A-Rod slams A’s, Yanks clinch series with 6-1 win

Vazquez goes deep again in SWB win
Thoughts on Gardner leading off

One night after winning in very workmanlike fashion, the Bronx Bombers stayed true to their name on Tuesday and beat Oakland with the long ball. Alex Rodriguez led the charge, launching a pair of homers and driving in five of the team’s six runs. That was plenty given the effort CC Sabathia put forth, and the Yankees clinched the series win. Tampa Bay topped the Red Sox for the second straight night, so the Yanks division lead remained at two.

Photo Credit: Ben Margot, AP

Biggest Hit: No One Loads The Bases For A-Rod And Lives To Tell About It, No One

This grand slam stuff is getting to be pretty fun, eh? The Yankees hit eight salamis in the first half of the season, and showed no signs of diverging from that path in the season half in this one. After the A’s took an early one run lead lead on a walk, stolen base, passed ball, and a double, it took the Yanks all of two innings to respond. Jorge Posada, in his first game back from his sprained left ring finger, singled back up the box to lead off the 3rd, though he was forced out at second on Curtis Granderson‘s ground ball to second. Colin Curtis walked and Brett Gardner singled to center to load them up with just the one out.

Derek Jeter, hitting in the second spot of the lineup for the second straight day, did something that was sadly predictable: he grounded the ball to second and appeared to hit into a rally killing double play. Oakland got the out a second but Jeter just barely beat the relay to first, tying the game at one when Granderson crossed the plate. The molten hot Mark Teixeira stepped up with a chance to give the Yanks the lead, but he had the bat taken out of his hands when he took an errant sinker to the ribs. He went down in pain, but ultimately stayed in the game. I knew everything would be fine when I saw Gene Monahan smile.

Photo Credit: Ben Margot, AP

So up comes Alex Rodriguez, already with two grand slams to his credit on the season. The first pitch was a curveball that he fouled off, the second a sinker out of the zone. A changeup in the dirt followed, and a 2-2 count became a 3-1 count when the first base ump ruled that Alex checked his swing on a curve off the plate. Trevor Cahill made a mistake with the next pitch that showed his youth more than his All Star form: he threw an 89 mph fastball in a 3-1 count. It was a no-doubter right off the bat, a shot deep into the left-center seats that put the Yanks up by four.

It was A-Rod’s 21st career grand slam, tying him with Manny Ramirez for second most all-time. He tacked on a solo shot in the 6th, and he’s now just three away from 600 career dingers. Make sure you get your tickets for that first post-All Star break homestand, folks.

Biggest Out: Barton Goes Down Looking

Even with the first inning run, CC Sabathia cruised threw the first few innings of this one and started the 5th inning with a nice four run lead. The first out was a harmless fly ball to center, but Adam Rosales and former RAB Lifetime Achievement Award recipient Matt Carson singled to put two on with one out. Rajai Davis popped out into (way) foul territory, but Sabathia uncharacteristically walked the bases loaded when his former teammate Coco Crisp took four wide ones.

So here he is, with a four run lead and the tying run at the plate. Calm and collected, Sabathia dropped a first pitch curve in on Daric Burton for a called strike one. The next pitch missed wide for a ball, but the two pitches after that were called balls when they really weren’t. In danger of walking in a run for just the third time in his Yankee career, CC got Barton to foul off a 96 mph heater to run the count full, then finished him off with another 96 mph piece of cheese on the outer black. Barton slammed his bat on home plate and got in the umpire’s face, but the Yanks walked off their field with their lead intact.

Photo Credit: Ben Margot, AP

More CC? Si Si!

It started in June, and it just hasn’t stopped. Sabathia’s surge continued not far from his hometown, as he held the A’s to just the one run over 7.2 innings, striking out a season high ten batters and throwing 74 of his 118 pitches in the strike zone. We’re officially into Beast Mode, people. The American League has been forewarned.

