Yankees pummel Tribe for second straight win


It took a week, but the Yankees finally have their first set of back-to-back wins this season. A double-digit offensive outburst helped them overcome a starting pitcher who really labored and a middle relief corps that is as shaky as it gets.

(Jason Miller/Getty)

(Jason Miller/Getty)

Guess Who’s Back
Robinson Cano‘s back. After a rough 3-for-23 start to the season, Cano hit two homers (one to left-center, one to right-center) and a double off the top of the left field wall on Monday afternoon. He also worked a six-pitch walk in the first inning and scored four runs on the afternoon. After waking up with a .130/.200/.130 batting line, Robbie will go to bed with a much more respectable .222/.300/.481 line to his credit. Still got some work to do there though.

More than anything else, the most important thing about Cano’s big day is that he started to adjust and drive those outside pitches the other way. Teams have been feeding him offspeed stuff away since the playoffs last year, but he was rolling over on everything and grounding out softly to the right side. On Monday, he drove two outside pitches the other way for extra-base hits and pulled an inside pitch down the line. Perfect. The Yankees needed their second baseman to start hitting in the big way.

(Jason Miller/Getty)

(Jason Miller/Getty)

A Battle For #HIROK
Five days after taking a line drive off the tip of his right middle finger, Hiroki Kuroda was back out on the mound making his regularly scheduled start. Early on, it sure looked like the digit was bothering him — he said on Sunday he still wasn’t 100% but would try to work through any lingering pain and soreness — as he was missing his spots and leaving a lot of pitches up in the zone. Add in some bad luck (a ground ball hit the second base bag and bounced away from Eduardo Nunez) and bad luck defense (Lyle Overbay ranged to his right and deflected a ball away from Cano), and you’ve got a recipe for a three-run, 34-pitch first inning.

Kuroda continued to struggle with his location the rest of the game — first pitch strikes to 16 of 25 batters faced — yet he still held the Indians to just a single, a double, two walks, and zero runs over the next 4.1 innings on 77 pitches. It wasn’t the most efficient or aesthetically pleasing outing, that’s for sure, but it was effective nonetheless. How he managed to do it, I’ll never know. Kuroda really struggled in that first inning but he battled and gave the team a real nice lift on an afternoon when it looked like the bullpen would wind up throwing seven or eight innings.

In a way, that ability to grind through a start is a common trait for the Yankees’ top three starters. We saw CC Sabathia do it against the Tigers on Sunday and we’ve seen Andy Pettitte do it countless times over the last 17 years or so. It’s not quite the whole “he knows how to win idea,” but there’s definitely something to knowing how to pitch on days when things aren’t going right. Mike Mussina used to talk about it all the time. Pitches were up in the zone, ground balls were bouncing off bases, all sorts of unfortunate stuff was happening, yet Kuroda worked through it and gave the team some length and a chance to win.

Guess Who’s Back, Part Deux
The afternoon started with the Cleveland faithful giving Travis Hafner a standing ovation during the pre-game introductions, but by the end of the game they were probably cursing his name. The former Indian hit a three-run homer in the very first inning — his 100th dinger at Progressive Field — to give the Yankees a three-zip lead, and later on he added a single and a pair of walks. Hafner even went first-to-third on a single and slide head-first into third base. I didn’t think we’d see that at all this year. Well, I didn’t think we’d see him do it and actually get up, anyway. Hafner is up to .391/.481/.652 on the young season and has been an anchor in the middle of the lineup. Just awesome to see.

(Jason Miller/Getty)

(Jason Miller/Getty)

The Yankees started to break things open against the Tribe bullpen, scoring six runs in the fifth through seventh innings. Ichiro Suzuki plated two runs with a pair of singles (one an infield single) while Nunez had a sacrifice fly. Another run came around to score on a wild pitch. Brett Gardner had a single while Overbay contributed nothing on offense. Eleven runs on 13 hits and four walks is a pretty great day for the bats, who have strung together two excellent performances.

