Yanks blowout Sox, clinch homefield advantage

Open Thread: Beatdown in the Bronx
Comparing the bullpens of AL contenders

It’s always fun beating the Red Sox, especially in blowout fashion, but it’s even better when the game means a whole lot more to Boston because they’re fighting for a playoff spot while the Yankees have already taken care of business. Let’s recap…

  • The offensive explosion will get the headlines, but in my opinion the biggest story of the game was Freddy Garcia. He’d been struggling of late, no question about it, so six shutout innings against a great offense is very encouraging. It was a typical Garcia outing too, lots of weak pop-ups, about a baserunner an inning, a few ugly swings. At this point, he has to be considered the favorite to start the third game of the ALDS next week. That’s subject to change by the day, though.
  • Okay, now we can talk about the offense. Jesus Montero was the star of the day, going 3-for-4 with a double to the wall in left-center and solo homer to right. He also saw 19 total pitches in those four at-bats, the most on the team. It’s  obviously a small sample (58 plate appearances), but the kid is hitting .346/.414/.635, and that’s pretty cool.
  • Russell Martin chipped in a two-run single on a ball that Carl Crawford should have caught, and one batter later, Derek Jeter made the Red Sox pay with a three-run homer to right. Nick Swisher had a hit and two walks, Andruw Jones two hits. The trio of  Curtis Granderson, Mark Teixeira, and Alex Rodriguez combined to go 0-for-12 with four strikeouts, but everyone else went a combined 9-for-21. The joys of having a  deep lineup.
  • The bullpen after Freddy was pretty good, though Raul Valdes and Cory Wade managed to allow a run in two-thirds of an inning.  Boone Logan, Luis Ayala, and George Kontos retired the final seven Red Sox batters of the game. Kontos has looked pretty good in his limited action, no? He struck out two and showed a nice little slider. Gotta figure we’ll see a little more of him next season.
  • This game set a regular season attendance record for New Yankee Stadium at 49,556 fans. The previous record was 49,555, so they beat it by one fan. Anyway, this win coupled with the Tigers loss to the Orioles means the Yankees have clinched the best record in the AL and homefield advantage in the playoffs. Since the Mets swept their doubleheader against Phillies, the Yanks are just one loss back of their 2009 World Series  opponent for the best record in baseball. Here’s the box score, here’s the FanGraphs stuff, and here’s the standings.

The Yankees and Red Sox will play a day-night doubleheader on Sunday,  wrapping up their season series. Ivan Nova and John Lackey A.J. Burnett and Tim Wakefield will start at 1pm ET and be followed by A.J. Burnett and Tim Wakefield Ivan Nova and John Lackey at 6:30pm ET. RAB Tickets can help get you into the Stadium if you want to catch one or both of the games, or you could come to Amity Hall and hang out with us at the FanGraphs event. Details here.

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Open Thread: Beatdown in the Bronx
Comparing the bullpens of AL contenders
  • http://danielslifka.wordpress.com Jerome S

    I have a feeling Montero could win ROY next year. I know it’s SSS, but not struggling is better than struggling. He’s obviously not going to slug .600 in 2012, but I think a .280/.350/.480 line might be feasible, no?

    • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

      That sounds like a reasonable line to me. He could hit 20 plus homers, drive in 80 plus runs, put up a decent WAR, etc. He’ll be the number 1 or 2 prospect next year IMO, maybe behind Matt Moore, so why not?

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

        That’s pretty wishful thinking for a 22 year old rookie, even one with his abilities.

        • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

          How? The guy can rake and he’ll be around a bunch of other good players. Hell, Mark Trumbo has 29 homers and 87 RBI while hitting .256 and a very unimpressive .293 OBP.

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

            Mark Trumbo is 4 years older than Montero. Not the best comparison.

            • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

              That hardly matters with Montero’s talent.
              Here’s another example, Miguel Cabrera

              His rookie season: 20 years old, 87 games 12 homers, 62 RBI. He plays a full season and he easily gets over 20 homers and 80 RBI.

              And for the record, Brian Cashman compared Montero to Cabrera: http://espn.go.com/new-york/ml.....t-thursday

              • http://danielslifka.wordpress.com Jerome S

                Miguel Cabrera: Insane hitter. Obviously Cashman is going to compare Montero to Cabrera, but it’s his best case scenario.

                • Swag

                  It’s fucking hilarious how people want to kill the hype on Jesus. So many people were looking forward for him to fail because they were annoyed by people who wanted him to do well.

