Yanks go crazy in the sixth, take season’s final game


As mentioned before the game, there was a milestone or two at stake in this game. Both Mark Teixeira and the team were tied atop their respective home run leader boards, Teixeira tied with Carlos Pena atop the AL leaders and the team tied with the 2004 squad for most home runs by a Yankees team. While Mark had to settle for a tie, the team accomplished their milestone, and in grand fashion. It also brought along another milestone, one that was unlikely to be reached.

At the beginning, it looked like another lackadaisical game for the Yanks. They collected just three hits through the first five innings, and Derek Jeter, who knows no off switch, had two of them. It’s always tough to tell in that situation whether it’s the pitcher going well or the offense just not producing. Considering the Yankees position, it seemed like the latter. So the Yanks would go out losers of four straight. No big deal.

Apparently, they weren’t having any of that. Johnny Damon, who was 0 for 2 on the day and was slumping badly over the past few weeks, led off with a double. Mark Teixeira walked, and then A-Rod got a hold of one, sending it over the left field fence for home run No. 29 and RBI No. 96 on the season. It was a shame, I’m sure a few of you noted, that Alex would fall short of the 30/100 milestone, especially since he had such a great year. Still, 29 homers and 96 RBI in 124 games is pretty remarkable, especially considering the recovery he made from March hip surgery.

After Freddy Guzman ran for Hideki Matsui a batter later, it was clear the regulars were coming out. There was little chance A-Rod would get another at bat in the game. But then a series of strange events unfolded. After tapping one in front of the plate, Melky Cabrera ran as hard as I’ve ever seen him, just barely beating the throw to first base. Best of all, it didn’t look like he even entertained the idea of sliding. A batter later, Jose Molina tapped one in front of the plate as well, but Andy Sonnanstine couldn’t field it cleanly, allowing Guzman to score.

That’s when Damon struck again. With the bases loaded and two outs he laced one down the right field line, plating Melky and Swisher and putting runners on second and third. The Rays, not wanting to serve up Mark Teixeira’s 40th home run, intentionally walked him to get to A-Rod, which is like a pitcher walking Ortiz to get to Manny back in 2005. The bases were set up for A-Rod.

I don’t know how he did it. I don’t know why Sonnanstine left a pitch where he did, and I don’t know how A-Rod managed to get a hold of it and take it to right center. All I know is that it dropped beyond the fence, and in the span of one inning A-Rod has gotten to his 30 home runs and 100 RBI. With his three hits in the game he raised his average to .286 after being in the .260s in August. It’s been a wild ride for A-Rod, and now he’s facing his biggest challenge: producing in the playoffs.

Burnett’s tune-up wasn’t all bad. He allowed a home run to Evan Longoria in the first, a forgivable solo shot, and then another run scored on a Jose Molina passed ball. While Burnett allowed seven hits and a walk, a few too many baserunners in five innings, he also threw 55 of his 84 pitches for strikes, 65 percent. He came out after the fifth, but because the Yanks batted first in the sixth he picked up his 13th win of the season, lowering his ERA to an acceptable 4.04.

Afer that, the game was a cinch. The bullpen didn’t allow a hit or walk, and all five Yankees relievers recorded a strikeout. The story, of course, was Joba Chamberlain, who looked sharp in his frame, retiring the Rays with just nine pitches, seven of which were strikes. It wasn’t the setup man Joba were were quite used to — his fastball topped out around 95, though again that’s perfectly acceptable. He mixed that with an accurate slider to put down the Rays as fast as they came up. If this was a true audition for a postseason roster spot, he passed without question.

That’s it, folks. The regular season is over for the Yankees. Their 103 wins matches 2002′s total, which is the highest since 1998. We’ll go over the terrifying lows, the dizzying highs, and the creamy middles between now and Wednesday, when the Yankees are expected to play their first playoff game since 2007. The game will start at 6:07 EDT regardless of whether it’s Wednesday or Thursday.

And with that, it’s time for an open thread. Discuss the game, A-Rod, the Tigers-Twins playoff — which will happen Tuesday — or anything else you want.

