I’ve called Derek Jeter “Captain Clutch” many a time, and it’s never been more appropriate than right now. It was only fitting that Derek Jeter should score our first run of the night, then our last in the bottom of the 9th. It was his last home game, the last time he’d ever wear the navy blue and white pinstripes in the Bronx, and in an almost scripted fashion, just like his 3,000th hit being a home run, he wins the game for us. On the first pitch, no less. When he announced his retirement before the season started, I reflected on the fact that I became a fan in 1994, before he joined the team. In those 20 years, I’ve only known one Yankees shortstop. It’ll be strange as hell to see someone else taking the field next year, no #2 hovering in the on-deck circle, but I suppose that’s what goes through the minds of baseball fans when their favorite players decides to hang up their cleats. BTW, how extremely emotional and awesome was it for him to be greeted afterwards by Joe Torre, Jorge Posada, Andy Pettitte, Mariano Rivera, Bernie Williams, and Tino Martinez? They were all key cogs in the dynasty era, and they were all there to usher the last one in. I won’t lie, I teared up. I also found it incredibly classy that the Orioles were applauding the whole time. They’re going to the playoffs, so this loss didn’t affect them, but they still lost….yet they all stood at the top of the dugout, clapping. Class acts, those boids.
I don’t even care that David Robertson blew the save. DO NOT CARE. It’s probably the only time in the history of my baseball fandom that I’ve ever been happy to see such a scene practically dropped into a hitter’s lap. Good on you, D-Rob, that was marvelous. If I was a more cynical sort, I’d say you did that on purpose. He also lucked into the win as well, so there you have it. Hiroki Kuroda pitched a masterful eight innings, giving up only 2 ER on 3 H, walking none, and striking out nine. Everyone deserves a steak dinner, yes, even David Robertson. He allowed Mystique and Aura to take the stage one final time.
The game was all about Derek from the start, so we’ll lead off with him – he went 2-5 with 3 RBI. Brian McCann, interestingly enough, got 2 RBI without a hit. That can be done, you know. Jose Pirela went 2-4. There’s your offense. It wasn’t much, but who the hell cares?
On a personal note, I’m going to miss Derek Jeter. He’s a great guy, a class act all around, he was never embroiled in scandals and bad press. He’s the kind of player professional sports need more of. Enjoy retirement, Jetes. You’ve earned it.
I’d like to think the Yankees secretly read my blog, thus understanding just how pissed off I’ve been at them all season, and now they’re trying to butter me up by playing smart baseball and winning games. I’m on to you, fellas. *taps side of nose* It’s just too bad they’re figuring this out in the last two weeks of September, instead of several months ago. Imagine how different our playoff outlook would be then?
Hiroki Kuroda pitched tonight, kicking all kinds of Blue Jay ass, lasting 6.2 innings, giving up 2 ER on 7 H, with 0 BB and 7 K. Outman, Rogers, and Warren pitched the remaining 2.1 innings, giving up a combined 2 H and 0 ER, walking one and striking out three. Warren picked up his 3rd save of the season, as well.
As far as offense goes, it wasn’t great, but it got the job done, which in the end is all that’s really important. Jacoby Ellsbury went 2-3 with 3 RBI before leaving the game with a strained hamstring, but since it’s September 19, it’s not as crushing a blow as it otherwise would have been. I still hope he’s alright and won’t have any issues come Spring Training next year. Derek Jeter went 2-4, and Brian McCann went 1-4 with an RBI. On a personal note, I can’t honestly say I know why Carlos Beltran played tonight, given the fact his wife lost their unborn child. If ever there was a time when it was perfectly acceptable to sit the rest of the season, it would be for that. My good thoughts and positive vibes are with them both right now.
Yes, you read that right. We had no business winning the one game that we did, so really, we ought to have been swept. Doesn’t feel good saying it, but the truth hurts sometimes. We were outplayed in Saturday’s game, but managed to squeak by for who knows what lucky reason, but that kind of luck doesn’t tend to stay with us, so here we are.
It’s a shame that when our starters turn in really excellent performances, the offense sh!ts the bed and renders them moot. Kuroda threw 7.0 innings, gave up 1 ER on 6 H, walked none and struck out five. Fast-forward to the bottom of the 9th, and David Robertson, usually a very reliable pitcher, promptly blows the save, then gets the loss, by giving up 2 ER on 3 H. Thanks for nothing, D-Rob.
