Waiting on 600, the rain and Haren, Yanks trounce Royals

Stark: Yanks 'never close' on Haren
The Joba conundrum from someone who's been there

The Yankees and the Royals played a quick 2:33 game last night, but with an 85 minute rain delay stuck into the bottom of the 5th inning, I didn’t leave Yankee Stadium until nearly 11 p.m. last night. Meanwhile, the game on the field itself seemed to take second stage to the Dan Haren drama that’s still unfolding. The Yankees didn’t care. A-Rod didn’t hit his 600th home run, but he went 2 for 4 as the team slapped around Brian Bannister and the Kansas City bullpen en route to a 7-1 win.

Biggest Hit: Robinson Cano‘s first-inning double

Robinson Cano likes what he sees. Credit: AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

The Yankees got off to a very quick start against Brian Bannister tonight. On the sixth pitch of his lead-off at-bat, Brett Gardner roped a double down the right field that Alex Gordon misplayed into a three-base hit. Derek Jeter swung at the first pitch and grounded back to Bannister. After Mark Teixeira was hit by a pitch and A-Rod walked, Robinson Cano laced a three-run double into center field.

For the Yankees playing the Royals, they wouldn’t need more runs. Cano’s hit gave the Yanks an 80.6 percent win expectancy, and the club never ended a inning with their WE below 83 percent. Had it not been for the rain and Jorge Posada, this would have been a rather unmemorable win. The Yanks went about their victory in a business-like fashion, pounding out 11 hits and six walks against a Royals club that isn’t in the same league as the Bombers.

Biggest RBI: Jorge Posada’s first-inning double

After Robinson Cano’s double put the Yanks up by three, Jorge Posada followed with a double of his own into right field. As Cano touched the plate, Jorge has a mark to celebrate. The run batted in was his 1000th as a Yankee. The crowd of 46,801 gave Posada a standing ovation, and the Yanks’ catcher barely acknowledged the mark.

In the grand scheme of the game, Posada’s 1000th RBI isn’t as big a milestone as A-Rod’s impending 600th home run. Pages of players have reached the mark, and RBIs aren’t a stat over which the batter has much control. But of the 13 catchers in the Hall of Fame, only six have topped the 1000-RBI plateau. Jorge is in some rarified company as he makes his case for Cooperstown. He should get there easily.

The Best of the Pen

Let's keep Jonathan Albaladejo for more than a week. Credit: AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

Outside of some first-inning thunder, the Yanks’ bats weren’t at their best tonight. They went just 4-for-18 with runners in scoring position, and plated a few off of some of the Royals’ relievers who were forced to get 10 outs after the rain delay. For the Yankees, though, their pitchers did the job. A.J. Burnett was, if not masterful, quite effective through five innings. He allowed four hits and walked just one while striking out three, and because of the rain, he threw just 58 pitches.

After the monsoon that flooded Yankee Stadium passed through, Chad Gaudin pitched three serviceable innings as a reliever. He allowed a run in the 8th, but he kept the Royals from ever creeping back into the game. Jonathan Albaladejo struck out two in the 9th while sitting in the low 90s with his fastball. When Sergio Mitre is activated later today, Dustin Moseley should get the axe.

Odds and Ends

I had no idea the Bronx was under a tornado watch last night. Neither did this guy. Credit: AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

Alex Rodriguez didn’t launch his 600th home run tonight, but he went 2 for 4 with a walk. This game was a stark contrast to those ABs in between his 499th and 500th home runs. During that span, he triple-slashed just .111/.306/.148. As long as he hits, that home run will come on its own.

Derek Jeter appeared to be visibly frustrated after his first-inning at-bat ended on the first pitch. With a runner on third, he tapped back to the pitcher. He failed to knock out a hit in his other four plate appearances and nearly drew the ire of the crowd when he hit into a double play in the 8th, jeopardizing another A-Rod plate appearance.

