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A New York Yankees blog by Chad Jennings and the staff of The Journal News


Postgame notes: “Hiro is my hero”

Posted by: vmercogliano - Posted in Misc on Aug 14, 2012 Print This Post Print This Post | Email This Post Email This Post

No matter who you spoke to in the Yankees’ clubhouse tonight, all anyone wanted to talk about was Hiroki Kuroda — and rightfully so.

The 37-year-old right-hander from Japan has been a godsend for the Yankees this season, who have dealt with injuries to both CC Sabathia and Andy Pettitte. His two-hitter tonight — in which he took a no-no into the seventh and recorded 15 ground ball outs — was just another reminder of how valuable he has been.

“Hiro is my hero,” Nick Swisher said after Tuesday’s 3-0 win. “Tonight was his night.”

Kuroda was brilliant against a Texas Rangers lineup that many consider to be the best in the American League. In a rotation filled with question marks of late, he has been Mr. Consistency. Tonight’s effort dropped his season ERA to 3.06, and his WHIP to 1.15.

It was the sixth time this season that Kuroda tossed at least seven innings and held his opponent scoreless, which is the most such games in the majors.

“This is a very good lineup that he just shut down,” Joe Girardi said. “Probably our best pitching performance this year.”

Elvis Andrus’ infield single ended Kuroda’s bid for a no-hitter in the top of the seventh. Jayson Nix got to the ball — which was hit relatively softly to the left side of the second base bag — but Andrus is the fastest runner that the Rangers have, and Nix never really had a chance to throw him out.

But rather than allow things to snowball, Kuroda simply continued to go about his business and shut Texas down.

“I had to regroup myself a little bit, but like I always say, me having a complete game or a shutout is not really important here,” Kuroda said. “The important thing is for the team to win, and that’s what we were able to accomplish today. That’s why I’m happy.”

• After the game, Kuroda heaped praise on his catcher, Russell Martin. The two have a relationship that dates back to their days with the Los Angeles Dodgers, and Kuroda is clearly very comfortable with him. “As a pitcher, you have to throw to any catcher that’s out there, but I think Russell knows who I am – what kind of person I am, what kind of pitcher I am and the pitches that I have,” Kuroda said. “It really helps to have Russell as a catcher.”

• Kuroda also praised Swisher for coming through in the bottom of the seventh with a two-run blast to break a 0-0 tie. The homer came shortly after Kuroda had lost the no-hitter, when it suddenly felt as though the Yankees might have lost momentum. “I was so happy,” he said. “I believe that tenacity pays off at the end, and you have to persevere until the end. You have to believe that your guys will pick you up, and that’s what he did.”

• Girardi was asked when he started to feel like something special might be in store tonight. “I noticed the sound of the crowd with two strikes in the bottom of the sixth,” he said. “You could see that they were starting to get into every pitch. I saw that his stuff was very good early on with all of the groundballs that he was getting. He went through the lineup the first time and maybe got six groundball outs.”

• While Kuroda is known for having a bunch of quality pitches in his arsenal, his stuff was so good tonight that he mostly relied on two pitches — fastball and slider. Kuroda said that his slider was one of the best that he’s had all year. He pitched to contact, finishing with only five strikeouts, but it was clear that he was having his way with this very tough lineup. “It was pretty much fastball, slider getting ahead tonight,” Girardi said. “Those were his two big pitches. He threw some splitters to the left-handers to try put them away, but for the most part it was fastball-slider.”

• Girardi also talked about his veteran presence on the mound, and how he’s able to make adjustments from hitter to hitter. “I think he’s really good at reading swings and setting up his pitches and knowing what he wants to do,” Girardi said. “He works very hard in between his starts to figure out what he wants to do in situations, and it shows.”

• Any thought to taking him out in the ninth? “His pitch count was down, his stuff was still good – he was still throwing 93, 94 with good sink – so he made it pretty easy,” Girardi said.

• Kuroda’s complete game basically makes it back-to-back nights off for the bullpen, which bodes extremely well for the Yankees in the remaining two games of this series. Girardi will have everyone (except for Derek Lowe, of course) available for both games.

• Lost in all of the Hiro madness was the fact that Swisher continues to thrive in the two-hole. He had the big grand slam last night, and once again came through with a clutch homer tonight. “I’m just trying to keep doing the same thing,” Swish said. “The season has a lot of highs, and a lot of lows. I’m just enjoying this time right now, but I’m really enjoying the success of this team.”

• Swisher’s at-bat against Alexi Ogando in the seventh was classic Swish. After going down 0-2, he fought back to make it 2-2 before laying off of a very tough slider. Getting the count to 3-2 enabled him to sit on the fastball and deposit it in the Yankees’ bullpen. “He’s been really good there for us,” Girardi said of Swisher hitting second. “He’s taken his walks, he’s had big hits for us, he’s started rallies – he’s done a number of things for us. That two-run homer is a tremendous at-bat because I think he saw maybe four, five, maybe even six fastballs before he threw him a pretty good slider down and in. Swish laid off it, and then got the next pitch and hit it out for the home run.”

• Swisher’s homer was preceded by a single from Derek Jeter (his AL-leading 156th hit of the season), which knocked Rangers’ starter Matt Harrison out of the game. Ogando was hitting 99 mph on the radar gun, so it was a very different look that Swish had to adjust to. His homer was followed by a solo shot form Mark Teixiera, which gave the Yankees their third run. “I was hitting on sound at that point,” Swisher said. “He was throwing 100 mph. He’s kind of one of those guys who has an arsenal of pitches, but you have to do what you can to stay on that fastball. In that 3-2 count, I was just hoping he threw another fastball, and I was looking to get the barrel on it.”

• It definitely sounds like Swisher likes his new spot in the lineup. “I think Skip made a couple of lineup changes, and from there we’ve just kind of taken off,” he said. “Everybody is going out there and having quality at-bats. When you have the bottom of the lineup kind of turning it over for the top, that’s when the success really takes off.”

