Yanks roll as Stewart, CC shine

Murphy helps Tampa walk-off with win
The Seldom Used 25th Man

For a few minutes in the top of third, things started getting dicey in the Bronx. The Twins had a 3-1 lead against CC Sabathia, but then the Yanks’ ace bore down. You could see the determination on his face as he blanked the Twins, and the Yanks’ bats carried the Bombers to an easy 8-3 win over the Twins. Order was restored to the Bronx.

CC’s Big Game

Coming into tonight’s game, CC Sabathia hadn’t pitched much like an ace. An ill-timed intentional walk on Opening Day led to a four-run first inning, and he struggled against the Orioles last week. Sporting an 0-0 record, he carried a 6.75 ERA into the game, and through the first 2.1 innings, it looked like more of the same. He couldn’t locate his pitches, and his breaking balls were tailing out over the plate.

After allowing back-to-back run-scoring hits to Clete Thomas and Jamey Carroll, CC seemed to discover his pitches. To my eye, he appeared annoyed with himself, and he responded by striking out Joe Mauer. Josh Willingham flied out to a sliding Brett Gardner — who said after the game that he felt a sting in his wrist on the play — to end the threat. From there, it was smooth sailing.

Sabathia retired 13 Twins in a row before Trevor Plouffe walked, and he pitched into the 8th inning. With seven strike outs in 7.1 innings, CC upped his total to 22 on the year and walked away a winner for the first time in 2012. Order had seemingly been restored to the top of the Yankee rotation.

Stewart’s Big Day

At the plate, the Yanks were making Twins’ starter Francisco Liriano work. He had reached 76 pitches when the Twins went to their bullpen, and the Yanks continued to feast. Tonight’s stars were the bottom half of the order as Eduardo Nunez, Brett Gardner and Chris Stewart went 6 for 10 with 5 runs batted in. Derek Jeter added a hit and a pair of RBIs, his 8th and 9th on the season. It took him until the Yanks’ 32nd game to reach that mark last year.

Stewart though should earn some recognition. The Yanks acquired him to boost their Minor League depth and give them a solid defensive back-up. Any hitting he does is gravy, and tonight, he helped with the bat. With one out and the bases loaded in the 3rd, Stewart lined Liriano’s 76th pitch into left field for a two-run single. The Yanks grabbed the lead, and they would never relinquish it.

In the 7th, with the Yanks holding to a 7-3 lead, Stewart found himself at bat again with Brett Gardner in scoring position. He again lifted a pitch into left field for his third RBI of the night, a new career high. Stewart won’t hit much; that’s not his role anyway. But for a night, he came through when he had to and helped cement the game for the Yanks.

Odds & Ends

After Monday night’s disappointing loss, the Yanks bounced back with a stress-free game over the Twins. We could use a few more of those this year — although three of the last five games have been stress-free wins.

While Derek Jeter picked up another hit, the middle of the Yanks’ order continued to do nothing. Robinson Cano and A-Rod went 1 for 9, and three of Cano’s outs came with runners on base. It’s been a rough beginning for those two, but they should break out in a big way soon enough.

Brett Gardner had a great night and saw his early-season triple slash line take a big jump. He’s now 9 for 28 with 5 walks and 5 runs scored on the season. His defense, as he showed with that diving play, has been spectacular in left. Andruw Jones‘ home run was a monster shot into the night.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, Fangraphs some additional stats and ESPN the updated standings.

Source: FanGraphs

Up Next

The third of this four-game series kicks off at 7:05 p.m. on Wednesday. Jason Marquis will make his Twins debut, and he’ll face Hiroki Kuroda, coming off a stellar outing on Friday afternoon. RAB Tickets has all the good deals.

Murphy helps Tampa walk-off with win
The Seldom Used 25th Man
  • mustang

    Stewart to RAB comments:

    How Do You Like Me Now?!

    • RetroRob

      Sell high!

      • Havok9120

        I laughed.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Monterowasdinero changed his name to Steweyisgooey, so I guess the answer is “YES! YES! YES!”

  • Havok9120

    I must say, I feel great for Stewart. To do that when you’ve been traded for (twice!!) and you’re playing your first game in Yankee Stadium in four years….

    I’m just saying, that’s gotta feel awesome.

