Yanks end 5-2 homestand with a frustrating loss


Updated (5:36 p.m. with quotes from the post-game interviews): Derek Jeter really set the tone for this one in the first inning. A walk and a balk landed him on second base with Nick Swisher up, and then Derek got greedy. He took off for third, and while the replays showed he may have gotten his hand in before the tag, the throw beat him. “Out!” said the umpire.

An argument ensued, and as Jeter later explained during the post-game interviews, the ump had some interesting explanations for the call. Jeter alleges that Marty Foster said he made the out call because the throw beat him by so much. “I was told I was out because the ball beat me, and he didn’t have to tag me,” Jeter said to the reporters. “I was unaware they had changed the rules.”

If that’s really how it went down, Foster has some explaining to do. That’s a pretty outrageous statement for an umpire to make. Until instant replay review is instituted in baseball on a wider level, that subjective decision is part of the game, and it killed the Yanks in the first.

On the next pitch, Nick Swisher laced a single into center field. If we discount the fact that nothing in baseball is a predestined event, Jeter could have scored. In addition to the bad call, what also irked me about Jeter’s decision — and I’m pinning this one on Jeter’s choosing to try for third — was how little it could have helped the Yanks had he been safe.

Based on the 2009 Run Expectancy Matrix, teams this year with a runner on second and no one out are expected to score 1.10 runs. Teams with a runner on third and no one out are expected to score 1.32 runs. Meanwhile, a team with one out and no one on is expected to score 0.29 runs. The marginal reward for the steal of third is just 0.22 runs while Jeter’s making the first out at third base cost the Yanks 0.81 runs. Even though he was technically safe, it just doesn’t make sense for Jeter to try that risky move with no one out and the Yanks’ heart of the order due up, and we don’t need the run expectancy spreadsheet to tell us that. In that situation early in the game, it’s just not worth the risk.

The rest of the game was similarly frustrating. Andy Pettitte needed just six pitches — five of them strikes — to get through the first and then used 103 more to get through the next 5+ innings. Of those, 53 were strikes and 50 balls. He just didn’t have his best stuff, and Tony Pena, managing for the ejected Joe Girardi, probably shouldn’t have left him in to start the 7th with his pitch count pushing 100.

But Andy Pettitte is Andy Pettitte. It’s frustrating to watch him alternate good starts and bad starts, but at the same time, he’s the team’s fifth starter. Even without his best stuff, he gave the Yankees a chance to win it. They just couldn’t capitalize. We could blame the umpires for a bad call in the third that eventually led to a two-out, three-run home run off the bat of Alex Rios, but blaming the umps gets us nowhere. That’s just part of the game. Pettitte, and not the umpires, threw an 0-1 fastball into Alex Rios’ wheelhouse.

The loss may belong to Pettitte, but I’d be remiss to leave out a mention of Brian Bruney. The former 8th Inning Guy came in with a runner on first and no outs in the 7th. The Yankees needed Bruney to slam the door, and he threw it wide open. After a strike out, back-to-back doubles brought home an inherited run and one of his own. The Blue Jays had a 7-1 lead, and while Bruney would get another out and issue a free pass before getting the hook, the game was nearly out of reach. Where Bruney fits into the pen right now is anyone’s guess, but it won’t be in high leverage situations until he earns it.

In the end, the Yanks tried to mount a comeback. They plated two in the 7th, one in the 8th and two in the 9th, but it would not be enough. Nick Swisher didn’t come through with two outs and the bases loaded. Eric Hinske struck out swinging on a 3-2 slider from Justin Frasor with the tying run on first. Sometimes, the Comeback Kids can’t comeback.

We can’t complain too much about the homestand. The Yanks have won four straight series, and if they go 3-1 every four games, we’d be happy. But at the same time, you want to see them squash some teams along the way. For the second straight series, they had a sweep within their grasp but could not close the door. Today, they had their chances but went just 2 for 11 with runners in scoring position and left 11 runners on. From Jeter to the umpires to Pettitte and Bruney to the failed ninth inning comeback, it was one frustrating game.

Categories : Game Stories


  1. Danny says:

    as much as it was frustrating, man the end got my heart pounding. would have been really awesome if hinske came through, but you cant win them all.

    • ChrisS says:

      … but you cant win them all.

      Yep and good teams like the Yankees will typically have several chances every game to win. Most of the time they’ll come through and sometimes they won’t.

  2. Heh. Sometimes a blowout is easier to deal with than a heartbreaker.

    Still, they took 3 of 4 from the Jays. I ain’t complaining.

