Wednesday, May 22, 2013
BALTIMORE—Right-hander Hiroki Kuroda was hit hard and forced to leave early with a bruised right calf and the Yankees never recovered, suffering a 6-3 defeat to the Orioles on Wednesday at Camden Yards.
Kuroda was charged with five runs in two-plus innings after being struck by a Manny Machado liner in the second. He recovered to finish the frame and began the third, but manager Joe Girardi lifted him after he surrendered two hits.
Rookie reliever Preston Claiborne then gave up a three-run homer to Matt Wieters, the first runs Claiborne has allowed in his brief Major League career.
Kuroda, who had been the Yankees’ most effective starter going into the evening, also served up homers to Nick Markakis and Chris Davis—Davis’ American League-leading 14th—among the eight hits he allowed.
The offense did not assemble much of an attack against Orioles starter Jason Hammel, who held the Yankees to two runs and six hits over 6 2/3 innings.
Annoying way to end an annoying series, but it sounds like Kuroda’s injury is not serious so that’s good.
Monday, May 20, 2013
BALTIMORE—Travis Hafner’s ninth-inning homer tied the game and Vernon Wells’ ground-rule double provided the lead an inning later, powering the Yankees to a 6-4 victory over the Orioles on Monday at Camden Yards.
Hafner’s opposite-field homer, his eighth, came as Jim Johnson blew his third consecutive save opportunity for Baltimore. Ichiro Suzuki opened the 10th with a double off Pedro Strop and scored as Wells delivered the go-ahead blow to left-field. Hafner added an RBI single to give the Yanks a two-run cushion.
David Robertson picked up the win and Mariano Rivera pitched a scoreless home half of the 10th for his 17th save in as many chances. That put an end to a night of lead changes that saw the Yankees place a late advantage in CC Sabathia’s back pocket before the lefty stumbled in the seventh inning.
Lyle Overbay’s solo home run in the top of the seventh off left-hander Troy Patton boosted New York to a one-run advantage, but Nick Markakis and J.J. Hardy answered with run-scoring doubles to chase Sabathia in the home half of the inning.
Thanks to the late rallies, the Yankees remained 19-0 in games in which they have scored first. Sabathia allowed four runs and 11 hits over 6 1/3 innings and is winless in his last four starts.
CC didn’t look great again, but the bullpen was nails, like they’ve been just about all season. The Yankees’ offense hasn’t hit that well overall, but they’ve managed to get their hits in more meaningful situations and they did that again tonight.
This is either:
a) The worst good team in baseball
b) The best bad team in baseball
Sunday, April 14, 2013
NEW YORK—Hiroki Kuroda sailed through nine scoreless innings in a masterful performance, leading the Yankees to a 3-0 victory over the Orioles on Sunday evening at Yankee Stadium.
Brett Gardner clanged a two-run homer off the right-field foul pole to provide the biggest blast of the night and help the Yankees take the rubber game of the three-game set with the Orioles and secure their fifth victory in six games.
Kuroda erased any lingering concerns about the right finger he bruised in his first start of the season, as he was in command all night, scattering five hits and not permitting an Oriole to touch second base until the ninth.
Outstanding game by Kuroda tonight. And kudos to Joe Girardi for letting him finish it off despite having the greatest closer of all time waiting in the wings in what was a save situation.
Friday, October 12, 2012
Yankees ace CC Saathia pitched out of a bases-loaded jam in the eighth inning and finished off the Orioles in the ninth to win Game 5 and set up an ALCS matchup against the Tigers.
You couldn’t have asked for more from Sabathia than what he did today. The offense still didn’t look great but they did show signs of life. Will that be enough against a team that has arguably four starters better than any of Baltimore’s? Probably not. But we can worry about that tomorrow.
It was a tough series, with just about every inning of every game featuring neither team having a lead of greater than one run. The only exception was the ninth inning of Game 1 and the last three innings of today’s game. I kept waiting for Baltimore’s luck to run out, but damn if they didn’t keep playing well right down to the end. Kudos to them for a great season, no matter how they got there.
My ALCS preview will go up tomorrow, but until then figure it will be along the lines of Tigers in four.
Thursday, October 11, 2012
NEW YORK—J.J. Hardy rocketed a 13th-inning double off the left-field wall to drive in the go-ahead run as the Orioles forced the Yankees to a decisive final contest in the American League Division Series, posting a 2-1 victory in Game 4 on Thursday at Yankee Stadium.
Hardy’s deep drive off Yankees right-hander David Phelps scored Manny Machado easily from third base and, on a night that combined sharp pitching and numerous missed opportunities for both teams, produced the contest’s first run since the sixth inning.
Game 5 of the AL Division Series will be played on Friday at 5:07 p.m. ET on TBS, with New York’s CC Sabathia and Baltimore’s Jason Hammel taking the ball with hopes of extending their respective teams’ season into the AL Championship Series.
The Yankee pitching has been great for this entire series. Unfortunately, the offense hasn’t been far too often and that was really hammered home tonight. The Yankees got their only run on a ground out and collectively left 23 runners on base on a night where getting just one of them in would have won them the game.
Hopefully they can score enough runs for CC Sabathia to carry them to victory tomorrow, but I’m not optimistic.
Wednesday, October 10, 2012
NEW YORK—Raul Ibanez stepped in for Alex Rodriguez and delivered a game-tying ninth-inning home run, then slammed the game-winner in the 12th inning as the Yankees stunned the Orioles with a 3-2 victory in Game 3 of the American League Division Series on Wednesday night.
Manager Joe Girardi’s bold call to lift Rodriguez, his slumping $29 million slugger, in favor of Ibanez against O’s closer Jim Johnson will prove to be the main talking point as the Yankees batted away a sluggish evening to claim a 2-1 lead in the best-of-five ALDS.
Tuesday, October 9, 2012
BALTIMORE — They should have scored more than one run in the first. With the bases loaded and one out in the fourth, they didn’t score. Two hits and an intentional walk didn’t produce a run in the seventh.
Does this sound like the soundtrack of the Yankees when they don’t win?
