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   1. Hugh Jorgan Posted: May 23, 2007 at 03:29 AM (#2375518)
Paps and Oki didn't pitch yesterday and other then Donnelly and Snyder, the guys you listed did pitch. I think the Sox have a game off after tomorrow's game anyway so it looks as though Tito wanted to give them some work. Besides if Schill is average again, he'll need Synders multiple innings capabilities. Nice to Paps burn Jeter with 3 in a row. Mr. clutch, my ass.
   2. PJ Martinez Posted: May 23, 2007 at 03:47 AM (#2375526)
Possibly the weirdest bullpen management of the season by Francona, for all the reasons Darren mentions (leaving in Tavarez, going to Okajima and Papelbon so quickly with a sizable lead)-- and I agree on Francona's likely reasoning, too ("let's just be sure we win this one")-- though who knows, really.

Is that A-Rod elbow footage on the interweb somewhere? I missed it.
   3. Tom Cervo, backup catcher Posted: May 23, 2007 at 03:59 AM (#2375533)
Not only was his command off, but that's the "slowest" his fastball has been against the Yankees. I don't think MY9 and YES use different guns either.

I'd be shocked if Alex isn't hit. I like being aggressive there, even though it was obviously too much, I just hope he expects to get hit and realizes he deserves it.
   4. SacBunt Posted: May 23, 2007 at 04:06 AM (#2375538)
PJ - improbably enough, the A-Rod elbow made the video highlights on mlb.com. As Kay puts it, "A-Rod going hard into Dustin Pedroia...(beat)...went in there with the left elbow."
   5. SacBunt Posted: May 23, 2007 at 04:08 AM (#2375539)
Watching that play makes me long for Albert Belle. Who did he flatten on the way to second base? At least he didn't try to hide that he was a jerk.
   6. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 23, 2007 at 04:11 AM (#2375541)
There was an interesting article in one of the New York papers - maybe by Marchman? - about the contrast between Beltran's and ARod's swings, how Beltran's seemed natural, while ARod's seemed to be the result of an incredible effort of training. They're both effective, but they have completely different narratives. Now, Marchman smartly challenged the easy dichotomy there. But that's what I thought of nonetheless as ARod was sliding into second - guys give a little extra shove to the second baseman in so many ways, so often throughout the season, but ARod had to choose an incredibly awkward swing of the elbow that will surely and rightly draw retaliation tomorrow. Like with the slap, like with the synthetic swing, ARod just seems to have a poor body-sense of proper baseball play, and particularly a poor body sense for being, like, the greatest player in the game. It's an odd thing.

I was hoping for Donnelly/Delcarmen in the 8th. Once Tito had gotten Li'l Papi warmed up during hte 8th as Okajima was struggling, it seemed right to use him in the ninth with a four-run lead. I figure Tito's decisions were one part win now, and one part the (incorrect) assumption that surely one of Okajima or Papelbon would get through an inning in under 25 pitches.
   7. SteveF Posted: May 23, 2007 at 04:44 AM (#2375551)
I think he was managing to insure his club won at least one of the three games. Make sure you win at least one, and then roll the dice on other bullpen guys getting the job done in the rubber game. Basically, I think Darren is spot on in his assessment.

Leaving Tavarez out there was more a calculated risk. Get an extra inning out of Tavarez, and that's one less inning you need from an already taxed bullpen. Also, maybe you build his confidence up a little bit by letting him get out of the fifth inning jam.

I think once he decided on using Lopez as the next reliever, he was committed to letting Tavarez pitch to the first two guys in the 6th. They really don't want Lopez pitching to right handed hitters.

---

As for A-Rod, I'd be surprised if he does get hit. Not much sense waking up a team that looks pretty content to play .500 ball. That's not going to last the whole season.
   8. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: May 23, 2007 at 04:54 AM (#2375557)
I was wondering when Paps and Oki were walking batters today, just how many other hitters in the AL would have come out swinging and not worked the count as well.

The Yankees are incredibly patient at the plate, most of the time.
   9. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: May 23, 2007 at 04:57 AM (#2375558)
What is this, the frakking NBA?
   10. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: May 23, 2007 at 04:59 AM (#2375559)
Wily Mo needs a start tomorrow.
   11. Gonfalon Bubble Posted: May 23, 2007 at 05:34 AM (#2375566)
Several people defended Belle's play at the time. I remember Phil Rizzuto saying the impact was entirely Vina's fault, and Rizzuto was a guy who still complained about Eddie Stanky's kicking a ball out of his glove 300 years earlier.

--Will ARod get thrown at tomorrow after throwing a forearm into Pedroia?
--Will it send ARod into a slump the way the plunking by Dice-K did?


Rodriguez was hit by 111 other pitches in his career before the devastating heatsucking gyroplunk. I think he rebounded okay.

