Yanks grab defeat from jaws of victory against Jays, lose Teixeira to injury


When the pitchers are doing well, the bats do nothing. When the bats are going well, the pitching blows up. The Yankees matched their run total from the three games in Cleveland in the series opener against the Blue Jays on Monday night, yet they still managed to lose because of a slightly overworked and a very underwhelming bullpen. To make matters worse, Mark Teixeira is going to miss 1-2 weeks with a Grade I calf strain suffered in the middle of an at-bat.

(AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)


Joe Girardi went for the kill against the Indians on Sunday, using his top three relievers for a combined 13 outs. Rafael Soriano has been a little shaky of late, escaping that bases loaded situation on Friday and allowing another runner on Sunday, and it all came to a head Monday night when he blew a two-run lead by allowing a two-out, three-run bomb to Colby Rasmus. It was no Yankee Stadium cheapie, you knew from the sound it was gone off the bat. Soriano has been flat out awesome since taking over for the injured Mariano Rivera, but he’s not going to be perfect every time out and this just so happened to be one of the times he gave it up.

Of course, the bullpen problems actually started a few innings earlier. For whatever reason, starter David Phelps was lifted after just 88 pitches following a worm-burning ground ball single with one out in the seventh, and the imminent hittable Cody Eppley — 17 hits in his last nine innings — allowing the inherited runner to score. Derek Lowe shot himself in the foot in the 11th by throwing away a pickoff throw, putting a man on third with no outs. He’s not a strikeout pitcher, it was only a matter of time before someone hit the weak ground ball to get the run in. Adeiny Hechavarria did just that two batters later and that was the ballgame. Four runs in 4.2 innings for the bullpen not including Eppley’s inherited runner. The leaky pen continues to be just that.

(REUTERS/Ray Stubblebine)

All About The Long Ball

The Yankees have struggled to score runs lately, but the return back home to the Bronx allowed them to get back to what they do best: hit the ball out of the park. Robinson Cano, who had hit just two homers this month prior to Monday, clubbed two dingers in the first four innings off starter Henderson Alvarez. Both were solo shots and the first two runs of the game for New York. Nick Swisher tacked one some more with a two-run blast in the fifth, his sixth homer in the last 14 games. The biggest homer was Derek Jeter‘s leadoff shot in the ninth, tying the game after Soriano blew the save. Alas, it just delayed the inevitable.

Fine Phelps

Phelps pitched pretty well despite the quick hook, though it was frustrating to watch him give up runs in the half-inning immediately after each time the Yankees scored while he was on the mound. Adam Lind tied the game at one with a solo shot in the second — his eight homers are tied with Russell Branyan for the second most by a visiting player at New Yankee Stadium, behind only Victor Martinez (nine) — then Yorvit Torrealba made it a 4-3 game with a two-run jack in the fifth. He was just pitching to the score, I assume. Other than that, Phelps struck out seven and walked just run, improving his K/BB to 17/2 in 18 innings since rejoining the rotation about two weeks ago. Wasn’t a great outing against a predominantly Triple-A lineup, but it was enough to win until Soriano was in the giving mood.


(AP Photo/Kathy Kmonicek)

In between Swisher’s blast and Cano’s second dinger, the Yankees scored a pair of runs small ball style in the fourth — Russell Martin drove in a hobbling Teixeira with a single off Alvarez (literally) and Raul Ibanez plated a run with a ground out. They tried to manufacture an insurance run to no avail in the eighth with a bunt, and it turns out they really could have used that extra run. Go figure.

A few hours after his wife gave birth to the couple’s first child, David Robertson threw a scoreless eighth while allowing two singles. It was his 250th career appearance, placing him tenth on the team’s all-time relief appearance list. Isn’t that surprising? I thought he would have been further down the list, but then against relievers don’t exactly tend to stick around and remain effective all that long.

The top three hitters in the order went a combined 4-for-15 with four homers and two walks while the rest of the lineup went 4-for-25  with four walks. Production from the bottom two-thirds of the order continues to be an issue and that doesn’t figure to change with Teixeira now out for a while. There’s just too many platoon players getting playing time that is too infrequent to stay sharp right now given the injuries to Brett Gardner and Alex Rodriguez.

