Yanks lose tough game

Brackman struggles in return
Oh, to be A-Rod in a tight situation

It’s disappointing to see the Yanks drop a game to the Nationals, holders of the league’s worst record by no slim margin. When they have a lead it seems like the season is coming apart. The Nationals, the Washington Nationals, holding a lead over the New York Yankees? As if. This is baseball, though, and that kind of thing will happen over the course of a 162-game season. It was nothing but heart-wrenching to witness the loss last night, but there wasn’t anything particularly wrong with it.

Chien-Ming Wang was pitching for his future in the rotation, and he did just well enough to get himself at least one more start. Unfortunately, he didn’t look much different than in his starts against Texas and Boston. Sometimes the sinker worked, sometimes it didn’t. He left it high on a number of occasions and got away with it. On others he let it tail and he didn’t — Adam Dunn and Nick Johnson did damage on those. It wasn’t a great performance, and honestly it wasn’t even that good. The Yanks can only hope that Wang improves as he gets consistent work.

While Chien-Ming ended the day with five innings pitched and three earned runs, it’s easy to forget that a blown call kind of ruined the fifth inning for him. With Willie Harris on second and one out, Christian Guzman grounded one between A-Rod and Ramiro Pena. Alex snagged it and threw to first, getting Guzman by a half (or quarter) step. The replay showed he was out, but the first base umpire did not see it that way. Guzman was awarded a hit, and came around to score when the next batter, old pal Nick Johnson, slammed a tailing sinker past a diving Melky and into the left-center field gap for a triple.

That’s one run, which means that Johnny Damon‘s homer in the ninth would have tied the game. A ha, but remember that baseball isn’t a game of ones and zeroes. What happens on one pitch affects the next; what happens to one batter affects what happens to the next guy. It’s what Michael Kay calls the fallacy of the predetermined outcome, and despite our criticism of him it’s a perfectly valid point. Who’s to say that Jorge and Wang go through the same pitch sequence to Johnson with a runner on third and two outs? If they do things differently then Wang doesn’t throw that sinker and Johnson doesn’t hit a triple. He might have hit a homer, which would have put us back at square one, or he might have made the third out and Dunn’s homer would have remained the only run on the board.

(Using the fallacy of the predetermined outcome, we could also erase Robbie Cano‘s leadoff homer in the fifth. But we could also erase the rest of the game, leaving it to a completely different iteration. This is what I mean when I harp on randomness in baseball. One thing affects another, so when one thing goes wrong it sets off an entire series of events. Change one thing in a baseball game, and you really change everything that happened after it, too.)

Wanger’s next start should come next Tuesday in Atlanta. Their 268 runs scored ranks among the lowest in the league, lower than the Nationals. Again, given his success last night relative to his previous two starts, I imagine the Yanks won’t think twice about giving him another try. If they were facing the Red Sox, then maybe they’d pull him from the rotation in favor of Hughes. But with an offense like Atlanta I’m fairly certain that we’ll see CMW toeing the rubber at Turner.

The bullpen did a stellar job of keeping the game close. Phil Hughes pumped 24 pitches in his two innings, 16 of which were strikes (the magic 2/3 mark). He sure is pitching like he wants his rotation spot back. Failing that, he’s pitching like he doesn’t want to see Pennsylvania ever again outside the rare road trip to Philly or Pittsburgh. For the time being, he’s become yet another weapon out of the Yanks’ ever-strengthening bullpen. While I’d like to see him get well over the 150-inning mark this season, having him in the bullpen has been a pleasure.

As to the offense, when only three of your starting nine get hits in a game, you’re probably not going to win. That’s a shame, because this was the first loss in which the Yankees’ pitching allowed three or fewer runs. The Yanks did make the most of their four hits, though. Two left the yard and the last one nearly led to the tying run. Unfortunately the Yanks just couldn’t put it together in the ninth. With Gardner, pinch-running for Teixeira, on third, A-Rod worked a walk. Yeah, you’d like to see a hit from him there, but he didn’t get anything good to hit. The only real hittable pitch was the one he fouled off, and even that was down and in. Hey, if a guy’s going to give a hitter a walk he has little choice but to take it.

It all came down to Robbie Cano, and boy was that an at bat. Not quite as epic as his first-inning AB on Thursday in Boston, but he did everything he could to find the pitch he liked, fouling off six pitches before grounding into a game-ending double play. This is Robinson Cano, love him or leave him. Yeah, he probably could have worked a walk on that AB. Had that been Damon at the plate there’s little doubt that Posada would have been up with the bases loaded. That’s just not how Robbie does things, though. He’ll foul off pitches until he gets something he likes. Sometimes that means putting a bad pitch in play. That’s what he did on the ninth pitch of the at bat, hitting a low and outside pitch to Christian Guzman.

