Is Wang really up and at ’em? Analogies and other observations from the past week.
Well, Wang was inserted in the rotation this past Thursday and was lifted by a Melky Cabrera single late in the game for a Yankees win and a no-decision. Quite frankly, his performance was deflating. Was Wang’s coming premature? Most definitely in my eyes. After his long stint on the DL, 13 innings in Scranton, and 6 innings from the bullpen for the pinstripes, I really didn’t have much confidence that he would be able to last in his first start back. Girardi set a pitch count of 75-80 for his return and that lasted only 4 and 2/3 innings. Phil Hughes was reassigned to the bullpen, still leaving starting rotation questions with fans, to make room for Wang. After Friday night’s rainout, the Yankee skipper took a good look at his rotation for the next series after Tampa, against Boston, and rearranged it, avoiding a Wang start against the chowdaheads. I did think to myself though, “hmmm, this kinda shows lack of confidence in Wang”. I’ve come to the conclusion that it is what it is. Girardi seems to have a firm grasp on it. What I really want to see (and hear) is Mike Francesa shut up. Whether that be by tape over his mouth or self combustion, the method is not important. Never in all my years of “fandom” have I had to debate an abundance of starting pitchers. And yes, Joba IS a starting pitcher. According to Nick Swisher the “Jobameter” is pointing to starter. You will not change my mind on that. And according to the seismic meter in Cleveland, Joba does a mean catching belly flop as well. Diving off the mound like he did Monday night against the Indians, made Greg Louganis look inferior to Rodney Dangerfield’s Triple Lindy in Back to School. As to how Joba would look in a Speedo? Yeah, I’m thinking about it.
Last Tuesday’s game saw the return of AJ Burnett. A win with the Yanks destroying the Rangers 12-3. Burnett went 7 innings with 8 strike outs. A beauty of a game.
Andy Pettitte took the mound last Wednesday against Texas. This game saw more walks by the Yanks starting pitcher than a Walk of Dimes benefit. Walks=losses. That’s really all I have to say about that.
Friday night’s game against the Rays was rained out. AGH. I seriously was going through severe baseball withdrawal. I was relegated to watch the O’s get shelled in Oakland. I must say, Giambi’s moustache has taken over that man’s face. I’m wondering if and when he announces his retirement, he’ll be going straight to DVD. Porn that is. If not, perhaps he can rival for a spot in the mustache HOF next to Rollie Fingers. Friday night also saw the Red Sox lose to the Texas Rangers. I love you Julio Lugo. Yanks are back on top of the AL East by half a game. I love being on top.
I’m gearing up for this afternoon’s game against the Rays. Today sees CC Sabathia against the Rays phenom David Price. The two lefties duel at 1:05 this afternoon in the Bronx. The Rays are only one of three teams that the Yankees have a losing record against this season. Sabathia has been on a winning roll as of late. Let’s keep it going CC.
Yeah, Jhonny Peralta, I’m talking to you. You’re not batting a thousand (well 3-4 with being hit by a Phil Hughes fastball gone amok in the first inning) with my love, that’s for sure. Oh, and your friend Carl? He stayed out little too long yesterday. So long in fact, that I was going to call the local Amish church up the road from me, and tell them that one of their members was breaking the rules by not showing up for services on a Sunday. Pavano, you look like the missing Amish link. Just sayin’. I guess my 4 years of living in Pennsylvania, so far, and that cheesy goat beard you have, have my brain on shoo-fly pie. And speaking of flies or whatever winged creatures are flying around Progressive Field, your grounds-crew needs to do something about that, stat. Ok, I’m done with the two of you. Don’t make me speak to you again.
This was a game that the Yankees SHOULD have won. It’s that simple. And as disappointed as I was, it’s going to happen every once in a while. I just wish it would happen for legitimate reasons, not freshman mistakes. This was not a banner game for Brett Gardiner, between misplaying a fly to center, and not running on the signs given to him in the ninth inning to avoid the double play. If Rob Thompson could have held up a cardboard sign, instead of some Three Stooges hand gestures, saying, “Run to second Brett! You can do it!” would that have helped? Hey Mo! Not you, “Mo”. You had nothing to do with this game. Get some confidence Brett. Games like these are not the ones where you sit on first and ponder what could go wrong if you run.
