Yankees rout Blue Jays to maintain AL East lead

Game 157: Four
Update: Cano in today's lineup, x-rays on hand apparently fine

That play would have been a lot more frustrating had the Yankees not won the game by seven runs. The 11-4 win over the Blue Jays on Friday guarantees the Bombers another day in first place, and that’s a pretty big deal when there are only five games left in the season. Let’s recap…

  • Big Hits: They came at very different points of the game, but I thought the game’s two most notable hits were equally important. Nick Swisher opened the scoring with a big two-run, two-out double in the first inning to get his team off on the right foot, then Russell Martin gave the Yankees much-needed breathing room with an equally big two-strike, two-out, three-run homer in the sixth. Joe Girardi had 40-homer man Curtis Granderson try to bunt and left Raul Ibanez in against a lefty earlier in the inning, so Martin really bailed the skipper out. Those were two brutal decisions that resulted in outs after the first two batters of the frame reached base. Derek Jeter (RBI GIDP), Ichiro Suzuki (RBI single), Ibanez (RBI ground out), and Robinson Cano (RBI single) also plated runs, but Swisher and Martin clearly had the two biggest hits of the game.
  • Ugly but Effective: It was not a pretty start by Hiroki Kuroda, who appears to be hitting a bit of a wall under a career-high workload. That said, he did what Ivan Nova couldn’t do on Thursday by limiting the damage. Kuroda did get a hand from some poor base-running — Brett Lawrie was caught too far off second in the first and Martin picked Yunel Escobar off third with a snap throw in the second — but he also wiggled out of some jams with well-timed strikeouts. Two runs on ten hits (five doubles and a homer) and two walks in 5.1 innings isn’t one for the highlight reel, but Hiroki deserves some credit for gutting it out and pitching as deep into the game as he did. Hopefully he’ll get a second wind soon.
  • The Sievepen: It was a day of the week that ends in a -y, which means the bullpen had to allow a run. David Phelps did the honors by serving up a two-run homer to Adam Lind (while Boone Logan was warming, wtf?), but otherwise he retired the other five hitters he faced. David Robertson chipped in a scoreless eighth, then Cody Eppley and Rafael Soriano teamed up for a scoreless ninth. Soriano actually needed the work after a week off, but two outs in the ninth with a seven-run lead is a ridiculous time for a pitching change. I would have liked to see Phelps go a little further — he only threw 26 pitches — because I dig the idea of keeping him stretched out as a multi-inning guy. Nitpicking, whatever.
  • Leftovers: Robinson Cano is heading for x-rays after getting hit by a pitch in the left hand in the sixth inning. He did remain in the game and the results will be available tomorrow … Eric Chavez hit a garbage time homer, his second dinger of the road trip. Maybe he’s heating back up … Jeter singled, extending his on-base streak to 29 games … Cano, Swisher, and Martin all had two hits while Chavez had two walks in addition to the homer … Martin’s homer was his 20th of the season, a new career-high … nine of the eleven runs scored with two outs, and the Yankees have now scored 10+ runs three times in the last nine games after scoring 10+ only nine times in the first 148 games.

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the WPA Graph, and ESPN the updated standings. The Orioles one-hit the pathetic Red Sox, so they remain one back in the loss column. The magic number to clinch the division did drop to five, however. The magic number to clinch a postseason berth is down to three two as well. Could happen tomorrow. Andy Pettitte and Ricky Romero are the scheduled starters for Saturday afternoon’s contest.

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Game 157: Four
Update: Cano in today's lineup, x-rays on hand apparently fine
  • https://twitter.com/KramerIndustry Kramerica Industries

    Back at ‘em early tomorrow.

    Make it two for three in this series, Bombers.

  • Mark

    Think the magic number to clinch is 2, Angels can only get to 92, Yanks already at 91.

    • forensic

      Correct.

  • forensic

    Kuroda is a serious concern for me right now. A bunch of not-so-great starts in a row. Hope he figures something out because you’re not going to be gifted as many outs as he was tonight by better teams.

    Leaving Ibanez in is just more typical Girardi crap, it’s expected now. And as expected, being that late in the game, he didn’t even get another AB against a righty, which is why he’s left in.

    As for Grandy bunting, I don’t have a problem with it. He’s not exactly hot and facing a lefty. You’re trying to push one or two more across and moving the runners up is a start to that. Given his proclivities, he likely would’ve just struck out sooner having a normal look at the first two pitches that he actually took.

    Huge hit from Martin. Nice to see him finally contributing this last month or so.

    And there’s no such thing as an RBI GIDP…

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

      The Scariest part about Kuroda for me is that he’s already at a career high in innings with one start left in the regular season and hopefully 3-5 starts in the postseason, on top of the fact that he’s been shaky for 5 consecutive outings now…

      • forensic

        Well, in truth he’s just now tied with his career high, which he set in 2005 in Japan. Just going by his MLB innings is kind of limiting.

