Orioles 10 Yankees 9: Pathetic Abomination

What a big, chunky, barf-bag filled game this disgusting wretch of several hours was, an absolute disgrace. Worst loss of the year, and one falling on several heads–Girardi, Hawkins, Jeter, and more. Repulsive by any sober estimation. Two four-run leads blown in the first five innings, Jeter picked off second with A-Rod ready to hit, Girardi refusing to use Joba to preserve a win that Mariano rightfully earned in favor of lummox Hawkins, who promptly yakked it up in the 11th. What is the point of having Joba around if they won’t use him for 15-20 pitches to save a key game when TB lost, Boston was nip and tuck, and Toronto was losing? The players and manger just handed Baltimore the game, just flat-out gave an eminently winnable game away. Stinking Horrible.

Giambi’s solo homer and JD’s three-run blast in the second made it a seemingly secure 4-0 lead, but with Kennedy pitching, not so. The kid immediately surrendered the lead, allowing four right back in the bottom of the second on Millar’s two-run shot, Hernandez’s solo blast, and Jones’s single, running on JD’s rag arm to tag up to second, taking third on a cross-up between Kennedy and Molina, and scoring on A-Rod’s throwing error. The Yanks then scored four more in the top of the fourth, all with two outs. JD doubled, Jeter singled him in, Abreu ripped a homer, 7-4, and A-Rod clubbed a homer to right-center, 8-4. Yet Ohlendorf, in for Kennedy who was placed almost immediately on the DL for a strained lat muscle, barfed it back up in the bottom of the fifth. Roberts singled, Mora homer, 8-6. Ohlendorf then fanned Markakis and Huff, but then surrendered back-to-back homers to Scott and Millar to tie it, 8-8. As we discussed at The Sommer Frieze, it’s really about time to consider other options than Ohlendorf. His ERA is 6.37, which is just plain bad. Mike Sommer mentioned Britton, and I can’t disagree with that. Give the guy a chance instead of letting Ohlendorf be a punching bag.

In the sixth, JD singled with one out, Jeter forced him at second, Abreu walked and, with A-Rod up and before he could get a swing, Jeter got picked off second, inexcusably horrible, Captain. Nuke worked around a lead-off walk in the eighth after some good work by Edwar, getting out of a jam via the DP ball to Cano.

The the rain came in the 9th, but the Yanks had to play through an unsafe monsoon. They subsequently squandered a lead-off double from JD, and a double-steal from him and A-Rod, when Matsui lined out to Millar. After a rain delay of over an hour, play resumed, with Mariano pitching the 9th and 10th. After a 1-2-3 9th, Mariano allowed a one-out double past the statue Betemit but Mariano avoided potential trouble when, after fanning Jones and walking Payton, he retired Roberts on an F8.

The Yankees took the lead in the 11th when, with the bases loaded and no outs, A-Rod grounded into a 4-2-5 DP, ripping one to second, and the catcher Quiroz caught Jeter at third as he waited to see if the hot shot was caught at second. Yet Matsui singled through the wickets of Albers, 9-8. Ah, but Hawkins and Girardi blew it, regardless of what the organization’s plan for Joba is. The plan is to win games, and there’s no good reason why the team couldn’t have pitched Joba for the 11th and bumped his extended outing back a few days. So much for the lack of any Joba Rules. Sure. I’d like some straight answers from the organization about this, about how Joba somehow couldn’t be used with a depleted bullpen, about how stretching him out–by any estimation a drawn-out process–couldn’t have been paused a couple days to secure a win.  Straight answers and not mealy-mouthed nonsense for a change. Hawkins entered and allowed a lead-off single to Mora, got Markakis on a deep F7, Huff’s double scored Mora to tie it and he took third, Hawkins IBB’d two to load the bases, and Cintron’s hit to deep right-center ended a disgraceful loss, 10-9.

The Yankees left 9 on base, 5 in scoring position, while plating 7 with two outs. The team had 15 hits, but couldn’t hold a lead. Kennedy heads to the DL with the strained lat, Ohlendorf and Hawkins were a mess and I’d consider removing both from the Bronx roster–Ohlendorf being sent down and Hawkins via DFA. The latter is low risk and thus far really low reward. Hawkins has an ERA of 6.75–he’s a nice guy and a good teammate, but cut bait already and go with kids. The team banged out 15 hits and 9 runs, but couldn’t win the game. Disgraceful, just an absolute gift to the Orioles. The worst loss of the year in my opinion, and back to two games under .500 as the Yankees can’t penetrate the glass ceiling of mediocrity.