That said, it’s not entirely the pitching’s fault that we lost. The offense did nothing, as they’re wont to do anymore. Martin Prado and Brian McCann accounted for our runs, each going 2-4 with an RBI. As we only had six hits to speak of, that’s 2/3 of the offense right there. Two people. You can’t win games with that, no matter how well your pitching might be. Depressing. Just absolutely utterly depressing.
I should have been upset by last night’s loss, but I wasn’t. I wasn’t upset because in some small part, I expected it, and in another, I’ve become so desensitized to our losses that when they happen, even when I thought we’d win, I find it hard to get upset or angered or even annoyed. We’re 11 GB in the AL East now, god knows how many games back in the Wild Card race, so for all intents and purposes (not “intensive purposes,” as some might erroneously believe), our season is done. We are, as the title suggests, merely playing out the string. It’s sad that as a Yankees fan, that’s what we’re doing, but it hasn’t been our year since 2009, when we acquired CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira, and AJ Burnett. That was almost a surreal season — I don’t think anyone was anticipating we’d land all three, much less end up winning the World Series. Ah well, as Topol sang in Fiddler on the Roof, sunrise…..sunset.
Hiroki Kuroda did not have a good game, which is a rarity. I dare say he actually had a horribly sh!tty one. Lasting only 3.1 innings, he gave up 4 ER on 9 H. As a result of our starter’s early exit, Girardi went through nearly everyone we had in the pen, including our closer, David Robertson. The sad part is, the seven pitchers that came in for relief gave up only a further two hits, no more runs, and struck out a combined six. I say it’s sad because they they kept us in the game. Any team that chase out the starter in the 4th inning, you’d think would tattoo the bullpen for a bunch of runs/hits as well, but the Rays stopped at four.
The other thing that makes that sad, is that the Yankees stopped at three. When your pitcher craps the bed, but your bullpen holds the other team right where they are, you’re supposed to take advantage of that and make them pay for being unable to chase out your relievers, too. We didn’t do that. Jacoby Ellsbury went 2-4 with an RBI, Chris Young went 1-3 with 2 RBI, and Ichiro went 2-3. That’s the extent of our offensive firepower, and the one good thing I can say about the Yankees last night was that we went 3-5 with RISP and left only two men on base. I was anticipating a far more aggravating number. Let’s just win tonight and as I keep saying, try to end the season on a high note.
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.
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*
After dropping a series to the lowly Indians and the soaring Orioles, we needed to take this series against Tampa badly. If not to improve our playoff chances, but to at least save face. Thankfully, we managed to do that this afternoon. Boston lost, Toronto lost, but Baltimore won, so we gained ground on the first two, and held firm against the last. At this point in the season. you look to the little things, and right now I’d just like to finish the year above .500. We’re 4 games over at the moment, and I want that number to continue getting bigger, not smaller. If we’re not going to make the playoffs, I’d at least like a .500 record. I hope that’s not too much to ask.
Hiroki Kuroda threw yet another fantastic game, and I sometimes shudder to think just how shit we’d be right now if he’d been hurt, along with CC and Tanaka. Hell, we could be vying with Boston and Texas for worst team in the AL. We needed a really strong, solid performance out of him, and he delivered in spades, going 6.2 innings, giving up only 2 ER on 4 H. Shawn Kelley, Dellin Betances (who turned in a solid performance yesterday), and David Robertson, he of the magic high socks, all pitched in relief and matched Kuroda in regard to consistency. D-Rob, by the by, picked up his 33rd save.
Our offense today wasn’t exactly far removed from our offense of yesterday, but anymore, as long as we win, I’m willing to overlook it. Brett Gardner went 1-4 with 2 RBI, winning Offensive Star of the Game™, Martin Prado went 2-4, Chase Headley went 2-4, and Mark Teixeira went 1-4 with an RBI. At least the offense was mostly spread out amongst the lineup, with all but three starting players getting at least one hit at the plate. We’re off tomorrow, but we start a series at home against the Astros on Tuesday, so hopefully after a day off, the offense will wake up and smash the crap out of Houston pitching.