Opposite Weekend at Yankee Stadium

Betances returns in Tampa loss
Jane Heller book signing and trivia contest

When Mike previewed the Subway Series on Friday, he didn’t have to work too hard to determine who had the pitching advantage. WIth Joba vs. Livan, Pettitte vs. Nieve, and Burnett vs. Santana, the advantages clearly went: Yanks, Yanks, Mets. The Yanks took Friday’s game, though the pitching advantage was essentially a push (Joba only allowed two runs, but his short outing exposed the bullpen). On Saturday they couldn’t get anything going off a guy who hadn’t started a game since 2006. And then on Sunday they laid into arguably the best pitcher in the league to take a landslide victory in the series’ decisive game.

There’s not much left to say about the game itself. The Yanks came out guns blazing and had one of their best offensive games of the year against Santana. While nearly everyone on the offense contributed to the onslaught, the key — as it is in most blowouts — was production from the bottom of the order. Matsui hit a big two-run homer, Melky went 2 for 4 with 2 RBI, and Frankie Cervelli went 3 for 5 with a RBI. There was no reprieve when the lineup turned over, as Derek Jeter went 4 for 4, bringing his average to .310 and further demonstrating that he is a huge threat out of the leadoff spot.

A.J. Burnett was partly frustrating but mostly awesome. He made some trouble for himself in the third and fourth innings, but worked out of both jams using his stuff to get some key strikeouts. He finished the day with eight in seven innings, though the four walks don’t look pretty. That’s what you get with Burnett, though. Sometimes he’ll let a couple of those runs cross, but he’ll mix that with a few games where he bears down and gets the guys at the plate. He needed a game like this after his debacle in Boston, and that’s what he got. Hopefully he can bring it again when he faces his old gang in Florida next weekend.

David Robertson and Phil Hughes capped off the day with matching scoreless innings. These are two guys the Yanks are simply going to have to use more. Robertson is basically third on the depth chart right now, behind Coke and Aceves, and could be rising. Hughes needs to get innings, and it’s useful to see him pitch one in a game before an off-day. WIth Bruney back on Tuesday, the Yanks bullpen all the sudden becomes a bit deeper. Mo-Bruney-Coke-Aceves-Robertson-Hughes and one of Tomko/Veras (more on that tomorrow) looks much better. Much better.

Yesterday, I was flipping out — and yeah, I was bitching about everything. Today, that’s all gone. It goes to show that baseball seasons unfold in strange ways. The team looks like crap against the Sox and for the first two against the Mets, but they come back and show you what they can do — and against Johan Santana, no less. Thanks to a lucky break on Friday they took two of three from the Mets, and that’s big for this team. Like Greg Schiano they’re chopping wood, taking two out of three in series after series. They could use a few sweeps in the next few, though, as they play the weaker portion of the NL East.

Programming note: It’s 7:00, and we’re going to open this up for a Cardinals-Indians discussion. The Sunday Night game features Cliff Lee vs. Chris Carpenter, so it should be a good one. Also, Boston lost, which is another good thing.

Betances returns in Tampa loss
Jane Heller book signing and trivia contest
  • Nick

    It’s worth mentioning that Johan’s probably hurt. He was throwing 87 MPH fastballs, and he’s probably trying to tough it out for the team.

    Still, I’ll take a win vs. Johan Santana any day.

    • John

      He hit 87, really? I thought the lowest he hit was 89 but I didn’t check for velocity on every at bat, so its possible. He was sitting 89-90, which is still a decrease for him.

    • Jamal G.

      Brooks has him averaging 90 MPH, topping out at 92.

      • Trent Merrill

        Either way his fastball was straight and hittable. Woo-hoo!

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

      Man, the Mets gotta be cursed or something.

      • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

        The Curse of buying off the discount rack in a top shelf city.

  • John

    Great win…now if we can sweep the Nationals, I will be even happier.

    It was the WORST start of Johan’s Career

    • Trent Merrill

      If we don’t sweep the nationals I’ll be so embarrassed. Unfortunately the Sox have the Marlins at the same time.

