Yanks come from behind, escape Tampa with win

Flores & Heathcott continue hot hitting in loss
The Catching Problem


Source: FanGraphs

The streak is over. For the first time in nearly a full calendar year, the Yankees won a game at Tropicana Field on Wednesday. If that’s not a great way to celebrate the birth of our nation, nothing is. Let’s recap…

  • Comeback: The Rays had a 3-1 lead through seven, but the Yankees put together a three-run rally in the eighth when Kyle Farnsworth walked the bases loaded before walking in New York’s second run. It’s easy to make a “that’s a Farnsworth we know!” joke, but c’mon. The Farnsworth we know would have walked two men then given up a three-run homer. Anyway, Alex Rodriguez took ball four to force in a run then one batter later Robinson Cano laced a two-strike single to center that scored both the game-tying and go-ahead run. It was a thing of beauty.
  • Spot Start: David Phelps definitely had the strikeout pitch working against Tampa, whiffing eight guys through 4.1 innings of work. He also walked three and hit two batters, so let’s call it effectively wild. Phelps hit his pitch count before the end of the fifth and allowed just one run, an little flare single to right by noted Yankees killer Sean Rodriguez. He threw a first pitch strike to 14 of 19 batters faced and only six guys put the ball in play. Hopefully he can tighten up the pitch count and be more efficient in the future, assuming he gets another start with CC Sabathia due to return after the break.
  • Bullpen: Boone Logan was the team’s least effective pitcher — he surrendered a two-run, go-ahead homer to Carlos Pena in the seventh — but he ended up with the win. Hooray for that. The unsung hero was Cody Eppley, who picked up two enormous strikeouts to escape a jam in the fifth before chipping in a scoreless sixth. David Robertson (one walk) and Rafael Soriano (no baserunners) worked scoreless eighth and ninth innings, respectively. Between Phelps and the various relievers, the Yankees struck out 16 Rays on Wednesday. Those last two or three innings were nail-biters, but outside of Logan the relief corps was pretty stellar.
  • Leftovers: I saw my first ever umpire’s interference call in this game as Jose Lobaton hit the home plate ump with his hand as he threw down to third on A-Rod‘s steal attempt, a (correct) call that looked huge when the Yankees were unable to score in that seventh inning … speaking of that inning, Alex effective stole third twice but Nick Swisher didn’t bother to steal second as the trail runner, which is doubly knuckle-headed on his part … Curtis Granderson didn’t put the ball in play once, walking twice and striking out thrice … Mark Teixeira tied the game with a solo shot in the seventh after David Price completely manhandled the Yankees for the first 6+ innings … Cano made a great lunging catch in the first that saved at least one run and most likely two, a huge and easy-to-forget moment in the game … the 3-4-5 hitters went a combined 5-for-12 with three walks while the rest of the lineup went a combined 3-for-22 with four walks … Jeter and Granderson combined to see 60 (!) pitches, or one-third of all pitches thrown by Tampa.

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the nerd score, and ESPN the updated standings. We’re officially halfway through the season and the Yankees are five games up on the Orioles in the loss column, six up on the Rays, and seven up on the Red Sox. Pretty great place to be. The Bombers will take Thursday off before heading up to Boston for four games in three days against the Sawx in the final series before the All-Star break. Hiroki Kuroda and Josh Beckett get things started on Friday night.

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Flores & Heathcott continue hot hitting in loss
The Catching Problem
  • https://twitter.com/#!/Paddock9652 Stratman9652

    Nick Swisher will never comprehend that whole “base running” thing will he?

    • Robinson Tilapia

      None of us will ever comprehend the “having millions” thing. I guess it’s even.

      • The Troll

        Speak for yourself.

  • JohnnyC

    Have Martin and KLong been officially introduced? Perhaps they’re still only casual acquaintances?

    • Murderers’ Row Boat

      He’ll figure it out. I bet he’s kicking himself for not taking that contract offer this spring. He’ll be much cheaper next year.

  • gc

    “If that’s not a great way to celebrate the birth of our nation (and the George Steinbrenner’s birthday), nothing is.”

