Sports Outside the Beltway

Starter dooms Yankees again

Even with the offense the Yanks have, they still ultimately must rely on pitching to win. Five games, 21.2 innings, 9.97 era. That’s the starters’ line this season. They are actually lucky to be just 2-3. The bullpen, meanwhile, has been superb: 23.1 innings, 1.21 era. Not only have the relievers prevented far fewer runs, but they’ve actually pitched more innings. That’s a major problem; at this point, I’ll blame the weather (but why haven’t Tampa and Baltimore fared as poorly?).

I know I said this last year, but I’m sick of Cano nonchalanting on defense. It ended up not really costing the Yanks today, but it forced Everyday Scottie to throw another 15-20 pitches. I’m actually more relieved they lost by two than by one. If Cano’s error (which led to an unearned run) was the difference in the game, I’d be fuming. But since they never got within one, it ultimately didn’t matter.

Phelps had a terrible at-bat against John Parrish. Bottom of the 8th, bases loaded, down by two, two outs – he swung and missed at two pitches out of the zone, and ended up flying out to center. I understand being aggressive, but c’mon, the pitcher threw one strike the whole at-bat. Before him, Arod and Giambi had great at-bats, both going 3-2 before working walks to load the bases.

But most importantly, this team is banged up: Matsui and Damon (two starting outfielders) didn’t start, and Wang (our best pitcher) and Karstens are on the DL. Man, how we need Wang and his seven ‘easy’ innings soon. Word is he’ll be back in the rotation the next time a 5th starter is needed.

6-4 Baltimore

2*: Arod, 1-3, bb, HR, 2 rbi
1: Bullpen, 4.2 ip, 0 h, 5 bb, 3 k, 0 r

Tomorrow night, Pavano goes against Sidney Ponson in Minnesota. I’ll go out on a limb and chalk up a W.

6:25 update: Matsui is officially on the 15-day DL. Kevin Thompson was called up from Triple-A Scranton.

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