Jul
07

Home-grown players come through as Yanks salvage a split

By

As Robinson Cano led off second with two outs in the bottom of the 10th inning about two hours ago and Brett Gardner, 2 for 20 in his short Yankee career, Mike and I were chatting online about the game. We had the following conversation prior to Gardner’s walk-off hit:

Mike: Brett Gardner, walk-off infield single right here.
Ben: That would be a tough one.
Mike: True…This is the moment that will forever define Brett Gardner’s Yankee career.

Eight pitches later, Mike’s word were strangely prophetic as Gardner sneaked a single just past the dive of Julio Lugo Alex Cora. Robinson Cano, running with the pitch off of the noodle arm of All Star Catcher Jason Varitek™, dashed home, and the Yanks won a game they needed to win.

For the Bombers, tonight’s game featured a bit of home-grown retribution. Outside of A-Rod‘s 536th home run — hello, Mickey — the Yanks won this game with a little bit of home-grown talent. Offensively, the player of the game was clearly the young Brett Gardner. He had his first multi-hit game at the Major League level, going 2 for 5 with a stolen base and the game-winning RBI. With that RBI, Gardner became the first Yankee rookie to record a walk-off hit against Boston since some guy named Derek did it in 1996.

But Gardner wasn’t the only home-grown Bomber to come through. While the home-grown Jeter drove in a run, Robinson Cano had a big role in this game. Cano went 2 for 4 with a game-tying triple in the 7th. He also scored the winning run and has generally been on fire lately. With his 2 for 4 performance tonight, Cano is now 19 for his last 48, and his triple slash line is .396/.400/.625. (He’s worked zero walks over his last 12 games.)

Meanwhile, the home-grown Bombers dazzled on the mound as well. For five of his six innings, Joba Chamberlain was downright untouchable, and his final line — 6 IP, 4 H, 3 ER, 4 BB, 5 K — shows another quality start for the youngster. After sailing through four innings, he allowed all three runs on two walks and three hits in the fifth. It was the only blemish on the evening. I’d say Joba has acquitted himself well as a starter.

The final home-grown Yankee to make an impact on this game was none other than Mariano Rivera. After giving Yankee fans a collective heart attack yesterday, Rivera rebounded with two scoreless innings. In a piece of high baseball drama, he struck out Manny Ramirez in the top of the 9th with two outs and the go-ahead runner 90 feet from home. Ramirez, in a prolonged slump, watched three pitches go by, and the crowd erupted.

For the Yankees, it’s tough to say that any game in early July is a must-win, but tonight’s win was as close as they come. The Yankees find themselves in third place, nine games behind a Tampa Bay Rays team that doesn’t lose (and will find its way to New York for two games this week). With that victory tonight, they moved to within four games of a struggling Red Sox team in the Wild Card race, and with 73 games left in the season, anything can happen. They needed that win tonight to draw a split of a home series against the Red Sox, and the home-grown team delivered tonight.

Categories : Game Stories
  • yankeefan91

    thats preety incrdible i think gardner is gonna be huge with his speed in this lineup

  • Miles Roche

    You meant just past the dive of Alex Cora. . .

  • Chucky

    great game tonight, lets hope this can get us on the role we so desperately need!

  • Joltin’ Joe

    I love the “buyers or sellers” talk in writer’s columns. We are 4 GAMES OUT of the AL Wild Card. Assuming we’re still in that same range we need to pick up some sort of impact veteran at the deadline (Millwood, Bay, Nady, etc.). Nady would be a nice addition to the outfield as a right-hander with some pop and positional fidelity; why has he not been attached to any Yankees rumors? The price would have to be reasonable.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

      For all the offensive problems, they don’t need Xavier Nady. What they do need is someone better than Sidney Ponson or Darrell Rasner. I don’t think Millwood — 4.90 ERA, 1.656 WHIP — fits that bill, but you’re thinking along the right lines.

      Four games out in the Wild Card right now is nothing.

