Jun
30

Martin’s homer gives Yanks fourth win in a row

By

Interleague play always seems to be kind to the Yankees, and 2011 is no different. Wednesday’s win gave them their fifth interleague series win in five tries, and they did it by giving A.J. Burnett some rare run support.

And boom goes the dynamite.

The Big(-ish) Inning

The Brewers were nursing a one-zip lead into the fourth inning, milking Shaun Marcum’s changeup for all it’s worth. The righty pitched around trouble in the first (runner on second, two outs), second (man on first, one out), and third (first and second, one out), but his luck ran out in the fourth.

Robinson Cano started the inning with booming triple to dead center, but that was only the second hardest hit on the play. Nyjer Morgan ran full speed into the wall, falling to his knees while Ryan Braun came over to field the ball. It was a brutal but hilarious collision; it’s okay to laugh since he was fine. Nick Swisher tied things up with a solid single to right, then Jorge Posada moved him to third with a single off the right field wall. With men on first and second and none out, the Yankees were set up for a big inning, and Russell Martin cut right to the chase.

Marcum jumped out ahead on the Yankees catcher, starting him off with two quick strikes. The third pitch was that changeup, but it hung up just a bit and Martin golfed it out and into the left field seats, his tenth homer of the season and first extra-base hit in 68 at-bats. Russ has been struggling with the bat, no doubt about it, and he needed that hanging changeup more than anyone else in the lineup. An inning that started with a one-run deficit ended with a three-run lead.

Hey Hey, It’s Good A.J.

A.J. did need a little help from the defense.

It wasn’t a good start for Burnett, but it was the finish that matters. The Brewers manufactured a first inning run on a walk, stolen base, and single, but A.J. settled down and retired 12 of the next 15 men he faced. Burnett’s biggest test came in the sixth, when Jonathan Lucroy started the inning with a simple little single back up the middle. Rickie Weeks hit a rocket to short that the Yankees could only turn into one out (Lucroy out at second), then Morgan singled to center to bring the big bats to the plate as the tying run.

A.J. started Braun off with some curveballs, but he fell behind in the count and laid a fastball right in there. Braun hit a bullet to Alex Rodriguez at third, but he was off-balance and didn’t get the throw to first in time. Now the bases were loaded with one out, and Prince Fielder was at the plate. He did the Yankees a favor and hacked at the first pitch, a changeup, and grounded it to Mark Teixeira at first who got the force out at second (the runner at third scored). The two superstars were gone, but the tying run was still at the plate. Burnett gave Corey Hart two curveballs after a first pitch fastball, and a weak ground out to third ended the inning and the threat.

It’s cliche but it’s true, this was one of those innings that would have turning into a multi-run nightmare last year. Burnett made his pitches and navigated the 3-4-5 hitters with men on base without allowing them to hit the ball out of the infield. Those three batters were three of the nine biggest plays of the game according to WPA, and they all went the Yankees way. Burnett’s night ended with just two runs allowed on seven hits and two walks in seven innings, though he only struck out four. He did get eleven ground ball outs compared to five in the air, though.

Splat.

Leftovers

Burnett had a chance to finish to go even longer, but Eduardo Nunez started the eighth inning out with his ninth error as a shortstop, skipping a throw to Tex like a rock on a lake. David Robertson came in and cleaned up the mess, striking out Braun on three pitches in the process. He did the same to Joey Votto last week, so that’s two of the very best hitters in baseball that he absolutely depantsed over the last seven days. I don’t think Mariano Rivera even broke a sweat during his flawless ninth inning.

Posada’s such a bad baserunner that he got tagged out on a homerun. Seriously. Jorge yanked Tim Dillard’s pitch over the fence in right in the sixth, but it bounced back onto the field of play and the Brewers applied the tag between first and second. The play was eventually reviewed and deemed a homerun, a solo shot and Posada’s second in three games.

As for the rest of the offense, Tex and A-Rod managed to combine for a big fat 0-for-8 with five strikeouts. Alex’s eight game hitting streak came to end with three whiffs. Curtis Granderson drew two more walks, Brett Gardner slashed a double, and Swisher walked in addition to the single. The Grandyman also stole a base and made a gorgeous catch in center to start an inning ending double play in the first. He ran down the ball near the warning track, fired to Cano who executed a perfect relay throw to first to double off the runner. Curtis’ catch was fantastic, but Cano’s relay was awe worthy. He caught it and delivered a chest-high strike to Tex all in one motion. Just gorgeous.

