Chien-Ming Wang was in control from the start, putting the first 12 batters he faced back in the dugout until Wigginton singled to begin the 5th inning. Overall, 18 of Wang’s 27 outs were on the ground. Before tonight Wang had pitched into the ninth inning twice this season. The first time was last month when he allowed the walk-off home run to Zimmerman and the second time was only three weeks ago when he allowed 6 hits and 1 run to the D’Rays. Wang was very efficient on all three occasions though, needing less than 107 pitches to enter the ninth frame. He leads both Moose and R.J. in innings pitched. Wang has 148 IP, Mussina has 141 1/3, and Johnson has 135. I like Chien-Ming a lot and I think unless we’re getting Liriano or Pujols in return, we need to keep him. We now have two starting pitchers with 12 wins and one with 11 wins. Our top 3 starters combine for 35 wins and 15 losses. Now we only need Wright and Ponson to find some consistency and we’ll have a very solid rotation.
5 of our 6 RBIs came with 2 outs. Damon led off the game with his 24th double of the season and Jeter sacrificed him to third. Then if I remember correctly Giambi struck out or grounded out and A-Rod singled up the middle to score Damon. The Yanks took advantage of 7 walks to plate a few more, and then staged another mini rally a few innings later and Bernie put the icing on the cake when he lined a bullet over the center field wall. A patient offense and efficient pitching made this win a snap.
Wang’s complete game bodes well for the rest of the series. It allowed the bullpen another day of rest so they’ll be ready to go tomorrow when The Big Unit takes the hill. Extending this 4 game win streak a few games would be awesome, just like Utley adding #28 to his hit streak. If he multiplies it by 2 he’ll tie DiMaggio. Good luck, Chase. I’d like to see someone break Joltin’ Joe’s record, but I don’t think it will happen.
Now that Atlanta have dealt Wilson Betemit to the Dodgers, I hope the rumors about trading away Scott Proctor disappear. Getting rid of our best set up man is simply and undeniably a bad idea. Unless, of course, if we’re getting both Gordon and Abreu in return. Otherwise, a Proctor-for-Betemit deal is hogwash. I can’t believe that possibility even entered someone’s mind. I really hope Proctor stays on board. Same with Melky. I wouldn’t mind seeing Bubba or Guiel or Phillips go (in that order). And parting with Farnsworth would make sense if we get a more consistent pitcher in return, preferably one with a fully functioning back. I think Farnsworth is valuable on our side though, so I have no problem with keeping him. But right now Proctor is one of the best non-closer relievers in the AL and downgrading the bullpen for an extra bat won’t be beneficial in the long run, so I see no reason why we’d need to trade him. I just don’t understand how that silly rumor was created in the first place.
Haven’t done this in awhile:
Todd Jones saved his 28th game. Jenks saved his 27th. B.J. Ryan saved his 25th. Wagner saved his 21st. Dempster saved his 19th. Fuentes saved his 18th. Mike Gonzalez saved his 17th. Guardado saved his 11th.
Also, check out the interview Rivera did for the Hall of Fame website after recording his 400th save. I learned that Mariano would like to be a car mechanic if he wasn’t a pitcher.
I knew it. I knew it. I called his shot like I and countless other fans always do in that situation. 12th inning, one out, runner on first, down a run and A-Rod hits a game winning long ball. Perfect timing. I’m very happy for the former MVP. And an important game to win to keep pace with the storming BoSox who are currently cooking up the Mets for their 11th straight victory.
