Well, I could lie and say I thought we’d pound the Orioles into the ground, but I think we all know that wasn’t going to happen, not even on our best day. Rather, they’re the ones that did the pounding. Our playoff chances keep getting slimmer and slimmer, given that we’re behind Kansas City by several games for the second WC spot. This isn’t going to be an in-depth recap, only because I stayed up rather late last night watching news about Robin Williams, and as such, I’m a bit exhausted right now and don’t particularly have the energy to do a whole lot of bellyaching about how bad the Yankees managed to shit the bed last night. Losing 11-3 is awful, whether it happens in April or August, but when you’re fighting for your playoff lives, it’s about 10 steps to the left of awful. I hope that tonight’s game is the exact opposite, in that we manage to win, whether it’s by one run or 20.
After winning a great series against the heavily-favored Detroit Tigers, including two games against Cy Young winners, we follow that up by losing a series to the damn Cleveland Indians. I’ll be damned if I get it, but maybe I’m not supposed to. Unfortunately, the two losses we incurred in this series dropped us back down to 3rd place in the AL East, after Toronto won in 19 innings (another one?!) against the Tigers. My not-so-official opinion on that is, if it takes more than say…..1 1/2 games, or 13-14 innings, call it and finish it before the next scheduled game. That’s one of the only things I don’t like about baseball; it can become interminable. If the score is 2-2, you’re going to keep playing until someone scores, whether that’s three innings or three days later. If it’s an afternoon game that stretches that long, okay fine, but if it’s a 7:05 or 8:05 start…..you gotta call that shit.
Our pitching wasn’t bad, necessarily, as we’ve won games after giving up a lot more than just 4 runs, but when your offense craps the bed, you’re not going to win no matter what. Kuroda didn’t have the best start he’s ever had, lasting only 4.2 innings, giving up 3 ER on 5 H, with 4 BB and 3 SO, but the bullpen did a great job, essentially holding the Indians in place to try and give us a chance to scrabble together some runs.
Speaking of runs, we didn’t even score one until the 9th inning, but by then it was too little, too late. Jacoby Ellsbury went 2-4 with an RBI, our only run of the game.
We’re playing Baltimore next, and I don’t have high hopes for this series, so I’ll just cross my fingers and hope we don’t spectacularly embarrass ourselves.
Well, I was hoping in the wake of Paul O’Neill Day, the Yankees would muscle up some runs and beat the Indians, but they clearly had different plans. BTW, the LAAAAAA beat the Red Sox in 19 innings. NINETEEN INNINGS. I think if I’d been at the game, no matter who I was rooting for, I’d have begged someone to hit a HR just so I could go home. Kudos to the fans that stuck around, because that’s two straight games worth of baseball, played all at the same time.
Corey Kluber had a damn good game. Actually, if I’m being honest, he had a damn great game. Over six innings, he gave up 0 ER on 4 H and struck out 10. Brandon McCarthy had a damn great game too, but unfortunately, the Indians gave Kluber some offense to work with, but the Yankees didn’t do the same for McCarthy. Brandon’s final line was 7.1 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 8 K. I’ll take that kind of a line from our rotation any day, provided it’s not in a loss, of course.
Jacoby Ellsbury gets the Offense Award for the game, considering he went 2-3, and was one of only four players to get a hit. Derek Jeter passed Honus Wagner to secure #6 on the all-time hits list. Aside from that, really nothing else happened. I’m hoping this afternoon’s game is a complete reversal of yesterday’s.
#21 was enshrined in Monument Park this afternoon, and he also threw out the first pitch, which was a strike. Way to go, Paulie! Loved hearing that “Paul O’Neill” chant from the Yankees faithful again. Here’s hoping the Yankees win this afternoon to cap this lovely day off with a smile.
Coming off a great series against Detroit, I wanted the Yankees to set the tone in this series with Cleveland, and we did a good job it last night. We needed to win, and for several reasons. One, Toronto lost, so it moved us solidly into 2nd place in the AL East. Two, we’re tied with Seattle at 0.5 games back of Kansas City for the 2nd Wild Card slot. I’d really like to bypass that altogether, because I don’t like our team’s playoff chances essentially coming down to one game. Three, we need to start putting some pressure on Baltimore, because going back to point #2, I hate the Wild Card and don’t want a one-game playoff against the goddamn LAAAAAA, because we have such a horrid time playing them. A playoff spot is a playoff spot though, so I’ll take what we can get, but I’d like us to aim a little higher than Wild Card #2. That’s like aspiring to be “Screaming Woman #10” in a horror movie.
