Cervelli & Teixeira lead the way as Yanks pummel Sox again

Trenton walks off with a win as Romine's streak comes to an end
Where are they now? Yankees offseason targets

Even though the Yankees won on Friday, it was a frustrating win. Josh Beckett pitched with a reckless abandon that directly led to Robbie Cano‘s injury, while Nick Johnson also went down for the count. They rolled into Fenway on Saturday afternoon looking not just for a little revenge, but for another win, which would give them six in a row and their second series win over the Red Sox in an as many tries. Four hours of baseball plus a rain delay later, they got that win. They got that win and then some.

Photo Credit: Elise Amendola, AP

Biggest Hit: You Got Cerv’d

The first four innings of this game went back and forth because no one really decided to take control. The Yanks were certainly getting men on base against Clay Buchholz – 14 baserunners in his five innings, in fact – but their lead stood at just one, at least until Frankie Cervelli stepped to the plate with the bases loaded and two outs in the 5th.

Photo Credit: Michael Dwyer, AP

The Red Sox righthander threw a first pitch changeup to the young catcher, just like he did the inning before. And just like the inning before, Cervelli took the pitch low for a ball. In the 4th, Buchholz followed up with a flat 90 mph slider that stayed up, which Cervelli dunked into center for a single. He wouldn’t make the same mistake this inning, but his 94 mph heater was over the plate and Cervelli once again singled to center. Two runs crossed the plate before Randy Winn was tagged out in a run down between second and third, and the Yankees had a three run lead they would never relinquish.

Biggest Out: Beltre gets doubled up

Right at the start of the game, Mark Teixeira killed a two on, no out rally in the first, but all is forgiven since he more than made up for it later in the game (more on that in a bit). An inning later, Adrian Beltre did almost exactly the same thing. Kevin Youkilis and Mike Lowell reached with singles before J.D. Drew went down swinging, so Beltre had a chance to give Boston an early lead, something they probably could have used after Friday night’s messy loss.

CC Sabathia started him out with a  sinker away for a ball, but his next pitch – a changeup – got the corner for a strike, He tried to get the free swinging Beltre by doubling up on the change, but he wouldn’t bite. The fourth pitch of the at-bat actually wasn’t all that good, a sinker left out over the plate and about knee high. Thankfully, Boston’s third baseman chopped it into the ground, leading to a garden variety and inning ending 6-4-3 double play.

Photo Credit: Michael Dwyer, AP

Revenge

We didn’t know when it was going to happen or who it was going to happen to, but everyone had a pretty good idea that a Yankee pitcher was going to plunk a Red Sox batter as retaliation for Beckett’s recklessness on Friday. Turns out that Sabathia took matters into his own hands, drilling Dustin Pedroia in the behind with a first pitch fastball that registered at 98 mph on PitchFX. He’s probably not going to be able to sit on that side for a week, but Boston’s second baseman knew what was up and just put his head down and ran to first. It was about as orderly as a revenge beaning could be. Well, except for what followed.

Sabathia had already allowed a homer to minor league legend Darnell McDonald earlier in the inning, and his command was less than stellar on the day already. Victor Martinez, his former teammate in Cleveland, dug in, and after taking a first pitch fastball for a strike, he sat back and watched CC throw three straight balls. Taking all the way on 3-1, V-Mart let a hittable changeup go by for a strike, then fouled off a sinker with the count full. The next pitch was probably Sabathia’s worst of the game, a 94 mph fastball belt high and over the plate, which Martinez turned around and launched clear over the Green Monster. The Red Sox had taken the lead, and Joe Buck was yelling that the Red Sox have been “fired up” by the hit by pitch.

I don’t have a problem with sticking up for your teammates, but I did have a bit of a problem with the timing. It was a one run game and the middle of the order was coming up. You’ve just gotta be smarter than that, and wait until later on when the game isn’t so up for grabs. And you know what? If the opportunity doesn’t come to retaliate later in the game, then so be it. That makes it the next pitcher’s job whenever he gets a chance. Sabathia threw 17 pitches in the inning after hitting Pedroia, which essentially meant the bullpen was going to have to work an extra inning later in the game. Granted, it wasn’t factor in this one because of the weather, but that doesn’t make it okay.

Believe it not, V-Mart’s bomb was the biggest WPA swing of the game, improving Boston’s chances of winning by 20.6%.