It was a brutal night for the Toronto pitchers physically. Alvarez took a comebacker off the barehand (he reached for it) and was later knocked out of the game with a shin contusion when a hard-ground ball got him. That was Martin’s run-scoring single. Former Yankee Aaron Laffey took a comeback off his leg, then southpaw Aaron Loup did the same in the eighth. I know the Jays have dealt with an inordinate number of injuries this year, but this was ridiculous.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings has the box score and video highlights, ESPN the updated standings. I’m going to stop linking to the FanGraphs box score here just because I didn’t realize it was automatically linked at the bottom of the WPA graph. Not my finest moment. Look for it there from now on. Anyway, the Orioles won and the Rays lost, so they are now three and four games back, respectively. The magic number remains 32.

Source: FanGraphs

Up Next

Same two teams on Tuesday night, when Phil Hughes gives it a go against Ricky Romero. The bullpen figures to be really short, so it would be nice if a) Phil pitched deep into the game, b) the offense blows things open early. Check out RAB Tickets if you want to catch that one in person rather than one television.

Categories : Game Stories


  1. Kramerica Industries says:

    God was that a miserable meltdown to watch.

    Coming against an awful Toronto team and putting this team in a hole to start this series just makes it worse. The Jays have had a tendency to win these series openers since the new ballpark opened.

  2. Cano fan #1 says:

    Is girardi overusing soriano?

    • Magilla Gorilla says:

      They should not have used him tonight

      • forensic says:

        Eh, he had pitched just 2 of the last 3 days. Even though he had 44 pitches in those 3 days, that isn’t crazy. Plus, before that he had 4 straight days off.

        I think pitching tonight was fine. He’ll be off tomorrow, maybe available Wednesday, and then get Thursday off too.

  3. Offdalip says:

    What’s the latest on A rod & Andy?

  4. Magilla Gorilla says:

    Last year, Jeter had a Grade I calf strain and he learned how to hit again. Could this happen to Teixeira? Are we looking at a miracle. Tex starting to hit T-Ball in two weeks. Bring on the Chavez/McGahee/Swisher juggernaut at first while Tex gets game.

    • forensic says:

      Unfortunately, Tex has no history with Gary Denbo.

      Rudy Jaramillo was recently fired though, sounds like a nice opportunity to bring him on as a consultant as he was Tex’s first Major League hitting coach (if that means anything).

  5. Jimmy Is Key To David's Cone says:

    It might be a good idea to just not watch the Yankees for the next two weeks. They are already hard to watch with all the platooners — there’s practically no point in watching batters 6-9 anymore, and #5 (Grandy) has been pretty worthless too. It will just be worse with no Tex — not that he was doing much, but at least there was reason to hope, and at least he was a switch-hitter. The shallow bullpen (made worse by the need for Phelps to start b/c of Nova’s “injury”) is unpleasant to watch too. Give it two weeks, let them flounder a little more, hope Granderson remembers how to hit, hope Cano gets hot, hope Tex comes back good, hope they don’t lose the division in the meantime. Avoid having to watch any more games where Eppley and Lowe blow the game and Granderson goes 0-5 and nobody even says anything because that’s just been happening for weeks now.

    • Magilla Gorilla says:

      Guess you have not heard about the signing of Steven Pearce.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      Great screen name. Shitty comment.

      Like I said before, this just means they better diamond stud the shit out of that WS trophy before they hand it to Girardi. They’ll have more than earned it.

  6. stuart a says:

    this team is in big trouble. not making the playoffs is not unthinkable.

    they cannot hit with RISP….call them the ny platoons

  7. Kramerica Industries says:

    God, the AP headline says it all:

    “O’s top White Sox for 13th straight 1-run victory”

    Yankees recent misery in 1-run games, and the Orioles absurd mastery, is why there is a 3.5 game margin after August 27. Friggen lunacy at play here.

  8. FIPster Doofus says:

    Going 2-2 against the Jays and Indians so far is pathetic. They should be taking advantage of awful teams with much tougher ones approaching on the schedule. It’s disappointing.

    • Kramerica Industries says:

      The only thing I can hope is that this is an indication that they will play up to their opponents, much as they are playing down to them right now.

      Of course, the idea of having to “play up” to an opponent reeks of unprofessionalism, but let me grasp straws as I wish…

  9. forensic says:

    Tex wasn’t doing anything offensively, but you have to think his overall contribution still would’ve been more than whatever yet another platoon will do in his place.

    They have 10 games against the O’s and Rays in the next 13 days. Tex will likely not be available for any of them. A-Rod is just starting live BP tomorrow so he may also not be likely for any of them. That means they’ll have 4 platoons and a non-hitting catcher in their lineup for all those games. Granderson is terrible right now and will likely be batting cleanup. Cano may be coming out of it, but it’s debatable how reliable he is in a big spot right now. Jeter and Swisher are hot, but that won’t last forever, though hopefully it makes it another 2 weeks though.

