Top Chefs: Yanks-Halos Gamer

Can Hung keep his ego and in check and use his mad skillz for good? Will Tre ever blow his cool? Will Howie implode? We’re still ticked Leah is gone. Best smile this side of Padma, and from the fair borough we call home. Oh. Shit. Wait. Wrong blog! Sorry about that. After two straight painful losses to the Angels, and two games dropped to both the Sox and Ms, Andy Pettitte looks to do what he’s done so often before: pull the Yankees’ collective ass from the fire. He faces the Angels John Lackey, one of the best in the majors, nevermind his recent disaster in Boston. Hopefully the Yanks can hold GA to, I dunno, 7 rbi and still take this one. We’ll be watching. But….um…maybe not till 11? Go Hung Bombers!

186 comments… add one
  • This worked last night to start things off, so here we go again with it.

    Rob August 22, 2007, 8:48 pm
  • No self-respecting baseball fan, of any persuasian, can condone that thing.

    YF August 22, 2007, 9:11 pm
  • The lineups (Giambi to the bench; Damon in left; Matsui at DH; Betamit at 1b):
    1. J. Damon, LF R. Willits, LF
    2. D. Jeter, SS O. Cabrera, SS
    3. B. Abreu, RF V. Guerrero, RF
    4. A. Rodriguez, 3B G. Anderson, DH
    5. H. Matsui, DH H. Kendrick, 2B
    6. J. Posada, C G. Matthews Jr., CF
    7. R. Cano, 2B M. Izturis, 3B
    8. W. Betemit, 1B R. Quinlan, 1B
    9. M. Cabrera, CF J. Mathis, C

    YF August 22, 2007, 9:12 pm
  • Kill the rally monkey!

    Kill the rally monkey! (YM) August 22, 2007, 9:47 pm
  • Off topic but did anyone see the Rangers put up 30 on the Orioles? Wow,

    John - YF (Trisk) August 22, 2007, 10:04 pm
  • Heh, only a Yankee fan could root for Hung. He may have some talent, but there’s no way he’s talented enough to justify his arrogance. (Side note: Johnson, Wang, Hung… where will this love of penis names end?)
    And now that I’ve endeared myself to y’all…

    Jackie (SF) August 22, 2007, 10:05 pm
  • Hung with the mad knife skills, takes apart a chicken like Lackey takes apart Abreu.

    YF August 22, 2007, 10:13 pm
  • Wow, that 30 run game.. insane.

    Lar August 22, 2007, 10:17 pm
  • This is great. I think I’m going to try to do all my baseball analysis in Top Chef metaphors from now on.
    “JD Drew hacks at a pitch, like SouthernGuyWhoseNameICan’tRemember hacked at an apple in that first episode…”

    Jackie (SF) August 22, 2007, 10:17 pm
  • Both Seattle and Sox lost. So hopefully we make up a game..

    Lar August 22, 2007, 10:18 pm
  • I’m amazed DRays were actually able to hold on. Once Ortiz got on, I was sure they were going to tie at least.
    Meanwhile, Jeter becomes the AL leader in GIDP. Um, yay?

    Kill the rally monkey! (YM) August 22, 2007, 10:24 pm
  • Matsui with a great AB single.

    Lar August 22, 2007, 10:25 pm
  • Angels announcer: “Lackey likes to pitch in big match-ups. In fact, he wanted to pitch the night game last week in the double-header against the Red Sox, so he could face Josh Beckett. Mike Soscia, however, refused him.”
    Maybe Lackey tanked last week’s game against Buchholz just to piss Soscia off.

    Atheose August 22, 2007, 10:26 pm
  • Cano with a tough double play..

    Lar August 22, 2007, 10:28 pm
  • Cano GIDP to save a run for the Angels. Rally monkey is in full effect.

    Atheose August 22, 2007, 10:28 pm
  • I’m going to conduct an experiment. There is a stuffed panda bear sitting next to me on the couch. I dub him “the rally panda”. Let’s see if he can counteract that damn simian.
    Woo, rally panda works its magic as Andy gets a DP!

    Kill the rally monkey! (YM) August 22, 2007, 10:34 pm
  • Yankees looking to top the Sox in the LOB category today…

    Paul SF August 22, 2007, 10:40 pm
  • Everytime I switch over here the Yanks are killing themselves. Fly out to deep center there.
    Meanwhile, on TC, Geoffrey Zakarian, is being a dick as a guest judge. But SF an I can attest to the rather unthrilling meal we had at one of his places not long ago. Zakarian is the Dallas Green of Top Chef.

    YF August 22, 2007, 10:41 pm
  • I hope you’re right Paul. Tough to do though–14 is a BIG number.

    Atheose August 22, 2007, 10:42 pm
  • Great bunt erased by a great play by Posada. Pettitte looking good in these early innings.

    Atheose August 22, 2007, 10:44 pm
  • More Yankee outs…. Come on Alex!

    YF August 22, 2007, 10:54 pm
  • Interesting note over on LoHud about Mussina. Apparently there are no guarantees beyond his start against the Tigers. I’m not sure when Moose’s turn comes again, is it possible that rosters will expand by then? I just hope Ghost of Kei Igawa doesn’t materialize again…

    yankeemonkey August 22, 2007, 10:54 pm
  • And Tre goes home. Really thought it should been CJ, but whatever.
    Rally Panda!!!!!

