Ogando no match for Yanks, Sabathia in opener

Zoilo's huge day helps Tampa to win
What's a Brian Gordon?

Is it just me, or it does it seem like every single My9 game features some kind of rain delay? Tuesday’s game got pushed back 40 minutes or so because of a quick storm, but it was the Yankees’ bats that supplied the thunder (oh snap). They scored early and often, and with their ace on the mound, this one was over after two innings.

He makes it look so easy.

Brett Gardner, Leadoff Hitter

With Derek Jeter on the shelf for at least 15 days, Brett Gardner is going to get a second chance at the leadoff job he lost earlier in the year. He led off the first with a three pitch ground out, drew a five pitch walk with one out in the fifth, and then led off the sixth with a ten pitch at-bat and an infield single. A first pitch stolen base followed that. Gardner went 3-for-4 with a walk and three runs scored on the night, setting the table for the offense each time up. If you go back to April 23rd, a span of 165 plate appearances, Brett’s hitting .333/.406/.504. That’ll do.

Curtis Granderson, MVP Candidate

There’s little left to say about the season Grandy is having, so when he goes 2-for-4 with four runs driven in and his 21st homerun, it’s just another night of the office. His two-run single in the second inning turned a two run lead into a four run lead, and I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen a Yankee’s batter capable of turning around a high fastball like Granderson. The most popular response I got on Twitter was Gary Sheffield, and he’s the only one even in the ballpark for me. Another night, another pitcher with no answers.

Figure it out from the left side, Swish.

Nick Swisher, Platoon Bat

I thought Paul O’Neill did a fine job of breaking down Swisher’s left-handed swing during the broadcast, showing how he was opening up early and getting off balance. He hasn’t had those same problems from the right-side, which is why he went 2-for-3 with a double and a homer off lefties Michael Kirkman and Arthur Rhodes while drawing just a measly walk off righty Alexi Ogando. Swish is now hitting .176/.315/.284 off righties but .356/.439/.576 off lefties. That has to fix itself at some point, right?

Eduardo Nunez, Starting Shortstop

Gardner gets the glory of the leadoff spot, Nunez the glory of the shortstop position. In his first game as the (temporary) starting shortstop, Nunez opened the scoring with a bases loaded single in the second inning, a solid line drive to left in a 1-1 count. He tacked on another hit later in the game to finish 2-for-4 with a run scored and a run driven in. Obviously we don’t expect that kind of offense every game, but as long as Eduardo can manage to be more than a zero at the plate while turning everything hit in his general direction into an out, he’ll be a perfectly fine fill-in.

Frankie Cervelli, Bad Player

Speaking of zeroes at the plate, Cervelli went 0-for-4 with a strikeout and five left on base, and he’s now 1-for-18 with seven strikeouts in Russell Martin‘s absence. At least he didn’t throw any balls into center field.

CC Sabathia, Ace

It wasn’t exactly an ace-like performance for Sabathia, but if seven innings, seven singles, one double, four runs, no walks, and six strikeouts qualifies as a poor start, then the Yankees are in pretty good hands whenever he’s on the mound. CC’s command was a little off, he was leaving some pitches up in the zone when they were supposed to be at the knees or buried in the dirt, but that happens from time to time. Maybe he was just pitching to score, which I hear is something the greats tend to do. Considering how often Sabathia picks the rest of the team up, the offense owes him a game like this every so often.

Ian Kinsler's life just flashed before his eyes.


Ogando has allowed more than two runs in just three of his 13 starts, twice against the Yankees. I love how no one in the YES booth even bothered to try to explain why they’re hitting him so well when no other team has been been able to. They just chalked it up to “you can’t predict baseball.” My guess: Ogando is a two pitch pitcher, and they’re just spitting on his slider and forcing him to go after them with the heat. It didn’t hurt that he was misses his spots big time either.

I don’t know about you, but I was terrified when Sabathia had to run over to cover first base twice in the first inning. The grass was wet following the rain, and after what happened to Bartolo Colon over the weekend … yikes. Thankfully, all went well. Luis Ayala chipped in a perfect eight, Pants Lendleton Lance Pendleton an eventful but ultimately scoreless ninth.

