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’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.
I was going to leave the title as is, but minus the word “victory,” then thought about how absolutely filthy it sounded, regardless of the fact I wasn’t talking what it might look like I was talking about, and thus opted to leave the word in. If any of you reading this managed to follow that sentence, you get a gold star. So do the Yankees, who managed to shock and awe me by falling behind early, but clawing ahead to take the lead and ultimately win the game. We haven’t done that all that often this year.
Chris Capuano didn’t exactly have the best game. That’s putting it mildly of course, he lasted only 0.1 innings, or basically one out. He lasted one out. He gave up 4 ER on 4 H, walking two, which is a great line if you pitch 7 or 8 innings…..not when you’ve only recorded one out. Thus, our bullpen had a yeoman’s task ahead of them, trying to hold the Rays to four runs so we could maybe possibly I don’t know find a way to win the game. They managed to do it, and all of them deserve a steak dinner and a cold beer for it, so Jeter should get on that. I picked him because he’s arguably the richest guy on the team, so he could afford to drop a few quid for it.
Unfortunately, Derek had no hits last night, which is another reason why he should be the one to pay for the steak dinners and beer. Those that did have a good night at the plate include Brian McCann (2-3, 3 RBI), Chris Young (3-4, 2 RBI), Chase Headley (2-3, RBI), Mark Teixeira (1-3, RBI), and Ichiro (1-4, RBI). As you can see, varied production from the top and the bottom of the lineup, which is something I’m always bitching about seeing from them game after game after game. I hope we try and build upon this and win tonight.
I should have been upset by last night’s loss, but I wasn’t. I wasn’t upset because in some small part, I expected it, and in another, I’ve become so desensitized to our losses that when they happen, even when I thought we’d win, I find it hard to get upset or angered or even annoyed. We’re 11 GB in the AL East now, god knows how many games back in the Wild Card race, so for all intents and purposes (not “intensive purposes,” as some might erroneously believe), our season is done. We are, as the title suggests, merely playing out the string. It’s sad that as a Yankees fan, that’s what we’re doing, but it hasn’t been our year since 2009, when we acquired CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira, and AJ Burnett. That was almost a surreal season — I don’t think anyone was anticipating we’d land all three, much less end up winning the World Series. Ah well, as Topol sang in Fiddler on the Roof, sunrise…..sunset.
Hiroki Kuroda did not have a good game, which is a rarity. I dare say he actually had a horribly sh!tty one. Lasting only 3.1 innings, he gave up 4 ER on 9 H. As a result of our starter’s early exit, Girardi went through nearly everyone we had in the pen, including our closer, David Robertson. The sad part is, the seven pitchers that came in for relief gave up only a further two hits, no more runs, and struck out a combined six. I say it’s sad because they they kept us in the game. Any team that chase out the starter in the 4th inning, you’d think would tattoo the bullpen for a bunch of runs/hits as well, but the Rays stopped at four.
The other thing that makes that sad, is that the Yankees stopped at three. When your pitcher craps the bed, but your bullpen holds the other team right where they are, you’re supposed to take advantage of that and make them pay for being unable to chase out your relievers, too. We didn’t do that. Jacoby Ellsbury went 2-4 with an RBI, Chris Young went 1-3 with 2 RBI, and Ichiro went 2-3. That’s the extent of our offensive firepower, and the one good thing I can say about the Yankees last night was that we went 3-5 with RISP and left only two men on base. I was anticipating a far more aggravating number. Let’s just win tonight and as I keep saying, try to end the season on a high note.
Remember yesterday how I said we’d probably lose today because we tend to do that a lot, constantly moving in an up and down motion? Well, we done gone and lost. Not just lost, but we got shut out to boot! Because as we’ve learned from the Yankees this season, if there’s anything worth doing, it’s worth overdoing. It’s a shame too, because even though Shane Greene only lasted 5.2 innings, those 5.2 innings weren’t completely dismal. Our bullpen was spot on, as well. The problem, much like the first game of this series, was the offense. Or in this case, the lack of it. It certainly was quite nice for the Yankees to help honor Derek Jeter by doing absolutely nothing at the plate, even as he was one of only people to get a hit. With 21 games left, I have a feeling they’re just playing out the string, but for Jeter’s sake alone, I’d like to at least finish on a good note.
An odd title for a game wrap-up yes, but it’s a great way to describe how the Yankees have played baseball this season. We win a game, lose a game, win a couple of games, lose five games in a row….it’s a constant back and forth and back and forth. Like a demented waltz. We’re forever marching in a circle it seems. We lost yesterday, won today, we’ll probably lose tomorrow just to keep the rhythm going. At least Baltimore lost, as I’m starting to get stick of them constantly winning. Now I know how their fans felt about us for so long.
Brandon McCarthy didn’t turn in a performance exactly as dominating as Michael Pineda’s from last night, but it was pretty close — 6.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K. He pitched into the 7th inning at any rate, which is kind of what we expect from our starters, regardless of who we’re playing. Kelley, Betances, and Robertson made up our relief corps, and combined, they gave up no hits, no runs, no walks, and struck out two. Hurrah, huzzah, and hallelujah.
It was the Martin Prado show today, as our Babe Ruth-esque slugger went 3-4 with two doubles. Ichiro went 2-2 with an RBI, John Ryan Murphy went 2-4, and we also got RBIs from Ellsbury, Jeter, Teixeira, and Beltran. It was a nice, well-rounded effort, one that won’t be repeated if I know my team, and I do.