Yanks-Tigers Game III Post-Mortem

Sorry about the lateness of this, but I live on the west coast and we’re a bit slower here. This is what I gathered from last night’s game:

  • Mike Mussina has been the Yanks’ most valuable player thus far. Last night, he continued his bid to win over the hearts and minds of all Yankees fans. The high point of the season for many came when Mussina refused to leave the game and shouted Torre back into the dugout in the ninth. He reminded me of Curt Schilling, minus 33 pitches.
  • Melky Cabrera stole a base off of I-Rod. The rookie adds to his legend daily.
  • The Tigers have been less than impressive this series. Their offense seems particularly weak for a supposed play-off contender.
  • I might be premature here, but I’m ready to say that the AL East is the strongest division in the AL.
  • SF’s Steinbrenneresque impatience with the Sox’s rookie pitcher last night is surprising and somewhat alarming. What happened to the long-view? Shame on SF!
  • The Yanks are winning in spite of Terrence Long. He can’t hit, he doesn’t seem to take efficient routes to fly balls, and he’s not even a base-stealer. Why was this guy a prospect? When Bubba comes up, it’s time to cut ties with TLong.
  • Joe Torre should lose a day’s pay for batting Miguel Cairo second. I wish someone loved me as much as Joe loves Miguel.
29 comments… add one
  • SF’s Steinbrenneresque impatience with the Sox’s rookie pitcher last night is surprising and somewhat alarming. What happened to the long-view? Shame on SF!
    Wait, was I right about him or not? The guy got shellacked. Why was my impatience unjustified? I can take being attacked, but come on, this is a weak case you’ve got. Pauley stunk.

    SF June 1, 2006, 1:07 pm
  • LMAO re Torre’s love for Cairo.
    Long isn’t really a prospect but a medocre player who’s past his prime and on his way out of MLB – he spent 4 yrs with Oakland, 1 with SD and 1 with KC. It was a desperation move to fill the outfield void and I’d like to see a younger player making those same mistakes instead of a has-been.

    lp June 1, 2006, 1:07 pm
  • IP, I meant that he was a prospect at one point. I believe he was well-regarded when in the Mets’ minors. It just amazes me that he ever was considered good.
    SF, you began calling him Matt Clement in the 2nd inning last night. That’s a big insult nowadays. You might have been right, but in the 2nd inning?!!

    Nick-YF June 1, 2006, 1:10 pm
  • Hey, I’ve got a scout’s eye. At least half the time.
    And I honestly think this MCE thing is real. I mean, the rook’s line was just putrid, but somehow there’s this cry of “good job, kid”, or at least “satsifactory job, kid”, even though he a) didn’t make it 5 innings, b) gave up 6 runs – a 12.46 ERA, just awful, and c) could have given up 8 or 9 runs if AG doesn’t rescue his airmailed throw on the DP. I mean, are our standards and expecations so low now that Pauley’s effort last night is somehow acceptable? I thought he looked, to put it bluntly, awful.
    He may end up being a decent starter, he certainly seemed to have some nice pitches. I don’t mean to sentence the kid to anything here. I just thought he was really bad last night, and that he should have been yanked a just a tad earlier. Not sure why that’s so outrageous.

    SF June 1, 2006, 1:19 pm
  • SF, do you need a hug?
    If there’s ever a time where lowered expectations are appropriate, it’s the Major League debut of a AA kid that, a week ago, no one expected to be seeing in the Bigs anytime soon. For 4 innings he survived, keeping a tough lineup to 2 runs while the team built an ultimately insurmountable lead.
    Sure, he was fortunate to get all those DPs, but that’s how sinkerballers roll.

    airk June 1, 2006, 1:53 pm
  • I think that Melky should become our full-time RFer as of next season. Tell Sheff that he can be DH or got to another team. Melky forever!!
    Oh, and Moose is real Cy Young material right now. Contreras is/was injured, and Schill has been iffy recently. Moose has been pitch-perfect since the start of the season. Someone get that man a World Series ring!

    Sam June 1, 2006, 1:58 pm
  • No, I don’t need a hug, airk. He “survived”? That’s a crock. The only reason we’re even having this discussion is because Lilly stunk even worse.
    Why can’t we be somewhat honest here? The Sox won – great, and not because of their starter, who stunk, but because of their bats and their bullpen.
    (and Cy Young talk already, Sam? Maybe a bit premature. But if you really want to get into it, Moose can’t touch a certain relief pitcher in Boston at the moment.)