After the final out, during the postgame interview on the field, this happened (paraphrasing)…

Martin: “I don’t know how many at-bats it’s been since my last extra-base hit.”
Kim Jones: “Do you want me to tell you?”
Martin: “No, don’t tell me. Don’t tell me.”
Kim Jones: “It was 68 at-bats.”

Way to rub it in, Kim. Anyway, the Yankees have now won four games in a row, tying a season high winning streak that they’ve done several times before. They’re also a season high 16 games over .500 and have won 26 of 38 games since that ugly six game losing stretch we all seem to have forgotten about. The lead in the division sits at three games in the loss column after the Red Sox were unable to beat one of the Phillies’ vaunted aces (Vance Worley).

WPA Graph & Box Score

That’s a nice one, love those big one inning spikes when they go the Yankees’ way. MLB.com has the box score and video, FanGraphs the other stuff.

Up Next

The Yankees will go for the sweep on Thursday afternoon, when lefties CC Sabathia and Randy Wolf give it a go at 1:05pm ET. RAB Tickets can get you to the game dirt cheap.

Categories : Game Stories
  • Jimmy McNulty

    Quality win…AJ sucked early but was able to rebound nicely. I’m surprised Braun and Fielder didn’t do a much more damage against AJ.

    • http://twitter.com/Bismarck1872 Jerome S.

      I’m surprised Fielder hasn’t gone deep yet.

      I mean, this is Yankee friggin’ Stadium. What, does he need someone to remind him?

      • AaronGuielWithASmile

        I know it doesn’t count, but Fielder hit an absolute bomb to the upper deck in batting practice today. One of the deepest shots I’ve ever seen.

        • Mike R. – Retire 21

          He was hitting bombs in the CF black at 13. 13!!!

        • Mike R. – Retire 21

          He obviously can’t handle the pressure of playing in NYC.

          • Dino Velvet

            I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s pressing and not because of new york but because he’s trying to impress the media.

            • Zack

              Cecil made some comments to the media. IMO, part of it was trying to impress the media and part of it was trying to show up dad again.

          • Rob NY

            I heard he was actually bored in NYS. He wants to play in more challenging ballpark.

      • Dave

        All that good food in NYC is distracting him.

    • AaronGuielWithASmile

      Braun got some solid hits off AJ, but Burnett mitigated the damage nicely.

      I really like the way he attacked Prince low in the zone all night. Confident Burnett is good Burnett.

    • David, Jr.

      The Yankees are one of the best 5 on a scale of 10 teams in the history of baseball. When Colon, Hughes, Jeter and Chavez return, they could leap to a 5.25.

  • tom

    Two things:

    1) As the 8th inning started, Kay said the Yankees would go batter-to-batter with Burnett. When the first ball was put in play to Nunez…did anyone else instantly anticipate the error that knocked Burnett out? I’m not much for premonitions, but I just KNEW that was coming.

    2) We’re wasting time watching the Yankees, according to Baseball Tonight. First Berthiaume said the Red Sox-Phillies was a World Series preview, despite the fact that the Yankees are “technically” in first place. Then, having been asked if the Red Sox recent slump was of any concern, Doug Glanville (from whom I expect better), said, No problem, they’re the best team in the American League, no question.

    What do the Yankees have to do to get respect from these douchebags?

    • http://www.twitter.com/ngoral Jake LaMotta’s Left Hook

      Get some pitching.

      Offensively the Red Sox and Yankees are pretty much dead equal.

      • jon

        yankee wOBA .350
        red sox wOBA .350

        yankee xFIP 3.85
        red sox xFIP 4.13

        yep yankees need better pitching to keep up with the red sox o wait

        • http://www.youcantpredictbaseball.com bexarama

          To be fair, it’s a lot to expect guys like Garcia and Colon to be there at the end. But the Red Sox rotation has its injury/general issues too.

          • mbonzo

            Unfortunately for the Red Sox, they have a gutted farm system and no money to add to payroll. Good luck to them fixing those issues.

          • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

            Colon>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>Lackey,Wakefield and DiceB

            • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

              *DiceBB

            • mbonzo

              He’s been pitching much better than Lester has this year too. I don’t expect it to continue, but yea he’s been ace like.