Of course it does, and the lack of clutch hitting cost the AL East champs last night in Game 2 of the ALDS against the Orioles at Camden Yards, where the Orioles evened the best-of-five series with a 3-2 victory that was witnessed by 48,187 chilled and stirred customers.
They should have scored more. The story of the 2012 Yankees.
Sunday, October 7, 2012
BALTIMORE—Russell Martin slammed a go-ahead home run and the Yankees knocked around Jim Johnson in a five-run ninth inning to earn a 7-2 victory in Game 1 of the American League Division Series on Sunday night.
Martin quieted a raucous, towel-waving crowd witnessing the first postseason game held at Camden Yards since 1997 with his blast into the left-field seats, marking the Yankees catcher’s second career Division Series homer.
The timely shot made a winner of CC Sabathia, who fell one strike shy of a complete game, keeping a steady arm on the hill until the Yankees could break through against Baltimore’s tough pitching staff.
CC was great, proving me wrong when I thought he should have been pulled after the 7th. Obviously winning one game does not win the ALDS. We can just look back at a few recent ALDS’s where the Yankees won the first game and lost the series for evidence of that. But the Yankees are now in the driver’s seat in this series and that’s cool.
Thursday, September 6, 2012
BALTIMORE—It has been more than a decade since the Yankees had much reason to feel uncomfortable when visiting Camden Yards, often treating their trips here almost as if they were bonus home games in road gray uniforms.
It sure doesn’t feel that way anymore. Adam Jones, Mark Reynolds and Chris Davis blasted eighth-inning homers into a frenzied ocean of orange shirts on Thursday, lifting Baltimore past New York, 10-6, to reclaim a share of the lead in the American League East.
Jones’ blast off right-hander David Robertson put the Orioles back on top, and Reynolds slugged a two-run shot—his second of the night—to expand the lead after New York rallied for five runs in the eighth, taking advantage of reliever Pedro Strop’s implosion to tie the game.
Well, that stinks.
Saturday, September 1, 2012
NEW YORK—As late-August losses piled up in New York and an American League East lead dwindled from as many as 10 games down to only two entering September, nearly everyone in the organization had to reaffirm that no, the veteran clubhouse was not panicking, and yes, it still intended to win the division.
The reasons were simple for Nick Swisher, even after a series-opening loss to Baltimore: experience, and Derek Jeter.
The Yankees’ captain showed just how calm the Yankees remain Saturday, drawing a bases-loaded walk with two outs to score the tying run in the seventh inning of New York’s 4-3 win against the Orioles. It came after he fell behind Baltimore reliever Pedro Strop, 0-2, and an inning after he voiced displeasure with home-plate umpire Mike Estabrook as he returned to the dugout after a called third strike.
The 2012 Yankees have specialized in losing games they should have won. Today they managed to win a game they should have lost. Great job by the bullpen to shut down Baltimore after 4.2 mediocre innings by David Phelps, and I suppose the offense deserves credit for letting Baltimore hand them the game as well. At the very least, we know the Yankees will still be in first place after this series ends.
Curtis Granderson left the game with a hamstring issue but an MRI supposedly revealed little of concern, and he’s probably day to day. A few days off may do him some good anyway.
A few starts ago, Hiroki Kuroda threw a seven-inning shutout in a rain-shortened victory over the Toronto Blue Jays. The win, on July 18, increased the Yankees’ lead in the American League East to a whopping 10 games. The margin has been slashed to two, in part, by a rash of injuries and inconsistent performances.
If the Orioles had not caught the Yankees’ distracted attention, they surely did after a 6-1 win at Yankee Stadium on Friday night. It was the Orioles who acted like a first-place team with years of playoff experience.
OK, this isn’t funny anymore.
Wednesday, August 1, 2012
NEW YORK—Robinson Cano hit a grand slam and Derek Jeter drove in three runs as the Yankees snapped their four-game losing streak in convincing fashion, defeating the Orioles, 12-3, on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees erupted for seven runs in the third inning, highlighted by Cano’s ninth career grand slam—and second of the season—a moonshot to right off Baltimore reliever Kevin Gregg. Jeter also ripped a two-run double in the inning, part of a three-hit performance for The Captain.
Behind six strong innings from starter Phil Hughes (11-8), New York peppered Orioles starter Zach Britton (1-1) for seven runs in 2 2/3 innings, powering just its fourth victory in the last 13 games.
Even if you are skeptical about Baltimore maintaining their current pace, the Yankees losing three games off their lead against them in three days would have been brutal. By salvaging today the Yankees managed to avoid that.
“I had a bad day, but I don’t feel that way,” Nova said. “I felt really good in that inning, too. I just got hit. I left a hanging curveball, and he hit a homer. I think overall, it was a tough night for me. I feel like I had command of my pitches; I just got hit.”
Girardi didn’t mince words in analyzing the performance, in which the Yankees wasted their five-run first inning against Chris Tillman and lost for the ninth time in 12 games. It looked like the Bombers might cruise to a victory, but Nova’s second inning quickly flushed those hopes.
“He had no fastball command, inconsistent slider, inconsistent curveball,” Girardi said. “He worked his tail end off after he gave up two singles in a row in the second inning to get two outs and two strikes, then threw a slider [to Mark Reynolds] that didn’t break. It just kind of snowballed after that.”
Nova’s second inning was like a train wreck unfolding in slow motion. After allowing the first two runners to reach he got two outs and got to two strikes on Mark Reynolds and it seemed like he’d get out of the mess. Then came seven runs.
You figure when your team scores five runs in the first inning they’ll cruise to victory. I guess not.
Remember how I said yesterday that I was not concerned about the Yankees collapsing? My position on that has officially changed.
Monday, July 30, 2012
NEW YORK—The Yankees hit three home runs off Orioles starter Miguel Gonzalez, but that power display wasn’t enough to avert a 5-4 defeat on Tuesday at Yankee Stadium, marking the Bronx Bombers’ third consecutive loss.