    SF June 1, 2006, 2:10 pm
  • I think it’s useful to note that the Tigers have played 30 games in their own division, and another 15 against the West. I think once the Tigers spend more time playing teams like the Yanks, Jays, Sox (both Red and White) that we’ll see (er, are already seeing) a correction. Interestingly, the Red Sox have played 37 of their 51 games within their division, the Yanks have played 20 of their 51 within their division.

    SF June 1, 2006, 2:15 pm
  • Moose is having a better, more valuable season than Papelbon. He’s second to only Brandon Webb this year.

    Nick-YF June 1, 2006, 2:34 pm
  • Melky has definitely been a treat to watch, but the player I am thrilled with right now is ARod, despite the untimely but ultimately meaningless error last night. Come to think of it, there was meaning to it; without it, we wouldn’t have had a chance to see the high comedy of Moose sending Torre back to the dugout from the top step.
    ARod’s average crept above .300 last night; here are his numbers for the past five games:
    Appearances: 24
    AB: 19
    H: 9
    R: 9
    RBI: 8
    HR: 2 (Okay that was in one game, but still..)
    BB: 5
    K: 3
    He’s turning it on at a time when the NY lineup looks especially fragile and his talent is desperately needed. There’s a word I’m looking for that describes that type of player, but I can’t think of it right now.

    attackgerbil June 1, 2006, 2:46 pm
  • “choker” or “worthless”

    Nick-YF June 1, 2006, 2:50 pm
  • If Mo couldn’t beat out Bartolo Colon last year for Cy Young I would be pretty wary of putting down bets on Pabelbon. Maybe rookie of the year AL?

    walein June 1, 2006, 3:12 pm
  • If Mo couldn’t beat out Bartolo Colon last year for Cy Young I would be pretty wary of putting down bets on Pabelbon. Maybe rookie of the year AL?

    walein June 1, 2006, 3:12 pm
  • So nice I said it twice.

    walein June 1, 2006, 3:13 pm
  • The MLBWA giving Colon the Cy Young means that most writers failed to consider the safety of the trophy, since I am about 90% sure that Colon likely mistook the thing for easter chocolate and ate it.
    (btw, I thought Mo deserved the Cy last year, I think I put that in my end-of-the-year selections)

    SF June 1, 2006, 3:36 pm
  • “Mike Mussina has been the Yanks’ most valuable player thus far”

    I can agree with that. He’s neck-and-neck with Jeter.

    “Melky Cabrera stole a base off of I-Rod. The rookie adds to his legend daily.”

    Two-hands has been doing a great job of changing people’s impression of him since his ill-fated debut in Fenway.
    What is particularly impressive is how much discipline he has at the plate for a 22-year-old. 7 ks in 66 ABs, 392 OBP.

    “The Tigers have been less than impressive this series. Their offense seems particularly weak for a supposed play-off contender.”

    No one figured Shelton to maintain his early pace. For the highly consistent trio of Pudge, Ordonez and Guillen to slump all at the same time, that’s just bad timing.

    “I might be premature here, but I’m ready to say that the AL East is the strongest division in the AL.

    I sense sarcasm there. People were saying that before the season began. The surprise is Detroit doing as well as they have been to make the central look tougher. Credit Leyland. No one expects the Detroit Inquisition.
    However, 23 of their 35 wins came against KC, Seattle, Oakland, LAA, and Minnesota.

    “The Yanks are winning in spite of Terrence Long.”

    Paul-SF already stated that Long is a mole for Boston. I don’t see that he has committed any egregious, game changing mistakes, other than being almost completely absent at the plate. He did play the ball off the Monster in Fenway well. The problem is no one in Columbus looks very good either.

    “Joe Torre should lose a day’s pay for batting Miguel Cairo second. I wish someone loved me as much as Joe loves Miguel.”

    I suppose it’s because he has some speed, at least more than the 5-9 hitters on the card yesterday. The lineup surprised me too, but it seems to have worked out just fine.

    attackgerbil June 1, 2006, 3:38 pm
  • No sarcasm regarding the East statement. I really thought going into the season that the Central was where it was at. Minnesota’s total crappiness has surprised me, but I thought there were 4 strong teams there. Cleveland has seemed to take a step-back this year, and Detroit’s offense worries me. The ChiSox might still be the best team in the AL, but the trio of Yanks, Sox and Jays makes for the best division. The Jays’ performance concerns me as it’s happened without Burnett. We could be dealing with a 3-team race. Anyone else concerned?

