Saturday, May 26, 2007

Help Wanted: Relief Pitcher, No Experience Necessary

Just in case you thought the Yankees were going to get on some kind of roll after taking 3 of 4 from the Mets and Red Sox, the Yankees made sure last night that you came back to earth in a hurry. Tyler Clippard, who was outstanding in his debut last Sunday night against the Mets, was just ordinary last night. That being said, he was pulled after 4 innings and 76 pitches. The Yankees trailed 3-2 at the time. A few innings later the deficit was 10-3 and the night was over.

I can somewhat understand Joe Torre's thinking in giving Clippard a quick hook, but he lost me after that. Instead of going with Ron Villone, who is used to coming in and giving the Yankees 2-3 innings, Torre went with rookie Matt DeSalvo. DeSalvo has started 79 of the 83 games he has appeared in. So what made Torre think DeSalvo could suddenly transform himself into a middle innings reliever?

DeSalvo had less control than a 10-year old on a sugar kick. He walked Chone Figgins and Orlando Cabrera to start the inning. He also squeezed a wild pitch in between. A single by Vlad Guerrero and a double by Gary Matthews Jr. made it a 5-2 lead and sent DeSalvo to the showers.

But Torre signaled for the human torch, Luis Vizcaino. Vizcaino actually managed to get an out before he followed up with an intentional walk to Howie Kendrick by walking Mike Napoli to force in a run.

The Yankees rallied in their half of the 5th against Jered Weaver. Jorge Posada doubled in Derek Jeter, cutting the lead in half, and Jason Giambi followed with a single, but Posada was thrown out at home by leftfielder Tommy Murphy.

But the human torch was back out for the 6th. He quickly gave up a 2-run HR to Chone Figgins, walked Cabrera, and gave up a double to Guerrero. Torre finally went to Villone who allowed both runners to score and the Yankees were in a deep 10-3 hole. And the bullpen, which was so fantastic for much of April, embarrassed themselves again.

Robinson Cano's 3-run double in the 8th cut the lead to 10-6, but the Yankees would get no closer. Ironically, Boston beat Texas by the same 10-6 score, pushing their lead over the Yankees back to 10.5 games.


Derek Jeter was 1-4, extending his hitting streak to 19 games. He's had a hit in 39 of 40 games.

Jorge Posada had 2 hits and leads the AL with a .371 average.

Jason Giambi entered the game 2-34, but went 2-3 with a walk.

Robinson Cano has a 9 game hitting streak (13-37) that has seen him raise his average by 26 points.

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