Should Girardi have sent Alex during Robbie’s at bat? I can see the argument going both ways. The scenario could play out so many ways. Alex could steal safely (possibly without a throw) and take off the double play, forcing the Nationals to move the infield in. Cano hits the ball hard, so that increases his chances of pushing one through. The Yanks might have sent Gardner on the throw, which might have plated the tying run. The Nationals might also have cut off the throw and gotten Gardner at home, leaving a runner on second and two out, still down by one. Or they might have gotten Alex at second and allowed the tying run to score. Finally, Alex might have just gotten nailed at second without any movement from Gardner, leaving a runner on second and two down. Girardi opted to do nothing. I find it difficult to fault him in the same manner I did Thursday night when he didn’t bring in his best pitcher when the game was on the line. This clearly was not as obvious a call. I would have gone for it.

The Yank will get an early opportunity to shake this one off, as they’ll play a getaway game tomorrow at 1:05. Joba Chamberlain starts against Craig Stammen. It can’t come soon enough.

Tickets!

I’ve got a buddy with a pair of bleacher seats for tomorrow, section 202, row 17. They’re going for face, $12, transaction over email. Just hit me up — email addy is on the sidebar — and I’ll hook you up. Please, do not email if you are not serious.

Brackman struggles in return
Oh, to be A-Rod in a tight situation
  • Dorian

    My man crush on Phil just wants to see him in the rotation. My Yankee fandom tells me that I’m tired of seeing Wang be mediocre or bad. My analytical side says the best New York Yankees team is the one with 2007 Chien-Ming Wang.

  • Andrew

    These things shouldn’t happen over the course of a 162 game season. I’ll tell you this – I’ll be shocked if the Red Sox drop a game to the Nationals at Fenway.

    It’s a new low in a season that’s been full of embarrassing losses (despite a respectable record), and just further proof that a lot of changes to be made in the next two months if this Yankees team is going to go anywhere in October.

    • Dorian

      O relax. There are stretches like this during a season, and besides they keep winning series.

      • Andrew

        I’m relaxed. Trust me, boss.

        I just won’t act as though losing to the Nats at Yankee Stadium is something we should “accept” as “one of those things that happens”. It shouldn’t happen, especially when they had 7 road wins on the entire year coming into tonight.

        And the “it’s just one game out of 162″ card is weak. If last year taught us anything – it’s that EVERY game matters.

        • Dorian

          Blah Blah Blah. If that team had Posada and Wang, they would have made the playoffs.

          What is your beef? They weren’t mentally prepared tonight? They didn’t come to play? They weren’t focused?

          That rhetoric is what’s getting “weak”. Every guy on that team was there to play tonight and gave every thing they had to win the game. So it didn’t turn out in their favor, does that mean that this is some unforgivable offense?

          You sound like the ridiculous Yankee fans that call up Mike Francesa thinking that a championship is owed to them. If this team is diligent and talented enough to make the postseason, then they will make it. If not, then they just weren’t good enough. It doesn’t mean that Joe Girardi was a bad manager, or that Brian Cashman constructed the team poorly. It simply means that the team had a bad year.

          I have always wanted to see two things from the Yanks: Effort and Intelligence. Both have been on display for the majority of the season. With the talent that is on this team, I think that the hard work will bear fruit at the end of the day.

          • NaOH

            Take your rational logic and shove it up your reasonable approach. And whatever comes from that thoughtful tact, please post more of it.

          • Andrew

            WTH are you talking about? It’s not Cashman or Girardi’s fault if the team doesn’t make the playoffs? Jesus… terrible take.

            And I love how you turn this into a “you demand a championship every year!” thing. Ha. Every game counts, and criticism will be dished out when the team loses. According to you, we shouldn’t be able to criticize the team at all until the last game of the season is played. That’s idiotic. Besides, what will you be saying when we’re 3 games out with 2 to go? “Guys, there’s still 2 games left in the season, even though we lost the division tonight, it’s just 1 out of 162! You act like we deserve to win a WS every year!!!!!111″

            Horrible, man.

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

              You know what “criticism” is? “Criticism” is saying that the loss was frustrating because we couldn’t really get any good swings off of Lannan. That’s “criticism”.

              Saying “These things shouldn’t happen over the course of a 162 game season” or “It’s a new low in a season that’s been full of embarrassing losses” or “it’s just further proof that a lot of changes to be made” based on one loss isn’t criticism, it’s insane hyperbole.

              If we had lost 26-0 and Lannan had thrown a 68-pitch perfect game, maybe you’d have a point. That didn’t happen, so you don’t have a point, all you have is a horrid leap off a bridge.