      • RollingWave

        I can’t really take any team that has Hanely Ramirez for granted. no matter how bad the complimentary players are.

        Granted, the Natinals, as hilariously bad as they are, can hit pretty well.

  • JP

    I’ll bet Sterling was droning on with his “I don’t know how you predict baseball. I just don’t know how people do it!”

    • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

      Him? When has he ever said anything like that?

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

    Be careful with the Marlins. They have some decent pitchers.

    • Trent Merrill

      I hope so for the Yanks sake. Hopefully the Marlins can score some runs.

    • Zach

      I think they’re going to miss Josh Johnson though.
      Sucks how they play Toronto twice, miss Halladay both times. Go to Detriot, miss Verlander. Went to Philly, miss Hamels.

      Match ups down there are Volstad/Wake, Miller/Penny, Nolasco/Lester.

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

        Nolasco/Lester could be a good one.

        • Zach

          Only if Nolasco is fixed, (7.62era this year, 3.52 last year)

          Depending on how their hitters react to Wakefield they could possibly have the edge in game 1 and 2

          • Trent Merrill

            Yeah, Wake is up and down. I don’t know if FL’s hitters are patient enough though.

            • Zach

              Patience? No.
              But if Wake is off they can put up a lot of runs

              • Trent Merrill

                Off how? If he is off then his stuff is either flat (hittable) or he walks everybody. You never know with a knuckler, therefore patience early on can be an advantage.

                • Zach

                  No I just meant they’re not a very patient team, I think Hermida and Ramirez are the only regulars with good OBP, but the team will hit Wake if his stuff is flat.

                • Trent Merrill

                  Oh. I heard the Braves were interested in Hermida. You think they will trade him?

                • Zach

                  If the package is right I’m sure they will

    • http://rbiradio.blogspot.com/ Joey H.

      Funny isn’t it? Everyone thought they’d be all offense no pitching.

      • Jamal G.

        Maybe last year, but this year, I – along with a lot of others – probably felt they had arguably the best 1-5 in the National League along with the Cubs.

        • Trent Merrill

          Speaking of the cubs, what’s the deal with Marmol? He’s got a funky delivery. He’s going to kill a right handed batter one of these days.

    • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

      . . .and some pop in the lineup. That’s a good combo. I still think they make serious noise in the WC race, and possibly take it. They’re hanging around .500 and are only 5 back.

      • Trent Merrill

        Yeah. Ya think the Giants will hang around? They have great pitching but no real thump.

  • http://rbiradio.blogspot.com/ Joey H.

    Some birthday for me. The best present was the text message that said the Yankees are up 13-0. I even did a lovely post at my blog commemorating today’s events.

    • Trent Merrill

      Happy birthday! Go yanks!!

      • http://rbiradio.blogspot.com/ Joey H.

        Thanks ;)

    • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

      Happy Birthday, buddy!

      • http://rbiradio.blogspot.com/ Joey H.

        Thanks dude.

  • cuponoodles

    Great, great game, on all accounts. Burnett needs to send the umps a fat check in the mail on those last two Cora strikes with the bases loded…

    • Zach

      the ump also called ball 2 that was strike 1. thats baseball

  • Trent Merrill

    Hughes looked pretty decent again. Especially since he’s not throwing his curve 59 feet.

    • http://www.theyankeeuniverse.com/ The Artist

      Yeah, once in a while he gets lucky.

  • JP

    Yes, it looks good having series against the Nats and Marlins, but I fear the Unknown-Pitcher-With-The-High-ERA-The-Yankees-Have-Never-Seen syndrome.

    • Rick in Boston

      It’s not that facet that scares me – it’s the fact the Nats can hit. You can hope that the Yankees starters pitch well, but if they don’t, it could lead to some high-scoring games.

      • Zach

        Johnson, Dunn, Zimmerman are the only guys you really need to worry about.

        I’m just mad Dunn will DH and we wont be able to see him in the OF

        • Jamal G.

          Uh, Cristian Guzman, Elijah Dukes and Josh Willingham are pretty damn good hitters.

