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?
Walk-offs are nice, certainly, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a walk-off error before. In that I mean, an error allowed a runner to score, hence the Yankees winning the game. Definitely a new one, but the outcome was more than acceptable. We’ve actually won two whole games in a row now, though how long that’ll go on……I haven’t a clue.
Shane Greene took the mound last night and pitched a damn good game — 6.2 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K. It’s a shame he didn’t factor in the win, because he deserved it. For any of our starters to make it into the 7th inning is a big deal, especially the pitchers that come from the back of the rotation. Dellin Betances, Shawn Kelley, and David Robertson (who got the win) all pitched in relief, but the only one who crapped the bed was Shawn Kelley. He gave up 2 ER on 2 H, allowing the Jays to tie the game. Not cool. Thankfully Adam Lind had butterfingers and we were able to squeak away with a win, even if we didn’t play like we deserved to.
On that continued note, at least we managed more than five hits, which is something. Jeter went 2-4 with an RBI and Stephen Drew went 2-3 with an RBI….and that’s really it. The offense was fairly spread out, but when two players have half your hits and two-thirds of your run production, things may look spread out, but that’ll just make it all look worse.
One should also bear in mind that we’re 14.5 games behind the Orioles, not that it actually matters anymore now, but still. Woohoo, second place. I should take comfort in the fact we didn’t get swept, but right now, my main goal is finishing the season above .500. I can’t even remember the last time we finished the season below that mark. I’d like to not have my memory refreshed, TYVM.
Brandon McCarthy pitched 7.0 innings, giving up 2 ER on 4 H, giving us another great pitching performance that this time didn’t lead to a loss. Dellin Betances pitched the 8th, and David Robertson pitched the 9th, picking up his 37th save of the season. Between them, they gave up only one hit and struck out four. As has been something I’ve remarked upon quite a bit since returning to this blog early last month, our pitching, for the most part, hasn’t been the problem. It’s been spotty yes, but on the whole, it’s done better than it’s done poorly. The problem has been the offense being woefully inconsistent. Now, about that….
We scored a grand total of four runs this entire series. No runs in the first game, one run in the second game, three runs last night. We nearly managed to hit upon the Fibonacci sequence, there. The fact we only scored three runs is undercut by the fact we only managed four hits, so yet again….yeah. No one stuck out, no one did anything of great consequence. It was a boring, painful, win. I’d rather those than a loss, but I don’t like seeing so many of our players slumping at the same time. Derek Jeter’s batting average right now is .249. .249. He’s retiring in eleven games with an average that is right now, approaching the Mendoza line. How that can not be anything other than depressing?
I’m not sure what I should most focus on; the fact we held the Royals to just one run or the fact we were unable to score any runs at all. Both teams had three hits, so it’s not like we were really outplayed. Kansas City is a great team this season, so at least we didn’t lose to one of the dregs (*cough*BOSTON*cough*), but still. At least we weren’t no-hit. We’re 4 1/2 games back of the second Wild Card spot, and with 23 games left, we’re running out of time. Michael Pineda did everything he was supposed to do. 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB 4 K. Our bullpen did everything they were supposed to do. There was no good reason why we should have lost this ballgame. I mean, there’s literally nothing else to say about the pitching. The offense…..there’s not much to say about that, either. Shields is a great pitcher, but it doesn’t really take a lot of effort to shut us down, but a good performance should be rewarded regardless. I only hope that this afternoon’s game goes a lot better than last night’s did.
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.
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?