Bad Idea? Twins-Yanks Gamer VI

Many ideas read great on paper only to be butchered in implementation. Other ideas are wrong-headed from the start. Appearing to be pro-cancer is definitely a bad idea. And as is the case with so many talking heads, opening one’s mouth so often is a really bad idea. Having sex on camera never seems to work out well for anyone who doesn’t get paid in advance. And it is a universally accepted truth that you don’t mess with a streak; it’s always a bad idea. Crash Davis taught us that long ago, but we shall taunt fate and put up a game thread anyway, despite that our recently miserable muck-up of posting punctual gamers has no doubt directly resulted in a four game win streak for the Bombers since the break. Or such is my latest bad idea.

Darrell Rasner has gone five innings in each of his last five starts, and the methods haven’t been pretty, with 38 hits and 21 runs over that span though the Yankees did win two of the contests. Kevin Slowey takes the mound for the Twins; he was rocked in his last start at Detroit but in his previous three starts he was solid against Cleveland, shut out the Brewers on three hits with no walks, and held the Padres scoreless for six.

It was comforting to see Damon back leading off last night. He is at the top of the order again tonight as DH, with Moeller starting over Molina at the backstop. Comment away.

baseball-reference.com game preview

Minnesota
D. Span rf .329
A. Casilla 2b .320
J. Mauer c .323
J. Morneau 1b .318
J. Kubel dh .263
D. Young lf .297
B. Buscher 3b .330
N. Punto ss .324
C. Gomez cf .247
 
K. Slowey 4.26
 
NY Yankees
J. Damon dh .319
D. Jeter ss .284
B. Abreu rf .275
A. Rodriguez 3b .316
J. Giambi 1b .254
R. Cano 2b .260
M. Cabrera cf .247
C. Moeller c .239
B. Gardner lf .170
 
D. Rasner 4.97
60 comments… add one
  • Moeller. Similarly meager offense with half the defense. Ugh. I guess this is what it is like to have what can legitimately be considered a “back-up” catcher.
    I feel one of A-Rod’s a-homer-a-night stretches coming on…

    IronHorse (yf) July 22, 2008, 6:48 pm
  • Moeller is for Rasner – he’s pitched much better with him behind the dish. Besides, Molina needs a break. He wore down when Jorge first went on the DL.
    That’s not a bad lineup though from the Twinkies. Delmon Young is going to be a monster once his power develops.

    A YF July 22, 2008, 7:09 pm
  • Rasner gives up an early single, moves to 2nd on Melky’s error.

    Atheose July 22, 2008, 7:10 pm
  • Silly Twins wasting outs with sacrifice bunts.
    The most games Molina has played in a season is 78. He’s at 62 already. Definitely a good idea to give him some rest.

    Atheose July 22, 2008, 7:13 pm
  • Delmon Young is going to be a monster once his power develops.
    Whenever I hear his name I think of his Dugout screenname, “Dude_You’re_Getting_A_Delmon:

    Atheose July 22, 2008, 7:14 pm
  • Delmon Young is going to be a monster once his power develops.
    Whenever I hear his name I think of his Dugout screenname, “Dude_You’re_Getting_A_Delmon:

    Atheose July 22, 2008, 7:14 pm
  • Horrible decision making Casilla, a .320 hitter, bunt Span over the 3rd.

    Atheose July 22, 2008, 7:16 pm
  • So Melky commits the error in the 1st because he was trying to wave to the Bleacher Creatures as he fielded the ball. Saw it a few times on YES, it was definitely an attempt to wave. I am sure there will be more on this to come.

    John - YF July 22, 2008, 8:22 pm
  • Wow, really John? I only had gameday up at the time. Oops.

    Atheose July 22, 2008, 8:27 pm
  • I would love to say I was making it up Ath. At first Leiter and Kay were thinking he was waving off Abreu, but that was not the case. He was clearly waving off Role Call.

    John - YF July 22, 2008, 8:29 pm
  • Like, he was waving off role call while tracking the ball? Geez.

