Tagged: Baltimore Orioles

Game 159: Captain Clutch.

Orioles Yankees BaseballI’ve called Derek Jeter “Captain Clutch” many a time, and it’s never been more appropriate than right now.  It was only fitting that Derek Jeter should score our first run of the night, then our last in the bottom of the 9th.  It was his last home game, the last time he’d ever wear the navy blue and white pinstripes in the Bronx, and in an almost scripted fashion, just like his 3,000th hit being a home run, he wins the game for us.  On the first pitch, no less.  When he announced his retirement before the season started, I reflected on the fact that I became a fan in 1994, before he joined the team.  In those 20 years, I’ve only known one Yankees shortstop.  It’ll be strange as hell to see someone else taking the field next year, no #2 hovering in the on-deck circle, but I suppose that’s what goes through the minds of baseball fans when their favorite players decides to hang up their cleats.  BTW, how extremely emotional and awesome was it for him to be greeted afterwards by Joe Torre, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, Bernie Williams, and Tino Martinez?  They were all key cogs in the dynasty era, and they were all there to usher the last one in.  I won’t lie, I teared up.  I also found it incredibly classy that the Orioles were applauding the whole time.  They’re going to the playoffs, so this loss didn’t affect them, but they still lost….yet they all stood at the top of the dugout, clapping.  Class acts, those boids.

I don’t even care that David Robertson blew the save.  DO NOT CARE.  It’s probably the only time in the history of my baseball fandom that I’ve ever been happy to see such a scene practically dropped into a hitter’s lap.  Good on you, D-Rob, that was marvelous.  If I was a more cynical sort, I’d say you did that on purpose.  He also lucked into the win as well, so there you have it.  Hiroki Kuroda pitched a masterful eight innings, giving up only 2 ER on 3 H, walking none, and striking out nine.  Everyone deserves a steak dinner, yes, even David Robertson.  He allowed Mystique and Aura to take the stage one final time.

The game was all about Derek from the start, so we’ll lead off with him – he went 2-5 with 3 RBI.  Brian McCann, interestingly enough, got 2 RBI without a hit.  That can be done, you know.  Jose Pirela went 2-4.  There’s your offense.  It wasn’t much, but who the hell cares?

On a personal note, I’m going to miss Derek Jeter.  He’s a great guy, a class act all around, he was never embroiled in scandals and bad press.  He’s the kind of player professional sports need more of.  Enjoy retirement, Jetes.  You’ve earned it.

Game 158: Welp, that’s it then.

So that’s how the world ends; not with a bang, but a whimper.  We are officially eliminated from any and all playoff spots, which means our season is basically over.  Derek Jeter’s last home game is tomorrow, his last ever game is on Sunday night.  If we’re going to win any of the next four games, please let them be those.  One of the people I follow on Twitter tweeted an interesting graphic concerning the last time the Yankees missed the playoffs in consecutive seasons —

For the uninitiated, that’s what gas prices were like the last time that happened, which should give you an idea of how rare an occurrence it is.  Gas under a buck…..where oh where did the time go.

Our pitching sucked this afternoon, and there’s no nice way of putting it.  Our starter, Shane Greene, lasted only 3.2 innings, giving up 6 ER on 7 H.  Our bullpen gave up a further 3 ER on 8 H.  It was just an all-around sh!tshow, so I’m not sure if yesterday was an aberration or what.  Claiborne and Huff were the only two relievers who didn’t crap the bed, so good for them.

The offense was as stale and pathetic as the pitching.  Once again, the top part of the lineup had all the hits/runs, with one exception; Stephen Drew went 1-2 with an RBI, and he bats sixth.  Chase Headley went 3-4 with an RBI, Mark Teixeira went 2-4 with 3 RBI, and that’s basically anything of consequence.

Game 157: Let down.

Well, we made a game of it, and I suppose in the end, that’s what counts.  We had been down 5-1 early, but managed to storm back in the later innings, but we fell a bit short.  Our elimination number from any and all postseason activity is now 1, which, well…..I can’t say I’m all that upset about, really.  I knew it would take an act of nature or something else wildly unlikely for us to make the playoffs this year, so I’ve always had that in the back of my mind.  It makes it hurt less when it becomes an eventuality.

What can I say about Brandon McCarthy?  At least he didn’t walk anybody?  He struck out eight?  If only the front half of his line (11 H, 5 ER) looked as good as the back half.  He also pitched into the 6th, so that’s something else too.  Rich Hill, Esmil Rogers, Dellin Betances, and David Robertson all pitched in relief, giving up a further six hits, but no runs, no walks, and they struck out three.  If only they’d pitched the entire game.

Our offense went back to being woeful, with yet again, barring a couple of exceptions, all of the offense coming from the first third of the batting order.  Brett Gardner went 1-4, Derek Jeter went 1-5, and Brian McCann went 2-4 with 2 RBI.  Both Chris Young and Stephen Drew collected RBIs, but they had no hits.  We were 0-8 with RISP and had 7 LOB.  You can’t win games that way.  I don’t even think the 1927 Yankees could win a game like that. There’s two more games to this series, one this afternoon, and then Derek Jeter’s last home game tomorrow night, and if we’re going to win either of them….please win tomorrow night’s game.

