Freddy, bullpen hammered in loss to ChiSox

Nunez & Mesa lead the way in AAA win
The Bullpen Problem

Letting a winnable game slip through the cracks always hurts, especially when something that was supposed to be a strength (the bullpen) let things get out of hand in the middle and late innings. The Yankees held two different leads on Monday night, and the score was tied as late as two outs in the bottom of the seventh.

(Brian Kersey/Getty Images)

Off The Hook

ChiSox right-hander Gavin Floyd faced 16 batters on Monday, and he only retired six of them. One of the six required a great defensive play as well. The only reason he was able to complete two innings of work was because Robinson Cano got thrown out at the plate on Curtis Granderson‘s base-loaded single to end the second, so things could have been a whole lot worse for Floyd. They also could have been a lot better for the Yankees, who turned those ten baserunners (in 2.1 IP) into just three runs. Floyd was asking for it, he was behind everyone.

Freddy Sweats It Out

Freddy Garcia has been pretty solid of late, but things completely unraveled for him in a hurry on Monday night. It all kinda started when Alexei Ramirez lined a double down the left field line … that the umpires overturned and ruled a foul ball to leadoff the fifth. Freddy rebounded to whiff Ramirez, but he didn’t retire another batter all night. First Gordon Beckham singled, then former Yankee Dewayne Wise launched a two-run homer to cut the lead to 3-2. Kevin Youkilis singled, Adam Dunn walked, Paul Konerko walked. The bases were loaded and that was that for Freddy. Not his best outing.

(AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Bullpen In Flames

I’m going to write about this more on Tuesday at some point, but the Yankees have had an obvious need for another quality reliever since about May, when both Mariano Rivera and David Robertson hit the DL. They instead decided to wait for Joba Chamberlain, who is positively useless at the moment following his two injuries. You can’t count on Tommy John surgery guys to be effective the second they come back, but that’s exactly what the Yankees did here and it’s cost them already.

So, anyway, after Garcia’s short start Joe Girardi had to go bullpen by parade. Cody Eppley allowed the tying run to score on an Alex Rios fielder’s choice, Clay Rapada allowed the go-ahead run to score on an A.J. Pierzynski single, and Chamberlain allowed an insurance run to score on a Dayan Viciedo single. Four pitchers, five runs, three outs in the fifth. Just like the drew it up, I’m sure. Joba then proceeded to let the ChiSox retake the lead on an opposite field solo homer by Beckham (of all people) to leadoff the sixth after the Yankees knotted things up the half-inning earlier. One inning after that, Boone Logan allowed a two-run homer to a batter he shouldn’t have even have been facing (Ramirez) that again gave Chicago the lead after the Bombers tied it. For good measure, Derek Lowe allowed an insurance run homer by Dunn in the eighth. Just an abysmal job by a bullpen that gets exposed in a hurry if the starter doesn’t complete six.

(REUTERS/Jeff Haynes)


I’m really glad Girardi didn’t pinch-hit Andruw Jones for Raul Ibanez against the left-handed reliever with two men on-base and a one-run lead in the sixth, otherwise Ibanez couldn’t have hit with the bases empty and one out with a three-run deficit in the ninth. Joe’s been leaving Ibanez in against lefties in the late-innings of close games all season long and it’s burned them too many times to count.

Anyway, as for the good news. The molten hot Derek Jeter went 4-for-5 with two doubles and a homer, continuing the hot streak that has raised his season line to .326/.367/.442. The Cap’n is going to wind up getting some MVP votes, which sorta blows my mind considering the track record of 38-year-old shortstops (it stinks).

Mark Teixeira singled twice in his return from left wrist soreness, and Nick Swisher singled and drew three walks from the two-hole. He, like Jeter, as been on fire. Nice to have the two hottest hitters on the team getting the most plate appearances. Curtis Granderson singled and walked as he continues to climb out of his recent slump, and Casey McGehee had a huge pinch-hit, go-ahead single in the fifth — see? pinch-hitting! it can work! — until Joba blew it in the span of like, three pitches.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other stats, and ESPN the updated standings. The Rays won and the Orioles lost, so they’re now four and six games back, respectively. The magic number to clinch the AL East crown remains 37.

