“A Rare Train-Wreck Game”

Well, that’s what Yankees beat writer Peter Abraham called it on his blog. Taking nothing away from the excellent performance by Scott Kazmir, tonight’s game at the Trop was a sloppy one by the Yankees, who fell 6-2 to the Rays and looked as if they’d been out partying last night.
Good pitching and defense? Not in evidence. CC struggled through five-plus and only intermittently had command of his pitches. Wasn’t he supposed to be a great second-half guy? He seemed pretty lost out there.
Both Jeter and A-Rod made throwing errors, and I can’t remember the last time that happened. Matsui got picked off of first base, and I can’t remember the last time that happened either. And Swisher? I’m sorry, but he’s just not the player I want in right field everyday. Sure, he comes up with the occasional brilliant catch, but most of the time he’s – how can I put this delicately – cringe worthy.
Would Eric Hinske be that much worse? Would Shelley Duncan? Would this kid?
I’m missing Bobby Abreu right now, wall phobia and all. Are you hearing me, Cashman?
I was delighted that Girardi finally allowed Mark Melancon to appear in public; it was starting to feel as if he’d contracted swine flu like Vincente Padilla and been shuttled off to an undisclosed location.
swine flu.jpg
Speaking of maladies, what awful news about Wang. Shoulder surgery tomorrow? Out for the rest of this season and possibly next? Talk about a blow.
And what about Aceves, the guy we’ve been counting on in the pen and maybe in the rotation too? Now he tells the Yankees he has shoulder pain? How long has that been going on? I understand the whole spiel about athletes playing through injuries, blah blah, but did he think that keeping his “arm fatigue” quiet would make it go away? The strategy didn’t exactly work for Bruney.
OK. I’ll take a deep breath here.
Much better. It’s just that things have been going so well for the Yankees that I was hoping everybody would stay healthy and we wouldn’t have any big surprises and…
Would you listen to me? I’m acting all sky-is-falling, and it’s ridiculous. Baseball is nothing if not full of surprises. And with the trade deadline creeping up, there are bound to be more of them.


  1. mattwest

    TOugh game for you guys, but i’m sure it was just a fluke. The Rays said they absolutely have to win this series, and if they don’t , it’s rumored that they are going to go ahead and start to trade some guys. Could be interesting, please beat them tomorrow. Keep up the good work!

  2. Jane Heller

    It should be an interesting series finale tomorrow, matt. Garza is tough, but Joba has been pitching well lately. I’d certainly like to put more distance between us and the Rays in the division, and tomorrow will be a chance to do just that.

  3. lenn23

    Is that Hillary as the woman cringing? It looks like her circa 1995. Can we play the Orioles and A’s for the rest of the season? These games are going to be tough! We have to face Buerhle this weekend. CC better show up for that game.

  4. diane.anziano@gmail.com

    Didn’t get to watch any of last night’s game – I get the impression I didn’t miss much. At least Boston lost as well so we didn’t lose any ground.

    We went to one of the free concerts in our town last night – got to enjoy a wonderful show starring The 5th Dimension. “Let The Sunshine In”, “Up, Up and Away”, “Last Night I Didn’t Get To Sleep At All” — and to make it even better, we sat next to lovely people – the guy was a diehard Yankees fan and he put out a spread, which he was eager to share with us – including lobster, crab, shrimp, pasta, cheese, etc. What a night!! Going to see the classic old rock group The Grass Roots tonight but we will be rooting for Joba to turn things back around.

  5. JQuist

    – 10 in 12 is still acceptable in my book! We just need to keep our winning at a 11:1 ratio…

    The Red Sox LOST, so the Rays win yesterday didn’t sting nearly as badly. I think Joba can pull it off tomarrow.


  6. luckylori

    You’re a bit “swishy-swashy” when it comes to Swisher. You love his bat but not his glove? Don’t you hate it when they’re a package deal? Abreu is working out nicely for us. I’ve never seen such discipline at the plate and it’s wearing off on all my guys. I can’t wait see what the trade deadline brings too. (Not for my Angels…they’re fine the way they are…yes, I’m in denial.) Let the million dollar chips fall where they may!

