Sunday, April 26, 2009

We Want a Pitcher not a Belly Itcher

Here's my recap of the latest Yankees' fiasco for Baseball Digest

We Want a Pitcher not a Belly Itcher

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
NY Yankees
2 0 2 2 0 2 2 1 0
11 15 1
0 0 0 5 3 1 3 4 X
16 13 1

The Yankees would be lucky if that’s all their fans yell when they return to the Bronx on Thursday. The Yankees’ pitching was supposed to be the strength of the team this year, but so far it has been a miserable failure. The latest case in point was a blown 6-0 lead on Saturday and then an eventual 16-11 loss to the Boston Red Sox. The victory extended the Red Sox’ winning streak to nine games.

A.J. Burnett has been outstanding this season, but was extremely fallible on Saturday. The bullpen, on the other hand, has been horrible all season and continued their dismal performance yesterday afternoon into the evening.

The Yankees jumped on Red Sox starter Josh Beckett for a pair of runs in the first inning, added two more on a Robinson Cano home run in the third, and another two on a Cano double in the fourth. But after he breezed through the first three innings, things unraveled for Burnett in the home half of the fifth. The Red Sox scored five times, highlighted by a grand slam from their captain Jason Varitek, to cut the lead to 6-5. An inning later, the Red Sox took their first lead of the day, and sent Burnett to the showers, when Jacoby Ellsbury hit a game-tying home run and Jason Bay followed with a 2-run double.

The Red Sox did their best to help the Yankees out. Terry Francona left Beckett in too long and the Yankees sent him packing in the sixth on a game-tying 2-run home run by Johnny Damon, and an inning later Dustin Pedroia committed a 2-run error to put the Yankees back on top 10-8, but New York proved way too hospitable to their hosts.

Mike Lowell, who had been hitless up to that point, took Jonathan Albaladejo deep with two men aboard in the Boston half of the seventh to put the Red Sox back on top 12-10. Cano homered again to cut the lead in half in the top of the eighth. But the Red Sox put the game away, with the help of a blown call by second base ump Brian O’Nora, in their half of the inning.

Ellsbury reached on catcher’s interference to start the inning, and with Pedroia batting, took off for second. Jorge Posada’s throw tailed to the first base side of the bag, but Cano grabbed it and in one motion tagged Ellsbury on the ankles before the Red Sox center fielder could reach second base. Ellsbury was clearly out, but O’Nora called him safe.

Pedroia capitalized on the situation with an RBI single to center that ended Edwar Ramirez’s night. Damaso Marte, who looked pretty good (other than allowing the game-winning home run to Kevin Youkilis) on Friday night, showed more improvement on Saturday. He got David Ortiz to fly out, and after he wisely issued an intentional walk to Youkilis, struck out J.D. Drew. But Girardi decided, unwisely, to mix and match again.

With two right-handers coming up, Girardi sent for David Robertson, recalled earlier in the day from Scranton. Robertson walked Bay to load the bases and then gave up a bases-clearing, back breaking double to Lowell for the 16-11 finale.

Game Notes

Andy Pettitte, a long time stopper for the Yankees, will try to salvage the series finale tonight in another nationally televised game (8:05 ET ESPN). Justin Masterson starts for Boston.

The Elias Sports Bureau has come up with lots of “good” negative stuff on the 2009 Yankees. Only four other teams have ever allowed 15 or more runs on three or more occasions in the their first 20 games. It was also the fourth time in franchise history the Yankees led by as much as six and lost by as much as five. While he didn’t figure in Saturday’s decision, A.J. Burnett nearly ruined his 32-0 mark when handed a lead of at least five runs.

Bullpen ERA’s other than Mariano Rivera and Brian Bruney:

Robertson 3.86
Coke 4.70
Albaladejo 5.23
Veras 6.30
Ramirez 7.36
Marte 15.19
Claggett 43.20

Related posts:

No comments:

Post a Comment