  3. Johan Iz My Brohan says:

    How many straight games has Tex been playing, being DH for a day is not a day off (ex: A-Rod). I would have kept the hot Matsui in there and just sat Tex.

  4. Jake s says:

    I just chalk this one up to not being able to win them all. 5-2 homestand heading into a road trip, I’ll take it. Let’s see if they can figure out how to get Mauer and Morneau out occasionally.

  5. Observer283 says:

    As fans, there is something to be said for the fact that this team gives you an incentive to keep watching. Disappointing loss, yes. But they made a game where they were trailing 7-1 in the bottom of the seventh inning interesting.

    • Danny says:

      exactly. i was tempted to stop paying attention when it was 7-1 but i decided against it. they always fight till the end and thats a make up of a good team.

  6. crawdaddie says:

    So you pull out some metric report to beat up Jeter for trying to get on 3rd base with nobody out in the 1st. Interesting, but that stuff about a player doesn’t go in such a situation unless he knows he’s going to be safe is a bunch of crap because how in the hell a player knows he’s going to be safe before he takes off and if he doesn’t then no player should be that aggressive and should never try to steal 3rd base in such a situation. Maybe that’s your point that a player should never attempt to do so in that type of situation, but I don’t agree necessarily that should always be the case with a runner on 2nd with no outs in the first inning.

    • You don’t need the metric report though to see the folly of that move. With no outs and a runner on a second, a team can score on outs. They don’t need that runner on third. It’s the first inning; the middle of the order is due up; what’s the benefit in taking that risk? It’s tough to argue for a player ever trying to steal third in that situation.

    • Jake s says:

      Playing small ball is dumb 99% of the time, and it’s even more dumb on a power-oriented team like the Yankees. Especially in the first inning. I know Jeter’s been picking his spots well this year, but there’s no reason to take the risk at that point, especially for a marginal gain.

    • Jared says:

      As someone who loves to pull sabermetrics into any argument even I dislike the one used in this article for the first inning Jeter situation. First, it is doubtful Jeter knows what a Run Expectancy Matrix is…AND I would argue that it is not on players to know these type of metrics – only the managers and front office types should use these. Second, knowing Jeter for the heady player he is (and I am not a defed DJ to the death fan – although if it was Robby Cano…but I digress) he probably saw something that made him decide to go. In the first or second game after he came back from the ankle injury he stole third and I believe it was with none or two outs (the situations in which you do not try to take third). So for Jeter to go today I’m guessing it was because he saw something. Jeter is not a burner and has always gotten his steals due to his head. This time I guess he was just wrong, even if he was really safe.

      • k42 says:

        I agree with Jared on this one. Jeter was asked straight away in the postgame whether he regretted going, even considering the fact that getting to third in that situation would not make a significant difference, and his answer was “No, because I was safe.” I hate to sound all Joe Morgan about this one, but Jeter doesn’t make very many baserunning mistakes, and this was certainly not one of them. I’m not going to second guess a player who rarely (really rarely) gets thrown out for safely stealing a bag. The umpire had other ideas, that’s not Jeter’s fault, and it would be a non-issue if the ump, not Jeter, had done what he was supposed to do.

        I’m not that much of a Jeter fan either, but he’s the one player on the team I don’t second guess when it comes to seeing things on the field and taking advantage of them.

  7. stuart says:

    2 for 12 with RISP again.

    nice calls from the umps also.

    • nice calls from the umps also.

      Today’s game certainly strengthens the argument for some form of limited instant replay review that extends well beyond the arbitrary home run review currently in place.

      • Tank Foster says:

        Yes. Technology is too good to believe the excuses like “it slows down the game,” etc. MLB might have to pony up some $$$ to make sure every park has the technology in place to see the replay right away, and they might have to consider having some sort of replay official available at all times in every game, to speed things along. But the purpose of the umpires is to get the calls right, so if you can improve that with replay, you should.

        • As Suzyn Waldman pointed out last week, the replay review for one of the contested Yankee home runs took less time than it would have for the managers to argue and the umps to confer. Except for in extraordinary circumstances, it doesn’t really slow down the games. Even then, there are ways around that problem.

  8. Kiko Jones says:

    Supposedly, according to a stat I heard or read somewhere, umpires get their calls right 97% of the time. Well, if that’s true, it looked like today in the Bronx they got that 3% pumping…jeez. Once again, failing w/RISP cost the Yankees a game, not to mention bad umpiring. But hey, 3 out of 4 ain’t nothing to sneeze at, and winning series will get you to the playoffs. Nice catch and sweet HR from Hinske on his Yankee debut. Bring on the Twinkees and good luck to the A’s tonight.