    They’re going to need some serious stepping-up from their platoons to avoid some serious potential danger in the division race over these next two weeks. They absolutely can not lose games like this in their current situation. Soriano’s been awesome, but you absolutely have to shut that game down.

  10. forensic says:

    They’ve hit 22 homers in the last 2 weeks. Only 3 of those have been with someone on base, and all 3 were 2-run shots. Swisher has the last 2 of them, and Jones has the other one which was back on August 16th.

    I don’t know what their overall season percentage is in terms of solo homers, but they really need to hope some more of them start coming with guys on base. Solo homers are a run and nice, but this seems to be getting absurd, hopefully they’ll start doing something with men on base at some point in the next month.

  11. Brian S. says:

    According to Joel Sherman the Dodgers asked about Mark Teixeira and CC. Pitching is so hard to find that moving CC would be dumb but I’m back and forth on moving Teixeira.

    • forensic says:

      Given his greatly diminishing production and increasing ‘nagging’ injuries each year, I’d strongly consider letting them pay for his next four years. And this is from someone who had him as one of my few favorite players just a few years ago.

    • DT says:

      TEx has been half decent since mid May. If you look at potential FA first basemen for the next few years, there is basically nobody worth paying. Tex is still worth 4 WAR a year and an above average power bat, and i rather just keep that than basically have nothing at first base.

      • DT says:

        Also since his usual slow start from mid May til now he has given us .270/.360/.526. These terrible starts really have pulled his numbers down.

        • forensic says:

          Unfortunately, they still have to pay him for 6 months, not 4. He had an insane July and a pretty good May. The other 3 monthly OPS’s haven’t broken .740.

          His hot streaks can still be awesome, but they seem to be fewer and farther in between at this point.

          He’s very underwhelming at this point, especially at his salary, regardless of what the FA market might be.

          • Brian S. says:

            Since the Sox got rid of Beckett AND Crawford to trade Gonzalez I wonder if we could have thrown in A-Rod and had them give us Rubby and Webster.

            #Cashman failed

          • DT says:

            He’s still productive though and provides more Value than any other FA first basemen the team can obtain. Shedding payroll is great if you’re the one paying it. We as fans are not. I rather they roll out the best team they can than have Carlos Pena or someone. If there is a viable replacement for Tex, or there is some return of great value, then by all means get rid of him.

            • forensic says:

              But, if you have a Carlos Pena-type (I know he’s been terrible this year, just saying that type of guy for arguments sake), then you are somewhat approximately both Tex’s power output and his defense for about $10-$15 million less.

              It doesn’t even Tex out, but if that $10-$15 million is reinvested in improving another position, then you come out a winner in that trade off.

              • DT says:

                But again that’ll depend heavily on the market. Is there going to someone out there that can replace the value lost by moving tex, even in a different position? Good players are going to command a ton of money and a long term deal which will put us in the same bind as before. We’re not simply going to be able to pick up a decent player for cheap unless it’s a stop gap or they trade for someone. Like i said if there is someone that will be able to replace the value of Tex, not necessary at the same position, then by all means the team should try and get rid of him.

              • Mandy Stankiewicz says:

                LOL Pena and Tex are now defensively ‘about the same’

            • Brian S. says:

              Nick Swisher>Mark Teixeira.

              • DT says:

                Losing Tex to keep Swisher is still a downgrade in the sense that we’d still be a worse lineup than before. Swisher wants a ton of money, and his deal towards the end will look as bad as tex’s.

  12. dkidd says:

    we look old

    who’s got the greenies?

  13. dkidd says:

    just looked up MLB teams by age, surprised to learn that the rays are the fifth oldest team (and the pirates are seventh)

  14. Steve says:

    If they are not going to acquire anyone major, they gotta move Swisher to first, playing Chris Dickerson everyday. His numbers are actually getting very impressive and he has major league success. He could allow them to bring some speed and a high batting average back to this lineup.

  15. dkidd says:

    regarding the top picture, what is patti smith doing on the blue jays?

  16. Darren says:

    Mariano, Righetti, Ron Davis, Sparky Lyle, Goose Gossage, Mike Stanton, Jeff Nelson, Proctor/Sturtze/Villone/ , Ed FIguero, DIck TIdrow, Hoyt Wilhelm,

    trying to think who’s above Robertson on the list

  17. JLC 776 says:

    Yankees one strike away from a win, Orioles something like four or five outs away from a loss… Nights like that you don’t easily forget.

