Yanks, firing on all cylinders, roll over Twins again

Not a good night for the pitchers
The Washburn deal won't come easy

So what’s the more remarkable accomplishment here? Kyle Farnsworth hasn’t allowed a hit in 28 batters. Robinson Cano is hitting .522 since the All Star break. The Yankees are 3.5 games out of first for the first time since May 14.

What a run these last few days have been. Since the All Star break, the Yankees are 5-0, and they’re rapidly gaining ground in the AL East. They’ve outscored their opponents by a combined total of 33-11, and just four teams have better records than they do in the American League. Ain’t baseball grand?

Tonight, the story was Darrell Rasner. On a night when Al Aceves, throwing on a limited pitch count, pitched well enough in AAA, Rasner saved his rotation spot for a few more outings. While he didn’t draw the win — that honor was reserved for David Robertson — Rasner went 5.2 innings and kept the Yanks in the game. He gave up four hits and a few too many walks (4), but with the help of two double plays, he held the Twins to two runs. As the Yanks’ fifth starter, Rasner delivered, and with a win, we couldn’t really ask for anything more.

Once Rasner left, the bats — largely slowed for five innings by Kevin Slowey — took over. Bobby Abreu put the Yanks up for good with a two-run home run in the bottom of the sixth. Robinson Cano delivered another pair of hits and two RBIs while Jeter drove in two and A-Rod picked up a few more hits. When the dust settled, the Yanks walked away with this one by the tune of 8-2. With a Tampa loss, all was right in Yankeeland.

While Rasner held his own to start the game, the bullpen once again threw lights out baseball. Four relievers combined for 3.1 innings of one-hit ball. Robertson, Jose Veras, Farnsworth and Dan Giese struck out five, walked one and slammed the door on the Twins. Since the break — a familiar phrase during this recent hot streak — the bullpen has thrown 16.2 innings, allowing three runs on eight hits and five walks while striking out 25. At some point the pen will falter, but Brian Cashman‘s plan is clearly working at the back-end of games. I hate to say it, but I no longer cower in fear when the starters are removed the Yanks’ ace corps of relievers take over.

The Yanks face the Twins tomorrow, and Mike — our good luck charm — will have the game thread. The Bombers are going for a sweep and a perfect home stand to start the second half. Mike Mussina will take the mound, and standing in the Yankees’ way will be Glen Perkins, a tough lefty.

But, hey, these are the Yankees. They’re just getting started, and we should all be glad they didn’t torpedo the team earlier this year when things were looking bleak. Baseball is a marathon; the second leg is only just under way.

Not a good night for the pitchers
The Washburn deal won't come easy
  • Manimal

    Where the hell have I been? The yankees are 3.5 games out of first in the AL East and 3.0 games back in the wildcard. This years yankees are getting things done with their bullpen and the front end of their rotation unlike last year’s non-stop offensive explosion. Lately we have looked amazing.

    • Steve

      4 in the loss division, 2 in the loss wild card.

      This is a very different team than the ones we’ve seen in recent years. In many ways, the opposite. Reminds me more of the 96 group than the 2006 one. The bullpen has been amazing, and the top 3 starters have been terrific. This is not the “bully” offensive team we’ve seen in recent years. They play good defense, they put their hits together and pass the baton to the next guy. Everyone coming to the plate isn’t looking to either draw a walk or hit a 3 run HR.

      I like it.

      • ChrisS

        They don’t play good defense, they’re 22nd in defensive efficiency. They had two errors last night. What they do have a is a solid CFer, defensively, and Gardner/Damon who play a very good LF (more important at home with the gap in left-center). Jeter has been better than normal, Cano is Cano, Giambi is below average, but not the worst. Abreu is horrid. A-Rod is average. Molina is a good defender, Posada has not been (when he was actually behind the plate). I think they’re better than the team numbers suggest, but Abreu really drags them down.

        What they do well is strike guys out, while limiting BBs and HRs.

        they put their hits together and pass the baton to the next guy. Everyone coming to the plate isn’t looking to either draw a walk or hit a 3 run HR.

        What team are you referring to? The one that’s on a 5 game winning streak, or the one that’s played this entire year? Because outside of a few games after the break they’re been struggling with RISP and moving runners. Are you implying something is wrong talking walks or hitting a 3-run HR?

        • Steve

          “What team are you referring to? The one that’s on a 5 game winning streak, or the one that’s played this entire year? Because outside of a few games after the break they’re been struggling with RISP and moving runners. Are you implying something is wrong talking walks or hitting a 3-run HR?”

          The team on the winning streak. I thought that was obvious, but I guess you can never be too obvious online. Of course there’s nothing wrong with a 3 run HR, but there is something wrong if that is the ONLY way you can score runs, which was largely true of recent Yankee teams. And when they got to the playoffs and faced a tough pitcher, they had no Plan B to go to.

