Andy & Mo carry Yankees to first win of 2013

Trenton opens the season with blowout win
Mailbag: Qualifying Offers, Extensions, Hensley

Before the game I asked the Yankees for two simple things: don’t fall behind by four runs after two innings and take the lead at some point. They did both and more on Thursday night, winning their first game the season thanks to their two most veteran players.

(Elsa/Getty)
(Elsa/Getty)

Andy BAMF Pettitte
I was listening to the radio broadcast on my way home, and Suzyn Waldman said Andy Pettitte was 17-3 in 27 career starts in which the Yankees were on the verge of getting swept. Yeah I know, pitcher wins and all that, but I think that stat makes a point. Pettitte is someone the Yankees have leaned on to stop losing streak a whole bunch of times over the years. They did that on Thursday and once again, he came through.

In his first April start since 2010, Andy threw eight-innings of one-run ball and was never really in much trouble outside of the first and seventh innings. He pounded the zone — 64 of 94 pitches were strikes (68%) and he threw first-pitch strikes to 20 of 29 batters faced — with a wide assortment of pitches, mixing four-seamers (25 thrown) with two-seamers (14) and sliders (22) and curveballs (17). He also threw a handful of cutters and changeups. That’s a great way to keep hitters off balance. Seventeen of his 24 outs were recorded on the infield and nine of the 24 were recorded on three pitches or less.

Starting pitching is supposed to be New York’s strength but neither CC Sabathia nor Hiroki Kuroda pitched all that well in the first two games of the year (obviously Kuroda’s start was cut short due to injury). There was Pettitte, once again, to restore some order on Thursday. This isn’t some feel-good story where “hey great, Andy’s back.” That was last year. This is serious “the Yankees need him to be good if they want to compete” stuff. Andy was dynamite against the Red Sox and the team absolutely needed it. What a stud.

What’s This, A Lead? Are They Allowed to Do That?
You can’t win a game if you don’t take the lead, and the Yankees took their first lead of the season — and first since Game Five of the ALDS — on Lyle Overbay‘s first pitch, two-out, two-run single in the second inning. Of course, they might have taken the lead one batter earlier had Eduardo Nunez‘s double to right-center field not hopped over the wall for a ground-rule double. I’m not sure if Travis Hafner would have scored from first on that play, even with two outs, but it sure felt like a bad hop that robbed New York of a run. Needless to say, Overbay’s solid single to left-center was a huge pick-me-up (and relief).

Brett Gardner extended the lead one inning later, when he jumped all over Ryan Dempster’s first pitch of the third inning for a solo homer to right. It was a total Yankee Stadium cheapie, first row of seats and everything. He had two hits and a walk, which is exactly what I was talking about earlier on Thursday. The table-settlers have to get on-base for the big boys in the middle of the lineup. Gardner scored a run on his own with the homer, but getting on-base in general is the most important thing for him. That solo shot gave the Yankees a three-zip lead and for the first time in a long time, things seemed to be going right for a change.

(Elsa/Getty)
(Elsa/Getty)

Mariano’s Return
Thanks to last season’s knee injury, Mariano Rivera went 336 days between pitching appearances at Yankee Stadium. The offense handed him a three-run lead and although Mo surrendered a run in the ninth inning — walk, double moved the runner to third, ground ball brought him home — he looked like the same old Rivera. That means cutters to both sides of the plate, including a backdoor job to Jackie Bradley Jr. to freeze the rookie for strike three and the 27th out.

It hadn’t really hit me yet that this is Mo’s final season until he was actually out on the mound in a regular season. I saw the press conference and the Spring Training appearances and all that, but seeing him on a big league mound was a different animal. I still don’t think it has fully hit me yet; I was thinking about what it will be like to watch him throw his final pitch in a few months, and man is that going to suck. I’m going to enjoy every single Rivera appearance this summer regardless of what the team does. He’s a treasure.

