That’s a Fine One Through Nine

— The Yankee line-up last night was really something to watch in action.  Everyone seemed to be hitting the snot out of the ball.  Even several of the foul balls were scary long, but I like how Joe Torre kept it in perspective.

"We can score some runs," Torre said, "but again, the pitcher has to cooperate. Good pitching always stops hitting." (Ronald Blum, AP)

— The New York Post hasn’t run a cover picture of ARod since the clinch.  Lately, Pedro has taken 3 of 7 covers.

— On a play in the third (if I recall correctly) Sheff fielded a hard shot that he didn’t glove it cleanly, but knocked it down and kept it in front of him, making the play unassisted.  He really doesn’t look out of place at first base at all.

— The Red Sox set a major-league record last night with their 105th errorless game in a season.  Unfortunately, it was their third runless game of the month and eighth of the season.

— Following surgery, Matt Clement will not pitch for several months and is facing a long rehab, but he is fully expected to be able to pitch again.

— Pesky’s pole really is Pesky’s now, and Eric Wilbur doesn’t like it.

47 comments… add one
  • that lineup was indeed amazing. when jorge posada is your worst hitter, you know you’ve got something special. but, i’m still worried about the pitching. i’m not happy about RJ pitching game 3. in my head i can see him losing, the twins leading the series 2-1, and jarret wright pitching in the metrodome to save the season. not good.

    m.g. yanks fan September 28, 2006, 1:10 pm
  • It’s a great lineup, but Torre is right. Baltimore pitching is, um, rather cooperative.
    Sheff isn’t exactly GG material out there (yet, anyway), but he was right when he said he could at least match Giambi’s skill. :)
    There is a lot more to fielding than errors. The Sox are a decent defensive team, not the great one you’d think they are if all you look at are errors. They’ve got a pretty solid infield, no doubt.
    So much for the “Matt Clement is a gutless pussy” line of thought, eh?

    Rob (Middletown, CT) September 28, 2006, 1:12 pm
  • A shoulder injury doesn’t a gutless pussy unmake.

    SF September 28, 2006, 1:24 pm
  • Also, does anyone think the fact that the lineup looks like this hurts at all? meaning, before, the team had some charm/good karma or were more likeable than usual, with melky cabrera and phillips or wilson at first. now, it’s like an all star roster. or am i just being completely paranoid? maybe both. i’m just not as cocky as other yankee fans entering the post season. the twins scare the crap out of me.

    m.g. yanks fan September 28, 2006, 2:21 pm
  • Sounds like his shoulder was pretty much a disaster. They didn’t know this until they opened him up. His lack of velocity, his complaints of shoulder weakness… it all fits with the injury.
    How is he a gutless pussy if he couldn’t manage to pitch well with a shredded shoulder?
    Brad Radke is insane, he doesn’t count. What he has been doing is amazing. That shouldn’t be the standard we hold injured players to, though.

    Rob (Middletown, CT) September 28, 2006, 2:23 pm
  • m.g. yanks fan,
    That’s a fairly common line of thought. I would agree if and only if the lineup results in a significant defensive downgrade. It does not. Melky is better than Matsui, but not by all that much. Matsui’s bat is on fire. Sheff is a concern at 1B, but he’s already Giambi’s equal and may get better. We will have a late inning replacement. Sheff will outhit said replacement by a lot.
    There are many guys in that lineup that I trust to have good, gritty postseason ABs (Damon, Jeter, Abreu, Giambi, Matsui). ARod is a wildcard… we all know his potential. Cano is on fire, although his plate discipline still isn’t all that good. Posada and Sheff can hit fastballs.
    The lineup is not a negative. The defense is ok. Not great, but ok. The pitching is the problem that I see. Wang is a good pitcher, but not a dominant ace. Mussina I trust to pitch reasonably well. RJ is old/hurt/bad. I have zero faith in him. I don’t have all that much in the potential other starters (Lidle, Wright, Rasner). The bullpen is ok – Mo is Mo, Proctor has been good, Bruney has been good, Myers is what he is… but then Farns scares me and Villone is terrible now.

    Rob (Middletown, CT) September 28, 2006, 2:29 pm
  • And think of it this way: the Yanks will have a functional bench for the first time in a long time.
    That’s a pretty solid set of options.

