Jun
18

Yanks drop rubber game, fall 7-1 to Phillies

By

The Phillies came into this series having lost 14 of their last 20 games, getting outscored 98-48 in the process. They had two largely mediocre starters lined up to pitch after the great Roy Halladay, so everything looking to be in line for to the Yankees to take the series. Of course, everything went backwards. The Yanks pounded Halladay, got shut down by Jamie Moyer, and then got shut down by Kyle Kendrick. Something about not being able to predict baseball applies here.

Biggest Blow: Victorino Goes Deep

Photo Credit: Seth Wenig, AP

Andy Pettitte was on his game early on Thursday night, cruising through the first three innings without incident. The Phils managed to scratch a run across with a little help from a Ramiro Pena error (more on that later) in the 4th, but Andy wiggled out of the inning with just a one run deficit. Hardly insurmountable.

Philadelphia tacked on two more runs in the next inning on a Shane Victorino homer, which WPA says was the biggest hit of the game. It wasn’t a terrible pitch, an 86 mph cutter in the on the hands that Victorino just hooked into the seats, but the real mistake was walking eighth place hitter Carlos Ruiz on four pitches two batters earlier. Ruiz is a fine offensive catcher with a .401 OBP, but you’ve got to challenge him that early in the game. A four pitch walk to that guy is less than ideal, and it came back to bite Pettitte.

Biggest Out: Polanco Lays Out

Careful, wouldn't want to tear your orange wrist band.

Even though the final score was lopsided, the Yanks had some chances to get right back in this one, none bigger than the 6th inning. Down by three, Mark Teixeira drew a seven pitch walk in front of an Alex Rodriguez single, then Robbie Cano plated what turned out to be the team’s only run on a single through the 3.5 hole. That brought Nick Swisher to the plate with men on the corners, so a solid base hit and we would have had ourselves a ball game.

Photo Credit: Seth Wenig, AP

Kendrick’s first pitch was a cutter down and out of the zone, but the second one hung about as bad as a fastball can hang. Is was his pitch, but Swish just missed and fouled it back. Kendrick’s next offering was a 90 mph sinker that he again left out over the plate, but Swisher fouled it off behind third base. Third baseman Placido Polanco ran after the ball, though it looked like the tarp and a row or two of seats would get in his way. Instead, he basically swan dove on top of the tarp, snatching the ball away from the unsuspecting tourists in the front row. I assume they were tourists because any actual fan would have gotten in Polanco’s way. Definitely a weak effort by the silver spooners up front.

The Bullpen Lets It Get Away

The Yanks had themselves a chance in this one until late, when the bullpen came in and let things get out of hand in the top of the 9th. Joba Chamberlain started the inning by allowing a double to Ruiz, a run scoring single to Wilson Valdez (more on that later), and a walk to Victorino. He faced three batters, threw nine pitches, and recorded zero outs.

Joba was relieved by Damaso Marte, who walked Chase Utley to load the bases following a seven pitch battle that included a pitch to the backstop. Polanco again worked the count deep, forcing Marte to throw ten pitches before driving in the Phillies’ second run of the inning on a sac fly to center. Ryan Howard drove in another run with a sac fly, then Jayson Werth drew an eight pitch walk to put men on the corners for the below replacement level Raul Ibanez.

With the deficit up to four and his top lefty reliever having thrown 29 pitches, Joe Girardi brought in Chan Ho Park to clean up the mess. Ibanez doubled to left to drive in two more runs, and it wasn’t until a batted ball hit Ibanez going from second to third that the final out of the frame was recorded. A salvageable game turned into a laugher just like that.

Photo Credit: Seth Wenig, AP

Miscellaneous Annoyances

Pena missing that grounder in the 4th. The first thing they teach you in Little League is to get the glove down; you can’t let a ball get under the glove, no matter how weird the bounce.  When you’re hitting just .186-.234-.203, you’ve got to catch everything man.

