Giants slam Raiders 22-9

Montero's two bombs power Scranton
Mailbag: Offense, Soriano, Nova, Pitching, Situational Hitting

At around 6 p.m., I had to leave my apartment in Brooklyn to head to Manhattan for the evening. When I left the house, the Yankees had just begun their half of the 7th inning. Already, the team had hit two grand slams to overcome a 7-1 deficit, and they weren’t finished. So in the amount of time it took me to walk to the 7th Ave. stop, take the Q to Herald Square and walk to the bar, the Yanks didn’t even finish their half of the 7th. It was one of those games that ended with a football score, and to think that a few hours earlier, we had been bemoaning the Yanks’ lack of hitting with a runner on third and less than two outs.

The good in this game far outweighed the bad. The Yanks set a Major League record with three grand slams in one game. They went 10 for 21 with runners in scoring position. They walked 12 times in three innings. They mashed away two games worth of frustrating losses to a mediocre Oakland club, and Derek Jeter boosted his average to the .300 mark for a few innings. And to think I was rooting for a rainout in the third inning. That should teach me a lesson.

For the Yankees, it’s tough to pick a true hero. Russell Martin‘s grand slam — his second longball of the day — gave the Yanks a lead they wouldn’t relinquish, and it was one of the better comebacks of the season. We’ll get to Phil Hughes in a minute, but after being down 7-1, I had nearly given up on the game. I couldn’t shut the TV, and my personal perseverance paid off. Martin, by the way, finished the game 5 for 5 with 6 RBI and is now hitting .243/.332/.429 with 17 HR. If he can shake off his mid-season slump and finish strong, the Yanks will be thrilled. Robinson Cano‘s grand slam brought the team back into the game, and Curtis Granderson‘s was the icing on the cake.

There were, of course, a few negatives. Despite his 3 for 6 day, Jeter, who may have broken up with Minka Kelly, stranded nine runners. Mark Teixeira failed to pick up a hit and seems mired in a slump. Brett Gardner left the bases loaded twice, and Joe Girardi probably should have pinch hit for him in the 5th with lefty Craig Breslow on the mound and Andruw Jones on the bench. Those bumps seemed minor when the dust settled four and a half hours after this marathon began.

That’s mostly just nitpicking though. The true negative was Phil Hughes. He couldn’t last the third, and through the first 1.2 innings, he had thrown 50 pitches with just one swing-and-miss strike. He was sitting in the low 90s again with no out pitch and no real strike pitch either. He ended up striking out five in 2.2 innings, but he also allowed six runs on seven hits. Cory Wade allowed both inherited runners to score, but after Hughes’ solid outing against the Twins, this was a clear step back.

So the Yanks’ bats work. After two and a half games of frustration, they overcame the demons of driving in runners from third with less than two outs. They pounded a vulnerable pitching staff and did what we expected them to do all along. Of course, their starting rotation remains in flux, and their starters’ ERA in August is well over 5. At some point, someone will have to step up to be that second starter behind CC Sabathia, but if the bats are going to explode more often than not, the starters don’t need to be quite that good yet. It was a very good day.

For more on this ridiculous game, check out Chad Jennings’ recap. He has a great slew of notes from this game. Also, props to Boone Logan for holding down the A’s at a key moment. He recorded four outs and all by the strike out. His work was overshadowed by the offensive explosion, but he earned that win today. Also, Jorge Posada at second base. That’s a good one.

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Montero's two bombs power Scranton
Mailbag: Offense, Soriano, Nova, Pitching, Situational Hitting
  • Pat D

    Derek and Minka broke up????

    Oh, man, I feel like Mr. Garrison when he heard that all the Baldwins had been bombed by Canada.

    • Dino Velvet

      Funny how they waited until the 3000 hit to pass before announcing the break up.

  • Art Vandelay

    Just cause Jeter is almost hitting .300 again he thinks he can smash who ever he wants ?!

    I love that man. Anyone wanna take bets on who the next lady connect to jeter is ?

    Fantasic win btw.

    • Jimmy McNulty

      Leighton Meester

    • Dino Velvet

      Madonna

      • BigTimeBartolo

        ew.

    • MikeD

      Kate Hudson.

