Jun
22

Garcia, Posada power Yankees to win in first game of doubleheader

By

Game one of today’s doubleheader: a success. Freddy Garcia pitched well, Jorge Posada hit a timely homer, and Mariano Rivera slammed the door in the ninth. Just like we drew it up.

If you watched the game, you could actually hear that pitch say "HIT ME!"

Jorge Takes A Leake (Deep)

It’s been a long, long time since Jorge Posada’s last homerun. We’re talking 60 days, 52 team games, 40 personal games, and 145 plate appearances since he took Jason Berken of the Orioles deep on April 23rd. Posada finally got back in the homerun column this afternoon, jumping all over a first pitch curveball from Mike Leake. It wasn’t a bomb, in fact it just barely snuck over the wall in right field, but they all count the same. The sixth run shot gave the Yankees back the two-run lead they had just blown because of…

Ramiro’s Bad Day

When you’re the backup backup infielder, the only thing you have to do is defense. If you can’t hit, that’s fine, you’re not expected to. Just turn everything that should be turned into outs actually into outs. Pena’s always been a strong defender, but the fifth inning of this game was not his finest moment as a big leaguer. First he threw away what should have been a routine throw from third and allowed leadoff man Drew Stubbs to reach, then a few batters later he threw a ball into the dirt trying to cut down the runner at the plate. He was maybe 50 feet away from home, yet he bounced it and the runner was safe. Pena also nearly threw away another ball one batter later.

The Reds picked up just one hit in that inning (a legit single by Brandon Phillips after Stubbs reached) but scored a pair of (unearned) runs thanks to a bunt, sacrifice fly, and Ramiro’s two gaffs (both scored as errors). Pena also let a hard hit ground ball get through his legs to leadoff the seventh (hard hit, but that’s a play a big league third baseman has to make), though it didn’t come back to hurt the team. Tighten that up, Ramirp. You’re better than that.

Votto’s Bad Decision

The Yankees scored their first two runs in the third inning thanks to a trio of singles, but they also got some help from the reigning NL MVP. Garcia grounded out to start the inning, but Brett Gardner and Curtis Granderson followed up with singles to set up a first and third situation with one out. Nick Swisher worked a six-pitch at-bat before grounding sharply to first, and Votto stepped on the bag for the second out of the inning before trying to get out number three. Instead of throwing to second he went home, but the throw was high and Gardner slid in safe with the team’s first run. If he goes to second, it’s likely that Granderson intentionally gets caught in a run down to allow the run to score.

Instead of getting two outs on the play and ending the inning, the Yankees were still alive. Sure enough, Robinson Cano singled through the 5.5 hole one batter later to drive Granderson in for the second run. Fallacy of the predetermined outcome, yadda yadda yadda, but Votto’s throw home likely contributed to the second Yankee run.

Sweaty Freddy Makes The Reds … See Red

Garcia’s thing seems to be starting slow and finishing strong, which is exactly what he did last time out against the Cubs. Today’s game featured a double and a walk in the first inning, but Freddy settled down and retired the next eleven men in a row before Pena’s adventure in the fifth. The end result was the two unearned runs across seven innings of work, with three hits allowed and the one walk. He struck out four and got ten other outs on the ground. T’was a gem. Bravo, Freddy.

Yay Swish.

Leftovers

I’m initially didn’t like Joe Girardi going to David Robertson in the eighth since Garcia needed just six pitches in the seventh and had thrown only 89 on the day, but I’m fine with the move after thinking about it. I’d rather lift him too early than too late, especially with the lineup about to turn over and the big bats coming up. Ideally they would have been able to save Robertson for tonight, but winning this game is more important. Mo was flawless in the ninth, as usual.

The bottom three hitters in the lineup (not counting the pitcher), combined to go 1-for-10 with a double (Eduardo Nunez, a hustle double), two strikeouts (both by Frankie Cervelli) and a hit-by-pitch (Pena). Nunez promptly got picked off second after the double, so that’s a whole lot of outs after the fifth spot in the order. At least the guys at the top did what they had to do. Oh, and how about Gardner starting that third inning rally by beating out an infield single with a headfirst slide into the bag? I believe that’s the first time I’ve ever seen that actually work. Weird.