    Rob (Middletown, CT) September 28, 2006, 2:31 pm
  • Brad Radke is also retiring…so, this is it for him, whether his arm fall soff or not. Clement? He’s not really that good. Never has been.

    walein September 28, 2006, 2:51 pm
  • No, he hasn’t. Add up “not very good” and “shredded shoulder” and you get Matt Clement v2006. I don’t really think that “gutless pussy” has much to do with it.
    I was wrong on this: I thought he was a gutless pussy before the injury was found. Mea Culpa.

    Rob (Middletown, CT) September 28, 2006, 2:53 pm
  • Yeah, the news about his shoulder makes me feel bad for my bad thoughts about him too. He’s no better than a No. 4 starter in this division, but that’s better than running Jason Johnson out there every fifth day.
    Also, Eric Wilbur doesn’t really write good columns. I’m unclear as to how he’s managed to get a job rambling about whatever’s on his mind with no particular insight or logical flow (I guess that’s why it’s called a “blog,” hehe).
    This sentence struck me as particularly useless: “Real Red Sox fans take all this naming as a sort of insult.”
    Translation: I take this as an insult. I’m a “real Red Sox fan.” All real Red Sox fans think like me.
    Yuck. I consider myself a real Sox fan, and I thought it was a nice gesture that doesn’t do anything but give the man some well-deserved respect.

    Paul SF September 28, 2006, 3:02 pm
  • Sorry: Clement hasn’t been suffering from this injury for his entire career, has he? His rep, fairly applied after observation, is that he is less than mentally stalwart in the face of adversity. His shoulder injury may have made things worse this year, but his reputation, at least mentally, fit the bill.

    SF September 28, 2006, 3:09 pm
  • mg yanks fan:
    The reason you feel like the Yankee lineup is a all-star team is because that’s exactly what they are!

    Brad September 28, 2006, 3:30 pm
  • Wow, Wilbur really has nothing to write about. Unlike us!
    Bagging on the Sox because they honored a legend? Really weak. Now that’s misanthropic. As long as the Sox don’t start selling a sex toy named after the thing I don’t really care that they commemorated Pesky’s, uh, Pole.

    SF September 28, 2006, 3:36 pm
  • Nope. The next step is to sell 8.5″ * 11″ spots of advertisement on the pole itself. Not long thereafter, it will be call the “The Bank of America Pesky Pole”. Then, they will charge extra to sit close in the Pesky Bank of America seats, and then not make the necessary trades at the deadline.

    Brad September 28, 2006, 3:43 pm
  • again.

    Brad September 28, 2006, 3:44 pm
  • Yeah, Wilbur’s acting like the Sox commercialized the pole (Brad’s scenario) instead of making it to where the Globe and Herald can capitalize “Pole” when writing about the object in their game stories. Big deal…

    Paul SF September 28, 2006, 3:45 pm
  • nope, I was being serious. I can totally see this ownership doing such things.

    Brad September 28, 2006, 3:46 pm
  • Rob- i know it makes sense to have it that way. i guess i’m just used to other good/great lineups the post-2001 yankee teams have had..only to see them fail. granted, this lineup is MUCH better than past ones. i too am worried about the pitching. i wrote earlier that RJ starting game 3 is a really bad move. and i agree about farnsworth. he’s going to blow it.

    m.g. yanks fan September 28, 2006, 3:46 pm
  • If Lucchino can sell it, or rent it out, you can bank on the fact that he probably will.

    Brad September 28, 2006, 3:47 pm
  • I don’t understand why Torre doesnt pitch his scheduled four starter againt Santana (If it’s him). The chance is probably not good to win that game anyhow, so why not pitch Wang the second and fifth game with Mussina a Johnson after him in games 3&4? Then, maybe you lose game one, but come right back with better pitching? Lose Wang’s game, and it could very well be over before it comes around to him again.

    Brad September 28, 2006, 3:50 pm
  • Hehe, they might have an uproar trying to sell ads for the pole itself. I could see them charging extra for the seats around it and the “privilege” of adding your name to the grafitti around its base.

