Yankees Rumors & News
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Gimme Some Mo: “The Yankees fell further out of the playoff race as they lost last night when Scott Proctor walked the bases loaded then walked in the winning-run.

The Yankees again squandered another great pitching performance by Andy Pettitte, who went 7 innings surrendering merely 2 runs. Then in the ninth Scott Procter came in during a tie game. He got ahead of and then eventually walked Corey Patterson to start the inning. Then after surrendering a single, he made a fantastic diving catch on a Chris Gomez bunt attempt only to fail to double off Patterson who was way off second. He then proceeded to walk the next two batters to lose the game.The entire time I’m watching Proctor sweat I’m thinking, didn’t they lose the other day with Mariano Rivera waiting in the bullpen?

Yes, this was the second time in merely a week the Yankees have lost in walk-off fashion with Rivera waiting with plenty of rest. At the same time, the rest of the bullpen has been on overdrive. Has Joe Torre forgotten about arguably the best reliever of all-time?

Proctor has thrown the 2nd most pitches of any reliever in the American League and teammate Luis Vizcaino ranks 8th in the AL for innings pitched. There is no other tandem in the AL with more pitches thrown than those two. On top of this Mike Myers has already come to within 1 innings of his total for the entire 2006 season and is on pace to set a career high.

All this while Rivera is on pace for the second fewest innings pitched of his career (57). There could be a few reasons for this. First of all, Mo turned 37 this year and started off terribly. He started the season with a 10.57 ERA in April blowing and loosing 2 games. Despite all of this you can’t say his performance has been the cause of this banishment.

Since May 1st he has an ERA of 1.80 and zero blown saves. He has been even more effective lately blanking the opposition in 11 of his last 12 attempts. During that streak he has run-up a 1.38 ERA and a 0.92 WHIP, all with a 1-0 record and 6 saves.

Now take a look at the Yankees’ record in 1-run games: 4-13. The team struggles mightily in close games even as Rivera is becoming more of a bleacher creature than a relied upon reliever. While Torre is waiting for the save opportunity to bring him into games, the bullpen is blowing the attempts for Rivera. The Proctor-Bruney-Farnsworth-Vizcaino-Myers combo has 10 blown saves between them.

If the inevitable hall-of-famer was used more often in close games this could turn around.

If they won just half of the games they lost their record could be 11-6 in those situations and 43-31 overall. This would put them just 1 game back in the wildcard race and right there 4.5 games back of Boston. By using Mo more often you’d also take some of the burden off the other relievers, making them more effective.

If Joe Torre would put Mariano in close or tied games instead of not at all, it could have the effect of turning the season around.

(Via In the Dirt.)

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