            • JobaWockeeZ

              Alright and Lester is >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Brunett, Garcia and Nova…

              • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

                That’s to be expected. Lester’s their ace. We had no expectations for Colon at the start of the season.

              • Slugger27

                this is rather meaningless… lester was counted on to be their ace. not sure what comparing him to those guys actually accomplishes

                • JobaWockeeZ

                  So why the hell are we comparing our second or possibly best starter to the Red Sox scrubs?

                  So what if Colon wasn’t expected to be this way? You are comparing an guy pitching like an ace vs 3 back end starters so I’m comparing their ace to our 3 back end starters.

                  So basically I’m saying what you’re saying. These comparisons are meaningless in the conversation of who’s starting pitching staff is better.

                  • Zack

                    I saw an ESPN/Disney clip where Schilling,Kruk and Bernie were on the same stage.
                    The contempt and disrepect they showed towards was disguisting.
                    People have to realize that many of the folks on BBTN simply hate the Yankees period and will never give them credit. Hence the reason I no longer watch it.

                    • Alfredo

                      that is the reason that i now watch Mlb Network.

                    • JobaWockeeZ

                      I don’t know how one can watch MLBN with Kevin fucking Millar.

                    • Zack

                      Millar actually isn’t that bad. He might joke about the walk Mo gave him in 04 and show a bit of homerism to the Red Sox but he gives credit where credit is due without insulting or downplaying the other teams.

        • mbonzo

          Yankees are BABIPing .280 while the Red Sox are at .310.

          Even with the .30 point split the Yankees have better offensive numbers.

          • JobaWockeeZ

            Which isn’t due to bad luck but due to insane home run numbers…

            • RollingWave

              that and the Sox have a ton of ball dropping for “doubles”

        • Pat D

          This is where I find using xFIP to be worthless.

          Someone correct me if I’m wrong but doesn’t xFIP measure what’s “supposed” to happen?

          What’s the point of comparing what’s “supposed” to happen as to what actually does happen? Team defense does play a pretty important part into it, too.

          • JobaWockeeZ

            Uh, FIP tells you what was supposed to happen. xFIP takes it a bit further by equalizing HR rate for every pitcher and is used for evaluating future performance.

            • Pat D

              Gotcha.

              But predicting the future based upon xFIP wouldn’t be an exact science, either.

              • JobaWockeeZ

                I’m goign to poretend I’m smart enough to understand this by posting this.

                http://www.hardballtimes.com/m.....edict-era/

                xFIP out of all the fancy fielding independent stats is the closest thing for future performance. ERA predictably sucks.

          • tom

            This is the issue I have with where Sabremetrics seems to be going. While I easily grasp that some stats — like pitching victories — can be vastly misleading, tossing them aside as completely meaningless seems perilously close to saying what happens on the field is less important than what should have happened on paper.

            Don’t get me wrong: I think Bill James was the Martin Luther of baseball stats, challenging an ossified orthodoxy. But I fear the way some of the stats are being used — as if they are now the only acceptable ways of judging at baseball — is replacing one over-rigid orthodoxy with another.

            • http://www.youcantpredictbaseball.com bexarama

              Eh, no one’s saying that what happened didn’t actually happen. Just stuff like xFIP is pretty good for predicting stuff going forward.

              • jim p

                Still, you can’t predict baseball.

              • Ed

                fWAR kinda is saying that.

                It’s basically taking FIP, scaling it by IP, then converting that to runs/wins above replacement. There’s adjustments to that, but that’s the basis of it.

                You’re calculating past value by using a measure of how many runs a projection says you were expected to give up, not by how many you actually did.

                That’s why I’m a much bigger fan of bWAR – take runs allowed (not just earned runs) and adjust it based on the team’s defensive rating.

                • http://www.youcantpredictbaseball.com bexarama

                  This I do agree with in general.

            • JobaWockeeZ

              The thing is what happens on the field is a team effort and these stats try to weed everything out so we get individual talent.

      • CP

        And pitching wise, the Yankees are better.

      • mbonzo

        I still think the Yankees have a better offense. They’ve got every position tied down to a well above average player, while the Sox have to deal with right field and catching. Yankees are also a faster team. Close, but Yankees win the offensive battle.