Yankees starter Freddy Garcia permitted three runs over six innings, but the Orioles added two key runs in the seventh charged to reliever Boone Logan, winning for the third time in their four games played in the Bronx this season.
Back-to-back seventh-inning homers by Eric Chavez and Ichiro Suzuki off Gonzalez—Ichiro’s first home run in pinstripes, and the 100th of his career—closed the deficit, but the Yankees couldn’t push a final run across.
Homers aren’t enough should be the theme song of the 2012 Yankees. I suppose it would help if it was a song and not a headline.
Mark Teixeira left the game with a hand injury after a fielding play and obviously that’s the bigger concern than yet another one run loss. There’s no official word on the extent of the injury, with tests planned for tomorrow.
The nice thing about losing a bunch of one run games is it generally means you’ve been a bit unlucky and aren’t really as bad as you’ve looked. While the logical part of me can use that to somewhat mollify the annoyance of the Yankees dropping eight of their last 11 games, the fan in me is pretty freaking annoyed these days.
Girardi said that the Yankees continue to expect Pettitte to return to their rotation in September, and that this recent update doesn’t constitute a change in that thinking. Doctors have been encouraged by Pettitte’s healing thus far.
“I feel like Usain Bolt right now, just not quite that fast,” said Chamberlain when asked if he sees a finish line. “Just to know it’s there and the hard work’s paid off, and to know there is an end in sight, is awesome.”
Chad Qualls is probably a bit less enthusiastic about said return.
And if you’re hoping for a magic deal coming down to save the day, according to Brian Cashman, stop hoping.
Cashman said that the trade landscape has “gotten quiet all of a sudden,” and though he wouldn’t completely rule out the chances of the Yankees making a trade before 4 p.m. ET Tuesday, Cashman said he is “not at all” optimistic because prices have been too high.
“There are some very motivated buyers that you’ve seen, and some very reluctant sellers,” Cashman said. “It’s always difficult to agree on price regardless. I’m very comfortable that I know we’re getting our guys back from the DL. It’s just trying to maintain health, stay healthy and get healthy, and keep going with what you’ve got.”
Translation, I’m about to trade Mason Williams and Gary Sanchez for Brandon Beachy.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
BALTIMORE—The Yankees’ offense lagged against Wei-Yin Chen and the Orioles handed CC Sabathia his first loss of the season, posting a 5-2 victory over New York on Tuesday at Camden Yards.
Chen, a 26-year-old product of Taiwan, enjoyed some success against the Yankees in his first Major League start, on April 10, and was able to improve upon that, blanking New York through the first six innings.
I’m not sure what looked worse. The Yankee offense or CC. Either way, it was a well-deserved loss, but at least the Yankees didn’t need to use their closer.
Wednesday, May 2, 2012
In what ultimately went down as a 7-1 loss to the Orioles, Hughes gave his team a chance to win, departing with the Yankees trailing only by two runs.
For others, allowing four runs in 5⅔ innings is hardly a cause for celebration. But for Hughes, whose season until Tuesday night had been marked by short, brutish appearances, it was a step forward.
It was tentative step, but a step nonetheless, and both Hughes and the Yankees seemed eager to take it.
Perhaps it is why the crowd gave the pitcher a lukewarm round of applause, despite the fact that Hughes displayed some of the same issues that have plagued him all year.
It was almost certainly Hughes’s best start of the year, but it still wasn’t a great one. I did see enough to think that if Hughes eventually winds up back in the bullpen, he’ll be pretty good there, because he got his fastball up to 95 and he probably had his best curve of the year on top of it. Until Andy Pettitte is ready to return Hughes is safe in the rotation, but it’ll be interesting to see what happens if David Phelps outpitches him in the rotation until then.
As for the rest of the team, feh. Aside from Derek Jeter and Curtis Granderson,there’s really no compelling reason to watch them right now. I don’t expect it to last, but that doesn’t mean it’s not frustrating to watch right now.
Monday, April 30, 2012
NEW YORK—Hiroki Kuroda turned in a stellar seven-inning effort and Eric Chavez slugged a two-run homer, as the Yankees defeated the Orioles, 2-1, on Monday at Yankee Stadium.
The Yankees received a strong starting performance for a second straight day, as Kuroda followed up CC Sabathia’s winning effort with a gem of his own, permitting just one run on four hits and saving the lead with his own defensive play at home plate.
Kuroda looked like he had nothing over the first two innings as seemingly every ball was hit hard, but he settled down nicely to give the Yankees seven innings of one-run ball. His final play of the game was probably the most important one. The Orioles had the tying run on third and the go-ahead run on second with two outs in the seventh when a pitch got away from Russell Martin. It rolled into foul territory but not all that far and the Orioles gambled by sending the runner but Martin was able to retrieve the ball and flip it to Kuroda who beat the runner to the plate and applied the tag to the end the inning. The Orioles could not muster anything against David Robertson or Mariano Rivera over the final two innings and the Yankees had a nice win in a rare briskly played pitcher’s duel.
I’m enjoying watching Kuroda pitch so far and hope he can keep it going. I’d take a 3.69 ERA from him over the rest of the year.
I was not particularly enamored with the Eric Chavez re-signing, but so far he’s been great. I don’t know if he’ll stay healthy or keep it up all year, but he’s probably already been worth his salary.
Wednesday, April 11, 2012
The Adventures of Clay Rapada’s First Yankees Win
One of my stranger inner routines during the offseason involves contemplating random baseball games from April’s long faded away, daydreaming about middle infielders wearing ski-masks while turning double plays and chilly pitchers breathing into the palms of their hands. Usually this type of reverie arises while stuck in traffic, windshield wipers creaking against my car’s ice stained windows. In comparison, early season baseball seems downright romantic. (Wintertime in New York. Feel the depression! And go skate by a giant tree!)
Life is usually about context, though. The past needs to be registered and fitted into a narrative, traced directly to the present. In this sense, ballgames played in raw conditions are looked back upon fondly, for their usefulness in leading somewhere else.
