Yanks bounce back for 11th inning win over Jays

Saturday Night Open Thread
Wang throws 5.1 scoreless innings in first Triple-A start


Source: FanGraphs

Following Friday’s blowout win, the Yankees and Blue Jays played a rollercoaster game on Saturday. New York led for most of the game, Toronto tied it late, then the Bombers took the lead and finished off the win in extra innings. Don’t look now, but since the ugly 1-4 start, the Yankees have now won nine of their last 11 games. Let’s recap…

  • #HIROK ‘n Roll: I’m running out of ways to praise Hiroki Kuroda, who allowed one run on three hits and a walk in seven innings in his latest gem. The run didn’t even score while he was on the mound, but more on that in a bit. Kuroda struck out seven, got nine ground ball outs, generated 14 swings and misses out of 108 total pitches, and was pretty awesome overall. The guy is amazing. I never want him to not be on the Yankees.
  • Fear The Lefty: The Yankees have had some well-known trouble against lefties this year, but they were able to score three runs off Mark Buehrle in his seven innings of work. The first came on a Vernon Wells homer, the other two when Brett Lawrie whiffed on Kevin Youkilis‘ bases loaded line drive. The ball was hit hard and right at him, but he just came up empty. A big league third baseman has to make that play and it was a deserved error. Other than that, the Yankees blew a pair of bases loaded situations (Eduardo Nunez pop-up, Frankie Cervelli double play) and also stranded a runner at third with one out in the another inning. For a while it sure looked like that would come back to bite them.
  • Bad David: David Robertson had his first of what will inevitably be several meltdowns this season, allowing three total runs — one he inherited from Kuroda and two of his own — in two-thirds of an inning. He walked two and allowed two hits in that eighth inning, including the game-tying two-run single by former Yankee Melky Cabrera. That one was especially frustration because Robertson had him in a two-strike count and threw nothing but fastballs in the six-pitch at-bat. The out-pitch curveball is only good if he use it, David.
  • And The Yankees Take The Lead: It was not a good game for the Blue Jays defensively, and it really bit them in the 11th. Wells and Cervelli opened the inning with singles, but when Ichiro Suzuki tried to bunted them up a base, reliever Aaron Loup picked up the ball and threw towards a not-ready Lawrie at third. He was still moving back to third when Loup threw the ball, so the ball wound up down the line in left field. Both Wells and Cervelli scored and that was that. The Yankees were back on top by two a few innings after blowing a three-run lead.
  • Leftovers: The trio of Boone Logan, Joba Chamberlain, and Shawn Kelley did a fine job navigating the ninth and tenth innings. Joba looked particularly filthy, hitting 98.9 (!) with the fastball and 90.5 (!!) with the slider according to PitchFX … Wells is wearing out his former team this weekend, with three more hits including the homer on Saturday … Ben Francisco and Nunez were the only Yankees to not record hits. Nunez is down to .184/.267/.211 during his audition as Derek Jeter‘s heir to the shortstop position … Kevin Youkilis left the game in the sixth inning with a tight lower back, but neither he nor Joe Girardi thought it was serious. He will not play on Sunday, however.

MLB.com has the box score and video highlights, FanGraphs the nerd score, and ESPN the updated standings. Ivan Nova will be on the mound Sunday afternoon as the Yankees look to finish off the sweep against one of Toronto’s other new additions, Josh Johnson.

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Saturday Night Open Thread
Wang throws 5.1 scoreless innings in first Triple-A start
  • Darren

    Joba has looked better than he has in years. Maybe he’s finally recovered from shoulder problem, TJ surgery and to a less extent ankle.

    Is there any chance if he pitches this well all year he gets a 3 year $27mm contract from Yankees?

    Life A.M. (AFter Mo) is going to be hard enough (despite how undervalued the role of closer is by RAB, although not players, FO and manager). I would like to see Joba and DRob in the pen next year.

    • billbybob

      3 years, $27 million for a middle reliever? Yikes…

      • FIPster Doofus

        For one who hasn’t even been all that good to boot.

    • Anthony

      Joba’s spike in velocity seemed to come out of nowhere. Its very encouraging though. The middle innings might not be so nerve-wracking.

      We have to get rid of Ben Francisco soon.

      • Anthony

        Another reply fail, although slightly relevant anyway.

      • trr

        Joba will be gone after this year.
        Francisco, much sooner

    • whozat

      I bet someone gets him on a middle reliever deal, maybe 2/10, turns him back into a starter and reaps great value. Note that he’s using the curve again, which gives him a pitch in the low 80s, one in the high 80s and a mid-90s fastball

      • Nuke Guy (Knoxvillain)

        Joba will never be a starter ever again for any team. That time is passed. He’ll always be a reliever.

      • RetroRob

        I guess I should read the comments before posting, since we said the same thing.

        If the Yankees let Hughes leave, I suppose it’s possible they might keep Joba and give him another shot as a starter next year if he maintains his health and velocity through this season. Looking at what’s available next year, that is something I would seriously be considering based on the price-value opportunity.

    • RetroRob

      Some team will sign him at middle-reliever money and then probably give him a shot as a starter, which could make him a bargain.

