Sep 30, 2006

Weekend in Boston

I'm here in Boston for the weekend visiting friends (I went to BU). My friend got us tickets to the Sox tomorrow night, so it'll be fun - the game is meaningless.

I listened to part of tonight's game on radio. Mussina pitched great, and Sheffield hit a 3-run bomb.

Oh yeah, since the Twins and Tigers both lost, the Yanks have homefield throughout the playoffs! Excellent. Now let's make it matter. I'll be attending Game 2 Wednesday night. Look for me behind home plate. I'll be wearing a Yankees hat. ;)

7-2 Yanks

Sep 29, 2006

Cano and (Daniel) Cabrera

Almost a no-no tonight. By the Orioles' Daniel Cabrera. I stayed all the way, hoping for that hit. And Robbie Cano finally delivered with 1 out in the 9th. Ironically, Abreu hit into a DP on the next pitch, but I was just happy not to witness Murderer's Row go totally hitless.

Three borderline errors were called on Baltimore that really upset the crowd. I can understand it, because if there wasn't a no-hitter going on, at least one of them would have been ruled a hit. Even Joe said, "I've never seen errors go up there that quickly."

Was Cabrera that good, or were the Yanks 'out-of-sorts'? His biggest problem's always been throwing strikes, and he did that tonight, only allowing 2 walks. When he can control his stuff, he's great, and that's what he was tonight - with a little luck thrown in. There were some hard hit balls (right at players), namely by Cano, Sheffield, Abreu, Matsui & Damon.

Rasner had his first poor outing of the year. Ok, no big deal. But a stupid guy in front of me was booing him. What an idiot! Rasner is a rookie, who's pitched very well until tonight, the division (and likely homefield) are in the bag, he's our 5th-7th starter, who was bad (but not atrocious), and he's getting booed?! The ump was also squeezing Rasner (I'm watching the DVR). The guy was about 21, and he thought he was being funny. He was looking at his friend (who wore a cap with a flat brim, tilted slightly up and to the side) to see if he was laughing too. These are probably the same guys that boo Arod. It's these idiots that give Yankee fans a bad name.

Hopefully it's just a fluke night for Murderer's Row. Cabrera DOES have great stuff, his problem has always been harnessing it. Maybe tonight was a (scary) glimpse to next season. And Arod and Jeter were rested for Cairo and Cannizaro.

7-1 O's

2*: Cano, 1-4
2: Henn, 3.2 ip, 0 r, 5 h, 2 bb, 3 k
1: Veras, 2 ip, 0 r, h, bb

Sep 28, 2006

Not a Bad Lineup

Last night was the first preview of the primary October lineup.


It's an incredibly patient and balanced lineup - only 2 spots are back-to-back lefties/righties: 9 Cano & 1 Damon. It's amazing to think that the eventual batting champ may be our #9 hitter. And that the MVP may be #2!

I'd like to see Damon & Jeter be a bit more patient: Jeter's first 2 ab last night encompassed only 3 pitches, both outs.

Should Arod be the cleanup hitter? If Sheff starts to hit, and it looks like he is, I'd rather have him #4 and Arod #6.

Wang pitched just ok, giving up 4 runs in 6 innings. But he's now 19-6!

16-5 Yanks (3 game lead over Detroit for best AL record, due to their loss to Toronto, and having the tiebreaker over them)

3*: Giambi, 3-5, HR, 3 r, 4 rbi
2: Posada, 2-4, HR, 2b, r, 4 rbi
1: Arod, 2-3, 2b, 2 r, rbi, bb
1: Matsui, 2-2, 2 r, rbi, 2 bb
1: Cano, 1-3, HR, r, 3 rbi
1: Abreu, 2-3, HR

Sep 27, 2006

Vs. AL teams (linked)

OPS last 3 seasons vs. Minnesota, Detroit & Oakland (at-bats):
Lineup (top 3
Damon .805 (72) .737 (99) .864 (108)
Jeter .757 (65) .663 (71) .785 (108)
Abreu 1.025 (22) .675 (17) .795 (9)
Arod 1.207 (65) 1.257 (72) .990 (106)
Giambi .686 (34) .733 (61) .919 (66)
Sheffield 1.061 (57) .756 (54) .925 (79)
Matsui 1.077 (53) .788 (50) 1.019 (80)
Posada .690 (53) .802 (60) .977 (88)
Cano .961 (51) .809 (54) .833 (68)
Melky .586 (9) .924 (30) .585 (17)

Bernie .587 (52) .770 (57) .519 (74)
Guiel .360 (47) .815 (38) .619 (7)
Cairo .500 (22) .401 (27) .402 (32)
Fasano .473 (10) .839 (11) .481 (12)
C. Wilson .250 (8) .905 (7) .829 (9)
Philips .333 (4) 1.115 (13) .238 (21)

PITCHERS - era (innings)
MIN DET OAK (top 2
Wang 2.57 (14) 2.52 (25) 1.42 (12.2)
Mussina 6.35 (22.2) 3.54 (28)
3.00 (36)
0.53 (17) 5.21 (19) 5.09 (23)
Wright 9.00 (3)
2.84 (6.1) 3.68 (7.1)
Lidle 2.79 (19.1) 9.00 (6) 10.57 (15.1)

Rivera 2.45 (7.1) 0.00 (11) 0.64 (14)
Farnsworth 9.00 (8) 11.57 (2.1) 3.00 (6)
Proctor 5.14 (7) 9.53 (5.2)
1.29 (7)
2.35 (7.2) 2.08 (4.1) 6.23 (8.2)
Bruney 0.00 (1.2) 6.00 (3) ----
Villone 6.14 (7.1) 3.86 (11.2) 3.00 (18)

Proctor Finally Saves One

Congrats to 'Everyday' Scottie, who got his first career save tonight despite a 'Wetteland-esque' outing. 1 r, 3 h, and a line drive into Damon's glove for the final out. But now that he's done it, perhaps next time will be easier.

Jeter and Cano each had 2 hits. But the big blow came from Abreu (again) who crushed a Rodrigo Lopez (he of the 18 losses) inside fastball off the third deck facade for 2 runs. As a microcosm of each of their seasons, Abreu hit a HR, and Arod followed with a three-pitch strikeout.

Cory Lidle pitched well, but not good enough in my mind to make the postseason rotation. Torre might take him as a reliever, but even that's no certainty.

1. Wang
2. Mussina
3. Randy
4. Wright

5. Rivera
6. Farnsworth
7. Proctor
8. Bruney
9. Myers
10. Villone

It's tough after those 10. Joe will have to choose 1-2 from: Rasner, Karstens, Lidle, Veras (unlikely) & Beam (more unlikely (or would it be 'less likely'?)).

