Only 161* To Go: Yankee Game 1 Postmortem

Carl Pavano did not have a game for the ages, but he was reasonably effective over 4.1 innings, even if he allowed some solid contact and left down 5-3. The Yanks committed 3 errors behind Carl, and gave up 3 stolen bases. There won’t always be that many free bases for opponents. There’s reason for guarded optimism. In any case, look for the Yanks to win a good many ballgames after the 6th inning, as their offense chews its way into the weak bullpens around the League, and the tough Yankee pen holds off opponents. Today we got a look at what will apparently be Joe’s preferred way of closing down games: 1 inning each for Vizcaino, Farnsworth, and Mo (who was absolutely dominant, striking out the 3 batters he faced), with Proctor there to bail out whomever gets into trouble.

On offense, Alex put some early boos behind him (after a botched—though difficult—foul pop and a K with runners on) with a scorched single and a monster home run to right center, that put the game away. Jeter, Giambi, and Abreu all had big hits. Phelps walked twice before being replaced for Minky. As the Yanks took the lead, Joe played small ball. Damon came out with cramps, but this hardly seems worthy of panic. Finally, we note that on the first day of Passover, Elijah showed up at Yankee Stadium. Elijah Dukes, the D-Rays stocky centerfielder, blasted a homer off Pavano to the opposite field. He’s going to be trouble for some time.

* Not including the playoffs!

34 comments… add one
  • I just saw a replay of that foul pop-up that Alex screwed up – seemed like it should’ve been Posada’s ball anyway…
    Also, since I didn’t actually watch the game (stupid work!), did Mo fool around with a changeup at all?

    yankeemonkey April 2, 2007, 6:08 pm
  • P.S. Is ESPN planning to show every single of ARod’s ABs all season long? (Especially the ones where he strikes out?)

    yankeemonkey April 2, 2007, 6:19 pm
  • YM: Yes, that foul pop from Crawford likely should have been Posada’s, but ARod did get on his horse to try to make the play, and it hit his glove which is an auto-E, if I’m not mistaken. He should have let it drop at the point when he over-ran the ball; tough play in that light and under those conditions. Jeter’s and Phelps’ throwing errors were far more egregious.
    I didn’t see any off-speed stuff from Mo; it seemed to be his tried-and true arsenal. He was placing the ball exactly where he wanted it on just about every pitch, except maybe one where it went a bit higher up the ladder than I think he wanted. Navarro’s AB was great to watch; cutter in, cutter in, fastball on the outside corner; he took a decent cut at it but he was set up, he knew it, and he had no chance. The batters looked completely flummoxed. It was a masterful debut from Mariano.
    Farnsworth did show off some stuff that looked new to me and looked great as well, despite giving up a non-consequential single.
    Luis Vizcaino was excellent. He challenged hitters on every pitch and worked fast, inducing fly balls as batters tried to catch up with his heat.
    Bruney didn’t help Pavano, but it didn’t matter in the final tally.
    Pavano was the victim of too many four-out innings, because he frankly didn’t make too many mistakes, except for a _blast_ from Dukes.
    It’s true that TB was running well, and though Posada seemed a bit rusty throwing to second, he did catch Young. TB is team of speedsters. And speaking of Young, that guy has some arm. his throw to first on a deep fly by Posada was absolutely beautiful. A flat strike to Wigginton from the track.

    attackgerbil April 2, 2007, 6:37 pm
  • YM: regarding your p.s., as long as they focus on his radioactively hot single through Zobrist that may or may not be worth an E on Zobrist and his subsequent swipe of second that manufactured the Yankee lead, and his monster blast the other way (what a sweet swing he has), yeah, they can show his ABs. That strikeout looking from him in the first was a borderline pitch; Navarro sold it well.

    attackgerbil April 2, 2007, 6:44 pm
  • Correction; ARod’s homer was not the other way, but it was to the deepest part of the park, and well past the wall. The catcher out in the pen made a great grab up against the back wall.
    I know I said this in the gamer, but in the ninth, that shot of Mo coming out of the pen trotting towards the mound taken by a cameraman shooting handheld following, “Enter Sandman” playing with the crowd in a roar, the camera widening out on the shot to show the formidable height of the full stands as number 42 trotted into an intense sun towards the hill was positively stirring. I got goosebumps. So did my girl, and she’s a Tigers fan. It made the hair on my arm stand up.

    attackgerbil April 2, 2007, 7:00 pm
  • That’s a great synopsis, thanks Gerb!!
    I guess I’m just hoping Alex has more radioactively hot ABs than Ks looking. In that case I agree that ESPN can show all of ’em!

    yankeemonkey April 2, 2007, 7:01 pm
  • Hate to disagree but that was in no way Jorge’s ball. Alex misplayed the ball, bottom line. According to Kay and Singleton, the skies were tough in the early going when it was overcast.
    As for Pavano, he missed on a few pitches, but overall I think his stuff was good. He was very aggressive in the zone, which for him is important.
    Josh Phelps seems as if he may never see the infield past the 7th inning. Granted DJ didn’t help him with the throw, but overall he looks like a catcher playing first.
    Bruney, ehhh. Vizcaino kept the ball up too much for my liking. Farnsworth looked good and Mo, well ’nuff said.
    Delmon Young has a cannon. The ball absolutely jumps off Dukes bat. Carl Crawford is aaaa-maaa-zzzing. The Rays pen is awful.
    Great seeing Bobby Murcer, Thank God for Tivo.

