Back in the Bronx

Every time I walk into the hallowed halls of Yankee Stadium, I feel like I’ve never left. We come here three times a year — well, four during those years they meet in the playoffs — and it feels like a home away from home.

And, just like every time, there’s yet another subplot as we get here on a dreary Friday. The Yankees are reeling. Panic has gripped the Yankees universe. None of their starting pitchers can seem to get through five innings. Even the pitcher of the future faltered last night. But the Yankees have their most reliable guy going tonight. That, of course, would be Pettitte. He’ll have the cap tucked deep over those eyes tonight, making that Pettitte sneer as he fires off each pitch. Andy Pettitte is a the epitome of a competitor and the Yankees need him tonight.

The Red Sox? They have Dice-K going. This is Matsuzaka’s first time in Yankee Stadium since he ventured here many years back as a spectator during a Yankees-Braves World Series. I believe it was 1996. I’ll try to find out for sure after the game. Even though he beat the Yankees a few days ago, you know he’s intent on pitching better than that. This game should be great theater, and isn’t always here?

I’m going to enjoy the last two years of this ballpark. I’ve always loved covering games at Yankee Stadium. Who knows what the new place will be like.

As for Sock-gate, enough already. Let’s get our focus back to where it needs to be. Good old beisbol, Sox and the Yanks.

More later,

Ian.

68 Comments

I’m going to tonight’s game and am hoping the weather holds up. I’m always surprised to see how many Red Sox fans make their way to the Bronx to support their team, so it’ll definitely be nice to have a couple friendly faces mixed in with a hostile New York crowd, especially since they’re reeling from this 6-game losing streak.

A side note, my buddies are all Yankees fans and they took me to Opening Day this year against the Devil Rays. I wore my Papelbon jersey and suffice to say, I was both physically and verbally harassed the entire game. Not to say that I shouldn’t have expected it wearing enemy colors into Yankee Stadium when the Sox weren’t even playing, but the backlash was overwhelming.

Anyways, I really expect a much cleaner line from Matsuzaka tonight. It seems that whenever Schilling and Beckett get it going, the rest of the rotation seems to follow suit and we get 5 strong outings.

Two of the most interesting subplots for tonight’s game: Matsuzaka vs. Matsui and Yankee pitcher possibly retaliating for Matsuzaka hitting both A-Rod and Jeter in last Sunday’s game. I was listening to WFAN (the big NY sports station) and it seemed that every caller felt it was time for Yankee pitching to step up the intensity and make sure players like Papi and Ramirez don’t get too comfortable up there. I agree completely, but at the same time, Torre has always stated he wanted to stay away from the beanball game. But the Yankees need some sort of emotional lift tonight, so I don’t think throwing at our big guy’s tonight would be such a bad idea to get the fans into the game.

But I definitely expect to see Matsuzaka retaliate if Pettite does start brushing the Sox back. First of all, he’s clearly not afraid and secondly, it would sort of cement his status among both teammates and fans as a true team player. His poise on the mound reminds me of how Pedro use to be, and if that’s any indication then it’s definitely a good thing.

I agree, Ian. I’m tired of hearing about the bloody sock. I made one final post about it on Sox and Pinstripes, and I vow to not address the subject again. It’s ridiculous. I think Dice-K will throw the ball better tonight. Should be a good one!

Jeff

http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

I hate when the Sox are playing some one who is on a losing streak. Even more it’s diconcerting that its the Yankees. You know that team is better than what has been showing on the scoreboard. I just hope we cand do well in the Bronx these next few days and more importantly stay healthy.

Game time is comin up!!!! The thing that stinks is dat the sox will have to face pettite, and we all know that Pettite has had success against us (13-5). Let’s hope the sox can make him work a little and try to prevent him from going deep into the game. How do you guys think dice will do against the yankees the second time around?

Maybe I’m just too critical of announcers, but I think these guys just bite. What a couple of homers. I know that Remy and Orsillo can be homers too at times but so far it’s been just a running of the mouth and filling dead air (which wouldn’t be too much worse) not much information or color, oh wait!! Yeah they give color, just blue and white, and if pinstripes can be described as a color that too!! They STINK!!!

Dice-K should not throw a ball near the strike zone with a 2 run lead and this ump. I have never seen an ump call strikes that low and out of the zone. Good for us now that we have a lead!