(Elsa/Getty)
(Elsa/Getty)

Frankie’s “Great Play”
I have to talk about this because it bothered me. The Red Sox had runners on first and second with two outs in the first inning when Pettitte bounced a first pitch curveball to Jonny Gomes. The ball scooted through Frankie Cervelli‘s legs and to the backstop, allowing the runners to advance. The lead runner (Shane Victorino), tried to catch everyone napping and hustled around third and tried to score. Cervelli picked up the ball and raced back to the plate, diving to apply the tag for the out at the dish. It was a crazy play and a great play, but a great play borne out of Frankie’s laziness.

If you haven’t seen the play, here’s the video. The pitch goes through Cervelli’s legs and he completely lollygags it when he goes to retrieve the ball. The only reason Victorino went home was because Frankie half-assed it and he thought he could beat him to the plate. He almost did beat him to the plate, in fact. The lack of hustle will be completely forgotten (and largely went unnoticed) because hey, great play!, but seriously. Let’s run through the checklist quickly…

  • The Yankees lost the first two games of the season and neither was particularly close.
  • The Red Sox were threatening to take an early lead yet again.
  • Cervelli spent all of last season in the minors, in part because of his defense.
  • Cervelli has a golden opportunity to win the starting catching job outright considering his competition.

If there was ever a time to hustle after a simple wild pitch, this was it. Francisco, run after the damn ball next time. Good grief.

(Elsa/Getty)
(Elsa/Getty)

Leftovers
Now that I’ve sufficiently torn into him for a lack of hustle, it’s time to praise Cervelli for one hell of a game at the plate. He saw 17 pitches in three plate appearances and actually hit a homer in addition to drawing a walk. The homer was a bomb too. It was no Yankee Stadium cheapie like Gardner’s, it landed right at the back wall of the visitor’s bullpen in left-center field. I have to think it was the farthest ball he’s ever hit at the big league level. Nice night at the plate, but still, run it out next time Frankie.

Gardner got caught trying to steal second base in the very first inning, which was rather annoying for a few reasons. One, Robinson Cano didn’t get a chance to bat with a man on-base. That’s the main thing. Two, catcher David Ross has thrown out 44% (!) of attempted base-stealers the last four years. Three, Dempster just walked the first batter of the game. You gotta let him show he’s not having an off-night and won’t work himself into trouble. Nitpicking, I know, but if the Yankees are going to rely on speed and smallball tactics this year, they’ve gotta be smart about it. No need to force the issue that early in the game.

While on the subject, the Yankees made three outs at second base in this game. Gardner was caught stealing, Nunez was caught stealing, and then Gardner was thrown out trying to stretch a single into a double. A full inning’s worth of outs on the bases. Yuck. Smallball shouldn’t replace smartball.

Kevin Youkilis and Hafner each had a single and a strikeout while Cano and Ichiro Suzuki each drew a walk. Vernon Wells took an 0-for-4. Cano is in an early-season funk in the sense that he’s chasing pitcher’s pitches on the outer half and pulling them right into the teeth of the shift. It’s basically exactly what happened in the postseason last year plus a new shift. Hopefully he’ll knock himself out of it soon.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights while FanGraphs has some additional stats. ESPN is the place for the updated standings.


Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
Very quick turn around for the Yankees, who fly to Detroit tonight and play the Tigers at 1pm ET tomorrow. Nice one, schedule makers. The pitching matchup for that one will be Ivan Nova and Doug Fister.

email
Trenton opens the season with blowout win
Mailbag: Qualifying Offers, Extensions, Hensley
  • Eddard

    Andy was brilliant as usual. I don’t think our younger fanbase realizes how lucky they are to witness Andy and Mo’s swan songs. It was fitting that Andy puts the Yankees in the win column and Mo gets the save.

