Jul
09

Yanks overcome walks, errors to finish sweep of Twins

By

Today’s game was not easy to watch. Those of you who missed it while at work were spared some frustration. The Yankees threw 151 pitches and the Twins tossed 164, and the teams combined for six mid-inning pitching changes. That’s a lot to cram into three hours and 18 minutes. Add in the Yanks committing two costly errors, walking in two runs, and using six pitchers, and it seems like a game they should have lost. In the end, the bats were able to overcome some sloppy play and the Yanks took their Metrodome finale, completing the season sweep of the Twins 6-4.

Al Aceves, making his first big league start since September of last year, didn’t pitch as well as many had hoped. He wasn’t terrible, especially for a guy making his first start since April. Trouble in the second inning upped his pitch count, and trouble in the fourth spelled his exit. He had allowed just one earned run at the time — an inexcusable down the middle fastball to Jason Kubel on an 0-2 pitch — but David Robertson walked in two more, leaving Ace with a line of 3.1 IP, 4 H, 4 R, 3 ER, 1 BB, 2 K. Even the unearned run was partially his fault.

The Yankees executed a series of follies in the second inning which really led to both runs. The first was the aforementioned 0-2 pitch to Kubel. I’m sure Ace wasn’t trying to groove a fastball there, but he did and a hitter like Kubel is going to be all over that. It went out to dead center and cut the Yankees lead to 3-1. Folly No. 1. The second came two batters later. After a five-pitch walk of Mike Cuddyer, Ace threw over to first. He missed by a mile, moving Cuddyer to second. Folly No. 2.

While Folly No. 1 was frustrating and Folly No. 2 was annoying, Folly No. 3 was downright infuriating. The best you can say about Mike Redmond’s running is that he’s faster than Jose Molina. Yeah. He hit one hard to third, and the ball hit the seam. Cody Ransom stayed with it, though, corralling it with plenty of time to make an accurate throw. He pulled it, though, sending it wide of Teixeira at first and allowing Cuddyer to score. Despite missing two months, it was Ransom’s fourth error this season.

David Robertson committed Follies Nos. 4 and 5, which were even more infuriating than No. 3. He came into the game with the bases loaded, never an enviable task for any reliever, let alone a rookie. After avoiding the walk of Nick Punto, an affliction from which many Yankees pitchers have suffered this series, he put Span on first with four straight balls. 5-3 Yanks. Five pitches later, Matt Tolbert would take his base. Not only did this plate the fourth Twins run, but it brought up Joe Mauer with the bases loaded. How Robertson got him to ground out after being behind 2-0 is beyond me. I tried not to think about it too much, opting to wipe my brow and send thanks to the baseball gods.

Meanwhile, with the bullpen responsible for the remaining five innings, the Yanks could have used some more runs. A 5-4 lead just didn’t feel safe, not with Albaladejo in the pen in place of Aceves. Mark Teixeira was the only one who could deliver, sending a solo blast into the left field seats, ending his drought and the annoying comments about it being X at bats since he last homered. As of this writing, it has been one at bat since Mark Teixeira homered. Who’s counting with me?

Oddly enough, Girardi opted to stick with Robertson for the fifth. It seemed a curious move, sending out Robertson, who had just walked in two runs, to face the number four, five, and six hitters in the Twins’ order. He surprised by striking out Justin Morneau on three pitches, but got back to his inaccurate ways by walking Kubel on five. Finally Girardi had seen enough and called on Jon Albaladejo to get the last two in the fifth, and presumably all of the sixth. He delivered, striking out Cuddyer and Redmond, and then sitting down the Twins 1-2-3 in the sixth. With Coke and Hughes up and ready, the prospects of the bullpen finishing the game got a bit better.

They got a ton better when Coke shook off a leadoff bunt single by Joe Mauer to get Justin Morneau to ground out on the first pitch. He then struck out Kubel on just three. That’s five pitches, five strikes for Coke. He might have struggled with his command early on, but lately Coke has done nothing but work quickly and throw strikes. Coke’s last five appearances: 3 pitches, 2 strikes; 24 pitches, 16 strikes; 6 pitches, 4 strikes; 7 pitches, 4 strikes; 5 pitches, 5 strikes. He has allowed just one hit in that span and has walked none.

Phil Hughes again was Phil Hughes. He continued attacking hitters, a lesson we can only hope he takes with him when he eventually returns to the rotation. That was one of the frustrating things about watching him last year and even parts of this year. He’d try to hit corners, and when he didn’t he looked lost. From the bullpen he’s constantly getting ahead of guys, throwing strikes and letting them take hacks if they want. Most of the time their efforts are futile. In the eighth (after a gift out by Justin Morneau, gift-wrapped by Jorge Posada) he got ahead of all three hitters he faced, striking out the last two. The only semi-blip was against Jose Morales, but after going up 0-2 I think it was more Hughes trying to get out an inexperienced hitter with some junk pitches. In the end Hughes got him with ol’ number one, a 95 mph fastball up that Morales had no chance of reaching.

