Yanks ten over .500 after 12-3 drubbing of Texas

Tampa falls despite Montero's awesomeness
Injury Report: Nady, Bruney, Marte, Ransom, Molina, Wang

For the first few innings of last night’s one-sided Yankee-Ranger game, it seemed as though a back-and-forth affair was in the works. While A.J. Burnett had his strikeout pitch working, Padilla didn’t have much, and both pitchers had allowed a few baserunners while limiting the damage.

The Yankees struck first in the bottom of the second. The Yankees put together four singles, but a baserunning blunder by Jorge Posada cost the Yankees a run. However, Vincente Padilla made up for it with a balk with a runner on third, and then he hit Mark Teixeira to load the bases. Little did anyone realize how important that HBP would be.

In the top of the third, the Rangers got those two runs back, plus one more. A walk, a double and a Nelson Cruz home run gave Texas a 3-2 lead. At that point, A.J. Burnett had given up six hits through 2.2 innings but, with the game on the precipice of disaster, he reeled it back in. He got the last out in the third and breezed through the fourth before turning things over to the offense.

Two walks and a Derek Jeter single tied the game before Mark Teixeira came to bat. For the second time, Vincente Padilla hit his former teammate with a pitch, and Teixeira was livid. On the next play, the Yanks’ first baseman busted up a potential double play with a great take-out slide. The Yanks took the lead, and Teixeira was pumped. A few batters later, Hideki Matsui blasted another home run against the Rangers, increasing the Yankees’ lead to 9-3.

They would tack on three more on an utter blast by Jorge Posada in the bottom of the sixth, but those three would just be icing on the cake. A.J. Burnett didn’t need more than those runs in the fourth, and he cruised through the final few innings en route to his first win at Yankee Stadium.

Burnett gave up eight hits in seven innings today, but he walked just one. While he didn’t have his stuff early on, he was able to limit the damage by striking out eight. Over his last two outings spanning 13 innings, he has racked up 15 and seems ready to hit his pitching stride.

For the Yankees, this game featured a few milestones — one dubious, one not. In the top of the fourth, Jorge Posada tried to nail Elvis Andrus stealing second. Instead, the ball sailed into center field for the Yanks’ first error in three weeks. The Major League record for errorless games comes to rest at 18.

More festive, though, was the run Derek Jeter scored in the bottom of the fourth — the 1,500th run of his career. Only three active players — A-Rod, Ken Griffey, Jr., and Gary Sheffield — have scored more. Just on Monday, Jeter joined Rogers Hornsby, Lou Gehrig, Stan Musial and Hank Aaron as the only players in baseball history with at least 2600 hits, 200 home runs and 1000 RBI in just 15 seasons. Rarefied air for the captain indeed.

With their win tonight, the Yanks moved ten games over .500 for the first time this year. They are clinging to a one-game lead over the Red Sox who beat Rick Porcello tonight, but the Bombers have the best record in the AL and the second best in the Majors. I like the sound of that.

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Tampa falls despite Montero's awesomeness
Injury Report: Nady, Bruney, Marte, Ransom, Molina, Wang
  • Pastafarian

    AJ pitched well, he really only had the one mistake which ended up deep into the left fields seats. Seems like he’s settling down more so, and should turn his game around after a sloppy May.

  • Drew

    Indeed, I too like the sound of that. Good to be back on top where we belong. Hopefully we keep it like that.

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

    I like the sound of that, too.

  • JGS

    Jeter doesn’t have 250 home runs, he has 213

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

      Nobody said he did.

      Jeter joined Rogers Hornsby, Lou Gehrig, Stan Musial and Hank Aaron as the only players in baseball history with at least 2600 hits, 200 home runs and 1000 RBI in just 15 seasons.

      Reading comprehension FTL.

  • Thomas A. Anderson

    As up and down as A.J. may be during the regular season in terms of results, I believe he has the stuff and the makeup to absolutely dominate in a postseason run.

    He probably won’t put up too impressive numbers over the course of the season in terms of ERA and WHIP, but I see why the Yankees took a chance with him. In a playoff series, he could absolutley shut teams down.

    Just gotta get there.

    • Tank the Frank (formerly just “Frank”)

      I totally agree. I think he likes the big stage. He said himself that he wanted to play in New York because he wants to pitch in the postseason. He’ll most likely get his chance.

      I like our power pitching in a short series.

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

        I don’t like Sabathia, strange as it sounds, unless the Yanks are careful with him in September

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

          He’s been bad in the playoffs, but the Indians and Brewers rode him like a rented mule down the stretch both years. I think he was just out of gas.

          • JP

            Right. Don’t worry about Sabathia in the playoffs.

            Much is made of being a pressure pitcher, etc. I don’t know…basically the only difference with playoff baseball are better than average hitters. I don’t know if this is correct, but my impression is that control/finesse guys (Maddux) feast on poor hitters and can be beaten by very good hitters. Power pitchers may get into trouble with control, but they have the ability to strike guys out (snuffing rallies) and to get the good hitters out.

