Late rally helps Yankees to much-needed win


Source: FanGraphs

Saturday afternoon’s game had all the makings of another lackluster loss, including poor pitching and a nonexistent offense. Instead, the bullpen picked up the struggling starter and the Yankees managed to mount a late-rally for an important win over the Orioles. Let’s recap…

  • Late-Rally: The Yankees didn’t get their first baserunner against Wei-Yin Chen until Robinson Cano hit a solo homer with two outs in the fourth, and they didn’t get two runners on-base at the same time until there were two outs in the seventh. Jayson Nix‘s walk (after an 0-2 count) allowed September call-up Eduardo Nunez to single in Steve Pearce from second, then the trademark Yankees patience took over. Ichiro Suzuki drew a walk to load the bases, then Derek Jeter battled back from an 0-2 count to draw a bases loaded walk to tie the game. Nick Swisher worked the count full before lining the ball to short, where J.J. Hardy bobbled it and allowed the go-ahead run to score. The Yankees needed some breaks but five straight batters reached base with two outs to turn a 3-1 deficit into a 4-3 lead.
  • Unsung Hero: David Phelps absolutely didn’t have it (more on him in a bit), but the bullpen picked up the starter with 4.1 innings of one-hit ball. Cody Eppley entered the game with men on first and second with two outs in the fifth, and he escaped the jam with a fly ball. Boone Logan chipped in two scoreless innings, pitching around a bunt double (bah) and an intentional walk in the seventh. Once the Yankees took the lead, David Robertson and Rafael Soriano fired off perfect innings in the eighth and ninth, respectively. I’ve been trashing the bullpen — in my defense, just the middle relief — quite a bit recently, but those guys deserve some serious props for their work on Saturday.
  • Struggling Phelps: How he only allowed three runs in five innings, I’ll never know. Phelps was brutally ineffective in his 4.2 innings, walking six (!) against just three strikeouts. He allowed just three hits, one of which was a Matt Wieters solo homer. It was easily his worst start of the season and the first time Phelps walked more than four batters in his entire pro career (Majors or minors). That’s kinda crazy. He also plunked a batter for ten baserunners out of 21 batters faced. Yikes. Shake it off, David.
  • Leftovers: The Yankees only had four hits — the homer by Cano and singles by Pearce, Nunez, and Swisher — but both Jeter and Swisher had hits taken away by diving outfielders in the first … three of their four walks came with two outs in that seventh inning, the other earlier in the game by Nix … Curtis Granderson left the game after two innings with “mild tendinitis” in his calf … Phelps picked a runner off first but also threw a ball away on another pickoff attempt … Nix was charged an error for a poor throw on a barehand play, but I thought it was a harsh error and should have gone to Pearce for failing to make the scoop. has the box score and video highlights, ESPN the updated standings. The lead over the Orioles jumps back up to three in the loss column while the Rays are five back. The magic number is down to 28, so maybe I should get the counter up soon. Let’s see how things go on Sunday afternoon first. Phil Hughes gets the ball against Chris Tillman in the matinee. Check out RAB Tickets for some last-minute details if you want to catch the game.

Categories : Game Stories


  1. Kramerica Industries says:

    That was an excellent win to pick up.

    Big difference between a one game lead, facing (another) home sweep, and a three game lead with a rubber game. Excellent chance to put a bit more buffer between the Yankees and the Orioles. Hopefully, Hughes has his good stuff again tomorrow.

    And then, of course, a trip to TB and to a building where the Yankees snapped a nine-game skid at in their last game there. At worst, the Yankees should enter that 4.5 up.

    I hope.

  2. dkidd says:

    hope phil breaks out the slutter tomorrow

    win the series, start a streak, break their spirit

  3. forensic says:

    VERY important win to get.

    Unfortunately, it kind of speaks to the sad state of the offense at the moment that terrible bullpen management, a pitcher who has no idea where the plate is, and a error are all needed for them to mount a ‘rally’ and score some runs.

    • WhoFarted says:

      How many or those same types of games have the Yankees lost this year?

      The O’s blew it……just as the Yankees have; only difference is it went in our favor this time.

      Now if you want to prance around pretending that that is how NY has won all their games then prance away tiny dancer.

  4. Pasta Stumbling Sojo says:

    Heh, Aceves:

    146 pitches in the past 5 nights for him.

  5. Rocky Road Redemption says:

    Ha, we got this in the bag now guys. According to Orioles fans the season is now over and it’s a given that their team will collapse miserably. I know. They said so.

    • forensic says:

      I guess that means they’re going to start thinking about which home games they can not go to next year and stop thinking about which home games this year they can still not go to.

  6. mark says:

    Where is “Andruw Jones’s Smile”? And, speaking A.J., what do you think about him, Mr. Axisa? How can they bat him cleanup?

  7. Kramerica Industries says:

    Oakland is 75-57. Their best pitcher, statistically, gets suspended, and they win eight straight games.

    Where the hell did that team come from?

    • CUYanks says:

      Just highlights the urgency to win the division. It’s now a possibility that only 1 team from the AL East makes the playoffs after it recently seemed likely 3 would.

    • Evan3457 says:

      …and isn’t it lucky for the Yanks that the first team they face after this “22 games in a row vs. the East” thing is over is…

      the A’s, 3 straight at the Stadium, Sept. 21-2-3?

  8. Kosmo says:

    I like Phelps but I´m wondering if he´s a better SP then what he´s been showing ? I think he felt a tremendous pressure yesterday hopefully he´ll get beyond it. I like to see a 7 inning 2 runs or less performance out of him.

  9. draddE says:

    This was a must win and it was Steve Pearce and Eduardo Nunez who gave us the big hits when we needed them. Hopefully Girardi lets more of the kids play today to give the team some energy. They rearranged the rotation so Phil could pitch against our chief rival and he needs to prove them right today.

  10. OMG! Bagels! says:

    We need all of those who were hurt all summer to get thee back to the diamond. Now, slackers! This means you. All of you. “Let’s DO THIS.”

    It is frustrating to have a team that has hobbled along so well and then they look like it all might just be getting to them. I’m actually surprised it hasn’t gotten to them before now. As each guy went down other fans WERE saying, “WTF Yankees, your best players are hurt, GO DOWN.” and we didn’t. Maybe we tired.

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