Chien-Ming was excellent. He deserved adding a W to his record. I was impressed by the way he handled the fourth inning when Renteria led off with a double. Like a veteran he allowed only that one run. And 19 groundouts speaks volumes for the effectiveness of his sinker ball. He was definitly in gear today. And despite their abysmal record, the Braves have big numbers shelved in that lineup. Look at the offensive stats he had to deal with:
Renteria, .300 BA – 8 HR – 30 RBI
C. Jones, .288 BA – 8 HR – 38 RBI
A. Jones, .282 BA – 18 HR – 65 RBI
Francoeur, .254 BA – 15 HR – 57 RBI
LaRoche, .241 BA – 12 HR – 40 RBI
Some of the batting averages aren’t great, but they have no trouble driving in runs. I underestimated their offense. Supposedly they have the worst bullpen, or one of the worst, in the league. I think they lead the NL with 16 blown saves. But Paronto, McBride and Villarreal shut us down for 3 and 2/3 innings. Barry worked 3 innings of scoreless relief on Monday. So I guess the odds were in our favor when Jorge Sosa came on in the 12th. I normally don’t like to pick on players, but Sosa’s numbers are very unattractive. Prior to today’s game, he had surrendered 92 hits in 75 and 2/3 innings. A-Rod’s home run is the 19th Sosa’s allowed all year. Today’s loss was his 10th of the year. I don’t mean this to dampen A-Rod’s home run at all, but Bobby Cox might’ve done wiser to stick with the pitcher already in there.
Anyway, our bullpen isn’t in great shape either. Mariano was brilliant. Farnsworth and Myers didn’t get the job done. Proctor came on with the bases loaded, threw one pitch and induced the pop out. Boded well for his performance until Giles went deep the next inning. Other than Mariano Ron Villone is our reliever with the best numbers. He hasn’t been used as much as Proctor (33 innings pitched compared to Proctor’s 49), but other than last night he has pitched very well all season. Only 2 runs allowed in April. Only 2 runs allowed in May, which he ended with an ERA of 1.66. June has seen the ERA go up to 2.18, but I think it’s about time to see him take over Proctor’s long term relief role.
I like Melky a lot, but I think he should be dropped in the order. The number 2 spot is Jeter’s spot, and I think Jeter should only be hitting 3rd if Melky were to reach base just a bit more often. Giambi should be hitting in the first inning. We need his patience to wear at the pitcher’s pitch count a little. I can imagine Melky hitting after A-Rod, except that might lead to more intentional walks. But we don’t have anyone like Matsui to protect that from happening. I’m sure any pitcher would prefer to walk A-Rod and face Posada or Bernie, and they’ve been the ones protecting A-Rod. I still love the Melk Man and think he’s one of the strongest in the rookie crop, but I’d rather see Jeter take the plate after Damon.
I’m gonna catch the Rangers game so I can check out the replays and comments from last night’s fiasco. Ninth inning, bases loaded, 2 outs, down 2 runs and Teixeira hits a ball down the line that kicks up chalk, but the ump ruled it foul. Tex was ejected for throwing a tantrum, but it was justified. Phil Garner throwing a chair onto the field on Monday wasn’t justified. And he’s only suspened one game! That’s a joke. For throwing a chair onto the field?! In my opinion that deserves a suspension from at least one series, maybe two.
The Rangers’ commentator Tom Grieve made an interesting point about umpires. He said that for the fans’ view of umpires to improve then they need to take responsibility for their mistakes. So far the umpire in question hasn’t changed his position on the call, even after watching the replay. Grieve says that if a player has to face reporters after a game, then umpires need to do the same if asked to. It’s a good argument and it’s an argument I buy.
Nathan saved his 13th game (striking out the side in the ninth, the Twins have won 7 straight!). Chris Ray saved his 20th. Dempster saved his 12th (also striking out the side). Jenks saved his 24th. Isringhausen got his 6th blown save and then Wickman got his 3rd blown save. Ken Ray got his 3rd blown save and then Jorge Sosa got his 1st blown save.
Mariano Rivera + 5 pitches = game over!
The Mariano Career Saves Counter: 391 (4th All-Time)
Melky Cabrera for AL Rookie of the Year! That catch to rob Manny could not have come at a better time. And it was awesome. Absolutely awesome. After Matsui and Sheffield return I still want to see Melky play. With all five players healthy, I think we have the deepest outfield in baseball: Matsui, Damon, Sheffield, Melky, Bernie…it doesn’t get any better.
Chien-Ming and Pauley teamed up to perform the pitchers duel we were supposed to see last night. Pauley competed through 7 strong innings and actually allowed only one run, which came from Bernie’s long ball. The Yankees’ game-winning run was walked in by Pauley’s relief, Seanez.
The Yankees’ ideal game plan materialized in Chien-Ming pitching beautifully for seven innings. Cue Farnsworth who struck out Ortiz again. Follow the script and Mariano knows it’s time to seal the deal. Very good to see the pitching come through and deliver the win.
