Monday, April 9, 2007
GAMES FOUR-SIX: 1-2, and good?
Yes, I can hear the fatalists: "Buhhhh. We're 3-3. What's wrong with these guys? Mwa mwa mwa mwa." Easy, people. Let's compare and contrast by the only point of comparison y'all seem to care about. The MFYs.
Red Sox: 3-3. Could be 4-3 if it weren't for total power failure in one game (in classic Tim Wakefield gets no run support fashion), but basically, 3-3 is what they should be.
Yankees: 2-4. Could be...0-6. If Chris Ray hadn't fallen completely apart in the 9th inning for the O's, quite uncharacteristic for the burgeoning (yup, he's "burgeoning" good: the B.J. Ryan non-resigning has worked out just fine and dandy) young closer, that's 1-5. No big comeback on opening day against the rather shitty D'Rays bullpen and that's 0-6. I'll grant that the snow game (well, one of a few) with Pettite on the mound could have gone either way. That's it.
Red Sox: Excellent starting pitching, excellent relieving. Schilling's first game seemed like an aberration based off his excellent start yesterday; particularly considering Piniero's near-blown save/game in the 8th, I would have considered keeping him in, Francona, but caution with a 40-year-old starter is understandable. Fun watching yesterday's game on ESPN: the K Zone showed Schilling continually hitting the corners. By which I mean, the exact diagonal corners of the strike zone. Gotta love a power pitcher with pinpoint accuracy. Far as his politics...at least he's in favor of stem cell research?
Far as Saturday's game, Julian Tavarez apparently, um, forgot his sinker?, but he's a fifth starter; wait until Lester returns. You know why he and Manny are best friends? Because they're both fucking crazy. At least Manny hasn't exhibited irrational violence since charging Roger Clemens after a pitch nowhere near hitting him in Game 3 of the 2003 ALCS. But I still have fond memories of that.
(Did Zimmer deserve that? Sure. That's for 1978, bitch.)
Yankees: Um, you've still got Mariano...and Andy Pettite pitched really well in his second appearance...pitching one inning in relief yesterday because your bullpen was really tired...because in four of your five games, your starter failed to go five innings...and the one pitcher who did gave up seven runs in those five innings. Here's my breakdown of the supposed AL East favorite's rotation:
(Chien-Ming Wang= DL, future unknown.)
Mike Mussina= Standing On The Verge Of Getting It On. (Retirement, that is.)
Andy Pettite= Welcome back to the American League; here's your 5+ ERA.
Kei Igawa= future long reliever.
Carl Pavano= Carl Pavano. Also, liable to die in this season's car crash.
Darrell Rasner= Darrell Rasner, waiver wire pickup...from the Nationals. (See their rotation and think of that.)
(Phillip Hughes/Roger Clemens: One isn't ready. The other's a long shot to return, especially if he wants to come back to Fenway and put a full circle on it all; plus, it might be too late if and when he does come back. Don't overlook the Blue Jays just yet.)
It's easy for the rational baseball fan to take a second and be high on the Sox's start. (I didn't even mention the bullpen; there are still question marks, but so far so good. And Papelbon yesterday? Sooooo good. The Rangers couldn't hit him if they had four strikes to a strikeout.)
So yeah, Red Sox: okay start, great signs of excellence to come. Yankees: don't panic yet. But don't say I didn't warn ya.
And now, some highlights from idiocy incarnate. Yup, it's Joe Morgan. Last night's obvious and oblivious statements (selected):
"You know, I don't think this fastball was away, I think it was supposed to be away, let's look at it...(replay shows outside pitch) Well, I guess it was outside."
On having a good hitter bat third:
"See, the good thing about having a good hitter batting third, the first two batters might make outs and you still get an at-bat in for one of your best guys. (So THAT's why Francona didn't bat Alex Cora third! GENIUS!)
On Ron Washington changing from 3rd base coach to manager:
"And there's a difference between being a third base coach and a manager! Somewhat different relationship with the players."
On Ron Washington, as A's third base coach v. as Rangers manager:
"And there is a difference between being a manager and a third base coach! Somewhat different relationship with the players."
After K Zone showed a borderline pitch was a ball:
"I didn't have any doubt it was a ball because [apparently perfect home plate umpire] Culbreth called it a ball!"
During a pitching change, just before Javier Lopez walked out to face a batter:
"Papelbon must be coming in because I don't see anyone else in the bullpen. Oh, wait, there's Lopez."
On Kenny Lofton's power: Mentioned he has just over 100 homeruns. Or, you know, SEVEN homeruns a season, roughly. Get ready to run to the warning track when he's up!
Enough of that, since I'm sure picked up on plenty here. Credit due to Joe for not making standard stupid anti-Moneyball comments as the A's kept coming up as a subject.
And happy birthday, Peter Gammons. Never slow down, never grow old.