            • Dorian

              I’ll come to that bridge when it’s time to cross it, but there is absolutely no reason to jump off a bridge about a loss in the middle of June. So what the Red Sox won’t lose to the Nationals, The Phillies have. I don’t see anyone saying that the Phillies are no longer championship material.

              Another thing that really bugs me, is when people talk about the team like this is going to be the team that takes the field in September. There will be roster changes by the time September comes and hopefully by the time October comes. Stop with the Mike Francesa, “Well it didn’t work out, so managament did a bad job.” When Cash goes out and signs the best 1B in the AL, a top 5 starting pitcher, a guy with some of the best stuff in the game, and steals a guy who has the highest OPS for a yankee RF since ’94, you can’t say that cash didn’t do his job. Hindsight is 20/20.

              Today ain’t September 30th and we ain’t 1 game out on the last day of the year. Last year Cash put the right team on the field. We lost our .950 OPS catcher and we lost an 18 game winner and the Ace of the staff. and they still won 88 games. With those 2 we are in the playoffs. CALM DOWN IT’S JUNE 18TH.

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

      Eh, Lannan pitched a hell of a game. He was strike one, strike two on everyone, and everything was down. Sucks they loss, but there’s no point in magnifying it.

      I heart the MSM for saying anything less than a sweep is a failure.

    • Mike HC

      The Yanks were one extra base hit away from winning the game. I would not use a game where the Yanks started post injury Wang as the barometer for where we are on the season.

      I also don’t get all the comparisons to the Red Sox, like they are standard of a championship team. If I remember correctly, they lost in the ALCS last year to a division rival. I’m not sure that would be considered a good year in the Yankee front office, or for the fans.

      • Andrew

        Because the Red Sox have won 2 championships in the past 5 years, and we haven’t made it past the first round since 2004. Like it or not, they’re the measuring stick right now.

        • JP

          I don’t buy that. I don’t think there are any “measuring sticks.”

          I’m not going to try to twist it around and say the Yankees have been better the last 5 years – you tip your hat to the winner. But as for measuring? In the division, the Red Sox, since 2004, have finished 2nd, 2nd, 3rd, 1st, and 2nd. In the same time period, the Yankees finished 1st, 1st, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd.

          Obviously championships matter, but the playoff structure is long and prone to freak things happening. Any reasonable evaluation of the organization, GM, etc., has to take into account season records, too.

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

        Yeah, the constant Sox comparisons annoy me. I don’t get what one has to do with the other. No one would have expected the Mets to do anything in Fenway, but they took two of three with Omir Santos launching bombs of Papelbon.

        It’s baseball, crazy stuff happens. That’s why we love it. If we wanted to know who was going to win every game before they played, we’d obsess over college football.

        • Andrew

          Also… if you watch both teams – it’s pretty apparent that one team plays this game the right way, and one team not so much. That’s why the constant comparisons are being made. And it pains me to say that, but if you take the time to actually watch these two teams… it’s like night and day.

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

            Define playing the right way. Both teams win and win a lot. That seems right to me.

            • Andrew

              Hitting with RISP. Playing good defense. Situational hitting. Few mental mistakes. Manufacturing runs, not just waiting around for the 3 run HR.

              Just a few.

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

                If it gets too dire for you, you can always do this:

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

                Hitting with RISP

                Yanks w/ RISP:.263
                Sox w/ RISP: .283

                That’s a difference of two hits every 100 at-bats, hardly significant. In fact, you can argue that official scorers could be the cause.

                Playing good defense

                Yanks UZR: -4.1
                Sox UZR: -5.3

                Situational hitting

                Yanks: 51 GIDP, 19 SH, 15 SF
                Sox: 62 GIDP, 3 SH, 20 SF

                Few mental mistakes

                There’s no way to quantify that, so unless someone is willing to watch tape of every single Yanks & Sox game and take notes, then this argument is null.

                Manufacturing runs, not just waiting around for the 3 run HR

                Yanks: 10 three-run homers
                Sox: 11 three-run homers

                • BigBlueAL

                  Those 19 sac bunts for the Yankees is not something to be proud of.

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

                  I know, trust me.

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

                  THAT IS HOW YOU DEBATE!!!!!!!!!!

              • Mike HC

                Yea, they played the game so right that they lost to the upstart Rays last year. The Rays did not go on to win the Series either, as the Phils were better than the Rays, and prob the Sox, and the Yanks last year. I believe Manny was one of their best players and on both of those Sox championship teams, and I don’t think he falls under your classification of “playing the right way.” Damon was on the 2004 Sox championship team, and now on the Ynaks. Posada was on three championship tams. Jeter clearly plays the right way. Teix seems to play the right way. Is that enough for you. Who is particular is playing the wrong way on the Yanks?

