Bats lifeless against Millwood in Pettitte’s return

Williams and Sanchez return in Charleston loss
Fan Confidence Poll: May 14th, 2012

Source: FanGraphs

It’s not often that a regular season game gets as much attention as Sunday afternoon’s loss to the Mariners. The Yankees were unable to finish off the series sweep but the real story is Andy Pettitte, who officially came all the way back from retirement to rejoin the rotation. I’m sure that made many Tri-State Area mothers extra happy on Mother’s Day. Let’s recap…

  • Andy’s Back: Four runs — on two two-run homers — in 6.1 innings isn’t anything to write home about except when it happens in Pettitte’s first start back. From what I saw, he basically looked like the same ol’ Andy, just a bit rusty. That’s too be expected, obviously. I’m sure nerves were a factor considering the crowd noise and everything, but the start is pretty encouraging given the unique circumstances. There’s lots of season left, so let’s see where this thing takes Pettitte and the team.
  • Ball Four: The Yankees managed just two runs in a game started by the corpse of Kevin Millwood, and both runs came on bases loaded walks. Russell Martin took ball four in the fifth inning — the only run they scored off Millwood — and Robinson Cano did the same in the eighth. Derek Jeter grounded into a first pitch double player following Martin’s walk and Mark Teixeira struck out after Cano’s. Pretty rough day for the offense.
  • LOOGY vs. RHB: I know there was a hideous throwing error involved, but Joe Girardi couldn’t have been surprised that Clay Rapada allowed runs to score when he was left in to face right-handed batters. I mean, walking Brendan Ryan and his .144/.266/.222 batting line is as awful as it gets. It’s okay to use David Phelps for something other than long relief, you know. Yuck.
  • Leftovers: I know the replay showed he was safe, but Nick Swisher‘s TOOTBLAN in the ninth was as dumb as it gets … Cory Wade allowed an earned run in his 1.2 IP of work, just the second time he’s allowed an earned run in an appearance this year … first four hitters: 1-for-13 with three walks; bottom five: 5-for-16 with three walks … Teixeira’s hit was a dinky little swinging bunt infield single, but otherwise he has a whopping 12 hits in his last 19 games. Dude’s a total drag on the offense and shouldn’t be hitting anywhere close to fifth. has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Yankees are off to Baltimore for a quick little two-game series starting Monday, but there’s a very good chance that game will get rained out. The forecast is pretty ugly. If they do manage to play, it’ll be Ivan Nova against Jason Hammel.

Williams and Sanchez return in Charleston loss
Fan Confidence Poll: May 14th, 2012
  • Kevin

    Kinda funny in a way but I saw this coming. After getting to Shields,Price and King Felix in one week,it would figure that we would get beaten by Millwood.
    Same thing happened to the Rangers. They beat up Jared Weaver tonight but also got held to one run in seven innings against Millwood earlier in the year. You just can’t predict baseball.

  • forensic

    Teixeira’s hit was a dinky little swinging bunt infield single, but otherwise he has a whopping 12 hits in his last 19 games. Dude’s a total drag on the offense and shouldn’t be hitting anywhere close to fifth.

    But, the manager says he can’t move him because he’s still 4th on the team in RBI’s. I’m so confused what to believe…

    It’s not even just that one hit for Tex, but 3 of his last four hits have been 2 of those swinging bunts and a dying quail blooper.

  • forensic

    I guess maybe me mentioning how great so many of the hitters numbers were against Millwood actually did jinx them. My bad…

  • LK

    How much longer does everyone think Tex would need to hit like this before Girardi actually moves him down? I can’t believe I’m saying this, but I’d much rather see Ibanez up against a righty at this point.

    • forensic

      Ibanez nearly has a 1.000 OPS vs. righties. He should absolutely be batting 5th against righties right now. Even Girardi’s quoting of Tex’s RBI total doesn’t help here since Ibanez is out-RBI’ing him from 2 spots lower in the order. Hell, even Swisher is out-RBI’ing him from 1 spot lower in the order and having missed a week with an injury.

  • Sansa

    Teixera is a problem and it’s not just a couple months. He wasn’t good last year either. We can’t have a .220 1st baseman hitting 5th in the lineup. They need to move him down below Swisher and below Ibanez, otherwise teams are just going to pitch around Cano like Wedge did today. And they pitched around Cano with the bases loaded! That’s how little people respect Teixera. And they even let him hit from his better side! Do something, Joe.