The non-David Robertson/Mariano Rivera portion of the bullpen continues to be a total nightmare, as a trio of relievers combined to allow three runs on four hits and four walks in 3.2 innings. Boone Logan at least retired two of the three left-handed hitters he faced, coaxing a double play ball from Lonnie Chisenhall and a strikeout from Jason Kipnis. Michael Bourn beat out an infield single. Shawn Kelley allowed three runs in 1.1 innings while Joba Chamberlain nibbled his way to two walks in a scoreless ninth.

According to the YES Network broadcast, Hafner invited the team to his Cleveland-area home to watch the NCAA Championship Game between Louisville and Michigan after the game. Pretty awesome.

Box Score, WPA Graph & Standings
MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs some other neat stats, and ESPN the updated standings.

Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
The Yankees will look for their (gasp!) third consecutive win on Tuesday night, when Pettitte gets the ball against noted jerk Brett Myers Carlos Carrasco. Pretty good opportunity to get back to .500.

Categories : Game Stories


  1. Eddard says:

    2013 club- 35 runs scored through 7 games. 2012 club- 34 runs scored through 7 games. So can we please stop using the runs per game statistic to bash this team, especially when they had only played 5 games at the time.

    I said that with CC, Kuroda and Andy lined up they could get back to .500 and they just need to take 2/3 to do it. Cleveland is a much weaker team than Detroit. They don’t have two big boppers in the lineup or the starting pitching that Detroit has. Win Andy’s start and split Nova/Hughes and we’ll be right back on track. If Gardner, Cano and Ichiro keep hitting this will be an above average offense.

  2. The Real Me (Formerly Cris Pengiucci) says:

    “So can we please stop using the runs per game statistic to bash this team, especially when they had only played 5 games at the time.”

    Really? 5 games is proof that the offense will be fine? I don’t get what you’re saying, and as with last year’s team, the problem is most of those runs came in 2 games! I can’t figure out what your point is at all.

    • The Real Me (Formerly Cris Pengiucci) says:

      Sorry, that was meant to be a reply to Eddard.

      • The Doctor says:

        Eddard actually has a good point. He’s not saying it but what his trolling is trying to imply is that by the same standard people were using to determine the 2013 offense a failure 5 games in, we could say the offense this year is better than last year. Either statement is ridiculous.

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

      Least year’s team had an excellent offense. What happened in the playoffs was a bizarre fluke.

      • 27 rings says:

        A fluke? The entire postseason? XRaul, the team stunk. Cano is still the only 300 hitter. They will continue to be streaky and lose to good pitching.

        • Get Phelps Up says:

          Just like they lost to Verlander yesterday…

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

          Yeah…in the postseason. That type of ultra-slump was a one in a million event that in all likelihood we’ll never see repeated again, and practically certainly not by a team that makes it past the ALDS.

        • WhittakerWalt says:

          I don’t think you understand how the postseason works. The whole thing is a fluke. The Yanks scored 6 runs in four games to the mighty world-beating Tigers. Then the Tigers promptly turned around and scored four runs in 6 games against the Giants.
          There’s a reason we say it’s a crapshoot.

  3. forensic says:

    I may have missed something today, but I believe Carlos Carrasco is being inserted to the rotation tomorrow and Myers is going on Wednesday.

  4. forensic says:

    Trying to figure out why Hafner has the fingertip of his left ring finger cut off his batting gloves. I didn’t see anything in how he holds the bat that he would want to do that for.

  5. Nick says:

    This team has needed a solid bullpen arm since last May

    • Hoss says:

      Could have just taken the Red Sox pen like the Tribe did with Albers and Hill. That worked well, no?

      Logan,as the only lefty, is being overused and will burn out. I guess you could call his performance now “anticipatory burnout.” Joba should just get his entire fucking body waxed until he can throw strikes with a 5-run lead. And I suppose that Kelley is showing us why even the Seattle FO, not known as one of the more intelligent ones, let him go.

  6. Pasta says:

    Monty is ready and far better than kelly logan chamberlin at this point.

  7. Alkaline says:

    Robinson Cano? More like Robinson Canyes!