    Triskaidekaphobia April 2, 2007, 8:13 pm
  • …yayyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!!…

    dc April 2, 2007, 8:13 pm
  • Trisk, yeah, I can see it both ways on ARod’s error. Frankly, he should have let it fall. He had way to much speed coming in to adjust to the path; it must have looked mighty squirrel-ly(?) from his angle; maybe there is a reason why Jorge did not attempt to field it?
    It’s too early for me to pass judgement on Phelps. Jeter’s throw was really bad; off line to the weak side and low. Phelps had to scoop backhanded; a lefty would have had a much better chance to save Jeter’s errant hurl. He scooped another throw for Jeter later in the game. First base by platoon worked well this time with Doug’s bunt and single.
    Vizcaino kept the ball up, but in the range where TB bats could only pop out. Can’t argue with results yet, same way that Bruney’s small sample should not be held against him, no?

    attackgerbil April 2, 2007, 8:40 pm
  • And Phelps walked twice. Nice patience.

    attackgerbil April 2, 2007, 8:45 pm
  • Phelps looks great at the plate, but his footwork at first is not so hot. I am all for the platoon and by no means making a judgement solely on today.
    As for Jorge, generally you are taught that players coming in on balls always have the right of way. Plus catching pop ups with a catchers glove is no easy chore (ex-catcher) so I can see why he thought A-Rod all the way.
    I am a big Bruney fan, no not held against him at all, just wasn’t dazzled.
    Vizcaino did get 3 pop ups, but would much rather see some ground balls.

    Triskaidekaphobia April 2, 2007, 9:58 pm
  • Wow, 5 runs (4 earned) in 4.1 innings counts as “reasonably effective,” especialy against the cellar-dwelling Rays?
    Talk about rose-colored glasses. At least we Sox fans have the honesty to admit that our guy (Schilling) totally stank today.
    If Pavano’s ERA stays over 8.00, I doubt New York fans will be calling that “reasonably effective” for long…

    Hudson April 2, 2007, 10:14 pm
  • To be fair, Rays have some excellent hitters, cellar-dwelling or not.
    Don’t forget Pavano hasn’t pitched in the majors for almost 2 seasons! His defense didn’t exactly help him, either…Now if he goes out and doesn’t get out of the 5th inning every time out, obviously we’ll stop singing his praises, but for his first outing…ehhh. I’ll wait until he makes a couple more starts before passing judgement.

    yankeemonkey April 2, 2007, 10:54 pm
  • 3 errors. That’s a free inning. Pavano worked well until he tired. The bad defense prolonged his innings, and compounded his weaknesses. He’s not good enough to overcome horrendous defense. With some solid defense and the Yankee offense working in his favor, he should put himself in position for a decent number of wins. Not Cy territory, but probably better than what most teams are going to throw out for their 4/5 starter.

    YF April 2, 2007, 11:33 pm
  • Hudson, I’m curious as to whether you watched the game. Pavano was done in mostly by the 3 errors (well, 2…A-Rod’s had virtually no effect except force him to throw 2 whole extra pitches). Likewise, while I hate to say a good throw would have gotten them since they’re a very good base stealing team, Posada didn’t exactly make many good throws to second. Pavano was not that good, but he was reasonably effective considering the circumstances.
    Seriously now, if it was Pettitte I could understand, but why exactly would most Yankee fans be trying to defend Pavano if they didn’t honestly think he deserved to be cut at least a little slack? Believe me, as far as I’m concerned, if a Yankee pitcher is awful, I’ll say so. Pavano wasn’t awful. He wasn’t great, but if the defense had made some simple plays behind him, he would have been far more effective.

    Kyle Litke April 3, 2007, 3:02 am
  • Hudson, worry about your own team and the trouncing they took with your “#1” going. Pavano was fine. First 2 innings he was very impressive, missed on one pitch to CC (needed to get he further out) but that was it. Overall he was aggressive, which is an encouraging sign for a guy who hasn’t pitched in a long time.

    Triskaidekaphobia April 3, 2007, 8:35 am
  • Johnny Damon on the 30 day DL ?

    Anonymous April 3, 2007, 9:14 am
  • Honestly, the most important thing Pavano did was go out there and pitch. He hadn’t done that for 2 years. Now, if he doesn’t start improving his endurance and effectiveness it’ll be a problem, but hey, at least he pitched better than the “Ace” himself, and against a far better lineup.

