Significance of a Blowout

A loss is a loss. A win is a win. Each only counts as “+1″ in its respective column, regardless of the score. Or does it? After today’s drubbing at the hands of the SatanFish, New York has been involved in at least six games where pitching was obviously checked at the door. Normally, one may tend to think of such losses as aberrations, and that besides the obvious effect of depleting the bullpen for a day or two, causing havoc with victimized pitchers’ ERAs, and giving great cannon fodder for SFs to laugh at YFs, it doesn’t really factor much over 162 games. However, New York’s number of said losses and especially their recent frequency raises the question about what has come into alignment as of late to allow such demoralizing defeats. Let’s turn back the calendar.

First, here is a breakdown of the double digit game losses (and the victory against Texas), their pitchers, and the runs given up by those pitchers:

Lost to Boston 14-3 May 9th
Johnson (L), 7R, 2ER
Small, 4R, 3ER
Villone, 0R
Sturtze, 1R, 3ER

Win over Texas 14-13 May 16th
Chacon, 8R, 7ER
Small, 2R, 2ER
Villone, 0R, 0ER
Proctor (BS), 2R, 2ER
Farnsworth, 0R
Rivera (W), 1R, 1ER

Lost to Washington 11-9 June 17th
Chacon, 6R, 6ER
Smith, 0R
Beam, 0R
Myers, 0R
Proctor, 1R, 1ER
Rivera (L), 1R, 1ER

Lost to Cleveland 19-1 July 4th
Chacon (L), 7R, 7ER
Villone, 0R
Beam, 6R, 6ER
Myers, 3R, 2ER
Proctor, 3R, 3ER
Farnsworth, 0R

Lost to Toronto 13-5 July 23rd
Ponson (L), 6R, 6ER
Wilson, 4R, 4ER
Chacon, 3R, 3ER
Villone, 0R, 0ER

Lost to Tampa Bay 19-6 July 29th
Johnson (L), 9R, 6ER
Chacon, 5R, 5ER
Myers, 3R, 3ER
Beam, 2R, 2ER
Villone, 0R, 0ER

Chacon was involved in five out of six of these games and gave up 29 runs (34%) out of 85 runs, 21 of those runs coming as the starting pitcher. Johnson gave up 16 runs as a starter. Villone and Farnsworth are the pitchers who seem to keep their cool when the kettle boils over.

July has been a month in which the team has generally played very good baseball and fortified its position as a contender for the playoffs. Should Yankee fans worry that there have been three such losses in the last month, and two in the last week? Other than the fact that Chacon and Johnson are terrible, or at least terribly inconsistent (which everybody already knew), I have not convinced myself that this is much more than just what happens over the course of the year. There are obvious, immediate problems that can be solved by Cashman, whose time to act grows short. However, I have a nagging doubt that something else may be afoot. What are your thoughts?

9 comments… add one

  • The curious thing to look at is what the Yanks did the next few games after each blowout. It seems that the Yanks need a “wake up” call every so often in order to get the offense jump started.
    It is the same with the Sox. Everytime the lead has dropped to +/- .5 game this year they have responded with some wins that have coincided with Yank losses.

    Rob July 29, 2006, 8:30 pm
  • In no way should I or any other SF feel that the beast has been slain. For anyone out there who wonders how they will respond to any of this, just one word comes to mind.
    Jeter

    Rob July 29, 2006, 8:37 pm
  • I don’t know what to think about this one. I totally agree with you, AG, that a loss is a loss, whatever the score…However, this one was particularly annoying in that it seemed like the whole team had a 3 hour long brain cramp. Johnson certainly contributed his share, as did Chacon, but there were plays that should’ve been made and weren’t early on that changed the game. Like Johnny’s misplayed fly ball in the 2nd(?). It was 2 out at that point, a catch gets Randy out of the inning 1-2-3. Instead, TB scores 3 runs. There were a couple more plays like that…not necessarily errors, but misplays. Also, Joe’s decision to put in Chacon instead of Villone….I guess he was trying to see if Chac deserved a chance but if he goes to Villone, maybe the game is still winnable. Anyway, we learned a few things today, for example that Chacon needs to go the way of Kris Wilson after the Toronto bombing.
    Rob is right in that most of the time these blowouts have served as a kick in the butt and the team played really well for at least a few games after; one would think that a team that prides itself on professionalism shouldn’t need a kick in the butt, but whatever. It helps that Mussina goes tomorrow, he’ll likely give a good effort. Also, if this didn’t prove to Cashman that we need pitching, and not another bat, I don’t know what will.
    In conclusion, it’s just a loss albeit a stinky one. Tomorrow is another day. I just hope that there isn’t a knee-jerk reaction to do something, anything.

