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.
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.
I should have been upset by last night’s loss, but I wasn’t. I wasn’t upset because in some small part, I expected it, and in another, I’ve become so desensitized to our losses that when they happen, even when I thought we’d win, I find it hard to get upset or angered or even annoyed. We’re 11 GB in the AL East now, god knows how many games back in the Wild Card race, so for all intents and purposes (not “intensive purposes,” as some might erroneously believe), our season is done. We are, as the title suggests, merely playing out the string. It’s sad that as a Yankees fan, that’s what we’re doing, but it hasn’t been our year since 2009, when we acquired CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira, and AJ Burnett. That was almost a surreal season — I don’t think anyone was anticipating we’d land all three, much less end up winning the World Series. Ah well, as Topol sang in Fiddler on the Roof, sunrise…..sunset.
Hiroki Kuroda did not have a good game, which is a rarity. I dare say he actually had a horribly sh!tty one. Lasting only 3.1 innings, he gave up 4 ER on 9 H. As a result of our starter’s early exit, Girardi went through nearly everyone we had in the pen, including our closer, David Robertson. The sad part is, the seven pitchers that came in for relief gave up only a further two hits, no more runs, and struck out a combined six. I say it’s sad because they they kept us in the game. Any team that chase out the starter in the 4th inning, you’d think would tattoo the bullpen for a bunch of runs/hits as well, but the Rays stopped at four.
The other thing that makes that sad, is that the Yankees stopped at three. When your pitcher craps the bed, but your bullpen holds the other team right where they are, you’re supposed to take advantage of that and make them pay for being unable to chase out your relievers, too. We didn’t do that. Jacoby Ellsbury went 2-4 with an RBI, Chris Young went 1-3 with 2 RBI, and Ichiro went 2-3. That’s the extent of our offensive firepower, and the one good thing I can say about the Yankees last night was that we went 3-5 with RISP and left only two men on base. I was anticipating a far more aggravating number. Let’s just win tonight and as I keep saying, try to end the season on a high note.
I’m not sure what I should most focus on; the fact we held the Royals to just one run or the fact we were unable to score any runs at all. Both teams had three hits, so it’s not like we were really outplayed. Kansas City is a great team this season, so at least we didn’t lose to one of the dregs (*cough*BOSTON*cough*), but still. At least we weren’t no-hit. We’re 4 1/2 games back of the second Wild Card spot, and with 23 games left, we’re running out of time. Michael Pineda did everything he was supposed to do. 7.0 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB 4 K. Our bullpen did everything they were supposed to do. There was no good reason why we should have lost this ballgame. I mean, there’s literally nothing else to say about the pitching. The offense…..there’s not much to say about that, either. Shields is a great pitcher, but it doesn’t really take a lot of effort to shut us down, but a good performance should be rewarded regardless. I only hope that this afternoon’s game goes a lot better than last night’s did.
That was a sorely needed win. Not simply because we’re chasing Detroit for the 2nd Wild Cart spot, but because we can’t afford to lose too many games now. We’re at the stage in the season now where wins are at a premium, and we’re playing teams that can’t afford to lose either, so we have to fight, scratch, and claw our way to every possible win that we can. Baltimore lost last night, so we gained a game on them, and we obviously beat Detroit, so that’s good news on that front.
Shane Greene had a tough assignment — be better than David Price. Last night, that wasn’t such a tall order. His final line was 7.0 IP, 5 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 8 K. Exactly what we needed from him when we needed it. Our bullpen gave up a further 3 H and 2 ER, but fortunately our offense built enough of a cushion that it didn’t jeopardize our chances of winning the game. Speaking of the offense…
I’m of two minds on this. One, we finally scored more than 4-5 runs, and everyone in the lineup got at least one hit, some two. Two, we unfortunately scored all our runs in the 3rd inning and didn’t do anything after that. In a perfect world, we’d have collected those eight runs over the course of the entire game, but the Yankees like to do things spectacularly, whether it’s winning or losing, so we scored them all at once and hoped it would be enough. With a bullpen that burps up the lead occasionally, one might consider that a potentially foolhardy adventure, but leave it to the Yankees to demonstrate how little faith we sometimes have in them. The best part of everyone in the lineup getting a hit, is that nearly everyone in the lineup got an RBI, as well. I won’t single anyone out, because everyone did a great job. Let’s do it again this afternoon!
I don’t know if I really have anything good to say about last night’s game. I suppose I could mention that Toronto lost, so we’ve maintained our distance from them, but Baltimore won, and I honestly don’t think they’re ever going to lose again. Getting swept by the Cubs must do a number on your pride. We’re either 2.5 or 3.5 games back for the 2nd Wild Card slot, so rather than catching the Orioles, which I don’t think is going to happen, I hope the Yankees put their efforts into catching Detroit, who currently have that spot. As such, we need to win this series, no question about it. If we have any chance of making it to the postseason, which admittedly is far less likely than likely, we need to put the afterburners on in the month of September.
Brandon McCarthy didn’t pitch really bad, but he didn’t throw a good game, either. It was somewhere in the middle. He went into the 7th, which is deeper than one would expect given his line, so at least he alleviated some pressure on the bullpen so we didn’t go through as many guys. 6.1 IP 9 H, 5 ER, 2 BB, and 5 K is again, not great, but it’s not completely shit either. Esmil Rogers relieved him, pitching the rest of the game, giving up 0 H and 0 ER, while striking out three. Five runs shouldn’t have been an insurmountable lead. Emphasis on shouldn’t have been.
Our offensive output for the night belonged to Jacoby Ellsbury, who went 3-4 with 2 RBI. That’s it. Jeter went 2-4, as did Carlos Beltran, but they were the only other batters to get more than one hit. You can’t say much about the offense when the offense didn’t do anything. The worst part is, we had nine hits, same as the Tigers…..only they scored five runs with theirs, while we managed only two. The fact we went 0-3 with RISP and 5 LOB didn’t help. We need tonight’s game to be the exact opposite of this one. We really can’t afford too many more games like this.
I wish I could say I have high hopes for this team, but I don’t. We don’t appear to be doing anything right, and things are never as bad as when they’re at their worst. Playing a divisional rival, someone who could very well surpass us shortly if things don’t change in a hurry, winning is paramount. Not that a team can ever afford to lose games, but we can’t exactly afford to lose any now, not if we have any hope of eking into a playoff spot. Thankfully for us, Baltimore, Boston, and Toronto all lost, so everyone basically stayed put at the end of the night.
Brandon McCarthy didn’t have the best night, but he pitched into the 7th, which showed a willingness to stay in the game as long as possible to keep from burning out the pen. His final line wasn’t even that poor, really. 6.1 IP, 7 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 7 K — that’s a great line, provided of course his team gives him some runs to work with. Since our offense did nothing, it made what he did look even worse by comparison. Esmil Rogers pitched the remaining 1.2 innings, giving up 1 ER on 1 H. If I’m being honest. Brandon didn’t deserve to lose. With any decent amount of run support, we win that game, and he gets the W. Everyone in the lineup owes him at the very least a steak dinner and a beer. Add to all of that the two errors we committed, and we had no chance.
Speaking of the offense, I wasn’t aware Alex Cobb was being possessed by Sandy Koufax. Sure, we got seven hits, but what did we do with them? We were 1-6 with RISP, and as a team, had 7 LOB. The only two batters in the lineup to reach base more than once were Jeter and Teixeria, both of whom went 2-4. It was a piss-poor, paltry effort, and one that inspired no confidence. After the last two dismal series we just had, one against Cleveland, the other against division-leading Baltimore, we can’t afford to drop this one too.