Yanks come back again, win third straight

Banuelos bombed in final start of regular season
Game 138: An Almost Perfect Lineup

No Mariano Rivera, no Rafael Soriano, no Derek Jeter, no Mark Teixeira … no problem. The Yankees mounted a come from behind win against the Blue Jays for the second straight game on Saturday afternoon, and once again it was Robinson Cano with the big hit. To the bullet points…

  • It was a weird outing for Bartolo Colon. It started with him striking out the side in the first and ended with him retiring six of seven, but in between he allowed seven hits to 16 batters (.434). Two of those hits went over the fence (solo jacks by Adam Lind and Dewayne Wise), one of them hit the first base bag and deflected past a diving Nick Swisher, and another blooped into the triangle in right-center. Bart did throw a season-high 107 pitches, but he was still pumping gas late. Not a great outing, not a disaster. I guess “servicable” would be a good word.
  • The Yankees scored three runs in the second on an Eduardo Nunez single and a Frankie Cervelli two-run homer (no, really), but they were down 4-3 when Cano did his thing in the seventh. Ricky Romero hit Curtis Granderson in the back with a curveball before walking Alex Rodriguez on five pitches, all with two outs, then gave way to righty Casey Janssen. He got ahead 0-2 on Cano then nibbled a bit, eventually leaving a fastball right over the plate that Robbie drove into the right-center field gap for a two-run double. At +.390 WPA, it was a bigger hit than Russell Martin‘s two-run double in Fenway Park the other night and the fifth biggest hit of the season for New York (by WPA). Nick Swisher followed that up with a single for an insurance run.
  • Without Mo and Soriano, the closer’s job fell onto the shoulders of David Robertson. He went back to the days when men were men and closers threw more than one inning, running right through the middle of the order in the eight and then tacking on a scoreless ninth for the save, the third of his career. Honorable mention goes out to Boone Logan, who retired the only two men he faced (both lefties) to bridge the gap between Colon and D-Rob.
  • Brett Gardner seems to be snapping out of his slump and went 2-for-3 with a walk and two stolen bases in the game. A-Rod, Swisher, and Nunez each singled and walked, Andruw Jones doubled, and Cervelli had two hits (including his first career homer at Yankee Stadium, the other three came on the road) and saw a total of four pitches in four plate appearances. Jesus Montero picked up his first career knock, a routine little single to left. Pretty good day all around.
  • The Red Sox beat up on the Rangers, so the lead in the division stayed at one game in the loss column. The Rays also beat the Orioles, so the lead on the wildcard remained at 9.5. The magic number to clinch a playoff spot did drop by one by virtue of the win, and right now it’s sitting at Whitey Ford, number 16 in the sidebar. Here’s the box score, here’s the FanGraphs stuff, and here’s the standings.

The Yankees will look to complete the sweep on Sunday afternoon, when CC Sabathia goes against 2010 Yankees Killer™ Brett Cecil in another 1pm ET start. If you want to catch the game, RAB Tickets can help get you there.

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Banuelos bombed in final start of regular season
Game 138: An Almost Perfect Lineup
  • A-Rod’s Wingman

    It’s always a good time when the Yankees win.

  • Esteban

    Since Colon’s come back from the DL, I expect more decent-good starts from him than good-great starts.

  • http://twitter.com/Carlosologist_7 Carlosologist

    If you had told me that the Yankees would have a shot at 100 wins despite injuries to Soriano, Joba, Jeter, A-Rod, no Andy, no Lee… I would have laughed in your face. But here they are, a hot streak away from another 100 win season.

    • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

      I had them winning 95 games once Spring Training camp broke. If I told you that then, would you laugh at me?

      • FIPster Doofus

        I was at 92 and a wild-card berth before the season. They’ve exceeded expectations, no doubt.

        • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

          And they have an 87-49 pyth. record. That’s insane.

        • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

          Yeah, I’m just a little biased though. I had them winning the division, Sox as the Wild Card with 93-94 wins.

  • Craig

    Come playoff time the rotation should be CC Nova Garcia Colon, with Colon not exceeding 90 pitches regardless of runs against. <90 will keep him in check for another start withou being too gassed IMO

    • Will

      I think they should start AJ in game 4, but have him on an EXTREMELY short leash with Colon backing up. Best case scenario, you get 5 innings of good AJ and then 2 innings of lights-out Colon, worst case you get bad AJ with a quick hook and maybe 4 decent innings out of Colon. Either is a winnable game.

