Swept in Oakland: A’s walk-off with another win

Trenton & Charleston win wild games
Fan Confidence Poll: July 23rd, 2012


Source: FanGraphs

For the first time in history, a) the Athletics swept the Yankees in a four-game series in Oakland, and b) the Yankees lost four straight one-run games to the same team. It’s also the first time New York has been swept in a four-game series by anyone since the Blue Jays did the honors in 2003. What a stupid series overall. Let’s recap…

  • Early Lead: The Yankees jumped all over Bartolo Colon for three runs in the third — Alex Rodriguez‘s two-run double was the big blow — and tacked on a fourth via Curtis Granderson‘s solo homer an inning later. Bart was pounding the zone with fastballs but the Yankees did a real nice job of fighting off the good ones and hammering the mistakes. The problem is they didn’t bother to score any more runs after Granderson went deep.
  • Chipping Away: CC Sabathia looked mighty good early on, but the Athletics started chipping away with solo homers (Brandon Inge and Kurt Suzuki?!?) in the fifth. Oakland’s third run scored when shortstop for the day Jayson Nix couldn’t get a double play ball out of his glove and Inge beat out the relay. Sabathia struck out six in seven three-run innings that should have been two-run innings if not for Nix, at least theoretically.
  • Blownpen: Aside from a dinky single, David Robertson looked fantastic in his scoreless eighth. The A’s didn’t take one good swing. Rafael Soriano blew his second save in 26 chances when he fell behind Seth Smith and hung a 3-1 slider. The solo homer tied the game and sent things to extra innings. Sucks, but it happens. Really can’t blame Soriano for the loss.
  • Extras: David Phelps retired all five men he faced on 19 pitches before Joe Girardi inexplicably lifted him for matchup reasons. That’s right up there with intentionally walking Sean Rodriguez as one of his worst moves of the season. Completely illogical. Not only was he the best available reliever (either him or Boone Logan, it’s arguable but not worth it), but he was stretch out and capable of throwing like, five innings in relief. The matchup-ing worked until Cody Eppley got stuck facing a left-handed batter with the winning run in scoring position. This four specialists out of seven relievers stuff can’t last much longer.
  • Leftovers: The Yankees went 7-for-21 with one walk from the start of the game through Granderson’s homer, then just 4-for-27 with two walks (one intentional) thereafter … Josh Reddick lost a Mark Teixeira popup in the sun to leadoff the 12th, but they Yankees couldn’t get him in from second thanks in part to Raul Ibanez‘s futility against left-handers … every starter had a hit except for Nix while Granderson, Teixeira, and Robinson Cano had two apiece … Cano was also the only starter not to strike out … the Yankees have lost four straight for the first time this season, the last MLB team to do so.

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the advanced stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Orioles won again, so the lead in the division is down to six.  The Yankees remain at least nine games up on everyone else. They’re off to Seattle for three games with the Mariners now, and Hiroki Kuroda will open the series against Kevin Millwood.

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Trenton & Charleston win wild games
Fan Confidence Poll: July 23rd, 2012
  • JonS

    I lost it when Girardi pulled Phelps. That was the worst managing move I’ve seen in a long time. First thing I thought was wtf happens after Rapada and Eppley? Qualls? I F’n hate you Girardi. Hate.

    • G

      I wouldn’t say I hate him, but I too flat out lost it there.

      • http://yes jim

        C’mon people! Can’t you see Mr Wizard was saving Phelps for Tuesday and Garcia? What I don’t understand is how you can pick on Ibanez and his lefty problems? The ANDRUW JONES has struck out six, I repeat, SIX straight times. He has struck out seven out of eight…the other being that with RISP, he tagged one for an infield pop up. They said he was three of fourteen pinch hitting, with a homer. I don’t remember this. I do remember the strikeouts. Also, to not have a play on the two balls hit to him at the plate…as the late Andy Griffith would say, “Pitiful”. Also, once more into the fray Girardi goes, not putting Swish on the DL and playing with a short bench. Why not call up one of our younger players and see what they’ve got? In closing, congrats to Cash…as I’ve seen Montero is hot, congratulations on trading him for two pitchers out for the season….Montero can’t catch, but, Stewart can! Nice leap Jete. PS: A tip of the cap to AJ for having more wins than any Yankee pitcher…who’d a thunk it.

    • dave

      It does not matter that they will win the division and make the playoffs. Just like the last two years they will get bounced because they cannot hit when it counts. The HR or bust scoring is a loser come playoff time. There hitting with RISP is embarrasing to watch and will be the death of them in the playoffs just like the last two years.
      Instead of going up there and getting a hit when needed they are all swinging for the fence.
      How many times am I going to have to see a guy on third with less than 2 outs and they do not score which ends up costing them the game?

      • Typical MIT Nerd

        Yup, this example is exactly why making the playoffs, even with the best record in baseball, means nothing. Almost any team these days can lose a series to any other. The talent is that close.

        • Cris Pengiucci

          When the playoffs come around, “Almost any team these days can lose a series to any other“.