    Sorry, I was listening to espn radio all day at work…

  8. Robinson Tilapia says:

    Things I’m a sucker for this game had:

    - Starting pitcher pulling a good outing out of what seemed like certain disaster at first.

    - Lots of homers

    - Lots of Robbie Cano

    I like this team a lot more than the one I was watching last week.

  9. Gonzo says:

    This is going to sound corny, but whatever Kuroda has, you can’t teach. #WANT

    • Manny's BanWagon says:

      Nice bounce back but he needs to pitch better because he’s f’ng up my WHIP and ERA in my fantasy league.

      • jjyank says:

        Heh. Same. I also have Andy going tomorrow. He helped me out last week, I could use a similar effort.

        • Manny's BanWagon says:

          I had Matt Cain and Dave Price get absolutely crushed yesterday. It’s like bizarro MLB.

          • jjyank says:

            I have Price as well. I feel ya.

          • Get Phelps Up says:

            Mitchell Boggs absolutely killed me today.

          • Barry says:

            Luckily I decided not to start Price or Dickey. Didn’t think the few columns I’d chance winning were worth losing the ties or wins in other columns. They’ll figure it out.. earllly

            • Manny's BanWagon says:

              That takes balls. Those 2 are both easily in the top 10 starting pitchers.

              • Barry says:

                All strategy, ended up 10-4-6. Was tied in losses, losing wins, winning era and whip,strikeouts by 6 or 7 and walks by a small margin. He had only Wainwright going so he ended up only tieing me in strikeouts..

                • Manny's BanWagon says:

                  Head to head league. Makes sense. I play in a standard 5×5 league so I could never sit my 2 aces in the 2nd week of the season.

                  • Barry says:

                    Yeah, same league of 10(give or take a member replacement or two) for like 7 years. It’s an annual addiction. Highly competitive though and everyone is always 100% active which is rare.

    • vicki says:

      well i hate to interrupt the dorky fantasy conversation but yeah, what you said. he practiced for sixteen hours a day with no water or some shit. guy’s got guts.

      japan. where men are men but when they dress like women they look prettier than other men dressed like women.


  10. Jonathan says:

    I just got to watch on Gameday but it said Overbay lined out at least 3 times. Reminded me of the start of 2010 when Nick Johnson was pretty much lining out to the RFer half the time but couldn’t stay healthy long enough for the BABIP correction.

  11. jjyank says:

    Great game. Hafner comes back to Cleveland in force, and shows some class by inviting the team to watch the NCAA game at his house. That’s really great to see.

    Cano returns to form. Yay team.

  12. mustang says:

    What did Joe Girardi say to Joba after walking a guy with a 5 run lead in the bottom 9th?

    • mustang says:

      And you wonder why Cash and I made fun of you in Spring Training when you talked about being a starter.

    • Hoss says:

      Is this a joke? OK, punch line is:

      The only thing you’ll be walking is my dog if you do that again?

    • Robinson Tilapia says:

      “Walk another one and it won’t be your mustache I’m shaving?”

    • mustang says:

      Here got this of RAB:

      “RHP Mark Montgomery: 2 IP, 2 H, 0 R, 0 ER, 0 BB, 3 K, 3/0 GB/FB – 17 of 24 pitches were strikes (63%)”

    • YankeesJunkie says:

      The stuff is definitely there though, the control is not. However his numbers last year were not horrific, but not indicative of a top 3 reliever on a team, but that does not mean he is quite done yet.

    • forensic says:

      “Walk another guy and you’ll be walking around Scranton.”

      • Barry says:

        Better than walking around New York, really. It doesn’t smell, it’s not crowded, and everything is cheaper.

        • Robinson Tilapia says:

          Different strokes, I guess.

        • Now Batting says:

          It’s not crowded because most people prefer New York.

          • Barry says:

            As Tilapia says, everyone has got their flavor. I don’t like any cities really. I like the country. Even Scranton has too many people for me. I like to go to places with a lot of people from time to time, but overall I prefer small groups and quiet nights. Plus when zombies come, you’ll all be dead :(.

            • Now Batting says:

              Hah perhaps but I’d rather be in a place with staircases where you can travel by rooftop. Plus it’s an island!