        Yanks have the better bullpen.

        Red Sox have the better starting pitchers on paper, but the Yankees starting pitchers have been better.

        • JobaWockeeZ

          I still think the Yankees have a better offense. They’ve got every position tied down to a well above average player, while the Sox have to deal with right field and catching

          Even then, the advantage is negligible at best. These two offenses are a wash.

          Yankees are also a faster team.

          Based on what? Brett Gardner? Now even if it’s true their speed “advantage” isn’t translating into results. They have 69 bases taken by passed balls, wild pitches, balks and by tagging up which for now is exactly league average. Boston has 70. The Yankees are the 4th worth team in XBT% which is either the amount of times a runner takes more than one base on a single or more than 2 bases on a double. They do that 36% of their chances. Boston has a 42%. And lastly Boston advances their runners from 1st to 3rd 50 times this year in 167 opportunities. The Yankees did that 32 times this year with 127 opportunities. It’s 29% vs 25% in Boston’s favor.

          Now even if they do have an advantage it’s not helping them out jack shit.

          Yanks have the better bullpen.

          Yankees: 3.35 FIP, 3.85 xFIP, 3.77 tERA
          Red Sox: 3.41 FIP, 3.73 xFIP, 3.70 tERA
          Again it’s a minor difference.

          Red Sox have the better starting pitchers on paper, but the Yankees starting pitchers have been better.

          Yankees: 4.02 FIP, 3.85 xFIP, 4.56 tERA which would translate to 651, 623, 738 earned runs respectively for these metrics if they pitched like this for the entire season.
          Red Sox: 4.27 FIP, 4.32 xFIP, 4.22 tERA, 691, 699, 683 earned runs respectively.

          Based on the metric you prefer it’s either a 4 or 7 win advantage for the Yankees or a 6 win advantage for the Sox.

          Defensively it’s an edge to the Yanks. It’s not a great edge but I suppose it’s solid.

          Yankees: 20.6 UZR, 6.2 UZR/150, 24 TZ
          Red Sox: 20.3 UZR, 4.8 UZR/150, 12 TZ

          This is coming down the wire. It’s that close where I’m not going to say they have an advantage in every facet of baseball.

          • MikeD

            This is shocking. I mean, weren’t the 2011 Red Sox supposed to be the greatest team ever?

            • JobaWockeeZ

              You mean 20 times better than the 1998 Yankees?

    • Mike R. – Retire 21

      Put big red B’s on their hats and grow disgusting looking facial hair.

    • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

      Why even watch BB tonight?

    • BklynJT

      Media wont get off the Red Sox wagon until the Yankees show they can beat them. We need to even the season series and go into the playoffs with some momentum against that team.

      • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

        That still won’t make them get off the Red Sox wagon

        • BklynJT

          “Guys wanna be me, ladies wanna be with me.”

          Apply that to the Yankees and don’t worry about what all these talking heads think. They are just mad that they weren’t lucky enough to play for the Yankees.

  • Gonzo

    Would it be wrong if they played the Benny Hill theme song when Nyjer’s at bat?

    • mbonzo
    • John

      What about when Nyjer is in centerfield? Two games-Two misplays that resulted in Two Triples. One for Grandy and one for Cano. It’s comical yet sad at the time. I bet you he can’t wait to get out of the Bronx lol

      • dalelama

        I don’t know why you classify Nyjer’s effort on Cano’s triple a misplay, I thought he went all out and showed guts.

        • Jim S

          It was a misplay because he had no idea where he was in relation to the wall; if he had, he would have pulled up and probably kept Cano to a double. But absolutely no one should be criticizing the effort, and I don’t think anyone was doing so.

  • Zapp Brannigan

    Posada’s such a bad baserunner that he got tagged out on a homerun

    very enjoyable recap, jokes and zingers galore. well done.

  • jarsh

    Completely off topic but you know how watching a game on tv can be so intrancing? Like, the commercial breaks in between are just little dead minutes that we will never get back.
    I’m not sure why I notice that. Maybe its because we root for a great team. You think those guys rooting for the Pirates or Royals anticipate every pitch, every at-bat? It’s looking like another good season so far but what’s better is that, year in and year out, there will be a team put in place that’s built to win. Built to succeed. Built for us!