Four nice defensive plays in the game. First is that catch at the wall by Swisher (above), and the second was by (who else?) Gardner. He caught a Scott Rolen line drive then threw to second to double Jay Bruce off the bag to end the sixth. Cano made a barehanded play to get the runner at first an inning later, then Pena redeemed himself by robbing Rolen of a hit in the ninth with a nice diving stop.

Also, is it just me, or does Garcia seem to catch an inordinate number of line drives? I feel like he catches at least one per start, like he did today in the second inning. Of course, the other side of the coin is that he gives up more line drives than anyone in the American League (25.2%), so…

WPA Graph & Box Score

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs everything else your heart desires.

Up Next

The Yankees are a season high 14 games over .500, and will shoot for 15 over later tonight. Brian Gordon starts against Johnny Cueto at 7:10pm ET.

Categories : Game Stories
  • http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/ Xstar7

    Wow, you got this game review up fast.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      Wormhole technology.

  • Guest

    More line drives than anyone in the AL, huh?

    His regression to the mean is going to be like man in the state of nature:

    Nasty, brutish and (hopefully for our sakes) short.

    Until then, I will enjoy his excellent results. Thanks, Chief.

    • Jimmy McNulty

      Yeah, he’s already done a Yeoman’s work so far…if the Yankees win it all this year he deserves a spot in Yankee-lore. I just hope they replace him before his regression.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        I just hope they replace him before his regression.

        http://www.luello.com/blog/wp-.....metee2.jpg

        • Jimmy McNulty

          God that shirt’s hideous. Meh, you know me, I’m not expecting much from Hughes this year. I’d be content with packing it in and having him have a good year in 2012. Who knows, if the velocity reports are accurate then he might be able to do something. If he gets his curveball back he might reach his ceiling, then again if my aunt had balls she’d be my uncle.

          On the flipside, Francisco Liriano has been pretty good since coming off the DL. He’s somewhat of a wild card, but he should come cheaply.

          In the fantasy land where Phil Hughes gets his plus curveball: MAYBE WHEN THE DODGERS DON’T MAKE PAYRUL THEY TRADE KEMP, KERSHAW, AND KURODA FOR MONTERO, BANUELOS, AND GARDNER@!!!!!11!!!!!11!!one!!11!!!

          • boogie down

            I’d definitely take Liriano.

            Since the start of May: 7 starts, 45 IP, 2.20 ERA, 0.98 WHIP, 40 K’s against @CHW (Team OPS+: 97), DET (108), @SEA (84), @ARI (103), @CLE (103), TEX (101), SD (85).

            Not sure what it would take, but, as he’s under control for only this year and next, he shouldn’t be too expensive (assuming the Twins fall out of it).

  • YankeesJunkie

    Since I started watching the game in the second inning I was surprised that the Yankees lineup for this game was to depleted and Giradi decided to rest everyone in one go. However, this means that tonight’s lineup should be back to the regulars plus Brian Gordon who definitely knows how to hit a ball. Can’t complain about the win though. Garcia was fantastic and the Yanks D lineup gave him enough runs.

    • Rob

      I thought I read somewhere that he might rest Cano. I know he plays practically every game, but he had an off day yesterday and will have one tomorrow. Not sure I can handle another pena and nunez debacle.

  • Dino Velvet

    Padres up 1-0 in the 3rd.

    if they win and yank take the night cap = yanks in first place

  • Dino Velvet

    i didn’t think it was possible, Lackey looks even uglier with a beard.

  • http://twitter.com/AndrewLeighNYC Andrew

    Still can’t believe the production they’ve squeezed out of Freddy and Bartolo (157 innings combined, quality ones at that, credit goes to Mr. Heard This on Twitter for adding the numbers up). The dream may die eventually, but for now I am begrudgingly behind Sweaty Freddy. And I willfully admit I thought they should of signed Justin Duchscherer and Jeff Francis for the 5-6 starter spots before the season began. Glad to be wrong on that front.

  • nunez fan

    auto-win whenever nunez plays

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

      (yawn)

  • Craig

    Sterling kept calling Votto ‘Vote-o’. Frustrating to say the least

    • Hall and Nokes

      If I were calling the game, I’d call him “Votto, as in blotto”.

      • FIPster Doofus

        “My name is Votto, and I love to get blotto.”