              • Barry says:

                Islands are death traps man. Roofs are islands as well. If it ever happens, contact me through RAB and you can join my survivor group.

                • Dalek Jeter says:

                  My plan is all set, I have a friend who lives 3 blocks away and legally owns 4 handguns and 3 assault rifles, and plenty of ammo. As soon as shit starts going to hell we’re going to get 3 or so people together (on top of the two of us), steal my neighbors Hummer or Wrangler and hit the supermarket in between our homes. Since we’ll be among the most well armed people there, clean the place out. Then go back to my buddy’s apartment, knock out the stairs and wait it out on strict rations of 1200 calories a day.

            • Robinson Tilapia says:

              Frog City, FL, Population: 2. I assume that doesn’t count alligators.

            • TomH says:

              I’m with you.

    • mustang says:

      Notice how it was Girardi not Larry Rothschild who came out. If I was Joba I would stay away from Larry in the clubhouse.

  13. Today’s game was great. I’ve been a big believer in Hafner, he has such an explosive swing. Hope he’s healthy all year.

  14. CONservative governMENt says:

    You just can’t predict baseball.

  15. Pseudoyanks says:

    Kudos to Joe for moving Robbie to the 2 hole and leaving him there. Great spot for him.

    • Barry says:

      For now, 3 is better in the long haul.

      • YankeesJunkie says:

        According line up analysis the #2 and #4 spots are where the best hitters should be going, so Cano in the #2 spot behind Garnder should lead to a more standardized defense when Gardner gets on base due to historic base stealing abilities.

        • Barry says:

          I’d still put him 3 when Jeter gets back. Lots of runs to drive in and hopefully someone behind him to protect him. 4 spot is less ABs.

    • The Doctor says:

      According to more up to date lineup optimization techniques, the 2 hole is more important than the 3, so it actually makes sense.

  16. mustang says:

    The Yankees are no longer in last place the Jays are.


  17. WhittakerWalt says:

    I sure hope we “abuse” Brett Myers.

  18. mustang says:

    “Russell Martin will head to the bench for the day after going hitless through his first five starts.”

    Jesus Montero .182/.182/.182 HR 0 1 RBI

    And in NY

    Cervelli ! Cervelli ! Cervelli !

    Cashman genius


    • WhittakerWalt says:

      I still think we should have re-signed Russ. He had a terrible start to last season, but his BABIP evened out and he was actually pretty solid. Certainly better than anything we’re going to have at the C position this year.

      • Barry says:

        Stop beating the dead horse. Ups/downs, evening out, bottom line is he’s a replacement level player at this point in his career.

        • WhittakerWalt says:

          I didn’t realize I was beating a dead horse here. Merely mentioning that Russ was better than he got any credit for. He’s quite a bit better than replacement level, unless you’re saying that his first 5 games of this season is now his true talent level.
          A catcher who hits 20+ homers and calls a good game is a damn sight better than anything we’ve got right now.

          • Barry says:

            Girardi calls the games. He strikes out ~20% of the time. Hits a home run 4.3% of the time. Gets a hit ~21% of the time and walks ~10% of the time. So he does something positive ~31% of the time and and 15% of 31% is the home run ball. Whoopdy do.

            You’re overrating that 4.3% of his outcomes.

            • WhittakerWalt says:

              Get back to me after a whole year of Frankie and Stew.

              • Barry says:

                Whatevs gets backs to me afters yous comes ups wis a betters arguments.

                • WhittakerWalt says:

                  I already did. You think Girardi calls the games. It’s not worth talking to you any further.

                  • Now Batting says:

                    It’s not uncommon for a manager to signal pitches to the catcher. I have no clue what the Yankees’ philosophy is on that but I have to assume there’s a reason the catcher is always looking at the bench before giving the signal to the pitcher.

                    Bottom line though is Martin wasn’t very good last year, has probably peaked as far as catchers go, and is now the sixth highest paid catcher in baseball.

              • forensic says:

                Cervelli and Martin have actually been pretty close overall offensively, they just do it in different ways. Martin with a little more power and Cervelli with a little more average and on-base ability.

