94-68, 1st in Wild Card September 30, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Bronson Sardhina, Chris Britton, Edwar Ramirez, Joe Torre, Jose Veras, Kyle Farnsworth, Ross Ohlendorf.
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The Yankees have won the last two nights, 11-10 and 10-4, respectively, to get 94 wins and end the hunt for a playoff roster. Ross Ohlendorf, despite allowing a run and two hits in 1.1 innings, probably sealed his playoff roster spot. Jose Veras, Edwar Ramirez, and Chris Britton probably have to duke it out for the last one. With Britton’s outing today, he probably has eliminated Ramirez. Veras, who has two mop-up saves, did moderately well in both of those appearances, but Britton, his loss nonwithstanding, has done a better job. I hope Britton gets the nod, but, as I have pointed out before, Joe Torre rides out AAAA relievers as long as they can (i.e. C.J. Nitkowski, Sean Henn, need I go further?). My feeling from these last four days is that, like it or not, Veras will make the roster but stink up the joint in the playoffs.
Now, there is another interesting alternative here. Kyle Farnsworth may have tweaked his groin on a pitch in the ninth inning. He seems to always be nicked up, and that, along with his crappy attitude and bad pitching, may keep him from making the postseason roster. Big deal? Well, maybe bigger than you think. I will take a chance here, and risk being disowned by you in the blogging community. Here it is: 7th inning, 5-0 against a staggering Cleveland offense being dominated by [insert Game 3 starter here], and the Yankees are facing Jake Westbrook. Farnsworth’s pitched in the playoffs already. Would you trust him there instead of Chris Britton? Yes. Britton, a strikeout pitcher in the minors this season, has only struck out 3 in 6.2 innings (covering a span of a month, or 7 games. Bad enough that he pitches less than an inning a game without being a specialist, but he also has 6.00 ERA over that span. Moreover, most of those runs come in mop-up situations, the only situation he or Farnsworth would be used for. Before I give more stats, I will state here that a blowout, in this case, specifies a loss of three runs or more when more than 8 runs have been scored by the other team. Mean while, dating back to July, Farnsworth has a 4.50 era in 10 innings while pitching in a blowout. Would I still take Britton? YES, because Britton has pitched well in tight ball games. But Farnsworth makes $6.67 mil, and Torre has something against Britton anyway…
The other note
- Bronson Sardihna has all but locked up a playoff spot with a great performance since his cameo.
Yankees Eliminated from East, ALPicture Set September 29, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Alex Rodriguez, Baltimore Orioles, Edwar Ramirez, Jay Payton, Johnny Damon, Jose Veras, Mariano Rivera, Mets, Phillies, Ron Villone, Ross Ohlendorf, Tampa Bay Devil Rays.
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The Yankees won 2 of 3 from Tampa Bay, but lost a very winnable game yesterday to the Baltimore Orioles. Mo Rivera (him?) allowed a triple to Jay Payton (his second of the night) to tie what was once a 9-6 lead. Then Edwar Ramirez all but completed his pitching himself off a playoff roster, as Ross Ohlendorf is picking up on him and Jose Veras, despite Veras getting the save on Wednesday (I called it first, here at YLF!). His spot on the 40-man eligibility for the postseason will substitute Carl Pavano, although Pavano would still get a ring if the Yankees get so far.
In other news:
- Ron Villone has all but made the postseason roster.
- A-Rod homered #54, and Johnny Damon was the first player this season to hit a ball out to Utah Street. Not a bad season for him, eh?
- The Mets lost last night but won today, and, looking at the Phillies right now, probably will tie it again.
- The Yankees are debating whether to take 5 bench players or 7 relievers. The seven would probably include various options of Britton, Veras, and Igawa, while the fifth bench player would likely be Alberto Gonzales (at least this one doesn’t lie!)
To let you faithful readers know in advance, on October 8th (my next off day) I will start a segment of top 10 Yankees prospects.
Split With Jays, But Won the One that Counts in Tampa September 27, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Brian Bruney, Chris Britton, Doug Mientkewicvz, Edwar Ramirez, Jason Giambi, October 2007, Ron Villone, Ross Ohlendorf.
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After a wild, wild series with Toronto (too many details to recount!!!) the Yankees went to Tampa to clinch in front of the ailing George Steinbrenner. He witnessed Jeff Karstens blow another one on Tuesday, but on Wednesday, the Yankees hammered Tampa Bay, 12-4, and have a clinched a playoff spot. Detroit has been eliminated from contention, and the American League, depending on whether Boston wins two of the next four games, is all but set.