          As we saw with Philly last year, even when the talent isn’t that close and one team is supposed to dominate, it doesn’t always happen in the playoffs. The Yankees have room to improve, however, if they lose in the playoffs and don’t win the WS, it could just as easily be because they ran into a hot team and made a few managerial questionable decisions as it could be their inability to hit home runs. It’s easier to catch up with one mistake and knock it out of the park than it is to get three hits (or a combination of hits and walks) and score a run.

      • http://www.yankeenumbers.com Mr. Sparkle

        I think we got a sneak preview this weekend into seeing what happens when a home run reliant offense stops hitting home runs. You lose to even mediocre teams.

    • Knoxvillain

      I stand by my statement that Girardi is one of the worst managers in baseball.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Then you’re standing by a statement that fans of every other team in baseball would disagree with.

        It’s frustrating. Managers are frustrating, though. Torre was frustrating. Stump was frustrating. I’m sure, if I was old enough to really notice at the time, the rest of them were as well.

        • Knoxvillain

          I just personally hate Girardi. It might be an irrational hate, but I really hate that fucking guy.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            Then perhaps you may want to consider separating that from legitimate dialogue about this team.

            • Knoxvillain

              Just pissed off. It’s the damn A’s!

              • Robinson Tilapia

                Remember when it was the damn Nationals in 2009? Come on. Let’s pull together here.

                • MannyGeee

                  Damn Orioles in 2009, Damn Royals in 2008, Damn Mariners in 2007…

                  Its a thing… a good team will drop a series against a team they have no business losing 3 or 4 in a row to every season.

                  It will be doom & gloom and pitchforks for a few days and we will be back to normal next week.

                  • Cris Pengiucci

                    If you hadn’t noticed, the A’s were actually doing fairly well this season and are on the hunt for a playoff spot. Not the same as the ’09 Nationals or some of the other teams mentioned.

              • Randi

                True, but you have to realize that since the Break, the A’s have been playing stellar baseball. They’re hot right now.

            • Darren

              Is that the mission statement of the site?
              In any case, since when was irrational hate of a manager not considered “legitimate dialogue” in New York? :)

              • JobaWockeeZ

                Not the site but for the commentating section it’s appeal to authority or die.

                • Cris Pengiucci

                  So you’re saying all of the negative comments about Girardi have been removed? Funny, I can still see a lot of them. One or 2 commenters stated that the hate should be re-evealuated as it might be irrational.

      • http://RiverAveBlues Andy K

        I have always felt Girardi is one of the worst managers when it comes to strategizing during the game.
        His saving grace though is his ability to keep the players,coaches, front office, and ownership all acting cohesively and respecting him for his handling of the team and the NY Press in general. I guess with the Yankee overall talent that turns out to be a little more important since with a better strategy guy they might win a few more games but with a devisive guy they would lose lots more.

        • Tim

          If you want to see an example of what happens with a devisive guy look to the north.

          Personally I think Girardi always does a great job with the bullpen. While i may disagree with a move here or there in general his work with the bullpen is better than most. I’m sure people would disagree with some of my moves if I was in his seat.

  • Kevin

    To the bigger issue was the same one the Yankees have faced all year,RISP.
    Tex got on second with an error and the Yanks were unable to bring him home with no outs.
    A weak .169 hitter got on,was moved over with a bunt and with two outs,Coco Crisp did with two outs what the Yanks couldn’t do with zero and that was drive him in.

    • Jacob

      Yeah we are winning to much and the RISP has not corrected it self at all, we got 3 hits out of like 6 chanches with risp we have to be 6 for 6 not 3 for 6 and there was nothing wrong with leaving eppley in against a lefty that had nothing to do with the outcome, crisp can mash the same off of lefties he probably would have hit a homer off of boone logan!

    • Evan3457

      Yanks wound up 3-11 with RISP, A’s were 0 for the game, (0 for 5, I think) until Moss’ game-winner.

      As for how the A’s got their game-winner; hot teams will do this, but the solution is simple: either Norris is not really a .169 hitter, or don’t let the .169 hitter get on base to begin with.

    • WestCoastBias

      Yeah, the Amazin’ A’s have been doing that a lot.

  • Erica

    Pulling Phelps was questionable. This was an obnoxious series. Sweep the Mariners, please please PLEASE.

  • http://www.twitter.com/mattpat11 Matt DiBari

    Was at the game today. Pulling Phelps was infuriating. If Joe can’t help but make matchup based moves in stupid situations, it’s time to take his toys away from him

    • pat

      So that means….?

      • http://www.twitter.com/mattpat11 Matt DiBari

        Get rid of some oogys for versatile relievers

        • Robinson Tilapia

          But I don’t want Wilson Betimit back!

  • pat

    Live by the homer die by the homer. Oh well. Goin to an Athletics’ site you’d think they won the WS. I just love that coming off an amazing 50 game stretch and then losing some close games is gonna draw the lunatics out in droves.

    • http://www.yankeenumbers.com Mr. Sparkle

      They’ll have come down to earth hard come September. Go back to the forums then if the deafening sound of crickets isn’t too much.

  • Anthony

    Wow, what a heartbreaker. On a positive note, Phelps pitched great, and I really do hope he makes his way to the rotation soon. I’ve been noticing lately that fastballs are whizzing right by A-Rods bat. It looks as though he’s bringing the bat around really late – am I imaging this or has he had problems with this since his surgery?

