Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Wang Gets Wocked, Sox Get Socked, Yanks Win 15-9

I'm starting to write this post a little after 10pm in the east. This game is your typical Yankees/Sox affair. A knocked down, dragged out fight with each side landing blow after blow after blow. We're already 3 hours deep and at this rate it's going to end after 11. Dude has to work in the morning. I can't be staying up all night blogging. It's currently 11-9 Yankees. Abreu just flew out to the LF corner to open up the inning. I may sprinkle in some nuggets about the live action as I type this.

This game was the polar opposite of the Wang/Buchholz pitching duel from last week. Neither pitcher had their A game tonight. I think you can argue the point that neither had their B, C, D or E games either. Neither pitcher made it past the 4 inning mark and each got hit pretty hard. This was definitely not your typical Wang outing. The last post I wrote talked about how dominant Wang has been against the Sox in his last 3 or so outings. You can basically crinkle that post up and toss it right in the trash.

If you had told me before the game that the Yankees would have scored 7 runs off Buchholz, I would have thought a Wang win was automatic. I'm a little shocked that he got hit for a 9 spot but it happens. Al Leiter dropped some insight on bad outings during the YES broadcast. In short, they're going to happen. He said that great pitchers typically have about 20 starts a year where there stuff is on. That would mean you'd have about 10-15 starts a year where you were scuffling on the hill. You also mentioned that when he was a Yankee farm hand, Joe Altobelli told him that the expectations for pitchers were to have 2 great starts, 2 good starts, and 1 bad start in every 5 outings. This was Chien-Ming's 4th start of the year. He's had 2 great outings, 1 good one, and now 1 bad one. I'd say he's on track. I'm not at all discouraged by his outing. It's going to happen. He's our ace. He'll bounce back.

Kate Smith just finished singing God Bless America. I've got to give it up to LaTroy Hawkins. His 2 solid innings have closed the flood gates. He now hasn't given up an earned run in his last 5 outings. He seems to be settling in and that's what the Yankees are going to need from him, and that's what they brought him here to do. It's good to see him pitch well. He was definitely one of the main components in tonight's win. He came in and shut the door on the Sox offense. Hawkins picked up his 1st win in Pinstripes.

Right from the get-go the offense was on tonight. I was pretty pumped after Bobby and Alex went back-to-back. Alex absolutely crushed that ball. It looks like they're finally turning things around offensively. They racked up double-digit runs on double-digit hits, and no one was left out of the party. They were hitting with runners in scoring position too. It's about freaking time. We saw 2-out run scoring hits from Moeller and Jeter in the 4th. Jeter is picking up right where he left off last year. The moniker of Captain Clutch is very fitting. Last year with 2 outs and RISP Jeter hit .418. He was hitting .333 with 2 out and RISP coming into this game. Melky just got thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double. The replay showed he was safe but what can you do. I don't mind him trying to pick up the extra base but you have to be aware of the situation. It would have been nice to let Derek do his thing. The 5th inning was a bright spot also. They put 5 consecutive guys on base and took the momentum back from the Sox. That was huge.

Chad Moeller is filling in quite nicely. 3-4 with a walk and an RBI. His 2 out run scoring double in the 4th was a pretty clutch hit. But his 5th inning walk was probably one of the most clutch Yankee plate appearances of the night. He worked that count and eventually picked up the free pass which loaded the bases. His slide into Lugo to break up the DP and cause a throwing error allowing a run score was pretty sweet also. Moeller was named player of the game. Well deserved. It's refreshing to see that we have 2 backup catchers that can fill in for Posada and do such an effective job.

We're headed to the bottom of the 8th now. Traber and Bruney pitched us through the inning. Traber had a long outing, eh? He got Ortiz to foul out to Moeller on 1 pitch. Not bad for a day's work. Bruney bounced back from his rough outing in Tampa. He buckled down after giving up a single to Manny. I love it when someone strikes out Kevin Youkilis. That makes my day. Considering Youkilis went down on strikes 3 times tonight I'm a happy camper. The bullpen did a pretty solid job tonight. It's too bad they didn't have Joba though. I don't mind seeing Bruney and Traber pitch but I don't get that same warm and fuzzy feeling I get with Joba on the mound in the 8th. I think it's safe to say we all feel that way. Come back soon Joba. But not too soon. Make sure your pops is OK first though.

A-Rod just hit an automatic double. That blows because Jeter would have scored no doubt. They're loading the bases by walking Matsui. I really hope they come through with some more insurance runs. I mentioned yesterday that the failures of the offense to score late against Tampa Bay could come back to bite them in the rear if they needed to call on Mariano for a 3rd straight day. That was the last thing I wanted to see happen. Jorge just dunked in a 2-run bloop and Mo has taken a seat. Another hit with RISP. That was huge. Me likely. Hip hip Jorge.

Giambi just blooped a 2-run double to left field. Another hit with RISP. Me really likey. I thought for sure that Giambi took Timlin yard again. I think I would have dropped a deuce on the floor if he had. But going the other way for a 2-run double is just as nice. Mike Timlin is taking it on the chin this year against the Yankees. Timlin has now given up 8 hits and 7 earned runs in 1.1 innings against the Yankees. Giambi's is 3-3 against him. Considering the Big G now has 5 hits on the season that's pretty funny.

Brian Bruney is killing me right now. I want to go to bed dude. Quit messing around and pick up these last 2 outs! And a fly out to Damon ends the game.

That was a crazy game. The offense was definitely on its game tonight. 15 runs on 16 hits. Everybody hits and Matsui is the only one without an RBI. Not too shabby. What could have been an ugly loss turned into a huge win. The Yankees are winners of three in a row and all signs point to that they're turning the corner offensively. This win was definitely a team effort. Nice job boys.



Jason said...

Great stuff, J. I agree about the offense, which is surely turning a corner. It will get a stiff test tonight against Beckett. Moeller has been big and, with Molina, they've done so much to blur Posada's absence. Good stats on Jeter's two-out, RISP performances. The guy is clutch. Big-time kudos to the bullpen, especially Hawkins, for halting the Red Sox in their tracks. Four in a row would be a nice roll. Keep up the good work, and give Cooper a hug from The Heartland.