Based on the recent bullpen implosions, I hope that the steady Ross Ohlendorf makes the roster and that Brian Bruney and Edwar Ramirez are left off, because they don’t deserve it based on performance. Ron Villone will probably make it (arrgghh), but we can’t do anything about that. Does Britton take the last spot? I hope so.
Does Jason Giambi make the roster? I hope not.
Doug Minky will start in the postseason–mark my words.
Post-Season Roster September 22, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Brian Bruney, Doug Mientkewicvz, Edwar Ramirez, Ian Kennedy, Jason Giambi, Jose Veras, Mike Mussina, Phil Hughes, Postseason, Ron Villone, Shelley Duncan, Wilson Betemit.
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Joe Torre has some interesting choices for his postseason roster. Mike Mussina has dominated his last two outings, but they have been against lesser teams that won’t be seen in the postseason. Ian Kennedy has dominated as well, but that was against Tampa Bay (decent lineup, really), Kansas City, and Toronto. Phil Hughes has had a resurgence of late as well, and he is in the mix.
Relievers: At this point, the remaining reliever spots will be two of Jose Veras, Ron Villone, Brian Bruney, and Edwar Ramirez. My gut tells me Veras is the only guarantee here, because he has impressed Torre a lot in September and is one of those no-namers that Torre rides out as long as he can (Tanyon Sturtze, Jeff Karstens, anyone?). The other three have serious flaws, so it will probably be the second-place finisher between that of Hughes, Mussina, and Kennedy. Kennedy, a finesse guy, probably won’t make the roster unless he is a starter, leaving Hughes and Mussina. Joe Torre always like experience, so I’ll say Mussina starts game 4 and Hughes is the long man. If you wonder why I don’t mention Chris Britton, it’s because he hasn’t exactly dominated outside of his 3 innings of long relief back in May, and Torre and Brian Cashman have held him back so much this season I don’t think he really has a shot.
Bench: There is one juicy debate here. The main point is which three of Jason Giambi, Doug Mientkewicvz (did I spell that right?), Shelley Duncan, or Wilson Betemit make the postseason. Without Betemit, the Yankees have no utility infielder, so I’ll assume he makes it despite his BA since coming to NY. Besides, he was the return for the best non-Mo Rivera reliver they had at the time, Scott Proctor, and Brian Cashman & Joe won’t give up on him that quickly. In the postseason, with groundball pitchers like Wang and Pettitte, fielding is important, so I’ll pick Doug Minky for this one. Last, we have two slumping DH/1B types, Shelley Duncan and Jason Giambi. Giambi is the veteran, but he has done much lately. On the other hand, neither has Duncan, but he has been around the postseason as a kid with his dad Dave Duncan and Tony LaRussa with the A’s (coincidentally, with Giambi). However, Duncan plays hard and can also play the corner OF spots, and he is a RH hitter, so I will pick Duncan to make it over Giambi.
This means that the Yankees have four bench players (13 batters) and 12 pitchers. In the postseason, idyllically one would have 13 pitchers and 12 batters, so maybe if one of Villone, Ramirez, or Bruney outshine Giambi/Duncan in the last few days, a pitcher could be taken. However, Ramirez gave up a home run to Alex Rios yesterday in the 8th inning, severely hurting his chances for a roster berth.
Yankees Sweep Baltimore, then Lose Heartbreaker in 14 September 22, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Andy Pettitte, Baltimore Orioles, Brian Bruney, Chien-Ming Wang, Edwar Ramirez, Greg Zaun, Hideki Matsui, Jason Frasor, Joe Kennedy, Melky Cabrera, Mike Mussina, Phil Hughes, Roy Halladay.
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The Yankees swept Baltimore between Monday and Wednesday, receiving great pitching from Phil Hughes, Mike Mussina, and Andy Pettitte. The offense clicked in the first two games before Brian Burres shut down the Yankees again despite losing. Hideki Matsui seems to have climbed out of his funk, while Melky Cabrera continues to sink into his. A-Rod set his career-high in RBI’s last night, but before his 2-6 yesterday he was slumping as well.
Yesterday, Chien-Ming Wang gave up 6 H and 2 runs (1 earned) in 7 innings, K’ing 4 and walking 1. Edwar Ramirez relieved him only to give up another home run. However, no offense through the first 8 innings had Roy Halladay, Toronto’s ace, pitching in the 9th inning with a 4-run lead. With an error by Aaron Hill, the Yankees then crept up and tied it in the 9th, before sending it to extras.
