Tigers 6 Yankees 5: Thanks, Igawa

For some reason the game was blacked out online, so I listened to Sterling and Waldman for a few innings before resuming the evening festivities with GLG while my wife and son are away for a couple days. We watched a movie, “National Treasure,” which wasn’t bad–far-fetched, plus Nicholas Cage’s lines are heavily affected. But both aspects provided levity for GLG and me. She’s got a quick wit and is very funny. In all, the movie wasn’t bad as long as it was with her.

Igawa, not so much. I got an earful of the first three innings and part of the fourth via WCBS, and his start was an unmitigated disaster in this 6-5 loss. I am now watching the game via digital archive to couple the visuals with the disaster I knew occurred, and the Tigers just teed off on him right from the beginning, hitting everything hard in the first and scoring a run though it could have been worse. He actually threw a quick 1-2-3 second before fully imploding in the third and fourth, getting ripped for five more runs before his ignominious exit without retiring any of the four batters he saw in the fourth. The final line tells a good part but not all of the tale–3+ IP, 11 hits, 6 runs earned, no walks and no K’s on 64 pitches/41 strikes. Igawa had just two pitches on which Tigers hitters swung and missed, one of which was a foul tip. He was kerosene personified. Horrible, sinking the Yankees in a hole from which they could not extricate themselves.

Pity, because the bullpen yet again held it together through the next five. Albaladejo, Hawkins, and Edwar allowed only two hits, no runs and one walk, fanning four combined. Yet there was bad news, with Albaladejo leaving the game after 2 1/3 reporting pain akin to a needle jabbing around his elbow. I’m no specialist, but that sounds bad, and probably is since the Yankees have already placed him on the 15-day DL with an MRI pending. That’s a shame, since the kid did pretty well in The Bronx. In 13 2/3 IP through 7 appearances, Albaladejo was 0-1 with an ERA of 3.95, allowing 15 hits (1 HR) and 6 walks while fanning 13. Hopefully this isn’t too serious, with the Yankees’s roster already vaguely resembling a M*A*S*H unit. Hawkins was very good, pitching 1 2/3 perfect innings, and Edwar pitched a hitless eighth.

The bats were productive, providing the chance if way too late to come back but leaving 9 on base, 4 in scoring position–again. Giambi tied the game at 1 with a big blast deep to right, his 7th of the year to take the team lead. He has 19 RBIs despite hitting a paltry .174, but was 2 for 4, adding a double. Cano the Tough Love Kid is warming up, going 2 for 4 with a double, a run, and an RBI, his 11th, upping his average to .182. Giambi and Cano looked about as good at the plate as they have all year, making good swings even on most of the outs they made. Giambi drilled one to deep left that Sheffield the Selfish snagged. Jeter was also 2 for 4 with a run, an RBI (his 17th), a walk, and is batting a solid .305. Melky the Clutch was 2 for 5 with a double from the lead-off spot to raise his average to .277. Though he had an atrocious day playing third [Please come back soon, A-Rod], Betemit was also 2 for 4 with a double and a run, batting .250. Abreu was 1 for 4 with his 22nd RBI but fanned twice. Duncan was 1 for 5, Moeller was 1 for 3 with an RBI, and JD was 1 for 1 with a run pinch-hitting for Moeller.

Yet the Yankees stranded too many. They had first and second with one out in the third after Melky’s double and Jeter’s walk, but Abreu fanned and Matsui grounded out weakly to The Pine Tar Gambler. In the fifth with Cano at second and Melky at first, Jeter grounded into a double play to end the inning. With two outs in the sixth, Duncan singled and Giambi doubled, but Betemit’s 5-3 ended that threat. The Yankees cut it to 6-2 in the seventh when Cano led off with a ground-rule double, moved to third on a wild pitch from Zach Miner, and scored on Moeller’s soft single. They made things interesting in the ninth, scoring three. Betemit led off with a double, moved to third on Todd Stinking Jones’s wild pitch, scored on Cano’s 6-3, JD got an infield single, moved to second on another wild pitch from so-called closer Jones, moved to third on Melky’s 1-3, Jeter singled JD in, 6-4, moved to second on defensive indifference, and scored on Abreu’s double, 6-5. But Leyland intentionally walked Matsui, ending his 17-game hitting streak, to face Duncan whose F8 ended the game.

I really don’t see how it is that Igawa can be allowed to pitch his next scheduled start on Wednesday against Tampa Bay. He was wretched, didn’t fool anyone, and got positively tagged. Eleven hits in 3+ innings is atrocious, and not the slightest improvement over Kennedy. In one game, it’s actually twice as bad as Kennedy’s ERA–six runs in three-plus innings. What a horrible signing Igawa has been, a reflexive signing by Cashman and the Yankees after the Red Sox far surpassed the Yanks’ bid for Matsuzaka. What a colossal waste Igawa has been, for a supposedly seasoned, experienced, and fairly accomplished pitcher in Japan. Bad break for Albaladejo and the bullpen, losing a fairly reliable young arm for the near future at least. Chris Britton was recalled in his place.

Darrell Rasner (1-0, 3.00 ERA) tries to get the Yankees back to .500 yet again against Bonderman (2-3, 4.17 ERA). More of the same for a team that, with all the injuries and inconsistencies, has been positively mediocre.

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Published in: on May 9, 2008 at 11:34 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. I wonder if Rasner, with this new cutter of his, may be with the club for the long haul. Better pick than David Wells, anyway. Please tell me that’s just a rumor!

  2. I think if Rasner can give the Yankees a fair amount of quality starts, Steve, he’ll stick around–certainly at least until Hughes comes back and, if Kennedy is back up soon, perhaps as a long reliever later. I’m miffed that Hank Steinbrenner has even mentioned Wells as a possibility. Here is a manager in Girardi emphasizing getting the team in good shape, and you have the antithesis of fitness in Wells coming in? I don’t see it. He’s a booze hound, failed to exercise enough, failed to stick to a throwing regimen between starts, has a big mouth, a bad back, is in his mid-40s, and has a history of getting into trouble off the field. There’s no way in the world I’d consider signing that guy.


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