I doubt anyone in Red Sox Nation will be Photoshopping a purse onto the Pedroia elbow, though.
   12. Phil Coorey is a T-Shirt Salesman Posted: May 23, 2007 at 05:48 AM (#2375569)
If you want to see fights, then tune into Game 1 of the Origin tonight.
   13. Flynn Posted: May 23, 2007 at 06:19 AM (#2375576)
It's not on TV here Phil. And I'm mad about that.
   14. villageidiom Posted: May 23, 2007 at 11:51 AM (#2375604)
Given the off day tomorrow, the opponent, and the fact that the top of the order was coming up in the bottom of the 8th, I don't have a problem with Okajima and Papelbon pitching last night.

This neither explains nor excuses their use yesterday, but had they entered a situation in which Delcarmen, Donnelly, or someone else had pitched poorly - say, two runs in and two runners on - they very well could have lost the game given the control problems both of them were having.
   15. bunyon Posted: May 23, 2007 at 11:59 AM (#2375606)
I would still defend Belle. A fielder trying to make a tag by standing in the basepath should expect to get hit. Happens at the plate every day. It isn't Belle's fault he's 50 times the size of Vina. Belle certainly may have been a jerk, but that was just aggressive baseball. If Belle had slid into Vina at second and smashed up his knees, he'd have been hailed a hard-nosed player. A bit of a shove that did absolutely no harm is a lesser evil, IMO. Either outlaw contact or don't get worked up when a big guy hits a little guy.
   16. Josh Posted: May 23, 2007 at 01:01 PM (#2375650)
Papelbon hasn't pitched back-to-back games in a month - and in the past month, he has thrown just 9 games. Okajima, on the other hand, has pitched once since the double-header in which he throw twice in a day. I think both are fine to go tomorrow with the day off on Thursday.

The problem with the Pedroia play has nothing to do with the size of Little Star. It also isn't a matter of sliding hard and making contact, or claiming space that is yours. Alex Rodriguez purposefully threw an elbow at an opposing player. He didn't run in a straight line and not care who was there -- all physical, hard plays but not cheap plays. This is significantly cheaper than the chop on Brandon.

Throwing an elbow is a cheap play - there is no way around it. It is cheap no matter who does it.
   17. Josh Posted: May 23, 2007 at 01:03 PM (#2375653)
Tomorrow = today, of course.
   18. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: May 23, 2007 at 02:15 PM (#2375760)
I don't know if anyone noticed, but I thought Pedroia slid a little outside the basepath himself on a previous play at second. I really wonder if A-Rod was trying for some kind of "I'll show you not to take out our 2B, Rook" and just made it look kinda weird like he always does. I'd be surprised if he's thrown at tomorrow, though.
   19. Cowboy Popup Posted: May 23, 2007 at 02:20 PM (#2375764)
"--Were the excruciating walks to Giambi and Cano (!) worth it because they led to Pap K’ing Jeter on 3 pitches?"

On two pitches off the plate.

I think Papelbon takes that single Jeter hit last year personally, he seems to really gear up for Jeter, maybe not though.

No concern about his velocity being off around here?

"Like with the slap, like with the synthetic swing, ARod just seems to have a poor body-sense of proper baseball play, and particularly a poor body sense for being, like, the greatest player in the game."

He's an athletic goon. I played football with a kid like this in high school. If he tried to do anything physical the first time, he looked goofy as hell (hit himself with a frisbee the first time he threw it). But his body was capable of learning just about anything after some repetition. He picked up a lacroose stick sophmore year and was the best player in the school by the time we graduated, and I think we were a nationally ranked high school program.

Anyone see A-rod run away from the bat that came flying at him a couple weeks ago? He looked ridiculous running away from it.
   20. Matt Clement of Alexandria Posted: May 23, 2007 at 02:25 PM (#2375769)
No concern about his velocity being off around here?
Papelbon had quite a few games around 93-94 last year. The dropped arm slot is a concern, as are his control issues, but the velocity didn't seem particularly problematic to me.

I don't really know. I have a sort of low-level constant fear in regard to Li'l Papi's health, as he's clearly not the same pitcher he was before his arm popped out of his shoulder, but the information is so spotty that I can't figure out what to do with any of it.
   21. Mister High Standards Posted: May 23, 2007 at 02:26 PM (#2375770)
On two pitches off the plate.