On the offensive side, the Yankees again got production from the bottom of the order. Cody Ransom walked with the bases loaded and drove in a run with a single. Brett Gardner bounced into a fielder’s choice that allowed a run to score and singled on a poorly placed Liriano changeup. The only other runs came on a Derek Jeter single to center, a bloop on the first pitch during Liriano’s long second inning, and the aforementioned Teixeira bomb. Those six runs ended up being enough for the staff, and the Twins’ four runs meant yet another save for Mariano Rivera.

The Yanks will now fly out to Anaheim to wrap up the first half of the season. Don’t be scared, though. While the Yankees haven’t fared well against the Angels in years past, this is just not the same team. They’re good, no doubt, but they’re just not as intimidating as even last year. They’ll face Jered Weaver, the only consistently good pitcher in the Angels rotation, sandwiched between struggling pitchers Joe Saunders and John Lackey. Taking two out of three would be a wonderful way to finish up before the break.

No action until 10:00 tomorrow night, so it’s time to relax. And you know what that means: A glass of wine, your favorite easy chair, and of course this open thread playing on your home Internet machine. So go on, indulge yourself. That’s right. Kick off your shoes, put your feet up, lean back and just enjoy the comments. After all, baseball soothes even the savage beast.

Categories : Game Stories

289 Comments»

  1. FL Yank says:

    All I know is that I no longer have any finger nails after watching this game on MLB Gameday.

  2. SamVa says:

    I’m still in awe that Montero is ranked third… Imagine if he was a GOOD defensive player..

    • Lanny says:

      How do we know hes not? What 19 yr old catcher is considered good? He should get extra points for even attempting to catch.

      • JobaWockeeZ says:

        +1000
        Though his body build is not ideal for being a catcher he’s only 19 so he can still improve. I want him as a catcher until it’s proven he cannot. He has to be like worse than Brian McCann for me in terms of defense.

      • andrew says:

        Well, we know he’s not based on every single scouting report ever written on the kid. Not to say that they are definitely correct, but they are likely more accurate than anything you or I know.

  3. matt merc says:

    im sick of watching swisher he is so bad

  4. Bill R says:

    I LOVE this song!

  5. Al says:

    LOVE the Smash reference.

  6. Wow, Joe Torre doesn’t look that well.

  7. Lanny says:

    Looks like Alby passed Robertson on the bullpen depth chart. He’ll go down when they add Mitre next week.

  8. AssBackwards says:

    The Offspring! I just died and went to 8th grade.

  9. UWS says:

    No “just be nice” this time? Oh, it’s on, JoePaw!

  10. e mills says:

    today’s game was pretty much on par with the season, in that it was at times painful to watch, however, genuinely pleasing

  11. Tank the Frank says:

    I love that we won this game today with a spot starter on 65-pitch limit. You just know the Twins wanted this game bad if nothing else than for pride. I don’t fear the Angels at all right now.

  12. Heh Furcal hit a GR double on the first pitch of the game. Such things amuse me.

    And hey, it’s Livan pitching.

  13. Kevin G. says:

    Am I the only one who thought the Mets would find a way to screw up the round-down with Hudson?

  14. steve says:

    anyone going to any of the LA games ? i’m going saturday maybe sunday.

  15. UWS says:

    I’ll be at the Mets’ game on Saturday. Teh Johan had better not join the DL parade.

  16. King of Fruitless Hypotheticals says:

    Dear Joba,
    Work fast throw strikes.
    Sincerely,
    Yankees Universe

  17. pete says:

    is it just me or does it seem like the positive, happy post vs. negative, critical post stuff no longer depends on whether or not we win? i mean i feel like i’ve read about 4 or 5 wins recently that were, by this site’s standards, disgusting, unforgiveable failures. I love it!

    • The Artist says:

      Why should it? You analyze the team based on how they’re playing. Sometimes you play badly and still win, that doesn’t mean all is well. Sometimes you’re in the midst of a losing steak, yet the signs for the breakout are slowly forming.

      Ben, Mike and Joe do a great job of reporting all aspects of the game, all the time. If you just want happy talk when were winning and screaming when were losing, then try a message board. There’s a million of them.

  18. e mills says:

    anyone have the word on whether Hunter and/or Vlad is going to be playing, or gonna have to wait until tomorrow?

  19. Rumors Chase Utley hit an inside-the-parker

  20. The Artist says:

    My Baseball fantasy:

    Brett Gardner steals home against in Game 6 of the ALCS at Yankee stadium, with what proves to be the ALCS-winning run.