After a shaky start by Hughes, the Yankees bullpen, again, was ineffective with the exception of Wang, who pitched three scoreless innings. Wang was lifted (I know, I know…Wang analogies) for Coke, and Coke replaced by Robertson; both pitchers giving up a walk each, with a sacrifice bunt wedged in the middle to put runners on third and first. In walks off Jhonny Peralta put the icing on the cake with a shot down the third baseline to score the winning run. Could Rodriguez have moved a little faster to snag the shot? Probably not, but it was the walks that put the nail in the coffin. What would have happened if Wang stayed in? I’d love to know the answer. As for Wang, coming back into the rotation? I still think it’s too early. Having him come in the game during the 6th or 7th inning with his sinker against tired opposing player’s eyes, may be the key right now. He still hasn’t been tested enough though. And when he pitched as well as he pitched yesterday, he needs to stay in the game, Joe.
Some good things did happen yesterday though. The Yankees have now gone 17 consecutive games without an error, tying the record set by the Red Sox in 2006. Mark Teixeira has a 13 game hitting streak going into today’s game. Let’s hope his amazing May carries into June with of course more W’s in the win column for the Yankees. Jeter also has a 14 game hitting streak as well.
I have a feeling that Jane Heller’s visit to Cleveland last night will have a positive effect on the Yanks. She gave them a “talking to” over dinner and drinks and let them know what needed to be done. Joba got “the glance”. That in itself should be enough.
Yanks look to take the 4th game of the series tonight at 7:05 in Cleveland. Run, don’t just stay there.
I thought this topic was still in the cup, but after doing some reading today in my, ahem, spare time, it’s out of the jock.
After last night’s outing by Joba Chamberlain, the argument of ” Joba should go back to the bullpen and Wang be put back into the starting rotation”, has raised it’s ugly head again. Here’s my take for the now: JOBA STAYS IN THE ROTATION. Why? Dysfunctional Wang.
I know people that I can go back and forth on this topic with, for days. Damn people, I don’t have time for that in my everyday, mundane routine. Sheesh. They will argue with me that they’re confident AND comfortable with Wang back in the starting rotation. I’m sorry, but I have no confidence right now, in a pitcher that can pitch 13 scoreless innings at Triple-A Scranton, and then come back to the Majors and go only 3 innings in relief, giving up 2 earned runs. Do I sound petty? Perhaps, but the Yankees have no room to make more adjustments. If the Yanks can get Keith Olbermann’s mom to come out of her first base line seats at Yankee Stadium, and put on Cervelli’s uniform and call a game, perhaps Wang will throw strikes. I know some of you are probably saying, “Jeez Megan, you HAD to bring up the curse of Chuck Knobloch”. Hey listen, if Wang’s problems aren’t mechanical in nature, then they’re psychological. I’m at the point where I think that a “hip flexor” is not the problem here (not that a hip flexor was the ACTUAL reason for his placement on the DL in the first place). Do I think Wang forgot how to pitch? No. But his head is definitely playing tricks on him. My prescription? Keep him in the bullpen….or put him back on the DL until SOMEONE can finally figure out what is wrong with him.
I think it’s unfair after last night’s performance, given a two hour rain delay, plus the fact that Chamberlain was nailed in the knee during his last outing by a line drive, that folks are demanding his placement back in middle relief. I find it amazing that no one is really pointing out AJ Burnett for his lack-luster performance as of late (but boy he makes a mean pie). I don’t hear anyone suggesting that he needs to go to the pen. Are salaries the issue? Perhaps. The perspective is a little warped. No one saw Teixeira benched for his horrible performance in April. Leave Joba alone. It’ll work out.
You want to know what’s really bothering me concerning the series with the Texas Rangers? The fact that Saltalamacchia’s name on the back of his uniform goes from his belt loops on his left side, up to his shoulders, and back down again to his waist again. Shorten that huh? Get a nickname or something.