The Frankie & Mark Show

Photo Credit: Michael Dwyer, AP

With four regulars either on the disabled list or limited due to injury, the Yankees’ lineup looked a little less formidable than usual. Thankfully, Teixeira and Cervelli made that a moot point.

Photo Credit: Michael Dwyer, AP

The Yanks’ first baseman went 4-for-6 on the day, with three of those four leaving the yard. His first homer was a solo shot off Buchholz in the 5th, breaking a 3-3 and giving the Yankees a lead they would never give back. The second came off Ramon Ramirez, the first batter he faced, and was another solo jack that wrapped around the Pesky Pole to push the Yanks even further out in front. The third homer probably shouldn’t count since it came off a 79 mph fastball from outfielder turned pitcher Jon Van Every in the 9th inning of a nine run game. Either way, it was the first three run homer by a Yankee since Alex Rodriguez worked over Bartolo Colon back in 2005, and only the second three homer game by a Yankee in Fenway Park. The first one belongs to some guy named Lou Gehrig.

Not to be outdone, Cervelli had the finest game of his young career, going 3-for-4 with five runs driven in, all on singles punched right back up the middle. Hitting coach Kevin Long was probably thrilled to see that. Ever since Jorge Posada went down with his calf injury, the Yanks’ backup backstop has gone 9-for-14 with two walks and just one strikeout, and he’s hitting a cool .429-.500-.500 on the season.

They’re Calling For The Tarp When?!

Photo Credit: Elise Amendola, AP

The weather report this weekend has been anything but good, with rain threatening the first two games of the series. The two sides were able to play uninterrupted on Friday, but Saturday was different story. Dark clouds rolled in sometime in the 4th inning, and soon enough the groundskeepers had to turn the lights in. With the Yankees clinging to a three run lead and monsoon conditions imminent, Sabathia went to the mound in the bottom of the 5th needing three outs to make the game official and qualify for a win before the skies opened up.

CC needed seven pitches to retire McDonald, then walked Marco Scutaro on eight pitches before Pedroia popped out on three pitches. Needing one more out, it looked like he would be able to make this one official before the rain became a factor. Instead, V-Mart fouled off a 2-2 pitch to extend the at-bat, and before Sabathia was able to deliver another pitch, someone turned the rain switch on as if they were filming the sequel to The Truman Show. It just started pouring. CC never got a chance to retire Martinez because the umps signaled for the tarp almost immediately. With two outs and two strikes in the bottom of the 5th. One out from an official game. It was the ultimate WTF moment, and even though it didn’t have much of an impact in the grand scheme of things, we would have felt a little more comfortable during the rain delay knowing this game was official.

Another One Bites The Dust

It’s almost comical at this point. The Yankees have had seven prominent players go down with injuries in the last seven days, and on Saturday they made it 8-for-8. Pitching in relief of Sabathia following the rain, Al Aceves retired V-Mart to end the 5th before going back out to work the 6th. While facing Jeremy Hermida with two outs and two on, The Mexican Gangster came up lame after throwing a first pitch curveball for a strike, and immediately began limping in front of the mound.

Based on his awkward landing and his reaction afterward, everyone figured Aceves had injured his leg somehow. Whether it was a hamstring or a knee or an ankle, who knew. He left the game immediately, and after the game we learned that he was dealing with a stiff lower back, the same issue he had in Spring Training. It’ll keep him out of action for a few days, but thankfully he won’t need to the visit the disabled list.

Photo Credit: Elise Amendola, AP

Various Moments Of Joy

I covered most of them above, but I just want to expand on Tex for a little bit. The Yankees have played just seven games in May, but their first baseman already has more hits (12), homers (3), RBI (11), and total bases (23) than he did in the entire month of April (11, 2, 9, 21, respectively). Today’s effort increased his batting average by 26 points, his on-base percentage by 15 points, and his slugging percentage by … wait for this … 101 points! Teixeira finally crawled over the Mendoza line, and hitting .207-.343-.396 on the season.

The Yankees drew ten walks today, and struck out just four times. They put 27 men on base total, scored 14 runs, and still left nine men on base. And they didn’t even have Nick Johnson, Jorge Posada, and Curtis Granderson in the lineup. That’s amazing.

How about that moment of silence for Ernie Harwell and Robin Roberts in the 3rd? Nevermind escaping the nonsense of Buck and Tim McCarver, it was nice to hear nothing but the sounds of the game as if you were at the park. Truly epic.

And last, but certainly not least, congrats to Kevin Russo for making his Major League debut. First Yankee to make his big league debut in 2010.