    Anyone else?

  21. Is there any team in baseball better looking than the phillies?

    Werth and Hamels alone…

  22. I can’t believe Matt Kemp didn’t make the All-Star team, but Shane “I’m less valuable than Brett Gardner” and Brandon “One-Month Wonder” Inge does.

    • “I’m less valuable than Brett Gardner”

      Jason Bay WAR: 1.9
      Brett Gardner WAR: 2.1

      • Drew says:

        Is this an example of why some stats should not be used when comparing players?

        • Why is it an example of that? Gardner has played outstanding defense and plays a more premium, harder to replace position whereas Bay has played bad defense at a non-premium position. Bay may have him beat by a whole fuck ton of a lot at the plate, but Gardner’s got him elsewhere.

          • RAB poster says:

            I don’t buy that stat. Defense has been proven to be worth only half as much as offense.

          • Drew says:

            If you’re telling me Grit is a better player than Bay, especially this year, I have to disagree mightily.

            • He’s the better fielder and the better base-runner, but Bay is definitely a superior hitter.

              • Drew says:

                You’re beating around the bush here. Pena is a better fielder and runner than Jeter, I think we all say Jeter’s the better player. Same with Al, maybe Pena can field and run better than Alex right now but being a baseball player has more than fielding and running.

                • I wouldn’t say Pena’s a better runner than Jeter. The “old” man’s still got legs (regardless of two stupid base running errors this week). Yeah, Bay’s probably the better hitter because of how much better his bat is, but Gardner’s defense and his spot at a premium position help level it off a tiny bit.

                • Drew says:

                  Eh I was using Pena as a simple example. Pena is faster but it doesn’t mean he’s a better baserunner. I didn’t put much though into it. I know you love Swisher and Grit but I mean, even with Bay’s drop in average, the dude’s got 70+ RBI’s heading into the break. That speaks for itself. While Grit plays a premium position, Bay plays sustainable defense in the corner OF and provides ridonculous offensive output in the 4/5 hole.

                • On Bay’s high RBI total (this isn’t part of this argument, just pointing it out):

                  Bay has 71 batted in through 355 PAs. The average MLer in that span has 40 in 355 PAs. That +30 is awesome, but it’s best viewed in this context:

                  The average MLer w/355 PAs can expect 224 runners on base; Bay’s had 262 (these numbers are from Bay’s B-R Gamelogs page). Playing on Boston’s lineup has definitely helped Jay Ray Bay.

            • RAB poster says:

              I’m with you.

    • fuckin’ A, I voted Kung Fu Panda so many times…

    • Drew says:

      Inge is a hell of a player. He had a bad May and slow July. I think he deserves the nod. Also, many people would argue that Victorino is more valuable(WS winner) than Grit.

  23. The Artist says:

    Melancon on his way?

    http://yankees.lhblogs.com/200.....lp-needed/

    “Joe Girardi indicated the Yankees would consider calling up a reliever for the Anaheim series after using Alfredo Aceves for 3.1 innings today. He will not be available until after the break.

    Mark Melancon would seem like a possibility, or perhaps Edwar Ramirez”

  24. Jose says:

    Brad Penny starting to struggle. I badly want to be tied for first tonight.

    • RAB poster says:

      Considering how the Sox have mad us their bitch in every head to head, it is a miracle that we can be tied for first if they lose.

      • The Artist says:

        It tells you we’ve played 8 games better vs the rest of Baseball, which is a truer measure.

      • Jose says:

        Exactly. Let’s just pretend for a second that the Sox lose tonight. If we had gone 8-0 against them, instead of being 0-8, we would be 16 games ahead of them in first place.

        Too bad that we still need to search for a way to beat them this year.

  25. RAB poster says:

    mad=made

  26. You know, the way i see it, the 0-8 is an utter fluke.

    Six of the eight were played in Boston and the two in NY were played in HORRID weather.

    Pitching Wang in Boston was a terrible idea, of course, and CC should have won his game and Joba the one that G-d blew. IMO Yanks should be 2-8 against them, which’d have us in 1st.

    But the Yanks will beat ‘em.

  27. Tom Zig says:

    Hey look at that, the AL East is the only division with 4 teams having a positive run differential

  28. The Artist says:

    Every so often, Peter Gammons reminds you why he was elected to the Baseball HOF

    http://sports.espn.go.com/espn.....mons_peter

    Great article about the Latin American talent market.

    • Accent Shallow says:

      Not to nitpick (ok, I’m nitpicking) Gammons wasn’t elected to the Hall, he was honored by the Hall.