    The double and HR by Nuney and Cervelli were orgasmic. I’ve been saying all along to play these kids and it’s certainly paying dividends. Day game after a night game so Stewart will start but then we better start seeing Cervelli catch 4/5 games. Can’t wait to see what Nova and Phelps give us in Detroit.

    • jjyank

      Oh, we do. Don’t let the ranking member of Eddard World pull the age card here.

    • WhittakerWalt

      Nope. You already wrote this team off in the middle of yesterday’s game. You can’t act like you care now.

      • Jim Is Bored

        Get used to folks doing that a lot.

  • Andrew

    ReadAxisaBitch.com

  • Larry Mullens

    But it’s absolutely alright for Cano to not run out infield grounders or dive for balls in the hole. O.K.

    • vicki

      shut it.

    • Deathstroke Heathcott

      It is.

    • Deathstroke Heathcott

      As long as it keeps him playing 150+ games, I’m not gonna complain. I’d be more pissed if he came up limping running out a pointless grounder at 100% intensity.

    • jjyank

      Tell me, what play did his hustle make the difference?

    • Get Phelps Up

      Well we made it 3 games before seeing a comment like this…

      • vicki

        wbc mvp earns exactly two games’ reprieve.

  • Bartolo’s Colon

    Andy was awesome. Assuming he can stay healthy, I wonder if he can keep this up? He has looked awfully good over the last year when he is actually healthy. Great to get a win, but between the free outs on the bases and just not capitalizing on dempster’s suckiness, they really should have won by even more. the silver lining is we got to see mo

  • Robinson Tilapia

    A thing of beauty. This win should be framed and hung up on the wall. Yankee baseball is, indeed, back.

  • vicki

    um, mike, it’s called the fake passed ball. i invented it years ago; am delighted to see the yanks (frankie brains!) finally implement this brilliant strategy.

    cleverest mlb innovation since john mcgraw and the baltimore chop.

    you’re welcome.

    • jim p

      Now that we can’t have the fake-to-3rd, fake-to-1st play anymore, we’ll be seeing a lot more of this.

  • Bob Buttons

    To directly quote Kay

    “Victorino tried to catch Cervelli sleeping and he pounced on the ball…”

  • JLC 776

    BAMF indeed.

    Even going into this game I felt far more positive than the previous two games.

    Let’s go for an actual streak now!

    • vicki

      same here. tha stopper.

  • http://twitter.com/Carlosologist Carlosologist

    The old dog still has a few tricks, eh? Andy is great, I’m glad he’s been a Yankee for most of my life. Solid win all around, hope they can stick it to Detroit tomorrow. Hate them with a passion.

    • vicki

      terrible timing. i’d rather wait til valverde makes the team.

      alas.

    • RetroRob

      All of your life, I think.

      • vicki

        even the most precocious varmints remember andy pettitte, astro, surely.

      • Preston

        Not the Houston years, unless somebody on here is 5? If so all I have to say is go to bed kid.

      • http://Twitter.com/Carlosologist Carlosologist

        Actually I meant that he’s been a Yankee for most of my life, ergo I’m not counting his three seasons in Houston. I’m 17 this year, he’s been around the whole time haha. Sorry for the confusion my comment may have caused.

        • vicki

          go to bed, kid!

  • http:/www.twitter.com/_swarlesbarkley Mark Teixeira – Ghostbuster (formerly Drew)

    Just got home from the game, I have to say if the pitching can keep the team in the game then they have a chance to win. Not a great chance, as I am not expect Cervelli and Gardner to homer, or Overbay to be clutch but a chance none the less. The lineup still makes me want to puke, but you cannot help but be optimistic after the first win and after watching Andy pitch this gem.

  • Deathstroke Heathcott

    After all the doom and gloom from the first series of the year, the Yankees are only a game out of the division lead and Tampa and Toronto (who most people have as the likely division winners) are 1-2 as well. Baseball is a marathon, this win was good to remind ourselves that not every game will be like the first two of this season.

