Yanks, Soriano rebound to top Blue Jays

Garcia homers twice as Trenton clinches playoff spot
Hughes goes to the slider against Blue Jays

The Yankees suffered a really brutal loss on Monday night, but good teams turn the page in a hurry and move on to the next day. New York rebounded well on Tuesday night, with a tight but very well-pitched 2-1 win over the Blue Jays in game two of their three-game set.

(Jeff Zelevansky/Getty)

Hughes Steps Up

The middle relief has been shaky and the offense sometimes nonexistent, but Phil Hughes really stepped up on Tuesday to throw seven strong innings against a team that smacked him around the park a little more than two weeks ago. After emphasizing his changeup the last two times out, Hughes broke out a slider against Toronto and used it to hold their right-handed batters to just four hits and two walks in 22 at-bats with five strikeouts. One of those four was the requisite solo homer, but otherwise he held those guys in check after they battered him around for most of the season.

Phil didn’t do it alone though, he got some huge help from Robinson Cano in the form of an inning-ending double play in the sixth. Cano jumped to snag Yunel Escobar’s line drive before firing to third to double off Colby Rasmus. It was an insane play, he got rid of the ball in a heartbeat. Hughes allowed just one run in seven innings, his third consecutive start of at least seven innings and no more than two earned runs. The Yankees needed some length out of their young right-hander after the beating the bullpen took last night, and he really responded with exactly what they needed.

#KeepSwish (Jeff Zelevansky/Getty)

Manufactured Runs

With runs proving difficult to come by these last few games (Monday night notwithstanding), the Yankees went back to the drawing board and scored their two runs the old fashioned way: they manufactured them. Jayson Nix got it all started with one out in the third, singling through the 5.5 hole before moving up to second on Ichiro Suzuki‘s infield single. A Derek Jeter sacrifice fly got him over to third, then Nick Swisher came through with yet another big two-out run-scoring single. He’s had quite a few of those lately.

The Yankees did it again the next inning, thought this time it started with a Steve Pearce leadoff walk. He advanced to second on a wild pitch, slid over to third on Russell Martin‘s ground out, then came in to score on Curtis Granderson‘s sacrifice fly. The first rally needed three base hits to score one run while the second had zero hits to score that same one run. Baseball! Those were the only two runs the Yankees would get and ultimately need.

Leftovers

(Jeff Zelevansky/Getty)

Rafael Soriano was out of his mind good in the ninth despite pitching for the third straight day. He ran his fastball up to 96 and got swings and misses on all three sliders he threw. You can tell there was some anger behind those pitches, he was absolutely filthy. David Robertson, also pitching for the third straight day, chipped in an easy and efficient eighth inning. Those two retired all six men they faced and Soriano whiffed a pair. Between them and Hughes, ten of the last eleven Blue Jays made outs.

Pearce became the first player to made his Yankees debut as the cleanup hitter since Glenallen Hill back back in 2000. He went 0-for-2 with the walk and a strikeout. The three through seven hitters went a combined 0-for-17 with Pearce’s walk and four strikeouts. The 8-9-1-2 cycle of hitters went 5-for-13. The Yankees didn’t have a single extra-base hit on the night, instead opting for some timely singles.

I thought home plate ump Ed Hickox had a pretty tight strike zone, particularly the outside corner to right-handed batters. PitchFX confirms that I’m not crazy, but the zone wasn’t as severe as I expected. Anyway, Hughes struck out the final batter he faced for his 500th career strikeout. Congrats to him.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, ESPN the updated standings. The Orioles won while the Rays lost, so those two clubs are now three and five games back in the AL East, respectively. The magic number to clinch the division is 31.


Source: FanGraphs

Up Next

CC Sabathia will make his second start off the DL in the rubber game on Wednesday afternoon, when he’ll be opposed by fellow southpaw J.A. Happ. I gotta think Soriano and Robertson will be unavailable, so lots of innings from the big guy and lots of runs from the offense will be appreciated. Check out RAB Tickets for some last minute deals if you want to catch the matinee.

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Garcia homers twice as Trenton clinches playoff spot
Hughes goes to the slider against Blue Jays
  • Mr. Eddard

    I gotta hand it to Pearce. His run was the difference in the game. Tampa has lost another 1-0 ballgame so our chief rival is now Baltimore. Can’t wait for the Os series on Friday.

