Yankees can’t hit good pitching, win game started by Justin Verlander anyway

Turley's gem highlights offense-less night
Triple-A SWB Yankees sale finally final

Source: FanGraphs

The Yankees have a great offense that can’t hit good pitching … except for when they hang five runs on Justin Verlander in six innings. I think that’s how the narrative goes. Anyway, let’s recap Friday night’s walk-off win with bullet points…

  • Off The Hook: Ivan Nova‘s undefeated streak remains intact — I think it’s up to 20 starts now — though he didn’t pitch all that well. The Tigers ground balled him to death in the third before putting together some very hard-hit balls in the sixth. Raul Ibanez‘s defense didn’t help, though Nova did allow the leadoff man to reach base in five of his six innings. Shake it off and do a better job five days from now.
  • Long Ball: Verlander hadn’t allowed a single homerun this season until running into the Yankees, who took him deep twice. Alex Rodriguez connected a legit solo shot to right in the fourth, and one inning later Russell Martin hit a two-run shot the other way. Martin’s was a total Yankee Stadium cheapie, but I’ll take it.
  • Strong Relief: Other than Boone Logan, who didn’t retire either of two left-handers he faced but did get an out on the bases, the relievers once again slammed the door shut. Cory Wade got four outs, David Robertson and Mariano Rivera three each. Rafael Soriano threw about five innings in a simulated game in the bullpen based on how many times he warmed up.
  • Winning Rally: Once again, it was the Captain who set the stage. Derek Jeter‘s 15-game hit streak came to an end, but he drew a one-out walk before advancing two bases on a wild pitch. Hooray for sending the runner in a 3-2 count. With runners on corners and one out, all A-Rod had to do was hit the ball in the air. Instead, the ball went to the backstop. Catcher Alex Avila completely whiffed on a Brayan Villarreal pitch, allowing it scoot far enough away that Jeter was able to score the winning run. Just like they drew it up.
  • Leftovers: I couldn’t really tell from where I sitting, but I assume Joe West had a horrible strike zone given Joe Girardi‘s ejection and all the bickering throughout the game … A-Rod had three hits and started the game-tying rally in the eighth with a single before Robinson Cano extended it with a single and Mark Teixeira capped it off with a sac fly … Nick Swisher doubled off Verlander twice, giving him nine for the season and the second most in baseball … Mo’s appearance was the 1,050th of his career, the eighth most all-time.

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. Game Two of this three-game set will be played Saturday afternoon at 4pm ET, though it’s not a FOX game. Freddy Garcia will look to right the ship against rookie left-hander Drew Smyly. RAB Tickets can help get you into the ballpark if you want to catch the game.

Turley's gem highlights offense-less night
Triple-A SWB Yankees sale finally final
  • RetroRob

    Arrived home for the 9th inning and just in time to see the Yankees win.

    For those into statistical counting stats, Jeter’s walk in the 9th was #999 for his career. Next walk takes him to an even thousand.

  • Jonathan

    Mike, I didn’t realize we were on TV so I was following the Gameday on MLB.com and I saw like 30 pitches combined that were a MINIMUM of 8 inches outside to a lefty for both teams. I asked on the game thread if it was as bad as it looked on Gameday early on. Then I realize were on MLBN and after being aware the strike zone might be insanely off was downright shocked at the first 2 pitchers I saw called for a strike. It was absolutely incredible. Of course both teams realized this early on and just kept throwing them out there. But it didn’t end there. On top of having his plate moved that far out (which was consistent and can be adjusted to) he was all over the place inside the zone to both teams.

    I honestly can’t think of a job that has less accountability than a tenured MLB umpire. And if the prime ages for a human to track a baseball at 90mph+ were the mid 50’s and up I’d be surprised. When I was a kid and some umpire made a horrible call in little league I always thought well if he was good at being an umpire he wouldn’t be umpiring 12 year olds….I’m not sure Joe West would last a week in little league without getting his ass kicked by some player’s dad.

  • forensic

    Mo’s appearance was the 1,050th of his career, the eighth most all-time.

