Yanks win an odd one against the Angels

Former Yankee manager Ralph Houk, 90, passes away
Joe Girardi and the Cubs

For four innings this seemed like a typical rebound game. After getting their asses kicked last night the Yanks scored six runs in four innings while holding the Angels scoreless. Javier Vazquez had thrown just 37 pitches through those four innings, and it didn’t look like the Angels had much of a chance. But from the fifth inning on it became anything but a typical ballgame.

Biggest Hit: Miranda takes out an insurance policy (WPA) and Cano’s tater (subjective)

Photo credit: Kathy Willens/AP

The aim of WPA, as I see it, is to capture the essence of the moment. Given the current base-out state and score situation it can, using data from thousands of games, describe how important a certain moment or event appears. Of course, you can’t always capture emotion in a number. When it comes to important moments in a game I’ll sometimes argue with the value WPA assigns to it. Today we’ll split the difference.

Heading into the bottom of the seventh the Yanks were walking a tightrope. In a matter of two innings they saw their 6-0 lead cut all the way to 6-5. The Angels mounted a few threats that the bullpen quelled, but it still felt like heartbreak could be a few pitches away. That’s why Juan Miranda‘s one-out solo home run in the bottom of the seventh was so important.

Scot Shields got Cano to, once again, chase a pitch at his eyes to cap a three-pitch strikeout. That brought up Juan Miranda, 0 for 3 to that point, with none on and one out. On the 2-1 pitch Shields delivered a fastball up and over the plate, and Miranda laid into it, sending it into the Yanks’ bullpen for some much-needed insurance. Even the one additional run made the lead seem so much safer.

To me, though, the biggest hit came earlier, during the four-run third. The Yanks had rallied on a Jeter single, Swisher double, and Teixeira single to extend the lead to four. Two batters later Robinson Cano took a 2-0 sinker over the center field wall to break open the game. At that point, with Vazquez cruising, it felt like a comfortable game.

Biggest Pitch: Joba gets another grounder

Two dozen photos, none of Joba | Photo credit: Kathy Willens/AP

I don’t know what happened to Javy. I don’t think Javy knows what happened to Javy. Girardi explained it as him trying too hard to avoid the walk. It could be that. It’s definitely not something you see every day from a pitcher who was going so well earlier in the game. David Robertson then worked himself into a jam in the sixth but got out of it in what was the second biggest pitch of the game. He ran the count to 3-1 on Howie Kendrick before getting him to line out on a high fastball.

In the seventh, Girardi went to Boone Logan, who retired both lefties and allowed a single to the righty Torii Hunter. With another righty, Mike Napoli, due up, Girardi went to Joba Chamberlain for the final out. He basically let Hunter steal second, and then on a 3-2 count missed low with a fastball to put on Napoli. It looked like he’d get out of it when Juan Rivera hit a chopper towards third, but it was hit too weakly and everyone reached safely. For the second inning in a row the Yankees faced a bases loaded jam, and for the second inning in a row they avoided damage. Kevin Frandsen grounded to A-Rod, who stepped on third to end the inning.

The bullpen did a great job, Joba’s eighth aside, for the second time in three games. The relief corps remains one of the weaker parts of this team, but they’ve come through lately and have helped deliver two big wins.


Photo credit: Kathy Willens/AP

Derek Jeter had a nice-looking day. He’ll go on a tear sometime later this month into August. Just watch.

If I didn’t know better I’d think that Nick Swisher has a chance to hit .300 this year. It looks like he can hit anything up there. He looked especially good in the third when he waited back on a curveball and served it back into center for a base hit.

With this 3 for 5, two-double night, Mark Teixeira‘s line is up to .256/.366/.471. I have August 8 in the pool of when he’ll get his SLG over .500.

A-Rod has struck out only 4 times in his last 40 AB.

As Chad Jennings notes, Robinson Cano hadn’t been intentionally walked twice in a game since 2007.

For the second time this season Juan Miranda homered off a pitcher with the last name Shields. He hit one off James on May 20.

Granderson looked good, going 2 for 4. If it takes a critical article every day to get him going, I’m up to the task.

Yesterday was Cervelli’s 10th multi-hit game in 49 starts.

Brett Gardner lost a chance to bring his batting average back over .300 when he got ejected, for the first time in his career, in the seventh.

Photo credit: Kathy Willens/AP

Colin Curtis, who hit his first career home run, is the only player in the league with the last name Curtis. There are only two players whose first name is Curtis.

And finally, Michael Kay got all riled up for an A-Rod fly ball that didn’t even push Matsui to the warning track, but showed no emotion when, one batter later, Robinson Cano put a ball in the bullpen to give the Yanks a 5-0 lead.

Box, graph, and highlights

Poppa, what does the tall red bar mean?

More at FanGraphs. Also: traditional box and highlights.

Up Next

The Royals come to town for a four-game set. Thanks to the luck of the draw, Zack Greinke pitched on Wednesday, and so he won’t face the Yankees. Bruce Chen will square off against CC Sabathia at 7:05 p.m. tonight, and the Yankees will hope their starting pitcher can make it through six innings for the first time since CC’s last outing.

