This game, my friends, was pure enjoyment. It’s no secret that I’ve got foil-covered cucumber in my pants for pitcher’s duels, and while it wasn’t your typical showdown, it sufficed.
J-Wright, you can be my 5th starter any time. If he could only eek out one more inning per start, he could even pass as a fourth guy from time to time. The only problem is that by pitching so few innings, he’s going to need those bullpen guys every fifth day, limiting their respective roles over the other four. And unfortunately for us, I don’t think a team out of contention would be willing to chalk up a guy who can pitch deep into games.
A big high-five to Melky. After taking a run off the board by inexplicably bolting for home in the seventh with the infield in, he tacked on an extra one with an RBI single in the eighth. And then there was that whole business with the diving catch, which was just marvelous. This kid is going places, I tell ya.
[MORE]Talking with my brother before the game, I mentioned that I didn’t thing Giambi should have been playing. Predictably, he scoffed at the idea, citing his .980 OPS vs. lefties. But it wasn’t Hamels’s sinister nature that had me worried; rather, it was his out pitch, the changeup. We all know Giambi has a tough time handling off-speed pitches, and with Phillips having missed most of the last six days, the situation looked prime to slip Phillips a start, leaving Giambi to pinch-hit against a reliever. I liked the logic, but Torre went with Giambi anyway, who went 0 for 4 with a hat trick.
That, really, is the worst of my complaints about last night. I suppose I could nitpick over Torre’s decision to use Mo with a five-run lead in the ninth, but it really wasn’t that big a deal. He threw just 20 Tuesday and ended up with 11 last night. The only overriding logic here is that Matt Smith and T.J. Beam could have used some work. While I agree with that sentiment, I’m not going to bash Torre for neglecting to do so. He’s made a lot poorer decisions before and certainly will as the season goes along; I need to save my ire for those situations.
You know who looked real good tonight? Farny. He was consistently hitting 99 on the YES radar gun, and kept bringing the heat. I don’t think he threw a single slider to Bobby Abreu, making him look silly on two straight fastballs to complete the strikeout. I wonder, though, if he could have done the same if the score was still 1-0, or even 2-0.
So the road trip ended with a push, though conceivably they could have gone 6-0 (to be fair, they also could have lost Friday night’s and Tuesday night’s games, so we’ll say 5-1 to avoid sounding like greedy bastards). There was no excuse for losing Saturday, Sunday’s game came down to one bad pitch, and Monday the offense just couldn’t get behind a quality start by Randy.
I’ll be in the right field bleachers, drunkedly chanting roll call when the Marlins migrate here on Friday. They had won nine straight before dropping yesterday, so this series isn’t going to be the cakewalk we had envisioned in April (if anyone had envisioned anything about our June schedule back then). I was psyched to see one of the Marlins young arms oppose Wang (my first time seeing him live), but it ends up I’m getting Chad fucking Moeller. At least we should score runs off Mr. 10 home runs in 73 innings.
During the postgame report, Michael Kay noted that it would be tough to name four players on the Marlins roster. I swear that I’m doing this from memory, and that the only Marlin I looked up tonight was Moeller. Here we go:
C: not quite sure, but I know they were playing Josh Willingham here a bit. If he’s not currently catching, he’s playing the outfield, so I’m giving myself a point.
1B: Mike Jacobs, acquired from the Mets in the Delgado trade.
2B: Dan Uggla (not quite sure on the spelling). Would be the best name in baseball if not for Boof Bosner.
3B: Miguel Cabrera. You should all have gotten this one.
SS: Hanley Ramirez, who is sorely missed by the Red Sox.
CF: Reggie Abercrombie. I hate his clothing line.
RF: Jeremy Hermida
LF: If Willingham’s not catching, it’s him. There’s the urge to double-dip, but I’ll refrain.
P: Jeff Johnson
Okay, so that’s 7/8 position players and two pitchers. Nine, Kay, nine.