          My model for the perfect team was the 98 Yanks, and that was a team that could beat you with a long ball and beat you playing ABC ball. Its not an either/or as you seem to imply. The best teams can and should do both.

  • Manimal

    Another thing that I liked of what I saw so far. The back end of the rotation is keeping them in the game until the other team makes a mistake and they score runs(alot of them)

    • Steve

      I don’t know how long that can last. Everyone wants to pat Rasner on the back for tonight’s performance because they like the guy, but look at his line.

      5.2 IP 4 H 4 BB.

      He’s still walking WAY too many guys even on a good night. The better teams will make you pay for that. We still need a 5th starter, unless you want to wait for about 2-3 weeks for Kennedy/Aceves, or 6 weeks for Wang.

      If you think you can get by in the meantime, I’m not so sure. If you want to bank on Wang coming back, thats not a safe bet. Wang’s injury was much more severe than Bruney’s (tore a ligament PLUS the lisfranc) and its on his push off foot whereas Bruney’s was on his landing foot. Much more risky if there’s still any pain there.

      • radnom

        “Hes still walking WAY too many guys even on a good night”

        umm..you say that like you think his problem generally is lack of control….

        might want to check the numbers there buddy

        • Steve

          You’re right. I was thinking of his overall WHIP (which was 2.13 over his previous 6 starts) and should have been more specific. Let me amend that to say

          “He’s still allowing too many base runners even on a good night. Good teams will make you pay for that. ”


  • http://www.salarydump.wordpress.com Joltin’ Joe

    Sidney’s WHIP is scary but if we get Washburn… hmm…

    I hope this isn’t against commenting guidelines, but my link (i.e. my name) goes to a Washburn article I wrote.

    • http://yankeesmtom.blogspot.com Steve S

      Same here…

  • Yankees=warriors

    Ah, tonight I attended my first Yankee game ever and what a great game to start with. It was a bit tense and boring in the beginning, but very exciting and interesting toward the end.
    Though I only had bleacher seats, YS didn’t disappoint at all! Can’t wait for my next game~

  • Scott of 3 Kids Tickets

    Can Melky be included in any trades we make? Another oh-fer tonight…sheesh!


    • http://www.salarydump.wordpress.com Joltin’ Joe

      If it’s for Washburn we need more back, LoL.

      He seems like a candidate for some sort of offseason trade to a team that just needs some MLB-ready talent. Hmm. Seattle?

      They have their own Melky and his name is Jeremy Reed.

  • http://www.salarydump.wordpress.com Joltin’ Joe

    Just hypothetically, if what Heyman was saying comes to fruition (us getting Wash and Vidro for Igawa), would Vidro get any playing time at all? I don’t think it’d be a negative to take him in, could prove to be a stellar pinch-hitter; a change of scenery could be a spark for the guy, who was a great hitter not too long ago.

    • greg

      ‘greg’ hitter is a little bit of an overstatement

      • greg


    • TurnTwo

      yeah, i have no particular interest in Jose Vidro. wouldnt he just be another Wilson Betemit?

      its one thing to rebuild and upgrade the bench, but its another to simply just shuffle around the deck chairs on the titanic.

      • Rob_in_CT

        That’s an insult to Wilson Betemit.

    • ChrisS

      Seriously, the Mariners suck for a reason. The Yanks should definitely limit the number of spare parts they take from the worst team in baseball.

  • BigBlueAL

    I just got a new appreciation for Bobby Meacham after watching Baseball Tonight and seeing how the Mets 3rd base coach literally single-handedly cost the Mets the game by getting Endy Chavez thrown out TWICE at home with 0 outs and both times he was fried easily on David Wright hits. Instead of 5-2 the Mets shouldve been up 7-2 at the least and maybe couldve held on to the lead. At least Meacham gets guys thrown out usually with 2 outs which is a bit more acceptable (even though they are usually out by 10 feet)….

    • sam

      Obviously you didn’t watch the series against the A’s where quite a few base runners were ill advisedly sent home by Bobby Meacham. Its one thing to be aggressive but against a solid arm in right thats just stupid base coaching.

  • Adrian-Retire21

    Anybody here about Bo Hall from AA being traded to the Astro’s.Been confirmed by Mike Ashmore of Thunder Thoughts.A website of the AA team.

    • http://yankeesmtom.blogspot.com Steve S

      That’s definitely a move in Hall’s best interest. He’s done a good job, just the Yankees have no room for him and the Astros could always use pitchers.

      (For a player to be named later, btw)

      • Steve

        Soon to be 28 year old reliever in AA. Let him get a chance to play somewhere.

        • Andy in Sunny Daytona

          Daytona Beach native.
          That’s as good as we get.

  • Jared Washburn

    You guys are gonna be cool to me, right?


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

      Well since you don’t exist, no, we’re not going to be “cool” to you. ;)

      His name is Jarrod.