Welcome to my life Ellen, I have to watch those YES homers every game all year long. Lucky me. But a great start tonight, Pettitte doesn’t look to sharp and Dice-K does.

All the Yankees do is complain and now he won’t call a d a m n strike!

I agree about these broadcasters, especially Michael Kay. He makes comments that hurt his credibility on a consistent basis. Perhaps he is just bitter that the Yankees are so bad this year.

Jeff

http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

It is hard for broadcasters to be die hard fans of the team they announce for. It makes them appear homerish if thats a word. With Kay grwowing up in the city it makes for good broadcasting from a yankee fan perspective but not good broadcasting for the game in general. Last year they did a postgame after the Game 4 against DET and it looked and sounded like he was going to kill someone.

OOO boy, doesn’t this kinda look EERILY similar to toronto?

This is shaping up to be a long inning, and DIce-K deserves every run that is scored against him. I can’t stand when pitchers walk batters. I would rather a guy give up several hits than walk the bases loaded.

It will especially be a long inning if Romero enters.

Downright pathetic. Pitching behind in the count doesn’t translate into success.

I hate walks too Jeff and he seems like he always has that 1 inning where he can not find the strike zone. Its ironic where he walks all these guys and it seems like nerves but then he can bear down and strike out someone then get a infield pop, it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

We can definetly score enough to win but the pitching must settle down right now. They hit nothing hard except that Jeter hit yet they get 4.

Andy has Dice-K syndrome

And we’re back in the game.
HOLY WALKS !

Another night another 4+ from the Yankee pen. At this rate they will be dead my Memorial Day

I’m still aggravated at Dice-K. The Yankees have hit nothing but bloops and lazy grounders, and Dice-K gave them four runs. Guess it’s only right that Pettitte gives us the runs back!

Jeff

http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

The bullpen will have to be on point tonight I can’t see him getting out of the 6th tonite.

Good news about Jon Lester. He pitched 5 innings today against Buffalo. 0 run, 6 Ks.
His fastball reached 95 mph.

That is great news. He just needs to start stretching his outings. Give him a few more starts at Triple-A before rushing him to the majors. If Tavarez doesn’t give the Sox a quality start on Sunday, move him to the pen, release Romero and give Devern Hansack or Kason Gabbard a start.

That’s a good plan, although i would’ve done those moves before the series. Just seeing Romero in the pen gives me heartburns.

Lugo’s now a RBI machine !
Attaboy Julio !

Romero wouldn’t come into the game unless it’s a blow out. I hope.

Ok, lets get the bats going now boys!! Comon’ lets get some hits!

O.K. everyone. You’re Tito. Do you bring Pap in the 9th or do you give Oki a chance to close, preserving Pap’s arm ?

Or do you give it to Donnelly? He’s looked good in the few outings he’s had out of the bullpen late in the game

Looks like we just got justification for dropping Wily Mo and bringing back Coco. Go Coco!

Attaway Crisp! Comon’ now lets get Tek home!

I would give Oki a chance. Thats what i would do keep Paps arm for later.

I agree with you about Coco. And now, with that lead, no need to bring either Pap or Oki. Be ready Brendon.

Yeah I think it has to be Donnelly now

Ok but I do like watching Oki and Dice-K pitch except when the pitch balls! I hate Walks!!!

Bases loaded for our ribbies machine, JULIO !

It’s Donnelly I think. By the way: what is the song that’s played in the stadium when Myers was coming in? A piece that’s really suspense-like…

Yea comon’ Lugo!

Halloween movie’s song. You know, with Mike Myers ….

And a run comes in! Good eye Lugo!

And now Big Papi is up! Hit a Homer Papi!

Comon’ Manny get a hit!

Strike Jeter out Pineiro!

I think Pineiro is the only player on the field that still thinks this game is not over. I mean, he needs a good pitching stint to boost his confidence.

No matter the score.

For him it’s a 4-4 game.

And he pitched good. rsox: Not a Halloween fan, so… :P

Baseball brings you funny stories. Dice-K just won his last 2 starts yet he pitched so-so ( and against the Yanks lineup ).

Before those 2 games, he lost 2 in a row, yet pitching really well against softer lineups.

What run support ( or lack of it )can do !