The Yankees only managed a hit and a walk against the 5 Toronto pitchers, and while the Yankee pitchers were on a similar pace, Brian Bruney, gave up a homer to Greg Zaun (sad, ain’t it?) and then Joe Kennedy (not, not JFK’s daddy) and Jason Frasor shut them down. Horrible loss
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The Yankees lost a long, bad game to Boston, 10-1, effectively ending their division hopes as it reminded them that there are some bullpen members who continue to struggle.
In the 7th inning, when the Yankees let up 4 runs to break open what was a 5-1 game, this was the line of the pitchers that inning (not including their performances in previous innings):
Edwar Ramirez 0.1 IP, 0 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Ron Villone 0.0 IP, 0 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, 0 K
Brian Bruney 0.1 IP, 1 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 1 K
Sean Henn 0.0 IP, 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 0 K
Ross Ohlendorf 0.1 IP 0 H, 1 BB, 1 K
(Courtesy of ESPN.com)
According to the FOX telecast, the Yankees threw 45 pitches in a 25 innings. Sad, isn’t it, that the Yankees continue with AAAA arms like Henn and Villone. Bruney can be fixed, I think, but Sean Henn, in 33.2 IP, has allowed 43 H and 26 BB, a WHIP of 2.05. A WHIP of 1.50 isn’t great, forget a WHIP that high. In August and September, in 8 G and 9.1 IP, he has allowed 21 H, 18 R (16 ER), 2 HR, 10 BB, and 9 K’s. He should be DFA’ed for a better pitcher (T.J. Beam? Darrell Rasner?). However, the most telling stat is that he has thrown 214 pitches, laboring a lot through his innings.
The bright spot was Derek Jeter’s homer to center, a good sign his knee is getting better. There were some flashes of rivalry, as Kevin Youkilis was hit in his wrist (day-to-day with a contusion) and Jason Giambi was hit in his elbow. Moreover, Eric Hinske totally barreled into Jorge Posada…at least he was out.
Another brightspot, though, was Ross Ohlendorf. All his 4 outs were on K’s, and he should a live fastball and sinker. I think he did a nice job, sans the homer to Hinske, and he should be a good arm to come out of the bullpen.
Overall not a very good game, and they must hope Roger Clemens goes 6 innings today because the bullpen has been taxed.
New Poll September 15, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Austin Jackson, Bobby Abreu, Johnny Damon, Kosuke Fukodome, Melky Cabrera, Torii Hunter.
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In response to an article over at Pending Pinstripes, I thought I might add a new poll.
Is Austin Jackson for real? Is he this year’s hot, hot hitter with passable defense, or last year’s seemingly average player with bad defense. Maybe, like EJ Fagan, the article’s author, says, he has cleaned up his swing and has learned to use his tools. Or, it may be a fluke.
I hope its the former, as Jose Tabata is starting to scare me a little with his lack of power, and the Yankees outfield its in its mid-30′s (including Johnny Damon and excluding Melky Cabrera), and they need someone to take one of these players spots eventually.
Now, most NY newspapers declare that the Bobby Abreu should be picked up. I am against it, and would instead go after Kosuke Fukodome or Torii Hunter, but at least Abreu can hold the fort for Jackson or anyone else since it is simply a one-year commitment. If somehow they find someone to take his spot, I would decline it, since he’s not work $16 million, or even the balance between option and buyout, $14 million.
Yankees Lose in Toronto, Go Eat Beans in Boston September 15, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Andy Pettitte, Bobby Abreu, Chien-Ming Wang, Chris Britton, GCL Yankees, Hideki Okajima, Ian Kennedy, Jason Giambi, Johnny Damon, Jonathan Papelbon, Jose Veras, Robinson Cano, Sean Henn.
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The short-handed Yankees lost in the bottom of the ninth, 2-1, with another poor offensive showing. Ian Kennedy was spectacular again, with a line of 7IP 1H 1 ER 7K. AJ Burnett gave up 7 hits in 8 innings, but K’ed 8 and dominated the Yankees. The Yankees weren’t prepared to play extras, so they sent Chris Britton out to lose the game and go to Boston. You may disagree, but come on, it only took five pitches, and it wasn’t exactly a heart breaker.
