• June 10th @ The Red Sox

    Posted by on June 10th, 2009 · Comments (21)

    That was close. But, close only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. (I guess it counts in bocce, darts and water-balloon fights too. But, no one ever wants to talk about that, do they?)

    After four innings, this one looked ugly. But, the Yankees did make it close after six and a half. And, New York had their chances in the 8th and 9th innings to get the score tied. In the 8th, they had a runner on second with one out and Jeter and Damon failed. In the 9th, they had a runner on second with one out and Cano and Posada failed. So, this is now another loss to the Red Sox this season – and, New York is still stuck on “0” wins against Boston this year (in seven tries to take one).

    Worm Killer Wang, who’s not killing many worms this season, had almost no command. He was followed by Phil Hughes who made a big mistake to Kevin Youkilis. And, there’s your Red Sox offense on the night. Between the two, Wang is the huge issue here for the Yankees – as they cannot keep running him out there like this. At this point, I almost want to say that New York needs to “Roy Halladay” Wang and send him down to the minors, have him work with someone to figure this out. (Too bad Neil Allen is gone – as it’s reported he taught Wang the sinker.)

    Do you know what really bothered me about this game? It was Nitwit Swisher. Now, I know that the F.O.N.S. (Fans of Nick Swisher) will come at me with torches and pitchforks for saying this – shouting “Didn’t you see that great catch by Nick in the 7th and didn’t you see that clutch walk of his in the 8th?” But, to me, as bad as Wang was, and as big as the mistake which Hughes made to Youkilis was, and as bad as the Yankees were in clutch spots in this game, it was Nitwit Swisher who cost the Yankees this one. Here’s how:

    It’s the top of the second inning. Wang somehow escapes the bottom of the first by only allowing one run. It’s a miracle, but, it’s true. Yanks are only down one-zip as they start their second. Posada leads off with a homer to tie the score. Matsui follows with a double. Swisher, via a double gift by the umpires, reaches on a push bunt. (It’s a double gift because the umps ruled Youkilis’ toe was off the bag – which was very questionable – and because Swisher was not called out for running outside of the runner’s lane on the play.) So, now, with the score tied, no outs, the Yankees have Wakefield on the ropes with runners on first and third. But, then, Nitwit Swisher allows himself to get doubled off first on a semi-hard liner (by Melky Cabrera) to short. It’s a play where even the guys in the YES booth question Swisher because the play was right in front of him. Now, with two outs, Jeter flies out and the frame is over – with the rally killed via Swisher’s bad baserunning. And, Wakefield lives to throw another four innings – instead of maybe getting knocked out of the game.

    Next, it’s the bottom of the second inning. Wang is in trouble. After allowing a lead-off single and a double to the next batter, there’s one run in for Boston (who is now up 2-1 in the game) with no outs. Dustin Pedroia is the third batter to face Wang and he hits a fly ball to right field. Nitwit Swisher camps under it, raises his glove, and misses the ball. Michael Kay, in the YES booth, says (about the play) “I know that we’re supposed to explain things here, but, how do you explain that?” The ball bounces into the stands, Pedroia gets a ground-rule double and the runner on second (Kottaras) scores. It’s now three-one, Sox. Wang settles down after that getting Drew on a soft grounder and both Youkilis and Bay on strikes. If Swisher catches that ball, as he should have, the Red Sox do not score that second run in this inning – and that one run was the difference in the game.

    Oh, that Nick Swisher, he’s the Caucasian Mel Hall.

    Welcome to second place, New York.

    Lastly, whomever it was who taught Michael Kay the word “efficacy” should be tarred and feathered. Oh, my stars and garters, he’s beating that one to death.

    Comments on June 10th @ The Red Sox

    1. copela26
      June 10th, 2009 | 11:34 pm

      Though Nick Swishers play in the field was deplorable at time the biggest thing that cost the yankees this game was thier inability to hit wih runners in scoring position

    2. yagottagotomo1
      June 10th, 2009 | 11:50 pm

      “Nitwit Swisher?” Wow, really level-headed, balanced analysis. Nothing personal. You know who made a lot of plays like that, those that you call nit witted? Bernie Williams. Was notorious for them. The fact that you devoted three paragraphs to him tonight after devoting three sentences to him over his very strong last ten days tells us all we need to know. Yes, he made two awful mistakes. He also made an amazing catch, and reached base in 3 of his 4 PA’s. I’m not saying he totally made up for it, but assuming different outcomes really gets us nowhere. Also, on what planet did he camp under the ball. I just went back to watch it, and it was on the run. It was an awful play, and he short-armed it, but lets try to be honest here.

