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.
If you sang that to the tune of “Welcome Back, Kotter,” give yourself a hand, because that’s what I wanted you to do. Masahiro Tanaka made his first start in what felt like ages, after sitting out with an injury. We could have used him a few months ago, but it’s better to have him healthy now so he’ll be 100% for next season, instead of pitching through it anyway and being useless by February. As you know, I want the team to finish above .500, so every little bit helps.
For coming off an injury that had him out for a while, he did a fantastic job — 5.1 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K. He’s really going to be an incredibly solid part of the rotation next season, if we can just keep him encased in bubble wrap the whole time. Warren, Betances, and Robertson pitched in relief, with D-Rob picking up his 38th save of the season. They did a great job, and since I seldom have opportunity to praise them, I’m doing it now.
Well, one thing I can say for the offense is at least we didn’t leave 11 men on base or go 3-13 with RISP. We went 2-8, but that’s still better. Brett Gardener went 2-5 with 1 RBI, Brian McCann went 2-3 with 3 RBI, Derek Jeter went 2-4 with an RBI, and Ichiro went 2-4. Unfortunately, with the exception of Ichiro, all of our offense was concentrated in the first three batters. Gardy leads off, Jeter hits second, and McCann hits third. No one after him, except for Ichiro, got a hit. That’s pretty damn depressing. I’m glad we won and all, don’t get me wrong, but that’s a whole lot of nothing from literally everyone else. We start a series against Baltimore next, and the last game of the series on Thursday will be Derek Jeter’s final home game — we close the season against the Red Sox in Boston, and won’t that be a delight. So, four more home games for Mr. November. Where does the time go?
The Yankees could only manage three in a row, I’m afraid. Any more and they’d all be liable to blow up or something. We’re only four games above .500, so my challenge for them is to finish better than 82-82. Even if it’s 83-81, I don’t care. Just finish above .500.
Chris Capuano didn’t have the best night, lasting only 5.2 innings, giving up 4 ER on 5 H, walking four while striking out only two. At least he didn’t give up any HRs, yeah? Our bullpen was okay, they didn’t completely sh!t the bed, but they did give up a further 2 ER and 5 H, so it wasn’t a sparkling performance by any means. There were other reasons we eventually ended up losing that had nothing to do with the pitching, as poor as it was.
The offense has been stagnant all season, so that in and of itself wasn’t shocking. I expect us to barely do anything at the plate anymore. What annoyed me is we managed 11 hits, a feat for this team, and yet we scored only three runs. We were 3-13 with RISP and left 11 men on base. That’s not going to win you ballgames, whether you’re a good team, a poor team, or a middling team. When are we ever going to clock that many hits during one game? You need to capitalize on that. Brett Gardner went 2-5, Derek Jeter went 2-5 with an RBI, Brian McCann went 1-4 with an RBI, Ichiro went 2-4, and Francisco Cervelli went 1-4 with an RBI. Let’s win today if we can. That’s IF we can.
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.
After yesterday’s vomitrocious (I just made that word up.) loss, a win tonight would have been just the palate cleanser we needed, like that gargle of mouthwash you take right after you upchuck. Thankfully, the Yankees provided the ACT (substitute your mouthwash of choice, of course), and we beat the Blue Jays. With Baltimore winning, Detroit winning, and Seattle winning, we really needed to come out on top.
Chris Capuano followed up Kuroda’s fantastic outing with one of his own, finishing with 6.1 IP, 8 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, and 4 K. We’ve been getting some surprisingly good pitching from our rotation of late, it’s just a shame our record hasn’t reflected that. Warren, Outman, and D-Rob comprised our bullpen, finishing the game by giving up just one hit and striking out two. I will add that we were sloppy in the field, which led to a Toronto run, as we made two errors. Jeter had an uncharacteristic oopsie, as did Brett Gardner. At least neither came back to bite us in the @$$.
