Ah, The Follies of Youth: Yanks-Rays Gamer V

Right now the Yankees‘ biggest problem is not that a Red Sox jersey was buried at the new stadium. It is that Phil Hughes and Ian Kennedy are doing a pretty fair imitation of Tyler Clippard and Matt DeSalvo.

Thus begins today’s Joel Sherman’s article. The statistics actually imply that the Yanks’ biggest problem has been its anemic offense. Take last night’s crapfest as an example. Yeah, Hughes was awful. But the Dice Man was a couple of well-timed Yankee hits away from a Hughsian pitching line as well. Call it a gutsy performance by Matsuzaka, but the Yanks, when they’re right, don’t let him get out of the fifth inning last night. Alas, the Yanks’ bats haven’t been right all season. Maybe that will change tonight.

But then we’re still left with the problem of youth. The assumption is that the Yanks are eventually going to hit. We assume based on what we know about these established veterans. A-Rod is A-Rod. Jorge Posada is Jorge Posada. We hear these names and we think about a certain range of offensive stats that go with them. on the low end, Jeter will do this. On the high end, Jeter will bat .330, etc. We know these guys. We’ve spent some years getting to know them. But we don’t know Hughes and Kennedy that well. And so we’re presented with tonight’s game. It’s another chance to get to know Ian. Here’s what we know of him so far. He could be good. He could be bad. Eventually, we’ll all figure out which one it is. Or maybe we’ll not appreciate how good he is. Or maybe we’ll think he’s better than he is. This is an exciting time in Ian’s and our relationship.

On the other side, you got the Rays. All these years we thought we knew them! Suddenly, they seem different. Tonight they throw out their line-up of young seemingly up-and-coming talent (Evan Longoria has arrived by the way) to face young Ian. You never know what’s going to happen in one baseball game. That’s what makes it fun. So enjoy all the stuff you’ll be learning or unlearning tonight. Chat away!

Pete Abe has the line-up. The Captain is back. Cano sits and Alberto Gonzalez takes his place. There’s even a Morgan Ensberg cameo.
Chad Moeller is in the the house. Jose Molina–on pace to break the
single-season doubles record–is hurt. Quite a bit of change.

Damon LF
Jeter SS
Abreu RF
Rodriguez 3B
Matsui DH
Ensberg 1B
Cabrera CF
Moeller C
Gonzalez 2B
Kennedy RHP

Also, I wasn’t quite sure where to fit this note, but my thoughts are with Joba and his family during this difficult time.

35 comments… add one
  • Phil has been downright bad for the last two starts but i think its too early to be lumping IPK in with him. He has had 1 start this year, albeit bad, and 1 relief appearance which was decent. After tonight, we can talk….

    sam-yf April 14, 2008, 5:43 pm
  • whoa, whoa, whoa, clippard was 2-1 with a 4.20 era in his first three starts, and desalvo was 1-2 with a 5.40 era in his. it’s not fair to go lumping tyler and matt into the crap pile that’s been the IPK/hughes experience. these two guys would kill to have clippard/desalvo numbers.
    things are not going well over at “the franchises” blog (philhughes.wordpress.com). might be time for a new round of giveaways.

    sf rod April 14, 2008, 6:52 pm
  • no sox gamer?

    rootbeerfloat April 14, 2008, 7:05 pm
  • Thanks for the constructive comment sf rod.

    sam-yf April 14, 2008, 7:08 pm
  • Hell ya! Lead off HR for Damon.

    sam-yf April 14, 2008, 7:11 pm
  • That’s one way to jumpstart things. Go JD!

    Lar April 14, 2008, 7:14 pm
  • A-Rod hits a bomb himself. A 3-run cushion should help IPK.

    sam-yf April 14, 2008, 7:16 pm
  • ARod adds another HR. Let’s make this a quick day so the Yanks can “rest”.
    Of course, unless Kennedy blows up..

    Lar April 14, 2008, 7:16 pm
  • Ya, too bad it’s only a 2-run cushion.. ;)

    Lar April 14, 2008, 7:16 pm
  • indeed it is a 2 run cushion. Got a little ahead of myself!

    sam-yf April 14, 2008, 7:18 pm
  • Wished I could watch the game. I was at the IPK game at Yanks Stadium, and see if he can jump back from that “start”..

    Lar April 14, 2008, 7:20 pm
  • Half busy today, so can’t expect the usual play-by-play chatter from me. =)
    Still though, after 1, and despite the two homers, Sonnanstine at 13 pitches, an amazing 11 strikes.
    The (possibly outdated) scouting report for him was that he throws a lot of strikes, but less control inside the strike zone. Which led to him getting clubbed last year.
    The Yanks appear to be acting on that assumption – swinging more aggressively than they do usually.

    Lar April 14, 2008, 7:22 pm
  • IPK sets up a 1-2-3 – nice to see those again, and done with 1 inning after 9 pitches.

    Lar April 14, 2008, 7:22 pm
  • Ensberg continues the HR parade, this time on the first pitch. 3-0 Yanks.

    Lar April 14, 2008, 7:25 pm
  • sam- constructive or not, comparing hughes/ipk to desalvo/clippard was not my choice. and as it stands right now, it was unfair to tyler and matt. sorry to even doubt the tri-umberance while the rest of the baseball world is doing the same thing. throw people under the bus if it makes things easier to swallow.

    sf rod April 14, 2008, 7:25 pm
  • there’s the 3 run cushion

    sam-yf April 14, 2008, 7:27 pm
  • sf rod – thanks for your “witty” comment. Luckily a player’s season isn’t judged by the first few starts. I mean, what’s the under/over on either Hughes/IPK beating Beckett’s first year in the AL East?