    YF August 22, 2007, 11:00 pm
  • A run! Thank you John Lackey. Jorge nabbed in the pickle, though. That wasn’t so great. We’ll take the run. Thanks for waiting for me guys!

    YF August 22, 2007, 11:04 pm
  • Hey, some of us were planning on watching Top Chef at 1 am, YF!

    stuck working August 22, 2007, 11:08 pm
  • Vlad, why didn’t you join the Yanks?

    Lar August 22, 2007, 11:10 pm
  • C’mon Rally Panda…

    yankeemonkey August 22, 2007, 11:12 pm
  • So the Yanks couldn’t score for shit against the O’s, and now the Rangers–who Hughes almost no-hit–light them up for 30? This is a crazy game.
    GA walks. Corners with 1 out for Hendrick. Gah.

    YF August 22, 2007, 11:13 pm
  • DP! Yes!!! 5-4-3. Thought Alex might go home but the DP is a whole lot better. Yanks keep their lead.
    Rally Panda!

    YF August 22, 2007, 11:14 pm
  • Hendrick hit into a gift DP. AP gets out of the inning.

    Lar August 22, 2007, 11:14 pm
  • Howie grounds into DP, but he was safe by a mile at 1st. Yankees getting a little bit of luck.

    Atheose August 22, 2007, 11:15 pm
  • Sorry stuck!

    YF August 22, 2007, 11:15 pm
  • Another hard-luck loss for DiceK?
    Betemit Ks.

    YF August 22, 2007, 11:17 pm
  • Melky pops out.
    Man, Yanks really did catch a break. That play at first wasn’t even close, in replay. But for those of us tired of Scioscia whining every time the Angels make an out, no sympathy whatsoever.

    YF August 22, 2007, 11:18 pm
  • Damon looking at a heater inside half. 1-0 after 4.5.

    YF August 22, 2007, 11:21 pm
  • GMJ an out, but Izturis knocks one back through the middle.

    YF August 22, 2007, 11:25 pm
  • The announcer just quoted Derek Jeter: “It seems whenever we get a lead they put that monkey on the big screen and we fall apart.”
    The Rally Monkey is officially in the minds of the Angels opponents.

    Atheose August 22, 2007, 11:26 pm
  • Abreu almost loses one in the lights, and then a k and Pettitte is out of another inning unscathed. A fine, fine start for AP.

    YF August 22, 2007, 11:33 pm
  • No worries on that Top Chef spoiler, YF. There’s still too many people on for me to keep track of them all, anyway.

    stuck working August 22, 2007, 11:34 pm
  • Another hard-luck loss for DiceK
    *sigh* Indeed, YF. Now eight quality starts this season in which he has not received a W.

    Paul SF August 22, 2007, 11:35 pm
  • Bases loaded on 3 BBs for Baltimore — think they’d like a little revenge right now?

    stuck working August 22, 2007, 11:35 pm
  • Ugh, I hate rooting for John Lackey, particularly because a win would put him over Beckett for the league lead.

    Paul SF August 22, 2007, 11:36 pm
  • Paul – do what I do. Root for the Angels to come back against Mo or Viz!

    rootbeerfloat August 22, 2007, 11:37 pm
  • Wow. GMJ makes a hell of a running grab on a deep fly by Matsui. Would have scored Alex, on second after a walk and a SB.

    YF August 22, 2007, 11:42 pm
  • Hmmm….one run on six hits…a few walks…and guys LOB…gosh, didn’t I just see this game?!

    DW-sf August 22, 2007, 11:43 pm
  • Angels announcers completely butchering the pronunciation of “anatomical”. Twice. That was painful.
    Magnetic RENAISSANCE imaging?
    Sweet Zombie Jesus.

    Jackie (SF) August 22, 2007, 11:47 pm
  • AP ks Willits for the 3rd time? Nice backdoor slider does it there.

    YF August 22, 2007, 11:47 pm
  • But Cabrera ties it on one he leaves over the plate. Hanger.

    YF August 22, 2007, 11:48 pm
  • I miss O-Cab.
    Anyone else still think “Welcome to the OC, bitch!” anytime he gets a hit?

    Jackie (SF) August 22, 2007, 11:48 pm
  • Crap.

    yankeemonkey August 22, 2007, 11:49 pm
  • Jackie: nope.

    stuck working August 22, 2007, 11:49 pm
  • Who do the Angels play tomorrow? They’ll probably score 35.

    YF August 22, 2007, 11:50 pm
  • Doesn’t everyone know by now that they’re going to stuff one into the dirt on 3-2?

    DW-sf August 22, 2007, 11:50 pm
  • AP Ks Vlad. Right back on the horse!

    YF August 22, 2007, 11:50 pm
  • And then GA to Abreu (who makes another one look ugly).
    Onesies. Ugh. I;ve gotta hit the sack soon.