    • goterpsgo

      In years past I looked forward to our guys playing BAL because of them being the patsies that they were. This year, although I think they’re playing way over their heads, I think they’ve got some luck of luck on their side. That and our guys aren’t exactly on fire. Yeah they can win the division, but it’d be the 3rd year in a row they backed into the playoffs.

      (Maybe some of the Sawx’ grit rubbed off on them in that last game last year.)

      • Steve (different one)

        How did the Yankees “back into” the playoffs last year?

  • Rich in NJ

    I really hope they find a way to extend Hughes’ contract this offseason.

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

    I don’t know if anybody mentioned this, buy Suzyn mentioned it on the post game show. Yes: Suzyn said something interesting!! Apparently after he blew the game yesterday Soriano was so upset at himself he blew off the media, again. Before the game today though Mariano payed him a visit in the locker room and laid into him for 1. Not talking to the media, telling him basically to “man up” and it’s something he has to do as a closer in NY. and 2. Throwing too many sliders in the blown save yesterday. This man is going to make an excellent pitching coach when he decides to retire in a decade.

    • Rich in NJ

      Good to hear, otoh, who would have thought that it would take until August 27th for that conversation to become necessary. So yeah, it’s a win-win (or a save-save).

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

        Well, every other time he’s blown a save this year he’s manned up and talked to the media, as for the second point Suzyn made it sound like this isn’t the first time Mo has told Soriano that his fast ball is his best pitch and to not get away from it too much. She also said Mo told Sori off last season after blowing a game and not talking to the media.

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

          Also, I’d like to clarify, I don’t think that Soriano is being a punk by not talking to the media after a blown save. I actually think I understand where Soriano’s coming from: When ever I mess something up, in any aspect of life, especially when it’s a huge screw up, I don’t want to talk to anybody. I get so angry that I just want to beat myself up for it mentally for at least a day before I talk to someone about it. I think Soriano is the same way.

          • BK2ATL

            I completely agree with you on this….but to the media, that makes him a malcontent. See how guys get bad reps???

            I mean, he can’t even be mad at himself in peace. I guess they want the alternative, for him, in his state of anger, to just blow up at them.

            I honestly don’t think Soriano’s a punk. He just doesn’t play their “game” when he’s mad.

            Whatever the case, I love watching angry MFIKY on the mound tonight. Shit was….scary…and good.

          • Now Batting

            This is a man making millions of dollars to play baseball. I don’t care how he wants to handle his anger, but he is obligated to talk the media- the medium to the fans.

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

              I understand it’s baseball, but I’m sure he takes it just as seriously, or more seriously as we take our jobs.

              • Rocky Road Redemption

                The thing is, almost all of us would trade with him in a heartbeat.

                It’s his job, yes, but it’s also a game he’s getting paid MILLIONS of dollars to play and, yes, a game that is subjected to public scrutiny by the fans.

                Talk to the fucking media, dude.

                I don’t think he’s a punk either. Like you, I think he was just pissed at himself and frustrated. It happens to everybody. But Mo was 100% right, and I’m glad he said that to Soriano.

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

                  It is part of his job to talk to the media, and he could’ve just said something along the lines of “listen, I didn’t have it tonight, I’m really upset right now. I’ll answer all your questions tomorrow.” I’m just saying I understand where he’s coming from not talking.

                  • Rocky Road Redemption

                    This, I can agree with.

                    I don’t think he’s some sort of asshole for not talking. I just respect people who DO talk to the media much more.

                    I’ll never forget Mo after game 7 of the 01’Worled Series just sitting there answering question after question. He never complained and never asked to be excused or acted sorry for himself in anyway. It’s very, very hard not to respect somebody tremendously after seeing something like that.

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

                      Mo’s just a different level of person though. If we held everybody up to Mo’s standards (as a PERSON or a PITCHER) we’d all look like terrible pitchers, and even worse people.

            • RetroRob

              He actually isn’t obligated to talk to the media. He should talk to the media, but he can also tell them to screw off and he has no intention of talking to them ever again. Steve Carlton basically did that for the last half of his career and survived fine.

              I certainly wouldn’t recommend that, but if he’s the type of pitcher who burns more severely in losses, getting far away from the media isn’t a bad idea. This is only the second time I’m aware of this happening during his two seasons in NY. Minor.

