Yanks jump on Rays early, take nightcap 11-1

Game 139 Spillover Thread II
The Derek Jeter contract conundrum

With both Hughes and Mo pitching in the day half of yesterday’s doubleheader, the Yankees had limited options in the back end of their bullpen for the night half. The best solution was to put up a crooked number, and that’s just what the Yankees did. They put up an eight spot in the third inning, and that was more than enough for A.J. Burnett and the recently recalled members of the bullpen. They took down the Rays with relative ease.

Things didn’t start out so smoothly for Burnett, and his recent struggles amplified the effect. Two doubles, one just out of Nick Swisher‘s reach, led to a run, and then Burnett infuriatingly walked the next hitter, Pat Burrell. Further frustration mounted when Burnett walked B.J. Upton, always a threat to steal a bag, to lead off the second. But from there, Burnett cruised.

Burnett had only one 1-2-3 inning, but after Longoria’s double only one Ray reached second base, and that was the result of a walk and a fielder’s choice. The Rays managed just four hits in A.J.’s six innings. They did draw three walks, but none of those runners came around to score. Most encouragingly from Burnett, he struck out eight, a sign that he had his stuff. He’ll need it as the Yankees march down the stretch into the playoffs.

In the third the Yanks would pick up all the runs they’d need for the game, and maybe tomorrow’s game, too. They plated eight runs on eight hits and two walks. Two of the hits came from Jose Molina, who had a three for three night with two walks. Mark Teixeira put the Yanks up 5-1 with a rally killing three-run shot. The Yanks were able to mount another rally, though, bringing home three more. Strangely, Derek Jeter caused two outs in the inning.

Not that it means much in the context of the game itself, but Derek Jeter failed to pick up a hit in either end of the doubleheader, and still trails Lou Gehrig by three hits. He’ll get them soon enough. It just wasn’t in the cards today — the only doubleheader in his career in which Jeter has played both ends and failed to pick up a hit in either.

Apparently Jeter lent his hitting skill to Jose Molina, who reached base five times for the first time in his career. Even stranger: Jeter was the only starter to not pickup a hit. This is even stranger still because many of the starters, Jeter included, took an early seat because of the enormous lead.

Mike Dunn combated some control issues in the ninth, issuing two walks, but he overcame it without allowing a run, closing the game and bringing the Yanks’ magic number down to a Fordian 16. The series picks up again tomorrow with Chad Gaudin taking on David Price.

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Game 139 Spillover Thread II
The Derek Jeter contract conundrum
  • Dela G

    this sweep was exactly what the yanks needed

    AJ needed to show he could right the ship, and the yanks were able to get every single september callup some time to play

    the only downside was that jetes had no hits, but we all know he will be fine.

    Good to see Mo look like mo, even though the ump tried his hardest to make it seem otherwise.

    I am really interested to see if they let gaudin go to 100 pitches this time, lets hope he can go 6 innings like Joe wants them to.

    Oh and of course, we lowered the magic number by 3 in one day. Now that’s takin care of business

    • Omar

      It wasn’t exactly a sweep, really…there’s still games in the series left to be played. I don’t want Chad Gaudin throw 100 pitches, that doesn’t sound like a strategy very conducive winning. I wished that Pena got more PT that game, if not just to get him some reps at the plate, and hopefully on the bases.

      • Dela G

        well i mean it was a day/night sweep, and pena got plenty of time sunday if my memory serves me right

        • Omar

          They should have pulled Jeter after the third.

          • whozat

            Yeah, giving Derek Jeter more ABs to try and get him closer to clearing this whole record thing off his plate was inexcusable.

            Either way, it really didn’t matter. At all. Hard for me to be mad at Girardi for playing Jeter for 3 extra innings.

            • Omar

              The record is fairly meaningless…Pena needs to be fresh and they should try to rest key starters, like Jeter, to keep them fresh down the stretch and hopefully into the playoffs.

              • Sweet Dick Willie

                You know things are sweet in Yankeeland when Roberto Pena’s playing time is all you have to bitch about.

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

    The 2009 Yankees have equalled the win total for all of 2008 on Labor Day.

    They are on pace to win 104 games.

    That would be the team’s best season since 1998 and before that since the 1970s. 105 wins and that second date becomes 1961.

    The Yankees have a 9 game lead in the AL East and are more than five games ahead in the race for home field advantage (and if you might have to face the Angels, this matters).

    Derek Jeter did not break any records tonight, but I have a funny feeling he’d trade that for where his team is at 24/7/365.

    (Yes, I posted this exact to the Yankeesfans livejournal community, no, I am not plagarising anyone but myself…)

  • Nickel

    “The best solution was to put up a crooked number, and that’s just what the Yankees did.”

    Actually, they put up two straight numbers. :-)

    I was so psyched to see AJ come out and throw a great game.

    And how about Dunn finally getting some K’S!

  • Andy In Sunny Daytona

    I’m pretty sure Melky got that OPS+ back to triple digits. So all the Yankees are above it again, where they belong.