    YF August 22, 2007, 11:51 pm
  • OK, tied 1-all. C’mon Rally Panda!

    yankeemonkey August 22, 2007, 11:54 pm
  • Jorge walks to kick off the 2nd. Let’s get a couple here, put this baby away.
    Single for Cano! Jorge to third!

    YF August 22, 2007, 11:57 pm
  • Stuck: I appreciate your honesty.

    Jackie (SF) August 22, 2007, 11:57 pm
  • You Beta You Beta You Bet-amit! OH!!! Liner to Vlad. Jorge stays put.

    YF August 22, 2007, 11:59 pm
  • I’m watching Red Dragon on TV and following the game on Gamecast. I’m not entirely sure which is more disturbing.
    Like, wouldn’t now be the good time to PH Giambi?

    yankeemonkey August 23, 2007, 12:00 am
  • LECHE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    YF August 23, 2007, 12:01 am
  • PH for Betemit, I meant…

    yankeemonkey August 23, 2007, 12:01 am
  • Saving Giambi, I think. But that thought crossed my mind as well. But then you have Damon in center and Duncan has to go into the outfield, and there’s no one to play left.

    YF August 23, 2007, 12:03 am
  • Jeter rbi single!!!! But he’s tossed at 2nd, 9-2-6. Not a great baserunning play, from the captain. Uncharacteristic. Didn’t look like he was trying to draw the throw.

    YF August 23, 2007, 12:05 am
  • S’pose so.

    yankeemonkey August 23, 2007, 12:08 am
  • Kendrick on. Nice grab by Cano, but he blows the easy transfer. E.

    YF August 23, 2007, 12:08 am
  • Yankees baserunning has been less than exemplary in this game. Joba for the 7th? Or do you let Andy go another inning?

    yankeemonkey August 23, 2007, 12:09 am
  • GMJ first pitch swinging is an out.

    YF August 23, 2007, 12:09 am
  • Nevermind.
    Cano’s D has also been…less than exemplary recently.

    yankeemonkey August 23, 2007, 12:10 am
  • True YM. Nice play by Betamit/Pettitte on the Baltimore chopper from Izturis. 2 down, man on 2nd for quinlan.

    YF August 23, 2007, 12:11 am
  • Where does the expression “Baltimore chopper” come from?

    yankeemonkey August 23, 2007, 12:13 am
  • And Mathis an easy 4-3 after Andy falls behind 3-0 (all pitches close).
    He looks like he could easily go another. Then Joba to close? Mo? Lots of options for Joe.

    YF August 23, 2007, 12:14 am
  • *as YM confesses ignorance*

    yankeemonkey August 23, 2007, 12:14 am
  • Man, Andy has been nails tonight. Just what they needed, win or lose.

    yankeemonkey August 23, 2007, 12:15 am
  • It’s gotta be Joba then Mo. Andy’s at 95 pitches, and there was that really long inning where he kept throwing over to first. He did an amazing job, let him leave with the lead and hand it over to the lights-out relief corps.

    AndrewYF August 23, 2007, 12:16 am
  • Bobby!!

    yankeemonkey August 23, 2007, 12:17 am
  • In the 1890s, the Baltimore Orioles had an extremely hard infield in fornt of the plate, and perfected the technique of chopping the ball down to get a big hop and a hit. Those Orioles were one of the game’s great early dynasties, led by manager Ned Hanlon.
    Abreu dinger!
    John McGraw learned his craft on that team. The most famous player was Wee Willie Keeler (of “Hit ’em where they aint” fame).

    YF August 23, 2007, 12:17 am
  • Did I mention I LOVE tack-on runs? Still gotta go to Jo. Day off tomorrow means he’ll be available on Friday.

    AndrewYF August 23, 2007, 12:18 am
  • With an (at least) a 3-run lead, Andy can probably go another, then let Joba close it out. I think Mo could use another night off.

    yankeemonkey August 23, 2007, 12:18 am
  • Thanks YF. I love baseball, but not so well versed on the history.

    yankeemonkey August 23, 2007, 12:19 am
  • Seems Lackey wants no part of Alex tonight…

    yankeemonkey August 23, 2007, 12:22 am
  • you can read about those orioles in my book, which in case i haven’t mentioned it today, is JUST OUT IN PAPERBACK:

    YF August 23, 2007, 12:25 am
  • 2 more runs!

    YF August 23, 2007, 12:25 am
  • What happened to Scot Shields? Didn’t he used to be good at this?

    stuck working August 23, 2007, 12:25 am
  • :) :) :) :)
    Man, what a way to end the series. I still want to see Joba. Even if it gets to 10-1.

    AndrewYF August 23, 2007, 12:26 am
  • Another hit and another rbi for Leche.

    YF August 23, 2007, 12:33 am
  • Isn’t one of Joba Rules that if he warms up he has to come in?
    YF, care to send along a signed copy? ;)

    yankeemonkey August 23, 2007, 12:37 am
  • (of the book, not Joba Rules, obviously)

    yankeemonkey August 23, 2007, 12:38 am
  • Jeets Ks to end the inning, but it’s 7-1 and, perhaps, Joba time.

    YF August 23, 2007, 12:39 am
  • You buy it, I’ll sign it.