Categories : Game Stories


  1. Brooklyn Ed says:

    A-Rod’s first swing was a home run, his last swing of the season was a grand slam. I like I like.

    Question: Does Cervelli, Pena, and Melancon qualify a world series ring if and when the Yanks wins the world series?

    • Johan Iz My Brohan says:

      I believe so, AJ Burnett has a ring from the Marlins despite never pitching in the playoffs for them. Also, Nomar got a ring for the 2004 WS despite being traded midway through the season.

      • Brooklyn Ed says:

        so I’m guessing whoever contributed during the season will get one? that means Shelly Duncan and Clagget will get one since they were called up for a day or 2. wow.

    • Drew says:

      I think that if you spent a day on the 25 man you are eligible for the bling. I could be wrong.

      • Brooklyn Ed says:

        I remember during the season that Mike said Berrora and Tomko would get one if the Yanks does win the series.

        could someone verify this?

        • Rey22 says:

          I don’t have a link or anything, but I know it for a fact. Everyone that spent a day in the 25 roster gets one. In fact, I read some teams (might even include the Yankees) give rings to the grounds crew, clubhouse assistants and such. Don’t quote me on that last one though.

          • Dela G says:

            my little brother was a clubhouse attendant for the astros is 2005 when they went to the world series and has a NL championship ring

            I am so jealous of him, however, when i was on the practice squad for the a&m womens’ bball team (they scrimmage against guys in practice to get a better feel for ingame competition), they won the big 12 championship, and they gave us championship rings and my name is on it. I will for sure show my kids someday :)

        • Lucky says:

          Players vote on who gets a ring, beyond those on the 25 man roster at the end.

      • Januz says:

        I know that playoff shares are determined by the players (A NOTORIOUS story involved the 1932 Cubs who decided NOT to give Mark Koenig a full share, which ticked the Yankees off. (Koenig who was on the 27 Yankees, was very popular in that clubhouse, and they beat the Cubs brains in that Series). I know the rule in the NHL is you must appear in 41 or more games (Provided you are with your team when the teams win the Stanley Cup), or dress for the Cup Finals in order to get your name on the Stanley Cup (You can get a waiver for injured players). I hope that the Yankees have a similiar rule, so guys who are no longer with the organization do not get one (Such as Berrora). Cervelli, Pena, and Melancon were with the Yankees long enough to deserve one (I assume Nady would as well, due to his injury).

    • Mike Axisa says:

      Dude, everyone will get a ring. Berroa, Towers, Ransom, Cash, Steven Jackson, everyone.

  2. Drew says:

    That’s the first time I’ve ever seen “lackadaisical” written.

    The most important part of the day for me was JD. I know it’s too early to say he’s out of the slump, but it sure is a step in the right direction.

  3. JM says:

    Can’t believe the Yankees are already done with the regular season. I feel like so short ago the Yankees got CC, AJ, and Tex. Oh well, IM SO PUMPED FOR THE PLAYOFFS!

  4. JM says:

    By the way, I really, really used to like the Rays and the way they played, but them walking Teixeira to not give up his 40th homerun is really, really, really, REALLY low. All respect I had for that team is now considered eliminated. Just like how every team that faces the Yankees in the playoffs will turn out.

    • Tank the Frank says:

      I totally agree. The Rays have officially pissed me off. Throwing at Tex and then intentionally walking him (and basically pitching around him all series) is the most spiteful thing I’ve seen in a while. Worry about your own team. I guarantee Tex doesn’t give a damn about hitting his 40th HR. The Rays care way more than the Yankees do and it shows the different goals and the difference in maturity the two teams have. Joe Maddon’s eccentricity and the Rays little run was real cute for a while, but what they did today was nothing short of childish.

      • The Artist says:

        Why are you two taking it so personally? It was an attempt to avoid the switch hitter and get a Righty-Righty matchup with Sonnenstine on the mound.

        Geez Louise, everyone isn’t out to get Alex, that’s by the book baseball. There was nothing eccentric or spiteful about it.