                Personally, I’d rather have Cervelli, especially when taking into account salary. The average and on-base can affect more games consistently than the power.

                The main question coming in was Cervelli’s defense, which has thankfully taken a step back forward toward where it had been.

                • Barry says:

                  This. Not to mention Martin’s D was probably way overrated. FWIW(not really a way to gauge C defense properly) Martin had a fielding value of -2.1 last year; for context Yadier Molina had a value of 10.5.

                  • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

                    I thought Martin’s defense was disappointing last year. That said, those fielding values leave out a lot of C defense, including the part Martin is supposed to be excellent at – framing.

                    • Barry says:

                      Eh, the whole pitch framing phenomena is also overrated in my book. We’ll be able to compare those things better soon as I think I read on fangraphs that they are working on it. Until then, we can’t quantify it so how can we value it?

                    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

                      It was quantified from 2007-11, and Martin fared very well.
                      No guarantee that carried over into 2012, but no reason to think he suddenly lost that ability either.
                      It may not be a perfect measure, but it’s a pretty strong indication Martin provides a lot of value with his pitch framing.

                    • Barry says:

                      I mean quantified into actual value at present. As in I think fangraphs is looking for a way to use it in catcher WAR. But also I think that the catcher alone shouldn’t be the only factor. Quality/reputation of the pitcher should be an x factor in this. Also the individual games, how many times have we seen umps adjust zones to hurry up games, etc. That article you linked is a nice attempt but in all I think it’s overly simplistic. Plus we’re talking about 15 R/120G. How statistically relevant is that?
                      For fun for CC’s prior 4 years he pitched 129 games and Martin averaged 15, I’ll give him 16 for the 9 extra games to be generous. That equates to a .159(…)(3.61 vs 3.46) difference in ERA over 905 IP. That’s a difference for sure, but how statistically important is it?

                    • Barry says:

                      Plus I didn’t adjust for the runs in CC’s ERA that may have already been saved by other catchers and Martin already. To much leg work for a simple argument so 3.46 is probably on the generous side for this estimate.

                    • Need Pitching & Hitting (but mostly hitting) says:

                      How statistically relevant is 15R/120G.


                      15 runs is a difference of about 1.5 wins a year. The difference between a 2 WAR catcher and a 3.5 win catcher. If the impact is truly that big, that is a huge difference.

                      As for quality/reputation of the pitcher, that study used a baseline over the 5 years for each pitcher, so that was largely factored in.

                    • Barry says:

                      I don’t see it in my math. Plus that 15 runs is based off an arbitrary number to me.

                    • Barry says:

                      I can’t see proof that the pitch being framed actually influenced the call every time. Every zone is different and changes throughout the game.Pitchers aren’t pitching to a perfect computerized box that exactly measures ball and strike.

                    • vicki says:

                      phenomena are.

                • WhittakerWalt says:

                  Listen, if Cervelli continues to hit like this all year and continues to improve his defense, I won’t mind so much.
                  I just happen to be a believer in Steven Goldman’s philosophy that you can never afford to carry a non-hitter at any position, and both Cervelli and Stewart are established non-hitters.
                  I never made the argument that Martin was the next Johnny Bench or anything, just better than the alternatives.

  19. DInnings says:

    Steve Carlton, too. Imagine if he was on the ’80s Yanks?

  20. Dalek Jeter says:

    Anybody see the Tampa/Texas game? Robot and/or Computer Umps. Immediately.

    • forensic says:

      Looking at the scoreboard, I see the Rays lost.

      Everything looks fine to me. :-)

      • Dalek Jeter says:

        Haha, I’m happy the Rays lost too, but the game ended with the second worst strike 3 call I’ve ever seen in my life. The only one that was worse was I think Humber’s perfect game.

        • forensic says:

          Humber’s call was pretty terrible.

          But, you should check out some video of Eric Gregg in Game 5 of the 1997 NLCS, if you haven’t seen it. That’s a clinic on horrible strike calls. Easily in the conversation for worst umpired game ever.

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