Late rally helps Yankees to much-needed win

Trenton clinches division with Garcia's big night
Girardi called team meeting following Friday's loss

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.

Trenton clinches division with Garcia's big night
Girardi called team meeting following Friday's loss
  • Kramerica Industries

    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.

  • dkidd

    hope phil breaks out the slutter tomorrow

    win the series, start a streak, break their spirit

    • spejo

      He hasn’t thrown a slutter since high school. My money’s on the 6-12 curve.

      • forensic

        I assume he’s referring to this, about his last start…

      • 28 this year

        i think a 6-12 curve would be an awesome pitch. The hitter woudl be like wtf? Ball defying gravity???!?!?!?!?!

        • JohnnyC

          They throw 6-12 curves in Australia. Yes they do!

          • http://riveravenueblues bob hale

            isn’t it 12-6?! what kind of pitch breaks up? :) (6-12)

            • 28 this year

              I think the joke is that Australia is upside down being on the other side of the planet…

  • forensic

    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

      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.

  • Pasta Stumbling Sojo

    Heh, Aceves:

    146 pitches in the past 5 nights for him.

    • forensic

      Wow, guess you really don’t want to storm out on Bobby V…

      • Need Pitching & Hitting

        Ace is having all kinds of problems there.

        • 28 this year

          Dang, that team is in shambles. All the dirty laundry coming out now. Guess that’s what happens when you fill a clubhouse with a bunch of douchebags.

          • Kempire Strikes Back

            “Dang, that team is in shambles.”

            Understatement of the new millennium. This is the state the Red Sox are in right now:

            I don’t feel bad for them in the least though. This is what they get for destroying the balance of the universe in 2004.

            • forensic

              Well, at least they’re trying to laugh through the tears…

              They now need to go 10-18 the rest of the way to have their franchise’s worst record in nearly 50 years, since the mid-60’s. That’s a tough record to reach, but it’ll be nice watching them try. Hopefully the Yankees help a little in their head-to-head matchups.

            • Rocky Road Redemption

              That is the single best baseball post for any team I’ve ever seen.

            • Raul Ibanez AKA Tom Marvolo Riddle

              That is hysterical.

            • Need Pitching & Hitting

              That’s good, but I think “Andruw Jones is batting 4th, Andruw Jones is batting 4th, Andruw Jones is batting 4th” works just as well.

              • forensic

                Where does “Russell Martin is the DH” and “Jayson Nix is the DH” rank in there???

            • FIPster Doofus

              I’d laugh if the Yankees’ last two cleanup hitters weren’t Steve Pearce and Andruw Jones.

              • Doofus is stinky

                I’m laughing simply because Jones and Pearce have been our cleanup hitters, yet were still leading the division.

                Can the Red Flops say as much?

                Winning teams don’t piss and moan about injuries; they roll on. And on and on and on.

          • Tom Morea

            Excellent, comment!

        • forensic

          Yikes. I’m shocked they didn’t just dump him off for some whatever return a day or two ago when they still could’ve. They’ve already given up on the year and clearly he and the team were both unhappy. Doesn’t make much sense.

        • forensic

          Though it is nice to see a leader as great as Pedroia keep all their issues in the privacy of the clubhouse where no one else will ever find out…

          • JohnnyC

            Aceves had no idea what that was about. Pedroia needs a step ladder to get in his grille.

    • Kempire Strikes Back

      The Mexican Gangster needs to get the fuck out of Boston before they abuse his arm to the point of no return a la Scott Proctor.

    • sevrox

      Kind of wonder if another reason the Yanks weren’t interested in Aceves was a certain problem with ‘tude they picked up on?

      • I am not the droids you’re looking for…

        This definitely crossed my mind too. I don’t recall a whif of that stuff while he was here, but as we know stuff does actually go on behind closed doors. That said, didn’t Cashman admit to blowing it re: letting Aceves go?

  • Rocky Road Redemption

    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

      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.

      • Rocky Road Redemption

        It’s hard keeping track of all the games to not go to. Maybe they should make a schedule. Put it in an organizer or something.

        • I am not the droids you’re looking for…

          Trapper Keeper FTW!

  • mark

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

    • Kempire Strikes Back

      They needed SOME right handed presence in the middle of their lineup, and we’re at the point where Andruw motherfuckin’ Jones is the best option.

      • IPK for Tim Reddings (formerly Brian S.)

        Melky Mesa>

        • Kempire Strikes Back

          I will admit that it’s pretty incredible that he’s slugging .549 in 120 PA’s at AAA while at the same time hitting at a .230 clip with a .275 OBP. The power is there but, there’s not anything else.

          • IPK for Tim Reddings (formerly Brian S.)

            Defense and speed!

            • IPK for Tim Reddings (formerly Brian S.)

              He’s not even the one I would replace Jones with. That would be Mustelier.

  • Kramerica Industries

    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

      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

      …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?

  • Kosmo

    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.

  • draddE

    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.

  • OMG! Bagels!

    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.