Yanks pitching implodes again in 14-8 loss


For the second straight night, the Yankees starter could not get through the fifth inning. Friday night it was inexperienced starter Joba Chamberlain. Saturday it was well-experienced starter Andy Pettitte. His short start exposed the weaknesses in the bullpen. It was more than the powerhouse Yankees offense could overcome.

Pettitte allowed six runs, all earned, and all in the fourth and fifth innings. A double and a single to lead of the inning accounted for the sole run in the fourth, but Pettitte recovered to get the next three and keep the game at 4-1. In the fifth, it would all come undone.

Even with the shaky start to the fourth, Pettitte had still allowed just two hits through four. In the fifth it was amazing that he managed even one out. That was on a Chone Figgins grounder into a fielder’s choice. Everyone else Pettitte faced in the inning either singled or homered.

David Robertson didn’t help matters, coming into the middle of an inning and again let those inherited runners score. He added a run of his own, and in the end was bailed out when Howie Kendrick slid past second base on what would have been a successful steal attempt.

He actually recorded three outs in the sixth, but he buried a curve for strike three so deep to Reggie Willits that it went all the way to the backstop. That led to a run when Eric Aybar, who had a .325 OBP and .374 SLG heading into the series, tripled, his third hit of the day. It took Brett Tomko to finish off the side.

Another dropped third strike allowed the Angels to cushion their lead in the bottom of the eighth. With Reggie Willits on second — due to a sloppy throw over to first by Phil Coke — Chone Figgins swung and missed at a ball in the dirt. Jorge didn’t get all the way down, and the ball bounced through his legs and to the backstop, putting runners on first and third.

This set the stage for Bobby Abreu to drive in an insurance run with a sac fly to deep center. That made it 11-8 Angels, but it would end there. The umps blew yet another call when Chone Figgins slid in safely to second. The replay showed Cano tagging Figgins on the helmet before he touched the bag, but that apparently doesn’t matter any more. That would have been the third out, but the blown call led to three more Angels runs.

As an aside, these blown calls are getting a bit ridiculous. They’re not the reason the Yankees are losing games, but they’re sure not helping. While it’s unlikely they’d overcome an 11-8 deficit in the ninth, it’s almost impossible to come back from 14-8. The only thing keeping them in the game at that point is the old Yogi saying that it ain’t over ’til it’s over.

A big — nay, astronomical — part of the problem is that the bullpen has been overexposed lately. Bullpens, as we all know, are volatile, and to give them four, five innings per game is going to hurt you. Here are the starters and their innings over the past three games:

7/9: Aceves 3.1 IP
7/10: Joba 4.1 IP
7/11: Pettitte 4.1 IP

The Yankees bullpen had been great in June and the start of July, but there are few, if any, bullpens in the league which could withstand such a toll. The key to the bullpen before this stretch has been riding the hot hand. The more they have to pitch, the less able the manager is to do that.

It’s sad, really, that poor pitching overshadowed the Yanks jumping out to an early lead. Not only that, but they put up some runs even when the game got out of hand — started to get it back in hand, even, until the eighth. The offense did more than enough, even though Teixeira, Posada, and Damon went hitless.

There is no silver lining to this game. The Yankees lost and they lost bad. The only saving grace is that they have their ace taking the hill heading into the break. That, and they’re still in good position, even if they lose the game. CC Sabathia vs. John Lackey tomorrow.

Categories : Game Stories


  1. Accent Shallow says:

    Series with the Angels put my urge to kill through the roof.

  2. CP3 says:

    I think this does increase the yankees chances to make a trade for a starting pitcher.

  3. Salty Buggah says:

    Yea, D-rob has been overexposed getting really his ERA close to his mid 3 FIP.

    Coke wasn’t good but take that ump call and dropped strike 3 away, he gets out unscathed.

    Even the Sox pen is being exposed recently as they have had to pitch a lot of innings, like tonight.

  4. Salty Buggah says:

    No silver lining? What about A-rod having his 1st multi-HR game in a loong time and Hinske hitting it out twice?

    Even a horrible performance wins the game as we scored 8 runs, but today was a disaster.

  5. Zach says:

    “This is just a good team and they put a lot of pressure on you,”
    That was Andy Pettitte’s post game comments via LoHud. Doesnt sound like he stood up and took the blame to me.

  6. Salty Buggah says:

    For all of those on the ledge, if we win tomorrow, we would go 4-2 on this roadtrip against the Twins and Angels. Tell me that you would not take that anytime against those two teams. Could/Should we have possibly won more? Yes but stuff happens. Look at the big picture, a 4-2 road trip is really good.