    And, hopefully, somewhere around mid-season he’ll pass Dennis Eckersley for 4th all-time and the most games ever for a right-handed pitcher. Pretty cool.

    • CJ

      Paul O’neill asked how many bats has Mo broken in his career 3 or 4 thousand? Wish this stat was available, it’s got to be something over 2,000 especially if you count postseason.

      • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

        2,000 would be something like 1.5 broken bats per inning, including postseason. It’s probably more like 500-600, I would imagine.

        • CJ

          He broke 2 or 3 last night. I’d say it’s more than one per inning. All those foul ball broken bats and outs that we didn’t realize were broken bats but ended up in trash in dugout. Just saying it’s really interesting and amazing. Whatever the number

  • Mike S

    Can we get a write up on how Burnett is doing ? I know it’s only 2 starts and it’s for the pirates, but I find it hilarious that he’s doing well again

    • Dino Velvet

      not surprising.

      the NL central is an easy division and the pressure of playing in NYC is lifted

      He’s another Javy Vazquez.

    • Bavarian Yankee

      you shouldn’t be surprised. Several numbers indicated that he had a ton of bad luck during the last 2 seasons, I wouldn’t be surprised if he ends up with a 3.75 ERA and something like 12 wins (that would be a lot for a Pirates pitcher).

  • https://twitter.com/#!/KChinmaster Kenny

    I was there! I was so happy with the walk off!!! I lost my voice already. I also got a signed Verlander ball! I can die happy now :)

  • jsbrendog

    what an amazing game. I was there and it was the most fun ive had at the stadium in a couple yrs. had no idea girardi got tossed haha

  • Bartolo’s Colon

    I went tonight, it was cold and windy, at least in the 400’s. i actually thought nova was pretty good up until his last inning. at first everything was finding holes, he got killed in his last inning though. i missed girardi getting tossed. I figured if someone could get on for arod in the 9th, they would win it. I wasn’t expecting that though.

  • forensic

    Geez, everyone went to the game tonight. I’m kind of jealous.

  • Hall and Nokes

    Brooks baseball had about twenty called strikes clearly outside the zone on the 3rd base side. I’d pull it up if I weren’t so lazy.

    • Midland TX
      • Bubba

        Just curious, is there any consequence to being that bad?

        • Sweet Dick Willie

          I’m guessing you’re not all that familiar with the concepts of tenure and unions.

  • StatBoy

    Was there pie for the walkoff after the game? I was curious who would deliver it and who would receive it since Burnett is gone and the winning run scored on a wild pitch instead of being batted in.

    • forensic

      Nope, no pie. So either it’s gone (yuck) or they just didn’t do it since the other team kind of game it to them (similarly to the Castillo dropped pop-up game).

      • Smacknally

        or because it was Jeter that would have been the recipient?

  • Ethan

    No walk off pie? I miss burnett! Swisher must have been napping!

  • Who’s Your Daddy?

    Raul in left! :D

  • LK

    If the Yankees actually chose Ibanez over Damon because of outfield defense, then that’s hilarious. Just like Ibanez’s outfield defense.

  • Pat D

    Country Joe with an ejection? What a surprise.

    I’ve always preferred when was ejected (go to about 8:30):

    • forensic

      Those 3 movies were on in a row last night. It was very enjoyable.

      • Pat D

        So many go to bed cold at night. So I say take those cats…and SKIN THEM!

        • forensic

          Among so many good and wrong things that could be pointed out in just that 10 minute clip, it is nice to know that strike is still strike in spanish.

      • Jonathan

        I bought all 3 for $1 a piece and when I switched to DirecTV (so I could get the MLB Extra Innings) I would use them instead of TV to fall asleep to. About the 8th time through I noticed that it was actually him and that he looked like an even fatter douche back then.

    • sevrox

      Country Joe was in the process of growing his many chins when this movie was made.

    • sevrox

      Country Joe was giving birth to his chins at this age.

  • Darren

    At least five times, Sterling talked about how impossible it was gonna be for Yanks to come back from 3-1 agains Verlander And Suzyn was like, “well we know the Yanks have heart, they won’t quit….maybe if it was 7-1.” Dude, they just came back from 9-0 I don’t think they’re quitting whatever the score.