As for the rest of the offense not mentioned above, Mark Teixeira capped off that six run second inning with a two run single, Alex Rodriguez drove in two with a double into the gap and also singled to start that second inning. He also hit a ball right to wall in right-center, looked like it was gone off the bat. Robinson Cano (homer) and Jorge Posada (double) each had a hit, and I noticed that Jorge used a two-handed follow through on his. That’s Kevin Long’s trademark, so I wonder if he’s been working made some adjustments with Posada recently. Has this been going on for a while, or is it something new? I didn’t notice it until tonight.

A tip o’ the old RAB cap goes out to Michael Young. This was his 1,574th career game, a new Texas Rangers’ franchise record. Congrats to him.

WPA Graph & Box Score

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the other stuff.

Up Next

Same two teams Wednesday evening, when Ivan Nova gets the ball against Derek Holland. If you ask me, that one has four hours written all over it.

Zoilo's huge day helps Tampa to win
What's a Brian Gordon?
  • Esteban

    A+ on the caption fire the picture of CC running to cover first base. He looks like a bear running to maul Kinsler.

  • ike

    i thought tom game is a 7:05 start time and thursday is the afternoon game

    • Pat D

      I believe you’re right.

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

      You’re right, my bad. I got confused with Thursday.

  • Ivan

    Hey Mike, in concern with which player was really good at turning on that high fastball, I got a name, how about Tino Martinez. He seem like one of those rare guys who can catch up to that high fastball no matter the velocity.

    • Mister Delaware

      What a weird lefty swing Constantino had.

    • Monteroisdinero

      Tex turned around the same high fastball last night for a double in the corner.

    • Cam

      I was just about to post about this about Tino. It was one of those weird things I always remember about him. He was one of the few lefties who hit the high fastball and didn’t really do too much with the down and in pitch. Good call!

  • Mister Delaware

    Any site that does multi-splits? Was wondering if Swisher’s lefty issues were consistent or if its worse at home, like he’s working extra hard to yank it out rather than square up.

    (Only reason to suspect this would be the 2009 home/away power splits.)

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

    I noticed Jorge’s two-handed follow through a little while ago but never thought much of it. It definitely began after the game he sat out. Its working for him though, so no complaints.

  • Gonzo

    I forgot who said this out, but someone pointed out that Ogando has been getting hella lucky against lefties for a righty without a better changeup.

    His line against lefties this year not counting this game:

    For a 2 pitch pitcher that’s interesting. What’s weird is his tOPS+ against lefties is 125, but his sOPS+ against lefties is 61. The league must really suck in this split.

  • Pat D

    Did they talk at all about how Michael Young is such a great teammate and great person and all that stuff?

    Well, even if they didn’t, I’m still gonna say, as always, fuck Michael Young!

    • Monteroisdinero

      I watched the game on a Texas feed and the announcers said something along the lines of: “If Michael Young had played his career in NY, he would have BEEN Derek Jeter”

      /homerism lives for every team..

      • Accent Shallow

        Feel the need to reiterate that while Young has had a good career, he can’t hold Jeter’s jock. For one, he doesn’t walk the way Jeter does.

        For two, it’s a lot easier to hit in Tejas than the Bronx.

        • Pat D

          This is why I love stats.

          Just a few tidbits by comparing their BRef pages:
          –Young has a much more pronounced home/road split, and his road numbers are nowhere near as good as Jeter’s road numbers.
          –Young has had two seasons with an OPS+ better than 110. Jeter has had 11.
          –In terms of bWAR, Young’s highest season is 4.6 and he’s been over 3.0 exactly 4 times. Jeter’s highest season is 8.0 and he’s been under 3.0 exactly 4 times.

          Clearly Michael Young has been unfairly overlooked his whole career. And of course he’s the consummate team player because he never complained about moving positions to make way for a better, younger shortstop or demanded a trade when another player was signed and forced him to be a DH.

          (Yes, yes, this is obviously happening with Jeter at some point, but still.)

  • nsalem

    “Maybe he was just pitching to score, which I hear is something the greats tend to do.”

    and if the Yankee’s scored 3 he would have given up 2. very easy to see. happening for years
    From Robin to Juan to Catfish to Duque

    • Stan the Man

      Just like last week when the Yanks scored 2 and he gave up 7 right? CC hasn’t been sharp in his last 2 starts so there isn’t a need to make excuses for him.

  • Dino Velvet

    Amazing what you can do when the lead off batter gets on 4 times.