This is what happens: The Yanks go on a winning tear. Then they have ONE bad game and need someone to pin it on. Did Joba have a good start last night? No. Did the bats come back to support him? Yes. Did the bullpen keep the Yanks in the game? No. Outcome? Loss. It’s that simple. It’s not rocket science. It’s baseball, people.
If anyone out there has a better formula or equation, I want to hear it.
Ring…. Ring…… Ring………
“Ummm. Yeah, Tonya?”
“Yes, this is Tonya.”
“Hey, listen. I’m inquiring about your services. You know…skills, connections?”
“Who is this?”
“That’s really not important. I just need your help.”
“Skills? Services? Connections? I have no clue what you’re talking about, lady.”
“Yes, you do…..My friends…ummmm…The Hamiltons, led me in your direction. They said, ummmm…you’re the person I need to talk to.”
“The Hamiltons? What?”
“Ummmm, I mean the Franklins”.
“The Franklins? Oh….the Franklins! I know the Franklins! Keep talking”.
“Well, you see…I’ve got a….situation…up on 161st street. We got robbed last night. Can’t let it happen again tonight. You know what I mean? I heard, ummm….that you’ve got a way to stop that kind of stuff. I’ve got the supplies already in the building.”
“You’ve got what I need already?”
“Oh, yeah. And a kid to hand you more supplies when you need them. I’m not fooling around sister. This ain’t Ice Capades.”
“Do you have a description of these robbers?”
“Yeah, there were a bunch of them. They got names on their backs, too. Pretty silly, if you ask me, that they need THAT kind of attention.”
“What time do you need my crew there?”
“Consider it done.”
“Stop stealing the blanket, man! I’m cold….and having a great dream.”
“You don’t need Tonya Harding.”
“WHAT? Oh, yes I do. I need her like a bagel needs cream cheese.”
“COME ON MAN! LET ME FINISH THE JOB!”
“Megan, wake up. Look, it’s me, Alex.”
“Alex! It’s 3 o’clock in the morning! What are you doing here?’
“I’ve come to tell you a bedtime story.”
*Eyes try to open, squinting. Alex Rodriguez is sitting at the foot of my bed. With a cape on*
“Megan, once upon a time, there were a group of guys, who wore stripes. A great group of guys. Hardest working guys out there on the diamond. They built a new house, during the offseason. A big, strong house. One day, they came home, to find a group of no good thugs. No good, I tell ya. They wore the color of the devil. And they robbed the place.”
“I know! I watched last night on YES! Jeez, Alex. You came all the way to Pennsylvania to tell me this? Tell me something I don’t know, huh?”
“There’s more to the story, little girl. They fought a worthy fight in the end.”
“BUT THEY LOST ALEX!”
“Shhhh….The robbers may have won this battle, but they awoke the giant, Teixiera. A big, sleeping giant, who can swing his sword from either side. And now….he’s angry. And after sending two long balls into the stands last night, he’s not done. He’s gathered his minions, and a man named Joba. A man so fierce, with blazing pitch speed, and eyes…. so mysterious. A wizard on the mound. They will lead the fight to revenge!”
“Are you sure I don’t need Tonya Harding?”
“Yes, Megan. I’m sure.”
“Ummmm…what’s with the cape?”
“I’m coming to save the day…..soon.”
“Go back to sleep, little girl. Dream pleasant thoughts, Megan. Happy thoughts…men in pinstripes…..shhhhhhh.”
So there you have it. Rodriguedomus came to me and told me HIMSELF, that the men in the devil’s color will be defeated; led by men named Teixiera and Joba. I feel it now. I FEEL IT! CAN YOU? Who’s with me?!!!!!
Sadly enough, they were robbed last night. Perhaps it was fate. Perhaps it was the smaller than average strike zone. Perhaps the rain delay didn’t help. Perhaps tipping pitches (ironically this is a household term now) had something to do with it. We all know that spying in sports is rampant among New England teams, don’t we? Perhaps last night’s game was meant to be the biggest wake up call this young season for the Yankees.
I’m awake now. I think the Yankees are awake now. And now it looks like a superhero is on the way, a little ahead of schedule, to join forces with his teammates in the coming days.
The battle continues this evening at 7:05 in the Bronx.