    3. f.a.s.
      June 11th, 2009 | 12:04 am

      I know that, in general, you are a non-conformist Steve. I get that. But to put this game SOLELY on Nick Swisher is laughable. If you want to say he is one of MANY reasons that the Yankees lost their 7th straight to the Sox than that is fine, you won’t get an argument from even the most die-hard of Swisher fans…but that wouldn’t create blog hits would it? Furthermore, objective analysis was never really your thing so I would like to know your thoughts on the following from tonights game:

      1. Jeter – 0-5 with 5 left on base
      2. A-rod – 0-3
      3. Cano – 0-5
      4. as a team 20 players left on base
      5. Team RISP – 2-15
      6. Wang – 2.2 innings pitched 6 hits, 3 walks 69 pitches 30 of them for balls. the guy was all over the place.
      7. Pinch running Gardner to have Melky bunt for a lifeless-on-the-night Jeter

      I’ll do you one better, just pick one of the many causes and explain to me how they were any less of a factor in this loss than Nick Swisher’s game. As yougottagotomo1 said, he was on base in 3 of his 4 plate appearances but you ignore that, right? Highlight the bad, never the good, point fingers and ignore the obvious…Waswatching’s M.O. and I guess the reason you are supported by SNY.

    4. Tresh Fan
      June 11th, 2009 | 12:21 am

      I’m with Copela26 here. This loss was a total team effort. 2 for 15 (.133) with RISP is absolutely deplorable. Now the onus is on Sabbathia. Big Shoulders.

    5. yagottagotomo1
      June 11th, 2009 | 12:23 am

      Tresh Fan wrote:

      Now the onus is on Sabbathia. Big Shoulders.

      Totally agree. I think that there are rarely big games in June, but it would be good for the psyche of the team if they could get one here, and this is why we brought this guy in.

    6. sanair
      June 11th, 2009 | 12:33 am

      They need to start Hughes and bring in Wang from the BP. As bad as Hughes is, he at least keeps his ERA below 10.

    7. Pat F
      June 11th, 2009 | 12:33 am

      completely agree with all in the comments here. swisher’s energy is great, but he needs to be more cerebral. most of his errors are mental errors. not just tonight, but other times this season (missing cutoff men, etc.).

      at the same time, he did what you want your players to do. after making a mistake, he came back and had some really productive plays. he got on base two more times and made a terriffic catch in the outfield. mistakes are going to happen (he needs to cut down on them), but you have to not hang your head and move on. that’s what he did.

      he was a part of this loss. the RISP hitting was absurd, and jeter had his worst game in recent memory (that 2 strike split from okajima wasn’t even close). wang put us in a hole and it’s tough to dig ourselves out. everything else f.a.s. mentioned.

    8. handtius
      June 11th, 2009 | 12:59 am

      How…going overboard just a little they? Nick Swisher gave up all 7 runs. Nick Swisher didn’t get on base, Nick Swisher didn’t hit with RISP, Nick Swisher murdered my unborn child, Nick Swisher is Beelzebub.

      Nick Swisher fucked up royally tonight, but he did some good things too, as did the rest of the team. That is why they lost. If Wang came out and threw 4 innings and gave up 2 runs, Hughes comes out and give up one, those misplays don’t cost us the game. PITCHING cost us the game. 6 runs should be sufficient to win a ballgame.

    9. Evan3457
      June 11th, 2009 | 3:29 am

      What to add to all of this?

      Well, there’s your description of Swisher’s bunt which is flat wrong on both counts, in that 1) one camera angle definitively showed Youkillis’ foot not on the base when he caught the ball, and Swisher touching first before Youkillis’ foot got on the base. Youkillis didn’t argue, didn’t complain. 2) The 45-foot line can be called only when the batter-runner is ruled by an umpire to have interfered with the fielder taking the throw. Swisher didn’t, and none of the Red Sox, player, coach, or manager even argued it, so it can’t be called, whether or not he was actually inside the line. (Rule 6.05 (k).)

      If he’s not doubled off, the play continues without the Yanks scoring a run; Jeter’s short fly ball doesn’t score Matsui. Damon’s fly out to right ends the imaginary 2nd inning, minus the baserunning screwup. Yeah, yeah, fallacy of the predetermined outcome. My rear end; the Yanks couldn’t buy a base hit with a runner in scoring position all night long. Cano in the 1st, A-Rod and Cano in the 3rd. Jeter and Damon in the 4th. Jeter and Damon again in the 8th. Cano and Posada in the 9th.

      You were a big fan of WPA a couple of weeks ago. According to WPA, the villians of tonight’s game were, in order of negative wins:

      Wang: -.270
      Cano: -.224
      Jeter: -.223
      Melky -.124
      Damon -.095

      Swisher? Highest PLUS on the team tonight at +.153, yes, higher than even Texiera’s terrifc night at +.146.

