Thursday, August 10, 2006

This Win Should Have Been More Satisfying

It was a win, but it sure didn't feel like redemption for a game we should have won on Tuesday. Maybe that's because Kyle “I'm a pussy; please don't pitch me two days in a row” Farnsworth can't, well, pitch two days in a row. His entrance was suspect from the beginning, as the Yankees were leading 7-2. Why bring in Farnsworth with an 8-run lead?

I imagine Torre was thinking about the White Sox propensity to whale on the ball and bring themselves right back into a ballgame. Hell, after six no-hit innings, they touched up Randy Johnson in the seventh, plating two runs and leaving runners on second and third before recording an out; and that out wasn't even Johnson's doing.

Even though the Yanks took the game, I did not go to bed a happy man. As recently as the top of the sixth, I was feeling relieved. In fact, on the Pinstripe Alley message board I posted something along the lines of, “No Mo tonight!” after Robbie went deep to lead off the inning. After Tuesday's debacle, the bullpen could have used the rest.

But apparently I had forgotten that Randy Johnson is no longer Randy Johnson, but rather some carbon-dated pitcher who doesn't quite understand the inner workings of his degenerated body. I mean, you'd think that after six innings of no hit, one walk ball that he'd at least be able to finish off the seventh. Hit or no hit, at the time there was no reason to believe the Yankees wouldn't go into the eighth inning up 7-0.

But Johnson's antics forced Villone, Farnsworth, and Rivera into the game, all of whom will be unavailable for tonight's game. This puts the pressure on Mike Mussina, who hasn't been very sharp of late. The Yanks desperately need seven innings out of him tonight so that they can turn the game over to the bastardized crew of Jose Veras and Scott Proctor to close the game. Though I would expect Mike Myers to make some sort of appearance.

The problem with writing a recap for a game like this is the lack of preparation. Before the seventh inning, I had planned to keep this short and sweet, praising Randy and the offense for some sweet revenge over a team that stole a game the night prior. But then everything changed so quickly. Randy exited, but Villone picked up the pieces. There ya go. There's the story right there.

But Kyle, oh Kyle, you had to ruin everything for me. The story went from, “awesome win, we totally needed that,” to, “we were goddamn lucky to escape that one.” No team up 7-0 in the seventh should have to invoke such thoughts. Teams that are up 7-0 in the seventh should head to the hotel after the game and rest easy, knowing that they completely shut down a team.

For the rubber game, we square off against Javier Vazquez. He's been mostly terrible this year, though his last outing was a gem to the tune of 13 strikeouts, two hits, and just one earned run over eight innings. This does not bode well for the Yankees; Javy should be amped up for this game.

"I've had four consistent seasons in the major leagues, and for one bad second half it's unfair that they want to trade me," Vazquez said. "I still trust in my abilities, and if the Yankees trade me, they will regret it."

Let's see if he comes through with that promise.

I'd like to close this by thanking David DeJesus (fantasy sleeper pick; go me) and Mike Sweeney for their efforts in Kansas City's ninth inning comeback. Papelbon blew another save, further distancing himself from comparisons with Mariano Rivera. And I don't want to hear it about how Mo blew a save Tuesday. That's not even the point.