This is fun. The Sox are winning, even though four guys in the lineup are not hitting the ball well, and the Yankees are in the AL East basement. Regardless of when Mussina returns, the Yankees starting rotation just is not that great – even when healthy. I think Cashman and company know they need to make some deals if they want to reach the post-season – or even content – this year.

Jeff

http://www.soxandpinstripes.com

No problem, penwhale. Not a fan of that movie either. I was a young kid back then and it scared me to my very soul !!!!!

You know, I was more impressed with Piniero than I was with Dice-K. I don’t know why, maybe just one of those what you’re paid vs what kind of perfomance you give issues. Anyway..
I never like seeing a champion have a tough time. I found it very difficult, even given the fact that we were playing the Yankees’s, to see Mariano Rivera struggle so much. He is the best closer of all time. I hope that Jon-Bon can be as good a closer as Mo has been for so long. That said, I didn’t have any problem seeing our Sox beat the Yankee’s again!!! Way to go Sox!!

I hope that we can pu;; it off again tomorrow!! You now one day at a time!!

That one inning a game where Dice has trouble with the strike zone– it’s just a head thing, it’s all in his mind. For whatever reason he loses it. Maybe it’s his concentration, or a brief lack of self-confidence, who knows. But you will see that in every league where there is a pitcher. Little league to softball to MLB. I’m thinking for Dice it might be the relentless nature of hitters in the MLB added to the pressure of being the 100 million dollar wunderkind. Plus the howling berzerkers at Fenway and YS. The pitcher who started the first game for the Rockies in Denver said he made the mistake of looking around at the crowd before he threw the first pitch of the game. He threw the first pitch past everyone to the backstop. So magnify that to a NY or Boston crowd and it is understandable. But he’ll get it together, you’ll see.

Ellen,

I agree with you on Mariano. Inspite of all the rivalry between the two teams the Sox fans have all the respect in the world for Mariano. I think Mariano is pissed with Cashman for not giving him a contract extension at the start of the season. He definetly deserves more respect than the way he and Bernie ware treated by Cashman. My theory is Mariano is just paying back for the way he and Bernie were treated by Cashman.

Haha, I really doubt Mariano is voluntarily blowing games in order to get back at Cashman. It’s called age, and it is finally catching up with him. His velocity was good tonight, around 93 mph, but there didn’t look to be very much movement on the ball. I was shocked when Yankee Stadium started to boo him after Torre pulled him in the 9th with one out.

Between the bottom of the 4th and the top of the 5th, that had to be close to an hour of poor pitching and a lot of walks from both pitchers. Dice-K looked so good for the first 3 innings and then just lost it for an inning. I think he gets frustrated when he doesn’t get a close strike call and sort of self-implodes. But you have to give him credit for bouncing back with 6 straight outs in the next 2 innings, even coming out for the 6th with his pitch count at 99 and finishing strong. Say what you want about the guy, but he is an innings eater.

I really feel that if Tito had sent Romero out for the 6th, this would have been a much different ballgame. To have a starter who you can pencil in for a minimum 6 innings every game is huge, because that cancels out those long-relief pitchers who have high ERA’s for a reason.

Good win tonight, if the Sox can push across another W tomorrow then this series will be a success. Sunday’s matchup of Tavarez vs. Wang is going to have to be won by Boston’s offense. Although it’s nice to see the Yankees dwelling in the basement of the AL East.

I’m with Zachary, Mariano is class beyond classy and he wouldn’t stoop as low as blowing saves and games because of contract issues. He may be annoyed that it wasn’t solved, but I can understand why Cashman didn’t sign up; for this reason alone.

Honestly, I was SHOCKED Yankee Stadium was booing a bit when Torre pulled him; although they may have been booing Torre. And to add to that, like Ellen said, I feel bad for Mo’. Most of us RSN respect him cause he’s good, he’s classy, and/or both and it’s sad to see him screw up like that. Not saying that I’m not happy our boys pounded the ball off of him though…that is always a good thing.

Dice-K will be fine; the media is making too much of a big deal for an inning of mistakes; he’s good enough that he can minimize them and fix them. Honestly, I don’t care. I love watching him work. :)

So how about Piniero? He’s settled down quite nicely. By the time June rolls around, our bullpen should have all settled down and made adjustments. And that’ll be one heck of a great thing.

