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August 11, 2004

Grand Tanyon
by SG

Tanyon Sturtze's career record is not that of a good major league pitcher. Entering last night's game, he had career ERA of 5.20 in 671.1 IP, with a 32 and 41 record. If you were to look up the term "replacement-level" in the dictionary, you'd probably find this picture. Tanyon Sturtze makes the major league minimum salary.

Sturtze (who some of us have nicknamed ______™ as a means of not mentioning his name) is the classic case of a pitcher who's gotten chance after chance because of his stuff and tools. He throws in the mid 90s, but has no command of the strike zone. His walk totals are misleading, because even when he's not walking guys he's falling behind them and putting them into hitters counts.

Kevin Brown is a borderline Hall of Fame pitcher. Injuries will probably keep him out, but he has been one of the top starters in baseball throughout his career. He is making $15 million this season because of this.

Tonight, Sturtze was able to do what Kevin Brown could not do last night, and that was beat Texas in Arlington. He pitched decently after a bad first inning, which could've been much worse if Sheffield didn't make a strong throw home after catching a fly ball to nail a runner tagging from third. From there, he settled down, pitching okay over the next four innings. His final tally was 5 innings, 5 hits, 2 run, 1 walk, and 1 strikeout. He threw 89 pitches, 47 for strikes, and got 4 groundouts and 10 flyouts. After five, the diabolical three headed monster QuanGorMo came in for four perfect innings of relief, retiring the Rangers on 34 pitches total.

This was all vital, because the Yankee offense could only muster four runs against some overmatched pitching themselves. It was a sloppily played game on both sides, with numerous baserunning blunders, but it was a win, in a tough place to win. Kudos to Sturtze for a job well done. Here is some Desktop Wallpaper in honor of Sturtze's glory days in Tampa.

The far more important news tonight came from Columbus's game, where Mike Mussina pitched three scoreless innings, throwing 46 pitches and striking out five. He's expected to be back on Tuesday against the Twins.

Also, Jason Giambi met the media today in Tampa. He will begin conditioning work this week, with baseball related drills expected next week. I'd guess he won't be back until rosters expand, but am happy to see him feeling better and hope his health problems are behind him.

The Yankees go for the series victory tomorrow with a somewhat favorable matchup, El Duque tries to continue his wizardry against the remains of Scott Erickson. I'm looking forward to seeing El Duque work against a non-Toronto team. Texas has some very good hitters, but they are young and inexperienced, and El Duque may be able to keep them off balance with his bag of tricks and pixie dust.