Guest Post: Winning without A-Rod

A welcome day of rest
Rotation concerns are nothing new
(AP Photo/Tony Gutierrez)

The following is a guest post that comes from regular RAB commenter tommiesmithjohncarlos, and recaps all of the Yankees’ wins without Alex Rodriguez in the lineup. There have been a bunch of them, and regardless of what some may thing, the team is not better off without him.

We’ve already heard a few times how the Yankees were 12-0 (ZOMG!!!) in the games Alex Rodriguez has missed this year from various corners of the MSM and blogosphere. While we’re all smart enough to know that the team isn’t really better without Alex, I was curious to see how we were able to do so well without him nonetheless. So let’s take a stroll down memory lane.

The (now 15) games ARod hasn’t played in so far:

#24, May 2: A 12-3 hometown beatdown of Mark Buerhle/Tony Peña and the White Sox.
Lineup: Jeter-Johnson-Tex-Swish-Cano-Sado-Thames-Gardner-Peña.
Gardner had a second inning RBI single and a 4th inning solo homer; Cano hit a three-run shot in the 5th to break it open (5-0) and chase Buerhle. Swish hit a two-run shot an inning later to make it 7-0, then starting with Sado the team went double-groundout-walk-ROE-walk-double-double to plate five more runs. Hughes left after 7 frames with a 12-0 lead.

#48, May 28: An 8-2 hometown beatdown of Fausto Carmona/Tony Sipp and the Indians.
Lineup: Jeter-Granderson-Tex-Cano-Swisher-Miranda-Gardner-Peña-Moeller.
Swisher hit a two-run blast in the second and Miranda/Gardner chipped in with a bases-loaded walk and sac fly in the 6th, but it was still just 4-2 Yankees when we finally got Carmona out after 6 innings. Tony Sipp promptly loaded the bases (walking Tex, sounds familiar) to face Robbie, who hit a predictable grand slam. Game over, Hughes wins again.

#61, June 11: Andy beats Brett Myers and the Astros in an interleague tilt at YS3, 4-3.
Lineup: Jeter-Granderson-Tex-Cano-Swisher-Posada-Cervelli-Peña-Russo.
We jump on Myers in the bottom of the first with a groundout-double-walk-single-bases loaded walk-strikeout-single to plate three. Swish had the RBI BB and Cervelli hit a patented BABIP single to plate the second and third runs. In the fifth, Kevin Russo singles, steals second and scores on a Tex single to add a needed insurance run.

#62, June 12: A 9-3 hometown beatdown of the ‘Stros, this time Wandy Rodriguez who gives up 8 runs.
Lineup: Jeter-Swisher-Tex-Cano-Posada-Thames-Cervelli-Granderson-Russo.
Jeter and Hunter Pence trade leadoff solo shots in the 1st and 2nd, and it’s 2-2 in the third when Wandy gives up an RBI single to Swisher and then walks Tex and gives up a single to Cano to load the bases for Posada. I think you can guess what happens. Three innings later he issues leadoff walks to Cervelli and Granderson, chasing him from the game and summoning Jeff Fulchino, who gives up a three-run shot to Jeter for the 7th/8th/9th runs of the game.

#63, June 13: We finish the home sweep of the lowly ex-Colt .45s with a 9-5 romp over Brian Moehler and Gustavo Chacin.
Lineup: Jeter-Granderson-Tex-Cano-Swisher-Posada-Gardner-Huffman-Peña.
Hughes gives up a first inning sac fly, but Robbie ties the game in the 4th with a solo shot. A strikeout and three walks later, Ramiro Peña knocks in a run on a sac-fly (but I thought we never hit those?!?!), but Huffman ends the rally getting thrown out stretching at third. The reprieve is brief, however; after retiring Jeter to open the fifth, Moehler walks Granderson and gets Jorge to pop-up for out #2. Chacin comes in for the lefty-lefty matchup and pulls a Phil Coke, walking both Cano and Swisher to load the bases. Casey Daigle comes in to put out the electrical fire, but Jorge Posada pees all over it instead and the 3-1 lead becomes a 7-1 lead with one swing (Ed. Note: You probably remember this as the worst single pitch in baseball history. Total meatball). Hughes improves to 9-1 on the year in another slugfest.