      Now, even I don’t “believe” that, but let’s say the double to Pedroia was all Swisher’s fault (it was, pretty much). Take that play off Wang’s total and put it on Swisher’s. The value of the play is -.080; So Swisher is still a +.073, and Wang is still deep in the red at -.190.

      The getting doubled off first in the top of the 2nd is equivalent to getting caught stealing in that spot, or getting picked on the next play after Green catches the liner. The WPA value of that is -.040. So Swisher is STILL plus for the night at +.033.

      And the rally ISN’T killed. Why can’t Jeter get a 2-out hit there to knock in Matsui?

      And you still haven’t counted the value of the double (at least) that he took away from Lowell, leading off against Hughes in the 7th.

      Yeah, Swisher made two bad mistakes. He also made several positive plays. He also hustled his butt off. We all know he couldn’t catch that foul fly ball in the 5th or so, but we all saw him dive into the stands for it, all the same. OK, he didn’t bang his head on a railing like Jeter, but what…nothing to say about that; just a Parcellsian “no credit for trying”?

      If even two other Yankees come through with hits in key spots, or one of them comes through with a long ball with a man on base, instead of 3 solo HR’s, we’re all laughing at Swisher’s foibles.

      The notion that Swisher was primarily responsible for this loss is a bad joke. Primary responsibility for this loss rests with Wang, Cano, Jeter, and to a lesser extent, Damon, Hughes (the 2-run HR to Youkillis didn’t seem important at the time, but boy, it sure was in the end, wasn’t it?) and then, maybe, Swisher.

      Look, maybe it would just be simpler and more accurate if whenever Swisher does anything, good or bad, you just say “I don’t like Swisher because I don’t like guys who strike out a lot, unless they’re league-leading sluggers like Mantle or Reggie.”

      Cheer up, in about a month, maybe less, Nady will be back and he’ll get a fair number of hits with men on base, and make a ton of outs while hitting .271, and you’ll wonder without really knowing why the bottom of the order seems to go 1-2-3 much more than it used and why pitchers are going deeper into games against the Yankees. But at least there’ll be fewer K’s on offense.

    10. June 11th, 2009 | 8:04 am

      Not a fan of the name-calling. One would think Butchie had started writing for the blog.

      Beyond that, well, most everyone has pointed out how ridiculous the Swisher-bashing is. I’ll just add that Hughes didn’t really pitch poorly. And that he should get the start next week. And that saying he’s “bad,” as sanair did, is not right. Hughes is inconsistent. Because he’s 23. A healthy Wang (tee-hee) would be preferable, but it’s clear right now that a healthy Wang (tee-hee) is not what we have.

      Speaking of Wang, geez, no one could have seen this coming. Smart analysts everywhere saw evidence he was going to regress because of his low strike out rate, but that’s not at all what has happened. (In your face, smart analysts!). I’m inclined to agree with Steve. The Yankees need to “Roy Halladay” him. I’m not sure they’re actually allowed to, though.

    11. YankCrank
      June 11th, 2009 | 8:56 am

      Not a fan of the name-calling. One would think Butchie had started writing for the blog.

      I actually explained that theory to another commenter on WW! If you connect the childish name-calling to the biased, unexplainable hatred to random players…you get the same person. I’ve thought that for a long time running now…no offense to either butch of Steve, of course…it’s just a very close coincidence.

      As for the game, this isn’t a tough one to figure out. When your starting pitcher lasts only 2+ innings, and nobody hits with RISP, than your team will not win. Everybody is to blame tonight, including Swisher…but it’s certainly not on just Swish’s shoulders.

      Side note: “Nitwit Swisher?” Come on Steve, name calling? Is that really necessary?

    12. Tcarda4
      June 11th, 2009 | 9:32 am

      haha. Enough said i suppose.

    13. Corey
      June 11th, 2009 | 9:47 am

      At this point, I almost want to say that New York needs to “Roy Halladay” Wang and send him down to the minors, have him work with someone to figure this out. (Too bad Neil Allen is gone – as it’s reported he taught Wang the sinker.)
      they can’t send him to the minors without havin him go through waivers…and surely someone will grab him. That ‘s why they went the DL Route. The whole problem is with his service time I believe and the fact that hes out of options.

    14. June 11th, 2009 | 9:57 am

      YankCrank wrote:

      I actually explained that theory to another commenter on WW! If you connect the childish name-calling to the biased, unexplainable hatred to random players…you get the same person. I’ve thought that for a long time running now…no offense to either butch of Steve, of course…it’s just a very close coincidence.

      Well, in fairness, Butchie tends to be way worse about this stuff than Steve usually is. Butchie is more like the manifestation of Steve’s uncontrolled id.