The present does not always conform to context. Last night, my wintertime longing for cold weather baseball was confronted by an ugly reality. The Orioles and Yankees stirred a strange brew. The length of the game was over four hours, rendering the first inning a distant dream unfolding on a galaxy, far, far away, where Derek Jeter homered… to… dead center? (well, it was against a lefty, and against lefties, Derek Jeter still parties like it’s 1999)
The pace was sluggish. Orioles starter Wei-Yin Chen ran deep counts despite issuing only one walk (though he did hit A-Rod in the first) and needed to extricate himself from jams on multiple occasions in order to post a quality big league debut. Chen’s win disintegrated when a Mark Reynolds error and Brett Gardner single tied the game in the sixth. Meanwhile, Yankees starter Freddy Garcia chucked five wild pitches, the first time that’s occurred since 1989, which was only a couple of minutes after the first inning of this very game. (Suzyn I tell ya, it was a long game)
And the quality of the game was substandard. Sure, both bullpens distinguished themselves, and the Orioles, in particular, boast a couple of electric arms flying beneath the mainstream radar. (baseball hipsters will no doubt be boasting to outsiders about the exploits of Strop and Lindstrom, with patronizing knowingness)
But the offenses must be called into account for failing to deliver repeatedly with runners in scoring position. The Yankees ended the evening 2-18, claiming the game thanks to Raul Ibanez, who launched a twelfth inning missile over the head of Nick Markakis. Strop, working his second frame, hung a slider to make the memories happen. Hanging sliders may be a cliché way to start modern day horror fiction, but clichés can retain effectiveness when utilized in a self-referential way. And keep in mind, hanging sliders are known to spin back upon their axis, freeing them to be featured in an infinite number of plots. Check your textbooks for more info.
For their part, the Orioles offered a far more modest 0-8 with runners in scoring position. Don’t feel too sorry for the Orioles, though. Tomorrow night they face a giant man who is left-handed, throws in the high nineties, and will be hurling with a vengeance after a disappointing turn on Opening Day. No doubt their strikeout prone lineup will be looking forward to that challenge.
As for the Yankees, their struggles with runners in scoring position have been frustrating in the early going, but the upshot is that they have plated enough runs to win two games, and were a Zobrist away from being over .500 as of this writing. Despite clutch approaches ranging from helpless to slapstick, (In the case of Swisher, a subtle blend of both. Hey Nick, where ya going? You dropped your bat. Nick?*) the Yankees could still head home full of pride and hubris with a win in the series finale. And that’s how we like our Yankees.
They owe Clay Rapada, Cory Wade, and David Phelps a debt for being in a potentially comfortable position. Rapada fooled Robert Andino to end the eleventh inning, on a strike three breaking ball that floated down the middle, like a lonely snowflake landing in an abandoned parking lot. Considering Rapada was facing off against a right-handed hitter, who are transformed into genetically altered Jimmie Foxx-bots by his presence, it was a horrifying situation. But Rapada succeeded, as had his predecessor, Cory Wade, whose floating curve balls baffled the Orioles over two and a third sudden (metaphorical) death (!) innings. Freshman David Phelps impressed in long relief, soaking up the innings left abandoned by Wildman Garcia. Mariano Rivera recorded his first save, and I wasn’t quite able to see where he left his initials on this particular painting, though fans with DVR could give me an update.
Overall, the game may have been a difficult watch at times, but there’s no question I will recall it fondly months from now, part of a sweet prologue. The mind can play tricks. And sometimes, like the tricks played by Wade and Rapada, the deception works.
*I kid Nick because I’m a fan. When someone badmouths him I just start throwing things and screaming .800 OPS! .800 .OPS! until the authorities arrive.
Tuesday, April 10, 2012
BALTIMORE—Raul Ibanez provided the Yankees with the big hit that they’d been searching for all night, delivering a go-ahead ground-rule double that powered a 5-4 victory over the Orioles in 12 innings on Tuesday at Camden Yards.
I didn’t think Joe Girardi managed this game all that well, but I’m glad the team won. I didn’t really have a problem with using Boone Logan to start the ninth, particularly since he was on a short leash and got pulled as soon as the first batter reached. My primary beef was the whole sequence in the top of the 11th. After Russell Martin walked to lead off the inning, Girardi pinch-ran for him with Eduardo Nunez. The benefit to this is getting a stolen base threat into the game. Instead, Girardi had left-handed hitting Brett Gardner bunt Nunez to second against a RHP so that Derek Jeter could try to drive him in with the platoon disadvantage. This also meant that the next time Martin’s spot came up, it’d be Chris Stewart in his spot. It turned out to not matter, but I think Girardi would be better off not trying to be so active when an opportunity presents itself.
Of course if one of the Yankees #4 or #5 or #6 hitters could have gotten a hit in the fifty times they came up with a chance to drive in a runner it would have been a non-issue.
On the plus side, David Phelps was nails after a crappy outing by Freddy Garcia, as was Cory Wade. Raul Ibanez’s big hit was obviously cool, and Mariano Rivera closed it out with a perfect 12th inning, lowering his ERA to 7.71. The Yankees have a chance to head home at .500 if they can win tomorrow behind CC Sabathia, and after starting out 0-3 you can’t ask for more than that.
Thursday, September 8, 2011
The Yankees appeared ready to cling to a 4-3 win with two picture-perfect defensive relays. In the seventh inning, Curtis Granderson fielded Vladimir Guerrero’s tailing hit to right-center and threw a strike to second baseman Robinson Cano, who then delivered an on-target throw to catcher Francisco Cervelli at the plate. Cervelli was bowled over by Nick Markakis but held onto the ball to preserve a one-run lead.
In the eighth, Granderson tallied another assist, cutting down Mark Reynolds at the plate after Chris Davis’ single. But Andino followed with an RBI single to left that tied the score at 4.
Wednesday, September 7, 2011
NEW YORK—Francisco Cervelli and Brett Gardner blasted back-to-back seventh-inning homers through the rain drops, leading the Yankees past the Orioles, 5-3, as Tuesday turned into Wednesday at Yankee Stadium.