        But, either way, his struggles started well before he passed his MLB season high, which is why it’s a little more concerning.

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

          Yeah, but the pitching style is totally different in Japan, it’s once a week, not once every 5 days, more time to recover and such.

          • forensic

            Yes, but it also means he’s pitching more innings per game, thereby possibly evening out some of the extra rest.

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

              It’d be really cool if the yankees won the next 3 and Orioles lost the next 3 so we have the divison wrapped up next tuesday so maybe we can get him some extra rest or something.

              I’m not going to hold my breath though.

              • http://www.yankeenumbers.com Mr. Sparkle

                That’s highly unlikely with the Orioles playing the “Dead” Sox right now. I’m just hoping Boston stays that way for the remainder of the season.

      • Chilango

        You said it. He looks gassed. His control has been off in his last 4 or 5 starts.

      • robert heenan

        I remember when Kuroda was still going good, Girardi kept him in two or three times for 10 or 15 pitches over 100.

        When the happened I said “ugh wtf Girardi I know the bullpen stinks but overtaxing the starters like the is a bad idea especially an old dude like this”

        And everyone here was all “what no he’s pitching great don’t be a slave to pitch count leave him in for 200 pitches it will be fine.”

        I was right.

        • JMK

          All of this is true. Except most of it, which isn’t true. Well said!

          • Rocky Road Redemption

            This made me laugh.

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

    Wow…this isn’t a manufactured “chase for a Triple Crown” Cabrerra legitimately has a chance at it.

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

      I love sabermetrics as much as the next guy, but that’s pretty fun. I wonder what the “triple crown” of sabermetrics would be? WAR, wOBA, and wRC+?

      • Need Pitching & Hitting

        I’d prefer the stuart a Triple Crown.

        RBI’s, SLG, and parades……..

      • CUYanks

        I think ideally you might want to pick stats which are a little less redundant. Those are pretty good, though.

      • Chilango

        If it’s just offense then WAR would probably not qualify since it takes defense into account. How about wRAA with your other two.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting

          Seems like using wOBA, wRC+, and wRAA would be redundant, as they are all essentially versions of the same thing.

          Maybe something like wRC+, WPA, and RE24 instead?

          • CUYanks

            WPA is basically as bad as RBI’s, so that might work.

            • Need Pitching & Hitting

              Yeah, I’m having a tough time coming up with 3 good, but substantially different, offensive metrics.

              • forensic

                Isn’t that kind of the point? Combining a bunch of things into one number instead of several different numbers?

                Though it’s kind of funny that they all do it differently and all say it’s the right way…

                • CUYanks

                  Probably want something that involves contact/on base/ power. Basically, an improvement on BA/OBP/SLG would be nice.

                  • forensic

                    Want to make it REALLY difficult?

                    wOBA, UZR, BRAA.

                    • MannyGeee

                      Cool story, BRAA….

                • Need Pitching & Hitting

                  True. I was thinking something that measured the raw production (wOBA/wRC+), something that measured the actual game impact of when that production occurred (WPA?), and I have no clue what the third part could/should be.

                  I suppose it could be broken down into components. Maybe OBP and ISO to go along with wOBA/wRC+?
                  Though I would guess if a player led in OBP and ISO, they would almost always lead in wOBA as well.

  • Anthony

    Awesome gif!!! What inning was that?

    • Need Pitching & Hitting

      last out of the 1st

      • Anthony

        ah, okay. thanks!

  • forensic

    Am I the only one who is just kind of ‘eh’ about no-hitters now? It was a big thing in the recent past with the crazy offensive environment. But now with the extremely weaker offensive environment, especially with 7 this year alone, it’s just lost it’s luster to me.

    • CUYanks

      I am generally pretty excited about them, but right now there are real, significant things to be excited about in baseball. In the doldrums of May or June, I’m all about no-hitters. Now, I’m about pennant races.

      • jjyank

        Agreed. It’s cool and all. I understand why MLBN would cut away to Humber’s no-no back in April. But your sentiment is why I was pissed that they did that last night. This is pennant chase baseball, and this game had real ramifications on the division race. But no, let’s go watch some dude throw the last 2 innings of a no hitter when the one team has already clinched and the other isn’t in contention. How many Yankee/Jay fans watching that game do you think give a flying crap about Homer Bailey?

        Sorry. Rant over.

  • Zack

    Red Sox are rolling over for the O’s. THeir magic needs to run out soon,seriously.

    • JMK

      It’s incredible how awful the Sox are.

    • forensic

      Yeah, the Sox are terrible, and it sure it convenient that they’re apparently starting Zach Stewart on Sunday against the O’s, but it’s not like the O’s are charging.

      They’re 3-3 in their last 6, all against teams currently tied for last place. It just wouldn’t seem so bad if the Yankees weren’t also 3-3 in their last 6, with 5 of the 6 against teams currently tied for last place.

