Error Prone: Rays-Yanks Game II Recap


Andy Pettitte and the Yanks fell on their butts last night against Tampa, their second immensely sloppy effort in as many tries. Pettiitte was anything but sharp, going but 4 innings before he was pulled with 2 men on (a pair of infield hits) in the fifth, with no outs. Scott Proctor allowed both runners to score. Pettitte and Posada, despite their history, looked as if they’d never worked together before. After the Yanks came back to tie the game, Luis Vizcaino coughed the lead back up on a wild pitch (he got the loss, and now has both Yankee decisions). There were 3 errors (2 from Jeter, though Minky arguably could have saved him 1), 3 wild pitches, and a passed ball. In the eighth, the Yanks wasted an out on a failed bunt, and Alex popped to second with the bases loaded, adding to the tabloid fodder. It was cold and there were snow flurries, but there’s really no excuse for laying such an egg—the Rays faced the same conditions. It’s not the first season this team has come out of the gate looking a bit rough around the edges. April baseball can be sloppy. But we’re hoping tonight is something more aesthetically appealing. No team, however loaded, is going to do much if they commit 3 errors per game.

50 comments… add one
  • Didn’t A-Rod ground out in the eighth? I though his flyout was in the sixth.

    SF April 6, 2007, 9:01 am
  • Minky “could have saved Jeter” only by making an absolutely spectacular play. He was fully extended to his right and had to play a highish hop at full stretch. It would have been a phenomenal play by Minky; I bet there aren’t many really good fielding first baseman who cleanly grab that type of throw very often.

    SF April 6, 2007, 9:03 am
  • My bad. Alex popped to second in the eighth. the long fly came earlier.

    YF April 6, 2007, 9:08 am
  • Ah, popout. Right. I was wrong as well.

    SF April 6, 2007, 9:13 am
  • i thought a proper stretch and catch would have saved the play there, but yes, it would have been a heckuva stab. it looked harder in the replay than in real time. fwiw. post qualified….

    YF April 6, 2007, 9:15 am
  • That was one of those plays that Mark Grace, Minky, and Donnie Baseball would miss due to the degree of difficulty, but that you know in a freak world Giambi or Ortiz, in some rare appearance, somehow stab and get all sorts of hugs and high fives for.

    SF April 6, 2007, 9:17 am
  • “…no excuse for laying such an egg…”
    but yf, it’s right in time for easter…

    dc April 6, 2007, 9:21 am
  • SF, funny you should bring that up…
    I know people think I’m crazy for saying this this, but I wouldn’t mind a few games with Papi at 1st, and WMP as the DH, and yes, I’m serious. When Lowell or Youk needs a rest.

    LocklandSF April 6, 2007, 9:21 am
  • I think the issue on the play is that Minky fields right handed, and that ball came in on the right side, so he was reaching cross-body. I think a lefty gets it, and the eye is trained to see a lefty over there at first. also, minky is listed at 6 foot 2, but that might be pushing it. he’s not short, but he’s not a massive target over their either. (not that he’s to blame for his size–just an observation).

    YF April 6, 2007, 9:22 am
  • Jeter seemed to intentionally ground the ball, to give Minky a chance to play it on a straight hop (as opposed to trying to hit him on the fly and risk a much harder pick) and also perhaps gain some zip from the slick grass. Had the throw been on target (or on artificial turf, even) I think Minky makes the play, like YF says.

    SF April 6, 2007, 9:25 am
  • On the other hand (and to contradict myself) a throw right on target might have even been harder, eating up Minky. Bottom line: it was a very, very tough play for the first baseman.

    SF April 6, 2007, 9:26 am
  • i would agree with any strategy that gets wmp more at bats lockland…the only way you are going to find out if he can contribute is by letting him play…nobody wants to see an injury, but he may need to play a key role in your outfield before the seasons’s over…

    dc April 6, 2007, 9:30 am
  • YF, I didn’t mean to make the Royals offense out to be the Mets, but I also don’t think they are the worst in the AL. Either way they are drastically better then last season. With Teahen, Sweeney, Gordon, DeJesus, Shealy and so on, they have a solid core. I think what was lost in all the Daisuke hoopla (warranted of course) was the performance of Greinke, 7 IP 1 ER and 7 K’s. Before the anxiety issues this kid was a top 5 prospect in the game. Good for him.
    Back on topic. I really wouldn’t put too much stock in yesterday’s performance. I was very impressed that Vizcaino got out of that jam only allowing 1 run. Yes I know he created his own drama, but still to escape only letting 1 run home was impressive. As for the defense, it was colder then a withches….the game changes so much in weather like that. Your stiff, your cold, it’s more difficult to move…Granted this isn’t a team full of Gold Glovers, but they also aren’t as bad as they were yesterday. 160 more to go.

