Game 23: Battle of the Fallen (Potential) Aces

Baseball America is in the business of prognostication, or, perhaps more accurately, semi-scientific soothsaying (which is a fine explanation of ‘SSS’ to those you’d like to mock). Their projections, not unlike those of most any prospect analyst or scout, are inaccurate far more often than not – meteorologists may well scoff at the B.A. Handbooks of yesteryear without a hint of irony.

Regardless, despite the inherent flaws associated with gazing into one’s prospecting crystal ball, few argued with Baseball America’s assessments of Messrs Hughes and Matusz, both of whom peaked in the outlet’s top-five – Hughes at number four in 2007, and Matusz at number five in 2010. Over the course of their respective Major League careers, the duo has combined to throw just over 750 IP … while posting a 4.99 ERA and 5.8 bWAR (4.6 of which, it must be said, belongs to Hughes).

The 2011 season represented rock-bottom for both (though, that may be optimistic given Hughes’ performance thus far), with questions of talent, dedication, and most everything involving the human condition flying in from all directions. Spring Training, however, resulted in renewed hope for the duo, with reports of improved velocity and command flowing for both, and “best shape of his life” sentiments being expressed with gusto. Neither has fulfilled the promise of early Spring, but both remain 25-years-old … and tonight represents a snapshot into the perils of prospecting. For those of us who concern ourselves with such efforts, this is nothing short of intriguing.

Onto tonight’s line-ups:

Baltimore Orioles New York Yankees
Endy Chavez, LF Derek Jeter, SS
J.J. Hardy, SS Curtis Granderson, CF
Nick Markakis, RF Alex Rodriguez, 3B
Adam Jones, CF Robinson Cano, 2B
Matt Wieters, C Mark Teixeira, 1B
Chris Davis, 1B Andruw Jones, RF
Wilson Betemit, 3B Russell Martin, DH
Nick Johnson, DH Eduardo Nunez, LF
Robert Andino, 2B Chris Stewart, C
Brian Matusz, SP Phil Hughes, SP

The first pitch is scheduled for 7:05 pm, on YES – let’s go Yankees!

About Domenic Lanza

Domenic is a staff writer for It's About the Money, and the host of the It's About the Money Stupid podcast. By day, he is a mild-mannered real estate attorney on Long Island, and an aspiring intellectual degenerate.

65 thoughts on “Game 23: Battle of the Fallen (Potential) Aces

  1. I likee Phil. He’s pitching real well. Confidence in fb and curve.

    Jones had to challenge that. But alls well so far (fingers crossed).

  2. This game has ugly written all over it, which means we should expect a pitching duel.

  3. I like Icterids because then their fans become Icteridiots.

    • Ken said Phil shoulda thrown the fb upper right to Davis, but he put it down in the wheelhouse. He oughta cut the wheelhouse pitch a bit.

  4. I surrender. No change ups and poor command with his endless parade of 4-seamers.

  5. See, Nuney is really a hero.

    The Yankees were determined to lose this, evidence the relief of Phil by the previously successful, but on an unfortunate night, hit hard, Booooone. Nuney decided since he needed to boot one, he would draw fire for the lads.

  6. How many games can the Yanks win with a rotation of CC, Kuroda, Nova, Phelps, & Mitchell? I’m worried about Andy, he giving up a lot of hits.

    • Garcia will probably get velocity back, unless they figure out where it went. Phil may figure it out. I think we could try two rookies, but I expect one at a time.

    • I am looking forward to see what Phelps can do with a start. I wonder if we’ll see Garcia in this game?

      • probably only after five days’ rest, maybe four. Besides, apart from recovery, he needs to discover where it went.

        Phelps looks quite sanguine for thursday’s(?) start. He accepted the hard contact he experienced, and plans to continue his approach. It worked for several innings since.

        I think his straightforward approach is courageous, and his stuff is good.

        • I haven’t watched close recently, but he reminds me of Bartolo’s scissors moves. He maybe needs to experiment with location. He keeps it laudably low, but it seems like they will focus unless he breaks it up. I dunno, Bartolo used the letters zone pretty heavily, but he was 93 – 95 with a ton of movement.

  7. Come on, some RBIs. (Or should I say RBI, to tick off Mike Greenberg?)

  8. I think the Yankees should change their uniforms to a camouflage outfit. Then maybe the hitters wouldn’t see the baserunners, and they wouldn’t be so bad with RISP.

  9. I dunno the count, but I don’t think Nuney had two strikes. They should tell him it’s better to miss what turns out to be a curve in the dirt. He popped it up, as one would usually do.

    • All they need is a bloop and a blast, but Rodriguez, Cano, Teixeira are up next.

      • Grandy was thinking line drive, but Matusz jammed him. We’re the elexir to a sick pitcher.

    • think they popped Phil a little too early. Hell, 100 pitches? His ain’t good fer nothin’ anyway.

    • Now, you’re talking. That one is good: accessible, but, maybe due to prior imbibement, it took me a several guesses to discover each.

  10. Good move, Alex. Strike up the band.

    Robbie had the beat, but he beat it just a bit high.

    Sh —ucks, boys, where you hitting it?

  11. Nuney had the right idea there. He could never get to Jones’ drive.

    • Nice coverage, Curtis.

      Soriano threw some nice pitches, besides those that the Icterids liked. He was dominating Nick Johnson till Nick went all over one.

  12. Propitiously elusive!

    Get that ball! First hit.

    Ooh! Feel the breeze from that whiff. — oh, the lads haven’t seen enough, no double on the play.

    • boy, Weiters must be slow, that was a double almost sure. Andruw, then Cano, and he was out by three feet.

  13. Only the 58th manager in baseball history. And the Yankkees beat his Baltimore butts bloody plenty, too. (History by YES)