Game 156: We did WHAT to the Orioles?!

The Yankees never fail to amuse me sometimes.  The Orioles are arguably the best team in the American League, yet we manage to one-hit them, at home, in the last week of the season.  It’s never a dull day with us, is it?  We’re four games back from the second Wild Card slot, and while I don’t think we’re going to quite make it, I’m at least grateful that we’re putting some effort into ending the season on a positive note, rather than just shuffling and limping toward the end.

The pitching tonight was superb, as you no doubt already noticed.  Michael Pineda pitched 7.1 innings, giving up 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, and 8 K.  Shawn Kelley, Rich Hill, and David Phelps pitched the final 1.2 innings, giving up no hits, walking one, and striking out three.  It was absolutely dominant performance, and it was great to see.  Well, listen to.  At least in my case, anyway.

Compared to the last game, where all the hits were confined to the top of the batting order, this time nearly everyone got in on the action, with only Gardner, McCann, and Young not getting a hit…..which is funny because Gardner and McCann were two of the three batters I was talking about earlier.  Derek went 1-3 with 3 RBI, Chase Headley went 2-4 with an RBI, and Jose Pirela went 2-3 with an RBI.  So all around, a lot of great effort from everyone involved.  Well done.  Let’s do it again tonight.

Game 150: The Yankees clearly hate their fans.

Well, I should have expected this, really.  I mean, at this rate, we may not finish the season over .500.  With 12 games to go, it’s entirely doable, and since the playoffs are firmly out of the picture, why not shoot for the stars, eh?  Congrats are in order for the Baltimore Orioles, as they won their first AL East championship since 1997, incidentally the one year from 1996-2000 that the Yankees didn’t win the World Series.  Hmm.  Foreshadowing for next season?  I could go with a 1998-style run right about now.

Unlike Monday’s stellar pitching performance that translated into a loss, we got the exact opposite of that last night, and still lost anyway.  Michael Pineda turned in an uncharacteristically middling performance, lasting only 5.1 innings, giving up 1 ER on 4 H.  It was our bullpen that didn’t help matters at all.  Esmil Rogers gave up 3 ER on 2 H during his stint in the game, which lasted all of 1/3 of an inning, then Rich Hill comes in and gives up 1 ER on 2 H, leaving before even recording an out.  When the Yankees suck, we make a show out of it, don’t we?

Well, the good news is, we exceeded our offensive output from Monday by well over 100%.  The bad news is, we only scored one run, and on Monday we scored no runs at all.  So, I mean, it’s something.  Whatever.  Ichiro went 1-4 with an RBI, Francisco Cervelli went 2-3, and that’s basically it as far as notable performances went.  Let’s see if we can get swept tonight!

Game 148: We should have been swept.

Yes, you read that right.  We had no business winning the one game that we did, so really, we ought to have been swept.  Doesn’t feel good saying it, but the truth hurts sometimes.  We were outplayed in Saturday’s game, but managed to squeak by for who knows what lucky reason, but that kind of luck doesn’t tend to stay with us, so here we are.

It’s a shame that when our starters turn in really excellent performances, the offense sh!ts the bed and renders them moot.  Kuroda threw 7.0 innings, gave up 1 ER on 6 H, walked none and struck out five.  Fast-forward to the bottom of the 9th, and David Robertson, usually a very reliable pitcher, promptly blows the save, then gets the loss, by giving up 2 ER on 3 H.  Thanks for nothing, D-Rob.

That said, it’s not entirely the pitching’s fault that we lost.  The offense did nothing, as they’re wont to do anymore.  Martin Prado and Brian McCann accounted for our runs, each going 2-4 with an RBI.  As we only had six hits to speak of, that’s 2/3 of the offense right there.  Two people.  You can’t win games with that, no matter how well your pitching might be.  Depressing.  Just absolutely utterly depressing.

Game 147: We couldn’t do that yesterday?

Hey, we won.  I’d get excited, but it wasn’t much of a victory.  Not that I begrudge the Orioles anything, they’re clearly a great team.  They’ve more than earned the success they’ve achieved this season.  I may hate other teams, but I can admit when they’re better than us, and a whole lot of folk are better than us this year.  At least winning this afternoon meant we can’t get swept, which I’m accepting as the victory we can take away from this series.

Shane Greene was our starter today, lasting 5.1 innings, giving up 2 ER on 7 H, while walking one and striking out nine.  I would have liked to have seen him last the entire 6th inning, if only for it to register as a “quality start,” but he got the win, so it all came out the same in the end.  David Robertson picked up his 36th save on the season as well.

Chris Young stole home today, proving that not all things that come from the Mets are bad.  He’s been downright fantastic for us in the short time we’ve had him thus far.  Richardson and McCann clocked our other two runs.  We only had four hits as it was, so it’s not like we did a whole lot today.  Going 1-5 with RISP and leaving six men on base certainly didn’t help, Baltimore’s outstanding pitching aside.  Let’s hope we can at least force a tie tomorrow evening with a win.