      • Joltin’ Joe

        Truth is even if we we’re willing to dish off IPK or Hughes, it may not be possible due to their current status. That means the phone will be off the hook for Ajax and maybe Tabata. If it’s a big player I only need to keep Hughes/Ajax/Melancon/Montero/Betances/Brackman. Those guys make sense to wait on, IPK has LIMITED UPSIDE and as far as I’m concerned I cannot make a ceiling #3 starter untouchable. Wait until the winter to trade, sure. Just not “untouchable.”

      • Mark B

        Ben – You are right on that Rasner and Ponson’s shaky status being a glaring issue right now ,though you are obviously living in another world if you don’t think the Yankees having a glaring need for a right-handed veteran bat.

        A guy like Xavier Nady would be ideal for this current lefty-dominated line-up to platoon at 1B with Giambi and take at bats away from Bobby Abreu, someone who like Melky, needs a fire lit underneath him. If not him, Ty Wiggington would be another viable choice.

        The Yanks simply don’t hit lefties well (.260 avg, .740 ops, 27 hrs vs. lefties; .274 avg, .768 ops, 59 hrs vs. righties). Adding Nady (.318 avg, .962 ops vs. lefties) and his ability to play everywhere would be an ideal fit for our team.

        If we are going to make the playoffs, we have to prepare from them now and realize we have to beat the likes of a Joe Saunders, Jon Lester, John Danks and/or Mark Buehrle come October, possibly in a 5-game series. We haven’t had the best record in these short series in the past and should over-prepare now so we don’t come up short.

        You cannot continue to deny this again and again….

        • TurnTwo

          if it were up to me, id see what it would cost to try and buy low on Jeff Francouer in Atlanta. they just sent him down to AA to work out his swing. he’s a talented and athletic power RH bat who’s got a cannon for an arm, and could slide very nicely into RF after Abreu leaves in the offseason.

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Ben K.

          I’m not denying that they could use a right-handed bat, but i think your statement of need is way overblown. I also don’t think getting Xavier Nady would be the best decision. He’s having half a good season after being nothing more than average for his career. He has AL bust written all over him.

      • TurnTwo

        i agree… for the offensive problems theyve had, id much rather see Cashman make a deal to bring in an actual, proven MLB pitcher for the back end of the rotation over a bat.

  • Rich

    I thought Diaz squeezed Joba in the 5th, and that the 3B ump missed that Ellsbury went around. I don’t mean that as an excuse, because there are no excuses in life, but it did happen.

  • Henry Chinaski

    Mo… the best the ever was or ever will be

    this can never be written or said enough

    For supposed tough guys that Sox seemed like whiny bitches tonight, especially Youk & I think Papelbon was crying as he walked off the field

    And poor little Youk, did that mean JoBa throw behind you, awww did you get a little scared?

    Why is it that so called gamers are usually white guys with wierd facial hair?

    No one called Robbie a gamer tonight(on the national media) even though he saved the game…

    Oh, that’s right, he’s Latino and getting by on enormous natural talent. Youk is all heart…please

    What bullshit.

    The subtle and no so subtle racism behind how players are still described in 2008 f*cking pisses me off

    • kris

      Give Paps a break. He didn’t warm up enough last night. Also it was a lost cause to begin with since he always sucks in non-save situations… heh

    • Yankees=warriors

      Um, I think it has less to do with race than the fact that ESPN is just a biased television network that loves the Red Sox.
      I still can’t believe they were actually advocating retaliation on national TV, especially when it was clear Joba had no intention of hitting Youkilis!

      • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594331910 Jamal G.

        I think it has to do with race as well. I don’t believe it’s done purposefully but it’s just a perception thing. I truly believe the people who believe in that gamer BS and those who label players gamers aren’t racist in any way it’s just that it is a perception thing. Think about it, of all the “gamers” and gritty, gutty types that you can think of of the top of your head, how many are white? Now think of all those labeled lazy, don’t care and “need a fire lit under them”, how many are non-white?

