• July 15th @ The Devil Rays

    Posted by on July 15th, 2007 · Comments (11)

    It was closer today than one would like to have seen…but, with this win, the Yankees are now over .500 for the first time since June 22nd and they are now nine games back in the East – the first time New York has been within single digits of first since June 19th. Yeah, it’s been a month since things looked this “good” in Yankeeland. (Hey, good is a relative term.)

    It was great to see Andy Phillips have a huge game today – at the bat and in the field. Why? Well, first, he’s a nice guy and you like to see nice guys do well. But, more importantly, as long as Phillips does well, that should keep Shea Hillenbrand away.

    I know that Mussina had a long layoff between starts – and that’s never been good for him. But, the fact of the matter is that he faced 27 batters in this game and 13 of them reached base. That’s terrible. He’s lucky that he didn’t get pounded in this game. If you look at Moose’s last 5 starts – including this one – he’s averaging just 6 IP per start. And, he’s allowing around 3 runs per game in those starts.

    Six innings and three runs should be fine – from Mussina – each time out. But, if Moose starts to move off that line, in the wrong direction, and someone like Kartsens or Clippard is tearing it up in Triple-A, at some point Torre is going to have to make a hard call…on whether or not Mussina stays in the rotation. (Of course, this assumes that Kei Igawa is long gone and replaced in the rotation. If not, then Mussina maybe becomes the fifth man in the rotation – if someone from Triple-A is ready to come up and be a force in the starting five. Heck, maybe Mussina becomes the fifth guy if Hughes replaces Igawa and Phil is lights-out?)

    Lastly, Farnsworth. What can you say? What’s interesting is that, coming into this game, his WHIP/BAA at home is 1.38/.242 whereas it’s 1.78/.301 on the road. Why is Kyle effective at Yankee Stadium and so terrible away from home? There’s got to be something there – small sample size be damned.

    Comments on July 15th @ The Devil Rays

    1. July 15th, 2007 | 9:26 pm

      Edwar goes on his 8th straight day w/o pitching, while Villone AND Farns both pitched yesterday. Torre’s pen management is atrocious. when he looks at Farns, wtf does he see?

      Torre has SUCH an irrational fear of rookies, I cant wait for Girardi to replace him. he’s incredibly lucky the Yanks pulled out the win, but it was thanks to some great D and a poor TB pen (even worse than the Yanks, if thats possible).

    2. July 15th, 2007 | 10:57 pm

      i don’t see any team ever winning a championship with a bullpen like ours

    3. j
      July 15th, 2007 | 10:58 pm

      I was thinking about this today. Do you think Mussina has come to grips with the fact that he is now the 4th starter on this rotation (only because Igawa sucks so bad) and, if Hughes pitches to form when he comes back, Mussina will easily be the 5th starter on this rotation? I suppose it’s good to have a rotation like that, but shouldn’t it damage his pride a little? I mean, forget about our chances of making the playoffs. If we do, it’s more than likely that Mike Mussina will not start any game for the Yankees in a playoff series ever again, right?

      And another thing.. this whole drama queen thing about Mussina and his 5 day rest thing is getting ridiculous. I can see if they were asking him to pitch on short rest, but extra rest? Hell man, throw a simulated game if you think it’ll help. Am I the only one who remembers one of Mussina’s most memorable Yankee momemts – pitching several innings of shut out ball in Game 7 of the 03 ALCS in relief of Clemens? That was AWESOME. Moose circa 07 would get abused and then talk about his rest days in the post game.

    4. RichDank
      July 16th, 2007 | 12:10 am

      I don’t see us sitting Mussina and his 13M per year if he is merely mediocre. Why don’t we bring one of those arms from triple A into the bullpen?

    5. Garcia
      July 16th, 2007 | 7:53 am

      I like how people are in love with Girardi, didn’t the Marlins GM almost force him to start two rookies out of spring training for the Marlins? I forgot the names of the players, but I know they ended up doing really well for Girardi and the Marlins that year. All managers have the same issue when it comes to rookies vs. veterans.

      Something is going on with Farsworth, there has to be something happening that we don’t know because Torre running him out there every f’ing time means they are trying to trade him. That’s what I’m hoping for and I keep telling myself.

      One thing about reading “The Bronx Zoo” is that there’s so much that goes on behind closed doors that we have no clue about, but yet we are quick to get on the manager.

    6. JohnnyC
      July 16th, 2007 | 9:55 am

      Yes, if it weren’t for Jim Leyland’s irrational fear of rookie pitchers, Detroit might have made it to the World Series last season. And thank god Tony LaRussa didn’t turn to a rookie pitcher to close games in the post-season. Otherwise he would have lost the Series. And that idiot Mike Sciosia…what was he doing giving the 8th innings to a fresh kid like K-Rod after only 6 innings in the majors? Cost him a championship, didn’t it?

