Friday, April 27, 2007

It's Early...?

I'm trying to be optimistic about this team right now. It would be easy to join the chorus of Yankee fans screaming for Torre's head, and all manner of other drastic changes. In my gut, as a passionate fan, I want Torre gone, Guidry gone, and Mientkiewicz' head on a stick. As a reasonable person, I look at it this way. The Yankees have lost 7 games in a row. Is it the offense?

7 Game Losing Streak Runs Scored: 33 (4.71/game)

It's a bit deceptive with the shutout against the Blue Jays factored in, but it's there. Damon and Abreu are cold as ice and Mientkiewicz is a black hole in the lineup. Add Melky Cabrera in for a peppering of suckitude from the bench and you have a hard situation. The thing is, the team has scored more than 5 runs in half those games, which should buy you at least a win or two. Let's look at the cause of the length of this streak.

7 Game Losing Streak Runs Allowed: 54 (7.71/game)

When you look at those numbers, you see that the Yankees staff is turning every team into....well......the Yankees. The Pythagorean Win Projection in this RS/RA situation gives the Yankees a 1-7 record, so there you have it. You can't win when you give up almost 8 runs a game. What happens now? I can't see Torre being fired. Guidry is another story. I idolized Guidry when I was a boy, and you can't argue with his success as a player and a Yankee legend, but this team is putrid for some reason. These players, including Mariano, just don't turn into mush collectively for no reason. I say Guidry must go. Even if it's not his fault, you can't allow these results to go unpunished.

The other change that must happen from tomorrow is Phelps has to play everyday. If the offense has gone cold over the last few games, you have to remove to black hole. Mientkiewicz is now hitting .140 after his 0 for 4 today. His full line is .140/.218/.220 for an OPS of .438 over 50 at bats. Isn't that enough to tell you he is finished? Didn't we all see this coming into the season. Even a platoon is a ridiculous proposition at this point. Phelps could close his eyes and hold his bat upside down against righties and still hit them better than Mientkiewicz. That's a move that is not only overdue, but MUST come tomorrow without fail. The only reason you might wait another day is to throw Minky as a sacrificial lamb to the knuckleball Gods, before making the move.

6.5 games back in April is not unsurmountable. If we can get good pitching over a two week period we could easily put a huge dent in that number. Good pitching in front of the typical Yankees offense should be good for an 8-2 record, and even a 15-5 mark over the next several weeks. Doing that might buy us 3 of 4 games if the Red Sox slow down a bit. One thing you have to do at this point in the season is take your hat off to Theo Epstein. At least for now, his offseason moves are looking very good. We've yet to see Pineiro lose a game, and J.D. Drew is healthy at the moment. Lugo is fair, and while Pedroia has been largely awful at the plate, it hasn't hurt them. The pitching has been very good, especially the bullpen. I think you'll see a bit of regression among some of the players who have played over their heads, but Manny Ramirez and Ortiz also have some fireworks yet to come from their bats.

If the Yankees don't turn this around over the next 3 weeks, they might find themselves buried 10+ games behind 1st and perhaps in serious danger of missing the playoffs for the first time in more than 10 years. That's one reason for all of us to eat humble pie when we celebrated the Sox 3rd place finish last year. We might be staring that in the face this year.....Keep the faith.


RollingWave said...

Well, Peter Abe is reporting that giambi is playing 1st tomorrow and Damon DH Melky CF.

Not the best solution, but I still have much more faith for Melky to turn it on than Dougie the automatic out machine right now.

This is a weird one, Cano wiffed 3 times this game, but Giambi got 3 hits and is now well over .300, i'm certainly hoping the later trend contniues more than the former

mattymatty said...

Who on the Red Sox is playing over their head? I can't think of a one. Maybe Beckett, and maybe Wakefield, but other than that... and Beckett is a guy people have been expecting to produce at this level for years now, so maybe he's not really even over his head?

bartap74 said...

Isn't it 7, not 8? Unless you're being predictive.

Mike Plugh said...

It is 7 losses....I must have counted the "should have lost" game against Cleveland that we miraculously pulled out....or the Toronto rain out.

Either way it's ugly.

Which of the Red Sox is playing over his head? very single guy they've plugged in off the bench...Hinske, Cora, Mirabelli. I think Lowell is playing a bit better than he will end up. Wakefield has a 2.08 ERA, which is at least half of what it will be at the end of the year. Beckett is a good pitcher, but he's not the best pitcher in the sport. He's looked every bit of that so far. Okajima is good, but he's not .094 BAA good.

I give the Sox credit for doing all this with Manny being less than Manny, but I think there will be a slight regression on enough players that the pace will adjust down a bit before the Al Star Break.

exie abola said...

I agree with your points. Like you said in the previous post, the team doesn't seem to be making the right moves if they want to compete. Minky should be gone, maybe Myers too. Melky should be sent down, Thompson up. Let Hughes learn to be a major league pitcher in the majors.

It might also be a good time to shake up the lineup. Drop Damon and Abreu, move Giambi and Matsui up? I don't know, but there's just too many holes in the lineup right now. Oh, and play Phelps!

Great blog, by the way. Been reading for a while now.

-- "manila boy"

RollingWave said...

The red sox bullpen is still looking questionable once they start getting some bad outtings strung together (Wakefield is always a rather great a few game then completely bomb one guy, and you have Julian Taveraz after that..) the Yankee pen is still realistically better talent wise, just that the horrid string of bad outting has completely destroyed that right now.

As for Melky, I'm not willing to write him off so early. people get off to good/bad starts all the time, Michael Young is off to a putrid start too, as well as Manny / Sheffield (if you thought Abreu is struggling, you might wanna check out Sheff's .577 OPS so far ) hell, last year's MVP got off to a atroucious start last year too, if he was a Yankee the fans probably forced him all the way back to Stanten Island after April. woops

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