A-Rod, Andy keeping Yanks rolling

Sanchez keeps on hitting in GCL Yanks win
Thoughts about the Cliff Lee rumor

Andy Pettitte twirled eight masterful innings as the Yanks, powered by a two-run, two-out, top-of-the-ninth single off the bat of Alex Rodriguez, downed the Mariners 3-1 tonight. For the Yankees, the win is their sixth in a row and seventh in their last eight games. They move a season-high 23 games above .500 and have maintained a two-game lead over the Tampa Rays.

Andy Was Dandy

Credit: AP Photo, Elaine Thompson

Andy Pettitte and Mariano Rivera are two peas in an exclusive pod. Rivera has saved more wins for Andy Pettitte than any other duo in baseball history, and tonight, the two were masterful. Pettitte, in particular, was rolling, and he emerged from the game with an 11-2 record and a 2.70 ERA. The nine strike outs served as an exclamation point on a stellar first half.

While Pettitte’s final line is one of total domination, the game started out on a bad foot. Ichiro tapped out an infield single to start the game, and Chone Figgins lofted a base hit down the left field line. Playing alert baseball, though, Brett Gardner gunned down the Mariners’ speedy lead-off hitter trying to reach third, and Pettitte quickly settled in. Franklin Gutierrez grounded out, Russell Branyan fouled off, and off to the races went Andy.

Over the next four innings, Pettitte faced the minimum 12 hitters with a Chone Figgins walk disappearing into a fourth inning double play. In the sixth though, Andy ran into some trouble, and as the Yanks’ bats were silent, the Yanks were on the wrong end of a deficit. Josh Wilson and Michael Saunders, the Mariners’ eight and nine hitters, knocked out back-to-back singles, and Ichiro squared to sacrifice. He laid down a bad bunt, but Pettitte’s throw ended up well wide of first base. Wilson scored, and the Mariners had 2nd and 3rd with no one out. They were set up.

The Mariners being the Mariners and Andy being Andy, however, the team failed to score. Chone Figgins hit a ball down the third base line that Ramiro Pena speared. He held the runner at third and gunned out Figgins. The Yanks intentionally walked Gutierrez, and Russell Branyan struck out looking on a 3-2 beauty. Jose Lopez swung through strike three to end the threat. No other Mariners runner would reach third base.

Key Moment: Cano doesn’t advance

As Andy rolled, the Yankee offense did not. As they did in the early innings against Gio Gonzalez in Oakland, the Yanks put on runner after runner but could not score. In fact, they knocked out nine hits and worked two walks against Jason Vargas but scored only a run. Even that lone run required a head’s up effort by A-Rod.

To set the scene, A-Rod walked to lead off the 7th, and Robinson Cano singled. With Jorge Posada batting, a Vargas wild pitch escaped the clutches of Josh Bard and trickled down the first base line. Alert at second, A-Rod dashed for third. “I got a ball in the dirt, had a good jump and made it to third,” he said after the game.

At first base, though, Robinson Cano missed the play. Jorge Posada, not a particularly adept base runner, initially held up his hand to hold the runners, but then he changed his mind and tried to wave them on. Cano was frozen, and the Yanks had first and third. Posada tapped into a double play that scored A-Rod, and the Yanks were happy with the tie. With a nod to the fallacy of the predetermined outcome, had Cano better read the wild pitch, Jorge’s grounder would have tied the game, and Curtis Granderson‘s subsequent base hit could have given the Yanks a lead. The point, though, became moot two innings later.

A-Rod in the Clutch

Swisher scores on ARod's single. Credit: AP Photo, Elaine Thompson

On the 16th anniversary of his debut with the Mariners and on the night when another high-profile free agent spurned his original team, Alex Rodriguez was the game’s hero. Coming on to pitch the ninth, Mariners’ closer David Aardsma quickly dispatched Kevin Russo. But Derek Jeter walked, and Nick Swisher — 4 for 4 with a walk tonight — hit a booming double to right field. With 2nd and 3rd but one out, Mark Teixeira swung under a first pitch fast ball, and as his shoulder dipped, the ball arched foul. Bard settled under it for the second out.