The wheel play? What is this, 1968? When does that ever work? There’s no reason to get cute with the defense when the batter is WILSON VALDEZ. No only once, but twice they pulled that nonsense! My only hope is that because they got burned on it in the 9th, they’ll shy away from trying it again in the future.

Great call on Valdez’s stolen base in the 9th, Lance Barksdale. Replay showed he was out, but nah. Is Lance Barksdale even a real name? That sounds made up.

This is just the third time the Yankees have been held to one run or less at the New Stadium. They were shutout by the Nationals in the rain last June, then got Cliff Lee’d in Game One of the World Series. Three out of 121 ain’t bad. (h/t Ed Price)

A Little Bit Of Good

There were two semi-historic moments in this one that are worth mentioning. Pettitte passed Ron Guidry for sole possession of second place on the franchise’s all-time strikeout list, and Cano became the first Yankee since Lou Gehrig in 1936 to pick up 97 hits in the team’s first 66 games. Congrats to both.

WPA Graph & Box Score

Grumble grumble. FanGraphs has the WPA breakdowns and more, MLB.com the box score.

Up Next

The Yankees lost two of three to the Phillies in the Bronx last July and lived to tell about it, so this isn’t exactly the end of the world. The Rays lost, so the two teams are tied atop the AL East. The Yanks will look to right the ship against the Mets tomorrow, when they come to town to kick off the second leg of the Subway Series. All three games will feature pitching rematches, so tomorrow it’s Javy Vazquez vs. Hisanori Takahashi.

Categories : Game Stories

65 Comments»

  1. Captain Jack says:

    Bright side: still in first.

    Down side: They’ve gotten eaten alive by two (SSS, I know) pitchers they should maul, Alex Rodriguez still isn’t playing third, and Boston is starting to play like an actual play off contender again.

    Also of note, great Game 7 tonight and a great series overall. That’ll be tough to top for best championship of the decade, though I’m sure something will top it.

    • bexarama says:

      It was very frustrating but they killed Halladay. So, just one of those… you know… things.

      Boston’s been playing like a playoff contender for a while. They’re a good team, people who wrote them off were foolish.

      The amount of panic/overreaction/silliness this one game caused was really quite absurd, I have to say. (This comment is not directed at you.)

      • Captain Jack says:

        Yeah, the Yankees are still in first…I was really hoping the offense would go ape shit on these two pitchers and I’m starting to get concerned with Alex’s hip. Those two things combined with Boston streaking (even though they are just destroying the D-Backs) is cause for concern. It’s a pretty tough AL East, any team in the division could join the NL and easily be the best team in the League. It’s probably going to take an addition to the team to secure the division, Alex isn’t fully healthy and the team doesn’t seem ready to start Posada on his regular catching schedule yet. Combined with the fact Boston’s getting back Josh Beckett, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Mike Cameron. Say what you will about Ellsbury being overrated but him and Mike Cameron in the OF is a shit ton better than whatever permutation of Nava, McDonald, Hall, and Hermida in the outfield. It’s not going to be easy.

        I turned the game off right as soon as they decided to intentionally walk Victorino, so I didn’t see the bullpen shit its collective pants. It’s a frustrating loss, people will overreact to those, they’ll get pissed and probably be cooled down by tomorrow. Baseball’s a sport that breeds insane fans, to follow a team closely for 162 games you can’t help but to NOT get extremely pissed when they make Kyle Kendrick look like Ubaldo. You gotta stop taking the panicky people so seriously.

        • bexarama says:

          Yep. Agreed with everything you said. You missed the best part of the game for the Yankees when you turned off the game though, Pettitte’s a beast.

          I am way too sensitive to idiocy. It’s a bad character trait.

          • Captain Jack says:

            In game idiocy I can handle…we’ve all been guilty of it before. After the fact, though…I mean just get all your irrationality out during the game and afterwords be reasonable about it. And I saw that Pettitte got out of it…I just hated the decision, and something else was about to come on.

