Yanks rally falls short, drop third in a row

Game 154: Hey look, the Red Sox
Another kind of Wild Card

After a pair of blow out losses the last two nights, the Yankees looked to be headed down that path again on Friday. Down nine runs at one point, they rallied back on the stretch of many, many homers to bring the tying run to the plate in the bottom of the ninth inning. Alas, it was not meant to be, as Jon Papelbon wiggled his way out of trouble and helped keep his team in the race for another day.

(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

Lowrie Starts It Off For The Sox

WPA doesn’t seem to do a real good job with blowout games like this, but tonight my emotions agreed with the biggest hit of the game. That was Jed Lowrie’s three run homer in the second, one batter after Nick Swisher muffed a semi-routine fly ball/line drive/fliner. I think we all felt confident with Andy Pettitte on the mound and a fully rested bullpen, but that shot to rightfield kind of took the wind out of the sails. It increased Boston’s chances of winning by more than 21% despite being so early in the game, and you could feel it when the ball landed too. Oh well.

Honorable Mention: Hall Goes To Zaaaaaales

(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

The fifth inning was like the culmination of every Yankee problem ever. The Red Sox scored three runs in the inning on a Bill Hall homer off the Zales sign in the visitor’s bullpen after Jon Albaladejo recorded two quick outs to lead off the frame. We know all about this two out runs thing. Of course, those three runs appeared to be nothing more than meaningless tack-on runs at the time (the score was then 10-1), but the Sox ended up needing every last one of them. The Yanks have learned a thing or two about the consequences of not scoring insurance runs in the last few weeks, haven’t they? So much fail, so little time.


They call them the Bronx Bombers for a reason, and they showed why in the sixth and seventh innings of this one. Curtis Granderson got the Yanks on board early on with a third inning solo shot, his 12th in the last 40 games or so, but the omgBOOMstix didn’t really come out a little later. Mark Teixeira whacked his first homer of the month off Josh Beckett in the sixth, and one batter later Alex Rodriguez took him deep for the Yanks eighth set of back-to-back jacks this season.

With Beckett still out their next inning, Nick Swisher drove in Derek Jeter with a two out homer, and then A-Rod went deep again with Tex on base two batters later, though this came off Scott Atchison. In the span of ten batters, Red Sox pitchers allowed four homers. Teixeira hit his second of the game with two outs in the ninth, bringing the Yanks to within two. Joe Torre used to always say that homers where only good for catching up quickly or extending the lead (dry humor ftw), and that’s exactly what we saw tonight. It’s too bad they didn’t have one more in their bats.

(AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

Bad Andy

As good as Andy Pettitte was in his last start against the Orioles, that’s how as bad as he was tonight (/McCarver’d) (no seriously, read that sentence in his voice). It was just hit after hit after hit, some legit line drives, others dinky little bloopers, but they all count the same. Pettitte was falling behind hitters quite a bit which hurt him, obviously, and the end result was ten hits, seven runs, and ten outs. At least he didn’t walk anyone.

Joe Girardi said before the game that the goal was 95 pitches for Andy, but he was lifted after throwing just 75. I wouldn’t be surprised if he went to the indoor batting cage under the stands and threw some more after being taken out, but who knows. He has one more start left this season and needs to get stretched out to over 100 pitches for the postseason.


Beckett has allowed nine homers in 26 IP against the Yankees this year. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

The Yanks became just the fifth team this century to hit six longballs in a game and lose, and just the second Yankee team to do it since 1961. A new low every day, eh? On the bright side, The O’Neill Theory is in full effect for tomorrow, and that’s always a good thing.

Jeter extended his hitting streak to a baker’s dozen, and both Tex and A-Rod each reached base three times (well, four of those were homers, so they weren’t technically “on base”). Grandy also had three hits to push his batting average over the .250 mark. The bad news is that the 4-5-6 hitters (Robbie Cano, Lance Berkman, Jorge Posada) went a combined 0-for-12 with just one walk. Cano, of course, struck out to end the game. Getting something out of them would have helped.

