Tagged: Ichiro

Game 162: That’s all, folks.

It’s been an interesting season.  I’m upset we’re not going to the playoffs, because I would have liked to see Derek Jeter’s final season end in a slightly less depressing fashion, but at least we ended the year with a win and finished above .500, which were two things I wanted to see happen above all else.  I’ll still be maintaining this blog throughout the playoffs, and then intermittently through the off-season when stories of note happen.  Also, congratulations are in order for Ryan Zimmerman, he of the Washington Nationals — there’s nothing quite like waiting until the last game of the season to throw a no-hitter, I suppose.

Michael Pineda pitched our final game of the season, ending with a final line of 6.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, and 10 K.  His stats for the season were a 5-5 record with 1.89 ERA.  Not bad.  Esmil Rogers, who relieved him, didn’t do such a good job, coughing up a further four runs, bringing the score to 9-5.  Thankfully none of our other pitchers gave up any further runs, and we were able to maintain the lead.  I’m never too fussed about how we win, just that we do.

Derek Jeter played his final game as a Yankee yesterday afternoon, exiting in the 3rd inning after getting an RBI single.  His last home game ended with an RBI single, and his last game in general ended with one as well.  Lovely bookends.  As it was, the offense was pretty well spread-out amongst the lineup, Jeter included.  Jose Pirela went 2-4 with 2 RBI, Ichiro went 1-3 with 2 RBI, Chris Young went 2-4, Chase Headley went 1-4 with an RBI, and Austin Romine went 1-2 with an RBI.  Overall, a very wonderful effort from everyone, and I liked seeing that we didn’t limp into the end of the season.  Onwards and upwards!

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Game 161: Gotta keep it interesting.

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.

Game 155: Welcome back, Tanaka.

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?

Game 154: Well, that was nice while it lasted.

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.

Game 150: The Yankees clearly hate their fans.

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 144: I have no idea how the hell we managed to win this game.

If I could post an accurate representation of my face after last night’s game, I would, but as there is no graphic representation of what I was thinking and/or feeling at the time, I cannot.  Suffice to say, “shocked” comes as close as can be done.  I had the game on in the background as I was doing other work, considering we were being no-hit, and it wasn’t exactly like I wanted to listen to that, but I’m a fan so I did.  Then things started to get interesting.  Huzzah indeed.  Our win also brought us to within 4 games of the second Wild Card slot, which while improbable….isn’t necessarily impossible.

Michael Pineda pitched a solid, thankfully deep game last night, lasting 7.1 innings, giving up 4 ER on 10 H.  Could do without all those hits, but at least the Rays weren’t able to capitalize on all of them.  Though at the time, considering we were being no-hit, it wouldn’t have mattered if he gave up no hits himself or 100.  Special kudos go out to Alex Cobb, who took a no-hitter into the 8th inning.  I normally don’t highlight opposing pitching unless they throw a truly spectacular game, either in victory or defeat, but he deserved it.  I wasn’t rooting for the no-hitter, but I was still impressed by how dominant he was.  Good job.  I’m still glad you lost, though.

As is our wont sometimes, the offense didn’t show up until damn near the last second.  No-hit until the 8th, when Chris Young (a name that will come up again) smacked a double into center, we didn’t do anything.  We did the exact definition of “nothing.”  Then things got interesting.  After Chris Young’s double, Martin Prado, another name you’ve been reading a lot about here, hit a HR, bringing the score to 4-2.  Then in the bottom of the 9th, Chris Young came up to the plate again and hit a 3-run HR to win the game, 5-4.  All in the span of maybe 30 minutes, not counting commercial breaks.  Young ended up going 2-4 with 3 RBI, Martin Prado went 1-1 with 2 RBI in a pinch hitter situation, and Ichiro got our only other hit, going 1-4.  I like winning, but let’s try not to wait until the last damn second, please.

Game 143: Come from behind victory.

I was going to leave the title as is, but minus the word “victory,” then thought about how absolutely filthy it sounded, regardless of the fact I wasn’t talking what it might look like I was talking about, and thus opted to leave the word in.  If any of you reading this managed to follow that sentence, you get a gold star.  So do the Yankees, who managed to shock and awe me by falling behind early, but clawing ahead to take the lead and ultimately win the game.  We haven’t done that all that often this year.

Chris Capuano didn’t exactly have the best game.  That’s putting it mildly of course, he lasted only 0.1 innings, or basically one out.  He lasted one out.  He gave up 4 ER on 4 H, walking two, which is a great line if you pitch 7 or 8 innings…..not when you’ve only recorded one out.  Thus, our bullpen had a yeoman’s task ahead of them, trying to hold the Rays to four runs so we could maybe possibly I don’t know find a way to win the game.  They managed to do it, and all of them deserve a steak dinner and a cold beer for it, so Jeter should get on that.  I picked him because he’s arguably the richest guy on the team, so he could afford to drop a few quid for it.

Unfortunately, Derek had no hits last night, which is another reason why he should be the one to pay for the steak dinners and beer.  Those that did have a good night at the plate include Brian McCann (2-3, 3 RBI), Chris Young (3-4, 2 RBI), Chase Headley (2-3, RBI), Mark Teixeira (1-3, RBI), and Ichiro (1-4, RBI).  As you can see, varied production from the top and the bottom of the lineup, which is something I’m always bitching about seeing from them game after game after game.  I hope we try and build upon this and win tonight.