Error, triple play help Yankees take series opener from Orioles


Source: FanGraphs

Friday night’s 5-2 win over the Orioles was one of the more interesting Yankees games we’ve seen in a while. Good pitching, timely hitting, catastrophically bad defense, insanely clutch good defense … this one had it all. Let’s recap…

  • Big Time: PitchFX says CC Sabathia averaged 90.3 and topped out at 92.3 with his fastball in the blistering cold on Friday, but the radar gun readings didn’t really matter. The big man held the Orioles to two runs (one earned) in eight innings in the series opener, striking out nine and walking zero. The unearned run scored when Kevin Youkilis bobbled a ground ball, the runner was balked to second, and a ten-hop ground ball squeezed through the infield. Of course, Sabathia needed some help to escape a first-and-second, no outs situation in the eighth, but we’ll get to that in a bit. Otherwise, he was awesome.
  • Smallball: With the game knotted at one in the fifth, the Yankees employed some good ol’ fashioned smallball to take the lead. Frankie Cervelli worked a ten-pitch walk to leadoff the inning before Brett Gardner bunted him over to second. Robinson Cano got a mistake first pitch fastball — Matt Wieters set up outside but Miguel Gonzalez caught too much of the plate — that he laced into left to score the run. The epitome of a manufactured run.
  • Errorball: This was too good. After the O’s tied the game in the top of the seventh, the Yankees answered right back thanks again to Cervelli, who worked another walk (six-pitch) to leadoff the inning. Gardner bunted him over to second again, but this time Cano grounded out to short. Southpaw Troy Patton was ordered to intentionally walk Youkilis to setup the left-on-left matchup with Travis Hafner with two-outs, but Pronk worked a full count before taking a pitch to the left thigh. The bases were loaded with two outs when Vernon Wells lifted a hard-hit but certainly playable fly ball to center. Rather than the final out being recorded, this happened…

    He just muffed it. All three runners came around to score and the Yankees took a decisive three-run lead. (GIF via DERP)
  • 4-6-5-6-5-3-4: A half-inning after the Jones error, Alexi Casilla (infield single) and Nick Markakis (single to left) started a comeback rally by reaching base to leadoff the eighth inning. Sabathia’s pitch count was getting up there and David Robertson was warming in the bullpen, but then this happened in the blink of an eye…
    Yep, a 4-6-5-6-5-3-4 triple play to end the inning. It’s the first of its kind in MLB history and the second triple play the Yankees have turned in the last three seasons. You might remember the around-the-horn job in Oakland back in April 2010. Sabathia was on the mound for that one as well. This was the team’s first triple play at home in over 40 years. Very heads up play by Jayson Nix at second base to go to third there. That was a smart play even if they only turn a boring double play. (GIF via @GoldAndOrSmith)
  • Leftovers: Mariano Rivera allowed a single in an otherwise uneventful ninth inning for his second save of the season … the Yankees only had six hits (all singles) on the night, and Cano (two) and Youkilis (three) accounted for five of ‘em. Lyle Overbay had the other … Gardner drew two walks in addition to the two sac bunts while Hafner walked in addition to the hit-by-pitch … Ichiro Suzuki went 0-for-4 with two strikeouts and continues to look just awful. I wonder how long his rope will be … Eduardo Nunez left the game after taking a pitch to the right wrist, and he is day-to-day with a contusion. Wrist injuries can be very scary, he and the Yankees got lucky the x-rays came back clean.

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs has the nerd score, and ESPN has the updated standings. Hooray for being over .500 and tied for first place in the division. Yes, it’s only April, but still. These same two teams will meet Saturday afternoon, when Phil Hughes gets the ball against Jason Hammel. Check out RAB Tickets if you want to catch the game in person.

Categories : Game Stories


  1. Kramerica Industries says:

    This needs to go too:


    (h/t to DERP for being the original poster of this in the game thread.)

    • Pseudoyanks says:

      Hah. H/t to you too.

    • WhittakerWalt says:

      The best thing about that play is that you just know that Jones blew that bubble on purpose right as he was attempting the catch. You know he was thinking to himself “I’ll blow this bubble right as I make an awesome catch, then maybe Stuart Scott will say I’m as cool as the other side of the pillow!”
      Now knowing Buck he’ll probably ban gum-chewing from this point forward.

      • Rick says:

        Adam Jones blows a bubble before every catch. It’s only harped on when he makes an error. Nothing to do with sportscenter.