Published in: on May 28, 2008 at 12:12 am  Comments (6)  

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6 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. i’m STILL gnashing my teeth! i tried to go to sleep but that was a useless endeavor and am out of valium.

    when 9 runs is not enough….just so, so frustrating.
    clearly we need a lefty in the bullpen and a real 1st baseman. they made a mistake letting dougie go.
    leaving betemit in the entire game after he let ball after ball go by him…a disgrace. i know shelley isn’t don mattingly, but c’mon. he’s nowhere near as bad as betemit. jeter was absolutely atrocious tonight-in every way imaginable except for that one base hit he got with damon at second. it is without doubt the worst loss of the year and gives me no conifidence whatsoever in the “judgement” of girardi

  2. I hear you, Mike. I really do. Thank goodness I woke up in a good mood this morning after several beers last night. Last night really demanded a good venting. I felt bad for sprinkling some profanity at The Sommer Frieze, but it was a rare mood for me when I couldn’t contain myself. Plus, the sheer volume of screw-ups–Jeter’s getting picked off, his error costing a run; his failure to get the bunt down in the ninth before fanning; A-Rod’s 4-2-5 DP and his own error; Betemit’s atrocious play at first; Kennedy, Ohlendorf, and Hawkins detonating leads; the offense going in the tank for several innings–had me boiling.

    I definitely agree about the need for a lefty in the pen, something that Frank the Sage and I oddly enough discussed Monday night on the phone. I also agree about Mientkiewicz, something The Sage mentioned that day as well. There’s a real need for a guy who can field his position at first, starter or no. Boy, were we spoiled with Donnie Baseball and Tino, two good leaders, clutch players, and excellent glove men by any estimation. They spared the team the need to acquire a glove, eating a roster spot. It’s time to start considering DFAing guys. Ensberg is a waste of space, Betemit is a good stick and a subpar glove, and while I really like what I hear about Hawkins the person, he’s been bad for the Yanks.

    I hear you, Mike.

  3. Hey, Jason!

    This def was the the worst loss of the year…

    A total disgrace and embarrassment !!!

    The main reasons we lost this game were because Kennedy, Ohlendorf, and [especially] Hawkins, were terrible. And, regarding Hawkins, this was “two” bad outings in a row. Toss in the ineffective performance by Jose Veras in game one of the Baltimore series, and we could look directly to the “weakness” and “inconsistency” of the bullpen as the cause of these last two losses.

    It should be noted, though, that in addition to the two scoreless innings by Mariano yesterday, Edwar Ramirez and Kyle Farnsworth pitched very well ….

    Also, I’m still shaking my head as to “why” Wilson Betemit was not protecting the line in the bottom of the 10th with Rivera on the mound? No way that ball should have been allowed to go for a double [I totally agree with the comments above by Mike. It was a disgrace that Betemit played first, at all, in yesterday’s game. Cashman should have re-signed Doug M. – for his “defense” alone, at first] …

    Wilson Betemit should not be on this team, period. Alberto Gonzalez really played well every time he was here, and earned a spot on the roster. I was very disappointed when he was sent back down to AAA-SWB, when Betemit returned from the DL. And, I would have to say, Morgan Ensberg has also been a waste” !!! …

    At this point, I would like to see, some changes …
    The Yankees should replace: Hawkins, Ohlendorf, and Veras with some of the young kids at AAA-SWB; and, also, send down: Betemit, Ensberg, and Duncan … The “bullpen” and the “bench” are just not effective … Changes need to be made !!!