    • forensic

      Tex has actually been better as a lefty this year than a righty. That’s how bad things have gotten.

  • OldYanksFan

    Actually, if we weren’t short in the OF, I’d play Swish at 1B and bench Teix for 2 or 3 games. His approach sucks. Even though ARod isn’t doing well, he bunts for a base hit, smacks a single the other way thru the shift, takes a walk when offered, and otherwise shows he’s willing to do whatever it takes to get on-base.

    Teix, on the other hand, swings from the heals, and refuses to just stroke the ball. His strikeout today was on a pitch that was never near being a strike. He really needs to work with KLong and shake up his approach.

    • Need Pitching

      Chavez can play first.

      And how is Arod not doing well? He’s hitting 375/457/475 this month.

      • LK

        Arod has been hitting fine (and was never really struggling the way that Cano was and Tex still is), but I think everyone would admit that they were hoping for a little more power; not even more home runs necessarily, I’d be happy if he could just pick up some more doubles.

    • Brian S.

      A-Rod is doing great. He had a 135 wRC+ going into today’s game. Why are people trying to lump him in with the other underperformers?

    • Truth Meter

      I’m not sure I’d say A-Rod is doing great, but it’s certainly not fair to say he’s not doing well either. His triple slash heading into today was .287/.387/.434 and is on pace for 25+ HRs. He’s not what he once was and never will be again, but he’s still productive and he has not been the problem in the middle of the order. It was Tex and Cano. Cano has come alive. Hopefully Tex will too.

      • jjyank

        Before yesterday’s game, over the previous 30 days ARod was hitting .313 and had a .398 OBP. I have no idea why there is a perception that he’s not hitting.

    • LarryM.,Fl.


      Totaly agree, Teix.’s approach does stink. He is so locked in to the pull from the left side its a disease with no apparent cure. So much for his new attitude with going the other way. This approach may work for Pena with the Rays fan base but it will wear thin in NY. I expect the boos to be raining down sooner then later.

      I do not advocate booing any ML player especially a Yankee.

  • Kevin

    Jeter deserves more blame in this game then Tex does,even if he did swing at ball four.
    Millwood was on the ropes after walking in a run and JEter swung at first pitch and let him off the hook.

    • OldYanksFan

      Not so much this year (.696), but over the last 3 years, Jeter has a .929 OPS on the first pitch. It’s frustrating to watch, but you can’t blame Jeter if he has good results swinging at the first pitch.

    • forensic

      It’s aggravating, frustrating, whatever you want to call it. But, there is an argument for swinging at the 1st pitch after a walk when the pitcher may just lay it in there. Given Jeter’s tendencies as a hitter, it was almost a foregone conclusion that he would swing there.

    • Truth Meter

      The negativity toward Tex is not because of today’s game. He is the new whipping boy, just as Jeter was the first half of last year. He can end it by hitting again, as Jeter did.

      • Rich in NJ

        Distinguish whipping boy from pointing out that a player hasn’t played well over a prolonged period of time.

        • Truth Meter

          No need to.

    • Midland TX

      His 2 GIDPs today moved him past Bill Buckner and Pete Rose into a 30th-place tie with Kenny Singleton for the all-time lead, with 248.

      Next is Willie Mays at 251 although he’ll have to leapfrog Paul Konerko.

      • MannyGeee

        funny, NoMaas used to have a counter for this on their main site. do they still do that? good stuff

        • Steve (different one)

          Not sure if they still do, but even when Jeter was struggling and hitting into tons of DPs, the counter was really dumb. If you looked at the quality of the names on the list, it basically told you the opposite of what they wanted it to. It was one hall of famer after another. You have to be pretty good to get so many DP opportunities….

  • pistol pete

    Tex avoids criticism better than any other Yankee I’ve ever seen. It’s pretty obvious he’s suffering withdrawl from ped’s and may never approach his previous form. His obp is hovering at an abominable 270 and he’s been dreadful in the playoffs. The Yanks have 5 yrs at 23m left for a good fielding can’t run occasional power hitting first baseman. That’s the truth. Girardi kept him batting 3rd for 3 yrs based on his contract and it’s unlikely he’ll do any differently now that he’s batting 5th. Obviously either Swisher or Ibanez is a better 5 hole hitter right now but it’s not going to happen.

