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Thursday, September 24, 2009

ESPN: John Kruk: Plenty of question marks for potential playoff teams

Who is going to pitch for the Yankees? How does their rotation set up? Overall, A.J Burnett has been awful, excluding some of his recent starts, and besides CC Sabathia, which arms can the Yankees call on? Can you deem Andy Pettitte healthy after having to miss a start or two because of his shoulder? What they’ve done in monitoring Joba Chamberlain’s workload has been unbelievable, but he’s not even in the equation to start.

The St. Louis Cardinals and the Philadelphia Phillies are having bullpen issues. Brett Myers had to come back to Philadelphia to get a strained lat muscle checked out after coming back from hip surgery. This leaves his late-game performance and availability unclear. Is it safe to count on him in the postseason? I spoke to Myers, and he told me he’s going to be more than ready to go. So, hopefully, everything goes as planned.

The Phillies’ Brad Lidge has been playing scary. It seems as if every outing there’s the potential to tie or lose the game with him. It’s never smooth.

The Dodgers’ starting pitching and the Rockies’ relief corps have questions, too. Colorado’s Franklin Morales did a great job by stepping in after closer Huston Street went down. In Tuesday night’s game, Street was pitching in the seventh inning and Morales had a scary ninth inning as he tried to notch a save against the Padres. He gave up two hits and a run, making it an 11-10 game, but secured his seventh save in eight chances.

Boston is really the only team heading into the postseason that you can look at and say, “This team is ready for the playoffs.” Aside from the middle relief, which hasn’t been too good, Jon Lester is pitching well and Daisuke Matsuzaka has looked good. The Sox look to me to be the one, of all the teams likely headed to the postseason, that is the most dolled up and ready to play in the playoffs.

Tripon Posted: September 24, 2009 at 06:32 AM | 19 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: teams

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   1. NJ in DC (Now unemployed!) Posted: September 24, 2009 at 12:26 PM (#3330827)
A.J Burnett has been awful, excluding some of his recent starts...Can you deem Andy Pettitte healthy after having to miss a start or two because of his shoulder...and Daisuke Matsuzaka has looked good.

Interesting...
   2. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: September 24, 2009 at 12:44 PM (#3330841)
Plenty of question marks for potential playoff teams
This is always true.

There are maybe like ten teams - ever - that didn't have question marks going into the postseason.
   3. RB in NYC (Now Semi-Retired from BBTF) Posted: September 24, 2009 at 01:33 PM (#3330877)
Boy, I hope the Yankees use these remaining time to get all dolled up for the playoffs.
   4. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: September 24, 2009 at 01:41 PM (#3330890)
but he’s not even in the equation to start.
Joe Girardi said that if they need a fourth starter, it will be Joba.

I'm pretty certain that they'll take the long series in the first round to avoid having to use Joba.
   5. snapper (history's 42nd greatest monster) Posted: September 24, 2009 at 01:42 PM (#3330896)
I'm pretty certain that they'll take the long series in the first round to avoid having to use Joba.

Who knows. He could pitch 5 shuout innings against Boston on Friday, and the whole calculus changes. Pitchers are fickle creatures.
   6. Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams) Posted: September 24, 2009 at 01:54 PM (#3330914)
I never understood why sports talk constantly gravitate towards using the expression "question marks." Is there an equivalent? Were the '98 Yankees full of "exclaimation points?"

Concerns, weaknesses, leaky faucets, holes, deficiencies.

The 'question marks' as they are being used, aren't really questions, as there are typically answers to the questions, just not good ones for the team being discussed.
   7. Tom Nawrocki Posted: September 24, 2009 at 02:05 PM (#3330934)
It doesn't sound like Kruk is aware of this, but Huston Street pitched in the seventh inning the other night as sort of a tuneup in his first game back after missing three weeks with biceps tendinitis. He did fine in that brief outing, so he is now officially back in the closer role.
   8. Clemenza Posted: September 24, 2009 at 02:08 PM (#3330941)
I never understood why sports talk constantly gravitate towards using the expression "question marks."

Same reason it gravitates towards anything; it's easy.
   9. RJ in TO Posted: September 24, 2009 at 02:10 PM (#3330943)
Overall, A.J Burnett has been awful, excluding some of his recent starts


He's having an almost identical season to last year, which was good enough to get him that 5/$85 contract. How awful can he have been?