  9. handtius says:

    Jeter just spoke to the media. He said the ump said, the ball beat him, so he doesn’t have to tag him. Oh my god. that’s the biggest load of bullshite I’ve heard in a while. No tag needed. that’s why they got so many calls, the umps changed the rules for the day!

  10. Zach says:

    anyone see Jeter’s post game comments?

    the ump told him he was out because the ball beat him to the bag. Jeter said, he still has to tag me. and the ump said he didnt have to tag him

  11. A.D. says:

    Figured they had to lose one sooner or later, just a shame that it was poor pitching and lack of hitting with RISP that did them in

    • RAB poster says:

      And the umpires.

      • jsbrendog says:

        the umps didnt make pettitte give up 6, or bruney give one up. nor did they prevent the yankees fromr hitting with runners in scoring position.

        • Salty Buggah says:

          you know it’s not always easy to get those things done but you expect accurate umpiring at the least. One mistake is OK but not 3. And that cost us as we lost by 1 run.

        • John says:

          Well, Wally Bell (2nd base ump)called Aaron Hill safe at 2nd on Vernon Wells ground ball and had he got that call right, the inning would have been over and Alex Rios never would have had the chance to hit that 3-run homer…

          Interesting article on how angry the Yankees are at the umping:


          • Dayman, fighter of the Nightman says:

            What did Hirschbeck mean “It used to be that if the throw beat you you were out”?

            • John says:

              Baseball rules change overtime, sometimes becoming more clear, other times less (like the strikezone shifting downward over the years…its basically accepted but the rules still define it higher than its generally called). I’m not as familiar with the history of the baserunning rules, but apparently runners used to be called out in the same way a forceout was called: ball beats the runner to the plate and he’s out…whatever the case WAS it no longer IS that way…very clearly, the rules state you must tag a runner stealing a base for that runner to be out. Foster seems to either be unfamiliar with the rules or think he’s allowed to change them as he sees fit.

              I’m glad this call is getting so much attention. Baseball officiating is among the worst in sports (second, maybe, to the NBA). I think Umps should be accountable for their calls and have each performance of theirs evaluated. The umps that call better games (ie make a higher percentage of calls correctly) should work more often than umps who make too many mistakes. These guys should not determine the outcome of a game with bad calls. I also think once an ump starts consistently scoring low (as to indicate they constantly make bad calls)they should be fined. Give them incentive to try harder and make calls the correctly. Scoring criteria for umps can come down to the relative ease of making the call (was it very close and hard for the naked eye to determine, or an obvious play), whether or not they got the call right and how impactful the incorrect was on the game. I know umps are evaluated constantly and scored in a similar way, but I feel not enough is done to keep them in line.

  12. You think Jeter’s comments will hold more weight because he’s Jeter?

  13. stuart says:

    the thing on the umps making terrible calls is most of the time the ycan be avoided if they move there fat behinds into position and assume nothing but watch with there eyes…

    i also hate fans that jsut accept incompetence from the officials.. i am not nitpicking balls and strikes in the 4th inning with no one on base but plays at the palte, on the bases, etc…….

    get them right……………

  14. Salty Buggah says:

    So frustrating. One more hit with RISP, one right call out of 3 from the ump, take Andy our before the 7th, Bruney can hold them, anything and we win.

    Just frustrating and we’ve had too many of these frustrating losses in which one thing (usually a bad call or error) does us in.

    Oh well, tomorrow we have another game so let’s win and head into the ASG break by winning another series!

  15. RAB poster says:

    Replay for all of baseball would be ridiculous. We’d have five hour games.

    • This is such a tired argument simply because there are obvious ways around it. Off the top of my head:

      1. Limit the number of available reviews.
      2. Limit the amount of time umpires have to review the call.

      How’s that for starters? Outside of extraordinary circumstances, these reviews simply do not take more time than it does to watch managers to get tossed from the game.

      • jsbrendog says:

        i remember we had this convo in another thread and I really am intrigued by the limiting number of challenge idea a la football….but how would you implement some type of punishment for incorrect challenges or just trying to challenge a play so your reliever gets 5 more warmup tosses before the other teams cleanup hitter comes up etc. just askin

        • incorrect challenge = other team gets a free out?

          • No. You can’t change the impact of the game. Outs are a rare commodity.

            You could give the other team an extra challenge if the manager issuing the challenge is wrong. I don’t like charging teams for warm-up pitches or outs. There are ways to incentivize limiting the number of challenges that don’t involve such a drastic material impact on one team.

