Yankees win tie game 4-3 over Cubs


Russ just wanted to make sure Pena knew who won the collision.

Joe Buck got so excited when Reed Johnson hit that solo homer off Mariano Rivera to lead off the ninth that he declared the game tied. Of course the homer made it just a one-run game, and Rivera went on to navigate the rest of the inning to secure the win. It wasn’t easy nor pretty, but they all count the same. Let’s quickly recap…

  • If my Play Index skills are as sharp as I think they are, the Yankees are the first team since 1997 and just the 15th in history to score four or fewer runs in a nine inning game in which they had at least ten hits and ten walks. They left the bases loaded in the first, a man on second in the second, men on second and third in the third, men on first and second in the fifth, a man on first in the seventh, and the bases loaded in the eighth. Yuck.
  • Play of the game was easily Brett Gardner‘s double play in the sixth (video). The Cubbies had the bases loaded with one out, and Geovany Soto lined a pitch into left. Gardner caught it on the run and uncorked a perfect throw home to get Carlos Pena. The throw beat him by five or six feet, and Russell Martin held on after the collision for the inning ending out (gif!). At .252 WPA, it was far and away the biggest play of the game.
  • Everyone in the starting lineup reached base at least twice except for Mark Teixeira and A.J. Burnett. Curtis Granderson, Alex Rodriguez, and Martin each reached base three times. Nick Swisher and Grandy sacrifice flies were bookended by Eduardo Nunez and Robinson Cano run-scoring doubles, which accounted for the four runs.
  • Burnett had his best curveball in quite some time in this game, certainly his best of the season. Batters swung and missed at nine of his 44 curves (20.5%) and three others went for called strike threes. His one mistake was a meatball fastball to Pena, which he hit for a game-tying two-run homer. Burnett struck out eight of the 24 men he faced in 5.1 IP. Aside from Johnson’s homer and the Soto single that following, the Yankees’ bullpen was flawless. The only batter to reach base against Cory Wade, Hector Noesi, and David Robertson did so on an error. Based on the extremely small sample size of this one game, Wade’s the new fireman and Noesi’s the new seventh inning guy. I like it.
  • Speaking of errors, how bad has the defense been? Nunez flubbed a routine double play grounder and then Cano dropped a routine relay throw from A-Rod in that hectic sixth inning. That doesn’t include two bad throws by Nunez that Tex managed to turn into outs (one by tagging the runner, the other with a great scoop) because he’s awesome. I don’t expect the Yankees to be a brilliant defensive club, but the routine plays have to made, period.
  • Four outs on the bases, topping their season high of three last week (and at least one other time as well). Granderson got thrown out trying to steal second, A-Rod got his Jorge Posada on (tried to stretch a single into a double, was out by a mile), Gardner got picked off first, and Swisher got thrown out at the plate. Seriously, get these guys a baserunning coach. If they have one already, get someone better.
  • Here’s the box score and here’s the WPA graph. This game was an ordeal.

The rubber game of the series will be played Sunday night on ESPN, which means an 8pm ET start. CC Sabathia gets the ball against Randy Wells.

Reminder: We’re going to be running some maintainence from midnight to 6am tonight, so the site may be slow or down completely at times. Thanks for your patience.

Categories : Game Stories


  1. Xstar7 says:

    I have some bad news for the rubber match of this series: The Yankees have never faced Randy Wells before.

  2. Urban says:

    I get it. Joe Buck is clearly practicing to play an emotionless Vulcan in the next Star Trek movie. I just listend to the replay of the exciting Gardner throw, but Buck nearly put me to sleep.

  3. iloveyoubartolo says:

    I actually miss Ramiro Peña. Grotesque.

    • Xstar7 says:

      At least Nunez got the eventual game winning hit. But that’s a routine play he botched up. However I found Cano’s mishandling of A-Rods throw to second even more atrocious. The ball hit at Nunez took a tough hop, but Cano has no excuse at all for not handling that throw. Thank Mo for Brett Gardner and that amazing play he made.