  2. RkyMtnYank says:

    Funny cause I thought Youk going to 1st after the tag out was going to blow it, but sweets!

  3. Pseudoyanks says:

    Hah! Thanks for gif I’m mobile and missed it.

  4. jjyank says:

    Triple plays are the coolest.

  5. JLC 776 says:

    Benny Hill Remix?

  6. NeilT says:

    That was as satisfying a win as I’ve ever seen, on so many levels.

    Meanwhile I’m having to watch the Nats v Braves game which has gone to extras and shown just why the Nats needed to sign Sori. Nice to see Ramiro Peña up with the Braves too. Er… He just smacked a 2 run homer in the top of the 10th !!

  7. Kramerica Industries says:

    Fucking Ramiro Pena just did WHAT?

  8. trr says:

    other than Nunez getting hurt, a mighty entertaining game.
    Don’t forget Mo!

  9. BigBlueAL says:

    I was actually mad at Nix for throwing to 3rd and not just getting a normal DP lol.

  10. Improbable Island's Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR) says:

    And THIS is the first fucking game of the year I miss?!?!?

  11. ton lon ton says:

    i liked the triple play. that was way fun. CC for 8 inninngs cool too.

  12. McLovin says:

    I unfortunately missed the game and saw 42 today. Alright movie but Moneyball was better.

  13. Havok9120 says:

    If anyone wants to cackle with glee at the reaction of Baltimore fans (and rack up a little negative karma), then I suggest the Camden Chat game thread.

    It’s like we crushed their bodies and devoured their souls. Like Shang Tsung in pinstripes.


    • Bob Buttons says:

      In other AL east news, Reyes is OUTTA HERE! Ankle injury stealing a base.

      If only the Jays fans weren’t so fucking cocky before the season, I’d actually feel bad.

      • Havok9120 says:

        I still do feel bad…but most of my sympathy is definitely worn away by the cocky bearing their fans and the media had for most of the offseason.

        • Bob Buttons says:

          I still remember somebody mentioning how they were cracking jokes about Granderson’s injury.

          Not even a crying Reyes can break my smile.

          • Manny's BanWagon says:

            Not cool. Seeing a pro athlete crying on the field after an injury no matter how much you hate the player or team is a terrible sight.

            • Robinson Tilapia says:


            • Bob Buttons says:

              I hate the bloody fan base too, and don’t forget, they cracked jokes about the Granderson injury.

              They were uncool first.

              • RetroRob says:

                I remember reading on some thread (not here) a Blue Jan fan posting the question, “ask any Blue Jan fan why they hate Derek Jeter.” I thought it was odd. Now I understand Jeter is the face of the Yankees, but it seemed like an strange reaction. Turns out, Blue Jays fans are angry (still) that after their suck-ass catcher Ken Huckaby fell on Jeter and dislocated his left shoulder a decade back they felt Jeter dissed Huckaby when he tried to apologize. Who knows what the hell that means, but the fact they were still talking about it nearly a decade later says something.

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          Fuck the Blue Jays.

          Every team in baseball should have to wear a patch in memory of all the young Toronto starters who’ve gone to shit.

      • WhittakerWalt says:

        Looks like dalelama will be wearing a black armband for the next 6 weeks.

    • Improbable Island's Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR) says:

      I have to admit, I actually like the blog itself. This line is awesome:

      A sampling of Yankees hitters and their slugging percentages: Kevin Youkilis .700, Vernon Wells .720, Francisco Cervelli .588, Travis Hafner .556. We can infer from these that the Satanic pact that has kept the Yankees afloat for the past decade still endures at least through a week and a half of the 2013 season. Wells has a .467 OBP. Even over a small sample size, could anything but the darkest of blood magic be the explanation?

      • Havok9120 says:

        A lot of SBN’s blogs have gotten really good. And they’ve got a fairly good crop of regular commeters on most of those sites. Makes the Game Threads fun to read through when they play the Yanks.

        • Improbable Island's Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR) says:

          Yeah, even the comments are actually surprisingly rational and pretty funny. Like this gem, referring to what it’s like to be watching the game as an Orioles fan on the YES network:

          It’s like I got kicked in the nuts by Adam’s error

          Spit on by the triple play, and then had to sit on the ground writing in pain while Michael Kay fucking cackled over me

        • Cool Lester Smooth says:

          Seriously, SB Nation is the shit. Besides the joy of watching Over the Monster game threads unfold, Minor League Ball, Federal Baseball, DRays Bay, Lookout Landing, and especially Bleeding Green Nation, are pretty irreplaceable.