    If Gardy continues to do well at leadoff and if the offense continues to rake, it’s gonna put a lot of pressure to move Jeter to the bottom of the line-up after he gets his 3,000 hit.

    • Monteroisdinero

      Not for Girardi.

      • David, Jr.

        The Coach’s Son

        • Monteroisdinero

          That’s essentially what Jeter is at this point and will continue to be until HE says:

          “Dad, I think you should bat my friend leadoff. He’s faster, has more plate discipline, works the count, is much younger and can wreak havoc on the bases.”

          The coach’s son never says this in reality and blood is thicker than anything.

    • Monteroisdinero

      And if Nunez plays great? It’s gonna put some pressure on moving Jeter to DH after 3,000 hits. Again-not for Girardi.

      Nunez runs so well-it is nice to have that speed on the bases and in the field.

      • http://twitter.com/AnaMariana42 Ana A.

        That’s absurd. Nunez can’t make a throw. Jeter doesn’t have range, but at least he makes almost every play in the field. It would be ridiculous to move Jeter, whose problem has been his offensive downturn, to DH, thereby benching Posada, who’s picked up his offensive output, in favor of a really really bad defensive shortstop.

        • http://twitter.com/AnaMariana42 Ana A.

          And by “he makes every play” I mean he makes the play on the balls he gets to, which Nunez doesn’t.

        • David, Jr.

          It isn’t necessarily absurd. He said “if Nunez plays great”. Of course that isn’t a certainty, but if Nunez does, what do they do? Move Jeter right back into SS and leadoff? Play Jeter some at DH?

          I would recommend today’s Joel Sherman column to you. Unfortunately, it is right on. Father Time never loses.

      • GMan

        Nunez is batting .230 with a .620 OPS and has made 6 errors (which leads the team, in limited action nonetheless). Let’s just hope he doesn’t eff up.

        • David, Jr.

          Doesn’t necessarily matter. He is a young guy with speed, a live bat, plenty of upside. The Yankees apparently feel he just needs consistent playing time and he could be a high end starting shortstop.

  • Jaremy

    Pants Lendleton for Mayor

  • duzzi

    Cashman insulted our pen guys on the mike francesca show today. “Most the guys we have out there now are garbage time pitchers” ouch lol bring up some real guys then. This was a great win gardner showed us what its like to have a lineup with a productive leadoff hitter I completely forgot with jeter bein awful this year. Curtis is just a stud this year n it was nice to see swish do some damage for once hope he busts out soon.

    • Pat D

      What a difference 24 hours makes.

      • Esteban

        Yeah, 24 hours ago it was “The Yankees have the worst corner outfielders in baseball.”

        • Pat D

          And that a lineup with Gardner was worse than an NL lineup.

    • Peter Lacock

      That’s not what he said.
      Listen to it again.
      You’re taking it out of context.
      Your true colors come out. Ouch.
      He did not say ‘most’, he said ‘too many long relievers’ and he did not call them ‘garbage time pitchers’.
      What he said had nothing to do with talent or skill, he was talking about 13 pitchers and 3 long relievers (Marquez, Pendleton, Noesi) is too much, desperate times call for desperate measures, more moves are coming, he’s still deciding who’s starting Thursday.

      He also said Montero ain’t coming unless he can play everyday. He implied that play everyday meant at C.

  • forensic

    Part of a Girardi quote about Jeter after the game (via Brian Heyman):

    we felt it was best to DL him. Because the risk is he’s out seven or eight days, you play him, he strains it again, and now you’re looking at he’s out another four weeks.”

    Gee, sounds just like a certain catcher situation playing out right now. Wish they would use some logic there too…

  • Brian

    Ogando was getting squeezed by the umpire. I counted several strikes that were called balls. I’m glad the Yankees could take advantage and get to their bullpen early in the series. :D

    • Rick in Boston

      Looking at the Pitch F/X strike zone map from Brooks Baseball, Oganda may have been squeezed a couple times, but those are off-set by the breaks CC got. The ump gave neither of them the extreme bottom of the strike zone.

    • steve (different one)

      In the first(?) inning, he threw a fastball to Tex that was just hilariously right down the middle and thigh high, and he didn’t get the call. Torrealba stood up to walk off. It was kindof insane.