The Yankees were poised for a blowout loss yesterday, with an ineffective Andy Pettitte starting and Jose Veras and Sean (The Egg-Laying) Henn, then being plagued by Derek Jeter’s throw and Jason Giambi’s glove…or lack of it. After it being 5-1 after four and 7-2 after six, Boston sent out the first-half wunderkind, Hideki Okajima, in the eighth inning. He served up back-to-back jacks to Jason Giambi and Robinson Cano, and then walked the badly slumping Melky Cabrera before everything unraveled, and Johnny Damon (4-6, 2 2B) as well as Derek Jeter got on, and by then it was 7-5. Jonathan Papelbon came in, but that was no relief. Bobby Abreu doubled in the tying runs, and he stole second. A-Rod then singled him in, and after seemingly having lost the game, the Yankees won, 8-7.
All Boston has to do is win one, but they still have a chance. Chien-Ming Wang probably will win today, considering how the Yankees hit Josh Beckett, but I have little confidence in Roger Clemens, as the Yankees will need their longmen (Kei Igawa, Ross Ohlendorf, Sean Henn, Jeff Karstens, Matt DeSalvo) ready in case something happens to the Rocket.
Prediction for today: 6-4 win.
Prediction for Sunday: 8-4 loss.
Yankees Sweep KC, Win First Two Against Toronto September 13, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in Blue Jays, Home Run Record, Wild Card.
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The Yankees have (virtually) won the wild card, with Detroit four games back and Seattle 6.5 games back, with 17 games to play. The Bombers are also 5 games back of Boston, and that’s do-able because they don’t have to jump in front of other teams and they have a three-game series left with each other.
A-Rod is at 52 homers, a longshot to break Roger Maris’s record of 61 (steroid users notwithstanding)…but you never know with him. He last homered Sunday, but has been very consistent in terms of RBI. However, the Yankees were lucky to win the last Toronto game because of poor offense.
Yankees Win First 2 From KC; Seattle Loses September 9, 2007Posted by Pablo Zevallos in AAA S/WB, Andy Pettitte, Brian Bruney, Bronson Sardhina, Chris Britton, Derek Jeter, Ian Kennedy, Jeff Karstens, Kei Igawa, Kevin Youkilis, Ross Ohlendorf, Sean Henn, Trenton Thunder.
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The Yankees have won the first two games of their three-gamer from Kansas City. A-Rod has three homers in those games, breaking the Yankees record for a right-handed hitter (held previously by himself and Joe D.) and the major league record for a third-basemen (held previously by Mike Schmidt).
Ian Kennedy did a decent job, going 5, walking 3, K’ing only two, and allowing 7 hits and two runs. I don’t think he’s always going to be this, or always going to be what he was in his first game at Tampa Bay, but he’ll be somewhere in between, which is still nice. In that game Jorge Posada also homered and Bobby Abreu drove in Jeter with a game-breaking double in the seventh.
Yesterday, Andy Pettite went 6.1 innings, allowing 7 hits, two runs, two walks, and striking out four. Brian Bruney had a horrible game, relieving Chris Britton after 1.2 innings of work. Bruney went a third of an inning, walking three, although he gave up no hits and allowed two runs. He even debated with an umpire over a high pitch six inches over the strike zone. In this game, Wilson Betemit and Johnny Damon also homered.
- Derek Jeter left last night’s game in the fifth due to patellar (knee) tendinitis, and won’t play today and he’ll rest somewhat on Toronto’s artificial turf.
- The S/WB Yankees (AAA) lost to Richmond, 4-3, eliminating them from the playoffs. Disappointing, but when you consider how close the games were with the talent they lost through injury or promotion, they must really be commended for their work this season.
- I didn’t know this, but Austin Jackson is with Trenton (AA) for the playoffs and is doing a very nice job.
- According to Peter Abraham, since the S/WB Yankees’ season is over, The Yankees will call up LHP Kei Igawa, LHP Sean Henn (he doesn’t deserve it), RHP Jeff Karstens (since he threw last night, he’ll arrive on Tuesday), RHP Ross Ohlendorf, and OF Bronson Sardhina before today’s game. Nice crop of players once you include Ohlendorf an Sardhina, who have a nice future with the Yankees.
- Let’-Play-Tag-Kevin Youkilis would love to know why we Yankee fans and the Yankees hate him. He compared his moody style of playing to Paul O’Neill. I’m not sure I even want to go there, but obviously that big head of his is empty.