Jeter, A-Rod, and Sabathia lead Yankees to win over Rangers

Segedin goes deep again in Tampa loss
Freddy's men on base problem

New Yorkers needed one Rangers team to win and another Rangers team to lose on Monday night. They got exactly what they wanted. The New York Rangers won Game Six of their first round playoff series to force a Game Seven while the Texas Rangers lost to the Yankees.

(REUTERS/Mike Stone)

Carsten Charles In Charge

CC Sabathia won’t get a quality start for his performance against the Rangers, which has more to do with the flaws in the stat than his actual performance. Sabathia allowed a first inning run on two singles and a ground ball double play, but he then retired 14* of the next 17 batters he faced before Josh Hamilton hit a solo homer with two outs in the sixth. Texas scored a pair of runs when ground balls hugged the lines for doubles in the seventh, but CC rebounded by retiring the heart of the Rangers’ order on five pitches in the eighth.

* One of the three guys he didn’t retire during that stretch reached bases on a throwing error, so Sabathia did his part. The defense let him down on that one play.

During his first three starts of the season, it was obvious that fastball command was CC’s biggest issue. He was going to his changeup and slider whenever he needed a strike because those pitches were a-okay, but the fastball was all over the place. The fastball command came around in this start, as Sabathia threw his heater to both sides of the plate and up high to change eye lines. Thirty-one of his 51 fastballs were strikes (60.8%), and he threw the pitch anywhere from 91.98 mph to 94.00 mph according to PitchFX. Sabathia threw a first pitch slider to 16 of 32 batters, including 13 for strikes. Twenty-five of 32 sliders were strikes — seven swings and misses — overall, an absurd rate.

The starting rotation has clearly been the Yankees’ weak point this season, but Sabathia stepped up and gave his team eight high-quality innings against the best hitting team in the AL not based in New York. Four runs in eight innings really doesn’t tell the whole story. Sabathia was in control of the game all night.

(AP Photo/LM Otero)

The Captain

We’re running out of things to say about Derek Jeter. The Cap’n has been the Yankees’ best player since Day One and one of the very best in the league. He added to his way-too-early MVP case by going 4-for-5 against the Rangers, starting a rally in the first and extending rallies in the fifth and sixth innings. His first three hits were singles, the fourth an opposite double over Nelson Cruz’s head to plate a run. David Freese-ian, if I do say so myself.

Derek raised his overall season batting line to .411/.436/.644 and his season batting line against left-handers to .630/.607/.926. I’m not kidding, that’s a real triple-slash line. If the Cap’n goes hitless in his next 27 at-bats, he’ll still be a .300 hitter overall. That’s pretty awesome. “It’s like 1999 again,” said Alex Rodriguez after the game. “Three hits every day.”

Damage

(AP Photo/LM Otero)

The Yankees scored two runs in the first on Curtis Granderson‘s two-strike bloop single and another run on Nick Swisher‘s sacrifice fly in the fifth, but the biggest blow came two batters later when A-Rod connected for a three-run homer off the poorly mustachioed Derek Holland. He drew a pair of walks in his first two trips to the plate but also swung through a pair of inside fastballs, and that’s the pitch Holland tried to execute on the homer. He left it a little too far out over the plate and Alex launched a no-doubt shot into the left-center field stands.

Weirdly enough, the homer was A-Rod’s first hit against a left-hander this season, breaking an 0-for-17 streak. The three-run shot turned a 3-1 game into a 6-1 game, giving the Yankees some breathing room. It’s been a sluggish start to the season for the third baseman, but Alex now has five hits in his last 15 at-bats with two homers and and three walks. That dates back to the start of the Red Sox series. It’s worth noting that he also drove another ball right to the wall in this game, so he’s making hard contact.

(AP Photo/LM Otero)

Leftovers

How about Chris Stewart? The rarely seen backup catcher drew a walk and hit a booming double to dead center in four trips to the plate, even taking second base on a poor pickoff throw by Holland. To be fair, he was dead to rights until Elvis Andrus dropped the relay throw at second. It’s not going to last, but give Stewart some credit for putting together tough at-bats — 17 pitches seen in his four plate appearances — and actually contributing offensively in the early going.

The Rangers allowed more than four runs for just the second time all season. Jeter and A-Rod did most of the heavy lifting, but Granderson had the two-run single and Swisher the sacrifice fly. Robinson Cano also had two hits and believe it or not, that’s it. Swisher, Mark Teixeira, Andruw Jones, and Eduardo Nunez went a combined 0-for-16 with three strikeouts. It’s all about timely hitting I suppose, the Yankees went 5-for-9 with runners in scoring position as a team.