  • vicki

    absolutely loved mo freezing the “phenom” to end the game.

    jackie jr., stand up. your father’s passing.

    • FIPster Doofus

      Amazing pitch to end it. Nobody’s hitting that.

    • Hans Moleman

      However Mike Lowell tells me “He’s still only a rookie; 9-10 years from now, Jackie Jr. gets that call”

      Check your privilege.

      • FIPster Doofus

        It was on the corner. If he “gets that call,” then the ump sucks. Then again, nine to 10 years from now, let’s hope there are no home plate umps.

        • flamingo

          This is an A+ comment.

          • FIPster Doofus

            Thanks – unless you were being sarcastic. :)

            • flamingo

              Ha, nope, I meant it seriously!

              • FIPster Doofus

                Thanks. I can never tell over the Internet.

        • vicki

          there goes the pitch-framing metric.

      • Get Phelps Up

        50 year old Mo would still get that call.

    • RetroRob

      I’m pretty sure he struck out Pedroia twice, but the umpire disagreed.

    • Preston

      I like the To Kill a Mocking Bird reference.

      • vicki

        i like that someone got it.

  • FIPster Doofus

    Good game. Score a few and hope the pitching does the rest. That’s how the Yankees will have to win until the offensive reinforcements return. Luckily, when healthy, 60 percent of the Yanks’ rotation is stellar and their main setup man and closer are as good as any.

  • http://thegreedypinstripes.com Bryan V

    Sorry, but that review of the game is ridiculous.

    First you say nothing of the fact that Pettitte failed to cover home base when Victorino tried to score on the passed ball. Then you put down the efforts of Gardner and Nunez getting thrown out trying to steal, when both men were out thanks to great throws by David Ross… a really good defensive catcher with a high caught stealing percentage (39% to league average 28%).

    The only criticism I agree with is questioning Gardner’s decision to try and stretch a single into a double, and getting thrown out doing so. With nobody out, and Victorino being know to have a good arm, it was definitely a poor decision.

    Mike, you’ve become an incredibly negative person and it’s getting very tiresome.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      The only reason Pettitte had to cover home was because Cervelli didn’t go after the ball. It was a wild pitch with a man on first and second, if the pitcher has to cover the plate the catcher really screwed up.

      • http://www.thegreedypinstripes.com Bryan V

        That’s not how it’s done. The pitcher is responsible for covering home plate in that situation, as you never know where or how the ball is going to bounce behind the plate. It’s not about the catching screwing up, “really” or otherwise. That’s how you do it.

      • jjyank

        Yeah. Maaaybe Pettitte should have hustles home, but who really expects a runner to score from second on a wild pitch? It wasn’t even that wild of a pitch, it was a slow, straight roller to the backstop.

        • http://www.thegreedypinstripes.com Bryan V

          You don’t play like that. You play hard all the time. You don’t sit back and say “yeah, that probably won’t happen”. That’s how you get caught “with your pants down”, and runners score when they shouldn’t.

          • jjyank

            Meh. You’re reading too much into it. Cervelli runs hard, Victorino doesn’t even round third base.

            • DInnings

              You ever stop to think Cervelli didn’t know the ball got by him or he didn’t know exactly where it was hence his slower movement to get the ball?

              I didn’t see any “lollygagging”.

          • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

            Pettitte should have been more alert (though I don’t think you’ll see many/any MLB pitchers running to cover the plate on a wild pitch with a runner on second). Not sure how that absolves Cervelli from completely fucking up in the first place though.

            I also don’t get how you complain about the negativity in the article while at the same time complaining that there should have been more negativity in the article.

          • Havok9120

            Except, no, you don’t “play hard all the time” because NO ONE can play hard all the time.

            It’s like people who insist that a military force can be on “maximum alert” for hours or days at a time. No, they can’t, because nobody can pay perfect attention and react with 100% accuracy for any kind of extended period. Humans don’t work that way, certainly not over the length of time covered by a baseball season.

