Jorge delivers best win of the year

Tampa falls despite another Montero homer
Damon wants to remain a Yank

jorgehits

Andy Pettitte, Friday’s starting pitcher, had the best line of the night. “I was in a pretty bad mood before and now I’m in a good mood,” Pettitte said to the gaggle of Yankee reporters after the game.

Perhaps without realizing it, Pettitte spoke for all of us as the Yankees scored four in the 8th and two in the 9th to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. The 10-9 win was the Yanks’ fourth victory in a row, and the Bombers suddenly find themselves just a game behind Boston and two behind the Blue Jays.

The game didn’t start out with that bad mood though. While Pettitte put two runners on in top of the first — a common theme throughout the evening — the Yanks plated four in the bottom of the first. Two walks, a sac fly, a Robinson Cano single and a Jorge Posada home run would give the Yanks a lead that would hold up for four more innings.

As the game progressed, though, the Yanks seemed to be playing with fire. Pettitte put a runner on in the second, three in the third, one in the fourth and one in the fifth. Somehow, none of these Angels came around to score, but in the sixth, Pettitte would not be so lucky.

Torii Hunter and Mike Napoli both singled to start the inning, and I figured Joe Girardi would go to the bullpen. He did not. While Andy got two quick outs on a ground ball and a strike out, he gave up hits to Jeff Mathis and Erick Aybar and then walked Chone Figgins. With two outs, the bases loaded and the Yanks’ lead down to two, Joe Girardi summoned a pitcher making just his third Major League appearance. Even Joba had to earn his way into high-leverage situations.

Mark Melancon quickly surrendered the lead. He gave up a bases clearing triple to Gary Matthews and allowed Matthews to score on a wild pitch. In the span of two batters, the Yanks found themselves down 6-4, and Pettitte’s final line — 5.2 IP, 9H, 5 ER, 4 BB and 2 K — was hardly impressive.

The game continued to slip away in the 7th. Jose Veras retired but one batter and gave up three runs. The Yanks, down 9-4, would have to come back against the only bullpen in the Majors worse than theirs.

Well, comeback they did. The Yanks scored four in the 8th, and after a crisp 1-2-3 inning from Jonathan Albaladejo, the eventually winner, they went to work against Brian Fuentes in the 9th. Mark Teixeira walked, Hideki Matsui singled, and Robinson Cano singled. With the bases loaded, Jorge Posada lined a 3-2 pitch into the left-center field gap for a walk-off, two-run single. All was right with the world.

Of course, the Yanks had a few scares tonight. Nick Swisher is a day-to-day with a bruised right elbow after taking a first-inning Jered Weaver offering off his arm. The bullpen went 3.2 innings and gave up four runs, and I will maintain that sticking Melancon into a situation like tonight’s so soon into his career may not have been Joe Girardi’s most prudent move. But the Yanks won, and that’s what counts. They’ll aim for five in a row at 1:05 p.m. when CC Sabathia takes the hill.

Above: Jorge ends the game. (Photo via Yahoo! Sports)

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Tampa falls despite another Montero homer
Damon wants to remain a Yank
  • http://actyankee.blogspot.com Matt ACTY

    Absolutely fantastic picture of an absolutely fantastic win!

  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

    Ben, Yanks scored four in the eighth.

    (9-4 to 9-8).

    But otherwise, yes, best win of the year.

    So glad Baby Niecephew gets to make his/her/its first, uh plate appearance, if you wanna use a baseball metaphor after a win =D

    • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

      From the ESPN recap:

      New York won when trailing by five runs or more at the end of the seventh for the first time since Sept. 14, 2007, when it rebounded from a 7-2 deficit to win 8-7 at Boston, according to the Elias Sports Bureau. The Angels hadn’t lost when leading by that much after seven since blowing an 8-3 lead at the Chicago White Sox in a 9-8 loss on Sept. 1, 2000.

      • http://www.blogtalkradio.com/pics/hostpics/5e4be77c-8e57-4d7a-8533-add8ed030ad5JerkStore.jpg Slugger27

        ha, i remember that game… we rocked papelbon i believe

        i even think arod had a clutch line drive into left field to take the lead if memory is correct… freakin awesome

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

          I have vague memories of that game. I think we were drinking for every run scored.

    • seanc

      In honor of the walk-off single, regardless of gender that baby MUST be named “Jorge.”

      • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

        Jorgina?

        • http://www.freewebs.com/ps3tf2/ Double-J

          Jorgette.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Whore-hey.

  • Ellis

    I think we monday-morning-quarterback Girardi wayy too much on this site regarding bullpen moves. If the starter gives up a run, Girardi was sitting on his hands. If he turns to the reliever with the best arm in the bullpen (Melancon), then he’s throwing the kid into the fire too soon. There’s no way you can blame Girardi for that.

    p.s. Joba started pitching high-leverage situations almost right away; his third game ever was with a one-run lead in the 8th.

    • Drew

      I didn’t read anyone criticizing the move to Melancon.

      • andrew

        I will maintain the sticking Melancon into a situation like tonight’s so soon into his career may not have been Joe Girardi’s most prudent move.

    • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

      Thanks you, and welcome to a very small club.

      • steve (different one)

        count me in this club. it’s out of control.

        Torii Hunter and Mike Napoli both singled to start the inning, and I figured Joe Girardi would go to the bullpen. He did not.

        Joe Torre, is that you? TWO baserunners in the 6th inning and you want the starter pulled with a 4 run lead? with Andy Pettitte on the mound? Pettitte allows lots of baserunners, that what he does. most of the time he limits the damage and pitches out of it.

        if you pull him there, you are asking what is now a shaky bullpen to go FOUR innings. that means you will HAVE to use one or two of the Edwar, Veras, etc. group.

        no, you give him a chance to work out of it. argue all you want about who he should have brought in, but honestly, WHO should he have brought in there? who?

        if he goes to Veras and he gives up the runs, he’d be ripped just as hard. who else? he still needed to piece 3 1/3 more innings from the bullpen. why not Melancon if you think he is the best guy in the pen?

        i know no one wants to admit that our favorite prospect gave it up, but that’s what happened. you guys did the same shit with Robertson all last year. oh no, a reliever was brought in with men on base!! how would a college closer ever be prepare for such a situation??

        sorry for the rant, but it’s getting to be every game.

        • Lanny

          if not melancon then who? no one can get outs there. why not take a shot on the kid?

  • Ellis

    Woah, Optimist-prime, those numbers are staggering. This win shows that this Yankees team has a fire in its belly that it’s lacked for a loong time.

    • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

      And to consider this is

      a) Without A-Rod
      b) Without, for all intents and purposes, Teixeira
      c) Without Nady
      d) Without any discernable bullpen
      e) Without their #2 starter

      Day-um. This team gonna’ win some games.

      • http://pinstripealley.com Edwantsacracker

        People have been criticizing Teixeira for not hitting. But he is still contributing. He has a 360 OBP because he is walking so much.

        • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

          And his SLG is about the same, giving him an OPS above .720. Way down for him, but decent for most MLB players. If this is him at his worst, we have a LOT of good things to look forward to.

          • http://pinstripealley.com Edwantsacracker

            I agree, can’t wait to see him when he is hitting well. His high walks might have something to do with protection. Even though Nick Swisher was hitting well in the 4 spot, he isn’t A Rod.

  • dkidd

    6-2 at home. haven’t lost to anyone but the indians. let keeping marking our territory (jorge knows what i’m talking about)

  • Tom Zig

    Hell of a win today.

    Even though JoPo had the walk off, do you start Molina tomorrow, and DH JoPo?

    It is a day game after a night game, after all.

    • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

      Probably just cos of the day-after-night thing.

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

      Posada’s caught what, three in a row now? Plus the day game after a night game? He should sit. They’ll need him in a second half, no need to burn him out now.

      • Spaceman.Spiff

        DH JoPo perhaps? Would be fine with giving him a full day off too.

        • El Generalissimo

          Matsui is on fire too though.

  • BklynJT

    Will the second guessing ever stop

    • Accent Shallow

      Not until they go 162-0 and sweep the playoffs.

      • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ Artist formerly known as ‘The’ Steve

        Not until they win a WS. Even then it will continue but will just get beaten down by most in the media. That’s how it works in NY. You can’t do anything right until you win, your personality is part of the reason why the team isn’t winning, blah, blah, blah.

        Then when you WIN, those exact personality traits and characteristics are lauded by the same writers and talk show hosts as being part of the winning formula.

    • Rich

      The alternative is to have a debate about whether the moves were good, really good, or simply great.