      • jdp

        If I had an edge, I’d go for Blake Lively.

    • Oscar Gamble’s Fro

      RuPaul. Oh, wait, you asked about Derek, not A-Rod. Carry on.

  • Andrew518

    Jorge crow hopped the throw at second, great stuff.

  • Rainbow Connection

    “The good in this game far outweighed the bad.”

    I disagree. I’d much rather have a good SP performance than a $200 million dollar all-star lineup padding stats against bad pitchers.

    • Jimmy McNulty

      Yeah, if they got swept but Hughes went like 8 IP 5H 2 ER 11Ks 0 BBs 0 HRA with some good swinging strike numbers but lost like 1-2 I’d be begrudgingly okay. At least Oakland’s pen would have been fresh for Boston!

      • http://twitter.com/JimIsBored JimIsBored (Jim S)

        So..you’d rather lose than win.

        Awesome.

        • Jimmy McNulty

          Ehh…I’m less concerned with the offense than I am the pitching. Hughes having a good start would mitigate more concerns than a win would. I know these guys can mash…is what I don’t know is if Hughes is going to be a good pitcher.

    • http://www.youcantpredictbaseball.com bexarama

      They see you trollin’

    • BigBlueAL

      Love the user name, I like Kermit the Frog too.

    • Mykey

      My God… If you can’t be happy, I guess you just can’t be happy.

  • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

    Since Phil Hughes didn’t get the loss his outing wasn’t bad.

    /Michael Kay’d

    • Joel

      Not bad! He was terrible. The Yanks are right back to where they were two days ago. AJ sucks, and we all looked to Hughes to take over that spot, but his outing was just as bad as AJ’s.

      Nova at this point is clearly the #2 starter. Colon and Garcia can still be counted on. What once was a decision about a 6 man rotation has now become a day by day trial by fire for a decent 5th.

  • ultimate913

    I am proud to say that my first Yankee game ever, was the only 3 grand slam game ever.

    Everything is truly different when you’re actually there.

    • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

      Oh yeah oh yeah, well in my first Yankee game I got to see Chien Ming Wang blow a lead against the Toronto Blue Jays at the Old Stadium, so there!

      /trying to make you think that my first stadium experience was better but epically failing to do so.

    • TCMiller30

      My first Yankees game was at Fenway, when Curt Schilling was coming back from injury, and made an appearance out of the pen, and A-Rod blasted the game winning home run off of him to center field. It was pretty awesome. Not record breaking. But awesome.

      • pete

        i remember that game

  • Rich in NJ

    Martin seems to excel in the months that begin with “A.” The others, not so much.

    • Pat D

      I guess we’d better get going on that petition to rename “September” as “Aptember.”

      • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

        Ahctober.

        • http://twitter.com/JimIsBored JimIsBored (Jim S)

          There’s only one.

          • Guest

            Well played, Mauer.

      • Corporate Scum

        Actober.

      • CBean

        For the longest time I kept telling Mark Teixeira (through my tv) that April 1st was March 32nd and so forth to keep him out of the April slump

  • Oscar Gamble’s Fro

    “Hey, Mr. President, you staying out of trouble?” Matusi’s quote is also gold. And, A-Rod, yeah he may be a helluva ballpayer, but the fact that he should be a spokesman for Summer’s Eve is confirmed.

    Great article: http://m.nypost.com/p/news/loc.....f=obinsite

  • Jimmy McNulty

    So Mister Delaware pointed out something pretty interesting…Phil Hughes’ swinging strike rate is 245/250 for pitchers with over 50 innings. I know it had his horrible pre-DL stint included in it as well, but still. The man does not generate that many swinging strikes, this is a pretty huge issue going forward. If he can’t fix that he’s stuck being a reliever. At times he has a good curveball or change up, but rarely both, his fastball (as a starter) isn’t good enough to be a two pitch pitcher and he’ll need both to work and be good pitches in order to succeed. He’s not old, but he’s by no means young. Ugh…another pitcher crippled by a bullpen stint.

    • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

      I would not put any stock into that, because, as you said, it included before his DL stint when he was awful, so the numbers are skewed. There’s much more value in what it is after the DL stint. Then I’ll be concerned if he is down near the bottom.

