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.
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.
For those that are new to Yankees Chick, there was a picture I used to post whenever the Yankees would sweep a team, and it was George Steinbrenner on one of the parade floats, in either ’98 or ’99, holding a broom with a maniacal look on his face. It was dubbed “Crazy Stein” and quickly became tradition. Since returning to the blog earlier this month, I haven’t had occasion to use it……until now. So, without further ado, I give you Crazy Stein!
I hope to post him at least two or three more times before this season finally ends. To make matters even better, we won in a walk-off! In extras! BTW, no matter how dismal our playoff prospects might be, I’m quite heartened by the fact that at least we’re not the Red Sox. Yeesh.
Chris Capuano toed the rubber for the final game this series, pitching a very respectable 6.0 innings, giving up 3 ER on 6 H, while walking none and striking out 5. Our bullpen was strong in relief, until David Robertson came in for the save in the 9th and promptly gave up a run, necessitating us going to extras. I was very disappointed in him, because I know he can pitch better than that. We’re going on the road next to play some pretty important teams, including Kansas City…..and when was the last time someone could refer to them as an “important team.” We really need everyone in the rotation and in the bullpen to be at the top of the games at all times.
Well, I didn’t want Martin Prado to yet again have to bear the responsibility of keeping our team in the game, so on that note, I was rather pleased to see it was someone other than him. On the other hand, blowing your wad in one inning and then doing basically nothing until the last minute is getting kind of stale and tiresome. I know, I know….how could I possibly be upset that we lost? I’m not upset that we lost, rather, I’m unhappy at our inconsistent play forcing us to win in this manner more often than we should. Brian McCann came in as a PH in the 10th and smacked a 3-run HR to right field, so he undoubtedly wins Offensive Star of the Game, but honorable mention goes to Ichiro, who went 2-4 with 2 RBI. Their combined 5 RBI were enough to win the game, but again….let’s spread it out a bit more, fellas.
Hot damn, late-inning breaks go OUR way this time! I can’t remember the last time we had a walk-off win, and since wins are at a premium for us at the moment, it made this extra special. The White Sox are a poor team, so I hoped we wouldn’t need to resort to late-inning heroics to take the game, but since the Yankees can’t be bothered to score more than 3 or 4 runs a game, we have to work with what we get. The second best part of tonight’s slate of games is that the Cubs, the poor, poor Cubs, beat the Orioles. I KNOW. I couldn’t believe it either. My hometown team always finds a way to come someone’s aid, and this time it was ours.
Our rotation has been a bit of a dog’s breakfast, or catch as catch can if you want to use another metaphor. Shane Greene took the mound tonight, giving us a serviceable performance — 5.0 IP, 9 H, 3 ER, 2 BB, 7 K. Not great, but not awful, either. I think “middling” is a good word to describe it. Shawn Kelley, Dellin Betances, and David Robertson made up the relief core, giving up a total of 2 H, 0 ER, and 6 K with no walks. D-Rob ended up with the win, as he was the pitcher of record when Martin Prado singled with the bases loaded, scoring Ichiro.
Speaking of Martin, he went 2-5 with 3 RBI, which is 75% of our entire offensive output all night. Jacoby Ellsbury went 2-4 with an RBI, which makes up the other 25%. Am I the only one bothered by that? Not the fact we won, but the fact that our offense is so woeful, two people are solely responsible for the reason we won the game. Some of these guys are killing me. I shouldn’t ask for more than 4 runs tomorrow, because we’ll end up getting shut out, but it would be nice if we managed to actually score, and score with some authority. Come on fellas, I know you can do it.
Well, you knew it was time for him to make a re-appearance. I think a 15 inning victory counts for dramatic, although it shouldn’t have needed that many innings just to beat the damn Orioles. More on that later, though.
How about that Bartolo Colon? Good grief. 8 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, 7 K. Can we get this all the time, please? Mo came in for what we thought was a routine 9th inning save, but he kinda got a case of the yips and gave up a run….thus necessitating extra innings. I’ll give our bullpen lots of credit though….they were solid. Rock solid. Noesi was a horse, pitching four relief innings, giving up only four hits. Great, great job by the pitching last night.
The offense though….yeesh. One run until the 15th inning? Great time to finally wake up, though. We did get lots of production though, to the tune of 15 hits, even if our run total didn’t reflect that. Alex went 4-7, Derek went 2-7, which means he’s only 32 hits away from 3,000 now. Robbie went 2-6 with 2 RBI, Russell Martin went 2-4, Mark went 2-6….we got a little something from everyone. Of that group, the stand-out hitter was Alex, though. Good for him too, he’s been slumping lately. Let’s carry this into the last game of this little two-game series and sweep the O’s.
Stars of the Game™
Bartolo Colon, our bullpen, and Alex Rodriguez!
Freddy Garcia had a great start, and really the last couple starts has shown himself to be quite an asset to this rotation. His final line was 6 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 7 K. Our bullpen on the other hand, didn’t have the best of afternoons. Joba came in for the 7th, and gave up two runs to cut our lead to only one, and then Mo came in for the 9th and gave up the tying run to Brian Roberts. Fortunately Andino was out at the plate, otherwise the Orioles would have won the game 4-3. I know Mo gets the yips every April, so I’m not worried…..but it’s still shocking to see anyway. Thankfully our offense came through in the end.
Speaking of the offense, we scored two runs in the 1st inning, one run in the 5th inning, and then didn’t score again until the 11th inning. Now that’s a problem. Of course, coming off a 15-run game the previous night, I wasn’t expecting 16 runs, but I was hoping for more of a sustained offensive effort than that. A couple players had very nice days at the plate; Derek (4-6, RBI) and Grandy (3-5, 3 RBI). We also got RBIs from Alex and Russell Martin. Derek’s four hits brings him to 2,945 hits total, or just 55 away from 3,000. Keep pluggin’ along, Jetes. I know you’re not having the best year, but we’re behind you anyway.
Stars of the Game™
What wasn’t so great to see early in the season is Phil Hughes’ troubling pitching woes. I don’t know what’s going on with him right now, but it’s worrying me. CC is CC, AJ appears to have his sh!t together, but after that it’s a whole bunch of question marks, and Phil leads the pack. It’s waaaaaay too early to be talking playoffs, but if this team expects to succeed in the playoffs, we need at least three top-notch starters, and at the moment we only have two. So he better shape up soon. Our bullpen had to pitch the bulk of the game, and they did a great job — especially Bartolo Colon, who has been a surprisingly solid (all jokes about his weight aside) acquisition for us thus far. Mo got the win, and as usual, made it look effortless. Can we clone him?
The offense mirrored the pitching last night — dead in the beginning, hot at the end. After falling behind 5-0, suddenly the bats remembered what they’re paid millions of dollars to do, and started to hit the ball. From the 5th inning on, we scored at least one run an inning, with the exception of the 8th. Our big heroes were Jorge Posada, whose 9th inning HR tied the game at 5, and Swish, whose sac fly in the 10th scored Mark and netted us the win. Of course Swish got a pie in the face from AJ for his efforts. Derek went 1-5, which brings him to within 64 hits of 3,000. Alex went 3-3 with an RBI, Robbie went 2-5 with an RBI, and Grandy went 2-4. Nice job all around once the bats got hot. Let’s do this again tonight against the Rangers.
Star of the Game™