                • Andrew

                  1. .283 with RISP and .263 with RISP is a big difference. Give me those 2 hits every 100 at bats and we probably have 1-2 more wins under our belt, and 1-2 games could make all the difference in this division.

                  2. To be honest, I don’t even know what UZR is. All I know is that Swisher is a brutal RF. Melky is an average CF. And Damon is a bad LF at this point in his career. Our IF? Well, we have a 35 year old SS, and no team in recent years has even made the playoffs with a SS that old. Teixiera is the only outstanding defensive player on this team. Molina, too, I guess.

                  3. Few mental mistakes, no way to quantify it? How about taking a look at the mental mistakes made on both sides when they face each other? That seems like it’d be a pretty good indication to me. Nick Swisher is blushing.

                  But, you’re right – we’ve played just as good as the Red Sox over the past 5 years!

                • Chris

                  Since 2004, the Yankees have:

                  – A better record than the Red Sox
                  – Won the division more times (3-1)
                  – Made the playoffs the same (4 times)

                  The Red Sox have won a handful of games in October in 2004 and 2007, and because of that people are enamored with them. Unfortunately, October performance is a crap shoot and the best team does not always win – as evidenced by the Yankees winning in 2000 and the Cardinals in 2006.

                • JP

                  The only thing you have to say – and I don’t know if it means anything or not – is that this year, the Red Sox have played much, much better in the head to head games.

                  I agree with everything else said…Mike’s stat rundown is priceless. Against the league, the Yankees are a better team, so far this season, than the Red Sox.

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

            Also, the Cards have the same number of WS appearances in that time frame, why don’t we comp the Yanks to them?

            • Andrew

              Seriously? It’s a rivalry for a reason, you know.

              • Mike HC

                It is a rivalry, but the ultimate goal is to win a World Series, not beat the Red Sox. The Sox can win the season series and have a better record, but if the Yanks win the World Series without ever facing them in the playoffs, who really cares?

                You don’t see Kobe crying that he couldn’t beat the Celtics, or that LeBron didn’t make the finals. Rivalry’s are nice, but they are not the ultimate goal.

          • Accent Shallow

            To be fair, they have Josh Beckett to make sure they play the game the right way. The Yankees don’t, so they’re doomed to failure.

            /snark

          • Andrew

            Great post, Joe!

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

      These things shouldn’t happen over the course of a 162 game season. I’ll tell you this – I’ll be shocked if the Red Sox drop a game to the Nationals at Fenway.

      The record breaking World Champion 1998 Yankees lost three games to the Detroit Tigers (65-97), four games to the Minnesota Twins (70-92), one game to the Tampa Bay Devil Rays (63-99), and one game to the Montreal Expos (65-97).

      Calm the hell down.

  • Ellis

    Can someone explain to me why Girardi didn’t call for a suicide squeeze in the 9th? You have to get that run across, and Gardner was wasted on third!

    • Manimal

      With your 4-5 hitters? No.

      • Ellis

        I don’t care who is up, it seems simple strategy to get that run across.

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

      It probably has something to do with Cano being 8 for his previous 11 with three doubles and two homers. Just a guess.

      • Ellis

        That kind of stat is pointless in that situation. To win the game, strategy has to be a priority over individual hot streaks. Choosing not to bunt lost the game, end of story.

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

          I don’t understand why you’re assuming the bunt works.

          The guy has three sac bunts in the last four years and he’s hitting the snot out of the ball lately, and you want to take the bat out of his hands?

          • Ellis

            Dropping a bunt is basic baseball, Gardner scores easily if he was running. Yeah, I want the bat out of his (or anyone’s) hands to get that run across.

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

              Yeah, if he was running and Cano got a bunt down on a 97mph fastball.

              • V

                A 97 mph fastball tailing away from him, too.

        • Ivan

          Your over analyzing the situation.

          Your taking the bat out of hands of A-Rod and Cano. Second, they haven’t bunted probably since they were 8 or 9 years old.

          Those are the type of ideas that get ya fired.

          • JP

            No on the squeeze with Cano. If I’m ARod, though, knowing I’m missing the barrel of the bat every time right now, maybe I think about trying a bunt as a surprise move.

            ARod is the 300 lb gorilla in the room right now. Is anyone going to probe this situation more? This is easily the worst he’s ever been, and you have to think he’s hurting, bad.

    • Accent Shallow

      Because this isn’t the freaking Go-Go White Sox?

      You don’t squeeze hitters like A-Rod and Cano. End of story.