After Sabathia’s eight strong innings, Mariano Rivera came in and took care of business in the ninth inning on 13 pitches. The final eight Rangers were retired in order on just 24 pitches. That’s a great way to wrap up a win, with zero late-inning stress.

This probably isn’t worth mentioning, but I thought Andruw make a couple of real nice catches on non-routine balls in play throughout the game. Some were line drives hit to left, others fly balls lifted high and into the Texas sun. I don’t want to think about how many would have fallen in for hits had Raul Ibanez been out there.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the nerd score, and ESPN the updated standings.


Source: FanGraphs

Up Next

Game two of this three-game series will be played on Tuesday night, when Hiroki Kuroda and Yu Darvish meet in just the seventh matchup between Japanese-born starting pitchers in MLB history. That game starts at 8pm due to the time zone difference, an hour later than usual.

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Segedin goes deep again in Tampa loss
Freddy's men on base problem
  • Mykey

    After reading that awful article, I say only, “Ha!”

    • Larch

      :( Mike is great. Best free Yankees content, and Twitter feed.

      • forensic

        He was referring (I assume) to the article from a Rangers beat writer that was linked to in the intro to the game thread, not to Mike’s recap here.

        • Mykey

          Correct.

      • Havok9120

        He wasn’t referring to Mike, fear not. It was a Rangers writer who just crapped on us.

  • Clyde Barrow

    Derek Jeter is on an MVP pace. He could win it, too.

    Chris Stewart needs to play more. Stewart could be the lift we need at catcher if Martin continues to be a black hole offensively.

    They beat up Holland like they always do. I fully expect them to bash the overrated Darvish tomorrow and take the series.

    CC looked good until the 7th but then bounced back in the 8th and spared Robertson. Stewart should become his personal catcher. They work well together.

    • Smacknally

      CC didn’t shake off a single pitch tonight.

    • Chen Meng Wang

      Dude’s hit .203 in 217 At Bats over a six year span. The absolute last thing I expect is for Stewart to be an offensive lift in anyway. He’s had some nice ABs, but you should expect him to come back down to what he’s always been.

      • Mike R.

        Besides, Martin is starting to pick it up offensively. He had been getting on base and now he is making hard contact.

      • Larch

        vs LHP in 66 PA: .281/.369/.404

        I dunno what that means, but maybe he can be closer to avg with more playing time and the LHP side of the platoon.

        (Maybe even suppress martin’s FA value by reducing his ABs vs LHP.)

    • FIPster Doofus

      I hate to break it to you, but a black hole offensively is exactly what Chris Stewart is. The more he plays, the less you’re gonna like him.

      • Havok9120

        Especially with the loss of Martin’s OBP.

    • hogsmog

      Remember when everybody loved Cervelli when he hit like .330 over 60 PA?

    • Plank

      The season is 10% of the way through. Jeter is on a tear, but saying he’s going to continue like this is foolish. If this happened mid-season, it would be notable, but it would be easier to put it in the proper context–a hot streak.

      • blooper

        Agreed, but as Mike said, he’d need 27 hitless AB’s to drop to .300. He won’t win it, but if the Yanks take the division and he finishes .310/12/84 he’s going to get some votes because he’s Jeter and he plays SS and he’s 37.

      • Mariano’s Pimp Hand

        He won’t hit like this all year but he will finish at .300 if he hits .285 the rest of the season.

  • LK

    I had the exact same thought about Jones in left, Mike. He was huge defensively tonight, and offered a great reminder why he should probably play the field every day with Gardner out.

    • Havok9120

      I agree. Whether by Joe G’s design, a scouting report, or Jones’ experience, he was positioned very, VERY well all night.

  • felixpanther

    if Stewart continues to hit, yankees will let Martin goes without paying him big bucks.

    • pat

      You’re Felix Lopez, aren’t you?

    • forensic

      I’m probably one of Martin’s biggest detractors here, on both sides of the plate, but even I’m finding this sudden Stewart obsession funny.

      • Havok9120

        Its incredible.

        • ROBTEN

          Montero: .241/.259/.370/wOBA .262
          Stewart: .300/.364/400 wOBA .339

          Clearly our savior has been resurrected, but just like the Dalai Lama and financial derivatives, he returns in a new form.

          /yes, this is sarcasm

  • forensic

    Nice to see CC hopefully starting to round into form. If the warmer weather starts to bring his velocity back (he’s more than 2 mph lower than last season so far), he should be fine, obviously.

