Yanks unable to finish sweep, lose 10-7 to Jays


The Yankees are now 7-4 this season in games in which they have a chance to finish off a three-game sweep, and they still haven’t swept a three-game series against the Blue Jays in Toronto since the very first series of the 2003 season. A win would have been nice, but a 4-3 road trip after dropping the first two games isn’t all that bad.

(AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Chris Young)

Phil Abused, Again

For the second straight start, Phil Hughes could not complete five innings of work. It’s one thing to do that against the Tigers, it’s another to do it against Edwin Encarnacion and the Las Vegas 51s. Phil allowed seven runs — six with two outs — on nine hits in exactly four innings, walking one and striking out four. Four of the nine hits went for extra bases, including Encarnacion’s mammoth two-run blast in the fourth.

After allowing no more than three earned runs in 14 of his previous 16 starts, Hughes has surrendered at least four in his last two starts. Maybe it’s just the ebb and flow of the season, maybe he’s crashing back to Earth after three good months, maybe it’s something else. Either way, the Yankees are starting to run short on starting pitching and they need Phil to shake off these two duds. More than anything though, they need him to start soaking up some innings. Only three times since April has he failed to pitch into the sixth inning, and two of those three are these last two starts.

Late Life

(REUTERS/Fred Thornhill)

Derek Jeter led off the game with a single, but the next five innings had a “Derek made sure we won’t get no-hit, let’s just get out of here” feel to it. The underwhelming J.A. Happ overwhelmed the Yankees for the next four innings, retiring a dozen men in a row before surrendering a run in the fifth. By then Hughes had done his damage and the game was effectively out of the reach.

The Yankees did not continue to go quietly though, striking for three runs in the sixth and another three runs in the seventh. The sixth inning rally involved homers from Jeter (solo) and Robinson Cano (two run) while the seventh inning was all about two-out hits from Jayson Nix (double), Jeter (double), and Nick Swisher (single). It’s easy to gripe about third base coach Robbie Thomson holding up Swisher at third on Mark Teixeira‘s double, but I thought that was absolutely the right call. Cano was due up and he represented the tying run, and I feel like you have to let him bat in that situation. Swisher get thrown out at home would have been a disaster.

So, anyway, Cano came to the plate but Darren Oliver took the bat out of his hands by plunking him in the behind. Andruw Jones grounded out sharply with the bases loaded to end the inning, and the Yankees didn’t put another man on-base in the game. It was frustrating watching them get shut down by Happ for five innings, but the offense ultimately did its part. When your starter puts you in a seven-run hole after four innings, you’re usually going to lose.

(REUTERS/Fred Thornhill)


Rajai Davis was all over the place for the Blue Jays, doubling twice, stealing a base, and driving in five runs on the afternoon. That all happened before he robbed Casey McGehee of what would have likely been his second homer in pinstripes. Davis timed his jump very well, and caught the ball at the very top of the wall. If it wasn’t going out, it was going to be damn close. It was a legitimately great catch that completely changed the complexion of the game.

Yankee-for-a-day Ryota Igarashi soaking up two bullpen innings and ultimately it was the three runs he allowed in the fifth — all on a Davis bases-clearing double — that decided things. He threw 35 pitches and probably would have done back out for another inning had the Yankees not mounted a bit of a comeback. Cody Eppley (five outs), Clay Rapada (no outs), and Joba Chamberlain (one out) handled the last two innings without much of a problem.

Every starter had at least one hit other than Russell Martin, though Jeter (triple away from the cycle) and Nick Swisher (two singles) were the only guys with multiple hits. McGehee doubled and still has yet to hit a single since the trade — it’s been all extra-base hits. The Yankees didn’t draw a single walk for the fourth time in 29 games since the All-Star break. They went walk-less just four times in 85 first half games.

Overall, the Yankees went 4-for-7 with runners in scoring position. They’ve hit a combined .318/.382/.504 in those situations since the All-Star break, a span of nearly 300 plate appearances (274 to be exact). Are we still going to complain that they can’t hit with men in scoring position, or just reserve it for when they lose because they didn’t score enough runs like every other loss in the history of baseball?

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some additional stats, and ESPN the updated standings. Both the Rays and Orioles won, so they’re now five and six games behind the Yankees in the AL East race, respectively. The magic number to clinch the division is 44.