      • Ellis

        That’s not a reason, “end of story.” Any actual arguments, claiming they had a better chance to win the game by not bunting?

        • Andrew

          Well, for one – Cano can’t bunt.

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

          I just gave you one, yet you deemed it “pointless.” How about some actual arguments to show a bunt would work? What’s the success rate of suicide squeezes?

        • Accent Shallow

          Because with hitters like A-Rod and Cano, you have a greater chance of a hit/sac fly/ground ball to the right side than a successful squeeze?

          It’s a rare play for a reason, and not something you do with hitters whose value is in their power.

    • Mike HC

      Because you have to put your hitters in a position where they can succeed. Cano and A-Rod have been middle of the order hitters for their entire lives. They have rarely been asked to bunt. Even if they have in practice, it is quite different in the bottom of the ninth with a man on third.

      • Ellis

        I see what you’re saying, it’s a shame though. Our hitters, 1-9, should be able to do whatever is necessary.

        • Rich

          it’s a shame though. Our hitters, 1-9, should be able to do whatever is necessary

          With that logic you should blame Jorge Posada for not being able to pitch in the 8th inning.

          • http://deleted RollingWave

            ietc

      • Mike HC

        Further, the Nats pitcher was throwing about 97 mph with a lot of movement. He walked A-Rod and threw many pitches out of the strike zone to Cano. If Gardner steals on a ball that A-Rod/Cano could not get to, them Gardner is out. It is a risky move with that type of pitcher and the types of hitters up. It was just not an optimal situation for the squeeze. Wrong pitcher. wrong hitters.

        • Tim

          I would say that sacrifice bunting with Cano and A-Rod would be the dumbest move a baseball manager could do in that situation. Seriously, you would call a bunt with A-Rod at the plate when all it takes is a fly ball to the outfield to score Gardner? Atrocious.

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

      Oaktag.

  • John

    Man, these losses are very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very frustrating and maddening (especialially when you factor in the blown call and Pena’s mistake (and that we were a flyball away from tying the game) that cost us the game.

    Did I mention they are very frustrating?

    • Mike HC

      That was a frustrating loss. Not frustrating enough for me to write the word “very” countless times, but as gut wrenching as a June game against the Nationals can get.

      • Accent Shallow

        Agreed. Win the series tomorrow, and move on.

        I hate interleague play, can’t wait to return to “normal” baseball.

      • John

        Oh come on I’m not that dumb to type it so many times. I copied and pasted it a lot of times.

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

      I was at the stadium for this one. You can’t begin to imagine how frustrating it was for those of us who were there (unless of course you were there too). It’s one of the more frustrating losses I’ve seen in all my years of Yankee games.

      • John

        Nah I’m in Colorado but I hear ya.

        • NaOH

          Hello, from another part of Colorado.

  • Ivan

    By the way, give some credit to Phil Hughes. I mean it takes a pretty tough minded and also a guy with a great attitude to do what he is doing. Being bounce from the rotation for a pitcher who you was pitching better than, 3-5 days without pitching, and etc…

    Tonight he was electric and his curveball just froze the shit out of Zimmerman. Just nasty.

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

      I give not just some but full credit to Hughes. Outside of that disaster in Balitmore, he’s got an ERA under 3.40 in 40 IP this year. His K/9 is great, and his stuff looks electric.

      • Mike HC

        Yea, I agree with the high praise of Hughes. He really stepped it up this year and I feel pretty confidant with him on the mound.

        I also think some of Cashman’s legacy is on the line with Hughes. He has stuck with him and refused to trade him to anybody, not even for arguably the best pitcher in baseball, Johan Santana.

        • Tony

          Sabathia is a better acquisition than Johan, AND they kept Hughes. I don’t see the controversy… except on WFAN probably.

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

            CC + Hughes + Kennedy + Melky + Hilligoss + whomever else was in that deal >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Santana by himself.

            By a longshot. A gigantic, titanic, behemoth, mammoth, gargantuan longshot.

  • Tim

    Frustrating, but some people are acting like it’s the end of the season. Boston lost 2/3 to Oakland in Fenway earlier this year so they aren’t invincible at home against bad teams. Believe or not- when 2 major league teams play a game, there isn’t 1 team in the whole league who is favored to win 100% of the time.

    I’m sure if Joba pitches well tomorrow and the Yankees win, all will be forgotten. They’ve only lost like 2 series since A-Rod came back, that’s not too bad.

    • ranger11

      Yeah, what the hell has happened to Yankee fans? I’ve been a fan for almost thirty years now and they seem to have all turned into drama queens. It’s still only June. Win today and move on.

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

        The 21st century Yankee fan has become the 20th century Red Sox fan.

        It’s fucking pathetic.

