American League’s worst offense again crushes Yanks

Dustin Moseley to join Yankees on Thursday
Kevin Goldstein's Top 11 Prospects

It’s one thing to have your pitching staff surrender seven runs in two consecutive games. It’s an altogether different issue when those 14 runs come off the bats of the league’s worst offense. At 3.45 runs per game entering last night, the Mariners sit with the Orioles as the only AL teams under four runs per game. Yes. They’re more than a half-run back from the No. 12 offense in the league. Yet they’ve managed to score 14 runs to the Yankees’ three.

You can’t predict baseball, but sometimes that fucking sucks.

Biggest Hit: Ha ha, very funny

Photo credit: Seth Wenig/AP

At 5.43 runs per game the Yankees rank second in the American League. Yet they have averaged 1.5 runs per game in the past two. It’s not much of a sample, and teams do slump. They were also facing two of the best pitchers in the league, Cliff Lee and Felix Hernandez. No, the Yanks didn’t get any big hits off Felix Hernandez. They threatened with a couple of doubles, but they never amounted to anything. Felix was too good. Most of the lineup was too bad. Either way, it amounted to two hits and no runs.

They had runners on the corner and two outs in the first, but Robinson Cano just missed a double. In the fourth Mark Teixeira led off with a double, but the Yankees couldn’t so much as move him to third. The next inning Colin Curtis hit a double with one out, but again the Yankees couldn’t do anything with it. Derek Jeter did hit one hard back up the middle, but it was right at Hernandez, who fell down fielding it but still made the play to first easily. That was it. Two walks in the first, one in the ninth, a double in the fourth, and another in the fifth.

It seems like the Yanks have done the “tip your hat to the pitcher” thing a few too many times this season, but in the past two games they can say it without embarrassment. Cliff Lee and Felix Hernandez are all-world pitchers. On a team with a bit more offensive prowess they would be the talk of the league. Hell, Lee is even without the aid of run support. Felix had one of those games where even a top offense will have fits. Mix in a few slumping players and it’s a two-hitter.

Biggest pitch: Didn’t matter

Photo credit: Seth Wenig/AP

When the opposing pitcher allows no runs it doesn’t matter what your own pitching does. What was bigger, the hit produced the only run they’d need, or the hit that gave them the level of comfort to think, “okay, three-run lead, this is over”? Milton Bradley got the job done with his second-inning homer, and Jose Lopez delivered the third run. Maybe you can even chalk it up to Russ Branyan, whose seventh-inning jack erased any remote comeback chances.

Not that Javy Vazquez pitched all that well. He did hold the Mariners scoreless for his final three innings, working out of a bases loaded jam in the fifth before retiring the side in order in the sixth. Also, given the nature of Bradley’s hit that set up Lopez’s RBI single, maybe those three earned runs are deceptive. After all, it’s not like Javy gave up a well-hit ball. But he did hit Branyan the batter before, which is no one’s fault but his own.

Furthermore, Vazquez ran up his pitch count early, which forced him from the game after six innings. That left the game in the hands of the Yanks bullpen, and we know how that unit has performed this year. Damaso Marte, who I wanted to see pitch more innings, basically ended the game when he hung a slider and Branyan did what any self-respecting lefty would have done. Hell, any self-respecting righty would have done the same. The pitch was just that fat.

Also, I hope everyone enjoyed Chad Gaudin’s final appearance in pinstripes. The only question left is of whether they announce his release when the reporters show up at 3, or if they wait until closer to game time to announce that he’s been replaced by Dustin Moseley?


Photo credit: Seth Wenig/AP

Teixeira has two doubles in the past two days. Unfortunately, those are the only two times he’s reached base.

That’s all I’ve got.

Graph and box

Avert your eyes, children. This graph may take on other forms.

More at FanGraphs. And, of course, the box score. I won’t even bother with the highlights.

Next Up

The Yanks draw the weakest pitcher on the Mariners staff, Ryan Rowland-Smith. That’ll be a nice break from Felix and Lee. He goes against CC Sabathia in the first of four games with 1 p.m. starts.

Dustin Moseley to join Yankees on Thursday
Kevin Goldstein's Top 11 Prospects
  • Johan Iz My Brohan

    Ian Snell, come back! The Yankees need you…

  • JGS

    Goal for tomorrow: see a reliever

    • Esteban

      If the Yankees don’t destroy Ryan Roland-Smith, then we’ll know they’re slumping.

      • Esteban

        and they definitely won’t be able to ‘tip their caps to the pitcher’

  • Salty Buggah

    Both Lee & Felix have now thrown 3 consecutive CGs. But tomorrow, I expect the Yanks to dominate. They didn’t beat the good pitcher, so kill the other meme, they must crush the below average player.

  • ultimate913

    Something in me really wants the Yanks to practically get shutout tomorrow just to show that the Yanks are really slumping and could bomb Lee or Hernandez when they’re hot. Meh. I’d be happy with getting swept at home and just completely bombing every pitcher they throw at us in Seattle.

    • Angelo

      I praise wins my friend.

  • Dirty Pena

    Thank God tomorrow’s a day game.