• One guy who has been struggling a bit of late is Curtis Granderson. He went 0 for 4 tonight, including a fly out to center in the third with the bases loaded. I’ve noticed that he hasn’t been pulling the ball as much recently, which seems like a good thing, but it also seems to have taken away from his production. “I’m convinced that Curtis will come out of it,” Girardi said. “I thought he had some pretty good swings against a tough left-hander tonight. He just missed some balls.”

• Some pretty good news on A-Rod, who had an X-ray on his broken left hand tonight. There was some confusion earlier when Girardi talked about A-Rod hitting — it sounds like he’s still only swinging with his right hand. But that could change soon. “It’s definitely better,” Girardi said. “The brace will come off. He’s not quite ready to swing, but he will do strengthening exercises, so that’s a good sign for us.”

• I’ll give Girardi the final word on Kuroda, who improved to 11-8 on the season tonight: “He’s been really, really big for us, and he could have a number of more wins. He’s been the hard-luck guy for us this year, where at times we haven’t scored him a lot of runs… Realistically, he could have 15 or 16 (wins) at this juncture.”

Associated Press photos

 
 

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114 Responses to “Postgame notes: “Hiro is my hero””

  1. Jerkface August 14th, 2012 at 11:38 pm

    This roster is undoubtedly better than the 2009 club.

    Pitching wise maybe, but not overall. The 2009 offense was insane, one of the best ever as a total lineup+bench, and the bullpen was very good and the rotation still had CC+good AJ+Andy Pettitte. If this team wins a WS then it can talk matching up.

  2. Melk Man August 15th, 2012 at 12:09 am

    2009 team has EIGHT starters with an OPS over .850!!
    Only 1 player (Swisher) had a lower BA than .275

    That team also had Mariano

    No comparison.

  3. UnKnown August 15th, 2012 at 12:16 am

    It probably is up for debate but to definitely say it is better can’t be determined until we see what happens in October.

    JF you are right, if this team fails to win it all in October its going to be a tough sell to say that the 2012 team is better than the 09 team. And impossible to say that it is “undoubtedly” better.

  4. Tyler August 15th, 2012 at 12:18 am

    That ’09 team just had a feel about it…. late game magic, clutch plays. They came together over the final 2 months of the season and played fantastic. Lets see if this team can keep this up.. tonight was a thing of beauty.

  5. UnKnown August 15th, 2012 at 12:20 am

    That 2009 team had the “IT” factor as well. Throughout that entire season there was a special feeling around that club. Teams around the league absolutely feared that squad.

  6. G. Love August 15th, 2012 at 12:32 am

    I really thought I was going to see no-hitter tonight. Kuroda was brilliant against one of the best teams in baseball. If that was a preview of the kind of pitcher he can be for us in the post season then another legend may be born here in NY. I said to my wife during the game, “they have to re-sign him at any cost”. The guy is one of the best pitchers we’ve had this season and in any season of late.

    And Swisher & Tex getting to Ogando was huge.

    If Hughes didn’t spit the bit on Sunday this team would be on a 7 game win streak right now.

    And our pen has had 2 night’s off with 2 games to go in this series. Win 1 of the next 2 and then let’s put our feet on the Red Sox throats and put them out of their misery.

  7. UnKnown August 15th, 2012 at 12:46 am

    Holy smokes Pena. Airmails the simple toss over to 1st base. Looks like we will all be spared of having to watch Rodney shoot his pretend arrow into the air. HAHA

  8. UnKnown August 15th, 2012 at 12:48 am

    Maddon going with 5 infielders. It would be sweet if the M’s can walk these fools off tonight. King Felix goes tomorrow.

  9. igotid88 August 15th, 2012 at 12:52 am

    Tampa loses

  10. Nick in SF August 15th, 2012 at 1:00 am

    What is truly incredible about the 2009 Yankees is that they had to go almost the entire season without Xavier Nady.

  11. CompassRosy August 15th, 2012 at 1:02 am

    You’re welcome, Yank fans :)

    ok, so they got a little MoJo from Pena.

    Thames with a game-winning hit for the M’s just one night after the guy he was traded for (Steve Delabar) struck out six in two innings for the Jays.

    Nice game by old man Millwood.

  12. Pat M. August 15th, 2012 at 1:43 am

    2009 Club had the ability to come from behind, the sign of a very good ball team….I do think this club is deeper in pen even with Mo out and the bench is deeper as is the starting rotation…..However Jerkface is right for the first time tonight when he stated that until this squad wins on the least day of the 2012 season it’s not a worthy arguement……….Face, I suppose you don’t count a players first tenure in the bigs as a contract ???? You want me to agree with you that a players first contract is after they become free agents ???? For a smart guy you make some not sovery smart statements………..And to even compare Jason Giambi to Mark Texeria is crazy, well not as insane as comparing the future Hall of Famer to Rob Deer ????? Honestly, you just like to make static and induce arguements

  13. Jeff in Canada August 15th, 2012 at 2:14 am

    “But rather than allow things to snowball”..

    Said another way: “But rather than allow things to AJ”..

    C’mon – you were thinking that too.

  14. jacksquat August 15th, 2012 at 3:26 am

    Come on Pat M., comparing Giambi to Rob Deer is what is crazy.

    Giambi: career 141 OPS+, .280/.404/.523/.927

    Deer: career 109 OPS+, .220/.324/.442/.766

    Night and day.

    Oh, and here is Teixeira, just for fun:

    career 131 OPS+, .280/.370/.528/.899

  15. MTU August 15th, 2012 at 6:26 am

    Good morning.

    Some Matsui-like heroics from Kuroda last night.

    Awesome.

    Best pitched game I’ve seen in quite a while. Absolutely masterful and oh so clutch.

    I hope Hiroki decides to join us for another season.

    :)

  16. Villa Nova-Ya August 15th, 2012 at 7:18 am

    Good morning -

    I’m just glad the Yankees scored 3 runs for him!!!!

    What a fantastic job Kuroda has done, and Girardi is right when he points out he could easily have had 15 or 16 wins so far, if he’d had even a little run support. Seems like there’s always one pitcher each season who gets very little run support, and another who gets tons. Would that you could even it out a bit, no???