    Nick-YF June 1, 2006, 3:48 pm
  • Right now, I would have to give the CY to Papelbon. What he has done for 1/3rd of a season is just unreal. He looks better than Gagne did in ’03.

    attackgerbil June 1, 2006, 3:52 pm
  • re: Cairo batting second- It bothers me that he’s guaranteed to get more at bats than everyone besides Melky.

    Nick-YF June 1, 2006, 3:56 pm
  • Nick, I am concerned as well. I fear that BOS/TOR/NYY are just going to beat the heck out of each other. Toronto has arguably the best offense in the majors right now, (They’re hiting .301 and slugging a hair under 500 as a team) and an already good Boston team figures to get better once they have a more healthy roster. Unless one of the three either breaks away or collapses, I imagine three very good teams where only one makes the playoffs, any of which would have run away with it in the west and would likely have contended with the ChiSox in the central. I do not think Detroit will sustain.

    attackgerbil June 1, 2006, 4:10 pm
  • again, Paps has been great (although I wouldn’t yet put him at the Gagne level of 2003 when the French Canadian was striking out batters at an outrageous clip-I think something like 2k/inning), but Mussina’s been better and more valuable by virtue of his excellence over a longer stretch of innings. Last year, while I loved the idea of Mo winning the CY, basically I thought he didn’t match up to Johan because as good as Rivera was, he was still limited to 2 inning appearances at the most.

    Nick-YF June 1, 2006, 4:12 pm
  • AG: what you say might be true, but the Sox and Yanks will have already played the bulk of their games by the end of next week, and the Sox and Jays have already met 11 times. So the Sox will have completed more than 60% of their head-to-heads with these two teams a mere 30% of the way through the year.

    SF June 1, 2006, 4:18 pm
  • SF: good point; I did not consider that.

    attackgerbil June 1, 2006, 4:46 pm
  • The concern is not just that the three teams will beat each other up (which is what the jays have done to the Sox so far), its that there are now 3 legitimate contenders for the AL East crown. That makes it that much harder to get into the playoffs.

    Nick-YF June 1, 2006, 4:48 pm
  • Nick, poor choice of words on my part. By “beat up” I meant to say it’s likely they would more or less play to a split.

    attackgerbil June 1, 2006, 4:52 pm
  • SF – as others have mentioned, if Mo can’t win the Cy Young ahead of fatboy Bart, then there’s no hope for a rookie reliever. And let’s see if this lasts once the league has had a few looks at him…

    Sam June 1, 2006, 6:48 pm
  • I understand the longshot, Sam. I think any discussion of the Cy Young is pretty silly at this point.
    But saying “see what happens the second time through” with Papelbon is not great criticism, and at the very least doesn’t show much awareness of how the Sox’ schedule has gone so far. The Sox have played the Rangers for two series, the Jays for three, the Yankees for 2+, the Orioles for 3, the Rays for 3. He’s seen almost every team more than once already, if not two or three times, due to the AL East-heavy schedule the computers came up with for the Sox.

    SF June 1, 2006, 9:39 pm
  • As far as the Cy Young goes, honestly, I put the most faith in one of the young Tigers’ starters to win it, Mike Maroth or Justin Verlander. I’m a sox fan, and I’ve been very impressed by Moose thusfar, but until tonight, Verlander was absolutely unsolvable, and Maroth has finally decided that being mediocre isn’t good enough for him(granted, he’ll be out a decent stretch for the surgery). And it wasn’t as if Verlander was being solved tonight, it seemed like his command just flat-out deserted him. Which isn’t to say the Yankees didn’t earn the runs they scored against him, just that this wasn’t the same Verlander of the first two months of the season. I think, unfortunately for the Yankees fans, that some of these long outtings are eventually going to catch up to him(Moose), and there’ll be a lot of disappointment come late August/September when he starts giving up 4-6 runs a start again. And with the Yanks’ lineup, that’s still plenty servicable, just not Cy material. (Neither is Bartolo Colon, by the way)

    Quo June 2, 2006, 12:30 am
  • AG: T-Long is just one man. He’s found that he can’t bring down the team all by himself. Bt nexver fear! My sources tell me the Sox are still trying. Rumor has it they’ve turned Kyle Farnsworth…

    Paul SF June 3, 2006, 1:47 am

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