      • Oscar Gamble’s Fro

        I would put stock in it. Hughes blows. Just accept and deal.

        AJ sucks. Hughes sucks. Fatty running outta gas. Not good.

        • http://twitter.com/JimIsBored JimIsBored (Jim S)

          Lol.

          “I have no proof for anything at all, just agree with me because I said so.”

          • Pat D

            Sounds like the typical analyst on ESPN or MLBN. Give this man a job!

          • Oscar Gamble’s Fro

            You need proof that AJ Burnett sucks? Proof that Phil Hughes sucks? Proof that Fatty is running out of gas? You seem like the same kind of guy who needs proof that all humans eventually die. Proof that the sun rises every morning. And proof that Alex Rodriguez is a tremendous bag of douche.

            I feel sorry for you. Really, I do.

            Would you like me to prove it?

            • Will

              AJ Burnett doesn’t suck, he’s just erratic. Phil Hughes, OTOH, does indeed suck. Assuming the Yankees make the playoffs, one of those two shouldn’t even sniff a start, and I hope the team makes the right call on that.

              • http://twitter.com/JimIsBored JimIsBored (Jim S)

                I have to quibble here, AJ Burnett has indeed sucked the past month and a half.

                If both were to keep pitching like this, don’t worry, they won’t see postseason action. Also, thank goodness it’s august, right? And we’ve got a month to figure all this out.

                Remember how happy everyone was 2 weeks ago? Stuff changes real quickly, let’s wait before we jump to conclusions about the playoffs.

                • Joel

                  AJ’s year has sucked. August has been horrendous. Hughes seems to be once again struggling with his velocity. Maybe it’s time he takes a lesson from Garcia. Other then that I can’t even see him in the Bull Pen either. Why bother? When Chamberlain comes back sometime next year, he won’t be needed from 6th inning on.

                  • http://twitter.com/JimIsBored JimIsBored (Jim S)

                    Hughes velocity has been pretty consistent since his return from the DL. Not what it was 18 months ago, but still, 91-92.

                    I want to wait to see how he bounces back from this before I start crucifying him.

              • Jimmy McNulty

                AJ is erratic, he ranges from mediocre to bad to horrible, to just plain fucking awful, to “lets take this asshole out back post haste”

            • http://twitter.com/JimIsBored JimIsBored (Jim S)

              Heh. You’re making me enjoy my friday morning.

              Jimmy McNulty, though I may disagree with his conclusions, already did your work for you, and didn’t just tell everyone to deal with it. Which is why I laughed at your response, not his.

              • Oscar Gamble’s Fro

                I amuse you? I make you laugh, I’m here to fuckin’ amuse you? What do you mean funny, funny how? How am I funny? How the fuck am I funny, what the fuck is so funny about me? Tell me, tell me what’s funny!

                • http://twitter.com/JimIsBored JimIsBored (Jim S)

                  Hat tip. Great movie.

      • Jimmy McNulty

        I’m pretty sure he’s definitely in the bottom half. The majority of his starts have been post-DL, he made three starts pre-DL where he threw 10.1 innings pitched. He’s now pitched 68.1 innings on the season and made fourteen starts. Well over 80 percent of his innings have been post-DL and post dead arm. You can any excuses that you want for the guy, but he’s still been pretty fucking terrible in the swing strike percentage, and that needs to be fixed. He’s had 37 swinging strikes since coming off the DL out of 428 strikes, that’s good for about 7.8%, below average, but not in Tyler Chatwood territory. Granted, that’s not even seventy innings of a sample size and he faced only one or two good teams he’s also still regaining his arm strength. But still, the Yankees cleared him to play and he’s still not generating the swinging strike numbers that he needs to generating.

  • forensic

    Just in the interest of accuracy, those were actually Josh Thomson’s notes and recap, not Chad Jennings’.

  • Nick

    That was actually Boones 200th career inning

  • nycsportzfan

    Even after the grandslams, something that can’t get outta my head is how far Andruw Jones HR went.. My lord! Jones is flat out red hot! His HR’s right now, are traveling at Mark McGwire type distances…

  • Zach

    ANother difference in this game vs the last two..the Yanks actually showed patience instead of going up there and hacking away.