    Triskaidekaphobia April 6, 2007, 9:35 am
  • “come out of the gate looking a bit rough around the edges.”
    there’s a mixed metaphor for you; who’s the hack writing this thing? jeez. oh. wait.

    YF April 6, 2007, 10:42 am
  • Man, that was tough to watch. I ended up going with a friend to Malachy’s on the upper west side. He wanted to watch the Rangers and I of course wantd to watch Pettitte’s triumphant return. First of all, I’m not sure why I go to that bar since it smells like one gigantic fart trapped in a bottle. I guess it’s the prices. Anyway, that was some uninspiring play and the fielding from Jeter and Posada was awful. Jeter has yet to make a clean throw in the first two games. I’ll chalk it up to the cold. Nevertheless it’s frustrating. And I got to watch an inning of Dice-K, and there are certain pitchers that are coming to mind as comparables which scare me. He looks like Maddux out there with Pedro stuff. Insane!

    Nick-YF April 6, 2007, 10:53 am
  • Used to throw darts at Malachy’s, on occasion, Nick. That was back in the 90s, when I could drink a few beers and still hit the board with some efficiency. Even then the place smelled like a college rec room. Glad to know it’s still got the goods.

    SF April 6, 2007, 11:01 am
  • geez yf, you ain’t none too good at this writin stuff…hee
    by the way, i thought the yanks were full of [unearned] gold gloves?…
    the yanks typically start out slow, so anybody troubled about these first few games can stop for now…those old guys take longer to warm up…

    dc April 6, 2007, 11:04 am
  • “…it smells like one gigantic fart trapped in a bottle…”
    how does someone go about acquiring this knowledge nick?…please don’t answer that…

    dc April 6, 2007, 11:07 am
  • In the 90’s I went to Malachy because it was one of the only bars I could get into. I was underage and I looked it! And Malachy’s didn’t care. But I don’t remember darts being played.
    An addendum to the Matsuzaka comment. I think he reminds me most of Maddux, but I’m not sure he had Pedro stuff. That’s probably too generous. He has better stuff than Maddux, and he keeps the hitters guessing like Maddux does, but there seems to be more variety of movement on his pitches. He’s a bit like Javier Vazquez when he was brilliant that one year, with Maddux’s body. He’s a fascinating pitcher to watch. I really wished Vazquez had fulfilled his promise with the Yanks. He would have been fun to watch as well.

    Nick-YF April 6, 2007, 11:07 am
  • Bomber Defense the past two games = Teh Suck.

    bloodyank78 April 6, 2007, 11:09 am
  • Bravo..bro..your the first commentator that I read that actually said that Tampa Bay had to play under the weather conditions.

    BuffaloHead April 6, 2007, 11:20 am
  • I’ll say this: Jeter and Lowell both with 3 errors, and we’re not through the first week of play? I don’t think anyone saw that coming; Lowell is Lowell and Jeter, range issues aside, is at least a fairly steady and consistant fielder. Weird start to the season. Also, Alex Gordon looked positively overmatched through much of the series; I’m sure he’ll make his adjustments, but the 30-homer rookie season some had predicted is a little tough to justify if that’s the way he handles himself around three above-average (At least, usually above-average…) starters.

    desturbd1 April 6, 2007, 11:29 am
  • The bigger failure in that 8th inning last night was Abreu’s failure to get the runner in from 3rd with less than 2 out, as a hit wasn’t necessarily needed in that situation, but of course, ARod takes the blame for failing in the situation that almost certainly would have required a hit.

    Whatever April 6, 2007, 11:32 am
  • D!, re: Gordon, I hope he makes those adjustments as he’s on my fantasy team. Prince Fielder also began last year overmatched at the plate and recovered for a very nice 28 HR rookie campaign.