    Atheose July 22, 2008, 8:40 pm
  • Exactly Ath.

    John - YF July 22, 2008, 8:47 pm
  • Minnesota scores on a very tight near-double play at first. Kay and Leiter convinced that the runner was out, but the replay showed either a tie or the runner hitting the bag perhaps one super slo-mo frame rate after the ball started entering the glove of Giambi, though it wasn’t clear he had secured the catch. Not sure how any ump is capable of detecting a 1/150th of second difference in the sounds of the ball hitting the glove and the foot hitting the bag, which is what they are listening for. Either way, Kay and Leiter were as certain as anyone that he was out. Paging YF and Errol Morris references!

    SF July 22, 2008, 9:04 pm
  • What a great, fun season! Yanks pull 3.5 back of the divison and into second place on the wild card front. Meanwhile, Jeter, Cano, and Abreu are all heating up as Razzle Dazzle comes one out short of a quality start. So much fun!
    Perfect slogan for their second-half t-shirts: No excuses!
    IH – the starters during this five game streak?
    31.1 IP, 8 ER, 7 BB, 27 K, 3 QS
    And both Ponson and Rasner came one out short of a QS.
    Meanwhile, these are decent teams – one step below the Angels, Rays, and Sox.

    A YF July 22, 2008, 9:46 pm
  • Great outing by Farnsy, who strikes out the side. The Sox better kick ass tonight–I’m talking like a 10-0 blowout in the 3rd inning type of game.

    Atheose July 22, 2008, 9:55 pm
  • Now Farnsworth is striking out the side!!! And Casilla, Mauer and Morneau!!1111!!!

    A YF July 22, 2008, 9:58 pm
  • And they scored 8 runs with the bottom three in the lineup going 0 for 11 (including pinch-hitters) with one walk!!!!111111!!!!!!!

    A YF July 22, 2008, 10:02 pm
  • The Mets just imploded in the ninth. Poor Johan Santana should have a gaudy record right now.
    Something like 6 straight hits/walks to start the ninth. Still nobody out and a 5-2 lead has turned into a 7-5 deficit.

    SF July 22, 2008, 10:02 pm
  • Just saw the replays on ESPN, sf. Unfortunately the Sportscenter anchors are saying “Santana knew they didn’t have a closer, he should have demanded to stay in the game”. Despite being at 105 pitches. Idiocy.

    Atheose July 22, 2008, 10:08 pm
  • Make that 8-5. Probably the worst inning of pitching and baseball I have seen since Oki’s collapse last August against the Yanks at Fenway.

    SF July 22, 2008, 10:09 pm
  • Hahahahahaha! Ignore the Yanks! And in their game thread! Where’s MF in the site name?
    The Sox can’t trust anyone in the bullpen besides Papsy. The Yanks are getting Dan Giese some work closing out a game. I love baseball!

    A YF July 22, 2008, 10:10 pm
  • Yeah SF, and the REALLY frustrating part (for the Mets) is that they almost made a comeback in the bottom of the inning! Poor Johan.

    Atheose July 22, 2008, 10:28 pm
  • Since my view agrees with IH, let me say this:
    Baseball is a game of 162 games, valuing consistency. I’m a fan of Rasner (Ponson less so), but they’re exactly that – rolling the dice. And some people might have career years. Doing the “smart” thing means gambling with better odds, but the outcome is uncertain. It doesn’t prove you right (at least not yet for “I told you so”).. =P
    Take Josh Beckett, for example – he had that one year we YFs all laughed at. Go figure now.
    (Of course, then you have people like Aaron Small…)

    Lar July 22, 2008, 10:58 pm
  • Hmmmm, Lar. Defending champ or not, Beckett is working on a tick above average year (109 ERA+). Out of the three years in red socks, he’s had one where he lived up to his potential. If you want consistency, Beckett is a poor example.

