Wild Ride

“Is it weird that I’m completely crushed for the guy?  I feel terrible for him.”  It was last Friday night and I was on an impromptu conference call with Tony Sherry and Acc following what is generally known as the “Holy Cr*p” game. “Not me,” insisted Tony Sherry.  “I laughed right out loud and I’m still laughing.”  “Please turn on the MLB network right now,” Acc interjected.  “Please turn it on right now.”  Tony and I flipped channels just in time to see Mitch “Wild Thing” Williams drawing above Luis Castillo’s glove on the telestrator.  It was pretty bizarre.  “Honestly dude, do you want to not feel bad about it,” Tony asked.  “Yes,” I said, “What do you got?”  “Take a look at the replay again, and watch K-Rod as Castillo is about to catch the pop-up.  Watch what he’s about to do…”  And I watched it, and he was right.  K-Rod was about to go into yet another ridiculous mound-stomp after the last out of a save.  It couldn’t have happened to a bigger donkey.  Castillo, on the other hand, I have no beef with.  If it was Jose Reyes, I would have been laughing along with Tony.  But I still felt bad for Castillo.  That is, until Saturday afternoon, when Castillo lolly-gagged around the bases while Brett Gardner was flopping around like the scarecrow in the outfield on a routine fly ball that would have been the third out.  And didn’t score because of it.  After watching Texeira bust it the night before and win the game for his team, Castillo doesn’t bust it and costs his team a run.  Then I really didn’t feel so bad.  I was more glad that he wasn’t on my team, actually.  And I can say that I’ve never seen that kind of ending to a game before.  Never.  Brutal for the Met fans.  Big Joe was ready to puke.  Highway robbery for the Yanks.  After what happened in Boston the three days prior, I wasn’t going to argue with a win, no matter how it came.

    Speaking of K-Rod, there was a bit of a dust-up over the last few days between K-Rod and Brian Bruney.  Bruney echoed Tony Sherry’s sentiment when he said, basically, it couldn’t have happened to a bigger d*ck, meaning K-Rod.  K-Rod flipped out.  Here’s the deal: Bruney was right.  And, for that matter, so was Aubrey Huff.  If you act like an a*shole, expect people won’t take too kindly to you.  And it’s your own fault.  Pretty simple.  And that goes for K-Rod, Joba, and Papelbon.  The act-like-a-donkey-out-of-the-bullpen hall of fame…
    Was at the game today with the missus and my brother-in-law.  Evened out my record at 3-3.  It was a nice pick-me-up after yesterday’s sad showing.  On the radio here in New York yesterday morning, all of the Met fans were crowing about how if the Mets could come back and win after that kind of a loss, it would show how tough the team was, how resilient the team was, etc.  And they came back and won.  So was that really the big testimonial to the Mets resiliency?  Okay.  So what now?  They just got handed the second worst shutout loss in their history.  So now what do we know about them…  Your guess is as good as mine.  
    Speaking of yesterday, I have an easy rule of thumb with the Yanks.  If it’s cold and raining, they are going to lose.  There are a million other things going on with the Yanks this year, but that’s really just a quick simple one.  Cold, rainy; lose.  Write it down somewhere.
    So what of last week’s Red Sox series?  Ouch.  So after a few days to reflect, here’s what it comes down to.  The fact that the Yankees lost all eight to the Sox this year is a bit of an anomaly.  The fact that they’ve gotten the short end isn’t.  The Yankees aren’t as good as the Red Sox right now.  The truth hurts.  What can I say.  The Sox are great at home, and six of their eight wins have been at home, so that probably explains a good deal of the series sweep so far.  But it should probably be 2-6 , 3-5 at absolute best.  Here’s the way I see it breaking down.  The Red Sox and Yankees have similar starting pitching.  Take your pick.  Beckett, Lester, Wakefield, Penny, and Dice K.  CC, Burnett, Pettitte, Joba, Wang/Hughes.  The Red Sox bullpen is overrated.  They’re all hittable and they’ve all been hit hard in close games of late.  Bard, Delcarmen, Okijima, and Saito.  Papelbon has been a bend-but-don’t break guy this year, taking lots of pitches to close teams out this year, costing him appearances, e.g. last Friday night in Philly.  They’ve got good numbers, less good of late.  And they’ll even out more as the season goes on.  The Yankees, on the other hand, have a hilarious bullpen.  Sometimes you have to laugh.  Teams never miss against the Yankee bullpen.  Are they this bad?  I don’t know.  It certainly looks pretty bad.  In a playoff series, should they get there, I think Hughes and Joba would both end up in the pen, which would make the bullpen immediately and markedly better.  Until then, I guess we wait for Bruney and hope that he isn’t the sometimes-I’ll-throw-strikes-and-sometimes-I’ll-throw-balls guy he’s been his whole career.  But for me, the real reason the Red Sox have the edge right now is the same reason I’ve been talking about all season.  Their lineup has tougher outs.  It’s that simple.  Even with Ortiz feeling the long-term effects of his HGH romance (while we’re there, is there anybody out there who still doesn’t believe me about that?), Nick Green starting at short, and Varitek continuing his career as a .235 hitter, they have a tougher lineup.  That’s why they have the edge.
    And while we’re on that, do you know what’s almost as insane as the Yankees losing all eight to the Sox?  The fact that they’re still only two out.  That is completely insane.  We’ll see what happens from now until August, when they meet again.  
    So now the Yanks go on a two week inter-league journey.  Nine games on the road with the pitchers hitting.  Watch how different Santana looks in Citi Field, where fly balls all go to die.  And the Red Sox get to play six against the Braves….  Must be nice…



  1. kozmo

    Bruney was right about K-Rod (which I prefer to pronounce “crud”), but I would have preferred it if he had handled the win by saying nothing about how much that @$$head deserves it. Apparently Mariano made it known to a clubhouse attendant a couple years ago at an All-Star game that he didn’t want his locker anywhere near K-Rod’s because he can’t stand the guy. Yet he never trashes him in public. Just because it’s true doesn’t make it necessary to publicize. I’m generally against giving people or teams “bulletin board material,” if at all possible.

    Teixeira’s run was glorious, never looking at Castillo and never even knowing exactly what had happened until he crossed home and asked Jeter, because he ran non-stop and read two signs from Thomson (who has done a very good job at third, by the way, far superior to the banished Meacham): his animated facial expression telling him something good was happening, and his frantically wind-milling the arm. Now that’s base running.

    I have to add that Boston’s bullpen hasn’t surrendered leads as the Yanks’ has, with Aceves and Coke’s recent collapse a testament to that. Also, I think there’s something to scoring early in games, primarily to pressure the other team, to get one’s starter to relax and know that one mistake won’t necessarily mortally wound the team, and to decrease the opponent’s margin for error. It was great to see the Yanks put up 13 against the Mets (9 against Santana of all people) in the first four innings on Sunday. But that was one more run than the Yanks had scored in the first four innings of the previous eight games. The Yanks spend too many innings in games playing from behind. Some of it is the plate approaches you mentioned, Geoff. Some of it against the Mets was making a lot of long, loud outs. Lately, a good deal of it is, one way or another, failing to deliver runners in scoring position, 10-74 with RISP before Sunday in the previous eight games. That lineup is too good to lapse into THAT nonsense again.

    Jason from The Heartland

  2. jjoyce135@hotmail.com

    I don’t know about anyone else but I am sick of this team not showing up when they haven’t seen a pitcher before. The guy last night had an era close to 6 in AAAA yet this team of all stars at almost every position couldn’t score a run. Pathetic

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