          • Mike Pop

            Let’s say Dukes was on the block.

            Would you trade Z-Mac for him?

            • Trent Merrill

              Why would you want Dukes?

              • Mike Pop

                Love that potential. Ajax, dukes, swish, and melkman. I like it.

                • Trent Merrill

                  I guess you could afford to lose Gardner then, but isn’t Dukes the guy with the bad attitude?

                • Mike Pop

                  He’s got baaaad potential too!!!!!!

                • RollingWave

                  Saying Dukes have bad attitude is a mild understatement….. he’s a lot more like a NFL player than a MLB…

                  Still, I think he’s got great potential, the dude can hit, has reasonablly good plate dicipline, and huge power potential. Z-mac for him? I’d probably hesitate… anything less though. (say Betances or Brackamn. yes they have good upside but the chances of busting is huge) I’d do it.

            • Jamal G.

              Oh hell yes.

              • Trent Merrill

                I bet the Nats would want two players with a pitcher closer to major league ready. Say Kennedy for instance.

              • Trent Merrill

                Also, who would you trade to make it balance? Gardner or Swisher?

                • Mike Pop

                  Put grit in aaa.

          • Zach

            Pretty damn good hitters?

            Guzman is a nice hitter, does he scare you?
            Dukes has that nice .320 OBP, only scares you cause he can blow up any minute
            Willingham is on the breavement list because his brother died in a car accident, so Austin Kearns will be in his spot.

  • Reality Check

    I have seen this weekend before. Oh, yes, it was on Seinfeld– the Bizarro episode.

  • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

    I was at the game with the girl today; gorgeous day for a game, great seats–Section 420C, Row 11, right behind the plate. Absolutely great game (and my 22nd birthday is tomorrow!)

  • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

    And despite the awesomeness of the game, I was annoyed as hell at the fact that Dave Robertson was again used in a low leverage situation.

    • Trent Merrill

      I missed alot of the game as well. Did they use Veras today? If not, why?

      • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

        Nope, it was A.J 1-6, D-Rob for the 7th, Phranchise for the 9th. And Veras pitched multiple innings yesterday, I believe (I missed the end of that game).

        • Zach

          Veras threw 2 on Saturday. Phil got an inning to just stay sharp before backing up Wang on Wednesday and Robertson got an inning.

          • Trent Merrill

            Cool. Thanks guys.

    • Zach

      He has 12 innings this year, they’re not throwing him right into the 8th inning role, with Bruney back Tuesday he’ll hold the 8th inning and Robertson will start seeing 7th

    • steve (different one)

      And despite the awesomeness of the game, I was annoyed as hell at the fact that Dave Robertson was again used in a low leverage situation.

      Robertson hadn’t pitched since Friday and there is an off day tomorrow.

      giving him an inning was smart, even if it was a blowout.

      • Mike Pop

        Funny how ppl just find things to complain about.

        • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

          Pop, I will slap you in the mouth and not think twice about it.

  • Drew

    Missed most of the game today, I was busy killing a beast of a striper. It was good to hear though that Melk and Robbie are no longer lazy good for nothin’ latinos. It’s amazing what 2 days can do.

    • steve (different one)

      you seem awfully casual for someone who just killed a stripper…

      • TheLastClown

        They’re already dead inside…

        • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

          It took four tries before I could see past ‘breast of a stripper.’

          • Greg G.

            Thanks, folks…this little conversation made me LOL.

  • Ivan

    So what are your expectation for Wang to stay in this rotation.

    6IP of 4ER?

    • Zach

      it’d be an improvement. ill take 5IP 3ER, not sure what they have his pitch count at now

    • VO

      What a disgrace of a pitcher that would be, 9IP -5ER

    • Trent Merrill

      You know, having a baby puts alot on a man’s mind. They have to induce labor for his wife on Tuesday. I’m curious to see how he pitches after everything is said and done meaning a clean bill of health for his family.

      • Charlie

        huh?

