So that’s how the world ends; not with a bang, but a whimper. We are officially eliminated from any and all playoff spots, which means our season is basically over. Derek Jeter’s last home game is tomorrow, his last ever game is on Sunday night. If we’re going to win any of the next four games, please let them be those. One of the people I follow on Twitter tweeted an interesting graphic concerning the last time the Yankees missed the playoffs in consecutive seasons —
For the uninitiated, that’s what gas prices were like the last time that happened, which should give you an idea of how rare an occurrence it is. Gas under a buck…..where oh where did the time go.
Our pitching sucked this afternoon, and there’s no nice way of putting it. Our starter, Shane Greene, lasted only 3.2 innings, giving up 6 ER on 7 H. Our bullpen gave up a further 3 ER on 8 H. It was just an all-around sh!tshow, so I’m not sure if yesterday was an aberration or what. Claiborne and Huff were the only two relievers who didn’t crap the bed, so good for them.
The offense was as stale and pathetic as the pitching. Once again, the top part of the lineup had all the hits/runs, with one exception; Stephen Drew went 1-2 with an RBI, and he bats sixth. Chase Headley went 3-4 with an RBI, Mark Teixeira went 2-4 with 3 RBI, and that’s basically anything of consequence.
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.
An odd title for a game wrap-up yes, but it’s a great way to describe how the Yankees have played baseball this season. We win a game, lose a game, win a couple of games, lose five games in a row….it’s a constant back and forth and back and forth. Like a demented waltz. We’re forever marching in a circle it seems. We lost yesterday, won today, we’ll probably lose tomorrow just to keep the rhythm going. At least Baltimore lost, as I’m starting to get stick of them constantly winning. Now I know how their fans felt about us for so long.
Brandon McCarthy didn’t turn in a performance exactly as dominating as Michael Pineda’s from last night, but it was pretty close — 6.2 IP, 6 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 4 K. He pitched into the 7th inning at any rate, which is kind of what we expect from our starters, regardless of who we’re playing. Kelley, Betances, and Robertson made up our relief corps, and combined, they gave up no hits, no runs, no walks, and struck out two. Hurrah, huzzah, and hallelujah.
It was the Martin Prado show today, as our Babe Ruth-esque slugger went 3-4 with two doubles. Ichiro went 2-2 with an RBI, John Ryan Murphy went 2-4, and we also got RBIs from Ellsbury, Jeter, Teixeira, and Beltran. It was a nice, well-rounded effort, one that won’t be repeated if I know my team, and I do.
Look, I know neither team is making the playoffs, but my hatred for all things Boston burns bright, and watching Uehara give up not only the game-tying HR, but the game-winning one as well, it just made my night. I immediately went to SoSH to read all the delicious schadenfreude that I could, just to extend the fun. No, it’s not mature, and I could probably handle my fandom better than that, but as a Yankees fan, there’s precisely one thing we all know for an absolute fact: The Red Sox suck, no matter what.
Someone else who sucked last night was Chris Capuano. He’s basically been pretty solid for us all year, but last night, not so much. He only lasted 4.1 innings, giving up 4 R on 6 H, not to mention two HRs to Big Sloppy. Our bullpen, though….they had to do yeoman’s work, but they did it well, giving up only one more hit the rest of the game. We needed them to come through and hold Boston to four runs, in the off chance we’d actually drum up enough offense to win the game. So, kudos to them for a well-pitched game.
Extra-special kudos go out to Mark Teixeira and Chase Headley however, because without them, this game wrap-up would have an entirely different tone. We scored three runs in the 3rd, then did nothing until the bottom of the 9th, when it was decided we’d cue the dramatic finale. Uehara gave up a bomb to Mark, into the 2nd deck no less, then gave up another one to Chase, who promptly began running around the bases before getting doused in Gatorade at home plate. Aside from them, Derek Jeter went 1-4 with 2 RBI and Carlos Beltran went 1-4 with an RBI. Aren’t walk-offs fun? We’re starting a new series tonight against the Royals, and while I’m not holding out any hope that we’ll win the series, let’s just try not to get swept, yeah?
I’ve said this about the Yankees before, but it’s coming true more and more it seems. Just when we appear to have all our sh!t together, we completely fall to pieces the next game. I’m starting to run out of ways to describe it without translating from English into a foreign language. I love them, but they’re killing me. Baltimore is tied with Minnesota right now, though they’ll probably win anyway, Kansas City is losing to Cleveland, and Detroit is beating the White Sox. If it wasn’t for the new episode of Doctor Who tonight, today would have been a total loss.
If there’s anything I hate more than pitchers winning despite pitching like crap, it’s pitchers losing despite pitching a great game. Michael Pineda threw a very, very quality start. 6.0 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 0 BB, 3 K. How does that lose? Oh right, no offense. We’ll get to that in a moment. The relief corps did their jobs, holding the Blue Jays in place, but again….no offense. Doesn’t matter how great your pitching is, if your hitters can’t provide the support, you’ll end up losing every time.
Let’s see…..we got one hit today. ONE STINKIN’ HIT. Mark Teixeira hit a double. Oh wow. We didn’t just lose, we got embarrassed. There’s literally nothing else to say. Hopefully we’ll manage at least two hits next game.
My alternate choice for a title was, “Our bullpen didn’t blow the lead!” Both are accurate descriptions of my reaction at the end of the game, which I was lucky enough to get to listen to, as I didn’t have anything else going on that would have prevented. Normally with day games I have to listen to a replay of the game, whether I know the final outcome or not. We’re tied now with Toronto for 2nd place in the AL East, but being 9.0 GB of the Orioles means we shouldn’t hang our hats on it. The days of being able to come in second in the division and still make the playoffs are pretty well over, I fear. Boston lost again though, putting them 18.0 GB, which just makes me laugh. I know it’s not nice, but I never said I was nice.
Brandon McCarthy threw a 4-hit shutout, walking none and striking out 8. I can’t remember the last time a Yankees pitcher threw a complete game. Girardi must have been hopping up and down in the dugout trying to relieve the tension because he couldn’t make a call to the bullpen. Well, actually I think the pitching coach does that, but you know what I mean. Joe has a problem letting starters finish games when they’re cruising; for some inexplicable reason, he yanks them in the 8th and lets someone else either get the save, or do garbage time duty. “Garbage time” of course refers to when your team has a huge lead, and rather than waste the good relievers, the manager puts in the other guys to mop up. The same is true in reverse; when your team is being blown out, the manager will often use the scrubs to pitch the rest of the game, since there’s no chance you’ll win the game. This game was neither of those situations, but I’m still glad Joe decided to sit on his hands for once.
The offense wasn’t exactly burning the doors down, but we got enough to get the job done. I wish our batters would start hitting though, and hitting consistently. Mark Teixeira went 2-3, Chase Headley went 1-3 with 2 RBI, and our other RBI came as a result of a sac fly in the 2nd by Ichiro. Again, not much doing at the plate. I’ll take the win, don’t get me wrong, but it would have been nice to have a win with some oomph. Ah well, maybe next game.
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.