May
13

Yankees allow one run total, split doubleheader with Indians

By

I think a reasonable goal for any doubleheader is a split, and that’s exactly what the Yankees got during their one-day, two-game trip to Cleveland. They traded shutouts with the Indians, leaving town on the heels of a 1-0 loss and 7-0 win.

(Jason Miller/Getty)

(Jason Miller/Getty)

Game One: Offense Gets Mastered, Son
The key to beating right-hander Justin Masterson is loading the lineup with left-handed hitters. They came into the game with a .317 wOBA against him this year and .349 for his career, compared to .258 and .276 by right-handed batters, respectively. Joe Girardi put six lefties in his starting lineup, including five in the first five spots, but they responded by going a combined 2-for-21 with two walks against the Cleveland starter. Brett Gardner had a bunt single and Brennan Boesch a ground ball bleeder through the infield. That was it.

The Yankees’ best chance to score came in the second inning, when the bottom of the order loaded the bases with two outs on a walk and two infield singles. The recently-acquired Alberto Gonzalez struck out to end the threat though, and Masterson went on to retire 21 of the final 25 men he faced. He struck out nine, got eleven ground balls, and recorded 23 of his 27 outs on the infield. The Yankees didn’t even hit a ball hard until about the sixth inning. Tip your cap, Masterson was excellent. The Bombers were lucky Terry Francona didn’t send him back out there to start Game Two.

(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Game One: Phelps Pays For His Mistake
David Phelps had an effective and really uneven outing. Jason Kipnis took him deep for a solo homer two batters into the game — Michael Bourn was incorrectly called out at second on a stolen base attempt one batter prior, so it could have easily been a two-run shot — and he seemed to be behind pretty much every batter for the first four or so innings. In fact, he fell behind in the count to 13 of the first 18 men he faced. That’s really, really bad.

To his credit, Phelps settled down. He retired ten of the final dozen batters he faced, throwing a career-high 115 pitches thanks to seven strikeouts and five walks in 6.2 innings. New York’s starters have a knack for battling through tough starts, but I don’t know if that’s a character/competitiveness thing or a teachable skill. Either way, I’m sure watching veterans like CC Sabathia, Hiroki Kuroda, and Andy Pettitte do it time after time has rubbed off on Phelps. He was shaky at times against the Indians, but at the end of the day he surrendered just one run in 6.2 innings. Can’t ask for more.

(Jason Miller/Getty)

(Jason Miller/Getty)

Game Two: Numbero Nuno
It’s fitting Vidal Nuno‘s first career big league start came against the team that originally drafted — and soon thereafter, released — him. The 25-year-old left-hander was making his first start in three weeks and first appearance of any kind in two weeks, and he responded by firing five scoreless innings against an Indians team that came into the day with a 120 wRC+, the highest in baseball by a wide margin.

Nuno did exactly what you expect a finesse left-hander to do: he worked quickly and used all sorts of different pitches. PitchFX says he used five different pitches in fact, four at least ten times each, yet he failed to record even a single swing and miss. Didn’t cost him though. Nuno threw a first pitch strike to 17 of 21 batters and, at least until he visibly ran out of gas in the fifth, was going right after hitters quickly and aggressively all afternoon. Nuno allowed three singles and three walks against five strikeouts and in his first MLB start, squeezing through the minimum five innings needed for his first career win.

Game Two: RailRiders Lead The Big Inning
The second game mirrored the first game in terms of offense, at least for the first six innings. Not a whole lot happened. The Yankees took a quick one-run lead in the first inning thanks to some defensive funny business, and the score remained 1-0 until they broke things open in the seventh. That rally was started by a pair of recently recalled Triple-A Scranton/Wilkes-Barre RailRiders.

Corban Joseph, who was up for the day as the 26th man, started the inning with his first career big league hit. It was a solid single to left-center that he hustled into a double, and two batters later Austin Romine doubled him in with a line drive to left. That was a big insurance run at the time, but not so big overall because the Yankees scored another five runs in the frame. Jayson Nix and Vernon Wells had RBI singles while Lyle Overbay doubled in two (off a lefty!). To think, the second batter of the inning tried to sacrifice bunt. That breathing room was much appreciated considering David Robertson and Mariano Rivera were likely unavailable due to their recent workloads.

