Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Phils 4, Yanks 2


(What's this?)

I really want to rip into Cano a little bit, but it’s tough to turn on a guy who was spraying hits for the past two weeks. I will, however, say this. You know you’ve had a shitty night when your highlight is drawing a walk that even Angel Berroa couldn’t eff up. Coulda used ya in the seventh with the bases loaded, down by one. But I guess you can’t hit ‘em all.

Another satisfactory outing by Randall; I’m still not convinced, but it’s nice to see. That blasted Pat Burrell did the bulk of the damage, driving in the first two runs and drawing a nine-pitch walk to set up Rowand for the next. But seven innings of three-run ball is seven innings of three-run ball, and the offense has to do its job, too.

[MORE]The boys did what they do best, forcing Brett Myers to toss 124 pitches in 6 2/3 innings (18.6 per). Unfortunately, they just couldn’t finish off their six walks and six hits, leaving 11 men behind. This is partly because of some defensive heroics by Abraham Nunez, who robbed Randy Johnson of an RBI single on a ball that I’m fairly certain our second baseman wouldn’t have gotten to. Jimmie Rollins may have saved a run by stabbing Jorge’s poke with the bases loaded – though Giambi would have been the runner. And, to quote poster “pfistyunc” over at Pinstripe Alley, "Giambi runs like he is carrying a piano."

The normal game plan having failed, the Yankees apparently decided to go with Plan B – hack away! – when Arthur Rhodes entered the game. The plan continued with Tom Gordon on the mound, with even Jason Giambi chasing a pitch at his eyes. After seeing 131 pitches over the first seven innings, the Yankees saw just 23 in the last two.

I’ve been hearing lots of people wishing aloud that Melky slide down in the order. Despite my desire to disagree with the majority opinion, I have to stand behind this one. He’s a young guy in a slump, which is always going to happen. It doesn’t mean, however, that you should keep him batting second. With A-Rod looking more comfortable at the plate, it’s safe to slide the order up a bit and insert Melky into the eighth slot. Or – how I wish – return to the less insane 12-man pitching staff (you should really only need 11 pitchers), bring up Kevin Thompson, and give Melk Man the day off. Lord knows I don’t want to see Bubba starting again.

That insurance run in the eighth was totally Posada’s fault. If you call for the slider low, you best be prepared to get in front of it. As much as I’d like to pin this on Farnsworth’s worthless ass, he hit a great spot with the pitch. Normally I’d get pissed at him for not throwing gas, but he wasn’t consistently topping out at his normal 97-98 mark. Throw a mediocre fastball at the letters with two strikes, and you’re going to get beat. Throw a low slider with two strikes, and you pray your catcher gets in front of it.

I wonder if Cashman was ever interested, but it’s noteworthy that Royals castoff Kyle Snyder pitched well last night. He struck out six and walked none while allowing three runs through five innings, picking up the dubya against those bothersome Nats. I’m now disappointed that I never finished my Royals assessment a few weeks ago, because this was my bit on Snyder:

Idea No. 1: call up Kyle Snyder from AAA. He’s not a young buck at age 28, but through 60.1 innings in Omaha, he’s logged 43 strikeouts to a mere nine walks. And he keeps the ball in the park, allowing just four homers or 0.60 per nine innings. He may not find huge success in the Majors, but I’m confident he’d outperform Jeremy Affeldt (.309/.402/.495 against).

The Yankees were behind the Red Sox by a game in the standings on June 11th, the date that Snyder was both DFAd by the Royals and claimed by the Red Sox. Here’s hoping that I was dead wrong, that Snyder’s start was an aberration, and that the Red Sox did not find a capable band-aid for their rotation.

When Darrell Rasner, will he get a chance to become a cog in the rotation, or will he be sent to Columbus while the Major League team yearns for pitching? I would be baffled if Rasner didn’t steal a start from Chacon once he returns from the DL. It would require some shuffling of the roster otherwise, likely Matt Smith’s or Jose Veras’s demotion, depending on who gets the axe before tonight’s game. But moves like this are necessary if you’re going to accurately assess the state of your team before trading season. The problem here is that one start won’t be very telling, and Torre probably isn’t keen on Rasner, and unproven rookie, taking starts from his prized vets Wright and Chacon. Here’s to hoping that Cashman has the desire – and the pull – to get this one done.

Thankfully, a win tomorrow would ease my nerves. Close win, blowout win, lucky win, I’ll take whatever win is up for grabs. It’d also be nice for Moose to toss one of those April/May gems. Yeah, real nice.