Larry Mahnken and SG's

Replacement Level Yankees Weblog

"Hey, it's free!"

The Replacement Level Yankees Weblog has moved!  Our new home is:

Larry Mahnken
Sean McNally
Fabian McNally
John Brattain

This is an awesome FREE site, where you can win money and gift certificates with no skill involved! If you're bored, I HIGHLY recommend checking it out!


Disclaimer: If you think this is the official website of the New York Yankees, you're an idiot. Go away.

June 15, 2005

Finally, a comeback
by SG

Entering tonight, the Yankees had not won a game which they trailed after six innings. This was even more frustrating when recalling last year's team and their propensity for late inning comebacks. I was concerned about the Yankees being able to follow up a strong game yesterday, which is not something they have done very well this year.

Kevin Brown started and looked dominant, throwing 93-94 mph with nasty movement. However, after 3 innings he started giving up hits, and was eventually pulled in the 5th with back spasms. Buddy Groom was able to come in and induce an inning ending double play on his way to 1 and 2/3 shutout innings.

The Yankees trailed 3-1 heading into the 7th, as Mark Redman kept them off-balance with breaking pitches and good control. Tanyon Sturtze struggled again, giving up a leadoff HR in the 7th. The Yankees got that run back in the bottom of the inning.

However, Sturtze gave up another HR leading off the 8th. I may have sounded down on Sturtze in my last entry, but I still think he is an asset. He's not as good as he has been so far this year, but I think a lot of his improvement is legitimate. As long as his control is good, he should be fine.

Heading into the bottom of the 8th down 5-2, it looked pretty bleak for the Yankees. The Yankees did manage to string a two run rally together. However, with the tying run on second base, Jason Giambi struck out and Robinson Cano grounded out, and the inning ended with the Yankees still down by 1.

Mariano Rivera came in and thoroughly dominated the Pirates for an inning. Derek Jeter grounded out and I thought the game was over at this point. Bernie Williams managed to draw a walk which brought up Gary Sheffield. Sheffield hit into a double play, but the Yankees were fortunate and got a gift call. Sheffield was pretty clearly out on the replay but the umpire called him safe.

Alex Rodriguez took advantage of this by singling Sheffield to third, then Jorge Posada, who was 1 for 10 in his career against Jose Mesa, lined a double that brought home Sheffield. Rodriguez ran through Luis Sojo's stop sign to try and score, and was out by about 30 feet. However, the Yankees finally showed some life in a game that I had given up on.

Rivera pitched another scoreless inning, setting the stage in the bottom of the 10th.

Tino Martinez pinch-hit for Andy Phillips and drew a walk. Russ Johnson pinch-ran for Martinez and almost got picked off on a pitch out. However, he alertly returned to first as soon as he saw the throw to second. Tony Womack laid down a perfect bunt in the optimal time to lay down a bunt (sudden death for the home team), and up stepped Jason Giambi.

I've been pretty staunch about defending Giambi in this space, and so far he hasn't really deserved it. With a runner on second and first base open, it was very clear how much his stock has fallen. Instead of walking the 2000 AL MVP and setting up the double play, they pitched to him. Giambi worked the count to 2-2, then lofted a towering fly ball into the upper deck in RF, and won the game for the Yankees.

The people who booed Giambi all game were suddenly cheering him.

I don't know how much Giambi has left. But, it's a moment that like this that makes me feel that he deserves the time to show what that may be. The potential upside is too great to not merit a chance, especially when there's no better option on hand.

It was a big HR for Giambi, and a big win for a team that needed it desperately. If Randy Johnson can follow up his strong outing last time out with another one tomorrow, this team could be poised to go on a much-needed run.

Incidentally, Giambi's OPS in June? .923