Props go out to the Yankee grounds crew tonight. As I stood in Section 424, visiting with a RAB regular, it was hard to believe the game would go on. Lightening and thunder crashed around us, and we were soaked to the bone. When the tarp came off, the outfield resembled a lake, but between the grounds crew’s sweeping efforts and the fast-draining system in place, the field was good to go. That was some rainstorm.

The Boxscores

If only they were all as stress-free as this WPA graph. Zen Baseball would rule the world.

(ESPN Box and Fangraphs box)

Up Next

The Yankees continue their four-game set against the Royals as Kyle Davies (4-6, 5.45) and Sergio Mitre (0-1, 2.88) square off in a 1:05 affair. A-Rod hit home run number 500 off of Davis back in 2007. Could history repeat itself? Only ti…oh, never mind. Game-time temperatures are expected to be in the low-to-mid 90s with a heat advisory and thunderstorm watch in effect.

Stark: Yanks 'never close' on Haren
The Joba conundrum from someone who's been there
  • Carlosologist

    So, Alex will hit 600 tomorrow off Kyle Davies just like he did across the street two years ago.

  • Cecala

    You met up with Bexarama?

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

      Nope. Joe and I met up with Leonora from The Girl Who Loves Andy Pettitte.

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


      Shockingly enough, considering the name, that’s not my blog ;)

      • http://soxandpinstripes.net Angelo

        You got competition for Pettitte, Bexy.

  • forensicnucchem

    I wouldn’t mind if Moseley was DFA, but I don’t know if they’d do that since they had to use Gaudin tonight for 3 innings (and didn’t embarrass himself or they’d just DFA him) and Mitre only has about 75-90 pitches tomorrow. I could see Girardi lobbying to keep the one long man available and just send down Albaladejo again (though a Gaudin DFA is certainly still possible since he’s not available for a couple days now). Hopefully not, but it just seems to be the way they work.

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

      Even without Moseley or Gaudin, they still have Mariano, Robertson, Logan and, if he’s not traded, Joba as well as Albaladejo. They don’t need Moseley later today or at all.

  • Wil Nieves #1 Fan

    In yesterday’s chat, Mike said RBI’s are stupid. After last night’s game, Jorge Posada said “RBI’s are special.” Who do I trust?

    • Across the pond

      My dog is stupid ,but he’s special to me

    • Pete

      I don’t think RBIs are any stupider than Runs or Wins.

      Which is to say, they’re fun things to care about when your team sucks, or when players are approaching historic milestones in those statistics, but when it comes to A) evaluating talent, B) predicting future performance, and C) determining a player’s actual contribution to a team’s success.

  • Pete

    *when it comes to those things, they’re pretty much useless

  • Januz

    There is no question that in many cases RBI’s are a function of the guys in front of you (As are Runs Scored quite often a function of the guys behind you). But if you look at the best of the best players (Such as Ty Cobb, Hank Aaron, Babe Ruth & Willie Mays) it is no accident they are in the Top 10 in BOTH catagories (Cobb’s place on this list is perhaps the most impressive, because he hit only 117 Home Runs in his entire career). Interesting enough, Alex Rodriguez is on his way up in both catagories as well (And will be in the Top 10 sometime in 2012 (Assuming he stays healthy)). In one respect, this may be one of Arod’s most rewarding seasons (I rate 2009 number one, for obvious reasons), because he has had to overcome quite a bit. For example: Unless he goes crazy, he will not hit 30 Home Runs this year. Bowever, he will knock in 100 RBI’s, so despite the loss of power, he will accomplish this for the 13th consecutive season (Overcoming an off-season by Derek Jeter (Not getting on base as much as usual)). Once again, despite those factors, and nagging injuries, he will accomplish what he is paid to do (Knock in runs), and that is the sign of an elite Hall Of Famer.

    • Pete

      well, much like wins, over the course of a 20 year career, it’s usually a decent gauge (though not always). It’s when people cite RBIs over brief periods of time, say 5 years or less, that it gets a little fishy.

  • Joe

    Alby is getting optioned down. I can’t believe it.

    • Wil Nieves #1 Fan

      I know. I don’t get that move at all.