Yanks overcome Robinson’s Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day to drop Jays in 12

What to do with the fifth starter spot?

In celebration of our nation’s independence, the Yankees decided to stage an epic battle against our neighbors to the north. A few lead changes made the early innings interesting, and at the end of nine they were tied at five. The game wouldn’t end any time soon thereafter.

The story of the day, as we all knew going in, was Chien-Ming Wang — though it wasn’t quite for the reasons we expected. He pitched well through the first two innings, allowing two runs on four hits and one walk. Even the runs — a bloop ground rule double to right by Vernon Wells followed by a chopper up the middle by Alex Rios — were forgivable. Things weren’t so nice in the sixth.

Marco Scutaro led off the inning with a double, and after an Aaron Hill groundout Adam Lind parked one over the right field wall, staking the Blue Jays to a 4-3 lead. After throwing one pitch to Scott Rolen Wang was done. Jorge Posada called out the trainer after he saw something. After the game he said that Wang “didn’t throw that ball.” Not good news, especially because of his effective early innings.

We’ll be sure to discuss the Wang injury in a bit more depth tomorrow morning. For now, all we have is the word from Girardi, which came after Wang had an MRI. “Shoulder strain and some bursitis,” he explained. “I’m confident he’ll be back, but I can’t tell you exactly when.” The plan for now wounds like rest and rehab, but that could certainly change. Wang, you will remember, had a rotator cuff injury after the All-Star break in 2005, and made it back for September with rest and rehab.

David Robertson didn’t help matters in relief, walking the first two batters he faced before allowing another Blue Jays run. Brian Bruney had his own struggles in the seventh, loading the bases with one out before getting Scott Rolen to pop out and Lyle Overbay to line out to finish the inning without any damage. It’s a good thing, because the Yanks mounted their comeback in the seventh.

Derek Jeter singled to lead off the inning, and Johnny Damon put one over the short porch to tie the game up. It was the fifth run the Yankees scored off Roy Halladay. How many runs had Halladay allowed in his last five outings against the Yankees? It was the most runs he’d allowed to the Yankees in six years. Yankees fans knew this all too well, making today’s game just a bit sweeter. He is human, after all.

The Yanks had chances in both the eighth and ninth, but trends from earlier in the game came back to haunt them. In every inning one through seven, either Robinson Cano or Brett Gardner ended the inning. That continued through the last two frames, as Gardner ended the eight with a strikeout, leaving Cody Ransom, pinch-running for Hideki Matsui after a ground rule double, stranded on second. The Yanks again put a runner in scoring position with two outs in the ninth, as Derek Jeter tagged up from first on a long fly ball. Can grounded out to second to end that frame.

After both teams failed to score in the 10th and 11th and Brett Tomko retired the Blue Jays in the 12th, Cano had another chance. Mark Teixeira led off with a double, leaving the door open for Cito Gaston to walk Alex Rodriguez. Girardi put on the bunt sign, which makes sense in this situation. Cano has been in a funk lately, especially with runners in scoring position. Shawn Camp let him off the hook, though, throwing three straight balls. but then on 3-0, Cano showed bunt again, tapping one in front of the mound. Raul Chavez pounced on it and got Mark Teixeira at third. Cano had just wasted an out on an ill-advised bunt attempt.

“Let’s just say that somebody missed something,” Girardi said after the game. “He misunderstood something.” The mental gaffe could, and probably should, land Cano on the bench tomorrow. Gardner, who is 0 for 15 since his five-hit night at Citi Field, could join him to give Eric Hinske his first Yankees start.

Ah, but the game is not yet over, at least as far as concerns this recap. Before pontificating on the near-term ramifications of Cano’s and Gardner’s slumps, we were left with runners on first and second with one out and Jorge Posada on the plate. After looking at two pitches, a ball and a strike. The third one would end the game. Jorge punched it into right-center, plating Alex Rodriguez to cap a 6-5 Independence Day win. I can’t imagine the horrors of having lost to Canada.

It wasn’t a pretty game, but a win’s a win. Combined with a Red Sox loss, the Yanks are just a game out of the division lead. Not that it matters at this point. We’re not even halfway through, so winning games is the only thing the Yanks, and their fans, need to worry about.

It was supposed to be Joba vs. Scott Richmond tomorrow, but late word came that Richmond will hit the DL. The Yanks will face rookie Brett Cecil for the series win.

What to do with the fifth starter spot?
  • Teix is the Man

    As long as Jova throws strikes and avoids deep counts, he could get his first home win of the season.