(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

(AP Photo/Tony Dejak)

Leftovers
Despite having two kids starting both ends of a doubleheader, the bullpen came through the day in pretty good shape. Boone Logan was only one of Joe Girardi’s trusted late-inning arms to pitch, and he struck out the only man he faced in Game One. Preston Claiborne threw a perfect inning in that game, then Adam Warren picked up his first career save with four scoreless frames in relief in Nuno. He’s the first Yankee with a four-inning save since … Derek Lowe last August. Not that long ago. The bullpen is now up to 22 consecutive scoreless innings, by the way.

Robinson Cano went 1-for-9 during the doubleheader and is very much in “swing at everything” mode right now. Here’s proof. Yikes, Robbie. Gardner went 1-for-8 with four strikeouts, the bunt single, and a walk in the two games. He was the only Yankee without a hit in Game Two and is also in a “swing at everything” rut as well. Nix, Wells, and Gonzalez were the only players with two hits on the day, though Gardner, Overbay, and Joseph reached base twice as well.

Joseph, who sat on the bench for two days earlier this year, started the first game at first base and the second at second. He looked fine at first, making a number of nice scoops and starting a 3-6-1 double play. Second base didn’t go as smoothly, including one ball thrown into the dugout. As per the 26th man rules, Joseph has to go back to Triple-A before the next game.

The Yankees are now 22-4 when holding their opponents to four runs or less than this year, and all four losses are shutout losses. They improved to 4-0 immediately following a shutout loss with the Game Two win. Six wins and 16 total runs allowed (!) on the eight-game road trip has to be considered a huge success.

The Indians gave Mariano Rivera a gold Enter Sandman record from the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame between games, and it’s easily the best gift he’s received during his farewell tour. Easily.

Box Score(s), WPA Graph(s) & Standings(es)
ESPN is the place for up to the minute standings. MLB.com has the box score and video highlights of Game One while FanGraphs offers some other stats.


Source: FanGraphs

As for Game Two, here are the MLB.com and FanGraphs links. Box score, video highlights, nerd stats, etc.


Source: FanGraphs

Up Next
One day in Cleveland is enough. The Yankees are heading home to the Bronx and will welcome Jesus Montero and the rest of the Seattle Mariners to town for a three-game series. CC Sabathia and Felix Hernandez kick things off in the Tuesday night opener. Check out RAB Tickets if you want to catch the battle of aces.

Categories : Game Stories
  • Eddard

    You’ve gotta tip your cap to Dave Phelps and El Nuno. That’s two solid outings in a row for Phelps. If Nova is given another chance at starting it should be a short rope because Phelps is ready to take that role.

    This whole day was about the kids. It just goes to show you that good things will happen if you just give them a chance. I was asked in the confidence thread why I voted 10 because things looked bleak for 2014 and beyond. Judging by today, I would say things look just fine for the future.

    • Robinson Tilapia

      “I was asked in the confidence thread why I voted 10 because things looked bleak for 2014 and beyond.”

      Back in character, I see.

      • Jim Is Bored

        He’s slacking, he didn’t say “Phelpsy”

        • BFDeal

          Or “Big Game” Dave

    • CountryClub

      It was only 4 innings, but Warren might have been the most impressive of the 3.

      • vicki

        most of it was very low leverage but he did what you’re supposed to do.

    • Laz

      I don’t think Nova should get another chance for a bit. Nuno, Phelps, and Warren all have been proving they have what they need, while Nova hasn’t been good in over a year.

  • mustang (The Has Been & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

    I think the Wannabes were better the Has Been today but whatever.

    My Wannabe of the road trip Jason Nix 8 for 24 (.333) 5 BB

    My Has Been of the road trip Vernon Wells 11 for 30 (.366), 3HR, 5R, 10 RBI

    6-2 on this trip just amazing.

    The 2013 New York Yankees
    ” You may have forgot us or just plain don’t know us but we JUST KEEP WINNING”

    • Robinson Tilapia

      This is excellent. I expect this type of report nightly from you.

