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.
Well, I should have expected this, really. I mean, at this rate, we may not finish the season over .500. With 12 games to go, it’s entirely doable, and since the playoffs are firmly out of the picture, why not shoot for the stars, eh? Congrats are in order for the Baltimore Orioles, as they won their first AL East championship since 1997, incidentally the one year from 1996-2000 that the Yankees didn’t win the World Series. Hmm. Foreshadowing for next season? I could go with a 1998-style run right about now.
Unlike Monday’s stellar pitching performance that translated into a loss, we got the exact opposite of that last night, and still lost anyway. Michael Pineda turned in an uncharacteristically middling performance, lasting only 5.1 innings, giving up 1 ER on 4 H. It was our bullpen that didn’t help matters at all. Esmil Rogers gave up 3 ER on 2 H during his stint in the game, which lasted all of 1/3 of an inning, then Rich Hill comes in and gives up 1 ER on 2 H, leaving before even recording an out. When the Yankees suck, we make a show out of it, don’t we?
Well, the good news is, we exceeded our offensive output from Monday by well over 100%. The bad news is, we only scored one run, and on Monday we scored no runs at all. So, I mean, it’s something. Whatever. Ichiro went 1-4 with an RBI, Francisco Cervelli went 2-3, and that’s basically it as far as notable performances went. Let’s see if we can get swept tonight!
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.
I wish I could say I have high hopes for this team, but I don’t. We don’t appear to be doing anything right, and things are never as bad as when they’re at their worst. Playing a divisional rival, someone who could very well surpass us shortly if things don’t change in a hurry, winning is paramount. Not that a team can ever afford to lose games, but we can’t exactly afford to lose any now, not if we have any hope of eking into a playoff spot. Thankfully for us, Baltimore, Boston, and Toronto all lost, so everyone basically stayed put at the end of the night.
Brandon McCarthy didn’t have the best night, but he pitched into the 7th, which showed a willingness to stay in the game as long as possible to keep from burning out the pen. His final line wasn’t even that poor, really. 6.1 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K — that’s a great line, provided of course his team gives him some runs to work with. Since our offense did nothing, it made what he did look even worse by comparison. Esmil Rogers pitched the remaining 1.2 innings, giving up 1 ER on 1 H. If I’m being honest. Brandon didn’t deserve to lose. With any decent amount of run support, we win that game, and he gets the W. Everyone in the lineup owes him at the very least a steak dinner and a beer. Add to all of that the two errors we committed, and we had no chance.
Speaking of the offense, I wasn’t aware Alex Cobb was being possessed by Sandy Koufax. Sure, we got seven hits, but what did we do with them? We were 1-6 with RISP, and as a team, had 7 LOB. The only two batters in the lineup to reach base more than once were Jeter and Teixeria, both of whom went 2-4. It was a piss-poor, paltry effort, and one that inspired no confidence. After the last two dismal series we just had, one against Cleveland, the other against division-leading Baltimore, we can’t afford to drop this one too.
Coming off a great series against Detroit, I wanted the Yankees to set the tone in this series with Cleveland, and we did a good job it last night. We needed to win, and for several reasons. One, Toronto lost, so it moved us solidly into 2nd place in the AL East. Two, we’re tied with Seattle at 0.5 games back of Kansas City for the 2nd Wild Card slot. I’d really like to bypass that altogether, because I don’t like our team’s playoff chances essentially coming down to one game. Three, we need to start putting some pressure on Baltimore, because going back to point #2, I hate the Wild Card and don’t want a one-game playoff against the goddamn LAAAAAA, because we have such a horrid time playing them. A playoff spot is a playoff spot though, so I’ll take what we can get, but I’d like us to aim a little higher than Wild Card #2. That’s like aspiring to be “Screaming Woman #10” in a horror movie.
Esmil Rogers took the mound last night, tossing a superb game. His final line was 5.0 IP, 1 ER, 4 H, 1 BB, 3 SO. Not a quality start per se, but beggars can’t be choosers. Now, the reason I said it was superb, given its brevity, is how godawful the bullpen was in comparison. When you hand your relievers a 10-2 lead, you expect it hold up, not begin leaking out like a sieve. Shawn Kelley unfortunately crapped the bed, and it was only because of Carlos Beltran, which I’ll get to in a minute, that we didn’t lose the game as a result of it. Huff got it started, giving up 1 ER on 3 H, but Kelley relieved him and opened the floodgates, allowing the Indians to score 4 ER on 2 H. Thankfully the rest of the ‘pen staved off the hemorrhaging, keeping Cleveland to just 6 runs.
Speaking of Carlos Beltran, his 5 RBI were the difference-makers, as you no doubt can tell. Without them, we’d have lost the game 6-5. Francisco Cervelli also had a good night, going 2-2 after replacing Brian McCann who left the game with a concussion. Management here at Yankees Chick wish McCann a speedy recovery and hope he can return to the team as soon as he’s physically able. Derek Jeter tied Honus Wagner on the all-time hits list, continuing his triumphant march toward retirement, and hopefully that march can end with a lovely ticker-tape parade down the Canyon of Heroes. The only two players to not register a hit were Chase Headley and Jacoby Ellsbury.
As a quick note, I noticed I have 6 followers now, which is an increase of 3 from last I checked, so I’d like to give a shout-out to said individuals and thank them for taking the time to check me out and follow my blog. Feel free to leave comments, whether you’re a Yankees fan or not, as I always appreciate input from fans of other teams, provided they’re nice about it. Spread the word and tell others to come by, I’d sure the love the company.