Schilling: Red Sox Will Have Tough Time In October

Well, the headline does not reflect exactly what he said, but some interpretation of his remarks leaves it as the inescapable conclusion:

I don’t think there’s any question at all that this team [Red Sox] can win the World Series. No question whatsoever…..

Do you think Alex Rodriguez will look at the calendar and say, ‘Uh-oh — here comes October’?

I would argue that’s already started — you know my response — when they clinched. His problem has always been that he’s a guy with holes and you can pitch to those holes. In October, I would argue that we pitched as well to them as well as anyone who’s played from Game 4 in ‘04. For a guy that’s as good as he is, he still strikes out a lot. Guys who strike out a lot tend to have a tough time in October. I don’t know what kind of pressure he puts on himself. Based on everything I’ve ever read about him, seen about him and heard about him, he puts immense amounts of extra pressure on himself in October.

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Pirates claim Claggett

From MLBTR, we learn that the Pirates have claimed Anthony Claggett off waivers from the Yankees. Claggett was designated for assignment on the 14th in order to free up a roster spot on the 40-man for speedster Freddy Guzman. The Pirates already have Ross Ohlendorf, Daniel McCutchen, and Jeff Karstens pitching for them, so why not bring in another Yankee arm (or two, or three)?… Click here to read the rest

Ranking postseason rotations

Jayson Stark (ESPN) tried his hand at ranking postseason rotations and placed the Yankees at number 4 on his list. The (1) Red Sox, (2) Cardinals, and (3) Phillies are the three teams that sit above the Yankees in Stark’s piece. Here’s what he had to say about the New York rotation.

Prospective rotation: 1) CC Sabathia, 2) Andy Pettitte, 3) A.J. Burnett, 4) Joba Chamberlain or Chad Gaudin.

This team might have been our toughest call. We polled folks who rated them as the very best rotation out there. We also polled folks who ranked them as the fifth-best rotation out there. But we think, in truth, they’re somewhere in between.

“I like the Yankees because of depth,” said one executive. “Someone in that foursome could very well disappoint, but anyone in that foursome has a decent chance of pitching a dominant game.”

True. And that starts with Sabathia, whose 8.53 ERA over the past two postseasons is a stat most people in the game don’t take real seriously.

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Triumphant Return For Ian Kennedy

From the NY Post:

Ian Kennedy’s 20 friends and family members could scarcely stand to watch while the New York reliever’s first appearance in over a year went from an inspiration to a budding nightmare.

Thanks to a bases-loaded fly ball, Kennedy and the Yankees could enjoy a much-needed series victory that sent them into a big weekend series with plenty of momentum…..

In his first major league appearance since surgery to remove an aneurysm below his right biceps, Kennedy walked two batters and hit another in the eighth before escaping on Erick Aybar’s fly. His misadventures and ultimate redemption were the wildest portion of six New York pitchers’ efforts to hold down Los Angeles’ offense.

“Just to be pitching is an accomplishment,” said Kennedy, a Long Beach, Calif., native and former USC star. “And then to be pitching here, and in a big situation, there are no words to describe it. It got a little crazy, but I was glad it worked out barely.

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Fixing what ain't broken

  • I would also consider increasing the LDS to a seven game set-up. Even with the same clause as above. Format: 2-1-2-1-1, giving the Wild Card winner only 2 games at home, unless they have a better record, in which case, the format goes back to 2-3-2. The back-and-forth travel would be a bear.
  • Sure, that would create some logistical difficulties for the teams traveling cross country and their travelling secretaries who have to procure hotel rooms…not to mention the teams and their stadium staff, security, etc. But it would give the division winners a greater advantage if they were the better team during the regular season than the Wild Card winner. Will also add to the length of each series due to travel.

    Crazy? Too convoluted? Just might work? You tell me..… Click here to read the rest

    Game 153: Yankees 3, Angels 2

    Bronx Cheers:
    Molina: The backup backstop is not on the team for offensive reasons, which he showed yesterday by going 0-4. His ERA is down to a Jason Varitek-esque .221.

    Matsui: Hideki went 0-3 and stranded three runners. He still managed to get on and score.

    Curtain Calls:
    Burnett: AJ went 5.2 innings, giving up only two runs on seven hits, while striking out eleven. It would be nice to see him go a little longer and give up less hits, but overall he seems to be improving as we head towards the playoffs.

    Melky: Cabrera had been slumping a bit lately, going 1 for his last 19. Wednesday he seemed to bust out of it, going 2-4 with a RBI.

    Bullpen: Marte, Albaladejo, Coke, Kennedy and Mo combined to go 3.1 innings against a very good offense. They gave up only four hits and kept the Halos scoreless preserving the win for AJ.

    Injury Report:
    Wednesday appeared to be one of those games where injuries were the hot topic.… Click here to read the rest

    RAB examines the Yanks rotation towards the playoffs

    What’s also interesting is that it’s likely that Burnett only has one more start. So for all of my/our worrying about him not making a full season of starts except during a contract year, he’s done it. Assuming he makes this next one, he’ll have made 32 starts. Maybe he truly did learn from Halladay on how to prepare for pitching an entire season. He’s been hot and cold and no one has a clue what to expect out of him for the playoffs, but coming off his stellar showing yesterday, we have a reason to be (cautiously) optimistic.… Click here to read the rest