Bats back Sabathia in win over Twins

Betances solid in SWB debut
Mailbag: Nunez, Arneson, Cards, Venditte, IFAs

It’s kinda funny how the Yankees go into these big pitchers’ parks on the road and make them look very small, don’t they? They did it to CitiField earlier in the year, and did it on Thursday night to Target Field en route to an 8-4 win.

That's right, the third deck.

Back-To-Back

A few weeks ago I suggested that Andruw Jones has the most raw power on the Yankees. Not necessarily the best pure hitting ability, but just raw strength and the ability to hit the ball far. He showed off that power in the fifth inning, when he hit the second of back-to-back homers into the third deck in left field. The Twins said it went 434 feet, which sounds light but whatever. Hit Tracker says it’s the eighth longest homer in Target Field this year, behind a whole bunch of Jim Thome taters and various visiting players (Matt Kemp, David Ortiz, couple of guys from the Rangers). And you know what’s really crazy? Andruw hit a ball to center field in his first at-bat, which Ben Revere caught right in front of the 411 sign on the warning track. That’s a homer in like, 27 other parks. He also hit a ball into the second deck juuust foul in the ninth. Jones has been killing the ball since the All-Star break, and he’s not slowing down at all.

Nick Swisher was on the front end of the back-to-back homers, clubbing a two-run bomb to left that landed two decks below Andruw’s shot. That stretched the lead from 3-2 to 5-2, then Jones made it 6-2.

CC Was So So

Yep, foul.

CC Sabathia has been just a little off lately, struggling with his command more than anything else. The first four batters he faced hit the ball very hard, but two of them made outs and Justin Morneau’s two-run homer was reviewed and ruled to have gone foul. Sabathia came out in the second and was struggling again, allowing a pair of runs to negate the one his teammates tallied in the top of the inning. His stuff was fine, but he was leaving the ball up, a common theme in his last few outings.

Someone flipped the switch after the second, because Sabathia retired the next eight men he faced and 12 of the next 15. Things got a little hairy in the seventh inning, but it was more bad luck that poor pitching. Tsuyoshi Nishioka started the inning with a legit line drive single, but Drew Butera blooped in a base hit and Ben Revere plated a run with a ground ball single that had eyes. The bases were loaded when Eduardo Nunez Scissorhands booted what looked like a double play ball, and there were still none out. CC managed to retire both Joe Mauer and Morneau on fly balls (Mauer’s drove in a run) before Robinson Cano made a great diving stop to rob Thome of a hit and RBI. It could have been a lot worse, but the Twins kinda stink and the Yankees countered some bad defense with some good defense.

The final tally: four runs and ten hits in seven innings, with nine strikeouts and just a single walk. Sabathia also got seven ground ball outs to three air outs, throwing 106 pitches (eight swings and misses). He was bad in the first and second, vintage CC in the third through sixth, then iffy in the seventh. He’s still fighting through this little rough patch, but as long as it’s just command and not lack of stuff (his velocity is fine, the slider is biting, all looks good on the stuff front), there’s no reason to worry. Plenty of starts left for him to figure it out.

So smooth.

Leftovers

Curtis Granderson smoked a triple in the third inning, his tenth three-bagger of the season. He’s the first player in franchise history to rack up 30+ homers, 10+ triples, and 20+ steals in a single season. He’s quite good at this baseball thing, in case you didn’t know. Curtis went 3-for-5 to raise his season batting line to .281/.374/.593.

Nunez made up for his seventh inning error with a great series of baserunning in the ninth. He slapped a hustle doubt to left center with Jones on first, then scored all the way from second on Frankie Cervelli‘s line drive that Danny Valencia knocked down but couldn’t glove. I didn’t think he had a prayer to score on the play, even with two outs, but he was halfway between third and home before Valencia recovered to pick up the ball.

Andruw’s shot overshadows Mark Teixeira‘s two-run bomb in the third, which only went into the second deck in left. He, Granderson, and the revived Derek Jeter combined to go 7-for-13 with a double, a triple, and a homer. Jones, Nunez, and Cervelli combined to go 6-for-14 with a double and a homer further down the order. Pretty solid all-around night for the offense.

David Robertson and Cory Wade combined for two perfect innings after Sabathia, striking out one each and not allowing a ball out of the infield. Roberson’s worked in three of the last four days but Rafael Soriano and Mariano Rivera have had two straight days off, so look for them to be the eighth and ninth inning combo on Friday. Mo did warm up before Cervelli drove in those two insurance runs in the ninth, however.