#64, June 15: The Sabathia-Halladay duel of aces at YS3 turns out to be a cakewalk 8-3 victory.
Lineup: Jeter-Granderson-Tex-Cano-Swisher-Posada-Gardner-Cervelli-Peña.
Swish-Sado-Gardner kick it off in the second with a single-walk-GritTriple™ to plate two runs. Granderson hits a solo shot to open the next inning; after Tex flies out, Cano doubles and Swish knocks him in with a homer of his own and it’s 5-0. CC gives three back with a string of singles the very next inning, but a Tex solo shot in the fifth pushes it back to 6-3. Two innings later, Halladay is lifted for Antonio Bastardo who gets Cano and Swisher to ground out and fly out… which would have been more impressive if those two outs weren’t sandwiched between two HBPs (Tex and Sado) and a walk to Gardner to load the bases. Bastardo is replaced by David Herndon, who is no match for Frankie Cervelli’s BABIP magic single that plates two more runs.

#109, August 7: CC hiccups, but recovers to shut down the now-dead Boston Red Sox in a 5-2 home win.
Lineup: Jeter-Swisher-Tex-Cano-Posada-Berkman-Granderson-Gardner-Peña.
Victor Martinez homers to open the 2nd, and Beltre-Lowell hit consecutive doubles to put CC in an 0-2 hole early. That’s all they’d get, though: the big fella retires 20 of the next 24 Red Sox to step to the plate, giving up only a single in the third, and ROE in the 5th ,a single in the 6th and a walk in the seventh (erased on a GIDP). In the bottom of the second, the Yankees erase Boston’s lead when Lance Berkman walks and then scores on Granderson’s triple, who scores himself on a Peña groundout. Lackey then gives up four straight singles (Swish-Tex-Cano-Posada) to score two more in the 5th; in the 6th, Granderson hits a leadoff single, steals second and advances to third on the airmailed throw, and Peña’s gets him home from third again (on a single this time). Mo works a perfect ninth (as usual).

#119, August 17: CC outduels another ace – this time Justin Verlander – in a 6-2 home victory.
Lineup: Gardner-Jeter-Tex-Cano-Swisher-Posada-Thames-Granderson-Peña
The Austin Jackson leadoff solo shot is probably fresh in your memory. As is Verlander giving up a single-walk-flyout-walk-single-walk to the first six batters he faced to give that lead right back, then giving up a solo shot to Granderson in the bottom of the second. It stayed at 3-1 until Daniel Schlereth gave up a double-single combo to Gardner and Jeter (sandwiched around 3 Ks) to add a tack-on run in the 6th, then served up a leadoff homer to Cano in the 7th. And guess what, another Ramiro Peña sac fly for the 6th run a few batters later, imagine that. Somebody knows how to play smallball… CC goes 7 full, striking out 9, and the Yanks control the game start-to-finish.

#120, August 18: Moseley is kinda meh, but Bonderman is utterly bleh in a 9-5 Yankees home win.
Lineup: Gardner-Jeter-Tex-Cano-Swisher-Posada-Granderson-Kearns-Peña
Gardner opens the game with a HBP; a Jeter K later, Tex and Cano kick off the scoring with back to back bombs. Miggy the great hits two solo bombs of his own in the 2nd and 4th innings to narrow it to 3-2, but Kearns-Peña-Gardner go walk-triple-double (yes, a Ramiro triple, he’s an offensive juggernaut) to plate two insurance runs and Gardner scores the 6th run on a pair of errors by Cabrera and Ramon Santiago. Granderson adds a solo shot in the 5th, and after Tex-Swish-Cano load the bases with a single-GR double-IBB (with a Cano flyout and a Granderson K mixed in), Kearns knocks in two more with the second ground rule double of the inning to make it 9-4. Joba/Logan/Wood/Gaudin/Robertson/Rivera all come in to relieve Moseley to close out the win. Four holds, son, FOUR HOLDS!!!

#121, August 19: At YS3, Hughes bests Porcello in the First Round Phenom Matchup™, 11-5.
Lineup: Gardner-Jeter-Tex-Cano-Swisher-Posada-Granderson-Kearns-Peña
A Cabrera two-run shot in the first puts the Yanks in an early hole, but Tex and Cano start the party in the 4th with a single-single-single-flyout-single-flyout run; Swish and Granderson get the RBIs. That 2-2 tie becomes 11-2 in the 6th, as Porcello, Schlereth, Robbie Weinhardt and Eddie Bonine combine to do the following: walk to Tex, double by Cano, walk to Swisher, double by Posada – new pitcher – walk to Granderson – new pitcher – double by Kearns, groundout by Peña, passed ball walk by Gardner (followed by a stolen base), triple by Jeter – new pitcher – groundout by Tex, 2-run homer by Cano, single by Swisher, and finally a groundout by Jorge to end the frame. BOOM. Back up the truck.

