Mets Show, Score 6; Yanks Don’t, Still Somehow Score 2

What a terrible, run-for-the-clubhouse performance by the Yanks today, getting some hard-hit outs but otherwise punching the clock in a languid 6-2 loss to apparent wunderkind Fernando Nieve, who has been cut before but can apparently stifle the Yanks just like every other mediocre journeyman coming down the pike.  A-Rod had a homer in the second, and the Yanks managed to scratch together a brief rally late with Jeter’s RBI single, but Pettite was abysmal like so many other Yankee starters–allowing too many hits over too few innings.  Pettite’s line–5 IP, 12 hits, 5 runs earned, 1 walk, and 3 K’s on 104 pitches/66 strikes.  He was at 54 pitches through 2 innings, worked over early just like Joba, Wang, and Burnett. Aceves was decent in two innings of relief, allowing a solo shot to that selfish miscreant Sheffield, and Veras mopped up the lats two by allowing three hits but, somehow, no runs.  He’s become the quasi-Britton, and deserves little more right now.

Mike texted me an interesting theory–that Pettite is more concerned with his incentive-laden contract based on appearances and innings worked than doing the right thing and shelving himself.  It’s impossible to say with certainty, but that might well be true.  In no way right now does Pettite look right.  He’s leaving everything up and getting hit hard.  This presents a possible, negative flip-side to such an incentive-laden deal as Pettite received–that a pitcher will send himself out there regardless of his physical condition, and Pettite has had back issues, for just that reason–the more he works, the more he makes.  It also allows a team to wring what it can from a player, and not be held liable for the player’s salary should he be injured while working, something with which I have some problem.

I’d offer a corrolary to that, should Mike’s text be accurate, and it might well be–that the Yanks might well be allowing it.  One reason may be because they lack trustworthy alternatives, with Wang lousy and Hughes and Aceves in relief right now.  Another could be that they’re interested in milking what they can out of players, even long-standing and loyal ones such as Pettite, whether or not those are quality innings.  A third may be that they’re trusting Pettite’s word that he can give them quality work, and he’s not delivering.  It could well be some combination of the three.  But I know one thing–Pettite is pitching badly, allowing 30 hits and 14 walks in his last 21 innings–over four starts.  That’s more than two base runners per inning, more than unacceptable.  This can’t continue.

Again, this also puts the onus primarily on the starters for the recent spate of poor starts.  Consider this–in the last five starts, only Sabathia has gone more than five innings.  The other four starters have combined for 14 1/3, 24 hits, 16 runs 14 earned, and 14 walks.  Adding two hit batters by the starters (Joba last night), that’s 40 base runners for whom the starters have been directly responsible over just 14 1/3, nearly 3 an inning.  While the bats have been in a collective funk, how can the team possibly win with such wretched starts?

It gets no easier tomorrow against Johan Santana (8-3. 2.39 ERA), with Burnett (4-3, 4.89 ERA) needed to be the stopper in a tough task.

Published in: on June 13, 2009 at 7:10 pm  Comments (2)  

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2 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Good and interesting theory regarding Andy (who turns 37 on Monday). This game could have been far worse. The Mets had 17 hits, and still just the 6 runs. … just.

  2. one of the mail reasons they re-signed andy was as an “innings-eater” considering the limits on joba ( and hughes) this year. not only is he not providing innings,going about 5 innings lately– the inning he is pithing are hardly quality. there isn’t really anything to suggest he is going to get any better this year either.

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