      Phil Hughes should not even sniff the playoff roster, but I fear the Yankees might make a mistake there.

      • The Big City of Dreams

        But if he’s on the roster in the pen then that’s not a bad thing.

  • YankeesJunkie

    Even though it was done out of necessity seeing a reliever such as Robertson being capable of going out there for the two inning save is impressive and I wished it happened more often.

  • Roland Deschain

    Jesus should play again tomorrow against the lefty. Teixera should be back at 1st, Swish in RF, Jones in LF.

    • http://twitter.com/AndrewLeighNYC Andrew

      Not sure they should sit Gardner. No harm in giving Teix an extra day right now. Also might benefit Granderson to get a day off, especially if Teixeira is back in there. Gardy in CF, Andruw LF, Jesus DH

      • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

        I’d be good with that. If anyone needs a day off it’s Curtis.

      • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

        Yeah, give Grandy a day off. He needs it.
        I’d be fine with Jones in left, Gardner in center, Swish in right. Tex can be back at first, or they can be conservative and have Chavez play first, although he’s a lefty. Or maybe Swish at first and Dickerson in right/left with Jones playing on the other side. There’s a shit ton of options the Yankees have.

        I love September baseball.

    • http://kierstenschmidt.com Kiersten

      Gardner should play. You don’t sit a guy who’s breaking out of a slump and kill his momentum.

  • Sweet Dick Willie

    Not a great outing, not a disaster. I guess “servicable” would be a good word.

    All those who in Spring Training thought Colon would be throwing a “serviceable” outing in September, please raise your hand.

    • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

      *everyone sits on their hands*

    • Rich in NJ

      I thought Garcia would be “serviceable.” I thought Colon would be in retirement.

  • Rich in NJ

    Cano should be batting 3rd by next season at the latest.

    • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

      What would your lineup look like then?

      • Rich in NJ

        I would just flip Cano and Teixeira. I don’t think alternating LH and RH batters is particularly important.

        Leave Teixeira hitting third since he’s our fifth best htiter.

        My primary focus is to ensure that Cano bats in the 1st inning. Where does that leave Granderon?

      • mbonzo

        I think this would be the perfect combination of power and OBP skills

        1. Gardner LF
        2. Jeter SS
        3. Cano 2B
        4. Teixeira 1B
        5. Granderson CF
        6. Arod 3B
        7, Swisher RF
        8. Montero DH
        9. Martin C

        Jeter and Gardner obviously provide a ton of OBP skill at the top of the lineup. Gardner on base opens up the hole for Jeter’s opposite field swing and Jeter’s patience would allow Gardner an opportunity to steal. Cano doesn’t strikeout a ton, which gives them a decent chance to hit and run/sac fly. With Tex protecting Cano, you have to think pitchers will be more inclined to attack Cano, rather than deal with the BBing crazy Tex. Cano and Jeter also have less speed, so if Tex ends up poping up, you don’t force the runners to lose stolen base opportunities. Granderson starts the lineup over again with his speed, and Arod ends up getting protected with the BBing crazy Swisher. With Granderson/Arod/and Swisher batting in front of Montero, he’s essentially you’re second cleanup hitter. Martin seems like a decent bet at #9 because of his slight speed and ability to clear the bases at the same time.

        • OldYanksFan

          It would never happen but:
          (OBP)… against RHP
          1. Granderson CF (.375)
          2. Swisher RF (.384)
          3. Cano 2B (.351)
          4. ARod 3B (.362)
          5. Teixeira 1B (.345)
          6. Montero DH
          7. Jeter SS (.325 against RHP)
          8. Martin C (.325)
          9. Gardner LF (.351)

          (OBP)… against LHP
          1. Jeter SS (.434 against LHP)
          2. Granderson CF (.375)
          3. Cano 2B (.351)
          4. ARod 3B (.362)
          5. Teixeira 1B (.345)
          6. Swisher RF (.384)
          7. Montero DH
          8. Martin C (.325)
          9. Gardner LF (.351)

          I love Gritner’s speed, but he is only 5th in OBP and 8th in OPS. I’d rather Swisher get the ‘extra’ AB.