#123, August 21: The team bounces back from King Felix’s gem to pound Seattle 9-5 at YS3.
Lineup: Jeter-Swisher-Teixeira-Cano-Thames-Posada-Kearns-Granderson-Nuñez
Javy Vazquez only made it 3 innings, giving up four runs (three via solo homer to Russell Branyan and Ichiro… twice). But the Yankees matched those 4 runs in the second inning, with Jeter and Tex hitting a single and a double, getting knocked in on Robbie’s single; one batter later, Posada dumped one over the wall to bring himself and Cano home. Jason Vargas kept it at 4-4 until the seventh, when Kearns-Granderson-Nuñez-Jeter-Swisher-Teixeira hit four straight singles followed by a walk and a sac fly to plate three more runs and knock the starter out. The next inning, Posada, Gardner and Granderson reached on a walk-single ROE, scoring a run, and then Ramiro “Mr. Sac Fly” Peña did his thing again to knock in Gardner from third and make it 9-4. Win, baby.

#124, August 22: CC dominates and the intentional walk haunts the M’s again in a 10-0 home romp.
Lineup: Jeter-Swisher-Teixeira-Cano-Thames-Posada-Kearns-Gardner-Nuñez
Austin Kearns’s solo homer in the 4th was a nice appetizer. An inning later, after a walk and a single to Jeter and Swish, Tex got IBB’d to load the bases for the cleanup hitter (again) and Cano smacked a granny (again). Seriously, we have been coming to this same party for the last twelve years, and in no way is that depressing. That 5-0 lead would have been more than enough for The Big Stoppa, but in the 6th Jeter chipped in with a sac fly and two walks later Cano knocked in two more with a single, then the next inning Posada hit a solo shot and an inning after that “Big Game” Ramiro Peña singled and scored on a Marcus Thames baseknock. 10 runs for the Yanks versus only 9 total baserunners (only two of whom even reached third base safely) allowed by CC, Wood, and Joba. That’s a beatdown.

#125, August 23: The Ivanova/Jose Bitchtista Game. I think we remember that. 2-3 L in Canadia.
Lineup: Gardner-Swisher-Tex-Cano-Posada-Granderson-Nuñez-Peña-Cervelli.

#126, August 24: Tuesday. Fun Fact: We scored as many runs as “Rzepczynski” has in his last name. 11-5 W up north.
Lineup: Jeter-Swisher-Tex-Cano-Thames-Posada-Kearns-Granderson-Nuñez.

#127, August 25: Yesterday


Summary: We went 12-0 in the first 12 games ARod missed, all of which were at home, BTW. We then lost the Bitchtista game, rebounded the next day, and then lost last night. We scored a ton of runs in almost every game, because ARod or no ARod, we’re good at scoring a ton of runs.

Really good.

The lesson here is this team is so packed with awesome goodness that we can afford to miss ARod for a few games and always put a studly lineup out there and back it up with top-shelf pitching. (Oh, and it helps to have the bench scrubs kick in a few timely BABIP singles or sac flies and make the void ARod vacated remain productive.)

The league should fear us. Deep and thick, baby.

A welcome day of rest
Rotation concerns are nothing new
  • Pete

    Oh, and it helps to have the bench scrubs kick in a few timely BABIP singles or sac flies and make the void ARod vacated remain productive

    Can you prove to me that the “luck” of where those balls wound up in relation to fielders wasn’t simply a karmic reward to the team for not fielding A-Rod? Well? CAN YOU????!!!

    btw, steve – saw your post in Wallychat. He didn’t really bite, but the fact that he actually thought it was worth addressing is still hilarious

  • bexarama

    Excellent roundup. Not much else to add.

    Casey Daigle comes in to put out the electrical fire, but Jorge Posada pees all over it instead
    I laughed really violently over that for about two minutes.

    And I still can’t believe there’s a major leaguer named “Antonio Bastardo.” That sounds like the main character in a romance novel. Just with “bastard” in his name. o_O

    • bexarama

      Also, the title of The Single Worst Pitch In Baseball History still belongs to Brian Fuentes in Game 2 of last year’s ALCS. You’re a lefty. You have A-Rod, who has been on this ridiculous tear, 0-2. Behind him are Juan Miranda and Brett Gardner. You throw that pitch. You are dumb.

      • Tom Zig

        behind him are Juan Miranda Freddy Guzman and Brett Gardner


        Fast Freddy has 20 HRs in over 3000 MiL ABs

        • JGS


          Freddy Guzman makes Juan Miranda look like Babe Ruth, making Fuentes’ pitch that much more ridiculous.

