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.

September 19, 2006

Thank you Jose Veras
by SG

In a game that was filled with highs and lows, the Yankees held onto a 7-6 victory over Toronto. Darrell Rasner started horribly, hitting the leadoff man, allowing a double, and then walking Vernon Wells to load the bases with no outs. Rasner rebounded to work out of trouble, but the 27 pitches he threw ended up playing a big factor later in the game. Rasner went on to last six innings, and allowed three runs in decent start.

On the other side, A.J. Burnett looked like every bit of the $11 million a year pitcher the Blue Jays signed, mixing in 98 mph fastballs with nasty curves and overmatching the Yankees over the first five innings. Through 5.1 innings, Burnett had thrown only 66 pitches and looked well on his way to a dominating shutout victory. Bobby Abreu worked the count full then hit a bleeder up the middle to bring up Alex Rodriguez, Mr. Unclutch himself. Rodriguez launched a 2 run HR, cutting the deficit to 3-2. Burnett looked rattled at this point, as he lost the strike zone and walked Giambi, balked, then walked Jorge Posada. So Burnett went from a nice economical pitch count to disaster in the span of four hitters. He got Robinson Cano out to end the frame, but it was pretty clear this inning took a lot out of him.

Leading off the seventh, Hideki Matsui ripped a single to CF on the first pitch, but Melky Cabrera seemed to screw up the inning by hitting into a double play on the second pitch. That brought up Aaron Guiel, who was inserted into the lineup when Johnny Damon got ejected by the homeplate umpire for apparently having the audacity to question a checked-swing strike called on Matsui in his prior plate appearance. Guiel singled, and that brought up the MVP candidate Derek Jeter. Jeter gets criticized for not being a power hitter, but you wouldn't have known it by the shot he hit (on a 3-0 pitch no less), that put the Yankees in front 4-3.

Brian Bruney threw 18 pitches in a shutout seventh, although he did walk one and allowed a hit. Scott Proctor who was supposedly not available tonight pitched the eighth. I thought Bruney had another inning in him, and would have preferred to see him start the 8th, knowing the rest of the pen was thin.

In the ninth, the Yankees added three runs, although they were lucky to do so. Robinson Cano led off with a double, and Hideki Matsui advanced him to third on a ground out. Melky Cabrera's jersey got grazed on a pitch, putting runners on the corner with one out. That brought up Guiel, who'd singled and scored the tying run earlier, as well as making a very nice sliding catch on a ball in CF. For reasons unbeknownst to almost anyone, Joe Torre felt that this would be a good time to put a worse hitter vs. righties up (Guiel: .242/.363/.442 vs R, Bernie: .261/.307/.388), while increasing the likelihood of a double play and significantly downgrading the defense in a one run game and with no Mariano Rivera looming.

Shockingly, Bernie hit a tailor-made double play ball on the very first pitch he saw, but fortunately for the Yankees the Blue Jays messed up the pivot at second, which opened the door for a three run rally and turning a 4-3 nailbiter into a 7-3 laugher.

Or so I thought, anyway.

Ron Villone, whose ineffectiveness has been pretty obvious over the last six weeks was brought in to start the inning, which I thought was a questionable decision. Villone's command was horrible, but Alexis Rio's plate discipline was worse, as he swung at bad pitches until he fanned. Vernon Wells then hit a flare to CF which was very similar to the ball that Guiel had made a nice play on earlier in the game. Instead it was played on a hop. Lyle Overbay then singled, which put two runners on and made the game a save situation. Since Octavio Dotel was apparently the designated closer for the evening, he was brought in. Dotel's fastball was not fast, and his command was not good either, and after falling behind 3-1, he gave up a three run HR to Troy Glaus, which cut the Yankee lead to 7-6.

It was pretty clear Dotel had nothing, and it's pretty clear he won't help the team this year, so I was happy to see Joe Torre come out to the mound. The broadcast went to commerical and I was anxious to see which righty was going to be coming in to get the last two outs, Jose Veras or T.J. Beam.

Imagine my surprise when they came back from commercial and I saw Mike Myers warming, especially after what happened yesterday, with a switch-hitter due up and a righty pinch-hitter available in Jason Phillips. Shockingly, Myers got an actual out, and then gave up single to Phillips. Thankfully, Myers was only left in two batters too long this time, not five, as Veras came in, threw a ball, then got Aaron Hill to fly out to Melky in LF.

This game was way more stressful than it needed to be. I'm a little worried that with only 12 games left, the team's not going to be as well-rested as I had hoped come the postseason.

And if anyone's seen Jason Giambi's bat, please notify him.