  • rflanaga

    Hey I wondering if those tickets are still hanging around for tomorrows game. I wasnt sure who to email but Iv got nothing to do tomorrow so Id love to them if they havent been snagged.

  • dkidd

    last night there was a poster who criticized swisher for walking with a man on 3rd and setting up the double play instead of being aggressive and swinging for a sac fly. he seemed to be making the argument that in late inning situations when you need one run (winning, tying, or like last night, insurance run) man on first with one out > men on first and third with one out

    tonight we had the same situation, and i’m not saying alex should have swung at bad pitches, but i understand the argument a little more

    • dkidd

      man on THIRD with one out > men on first and third with one out

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

        That’s not true. More on that at 9:30.

        • dkidd

          cool. look forward to it

        • Tim

          Oh my god. MacDougal puts the winning run on base and you think that’s bad baseball? I don’t know if you realize this or not but you want men on base. Especially the winning run in the bottom of the 9th inning. Whoever argued this isn’t very bright as I’m sure Benjamin will point out.

          • dkidd

            i’m not saying it’s bad baseball. it’s just funny that the night before i was thinking “this poster is crazy, how is a baserunner ever a bad thing?” and then 20 hours later alex walks and my first instinct was “uh, oh”

            • Tim

              That poster was crazy. It’s pretty simple actually-

              2 baserunners > 1 baserunner

        • josh

          that is definitely an interesting point worth some thought. i just feel like the game is played differently today. not saying its better or worse but it seems like years ago hitters did different things to win games (bunting, choking up, etc.) now guys are very selective and seem to take full swings regardless of the count or situation. perhaps its part of how steroids changed the game. obp has become very important.

          again, i am not saying it is a bad thing, just different. i would love to know what the obp’s around the majors have looked like year by year going back. definately a great thing when a guy is on base a lot and has the ability to take balls and swing at strikes. ballplayers today are, imho, way better than years ago, but dont know how to do some of the things players used to do.

          • John

            obp has become very important.

            No, it’s always been important but it’s importance has just been realized lately.

            • John

              ugh formatting fail

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

          IS RAB GONNA USE A RUN EXPECTANCY CHART?!?!?! Oh man, I’m pumped.

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

            Win expectancy with some interesting conclusions.

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

              Interesting.

  • BigBlueAL

    Man the Blue Jays now have both Halladay and Downs on the DL. Cant see them hanging around the division and WC race much longer.

  • http://theyankeebomber.blogspot.com Conan

    Brutal loss for the Yanks. I’ve been killing Cano all year for his ineptness in the clutch – he is the last batter I want to see at the plate, outside of Angel Berroa, with the game on the line. I would have loved the team’s chances against the Nats bullpen if this game went extra innings.

    The Yanks can’t afford to lose games like this in their division. Especially with Tampa Bay coming on like gangbusters.

  • Andrew

    Guys, all of your criticism is unwarranted. How dare you criticize this team’s play until the 162nd game of the 162 game season!!! It’s just one game out of 162!!!

    It’s not Brian Cashman or anyone else’s fault that this team has underachieved for the past half decade. Not A-Rod’s, not Jeter’s! No one’s fault. If it’s anyone’s fault, it’s our own for expecting this team with the highest payroll in baseball and great assembelance of talent to make the playoffs every year! How dare us. Us Yankees fans are so stuck up.

    /dorian

    • josh

      haha.

    • Nady Nation

      Nice, making fun of fans who have perspective and aren’t going insane over losing a game in June. Are you aware that the Yanks have won 9 of their last 11 series’, with a chance to make it 10 of 12 this afternoon? You are the type of person that gives all Yankee fans a bad reputation.

      • Andrew

        You’re awful. I’ve forgotten more about baseball than you’ll ever know. How many quality teams have we beaten in that span? A Rays team that is a shell of its former self and played with Longoria on one leg? A Mets team that we only took 2 out of 3 from because of Luis Castillo? Ha. Do you actually watch the games or just read the box scores? DIAF.

        • Andrew

          Oh and since when is “it’s no one’s fault if the team doesn’t make the playoffs” considered perspective? That’s just a terrible take from someone who knows nothing about baseball. TFP.

  • josh

    when is arod coming off the dl?

    • JP

      well done, sir, well done.

  • AlexNYC

    Man, why don’t people do what Mike did. Give credit where credit is due. John Lannan (local boy) pitched one hell of a game. There has to be a reason he has an ERA around the 3’s.

    People seem to forget the Rick Porcellos, Scott Richmonds, Alfredo Simons, and the Derek Hollands we pounded.

    Its baseball, many things can happen, like the Mets taking 2 out of 3 from Boston like some poster said. I bet you nobody would have predicted that.

