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.
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.
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.