Barry Bonds Provides Cost-Effective Answer to Ailing Offense
And Tells the Rotation That NY is All-In to Win
Washington DC - July 30, 2007
The NY Yankees loss last night was a microcosm of their season, in it that Darrell Rasner shut the O's offense down to 2 runs for a full 6 innings, and still lost.
In the bottom of the ninth inning with bases loaded Jason Giambi hit a single, bringing the Yanks to within one run. The rest of the batting order produced nothing more and suufered 3 strik-outs ending the game with a loss. A-Rod, Cano and Betemit all whiffed.
This is a week in the AL East where New York can make reak progress again in the standings, as the Rays face the Jays in Toronto and Tampa has a losing record on the road.
There is also Boston facing the Angels, who have beaten Boston the last 6 times in a row. With the Angles picking up Teixeira one might assume that Boston will lose again tonight, especially with the lefty All-Star, Joe Saunders, on the hump.
This week is a perfect opportunity for the Yanks to make a move up, maybe passing Boston who just lost 2 of 3 to NY, and pulling within 1 of Tampa. Instead the Bronx Bomers bombed again and have lost 3 in a row, as has Boston, while Tampa has gone 1W and 1L against the Jays; but they just lost 2 of 3 in Kansas City.
Last night was a snap shot of The Yanks have lost games where the blame was not all on the bull pen, nor on the rotation and not the defense's fault either, but instead it has been an offensive slump that has been with the team in NY since the beginning of the season. Whether it was result of injury or not does not matter to the scoreboard..
In May NY lost 2 in Cleveland, combining for 3 runs total in both games. Afterwards they went to Detroit and lost the first game by one run. They went 1W and 3L in Tampa Bay, while scoring a total of 6 runs in 4 games. The Yanks went 1W and 1L to the Mets, scoring only 2 runs in game one; and followed it with a loss to Baltimore where they scored only 2 runs. The next week facing Baltimore again, they lost game 1 while scoring a mere one run, and lost the second game by one run.
In June, they started off in Minnesota losing the first game while scoring one run, and then losing the second game by one run. They traveled to Toronto and lost game one, while scoring 3 runs. Afterwards NY went to Kansas City and split the series, but in the losing games they combined for a total of 3 runs. While playing CINN they lost two games as result of only scoring a total of 2 runs. They ended June losing a game to Texas, where they put up one run alone.
IN July, while still at Texas, they lost the first game of the month scoring 2 runs and followed it with a series against Boston, where they began the series getting blanked. They snuckone in by scoring 2 runs and getting the win. Before going to Toronto, where they lost five to zero, they lost to PITT four to two - that is a total of two runs in as many games – again! They finished the first half in Toronto scoring one run, again. IN the second half NY squeaked by with 2 wins, while scoring a total of 3 runs - thanks to Andy holding the A's to one run, and Joba blanking Boston. They ended the series against the Red Sox scoring only 2 runs.
NY has lost the last three games in a row and is on a roller coaster ride after winning 8 straight.
Ron Guidry once said, "I know if I allow only 2 runs that the team will win that game, and I've done my job." In the 1990s it seemed as though the Yankees won all games where they held the opponent to 4 runs.
What about this season and NY Yankee Starters?
Andy Pettitte has thrown 3 or less earned runs 15 times. Of those 15 games he has 2 losses while giving up 3 runs, and 2 no decisions where he gave up two runs, which totals 4 games that should have definitely been won, and by NY standards many more should have been won too.
Mike Mussina has 17 games where he has given up 3 or less runs. In those games he has 3 losses; 1 loss happened while he blanked the opponent, 1 loss he gave up two runs and 1 while he gave up one run. He has 1 no-decision when he blanked the other team which totals 4 games that should have definetly been won and by NY standards many more should have been won too.
Darrell Rasner was brought up in May and has thrown 9 games where he was responsible for 3 runs or less. Of those games he has 2 losses while giving up only two runs in each game, and 1 loss with a single earned run, and 1 no-decision with 2 earned runs, totaling 4 games that should have definetly been won, and by NY standards many more should have been won too.