Those pitches were not more than half a ball off black. Pitcher pitches yes, but ones you swing at with 2 outs in the 9th and guys on base, when your behind a couple runs. Especially the last one.
   22. chris p Posted: May 23, 2007 at 02:33 PM (#2375780)
Papelbon had quite a few games around 93-94 last year. The dropped arm slot is a concern, as are his control issues, but the velocity didn't seem particularly problematic to me.

i think the dropped arm slot and the control issues are one issue. i think he's getting more side-to-side movement on his fastball b/c his arm slot is dropped. if he can get his arm back up, he'll have solid control of the fastball, and it'll have that late life that make that pitch so great. he needs to get his arm slot back up.
   23. Cowboy Popup Posted: May 23, 2007 at 02:39 PM (#2375788)
"Pitcher pitches yes, but ones you swing at with 2 outs in the 9th and guys on base, when your behind a couple runs."

Can't really argue with that.
   24. ellsbury my heart at wounded knee Posted: May 23, 2007 at 02:49 PM (#2375794)
"he needs to get his arm slot back up."

Yeah. I'm concerned that it's just going to keep dropping lower and lower until his velocity and movement deteriorates so much that he becomes ineffective. I'm not sure if he can get his slot back up without time off or some kind of serious rehab. I think the arm slot is a symptom of the shoulder problem - a structural/strength issue, not one he can just will back into place.
   25. chris p Posted: May 23, 2007 at 03:00 PM (#2375805)
I think the arm slot is a symptom of the shoulder problem - a structural/strength issue, not one he can just will back into place.

i think you're right.
   26. Biff, highly-regarded young guy Posted: May 23, 2007 at 04:14 PM (#2375868)
Those two pitches looked like perfect strikes at the knees to me.
   27. Schilling's Sprained Ankiel Posted: May 23, 2007 at 04:16 PM (#2375874)
But what did K zone say?
   28. The Ghost of Archi Cianfrocco Posted: May 23, 2007 at 04:41 PM (#2375899)
Regardless of whether or not A-Rod's plays dirty the one thing that comes up time and again is how bad he looks doing it. I'm the last person to give Jeter credit for anything but when he makes a move it's fluid, smooth and looks like part of whatever he was doing. His ability to diagnose what's going on in the field and react instantly is insane. But for all of A-Rod's gifts the guy can't improv with any skill. If he runs out of the baseline, takes a stab at the ball or has to 'tweak' his routine it sticks out like a sore thumb. I've seen balls take bad hops and I swear I've seen A-Rod THINK about how to change his footwork instead of just doing it.

Whether or not the play was dirty it's obvious A-Rod was trying to do something different and that's what everyone keys off.
   29. John DiFool2 Posted: May 23, 2007 at 06:18 PM (#2376059)
Hijack: Buchholz's start vs. the Rocket will be telecast on MLB tonite...
   30. bibigon Posted: May 23, 2007 at 06:33 PM (#2376069)
Hijack: Buchholz's start vs. the Rocket will be telecast on MLB tonite...


Where do we access it?
   31. villageidiom Posted: May 23, 2007 at 06:37 PM (#2376078)
Here's the info. It's also on ESPN2.
   32. chris p Posted: May 23, 2007 at 06:37 PM (#2376080)
there should be a link at milb.com
   33. SteveF Posted: May 24, 2007 at 03:18 AM (#2377068)
Papelbon is at exactly the same point he was at early last year velocity wise. He's usually 93-95 on the fastball. I've seen him crank it up to 97 on very rare occasions, but that's it. Nothing I've seen from him seems to indicate injury issues, outside of the dropped arm slot. But the changed arm slot alone isn't nearly enough to indicate injury. Pitchers (even good ones) are far less consistent with their arm slots and release points than most people assume.

I think it is, however, time to be worried about Schilling. His performance was very much like Mussina's was the other night. Mid 80s fastballs aren't going to cut it, especially out of a guy that had success when it was in the mid 90s. He went to the mound with just horrid stuff. You have to wonder about him. He doesn't keep himself in good shape in the offseason, and he's looking every bit like a 40 year old pitcher lately.

Epstein's decision to not extend the guy looks better and better with each start.
   34. chris p Posted: May 24, 2007 at 03:29 AM (#2377070)
But the changed arm slot alone isn't nearly enough to indicate injury. Pitchers (even good ones) are far less consistent with their arm slots and release points than most people assume.

but if he is lowering his arm slot (and i don't have quite the eye to pick that out reliably), that explains his reduced effectiveness. the key to his fastball is the late life, but when he drops his arm he loses that extra hop and in return he gets lateral movement. when he gets lateral movement on his fastball it's harder to pitch to the corners.
   35. IronChef Chris Wok Posted: May 24, 2007 at 11:59 PM (#2377859)
Hijack: Stopwatchworld is saying the Yanks are interested in Todd Helton and BRIAN FUENTES
   36. Darren Posted: May 25, 2007 at 12:18 AM (#2377886)
Helton would make perfect sense for the Yanks. Lets hope that the Rockies haven't suddenly decided to lower their price into the realm of reasonable. However, if history is any guide, they will send Helton and $70 mil to the Yankees for Jason Giambi.

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