Sep
08

Through the rain, an extra innings loss to the O’s

By

Following that all-night affair on Tuesday, Joe Girardi opted to rest his regulars on Wednesday afternoon and started six position players who played with Triple-A Scranton this season. Can’t say I blame him, he’s got bigger things to worry about than this game, but the lineup created this whole “oh who cares” atmosphere, at least for me.

(Christopher Pasatieri/Getty Images)

New Mechanics, Same Results

In his second start with his new mechanics, A.J. Burnett pitched a whole lot like he did with his old mechanics. He was pitching out of the stretch all afternoon because the leadoff man reached base in six of the seven innings he started (the second runner reached in the one inning he did get the leadoff guy out), and he also hurt himself with  some lackadaisical defense (more on that in a bit). The first scored right in the first inning on a single, stolen base, ground out, ground out, and the second came on a walk, stolen base, wild pitch, error. Burnett also allowed a two-run homer to Nolan Reimold, so there’s the four runs.

Six innings and four runs isn’t the worst outcome in the world, but A.J. walked four and allowed seven hits, hurting himself further with three (!!!) wild pitches. Interestingly enough, PitchFX says he threw 26 changeups and 41 curveballs out of 108 total pitches, getting nine swings and misses on the former and eight on the latter. Burnett was definitely offspeed heavy today, but I didn’t realize he was that offspeed heavy. It wasn’t a disaster start by any means, just more typical A.J., I guess.

(AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

The A-Rod & Montero Show

The Yankees answered right back after Burnett put them in a 1-0 hole in the first inning, and the game had all the look of a slugfest. The three everyday players that were actually in the lineup fashioned a rally out of a double (Russell Martin), a walk (Nick Swisher), and another double (Alex Rodriguez) to drive in two. The Yankees took a 2-1 lead in the bottom of the first, but A.J. gave it right back in the second before letting the O’s take a two-run lead on Reimold’s homer.

The score remained 4-2 until the fourth inning, when A-Rod started another rally with a leadoff walk. Andruw Jones followed that up with a double to left, and Jesus Montero tied the game with a long single off the wall, to the opposite field of course. That’s the four runs right there, two thanks to A-Rod in the first, and another two thanks to Montero in the fourth. Some of the regulars, namely Mark Teixeira, Robinson Cano, and Curtis Granderson made pinch-hitting appearances later on, but the offense went pretty silent after the fourth.

Not A Banner Day For The UZR

It’s one thing to trot out a Triple-A-ish lineup a day game after a long night game, but Triple-A-ish defense is a little tougher to swallow. Where do I start with this? I guess I’ll go chronologically. It all started when Brandon Laird literally booted a Kyle Hudson ground ball into foul territory in the second, allowing a run to score, and it seemed to set the tone for the entire defense for the afternoon.

Robert Andino reached on a pop-up single to lead off the third, a ball that dropped on the infield after neither A-Rod nor Eduardo Nunez bothered to catch it. One batter later, Nick Markakis hit a ground ball to first, and after Laird got the force out at second, Burnett failed to step on first on the return throw to complete the double play. One inning later, Burnett hesitated off the mound and got beat to first by Hudson on a rather routine ground ball. Laird took his sweet time getting the ball to A.J., which didn’t help matters. A-Rod and Nunez both misplayed grounders in the fifth, and in a rarely display of defensive futility, Brett Gardner misplayed a fly ball into a two-base error in the top of the ninth.

(AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

Extras

After stranding leadoff runners in the ninth and tenth, the Yankees let the Orioles take the lead in the eleventh inning. Hector Noesi pitched Tuesday night but was sent back out for a second inning of work on Wednesday afternoon (why?), and the go-ahead rally started with (guess what!) an error. Nunez played a Matt Angle ground ball like he was that guy who dropped his keys in There’s Something About Mary, letting it scoot past him and into the outfield. Angle stole second and Markakis was intentionally walked for the second time (he’s not Barry Bonds, sheesh), setting up Mark Reynolds for the run scoring single.