    Just a wonderful luxury to be going into the next two games with a fresh bullpen. Isn’t it funny though that the line between a rested bullpen and a stale bullpen that needs the work is such a fine one???

    Who pitches tonight? Garcia? I’m losing track. It’s been a long season!

  17. PacoDooley August 15th, 2012 at 7:20 am

    The patchwork Yankees continue to hold onto the best record in the AL – very impressive. The only thing that can possibly make it sweeter is to see the revolt in Boston and Beckett with a 5-10 record and a huge ERA…

  18. Bret The Hitman August 15th, 2012 at 7:25 am

    That 2009 team had Melky Cabrera AND Austin Jackson in the minors along with Jesus Montero in the minors.

    Best. Ever.

  19. MTU August 15th, 2012 at 7:31 am

    VN-

    Yes. Freddy.

  20. blake August 15th, 2012 at 7:36 am

    2 very huge wins from the Yanks……..dangerous aeries with all the iinjuries and they managed to actually push the lead back to 6 and have a chance to take the series tonight.

    Big time stepping up.

    I think when everyone is healthy this 2012 club probably has better pitchijg than the 2009 team…….but the offense isnt really close……the 09 team was much better and more diverse offensively ………I wish this team could play those same clubs the 09 team played in the postseason that year though

  21. blake August 15th, 2012 at 7:37 am

    Villa,

    Freddy vs Feldman tonight…..

  22. Yankee Trader August 15th, 2012 at 7:41 am

    Good morning-

    MTU-

    Up early! So excited about the Yankee Ace’s performance last night? Hiro the Hero could easily have 4-5 more wins with some more run support.

    Paco-
    Maybe we’ll see the Red Sox revolt in NY this weekend. Pedroia now trying to bactrack about the heated meeting and Valentine acting like he was clueless about what was said!

    If Bobby isn’t gone by the end if the season, good luck trying to retain any Free Agents, let alone sign others.

  23. Bret The Hitman August 15th, 2012 at 7:42 am

    Perhaps in the Rangers depraved state resulting from a 2-day drought will cause them to chase Freddy’s junk today. It would be nice to push the Rays further back.

  24. Bret The Hitman August 15th, 2012 at 7:44 am

    Valentine will be fired the day after the World Series. Ownership really would have looked incompetent if they canned their hand-picked guy in-season fresh after ousting Francona.

  25. Yankee Trader August 15th, 2012 at 7:47 am

    Don’t want to try and compare the 2009 team with this one till the “fat lady sings’”

    One thing though, I don’t remember these exagerrated shifts being used in 2009, that have definitely played a big part in lowering the overall Yankee team batting average this season-especially Tex and Grandy.

  26. MTU August 15th, 2012 at 7:53 am

    YT-

    Who wouldn’t be excited by a performance like that.

    Off for an ATV adventure today. That’s why the extra early wakeup.

    How do you spell Boston ?

    D-y-s-f-u-n-c-t-i-o-n-a-l

    :)

  27. blake August 15th, 2012 at 7:54 am

    Where your helmet MTU!

  28. Bret The Hitman August 15th, 2012 at 7:56 am

    The Yankees relievers really came through against the Rays in the season finale. If not for them, the Red Sox would have squeaked past the Rays for the Wild Card and Francona would still be a Red Sox. That was a very special series. Proctor came through as usual. Very dependable.

  29. Yankee Trader August 15th, 2012 at 7:56 am

    Bret-
    I also think Valentine is gone immediately after the season, which end in NY after a 3 game series to the Yankees. otherwise they’ll have trouble recruiting free agents.

    Phelps has 4 pitches, movement, works fast and great pickoff move.

    Kuroda has 4 pitches, although last night he relied mostly on his slider and 94-95mph fastball, movement, and worked the Ranger lineup like vintage Greg Maddux.

    What will Garcia use to fool the Rangers 3 days in a row?

  30. Villa Nova-Ya August 15th, 2012 at 8:00 am

    Thanks guys. Seems like Freddy just pitched!!! Days are going very quickly now on the downward slope of the season.

    blake -

    You can’t count Austin and Jesus – they were in the minors, but they didn’t have any chance of being used to help the ML team at that time. Since when do we count minor league team makeup in assessing the best Yankee team????? :)

    The 2009 team had the pie in the face magic – all those last at-bat come-backs. They were fun and exciting. But this team in 2012 has a lot of come from behind victories. They’re not as “sexy” since they come back in earlier innings. I do think Melky was responsible for many of those walk-offs. He seemed to thrive in those situations in 2009.

    I think you’d have to take the time after the season to dissect the differences and similarities between the two years. I mean, if you can win the same amount of games, does it matter the way in which you accomplished the victories? But 2009 was incredibly exciting, there is no doubt about that.

    In the end, if 2012 doesn’t culminate with a WS trophy, though, it won’t measure up. :(

    But I love watching the “patchwork,” “ragtag” gutsy Yankees step up to the plate and persevere through injuries to one key player after another. Who thought that losing Mo would be taken in so much stride? Sure, they had Soriano, but who KNEW (besides Trisha ;) ) that he’d seamlessly step in after not closing for a full season? That Eppley, Rapada and Logan would be a credible “7th inning guy?” That Ibanez would not crumble while playing the outfield? That the third-base platoon would actually perform a little better than ARod? This team has a lot of heart and guts.

    I think the guy who has suffered is Granderson. I think he plays a lot more games than he would if Gardner were here; but I think, importantly, he has to cover more ground out there. I think it is more taxing than would seem apparent. With Gardner to help cover left-center, Grandy could play a little differently. He’s got a lot more space that he’s responsible for this season.

  31. Yankee Trader August 15th, 2012 at 8:00 am

    MTU-

    Wear your helmet, and no speeding!

    Admit it-weren’t you a “wee” bit nervous last night when it was still 0-0 that Kuroda might have lost a 1-0 heartbreaker?

  32. blake August 15th, 2012 at 8:04 am

    I think if the Sox get rid of Valentine itll just be finding a scapegoat and ignoring the real problem….which is the roster full of babies and injuries.

    Bobby didnt help the situation but personally if I were Sox owners Id rally around Bobby and use it as an excuse to clean house on the roster…….Beckett would be thr first to go…..