    Lar April 14, 2008, 7:28 pm
  • Sonnanstine with 24 pitches, 20 for strikes after 2.
    The Yanks are definitely swinging early, and swinging often. 2 of those 4 balls were to Melky, if that interests anyone..

    Lar April 14, 2008, 7:29 pm
  • Kennedy efficient thus far, 1 hit in the 2nd inning, and he’s done with 2 with only 18 pitches, 13 for strikes.

    Lar April 14, 2008, 7:34 pm
  • you think that my comment is throwing you under the bus? Hardly.
    I thought that SFs were supposed to stay clear of Yankees gamers if they didnt have anything constructive to say.
    Also, IPK’s first 4 career starts give him a 1-1 record with an ERA of 4.44. Hughes first 4 starts were 2-1 with a 4.64 ERA. Lets compare apples to apples if you are gonna take a swipe at our players not cherry pick stats to make yourself feel good about the early struggle of a few young players.

    sam-yf April 14, 2008, 7:34 pm
  • really, i wasn’t trying to bait.
    i was referring to desalvo/clippard being thrown under the bus to feel better about hughes/ipk’s start to this season. i was comparing the starts of the ’07 season to the starts of the ’08 season, so these apples are apples.

    sf rod April 14, 2008, 7:40 pm
  • WEll, gym time. Go Yanks!

    Lar April 14, 2008, 7:42 pm
  • well considering that IPK has had 1 start this year, i fail to see the comparison.

    sam-yf April 14, 2008, 7:42 pm
  • cool. good luck tonite and enjoy your game.

    sf rod April 14, 2008, 7:44 pm
  • good inning thus far. wish i could be watching it (gameday). i’d probably get mlb.tv if my internet wasn’t so slow.

    jonny YF April 14, 2008, 8:22 pm
  • IPK is looking very strong today. He’s keeping some good hitters off-balance by changing speeds and locations.

    sam-yf April 14, 2008, 9:06 pm
  • Quality start for Kennedy tonight but the pen blows his first win of the year. The see-saw continues as Cano goes deep pinch hitting for the attorney general….

    sam-yf April 14, 2008, 9:48 pm
  • Mariano in for the 2-inning save, makes quick of the Rays in the 8th.

    Nick-YF April 14, 2008, 10:03 pm
  • The Yanks add no runs in the top of the 9th. So we’re down to Mo facing the heart of the line up to close it out.

    Nick-YF April 14, 2008, 10:09 pm
  • Rivera expertly disposes of Crawford with the k. Pena, who looks like Bobby Abreu sort of, at bat, and he grounds to second. The dangerous Upton steps to the plate.

    Nick-YF April 14, 2008, 10:12 pm
  • Mariano is Mariano Rivera, which means the Yanks have won this game. Mariano is great.

    Nick-YF April 14, 2008, 10:15 pm
  • fist pump

    dc April 15, 2008, 7:44 am
  • on the kennedy/hughes discussion:
    …nice of sherman to push the panic button so soon…does anyone think that it’s unusual for a young player with minimal major league experience to struggle a bit, especially a pitcher?…i think you’d have to search long and hard to find a pitcher without a blip at the start of his career…take a look at santana’s first 2 partial seasons with the twins…hardly the stuff of a legend…before i’m accused of daring to compare kennedy/hughes with santana, i’m just using him to make the point…even the great ones struggle in the beginning…we were asked to be patient in return for the promise of the future…as i fan i hate to say this, but i was prepared for this to be a throw-away year at the worst, at the best we’d be competitive and who knows with a break or 2 here or there…next year we trim the payroll of some big contracts, we have youth on the pitching staff that has a year under their belts, or we at least know if they can hack it, and the team is positioned to retool at some of the other positions…the risk is that the yankees have gambled that their young pitchers will make it and become at least reliable, if not great, long term answers to the success of the team…from my perspective it’s a good gamble considering the way our strategy of acquiring high profile pitchers via trade/free agency has worked out…so after a dozen or so games, somebody’s already pounding the panic button…in the meantime, some sox fans are showing the same angst with lester, the same jon lester who was a post season hero under pressure now seems “lost” according to one fan…he’s another guy who probably won’t be a superstar, but there’s no reason yet not to expect him to be a solid contributor in the rotation…but alas, after 4 starts in ’08, he’s not getting it done…no wonder the twins didn’t want to trade with either of us…we offered them junk…

    dc April 15, 2008, 8:23 am
  • Well, it’s obviously way too early to “panic” about Hughes and Kennedy. But this is the calculated risk the Yankees took. They wanted the young guys to break in and compete for the postseason at the same time.
    FWIW, I’m not worried at all about Kennedy. One bad outing his first start of the year – hardly a big deal. Highes does worry me a little, mostly because his velocity is down. I hope the Yanks staff can get that straightened out.

    Mark (YF) April 15, 2008, 10:37 am
  • Hughes is 21 years old. The biggest danger is not that he secretly sucks and everyone’s scouts both in and outside the NYY franchise have been wrong all along. The biggest dangeer is that they over-use him or he overstresses his arm trying to prove something in this first 1-2 years of getting his lumps. A 23-27 year old pitcher is still considered “young”. 21 is off the charts. I am not at all worried.

    IronHorse (yf) April 15, 2008, 11:20 am

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