      Questioning a manager’s decisions are part of being a thinking fan.

      • Rich

        Should be: is part of being

        • V

          Yup ;-)

        • BklynJT

          I am fine with first guessin but not so much the second guessing

        • J

          Okay, I’ve held my (fingers) tongue for a while now, but if we’re correcting grammar (Rich) then I have to speak to River Ave Blues’ posts. Especially now that you guys are a “YESnetwork official blog” I just really think this site should be approached with the care that it deserves. There are the obvious spellcheck-immune instances of to/too and their/there, but there have also been times when I’ve had to stop and discern what the author’s intent is because it has been muddled by grammar issues. Then there was the post from last season (can’t remember which) when the author’s mistype changed the intended meaning into it’s opposite!!!

          Should I just not hold a blog up to the same standards as print—or sports writing up to the same standards as other journalism? Should I just chill the f*ck out? Probably, but it’s one of the very few shortcomings of this otherwise extraordinary site, so take these comments as coming not from a hater but from a big big fan.

          • andrew

            River Ave Blues is not exactly ESPN.com, that has editors going over every single word written, checking for mistakes. Even ESPN.com will have a typo every so often. It’s life. Nobody’s perfect. How many writers from other sports websites do you know that pump out 5+ articles per day. These guys do a heckuva job, especially considering this is their hobby, not a way of life. I’ll live with a typo or two per day.

          • Drew

            Dude, a lot of the time they post the articles before they even finish/edit it. Does it really bother you that much? I visit the site like one million times a day and a typo in the post has never bothered me.

          • http://www.riveraveblues.com Benjamin Kabak

            Ok. This is the last time I’m going to say this, and then people who don’t follow this rule will be banned with no warning.

            If you find grammar or spelling errors in our posts, the only appropriate place to mention them is in an e-mail to the author of the post.

            Our e-mail addresses are in the sidebar, and we’re sick of hearing this. There are three of us with our own bill-paying jobs, and we publish around 10 posts a day. Until we find someone willing to copy edit for little or no money, things are going to be as they are. If you find mistakes, e-mail them. If I hear another rant on this topic in this or any thread, you will be banned.

            I hope that’s clear enough for you, J.

            • Rich

              My apologies, Ben. My intent was merely to self-edit, nothing more.

            • J

              Ben & co.,

              Apologies!!!

              1) “the care that it deserves”–wow, sorry. that just came out all wrong. after checking email, this is always the first site I visit. you guys are smart AS HELL.
              2) my only point really was not about the vagaries of English grammar like its/it’s or that whole “quote”./”quote.” thing that drives me nuts…just when something gets confusing, but that’s so rare that it wasn’t even worth the comment.

          • seanc

            I’m new to this site- I only started visiting during spring training this year. This site has single-handedly turned me into an even more crazed, yet knowledgeable, Yankee fan. This site in my regular rounds of when I check things on the internet (a few times a day, but more so once a game is in action so I can check the threads). The amount of coverage these guys do is great (to say the least). I knew nothing about the Yankees farm system, but with the daily DOTF segment I have learned a little bit of a “who’s who” of Yankee prospects. You get injury reports, player updates, nearly anything you could get on espn.com, but without everything that is evil and wrong with ESPN. If you want to be a “grammar Nazi” go somewhere else. These guys work REALLY hard to give us Yankee fans what they do.

            But, like you said, you probably just need to chill out.

          • http://www.blogtalkradio.com/pics/hostpics/5e4be77c-8e57-4d7a-8533-add8ed030ad5JerkStore.jpg Slugger27

            the irony is that you used “it’s” when it should be “its”

            • Lanny

              lol

  • John

    WTF! We won?!!! SWEET!

    I had to go to the gym and the Yanks were down 9-4 then. I took my anger out there only to comeback and see that we won! What a great day!

    • http://www.workwithpete.com Pete

      Yeah, I turned on the PS3 at 6-4. Just felt like that kind of night.

      What a nice surprise!

  • John

    Pena with big hit again? Nice

    • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

      Peña makes me like him more and more every day.

      • John

        Yo tambien

    • Stephen

      Much better than Ransom ever did.

      • Tom Zig

        Ransom had a 6-game hitting streak before his injury. I am not saying he was becoming an offensive force, but he was showing some signs of life. I do like Pena better though.