  33. MTU August 15th, 2012 at 8:05 am

    YT-

    Helmet will be on along with it’s “Spuds McKenzie” sticker in plain view.

    Of course you’re concerned with Kuroda in a situation like that.

    He’s been Mr. Hardluck all season.

    Didn’t want him to lose another heartbreaker.

  34. blake August 15th, 2012 at 8:06 am

    “You can’t count Austin and Jesus – they were in the minors, but they didn’t have any chance of being used to help the ML team at that time. Since when do we count minor league team makeup in assessing the best Yankee team?????”

    Ask Bret…..he said it ;)

  35. Yankee Trader August 15th, 2012 at 8:08 am

    Villa-

    What a great spot on post.

    With regards to Granderson, I get USA Sports Weekly, which two issues ago had a terrific article on the Maddon Shift. He uses the shift 40% more than the runner-up team, the Orioles. It was shown by a study that against the shift, at the time of the article that on ground balls with the shift on, Granderson had only one hit this year on a ground ball.

  36. Yankee Trader August 15th, 2012 at 8:12 am

    Has there been a Cashman signing this year that hasn’t played a big part in contributing to a win? Qualls, but he wasn’t going to stick anyway once Joba came back.

  37. blake August 15th, 2012 at 8:14 am

    The shift isnt a good excuse for poor performance IMO…..its just the other team exploiting a flaw in your game…..no.different than a pitcher busting a guy inside that struggles with that……if guys dont want Madden to hurt them with that stuff…..then develop the ability to beat it.

  38. Yankee Trader August 15th, 2012 at 8:14 am

    Blake-

    Who are the RS key FA’s this year that might leave, esspecially if Valentine is retained?

    Ortiz. Others?

  39. blake August 15th, 2012 at 8:18 am

    “Has there been a Cashman signing this year that hasn’t played a big part in contributing to a win? Qualls, but he wasn’t going to stick anyway once Joba came back.”

    Cashman is king of the waiver wire snd Dumpster dive! Hes done a great job building depth no joke…….Cashman is great at a nunber of things……thats why even if at some point they decide to bring a fresh approach in at GM they should just promote Cash and keep him around.

  40. Yankee Trader August 15th, 2012 at 8:20 am

    Blake-

    If you are a pull hitter[Tex and Grandy] and have pitchers keeping the ball inside, which is part of Maddon’s strategy, as well as moving infielders even as the pitcher releases the ball[although Maddon when asked, said "really"], then it isn’t poor performance because you pretty much have to go for the homerun when playing against two right fielders.

  41. trisha - true pinstriped blue August 15th, 2012 at 8:22 am

    Just heard the following stat: Out of 44 starts, Lester and hayseed have won 11 games.

    As you can imagine the beantown brouhaha has taken over the airwaves. I have Mike and Mike on, and Jeff Passan is going to be on live at 8:45. It makes me sick that the snake elf is now trying to deny everything and pretend he loves Bobby V. The best part is that he’s on a “don’t fire Bobby” campaign – on the heels of ownership saying Bobby is safe!

    It hit me that this could possibly turn into a galvanizing issue rather than an additional fracturing issue when I saw all the loser elf denials and newfound love affair – but the fact that the team is fractured insures that isn’t going to happen. Unless, of course, the elf believes that he’s mighty enough to hit, pitch and field.

  42. Yankee Trader August 15th, 2012 at 8:23 am

    Now if Tex were a Red Sox, I bet he would try and lob them onto or over the green monster from the left side!

  43. blake August 15th, 2012 at 8:23 am

    “Who are the RS key FA’s this year that might leave, esspecially if Valentine is retained?”

    Thats the issue….the guys that need to djsappear are under contract and would need to be traded.

  44. Yankee Trader August 15th, 2012 at 8:25 am

    Blake-

    Is Cody Ross a FA?

  45. trisha - true pinstriped blue August 15th, 2012 at 8:25 am

    When that team gets back to fenway, if those loser prima donnas aren’t roundly booed when they take the field, that fanbase deserves everything it gets. But then again, any fans who belt out Sweet Caroline when the team is losing 10-1 probably deserves exactly the team it has.

  46. Villa Nova-Ya August 15th, 2012 at 8:27 am

    blake -

    Oops! Sorry. Can I blame not enough coffee????

  47. blake August 15th, 2012 at 8:28 am

    “If you are a pull hitter[Tex and Grandy] and have pitchers keeping the ball inside, which is part of Maddon’s strategy, as well as moving infielders even as the pitcher releases the ball[although Maddon when asked, said "really"], then it isn’t poor performance because you pretty much have to go for the homerun when playing against two right fielders.”

    Thats kinda like saying that in football if a defense takes away the run and the other team cant pass the ball that thats ok…..the opppsing team doesnt say well we still performed well they just took away our strength.

    Exposing flaws is part of baseball……if the other team exposes yours and you cant adjust then its a problem

  48. trisha - true pinstriped blue August 15th, 2012 at 8:28 am

    I think Mike Rizzo is awesome. Strasburg’s lucky to have him as a GM.

  49. blake August 15th, 2012 at 8:30 am

    “Just heard the following stat: Out of 44 starts, Lester and hayseed have won 11 games.”

    That aint Bobby’s fault……this Sox club is a mess because of the players that Theo and then Cherington have put together more than anything……Bobby is a nut…..but this thing was a grease fire long before he got there.

  50. Yankee Trader August 15th, 2012 at 8:31 am

    Valentine is a manipulator, and relishes time in front of the media. What he did to Jon Lester, keeping him in after they hit not only a 3rd homer, but a 4th off him in the 2nd inning, raising the score to 11-0, I believe, was not “taking one for the team.” He can say his bullpen was gassed. In fact I wonder if he ever went out to the mound and told Lester that he was going to have to leave him in.

  51. upstate kate August 15th, 2012 at 8:31 am

    Good morning

    1st Phelpsie/Lowe and then KURODA…2 great pitching performances against a hard hitting line up. Good job by Swish too.

    I think Valentine was only a place holder anyway. My guess is they try to get Farrell back from the Jays.

