All Things Bubba

Because how can you not love a baseball player named "Bubba"?

Saturday, September 30, 2006

The best laid plans...

September 30, 2006: Toronto 6, N.Y. Yankees 5

Okay, the Yankees do have something left to play for. Some of them, anyway. There are still individual stats at stake. Jeter and Cano are chasing Mauer for the batting title. And Torre really wants Jeter to get 100 RBIs.

So the lineup was a little different today. Cano was batting 2nd, to give him as many chances to improve his batting average as possible. And Jeter was batting 3rd, so he could get RBIs.

It didn't quite work out as anticipated. Cano, because he has relatively few at-bats (due to his long stint on the DL), was seen as having the best chance to catch Mauer. But he went 1 for 4, lowering his average rather than raising it. Jeter, OTOH, went 3 for 3. He passed Cano, and is nipping at Mauer's heels. (Mauer went 0 for 4 yesterday, and didn't play today.) But despite his hot hitting, Jeter got no RBIs today.

My guess is that Mauer will play tomorrow, and will get hits. (The Twinkies face former Yankee Javier Vasquez.) I think he'll win the batting title. But never count Jeter out.

Poor Jeff Karstens pitched decently, but didn't get a win. He handed a 4-2 lead to the bullpen in the seventh inning, and watched them give up three runs and the lead without getting a single out. (Myers and Beam were the culprits. The next inning, Villone gave up another run.)

Mo was money in the 9th, but Jays' closer, BJ Ryan, was even better. The Yanks went down in order, with Melky Cabrera getting the final out.

Melky started in CF for the first time all season. He went 2 for 5, but is still batting only .247 for the month - his lowest since going .213 in a dismal June. He did play the outfield very well. He had one crashing-into-the-wall catch that was very Bubba-like. And showed good range overall.

Andy Phillips had yet another error at 1B. Cashman and Torre obviously see something in him. They think he's their best defensive first baseman. I really don't get it, though. His defensive stats are about the same as Wilson's. Just from watching them all, I'd rather have Guiel. With Sheff set to start at 1B, they need a good defensive first baseman. Andy Phillips is below average on defense. He's hitting .241 and is a terrible baserunner. Seems like we could do better.

Kevin Thompson is so buried on the bench I sometimes wonder if he's still alive. He didn't even get into the game when the scrubs were put in today.

Tomorrow is the last game of the regular season. Should be fun to see who gets to play manager. Mo? Bernie? Probably not Jeter, since he has a batting title to win.

In other news...the team formerly known as the Brooklyn Dodgers clinched a playoff spot tonight. A lot of old timers remember Yankees-Dodgers as a far bigger rivalry than Yankees-Mets. One guy told me that entering Brooklyn wearing Yankees colors would get you beat up, and the same for Brooklyn fans who dared venture to the Bronx.

Many New Yorkers have never forgiven the Dodgers for leaving. Others still root for them, even though they're on the other side of the country now.

So I like the idea of a Yankees-Dodgers series. What a classic that would be.

Though it would also be annoying. The Los Angeles Dodgers are Bubba's old team. The team that drafted him. Damn, it would have been cool if he could play against them in the World Series.

posted by BubbaFan, 7:29 PM


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