        • Tank the Frank says:

          A righty-righty matchup? Andy Sonnanstine vs Alex Rodriguez? Is that the dream matchup Maddon wanted? And what do you mean by out to get Alex? You’re reaching and no mistake. You need to re-read my post I think. And I don’t take it personally. I’m just of the opinion (albeit a strong one) that it was done with the spiteful intention of not letting Tex get an AB with the chance to hit a HR. To me, that’s bush-league by Joe Maddon, as was having Price throw at Tex, which was also intentional in my opinion.

    • Short Porch says:

      The Rays are *ssholes. They wanted to prove they were tough and could stand up to the Yanks and so broke Cervelli’s wrist.

      Enjoy the off season.

      • Pasqua says:

        I think that one might be a stretch.

        • The Artist says:

          But the last few posts weren’t?

        • Tank the Frank says:

          No that’s exactly what happened. Another bush-league play by Joe Maddon and the Rays. There is simply no need in baseball for any player to get hurt by intentional physical contact during the preseason. You’ve got 162 games to go crashing into catchers to try and score runs, and no one would say anything about it. Doing it during the preseason defines unnecessary.

          And I don’t want hear the “young player trying to impress his manager” argument. There are a myriad other ways to accomplish that. Run out ground balls, hit the cutoff man, move runners over and play hard; collisions into the opposing catcher crosses the line.

    • Lucky says:

      Who cares? Rays have a reason to care about individual achievements at this point, the Yanks shouldn’t care one hoot. Bay was rested tons the last week. He could have won both the HR and RBI titles, but nobody in Boston would even think to care about that. NYY have really fallen hard.

      • Yeah, I frankly don’t care. It didn’t even dawn on me that they were doing it. It would’ve been nice for Tex to get 40 but Rodriguez getting 30/100 on the next swing was just as sweet, if not more so.

      • Tank the Frank says:

        Totally invalid argument. Bay (or Teixeira for that matter) being rested by his own manager and being intentionally walked FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE of keeping him from an achievement are two different things. The latter is bush-league. It’s like bunting to break up a no-hitter IMO.

        • Tank the Frank says:

          But like I said, I’m sure Tex and the Yankees don’t care. But in my opinion is that it’s sad the Rays cared enough to do it. That’s the only problem I have.

    • Kiko Jones says:

      As someone who rooted for them in the WS last year and was hoping they’d overtake the Sux in this season’s AL wild card race, I’m also upset at the Rays and their bush league shenanigans re: Teixeira.

      No class.

  5. Dela G says:

    remember when i said that lucky was alex gonzalez reincarnated a few days ago?

    yeah, i think i’m right on this one

  6. Thomas A. Anderson says:

    Regular season is over. That was fast.

    Now the hard part starts. Only baseball. Only in baseball could winning 11 games be more difficult than winning 100+.

    Ah well, I’m just glad the Yankees are back in it.

    • Januz says:

      Although they do not play as many regular season games as baseball, winning the Stanley Cup is harder. You need to win 16 games (My Penguins needed to win THREE Game Sevens to win the Cup (Including back to back series on the ROAD).

      • Alex K. says:

        More games doesn’t make it harder… In fact that leaves more room for error. One-and-done’s are the hardest (NFL, March Madness)

        • Januz says:

          The most penal sport to lose in is without question College Football (Ask USC about it sometime). As for Basketball, it is not as harsh as one might think. If you are a North Carolina, you get two straight games against creampuff opponents (Quite often they get “neutral court games” in say, Charlotte). As for The NFL, I would certainly agree with you, it would be the roughest of the professional sports to survive and win. The thing about hockey is though, you need two months of playoffs to capture the Stanley Cup, and you will take a beating to achieve that goal.

  7. Nels says:

    “While Burnett allowed seven runs and a walk…” I think you mean hits?

  8. There are very few words to describe the awesomeness that is Alex Rodriguez.

  9. pete says:

    I still have mancrush wood from a-rod’s 6th inning. this is his year, his postseason. i feel it

  10. BigBlueAL says:

    MLB.com has the Yankees listed in the “A” series already so they will play Wed.

  11. ROBTEN says:

    Just keep in mind, even if A-Rod struggles in the playoffs, it was because of season that he had that the Yankees have an opportunity to play in the postseason.