  52. randy l. August 15th, 2012 at 8:32 am

    it’s august 15th.
    i think people are getting ahead of themselves planning on going deep into the post season.

    the red sox were in first place and playing .625 ball last year on aug 1.

    i don’t expect the yankees to implode like the red sox did, but things can go south in a hurry with injuries and/or bad luck.

    on another note,as far as the good old days of 2009, if i’m not mistaken the blog was kicking along at 900-1200 comments a night. what was it 350 last night?
    don’t look now , but the blog is running at about 50%-70% off

    of course peter abraham was running it then, and there was a greater diversity of quality posters with opposing opinions fueled by peter a stirring things up.

  53. blake August 15th, 2012 at 8:32 am

    “I think Mike Rizzo is awesome. Strasburg’s lucky to have him as a GM.”

    Except that there is no evidence that shutting him down at an arbitrary innings number will keep him from getting hurt…..and except that the decision could cost them going to the WS……..

  54. blake August 15th, 2012 at 8:33 am

    Frankly I think Rizzo came up with all this stuff thinking the Nats wouldnt be in this position…..he didnt thibk they were ready to be this good……and now he doesnt know what to do.

  55. trisha - true pinstriped blue August 15th, 2012 at 8:36 am

    blake – the last person I am blaming in this whole thing is Bobby. That team, owners on down, was a fractured mess when Bobby took over. I think ownership was hoping that Bobby could take those fools in tow since he’s pretty much the opposite of Tito, and the team ran roughshod over Tito.

    I heard the EEI broadcasters agree on something yesterday, and I have to totally agree: there is no manager walking this earth who was going to be able to manage that group of horrors.

    I fully expect Valentine to be retained through the second year of his contract. What message would it be sending if they let him go, especially after this press mess? That little Dustin decides who should manage?

    But regardless of who ends up there next year, they are screwed. The team that is going to show up next season – those who are under contract – is broken from within. And who in their right mind would extend Beckett a contract?

    They are REALLY REALLY in trouble that almost seems irreparable, at least for the near future.

  56. Yankee Trader August 15th, 2012 at 8:38 am

    Blake-

    I’m not disagreeing with you. If Tex wants to beat the shift he’s going to have to finally embrace hitting the other way, especially from the left side.

    The way Tex and Grandy try and beat the shift is pull and power the ball over the short porch in YS, and both have enough power to accomplish that in pitcher’s parks.

    Grandy, at least could raise his average if he even bunted on occassion to the 3rd base side, using his speed.

    Tex is producing big time. Just don’t expect him to again be a .280-.290 hitter.

  57. 86w183 August 15th, 2012 at 8:41 am

    I agree the Sawx were a mess, but you don’t throw gasoline on a smoldering fire.

    They needed an old school (Showalter) type to bring discipline and focus WITHOUT seeking the limelight. Detroit 3B coach Gene Lamont comes to mind as a much better fit.

  58. trisha - true pinstriped blue August 15th, 2012 at 8:41 am

    blake, really good story in the Washington Post about the Nats and what’s going on with Strasburg. IMO Strasburg probably came up far too soon in his young career and needing TJ in his very first ML season tells the story of what the kid was trying to do to help the Nats. The Nats are a very good team. They don’t have the WS pressure that the Yanks do. I’d rather save the kid some bullets than to take any chances. If Rizzo thinks it’s the right thing to do in his gut, then he should go with it. I’ve seen him say one thing and do another so he’s not afraid to change his mind. (Harper wouldn’t break camp with them for one.)

    Anyway, interesting story in the Post.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/.....story.html

  59. Yankee Trader August 15th, 2012 at 8:41 am

    I have to go.

    As always enjoy all of your input.

    Have a great day and Go Yanks-score early and often! :)

    Until later.

  60. blake August 15th, 2012 at 8:44 am

    I think limiting Strasburg’s innings a good idea…….but do it during the season…..they have a nice cushion…..dont cost yourself a chance at a WS by not having your Ace in the playoffs……..they could skip him starts now…..

  61. trisha - true pinstriped blue August 15th, 2012 at 8:44 am

    “I think Valentine was only a place holder anyway. My guess is they try to get Farrell back from the Jays.”

    Whyever would ANYONE want to go into the snake den? Farrell has a nice situation in Toronto plus the backing of his GM and owners, and a team that works together.

    It will be an interesting watch. But I’d say that no matter what happens, they’re in hell for a good time to come. And then, why would any player want to go to that team? You’d have to be nuts.

  62. blake August 15th, 2012 at 8:46 am

    “I’m not disagreeing with you. If Tex wants to beat the shift he’s going to have to finally embrace hitting the other way, especially from the left side.”

    I dont think he can at this point…..I think hes doing what he needs to do now……hit homers left handed…..be awesome right handed…..and play D.

  63. Against All Odds August 15th, 2012 at 8:47 am

    blake August 15th, 2012 at 8:33 am

    Frankly I think Rizzo came up with all this stuff thinking the Nats wouldnt be in this position…..he didnt thibk they were ready to be this good……and now he doesnt know what to do.

    ——————-

    That’s what it is. He never thought they would be where they are. Now someone might say shouldn’t he have faith in his team sure but no way could he expect the Nats to have the best record in baseball in the month of August. There out was going to be we didn’t make the PS and there is no point in pushing him.

  64. trisha - true pinstriped blue August 15th, 2012 at 8:48 am

    “I think limiting Strasburg’s innings a good idea…….but do it during the season…..they have a nice cushion…..dont cost yourself a chance at a WS by not having your Ace in the playoffs……..they could skip him starts now…..”

    Good point. Can’t get into Rizzo’s mind but maybe he didn’t want Strasburg in the WS because he figured the kid would overextend, the way he did when he came up? Unless Rizzo just had his own Joba rules and when that magic number appeared, it was over.

    The fun watch is to see what happens to the Nats without Strasburg! They are a confident bunch!

    Okay going to listen to Passan on Mike and Mike.

    :)

  65. 86w183 August 15th, 2012 at 8:50 am

    If Mark Teixeira is content with .260, 30+, 100+ and great defense so am I.