5-4 Yanks (Detroit won too, so we're still tied for homefield)

2*: Lidle, 6.2 ip, 3 er, 6 h, 1 bb, 5 k
2: Abreu, 1-4, HR, r, 2 rbi
1: Cano, 2-4, HR
1: Jeter, 2-4, 2b, r

Sep 26, 2006

NFL Parity

Do y'all remember the days in the NFL when the better team would win? It wasn't that long ago. But this year, it seems like the games are not decided by who plays better, but just by who plays less bad. Missed/blocked field goals, fumbles, bad passes, dropped passes, missed tackles, penalties, etc.

Take the Giants-Seahawks game. Seattle threw a pick on their first play. Eli threw 2 picks in the first quarter. Plaxico fumbled the ball, and turned a very catchable ball into another pick. It wasn't that Seattle played well, just that the Giants played so badly. 4 turnovers in the first half doomed then - and it wasn't even forced turnovers like big hits, it was mental mistakes. And then the Giants made a formidable comeback due to 3 turnovers by Seattle. Seattle only averaged 2.6 yards per carry, but because they were handed 4 turnovers, it became a blowout early.

Go back to week 2. The main reason the Giants came back to win was because of the poor play by Philly. They couldn't convert on some crucial 3rd and shorts, fumbled the ball, and dropped some passes, allowing the Gints to come all the way back.

Go back to week 1. Again, the Colts played bad, but the Giants worse. Peyton threw 1 int, but if not for several drops by Giant defenders, he'd have 4 in that game. And then Eli and Tiki fuck up a simple handoff, and the game is over.

I've seen more sloppy football this season than I can ever remember seeing in past seasons. I'm not just talking about the Giants, it's every team. Is there a reason for it? Is it too much media attention, aka pressure, is it fatigue, or over-complex playbooks, or big money/egos, or overhauled/no chemistry teams due to free agency? Maybe it's a combination of everything. Whatever it is, I hope we can watch crisp football the rest of the way.

Break Out

That was some first inning. 2 HR, 6 runs, 2 ejections, 2 infield hits, and some fine defense. Tampa's manager and pitching coach were tossed for arguing balls and strikes. Frankly, the pitches that upset them were balls. They were borderline, but they did miss.

From a distance, the turning point would seem like Abreu's 3-run HR in the first; but it really may have been Damon falling behind 0-2 only to get hit by a pitch, unnerving Seo, who proceeded to walk Jeter and serve up Abreu's bomb.

It was nice to see the potential this offense has. They jumped on Seo early and often, hitting 2 3-run HRs in the first inning. It's something they need to do in October. They must take every single pitch and at bat like it's their last. If they stay focused, 1 through 9, this offense should put up a lot of runs in the playoffs, even against elite pitchers like Johan Santana.

Should Jaret Wright be the 3rd starter? He should obviously be #4 at worst, but his era is 4.39 compared to Randy's 5.00. Randy's back is hurting now too. He's going to skip his last regular season start - his next game will be in the LDS (it looks like he'll start game 3 or 4).

16-1 Yanks (tied with Detroit for best AL record)

3*: Wright, 6 ip, 1 er, 5 h, 4 bb, 4 k
3: Abreu, 4-4, HR, 3 r, 4 rbi
2: Matsui, 3-4, HR, r, 4 rbi
1: Jeter, 2-4, 2b, 3 r, bb
1: Arod, 2-3, 2b, r, rbi, bb
1: Cannizaro, 1-1, HR (first of his career), 3 r, rbi, bb

Sep 25, 2006


Another poor showing. I know they've clinched, but I still want homefield. The Yanks made another error behind Mussina. He actually pitched well, but that one error extended the inning and Mussina. Of the 6 runs he allowed, only 2 were earned.

One thing is apparent: Kevin Thompson is a major-league player. Assuming Melky will be the 4th OF next year, Thompson should take over the Bubba/Bernie role: pinch-hitter/runner/OF. He's faster and better in the field than Bernie. And he's a better hitter than Bubba. Unfortunately, he won't get much playing time in that role, so should he stay in AAA to play every day, or play every 3-4 days in the show? If Brett Gardner takes over CF for AAA, it would be natural for Thompson to be with the Yanks all year. Is it better for him to play every-so-often in New York, or every day in the minors? Probably in the minors, but he's too valuable to the Yanks to keep him there.

It would be nice to see the team play good, clean baseball heading into the playoffs.

11-4 Rays

2*: Matsui, 2-2, 2 r, rbi, bb, sb
2: Cano, 2-4, HR
1: Thompson, 1-1, 2b, rbi
1: Beam, 1.1 perfect innings


A pretty lifeless game from the Yanks. Randy was Mr. Hyde tonight. Let's hope he's Dr. Jekyll in October.

8-0 Rays

Is anyone even deserving of a star?

1*: Cairo, 1-1, 2b


I missed most of this game, and my DVR erased it because of all the other taped stuff this weekend. Wang pitched well again, while Cano and Guiel provided the offense. Wang is tied for the league lead with 18 wins. He threw just 82 pitches, and the game lasted only 2:17!

4-1 Yanks

3*: Wang, 7 ip, 1 er, 6 h, 0 bb, 4 k
2: Guiel, 2-4, HR, r, 2 rbi
1: Cano, 2-4, HR, 2b

Sep 24, 2006

Awful Start Dooms Gints

That may have been the worst first half I've ever seen from the Giants. 4 turnovers, and a 32 point deficit at the half. They outscored Seattle 27-7 in the 2nd half but it wasn't enough. Shockey said that they were 'outcoached.' He's the 2nd Giant to say that, the first being Tiki after the playoff loss last year.

Maybe he's right. How does a D with this much talent play so poorly against the pass? They didn't get a single sack today, and they have only 2 through 3 games! Last year they had (3+4+0) 7 through 3 games. That was supposed to be their strength, instead it's their biggest weakness.

Coughlin took Plaxico out of the game after he was flagged for offensive pass interference, dropped a 20-yard pass resulting in a pick, and lost a fumble. I understand removing him for a half or a quarter, but not the whole game. If the Giants are going to be successful, Plax is going to be a big part of it, and benching him (especially going into the bye) will only decrease his motivation.

For the 2nd straight game, Eli has thrived in the no-huddle offense. Perhaps this should be their primary offensive mode. It works for Peyton, why not Eli?

The run D was impressive. Seattle averaged just 2.6 yards per carry. The whole D combines to stuff the run, most notably the impressive play from the DTs. Fred Robbins has been arguably the best Giant defender so far. But it's all moot if there's no pass D.

Which brings me back to the Giants' pass rush - or lack thereof - which is frustrating to watch. Strahan (12) and Osi (15) combined for 27 sacks last year. This year: 1.
And with the additions of Arrington and Kiwanuka, the pass rush was only supposed to improve. The Giants have allowed 92 points! That's worst in the NFC and 2nd worst in the NFL to the lowly Texans (98). Maybe R.W. McQuarters should be starting - he has 2 picks already. Him and Robbins are the only playmakers on D. Why is Arrington dropping into coverage on every play? Where's the pressure? I know the secondary isn't great, but when you've got 2 pro-bowl DEs, the D shouldn't be this bad. If the D doesn't improve, the Giants need to look for a new defensive coordinator.