            • bexarama says:

              I didn’t like the decision at all either. I know Utley’s been struggling but it’s CHASE UTLEY.

              • Captain Jack says:

                Pretty much my thoughts exactly, if it was walking the Utley to get to Howard yeah…it’s Chase Utley and Ryan Howard struggles against LHP. Victorino though, to set up the double play, with The Flyin Hawaiian on first?

    • deuce bag poster says:

      It was a good game. Nothing brilliant. The shooting was shitty. L.A. missed, like, a billion foul shots. Pretty good ending.

      • Captain Jack says:

        Series as a whole was pretty impressive though. The ending went down to the wire. Men should not be named Sasha, but that kid has massive balls. I think I would have died of a heart attack if I were in his shoes during his FT attempts in the fourth. Seven game series with Boston and LA, all of the games except for Game 6 and Game 1 were pretty close. LA couldn’t shoot for shit in the first half…but hell how many seven game series feature seven brilliant games? Probably the biggest interleague/conference rivalry in sports, series goes seven, most of the games were pretty close, big names out the ass on both teams, you won’t find many championships better than that.

        Also on that note, I’ve never seen a player happier winning a title than Ron Artest, the man thanked his psychiatrist, good for him…takes a big man to do that. He’s came a long way since The Malice at the Palace, glad to see him get his shot at redemption.

        Lastly, Rajon Rondo has to be the most underrated player in professional sports. Dude was filthy all series and the last time the Celtics went to the finals. He should be a house hold name up there with the bigger names on the Celtics.

  2. deuce bag poster says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I’m pretty sure the Cervelli throw out that wasn’t would not have ended the inning.

  3. Cecala says:

    I can’t even get mad at this game because nothing went the Yankees way. The Polanco catch, the Werth dive, the Contrares circus catch, Cervelli just foul, the line drive ripped by Gardner right to Howard, the missed calls on the SB. It was just bad luck and nothing could be done to stop it.

  4. BigBlueAL says:

    Boone Logan to teh 8th!!!!

  5. Pete says:

    I love baseball for allowing me to not care one tiny bit about this game.

  6. JGS says:

    Last year, the Yankees won the World Series after dropping two of three to the Phillies at home. Ergo, the Yankees will win the World Series this year.

    QED

    • Captain Jack says:

      Also last year, the Lakers won the NBA Title and the Yankees won the WS. Though I’m not sure what caused the Yankee title, the Lakers, the Penguins, or the LSU Tigers winning the CWS. Lets hope it was the Lakers ;)

  7. Jon G says:

    A major weakness of this year’s team is that we don’t have a trustworthy path to Mariano yet.

    Joba is just not trustworthy, and pales in comparison to Hughes last year, as well as to himself in 2007-2008.

    Nobody else is trustworthy either, and the only one with potential is Robertson.

    Do you think there is anyone internally (at AAA or even AA) who could step up and possibly earn the 8th slot by end of season?

    Joba of course has tons of potential, but is just far too inconsistent this year. I honestly don’t know what to think — whether a trip back to AAA would help him find his mojo or whether he just needs to spend some time with Eiland or even Nardi to get those mechanics straightened out and consistent. What’s the difference between 2007 and 2010 Joba??

    • Michael Kay but not THE says:

      in my opinion the main difference between Joba & Phil is that Hughes had more of a sample at the AAA level. When he’d struggle in SP stints with the Yankees he’d go down and dominate at AAA. Come back up, struggle and go back down to AAA and dominate. They could look at Phil and see clearly that he was too good for the AAA level and needed to develop against MLB hitting. So he hits the pen, simplifies things in terms of what to throw and gains confidence. I thought Kennedy would have been an interesting test in that same kind of role too. Joba on the other hand really has no other sample to draw from than what he’s done at the MLB level which unfortunately for him seems to be entirely the 2007 season.