Things That Made Me Want To Throw My Remote

Not much to complain about that I already haven’t above, but good grief, how about Joe Girardi matching up with Damaso Marte against a lefty in the 8th inning of a nine run game? Come on now, that’s ridiculous.

Randy Winn getting thrown out at the plate in the 4th. The Yanks had two men on with no outs after V-Mart gave the Sox the lead, and that out at home was a big blow at the time. They only went on to score one run in the inning, and even though it didn’t matter in the end, making the first out at home is a major no-no.

WPA Graph

“Oh look, they’re trying to put up a fight.” “Let’s stop that.” “Oh wait look again, now they’re trying to make a comeback.” “Crush them.”

Individual player breakdowns are available at FanGraphs’ box score.

Next Up

With the series already in the bag, the Yankees will try for the sweep tomorrow night on ESPN. A.J. Burnett gets the ball against Jon Lester, first pitch set for 8:05pm ET.

email
Trenton walks off with a win as Romine's streak comes to an end
Where are they now? Yankees offseason targets
  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime (Optimovelist Primus)

    Save some runs for tomorrow, please.

    • radnom

      RUNS DO NOT WORK THAT WAY.

      GOODNIGHT.

  • teddy

    i think giradri didn’t want to extend joba.
    who lse was there to used mo, sanchez

  • http://www.soxandpinstripes.net JGS

    At least he let Marte finish the game against righties in the ninth. I was sure we were going to see Romulo in there

    • crawdaddy

      He needed to stay away from Romulo with Mitre and Javy coming up Monday and Tuesday. He’s here to be the long man and with him being a starter this season, his arm is not condition to pitch on Saturday and then be used on either Monday or Tuesday in multiple innings.

  • Greg G.

    Sabathia threw 17 pitches in the inning after hitting Pedroia, which essentially meant the bullpen was going to have to work an extra inning later in the game.

    Mike, I don’t disagree with your overall point, but I feel the need to nitpick here. We don’t know how many pitches it would have taken CC to get Pedroia out, or even if Pedroia would have gotten on base anyway. So unless we assume that the pitch he used to hit Pedroia would have gotten him out otherwise, CC did not “waste” 17 pitches.

    • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime (Optimovelist Primus)

      But I think that *is* the assumption. Pedroia’s what, 1-18 lifetime against CC?

      • Greg G.

        Sure, but it doesn’t mean that CC’s going to get him out on one pitch.

        • poster

          I think you make a good point, but it is largely nitpicking.

          • Greg G.

            Those nits, I can pick ‘em.

  • Hangoverologist

    Because of Tex’s shot off the noodle arm of Van Every, the O’Neill effect is in place for today’s game.

    • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime (Optimovelist Primus)

      Is that the one where you score a lot of runs and then go on a rampage?

      • Hangoverologist

        That’s right.

        • http://www.soxandpinstripes.net JGS

          I thought it was the one where you score some runs at the end of losing a blowout game, then you come out and kick ass the next day

        • andrew

          But… normally the O’Neill effect is for when you are losing a game but put up runs in the 9th.

  • http://twitter.com/rebexarama bexarama

    I still love that Buck declared that CC hitting Pedroia, then Martinez hitting the go-ahead HR, was “the spark” that the Red Sox needed, or whatever he said. Durr hurr.

    The Yankees have played just seven games in May, but their first baseman already has more hits (12), homers (3), RBI (11), and total bases (23) than he did in the entire month of April.
    That’s insane. I really do not understand it. Is it like a hormone thing? Whatever, Tex is pretty awesome once May comes around.

    • Hey ZZ

      The Yankees should send Igawa to go live with Tex during the offseason. Have Igawa throw him live BP everyday.

      At least that way they could get some value out of that contract.

  • http://twitter.com/YankeesGalaxy YankeesGalaxy

    Yankees fun fact: The Yankees are 21-8. In Every season that the Yankees won 21 or more games through 30 or less games, they go to the World Series.

    • http://www.thechuckknoblog.com/ JobaWockeeZ

      How many seasons did they actually do that?

      • Salty Buggah

        Today marked the 16th time they’ve done that. 12 times of those previous 15, the Yankees have won the World Series.

    • Sean C

      While this is a supremely encouraging figure, how many members of the current Yankee 25-man roster (injured and replacement alike) are included in any of the 16 times that this has happened? I love historical stats, but don’t get too excited when their application has little to do with people that are currently making these great things happen.