  • hogsmog

    Anyone else getting tired of Ben Franciso? Though it’s not like I know who I’d replace him with…

    • Bob Buttons

      Thomas Neal?

      • trr

        A sack of shit?

    • monterowasdinero

      Greg Golson?

  • http://www.twitter.com/mattpat11 Matt DiBari

    I really think Kuroda is going to go down as one of the best moves of the Cashman era, and if you don’t count no brainers like Mussina and Sabathia, probably the best pitching signing.

  • bonzo

    I would give torre credit for mussina. Cashman called ramirez’s agent first then they went for mussina. Remember the espn show regarding mannys free agency

  • forensic

    bAnother home run and more negative reaction from the crowd for Wells. “They keep calling me by my old nickname, boo,” Wells said.

    That’s classic.

    • forensic

      bold fail…

    • Bob Buttons

      For a team that sucked (and still do to a point) for twenty years, Toronto fans are damn cruel to their own team.

    • Havok9120

      I’m kinda starting to fall in love with the guy. I dunno if he’s just in a good mood from his success to date, but he’s had nothing but the right things to say. And what I’ve seen of his twitter is pretty hilarious.

      • vicki

        like #littlepersonpop about a gardner homerun. he’s a riot, and he’s always been a cool guy. but yes, happy (and productive) vernon is extra charming. so easy to pull for him.

      • forensic

        Yeah, there was never really any question about his character or personality, since they were both well known through the league. The only question was if he would hit at all. So far, he obviously has. He even went through a bit of a slump for a few games and has come out of it quickly, just in time to punish his old team which is rather convenient.

        I kind of wish A-Rod had thought of a line like that about Yankees fan first though. That would’ve been even better.

  • trr

    and I always thought of Canadiens as so polite!

  • KeithK

    If you can believe what Ma and Pa Yankee were saying on the radio Robertson couldn’t get the curveball over the plate at all today. No sense throwing that pitch to Melky when the batter (by that point) can simply take it for a ball every time. Not David’s day but fortunately his teammates (and Loup) picked him up.

    • vicki

      cervelli said the same about the curve post-game.

    • WhittakerWalt

      If that 0-2 hanger to Davis was anything to go by, he was right.

  • Eddard

    Wells said the pitching has been the backbone of the team and I couldn’t agree more. With CC, Kuroda and Andy the Yankees have one of the best 1-2-3 in the game. These 3 always give the offense a chance to win.

    And Cervelli had already been awarded the full time starting catcher duties. A year too late in my humble opinion. If he doesn’t get that single in the 10th we probably don’t score and who knows how long the pen would have held out.

    Hafner, Wells, Overbay, Youk. Cashman is a genius.

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

      Okay, okay. I’m going to be that guy. I know, I’m cynical, I should just enjoy all that stuff.

      BUT…

      IT’S APRIL.

      That is all.

  • will

    What is up with Gardner? This is 2 games i’ve seen him miss play fly balls to center… For all the talk about how great he is, i’ve been unimpressed with him

    • vicki

      i hope you’re not referring to wednesday night’s game when he sprinted 150ft to nearly catch a ball in right field.

  • Get Phelps Up

    I wonder what the people who revoked their fandom after the Wells trade are thinking now.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      “What do I change my screen name to?”

  • will

    If you run to a ball and do not catch it and it hits off your glove. you should of caught it. I am not sure if that’s the game, but there was one recently, and of course the one earlier in today’s game

    • Robinson Tilapia

      In other words, you have no clue. Thanks for playing.

      I agree with vicki. The fact that he made that look playable is something.

  • Wil Nieves #1 Fan

    Proof read.

  • mt

    Youkilis back flareup makes me think about how thin Yanks are in the infield. Nix and Nunez are basically the only players who can play SS, 3b or 2B (other than Cano and Youkilis) so it really is bad when and if Cano or Youkilis is unavailable or needs a rest (I know Cano is younger but should he even play six straight games on turf either?).

    They need to ditch Francisco and get someone who can play infield. I also don’t think we should count Cervelli as an IF solution when we only have 2 catchers (maybe a different story if we had 3 catchers)

    We should drop Francisco (Francisco splits againt lefty pitchers are not that great anyway) and use Boesch or the new infielder we add as the DH against lefties. Outfield would be OK with Boesch as back-up and Nix as emergency OF. (also Nix could be an emergency OF). I guess Mustellier would be helpful but do not have a good sense of when he will be back playing.

    I love Travis Hafner’s production so far but that is the downside – he can’t help out by playing a defensive position. Overbay as far as I know only plays 1B.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      What is Boesch going to play in the infield, other than 1B? I don’t get it.

      Maybe this becomes the moment David Adams fans have long since waited for.

      I’m not convinced Francisco is leaving us anytime soon. If you want to prioritize OF depth (not saying this is my POV at all), you option Boesch to AAA and keep Francisco once Curtis returns.

  • monterowasdinero

    Robertson really needs to throw his changeup once in a blue moon. Next time he starts an inning or is ahead of a hitter I would like to see it.