    • forensic

      At least Yankees and Orioles fans can unite the next couple days while both booing Tex.

      • Brian S.

        Texas, Baltimore, Boston, New York, Los Angeles…We should start a movement to get him booed in every ballpark in the majors.

    • Mike Axisa

      Obvious PED withdrawal! Pujols too, ditto any other declining player.

    • LK

      It’s pretty obvious you don’t know what obvious means.

  • Matt DiBari

    Has Jason Hammel started pitching like Jason Hammel yet?

    • forensic

      He’s had one start since pitching very well against the Yankees and that was an even better start in Fenway.

      He was scratched from his last start with knee inflammation so we can hope that either that or his 8 days of rest will mess with him though.

  • Rey22

    I mean, to be fair, Tex did hit a rocket to the opposite field batting lefty that the LF made a nice catch on. He’s at least sorta trying to go the other way?


    • forensic

      It’s a little tough to tell without being able to see the full arc of the ball, but that seemed like much more of a weak high fly ball to me, given how much time the LFer had to relatively easily get to it.

  • Kosmo

    I can´t wait for Tex to breakout of his slump in a major way. Every year Yankee fans find a new whipping boy. I remember in 2008 it was Cano, 2009 can´t remember?,2010-11 Burnett and Jeter, now Tex is under the continued scrutiny of NYs fickled fans . I´m not saying some of it wasn´t well deserved but give it a rest.

    • forensic

      So, you can bash on Granderson for his slump, but no one can bash on Tex or Jeter or Burnett for much longer ‘slumps’?

      Based on your last couple posts, I’m guessing you may have a soft spot for Tex? That’s fine, I blindly support a couple guys too, everyone does. But, to say someone making $20+ million at the least important defensive position in the game while sporting a .275 OBP in the middle of the lineup only deserves ‘some’ of his scrutiny is pushing it.

      • Kosmo

        I admit I like Tex, maybe you would like to characterize it as “blind“ I see it as just being patient. To clear up the point about Granderson, it´s not only Tex, when for example does Granderson ever get bashed for his prolonged 3-25 slumps? Usually during the course of the season he´s always good for a few of those. When does he deliver a key hit? He´s already amassing huge K totals but for some reason he´s not a target. When the offense stalls out it´s always SEEMS to be the player having the worst time of it that receives the wrath of the fans, who right now happens to be Tex.
        I feel he´s to good a player to just fall off a cliff.
        I agree with an above post that Tex needs to sit for a game or two and maybe change the batting order sequence to see if it does any good. Thanks.

        • forensic

          You’re right, blind was the wrong word, and I’m sorry about that. And, for what it’s worth, I call Granderson out for lots of stuff, especially his frustrating lack of contact ability. I got reamed a new one here for mentioning that around the time of his 3 HR game.

          And, Tex was my second favorite player a bit ago when they signed him. But, his lack of adjustments in the face of obvious failures, which he himself has pointed out, has just completely turned me off and dropped him way down the totem pole for my support.

          It’d be one thing if it was still just the ‘one’ issue of the low BA as a lefty with everything else still there, but it’s WAY beyond that now. He’s not hitting righty either, he’s not walking at all, he isn’t even hitting for power. I posted some numbers a couple days ago details his numbers if you take out his fluky game against the Sox and especially a couple other consecutive games around that and his numbers were in the area of .150/.225/.275 or so. That’s absurdly bad and there’s something seriously wrong there beyond the normal poor start to the season.

          • Kosmo

            I read your posts most of the time and I recall the Granderson comments, last year I did the same thing regarding Granderson and it started a lot of hostile jousting.
            I took into account that Tex is a notoriously slow starter and I hope he comes around. He has been an abomination but I think the problem is between his ears. If he´s not slowly picking up steam by mid-June then yes we have an elephant in the room.

  • LeftyLarry

    Pettitte has an extra move in his delivery now.He chicken wings his left elbow high away from his side, something he probably picked up throwing slower betting practice to his kids and their teammates.
    Didn’t do that before, probably not a good thing either.

    • pat

      Great analysis.

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

      I noticed the flying elbow too. Strange. Did the announcers mention it at all?

  • Monterowasnotdinero

    Possible rainout tonight. All day rain forecast today and again tomorrow.

  • OMG! Bagels!

    Everyone on RAB should write into the Joe Girardi show asking about the Tex thing again and again. Girardi needs to manage better than the fans.

