Cano carries Yanks to 5-4 win over Rays

Montero doubles twice in SWB win
A trade deadline The Boss would be proud of
(AP Photo/Mike Carlson)

After a long day of trade rumors and wondering what exciting news the next Twitter refresh would bring us, the Yankees and Rays played a rather important game on Saturday night. If Tampa won, not only would they have clinched the series win, but they also would have pulled into a tie for the AL East lead. The Yankees made sure that didn’t happen.

Down two in the 6th, Mark Teixeira unloaded on a Matt Garza fastball, completely unloaded on it, sending the ball into orbit to tie the game at three. An inning later, with the Yanks down one, Nick Swisher connected on the hangiest of hanging curveballs, parking it a few rows back in rightfield to again tie the game. The score remained that way until the 9th inning, when the Yankees’ MVP did what he’s been doing all season long. Robbie Cano, already 2-for-3 on the day with a pair of booming doubles, took a Rafael Soriano fastball down and in and deposited it where the sun don’t shine. Well, the sun doesn’t shine anywhere in that place because of the dome, but you get the point. Cano’s monster shot gave the Yanks their first lead of the game, and ultimately helped reclaim their two game lead in the division.

I’m going to recap this game bullet point style because it’s been a long day, but here’s the WPA Graph and box score. Cano’s homer checked in at .371 WPA, not as high as you’d think. I don’t need no stinkin’ math to tell me it was one of the Yanks’ biggests hits of the season, if the not thee biggest. Anyway, on to the notes…

  • Javy Vazquez wasn’t great, but he was good enough to win. The gopher ball to Matt Joyce was probably his biggest mistake of the game.
  • Speaking of Joyce, I suspect he has now earned the “Yankee Killer” tag. He and what, a couple hundred others?
  • The Yanks had six total hits in this game, and zero singles. Cano doubled twice and homered, Tex homered, Swish homered, and Derek Jeter doubled. I guess if you’re only going to average two hits for every three innings, they might as well go for extra bases.
  • Big ups to Boone Logan for throwing three pitches and getting two outs against two dangerous hitters in John Jaso and Carl Crawford to end the 7th.
  • Even bigger ups to David Robertson for throwing a perfect 8th innings with two strikeouts against Tampa’s 3-4-5 hitters on just a dozen pitches. Dude’s straight money right now.
  • Not a great debut for Lance Berkman – 0-for-4 with a strikeout – but who cares, he’ll be fine. It was nice having a little extra length in the lineup, no? Made a noticeable difference towards the bottom of the order.
  • One of these days Alex Rodriguez will get his 600th homer, I swears it. The Yanks will be back in the Bronx to face the Blue Jays and Red Sox tomorrow, so hopefully he gets it then.

The rubber game is tomorrow afternoon at 1:40pm ET. Regardless of what happens, the Yanks will return home Monday in first place. Each team is throwing their Opening Day starter, with CC Sabathia taking on Jamie Shields.

Montero doubles twice in SWB win
A trade deadline The Boss would be proud of
  • Rebecca-Optimist Prime-Jesus & Maquinito FTW

    Marry me, D-Rob.

    With apologies to you know who. And you know who. And you know who. And the guy I’m actually seeing.

    • Cecala

      D-Rob is working his way up my list of Yankee man crushes

      1) Gardner ( I liked him before this year because I played the same way with speed and defense in left field; I am not balding though)
      2) Grandy
      3)D-Rob ( It must be the high socks)

      • dr mrs the yankee

        He has nice calves so it’s important that he wear high socks.

        • V

          I have nice calves.

          Unfortunately, that’s one of the few nice things about me.

          I do have nice hair too, though.

  • Carlosologist

    Robbie Baseball had a little bit of a flourish after he homered off Soriano. It was great. Tomorrow CC will finish off the Rays and then the homestand.

    • Matt Joyce

      Yeah, right.

      • Carlosologist

        You only hit a light tower homer that was made negligible with Teixeira’s shot.

      • bexarama

        You’re so damn hot. I would appreciate it if you didn’t homer again tomorrow, though.

        • Kit


  • poster on a different computer who happens to be a deuce bag

    The Rays just don’t have the Yankees’ intensity.

    • poster on a different computer who happens to be a deuce bag

      …In fact, one might say that the Yankees are just generally deeper and thicker.

      • ultimate913

        That’s what she said.

  • Salty Buggah

    Gotta give some credit to Kevin Long for that Cano HR. YES once showed how he works with Cano and Swish in batting practice on turning on inside fastballs and pulling them for HRs. I may be wrong but both have seemingly done a great job crushing inside pitches all year. Either way, Cano is a stud.