Source: FanGraphs

Up Next

The Yankees are heading back to the Bronx for a seven-game homestand that starts with four against the Rangers. David Phelps and trade deadline pickup Ryan Dempster will square off in Monday night’s opener. Check out RAB Tickets for some last-minute deals if you want to catch the game.

Categories : Game Stories


  1. Brian S. says:

    When we faced Ryan Dempster last year Brett Gardner hit a home run and fangraphs wrote an article the next day called “Brett Gardner: Elite Player.” I miss that guy, the Yankees were more fun to watch when he was around.

  2. mike says:

    I was fine with this loss – Hughes was getting rocked, Girardi waved the flag early with Igrashi, and the Yanks looked like they wanted to leve early both at bat and on the field.

    To then have AJones up with the bases loaded against a soft-tossing lefty in a go-ahead situation when he was swinging well all game was more than anyone could have hoped for….and although he hit a rocket to 3B, i was hoping Jones could have worked the count a bit before committing since Oliver cannot push a FB past anyone.

  3. pistol pete says:

    Hughes Nova Freddy and Phelps are in the starting rotation, do you think that scares anybody? Cashman not making any moves at the deadline are going to cost the Yanks the season and maybe the playoffs. How would Cliff Lee look now?

    • DT says:

      Cashman totally should have predicted Hughes melting down after 3 strong months and CC going on the DL. WE should have sold the farm for Cliff Lee.

      • pistol pete says:

        Andy was already down and was our no 2 pitcher. A starter with or without CC going down was a necessity.

      • Jimmy McNulty says:

        Three strong months of Hughes? Which months were those? He’s had what? Two starts where he didn’t allow a home run? The guy may have had a low ERA but he gets hit hard. Jeremy Bonderman 2.0 basically. By the standards that you use to measure major league pitchers Phil Hughes isn’t very good, by universal standards he’s amazing. In the top millionth percentile of pitchers, but for the majors that simply isn’t good enough. He allows a home run roughly every four innings and he still doesn’t have an out pitch. Hughes is garbage. Basically he’s about as bad as you can get and still deserve to be a big leaguer, i.e. the Mark Sanchez of pitchers.

        • DT says:

          I doubt most scouts look at advanced numbers. But Hughes was fine as a number 3/4 starter, his xFIP for may and june was decent for a guy in that role. July was pretty okay and August has been terrible.Either way his whole point was basically in hindsight because these was no way of predicting any of this happening at the time of the deadline. CC was fine outside of one start vs the Sox and no one expected him to end up on the DL again after almost never having a DL stint in his career. Kuroda was consistent and Hughes was showing some signs of life, along with nova. There was no need for a big move to get Lee, take on another bloated contract and give up prospects seeing as the Phillies wanted a lot.

          • Darren says:

            I’m sorry, did you really say there was no way to predict Phil Hughes was gonna meltdown? Homeboy has had one of the most up and down careers I’ve evr seen.

            • DT says:

              Off course you could, but there was no way of knowing he’ll finally break just when CC gets injured. If CC was healthy, would people make a big as deal of this as they are now?

            • Robinson Tilapia says:

              You haven’t seen a whole lot, then.

              • Darren says:

                Are you talking to me Robinson? if so, you’re not making any sense. You disagree that Hughes has been up and down? That’s one of the dumbest things I’ve ever heard. Hopefully that’s not what you meant.

                • BigDavey88 says:

                  He’s saying how there have been plenty of major leaguers with more up and down careers than Hughes.

                  • Darren says:

                    That’s obvious, but I don’t really care about Khalis Greene or whatever random players have had more up and down careers. The point stands that Hughes has had a very up and down career and is completely untrustworthy.

      • Gonadapus says:

        Isn’t that what the Phillies did?

    • YanksFanInBeantown says:

      If the Dodgers traded for him?

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      In what, a dress? Did Cliff Lee lose weight or something?