  4. nycsportzfan says:

    wow, i thought this would of been a record for most hits and BB’s and 4runs of fewer scored.. This had so much bad, its still amazing to me, that the yanks pulled it out.. Boy, our Middle Relief has been good, though…

  5. Guy Montag says:

    I hope the brass watching guys like Wade, Noesi, and Robertson shut down the opposition will make them realize what a mistake it was to give big dollars to any reliever not named Mariano Rivera.

    Once we’re done playing antiquated NL style baseball Ramiro Pena should be a late inning defensive sub for Nunez. I close my eyes and pray everytime a grounder goes in his direction and he has to throw over to first.

  6. nsalem says:

    The Non Rivera part of our bullpen Soriano/Feliciano /Marte and Chamberlain which we spent 20 million dollars on probably wouldn’t be performing (up to now anyway) as well as the our much lower paid bullpen
    Robertson/Noesi/Wade and Ayala. Hats off to them and our GM. Them and our starting rotation have been covering some incredibly terrible defense and base running by the rest of the team on this current
    streak. Don’t know how long we can getting away with this but I’ll take the W’s. The thought of Nunez and Cervelli on our playoff roster is quite scary. Hopefully one day it will be different but right now the reward of Eduardo’s bat can’t compensate for the risk of his defense.

    • hogsmog says:

      I’m pretty sure that Chamberlain was actually doing great.

    • bpdelia says:

      Eh. In the long run are you more comfortable with Robertson as a fireman pitching in the 5th and 6th or with Corey WAde?

      Thought so. And Chamberlain was pitching outstanding and Logan is awful.

      I’d take Chamberlain back in a freakin heatbeat thanks
      and a pen of Wade, Rob, Chamberlain, Feliciano, SOriano, Mo will still be better.

      BEcuase we’ve gotten lucky doesnt mean corey Wade is as good a pitcher as Soriano.

      • nsalem says:

        Eh back to you,. Not implying Wade is better than Soriano. All I was saying was this bullpen has been unexpectedly great this week and is a key reason we have won 7 of our last 9 games. That it why I used the words “up to now anyway”.

    • BrianL says:

      Joba was pitching very well up until this injury, IMO with the way they’ve mishandled Joba up until this point it suprises me they didn’t have him pitch through this…

  7. mt says:

    Great to see us win a “bad defense/bad baserunning/high# of runners left on base” game. And a 1 run game to boot.

    Buck correcting himself about “tie game” was priceless!

    Nunez has a gun for an arm (witness one of the double plays) but he seems to throw so sidearm that it sometimes looks like he is almost throwing underhanded- wonder whether that is why many of his throws trail up the line or are in the dirt – hopefully something correctable.

    (As for the Adrian Gonzalez love that some of the game thread commenters noted from Fox commentators throughout the game, “McBuck” may have jinxed him for tonight’s game. AGon went 0-4 against Milwaukee (lefty Randy Wolf started) AND he also dropped a foul pop-up that was catchable before Weeks homered off Lester in same at-bat.

    • Pat D says:

      I’ve always preferred “BuckCarver,” but “McBuck” sounds pretty funny, too.

      • Cult of Basebaal says:

        I’d make fun of Buck (and I probably should) but I was just happy to listen to an entire game without having heard “DRIVEN” every since fly ball … out.

      • Phil C says:

        My favorite moment was having McCarver explain how difficult it was to get Jorge atbats while playing without the DH, unless they started him at 1B and had Tex DH!!!

  8. Cult of Basebaal says:

    They should show video of the Gardner throw to every Yankees minor leaguer, “Clockwork Orange” style: over and over and over again, until it burns into their sub-conscious.

    It’s not about your arm and how “AWESOME” you think it is, it’s about making an accurate throw to the intended base.

    Gardner doesn’t have a GREAT arm, HELL, on the scouting scale, it’s probably not even GOOD, but he always tries for ACCURACY, and an ACCURATE throw is FAR MORE effective than the HARDEST throw, 9 times out of 10.
    Leave a comment

    • Nogomo says:

      Yeah, and Brett has taken so much shit on this site from people that clearly wouldn’t know a fantastic player from a fangraph page of stats. I’m so happy to see Brett shut these morons up. Somebody called him a “fourth outfielder at best” the other day. Jesus. Learn how to watch the game, people.