  7. scofid

    I liked Pete Abe’s comment following the game: “Cue the ‘Season is Over’ Commenters on the Blog.” It was an ugly game, but hopefully, the ‘good’ Yankees will return today. As much as I would like a right fielder who could platoon with Swish, I just don’t see them pulling off that kind of deal before the trade deadline. All the rumors, if the Yanks even make a deal, seem to point to a center fielder or starting pitcher. I agree that anyone other than Cabrera in center is a liability until Gardner returns, but I would prefer to see them fill that void with Ajax and pursue someone who could fill the void left by Xavier Nady. With all the rumors about Jarrod Washburn over the past few years, I just wish Cash would pull the trigger so that we wouldn’t have to hear about it anymore. It’s not like we are going to get Halladay or Lee, so Washburn is as good as anybody else on the bargain shelf…


  8. jmf414@comcast.net

    Hi Jane,
    Just a bad game, sloppy all around, base running has been terrible this year, even my trusty companion Luke ( English Setter and avid Yankee fan) turned away in the 5th inning, I unfortunately hung in there……Washburn was being kicked around last year as possibly coming over, if only Cashman would listen to us, at least the Red Sox lost last night, imploded in the 9th hee hee…………Jane

  9. cheshirecat9

    Earlier in the season I would have been very upset with this loss. However I am very confident in our team now and can chalk this one up to everyone has a bad night. Althoguh if we lose tonight my post tomorrow morning will be very different in tone…
    That picture of a train wreck is pretty horrific!

  10. mlbmom

    Jane –
    I went to bed in a bad mood after a messy Yankee loss. Part of my bad mood was that it looked like the Sox had the A’s beaten down, up by five or so last I checked. No ESPN this morning, as I went to bed thinking we lost and they won, diminishing our lead in The East….Had it not been for the comment section on your blog, I would have been pouting all day….
    Now I know the Red Sox lost…that always makes for a better day…

  11. Jane Heller

    Yup, that’s Hilary when she was First Lady, Len. I was looking for a pic of a woman cringing, and there she was. We have to face Buehrle this weekend? Jeez. Well, it’s one day at a time and we have to get through Garza first. Then I’ll worry about Buehrle!

    So sorry the Dodgers have lost three in a row, Cat. They were on such a roll that it had to happen sooner or later. But think of it this way: better now than in September!

    Sounds like you’re going to some great summer concerts, Diane. But my favorite part is the Yankee fan who shared all that fab food. Lucky you.

    I hope you’re right about Joba, JQuist. His last two starts have been terrific, so maybe he’ll have good outings the rest of the way.

    I’m very Swishy-Swashy about Swisher, Lori. I think he’s a fun guy who keeps the clubhouse loose, has a great attitude, hits the ball better than I expected. But he’s an adventure in right field and I’d feel more comfortable with a better defender.

    That was a funny comment Pete Abe made, Scott. It was a bad game, that’s all. But if Cashman pulls off a deal for a center fielder, we can move Melky to right to give Swisher some days off or he can sub for Damon in left – all of which would make the outfield stronger. I’m fine with Ajax if they think he’s ready. If only Nady hadn’t gotten hurt. Sigh. I don’t love Washburn – I sort of think he’ll get shelled in the AL East – but we do need an arm. Speaking of which, nobody’s mentioned Wang in these comments! Hello? We’re losing our former ace!

    If you’re trusty companion Luke turned away, it must have been a bad game, Jane. LOL. We did catch a break when the Red Sox lost. Maintaining our lead made the game a little more tolerable.

    I know what you mean, cheshirecat. It does feel like “just a bad game” and nothing more. My sadness is really about Wang. Glad you mentioned him in your second comment! Poor guy. What a miserable turn of events for him and the Yanks.

    Yes, we’re still hanging on to our lead, Wendy. Glad the comments here provided a service for you!

  12. southernbelle

    Jane: It was a horrendous game for the Yanks in all areas last night. In my article about the game last night, I also made fun of Arod and Kate Hudson! Last night’s game made me feel cheated. I invested 3 hours of my life that I will never get back for a game like that!? CHEATED! Do you ever feel that way? -from Virginia

  13. Jane Heller

    Jeff, are you doing a Rickey Henderson imitation with all the “ain’ts?” I agree the Yanks won’t get Halladay, but losing Wang ain’t all that bad? He wasn’t very good this year because he was injured. In-jured.

    I never feel cheated, southernbelle, even after a bad game. I know that once the baseball season is over, I’ll be be missing the Yankees so much during the off-season. So I’d rather watch a bad game than no game at all. Glad the blog cheered you up!

