Tagged: Toronto Blue Jays

The 5-1 Win

Tonight’s good news, even more so than the win, at least for me, is that Sheffield has said he will change position to accomodate Abreu. I was worried about that becoming a serious team chemistry problem, but now that the Master Sheff doesn’t mind playing third base, first base, left field, center field or DH, we’ll rest assured that once he’s off the DL that big bat of his will be in the lineup. I love the acquisition of Abreu, but Bobby doesn’t compare to the intimidation factor of Sheffield. We really need both of them.

Wright was as usual. Too many pitches (103) crammed into 5 innings, 5 hits and 1 run. But as long as he’s allowing 1, 2 or 3 runs, the Yanks have a chance to win and you can’t complain. Luckily Villone, Proctor and Farnsworth have been untouchable.  But pretty soon, when the innings begin to stack up, I don’t know if we can expect the bullpen to pitch 4 innings every time Wright starts. Right now we’re getting by, but it might not be so easy in two months.

Wright’s pivotal moment was in the fourth inning when, with 2 outs and runners at the corners and a full count on McDonald, he induced a ground out. That kept Toronto’s lead at one run and set up the Yankees’ big inning. If McDonald reached base, I bet Torre would’ve called to the bullpen because Wright’s pitch count was in the high 80s to low 90s.

Our 4 runs in the bottom half were created by A-Rod, Abreu and Bernie. With Jeter and Giambi already on base, A-Rod doubled in the tieing run and then Abreu walked to reset the table for Bernie who doubled home all three base runners for a 4-1 lead. Then in the seventh inning A-Rod knocked in another run which pushed the score to 5-1 and saved Mo for another day. That run proved very important because if the score remained 4-1, Mo would’ve pitched the ninth and I’m all for saving Mo’s arm a little bit here and there even though I know he has no problem pitching on back to back to back nights.

Chien-Ming Wang needs to pitch a good game tomorrow. 7 or 8 innings would be paradise. Everytime after Wright pitches I feel thirsty and the best quencher for that kind of thirst is an old fashioned complete game. Wang went the distance last time out, so maybe that means he only lasts 6 innings this time. I don’t know, but like always I see a sweep on the horizon and if the bullpen gets some more rest then that could become a reality. One thing I’ve learned from this season is the wonders that a rested bullpen can do. Now I know why the White Sox were so good last year.

Also good news, Utley got #33. I wouldn’t mind seeing a 50 gamer in my lifetime. Got a ways to go though. Keep up the chase.

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The 13-5 Loss

Well, all I can say is the Blue Jays came out to play for this series and we didn’t. If the Yankees did anything right, it was few and far between. We’re averaging only 4 runs over the last 7 games. We even got lucky with yesterday’s win, scoring two runs on a balk and a bases loaded walk. It seemed like we had a hard time getting anything done and we just didn’t play with authority. But I don’t think the Blue Jays are this good. I just think we played poorly. We underachieved while the Jays overachieved. Judging by these past 4 games, I have no clue why the Jays aren’t in first place. But they aren’t and I’m sure there’s a reason why.

Ponson and Wilson got pretty goofy and definitly made a win near impossible. Too bad we couldn’t stage another 11 run comeback! Then Chacon comes in and adds to that ERA before Villone finally ends the embarrasment. I like what Feinsand wrote in his blog yesterday:

"Teams can win five straight and it looks like they’re world beaters. Then they can follow that with three losses and even the most optimistic fan can begin to think, ‘Maybe next year.’ One win, however, can turn that fan right back into the believer that he or she was just days ago."

That’s very appropriate for the situation.

So, good stuff from today’s loss: Posada’s home run was pretty cool (there were 2 outs). We had 13 hits; Green, Cabrera, Posada, Giambi, Damon and Jeter (Jeter’s 6 for his last 10) all had 2 hits. Melky made a great catch at the wall to rob Wells of a double. And maybe we get lucky again and the Mariners beat the Red Sox.

Just remember that on July 4th, about 3 and a half weeks ago, we lost to the Indians 19-1! Then we won the next 9 of 10 games! GO YANKEES!!!

The 7-3 Loss

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.