          Swish and Grandy are far and away the OBP Kings… put them 1,2. The also hit HRs and get XB hits to score guys from the bottom of the order… especially important in 9th inning rallies.

          Teix is the HR guy with a low OBP. He should not be in the top 4. ARod in front of Teix is always willing to take a BB, and ARod also might see some more FBs with Teix behind him.

          This lineup stacks the top of the order, and with Gritner batting 9th, still gives up decent ‘lead-off’ speed on the bases. Bsicall7, 6 thru 8 can be played with.

          • Mickey Scheister

            Looks like a winner. I would swap Grandy and Swisher vs RHP, since Swish is the leading OBP guy, but this line-up looks better than the A one they trot out 3 times a week. I certainly agree that Tex needs to be dropped from 3 to 5, giving the better OBP guys a chance to get on base. Cano would be a much better option at the three spot because he puts the ball in play, outside of mile high infield pop-ups.

          • http://Christophermchale.com chris mchale

            love those lineups. The numbers make real choices as opposed to political choices.

    • Brian S.

      Why? He’s our second best hitter. He should hit second or cleanup. Leave Teixeira hitting third since he’s our fifth best htiter.

      • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

        Doesn’t the best hitter on the team normally bat third? I’ve heard Ken Singleton say that a number of times over the years.

        • http://deleted Total Dominication

          He also thinks wins and rbi’s are important. It should be 2,4,1,5,6,7,8,9. 4 more power than 1.

        • Brian S.

          Ken Singleton is wrong!

          • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

            It does make sense. Look at some of the best hitters on teams respective teams, Kemp, Gonzalez, Konerko, Bautista, Longoria, Pujols, Votto, Braun, etc are all in the third spot. I’m just talking the best pure hitter on each team.

            • https://twitter.com/TheRealJeromeS Jerome S.

              Just because everyone does it doesn’t make it right.

              Curtis Granderson is the Yankees’ best hitter. He bats second.

              • Kosmo

                Cano is the Yanks “best hitter“. He´s an established .300 hitter with gap and HR power . This season Granderson has nearly struckout twice as much as Cano and is a .270 hitter .
                Cano is a better clutch performer. .319 RISP, .283 2 outs RISP compared to Granderson´s RISP .245 , 2 outs RISP .219. Cano is hitting a whopping .339 vs. LHP.
                Granderson is having a career year while Cano has been a consistently great hitter.
                Cano for MVP !

                • Kosmo

                  of course in fairness one could say Granderson walks twice as much as Cano….

                • https://twitter.com/TheRealJeromeS Jerome S.

                  Long term pick Cano, but it’s close. If Granderson keeps hitting lefties decently, he’ll match Cano in OBP and SLG over the next several years.

                  This year, Granderson is better and it’s not particularly close.

                  • Kosmo

                    “Not particularly close “ are you kidding me ?

                    • https://twitter.com/TheRealJeromeS Jerome S.

                      Nope, Granderson’s having a monster year; Cano’s year has merely been good.

                      Granderson .271/.375/.576 .407 wOBA
                      Cano .307/.351/.533 .379 wOBA

        • http://deleted Total Dominication

          He also thinks wins and rbi’s are important. It should be 2,4,1,5,3,6,7,8,9. 4 more power than 1.

          • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

            I don’t get your “2,4,1,5,3,6,7,8,9. 4 more power than 1.” thing. Is that where the best hitters should bat, or what?

            • https://twitter.com/TheRealJeromeS Jerome S.

              Yes, it is the order of where you should place your best hitters.

              But in all honestly, it doesn’t matter as much as some people like to think it does. Maybe a win or two over the course of a season.

              • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

                Alright then, because when I said that Ken Singleton said the best hitter should bat third, he then said Singleton believes that Wins and RBI are important in that he believes that Singleton is wrong. So, he agrees with me. Just wondering. And btw, although that extra win or two you may get in the regular season may not sound much, it really does. The AL East has been a tight race all along and the Yankees need every win they can get to win it.

                • https://twitter.com/TheRealJeromeS Jerome S.

                  Yeah, but we don’t really *need* to win the AL East. It’d be nice, but it doesn’t mean squat.

