Yanks catch some breaks in 5-2 victory

Game 117 Spillover Thread II
Steve Serby's Q&A with Mariano Rivera

The Yankees have had their share of botched fly balls and bad calls go against them this year, but tonight they got to live on the other side. One play led to a big inning, while the other saved a potential one for the Mariners. When you’re as hot as the Yankees and a couple of things fall your way, the chances of a win are pretty damn good. Add in some solid pitching and it’s a 5-2 Yankees victory.

Sergio Mitre did what he was supposed to do by keeping the ball low. It resulted in seven hits, but none for extra bases. The only runs came as results of balls smashed into the ground. Ichiro hit a tough bouncer to Robinson Cano in the first, resulting in a two-base error. He came around to score on a ground out and a sac fly. Catcher Rob Johnson hit a high, high chopper in the fourth with a runner on third, plating the Mariner’s second and final run.

Through five there can be few if any complaints about Mitre. Even in the sixth he wasn’t horrible. After striking out Ken Griffey Jr. to start the frame, he gave up a first-pitch single to Russell Branyan, walked Jack Hannahan on four pitches, and allowed another infield single to Rob Johnson, one that the latter barely beat out. With the bases loaded and one man out, Joe Girardi felt his bullpen could better handle the task of escaping the inning.

On came David Robertson, who has been on something of a hot streak. After consecutive rough outings against the Angels and A’s, Robertson has pitched 9.2 innings, allowing two runs on seven hits and three walks, striking out 12. His 47 strikeouts in 33.1 innings overall is quite impressive as well. With the bases loaded and one out he struck out Josh Wilson on a 94 mph fastball up. Two down.

Robertson would be the beneficiary of the Yankees’ second fortuity of the evening. On a 3-2 count to Ryan Langerhans, Robertson unleashed another 94 mph fastball, this one headed toward Langerhans’s knees. It looked low, and Gameday agrees. But Jose Molina did a good job of framing it, which might or might not have influenced CB Bucknor’s call of strike three. The threat was over and the Yankees two-run lead was still intact.

The Yankees first fortuity of the evening came a bit earlier, back in the second. With Cano on first and one out, Melky Cabrera hit a fairly routine fly ball to center, ranging a bit toward right. Franklin Gutierrez, the M’s current center fielder, called off Ichiro, the M’s former center fielder, but it looked like the latter pulled up a little late, distracting the former and possibly causing him to drop the ball. No matter the reason, Cano and Melky booth stood on base for Jose Molina.

After working a 2-1 count, Molina jumped on a fastball up in the zone, slapping it to left and plating Cano. Derek Jeter then hit a fly ball deep enough to center to score Melky, and Nick Swisher followed it with a line drive into the seats in left that got out in a hurry. The Yanks wouldn’t score again until Jeter hit one out in the ninth, but the initial runs would hold up. Without the Gutierrez error, the Yankees might not have even scored that inning.

All three of these games against Seattle have been greatly enjoyable. It helps that they’ve won — I somehow doubt that Mariners fans feel the same way. Best of all, they got one with their No. 5 starter on the mound. They’ll bring out the big guns tomorrow with Joba Chamberlain making his final appearance for a little over a week. He’ll miss out on Oakland and Boston, so maybe he can make up for it by twirling a gem tomorrow. He’ll get his shot against Doug Fister tomorrow in a game that starts, mercifully, at 4 p.m.

Game 117 Spillover Thread II
Steve Serby's Q&A with Mariano Rivera
  • Dela G

    That strike 3 call in the 6th was one of the biggest strike 3 calls of the season. I know we were 30 games above .500 before this game, but d-rob’s confidence prolly would be shot had he walked that guy

  • BigBlueAL

    This team is becoming boring to watch. Reminding me too much of the 96-2001 Yankees. Nothing to complain about anymore….

    • Bob Stone

      I enjoy not complaining very much.

    • Dela G

      TEH DEPTH!! TEH DEPTH!!11!!

      GIVE ME PORCELLO AND PENNY’S LAST 5 STARTS!!

      THEO IS A STARTING GM’AHHH!!

      http://sports.espn.go.com/mlb/spring2009/columns/story?columnist=stark_jayson&id=3967746

      Is the team that spent all those Steinbrenner family dollars really the team to beat? For that matter, did the team that spent all those dollars even have the better winter?

      “For $423 million, the Yankees obviously got some nice pieces,” said one scout. “But in terms of filling needs, I think Boston did just as well, if not better.”

      We know the names in the Yankees’ new stimulus package: CC Sabathia, Mark Teixeira and A.J. Burnett. They were the biggest, brightest packages on the free-agent shelves, and the Yankees bought out the store.

      But the Red Sox’s additions were products of a whole different philosophy, not just a whole different checking account. The four free agents they imported — John Smoltz, Brad Penny, Takashi Saito and Rocco Baldelli — cost this team 4 million fewer guaranteed dollars ($12.5 million total) than the Yankees will pay Burnett alone this year.

