Monday, April 23, 2007

Yanks Swept Out of Boston

Summary - Yanks had the lead in every game only to watch the pitching blow it every time. I had low expectations for Wright against this line up in Fenway. I got to tell you though, I was feeling bad for the kid after the 4 HRs. He should have plucked someone instead of serving a plate of meat pitch after pitch. As good as the Bombers offensive lineup is, Boston's trio of Ortiz, Ramierez, and Drew is just as, if not more formidable. Dice-K is about what I expected in a first year pitcher out of Japan - he did not earn the win last night. Pettitte and Giambi stepped it up for the Bombers and that's about it.

Final Grade: F

Points to Consider: Will Nieves is not the solution we need at back up catcher. Perhaps reconsider Todd Pratt, or, consider Phelps as the full time back up if only to get this guy some ABs. On Phelps, the guy had a great Spring, earned the starting job in the eyes of many, yet Torre opts to go with Mientkiewicz. I am not impressed with this Doug at all - his glove is not that much better then Phelps to begin with (ask Mariano Rivera on that) and I'm sure Phelps could give us more of an offensive boost. Cabrera is clearly having the sophomore jinx syndrome - would have been nice to see Bernie playing in place of Matsui instead. Why not give Thompson a better look during this time?

Wang and Matsui are set to return this week. Moose the next. I just hope these guys can come back without needing too much ramp up time. Matsui may be the DH with Giambi at first for a couple of games - that'll be interesting.

Not that concerned right now about being 4 games back - Let's see if there can be any level of rebound in Tampa.


old professor said...

You cannot expect to beat Boston when you send minor league pitchers out to face that line-up. Karstens looked completely lost on the mound and he gave the Yankees exactly what they didn't need - a short outting.

Wright learned an important lesson about the difference between minor league hitters and those in the majors - you make a bad pitch you can get away with it in the minors, in the majors the hitters will send mistakes a long long way.

That said, Wright showed a lot over the first three innings. Four bad pitches destroyed his night. The bullpen also gave up three more runs after that to seal the deal.

As for the back-up catchers position, Phelps did come up as a backup catcher with Toronto several years ago. It may not be such a bad idea to use him in that way.

The Yankees made a mistake with Mientkiewicz. The guy is hitting .125. I don't want to here about his defense - The triple in game one was a result of him playing too far off the line that late in the game. The bottom third of the Yankee order is a disaster for hitting.

Putting Phelps at first and using him to be the backup catcher will open up one or two more spots to have better bats (if they can be found) coming off the bench.

The bullpen is a mess right now and needs three things: (1) A long outting by the starters (2) Brad Lidge from Houston (3) a manager who will not use the same two guys night after night after night - If Vizcano and Proctor don't need arm surgery by July 1 it will be a mircle.

Anonymous said...

What wright showed me was no control and a lot of walks in the 1st three innings.

When starters do show the ability to go long, Torre takes them out anyway (Pettitte in game one for example should have gone longer - Joe Morgan made a point of that last night).


old professor said...

Wright showed the ability to get around the walks through the first three innings. In a ten pitch span he made four bad pitches and gave up four homeruns - all solo shots. Torre did the right thing and got him out of the game. In his career, Wright probably never saw homeruns travel that far.

As a post-script to the weekend series, Joe shows his thoughts about Rasner, he is back in AAA. Cannot be recalled for at least ten days. Wang and Mussina will probably be back. Don't be surprised if Karstens is sent to the minors to "get more work in".

The Scooter said...

Well I'm a glass half full kinda if we want to take any positives out of this series then let's look to these four points:

1) It's April....thank God.

2) Papplebom is getting overworked, while Mariano is not. Come August this is going to be an important factor. If Papplebom (am I spelling that right) continues to log the innings Francona is heaping on him, he's not going to make it through July. Friday night notwithstanding, I think Torre is going to protect Mariano all year long, ensuring he is fresh come the dog days of summer.

3) The Yankees did damage against the big three. They proved that their bats will not be intimidated by Schilling, Beckett and Dice K. If the Yankees pitched at all during the series they would have swept it themselves. We have to hope that when the starters come back they can relieve some of the pressure on the bullpen. But do not underestimate the importance of the Yankees knowing that the Sox top three starters will not shut them down.

4) 14 more to go vs. the Sox

I have been shouting about back up catcher since spring training. I don't know if Phelps is the guy, but Nieves certainly isn't...and neither is Pratt....I bet Flaherty has started working out...ha ha

They are NOT losing because Mientkiewicz is at first base. They are losing because they can't get any length from the pitchers they are throwing out there. His glove is MUCH better than Phelps' and when all is said and done he will hit between .250 and .275...pretty much what should be expected from a #9 hitter.

old professor said...


I agree that it is only April, but there are some glaring issues that if not solved in April will still be with the team in September.

Rivera needs to log more innings. I don't mean to use him every night or to use him consistently for two innings, but he has to build arm strength and to get his release point down. I recently read that since last August and including this past Spring Training, Mo has thrown only twenty-five innings.

Conversely, Papelbon (and this is the correct spelling-sorry) went through a good deal of Spring Training conditioning to be a starter. Boston has already made the decision they will not use him more than two days in a row. And with the lefty from Japan coming out of the pen, they may not need him.

Scooter, I agree with your assessment the Yankees hit the top three pithcers well (actually - A-Rod hit Schilling extremely well and Giambi hit well in games two and three) and that bodes well for the future.

The starting pitching still needs to get healthy and to give innings. If Wang can deliver and Mussina can give six innings per start that would help.

The Yankees do need a backup catcher and quickly Nieves has not had a hit in the major leagues since 2005 and it doesn't look like he will get one soon. The options out there are not that good - don't be surprised if they bring up Chavez from AAA.

Karstens showed one of his major weakness against Boston - he is not a strikeout pitcher he has to have the ball put into play. Boston hit the ball alot of him.

Anonymous said...

In fairness to Karstens - it was his first start of the season - I'm going to with hold judgement on him until I see a couple more.

Maybe a package of Melkey and Rassner for a decent back up catcher or Andrew Jones??

I will be the most surprisd guy on earth if Dougey Fresh finishes with an avg close to .275

57 said...

I really can't say much. I still would take David Wright over A-Rod come October.

57 said...

On a side note... Ron Darling and Keith Hernandez are probably the best color analysts in the game. They are not as biased as Michael Kay and Jim Kaat. I want to fight Michael Kay actually. Keith and Ron get after the Mets' players when they don't do something well... Nothing is ever the Yankees fault on the NO network. GO METS

The Scooter said...

Ketchup Boy......Michael Kay would kick your butt....SEE YA!

Anonymous said...

Who are the Mets - another MLS team?

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