            • This just came to me: You could give the other team one extra mound visit at some point if the challenging manager is wrong.

              • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals says:

                why not just one challenge with a second if you’re right? everybody gets one free shot to say ‘nanny-nanny boo-boo’ and the people that do it well can try it again.

                so what if you’re wrong? yeah, you delay the game by 30 seconds, the pitcher–regardless of team–gets to throw while its being worked out, and we go to commercial break. it’ll add 10 minutes to a game if you limit the amount of time the replay guy can use to 2 minutes per challenge.

      • RAB poster says:

        I totally disagree. And the start will be limiting reviews. Soon people will say, “but what about late inning calls?” and then more reviews will be allowed.

        And limiting the time just won’y work.

  16. King of Fruitless Hypotheticals says:

    My idiot brother is finally leaving the Mets after 21 years…he says he just can’t take it anymore. I told him its more than just a decision, its a way of thinking:

    A Mets fan KNOWS you can’t lose them all, but wakes up every day knowing they’ll lose today. again.
    A Yankees fan KNOWS you can’t win them all, but wakes up every day believing they will win today. again.

  17. stuart says:

    bud blind selig and the other insiders could care less about getting it right, they just say that for the media hacks..

    they care about $$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$$ only, we care more about getting thing right then those clowns…

    why no instant replay for plays at the bases? why not? 1 challenge a game if you lose the call you lose it for the rest of the game, you win you have another challenge……………

  18. Salty Buggah says:

    “The Yankees ran out of $5 senior citizen tickets and let about 170 seniors sit in $375 seats on the field level for the $5 price, spokesman Jason Zillo said”

    That’s nice yet no one in the MSM will bring up all th nice thing we do.

    • Zach says:

      because before they could sit down they had to go work in the sweat shop below the stadium for the first 6 innings

  19. Nady Nation says:

    As frustrating as Andy, Jeter, Bruney, and the umps were today, I love how the team is continuing to battle and fight til the end of every game, pretty much regardless of the deficit. Still feeling good about the squad despite today’s L.

  20. Jake H says:

    Calls from the umps did have an outcome. That 2nd base umpire was pretty terrible.

    • Tank the Frank says:

      Yeah, in my opinion, you can’t say the umps didn’t make Pettitte give up a 2-R HR to Rios… because he kinda did. If the umpire gets that (blatant) call right, Pettitte may never face Rios. What the umpire did was give the Blue Jays an extra out, which in my opinion, can be compared to an error on defense. You give the other team an extra out. Sometimes the pitcher can get out of it, sometimes he can’t, but if he doesn’t, those runs are unearned for a reason.

      • Jake H says:

        They did help the Jays but also the Yanks had many opportunities to win this game.

        • The Fallen Phoenix says:

          And they would have had more opportunities to win this game – or needed fewer opportunities to win this game – if the umpires had done their jobs.

          No, you don’t peg this loss entirely on the umpires, but these kinds of discussions should not have to happen after a game.

  21. Dela G says:

    man the comebacks make this team remind me of the 2007 red sox team that seemed to make every lead NEVER SAFE. The umps effed the yanks in the behind, but the yankees still gave em the middle finger and moved on. You can’t win them all, but when they go back to play toronto in the skydome/rogers centre, they will make toronto pay for it.

  22. Salty Buggah says:

    So whose on our “Bad umpire” list?

    Angel Hernandez
    Wally Bell (2 blown calls at 2nd today after several bad calls while being home plate ump)
    Jerry Meals
    Marty Foster

    Who else?

  23. “”It would make his actions seem appropriate if that’s what he was told,” Hirschbeck said of Jeter. “It used to be if the ball beat you, you were out, but it isn’t that way anymore. It’s not a reason to call someone out. You have to make a good tag.””

    From ESPN recap

    • Salty Buggah says:

      yea, I read that. I just hope we just make the playoffs and that these little game in which the umps hurt us don’t cost us.

    • The Fallen Phoenix says:

      I’m not going to say that a head needs to roll for that, but there needs to be some sort of retribution for a misinterpretation of MLB rules by a person whose job it is to know and enforce said rules.

  24. Little Bill says:

    Marty Foster should be disciplined. It’s one thing for him to make a mistake, it’s another to blatantly disregard the rules. All umps will make mistakes and that’s understandable- they are human. But to tell Jeter that is a complete joke.

  25. DCR says:

    Frustrating game because of the poor umping but three of four from Toronto in a series where Romero and Halladay pitched is great.

    And I know its only one game but: Hinske > Ransom.

  26. Michael W. says:

    I wish people would stop bagging on Derek Jeter’s attempt to steal third today.