            So CC is perfect for the playoffs. He just needs a few more chances.

            One thing we can say about Girardi, I think, is that he manages a pitching staff very well. His management of last year’s staff was very, very good. I suspect that by October, Sabathia, Burnett, and Pettitte will be well rested and ready.

  • chriskeo

    As someone else previous stated, I believe the stat was 200 HR, not 250, as Jeter only has 213

    • andrew

      So did you really need to repeat it then?

  • Peedlum

    “Just on Monday, Jeter joined Rogers Hornsby, Al Simmons, Stan Musial and Hank Aaron as the only players in baseball history with 2600 hits, 250 home runs and 1000 RBI. Rare air for the captain indeed.”

    Lou Gehrig was 2,721, 493, 1,995.

    Babe Ruth was 2,873, 714, 2,217.

    Carl Yazstremski was 3,419, 452, 1,844

    I didn’t check any more, but I think maybe something is missing from your stat.

    also, jeter has only 213 home runs.

    • EB

      The qualifier is: “In their first 15 seasons”

      • V

        And usually, these ‘only 5 players’ stats mean ‘at least’ X, Y, Z, etc.

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

          It says “at least.” There’s a whole bunch of reading comprehension fail going on. :)

  • http://www.twitter.com/MatthewHarris84 Matt H

    don’t mess with TEX

    • JP

      For those of us who have been watching pitchers bean Jeter and ARod for the last 5 years (you could look it up…Jeter and ARod are clay pigeons), wasn’t it nice to see:

      a) Texiera get mad, and
      b) Texiera flip Elvis (The King) Andrus a$$ over teakettle?

      Andrus looked like he was breakdancing out there.

      Priceless.

      • Some call me…tim

        Ass over Teagarden!

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

    The note on Jeter has been corrected. I was still working on that one. Sorry about the confusion.

    • Brian24

      I read it after you made the change and still came away with the incorrect impression (it now sounds like you’re saying, “he’s in this rarefied group–and all that in only 15 years!”)

      I’d change it to, “…as the only players to accumulate [these stats] in 15 years or less.”

      I’d also say that adding the years qualifier makes this stat even more dubious than these sorts of stats usually are, but hey, it’s all in good fun and I know you meant it that way.

  • DocBooch

    Two things I took from this game…both positive

    1. These guys got each others back…no pussyfooting when your guy gets drilled. (when’s the last time you saw that from a Yankees team)

    2. The utter disdain from Posada when Veras kept TRYING to shake him off. He wanted so bad to throw a breaking ball and Po Po kept throwing down number 1 then punching his glove. Then, Posada bitching him out on the mound afterwards as Veras looked dejected. It was priceless. That could be something that turns it around for him.

    • Ed

      When Darryl clocked Armando Benitez.

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

      3-1, top of the ninth, two outs in a 12-3 game, and Jorge spends a good 40 seconds talking to Veras. Yeah, something tells me he was just a little pissed off.

      • Bo

        I’d be ticked off if I were posada if its 12-3 in the 9th and the reliever goes 3-2 on every hitter while shaking me off every pitch.

      • JP

        You also don’t spend 40 seconds blessing out a guy that you don’t care about.

        The Yankees really, really want to get something out of Veras. I think they know he has the sort of stuff that can make him a very effective short reliever, and they are trying to get through to him. Veras’ problems are psychological, I guess.

        And I love that after the talk, Veras piped three straight fastballs and the batter couldn’t handle them. I hope he learns something from that.

        It always surprises me when power pitchers fall in love with their breaking pitches. I’ve never been a pitcher so I probably couldn’t understand it, but when you can throw 95+ on a pitch that’s relatively easy to spot, why would you favor a slower velocity pitch that’s harder to control and that gets crushed if you hang it? They get strikeouts on breaking pitches, I know, but still…

        I always thought K-Rod sort of limited his own effectiveness by being too in love with his curve (awesome as it is). Beckett loves his…Veras seems to throw his too much as well.

        • pete

          It isn’t always easier to control a fastball, weird as that sounds. The reason is you are always throwing the breaking ball in basically the same area – down. You try for left and right but it’s not as important b/c a sharp breaking ball down is a good pitch whichever side of the plate it’s on. A fastball however, is easy to throw to the same place every time, but changing the eye level of the hitter and having in vs. out really matter means you have to be able to essentially learn (not in your mind, but in your muscle memory) 5 or 6 different release points on your fastball, all very close to one another. If you throw hard and your breaking ball is good, you can learn one breaking ball for a strike release point, and one out of the zone release point.

          • JP

            In the words of the late, great, Johnny Carson, “I did not know that!” Thanks for the pitching insight.

  • Mike HC

    You gotta love watching this team play game after game. They get excellent starting pitching on a nightly basis and have scored 300 runs on the season, tied for first in all of MLB with the Rays. Even their notoriously criticized defense has stepped it up so far. They have been a pleasure to watch. Those overpriced Yankee Stadium seats are looking better and better every day.