Up to the plate came A-Rod, and he did not fail to deliver. A-Rod laced a single into right field, and both Jeter and Swisher scored. For A-Rod, the runs were RBIs numbers 68 and 69, and Mariano Rivera had an insurmountable two-run cushion. The team had been 0 for 9 with runners in scoring position before A-Rod’s base hit, and that one hit was all they needed.

A Hairbrush at a Baseball Game

Early on in the first inning, Ichiro ran into foul territory in right field in an effort to haul in ball. As he leaned over to try to make a play, he whacked a young woman on the head with his arm. She had a hairbrush out at a baseball game. Why? I don’t know, but the AP snapped a stellar photo of the whole thing. The woman could not look more awkward.

Credit: AP Photo, Elaine Thompson

Peaks and Valleys

The WPA graph is particularly pleasing tonight. (Fangraphs box, ESPN box)

Up Next

The Yanks and Mariners continue their four-game set at 10:10 p.m. on Friday as Cliff Lee auditions for a role with, well, someone. The Bombers will counter with All Star Phil Hughes who will look to get his season back on track after a rough stretch of starts.

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Sanchez keeps on hitting in GCL Yanks win
Thoughts about the Cliff Lee rumor
  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime-Jesus & Maquinito FTW

    You know what would be funny? If they scored ten runs off Lee in like three innings tomorrow.

    It won’t happen, but I can dream, right?

    • Mattchu12

      Took a nap earlier, dreamt of that. Intend to dream of it now too. After the game, I’ll dream about the “usual” outing from Cliff Lee, but in pinstripes during October of 2011.

  • Alan

    You left open a bold tag, spilling down the homepage.

  • http://twitter.com/stophamm3rtime Dela G

    great great win

    oh adam dunn and nick swisher are singlehandedly saving my fantasy teams this week. wow

    • Sean C

      Andy, CC, and Greinke have made my team’s pitching a moot point for my opposing team.

  • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

    I don’t even know what to say about Andy any more this season except that it’s EXTREMELY bexy-happy-making.

    • Sean C

      Andy is one of my favorite Yankee pitcher’s to watch this season. I never thought I would come to expect 6+ inning of ~2 run baseball every time he’s on the mound. I will continue to love Andy pitching this way through the second half, even if he does regress in any way. Right now, he’s 20+ other teams’ ace.

      • Mattchu12

        I was wondering if he would Moose it in what could be his final season.

  • Johan Iz My Brohan

    Granderson did well today, hopefully tomorrow he gets some clutch hits when the Yankees need them.

  • http://www.teamnerdrage.com dr mrs the yankee

    Yaaaaay Andy.

  • Cecala

    How come these recaps come out in 30 minutes yet the recaps for day games take 6 hours?

    • http://twitter.com/stophamm3rtime Dela G

      i think they have the recaps timed to come out at 1100pm or something like that. i guess they type them up and submit them, then they have the system auto release them at a certain time at night

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      We set the recaps for day games to go at midnight. That’s just been our schedule since they’re more in-depth recaps. If it doesn’t work, we’re open to suggestions.

      • http://twitter.com/stophamm3rtime Dela G

        yep, 11pm cst just like i figured

        thanks for the explanation

      • Apollo22237

        I like it when there is a good amount of time in between. Instead of reading a few articles at the same time, I have something to look at later in the night.

      • Sean C

        Work’s for me. I love reading this over the ESPN recap any day. Keep up the good work, guys.

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

        Need. Free Content. Nooooowwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww.

      • Cecala

        It’s not a problem, just more of a curiosity thing.

  • Apollo22237

    The Yankees made that WPA graph look like an idiot. That is what he gets for assuming the Mariners would win after scoring that one run in the 6th.

  • jim p

    Rivera has saved more wins for Andy Pettitte than any other duo in baseball history,

    How many would that be? And who is the second place duo?

    • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

      68 or something. I think Dennis Eckersley and Bob Welch are second, if not them then Mo and Moose.

