Close game gets out of hand late, Yanks drop home opener


While today’s game got real ugly later on, it wasn’t exactly pretty in the early going. The Yanks put eight men on base in the first four innings without scoring a run, and left a total of 15 men on base during their too-long affair. It wasn’t the home opener that most Yanks fans had envisioned. Good thing they’ll play 152 more of these things, and two of their major weaknesses in the game — the bullpen and the ability to drive in men on base — have been fairly good for most of the season.

Sabathia wasn’t exactly economical, a la Burnett and Pettitte from the previous two games, as he used 122 pitches to get 17 outs. The top of the 5th particularly hurt, as he used 30 pitches to retire three Indians, though he didn’t allow a run. It all added up, though — the five hits, the five walks, the four strikeouts — and CC had to exit early. It wasn’t terrible in terms of results, but as we’d learn later the Yanks could have used another inning and a third from their ace.

A quick note on CC’s walks. That number might seem high right now. As Andrew pointed out during the game, CC walked 59 batters last year and has 10 already this year. That, however, is misleading. CC racked up nine walks over his first three starts last year, in which he pitched just 14 innings. His 10 walks come after 17.2 innings this year. Furthermore, CC allowed 14 walks through his first four starts last year, spanning 18 innings. From that point on, he tossed 235 innings with a 1.74 ERA, walking just 45. CC’s going to be just fine.

Damaso Marte and Jose Veras generated plenty of complaints, and with good reason. But to make sweeping statements about them based on one appearance is a bit much. We know what Veras is at this point: a guy with an electric fastball and a devastating curveball. There are going to be days when he can’t hit the strike zone with the fastball, rendering the curveball moot. Does that mean he sucks? No. He has his flaws, just as pretty much every reliever in the bigs has flaws. That’s why they’re relievers and not starters. Marte had a tough outing, too, reminiscent of his stinker in Texas last August. Yet to make proclamations about how he stinks is to ignore years of quality work — not to mention the quality work he’s done for the Yanks outside of a few appearances which stand out in fans’ minds.

What do you get when you cross an inefficient starting pitcher with a lack of hitting with runners on base, and then cross that with a bullpen having a bad day? A loss for sure, though one would hope not as bad as today’s. Those are the breaks in baseball, though. Some days you just can’t knock the guy in from second. Some days you call on the wrong reliever. We’ve seen this — the latter, at least — a few too many times in a young season, which is the leading cause of fan overreaction. Games in April count just as much as games in September; each game is 1/162 of the season. The difference, of course, is that the team has time to address their issues and correct them in April. I have all the confidence in the world that the Yankees will do just that.

Another day game tomorrow, again at 1:00. Joba Chamberlain goes up against Cardinals-castoff Anthony Reyes.

Random note we intentionally left until the end of the recap: Today marked the first time the Yanks have lost a home opener since 1997 when Oakland prevailed 3-1 in 12 innings. The bullpen blew that game too, except it was Mariano Rivera who gave up the tying run on a Mark McGwire homer. The Yanks somehow managed to recover (they were 4-5 with the loss) and made the playoffs. Oh, and guess who picked up the win in that game. Too late: Aaron Small.

Categories : Game Stories


  1. Aaron Small! That Michael Kay failed to mention on TV today. Good fact.

  2. Jamal G. says:

    Mo blew the home opener and the ALDS, he obviously was just a one-year wonder, the fucking bum.

  3. rsam says:

    i told cashman to go get manny butnoooooooooooooooooooooooooo 15 men left on base.we should just try to get rid of marte just a bum.bring up igawa for long relief and tomko marte is just useless.

    • Joey H says:

      ….. o_O

    • Sweet Dick Willie says:

      we should just try to get rid of marte just a bum.bring up igawa for long relief and tomko marte is just useless.

      That’s what we like here at RAB – well articulated analysis backed up by facts (along with impeccable grammar).

      As the saying goes, “Take that shit to LoHud.”

