Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Holy Comeback Batman!!

Usually, when the Yankees open a game with a 9 run deficit, and the starter gets knocked out after 1.1 innings, I'm up in arms. Usually, when the Yanks trot out this lineup, I feel desperate and pessimistic:

Damon (CF)
Jeter (SS)
Rodriguez (3B)
Posada (C)
Cano (2B)
Williams (RF)
Phillips (DH)
Cairo (1B)
Cabrera (LF)

There are a number of problems with this scenario, both real and artificial. The injuries to Sheffield and Matsui are real. The neck strain that kept Giambi out against the lefty today is also real enough. The idea that you put Miguel Cairo in the field over Andy Phillips is artificial and is another mystifying creation of the "Mind of Torre". I think that's catchy, so I plan to continue using it like the headline act of a carnival show. Didn't we see how Cairo plays first base recently when he botched Jeter's off-the-mark throw in an important situation. Cairo is a useful middle infielder that can ably spell Jeter or Cano, but Phillips has showed a pretty good glove at 1st and is the superior corner infielder. With the weak lineup we have at the plate, what difference does it make to have the weaker bat in the DH hole in order to get better defense behind the pitcher? Chacon's worst outing of the yeay made the point moot, but I don't think I'm off the mark here....

Chacon was destined to have this kind of outing sooner or later. It's just so predictable with the number of base runners he allows and the reputation he's built for getting "out of jams". To "get out of jams", you have to "get into jams" a lot. I'm not worried about his long term prospects. Pitching is an overall concern for the Yankees, as it seems we have one pitcher that we can consistently rely on for good outings, and a cast of other arms that leave multiple question marks hanging over each game. Welcome to the rest of Major League team's problems. We're a bit spoiled with the top pitching we've had in recent times, and I have faith that some of our current guys will settle down a bit, while Cash Money is on the phone looking for one more solid arm. I'm guessing that he's hunting for a real pitcher, and not another patchwork Chacon, Wright, Erickson, Nomo type. Don't give up Phil Hughes, Bri.

One point of extreme annoyance is that Aaron Small seems to be slated for Tanyon Sturtze's old spot at Torre's mascot. Thanks for all you did last year Aaron, now beat it. Small's career numbers tell the story in the same way that Sturtze's did before him. I'm happy he got a chance to contribute to a Major League team last year, but there are good AAA pitchers waiting for their shot that have produced far more effectively than Small or Erickson. Need I name Colter Bean again?!

HOLD IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (You should imagine the sound of a record scratch here).

What a comeback. You might imagine that I wrote all of the above when the score was 10-1 Texas. You probably will agree with me that all of the above remains true regardless of the outcome. Let's marvel at that comeback in light of all the things that have transpired in this post to this point. That lineup made a monumental comeback, the likes of which our full lineup would be fortunate to ever produce. Chacon's dismal performance was erased by Small settling down a bit after a poor start but featured an ineffective Scott Proctor, and Mariano's continued mediocrity.

Jeter busted out of the May slump that I wrote about yesterday and keyed an improbable win. He hit, stole bases, and played with fire even when the game seemed out of reach. Damon set the table, Phillips and Cabrera contributed, and Posada made the most of his night in the cleanup spot. That was an instant "Yankee Classic". The Yankees against the ropes, bleeding heavily. The Rangers stalking a victory like Mike Tyson at an ear convention. Derek Jeter, showing the heart of Evander Holyfield and the hitting power of the aforementioned Roberto Duran. I'm going to glow in this one for a while. A nice reward for keeping the Mussina game in perspective yesterday.


Yu Hsing Chen said...

In reality, with the Yankee in this kind of hole any win against a competent team and I won't be complaining too much.

I think Chacon's bad outting has a lot to do with his bruised shin, and in retrosepct if he can continue this sort of work most of the season (several good outtings.. 1 bad outtings) I'm not complaining for a back of the rotation guy.

Aaron Small looked decent after the first couple of batters.. his pitch mix is more effective than Sturtze's... if he can regain his control he should at least be servicable... although he really need to step it up if he is avoid the cut when Pavano and Dotel gets back in. (that or hope Wright or Chacon gets traded )

We shall see what happens ... if anything I feel this yankee team has alot of heart. they won't get beaten by the odds. they will always try to fight hard, and good things will usually happen to teams that is like that.

Hopefully Wang can continue his last two impressive outtings.. this was the time last year when he really saved the Yankee's arse .. dejavu again.. I hope ;)

steve said...

Small is needed as an innings eater. And proctor needs a week off.

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