    Nick-YF April 6, 2007, 11:35 am
  • Lead line from an AP article:
    “Alex Rodriguez had a great opportunity to turn Yankees fans in his favor.
    Once again, he flopped.”
    No mention of his 3 rbi in two games. There’s a mention of his double off the wall that gave the Yanks an early lead, but not until the tail of the article.
    Jeter’s gaffes, one of which led to a run, doesn’t get ink until the sixth paragraph. There is mention of Jeter’s RBI FC, but no mention that it nearly killed a rally as a DP and no mention that his CS that immediately followed, did.
    “We played sloppy. We’ve got to tighten it up a little bit,” Jeter said.
    Yeah, “we” do.

    attackgerbil April 6, 2007, 11:37 am
  • Whatever: very good point regarding the eighth.

    attackgerbil April 6, 2007, 11:39 am
  • >Jeter seemed to intentionally ground the ball, to give Minky a chance to play it on a straight hop (as opposed to trying to hit him on the fly and risk a much harder pick) and also perhaps gain some zip from the slick grass. Had the throw been on target (or on artificial turf, even) I think Minky makes the play, like YF says.< It's been a long time since I played any first base (at a very low level), but basic physics says that a throw on a fly is always going to get there quicker (have more "zip") than a throw from the same spot that is bounced -- no matter how "slick" the grass might be. And a catch in the air, even on a tough angle, is almost always easier than a pick. So if Jeter was really throwing into the turf on purpose, I would have to question that. More likely it was just a less-than-ideal toss.

    Hudson April 6, 2007, 11:53 am
  • The failure in the 8th was the bunt, a free out that accomplished nothing. Abreu and Alex can’t produce every time at bat, even in good situations. i can live with physical falure; that’s the humanity of the game. it’s the bad mental/strategic decisions that really hurt. those things ARE avoidable.

    YF April 6, 2007, 11:57 am
  • “So if Jeter was really throwing into the turf on purpose, I would have to question that. More likely it was just a less-than-ideal toss.”
    Not entirely true; I didn’t see the play, but on the right surface, skipping the throw is sometimes a good idea. If you have the time and ability to plant your feet and throw it on a line, then sure, that’s the ideal. It will get there a bit faster and obviously it’s easier to handle.
    But when a fielder’s off balance, sometimes trying to get it there through the air would require him to either take something off of it and essentially lob the ball on an arc, or try and gun it normally and risk having it hit the dirt close enough to the 1st baseman to eat him up. Throwing the ball so it hits the grass four or five feet ahead of the bag means you don’t compromise velocity and any competent first baseman–given a normalish hop–should have time to react and catch it. Of course, if you overthrow the ball it eats him up anyway, and an offline throw is an offline throw.

    desturbd1 April 6, 2007, 12:04 pm
  • also, the dubious decision to pull giambi for a pr came back to haunt when phelps k’ed to leaf off the ninth with no lefties in the tb pen. joe’s playing a lot of small ball this far. it’s not always helping.
    hudson: perhaps jeter can get more on the throw by bouncing it; by holding the ball slighly longer, his arm rotates farther, creating more torque. the bounce let’s him get as much on the throw as possible, and still get it there in a way so it’s easy to catch. tho it didn’t work yesterday.

    YF April 6, 2007, 12:07 pm
  • I was just going on observation. Jeter looked to be intentionally throwing it in order to skip it to first, for whatever reason. It did not look like a throw that he simply came up short on. The body language and trajectory of the throw made me think quite strongly that it was an intentional move.

    SF April 6, 2007, 12:10 pm
  • It seems to me people are bending over backward to ease the blame on Jeter for his throw. If only ARod could get such love.
    The fact of the matter is, Jeter looked like he was running in sand out there in the field, and his throwing so far has been erratic. Period. The throw to Minky was a high one-hopper that’s tougher to handle than a short hop, and was way wide of the bag. Simply a lousy throw.

    Whatever April 6, 2007, 12:21 pm
  • I have no vested interest in easing the blame on Jeter, to be honest. I don’t care whose fault the play was, frankly.
    It was a bad throw (like you say), whatever the intentions. I was simply trying to describe what I thought happened in more detail.