      • Salty Buggah

        68 seems close enough. I believe they ended 2009 with 63. Eckersley & Welch are second at 57. Moose and Mo have 49 so they’re probably 3rd or 4th.

  • Esteban

    WPA graphs are based on average teams right for the current season right? Does it take into account if teams have bad bullpens/ good bullpens? Am I asking a stupid question?

    • JGS in sunburn-inducing Jerusalem

      I think they are based on way more than just the current season–as in, thousands upon thousands of actual games from years past. The don’t take pitcher or hitter or defense into account all–just home team/away team, baserunners, inning, and outs. Pedro 2000 vs. Alvaro Espinoza would be the same as Jason Neighborgall vs. Barry Bonds as far as WPA was concerned.

    • Brian in NH

      Yes…as far back as they have for historical data for certain game situations. It doesn’t take into account other stats like a batters average or any pitching stats

  • Ivan
    • Jimmy

      Shocking wow

    • Sean C

      While I would LOVE having Cliff Lee in the Yankees rotation (what Yankee fan wouldn’t?!) there is a huge, nasty BUT at the end of that line. That includes trading away Montero and one of the MANY great arms that seem to occupy the farm system currently for renting a player for the second half of the season. Not to be so self-confident to say that the Yanks don’t NEED a Lee to win the division/make it to/win the postseason, but this story has been in play since the Mariners have become an afterthought in a “shit” division in the AL. This makes me think of NBA teams hoping they can land LeBron as a pipedream…

    • TheLastClown

      Saw it. Filed it under ‘irresponsible rumormongering.’

      There’s a place I want take Joel Sherman to. The weather’s beautiful, all the pretty girls smile at you, and the air’s filled with the sound of Lee’s fastball popping in Hey-Zeus’ glove.

      That place? YS3 2012. Hell, maybe even 2011.

    • BigBlueAL

      Just saw Sherman post links about this story on Twitter.

    • YankeesJunkie

      This is how I would see the trade if it was Montero-Adams-B prospect for Lee

      Great

      1. Cliff Lee is a beast and gives the Yankees 2 of the best pitchers in the game and the came and the Yankees can sign Lee without giving up a 1st round draft pick.

      Awful

      1. The Yankees give up Montero one of the best prospects in all of baseball

      Good

      1. Yankees C prospects are some of the deepest and best in baseball and Romine who is in AA is more of a future C than Montero. Also the Yankees have guys like Murphy and Sanchez who still four years away show great potential.

      2. Allows the Yankees to flip Javy for a solid bat/very good reliever

      Bad

      1. Farm System takes another hit and the Yankees double pay for Lee

      If the Yankees land Lee I will be very excited, but realize they gave up a real good prospect, but I’d rather have the Lee for the next four years than Montero for the next six at this point.

    • DJH

      I would not trade a blue chip prospect for a half a season of any player and even if I had to trade one it would be Romine not Montero.

    • Mattchu12

      My favorite part is the “the Phillies took the Mariners offer over the Yankees offer” bit. Not going to happen.

      • Mattchu12

        or the “Cashman might now be in position to either put Hughes in the bullpen to bolster that shaky area” bit. You guys have heard of Hughes right? That All-Star starting pitcher?

  • YankeesJunkie

    More rumor than fact. Unless there are multiple credible sources it is just hear say.

  • BigBlueAL

    Here is more stuff about Lee from Sherman:

    http://www.nypost.com/p/blogs/.....BcuIwvVUXN

  • Evan3457

    Not sure if it’s “for real” or not, but Sherman doesn’t usually pull crap like that.

    He’ll create a controversy through opinion/speculation, but he usually doesn’t speculate trades nearing completion.

    • DJH

      I agree this is not Sherman posting an opinion this is him actually reporting something leading me to believe there is truth to this.

  • BigBlueAL

    Someone wake up Mike, Ben and Joseph!!!! lol

  • BigBlueAL

    Buster Olney already talking about Yankees trading Vazquez to maybe the Phillies or Padres.

    • JohnnyC

      Vazquez for Werth? Sounds good.