                  Scouts think jesus is also an insane hitter. Why people feel the need to respond to every pro-Jesus comment in a negative manner is beyond me. Then when Romine or brackman plays it’s the fucking greatest thing ever,

                  • forensic

                    I’m trying to figure out how saying he may not be Miguel Cabrera is killing the hype on him or saying he’s going to fail.

                    Miguel Cabrera is probably one of the best hitters of this generation and not equaling him isn’t exactly declaring him a bust…

                    • http://twitter.com/AnaMariana42 Ana

                      Swag is a troll. And a rather miserable one at that…

                    • Avi

                      Montero has better raw power (probably in game power too) than Miguel Cabrera. There I said it.

                    • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

                      How can Swag be a troll when he’s supporting his player?

                    • YANKS FAN19

                      MIGUEL IS ALSO GREAT AT HITITNG THE BOTTLE AND HIS WOMEN!!

        • Swag

          Freddie Freeman did it. But let’s say that Montero has a slim chance of doing anything great but if he does het’s pretend nothing was ever said.

          And people wonder why Mondesi snapped at the decline of the comments.

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

            “Freddie Freeman did it. But let’s say that Montero has a slim chance of doing anything great but if he does let’s pretend nothing was ever said.”

            Two different players at different positions who took different paths to the major leagues. In fact if anything Montero projects to be better than Freeman. All I’m saying is that he’s not a lock to have a triple slash line of .280/.350/.480 with 20 home runs and 80 RBI’s in his rookie year. Not saying he’s not going to be great. Fucking hilarious, I know.

            “And people wonder why Mondesi snapped at the decline of comments.”

            Right, because in the good ol’ days of RAB the comments were in beautiful helvetica font, the commenters were all gentlemanly scholars with quick wits and sharp senses of humor, and nobody EVER questioned the omnipotence of the Yankee’s up and coming players. Ever.

            • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

              No one said it was a lock. We’re just predicting. There’s nothing wrong with that, that’s what fans do. If he doesn’t reach those numbers that doesn’t make him a bust. All I was saying is because of the talent level around him and the talent he has himself while playing half of his games in a small park gives him a legit shot to reach those numbers.

  • MannyB ace2be

    I believe nova and lackey is the night game not the day game and I’m just wondering it’s supposed to rain all day tomorrow – how the heck will they play two games?

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

    That WPA Graph is beautiful.

    • http://danielslifka.wordpress.com Jerome S

      I agree, definitely the most aesthetically pleasing WPA graph this season.

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

        And against the Red Sox no less.

  • AnthonyD

    “Yanks blowout Sox, clinch homefield advantage”

    Never seen those headlines before.

  • lgy

    Wasn’t McCarver laughin that the Yanks wouldn’t clinch home field advantage today because Verlander was pitching tonight? Would you look at that…..

    • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

      He also said that he’s shocked that the Yankees won 95 games with just one lefty in their bullpen. And he also got really excited when he talked about the 2004 ALCS immediately after Vasgersian brought up the Red Sox 1978 choke.

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

        Conclusion: McCarver is a decrepit old fuck

        • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

          I laughed.
          So true.

        • Jorge

          McCarver and the voice of the XFL have to be as awful an announce team as has ever been put together.

      • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

        But his quote of the day was “When pitchers are going bad, hitters are hitting the ball hard”

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

          I really can’t fathom how he still has a job. But then again, if he retired Fox would probably find someone even worse (if that’s possible) to replace him a la ESPN Sunday Night Baseball.

          • gc

            Yet for every Yankee fan who bitches about him and how he’s apparently so anti-Yankees, fans of the team they’re playing say he’s pro-Yankees and anti-their team. It’s amazing to me how when it comes to these national announcers, people in general hear what they want to hear. I watched one of the World Series games in 2009 at a friend’s house and he had a lot of people over who were Phillies fans. They wouldn’t shut up about how pro-Yankees and anti-Phillies the FOX announcers were being during the series. I watched another game at a bar the next night with my Yankee fan friends and they said just the opposite.

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

              Either way you look at it though, they all hate Tim McCarver and Joe Buck.

              • SteveD

                This is true.
                [

        • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

          Hahahaha

  • first time lawng time

    Wow. Are the recaps always up this early now?

  • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

    AJ vs Wakefield = most anticipated matchup in baseball this year.

    • Sarah

      What’s the over/under on wild pitches?

      Also, I hope the Yanks steal approximately 12 bases.

      • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

        I have it at 5 between the two.

      • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

        I hope they will start Varitek with Wakefield. But common sense tells me they won’t do that…

        • CBean

          Wouldn’t they with the day game after the night one?