    • ranger11

      I agree, this guy was no bum. But, if they can’t hit the guy pitching later on today then I might have a problem.

      • AlexNYC

        Were going to face 2 rookies on consecutive games. Stammen and West. Although West has good stuff.

    • Bob Stone

      I agree also – Give some credit where it’s due. Let’s move on and win today!

  • Kiko Jones

    Yes, the Nats are the worst team in baseball, but they’re not 0-63, but 17-46, so they gotta win sometime. (One out of every three, actually.) Unfortunately, it was the Yankees they beat on Wed. night. Whatever.

    I’m not asking rhetorically, but what should Yankee management do with a guy who, before his mid-season injury last year, won 46 games in 2.5 seasons? Dump him? Wang was the Yankee ace in ’06, ’07, and ’08; and now, after not completely regaining his past form this season, we’re all ready to write him off? Let’s get a grip, OK?

    David Ortiz is having a HORRENDOUS season. So what are the Sux fans doing? Staying in his corner and showering him with support. Meanwhile, Yankee fans are ready to give up on Wang; and A-Rod, who’s batting like Babe Ruth compared to Ortiz, is starting to hear boos in the Bronx.

    Bottom line: not only are the Sux the better team this year, but when it comes to supporting their players, they have the better fans. THAT, pains me as much–if not more–as having lost 8 games in a row from the Sux.

    • Andrew

      Nah. Sox fans are just more tolerant of incompetence and failure than Yankees fans… I wonder why.

      New York is the toughest place to play when you’re not doing well, and the best place to play when you produce.

  • JeffG

    I support Alex. I hate the boos… but we would be so much better off if he could get it going. Why would man on third one out be so hard for him to hit one to the right side? A player of his talent should be able to make a productive out. With their bullpen and Mariano and Bruney ready all we needed was to tie… man that stunk.

    One thing that really scares me is if he just came clean this winter. If we thought Giambi’s contract was bad… hoping that is not the case.

    • PhukTheHeck

      Being in NC I didn’t get to see the game, but did he even have a pitch to hit? iirc he walked on 5 pitches so should he have gone after a pitch out of the zone just to try and get it in play?

      Remember that he’s still facing more hip surgery after the season. The surgery he had earlier was merely a stopgap so he could play this year with a little less discomfort. He’s been playing for one month, give him some time.

    • JP

      I think Alex believes it’s his responsibility to try to drive the ball, every time. Shortening his stroke, or backing off, or punching the ball a little don’t seem to be things in his repertoire.

      That’s what I think, anyway; he always seems to put a hard, aggressive, power swing on the ball.

      But you’re right, both he AND Cano should have been trying to do “situational” hitting.

      Maybe they were trying to do the right thing – they’re major leaguers and can hit, and I can’t do anything with a baseball – but it didn’t look that way.

      One thing I can say for sure is that many players probably would have gotten a walk on Cano’s at bat. I know the ball’s coming in at 97 with sink, so it’s hard to fault him for swinging alot, but at least 2 of those fb, and probably the dp ball, were out of the strike zone.

      • JeffG

        As far as Cano goes I think once he gets two strikes its hard for him to protect without putting swings on unless the ball is way off the plate… I think he did his best there. He’s not a Swisher or Giambi…

        A-Rod had a pitch in his at bat that was not too hard to handel and he fowled it back with what looked like a pretty big swing. I don’t like the way some overcriticize him but I can see what some of its about. There is no A-B-C in his game.

  • http://eemack.blogspot.com Jackson

    Positive Posse Alert! Looking on the bright side, at this point, I have complete confidence in the bullpen.

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

      Confidence Level = 11

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

    Lannan? Lannan? Like sheep’s wool?

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

      Mmmmmm… I love scotch.

      I love scotch/
      Scotchy-scotch-scotch/
      Here it goes down/
      Down into my belly/
      Mmm-mmm-mmm/

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

        We’re on? Right now? I don’t believe you.

        /lights cigarette

  • Frank Fernandez

    The OP is far too gentle on A-Rod for the 9th inning AB. Alex was interviewed after the game and you could tell he was more than happy to take the walk and pass the pressure baton to Cano (“the hottest hitter in baseball,” I think he called him). What a dodge. More like, “Let Robbie take the fall this time,” Alex.

    He was also no doubt secretly pleased that the 1B ump didn’t ring him up on his “checked” swing on 3-2, which just as often as not results in a K. But even if he did strike out, one has a feeling that the A-Defenders would still find an excuse for him.

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

      Secretly pleased? What the hell? Wouldn’t you be outwardly pleased if you got a walk instead of a strikeout?