    Andrew April 3, 2007, 12:35 pm
  • …lookin’ to start some s— ain’t you andrew?…

    dc April 3, 2007, 1:55 pm
  • are you guy’s serious with a curtain call for a-rod yesterday? there’s a word for when a group of people render an action meaningless by using it inappropriately. i just can’t think of it right now.
    oh yeah, that word is….pathetic.

    sf rod April 3, 2007, 2:37 pm
  • I’ll go with “Buckner” for $600 in the category “Random things to write at the end of this thread to incite a flame war”.

    Nick-YF April 3, 2007, 2:43 pm
  • Derek Jeter has the range of an average 2nd baseman, Jason Giambi’s a juiced-up cheating Barry Bonds Jr., A-Rod’s the least clutch player in professional sports, Melky Cabrera wishes he had Juan Pierre’s power, Jorge Posada sucks, and Mariano Rivera…OK, can’t really say much against him…
    Flame war: Dresden-Style.
    (That was in really poor taste…)

    desturbd1 April 3, 2007, 2:50 pm
  • i wasn’t trying to start a flame war. i understand that most YF’s at the game yesterday are not “real” YF’s, but just manhattan socialites who were able to afford opening day tickets and a monday out of the office. but the CC was just silly.

    sf rod April 3, 2007, 3:53 pm
  • It’s part of the culture of the stadium and in the over-the-top ludicrous soap opera that is one game of A-Rod at the stadium, it fit the story. But then again, I don’t think curtain calls are that sacred.

    Nick-YF April 3, 2007, 4:02 pm
  • D1, you forgot Jeff Maier and “The Phantom Tag.”

    Tyrel SF April 3, 2007, 4:05 pm
  • I don’t think the curtain call was so over the top. Ya, it’s not like Arod’s HR was a go ahead homer or anything, but it’s nice that the fans showed him a little appreciation after all the shit that’s been thrown his way over the winter.

    Tyrel SF April 3, 2007, 4:11 pm
  • …one game guys…geez…some of this is in jest, but the sf’s are squirmin’ a bit…dontcha love it?…brings out the “best” in them…they can say these posts are “jokes” even though they’re venting…hahahahahaha…this’ll make ya feel better: yanks 1-3, sox 3-1 after 4 games….dicemat with a complete game shutout in his first outing….might happen…i said it here first….

    dc April 3, 2007, 4:44 pm
  • I rest my case that Yankee fans have a problem with basic reading comprehension: Trisk, et al., your responses conveniently neglected to note that I *did* trash our own #1 Schilling.
    And if Sox fans aren’t allowed to comment on the Yankees (and needle their fans) here, then what’s the point of having a site for both sets of fans?

    Hudson April 3, 2007, 6:30 pm
  • you’re allowed to needle yf’s hudson, me anyway…i happen to enjoy some good natured jabbing…and i like to give it back…it’s funny that you have that complaint about yf’s, i’ve had the same one about sf’s on this site [i.e. “the jokes are only funny when the yanks are the punchline]…don’t forget not to generalize though: “Yankee fans have a problem with basic reading comprehension…”…that get’s sf’s all upset…oops, did i just generalize?…good to see someone else with a sense of humor and not all hung up on pretending to be cerebral…

    dc April 3, 2007, 6:58 pm
  • but the sf’s are squirmin’ a bit
    Maybe somewhere, but not here. I think us SFs have dealt with the tragedy, the monstrosity, the season-deflating horror that was yesterday’s harbinger of complete and utter failure quite well, thank you very much.

    SF April 3, 2007, 7:45 pm
  • I could really care less if you comment, just as long you know what you are talking about. I watched beginning to end and I honestly thought Pavano pitched well. There is nobody, including me and I am probably his biggest fan behind Alyssa Milano, that believes Pavano is an Ace. In the words of Dennis Green “Carl Pavano is who we thought he was.” What he is a #4/5 with real good stuff.
    I love the fact that it’s day one and the Sox fans are already upset and worried. A-Rod’s curtain call, Mahattan Socialites, Giambi takes steroids…Uggh you guys are hysterical.

    Triskaidekaphobia April 3, 2007, 7:46 pm
  • I love the fact that it’s day one and the Sox fans are already upset and worried
    Oh come on, Trisk. Please. The majority of sentiment here has been hardly like that. Unless you were remarking on the commenters over at In which case I stand corrected.

    SF April 3, 2007, 7:59 pm
  • sf, i did some projections and the sox will lose all 162 games this year, based on their performance in game 1….i’m sorry man…;-)

    dc April 3, 2007, 8:22 pm
  • The only thing that worries me is that maybe KC will finish higher in the central than my last prediction. I’m guessing that n KC land, Meche earned a good chunk of his contract in the first game.

    attackgerbil April 3, 2007, 8:29 pm

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