    • manimal

      Brett Gardner and Melky are both at 99 OPS+…

      • manimal

        Just saying but… Mike Cameron at 110 OPS+ and Crawford at 109 OPS+ and just for fun… Elsbury at 93 OPS+

        • http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/08R3h0p5XCeyR/610x.jpg Tom Zig

          Check out the sponsor on the ellsbury page.

          • Zack

            ha

          • Sam P.

            That’s hilarious.

            And, with a 93 OPS+, he *is* almost as good as Brett Gardner!

      • Andy In Sunny Daytona

        That was before today.

        • Andy In Sunny Daytona

          Now Melky is at 102 OPS+.

  • manimal

    *yawn* When does the playoffs start?

  • Omar

    Overall I was satisfied with the way Giradi managed this game. He took out AJ after six even though he was below 100 pitches, and he put in crappy relievers during a blowout in the extremely likely event that they need to use good ones to back up Chad Gaudin. Furthermore, he got some of the back ups some playing time.

    Also:

    There should be two magic numbers: Division and HFA magic numbers.

    • whozat

      The latter is the former + 3.

      • Omar

        I realize that, but…that can like, ya’know change…

        • whozat

          So, you have to keep track of what the angels do. K.

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

    I fucking hate Jeff Francouer.

    • whozat

      What’d he do?

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

        2nded

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

          Click the “rally killing” link.

    • Omar

      I’m glad he plays for the Mets.

    • http://www.teamnerdrage.com leokitty

      I still enjoy that they do show OBP on the scoreboard at Turner Field and also many other ballparks across MLB and MiLB.

    • Drew

      He fits in well with the Mets. Homeruns are bad news.

  • Esteban

    Please more anti-Melky posts! He’s gone from .266/.327 .420/.747 on 8/17 (last game before the post) to .281/.340/.430.

    • mustang

      Works the same for Andy Pettitte

      • mustang

        Lights out since anti-Andy post

        • Bo

          And some people dont believe in superstitions

  • Kiersten

    No open thread tonight? Oh well, that’s sad because the MIAMI HURRICANES just won an amazing football game. C-A-N-E-S CANES!

    And running the magic number down 3 in one day is pretty freaking awesome.

  • Jeffrey

    This is certainly not the same Rays team as last year. Seems like they don’t have that fight in them. Not much of a bullpen there either.

    Gotta love those homers by Tex. Melky’s staying hot too, 2-2 in the same inning. Where did Molina come from going 3-3?

    When is Jeter going to get that record? Tues, Weds, or beyond?

    • King of Fruitless Hypotheticals

      Depends–you miss tomorrows game and he goes 4-4 :)

    • GG

      This is certainly not the same Rays team AL East as last year. Seems like they don’t have that fight in them the other teams just can’t keep up. Not much of a </strike) The bombers bullpenn is unstoppable.

      Gotta love those homers by Tex. Melky’s staying hot too, 2-2 in the same inning. Where did Molina come from going 3-3?

      When is Jeter going to get that record? Tues, Weds, or beyond?

      Fixed.

      • JGS

        fail

        • GG

          Yea I’m a little crunked but its far from a fail, you got the jist of it….the Yanks are really good

          • GG

            …ok not “far”

  • JGS

    on June 7th, the Yankees beat Tampa by scoring three runs in the 8th off Grant Balfour without getting the ball out of the infield (once he came in), dropping the Rays to 29-29

    That game was the big difference between the Rays of 2008 and 2009, and it was evident back in June–the pixie dust just wasn’t there this year. Losing Pena and dropping these games is probably the final nail in their coffin

    see you next year Tampa

    • EB

      Check out the Rays’ pythag record. They just got lucky last year and are essentially the same team this year.

      • Tank Foster

        What are the actual #s? Pythag’s are just estimates; you can’t assume they are a gold standard of a team’s value. Most of the time teams are very close, but variance of as much as 5-10 wins over a season aren’t unexpected.

        Everyone was talking about the Rays being better this season, but these sorts of predictions are so, well, predictable in sports, and they rarely pan out. I remember the 1985 Chicago Bears, the dominant team that went 15-1 and blew out New England in the Super Bowl. After the season, the stories were that they had a very young team, blah blah blah, and they’d win several more Super Bowls. They won zero.

        The Rays were fortunate enough to have 5 pitchers stay healthy and have very good years last year. The chance that would repeat was slim, and I figured the Rays would be good, but wouldn’t be better than either NY or Boston.

        By the way, has anyone looked at the “year after” numbers for the Rays’ staff? Since they have had a couple of pitchers show steep performance drop offs (Sonnanstine, Kazmir, Shields to a degree), has anyone looked at their innings pitched data, etc.? I’m just pointing out that when guys have really good years, they usually pitch lots of innings, and regression to the mean usually causes them to drop off the next year.

  • Free Mike Vick

    Again we see Two-Face aka AJ Burnett…

    i still believe that once the playoffs roll around we will see “good” AJ…just my feeling.

