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.
As promised, here is the updated/edited game wrap-up post that I have been trying to submit since yesterday afternoon. I don’t know what the problem was, but my Internet connection wasn’t the real culprit. I could access most sites without a problem, but for some reason, WordPress just would not go through, no matter how many times I tried. In a way, I’m glad I had all this time to think about what I’d write here, because when the game ended, I was so angry….all you’d have seen were a bunch of asterisks from the swear words that were filtered out. To make matters worse, Baltimore won, though fortunately Kansas City did not. I swear, with this team it’s one step forward, a hundred steps back.
Hiroki Kuroda pitched his tuchus off yesterday afternoon and got precisely bupkis for it. 7.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB 4 K — that shouldn’t be the line of the losing (or at least no-decision) pitcher. Dellin Betances pitched a solid 8th in relief, but Shawn Kelley coughed up game-winning sac fly to Alex Avila, and there goes the ballgame. Depressing.
After Wednesday’s offensive onslaught, I was expecting something a bit more substantial than just two runs on five hits, but with the Yankees anymore it’s feast or famine, never anything in between. Jacoby Ellsbury went 1-4 with an RBI and Carlos Beltran went 2-4, with Brian McCann getting our other RBI despite going 0-4. Zealous Wheeler (what a name) went 1-2 as well. It was an all-around sh!tty game, and there’s nothing that can really be said that’ll make it seem any better. *sigh*
That was a sorely needed win. Not simply because we’re chasing Detroit for the 2nd Wild Cart spot, but because we can’t afford to lose too many games now. We’re at the stage in the season now where wins are at a premium, and we’re playing teams that can’t afford to lose either, so we have to fight, scratch, and claw our way to every possible win that we can. Baltimore lost last night, so we gained a game on them, and we obviously beat Detroit, so that’s good news on that front.
Shane Greene had a tough assignment — be better than David Price. Last night, that wasn’t such a tall order. His final line was 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 K. Exactly what we needed from him when we needed it. Our bullpen gave up a further 3 H and 2 ER, but fortunately our offense built enough of a cushion that it didn’t jeopardize our chances of winning the game. Speaking of the offense…
I’m of two minds on this. One, we finally scored more than 4-5 runs, and everyone in the lineup got at least one hit, some two. Two, we unfortunately scored all our runs in the 3rd inning and didn’t do anything after that. In a perfect world, we’d have collected those eight runs over the course of the entire game, but the Yankees like to do things spectacularly, whether it’s winning or losing, so we scored them all at once and hoped it would be enough. With a bullpen that burps up the lead occasionally, one might consider that a potentially foolhardy adventure, but leave it to the Yankees to demonstrate how little faith we sometimes have in them. The best part of everyone in the lineup getting a hit, is that nearly everyone in the lineup got an RBI, as well. I won’t single anyone out, because everyone did a great job. Let’s do it again this afternoon!
I don’t know if I really have anything good to say about last night’s game. I suppose I could mention that Toronto lost, so we’ve maintained our distance from them, but Baltimore won, and I honestly don’t think they’re ever going to lose again. Getting swept by the Cubs must do a number on your pride. We’re either 2.5 or 3.5 games back for the 2nd Wild Card slot, so rather than catching the Orioles, which I don’t think is going to happen, I hope the Yankees put their efforts into catching Detroit, who currently have that spot. As such, we need to win this series, no question about it. If we have any chance of making it to the postseason, which admittedly is far less likely than likely, we need to put the afterburners on in the month of September.
Brandon McCarthy didn’t pitch really bad, but he didn’t throw a good game, either. It was somewhere in the middle. He went into the 7th, which is deeper than one would expect given his line, so at least he alleviated some pressure on the bullpen so we didn’t go through as many guys. 6.1 IP 9 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, and 5 K is again, not great, but it’s not completely shit either. Esmil Rogers relieved him, pitching the rest of the game, giving up 0 H and 0 ER, while striking out three. Five runs shouldn’t have been an insurmountable lead. Emphasis on shouldn’t have been.