      And while we all agree that Something Must Be Done ™, no one is really sure what. An International Draft? That’d be a logistical nightmare. Hard caps on IFA money? Not crazy about that one. All good players are funneled through the Yankees first? I’m ok with that, but it’d be terrible for competitive balance :)

  29. kunaldo says:

    NOBODY FUCKS W/ THE DEJESUS

  30. Kaitlin B. says:

    Luke Hochevar, Yankee fans turn their lonely eyes to you…

  31. Tom Zig says:

    is JD Drew really batting lead off?

  32. Steve H says:

    Despite his HR tonight, is everyone who was on the “Dejesus for CF!!” bandwagon ready to admit that he’s #1 not a very good hitter, and #2 not a CF?

  33. Salty Buggah says:

    “I like how their bullpen looks, it’s pretty tough,” said Jason Kubel, who hit his 14th homer of the season in the second. “The lefty, [Phil Coke], I can’t even touch the ball off him. He’s tough.”

    Nice praise

  34. King of Fruitless Hypotheticals says:

    ZOMG!

    ZOMBIES!!!

    8-5!!!

  35. Tom Zig says:

    Kansas City trying real hard to blow the game

    • Yankee1010 says:

      I’ll give them that. Juan Cruz really got it off to a good start by walking the first and 2nd hitters of the inning with a 3 run lead. Great idea.

  36. It could be worse. Kyle Farnsworth could be in the game.

  37. Drew says:

    Kotsay looks high as hell in his gameday photo.

  38. Reggie C. says:

    Hopefully Soria is available to pitch tonight. Royals simply cannot blow a 3 run lead if Soria takes the mound.

    btw. its time to start keeping tabs on the SF-Colorado battle for second place. IF SF can play .548 baseball at this point in the season, then there’s still hope for the Mets. SF might actually have as bad a lineup as the Mets are trotting out these days. I’m rooting for the demise of the Rockies to come swiftly. Every loss gets Huston Street alittle closer to the Bronx.

  39. Tom Zig says:

    what’s with Kotsay and fouling off so many pitches

    • Reggie C. says:

      8-6 game now on the Kotsay sacrifice. Not the worst outcome by far. Soria now in. Only need to get 1 more out to get out the inning.

  40. Tom Zig says:

    I’ll take a sac fly…can we get a Soria 4-out save?

  41. Mr.Jigginz says:

    Enter,”The MexiCutioner.”

  42. Tom Zig says:

    Nick Green was just MexiCutioned

  43. Mr.Jigginz says:

    Oh my MELVIN that two-strike pitch was naughty…

  44. Ivan says:

    BBTN/ESPN is a bunch of bitches.

    They were talking about young players who played in the future games last year who are making contributions this season right.

    Then they bring up players to watch in the future games. They said Heyward, Stanton, Escobar who Eric young said.

    Then Only brings up Carlos Santana, Tillman and Eric Young Jr right.

    As im seeing this, im saying to myself, WHERE THE FUCK IS JESUS MONTERO. For crying out loud, Montero is argubaly the best pure hitter in the minors who plays catcher.

  45. Tom Zig says:

    Nice, way to battle back from 3-0 and get the viceroy of grit to fly to center

  46. Salty Buggah says:

    Joakim!

  47. Tom Zig says:

    tied for first!

  48. Reggie C. says:

    Soria’s the man.

    Red Sox go down in the 9th. Game OVAH!!

  49. e mills says:

    order has been restored in the universe

  50. Drew says:

    first place feels so good.

  51. Ivan says:

    (Gammons removes Pedroia’s cock from his mouth) The sox are 8-0 against the yanks. The Sox have the best BP EVA. They don’t have the grit of the sox. The sox are 8-0. Why? Because the yanks spend a trillion dollars on players. While the Sox have the type of players that would make Rudy seem like A-Rod. This division is OVA. OVA.

    This is Diamond Cutters, and im Peter Gammons.

    (Then puts Pedroia’s cock in his mouth)

    • DreDog says:

      I don’t know where to begin. I laughed, I cried, I laughed some more.

    • Tank the Frank says:

      I recently spoke to a scout that said he clocked Daniel Bard’s fastball at 105mph and saw him beat out Clay Buchholz in a foot race. And as far as we know, Clay Buchholz is the only person alive who has ever beaten Jacoby Ellsbury in a foot race. Interestingly enough, Jacoby Ellsbury was clocked going 3rd to home faster than Bard’s fastball. Needless to say, this is a Red Sox team ripe with players that may – one day – reach the level of a Dustin Pedroia type athlete.

      For Diamond Cutters, I’m Peter Gammons.

      And I have spittle on the sides of my mouth.

  52. Dela G says:

    YANKEES ARE IN FIRST PLACE!!! WOOOOOOOOO!!!

  53. Stormrider6 says:

    Quick questions… Is Montero’s name pronounced Jesus like in the Bible, or Jesus like, “Hey, Zeus?” Feel free to add any Samuel L. Jackson or John Turturro jokes as necessary.

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