    • Klemy

      Yeah. It’s kind of ironic with the defensive criticisms that they broke the record for the errorless streak.

      Now that they are playing well and seem to taken on an identity, they look tough. I’m looking forward to seeing how it pans out against Boston next week.

      Tex’s takeout after being plunked was classic. I loved how that fired everyone up, but I was deathly afraid Arod was going to end the inning when he got down in the count and hit that grounder. Thankfully, Tex’s slide and Arod’s hustle saved the inning.

  • Ellis

    I have to say, I was at the game, and Burnett did not look good for most of it. Balls were getting crushed, it seemed like every out was a line drive right to a fielder. He settled down, for sure, and the K/BB ratio is encouraging, but I’m still nervous with him on the mound..

    • http://theyankeebomber.blogspot.com Conan

      It’s all about the W’s and Burnett did his job after settling down. And remember, Texas is a good hitting team. These guys can rake. As long as he minimizes the ball leaving the yard, he’ll be fine.

      • Bo

        What do you want him to do? Dominate everytime out? You don’t always have your best stuff. You grind it out. He’s been doing that. And that Texas lineup is pretty good.

    • JP

      Yeah, but this happens to any pitcher. The key is how they handle it.

      I love Burnett. He’s a Mensch. He doesn’t back down. He doesnt’ wimper, he doesn’t fuss. He’s serious enough, but not too serious. He throws 95 with an easy, fluid motion and the ball moves all over the place. He’ll get tagged but won’t be afraid to challenge the next few guys and get strikeouts.

      We want it all, but you generally can’t have it all. Burnett isn’t Halladay, or Clemens at his peak, but he’s a pitcher who has the tools to get out any batter in major league baseball, and isn’t afraid to try.

      He’s actually the perfect pitcher for a Boston playoff series.

  • BigBlueAL

    I missed most of the game but I saw the highlights on ESPN, WTF was Posada doing on Matsui’s double!?!?!?!?

    • JP

      The only uncharacteristic thing about Jorge is – and this is my anecdotal impression; maybe I’m wrong – he’s a crappy baserunner.

      Not just talking about his lack of speed, either. There are slow guys who none the less run the bases well. They get good jumps, make good decisions. Through the years I’ve seen Posada make more than a few baserunning errors. It’s like an Achilles Heel for an otherwise smart, tough ballplayer.

  • BigBlueAL

    I missed most of the game but saw the highlights on ESPN, WTF was Posada doing on Matsui’s double!?!?!?!?

    • BigBlueAL

      Oh Shit my bad dunno why it double posted!!!!

      • http://www.wiredtowns.com Short Porch

        Jorge has always been prone to brain farts on the base paths. No coincidence too that it was he who brought the errorless streak to a close.

        But then he’ll hit an absolute three run bomb, and will show the kind of leadership he did tonight in taking Veras to task and helping Burnett work himself through his early problems.

        On the base paths, he seems sometimes to forget he’s a catcher and runs like one and ends up going 1/2 bases further than is warranted.

        • Bo

          With the game he had, you are going to nitpick that???

          Tough crowd

        • hamburger helper

          I didn’t exactly see Rob Thompson commit to holding or sending him. More like a non-committal hand gesture.

          But yeah, we’re nit-picking something that I’m sure they’ve already discussed for future reference.

  • JP

    If the Yankees play .500 ball the rest of the season, they win 91 games.

    Not that I’m setting my sights that low, but I’m just pointing out how good things look right now.

    • MattG

      Math fail.

      They are 10 over. 91-71 is 20 over.

      They’d win 86 games.

      • JP

        Dang. You’re right. I was thinking “81 + 10 = 91″ but that doesn’t account for the loss column….

        And to think I had good math SAT scores.

        • Klemy

          How far are you removed from the those score days now though? ;) I know for myself, I went downhill without brakes on my math skills after school. lol

  • MattG

    This is so boring. I have nothing to complain about. Stupid competent management.

    • http://deleted RollingWave

      +1
      Waswatching.com is so going out of busniess

  • Klemy

    My only fear is that I still feel like they aren’t capitalizing on enough opportunities with RISP.

    I now they’ve been playing well, but that game last night was maybe a shade different if Arod is a fraction of a second later to first or Tex doesn’t get on top of the relay throw in time. That ends up being a painful, frustration of an inning ending DP, with an angry Tex and no redemption for the HBP.

    Off topic, but am I the only one who ever starts predicting the Michael Kay rants on “the fallacy of the predetermined outcome” every time a bad call is made? lol It’s like clockwork.

  • Zack

    Did anyone hear Sterling’s HR call of Matsui?

    “An A-Bomb…… it would have been an A-bom if Alex hit it”

    • Some call me…tim

      One million Japanese Matsui fans felt really weird at that exact moment…

      • kunaldo

        at least he didnt say h-bomb…