    • YankeesJunkie

      Always good to see a marginal player do that for the team you watch, nonetheless all the ladies!

  • Dino Velvet

    Youk struck out 4 times, Lester got knocked out after 2, Melancon gave up 3 blasts without getting an out, and red sox media in full panic.


    • Knoxvillain

      And Evan Overrated Longoria made two errors.

      • Chen Meng Wang

        three, however calling Longoria over rated is just silly. He’s the best all around third baseman in the AL right now. Last season he was ranked 6th in position players for WAR last season.

        • Knoxvillain

          No he’s not. I’d take Cabrera or Beltre over him anyday. Longoria is a great player, but he’s not a superstar like everyone makes him out to be.

          • Havok9120

            “I’d take Cabrera or Beltre over him anyday.”


            That’s your problem, not his.

    • Havok9120

      I went and read tonight’s Game Thread at Over the Monster.

      It was glorious.

      • Chen Meng Wang

        Haha, I’m scrolling through it while watching sportscenter and found probably the greatest thing I have ever read. “But right now I have, like, no animosity towards the Yankees…we have NO chance at getting within 5 games of them this year. So, I hope we can be like 8-10 against them this season, they’ll win 97-100, and we’ll be where we are.”

        Literally two weeks into the season and Red Sox fans are waving the white flag for the division.

        • Havok9120

          That whole chain of posts was pretty funny. Not as good as the stuff about Bobby V. I’ve spent the last two days in their Game Threads and they’ve got from dreading the worst but being optimistic to “fire this prick.” Mainly because of him leaving Bard in so long yesterday (which, as someone who watching the game fairly objectively, really was inexcusable. Bard was clearly gassed and he left him in to blow a very good start despite having a pretty fresh pen).

          • Chen Meng Wang

            I absolutely agree that Bard should’ve been out of there at around 90 pitches. If Bobby had taken him out then, Bard looks really good in an early season start and has something to build on. But yeah…Bobby V has almost completely lost the Sox fan base for what that’s worth.

        • Sayid J.

          sounds nothing like yankee fans… oh wait

          • Havok9120

            People here may nitpick the team to death and panic that we’re screwed IN THE PLAYOFFS, but almost no one here (who isn’t trolling) is of the opinion that we aren’t making the playoffs. Red Sox Nation cannot say the same.

    • Brian in NH

      Remember, the Red Sox actually started last season 2-10 before playing like the best team in the league for the bulk of the summer. They will be dangerous, and you know they will be geared up for this weekend’s series. They have some pitching problems, but so did the Yankees of the mid-aughts and they were still playing baseball into October (just no WS titles).

      • Havok9120

        Oh, I’m faaaarrr more optimistic about the Sox than their fans are. That doesn’t mean that watching them flip isn’t funny.

        I won’t be surprised if they sweep us in this series.

    • Steve (different one)

      What’s up with Melancon? He’s terrible.

  • Long Time Lurker

    That part about CC appearing annoyed at his earlier ineffectiveness and then pitching well the rest of the way reminds me of an article/post I read a season or two ago where CC wasn’t doing well in a particular start, went into the dugout at the end of the inning, said “That’s all they get” (or something along those lines), and then went on to pitch a great game.

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

      I remember that, against the White Sox in 2009.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      That’s exactly what I love about him the most. You see him do that after a tough start to a game time and time again.

  • Robbie Cano

    This post is a bit misleading in the ARod/Cano 1 – 9. Cano smoked the ball twice right at people and was simply unlucky tonight. He probably had the best swings of the team tonight – you just can’t guide the baseball unfortunately!

    • Havok9120

      Yeah, he and Tex have angered the baseball gods or something. Lots of balls hit on the screws right at defenders (and not even all because of the shift in Mark’s case).

  • Midland TX

    Things returning to normal all over. A-Jack 0-4, 3K

  • Greg

    Needed this win. Big Time

    Jet fans complaining about the schedule and the team, Devils collapsing, Nets done, and I found out that a person from one of my favorite British shows left the show over a little spat.

    One bright spot.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I hope Deron sticks around. Had a really nice time with him when they helped with my agency’s client Christmas party.