    Also very nice to see A-Rod contribute a bit again, and against a lefty too. Gets him out of the basement among the non-Martin regular players in slugging. That now puts Robbie there (not counting Gardner since he’s out). It’d be nice to see them battling to keep avoiding that and move those numbers up some.

    • forensic

      Also meant to say, huge win tonight. With two big question marks starting the next two games, this one was very important.

      Hopefully Kuroda can figure something better out tomorrow or they’ll demolish him. With all his walks, you’d think Darvish could be in for quite a battle tomorrow, though you worry about just seeing him for the first time with all the veteran hitters. .827 OPS against lefties, .539 against righties. Hopefully some of their lefties can take advantage of him. Time to get rid of his 0 in the HR allowed column, hopefully.

      • Havok9120

        This is the first game I’ve looked forward to as a game that should see a big offensive day.

        Ergo, we’re probably screwed.

  • Kevin

    NIce to see that leave them in there philsophy blow up in the Rangers faces tonight. There was no way on earth Holland should have been left in to face Jeter a fourth time after the double by Stewart.

    • forensic

      I was thinking the same thing when that AB was happening. He also then took out the lefty and brought in the righty for A-Rod (though in fairness he did just homer off him).

      It’s almost more impressive that they continue to win despite terrible managing and possibly damaging froont office policies (though that division certainly helps in all of that).

      • Havok9120

        Its possible those policies have helped them. At some point, that’s going to need to be the conclusion. We can’t keep disregarding evidence just because it goes against established protocol (a protocol many of us mock all the time as our FO and manager love to follow it so closely).

  • Darren

    Three things left for Jeter:

    1- hit .400
    2 – Break Joe D’s streak
    3- Pass Pete Rose

    • Chen Meng Wang

      You’re not setting the bar high enough. I also want:
      A Perfect game
      A Walk off 5 run HR
      10Ks all season
      50 Home Runs

    • Havok9120

      Yikes. That’s quite a list.

      • JAG

        Presumably not for this year, right? I mean, if he broke Pete Rose’s record this year that would be amazing, since he’d be hitting like .800.

        • Havok9120

          Screw .800. He’d be hitting about 1.800 And that’s only if the rest of the team bats .900 so he can get enough ABs that 2 hits per AB gets him well passed Rose.

          Yes. Pete Rose managed THAT many hits.

          • Plank

            It’s easier to get that many hits as a light hitting 45 year old below replacement level 1B if you are your own manager. If one of the other 7 billion people on Earth is your manager, it’s a bit harder.

            • Cris Pengiucci

              Yes, but we’re alos talking about Derek F***ing Jeter here. Anything’s possible, regardless of who you manager is. Two hits per AB is quite doable and nothing less should be expected.

              • Cris Pengiucci

                Spelling/word usage corrections to follow:

                alos also
                who you your manager

                • Darren

                  obviously he’s not gonna pass Pete Rose this year guys, don’t be silly.

                  Would you bet your right testicle vs. $1 million dollars that he won’t hit .400 and hit in 57 in a row this year?

                  I wouldn’t. And I’m no millionaire. Forget the numbers, he just looks that good.

                  • Plank

                    I will bet you a million dollars he doesn’t hit .400 or 57 in a row.

  • Oliver

    Anyone else catch Andruw warming up with a fan between innings? Can’t imagine many players doing that.

    • Havok9120

      Did he really? That’s pretty awesome.

      I really do love our players. I mean, who on our team can we objectively say is a prick? Soriano? We hate the guy, and he does seem pretty aloof, so maybe he is. Who else? We’ve got a ton of class, we’ve got baseball people, we’ve got guys who lighten the mood and love fan contact….

      This is night and day with the mid aughts, the Corporate Yankee days where it seemed like a quarter of the team was just there. These guys are people with personalities who enjoy what they do and aren’t afraid to let everyone know it.

      I love this team.

      • forensic

        I have to agree. With all my complaints about the apparent front office approaches to things and going for old over young no matter what, at least when they do that they do seem to put real effort into making sure that they aren’t schmucks or a-holes and try to keep things moderately classy.

        I know a lot of people hate it, but I love their facial hair policy. At least attempt to make yourselves look professional, not like slovenly cavemen who just made their way out of a cave for the first time in 6 months.

        Which reminds me, someone tell Hughes to cut his damn hair. It’s absurd, but his california boy hairdo actually makes me not like him even more.

      • jjyank

        I agree completely. The last couple of years (really starting in 09 I guess with Swish, CC, and Burnett) have really been very likable teams. Of course I would prefer a championship caliber team to a bunch of great guys, but what makes it awesome is that I’m pretty damn sure we have both.