    • Jimmy McNulty says:

      Well they’re still a good bet to make the playoffs, LA has the best playoff rotation and if the WC eventually comes down to LA/Detroit LA will likely burn either Greinke or Weaver and Detroit probably burns Verlander for Game 1. If they lock up the top spot, they can match up well with those rotations. Chicago’s rotation doesn’t really “scare” me, it’s good but it’s not that good. If the offense decides to take a shit like they have in recent postseason serieses, then yeah it’s going to suck, but that’s true regardless of who they face. Texas in the CS scares me. While they don’t have a pitcher as good as CC they do have a solid rotation top to bottom, and a strong bullpen that they can throw out. Their line up is also stacked and the likes of Josh Hamilton, Nelson Cruz, Mike Napoli, and Adrian Beltre will have fun with Hughes, Freddy, and Nova. I don’t think the FO didn’t want Cliff Lee. Philly wanted top prospects and for the other team to take the whole contract. Basically they wanted teams to surrender good prospects to pay Cliff Lee a market rate. While I would have been thrilled with Cliff Lee (I wanted him pretty much every time that he was available) it seems as if the baseball gods refuse to let Cliff Lee be a Yankee. Or at the very least Ruben Amaro was stubborn about surrendering his highly paid top shelf starter.

    • Gonadapus says:

      WTF about Cliff Lee. The Yankees are absolute dead last in priority on the waiver wire for a National League Player. What gives you the idea that Cliff Lee is available for anything you are willing to give the Phillies. Note well that the Dodgers were unable to close the deal with the Phillies. So, in conclusion, I think that this is one more stupid Cliff Lee post.

      • sangreal says:

        To be fair, he specifically said the deadline. The waiver order is irrelevant.

        I don’t think he is worth what it would have cost anyway

    • steve s says:

      It should scare the shit out of Yankee fans!

    • MannyGeee says:

      “How would Cliff Lee look now?”

      Just like he did on July 30th: like a $25M starting pitcher on the wrong side of 30 with a 2-6 record… for the next 4 years.

    • Heisenberg's Hat says:

      I thought you were a big Nova fan? Because “he knows how to win?”

  4. DT says:

    PANICCC! Not really

  5. Jimmy McNulty says:

    Geee who would have thought that a homer prone pitcher with no secondary pitch and can’t finish hitters wouldn’t have considered his streak of outperforming his peripherals??!?!?!??!

    • Brian S. says:

      He was holding an excellent K/BB ratio. I guess he couldn’t keep giving up solo home runs all the time though. I think he bounces back next week.

      • Jimmy McNulty says:

        Maybe he’ll cut the home runs to every six innings!!! He’s not walking anyone because he’s too busy giving up hard contact, more batters are swinging at him because his stuff’s really hittable. Evidenced by his .483 slugging against, good for 5th in the majors!!! (yet unfortunately second on the team to Nova, though Nova’s BA against is about 20 points higher which accounts for some of the difference in slugging against)

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        It’s tryingtosoundsmartaboutbaseballish.

      • Jimmy McNulty says:

        I tried to fit one too many pejoratives in there to describe Hughes, but in fairness to me there’s so many pejoratives to describe Hughes that it’s hard to figure out where the stopping point is.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      If this is the way we’re supposed to talk about baseball, I give up.

    • Get Phelps Up says:

      You are Hughes’ stuart a.

  6. pistol pete says:

    Any thoughts how we can get better with any waiver deals, D Lowe just doesn’t do it for me.

  7. Robinson Tilapia says:

    Not the best of times for Hughes to get rocked, but who the hell knows what’s up there. Loved the team almost getting back in it and almost making us feel like the sweep was coming. Even with a four game winning streak, not a whole of ground gained, unfortunately. Still waiting for the other shoe to drop with Baltimore. It’s going to happen at some point…….right?

    CC’s being gone a couple of starts will feel a whole lot better if Hughes and Nova can get back to where they need to be consistently.

  8. Craig says:

    The Blue Jays brought their EH game today with an EH-EH-EH lineup. Had to do it.

  9. pistol pete says:

    Anyone heard how Arod’s and Pettitte’s recoveries are going?

    • Jimmy says:

      They both played a game of cannasta and had some tea at the old ballplayers’ home. Tapioca pudding was served afterwards. Derek and Raul joined them late for a rocking game of Bingo.

  10. Gonadapus says:

    When Hughes was in the minors, his best pitch was a 12-to-6 Curveball. Now he is the #1 flyball pitcher in the AL. Also most multibase hits. I hope he showcases with a great postseason so the he can be unloaded.

    • vicki says:

      it’s late and i have a buzz or i’d check brooks to see what he was throwing when he came back off the fake DL last year. i remember he got a lot of awesome weak contact in HITTERS’ COUNTS. didn’t chase the k-dragon, no ego, super efficient.