    • ROBTEN

      ‘This man is going to make an excellent pitching coach when he decides to retire in a decade’

      Apparently, A-Rod will as well:

      “I was talking to Alex after the game and he said, a bad cutter is a BP fastball, whereas a bad slider at least does something,” Hughes said. “It’s a little bit offspeed. If I don’t execute the pitch, at least it’s something that’s not close to speed with my fastball. At least it’s maybe doing something. Even if it’s backing up, it’s going down or something like that. So, even if I don’t throw a quality one, the odds of it getting hammered somewhere are a little bit less.”

      h/t to http://yankees.lhblogs.com/

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

        Interesting. I’ve always wondered if pitchers and hitters spoke about this stuff. I mean we did on my high school team, but that’s because we were all on the same team, and odds were we weren’t going to ever face each other outside of BP or a sim-game. Professionals could be traded at anytime, and all of a sudden that guy you told that “hitters have an easier time hitting a hanging cutter than hanging slider” is all of a sudden on the mound against you.

      • CP

        ARod also fixed Boone Logan last year.

        • Brian S.

          A-Rod also gets injured a lot

          • kevin w.

            ^^This

          • Jim Is Bored

            Which has a lot to do with how good of a coach he’ll be.

          • jjyank

            This has to do with coaching…how, exactly?

            • Jim Is Bored

              He doesn’t read the long posts, just searches for “A-Rod” or “CC” or “Sabathia” and then whines about them.

      • Rich in NJ

        Posada was reportedly pretty good at analyzing the mechanical issues of both hitters and pitchers. The Yankees would benefit from hiring him in some capacity for his knowledge, if he is interested, and after he retires, A-Rod as well.

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

          A-Rod would either be an outstanding coach/manager, or a terrible one. Only because of his own work ethic. He would push players to work and train as hard and how he did, which is honestly most likely harder than most players work. Alex is a gym rat and a batting cage rat, and would push players under him to do the same. That’s great when your a player/mentor like he was to Robby…much harder to transition that into getting a team of hitters to buy into.

          • RetroRob

            A-Rod definately likes working with the younger players. I just don’t know if I can see him coaching, at least on a day-to-day grind when he was a $30M a year player. Coaches don’t make all that much comparatively.

            Yet I don’t see A-Rod leaving the game at all. He seems to enjoy it too much. So, I guess I don’t what he’s going to do.

            • MannyGeee

              call it a hunch, but when Alex is done, he wont have a need for another $30M year… ever. IF he were to do it, it would be for the love of the game. Or for the bitches… Alex loves them bitches

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

    Currently on MLB Tonight: perfect reason for instant replay.

    • Pasta Stumbling Sojo

      What happened?

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

        Top of the 9th in KC, Detroit down 1 w/ runners 1st and 3rd. 2 outs. Young hit a ball the other way hugging the pole. After seeing 3 different angles multiple times, over and over again…I’m still not sure if it was a homer.

        • BK2ATL

          What was the on-field call? Anything to absolutely dispute it, either way?

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

            Foul was the call on the field, there was a replay from in front of the pole, where it looked like the ball went behind it (a homer) but when they showed from the otherside of the pole…you couldn’t seen either way whether the ball is there or not.

            • jim p

              Seems they could put sensors in foul poles. A few strategically placed could tell you if anything moving faster than 50 mph went left or right of it.

        • Pasta Stumbling Sojo

          I’ll check out the replay.

          I’m vaguely losing for Detroit to lose. My optimal postseason lineup is Oakland and Baltimore making the wildcard, then Oakland beating a weaker Baltimore to face the Yankees so I can go to some playoff games. (I’d rather Baltimore make it than Detroit in case they advance.)

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

            Idk…Oakland’s pitching staff made us look awfully silly back in July.

          • Need Pitching & Hitting

            I like that your assuming the Yankees will play the wild card winner.

            • Pasta Stumbling Sojo

              Not assuming. I said my optimal postseason lineup, which obviously includes the Yankees being the division winner. (And I don’t buy that the #2 seed is better, so I’d prefer they have the best record.)

        • CP

          That’s actually a very bad reason for instant replay. If you can’t clearly tell the call with replay, then there’s no benefit to being able to review it.

