992. (The other recent C.O.B. September 7th marks for New York where they were below 3rd place: 1991 – 5th place, 1990 – 7th place, 1989 – 5th place, and 1988 – 4th place. Yeah, this Yankees team is bringing back memories of the 1988-1992 Yankees.)

    Let’s move on to Mike Mussina. He wasn’t great today. But, he gave the Yankees a chance to win the game. Moose still needs three wins to get twenty on the season. Can he do it? His next starts will be:

    Friday, 9/12 vs. The Rays
    Wednesday, 9/17 vs. The White Sox
    Tuesday, 9/23 @ The Blue Jays
    Sunday, 9/28 @ The Red Sox (the last game of the season)

    Man, it’s going to be close…but, I don’t think Mussina is going to make it. Too bad.

    Let’s face it. These days, in Yankeeland, the only thing left that we have to root for is the following: You want to see the Rays, Twins, White Sox, Phillies, Cardinals and Astros win as many games as possible from here until the end of the season. This way, maybe, the Mets and/or Red Sox will miss making the post-season too. Yes, it’s come down to that in terms of “things to make a Yankee fan feel good.”

    It will also be interesting to see how the Yankees play out their remaining 19 games too. If they mail it in…and…say…go something like 7-12 (or worse)…what will that say about Joe Girardi’s ability to get this current cast of characters to play hard?

    By the way, in the spirit of fair play, etc., Phil Hughes was awesome (With a capital “A,” baby!) down in Triple-A today. Seeing that, you have to wonder if the Yankees would call him up and give him Pavano’s next start – scheduled for Saturday, September 13th. It might just be the right thing to do…considering that Pavano is gone in three more weeks and Hughes is someone who the Yankees think is part of their future.

    September 6th @ The Mariners

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

    A good win – and it holds off falling into fourth place for another day.

    Gotta love those M’s. When New York gets to play Seattle, they just don’t lose.

    It’s sorta like the Herculoids against the Crystalites – in the end, it’s a mismatch.

    September 5th @ The Mariners

    Posted by on September 6th, 2008 · Comments (3)

    With this loss, the Yankees are now 9 games back of the Red Sox, in the loss column, in the chase for the Wildcard – with just 21 games left to their season.

    At this stage, I think even the members of the Pinstriped Pollyanna Fanboy Association (who usually live down by that river – the Denial) would have to admit that this Yankees team now has zero chance at the post-season.

    But, you know what? This evening/early morning could have been a lot worse. How ’bout that? Yup. Guess what sweeties? With this one, you get a consolation prize. Hey, in tough times, you take what you can get. And, you get what you get and you don’t get upset.

    September 4th @ The Rays

    Posted by on September 4th, 2008 · Comments (4)

    Ugh.

    I hate games like this one.

    Your starting pitcher has squat. In fact, he’s knocked out of the game in the second inning. All told, he ends up allowing 5 runs to score while retiring only four batters in the game. And, yes, that’s bad.

    However, the starter is replaced by a rookie pitcher who, overall, holds his own. Sure, he allows a hit that plates two inherited runners. And, he later allows a solo homer. Yet, all told, he goes five innings, saves your pen, and retires 15 of the 22 batters that he faces. And, yes, that’s good.

    On the flip-side, your batters are terrible through the first 8 innings of the game – earning only three hits and scoring no runs. And, yes, that’s bad.

    However, in the ninth inning, they stage a rally – scoring five runs in total. And, yes, that’s good.

    It’s a mixed bag – some bad, some good, some more bad and some more good. It’s tough to tell whether you should be happy, or sad, or both with a game like this…until you see the final score…

    …and, then you see that you’ve lost the game by a score of seven to five.

    Then you wonder: What if the starter, Rasner, wasn’t so bad? And, what if the Yankees batters weren’t swinging rolled up wet newspapers for bats during the first eight innings of this game? Could they have won this contest?

    Which, of course, brings you back to…

    Ugh.

    September 3rd @ The Rays

    Posted by on September 3rd, 2008 · Comments (6)

    The good news: The Yankees have now won three in a row – with the last two coming against the first place Tampa Bay Rays…at the Trop, where the Rays play very well.

    The bad news: Take a look at the standings tomorrow morning.

    I have to be honest about how I feel about the Yankees, at this moment, and this game, overall.

    Sure, it was fun to see Phil Coke do well. And, the buzz around A-Rod’s monster homerun and the replay review of it was interesting tonight. But, on the whole, I could not get too excited about watching this game. Yes, I know the Yankees are on life-support. And, yes, I know that – at the worst – they could be playing spoiler now with the Red Sox and Rays being so close to each other. Nonetheless, in terms of registering on my thrill-meter, this game had about the same juice-level as a Spring Training game. Whether it’s wrong or not, I just had a hard time really getting into it.

    Once the Yankees lost two of three to both the Red Sox and Blue Jays, on their last homestand, it just took all the wind out of this season for me. And, continuing to be candid, I’ll admit that I’m going to be bothered if Alex Rodriguez hits something like 15 homers this month and the Yankees win a bunch of games…after the brutal month of August that he and the team had this year (when wins were really needed). It’s almost as if…well…now it’s “garbage time” and all of a sudden Alex is homering everyday and the team is winning games again.

    Am I the only one who feels this way about this game, tonight, and A-Rod, and the team, going forward, now, following those series against Boston and Toronto?

    September 2nd @ The Rays

    Posted by on September 3rd, 2008 · Comments (6)

    Hey, two wins in a row! How ’bout dem streakin’ Yankees? Any chance they can reel off twenty in a row? O.K., getting back to earth…

    Tonight was all about Mussina, Nady and Joba, for me.

    Moose did what he’s been doing this season. Sure, maybe he gave up more hits than you would like to see; but, he kept his walks down and the ball in the park. When you do that, you’re going to be O.K., most times. Nice comp by Singleton, on YES, in the post-game, comparing Mike to Catfish Hunter…as this is what Cat did too.

    The X-man. Was that a bomb, or what, in the fourth? Wow.

    Lastly, nice to see Chamberlain back in action. Yes, it was somewhat concerning to see his heater a few miles slower than before his D.L. time. However, Girardi, in the post-game, said that Joba was a tad out of whack. So, maybe that’s it? Worth watching…

    September 1st @ The Tigers

    Posted by on September 2nd, 2008 · Comments (2)

    Sloppy. You’re up, 11-2, after three innings and then hang on to win 13-9? At least Phil Coke got his feet wet. And, how about Ponson (pictured, below) – Sidney being Sidney, right?