    • JonS

      He has no legs. The hip thing did him bad.

    • forensic

      They won’t put him in the rotation this quickly over Garcia’s veteranness.

      But don’t worry, in two days after Freddy’s given another terrible offense a 5-1 lead in the 4th inning with Felix on the mound, Phelps will be able to come in to pitch an inning…

      • matt

        You know I wonder if they’re starting to give some consideration to the thought that maybe that actually need Phelps in the big league pen in this year – and not as the long guy. Maybe it’s a different story if (knock on wood) Joba is indeed able to join the club shortly and pitch effectively, but that’s an awful lot to plan for. Given some of the construction issues with this bullpen right now, I could see a scenario in which the FO is think Phelps may need to pitch some at least medium-high leverage relief innings.

        Otherwise, agreed. Like I don’t think Freddy is killing this club, they’re not going to not win the division because of him – he’s been more or less of an ok fifth starter since back in the rotation. I just think that it behooves the club so much in the long term to use this opportunity to start to see what they have in Phelps, whether he’s a legit starter in the AL East. Not like we’ll know for sure this year anyway, but man, it’d be great if he could be.

      • Anthony

        You think so? I feel if Garcia botches this next start, its going to be the last straw for Girardi and Freddy is sent back to the bullpen. Why else would we recall the kid from AAA?

        • Need Pitching (and maybe hitting too)

          Because they needed more quality bullpen depth. Wade falling apart left a big hole. They tried Qualls, he failed. Now Phelps is getting a shot at that role.

          • Anthony

            I definitely agree that we need more depth there. But why not fill that hole with Garcia rather than Phelps? From what I remember Garcia actually had a good run after he was relegated to the ‘pen. That way you have Phelps (who was supposedly sent to AAA to get stretched out) starting until Pettite returns. You get a better idea of how he pitches in the majors god forbid there’s an injury down the line towards October.

            • Need Pitching (and maybe hitting too)

              Garcia was pretty much just pitching in mop up duty, though he did do well. Phelps is probably better suited for pitching more important relief innings. That said, I’d much rather Phelps be in the rotation, and they find the bullpen help elsewhere.

              • Anthony

                Yea, it seems like a number of people are in favor of having Phelps in a setup role much like D-Rob. I can understand the depth argument for that. But like I said below the Yanks have been playing some great ball and I feel like the depth could be better used in the reliever/long man area (populated by Epply & Qualls currently – not too confident in the latter).

                You get Garcia in there to bolster it as we know he has done reasonably well in that role. The way the Yanks are playing, its not going to be a close game every day by the 8th or 9th inning (bar this crappy Oakland series). So you aren’t going to go to the setup man everday (D-Rob). That being said, having Phelps in that role as well wouldn’t be as advantageous, you know?

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Honestly? Because he’s the best pitcher available in the organization for any open spot.

          Now you may think that’s a dumb reason to switch course with Phelps, and you may be right about that, but I’m really starting to feel that the decision is based on that and only that.

          I think it depends on how good/bad Freddy’s next start is. My hunch is that the rope is longer than you’d think. They can live with this type of back-end production until Andy returns.

          • matt

            Exactly. It’s the stretch run. Phelps is 25, not 22. Sure, it’d be great to always have him stretched just in case they absolutely do need him to start, but it’s not like, as of this moment, what he really needs are more AAA starts for development purposes. He’s basically ML ready.

            And as Robinson says, he’s just pitched too well for too long now not to be with the big club. I may be totally off, but my hunch is that Garcia does have a long rope and I think it’s cause at this point, the Yanks may feel that with the bullpen suddenly looking a whole lot shakier, that adding Phelps to that mix for the stretch as not so much a long man, but a 1-2 inning medium to high leverage guy, is a better fit than sticking Freddy back in the pen.

            I think Phelps would probably be the better choice to work in a vacuum, but Freddy’s simply not doing this team a whole lot of damage right now.

            • Anthony

              Both you and Robinson have a valid point; the Freddy of recently is definitely an improvement over the Freddy we saw in April. With such a large division lead I have no doubt that we can afford starting Freddy till Andy comes back.

              So we have Rapada and Logan as LOOGYs, D-Rob the setup man, MIFKY as closer. That leaves Eppley and Qualls for middle relief/long man. I feel like the weakest link in all that is Qualls, and sending Freddy to the ‘pen might help alleviate that (I remember Garcia had some good outings out of the ‘pen).

              What I’m getting is that you’d rather have Phelps add depth to the setup role (is that what you mean by 1-2 inning guy)? With the Yanks playing as they have (hopefully, Oakland is an abberation), I feel like setup man isn’t where we should add depth as of now.

              I mean, you know Freddy is going to wind up back in the ‘pen once Andy is back. So why make him start when we can use the chance to further evaluate Phelps? He only has 3 starts this season, it would be nice to get a better idea of what he is capable of in case of an injury closer to the postseason. I certainly would not trust Garcia in October; I still remember what the Sox did to him.

              I’m new, evidenced by inability to get stats for only Phelps’ starts. So if none of this makes sense….my apologies, ha.