    YF August 23, 2007, 12:40 am
  • LOL

    yankeemonkey August 23, 2007, 12:41 am
  • Woohoo! I am glad I stayed up for the 8th inning!

    AndrewYF August 23, 2007, 12:42 am
  • Kay annoys me with his radar readings.

    yankeemonkey August 23, 2007, 12:43 am
  • Joba vs. Mathis:
    heat down the middle, 0-1
    heat high outside corner, fouled off, 0-2
    heat up the ladder, 1-2
    slider for the swinging k.

    YF August 23, 2007, 12:43 am
  • WOW what a nasty slider to get Mathis swinging. Joba rules!!!

    yankeemonkey August 23, 2007, 12:44 am
  • fucking Willits

    yankeemonkey August 23, 2007, 12:45 am
  • Joba vs. Willits
    fastball low, 1-0
    fastball high, outside 2-0
    fastball down the middle, 2-1
    single up the middle on a low fastball.

    YF August 23, 2007, 12:45 am
  • I want to see Joba vs. Vlad

    yankeemonkey August 23, 2007, 12:45 am
  • Joba vs. Cabrera
    hi heat fouled off, 0-1
    slider hi outside corner, 0-2
    slider high is a wild pitch, 1-2, Willits to 2nd.
    slider low for the swinging k.
    Jorge charged with a PB on the wild pitch.

    YF August 23, 2007, 12:47 am
  • I get my wish! OC can’t hold up on the slider of doom ™.
    Is it just me or does Posada have several hundred passed balls this season?

    yankeemonkey August 23, 2007, 12:48 am
  • Holy shit. Strikes out Vlad on 3 pitches.

    yankeemonkey August 23, 2007, 12:49 am
  • Joba vs. Vlad
    slider for a swinging strike, 0-1
    heat right down the middle, fouled back. 100 mph according to the stadium gun. 0-2
    slider low away and vlad is a swinging goner!
    strikes out the side! um, WOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Awesome. Dominant stuff. Excellent selection.

    YF August 23, 2007, 12:50 am
  • Weeeeeee.

    Lar August 23, 2007, 12:50 am
  • Oh my god, I just laughed my head off. This kid is so amazingly good, the Yankees better take REAL good care of his arm. I am loving the Joba Rules.

    AndrewYF August 23, 2007, 12:50 am
  • Not used to seeing a Yankee pitcher with the fist pump…

    dknyc August 23, 2007, 12:51 am
  • Kay said there’s a season inning limit. But I want to see this guy in the playoffs!

    Lar August 23, 2007, 12:51 am
  • Didn’t seem like 15 pitches but it was. Holy shit. That was crazy.

    YF August 23, 2007, 12:51 am
  • Starting Vlad off with a breaking pitch was excellent. What a fantastic job this kid has done…

    yankeemonkey August 23, 2007, 12:51 am
  • Meanwhile, Abreu singles and here comes Alex.

    YF August 23, 2007, 12:52 am
  • Ahhh what a sight to see. Joba and Hughes chatting in the dugout. Boy, how the times have changed in Yankeeland.

    yankeemonkey August 23, 2007, 12:52 am
  • Do the Joba Rules also stipulate that Farnsworth isnt allowed to talk to him?

    dknyc August 23, 2007, 12:53 am
  • monkey I agree.
    the future looks promising…

    the shantee August 23, 2007, 12:54 am
  • I sure hope so, dknyc. In fact, there should be a restraining offer to keep Farns far far away from the kid.

    yankeemonkey August 23, 2007, 12:54 am
  • Alex looks at strike 3

    YF August 23, 2007, 12:55 am
  • Matsui rips a single. Men on the corners. I let Jorge hit here, and then he’s done for the nite.

    YF August 23, 2007, 12:56 am
  • So YF, what do you think, is the Rally Panda the new mascot around these parts?

    yankeemonkey August 23, 2007, 12:57 am
  • Pop to 2nd.

    YF August 23, 2007, 12:57 am
  • More runs. Cano line single off the glove of a laying out Kendrick

    YF August 23, 2007, 12:58 am
  • Cano, that stat-padder!

    yankeemonkey August 23, 2007, 12:58 am
  • Rally Panda!

    YF August 23, 2007, 12:58 am
  • Betamit ends that.
    Who pitches now?

    YF August 23, 2007, 1:00 am
  • Haha

    yankeemonkey August 23, 2007, 1:00 am
  • Why, Vizcaino of course. Duh!

    yankeemonkey August 23, 2007, 1:01 am
  • Mo!
    Wow, 54 IP, 54 hits, 54 Ks for Rivera. Neat.

    yankeemonkey August 23, 2007, 1:02 am
  • Why is Rivera pitching, especially with his tiredness?
    It’s like Torre sets up an ideal plan at the beginning of the game, and if he can possibly go by it, he can, no matter how many runs the Yankees lead by.

    AndrewYF August 23, 2007, 1:03 am
  • It’s Mo!
    GA = K

    YF August 23, 2007, 1:05 am
  • I guess it’s alright. He last pitched Monday and tomorrow is an off day. You want to keep him sharp.

    yankeemonkey August 23, 2007, 1:05 am
  • Hmm, 55 IP, 55K, 55 hits after tonight for Mo?

    yankeemonkey August 23, 2007, 1:06 am
  • Feh. chopper for a single.