    SF April 6, 2007, 12:28 pm
  • I’m so happy baseball is back.
    I said it last night in the Yankee thread, and I’ll say it again (repeating yourself: always a good policy). Jeter’s range looked non-existent last night. He’s not a great fielder, but to my eyes he’s always been a competent one. But if he plays SS like he did last night all year long its going to be a painful year for the Yankee pitching staff. Especially Wang.
    There were a few balls that were grounded about ten to fifteen feet to the left of second base and Jeter couldn’t get close to them. And it wasn’t as if he was positioned way over by 3rd. He wasn’t. He just couldn’t get there.
    Of course, it was cold. (note: sarcasm)

    mattymatty April 6, 2007, 12:54 pm
  • “The failure in the 8th was the bunt.”
    FWIW, I didn’t like Torre having Melky bunt either, but that’s a move probably a majority of MLB managers make, trailing by one, with your top two hitters coming up.
    And by the time the Yanks loaded the bases with 1 out and Abreu up, that failed bunt was water under the bridge. You can’t say the inning would have played out the same if Torre’s strategy would have been different with Melky. The golden opportunity was Abreu’s AB. And let’s give a little credit to Stokes, Tampa’s pitcher, who was throwing hard with movement, who was able to retire Abreu and ARod in a tough situation.

    Whatever April 6, 2007, 12:55 pm
  • hey SF how bout a Sox game thread????

    Anonymous April 6, 2007, 2:03 pm
  • I have a sinking feeling…that Mr. Sosa is going to go deep off of Wakefield. I hope I’m wrong, and my instincts are as bad as anyone’s so he’ll probably go 0-4.
    On an unrelated note, Papi looks…off so far this year.

    desturbd1 April 6, 2007, 2:09 pm
  • Done. Up top.

    SF April 6, 2007, 2:09 pm
  • Hey, my cup is half-full – if it took that many mistakes to lose by one (even if it’s Tampa Bay) we’re in good shape. On the flip side, Bobby Abreu got nothing for his bases loaded, 1 out situation.. practically anything other than a DP (or an ARod pop up) is a tie game..

    Lar April 6, 2007, 2:17 pm
  • from what i’ve seen in the first two games, jeter has been throwing the ball in the dirt alot. i’m not of the opinion that it has been intentional.
    as for a-rod…when he pop’s up to second with sacks juiced late in a one run game, just remember the 04′ ALDS against the twins. at least that’s what a few yf’s around here choose to do.

    sf rod April 6, 2007, 2:33 pm
  • can’t I just remember that he had a crappy year for him and still hit 35 homers and drove in 120 runs, or that the year before he had one of the best offensive seasons every by a righty at Yankee Stadium, or that he’s basically the best all-around player on either team in this rivalry?

    Nick-YF April 6, 2007, 2:35 pm
  • or should I just remember the game before when he scored the go-ahead run after singling and stealing a base in the 6th, and put the game away in the 8th by blasting a 2-run homer?

    Nick-YF April 6, 2007, 2:40 pm
  • i’m not of the opinion that it has been intentional.
    I am not supposing anything about any other play, just this one play. I don’t know if Jeter threw it on the bounce intentionally, but it looked very much like it, like he was playing on artificial turf (or frozen ground), planted the wrong way, and used the possibility of a true bounce to make it easier on the first baseman. As it was, the throw was also off-line.
    Who knows.

    SF April 6, 2007, 2:41 pm
  • ohhh…sf rod with the snark. nice…

    m.g. yanks fan April 6, 2007, 2:43 pm
  • i agree Nick.

    m.g. yanks fan April 6, 2007, 2:44 pm
  • In the 90’s I went to Malachy because it was one of the only bars I could get into. I was underage and I looked it! And Malachy’s didn’t care. But I don’t remember darts being played.
    Do you remember the time a short, bald, noisy Sox Fan hit you in the head with a dart after a few beers? No? Maybe that’s where the memory problems started.

    john April 6, 2007, 2:44 pm
  • I’m not short.

    SF April 6, 2007, 2:46 pm
  • come to think of it, I think I once rooted for the Sox…the memories fade in and out…I remember Butch Hobson, and then a shooting pain in the back of my head and then darkness and then I was rooting for Derek Jeter in ’95.

    Nick-YF April 6, 2007, 2:47 pm
  • SF, you expect us to believe you’re not an LN (Little Napoleon)?

    YF38 April 6, 2007, 5:01 pm
  • How’s about a Yankee pregamer?

    Andrew April 6, 2007, 5:33 pm

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