    • Teix is the Man

      Joba, not Jova

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

    I was at the game.

    The best part?

    Watching Joba deke JoPo and Burnett nab him. It was AWESOME. You can see it on yesnetwork.com, if you click on video highlights and then interviews and click on Posada.

    • The Fallen Phoenix

      Yeah, I saw that during the postgame. It was awesome.

  • CP3

    How could Hinske start tommorrow if gardner sits, I thought Hinske could only play the corner spots. And if gardner doesn’t play cabrera takes center and swisher takes right, the only way Hinske plays tommorrow is if tex, Arod, or Damon is given the day off not gardner.

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

      A-Rod is supposed to get tomorrow off.

      • CP3

        So is it going to be arod and cano out of the lineup

        • Zach

          Cano needs a day off. You still have Jeter, Tex, Posada, Damon, & Swish

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

      Swisher – LF
      Melky – CF
      Hinske – RF

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

        Or Damon – LF. Either way.

        • CP3

          so swisher is not playing

  • Little Bill

    It was a great win against Halladay. What Wang’s injury does is allow Phil Hughes to return to his rightful spot in the starting rotation. With the All star break, he should be able to get back within a couple weeks.

    • Will (the other one)

      Unfortunately, though, it doesn’t look like that’s gonna happen–Girardi says he’s ruled out Hughes as an option because he’s not ready to be ramped up to a starter’s pitch count at this point. Seems like it’s gonna be Mitre’s gig.

      • Little Bill

        For now anyway. They’ll stretch Hughes out over the next couple weeks. He needs to be starting. Girardi doesn’t know shit, when Cashman says it I’ll believe it.

        • CrazyCharlie

          Well with educated posts like this, it’s clear that “Little Bill” knows FAR more then Joe Girardi.

      • Ed

        Hughes isn’t really an option for this next start, but it might make sense to option Hughes to the minors now and call up, say, Melancon and Albaladejo to fill the two roster spots. Melancon is due another shot, and Albaladejo has been tearing up AAA.

        When Wang’s turn comes up next, option back down one of those two relievers to get a 25 man spot, and put Nady on the 60 day DL if necessary to get a 40 man spot.

        With that plan, depending on when his first start is, Hughes gets 2-3 starts in AAA before the team needs a 2nd start from whoever replaces Wang. That should be enough to get him to a point where he’s a viable option to start.

  • dkidd

    cmw is no longer the worst pitcher in baseball history and gets the time he should have had to work his way back

    phil in the rotation will stop the growing “keep him in the bullpen” narrative and get him stretched for 2010. as trips to the DL go, this couldn’t be better

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

    My thoughts on the game from being there

    (Yes, it’s on topic, so there =P)


  • Accent Shallow

    This was my first game at YSIII, so I’m glad they got their shit together and won it — it was a little tense there at the end, and Robbie was just awful today.

    It was clear early on that Halladay didn’t have it, but five runs was such a nice surprise.

  • Peter Lacock

    Both young LHP’s, Brett Cecil & Ricky Romero have pitched really well this year. They both had their worst outings against Boston in which the Red Sox took their lumps early (by watching pitches) and then started knocking them around in the 3rd or 4th innings after the pitch counts were up.

  • BklynJt

    The fifth spot does not agree with cano.

  • Charlie

    didn’t we already win the series???

    • Charlie

      oh, this must be a 4 game series, my bad

  • Dela G

    great win for the yankees.

    It feels great to see them on fire like this

  • stuart

    cano cannot hit 4th. hughes is not going to the minors to stretch out…

    they will use mitre or someone else for the 1 start before the allstar game and then figure things out.

    cano should sit for his bunting meltdown joke play…..

  • Manimal

    If I was manager of the yanks… This is what I would do. Hinske at first/right, Swisher at first/right, Tex DH’ing, Arod day off, Pena/Ransom at 3rd

    • Salty Buggah

      nah, matsui’s hot and he is hitting lefties well (.933 OPS) and we have Cecil going tomorrow.

    • http://www.retire21.org Mike R. – Retire 21

      Pena is in AAA and Hinske is better than Ransom. I would take Ransom out of the equation.

      • Joe R

        Except Hinske doesnt really play third. People keep forgetting Hinkse isnt here to help A-Rod, he’s here in place of Nady to help with the OF days off and a little 1B as well.

  • Cano wears the GIDP crown.

    The Yanks will face rookie Cy Cecil for the series win.


    • Alex NYC

      Scott Richmond says hello.