    YF August 23, 2007, 1:06 am
  • Another chopper for a single. Oy.

    YF August 23, 2007, 1:07 am
  • Grr. Just finish it already, I want to go to bed.

    yankeemonkey August 23, 2007, 1:08 am
  • Izturis gives me Tsuris.

    YF August 23, 2007, 1:08 am
  • FUCK! Why didn’t Betemit throw home on that?

    yankeemonkey August 23, 2007, 1:09 am
  • Another single on the ground. This one hit hard.

    YF August 23, 2007, 1:10 am
  • Tsuris indeed. Grumble.

    yankeemonkey August 23, 2007, 1:10 am
  • Kotchman! swings at a pitch that hits him in the hand. I’m exhausted.

    YF August 23, 2007, 1:13 am
  • Ouch. That looked painful.

    yankeemonkey August 23, 2007, 1:13 am
  • I don’t get it, since he swung and it hit him, it’s….a foul ball? Kay and Flash discussing that very point.

    yankeemonkey August 23, 2007, 1:14 am
  • And he’s a k on some kind of slidey thing inside.

    YF August 23, 2007, 1:15 am
  • C’MON!! This is excruciating. Kotchman finally Ks swinging.

    yankeemonkey August 23, 2007, 1:15 am
  • Mo is getting nothing. UMP! It’s past 1 and this thing is ovah!!!
    Now it’s really over. Good night all.

    YF August 23, 2007, 1:16 am
  • What *was* that last pitch to Kotchman?
    Mo threw 28 pitches. I’m not sure if this was Torre’s plan in “giving him some work”.
    Whatever, Abreu catches the flyout, Yankees win!!!

    yankeemonkey August 23, 2007, 1:17 am
  • I guess YF really is the guy in the gray vest…

    Andrews August 23, 2007, 12:33 pm
  • Actually, watching Pettitte last night, I wondered how he could be so effective, and not even touch 90mph. Is it something about lefties that lets them not pitch as hard, but still be as effective? Is Pettitte just really good at painting the corners, and using his cutter and other offspeed pitches? I have never seen a scouting report on him, I don’t even know what he throws other than a fastball and a cutter. If someone could post a summary, or point me to a page which has a summary, it would be greatly appreciated. I feel like Pettitte was a guy who never had blow-you-away stuff, and was never *that great* of a pitcher (he was drafted in the 22nd round of the 1990 draft but didn’t sign, then was drafted the second day of the 1991 draft), but he’s been so consistently good over the course of his career.

    AndrewYF August 23, 2007, 12:55 pm
  • To clarify, when I say “was never that great of a pitcher”, I meant was never that highly-regarded in baseball circles. Yet his highest comparable through age 34 is our very own borderline HOF-er Mike Mussina, and going down the list are Dwight Gooden, Jack Morris, and Lefty Gomez, who aren’t exactly slouches. Yet if you compiled a list of the best, consistently good pitchers of the last decade, I’d bet Pettitte would be forgotten.

    AndrewYF August 23, 2007, 1:01 pm
  • Hey, Paul.
    I sent you an email, buddy.

    Brad August 23, 2007, 1:06 pm
  • ” have never seen a scouting report on him, I don’t even know what he throws other than a fastball and a cutter. If someone could post a summary, or point me to a page which has a summary, it would be greatly appreciated. ”
    be sure NOT to visit Baseball America. Their analysis is crap ;)

    Ric August 23, 2007, 1:07 pm
  • Andrew, I thought I saw a couple of 91 mph readings last night…

    Andrews August 23, 2007, 1:12 pm
  • Andrew,
    You missed probably Pettite’s hallmark pitch – the big curve.
    Also, Pettitte is one of those guys who gets stronger as the season goes on, where there are more high-pressure games. His August win percentage (.734) is second only to Lefty Gomez for best EVER.
    And I really think his bonding with Clemens toward the end of his previous stint with the Yankees and since then ahs made him a better pitcher. He works out with him, he has taken on some of Clemens’ attributes (MUCH more of a clubhouse leader than he ever was in the nineties, though that may also be attributable to age and veteran status) and, like Clemens, he really does not give in even when the bases get chocked with runners. I don’t want to give Clemens too much credit for Andy, but I’ve noticed a big change and picked up kin others who know better than I do the same thing.
    Scouting report from
    Pettitte is a finesse pitcher. He relies on pinpoint control and excellent pitch selection to consistently retire hitters. He’s known for being an innings-eater and is often relied on by his manager to pitch into the seventh inning in his starts.
    His repertoire includes several fastball variations, a big curveball and a changeup. He mostly works off his heavy sinking fastball and one of the better cut fastballs in the game, both of which sat around 91-93 MPH before his 2004 shoulder surgery. Now Pettitte’s fastballs usually hover around 89-91 MPH. He uses his big hook to set up the fastballs and his changeup is mostly reserved for right-handed hitters.