          Honestly, I probably spend more time on BGN than I do here.

      • vicki says:

        i guess those guys went down to the same crossroads chris davis did.

        but yeah, funny writing.

    • Dalek Jeter says:

      Wow, there are some dicks over there. Some really funny posters too. But seriously…basically the entire thread was calling CC fat, shitting on the Yankees, shitting on the ump, and shitting on Jones prior to and after the error.

      • Improbable Island's Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR) says:

        I didn’t think it was that much worse than us, to be honest.

        • And in merrie olde England says:

          I was thinking the same!

          Can’t believe I missed this one :(

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          They kind of sound exactly like us, to be honest, except for the fact that they’re O’s fans, which means that 1) there’s just something mentally wrong with them, 2) they’re probably passed out drunk somewhere in Fells Point right now.

        • Havok9120 says:

          Indeed. SBN’s better blog comment sections are effectively what we’ve got here writ-large. Many are completely terrible, but some are good.

      • WhittakerWalt says:

        I don’t think any team that drafted Calvin Pickering should be calling another player fat.

  14. Tom says:

    Wow, Jose Reyes looked like he completely wrecked his ankle…

    It looked like he got caught in between going in standing up and sliding into 2nd base and kind of slid last second and it did not look pretty.

    • Havok9120 says:

      Yeah, ankle or Achilles injury.

      I never (ever) hope for a pro athlete to get injured, and I certainly wouldn’t have expected Reyes spiking himself to be the cause, but Jose Reyes getting injured had to be on the list of “Things Everyone Expects To Happen At Some Point.”

    • Bob Buttons says:

      Hm.. I should really refresh before commenting on a page from like 20 minutes ago.

    • McLovin says:

      And the hits keep on coming for the Blue Jays.

  15. Bartolo's Colon says:

    Just got back from the game. Other than the B/D not working after the game, this game was awesome. it seemed to take a while for the crowd to realize that jones dropped the ball. I thought cc was in trouble, then the triple play happened, that was awesome, very exciting how it played out.

  16. vicki says:

    irrational love for justin maxwell and the natural. go astros.

  17. Eddard says:

    This game had everything. CC was dominating until a bogus balk call put a runner on 2nd with no outs and a single drove him in tying the game. Then Adam Jones drops a fly ball in CF leading to 3 Yankee runs. And to top it off there was the triple play.

    I hope Mike gives Cervelli his due in the write up. Frankie worked the count twice to get walks to lead off two innings, the inning they went up 2-1 and the inning they scored the 3 runs. Martin wouldn’t have worked those walks. Youk had 3 hits. He’s really come into his own as a Yankee.

    • steve (different one) says:

      Aren’t you typing in the thread containing Mike’s write up?

    • hogsmog says:

      Frankie’s also walked six times so far with a single strikeout… he’s going to regress a bit, sure, but there’s a chance this catcher isn’t quite the same one we saw in 2010.

  18. Robinson Tilapia says:

    What a fun little game this was. Jones dropping the ball completely caught me off guard, and the ninja-battle-style triple play was my favorite Yankee play in a very long time. Just a great, unlikely win here, with Mo finishing it out.

    Will check out the game thread. Just didn’t feel like sitting my the PC tonight.

  19. Improbable Island's Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR) says:

    Also, most of the people who posted in that A-Rod thread are crazy, man. Crazy.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      The one on here?

      I’m so over anything related to this whole scandal thing. I just don’t care. Whatever happens happens. I just want to watch some Yankee baseball, regardless of who my third baseman is. Actually, I kinda like the guy we’ve got right now. He looks familiar. Did he play somewhere else before this?

      People who can’t stand Alex have about a million reasons more to now, and those of who’ve been big supporters can’t help but just be tired out by it all at this point. I just wish he’d realize he already has millions on top of millions and just retire, but no. I guess he must want more millions as frosting. Disgusting.

      • Improbable Island's Dirty Midget Whores (formerly RRR) says:

        I just don’t think that this counts as another “reason” to hate Alex, though. There’s no new evidence.

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          There’s no evidence at all, except if you’re the type of fan who is offended by his even breathing. Then, anything that you might even connect to him doing something wrong is a reason to hate him.

          I don’t hate him. I’ve followed him since we were both in high school in Miami. The fact that I’ve grown pretty indifferent, though, is actually pretty damning.

  20. fabricio says:

    i was there to witness this game!!!! had almost everything except the homers but great!!!!