    And we have our ace, CC, going tomorrow against Lackey, who is 4-7 with a 4.81 ERA in 15 career starts against the Yankees. And our hitters have had some success against him too.

    Teixeira is 18-for-45 (.400) with two doubles, two homers and 11 RBIs lifetime vs. Lackey. Jorge Posada (.393, 11-for-28), Melky Cabrera (.348, 8-for-23) and Damon (.333, 16-for-48)

    No need to panic and say irrational things.

    • mattb says:

      No panic here, I think this is a pretty terrific ballclub and I absolutely think it’s a post-season team. But I don’t think it’s panic to at least take note of what, if things stay on their current course, is suddenly looking like a much more vulnerable rotation than I would’ve ever expected a month ago.

      I think this team is better offensively than Boston, at least equal defensively, and depending on the make-up of the pen, at least equal there as well. And for most of the year, I’d have gladly taken our 5 starers against theirs. I do worry though, about whether their rotation depth is going to prove a more significant factor down the stretch.

    • Little Bill says:

      There are very few on the ledge and they’re always the same people. The Yankees can win 10 in a row, but if they drop the next 2 the sky is falling. 4-2 on the road against 2 good teams would be pretty good. 16 games over .500 would be pretty good as well.

    • RollingWave says:

      we’re so losing 15:0 tomorrow

  7. mattb says:

    Who would’ve thought going into the year or even into, say June–and I’m not saying make a panic move and it may well be that no upgrades are available–thinking that this team’s greatest need may be well another starter. It’s not like it’s last year–the front two are as good as they come, and so far, knock on wood, they’ve been horses. But unless this club really and truly believes–and isn’t just fooling themselves–that they’re going to get a productive Chien Ming Wang back shortly after the break, this rotation is suddenly awfully thin. Look, Andy is what he is, and I can still live with his taking the ball as a #5 starter and I can live with giving him the ball in the post-season–it’s the #3-#4 void that’s got me concerned, because you can, sadly, count me into the group that just doesn’t think Joba is just gonna flip a switch this year. Don’t get me wrong, I want him starting–be it here or in AAA–but I just see no signs that he’s getting close–if anything, he’s regressing rapidly. And I want to know whether he’s truly physically and mentally healthy. And I’m all for a great pen, but to me, that makes the decision not to stretch out either Phil or Ace that much more indefensible, b/c Sergio Mitre is what he is, and what he is isn’t a starter in the AL East.

    Tough spot with Seattle being in it, and obviously they were incredibly difficult in trying to get it done last year, but I’d be all over a Washburn type if the price is right, for the stretch run and then wave good-bye.

  8. The team doesn’t like to play in Anaheim for some stupid HOLY FUCK LIGHTNING reason.

    I can’t take it as representative of the team as a whole, but I am a little worried that the team is 1-12 against the Sox, Angels and Phillies.

    Still, law of averages. Things will even out. And that was some cherry picking on my part if there ever was some!

  9. j says:

    joe’s done the best he can with the pitching he has.

    cashman’s at fault for not bringing up and forcing joe to use Mitre or Nova. The Yankees need a little length. thank god for the all star break.

    • mattb says:

      I just hope that there’s a plan for the rotation here and it doesn’t just fluctuate by the day (which is not to suggest that actual results shouldn’t influence the plan to a certain extent) and as has been noted here, it’s a little scary how prominent a role I think Chien Ming Wang has to play in the current plan for it to make any sense at all. Unless the plan is to acquire a starter, then every action the club has taken suggests that they truly believe they’re getting a healthy, effective Wang back for the stretch run. And that’s just an awfully risky proposition from where I sit. Which doesn’t mean you go and do something outrageous–but at the same time, if you believe this team can win this year–and I do–I just hope there’s a plan in place and that it doesn’t entail just throwing Mitre, Towers, et al against a wall and seeing what sticks.

    • Salty Buggah says:

      Really? If they struggled, which is likely, everyone would blaming Cash for not starting Ace and bringing unproven guys.

      • j says:

        thats a good point… it is easy to retrospectively call out bad decisions…

        but going in with a starter that can only pitch 65 at max was a stupid decision. remember what toronto did with joba last year? they took his pitches knowing that the yankees were going to use their BP. either tell no one he’s on a short leash, or have someone that throw the ball a bit more.