The Yankees put together a rally in the bottom of the eleventh, but they couldn’t push the tying run across. Montero drew a leadoff walk and pinch-runner Chris Dickerson got as far as third base on Granderson’s single, but alas, it was not meant to be. Pinch-hitter Eric Chavez‘s line drive was knocked down by Andino at short, who shuffled it to second for the game-ending force out. For whatever reason, the offense just went into hibernation after Montero’s game-tying single. Perhaps all the regulars that entered the game late after playing on Tuesday were just pooped. Oh well.

Big ups to the grounds crew for their work the last two days. (AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

Leftovers

Hey look, another sacrifice bunt that didn’t work. This one came in the seventh inning and was my most favoritest kind of sacrifice bunt. The Yankees already had one of their fastest runners in scoring position (Granderson doubled to start the inning), but they gave up an out to move him to third. Martin struck out, Swisher grounded out, no run. Granderson’s going to score on any single from second (except for an infield single), trading an out for 90 feet isn’t the way to go there, not in the seventh freaking inning. But whatever, they’ll keep bunting until they turn blue in the face because it’s the right way to play the game or something.

Meanwhile, home plate ump Gary Darling warned Orioles reliever Clay Rapada about pitching with his foot off the rubber in the ninth, which should be a balk. Not only are they not supposed to warn a player about something like they (they’re supposed to just call the balk), but Rapada kept doing it and they never bothered to call him on it. Why have rules if the umpires a) aren’t going enforce them, and b) just change them as they go?

Despite losing the game (on an unearned run thanks to Eduardo Scissorhands), the bullpen was pretty awesome. Aaron Laffey, Luis Ayala, David Robertson, and Rafael Soriano combined for three hitless innings with one walk (Soriano) and five strikeouts (Robertson whiffed the side). Yankees pitchers struck out 15 (seven by Burnett) and walked eight (three intentionally).

The six-game winning streak is kaput, but that’s okay. Winning streaks don’t last forever. Desmond Jennings and the Rays walked off against the Rangers, so the lead for the wildcard shrunk to 9.5 games. The Blue Jays came back against Daniel Bard and the Red Sox, so the division lead remains at 2.5 games and three in the loss column. The magic number to clinch a postseason berth remained at 12.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the nerd score, and ESPN the update rankings.

Up Next

It’s off to Baltimore for one last game against these Orioles, a makeup of one of the games postponed by Hurricane Irene. That’s another 1:05pm ET start, and it’ll feature Ivan Nova and Alfredo Simon on the mound.

Categories : Game Stories

68 Comments»

  1. So glad that we’re done with Baltimore after tomorrow afternoon. They’ve been a pain in the ass with the rain and scheduling.

    • Jesus Freak says:

      Showalter has always been low class.

      • Midland TX says:

        Congrats-of all your worthless posts, this is the most worthless. Please say something interesting, or original, or rational, or on-topic, or–get this–all of these.

        Showalter comported himself well here as a player, coach, and manager. You may resent the outcome but it’s stupid to fault the guy for sticking up for his players and his organization.

        • Rainbow Connection says:

          But it’s the new fad here at RAB! Write something negative about Buck! Jesus Freak is just trying to be seen as cool. He/she was hoping someone would write ‘yeah, man, you’ve got it!’

          • FachoinaNYY says:

            Buck really is a loud mouth and quite annoying IMO.

            I understand this has become commonplace to say on RAB but in this case there is some truth to it.

            There is a line between sticking up for your players and running your mouth and I think he crossed it.

        • Ana says:

          No, I pretty much agree, except maybe with the “always.” I don’t remember Buck’s term with the Yankees, but his behavior as of late has been completely classless. What a waste of space.

    • Jesse says:

      Ehhh I’m still kinda not, I mean, they’re a pretty easy team to beat. But I’m like you, I’m sick and tired with the rain and scheduling.