  18. LarryM.,Fl. says:

    My 7 on the confidence level was bolstered by the defeat. Sure we can pinpoint Soriano for the loss. But this team is heading in the wrong direction. The next few weeks will be nasty to watch with starters missing in three positions. The ineffective hitting of Grandy,Jones, Ibanez and the catching tandem. The bullpen which is a patchwork quilt with the likes of Eppley,Rapada and Lowe entrenched in the middle.

    Every team in the division has gone through the health situation except the Rays and Orioles our two closest challengers. The Rays have their starting pitching and the Orioles have had a fairly healthy starting team. It is what it is, We’ll just have to hope for some good bounces our way.

    • Samwise Eddard says:

      Excuse me? The Rays were without their best player and only legitimate hitter for 3 months. Take Robbie Cano away from the Yanks for 3 months and see where we’re at. And we’re still comparing apples to oranges because the Yanks have so much more money to spend on depth. We screwed up by not building up a bigger lead.

      • LarryM.,Fl. says:

        Samwise Eddard, I respect your comment. But, the Rays did not loss any starting pitching or their closer or their setup man. You can check the players moved on and off the DL. It may surprise you.

        Your comment, “we screwed up by not building up a bigger lead.” is funny. This is not electronic baseball. This is real baseball played between the lines with teams playing hurt or under manned due to injuries, family issues. You name it. It occurs. Do you believe Girardi places players in the lineup not to win.

        So excuse Me!

  19. Robert says:

    Tyler Austin can play 1B, I can dream can’t I ? But hey Why Not????

  20. Samwise Eddard says:

    We’re not firing on all cylinders. Offense does well last night, bullpen blows it. Tonight someone else will screw up. We had a prime opportunity to extend the lead to 5 ballgames and Soriano blew it. I’ve been saying all year we’re going to miss Mo Rivera come October. And now Teix is out. Chavy is gonna fall apart without rest. Who’s gonna play in his place? Casey at bat? Pierce? Donnie Baseball?

  21. Squints says:

    For millionaires these guys are very poorly conditioned with all theses injuries they get. I wish i could get injured and get to sit on my ass for a few weeks getting paid top dollar and getting top flight medical treatment…without having to work.

    Sori is gonna get beat every once in a long while hes been great the majority of the year, not gonna fret over one blown game, and its not like Mariano was 100% in save situations.

  22. mick taylor says:

    andruw jones fans unite. giveme johnny damon. he is still clutch and would be better than jones, even if he is a lefty because he knows how to get a hit or get on base in a pressure situation. in this yankee lineup and stadium he better than in cleveand. jones is a pathetic hacker, who can’t run, hit or field anymore to be hitting near 199 against rigthanders only basically is ridiculous. if not damon, there has to be a better option than aj

    • This is a joke, right?

      • mick taylor says:

        the only joke is your so called righty power hitter batting near 200 who never gets a clutch hit. my dear friend, i will give you my favorite les paul guitar if the yanks make the playoffs and jones wins one game with a hit. all you a- rod haters please remember, the yanks do not win the 2009 world series without his clutch hitting throughout the playoffs. lets see aj do something like that if only for one game.

    • Bunt Gardner says:

      Did stuart approve this message?

  23. Robinson Tilapia says:

    Whatfuckingever. The Yankees are undefeated since midnight tonight. Dust yourself off, get your asses back out there, and win, baby.

    Want it all to be easy? Watch video tapes of 1998 and pretend you don’t know the outcome.

    • Darren says:

      Down 2-1 didn’t feel easy. Until El Duque walked to the mound pulling his giant nuts in a rickshaw. Then it felt easy.

      In game 4 agaisnt the Padres, I was so sad to see the season end I was rooting for the Padres to come back and take one game.

      Um yeah after 2004 I don’t think I’d ever do that again. Now I want other teams’ to catch the plague and forfeit.

  24. Jose M. Vazquez says:

    Regarding Mark Texeira’s injury a grade 1 strain is one in which the muscle fibers are stretched beyond their normal capability and it usually takes 7 to 10 days of treatment for the player to return to the field of play. During the 1980s and 90s I used to receive Sports Medicine magazine monthly. I don’t remember the exact time, but it was in the 80s that orthopedists agreed to discard the term tendinitis in favor of tendinosis. This is because tendons with no circulation cannot become inflamed instead they fray or disintegrate. I say this because I see the term tendinitis reported with frequency in these bogs.

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