  • Nick

    Young will become the first Ranger to have 2,000 hits as a Ranger unless he is traded or injured

  • mbonzo

    Its nice to know that their bullpen will essentially be Feliz, Oliver, Lowe, Bush, and Rhodes for the rest of the series. Aside from Feliz, their righties are pretty bad (Lowe and Bush). Their lefties (Oliver and Rhodes) stand no chance against the Yankees either. LHB on the Yankees against left handed relievers are OPSing .944. Granderson alone is slugging .733 against lefty starters and .718 against lefty relievers. Yanks should have no problem with their bullpen aside from Feliz.

  • Wil Nieves Number 1 Fan

    Pants Lendleton!!!!!!

  • CC’s third leg

    Somebody please tell me his pitch selection percentage. Seems like he threw more fastballs than nova does

  • Guest

    Great win. If Gardner does well with his audition, I think he might have a shot to lead off against righties.

    The only issue is, C-Grand is absolutely locked in hitting second. Plus, with Tex and A-Rod hitting behind him, he will still get pitches to hit even if he keeps mashing. So if you drop Jeter to 2, where does Curtis go? Do they drop him to three and just move everyone down one? Might work, I guess.

    I know this not be an issue if they just dropped Jeter towards the bottom of the order, but that’s not happening. Not this year. Not with at least 2 years left on that…contract.

    Hitting Jeter two and dropping everyone one spot might eb teh ebst move (against righties).

    Also, I wonder if the Yankees are refusing to DL Martin because they know they don’t want to have to call up Montero.

    I’m not quite sure why else they haven’t done it.

    • Owen Two

      So if you drop Jeter to 2, where does Curtis go?

      If Joe insists on Jeter hitting 2nd, how about having Granderson lead off, and bat Gardner 9th?

  • LarryM.,Fl.

    I’m sure that a decision to play or DL Martin will come prior to the Chicago Cubs series. Can’t play NL baseball without a 25 man roster. Also, I expect one of our pitchers will come up lame, Hopefully, it won’t be our reliable CC. Cashman will only bring up Montero if he can play everyday. IMHO, This is a good plan. The kid needs development in other aspects of game besides hitting.

    My thoughts on Gardner are simple. Play him against righties and Jeter against lefties. This is done after Jeter gets his 3000 hit. Jeter doesn’t have to hit ninth but 7th or 8th.

    Gardner needs to be directed until he becomes proficient with his bunting and steeling of bases, no more green light. Its not his talent or physical ability. Its between the ears that slows him down. I sit and get annoyed at his inability to process and perform at times but his OF play is superb and can’t be replaced along with his speed.

    If Nunex can show his mettle with regular reps. in the field the next two weeks in may enhance his opts. for playing time at third, short, and second. Cano needs some rest, also.

    • Guest

      The bleepstorm that will arise if the Yankees try to drop Jeter to seven or eighth THIS year will be unprecented.

      I am a big believer in the idea that neither distractions nor good chemistry have a large effect on game outcomes, but I think we are completely underestimating how big a story it would be to drop Jeter to the bottom of the order.

      Look at what happened with Jorge. Jeter is >>>>>>>>>>>>>> takes deep breath >>>>>>>>>>>> Jorge in terms of New York baseball lore/media attention. He’s jsut as proud and stubborn too.

      Again, I think the optimal Yanyee lineup (against righties) has Jetes at the bottom and Gardner at the top. But its just wishful thinking to ignore all the drama that such a move would create.

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

        Maybe we can keep Jeter batting leadoff and just petition Commissioner Selig to start the first inning with our #2 hitter.

        Our lineup goes 2-3-4-5-6-7-8-9-1. Jeter hits “leadoff”.


        • Guest

          + 1

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

          I like it.

      • David, Jr.

        There is a person who could keep the drama and bleepstorm from happening. He would need to say “This is for the good of the team, and I am all for it. It doesn’t matter where I hit in the lineup. That is up to Joe.”

        • Owen Two


    • Cris Pengiuci

      Jeter doesn’t have to hit ninth but 7th or 8th

      Yeah, but not gonna happen. I hope Gardner can becom ethe leadoff hitter this team needs, and he’s been hitting well lately (is since April 23 lately or can we say pretty much all season?), but he’ll need to perform well at leadoff the entire time Jeter’s on the DL for him to hold that spot. It’s probably easier to slot Jeter 6th. Keep Posada, Swish and the catcher’s spot below him (unless Montero comes up and rakes).

