Monday, April 19, 2010

Yankees-Athletics Preview

Here it is. The series we've all been waiting for. Or that nobody's been waiting for. Moneyball versus money (lots of it) and the balls to spend it. Both teams come into the series having won 9 games. The home team is young. The visitors are mostly grizzled veterans who have done things that most Athletics' players have only accomplished in some manifestation of MLB 2K. Of course, the Yankees throw Javier Vazquez in the first game, a pitcher who has struggled with stuff and location (pitching generally) through his first two starts. Will this be the start that turns things around? Teixeira seems to be starting to wake up, having had two consecutive games in which he drove in runs and hit the ball hard even when recording outs. This should be a good three games, seeing as both teams are playing well right now. The Oakland series is the first of a three city road trip in which the Yankees will also play the Angels and the Os. Until that series with the Os, this will have been a surprisingly tough April. We better end the season playing Royals, Pirates, Jays, and Toms River little league.


Roberto E. Alejandro said...

Wow. The Rays just lit up John Lackey for 8 runs in 3.1 innings to sweep the Red Sox in a four game series at Fenway. Ouch.

Rich Mahogany said...

Solid analysis as usual, although you underestimate the Toms River little league team (which, if memory serves, plays on Al Leiter field).

It was two days ago now, but you should read up on the 20 inning Mets-Cardinals game if you haven't yet. It's one of the most incredible displays of player and manager incompetence ever performed on a baseball field. Manuel had KRod throw over 100 pitches in the bullpen, and LaRussa made Yadier Molina catch every inning and didn't give him the day off for the next game. Also, Jason Bay has endeared himself to Mets fans by hitting and fielding atrociously.

In other news, Ron Washington did cocaine.

Rich Mahogany said...

Happy Patriot's Day!

Roberto E. Alejandro said...

Ah, I've been utterly unaware of the holiday due to being in the UK.

That 20 inning game must have made Joe West's head explode. I mean, not only did Ron Washington do cocaine, but the game almost took 7 hours. The constant warming up of KRod was bad, but at this point Manuel is almost certainly fired, so he might as well do his job in a way that deserves it.

My thoughts first turned to Bay when I read that the first runs by both teams were scored in the 19th inning. Not a single solo home run? really? I couldn't believe that. Granted, Pujols didn't have one either, so I guess I can't be too hard on Bay, but he was brought there to provide offense.

Rich Mahogany said...

I only knew it was Patriot's Day because the Sox started playing at 11:00 AM. It's not a real holiday or anything.

You know what's even more incredible about the lack of runs in the 20 inning game? The Cardinals were using position players to pitch and the Mets still couldn't score more than 2 runs! Felipe Lopez pulled a Swisher by pitching a scoreless inning. And Kyle Lohse spent three innings playing left field!

So the Mets were basically playing against a team that had basically given up, and they could still only win by 1 run.

The game was so crazy that Felipe Lopez pitched to Raul Valdez, one day after Valdez gave up a grand slam when pitching to Lopez.

Bay has been just horrendous. .217/.321/.283 with 0 HR and an NL leading 18 strikeouts.

Roberto E. Alejandro said...

I hadn't realized how poorly Bay had been performing. Out of sight, out of mind I guess. I knew position players had been pitching, but I didn't realize it was just the Cards. That's pretty ugly.

lady gaganonymous said...

Seriously, LaRussa had been trying to give the Mets that game for about three hours. That's how long it took them to take it. Mets.

Jason Bay has been HORRIBLE for them so far but I know from his Sox days that he's very streaky. So he'll get on FIRE in... like... August or so. Though by that time, the Mets should be pretty much mathematically eliminated, no?

No way the Red Sox stay this bad but I will enjoy it while they do. You know things are bad for them because they were showing the pizza-throwing incident on NESN during the game today.

Roberto E. Alejandro said...

That's pretty much how NESN works when things are going bad. Hell, that's pretty much how they work when things are going good.

A lot of doom and gloom in the national sports press about Boston, tho i suspect they just need something to write about. That said, with Lackey you always worry that a bad start might mean he's injured. Lester has been bad (8 ERA), tho this early that could be just one bad game. But still, if these guys don't get consistent pitching they go nowhere with that offense. I expect them to turn it around, but this is still a team relying on Ortiz, Drew, and Lowell. They may need a blockbuster come July just to be competitive.

Rich Mahogany said...

I love how the pizza throw has become part of Red Sox lore. Like how Tommy Lasorda getting knocked over by Vladimir Guerrero's bat at the All Star Game has become part of fat guy humor lore.

Rich Mahogany said...

I love how the pizza throw has become part of Red Sox lore. Like how Tommy Lasorda getting knocked down by Vladimir Guerrero's bat at the All Star Game became part of fat guy humor lore.

I don't think for a minute that the Sox are really this bad. But as we learned the hard way in 2008, the AL East does not suffer slumps gladly. The Rays sweeping a four game set in Boston is kind of a big deal, especially since we know the Rays are for real.

If the Sox make a big move, who do they pursue? The obvious answer is Adrian Gonzalez, but he's not an easy fit because Youkilis is the last player they need to replace, and they can't move Youkilis to third because of Beltre. They could DH A-Gon, but that would be a waste of his defense, and they would be paying for that defense. Theo has already shown that he will endure missing the playoffs to make sure the team stay strong in the long run, so I think he's going to stand pat or go for a lower-profile player.

lady gaganonymous said...

Rich - if the Sox get Gonzalez, I'm pretty sure they simply eat Beltre's contract and have him as yet another incredibly expensive bench player (teh small market!!!), and move Youk to third.

Pretty much any trade for anyone would have to include Buchholz at this point, though, and I don't know if they're willing to give him up.

Red Sox looked like they weren't even trying today. Seriously, when Andy Sonnanstine easily retires all six batters he faces, and it's the meat of your order, something is wrong. Again, no way they stay this bad but I will enjoy it while they do.

Roberto E. Alejandro said...

Getting Adrian Gonzalez has been the talk of the town in Boston but it hasn't happened largely because it will be costly. The Padres new GM formerly worked for Boston, so he has to get a big return for a player like Gonzo or it looks really bad. And like you said, Rich, Theo probably won't sacrifice long term performance for a run at this year's playoffs. It's obviously way too early to write Boston off, but what they have to worry about is whether they have the make-up to be a team that can climb back up in the standings come July/August if they fall behind now. Only time will tell.