    Those two get on my nerves.

    /No duh

    • TomH

      Well, the “five times” was clearly tedious. But (surely something this statistics-happy site might recognize) Sterling had the probabilities on his side about being down 3-1 to Verlander.

      My problem with it would have been either your implied point about repetitiousness or, more likely, the gloom-inducing effect, in the audience, of the reminder about the odds favoring Verlander. Happy Talk, John, keep talkin’ happy talk!

      Suzyn’s correction (3-1 vs 7-1) seems equally justified given that Verlander wasn’t really his usual blisteringly sharp self. In fact, it’s hard to believe that there is an announcing team–radio or tv–anywhere in North America that wouldn’t at some point have thought to mention the advantage to the Tigers of a 3-1 (or 7-1)lead for Justin Verlander.

      Yeah, they came back against Boston, but Boston didn’t have Verlander on the mound.

  • Holy Ghost

    Not to take anything away from the Yanks but I don’t think Verlander had his best stuff tonight.

    However, a win’s a win.

    • forensic

      Of course not. If he, or a Roy Halladay, has their good stuff then no one will beat them. You just hope to not be shutout or worse. But, at least they capitalized on his version of struggling, even with Nova struggling himself.

    • jjyank

      Sure if the best pitcher in baseball has his best stuff, he’s not going to lose. Ever. But he was off just enough for us to get ti him.

  • Mike

    “Yankees can’t hit good pitching”.

    Neither pitchers they’ve never faced before… so saturday’s game will be a hard one.

    • Brian S.

      The Yankees don’t have good pitching either. Fire Cashman.

  • Bavarian Yankee

    despite allowing all those runs and hits I thought Nova pitched pretty well. Not much you can do as a pitcher when so many groundballs find their way into the outfield, BABIP bad luck.

    • forensic

      I’m a big Nova supporter, and he was grounded to death in the 3rd, but that’s going to happen sometimes with some guys on this infield. But, he was hit pretty damn hard in the 6th, though Boone Logan didn’t do him any favors by not getting out either of the 2 lefties he faced, thereby allowing an inherited runner to score.

    • jjyank

      Yeah, he was hit hard in the 6th, but besides that he was the victim of bad defense in left field and four straight ground balls finding holes. He pitched better than his line indicates, but still probably the worst start for him this year.

  • Manny’s BanWagon

    It’s great that they won but the starting pitching has been horrific this year for the most part. Luckily the bullpen has been tremendous but at some point the starters are going to have to carry their own weight for the Yankees to be successful.

  • jjyank

    Great game. You really feel like the Yanks can sweep/beat anyone after beating Verlander. I just hope the “pitcher they haven’t seen before” curse does not overwhelm them today.

    • CJ

      Freddy over/under innings/earned runs at 5. I take under 5 on both.

  • DJ4K&Monterowasdinero

    Didn’t see the game. Watching highlights. Can’t imagine what Yankee fans would be saying if a certain catcher let an outside fb go off his glove with a man on 3rd to lose the game…..

    Avila has to catch that ball with a hard thrower out there.

    Although Martin’s homer just got over- at least it was right center and not down the line so not as cheap as could be.

  • Dick M

    That wasn’t good pitching last nite. Verlander was way off. He was very inconsistent with his curve and he was missing with his fast ball.

  • Adam Parker

    No mention of Cano’s terrible play receiving Ibanez’s bullet from left that should have gotten the runner?

  • OMG! Bagels!

    Anyone know if the Yanks lose more at-home Saturday games than any other day of the week? Seems whenever I get a chance to go to a weekend game I try to make it Friday or Sunday because I think they’ve lost every Saturday game I’ve ever gone to (usually 3-4 a season for over 10 years). Or maybe it’s just my lousy luck.

  • Tom

    The Yankees have scored at least 3 runs in their last 5 games against Verlander (including the playoff start last year), are 4-1 in those games and Verlander has gone more than 6 innings in just 1 of those 5 games.

    While he didn’t have his great stuff last night, the Yankees have hit him well recently. Last night was not as much of an aberration as people seem to think it is.