    15. butchie22
      June 11th, 2009 | 11:15 am

      Some people are very touchy about their sacred cows. Funny I didn’t see too many people complain when Marte and Nady were called shit by someone! Justin, you can call me Butch BTW. Name Calling? People are so sensitive about their heroes, unh? Lighten up guys ,it’s only baseball. Lately, I’ve had a lot of deaths in my family ,had to make too many hospital visits and one of my family members is very sick with cancer and the other with heart disease, so I haven’t posted that much. That is the real deal, NOT some guy throwing a ball 99 mph OR someone flubbing a catch.BUT to see that people are so touchy about nicknames…..chill folks. I have to have some fun with this or I’d go crazy with garbage like the 0-7…I almost slipped and said 0-8. Honestly, I have to have some fun with this stuff to keep my perspective on it……

      The Wanger is really becoming a liability isn’t he? I like him so much, but he seemingly can’t get it together. When he pitches 95 mph he can’t locate or his mental makeup is off as well. Wanger can’t stay on the starting staff much longer. I’m all about results and quite frankly, Wanger is off to the 5 worst starts in baseball history. I don’t know what’s wrong with him, but he’s killing the team while doing it.

      Swisher being called Nitwit… Steve it doesn’t distract from the substance of your argument at all! He can be a nitwit at times and you wre dead on with your assessment. I happen to like Swish a little more than you do,but in essence he was the goat last night. I like Swisher’s attitude in the clubhouse etc so on . But he is a goofball that Swisher Sweet is(I haven’t called him Swisher Shit yet,but just wait)and he brings a looseness to the club that was missing in years past. Steve’s argument against his play in yesterday’s game is very strong. These are the types of lapses that an Alex Rios or a Jose Reyes make in the field and Swisher is not as good as those two players. Both Wanger AND Swish are responsible for the loss yesterday beyond the shadow of a doubt. And to the Swisher Legion(the Swisherites), he sometimes looks like the the Oakland Swish and the Chicago Swish BOTH in the same game! That is what is so frustrating about this guy in addition to being hyped up as some savior. Which he certainly is not…..

      @ Crank, yeah Steve and I have some similarities BUT I like actually like certain players more than he does vice versa. I think what we both share is that we want the results to be in our favor( meaning the Yankees winning in the end). Also, we’ve both been fans since 1973…after a while when you’ve seen almost everything happen to this club in a 35 year period certain things start to annoy you.

    16. YankCrank
      June 11th, 2009 | 11:27 am

      Both Wanger AND Swish are responsible for the loss yesterday beyond the shadow of a doubt.

      Hey butch, I agree that both Wang and Swish made mistakes that lead to a tough loss last night. But just those two? The entire team was 2 for 15 with RISP. Take a look at the breakdown f.a.s. did a couple posts up to see how terrible the entire Yankee team was. It really was a total team loss, not just Wang and Swish.

    17. June 11th, 2009 | 12:01 pm

      […] this blog have questioned my recent criticism of Nick Swisher’s play in the Yankees game of June 10, 2009 – where I said it was Nick Swisher who cost the Yankees the contest that evening. Many wanted […]

    18. June 11th, 2009 | 12:04 pm

      @ butchie22:

      Sorry to hear about your personal troubles.

      My dislike of the name-calling has nothing to do with me being overly sensitive or whatever (clicking on my name and reading a few posts of my (possibly offensive) comics blog would disabuse you of that notion pretty quickly, I would think). The reason I don’t like the name-calling is that it’s poor technique. It actually makes arguments less persuasive. Using incendiary language has the effect of making those who disagree with you less likely to listen to the substance of your argument and more likely to just dismiss you out of hand. So, if you’re trying to persuade people, calling your subject a “Nitwit” Swisher probably isn’t the way to go. Also, it’s just not all that clever.

    19. Corey
      June 11th, 2009 | 12:35 pm

      sry to hear that butch

    20. YankCrank
      June 11th, 2009 | 12:44 pm

      Just read your full post butch, sorry to hear about your losses.

    21. butchie22
      June 13th, 2009 | 12:22 am

      @Justin, Corey, Justin, thanks guys I appreciate it. You are all gentlemen. Sometimes you think life is pretty bad with stuff like the Yanks going up and down and then real life hits you in a certain unpredictable way. Very tough year for me personally BUT life throws these unavoidable curveballs sometimes.

      @ Justin, I think that sometimes frustration sets in. In my case, I’m having fun with the names. It’s harmless actually. In my case, I have to have some fun with this or I’d go nuts with all the ups and downs. That being said, I still defend Steve in his use of “Nitwit” Swisher. When you see a major league player screwing up like this,it’s very dissapointing. As much as I like Swisher’s enthusiasm and looseness, his play on the field has left something left to be desired. Justin you have a comics blog? What is the URL?

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