  14. dschaub@gpo.gov

    Wow…lotsa comments already…is it me, or does it seem that you get more postings when the Yanks lose? There are a lotta non-NY-fans who post stuff, fer sure, and it’s all good, but…? Anyway, didn’t see last night’s debacle, and glad I didn’t — like many fans, went to bed grumbling about having a game shaved off the lead — then in the AM, didn’t even get to see “hi-lites” — just a quick shot of Papelbum looking like his dog just died, and that made my morning!! Back in ancient times, I was told that a baseball team’s right fielder should have the strongest OF arm, to make that all-important throw to 3B & keep the runners honest or OUT — good example, the O’s Nick Markakis — is that really the case with Swish? If not, then what ARE they doing…??

  15. Jane Heller

    Devilabrit, I think you uncovered a conspiracy! The Rays grounds crew sprayed something on the left side of the turf, only the Rays infielders had special cleats that were immune to it. I must get MLB involved!

  16. Jane Heller

    I probably do get more comments when the Yankees lose, Dave. Some come to commiserate. Others come to gloat. Ah, Markakis. He’s the right fielder of my fantasies. What an arm. And he can hit too. The O’s are lucky to have him. The outfield situation isn’t great, but it’s been getting the job done so far. I just know that weaknesses become more glaring as the post-season approaches, so I hope reinforcements are on the way. Thanks again for the heads-up about amazon. My publisher said it’s been happening with several authors lately and it can take two weeks to fix! Sheesh.

  17. indianslove

    Person that says Cliff Lee would look good in pinstripes- NO. No way can you take him from us. Sorry, but I wouldn’t feel comfortable with him in pinstripes, haha. Yeah, I know. I cant wait till Friday. I just want everything to be over.
    Good luck to the Yankees. I’m sure they will win again very soon. http://tribechick.mlblogs.com/ -TC

  18. diamondgirl55

    Awesome entry as usual :] I love reading them. I also wanted to say thanks for the congrats, so nice of you :] And another thing; I think you might be the lucky charm because the night you wrote about Ichiro being amazing, he had his first ever (can you believe that?) walk-off hit and won the game against the Blue Jays to end a 4 game losing streak! Washburn did really well too…..and I believe the Yankees are quite interested :] xoxo http://diamondgirl55.mlblogs.com

  19. Jane Heller

    Tribechick, Lee is a cute guy and a great pitcher. He’d look good in any uniform! But I know how all this trade talk must be annoying and upsetting to Indians fans. It’ll all be over soon. Hang in there.

    I’d love to take credit for being your lucky charm, diamondgirl, but I think Ichiro did it all on his own. LOL. Actually, I’m surprised it was his first ever walk-off hit. Seems like he’s done it all in his career. Congrats on the win over the Jays. I do wonder if the Yankees will trade for Washburn. They were interested in him last year, so it could happen, I guess. We’ll know soon enough.

  20. bburrows@lhup.edu

    I watched the game last night. Nick Swisher seemed confused on a few plays that really hurt Sabathia. Tampa Bay capitalized though. Swisher is a love and hate kind of player. He will make a great play then turn around and run right by a ball.

  21. Yankees Reality Check

    I didn’t watch the game last night, which was probably better for me. But I know I can always come here to get the scoop. The Papelbon implosion was a nice surprise, as was Melancon pitching well. What happened with Swish? Was it a catch or a throw? I still question Hinske out there because he seems slow. And, I think sometimes we forget how much of an adventure Bobby Abreu was out there. I do hope reinforcements are on the way. I’m wary of pitcher free agents and giving up too much to get them. But Cliff Lee does look pretty nice to me.
    PS: I am very sad about Wang. It seems like it was all so unnecessary and unfair. DH, National League, DH!

  22. melissam13@msn.com

    Guess I am Swishy-Swashy too! It seems like it is two steps forward one step back for him all the time. I really like Swisher for he has brought to the Yankees, but I kind of cover my eyes when a ball gets hit into right field! It was just one game. They will bounce back tonight!

  23. crazy19canuck

    Maybe Swisher was feeling the effects of the glares I kept giving him during the game? Hmmm…Thanks for the win…couldn’t have happened to a better Rays pitcher. πŸ™‚ Joba and Matt today. How confident are you feeling about Joba’s pitching these days?

  24. Jane Heller

    Exactly, moneyball. He’s one of those players who either makes a dazzling play or looks silly out there. All I’m looking for is consistency! And you’re right: Tampa Bay did capitalize, as any good team should.