Damon’s been playing much better. He’s finally got his BA above .300 and he has 11 hits in his last 24 at-bats. Cairo, Cano, Damon and Posada all had two hits and with the whole team playing this good together, I think a sweep is possible. The Yankees need to pounce on the next two games and reel in the catch. Going up 7-4 in the season series and taking a three and a half game lead will be huge. Huge!
I had bad feelings in the ninth. Farnsworth has not been effective protecting one run leads. An ERA in the high fours, 15 walks and 23 hits in 24 innings, the fact that the baseball god’s don’t want New York sweeping a four game set in Detroit for the first time since 1926 I think, some time long ago, all made me feel that something wouldn’t tip in our favor. I at least hoped for extras when they tied it 6-6. I’m not bitter about Farnsworth blowing his third save. The reason for the save situation was Wang. He blew a 5 run lead. I hope his meltdown for 5 runs in the fourth and fifth is not injury related. He pitched three really good innings. What was up with Verlander? What was up with Wang? Two proven pitchers who lost their carbonation. Instead of the little hummingbird quirks on their pitches, the batters were seeing bowling balls lobbed in the wheelhouse and teeing off. I guess it’s just one of those things that happen in this unpredictable game. Anyway, Farnsworth is still awesome for freezing Big Papi like a snowman.
So, everyone knows you can’t blow a 5 run lead. Wang knows. Pitchers kill for run support. He can’t complain. The Yankees offense is charging full steam ahead. Despite what happened, my confidence in Wang is the same.
I think Torre left Farnsworth in the game because he wants Kyle to be the second closer. He needs Kyle to adapt to the one inning, close game role that Mariano enters for. Maybe it’s to help Kyle pretend his job as the bridge artist, reaching back and zipping 99mph past the mannequin at homeplate in the eighth, is the same as the closer’s job an inning later. Torre wants Kyle to pitch the eighth like Mariano pitches the ninth. That will be their domain.
Some of the temps didn’t help either. T-Long’s had some nice games, so has Cairo. But they both had ofers tonight and left 9 and 4 men on base respectively. That could happen to anyone though. I guess I shouldn’t blame them.
Some people are saying, "The Tigers are back! The Tigers are back!", as if this win keys a return to the team who climbed to the majors’ best record. To this I think yes and no is the case. Yes, they are a good team and capable of winning and no, they didn’t win tonight because of their record. Yes, they hit a rough week and lost a few games they could’ve won. The Yankees won a few games they could’ve lost. And no, this win doesn’t mean they will keep up their .667. It was an unfortunate turn of events for the Yankees, but we won the series and that is what counts.
Good happened, too. Cano got 4 hits. I agree with Sterling when he says that Cano will be a superstar. Mattingly thinks Cano will win a batting title. Dear Cashman, don’t trade Robinson Cano! Giambi’s homerun was a nifty jab that darted to left like the corner pole was a magnet ******* in the ball. Melky made another appearance on Web Gems with a well coordinated, back peddling rob at the fence. Proctor pitched 2 1/3 innings of scoreless relief. He probably could’ve finished the ninth. And Darrell Rasner, the new guy, allowed only a hit in 1 2/3 innings.
Pray that Mariano will return healthy. The same for Jeter and Sheffield. And the same for Matsui. And Posada and Crosby, Dotel, Chacon and Pavano and…just pray for them all. Not that we require them to win. We’ll continue to hold our own.
Yankees 4 – Rangers 3
I missed all of tonight’s game except for the 5th inning when the Yankees took the lead for good. Giambi started the 3 run rally when he stepped up with the bases empty and two out. He worked the count deep like a good Giambi before doing what he planned on doing. He legged out a double, which set up four straight singles from A-Rod, Posada, Cano and Bernie. Other than that, Loe, Wilson and Cordero shut the Yankees down.
Chien-Ming was excellent. And Mariano was dominant again, needing only 14 pitches to retire the side. He got the fly ball, the three pitch K and the infield pop up that the Yankees and their bullpen needed.
The Mariano Career Saves Counter: 387
The Good: We won.
The Bad: We left 9 on base. Luckily Chien-Ming was in control.