      • bexarama says:

        To be fair, this is the biggest argument used by the Golson fetishists. OMG that one throw that one time!!!

        But yeah. Brett is clearly much better than a fourth outfielder. His baserunning can get infuriating at times, but he’s so good defensively, and he has awesome fielding instincts (good reads, doesn’t try for stupid dives…). I think the “he’s got a ten cent head” criticism which I see a lot too, even from people that like him, isn’t really accurate.

        • Urban says:

          I’m a big fan of Gardner. I’ll form a man-crush once he remembers he used to steal bases at an 85% clip, in both the minors and the majors.


        • Monteroisdinero says:

          Hardly a Golson fetishist. He is hitting .293 and had 2 triples the other night (something very few of our players could accomplish in one game). He has thrown out many runners at all bases and i have seen it with my own eyes Bex!.. ST/Scranton and during the season. He has a cannon and provides a team with another way to win a game. Nick Swisher’s throws to third and home could be caught without a glove. He sucks in that regard.

          Golson was a first round pick by the Phillies and was arguably the best OFer in the 2004 draft. He is a talented player. No fetish and no group think here. He is 25. Not willing to write him off yet.

          • Jerome S. says:

            Everyone else is.

            That’s the flattest .293 you’ll ever see.

            Not to take away from Golson, he has a time and a place, and he fills it well in Scranton/Wilkes-Barre

        • Monteroisdinero says:

          As opposed to Swisher “That crappy throw SO MANY times” Golson would have lots more great throws given more opportunities.

        • bpdelia says:

          I was wrong before last season when I said I didn’t think he could sustain a BA above 240 in the ML.

          And he is an excellent player. However the baserunning thing isn’t a “little frustrating” it’s infuriating and must be solved.

          His is a hugely valuable player both anecdotally and statistically on defense and he is having a nice offensive year but my god he needs to spend the offseason with someone who can focus on his base stealing.

          If he had 25 SB right now at an 85% clip he would be an all star and one of the most valuable OFs in the game.

      • FIPster Doofus says:

        Gardner is one of the best all-around LFs in the game, hands down, and that’s even before taking into account his low salary. He’s just an awesome player to have.

      • Esteban says:

        lolwut? It’s precisely the people that look at Gardner’s fangraphs page that would know how good he’s been. Looking at Gardner play, he doesn’t seem that impressive. He’s fast, but he’s gotten caught a lot. He’s hitting well now, but doesn’t have tons of power, so he doesn’t look like a great hitter. He makes some accurate throws, but sometimes he throws the ball into the ground. If it weren’t for sites like Fangraphs (and stats in general), I would have a much lower opinion of Gardner. To further this point, I bet the people who said Gardner was a 4th OFer are not people who look at Fangraphs. IIRC, one poster who said that Gardner was a 4th OFer said so because he doesn’t have a .300 BA, when he should, or that he wasn’t consistently hitting .280-.290.

        • FIPster Doofus says:


        • Esteban says:

          And I forgot to add, that the one thing Garnder does best, defense, is probably the hardest facet of baseball to judge from a tv viewing perspective. Watching on TV, you don’t get a great idea of how fielders position themselves, how good their jump is, and how their range compares to an average fielder at that position. Without the numbers, it would be still be obvious that Gardner was a good fielder, but as a TV viewer, it would be nearly impossible to know exactly how good he was in the field, or how he compared to other LFers. But thanks to Fangraphs, I have a much better, though still imperfect idea of how good Gardner is in LF.

        • Esteban says:

          And the first post was supposed to end in, “Does that sound like a person who like FanGraphs?”

        • hogsmog says:

          Yeah really I mean I always do a doubletake when I see how much dWAR he racks up.