  • Kevin

    The A’s fans will be in for a rude surprise soon. Sadly for them,the A’s are getting hot at the wrong time. I do think they will fall back down to earth and when they do,it will be brutal.

    • Knoxvillain

      The A’s suck ass. They’re playing way over their heads right now, just like the Pirates are.

      • Brian S.

        They have a positive run differential. They are legitimately a good team. Their ballpark allows them to stay in most games and they actually have a good amount of power scattered in their lineup.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          ….and they pull quality starting pitchers right out their ass every few years. No pussy trolls blocking that shit.

          • Brian S.

            Their ballpark allows them to produce quality pitching like they do.

            • Robinson Tilapia

              It ain’t just the ballpark. They’ve been developing pitching and spinning it off into pitching for a mighty long time now. Tim Hudson is pushing 40.

            • Evan3457

              A’s have a 3.99 ERA on the road, good enough for 6th best in the AL. Some of it is the ballpark, but not all of it.

        • matt

          Yep, I think they’re not half bad. They pitch well. And they’re starting to find just enough power in the middle of that lineup to sorta, kinda, halfway be viable offensively. Don’t see them as the favorites for one of those wild card spots, but no doubt, could easily end up being LAA and OAK.

          That said, this extraordinarily frustrating series notwithstanding – and of course we’ve learned you don’t take any club for granted – OAK is a team I’d feel perfectly good about the Yanks running into in the PS, for sure. Prob a pretty obvious point.

        • forensic

          They have the second fewest runs in the league even just in July when people are saying they’ve taken off. They’re higher in homers but that’s mostly because the Yankees allowed them all this series, and they’re middle of the road in OPS, again because of all the power the Yankees allowed this series.

          And anyway, this series is much less about the A’s hitting than it is about the Yankees hitting.

      • Jacob

        Pirates are not too over their heads, McCutchen is amazing and alvarez has the talent to do what he is doing, not abad bullpen and 2 good starters with 3 that are doing the job if they win the central this year I woud not be super suprised, and if they burn out feel free to yell at me all winter

  • Wow

    Just a terrible series overall. I guess traveling to the West Coast will do that to ya. But is really doesn’t help how weak the bottom of our lineup is. It seems like when we get something of a rally going the bottom of the order is up. Maybe I’m just magnifying one or two situations, but it surely doesn’t help when you have guys like Wise, Nix, Chavez, Martin, or Stewart up.

    It would be awesome to pick up a decent to good bat to put in the out field and maybe even (and quite unrealisticly) DH.

    But, oh well, rant over. On to Seattle to stretch our lead in the division again.

    • Jeff B

      I still have hope when Chavez is up, but having RISP & Wise/Nix/Martin/Stewart coming up, sort of defeats the purpose.

      • forensic

        Chavez is hitting under .200 with a .600 OPS with RISP.

        • Need Pitching (and maybe hitting too)

          and he hit .415 with a 1.005 OPS last year

          /hope
          /regression

          • forensic

            Yeah, and 5 of the 6 years before that he was also very bad. Some of those were very small samples, but still, it’s not a great record over almost a decade span.

            • Need Pitching (and maybe hitting too)

              Not saying he’s gonna be good. Just that last year at least gives some hope that he’s capable of getting the job done. That, and he’s a better hitter in general (at least this season) than Nix, Stewart, & Marin, at least give some reason to have more hope with Chavez up instead of the others.

        • Jacob

          Remind me one more time what your RISP stats are?

  • forensic

    This offense must have the most strikeouts looking in the history of baseball, especially on pitches right down the middle.

    His/their handling of Phelps is pitiful but it’s not like this is a surprise. They seem to have zero plan whatsoever and Girardi can never resist over-managing with matchups in the bullpen. There’s a reason writers and bloggers gave him the nickname Coffee Joe.

    If only Nunez’ injury hadn’t kept him out for so long. I’d gladly take his somewhat worse defense than Nix for the chance that he can make up for some of it with at least a threat of a solid hit and baserunning contributions. When you have to be replaced defensively by Derek Jeter (who of course then botched a grounder), you know you have issues.

    Ibanez gets singled out for his bad hitting against lefties? What about Chavez? He’s even worse and made out in the same inning.

    Why are you surprised by a homer from Suzuki? He now has 4 of them against Sabathia. It’s getting pretty predictable.

    I miss the Cano who actually had a chance against lefties.

    Absolutely horrible series, but at least the pitchers will now get to meet up with the offense who flew ahead 4 days ago…

    • Brian S.

      Yeah Cano not being able to hit lefties anymore is really worrisome. If the same thing happens next season it would make it a really questionable move to hand him 140 million dollars (if it wasn’t already).

      • Kosmo

        Cano hits very well vs. Left handed SP his problem is vs. Lefty specialists.

        • forensic

          He’s got an .830 OPS vs. lefty starters. It’s not bad, but for someone of his supposed hitting ability it’s certainly not something to be proud of.

          • Need Pitching (and maybe hitting too)

            *.830 OPS in games started by lefties

  • Knoxvillain

    Is Phelps ever going to get a real shot? Jesus Christ. It seems like all this guy does is put up great numbers. I assume Garcia is gonna get the start next time and not Phelps. Why the hell not? Phelps is looking like he could be a solid number three starter one day. It’s nice that the Yankees have some pitchers who are turning out a lot better than what people thought like Nova and possibly Phelps. Give the guy a freaking shot already.

