Yanks go down without a fight in Toronto finale

Sunday Night Open Thread
Fan Confidence Poll: September 19th, 2011

Pretty forgettable game on Sunday, one of those classic “end of a long road trip” games when entire team seemed like they just wanted to go home. The Jays won 3-0, handing New York their seventh loss in their last eleven games.


The Homerun Regression Tour Continues

Like Bartolo Colon on Saturday, Freddy Garcia did not make it out of the fifth inning. He allowed three runs, two on solo homers by Adam Lind, making it three straight starts in which he’s allowed exactly two homers. Since the end of that 69 IP homerless streak, Sweaty Freddy has allowed seven homers in just 14 IP. The third run scored on a sacrifice fly after Garcia threw a ball away on a bunt attempt. Three runs on five hits and three walks in 4.2 IP raised Garcia’s ERA to 6.00 in 21 IP against Toronto this season. Against everyone else, he has a 3.38 ERA. I don’t think I’m alone in saying: thank goodness they don’t play the Blue Jays again this year.

No Fight


With the season winding down and the Yankees having a pretty comfortable lead on the playoff spot, Joe Girardi understandably rested some of his regulars on Sunday afternoon. Derek Jeter, Mark Teixeira, and Curtis Granderson did not play at all, and Robinson Cano got a half-day off at DH. Unsurprisingly, they struggled on offense. Eduardo Nunez (of all people) was the lone bright spot, going 3-for-4 with a double. He would have had a fourth hit (and another double) if it wasn’t for a nice lunging catch by Eric Thames in left, a ball hit right to the warning track. Of course, Nunez got thrown out at second trying to stretch a single into a double at one point, another example of the team’s recent baserunning stupidity.

Aside from that, the Yankees went a combined 2-for-26 with a walk, striking out nine times against Brandon Morrow. They worked the count well early, forcing the righty to throw 39 pitches in the first two innings, but he settled down and needed just 68 pitches for the final six frames.  Frank Francisco threw a chair scoreless ninth, striking out Alex Rodriguez to end it.


Aside from Scott Proctor (one intentional walk, one unintentional walk, one hit, one out) and Aaron Laffey (walked the only man he faced), the bullpen was pretty solid. Luis Ayala bailed Garcia out of a bases loaded jam in the fifth then tacked on a perfect sixth. Raul Valdes, pitching for the first time as a Yankee and the first time since August 29th, made a nice impression by striking out Lind and Colby Rasmus looking. He might get another look this week, just because. George Kontos threw one pitch, getting out of the eighth because Russell Martin threw someone out stealing. That’s really it, not much more to talk about.

The Rays beat the Red Sox (again), so the lead in the division remains at 4.5 games while the lead in the wildcard shrunk to 6.5 games. The magic number to clinch the division is down to seven, the magic number to clinch a playoff spot just five.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs has some more advanced stats, and ESPN has the updated standings.

Up Next

At long last, it’s time for the Yankees to go home. They’re going to play a one-game makeup with the Twins on Monday afternoon, a 1:05pm ET start that will feature A.J. Burnett and Scott Diamond. Minnesota is just 9-36 since July 30th, and they’re without Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, and Jason  Kubel due to injuries.

Sunday Night Open Thread
Fan Confidence Poll: September 19th, 2011
  • Tyrion Lannister

    Load up tomorrow and beat the depleted Twins. Get that magic # down to 4. That means a split with the Rays locks up the WC. Do we want to split with the Rays? I think Tampa needs 3/4 from us and hope Baltimore can continue to be the spoiler.

    • ItsATarp

      I say take care of our own problems first before worrying about What the sox and rays are doing.

      • 7commerce

        PLEASE!!! JoeG runs this club as if he is Director of The Institute for the Chronically Fatigued instead a big league mgr.

    • Brian S.

      I’m hoping for a win tomorrow, winning 1/4 from the Rays during the week, and clinching the division against the Sux.

      • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

        I think: Win tomorrow, split with TB (clinch the playoffs), clinch the East against the Red Sox (sweep?) and roll over for the Rays the final 3 days so they can take the WC.

        • Brian S.

          If we split with the Rays there is no way that they will catch Boston. The Orioles are throwing out Guthrie, Matusz, no name rookie, and Hunter against Boston. Even with Boston’s struggles I don’t see how Baltimore can take more than two games against the Sux (and even that would be lucky).