  • jimmy

    After Dodgers vs Yankees, the crowd just seems so dead at Yankee Stadium.

    • Evan in NYC

      Hard to get excited about back to back CG gems by the opposing pitching staff.

    • rek4gehrig

      i was at last night’s game…there really was nothing to cheer about, nothing at all (and believe me, we tried)

  • Short Porch aka Master of the Obvious

    Sadly, as in the case of last nights match up of King Felix versus Javy, you sometimes can predict baseball.

  • Brian in NH

    When I first saw this score last night i was shocked. The M’s are terrible mostly. But kind of had a perfect storm of pitchers lining up, with King Felix looking to continue dominating and Javy being what a number 4 starter does once in a while. The old saying goes “good pitching always beats good hitting.” Not sure how much of that is backed up by stats, since the very nature of being a good pitcher is being able to get good hitters out (otherwise you’re not a good pitcher then are you?). lets destroy the crap pitching tomorrow.

    Have the yanks at least faced this guy? I feel like (may be confirmation bias here) that whenever they face a middling young guy for the first time the yanks get absolutely shut down

    • Ross in Jersey

      He’s a relief-pitcher-turned-starter and yes, the Yankees have seen him both as a starter and reliever last year. There’s no excuse not to bomb him today. And with a hot CC on the mound this is a game I’d bet the farm on the Yankees winning.

  • Rose

    Well the Mariners certainly ended the Yanks streak of mashing the Aces. They clobbered Halladay, Santana, Haren…and lost to the Ryan-Roland Smith guys instead. Let’s hope they can do the opposite tomorrow.

    • Rose

      Let’s hope they can do the opposite tomorrow tonight.

      It’s still early…gimme a break lol

      • Joseph Pawlikowski

        You mean this afternoon.

        • Rose

          Bahh!!! Can’t I have my coffee first! lol

          Could be one of those days…

  • Randy A.

    Farewell Chad…it’s been fun.

    I know he just had the option to take a ML deal somewhere or become a FA, but why not him: (safe)

    …I kiiiid I kiiiid.

  • Ross in Jersey

    So, here’s a few random complaints I have. Nothing major, because hey, the Yankees are a heck of a team and they’re in first place and all that good stuff. But still, some things annoy me watching them day after day.

    1) Jeter needs to start working the count. I know he’s had success swinging early last year, but the dude has seen the least pitchers per at-bat than any other starter on the team, including Cervelli. That has to change. Let Swish and Tex see some pitchers before getting in the box. Jeter has a good eye, use it.

    2) Under-usage of Robertson in high leverage situations. I feel like this kid is rotting in the back of the bullpen, brought in only when the team is down or up by a lot of runs or to pitch to one righty. He’s better than that, give him a chance. And he certainly has earned the right to be higher up on the pecking order than Chan Ho fucking Park.

    3) I get trying to protect Posada, but Cervelli is not a major league hitter. We knew what happened early was smoke and mirrors. I would honestly rather see Moeller for his veteran presence and defense at this point. The guy can’t hit a lick, but then again, neither can Cervelli.

    That’s it really. I refuse to get on Tex or Granderson or the Hughes rules!

    • Bret

      I agree with 2 and 3 wholeheartedly. With 3, I think Cervelli’s cheerleader crap was beneficial to the Yankees for a while but the 2, 4, 6, 8 who do we appreciate stuff wears a little thin when you never get a hit and he has stopped doing it as the long season is wearing him down. There was nothing in his minor league numbers to suggest he could even hit adequately enough to be a backup catcher and now the law of averages has caught up to him. That being said, Posada gets a vaginal infection everytime he catches and Montero isn’t ready yet so don’t see much changing no matter how bad Cervelli is.

      With 1, Jeter is getting attacked by pitchers, there isn’t much he can do. They know he is slowing down, they know they can’t walk him with the middle of the order coming up and they know he isn’t much of a power threat. He is striking out more than last year and his bat speed is obviously not the same. It isn’t unusual or unexpected – 36 year olds are supposed to slow down precipitously – people forget that because of Barry Bonds. But all the talk about 4,000 hits is crazy, he will be lucky to go 3 more years after this one as an everyday player in my opinion.

    • Matt Imbrogno

      3) I get trying to protect Posada, but Cervelli is not a major league hitter. We knew what happened early was smoke and mirrors. I would honestly rather see Moeller for his veteran presence and defense at this point. The guy can’t hit a lick, but then again, neither can Cervelli.

      Moeller would lead to the same thing as the Cervelli situation. Until Johnson or Thames comes back, the Yankees are stuck with the current C/DH situation.

  • larryf

    We miss Bretsky/Gritsky. Sees pitches/gets on base/steals bases/works pitch count We are a much less exciting team without him.

  • Mike Nitabach

    Yeah, that fucking sucked. Let’s hope the bats come alive today.

  • RustyJohn

    At the risk of sounding like Tim McCarver, the M’s are the best worst team in baseball- all their hitters (sans Ichiro and Gutierrez) decided to crap all over themselves the first three months of the season, one can’t be surprised if they tear it up the next three months.