The Yankees never fail to amuse me sometimes. The Orioles are arguably the best team in the American League, yet we manage to one-hit them, at home, in the last week of the season. It’s never a dull day with us, is it? We’re four games back from the second Wild Card slot, and while I don’t think we’re going to quite make it, I’m at least grateful that we’re putting some effort into ending the season on a positive note, rather than just shuffling and limping toward the end.
The pitching tonight was superb, as you no doubt already noticed. Michael Pineda pitched 7.1 innings, giving up 1 H, 0 ER, 1 BB, and 8 K. Shawn Kelley, Rich Hill, and David Phelps pitched the final 1.2 innings, giving up no hits, walking one, and striking out three. It was absolutely dominant performance, and it was great to see. Well, listen to. At least in my case, anyway.
Compared to the last game, where all the hits were confined to the top of the batting order, this time nearly everyone got in on the action, with only Gardner, McCann, and Young not getting a hit…..which is funny because Gardner and McCann were two of the three batters I was talking about earlier. Derek went 1-3 with 3 RBI, Chase Headley went 2-4 with an RBI, and Jose Pirela went 2-3 with an RBI. So all around, a lot of great effort from everyone involved. Well done. Let’s do it again tonight.
Walk-offs are nice, certainly, but I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a walk-off error before. In that I mean, an error allowed a runner to score, hence the Yankees winning the game. Definitely a new one, but the outcome was more than acceptable. We’ve actually won two whole games in a row now, though how long that’ll go on……I haven’t a clue.
Shane Greene took the mound last night and pitched a damn good game — 6.2 IP, 3 H, 0 ER, 2 BB, 6 K. It’s a shame he didn’t factor in the win, because he deserved it. For any of our starters to make it into the 7th inning is a big deal, especially the pitchers that come from the back of the rotation. Dellin Betances, Shawn Kelley, and David Robertson (who got the win) all pitched in relief, but the only one who crapped the bed was Shawn Kelley. He gave up 2 ER on 2 H, allowing the Jays to tie the game. Not cool. Thankfully Adam Lind had butterfingers and we were able to squeak away with a win, even if we didn’t play like we deserved to.
On that continued note, at least we managed more than five hits, which is something. Jeter went 2-4 with an RBI and Stephen Drew went 2-3 with an RBI….and that’s really it. The offense was fairly spread out, but when two players have half your hits and two-thirds of your run production, things may look spread out, but that’ll just make it all look worse.
I don’t really think words exist to describe the horror of last night’s game. I really don’t. I don’t know what was worse about it; the fact we didn’t score a single run, or the fact we gave up the win in the bottom of the 9th inning. It’s like the Yankees hate their fans, and want to make them suffer as much as is humanly possible.
Chris Capuano pitched a great game, it’s a shame that he didn’t get a win to reflect it. 6.0 IP, 2 H, 0 ER, 0 BB, 4 K — that should be a winning line. A big thumbs down to Shawn Kelley who coughed up the RBI to Zobrist in the 9th, that was not cool. I mean, we were going to lose anyway, but did it have to be with 2 outs?
A big thumbs down also goes to the offense, who aside from Martin Prado (2-4), didn’t do a damn thing. I know I’ve come to expect mediocrity these past few months, but come on. Show some balls.
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*
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.
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.
In baseball, there are few things I hate worse than when your team has a lead late into the game, and the bullpen and/or starter totally shits the bed. We had this game. A game against the division-leading O’s, no less. Leave it to our bullpen to regress to the mean and totally screw the pooch. Speaking of, where did that expression come from? Pooch is slang for dog, and I’d hate to think someone at some point actually had sex with a dog in order for that expression to come to life. If you know its origins, leave me a comment below and let me know. Now we’re 8 GB of Baltimore and drifting further and further away from KC for the 2nd Wild Card slot. I don’t like getting pessimistic, not when there might still be a chance, but I don’t think the playoffs are in our future this year. Too many injuries, not enough time. If by some freak coincidence we happen to luck into the 2nd WC….I don’t see us lasting very long. Sad to say, but true.
We didn’t have much in the way of offense, but until the bottom of the 8th, it was working out quite well for us. Two runs on five hits isn’t stellar, but it was enough. Then all hell broke loose. Pineda pitched quite well, even though he only lasted five innings; he’d just come off the DL, so obviously Girardi didn’t want to stretch him too far to begin with. Betances comes in to relieve him, and continues to do well….until the bottom of the 8th. He gives up a HR to Schoop which ties the game, he’s then pulled for Shawn Kelley, who then proceeds to give up a 3-run HR to Adam Jones, and that’s all folks.
Going back to what I said about the offense, it wasn’t much. Until the top of the 9th, we only managed 2 R on 5 H. Francisco Cervelli was responsible for those runs, having hit a 2-run HR in the 3rd. After that, we didn’t score again until Chase Headley hit a grounder to 3B, scoring Mark Teixeria. Chris Tillman, the pitcher for the Orioles, did a great job of shutting us down, not that there’s really all that much to shut down anymore. Pitchers don’t necessarily have to bring their A game against us just to win the game. I hope that changes for the duration of the season, and we at least manage to end on a high note, but I won’t hold my breath.