    • forensic

      Of course he won’t get a real shot. They’ll use him like this and if they ever think of starting him he’ll either be limited pitch-wise again or they’ll say they have to send him down to stretch out again.

      And then next year they’ll sign some more veteran retreads because they won’t have an idea of it he could start in the majors for them.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        So this is now an active decision to become another reactionary fan?

        • forensic

          How is it reactionary? It’s based on the pattern they’re showing with him and have in the past with others.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            Yes, those veteran retreads named Phil Hughes, Ivan Nova, and Michael Pineda who were slated to be in the rotation this year.

            Same thing as with Knoxvillian, if you all can’t separate emotion from commentary on here, maybe you should consider not commenting on blogs.

            • forensic

              Slated to be in the rotation? They were all competing for spots. Only Kuroda and CC were sure things to make it. Not to mention they’ve already flipped Hughes back and forth to the bullpen and sent Nova down while he was pitching great. They haven’t had a chance to mess with Pineda yet because they/he got him hurt right off the bat. And don’t even mention Joba…

              • Robinson Tilapia

                You forgot Sam Militello, Ray Fontenot, and Jim Beattie.

            • forensic

              And let’s not forget the Mitre’s, Gaudin’s, Moseley’s, and of course my personal favorite, Brian Gordon…

              • Robinson Tilapia

                I’m officially not bothering having this discussion with you.

                • forensic

                  Enjoy, to each their own, but rememebr that being a fan of a team doesn’t mean you have to agree with every aspect of the organization and defend them at every turn, choosing to ignore any evidence that may show something contrary.

      • matt

        So let me be clear I agree wholeheartedly that Phelps has pitched his well enough that he needs to be given a shot to be a larger part of the ML mix.

        That said, and it’s just speculation, but it seems like with Qualls obviously heading for a DFA sooner rather than later, and not wanting to rely on the assumption of Joba being shutdown nasty right out of the gate maybe there’s some thought being given to Phelps playing a more prominent role in the big league pen this year.

        Time will tell if Joe is going to ever start to use him as more of a high leverage guy – or at least for extended stretches,as warranted, i.e. today.

        Phelps for me would really only be behind Soriano and DRob categorically – and probably still behind Logan – but very much in that relief mix. Just gotta have a guy who’s not an OOGY who can pitch in high leverage spots and he might be it. I agree with Mike completely, Rapada and Eppley have been really, really good, but if they’re going to continue to play continually close games, those guys are going to get exposed (Eppley more than Rapada, IMHO, Rapada has a pretty strong ML track record of killing lefties, Eppley’s really only done it consistently in the minors),

        I want him to start to, but that’s mostly because I want the club to start to see now what they might have in – certainly Phelps in the rotation over Freddy isn’t on the brink of putting the season in peril.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          This type of making sense needs to stop.

          Phelps as bullpen option the rest of the way would mitigate having to trade for someone. Shortsighted? Maybe, but it’s a potential “win now” move that allows you to stick with the devil you think you know.

          Hadn’t looked at it this way. Really nice job, Matt.

          • forensic

            It’d be one thing if he was actually being used in a spot in the bullpen that you would need to trade for to cover, but he’s not. He’s being used as a long reliever when the game is out of reach or as a guy you take out far too early in extra innings, which are the most leveraged innings he’s pitched. Those spots could be filled by several guys already within the organization.

            • matt

              I agree with you completely there, but I don’t think it’s possibly changing a little bit this time back up. Obviously he’s pitching, not languishing in the pen. He’s pitched multiple important innings in both of his appearances since his recall. You could argue that when he relieved Garcia that that was sort of the “garbage time” role, but it was early in the game and it certainly didn’t stay that way as the Yanks got back into it. I’m not arguing with you, I’m just saying, we don’t really know why they brought him back, so I’m willing to wait and see.

            • Need Pitching (and maybe hitting too)

              That’s how he was being used before, not now. His first appearance was in a 1-run game. His second appearance was in a tie game in extra-innings. How much more high leverage does it get? I firmly believe, and they have said, that he’s not here to just be a long reliever. He’s getting a shot at the Wade role.

              • Need Pitching (and maybe hitting too)

                *2-run game – memory fail, but still, not exactly mop-up duty.

  • Rey22

    Can’t wait for Joba to be back. One less specialist, one more good all-around reliever.

    After Girardi pulled Phelps it was a matter of time till one of the specialists faced someone opposite handed and blew it. Can’t even be mad at Eppley for this one.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I mean……..it’s not a foregone conclusion that David Phelps was going to shut the door down forever. People are now acting like it was. Next time this kid blows one, I hope he’s wearing extra padding on his ass for the fall from grace he’s going to get on here.

      Other than that, yeah, I agree with you. Once Eppley came in, we were going to go quickly down the line until all that was left was Chad Qualls. It didn’t even get that far.

      Time to get over it, though. Tomorrow is a new day and a new game.

      • Brian S.