      /Sorry, asshole’d

  • ARX

    *pitcher throws a pitch, leaves it too fat*
    April Tex: *whiff* shit, I was so close…
    Tex today: It’s May, bitches *pow*

    I know asking for a sweep is greedy, but seeing the Sox dismembered never gets old.

  • http://www.soxandpinstripes.net JGS

    Ace is 12-1 now for his whole career. At what point do you become known as “the vulture”?

    • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime (Optimovelist Primus)

      Brilliant.

    • Salty Buggah

      Aceves just proves Mexicans steal shit.

      /racist’d

      Seriously though, it sucks to have Ace injured. He’s a valuable player since he do many things and you’d to hate to see him go down. Hopefully he heals quickly and stays healthy for the rest of the year. (Same goes to every other Yankee)

  • Salty Buggah

    Another thing that annoyed me: Gardner K’d looking against Van Every despite not seeing a single strike the whole AB. I know that Van Every is position player trying to finish a long blowout but that doesn’t mean the umpire can extend the strikezone by half a foot each way. Just unfair. Also, I wanted Gardner to pad his stats.

    Same for A-Rod. I thought he could easy take Van Every deep and maybe that would’ve gotten his HR-swing going. He taken out the inning before so he didn’t get a chance but this is as annoying as Gardy K’ing even though he didn’t.

    (Yes, I’m just nitpicking here)

    • putt

      And then ARod promptly gets accused of breaking another pillar of the unwritten rules ;)

  • Bo

    Has third base coach Thompson forgotten how to do his job? I’ve never seen more green lights that shouldn’t have been than under him this season.

    • V

      Welcome back Bo! Haven’t seen you around much given the 21-8 start to the season!

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Joseph Pawlikowski

        It’s not that Bo.

    • http://twitter.com/JoeRo23 The Honorable Congressman Mondesi

      Wow. The team wins a couple of laughers in Boston and has a 21-8 record, and you’re freaking out about Rob Thomson sending a runner into a put-out at the plate. I wish I couldn’t say this, but that is not surprising in the least.

      If you want to appreciate Thomson, or at least consider that he’s not having the best month or so but was pretty good last season and will probably be fine the rest of the season (i.e. attempt to keep things in perspective), just get in the way-back machine and go all the way back to a more innocent time… All the way back to the Bobby Meachem Era, in 2008.

  • Camilo Gerardo

    in a game where everyone saw something they don’t like in a 12-3 routing, CC not getting a win is my top

  • YankeesJunkie

    CC was not his best today, but he was still good enough for the Yankees to maul the Sox. It was pretty fun to watch the game. So even though this season is still only a fifth way through what are the Sox chances for the rest of the season considering they will try to catch the two teams in baseball?

  • bonestock94

    I loved this game, but my mute button sure got a workout.

  • ecksodia

    Cano played, so I’m assuming the injury wasn’t serious?

    • mbonzo

      Cano DHed. Im sure they did the tests, and if it was super serious they wouldn’t have let him hit. It was serious enough to give him a half day off but Im sure he’ll be back at second tomorrow with JoPo DHing.

      • ecksodia

        When I saw JoPo I immediately thought Joe Posnanski, instead of Jorge Posada. Hope the Yankees aern’t making a big mistake here.

  • Daniel

    The moment of silence was fantastic. I wish that was an audio choice for every game.

    Things That Made Me Want To Throw My Remote
    Joe Buck’s rendition of “When Doves Cry”

    • Piiax

      Yeh, I often use the mute button to muffle the tv announcers, But it was so nice having the silence WITH the crowd and the game noises! Much better.

  • dalelama

    What annoyed me the most was I was listening to Yankee radio yesterday for the first time in years driving in Florida and whoever does the post game radio show where they give out goofy game rewards is brutally bad. It is a guy who gets almost every fact about the game wrong like he wasn’t there or is autistic. Is that Stirling or Kay? Just curious because you would think with the great organization we have we could afford a decent announcer. It seems like to be a broadcaster today either on the radio or national TV you have to suck. I remember when we had Bill White, Jerry Coleman, and Phil Rizzuto and those guys were pretty good compared to what we have today. Of the TV announcers John Miller is the only national guy I can stand. As I only get nationally broadcast Yankee games I was curious if the Yankee local TV broadcasters were as bad as the radio guys?

    • http://sec42 Scott

      yanks announcers largely terrible on tv & radio. i only like al leiter and kim jones. both sterling and kay really need to go– not likely to see that in my lifetime.