        • I Voted 4 Kodos

          You can do it Votto, you can do it Votto
          Help each other out, that’ll be our motto

          Make this spare, I’ll give you free gelato
          Then back to my place, where I will get you blotto
          Domo arigato, Mr. Roboto
          You can do it Votto!

    • boogie down

      Was he hinting at the “Vote Reds” stencil that Cincy’s placed behind home plate, or was he simply mispronouncing the name?

  • nycsportzfan

    Way to go Posada, hes the latest having a resurgance lately for the yanks, behind swisher.. Those 2 coming around for the yanks, is gonna make this team very formidable going forward…

    • Monteroisdinero

      Swish hardly surging from the left side. Right side excellent, left side not.

      • David, Jr.

        We were wrong, Montero. We both had him done, but his bat has something left.

  • tom

    Is “talk to the guys in the booth” officially gone from the post-game show? If so, when did they get rid of it?

    • vin

      Not watching it, but sometimes they go to the Manager’s Report first depending on when Girardi does it (I presume).

      • tom

        No, that was my first thought, too. But they never went to Kay/O’Neill, and, thinking back, it seems a while since they have.

        Maybe they decided the studio gang covers everything.

  • Guest

    If, big if, the Yanks finish out the year well, win division, etc., is Cash in the running for executive of the year?

    The award never goes to the guy who spends the most money (Cash probably had no chance in 2009, so he did more to help his team win than any other GM in baseball in the ’08 off-season). So that should take Theo out of the running.

    Well, this year he didn’t spend the most money. But if Garcia and Colon can continue to provide the Yankees with quality-to-great starting pitching, don’t those have to be the two most impressive non-throwing money at the problem moves by a GM this past off-season?

    • CP

      No.

      There is no possible way that Cashman can win that award. According to everyone else, he has the easiest job in sports. Maybe he would win if he were the GM of a small market, plucky team like those Red Sox.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        The “You’re not a good GM if you spend a lot of money” exclusion only applies to the Yankees. The Red Sox spending money is good for baseball, and the Red Sox attaining first place in June has already cinched the award for Theo’s brilliant strategic decision to acquire Crawford and Gonzalez.

        The nameplate is already engraved, and Selig already FedExed the award to One Yawkey Way. It’s hanging on Theo’s wall as we speak.

        Bud’s asked that Theo show the courtesy to cover the plaque with a black cloth or something when people stop by until at least mid-September, out of proper decorum.

        • http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/ Ruben Amaro Jr.

          What am I, chopped liver?

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            Did you build a team full of scrappy gritbearders? Do you prioritize heart and playing the game the right way when assembling your roster? Did you just select 15 future Hall of Famers in the Rule IV Draft for the tenth year in a row?

            I didn’t think so. You’re just trying to buy championships like those evil Yankees. You are all that is wrong with baseball, Ruben Amaro Jr.

            And worse than that, you’re Mexican. Stop taking all our jobs away from the nice Caucasian GM candidates, you illegal alien.

            • http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/ Ruben Amaro Jr.

              That’s raycess.

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

                GO BACK TO RUSSIA

                • CP

                  Is that far enough? Can’t you see it from your back porch?

                • http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/ Ruben Amaro Jr.

                  And do what? Drink vodka with my old, decrepit comrades brooding over the fall of Soviet Russia? No thanks. I’ll stick with my bitches in Philadelphia.

      • Dino Velvet

        you make fun, but the truth is Theo does so much with a mere shoestring budget.

    • radnom


      Well, this year he didn’t spend the most money.

      This would be true if they only played games with last offseason’s new additions but they don’t. Brian’s 2011 team still costs the most out of all of baseball.

      Also, I think Cashman is doing a good job, and I’m happy with him as a GM, but am I the only one who isn’t ready to start slobbing his knob over Garcia/Colon? Yes, they worked out well, and Cash should get credit for that, but the pitching situation coming into the season is still entirely on the FO. Not citing any specific decision, the overall state of the starting rotation to begin this season was simply unacceptable for a team with the Yankee’s payroll. Hitting on a few lottery tickets doesn’t justify those tickets as proper financial planning. And not to say this situation is the same, but we’ve all seen the Yankee teams of the 2000′s hit their way to 100 wins and a quick playoff exit behind 1.5 reliable starters.