  • Pants Lendleton

    Chicks dig garbage time pitchers :)

  • Guy

    Mike, I don’t know if you saw Don Mattingly play early in his career but before hurting his back, he was outstanding at turning around the high fastball.

    • LarryM.,Fl.

      You may be fortunate not to be as old as me but Mickey Mantle had a swing that just swallowed fastballs. He would swing and the ball would be gone, heading in the other direction. It could be because of camera tech. but the Mick could hit.

      • I am not the droids you’re looking for…

        Cameras don’t make balls travel 475 feet :)

        • LarryM.,Fl.

          I was indicating the camera tech. has advanced so much over the years that bat speed was hard to pickup plus the fan today has so much at their disposal to evaluate a player.

  • Stan the Man

    “I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen a Yankee’s batter capable of turning around a high fastball like Granderson. The most popular response I got on Twitter was Gary Sheffield, and he’s the only one even in the ballpark for me. Another night, another pitcher with no answers.”

    Don’t forget about Soriano, Cano, AROD, Tino (circa 19997) who all had pretty dominant hitting years turning any slop a pitcher threw into extra base hits.

  • Freddy’s Mom

    Shhhhh… it’s a secret. I hope no opposing team scouts or pitching coaches are reading this. The pitch Grandy can’t hit is a good breaking ball. He absolutely can’t hit it.

    • Pat D

      Yea, someone from ESPN tweeted that a few days ago. I think it was Berthiuame, or however the fuck is name is spelled.

    • http://riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Well if it’s a good breaking ball, then no one is supposed to hit it.

    • V

      Well, not many hitters can hit -good- breaking balls. Fortunately, very few pitchers throw good breaking balls.

      • V

        (With command of the strike zone, that is). If you can’t throw your breaking pitch for strikes, a good hitter (like Granderson) can sit fastball.

  • Owen Two

    To: klong@yankees.com
    From: paulie@yes.com
    Subject: Swish

    Kev – You might want to mention to Swisher that when he bats left-handed, he’s opening up too early, which throws off his balance.

    Just sayin’.

    Paul O’Neill
    YES Network

    • CS Yankee


      When I opened up too early and looked bad, I would just take it out on the water cooler.

  • http://twitter.com/AnaMariana42 Ana A.

    I tweeted this, but seriously – Gardner is on pace to pick up 4.5 – 5 fWAR this year, despite his slow start, after a 6.2 fWAR season last year. How long till he starts getting his due as far as respect goes?

    Also, I’m very pleased with the advent of Pants Lendleton as a legitimate nickname.

    • http://www.youcantpredictbaseball.com bexarama

      He’s not as pretty as Ellsbury so this will never happen.

  • Bpdelia

    I haven’t read the previous responses yet because I want to say the three things I took away.

    1 how much better does this team look woth someone leading ofg who gets on base.

    2 some how alec has become my favorite yankee. Hes about to have one of those stretches. What a ballplayer. What s privilege to watch this guy. I stand by my offseason call that alex will have three more very good seasons one of which will be great.

    3 cervelli’s presence and repeated failures is sucking the joy out of games for me. I am now unsure that he is better than gus molina. Im positive he is not better than montero.

    With his bat he would have to be outstanding, molinaesque glove. He isn’t. That 2nd inning ab was huge and could have been a disaster. Ive had enuff.

    Please call up montero till martin is 1oo pct and if he fails romine or molina. Its unfair to those 3 that cervelli (woth an option for gods sake) is still on this team.

    What would he have to do to lose his job? Wth is going on

    • Stan the Man

      Cervelli is a back up so who cares. If Martin was playing so poorly over the past month Cervelli wouldn’t be getting nearly as much time. Montero should be called up to be the starting catcher and Martin should be the back up till he gets himself back to normal physically.

  • Greg

    Interesting stat given the Yankees pitching woes.

    The Yankees have allowed the second fewest runs in the AL at 260. Seattle is first at 254.

  • CBean

    Grandy’s been such an important part of the Yankees game this year, that those few games where he was in a little Granderslump, I swear it felt hopeless. He’s been such a great pickup.

    • CS Yankee

      This year he could run for mayor and win, last year he wasn’t good enough to pickup some peoples trash.

    • Stan the Man

      Great pick up this year…last year he was terrible.