    • Sarah

      Not a fan. Was the Rangers cheerleader or something. (She’s not called a cheerleader, but I can’t remember what they are called.)

      • Darren

        No, it was a man, and he was a fan. In the front row of the bleachers with a glove. First time I’ve ever seen that and it was amazing.

        • Sarah

          Oh ok. I saw him regularly playing catch with one of these Sharp Shooters or Ranger-ettes or whatever insane thing they call the girls here. I guess they probably showed the fan on tv (which is awesome).

  • Duh Innings

    How is 8 IP 4 ER a quality start? That’s a 4.50 ERA just as much as 3 ER in 6 IP is. It’s better than 6 IP 3 ER only on more IP, but CC still averaged a run allowed every other inning (even though three of the four runs he allowed were scored in the seventh inning.)

    The current quality start is at least 6 IP and no more than 3 ER and it’s a stupid rule because if CC had pitched a complete game last night and still gave up four runs, he’d have pitched 3 more innings and posted an ERA of a half a run less than a guy posting 6 IP and 3 ER (4.00 ERA vs. 4.50 ERA.)

    The quality start should be changed to be minimum 5 IP and an ERA less than 4.50 which means the 6 IP and 3 ER start is over as a quality start. Under this new definition of a quality start, Sabathia would not have made one last night with his 8 IP and 4 ER.

    My logic behind this proposal is threefold:

    1. It’s not a quality start if you average a run allowed every other inning.

    2. If five innings are enough to qualify for a win, they should be enough to qualify for a quality start.

    3. This quality start is easily quantifiable:

    0-2 ER 5-6 IP (0.00-3.00 ERA)
    0-3 ER 6 1/3-8 IP (0.00-3.38 ERA)
    0-4 ER in 8 1/3-9 IP (0-4.32 ERA)

    Lone exceptions to this rule could be 4 ER in 8 IP or 5 ER in 9 IP only if the start is a complete game loss (4 ER in 8 IP) or a complete game win (5 ER in 9 IP) on the thinking that the starter preserved the bullpen and any start where you give the bullpen the day/night off is quality and actually doing your job as a starting pitcher’s job is to finish the game. Or we could chuck out these lone exceptions.

    How funny will it be the day an MLB team has seven straight complete games? LOL. What would you do if you were a manager and your team threw five straight complete games? You couldn’t have relievers play simulated games before or during the sixth game cuz who’s to say the sixth game would be a complete game as well?

    • RetroRob

      The “quality start” is a meaningless stat, used by players and agents for contract negotiations.

      A pitcher can go out an pitcher can go out and pitch six innings and give up one run, and another pitcher can go out and pitcher eight innings and give up four runs. The former has a better ERA, the latter might very well have pitched a much better game. CC pitched a fine game tonight.

      As a fan, you need to pay zero attention to the term quality start.

      • Havok9120

        Its okay for showing how crappy a starter or rotation is when its over a large sample size. Other than that tho….?

    • Havok9120

      Its a stat that cannot and should not be used in a positive light. But that’s not even the point.

      Would you disagree with Mike’s assertion that CC was in control of nearly, if not totally, the entire game and looked even better than his line indicated? Because that was the point of that part of his post.

  • Duh Innings

    Oh yeah, how would an infield triple work?

    One scenario:

    Line shot off the third-base bag, the ball flies in the air like a Baltimore chop, the thirdbaseman has to receive it but twists his ankle while waiting to receive the ball, he drops to the ground in pain, the ball lands on and bounces off him then trickles into foul territory below the third base bag but to far away for the catcher to get to it in time to make a close play at third.

    There couldn’t be an error cuz the play was difficult (receiving a ball flying up in the air) and a mid-play injury prevented the play from being made.

  • Karl Krawfid

    Don’t be mad if Chris Stewart catches CC exclusively.

    Russ Martin is ass.

    • Havok9120

      Based on….?

      I mean, really, what’s he done to make you dislike him?

    • Betty Lizard

      Look here, flapjack . . .

      • Havok9120

        +1

  • BigDavey88

    Great to see CC throw a quality game tonight. The four runs don’t look pretty, but he gave us the performance we needed. Hopefully, this set the tone for the series, blah blah blah media narrative banter.

    And then this Jeter guy… I like this new old Jeter.

    • Havok9120

      He pitched above his line again. One inning got out of hand. I’m aware that that isn’t ideal, but its continuing his the improvement.

  • Havok9120

    My favorite part of the temporary Jeterian Renaissance? It gives the younger fans, myself included, a chance to experience Jeter when he was Jeter. When he was the guy who could come to the plate and carry the team for awhile if the need arose. The guy we’ve read about and heard about.