    7. Garcia
      July 16th, 2007 | 10:22 am

      JohnnyC – Here’s what Will Leitch (a Cards fan) from DeadSpin wrote about the LaRussa who you praise:

      Listen, we appreciate all La Russa has done for St. Louis, turning the franchise around after the dreary Joe Torre years, and, you know, winning that World Series last year. But now the rest of you understand the pain of being managed by a guy who just has to Make A Decision, even if it’s in the face of logic and, more important (we are talking about the All-Star Game, after all), fun. Outstanding comeback. National League with every opportunity to finally win one of these. One of the best hitters in baseball — his own player! — ready and waiting to pinch hit. And La Russa has to pull one of his “I’m the manager and you cannot comprehend my wisdom” moves. He’s been doing this crap for a decade in St. Louis, often in the postseason when the Birds could afford it the least. (One of the reasons St. Louis had its historic October run was because a depleted roster had tied La Russa’s hands; he had no choice but not to tinker.)

      Now to Leyland, he started with a staff of Verlander and Bonderman, Zumaya was a highly touted prospect, so it’s hard for me to give Leyland credit for using a top prospect in their system. From what I’ve seen, if a top prospect gets called up then he usually plays unless that player is with the Twins or Royals, wherein it doesn’t always work out that way. I’m sure if Torre started with Hughes in his rotation, then he’d play him.

      KRod got a September call-up, Sciosia worked him in that September and thought he’d be very valuable for him in the playoffs. So, out of the three, I give you credit with Sciosia. But this is the same person who wouldn’t give Kotchman a chance, and in the meantime kept Erstad at 1st.

      It’s so easy to blame Torre, so easy…I find it hilarious that we don’t blame Torre for Iraq, too. But I find it even more entertaining that we start getting on Torre for not giving the kids a chance when they aren’t high prospects. Give Torre, or just about any manager, one of the top prospects in the system and put him on the major league team then you’ll see him get a lot of PT.

      We are talking about Edwar Ramirez, how do we know he’s even ready? He has to be eased into the role. Let me ask everyone this, when you first start a job does your employer give you some of the most important job roles in the company? No, they usually ease you into it till you have a good understanding of what you are doing.

      I don’t buy that Torre messed up by not giving Edwar the ball. I want to see Edwar succeed, but I also understand that success doesn’t happen overnight.

    8. Raf
      July 16th, 2007 | 10:38 am

      Let me ask everyone this, when you first start a job does your employer give you some of the most important job roles in the company? No, they usually ease you into it till you have a good understanding of what you are doing.
      Maybe, but whether I am starting a new job, or have been at a job for a while, if I don’t do any work for 8 days, I don’t think my boss’ll be too happy about that.

    9. Garcia
      July 16th, 2007 | 10:49 am

      Raf – Wasn’t there an all-star break in between those days? And, I don’t remember any of these last few games being a blowout. If ever there was a chance to get him in a game, then Petitte’s game would have been ideal.

    10. July 16th, 2007 | 10:53 am

      Here’s the rub with Edwar – if you’re not going to use him, don’t have him on the team…and, if you’re going to have him on the team, then use him.

      It’s not a hard thing to figure out.

    11. baileywalk
      July 16th, 2007 | 1:32 pm

      More hate for Mussina? There’s a shock. Why is it that the Stadium crowd loves Mussina and seems to want to give him a standing O for everything he does, but the fans online spew vitriol no matter what he does? It’s a bizarre contrast.

      Hughes would have to be Bob Gibson down the stretch to bump any of the big four out of the playoff rotation. Torre starting a rookie over Mike Mussina? And if it did happen, I would think Mussina would leave the team.

      Right now the rotation consists of: Wang (the ace, who’s been steady), Pettitte (who started out strong but has faded recently), Clemens (who’s been good but somewhat inconsistent), Mussina (who’s also been decent lately, but has diminished stuff), and Igawa (who’s horrible and will be replaced by Hughes in a few weeks.

      Here’s something to chew on: The minors are loaded with pitching talent right now. Including guys with big-time stuff like Joba Chamberlain. Joba and Ian Kennedy are getting their first taste of AA right now. Same for Alan Horne. But. Chamberlain, right now, has better stuff than anyone of the Yankees’ pitching staff. Same for Hughes. Kennedy is kind of Moose circa ’03.

      So which staff, down the stretch, do you think would win more games? Wang, Pettitte, Clemens, Moose, Hughes — or Wang, Hughes, Chamberlain, Kennedy, Horne/Clippard?

      It’s hard to take a couple of AA pitchers over Pettitte, Clemens and Mussina, and that first group would probably win more games, but I don’t think the difference would be all that great.

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