Teixeira has definitely been swinging the bat a little better in the last three games. He hit a homerun ball on Wednesday that went just foul into the second deck, then he doubled and had another two-bagger taken away from him by Rocco Baldelli on Thursday, then tonight there were the two homers, his first two of the month. He’s going to have to produce for them down the stretch and into the playoffs, so it’s good to see him getting back on track.

Sergio Mitre, pitching for the first time in 11 days, kept the Sox off the board for two innings before giving way to filthy dirty Kerry Wood, who got the next four outs. Boone Logan then came in and got two outs on three pitches against lefties David Ortiz and Lars Anderson. Aside from AAAAlbaladejo, very nice work by the bullpen tonight. Wood threw just 18 pitches, so I’m certain he’ll be available tomorrow if needed.

The Rays beat the Mariners, so they took over first place in the AL East and lead by half-a-game. The Sox crept to within six-and-a-half games of the Wild Card with just eight to play. The Yanks have won just 26 of their last 50 games and are now just 6-12 in their last 18 games. Their playoff ticket is very close to being punched, but it hasn’t been just yet, so they really need to start playing better. Start taking it easy when you’ve clinched something.

WPA Graph & Box Score

I guess the rally wasn’t as great as we thought. MLB.com has the box score, FanGraphs some other stuff.

Up Next

You ready for some FOX baseball action? Cause that’s what you’re getting tomorrow when these two clubs meet again at 4:05pm ET. Ivan Nova gets the ball against Jon Lester. Hopefully the kid won’t lose it the third time through the order, but I’m not holding my breath.

Game 154: Hey look, the Red Sox
Another kind of Wild Card
  • http://youcantpredictbaseball.wordpress.com/ bexarama

    I’m over this game but damn does “Beckett takes the win, Pettitte the loss, and Papelbon with a save” make me want to vomit.

    • CBean

      it is nauseating

  • Jon

    Some how I was expecting a huge comeback (after giving up on the game to go watch Robin Hood (great movie)). I guess my expectations were filled to a certain extent.

    I do find it funny that Beckett can only beat the yanks when he has 10 runs to work with.

    • Pat D

      Eh, Robin Hood was meh. A bit muddled and too serious, with some bad acting, too.

      The Yankees play tomorrow the same time that Penn State and Notre Dame play. I’m thinking of watching something on Netflix or doing some chores instead.

      • Poopy Pants

        LOL at anyone who watches college football criticizing anyone else’s taste in anything.

        • Pat D

          Wasn’t criticizing his taste, just the movie.

          What’s your problem with college football? The fact that it’s run by a governing body that lacks consistency in making basic decisions or that its championship is devised by something as convoluted as derivatives?

          • JMK

            That’s my favorite part, actually.

  • Big Stein

    If Girardi had yanked Petitte in the 4th when he loaded the bases, and the score was only 5-1, Yankees could have won.

    Damn, Girardi!

  • https://twitter.com/Carcillo_ Carcillo

    It’s long past time for this shit to be finished.

    I don’t care. One win here, one in Toronto, and it’s over. The last thing anyone cares for is for the games at Fenway to have any meaning at all.

    Girardi’s managing makes think of the prevent defense in football. All it’s doing is delaying the process of clinching a playoff spot, putting it in ever-slightly more peril at this time. I fully understand making sure everyone’s healthy and the rotation is lined up, etc., but clinch the shit first.

  • Chris

    A-Rod has 27 HR now. With 8 games to go, I fully expect him to get to 30 HR this season for the 13th straight season.

    • Carlosologist

      Me too. There’s no way he’s going to be held homerless in Toronto or Boston.

  • BigBlueAL

    Nothing like having Nova and Moseley starting the rest of the weekend to calm Yankee fans anxieties. lol

    • pat

      I have total faith in Iron Ivan Nova to shut the BoSox down..

      • Pasqua

        For 4 innings, at least.