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

      Then I see McCann get rocked in the nuts by a foul tip…christ cup or not that can not feel good.

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

    Clint Eastwood’s going to be in a baseball movie. My life is complete.

    • Jack

      Is he playing Dallas Braden?

      “Get off my mound.”

      • http://thecarsboneblog.tumblr.com Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle
        • rek4gehrig

          Awesome. I love Clint and I love baseball.
          Thanks for sharing

  • Rocky Road Redemption

    I was at the game today. Thoughts:

    . The Stadium was ROCKING today, absolutely electric atmosphere. No idea why this game, specifically, but there you go.

    . At the beginning of the game Hughes pitched such a long (I believe) second inning I was worried that this game would be really slow and boring. Boy, was I wrong.

    . The game was very well played by both sides actually. Toronto’s second baseman made a great diving snag of a Cano ball that would have scored a run, too, and they did, after all, only allow two runs.

    . MFIKY was on kill mode, absolutely dominating performance.

    . The crowd just went nuts over Jeter. It’s awesome. Every time he got up-literally every time-a “Derek Jeter” chant would be started. It’s so great to have him playing at such a high level again.

    . Hughes did NOT look good in that 6th. Even the out made before the Cano play just barely stayed inside the park, and you could tell it was well hit. You had the feeling it was only a matter of time until Toronto scored.

    Then Cano made that play. Legitimate fist-pump moment. Cano’s reflexes were insane, and he caught that ball at full extension. Just an incredible play.

    . The aforementioned story about Mo and Soriano is pretty cool.

    . And as my finishing thought, I absolutely love the Stadium.

    • Rocky Road Redemption

      Oh, and I think this was a huge game after that terrible loss yesterday to give us a chance to take this series and Hughes showed up big time, great moment for him.

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

      Was it your first time at the new ball park? I’m only assuming from the last bullet point, even though I say the same thing after every time I go.

      • Rocky Road Redemption

        Heh, nope, we apparently do the same thing.

        First time I was here was game 3 of walk-off weekend in 2009, the Johnny Damon home run game. To this day the best live game I’ve ever seen. I’ll never forget Texeira making a diving play in the 8th inning with the bases loaded to preserve the lead with, of all people, Brett Tomko on the mound. Great game.

        2nd game was 2011 Old Timer’s Day. Cool to be in the park, but I was in the nosebleeds and stupidly didn’t come down for the ceremonies, so I could barely hear them, plus Burnett got shellacked. I still say it was worth it just for the experience, but it wasn’t exactly as I’d hoped anyway.

        . Third game was today, described.

        FYI, I tried the garlic fries for the first time. It’s true, they ARE delicious.

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

          ugh…I’d love a Lobel’s steak sandwich and garlic fries right now.

          • Rocky Road Redemption

            Lobel’s, huh? I’ll try and remember that.

  • CUYanks

    Erik Bedard was released by the pirates. Thoughts?

    • Brian S.

      Do you think maybe he could transition to the bullpen?

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

        Do you think maybe he could transition into a not terrible pitcher in the AL?

        • CUYanks

          He has been effective when healthy pretty much every year of his career in the AL, except this year in the NL, where he has been pretty bad, so who knows.

        • http://www.twitter.com/brandonholley B-Rando

          Legitimately made me laugh out loud.

  • Mike

    “A Derek Jeter sacrifice fly got him over to third”

    Just for the record, getting a runner over to third on a deep fly ball is not considered a sacrifice fly. It is considered just a fly out. Only way it’s counted as a sacrifice fly would be if the runner scored.

  • Edmond

    I was thinking why doesn’t Girardi move up Nix and Suzuki, I guess I know now that he rather cluster 8-9-1-2 together! The way the middle lineup is htting,we have no chance against the Os

    • Knoxvillain

      The O’s are in 2nd place and we have no chance against them? They aren’t even that good of a team. I don’t care what their record says. With A-Rod and Pettitte coming back soon and Sabathia back, we get worse? I don’t understand.

      But then again, Eric Chavez and Ichiro have defined Cashman’s career as a GM.

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

        I’m telling you guys, it’s definitely a bad idea to feed the Trolls this late. Gremlins are cute as hell before you feed them after dark…imagine what a Troll would turn into.

        • Brian S.

          Uber-troll?