    • Rocky Road Redemption

      I’d say it’s all in the Mysterious force, but on the other hand the Sox are so bad the MF may be taking a breather.

  • Pat D

    Tip of the hat to Bobby Abreu, who hit what will probably be the last home run of his career tonight.

    287 home runs is a crowded group. In addition to Abreu, Garret Anderson, Bobby Bonilla, Brian Giles and our own beloved hit Bernie Williams all finished with 287 homers.

    • Steve S

      I think he’ll go one more season.

      • Pat D

        I really don’t see that considering that the Angels dumped him and the Dodgers DFA’ed him, too. I was surprised he went to the minors. Obviously he wants to play but I think the line is pretty much over for guys like him, Damon, Giambi, and several other formerly prominent players.

        • CUYanks

          Yeah. Also, watching the replay of his HR trot, it really seemed like he was savoring it.

  • Rocky Road Redemption

    I’m normally good for one non-baseball related post in these threads, so here’s mine for this one:

    HOLY SHIT HOLY SHIT HOLY SHIT. Portal 2 is easily my favorite game, bar none. Wow, fantastic finale. Better even than the original.

    • MannyGeee

      Portal 2 is awesome. No doubt about it

  • matt

    Hiroki’s admitted to being a bit gassed and it is worrisome, particularly with the division not clinched. That said, U suppose both CC and Andy ought to be pretty darn fresh.

    May well be a luxury the team doesn’t have – esp. considering the possibility of giving Ivan Nova the ball in the middle game of the BoSox series (second to last of the year on Oct 2) – but if by some chance the Yanks are able to clinch the division by that Oct 2., that second to last game, they’ll have a chance, should they wish to give Hiroki a bit of rest.

    Hiroki’s scheduled to start the last regular season game on Oct 3. If they’ve clinched, maybe you just let him throw a three inning tune-up. Then you have Sabathia and Andy lined up for Games 1-2 of the ALDS (in either order, but I assume CC takes the ball in Game 1, both to give Andy some extra days and because they could bring cc back on three days for game 4 if needed – though with the elimination of a travel day, that’s still problematic, cause it leaves either Phil on extra resr or Andy on short rest for a possible game 5), so Kuroda would take the ball in game 3 on Oct 8, on an extra day of rest. Not the end all be all, but between a short, low stress final start and an extra day, maybe it helps. Here’s hoping.

    BTW, all of the above assumes the Yanks are the two seed. Just a random question for anyone who knows – I had been under the view that only the 1 v. 4 ALDS had the high seed playing the first two on the road, eliminating the need for an extra travel day. Is that the case? In the 2 v. 3 series, does the 2 seed start at home? In any event, still looks like a travel day’s lost in that series, which virtually guarantees you need a fourth starter in the ALDS if it goes that far.

  • Jose M. Vazquez

    I know this may be out of context with the blog but there was no Friday night open thread, so here it goes. It is for you Mike Axisa. In your RAB live chat you discussed the value of Trout. You were willing to give up the farm and the deed for him. He is a very good ballplayer but he has only played five months in te big leagues.I remember Fred Lynn in 1975 who won the
    ROY and MVP but hardly ever had another season like his first. Maybe four years later but after that he was average. On the other hand, Mickey Mantle did not have a great first season but you know what he did after that. The moral of the story is that you cannot always tell how a ballplayer will do based on one season. I am afraid that that is what teams are doing these days.

    • jjyank

      I get what you’re saying, but it’s not like this came out of nowhere. Trout was also the top prospect in the entire game, so this year is more of a confirmation of how good he can be than it is “ZOMG who is this guy and why is he so good?”

      This is all a moot point. The Yankees (and most other teams) don’t have enough to get him, and the Angels would be absolutely insane to consider trading him.

  • dalelama

    Naturally left out of the game review was any mention of another brutal choke performance by our $25M per year non-contributing third baseman/designated non-hitter Arod.

    • jjyank

      So now that stuart has moved on to Cano, I assume you’re just doing him a solid by picking up the slack on A-Rod? Seriously, do you ever say anything else?

      If you’re gonna do it, do it right. You need more spacing between lines, a TON more ellipses, specific mention of RBIs, the punch and judy insult, and last (but certainly not least): Parades. Do. Not. Forget. The. Parade.

      • dalelama

        What in the hell are you mumbling about? Put your crayons down and stop writing on your parents walls. BTW how long have you had a mancrush on stuart?

        • jjyank

          Ah yes. The typical troll response of personal attacks and misdirection. Nice tactic.

          • Pat D

            Dude, just O:S him.

            • jjyank

              I know, you’re right. O:S done and done.

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

      Actually the snap throw to third mentioned in the recap was due entirely to a signal from Arod. He’s a much smarter, head in the game baller than you’re giving him credit for.

  • MannyGeee

    Also, Jeter and Ichiro have very quietly gone ice cold over the past few days. Bummer, those two boys need to turn it back up for next week… In a BIG way