Monday, May 22, 2006

Now That's Some Exciting Baseball


*I don’t really get this. He was 1 for 3 with a walk, and his only huge negative should have come when he flied out to start the seventh. But, according to the WE research, his sac fly in the eighth actually netted him a negative mark. Apparently losing the out there is more critical than gaining the single run. I guess that kind of makes sense, since you go from six outs to five and only make up one run off your two run deficit, and now only have one man in scoring position.

This is where we’re missing Sheffield and even Posada a lot. Three one-run games over the weekend and we take the short end by losing two of them. Add either of their bats Friday or Sunday, and they might have eeked out an additional win. Then again, add their bats on Saturday and you certainly don’t get the same dramatic ending. But maybe you never get to that point in the first place.

Last night was especially frustrating on the offensive side, as the Yanks left 15 guys on base. Credit Melky for getting doubled up in the fifth, Jeter for doing the same in the sixth with Kevin Reese on second, Stinnett for striking out with the bases loaded in the seventh, A-Rod for his abomination of a double play with the tying run on second and one out in the eighth, and finally Cairo and Stinnett again for looking like little girls against Billy Wagner in the ninth.

[MORE]If we can take any good from the weekend, it’s Melky Cabrera. He still has fielding issues (lost another fly ball in the wind last night, but was picked up rather smoothly by Johnny Damon), but he’s beginning to loosen up at the plate. His average may not have been stellar for the series (.272), but his three walks – one in each game – marked his OBP at .429 for the series. I don’t know if this trend of plate discipline will continue, but if it should, he’s just some power development away from being a serious asset for the Yanks.

The series brought on an onslaught of “if onlys.” If only we had Sheff back. If only Posada could have been behind the plate. If only Chacon could have started. If only Small hadn’t decided to throw Carlos Delgado an 88 m.p.h. fastball high and right over the middle of the plate. If only Randy Johnson could keep the ball inside the park; if only he didn’t go blowing the hefty leads handed to him; if only he didn’t have to pitch Wednesday.

I’ve got some good news and some bad news from the weekend. We’ll start with the bad news, so we can end this posting on a positive note.

Bad News:

  • Carl Pavano has bone chips in his elbow and is to undergo surgery. He’ll be out for six weeks following the surgery, at which point he can begin his rehab, which will be shut down a week later when they deem it necessary to surgically remove the plug in his butt.

  • Shawn Chacon, meet the 15-day DL. Apparently agitated by a Mark Loretta hot shot off his shin, Chacon will be taking an extended rest, further depleting our already thin starting corps. Thankfully, a day off on Thursday will help ease the pain here.

  • Related, Aaron Small will be starting in Chacon’s spot until June 1. Thankfully, that means just one more time.

  • Jorge Posada was unavailable to pinch hit last night, leaving his status in doubt for the Red Sox series.

  • Terrence Long is now on our Major League club, having been called up in Chacon’s absence. We can now add a guaranteed out to the lineup.

  • Professor Kyle “Hubert” Farnsworth is experiencing tightness in his back. Not good news for debatably our best bullpen arm performance wise this season.

  • While this is just speculation on my part, it appears that Randy Johnson will not be effective lest he is placed on the DL and given time to rest his balky knees and re-think his approach to pitching. Where art thou, Roger Clemens? Seriously, he is more of a necessity than we had previously anticipated.

Good News Everybody:

  • GARY SHEFFIELD MIGHT BE BACK FOR MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND! It’s my speculation that Cashman handed him a note last week reading, “Dear Sheff, If you take a cortizone shot and come back soon, this will act as a promissory note that I will pick up your option. So head to the doctor, take some BP, and make your way back next week, and you’ll be $13 million richer. Sincerely, Cash Money.” I don’t care if he’s back to batting third; I just want his bat in the lineup. Funny how a few weeks without one of your bigger guns changes your perspective on certain issues.

  • The Yanks have inked Erubiel Durazo and are close to a deal with Richard Hidalgo, both on a minor league basis. These are low-risk, high reward scenarios for the Yankees, and there’s a good chance that one could work out to the team’s benefit. Hidalgo rocked in 2003, but looked lackadaisical in 2004 and 2005, struggling in new environments with the Mets and the Rangers (though he did pretty much suck in Houston in 2004 before being traded to New York). With the current state of the roster (injured) and the minors (still have most of the talent in the lower levels), these guys are easily the best of what’s available on the cheap.

  • Despite leaving the game down 4-0, Mussina still pitched rather well on Saturday, meaning he’s still the man.

And now we wait with bated breath as Schilling takes the hill tonight. Joy of all joys, we get to ream the Loudmouthed Schnook again!