A bad way to go into the bye week, but at least they didn't just fold.

42-30 Seattle

2*: DT Fred Robbins, 5 tackles, 1 int
2*: CB R.W. McQuarters, 1 tackle, 1 int, 1 TD
1: WR David Tyree, 5 catches, 72 yards, 1 TD

Sep 21, 2006

NFL Top 11 Rookies - Thru Week 2

Mario: 5 tackles, 0 for loss, 0 sacks, 0 pass deflections
Bush: 36 touches, 192 yards, 0 td, 0 fumbles, 7 punts, 58 return yards
Young: 10-23, 133 yards, 1 td, 1 int, 0 sacks, 5 rushes, 24 yards, 1 fumble
D'Brick: Pennington 107.1 rating - 6 sacks, Jets 2.4 rushing average
Hawk: 12 tackles, 1 for loss, 0 sacks, 1 pass deflection
V. Davis: 5 catches, 37 yards, 1 td, 1 fumble
Huff: 5 tackles, 1 for loss
Whitner: 15 tackles, 0 for loss, 1 int, 1 pass deflection
Sims: 17 tackles, 1.5 for loss
Leinart: has not played
Cutler: has not played

So far, Bush is having the best season of the top 11. Mario hasn't done anything yet. D'Brick is doing a good job, but the rest of the line (and the running backs) aren't getting the job done. Hawk, Whitner and Sims are also off to good starts.

TSN's premium access is available for the Giants-Seahawks.

Article on Arrington.
He gets ripped to shreds. It's a bit harsh considering he's only played 2 games with the Blue.


The main reason the Yanks are division champs? Two letters: DJ.

Jeter, 74.5
Giambi, 44.6
Arod, 44.3
Damon, 43.3
Cano, 40.1

Win %:
Jeter, 5.89
Giambi, 3.91
Posada, 2.02
Damon, 1.96
Abreu, 1.72

Giambi, .964
Abreu, .921
Arod, .899
Jeter, .896
Cano, .870

Arod, 138
Giambi, 104

Jeter, 32
Damon, 25

Runs Created per Game:
Abreu, 8.4
Giambi, 8.09
Jeter, 7.84
Arod, 6.75
Posada, 6.65

Wang, 50.9
Mussina, 44.9
Rivera, 32.0
Proctor, 26.2
Wright, 15.8

Win %:
Rivera, 3.29
Wang, 2.11
Mussina, 1.67
Farnsworth, 1.09
Myers, .68

AL Team Defensive Efficiency
Detroit, .715
Yanks, .707 (who woulda thunk it?)
Toronto, .706

(13th) Boston, .682

Sep 20, 2006

Thank You Torii Hunter!

He hit a 3-run HR to give Minnesota a 4-2 lead up in Fenway. They held on for an 8-2 win.

For the 9th straight year, the Yankees are the division champs! And for the 12th straight year, the Yankees are going to the playoffs!

They didn't win tonight, but thanks to Boston's bullpen, it didn't matter.

Sean Henn pitched well, but one bad inning did him in - and Bruney allowed the inherited runners to score, only his 2nd poor outing of the year.

Cano hit an rbi double, and Bernie a solo HR for the Yanks offense.

3-2 Jays

2*: Proctor, 1.1 ip, 0 r, 0 h, 0 bb, 1 k
2: Bernie, 2-4, solo HR
1: Cano, 2-4, 2b, rbi

Wow. Jeter just got SOAKED. :) I think Melky poured an entire can of beer on him. Melky and Cano are inseparable.

The Rooks Come Through

Another quality start by a rookie. Yesterday was Rasner. Tonight it was Karstens. He allowed a lot of baserunners, but got outs when he really needed to. He was bailed out by Damon's incredible diving catch with the bases loaded. But the key to his success has been making pitches when he needs to, and not giving up free passes. Rasner is slightly better at this point in his career, but I like Karstens better in the long run. He just seems to have more potential. His biggest problem has been accuracy. If his control improves, he could be a solid #3 starter.

Clutch hits tonight from Melky and Abreu. If a catch can be clutch, then Damon made the clutch play of the game. I don't see Bernie making that catch. Damon has no regard for his body and laid out for a 3-run-saving grab. It was among the best plays of the whole season. Here's the scenario: bottom of the 5th, Karstens just loaded the bases with a walk, and he's given up 3 hits in the inning, all on fastballs. He's afraid to throw it now, so Guidry has to talk to him. He must've said 'You HAVE to throw your fastball. I don't care if they hit a grand slam, you throw fastballs to this hitter.' After Karstens missed with his first fastball, I knew he was fucked (read below). He threw another one and it was belted by Russ Adams to deep left center. Damon made a heroic play and the game was saved.

I kept score below, even tracking every pitch. I think I'll do this during the playoffs. It's very interesting to see the pattern that pitchers use, the rhythm they get into, and how they get into trouble. I'm also going to comment on every pitch if I see a need to (poor call, extra movement, bad location, etc.).

6-3 Yanks (Boston lost so the Magic Number is 1!)

3*: Abreu, 2-4, HR, r, 2 rbi, bb
2: Veras, .2 ip, 2 k
2: Melky, 2-4, 2 rbi
1: Karstens, 6.1 ip, 3 er, 10 h, 3 bb, 1 k
1: Posada, 1-3, HR, 2 r, rbi, bb

PS: Pavano has been shut down for the season. I'm heartbroken. ;)

Sep 19, 2006

Warming for October

Top 1
Marcum vs. Damon:

fastball, high/outside, 1-0
fastball, strike swinging, 1-1
cutter, inside, 2-1
fastball, strike swinging, 2-2
curve, strike swinging, k - 1 out

cutter, foul, 0-1
curve, high, 1-1
fastball, strike swinging, 1-2
slider, low, 2-2
fastball, foul, 2-2
curve, inside, 3-2
fastball, hbp - runner on 1st

cutter, low, 1-0
curve, low, 2-0
fastball, low, 3-0
fastball, high, bb - runners on 1st & 2nd

curve, strike called, 0-1
FB, strike swinging, 0-2
curve, strike called, k - 2 outs

change, strike swinging, 0-1
curve, inside, 1-1
cutter, groundout 4-3 - 3 outs

Bottom 1
Karstens vs. Catalanotto:
FB, strike called, 0-1
curve, outside, 1-1
FB, low, 2-1
FB, foul, 2-2
change, single to right - runner on 1st

FB, strike called, 0-1
FB, foul, 0-2
FB, foul out 5 - 1 out

curve, strike called, 0-1
change, low, wild pitch, 1-1, runner on 2nd
curve, strike called, 1-2
balk, runner on 3rd
FB, outside, 2-2
FB, pop out 4 - 2 outs

FB, low, 1-0
FB, foul, 1-1
change, fly out 9 - 3 outs

Top 2
Marcum vs. Posada:
FB, outside, 1-0
change, strike called, 1-1
curve, low, 2-1
change, low, 3-1
FB, HR to right center - 1-0 Yanks

change, strike called, 0-1
curve, high/outside, 1-1
FB, outside, 2-1
change, fly out 8 - 1 out