        • bexarama

          Yes, you’re right. That makes it WORSE.

        • Matt Imbrogno

          Holy shit, I had totally forgotten about Guzman.

      • Pete


      • Tampa Yankee
      • Hughesus Christo

        I want to enter a vote for Javy’s fastball to Damom. You know what I’m talking about.

        • bexarama

          Also God-awful but consider the situation. Javy came in with the bases loaded and tried to throw a strike. Damon was freaking ice cold in that series until that last game. It um, didn’t work out. But:

          – Unlike the Angels, the Yankees were already losing
          – the guys batting behind Damon were Mark Bellhorn, Manny Ramirez, and David Ortiz. Yeah. (Funnily enough, Javy walked Bellhorn, then got Manny to pop out and Ortiz to ground out. #ycpb)

          It’s a good nominee. But Fuentes still takes the cake.

          • Steve H

            And Bellhorn was a very good player that year who walked quite a bit (88 times) with a .264/.373/.444 line so he was far from an automatic, Guzman type of out.

          • j_Yankees

            agree with everything you said about the situation.

            though i think you can argue the actual execution of the pitch was worse with Javy then with Fuentes. The Fuentes pitch might have been a ball that A-rod just went up and got. the Javy pitch was just a whole lot suck. Didn’t have anything on it..just a first pitch get me over junk ball.

            • bexarama

              though i think you can argue the actual execution of the pitch was worse with Javy then with Fuentes. The Fuentes pitch might have been a ball that A-rod just went up and got.

              IIRC, it was a friggin’ meatball. It definitely wasn’t some 0-2 waste pitch.

              Not that Javy’s pitch wasn’t also bad.

              • j_Yankees



                anything that A-rod can put a bat on is a bad pitch in that spot…but i’m not sure i’d call it a meatball. it was up in the zone and A-rod being as strong as he is was able to power it into the first row.

  • Mister Delaware

    Research gets me all worked up. Nice job, TSJC.

  • Klemy

    Bitchtista. I will now be calling him that to my friends in Canada, full time.


    well said, sir – A-Rod is essential to the Yankees – unless the Yankees are at home and/or the opposing pitcher is HORRIBLE.

    • bexarama

      and/or you IBB Teixeira

  • YanksFan

    We know you’re wrong. Cody Ransom is what the Yanks need, not A-rod.


  • A.D.

    So what you’re telling me is not having a selfish clubhouse cancer made everyone hit better?

    • nsalem

      I don’t think so, but I guess that’s what you believe.

      • Angelo

        I believe he was making fun of MSM.

  • JGS

    knocks in a run on a sac-fly (but I thought we never hit those?!?!)

    Yankees have hit 34 sac flies, which is right in the middle of the pack (7th in the AL). First in the AL? Kansas City.

    • bexarama

      Why can’t we be more like the Royals?!?!?!

  • larryf

    Thinkin’ about Freddy Guzman makes me happy that we once again have stretch drive/ playoff/ world series pinchrunning speed with Eduardo Nunez….

  • j_Yankees

    i love the lineups where Cervelli is hitting in front of someone.

    oh and how did we lose with Gardner-Swisher-Tex-Cano-Posada-Granderson-Nuñez-Peña-Cervelli??

  • Carlosologist

    Did anybody see what Hanley did to his hair?

    • Carlosologist

      shit, reply fail.

  • keith

    Congratulations man, I didn’t realize you got drafted by the Yanks. What round did you go in?

    Seriously, please leave the ‘we’ and ‘us’ nonsense to Hawk Harrleson.

    • Steve H

      /completely unnecessary’d

    • Pete

      He was signed out of the 2009 IFA market

  • Andy_C_23

    Deep and thick, baby.

    I want that on my tombstone.

  • j

    I shouldve trademarked deep and thick

  • Not Tank the Frank

    Good stuff TSJC. Compelling….and rich.

    • Yankeescribe

      also full and round…

  • Yankeescribe

    Gimmie Scott Brosius over unclutch A-rod any day

    • Steve H

      You’re my boy Scotty Bro!!

  • Will (the other one)

    Great stuff, TSJC. Your excellent research and insightful analysis have reinforced our long-held beliefs that Ramiro Pena contributes just as much to the team as A-Rod and has the added bonus of Playing the Game the Right Way(TM).

    Yours warmly,

    J. Timothy McCarver and Peter Abraham

  • Yankeefan

    I can’t wait for A-Rod to rejoin the team.

  • Yankeefan

    Also wanted to say that this “Win without A-Rod” has gotten almost as much senseless attention as the Dallas Braden episode.