      • mbonzo

        They should definitely play the speed vs. Wakefield and the veterans
        vs Wakefield
        1. Brett Gardner CF
        2. Nick Swisher RF
        3. Robinson Cano 2B
        4. Jesus Montero DH
        5. Jorge Posada 1B
        6. Russell Martin C
        7. Chris Dickerson LF
        8. Ramiro Pena SS
        9. Eduardo Nunez 3B

        vs. Lackey
        1. Derek Jeter SS
        2. Curtis Granderson CF
        3. Mark Teixeira 1B
        4. Alex Rodriguez 3B
        5. Jesus Montero C
        6. Nick Swisher DH
        7. Andruw Jones LF
        8. Greg Golson RF
        9. Eduardo Nunez 2B

        • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

          I wouldn’t disagree with those lineups. Keeps guys fresh, and they’re both pretty competitive especially with the starting pitchers Boston is running out there.

          But one thing I’d change is have Cano DH instead of Swisher during the second game, but not a huge deal either way.

        • Monteroisdinero

          The speed with Swisher vs Wakefield? Get him out of game 1 and put Golson in RF. Righties can hit Wakefield. Heck, Tex bats righty against him.

    • Zanath

      AJ vs. Lackey would be better. Might last 6 hours.

  • gc

    Not that it really means much or anything in the grand scheme of things, but I think it’s pretty amazing that the Yanks have a legitimate shot to finish the season with the best record in baseball.

    • Evan3457

      An 8 game losing streak by the Phils will do that for you. Before then, the Phils were 5 games ahead.

      • gc

        I realize. Yet all the games count. Considering all the pre-season prognostications by the “experts,” I still think it’s pretty incredible that this possibility is pretty legit.

        • Swag

          And as people say literally a million times a day you can’t predict baseball but we’re going to rip the baseball analysts for not predicting it correctly? or is it just because people are sad that not everyone voted for the Yankees?

          • bonestock94

            The fact that baseball is so unpredictable makes some of the extreme preseason predictions even stupider.

          • gc

            Lighten up, Francis. I don’t really care to gloat that the experts didn’t see this happen, or that most Yankee fans for that matter didn’t see this happen (because those who did must have been the most wide-eyed optimists). All I’m saying is that if it does happen, it would be pretty amazing to me, and a surprise that I as well didn’t expect or foresee at all coming into the season. Neat if it happens, ultimately unimportant, but interesting nonetheless. That’s all. Sheesh!

  • Montero’s Mojo

    Great win. Stupendous even, but I always hate seeing that void in the heart of the lineup. Would’ve been THAT much better had CG, MT, and AR vanquished their zeros with hot, crooked, jagged numbers.

    • jon

      saving up for tomorrow i hope

      • Brian S.

        All those three really need to start hitting the Red Sox tomorrow. They haven’t all season.

        • Montero’s Mojo

          Yup. My thoughts exactly.

  • ED

    I keep expecting the Sox to snap out of it, but they just keep on losing. I’ve never enjoyed watching a team choke quite this much.

    • pop up teixeira

      shhhh don’t jinx it!

  • mustang

    So happy to see Jeter get 60 RBI’s now for .300 or better and that would just cap a great season for the “Captain”.

  • duzzi23

    Seeing McCarver so sad and trying to find any which way to prop up Boston was great. Today was a signature win we sent a message to Boston and Montero made his presence known. Guarentee they will either buzz him or hit him tomorrow.

    • JMK

      Hmm, I didn’t catch that. I kept hearing him resigned to saying, “Man, the Red Sox might be fucked. What an epic collapse that would be.”

      I didn’t really hear much propping up.

      It was great not hearing Joe Buck today, that’s for sure.

      • SteveD

        no buck. waaahoooo. cant stand him.

  • bk

    Was montero getting hits off fastballs or off speed pitches? Want to know if he’s making adjustments and stopped chasing the sliders down and away.

    • pop up teixeira

      his 1st hit might have been off a slider but the rest were fastballs

    • Monteroisdinero

      Montero’s first ab was a line drive single through the 5.5 on a fb over the plate.

      His 2nd ab was a double off a slider/ curve off the wall in deep left center-I think it was a high strike over the middle-in of the plate.

      His 3rd ab was a 91-92 fb outside half of the plate-went with it to rf.

      His 4th ab he took a tough 2-2 slider down and away for ball 3 which was impressive. I think the called strike 3 was an inside fb off the plate but he didn’t argue. He definitely would have been plunked today if he had argued.