Joba Chamberlain came in from relief to the rotation starting in June and has 10 games where he has given up 3 or less runs. He has 1 loss giving up 3 runs, but has with 6 (six!) no-decisions, 4 of which occurred when he allowed only one run, 1 while giving up 2 runs and the other happened when he blanked the other team. This totals to 7 games that should have defintely been won, and by NY standards many more should have been won too.
Chien-Ming Wang's last game was June 15th before going on the DL and until that point he had 10 games where he gave up 3 runs or less. Of those games he recorded 1 loss while giving up only 3 runs, and one no decision while giving up 1 run; equating to 1 more game that should have been definetly won, and by NY Standards 2 more should have been won too.
These totals show that 21 games should have definetly been won, and a lot more should have been won given NY standards of a strong offense and bull pen.
Starters have put together 61 starts while allowing 3 runs or less proving that what has ailed the Yankees is not their Rotation.
The bull pen is far worse than is the rotation, and the bull pen just got Damaso Marte to help out - big time. Or should I say, the starters got Marte?
There is a trend of starters throwing gems and either losing the game because of the bull pen, or because of the offense not hitting or scoring with small ball play.
Since there will be no foreseeable moves made in the bull pen, especially as Hughes and Bruney come to play in August with some going into relief, then one would think NY would want a bench that they could turn to in a pinch in order to get some of these losses back.
Sure, NY should be interested in Jarrod Washburn, but he could replace Andy who is in his last year before needing another contract. Washburn is the same type pitcher as Andy, but with a lot less experience in the "big game."
As demonstrated above, the Yankee Rotation is lights out this year too, but aren't getting any reliable help by the bullpen (save Edwar) or the bench at all.
With the injured pithcers coming back in August and CC Sabathia available in the off season one would think that the priority is the offense - or lack there of.
The Thin, Run-Sick Bench.
With Matsui and Posada still out the bench needs help, desperately.
Right now NY has Richie Sexson to turn to in a pinch, which is great as long as the pitcher is right handed, but what if the pitcher is a lefy? They also have Betemit and Moeller who have no reliability.
The Yankees need one bat, a lefty power bat to compliment Sexson, that could either DH or come in off the bench in a pinch a la Raines, Justice, Fielder, Strawberry and most recently Ruben Sierra-who is still a Free Agent too. Will Paul O'Neil ever jump into help out his ex-team mates and become a hitting coach? Someone has got to teach these children how to hit the ball. Who can hit other than Damon, Jeter, Abreu, A-Rod and the G-Man (Gimabi)?
Bonds wants the league minimum which is required, but if pro-rated (which Borish has said) then he would only make 150K, but acquiring him would tell the rotation and the team that their ownership sees the problem and is willing to spend a whole 150K to correct it.
Matsui is making progress but the Yanks can not hang their hat on a guy who needs surgery. If he makes it back then he would fill out the bench indeed, because he was hitting 338-but with the tribualtion that comes to hitters with knee problems NY can not rely on him alone in the last months of the season.
Of course there is no deadline to sign Free Agents leaving the Yanks some time to think about it. If they continue to lose more close games, like those above , then the odds of Bonds becoming a Yankee increase, or another lefty bat that can be reliable does anyhow. Of course none are as cost effective as Bonds.
If the Yankees need more help and opt to pass on Washburn, then there is one guy who is still listed as a free agent; and his first two innings split to less than a 1 ERA - that would be Roger Clemens in the bull pen.
If a starter, then Roger was a 4.18 ERA last year, and the last time he threw a 4.18 he came back the next year to throw a 3.6 ERA; which of course is very close to the same number which won him a Cy Young in NY in 2001.
Bonds and Clemens are not banned by the league and are very legal for any team to sign that actually wants to win - but maybe some teams just "aren't in-it to win-it."
I know now the Yankees are all-in, so a move or two more would help them secure a World Series appearance in the last year of "The House That Ruth Built," giving fans a proper chance to say good-bye to each of these, The Legends of the Game.