  2. Jesus Freak says:

    It’s supposed to rain all day tomorrow in Baltimore.

    http://www.weather.com/weather.....251#hhView

    Talk about disrespecting Mike Flanagan.

    • Jesse says:

      If they can play through this they’ll play through anything. Besides, the Yankees can’t wait around. It’s either play it no matter the conditions, or cancel it and play it at the end of the season if it matters, although I don’t really like that idea because it’d be right before the playoffs, and a meaningful game against the Orioles could get ugly.

    • Rainbow Connection says:

      Kind of like putting out a shit lineup on the day that you’re supposedly honoring 9/11 fallen and heroes? Nothing says ‘tribute’ more than a bunch of out of touch babies who can’t want to do their job after getting a few hours less sleep.

  3. Freddy Garcia's 86 mph Heat says:

    seems to me like we’re gonna see another turn of the 6 man rotation.

  4. Jesus Freak says:

    Harold Reynolds is the new Joe Morgan.

    He just said the Yankees and Red Sox should only schedule 8 games between them in order to sell out the stadiums and get people to watch on tee vee.

    • Pat D says:

      This makes no sense.

      And it’s the second time you’ve said this tonight, I believe.

      • Jesus Freak says:

        he wants to cut the amount of times the Yanks play the Sox from 18 to 8. he says reducing games will lead sellouts and generate good television ratings, which is ridiculous because the games already sellout and rake in big ratings.

        • MannyGeee says:

          meanwhile, they kinda already do pretty well on Yankees Sox series, don’t they?

          Good idea Harold, lets not play 18 games at 95% stadium capacity so that we can play 8 at 100% and fill the other 10 games against Seattle and KC, which might draw 70%.

          stupid.

  5. forensic says:

    What a farce and embarassment that lineup was. If you’re going to sit people one of the two days then split it more evenly between last night and today. For how pitiful it was, they should’ve given free tickets to todays attendees too.

    I can’t imagine how livid I would’ve been if I had paid money to travel to NY and bought tickets for this game only to be greeted by that lineup.

    • StanfordBen says:

      Of the two games you’re talking about, would you expect them to win more if they split it evenly like you suggest, or if they have one game of this and one game of normal starters? Or, put another way, if they played 100 games and had the choice between playing 50 with this lineup and 50 with the normal lineup or playing all 100 with an evenly split lineup, in which case would you expect them to win more games? I don’t think it’s clear that one is better than another.

      Plus, this lineup did fine scoring runs, and Vegas had the Yanks favored even with this lineup.

      As for traveling to NY, I’m not sure why someone would travel from out of town to see AJ pitch in the first place :). But they would’ve gotten to see plenty of good players anyway (Robertson, Soriano, Jesus, Swisher, the pinch hitters).

      • forensic says:

        I would expect them to win more with the split lineups than all vs. none. But anyway, they didn’t really do fine scoring runs. 4 runs in 11 innings against maybe the worst pitching staff in baseball isn’t ‘fine’. And just imagine how it would’ve looked if they weren’t playing the second worst team in baseball.

        As for the good players they could’ve seen, you don’t buy tickets (at least I don’t) 1, 2, or 3 months in advance planning on a particular pitcher because it’s impossible to plan for that, either starter or reliever (who aren’t really worth buying for anyway). Jesus would’ve been fine, and A-Rod of course (though it was almost like watching another rehab game of his at Scranton). But Swisher was useless after last night (what, was the platoon difference too much to put Dickerson in???) and the rest of the lineup were subs and scrubs.

    • MikeD says:

      Baseball seasons are long. Relax.

      • Mojo says:

        No. I agree with him. If you’re paying money… Brandon Laird is not worth a $200 ticket. Add to that a lack of Cano, Jeter, Teixera, and Granderson and it’s like, well, fuck, you deserve to get your money back. PLUS, not that this correlates to the argument, but AJ was pitching. I’m going to both Friday and Saturday’s games (I live in the OC) and I BETTER see the A+ (and not the AAA) lineup. I’d be genuinely pissed because I paid GOOD money for the best seats if I didn’t get to see my favorite players play. Anyhow, I eagerly await my first Jesus HR in person.

