Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Yanks 9, Ryan Howard 7

Mike M-.078

(What's this?)

There’s going to be plenty of talk about Moose not being for real. After all, he hasn’t pitched particularly well in the month of June. He did look shaky at times out there, but in all fairness, all the crushing blows were delivered by a singular freak of nature. And while you don’t want one guy owning you, I think it mitigates Moose’s performance, if only a fraction.

Speaking of fraction, I often wonder why we pay Mike Myers. I’ve been behind the guy most of the year, mainly because it was nice to finally have a guy who can come in and sit down a big lefty. However, when that is your one and only job, you best have an incredible success rate. And considering this isn’t the first time I’ve complained about Myers’s failure to retire a power hitting lefty, I think it is high time we start questioning his place on the roster. Two other lefties inhabit the bullpen, both of whom are more versatile than Myers. With Octavio Dotel and Darrell Rasner poised to return before month’s end, Cashman is going to have to seriously consider cutting the cord on a guy eating up a roster spot.

[MORE]It was good to see Villone in there for an inning and two thirds. It’s amazing what happens when you’re forced to trust somebody. And, since it wouldn’t be me if there wasn’t some Torre second-guessing, I’m kinda miffed he removed Villone before completing the seventh. I guess forced trust only goes so far when you have Scott Proctor in the bullpen, ready and able to fulfill the eight-inning role in Farnsworth’s absence. Except he’s not, putting Burrell on without a swing of the bat.

Thankfully, lady luck liked what she saw in Beam, because that was one scary liner by Rowand. After two straight pitches out of the zone, it looked like Rowand had put the Phils up 8-5. The UPN (My 9 my ass) cameras didn’t quite capture Bernie’s catch live, and I really thought it had bounced past him. But he made a vintage play on the ball, clotting the bleeding and bailing out the rook.

Despite the disheartening seventh, I was actually feeling good about the eighth. Everyone knows the Yankees history with Arthur Rhodes, and for him to post two consecutive scoreless outings would have been remarkable. The man who saved the seventh led things off with an error-hit, putting fate in Miguel Cairo’s hands. Normally, this would be a great time to set up a noose and a chair in the ole closet, but the thought of Arthur Rhodes kept me sane.

With Cairo aboard first via a 7-pitch walk, it was Melky’s turn. Demonstrating a keen eye, patience for a pitch he can handle, and the knack for fouling off a few, the rookie pulled it out, scoring Bernie and setting up the dominoes for the top of the order. And Damon, after two markedly poor swings, put the Yanks up for good.

Though Mo didn’t make things easy. He went a little John Wetteland on us, putting on two and forcing a showdown with Ryan Howard and his seven RBI. As Mo set in the stretch, he turned to the dugout and yelled, “Mike, write this down!” Mussina and Myers got into an argument over to whom he was talking, and missed Ryan Howard grounding out on the first pitch. Okay, so I made up the part about the fight. And the part about Mo telling them to write it down. But I didn’t make up the part about the groundout, honest.

The win went to T.J. Beam, his first for the career. It would be shocking if any of the fine Yankees blogs to your left fail to mention this.

Couple of issues with tomorrow’s game, beginning with J-Wright. It’s not his performance that has me worried so much as his inability to exceed five innings. This means a certain appearance by Proctor, which is beginning to scare me. The Yanks had better get some hats for bats tonight, because they’ll have to be nice and warm for tomorrow.

(And about the NBA Finals. Normally, I don’t feel too strongly about World Series, Finals, Super Bowl teams not my own. But for some reason, I got attached to Dallas over the course of these playoffs – and didn’t know how much I wanted them to win until it was all over. Anyway, I was headed to Mark Cuban’s blog shortly after the game, and apparently everyone else had the same idea. There’s about a 6 minute wait to load the page.)