Finally, how about Lester’s AAA start today? He’s looking great! I can’t believe it! It’s like he’s taken his cancer and just completely owned it! :)

Once Lester replaces Tavarez, the Sox will have the best rotation in baseball. Just one question: how do we squeeze in Roger Clemens?

Steve

http://soxblog.mlblogs.com

Jeff, I read your statement about releasing Romero and moving Tavarez to the pen, I think they need to cut their losses (and there have been quite a few) and get rid of Tavarez!!!! I think you’ve got it a little bass ackward.

Yankee Armageddon here at last!

I don’t know what I would like to see more… Clemens come out and say… “I said I would come back to a contender… I’m not coming back to this mess.” -or- The Yankees open up their vault for the him he has trouble making the jump from AAA (NL Central) to the AL East. His last 2 ERAs in the AL were 3.91 and 4.35, over 3 years ago now. He is going to get shelled and/or injured if he returns to the AL East and I think he knows it.

I really think the Yanks are done. It’s laughable to string together the “ifs” they need… If Mariano cuts his ERA from 12 down to 2… If A-Rod stays on pace for 100+ homers… if their bullpen gets a break… if their 35 and older pitchers come back and start pitching better… if they can overcome poor defense…

It’s over.

It would make more sense to say “If Mariano keeps his ERA at 12″…it’s not really an if to ponder if his ERA stays in double digits. There is one 35+ year old pitcher who they are relying on returning, unless you include Clemens. And that 35+ year old won 15 games and spent 3 weeks on the dl last year too. If A Rod doesn’t stay on pace for 100+ homeruns, you have to expect Damon doesn’t hit .240, Abreu doesn’t go 2-21 all season long, and the other offensive inconsistancies despite all the runs they are scoring anyway. The real “if” is the starters. The team is demonstrating the worst case scenario right now. And oddly enough, I agree with Jeff, with every one of their rookies from last year that pitched well failing, with Pavano predictably out and the bullpen now cooked, the Yankees will have to make deals that will probably cost them some future to content. The question is, do they tell the fans “we can’t compete with the Sox because they spent too much in the offseason” or do they make a move.

contend.

Time for the draft will be back soon. My patriots have 2 1st round picks. Great time to be in New England.

As the guy who got Sockgate rolling by emailing Thorne’s on-air comments to the Boston Globe’s Gordon Edes, I say that this whole issue had NOTHING whatsoever to do with the sock.

This is the sole issue:

Does an announcer bear any responsibility for what he or she says on the air?

http://joyofsox.blogspot.com/2007/04/its-not-about-sock.html

I want the Yankees to contend. The postseason isn’t the same without both the Yankees and the Red Sox.
As long as the lose to the Red Sox, I’m perfectly happy with the Bronx Bombers winning 95 games and making the postseason with the wild card.

Good looking DP. A-Rod swinging and Jeter caught stealing. Talk about a way to get out of an inning.

I think that sports media announcers should be held just as accountable as their print journalist counterparts. You have to account for your source(s). If not, they should suffer the consequence, surely being fired.jmo

I think it’s time for the sox to get it together. Now lets get the bats going!!!!!!

Good Job Wake. Now our bats have to bail him out.

Well, even though we’d like to, can’t and won’t win them all. All we can do is hope that tomorrow the bats get really, really hot. We have Senor Ez on the hill. They say this is probably his last start (Thank God) due to Jon Lester coming back. Now that’s a truly great thing. His outing at Pawtucket last night was a good one. 6 k’s, and 6 innings of scoreless ball! I’m glad his health is at a point where he is strong enough to come back!! Welcome Back Jon!!!

Ellen, i’d be very surprised to see Lester with the Sox for the next 5th starter’s start. I think that starter spot, if Tavarez is moved to the pen, will be filled by either Hansack or Gabbard for a couple of starts. I don’t know how those two are doing with Pawtucket, but it can’t be worst than T-ez. As Jeff was saying, Lester will probably start another game or two with the Pawsox to improve his stamina.

I’m with you, though, i can’t wait to see him on the mound again.

Hows everybody doing. Cant wait for Lester to join the club, but i think he needs at least 2 more starts at AAA. He even said he was really tired out there so we cant rush him. We have to be patient. My hat does go off to him making it back to AAA in this short of time and doing this well after an off season of Chemo.

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