          • Monteroisdinero says:

            Andruw Jones does not make that play and it is/was a game changer. Just another reason why Gardy plays LF every day. He gives you more ways to win than an occasional HR guessing right on a fb and striking out 2-3x on off speed stuff which is Andruw-2011.

          • bpdelia says:

            yeah which is what makes me skeptical about his total War numbers.

            HIs defense is amazing. But I just don’t think it is worth what many of the metrics say it is in wins or runs saved over a year, therefore I’m skeptical that Gardner is a 5-6 win player.

            Just LOOKS like a 4 win player at best. But the numbers say what they say.

    • tom says:

      So the reason Girardi wasn’t running for Swisher is why again?

      He’s been consistently putting in Dickerson for defense in the 9th (or 8th if Swisher isn’t due up anytime soon)… how does Girardi not piece it together that once Swisher walks, that’s when you put Dickerson in. Why wait for the half inning to be over?

      This guy just manages on autopilot that he doesn’t consider the situation because he is in such a rut… he’s so used to putting Dickerson in beteeen innings he ignored the situation and for a guy who tries to manage the crap out of every game, his inactivity nearly cost the Yankees.

  9. nunez fan says:

    Notice the team winning more with Nunez at short, despite all the errors. jeter sucks.

    • Surehanded shortstop that can barely hit >>>>>>>> Shortstop that can’t field and can barely hit

      • nunez fan says:

        thats your opinion. i would rather have nunez at short everyday than pena.

      • nunez fan says:

        i am listing all of you nunez haters. i guarantee all of you will be calling for him to start when jeter get back with his nagging calf injury and plays like shit!

        • Nope. Already used to the fact that Jeter is going to be what he is for the next three years. Sad to see that this is how Jeter will finish out his HOF career.

          • mac1 says:

            But what if Jeter continues to decline? I’m happy to get to see Nunez play everyday – I’d like to see what he can do.

      • Eric says:

        The problem with that statement Carlo is that the surehanded that can barely hit sits atop the lineup seeing the most plate appearances of anyone on the team, thereby making the most outs.

        If Jeter moved down in the order than yes, I’d say he is more valuable than Nunez otherwise, Jeter hurts the Yankees’ chances of winning more than a bad glove Nunez would.

    • FIPster Doofus says:

      Sample size, correlation doesn’t equal causation, etc.

      As far as Nunez goes, it sucks having to hold your breath every time a ball is hit at him. Even if he fields it cleanly, the throw to first is a question mark. Say what you will about Jeter’s range, but neither fielding balls hit directly to him nor throwing are big concerns with him.

      • nunez fan says:

        yeah i know, at least with jeter you know he wont get to it.

        • FIPster Doofus says:

          But at least you know he’ll throw the ball accurately to Teixeira. On the other hand, Nunez looks like a better hitter than Jeter at this point. They both have their flaws…

          • Monteroisdinero says:

            I am a Nunez fan. I think his problem is he has a terrific arm but is afraid to air it out so he lobs/aims it and it goes off line.

            Don’t worry Noony-Tex can take it.

          • cashman failed says:

            but why is jeter on the roster? cashman failed.

    • bexarama says:

      The Yankees were like 20-0 without A-Rod last year. A-Rod sucks.

    • Of all the players in baseball to be a crazy sperg fan about you chose Eduardo Nunez? Really?

    • AdamParker says:

      They are? Can you please define “more”?

    • Rock says:

      Nunez looks extremely timid on ground balls. On the one hopper he missed against Texas the other night I thought he actually looked scared of the ball. This is something you would expect of a little leaguer, not a big leaguer. Given his trackrecord and the number of errors in the minors I am actually amazed they haven’t tried to convert him to OF yet. His bat doesn’t look bad, but certainly won’t blow anyone away. A .257 avg and .304 OPS in 74 ABs (which isn’t a small sample) doesn’t do much for me.

  10. Mike HC says:

    Love the headline. Buck’s excitement at the prospect of the Yankees and Mo blowing the lead was so over powering he was tacking on extra runs for the Cubs. What an asshole.

  11. To everyone who is ok with Pena running over Martin in that situation, I wonder, would it have been ok if A-Rod had launched himself into DeWitt (or was it Castro?) at second base in the fifth?