Some Other Stuff

How about those two plays in foul territory for Tex? In any other parks, those pop ups are rows deep. Rows, as in plural.

Granderson picked up a base hit off a lefty. Believe it or not, that’s just his sixth hit to leftfield of the season. Sixth! I guess he doesn’t really have an inside-out swing though. He also stole a base. Hopefully this series is the start of something big for the Yanks’ centerfielder.

Photo Credit: Ben Margot, AP

Posada looked fine behind the plate, no obvious issues with the injured finger. The wild pitch in the 1st was on CC, it almost went over everyone’s heads and to the backstop. Jorge even picked up a hit, so everything seems a-okay. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if Frankie Cervelli was behind the plate tomorrow, just to take it easy on Posada.

Robbie Cano, oh so great in the first half, is now just 11 for his last 59 (.186) dating back to June 20th. Maybe the Homerun Derby will help get him back on track.

Brett Gardner this series: 1-for-8, two strikeouts. It’s still hella, hella early, but the early returns on the leadoff hitter experiment are not what we hoped for.

WPA Graph & Box Score

It’s not as cool as Tuesday night’s Rockies-Cardinals graph, but I’ll definitely take it. Here’s the box score, and then the nerd score.

Up Next

The Yankees will go for the sweep tomorrow, hoping that A.J. Burnett continues to rebound from his awful June. His opponent? Well, still the A’s, but the opposing starteris  Gio Gonzalez, who the Yanks’ pounded back in May.

Vazquez goes deep again in SWB win
Thoughts on Gardner leading off
  • http://www.puristbleedspinstripes.com Rebecca-Optimist Prime-Jesus & Maquinito FTW

    Me like.

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

    great great great fucking win

    sweep em plz

  • http://twitter.com/iiKeane JobaWockeeZ

    One more to tie Gehrig right for GS record?

    • Total Dominication

      2 more.

    • Mike

      2 more

  • Sean C

    “Make sure you get your tickets for that first post-All Star break homestand, folks.”

    I’ll be coming out to NY from Illinois to visit family next week and check out Friday night’s and Sunday afternoon’s games during that homestand. If I get to see the 600th in person during my first game at the new stadium…… (I have chills thinking about it).

    • Jimmy
      • Sean C

        The “human element” has been alive and well in the history of baseball. As will A-Rod’s 600th (well, official 600th) homer in the history of baseball.

    • Rose

      I saw him hit his 500th home run live against the Royals right behind home plate (best seats I’ve ever had in my entire life)…

      I’ll probably never have anything close ever again haha. Sure was something though…

      • Chris

        I was disappointed by his 500th home run. They had a game against the Orioles suspended earlier in the season, and then resumed after he hit his 500th home run. I was hoping that he would hit a home run in that Orioles game so that what had been his 499th home run officially became his 500th home run.

        • Rose

          Is that what would have happened? lol

          Kinda crazy to think about. I actually had to read this more than once to understand what you were saying haha

  • Jimmy


    A-Rod signed 10 Get Off My Mound t-shirts for charity. Braden sent A-Rod a shirt and a poster from his perfecto with a personalized message.

  • Salty Buggah

    A-Rod is only 1 HR away from 600!!! Oh wait, damn you lack of replay before 2008 (remember that 1 HR he lost when it hit the yellow(?) staircase in Right-center at YSII & was ruled a double) & Carlos Gomez (stole a Grand Slam to straightaway center away from away Alex last year in Minny). I’m sure he’s lost more HRs before.

    • Jimmy
    • Rose

      My personal favorite was the walk off bomb he hit in 2004 against the Athletics…wheen he rounds the bases and points and smiles at the camera as he’s doing so…I mean how badass is that? You hit a walk off 2 run bomb…trot around the bases and not only do you smile and point at the camera after immediately doing so…but you somehow know which camera is on and where it is during this adreneline filled time.

      http://arod.mlb.com/players/rodriguez_alex/multimedia.jsp?category=2004 (SAFE)

      I believe it’s “August 4th”. The picture on the side is the one I’m talking about with him pointing and smiling. Pretty awesome haha.