    A YF July 23, 2008, 5:51 am
  • From Ben @ RIver Ave Blues:
    Since the break — a familiar phrase during this recent hot streak — the bullpen has thrown 16.2 innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and five walks while striking out 25. At some point the pen will falter, but Brian Cashman’s plan is clearly working at the back-end of games. I hate to say it, but I no longer cower in fear when the starters are removed the Yanks’ ace corps of relievers take over.
    I agree. The bullpen is tasty! I heart baseball!

    A YF July 23, 2008, 5:54 am
  • Lar, you want consistency, how about Sabathia well on his way to his third straight 140 ERA+ year?
    As I think about it, I can’t see how the Yanks don’t sign him. They’ve got the payroll voids, he’s a lefty, he’s consistently healthy, and he just turned 28. The worries are his size and his innings load, so far, in a longish contract. But I think he’s too much in their organizational wheelhouse to let him pass. It shores up the rotation with a legit ace in his prime and without giving up one prospect.
    If they want a bit more insurance, they could probably bring back Moose and/or Pettitte for decent, short-term contract as they wait for the youngsters.
    Then – for IH – you’ve got a rotation in 2009:
    1. Sabathia
    2. Wang
    3. Joba (on track for 190 innings)
    4. Moose/Pettitte
    5. Hughes/IPK
    That’s pretty darn good, and with 4 of the 5 slots all born in the 80s. In three years they will have completely remade the rotation and without trading one prospect.

    A YF July 23, 2008, 7:29 am
  • No, I’m saying that even though Beckett had that really bad year (so outliers do happen and exist), people do regress to their norm.

    Lar July 23, 2008, 7:52 am
  • And my point is, which is Beckett’s “norm”?:
    2002: 98 ERA+
    2003: 138 ERA+
    2004: 108 ERA+
    2005: 118 ERA+
    2006: 95 ERA+
    2007: 145 ERA+
    2008: 110 ERA+
    Career = 116 ERA+

    A YF July 23, 2008, 9:11 am
  • I love your rotation for next year A…
    We need to get out the brooms this afternoon to sweep the Twinkies out of the Stadium and then batten down the hatches for a weekend set at Fenway! This is what makes baseball fun…for YF’s and SF’s anyways.

    krueg July 23, 2008, 9:38 am
  • Great roll the offense is on – the top 2/3rds of it anyway. I love when Cano and Abreu start to warm up – they are monster hitters when they get going.
    Love to get Mussina his 13th today and it’s important for the ats to stay warm and confident heading up to Boston for the weekend – Joba vs. Beckett on Ortiz’s homecoming Friday will be a scene man…

    IronHorse (yf) July 23, 2008, 9:45 am
  • A – I don’t know what you’re arguing about. That’s relatively consistent if you ask me.

    Lar July 23, 2008, 9:59 am
  • ” I love when Cano and Abreu start to warm up – they are monster hitters when they get going.”
    Yes, they are. Jeter too. If all three get going this month, it’s going to be alot of fun!

    A YF July 23, 2008, 10:01 am
  • A – I don’t know what you’re arguing about. That’s relatively consistent if you ask me. My point is that yes, the starters have been doing well. The problem is that luck might run out sooner than you think. I’m talking about this current season, btw, so CC is off the table (presumably..)

    Lar July 23, 2008, 10:01 am
  • This lagged post induced the double post – d’oh. Typepad is really having troubles lately..

    Lar July 23, 2008, 10:02 am
  • Just forget it Lar – not worth it.
    On your more relevant point, the Yanks are apparently looking at Jarrod Washburn or Bronson Arroyo to stabilize the back-end of the rotation. Don’t know what they’d consider giving up, and in the end I’d bet Rasner rather than Ponson would lose out in such a deal (I can’t bring myself to trust Ponson and therefore would rather see him than Rasner go, even though he is so much more seasoned and likely objectively better than Darrell), but it would be a less hairy back-end in either of those scenarios and if they can do it without giving up anything all that important for the future, I’d be interested. Still don’t see our top three getting us very far into October this year, but it would be nice to get there and a better #4 would certainly help.