Source: FanGraphs

Up Next

Same two teams on Tuesday night, when Ivan Nova gets the ball against Francisco Liriano. That one has 25+ total runs scored potential, which is bad news for the Yankees after running through the majority of their bullpen in the series opener.

Nunez & Mesa lead the way in AAA win
The Bullpen Problem
  • Matt DiBari

    Oh, come on now. Joba may be an ineffective right handed middle reliever, something I can stick my hand out a window and hit five up in MLB, but useless is a bit strong. He can still throw at Kevin Youkilis and out the go ahead run on!

  • Karl Krawfid

    Joe Girardi trying to get Freddy through 5 to get a win messed everything up. Letting Freddy pitch to Konerko was just dumb.

  • jim p

    Seemed weird to bring in Joba in that situation. Given he’s shown nothing (yet), wouldn’t it make more sense to bring him in to start an inning?

    If pitchers were being selected on the basis of leverage in a game, we’d be seeing Robertson right after Garcia left, I’d think. Not really a fan of the “this guy has that inning” approach to relief pitching. But I don’t see that changing as long as there’s the “save” stat.

  • Kevin

    We are 12-10 in our last 22 games. The Rays are 17-4. We let a game we should have won tonight slip away and if we keep doing that,the Rays will take the AL East and never look back.

    • DT

      We’re 6-4 in our last 10 games. They’ve been playing good baseball recently. The Rays have just been on a crazy roll.

      • DT

        Also to add one we’re 12-7 for the month. That comes out to a .631 winning percentage.

      • TomH

        “Crazy?” Check their team WHIP, ERA, HRs allowed, SOs. Their staff is far superior to the Yankees’. If they take the lead, they’ll hold it.

        • DT

          Crazy roll…as in they have been playing .800 ball? That is unsustainable. If they somehow manage to keep that up then, it’s really not the Yankees fault since that would literally be the most amazing run in sports history.

    • Kramerica Industries

      The end result is the same, so I won’t deny it blows, but the Yankees haven’t exactly played their worst ball of late.

      The Rays are on an incendiary run right now, and they’re still four games back. If you honestly think they will continue to play .809 ball for the final 40 games of the season, then more power to you.

    • JMK

      We are 0-1 in our last one games. We are fucked.

    • Klemy

      We’re 72-50 over our last 122 games. That’s good enough for the best record in the AL…

  • captain kiwi

    i didn’t think joba would have this much trouble coming off the dl (since he missed most of the year bc if his ankle), but his performance has been maddening. i really didn’t think he’d be THIS far behind. mostly it’s a shame to waste what would should’ve been an easy W.

    • captain kiwi

      i’m drunk and even i realize none of that made sense. gist: i didn’t think joba would be this bad.

    • bob grim

      has joba been reliable in 5 years? 2008-present. no. still don’t understand the hype. too late to trade him now for a valuable piece.

  • Tom

    You can’t use 1/2 your bullpen by the 6th inning and not have people exposed in later innings. I’m guessing Phelps goes back to the pen once Sabathia returns. I just hope one of the specilaists is sent down (or Joba?) until the Sept callups occur.

    This 3 specialist nonsense needs to be fixed next year. Most bullpens have 1, some times 2 – the Yankees have had as many as 4 this year (when Qualls was around). Sure Mo got hurt and Wade fell off a cliff, but every team is going to have 1 or 2 relievers either be injured or ineffective – the answer is not replacing these guys with specialists.

    Hopefully the default setting of 2 LOOGY’s/1 ROOGY gets revisited next year… I think at most it should be 1/1 (there is no need for 2 LOOGY’s)

    Also someone please tell Thomson when 10 of the first 15 hitters reach base you shouldn’t have a runner thrown out at home by 10 feet no matter how many outs there are. There’s a difference between taking a chance with 2 outs and taking an unwarranted risk with a pitcher on the ropes.