    But I still think he could help himself get back closer to .280 or so by taking a shot at a single to LF when batting from the left side.

  66. Shame Spencer August 15th, 2012 at 8:50 am

    So this Kuroda guy is a pretty good NL pitcher.

  67. blake August 15th, 2012 at 8:55 am

    “Good point. Can’t get into Rizzo’s mind but maybe he didn’t want Strasburg in the WS because he figured the kid would overextend”

    Chances to win it all.dont come around often…….and if the Nats went into the poat season with Stras, Gio, Zimmerman theyd have a very good chance to make it to the WS. You never know if theyll have this chance again……they may not make it back before Strasbueg is a FA……you never know.

  68. Cashmoney August 15th, 2012 at 8:58 am

    Pits has develop some really nice positional player last few years… but that pitching is highly suspect. after getting their butt handed to em last couple nights in L.A., it would be interesting to see if that team has enough pitching to carry them into Oct.

    second note, Cash seem to have good relationship with the bucs. I think G.jones would make a decent dh/rf for the Yanks at a reasonable rate. of course, he can always inquire Snider whom i think it’s a good fit in YS. Upton wet dreams aside that is….

  69. trisha - true pinstriped blue August 15th, 2012 at 9:02 am

    blake – winning the WS this year apparently isn’t as important to Rizzo as building for the future and keeping his player healthy. I applaud it.

  70. trisha - true pinstriped blue August 15th, 2012 at 9:02 am

    If you haven’t read it, you might want to read that article in the Post to which I linked. Even Boswell changed his opinion on the matter!

    :)

  71. trisha - true pinstriped blue August 15th, 2012 at 9:03 am

    That would be Washington Post.

  72. Cashmoney August 15th, 2012 at 9:03 am

    some good points on Strasburg, I am sure a lot ppl feel the way you do. There is not a single dominant team in either league this year. playoff should be exciting.

    btw, morning all.

  73. Shame Spencer August 15th, 2012 at 9:05 am

    trisha – true pinstriped blue August 15th, 2012 at 9:02 am

    blake – winning the WS this year apparently isn’t as important to Rizzo as building for the future and keeping his player healthy. I applaud it.

    —————-

    The issue is there’s no proof that not pitching him will in any way protect him from injury next year.

  74. Villa Nova-Ya August 15th, 2012 at 9:06 am

    randy l -

    For sure, there’s a lot of season left to be played, and the final 4 weeks of the baseball season are tense. I don’t take anything for granted.

    But there’s nothing wrong in appreciating the scenic stops along the way and enjoying the view from the top. It’s too long a season if all you’re saying throughout the ride is “are we there yet?”

    As far as the comments on the blog being down from 2009, I think there’s a lot of different reasons for that. I think some has to do with shelf-life and repetition (overexposure???). How many different ways can you post the same opinion on the same topic?

    But people pointedly avoid the game posts these days, which is where most of the posts used to be. That’s not because of Pete Abe or lack of varied viewpoints. I think it’s because people got tired of the fact that even during a game the Yankees are winning, the game posts tend to be predominantly negative, and they are also where you are most apt to encounter the annoyance of trolls. Why subject oneself to that?

    I think a lot of people who stopped posting still read. But there are definitely a lot of regular posters who brought personality to the blog who are missed. It may be the non-baseball related stuff that is missed most of all – the stuff that gave a break from the monotony that can set in during the course of the baseball season, some levity and some humanity that put a stop to some of the contention. We may disagree on whether UZR is a valid statistic, but we can find common ground in a well-placed discussion about Ann Margret’s attributes and other such nostalgia that breaks the ice. Such discussion is not encouraged here nowadays, though it hasn’t disappeared altogether. Pete Abe actually encouraged that kind of thing (in addition to laying land mines with the constant beating up on ARod).

    And there are still a lot more posts on this Yankees blog than any other, right?

  75. Shame Spencer August 15th, 2012 at 9:06 am

    I’m only just catching up on this Red Sox story, btw… this thing is so funny. If I were Hal and 17 players showed up to complain about the manager, I’d show all 17 the door.

    …That’s probably what Hank would do!

  76. blake August 15th, 2012 at 9:07 am

    “blake – winning the WS this year apparently isn’t as important to Rizzo as building for the future and keeping his player healthy. I applaud it.”

    Again there is no reason you cant so both……its not like there is a guarantee that Strasburg will get hurt if he throws 190 innings instead of 180……its all arbitrary and there is really no factual basis behind any of it…..everyone is different…….they could shut him down for the season right now and he could still blow out his arm in Spring Training next year.

  77. Bronx Jeers August 15th, 2012 at 9:07 am

    Over the course of a season the difference between .260 and .280 is negligible. Maybe 2 hits a month. Tex thinks trying to slap one to LF will take away from his “true swing”. Seems like the Yanks agree.

    And he definitely struggles to find that stroke. But he’s also on point in every other aspect of his game.

  78. blake August 15th, 2012 at 9:09 am

    “I’m only just catching up on this Red Sox story, btw… this thing is so funny. If I were Hal and 17 players showed up to complain about the manager, I’d show all 17 the door.”

    That would never happen in the Yankee clubhouse……people should really stop putting Pedroia in the same sentences as Derek Jeter……no comparison

  79. austinmac August 15th, 2012 at 9:10 am

    Blake,

    I proposed the same as you yesterday regarding Strasburg. They have a big lead, shut him down for a few weeks, then build him up for the playoffs. They have a good lead in the division.

  80. Shame Spencer August 15th, 2012 at 9:10 am

    ” It may be the non-baseball related stuff that is missed most of all – the stuff that gave a break from the monotony that can set in during the course of the baseball season, some levity and some humanity that put a stop to some of the contention. We may disagree on whether UZR is a valid statistic, but we can find common ground in a well-placed discussion about Ann Margret’s attributes and other such nostalgia that breaks the ice.”

    Nicely put, Villa, though I think there were also raging debates over whether or not we should discuss non-baseball topics as well! We just like to argue around here ;)

  81. blake August 15th, 2012 at 9:10 am

    If you forget about Tex’s contract and accept him for what he is then it helps a lot…..no hes not the overall hitter he was 5 years ago…..but hes still really good and does a lot of things to help the team……a true pro……doesnt whine to the media like Agon…..