    IronHorse-YF August 23, 2007, 1:17 pm
  • I have 2 concerns down the stretch:
    1. Bullpen (still): I love Joba too and Viz with some rest is solid but Joba rules don’t contribute to that rest and no one else is solid (I don’t count Rivera, who is a given). Ramirez has looked very good but his youth shows more than anyone else’s (cried after being shelled, threw 5 change-ups in a row until one was hit out – that also is the catcher’s fault of course). I feel we are one arm short. Also, joba rules need to be amended for the month of Sept to allow a LITTLE more flexibility.
    2. Mussina. Enough said. Given the bullpen issue, we can not allow him to burn our bullpen every time he starts. Of concern is that the next time he starts is the last day in Detroit/day before Boston series. And the biggest concern for me is I think he doesn’t trust his own stuff right now, which is deadly.
    By the way, anyone else annoyed that Boston has a scheduled day off immediately before 3 of this year’s 6 series vs. NY (we only have one preceding day off by comparison)? It is key for bullpen rest and general well-being, esp toward the end of the year.

    IronHorse-YF August 23, 2007, 1:26 pm
  • Not all of their analysis, Ric, just their prospect lists.
    Unless you want to explain the discrepancy in performance between Bowden, Bard, and Chamberlain but their similar rankings on the top 100 list?
    The point is: That list belongs nowhere in a prospect discussion, not especially when actual numbers of this year suffice.

    Woosta YF August 23, 2007, 1:27 pm
  • Iron –
    If they drop Villone for Britton will you feel better?

    Woosta YF August 23, 2007, 1:29 pm
  • Sorry for multiple posts, but just to clarify – Pettitte’s August win percentage is for his career of course, not just 2007, and it is .733 – best ever Lefty Gomez’s was .734.

    IronHorse-YF August 23, 2007, 1:29 pm
  • Woosta: I will be very much in wait-and-see mode. Nothing against Britton, but I only remember him pitching like 1 or 2 times and remember little abotu him.
    Should I feel better with him??

    IronHorse-YF August 23, 2007, 1:33 pm
  • I think Britton’s better than Villone, yeah. He had a solid season in the AL East last year and he’s been solid this year in AAA. I’m not sure why they don’t like him.

    Woosta YF August 23, 2007, 1:40 pm
  • Woosta – if they just dropped Villone I would feel better. He is a net negative to the team.
    IronHorse, thanks for the Pettitte analysis. Britton was one of the more reliable relievers in the AL last year with Baltimore, coming up all the way from AA to pitch about 50 quality innings. He pitched 5 innings this year, giving up a homerun as the only hit and run off of him. He’s been in AAA the rest of the time, consistently going 2 or 3 innings. He would be a perfect middle reliever for the Yankees right now, who have absolutely no one who fits that role. He’s a huge guy, and doesn’t pitch all that hard, which probably leads Cashman to believe he’d just be another Colter Bean in the majors. But with the way Villone and Henn (and all the others) have pitched in middle relief, even that lowball estimate for Britton may be an improvement. It’s mind-boggling how his innings have been wasted this year, especially since he has never really yet failed in the majors. You’d think the Yankee middle relief corps would welcome him.

    AndrewYF August 23, 2007, 1:40 pm
  • Here are Britton’s numbers:
    2006 BAL: 53 IP 3.35 ERA 7.71 H/9 2.85 BB/9 6.88 K/9 1.17 WHIP
    2007 AAA: 53 IP 2.55 ERA 8.15 H/9 2.38 BB/9 9.34 K/9 1.17 WHIP

    Anonymous August 23, 2007, 1:50 pm
  • Hmmmmm…..Woosta’s question (“not sure why they don’t like him”) looms large here. There must be a reason or he would be here, no??
    Can’t help feeling with the miniscule playing time Duncan is getting that it would possibly have been better to have an extra arm around these past 2 weeks.

    IronHorse-YF August 23, 2007, 1:55 pm
  • I guess Bruney was a flash in the pan?

    IronHorse-YF August 23, 2007, 1:58 pm
  • I agree about Villone – he’s cooked. I think the yanks will make some changes over the next couple of days – releasing Villone will probably be one of them. (I’m sorry to say because I like the guy – oh well…)

    Andrews August 23, 2007, 1:59 pm
  • Bruney is what he is, a high-heat guy who has very little control. It’s what got him released from Arizona, and although I hope he can fix himself at AAA, because he can be very effective, I just think that his “if it’s not working, throw harder” is hard-wired into his brain at this point.

    AndrewYF August 23, 2007, 2:00 pm
  • Britton last season…he wasn’t all that reliable. Look at his numbers after the break:
    21 IP, 23 H, 12 ER, 7 BB, 15 K, 5.14 ERA, 1.43 WHIP
    Great first half…terrible second. Not making any judgments on the guy, but his overall ’06 numbers are somewhat deceiving.

    Josh SF (D1) August 23, 2007, 2:01 pm
  • Good point Josh, maybe that’s why he’s been spending time in the minors. He’s just 24, and the Yankees have him under their control for 4 more years after this one. I guess Cashman considered him more of a long-term investment, and really wanted to develop him.
    Looking at the brief success he had last year, and his minor league numbers, I don’t think there’s much question that he’s got good stuff and can be effective. He’s definitely at the top of the minor league relief pitching depth list, I hope he comes up soon.