    • DT

      Oh fans like you need to fuck off. When the Orioles or Rays win a close low scoring ball game it’s all like” Herp Derp look at how great their pitching is and got enough timely hitting to win!” When the Yanks do it (and you ignoring the fact the team scored 7 runs yesterday.) it’s ” Oh look how weak the offense is, they won’t score enough against the ________ team”

      • RetroRob

        +1

      • RetroRob

        Ahh, what the hell. +2!

  • Brian S.

    Why is what is happening to the Rays Low-A minor league team not getting more attention? They’re doing meth.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      …and it’s been a few days since we’ve seen Heisenberg’s Hat on here. Hmmm.

      • jjyank

        Ha!

  • Wil Nieves Number 1 Fan

    I dig the 7.5 K/9 and 2.2 BB/9, but that 1.72 HR/9 is just awPhil. Solid start from Phil nonetheless.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    You can tell your kids you were there the day Sam Pearce batted cleanup for the Yanks. Unlike such freak occurrences as “The Darrell May Game” and “Anthony Claggett’s Mop-Up Appearance,” we won this one.

    Hughes does it again. Inconsistent at times? Sure, but I’ll take it.

    Just win. Almost september.

    I regret not giving my reviews of TGI Fridays and other chain restaurants in the game thread.

    • Hall and Nokes

      Mine is the “Wally Whitehurst Game”, his one Yankee win, in 1996.

      Against Dave Telgheder, no less.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        I’d completely forgotten about that. We should try to dig up the most random of Yankee cameos in a winning cause.

        Unrelated honorable mention to “Brian Gordon Week” last year, as well as the mere existence of Dan Giese.

  • The Real Greg

    Love the staory that Mo mentored Soriano after blowing the save on Monday. This is why the Yankees need to hire this guy as bullpen coach after he retires.

    • jjyank

      I’d love that, but I doubt it happens. Mo strikes me as the kind of guy what would want to spend some time with his family after he retires. Maybe years down the line.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        I think he’ll be a presence, but not in an everyday manner. You’ll see him pop in for moments like this. I agree, though. Family man. I could see him doing a ton of humanitarian work, etc. He won’t stay on the road full-time like that.

        It’s an amazing idea, though.

  • Yank The Frank

    If we win today, Monday’s ugly loss will be forgotten, keep on keeping on.

    • rek4gehrig

      Already forgotten.

  • JohnC

    MO is the ultimate standup guy. Nothing symbolized that more than after he lost game 7 in AZ in 2001. As painful as that was, he stood at his locker painfully and answered question after question, making no excuses and nver flinching at the herd of media around him. Sori can learn an awful lot from him

  • Robinson Tilapia

    I tried to Google “Forgotten Yankee Appearances.” One of the first hits that turned up was on Pedro Feliciano.

    *snare*

  • mt

    Our line-up against lefties is ugly – will definitely see lefty Chen on weekend, supposedly Gonzalez and Johnson (righties) are scheduled to start against us but with Saunders and Wolf recently added, Buck has a lot of flexibility to throw 2 or 3 lefties (although I think Saunders starts tonight against ChisSox).

    One really overlooked part of the Pearce run is that we scored a run without a hit including an advance on a wild pitch. It makes me think that Yanks may have to do more small ball the next 2 weeks. There are very few Yankees on current roster who would even have tried advancing. We would still be in a tie game without Pearce taking that risk which given pitch location was not that big of a risk (yes, I know – fallacy of assumptions that we would not have scored another run if Pearce did not score.)

    With our inability to score (look at Oakland, on other hand, going into Cleveland and scoring runs, for example), we should see more squeeze plays and steals and more aggressive baserunning. We do not necessarily have all the personnel to do it but Suzuki and Nix certainly can try. (I can’t remember the last time Yanks tried a squeeze play.) For example, instead of bunting Suzuki over when he gets on, he should first really try for straight steals.

    I hope we maybe take a slightly different approach against O’s and Rays and not just go in to “wait till Arod and Tex come back mode and this is best we can do until they come back”. We may have to take more risks than we normally would have done with our full powerful lineup.

    Also given current platoon situations, Yanks will be helped by expansion of roster to provide more fodder like Dickerson (hopefully) for the platoons. Hopefully some younger players will also provide a little spark to current roster. I know they must be dragging now and probably feel somewhat snakebit with the injuries.