  • V

    Sorry, but have to brag on my fantasy night – Kershaw+Johnson ftw.

    • andrew

      Wow, same for me actually. loving it.

  • V
    • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

      By Mo that is a thing of beauty.

  • Tony

    I think CC comes up big tomorrow. He looked like it was just about all there last start.

    • Bryan

      Well it is May now so he should start to dominate, Teixeira too.

  • Drew

    Did anyone read Damon’s comments? About next year. I like what Damon does, I wouldn’t mind having him as our DH next year.

    • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

      Damon also said he would never play for the Yankees…..

    • Stryker

      what did he have to say?

      • Drew

        Just that he loves it here. Wants to try to prove to the team this year that he can add to the team. He also said that he thinks that there is a small chance he’ll get re signed because AJAX is killing it in AAA. He said all the right things basically.

    • seanc

      The Yanks have some decisions to make this coming off-season. I, for one, do not think the Yankees should res-sign Damon. He’s been great, but if the Yanks are going to go after a DH-type, I would like to see someone else in the line-up. Plus, we have the Jorge factor.

      • Lanny

        Damon is going to put up real nice offensive #’s this year and hes proven he can play on the big stage.

  • southernyankeefan

    Great game and with the streak on the line i love CC on the mound. CC is gonna pitch a GEM and keep the streak alive.

    • Pel

      I thought Andy was gonna pitch a gem.

      :(

  • Steve B Ball

    A great win, but once again Garardi shows that he doesn’t know how to handle his relievers

    • steve (different one)

      i think it shows that Girardi needs his relievers to pitch better or that he needs better relievers.

      sooner or later you have to put a reliever into a game who gives up runs.

      doesn’t make it the manager’s fault.

    • Alex

      Also, remember how last year, bullpen management was probably Girardi’s most lauded characteristic. Give him time to sort out his reliable relievers just as he did last year.

      • steve (different one)

        i don’t think Girardi is doing ANYTHING differently. it’s just that the same relievers who pitched well last year, are now NOT pitching well.

        the process is the same. the results are different.

        Girardi did an excellent job last year of sharing the workload. but that worked so well b/c every guy in the pen was giving an ERA around 3.50 (besides Mo, obviously). he could give everyone equal innings b/c he had 7 dependable relievers.

        right now he has Mo and Coke. and ???

        until these guys start pitching better, what can he do?

        Melancon was looking like a guy he could trust, but he gets ripped for using him when the game was on the line.

        he has no relievers he can trust, but he gets ripped for not pulling the starter after 5 innings.

        he’s going to have to try Robertson next and hope he can pitch himself into the circle of trust. because until he finds 2 more reliable relievers, there really isn’t that much he can do when a starter only pitches into the 6th.

        • Lanny

          Blame Cashman for not stocking him with reliable relievers. This take “10 arms and pray” thing doesnt really work. Which is why I think its pretty safe that Joba is in the pen come July.

          • steve (different one)

            yeah, not really.

    • Jorge Steinbrenner

      I absolutely think the brunt of this falls on Girardi. He leaves pitchers out there to die on a daily basis. Torre had too quick a hook, so I guess you can’t win.

      You can’t be too hard on Melancon for yesterday’s performance. We waited three months before even brining Joba in with runners on but, oh, three appearances into his career, this guy’s not reliable. Melancon’s going to be fine.

      • steve (different one)

        I absolutely think the brunt of this falls on Girardi. He leaves pitchers out there to die on a daily basis.

        but the entire argument is that the relievers aren’t getting the job done either.

        you can’t have it both ways.

      • Jonathan

        I love it

        if any other reliver is pu in the game other than melancon girardi is an idiot

        if melancon is put in and give ups a hit its girardis is an idiot for putting him in that position

  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime

    Dude, guys! I called it! It’s a boy!

  • Lanny

    A great win but this bullpen needs to be fixed ASAP. Because you won’t win too many of these kinds of games.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

      Goddammit. I was going to save this for a post on Monday, and I probably will still use it, but:

      When the starter fails to go 6 innings, bullpen ERA is 8.93
      When the starter does go 6 innings, bullpen ERA is 3.20

      I’m sure this is not isolated. I’m sure the league trends this way, though perhaps not as dramatic.

      So is it the bullpen that’s not doing its job, or is it the starters?

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