  • tom

    Falling short on the comeback was of course disheartening (and not helped by that ludicrous second called strike on Cano). But seeing the team come from hopelessly out of it to so close improved my darkening mood. Prior to that, combined with last night’s blowout, I was sensing creeping 2000-ism.

    The team isn’t making it easy like last year, when they clinched the division seemingly as quickly as possible, and never once put us through the agony of an elimination game in post. So, fine: it’s not the same. But 1999 wasn’t as easy as 1998, and 2000 was tougher still. Yet each of those seasons ended in the same place. There’s no reason to do anything but keep watching.

    • Sean C

      Keep in mind that the Yankees were WAY ahead of anyone else in the AL East last season. The fact that Tampa is so good this year only makes it seem like the team isn’t so great this season. This shitty September (10-12) doesn’t help.

      It has been well-documented (on this site at least) that the 2009 team made it seem to easy, but we have the luxury of that season ending with #27 to aid that feeling. Sure, THIS team might not make it seem like a deep postseason run is inevitable. But seriously, we’re going to clinch. The postseason will be gravy (as in, since we did not make it in 2008, I have learned to not take the playoffs for granted).

      • https://twitter.com/Carcillo_ Carcillo

        At the same time, I’m pretty sure the ’09 team clinched a playoff spot on either the first possible night, definitely by the second possible night. And they clinched the division in sweeping fashion over the Sox.

        I would also argue that this Rays team isn’t any better than that Red Sox team, it’s merely a matter of what you said to start your post – the Yankees were simply further ahead, largely because they were a better team than this one.

  • bonestock94

    Hopefully just Pettitte knocking off some rust tonight

  • kosmo

    no pitchy no winny.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CUvg7Empjfg Captain Jack

    I mean…anyone who can say that they are confident that this team will win the World Series is lying to themselves; and more importantly they’re lying to me. I’m not saying that this team isn’t a good team, I’m saying that there’s other teams who might be better than this team, or being close to as good as this team to take a short series.

    • Nice

      on the other hand, we’ve gone into the playoffs with the best record in baseball a number of times and got knocked out in the first round.

      it’s a crap shoot.

      Hell, I remember in 2001, Seattle won a record 116 games and we beat them like a drum in the ALCS even though we only had 95 wins.

      • dalelama

        The Yankees have roughly a 50% win/loss record against winning teams this season. As they will have to beat three winning teams in the post season to win the World Series statistically their odds of winning it all are about roughly 12.5% if they qualify for the post season. The real odds are probably higher as at least two of the three teams they face have had weaker comparative schedules. I would say the best odds are about 1 in 3 they win it all.


        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

          Heh, once they get into the playoffs, they basically have a one in eight chance of winning it all, or … 12.5%. If their odds are really one in three, I’ll take it every day of the week.

  • stuart

    the tex error/hit when abeledajo was in there cost them 3 runs….

    that was an error kay was right for once….next batter 3 run jack…

  • Lisa

    I don’t want to see this team going into Fenway having to win any games. The pitching for the rest of this series worries me. I wish Joe would have let Hughes pitch in this series, give us a better chance to win and then evaluate. If by some chance the Sox sweep, which is a real possibility, we could be in serious trouble. They go to Chicago and the White Sox have nothing to play for while we go to Toronto where we have struggled and they would like nothing more than to make our lives miserable. We don’t even have a playoff spot secured and we are moving Hughes spot, discussing playoff rotations etc. I really don’t get it.

    • http://mphotos.live.com/e3a022289d65b5c0/d.aspx?rid=E3A022289D65B5C0%21400&mkt=en-US Andy in NYC

      Lisa says

      /Lou Reed-V.U.’d

    • Pete

      Eh, the Sox kinda sorta own Hughes, I doubt he’d be any better

  • Another Bronx Dynasty

    Big game today for Nova to take another step in his development. If he can go 6 innings & only give up 2 runs than have the pen come in in the 7th, that would be huge. Would also love to see Girardi bring in Brackman & see what he can do.