Our offensive output for the night belonged to Jacoby Ellsbury, who went 3-4 with 2 RBI. That’s it. Jeter went 2-4, as did Carlos Beltran, but they were the only other batters to get more than one hit. You can’t say much about the offense when the offense didn’t do anything. The worst part is, we had nine hits, same as the Tigers…..only they scored five runs with theirs, while we managed only two. The fact we went 0-3 with RISP and 5 LOB didn’t help. We need tonight’s game to be the exact opposite of this one. We really can’t afford too many more games like this.
Apparently I’d completely forgotten that this was a 4-game series, because I thought last night’s game was the rubber match. Either way, winning the series, was important, and we did it. The only thing I dislike about afternoon games is that I can’t listen to them — I can only listen to night games or games over the weekend.
Our pitching was superb this series, and this afternoon was no different. Shane Greene has been one of the many call-ups, acquisitions, and bullpen shifts we’ve had this season, and he demonstrated today that he can be very, very dominant on the mound. His final line was 8.0 IP, 0 ER, 3 BB, 5 K. David Robertson came in during the 9th and got his 31st save for the effort. Can’t say much more about that.
Can’t say much about the offense, either. We managed only one run on nine hits. Everyone in the lineup got at least a hit, except Francisco Cervelli, and Ichiro went 2-3, the only player to get more than one. Our lone run came from Stephen Drew, who made up for his sloppy defense last night by hitting an RBI double in the 4th. Let’s hope that Toronto loses again tonight, so we can pull ourselves even with them, then start to pull away during the next series.
Considering that Tuesday night’s game ended in extras, and that it was possible we could have won the game, this would have been a sweep of a heavily favored Tigers team, but I’ll take 2 out of 3. Just like against the Red Sox, also a series we should have swept. Toronto won, so we didn’t gain any ground on them, but that meant that Baltimore lost, so both teams gained a game on them.
Chris Capuano took the mound for us last night, and pitched a stellar game, going 6.2 innings, giving up only 1 R on 5 H, while striking out eight. Unfortunately he got a no decision for the night, as we didn’t take the lead until after he’d left the game. That doesn’t, however, take away from how great he pitched. Our bullpen held the Tigers hitless for the rest of the game.
The title of this recap alludes to how we managed to best Verlander, and that was through the home run. We hit two, and that was just enough to be the difference, the extra runs over that were just insurance. Chase Headley hit one in the 5th, and Brian McCann hit one in the 7th. One thing I don’t hesitate to point out is that the Yankees were incredibly sloppy in the field last night, giving up four errors. Jeter had one, Capuano had one, and Stephen Drew had two. Giving up a baserunner or a run because of a hit or walk is one thing, but allowing the other team to capitalize because our heads are up our butts is quite another. Hopefully the sloppiness will disappear for our next set of games.
Well…..I can take a couple of things away from the game. One, we were able to score 3 runs off David Price, even though we have in the past, scored more off of him than that. Two, we lost in extras, which meant we didn’t get blown out. Three, our pitcher held his own against a very good Detroit offense, last night’s offensive output aside. We’ll call those the three sliver linings of an otherwise dark, gloomy cloud. At least Toronto lost as well, so we didn’t lose any ground against them, and Boston lost too…..which puts them 15 games back. Look, I understand that it’s kind of tacky to root against a team as hard as you root for one, but I hate the Red Sox. Hate, hate, HATE them. When they lose, unless it’s to a team I need them to beat, I’m happy.
Hiroki Kuroda can only work with what he gets, and while I knew getting a ton of run support off Price wasn’t going to be easy, I thought we’d be able to do better than three. It’s better than zero, though. Hiroki threw a very solid 7 innings, giving up only 3 ER on 6 H while striking out 5. Our pen did great until the end, so I can’t be too hard on Daley for giving up one bad pitch. It happens.
Our offense though….I wasn’t too impressed. Again, I knew getting runs of David Price might be hard, but when it appeared we were hitting him early, we never capitalized on it. Pitchers like that….you have to knock them out in the first three innings, or they’ll be there until the end. As it was, Price pitched into the 9th inning. Jacoby Ellsbury and Martin Prado were the big hitters last night, both going 2-5 with an RBI. Brian McCann scored our only other run, a solo shot in the 2nd.
We face Verlander tonight, so we really need to win. Not just to take the series, which is important now, but so we can keep pace with Toronto and Baltimore and not fall any further behind.