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.
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.
As I noted above, Andy had to come out of the game earlier than anticipated due to injury and David Robertson and had to come in and basically hold down the fort — which he did very well. Definitely the standout pitching performance of the afternoon. He came in during a very sticky spot and got us through it and it allowed us to tie the game. Chan-Ho Park, Boone Logan, Joba and Mo pitched the last 6 innings, although Mo shouldn’t have had to come in. Yes Joba gave up a run, but I’m confident he could have gotten the last out. We burned through too many pitchers, IMO.
Our offense was a lot more present this afternoon than in the last couple games, so that was a good sign. Everyone in the starting lineup except for Gardy got at least one hit, so the offense was spread out amongst everyone this time, rather than concentrated around one or two batters. Derek went 2-5 with an RBI, Swish went 2-5 with an RBI, Alex went 2-4 with 2 RBI, including career HR #598; Robbie went 2-3 with 2 RBI and Jorge went 1-4 with 2 RBI. All in all, a very nice game from everyone. I hope that our series against the Superfluous Acronyms™ coming up is just as productive.
Stars of the Game™
Before the game it was mentioned that Andy wasn’t on a pitch count, and after the game he said that in the 6th inning he started to lose his legs, which explains why he didn’t finish the inning. Better safe than sorry, really. His final line was 6.1 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 3 BB, 2 K. For his first start back after a barking elbow, we’ll take it every day of the week and twice on Sunday. Robertson, Marte and Logan were the pen today, with a combined line of 2.2 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 1 BB, and 2 K. It should be noted that Boone Logan pitched both the 8th and 9th, so the 4 hits he gave up were spread out a bit. Not the most pretty of performances, but hell, that run the Twins scored in the 8th was their only offense for the day. No one’s complaining.
I’m REALLY convinced that Mark Teixeira has a phobia about the month of April, because he had yet another great showing at the plate today. I’m telling you, once that calendar flips over to May, it’s like a switch goes off. Weird, but whatever works, works. He went 2-4 with 2 RBI, those runs coming off a 2-run shot in the 7th. Alex also went 2-4 and he had an RBI single in the 1st. Jorge went 3-4 with 2 RBI, hitting a 2-run shot in the 7th as well. Derek went 2-5 and Marcus Thames went 1-4 with an RBI single in the 6th. It seems like our offense is back in full swing, which is what we want, especially with the news that Nick Johnson needs surgery and could be out until August at the earliest. Everyone is going to need to pick up the slack now. Let’s go for the Crazy Stein tomorrow afternoon.
Stars of the Game™
On a personal front, I badly sprained my ankle a couple days ago, so with the blessing of an Ace bandage and a bag of frozen peas, I’m at least able to hobble around to get something for myself I want. I live in North Carolina, but the weather frickin’ SUCKS. Right now the winds are gusting to about 50mph, which makes doing anything outside damn near impossible. I made my way out there earlier to take our dog outside to do his business and almost got blown off the stairs. Which would have sucked considering my ankle and all. At least it’s not snowing/sleeting/raining/icing anymore! YAY!!! Jesus….we left the Midwest to get away from that nonsense. LOL Hope the weather where you are is much better than the weather here is.
Well, I said last night that any time a Yankees victory involves dramatics; either a walk-off (like today), blown leads (like today) or all-around nerve-wracking action (like today)…..the drama llama would come out to play. He is cute, isn’t he?
What was not cute, however, was AJ Burnett coughing up the 3-1 lead we gave him. Normally with a pitcher like him, you could give him a 1-run lead and all would be well, but our rotation has a bad case of the yips right now. Thankfully we’ve had some late-inning heroics to rectify that, but come on already. I guess it’s better to get the yips out of our system now than wait until October, but really. Now, AJ’s line wasn’t awful, but it wasn’t fantastic either. He went 6.0 innings, gave up 10 hits [yeesh] and 3 ER, walked 2 and struck out 7. A little less hits and that’s a really good line. I guess we should be lucky we gave up 14 hits to the Jays and they only managed to plate 3 runs, one of which was on a wild pitch. Coke, Robertson, Hughes and our new guy Gaudin filled out our relief corps this afternoon, with Gaudin picking up the win. He threw 2 innings of shutout ball and struck out 3 in the process, so he definitely deserves a mention in the Stars section of this post. Great job!
The game didn’t exactly start off very well, with Derek having to leave the game very early with an injury to his foot – thankfully the x-rays came back negative. Who knows how long he’ll be out though…..I’m praying not that long. Not to mention, Alex got hit on the elbow in the 11th inning, and HE might have some lingering effects from that. Now is not the time for two of our big hitters to come down with the injury bug, so let’s hope that between now and tomorrow’s game they’re feeling better. As for the offense in total today, aside from a couple solo shots and Robbie’s 11th inning heroism, we didn’t do much. The Jays doubled our hit total, as we only had 7 today and Johnny Damon and Robbie Cano made up 4 of those hits. We’re pretty lucky the Jays squandered almost every opportunity we gave them to put the game away. Let’s do better during the next series.
Stars of the Game™
Also getting a Star™ is Chad Gaudin and the rest of our bullpen for really holding it down and keeping the Jays from taking the lead. No photos are available for them yet, but hey…..a mention is a mention!
Ugly, ugly, ugly. As if losing to the Rays wasn’t bad enough, we now find out that Wang will have season-ending shoulder surgery and it could potentially be career-ending.
Which leads me to this – do we move Hughes back to the rotation, keep Mitre in there as our #5 starter or look for a pitcher before the deadline? I’ve heard that the Jays want both Hughes and Chamberlain for Halladay and as much as I’d love Doc on this time, I do NOT want Cash giving up both those guys for him. If we lose Hughes, our bullpen goes to sh!t. If we lose Chamberlain, that’s ANOTHER starter that’s gone.
I’m a little more concerned about this than I am CC having a bad night. We win tomorrow, we take care of business. Thank GOD Papelbon and the Sox blew their game against Oakland, so at least we keep our 2.5 game lead.