Saturday, August 1, 2009

Battle Of The Bullpens Ends In KO

Going into last night, we knew it wasn't going to be a pitcher's duel. A game with last second spot starter facing a guy making his third Major League start just one year off of Tommy John Surgery (who wasn't all that great to begin with) had "slugfest" written all over it. D.J. Carrasco and Sergio Mitre didn't waste any time delaying the inevitable.

The Yanks went up 3-0 in the first but Mitre had coughed up the lead before he recorded his fifth out of the game. He allowed another run in the third and was summarily yanked, having thrown 75 pitches in three innings and giving up 5 runs on 7 hits. Carrasco was only a little bit better, blowing a lead of his own in the fourth and finishing with a line of 4.0IP, 9H, 5R.

With the starters out of the picture, it became a battle of the bullpens, one which the ChiSox won by 7th inning KO. David Robertson pitched fairly well, going two innings and giving up one run, and then handed the ball to Alfredo Aceves to start the sixth.

Alf worked a scoreless frame but gave up a walk and a single to start the 7th. Johnny Damon temporarily stemmed the tide by making a spectacular catch on a liner by Carlos Quentin, which carried him into the wall, head/shoulder first. On TV, it looked like Damon had lost the ball, but in fact it was the interlocking NY logo his hat which had been forcefully ejected from his head.

Undeterred, Damon leaped to his feet and made a strong throw back to the infield, holding the runners. Quentin couldn't believe it, but he still had an excellent night, with a double, a deep homer off of Mitre, 2RBIs and a walk.

Aceves got Mark Kotsay to fly out for the second out of the inning, but the thread by which he has hanging snapped shortly thereafter. He gave up a walk and two singles all in a row, four runs came to the plate and he was lifted from the game before he got another out.

It's hard to tell what to make of Alf at the moment. On one hand, you have the news of his sore shoulder, an increasing FB%, and his back to back awful performances. On the other, he was just one out away from getting out of both of the outings without giving up a run.

The Yanks, meanwhile, were held scoreless by the Sox pen over the final five innings. The fact that they were 2 for 10 with runners in scoring position probably didn't help.

It's was a poor time to lose a game in this fashion. Now everyone can say the Yankees should have picked up a starter at the deadline. But Mitre's poor showing doesn't mean the Yanks should have made a deal any more than a solid performance would have meant they were right to stand pat. It's one game. More on his later.

On the bright side, it's Saturday!

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