      By the way, I was at that game…pretty great game. Gary Sheffield hit a 2 run bomb to tie it late in the innings prior to Arod’s extra inning walk off one.

  • SullyLV

    Where is the Red Sox moron that said the Sox’s would be in first place by monday.Lets hope for the sweep tomorrow!

  • Brad Toughy

    A-Rod’s hit some absolute bombs in Oakland this season. I think I remember a couple from the last time they were in Oakland that landed way up in the left-center seats.

  • BigBlueAL

    I saw today Damon’s walk-off HR but what really caught my attention was not only that it was just his 5th HR of the season (same as Gardner though grant it he should really only have 4 thanks to the fluke inside-the-park HR on Sunday) but that his OPS of .774 is 45 points lower than Gardner’s OPS of .819. Plus all 5 of Damon’s HR’s have been hit at home and he has hit much better at home than on the road so cant blame the move to Comerica entirely for his reduced offense.

    • Brad Toughy

      His shot today was an absolute bomb.

  • Dave

    Steve Lombardi just told me in an email that he could be a better GM than Brian Cashman. I am still stunned.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Screen cap or it didn’t happen.

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

        I’m not reading that butttt

        The Yankees won, but CC gave up a run. Also if A-Rod wasn’t on the team they probably wouldn’t have won, but everyone knows he’s not a True Yankee so do his HRs even count? C-

    • Rose

      The first thing I would do as General Manager is resurrect Leonardo daVinci so that he could paint the ceiling of the Yankee clubhouse to match what he did inside the Sistine Chapel. Then, of course, my next order of business would be to clone myself and schedule a steel cage match between myself as The Brooklyn Brawler and my other self as Abe “Knuckleball” Schwartz and finally find out who’s the better jobber wrestler. I know, I know…Barry Irwin (The Goon) will tell you he’s the best – but who wrestles in rubber skates?? Honestly!!

      Steve Lombardi

      • Rose

        Barry Bill Irwin

    • rbizzler

      I just checked out WW for the first time in a long while and I see that Steve is still crapping on Phil Hughes. His second half prediction was that Phil would drop off and only win 5 more games (16 wins for the season would be sweeet, no?).

  • Brian in NH

    Very satisfying win. Also, its nice to see that Alex and Dallas have kind of moved on from the “Get Off My Mound” fiasco.

    Did anybody see that a fan fell out of the second deck at Arlington last night? crazy!

    • Opus

      I think Alex moved on the day after it happened. Dallas was the one who couldn’t let it die.

      There was footage of the guy falling out of the second deck? Guess they can show it considering he survived. Am I the only one who thought of Frank Drebin trying to stop Reggie Jackson in The Naked Gun?

  • Rose

    Anyway to find out how many GS opportunities Gehrig had compared to Arod and Manny? Seems like guys are on base a hell of a lot more now than they were back then…(I write this as if I were around back then) but with Moneyball and players being more patient…a non dead-ball era, etc. Just curious. Could be pretty hard to find those stats though.

    Also, wonder why they had Gehrig hit 4th behind Ruth. I mean it worked clearly and Gehrig was disgustingly nasty as well…but I dunno. It’s a moot point I guess. Either way they’d destroy everything in sight.

    • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

      Don’t underestimate Gehrig’s era for run scoring/guys being on base. The 20’s featured a pretty live ball and a good amount of offense.

      • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

        And, I just looked on B-R. They have splits for Gehrig, but they don’t include base runner situations.

      • Rose

        Oh I’m well aware…I’m certainly not shooting down these guys. I was just curious…because while Gehrig was like an Alex Rodriguez…Ruth was like a Barry Bonds. And Bonds was mostly a clean up hitter during his ridiculous years. Would you put Barry Bonds 3rd and Alex Rodriguez 4th if you had them both in the same line up in their prime? Or the other way around?