    :)

    • Robinson Tilapia

      Next year will be the 30th anniversary of Righetti’s no-hitter, I believe? Was there ever a better Yankee 4th?

      • Tom Q

        I was in the ballpark, and I know I’ll never forget it.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          I barely watched or listened, but I remember our dad driving us back from the beach and turning the game on for the 9th inning. I was so happy.

      • http://riveravenueblues.com marty lieberman

        better 4th of july. yes. 1939. lou gehrig day. “i’m the luckiest man”….history. (no, i wasn’t there. or even born). :)

      • Jonathan

        Better than the year we lost like 19-1 against the Indians in I want to say 2005 or 2006.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    After seeing an ineffective reliever cough up a game or two which the team should have won as of late, pretty nice to be on the other end tonight. Kyle Farnsworth, you are truly the gift that keeps on giving.

    • jim p

      Does what we pay Kyle figure in our Luxury Tax?

      • Robinson Tilapia

        I believe we pay him in raw fish

  • Evan3457

    I agree with Mike and A-Rod about the double steal with 1 out, but not with 2 out. First of all, it’s a big gamble for small gain to steal 3rd with 2 outs in the inning. Second of all, if Swisher goes with 2 outs, they can just throw him out at 2nd, and the inning’s over.

    What if they throw through and Swisher stops dead to try to allow A-Rod to score? 1) A-Rod’s not that fast anymore, and 2) That’s a bridge too far considering Swisher’s native baserunning ability.

    • Steve (different one)

      Obviously you are right about stealing 3B with 2 outs, but what you saw was how badly ARod wanted this game. Stretching that double, then stealing twice, you could almost see how pissed he was at losing. I loved it, even though it wasn’t a great baseball play (note, if he was out I reserve the right to call him a moron…)

  • rogue

    As good as this win was, the Yankees need another good bat in this lineup.

    • Brian S.

      We need another good human in this lineup. Bats can’t play baseball.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        I heard bats can really fly around the bases.

        • MannyGeee

          platoon players, can only play them during night games.

      • rogue

        Haha.

        This lineup won’t last the postseason.

  • Alfredo

    has anyone herd about Manny Banuelos?
    I know he is injured, but when is he coming back?

  • Rocky Road Redemption

    This win was extremely satisfying. Gotta be loving Cano this year.

    • Rocky Road Redemption

      I’m on baseball-reference comparing Trout and Cano to see if Robbie has an MVP chance this year, but MOTHERFUCKER is Trout good.

      OPS+: Trout: 163 Cano: 153

      WAR: Trout: 4.1 Cano: 3.9

      Cano has a shot, but right now Trout is the clear favorite.

      I mean fuck, man, I knew the motherfucker was good, but…FUCK.

      • JobaWockeeZ

        Trout didn’t play this entire season too. And to think the Yankees were within 5 picks of getting him.

  • Adam

    Just out of curiosity, did it feel like John Flaherty was a bit overpowering the play by play today? (and this entire series?)

  • http://thecarsboneblog.tumblr.com Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle

    So upset I missed the game tonight, but had a great 4th.

  • pistol pete

    Why is Granderson batting 2nd and Cano 5th versus leftys. Has Girardi lost his mind. Cano is the best hitter in the game right now and we got him batting 5th, please. How about Swisher 2nd and Cano 3rd vs leftys with Arod and Tex to follow. Grandy could bat 6th versus leftys. Girardi will cost Cano about 20 at bats this year to keep peace with Tex and Arod. It’s absurd. No matter our heavy left handed outfield the Yanks just signed Darnell McDonald to fix the problem. He’s hitting 214 in hitter friendly Fenway. Why are we all of a sudden shopping at Walmart.

    • http://thecarsboneblog.tumblr.com Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle

      “Cano is the best hitter in the game right now.” See Rocky Road Redemption’s comment, Mike Trout says hi.

      • Rocky Road Redemption

        Mike Trout is better now, but I REALLY want Cano to win MVP, if only to shut Boston fans up about Dustin Pedroia. Cano is the better career player anyway, but if they both have the same hardware then any argument for Pedroia over Cano is effectively finished.