  • BigBlueAL

    God I can already tell all the panic about OMG the Yankees are trading Jesus Montero.

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

      Yeah but that’s reasonable – People get attached to prospects, let alone prospects as promising as Montero, and don’t like seeing guys they root for traded away before they fulfill their potential. Let’s not be preemptive patronizing dicks about it, I think it’s pretty understandable that people would be surprised/upset for a little while as they digest news like that.

      • BigBlueAL

        I guess but I have never gotten attached to minor-league players who we basically never, ever see play. I trust Cashman and his staff with stuff like that, I could care less because NONE of us watch these guys like they do.

        Im all about the major league team and anybody who is going to complain about trading for arguably the best LHP in baseball I dunno what to say.

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

          You could say something like “I disagree with those people but understand where they’re coming from so I won’t be a dick on the very first day they hear this rumor?” You can disagree with people while still understanding where they’re coming from.

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

            PS: I shouldn’t have written that in such a way that I implied that you’re a dick… I wrote it that way because I think you’re reasonable and will understand what I’m saying, I just think you had an initial overreaction.

            • BigBlueAL

              Totally understand what you’re saying. Im a Knicks fan so last night didnt help (granted I actually really like the trade with Golden St) my mood much.

        • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

          Im all about the major league team and anybody who is going to complain about trading for arguably the best LHP in baseball I dunno what to say.

          Because trading for Cliff Lee now is like tipping after you’ve calculated tax: you’re paying twice.

          • BigBlueAL

            You are assuming the Yankees were gonna win the WS this season w/o him. Obviously Cashman wasnt so sure of that and he felt like if they could get Lee now they had to do it.

            • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

              I’m not assuming that at all.

              • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

                I’m only saying that Lee can likely be had for just money in the very near future and there’s no need to give up the best hitting prospect the Yankees have had since Derek Jeter to get the guy for a few months then sign him to a big deal after that. Why not just be patient–a la Johan–and flex the financial muscle?

              • BigBlueAL

                Well this isnt the place to debate this since we are getting off-topic I guess. Wont be around for a few hours at the earliest so Im sure Ill be missing out on the real debates about this trade if it happens.

                • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

                  +1, I’ve got work. Luckily, I’ve got a two hour break at 12.

            • Pete

              I disagree. I think he’s assuming that the Yanks have a good shot at winning this year, and will have a better one going forward if they have Cliff Lee and Jesus Montero, etc.

              • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

                That.

        • Jimmy

          Its a natural reaction for anyone who lived through the 80’s with this team. The Yankees traded away an all-star team for a bunch of 30+ yo stars who never lasted long. It makes you reflexively against a trade like this.

  • Kevin in Delectable Princeton

    So if we actually trade Montero, do we change it to the Romine tracker?

    • Brian in NH

      Resurrect the Brackman tracker! Oh wait…will that make him a bust again?

  • Pete

    Getting Cliff Lee now would be extremely short-sighted, imo.

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      Getting him at 1 a.m. tonight would be short-sighted. Getting him before 10:10? Brilliant!

      • Jimmy

        Could we then trade him and the rest of the farm back to Seattle for King Felix by the next day?

  • Jimmy

    How awkward would a Lee-Hernandez matchup be on Saturday?

    • RL

      If that happened and I were a Seattle fan with tickets for the game, I’d skip the game and burn the tickets!!

  • First of the Mo-hicans

    That’s me in the Ichiro picture (well my arm at least, and my son). Where Ichiro is bumping the girl, that’s my son with the Yankee hat with all the championship flags, and that’s my arm in the white Yankee jersey. We had front row on the right field line.

    Living in Portland, we try to get up to Seattle every year to see the Yanks, but hadn’t been in three years. What an awesome time, and so cool to see Mo pitch the ninth. Even in Seattle, there’s just an awe about the crowd when Mo comes in, and cameras are going off everywhere. We just missed Mo at the Seattle Nordstrom store too. That would have almost been too much to handle.

  • mko

    Afterwards, Ichiro asked the girl if she was alright and she said that she was okay. At least that what my amateur lip reading skills say ;-).