        • dkidd

          the media’s “gritty white guy” obsession has been around forever and players of color definitely notice. i was in boston in the 80′s for that game where larry bird stole an inbounds pass with 5 seconds left to beat the pistons. after the game, all the boston reporters were talking about larry’s amazing work ethic and basketball “smarts” and isiah thomas (i know, i know, but listen) said something to the effect that the press acts as if african-american players came out of the womb dribbling a basketball. the assumption is that players of color have some natural advantage (remember jimmy the greek talking about the breeding of slaves?) and that white players need to work harder to make up for it

      • http://riveraveblues.com Mike A.

        Oh, there was intention. This Joba-Youk thing will continue on for years.

  • Bart

    Love JOBA – HATE Diaz balls and stikes — how many picthes did that guy miss anaway.

    What do you all think about the propensity of Molina or Chamberlin to want to go outside (and hopefully low and away) to so many hitters when they have 0-2, 1-2 counts. These are major legue hitters – not catching up to his FB – the hard one not the 90 MPH that Pedria fisted and given them extra time to flick that outside pitch gives them an escape in an otherwise desperate at bat.a desperate

    As with Mariano I watch in horror as the thigh high middle high outside pitches are flicked for hits — see Youkoulis AB last night

    Seems to me that that pitch give the hitter more time (in 1/100s of a second) to get some wood on the ball

    His curve freezes guys – when he goes back to back curves they look astonished — does not make sense to give them a gift they can reach for

    I would think going up the ladder with his best FB would produce fewer flares and fewer baserunners and LOWER picth counts, and set up that curve ball even better

    What do ya’ll see

    Gardner wins another game — well — makes a heck of a contribution –

    Sabathia trade rumors — looks like Cashman’s Master Plan needs a revision

    • http://riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Why does Cash’s “master plan” need a revision because CC was traded to the Brewers? If anything that helps the Yanks because they won’t have to face him the rest of the year.

      • A.D.

        Its doubtful that the Yanks would ever trade for CC, Cleveland wanted minor league bats, something the Yanks don’t have, and the Brewers have a ton of, Brewers should have always been considered the front runner

      • steve (different one)

        it also makes it more likely that he will hit free agency.

        if Sabathia were traded to the Dodger or Red Sox, the Yankees would be in trouble.

        but the Brewers are not going to sign Sabathia, and NO TEAM was going to offer more than the Brewers did for a rental.

        this is GOOD news for the Yankees.

        • TurnTwo

          my sentiments exactly.

          file this under the “why pay twice” Cashman philosophy.

  • Shane

    It is a beautiful thing to watch Cano when he is on. The biggest indicator of his comfort at the plate… a beautiful, simple single up the middle.

    Screw Sabathia… He is gone, next, let’s move on.

    I’ve heard a few AJ burnett rumors… anyone else?

    • TurnTwo

      i find it incredibly hard to believe the Jays would move Burnett in division. if you hear his name tied to the Yankees, figure its because the Jays are floating it out there themselves to try and get a better package of players from the Cubs.

    • http://riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      Why would you want Burnett anyway? Sure is stuff is great, but he has a long track record of underachieving and getting hurt. Pass.

      • steve (different one)

        i would definitely like to rent Burnett if the price were right.

        Derek Lowe is another guy the Yankees should be asking about.

        • TurnTwo

          seems like the right guy, but as long as the Dodgers hover within a couple games of the NL West lead, i dont think they’re going to move Lowe.

          unless they did so to improve the offense and then recall Kershaw, maybe.

    • A.D.

      We already have Carl Pavano, we don’t need AJ Burnett

  • Yankees=warriors

    It’s hard to believe in a span of a few days, Cano’s AVG is closing in on Giambi. I think it won’t be long till Cano passes him and get back to his usual range! The team definitely needs it.
    And, wow, how about that Gardner? I knew he was good, but he has so far exceeded my expectations. Hope Girardi continues to find him ABs even after Damon comes back.

  • Jorge Steinbrenner

    Mike: Hey, I have an idea. Why don’t we claim we predicted Gardner’s hit on the site?
    Ben: Yeah. They’ll think we’re geniuses.
    Mike: Let’s do it.

    just kidding, guys….

    • http://riveraveblues.com Mike A.