        Well I like my chances with Phelps. Plus it would be nice to see him throw 50-60 pitches to keep him stretched out.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          Sure, I’d like to see what he can do, but he’s going to take his lumps, and some of those lumps will come when you least want them.

  • Brian S.

    How bad was the decision to pull Phelps? The Oakland broadcasters were like “Man, this Phelps guy is really good…Are they really about to pull him? Thank you Joe!”

    • matt

      Yeah, I’ll usually count myself as a Joe G. supporter, particularly in matters of the pen, but that’s a tough one to justify.

      Didn’t catch the postgame, but I’m assuming it was the normal babble about Smith being a guy with pop against righties, etc. Like with 2 out and none on, Phelps can’t pitch carefully to the dude, who’s slugging .439 btw, not exactly Ruthian.

      My problem with Joe today is not so much about him taking Phelps out of the game in and of itself, thoughit’s a legit point that in extra innings when you’ve got a guy stretched and going well, why not ride it? But my issue is Joe not thinking about what’s left. Putting Rapada in the game caused no direct harm, he did his job perfectly. It’s more the management of the remaining pieces in making that move.

      I assume that Logan was going to be held back to close (though who knows and not that I think he should have been). Meaning that if that game went on, you’re talking about Chad Qualls pitching meaningful innings and that should just never be. That dude should already be gone.

      The bottom line is that the current bullpen construction isn’t tenable. Obviously relievers who are tremendously good at dealing with both lefties and righties aren’t always just sitting around. But Joe and or the front office cannot continue to allow the team to be in a situation where the only guys left in the pen sans that day’s closer is an OOGY. Just won’t work. Give it enough time and Eppley won’t retire lefties and Rapada won’t retire righties. And Qualls probably won’t retire anyone. Like forget waiting for Joba, and maybe it’s not the world’s best solution, but if Garcia is staying in the rotation, cut Qualls and bring back Warren or Mitchell as the long man and let Phelps work in high leverage middle relief. Just give me a guy who has a chance against an opposite handed batter.

      Bad job by Joe G. and sorry for the ultra long reply to your direct post. But man, even though this series totally falls on the offense, that pen construction is getting frustrating.

  • ClayDavis

    Behind this sweep is a very clear message from the baseball gods. Thou shalt not host soccer matches at Yankee Stadium.

  • Dino Velvet

    Did any writer ask Girardi why he pulled Phelps?

    • forensic

      I have the postgame taped but haven’t been up to watching it yet. But, I guarantee someone asked and you can be 99% sure he went with his stock answer of ‘We liked the matchup with Rapada better’.

    • forensic

      Just watched and nobody asked him during the televised portion. You would think somebody eventually did, but who knows. In the Nancy Newman postgames they make them as short as humanly possible while still squeezing in all their contractually required ads, so we miss a lot sometimes.

  • yooboo

    Did you fail to get memo from Girardi when Phelps was recalled up to replace Mitchell?

    Girardi said Phelps would be used as a punch out for 1 or 2 innings, not a long reliever.

    Sorry, guys.. I really thought you know Yankees better than I do. boo.

  • yooboo

    Ty Hensley will pitch tomorrow. I hope someone videotapes him for internet crap.

  • RI$P FTW

    LOL @ all the panic.

  • Rich in NJ

    No panic, just a realization is that they have needed a non-feast or famine bat all season.

  • Jacob

    Here let me show you all how to do it.

    GAWD GUYS did you see that game? It’s like they cannot play baseball 3 for 7 RISP? terrible and look another homer they need to quit that. CC pitched only 7 and gave up 3 fawkk he is not worth that money and lets talk about that alex and tex ALEX can’t hit anymore what is his average now like .272? it should be .768 and tex cannot hit for average anymore and that is too much of a sacrifice rather have a 10 hr 40 rbi good average hitter than a .250 35 100 who plays awesome D than tex. and jeter just cannot field and make that awesome play I mean I would rather have hanley ramirez making those amazing plays but botching every routine play. WE NEED AN OUTFIELDER AND FIRE GIRARDI DON’T SIGN CANO AGAIN OR CURTIS MARTIN IS NOT POSADA BLAH BLAH BLAH TROLL TROLL TROLL

    • yooboo

      yeah… daily and variously venting sucks. That is why I dont watch baseball with my dad and his fucking friends.

      swinging at 2-0 pitch.. You idiot.

      Only 85 pitches in 7 innings, first lead off walk, demanding for new pitcher.

      blah blah blah. They were lucky that I did not have a gun.

    • forensic

      When did the Yankees sign Curtis Martin??? Though I fully endorse another New York team trying to stick it to the Patriots in any little way possible.

      • Jacob

        there was an obvious cut in the players I was talking about, did you get me your RISP stats yet man?

        • forensic

          Wow, time to lighten up, it was a joke. And what RISP stats are you talking about? I put them above already. I’m not using OBP because a walk will rarely do much when there’s already a guy in scoring position and you’re at the bottom of the order. But, if you’d like it anyway, his OBP is now under .250 in that situation.

          • Jacob

            I meant your own personal stats

  • Jerome S.

    Worst part?
    Doesn’t even feel like we really got beat.
    That’s four one-run games for you.