Esmil Rogers took the mound last night, tossing a superb game. His final line was 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 3 SO. Not a quality start per se, but beggars can’t be choosers. Now, the reason I said it was superb, given its brevity, is how godawful the bullpen was in comparison. When you hand your relievers a 10-2 lead, you expect it hold up, not begin leaking out like a sieve. Shawn Kelley unfortunately crapped the bed, and it was only because of Carlos Beltran, which I’ll get to in a minute, that we didn’t lose the game as a result of it. Huff got it started, giving up 1 ER on 3 H, but Kelley relieved him and opened the floodgates, allowing the Indians to score 4 ER on 2 H. Thankfully the rest of the ‘pen staved off the hemorrhaging, keeping Cleveland to just 6 runs.
Speaking of Carlos Beltran, his 5 RBI were the difference-makers, as you no doubt can tell. Without them, we’d have lost the game 6-5. Francisco Cervelli also had a good night, going 2-2 after replacing Brian McCann who left the game with a concussion. Management here at Yankees Chick wish McCann a speedy recovery and hope he can return to the team as soon as he’s physically able. Derek Jeter tied Honus Wagner on the all-time hits list, continuing his triumphant march toward retirement, and hopefully that march can end with a lovely ticker-tape parade down the Canyon of Heroes. The only two players to not register a hit were Chase Headley and Jacoby Ellsbury.
As a quick note, I noticed I have 6 followers now, which is an increase of 3 from last I checked, so I’d like to give a shout-out to said individuals and thank them for taking the time to check me out and follow my blog. Feel free to leave comments, whether you’re a Yankees fan or not, as I always appreciate input from fans of other teams, provided they’re nice about it. Spread the word and tell others to come by, I’d sure the love the company.
Apparently I’d completely forgotten that this was a 4-game series, because I thought last night’s game was the rubber match. Either way, winning the series, was important, and we did it. The only thing I dislike about afternoon games is that I can’t listen to them — I can only listen to night games or games over the weekend.
Our pitching was superb this series, and this afternoon was no different. Shane Greene has been one of the many call-ups, acquisitions, and bullpen shifts we’ve had this season, and he demonstrated today that he can be very, very dominant on the mound. His final line was 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 BB, 5 K. David Robertson came in during the 9th and got his 31st save for the effort. Can’t say much more about that.
Can’t say much about the offense, either. We managed only one run on nine hits. Everyone in the lineup got at least a hit, except Francisco Cervelli, and Ichiro went 2-3, the only player to get more than one. Our lone run came from Stephen Drew, who made up for his sloppy defense last night by hitting an RBI double in the 4th. Let’s hope that Toronto loses again tonight, so we can pull ourselves even with them, then start to pull away during the next series.
As you know, I took a hiatus from blogging for the past two seasons (’12-’13), and as a result, I didn’t post my commentary when Derek Jeter announced he was retiring. I was still quite shocked by it, especially how it came on the heels of Mariano Rivera retiring the year before, and Andy Pettitte/Jorge Posada before him. Baseball players get old, not that Jeter is “old”, but he’s old for the job he does, and when they do, they decide to hang up the cleats. I get that. I don’t know if I’d want to push myself through such a physically punishing profession at the age of 40, either.
I watched Derek his whole career. I became a fan in 1994, after someone I went to school with who was from New York turned me on to the Yankees. They hadn’t won anything in a while, and sadly the strike took away any chance they could have had to rectify that before Torre & Co. came along. So ever since he made his official debut in 1996, I’ve been watching. Next to Mo, he was always my favorite Yankee. No one seemed to ever have anything bad to say about him. Even Red Sox fans, who hate anything with an NY on it, call him “Captain Intangibles,” which is the least offensive thing they’ve ever called a Yankee. He never got in trouble with the law, never got in trouble with the league, and in the height of the steroid era, was never even rumored to have been using. He’s the kind of player you wouldn’t mind your kids looking up to as a role model, even though athletes really shouldn’t be considered role models.
So, I’ll miss him. I’m sure that sounds pithy and trite, but it’s true. It’ll be weird watching the Yankees take the field for Spring Training next year, or even Opening Day, and #2 won’t be running out there to take his spot at SS. I don’t know who’ll take his place, but whoever it is…..you have a mighty big uniform to fill.