      Joba rocketed thru the minors and came up to the MLB and blew people away and we all got excited. Many of the big bullpen Joba pushers seem to remember that season like he came up in June and was just lights out. He came up in August and pitched very well against a lot of lineups that were seeing him for the first time. Then came the playoffs, and while pulling the team off the field until the bugs cleared out would have helped, at this point with what we’ve seen can we completely discount the notion that maybe he was just struggling during some of the first big pressure he’d faced at the MLB level?

      As I said in another comment, I was ok with the flashes he had as starter but I feel like what has really happened with Joba is that unfair expectations based on 2 months of work in 2007 has cost him about 2 years of development.

  8. Michael Kay but not THE says:

    “JOBA’S A BORN RELIEVER!”

    at what point do Cashman & Girardi decide that Joba isn’t having the same experience Hughes did last season in the pen and he needs to work on his game as a starter in Scranton? I’m not saying he’s junk, but what did the kid spend in AAA, like 10 innings? Flashes of brilliance as a starter makes me hopeful, flashes of brilliance in the bullpen makes me want to break things. If he has a rough night as a starter, there’s still time to come back, when he has a rough night out of the pen its a LITTLE harder to come back and can take a winnable game and put it in jeopardy. I know besides Mo the pen hasn’t exactly been money this season, but I have to think those guys are more confident in their stuff even on off nights than Joba is when he’s struggling. There’s other guys at the AAA level that can give The Yankees what Joba is right now, which isn’t good because he’s got far more potential than they do. Which is why I think he needs to be working things out against AAA hitters and maybe give the MLB bullpen thing another shot later in the season.

    • Captain Jack says:

      Yeah…I agree with this completely. Right now, Joba’s pen experience really hasn’t helped him. Has he been 5.something ERA bad? No. Has he had good peripheral stats? For the most part. Has he inspired confidence that he would be a good starter again? Absolutely, positively, and unequivocally no. When Hughes went to the pen his problems as a starter were: lack of a third pitch, inconsistent stuff with what we were lead to believe from the scouting reports, and he wasn’t aggressive enough. All those questions were answered, his cutter became a very useful pitch, his change showed improvement, he showed he can throw in the mid 90s, his command was sharp, and he showed the aggression needed to be a starter. Chamberlain’s concerns coming out of the rotation last season were IMO: his top shelf stuff wasn’t there, his mid shelf stuff wasn’t there at times, he was taking a thousand pitches to get through an inning, he was struggling mightily in the first inning, and he struggled with his command…injuries and conditioning also apply here too.

      As I said in another comment, I was ok with the flashes he had as starter but I feel like what has really happened with Joba is that unfair expectations based on 2 months of work in 2007 has cost him about 2 years of development.

      Agreed completely. Right now, I feel that he needs to go back to Scranton and begin working as a starter. There’s talk that if one of Vazquez/Pettitte leaves next year and Cliff Lee signs elsewhere Joba’s the 5th starter; a scenario I have about negative confidence in. He has issues in his way to become a successful starter. The bullpen saga of 2007, IMO cost him quality develop time and set back his schedule. When he was sent to the rotation in 2008 he was NOT ready to pitch a full season…what a few scattered halfish seasons in College, only one in a conference that has real competition, eighty or so innings in AA and A ball against kids he can just blow away without even really trying and ten or so innings in the Scranton bullpen combined with 30 innings in the big league bullpen and all of the sudden he’s supposed to be ready to go a full season: GTFO. He’s not getting the regular work he needs in the Yankee bullpen, he can easily get said work in the Scranton rotation. He’s not ready to join the big league rotation next year, imagine what batters could do to him the second time through? Yeah he’s been getting bad luck, but there’s been nothing that I’ve seen that suggests that he’s ready to be a big league starter in the AL East. Note, I’m not saying that he can’t be a successful major league pitcher, just that as of right now he needs more time before anything definitive could be said.