                  Still, yes you want every win you can get, but you can’t waste energy on the lineup.

                  • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

                    Well, Girardi thinks that winning the AL East is very important and that it’s a goal. So it’s pretty important that they do. And he obviously wants home field advantage especially if they play Boston in the ALCS. Idgaf that Boston is 6-0 at YS3, it’d be nice to have home field, thus winning the division is very, very important.

  • http://kierstenschmidt.com Kiersten

    Seriously, what did Cervelli eat for breakfast this morning?

    • mbonzo

      I gotta say, when Cervelli got back from winter ball with Cano, his swing looked incredible. Its too bad he got injured early on. If he can get some regular AB’s and keeps up his work over the winter, I think we’re gonna see more than a backup catcher, more likely for another team. I worry the Yankees are selling low, and this isn’t a reactionary opinion to his recent hot streak. The kid just hasn’t looked bad in many at bats, and he’s got the ability to dial it up in the big spot.

      • FIPster Doofus

        The last time Cervelli played extensively somewhere and put up above-average numbers was in A+ ball in 2007.

        Basically, he’s a below-average offensive catcher – albeit only slightly the past two seasons – who can’t throw anyone out. There’s not a lot of value in that.

        • Dino Velvet

          that said, he’s an above average hitter with RISP.

          • hogsmog

            that said, he’s a below average hitter.

            • well you know

              2011 OPS

              Gardner .732
              Cervelli .718
              Chavez .714

              Nestled between our starting COF and LH DH. Not bad company for a backup catcher.

              • https://twitter.com/TheRealJeromeS Jerome S.

                Cervelli’s wRC+ in 2011 is exactly 100, meaning he is exactly league average with the stick.

                Nice.

  • bong 24/7 no brain cells left

    does anyone else want ian kennedy back?

    • FIPster Doofus

      Granderson’s better, and that’s no knock on Kennedy.

    • i visit the whorehouse frequently

      sure, he would be our #2. hughes sucks by the way.

      • https://twitter.com/TheRealJeromeS Jerome S.

        lol whatevs

    • YankeesJunkie

      Of course he has turned out to be a very reliable starter even if it was in the NL West, but that trade was good for the Yankees at that time.

      • FIPster Doofus

        It’s still good. The Yankees have the potential AL MVP as a result of that trade.

        • Kosmo

          I think we have to start including Cano in the MVP race.

          • https://twitter.com/TheRealJeromeS Jerome S.

            No? He’s having a fine year, to be sure, but it doesn’t come close to what the current MVP candidates are doing.

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

              I think the quasi conventional wisdom about Cano from here on out re MVP is that if he has one of his trademark monster months, totally carries the team into the end of the season – as he is capable of doing and has done the last few games – *and* some of the other candidates sort of trail off a bit, then Cano enters the discussion in a meaningful way. In other words, a lot of ifs :)

              • https://twitter.com/TheRealJeromeS Jerome S.

                Oh yeah, sure, if Cano has a monster September and he hits like .400/.500/.650 he has a shot. But like you said, that’s only if the other candidates trail off a bit too.

                But to claim we have “start” including Cano in the MVP conversation is ridiculous at this point.

            • Kosmo

              Who are the current MVPs in your book ?
              Gonzalez, Batista and Granderson ?
              He´s right there with them and as usual Cano is having a monster second half.

              • https://twitter.com/TheRealJeromeS Jerome S.

                Not even close.

                Bautista .309/.448/.634 .450 (!!!) wOBA
                Granderson .271/.375/.576 .407 wOBA
                Gonzalez .342/.405/.551 .406 wOBA

                Cano .307/.351/.533 .379 wOBA

                Hell, it hurts me to do this, but:

                Pedroia .309/.396/.476 .384 wOBA

              • JimIsBored (Jim S)

                Yeah, really. I love Cano, I love the year he’s having, but he’s not at the same level as the other 3(and, really, pedroia).

                Everyone else did the stats work for me.

  • Bronx Byte

    C.C. on the mound today. The bullpen is available except for David Robertson. The Yankees usually handle Brett Cecil well.

  • Roland Deschain

    Granderson does get the day off, good call on that from those above. Jesus is DH and hitting 9th. What a lineup.