  82. trisha - true pinstriped blue August 15th, 2012 at 9:11 am

    “The issue is there’s no proof that not pitching him will in any way protect him from injury next year.”

    The issue is that his GM felt it was the prudent thing to do. Based on the amount of experience Strasburg had when he needed his TJ, I think Rizzo being cautious is probably a good thing. Pitchers only have so many bullets in their arms. Strasburg is at the beginning of his career.

    But Shame, it really doesn’t matter. Rizzo made the decision and it’s done. There is no way to tell what would have happened if he continued to pitch him of course. But it’s over and you turn the page. No amount of discussion will ever be able to decide whether it was “right” or “wrong”. Rizzo has said as much.

  83. blake August 15th, 2012 at 9:11 am

    “I proposed the same as you yesterday regarding Strasburg. They have a big lead, shut him down for a few weeks, then build him up for the playoffs. They have a good lead in the division.”

    Honestky I have no.idea why they arent doing this……

  84. Villa Nova-Ya August 15th, 2012 at 9:12 am

    I find it interesting that Bobby Valentine, on ESPN, initially said he didn’t think he’d be a good fit in Boston.

    He should have listened to his instincts, but I understand when the opportunity to return to managing an MLB team presents itself, especially in a renowned city like Boston, how do you turn it down?

  85. Villa Nova-Ya August 15th, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Shame Spencer -

    You are right!!!! LOL

  86. 86w183 August 15th, 2012 at 9:13 am

    Not if he goes up there with a mindset for an occasional low-leverage at bat 2-3 times a week and maybe only 1X in those AB.

    Lotsa of hitter have done it, it’s not rocket surgery

    The Strasburg situation is clearly debatable. I’m convinced to big of a jump from one year to the next is a bad idea. I also agree with Blake that the amount of evidence of that is too limited and guarantees nothing either way.

    They could shut him down today and he could get hurt next spring.

    They could throw him out there every five days for the rest of the year and he could pitch 200 innings in 2013.

    You never know.

  87. blake August 15th, 2012 at 9:14 am

    If they shut Strasburg down for the season and the Nats get bounced early then never make it that far again then Rizzo will have some splainin to do………..his mistake was making all this public…..they should have kept their plan private…….that way they could be adjusted without seeming dishonest or waffling……now hes in a situation he cant win…..

  88. Shame Spencer August 15th, 2012 at 9:14 am

    blake August 15th, 2012 at 9:09 am

    “I’m only just catching up on this Red Sox story, btw… this thing is so funny. If I were Hal and 17 players showed up to complain about the manager, I’d show all 17 the door.”

    That would never happen in the Yankee clubhouse……people should really stop putting Pedroia in the same sentences as Derek Jeter……no comparison

    ——————-

    Yeah, I had a bit more respect for Pedroia as a leader before this season. He’s just another self entitled baby. What I said is basically qualified by the point that it really WOULDN’T ever happen on the Yanks (which I know you already know, blake).

    I do kinda love that RSox ownership told them to gtfo lol. I’m a little surprised. They don’t seem married to Bobby either. A part of me is pretty sure this is ownerships way of punishing the players for last year in a passive-aggressive manner. LOVE it.

  89. trisha - true pinstriped blue August 15th, 2012 at 9:16 am

    blake – I’d be lying to say I really care. I think Rizzo’s decision was a good one. I tend to trust GMs over fans. But whether it was the right decision or the wrong decision, who knows.

  90. Shame Spencer August 15th, 2012 at 9:17 am

    “But Shame, it really doesn’t matter. Rizzo made the decision and it’s done. There is no way to tell what would have happened if he continued to pitch him of course. But it’s over and you turn the page. No amount of discussion will ever be able to decide whether it was “right” or “wrong”. Rizzo has said as much.”

    Totally fair but if your GM is basically saying “well, we’re doing this but we won’t know if it was the right or wrong call” then you’re leaving yourself open to the debate. If Rizzo can’t present real facts for why a guy can’t be either a) shut down now to prep for the playoffs or b) not shut down at all, I think its a worthy discussion point. I personally hope the Nats shut Stras down for the next 10 years ;) so its no skin off my hide.

  91. Cashmoney August 15th, 2012 at 9:18 am

    you don’t turn down a job to be RS mgr, just as you don’t turn it down as a Yankee mgr when you in Bobby’s position and wanting to get back to baseball.

    The Sox definitely have the inmates running the asylum feel. but fundamentally, their woes comes down to pitching, big money tied up in unwise investments. Beckett needs to go… a la Burnett style most likely. but just like NY, shiit gets out of proportion, if they get a decent starter or two. RS will be back in biz.

  92. trisha - true pinstriped blue August 15th, 2012 at 9:18 am

    “You never know.”

    That’s the point. But it never keeps people from assuming they do.

    :D

  93. trisha - true pinstriped blue August 15th, 2012 at 9:19 am

    Same – did you read the article in the WP and the fan reaction? It appears that the people in DC are at peace with the decision, as is Strasburg’s father. I don’t think they care much beyond that, nor should they.

  94. ac1 August 15th, 2012 at 9:21 am

    If they shut Strasburg down for the season and the Nats get bounced early then never make it that far again then Rizzo will have some splainin to do………..his mistake was making all this public…..they should have kept their plan private…….that way they could be adjusted without seeming dishonest or waffling……now hes in a situation he cant win…..

    ___

    If i were Rizzo i would think ahead, knowing the Nats will make the playoffs, and move Strasburg to closer for the remainder of the year.
    This way he is still contributing, and limiting his innings….
    I cannot imagine how they can go into the playoffs and not use him in some capacity.

  95. trisha - true pinstriped blue August 15th, 2012 at 9:22 am

    “If Rizzo can’t present real facts for why a guy can’t be either a) shut down now to prep for the playoffs or b) not shut down at all, I think its a worthy discussion point”

    No question. But no matter how much it’s discussed, there are no answers.