  • Pete C.

    Somebody should remind Robbie Thomson that it’s ok to put the hold sign up once in a while.

  • Frank

    Another annoying moment- despite a 12-3 lead at the time, D-Rob once again could not get 3 outs in the 7th. It may be time to send him down to AAA for a tune up.

  • YankeeScribe

    So is Frankie Cervelli’s offensive production for real or is he just ridiculously lucky? I mean his BA with RISP has got to be unsustainable but overall, is he looking like a real .300 hitter?

    • MikeD

      Cervelli has hit .300 at some stops in the minors, but the problem with translating his minor league numbers is most of his ABs were at the lower levels, and he’s never had a season with more than 290 ABs.

      Every time a broadcaster or reporter mentions his minor league numbers, they go for the negative, pointing out he was a .190 hitter in AA ball when the Yankees called him up in 2009. (That’s Michael Kay’s misleading favorite stat about Cisco.) They neglect to mention he only had 58 ABs, or that in his first tour in AA the year before he hit .315, although also in a few number of ABs(73). In the Daily News today, they note he was only a .233 hitter at three different levels of the minors last year, neglecting to report that at the highest of those levels, AAA, he hit .275. (Followed by .298 on the MLB level.)

      The problem with Cervelli’s stats is the small sample sizes as he’s headed up the minor league chain due to injuries, a rapid call to the majors, and other factors. That said, we do have his complete minor league record to look at, and his combined slash stats show a .273/.367/.380 line. The first two numbers are solid, the last less so. It suggests a line-drive hitter with a decent eye, but little power. His OBP has decreaed at every level, most likely because more experienced pitchers have better control and know that he lacks the power to be dangerous, so they pound the strike zone making him earn his way on base. So far, especially on the MLB level, he’s been able to do that. He only had two walks last year with the Yanks, but already has five in 2010, perhaps because pitchers are being a little more careful now knowing he’s not an automatic out on a good gastball in the stike zone. As Mike A. noted in his recap of yesterday’s game, Buchholz started Cervelli off with a change-up on his first two ABs, and then a slider on his third, suggesting pitchers are trying new patterns against him. So far he’s been hitting whatever they’re throwing.

      I still don’t see him as an everyday catcher because of his lack of power, and obviously what he’s doing now is unsustainable, but if he can hit .270 with a .350 OBP on the MLB level then he’ll add a lot of value as a part-time/back-up catcher, since he’s a very strong defensive catcher. The Yankees were paying Jose Molina more than $2 million a year for that very same role, and he had no chance of hitting, so Cervelli right now is quite the bargain.

      Cervelli should have a job with the Yankees for the next two seasons, serving as Posada’s back-up this year, and the same role next year with Posada and Montero probably rotating equally between catcher and DH. A third catcher will be critical under that scenario since the catcher who is DHing can’t move to the catcher’s slot if needed without losing the DH. I’m not sure Cervelli will have a slot on the Yankees in 2012 if Montero is as good as predicted, Romine keeps progressing and makes it to the majors and Posada is still productive in an increasing DH role. That will be a nice problem to have.

      • YankeeScribe

        “I still don’t see him as an everyday catcher because of his lack of power, and obviously what he’s doing now is unsustainable, but if he can hit .270 with a .350 OBP on the MLB level then he’ll add a lot of value as a part-time/back-up catcher, since he’s a very strong defensive catcher.”

        Thanks for your detailed answer. I think a catcher who bats a .270/.350 line is a starter on most MLB teams. However, the Yankees have a surplus in catchers and can afford to trade Cervelli while his value is high if they think Montero or Romine will make better long-term starting catchers.

        For now, it makes sense to have him as a backup catcher because you want to keep Posada in the lineup but long-term, I don’t see Cervelli as a career backup catcher. I think he will start everyday within the next 3 years but maybe not for the Yankees. Most teams would be thrilled to have a catcher who bats .270.

        Whether or not he can be an everyday catcher really depends on his stamina after catching so many games per season. I think catchers tend to have weak offensive production mainly because of the physical wear and tear that comes from catching everyday. If Cervelli starts 70 to 80 games this season and maintains an average of .280-.300, I think he’s for real.

  • Claudell W.

    “He’s probably not going to be able to sit on that side for a week, but Boston’s second baseman knew what was up and just put his head down and ran to second.”

    Wow, CC hit Pedroia so hard they awarded him second base!