      • Frank Fernandez

        Yeah…point is, he was lucky he didn’t get rung up. It was not a good AB.

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

          He walked and fouled off at least a tough pitch. That’s a good AB to me. Sure, he may’ve gotten the benefit of the doubt from the ump, but he still worked a walk. Would you rather he struck out in that situation? Because that’s sort of the tone I’m getting from your post.

          • Frank Fernandez

            I would rather he hit a walk-off HR, like any fan. His problem is he wants the same thing, and it so rarely works out.

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

              Obviously, but shouldn’t we be more than pleased that he didn’t make an out in a big spot?

            • Jeremy

              Wait a minute. He didn’t make an out trying to hit a walk-off HR. He drew a walk.

              If he had struck out hacking at bad pitches, what would you have said then? He should have drawn the walk?

              • Frank Fernandez

                He actually did strike out hacking at a bad pitch.

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

                  And maybe he caught a break from the ump. Regardless, he worked a walk in a tight spot and got on base as the winning run. How is that a bad thing?

                • kunaldo

                  We had 2 outs left…whether or not he caught a break, he didnt waste one of those outs, and kept the sac fly in play. I dont see this as being a bad thing. Ever.

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

      On a philosophical level, I’ve always wondered why some commenters speak up only when the team loses and then only to bash the team. Think you could shed some light on that one, Frank?

      • Frank Fernandez

        It’s part of the human condition, Ben.

        Discuss.

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

          Extreme pessimism that borders on irrationality is not part of the human condition. You come here only to gloat — about what, we don’t know — only when the Yanks lose, which the best of teams do 62 times a year. I often wonder if you’re even a fan of the team. Real fans don’t take pleasure in losing.

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

            Also: I granted don’t see your reactions when the Yanks win, but think how it plays to others when you bemoan only the losses and stay silent for the wins. It seems negative. That’s perception bias, also part of the “human condition.”

    • Jeremy

      Maybe he was happy to take the walk because he represented the winning run. It’s a good thing when the winning run gets on base. That should be obvious. Why shouldn’t he be “pleased” that he successfully checked his swing and walked?

      If it were any other player in baseball who drew a walk in that situation, no one would ever dream of criticizing him for it. But with ARod, it was bad that he walked, it was bad that he praised his teammate after the game, and it was bad that anyone thinks that he did ok by getting on base. It’s insane.

      • Frank Fernandez

        You should demand more from your .220 BA $30 million-per-year clean-up hitter.

        It’s insane.

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

          Pay no attention to the .870 OPS.

          • Frank Fernandez

            Easily done, when you’re looking at a 33-year-old with 8 more years on his contract at $30 million per, there are so many other things to consider.

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

              Why’s it easily done? Because you don’t like the guy? Sure he isn’t playing up to his normal levels yet but it’s not like he’s gonna hit this “poorly” all season.

              • Frank Fernandez

                Seems like a nice enough guy, actually. Can’t believe he signed on for another decade of New York, though (and that we indulged his fatal attraction, at least Hank Steinbrenner did). This is not where he needs to be.

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

                  No, I’m alright with him being here. Sure, the deal may be too long, but I’m more than alright w/A-Rod being in the Bronx. I’d much rather have him for the Yanks than against the Yanks.

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

                  Matt: I like A-Rod, but in five or six years, you’d probably be happier with him on another team than the Yanks. There’s no way around the fact that signing a 32 year old to a 10-year, $270-million contract was a bad idea.

        • Jeremy

          There was a time this season when Teixeira had a .220 (or worse) average, but was drawing walks and hitting for power, keeping his OBP and SLG up. Then he got out of his slump and all of his offensive numbers shot up.

          The exact same thing is happening and will happen with ARod. That is what happens with great hitters when they have a slow start or are recovering from surgery.

          As for what I should demand from ARod, I will not demand that ARod obtain the ability to get a hit in any situation regardless of what he is thrown, because that is flat out crazy. Bottom line: He got on base. Cano had the opportunity to drive in the tying and winning runs. He didn’t. That is not ARod’s fault.

          • kunaldo

            exactly, take what you can get. i hate it when people say it’s a cop out to walk in a bit situation. Ok, so what would they be saying if you struck out on a pitch in the dirt? fools

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

              They’d be saying that he should have taken the walk, and that he’s a jerk for trying to be a hero and win it all by himself instead of just getting on base and passing the baton to Cano.

              ARod = Catch-22-Rod

  • Jake H

    Hard lost but it’s baseball this stuff happens. My one grip is Melky. I like the effort but he was 2 feet short of catching that ball from Johnson. If he plays it off the hop only 1 run scores and the outcome might have been different.

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  • Val

    Wang=automatic L

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