Thursday, April 13, 2006

Yankees 12, Royals 5

He may have struggled in the first, but leave it to the unflappable Shawn Chacon to settle down and realize that these are the freakin’ Royals. I happened to miss the first inning, but from what I’ve seen, his curveball looks as nasty as ever. He’s inconsistent around the strike zone, and while that would worry me with most pitchers, Chacon always seems to pitch out of it. Plus, he has maintained a consistently low Batting Average on Balls In Play (BABIP) over his career (you can read about it at Bronx Banter). This isn’t normally a repeatable statistic, much like a player’s batting average, but Chacon has been well below the league average for quite some time now.

I was pretty sold on Chacon entering the season, and he’s not doing much to retain my confidence. He hasn’t reached the point of abomination, but it’s lurking around the corner. The homer was the big killer for him. He’s known to scatter hits, but as long as he keeps the ball in the park, he won’t kill the teamRun support will be required, but that’s what this lineup is built to do.

We all know they can’t put up 10 runs a game, which is why we have Randy Johnson. I don’t want to use the "he’s due" philosophy for tomorrow, but dammit, I want to see a 10 K shutout. No better team to do it against than the Royals, who will likely finish in the bottom three for each major offensive category this season.

Win Expectancies after the [MORE].

Jeter.089Ron Villone.001

A big thank you to Gary Sheffield for actually showing up today. I was certain the Yankees could have made up the three-run deficit, but I was especially pleased to see it erased so swiftly. More thanks goes to Sheffield for giving me the pleasure of saying, "GONE!" as soon as the ball hit his bat, and being right. And I was right: I did jump the gun on Sheff.

My favorite stat of the day: 8 team walks. Get the walks up, get the wins up; that’s how the Yanks have been acting this year (with the exception of Game Two against Oakland, but that game was just a shitstorm in general). In fact, the Yankees have walked 37 times this year, good for a third-place tie with Atlanta. Only the Reds and those cursed Red Sox walk more often.

Game notes:
  • For all you South Park fans out there, Jimmy Gobble is officially GOBBLES! from now on.

  • When I saw Paul Bako in the starting lineup, I got to thinking about the catcher situation (because I thought Bako wouldn’t have been a bad option for the job). Stinnett is pretty terrible, and I’m thinking he’ll be the odd man out once Small returns to action. Think about it – they already had a third catcher on the roster in Wil Nieves, but released him in favor of Hill. And, like Nieves, Hill doesn’t have options. It’s certain that a catcher will be the one to go, and it would seem foolish to release Nieves to sign Hill, and then cut Hill only a week later.

  • Cairo dove for a Shane Costa grounder in the fifth, and it caromed off his glove into shallow center. I have a few questions to ask at this point. Which second basemen in the league would have made that one, and which would have completely missed it? Would Cano have made that play? Was that play reasonable makeable at all? This question is emboldened, since Costa ended up scoring.

  • Second and third, one out in the bottom of the fifth, Yanks up 6-5. Affeldt has been chased, as has GOBBLES!. Hudson pitching, now, a righty facing Miguel Cairo. I’m wondering, why isn’t Robbie Cano batting here? Yes, I realize that the game is only half over, but these are rather important runs. You don’t want to leave these guys stranded, and I think that Cano gives you a better opportunity than Cairo to plate one. Sure, you lose your backup infielder, but Andy Phillips could handle the position should the need arise. Of course, this is all moot, since Cairo made me look like a dunderhead by singling in Matsui.

  • There’s no possible way to script that Damon hit. Hit and run situation, Damon whales one that is unlucky enough to spray off the pitcher’s glove. But, because the steal was on, Grundle Grass was out of position and couldn’t make a play on the caromed ball, plating a run and leaving the Yanks with runners on first and second with one out. Simply amazing.

  • For some reason, I feel happy every time Mike Myers comes into a game. I know I said it yesterday, but this guy is just what the bullpen needed. Not only is he one of the top LOOGYs in the game, but he has fared decently against righties thus far. Bridging the gap to Mariano…more efficiently than in 2005.