  • matt

    I’m sure what Joe reasoned is that Rapada is a better matchup against a pretty good hitter against righties with pop in Smith. And frankly, he’d be right. Rapada over a large enough sample almost certainly is the better matchup. And Rapada did his job today perfectly. That said, Phelps was dealing, and even if he’s not supposed to be being used as the long man anymore, this was a prime spot to use an extra stretched out stater.

    The issue with Joe for me though is not so much taking out Phelps as itis his taking the tradeoff to get a slightly better match-up against Smith vis-a-vis the rest of the game. Granted, never easy to manage in extra innings on the road when you’ve blown a save and hence your top pen guys. Not great choices.

    But where Joe loses me completely is that just to get a slightly better matchup against Smith, with two out and no one on, if he scares you that much, have Phelps work around him, he basically conceded to playing the rest of the game – insofar as it stayed tie – with exclusively OOGYs. I’m assuming that Logan was going to close, though I can’t swear to it, maybe Joe would have mixed and matched his way into Qualls closing somehow. But assuming Logan was being held back, that’s the reason not to lose Phelps – you’re losing your last guy sans Logan who can pitch to batters on both sides.

  • rogue

    The team gave up too soon on Nunez. He’s a better hitter than Nix and has a ton more upside.

    • Rich in NJ

      Even if you’re right, he wasn’t likely to reach his upside by playing irregularly, shifting from position to position. He needed to play regularly, so the mL made sense. The problem is he got hurt.

    • Randi

      We all agree, but Nunez just can’t field. We need a reliable infielder off the bench.

      • rogue

        You keep him there and make him sort it out, mentally. You don’t bury him in the minors.

        I’m using the hypothetical argument that he isn’t hurt.

  • rogue

    This series is just another example of the Yankees need of help for their overrated offense.

  • stuart a

    i go all in for justin upton, his age and ability makes him a target.

    the yanks are old, slow, and cannot hit with RISP. They slug and that is it.

    they need to trade some non banuelos chips for Upton….

    this offense is hard to watch. arod sucks..they cannot create any runs besides homers. grandy strikes out a ton and the bottom of there order without swisher is horrible. you know you need help when you miss swisher and his inability to hit anything other then a fastball.

    there pitching is much better then last year and that is the difference between the 2 teams but arods erosion of ability really hurts. get joba back and move out qualls(stinks). girardi could have stayed with Phelps(no reason not to) but I bet he was thinking about tuesday and Garcia starting. GIrardi does not manage for today all the time…….

    Nix if he cannot make the routine fielding plays is less valuable then Eduardo brick hands Nunez who is much more athletic…..

    • Need Pitching (and maybe hitting too)

      lmfao
      You rip on ARod constantly for his low SLG and RBI total and then propose they go all in for a player with fewer RBI and a lower SLG.

      • DT

        Logic. I also like how he said Arod sucks, when Arod today plated 2 of your Runs without the homerun.

      • rogue

        Upton is 24. Arod in in his late 30s. Not hard to understand.

        • Need Pitching (and maybe hitting too)

          With stuart a’s obsession with RBI and SLG, it’s quite ironic.

    • DT

      TL;DR version: Why is ARod better at everything than I am. I am so jealous of him so I’ll aim my misguided rage at him. Also it’s people like me that even makes Yankees Fans hate Yankees fans.

  • FIPster Doofus

    Meh. I find it difficult to get angry or even mildly annoyed with the division already in the bag. These are glorified exhibition games.

    • Kramerica Industries

      Huge nitpick (oxymoron?) then – it’s July 23. By default, the division race isn’t over.

      The Red Sox were nine games ahead of the Rays last year, and blew it, and that all came in the final 26 days of the season. Flukish? Yes. But there’s a ton more season to be played this year.

      There’s still 13 games against the Blue Jays, 12 against the Red Sox, 9 against the Orioles, and 6 against the Rays. Play ~.500 ball against those teams – yeah, it’s likely over. Any struggles against those teams akin to what we just saw this weekend, and you bet things can get interesting.

      But this is why having a big lead is nice. To weather the storm of a shitty weekend in Oakland like this.

      • FIPster Doofus

        You make fair points, but I still don’t the Yankees choking away the division under any circumstance. It’s not a worry of mine, but apparently I’m in the minority. So be it.

        • Randi

          the Red Sox said that last year on August 31.

    • forensic

      Yup, no teams have ever come back from 6 down, or even 9 or 10 down, in July. Might as well suspend all blog postings and not watch anymore games until October.

      • FIPster Doofus

        “Might as well suspend all blog postings and not watch anymore games until October.”

        How nice – a visit from Mr. Strawman. If you want to pretend the Yankees are gonna blow the division, go ahead. I just don’t see it happening; ergo, I don’t get worked up about wins or losses. I still watch each game, but I do so wishing wishing it were October. Your anxiety over July baseball isn’t my problem.

        • forensic

          I don’t think they will play terrible enough to blow the division, but saying it’s in the bag so they’re all exhibitions is just absurd.

          • FIPster Doofus

            You’re probably right. I was in a hyperbolic mood at the time. Let’s let bygones be bygones.

