Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Beating the Ace

Lord, I love baseball. One day you're down, ripping your team for shitting the bed over the weekend. A day later, you're singing their praises on the heels of a 6-2 win over the Texas Rangers.

The best part about this is that there's not much to really say about last night. The Yanks did a nice job of getting on base, and unlike many times this year, were able to hit it where they ain't with runners in scoring position. All this off the Rangers ace, Kevin Millwood, which bodes well for the rest of the series.

Chicken or the egg question for Randy: is he sulking less now because he has better control over his pitches, or does he have better control over his pitches because he has stopped sulking and started playing the goddamn game? Two factors have me believing the latter (all other signs point to former): 1) after errantly throwing to second base on the Matthews rundown play, the YES cameras caught him tapping his chest and saying “my bad.” 2) Normally, Randy is a horribly cocky man when it comes to balls and strikes. However, in the sixth inning last night, the home plate ump called a ball on a pitch on the outside corner. I thought it was a strike, the woman thought it was a strike, and of course Randy thought it was a strike. Instead, Randy asked if the pitch was outside, the ump signaled that it was, and they continued. That, my friends, is how you deal with that kind of a situation. I hope Mussina was taking notes.

I think we reassess this question after just about every Randy start: is he going to be reliable? Honestly, I think we're getting the same deal as last year. He'll pitch like a No. 2 through the rest of the year. Mostly solid 6-7 inning outings like last night with a few offsetting dominating and faltering performances. My biggest fear with him at this point is his ability to pitch his two games against the Red Sox. I'm not looking forward to the potential backlash of a faltering performance up in Fenway.

Let's see, what else is on the list? Scott Proctor: lights out. Kyle Farnsworth: scarin' the shit out of me but coming through in the end. Last night, he gave me flashbacks of John Wetteland. And for the sake of bitching, I'm not a big fan of pitching Mo last night. As the cliché goes, you never know what tomorrow will bring. What if Mo is needed the next two games? I'd be shaky pitching him today, let alone two more days in a row. The freshly recalled Beam gave Torre a better 9th inning option, with Villone and Myers ready just in case. I know he needs to stay sharp, but I'd ideally like to see him have off until Friday.

For anyone concerned, A-Rod went 2-5 last night with a single and double. You know what that means? SELL HIGH! Get Jim Hendry on the phone! Gotta sell A-Rod before he slumps again. Gotta sell A-Rod before he slumps again.*

On a serious note, you do realize that we're the laughingstock of most fans (except Boston, Seattle, and Texas, who especially hate the guy) for this whole trade A-RodAlex thing. Only the Yankees would get worked up about trading the most talented player in the league. This is why it's so difficult for me to start a baseball discourse once someone finds out I'm a Yankees fan; I'm immediately labeled a smug prick who has no appreciation for my team's players.

Tonight, Adam Eaton makes his season debut. He was brought in this off-season to play second fiddle to Millwood, but I don't think that will be the case. This is a guy who gave up one home run every nine innings at PETCO. And now he's gone from the pitcher's haven and is being plugged right into Ameriquest, a notorious hitter's home. Adding fuel, he's not much of a groundball pitcher (1.08 lifetime ratio, 1.13 last year). There is absolutely no reason for him not to get rocked tonight.

Haven't hear word on Damon, so I'm unsafely assuming he'll be in the lineup tonight.

*Using A-Rod here in a mocking sense. I'm still using "Alex," though I did slip up in the next paragraph. Aporogies.