For some reason unbeknownst to me, Ron Gardenhire came out to argue after the umps reviewed Morneau’s non-homer and ended up getting tossed. I get coming out just to talk, even if it’s just for show, but he was arguing pretty emphatically. Joe Girardi put up less of a fight after the Billy Butler nonsense on Wednesday. Weird.

Did Michael Kay seriously rant about the Twins signing Mauer long-term then building a ballpark that took away his power in the first inning? Did that actually happen? I didn’t imagine that, right? Sigh. Anyway, the Yankees maintained their half-game lead in the AL East because the Red Sox beat the Royals. They’re also nine games up in the wildcard race.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings

MLB.com has the box score and video, FanGraphs the other stuff, and ESPN the updated standings

Up Next

Game two of this four-game set will be played Friday night, when Phil Hughes gives it a go against Kevin Slowey. The Yankees will look to up their record to 61-19 against the Twins in the Gardenhire era.

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Betances solid in SWB debut
Mailbag: Nunez, Arneson, Cards, Venditte, IFAs
  • Kiko Jones

    Yes, Kay did rant about Mauer and Target Field. Good win, especially since the Sux also won in KC.

    PS: Just out of curiosity, does anyone know who warmed up CC btwn innings when Cervelli was left on base? (Frankie used to do it for Posada, but I didn’t see Posada or Martin wearing catching gear tonight.)

    • pat

      I wouldn’t be surprised if it was Colon. Probably wasn’t, but it would be funny.

      • jsbrendog

        he’s like a kid out there

        /favre’d

    • JohnnyC

      Roman Rodriguez is the bullpen catcher. Been doing that for last 10 years for the Yankees.

  • http://www.twitter.com/stophamm3rtime Dela G

    I rarely see right handers pull one into the third deck of a stadium like that, but my god, andruw jones hit one of the most ridiculous bombs i’ve seen live on tv in a while. There was no way that was just 434 feet. no way.

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

      The Twinkies tagged it as only 434 feet to make them feel better about themselves.

    • Rey22

      434 miles maybe. Absolutely crushed it.

    • Joel

      Maybe 434 ft just from that spot straight down to the ground, then measured to home plate. But carry out the projection of the ball, and you can easily add another 50 ft.

      Jones power is amazing. It’s like in my youth watching Mantle power them out.

    • Klemy

      The expression on Tex’s face in that pic is priceless.

  • Pat D

    Teix always seems to rank pretty high on the unintentional comedy scale.

    That picture scores at least an 8.5.

    • seimiya
      • JMK

        That’s awesome.

      • CBean

        this is the best use of tumblr that i have seen.

    • Monteroisdinero

      Swish is looking expressive as usual, as well, in the background.

  • MannyB ace2be

    Yea more like 484

  • pat

    Tousoni was at the wall and the ball was about 150 feet above his head. That was a bomb.

  • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

    Wally Matthews is writing an article about CC’s struggles meaning imminent doom as we speak.

    • Gonzo

      He’s writing how CC may be good enough to be the second LOOGY out of the ‘pen.

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

      doooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooomed!

  • FIPster Doofus

    Where’d the “DFA Jones” crowd go? They were active even when his OPS vs. lefties was over .800 earlier in the season. Andruw has been a fantastic pickup, just as Thames was in 2010. Way to go, Cashman.

    • nsalem

      There hanging out with platoon Granderson, Gardner is a fourth outfielder and jeter is definitely finished people. There is always something to bitch and moan about. Yankees are now 55-28 since their 6 game losing streak in Mid May. A win tomorrow means .667 ball for over a half a season. Quite impressive. BTW anyone know what happened to Tim Norton. Newman said he would be back in a week at the beginning of July and now I can’t find any status update anywhere.

      • Kiko Jones

        I will admit to being part of the “Jeter is finished” crowd. And after last season and the first half of this one, anyone who thought the 37 year old SS would not regain his form was not exactly making far-fetched wild assumptions. He’s proven us wrong. For now.

        • Len S.

          Well eventually he will die and that will kind of hamper his ability to hit a baseball.

          • http://Facebook.com/andrewjcalagna Drew

            +1

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

            Luckily that’s not a problem for Mariano, so he should be good for the next couple millennia at least.

        • Joel

          We should just all enjoy the ride for now. Whatever happens next year, is something we shouldn’t be overly concerned with now. Right now our focus is on the playoffs and the trip to the World Series. Well, hopefully anyway.

  • Mike c

    Granderson = MVP. also respect to jeter for silencing the hate. Lead on!

  • Dino Velvet

    Red Sox starting to crack under the pressure.

    Beckett just threw a tantrum over the schedule, implying the league is out to get the Sox. HA!

    http://www.boston.com/sports/b.....aks_2.html

    • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

      Can you imagine if a Yankee did that? ESPN would have a field day.