    • JohnnyC

      I fully expect Rob Thomson to be let go at the end of the season. He’s an atrocious 3rd base coach. And a Canadian. Which is far worse.

  • RetroRob

    Has this game entered the 6th inning yet?

    • Robinson Tilapia aka Melky’s Webmaster

      What is Cody Eppley STILL doing out there?

  • stuart a

    they need phelps in the pen, for him to be effective and used in 6ht or 7th.

    the roogy and loogy thing is not working well. rapada’s #’s are a mirage. he gives up a ton of baserunners also……….

  • Heisenberg’s Hat

    The batters should have blown this game open in the early goings. Yanks could have (should have) plated 6 or 7 runs before the Sox even started coming back. So that’s one thing. Then Girardi left Freddie in for too long, in the insane desire to get him a Win. Then the specialists came in, and those guys aren’t really all that special.
    Then we have Joba, who is currently incapable of getting major league hitters out. I wish him nothing but the best, but he’s not going to contribute this season and should not be put into high-leverage spots. His hanging slider is no one’s idea of an out pitch, but he goes to it with maddening frequency.
    Ibanez has actually gotten a couple of hits off of lefties recently, and I KNEW this was going to cause Joe to leave him in against lefties in big spots. Hey Joe, just because he can get the occasional knock against a leftie is no reason to trust that it will happen again in crunch time.

  • oldmanalex

    does anyone know what the effing issue between Joba and Youkilis is. sorry i been drinking.

  • Kosmo

    I didn´t see the game but I´m surprised Girardi didn´t go to Lowe earlier in the game. Lowe did get tatooed in his only start vs. the Pale Hose this season, maybe Girardi´s binder was opposed to the idea? To me Lowe is currently the longman why not use him ?

  • Wil Nieves Number 1 Fan

    Bullpen domination was fun while it lasted, but this ‘pen is garbage now. Whatever small amount of mojo this relief corps had left going into August is now gone. OVAH! MERCY!

  • Jag

    The only thing more annoying than last night’s loss is Hawk’s homerun call. It’d be really nice if we didn’t have to hear it anymore for the rest of this series.

  • Jim Is Bored

    Every bullpen is exposed when a starter doesn’t make it to the 6th. If a reliever is solid enough to feel comfortable about pitching him in the 5th or 6th, he’ll usually end up finding a better job elsewhere.

    • Robinson Tilapia aka Melky’s Webmaster

      If the Yankees would have signed Aroldis Chapman and not been such ninnies, he could have pitched the 6th. At least that’s what my people tell me.

      I need to find new people.

      • Jim Is Bored

        With Chapman, and if we’d never given up Clippard, and if Mo had never gotten hurt, and Robertson was still lights out, we would have 5 closers.

        • Robinson Tilapia aka Melky’s Webmaster


  • Robinson Tilapia aka Melky’s Webmaster

    Joba sucks! Wait….what’s that you’re telling me about recovery from surgery….what…….

    *puts fingers in ears*

    I’m not saying he should be out there pitching high leverage innings right now as he gets his stuff back but, ultimately, if he’s on the roster, there’s only a finite number of pitchers sitting in that bullpen. He’s going to come in, and he needs the work.

    Yes, I’d send him down to AAA until the last possible second, just so he can get his innings in away from them actually meaning something.

    If you didn’t like Joba before, you’re always going to find a reason not to like him.

    As for the game, it was still as fucking annoying a game as I can imagine. The giving up of leads, it taking forever, the only likeable player on the other team being DeWayne F’ing Wise (hell, Youk might be my second favorite guy on that team), just annoying.

    The AL East, more often than not, will be a dogfight. I still don’t quite understand what the Orioles are doing in it, but this was going to be a battle no matter what.

  • pat

    Wait, did Girardi actually come out and say he was trying to get Freddy a win? Or are people just dumb and assuming that? Could it have been Girardi trying to coax as much out of a starter as he could before turning to the gas cans? What’s the deal with ovaltine?

    • CountryClub

      Some fans always assume the manager is trying to get the pitcher the win if they leave him in too long.