Looking at the game logs, he's had 11 starts in August and September. Of those, he's had 4 stinkers, 4 excellent starts, and three decent starts (two of which were QS of the 3ER/6IP variety, and one of which just missed that standard by 1 out). He could have easily gone 7-4 in that stretch, rather than 2-5, in which case Kruk would probably have been pumping him up.
   10. Jose Can Still Seabiscuit Posted: September 24, 2009 at 02:11 PM (#3330945)
Kruk is OK with Matsuzaka but worried about the Red Sox middle relief? I'm not saying Delcarmen and Ramirez and even Okajima haven't had some moments lately but I would say the Sox are probably in better shape in the 4th/5th/6th reliever slots than the other 7 likely playoff teams.

Matsuzaka on the other hand makes two starts in four months and he's ready to roll? Okie dokie.
   11. SoSH U at work Posted: September 24, 2009 at 02:12 PM (#3330947)
Is there an equivalent? Were the '98 Yankees full of "exclaimation points?"


Actually no. They just had simple, uncontested periods everywhere.
   12. RJ in TO Posted: September 24, 2009 at 02:19 PM (#3330961)
They just had simple, uncontested periods everywhere.


O'Neill having his period would explain a lot of his behaviors.
   13. The Good Face Posted: September 24, 2009 at 02:54 PM (#3331003)
He's having an almost identical season to last year, which was good enough to get him that 5/$85 contract. How awful can he have been?

Looking at the game logs, he's had 11 starts in August and September. Of those, he's had 4 stinkers, 4 excellent starts, and three decent starts (two of which were QS of the 3ER/6IP variety, and one of which just missed that standard by 1 out). He could have easily gone 7-4 in that stretch, rather than 2-5, in which case Kruk would probably have been pumping him up.


Yeah. The media just doesn't seem to "get" Burnett. Based on his career to date, he's doing pretty much what you'd expect him to do. A little better actually, when you consider he's been healthy all season. I don't know why people would expect different just because he got a big contract.
   14. Nasty Nate Posted: September 24, 2009 at 02:59 PM (#3331010)
The Sox look to me to be the one, of all the teams likely headed to the postseason, that is the most dolled up and ready to play in the playoffs.


I know it feels like the playoffs should be starting soon, but we are a full 2 weeks away, thanks to FOX/Bud. The playoffs run roughly from Mid-October to Thanksgiving, or will in a few years anyway. So it is kind of early to speculate on which team is HOT going into the tourney. Too bad for the Sox, as they are healthy and ready to go with the exception of shaking the rust off of Dizzy Matsuzaka and finding some way to replace Delcarmen on the playoff roster.


Hey! those jagoffs at Fox want more days off during the series, we'll do it because we negotiated away the right to schedule our league's own games! Whee, November games in Boston or NY or Detroit or Philly! Whee!
   15. RollingWave Posted: September 25, 2009 at 02:12 AM (#3331793)
Kruk's logic is basically:

Yankees: question marks = doomed

Non Yankee / Red Sox team : question marks = question marks

Red Sox : question marks = strength.
   16. Jeff K. Posted: September 25, 2009 at 04:17 AM (#3331912)
O'Neill having his period would explain a lot of his behaviors.

To be fair, that second homer being ruled a triple/error instead of inside the park would piss anyone off, especially when you factor in the kid in the hospital.
   17. The Yankee Clapper Posted: September 30, 2009 at 12:37 PM (#3336326)
Boston is really the only team heading into the postseason that you can look at and say, “This team is ready for the playoffs.”


Things can change a lot in less than a week. However, there's another week until the playoffs actually start.
   18. Best Regards, President of Comfort, Esq. Posted: September 30, 2009 at 12:43 PM (#3336332)
The 2000 Yankees weren't ready for the playoffs until the 8th inning of Game Two in the ALCS, and they turned out okay.
   19. Weekly Journalist_ Posted: September 30, 2009 at 12:50 PM (#3336340)
So AJ Burnett has been lights out, Clay Buccholz gave up 9 home runs last night, Jon Lester pitched like crap twice and then got hit with a line drive, Beckett missed a start with a bad back and has a 4 and half era since the all star break...can you say #1 starter Daisuke Matsuzaka?

All kidding aside, is there anything dumber than making claims based on like one or two weeks worth of baseball?

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