Cervelli broke a tie with a video-reviewed home run off Baltimore starter Tommy Hunter, which was touched by a fan leaning over the left-field wall. But the original call was upheld by the umpires after the replay.
Gardner left no doubt with his blast, rocketing a laser off the right-field foul pole to give the Yankees a two-run lead in a contest that was played in inclement conditions because of an already difficult September schedule. New York won its sixth straight game and maintained a 2 1/2-game lead over Boston in the American League East.
What are the odds of Cervelli and Gardner hitting back to back homers?
I thought Phil Hughes looked pretty good tonight, although his velocity was down somewhat from his last few starts. He threw 22 curves, 14 for strikes, and managed to get nine swinging strikes. Coming off two straight games where he allowed six runs, he was probably pitching for his spot in the rotation and I’d imagine he’s saved it for another turn.
Monday, September 5, 2011
NEW YORK—Four games into his big league career, Jesus Montero has already displayed why the Yankees consider him their top prospect.
Montero, 21, hit his first two Major League homers—and got his first curtain calls from 45,069 fans—as the Yankees outlasted the Orioles, 11-10, in a Labor Day matinee in the Bronx on Monday.
Both of Montero’s homers came off Orioles reliever Jim Johnson and landed in the right-field seats. The first broke an 8-8 tie in the fifth, and the second gave the Yankees some insurance in the seventh.
That doesn’t work…
Monday, August 29, 2011
BALTIMORE—Nick Swisher’s red-hot bat helped support Freddy Garcia’s return to the rotation as the Yankees defeated the Orioles, 3-2, on Monday at Camden Yards.
Swisher belted a two-run homer off Baltimore starter Alfredo Simon, the outfielder’s sixth home run in seven games, and Garcia held the Orioles to a solo homer over six encouraging innings.
Making his first start since Aug. 7 due to a mishap that left his right index finger bandaged, necessitating a stint on the disabled list, Garcia looked like he didn’t skip a beat in his time away.
And now they’ll limp into Boston.
Sunday, August 28, 2011
BALTIMORE—Curtis Granderson grabbed hold of the Major League lead with two home runs, and the Yankees hit three consecutive blasts in the sixth inning, powering an 8-3 drubbing of the Orioles on Sunday.
The offensive display came in the second game of a split-admission doubleheader, after Baltimore had bested New York, 2-0, behind a strong pitching performance by left-hander Zach Britton.
Maybe he should win the MVP after all.
You have to be impressed with the way the Yankees recovered from an insurmountable 2-0 deficit in the second inning to take the nightcap. Ivan Nova settled in after a rough start and continued his positive trend of striking hitters out while walking them with less frequency, finish the game with seven Ks and three BBs over seven innings.
Random cool stat of the night:
|Robertson - Bases Loaded||16||16||1||1||0||0||0||13||.063||.063||.125||.188|
Yes, David Robertson has struck out 13 of the 16 hitters he’s faced with the bases loaded this year.
Losing the first game was annoying, but seeing Bartolo Colon pitching as well as he did takes some of that annoyance away for me.
Hopefully the Yankees can take tomorrow’s game and salvage a 2-5 road trip.
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Many held their breath in the fourth inning when Francisco Cervelli stepped to the on-deck circle instead of Derek Jeter. Everyone knew better than to think Cashman had traded Jeter, but it was unclear just how long the shortstop would be out after taking a pitch on his right hand to lead off the third inning.
Was anyone really holding their breath?
Brett Gardner provided a welcome distraction from those concerns, hitting a decisive bases-loaded triple with Cervelli on deck to key the Yankees’ 4-2 win. Two innings later, fears were quelled when the Yankees announced that X-Rays on Jeter’s right middle finger were negative, revealing just a bruise and making the captain day to day.
The Yankees were aided by what has become a typical Freddy Garcia performance in 2011—more substance than style, more movement than speed.
In helping the Yankees close out this 10-game homestand with a 7-3 mark, the 34-year-old Garcia pitched his eighth quality start in his last nine outings, striking out six over six innings while surrendering two runs on five hits.
By winning three games in the last 30 hours the Yankees were able to finish up the homestand at 7-3, which is probably about as good as any realistic expectation.
The non-waiver trade deadline has come and gone, and it looks like the Yankees stood pat. I’m fine with that.
Saturday, July 30, 2011
Bartolo Colon wasn’t at his sharpest, but Nick Swisher (single, double, homer, two RBIs, two runs) and the Yanks’ offense made sure Colon’s effort was enough for the win in the first game of the day-night doubleheader vs. the O’s.
The Yankees scored a franchise-record 12 runs in the first inning, setting the tone for their 17-3 win over the Orioles, their second win of the day. It followed an 8-3 victory hours earlier that featured the Yankees’ last five batters recording 10 hits, the same number the New York lineup recorded in Game 2’s first inning.
All year, I’ve harped on the fact that Ivan Nova’s walk rate and strike out rate did not indicate sustainable success. A pitcher who walks as many batters as he strikes out is not one that is likely to have a long and successful career. A funny thing happened on his march towards replacement level though.
|4/4 - 6/3||274||60.0||70||36||30||4||26||3||29||5.40||4.50||4.55||10.6%||10.6%|
|6/10 - 7/30||160||38.666||34||14||14||6||12||0||28||3.26||3.26||4.70||7.5%||17.5%|
Now we’re seeing evidence that he’s gotten better. I wouldn’t worry much about the fact that his FIP is 0.15 higher over the second set of starts. Changes in Walk rate and strike out rate stabilize more quickly than something like home run rate. We’re seeing evidence that Nova’s improving in a way that makes him a more viable option for some team’s starting rotation going forward. Whether that will be the Yankees or someone else, who knows?
I do know that right now, I’d rather see Nova pitching than either A.J. Burnett or Phil Hughes. Unfortunately for him, he still has options.
Thursday, May 19, 2011
BALTIMORE—As they wrapped up a stressful stretch of games and prepared to head home for the more intense focus of the Subway Series, the Yankees needed a laugher like this one.