  • Lisa

    Getting Nova through 6 would be wonderful since I believe runs will be tough to come by. Lester does seem to pitch well against us. Nova has not shown he can get through an order three times so today will be a big test for him. I hate Saturday games on Fox. We never seem to do well and then we have to listen to McCarver which makes it that much worse. It would also be nice to see Joe put out the full arsenal today with the kid on the mound but it won’t happen. Cervelli will probably catch and Pena will probably make an appearance Just what we need. Another day off for someone who needs rest when they have not clinched anything!

  • forensic

    Fun with worst case scenarios:

    Pitching matchups favor the Red Sox the rest of this weekend, Yanks lose both.

    Go to Toronto, A.J. blows up and they lose game 1. Game 2, rookie they’ve never seen, you know how that could go. Game 3, Cecil shuts them down again.

    Then, they go to Boston having to win games just to crawl into the playoffs. Game one is Lester who shuts them down more than a somewhat rusty CC does against Boston. Game 2, Pettitte is still trying to find it, but can’t, Yanks lose again. Game 3 has Buchholz pitching the second best game of his life as the Yanks go in already defeated and whimper home having missed the playoffs with an 11 game losing streak and one of the worst collapses in MLB history.

    Oh yeah, and then Buchholz steals Girardi’s binder after the game (sorry, had to get a little attempt at humor in there, this was depressing me).

    • larryf

      no fun and ain’t gonna happen. If we don’t make the playoffs, Joe G. will be with the Cubs for sure. We will make the playoffs shortly.

    • Matty

      Funny but not so funny, this is what happens when you take the foot off the peal before you clinch.

      • Matty


        Lately though, it looks like Girardi has slipped on a peal and smacked his head.

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

      Wow, when did you become a pre-2004 Red Sox fan?

  • icebird753

    A-Rod WILL find a way to 30 homeruns again. He’s a machine.And hopefully the Yankees lose the East and go against Minny if Minny has the best record. I just don’t think this team is going to win it all this year, I have that ominous feeling

  • tommydee2000

    There are 3 remaining paths to the Postseason that don’t involve backing in:
    A. 2 wins over Sox
    B. 1 win over Sox and 1 over Jays
    C. Sweep Jays

    In other words, if they manage to lose the next 2 games, they need to SWEEP the Jays to render next weekend meainingless, i.e TRUE rest pre-playoffs.

    Idk Joe, ya think that just maybe, just maybe, you should have played for real against maybe Texas and Tampa for a few more games before going to the NFL pre-season model of managing? That give-me-more-Gaudin might have sent the wrong message to the ?

    This isn’t panic, it’s just math. I’m not a big believer with guys being able to just turn it on and off. To me, that was always the flaw during the late Torre era.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      If the Red Sox win the next two games but lose three of four to Chicago, the Yanks clinch regardless of what they do in Toronto.

      • http://twitter.com/YanktheMike yankthemike

        what about the way the white sox have played over the last month makes you think they have a shot at winning 3/4 in Boston?

        • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

          What about the way the Red Sox have played the entire season makes you think they have a chance to gain 6.5 games with eight left to play?

          • http://ballcraft.blogspot.com Zanath

            This. The only way I am going to be concerned is if our magic number is still three when we get to Fenway. Otherwise, there is nothing to worry about.

            • http://ballcraft.blogspot.com Zanath

              Well I take that back. We should be a bit concerned about our chances come the postseason. But as far as making the playoffs, there is little to worry about IMO.

              • https://twitter.com/Carcillo_ Carcillo

                I don’t think I, him, or any sane Yankee fan is legitimately worried about their chances to reach the playoffs right now.

                But anyone acting like this recent stretch of play isn’t annoying the shit out of them and couldn’t care less about the magic number having been frozen at 3 for the last three days and a good chance of it sticking at that for the next two days as well…is full of shit.

