It’s been an interesting season. I’m upset we’re not going to the playoffs, because I would have liked to see Derek Jeter’s final season end in a slightly less depressing fashion, but at least we ended the year with a win and finished above .500, which were two things I wanted to see happen above all else. I’ll still be maintaining this blog throughout the playoffs, and then intermittently through the off-season when stories of note happen. Also, congratulations are in order for Ryan Zimmerman, he of the Washington Nationals — there’s nothing quite like waiting until the last game of the season to throw a no-hitter, I suppose.
Michael Pineda pitched our final game of the season, ending with a final line of 6.1 IP, 3 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, and 10 K. His stats for the season were a 5-5 record with 1.89 ERA. Not bad. Esmil Rogers, who relieved him, didn’t do such a good job, coughing up a further four runs, bringing the score to 9-5. Thankfully none of our other pitchers gave up any further runs, and we were able to maintain the lead. I’m never too fussed about how we win, just that we do.
Derek Jeter played his final game as a Yankee yesterday afternoon, exiting in the 3rd inning after getting an RBI single. His last home game ended with an RBI single, and his last game in general ended with one as well. Lovely bookends. As it was, the offense was pretty well spread-out amongst the lineup, Jeter included. Jose Pirela went 2-4 with 2 RBI, Ichiro went 1-3 with 2 RBI, Chris Young went 2-4, Chase Headley went 1-4 with an RBI, and Austin Romine went 1-2 with an RBI. Overall, a very wonderful effort from everyone, and I liked seeing that we didn’t limp into the end of the season. Onwards and upwards!
I love beating the Red Sox. There’s such a joy, such a feeling of whimsy that overtakes me whenever it happens, I’m always left waiting for it to happen again. I know that the games are meaningless for both teams, and that no matter what, the standings won’t be affected, but that doesn’t mean I don’t want us to whip their whiny asses into a nice lather, then dump them in the fetid Charles.
Chris Capuano did much better tonight than he did during his last start. His final line was 6.2 IP, 4 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, and 5 K. Against any team that’s great, but against the Red Sox, that’s absolutely hysterical. Our relievers combined for 1 H and 1 ER, along with 4 K, garnering David Robertson his 39th save of the season, making up for last night’s oopsie that no one is actually all that upset about anyway.
The offense wasn’t all that much to write home about, but it got the job done, and we’re guaranteed to finish with a winning record, and considering the games are meaningless, Joe didn’t even play the A Squad. Francisco Cervelli went 2-3 with an RBI….which is basically the only interesting thing about the lineup tonight. Tomorrow’s game is probably going to be similar as far as the lineup and pitching are concerned, as there’s no use burning through the good players when the season ends Sunday. I just hope Sunday night’s game gets 100% effort, as that’s Derek Jeter’s absolute last game, home or away, and I’d like him to go out in style, if at all possible. I want a 15-inning pitcher’s duel that lasts 5 hours and requires everyone to pitch, including position players. Make it a real, legendary Yankees/Red Sox game.
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.
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.
If you sang that to the tune of “Welcome Back, Kotter,” give yourself a hand, because that’s what I wanted you to do. Masahiro Tanaka made his first start in what felt like ages, after sitting out with an injury. We could have used him a few months ago, but it’s better to have him healthy now so he’ll be 100% for next season, instead of pitching through it anyway and being useless by February. As you know, I want the team to finish above .500, so every little bit helps.
For coming off an injury that had him out for a while, he did a fantastic job — 5.1 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 0 BB, 4 K. He’s really going to be an incredibly solid part of the rotation next season, if we can just keep him encased in bubble wrap the whole time. Warren, Betances, and Robertson pitched in relief, with D-Rob picking up his 38th save of the season. They did a great job, and since I seldom have opportunity to praise them, I’m doing it now.
Well, one thing I can say for the offense is at least we didn’t leave 11 men on base or go 3-13 with RISP. We went 2-8, but that’s still better. Brett Gardener went 2-5 with 1 RBI, Brian McCann went 2-3 with 3 RBI, Derek Jeter went 2-4 with an RBI, and Ichiro went 2-4. Unfortunately, with the exception of Ichiro, all of our offense was concentrated in the first three batters. Gardy leads off, Jeter hits second, and McCann hits third. No one after him, except for Ichiro, got a hit. That’s pretty damn depressing. I’m glad we won and all, don’t get me wrong, but that’s a whole lot of nothing from literally everyone else. We start a series against Baltimore next, and the last game of the series on Thursday will be Derek Jeter’s final home game — we close the season against the Red Sox in Boston, and won’t that be a delight. So, four more home games for Mr. November. Where does the time go?
I’d like to think the Yankees secretly read my blog, thus understanding just how pissed off I’ve been at them all season, and now they’re trying to butter me up by playing smart baseball and winning games. I’m on to you, fellas. *taps side of nose* It’s just too bad they’re figuring this out in the last two weeks of September, instead of several months ago. Imagine how different our playoff outlook would be then?
Hiroki Kuroda pitched tonight, kicking all kinds of Blue Jay ass, lasting 6.2 innings, giving up 2 ER on 7 H, with 0 BB and 7 K. Outman, Rogers, and Warren pitched the remaining 2.1 innings, giving up a combined 2 H and 0 ER, walking one and striking out three. Warren picked up his 3rd save of the season, as well.
As far as offense goes, it wasn’t great, but it got the job done, which in the end is all that’s really important. Jacoby Ellsbury went 2-3 with 3 RBI before leaving the game with a strained hamstring, but since it’s September 19, it’s not as crushing a blow as it otherwise would have been. I still hope he’s alright and won’t have any issues come Spring Training next year. Derek Jeter went 2-4, and Brian McCann went 1-4 with an RBI. On a personal note, I can’t honestly say I know why Carlos Beltran played tonight, given the fact his wife lost their unborn child. If ever there was a time when it was perfectly acceptable to sit the rest of the season, it would be for that. My good thoughts and positive vibes are with them both right now.
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.