Posted at 9:32 AM on June 6, 2005
by Bob Collins
A couple of notes on Sunday's game with the Yankees as viewed from the Upper Deck.
* Let's see if I have this correct. Michael Ryan, just up from the minors, put a suicide squeeze play on with the bases loaded, without being told to do so, and without the runner at third knowing about it? I'm sorry, that's not a guy you want on your team.
* It makes for a romantic and gripping tale to observe that Kevin Brown's "problems" in the game started in that inning when he hit Torii Hunter with a pitch. I believe I saw one scribe say up until then, he was dominant.
Nice angle. If only it were true.
Brown was laboring, however, the inning before, as I observed to my oldest son -- a Yankee fan (born in White Plains) -- that his pitch count after 5 meant the 6th would certainly be his last inning.
Cuddyer singled to start the 5th on Brown's first pitch. It was then, I think, that Brown started becoming unglued because he developed a fascination with runners at first, and it was that not Hunter, that disrupted his rhythm. It took 8 pitches, if you include the pickoffs, to get Mike Redmond to strike out swinging.
It took two more (if you include another pickoff attempt) before Luis Rodriguez singled to A-Rod at third.
On the second pitch, Michael Ryan forced Rodriguez at second. And then in the AB of the game to that point -- which none of the scribes mentioned this morning, Brent Abernathy made Brown throw 15 pitches, including four more pickoff attempts, before fouling out to Tino Martinez for the final out.
The other thing I noticed about Brown yesterday -- if you can believe the radar again -- almost every pitch was 93 or 94 mph. That's fast, but compare that to Carlos Silva who ranged from 83 to 93. Brown got a couple of guys wayyyy out in front by throwing a fastball at 89 instead of 94. But not often.
And Joe Torre spit the bit in this game too in waiting so long to take Brown out in the 6th inning. Maybe he was reading the early accounts of the game from the local sportswriters and didn't realize what was really happening.