May
27

Kuroda dominates A’s, Yanks win fifth straight

By


Source: FanGraphs

For the first time this season, the Yankees have won five games in a row. They finished up a three-game sweep of the Athletics with a 2-0 win on Sunday and are now just two back of first place in the AL East in the loss column. Let’s recap…

  • My Kuroda: Bartolo Colon threw a complete game shutout in Oakland on Memorial Day last season, and Hiroki Kuroda nearly matched him on Sunday. He threw eight shutout innings (104 pitches) on Memorial Day eve, allowing just four singles and one walk. Things got a little hairy with men on corners and one out in the seven, but Kuroda escaped the jam (strikeout, fly out) and didn’t face another stressful situation all afternoon. I know the Athletics can’t hit, but a great start is a great start. Go Hiroki.
  • Andruw & Tex: The Yankees only needed one run but got two. Andruw Jones launched a mammoth homer to left-center on the first pitch of the second inning, then Mark Teixeira doubled in Curtis Granderson from first for an insurance run in the seventh. It was Teixeira’s second double of the afternoon and his seventh extra-base hit in the last six games. He’s suddenly hitting .254/.312/.467 on the season, and that ain’t half bad.
  • RISPFAIL: Despite the win, the Yankees went 1-for-11 with runners in scoring position and couldn’t push a run across despite having the bases loaded with one out in the first. Five of the first eight hitters they sent to the plate reached base, but just five of the final 29 reached after that. Everyone in the starting lineup had exactly one hit except for Teixeira (two doubles), Robinson Cano (a walk), and Chris Stewart (nothing). Granderson drew a walk in addition to his single.
  • Leftovers: Rafael Soriano struck out two in a scoreless ninth for the save, but we’re still awaiting that first 1-2-3 inning of the season … Teixeira turned a sweet 3-6 double play following a leadoff single in the fifth … Andruw was left in to face a righty in the late innings, so it’s not just Raul Ibanez being left in to face lefties. Both platoon DHs are being left in the game to face pitchers of the same hand in the late innings. In a two-run game, I think you’ve got to give Raul a chance to run into one in that spot.

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the advanced stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Yankees are headed down to Anaheim for a three-game set with the Angels starting Monday night, when Phil Hughes matches up against Jered Weaver.

Categories : Game Stories
  • DM

    Any bets that Stewart catches Kuroda next time?

    • Steve

      Not even kidding…if Martin keeps sucking, have Stewart be full-time.

      • Havok9120

        I must point out that even Martin’s slumping batting line, which I think is unsustainably bad, is better than Stewart’s career line. And he’s still about as good on defense….AND the pitchers like him.

  • hogsmog

    Any chance Girardi leaves in Jones & Ibanez in low-leverage situations where they are ahead in order to give them ‘practice’ against their weak side? I still don’t know though, as a two-run lead is by no means so far ahead that I’d start throwing away at-bats, especially for guys who don’t necessarily need runners on to do damage.

    • Havok9120

      That’s almost certainly why he’s doing it.

      • crawdaddie

        I agree when Jones faced the righty as Girardi certainly would’ve used Ibanez if the Yankees were tied or behind.

        • Havok9120

          We’re still early enough in the season that I really do want Girardi doing experiments with what guys are capable of. This is part of that. Was the timing perfect for this? No. Was it unacceptable? Also no.

          *shrug*

        • Steve (different one)

          Also, if the game is tied, can’t the A’s wait until the pinch hitter is announced and just bring in a new pitcher??

          • hogsmog

            They could, but you can’t always assume that they’re going to want to burn another reliever. Plus, I think my greatest concern isn’t necessarily tie games (in which Girardi wouldn’t risk so many ‘experiments’), but 2-3 run leads where insurance would be nice.

    • RetroRob

      I have less of a problem with Jones being left in the game to face righthanded pitchers compared to Ibanez facing a lefty. So far this year Jones has hit three of his five HRs against righties, and is hitting .273/.407/.682/1.089 against same-siders. his ABs against righties toward the end of last year were much better than earlier in the season, and that so far has carried forward. He’s been weaker against lefties so far, but I suspect that will correct soon. SSS and all.

    • Steve (different one)

      There is also a “pinch hitting” discount that needs to be applied to their platoon splits. Players don’t hit to their averages coming off the bench late in games.

      It probably doesn’t wipe out the advantage, but it might take a sizable bite out of it.

  • Havok9120

    I was terrified that, after falling asleep in the 7th, I’d wake up to find a blown save or something.

    Very glad I didn’t. I’ll take gems from the rotation no matter what team we’re playing and be very happy about it.

