With the Braves getting blown out by the Yankees last night, outfielder Jonny Gomes got an opportunity to pitch the top of the ninth inning. As you might expect, it was pretty entertaining.
The reaction to the Chris Young homer was classic. And as you might have noticed on the strikeout of Bryan Mitchell, he had shades of Luis Tiant in his delivery. Fantastic stuff.
Not only was it Gomes’ first pitching appearance in the majors, but he told Mark Bowman of MLB.com that it was his first pitching appearance at any level. Throwing mostly around 70 mph, he ended up giving up two runs on three hits. But he worked fast and didn’t walk a batter. Perhaps most importantly, he saved the bullpen and gave Braves fans something to smile about on an otherwise lousy evening.
By the way, this appearance was Craig Calcaterra-approved.
The Yankees have outrighted lefty pitcher Chris Capuano to Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre after he cleared waivers. He was designated for assignment by the team on Wednesday.
It’s the latest saga in what has been a busy season for Capuano:
- April 4: Placed on the DL with a strained right quad
- May 17: Activated from the DL
- June 1: Demoted to Yankees’ bullpen
- July 28: Re-inserted into Yankees’ rotation
- July 29: Designated for assignment
- July 31: Outrighted to Triple-A
- August 12: Contract purchased by the Yankees
- August 15: Designated for assignment
- August 18: Contract purchased by the Yankees
- August 22: Designated for assignment
- August 24: Re-signed to a one-year contract by the Yankees
- August 26: Designated for assignment
- August 28: Outrighted to Triple-A
If you’re counting, that’s four DFA’s for the 37-year-old. Capuano has pitched 35 innings at the big league level this season, compiling a 7.71 ERA with a 32/20 K/BB ratio.
Right-hander Michael Pineda is off the disabled list and back in the Yankees’ starting rotation after missing the past month with a strained forearm.
Pineda got off to an excellent start this season, including a dominant 16-strikeout game against the Orioles in mid-May, but after that he went 4-7 with a 4.77 ERA in a dozen starts before going on the disabled list.
He’s expected to be on a limited pitch count initially and given Pineda’s lengthy injury history the Yankees may try to manage his workload down the stretch, but if healthy he could play a huge role in New York’s playoff push.
Great moments in Playing the Game the Right Way. During and after last night’s shellacking at the hands of the Astros, Yankees manager Joe Girardi and catcher John Ryan Murphy suggested that Carlos Gomez do just that after Gomez got mad at himself for popping up a pitch.
“I just told him, ‘Play the game the right way. They’re kicking our rear ends. Show a little professionalism to the pitcher. I know you missed a pitch and are frustrated by it, but I just think it’s a little too much.”
“I don’t think there’s any place for that, especially in a 9-0 game,” Murphy said. “He’s an energetic guy. Everybody knows that. We respect him as a baseball player, just, there’s a right way and a wrong way to play the game.”
Gomez being Gomez should not, at this point, be the cause of consternation. But heck, even if it wasn’t Gomez, I still don’t understand the rules about when it’s OK or not OK to be mad at themselves for not doing what they planned. Pitchers have, for years, yelled at the top of their lungs, gestured wildly, sunk to their knees, shouted into their gloves and any number of other things when they’ve given up a homer or failed to make the pitch they want. No one ever says boo to that.
But if a hitter gets mad at himself for not putting a good swing on a pitch, it’s a crisis of ethics. Madison Bumgarner and Chris Carpenter are famous for taking issue with hitters who are disappointed in themselves. The Yankees entire bench last night did too. It makes zero sense.
Play your own damn game. Let Carlos Gomez play his.