    IronHorse (yf) July 23, 2008, 10:10 am
  • I don’t know why you guys have such thin skins? I have a difference of opinion. Is conversation in this country so devoid of content these days that simple disagreements now become “worth it” or not?
    “That’s relatively consistent if you ask me.”
    Really? Pick one – Beckett is:
    a) about average (2002, 2006)
    b) above average (2004, 2005, 2008)
    c) Top of the game (2003, 2007)
    “On your more relevant point, the Yanks are apparently looking at Jarrod Washburn or Bronson Arroyo to stabilize the back-end of the rotation.”
    I don’t see how either is any better than league average. Nor would either help with the post-season since neither would start over Joba, Pettitte, or Moose. So then we’re talking about a Game 4 starter in the ALCS. That’s a huge stretch for this team.

    A YF July 23, 2008, 10:35 am
  • a less hairy back-end
    Nice image, IH!

    SF July 23, 2008, 10:39 am
  • Beckett is *an example*. You might disagree with it, but you’re ignoring *the point*. Fill in your own example if you want. Perhaps you should look into statistics (the class, not player stats) if you don’t understand the concept of “luck” or probability.
    There are 60 games to be played, give or take, and 2/5 of 60 = 24, give or take. 24 starts. And that’s assuming Moose, Pettitte, or Joba will keep this up. Or stay healthy..

    Lar July 23, 2008, 10:42 am
  • Don’t worry Lar, nobody’s arguing with him so he argues with himself. Just sit back and enjoy a few laughs.

    Atheose July 23, 2008, 10:42 am
  • “Perhaps you should look into statistics (the class, not player stats) if you don’t understand the concept of “luck” or probability.”
    Hmm, but Beckett’s inconsistency isn’t driven by luck – unless giving up more or less homeruns is luck-driven. He’s simply not a consistent pitcher. That’s what you called him. Bad example.
    And I did offer a better one – Sabathia.
    Why take a simple disagreement personally? I don’t – not even when the village idiots are writing.

    A YF July 23, 2008, 10:47 am
  • Once again, that is NOT the point. I’m talking about Rasner/Ponson, this season. Which you keep on ignoring.
    For your information, league average at 4th and 5th is _good_. Because you know, if every 4th and 5th performs at the league average, it wouldn’t be the league average!

    Lar July 23, 2008, 10:53 am
  • That said, that’s the point – Rasner and Ponson are _not_ league average. Lucky, maybe, but not there. (And in the case of Rasner, at least not yet..)

    Lar July 23, 2008, 10:56 am
  • “Once again, that is NOT the point. I’m talking about Rasner/Ponson, this season. Which you keep on ignoring.”
    No, I just don’t have a disagreement with you there. And I don’t think a better solution exists. If those two start crapping, they can try Karstens, IPK, or even McCutchen.

    A YF July 23, 2008, 10:58 am
  • Fair enough, I suppose. Actually, I just looked up Ponson and he’s worse than I thought. A bit lucky on the ERA+ (103 including his Texas starts) and wins (Yanks actually scores for him) but 99 hits + 27 walks ~= 1.6 WHIP. 12 Unearned runs (which would increase his ERA by 1/3). This is going to hurt at some point..

    Lar July 23, 2008, 11:02 am
  • “That said, that’s the point – Rasner and Ponson are _not_ league average.”
    Actually, there we do have a disagreement.
    Rasner – 125 career innings – 94 ERA+
    Ponson – 1600 career innings – 91 ERA+
    Now that’s their career averages. If they simply get that, with the current uptick in offense, they’ll be fine with those two. And that’s not too far off of league average.

    A YF July 23, 2008, 11:03 am
  • Ponson:
    2004: 87 ERA+
    2005: 69 ERA+
    2006: 71 ERA+
    2007: 63 ERA+
    That 1.6 WHIP is crazy Lar. Deifnitely smoke an mirrors; when Ponson crashes he’s going to crash hard.