    • Steve (different one)

      Not for nothing, but the fans wanted Hughes dropped from the rotation 2 weeks ago and bashed Joe for showing patience with him (who knows if he’s actually turned it around or not, but we’d never even be this far if it was up to the fans). The fans wanted Ibanez cut in spring training. The fans thought Chavez was a “square peg” on the roster. The fans wanted Jeter hitting 9th.

      It’s a fine line between having your player’s back and doing what is best for the team.

      Girardi and the Yankees have been rewarded plenty of times for showing a little patience.

      Teixera has looked beyond awful, but the “fans” don’t know everything either. We shouldn’t sit here pretending that Girardi’s job is so obviously easy, because we (myself included) have been wrong so many times. Except when we are wrong, there are no consequences.

      • Bartolo’s Colon

        nice try, but there’s no time for patience or perspective

      • OMG! Bagels!

        I’m a big Girardi fan and I agree with most of what you said. I’m not on the ledge most of the time but the Tex thing is driving me crazy. I honestly believe it’s costing us games. Hughes pitches every 5 days, Chavez is not in the lineup every day and Jeter is Jeter. I think that the Tex situation is different. I think it’s costing us games. And that’s not okay when he’s in an important place in the lineup every single day.

  • LB

    Bases loaded, one out, down by one, bottom of the ninth with a right-hander on the mound, who would you rather see up: Mark Teixeira or Chris Stewart?

  • pat

    I was at the game. Crowd noise was definitely not a factor. I’m not one to bemoan the state of the Stadium but it was pretty shameful/embarrassing to me how quiet it was for most of the day. Granted it was balls hot most of the day and that probably led to the passive mood, but it was very disappointing considering how big of a game it was with AP back. I guess you can also chalk up the fact that it was Mother’s Day and probably a lot of families were in attendance. Either way It definitely wasn’t noisy at all.

    • rek4gehrig

      Or because Yanks didnt give the fans anything to cheer about?

  • Bartolo’s Colon

    how does rapada stay in the game. i know he muffed the ground ball, but at that point girardi might as well just wave a white flag. swisher makes some bone headed decisions, but this one was bad, how does he not realize that down 4 runs, there is absolutely no advantage to being on 3rd rather than 2nd? did robbie thompson wave him in? when will tex be good again? how did he drop off so violently?

    • Tim

      Under no circumstances in a 2 run game Do you allow your LH’ed specialist to face 2 RH’ers in a row.

      I’m not a Girardi-basher, but that was AWFUL, DREADFUL MANAGING

  • mike

    Day games are always dead at the Stadium….and they would have been dead at the old stadium if the lower tier had luxury clubs and air conditioned areas with complimentary food, soda and ice cream for families to take a break out of the sun for a bit as YS3 currently has.

    Lump it in with a pathetic offensive game by both teams, and a holiday…the place is rightfully a morgue

    • OMG! Bagels!

      I hate to see the empty seats behind home plate when the grandstand is full of people screaming and into the games. They need to make the lower tier seats more accessible for the “real” fans. Part of me thinks they don’t want those people in the lower tier BECAUSE they’re so loud but the lower tier emptiness looks terrible. It seems like the front office and the team actually like the fans being further, rather than closer, to the field.

      • Tim

        Did you hear Orel Hersheiser on is broadcast last night talking about the Old Yankee Stadium? He said that when you went there as a visiting club, you went their to survive. He starting describing how every game was loud, obscene and the only thing you thought about as a player is to get the hell out. Now, all the wall st yahoos sit there (if they bother to show up), on their phones, counting there $$. It is sad, I miss YSII terribly!!!

        • Steve (different one)

          This has much much more to do with NYC as a whole in the different time periods, than it does the actual building. It’s not like YS2 was like Hershiser described in 2008….

  • Tim

    Very encouraged by what I saw from AP, but I his next start v Votto, Bruce, datDude and Co. should be a better barometer.

    Mark Teixeira is a problem……a huge problem. He always gets a pass because he absolutely, positively HAS to be in the lineup because of his defensive prowess at 1B. But, maybe Joe should try dropping him behind Swisher (and maybe even behind Chavez when he is in the lineup)

    He got his first Bronx cheer yesterday afternoon, and I expect plenty more……..

  • leftylarry

    Tex needs to give up on the HR’s and go the opposite way.He’ll still get the HR’s but will bat 40 points higher.