Bummer. Things didn’t go as planned today. I can’t blame Jaret Wright for the loss. Every pitcher has a bad game. He’s actually strung together a number of very respectable starts in the past few weeks. I’d even venture to say he had a streak of solid outings that we couldn’t complain about. I remember the game when we roughed up Beckett and he’s a pretty good pitcher. So, as awful and unhelpful as 5 runs in less than 3 innings is, it isn’t entirely his fault and I don’t expect it to become a motif in Jaret’s game. By the way, Chacon didn’t inspire confidence either and I assume Joe won’t use him unless we’ve got a 10 run cushion.
The good news from this loss is that Villone was fantastic yet again, which gave Farnsworth, Proctor and Mo a well deserved day of rest. And also, A-Rod, you magnificent dude, future home run king and Hall of Famer. Congrats, man! You’ve reached the big 2-0-0-0 and 4-5-0. We now have 4 players in the 2,000 hit club (Williams, Jeter, A-Rod and Sheffield). That’s pretty amazing, right? I don’t know of any other team who can currently boast that.
Tonight, however, the Yankees offense was tediously low key and unexcited. A number of missed opportunities and a lack of opportunities at the plate created the loss. Except for A-Rod’s home run, our bats were disabled, owned, wire-tapped and sent to prison by Burnett. Tonight A.J. enjoyed an impressive performance and was formidable in the eyes of the Red Sox and Yankees.
I think that one of the keys to recent failures is Giambi’s power outage this month. He’s hitting .183 in the month of July and only has 4 home runs and 14 RBI compared to his June numbers of 11 HRs and 23 RBIs. A-Rod (believe it or not) is having a much better July than Mr. Giambino. His total of 5 home runs ain’t special, neither are his 16 RBI, but he is hitting .323 and has a slugging % of .600, which is drastically higher than Giambi’s SLG of .383. At the beginning of May Giambi had an OBP as high as .545. Now it’s shrunk to .405. Another curious July statistic is their batting average with runners in scoring position. If I read the stats correctly (I suggest you check for yourself, because I’m very surprised by these numbers), in the month of July A-Rod is hitting .368 with RISP. Giambi’s hitting .227. BIG DIFFERENCE. Maybe the boos should be reserved for the actual slugger who isn’t slugging. If the offense is to recover from its slumber, Giambi must be the catalyst.
I don’t suggest booing Giambi though. I don’t approve booing any player. FYI.
Anyway, it’s crucial the Yankees split the series. Wang will be the author of a perfect game tomorrow and whoever starts after him (Ponson?), will essentially do the same thing.
Royals 7 – Yankees 6
I said in my last post that if the Royals beat the Yankees it’s simply because they’re due for a win. The baseball gods are desperate to end KC’s skid so they’ll get all the lucky bounces and all the close calls. Well, it happened the other way. The Yankees were just outplayed. It happens. In fact, the Royals should be given credit because they didn’t get lucky. The Yanks fought and the Royals fought back. They get a big W.
Damon, Jeter, Giambi and A-Rod had multiple hits. That’s a collective 9 for 15. You’d think enough for a win, but apparently not. Mussina allowed 3 runs in 6 innings. Not his best. He’s performed better against better teams. It got bad when Farnsworth allowed a three run bomb. Bummer. That was probably the only mistake of the night. Well, striking out Ortiz on Wednesday is enough for me. I forgive him.
It was Scott Elarton’s first win of the year. His numbers are poor, especially the homeruns, but he’s had a few nice outings. The most incredible is when he allowed only 3 runs through 8 innings to the White Sox. A few starts later he shutout the Twins through 7, scattering 3 hits. And once again facing the White Sox he allowed 3 hits and 1 run in 6 innings.
So 4 earned runs and 10 hits in 6 innings against the Yankees is Elarton at his worst. We’re lucky the good Elarton didn’t show up.
Mussina pitched the same amount. I don’t think he allowed a basehit before or after the 2nd inning. Were it not for a high pitch count Mussina could’ve made it 7 innings. He only had 1 bad inning, the 2nd when the Royals hit him 4 times for 3 runs.
The other game I caught was the Cubs v. Atlanta. The Cubs were ahead 5-3 in the 9th. Zambrano carried a no-hitter through 6 2/3. How’d the Braves win? The story goes…
Baker brings in his closer Ryan Dempster. His first pitch is roped into right. The next batter slaps one into left. A wild pitch moves both runners up a bag. The next batter walks. Bases loaded, no outs. Renteria walks. Cubs are ahead 5-4, but the bases are still juiced and there’s no out. Dempster gets Chipper to whiff for strike three and Wrigley exhales a sigh of relief. The Cubbies are a double play away from pulling off a win. But Andruw Jones flies out to deep center to drive in the tieing run. The relay throw to the infield pops out of Neifi’s glove so a Brave tries for the plate. The runner might have been out if Michael Barrett was 12 feet tall. The throw is airmailed to the backstop. Braves lead 6-5. Brian Jordan flies out to end the torture. The Wrigley boo birds circle overhead the Cubbie prey.
Well, a hard loss for the Cubs. And a hard one for the Yankees. So it goes.
Today saw three blown saves: Dempster (3), Turnbow (2) and Francisco Cordero (7). And 4 converted saves: Frankie Rodriguez (12), Otsuka (7) and Nathan (6). Papelbon retired one batter with a 4 run lead to save his 17th. Not much of a save if you ask me, but whatever. He could’ve done it with the bases loaded and no out and a one run lead.