  • DT

    I felt we could have taken at least 2 of the 4 games if Girardi managed the games with more competency…

  • Kosmo

    I turned the game off after the 10th inning. Can´t blame Girardi. He sent Nix a message by using Jeter as a D-replacement. To me the game came down to Nix´s botched plays.
    Interesting that A-Rod as a DH is hitting in about 100 Abs .350 and in the field .240. I would suggest FWIW letting Chavez play 3B vs. RHSP and let Arod DH. Arod should only play the field vs. lefties with Jones DHing.
    Granderson is a .295 hitter in innings 1-3 and usually disappears for the rest of the game. Now he has 18 solo HRs.
    What do you take away from this series? I can´t remember the last time NY was swept by Oakland in Oakland. Phelps was great and Oakland is a much younger and hungrier team that has the best AL ERA and NY needs bullpen help and large doses of Geritol.

    • forensic

      A-Rod playing 3B and Jones DH’ing vs. lefties means you’re left with Nix play LF. I’m not so sure that’s worth the trade-off. Though they’re extremely limited with so many OOGY hitters (platoon doesn’t quite do it justice) as well as OOGY pitchers.

      • Kosmo

        I forgot about that, I think a deadline trade could rectify the situation.

  • WestCoastBias

    It was entertaining, but I’m glad the series is over and the Yanks are off to play against a team more down to their level in Seattle.

    Fair play rules will be in effect. All the players will get a trophy after the series even if the Yankees suffer another SWEEP.

  • Bavarian Yankee

    sucks to be swept by the A’s but sh!t happens.

  • mt

    A couple of things about this series.

    1) I always have this saying – just when you think everything is going well and seeing articles about how division race is over , something comes up to bite you in the ass to prove that everything is not over till it’s over. (to borrow from Yogi) – also this series would not be so painful if Orioles also did not pick up four games in four days – better than Red Sox or Rays picking it up but you cannot just discount Orioles – they are only team in both leagues to have such a good record with a huge negative run differential, some look at that and say – they will regress and fall off; others look at it and say – if they’ve gone almost 100 games and have a winning record with such a bad run differential, what makes you think they will collapse in last 60? Maybe so but we cannot just assume they will collapse. Also they will probably make a bigger trade than Yanks will to improve their team.

    2) Teams lose and Yankee hot streak could not continue forever but the thing about this series is that it exposed some areas that have been problems – games were awfully similar – the leftfield issue (love Jones and Ibanez home runs but their other stats are not that good; the inability to produce a single run (no runners moved up after fourth inning); and the biggest issue – the loss of Wade combined with too many oogy’s combined with Girardi’s mix/match overmanaging tendencies. As someone said above Girardi already has said that he sees Phelps as a 1-2 inning person (to me, that’s a Wade replacement) and not the long man. But even given this, I do not know why he was pulled after 19 pitches looking good in an extra inning game on road.

    3) I would not have compalined if Phelps had given up a bomb to Seth Smith – shit happens – because he was pitching well. I expected Phelps to throw 30-40 piches, at least. Again I do not recall a manager going mix/match like that in extra innings.

    4) I want Yanks to do well in Seattle too but couple of things about M’s: they just beat Tampa 2/3 after winning 3/4 from KC and scoring a lot of runs in KC; Montero is hot so we have that facepalm to deal with;
    I do not mean to be pessimistic but my expectation is 1 out of 3 (lose Felix game and mess up one of the two others).
    M’s are horrible scoring runs in Seattle but I have got my concerns about Yankee offense – only good thing is there will be no lefty starters so Chavez/Ibanez/Wise hopefully will be OK.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      You can always count on the AL East to be a dogfight.

      You have to wonder how many of these sudden gloomanddoomers are really now compensating for their actually thinking this was in the bag when the lead was ten games. I’d wager those of us who are calmer right are the ones who actually never assumed anything, making it ironic that we’re the ones getting screamed at on here.

      Complex thinking: It’s hard sometimes.

  • mt

    Another thing about thsi series: we walked four times and struck out 37 times – A’s are similar to us in that they have power but as far as patience, I found A’s worked at-bats better in general. You could see that against CC after he breezed through first four innings.

  • Jose M. Vazquez

    All that I could have said was mentione above. I’ll just repeat some in another manner. That is that you cannot give the other team three automatic outs at the bottom of the order and hope to win.

  • Todd

    Strategery

    • Robinson Tilapia

      1,000 points of light.

  • dalelama

    Like I said a nice regular season team constructed for post season collapsing.

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

      You only say that after losses, oddly enough.

      • dalelama

        Time will prove my analysis correct again…like the last two years.

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

          “analysis” lol

          Analysis involves evidence and factual information, none of which exists for your hypothesis.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          TEY HAVE NOT WUN DA WORLD SEREEZ SINCE 2009 DEY R DA YANKEES DIS IZ UNACCEPTABLE TEY MUST WUN IT EBBRY YEAR

          • rogue

            They won only 1 WS since 2000. Sans 2002, all of the team’s playoff failure can be laid at the offense.

            • Henry Krinkle

              What about Mo’s blown saves in the 2001 WS and the 2004 ALCS, plus Wells back giving nout in the 2003 WS?