            • vicki

              (except, NB: slade heathcott)

              • Preston

                Except all the days he spends not playing because he played TOO hard…

                • dalelama

                  Bryan is 100% right Andy should have covered home, no ifs, ands, or buts. Needless to say that doesn’t absolve Cervelli from half-assing it.

                  • Jim Is Bored

                    Your mom should have covered home.

      • BigLoving

        To be fair the entire infield was sleeping on that play. Somebody should have been yelling a lot sooner since its their job to be Cervelli’s eyes in that situation. Not saying Cervelli wasn’t too relaxed in th at spot but you can’t put it solely on him and not hold anyone else accountable. Overall Cervelli has looked great in spring and to start the season…..lets hope it continues.

      • Deathstroke Heathcott

        The blame has to be 50-50 at least. Sure Cervelli should probably go get that ball more quickly but Victorino doesn’t even try to round 3rd if Pettitte is ready around the plate to cover home. We won so it’s all good but if it were a rookie pitcher, we’d probably get on him a bit more for that play.

    • LK

      Maybe it’s just me, but doesn’t your point that David Ross is “a really good defensive catcher with a high caught stealing percentage (39% to league average 28%)” call into question their decision to steal?

      Also, you want Mike to become *less* negative by criticizing Andy Pettitte for not covering home? I’m not really sure how that would work.

      • FIPster Doofus

        I’ve got no problem with aggression on the base paths when your lineup is weak. The Yankees’ is.

      • http://www.thegreedypinstripes.com Bryan V

        You haven’t been reading RAB that much, because I’m hardly the first person to criticize him for negativity. Maybe I was a bit harsh in said criticism, but it’s been there for quite a while now.

        I’m not asking him to lay off anybody, or be harder anybody, just to see things for what they are. Pettitte was not innocent of wrong-doing on that play, yet he was given a free pass while Cervelli took all the flak. That’s not right.

        And like I said, it took very good throws to get Nunez and Gardner. So the chances taken were not stupid, they were attempts to play “small ball”.

        • LK

          I read RAB plenty, and I know that many people are going after Mike for being negative. I happen to think he’s being objective, and that many of those criticizing him are doing so because they’d rather read stuff about the Yankees that makes them feel good rather than read a cold hard take on the team.

          I still don’t understand how criticizing two players would be less negative than criticizing one.

          I don’t have any issue with Nunez and Gardner trying to run in general, there isn’t really a choice with the current lineup. I was just saying that Ross’ high CS% doesn’t necessarily suggest that getting caught was OK – it could just as easily be used to support the position that they shouldn’t have run.

          • vicki

            i count myself among mike’s unapologetic fans, and i think it’s fair to say he’s in a pretty negative way lately. grouchy even, like dennis the menace’s next-door neighbor. he comes by it honestly these days, though. don’t we all.

            • LK

              Oh he’s definitely been more negative lately. I just think it’s because the subject matter is more negative than in previous years. The Yankees have just been doing a fair amount of annoying stuff lately, right down to blaming Stubhub for bad ticket sales. As soon as they go on their first winning streak and a kid in the minors breaks out I think things will lighten up.

            • Havok9120

              I’d definitely say that he’s been….grumpy about team decisions over these last few months and that he’s let that spill over into his writing.

              He’s definitely more objective than most writers as well as being one of the two or three best overall guys writing on the Yankees…but I’d have no problem admitting that he’s been too quick to let his feelings about 189 or his overall antipathy bleed into his writing.

        • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting)

          Criticism of the timing of Gardner’s attempt is certainly legit. Trying to steal against Ross is very high risk. Trying to do it before Dempster had shown he could actually get a hitter out and with their best hitter at the plate really isn’t a very good time to take that risk.

          • Jim Is Bored

            But if he hadn’t tried, and then Cano grounds into a double play, you’ll have the exact opposite criticism.