    A whole new generation is getting to experience Jeter and Mo, almost exactly as they were a decade ago. That’s special as both a human achievement and as a moment in baseball history. The legend will be able to live on through a whole new generation of people who got to experience it firsthand. And few players ever deserved it like they do.

    • jjyank

      Nice point. My baseball consciousness didn’t start until about 1995 (I was 7 then), so I did grow up with Jeter, but a lot of those memories are a little fuzzy because I was so young. Jeter was never my favorite player (no knock on him, I was just a Bernie guy) but I always loved him. Great to see him surge and not just fade out like most aging infielders.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        You’re both lucky. You didn’t get to “experience” Bobby Meacham.

        • .zip file

          How about the experiences known as Jim Mason and Fred Stanley?

    • CountryClub

      That’s a great way at looking at things. Are you not old enough to really remember 2009? He was pretty freaking good that yr and also had a very good post season.

    • handtius

      yeah, but you’ll never experience the flat-top.

  • Knoxvillain

    Jeter’s done. He will never hit .300 again and has an awful glove and will never win a World Series again. I want Jeter to hit .340 this year not because that would be awesome, but just to see what all the Jeter haters would have to say.

    • thenamestsam

      In fairness he does have an awful glove.

      • Cris Pengiucci

        In fairness, he’s got an excellent glove. He just can’t move.

  • Havok9120

    By the way, I didn’t see it mentioned in our Game Thread, so I’ll bring it up. Apparently when Pudge threw out the first pitch for his retirement ceremony, he walked to the mound, then walked behind the plate and threw to second base instead.

    I approve.

    Here’s the video for those interested:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GqlYKhjvizc

    • forensic

      Eh, he probably called for a fastball, on an 0-2 count, against a dead red fastball hitter, just to make sure he could make it close…

    • A.D.

      Saw this in the highlights, thought it was pretty cool

    • Sarah

      Yeah we got to the park in time to see this. He threw from the mound, and then from behind the plate. Pretty neat.

  • jjyank

    “but the biggest blow came two batters later when A-Rod connected for a three-run homer off the poorly mustachioed Derek Holland.”

    Haha I laughed.

    Also, Derek Jeter’s lefty batting line? A thing of purely absurd awesomeness. I know its a SSS, but that’s still pretty insane.

  • Monterowasdinero

    Awesome game. CC likes his Captain and his Captain Crunch extra-RISPY. On to the MRI/arthrogram news of the day!

    • jjyank

      Haha +1 for “extra-RISPY”.

      Heh yeah, enjoy this thread of positivity while you can…

  • jjyank

    I hate Tuesdays. The one night a week I have a night class (though today is my last one). At least it’s an 8:00 start tonight, I really want to catch some of the Battle for Japan (TM).

  • http://RiverAveBlues Andy K

    I forgot who said it (Casey Stengal?, Branch Rickey?) but remember “You’re never as good as you look when you’re winning or as bad as you look when you’re losing.” That’s what all this Stewart and Jeter chatter reminds me of. Course I hope they both keep it up.

    • CountryClub

      Obviously Jeter isnt going to hit like THIS all yr. But he’s been raking for almost a full season now (going back to last yr). I dont expect him to fall off a cliff unless he gets a legit injury.

      Stewart on the other hand….

      • Havok9120

        Pretty much this. I’m still expecting something of a severe drop off from Jeter, but thats more being pessimistic so I’m not disappointed. We’ll just have to see.

        The Stewart love that demands more playing time on any basis other than letting Martin catch some rest is completely misplaced.

  • Bonnie Parker

    If we’re to take the series we must take it tonight against Yu. We need to show him what a really offense can do to Japanese pitchers, just like we did to Dice K all those years. We will wear him down like we did to Holland and then BOOM someone hits a 3 run homer. Can’t count on Hughes in Game 3 against the Texas offense.

    • CountryClub

      TX has a long reliever going on Wednesday. So it could end up being a slugfest if Hughes doesn’t give them a decent game.

  • bpdelia

    Iveen thinking about a way to rejigger QS because I like the concept. My new QS criteria: a pitcher must throw at least 6ip while maintaining a game era equal to or below the average runs per game from the previous season of the team he is facing. So if (jusy.hypothetically) the rangers averaged 5 runs per game last year cc would have to go six snd allow 3er or 7 or 8 and allow 4. Not a huge pain to calculate and is now based on the context of the opponent.

    Now 6ip 3er vs san Diego isn’t a qs but vs nyy it is.

    Problem solved

  • http://yesnet corethree

    I been readin on here lately that Jeter aint good enough no more………please explain