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August 23, 2006

The Yankees Lose, but I Don't Care
by SG

Last night's 6-5 loss to Seattle is the type of game that typically has me throwing things around my apartment and screaming at everyone responsible. However, thanks to the Yankees sweeping Boston over this weekend (it sure is fun to keep repeating that), the game just didn't feel all that important.

I did feel bad for Yankee rookie Jeff Karstens, who made his major league debut and was in line for the win until Jaret Wright and then Ron Villone gave up his lead. Karstens pitched pretty well, aside from two homers he surrendered. He's basically a finesse righty with good off-speed stuff and a 88-90 mph fastball, so I don't think he's much more than a fringe rotation candidate going forward, but with a fatigued pitching staff he was helpful last night and will probably make at least one more start.

Speaking of fatigue, it's the reason I can't get upset with Joe Torre's bullpen management last night. As strange as bringing in Jaret Wright in relief was, the Yankee bullpen is beat up and tired. To me this was a lose the battle, win the war situation.

Speaking of Villone, the days when many were complaining about his underuse have long since passed. Villone has appeared in 23 of the team's last 39 games, pitching 30.1 innings. This is the equivalent of appearing in 95 team games and pitching 126 innings of a full season. Whether it's this overwork, or Villone just regressing back towards his established mean, his ERA is 4.15 over that stretch and he's given up 5 HRs, compared to giving up 1 prior. Villone's HR rate was flukishly low beforehand so I think the truth lies somewhere in the middle. It'd be nice if the Yankees could start getting some innings from their starters at some point though.

With Boston losing, the Yankees' magic number actually dropped, so all things considered, despite the annoying loss, things are still ok. If they don't win tonight though I think I will get mad.