  • LarryM.,Fl.

    My concern in watching the HR derby is Phil Hughes. He being a part of our crumbling SR. CC can be given a pass for his last three starts it was bound to happen. But as of now the only credible starter remaining is Nova. Hughes and Colon would be next that is an indication of my confidence in Hughes at this time, low at best. He is placed on equal footing as a pitcher who has not pitched this many innings in 5 or 6 years.

    This may sound crazy but for about one month I have wondered if Noesi could be lengthened out. It maybe too late but any sixth start should be given to him. The Oakland A’s are major league ballplayers but their lineup does not match the hitting power of The Tigers, Rangers, Red Sox or even the LAA club. Unless the bullpen can be our dominate factor along with the offense. It doesn’t appear good.

    Sorry for the negativity but I have been waiting for the consistency of the SR. Its just not there. Garcia, Hughes and Colon are prime candidates for imploding in the playoffs.

    • http://twitter.com/JimIsBored JimIsBored (Jim S)

      Other pitchers who are prime candidates to blow up in the playoffs:

      John Lackey
      Tim Wakefield
      Andrew Miller
      Erik Bedard
      Alexei Ogando
      Matt Harrison
      Derek Holland
      Matt Scherzer
      Ervin Santana
      Joel Piniero
      Rick Porcello
      Brad Penny
      Doug Fister

      • Pat D

        Yea, is anyone else really surprised that Ogando has been getting rocked all of a sudden? I sure as hell am not.

      • LarryM.,Fl.

        Jim, I was echoing my thoughts as related to the Yanks. I ask you this question. Do you have any concerns about the Yankee rotation with its present performances?

        August should not be the focus considering the need for these guys to step it up.

        • http://twitter.com/JimIsBored JimIsBored (Jim S)

          Of course I have concerns. But I’m not going to go overboard and pretend that we’re in worse shape than the other 3 playoff teams, whoever they may be.

          My concerns are also alleviated somewhat knowing that before these past 3ish weeks, our rotation had been performing pretty admirably, and I’m not going to overreact to 10-15 starts.

          I have no problems with people pointing out flaws in our team, but it has to be tempered with some perspective.

          • LarryM.,Fl.

            I believe I showed perspective in naming CC and Nova as SR guys who shown consistened quality. The flaw is finding the third starter. And if I was pushed I’d go with Mr. Hughes for give me all you got for 5 then Colon all you got for 2.

            Overreaction, I have watched just about every Yankee game. The SR has shown us exactly everything that they have. Its not about 10-15 starts. There will be no lightning in a bottle from Colon or Garcia but Hughes and AJ. Yes, I blieve Aj can rise from the ashes. He just needs to stop thinking and throw to Martin’s glove.

            • http://twitter.com/JimIsBored JimIsBored (Jim S)

              Garcia has been great all year. He and Nova are our #2/3, which matches up with every other 2/3 among playoff teams not named Philadelphia.

              It IS about 10-15 starts. It really is. Because they were fantastic April-July. And if Hughes had gone, 6 innings, 3 runs yesterday, you’re not even bringing this up.

              Perspective involves looking at the big picture, not just the Yankees. You didn’t do that. We don’t need to be perfect, we just need to be better than the other, very imperfect, teams.

              • LarryM.,Fl.

                I agree every team is flawed but I root for the Yankees. Looking for a little less in the defective column. You are correct if Hughes pitches better I see consistency on his improvement. I don’t accept the speed bump mentality even with his short season if someone is inclined to give him the benefit of the doubt.

      • Jimmy McNulty

        Lackey and Bedard have actually been pitching well as of late, unfortunately. Lackey’s been what we wish AJ would be since he got his cortisone shot. Andrew Miller probably won’t get a playoff start, maybe pitch long relief or get out a key lefty. While there’s cause for concern for those three pitchers, they’ve at least been not AJ lately.

    • http://twitter.com/JimIsBored JimIsBored (Jim S)

      And clearly you were not waiting for the consistency, you were waiting for the inconsistency, because our rotation had been remarkably consistent for the majority of the season.

    • David, Jr.