  4. Joey H says:

    Two smarts moves that are better made late than never and now than never, Jose Veras down for Brett Tomko and Some how loose Cody Ransom for Angel Berroa.

    • Brooklyn Ed says:

      Veras is out of options. I’m sure Veras will most likely be gone when Melancon comes up.

      • Joey H says:

        Well then what the hell are we waiting for. I don’t care what they get rid of him for. If he isn’t there then Girardi won’t be tempted to bring him in. The guy has wore out his welcome and is showing no signs of return.

        • Lanny says:

          You should be able to trade Veras for something. Not having options is not the reason he should be pitching here.

  5. Bob Michaels says:

    Cody Ransom looks overmatched, too bad he waited a long time for an opportunity. Pro Ball can be cruel, but if you can`t produce your out.Whose next before A-Rod returns?

  6. Drew says:

    Does anyone here work for MetLife or Northwestern Mutual?
    Sorry to stray from the post, Mike, Ben and Joe. I’m not sure when the Open thread will be up and I have interviews lined up with both companies, wanted some insight on anyone’s experience with them.

  7. josh says:

    any news on ajax today. hows the elbow?

  8. Kevin G. says:

    If/When Melancon gets called up, which reliever gets the shaft? Will it even be a reliever that gets called down?

  9. Add Texas to the teams looking to dump salary


    It looks so bad for Hicks he might be forced to sell the team. Expect Bud Selig to be all over this pretty soon, like he was in San Diego last off season and with the Expos a few years back.

  10. dkidd says:

    silver linings:

    jorge gunned down grady sizemore
    matsui walked 3 times
    girardi not burying coke
    the stadium doesn’t play like citizen’s bank (yet)

  11. dkidd says:

    today’s game reminded me of the double-edged sword that was joe torre. he managed like a fan. he would have had bruney in there to start the 7th

    • Lanny says:

      There is a reason torre has managed a team to the playoffs 13 yrs in a row

      • RollingWave says:

        And that reason would be because he had a awsome roster for 13 years strait. there’s at least 5 complete no brainer 1st round HOFers on the team during this span, 3-5 borderline guys, and a fleet of guys who will at least appear on the ballot.

      • jon says:

        And he had all stars almost every single position

  12. I keep thinking two things

    1) The loss was my fault for daring to watch it,


    2) CC was only one out away from a quality start and what a gutty start it was…despite having no command he still only gave up one run. That’s the type of start that wins World Series.

  13. rsam says:

    the yankees will be fine look at red sux record everyone at espn picked them to win the division .we have to get rid of veras and marte they are bums. was just reading daily news the yankee haters were having a field day mostly met fans.when they lost their homeopener we yankee fans could care less .mets and red sux fans should worry about their own team i guess a yankee loss makes their day ha ha ha ha ha.

  14. Brooklyn Ed says:

    Mo forbid if Teix lands on the DL, whose going to man 1B? Swish or Miranda? If Miranda could smash like he did in AAA, then that would be great.

  15. KC Royals’ Alex Gordon has injured hip, headed to Vail Colorado for surgery.


    Its amazing how some injuries, ones that you never heard of, spread around Baseball like wildfire for a year and then go back to being rare. Last year it was the Lisfranc, the year before it was the oblique.

  16. Tom Zig says:

    Are rationality and sensibility making a come back?

  17. p2 says:

    I completely disagree about Marte. He’s never had a big spot for the Yankees. He’s failed in every degree. And, I’ve seen a lot of Yankee baseball, and I have to be honest, Marte is one of the worst, if not THE worst bullpen pitchers I have seen on a Yankee staff. And THAT says a lot.

    And to pitch like that on opening day, THIS opening day, makes Marte’s place in Yankee history absolutely DEPLORABLE.

    I NEVER WANT TO SEE HIM IN PINSTRIPES AGAIN. That’s how I feel. There are just too many other pitchers in the minors that can take his place and get a chance to play in the majors.

  18. Brooklyn Ed says:

    Just heard something really interesting on Joey H’s show. He just mentioned that Austin Kerns and Jason Repko could be on their way to the Yanks. Could anyone confirm it?