Nick Swisher drove in four runs and Mark Teixeira knocked in another three, allowing CC Sabathia to easily coast in Thursday’s 13-2 pounding of the Orioles at Camden Yards.
I don’t suppose they could have used some of those runs against Kansas City or Boston.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
Mariano Rivera blew his third save, but Robinson Cano drove in two of the Yanks’ three 15th-inning runs. .
Bartolo Colon pitched about as well as a pitcher can pitch tonight, throwing mainly two and four seam fastballs on the edges of the strike zone over eight scoreless innings and needing just 87 pitches. This of course makes the decision to pull Colon after the eighth something that was questionable.
I was fine with it. Almost all the evidence we have about pitchers shows that they are less effective on each pass through the batting order. It’s part of the reason why bad starters can be good relievers. With the top of the Orioles lineup coming up in what would be their fourth look at Colon, pulling him was a defensible move. That’s particularly true when you’re going to Mariano Rivera to try and preserve the lead.
That it didn’t work out tonight doesn’t change that.
That doesn’t absolve Joe Girardi of some of the blame for this game almost being a loss though.
I don’t think I can overstate how stupid it was to bunt with Brett Gardner in the top of the 12th inning. Consider this:
A right-handed pitcher was on the mound.
Due up after Gardner (who bats left-handed) were Eduardo Nunez, Russell Martin and possibly Derek Jeter, all of whom hit right-handed.
Gardner was the best hitter due up out of that group given the platoon advantage. Instead, Girardi gave away an out which was far more important to his team’s chances of scoring a run than advancing a runner by one base so one of the three weaker hitters due up next could try to drive him in.
It’s even more egregious since it was the second time in the game that Girardi pissed away an out, although bunting with Eduardo Nunez was a bit more defensible.
Fortunately for us, the Orioles weren’t able to take advantage of Girardi’s generosity and Hector Noesi pitched four scoreless innings in his MLB debut despite allowing eight baserunners and the Yankees miraculously scored three runs in the top of the fifteenth inning and held on to win. Maybe one they didn’t deserve, but a win regardless.
Sunday, April 24, 2011
The Yankees endured Mariano Rivera’s second blown save and a 40-minute delay to edge the Orioles in 11.
It was a win that felt like a loss. I think the Yankees should get a refund on their shutdown bullpen.
Saturday, April 23, 2011
Alex Rodriguez hit a grand slam and drove in six runs. Russell Martin hit two homers and finished with four RBIs, and Jorge Posada added a two-run shot. All of that helped CC Sabathia (1-1) get his first victory this season.
Nothing like returning to DNYS to help boost those HR totals. Even TSBG joined in the fun.
What a disgrace of a ballpark.
Thursday, April 14, 2011
Though Phil Hughes struggled, Joba Chamberlain’s defense prevented a pivotal run, Jorge Posada’s homer tied it and Nick Swisher’s sac fly won it
Once again, Phil Hughes didn’t pitch well. Fortunately for the Yankees, Bartolo Colon, Joba Chamberlain and Mariano Rivera did. That allowed the Yankees to recover from a 5-0 deficit, with Jorge Posada tying the game in the bottom of the ninth, and with Nick Swisher winning it with a sac fly in the bottom of the 10th. The Yankees now have sole possesion of first place, which doesn’t really mean much right now, but it’s better than being in last place.
Wednesday, April 13, 2011
NEW YORK—A.J. Burnett continued his strong opening act by winning his third straight start, backed by home runs from Alex Rodriguez and Jorge Posada as the Yankees defeated the Orioles, 7-4, on Wednesday at Yankee Stadium.
Intent upon bouncing back after a disappointing season in 2010, Burnett was staked to an early lead by his bats and remained in control of the Baltimore lineup into the seventh inning before serving up a pair of two-run homers.
Although his final line looks less than stellar, I thought Burnett pitched very well tonight. He labored through the first two innings, throwing something like 50 pitches, then cruised through the next four innings. Innings 3-6 might have been the best I’ve seen Burnett pitch as a Yankee. What I really liked was his increased use of the changeup.
Burnett got Adam Jones out to start the top of the 7th, then allowed a double and a HR. I’d have probably pulled him then, figuring he may be fatigued or the weather may have gotten to him. Girardi decided to stick with him and he gave up another two-run HR, to pull the Orioles within three. Girardi was clearly confused at this point, because even though it was the 7th inning he did not bring in his 7th inning guy, instead going with David Robertson who closed out the inning. Rafael Soriano and Mariano Rivera finished it out, like they normally should and the Yankees are now tied for first place. Yay!
Sunday, September 19, 2010
BALTIMORE—The Yankees called Sunday’s 4-3 loss to the Orioles tough, frustrating and disappointing. But really, the best adjective for it might just be fitting.
A road trip that started with a walk-off loss in the 13th inning at Texas ended with a walk-off loss in the 11th inning at Baltimore. In all, the Yankees lost six of nine on the trip, with five of the six defeats coming by one run and four of them coming in walk-off fashion.
“This whole road trip was like this for us,” manager Joe Girardi said.
I was on the road and missed this one, and I’m pretty glad I did. And Girardi’s right, this road trip was awful, so this game probably was the right way for it to end. If only Alex Rodriguez got punched out Friday night…
It seems like Petttitte pitched well, which is probably the most important thing, but having not seen the game I’m just going by his line.
Friday, September 17, 2010
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
NEW YORK—Nick Swisher belted a game-winning two-run homer off Koji Uehara in the bottom of the ninth inning on Wednesday, lifting the Yankees to a 3-2 victory over the Orioles at Yankee Stadium.
Good for Swisher.
Maybe I’m too cynical, but after dropping the last three games this one feels hollow to me. To need to rally in the ninth after scoring one freaking run against Bergesen, Hendrickson and Johnson over eight innings shouldn’t be necessary. I’d also love to hear Joe Girardi’s explanation for not pinch-hitting for Francisco Cervelli when he came up in the eighth with the tying run on third and the go-ahead run on first with two outs. I’m sure he’ll have a useful nugget like Cervelli is 1 for 3 against Johnson to explain it away.