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

    Must say… This team reminds me of the Rangers in 1994. Simply…..all the best kinds of collective body language. Not a juggernaut exactly. Just…going to win. Warts and all. Mark my words.

    • boogie down

      “Mark” your words, eh?

  • D-Rob’s Great Escape

    This was a great game and it’s good that the Rays took advantage tonight and won. The only dissapointing result of the night was DET losing because I really would prefer the TX matchup with all their LH pitching which allows us to play our most potent lineup, I’ve assumed all along that we would end up playing DET though so oh well.

  • Oliver Twist

    Here’s what needs to happen tomorrow- Rays need to win and we need to take at least one. Even better if we sweep as the Rays would then be tied with the Sox. With Wakefield and Lackey on the mound we could score 20 runs….in each game.

  • Brian S.

    I really hope that Burnett pitches more like he did earlier this month rather than he did last Monday against the Twins.

    • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

      Even if he bombs, he has Wakefield to pick him up.

  • daniel

    Tim McCarver’s gone from annoying to just plain weird. His whole sequence regarding a shirtless Curtis Granderson was pretty creepy.

  • http://kierstenschmidt.com Kiersten

    Even if Boston holds on to their lead, that team is just in shambles right now. Sure, they can snap out of it, but it’s not looking good. Lester hasn’t been himself lately and it seems like Beckett might be pitching hurt, and well, there’s no need to comment on the rest of their rotation.

    • Swag

      When the Yankees struggle people point out 2000. When the Red Sox struggle it’s the end of the world for them. Can we get some fucking consistency here?

      It’s just like this fucking argument. “Verlander is so overrated because the Yankees beat him up.” But apparently CC’s starts against Boston is ‘indicative of nothing.’ Like holy shit, if you want to brag about RAB being the smartest commenting section show some god damn objectivity,

      • deusvult

        well shit, holy fucking shit

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

        Actually Buster Olney brought up the 2000 Yankees in comparison to the Red Sox yesterday.

        Your narrative: shot down

        “Verlander is so overrated because the Yankees beat him up. But apparently CC’s starts against Boston is ‘indicative of nothing’.”

        Find me ONE LINK, JUST ONE of a comment or article here that proposes such utter bullshit. You won’t find one.

        • http://twitter.com/AnaMariana42 Ana

          DON’T FEED THE TROLLLLLLS

  • Jesus Freak

    Detroit lost and Texas won, so now Texas has a 1 game lead for the number 2 seed.

  • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

    http://espn.go.com/new-york/ml.....rld-series

    nice to know that ESPN is here to give us a positive outlook on the rest of the season…(of course this was written last night, but still…)

    • Evan

      “Sabathia, even though he’s a legitimate ace, has been *far* from the ace Verlander has been.”

      For serious?

      • Pasqua

        That’s the ol’, “I’m only counting the last five weeks because that’s all I remember because I won’t bother looking up any actual statistics before shitting out this sentence” style of MSM analysis that I love so.

  • Avi

    Raise your hand if you still care that Klaw dropped Montero in his mid season top 50 list.

    • Avi

      Montero for $1.6MM or Jose Iglesias for $8.25MM?

    • Brian S.

      Out of the top 50?

  • dkidd

    wpa graph = red sox season

    early life, then flatline

    /hoping they don’t pull a 2006 cardinals’d

    • radnom

      They are actually ending the season exactly as they started.

    • Plank

      They started this season off hilariously bad, too.

  • mike

    Steven A. Smith should stick to his I hate whitey rhetoric. He is a big mouth idiot who says sensational things for attention. When did he become a baseball expert?

    • Jorge

      I don’t really see much wrong with the article. Colorful Stephenisms aside, that’s exactly the argument against the Yankees making it far.

      Logic goes out the window in the playoffs. Anything can happen. You have to go out there and play the games.

      I think Smith’s a misogynist blowhard, but that’s not a terrible article.

  • Monteroisdinero

    Grandy/Tex/Arod 0-12 with 4 K’s and we still destroy Lestuh! What a lineup.

  • Johnny O

    That was the most fun I’ve had watching a baseball game in a while. Lester’s face in the dugout after he got pulled was priceless.

    While I was pretty upset when Jack Z screwed Cashman on the Cliff Lee trade, I’m very very glad to be watching Montero drill opposite field BOMBS. Even better = watching him do it vs. Lee in the WS.

    • Mickey Scheister

      All of this.

  • Kevin

    While I’m sure we all have visions of the Red Sox trying to pull a 2000 Yankee or 06 Tigers and Cardinals..they have too many injuries to their pitching staff for the offense to save them.