      • mustang (The Has Been & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

        LOL

      • mustang (The Has Been & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

        If you can deal with my prehistoric stats I will try for each home stand and road trip.

        • Robinson Tilapia

          You act as if I’ve evolved any further from what was on the back of an ’86 Topps card myself.

          • mustang

            SHHHHHH!!!!

            Don’t tell anyone round here that.

            ;)

            • Robinson Tilapia

              Yup. Someone might misuse a fancier stat as revenge.

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

            It’s funny – I stopped collecting baseball cards more or less around the time that non-Topps cards started appearing, and then proliferating. I always considered it a complete affront, like how dare you other cards exist!

    • mustang (The Has Been & Wannabes Bunch 2013)

      BTW The Yankees are 23-10 since being buried after their 1-4 start.

  • Pseudoyanks

    What a cool way to spend a Monday.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    Missed all of the first game. Didn’t miss much, although would you rather lose 1-0 or 15-14? I think I’ll take 1-0 every time.

    Second game? Easily a contender for my favorite win of the season.

    • Pour some cougar on me

      Honestly, I’d rather take the 14-15 loss because I adore slugfests.

    • forensic

      I actually prefer 15-14 over 1-0. 1-0 just seems so empty and sometimes boring. 15-14 at least has some action.

    • Laz

      14-15 is more interesting, but the 0-1 is better for this team. 15-4 would have emptied the bullpen, which would really suck seeing as this isn’t the first game of a 4 game series, but rather a one day series.

    • Get Phelps Up

      1-0.

      I’d much rather win 15-14 than 1-0 though.

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

      …I don’t think I’d really care if we lost, to be totally honest.

      • mustang

        sign
        True Fan

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

    Can we get a Mariano Rivera gift tracker on the side bar?

    • The Real Me

      Mariano is giving out Gift Baskets? I thought he was married? :-)

      • Laz

        He is probably the one putting apples and toothbrushes in his.

  • Get Phelps Up

    Didn’t see either game but I said yesterday that I was hoping for a split and that’s exactly what we got. 6-2 roadtrip and now we return home against two bad teams. I like our chances.

  • trr

    I’m satisfied; and isn’t that what really counts?

    • Pseudoyanks

      Are you talking about the Yankees?

  • pat

    Bah. One stinkin run and we leave with a split. Oh well, YCBP.

    RAILRYDERS4LYFE

  • forensic

    1-0 losses are always a little annoying and frustrating, but the split with what was available today was good, and the road trip was terrific.

    Two straight series at home now against under .500 teams. Hopefully they keep it going, even though there are two great pitchers (or at least one great one and one pitching great so far this year) going the next two days.

    • WhittakerWalt

      The worst part about losing 1-0 today is that the game was essentially over after the second batter of the game.

  • Dale Mohorcic

    Terry Francisco sounds like Ben Francisco’s version of Tony Plush.

    • Bob Buttons

      Ben and T Frank.

      Sounds legit.

    • your mom

      I was gonna say, who the funk is Terry Francisco? I can’t stand “Francisco”, San or Ben.

  • Wayne

    I was impressed with David and Vidal and Warren looks like he lost weight which might explained why he is pitching so well.

  • http://www.penuel-law.com/ Cuso

    Terry Francisco. He is now Terry Francisco.

  • forensic

    Girardi must be having some serious anxiety right now. Because of this double-header, Chris Stewart has now started on 5 straight days, and played on 7 straight days.

    So, in order to avoid putting Romine with any of the 4 veteran pitchers, which is apparently tantamount to crossing the streams, Stewart would have to start 9 straight days and play 11 straight. That’s kind of absurd, even for Girardi.

    I would assume Romine will start on Wednesday with Hughes. That gives a built-in excuse if Hughes does his Hughes thing and gives up a couple of homers to the Mariners.

    It’s all Romine’s fault!

  • forensic

    Travis Hafner is now hitting .133/.257/.167 in May (10 games, 35 PA’s).

    He’s also hitting .189/.338/.302 since April 21st (18 games, 64 PA’s, more than half his season).

    Come on Mike, we’re in serious need of a post on this to get him straightened out again!

  • Bavarian Yankee

    very nice day for the pitching staff. Well done.