    I kind of hide my eyes too, Melissa. πŸ™‚ But then I do the same thing with Damon these days. Oh, well. We’ll try again tonight. Maybe Joba will get a bunch of strikeouts and there won’t be any need for the outfielders to run down fly balls!

  25. Jane Heller

    Sorry for the scattered replies to comments. I don’t know why they come into my inbox out of order, but oh well….

    YRC, Swisher had trouble catching up to a couple of balls that got by him. No errors, just misplays. I do remember Abreu’s adventures and Sheffield’s before that. But if we’re really going all the way, I think we need a more solid outfield on an everyday basis. Swisher was supposed to platoon with Nady, so even he must be surprised he’s out there so regularly now.

    Maybe it was your glares that caused Swisher’s misplays, Ginny! I know you must have loved last night’s game. Kazmir was really good, throwing strikes and going deep into the game. Hat tip to him. I’m not extremely confident in Joba for tonight, but then I’m never extremely confident. I assume disaster, hoping I’ll be pleasantly surprised. πŸ™‚ But he has been pitching well lately, so he could be very tough on your guys.

  26. Jane Heller

    Yikes, tribechick. Just heard the news. You must be feeling it, given that Garko was dealt the other day. I guess it was inevitable, because Lee told the media he was planning to test free agency next year.

  27. devilabrit

    And so the Yankees can cross Lee of the wish list, it’s red pinstripes, or rather Phillies pinstripes…you can always trade the whole of the Yankee farm system and get Halladay….:-)
    Outside the Phillies Looking In

  28. Jane Heller

    Yup, he’s crossed off the list, devilabrit. Congrats to the Phillies for landing him. You got your second choice, but he’s a good choice.

  29. southernbelle

    Jane: You are right. I shouldn’t feel that way. In the offseason, I long and yearn for the Yankees to return, and I am completely bored. I love this team so much. I just get so angry when they play poorly. But you are right. I hope the Yankees go all the way this year so there will be less boring offseason. I can’t watch any other team’s games. It just doesn’t give me that feeling that the Yankees do. I know what you mean when you say that you’re in love with the 25 men in pinstripes! I feel that way, too. I wish I could hang with them. My dream is to be the next Kim Jones. Maybe then I can see Cervelli, the one I actually do love, in person. (sigh). -from Virginia

  30. Jane Heller

    Whenever I get upset after a loss, I always remind myself of that long, cold off-season, southernbelle. Then I appreciate every game all the more. And don’t worry – Cervelli will probably be back in September!

  31. indianslove

    Haha, well thanks. & Now I’m hearing trade rumors about V-Mart. It’s ridiculous. I think if they trade him..well, I really dont know what to think about that, you know? I hope all the Yankees players stay intact, so at least you dont have to go through what I have been going through. http://tribechick.mlblogs.com/

  32. Jane Heller

    The Yankees were definitely outplayed, Erin. And yes, it sucked.

    They just said on ESPN that it’s unlikely Martinez will be traded, tribechick. So if you can believe them, you’re safe!

  33. adirondackgal46

    Hi first timer here! Just want to concentrate on the positive,
    the Yanks are 17-7 in the month of July to date and 10-2 (if tonights results hold out) since the All Star break! Yes we played sloppy last night, but Papsmear blew a 3 run lead, thats a positive!

  34. Jane Heller

    Hey, Susan. Glad you joined the party! Tonight’s game was a 180-degree turnaround from last night. I’m about to post my recap in a few minutes.

    Two out of three is fantastic, Lisa. I didn’t know what to expect from the finale, but Joba exceeded my expectations.

  35. raysrenegade

    I do not think that was a train wreck, but I see your reasoning for it.
    It was actually the Rays letting Kazmir throw what he needed to throw and leaving him alone for a change. He actually go the option to shake off pitch selections for a change.
    He actually pitched better and longer than any other start on over a year.
    But it was also one of those games where you saw the rare E-5 and E-6 in the same game. Bolster that with Nick Swisher laughing at Johnny Damon’s arm, then he can’t get to a few balls hit on the RF line.
    Just a write-off loss that brought you even in the series at the time.
    No biggie, games like this happen in a course of 162.

    Rays Renegade


  36. Jane Heller

    No, it wasn’t a train wreck, Renegade, but the Yankees defense has been so good that it was downright weird to see those errors and misplays last night. Kazmir was great, no doubt about it. He had the hitters completely off balance. And, of course, I feel better about it because of the outcome a little while ago. Since we face you a zillion more times this year, I’m not breathing any sighs of relief just yet.

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