      Nevertheless, the upside of those men gives the Red Sox four potential impact players without the price tags, or long-term inflexibility, that come with handing out contracts that run through 2016.

      [/gammons’d
      [/stark’d
      [/olney’d

      • LiveFromNewYork

        The Red Sox did better?

        This is news to me.

        /Brian Csshman’d

      • Mac

        But the Red Sox’s additions were products of a whole different philosophy,

        Actually that philosophy isn’t new or different – the Sox gambled on guys who were low financial risk and potential high reward. I’m just elated it failed so miserably for them.

        Only thing better is these so-called journalists not only showing their bias but being proved so egregiously wrong.

        Thanks for posting the quote – thought my day couldn’t get any better and it just has.

        I also love having nothing to complain about.

    • Salty Buggah

      I love not having to complain

  • crawdaddie

    Didn’t the Yankees draft Fister a few years ago, but didn’t sign him.

  • Dela G

    By the way, can you guys imagine how this team would be with a healthy 2008 version of CMW?

    they would already have 80 wins by now

    • Salty Buggah

      Don’t forget a fully healhty A-rod

      • Zack

        or if CC, AJ, and Tex werent busts…. oh wait!

  • Salty Buggah

    Wow, ESPN puts us first in the headlines.

    “Swisher HR sparks Yanks’ fifth straight win”

    They put the Sox loss 4th instead of like last.

    “Rangers close on BoSox | Place ‘Salty’ on DL”

    It looks like they are finally realizing that we are legitimately good.

    They even were kind enough to put my injury news next to Sox loss (don’t worry, I’m fine, just a little bruise. I’ll be OK by tomorrow and be reactivated of the DL). ;)

  • Esteban

    Eh, single to Branyan, not Johnson after the Griffey K and routing fly ball should be routine fly ball.

    More importantly, wow, the Yankees are good. Best since 2003? Or earlier?

  • Salty Buggah

    Sergio Mitre’s last 2 games: 10.1 innings, 4 ER

    Not bad, and it could have been 2 runs better if he turns the DP in the Toronto game.

  • Esteban

    Yanks now tied with Dodgers for best run diff. in baseball at +111

    • http://imgur.com/NMNVd.jpg Joba Powers (all I needs is a jheri curl mullet)

      …Dodgers…

      shakes fist angrily

  • dkidd

    fister

    heh heh…heh heh…

    • Pasqua

      “Fister? I barely know her!”

  • http://twitter.com/JamalG Jamal G.

    That called strike on Ryan Langerhans was borderline at worst. IMO, it was a damn strike: *http://bit.ly/pGTnL

    *The pitch in question is located on the -0.4, 1.4 point of the graph.

  • desus

    This team is amazing to watch. This is quality Yankees baseball.

    Molina did a hella of a job framing that “strike”.

  • Peter Lacock

    Yep, close pitches (and bang-bang plays) can go either way (until instant replay takes hold in 10 or 20 years), you win some, you lose some. DRob was due to get one. The last time he had trouble he threw 6 or 7 right there and didn’t get a strike call on any of them.

    • Peter Lacock

      Sorry, intended reply to Jamal G.

  • Pete c.

    I know this is off topic, so, sorry at the getgo.
    Where can you find the stat of how many times a team’s staff has hit batters. It seems quite often lately, when I watch highlights of the previous nights games, some Boston pitcher is hitting some other teams batter. Are they trying to take over the title of A.L’s chippiest team?

    • ClayBuchholzLovesLaptops

      http://tinyurl.com/of5zgl

      Boaton has indeed the lead, just one ahead of the Yankees, though.

      • LiveFromNewYork

        But with the way they bitch (and charge the mound) you’d think they wouldn’t be even on the list.

        Their beaning of Kinsler was just wrong. If Joba did that they’d be calling for his expulsion from baseball.

        • Kay Sturns

          it was very bad, you saw supercaptain just bury his head; “I didn’t mean for it to hit hish head.”

        • Zack

          definately, Merloni would be up on his high horse screaming Joba still has never ben suspended (but he has), and Kruk would say thats not how you play baseball, and Showalter would have a 30 minute Buck Stops Here piece on it

  • LiveFromNewYork

    D-Rob: “I thought it was a strike.” (laughs)

  • http://twitter.com/Hopjake Jake H

    Good win. This team is just on a roll.

  • pete

    ***off topic question alert***
    ’09 AL silver slugger at 2B?
    Hill: leads in hrs, solid avg
    Cano: leads in avg, solid obp, 2nd in xbh, slg
    Zobrist: leads in obp, slg, OPS, not a ton of ABs though
    Kinsler: good hrs, good SB

    If Zobrist gets 450 ABs at the same numbers then he gets my vote, if not, i gotta go with cano, hill close behind

  • Charlie D

    We now enter the period I refer as “boring wins during the dog days of summmer”. This is vastly superior and much more enjoyable then the opposite period know as “boring losses”.