    AndrewYF August 23, 2007, 2:04 pm
  • So the numbers get LESS deceiving as you look at smaller samples?

    Woosta YF August 23, 2007, 2:05 pm
  • Britton has shown improvement this year – look at the K rate.

    Anonymous August 23, 2007, 2:06 pm
  • “because I like the guy – oh well…)”
    His personality, not his pitching, that is.

    Andrews August 23, 2007, 2:11 pm
  • “So the numbers get LESS deceiving as you look at smaller samples?”
    It wasn’t just an impossibly large HR-rate or some artificial and unlucky ERA jump; his K’s dropped, walks increased, and hits increased. He was a markedly worse pitcher in every measurable way. He trended downward.
    Again, not saying he was a bad pickup or that he’s not ready now. Just that something happened in the second half last season and he wasn’t very good.

    Josh SF (D1) August 23, 2007, 2:22 pm
  • 2006 3.93 6-5 89.1 39 34 102 0.255
    re: ba 2007 top 100 prospect ranking “discrepancy”.. here are the three 2006 performances. whos who?
    2006 3.93 6-5 89.1 39 34 102 0.255
    2006 3.64 9-4 101.1 41 37 94
    2006 3.51 9-6 107.2 91 31 118

    Ric August 23, 2007, 2:26 pm
  • The performance of relief pitchers varies greatly. That’s why they’re relief pitchers and not starters. Pick your ten favorites and you’ll see that. Taking 50 innings and looking at half doesn’t help to be less deceptive.
    Besides, I could come back and say:
    Look at his first half!
    37.2 IP 2.15 ERA 24 H 9 ER 11 BB 28 K
    But that’s pointless.
    And if anything, his K and BB stayed pretty constant. The only real difference is he started giving up more hits…..
    Lo and behold, his BABIP went .202 to .313.
    He was decent last year. He’s been better this year (in AAA).

    Woosta YF August 23, 2007, 2:31 pm
  • Uh, Ric, the point of those lists is predicting future success, not past performance. And my point is only that those lists aren’t reliable for anything substantial.

    Woosta YF August 23, 2007, 2:34 pm
  • uh, woosta, arent prospect lists rated based upon the performance of the prospects? you wondered why thet were lumped so close togther in ranking. i showed their extrmemely similar stats, showing you exactly why their ranking is so close. end of story.

    Ric August 23, 2007, 2:38 pm
  • No, Rick, they’re not. That’s why Joba could be listed even though he had never thrown a professional pitch before this year. Nice job comparing college and pro number though – that’s precious.
    Here peruse history for yourself.
    For every guy they get right, they get another very wrong. With that kind of accuracy, I might as well flip a coin.

    Woosta YF August 23, 2007, 2:47 pm
  • Woosta – wasn’t BA’s prospect lists compiled at the beginning of the year? Clearly, they are not worth anything now. Prospect lists rarely are. Could you tell me which prospect lists were not ranking Andy Marte and Joel Guzman as ‘top prospects’ just a couple years before? Baseball America is as good a ‘prospect ranking’ site as any, which means they’re not very good. But it’s not their fault, the nature of prospects are that most of them never work out.
    If you were to compile a prospect list as of this moment, I’m pretty sure guys like Hughes, Joba, and Buchholz would be topping the list. Sanchez would be off completely due to surgery, and Bowden would probably remain where he is, given that he hasn’t completely bombed in AA, where, as a 20-year old, is a pretty impressive place to be.

    AndrewYF August 23, 2007, 2:49 pm
  • BTW: Then think about the guys that were never listed – not once.
    Here are two: Mariano Rivera and Curt Schilling.
    Andrew – that’s exactly my point. Using those lists to compare prospects is worthless especially in an argument of their value.
    This all goes back to the discussion of Ellsbury’s worth. SF was all excited about how high he was listed as proof of him being a top prospect. Meanwhile the difference in OPS of him and Gardner in AAA is now .001.

    Woosta YF August 23, 2007, 2:54 pm
  • prospects ranks arent based upon the performance of the player?! so what makes a #1 ranking? word of mouth? clairvoyance? pull names out of a hat? who cares if they end up being right? im comparing the 2006 numbers becasue thats how they all performed the season before the ranking came out.. bard was in college too. it shows joba and bard had a similar year in college… does that make a difference to you then?

    Ric August 23, 2007, 2:59 pm
  • btw- im not arguing the worth of these rankings. im just arguing where players appear on a list based upon similar seasons prior to the ranking being released. i could care less if the ranking ends up being accurate. after all, BA has hughes at #4 when it appears hes nothing more than a mediocre starter ;)

    Ric August 23, 2007, 3:02 pm
  • “SF was all excited about how high he was listed as proof of him being a top prospect.”
    Are you sure? I’d think his callup to the majors and his performance thus far in AAA would have more weight than some silly ranking site. That said – I’m no big fan of Ellsbury, he’s a singles-hitter in the minors, showing no modicum of power whatsoever. Those types rarely last in the majors, because pitchers will eventually know that the worst they’ll do is hit a single, and won’t bother to pitch around them. A very good comp would be Juan Pierre, who showed excellent on-base ability in the minors, but who is one of the worst leadoff hitters (and one of the most overrated hitters in general) today, OBP-wise, because pitchers never bother to pitch around him. He has tremendous speed, which is the only reason he has value. Slugging is a very important part of hitting, and, at least in AAA, Ellsbury has not shown any of it. Ellsbury has great speed, and can hit for average (singles) but I find it very hard to believe he is actually a top hitting prospect at this point.