                I agree right now there’s nothing to worry about in that regard, right now. If the Sox sweep, then it’s legitimate to be concerned. No one wants next weekend’s games being meaningful.

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

                  Personally, I wanted the magic number to be 1 or 2 right now just because I’m going to today’s game and wanted it to be for a chance to clinch. Other than that, the magic number can be 3 until about Wednesday before I start to care.

          • Ben

            If the Red Sox sweep this weekend (big if, although the match-ups favor them), I think there’s a legitimate possibility they stay alive going into next weekend.

          • Aaron – Long Island

            Personally, it isn’t so much about the Red Sox as it is about the Yankees: The way they have played for a while now makes me feel like you can’t just pencil them in to win any given game. This especially applies to games with iffy pitching probables (today because of Lester, tomorrow because of Moseley) and away games against a team they’ve struggled against.

            With that feeling in mind and 5 of the last 8 against the Red Sox, it makes the like it is more plausible for the deficit to be overcome than it really is. If things stay really rocky and we get to the series next weekend without anything being sewn up, then I think there will be a very strong feeling of ‘anything can happen’.

            • Ben

              I guess most people here will disagree, but I’ll get the ‘anything can happen’ feeling if they’re swept this weekend.

              • Aaron – Long Island

                Well, I have that feeling right now with two games to go in this series, but I know it isn’t the prevailing or particularly welcome opinion.

                What I meant to imply that more people would adopt it because it wouldn’t be nearly as irrational.

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

                I won’t disagree. Mathematics is definite and baseball is not. Most people here figure it will happen, but I won’t relax until that magic number is zero.

        • Ben

          The series is in Chicago, but I agree with you. If the Sox sweep this weekend, and remain alive through the entire week, I think they at least split, putting the pressure on the Yankees to take one in Toronto.

    • Lisa

      For the last few weeks, I have been really concerned this week was going to mean way too much and it seems to be shaping up this way. Removing Hughes from this series just adds to my concern. I see according to the LoHud blog Gaudin/Javy are possible starters for Tuesday and I am assuming that is only being mentioned if they clinched between now and then. If not, the Joe truly has lost his mind.

    • Pasqua

      I didn’t realize the Sox were being given auto wins against Chicago. Why was I not informed?

      Sarcasm aside, you’ve messed up your scenarios.

      • Lisa

        The White Sox have nothing to play for while the Red Sox have everything to play for if they sweep us this weekend. That’s the point and since Girardi decided to take Hughes out of the rotation this weekend, it certainly tilts the pitching match-ups in Boston’s favor. Add in we have not played well against the Jays this season. It concerns me.

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

          The Blue Jays don’t have anything to play for either. The Orioles really didn’t have anything to play for in the series before this one, and they took 2/3 from Boston at Fenway. Do you listen to your own damn arguments?

          • Lisa

            The Yankees should have been trying to clinch a playoff spot instead of worrying about resting players, skipping starters etc. We have not won anything yet and what exactly gives you confidence this team is going to win a game this weekend? We have given up almost 30 runs in 3 games and we have Nova going against Lester and Moseley tomorrow night. This team may start to press a little and the Red Sox will have momentum and confidence on their side. I recall 2004 and everyone said the pressure was on the Red Sox when they were down 3-0. How did that work out? BTW, I can discuss baseball without getting nasty with people. Try it!

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

              The Yankees should have been trying to clinch a playoff spot instead of worrying about resting players, skipping starters etc.
              They’ve been doing both.

              We have not won anything yet and what exactly gives you confidence this team is going to win a game this weekend?
              They’re a good team, despite not playing like it lately? Anyway, they could not win a game this series and still more than likely make the playoffs.

              We have given up almost 30 runs in 3 games and we have Nova going against Lester and Moseley tomorrow night. This team may start to press a little and the Red Sox will have momentum and confidence on their side.
              Thanks, YES booth.

              I recall 2004
              Oh well that’s where this is from.

              and everyone said the pressure was on the Red Sox when they were down 3-0. How did that work out?