Our offense tonight wasn’t great, but six runs is by no means something to scoff at, and after the lackluster showing from our series finale with Detroit, I’m certainly not complaining. Jacoby Ellsbury, who has been a truly great contribution to our lineup, went 2-5 with 2 RBI, picking up our Offensive Star of the Game. Martin Prado, Mr. Wheaties, went 2-5, Brian McCann went 1-4, Brett Gardner went 1-3 with an RBI, and Chase Headley went 1-2 with an RBI. Everybody but Teixeira and Beltran got a hit, so at least it was a well-rounded affair, which is something I consistently harp on with these guys. Even if we lose, lose despite trying your damnedest to win, just don’t roll over and die. I’d love to post the Crazy Stein again, so let’s see if we can’t sweep these birds.
After dropping a series to the lowly Indians and the soaring Orioles, we needed to take this series against Tampa badly. If not to improve our playoff chances, but to at least save face. Thankfully, we managed to do that this afternoon. Boston lost, Toronto lost, but Baltimore won, so we gained ground on the first two, and held firm against the last. At this point in the season. you look to the little things, and right now I’d just like to finish the year above .500. We’re 4 games over at the moment, and I want that number to continue getting bigger, not smaller. If we’re not going to make the playoffs, I’d at least like a .500 record. I hope that’s not too much to ask.
Hiroki Kuroda threw yet another fantastic game, and I sometimes shudder to think just how shit we’d be right now if he’d been hurt, along with CC and Tanaka. Hell, we could be vying with Boston and Texas for worst team in the AL. We needed a really strong, solid performance out of him, and he delivered in spades, going 6.2 innings, giving up only 2 ER on 4 H. Shawn Kelley, Dellin Betances (who turned in a solid performance yesterday), and David Robertson, he of the magic high socks, all pitched in relief and matched Kuroda in regard to consistency. D-Rob, by the by, picked up his 33rd save.
Our offense today wasn’t exactly far removed from our offense of yesterday, but anymore, as long as we win, I’m willing to overlook it. Brett Gardner went 1-4 with 2 RBI, winning Offensive Star of the Game™, Martin Prado went 2-4, Chase Headley went 2-4, and Mark Teixeira went 1-4 with an RBI. At least the offense was mostly spread out amongst the lineup, with all but three starting players getting at least one hit at the plate. We’re off tomorrow, but we start a series at home against the Astros on Tuesday, so hopefully after a day off, the offense will wake up and smash the crap out of Houston pitching.
Well, the Yankees have a hard row to hoe in this series against the Tigers, considering we’re facing not one, not two, but three consecutive Cy Young award winners, starting with last year’s winner, Max Scherzer. I always hate when we have to try to hit against really good pitchers, because more often than not, we do jack squat. We didn’t do much last night as it was, but thankfully it was enough to win.
Brandon McCarthy pitched a great game, and that really can’t be overstated. He’s not Cy Young caliber himself, and the Tigers are a good team, but he held them back as much as he could. In 5.2 IP, he gave up only 5 H and 1 R, and the one run was unearned. Our bullpen took over after that, giving up just 1 H and 3 SO combined. D-Rob and his magic high socks collected his 30th save of the season. I should add that Scherzer pitched fantastically himself, going 7 innings and giving up only 2 R on 9 H, but this is still a Yankees blog, so while he pitched well, I’m glad we still beat him anyway.
The offense was as weak as the pitching was strong, which was to be expected, given who we were facing. Jacoby Ellsbury went 2-3 with an RBI, and Brian McCann went 1-4 with an RBI, and that was our scoring for the night right there. Brett Gardner went 2-4, and he was the only other hitter, aside from Ellsbury, to get more than one hit. I’ll say this though, everyone in the lineup aside from Beltran and Drew got at least one hit, so there’s something.
Let’s do this again tonight, only against David Price this time, who we always have oh-so-much fun against each time we see him. I’d like to win this series, so it’s either we beat him or we beat Verlander, which yeah. You can see the pickle we’re in. Not to mention, Baltimore won last night, which is becoming endlessly irritating. Do you know how painful it is to root for the freakin’ Nationals to win a game? We need to try and overtop Toronto to keep pace with the Orioles, which is becoming a Herculean task in and of itself. Damn it, Washington….you’re first in war, first in peace, but can you be first at beating the O’s?????