    • JohnC

      Jets schedule is a piece of cake compared to the Giants sched. League has it in for them for winning the Super Bowl with a 9-7 record

      • Robinson Tilapia

        You win the Super Bowl, you don’t get an easy schedule the next season. That’s not revenge. That’s NFL scheduling.

        • Cris Pengiucci

          Yeah, best revenge is to win the Super Bowl again with a 9-7 record. Get into the playoffs, then win.

  • Bobby Valentine

    Chris Stewart 2012 RBI total = AROD + Cano 2012 RBI total

    Yes RBI is a pretty non-meaningful stat, but given he has a grand total of 7 AB’s this is kind of funny… (and a bit sad at the same time)

    Plus the .286/.286/.286 slash line is all sorts of awesome… with one K he’s like the anti three true outcome hitter.

    • Havok9120

      Is that really his slash line?

      That’s pretty sweet.

  • Johnny

    Melancon got blasted today for 6ER without recording an out. I know he’s our mole in Boston and all, but I’m okay with him getting lit up because a) He plays for Boston; and b) his family name is confusing. It should be pronounced Meh-lan-kon, not Meh-lan-sin.

    • jjyank

      I feel bad for Melancon, because I liked him quite a bit when he was in our system. But that Boston bullpen is just all sorts of train wreck. If Melancon and Aceves can’t get it together, they are screwed.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        I liked him until I actually got to see him. He made much better DOTF material.

  • Monterowasdinero

    Who replaces Bobby V? That should be our concern with the Sox. Youk 0-4 with 4K’s? They are gonna get that sob fired asap.

    No concerns with Cano and Alex hasn’t looked as bad as he has in the past when his #’s stunk. His error-while not costing us-was bush league.

    If Nunez-who had a solid defensive game-did that……

    • jjyank

      Shhhh I don’t want the Sox to fire Valentine. I mean, I hate him, but it is glorious watching him bicker with his own players.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Who says he’s necessarily going anywhere? That’s a mess, but I don’t see them admitting a mistake that easily. If anything, he walks away before they even dream up the cojones to fire him.

      Something should happen, though. I can’t stomach the thought of siding with Dustin Pedroia for long.

      • jjyank

        Ha, I second that last sentence.

    • Annie Oakley

      They screwed up running out a players manager for Valentine. Players managers like Francona and Girardi work well with veteran teams and they’re good with the press in big markets. Managers like Valentine would be better with a younger team. The Red Sox players don’t want all the drama played out in the media. Valentine will be gone in 2 years.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        I don’t think it will be a long marriage. Agreed. I also think there’s a difference between a “player’s manager” and a guy like Francona who, by the end there, was running way too loose a ship.

        Yes, I’d consider Girardi to be a “player’s manager,” but I don’t see anyone employed by this franchise allowing the kind of nonsense they allow on the Titanic, er, Red Sox (sorry, I get my centennials confused sometimes…)

        • Havok9120

          Part of that is the players though. I don’t see most of our guys ever doing something like that. And the few would might would be destroyed by The Old Dudes before they even got their foot out the door.

          Girardi’s style would help prevent something like that, but team construction makes the point moot.

  • jjyank

    Ahhh my first Sterling/Waldman game of the season (damn Tuesday night classes). Too bad I couldn’t watch most of it. Hopefully Stewart can occasionally chip in. I’m not expecting much, but if he can do what he did tonight every once in awhile, that’d be awesome. And good to see CC right the ship.

    Now let’s just hope for an encore performance from Kuroda!

  • Monterowasdinero

    Stewart has a very quick compact swing. I saw him take bp in Baltimore last week and he has an odd approach-sort of a herky jerky swing where he brings his hands forward, then stops, then continues his bat quickly through the zone. It was odd.

    I talked to him after a AAA game in Durham a few years ago. Nova pitched a good game and I asked Stewart if he thought Nova would start for the Yanks soon. His response?

    “If he throws strikes”

  • CS Yankee

    I like Martin as the starter, however he is hitting worse than Jeet’s April, 2011.

    I would start Stewart again tonight while having Long do some OT with Martin (ala Grandy 2010) to get him straight.

    Rewards…they need to be realize in both forms;
    1) For the good (Stew)
    2) For the bad (Martin poor contact rate)

    • Havok9120

      He’s walking a bunch, so his eye is on. The swing will come I think.