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If you look back through the archives here at Depressed Fan, you’ll probably notice that I don’t criticize Joe too often. Once in a while, you’ll see me question a move, but I almost never blame losses on him. I think it’s silly to blame the manager in most cases. Tonight, is the exception.

I’m not sure what was going through Joe’s mind when he pulled Tyler Clippard after 4 innings, but whatever it was, it was wrong. The kid didn’t have his best stuff tonight, that was apparent from the get-go, but he was battling out there. When Joe lifted him, and sent Matt DeSalvo out there to start the fifth inning, the Yankees were trailing 3–2, and they’d just closed the gap to 1. They had some momentum, and the kid had only thrown 72 pitches.

The bull pen, in “relief” of Clippard gave up 7 runs in 5 innings of work, and on a night when the Yanks were touching up Jered Weaver, this game should’ve been a lot closer than the 10–6 final. This one’s on you, Joe.

A couple notes from the game:

  • Jered Weaver is a lot more similar to his older, ineffective brother than people want to admit. He’s got good stuff, just like Jeff. He’s got a funky delivery, just like Jeff, and most alarming of all, he nibbles, and nibbles, and nibbles, and nibbles some more. JUST LIKE JEFF. The older Weaver eventually lost all confidence in throwing the ball over the plate. If someone doesn’t sit the younger version down now and explain to him that you can’t fall behind every single hitter and succeed in this league, he’s going to suffer the same fate.
  • Casey Kotchman is an excellent first baseman. By my count, he made six plays that the above-average first baseman does not make in this game. With his glove, I’d say he saved 3–5 runs. When a first baseman does that, it’s really an accomplishment. At the plate, he was also 3–5 with a bomb. Good night for Casey.
  • If Melky Cabrera was playing center tonight, 3 hits probably would’ve been outs, and two runners wouldn’t have advanced on fly balls. That’s not a call to bench Damon, just an observation. It looks like Damon has lost some range out there.
  • Joe put the hit-and-run on with Giambi on first and Abreu at the plate. I love this move. Abreu drove an outside pitch deep to left. It was caught, but the pressure of having to make contact forced Abreu to keep his front shoulder closed, something he’s been loathe to do on the outside pitch. Abreu finished the night 0 for 2 with 2 walks.
  • Scot Shields embarrassed the heart of the Yankee order in the bottom of the ninth.
  • For future reference: If you read my preview, you know that I picked up Tyler Clippard on my fantasy team before this start. I am officially the worst person in the world at picking spot starters for fantasy purposes. Please keep that in mind whenever I write about fantasy pitching moves.

Player of the Game: Robinson Cano, 2 for 4, 3 RBIs on a bases-loaded double off Scot Shields in the bottom of the eighth.

by Brian on May 25 2007
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