            He can’t win.

  • Bartolo’s Colon

    crazy that 11% of mo’s saves are for pettitte. I wonder if any other pitchers make up even close to that % for mo?

    • Bartolo’s Colon

      actually, now that i think of it, i believe yes said that moose was next in line, maybe with 50 or so?

      • Havok9120

        It’d make sense if the two wind up at roughly the same percentage given the way their careers worked out.

      • Jim Is Bored

        They showed that stat last night; I think Moose was around 53 and Pettite was at 68(69 now).

  • Havok9120

    Regarding all the Gardner stealing comments that have hit us during the first three games and ST:

    At a certain point we need to stop complaining that he’s both trying too hard to use his speed AND sitting on his speed. Yeah, in a perfect world, no one would ever stretch a hit or steal when he won’t make it and no one would not run when he won’t be caught…but that isn’t how the real world works. As it’s happened, we seem to always complain when the guy runs and then always complain when he doesn’t, and that just makes us look like incredibly hind-sighted morons.

    • LK

      Yeah, couldn’t agree more really in an overall sense. Gardner being selective about when to steal doesn’t make him passive, it makes him smart – and it’s a huge reason why his success rate is so high. I do think in this particular game you can make the case that it didn’t make sense to run on Ross since he’s so good; I don’t really know enough about Dempster to know how easy he is to steal on.

    • jjyank

      That’s true. Gardner has gotten a lot of shit of not being aggressive enough. I made a similar criticism myself in the game thread, though in my defense, I was speaking generally about Gardner’s two plays and Nunez’s caught stealing, not just Gardner.

    • FIPster Doofus

      I totally agree.

    • RetroRob

      What some fans believe is Gardner should always steal and never be caught. Fans can be that way.

      • WhittakerWalt

        Something’s going on with Gardner’s steals. He used to be automatic, never got caught. Now he scares me.

    • Improbable Island’s Dirty Midget Whores (Formerly RRR)

      How about this as a compromise: I’ll complain that he’s an awful baserunner despite being really fast, which actually makes him even WORSE than an awful baserunner because he has no excuses. Fair?

      So, I want him to use his speed EFFECTIVELY.

      • Havok9120

        Yeah, but what does that mean except “I’m going to be ticked whenever he gets caught running?” That’s my point. I mean, sure, there are times when he runs when it’s absolutely clear he shouldn’t, but the vasssst majority of times he gets caught or doesn’t run at all there will be no way at all for us to tell whether he was being too passive or cautious.

        Complaining as vaguely as “use your speed effectively instead of ineffectively” just seems a lot like shouting “SCORE MOAR RUNS THAN THE OTHER TEAM TO WIN THE GAME.”

        • Preston

          Agreed, people act like Gardner gets thrown out half the time. He’s converted 82% of his attempts in his career, he’s well above the break even point. Let the man do his thing.

        • Improbable Island’s Dirty Midget Whores (Formerly RRR)

          All good points. I’m not sure why, but he definitely gives off the vibe that he gets thrown out on the basepaths way more often than he should be. The ol’ “eye test is inaccurate” deal?

          • Havok9120

            It sure seems like that’s what’s happened with him. Seems like we’ve talked that up as his strength for so long that we’ve started thinking “he should never fail at it and, if he does, he clearly did something wrong.”

  • LK

    Good to see Cervelli knock one out. If he can add just a tiny bit of power to his game it would go a long way.

    • Deathstroke Heathcott

      Russell Martin is 0 for 10 with a .091 OPS, Cervelli 2 for 6 with a 1.333 OPS. /CashmanGenius

      • LK

        There’s nothing I’d love more than eating a massive plate of crow on that one as the Yanks cruise to the division title.

      • DInnings

        Martin is facing better pitching, or his oh-fer is an early indication of that. Or maybe he’s a bad slashline hitter who hits alot of homeruns for a catcher now.

