Saturday, June 17, 2006
Bullpen Fails to Hold Lead
We had a 9-2 lead, we had a sure fire victory, we had a bullpen.
Had is the word of the day and the Yankees behind Shawn Chacon and their bullpen so elequently defined in this world of irony.
Yankees came out with a two run lead scoring once in teh first and in the second just to see the Nationals tie it up with a two shot of their own.
If the Nationals can come back from a two run deficit, let's up the ante to seven.
In the fifth inning, Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada connected for back-to-back homeruns that was soon dwarfed by Johnny Damon's grand slam to give the Yankees a commanding 9-2 lead. Apparently, that was not enough. In the bottom of the inning, Chacon allowed four runs to cross the plate to make it a three run lead. He was taken out after 4 1/3 innings marking the third straight game in which a Yankees starter never made it past the fifth inning.
The bullpen did not fare as well with T.J Beam, a Triple-A call-up from Columbus gave up a solo home run in the eighth inning and was replaced by Mike Meyrs who ended the inning. Scott Proctor gave Alfonso Soriano a free pass to first and was then replaced by Mariano Rivera to end the disaster.
That didn't happen.
Soriano stole second and proceeded to steal third when Posada's wild throw allowed him to score the game-tying run. River collapsed after that allowing three more runs giving the Nationals a three-run lead in which they would hold onto for the win.
Yankees are in serious trouble if the starting pitcher's do not last at least six full innings and the bullpen does not know how to preserve leads and minimize runs. If the Yankees have any chance of making the playoffs, they need to make some quick adjustments and solve the problem. There is no need to chase after Soriano before the trading deadline, but instead to hunt after pitching. Athletics starting pitcher Barry Zito will be on the block this season and many teams will be making offers. Yankees have the money to make the best offer, and if need be, they will splurge.
Also, something must be done about player safety, Carl Pavano has yet to appear once this season and, Octavio Dotel, remember him, we signed him last year; has not made any news what so ever with the progression of his injury. I almost forgot the Yankees acquired him. Hidecki Matsui and Gary Sheffield will be out pretty much till the season ends, Bubba Crosby just came back from an injury and if I am not mistaking, Damon is still playing hurt. Jason Giambi and Derek Jeter have had their shares of injuries that left holes in the line up. I don't know if it's their personal trainer, the players diet, whatever it is, it needs to be corrected. I am impressed by Joe Torre's ways to still win with half a line up and a weak bullpen. But one can only go so far.
Hopefully in the second half, the Yankees will stay injury-free and make a run for the AL East title.
Yankees @ Nationals 1:05 EST
Chein-Ming Wang (7-2, 4.15 ERA) vs. Michael O'Conner (3-4, 3.70 ERA)
Posted by Steve Kenul at 11:59 PM
posted at 10:33 PM
Best regards from NY!
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