    Remember the offensive black hole that was Angely Ransomoa…

  12. Short Porch says:

    We need to let this achievement sink in.

    A-Rod had a monster, epic, final inning.

    How many people have driven in seven runs in an inning? In all the games ever played, very very few. Fernando Tatis has the record with 8 RBIS and two grand slams in one inning. So that is one at least who in the long history of baseball had more.

    But then A-Rod needed 30 HRs and 100 RBIs, and the Yanks needed 243 HRs for their all time record.

    Then those A-hole Rays intentionally walk Teixera so that he doesn’t get his 40th and pass Carlos Pena (how bush league).

    But with the first swing how many knew that A-Rod had a real chance at getting 30, 100, 243?

    Watching baseball for 45 years and A-Rod in particular, I was not surprised.

    He willed that to happen.

  13. A.D. says:

    First pitch is at 6:07 or coverage?

  14. JobaWockeeZ says:

    So did the Yanks choose the A series or B?

  15. JM says:

    I think this thread died….

  16. chriskeo says:

    What do you guys think, in my keeper league (fantasy baseball), i was offered arod straight up for prince fielder, we are allowed 6 keepers for 2010 and was wondering if i should do the trade, i already have pujols and am using fielder at utility.

  17. gab says:

    I love the Wrap-up of all season best play video at the end of the YES final regular season im just curious of the songs they use for it and it really pumps me up as a fan. If someone knows thw songs used please let me know thanks in advance

  18. Nels says:

    I just realized that the Yankees have the lowest team ERA out of all AL teams in the playoffs. They also lead all the AL in strike outs and opponent’s BA. Despite this people say their pitching is a big weakness for them.

  19. Lawrence A. Herman says:

    Three cheers for River Avenue Blues! A great blog all season.

    Hip, hip…

  20. The Artist says:

    There’s a guy named ‘Zach Links’ on MLBTR?


    That’s the internet version of a porn star calling himself Hank Spankalicious.

  21. The Artist says:

    If anyone was listening on the radio, Sterling and Suzyn were bitching about the sound system all day. It was annoying, but the way John dealt with it made it (unintentionally) hilarious.

    • Pasqua says:

      They always bitch about the noise, including the volume of the booth PA systems. But, frankly, the PA system gives out information more concisely and informatively than they do. I’d rather listen to the speaker.

  22. Pasqua says:

    You know, I was initially pissed to hear about the 6:00 starts, but looking at the schedule, it makes sense to do it that way. Starting an EST game at 9:30 at night is insane, so giving that slot to West Coast games is sensible. And, a 6:00 start at least beats a 2:30 start, which is the only other option.

    Now, why the slots can’t just be 4:00, 7:00, and 10:00 is another matter…

  23. Jamal G. says:

    I’d just like to point out that from May 27th through August 17th, a span of 95.2 innings pitched, A.J. Burnett posted a 3.74 FIP; his opponents’ vital line against was .227/.328/.317; his strikeout-to-walk ratio was 1.77 (Burnett’s 2009 mark heading into today’s start was a flat two); the HR/9 rate was 0.57; his K/9 rate was an even 8.00. In those fifteen starts, or 45% of Burnett’s 2009 worth of starts, Jorge Posada was behind the plate for twelve out of a possible *fourteen starts.

    *Jorge Posada did not return from the disabled list until May 29th, two days after the first start of A.J. Burnett’s dominant stretch.

    Honestly, A.J. Burnett can pitch to former high school catcher Ben Kabak if he’s on. This crap about Burnett not being able to pitch to Posada is just that: crap.

    • BigBlueAL says:

      + 20

    • Drew says:

      It is crap.

      Also, I have a hard time thinking Joe G, a former catcher himself, will go up to Jorgie and say, “we need you to sit this one out(or DH depending on the matchup).”

      • The Artist says:

        Girardi had a very different style as a Catcher. He did his homework, but was much more willing to let a pitcher go with whatever was working that day. Jorge doesn’t do that. If a pitch isn’t working, he keeps calling it over and over to ‘help the pitcher get a feel for it’. But pitchers will tell you that pitches come and go over the course of a game, and the smart move is to just drop it and stick with what’s working.

