Yankees Feel Leiter; Burnett and Lowell to the Red Sox

So, I went to the game. It was a good game overall. The Red Sox didn’t beat themselves like they did two days ago. No, last night was just a simple loss.
We might as well just dive into it because the comments are all aflutter about Cora over Bellhorn. Guys, we KNEW Bellhorn would strike out. So notwithstanding the fact he left the game with an injury, Cora was a better option defensively and at the plate, because he could make something happen. Double plays are still rare. A starter generally hits into no more than 15 DPs, which are 30 outs. Bellhorn is on pace to strike out 202 times (thereabouts) and that’s such a waste. If a normal hitter K’s 70 times, 70+30 is 100. 102 extra outs …
But I didn’t mean to get into a tangent. I was happy to see Cora up. He has speed, he could make something happen, and he was a better bet to make something happen than Mark Bellhorn was. Plus, by all accounts I hear, Alex Cora was safe anyways. Also, what if A-Rod makes an error? Posada? Tino? There are so much more possibilities out there with the ball in play.
You all point to Mark Bellhorn K’ing as an ability for Johnny Damon to do something. He DID do something. He grounded out, and if there had been one out, would have been a double play.
Let’s all take a breath. We’re still in first place, and whether or notwe fall out of first place doesn’t mean anything. It doesn’t mean we’ll still be out of first in September, it doesn’t mean we won’t. Tim Wakefield had a great game and allowed two legit hits and three home-runs, all mistake pitches. If he’s as lucky as Al Leiter, he pitches a complete game shutout. We lost this game, but we didn’t lose it because of ourselves.
Al Leiter … what a great start. I was impressed. I talked to Jared and he said Leiter was typically around 83-85 mph with his fastball in Florida. Well, he gained seven miles per hour. He started out with an 88 fastball and 89 cut fastball, and progressed to a consistent 90 fastball, 91 cut fastball. I saw a 92 cut in there somewhere, I think. His curveball was average around 78 mph, but enough to throw batters off.
Al Leiter had 3 BB, 8 K, 3 H, and Wakefield in 9 innings had 3 BB, 5 K, 5 H. Overall a much better line than Leiter, but we left too many men on base. Again, luck. Varitek (who pinch-hit) and surprisingly, Bellhorn were the only two not to leave men on base. Of course, Bellhorn would have left a nice chunk of men on base in the ninth.
Tanyon Sturtze continued his dominating of the Red Sox. Tom Gordon was flatout throwing gas, and we almost got to Mariano. I’m just happy we rallied. Sure, I wanted to win. Sure, the Yankees are a half-game out of first. But I tend to look at the brighter side of things which includes the Yankees bringing up Aaron Small to start more than one game. With the Melky Cabrera experiment failed, Bernie Williams/Tony Womack head back to center. Which includes a soft schedule for the Red Sox in the second half and a hard one for the Yankees. Which includes Boston hosting Tampa Bay next while the Yankees travel to hitting paradise Texas, who just so happens to be a good team as well.
Here are some pictures of the game, and then onto the AJ Burnett/Mike Lowell deal that brings them to Boston…

PICTURES, PICTURES Tim Wakefield, the extreme shift for Jason Giambi, the aftermath of when Kevin Millar took out Robinson Cano (which was obviously unintentional – he slipped but hey, job done), Johnny Damon extends his streak to 29 (I had a video, but I let it run too long in anticipation of Damon tipping his cap, so the file is too large), Robinson Cano, Everyone’s (but not mine) new whipping boy, Alex Cora, VIDEO: Al Leiter winds up for his first pitch.

Mike of RedSoxRSS.com texted me on my cell phone during the game, saying ESPN Radio had said AJ Burnett and Mike Lowell were headed to Boston. Abe Alvarez was sent to San Diego with Sean Burroughs moving to Boston, and then being traded along with Bronson Arroyo, Kelly Shoppach, and another possible minor leaguer to Florida for the aforemented two.
I have since found out that this is not official. However, 1) Radio always breaks everything and 2) Burroughs and Lowell were held out of the lineup today (standard protocol if they are about to be traded). This leads me to deduce that this trade will go through tomorrow. Each trade needs to be approved by the Commissioner, and I’m sure he wasn’t working at 9 PM, the Office was closed. So I expect it to go through tomorrow. Even if it doesn’t, let’s just see my reaction for the hell of it, broken down by player.
KELLY SHOPPACH: I did not advocate trading Kelly Shoppach unless it was worth it because I felt he could be valuable to us. Well, the day has come, and while I’m sure down the road we will miss him, it’s a good enough trade for me to agree to trade Kelly.
ABE ALVAREZ: Man, I hate trading this dude. I had him inked for a future Fire Brand of the American League, but he’ll never project to anything more than a #3 starter. I really do hate losing him, but gasp we have the pitching prospects to cover it! Abe should enjoy the pitching-friendly Petco Park, and will return to his college roots (he attended in California). Best of luck to the kid.
BRONSON ARROYO: Well, I obviously like the dude considering my carping that he NOT be moved to the bullpen. However, as I noted yesterday: A middle reliever to help solve their beleaguered bullpen, who, incidentally is excellent v. RHP which takes Bronson Arroyo

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