      I can send you the IM if you don’t believe me. Well, Ben did change some of it, he capitalized letters where necessary. ;)

  • Axl

    Usually when Yankee players go into slumps I get upset and write them off but there’s something about this Gardner guy…after the stories told about his patience…watching last night going down 0-2 I must admit I was questioning it…especially after the 2-20 slump he’s in…but last nights at-bat against Papelbon was a metaphor for what I’ve been hearing about him. Quickly going 0-2 and having the patience to bring it even at 2-2 as well as foul off a bunch of good pitches…only to hit the game winning hit up the middle…that’s something special. To have limited major league experience and be able to do that…

    Job well done. Get Melky out of there…his arm can only go so far.

  • pat

    i dont know what you guys are talking about all this “home grown talent”, must be a figmwnt of your imagination. buck and mccarver clearly indicxated saturday that the yankees dont have any young talent to match up with the sox especially at 2nd , cf or pitcher. also worth nothing is our startling lack of depth on the farm.

  • TurnTwo

    i agree with most here… Gardner at least seems like he’s had a productive 3-21 to start off his MLB career… one thing i havent seen from him is the use of a bunt in his offensive weaponry, altho perhaps since i havent seen all of the last couple games, maybe he tried it an i missed it… but with his speed, im surprised he hasnt tried to lay one down for a base hit here yet.

    but why are we pitting Gardner and Melky against one another? shouldnt we hope, especially now with Damon and Matsui both on the DL until after the break, minimum, that both can be productive?

    and you cant realistically think Posada is the team’s everyday catcher at this point after watching Molina take over the running game.

    i weep for what might happen if Jorge goes behind the plate for the games against the Rays on Tues and Wed.

  • JohnC

    I agree about Burnett. He’s most likely headed to the Cubs, although the price probably went up now that the Brewers just got Sabathia. Besides, he has professed no love for NY, especially seeing the way his friend Carl Pavano has been crucified here.

    • TurnTwo

      went up? you could argue the other way, too, and say the price went down considering that all the Brewers gave up was one really, really good mlb-ready prospect for Sabathia.

      the rest that they gave up could easily be replaced by the picks they’ll get for losing Sabathia and Sheets to FA next season.

      i think i heard last night… the Brewers prob could have like 5 picks in the top 35 in the draft next season.

      • steve (different one)

        went up? you could argue the other way, too, and say the price went down considering that all the Brewers gave up was one really, really good mlb-ready prospect for Sabathia.

        disagree.

        the Brewers paid a very steep price for a half season of Sabathia.

        not saying that they shouldn’t have done it, i think it made sense.

        but it was still a very high price for a rental.

        it was a VERY unique set of circumstances that lead to that trade. those circumstances just aren’t going to apply to a lot of other teams.

        • A.D.

          Yeah but Burnett is just a rental too, he can opt out of his contract, so essentially its the same, though CC is going to have higher value, so it’ll be 1 top prospect and little to no extra filler/pieces or it will be 2 decent prospects

  • Andy in Sunny Daytona

    How did Cano get to second?

    • A.D.

      Melk bunted

  • JohnC

    All those idiots who were screaming ‘Trade Cano!!’. EAT CROW!!!!!!!I always knew he would come around. He’s too a hitter not to.

    • TurnTwo

      its great that his bat is coming around, but its about 2 months too late, though.

      i still say he should be available for the right player, or package of players. just because he’s started to hit again doesnt change that opinion.

  • BillyBall

    Turn two, I couldn’t agree with you any more. If we get the right package, including a top notch on younger side front end pitcher or a nice package including a veteran pitcher such as a Harden or Bedard (even though he may not have the fortitude to come to NY) I would consider it. But it would have to be an enticing package. Very enticing! We would need some youth back as well.

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594331910 Jamal G.

      The only players I would trade Robinson Cano for in professional baseball are Felix Hernandez, Tim Lincecum, David Price and Yovani Gallardo, in other words I’m not going to trade him realistically.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike A.