        • http://thecarsboneblog.tumblr.com Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle

          Pft, the year Pedroia won the MVP, I personally think Youkilis deserved to win it. God typing that+this hangover I think I need to vomit.

        • MannyGeee

          The Pedroia v Cano arguement has been awfully quiet lately. Cano has effectively passed him over the past 2 seasons, and Dustin has not had health on his side.

          its now Cano vs the world, and I think we all know who’ll win that battle…

          Boras

      • JobaWockeeZ

        That’s kinda nitpicking. But with Cano’s .280 wOBA against lefties it’s fine for him to hit 5th.

        • JobaWockeeZ

          Though I should add that he’s killed them over his entire career.

    • Need Pitching (and maybe hitting too)

      Granderson has been much better vs. lefties than Tex, Swisher, and Cano this season. I agree Cano should definitely not be hitting 5th, but there is no reason to move Tex or Swisher ahead of Granderson.

    • Brian S.

      Joey Votto.

      • Brian S.

        Also batting order doesn’t mean anything.

        • http://thecarsboneblog.tumblr.com Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle

          I agree to an extent, but I still think the optimal line up for us would be:
          Jeter
          A-Rod
          Cano
          Granderson
          Teixeira
          Swisher
          Ibanez/Jones
          Martin
          Wise

    • Robinson Tilapia

      The Walmart thing worries me the most, especially since I’m not wearing pants right now.

  • Brett Pedroia

    Any good young players you guys bringing to Fenway this weekend? ;)

    • Buffalo Bill

      Not that young…

      • MannyGeee

        Cliff Lee agrees!!

  • Will

    Surprised this wasn’t mentioned in the recap, but an interesting thing about the ump interference play was that Estabrook was clearly moving to call Jones out on strikes (correctly, as the pitch was pretty much right down the middle) when he got hit by Lobaton’s arm. So although it cost the Yankees a base, if no contact had been made Jones would have been out before the fly ball.

    • Jonathan

      I’m not sure he was showing any indication of beginning to call strike 3 and the way the catcher caught it, it was very difficult to see where the ball crossed the plate. I thought it was inside but I could be wrong. The Catcher got into his 2nd stance (the stance where runners are on base or there are 2 strikes) and jumped back about a foot or so too far and then when you have to thrown down to 3rd with a right handed batter up you’re taught to clear behind and to the left of them to get an angle on the throw with your footwork. Lobaton went mostly back and instead of the usual “throwing from the ear” catchers arm motion (think Bartolo) he wound up really far and hit the umpire. It was extremely strange.

  • Kosmo

    thank you once again Kyle and for Maddon who actually thought bringing a rusty Farnsworth in was the right move.

    Eppley deserves the win not Boone.

    Girardi really should consider pinchhitting for Martin late in games when the score is close and there are RISP. Yanks could use another RHH utility player.

    • DT

      We should consider getting a catcher who actually is worth a damn.

      • Kosmo

        I´m trying to be realistic. Better (or easier) to find a backup catcher who can hit or who can catch more than once a week. Split playing time with Martin rather than Martin getting the majority of the ABs.

  • Wil Nieves Number 1 Fan

    Through 81 games Robinson Cano has: 20 HRs, an 8.4 BB%, and .375 OBP, slugging .585, a .402 wOBA, and a 153 wRC+. Production.

    • DJ4K&Monterowasdinero

      After a very slow start-maybe the first 35 games?

      Robbie is our best hitter. He should bat in the first inning of every game.

      Mostly 3rd. For creativity (very small section in the binder), occasionally 2nd.

  • JohnC

    Another thing to take out of this game was Arod’s last 3 at bats were netter than he’s had in quite a while. WOuld be a perfect time to finally wake up going into Boston this weekend

  • JohnC

    Now we all see why there is absolutely no way the Yanks can not resign Cano

  • JohnC

    “Can’t”, meant to say

  • JohnC

    meant to say ‘can’t not’