      Not to be overly pessimistic or anything, just bringing things back to reality.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

        Counterargument:

        Putting all our eggs into the Cliff Lee basket was still a sound strategy, because if it hits, it hits big, and if it misses, we still have enough talent elsewhere that a few scrap-heap signings (like Colon and Garcia) and maybe a few midseason salary dump additions (like, say, Beltran and KRod) is all this core team needs to still contend for a title while the next wave of young kids keeps progressing towards eventual stardom or contribution.

        • radnom

          This is not a counteraguement. I specifically said “Not citing any specific decision”, because its extremely easy (as you just demonstrated) to justify individual decisions in a vacuum like that. But the state of the starting rotation can’t be traced back to one trade/signing that did or didn’t happen. Its a result of years of planning from the FO. Putting a ton of eggs in the Lee basket was a good idea in my opinion, but being in a situation where if that doesn’t work out you enter the season with a payroll pushing 200m and 1 reliable starting pitcher is just not good. I think its more than fair to knock the FO for that.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            being in a situation where if that doesn’t work out you enter the season with a payroll pushing 200m and 1 reliable starting pitcher is just not good. I think its more than fair to knock the FO for that.

            We had two reliable starting pitchers, not one. Hughes’s injury was unforeseen.

            And Boston has a payroll near 200M, and they also only had two reliable starters in Lester and Buchholz. If Burnett’s bad 2010 makes him unreliable, Lackey, Beckett, and Diasuke are all unreliable as well.

            Perhaps 200M doesn’t buy what it used to. Or perhaps 200M is just a red herring, since the majority of that 200M can be spent on offense and not on defense. Perhaps 200M is misleading because several of the key contributors towards that 200M are marginal players on their way out or are young players being counted on to produce despite not making much money. Perhaps 200M is irrelevant because it doesn’t stave off injury or prevent old men from deciding to retire or guarantee that there will even be anything worth buying on the open market with all that 200M.

          • MikeD

            …and whom on the market would you have targeted, and when during the process?

            Cashman clearly did have a Plan A, and a Plan B and Plan C. My belief is we ended up with Plan C, so I give him credit for that. In other words, he didn’t put all of his eggs in one basket; there simply was no other egg on the Lee level. He was Plan A. He may very well have seen how the off-season market for pitching was shaping up last summer(Lee and no one else), which is why he was willing to move Montero for what could have turned out to be a rental.

            My main question revolves around Haren. It didn’t seem like the Yankees were in that as much as they should have been, although it’s hard to know what goes on behind the scenes.

          • Rock

            So true…..and has been said over and over again, there were other solid options to Lee in Haren and Oswalt that Cashman missed on who would certainly be helping this team out.

      • JobaWockeeZ

        Yep, all of this. He’s a good GM but executive of the award? That’s funny. Should go to Friedman. A lot of people, even here pegged them to be out of the race by now.

      • CP

        Just because you (or me or the general public/media) have concerns about the teams pitching situation doesn’t mean that the team did. And calling them ‘lottery tickets’ may or may not be accurate. The team scouted and evaluated them, and decided they were worth bringing in – and more importantly worth giving them spots on the 25 man roster. It was pretty clear that they had the leg up coming into spring training.

        • JobaWockeeZ

          I’m sure Cash had his concerns. Colon wasn’t apart of the original rotation, they didn’t even think he would be this god. That’s a definite lottery ticket.

          And all of Garcia’s skipped starts in the beginning shows how much they hold him in regard.

          • MikeD

            The point is to build depth to provide options. If Garcia failed big time, or Colon didn’t make his come back, then we’d probably be seeing one of the young arms in the rotation, for better or worse. My guess is it would have been for the worse, at least in the short term. Growing pains and all.

            It’s not a lottery ticket where he just got lucky. A GM can do things to increase his odds of getting lucky. That’s what Cashman did. Some times, no matter what a GM does, he’s going to have bad luck. Some times he’s going to have good luck. Cash has had some good luck, but he created the scenario for the good luck. If fans had their way, Garcia and Colon would never be on the team, and we’d have Noesi and Warren, and/or Phelps, and/or Brackman in the roation. Unfortunately, if those guys sucked, Garcia and Colon would be on some other team. The Yankees staged this the right way by holding on to their depth. They’re going to need all of it. Credit to Cashman.

