May 05, 2007

Old Frenemies

Things were looking up for the Yanks after a three-game sweep in Texas... but a funny thing happened on the way to the winning streak. I still don't really know what to make of Kei Igawa, but I do not eagerly await his starts -- speaking not only as a fan, but aesthetically. Watching him pitch, half the time, is like watching someone tear the wings off a butterfly. That's aces compared to briefly freed relief pitcher Colter Bean, who is, I imagine, not long for the majors after a performance that can charitably be called gruesome. Nothing like walking two batters on 8 straight balls, the second with the bases full, on a day when the bullpen desperately needs a rest (or, as the Yankees call it, "Friday"), to endear yourself to the Yankee Stadium crowd. Bryan Hoch at

"You can't expect to survive when you can't get people out," said Torre, who described his feelings on the bench as "helpless."

Good times all around, then. Eleven runs just don't go as far as they used to. Fortunately, Jeff Weaver starts tomorrow for the Mariners, which means scoring 15 or 16 is a distinct possibility. I was totally right, by the way; that was not Jeff Weaver we saw pitching in the NLCS for the Cardinals. It looked like him, it talked like him, I know, but it wasn't. I'm just glad that whatever being or force it was that controlled him last October, when it was done, returned him unharmed.

I did, however, take considerable solace in the Mets' win tonight over another familiar ulcer-inducer from the recent past, Randy "the mullet is coming back in nicely, thanks" Johnson. The only negative was that Endy Chavez (who I am totally writing in on the All-Star ballot, by the way) sprained his ankle trying to make another crazy catch, and stayed in the game, limping and wincing, which can't have made it any better and was no fun to watch.

Randy Johnson gave up five runs and nine hits in seven innings, a stat line that should be familiar to anyone who watched him pitch for the Yankees over the last two years: not awful, but not getting it done against a good pitcher either -- and John Maine continues to pitch vastly better than a throw-in from the Kris Benson trade has any right to. He gave up two home runs, to Paul Lo Duca and (this is still making me smile) Julio Franco, who sets a new record for oldest player ever to hit a major league home run every time he knocks one out. He and Randy Johnson have a combined age of 92; when Julio Franco started his pro ball career I hadn't even been born. And I'm not that young.

No comments: