Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Soriano's 399th & 400th Back Pettitte's 255th

Nothing like scoring 4 runs on the road before the home team even comes to bat.  Especially if you're your team's starting pitcher.

In the case of last night's game between the Yankees and those pesky Toronto Blue Jays, old Andy Pettitte got the benefit of this in the top of the 1st inning:

* Brett Gardner doubled to right.

* Jays pitcher J.A. Happ threw a wild pitch, getting Gardner to 3rd.

* Derek Jeter singled home Gardner.  1-0.

* Robinson Cano was hit by a pitch.  He was replaced between innings by Eduardo Nunez.  X-rays showed no break, he's day-to-day.  However, Happ is the same pitcher who broke Curtis Granderson's wrist with a pitch in spring training, so there's history there.

* Alfonso Soriano hit a home run.  4-0.

Soriano homered again to leda off the 3rd.  It was his 28th of the season, and the 400th of his career.  (His 11th this year with the Yankees, his 109th overall.)

Mark Reynolds hit one out to lead off the 6th, his 17th of the season (but only his 2nd as a Yankee), and he's now 2 short of 200 for his career.  (He just turned 30, though, and as a righthanded hitter in Yankee Stadium, he's got a good shot at 300 if he stays healthy but 400 is probably out of reach unless he gets traded again.) And in the 7th, A-Rod homered, his 4th of the year, his 651st overall.

Pettitte went 7 innings, allowing 5 hits, 2 walks... no runs.  He's 41 years old.  What was I doing when I was 41? Writing this blog.  Adam Warren pitched the last 2 innings and allowed the Rays to get on the board, to no avail.

Yankees 7, Blue Jays 1.  WP: Pettitte (10-9) -- the 255th win of his career, his 218th as a Yankee.  No save opportunity.  LP: Happ (3-4).

*

With Soriano's dingers last night, the following players have hit 400 career home runs and also played for the Yankees:

1. Babe Ruth 714
2. Alex Rodrgiuez 651
3. Reggie Jackson 563
4. Mickey Mantle 536
5. Gary Sheffield 509
6. Lou Gehrig 493
7. Dave Winfield 465
8. Jose Canseco 462
9. Dave Kingman 442
10. Jason Giambi 437
11. Andruw Jones 434
12. Alfonso Soriano 400

A-Rod, Soriano, and, believe it or not, Giambi are still active.  Canseco (2000) and Kingman (1977) were late-season pickups who didn't make it to the postseason roster and never appeared for the Yankees again.

Graig Nettles fell a little short, with 390.  Fred McGriff hit 493 homers, as many as Gehrig, and was in the Yankee organization, but was traded before reaching the major leagues.  Dumb trade? Maybe I'll do a "Top 5 Reasons You Can't Blame" for that someday.

However, counting only home runs hit while with the Yankees, it becomes...

1. Babe Ruth 659
2. Mickey Mantle 536
3. Lou Gehrig 493
4. Joe DiMaggio 361
5. Yogi Berra 358
6. Alex Rodriguez 306
7. Bernie Williams 287
8. Jorge Posada 275
9. Derek Jeter 256
10. Graig Nettles 250

*

Pitchers who have won at least 200 games and also played for the Yankees:

1. Roger Clemens 354
2. Phil Niekro 318
3. Gaylord Perry 314
4. Randy Johnson 303
5. Tommy John 288
6. Jim Kaat 283
7. Red Ruffing 273
8. Burleigh Grimes 270
9. Mike Mussina 270
10. Andy Pettitte 255
11. Jack Quinn 247
12. Herb Pennock 241
13. Frank Tanana 240
14. David Wells 239
15. Clark Griffith 237
16. Waite Hoyt 237
17. Whitey Ford 236
18. Sam Jones 229
19. Luis Tiant 229
20. Catfish Hunter 224
21. Joe Niekro 221
22. Kenny Rogers 219
23. Rick Reuschel 214
24. Kevin Brown 211
25. Bobo Newsom 211
26. Carl Mays 208
27. Al Orth 204
28. CC Sabathia 202

Obviously, not all of those guys are thought of as Yankees.  Some were Yankees only briefly.  Even less so, Robin Roberts won 286, and was with the Yankees in a spring training, but was released before the regular season.  A minor mistake: He hooked up with another team and lasted 6 more seasons, but the Yankees still won some more Pennants.  Clark Griffith, of course, was the Yankees' first manager in 1903 and kept on pitching for a while.  Bob Lemon won 207, and managed the Yankees to the 1978 World Championship and the 1981 Pennant, but pitched his entire career for the Cleveland Indians.

