It’s been an interesting season. I’m upset we’re not going to the playoffs, because I would have liked to see Derek Jeter’s final season end in a slightly less depressing fashion, but at least we ended the year with a win and finished above .500, which were two things I wanted to see happen above all else. I’ll still be maintaining this blog throughout the playoffs, and then intermittently through the off-season when stories of note happen. Also, congratulations are in order for Ryan Zimmerman, he of the Washington Nationals — there’s nothing quite like waiting until the last game of the season to throw a no-hitter, I suppose.
Michael Pineda pitched our final game of the season, ending with a final line of 6.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, and 10 K. His stats for the season were a 5-5 record with 1.89 ERA. Not bad. Esmil Rogers, who relieved him, didn’t do such a good job, coughing up a further four runs, bringing the score to 9-5. Thankfully none of our other pitchers gave up any further runs, and we were able to maintain the lead. I’m never too fussed about how we win, just that we do.
Derek Jeter played his final game as a Yankee yesterday afternoon, exiting in the 3rd inning after getting an RBI single. His last home game ended with an RBI single, and his last game in general ended with one as well. Lovely bookends. As it was, the offense was pretty well spread-out amongst the lineup, Jeter included. Jose Pirela went 2-4 with 2 RBI, Ichiro went 1-3 with 2 RBI, Chris Young went 2-4, Chase Headley went 1-4 with an RBI, and Austin Romine went 1-2 with an RBI. Overall, a very wonderful effort from everyone, and I liked seeing that we didn’t limp into the end of the season. Onwards and upwards!
If there’s anything we’ve learned about the Yankees over the many decades of their history, it’s that they like to keep their fans on their toes, not letting them anticipate what’s happening next. A nice, close victory on Friday….a blowout on Saturday. Who only knows what we’re going to get tonight, but it better be in the form of a Yankees victory, that much I know for fact.
Tanaka had a bad day. I think we can all admit that. The opposing team putting up an eight-run 2nd inning will do to that to you every time. The rest of the pitchers we tossed up there yesterday afternoon weren’t much better, but they at least didn’t push the Red Sox toward 20 runs or something. The three errors didn’t help our cause either, and I’m sure Tanaka and the relievers (which sounds like a bad 80s New Wave band) didn’t appreciate them. The good thing is, if you can take any good away from this, only six of the runs were earned, so no one’s ERA took too big of a hit. Silver linings, y’all.
The offense was pretty atrocious, not actually getting anything going until the last few innings, but by then it was too late. Ichiro went 2-5, Cervelli went 2-3 after coming in to PH for Derek Jeter who left with a tweaked hamstring, Chase Headley went 2-5, Chris Young went 2-4 with an RBI, and Stephen Drew went 1-3 with 2 RBI. All of our usual regulars didn’t play, as there was no real point to putting them out on the field. I used to call this, back in the Joe Torre era, as the “House Money Lineup.” Meaning, you’re essentially conceding to the other team. I mean, when you smack 12 hits, but only manage four runs, going 3-12 with RISP, it can be argued how much you’re really trying. Let’s just hope Sunday night’s game is a blistering Yankees victory so that Derek Jeter can exit both at home and on the road, with a win.
I love beating the Red Sox. There’s such a joy, such a feeling of whimsy that overtakes me whenever it happens, I’m always left waiting for it to happen again. I know that the games are meaningless for both teams, and that no matter what, the standings won’t be affected, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want us to whip their whiny asses into a nice lather, then dump them in the fetid Charles.
Chris Capuano did much better tonight than he did during his last start. His final line was 6.2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, and 5 K. Against any team that’s great, but against the Red Sox, that’s absolutely hysterical. Our relievers combined for 1 H and 1 ER, along with 4 K, garnering David Robertson his 39th save of the season, making up for last night’s oopsie that no one is actually all that upset about anyway.
The offense wasn’t all that much to write home about, but it got the job done, and we’re guaranteed to finish with a winning record, and considering the games are meaningless, Joe didn’t even play the A Squad. Francisco Cervelli went 2-3 with an RBI….which is basically the only interesting thing about the lineup tonight. Tomorrow’s game is probably going to be similar as far as the lineup and pitching are concerned, as there’s no use burning through the good players when the season ends Sunday. I just hope Sunday night’s game gets 100% effort, as that’s Derek Jeter’s absolute last game, home or away, and I’d like him to go out in style, if at all possible. I want a 15-inning pitcher’s duel that lasts 5 hours and requires everyone to pitch, including position players. Make it a real, legendary Yankees/Red Sox game.
Look, I know neither team is making the playoffs, but my hatred for all things Boston burns bright, and watching Uehara give up not only the game-tying HR, but the game-winning one as well, it just made my night. I immediately went to SoSH to read all the delicious schadenfreude that I could, just to extend the fun. No, it’s not mature, and I could probably handle my fandom better than that, but as a Yankees fan, there’s precisely one thing we all know for an absolute fact: The Red Sox suck, no matter what.
Someone else who sucked last night was Chris Capuano. He’s basically been pretty solid for us all year, but last night, not so much. He only lasted 4.1 innings, giving up 4 R on 6 H, not to mention two HRs to Big Sloppy. Our bullpen, though….they had to do yeoman’s work, but they did it well, giving up only one more hit the rest of the game. We needed them to come through and hold Boston to four runs, in the off chance we’d actually drum up enough offense to win the game. So, kudos to them for a well-pitched game.