    AndrewYF August 23, 2007, 3:05 pm
  • Your exasperation is exactly how I feel about those lists. Numbers play a role, but it’s more a spooky evaluation of tools and stuff.
    That’s why a guy like Jose Tabata could be ranked #27 even though he had never played above A-ball.
    It’s impossible to compare college performances – there are too many schools, different fields and competition, metal bats. As for Bard vs. Chamberlain – they were ranked right next to each other, but their years in 2007 couldn’t have been more divergent. If the rankings can’t predict THAT, what good are they?
    Mike (NYC): Play Cashman for a minute…Joba a starter or Mariano successor?
    SportsNation Keith Law: (2:20 PM ET ) Starter. Four-pitch guy, holds his velo, big pitchers’ frame. No way I give that up.

    Woosta YF August 23, 2007, 3:06 pm
  • Incidentally, BA ranks the prospect of this thread turning into another mean-spirited flame-fest at 100%. I hope they are wrong (again…or for the first time…depending on who is reading this…).

    IronHorse-YF August 23, 2007, 3:11 pm
  • Nice. I’ve been liking Keith Law recently, he’s been pretty bullish on Yankee prospects.
    I agree with him too, the comparisons to Papelbon’s situation are misplaced. There were plent of reports that Papelbon had lots of trouble maintaining his velocity into the 4th inning in spring training this year. I was looking forward to him failing in the starters role, but the Sox did the (very) smart thing by making him the long-term closer.
    Joba is a different story. He was hitting 99mph in the 6th inning in the minors this year. I haven’t heard much about his changeup or curveball, but reports are that they are solid (he even threw them in some of his major league appearances…but obviously his out pitch is his slider). With Chamberlain’s stuff and his plus slider, you don’t need anymore than that on your third and fourth pitches. If Joba is not a starter next year, it will be because the process of turning him into a reliever, for a short stint, had conditioned his arm for relief, which would be very sad.

    AndrewYF August 23, 2007, 3:14 pm
  • Woosta: I think some in Yankeeland are so near crawling under a rock at the prospect of Mo’s departure that they would jump on anyone who might seem like a possible successor. But I think you are right re: him as starter given the tools he has. Of course, we’ve only really seen him use 2 of his 4 pitches (I saw him mix in one curveball but that’s it) so it remains to be seen how good he can be over 6-7 innnings, but yeah, we need to see it before relegating to bullpen status.

    IronHorse-YF August 23, 2007, 3:16 pm
  • Andrew, don’t worry about it. He’ll have all Spring to get it together. My only worry is his weight. Hopefully he moves to Tampa and him and Hughes become gym rats together.

    Woosta YF August 23, 2007, 3:18 pm
  • Woosta – you’re probably right. I think a big reason why Papelbon, after a couple of years being a starting pitching prospect, couldn’t keep his velocity was his shoulder injury. Here’s hoping Joba doesn’t suffer such a fate, although in that situation, having an ace reliever isn’t SO terrible.

    AndrewYF August 23, 2007, 3:50 pm
  • “I think a big reason why Papelbon, after a couple of years being a starting pitching prospect, couldn’t keep his velocity was his shoulder injury.”
    dude, his shoulder injury came from overthrowing as a closer… which has nothing to do with starting pitching…. and wheres this lack of velocity?

    Ric August 23, 2007, 3:58 pm
  • I’m actually surprised they’ve never tried to use Papelbon in two inning stints. The guy is a weapon and it’s a waste to use him as a traditional closer.
    Instead he’s pitched 45 innings this year. Of those, how many have been high-leverage spots?

    Woosta YF August 23, 2007, 4:13 pm
  • “dude, his shoulder injury came from overthrowing as a closer”
    Overthrowing is overthrowing. Clint Barmes broke his collarbone hauling Todd Helton’s deer meat up some stairs, that has nothing to do with baseball.
    Also, shoulder injuries don’t have to sap velocity, but wouldn’t it make sense that it could sap endurance? Or, maybe it’s not the injury at all that’s sapping the endurance, but the fact that Papelbon pitched as the closer all year and lost whatever endurance he built up in the minor leagues?
    This is why Joba has to, has to, go back to being a starter as soon as this season ends. Send him to AAA for the first month of 2008 if you have to, but endurance is all the difference between a starter and a reliever. Maybe this is moot, because Joba would have reached his innings limit either way, but he can be a big, big weapon in the starting rotation, which, in this day and age, is a lot more valuable than a weapon in the bullpen.

    AndrewYF August 23, 2007, 6:00 pm

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