Monday, April 23, 2012
1899 Cleveland Spiders
2011 Boston Red Sox
Eduardo Nunez finally gets the defensive position he’s best suited for. And it’s a Chris Stewart sighting! Or is it Stewarto?
One of these teams is almost certainly the best team in baseball. The other plays in a disgraceful bandbox.
CC Sabathia salvaged a decent outing from a crappy beginning in his last start, but that was against a Twins team that can’t hit like this Rangers team can. While it’s still too early to go into full panic mode, the Yankee rotation is not looking like the strength it was supposed to be and Sabathia’s a big part of why that is. A good start by him tonight with better velocity would make me feel a bit better about him going forward.
The Yankees are catching a break with Adrian Beltre being out, although you could also say that the Rangers are catching a break with Brett Gardner being out. The pitching matchups for the series after tonight are Hiroki Kuroda vs. Yu Darvish tomorrow and Phil Hughes vs. Scott Feldman on Wednesday. If the Yankees can win tonight, I think they have a decent chance to split the next two games and win this series.
But that’s a pretty big if.
Top of the first
Apologies for the lack of pre-game snark, I’ll try and make up for it.
Jeter leads off with a grounder up the middle. Ian Kinsler tries to make the patented Cano play but Jeter beats it out for a leadoff infield single.
Swisher breaks his bat on a chopper to the right side and is thrown out at first, with Jeter advancing to second on the play. Will he be stranded on second or third?
Speaking of Cano, he’ll take his shot at Holland now. He quickly falls behind 0-2. Holland working Cano with 94 mph fastballs. A 93 mph fastball is ripped on a line into RF for a single, but it was hit too hard and Jeter had to hold up at third base. So now the Yankees have runners on the corners to strand with TAFKAAR up.
I haven’t really paid much attention to the A-Rod can’t hit lefties thing because it just doesn’t make sense to me. If he fails again here maybe I should start paying more attention to it. Rodriguez gets ahead 3-1 then waves through a fastball on the outside corner and now the count’s full. A 3-2 fastball misses down and in and TAFKAAR walks to load the bases for Teixeira.
Teixeira takes a 79 mph offspeed pitch for a strike then fouls off a high fastball to fall behind 0-2. Another fastball is fouled off. Holland’s throwing almost all fastballs in the 93-94 mph range so far. Until that 0-2 slider that Teixeira swings over for the second out.
Can Granderson do the unthinkable and get a hit off a lefty with a cheesy mustache? He’ll have to do it on a 1-2 count. Granderson gets jammed but is able to dunk it into short RF for a two-run single and the Yankees jump on top 2-0.
Andruw Jones pops up the 25th pitch of the inning to CF for the final out of the inning.
Bottom of the first
Will CC give up
a) 1 run
b) 2 runs
c) 3 runs
d) 4 or more runs this inning?
I know the answer but I won’t tell you until the inning is over.
CC throwing 91 mph in the early going. Kinsler lines a slider into LF for a leadoff single.
Andrus follows up with a flare into right-center that wasn’t hit hard but falls in for a single. Kinsler gets to third and it’s starting to look one of those games.
Hamilton hits a weak grounder to Cano, who tries to tag Andrus before throwing out Hamilton at first. Teixeira throws to Jeter at second where Andrus still hasn’t reached, and Jeter eventually tags Andrus. On the play, Kinsler scores and the Yankees lead is cut to 2-1. At least they got two outs.
Michael Young grounds out weakly to CC for the final out.
I think I prefer the CC that doesn’t give up runs all the time. Incidentally, the answer to the question I asked before the inning started is a) 1 run.
Top of the second
I swear I blinked and there were two outs. So much for working Holland’s pitch count up, Jeter trying to make up for what Nunez and Stewart couldn’t do. He’s fouled a few pitches off and worked the count full. The 3-2 pitch is lined into CF for another hit, and Jeter is tied with Josh Hamilton for the league lead in hits.
It’s not just that hits are falling in for Jeter. He’s really hitting the ball well consistently. I am amazed by his resurgence.
Swisher hits one pretty well to deep LF but Josh Hamilton is able to make the catch on the warning track to end the inning.
Bottom of the second
You know CC, you are the highest-paid pitcher in the game. Perhaps you could pitch like it?