  9. Jethro says:

    Curtis Granderson—.236 BA. 18 rbi’s. Nary a word of criticism. Ever. Oh, by the way, big freaking deal that he hit a grand slam homer against the Orioles.

    • Sweet Dick Willie says:

      Oh, by the way, big freaking deal that he hit a grand slam homer against the Orioles.

      I must have missed the memo that stated that wins against the Orioles count less than wins against other teams.

  10. Jethro says:

    Granderson—.236 BA. 18 rbi’s. Nary a word of criticism. Ever. Oh, by the way, big freaking deal that he hit a grand slam homer against the Orioles.

  11. Jethro says:

    I am stating that Curtis Granderson, who basically sucks, has been getting a free pass. Seriously. Which part did you not understand? Seriously

  12. Jethro says:

    Well, dirty—here’s the point. Read the article above. Aspersions are justifiably directed toward, Pena, Chamberlain, Umpire Barksdale, and even a fan who apparently didn’t fight hard enough for Swisher’s foul ball that Planco caught. On a daily basis, there are volumes of material printed on how horrible Teixeira has been. That is also justified. Can you point me toward even ONE negative article on Granderson? His performance is actually worse than Teixeira’s. I bet you can’t find me ONE article on Curtis, who has been an absolute bust. Tell me why that is.

    • The only comments you’ve ever left here bash Granderson. I don’t know what he did to you, but he’s been just fine. Again, we’re still early, especially for him, who missed three weeks with an injury. His 2.5-week slump skews his numbers. I bet you he’ll look fine by season’s end.

  13. Jethro says:

    I’m not going to go through Granderson’s numbers here. The EXCUSE for him is that he was out 4 weeks with a groin pull. I know that.
    Look at his numbers yourself. Pro-rate them compared to Teixeira. I am not commending or promoting Tex. He has been bad, and his been criticized loudly and often. Get back to me if Granderson has been better. i suspect you won’t, if you’re honest about it.

    • Tampa Yankee says:

      1. Use the fancy little “Reply” button in the corner
      2. Tex – 101 OPS+ and 0.7 WAR (B-Ref) / Granderson – 102+ and 1.7 WAR (again B-Ref). Therefore Granderson has been better in less time.

  14. Jethro says:

    Granderson has not been fine. That’s a farce. He is picking up where he left off last year with Detroit. I acknowledge his 30 homers. Big deal—I acknowledge more—his .249 BA. His .170 something BA against lefties. His proclivity to strike out. His low on base percentage. His low average with runners in scoring position. He’s worse than he was last year, actually. With less power. He’s been a bust.

  15. Jethro says:

    Yea–that WAR thing is a one to win an argument. I’d more interested in real numbers—pro-rated homers,pro-rated rbi’s, pro-rated strike-outs. WAR, yea right–that means alot. Who created that? bill Gates?

    • Rose says:

      Just answer one thing really quickly. What’s the point of all of this? Not only are you just solely complaining…but you’re absolutely refusing to hit the “reply” button on top of it.

      What are you trying to get accomplished here? You seem to have some sort of poor agenda…

  16. Jethro says:

    Yea–Tampa–you’re a gem of a shutdown artist. Curtis to the All-Star Game in yor world. right?

  17. Jethro says:

    Rose–ditto. You’re so clever

  18. Jethro says:

    Rose—Maybe I’m not hitting the reply button—absolutely–because you are demanding that I do. My point is–and has been—and it’s not really an agenda–just a view—Curtis Granderson has been getting a free pass and his been ignored by the media (and fans) regarding his pathetic play—while other Yankees—-have been roundly tagged for how bad they’ve been. That’s all. Fair play.

    • If the only comments you’ve ever left on this site involve bashing Granderson, yeah, I’d say that’s an agenda.

      And please, use the reply button. This is getting annoying.

    • Rose says:

      I’m not demanding that you do anything. I was actually asking a very simple question that you seem to be unable to answer. And on top of that, you have been refusing to hit the reply button for several posts before mine…so your poor excuse actually doesn’t make any sense.

