Thursday, July 06, 2006

Momentum Is Tomorrow's Starting Pitcher

I might have used that as a title in the past, but I can't think of anything that describes the last three games better than Whitey Herzog's prophetic phrase.

I'm sort of angry at myself that I used the word prophet to describe Whitey Herzog, but if the mitt fits....

This sports fans, is what we're going to have suffer through for the next few months unless the Yankees get some help for the back of the rotation. They'll never be completely out of the race. But they'll never run away with it either.

The Yankees used to be able bludgeon teams with their bats and cover up the deficiencies in their rotation. The team as it's constituted now can still score runs. But it lacks the Conan-esque bloodthistiness and rage that it had with Sheff and Matsui. Heck, even with them, you'd see a laugher like Tuesday's 19-1 beatdown occasionally. I'm surprised that you haven't seen more of them this season.

Tonight was a nice bounceback from Tuesday, but I expected Moose to pitch well. He normally rises to the occasion when he pitches after a bad loss. And I think Johnson will pitch well tomorrow and we can possibly salvage a split.

But what I would love to see is the Yankees go on a winning streak of more than three or four games. It's good enough to win series, but if they're going to catch and pass the Red Sox, you need some winning streaks of six games or more.

Tampa is doing their part, helping keep the Yankees close. But with Wright, Wang and Chacon scheduled to pitch this weekend, do you really want to face Tampa right now? Their bats are sick. If Kazmir isn't on the mound, they can't do much else but hit. But man, can they hit.

Wright always looks like he's almost ready to turn the page and become a winning starting pitcher, then he falls off the cliff like he did against the Mets. I've stopped trying to figure out what to expect from him. Just that good or bad, he won't be pitching come the seventh inning.

Chacon is finally showing us why Colorado (that pitcher's paradise) waived him in the first place. Some guys pitch just well enough to lose and some guys bungee off the Grand Canyon without a rope. Chacon has done the latter the last several starts. I wrote once that he would be fine as a back of the rotation guy on a good team. I can't even say that anymore after Tuesday.

You want to say that rust (he hadn't pitched in over a week) might have contributed to it? Maybe. But you know what, considering where he's come from and where he's playing now...he needs to be ready to be called at all times. That leg injury set him back a bit and when he decided to come back, it was too early. He needed another start under his belt. Can he turn it around? Perhaps. But it has to start with his next start.

He can show Torre and company something by pitching well against a very good offensive team in Tampa. Give the bullpen a much needed blow. Otherwise, the Yankees need to find someone else who can.

Even if these guys did pitch well, I still would continue to look for a decent back of the rotation starter who can eat innings like Livan Hernandez or Tony Armas. Then I would put either Chacon or Wright in the bullpen as the long man.

But since this is definitely a seller's market and everyone's going to try to hold us up...I don't expect this Roller Coaster of Angst to let me off anytime soon.

The All-Star break can't come soon enough. If I had my way, no Yankees would play in that game. Mandatory rest for all starters.


Blogger Kat said...

Makes me long for Graham Lloyd and Jimmy Key... ;-)

5:06 AM  
Blogger Darth Marc said...

Yeah...I never thought I'd miss Jeff Nelson....

5:53 PM  

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