        • Jim Is Bored

          I don’t really think Martin was facing Cy Young over there in Chicago.

  • RM2

    Was at the game! A little skimpy in the stands. But what a win! These no names can win!!! 1995 nobody loved us then. A year later they win it all! I’m feeling the same about these guys.

    (Shut up! I know it’s not true. Just trying to enjoy the win)

    • DInnings

      The 1973 National League Champion New York Mets went 82-79 and lost the World Series in seven games (they took the Oakland Athletics to seven games.)

      The 1987 World Champion Minnesota Twins went 85-77.

      The 2000 World Champion Yankees went 87-75.

      The 2006 World Champion St.Louis Cardinals went 83-79.

      Recent history shows you can make it to or win the World Series winning less than 90 games in a season.

      • Luis Castillo (Not the one who dropped the ball)

        Probably, if all the other ALE teams suck, wich seems unlikely IMO.

  • Darren

    Hope you forgive the off topic thread, but there is a really great article in the NY Times about the oldest living Dodger.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/04.....&_r=0

    • vicki

      a switch-hitting catcher who could handle the knuckler. nice.

      and: “win some, walk off, go in, have a beer. that’s it.” sigh.

      • Darren

        I loved that line too! And he was in the bleachers when Babe Freakin’ Ruth hit a moonshot over his head.

        PS-My grandma used to go to the Stadium and said ons of people used to call the Babe “Ol’ Lardass” as a term of endearment.

  • PBFog

    I’ve been waiting for a catcher to pretend that he can’t find the ball or is just being “lazy” to trick the baserunner into attempting to dart home. Cervelli is just catching on.

  • dkidd

    i was all over the first two game threads and wasn’t able to join tonight

    obviously, i must now sit out game threads until the next loss. i console myself with the knowledge that no one will notice or care

  • Wil Nieves #1 Fun

    Francisco Cervelli now leads the team in slugging percentage. Everything is going as planned.

  • nycsportzfan

    Mike is dead wrong about a player again, so has to find things to cry about the player.. He was dead wrong about Gio Gonzalez, and dead wrong about Michael Morse, and dead wrong about Frankie Cervelli… Comes up with crap reasons why we shoulden’t trade for Gio Gonzalez tht i thought were ridiculous, and the guys one of the best pitchers in the bigs, comes up with crap reasons why we shoulden’t trade for mike morse, and the guy would be a dream for us at this point and is killing it.. Always gave Cervelli crap about his defense even though its always been underrated , and when compared to Stewart, is at least just as good, and his bat makes him easily the better player and numbers don’t lie, and he somehow dosen’t like em.. Are u ever right about players?

    • Patrick

      I don’t think Mike is wrong about Cervelli.

      The guy usually plays with some panache–but that usually masks what are some defensive flaws.

      What is his percentage of nailing base stealers? I don’t know the exact percentage over the years–but something tells me it is far below the Major League norm for a catcher.

      There was ZERO excuse for Cervelli to lolly-gag for a ball that got by him when runners are on base. He made a great recovery….but was within an eyelash of being a f’ing goat for lazy play. That type of play simply can’t be tolerated–especially when you are 0-2.

      • PBFog

        People seem to be forgetting that an out was a result of the play. I like when the other team makes an out, which is better than procuring a run.

    • Hoss

      Wrong about Gio? And Cervelli? Both of whom are being investigated because of ties to the Biogenesis scandal? Let’s wait and see, because Gio is not close to one of the best in the bigs and Cervelli just made it back to the show at this point.

      Morse is a butcher in the field. Worse than Swish’s barrel rolls, he’s a Dave Kingman wannabee.

      You pick these 3 guys to say Mike don’t know shit? You are a moron.

    • CG

      I’ve been saying this since last year, and again this off-season, that Cevelli is a far superior hitter to Chris Stewart and wasn’t that bad of an option to have at C in terms of a bat; maybe an average catcher in that regard.

