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 love beating the Red Sox. There’s such a joy, such a feeling of whimsy that overtakes me whenever it happens, I’m always left waiting for it to happen again. I know that the games are meaningless for both teams, and that no matter what, the standings won’t be affected, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want us to whip their whiny asses into a nice lather, then dump them in the fetid Charles.
Chris Capuano did much better tonight than he did during his last start. His final line was 6.2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, and 5 K. Against any team that’s great, but against the Red Sox, that’s absolutely hysterical. Our relievers combined for 1 H and 1 ER, along with 4 K, garnering David Robertson his 39th save of the season, making up for last night’s oopsie that no one is actually all that upset about anyway.
The offense wasn’t all that much to write home about, but it got the job done, and we’re guaranteed to finish with a winning record, and considering the games are meaningless, Joe didn’t even play the A Squad. Francisco Cervelli went 2-3 with an RBI….which is basically the only interesting thing about the lineup tonight. Tomorrow’s game is probably going to be similar as far as the lineup and pitching are concerned, as there’s no use burning through the good players when the season ends Sunday. I just hope Sunday night’s game gets 100% effort, as that’s Derek Jeter’s absolute last game, home or away, and I’d like him to go out in style, if at all possible. I want a 15-inning pitcher’s duel that lasts 5 hours and requires everyone to pitch, including position players. Make it a real, legendary Yankees/Red Sox game.
The Yankees could only manage three in a row, I’m afraid. Any more and they’d all be liable to blow up or something. We’re only four games above .500, so my challenge for them is to finish better than 82-82. Even if it’s 83-81, I don’t care. Just finish above .500.
Chris Capuano didn’t have the best night, lasting only 5.2 innings, giving up 4 ER on 5 H, walking four while striking out only two. At least he didn’t give up any HRs, yeah? Our bullpen was okay, they didn’t completely sh!t the bed, but they did give up a further 2 ER and 5 H, so it wasn’t a sparkling performance by any means. There were other reasons we eventually ended up losing that had nothing to do with the pitching, as poor as it was.
The offense has been stagnant all season, so that in and of itself wasn’t shocking. I expect us to barely do anything at the plate anymore. What annoyed me is we managed 11 hits, a feat for this team, and yet we scored only three runs. We were 3-13 with RISP and left 11 men on base. That’s not going to win you ballgames, whether you’re a good team, a poor team, or a middling team. When are we ever going to clock that many hits during one game? You need to capitalize on that. Brett Gardner went 2-5, Derek Jeter went 2-5 with an RBI, Brian McCann went 1-4 with an RBI, Ichiro went 2-4, and Francisco Cervelli went 1-4 with an RBI. Let’s win today if we can. That’s IF we can.
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!
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?
In baseball, there are few things I hate worse than when your team has a lead late into the game, and the bullpen and/or starter totally shits the bed. We had this game. A game against the division-leading O’s, no less. Leave it to our bullpen to regress to the mean and totally screw the pooch. Speaking of, where did that expression come from? Pooch is slang for dog, and I’d hate to think someone at some point actually had sex with a dog in order for that expression to come to life. If you know its origins, leave me a comment below and let me know. Now we’re 8 GB of Baltimore and drifting further and further away from KC for the 2nd Wild Card slot. I don’t like getting pessimistic, not when there might still be a chance, but I don’t think the playoffs are in our future this year. Too many injuries, not enough time. If by some freak coincidence we happen to luck into the 2nd WC….I don’t see us lasting very long. Sad to say, but true.
We didn’t have much in the way of offense, but until the bottom of the 8th, it was working out quite well for us. Two runs on five hits isn’t stellar, but it was enough. Then all hell broke loose. Pineda pitched quite well, even though he only lasted five innings; he’d just come off the DL, so obviously Girardi didn’t want to stretch him too far to begin with. Betances comes in to relieve him, and continues to do well….until the bottom of the 8th. He gives up a HR to Schoop which ties the game, he’s then pulled for Shawn Kelley, who then proceeds to give up a 3-run HR to Adam Jones, and that’s all folks.
Going back to what I said about the offense, it wasn’t much. Until the top of the 9th, we only managed 2 R on 5 H. Francisco Cervelli was responsible for those runs, having hit a 2-run HR in the 3rd. After that, we didn’t score again until Chase Headley hit a grounder to 3B, scoring Mark Teixeria. Chris Tillman, the pitcher for the Orioles, did a great job of shutting us down, not that there’s really all that much to shut down anymore. Pitchers don’t necessarily have to bring their A game against us just to win the game. I hope that changes for the duration of the season, and we at least manage to end on a high note, but I won’t hold my breath.
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.