      You can post your feelings on Granderson all you want…but at least do so in a respectful manner. Utilize the reply button, believe it or not – it’s there for a reason. It’s not a demand…it’s just one human being suggesting something to another human being.

      If you want to prove a point…do so with facts and statistics…don’t stubbornly and immaturely refuse to follow the message board rules because you are unable to get your point across. It just digs your hole deeper and then you become more frustrated. It’s a cycle.

  19. Accent Shallow says:

    Picked a poor game to attend.

  20. theyankeewarrior says:

    The Yankees are fine. But their first baseman might not be. For Marky-Mark’s sake, I wish the all-star break was today. He needs some serious time off. Or a change in his approach. Or a kick in the ass. Something.

    Is it time for him to move down in the order? I’d like to see him figure out how to become a league average hitter in the 6/7 hole – not where the team’s best bat is supposed to be.

    Jeter. Swisher. A-Rod. Cano. Posada. Teix. Grand. Thames. Gardner.

    Will it help? I don’t know. But he’s been slumping for 3 months, and I’m sure they’ve tried just about everything else. I’m not Kevin Long, but it seem like Teix is trying to pull everything, especially from the left side.

    Does anyone remember the last time he got a hit to left field from the left side?

  21. Pete says:

    Gee guys, isn’t it swell to have a stud centerfielder like Curtis Granderson, since we all know how little BA means in comparison to more broad reaching stats like wRC+ and WAR?

    /trollbait’d

  22. Jethro says:

    I am respectful, Rose–I’m not the one posting cartoons and declaring some type of victory when there is none. I’m not calling anyone a disrespectful troll. You are. Don’t be laden with hyprocrisy. Get back to me at the All-Star break when Granderson leads the team in strike-outs, is hitting two and a quarter, and has 25 rbi’s.
    I have no frustration whatsover. Speak for yourself. Arrest me if you must for violating “rules.”

    • Pete says:

      The issue of disrespect comes from your refusal to consider other metrics of player performance than AVG/RBI/Ks, none of which is all that significant. Right now, Granderson’s performance is meh by any standard because he had a two week-long slump at the beginning of the year (two week long slumps happen every year to EVERY player) and has not accrued enough ABs yet to make up for them. But Granderson is not a .300 hitter, and is simultaneously a much better hitter than many .300 hitters. It’s easy to understand how, but you have to actually go through the process of reading about stats like WAR, wRC+, wOBA, etc., to understand how they work. Once you know how they work, you’ll realize that they carry much more weight than batting average does.

    • Rose says:

      I’m not the one posting cartoons and declaring some type of victory when there is none.

      Who said you were?

      I’m not calling anyone a disrespectful troll. You are.

      When did I call anybody that? Can you show me?

      Although, your direct refusal to maturely use the “reply” button accompanied with your adament, yet poorly backed up, stance on Curtis Granderson is almost a direct example of somebody who is trying to provoke others into a desired emotional response – which is precisely what a troll is.

    • Mike HC says:

      Granderson is struggling. There is no doubt. If you want RAB to break down his struggles, which they do a great job of, why don’t you email them and ask them to do so.

      And if you read this blog so much that you know who they criticize and who they don’t, why wouldn’t you follow the protocol and use the reply the button so we can play this conversation out. Maybe if you used the reply button there could have been a discussion about Granderson’s struggles, that is the point of the reply button. Not some random rule, but to start conversations about what you want to talk about.

  23. JohnC says:

    Not making excuses or saying it would have made a difference, but that call at 2nd base was just the latest example of how brutal the umpiring has been this season. Can’t remember so many blown calls in one season, and its still only June.

  24. Riddering says:

    This was definitely a game to forget, made easier for me because I didn’t watch it.

    The Yankees tried the wheel play in Minnesota as well and A-Rod mishandled the ball in that game. Andy got out of that jam but you have to wonder where this wheel mania came from.

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