FB, outside, 1-0
FB, outside, 2-0
change, outside, 3-0
FB, strike called, 3-1
curve, strike called, 3-2
change, strike swinging, k - 2 outs

curve, strike called, 0-1
FB, infield single up the middle - runner on 1st

FB, high, 1-0
pickoff attempt
FB, outside, 2-0
FB, outside, 3-0
FB, strike called, 3-1
pickoff attempt
FB, strike called, 3-2
change, strike swinging, k - 3 outs

Bottom 2
FB, strike called, 0-1
FB, inside, 1-1
FB, single up the middle - runner on 1st

FB, fly out 7 - 1 out

FB, low/outside, 1-0
change, low, 2-0
FB, single to right - runners on 1st & 3rd

FB, double to left - runners on 2nd & 3rd, 1-1 tie

change, low, 1-0
FB, outside, 2-0
FB, outside, 3-0
FB, strike called, 3-1
FB, foul, 3-2
FB, high, bb - bases loaded

FB, outside, 1-0
change, pop out 4 - 2 outs

change, fly out 7 - 3 outs

Top 3
curve, low, 1-0
FB, groundout 4-3 - 1 out

FB, outside, 1-0
change, low/outside, 2-0
FB, groundout 4-3 - 2 outs

FB, groundout 5-3 - 3 outs

Bottom 3
FB, double to left - runner on 2nd

curve, fly out 7 - 1 out

curve, single to right, out at 2nd - 2-1 Jays, 2 outs

curve, outside, 1-0
FB, outside, 2-0
FB, strike called, 2-1
FB, outside, 3-1
FB, fly out 8 - 3 outs

Top 4
FB, foul, 0-1
FB, hbp - runner on 1st

curve, outside, 1-0
change, low, 2-0
FB, outside, 3-0
change, strike called, 3-1
change, outside, bb - runners on 1st & 2nd

change, single to right - bases loaded

FB, outside, 1-0
FB, outside, 2-0
FB, foul out 3 - 1 out

curve, high, 1-0
FB, strike swinging, 1-1
curve, single to center - 3-2 Yanks, runners on 1st & 3rd

FB, fly out 9 - 2 outs

FB, strike called, 0-1
FB, inside, 1-1
FB, foul, 1-2
curve, strike called, k - 3 outs

Bottom 4
FB, strike called, 0-1
curve, ground out 3-1 - 1 out

FB, strike called, 0-1
FB, outside, 1-1
change, strike swinging, 1-2
change, low/outside, 2-2
FB, outside, 3-2
FB, line out 7 - 2 out

FB, outside, 1-0
curve, low, 2-0
FB, high, 3-0
FB, strike called, 3-1
FB, foul, 3-2
FB, double to right center - runner on 2nd

curve, high/outside, 1-0
curve, low, 2-0
FB, outside, 3-0
change, outside, bb - runners on 1st & 2nd

curve, strike called, 0-1
FB, foul out 9 - 3 outs

Top 5
FB, foul, 0-1
curve, low, 1-1
change, 1-2
curve, single to left - runner on 1st

change, low, 1-0
cutter, low/inside, 2-0
FB, inside, 3-0
curve, high, bb - runners on 1st & 2nd

Scott Downs vs. Giambi:
slider, outside, 1-0
FB, low, 2-0
FB, strike swinging, 2-1
curve, strike swinging, 2-2
curve, low/outside, 3-2
curve, foul, 3-2 (setting up a FB?)
FB, groundout 3 - 1 out, runners on 2nd & 3rd

FB, strike called, 0-1
curve, strike swinging, 0-2
curve, strike swinging, k - 2 outs

FB, strike called, 0-1
curve, strike swinging, 0-2
FB, high, 1-2
curve, low, 2-2
curve, foul out 5 - 3 outs

Bottom 5
change, fly out 8 - 1 out

curve, strike called, 0-1
change, outside, 1-1
FB, strike swinging, 1-2
FB, single to center - runner on 1st

change, strike swinging, 0-1
pickoff attempt
FB, inside, 1-1
FB, single to center - runners on 1st & 2nd

curve, outside, 1-0
change, groundout 5-4 - 2 outs, runners on 1st & 3rd

change, low, 1-0
change, low, 2-0
change, strike swinging, 2-1
FB, high/outside, 3-1
FB, single to left - 3-3 tie, runners on 2nd & 3rd

curve, strike called, 0-1
change, low/outside, 1-1
FB, foul, 1-2
change, low, 2-2
curve, low/outside, 3-2
change, low, bb - bases loaded (Guidry talked to Karstens)

FB, low, 1-0 (Karstens is fucked)
FB, fly out 8 - 3 outs (the play of the game so far. Damon's tremendous catch saved 3 runs!)

Top 6
slider, outside, 1-0
slider, strike called, 1-1
curve, groundout 4-3 - 1 out

FB, strike called, 0-1
FB, foul, 0-2
slider, low/inside, 1-2
FB, groundout 6-3 - 2 outs

FB, low/outside, 1-0
curve, low/outside, 2-0
FB, low/outside, 3-0
FB, strike called, 3-1
FB, strike swinging, 3-2 (another FB?)
FB, foul, 3-2
FB, foul, 3-2
FB, foul, 3-2
FB, foul, 3-2
FB, groundout 4-3 - 3 outs

Bottom 6
FB, strike called, 0-1
FB, strike called, 0-2
FB, low, 1-2
curve, fly out 8 - 1 out

FB, strike called, 0-1
FB, inside, 1-1
curve, foul, 1-2
curve, groundout 4-3 - 2 outs (nice play by Cano)

FB, low, 1-0
FB, groundout 6-3 - 3 outs

Top 7
Frasor vs. Jeter:
FB, strike called, 0-1
slider, low, 1-1
FB, foul, 1-2
slider, low, 2-2
FB, foul, 2-2
slider, infield single, deflected off pitcher - runner on 1st

Speier vs. Abreu:
pickoff attempt
slider, outside, 1-0
FB, high, 2-0
slider, strike called, 2-1
pickoff attempt
FB, foul, 2-2
slider, high/outside, 3-2
FB, HR to center - 5-3 Yanks

slider, strike called, 0-1
FB, high, 1-1
slider, outside, 2-1
slider, foul, 2-2 (Arod just missed it)
slider, fly out 9 - 1 out

slider, strike swinging, 0-1
FB, inside, 1-1
slider, outside, 2-1
slider, inside, 3-1
FB, strike called, 3-2
slider, strike swinging, k - 2 outs

slider, low, 1-0
slider, outside, 2-0
slider, strike called, 2-1
FB, foul out 2 - 3 outs

Bottom 7
FB, strike called, 0-1
change, strike called, 0-2
curve, low, 1-2
curve, outside, 2-2
FB, strike called, k - 1 out (nice inside pitch that froze Glaus)