              BTW, I can discuss baseball without getting nasty with people. Try it!
              I think there are plenty of people on this site who can verify that I can do that too. I just have a very low tolerance for hysteria, doom-and-glooming, and bridge-jumping. Which is what you are doing. And it’s annoying.

              • https://twitter.com/Carcillo_ Carcillo

                I call “Lady First Name Only Handle” rule.


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

                  I was gonna bust that out, but there are a number of awesome ladies on here who go by just their first names, so.

                  • Ben

                    I don’t agree with everything Lisa is saying, but her points aren’t as irrational as you’re making them out to be. She’s concerned that the Yankees are going to be swept this weekend, and, when you consider the pitching matchups, that concern is valid.

                    At that point there would be a legitimate possibility that the Red Sox are still alive come next weekend. You’re portraying any negative post about the Yankees as ‘doom and gloom’, but that’s entirely a strawman argument.

                    Again, there are some contradictions in her posts, but her overall point isn’t so ridiculous.

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

                      I don’t agree with everything Lisa is saying, but her points aren’t as irrational as you’re making them out to be. She’s concerned that the Yankees are going to be swept this weekend, and, when you consider the pitching matchups, that concern is valid.
                      No she’s not. She’s concerned that the Yankees are going to be swept this weekend, and the next weekend, and get swept by the Blue Jays, while the White Sox roll over and get swept by the Red Sox. That’s irrational. The whole “White Sox have nothing to play for but the Blue Jays will play the Yankees so hard” makes it even more irrational.

                      You’re portraying any negative post about the Yankees as ‘doom and gloom’,
                      I’m not. They’re playing like crap right now. Plenty of people have said that. I’ve said that. Acting like the Red Sox are gonna win every game from here on out and the Yankees will lose every game from here on out? That is doom and glooming. Sorry.

      • tommydee2000


        If Boston is alive next weekend, the Yankees have to play those games for real, when they should really be resting. A little rain or an extra inning game would do wonders for the pitching staff, wouldn’t it?

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

      I’m not a big believer with guys being able to just turn it on and off. To me, that was always the flaw during the late Torre era.

      …and how many Indianapolis Colts teams? The one year they actually won the Super Bowl was the one year they DIDN’T take the foot off the pedal.

  • theyankeewarrior

    Good thing we’re not dragging this out till the bitter end, because we have a lot of vets that need rest.

    Nova & Moseley baby. Awesome.

  • iYankee(next generation from Apple)

    Considering that this team is 6-12 over their last 18 and could have easily clinched a playoff spot and still held a sizable lead in the AL East – meaning 3+games – at what point does this become a reflection on the ability or inability of Joe to manage.

    Now I am not taking the angle that Joe can’t manage however, much like a CEO it is the responsibility of the manager to figure out and understand his team. Perhaps Joe has taken to passive of an approach in trying to rest players to early or in showing to little faith in some of the younger players. I don’t really know because arguments could be made either way.

    But as we enter the final week and a half, the results are still curiously the same, spotty pitching, less than adequate hitting, save for a few games, and really nothing that indicates this team is getting ready for the postseason. It is frustrating to watch but the expectations are what they are and hopefully Joe figures out a way to ignite this team out of its funk.

  • Lisa

    We took the approach of resting players before we clinched and now we can’t rest them because we have not clinched.

    • https://twitter.com/Carcillo_ Carcillo

      Tell that to Joe and his starting pitcher on Sunday, Phil Hughes Dustin Moseley.

  • YankeeJosh

    If the Yankees don’t want to pitch Hughes tomorrow, how about AJ instead? Burnett went short because of the rain vs Tampa and presumably as the third starter in the playoffs, the Yankees shouldn’t really need to line up his outings. So go with him on three days rest Sunday.

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

      I REALLY don’t ever want to see Burnett against the Red Sox in a meaningful game. If they don’t win today…tomorrow’s a very meaningful game.