        He will also repeatedly call for pitches he thinks attack the hitter’s weakness, and doesn’t like being shaken off. So he insists on his pitcher throw a pitch he doesn’t believe in. If a pitcher throw a pitch half-heartedly, bad things happen. The David Ortiz AB where AJ threw up his hands in disgust was a great example of this.

        Long story short, I think Girardi has a very different philosophy about catching than Jorge does. This means he would like to slowly phase him out defensively. It’s already started, Jorge only caught 100 games this year. He missed 22 games in May, but that doesn’t explain all of it. CC had a different catcher for most of the year (20 of 35 starts) and now AJ has a personal catcher as well.

        • BigBlueAL says:

          Yeah Girardi can relate to Molina, they both are terrible hitters who are considered to be good game-callers which is total bullshit.

          • The Artist says:

            Bullshit? Prove it.

            • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

              cERA is almost universally laughed at as a stat. I could gather proof but I’m very tired and want to go to sleep.

              • The Artist says:

                I know that, and I wasn’t going there. He said “good game-callers is total bullshit” and the reality is that it can’t be proved conclusively one way or the other.

                But even that’s irrelevant. If the pitcher feels more comfortable with a certain catcher, I have no problem with it. He just better produce, which AJ has with Molina.

                • Tank the Frank says:

                  So if we can’t come to any conclussion when analyzing the statistical evidence about how a pitcher throws with a certain catcher – can’t prove it one way or another – then why not throw all that out the window and put the best team on the field?

                  And don’t act as if it’s not as if AJ hasn’t produced with Posada behind the plate.

                • The Artist says:

                  Occasionally, yes. But he’s produced more often with Molina back there. He’s also thrown most (5 of 6) of his clunkers with Posada behind the dish.

                  There are no guarantees in life or baseball, all you can do is put the odds in your favor. Molina increases the odds from the pitching side, and subtracts some from the hitting side. I’ll make that trade off.

                • Tank the Frank says:

                  I completely understand your point of view. I just disagree. I didn’t mean to come off rude either BTW.

                • The Artist says:

                  No, me neither.

                  and in case you were wondering I replied to the wrong post at the top of the thread about Tex/Alex. I just noticed that.

            • Tank the Frank says:

              The proof is in the pudding bro. The stats Jamal G mentioned speak for themselves. I think RAB even had a post showing the staff’s ERA w/ Posada and w/o over the years IIRC. It showed no reason to believe the players who have pitched for the Yankees over the years were better or worse with Posada. I’ll look for the link if this discussion is continued.

              And don’t ask someone to prove a point when you make a three paragraph post based on conjecture.

              If a pitch isn’t working, he keeps calling it over and over to ‘help the pitcher get a feel for it’. He will also repeatedly call for pitches he thinks attack the hitter’s weakness, and doesn’t like being shaken off. So he insists on his pitcher throw a pitch he doesn’t believe in.
              I’d like to know where you got your information.

          • The Artist says:

            BTW-You know what isn’t bullshit? The way pitchers BB/SO rates plummet with Jorge behind the plate.

        • Drew says:

          Bro, AJ throws two pitches. I understand the “Jorgie calls for pitches even if they’re not working” for a guy like Moose, not a two pitch pitcher. Bottom line, if AJ elevates his fastball and cannot control the curve, he’ll get hit.

          • The Artist says:

            ..and he has to locate them. If he doesn’t feel good throwing a pitch inside, then he shouldn’t. That’s what happened on the Ortiz AB, with a disastrous outcome.

            • Drew says:

              I guess it’s mostly opinion. I’d say AJ can throw well to Jorgie or Molina. I’d also say AJ can clunk it up while pitching to either.

              AJ’s going to pitch well in the post season, I want Jorge batting 6th or 5th.

              • The Artist says:

                “I guess it’s mostly opinion.”

                Exactly, game calling can’t be proved one way or the other, so you just go with whatever works.

                If AJ was bitching about Jorge and pitching like crap to Molina, then I’d write him off as an excuse maker. But he’s produced, so I leave things as is. He’s so damn streaky, both good and bad, I don’t want to get him off track when he’s going good.