    Yes, the costs outweigh the benefits, but the fact was, he was safe. Derek Jeter is a smart baseball player, smarter than any contributer to this site. He saw a chance to improve the Yankees fortunes, did it, and then got screwed by an umpire.

    Jeter has proved himself to be an excellent baserunner this year and if he decides he can steal a bag, I’m giving him the benefit of the doubt.

    Saying Jeter cost the Yankees 0.81 runs is blatantly wrong. The 3rd base ump cost the Yankees however many runs some matrix cooks up.

    • Little Bill says:

      Wrong. Forget the results, it’s irrelevant when grading the decision. The decision was a bad one. No outs, 2-1 count, Swish up with Tex and A-Rod on deck. You don’t even need a hit to score the run from 2nd. You said the costs outweigh the benefits, bad decision, case closed.

      • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals says:

        forget the results? marxist much?

        you say its a bad decision because a baseball rule of thumb is not to make the 1st or 3rd out at 3rd base, and Jeter, probably one of the smartest ballplayers around today, decided that he had just found an exception to the rule.

        Jeter>>>>>>>>>>>>>>me, you, rules of thumb


        umpires that suck>jeter

        still a great decision.

        • Little Bill says:

          Yes, FORGET THE RESULTS! I never said anything about that rule of thumb. The decision is bad because he’s on 2nd, n outs, 2-1 count on Swish, Tex and A-Rod due up. If he had made it and been called safe, I’d still call it a bad decision. When weighing the decision itself you can’t look at the results or you’re being results oriented.

        • Tank the Frank says:

          Believe it or not, Derek Jeter has the ability to make a bad play/decision.

    • thurdonpaul says:


    • He was safe because he managed to sneak his hand in. The throw did beat him, and a better tag would have nailed him. It wasn’t a good or necessary decision with zero out in the bottom of the first, and my saying so isn’t “blatantly wrong.”

      • Chris says:

        For every stolen base attempt the cost outweighs the benefit – that’s why a stolen base success rate of <75% is bad. This case was slightly worse, but that doesn’t mean it was necessarily the wrong move.

      • Michael W. says:

        The throw beating a runner has nothing to do with a safe/out argument. If a runner touches the base before he’s tagged, he’s safe, regardless of how long the fielder had the ball beforehand.

        Before his CS this afternoon, Jeter had a 90% stolen base success rate. Using your own numbers, an attempt by Jeter would have 90% chance of the Yankees expected runs to go to 1.32 and a ten percent chance of going to 0.22 runs. Calculate that out and a stolen base attempt factoring in the Matrix’s run expectancy numbers and the baserunner’s success rate (in this case, Derek Jeter) says that if Derek Jeter is on second with none out, if he attempts to steal third the Yankees would score 1.15 runs in that inning, according to this Matrix.

        The Matrix fails to take the human element into account and you don’t either. While getting caught cost the Yankees 0.81 runs according to this matrix, the math says with Jeter, it’s worth the risk.

        So mathematically, Jeter’s stolen base attempt was worth the risk in this case. I doubt those numbers and calculations are going through Jeter’s head, but that’s what they are.

        So blatantly wrong isn’t too far off.

    • Little Bill says:

      Bottom of the 9th, down by 1 run, 2 outs. A runnner is on 2nd base and Mark Teixera is due up. Girardi pinch hits Fransisco Cervelli for Mark Teixera. Cervelli hits a 2 run HR and wins the game.

      Decision=Good according to Michael W. because it worked! Fail.

  27. donttradecano says:

    Heres the ump thing will end:

    Marty Foster will say he never said that. MLB will take Marty Fosters word.

  28. 2bayankfan says:

    Today’s loss!!!
    I not going to say I’m ok with losing, but this year’s Yankee team doesn’t give up. In today’s game that was the 4th afternoon game in a row they game it their all. Even though Hinske who had a pretty good start to his Yankee career, swung at ball 4 twice in the 9th when we were down by only one run. This team seems to find a way to be in every game no matter how big the lead or who’s on the mound like Halladay yesterday, I think that if they keep winning series (3 out of 4 from the Bluejays) they will find themselves back in a place where they belong, The Playoffs.

    P.S. The blown calls by the umps didn’t’ help the Yanks cause.

  29. MG says:

    I just found this site tonight and what a refresing change of pace to the other sites that alternate between complaining about every run given up and want to trade the entire team after each loss. I’ll try to participate in a positive way and add something of value to the site.

  30. [...] week started with a frustrating loss in the series finale against the Blue Jays. Hard to complain about winning three of four against [...]

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