Though Javier Vazquez pitched well today, the Yankees’ bats mustered no support for the beleaguered $12M 4th starter. Take a look at the stat line for the Yankees pitchers:
This might sound crazy, but here’s my theory on the Yanks and Vazquez: the vibe is so negative surrounding him that it has infected the Yankees’ hitters. It’s almost like the Yankees subconsciously have let it creep in that they aren’t expected to win when Vazquez takes the mound.
Once upon a time, the Mets had a pitcher named Anthony Young. Anthony Young had good stuff, and I thought he wasn’t that bad. But a vibe took hold over the Mets whenever he pitched, after getting off to a poor start in the 1992 season. They moved him to the pen after the Mets got the idea that he couldn’t shake his bad luck as a starter, and he had 15 saves, which is respectable. But he ended the year 2-14 and then went 1-16 the following year, with a very respectable 3.77 E.R.A.
Young’s stats, career, as a Met: 5-35, 3.82 E.R.A.
Vazquez is a much better pitcher than Young, but Young may have pitched better than Vazquez at the start of his woes. It’s early, but Vazquez has an E.R.A. of 8.10–over 8 runs per 9 innings. He really did pitch a gem today, and his E.R.A. only improved a little bit.
In New York, the media can ride the vibe or turn the vibe into a monster. And you know what, we’ve probably contributed to it by hating him so much on this page. But Vazquez got the ball rolling by pitching badly and then complaining about the fans who are now looking at this for a 2nd time from a guy supposed to be so much better.
Fans complain about players. Players are very foolish to complain about fans–especially with 20 reporters standing at their locker with tape recorders. And in the case of poor old Anthony Young, too bad for him that the Mets weren’t the greatest team while he was there.