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September 24, 2004

The Sound and the Fury: Postseason Rotation Edition
by Sean McNally

In this edition, Sean and John bicker about the Yankees' postseason rotation, Joe Torre's annoying roster habits and how sweet it'd be for Texas to make the playoffs.

Sean McNally: Well, first lets look at the possible match ups - who do you like facing more: the Twins or the AL West Leader Du Jour?
SJohnny: AL West, without question. The Angels can't hit anymore and A's can't pitch …
SM: and Texas has buck?
SJ: Exactly
SM: Er, Buck "147 pitches" Showalter
SJ: I expect Ryan Drese to throw 211 pitches in Game One
SM: That's all? Well, I'd like to see the Gambler pitch in NY during the postseason... I think he may cry during his warm-ups
SJ: I think we were a little rough on the Gambler, Torre had a short hook on him.
SJ: One game in '96 Torre pulled him in the third, and he had only given up one run.
SJ: Check that, 2 runs
SM: What are you Michael Kay....
SJ: I am not.
SM: Check that, yes you are.
SJ: Did he invent the phrase?
SJ: Check that, he actually did.
SM: Moving on, on the topic of pitchers who can't pitch in NY what the hell is wrong with Home Run Javy?
SJ: I am guessing it's one of 3 things: A) injury B) mechanics
SM: check that. That’s two
SM: C) Mel Stottlyemyre is senile?
SJ: But anyway, if it is those two, there is nothing to be done, this is like John Lennon's year in Los Angeles, away from Yoko. The lost summer, or whatever. Javy is going to have to fix it in Winter Ball.
SM: *sings* Imagine all the people...
SM: Right, so who do you like in the rotation (I suspect we're going to agree a lot, so this may suck)
SJ: I want Moose going in Game One.
SM: Are we both still convinced he's back to being "Good Moose?"
SJ: Moose has given a couple interviews these last couple weeks, and in them he sounds confident, in both his health and his stuff. I think that is important.
SM: I agree, plus, El Duque starting would have me drunk by the third inning... for all his brilliance, he is quite Wetteland-esque.
SJ: Yes, it's almost he gets bored with getting up in the count, and he throws three balls to the Jay Gibbons of the world for shits and giggles.
SM: Right, but he goes in Game Two, right?
SJ: He has too.
SM: Right, the problem there is neither Moose nor Hernandez has been known to be very accommodating when it comes to short rest
SJ: But that is ok, if Kevin Brown can pitch in the regular season.
SM: Right, now I hate to agree with him, but Gammons had an interesting idea the other night on BBTN - Kevin QuanGorMo
SJ: I was thinking a similar thing, Brown pitched in relief for the Dodgers on his way back from his 14th surgery the other year (2002?) and he was effective. Although, I would prefer BrownTomMo, with Quantrill getting the blowouts
SM: Yeah, well look at this: Brown in pitches 1-15 holds hitter to a .230/.288/.393 line and in pitches 16-30 it skyrockets to .370/.400/.548
SM: So, if you could get Quantrill straight, you could have a situation where you only need your starter to go for five innings, then one of Quantrill, one of Brown, one of Gordon then big Mo at the end....
SJ: Right, but you can't do that every game, you can do that to steal one.
SM: Well, do you expect to have all five-inning starts?
SJ: No, but present day Moose and Duque do make more pitches to get the same number of outs than they used too.
SM: Yeah, which is nerve wracking.
SM: So do we like Brown in the rotation or in the 'pen? Call me Natalie Imbruglia... I'm torn
SJ: I don't want to give him an invite just yet, lets give him too starts. He hasn't pitched in a while, he won't have the dead arm.
SM: Ok, so who ya got in Game Three -- TLE or Lieber?
SJ: Maybe there will be a rainout?
SM: Ha, not bloody likely
SJ: Actually, I think there is a day off between games one and two, if we get that series, that's Moose and El Duque in Games Four and Five on regular rest.
SM: That would be nice
SJ: Not if we draw Minnesota, which I don't think we will.
SM: God I hope we don't. Santana-Radke-Repeat would suck
SJ: Side note. OK, you’re the Yankees, and you sweep the Red Sox, but they still have a four-game lead on the Wild Card. Do you tank versus the Twins?
SM: I don’t know if tank is the right word, but I wouldn't be stunned if the House Money lineup saw a lot of time.
SJ: I would throw Loaiza on zero days rest, twice
SM: I'd probably throw Loaiza, Graman and Halsey, with lots of Dioner Navarro behind the plate.
SJ: Perhaps The Run Fairy could play third base, Alex needs a rest.
SM: Your man crush, Mr. Phillips could get some time and bring up Cano too.
SJ: Did we ever decide on a Game Three starter?
SM: I'd like Lieber to show me another good start... but I'd be just as comfortable with Home Run Javy, particularly on the road in Oakland ... if that’s how it shakes out
SJ: Oakland would be OK with me, it a massive space of land.
SM: Exactly...
SM: Then Lieber in the pen or fourth starter if Joe feels like it,
SJ: The problem with Lieber in the pen, he doesn't strike many people out
SJ: Can't bring him in with runners on
SM: He does get lots of tasty ground balls though
SJ: It’s too bad the Yankees play behind him
SM: Hey, Jeter's been doing just fine, Wilson's been shelved for Cairo and the corner infield is fairly solid.
SM: Derek Jeter, Gold Glove Shortstop... just practice that with me now.
SJ: He may get it this year, because people are dumb,
SM: Hey, he may not be Rick Burleson or anything, but he’s improved a lot.
SJ: I think a lot of that is Willie Randolph. He seems to be in better position this year.
SM: Yeah. Plus, no dead kittens in the Bronx this year, which I like.
SJ: Yup.
SM: So to summarize, we've got Moose, Duque, HR Javy and Lieber or Moose again. How much does Brown need to show us to bump Javy?
SJ: He needs to show control of the strike zone
SM: Right
SJ: Do you remember how dire it seemed when Brown went down? They had just lost three in a row by a combined score of 60 runs
SM: Yeah, that’s why I love baseball... everything can change at the drop of the hat.
SJ: Exactly
SM: Now to the weekend.... any chance the "Nation" will be forced to watch Mo, Jeter and Co. spraying champagne all over Fenway? A sweep would do it.
SJ: Sure would.
SJ: The pitching match up on Sunday is less than favorable.
SM: Loaiza vs. Anyone?
SJ: Yeah.
SJ: Although, if the Yankees take the first two, Brown could come in and sweep the leg. That would be nice.
SM: Yeah, I think there are two situations where he pitches Sunday: If the Yanks win first two or Yanks lose the first two. If it’s a split, then he'll go vs. Minnesota
SJ: I would imagine that is the worst place for him to make his return, the ground ball factor and all.
SM: Well, since they are home games.
SJ: I thought they were at the dome.
SJ: Never mind then.
SJ: They should probably start him on the road first, but they don't have enough time really.
SM: Right.
SM: So that's it then... Rotation as of right now is Moose, Duque, HR Javy and Lieber
SJ: I don't know, I probably start Lieber first, especially if there is a day off after Game One
SM: Right.
SJ: And by first I mean before Javy.
SM: Right.
SM: Well, Brown mucks up the back end of the rotation anyway.
SJ: I guess, I am wondering how he would do on back-to-back days though.
SJ: And Karsay doesn't seem available, I doubt they would use him in this series.
SM: I hate Torre for that.
SJ: Torre seems to have changed from the manager that played Ledee and Rivera and Spencer…
SM: To the manager that essentially uses a 19-man roster?
SJ: Yeah
SM: I hate that, but that's for another rant
SJ: Yeah.