        • MannyGeee says:

          I woulda paid $200 to be one of like… 5000 people who saw Jesus dent the bottom of the wall yesterday.

          Hell, the park was so empty that you could hear ppl cat calling the entire game on the WCBS broadcast. so for your $200, you could like, be famous!

      • forensic says:

        What does it being a long season have to do with anything? I’m not asking for every player to play 162 games (though it’s kind of absurd that it’s not even a consideration for teams anymore), but at least put a representative sample of your major leaguers on the field each day. When we spend a lot of money to travel to NY (or anywhere for that matter) to see the team, we actually want to see the team, not their minor league affiliate.

        I’m sure if you’re still in NY and haven’t lived anywhere else, you don’t really understand what it’s like for us out-of-towners. We may only get to see one or two games a year (sometimes not even to be able to get to NY for those one or two games) that you have to plan a couple months ahead of time for, and spend a lot of money for, only to have to watch something like they put on the field today.

        • Jackson says:

          I’m confused about this. Ignoring the fact that Jeter was the only regular who didn’t get an at-bat, you keep saying they should have started a split lineup. They started 4 regulars today, you can’t play half a player so that’s pretty much as split as a nine player lineup gets. You just seem to be angry that they didn’t start the regulars you would’ve liked.

          • forensic says:

            They started 3 regulars, and really Swisher barely counts since he did play the night before (and really, at this point it’s hard to tell if A-Rod is a regular this season based on his last 2-3 months, but I digress…).

            As the catcher doesn’t really count since you know there will be a different one in each game, you’re accounting for 8 other regulars. Seven of them played the night game and 2 played the day game. That’s not close to an even split. And a PH appearance doesn’t count since they typically either suck or get IBB (not to mention the obvious part that it’s not a whole game).

        • DF says:

          Joe Girardi shouldn’t be making lineup decisions based on what players out-of-town attendees want to see. He should put the players out there in whatever configuration he thinks is best for the team.

          Certainly you can disagree with his thinking, but the preferences of the fans in attendance is the last thing I want Girardi keeping in mind.

          • forensic says:

            No, he shouldn’t, but there’s a point where it reaches absurdity, and he passed that yesterday. And if he thought that lineup was the best chance for the team to win yesterday, then the team has bigger problems than I thought.

            • Ana says:

              Obviously, it’s not about always winning the individual game. It’s more important that regular players don’t injure themselves playing 18 innings night-day than that we win a relatively meaningless game against the Orioles.

              But by all means, keep being butthurt about what the fans paid good money to see, because obviously that should drive on-field decisions, right?

              • forensic says:

                Glad this isn’t devolving into comments with insults.

                But regardless, where did the rule come from that players can’t play two games in 24 hours? It’s not like they sit on the bench for the majority of the game anyway, even as starters… World class athletes can’t play two games in a short span without getting hurt now?

              • forensic says:

                And the fact that girardi routinely splits the lineups relatively evenly for doubleheaders is being completely ignored. Why not do that in this situation?

    • Mike Axisa says:

      Buying a ticket, regardless of price, doesn’t entitle you to anything but a seat in the stadium. Complaining about the lineup is like complaining you didn’t catch a homerun ball.

      • forensic says:

        It’s supposed to entitle you to a major league experience with a major league team, not a minor league team masquerading as one. Catching a homerun ball is a luxury, expecting to see a representative sampling of major league players on your team is not, especially if it’s supposed to be about the fans. It’s not even a close comparison.

        • Tim says:

          And what if A-Rod, Jeter, Granderson, Tex, and Cano were all on the DL with injuries. Would you still be complaining that you bought a ticket in advance and the team happened to be fielding back-ups out of necessity? I cannot believe the snobbery and affected nonsense that some people display. The team owes you NOTHING with regard to their line-up. They aren’t planning their line-up with YOU in mind. They are planning their line-up with THE HEALTH OF THEIR PLAYERS and THE PLAYOFFS in mind. The same would be the case if you bought a ticket to the last series against Boston and they have clinched the division by then. Expect A LOT of back-ups in the line-up.