      • Jimmy says:

        He was throwing ~60% fastballs & 10-20% each of cutters and curves with some changeups and sinkers thrown in. As the season progressed the % of fastballs increased and two main secondary pitches were down to ~10%. Same pattern this year except the fastball is up to around 70% and he’s basically given up on the cutter.

        Yesterday, he threw 80 pitches, 60% fastballs, 35% curves and 5% changeups. A single game’s pitch selection is tough to use as an indication of what’s wrong this season since it depends on the other lineup, how often he’s pitching from the stretch, etc. But he clearly has gone either fastball curveball almost exclusively and yesterday is a good example.

  11. DT says:

    Man, it’s fun how fans want to get rid of underperforming young guys like Nova and Hughes. Then if that happens and they find success elsewhere (like Melky or IPK) they’ll complain how the Yankees weren’t patient enough to develop their talent and should never have traded them.

    • MannyGeee says:

      you must be new here, so I’ll break down how RAB works:

      All of Cashmans moves are wrong… when he trades, he shoulda kept (Melky, IPK, Kotteras, Clippard are prime examples); when he keeps, he obviously shoulda dumped for a bag of balls (the aforementioned Hughes and Nova).

      Cashman also is the worst negotiator ever, as witnessed by the A-Rod contract (don’t let facts get in the way of the narrrative here) and the Javy trade (although on paper… fuck it, nevermind)…

      so yeah, all of this is happening. welcome to paradise

      • Robinson Tilapia says:

        He never even had or traded Kotteras and IT’S STILL HIS FAULT. That’s just how much Cashmanfailed he fails.

      • Steve says:

        Yeah. On the other hand, there are some that will defend any move by Cashman tooth and nail from here to eternity. He has never, in his life, made a bad move. Any move that didn’t work out was made by Randy Levine. One or the other.

      • Cris Pengiucci says:

        So clearly explained. I don’t know if anyone could have said it better. Well done!

      • Heisenberg's Hat says:

        “… when he keeps, he obviously shoulda dumped for a bag of balls traded for the rights to Mike Trout.”

        Fixed it.

  12. Rocky Road Redemption says:

    Honestly, I’m at the point where I no longer believe the other shoe will drop with Baltimore. Call it pure dumb luck or call it skill at winning close games, they’ve kept it up all season.

    I think it’s just a matter of facing facts; we’re in August and the Orioles are a real threat. Accept this, take it into account when discussing the future of the postseason race, and move on.

    • vicki says:

      snap out of it. pythagorean ain’t the be-all but if the o’s take a wildcard spot away from the angels or a’s i will eat my hat.

  13. Kevin says:

    For all the talk about the O’s,the Rays are a far bigger threat to the AL East race then the O’s are. Their offense is starting to heat up and with their pitching..they are the team to worry about,not the O’s.

  14. Kosmo says:

    Hughes has nearly thrown twice as many innings as he did last year. He could clearly be wearing down or he could just be in a pitching funk.

    Yanks might have to find another SP at least for a month or so.

    Igarishi has a mid-90s fastball, so with the bases loaded Martin calls for 4 straight sliders vs. Rajai Davis. IMO that´s not good pitch selection.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      It’s two starts. We have no idea what it means. It could mean back-to-back bad starts and nothing else.

      It’s possible that he could be tiring out a bit, I suppose.

      • LarryM.,Fl. says:

        Robinson its not two bad starts. Its the whole season worth of work. Mediocre secondary pitches have hitters not offering on them. Just sit and wait on the fastball which is thrown at 60%+. It leads to a disaster. A good hitting club will make Phil look real bad as Detroit showed. 11-10 record with a veteran professional hitting club is not good. Fourth in D. In the top extra base hits allowed. This was Hughes redemption year to prove that he is worth a rotation spot.

        You maybe right but his lack of desire to cultivate or his inability to cultivate the secondary pitches is alarming. I like Phil but don’t understand the curve, slider and changeup being so blah!

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          I’m at work, so I don’t have the time to do this myself, but there’s been an awful lot of quality starts in this recent stretch to just disqualify the entire season. While I don’t sit here and completely dismiss W/L total, I will say that the way you’re looking at it here means nothing.