    ////boredtodeath’d

  • Craig

    So who misses Phil Coke? LOL JK

  • YankeesJunkie

    Tonight was another great game for the Yanks. The race between them and the Sox should be a lot of fun to watch over the 80+ games as they have shown that they are the two best teams in the AL by quite a margin. Both teams have elite offenses, elite closers (Papelbon has been untouchable this year as well as Mo), and great top of the rotations. What is going to decide the race is how well can the back of the rotation and bullpens hold up for both teams. Personally, the Yankees are in a very nice situation behind CC especially if Colon can give the Yanks 15 more starts, and if Hughes can pitch to a 3.75 FIP along with Burnett I will take that over DiceK, Lackey, and Buccholz. Also, Robertson has gone from nice reliever, to dominant set up man which the Sox do not have and the Yanks have Soriano on the way. At this point of the season I am truly hoping for a Red Sox-Yanks ALCS because that would be a hell of a series.

    • first time lawng time

      I would hate those two in an ALCS matchup. If the Yankees ever lost…

      (my fear of the Yankees losing overrules the potential elation of them winning)

    • David, Jr.

      That would show what a sack of bull the divisions are. Somebody will win the comedy known as the American League Central, and they will have an equal chance in a short series.

  • pinebarrens

    nice mike, you watch Tosh.0

  • http://kierstenschmidt.com Kiersten

    I feel like we should ban the words “Red Sox” from here unless the Yankees are playing them. The Yankees cannot control the Red Sox. The Yankees are in first place. The Yankees, for the most part, have been playing fantastic baseball all year. The Yankees and Red Sox are going to finish within 2 games of each other, one with the division, one with the wild card. Stop worrying about the damn Red Sox and focus on how great the Yankees have been.

    • YankeesJunkie

      Red Sox Red Sox Red Sox Red Sox Red Sox Red Sox Red Sox Red Sox Red
      Sox Red Sox Red Sox Red Sox Red Sox Red Sox Red Sox Red Sox Red Sox
      Red Sox Red Sox Red Sox Red Sox Red Sox Red Sox Red Sox Red Sox Red
      Sox Red Sox Red Sox Red Sox Red Sox Red Sox Red Sox Red Sox Red Sox
      Red Sox Red Sox Red Sox Red Sox Red Sox Red Sox Red Sox Red Sox Red
      Sox Red Sox Red Sox Red Sox Red Sox Red Sox Red Sox Red Sox Red Sox

      Too easy, sorry

    • Hall and Nokes

      I agree, and I consider the Yankee record to be 46-23 right now. 46-23 baby!

  • dalelama

    “It was a brutal but hilarious collision; it’s okay to laugh since he was fine.”

    I find this sentence to be in poor taste. Don’t know why, it just struck me that way, I guess I have come to expect better at RAB.

    • http://twitter.com/buckfunts buckfunts

      It’s the semicolon, right? I don’t trust those things, either. You think you know when to whip it out and then you soon find out you should’ve kept it in your pants.

      What are we talking about again?

      • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com/ Matt Imbrogno

        Don’t you ever talk ill of the semicolon again.

        • the Other Steve S.

          What’s a semicolon? Bartolo’s kid?

    • Jim S

      What? Since when has it become “poor taste” to laugh at people falling down if they’re fine?

      I don’t want to live in that world.

  • first time lawng time

    Well, I was very happy with AJ’s performance. He really is much better this year than he was last year.

    • Monteroisdinero

      A big part of that is Russell Martin’s chest protector and it’s blocking 5-10 balls a game which prevents runners from moving around the bases.

      • Dave

        Huh?

        • Monteroisdinero

          AJ bounces his curve in the dirt 5-10x a game and Martin is great at blocking them with his body/chest protector.

  • Hester Prynne

    With Bartolo returning Saturday and Phil within 2 weeks we will have the 2nd best rotation in baseball behind only Philly. We already have the best lineup in baseball and the best 1-2 punch at the end of the bullpen. We’re a great team right now and we’ll only get better with our injured players returning.

    • David, Jr.

      Agree with this, although keep in mind that starting in the next week or so we purposely won’t use our best lineup.

    • http://twitter.com/Bismarck1872 Jerome S.

      Disagree, let’s not get too excited. The rotation is only good because the offense is clicking right now. It won’t be the second best in baseball, there are plenty other great clubs out there.