        Eh, I can think of many players I would trade Cano for. The ones you mentioned, David Wright, Matt Wieters, Cole Hamels, Russ Martin, BJ Upton, Evan Longoria, Josh Hamilton, Zack Greinke, Justin Upton, Adrian Gonzalez, Albert Pujols, Chase Utley, Hanley Ramirez, Ryan Braun…

        • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=594331910 Jamal G.

          LoL, I was making a point that I would basically that I would only trade Robinson Cano for another uber-level talent, not just a great talent. But you definitely drive my point home, thanks. :)

    • TurnTwo

      i actually wouldnt consider Harden or Bedard the right guys to center a Cano deal around… but yeah, right idea.

      • A.D.

        Too injury prone for both guys

        • TurnTwo

          agreed.

  • pat

    trading robinson cano would be pure lunacy, you guys must be out of ur friggin minds. I hate playing GM but he ONLY pitcher in mlb i would trade robbie for would be felix hernandez. Not haren harden or bedard

  • JohnC

    Harden or Bedard? No way! Those 2 are way too injury prone to trade Cano for.

  • A.D.

    Being at the game last night, the Gardner trickler was redic, and at one point seeing Cano running I realized that even if Cora fielded that ball Cano probably scores, because Gardner was surely going to be safe.

    Stike zone did seem a bit beneficial for Wakefield, I understand the knuckleball can be difficult to call, but still….though obviously I’m biased

  • mustang

    I have been calling for Nady/Marte trade for a month it’s the perfect fit especially the Nady part. After going to Pittsburgh and seeing where Nady plays his home games I was even more convince that he wouldn’t have problem hitting at the stadium. IF the cost is right it’s a no brainier.

  • mustang

    I would rather have a starter, but with what’s out there and the cost I think the Yanks are better of trying to fix the pitching from within.

  • Chip

    I agree with the earlier comment about Posada catching against the Rays. If I’m Girardi I realize that I have no DH right now so I DH Posada and start Molina in those two games. Molina is good for a double here and there and honestly I think I’d try one of those games playing Gardner in center and Christian in left. If you have Gardner leading off and Christian in the 9-hole, you can do a lot of things offensively and that’s still an incredibly good defensive outfield. Plus, does anybody really think Melky gives you more than Christian right now?

    As for trades, I don’t know what you’d really want to trade for right now. I don’t think that pitcher that puts you over the top is out there. I don’t know about who is actually available but do we really think that we’ll get somebody significantly better than Horne/Hughes/McCutchen? I know McCutchen has only had two good starts (well one of them was just dominant) but who’s to say he can’t keep it up? He throws two more like that and I’m bringing that guy up.

    For those of you thinking we need a “veteran right-handed bat”, why? What do we do with him when we get Damon and Matsui back to DH and suddenly with Posada and Giambi we have 5 DHs? This offense would be clicking right now but we just can’t stay away from the injury bug. I mean we currently are without 60% of our opening day rotation and every player having a decent season has been injured (Jeter, A-Rod, Posada, Matsui, Damon, Giambi). Let’s get some of these guys back and make a run at it.

  • mustang

    I was at the game last night it was a great win, but I still think this team needs some help. I just can’t see them staying in the playoff hunt without making some moves. We will see if Mr. Cashman does something for a change.

    • http://yankeesetc.blogspot.com/ Travis G.

      i know it’s useless to argue with you, but did you forget the Abreu, Justice, Arod, RJ trades?

      as bad as you think cashman is, his team has made the playoffs every year he’s been the GM.

      • mustang

        Let me break this down:
        “…you forget the Abreu, Justice, Arod, RJ trades?”
        Out of all these guys only one, Justice, was a major force in the playoffs and brought a championship home.

        “as bad as you think cashman is, his team has made the playoffs every year he’s been the GM.”
        True, but if I remember Bob Watson and Stick Michaels left Mr. Cashman with a very nice hand to play with i.e. Mo, Jeter and so on.
        I don’t think Mr. Cashman is bad I just think he has a problem cutting his loses both young and old.

        “.. know it’s useless to argue with you..”
        No its not if someone has a strong point that proves me wrong I’m the first to admit it.
        Thank you for the reply.