Myers vs. Overbay:
slider, inside, 1-0
slider, fly out 8 - 2 outs

Beam vs. Hill:
FB, high, 1-0
FB, strike called, 1-1
slider, outside, 2-1
FB, groundout 6-3 - 3 outs

Top 8
Tallet vs. Cano:
FB, foul, 0-1
slider, foul, 0-2
FB, strike swinging, k - 1 out (Zaun dropped the ball, threw Cano out at first)

FB, high, 1-0
FB, high, 2-0
FB, HR to right - 6-3 Yanks (Tallet grooved a FB)

FB, high/outside, 1-0
change, strike swinging, 1-1
change, groundout 1-3 - 2 outs

FB, high/inside, 1-0
slider, foul, 1-1
FB, single to left - runner on 1st

McGowan vs. Jeter:
FB, groundout 6-3 - 3 outs

Bottom 8
FB, strike called, 0-1
FB, outside, 1-1
FB, low, 2-1
FB, foul out 3 - 1 out

FB, strike called, 0-1
slider, outside, 1-1
slider, strike called, 1-2
slider, foul, 1-2
FB, foul, 1-2
slider, foul, 1-2
slider?, inside, 2-2
FB, single to right center - runner on 1st

FB, outside, 1-0
FB, high, 2-0
FB, outside, 3-0
FB, strike called, 3-1
FB, inside, bb - runners on 1st & 2nd

Veras vs. Catalanotto:
FB, outside, 1-0
FB, outside, 2-0
FB, strike called, 2-1
FB, outside, 3-1
FB, strike called, 3-2
splitter?, strike swinging, k - 2 outs

FB, high/outside, 1-0
FB, strike swinging, 1-1
FB, low, 2-1
FB, inside, 3-1
FB, foul, 3-2
FB, strike swinging, k - 3 outs

Top 9
FB, high, 1-0
FB, strike called, 1-1
slurve, inside, 2-1
FB, inside, 3-1
FB, groundout 3-1 - 1 out

slurve, foul, 0-1
slider, strike swinging, 0-2
slurve, outside, 1-2
FB, groundout 4-3 - 2 outs (jam shot)

FB, foul, 0-1
change?, outside, 1-1
FB, groundout 3-1 - 3 outs

Bottom 9
Farnsworth vs. Wells:
slider, strike swinging, 0-1
FB, groundout 1-3 - 1 out (liner hit Kyle, he picked it up and threw to first)

FB, foul, 0-1
FB, fly out 8 - 2 outs

FB, strike called, 0-1 (great inside FB at 96 mph)
FB, outside, 1-1
FB, strike swinging, 1-2
FB, foul out 5 - 3 outs

Game Over

Sun. Game 2

A great start by Mussina was wasted.

I was listening to the radio near the end of this one, and Suzyn Waldman was saying how the hitters against Myers kept stepping out of the box to mess up his timing. They know him from his Boston days, so they know how to fuck with him apparently. Mirabelli stepped out at least once. Myers plunked him. And Pedroia stepped out three times. Myers threw a 55-foot wild pitch to let the tying run score.

In the 8th, Crisp made an incredible catch robbing Posada of a HR. That was the turning point. That catch saved 2 runs.

Farnsworth entered in the 9th, and promptly gave up a double. It wouldn't have been so bad, but Posada made a poor throw to first on a bunt, allowing Crisp to beat it out. And Bernie threw a 3-bouncer to home on a shallow flyball, allowing Boston to take the lead. Even an average outfield arm nails Joey Cora there.

With Timlin closing for Papelbon (injured shoulder), Damon singled in the 9th, but he was never brought home. Arod just missed a fastball, hitting a mile-high pop-up.

Bad relief pitching (3 ip, 3 er) and defense from the Yanks, and one great catch by Boston. That's the game. Thank god these games are so meaningless or I might've punched the TV.

5-4 Boston

2*: Mussina, 6 ip, 2 er, 7 h, bb, 7 k
2: Posada, 2-4, 2b, 3 rbi (just missed a 2-run HR)
1: Abreu, 1-3, 2 r, bb

Sun. Game 1

The game was lost in the 7th inning with 2 calls against the Yanks. 1. Coco Crisp was out of the baseline. 2. The 3-2 pitch to Loretta was clearly a strike - the overhead camera shows it hit the edge of the plate. Villone didn't pitch too well, but it wasn't really his fault. The Yanks had to get 5 outs in that inning thanks to the umps.

6-3 Sox

2*: Wright, 6 ip, 2 er, 4 h, 3 bb, 2 k
2: Melky, 2-4, 2b, r, rbi, bb
1: Damon, 2-5, 2b, 2 r

Sep 18, 2006

How I DIDN'T Miss Mike Kay

Wow is he bad. If the YES Network was a baseball team, and I was the GM, he'd be in the minors.

How many times has he used the stupid expression 'whispered/blistered across the outside corner'? Or 'See ya!'? Or other Kay-patented phrases? Please stop saying that dumb shit! Can't you say anything original? Something where you may have to actually think on the fly?

Damon 'tried to pull an outside pitch.' No, he didn't. He was out in front because Burnett throws a 96 mph fastball, so when it's a curve, the hitter will be out in front and has to pull it, you no talent hack.

As for the game: very up and down start by Rasner. He loaded the bases with no outs (the ump was squeezing him) in the first, but induced two pop-ups and a k. He struggled early on (allowing runs in the 2nd and 4th), but pitched well after that. I thought Proctor was unusable tonight, but the closeness of the game required him. Unfortunately, outside of Bruney and 'Everyday' Scottie tonight, the rest of the pen looked like they'd never thrown a baseball before. Luckily the Jays pen couldn't pitch either, so the Yanks had a 4-run cushion to work with. It ticks me off that Farnsworth is so fragile that he can't pitch on consecutive days, yet Proctor goes whenever Joe needs him. Scottie: 96.2 ip, Farnsworth: 62 ip.

Burnett was the opposite of Rasner. He was dominating for most of the game, but then allowed 4 er in the 6th and 7th (all with 2 outs (2 2-run HRs from Arod & Jeter)).

Very good win, with the 5th starter going and a depleted bullpen.

7-6 Yanks (Magic Number: 3)

3*: Arod, 2-4, HR, r, 2 rbi, bb (Burnett was dominating until his HR made it a game)
2: Jeter, 1-5, HR, 2 r, 2 rbi, sb (HR gave Yanks the lead)
1: Abreu, 2-4, r, rbi, bb, 2 sb
1: Rasner, 6 ip, 3 er, 6 h, 2 bb, 3 k

Sat. Game 2

Johnson started out well but faded.

Great pitching by Proctor, as well as timely hitting from Melky, Giambi and Posada, gave us the DH split. If not for Damon, I'd want Melky hitting leadoff every game (.971 leadoff ops!).

