Thursday, May 05, 2005

Thursday Night

Vazquez, Lieber, Weaver, Mussina and Loaiza
That could very easily be the Yankees rotation this year. Lieber and Loaiza were run out of town and the other two were shipped out for aging and fragile veterans. The combined VORP of those five is 21.2 and dragged down by Vazquez unlucky start and Weaver's high BABIP. The VORP for the Yankees starters is -4.8 without Henn's numbers. Without Johnson it's -12.6. Also, with this rotation the Yankees would have been able to afford Beltran and Polanco, giving them perhaps the most fearsome lineup in history.

SS Jeter
CF Beltran
3B Rodriguez
LF Matsui
RF Sheffield
C Posada
DH Giambi
2B Polanco
1B Martinez

That's a first place team.

Aces
Bronson Arroyo took a no hitter into the seventh and gave up only one run over eight. Brad Radke gave up three hits in nine. Jose Contreras gave up one over eight and Zach Greinke left in the eight with one out, two on and no runs in. Mark Hendrickson gave up two in 7.1 agasint the still potent Yankees. Five of the eight starting pitchers in the American League made real quality starts tonight, not just as defined by the stat, but that should have led them to victory. Of course, Greinke ended up with his third loss because the two good members of the Royals pen (Sisco and Burgos) walked in two runs.

But they stole three bases on him
Mike Piazza busted out of his slump in a big way with three hard hit singles and a home run in five at bats. His certainly still got power and a beautiful swing. If he gets more rest, I would expect him to have a lot more days like today. Roid Head Sanchez also had a big day going 3 for 3 with a walk and a homer.

Mix Up
The Yankees might be the biggest disappointment in baseball, but three teams that were supposed to be in second place lost again today. The Cubs are missing Nomar and now Kerry Wood, but they should be able to scrape together at least a decent pen. That one's all on Dusty. The Phillies can't hit and have had some awful performances from their rotation. The Indians have likewise suffered sharp regression from all of their hitters. Right now, the Mets might be the odds on favorite to win the NL Wild Card and the AL is looking to be a giant mess.

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