    Just curious what the difference is… In each situation, the ball beat the baserunner by a few steps and the tag was waiting for the baserunner at the plate. In one situation it’s ok for the runner for try to dislodge the ball from the fielder by colliding with the fielder, and in the other it isn’t?

    I don’t like collisions at the plate at any time, but I at least can see the argument for allowing them when the catcher is blocking the runner’s path to the plate or something like that. I think at some point over the years though the concept of “run through the catcher if he’s blocking your way to the plate” morphed into “run through the catcher, no matter where he is or what the other factors in the situation are,” though, and I don’t think that’s what baseball’s about. If the ball beats you to the base by a few feet and the fielder is waiting for you with the tag, you’re out. That’s baseball. Slide into the plate and try to evade the tag, or turn around and try to go somewhere else. “Obliterate the waiting fielder who is holding the baseball and ready to tag you” shouldn’t be an option there, just like it isn’t an option at any other base.

    • bpdelia says:

      On one hand . . . Yeah your right.

      But on the other hand. . . .fuck that.

      No seriously the difference is that the catcher is usually the meatiest dude on the team and he is wearing poly carbon armor on his legs, balls, chest, face.

      Also the stakes are much much higher at home, and finally sometimes it works.

      It is what it is. THis has been an accepted part of a game that is probably the least barbaric of any major sport.

      I don’t like it but it’s not a major major issue to me.

      • “On one hand . . . Yeah your right.

        But on the other hand. . . .fuck that.”

        Ha… At least we’re being honest about it.

        • “THis has been an accepted part of a game that is probably the least barbaric of any major sport.”

          It’s interesting… This is the point I was trying to address when I said “I think at some point over the years the concept of ‘run through the catcher if he’s blocking your way to the plate’ morphed into ‘run through the catcher, no matter where he is or what the other factors in the situation are,’ though, and I don’t think that’s what baseball’s about.”

          I actually don’t think what’s currently accepted (colliding with the catcher no matter what) has always been an accepted part of the game, I think that’s false. People seem convinced that baserunners have always barreled through catchers whether or not the catcher had the ball, whether or not the catcher was blocking the plate, whether or not the ball beat them to the plate by a few steps… But I don’t remember that being the case when I was a kid, I don’t remember being taught that, and I don’t remember seeing it the way we see it today. I think the concept of “run through the catcher if he’s blocking the plate” has been bastardized to a point where it’s just over the line, it’s too much. Like I said above… Argue that the runner should be able to collide with the catcher if the catcher’s blocking the plate if you want… Not everyone will agree with that, but that’s an argument I think you can make honestly… But to argue that the catcher is fair game no matter what? That’s not baseball.

    • first time lawng time says:

      I am pro collision at the plate. Catchers can suck it up and be men.

    • Mike HC says:

      Running into the catcher at the plate should be banned no matter what the catcher is doing. If the catcher is literally sitting on the plate, then that should be catcher interference and the run automatically scores.

  12. first time lawng time says:

    The bullpen wasn’t flawless. Rivera gave up a run.

  13. first time lawng time says:

    AJ pitched very well, as usual. I give him a round of applause.

  14. family man says:

    AJ is having a very fine year. I just hope it continues.

  15. The BIG 3 says:

    Your Play Index skills are just fine, although doing a similar search, I preferred to include their zero DP’s because that’s amazing, as well. How does a team put 21 runners on base, score only 4 runs while hitting into zero DP’s? Jeebus, for 8 innings, the bases were absolutely loaded with runners and Dempster was inducing GB after GB.


    FWIW, Baltimore had a similar type game 2 days ago: 4 runs on 18 hits, but with zero walks and they erased 4 of those runners by hitting into 2 DP’s. I’d argue that last night’s output was even worse.

  16. JoeBuckSucks says:

    Is it me or is Joe Buck’s usually shitty voice different this year? He sounds drugged.

  17. Xstar7 says:

    This game was almost as weird as that one in Baltimore.

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