Tagged: Brian McCann

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 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 155: Welcome back, Tanaka.

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?

Game 154: Well, that was nice while it lasted.

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.

Game 153: Wow, three in a row!

I’d like to think the Yankees secretly read my blog, thus understanding just how pissed off I’ve been at them all season, and now they’re trying to butter me up by playing smart baseball and winning games.  I’m on to you, fellas.  *taps side of nose*  It’s just too bad they’re figuring this out in the last two weeks of September, instead of several months ago.  Imagine how different our playoff outlook would be then?

Hiroki Kuroda pitched tonight, kicking all kinds of Blue Jay ass, lasting 6.2 innings, giving up 2 ER on 7 H, with 0 BB and 7 K.  Outman, Rogers, and Warren pitched the remaining 2.1 innings, giving up a combined 2 H and 0 ER, walking one and striking out three.  Warren picked up his 3rd save of the season, as well.

As far as offense goes, it wasn’t great, but it got the job done, which in the end is all that’s really important.  Jacoby Ellsbury went 2-3 with 3 RBI before leaving the game with a strained hamstring, but since it’s September 19, it’s not as crushing a blow as it otherwise would have been.  I still hope he’s alright and won’t have any issues come Spring Training next year.  Derek Jeter went 2-4, and Brian McCann went 1-4 with an RBI.  On a personal note, I can’t honestly say I know why Carlos Beltran played tonight, given the fact his wife lost their unborn child.  If ever there was a time when it was perfectly acceptable to sit the rest of the season, it would be for that.  My good thoughts and positive vibes are with them both right now.

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.