    yankeemonkey July 29, 2006, 9:09 pm
  • Also, I don’t care what Torre or RJ said, I don’t think he was 100% today. From the bullpen incident to his demeanor on the mound, he looked like he was in pain. If his back gave out on him or something, that’s far more serious than a game lost.

    yankeemonkey July 29, 2006, 9:15 pm
  • “..can be solved by Cashman” would better read “may work out to be solved.”

    attackgerbil July 29, 2006, 9:24 pm
  • I don’t think it’s a big deal, except that it does say something about the state of the Yankees starting pitching. A team like the Yankees, with their expectations and payroll should be on the wrong end of a shellacking quite so often.
    I’m greatly concerned by the fact that if the playoffs were tomorrow (and if the Yanks were in) the only pitchers on the staff we can feel confident about are Moose, Wang and Mo.

    Sam July 29, 2006, 9:49 pm
  • I don’t know what the significance of a blow-out loss is. I know it sucks and is embrassing. However, the last time a Yankees team won the whole thing, it had suffered quite a few embrassing losses in September. So go figure. Here’s the the list of scores from that year.
    http://www.baseball-almanac.com/teamstats/schedule.php?y=2000&t=NYA

    Nick-YF July 30, 2006, 12:06 am
  • Bear with me on this one…
    Earlier on during the Yanks DRay gamer, I was more than a little excited by the turn of events. Having seen the Red Sox down by three late and the Yankees up by two early, I was perhaps as resigned to the Sox losing first place bragging rights as I have been this season…
    For the outcome to be miraculously (for a Sox fan) overturned AND in the way it was… Ortiz HR in the eighth followed by a two run double (of course it was a double it’s like his 370th this season) by the cast off Lowell and the curtain closer by Big Papi in the 11th
    …Yankees and Randy Johnson getting hammered eventually by a 19 to 6 score by none other than the DRays, well lets just say my giddiness abounded.
    Let’s dwell on the misfortunes that have befallen the Yankees this season… Arguably two of baseball’s marquee players and huge bats for the Yankees in Matsui and Sheffield go down and are lost for months and months and will be gone for who knows how long more. Jeter and Damon also hit the DL, Randy Johnson loses his personal catcher and is mostly not great though sometimes is and boasts an 11-9 record with an ERA of 5.07. The aging Bernie Williams who was slated to be riding the pine for much of ’06 is forced back into an everyday role and while he has performed well enough, he no longer is BERNIE freakin WILLIAMS.
    Now, if at the start of April I told you the Yanks would have all that calamity AND that the Red Sox would the lead the league in fielding percentage, have the fewest errors in the league by far AND that both their aces would be tied for the league lead in wins and the Sox would have a better offense than ’05 be hitting better as a team than the Yankees at .280 something and that the league leader for doubles (shooting for a record) would be playing for the Sox but it wouldn’t be Papi or Manny and THEY were having stellar years, with Papi leading in HR and Ribbies
    …and if I told you all that and I also told you that the Yankees were still playing .600 baseball and on this day the Red Sox would be down by three in the eighth inning to the Angels a team playing the hottest baseball since the break and if I also told you the Yankees were playing the DRays and would be up by two-zip in the early going on back to back homers from Jeter and Giambi AND if things stayed the way they were the Yankees would take over first place in the AL east.
    And if I told you all of that… on April 1st, you’d just have to SWEAR I was nuts.
    But then, if you think about it, even if this was a wonderful day to be a Sox fan, the Yankees with all of those misfortunes, including the shelacking they took today and the Red Sox rally, are still just 1 1/2 freaking games out of 1st!
    Thats pretty nuts right there.
    Brian

    Brian July 30, 2006, 12:52 am
  • I agree with Rob. The real test is how the Yankees have performed the two games following each blowout. It seems the real hangover effect would be in the pen, but as for whatever mental effects there might be, it’s hard to tell without looking at surrounding performances…

    Paul SF July 30, 2006, 2:15 pm

Leave a Comment