    This was a pretty nice win. (/understatement’d)

  • poster on a different computer who happens to be a deuce bag

    This was a fun win. I won’t call late July/early August wins huge wins yet, but it was a battle against a good team that’s right behind us in the standings. And the atmosphere really does seem very intense, if I may use the expression.

    • Rebecca-Optimist Prime-Jesus & Maquinito FTW

      It was about this time last year there was that four game sweep of the Red Sox (actually, next weekend will be exactly a year).

      You can’t tell me those August wins didn’t mean anything…

      • Carlosologist

        Wasn’t that 15 inning epic showdown that A-Rod won in that sweep?

        • Rebecca-Optimist Prime-Jesus & Maquinito FTW


          There was the Thursday night let’s-not-actually-pitch-blughfest, the Friday night 15-inning-a-thon, Saturday CC-domination and Sunday back-to-back 8th inning home runs for shits and giggles.

          • JGS

            I was at that blughfest. It was awesome–I think they DFAed both Smoltz and Traber the next day.

      • poster on a different computer who happens to be a deuce bag

        When did I say they meant nothing? I said they weren’t HUGE wins. That doesn’t mean they mean nothing.

        The Red Sox games were a bit different, too. Here, the best outcome of the series would have had us four games up. Not small, but certainly FAR from insurmountable. A sweep at the hands of the Rays would have had us only two games back. If we only end up winning once, we’re still a game up.

        In the Red Sox series, the Yankees were hot and the Red Sox were like, what, six games back when the series started? A sweep at the hands of the Red Sox would have only put them two games back.

        Our sweep put us, if I’m recalling correctly ten games up with about two months to go. That basically locked up the division.

        Whatever the outcome of this series, when it’s over the division will still be an open question.

        • Rebecca-Optimist Prime-Jesus & Maquinito FTW

          Actually, the Yankees had to split that series to assume they’d stay in first and had been 0-8 against Boston prior.

          • poster on a different computer who happens to be a deuce bag

            What does the 0-8 against Boston have to with anything?

            Now I’m going to have to go to fangraphs and look this up, ugh.

          • bexarama

            I think they had to win just one to stay in first, but that four-game sweep, and the way we just kind of crushed Boston’s hearts in two of those games, especially the last one…

            • poster on a different computer who happens to be a deuce bag

              Up 3.5 going into Boston, up 6.5 going out. Point still stands. A sweep more or less put a stranglehold on the A.L. East. If we were swept, a nice 3.5 game lead is flushed down the toilet.

              There was more riding on that series. Plus it was Boston. I despise Boston.

    • Cecala

      I hate how people say that wins in August and Sept mean more. Every win carries equal value. If they lose a bad game in April and miss out on the playoffs by 1 game, does that one loss not count because it was in April?

      • Mike Axisa

        It’s the same argument as leverage and relievers and all that. It’s not that games in the season count less, it’s that you have more time to correct mistakes. If you get swept in a three game series in April, you still have five months to climb back into it. If that happens in September though, you’re probably screwed.

        • radnom

          As one well cerse in math, it’s unfortunate that sabermetrics is so popular yet relies so heavily on statistics which is so counterintuitive. You can’t expect the average Yankee fan to understand the Monty Hall Problem.

  • ShuutoHeat (GGBG > Crawford)

    This made me giggle like a kid in 6th grade…

    “That’s certainly the look and taste and feel of an MVP,” Rodriguez said.
    Lets see, Cano is batting BEHIND Arod…

    Good win though.

    • Rebecca-Optimist Prime-Jesus & Maquinito FTW

      Deep and thick.

  • bexarama

    This game was awesome. The number of “the Rays make the Yankees look so bad :( :( :( ” comments in the thread kind of make me laugh though.

  • Dirty Pena

    Question: When did James Shields start being known as Jamie?

    • bexarama

      It’s actually Big Game James (c) ™

      • Slappy White

        Shouldnt you have to pitch multiple big games to get that kind of nickname ?

    • Steve O.


      • Dirty Pena

        Nah, I’m not nitpicking. I don’t think it was a typo, I’ve heard him referred to as Jamie in multiple places this year.

        • Steve O.

          I thought you were being facetious. My apologies.

    • Mike Axisa

      It was Jamie for his entire career until he got to the big leagues, then they started calling him James. I’m stubborn, so I still call him Jamie.

      /remember your roots’d

      • Dirty Pena

        Fair enough. I do feel like I’ve heard him called Jamie more this year for whatever reason. I didn’t know he came up as Jamie.