  96. Bronx Jeers August 15th, 2012 at 9:26 am

    ……doesnt whine to the media like Agon…..

    ——————————————

    It’s tough living up to a spray-chart . :wink:

  97. blake August 15th, 2012 at 9:29 am

    “If i were Rizzo i would think ahead, knowing the Nats will make the playoffs, and move Strasburg to closer for the remainder of the year.”

    Good thought but then you habe to stretch him back out at some point……I think I would try to shut him down now for the length of time it would take to hit the innings you want…..maybe skip him 3 or 4 starts…..then build him back up in September to tune up for thr playoffs.

    Rizzo is a good baseball guy….a smart guy…..good GM…….I just think he underestimated how good theyd be this year and said some things he shouldnt have publically…..now he has to try to balance winning vs what hes told the media……

  98. ac1 August 15th, 2012 at 9:29 am

    ……doesnt whine to the media like Agon…..

    ____

    Prediction: San Diego wins a WS before Boston wins their next one.

  99. ac1 August 15th, 2012 at 9:31 am

    “If i were Rizzo i would think ahead, knowing the Nats will make the playoffs, and move Strasburg to closer for the remainder of the year.”

    ___

    Meant for the playoffs too.

  100. blake August 15th, 2012 at 9:32 am

    Wainwright is coming back from TJS and you dont hear anything about limits with him…..sure hes older and everything hut its the same injury and he actually had surgery more recently than Strasburg did……maybe thr Cards have a limit…..but they didnt make it public.

  101. ac1 August 15th, 2012 at 9:35 am

    I know Rizzo is doing the right thing for the parties, but the Nats actually have a chance to win this year. If they think the Phillies won’t rebound in 2013, they are dellusional. Need to take the chance of winning now, and just watch Strasburg carefully the rest of the year. Again, they know more than we do, but as a fan base (Washington doesnt really have good fans anyway, i know i lived there for 10 years), this is their chance to get people invested in that team.

  102. Shame Spencer August 15th, 2012 at 9:39 am

    The more I read about the Sox, btw, the more convinced I am that hiring and keeping Bobby on board is punishment for the players.

    Who’d like to bet that the sources that leaked the info about the meeting were members of the front office?

  103. trisha - true pinstriped blue August 15th, 2012 at 9:41 am

    “…..now he has to try to balance winning vs what hes told the media……”

    I think you’re not giving the guy credit for integrity and a conscience. If he cared what he told the media, Bryce Harper would not be playing for the Nats. I don’t think GMs are afraid to say “I changed my mind!” or not say anything at all.

    Is that Bubba Crosby I see playing center for the Yanks?

    :D

  104. The Genius Maker August 15th, 2012 at 9:43 am

    My take as I have not posted in some time (had a great Europe trip)

    http://www.stevewigdor.blogspot.com/

  105. trisha - true pinstriped blue August 15th, 2012 at 9:43 am

    “Prediction: San Diego wins a WS before Boston wins their next one.”

    Love it!

    :)

    About the poster discussion, I think everyone has hit on really good points. In addition, don’t forget the exodus that happened when we were having stalking problems here. Those people never came back.

  106. trisha - true pinstriped blue August 15th, 2012 at 9:44 am

    “My take as I have not posted in some time (had a great Europe trip)”

    Stop bragging… :(

    ;)

    Welcome back!

  107. Shame Spencer August 15th, 2012 at 9:45 am

    trisha – I dunno, I read the article but I don’t see a ton of fan support in there. I’m not surprised the kid’s dad and Stras himself supports the move… as a paid employee, I also support my bosses decisions. Especially publicly, what should he say?

    I think the idea of shutting him down and building him up again should at least be considered. Or like ac1 said, why not just put him in the pen for the duration? He can get stretched out again in the off season. It’s an interesting debate for sure.

  108. The Genius Maker August 15th, 2012 at 9:46 am

    a point and a question…

    Leo Mazzone was on ESPN this morning talking about how he felt the pitch limit on Strasburg was not necessary and it hurts the team, the players who signed to be there and the fans. His basic premise is to watch the pitcher and see if he has any issues. he also said that he was a fan of throwing often but at 60% so that you keep the arm moving. he basically used an example that if you don;t throw for awhile then turn it on it is harder than throwing consistently. hard to know what is right, but I think he had a great track record with pitchers.

    PatM why couldn’t Giambi be compared to Tex as a hitter? I don’t think people remember how good of a hitter Giambi was.

  109. The Genius Maker August 15th, 2012 at 9:49 am

    Hey Trish; not bragging at all…but I did have a great experience.

  110. 86w183 August 15th, 2012 at 9:51 am

    To be fair the Nats never publicly confirmed WHAT the limit was, just that there was one.

    Saving face cannot be part of the decision going forward. It’s a balancing act between what is believed to be the best for the kid for 2013 and beyond versus what is obviously best for the team this year.

    Glad it’s not my decision.

  111. blake August 15th, 2012 at 9:54 am

    “To be fair the Nats never publicly confirmed WHAT the limit was, just that there was one.”

    The leaks have been from 160……to 180……to “we’ll do the eyeball test”……seems to me like they are scrambling ……

  112. RadioKev August 15th, 2012 at 9:56 am

    The biggest difference between this year’s offense and the 2009 offense is Alex. Jorge/Martin is big too.

    However, the pitching is much better. The bullpen is over all better this year, even without Rivera. Top to bottom it’s very very good. The bench is worlds better.

    The 09 team did have a better line up, but I think this is the better roster.

  113. Against All Odds August 15th, 2012 at 10:00 am

    blake August 15th, 2012 at 9:54 am

    “To be fair the Nats never publicly confirmed WHAT the limit was, just that there was one.”

    The leaks have been from 160……to 180……to “we’ll do the eyeball test”……seems to me like they are scrambling ……

    ——————————

    Soon it will be there never was a limit we just wanted to see if he could pitch past a certain one and he has

  114. Cashmoney August 15th, 2012 at 10:07 am

    Starsburg thing is already played out … there are merits to either sides of the argument. no one can do jack squat about it except Rizzo. Plus, who cares, he is on the National.


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