        It might have something to do with all the pitches that pitchers have today compared to those of the 1920’s and 30’s…put the Ruth/Bonds guy 4th in today’s game to see all the pitches and have the #3 see more fastballs…where in the 20’s and 30’s you didn’t really have to do that as much.

        • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

          If I had those two back to back, I think I’d just spend every waking minute thanking my lucky stars. Seriously, though, I think I’d bat Bonds third and Rodriguez fourth.

          • Rose

            It’s sure something that a guy who lead the league in walks and OBP in 2007 just leaves the game and can’t get work haha. I know he has his issues with steroids and other legal issues and stuff…but a .276/.480/.565 (1.045) line with nearly 30 HR in 126 games is pretty awesome.

            • http://theyankeeu.com Matt Imbrogno

              If he played now, I still think he could put up a .400+ OBP no problem. The Yankees really should’ve made a run at him in ’08. Richie Sexson? Really?!

              • Rose

                Yeah, no kidding. Think the Yankees make the playoffs in ’08 if they have Bonds or do they still miss it?

                Where would Matsui have played though? I know he got hurt and missed nearly half the season…but they probably wouldn’t have known that pre-season 2008. With hindsight it’s easy to slide him in with Posada and Matsui being out for so long though.

                But…a signing like Barry Bonds and the outcome of 2008 could have significantly changed the outcome of pre-season 2009 and changed that year for all we know.

                • Chris

                  I wonder what it actually would have taken to sign Bonds. I have a feeling that the reason he didn’t get a job was that he wasn’t willing to take enough of a pay cut to make it worthwhile for a team to sign him.

                  • Tom Zig

                    There were rumors he’d work for the minimum.

                    • Rose

                      Yeah, it was mainly because he was federally indicted for perjury and obstruction of justice in November of the 2007 offseason (2008 preseason) and it was foolish for anybody to sign him.

      • http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bring-Melvin-To-America/193013541601?ref=sgm Andy In Sunny Daytona

        You trying catching a ball with those “gloves” they used back then.

        • Rose

          LOL. Great point.

        • Pete

          actually, they were more like actual gloves than the gloves people wear today, especially in the outfield. Still, I’d take PEGs any day if it means more catches like the one Crisp made off of David Wright in Boston back in ’06 (can’t get the video to work).

  • http://mystiqueandaura.com Steve H

    I’m just waiting for Wally Matthews to bash A-Rod for the 2nd HR. It was clearly CC’s night and the Yankees didn’t need any more runs, but A-Rod had to go and hit another HR to make it about himself. Just another night in the life of the most selfish player on earth. Or something like that.

    • Klemy

      hahaha I like that comment.

  • larryf

    A-Rod…the first infielder to hit 600 HR. Not even a first baseman. I am in the love phase of my love hate relationship with the guy…

  • The209

    “Brett Gardner this series: 1-for-8, two strikeouts. It’s still hella, hella early, but the early returns on the leadoff hitter experiment are not what we hoped for.”

    RAB: sabermetrically-focused, but not afraid to use BA & SSS when it backs up earlier calls


    • Pete

      well nobody said those #s bore any predictive weight, just that they hadn’t produced anything yet. I didn’t read that as Mike condemning the move.

      Nonetheless, Cahill had thrown 18 pitches by the end of Derek Jeter’s first AB last night. That counts for something, IMO.

      • The209

        I was referring also to several other posts stating BG isn’t up to hittind leadoff (now, anyway).

        Of course, that earlier stint at leadoff had an 0-16 (approx) stretch, that could just as easily be a slump all players go thru 1-2x/yr — and not necessarily related to batting order — but it wasn’t portrayed that way here.

        That’s why I was kidding about SSS/BA can be used here when they back an argument, that’s all…