  6. Brian S. says:

    Hopefully we can light up Simon tomorrow. That’s who we are facing right?

  7. Greg says:

    Another thing to watch out for is that Texas and Detroit now have identical records, which could help to decide our playoff opponent.

    • Mr. Sparkle says:

      I don’t think it matters. The Yanks have done OK vs. Verlander this year and Detroit and Texas are fairly equal offensively. Most likely, if the offense goes to sleep as it did in the ALCS last year, they’re not beating anyone anyway. I’m not rooting for any particular opponent. I’m rooting for them to win the division, grab home field and hope they bring their bats to the post-season this year.

      A few more games like today and I’ll only have that last option to look forward to.

  8. Zach says:

    The weather is crummy tommorrow and has lighting thrown in it for good measure. I can’t see how it will get played tommorrow.

  9. Evan3457 says:

    Re: the Zapada balk thing.

    He was perhaps 1/2 inch in front of the rubber instead of on it.

    Now, that’s still a balk, but what ump is in position to see a margin that small?

    It’s hidden from the 2nd base ump by the rubber itself.
    It’s hidden from the home plate ump by Zapada’s foot.

    People think that 1st and 3rd are at the same “depth” from home plate as the rubber, but they’re not; 1st and 3rd are “deeper” by about a yard.

    On top of that, the 1st and 3rd base umps are usually positioned in back of the bases, in foul ground. So even for them (especially the 3rd base ump) the rubber is hiding the tiny 1/2 inch strip of dirt.

    The 1st base ump is really the only one with a chance to see it, and he probably can’t over the raised corner of the rubber.

    The people who have the best chance to see are the 1st and 3rd base coaches, if they’re looking for it; but the problem there is that they can only complain to the ump, and can’t make the call themselves.

    • Mr. Sparkle says:

      Yeah, I was thinking the same thing and the announcers even mentioned how the umps probably couldn’t notice it without the help of HDTV. But you’d think that after it was pointed out, one of the umps might have made a better effort to watch for it. I’ve seen umps call HBPs when it barely grazes the uniform and call balks on pitchers who made a nudge so small that a microscope might not detect it. I think if one of them (obviously not the HP ump) made an effort to reposition themselves slightly, they could have watched a little closer. Must be against the union rules though.

      • JohnnyC says:

        The irritating thing is, of course, is that the balk rule will be enforced AFTER the series with the Yankees. Another umpiring crew, alerted to it now, will make Rapada toe the rubber from now on. Good thing Gerardi doesn’t sweat these little rule details, eh?

  10. ItsATarp says:

    So when does Nunez learn to field a ball? His Defensive ratings are horrible, he’s now a below average hitter…He’s been annoying the living shit out of me recently.

  11. Chad Gaudin the Friendly Ghost says:

    Maybe I’m nitpicking MLB, but am I the only one that thinks it’s ridiculous that the Yankees won’t be at home on 9/11? Of any team that should be home this weekend it should be the Yankees/Mets (I realize the Mets are home).

    • Delaware - Ralph says:

      I agree. I’d be lying if I said I didn’t check the schedule with the thought in mind of going home for the weekend and spending the 10th anniversary with 50,000 other New Yorkers watching a game that brought everyone closer after it happened.

    • Rick in Boston says:

      I’m a little surprised, but at the same time, I wonder if the mayor’s office might have asked MLB to not schedule both teams at home. You have the Mets and the US Open finals going on in Queens, plus various things going on in Manhattan. It’s a potential logistical nightmare.

      • Chad Gaudin the Friendly Ghost says:

        That’s a good point, I hadn’t thought of that. They should’ve made the Mets play in San Diego or something. Nobody cares about them anyway.