    Paul SF September 28, 2006, 3:50 pm
  • My name is on it, and it was absolutely free – it’s also on the inside of the wall, which I had to pay twenty to the scorer for, but it’s well worth it…

    Brad September 28, 2006, 3:53 pm
  • brad
    i’d probably agree with that if game one is in the metrodome where santana is unbeatable. but in yankee stadium, there’s a better chance to win. i think. does anyone know the yankees record against santana at the stadium?

    m.g. yanks fan September 28, 2006, 3:57 pm
  • mg-
    but, on just statistics alone, the odds of beating Santans (no matter what the record is) are not good at all. Why pitch easily the best guy against him? Do what you can against him, and hope for the best, but if the Yanks lose, they were probably already going to. Then, Wang’s available on day two. Who knows with Moose, who knows with Randy, and then Wang again.
    It makes perfect sense to me.

    Brad September 28, 2006, 4:00 pm
  • edit:
    santans = santana

    Brad September 28, 2006, 4:00 pm
  • Brad what statistics are you using? They should proably not even play game 1 and just give the twins a 1-up on the series if they agree not to pitch santana again until game 3.

    Seth September 28, 2006, 4:18 pm
  • …if we’ve learned anything from the playoffs over the years, especially the past 5 or so, it’s that there is no clear cut favorite, certain position players and pitchers can get hot, even the unlikely ones, and any team capable of getting into the post-season is capable of winning it all…

    dc September 28, 2006, 4:18 pm
  • Seth:
    The statistics are as follows:
    Post All-Star: 10-1 with a 2.5ERA, 107k’s.
    Sept: 3-1 with a 1.7ERA
    186H in 234IP.
    Need I go on? Statistical odds of beating this guy on any given day are not good, regarless of who is opposing him. Why not pitch Jared Wright agaist him and hope for the best, then try to take the next three?
    Don’t be hostile about the situation, Beth. If you think the Yankees have a better chance of beating Santana than the Twins do of beating Wang – more power to you. I promise you, you’re all alone on that one. All I’m saying is why waste Wang’s start?

    Brad September 28, 2006, 4:31 pm
  • I mean Seth, not Beth.

    Anonymous September 28, 2006, 4:35 pm
  • Brad,
    The Yanks can beat the Twins in a Santana start the same way they used to beat the Red Sox in a Pedro start: they survive the starter, racking up a pitch count and scratching out a few runs whilst also holding the other team’s offense down, and then winning it against middle relief (Nathan is really good, so it’s unlikely to be off of him).
    Put up Wang’s home stats and Santana’s road stats (or Yankee stadium stats, or vs. the Yankees stats)…
    Wang is an ace at home. He’s so-so on the road. It’s like night and day.

    Rob (Middletown, CT) September 28, 2006, 4:38 pm
  • Check the statistics on losing the first game of a series…
    Johan road stats 3.38 ERA and all 6 loses. (you should know this, Boston knocked him around)
    Wang home ERA 3.03
    Yanks are the “favorite” even if Johan starts.
    Also Johan has only 1 CG on the year.

    Seth September 28, 2006, 4:40 pm
  • Rob, just saw your post, but you are 100% correct about home-road splits for Wang and Santana

    Seth September 28, 2006, 4:41 pm
  • Okay, whatever you guys say. But if it were me, I’d rather bunch my good guys up against their bad ones. It wouldn’t be my choice.
    I actually looked at the stats you guys needed to post to back your points, but I still don’t care. Santana is nasty – the hands down Cy Young winner. Odds of beating him are never, ever good regarless of his past stats.

    Brad September 28, 2006, 4:47 pm
  • Also, it was much easier to beat Pedro late when he threw alot of pitches- Santana will not be that guy. He throws strikes, and sits guys down with a irregular regularity. The uniform wont matter one bit to him.

    Anonymous September 28, 2006, 4:50 pm
  • Brad, I understand where you are coming from. You have no faith in your team to beat someone who is good. When you are the best you strive to beat the best. I look forward to the yanks working over santana.
    Beckett was scary once…

    Seth September 28, 2006, 5:03 pm
  • Actually, it has nothing to do with that, Seth. It’s not the aces that the Red Sox have problems with – it’s the rookies. Alas, when exactly was the last time the Yankees were the “best”? You can’t claim to be the best, and continue to prove that your team is nothing more than a modern Atlanta Brave team with an inflated payroll. Of course all that could change this year with the All-Star team that they’re sending out there in the playoffs, but for now, you certainly can’t make that claim.

    Anonymous September 28, 2006, 5:18 pm
  • last post was me.