  • altajoe

    In my humble opinion, Freddie’s biggest problem is pitch selection. He’s gotten into the habit of going exclusively to the breaking ball when he gets 2 strikes on the hitter. I noticed it against Baltimore when he had 0-2 count to Mark Reynolds early the game. Reynolds knew that there was no way in hell that he was going to see a fastball and zoned in on the splitter. Since it was coming in at the knee he jest watched it spin out of the strike zone. There was no way that he was swinging at it. I saw the same thing today against Lind. In both cases, since it was early in the game flashing a fastball, even at 88mph would have surprised them and also sent a message that with 2 strikes, you can;t assume that he won;t try to sneak one past you.

  • Mickey Scheister

    At what point is enough, enough? The Yanks could use some momentum right about now, they fielded a B line-up, instead of going for a winning series. In baseball, I don’t look at game to game victories, I look at series wins. At a time when the biggest thorn in the side has experienced a (hopefully epic) collapse, instead of capitalizing on it, they play with little to no urgency. The same holds true with the extra inning games, what are they, 5 games under .500 in extra inning games? You play to win the game. Recently the Yanks have played the game, but they’re just playing the game for the sake of playing the game, not playing winning ball. They have the BEST team in baseball, if you let them rest on their laurels now, playoff baseball will not be fun. I hope to see the next 10 games treated like playoff games, like the Rays have been, because there’s no “switch” to hit to turn on the production, the playoffs is about momentum and right now this locomotive has little to zero. I’m ready for a winning brand of baseball now.

    • Brian S.

      If the Yankees are tired they should just use Thursday as a big rest day. Don’t even have the regulars show up. Field a AAA team.

    • Sweet Dick Willie

      the playoffs is about momentum

      Maybe once the playoffs start momentum play a role, but not necessarily leading up to them.

      The 2000 Yankees finished the season 2-13, including losing their last seven games, and won the WS.

      The 2007 Rockies finished the season 14-1, and were swept in the WS.

      Those are just two examples I remember; I’m sure there are more.

      Might be a good topic for a post, to see if this momentum narrative is really true.

  • http://bleedingyankeeblue.com Jesse

    My God, the Twins are 9-36 since the end of July? I knew things were going bad there, but not THAT bad. Good God.

    Well, I’m going to call my lock special. Tomorrow’s game is a lock win for the Yankees. Yep, A.J Burnett is going, and yep the offense is struggling, but it’s the Twins for Christ sakes. Also, A.J SUCKED against the Twins his last time out against them. He can’t do that again, right? RIGHT?!?!

  • Jonathan

    Ugh…I’ve witnessed a fair share of these games growing up in Kansas. They usually come to town in September or late August with pretty damn good shot at a playoff spot and at the end of a long road trip. They beat the shit out of the Royals for 3 games and then that 4th game the backup catcher plays, 2 or 3 regulars sit and they look like they’re already on the plane home. It’s frustrating to watch when you only get 3 or 4 games max a year to see them but on the other hand, I’m glad their focus isn’t going full bore because of success and not being out of a playoff spot by double digits. The worst one I ever saw was a 4 game series where they killed them for the first 3 and then Igawa started the 4th and about 1/2 the team played. It had the intensity of a celebrity softball game.


    It’s funny to look back at that and think the Royals didn’t have any pitching but De La Rosa turned out to be pretty good, Soria evolved into one of the better RP in the game and Greinke blossomed into a full blown ace that we should have traded for. My biggest hope is that Greinke DOMINATES in the postseason so Cash realizes he can handle the big stage. If we sign Greinke/Hamels/Kemp in 2012 I’ll…


    Think about that team

    C Montero
    1B Tex
    2B Cano
    3B ARod
    SS Jeter?
    LF Gardner
    CF Granderson
    RF Kemp
    DH ????

    SP CC
    SP Hamels
    SP Greinke
    SP ManBan
    SP Nova/AJ/Hughes/Betances etc etc etc

  • forensic

    This game is the epitome of why I hate September baseball (for the most part).