The Yankees' Top 10 in wins are:

1. Whitey Ford 236
2. Red Ruffing 231
3. Andy Pettitte 218
4. Lefty Gomez 189
5. Ron Guidry 170
6. Bob Shawkey 168
7. Mel Stottlemyre 164
8. Herb Pennock 162
9. Waite Hoyt 157
10. Allie Reynolds 131

Clemens won "only" 83 games as a Yankee; Wells, 68; Mussina, 123.  David Cone won 194 games in the major leagues, including 81 for the Mets and 64 for the Yankees; that's easily the most of any pitcher who pitched for both the Yankees and the Mets, although Stottlemyre was pitching coach for both teams, and no New York-based team won a World Series without Mel as pitching coach between 1978 and 2009.

*

This series concludes tonight.  Hiroki Kuroda starts for us, and he's been slumping lately, and we need him to get back to where he's been for most of the season.

Todd Redmond starts for the Jays.  He's a 28-year-old righthander from St. Petersburg, Florida, with 12 major league appearances to his credit, all for the Jays except for 1 last season for the Cincinnati Reds.  This will be his first appearance against the Yankees -- making him the proverbial "pitcher the Yankees have never seen before." Luckily, he's not a lefty, and this isn't a Fox Saturday or ESPN Sunday game.

In his last start, he got clobbered, knocked out of the box in the 4th inning.  By the Houston Astros.  A team with a .300 on-base percentage.  Not batting average, on-base percentage.  Playing in Minute Maid Park, such a hitter's park that, when it was officially Enron Field, it was nicknamed Ten Run Field.  The Astros.  A team that's already lost 87 games and it's still August.  A team on track to lose 108 games this season, after losing 107 last year and 106 the year before.  (I had that reversed in a previous post; this is the corrected version.) A team that, if it were a soccer team in England's "football pyramid," might well have been relegated from the Premier League to the Championship to League One in just the last 2 years -- like being sent from our major leagues to Double-A ball.

So if Redmond got rocked by the Astros, what can the Yankees do to him?

If I knew John Sterling, this is where he would pipe in and say, "You know, Mike, you just can't predict baseball."

Or, as the great sportswriter Roger Kahn put it more artfully, sometimes the Phillies beat the Dodgers and John Lindsay stumbles through a speech.

Lindsay, Mayor of New York from 1966 to 1973, has been dead since 2000, so he won't be making any new speeches, but the era when the Phillies could probably beat the Dodgers, which had lasted for the last few years, has definitely ended.

*

Speaking of the Phillies, the Mets beat them last night.  It was Marlon Byrd T-Shirt Night at Citi Field.  Except the Mets traded Byrd to the Pittsburgh Pirates, along with John Buck, one of the players they got in the R.A. Dickey deal last off-season.

Now, the Mets are hardly the first team to trade a player before a promotion featuring him.  And, on the Mets' screwupometer, which has gotten quite a workout from October 19, 2006 onward, this doesn't register all that much.

However, Byrd, in spite of turning 36 this Friday, was having a very good year: .285, 26 doubles, 21 homers (already a career high), 71 RBIs, while playing his home games in Citi Field, which is a pitcher's park.  To make matters worse, this new trade leaves Travis d'Arnaud, currently batting .304 for the Mets' Triple-A team in Las Vegas, as pretty much all they have left from the Dickey trade, as the other 2 guys they got are unlikely to reach the majors.

The Mets.  Long having their Triple-A team in Norfolk, and recently having used New Orleans and Buffalo, they now have it in Las Vegas.

Just being around the Mets is gambling.

Maybe they can buy that modern-but-derelict ballpark in Atlantic City, abandoned after the Atlantic City Surf went out of business just short of the 2009 season, and put a farm team there.  Even though South Jersey is Phillies territory, a lot of New Yorkers and ex-New Yorkers go to the Atlantic City casinos, and if they're promoted right, something good can come of it.

But, presuming the Mets are still in a financial squeeze, this doesn't look likely for the new future.  Especially since the Mets have comparatively local farm clubs in Brooklyn and Binghamton.

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