          Funny how that, when players are doing badly, we suddenly have all this insight into their feelings and desires.

          Hughes has been inconsistent enough to warrant this sort of back-and-forth debate for sure, but I’m not suddenly dimissing these last three months.

  15. LarryM.,Fl. says:

    I don’t propose to know the issues with Phil Hughes. But from what I see. He obviously has the physical makeup to pitch as a starter. He has the fastball speed and endurance. But his secondary pitches are not all that good. His location is not so great. He misses spots all day long. Russell Martin bounces around from intended spot to another location on a good percentage of his spots. Phil appears to have a calm appearance even when things are not going well. So to me when I watch Phil its all about location and his rather mediocre secondary pitches.

    The Blue Jays with 3 or 4 prior major league players in the lineup and the remainder of them from Las Vegas just ate up his fastball. Why location and his curve is either way off the plate or a non factor because it lacks the break to get a commitment from the hitter.
    As opposed to Nova making this lineup look poor against his curve and slider. The Yanks have no choice but to stick with Hughes. he’ll get his innings in but if we can place him in the bullpen, it might be the best move. The rotation for 2013 would have to solid for this to occur or he’s traded.

    I might have just given up on Phil as a starter. I hope that I’m wrong.

    • Frank says:

      I’ve said many times pretty much what you say. Hughes has a FB and that’s pretty much it. His curve is OK, but not outstanding. Otherwise, he has no put away pitch. If you watched yesterday’s game, his pattern is so predictable. When you have only 2 pitches, and one of them is not all that good, major league hitters(and in yesterday’s case, minor league hitters) will crush you. He just doesn’t have the stuff to go through a good offensive lineup multiple times. I really believe he’s better off in the BP. Otherwise, he needs to master at least i other pitch to have a chance at being a successful starter.

  16. Andy Pettitte's Fibula (former Manny's BanWagon) says:

    Let’s hope these last 2 starts were just a blip on the radar for Hughes. He’s been solid all year until recently and with CC and Pettitte out , he needs to step up.

    You just never know with these young pitchers, though. Nova looked ready to go back to AAA up until his last start so hopefully Hughes can follow suit and do the same his next time out.

  17. Stevis says:

    Phil Useless should go to Oz and maybe he can ask the Wizard for a Heart…………….nuf said

  18. mt says:

    It also sucks that the 2 regulars as opposed to the seven AAA types and bench palyers were the ones who did most damage with the bat – Davis and Encarnacion. Somehow if shoe were on other foot and we had to trot out a lineup with only, say, Teixeira and Gardner with the other 7 from SWB I would not expect the other team to let them have good games.

    I think part of Nova’s success were the sharp breaking balls he threw which I am sure these glorified AAA hitters don’t see that often. As someone in anotrher thread said, everybody in AAA or starting out in majors can hit a fastball. I was following game on my phone so I did not see it but from my impression vcery few of those curves or change-ups were strikes (either swinging or called).

    This will sound like 20-20 hindsight but before the trading deadline I was wondering why they weren’t in on somebody like Liriano (given CC injury – yes it was minor but still CC never hits DL, Pettite – who knows what will happen there with his recovery, and Hughes – no body is talking about impact of his projected huge increase in innings over last year if he pitches the whole year, and Nova’s OPS against which has been one of highest in baseball all year even when he was “winning games”). Now Liriano has had both good games and awful ones since he was traded so maybe he would not have been best choice but the point still is basically I thought we should have gotten another starter (sitting Freddy who would then be available to re-enter rotration if Hughes and/or Nova imploded) (and I don’t mean Cliff Lee becuase of his salary requirements.) CC’s subsequent arm injury makes this look like more of something we should have done but nobody could have predicted that.

    Maybe there is still an August waiver claim that can be made – although we pick so far down the list that no one half way decent will drop to us.

  19. Eddard says:

    This is not the way to go into the Texas series in a battle for 1st place and the Rays nipping at our heels. Two best starters- gone. HOF closer- gone. HOF 3B- gone. Starting LF- gone. We’re down to one reliable starter. And now we have to play Texas and the White Sox in the next couple weeks, two teams we very well may see in October. The offense will need to step up and help these pitchers out.

  20. Heisenberg's Hat says:

    How come when Hughes pitches good he gets little credit for it, but when he pitches bad it’s “OMG this is the REAL Phil Hughes?”

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