I’m sure I’ll feel differently if Tampa Bay loses tonight. Go Red Sox.
Ugh, I feel dirty now.
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
NEW YORK—CC Sabathia’s initial bid to become the first 20-game winner in the Majors this season was denied on Tuesday, as the Orioles pushed the ace around early and held on to post a 6-2 victory over the Yankees.
Baltimore jumped on the left-hander for six runs—five earned—before finally knocking Sabathia out in the seventh, putting him in line for his first loss at Yankee Stadium in 22 starts, dating back to last year’s All-Star break.
If the Yankees pull off a miracle and make it to the postseason, when they have to start on the road against the better of the AL Central or AL West winner they can thank the last three days pissing away games at home against teams that they should be beating for it.
I’m pretty sure that sentence is a horrible example of the English language, but I don’t feel like re-reading it.
Thursday, June 10, 2010
NEW YORK—A.J. Burnett suffered his first career loss at Camden Yards as the Yankees were defeated by the Orioles, 4-3, on Thursday, averting a series sweep.
Fighting himself on an up-and-down evening, Burnett allowed Baltimore to regain the lead in the sixth inning. Luke Scott slammed his bat after lifting a one-out fly ball, but the ball eluded Nick Swisher’s leap at the right-field wall and dropped for a triple. Adam Jones followed with an RBI double to right-center.
Burnett lasted into the seventh, recording the first two outs before allowing a pair of hits and yielding to lefty Damaso Marte. Burnett was charged with four runs on eight hits, walking one and striking out five, taking just his third career loss in 15 starts against the Orioles.
And if the night wasn’t bad enough, A-Rod will see a doctor tomorrow due to tightness in his groin.
Wednesday, June 9, 2010
BALTIMORE—CC Sabathia earned yet another win while facing the Orioles and the Yankees took advantage of some sloppy defense to help post a 4-2 victory on Wednesday at Camden Yards.
Each of Sabathia’s past four victories this year have come against the O’s, and he has won his past seven starts against Baltimore—though this one did not come as easily as some of the rest.
The Yankees got to O’s starter Chris Tillman for three runs and seven hits in six innings, though only Curtis Granderson’s fourth-inning sacrifice fly was an earned run. Julio Lugo booted a Mark Teixeira grounder to open the sixth inning, and Alex Rodriguez and Robinson Cano followed with singles that tied the game at 2. Cano finished with three hits.
I think it was Ron Gardenhire who once described the Yankees’ lineup as Murderer’s Row, plus Cano. A more apt description now might be Robinson Cano and the
Seven Eight Dwarves.
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
BALTIMORE—Curtis Granderson hit his second career grand slam, while Nick Swisher homered and drove in five runs in support of Phil Hughes as the Yankees defeated the Orioles, 12-7, on Tuesday at Camden Yards.
Making his third start of the season against the Orioles and consecutive starts against the same opponent for the first time in his career, Hughes took advantage of the run support, hurling six innings of three-run ball to pick up his team-leading eighth victory.
I hope Chad Gaudin is renting and didn’t buy a place in the City.
Thursday, June 3, 2010
NEW YORK—CC Sabathia put an end to his personal winless drought and Alex Rodriguez hit his 591st career home run as the Yankees posted a 6-3 victory over the Orioles on Thursday at Yankee Stadium, completing a three-game series sweep.
Strasburg > Sabathia.
Cano > Strasburg.
Wednesday, June 2, 2010
Hughes collected his seventh win of the season, continuing his hot start to the campaign as the Yankees won their fourth straight game. The right-hander blanked the Orioles into the sixth, allowing just one run in a seven-inning effort.
The Yankees gave Hughes plenty of support, rocking Brad Bergesen for six runs on seven hits in 2 1/3 innings. Red-hot second baseman Robinson Cano, riding a 16-game hitting streak, offered more padding in the seventh with his team-leading 12th home run, a two-run shot off Matt Albers.
Cano’s home run total is approaching dangerous territory. He may hurt the team if he’s not careful.
Tuesday, June 1, 2010
NEW YORK—The Yankees took advantage of a lucky late fielding miscue as the go-ahead runs scored on a seventh-inning error, providing enough support to make a winner of Javier Vazquez in a 3-1 victory over the Orioles on Tuesday.
Alex Rodriguez greeted reliever David Hernandez with a sharp ground ball to third base. Miguel Tejada’s throw bounced and Ty Wigginton was unable to scoop it, allowing Derek Jeter and Nick Swisher to score as the ball rolled toward right field.
What happens when WOE meets WDE? The Yankees win 3-1.
Wednesday, May 5, 2010
NEW YORK—Nick Johnson and Nick Swisher belted solo homers, while Andy Pettitte hurled five sharp innings before exiting as the Yankees defeated the Orioles, 7-5, completing a series sweep at Yankee Stadium.
Pettitte limited the Orioles to one run on six hits, getting the benefit of three double-play grounders, but yielded the mound duties to long reliever Sergio Mitre for the sixth inning.
Permitting just a bases-loaded walk to Nolan Reimold in the fourth, Pettitte owns his lowest career ERA (2.08) through six starts of any season and is now undefeated in his past nine starts against Baltimore.
Another win, but another potential injury scare, this time with Andy Pettitte. Nick Johnson had his best game of the year, raising his batting average by .037 points, and his SLG by .09. The bullpen, well, let’s not go there. Although I will say that I don’t think Girardi was playing platoon percentages when he made his pitching changes, I think he was trying to get some of the relievers some work in what seemed like a low leverage situation at the time. That they didn’t execute isn’t his fault.
Andy Pettitte Update: Chad Jennings is reporting that:
This is the latest from the Yankees regarding Andy Pettitte:
MRI results, taken today at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital, on Andy Pettitte, revealed mild inflammation of his left elbow. It will be treated conservatively and will be evaluated on a daily basis at this point.
Tuesday, May 4, 2010
NEW YORK—Francisco Cervelli stole the show with a triple, bunt single and a tumbling catch over the dugout railing, leaving A.J. Burnett content to work in the background and pitch the Yankees toward a 4-1 victory over the Orioles on Tuesday.