Former Yankee manager Ralph Houk, 90, passes away
Joe Girardi and the Cubs
  • http://fmylife.com Bryan

    Whatta game for Curtis.

    Gotta love how he made the most of that AB.

  • http://ballcraft.blogspot.com Zanath

    It could have been the heat, in terms of what happened to Javy. And there were some long at bats in the fifth, to add to that.

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

      i blame the montero watch

      • Klemy

        Montero Watch is en fuego!

      • Brian in NH

        Maybe we should get a *Player* Watch for everyone! Then they’ll all do well again!

  • Jerome S

    What’s with umpires throwing people out of the game in a moments notice? It’s like you can’t do or say anything on the diamond without it being a balk or an out or something crazy like that. Hopefully this isn’t a long-term trend.

    • jim p

      The heat affects humans, animals, and umpires alike.

      • Klemy

        No need to mention umpires again, when they were already covered by the previous specification.

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

    great fucking win

    i heart CC III

  • Rivera Venue Blues

    Halos Heavens makes it impossible to not enjoy every damn win we get against this team.

    • http://ballcraft.blogspot.com Zanath

      I’ve never been there but I’ve heard the legends. Are they true?

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


        Today they called us the New Jersey LOBsters.
        a. We don’t play in New Jersey.
        b. Yankees LOB: 7, Angels LOB: 10 (including TWO bases-loaded situations when it was still a one-run game)

        • http://ballcraft.blogspot.com Zanath

          Wow. Just wow. I’m pretty sure that wouldn’t be funny even if both things were true.

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

            Yeah, and they’re always going on about umpire/East Coast bias. Remember when we crushed them like 8-1 that one game in Anaheim? I think it was Piniero vs. Pettitte and Andy basically cruised while Piniero just sucked? They were saying all of that was due to the umpires. Yup.

        • Rivera Venue Blues

          Plus, they’re heathens for taking our Mo’s name in vain. The “spitball” accusations were absolutely crazy. I wouldn’t have minded as much if it were Joba who was in that situation because sure he’s young and maybe he’s been getting away with it in certain situations. But really, you’re gonna accuse Mariano Rivera of having success only because he cheats? gtfo.

          And, they whine about “East-cost bias” and “Yankee bias” non-stop even in completely irrelevant situations.

          • http://ballcraft.blogspot.com Zanath

            Oh god I remember reading about that here. That was BS.

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

            Yep. Plus they made it sound like Mo had secretly been doing this for his entire career, and it was the secret to his success, and no one had discovered or even noticed it until they had.

            Fuck off, jackasses. (not you, obviously. The guys at Halos Heaven.)

            • Rivera Venue Blues

              I’d understand with a guy who hasn’t been around forever and is respected by every writer, teammate, player that comes into contact with him. But really? They went too far accusing Mo.

        • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

          It seems to me the lobsters refers to the Angels themselves.

          • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

            The way we say “the BABIP gods got…” it seems they are saying the “LOBsters got the Angels.” Why New Jersey, I have no idea.

            • http://riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

              I don’t get the New Jersey thing either, especially since they’re the team with the identity crisis (the whole Los Angeles/Anaheim thing).

    • pat

      The Rev is just a douche through and through. I like how he captions a picture taken from the first inning of the game and points out “Empty seats”. OOk dude I bet every LAA game is full by first pitch. Their little brother syndrome is just sad.

  • vin

    Who’s having the bigger turn-around… Montero or Teixeira?

    • Rivera Venue Blues

      Montero, he’s even changed his name to Montario.


  • SK

    i like those two guys that called a juan “gone” miranda HR and a cano homer in the comments of a post on wednesday. I love a game where the yankee farm-bred guys get the big hits – cano, miranda, curtis

  • http://twitter.com/dpatrickg Dirty Pena

    Poppa, what does the tall red bar mean?

    We’ll talk about it when you’re a little older.

  • ChrisR

    I think the biggest hit was Curtis’ HR. The team was fired up after the ejection, and a 2 run lead with Joba lately hasn’t been safe, but he took care of that. Awesome, awesome, homer.

  • Lefty

    anybody catch Cody Ransom’s play last night for the Phils? PLEASE don’t tell me it’s too late to swap Ransom for A-Rod??????

  • TheZack

    “The bullpen did a great job, Joba’s eighth aside…” Ah yes, Joba’s eighth aside. Since he continues to, you know, suck in the eighth…

    • Tom Zig

      I had Joba on my fantasy team (holds are counted) but I was so furious when he gave up the grand slam to Jose Lopez that I dropped him. He is really sucking this year. He is atrocious in high leverage (.933[!!!] OPS against) (151 sOPS+). He essentially turns batters into 2010 Kevin Youkilis when in high leverage situations.

  • B-Rando

    Not facing Greinke almost evens out the Sox not having to face King Felix I suppose.

    • Cecala

      Have we ever versed the new Greinke?

  • Jon Kantrowitz

    Except for Joba’s eighth? Give me a break – a walk on a 3-2 pitch and a swinging bunt? He did fine.

    • http://www.yankeenumbers.com Mr. Sparkle

      Did he start the at-bat with a three ball count? No. He threw four balls so the fact that he walked a guy on a 3-2 pitch makes it irrelevant. It’s still a walk and he still stinks.