      I wish that I could disagree with you, Larry. AJ could be starting playoff games.

      • http://twitter.com/JimIsBored JimIsBored (Jim S)

        AJ won’t be starting over Colon. And if he is, it’s because he had a crazy ridiculous September, and if that were the case, I’d have no problems with it.

        CC, Nova, Garcia, Colon/Hughes.

        Good Lord, people are this melancholy after a win? Our rotation has had a rough ~10 days to be sure, but guys, it’s August. We have a month to figure this shit out, and a huge WC lead with which to work.

        • David, Jr.

          It isn’t melancholy. It is realistic. The team has mostly strengths – offense, defense, relief pitching, depth. Unfortunately, it appears as if they have a significant weakness in starting pitching. It doesn’t mean that they can’t win in spite of that, but it can no longer be denied.

          • http://twitter.com/JimIsBored JimIsBored (Jim S)

            We didn’t have a weakness in starting pitching 3 weeks ago. 3 weeks from today, we might, yet again, not have a weakness in starting pitching.

            Everyone has apparently decided to judge our entire team on 2-3 weeks of baseball, and well, if you want to do that, whatever. Have fun.

            • David, Jr.

              Not judging the entire team at all. I said that they have mostly strengths – offense, defense, relief pitching, depth.

              If you think starting pitching is a strength, have fun in your world of delusion.

              • http://twitter.com/JimIsBored JimIsBored (Jim S)

                Did I say it was a strength? Apparently I said it was a strength somewhere. Weird.

                Because as far as I can tell, I said that the situation is different today than it was a month ago, and as such, we should not jump to extreme conclusions. If the rotation continues pitching like this the next month? Sure, I’d be worried. Am I worried now? In August? After we had 4 months of good-great pitching and one month of mediocre-bad pitching? No. I’m not.

  • wtf is this post

    bring up banuelos

  • Bavarian Yankee

    great game, salamis raining all day :D

    but boy was Phil Hughes terrible. Throwing right down the middle all day. Seems like the entire rotation but Nova is slumping right now. Better now than in the postseason I guess.

    • http://twitter.com/JimIsBored JimIsBored (Jim S)

      http://pitchfx.texasleaguers.c.....F25%2F2011

      Phil Hughes yesterday: not throwing right down the middle.

      Oakland hit some good pitches, Hughes had some bad BABIP luck, and though it sure seemed like he missed his spots too frequently, it was very rarely right down the middle.

      • Bavarian Yankee

        that’s unfair. You’re using charts :D

        nonetheless Hughes was just terrible.

      • Will

        With Hughes, it doesn’t matter where he throws the ball, he just doesn’t have MLB-caliber stuff. For some reason it has been fooling hitters for a good month or so, but if you’ve watched the games, he was just as likely to get rocked in MN or Chicago as he was last night.

        • http://twitter.com/JimIsBored JimIsBored (Jim S)

          This is just flat out not true.

          It’s an overreaction to one horrible start. Just like the reaction to his last 3-4 good starts was overblown. He’s a young, inconsistent pitcher who is still developing.

          If he continues to struggle with injuries, can’t string 20-25 starts together, then sure, he probably won’t amount to much. But people harp on the Yankees inability to develop good starters; and now that we’re actually trying to do that, no one has the patience for it.

        • jay h

          he had 5 strikeouts in 2.2 innings. His stuff is fine. He just had horrible babip luck yesterday. It happens. Get over it.

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

      If that had been allowed to go any further, we probably would have had this:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8JLFlktgbtA

    • Pat D

      Also, how dare those two idiots laugh about this? They gave up 9 freaking runs and almost got swept at home by the god-damned A’s!!

  • Bartolo’s Colon

    not sure if this was brought up during the game thread, but remember that guy who was adamant that jeter would end the year with a higher ops than gardner and everyone thought he was crazy (including me)? Jeter now has a .747 ops compared to gardner’s .739. I know that the season’s not over yet, but on behalf of the commenter’s of rab, we are sorry wherever you are.

    • Bavarian Yankee

      u know what? I say that Burnett’s 2012 ERA will be below 4.