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

      The Red Sox’s inferiority complex never ceases to amaze. Even when they’ve become the thing they supposedly hated the most, the big free agent spending overdogs.

    • aRX

      Aren’t they the ones that had such a cushy schedule last year or the year before that they didn’t have to go west of the Mississippi after July 10th or so? The schedule giveth and taketh away. Fuck that whining crybaby.

    • Kiko Jones

      Pete Abraham—particularly in the comments section—hits a new low within the realm of ass-kissing those you’re supposed to cover and not be an apologist for.

    • Chen Meng Wang

      I doubt anybody’s going to see this but just imagine if it was A-Rod who complained about the schedule and PA had gotten wind of it.

      • Kevin

        Bottom line – Boston can hit players, get into brawls and make comments like this and it’s cool, gritty etc.
        Yanks do it, they’re overpaid whiners, arrogant, smug etc.

        • Foghorn Leghorn

          and i’ll add this…most Sox fans i know look like they haven’t been laid since Truman was in office.

      • Dino Velvet

        Oh, he hates ARod.

        He would have been mocking him for months.

    • Foghorn Leghorn

      so many articles like this…what’s even more entertaining are the fan comments…are those people for real?

    • jsbrendog

      Too many athletes face the cameras, microphones and notebooks and try their best to be boring. They’re well-coached by their teams or agents to talk without really saying anything.

      that was a shot at jeter

      • Foghorn Leghorn

        I get the point of that statement, but if you are a public figure and you make some silly, stupid, innappropriate or offending comments you better be ready for the backlash. Society is way too sensitive and its driven mostly by the media. I hate it when some guy speaks his mind only to have to offer a public apology 2 days later.

        The double standard with the Sox/Yanks is ridiculous though and I still can believe there are people out there who view the Sox as some small market upstart. A friend of mine describes the Sox as “Yankees Lite”

  • LarryM.,Fl.

    Thoughts on the game last night were mixed. CC found Mr. Location and survived just a rough part of the season for him even the best have rough patches.

    The Yankees can hit. This feature of the team could be the trick to win it all. I know pitching is king. Our SR is a bit suspect. Bullpen is very strong point. Defense is as good as any teams. If the SR can get us through the sixth we could be golden come WS time.

    My opinion about the Yankee 25 roster if they can enough quality time in the field and AB’s which is Girardi’s job. This team doesn’t skip a beat on days off and injuries. The one guy is Arod. He’s a big time key with the playoffs. I keep him splitting time between the field and DH until the playoffs begin.

    The last thing is show the ability to beat the Red Sox’s in the remaining 6 games.

  • first time lawng time

    If you stretch their Ron Gardenhire record over the course of a season, they would be 124-38.

    • Klemy

      The Gardenhire Yankees are laughing at the 1998 team.

  • cuponoodles

    D-Rob:
    9.2 IP
    11 K
    0 BB
    2 H

    Hello. David Robertson says to go fuck yourself.

    • Monteroisdinero

      A DRob curve and occasional changeup=no 2nd loogy needed.

    • jsbrendog

      david robertson owns.

  • Slugger27

    i didnt get home til the 4th inning, but i saw on the postgame that gardenhire got tossed arguing the homerun call…. anyone know what he was arguing about?

    i mean, the ball was clearly foul. i assume he saw a replay of it in the clubhouse while they were deciding, but even if he didnt, the umps got to look at a replay and determined the ball was foul.

    was he arguing about something different entirely?

    • Foghorn Leghorn

      I think Gardenhire was pissed because the umps shirt didn’t have enough starch in it.

    • Tim

      If you read his lips (which they did well on the Minnesota broadcast), he was complaining that they was no definitive way the unpires could have seen in replay that the ball was foul because it was high enough to travel over the foul pole when it crossed that imaginary line. He was saying something like “it was higher than the foul pole”.

      • Tim

        Did I just type “unpires”? Yikes.

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

        Yup the MLB app highlight of that sequence used the Minny broadcast audio and the homer announcers were making the same claim. Whiners.

  • David, Jr.

    Nuney made a mess of that one play, but it was incredible that he scored from second on that ball. They should do a match race for charity between he and Gardner. With Revere of the Twins, that might have been the three fastest guys in the majors on the field last night.

  • 1stbase

    Hey mike, not nitpicking but CC had 10 swinging strikes, the 3 pitches after the non home run didn’t register on gameday which were 3 sliders that 2 were swung on and missed by morneau

  • opalsantos

    Both had 1 good year and were brought in with the same purpose. http://bit.ly/olwF3H