        • Salty Buggah says:

          True but we had no other choice really, and 4 innings of Ace plus our pen, which had been hot, is probably better than Mitre or Nova.

  10. RollingWave says:

    So if the Yankees play a little league team in Angels uniform in Anahem. what’s the odds of them winning? 10% 20%

  11. Salty Buggah says:

    For those interested in another starter, how about Pedro? I say no

  12. If we’re going for another starter, I’ve heard talk of Bannister. Kind of eh–meche is much better–but at this point you’re just looking for someone that can throw innings and save the bullpen.

    • Salty Buggah says:

      Depends on the cost, but I’d say no.

      Maybe Tomko for Bannister? And if they want, they can have Igawa and Shelley, since they love some power low OBP guys (see Mike Jacobs and Betancourt)

      I’m kidding but I’m serious about Shelley.

    • Moshe Mandel says:

      He’s not that good. His performance fluctuates directly with his BABIP- when its low and he is getting lucky, he looks like a major leaguer. As it approaches ML average, not so much. He’s more lucky than good.

      • Salty Buggah says:

        ERA of 3.66 and a FIP of 3.92 isn’t bad.

        5.67 K/9 and a 2.93 BB/9, not bad for a 5th starter

        • Moshe Mandel says:

          True. Career FIP of 4.62. Not bad for a 5th guy, but not someone I would give up much for. In fact, I think you can get something close to that from Wang when he returns.

  13. E-ROC says:

    The starting pitching has to step up as well as the defense. Hello Jorge. The rotation has to pitch deeper in games so the bullpen can be effective. We’ll win tomorrow with CC Sabathia on the mound. Go Yanks!

  14. V says:

    On the bright side (?), Joba and Andy will NOT be used in the playoffs, if a 3 man rotation is viable.

    • I still trust Andy in a playoff game.

      Remember, he held a 1-0 lead through 8 in Cleveland…even worked around a lead off triple.

    • Moshe Mandel says:

      It’s a bit early to say that, isn’t it? Both or one of them could turn it around.

    • Little Bill says:

      Who else is going to pitch? Wang? Yeah, he’s been real better. By all indications they are leaving Hughes in the bullpen so that doesn’t really leave many options. Andy is pretty much a lock to start if they make it and he’s healthy. Joba will start if they don’t shut him down because of innings. I actually would want those two to start.

  15. BigBlueAL says:

    LOL check out this quote from Chone Figgins:

    “A home run can kill a rally sometimes. You need them, but for us, the more we keep that train going, the better our offense works.”

    So you see HR’s arent always a good thing for an offense because it kills rallies!!!!

    • I actually kinda see his point.

      • BigBlueAL says:

        C’mon Rebecca I know you are alot smarter than that.

      • Jamal G. says:

        What, that an event that guarantees runs (home runs) is worse than an event that gives you a greater potential of scoring runs (getting on base)?

        • It’s hard to explain…but I’ll try.

          Home runs are great. And I’ll take the guaranteed runs every time.

          But home runs also clear the bases. And sometimes, pitchers will settle down after the bases have been cleared, regroup and re-find themselves.

          If you’re hitting single double triple walk one after the other, on and on, pitchers tire more quickly–they have to throw more pitches–and there’s no relief, no landing spot.

          Ultimatley, the pitcher will end up giving up the home run.

          How many times do we see it? multiple run innings capped by a home run?

          Yankees did it to the Tigers earlier this year–scored six in the inning and then had a grand slam off the bat of Jose Molina.

          Basically, all I’m saying, is as a fan I’d love to see a rally that went something like: Jeter single, Damon single, Teixeira double, A-Rod walk, JoPo double, Matsui jack. That’d be what…six runs? And you’d absolutley step on the neck of the opposing pitcher, too.

          • Salty Buggah says:

            That’s how I can think of it but the HR is still the best as it’s no guarantee that all of those guys on base will score. We’ve had those situations many times and failed to score (like bases loaded less than 2 outs) and we get on base the most, so HRs are good.

          • Zach says:

            my issue is, most homeruns come off of ‘mistake’ pitches that hang or mis-location. so when the other pitcher is on his game, a team that relies on the HR is in trouble- compared to the team that can get the weak hit the other way and manufacture runs

    • JobaWockeeZ says:

      *golf clap*

      Chone Figgins is a genius. That’s why he Yankees suck so much. They only rely on home runs. That’s the only way we score. Our away record must be soooooooo bad because we don’t have the bandbox. Please.