  • Monteroisdinero

    Give Lind credit-his first HR was on a low splitter-tough pitch to hit out. Freddy has been excellent overall for us and has kept us in just about every game. He should not be asked to pitch more than 4 innings in a game in the post season. Same for Bart.

    Mo gets 602 today as AJ keeps it close. Interesting to see if Romine catches today and how he will handle AJ.

  • steve s

    I don’t believe in Girardi’s approach to September games in the last 2 years but, ok, rest a guy if you need to. What was problematic about yesterday is he didn’t rest the one guy he should be resting (Martin) and he needs to play Montero and Romine (both, if he could) everyday until the end of the season to see what you got. Resting the streaky Grandy and Tex after their best combined offensive games in weeks on Sat. was just plain blind to how these guys roll; get them hot and they will stay hot for awhile.

    • Paul Proteus

      They’re at the end of a long road trip playing on turf. You have to sit Grandy and Jeter. Girardi has an old team and a big lead. 5 game lead with 10 to play is huge. I agree with what he’s doing. The playoffs start over at 0-0 you know.

      • steve s

        I was ok with sitting Jeter yesterday but Grandy is hardly old and he started zeroing in again on Sat. This stubborn narrative that the Yanks should be primarily focused on the playoffs ignores the reality that is unfolding. The Yanks pitching isn’t in any great shape (CC included) and facing must win games against the Red Sox next weekend and perhaps Tampa for the last 3 games on the season should have been enough motivation for the Yanks to have clinched something before this last 10 game stretch. A loss today against the Twins will have the Yanks reeling into the Tampa series.

        • Paul Proteus

          They won’t be reeling or in danger of missing out on a playoff spot. We have 10 games left, Sox have 9. We have a 5 game lead-

          We go 4-6, Sox must go 8-1 to tie.

          Wildcard is even more easier as we have a 7 game lead-

          We go 0-10, Rays must go 6-3 to tie.

          With 7 games left with the Rays all we have to do is win 2 games vs them and we clinch the WC, regardless of what we do against anyone else.

          • steve s

            Just a few corrections. 2 wins against the Rays does not clinch the WC (magic number is 5 not 4). Being tied with the Sox loses us the division (if Rays drop out). Let’s see the posts if the Yanks should inconceivably lose today to the Twins. “Reeling” will be the kindest comment that we’ll be reading.

      • David, Jr.

        It is frustrating for the impatient fans, but you are exactly correct. Girardi needs to open the playoffs with a rested and healthy team and take their best shot from there.

        If they are healthy, particularly ARod, I make them the second favorite to Philly. No need at all to fear Detroit, Texas, Tampa or the Sux.

  • Rich in NJ

    I wouldn’t be surprised if AJ went on a roll and became part of the playoff rotation.

    OTOH, I wouldn’t be surprised if AJ melted down and was left off of the playoff roster.

    • http://twitter.com/AndrewLeighNYC Andrew

      This pretty much defines AJ’s career.

    • Jimmy

      Or something in between those two.

      • Rich in NJ

        But that wouldn’t be much of a surprise. ;)

  • Foghorn Leghorn

    it would’ve been nice to pick up a few more wins to pad that division lead, but the last week and a half has been brutal ever since that Tuesday game against baltimore that started at 11:30pm…

    Good timing for Boston to start sputtering. Hopefully Buck can get those O’s up for some spoiling! There is a lot of bad blood between those teams with the fight earlier in the season.

    Let’s go O’s!!

  • Jose M. Vazquez..

    I know the guys are a little fatigued at this time of the year but if you keep resting them too much we are going to lose the home field advantage to the Tigers or even the Rangers who have a softer schedule.

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

    Someone please reassure me that there is no way in hell that Scott Proctor is on the post season roster.

    • the Other Steve S.

      Honestly, whats up with using Proctor? Is he just shy of a pension milestone or something? If you aren’t going to try to win the game Joe, at least let us see Brackman or Betances.

    • mike

      Proctor must have naked pictures of Girardi from his last time in NY….he was mediocre and overrused when he was here the 1st time, but he was the best of a poor lot.

      Now , when the roster ( and ML service time) is clicking, 40man rosters need to be thought about, and perhaps a rookie could catch lightening in a bottle for a few weeks to help the team….Girardi is playing out Ayala/Garcia vs Proctor for the unused last righty on the Alda ROSTER