  • Baseballnation

    David Robertson and Dan Giese have been tremendous additios. to think in a year or two the pen will get scary good with the additions of Melancon, Cox, and Hopefully Whelan.

  • Steve

    Post idea for this site.

    “The Rebirth of Robinson Cano”. Breaking down why he gets into the slumps that he does (doesn’t walk much), how he hits when he’s going well (bad ball hitter), and how were all just going to have to live with his ups and downs. Also, his fielding range and arm are among the best in the AL. When he hits, he’s among the elite 2B in all of baseball.

    • Ivan

      Good point, like last night bottom of the 6th inning, Cano hits a pitch down and away out of the strikezone and not does he hit it but it’s a solid line drive.
      I said last night that Cano is his own worst enemy because he’s such a talented hitter that he can hit pitches that few hitters can.

      We haven’t seen the best of this guy, and his upside as a hitter is enormous. Just wonder could he reach it. Besides compare to his counterparts like Uggla and Kinsler, when Cano hits he’s probably better than those two because of the fact he’s a much better fielder than those two.

      • Andy in Sunny Daytona

        I seems for the most part that players from the Dominican Republic, don’t take alot of pitches. You don’t get noticed by scouts as a 16-year old by drawing walks, you have to swing the bat. And to get a player to change that mindset, to suddenly become patient hitter, is easier said than done.
        I’m sure there are exceptions like Albert Pujols, Hnaley or Ortiz, but the most part the Dominicans are here to swing the bat. Bill James’ worst nightmare.

      • Stephen

        Robinson Cano had HORRIBLE luck early in the season. His line drive percentage is 20.0 this season, the second highest of his career, but he still only has a .267 BABIP, much lower than his career BABIP, while the rest of his stats (P/PA, IF/F) are in line with his career averages. Only his homeruns per flyball are down this year, but had 3 HRs going into July last year, and then hit 6 in July and 7 in August.

        So in short, yes, since Cano does not walk a lot, much of his value is tied up in his BA, which is highly dependent on LUCK.

        • Steve

          Thats a big part of it, but if you balance the numbers against what your eyes are telling you, you would know that he making MUCH better contact now than he was earlier in the year. He was hitting a lot of weak line drives earlier, he’s hitting scorching line drives now and his production is way up as a result.

          BABIP is a useful stat, but many people overuse it. You have to watch the guy to have those numbers become meaningful. It wasn’t all luck earlier in the season, he wasn’t making solid contact as well which was a big reason why his “luck” was so bad.

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

    If Jason Giambi was charged with an Error that allowed Carlos Gomez to score, why was Darrel Rasner charged with an Earned Run? There was no way in hell that Gomez would have scored from second base if that play was made cleanly.

  • BurnBernieBurn

    How funny was Melky acknowledging the curtain call.

    • BurnBernieBurn

      You know, minus the ability to hit a baseball far

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

        You know, minus the ability to hit a baseball far. Fixed.

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

          Hoping history repeats itself, he should yank one into the upper-deck.

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

          I’m telling you Ben, he’s gonna knock out 20 this year, just to spite you.


          Kim Jones: Melky, what a night, your 20th home run for a walk-off win!! What’s behind your recent power surge?

          Melky: I’m seeck and tired of dat pantsy Ben K. talking kaka about me all over the eenternets. Every peetch I see, I pretend eet’s his head, and I try to heet it as hard as I can. MAS ROMPE!

  • A.D.

    D-Ras with Moeller gets it done, see if that continues for a few more starts

    Congrats to Robertson for the first career W (with 1 pitch)

    • Brian

      with one pitch, robertson equals the win total of Joba/IPK/Hughes. this resurgence is awesome when even that fact sounds cool.

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

        That really has more to do with wins being a terrible terrible indication of a pitcher’s success. Joba’s been far superior to Robertson. Who cares how many wins he gets as long as the Yankees are winning games?

        • http://www.spartacus.schoolnet.co.uk/CRsmithT1.jpg tommiesmithjohncarlos

          Ben, clearly you’re mistaken. Wins and losses are the single most important stat in evaluating a pitcher, and are totally indicative of the aptitude level of pitchers. Dave Robertson has a better W-L record than Joba Chamberlain, ergo, he’s a better pitcher. Joba should probably just move back to the bullpen.

          Michael Kay, Mike Francesa, Chris Russo, John Sterling, Suzyn Waldman, Joe Morgan, Mike Lupica, Buzz Bissinger, Murray Chass, The entire sports section of The New York Daily News, Chris Berman, Joe Morgan, John Kruk, Steve Phillips, Orestes Destrada, Rob Dibble, Peter Gammons, Karl Ravech, Eric Young, Joe Morgan, Twins GM Bill Smith, Bill Bavasi, The Executive Branch of the United States of America, and Joe Morgan.