        • Zach

          Wang’s wife or gf or whoever is pregnant and is having the baby Tuesday. He’s saying maybe thats been on his mind and it will be more clear after the baby is born and everything is healthy.

  • Brandon

    Johan Santana is not that great pitcher he once was. He is still good. Check that. He is still very good. But he is not great anymore. His velocity is normally higher than it was today. But, he cant hit the high marks he was before. I knew that he would regress at a high rate when the Yankees almost traded for him. I also knew that the best case scenario for Santana is if he would go to an NL team. The NL isnt nearly as good as the AL, so he wouldnt regress quickly as an NL pitcher. It shows. Against the NL teams he is dominant. Except his past couple starts have been nothing but terrible. Against the Phillies, he pitched 7 innings, ok thats good, but is 8 hits 5 runs? Nope!

    I hope Wang does well, I really do. But I dont think he will at all. I think he will pitch like he has the past few starts. Maybe a run less since its the Nationals, but thats it. I think he is better served out of the bullpen at this point. Another bad start would force the Yankees to turn back to Hughes, who they shouldnt have turned away from in the first place. Wang has proven he can pitch good time and time again. But, I dont think he can be that great starter he once was. I think he can pitch better than he is, but I dont think he will be good on Wednesday. I hope I am wrong, it will make me very happy. But I dont think I am.

    • Drew

      I couldn’t finish your entire dissertation there, bud. Johan Santana is not a very good pitcher, he is in fact, arguably the best pitcher going. Today showed us why it is hard/nearly impossible to finish a season as a starter, or, for any pitcher for that matter, with an ERA under 2 or even under 3. ANY pitcher in the game today is capable of blowing a game, that does not lower their status, rather, it shows us that they are in fact human. Next time CC gives up 6 or 7, please don’t tell me he’s not the pitcher he once was.

    • Charlie

      wow, quite the rambling.. just goes on and on. Johan Santana is still great, and if you still the Wang is good then why would he struggle against the Nationals?

      • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

        Well, the Nationals are a good hitting team. 6th in the NL in BA, 3rd in OBP, and 5th in SLG/OPS.

    • Mike HC

      I think Wang will pitch effectively his next start. His first start since coming off the DL was against a tough Texas team, and as expected, he struggled a bit. His next start was at Fenway, and again not surprisingly, he struggled. He faced two of the toughest lineups in all of baseball his first two starts back. He was rushed back from DL, became a reliever for about a week, and then was thrown into the lion’s den. Wang’s next start will be his third and I believe he will be far more comfortable against the Nats. I expect that he will pitch effectively.

  • Charlie

    Shin soo choo shoulda taken a chance to try to catch molina’s hit there, and the Magic are a bunch of weak minded jokes.

    • Zach

      they dont win when they shoot .211 from behind the arc, its not about weak minded or anything, if they cant hit the 3 during a game they wont win

  • Weisdog

    Just wanted to share some tickets/seating info with my fellow RAB readers (apologize if someone’s done a complete seating rundown but thought others might want to hear about this). I went to the game Saturday and sat in the Terrace “Suites” – make no mistake, this is the biggest disappointment in the Stadium. The seats are upstairs right below the Grandstand, are completely outside, and while advertised to have a private elevator share one with the Grandstand. The only thing that makes it a “suite” is you can go into the Jim Beam lounge, which serves drinks, but only has pizza, hamburgers and pretzel dogs to choose from. At $100 face (which at least was what we paid) is was not even close to worth it.

    On the contrary, went two weeks ago to the Padilla/Teixeira/Burnett game and bought seats on StubHub in section 114a (field down first base line), 25th row, for $75 each – face is $250, so a pretty good buy. The seats are outstanding, and there seems to be a block of 8 seats for sale here every game – if you can go on a Monday or Tuesday there are always pretty good deals.

    Sorry for the long post but wanted to share the info.

  • LiveFromNewYork

    The frustration is that when we’re having a game like yesterday or even Friday, that this team, today’s team, is hiding somewhere. Either they all turn on or they all turn off. A little more evenhandedness would be good. Perhaps they can draw straws as to who is off and who is on.