      Mike *has* been saying this recently, and has praised Cervelli’s ridiculously high % baserunners-thrown-out in spring training. So yeah, he gave him some crap for jogging to the passed ball (which he deserves) but I think he’s strongly in favor of Cervelli vs. Stewart and maybe will start being less upset about Russell Martin being gone if Cervelli can put up a decent wOBA.

  • JoeyA

    No love for Nunez, Mike?

    Nice, shorter arm action. Seems more confident. SSS issue?

  • Jason

    You know if the Cap’n was playing, he would have covered home.

  • pat

    Love that Cervy dropped an elbow on Victorino in the process.

    • Hoss

      Oh yeah, so another Yankee player (not Cervelli) gets hit with a pitch or taken out at second on a double play. The team sure can use another needless injury. Play to win the game.

  • Tim Sherman

    So Kuroda “didn’t pitch well”? He was injured in the second inning. I don’t mind criticism when it is deserved, but c’mon man. The worst thing that happened in game two was Girardi leaving Eppley in the game in the third inning instead of bringing in Warren to start the inning. Warren is a starting pitcher. You don’t bring him in with runners on second and third. You bring in a starting pitcher to start the inning. When those two runs scored, the game was over.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      I ger your point, and I have nothing but praise for Warren’s outing, but he’s not a starting pitcher right now.

  • trr

    all about Andy, and wasn’t it great to see Mo save it!

  • Jim Is Bored

    First game I’ve had the time to sit and watch from 1st to last pitch! Go Yanks!

  • Eddard

    I think people are being too hard on Mike. The only part I disagree with is “smallball shouldn’t replace smartball.” The two aren’t mutually exclusive. Nuney and Gardner taking extra bases is both smallball AND smartball. It took 3 great throws to get them. Plus Gardner got a bad jump on his steal attempt. I have no problem with these 2 having the green light with the depleted lineup.

    • Jim Is Bored

      And I think you’re wrong. People are being fairly hard on Mike.

  • VAN

    The author (Mike Axisa) needs to understand that pitching and timely hitting wins games. Once he understands that his posts will be better.

    In these three games, the Yankees scored 2 runs of an Ace pitcher and 4 runs of non-Ace pitchers. They could easily have a record of 2-1 instead of 1-2 if Yankee pitching did their part.

    • JRod

      Truly startling insight. I didn’t realize Malcolm Gladwell posted on RAB.

  • Jim Is Bored

    If you blink you might miss it.

    • Jim Is Bored

      reply fail.

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

    That’s it. I’m revoking my paid subscription to RAB.

    Oh, wait.

  • govinthegreat

    So I was watching Overbay’s single, and I noticed something very interesting, and deep. Nunez’s helmet fell off for like the fiftieth time this year. In other news I somehow got five tigers on my fantasy team. Don’t worry I’m willing to suffer if it means the Yankees win.

  • Kiko Jones

    “Cervelli spent all of last season in the minors, in part because of his defense.”

    No, he got sent down in an administrative measure: when Russell Martin got injured they signed Chris Stewart for depth. And because he couldn’t get sent down and Frankie C could be, The Cisco Kid went to the minors. It was made clear that it was not a demotion, so let’s not be revisionists, shall we?

  • Samuel

    More egregious than Cervelli “lollygagging” after the ball was the fact that Pettitte did not cover home plate. If Pettitte covers home, LIKE HE IS SUPPOSED TO in that spot, Victorino doesn’t even try to score from second on a passed ball.

    It wasn’t Cervelli’s fault that Victorino tried to score, it was Andy’s cause he didn’t cover home, even when Victorino chugged around third base.

    I love it when these “bloggers” rip players for a play here and a ply there. Only rip guys if there is a TENDENCY to commit the same baffling acts over and over again on the field. Otherwise they should keep their big, fat traps shut.

    Pettitte was the lazy one out there, not Cervelli.