Extra-special kudos go out to Mark Teixeira and Chase Headley however, because without them, this game wrap-up would have an entirely different tone. We scored three runs in the 3rd, then did nothing until the bottom of the 9th, when it was decided we’d cue the dramatic finale. Uehara gave up a bomb to Mark, into the 2nd deck no less, then gave up another one to Chase, who promptly began running around the bases before getting doused in Gatorade at home plate. Aside from them, Derek Jeter went 1-4 with 2 RBI and Carlos Beltran went 1-4 with an RBI. Aren’t walk-offs fun? We’re starting a new series tonight against the Royals, and while I’m not holding out any hope that we’ll win the series, let’s just try not to get swept, yeah?
You’ll have to forgive the possibly over-jubilant response to last night’s victory; after Tuesday’s game, I held out no hope that we’d beat the Red Sox, much less by more than one run. I hate playing the Red Sox, not just because they’re the Red Sox, but every game gives me a quasi-ulcer. Not to mention, not a single Yankees/Red Sox game can be played in under three hours. If they’re on ESPN on a Sunday night, no chance it will be less than 3.5 hours. It’s just one of many reasons watching these games (or in my case, listening to them) is incredibly nerve wracking.
Hiroki Kuroda did what he’s mostly been doing all season, and that’s pitching his ass off. He’s one of the few pitchers we have that are very reliable and can be counted on to give you a quality start each time out, even if we don’t end up winning the game. He pitched 7.0 innings, giving up only 1 ER on 4 H, while walking none and striking out eight. Dellin Betances and David Robertson pitched the last two innings, giving up 0 ER on 2 H while striking out four. If only we got pitching performances like this all the time, against good teams as well as the crappy ones, we’d be in a lot better shape.
Our offense was also surprisingly on target tonight, tagging Boston pitching for 5 runs on 11 H. Brian McCann is our Offensive Star of the Game, as he went 4-4 with 3 RBI. Runner-up is Brett Gardner, who went 2-4 with an RBI, and 2nd runner-up goes to Jacoby Ellsbury, who went 1-3 with an RBI. Everyone in the starting lineup except Beltran and Drew got at least a hit, so it was nice to see the offense spread around a bit, at least in terms of that. Tonight’s game better go in much the same vein.
The Red Sox are arguably one of the worst teams in the American League, if not all of baseball, so naturally we lose to them. I called that to myself before the game even started. I really wanted to be wrong, and hoped that when the Red Sox jumped to an early lead we’d snap out of it, but alas, ’twas not to be. As a side note, I read that the Yankees will be wearing a patch in honor of Derek Jeter, and what I’d like to know is why. He’s not dying, he’s retiring. I’m not taking anything away from his legacy, he will rightfully go down as one of the greatest Yankees of all time, not to mention one of the greatest shortstops in all of baseball, but the somewhat overwrought reaction he’s getting whenever the Yankees play in someone else’s ballpark is just a bit….maybe not ridiculous, but a little over the top. I love him, and I’ll miss him, but he’s not moving to a colony on Mars, people.
Now, on to the pitching last night, which was in a word, abysmal. Shane Greene started but didn’t stay long, lasting only 2.2 innings, giving up 6 ER on 6 H. He walked three, struck out three, and gave up two HRs. Lovely line. It’s not like our relievers did that much better, giving up a combined 3 ER on 6 H, with 3 BB and 9 K. The only good part of any of that is the 9 K part, and that was all of relievers put together. It was a sh!t-show from start to finish. There’s really nothing else that can be said about it, it was that bad.
To make matters worse, it wasn’t like the offense was any better. Brian McCann went 2-4 with an RBI, Martin Prado went 2-3 with an RBI, and Derek Jeter went 1-4 with an RBI. That was pretty much the extent of our vaunted offense. You can’t win games if you don’t score runs, though it helps if your pitching doesn’t give up nine of them, but if we had any urgency in us whatsoever, we could have pulled this one out. Hopefully tonight’s game goes much better than this one did. Hopefully.
Last night’s game was a make-up game from earlier in the season, but it still behooved us to win, as we’re going into a series against the Tigers next. The worst part of the schedule right now is that I’m forced to root for the Red Sox, as they’re playing Toronto, and I’d like to put some distance between us and them. Plus, Tampa is playing Baltimore, and the sad thing is, I wish they were still playing the Cubs. At least the Red Sox helped us out by beating the Blue Jays (you have no idea how much it hurt to type that).
I went into the game hoping we’d get a strong pitching performance out of Pineda, and thankfully we did. His final line was 6.1 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 5 K. His ERA is a nice n’ tidy 1.95. David Huff came in for relief and pitched the rest of the game, giving up only two hits and striking out one. It was nice to see a clean, easy, drama-free night of pitching, with no blown leads, no nothing.
I’ve been bitching for a while now that I wanted to see a more well-rounded offensive effort from them, and apparently they tired of my kvetching and whining, because they finally delivered! Everyone in the starting lineup got at least one hit, and since we clobbered 13 of them, you’d hope that was the case. Jacoby Ellsbury went 3-5 with 3 RBI, Martin Prado (has this kid been eating his Wheaties?!) went 2-4, Ichiro went 2-4, Derek Jeter went 1-5 with 2 RBI, and Brian McCann went 1-3 with an RBI. It was heartening to see so many people contributing this time, instead of the same names over and over again. I hope this continues against Detroit, although I’m not holding my breath.