        /the more you know’d

        • Dirty Pena

          Personally, I’m a little sad that Mr. Hughes doesn’t still go by Philip and kinda wish we could still call him that.

          • Mike Axisa

            Calling him Philip again would be ridiculously old school. And awesome.

  • Chris

    Not a great debut for Lance Berkman – 0-for-4 with a strikeout – but who cares, he’ll be fine. It was nice having a little extra length in the lineup, no? Made a noticeable difference towards the bottom of the order.

    It was interesting to hear Kevin Long say something to the effect of, “When we get to New York, we’ll break down his swing and get him hitting again.” I expect great things from Berkman.

  • forensicnucchem

    As if the game itself wasn’t awesome enough, then come the postgame interviews (via LoHud):

    A-Rod on Cano: “That’s certainly the look and taste and feel of an MVP,”

    A-Rod on his offense now with #600: “The way I’m swinging now, it’s probably going to take a while,” he said. “Get comfortable. People are asking me about home runs. I’m just asking for a hit by pitch, an infield hit, a bunt single, an error.” (And there was more with him making fun of his popups and groundouts too that he didn’t add)

    Robertson on being awesome now: “I haven’t been sucking, that’s the different. When you suck, you get hit.”

    Does it get any better than that?

    • Carlosologist

      A-Rod’s whole thing about the popouts, groundouts, and strikeouts was a big shot at Jeter.

      D-Rob’s been a favorite since his magic act in the ALDS last season.

    • bexarama

      here’s A-Rod’s interview, it’s hilarious:

      Unfortunately the “look, taste, and feel” comment isn’t as funny in context. ;_; However, the part where he makes fun of himself is utterly hilarious.

      • Zack

        “It might take awhile, everybody get comfortable”

        ha, watch him hit it in the first AB today

  • Sean C

    I can not and will not get tired of pictures of Robbie smiling after doing something awesome. This seems to be all too common this year, which is fantastic for me as a fan. By the way, Berkman’s a BUST. Kidding, it is an awesome problem to have 5 batters in the lineup with the potential/actuality of OPSing .900+. Top to bottom, this lineup is going to murder baseballs for the rest of this season. More and more, this team gives me reasons to love watching them play baseball. I thank my dad for making me a Yankee fan.

  • wooderson

    i want some coffee

  • Mike Nitabach

    What a great game! I am glad A-Rod can laugh at himself. It is great to seem him growing out of his humorlessness. It is just a game, after all.

    • Wil Nieves #1 Fan

      I must agree. I really get a kick out of watching A-Rod nowadays. Especially when him and Jete go at it about pop flies. The wonders of finally winning a ring.

  • Mike Nitabach

    BTW, anyone know why today’s game is at 1:40PM? That’s an odd time.

    • Dirty Pena

      It’s on TBS.

  • Total Dominication

    After last night’s game, Cano has broken a tie with Crawford and jumped over Votto and Morneau in the FG WAR standings. Hamilton is up by .4 as of now.

    • Total Dominication

      He’s tops in the AL in Baseball ref war, though he’s behind JJ.

      • JGS

        Not anymore–now he is tops in the majors

  • I Am Not The Droids You’re Looking For

    Love that comment about Berkman by long. Sounds definitive, as if he’s already identified what he sees as the issue.

    • Steve H

      I wonder if teams ever approach their hitting coaches to watch video of guys they are considering acquiring. It’s more likely during the offseason I’m sure, but I wonder if teams ever do it. They’d clearly have to have a ton of confidence in their hitting coach.

      • Gonzo

        I am sure their scouts know what Long’s capabilities as a hitting coach. I am curious too about their level of communication regarding trades.

        Maybe scouts just know their coaches that well.

  • Little Bill

    I wish I hadn’t watch ESPN’s OTL and Sports Reporters today. Yesterday ESPN News’ baseball trade deadline coverage consisted of Amy K. Nelson surfing the internet and reading other journalist’s work. Today Amy used an informal twitter and facebook poll as proof that nobody cares about A-Rod’s 600th HR, not even Yankees fans as her friend is a Yankees fan and he doesn’t consider A-Rod a true Yankee. Mike Lupica argued that the Yankees are insecure with all the moves they made yesterday. I’m sure they are insecure with the best record in baseball and weren’t just trying to add depth to their lineup, bench, and bullpen. I really wish I got MLB network.

    • Pete

      MLB Network’s analysis still sucks, apart from Leiter. But I’d rather have Harold Reynolds talk about how awesome every single person who ever touched a baseball field, or thought about doing so, is, than hear all the ESPN stuff. Dumb and overly positive >>>>>> dumb and overly negative