    Brad September 28, 2006, 5:19 pm
  • I agree with Rob on this one. Gardenhire will be cautious with Santana because he needs to use him twice in the series. He’s done the same thing in past ALDS. If Wang pitches well, chances are we could take one of the two games, hopefully the first.
    I’m concerned about the Twins pitchers the yanks haven’t faced.

    Andrews September 28, 2006, 5:39 pm
  • That’s what I’m saying, Andrews. Guys that good teams have never seen will always go deep and pitch well. It’s the cruel joke baseball gods play on good hitting teams. Anyone who likes those Mussina/Johnson matchups have not noticed how the Yankees (or the Sox for that matter) do against inexperienced, young hurlers.

    Anonymous September 28, 2006, 5:48 pm
  • Case in point: Rodrigo Lopez, against whom the Sox could not hit all last season and the part of 2004 he was with the Orioles. This year, he was pounded into little pices every start against the Sox.
    It’s an odd phenomenon. I’m not sure if it afflicts any other teams but the Sox and the Yanks, though. After all, these pitchers all seem to have 5+ ERAs when they come to town.

    Paul SF September 28, 2006, 6:20 pm
  • “Guys that good teams have never seen will always go deep and pitch well.”
    I think that makes it very important to put yourself in a position to win game one by starting your best pitcher.

    Andrews September 28, 2006, 6:28 pm
  • You pitch Wang in game 1. You trust the absolutely killer lineup of the Yankees to score at least Santana’s ERA, considering how decimating they can be. Throwing out a sacrificial lamb in game 1 sends a very bad message to the team and also to the opponent, that you are scared. There’s no reason that the Yankees, stacked as they are, shouldn’t be able to beat Santana in Yankee Stadium. At the least, they lose, and work him to death, tiring him for his second appearance. At best, they basically lock up the series after a game.
    Seriously, what’s to be afraid of? The Yanks should be able to bash the rest of the Twins’ staff to hell, no matter who is pitching for them. They are the favorite, and should win.
    The talk right now smacks of the lame stuff that came before the World Series against the Padres several years ago. “They are much better than you think, and if [substitute Santana for Kevin Brown] pitches well then look out”. The Padres, Brown and all, never had a chance.

    SF September 28, 2006, 6:40 pm
  • …sf, it’s not “lame” to have a healthy respect for the other teams…yanks are only a favorite against the other teams because they’ve been [sort of] hot lately, and have their injured lineup back in tact…by the time you get to the playoffs, everybody’s good, and guys like santana, everyone’s cy young, can make a big difference in a short series…post season pitching and defense are huge, and yf’s are recognizing that the yanks pitching and d right now is no better than anyone elses…

    dc September 28, 2006, 11:58 pm
  • It was “lame” to over-respect the Padres the year the Yankees swept them: that team was by far the best in the league, and superior to the San Diego squad that year. The “respect” afforded them was more out of CYA than anything. This year the difference between the Yanks and the Twins is not so severe, I’ll grant you, but if the Yankees’ lineup is healthy like it was two nights ago, then the only advantage the Twins have is Santana, and you have to take your best shot to neutralize that. Not throwing your best starter out there is questionable to me as a tactic.

    SF September 29, 2006, 7:09 am
  • sf…you are the one being lame here….you are downgrading the competition in order to devalue a yankee win…if they win, it’s because they were supposed to, so they get no credit for it…if they lose…ha ha…they lost to an inferior team, ergo, they must s–k…

    dc September 29, 2006, 10:00 am
  • dc, SF is saying the yanks should put out their best team to win. I agree with that. You do not put out an inferior pitcher just because you fear the opponents pitcher. The Yankees are a better team. I feel that you, as a yank fan, are over valuing the competition in case we lose. The yankees are the best team in baseball. If we lose to anyone, it will be an upset.

    Seth September 29, 2006, 10:06 am
  • sorry Seth, appreciate the attempt to explain sf’s comments, but what he said is… “It was “lame” to over-respect the Padres the year the Yankees swept them: that team was by far the best in the league, and superior to the San Diego squad that year. The “respect” afforded them was more out of CYA than anything.”…that’s the insult i was responding to… his last statement about whether to start your best pitcher or not was not the point i was focused on…

    dc September 29, 2006, 10:11 am

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