  • DR

    Great sweep! I went to the first two games of the series (living in CA, it’s the only time I get to see the Yanks live). I end up going down at least once a year, and Tex has now hit a homerun in each of the last 4 games I’ve gone to (the two games this series, and one each in the past 2 years.) I hope this is a sign of things to come!

    • RetroRob

      Head over to Anaheim. That’s going to be a much tougher series. The Yankees have won five straight, while the Angels have won six straight, and it’s in their home park. If the Yankees can take two of three it will be great.

      • eephus_pitch

        I just can’t bring myself to watch them in that gimmicky joke of a ballpark.
        Plus every time I go to a Yanks/Angels game the bombers get annihilated by 10 runs.

        • forensic

          Eh, the ballpark isn’t that bad (though the fans almost make up for it), but yeah, they’ve lost a bunch when we’ve gone there too.

          • eephus_pitch

            I can’t stand the fake rocks and the fireworks after every homerun. That, and the friggin’ rally monkey. It just feels like minor league baseball, except that they kill the Yanks.
            Oh, and the mindless Scioscia-worship.

      • Evan3457

        The Yanks aren’t hot, they’ve just been beating up on bad teams, the Royals and the A’s. Not the Angels, who’ve won six straight against good competition like the…uh…Mariners and the A’s.

        Uh…never mind.

  • forensic

    Any chance New York could move west of Texas before the start of next season? I can’t imagine how nice it must be to play Oakland, Seattle, and Houston for a third of your season…

    • OMG! Bagels!

      Oakland has nice weather but Seattle is rainy and Houston is hot hot hot.

      and the Yankees are not going anywhere.

      • forensic

        Whew, thanks for that reality check. I so had my hopes up…

  • pat

    Guaranteed if Joe pulled Andruw for Raul and Ibanez grounded out people would be flipping because Jones had hit a bomb earlier in the game. “he’s so locked in why pull him against a shitty rhb????”

    • Havok9120

      This exactly. I don’t think Mike would do that, but plenty of commenters would, especially since Andruw has hit righties quite well so far.

  • Havok9120

    From Jennings at LoHud:

    “Derek Jeter had no idea what was going on. He was already dressed in his suit, sitting at his locker, gathering his things to leave. Then he turned to find a group of reporters standing all around him, and Jeter actually asked why we were there. Someone had to tell him he’d passed George Brett on baseball’s all-time hits list.”

    I love The Captain.

    • eephus_pitch

      Maybe he didn’t consider that weird bunt single to be a “real” hit.

    • Steve (different one)

      I don’t find it to be that odd that he didn’t know.

      • Havok9120

        Odd? No. Still pretty cool? *shrug*

  • pistol pete

    Soriano is looking better and better in the closers role has an era under 3 and is 100% in save situations. When Robbie returns the pen gets better and I hope Joe returns David to the 8th. The addition of Pettitte to this team has been immeasurable.

    • CS Yankee

      So still scares me. I am one of the few that thought he could be good insurance for Mo & injuries/performance. However, I didn’t realize how a sour-puss he is…but props for not giving up saves.

      Drob, Logan and Wade have been excellent so far.

  • pistol pete

    Tough pitching match ups for the Yanks vs LA facing Weaver and Harren the 1st two games.

  • forensic

    I believe they are now 1 for their last 29 with the bases loaded.

    Please, please let there be a huge correction coming on that.

    • CS Yankee

      Agree, .250 is expected, .275 is solid and .300 is excellent.

      So maybe a 14 over the next 21 will occur, one would hope.

    • eephus_pitch

      Even some run-scoring outs would feel like a great improvement. But it’s all been pop-ups and strikeouts.

  • CS Yankee

    Glad they feasted on the weak ones, hopefully get 2 of 3 against the LAoACAoOCoUSAoWHoE and their 3 1B & 5 OFers.

    A sweep of our 3-4-5 guys against their 1-2-4 will net a big 10 in the poll from me, and 2 of 3 will restore the 9.

    More worried about Nova than the other four now, good problem to have.

  • DJ4K&Monterowasdinero

    Soriano is a strange guy. What is written inside his cap that he reads before an inning and before he faced Reddick with 2 outs in the 9th? Words of inspiration no doubt.

    He is one of the only pure closers who pitches from a windup and he seems to never shake off a sign even though-unlike Mo-he throws 3 pitches frequently. He also takes signs in the middle of his windup! Stewart would flash signs AFTER So began his windup. He starts, stops for a second to pick up the sign-and then continues with the pitch. As such, he shows full trust in his catcher by being unable to shake off a sign. Strange.

    Sciosia calls pitches from the dugout-yesterday he went through 3 sets of signs. Left hand to the face 3x, right hand to the face 3x and then 3 different finger signs. Imagine if Joe G did that while keeping his binder on his lap.