    • The Artist says:

      Maybe its all in AJ’s head. But even if it is, that still counts. Lots of things about athletes are mental, and they still have to be dealt with.

      To his credit, Girardi tried to get these two to work it out for most of the season. But when that didn’t work, he had to change direction. He’d be a fool to force the issue in the playoffs.

      • Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

        I disagree. You put your best lineup out there. A.J. Burnett would be selfish not to give his team the best chance to win because he’s pissed off about his catcher. Work it out.

        • The Artist says:

          If you value any bat over the starting pitcher, you’re telling me that the 5 ABs he can affect are more important than the 25-30 ABs the starting pitcher can impact on the opposition.

        • Tank the Frank says:

          +1. I agree completely. This division was giftwrapped some time ago. More than enough time for Jorge and AJ to get a few starts in and get on the same page. Not only does Joe G. weaken the lineup considerably with Molina there, but it’s the manager’s job to make sure these things are ironed out for the postseason. If Molina is behind the plate for game 2 – which will be the case – that’s a big fail by Joe G. IMO.

    • Honestly, A.J. Burnett can pitch to former high school catcher Ben Kabak if he’s on.

      I would love to be the starting catcher on Wednesday night. I might be a bit rusty though. It’s been a few years.

  24. Drew says:

    Ballsy play there by Tomlin. Turns out to be a good move.

  25. Accent Shallow says:

    Took my brother to the last Mets game of the year for his birthday. I hadn’t checked the pitching matchups beforehand, so when I saw Nelson Figueroa, I complained a bit.

    He threw a CGSHO up on the Astros. Heh.

  26. Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

    Random, but this is an open thread, so…

    I just read the most Batshit insane story ever. It was in Chicken Soup for the Teenage Soul II (Tennage nephew recommended the story; he was right). It was about this dude named Mike Powell who grew up on the streets in LA raising his 7 siblings while his abusive, cocaine addicted father and drug addict mother moved them into homes with prostitiutes, drug addicts and murderers. Mike Powell had to raise his family in the middle of all this, taking on all the responsibilities of a fther to the other children. When this startedm he was 8 years old.

    Thatdoesn’t reveal half the insanity of it. Read the story. It’s incredible.

  27. Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

    Eli for MVP?

    O know all about Drew Brees, but still…Eli is playing awesome.

  28. jon says:

    Here is something really cool

    Last year i went to the yankee game when arod got this 100 RBI

    he hit a grand slam vs the rays during the 2nd to last week of the season

    you cant make this shit up

  29. Dela G says:

    Something to watch for in the postseason

    AL Bullpen Rankings post all star break (just second half ERA)

    1. Yankees 3.98 (only team under 4)
    3. LAAAAAAAAA of USA 4.11
    9. Detroit 4.55
    10. Boston 4.67
    11. Minnesota 4.72

  30. Rocky Road Redemption (formerly RAB poster) says:

    Think about this: The Twinkies trailed by three games with four to play.

    They are now tied for first.

    IMO, the smart cash is on the Twinkies.

  31. Jake K. says:

    I’m in a keeper league for the first time ever and not sure who to hang on to. I can keep up to five of these guys:

    Joey Votto
    Brian Roberts
    Mark Reynolds
    David Wright
    Adam Lind
    J. Upton
    Alfonso Soriano
    Tommy Hanson

    If anyone has any advice, it’s much appreciated.

  32. I didn’t realize how much Joey Votto raked this year. Damn, he’s good.

    • Evan says:

      Votto just killed me. I was facing someone in the championship in a H2H league and he had him. I still had a shot to win it but the hot streak I was hoping to get from Pujols never happened. :(

  33. Drew says:

    I don’t know how many people around here chef it up, but I just made these wings and they’re bangin.


  34. Jersey says:

    Game, set, match: Pittsburgh.

  35. Raul says:

    It was Jeter and not Damon who struck out in that big inning. Damon hit a couple of doubles

  36. DC says:

    I completely understand your point of view. I just disagree. I didn’t mean to come off rude either BTW.

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