    • Little Bill says:

      What team has a higher OPS and more runs scored? The team that hits HRs. Not the team that bunts, hits lucky bloop singles, and plays small ball. That luck will only get you so far. HRs score runs. Scoring runs wins games.

      • Salty Buggah says:

        Exactly, though they do have the highes AVG so small ball is OK for them but still not the best, like ours.

      • BklynJT says:

        Unfortunately, the Angels have been bitch slapping balls out of the park against our pitching this series. And not solo jobs, but ones with multiple men on base.

  16. mmx says:

    It’s time to swap Joba & Hughes before it’s too late.

  17. Dorian says:


    • YankeeScribe says:

      That’s funny. I thought the season ends in September? We could still miss the playoffs. It’s unlikely this season but still possible…

  18. stuart says:

    having Aceves not available the last few games has killed the Yanks…the pen started getting better when Aceves came up.
    Aceves can come in early to put out a fire or in the 7th..

    aceves cannot go to the rotation with robertson being shaky, tomko a disaster(really why the hell is he on the team), melancon getting his feet wet, and other issues….

    aceves in the pen is huge…wang getting hurt kills with joba bieng a total disaster.

    check out pettittes ERA, it is almost 5, he looks shot………….

  19. YankeeScribe says:

    It’s time for Cashman to make some tough decisions regarding the pitching staff

  20. BklynJT says:

    There is a good post on Nomass detailing a downward trend in Joba’s pitching metrics that can explain why he is doing so poorly this year. One item I think is particularly interesting is the Pitch Value Types ranking of Joba’s fastball this year. It comes in at 10 runs BELOW average. His diminished fastball is also probably affecting the efficiency of his slider. I don’t want to hear that Joba is still the potential ace we believe him to be without his dominating fastball. Joba’s success is directly determined by his fastball.

    • Stevis says:

      His success is directly determined as a Reliever…What fastball are you referring to???

      • JeffG says:

        This is ridiculous – obviously you haven’t watched all his starts. He’s had some pretty amazing ones. Though not recently… blows but he should be able to straighten out.

  21. Conan says:

    Has Girardi learned his lesson not to bring in David Robertson in the middle of an inning with runners on? DRob’s allowed 9 out of 16 inherited base runners to score. I don’t like those percentages.

  22. Stevis says:

    Asusual Girardi waited too long to take Pettite out , should have pukked him at least 1 batter sooner
    Robertson.. is a Stiff ,AAA is a much better place for him, actually AA
    It is amazing how The Halos kill us

  23. JeffG says:

    It’s official: Moving Aceves to the rotation was a bad move. With guys like Andy and Joba it is necessary insurance to have him for those oft early exits. We could have come back the last two games but it is impossible if we can not shut the other team down in the middle innings.
    Wang going down again is really killing us right now. We either have to promote a AAA guy to start or bring someone in. We can’t subtract from the pen without punching a major hole in the boat.

  24. The Artist says:

    I have to admit, Girardi made a mistake pitching Aceves on Thursday. At the time, I agreed with the move and felt it was their best option. But seeing the impact it has had on the bullpen the past few days, its obvious to me we traded one win for 2 losses. Even the win was one to which Aceves contributed little, lasting only 3 1/3 innings in his start against the Twins on Thursday. Aceves could have been a big factor in each of the past two games, with Joba going and Andy each going 4 1/3 innings. Yesterday, A-N-Y-O-N-E who could get an out would have been huge.

    • The alternative, though, would have been to call up Mitre. What if he only went 4 on Thursday? Ace comes in for 2 or 3, and he’s not available for long relief this weekend.

      • The Artist says:

        Which is why we need to make a move for some depth in the starting pitching dept. Nova has been great, but has only made 3 starts in Scranton.

        It doesn’t have to be someone great (Halladay/Lee) and if you traded for one of those guys, you’d have to drop someone from the rotation. Besides the fact that they’d cost a truckload in talent.

        Just a Shawn Chacon-type. Someone who you can start for a month until Wang comes back and send to AAA or DFA afterwards. It should have been IPK, but he’s nowhere near returning. So we need to make a small move of some kind

    • Accent Shallow says:

      Not to mention not using Hughes, and saving Coke for mop-up/”keep it close” duty.

  25. Proud Yankee says:

    Oh ye of little faith…..I’m with Yogi, it ain’t over till it’s over….or until the fat lady sings….I am the fat lady and I’m not singing till the Yankees make the playoffs. That is where Andy always shines….Let those of you with a World Series ring, let alone 4 of them, cast the first stone.


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