I have to tell you, the fact that the Angels could have had Napoli for relative chump change producing more than they’re getting from Albert Pujols who cost them $250M is very amusing to me. But I’m hoping he hits like the Angels version of Pujols for the next three games. He goes down swinging on a pitch that gets away from Stewarto, but Stewart uses his cat-like quickness to beat Napoli to first for the first out.
A 93 mph fastball from CC is a routine grounder to Jeter, who bounces the throw to first and Teixeira can’t scoop it so Cruz reaches on the E-6.
Torrealba hits a fly ball to medium deep LF (aka DEEEP in Michael Kay parlance) and Andruwy Jonesy catches it for out number two.
CC quickly gets ahead of Gentry 0-2. He paints the corner for what should have been strike three, but comes back to get Snyder swinging. CC looked pretty good that inning.
Top of the third
You know what the Yankees could use right now? Lots o’ runs. A weak grounder to first by Cano for the first out makes lots o’ runs harder to envision. Maybe we should settle for un run. Or is it uno run?
If you want evidence of how much of a shell of himself A-Rod is right now, the Rangers crowd can’t even be bothered to work up a proper booing for him anymore. A-Rod works a full count walk.
I sometimes think Teixeira would be better off swinging with his eyes closed. Like right there, where he grounds into a tailor-made 6-4-3 DP.
Bottom of the third
That last half inning stunk.
I hope CC’s not planning on giving up any more runs because I think his offense is done for the night. He gets Gentry to fly out to LF, where Andruw Jones is able to catch it despite seemingly having trouble with the sun. Hopefully that sun goes away soon because it seems to be giving Jones all sorts of trouble.
A sharp slider down gets Kinsler swinging for the second out and CC seems to be getting better.
Andrus hits a sharp grounder past A-Rod for a single and here’s Hamilton. CC gets him swinging for his 4th K of the night.
Top of the fourth
Granderson leads off the inning by grounding out, Kinsler to Napoli. You get the sense this inning will be a fairly quick one.
Jones grounds one to third and Michael Young makes like Adrian Beltre, diving and getting up spinning to nail Jones at first. Let’s see if Nunez can keep the inning going.
He doesn’t, flying out to CF, about 20 feet shy of the warning track to end the inning.
Bottom of the fourth
That annoying rule about having fielders behind a pitcher seems unfair to the Yankees tonight. They’re clearly done playing so why can’t they go back to the hotel?
CC gets a quick ground out from Young and another from Napoli and there are two quick outs.
Pretty cool trivia about Pudge Rodriguez from the YES booth. He caught Nolan Ryan (born in 1947) and Stephen Strasburg (born in 1988).
Cruz hits one off the wall in right-center field that just misses going out of the yard. Instead it’s a two-out double.
CC’s not getting the outside corner vs. RHB, at least that’s what it looks like to me. Torrealba lines one pretty well but right at Jones for the third out.
Top of the fifth
Stewart walks. Seriously. Then a pickoff throw is dropped by Napoli and Stewart tries to advance to second. Napoli’s throw beats him to second but is dropped and Stewart is safe.
Jeter gets his third hit of the night and moves Stewart to third, where he’ll surely be stranded.
Swisher hits a fly to right center, deep enough for Stewart to tag and score and the Yankees go up 3-1. Speed never slumps, as Stewart just showed,
Cano grounds a single into RF and Jeter advances to second and the Yankees have runners on first and second with one out. Mike Maddux goes out to the mound to talk to Holland and his goofy mustache and now he’ll try and go after A-Rod again.
A fat fastball down the middle gets hit out of the park towards CF for a three-run HR and the Yankees go up 6-1. I guess that’s one way to get your first hit off a lefty this year A-Rod.
Teixeira grounds out but I am strangely unaffected. Granderson draws a walk and you have to figure Holland is just about done. They’re letting him pitch to Jones though. Jones hits it well but Hamilton chases it down for the final out of the inning.
Bottom of the fifth
It’s imperative that CC shut Texas down here. He starts off well by retiring Snyder. He then freezes Gentry on an 0-2 fastball for called strike three and there are two down. Stewart’s calling and framing a hell of a game. Maybe he is one of the 60 best catchers on the planet.
He’s quickly ahead of Ian Kinsler 0-2 then misses with a couple of pitches. Kinsler checks on a high fastball and the count goes full. A nasty slider on the outside corner is called strike three and CC strikes out the side.
Top of the sixth
Holland’s still out there, which is surprising to me. He gets Nunez to pop out on the first pitch. Stewart rips one to the gap in left center field for a double. Seriously, Stewart may be one of the top three catchers in baseball.