  • mryankee

    Good for AJ nice to to get back with it. Of course I was asking myself why Crawford, Bartlett and Zobrist were out of the lineup are they all injured?

  • http://twitter.com/Hopjake Jake H

    Great 2 wins. AJ struggled a bit but he righted the ship.

    • Tank Foster

      I like the way AJ pitches….well, I mean, I like his attitude. He struggles with his stuff, but he does not seem to pitch fearfully. I think he shows frustration when he’s not pitching well, but Pettitte and many other pitchers do that. But overall, he lets it fly, and I sort of think guys like this tend to be good playoff performers, because they have less of a tendency to choke. I think it’s going to be a great postseason.

  • Makavelli

    When do we start seeing the split line ups…resting most of the A team players. I know we’ve technically already started…but when do we start seeing like last nights the team that ended the game last night…start the game? Maybe not exactly that lineup (with Molina playing 1B and stuff) but with the majority of the A Team guys sitting out…

    • Andy In Sunny Daytona

      but with the majority of the A Team guys sitting out…

      Do you mean like Common playing B.A. Baracus instead of Mr.T?

      • Makavelli

        But who’s going to play Murdock!!

      • http://cache.daylife.com/imageserve/08R3h0p5XCeyR/610x.jpg Tom Zig
        • Andy In Sunny Daytona

          If “The Sun” reported it, it has to be true. They are a very trustworthy news source. I was just going off of what IMDB says. That BA will be either Common or The Game. I would hope that we would cast an actor for the roll. But that’s just me. Call me crazy, but I like actual actors to, you know….act.

    • Chris

      I hope never. The A lineup needs to keep playing some just to stay sharp. I like what Girardi has done with resting a couple regulars in every game.

  • Makavelli

    By the way…CC Sabathia is an absolute BEAST.

    Should we try and rest him a little bit for the playoffs? Or does that hurt him even more you think?

    I just hope the same thing doesn’t happen this year where he pitches WAY over 200 innings (he’s at about 207 IP right now) and is fatigued for the playoffs…

    • AndrewYF

      He won’t be fatigued for the playoffs, because he won’t be pitching 130 pitches on three days rest throughout September.

    • Zack

      well by looking quick he only has 4 starts left in the season, and they have to play with the set up to let CC pitch Game 1 on regular rest so he probably has only 3 left. So the next 2 i’m sure they’ll pull him after 6 or around 100 pitches, and then in his last start let him go a little further to get back in the groove before the playoffs.
      Even if he goes 7 in the next 3, the IP will still be lower than ’08 and ’07

      • Makavelli

        Yeah very true.

        • Bo

          You really dont think they are monitoring the health of every pitcher and figuring out workloads??

          • Tank Foster

            I think they follow things in far more detail than most people think. Girardi may not be directly aware of everything being tracked, but I can guarantee you someone on the Yankees knows exactly how much CC has pitched, and they are definitely thinking ahead to the playoffs.

  • AndrewYF

    Melky Cabrera since August 25th:

    58 PA, .377/.421/.509

    You mean players go on hot streaks and cold streaks, and looking at them at the absolute lowest point of their season before the season is over might just be a little unfair?

    • Makavelli

      When do you think he heard about Brett Gardner coming back? Maybe he picked it back up…

      His numbers with Gardner available compared to his numbers with Gardner on the DL (no competition) is uncanny.

      http://riveraveblues.com/2009/.....n-2-16066/

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      If looking at said player at his absolute lowest point is unfair, then so is looking at him during his absolute highest point. Neither one is necessarily an accurate depiction of said player.

      And just for funsies, Melky’s numbers in his previous 15 games (he’s played in 15 since Aug. 25) over 65 PAs:

      .169/.231/.203

      • AndrewYF

        This certainly isn’t his absolute highest point.

  • yankees1977

    I have to say Burnett needs to pitch to Molina. AJ has pitched some of his best games with Molina. I know you can’t put Posada’s bat out of the lineup but, There is obviously a disconect between he and AJ. AJ needs his personal catcher for the playoffs. Lets go Yankees

    • Rob in CT

      He’s also pitched good games to Posada, and some AWFUL ones to Molina. Molina isn’t the answer. AJ having command of his stuff is, and that’s something neither Jose nor Jorge can control.

      • Bo

        I guess Posada gets no credit for the game Burnett pitched against Boston.

        I guess he gets no credit for CC’s game yesterday.

        • http://assets.nydailynews.com/img/2009/07/23/alg_burnett.jpg Mike Pop

          +1

          This bs about how Posada can’t catch Burnett is garbage. I tried to link all the games from B-Ref last night that Po has caught Burnett and they achieved success but it got caught in the spam I guess.

          There’s 5 or 6 games that Posada has caught Burnett and they did just fine, of course the one in Boston as you mentioned. Burnett is a streaky pitcher, just because he had more success with Molina being in a smaller sample size does not mean Burnett’s struggles go on Po.

          Just ridiculous.