  19. cuponoodles says:

    Again, overreacting.

    Marte is a plus reliever when used effectively (which Girardi did not do well last year at all). He will be okay. As I said earlier, however, I am definitely not, nor have I been, on the Veras bandwagon (I don’t think he’s ‘terrible’, just not really confident when he’s on the mound)

    Also, don’t hate on Edwar. Does anyone forget that he pitched a NO HITTER in the month of July last year!

  20. p2 says:

    Kyle was better than Marte!
    Marte is a disgrace to the uniform. Did you see the game?????!!!!!!!
    He wasn’t just hard-hit… he did EVERYTHING wrong. A nightmare scenario.
    I never want to see that guy in pinstripes again.

    If this were the 80s, Steinbrenner would ship him to Scranton to throw batting practice for the rest of his contract. And rightly so. What a disgrace.

    And Cashman prized this guy and traded for him. What a joke.

  21. p2 says:

    Marte has been making Kyle Farnsworth and the late Steve Howe look like Cy Young and Christy Mathewson by comparison.

  22. gxpanos says:

    That p2. What a gritty commenter, using hustle and pine tar to argue against Marte. How can any of us argue with him? He’s so fired up, I’m inclined to agree with him!

  23. Drew says:

    Oh gosh, I’m counting on the Padres bullpen for a save. Hopefully they keep up what they’ve done early on this year.

  24. Lanny says:

    Citi Field looks empty here the past 2 nights. A ton of empty seats

  25. Reggie C. says:

    When will Teixiera get back to 100%? Is it a matter of timing at the plate or is the wrist still an issue he’s trying to overcome? I really hope he’s not trying to hide the actual amount of soreness the wrist is causing.

  26. Reggie C. says:

    The relief corps can get better if Cash pulls the trigger and brings up Melancon. Does this team need Coke if Melancon or Robertson are dominant? Maybe there’s a fear of taxing the prized relief prospects’ arms this early in the season as Wang is learning to pitch from scratch, while CC and Joba work out the kinks. Yet, repeated blowups from Coke and Veras should speed the prospects’s arrival. Its sort of a catch-22. We’re going to see Melancon and Robertson as a matter of emergency rather than in sunnier circumstances.

    • Tom Zig says:

      Probably has something to do with neither of them being fully ready to hack it at the show yet.

      We do not need the pitching version of Eric Duncan.

  27. Paulie says:

    I just got back from the Dominican Republic, I am pretty upset that I missed the game even though they lost. I think I am pretty caught up on what happened, yet, I still have one question, “Did Pavano get booed during the introductions?”

  28. Peedlum says:

    I just got home and am watching the pre-game intros on DVR. What the hell happened to Jim Kaat? He looks like he was horribly burned or he has vitiligo or something. Am I seeing things? I just rewound it and he looks terrible.

  29. DR says:

    This is the second time in a few days that 3rd and 4th reliever lost the game. Could it be because of the number of reliever changes? Relievers have to warm themselves up and avoid getting tired before they even come in to pitch. When third and fourth reliever enter the game so early, could it be that they aren’t warmed up properly, because they think that there is no chance they would enter the game so quickly, so they have to pace the warm-up for the next inning? Reliever who is fourth in line probably doesn’t expect to get into the game before the 8th inning (unless starter is Wang), so he might be cold in 7th.

  30. BigBlueAL says:

    Most of you guys here at RAB are just to damn rational….

  31. jon says:

    I would like to see an analysis of the strike size from the 7th on

    it seems that there were tons of strikes that were called balls according to gameday

    • Bo says:

      Lets not look for excuses here. Veras and Marte blew it. It wasnt the umps strike zone.

      • jsbrendog says:

        i’ll agree with this assessment but I would also like to see the analysis just to see if the umps were making bad calls.

        regardless though a pitcher cant use something like that as an excuse and they stunk. yesterday. and today is a new day and yesterday is no more and means nothing.

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