Jeter gets his fourth hit of the night, a double over Nelson Cruz’s outstretched glove. Stewart scores and the Yankees are now up 7-1. I think Jeter is King needs to come and reprimand those of us who gave up on Jeter during his 2010 and his first half of 2011.
Holland is still out there too, which I really don’t get. He falls behind Swisher 2-1. Swisher grounds out to short for the second out and here’s Cano. I’d imagine he’s Holland’s last hitter.
Cano grounds weakly to first and that’s your inning.
Bottom of the sixth
CC’s at 63 pitches through five. Nine innings is a real possibility if he can maintain the same efficiency.
Andrus grounds out for the first out.
Hamilton drives a 2-2 pitch over the right-center field fence for a solo HR to cut the Rangers’ deficit to 7-2.
CC recovers to retire Young on a fly out and then strikes out Napoli to end the inning.
Top of the seventh
Holland has been replaced by Mark Lowe.
A-Rod takes one to the warning track in CF where Gentry catches it with his back against the wall.
Teixeira flies out to shallow CF for the second out.
I have no idea how good Lowe is, but he’s throwing gas, 95-96 mph. He gets Granderson swinging with what looks like a splitter for the final out.
Bottom of the seventh
If CC can get through this inning we don’t have to worry about seeing Soriano.
I’m thinking a leadoff walk with a 7-2 lead in the seventh is sub-optimal. It’s the first walk CC’s allowed tonight and now he’ll go after Torrealba. Torrealba pops up to shallow RF down the line and Swisher’s able to get to it and makes the catch for the first out.
CC gets ahead of Snyder but he is able to poke one down the 3B line just past Rodriguez for a double and the Rangers have runners on second and third with one out.
Gentry is able to poke one past a diving Teixeira and the Rangers cut the Yankees’ lead to 7-4. Gentry makes it to second with a double. Maybe we need to see Soriano after all.
Kinsler grounds to Jeter who holds Gentry at second then throws to first to get Kinsler for out number two. I was really enjoying the fact that CC got his ERA under 5, but it didn’t even last for an inning. Soriano and Logan are warming now and I’d imagine they may pull CC if Andrus reaches.
Andrus grounds to second for the final out. CC’s final line will look crappy, but aside from the lead off walk he didn’t really pitch that badly that inning. None of the hits were struck particularly well.’
Top of the eighth
This is no longer a laugher, so some runs here would be pretty sweet. Jones and Nunez decide that’s not necessary as they make two quick outs.
Stewart takes a called strike three to end the frame.
Bottom of the eighth
With Hamilton due up and CC at 104 pitches I think we’ll CC vs. Hamilton with Robertson ready if he reaches. CC gets Hamilton on two pitches and it looks like he’ll stay in until someone reaches. Robertson’s warmed and ready in case. Young grounds to Jeter for the second out and here’s Napoli. Mo starting to loosen up in the pen.
Napoli grounds to third, where A-Rod knocks it down and then scoops it up and gets him at first. Inning over.
Top of the ninth
Jeter will lead off with a chance to go 5 for 5.
On an unrelated note. Yay Twins!
Koji Uehara in to pitch for Texas now. He misses with the first two pitches but comes back to strike Jeter out swinging. He follows that up by getting Swisher to strike out swinging. Bold prediction, Cano will not strike out. And he doesn’t, flying out to CF to end the inning.
Bottom of the ninth
It’s a save situation, so it’s Mo. He’ll try and get Cruz leading off. First pitch is a strike. As is the second pitch. Mo tries to get Cruz to chase a cutter away but he doesn’t bite. Another cutter on the outside part of the plate is fouled off. Mo at 91-92 so far. Cruz hits one solidly to RF but Swisher is able to catch it near the warning track for the first out. That’s in the upper deck in DNYS, but it’s just a loud out here.
Torrealba flies out to medium-deep CF, where Curtis Granderson flags it down and the Rangers are down to their last out. They’ll send up Mitch Moreland to pinch-hit, ignoring the fact that lefties do worse against Mo. Mo falls behind Moreland 3-1, but a grounder to Teixeira who flips it to Mo ends the game and the Yankees win!
Yay Mo! Yay win!
Next entry: Yankees.com: Jeter's four hits help CC top Texas
Previous entry: Pitchers A vs. Pitchers B