    Atheose July 23, 2008, 11:10 am
  • Except Ponson’s GB:FB is about 2:1 – specifically because his sinker is sinking. If he keeps that up, he might be able to keep to keep skating by – at league average.
    By contrast – you want to see “crash hard” – look at Dice-K’s trajectory – increased WHIP, decreased Ks – sure looks like an “ace”! Exactly the guy I want signed for four more years!

    A YF July 23, 2008, 11:24 am
  • Lar, Ath, I think you’re right.
    And as someone who watched Ponson in his best days back when I had a partial season ticket package to Camden Yards and he was the O’s ace, he WILL crash. He always does.

    IronHorse (yf) July 23, 2008, 11:45 am
  • Ponson might or might not have been league average at some point, but he hasn’t for the last few years. This year, specifically, he’s been getting lucky – the WHIP alone is a huge red flag. He’s no Wang..

    Lar July 23, 2008, 11:45 am
  • Daisuke’s WHIP is only .035 higher than last year, and he’s only allowed 5 homeruns all season (compared to 25 in 2007).
    His trend shows improvement too: 1.26 WHIP in his last 5 starts, 0 homeruns allowed in 30+ innings. Luck is playing a part in Daisuke’s 2.63 ERA, but the lack of homeruns is playing a larger part.

    Atheose July 23, 2008, 11:46 am
  • For what it’s worth, I also think Dice has been lucky. But at least he’s gave more already than Pavano, nevermind that his salary is somewhat subsidized by the fact that Red Sox was buying a little bit into the Japanese market.

    Lar July 23, 2008, 11:48 am
  • Yeah Lar, that 1.721 WHIP is absolutely crazy.

    Atheose July 23, 2008, 11:48 am
  • “This year, specifically, he’s been getting lucky – the WHIP alone is a huge red flag. He’s no Wang..”
    Right, Wang is typically much better than league average – even consistently so.
    I’m not saying Ponson is great by any stretch. But there does seem to be a clear reason why he’s getting through trouble. If he continues to induce groundballs at that high rate, he’ll continue to find some modicum of success.

    A YF July 23, 2008, 11:48 am
  • I hear you Lar…and not to beat a dead horse, but 10 runs per game of run support ain’t likely to hold for WHIP-boy either. Then again, even if the Yanks do get Washburn or Arroyo, it is almost certainly Rasner and not Aruba-judge-puncher who is going to be bounced from the rotation so I fear we have been given a front-row seat to Sidney’s inevitable meteoric fall back to earth. I’d rather it just not begin with his Fenway start this Sunday.

    Anonymous July 23, 2008, 11:51 am
  • That was me…

    IronHorse (yf) July 23, 2008, 11:51 am
  • I’d rather it just not begin with his Fenway start this Sunday.
    All signs show that a patient team like the Red Sox will destroy Ponson. However, for whatever reason, the Sox always seem to do well against aces and struggle against bad pitchers. So who knows.
    Although it’s a Yanks-Sox series, so throw all conventional wisdom out the window.

    Atheose July 23, 2008, 11:53 am
  • And Lar brings up the dreaded name from the never-distant-enough-past.
    Speaking of which, good old Carl begins his rehab assignment next weekend. Hope his buttcheeks explode – again.

    IronHorse (yf) July 23, 2008, 11:53 am
  • I don’t disagree with the statement “If he continues to induce groundballs at that high rate, he’ll continue to find some modicum of success.” – I just don’t think he will!
    Rasner I dig a bit, but we’ll see..

    Lar July 23, 2008, 11:54 am
  • Ironhorse using a horse metaphore? How appropriate!

    Atheose July 23, 2008, 11:54 am
  • Actually, that is interesting. I remember seeing that news bit awhile ago. If Pavano can round out the backend, it would be amusing – he definitely has the stuff to be an average pitcher..

    Lar July 23, 2008, 11:57 am

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