3*: Posada, 3-3, 2 2b, 2 r, rbi, bb
2: Melky, 3-4, rbi, bb, sb
2: 'Everyday' Scottie, 2 ip, 0 r, 2 h, 0 bb, 3 k
1: Arod, 1-3, r, rbi, bb
1: Giambi, 1-3, 2b, r, rbi, bb
1: Bernie, 1-3, 2b, r, 2 rbi

Beckett Escapes

Saturday Game 1: That's how I would title a book based on this game. He walked 5 guys and gave up 4 hits, but escaped because of 2 double-plays. Damon's bases-loaded GIDP was the turning point. Beckett was on the ropes...

Wang didn't have his great stuff either. He was constantly falling behind hitters. He just couldn't put the ball where he wanted to consistently.

At least Brian Bruney looked good - not just good, phenomenal. After walking the first 2 batters he faced, he k'ed the next 5! He's quickly replacing Villone as one of the primary set-up men.

But the story was squandered opportunities. The Yanks went 0-7 with risp. You won't win many games like that. I can't say how many 'just missed' good swings they had, but it was a lot.

2*: Bruney, 1.2 ip, 0 er, 2 bb, 0 h, 5 k
1: Giambi, 1-2, 2 bb
1: Bernie, 2-2
1: Cano, 1-3, 2-run HR, bb

Giants Steal One

I still can't believe the Giants won. Is this the same team that was dead for half the game? When the score was 24-7, I was thinking 'how would Brady Quinn look in blue and red?'

Then the comeback happened, and the Gints certainly had their share of luck. The turning point was the fumble recovery TD. Plaxico caught a long pass and was trying to break a tackle; he lost the ball, it bounced into the end zone, and Tim Carter dove on it. 24-14.

Philly's offense got conservative and stopped converting 3rd downs (who knows why?). A huge defensive play occurred when FS Will Demps and LB Carlos Emmons combined to strip the ball from RB Brian Westbrook late in the 4th quarter.

Unfortunately, because the Gints were down early, they had to continure throwing. This took away from the running game, where Brandon Jacobs was having another great day. Tiki didn't fare as well, but he did most of his damage catching the ball. Manning was great in the 4th quarter and OT (despite being sacked 8 times!). If he could only play that well the whole game, the Gints would be serious Superbowl contenders.

Again, the pass D was poor. Is it my imagination, or didn't we have 2 pro-bowl DEs last year? They have 1 sack combined through 2 games. And the whole team has just 2! McNabb had all day to throw. It was only during the comeback that they seemed to get any pressure on him. Philly averaged 13 yards per pass.

Again, the run D was superb. We can thank the LBs, and the surprising play of the DTs. Philly averaged just 3.6 yards per carry - and it was only that high because of McNabb, who gained 31 yards on 4 carries.

Tiki averaged only 2.4 yards per carry, but Jacobs had a few outstanding runs. If not for a ticky-tack holding call on a 20-yard Jacobs run, his average would be about 9 instead of 7.

WR Sinorice Moss had his first NFL catch, for 4 yards. It was good to see him on the field with all the injuries he's worked through. It was also good to see Amani Toomer have a tremendous game. He was the Giants #1 receiver for years, and he can still play like one.

Plaxico again made some incredibly athletic catches, and while the game-winning one was borderline offensive pass-interference (it was more boxing-out), I won't argue after the Colts game was handed to them because of a non-existent PI call on Tim Carter.

A tough game next week in Seattle. On the bright side, the Gints have a chance to redeem themselves for last year's loss there.

30-24 Giants (1-1, 1st place)

3*: Toomer, 12 catches, 137 yards, 2 TD
2: Manning, 31-43, 371 yards, 3 TD, 1 int, 111.7 rating
1: Tiki, 28 touches, 108 yards
1: Plaxico, 6 catches, 114 yards, TD

Busy Weekend

Because my birthday was Thursday, my wife planned many things for this weekend. Thursday: we went to dinner with my parents and sister at Rosie O'Grady's, a steakhouse in midtown. The steak was excellent, but the salad and soup were average at best.

Friday: we went out with friends to a Mexican restaurant in the East Village. We shared two pitchers of Margaritas - Mango and Strawberry.

Saturday: we ate at 'David Burke & Donatella,' a great American cuisine restaurant on 63rd street. It's generally extremely expensive, but there's a prix fixe lunch menu for a reasonable $24 or $29. I had a tuna dish, and it was probably the best tuna I ever had. But the real treat was the dessert: a cheesecake lollipop tree. Yes, a metal tree with 8 lollipops of differently flavored cheesecake.

Last night we went to 'Beer League,' the Artie Lange (from the Howard Stern Show) film - no, it's not a film. 'Godfather' is a film. 'Unforgiven' is a film. 'Beer League' is a movie. It was funny enough.

My cousin who lives in Orlando came into town for the weekend. He's from Massachusetts, so he's a Sox fan. His girlfriend is a childhood friend of Miguel Cairo (they went to high school in Venezuela together), so he sometimes gets tickets for them. I was hoping he'd get tickets for all of us for Saturday night's game, but Miguel didn't come through. Instead we went to 'Hairspray,' which was surprisingly good. After the show, we went down to the village, had some drinks and food, and called it a night. It turns out my cousin's girlfriend has been to 11 Sox games this year, and their record is 0-11 when she goes (she was at each of the 'Son of Massacre' games). My wife and I thanked her.

Sunday: I flipped between the Giants and Yanks, but stayed primarily with the football because of the unimportance of the baseball. We left at 5:30 for the Aerosmith concert at Jones Beach Theater. Unfortunately, Motley Crue was the opening act and played for over an hour. Aerosmith didn't start until 9:30 and finished before 11. We felt kid of gypped. Anyway, it was a great - and busy - weekend.

All the Yanks games are DVR'ed, and will be written up in the coming days. Not a good baseball weekend, but at least no one got hurt.

Sep 15, 2006

Rain Out

Tonight's game has been moved to Sunday at 1 p.m. due to rain. Fortunately it's September, and we're up 11.5 games. The 40-man roster will help immensely, as will the big lead.

I don't want to see Proctor pitching more than twice at the most this weekend. The same goes for all the major relievers.

The Staten Island Yanks won their second straight NY-Penn League title tonight with a 2-0 win in the deciding game 3. George Kontos, a 5th round pick this year out of Northwestern, pitched 6 scoreless innings. Nick Peterson and (future closer?) Mark Melancon combined for 3 scoreless innings. The Yanks faced the best pitcher in the league, Chris Salamida, and 1B Kyle Larsen drove in both SI runs. Congrats to the Baby Bombers! May the Big Bombers follow in their footsteps.

Production From All

This was truly a team win. Hits from 8 different batters, and two 'reserve' pitchers combined to hold Tampa Bay in check. The Yanks were down 4-1, but came back to win despite the absence of Melky, Damon and Abreu, and Giambi and Posada going 0-7.

Hideki hit his first HR since May. The pitcher, James Shields, tried to throw 4 consecutive changeups, but the last one wasn't outside enough, and Matsui crushed a liner off the third deck facade.

Jeter's hit streak continued with a first inning single. Later in the game he also hit a 2-out rbi single (but then k'ed with runners on 1st and 3rd with 1 out).