I thought that was Brett Gardner in a Francisco Cervelli mask. Cervelli’s performance was reminiscent of the speed game the last Yankee backup had, Jose “Wheels” Molino.
Burnett was nasty tonight, especially his curve. By allowing only one unearned run over 7.1 innings, he lowered his ERA on the season to 1.99. His FIP is 3.18, so we probably shouldn’t expect him to maintain a sub 2 ERA all year. He’s probably been a little fortunate in allowing just one HR so far, with 3% of his fly balls going for HRs compared to around 10.1% in his career, and I’d expect that to normalize some going forward.
The more encouraging thing to me is he’s cut down on the walks. Last season, Burnett walked 12.1% of the batters he faced, while striking out 21.8%, and led the league in walks allowed. This year, he’s walking just 6.7%, while striking out 17.0%. Also encouraging is that his GB% has gone from 42.8% last season to 48.5%. He’s thrown a higher percentage of fastballs this season at 74.3%, compared to 65.8% last year, and it seems to be working.
Right now, the starting pitching is carrying this team (with one notable exception), and it’s been fun to watch.
On an unrelated note, I was saddened to hear about the passing of Ernie Harwell. I used to listen to the occasional Tigers games on 760 out of Detroit, and Harwell was a great announcer, and by all accounts a wonderful person. RIP Mr. Harwell.
Monday, May 3, 2010
NEW YORK—CC Sabathia kept his cool for most of a muggy evening in the Bronx and Randy Winn belted his first home run in more than a year as the Yankees defeated the Orioles, 4-1, on Monday at Yankee Stadium.
While he didn’t have his finest command early, Sabathia hung tough against the Birds to defeat them for the second time in less than a week, scattering six hits during an eight-inning effort in which he walked two and struck out two.
Congratulations to Randy Winn on achieving True-Yankee™-dom.
Seriously though, we know Winn’s not a great player, but the people that wanted him run out of town because he began the year 0 for 10 in 10 PA scattered across 10 games need to be a little patient. He may not do anything else the rest of the year, but at least for tonight, he won a game. Well, him and CC.
At this point last season, Sabathia had thrown 39 innings over his first six starts with an ERA of 4.85 and a FIP of 4.09. With tonight’s game, Sabathia’s thrown 44.2 innings and has an ERA of 2.74 and a FIP of 3.74. So he’s been a bit better this year, although the ERAs make it appear more stark than the underlying peripherals would support. Still, you have to be happy with how he’s started the year, especially since he has shown a tendency to get better as the season goes on
Thursday, April 29, 2010
BALTIMORE—Robinson Cano continued a scorching start to the season with two homers and a double, A.J. Burnett remained in command and the Yankees completed their road trip with a 4-0 victory over the Orioles at Camden Yards on Thursday.
Stepping to the plate as the Major Leagues’ leading hitter, with a .390 batting average entering play, Cano belted a solo shot in the fourth inning off left-hander Brian Matusz and added a sixth-inning double that nudged him up to .400.
Cano then slugged his second home run—and eighth of the season—in the eighth inning off Alberto Castillo for his sixth career multihomer game.
Derek Jeter opened the game with a single and moved to third on Mark Teixeira’s double before scoring on an Alex Rodriguez sacrifice fly. In the sixth inning, Cano and Marcus Thames connected on back-to-back two-base hits that gave the Yankees a three-run lead.
That proved to be more than enough for Burnett, who remained undefeated this season after posting his third victory in five starts.
Burnett stayed in control of the Orioles lineup, scattering just three hits and walking one. He is undefeated in his last eight road starts, dating back to last seaso
Cano = really, really good.
Burnett was good too.
With the nine game road trip wrapped up, here’s how the Yankees did compared to their log5 expectations heading in.
|23-Apr||@Los Angeles Angels||0.58||0.00||2.28||2.00||-0.28|
|24-Apr||@Los Angeles Angels||0.58||1.00||2.86||3.00||0.14|
|25-Apr||@Los Angeles Angels||0.58||0.00||3.44||3.00||-0.44|
xW: Expected wins using log 5
aW: Actual wins for games played
cxW: Cumulative expected wins using log 5
caW: Cumulative actual wins for games played
W+/-: caW - cxW. Negative means behind pace, positive means ahead of pace
Would’ve been nice to sweep Baltimore, but they essentially accomplished what we should have reasonably expected, only falling short by a quarter of a win.
Wednesday, April 28, 2010
BALTIMORE—CC Sabathia enjoyed an early cushion and remained in breezy command of the Orioles’ lineup on Wednesday, helping the Yankees post an 8-3 victory at Camden Yards.
Walking to the mound with a lead already in his back pocket, the left-hander improved to 10-1 against the Orioles—his most wins against any American League East opponent.
Even with today’s win, I’m still annoyed about yesterday’s loss. But it was nice to see Curtis Granderson get a couple of hits, and Robinson Cano raise his SLG to over .700 on the season. Cano’s now hitting an impressive .390/.430/.701, and I think he’s probably the Yankee MVP to this point in the year, although I’ll run the numbers tomorrow to confirm it.
Tuesday, April 27, 2010
BALTIMORE—The Orioles surged for a three-run sixth inning against the Yankees’ bullpen to spoil a gritty effort from starter Phil Hughes and send the Bombers to a 5-4 loss on Tuesday at Camden Yards.
One start after holding the Athletics hitless into the eighth inning, Hughes overcame some early issues to limit Baltimore to one run into the sixth inning, leaving after recording the first two outs of the frame.
Boone Logan opened the inning with a walk, Dave Robertson hit Ty Wigginton with a pitch and allowed a game-tying single to Rhyne Hughes. Nolan Reimold gave the Orioles the lead with another hit and Cesar Izturis capped the frame with a single to center, chasing around the fourth Baltimore run.
A tease in the ninth, but it was too little too late. Good for Baltimore putting up an effort for a change.
The Yankees have now lost four of five, so complain away.
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