      Plus people will realize that Betances is the reincarnation of “BB Burnett” or they simply call him, Banuelos and Brackman the Killer BBs :D

      And man, I know I’m right, I’m just back from the future ;)

  • Billy Pilgrim

    We ain’t gonna pound teams 22-9 in the playoffs. We need starting pitching. Hughes doesn’t appear to be a postseason pitcher right now. My guess is he goes down to the pen very soon. Playoff rotation-

    CC
    Nova
    Garcia
    Colon

    The offense cannot go into a slump in the playoffs or we will lose. If a pitcher has a performance in the playoffs like Hughes had last night we will lose.

    • http://twitter.com/JimIsBored JimIsBored (Jim S)

      “The offense cannot go into a slump in the playoffs or we will lose.”

      You know who else this applies to? Every single team in baseball history.

      • Billy Pilgrim

        But it especially applies to us as we do not have the starting pitching that the Phillies do. We do not have the 1-2 punch that Boston has. We do not have Verlander. We have a struggling Sabathia, a rookie, and two guys liable to break down.

        • Bavarian Yankee

          yeah, Boston has a great 1-2 punch. But you know what? Their #3 guy is John Lackey and he’s even WAY worse than Burnett this year. So yeah, if they go with the infamous 2 man rotation they should be good to go ;)

        • http://twitter.com/JimIsBored JimIsBored (Jim S)

          Well then, I guess it’s really fortunate that our lineup is much less likely to go into a slump than the Phillies, who are 12th in the league in OPS.

          As for the Sawx:

          Sabathia:2.99/2.81/3.00, 6.1 WAR
          Garcia: 3.16/3.62/4.20 2.3 WAR
          Nova: 3.97/4.18/4.09 1.6 WAR
          Colon: 3.71/3.81/3.47 2.1 WAR (slumping as of late)

          Beckett: 2.43/3.46/3.59, 3.6 WAR
          Lester: 3.16/3.79/3.53 2.8 WAR
          Lackey: 5.98/4.71/4.50 1.0 WAR
          Bedard:3.57/3.55/3.36 2.0 WAR and a crazy high injury risk

          Sox 1-4 rotation WAR: 9.4(with some of Bedard’s coming from SEA, not Boston)
          Yanks 1-4 rotation WAR: 12

          Also, as to your 1-2 punch statement, Sabathia has been worth nearly as much as Lester/Beckett combined this year, and no, I’m not worried about him.

        • Guest

          Is Verlander better than CC right now, yes? Is CC capable of shutting down any lineup, anytime, any where? Abso-freaking-lutely.

          Give me CC and the Yanks lineup versus Verlander and the Tigers lineup everyday and twice on Sunday. The Tigers have a + 6 run differential and the Yankees have a +198. The two teams aren’t even close. Could the Tigers beat the Yanks in a short series? Of course. Heck, craptacular A’s just took 2 of 3. But the Yanks have way less to worry about in a series against the Tigers than the Tigers do if they face the Yanks.

          And I think Jim makes a great point about pitching: It’s a problem for everyone outside of the Phillies and the Giants.
          Last I checked, they were in the NL. No one in the AL has a question free staff and we have the best lineup (well essentially tied with Boston).

          We have as good a shot at getting to the Series as anyone in the AL. And if we do make it and face the Phillies/Giants, that’s when we can start worrying about staff disparites. (And even there, we have huge lineup advantages).

          • http://twitter.com/JimIsBored JimIsBored (Jim S)

            And just to add on, even with their amazing pitching, the Giants, as of today, aren’t even in the playoffs.

            • exterminating angel (kosmo)

              Correct ! While “Hughes is still developing “ IPK is in running for the NL CY .

              • http://twitter.com/JimIsBored JimIsBored (Jim S)

                Reply fail?

                Anywho, Granderson is in the running for AL MVP. Worth it.

          • Kosmo

            Texas had “huge lineup advantages“ in 2010 with SP Wilson and Lee .What good did it do them ?
            You have to throw all at stuff out the window. The playoffs are one big crapshoot.

            • http://twitter.com/JimIsBored JimIsBored (Jim S)

              If anything, this is something that should appease the “OMG WORLD IS ENDING!” crowd. Just get there, baby.

              • Kosmo

                That´s right “ just get there baby “!!