Arod hit a clutch 2-out, 2-run single to give the Yanks a 7-4 lead. However, the offensive hero was Robbie Cano again - hitting in the 3 spot. He had three 2-out rbi. He lined a double off Carl Crawford's glove that tied the game at 4. Then he lined another pitch to left to drive in the go-ahead run. The commentators said that Cano will be hitting in the 3 spot later in his career. I concur with this sentiment, and if he can learn plate discipline, and hit in 2-1 counts more often than 1-2 counts, he'll be an MVP candidate.

Why did Kaat call every offspeed pitch thrown tonight a 'changeup'? Some were clearly curves and sliders. It was almost like he wasn't watching...

On the pitchers:
Karstens made the emergency start because the Yanks didn't want to waste Wang on a rainy night. Jeff had his worst control of the season. His fastball was all over, and even Mr. Reliable, his change, was often thrown not where he wanted to. Despite that, he put together a gutsy outing, holding Tampa to 4 runs in 5 innings. Apparently his fastball has slowed during the course of the year. His AA coach said he was hitting 91-92 early this year. I guess the fatigue has gotten to him, because he only hit 89 tonight.

Rasner was again impressive. 4 innings of 1 hit ball. And it was great to give the pen a full day off. I wonder if either of these guys will make the postseason roster. Perhaps ahead of Lidle?

7-4 Yanks

3*: Rasner, 4 ip, 1 h, 0 bb, 5 k
3: Cano, 2-4, 2 2b, r, 3 rbi
2: Matsui, 1-3, HR, 2 r, rbi, bb
1: Arod, 1-4, 2 rbi
1: Jeter, 2-4, r, rbi
1: Thompson, 2-4, 2b, r

Sep 13, 2006

Record Against 'Good' Pitchers

This is fairly subjective, but just doing a quick rundown of the their schedule, I'll try to determine how the Yanks do against 'good' pitchers (this is by W/L record, not by who started). First the losses.

Losses: 25
4/8 E. Santana
4/18 Chacin
4/21 K. Benson
4/28 Halladay

5/9 Beckett
5/11 Wakefield
5/14 Haren
5/15 Millwood
5/18 V. Padilla
5/21 Glavine

6/8 Schilling
6/9 Haren
6/11 Zito
6/15 Cliff Lee
6/19 Brett Myers
6/15 A. Sanchez

7/3 Sowers
7/4 Westbrook
7/21 Burnett

8/10 J. Vazquez
8/11 Saunders
8/13 Jered Weaver
8/24 Washburn
8/26 E. Santana

9/8 Bedard

Wins: 37
4/3 Zito
4/9 Colon
4/16 Radke
4/19 Lilly
4/22 D. Cabrera
4/25 Kazmir
4/27 M. Hendrickson

5/1 Chacin
5/5 V. Padilla
5/10 Schilling
5/12 Zito
5/23 Wakefield
5/29 Bonderman
5/31 N. Robertson

6/5 Beckett
6/21 Hamels
6/25 D. Willis
6/26 T. Hudson

7/5 Byrd
7/6 Cliff Lee
7/8 Kazmir
7/14 Contreras
7/15 Buehrle
7/16 F. Garcia
7/17 Washburn
7/24 Millwood

8/1 Burnett
8/2 Lilly
8/9 Garland
8/12 K. Escobar
8/14 Lackey
8/19 Beckett
8/21 D. Wells
8/23 Felix Hernandez
8/27 Saunders
8/30 N. Robertson
8/31 Bonderman

A .597 win % is good to see, but they play a lot of weak teams this month. I don't want them to get used to that. The last good pitcher they beat was in August. Look for more in-depth analysis coming soon...

The S.I. Yanks lost 9-2 to force a deciding game 3 in the NY-Penn League finals.

I Hate Umps Like This

You know, the inconsistent types. First inning: he squeezed Lidle out of at least 3 strikes. This wouldn't be a big problem if he kept the same zone throughout the game, but he didn't. The first inning had a tight k-zone, but afterwards he was calling strikes for high and away, high and inside, and low and inside pitches. That's what is most frustrating - not the poor calls, but the shifting strike zone.

Anyway, a good offensive win. Lidle didn't really help by allowing 4 runs in 4 innings. But this lineup can destroy mediocre pitching. There's really no soft spot. As Torre said, having Matsui back allows other guys to rest - tonight it was Posada. And they really got contributions from only 4 hitters: Jeter, Arod, Giambi and Cano. No one else had a hit.

Cano was the hero of the game, driving in 5 runs. His 'clutchiness,' which started out low earlier this year, has been improving since he came off the DL. A sac-fly, a 2-out, 2-run shot and a bases loaded double.

Jeter's streak continued with a first inning single. He now has the longest Yankee hit streak since Mattingly's 24 in 1986. Very impressive.

8-4 Yanks (with Boston's shutout, the Magic Number is 7).

3*: Cano, 2-3, HR, 2b, r, 5 rbi
2: Arod, 3-4, HR, 2 r, 2 rbi, sb
1: Bruney, 2 ip, 1 h, 0 bb, 2 k, .71 Yankee era
1: Giambi, 2-3, r, bb

PS: Francisco Liriano injured his elbow again and will miss the rest of the season. I know this may sound bad, but seeing as the Twins will likely be our LDS opponent, it should only help in our title quest.

Sep 12, 2006

One Inning

Abreu, 3-run HR
Cano, rbi single
Matsui, rbi single
Jeter, bases full walk
Abreu, 3-run double

Bobby tied the record for most rbi in the first inning (yes, there's a record for everything). What's interesting is that despite scoring 12 runs, only 1 Yankee had more than 2 hits, Matsui. It was some first game back for him, 4 hits and a walk.

I don't understand how Jeter's hit streak is still intact. I know he didn't have an official at-bat, but he did have a game without a hit. Doesn't that end the 'consecutive games with a hit' streak? Apparently not, but I'm not going to argue.

Mussina looked good, but he usually does against over-aggressive teams like Tampa Bay.

12-4 Yanks (Magic Number 9)

3*: Abreu, 2-3, HR, 2b, r, 7 rbi
2: Matsui, 4-4, 2 r, rbi, bb
2: Mussina, 6.1 ip, 0 r, 5 h, 0 bb, 5 k
2: Jeter, 0-0, 3 r, rbi, 3 bb, hbp
1: Arod, 1-3, r, rbi, bb, sb
1: Beam, 1.2 ip, 0 r, 0 h, 0 bb, 1 k

Sep 11, 2006


Thank God For Baltimore's Bullpen. Randy seemed to have no-hit stuff again tonight, but that one triple screwed him up. It was hit down the right field line, and would have been a double in any other park, but Baltimore has a huge wall out there, and it bounced about 20 feet up and stayed in play. Abreu fired to Cano, who fired high and wide to third, allowing Tatis to score. It was the O's first hit, and Randy lost his control and composure after that.