  12. Monteroisdinero says:

    ARod on that popup was pathetic. Guy is a headcase on popups after being a left side infielder for 20 years-unbelievable. HOF/Gold Glove-catch the ball that is 20 feet away from you!

    • whozat says:

      The SS is the “QB” of the infield…it’s his ball, unless he calls out that he does not see it. This was just one of the many cases where he didn’t do his job right yesterday.

    • forensic says:

      I finally got to see that play and I don’t understand how people can blame A-Rod on it. It landed on the back side of the mound, arguably closer to where the 2B would be covering than the 3B. Either way, there’s no question it’s the SS ball (though in reality, if they weren’t babied so much, the pitcher should just catch the damn thing).

  13. Monteroisdinero says:

    AJ and CC have got to be two of the worst pitchers in covering 1B on infield grounders.

  14. Hello Nasty says:

    I wonder how the Yankees and MLB are going to celebrate Eduardo Nunez’s 3,000th error?

  15. Have a hard time blaming Gardner on that misplay. It seemed to me that he was hesitant about jumping near foul ground where there were massive puddles. He looked down right after he jumped, taking his eye off the ball. Field conditions blew, and can’t imagine he wanted to risk getting hurt out there.

    Definitely weird though. Never expect him to miss anything.

    • Sarah says:

      I got the impression from the radio broadcast that the official scorers were playing fast and loose with calling things errors. John and Suzyn seemed to think that the conditions were a real factor and that the scorer was ignoring them. I have no idea if that’s a legitimate complaint, but it seems logical to me!

  16. Bavarian Yankee says:

    interesting. PitchFX tells us that Burnett worked the bottom part of the strikezone really well. I guess that’s progress. I don’t expect too much from him this year but I hope he can turn it around next year. Aside of that wild pitches I thought he was pretty decent. Not great but you have to start somewhere.

  17. Dan says:

    After the game the night before, it would have been nice if Girardi stuck with his original lineup the entire game. I would have been fine with them losing this game if they had left in all of the bench players. All of their regulars could have used the whole day to recover, especially when they will have two straight days of travelling and playing games and will not have a day off for another week and even that day off is going to be spent going from Seattle to Toronto. Girardi has done a good job of giving players select days off, but after the late game on Tuesday he should have just allowed anyone that played in that game to relax for a day. Also, with all of the weather problems and the wet field, why risk someone like Granderson or Cano slipping and injuring themselves for the season (I know this can happen even in ideal conditions, but it seemed like it could have been more apt to happen on a field that has seen two days of rain).

    • Monteroisdinero says:

      Agree with this.

      Let Golson win the game!

      • Dan says:

        Well who knows what would have happened? However, if Girardi was going to rest his starters, let them rest. If you lose the game, fine, at least your key players will be rested for the long stretch of games they have coming up. I had looked at the game yesterday as a game they were basically throwing away anyway, especially with AJ on the mound. I think when it was close late, Girardi got greedy and went for the win, but that didn’t work out so well. I would have preferred that they not even use the top relievers, I thought this was an ideal chance to get Brackman some work in a game.

        • Ted Nelson says:

          It’s easy to say all that in hindsight. If someone hits a pinch hit HR and they win the game, would you have made the same comment?

          I can see arguing either way. I can’t really see assuming that Girardi saw the game a certain way just because you did, and that he then panicked. That seems ridiculous to me. It basically assumes Joe Girardi is a moron. Almost assumes the guy has never watched a baseball game before and didn’t realize that he might have the opportunity to pinch hit later in a close game.

          • Dan says:

            I agree and I acknowledge that its easy to say that now in hindsight, but it seemed like he had a gameplan to let his players rest and have the day off coming into the game, and if that was his intention he should have stuck with it looking forward to the rough schedule they will have coming up. I would have been fine with maybe trying to pinch hit with one or two players to try and bring in the winning run in a spot with runners in scoring position, but to bring most of your starters into this game when most of them are not used to coming off the bench just seemed like a poor decision that was destined to fail.

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