      • Robinson Tilapia aka Melky’s Webmaster

        They also forget how many times Joe’s pulled a guy after 4 2/3 in order to have Logan get that one guy out.

  • CountryClub

    There’s a chance that Jeter finishes in the top 6 of the MVP this yr. If he doesnt slump over the next month I wouldnt be shocked if he was 5th or 6th. If he does that he’ll add 2 mil to his 2014 option. And a silver slugger adds 1.5 mil.

    • Yankee Fan 1

      Go Jete! Cashman must want to cry lol

      • Scully

        Honestly he’s in the top 10 in WAR in the American League right now! How the eff is this possible. Sure, he doesn’t hit for nearly the same power as he used to, but thanks to this hot streak he’s got his OPS over .8 which seemed impossible even when he was hitting steadily in the low .300s for most of the season. His power seems to be showing up a little bit lately as well as 10 of his 33 hits this month are extra base hits (nothing to write home about but good enough to slug .590 for the month because he’s been so hot).

        I realize he doesn’t draw very many walks these days (probably his own decision to not fall behind in the count as recovery isn’t as easy and to swing at the first good pitch he sees – not that Jeter was ever a total walk machine or anything like that), but his batting slashes per month this season are

        April – .389/.433/.579/1.012
        May – .293/.339/.353/.692
        June – .232/.295/.313/.608
        July – .346/.375/.439/.814

        So basically he’s had 2 months where he’s been one of the best hitters in baseball, a very good month (July), a meh month (May) and a shit month. If he can hit somewhere between his May and July numbers in September and the Yankees win the division he really could get a bunch of MVP votes. That’s asininely insane that we’re even discussing that possibility. No one every compares Jeter to Jordan due to the difference in sports and such, but I’d say his determination to succeed despite what other people say is “Jordanesque”.

  • Bill

    Just an abysmal job by a bullpen that gets exposed in a hurry if the starter doesn’t complete six.

    As do most bullpens. I don’t think asking the starter to go 6 innings is asking too much.

  • Eddard

    Yesterday I was at a 9 on the confidence level and did not say 10 only because the Rays are charging. The 10 game lead is now down to but 4. The Rays were without their best player for 3 months. Last night was a microcosm of the season as the Yankees rested on their laurels and expected Freddy to shutout the Sox. We didn’t put them away when we had a chance, we didn’t put the Rays away when we had a chance. Some said just weeks ago that the division was over but many of us knew that it would be a dogfight until the end.

    • Jim Is Bored

      Who in the world believed Freddy would shutout the White Sox? No one believes Freddy will shut out anyone. We hope for 5-6, maybe 7 innings, 2-4 runs, and we hope our offense shows up.

    • Get Phelps Up

      Some said just weeks ago that the division was over

      Including you.

  • Stevis

    I’ve said it before…what is wrong with Girardi??
    He makes the biggest blunders….Joba a huge blunder…should be in AAA getting his game back…..if he still has one

  • tipsie

    Don’t get me wrong; I’ll be pissed as anyone if they blow this division lead. That being said, for some strange reason, I don’t feel terribly about it because (1) the crazy surge (to build the big lead) in June was not sustainable (2) the ballclub is good, but not close to being great.

    Last year, we had miracle contributions from Bartolo & Freddy, for example; but when Freddy was slotted to be the #3 playoff starter, it showed the limitations of our staff. This year, for the final 40 games, it’s going to be hard to make a great push when Nova-Hughes-Garcia comprises 60% of the rotation, and aside from Robertson & Soriano, there is not one reliable pen arm now. Logan was spent in the first half, and currently terrible. The injury to Mo didn’t hurt the 9th inning, it hurt the 7th inning.

    The Rays can sustain this because of their pitching. Period.

    It’s going to be a fight until the finish. Injured guys: get back soon.

  • Bunt Gardner

    This game was more annoying than playing cards with Eddard and Stuart.

    • Luisergi

      And Big Memeber…

      • Luisergi


      • Get Phelps Up

        Nah, I’d love to spend a few hours with BM and hear some more of his proposals.