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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
Game in, game out, the Yankees always find new and exciting ways to lose. Saturday they lost with only one hit, yesterday they lost with 11! Progress! I’m not even going to worry about what other teams are winning or losing, because now that it’s September, it doesn’t actually matter anymore. Barring some kind of cataclysmic realignment of the entire space-time continuum, we’re not making the playoffs this year. Which kind of sucks to say out loud, but what can you do? We just have too many problems that we can’t overcome in a month. Hopefully next season will be much, much different.
Brandon McCarthy pitched the rubber match, and really, didn’t do that poor of a job. 6.0 IP, 5 H, 4 ER, 2 BB, 4 K. What made it look worse than it was is the fact he gave up three home runs. They were all solo shots, so the damage wasn’t as bad as it could have been. The game was still winnable despite that, as Dellin Betances relieved him and didn’t give up any more runs. Meaning, the damage had been contained.
With 11 hits, you’d think that would have been enough offense to power us past the Jays, who only scored four runs themselves. Ah, but you’re forgetting that the Yankees are the undisputed kings of leaving runners stranded on base. Brett Gardner went 3-5 with an RBI, Martin Prado went 2-4, Francisco Cervelli went 2-4 with an RBI, and Chase Headley went 2-3. Aside from those four that stood out, no one else really did anything. I’m not even sure I know what I want from the Yankees in their next game, aside from winning. They score runs, they lose. They get lots of hits, they lose. Their starter goes deep into the game, they lose. Let’s try for a combination of all three but with a win? Maybe? Please?