Monday, September 13, 2004
Angels 5, Mariners 1Well, dayng, the Angels finally met a team they could beat. GA's homer did the trick, but distressing symptoms of a flaky offense abound: the top of the order 1-8, Glaus without a multi-hit game since his return in the Boston series on August 31, and Guillen only three extra base hits on the month. But -- at least the boys were finally able to give Escobar the run support his pitching deserved.
Padres 9, Dodgers 7"Something's not quite right with Odalis Perez," writes Ken Gurnick, and you'd get no quarrel with that assessment from me. OP's slithered out of two encounters with the Cards so far, but he finally had to take this assignment, and got blown out. Is he a "left-handed Ismael Valdez" as Bob Timmermann on the Dodger Thoughts comments section once put it? I like the analogy; he's never been as good as his billing, and he seems to avoid -- or at least melt down -- during big games. Another game where we could have used a functional Brad Penny.
Royals 17, Yankees 8The temptation is to put up some homily like "another day, another embarrassing blowout", but the Yanks probably won't lose the series. Still, any start from Halsey is a Yankee fan's worst nightmare, analogous to the Dodgers throwing Nomo to the lion's den that is the Cardinals' lineup. Over at Bronx Banter, all theories lead back to Mel. My favorite:
Mel's success has been largely related to having veteran talent to work with all the time. Let's look back. In '96 he had Key, Cone, Pettitte, Rogers. 3 of the 4 were veteran guys (Key has been mentioned as Mel's successor). Pettitte had a fantastic year, but I can't help but feel that was a logical progression after the way he figured things out late in 1995. Since then, Mel has had veteran after veteran. Pettitte took his game to another level under the tutelage of Clemens. Wells, Mussina, Brown, all Veterans. Every young pitcher that has come through the program has failed to succeed in Pinstripes. Ted Lilly, Jeff Weaver, Vazquez. I won't include Contreras, because he's been spotty with Chicago. Since Lilly and Weaver have left, they've turned their game around. When Brett Prinz came up, after working in AAA with Niel Allen, he was lights out. His game started to slip, and Mel couldn't help him.Halsey certainly isn't showing he can cut it, but is that a symptom of the Yankees' minor leagues falling to pieces?
I used to think it was just the pressure of NYC, but after a certain amount of time, that excuse just doesn't cut it. Vazquez was unreal for this team for the first 3 months. He came up big repeatedly. But bad habits creep in slowly, and when they aren't corrected, we see what we've seen with Javy since the All Star Break. This is a pattern...Weaver began well in New York, and fell off. Same with Lilly, same with Vazquez, and every other young pitcher that Mel gets his hands on.
Update 9/13: acknowledge Bob Timmermann as the inventor of the "left-handed Ismael Valdez" analogy.
If you offered him to other teams, most would jump to take him. That's a good pitcher, one who's doing his job.
If you're going to give me credit Rob, you need to spell my last name right however. It's got 10 letters in it, not 9. I'll let you figure out which one you omitted.