      • Rock

        This is one of the smartest comments on here in a long time. Sure, Colon and Garcia have worked out, but the staff in general is not close to where it should be with a 200mm payroll, and certainly isn’t built to win in the playoffs. Cashman has been terrible over the last 8 years assembling a rotation, whether it be through FA, trades or the farm. He has failed miserably here. CC was about the only one he hit on. I wouldn’t go getting a hardon for Cashman because he got a little lucky with Colon and Garcia. They are just bandaids to cover up his past misses anyway.

        • CP

          How is the pitching staff not close to where it should be? It’s second in the AL in ERA+, and first in the AL in road ERA.

          Just because the names aren’t great doesn’t mean the team isn’t.

  • Uke

    I love watching John Lackey struggle, it makes Burnett look so much better :P

  • Max

    Oh, and how about Gardner starting that third inning rally by beating out an infield single with a headfirst slide into the bag? I believe that’s the first time I’ve ever seen that actually work. Weird.

    How quickly we forget the good part of last year’s ALCS.

    • Jimmy McNulty

      It’s actually the smart move if you’re ducking a tag. Guys like Gardner tend to pull a lot of first basemen off the bag , so it’ll probably be a once a year occurrence or so where it’s a good play.

    • MikeD

      Exactly.

      I used to argue that a player should never slide into first because there was no scenario where it would help the runner. I didn’t see today’s play, so I can’t comment on it, but I did see the ALCS play, and I’ve changed my opinion. There are rare circumstances where sliding into first can make the difference for the runner in being safe, and it’s when the runner and pitcher are converging at first base and the runner is clearly going to beat the pitcher to the bag, but the pitcher is close enough to the runner to tag him before he gets to the bag. So going down low to avoid the tag is a good move. Is that what happened today?

  • Kostas

    This recap is better, but the entire meltdown by Lackey giving up 4 runs in the inning – walk, hb, wp, single – is just fantastic. He is getting boo’d like Pavano at The Stadium.

    • Dino Velvet

      they’re booing him off the stage — priceless!

    • http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/ Xstar7

      What? I thought the Red Sox were a hybrid of the 1927/1998 Yankees and couldn’t lose ever.

      • Kostas

        It is the rain. John Henry has tweeted that the Yankees are to blame for sending last nights rain out to Boston. Something about “The Evil Empire”…. Apparently they can only sweep the Yankees but still struggle with powerhouses like the Padres. #theoisagenius.

        • http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/ Xstar7

          Of course! The Yankees used their wormhole technology to transport the stormy weather in Cincinnati to Boston just to torture those poor underdog media darlings. It’s all clear to me now.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside the Elder

            It’s too cold in Boston. Lackey’s just a soldier.

            • http://johnsterling.blogspot.com/ Xstar7

              Not true. Everyone who has ever played for the Red Sox is Megatron. Dan Shaughnessy said so in one of his many well written Boston Globe articles.

      • Dino Velvet

        Jerry Remy said “I can’t believe the Padres are scoring so many runs”

  • Kostas

    Padres’ get 4 runs on just two hits -no HR. Sounds like Boone Logan was pitching ;-) I kid Boone.

  • Pasqua

    I’ve got no issue with pulling Garcia after 7 innings. With a guy like Freddy, you can never truly say that he is “dealing” or that his stuff is dominant. The best Garcia can do is have luck on his side when it comes to hitting his spots. Luck, obviously, can turn in a moment’s notice, so why tempt fate?

    • tom

      Completely agree. People here are way too anxious to let starters go forever. If the lead was bigger, sure, but if you wait for Freddy to put a man on base, you’re bringing your reliever in facing the tying run. This was a game 95% in the bank if you go to your best relievers; why not cash in?

      Especially since, for all we know, tonight’s game’ll be decided by 13 runs in one direction or another.

  • http://twitter.com/kschmidt2 Kiersten

    Raise your hand if, in March, you thought Freddy Garcia would pitch to a 0.00 ERA in 7 innings for the Yankees on June 22nd.

    • CS Yankee

      …on the 22nd?, no.

  • dkidd

    dear greatest team ever assembled,

    we hope you enjoyed first place

    sincerely,

    the MFY

    • Jorge

      “Close to perfect” ain’t all it’s cracked to be anymore. Bitches.

  • David, Jr.

    The outfield defense has been a major positive all year. Gobs of great plays by all three, particularly Gardy.