It looked like the Yanks might blow out the O's when Damon and Jeter led off the game with singles, but Abreu and Arod struck out, and Posada grounded out. It took the bottom of the lineup again to put the first runs on the board - Bernie and Guiel got on and were driven in by Melky and Damon. Ironic.

The Yanks 6-run inning was a perfect example of the enigma that is defense in baseball. Mainly that one never notices it until a mistake is made. Fernando Tatis is a natural infielder playing left field. With the bases full and 2 outs, Robbie Cano lined a shot over his head that probably should have been caught. He looked lost and dived weakly as it sailed over his glove. It was the turning point. It went from a 5-4 deficit to a 7-5 lead. It was Cano's only hit of the game, but it was a big one.

Arod looked good outside of his first at bat (where he struck out, which can be attributed to rust after missing 2 games - and a nasty back-door slurve); he didn't pull a ball: all 3 of his hits were up the middle or to right field. He even had a nice, 2-out rbi single on a grounder between first and second. He also drove an outside slider for a HR to right. That's the Arod we all know and love.

'Everyday' Scottie was used... again. I couldn't believe it when Torre brought him in. He didn't get out of the inning, allowing a HR and walk. What does Torre expect? He's thrown 90+ innings!

Hideki Matsui is expected to start tomorrow night at DH. He should get a very warm reception. The only bad news is that Giambi will be playing more first base, which presents a major defensive liability.

It's good to see this team not just treading water, but winning without Mariano. All the other relievers are moving up to higher pressure innings. Proctor's been pitching the 8th instead of the 7th. Farnsworth the 9th instead of the 8th. And Bruney's getting chances to show his value as well. It should only help in October.

9-6 Yanks

3*: Arod, 3-5, HR, 2 r, 2 rbi
2: Cano, 1-5, 2b, r, 3 rbi
1: Damon, 1-3, r, rbi, 2 bb
1: Bruney, 1 ip, 0 h, 0 bb, 2 k

Fasano Finally 'Runs Into a Fastball'

The scouting report on Sal Fasano was that he's an above average catcher who will occasionally 'run into a fastball' and use all of his 245 lbs. (on a skinny day) to drive the ball. Well we finally got to see that yesterday, as he belted a 2nd inning 3-run HR 425 feet to center. It gave Wright an early lead, and he was able to cruise through 6. Jaret may have had his best stuff of the season; I've never seen his pitches move as much and as sharply as they did yesterday. He really should be credited with only 1 earned run, but he walked 2 in the 7th, and was pulled for Villone who promptly gave up a 3-run HR (in his last 10 outings, Ron's allowed 18 er over 11 ip).

And while Villone continues to sink deeper into Joe's doghouse, Brian Bruney continues to excel, adding 1.1 perfect innings yesterday. In his 9 Yankee outings, he's allowed only 1 er in 9.2 ip with 14 k.

Jeter extended his hitting streak to a career-high 20 with 2 more hits: a double and a 2-run HR.

Why, Oh Why, was 'Everyday' Scottie in there again? That's what Beam, Henn, Veras and Dotel (who hasn't pitched since Tuesday) are there for.

9-4 Yanks

3*: Wright, 6.1 ip, 3 er, 3 h, 2 bb, 2 k
2: Jeter, 2-4, 2b, HR, r, 4 rbi
2: Fasano, 2-4, HR, r, 3 rbi
1: Melky, 2-4, 2 2b, 2 r, bb

Sep 10, 2006

The Gints Were Robbed

Dear football gods,
Please don't let the Giants start 0-3. And if they're going to miss the playoffs, just let them go 0-16. I'd rather get a top pick in the draft than go 8-8 and miss the playoffs. Of course, if they go 8-8 and make the playoffs, that would be nice too.

What an unbelievably frustrating game... 2 major things: that pass-interference call against Carter was absolute horseshit (one never knows if this would have made a difference, but it really, really hurt); and the Colts should have been flagged for a false start when they had it 2nd and goal - their FB jumped early. I can't believe the refs called every little twitch by the Giants but didn't call an obvious jump by the Colts.

Five thousand coulda-shoulda's. The Giants dropped 3 interceptions. Jay Feely missed a 40-yard FG. The Colts seemed to convert on every 3rd down (11-16 actually). The Gints didn't return a kickoff past the 25! And the Colts were getting to at least the 28 every time. Why didn't Shockey get out of bounds? They also killed their drives with penalties several times. And then the refs took 10 seconds from them when they still had a (marginal) chance to win.

And how the hell did the Giants average 6.6 yards a carry, while the Colts averaged 2.4, and still lose?! Eli never really got into a rhythm. The only reason his numbers look as good as they do is because of the incredible ability of Plaxico, who made 2 spectacular grabs. What happened to those short screens to Carter that we saw in the preseason? The guy's got blazing speed. And those little plays always seem to gain 4+ yards.

The Gints D really didn't do much against the pass. Only 1 sack, a few hurries, and a pick. This was the same problem as last year. Arrington had no impact. Osi got hurt. What's funny is that the DTs seemed to play the best, the weakness of the D. They just couldn't generate enough pressure on Peyton. When they blitzed, it was always picked up, or Peyton still had enough time to find a receiver. When they didn't blitz, Peyton still found the open guy. You need more than 1 sack to stop the Colts offense.

This almost feels like that Seattle game last year. The schedule doesn't get any easier.

26-21 Colts

3*: Tiki, 23 touches, 171 yds
2: Jacobs, 8 carries, 54 yds, 1 td
1: Plax, 4 catches, 80 yds, 1 td (would be 2* except for his 2 big penalties)
1: Shockey, 5 catches, 59 yds, 1 td
1: McQuarters, 1 int, 1 tackle

Off-Season Topics

Finding the best offensive, defensive and pitched years for the Yanks since 1974 may have to wait until the off-season (hopefully November). It's too time consuming, especially when I'm watching and writing on every game.

I already did the offense category, but this year may require a new look because Jeter's having a tremendous season.

If I think of more, I'll add them (obviously these are only inclusive to Yankees).

Best Offensive Season - before and after 1974 [AFTER DONE]
Best Defensive Season - before and after '74
Best Pitched Season - ever [DONE]
Best Overall Season - before and after '74

Best CF ever
Best P ever
Best leadoff hitter ever
Mantle vs. Mays
Dimaggio vs. Williams
Mattingly vs. Hernandez
Munson vs. Fisk
Ruth vs. Bonds

The Offensive Explosion:
How it started (lowered mound, DH, roids, small parks, HR attitude)
How to reign it in (less roids, smaller parks, raise the mound, call true k zone)

Black Americans in Baseball (going into other sports)
The Future Latin-ization & Asian-ization of MLB (true World Series one day?

The Relative Importance of a Single Football vs. Baseball Game

How Important ARE HRs? What is the win % of teams that hit HR in a game vs. not? what is the lowest ranked team in HR to win WS/make playoffs? [DONE]

Is the Closer overrated? When should the best reliever be used?

How important ARE sacks? How often do they kill drives? [DONE]

If you have any ideas, let me know.