    I have to disagree with you on one point, though, Jason …

    As much as we all would have liked to see Joba in last night’s game [in the 11th inning], we have to realize that Joba Chamberlain is now on a different work schedule: “a schedule to move into the starting rotation, by building up his arm strength and innings pitched”… He is scheduled to throw about 50-55 pitches in tonight’s game, coming into the game after 5 or 6 innings by Andy Pettitte … It’s not fair to second guess Joe Girardi on this one … Joba was not going to pitch in last night’s game [period], just like Pettitte was not going to be called into the game … As it turned out, with the injury to Kennedy, my guess is: Joba will throw about 55 pithes tonight; and, if all goes well, may make his first start in Kennedy’s next scheduled spot in the rotation … Joba will be on track to pitch about 65-70 pitches after tonight’s appearance; so, that will mean “five” innings of work … To make sure he pitches those 5 innings, he will “have to start” in his next outing … That’s the new “Joba Plan”, and I totally agree with it. It has been my opinon [from the end of last year] that Joba Chamberlain is more valuable to the Yankees as a starter. The Yankees have to see what he can do “as a starter”, and now is the time to get this process going. We could probably make a case that Joba should come into “every” close game as the set-up man to Mariano. But, if Girardi always made that move, Joba will never build up enough innings to be a starter. So, until the rotation becomes more solid, the Yankees may have to endure a few more games like last night’s disaster !!! [note: the one hour, and 7 minutes rain delay didn’t help much either] …

    I think “the start of the process” to move Joba into the starting rotation [this early in the season] was directed by Hank Steinbrenner, behind the scenes. I totally agree with Hank, on this move, at this time. If Joba deliveres “big time”, he can become the “ace” of the Yankees pitching staff, [this year], and for many years in the fuure !!! … And, if for some reason it does not work out, or if Joba is needed as “the closer”, it is a lot easier to move Joba back ino the bullpen, then the process [they are now in the middle of] to get him ready to move into the starting rotation … I think the move will work out …

    “The time for Joba is now” !!!

    Jason, take care !!!

    Go Yankees !!!

    – Jimmy [27NYY]


  4. Hey Jimmy. Great comments as always, and certainly a good point with which I agree about Betemit not protecting the line. He looked like he was playing first in quicksand all night, and he’s not fit for the position by any means.

    I see your points about Joba, and they’re fair points. As a guy who studies work, I’m by no means unsympathetic to the new work schedule for Joba. We’re in total agreement about his stuff, which is dynamite, and what it may mean for the beleaguered rotation. My point about his moving to the rotation is this: according to Bryan Hoch’s article yesterday evening (posted just after the start of the game), the team is prepared to flexibly use Joba, perhaps for his 55 pitches today, perhaps not depending on how Pettite and the game go. Should he not pitch today, he’d probably go Friday. That is, there is the possibility that he might not pitch today and be bumped back for a longer stretch. Given that he last pitched Saturday, he had a couple days off before last night and three before today’s game. The Yankees could have adjusted his schedule to have him throw an inning last night and treat it as a throw day of sorts, as Torre often did with starters in a pinch, and moved him back for his extended work, which they’ve considered anyway depending on the vagaries of game circumstances. Now of course, if Joba already had a throw day yesterday, that throws everything I said out the window. Yet I haven’t seen anything about that thus far. If the Yanks have considered the possibility of using Joba flexibly depending on game circumstances, my question is how could they NOT consider it for just one inning when they need to win games and were precariously thin in the pen? They’re saying on the one hand (as is Hoch without comment, which boggles me given his own writing on the subject just hours before) that they’re prepared to be flexible with Joba, but on the other that they had no intention of wavering from his scheduled throw day. They’re really not thinking flexibly, then. I’m not in favor of overworking Joba by a long shot. I’m just in favor of using him more strategically. The stretching out is a process that takes time; a few more days wouldn’t have hurt, and would probably have brought back a win.

    I don’t mind your disagreeing with me in the slightest, Jimmy, and I always respect your informed opinions. I hope all has been well with you, and now that I’m back I’ll drop by your very good blog more often.

  5. Before I forget, Jimmy, you may be onto something about the Joba decision, as far as not blaming Girardi. I really don’t know, but it could be that upper management has had a strong say in the plan for him, and his not pitching may have been out of Girardi’s hands last night. If so, I still disagree with not using him last night, but it could be that it wasn’t Girardi’s decision to make. With the Yanks, such things are always more of a mystery to untangle than they should be. You may be onto something there, Jimmy.

  6. “It’s not fair to second guess Joe Girardi on this one”

    i wasn’t second guessing girardi. at the time i was screaming for joba- i KNEW hawkins would give up the lead.

    and by the way, even if i had “second guessed him” it is certainly my or anyone’s prerogative and whether it is fair or not matters not in the least.

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