  21. MB923 says:

    I was at the game (as you see written above) but I was just wondering if that Balk call was legit.

  22. Barry says:

    Youk with the tackle tag.

  23. And in merrie olde England says:

    How does the triple play get scored?

  24. Jenny says:

    Tomorrow’s NY DAily News cover is gonna be ugly


  25. Get Phelps Up says:

    Some games just remind me why I love baseball.

    Also did anyone see how the Angels just lost? Their situation and the Blue Jays situation is pretty great if you ask me.

  26. Peter R says:

    Cano took credit for telling Nix to go to third in the radio interview with Waldman after the game. He said he was yelling 3, 3, 3 as soon as he saw it and Nix turned the make the throw based on what he said.

    As a side note I feel like it used to be DJ’s infield. He called the shots and lead it (sorta like the CF does in the outfield). I feel like for a few games at the start of the year nobody stepped up and took over for DJ (remember some bad looking defense). I now feel like this is Cano’s infield. He calls the shots and runs the show now. He has stepped up nicely and is filling in for some of the leadership in the team when DJ and Arod etc are gone.

    But maybe I am just pulling it all out of my ass…..

    • tcmiller30 says:

      With the ball hit to the right side of the infield, it makes sense that Nix probably wouldn’t have been able to tell where the runner was between 2nd and 3rd. Cano probably fielded the ball and as he was tossing it to Nix saw that the runner was in no man’s land. I think it would have been very hard to Nix to see the hit, run to second, eye the runner in the opposite direction of the bag, and be able to say with confidence that it was the right play. All-in-all… Cano is the man, but that was a heck of a play by pretty much everyone involved.

  27. Mick taylor says:

    I am not surprised 3 yanks were thrown at and 2 hit . I knew showalter would. Do that to try and send a message and slow down yank s. Just luv the hypocrisy of news media in crucifying arod and lance Armstrong and bonds but no one questions how it was possible for tiger woods to win all those masters without steroids . Oh yeah , he has not won a majors since 2008 when the PGA began testing. For roids

    • gc says:

      Because steroids is proven to make you a better putter. It’s science. (rolls eyes)

    • Robinson Tilapia says:


      • Mick taylor says:

        Yeahmoron, steroids gives a golfer a huge advantage over other golfers. It gives you greater stamina. It let’s you drive the ball farther and it gives you greater hand eye coordination which helps you you putty and put the ball in the hole more accuratetly. It alsoLet’s you have energy to bang Lindsay Bonn after the match

    • Pat D says:

      It’s just that demon life has got you in its Sway.

    • DC says:

      So you obviously must think Jack Nicklaus and Arnold Palmer were taking steroids as well, correct?

      • Mick taylor says:

        Hey moron,jack andarniedid not win 14 majors in such a short timeframe like woody. No one could do what woody did without help just like Barry bonds could not havehit72 homeruns. Your stupid argument is like saying babe Ruth was on steroids

  28. Eddard says:

    I just saw the highlight, our old friend Ramiro Pena hit a 2 run HR last night to put the Braves ahead of the Nats! That was the third HR of his storied career.

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      I just read this as “Ramiro Pena hit a 2 run HR last night to put the Braves ahead of the Nazis!” and thought, “only in EddardWorld.”

      • I'm not the droids you're looking for... says:

        If we ever have a player named Nats or Natz I’m pretty sure Girardi would have to call him Nazi.

  29. steve (different one) says:

    even though the triple play was obviously awesome, I can’t help but wonder if going to first for the “sure” 2 outs was the “correct” play. it’s the 8th inning, you are up by 3. a double play makes it 2 outs in the 8th with one man on. if you somehow screw up the throw to 3rd, it’s one out and the tying man at the plate. I know, I know, what a wet blanket I am.

    also, Jones obviously should have caught that ball, but Wells put a really nice swing on that pitch on a miserably cold night. he continues to look….alive. that’s something.

  30. Incitatus says:

    I realize Vernon Wells was the hitter at the time, but marking the WP map “V Wells Error” instead of “A Jones Error” really makes it seem like somehow Vernon Wells committed an error that gave the Yankees a huge advantage. But I suppose that’s probably something I’d have to take up with Fangraphs.

    Watching that GIF of the triple play, I have to say I am pretty impressed with the camera work of the guy behind home plate. Once the ball was hit, it’s all on him to follow it, and he covered every bit of the play. Kudos to the camera operator, whoever he is.

  31. Kiko Jones says:

    Sometimes it’s better to be lucky than good.

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